Iluvnsplushj (Ashley): I…wow…I don't think I've ever really had a review quite like that and…wow…am speechless! And with me, that's hard to do. Like you, I share the Gilmore need for coffee; but I also share the need to talk incessantly at a million miles an hour, so to render me speechless and bring a tear to my eye, that's quite a feat. There will likely be a shrine built in your honour when my friends find out that I was silent for longer than a minute! I think I might have to frame it. You know, make a little wall decoration out of it, streamers, balloons, the works! ;) Thank you. Seriously. I mean I write a lot of crap sometimes, a lot of fluff, and a lot of fics that I really should spend more time on, but this one was one of the ones I wanted to do well, so to get a review that in depth and complimentary means a lot, more so because it was for this fic. I was very unsure about entering into this genre at first; it needs to be done well, but I'm very glad I did. So after writing a short essay here, I really just wanted to thank you so very much. hugs

UnbirthdayGirl: hugs I'd had a really bad day that day and your review made my night! g

Igraine Black: Thank you! It's so nice to know I'm not the only one that thinks that! Thanks for the review :)

To everyone else, I love you, too, thanks for the reviews! I'd reply to you all, but we'd be here a while, because so many of you replied. Thanks for that, it means a lot.

xxxxx

Part Six: Dance, Magic, Dance

xxxxx

The room was silent and Tristan couldn't help shifting in his seat. They had all heard the entire conversation and it hadn't been a particularly pleasant experience; Lorelai and Mr. Medina had been staring at him the entire time. A moment later there was a click as the front door closed and he glanced up as Rory appeared.

"I-I'm just going to the bathroom. I'll be back in a minute."

"Okay, babe, take your time," Lorelai said as Rory left the three of them alone.

"So…" Mr. Medina said, clearing his throat. "Will we switch movies while we wait?"

"Oh, yeah." Lorelai said as Tristan glanced at the screen. He hadn't even realised it was over.

"I'll get it," he said, feeling the need to do something. He crossed the room and changed the DVD, before re-taking his seat in front of the couch.

There was more silence before Mr. Medina finally spoke. "I'm sorry, but I've got to ask; you organised their first date?" he said, frowning at Lorelai and Tristan chuckled slightly at the look on her face.

"What? It was cute!" She frowned as Tristan exchanged a glance with his teacher. "What?"

"It was doomed," Max said, nodding.

"Right from the start," Tristan agreed.

"What?" Mr. Medina shrugged as Lorelai narrowed her eyes at him. "Look, I like Dean, he's a great kid, but any relationship that starts with a possible mother-in-law setting up the date is not going to last."

"Ever." Tristan momentarily forgot that the man was meant to be his teacher; at that moment, he almost understood what Rory meant.

"That's stupid," Lorelai said, shaking her head and Tristan thought she looked more like a teenager responding to her parents than a mother. He couldn't help but smile; she was still a kid herself, but it added to her uniqueness. He liked Lorelai, he respected Lorelai. He couldn't imagine having a child his age and yet she had not only done it, but she had done it alone and Rory was the result. He really liked Lorelai.

"Tristan, will you please explain it to her?"

He shook his head to clear his thoughts, ignoring how odd it felt for a teacher to call him anything other than 'Mr. Dugrey' and nodded. "It's true. If you don't ask the girl, you're stupid, but, when the date is made, if the girl doesn't ask you herself, there's no hope. It means you'll be forever stuck in a relationship where no one wants to rock the boat. She'll never have the courage to just speak her mind, she'll never say no, or be able to find the words she's looking for because she'll be worried she says the wrong thing. And that means you're stuck in a passionless relationship with a 'Stepford Wife', or maybe Donna Reid; either way, it's a no win situation."

He shrugged, wondering why Lorelai looked so pensive at the mention of Donna Reid. "It's just not the best way to start a relationship. If you want something that lasts, both parties need to be able to have opinions and always be able to say what they want. Besides," he said raising his eyebrows, "can you imagine the humiliation of having to acknowledge that your girlfriend's mom set you up?"

"So, how does the fact that I asked you to join us this weekend and that Max asked you to stay tonight factor into this theory of yours."

Tristan smirked. "This isn't a date and, unless the floppy haired bag boy that was out there is a figment of our collective imaginations, then I'm pretty sure Rory has a boyfriend."

"I'm sure that's never stopped you before," Lorelai countered.

"Touché." Tristan smirked. "So, does your analysis mean that you think Rory thinks this is a date?"

