Author: abc79-de PM
Trory. Set Season one, PostTBP2 and PreLDAT. Pretext of Rory didn't go to Madeline's party. COMPLETE.Rated: Fiction M - English - Tristan D. & Rory G. - Chapters: 14 - Words: 50,031 - Reviews: 450 - Favs: 228 - Follows: 92 - Updated: 10-06-05 - Published: 06-14-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2437995
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: Trory. Set Season One Post-TBP2 and Pre-LDAT. The Kiss and Madeline's Party never happened for the purposes of this fic.
Disclaimer: I own no rights to anything that is mentioned in my stories, including the main characters that I've borrowed for my plot manipulations.
Story Title: Untouched
AN: Ah, so, this popped into my head. I'm not quite sure where it's going—if it's a one shot or the beginning of a story. . . it'll depend on inspiration and of course, interest. Anyhow, from my mind to your eyes. Enjoy.
He was flawed.
Not that he'd ever admit to it or amend his behavior to compensate for it. To hear him speak you'd think he was God's gift to women, law, athletics, and style.
And you'd be right.
At least, in some respects. He did a pretty good job at talking a big game. He knew how to command a room, drawing your attention to lie solely with him, making you feel like you have some damn unique bond with him. He made you believe as he did; as if you're seeing him through his eyes. Something about the way his voice floods the spaces between your neural synapses, and then he finishes you off with a conspiratorial wink. It's a defense mechanism he learned at the knee of his father, who learned it from his father before him, and so on for generations now. No one questioned him, or was even given the chance. He didn't risk being seen as anything but in command, quick-witted, and indelible.
And then she walked into his life.
She was full of questions. She didn't play games. She had tricks up her sleeve that were embedded in her DNA for unraveling no-nonsense, self-assured, overly inflated men like him in five seconds or less.
They were at war from day one.
They slid into a routine like one slips into a favorite pair of jeans. It developed out of need—his to save face around her and hers to keep him out of her way. It was inevitable that their paths continually cross as often as they began to. Those around them reveled in each meeting. They, without fail, put on a show of monumental proportions. Admission fees could have been collected at the front gates. Reality television producers should have been informed of the spectacle they created—surely they could earn a pretty penny off of the simple conversations the two of them had.
They called them conversations. The rest of the world would refer to them as heated debates.
They agree on nothing.
There was a rhythm, palpable and life-giving, that was unique to this routine. It was their creation, and it thrived despite all efforts to the contrary. If asked, he would say its existence came out of her incessant desire to find out if all the rumors she'd heard about him in the women's room were true. He'd add a wink and blow a kiss to take her up a notch, and coo his assurances sweetly as steam literally whistled out of her ears.
She would say that he was a petulant five-year-old child that could never admit failure and needed to argue like an infant needed to suck on his pacifier. And then she'd flash those eyes of hers at him, rendering him speechless for a spell.
Granted a short spell. She would blink and he'd pick up his line of attack.
Not that he'd admit to his fumbling anyhow.
Her eyes weren't even a real color anyhow. At least no color found in the natural habitat around them or in the Big Box of Crayolas that he used to select colors at his leisure from back in elementary school. One day after a particularly heated exchange between them he'd gone home and found the well-loved box among his old boxed up toys and sports trophies, on a quest for the name of the shade of her irises. Nothing he found seemed brilliant enough, blue enough—nothing in that box made his heart pound like her eyes did.
She swore to herself that she could learn to ignore him, like she'd been instructed to do with bullies in her youth. Ignore them and they'll go away. They're looking for attention and if you don't give it to them, they'll stop—wholly unsatisfied. That's how she wanted to leave him each time. Wholly unsatisfied.
However, that's generally how she felt each time they parted. Not to mention the burning and tightening in her stomach. The craving that not even coffee squelched. So she hated him even more for making her feel so incomplete, and the next time they clashed, her discomfort only escalated.
And he knew it. He could see it in her eyes. Those glimmering blue-ish orbs that haunted him throughout the day and into the night. They darkened upon the introduction of his taunting—like storm clouds rolling over a calm sea. They lightened when he complimented her—the eye of a devastating storm. He longed to get lost in their depths, knowing water of that color must be sweet to the taste and warm to the touch. It had to be magic.
She was sure of one thing. He would never to be an obstacle for her success. No matter how unsatisfied upon her victory she was left. He seemed to delight in the fact that she saw him as a roadblock—he saw her as a welcome challenge that despite the extra time it seemed to be taking him to subvert her, it would be all the sweeter upon her acceptance of his superiority.
You can imagine the greatness and potential others saw in the smoldering fires that were constantly at the ready to be ignited when the pair's eyes simply locked onto one another across a room.
