Rating: PG
Pairing: Rory/Tristan
Summary: A first date.
Disclaimer: They aren't mine, but I wish they were.


The Date

by Jess

"I'm telling you, it was absolutely horrible," Rory said to her roommate
Sara.

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"There could have been nothing worse and more horrid than what happened
tonight," Tristan replied to Zach after he inquired about his big date with
Rory.

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"He'll never want to see me ever again. He'll never want to speak to me.
What am I going to do?" Rory continued.

************************************************************************

"She will never look in my direction ever again. I lost the only chance I
ever had with her. This is it," Tristan looked dejected.

************************************************************************

"Chill," replied Sara and Zach to their respective roommates. "You guys
are friends. It couldn't have been that bad. What happened?"

"Well," began Rory and Tristan. "It all started when..."

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Rory and Tristan had been good friends for three years now. When they
both arrived at Harvard, Tristan wasn't too shocked to discover Rory was his
across the hall dorm mate. He always knew she was going to end up there, it
was her dream. His dream, was just Rory Gilmore. That's what pushed him to
Harvard. It was either Harvard or Yale, both very similar, Harvard though,
had Rory Gilmore. Before Harvard, the last time he had seen her was the night
of the Romeo and Juliet play. They left on good terms, he supposed, and he
was looking forward to where they had left off.

Rory was shocked when her roommate Sara had "introduced" her to their
neighbors only days after they arrived. Sara had come into the room one night
speaking of the hot boys across the hall and how Rory had to meet them. And
sure enough, one of those boys was Tristan, the bane of her existence during
sophomore year, just a mystery after he left for military school. Not
surprisingly things picked up where they once left off. The moment Tristan
saw her, the first words out of his mouth, were those she last heard from his
lips,

"Mary."

The name she had come to love to hate. Not hearing it for a year and a
half put a smile to her face the moment she heard it.

"Tristan?" She said incredulously, not believing it was actually him.

"In the flesh," he smirked.

"Oh my God! It's good to see you," Rory dashed over and gave him a hug.

"Hey nice to see you too," Tristan replied but upon seeing the look Rory
gave him, hugged her back and said, "just kidding, it really is good to see
you."

"That's what I thought. So you want to get coffee sometime?" Rory asked.

And that was the beginning of their long friendship. They were there with
each other through all the fun times and all the hard times. Through break
ups, new girlfriends and boyfriends, failed tests, and just to study. Tristan
still had a thing for Rory, as he felt he always would. And Rory, discovering
a side of Tristan she had only had a glimpse of twice before, the night at
Madeline's party, and the night of the Romeo and Juliet play, began to fall
for Tristan. Of course she believed he no longer felt the same way, and
Tristan believed Rory would never feel the same way as he felt about her.

The time came, however, which often comes between very close friends, of
what some would call a mishap. Rory and Tristan got caught up in a moment,
not after one of their many sparring matches, which was common, but a time of
serious conversation.

"Rory," Tristan was comforting Rory, "don't listen to what others say,
especially Rebecca. She has no idea what she is saying, she has no idea who
you are. She's jealous of you."

"Jealous of me?" Rory questioned.

"Yeah, you're friends with me," Tristan replied. Rory smacked him and
laughed. "No, really. Just look at her and look at you. You are everything
she wants to be; you're smart, intelligent, have great friends, have an
awesome family life, and you are the most beautiful person I know, on the
inside and on the outside."

Rory turned to look at him, with a small smile on her face. "You-"

"Don't even think of asking me that question, Rory."

They were staring at each other in the eyes. At this moment Tristan
leaned over, grasped Rory's chin and kissed her softly on the lips. Rory
kissed back at the first feel of his touch. After a few moments they pulled
apart.

"I'm sorry," Tristan said.

"For what?" Rory replied.

"I shouldn't have done that, I know you don't feel the same way I do, you
never have," Tristan said and he looked down at his shoes.

"You don't know that. I have, for a long time. I thought it didn't matter
to you anymore," Rory replied, and she too, looked down at her feet.

"You do?" asked Tristan with hope.

"Yeah, I do. I don't know since when, but I do," Rory said.

"So, do you think we have something?" Tristan asked.

"Yes I think we could," Rory replied. "But I don't want anything to
change. I still want to be friends."

"Me too. So, we go slow?" Tristan asked.

"Yeah, slow is the best way to go," Rory replied.

"So, Mary, would dinner Friday night be a little on the fast side?"

"No, Sarge, dinner will be fine," said Rory, using the nickname she had
given to him after surviving military school. "7:00?"

"Good for me. Night Rory."

"Good night Tristan."

Three nights later was Friday, the day of the date. Rory and Tristan
hadn't spoken since their kiss and both were quite nervous.

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"So you remember, Sara, how nervous I was? I didn't want to screw
anything up," said Rory, still recounting the horrible night.

"Yeah, I remember, you were a wreck," Sara replied.

"Thanks."

"That's what I'm here for. So, what happened?" Sara asked.

"I'm getting to that. The night started off fine. Tristan showed up on
the dot to pick me up. You know how we both looked fabulous. I know on my
part due to you, Tristan probably due to Zach," continued Rory.

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The doorbell rang at 7:00 while Rory was just grabbing her bag and coat.

"You're right on time," Rory said as she opened the door.

