Disclaimer: a lot of the dialogue (not all of it, but a lot) is taken out of the episode of gg called "Rory's Dance." It's not mine, so don't sue!

Chapter 5: The Dance

Tristan hadn't been allowed to see Rory's gown. He had seen a glimpse of the fabric when he passed Lorelai's room, and a quick peek at her shoes that were sticking out of her closet, but he had never seen the actual dress. But there she was, twenty feet away, looking more gorgeous than he had ever seen her.

Her dress was the most exquisite shade of blue he had ever seen. It set off her piercing blue eyes, making them stand out. The straps hugged her shoulders, so that it looked strapless. But it wasn't. Her hair was done up into an intricate bun with dozens of curls and small white flowers tucked among them.

And there he sat, all alone, at an empty table. He was surrounded by abandoned purses and a few pairs of painful shoes that girls had set down while they danced. His date Cissy was in the bathroom, reapplying her makeup for the fourth time. Last minute he had broken up with Jenni and chosen Cissy. It turned out Jenni wanted a relationship, not just someone to fool around with. So, the next person in line happened to be Cissy, and there she was, his date.

Tristan checked his watch. There was still a good two hours until he could leave. The dance had only been going for an hour, but it seemed like it had been at least four.

His eyes wandered back to Rory. She looked so happy, dancing in Dean's arms. He wanted more than anything to cut in and claim his dance. But the soft smile playing across her lips stopped him. Tristan saw how content she was.

He continued watching them together, and he didn't turn away when they kissed. Maybe it was wrong to watch, maybe it was weird. But he couldn't help it.

He sighed and leaned back in his chair sullenly.

"Okay, I'm perfect now," Cissy said, coming up beside Tristan.

"Great," he answered unenthusiastically, his eyes still on Rory and Dean.

"You wanna dance?"

"Nope."

"You wanna eat?"

"Nope."

"You wanna go make out?"

Tristan looked up at Cissy, a smirk playing across his face. He considered his options. Stay here and depress himself by watching Rory and Dean, or go off with Cissy.

"Yeah, alright, let's go."

Rory looked around the room uncomfortably. Dean was off getting punch, and she was getting hit on by Paris' date Jacob.

"I'm sorry, aren't you here with Paris?" she asked.

"Yeah."

"So maybe you shouldn't be over here asking me for my number then."

"Why? Paris is my cousin."

"Your cousin?"

"Yeah."

"Paris is your cousin? You're related?"

"Yeah."

" Jacob, it's been very nice to meet you. I hope you have a lovely evening."

He walked away, leaving Rory grinning to herself. Dean walked up, offering her a cup.

"Why are you so happy?"

"Jacob is Paris' cousin," she said, taking the drink.

Dean laughed. "No way!"

"How wrong is that?"

"Such good blackmail!"

That stood together for a few minutes in silence.

"You're bored."

"I'm not bored. I thought, you know, there's still a little time left, maybe we could get a cup of coffee somewhere, hang out a little, take a walk. You know, just us."

"I'd like that," Rory answered.

"I'll get our coats." Dean walked away, and Rory went to pick up her purse at a nearby table.

*****

"Where are you going?" Tristan asked when he noticed Dean getting their coats.

"We're leaving."

"Where to?"

"I don't know. Just out of here."

"Have her home on time."

"And why do you think you need to tell me this?" Dean asked.

"Hey, man, I'm just giving you some advice."

"Advice? That doesn't sound like advice to me. It sounds like you're butting in to Rory's life. And you know what I say to that, don't! I am fully capable of knowing when to get her home."

Tristan took a step back. "Woah, calm down. I was just trying to help you out as a friend. Lorelai can be a little overprotective sometimes, even though she doesn't come off like it."

"Friend?" Dean asked, taking a step closer to Tristan. "Friend? A friend to me, or a friend to Rory? Because, you know, I have always been under the impression that you hated me."

"Dean, come on," Tristan protested.

"And as for Rory," Dean said, ignoring him. "I know she's not just a friend to you. I saw you watching her all night long. And I've seen the way you've looked at her every day for years. But you know what, she's mine. She chose me. You want to know why? Because I am man enough to tell her how I feel."

Tristan's eyes narrowed. "No. You know that if I told her how I felt, you would be out of the picture in half a second. You know that she would choose me."

Dean threw a punch at Tristan, hitting him square in the jaw.

"You don't deny it," Tristan observed, raising his hand to touch the aching spot.

Instantly Dean flew at him, tackling him to the ground. They wrestled on the ground aggressively, brutally punching each other.

"Tristan!" Rory yelled, running towards them. "Why the hell is my boyfriends arm coming out of your armpit?"

They stopped struggling, and Tristan reluctantly released Dean from a headlock.

