SPOILER WARNING: I better say "season one" just to be safe.
RATING: PG-13
PAIRING: Rory/Tristan
CONTENT WARNING: Nothing bad.
SUMMARY: This is the answer to a challenge by Caitlin. Rory finds Tristan's
notebook containing poetry about her. She doesn't know it's his. (The first four poems are written by Caitlin.)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, but I do wish I owned Tristan.



Love Poems

by Tammy

Chilton Hallway

Rory walked down the hallway. She was already having a bad day and now she
had to go to her next class. Yesterday her teacher assigned them study
partners and told them that today they would spend the class helping each
other study. And of course, she was paired up with Tristan. Did the teacher
do this just to torture her? Rory saw a red notebook lying on the ground. She
looked around to see who the owner could be, but there was nobody there. She
bent down to pick it up. A heart had been drawn on the cover. Curiosity got
the best of her as she opened it up on her way to her locker.

Rory stopped when she got to her locker. She leaned up against it and began
to read the first page of the notebook.

My innocent victim
Eyes like ocean stream
Pure and untouched
She'll be mine until I throw her away
With the rest of them

*Wow* Rory thought. That sounded awful. Maybe she could just bring it to the
lost and found. Rory opened her locker and put away her books that she no
longer needed. She also put away the notebook. Then she got out the books she
needed for her next classes. She was about to close her locker when she
decided to take the notebook back out and bring it with her to her next
class. The dreaded class where she would be forced to spend 40 minutes
studying (fighting) with Tristan.

Chilton Classroom

Tristan DuGrey was searching frantically through his backpack. How could he
have lost it? That notebook had his most private thoughts. Things he couldn't
say that he had written down on paper. Well at least whoever found it
wouldn't know it was his. Only she'd know. All the poems were about her. The
truth of his feelings for her was contained in that notebook. It had started
out as a game, but then she did something to him. She somehow made him fall
for her. With every strand of amazing brown hair that she tucked behind her
ear, with every time she nervously bit her lip, with every innocent look out
of those bright, blue eyes, even with every bitter word directed at him, he
fell harder and harder. He was brought out of his daydream when the very girl
he was thinking of appeared in front of him. Rory Gilmore. God, she was
perfect.

"Hey, Tristan." Rory said as she walked up to him. She was making an effort
to be pleasant so that working with him would be less of a problem.

"Why hello, Mary." Tristan said with his usually cocky attitude. "Exicted
about studying with me?" He asked her as he gave her his world famous smirk.
*Why did I just do that?* He thought to himself. *I always act like a jerk.*

Rory was annoyed that she tried to be nice and he was a jerk. Like always.
"Well even if I was, all the excitement would have been drained out of me
when you once again forgot my name.

Tristan tried to make ammends. As Rory started to walk off to her seat a
couple rows behind him, he grabbed her arm. Rory turned around. She was about
to yell at him, but stopped herself when she saw the genuine smile on his
face as he looked up at her from his seat.

"I didn't forget your name, Rory. I could never forget your name. The name of
the only girl in this school who I actually enjoy argueing with."

"Well, I'm glad you enjoy trying to make me angry."

"That's not what I meant."

The bell rang.

"Whatever, Tristan" she said as she went to take her seat. That's when he
noticed it. That red notebook with the heart of the front. Right there on top
of the other books in her arms. *Oh no. This isn't good. This isn't good. Or
is it? Maybe if she realizes how much I like her, she'll start to think of me
differently.*

Chilton Library

Tristan and Rory sat down at a table and spread their study materials out.
Tristan had asked the teacher if they could study in the library where it
would be more quiet. Since they were both such good students, the teacher
allowed them to. Now Rory was upset that she was alone with Tristan. They're
were no other students in the library, and the librarian was sitting behind
the desk reading.

"So, Rory, where should we start?" Tristan said as he opened his book. Rory
gave him a puzzled look. *Uh, oh.* he thought. Maybe she's going to yell at
him about the poetry.* Wait, he had it with him last period, so she must have
found it before she came to this class. Maybe she hasn't even read it yet.

"You called me Rory."

Tristan let out the breath he didn't realize he had been holding. "Yeah,
well, I figure since we hafta study together, we could at least be civil."

"Ok, then let's study." They started going over everything that was going to
be on the test. By the time they finished covering everything, there was
still 15 minutes left in the period. Rory wanted to take out the notebook and
read more of it, but she didn't want Tristan to ask her what she was reading.
So she got up and went to the shelves to look for a new book to read. She
didn't notice Tristan had followed her.

She scanned the shelves for something good. She noticed a book by an author
she liked on the top shelf. Rory reached up for it. She couldn't get it. She
stood on her tiptoes, but she still couldn't get it. She didn't want to call
the librarian over for help so she started to jump and try getting it. After
a minute, Rory felt a hand on her shoulder. She stopped jumping. The hand
reached up and easily got the book down. She turned around.

"Thanks, Tristan."

"No problem." He smiled at her as he handed her the book. "Jane Austin. I
love her work."

Rorys was surprised. She didn't really see him as the type who enjoyed to
read. "Really? Have you read this one yet?"

"Nope, but when you're done tell me if it's good. I'm sure if you like it,
it's worth reading."

"Okay, I will." Rory walked off to check out the book. She brought the book
over to her favorite chair in the library. She sat down and began to read.
Tristan watched her for a minute. Then he walked up behind her, put his arms
on the back of the chair, and leaned over her shoulder. "Good so far?" he
whispered in her ear.

Rory was startled. She jumped and her shoulder hit his chin. She turned
around. "Oh, I'm sorry." she said as she put her hand on his chin.

Tristan's breath caught in his throat when she touched him. "It's okay. I'm
fine. So...good?"

"I dunno. I only got to read a page of it."

"Okay, okay. I can take a hint." he said as he walked off. Rory went back to
her book. Tristan sat at a table and watched her. Just looking at her made
him want to write about her. He wanted to write what he felt when he looked
at her. How beautiful she looked curled up in the chair, relaxed and
engrossed in the book. But he couldn't, because she had his notebook. *I
better get a new one* he thought.