"No, I was just saying."

Tristan laughed. He noticed Mr. Medina looking at him curiously and shifted in his seat a little. "What?"

"I'm just curious as to how you manage to have such a clean theory on long term dating."

He shrugged and glanced at Lorelai with a raised eyebrow; it was easier to talk to her. "If there was a class in dating, I'd be at the top."

"At the top or on the top?" she countered.

"Both," he replied instantly, amused by Mr. Medina's shocked reaction.

"Lorelai, that's one of my pupils you're flirting with."

"I know, but he's hot."

"Lorelai!"

"Well," Tristan said smoothly, "I've got the mother, shame I was aiming for the daughter."

"Yeah, about that, you'd better be good to her, friendship or otherwise, or I will find a way to hurt you painfully."

Tristan smiled. "I have been warned."

"Good, now let's get back to the flirting, I want to see how many shades of red he turns," she said with a devilish grin.

"Lorelai, that's enough." Mr. Medina said, closing his eyes, seemingly pained. Tristan was glad, however, to note that he was smiling. "Besides, I think I heard the bathroom door; I doubt Rory wants to know about this."

"About what?" Rory asked, re-entering the living room.

Before Max could tumble out with an excuse, Lorelai replied. "I'm flirting with Greek Boy and Max is turning purple."

"I thought red," Tristan said quickly.

"Well, yes, but purple is so much prettier."

"Mom," Rory said with mock reprimanding, "I thought we'd talked about the underage thing. Besides, didn't you just get engaged?"

"Oh, darn, knew I forgot about something."

"Great," Max said, placing a hand on his heart and acting wounded. "One night and I'm already forgotten."

"Not forgotten, just traded," Lorelai said, rolling her eyes.

"For a younger man," Rory stated, as if it were a perfectly normal reason.

They all laughed and Tristan glanced at her as she grabbed the remote and hit play. She seemed all right, but there was something different about her. She had argued with Dean before, he knew, but this seemed different. He thought that she'd seem more…upset. More than anything, though, there was a look of resignation in her eyes and, whilst he wanted nothing more than to have Rory to himself, he hated to think that he had caused her that pain, however inadvertently.

"Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the goblin city. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great…"

They watched the movie much in the same way that the previous one had been viewed, only this time there was less mocking and more speaking along with the lines.

"Thanks for nothing, Hogwart!" Rory and Lorelai both exclaimed jovially.

"JK Rowling watches Labyrinth," Lorelai said knowingly and Rory nodded.

As the film progressed, the banter died down and, eventually, Tristan realised that Lorelai had drifted asleep and so had Mr. Medina and, objectively; looking at them as they lay in each others arms, they looked good together; happy. Something his parents had never had, not as far as he remembered, at least. He almost jumped as he felt something against him and he started when he realised it was Rory. She was clearly drifting off as well and had ended up leaning on him. He shifted slightly, giving her the chance to move, but she simply snuggled closer. He couldn't stop the smile on his face. Realising that she wasn't going anywhere, he manoeuvred himself into a comfier position and placed an arm behind her, letting her lean against him.

When the film reached the ball, he almost woke Rory. This was his favourite part, for some reason. The film had always terrified him as a child, but he'd still loved it and the ball scene was always his favourite. It was like looking at the society he grew up in; being surrounded by grandeur, but knowing that, no matter how grand and elegant the people were, there was always a hint of malice and fear underneath. Fear of being what they weren't supposed to, or fear of scandal, dear of a lot of things, but there were goblins in high society, too.

He hummed along with David Bowie, albeit an octave lower, singing the words gently into her hair, "…though we're strangers till now, we're choosing a path between the stars…"

"Like looking at your life; isn't it?" Lorelai said softly from behind him and he jumped.

"I thought you were asleep," he whispered.

"I was." There was a moment's silence before she continued. "You can always see the cracks," she murmured. "I used to love this film when I was younger. I always wanted to be stolen away to the Goblin City, because part of me needed desperately to know if anyone would come to get me. But I knew they wouldn't. More than anything, I just wanted to escape."

"Yeah," Tristan replied. He knew the feeling well.

"It has its perks, but it's not really a fun world to grow up in, huh?"

"Not really." He turned to look at her. "How did you escape?"

"I got pregnant."

"Ah."

"Yeah. Wouldn't advise it."

