Skies Are Blue
Disclaimer: Gilmore Girls and all related items do not belong to me. Only the Story and its related original ideas and characters are mine. No copyright infringement intended.
Spoilers: Season One. This takes place at the end of the summer after the season one finale.
Distribution: Please ask, the answer will likely be yes.
Feedback: is a gift. It's nice to give.
Notes: This is my first attempt at Gilmore Girls. I realise I have a ton of fics to be working on and the last thing I needed was to start another one. However, as is normal with me when I enter a new fandom to read, my muses attacked me and wouldn't let me alone until I had written this.
My wonderful beta, DanaMulder, assures me it's in character, so I hope you all enjoy. Cassie you rock!
Part One: Pinky, meet Brain
Lorelai tilted her head back and downed the rest of her glass. Champaign and lots of it; that was her plan for the evening. Oh, they could force her into society again with an act of bribery, but they couldn't stop her drinking herself into a Bridget Jones-esque stupor of alcohol and the subsequent eating by Alsatians. Things were bleak, but the bottom of each glass was her goal and she was nothing if not determined; the bottom of each would be seen. She downed another glass.
"Care to share?"
She turned to the young boy beside her and smirked. "Aha! I knew there was another sensible person in this room. Alcoholism is the only way to survive these functions and don't you forget it."
The boy grinned at her. "Does that mean you're sharing?"
She shook her head, feeling a silly grin work around her mouth. "Sorry, but the goal is to get drunk, not arrested."
He shrugged. "It was worth a try."
"Indeed, but I have no need for a Drive Me Crazy moment."
He winced. "That was a bad movie."
"Yes, but it was enlightening to see Sabrina away from the crazy aunts."
"Wasn't the same without the cat."
"Yes, Salem was sorely missed." Lorelai lifted another two glasses of champagne from a tray as another waiter passed by and quickly downed the first.
The boy raised his eyebrows, but the ever present smirk did not disappear. "I see we have a champion in our midst," he said cheekily.
"You better believe it. I am the Matthew Webb of champagne drinking."
He frowned. "The English Channel guy?"
Lorelai grinned. "Ooh, well done, you get brownie points for that one."
He chuckled again, shaking his head. He looked at her for a moment and Lorelai was convinced he saw realisation on his face, but, before she could question him, she spotted her mother heading straight for her. Not for the first time, she damned Rory for using the excuse of her (second) two-month anniversary with Dean to get out of the event.
"Run," she muttered to the boy, downing the other glass of champagne. "Run, run, while you still can."
He frowned. "Wha-"
"Oh, so close." She gave him a look that clearly said 'bad luck' before turning meeting her mother's gaze. "Hey, Mom."
"Lorelai, where have you been? I have been looking all over for you."
"Clearly you haven't been looking all over or you would have found me."
"Lorelai," Emily said with a disapproving frown. "We have company, it wouldn't kill you to use some manners."
"See, that's where you're wrong. I suffer from a rare disease called manner-itus and whenever I try to be nice to your guests, I get this ticking inside my head. It's like an explosion waiting to happen. One minute I'd be happily chatting away to Mrs. isn't-the-weather-lovely-this-time-of-year and the next minute my head would explode. The mess would be catastrophic and, while it could be considered art to those odd people with the bongos, you'd have to call in a weird, eccentric, French interior decorator, called Fabio, to refurbish the whole house."
"Really, Lorelai." Emily looked as though she were about to berate her daughter further when she finally noticed the boy standing next to them, smothering a smile. "There you are," she said, shaking her head. "Your parents have been looking for you, young man."
"Yes, they left about ten minutes ago."
Lorelai frowned, but noticed no flicker in the boy's facial expression; it was set into a mask of pleasantries that she remembered well. "They left?" she questioned her mother.
"It seemed natural to assume that he had left with some friends," Emily said, as though she were stating the obvious.
"It's a big house, Mom, they didn't think to look?" She knew she shouldn't be having the conversation, especially with her mother, and most especially in front of the boy himself, but she couldn't help herself; she rarely could.