On the Bus

Rory sat on the bus thinking. The end of her day actually turned out good.
Tristan was pretty nice to her. It seemed like he was acting different. Rory
had brought the red notebook home with her, but she was too busy thinking
about Tristan to remember to read it on the bus. He was such a mystery to her.

*

PART TWO

Gilmore House

Rory walked through her front door and over to the couch. She threw her
backpack down on the floor in front of the couch. Her mom wasn't home yet, so
she figured she'd start her homework before Lorelai walked through the door
and dragged her off to Luke's. Rory opened her backpack and took out a few
books. Then she saw it. The mysterious red notebook. She took it out, anxious
to get back to reading it. Judging by the first poem, whoever wrote these was
a total jerk. But Rory couldn't help it. The writing was intrueging. She
opened it up, flipped to the second page and curled up on the couch. She
subcontiously tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as she started to read.

Who is this girl?
New to all I am used to
She is fire and I am ice
I have no way to make her melt
And she has overcome me

*Wow* Rory once again thought after reading the poetry. This time it was
different, though. It wasn't a "Wow, what a jerk" like last time. This time
it was a "Wow, how exciting" kind of wow. Rory bit her lip as she turned the
page, intoxicated by the 2nd poem. It was like they were telling a story.
Rory didn't even begin to make the connection to Tristan. She was about to
read the next poem as she heard the door open and her mother's voice.

"Hunny, I'm home!" Lorelai called in her best TV sitcom voice.

*Damn* Rory thought, upset that she had been interupted. "Hey, Mom!" Rory
shouted to her mother, trying to sound cheery.

"You'll never guess what happened at the Inn today." Lorelai said as she hung
up her coat and sat down next to Rory.

Rory put the notebook back into her backpack. "Michel was nice?" she guessed.

"Oh sweetie, the day that happens I'll come home singing."

"Ok, got it."

"Maybe even call you from the Inn and tell you to go look outside where I
will have a plane flying over town with a banner that says "It's a miracle!
Pigs really can fly!" Lorelai was getting excited.

"Mom." Rory tried to stop her, but to no avail.

"I think I would have Sookie bake a cake with little pink pigs with wings-"

"Mom!" Rory interupted her. "I get it. The day Michel is nice will be the day
pigs fly."

Lorelai smiled. "Exactly"

"Now can you get back to the point about what happened at the Inn today
before I am forced to hide all the coffee so you can calm down long enough to
tell me."

"Hide coffee." Lorelai frowned. "How could you do that to you mother? That's
horrible. It's awful. It's unthinkable... Besides, it wouldn't work. I would
just go to Luke's."

"You know mom, one day Luke's gonna actually back up his threats. He's not
going to serve you your coffee. Then what will you do?"

"Well," Lorelai began, as though she already had this all figured out. "Then
I would have to move on to Plan B, which would be to-"

"Mom!" Rory was getting impatient. "What happened at the Inn today?"

"Oh yeah, right." She paused. "Absolutely nothing!" Lorelai had an excited
look on her face but Rory frowned.

"I can't believe we went through all that, just so you could tell me nothing
happened."

"No, seriously sweetie. Usually I come home upset about some disaster that
took place, and complain that I need coffee to make me feel better, and then
we go off to Luke's. But today everything went perfectly. Sookie didn't break
anything or hurt herself. Drella didn't scare away any guests. Michel
answered the phone... But he wasn't nice." she added as an afterthought.

"Of course not."

"Right, but he actually did what I pay him for. Amazing, huh? I think we
should celebrate my wonderful day."

"Okay. What do you want to do?"

"Go to Luke's and get coffee." Lorelai grinned.

"You're hopeless."

Lorelai laughed. "I know."

"And you're crazy."

"Know that too." She looked expectantly at her daughter. "Please."

Rory sighed. "All right, let's go."

Lorelai bounced up and down and excitedly clapped her hands.

"Stop it or I'm leaving without you." Rory called over her shoulder as she
walked towards the door.

Lorelai abruptly stopped and got serious. She ran after Rory.

Rory sighed as she closed the door behind them. *I guess the poems will just
hafta wait.*

Luke's Diner

"Please." Lorelai said as she sat down in front of the counter.

"No." was Luke's reply.

"Pretty please." she begged.

"No."

"Pretty please with sugar on top."

"No."

"How 'bout with sugar, whipped cream, sprinkles and cherries?"

Rory turned to stare at her mother. "That made absolutely no sense."

Lorelai turned to point a finger at her. "Shush you." She turned back to
Luke. "Well, what do you say? Hmm..."

"All right, you had me at the sprinkles?"

She got excited. "Really?"

"No! You need help."

Lorelai stood up, smoothed her skirt and announced very proudly, "My name's
Lorelai Gilmore and I'm a coffee-aholic." She sat back down. Rory was
laughing at her. "There. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. See?
I'm trying. Now give me coffee!" Lorelai demanded, smiling at him.

Luke sighed and gave in like he always did. "Fine." He turned around to pour
the two their coffees. *She always wins. It's that incredible smile that gets
me every time.*

The Next Day At Chilton

Rory sat at her desk, absentmindedly taking notes. She was thinking about the
poems. She hadn't gotten another chance to read them.

"You can take the rest of the period to begin brainstorming ideas for your
report. I have to run an erran. I'll be back in a minute." Mr. Medina
announced to the class before he left the room.

Rory pulled the red notebook out from under her other notebooks on her desk.
Unbeknownst to her, Tristan was watching her every move from his seat next to
her.

She flipped to the third page and bit her lip as she began to read.

What I want and cannot have
Unaware of true feelings masked by stupidity and conceit
Her smile, heart and soul given to another
Unaware that someone else can take them in the same
That I can take them in the same

Rory smiled. The last two lines sounded so loving, caring. She was about to
turn the page when she heard that voice talking quietly to her. Tristan.

"Well I'm surprised at you, Mary. That doesn't look like the assignment."

"Is it possible for me to do anything without it resulting in you teasing me
about it?"

"Sorry. It's habit."

Rory had to laugh as Tristan smiled at her.

