AN: Okay so it's taking time for me to write for this story because I want things to be as accurate as possible and since I've never been to Philadelphia, I've been doing a lot of research for this story and this chapter especially because I wanted to express Rory's interest in the Philadelphia Inquirer and in doing so I actually found some interesting information about it. In addition, the two apartment complexes I mentioned in chapter one are in fact real apartment buildings in Philadelphia and are located within a couple of blocks from each other. And across the street from Penn's View is a building called The Printing Place so I'm just going to pretend that, that's Truncheon. Also, Michael Days is actually the editor of the Inquirer's sister publication, Philadelphia Daily News and Bill Marimow is editor of the Inquirer. I went with Days for this story though because I felt like as I continue writing I would remember his name more. Anyway, thanks for reading. On with chapter two.
Chapter 2: "So you and Barack Obama were alone in this coffee shop?"
"Yes, sir. - Thank your sir. - I will. - No problem. - Yes. - Thanks again," Rory could be heard saying in between what Jess assumed were questions she was being asked.
"Well?" Jess asked when Rory hung up the phone after what he believed to be her ninth or tenth 'thank you.' He had stopped counting after three so he couldn't be sure, "What did he say?"
"You're looking at the newest staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer!" she told him with the biggest smile he had ever seen.
"That's amazing Rory! Congratulations," Jess said cautiously approaching her to give her a hug.
"Thank you!" Rory said graciously accepting the hug.
"We should celebrate," he told her, "I'll take you to Sabrina's."
"Sabrina's?" she questioned.
"Yeah, Sabrina's Cafe. It's only a few miles from here. You'll love it, trust me."
Rory thought for a minute about those last two words. Did she trust Jess? Very soon they were going to be living in the same city again and as the only person here that she knew it was important that they get along and to do that she had to trust him.
"Trust you. I know you didn't phrase it as a question, but I just wanted you to know that I trust you."
"Thank you," he said, "Shall we?"
They got into Jess' car and drove the three miles from the Old City neighborhood where Penn's View was located to Sabrina's Cafe in University City.
"Wow!" Rory said when they arrived.
"It's great isn't it?" Jess asked.
"It's incredible. It's like looking at someone's house or something. I noticed the other buildings as we drove up," she said, "Is it part of the university?"
"Yes, This is Ross Commons. Sabrina's and Spencer ETA Burger next to it along with a small art gallery house the first floor. The top two floors are computers and study areas for the Drexel students. There are a couple more cafe locations and they are actually closer to my apartment, but I thought you'd like this one better."
"I do. I love it and we haven't even gone it, but why are you taking me to Sabrina's when there is a place with burger in it's name right next store? Does this have something to do with your aversion to places with food in the title?"
"No, Spencer's is great, actually and they are even owned by the same people. We can go there if you really want, but we're celebrating and while the burgers there are incredible; to me nothing says 'celebrate' quite like a plate of french toast as big as your head. And for that we have to go to Sabrina's."
"French toast as big as my head?"
"Yep. It's delicious, too. And," he leaned in close to whisper in her ear, "They have the some of the best coffee in Philly."
"Then what are we waiting for. Let's get a table."
After being shown to their table, Rory and Jess quickly ordered their food. Jess having been to Sabrina's several times easily decided on their whole wheat pancakes. Rory took Jess' suggestion and got their stuffed challah french toast, but added strawberries in addition to the bananas it came with.
"Oh my God, this coffee is amazing," Rory said, "I mean, it's no Luke's, but…"
"Well, no coffee is better than Luke's coffee, right?" Jess questioned.
"So, tell me about the campaign trail. I read all your articles, but tell me about behind the scenes. Did you get to spend any one-on-one time with the President Elect?"
"There's not much to tell actually. It was mostly just one hotel room after another. After awhile they all just look the same, but I did get to spend a little time with him though."
"Yep. A couple of months before he announced his candidacy he came to Yale and I interviewed him for the paper. Then one night when I first joined the campaign trail I couldn't sleep and went down to the little coffee shop in the hotel we were staying at and he came in."
"So you and Barack Obama were alone in this coffee shop?"
