It's two weeks into the leadership conference before she tells you about kissing Jess. You're not surprised, really. You knew that the cutesy-we're-in-love thing that she and Dean had couldn't last forever, and that bad boys would inevitably tempt the purest of them all. Rory Gilmore is a great many things but dull certainly isn't one, and you think privately that she's too good for Dean. Not that you'd ever say that, of course, because she thinks the world of her boyfriend, but you're not surprised about Jess, not one bit.

You're not surprised that she feels guilty about it, either, because that is typical Rory. You tell her, everyone makes mistakes, and she looks at you with those big wide puppy-dog eyes and says, I can't believe I did that to Dean.

You sigh and watch as tears begin forming in her eyes. You don't want her to cry, because it makes you uncomfortable, but as the tears fall you know there's only one thing you can do, and you reach over and hug her and let her bury her face in your shoulder, dampening your pyjama top with her tears.

You feel her breasts pressing against your own and note that it's not an entirely unpleasant sensation. It's Rory, after all, and there's a part of you that's fascinated by her, that loves the feeling of warmth when only thin nightclothes separate your bodies.

She's warm and soft and you realise that you don't want this to end. You'd kiss her if you weren't so nervous and if you knew she wouldn't feel guilty about that, too. So you do nothing, and as she sniffs and lifts her head and says, Thanks, Paris, you just give her a half-smile and watch her as she crawls into bed, brushing the tears away with her fingertips.

Your shoulder's still damp, but you don't mind.