Tristan was glad she wasn't mad. He just didn't know how to initiate a
conversation with her without saying something rude and cocky. "So, whatcha
readin'?" he asked her genuinely.

"Oh, nothing."

"Have you finished that book yet?"

"No, I've had other things on my mind."

"Couldn't be me, could it?" He smirked.

"Oh, Tristan, you've found me out!" Rory teased. Tristan laughed. Their
conversation was stopped as Mr. Medina came back into the room.

Rory closed the notebook. She stared at it for a moment, then slowly traced
the heart on the cover with her finger before smiling and putting it into her
backpack.

*

PART THREE

Gilmore House

"Mom, we're gonna be late!" Rory stood at the bottom of the stairs calling to
her mother who was still upstairs.

"Why are you in such a rush to go experience what living in hell is like?"
Her mother asked her as she came down the stairs with one shoe on and the
other in her hand.

"It's only hell for you, Mom." Rory explained.

"Okay, well then why are you in such a rush to watch me experience what
living in hell is like?" Lorelai put on her other shoe.

"Sorry. It's just that grandpa told me he had a surprise for me." Rory said
excitedly.

"Oh sweetie, don't get your hopes up. Dad's idea of a surprise is announcing
that his stock value went up."

"Well, I'm excited!"

"Okay, whatever. But you're in for a huge disappointment. Now, where'd I put
my keys?" Lorelai went into the kitchen in search of the keys.

Rory quickly went into her room and grabbed the red notebook. She stuffed it
in her purse. "Okay Mom, hurry!" she shouted as she walked out the door.

"Got 'em!" she heard Lorelai scream from the kitchen.

"Great let's go!"

Lorelai chased after her daughter. On her way to the door she tripped over
the phone which was lying on the ground. The heel of her shoe broke off.

"Shit!" she cursed.

"What?" Rory turned around to face her mother.

"My shoe broke." Lorelai said sadly as she held up the heel of her shoe for
Rory to see.

"Mom!"

"Hunny, it's not my fault. It's this stupid phone's fault!" she kicked the
phone.

"You left the phone there."

"Oh yeah. Well, I need to go get another pair of shoes." Lorelai took off her
shoes and ran up the stairs.

"Gimme the keys. I'm waiting in the car. If you're not out there in five
minutes I'm leaving you."

Lorelai tossed the keys over her shoulder.

The Grandparents' House

Lorelai and Rory had just arrived and sat down in the living room.

"So Grandpa, where's my surprise?" Rory asked excitedly.

The doorbell rang.

Richard and Emily got up to answer it. "That must be them now." Richard told
her.

"Them? My surprise is a "them"?" Rory got up and followed them to the door.
She watched her grandfather open the door only to reveal Tristan and an old
man standing there. Rory looked surprised, but Tristan didn't.

"Hello." he said smugly to her.

"Goodbye." Rory said as she turned to walk away.

"Rory, don't be rude!" Emily said to her.

Rory reluctantly turned back around.

"Janlan is a friend of mine, Rory. I invited him over for dinner and I asked
him to bring his grandson. I remember from your birthday party that you knew
him. I thought you two could keep each other company after dinner while I
discuss business with Janlan." Richard explained.

"Hi, Tristan." Rory said grumpily.

"Hey."

"Well let's all go into the living room." Emily said, leading them there.
Lorelai had been watching this from the living room. When Rory walked by her
she whispered to her, "I told you you would be disappointed."

"Shut up."

*****

Dinner had gone fairly well. The only bad part had been when Rory had looked
up from her meal to find Tristan staring at her from across the table. She
found it very difficult to eat after that because she kept feeling his eyes
on her. Now she was taking her purse and making her way up the stairs to "her
room". The adults were in the living room and they didn't pay any attention
when Rory left.

She laid down on the bed on her stomach and propped herself up with her
elbows. She took out the notebook and opened to the next page.

Tears bitterly stream down her crimson cheeks
Pools of water penetrate her lips and I watch her
Confusion sweeps over me as she crawls away
Away from me, and everything I want
In the moment her soul entwined with mine it shatters apart

*Wow* This time Rory was reminded of her kiss with Tristan. She couldn't
figure out why this reminded her of that. She was about to turn the page when
she heard a knock on the door.

"Come in."

The door opened and in walked Tristan.

"Hey" he said. "Want some company?" He went and sat on the edge of the bed.

"Not really, but I doubt you're going to give me much choice." Rory replied
bitterly as she sat up and closed the notebook.

Tristan put a hand to his heart and faked pain. "Oh, Rory, I'm hurt."

"You'll get over it."

Tristan couldn't help but laugh, which caused Rory to laugh also. Then
Tristan saw the notebook. He wondered if she had figured out it was his yet.

"Whatcha readin'?"

"Nothing important." Rory said as she tried to put the notebook on the
nightstand behind her. Tristan made a grab for it, but she pulled it out of
his reach. He grabbed her arm.

"Well if it's not important, then why are you trying to keep it from me?" He
grinned at her. Rory's mouth opened as she tried to come up with an
explanation. But she couldn't. Tristan grabbed for it again. Rory leaned back
to get it out of his reach, but he leaned forward more. Pretty soon he was
Rory found herself with her back down on the bed and with Tristan leaning
over her. He grabbed the notebook out of her hand.

"Hey!" Rory screamed as she tried to get it from him. Tristan dodged her
attempt, but ended up falling down on top of her. When he realized what
happened, he froze.

Rory was about to push him off her when she found herself getting lost in his
captivating blue eyes. *His eyes look amazing.* As soon as Rory realized she
was thinking about Tristan, she snapped herself out of it. She quickly
reached up and snatched the red notebook right out of his hand.

That brought Tristan back to reality. Then, he realized that she couldn't get
anywhere with him on top of her. He grabbed the notebook back, and as much as
he hated to, got up off her. He walked over to a chair and sat down.

"Not fair!" Rory complained.

Tristan acted like he was gonna open it. Then he looked up and smiled at her.
"I'm just kidding. You obviously don't want me to know what's in this, so I
won't read it." he said as he put it down in his lap.