"Really, Lorelai, with the amount of times you pulled the same trick at his age, surely you can understand-"
"Oh, here we go," she muttered. "I'll tell you what," Lorelai continued, interrupting her mother before she could really get going, "I'll drive him home. I need to get back to the house anyway; I have an early start at the Inn tomorrow morning."
Emily frowned, looking for all the world as though she was about to object, but eventually sighed. "Fine. I'll see you on Friday evening. Seven o'clock."
"Gee, I'm glad you remind me of the time every week, there's no telling when the information might slip out my ear and drown in a puddle."
"Go home, Lorelai."
"Good night, Mom."
She let out a grunt of frustration as soon as her mother was out of ear shot. It didn't matter what was going on in the world, if there was one thing Lorelai could count on in this world, it was that her mother would always find something about her life to criticise.
Lorelai took a moment to study the boy beside her. He looked rather uncertain, standing innocently before her, his hands jammed into the pockets of his suit jacket. He had blond hair, blue eyes and, Lorelai had no problem in admitting it, he was a Greek God. It almost made her wish she was sixteen again. Almost.
He cleared his throat. "You, eh, you really don't have to give me a ride home. I can call a cab."
"Oh, no you're not getting out of this. You are my excuse to leave this party."
He smirked. "That's a fair trade, however, and not to be rude or anything since you're my way home, but you have been consuming champagne at a rather alarming rate."
"Worried I'll swerve into a tree and smash up that pretty boy face of yours?"
"Not to put to fine a point on it, but yeah, a little."
She grinned. "Fear not, Greek Boy, I have a plan."
"Question me not, Greek boy, or no plan."
"Okay," he smirked. "Do I get to know what the plan is?"
"I don't know," she whispered conspiratorially, leaning forward. "Do you know the secret handshake?"
"I will if you show it to me."
Lorelai nodded. "Okay, it goes like this." She grasped his hand and proceeded to make up an elaborate series of movements. She made him repeat it three times. "Got it?"
He nodded seriously. "Yes."
"Okay, now, here's the clincher. You help me sneak out of this house without another run in with my mother and you are a lifetime member of the club."
He nodded. "I think that can be arranged." He surreptitiously glanced around the room as Lorelai started humming the Mission Impossible theme. "Okay," he turned back to face her, whispering once more. "She is currently chatting with Mrs. Lindlay; her conversation began about a minute ago and, if she's being told the story about Fifi's trip to the doctor-"
"Her baby. One of those yappy little poodles."
"Scary." Lorelai frowned. "She took it to the doctor?"
"Apparently vets are too impersonal and treat him like an animal."
"Right, so the story about Fifi," she prompted and he continued.
"Right. Said story should take approximately five minutes to complete, assuming of course, that she includes Barnoby's ill fated-"
"Barnoby would be the llama?"
"Of course, although, wouldn't a llama be cool?" she grinned and he looked at her oddly. She shook her head. "Continue."
"Well, if she includes Barnoby's ill fated attempts strip the willow, then-"
"Strip the willow?"
"Cat. Fire. 911. You don't want to know."
"Then we should have," he looked at his watch, "approximately three point five minutes to make a run for it."
"Sounds good to me, Mr Hunt."
"Always preferred 007, personally."
"There's a surprise. Connery or Moore?"
"Connery is Bond, Moore was a sleaze, but Dalton was actually my favourite."
"Ah, the underestimated Bond who was given the crappy attempts at being PC. An unusual, but acceptable answer, although Brosnan I would have also allowed."
"Of course." He glanced at his watch. "Two minutes left. Think we can make it?"
Lorelai grinned. "I'll race ya!"
She took off for the door with him in hot pursuit, making a quick stop to pick up their jackets on the way, before bursting outside to freedom. Lorelai held out her arms, looked to thy sky and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath.
"Ah, freedom!" She heard him chuckle behind her and turned around. "I guess it's time for me to put the plan into action."
"I guess so."
She pulled her mobile phone from her purse and hit speed dial 2, before holding it to her ear. Hearing the gruff hello as he picked up made her smile widen.
"No. It's only nine o'clock. You said you wouldn't call before ten thirty. The diner is open and it's not ten thirty."
There was a pause and Lorelai allowed herself a small victory dance.
"I hate you."
