THE NEXT MORNING
RORY & JENNA’S APARTMENT
Jenna woke as the early afternoon sunbeam caught her face. This… wasn’t her bed.
It wasn’t just the couch, either. The couch didn’t exude heat, didn’t have soft fuzzy skin, didn’t snore softly.
Gradually… she remembered.
It was .. fortunate that Rory had brought her water. While she was lucky in and of herself – her hangovers were never that bad – she had also drank an amount that could be considered unreasonable during the course of last night.
Wait. Oh. Rory. Why was she sleeping on Rory? She knew she was, but… she’ll figure it out later. She stretched (using Rory to help her because whatever, Rory has slept through blenders and food processors), yawned. Rolled her shoulders. Popped her knuckles. Slunk off the couch and into the kitchen.
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
“Coffee,” Rory said from the doorway, then yawned real big, displaying those huge pointy teeth and big floppy tongue for a few seconds before closing her mouth.
You’re dreaming, Rory. Go back to sleep. Jenna just smiled. “Yeah, that’s – that’s the plan. Coffee,” she agrees cheerfully as she buzzes about … making coffee what do you want from her.
“Mm-hmm.” Rory watched Jenna flit about the kitchen, looking obnoxiously awake and alert already. “Soooo. How ya feelin’.“
Jenna seemed more awake post booze cry-out than she did most mornings. This was probably something to do with emotional relief. Do not question it. “I feel fine, why?” for once, her tail didn’t start lashing the air as she responded.
“Because you felt awful last night, an’ I wanted to make sure you was doin’ better after lettin’ it out some.”
She made a vague.. Pfft noise. “No. I’m always fine, Rory. It’s only a matter of degree, you see.” And then a cup (on a saucer, A SAUCER JENNA REALLY?) was being pushed into Rory’s hands. “Have coffee, dear.”
Rory squinted, sipping at the fresh, hot coffee. It was probably the most english Rory would ever look in her life. “Do you… remember last night?”
She paused. She thought about it. She stared at her coffee cup. Finally, she said “I cried and there were hugs. And then I woke up.” There’s a hint of guilt in her voice, for whatever reason.
“An’ you was fine while you was cryin’? And talkin’ about how awful you are?”
“I- don’t really think that’s- … I don’t see how that isn’t fine. I needed to be less fine then so I could be finer later.”
Rory sighed. “This is the part where I stop talkin’ bout feelings on pain a’ death, huh.”
“…No, go on…” She frowned a bit, though not as almost comically exaggerated as last night. “It’s important to you and I wanna – … be.. Be fair?”
Looking at her coffee, Rory murmured, “I just wanna say that… it meant a lot. That you let yourself show sadness an’ vulnerability in front a’ me. I know you don’t like it. But thanks.”
Jenna looks horribly uncomfortable, and shrugs. “I um. Don’t- not to be mean, but don’t expect that a lot. I don’t like it. In front of anyone.”
“I know. I won’t.” Pause. “Are you gonna be… all right? If I leave this alone and assume we’re cool?”
Her ears twitch. She says, in a way that does not answer the question Rory asked, but she seems to think it should, “You sang to me.”
“Yeah,” Rory replied. “I did. More words, Jenna.”
“…You sang to me?” She repeats it like she does not understand why Rory doesn’t get it. “..I- yes. We’re fine. We’re good.” Jenna offers an uncertain smile. “..Besties, right?”
Rory returned a slightly uncertain smile of her own. “Besties.” She sniffled and rubbed her nose. “Now that I’m doin’ better and you’re doin’ better, I kinda wanna clear my head. Think I might go say hi to Silvered in Rock City. That okay by you?”
Jenna set her coffee down. And then she hurried over to Rory. And hugged her tight. “Okay. You have fun. I’ll make sure nothing gets lit on fire while you’re gone.” She noticeably does not ask Rory to extend a hell from her.
What. The Cat doesn’t like The Wolf?
Rory returned the hug and held it for a while. Finally, she disengaged and held Jenna at a close arm’s length, looking her in the eyes.
“One last thing,” she said, deadly serious again. “Promise me you’ll try to take care of yourself. Okay?”
“Don’t be silly! I always take care of me.”
“No trouble to promise it, then, yeah?” She still had that expectant look going, god damn it rory
“I promise, Rory. You’ll come back, and I’ll be okay. And I’ll be doing bar stuff and nothing bad will happen. I swear. Okay?”
Rory nodded, mollified at last. “Good. Okay.” She downed the last of her coffee, hugged Jenna one last time, and kissed her on the forehead. “Have some nice dates with the girlfriend! Enjoy the quiet! Don’t miss me too much, but don’t miss me too little either!”
And then she was bustling for five minutes and then she was gone.