"Wow, why the change in character?" Rory asked him as she got up, walked over
to him and took the notebook from his lap. As she did, her hand brushed his
thigh. Tristan's breath caught in his throat. He couldn't concentrate. He
couldn't believe he went this crazy over just a simple contact with her.

"Tristan?" Rory waved the notebook in front of his face.

He snapped out of it. "Oh, well I know I'm a jerk to you a lot. So I've
decided to try to be nice from now on."

"Oh, really." she said dryly.

"You don't believe me?"

Rory thought for a second before speaking. "I'm not sure. It's just that you
being nice for more than five minutes at a time is such a hard concept to
grasp."

Tristan was about to argue with her, but they heard Lorelai's voice coming up
the stairs.

"Sweetie, Evil One? Are you guys up there?"

"Did your mother just call me Evil One?"

Rory laughed. "Yeah, Mom."

Lorelai walked into the room. "Okay, well, you know how much I hate to leave
her, but it's time to go."

"Oh I'm sure you'll get over the disappointment." Rory said as she grabbed
her purse and walked out of the bedroom.

Lorelai stood by the door waiting for Tristan. He stopped in front of her.
"Did you just call me Evil One?"

Lorelai chuckled and pushed him out the door.

Lorelai's Jeep

On the ride home Lorelai kept asking Rory what her and Tristan were doing up
there, but Rory wasn't paying attention. She was thinking about what Tristan
had said. *Him being nice to me? I guess it might be good to have him as a
friend. He actually is kinda fun to be around sometimes. I dunno, sometimes
he seems so sweet. But then other times he can be such a jerk. Though he has
been mostly nice to me lately. He has such gorgeous blue eyes. Woah! Did I
just say that? This is Tristan we're talking about. Well, I can't deny that
he's hot. But that doesn't make up for his attitude. I just can't believe I
found myself staring into his eyes tonight. Okay, that's it. No more thinking
about Tristan.* She was about to take out the notebook when she realized her
mother was talking to her.

"Earth to Rory! Hunny talk to me!"

Rory forced herself to concentrate on Lorelai and making conversation with
her. Once again the notebook would just hafta wait.

*

PART FOUR

Chilton Classroom

It was Monday morning. Rory was too busy with homework to continue reading
the poems over the weekend. Now she was forced to concentrate on her
teacher's lecture. *Five minutes left.* She thought, looking at the clock.
*Finally* she thought, as the bell rang. Rory quickly got up and walked out
of the classroom.

"Hey, Rory! Wait up!" Tristan called after her.

Rory turned around. "Yeah?"

"Do you wanna maybe go to a movie tonight?"

"Tristan, I-"

He interupted her. "Or maybe we could just kinda hang out. We could go get
coffee."

Rory's eyes brightened at the mention of the wonderful beverage. "Coffee?!"

"Yeah. Do you like coffee?"

"No, why would I like coffee?" Rory said sarcastically.

Tristan didn't answer.

"Hello? Are you crazy? Of course I like coffee! I love it! I'm addicted to
it! I need it in order to properly function! In fact, I wanna marry it!"

Tristan laughed. "Well, I guess there goes my shot with you. I mean, how
could I ever compete with a beverage?"

"You're right! You definately wouldn't measure up. Coffee's just too great."

Tristan laughed again. "So, is that a yes?"

Rory laughed. Then she thought a minute. "Sure, why not?"

Tristan tried to conceal the fact that he was overjoyed that she agreed.

"Great! So, pick you up at seven?"

"Okay. See you then."

Independence Inn

Lorelai sighed. So far, her day had been horrible. Sookie burned herself and
cut her thumb, and Michel was being more obnoxious than usual.

The phone began to ring. By the third ring Lorelai looked up from her work at
the desk. Michel was arranging flowers in a vase. "Michel, the phone."

"Yes, I hear it. It is ringing."

"Michel, get it."

"No."

"Michel!"

"Nope. Sorry annoying lady, I'm busy."

Lorelai grunted at him before answering the phone. "Hello, Independence Inn."

"Hello. Is this Lorelai Gilmore?" came a man's voice from the other end.

"Yes, it is. Who is this?"

"Janlan DuGrey, miss. We met at your parents' house."

Lorelai smiled. "Yes, I remember."

"Well, I wanted to discuss a small problem with you."

"Okay, what is it?"

"Well you see, I couldn't help but notice the looks Tristan was giving Rory
at dinner."

"Looks?" Lorelai smiled again. She had noticed it too.

"Yes, and I've also heard the way he talks about her. He seems to care a
great deal for her, but apparently she just doesn't get it."

"I see."

"Lorelai, I want my grandson to be happy, and I think your daughter could be
the one to make him happy."

Lorelai grinned as ideas started to form in her head. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I think Rory needs a push to start her thinking about this."
Now Lorelai was getting excited at the thought of playing matchmaker. "Ooh, I
hoped that was what you were saying! Don't worry. I'll start planting ideas
in Rory's head as soon as I see her. But, you might wanna give Tristan some
advice. Let me him know that he has to stop being a jerk. That's not gonna
make her fall for him."

"Excellent. I understand. Well, if you'll forgive me, I must go. I have a
business deal to attend to."

"Alright. Thanks for calling. I hope this works."

"Yes, me too. Well, goodbye."

"Bye." Lorelai hung up the phone. She couldn't believe her daughter was so
stupid and hadn't already figured out that Tristan liked her. *Does this mean
I hafta stop calling him Evil One?* She shook her head. *Not at all.* She
started thinking of what she was gonna say to Rory.

"What is wrong with you?" Michel asked her in a tone of voice that clearly
showed he didn't really care.

"Nothing's wrong with me. Why would something be wrong?"

"You look deep in thought. That's very rare for you."

Lorelai glared at him. "Oh, shut up and go back to your precious flowers, Mr.
Rogers."

Gilmore House

Rory checked her watch to see how much time she had before Tristan got there.
It was 6:30. *A half hour. Good. Now I can finally finish those poems.* She
grabbed the red notebook and flipped to the next page.

