A/N-Sorry about the late update. My internet got all screwed around with and I was out for count it, TEN days. They had to re-route everything and it took for-freaking-ever.
Obviously, this is the final chapter of From the Bottom of My Heart, but the sequel will be coming shortly. The title at this point is still unknown to me. I was going to title it And I Kind of Like You Driving Me Crazy. But it's unreasonably obscure. Maybe Swear to Shake it Up if You Swear to Listen or Take a Message, it's this Remy Shand song that I absolutely love. Maybe Take Off Your Cool.
Someone5-As usual, your review made me jump up and down and do a happy dance. Thank you for always giving me fantabulous reviews. I'm also super glad that you didn't find the end cliché or cheesy. Happy New Year!
Spinaround-The last chapter was Season 3. They're both still in Stars Hollow but I currently have no plans for a Venice Beach scenario. They are both at Yale in the Season Four chapters. Sorry, I know this is really confusing, it confuses me more than you know. Glad you liked the chapter! Thanks so much for reviewing!
Sanfrangiantsfan-I like the title too. There is a story behind it, but I'm not totally sure if I'm using it. It's from the song One Plus None by Riviera, this really cool Chicago underground rock band. Check it out if you get time! Thanks for taking the time.
Mcrules4191, AvidTVfan, Regina Halliwell, mezz, britbrat, just-hidden
LexyLovinMilo-LOL! That was adorable and made me absolutely laugh out loud! I love reviews like that. Please, keep them coming!
Jade-Tessier-Thank you a million (or 14 times) for reviewing every single chapter. That means so much to me, that you took the time to actually read everything through and comment on it. To thank you x 14 :-D.
Amanda-So glad you enjoyed it! It's not too long, I hope I didn't waste your time! I'm thinking this chapter will be mixture of Yale and Stars Hollow. Just for fun ;).
Kat461-I love you too, Kat. Grins. Ready for the new story?
So, I guess here it is, the conclusion to From the Bottom of My Heart I (and I don't own a thing).
"Rory?" Dave Rygalski asked Rory as she sat at the counter across from Jess, smiling as they exchanged flirtatious banter that bordered on inappropriate.
She quickly attempted to uncouple herself from Jess but failed terribly when he took her hand to keep her attention subconsciously. Hoping that the interruptions from Jess would halt momentarily, Rory turned to see Dave grinning at her brightly.
"Dave!" Rory said excitably, smiling greatly at him. Dave grinned politely in response and took a seat next to her at the counter.
"Haven't seen you in a while, I was in the area after band practice and thought I'd stop in and see if you were here." He flicked his eyes to Jess swiftly and gave him a polite but almost unnoticeable smirk. "Hey Jess."
"Dave," Jess said pleasantly. Rory instantly beamed at Jess's impromptu agreeable nature.
"What've you two been up to?" Dave asked.
"Not much of anything," Rory started, but rethought the ending of the statement from the look in Jess's eyes. "That we discuss over coffee anyway. Believe me, you don't need to know," Rory said, squirming verbally in discomfort. Jess did that to her. He challenged her to be honest and he loved to watch her want to acclimate but unable to do so.
Dave nodded, amused. "I think I understand."
"What Rory means to say-," Jess started, but Rory quickly gave him an edge of the withering stare and put a hand over his mouth.
"What've you been up to?" she inquired.
"Band practice mostly. School here and again."
"I hear you. I also heard that you and Lane are officially 'involved'," Rory said.
"You heard right."
"So," Rory said, "how's that going?"
"Really, really great. Lane's a great girl."
"I assume that means things are good," Rory said, still not removing her hand from Jess's mouth, especially since he had taken it upon himself to kiss the inside of her hand gently while she tried to maintain a conversation without combusting under Jess's demanding touch.
Dave laughed lightly. "They are. Looks like things are good with you two as well," he said as he watched Jess kiss her hand and Rory flush an increasingly deeper shade of red every time Jess made a move.
"They're not bad," Rory said, removing her hand and giving Jess a warning look. He just smirked at her and refilled her coffee, walking away to actually attend to the other customers.
"Don't see how they could be."
"You'd be surprised. I guess Lane told you about Brooklyn," Rory said illicitly.
