Disclaimer: I own nothing except for Rory's friends, Kara and Lacey. Gilmore Girl's belongs to the brilliant Palladino's.
AN: Hey guys, welcome to It Still Works, the sequel to That Part Always Worked. To catch you up, if it's been awhile since you read That Part Always Worked. This is a post finale, Literati. Rory and Jess get together again after Rory takes a job working at The Philadelphia Inquirer. This story picks up a year after the end of That Part Always Worked. Happy reading!
Chapter 1: "Happy Anniversary, Dodger!"
"Can you zip me up?" Rory asked her husband as she walked out of the bathroom of their suite at The Plaza, "Jess!"
"Huh," he said, turning around in his seat at the desk in their room.
"What are you so focused on?" she asked when he zipped up her dress and turned back around to continue reading and marking the pages in front of him, "Tell me that's not work? It's our anniversary weekend, Jess. We agreed we wouldn't do any work!"
It had been a year since they stood on their bridge and said their vows. They were as in love with each other now as they were that beautiful May day, if not more. Their first year together as husband and wife, while incredibly happy and filled with love, did not come without its challenges. The first came just a week after they returned from their honeymoon.
There was a literature conference in Austin for new authors looking to get published. Matt and Chris were supposed to attend and check out potential authors for Truncheon while Jess stayed in Philadelphia running the store with the college students they hired to help them for the summer. However, the day before they were scheduled to leave, Chris came down with the flu. As he was unable to attend and Matt didn't want to go alone, Jess had to go. And since she had just been off work for several weeks for their wedding and honeymoon, Rory couldn't go with him; neither of them looking forward to spending an entire week apart.
The second challenge came just after the new year. They had been married for seven months and throughout that time and the three years they had been back together, they had never had a major argument. Just after the new year, Rory was offered the opportunity to accompany The Inquirer's political reporter overseas to report on the current state of the Iran-European Union relationship. They were going to spend time in both Europe and Iran as they interviewed various political figures and locals.
Jess wasn't thrilled with the idea of Rory going overseas, but new being an overseas correspondent had always been her dream, but he was less thrilled with her traveling companion; an attractive, single man in his thirties. Rory laughing at Jess' jealousy incited an argument until Rory was able to get Jess calmed down enough to tell him that while she appreciated his concern he didn't have to worry because if Daniel were interested in either of them it would be him.
"It's not work, well not technically," Jess told her, bringing Rory out of her thoughts of their first year of marriage, "I got inspired to write another Hunter story and I had to get it down."
"Well, I'm glad we're not staying in the Eloise suite," Rory said with a laugh, moving to stand behind him, running her fingers through his hair before wrapping her arms around his back, "And while I can't wait to read it, we need to get going if we're going to make our reservations."
"Right. I'll just be a minute," he said, rising from his seat to wrap his arms around her and kiss her, "Mmm. Happy Anniversary, Book Tease!"
"Happy Anniversary, Dodger!"
After Jess got dressed and Rory finished her makeup, they got into the car Jess rented for the evening. They arrived at Uncle Jack's Steakhouse a few minutes later and were immediately escorted to their private table where the hostess poured them each a glass of the champagne that was chilling and waiting for them. Once they had perused the menu a bit Jess ordered them a bottle of red wine and the wagyu kobe meatballs to start while they decided what else they wanted to eat.
"I honestly don't care what steak we get as long as we get steak," Rory told him, "And I get sweet potato fries."
"You and your sweet potato fries," he said with a laugh.
"Hey, it's the only way to get me to willingly eat something good for me," she said.
"True, so any chance I can talk you into sharing a salad with me?" Jess asked.
"Green stuff, yuck," Rory told him.
"Some green stuff. I was thinking the lobster avocado salad," he said.
"Mmm, yum, lobster," she said.
"And you like avocado," he reminded her.
"Yeah, in guacamole," she said.
"It's basically the same thing," he said.
