|O, I Am Fortune's Fool
Author: Darkness Be Mine PM
Romeo and Juliet was supposed to be easy. Act, get an A, everyone goes home happy. But Tristan DuGrey always had a way of changing things... What might have happened had Tristan stuck around.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Rory G. & Tristan D. - Chapters: 14 - Words: 55,027 - Reviews: 212 - Favs: 88 - Follows: 97 - Updated: 12-02-07 - Published: 07-17-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3662407
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rory yawned as she stepped off the bus, her aching feet hitting the pavement with a less than enthusiastic jarring sensation in her knee; a knee that was currently cursing her for a thoughtless action. Despite the knee and its complaint against her, Rory probably couldn't have been much happier than she was. Things were going well for her at home… Things were always going well for her at home, with very few exceptions. She and her mother got along famously, and many had trouble believing that their's was a mother/daughter relationship. Those who'd only just met the two thought that perhaps Lorelai was an older sister.
Other than her relationship with her mother... there was her mother's relationship with Max. Granted, his being a teacher at Chilton was a little awkward, but things had eventually settled down, and seeing him around was not as bad as it had been at first. At least now that the two were engaged.
Then there was her relationship with Dean. It had hit a snag recently, when she had been unable to return his statement of love to him, and he'd gotten annoyed and stormed off. They'd broken up, she'd wallowed, she'd tried to get over it, Dean had come to Chilton, she'd told him that she loved him too, and things were back to normal once again.
Speaking of normal, she felt herself tense as she passed Tristan DuGrey, getting out of a sleek convertible in the parking lot, looking just as terrific as usual. She knew that he was good looking. Readily admitted it, in fact, and he was. A drop dead gorgeous, arrogant, insufferable jerk who liked to torment her ruthlessly. As she was awaiting the normal greeting of a name that wasn't her own, Rory was left stunned and confused when he merely glanced her way before turning and walking off, nonchalantly making his way over to a vast group of friends. A very popular, drop dead gorgeous, arrogant, insufferable jerk.
She realised then that she had stopped dead in her tracks, staring at him in total disbelief that he had given up an almost perfect opportunity to torment her some more.
"Oh poor Princess was given the cold shoulder," an irritatingly familiar voice mocked her from behind, and Rory turned with a sigh to see Paris standing there, watching Tristan as he joined his friends and moved off into the school. "He's over you, Princess. Get used to it."
And Paris pushed past her, needlessly nudging her sharply with a shoulder. Obviously she was still not over the whole concert thing. But thoughts of Paris soon disappeared from Rory's mind, as it returned once again to the oddity of Tristan leaving her alone. It was new and different, and as all things new and different, it had captured Rory's attention. Thinking about it a second, she started smiling. This year was heading off to a good start.
Rory was in good spirits as she entered her Lit class, seating herself in the middle row; direct centre. The perfect spot to learn, she figured, although how this made any difference was really beyond even her intellect. It just seemed to make sense on a different level, and that was how the Gilmore's lived their lives.
She tried to suppress a groan when Tristan sauntered into the classroom, before remembering that he was ignoring her presence, and lightening up again. This year really was going to be fantastic.
Or not, she amended when Paris followed on Tristan's heels, her eyes snapping immediately to Rory's as though to accuse her of being there. It wasn't her fault, Rory thought to herself almost indignantly, before forcing herself to relax. If she let every single unfair action of Paris' get to her, she'd spend most of her year rubbed the wrong way, and very temperamental. There was one fantastic way of getting back at Paris however, and without even thinking twice, Rory turned in her seat to Tristan, who was, conveniently enough, seated directly behind her.
"Hey Tristan," she greeted him, and only a slight rising of his brows on his forehead showed his surprise at the address. However, he just replied with a slight inclination of his head, his blue eyes meeting hers only a moment.
And he turned to speak to one of his mates sitting beside him, discussing something awesome that had happened over the holidays. Some party. This was not what made Rory turn back, startled, to face the front of the class again.
Rory. He had called her Rory.
She noticed Paris' smug smile, but didn't even react to that; still in shock. He'd called her by her actual name. It had to be the first time. Ever. He'd never called her Rory. Not even when they'd been attempting the whole 'friends' thing.
This year was going to be interesting.
"Wow! That's a face for radio!" Lorelai quipped upon Rory's arriving at Luke's. "What's got you all in a pickle?"
"Hardly appropriate, mother. I think you missed the point of that sentence."
Her mother shrugged. "Okay... What happened?"
Rory nodded. "Not bad, though hardly up to your usual standard."
Lorelai's brows rose. "I'm being graded on the way I talk? Nazi!"