"Yeah, I'm really sorry about that. I'm hesitant however to bring it up with Jess. I don't know him that well, I would feel stupid prying into his personal life." Dave paused while Rory gave him a reassuring smile. "He seems like he's doing well."
"He really is," Rory said, following him covertly with her eyes as he made his rounds. "I'm proud of him. It was really hard for a few days there, but he seems to be doing really well now."
"The storm is over," Dave stated.
"Let's hope it's not just the calm thereof. I really don't see how things could get worse from here though. When we were there, it was miserable. He was so distant. We had just gotten back from our second date when he found out. He was so devastated, I was in hysterics. I thought for sure I was going to be a victim of circumstance and lose him before I had a chance to appreciate him. While it was sad, it shed some much needed light on the fact that I don't savor victories or pick battles. It's been a busy week," Rory finished quietly. Dave smiled supportively.
"That's good. I'm glad to see you also doing well. Under these circumstances, like, if I had been in Jess's position, I don't know what I would've done." Rory smiled at him and Dave stood. "Well, I'm going to go, Lane and I are going to go over a few songs and maybe catch a movie or go eat or something, so I'm sure I'll be seeing you around. I plan on being around here more often now. Be sure to stop by band practice, we miss you," Dave said, his hand on her shoulder.
"I'll be sure to do that."
"Take care," he said, turning to leave. "See you around, Jess," Dave said, waving.
"Later," Jess said.
"That was an extensive comment," Rory chastised jokingly. "I didn't realize that you could smile and say goodbye to someone at the same time."
"First I hear you raving about me and then you start reprimanding me for using one word responses. We're going to have to talk about this," Jess said, standing over her.
"Wow, two whole sentences. I almost forgot what your voice sounded like," Rory teased.
"Cork it," Jess said as he walked behind the counter, grabbed an order, and delivered it.
Yale University, October 22nd, 2004. New Haven, Connecticut.
Jess and Rory were walking up the stairs to Jess's dorm room, hand in hand, Jess feeling for once in the day, the dread leaving him entirely. He had two days until he had to really be afraid for his sanity.
They stood before the door, both mentally weighing the merits of entering together or Rory going back to her dorm room.
"You know," Jess said, putting his index finger in the front pocket of Rory's khakis and pulling her to him casually, "it is a Friday night. And you and I both don't have weekend classes…."
"May I heedlessly ask where you are going with this?" Rory said humorously.
"I don't need directions to get to a point, keep your pants on." Jess paused as Rory looked down at his hand which was now almost all the way into the pocket. "At least while we're out in the hallway." He paused again while Rory primed herself to retort. "You're going to say 'dirty', aren't you?"
"I can't make guarantees, especially since you so slyly stole my line."
"Sorry about that one. I'll be quiet for a second if you want to say it," Jess apologized and offered.
"Nah, the moment passed."
"It happens." They looked at one another for a passionate eternity and then Jess put his other hand in the other pocket and Rory grinned.
"You don't need words to get a point either apparently," Rory said.
"Actions speak louder than words."
"Then you must be screaming," Rory said, good-naturedly.
"I do like to get what I want."
"What is that exactly?" Jess looked down at their closeness and then back up at Rory as if he could speak with his eyes. He normally could speak with his eyes. But for sake of argument, Rory wouldn't listen with her eyes in return.
Jess gave in with a surreptitious eye roll. "Do you want to come in?"
Rory beamed. "I'd love to."
Meanwhile, in Stars Hollow…
"'Lo?" Lorelai asked as she answered the phone, Luke kissing the back of her neck calmly.
"Lorelai?" Lane asked quietly.
"Lane? What's going on, are you okay?" she asked as she shooed Luke away so that she could remain composed.
"No, I'm fine. I was just seeing if you had heard from Rory yet today," she asked carelessly.
"Uh, no I haven't yet. It's Friday, she won't be here until Monday with Jess. She said she was going to stay at school this weekend. Why, what's up?"
"Well, seeing as she is my maid of honor and my wedding is in three months, I wanted to pow-wow with her and go over some of the predetermined plans."
"She hasn't called you yet?"
"No, but she told me she'd be MIA for a few days here, what with Jess and his mom thing coming up," Lane said nonchalantly.
"Well, just call her, I'm sure she's not up to much. And if she's doing something dirty, she won't answer the phone."
"Anything else you needed?" Lorelai finished.
