Fandom: Gilmore Girls
Pairing/Character/General Series: Rory Gilmore/Jess Mariano, Luke Danes, OFC (child)
Prompt: #48 "future"
Word Count: 1,718
Summary: It's Rory and Jess's wedding day.
Notes: post GG: A Year in the Life
Disclaimer: don’t own anything; for my 100_tales table
“You doing okay?”
Jess stopped fixing his bowtie long enough to look at his uncle. “Yeah, I’m good. Why?”
“Because I think you’re doing to destroy that thing instead of fixing it,” Luke pointed out. “Here, let me do it.”
“Didn’t know you are an expert,” Jess grumbled, but stood still long enough for Luke to straighten it properly.
“Yeah, well, I’ve gotten some practice, and it’s pretty clear your nerves are frayed right now,” Luke pointed out, stepping back.
“Is it that obvious?” Jess asked wryly.
Luke just raised an eyebrow. “Just a little bit.”
“Were you nervous?” Jess couldn’t help but wonder, remembering Luke and Lorelai’s wedding that had only taken place a few years ago. He had missed the actual wedding due to their impulsive decision-making, but they had done it again, including a reception, and from what he remembered, it had been beautiful.
“Not really, but probably would’ve been more nervous had it happened a decade ago,” Luke answered. “By the time Lorelai and I got married, we were already were in almost every sense of the word so while it was great, it was also really just a formality.”
“Do you wish you had done it sooner?” he questioned, tilting his head.
“Only so her father could’ve been there,” Luke responded. “Otherwise, no. I think we did at the right time for us. Which is something that you know about, don’t you?”
And what could Jess say to that? Because he was right. Maybe he wished at moments that he had never left, never hurt Rory in all the ways that he had before he took off, but all those moments led them to this one, and how could he regret it?
By leaving, he found himself, and it may have taken a while, but their paths had led them back to each other. Long after he stopped believing that they even had a shot, she proved them both wrong.
Now he was getting married. Something he never thought would happen, with someone he dreamed of it happening with, and it took everything in him not to pinch himself.
“You keep smiling like that, you’re going to scare people,” Luke said, snapping him out of his thoughts. Jess was surprised; he hadn’t even realized he had been smiling in the first place. “As if Taylor isn’t scandalized enough by this whole thing. Not that I mind.”
“Well, that’s just more of a reason to do it,” Jess snarked. “I swear, he still thinks I’m going to steal someone’s lawn decorations.”
“Taylor is Taylor,” Luke remarked.
“Can’t say it better than that,” Jess agreed. He glanced around the small room that they were getting ready in, tucked behind the hall that Rory and Jess had chosen as their wedding venue and back at Luke. “When do we have to head out there?”
Luke checked his watch. “Another fifteen minutes.” Jess nodded, pretending that butterflies weren’t settling in his stomach.
Before he could speak, there was a knock at the door. Exchanging confused looks, Luke went to go answer it, opening it slightly to reveal a grinning Rory, clearly already in her wedding gown, from what little he could see.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” Luke immediately asked, eyebrows furrowing in worry, and he opened the door the rest of the way. “Everything okay?”
“Everything is fine,” Rory assured him, looking over at him. “I am just paying my fiancé a little visit.”
“You’re not supposed to see the bride before the wedding,” Jess reminded her.
“Oh, are we doing that?” Rory asked, a little too nonchalantly. “Anyway, I’m not here for me. Someone wanted to see you immediately and she wouldn’t take no for answer.” She moved out of the way slightly, to reveal an all too familiar child, dressed in a bright blue satin dress, bringing out the color of her eyes, and a crown made of flowers adorning her dark hair; she truly was just like her mother in every way.
Lorelai Emily Gilmore, or “Leia” as she was known as to everyone who met her, darted into the room, and made her way to Jess, wrapping her tiny arms around one of his legs. He picked her up effortlessly, and held her close, causing her to giggle happily and duck her head into his shoulder.
Luke chuckled and made a move to leave. “I’ll give you guys ten and then you have to be out there.”
“Thanks, Luke,” Rory said, as Jess nodded, expressing his gratitude as well. Once he was gone, Rory closed the door behind them.
“You clean up nicely, Mariano,” she teased, as she took in his dark tuxedo.