"Duly noted." He looked down at Rory and smiled softly. "Was it worth it? Worth the scandal? Worth what you missed out on? …Worth leaving it all behind?" He wasn't sure if he was overstepping some boundary by asking, but Lorelai didn't seem the type to mind and he really wanted to know.

"Every second. I'm not going to lie to you Tristan, it was hard. I missed out on so many things; I didn't even finish High School." He looked up at her and there was a wistful look in her eyes. "I was one of the smartest kids in my class. I was going places. I had my whole life ahead of me and I wanted so much to just get out of there. It was hard having Rory; it was hard leaving my parents; and it was even harder having to bring her up on my own, but I wouldn't change it. Not for a second. But that doesn't mean that you need something as drastic as a baby to escape."

Tristan nodded. "I know that, but…"

"But it seems so hard sometimes."

"Yeah." He cleared his throat not sure how to change the subject. It didn't seem to matter, though, as they lapsed into silence and continued to watch. Lorelai had fallen asleep again, but Tristan continued to watch, Rory snuggling against him occasionally, causing him to smile.

"…the chance to never have a care in the world, to never have to do anything that you don't want to do."

"Anything else?"

"Why, me of course."

"And what if I'm not interested?"

"Impossible. I know you, I know what you want…"

"Well, I've got news for you, Jareth. I don't want you!"

For some reason, the words hurt. It was a film, it was make believe, but it still hurt. The words were spoken by pretend people, by characters that didn't exist, but the words could have come from him and Rory and suddenly that hurt him. Had he really been that repulsive to him?

The words, 'I hate him!' had haunted Tristan all summer and just being there, with her in his arms didn't make it go away. Because she wasn't really his. He could try, but she'd never want to be his, because she didn't want him. But that wouldn't stop him trying to be her friend. He had never really wanted for anything material in his life…but he wanted more than that. He wanted to never hear Rory Gilmore say she hated him ever again.

When the credits rolled, he didn't want to move, but he knew that the day had to end. One day…it was so hard to believe that it had only started that morning. Whilst the whole thing had started the moment he met her, Tristan knew that that morning had been the beginning of something new; something he could have had from the start had he only been brave enough to try talking to her like a human being instead of a conquest. He was making good now, he only hoped that he didn't mess up. Again.

"I think it's time we called it a night."

He turned around to see Mr. Medina looking at him. He nodded, wondering how to go about waking up Rory, when she shifted in his arms. A moment later she blinked and looked up into his eyes. His heart stopped.

"Hi," he whispered, wondering when his voice had ever sounded that low.

"Hi," she replied, blushing and pulling away. "I missed the movie?"

"You all did," Tristan said, teasing her.

She pouted and he wanted to kiss her instantly. "I missed Labyrinth?"

"We can watch it again sometime, Rory," Mr. Medina said with a smile. "Why don't you see Tristan out and I'll get your mom upstairs."

"Okay," she said stretching and Tristan did the same, standing and offering a hand. He pulled her to her feet as Mr. Medina lifted Lorelai into his arms, laughing softly as she muttered something about cheese and light bulbs under her breath.

"Your mom is one of a kind," Tristan said, grinning as Max and Lorelai disappeared upstairs.

"She is, but we kinda like her that way."

He grinned. "Yeah, I do, too."

She walked him to the door and they stepped outside. He wasn't sure how to act; it hadn't been a date, but something was making him feel like it had been anyway. He didn't want the night to end…he was afraid that when the sun came up she'd feel differently and things would be right back where they started.

"So…" she trailed off, clearly as unsure as he was.

"So," he said with a smirk as they walked to the stairs.

"Ooh, pretty!" she said, pointing up at the night sky. The clouds were drifting over the moon and the stars were shining brighter than he had ever seen them in Hartford. He had to agree, it was a beautiful night.

She sat on the stairs and, not wanting to disrupt anything, he did the same. They spent a while just staring at the sky, neither one feeling the need to say anything.

"My mom likes you," she said softly, as if speaking loud would waken the night.

"I like her."

He saw her nod in his peripheral vision. "I heard you talking."

"Oh," he said, not sure what she was getting at.

"I knew she'd never change it, having me, I mean, but…it's nice to hear it sometimes, so…I guess I'm thanking you for letting me hear it." He nodded, but didn't say anything, nothing needed to be said. "I also heard you singing."

He heard the smile in her voice and groaned a little. "Forget that you did."

"I don't want to." He turned to look at her and there was a definitely brightness in her eyes that he didn't think he'd ever seen before. Maybe it was just the starlight. "No one's ever sung to me before. I mean, I know you probably weren't singing to me, but, well…it was nice. You have a really nice voice."