Rory shrugged. "Hie Hitler it mother dear, or you'll get no answer."
Lorelai pondered a moment, before a grin erupted onto her face. "What's got you looking like Bambi, post-gunshot?"
Rory made a face. "That poor little deer."
"And so are you. What's up?"
Rory just shrugged, seating herself with a sigh. "Nothing much. It's just been a long day."
"You made me think up the Bambi question for a 'long day'? Oh that's mean."
"And as you put it yourself, this is Nazi Germany. Nothing's fair, baby."
Lorelai pouted, before turning to the counter and raising her voice over the faint chatter of the little diner's other patrons. "Luke! Coffee for my little Bambi here!"
"You do realise that Bambi's mother gets shot?" Rory asked her, brows rising to her forehead. "So calling me Bambi is hardly encouraging."
"You'll miss me that much?"
"Who'll buy me coffee?"
"I'm leaving everything I have to you!"
"Well bring on the hunter!"
Luke appeared at that moment, and Lorelai glanced up at his stern face with a smile. "And speaking of hunters, don't you think Luke could pull off the look?"
Rory looked up to study the sullen face, and assumed a look of deepest study. "Give him a gun... and perhaps a different hat... You killed Bambi's mother!" she exclaimed, her voice echoing through the small room.
Lorelai gasped, looking up at him in horror. "You killed me? I thought we were friends!"
Luke just gave her his usual look of amazed disbelief. That look that communicated his utter confusion as to just what it was they were talking about, as well as a worry for the two women's sanity.
"I've got a business to run," he shot at them sullenly, before making his way back behind the counter.
"Now is it just me or is he being a lot more sullen than usual?" Lorelai asked; frowning as she studied the man she had been able to banter with easily at one point in time. Things had changed now that she was with Max. It seemed as though there was never any time for them to do so. She suspected that she was busy a lot more now; had more demands on her time, and therefore less time to spend with him. Drifting apart.
"I can't drift!" she burst out.
"But not away from friends."
"No. Away from friends is not good. Away from boyfriends is even worse," Rory commented vaguely, her eyes focused somewhere outside. Lorelai started, glancing at her daughter with narrowed eyes.
"I am not dating Luke," she told her fiercely, and Rory looked surprised.
"No you're not. You're engaged to Max."
"And I'm dating Dean."
"I know that too."
"You caught that, did you?"
"You were only making out in front of my bedroom window..."
"We weren't making out."
"No... You weren't... You guys never get that into any kiss. It's all just sweet and romantic with you two!"
"What? You'd prefer it if we made out?"
Lorelai looked shocked at the question. "Of course not! I love my innocent little Rory! I wouldn't change her for the world! It keeps me sane..."
"But I'm starting to wonder if you're my daughter."
Rory laughed at that. "Well there's the coffee thing."
"And the sense of humour..."
"Give me a moment..."
"You guys look the same?"
It was a new voice, and Lorelai looked up, startled, to see her daughter's boyfriend.
"Now don't you be getting any funny ideas, Dean," Lorelai told him, frowning.
"Don't you go mixing the two of us up, cause as adorable as you are; I think you're a little too young for me."
"Well he said we looked the same!"
"Okay you look similar... Like you're related."
"Much better!" And Lorelai was smiling happily. "Did you want to join us?"
Dean shook his head. "No. Actually Rory and I were going to go for a walk."
"This is true?" And Lorelai managed to look betrayed. "You're abandoning me?"
Rory nodded. "We're only just back together..."
"Ah, yes... The whole 'I love you' incident... No worries. Just don't go make out in any dark corners..."
Rory laughed, shaking her head in dismay, with Dean standing by her shoulder with a bewildered smile on his face.
"Sure thing, Lorelai."
Lorelai slumped in her seat, a petulant look on her face as Rory rose from the table. "Now what am I going to do?"
Rory shrugged. "Go make peace with Luke."
"But the hunter kills Bambi's mother!"
"Well then it was nice knowing you!" And without another word, Rory took Dean's hand and pulled the bewildered young man from the diner.
"Do I want to know what that was about?" he asked her when they were outside, brown eyes confused.
She shook her head. "Trust me. You don't."
Dean chuckled. "I trust you. I know better than to inquire about anything with you girls. More than likely I'll be told something that confuses me even more, and then I wonder why I wanted to know in the first place."
Rory grinned, turning to him, and taking the open front of his jacket in her hands. "Have I told you how much I missed you today?" she asked, rising to her tiptoes to press a soft kiss on his lips.
"No," he replied with an equally goofy smile, returning the tender kiss. "But I bet I missed you more."