"Thank you, Luke. Ooh, and bring two coffees with you." She hung up before he could reply and turned to the boy once more. "Okay, 007, grace me with a name. As partners in crime we need to come up with a catchy duo; like Starsky and Hutch, or Thelma and Louise, or Wren and Stimpy, or, ooh, Pinky and the Brain."
"I'll be the Brain."
"Nice try, kid, but I'm the oldest I get to choose. Besides, I think that one's already taken."
"You were the one that suggested it."
"But I'm the adult; I retain the right to be hypocritical."
"Ah, playing the grown up card."
"Yes, I am," she said with a superior tone. "Now, name, before I dub you Greek Boy forever."
"What happened to 007?"
"Again, already taken. Come on, Greek Boy, time is running out."
"Okay, but you're not going to like it, Ms Gilmore."
"Who says, and how do you know my name?
He grinned. "You mean besides the fact that the woman you called 'mom' was the owner of the house; the Gilmore House?"
"Yeah, well, I might be married."
"But you're not," he said with a smile, continuing before she could interrupt. "I go to Chilton with Rory. There's no mistaking the resemblance and I don't just mean physically. It's easy to see where she gets her quirkiness."
"Ah, diplomatic, as well as good looking, I see. So, you go to Chilton?" She shook her head, rolling her eyes. "Of course you go to Chilton. Why else would you be stuck at one of these parties?" She extended her hand. "Well, it's nice to meet you, I'm Lorelai Gilmore."
He clasped her hand and shook it, all the while, grinning smugly. "It's nice to meet you Ms Gilmore. The name's DuGrey, Tristan DuGrey."
"Well, hello, Tri..." Her eyes widened a little. "Tristan? You're Tristan DuGrey?"
"Tristan, the Evil? Tristan, the Spawn of Satan, Tristan?"
"I appreciate the flattery, Ms Gilmore."
"It's Lorelai and, oh, God, Rory is going to kill me."
He smirked. "I tried to warn you."
"But not before I kill her," Lorelai continued.
"Let's just say she left out a few details."
He frowned at her, but wasn't given the change to enquire when she hit his arm. He cried out in indignation. "What was that for?"
"For making my daughter's life at Chilton Hell on earth."
He frowned. "I don't think I can be given that much credit, Chilton itself is enough to set those eternal fires of damnation without my help."
"You, Bible Boy, have-"
"Bible Boy? I think I prefer Greek Boy. It sounds racier."
She glared at him. "Wipe that smug look of your face, Mister, I'm trying to have a serious conversation here."
"Sorry," he muttered. She could tell he was uncomfortable with where she was about to take the conversation, but she had sensed an affinity with the boy and, given that his parents had just left him behind at a party with no way to get home, she had an idea where his attitude stemmed from.
"You're a nice guy, Tristan. You can keep up with me in a conversation, which, believe me, is an art form few people have ever managed to perfect, and you have a life I understand; I grew up in the same one. I want to like you, but you make my baby's life worse by being an arrogant jerk."
Tristan nodded. "Yeah, I know I didn't exactly go about things the right way with Rory-"
"-but," he continued, waiting for her to listen to him, "she likely wouldn't give me the time of day otherwise." His eyes widened as he realised exactly what he had said and he attempted to backtrack. Lorelai found it rather amusing. "I mean, she's always stuck in her books and if she doesn't want a friend, then there's no point in-"
"Okay, calm down, Tristan, don't give yourself a hernia."
He sighed. "Look, I won't be bugging Rory when we go back on Monday, or ever again, okay? She hates me and, before you say it, I know that's my own fault, but I get that. I promise to leave her alone."
Lorelai frowned. "Or you could promise to be nice and be her friend."
"She wouldn't want me to, believe me."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that."
He ran a hand through his hair and let out a breath. She knew he was probably mentally kicking himself for having given away so much, but she got the feeling that there were few people he could really talk to.
"You really like her, don't you?" His head jerked up so fast Lorelai almost checked him for whiplash. "You really suck at showing that, you know."
He laughed humourlessly. "Yeah, because I've had a lot of practice."
"From what I hear, you have had a lot of practice."
He glared. "That's not what I meant. Those girls are just...I mean they're..." he grunted in frustration.