Trying to be friends, but I always mess it up
Not knowing how to act around her
Overwhelmed by her beauty
Perplexed by why she has not yet thrown herself at my feet
So unlike every other girl I've known

Rory turned the page, eager to read more.

That beautiful brown hair, the way she timidly bites her lip
She doesn't know the way she makes me feel
Confused, why can't I find a way to make her understand
Instead I continue to tease and torment
In the end hurting myself more than her

*This is so amazing.* Rory thought as she flipped to the next page, only to
discover it was blank. *Well I guess whoever's this is never got to finish
it. It's such beautiful writing. The guy who wrote this really seems like he
cares a lot about this girl. I wish I could find someone like this. Well,
except for the whole teasing and tormenting thing of course. If I wanted that
I'd just go to Tristan. Wow, I don't believe I actually agreed to spend more
time with Tristan than I have to. I guess we actually are becoming friends.*
Rory smiled at the thought.

"Hun," Lorelai called as she came into the living room and flopped down on
the couch next to her daughter. "plans, tonight. What we doin'?"

"Oh, well, actually Mom, Tristan's coming to pick me up and we're gonna get
coffee."

*Ooh, this is so perfect!* Lorelai thought happily. "You mean to tell me that
you are abandoning your mother to go on a date with the Evil One?"

"He's not evil anymore. He's actually being nice."

*Wow, she's defending him. This might not be as hard as I thought.* "Okay,
forget the Evil One comment."

"And it's not a date."

"Sweetie. He's a guy. He's picking you up. You're going to get coffee. Sounds
like a date to me."

"But it's TRISTAN! We're just friends. Actually, we're barely even that! And
it's just coffee!"

"Rory, it's okay. I understand. That boy is HOT!"

"Mom!"

"Well, hunny it's true. Oh, come on, don't try to tell me you don't find him
attractive."

"Okay Mom, you're right. He's gorgeous. I know. But that doesn't change the
fact that he's TRISTAN!"

"You wanna know what I think?"

"Do I have a choice?" Rory sighed.

"Smart, smart kid. I think that either 1. you're in denial, or 2. you're
stupid."

"Stupid?"

"Sweetie, if this isn't a date, I suggest that you arrange one. Fast. Before
some other beautiful brunette with incredible blue eyes come along and
snatches him right up!"

"Whatever you say, Mom. But it's not a date."

"Okay, if you say so."

"It's not!"

"Alright! Call it whatever you want, but just have a good time."

"Okay. But it's not a date."

Lorelai grinned at her and got up to go into the kitchen.

*Is it a date?* Rory thought to herself. Just then she heard a car pull up in
front of their house. "That must be him!" she called to her mother.

Lorelai came running out of the kitchen with a cup of coffee in her hand.

"Wow, he's on time. This boy's good."

"I thought you said a guy loses points for being on time."

"Yes, but that's only when you're not ready. You see, you have been ready for
awhile. So Evil One used his amazing telepathic powers to go, 'Oh, Rory's
ready. I better be on time. I can't keep a beautiful girl waiting.'"

"He's not evil."

"You guys going to Luke's?"

"I dunno, probably."

"Good, bring me back coffee."

"You have coffee in your hand" Rory told her as she pointed to the mug.

"Yes, but Luke's is better. A large please."

"No."

"Why the hell not?" Lorelai exclaimed, throwing up her hands.

"Because. He'll think I'm weird."

"Oh, so now you care what he thinks."

"Shut up."

The doorbell rang.

"Alright he's here. Go back in the kitchen" Rory shooed her mother away.

"Have fun on your dated, sweetie" Lorelai said, grinning, before winking at
her daughter and disappearing into the kitchen.

The doorbell rang again. Rory sighed and checked herself in the mirror before
opening the door. *Wait a minute. Did I just make sure I looked good for
Tristan?*

*

PART FIVE

Rory threw the door open to reveal Tristan standing on her porch, running his
hand through his hair. He looked up when he saw her standing there watching
him. "Um...Rory, hi" he said uncertainly.

"Hey."

"Ready to go?" Tristan asked her, gesturing towards the car.

"Yep, where are we going?"

"Well, this is your town. Any good coffee places."

"We're going to Luke's."

"Okay, you're gonna hafta give me directions." He started to turn to go back
to the car when he realized Rory was just standing there looking at him.

"What's wrong?"

"Oh, nothing." Rory realized she had been staring at him. *Stop that, Rory.
What are you doing? You canNOT be checking out Tristan. But he looks so good
out of his Chilton uniform and the suit he had worn to her grandparent's
house. Ok, you need to stop now. Seriously. Think about something else now.
Coffee, think of coffee.*

"Okay then do you wanna go?" He gave her a weird look, but she didn't move.
He put his hand on her back and guided her off her porch before she stopped
daydreaming.

"Oh, yes, right. Let's go. We should definately go. Unless you don't wanna
go. We don't hafta go. I'm in absolutely no hurry. But we better go get
coffee soon cuz I haven't had enough today and pretty soon I'm going to start
going crazy."

"I think you're already there." Tristan said laughing.

"Shut up." Rory said glaring at him.

"Rory, why are you babbling?"

"I'm not babbling. Am I babbling. If I was babbling then I would be talking
really quickly and I would get out of breath really quickly and I would be
making no sense." Rory took a deep breath when she finished talking.
Tristan was laughing at her. "Alright, maybe we shouldn't get coffee. I think
you've already had enough."

"Oh no, I need more coffee. Coffee calms me down."

"So you mean it has the opposite effect on you that it has on everyone else."

"Yes."

Tristan opened the passenger side door for her before walking around to his
side and getting in.

"Thanks."

They didn't talk at all on the way to Luke's, except for Rory telling Tristan
where to turn.

"Okay, you can park right there." Rory told him, pointing to a spot right in
front of the diner.

"Um..Rory, are you feeling okay? That's a hardware store." Tristan said,
pointing to the hardware sign.

Rory sighed. "Just come on." Tristan parked and Rory jumped out and ran
inside, eager to get her coffee. Tristan followed her.

Rory bounced up to the counter and sat on a stool. "Hey, Luke."