Rory yawned, realising that she'd been doing that quite a lot recently since starting again at Chilton. Then again, she wasn't really surprised, because very few teenagers found school interesting, and although she took great pride in her great scores, and made sure she did enough studying, Rory was no exception. It was just that Chilton was no longer the hell that she had once thought it to be.
When nothing memorable had occurred during their first couple of weeks back, Rory had settled down into the normal routine of schoolwork, and sitting around in the cafeteria by herself. It wasn't an essentially interesting existence, but it was a way to live, and Rory did it better than most.
Now however, her class had been given the assignment of performing one of the Acts of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and somehow she had been placed into a group with Paris, Madeline and Louise. Why the teachers had it out for her, she didn't know, but she expected that her time with this group would be complete torture.
As she approached the group, she noticed that there was a boy she didn't know seated with Madeline and Louise at the table, and she didn't recognise him from their class.
"Hey," she greeted the group, and when Madeline replied with quick "Hey" back, Louise added in a sing-song voice, "We're the Monkees."
Rory managed to look confused and amused at the same time before turning to the boy seated next to her.
"Hi, I'm Rory."
"I'm Brad," was his almost timid reply. It seemed he wasn't comfortable in the company of a group that would soon include Paris, and Rory wasn't surprised. Not many people would want to get within metres of the studious young woman. She rarely made anyone's day pleasant. "From third period Shakespeare," he added, almost as a plea for help. He didn't want to be here.
"He's the answer to our 'lack of boys' problem. Isn't that swell?"
Rory almost winced at the look of submission on the boy's face. She had never liked it when people could be so intimidated by people around them.
"Well, maybe we should start," Rory spoke firmly, attempting to change the subject and succeeding, she realised when Madeline and Louise shared a look.
"Ooo... That could be lethal."
Rory shot them a look of annoyance. "We could at least decide on what motif we want to do."
Another voice interrupted whatever Madeline might have said to that, and Rory turned slightly in her seat to see Paris walking in carrying a box.
"We're doing traditional Elizabethan."
"Elizabethan?" Rory began, frowning. "But I thought the point of this was to..." But seconds later she was interrupted.
"The point is to get an A, not to make Romeo and Juliet into a Vegas lounge act," Paris shot back. "Besides," she continued in a more even tone of voice. "We have the death scene. It's classic, it's famous," and then she finally seemed to notice that Brad was sitting with them. "Who are you?"
Brad shot up straight in his seat, as though an army cadet at attention. "I'm... uh... Brad. From third period Shakespeare, ma'am."
Paris just watched him for a second with an unreadable expression on her face before seeming to dismiss the whole thing. "Okay. Now I want everyone to read the chapters on acting I photocopied out of Houseman's Memoirs tonight. Everyone will be off book by Friday, and if you plan on missing rehearsal, you better bring a coroner's note."
Brad looked slightly fearful of the threat, while the rest of the assembled merely took it in their stride as Paris place a sword on the table in front of her. They were used to Paris like this; it was hardly different from her usual self.
Rory glanced at the sword a moment before frowning slightly. "Tell me you didn't just have that lying around."
As Rory had known she would, Paris merely ignored her, and continued speaking, glancing a moment at Brad. "We're short on boys. That makes you Romeo," and Brad looked terrified at the very thought. "Louise, you can play the Friar."
Louise looked insulted by the suggestion, her brows rising on her forehead as she shot a look at Paris that might have frozen just about anyone else. "Excuse me?"
Louise was saved from Paris' wrath when Tristan entered the room and seated himself at their table, looking around with amusement, his eyes seeming to skip Rory completely as he continued to glance around the table. Rory noticed this behaviour and frowned, while Paris managed to look slightly pleased at his lack of attention, despite looking irritated by his sudden appearance.
"Well, well," he quipped. "The gang's all here."
Paris merely looked at him with daggers. "This is a meeting."
Tristan just smiled, before assuming an apologetic posture and expression. "Yeah. Sorry I'm late." Then he looked around, as though expecting them to continue. Probably the only ones who weren't wishing he would evaporate into thin air were Madeline and Louise, who always welcomed Tristan's attention, and Brad, who had just realised that he may not have to play Romeo after all.
"What do you think you're doing?" Paris demanded, the scowl on her face deepening.
Tristan managed to look honestly surprised at her animosity, and just watched her a moment before replying hesitantly. "Uh. Professor Anderson forgot to include me when she made up the groups, so she told me to pick one."
"Fine," Paris replied snappily. "You have four other Acts to choose from. Take your pick."