"I guess, okay so we've got the meatballs, this salad thing, my sweet potato fries, now what about the steak?" Rory asked.
"Want to do the porterhouse for two?" Jess asked, "And in addition to your sweet potato fries we can get the five cheese mac and cheese?"
"Perfect," Rory said, "Are we staying for dessert?"
"Nope," he told her with a smile, "I have plans for that."
When the waiter came with the meatballs they ordered they feasted on them while waiting for their salad and the rest of their meal to arrive. Rory surprisingly ate more of the salad than Jess did and unsurprisingly ate all of the sweet potato fries before Jess had a chance to take even one.
"This food is amazing. I know they are really well known for their service and get a lot of reviews on it," Rory said.
"Which has been amazing," Jess said. He had never been in a restaurant anywhere in the U.S. or any of the one's they went to Europe that gave him such attentive service.
"Yeah, but the food is really good, too. This steak is incredible," Rory said, taking another bite.
Once they had finished their meal, Jess paid their bill and took Rory's hand as they walked back out to the awaiting car to go to Serendipity 3.
"I've always wanted to come here," Rory said as they walked into the building.
"Why don't you take a seat and I'll be with you in a minute," Jess said.
"Okay," Rory said, a little confused as she watched Jess speak to someone who looked like the manager before joining her at their table, "What was that about?"
"Nothing, just letting him know we were here," Jess said.
"So they could bring our dessert out."
"But we haven't even looked at the menu yet."
"I know. I ordered our dessert a couple days ago."
"A couple days...Jess!"
"You ordered the Golden Opulence Sundae!"
"I did. Are you happy?"
"Happy? I'm ecstatic. I can't believe this. I've wanted to try this sundae ever since I first read about it," she said, "Mom is going to hate me for having this without her."
"Well, you know one day when we plan a trip to Stars Hollow you can order it before we go and the two of you can make a day of it while Luke and I watch Hunter," he said.
"That would be great," Rory said as she watched them bring their sundae over, "Wow!"
"Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Mariano," their server said, setting the crystal glass of decadent vanilla ice cream in front of them.
"This looks incredible," Rory said, "It's almost too pretty to eat."
"Too pretty to eat?" Jess questioned.
"I did say almost," she reminded me.
"True, okay, ladies first," he said, handing her a spoon before picking up his own, watching her face as she moaned with her first bite.
"Mmmm, sooo good," Rory said as she licked the excess chocolate off her spoon.
"Should I be jealous of a sundae?" Jess asked with a laugh, "I'm never seen you react like that to me."
"Oh hush and eat the sundae," she said, digging her spoon in for another bite.
After finishing their sundae, Rory and Jess went back to The Plaza to exchange their first gifts before enjoying the rest of the evening in bed together.
"Okay so I have two gifts for you," Jess said when they were back in their room and sitting on the sofa in the living room, "I'll give you the second on our actual anniversary on Monday."
"That's funny," Rory said, grabbing her gift for Jess from the closet before joining him, "I have two gifts for you, too."
"Am I getting both today?" he asked.
"Nope. I'm saving the best gift for Monday," she said.
"The best gift, huh," he said.
"Yep. Though, this one is pretty great, too," she said, handing him the bag with her gift for him in it, "Happy Anniversary, Jess."
"Happy Anniversary, Rory," he said, kissing her before handing her his gift for her so they could open them together.
They laughed as they opened them, revealing that they once again gave each other a book. It worked for them. They shared a love of literature and paper was the traditional first anniversary gift.
"The Holy Barbarians," Rory said, fingering the title of the book Jess gave her.
"I never did return your copy," Jess said, "And it may have been lost somewhere in all my moving around so I figured it was time I replaced it."
"Thank you. I love it," she said giving him a kiss before flipping through the pages and taking note of the date of publication and finding it is in fact a first edition as she suspected, but shocked when she reached the title page and saw that it was signed, "Wow, Jess. This is so great. Thank you."