"Hey, Rory. Where's your mom?" He looked up and saw Tristan walking up and
sitting next to Rory. He glared at him. Then he turned back to Rory. "Who is
he?" He looked back at Tristan. "Who are you?"

"Tristan DuGrey, sir." Tristan told him, extending his hand. Luke glanced at
his hand before grunting and turning back to Rory.

"What are you doing here with evil Tristan?"

"Luke, can we just order?"

"Fine, what do you want?"

"Two large coffees."

Luke turned to get their order.

Rory thought for a moment. "Hey, Luke? Can you make those to go?"

"Okay."

Tristan looked at her strangely. They got their coffees and Rory dragged him
out to the car. "Drive" she commanded when they got in.

Tristan started the car. "You mind telling me where we're going?"

"You'll find out when we get there" she told him excitedly.

"But how will I know where to go?"

"Just drive."

*

PART SIX

"Stop" Rory commanded.

Tristan was puzzled. "Here?" All he saw was a field and a lake, and a path
between the two. The path had a few benches along it.

"Yep." Rory got out of the car as soon as Tristan parked it. She grabbed her
coffee and ran to the path, leaving Tristan behind, trying to catch up with
her.

"So, what's so special about this place?" he asked her, as he caught up to
her while she was walking down the path. He noticed the huge smile on her
face as she seemed to be breathing in her surroundings.

"I dunno, it's just so quiet and peaceful. I love watching the ducks
swimming" she told him, pointing to the lake.

They sat down on a bench, drinking their coffee. Neither of them said a word
as they looked out at the beautifully calm lake.

Rory wasn't talking because she was too busy arguing with herself. *Why did I
bring Tristan here? What was I thinking? Now I'm stuck with him, with no one
else around. But just look at him.* She caught herself staring up at him,
studying all his features. *He's watching the lake. I can tell by the look in
his eyes that he's happy. And he's smiling, not his usual smirk, but a real
smile. He's enjoying this just as much as I always do. He looks like he
understands the greatness of being out here. But still, it's TRISTAN! This
place just seems too private and cozy. Bringing him here probably made him
think that I see this as a date. Do I see this as a date? No, of course not.
It's TRISTAN! Then why am I here with him? I could have just sat down in
Luke's and had coffee with him, nothing special. That would have been fine.
That would have showed him I want to be friends with him. But I brought him
here. Why did I bring him here? Did I want to bring him here because it's
private? I don't know what I was thinking. But it's just so nice here and
he's really enjoying it. I should enjoy it too. I mean, I always enjoy it
here. Why should this time be any different, just cause I'm with Tristan?
It's shouldn't. Right. Maybe I could even enjoy it more, now that I have
someone special to share it with. Woah, Rory, what did you just say?! Tristan
is NOT someone special! Is he? I dunno, maybe he is. He's the only one who
seems to understand why I like coming here. Wait? How do I know if he
understands? For all I know, he could be sitting there, plotting something
evil to do to me for bringing him here. Talk to him. I just have to talk to
him. Say something. What can I talk about? Coffee. No, that's crazy. Think,
Rory, think. Oh God. What is wrong with me? Just talk to him. Say something,
anything. Alright, here goes.*

"Tristan?" Rory practically whispered.

He immediately turned to her. "Yeah?"

"Do you like it here?"

"Oh my God, Rory, I love it!" Tristan's face was beginning to light up. "It's
so beautiful. It's incredible. It's so peaceful, like it's bringing me to a
different world, Where I don't hafta think about school or my parents
constant fighting." *Okay, shut up, DuGrey. She doesn't really care she's
just trying to make conversation.* Then he looked at her. She was smiling at
him, genuinely interested.

"That's exactly why I come here. To get away from everything." *Wow, he
really does understand.* Tristan smiled at her. Rory noticed it was getting
dark. She looked up at the sky and noticed it was starting to fill with stars.
Tristan followed her gaze upwards. "What?" he asked, not understanding why
she was staring at the sky.

"Come on!" Rory squealed excitedly, grabbing his arm and pulling him off the
bench. She threw her empty coffee cup in a trash can beside on of the
benches, and Tristan followed suit. Rory dragged him into the field. Tristan
could barely make his legs work once he felt her hand on his arm. It was a
good thing she was pulling him. Rory seemed unaffected by the contact, but
actually she felt a tingle crawl up her arm when she touched him.

Rory ran into the middle of the field and laid down on her back, staring up
at the sky. Tristan tilted his head to the side and looked down at her. *It's
amazing how beautiful she is, and how much joy she gets out of such a simple
thing.* He laid down next to her.

The two laid there for a while, stargazing, just enjoying each other's
company. When Tristan turned so he was laying on his side, staring at her,
Rory got nervous. Finally, she couldn't resist the urge to turn over on her
side and look at him. He was smiling at her. She smiled back.

"What are you thinking?" she asked him.

"Just how much I'm enjoying this moment."

She smiled at him. "Me too." She noticed Tristan was edging closer to her.
*God, he smells good. No, stop. Don't think like that. Think of something
else. Coffee. Coffee smells good. It makes me want to drink it. Just like
Tristan smells good. It makes me want to kiss...* Rory didn't finish that
thought. But she couldn't tell if she stopped because she realized what she
was thinking, or because of the fact the Tristan's face was now only a few
inches from hers. Rory froze. She didn't know what to do. Finally, she
panicked and pulled away the second before she knew his lips would touch
hers. She began to regret this when she saw the hurt look on Tristan's face.
She gave him a comforting smile and reached out to put her hand on his cheek.

"Come on. We better go" she told him softly.

Tristan melted at her touch. Rory got up to leave and he missed the feeling
as soon as her hand left his cheek. "Oh, right. Sure." He got up and followed
her out of the park.