This is how she found herself to be his partner, his cooperation the basis for 70 percent of her final grade in her American Literature course in her sophomore year of preparatory school. He'd sat back in his desked chair and grinned like the Cheshire cat, and she'd felt as if she'd been shoved down the rabbit hole.
To complain to authorities was not her way. She wanted to be seen as competent and efficient.
He would gladly argue with someone that believed they were his superior, just to show them they were mistaken. He was above their rules. He was unaffected. It was just that in this case, he felt his teacher finally had a brilliant idea. He raised his hand, as she watched him mistrustfully from her seat two rows over.
"Yes, Mr. DuGrey?"
"How long will we have to prepare for this oral?" he smirked after seeing Rory's face contort into a look of pure hatred at his choice of words to describe the presentation their instructor had just been explaining about.
"Three weeks. Is that sufficient for you, Mr. DuGrey?"
"Yes, Ma'am. I'm sure my partner and I will need to put in a lot of long evenings in preparation, to make sure we give a top-rate exhibition."
"Well, I should hope you all put quite a bit of effort into this. But I'm sure you and Miss Gilmore will have no trouble in preparing a well-informed presentation. Now, are there any further questions?" she inquired before moving onto the next lecture point. Tristan looked over to Rory and smiled genuinely, another of his tricks to lower her defenses.
Another of his tricks that made her want to donate his body to a medical facility for students to practice on. She flipped her long, golden brown locks over the shoulder closest to him and focused her attention on her teacher's words and off of the heat emanating from the spot he'd affixed his gaze on, just above the junction of her shoulder and neck. She was capable of bursting into flames by the time the bell sounded over the school, sending mentally exhausted teens scurrying out into the halls for a ten minute grace period.
She moved gracefully, slowly, in gathering her belongings—as if to soak up the excess knowledge that being in a space of learning provided.
He bolted quickly, unwilling to hear any supposedly sage words of wisdom that were of no use to him in the real world.
But he waited just outside the threshold for her. This was their arena.
"So, your house or mine?" he inquired, falling into step beside her as she emerged, not even acknowledging his addition to her route.
She didn't respond because she knew he was looking for a reaction. She wasn't up to giving him one. It was bad enough their teacher had assigned them as partners—she'd been hoping to be paired with someone that took pride in a job well done and that could hold a serious conversation about literature (or any other topic, for that matter) for more than five seconds. It wasn't the case, and she would regroup. She'd figure it out. She would not have a distracting argument about how she wouldn't be caught dead at his house on a Friday night.
"Because mine is much more spacious, I'm guessing," he condescended. "Unless you're just dying to unleash some of that small town hospitality on me."
"Hospitality isn't what I would unleash on you, if given the opportunity."
"Kinky," his eyes danced with enjoyment. He'd drawn her in. This game he might liken to Jenga. He never knew how many blocks he'd have to remove before she lost her balance and tumbled to the ground for him.
She let out a tortured groan and spun her locker dial through the learned combination. Her fingers were deft; her eyes needn't even glance in their direction to achieve success. She slammed her books down onto the metal shelf and spun on one heel to face him.
"I assume you can find the Hartford Public Library, correct? What with it being right down the street from the free clinic and all?"
"There's a problem with your plan, Gilmore. There are certain activities we need to partake in that are frowned upon in a library."
"I realize The Breakfast Club might be the only exposure to a library you've ever had, but contrary to popular belief school work is allowed."
"We're putting together an oral presentation. They frown on shouting in a library, don't they?"
She rolled her eyes and slammed her locker shut for emphasis. "Will you quit saying oral like that?"
"Like what?" he smirked.
"Like there is any way that I would lose my mind and let anything more than school work occur during this purgatory."
"You know what I think?" he leaned in over her shoulder, letting her feel his chest against her back.
"I'm all aquiver in anticipation," she monotoned her response.
"I think you protest a lot for someone who's not interested."
"Well, when you're constantly hurling innuendos my way, what choice do I have? Besides, why would we be shouting in the library?" she returned to his earlier comment.
"When have you and I ever had an exchange that didn't end in you calling out my name in the heat of the moment?" he turned her against a locker now, reveling in the heat that was creeping up from under the collar of her standard Chilton uniform.
"God, you're such an ass," she pushed him away so that she could make her escape back out onto her normal route, to the safety of her next class. One in which he would not be in attendance. One of only two reprieves she got all day.
He watched her walk away, enjoying his success and the way her skirt swayed back and forth as she stomped off.
Her favorite part of the day.
Her escape from the competition and the unaffected attitude she held up for seven hours. Away from boys that looked at her as if she was something for their amusement and girls that looked at her like their enemy. Like she wanted to trade places with any of them.