"Well, actually, yeah. Since we're both getting married, I wanted to know your viewpoint on this."
"Veil or tiara?" she asked as Dave walked into the kitchen. Lane was sitting at the kitchen table, almost buried beneath the numerous books, magazines and binders containing the necessary information and planning lists and she and Rory had relentlessly compiled.
Lorelai looked taken aback. "I thought you were having a traditional, Korean wedding."
"Lane, didn't your mom decide for us that we were having a traditional, Korean wedding?" Dave asked almost simultaneously with Lorelai.
"That was creepy," Lane said to both of them. They both pretended not to notice why and Lorelai prodded her.
"Well, my mom wants me to have a traditional Korean wedding, but I'm taking a few creative licenses. So, veil or tiara?"
"Creative licenses? Lane, if you disobey your mother and screw around with a traditional Korean wedding until it's only half traditional, also known as unconventional, it'll be like mooning your heritage. And your mother."
"I didn't think about it that way. Basically you're saying it's all the way or no way, right?"
"That's what I'm saying."
"Mooning the Korean heritage may be bloody," Lane speculated.
"When did this conversation turn into dropping pants?" Dave asked as he drank from the orange juice carton sneakily.
"Is that Dave in the background?" Lorelai wondered.
"Considering that he's my live-in fiancé at our apartment where only the two of us live, I'd say there's a good chance that it's Dave."
"Tell him I say hi," Lorelai smiled.
"I'll do that. So, just so I can write this down and won't forget it in ten seconds or less, we decided that we have to go totally Korean or throw caution and my physical health to the wind and wing it?"
"That was the consensus, I believe so."
"Thanks, you're such a big help. How's the prototype bridesmaid dress coming?"
"Beautiful. I showed Luke a little while ago and he loved it. You can come by in the morning and we can critique it and then stuff ourselves at the diner."
"Bye Lane." Lorelai hung up the phone and replaced it in the charger, turning to see Luke who was leaning against a wall, simpering.
"What?" Lorelai said.
"Nothing. I just think it's funny that our wedding is in nine months and theirs is in three," Luke said, as if it made total sense.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Lorelai said, searching for the point.
"Well, she's Rory's age."
"Again, the point is?"
"Lane's going to be married before us!" Luke said frantically, finally fed up with Lorelai's cluelessness.
"Luke, baby?" Lorelai asked.
"What?" he said, defeated.
"We only have to start worrying if we find out that Taylor or Kirk are getting married before us. They'd have to elope and while that would be bad and sneak up on us, what do you think the chances of that are?" she asked delicately.
"Bad. But I swear, if that happens, we're getting married ten minutes later," Luke said, his passion on the topic reigniting.
"It'll be okay," Lorelai said, grabbing his hand reassuringly. They stood for a moment and Luke smiled in compliance.
"Where was I before the phone rang…? Oh, yeah," he said, bending down and gently kissing Lorelai's neck.
Lorelai laughed submissively.
October 30th, 2003. Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
Jess and Rory were sitting on the couch upstairs, while Luke and Lorelai were downstairs, exchanging coy repartee. They sat there, happily together.
"Jess?" Rory asked between laughter and wit.
"Ma'am?" She glared at him flippantly.
"I need to know something," she started, looking down at her hands. Jess frowned slightly at her shy manner and took his index finger under her chin, raising her face to his so he could drown in the sea that sat in her eyes.
"Are you going to stay here?" she asked finally, after moments of painfully searching for the words.
"What do you mean?"
"I don't even know. Just don't leave me. I'm going to be going to school in a year someplace else, and so much can happen in a few months. Just promise me that you will stay here, even if it's only for me."
Jess paused and assessed the question mindlessly. He wouldn't leave for the world. "I promise." Rory blinked in mild surprise. He saw her response and grinned, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her head. "I would never leave you here alone."
October 23rd, 2004. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
"I love you," Rory said to Jess as they lay between his cotton sheets, facing one another adoringly.
"I love you too," he said. She grinned.
"Will we always be together?" She smiled at his nod and he sighed and closed his eyes, speaking to everyone at once. His mother, Luke, Rory, Lorelai. And heaven help him, to his father.
"Thank you." And Rory saw another loving smile.
From the bottom of my heart
A ballad is sung
Through a whisper she comes
To the rays of the sun.