Rory didn't know what she was doing as she reached out and took his hand in
hers. Tristan was surprised at this, but he smiled warmly at her. Rory tried
to appear calm, even though she was freaking out. *What the hell am I doing?
I'm just encouraging him.*

When they got to Tristan's car, he was sad to have to let go of her hand. He
opened her door for her and then got in himself. *God, I'm so stupid.* he
thought. *What was I thinking? I don't believe I tried to kiss her. That was
way too soon. I hope I didn't scare her away.*

Rory was also thinking to herself. *God, I'm so stupid. Why didn't I let him
kiss me? I should have let him kiss me. Wait, what am I saying? Why would I
let him kiss me? It's TRISTAN.* She thought the last sentence, just as she
had thought it and said it many times already that night, but this time when
she said it, she smiled. Yes, it was Tristan. The incredibly gorgeous guy who
seemed to like her. Maybe her mother was right. Maybe she should get him
before someone else comes and steals him away. But maybe this was all just a
way for him to try to make her fall for him. Maybe he was still playing the
game. How would she know if he truly cared about her? What if this was still
just a game to him? But his smiles have been different from the smirks she
was so used to seeing. Her mind went back to the poems. *Now that guy really
cares about that girl.*

Tristan was watching her out of the corner of his eye. She looked deep in
thought. "What are you thinking?" He remembered what she had asked him
earlier.

"That I had fun tonight and I think that it really is possible for us to
become friends." She wasn't gonna tell him what she was really thinking. Rory
noticed Tristan's face fall when she said "friends".

"Yeah me too" Tristan told her, trying to hide the hurt in his voice.

*Oh, so he just wants us to be friends. He's so confusing!* Rory thought.

They drove the rest of the way back to Rory's house in silence. When they got
to her house Tristan walked Rory to her door. "Well, I had a great time."

"Yeah, we should hang out more often." Rory couldn't believe what she was
saying.

"Definitely. Well, bye" Tristan said as he slowly turned around to leave.

"I'll see you tomorrow!" she called after him. Rory stood on her porch,
watching him drive away. Now, she was more confused than ever. She thought
she might be starting to like him. But she couldn't tell if he liked her. She
thought that maybe it was all part of his game. Not knowing what to do, Rory
started to cry silently and turned to go in her house.

*

PART SEVEN

Gilmore House

Lorelai heard her daughter come in. She called her from the living room,
"Hey, hunny why are you back so late? You were gone a long time just for
coffee."

Rory wiped her tears before going into the living room and sitting on the
couch with her mother. "We went to the park."

"Ooh, you brought the Evil One some place quiet. You made it a date."

"I did NOT make it a date. Purposely."

Lorelai laughed at her daughter's ignorance. "What's wrong? You look sad?"

"Nothing."

"Rory, that frown on your face is telling me otherwise."

"I'm just confused."

"About.....?" Lorelai prompted.

"Stuff."

"Like whether or not The Bangles should get back together?" Rory glared at
her. Lorelai shrugged. "Sweetie, you're gonna hafta be just a bit more
specific."

"Feelings."

"About......?"

"Tristan."

"Ah, now we're getting somewhere." Lorelai smiled.

"I just think I might like him, but it's hard to tell if he likes me."

"Are you blind? I've seen the way he looks at you. That boy is totally,
madly, crazy in love with you!" Now Lorelai was getting excited at the
thought, but Rory still looked confused.

"Yeah, but are you sure that's not just all part of his game?"

"Okay, now I see where you might be confused. But lemme ask you this: When he
smiles at you does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy and you find it hard
to move or concentrate?"

"Definitely."

"Well then, he loves you. If he's just playing his game, then that boy's
good. Hunny, you should go for it."

"I dunno."

"You know what you need?"

"What?"

"Coffee."

"No, I need to sleep."

"Oh, no, trust me. You need coffee."

"No I don't."

"Okay, fine. I need coffee. And you're coming with me!" Lorelai jumped up
from the couch and grabbed Rory's arm. Rory reluctantly followed her crazy
mom out the door.

Luke's Diner

"Coffee please" Lorelai said as she sat down at the counter.

"No."

"Aw come on. Rory's sad."

Luke immediately looked at Rory who was frowning. "What happened? Did that
punk try something?"

Rory didn't answer. She wasn't paying attention.

Lorelai answered for her. "No, he didn't."

"How do you know? Did she tell you?"

"Yes, she did."

"She told you he tried something?!"

"No, Luke! She told me he didn't! Well, not really, but she would have told
me if he did."

"Why did you let her run around with him anyway. He's evil."

"He's not evil anymore" Lorelai told him.

"He's not? Why?"

Lorelai leaned in and whispered, "Cause he likes her." She exaggerated the
word "likes".

Luke just grunted and threw up his hands. Then he turned to make them coffee.
Rory absentmindedly drank her coffee while Luke and Lorelai flirted. *God,
when are they gonna admit that they like each other? Probably when I admit to
Tristan I like him. Never. Or at least not for a very long time.*

Chilton Library

Rory entered the Chilton Library after school. She had driven the Jeep to
school today because she had missed the bus. She had been up all night
thinking about Tristan so she woke up late in the morning. Since she didn't
have to take the bus home, she figured she would return the Jane Austin book.
There was no point in trying to finish it. She couldn't concentrate on it.
She returned it and started to leave. Then she saw him. Tristan was sitting
in one of the big comfy chairs in the middle of the library. Rory was about
to leave. She wasn't sure if she wanted to talk to him after what happened
last night. She had avoided him as much as possible all day. But then she
noticed what he was doing. He was holding a blue notebook and drawing a heart
on the cover. *No, it can't be him.* Rory quietly walked up behind him. She
read what he was writing in it.

I've been given another chance
Won't mess it up this time
I'll make her see that I'm in love with her
I'll try not to say the wrong thing
It will all be alright when she's in my arms

*Wow, it is him. This doesn't make any sense.*

Tristan knew Rory was behind him. He thought quickly and then he got an idea.
He began writing.

Our lips almost touched, then she pulled away
She wants us to just be friends
I couldn't tell her that I wanted more
That my body tingles from her touch
That I've never felt this way before.
I love you, Rory.