"They're not the same, I get it. It's not easy to suddenly have something denied to you when you're used to getting what you want, is it?" He shrugged and she sensed he was closing off. "Look, Tristan, Rory doesn't particularly like you-" he laughed, "but there's something inside her that stops her from ever hating anyone. That gives you a chance. I may be biased, but I think it's safe to say that she's one of a kind."
"Yeah," he mumbled.
"Just, try to talk to her." She grinned at him. "Hey, you've managed almost half an hour or so with me and you're still alive. Rory's just a mini me, she should be a pushover and, no, I do not mean that literally. Enough with the playground antics."
He smirked cheekily. "But it's so much fun."
"Watch out, or I'll make you sit in the corner wearing the 'dunce' hat."
"Somehow, I wouldn't put that past you."
She nodded sagely. "The boy is learning." Tristan laughed and Lorelai couldn't help thinking how well he and Rory would actually get along if they could get out of the trading insults routine they had fallen into.
She heard Luke's truck pulling into the driveway behind her and turned, waving frantically at Luke as he pulled up beside them. She opened the front door and indicated for Tristan to get in the back. The moment the door was closed, she turned to Luke.
"Coffee." He scowled, but she shook her head. "Not going to work, I can smell it. I need coffee and so does Tristan."
"Bible Boy, Tristan?" Luke asked, throwing a glare at the boy through the rear-view mirror.
"My reputation precedes me, I see."
"It does." Lorelai nodded. "Luke. Coffee."
Luke sighed and reached into the bag at Lorelai's feet, handing her a thermos. He pulled out another one and turned around to glare at Tristan face to face this time. "This one for you?"
"Down, boy," Lorelai said, after savouring her first sip. She turned to face Tristan, who was actually looking a little scared of Luke, given that he had shut the door and was, hence, trapped. She smothered a laugh. "You like coffee?" He nodded. She turned to Luke. "Okay, he passed the test. He's one of us. He's now an honorary Gilmore. Coffee is the nectar of the Gods, he cannot truly be evil."
"Tell that to Rory," Luke muttered, almost throwing the thermos at Tristan. "Where am I taking him?" He asked, turning back around and lifting the hand break.
"You okay to direct us?" Lorelai asked, turning her head a little.
It took less than twenty minutes to reach the DuGrey Estate and Lorelai couldn't help but let out a whistle as they pulled up to the front door. "Wow, and I thought Chilton was very 'off with their heads', but it's got nothin' on this place."
"You should see the inside," Tristan muttered. "Well." He cleared his throat. "Thank you for the company Ms Gilmore and, thank you for the ride," he said to Luke as he opened the door.
"I told you, it's Lorelai, and slow down, we're coming with you."
"We?" Luke shook his head. "No, there is no 'we'."
"Luke," she whined, "you heard him, the outside is nothing to the inside and you're just going to let me walk in there alone? What if I come out without a head?"
"Then I'll no longer have to listen to you screaming for coffee."
"It's all right, Lorelai," Tristan said, smiling at the behaviour of the two adults. "I live here. I'm a big boy and I'll be okay going into my own house."
"See, he'll be fine."
"Luke, we are going to speak with his parents."
"No, you really don't have to. It's-"
"Hey," she said turning around. "I'm getting enough arguing from him, can you at least pretend to be on my side, Judas?"
"Judas?" he asked with a smile. "Ouch."
She shrugged and turned back to glare at Luke. "Now, both of you, out."
Luke grumbled, but by the time Lorelai had reached the other side of the car, had complied. Together they walked towards the front door.
"Wow," Lorelai said in a whisper. "I feel like William Wallace at the end of Brave heart, walking to my execution. Only I'm not Scottish. Or a man."
"Can we just get this over with, please?"
"Luke, be nice. When they answer the door, just let me do all the talking."
"If you're doing all the talking, then why did I have to get out of the car?"
"For moral support. You're like the guy with the fliers and buttons that stands behind a Presidential Candidate. You're not meant to say anything, but I know you're there."
"Whatever, just ring the damn bell."
Tristan smirked. "I live here, you know. I don't think we need to ring the bell."