"What the hell were you two doing?" Rory yelled. "You know what, on second thought, don't answer that. Come on Dean, let's get out of here." She grabbed her coat and started walking towards the door.

"Rory wait," Tristan called.

She just kept walking, her heels clicking as she rushed away, Dean close by her side.

"Here Tristan," a girl said, offering him some paper towels for his bleeding nose. He turned and noticed a group of freshman standing in a crowd, staring at him. Among them was Paris, shaking her head disapprovingly.

*****

"That was quite a dance," Dean said when they were walking around the town, hot cups of coffee in hand.
"I seriously don't know what got into him," she answered, assuming Tristan started the fight. After all, he did have Dean's head in a headlock, not vice versa.

"I do."

"What?"

"He has a thing for you."

"No he doesn't. He's my friend, he's practically my brother. You know that.

"He has a thing for you."

"He's just a little overprotective."

"He has a thing for you."

"I don't know how I feel about this whole situation," Rory said suddenly.

"What do you mean?

"I don't know, having my boyfriend defend my honor. It's weird." They turned at Miss Patty's and walked up the steps. Dean was silent.

"All my life I've had Tristan looking out for me. And now I have you too. But that's not a bad thing. It's just different, complicated. Now I'm stuck choosing sides, choosing between two of the most important people in my life. It's between the person I've known and been close to my whole life; and you, who I just met a few months ago, but you mean so much to me too."

"And who do you think you'll choose?"

"I'm with you, aren't I?" she asked.

A smile spread across his face, and he kissed her softly.

*****

Rory slipped quietly into the house, cringing when she heard her mom yelling. It was five thirty in the morning, she and Dean had fallen asleep at Miss Patty's. Nothing had happened, they had just lost track of time.

Dean had tried to come with her to explain to Lorelai, but Rory knew it was best this way. Her mom would be really mad. After all, she was sixteen, the age Lorelai feared most. She had never said so, but Rory knew her mother had been nervous the whole year, hoping her daughter would make better choices than she herself had done. And the year was almost over, they were almost safe. But Rory's night out could prove to be too much for her mom.

She crouched by the stairs, scared to enter the kitchen where her mother and grandmother were fighting.

"You know that's not what I meant," came Emily's voice.

"Maybe I was some horrible uncontrollable child like you say, but Rory isn't. She's smart and careful and I trust her and she's gonna be fine and if you can't accept that or believe it, then I don't want you in this house!"

Rory saw her grandmother storm out of the house, slamming the front door behind her. She came out of her hiding place and went to the kitchen.

"Mom, thank you for saying all those-"

"What were you thinking? Staying out all night! Are you insane?" Lorelai yelled, letting out her pain, frustration, and fear.

" I'm sorry. It was an accident," Rory said defensively.

The kitchen door opened, and Tristan walked in. He was still wearing his suit, and had obviously spent the night with Cissy.

"You're talking to the queen of staying out all night. I invented the concept!" Lorelai continued, not noticing his entrance. "This is no accident! You can't do this! Period."

"You were out all night, Mare?" Tristan asked, his forehead creasing in worry.

" Nothing happened!" she cried, ignoring him.

"Do you have any idea what it's like to wake up with my mother here and find out that you never came home?"

"Bastard," Tristan mumbled under his breath, thinking of Dean.

"So all this is about Grandma being here," Rory continued. But she looked at Tristan with a confused expression.

"No, it's about the feeling of complete terror when your kid isn't in her bed in the morning."

"I'm sorry."

"And then it's about a whole different kind of terror when you find out that she spent the night with some guy."

"I didn't spend the night with him. We fell asleep."

Tristan inhaled sharply and bit his lip. He had warned Dean to bring her home. Hell, he had gotten in a fight over it. Yet Dean ignored him, and now look what happened.

"You are going on the pill."

"What?"

"You're not getting pregnant."

"I'm not sleeping with Dean!" Rory yelled. She was crying, and frustrated.

"Dammit!" Lorelai turned her back on them and stared at the stove.

Rory took a breath, and spoke in a quiet tone. "What happened to all that stuff you said to Grandma What happened to trusting me? Where did all that go?"

"I think it's back on Patty's yoga mats," she snapped, not bothering to turn around.

"This is crap! You know I didn't do anything. You know this is an accident. You're just mad because I screwed up and I did it in front of Grandma and she nailed you for it. Well I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I screwed up and I'm sorry that you got yelled at, but I didn't do anything and you know it!" Rory ran into her room, with Tristan close behind her. She slammed the door behind him, and collapsed into his arms, crying hysterically.

a/n: ooooh. Long huh? I tried. Well, I hope you guys didn't get too sick of the stuff I borrowed from the show, but I tried to personalize it too. Feedback is welcome, so tell me if it worked or if it didn't and I'll do my best to fix it. Thanks a lot!