As soon as he wrote her name, he heard her gasp. He turned around and she
started running away. *Damn it, DuGrey. You shouldn't have done that. Well,
what are you sitting here for? Go after her!* "Rory, wait!" he called, but
she was already out the door. Tristan hesitated. He didn't know if he should
follow her. It took him a couple minutes to convince himself that if he
didn't go after her now, he would lose her forever. But, by the time he left
the library, she was already gone. *Shit. I don't know where she went.* He
thought a minute. *Wait, maybe I do.* Tristan got in his car and started to
drive.

*

PART EIGHT

Rory got in the Jeep and drove away as quickly as she could before Tristan
could catch up to her. *Why did I run away? What's the problem? God, how
could I be so stupid? I should have known it was him. I mean it all makes
sense now. Those poems sound like what happened with us from the beginning of
the year till now. But that means it's really not a game to him anymore. Why
am I so freaked out that Tristan might actually have feelings for me? I
shouldn't be. He said he loved me! Well, he didn't say it, he wrote it, but
same thing! Tristan loves me? TRISTAN loves ME? Evil Tristan? How did this
happen? How come I never noticed it before? I'm so stupid! What is wrong with
me? Why did I run away from him? I shouldn't have ran away from him. Now I
might have lost my only chance with him. Wait. Did I just say that? Why do I
care if I lost my chance with him? Do I want a chance with him? No, that's
crazy. Why would I? It's TRISTAN! Exactly, gorgeous, intelligent, funny,
charming Tristan. What does he want with me anyway? Why on earth would he
like me? Rory, why shouldn't he liked you? Dean liked you. You had no trouble
believing that. Yeah, but Dean was different. It was easier with him. He
hadn't treated me like shit from the beginning. But Dean never made me feel
the way Tristan makes me feel just by looking at me. Wait. Now I'm comparing
them?? Dammit, Rory! Get a grip! You are so freaking out here! Stop! Why am I
yelling at myself? Arghhhh! I just need to think. That's all. To think. But
not like this. I need to go someplace quiet. Where I can calmly think about
this and figure out what to do. I need to relax and go think.*

Park

Tristan got out of his car and ran into the park he and Rory went to last
night. He knew she'd be there. He ran through the field looking for her. And
sure enough, as he approached the lake, he saw her. Sitting on one of the
benches crying. *Relax, DuGrey. Relax. What do I say to her? I dunno what to
do. Just go up to her. You have to. Calm down, Tristan. It's gonna be okay.*
Tristan walked up behind her. She didn't notice he was there. He moved around
the bench and sat down beside her. Rory jumped when she realized he was
there, but she didn't turn to look at him. Tristan brought a hand up to her
cheek and wiped away her tears. She pulled away after a moment.

"Rory, I'm sorry." She still didn't look at him. "Rory, say something.
Please." He began to run his hand through her hair.

"What do you want me to say?" Rory finally spoke, but she still refused to
look at him.

"Rory, look at me." Tristan took her chin and turned her face to look at his.
"I didn't mean to scare you. I didn't know what else to do. I've been trying
to make you understand. I won't hurt you."

"I know" she said softly.

"Well, what's the problem?"

"I dunno. It's just that you all of a sudden are acting sweet and caring and
understanding, but I can't tell if that's the real you or if you're still
just playing your game."

"I thought my poems would help you understand. I love you, Rory. I know that
scares you, and I know you don't want to believe it. You never trust me, you
won't get hurt. But I won't hurt you, Rory. I promise I would never hurt you."

"I just don't know how I feel."

"About....?"

"You."

Tristan stroked her cheek. "Rory, I think you do. I think you're just afraid
to admit it."

"You're right, I am afraid. I don't know why. I don't understand what's
stopping me from loving you. I'm just not sure how I feel about you. I'm
really confused."

"Well, let me help you figure it out." Tristan leaned in slowly and kissed
her. Rory was shocked at first, but she didn't pull away. Soon she found
herself kissing him back. All too soon, she thought, he pulled away. "You're
not gonna run away crying this time are you?" he asked, smiling at her.

"No." She had to laugh.

"Did you feel it too? The sparks?"

Rory wanted to say no. But she knew that would be a lie. She had felt it. She
had felt it the first time too. She had felt it every time they touched. She
knew she couldn't deny it anymore. It was getting too hard, trying to hide
her feelings. Rory finally admitted what she was too scared to before. "Yes,
I did. I always have."

Tristan took her hands in his. "I really have changed, Rory. I changed for
you. Everything about this feels so right. I promise I won't screw it up."

Rory smiled. "You better not, cuz after a kiss like that, I can't help
wanting more."

Tristan was more than happy to oblige. He leaned in to kiss her again. Rory
wrapped her arms around his neck, and he wrapped an arm around her waist,
pulling her to him. He ran his tongue along her bottom lip, asking for
permission. She opened her mouth wider and let his tongue in. Suddenly she
pulled away.

"You wanna go get coffee?" she asked him.

Tristan laughed. "Is that all you think about?"

"That and you."

"But which one's more important?"

"We had this discussion before. You'll never beat coffee. Coffee comes
first." She smiled warmly at him. "But you are a very close second." She gave
him a quick kiss.

"Good to know where I stand. Sure let's go."

"Great, we can walk and come back for our cars later." They got up and walked
out of the park, Tristan with his arm around Rory.

Luke's Diner

They entered Luke's together and sat down at the counter. Luke glared at
Tristan.

"What's he doing here again?"

"Oh, well, he's my...um we're...he's my um..." Rory stammered.

"I'm her boyfriend." Tristan finished for her.

Rory smiled at him. "That's right. He's my boyfriend."

Luke groaned. "Oh, God. You just better not make me put you in a headlock
too." He remembered what he had done to Dean.

"Um...okay."

Luke rolled his eyes and went to get them coffee.

Rory looked at Tristan. "My boyfriend. I like that."

He smiled at her. "Not as much as I do." He leaned in to kiss her. Rory
forgot about all the other people in the diner as they kissed. She didn't
even notice Luke's eyes shooting daggers into the back of Tristan's head. It
didn't matter. She was happy. She hoped the feeling would never go away and
the sparks would never die. She knew they wouldn't. They would always be
there cause she was in love with Tristan, and she wasn't afraid to be anymore.

End

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