She had exactly fifteen minutes in which to read her latest novel, usually knocking out a chapter or two before her bus came to take her back to the small town in which her hair would be let down and her true personality could be exposed.
"Get in," came the voice that she had been so grateful to get away from just five minutes earlier. He'd pulled up in front of the very bench she was waiting on, his motor idling as he stared at her through the rolled down window.
"Go away," she retorted, figuring she owed him no more than he gave her. The less, the better.
"Come on, Mary, let me give you a ride home."
"I'm sorry, I must be at the wrong bench. I thought I was at the bus stop, not the gigolo express."
"We need to talk, just get in the damn car, would you?" he instructed, his patience wearing thin. She'd never seen him lose his cool really—he kept up his relentless mocking attitude so well she would have never guessed it wore on him.
"Talk about what?" she asked with narrowed eyes. His mouth parted slightly, a smirk forming as his response sprung up at the ready. "If you say oral again, I'm going to slice all your tires open right here and now," she threatened.
"Our assignment. It has to be done, and I know you want to get an A."
She struggled. He knew appealing to her sense of accomplishment would ensnare her. She couldn't imagine that he cared if they got an A or assigned community service. He had an agenda of his own.
"Fine," she consented, picking up her bag and shoving the thick novel into its confines yet again. "We can work out a game plan on the way to my house."
"I knew you'd come around to my way of thinking," he informed her as he opened the door for her from the interior and took her bag from her outstretched hand, tossing the lead-weighted object into the back seat of his car.
"If that's ever true, I have people who've agreed to mercy-kill me."
"I'm touched—you've told others about me?"
She ignored him, not willing to give him the satisfaction of knowing her own mother had christened him with a nickname. Even if it was Satan inspired. Her focus was centered on the direction that he was currently steering his car in. Instead of heading out toward the main turnpike, he was heading back in toward town.
"I realize that you're a man and therefore genetically incapable of asking for directions, so I'll offer them up. We need to head out to the highway," she pointed out the back window as if he were paying her attention.
"I know what I'm doing," he said as his foot hit the accelerator harder, punching them down the street as the car had been intended for. He swerved a minute later, pulling into a gas station. He paused, looking to her before exiting the car.
"Evidently coffee," she replied instantly. Any extended period of time spent with him should include caffeine so she didn't have to work so hard to keep up.
"Fine," he said, slamming the door and leaving her to wait on him in these foreign surroundings. She took a deep breath, trying to gather her thoughts. She should be exiting the car and calling her mother to come pick her up. For all she knew she was being kidnapped under the pretext of free coffee, like small girls who are lured with candy by strangers.
What she couldn't figure out was if he was truly a stranger to her or not.
He returned before she could decide, handing her coffee and pulling out a silver lighter from the glove box, his arm scraping across her bare knees to retrieve his trinket. Her skirt had ridden up her legs, leaving an expanse of skin that'd been untouched from the rays of the sun.
He wondered what else they'd been untouched by.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" she asked with disgust as he pulled out a cigarette from a new pack and struck up a flame from under his fingers.
"You're smart, I'm sure you can figure it out."
"Well, you're not, otherwise you wouldn't be sucking on that disgusting thing."
"Want another shot in your coffee, Miss Perfect?" he bit back, taking in a long drag off the lit cigarette. An unfamiliar sweet smell filled the air and made her unfamiliarly dizzy.
"So what if nicotine's my drug of choice? Don't pretend to be above having vices," he tapped on her cup with one knuckle before offering his cigarette to her. "Wanna try?"
"I don't smoke," she said quietly.
"Try it, they're cloves. Just take a small breath in, then lick your lips after. You'll like it," his voice had changed—from commanding to encouraging. He began to demonstrate, and she was set to say no.
Until he licked his bottom lip.
Her fingers brushed against his as they sought out to grab hold of the smooth, brown, paper-covered cigarette. He watched as she brought it up to her lips, and slowly wrapped them around the tip that he'd just had his own lips wrapped around.
A surge of power and arousal hit him at the very thought.
She closed her eyes as she took the world's shortest puff, coughing hard as she withdrew it from her mouth, looking ready to tear into him like he'd never seen her do. And then she brought her lower lip into her mouth, allowing her tongue to sweep across it, savoring the sweet flavor.
"It's sweet," she held out the cigarette, ready for him to take it back. He obliged her and nodded.
"Yes it is."
He said nothing else as he threw the car into reverse, ready to fulfill his promise to take her home. He'd wanted to prove something to her—that he always gets what he wants. She was no different than him, after all, no one could get through this life without addictions and needs. Desires.
She was his flaw.