“I try to do my best,” Jess joked, and as he finally took in Rory’s appearance, losing his train of thought in the process. Her strapless white gown fell perfectly around her; her hair was curled and pinned was up, and a tiara completed the outfit to make her look like the princess that the town she had grown up in had always believed she was. “You look amazing.”
She closed the distance between them. “Such a flatterer.”
“Now that isn’t me,” Jess countered, mock serious. “I only speak facts. Though, I’m afraid you’re going to have to deal with being the second most beautiful in the room.”
“Since I gave birth to the first, I think I can deal with it for now,” she replied, hand reaching out to touch his cheek, as their lips met in a quick kiss. A giggle made them part, as they looked to the source of the sound.
“And what do you have to say, young lady?” Jess asked. “Aren’t we supposed to be getting ready with your mommy and grandma?”
“Missed you,” was the earnest reply he got, and his heart melted. She had him wrapped around her little finger since before she was born, and the older she got, the more certain Jess was that she knew it too. Also just like her mom.
“Well, I suppose we can make an exception then,” Jess said, kissing her cheek, making her giggle all over again. “But you have a very important job to do.”
“I throw the flowers,” she said earnestly, eyes wide.
“You do throw the flowers,” Jess agreed. “And where are the flowers?”
“With grammy,” she told him. “She’s watching them. She promised. Pinky promised!”
“Pinky promised?” Jess asked.
“Pinky promised,” she confirmed, and Jess let out a laugh.
“Okay, but you need to back with mommy and I will see you again soon, okay?” he said. “Lots of people are waiting to see you.”
“Pinky promise?” she asked, offering her hand.
“Pinky promise,” he said, entwining their fingers. By chance his eyes met Rory’s and saw that her eyes were glistening. Realizing that she was caught, she gave him a watery smile that he couldn’t help but return.
“You’re only supposed to cry during the wedding,” he pointed out, trying to lighten the mood.
“Well, we’ve never been traditional so why start now?” Rory offered.
“Why mommy cry?” Leia demanded, picking up the right words as she shifted until Jess set her down so she could go to Rory. “Mommy sad?”
“No,” Rory replied immediately, opening her arms so Leia could step in them and giving her daughter a hug. “Mommy is very happy.” At her words, Jess’s throat tightened up, because that was all he wanted. For her to be happy, and to be the one who made her happy.
Leia tugged at Rory’s hand. “Okay, we go and get my flowers. I have to throw them! Lots of people want to see me.”
“Of course, your highness,” Rory laughed. She glanced at Jess. “See you out there.”
“Bye dada!” Leia yelled, as she and Rory left, just as Luke came back in. Dada … he would never get tired of hearing that.
“You ready to go?” Luke asked, and Jess could only nod, forming the only words he could.
And the wedding went smoother than he ever could’ve imagined. If he got teary eyed during the vows, well, he would never admit it. Seeing Emmy happily throwing her flowers and then to see Rory walking down the aisle was more than he could’ve ever imagined.
Everything that followed went by so quickly, but he tried to hold on to every moment as best as he could. His favorite was still the one where they were pronounced husband and wife, and kissing Rory in front of all their loved ones. Leia had ran right into their arms and holding them both close, realizing that even though he had considered them to be part of his family and had them in his heart since even before he and Rory had gotten back together, it was now official.
But only as they were dancing to their first song as husband and wife at their reception did Jess really let himself relax.
“So we finally did it,” Rory murmured, arms wrapped around his neck as they swayed. “Did you ever think that we would make it here?”
“Honestly, no,” Jess admitted, as he held her close. “I wasn’t sure this was in the cards for us anymore.”
“And yet here we are,” Rory murmured. “Guess you’re stuck with me now.”
“Can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be stuck with,” Jess remarked, smiling.
“You’ve become a sap in your old age,” she told him playfully.
“Yet you love me anyway,” Jess retorted.
“There’s no question of that,” Rory agreed, leaning close so she could kiss him. Pulling away, moments later, she asked, “Wish we had done it sooner?”
“I think it was the perfect timing for us,” Jess said firmly.
Rory’s smile widened. “I think it was too.” And without another word, Jess leaned forward to kiss his wife once more.
He had loved her when he was 17 and stupid, in his twenties when he got his shit together (and turned out to be too late), and now at 35 years old, knew that he would continue to love her and only her for the rest of his days.
His future, which had been entwined with hers in his head for half his life, was now officially their future, and Jess couldn’t be happier.