"Aren't I always?" Tristan replied as he moved out of the way to let her
pass. Nothing more was said as they walked to the restaurant. Tristan was
thoroughly nervous as he didn't want to screw up his opportunity. He did not
have the guts to say anything, too scared of what might come out of his
mouth.

Rory, on her part, was silent because of Tristan. He wasn't saying
anything. At all. She knew if she tried to speak she would begin to babble.
So, she kept her mouth shut.

Once at the restaurant, things continued to go downhill. Their table
wasn't ready right away, and the two had to wait an additional fifteen
minutes in silence. Once they had ordered their food, the waiter got the
order wrong and Rory was stuck with a meal that wasn't up to par. Tristan
accidentally knocked over his glass of water in Rory's direction, and when
Rory stood up quickly to avoid the ice water, she knocked the table a little
too hard, sending Tristan's plate of food into his lap. Tristan sprang to his
feet at the shock of the hot food hitting him, barreling into a waiter
carrying a tray of glasses filled with various drinks, knocking him over and
onto the neighboring table. The glasses went flying into the air, spilling
everywhere, and shattered once they hit the floor. All was silent, and
everyone was staring in shock at the very embarrassed Rory and Tristan. At
this moment, the two got up and left, Tristan walking Rory to her room.

"Goodnight," he said.

"Goodnight," she replied.

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"Oh," said both Zach and Sara upon hearing the tale. "Oh," they said
again, shocked at the fiasco which had occurred.

"Yeah, that's a big Oh," said Rory. "What am I going to do. He will never
speak to me for as long as I live."

"Yes he will," Sara encouraged. "You have been friends for the past three
years. What if this had happened if you were doing anything other than
dating?" She asked.

"We would have laughed about it hysterically for weeks," Rory replied.

"Exactly. And you and Tristan are friends. I'm sure he's not mad at you
or upset with you. Look, you both were probably extremely on edge and you
just need time to get over that. Things will go back to normal," Sara said to
Rory.

"Are you sure about that? I don't want normal, I want it to be Tristan
likes Rory and Rory likes Tristan," Rory replied.

"And you think that this one night will stop him from liking you after he
has had a thing for you for six years? Nothing has stopped him in the past,
not Dean, not military school, not even all the boyfriends you've had since
then," replied Sara.

"Maybe you're right," said Rory.

"I am right, but now, let's just go to sleep and forget every thing,"
Sara said.

"Good idea," Rory sighed as they turned off the light.

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"Whoa, man, everything that could possibly go wrong on that date, really
went wrong," said Zach to Tristan.

"Thanks, you're really helpful," replied Tristan.

"Sorry, I just never heard anything so bad. But, you're lucky that it
happened with Rory and not some stranger," Zach said.

"What do you mean?" replied Tristan.

"Well, you guys are friends. She knows you aren't such a dork in real
life. It's not the end of your friendship," said Zach.

"Yeah, I know that, but I still want more from her. Will she ever give me
another chance?" Tristan asked.

"It seems to me that she's given you plenty of chances. What's to stop
her now? I say, go and fix this. Get those worries out of your head," Zach
answered.

"Yeah?" Tristan asked.

"Go. Now," Zach pushed him out the door and into the hallway.

Tristan went to Rory's door and softly knocked. A few moments later Rory,
clad in her flannel pants and a long sleeved t-shirt opened the door to find
Tristan in some sweats and a t-shirt leaning against the door frame.

"Hey," she said.

"Hey, yourself," he replied. Rory stepped out of her room and softly
closed the door behind her. She wrapped her arms around her stomach and
stared up at Tristan.

"Did I wake you?" he asked.

"Kind of," Rory replied, "but, I couldn't really sleep anyway."

"Oh, were you thinking about tonight?" Tristan asked.

"Yeah, now that I think about it, it was extremely hilarious. Something
we'll talk about for years," Rory replied.

"Years?" Tristan asked. "So, you're not mad at me?"

"Yes, years. No, why would I be mad?" Rory replied.

"Oh, I don't know, I seem to have this way about screwing up around you,"
Tristan answered.

"You didn't screw up. So, we're still friends, right?" Rory asked.

"Yeah," Tristan replied. "Except for one thing."

"What's that?" Rory asked, worried.

"Friends with benefits," Tristan answered and smirked.

"Benefits?" Rory asked innocently.

"Yeah, Mary, benefits. Like this." And with that, Tristan place his arms
on either side of Rory's head, effectively blocking her in between Tristan's
arms and the wall behind her.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Rory continued her act.

"Mary, while at times I know you to be completely unassuming, I know you
know what I mean," Tristan replied as he leaned in closer.

"Oh, you mean those kinds of benefits," Rory said and she tried to worm
her way out of Tristan's trap. "I think I need-"

"I think you need to stop moving and thinking and look at me," Tristan
replied as he leaned in and closed the gap between Rory's and his mouth. At
his touch Rory responded immediately, kissing him back. This kiss was unlike
their previous two kisses, which had been gentle and sweet. They went at each
other with a hunger neither had unleashed before. When Tristan asked
acceptance into Rory's mouth she eagerly gave it to him. Passionately kissing
in the hallway, neither of the two noticed when a crowd had gathered,
inquisitively watching their exchange. Nor were they interrupted when the
crowd applauded the scene. Rory and Tristan lost in their own world,
oblivious to those around them, continued to kiss in complete bliss.

end

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