"Well me, him, and his security detail," she said, "He remembered me from Yale and asked how I was liking my job. We must have talked for like an hour or something, drinking cup after cup. He's a big fan of coffee. We ended up finding ourselves talking over cups of coffee a few times."
"That's seriously cool, Rory," Jess said, "How come nothing like that ended up in any of your articles?"
"It didn't seem right. Our conversations weren't technically off the record or anything, but when we were sitting there talking about our families and our favorite places to get coffee it just seemed like a couple of friends instead of reporter and presidential candidate, you know?"
"Yeah. I can respect that. And I'm sure he appreciates that you kept whatever conversations you two had to yourselves."
"This is delicious," Rory said taking her first bite of french toast after their food arrived, "I will definitely have to come back all the time when I move here."
"I really like that you're moving here," Jess said with a slight smile, "It will give us a chance to be friends again. I'd like that."
"Yeah, me too," she said returning the smile.
"But, why of all the papers in the country and the world even did you decide on the the Philadelphia Inquirer?" he asked.
"Well, after I graduated I sent out my resume to practically every paper in the country. I didn't hear anything back right away and then I started writing for Hugo Grey. About halfway through my time on the campaign though I started getting calls and emails from papers asking me to consider speaking with them when the election was over. The Inquirer was one of those," she said.
"Okay, but what on the magical Rory Gilmore pro/con list set it above the rest?" he asked.
"Well, its history for one."
"Seriously, Jess? You live here. You read this paper everyday and you don't know the significance of its history?"
"No," he explained with a laugh, "It's a newspaper Rory. I skim a few pages then I toss it away and repeat the process the next day. I love books, but I've never gotten to jazzed by a newspaper."
"Well, you'll enjoy the history of this one," she told him.
"Oh really. Well, then please share."
"For starters, it's the third oldest surviving paper in the country. It was founded in 1829," she began, "Then in 1840 the publisher at the time, Jesper Harding made it the first paper in the country to publish several works of Charles Dickens."
"Dickens, seriously?" Jess asked.
"Yep and that's not all. In 1845 they published Poe's, "The Raven." And, in the mid 1850s when he was just a teenager, a young Samuel Clemens worked as a typesetter at a few papers and for a few months one of those was the Philadelphia Inquirer," Rory told him.
"Mark Twain worked at the same paper you just got a job at?" he questioned.
"I know. I mean he didn't write for it and it's not in the same building anymore, but just the knowledge of working for a paper he once had a hand in creating is a great feeling," Rory said.
"So, what else drew you to the Inquirer?" he asked, "You said its history was just one thing that set it above the rest. What else makes it so special?"
"Well, I like that it's not too far from Stars Hollow so I can still see my mom."
"Just a couple hundred miles. It's not too long of a drive."
"I also like the idea of having a permanent place to be. I loved working on the campaign and getting to travel all over the country, but I'm looking forward to just being in one place for a while," she told him, "And while I love all that and the paper's history, one thing I really like about it is that it's one of only a handful of east coast papers not run by HPG."
"HPG?" he questioned.
"Huntzberger Publishing Group," she explained.
"Huntzberger? As in the blonde dick at Yale?"
"Sorry. What you don't want to work for your boyfriend and his family?" Jess asked.
"No. No, on many counts, actually," she said, "One, Logan doesn't work for his father anymore. He left the company last year. Two, there isn't enough money in the world Mitchum could offer me to get me to work for him. And three, Logan and I aren't together anymore."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"No you're not."
"You're right, I'm not. The guy was a jerk. But I know you loved him and it had to have hurt to have your relationship end."
"How long ago?"
"Just, we guys really suck don't we? Not that I want to be compared to him in any way, but we both left you with pretty crappy memories of your graduation days."
"True, but honestly I'd trade our breakup at my Yale graduation with your non-talking phone call at my Chilton one, any day."
"What happened?" he asked.
"The night before my grandparents had this big party for me and he well, Logan, he uh, proposed," she said.
"He proposed?" Jess asked.