"Oh, but I wanted to see if it played one of those tacky tunes," Lorelai whined.
"Sorry. I tried to key in the theme to the A-Team when I was ten, but it didn't work. It's just a regular old bell."
"Well, that's no fun." She grabbed a hold of Luke's arm and pulled him after her as she followed Tristan into the large house, subconsciously humming the theme to the A-Team. Trusting that Rory's tormentor would forgo taking them to the torture chamber, she walked quietly behind him, trying not to notice that the house was even more sterile than the one she had grown up in.
As they approached what she assumed was the main sitting room, she noticed that Tristan was beginning to tense and sped up a little so that she was walking beside him. He didn't acknowledge her presence, but she noted his shoulders relax a little. He knocked quickly and opened the door they had just arrived in front of.
Lorelai followed him in, making sure that they hadn't lost Luke, before turning to survey the scene. The room was lit only by the blazing fire and there was one occupant. It appeared to be Tristan's father. Tristan cleared his throat and Lorelai stepped forward as the boy's father stood up.
"Mr DuGrey, my name is Lorelai Gilmore." She extended her hand and, after a moment of looking at her curiously, he shook it. "I wanted to apologise, I managed to monopolise Tristan at the party this evening and caused you to misplace him."
She fought to keep a smile on her face and the situation light, but she really wanted to shout at him. How anyone could 'misplace' their own child when said child was sixteen years old and in the same house, regardless of its size, angered her.
"I'm sorry, but when I found out that Tristan attended Chilton with my daughter, I insisted he keep me company."
Mr DuGrey nodded and smiled at Lorelai, albeit somewhat forced. "That's quite all right, Mrs Gilmore. Thank you for bringing him home. I'm sorry for putting you and your husband out of your way."
"Oh," Luke said haltingly, "I'm not-"
"That's quite all right, Mr DuGrey, and please, call me Lorelai." Mr DuGrey nodded and she continued. "I was actually wondering if it would be all right to steal your son this weekend," she asked, instantly kicking herself for not thinking it through. Rory was going to kill her.
"May I ask why?"
She smiled. "Our town has a love of festivities and this weekend is the annual End of Summer Festival. I thought it might be nice to have Tristan over; Rory rarely gets to see her school mates away from Chilton." She didn't add that her daughter had no wish to see them either.
"I don't see that causing us any problems. My wife and I were planning a trip out of state this weekend anyway. It would be a weight of our minds to know that Tristan was being cared for."
"Really, that's great." If Mr DuGrey noticed the sarcasm in her voice, he did not acknowledge it. "Well," she said, turning to a rather stunned looking Tristan. "If you want to get the bus with Rory on Friday after school, we'll see you then. Bring enough stuff for the weekend and come prepared for anything."
He smirked. "Sure, no problem," he said, walking them back to the door. "But do you mind if I just drive us to Stars Hollow? It would make things a lot easier."
"And, let me guess," Lorelai added, "you hate public transport." He shrugged and glanced behind him, noting that his father had remained in the other room. "Sure, I'll let Rory know. See you on Friday, Brain."
"Yes, you will, Pinky."
"Am I meant to understand what the heck you guys are talking about?"
Lorelai laughed and pushed Luke out the door. "See you Friday."
"Sure." He seemed to hesitate and she frowned questioningly. "You sure Rory won't freak out?"
"Oh, I'm sure she will. However, I have my ways."
Tristan shook his head and bid them good night. Lorelai climbed back into Luke's truck and smiled at him. "Home Jeeves."
"Rory's going to kill you," he said, starting the engine.
She grimaced. "Don't I know it."
There was a click as the door closed and Lorelai flicked off the volume on the TV. She turned to greet Rory as she entered the room, a subdued look on her face.
"Uh, oh, that's not the look of a happy two month anniversary. Tell me I don't have to kill Dean."
"No, everything's fine, Mom." Rory smiled and sat next to her mother, leaning into an embrace.
"Then, what's with the face?"
"What? This is my face. I've had it for sixteen years, you never complained before."
"Well, that's because I keep getting told it looks like mine and I think you know what I meant. Spill."
Rory sighed. "I don't know. Everything was great and all, I just...I don't know."
