Oy with the one shots already! I know. But this is a present for Sophie! It's her birthday today, and I wanted to do something special. Here it is, Sophie. I hope you like it! As well as the rest of you. Everyone else should like it too!
Disclaimer: I don't own it. Darn.
Rory stared at her ringing phone. She had been getting phone calls for the past few days. Whenever she would answer the phone, the caller would hang up. She held her breath as the phone stopped ringing. In her heart, Rory knew it had been Jess on the other line. Her head told her it was simply a telemarketer that had her number on some list. There was no reason to get all jumpy over a few phone calls.
"It's nothing," Rory said softly. She stared at her phone again, almost willing it to ring.
Surprisingly enough, it did begin to ring. Rory answered after the third ring and heard stable breathing on the other end. It had to be Jess. No one else would call her like this. He knew it was her graduation.
She hesitated. Then she opened her mouth. "Jess, is that you? Jess, I'm pretty sure it's you and I'm pretty sure you've been calling and not saying anything but want to say something." Rory paused. Maybe he would respond to her. He didn't, but Rory could tell he was still there. "Hello? You're not going to talk? Fine, I'll talk." Rory tried to keep her voice stable, but she started to fail. "You didn't handle things right at all. You could've talked to me. You could've told me that you were having trouble in school and weren't going to graduate, and that your dad had been there, but you didn't. And you ended up not taking me to my prom and not coming to my graduation and leaving again without saying goodbye again, and that's fine, I get it, but that's it for me. I'm going to Europe tomorrow and I'm going to Yale and I'm moving on. And I'm not going to pine." Rory stopped to collect herself again. She felt a sob coming up from her stomach. "I hope you didn't think I was going to pine, okay? I think. . .I think I may have loved you, but I just need to let it go. So, that's it, I guess. Um, I hope you're good. I want you to be good, and, um, okay, so, goodbye. That word sounds really lame and stupid right now, but there it is. Goodbye." She chewed on her lip for a second. Jess hadn't said anything. There was complete silence on the line. Rory couldn't even hear Jess breathe anymore.
"Don't say goodbye." Rory's heart leapt in her chest.
"What?" she asked.
"Don't say goodbye."
"Jess, I…I don't know what…" Rory stumbled through her words.
"No. It's my turn to talk now."
"Okay," Rory agreed as she sat on the bench.
"I'm a jerk. I'm a dropout. I'm a loser. I don't deserve you. I run away from my problems. I went to see my dad, but he wasn't interested in seeing me. I didn't know what else to do when I flunked and Luke told me I couldn't stay. And…I'm sorry. Sorry is a weird word for me, you know that. I don't apologize for much. I apologized to Luke. You needed to hear it too." Jess paused. "I'm not done yet. I…" Rory heard the click of the line.
"Hello?" she asked. "Hello?"
"My, uh, my phone died." He held the little silver object up in defeat.
"You're…here," Rory said wistfully.
"Yeah, I am."
"And you're wearing a tie."
"Huh. I am." Jess ran his fingers through his gelled hair.
"Jess, why are you here?" Rory looked up at him nervously.
"Came to see you graduate."
"That's my line," he responded playfully.
"You don't get to do this," Rory started angrily. "You don't get to run off and come back like this. It isn't fair!"
"No! You ran off without a word. You just…sat on that bus and said you'd call. Part of me knew you weren't coming back and that you weren't going to call, but I let you go anyway! This isn't fair to me. I'm leaving for Europe and I'm going to Yale!" Rory stood up a faced Jess as she continued on her rant.
"I know. I'm sorry." Jess scuffed his sneaker on the floor. Rory noticed Jess was all dressed up except for his sneakers. She wanted to smile, but tried to prevent her lips from curling up in a grin. "I called. I didn't know what to say."
"You never do."
"I tried Rory. I really tried." Jess started to fidget with his hands as he waited for Rory to speak.
"You came back."
"Did you see me graduate?"
"I was in the back row."
Rory closed her eyes and nodded. "Why did you come back?"
"I missed this."
"Specifically? Because I don't think you've ever been to school with me." Rory allowed the corners of her mouth to turn up a bit.
"Why did you leave?" Rory asked.
"Everything. Rory…everything was caving in." Jess sat on the bench where Rory had gotten up from.
"I would have listened."
"You didn't want to talk?"
Rory sighed. "The return of monosyllabic man."
"You were talking in full sentences earlier." Rory smiled again and sat down next to Jess.
"The verbal thing comes and goes."
"Did you mean what you said?" Jess asked.
"Which part?" Rory asked.
"You know, when you were on the phone."
"What part was that? I said a lot. I don't remember everything though." Rory tried to think of her one sided conversation with Jess.
"I came back because I realized I love you."
Rory looked at Jess, shocked at what he had just said.
"I…I…I love you?"
"Was that supposed to be a statement?"
"I…" Rory was completely flustered. She grabbed Jess by the collar and brought him closer to her. Blue met brown and their lips crashed together like the ocean on the sand. When they finally broke apart, "I love you."
"Glad to hear it," Jess said, and he kissed her again.