"You're welcome," he said, loving the look of euphoria on her face and nearly forgetting about the book that lay in his lap until she nudged him to really look at it, "Oliver Twist."
"Of course. A little Dodger for my Dodger," she said as he thumbed through the delicate pages of the first edition copy of one of their favorite books.
"Thank you," he said, taking her book and his, placing them on the coffee table so he could kiss her fully, "I love you."
"I love you, too," she said, pressing her lips to his as he laid them down on the sofa before moving his lips to her neck.
After a night of lovemaking, Sunday was spent leisurely enjoying the city. Since they were close to Central Park they spent some the morning there walking and enjoying the zoo, as well as several hot dogs from the cart across the street from the hotel. They finished out the day in their park before going to the hotel for the night.
Monday morning Rory was woken up by the feel of Jess' mouth on her skin as he kissed every exposed inch; her lips, cheeks, neck, and her shoulder before moving down to kiss and bite each toe before kissing up each leg, stopping at her thighs.
"Happy Anniversary, Mrs. Mariano," Jess said leaning up to kiss her mouth.
"Happy Anniversary, Mr. Mariano," Rory said, running her fingers through his hair as he kissed her neck and bit her ear, pushing his hands up underneath her nightgown, "Mmm, Jess?"
"What do you need, Rory?" he asked, running his fingertips along the outside of her underwear as he took hold of the nightgown in his other hand, slowly lifting it up over her head.
"I need you, Jess. I need you so much," she said, grabbing the back of his head and forcing his lips on hers, plunging her tongue into his mouth while she used her toes to push his boxers away from his body.
After a second round in the shower they headed out for the day, stopping at a bakery to get coffee and danishes before Jess led them to his surprise destination.
"Okay, so seeing as how we are already married, I know you're not pulling a Sweet Home Alabama," Rory said as they stood outside the flagship store for Tiffany's.
"That's true and though I'll happily let you pick whatever you want I do already have something picked out for you, but I thought first you'd like to enjoy your breakfast," Jess told her, handing her the bag with the danishes as they walked inside.
"My breakfast?" she questioned, "Oh. At Tiffany's. You're too much, you know that."
"I try," he said, kissing her cheek before sitting down at the table by the window so they could watch the people walking down fifth avenue as they ate their danishes
"So are you ready for your next gift?" Jess asked a few minutes later as they finished up their danishes and coffee.
"Absolutely," Rory said, taking his hand as he led her to a nearby case.
"Okay, so as you know, paper is the traditional gift for the one year anniversary," he began, "Which we both covered by getting each other books, but I'd like to take it a step further."
"Here you are, Mr. Mariano," a salesgirl told him, handing him the little blue box with Rory's gift in it.
"Thank you," he said, before handing the box to Rory.
"Oh, Jess, it's beautiful," Rory said, taking out the sterling silver chain with a sterling silver envelope engraved with her initials, RGM, along with the Tiffany's address, hanging from the chain, "Will you put it on me?"
"Sure," he said, taking the necklace from her, placing it around her neck when she turned around, kissing it before he closed the clasp.
"It's perfect," she said, leaning up on her toes to kiss him, "Thank you."
"Anything for you, Ror," he said.
"Now, for your second present, how about we take one of those carriage rides," Rory said, "It's been years since we did that."
"Ten to be exact," he said, recalling their carriage ride through Stars Hollow not long after he moved to that crazy town.
A few minutes into their carriage ride, Rory laid her head on Jess' shoulder and pulled an envelope out of her pocket. It wasn't sealed and there was no return address or addressee to indicate what it was or who it was from.
"I guess we're really on point this year, huh," Rory said, handing the envelope to Jess, "We both gave each other books and an envelope."
"Though you can't open the one I gave you," he said, removing his arm from around her shoulders to look at the contents of the envelope, pulling out a single sheet of paper, reading it several times before turning to Rory with a smile, "Is this for real?"