"It's not the same?" Lorelai asked, looking at the top of her daughter's head.
"No, it's not. I mean, I knew things wouldn't ever be exactly the same this time round, but, well, he's just trying so hard." She sat up and looked at Lorelai. "He's trying too hard. I know he's trying to make everything perfect, but everything's not meant to be perfect, right? I mean you and Max argue and it's normal and healthy, but Dean won't even fight about pizza toppings anymore."
"What's the fun in that?"
"I know!" Rory sighed. "I just want it to be normal."
"Oh, honey," she pulled Rory into a hug. "Things will work out with Dean. If they're meant to work out, they'll work out in their own time."
"Thanks, Mom. Did you have a good night, or should I not ask?"
"Oh, it was...interesting."
"Okay, tell me about it tomorrow?" Lorelai nodded and Rory kissed her cheek and stood up. "I'm going to go to bed. I still have some work to do before school on Monday. I want to reread my English notes."
"You're a weird kid."
"Welcome." Lorelai watched her walk away and, biting her lip, decided to just tell her about Tristan. "Rory, sweetie, fruit of my loins, light of my life, oh, favourite daughter mine."
"What?" Rory asked warily, turning around.
"Honey, you love me, right?"
"I get the distinct feeling that I'm not going to like this."
"Well, you might. It's actually kinda funny."
"Somehow, I doubt it." Rory made her way back to the couch and sat next to her mother again. "Spill."
"Right, so I'm at the party; downing champagne and trying to avoid my mother all night when I'm distracted by an interesting boy."
"Boy? This isn't going to end up with you being arrested and charged, right?"
"No, but if I was sixteen years younger, I would definitely-"
"Okay, so this guy can follow my conversation, he banters with the best of them and the rest of what I was going to say was really interesting but you keep looking at me like that and I should just tell you that Tristan DuGrey is spending the weekend with us are you mad?"
Rory paused for a moment before smiling. "That's a good one. You almost had me there." She continued to look at her mother. "See you're not smiling yet and that's a little worrying because I know you wouldn't do that to me, because you love me and would never want to trap me in my own house with Tristan DuGrey." Lorelai remained still. "No."
"Rory, I can explain, I-"
"No." She stood up and started pacing. "Tristan hates me and I hate him. You know that and you wouldn't do this to me."
"Honey, he's a nice boy, sarcastic, smug and irritating, but nice. A nice boy that you failed to mention looked like a Greek God."
"What?" Lorelai settled further into the couch. "How could you withhold on me like that?"
"It wasn't important."
"Blasphemy! Have I taught you nothing?"
"Mom, he's an arrogant, irritating, obnoxious-"
"-witty, charming, gorgeous boy who happens to be crazy about you."
Lorelai sighed. "Rory, sit." After a moment, she complied and joined her mother on the couch once more. "Just listen to me for a minute, okay?" Rory nodded. "Okay. Look, I'm not going to make excuses for him, he was awful to you from the day you met, but you do not hate him." Before Rory could interrupt, she continued. "Sweetie, he bugs you, that's not hate. If it was hate, you wouldn't care about him and I know you do because you're my Rory and you care about everyone.
"Honey, I grew up in that world and I know what it's like to be alone. I rebelled in my own way; Tristan's just leading the only life he knows how to lead in the only way he know how to. That doesn't mean that you can't find out who he really is and grow to like him."
"Mom, I know I don't hate him, okay, I know that, but...he's just so...I mean, he just..."
Rory sighed and leaned back next to her mother. "Is he staying here?"
"Yeah, his parents are disappearing somewhere for the weekend. I thought we could set up the camp bed."
"We have a camp bed?" Rory asked.
"You remember! From the park. The day you left kindergarten?"
"Oh, yeah!" She frowned. "We still have that thing?" she asked incredulously. "I thought we sold it at the junk sale."
"We did. I bought it back at the garage sale for fifty cents."
"I know." Lorelai smiled. "So, you're not mad at me?"
"Oh, I'm mad at you, I just don't have the energy to argue."
They remained in silence for a moment before Rory gasped and sat up straight. "Oh, my God."
"What am I going to tell Dean?"
End of Chapter One: Pinky, Meet Brain