"Yep. He had just taken this job in Palo Alto and wanted us to move there together as more than just boyfriend and girlfriend. I told him I had to think about it and after the ceremony I told him that as much I loved him and the idea of being married to him, I just wasn't ready" she explained, "He told me we either had to take the next step or take none at all."
"He gave you an ultimatum," he stated.
"Yeah. For him it was all or nothing. I wasn't ready for the all he was asking for so I chose nothing," Rory said.
"Do you regret it? Turning him down?" Jess asked.
"No. For a while afterwards when I was on the campaign I thought about it. I missed him and wondered if I made the right choice. He was such a big part of my life for so long you know," she said, "But eventually I realized my mom was right."
"About what?" he asked.
"She told me after we broke up that she thought I made the right choice," she told him, "She told me that when it's right I won't hesitate or want time to think. That I'll just know."
"So," Rory said as they walked through the park near Jess' apartment, "How much longer are you going to ignore telling me about the writing you've done since we last saw each other?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Jess said with his classic smirk.
"Oh, please Jess. Be excited about this. You wrote another book!" she exclaimed.
"Did I? Huh. So that's what all those royalty checks and interviews are about," he said with a laugh.
"I can't believe you wrote another book and didn't even bother to tell me. I had to find out from another journalist on the campaign," Rory said.
"I thought about calling you when it was published or sending a copy to Lorelai's, but I wasn't sure if it would be okay considering how we left things, but I'm glad you read it."
"Who said anything about reading it? I just said I heard about it, not that I read it."
"Give me a break, Gilmore. You read it and you know it. Probably several times, too."
"Alright, you caught me. I did read it, but just once. Okay, maybe twice. Three time's tops," she said with a smile after the look he gave her, "And it's a great book Jess."
"Thank you. So someone on the campaign told you about it?" he asked.
"Yeah, a couple months after I joined. This guy, Nathan, that I met when I first got there told me about it. We were kind of brought there by similar situations, except he wanted to get married and stay where they were and his girlfriend wanted to take a job across the country."
"Wow. Major coincidence."
"Just a bit. It helped though. We were going through similar, yet slightly different breakups and it helped having someone around feeling as bad as you," she explained, "But yeah, he saw me reading The Subsect and asked if I had read your latest novel. When I told him I didn't realize you had written another one he handed me his copy of Small Town Charm? and I stayed up that whole night reading it."
"Yep. I've told you before Jess. You've got such a great brain. Any words that come out of your mind are going to be incredibly brilliant. And I really do love the book, Jess. It's a little satirical, yet also true to life. It's amazing. I can't wait to read your next one," Rory said, "You are working on another book, right? Matt and Chris said you were home writing today."
"Yes, I'm working on another book. I don't have much, yet, it's still in the beginning stages," he told her.
"Any chance I can read any of it?" she asked.
"I'll think about it. Maybe when I have something more solid I'll let you give it a read through," Jess said.
"I guess you have to head back to Stars Hollow?" Jess asked as he walked her to her car later that afternoon.
"Yeah, but it's just for a little while. I have to come back and get a place set up before I start my job," she said.
"When do you start?"
"After the inauguration. I'm doing a little freelance work for Hugo and then I'm covering the inauguration for him before I start here the following week."
"So, when do you think you'll be back?"
"Not sure. Couple weeks maybe. Probably after Thanksgiving. It's been months since I've spent any length of time in Stars Hollow so I'd like to spend as much time there now as I can before I move," she explained.
"Understandable. So, I'll see you when you get back then? I'll even help you look at places if you want," Jess said.
"You know you could always come for Thanksgiving. I'm sure Luke would love it and you'd get to see April again, plus your Mom and your sister," Rory said, "And I wouldn't be opposed to the idea either."
"How about I think about it?" Jess asked.
"I'll take it," Rory said, "Don't be a stranger though, Jess. You've got my number. Give me a call sometime."
"I might just do that. See you later, Rory," he said.
"Bye Jess," she said giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek before getting into her car to drive back to Stars Hollow to deliver her news to her mother.
AN: There you go, chapter two. It ended up a lot longer than I originally set out. I hope you like it.