Tristan looked almost embarrassed, but still not quite achieving the expression as he replied. "Yeah... Well Summer's in Act One, Beth and Jessica are in Act Two, Kate's in Act Three, and uh... Claire, Kathy and Mary are in Act Four," he explained, and when Paris looked confused, he elaborated helpfully. "So this is the only one free of ex-girlfriends."
Rory watched him carefully, frowning at him when Paris replied. "So we're being punished for our good taste?"
Tristan's brows rose to his forehead, and he brought his hand to his forehead in an elaborate and over-dramatised show of despair. "Oh Paris, you hurt me! Do you no longer have any need for me at all?"
Before Paris could reply to such a statement with what might have been a really good, snappy and sarcastic response, Louise interrupted.
"Yes! We have great need. You can be our Romeo."
Rory was startled by the sudden announcement, and burst out, "Brad is Romeo." This drew a brief look from Tristan that Rory could not define and a look of naked fear to the eyes of Brad who glanced quickly at her in a panic.
Louise just shot her a patronising look. "Put in your other contact Grandma. Tristan is Romeo. Brad can be the second guard on the left."
It was a blunt statement of rejection with no emotion at all, and everyone looked at Paris' determined face. No one might have said anything to that; no one but Madeline.
"She's kinda right, Paris. Tristan was born to be Romeo."
But Paris was not in any mood to agree with either of her friends. "Hey!" she snapped, looking angrily from Madeline to Louise and then back again. "I'm the director and I'll decide who's born to be what! And Brad is Romeo."
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
It was spoken quietly by Louise, just loud enough to be heard, and the entire table turned to look at the daring young woman. It was very few people who would stand up to Paris in such a mood, not to mention refer blatantly to her feelings for Tristan in front of him.
"What'd you say?"
Her voice was low and dangerous, but Louise continued nonetheless, standing firm in the face of her friend's anger. "Just perhaps that someone is letting her personal feelings interfere with her leadership."
"My only feeling is that I don't want to give the most important part to someone who can't even manage to stay in school."
But Louise was undaunted. "I'm just going to say one thing: Fifty percent of our final grade."
Paris frowned, her face furious, while Tristan watched the conversation with what seemed to be growing interest. Rory was confused a moment, before he revealed his thoughts and she was disgusted with him all over again.
"Is there going to be any scratching involved, or is this just a verbal thing?"
Paris seemed stumped a moment as she looked from Louise to Tristan, and finally her eyes, dark with anger, fixed on Rory.
"What do you think about this?"
All eyes turned to Rory, and most wondered what it would be that the sensible young woman would say. To them, she was a Mary. Innocent and striving for perfection. She would have an objective view on the whole thing. Rory, true to their belief, knew exactly how to settle this. She turned to Brad.
"Well, how are you at speaking in front of a lot of people?"
Brad looked fearful, and swallowed a few times before answering in a weak voice. "I tend to throw up."
Paris sighed, and Madeline and Louise looked triumphant.
"Fine," she agreed snappily, before rounding on Tristan. "But I swear, you flake on this and you'll pray you get suspended."
Tristan might have reacted more playfully with Paris' angry threat, but he was glancing at his watch, and rose from his seat in a single fluid movement. "I gotta run," he announced to them all, and smiled brightly; a smile only Madeline and Louise returned. "Are we done here?"
"Rehearsal. Tomorrow night," she informed him as he moved to leave. Before he could however, Louise was speaking again.
"Good. So now Brad can be Friar Tuck and I can be Juliet."
But Paris' voice was firm. "Wrong."
"Hey!" Louise cried out, petulant, but before she could continue, Paris rode over her.
"Juliet's supposed to be chaste."
Louise slumped in her seat. "Oh."
But Madeline sat up then, raising one finger in the air. "Then..."
"And she has more than three lines," Paris added, and Madeline followed the move performed by her friend only seconds earlier.
When she realised where this was going, Rory sat up at attention, looking stunned and shaking her head vigorously. "Oh no."
"Too late," Paris shot back.
"It can't be too late," Rory replied, her voice almost panicked as the three girls looked on it annoyance, Brad looked on in fearful attention, and Tristan watched with a vague expression of concern that seemed incredibly out of place for him. "We haven't done anything yet."
But Paris was having none of it, and frowned at her. "You're Juliet. You're the best public speaker here, you've definitely got that waif thing down, and you'll look great dead," Paris reasoned, before turning her attention elsewhere. "Next order of business," she began as Tristan left the room with a slight frown turning down his lips, and an expression of consternation pulling at his brows which Rory couldn't help but notice. "I did some location scouting this morning, and I think the courtyard outside..."