He shrugged. "I can carry a tune, I guess."

"Trust me, you can sing. I may have no musical talent whatsoever, but I know what I like and you can sing."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." She smiled. "Tristan…"

"What," he asked warily.

"Will you sing for me?" There was a slight teasing in her voice, but he knew she was serious.

"No."

"Please?"

"No." When she pouted he groaned. She had to know what she was doing to him. "No…I don't sing on demand. Maybe…just ask me again sometime."

"I will. Relentlessly; until you give in." She smiled at him before frowning. "Can I ask you a question?"

"Sure. I'm not guaranteeing I'll answer, but you can ask."

She smiled, seeming a little unsure. "Did you go to PJ Harvey?"

He cleared his throat and looked at his hands. "Yeah, I took Ellie."

"Oh." She nodded. "I guess your dad would've been mad about the waste of money. Not that he doesn't have it to spare, because I'm sure he does, and I'm not meaning that-"

"Rory. Breathe." He smiled at her then turned away again, not wanting to look her in the eye. "My dad didn't know about the tickets," he said softly.

"What?"

"I paid for them out of my own money. I earn money myself sometimes; I don't want them to always have a say in what I'm spending money on, so I make my own."

"Oh. What do you do?"

He shrugged. "This and that."

"Somehow I don't see you working at the local Walmart."

He laughed. "Yeah, wouldn't that be the ultimate humiliation. Actually, I might have to try it sometime, could you imagine my father's face? Might make a good scientific test to see if it's possible for someone's face to explode through anger."

"You could further medical research."

"Start my own company."

"All thanks to the wonder of Walmart."

"Nice alliteration; could be my slogan."

"I thought so, too." She smiled at him. "So, are you actually going to answer me?"

"No."

"Oh," she said, looking at the ground, slightly disappointed.

He leaned into her slightly and nudged her shoulder. "Ask me again sometime."

She smiled. "Okay."

They sat for a moment, just looking at each other and he felt like he could look into her eyes forever. He'd been such a jerk before. She'd been nothing but a conquest in the beginning, but the more she turned him down, the more intrigued he got. The more she got angry, the more he became entranced by the fire in her eyes. The more he fell for her, the bigger a jerk he became. He wasn't going to resort to that again. Not with Rory. She was worth more.

"So," she said, grinning. "What did you think?"

"Of…?"

"PJ Harvey."

He shrugged. "Not really my type of music, but Ellie enjoyed it."

"I'm glad."

The silence became uncomfortable and he shifted slightly. "I don't want this to stop," he blurted out, almost kicking himself for opening his mouth in the first place.

She frowned. "What? Us being friends?" she asked softly, as she realised what he meant. When he nodded, she smiled. "You're so cute."

He rolled his eyes. "Cute? You couldn't have said anything else? You know, 'sexy', 'gorgeous', 'amazing', 'stunnin-"

"Arrogant, obnoxious-"

"Okay, okay, I get the point," he conceded, smiling at her. Now why have I been demeaned as cute?"

"Because you're nervous and that's cute."

"Would you stop with the 'cute'?" he asked, laughing a little.

"Okay, okay." She smiled at him. "I don't want this to end either, Tristan. I think you actually know how to be nice. You should try it more often."

"Why?" he asked, smirking. "You're the only one that doesn't like me exactly the way I am."

"Whatever."

He laughed. "Listen, I just meant that…I don't want us to go back to…what we had before."

"Agreed," she said decisively. "I think we should continue being friends."

"Good, I'm glad."

"Me, too."

They continued to stare at each other, smiling, until they heard a throat clearing behind them. They jumped to their feet, turning to face Mr. Medina.

"Your mom's asleep and I'm not exactly sure what the whole deal is with this, but I'm thinking it might be a good idea to call it a night."

Rory smiled at him and nodded. "Mom doesn't usually care; I'm normally the sensible one."

"I can see that," Max conceded.

"But it's okay that you came down."

"Good. I was beginning to get a little nervous there," he said with a laugh.

"I noticed, but you're allowed. New dad stuff and all that," Rory said, before turning back to Tristan. He didn't think she noticed the look on Mr. Medina's face, but Tristan did; the man looked very touched to have been placed in the category that gave him a dad-like status. Rory was very lucky to have parents who cared about her, even if one of them was her teacher.

"I'll see you tomorrow," she said, breaking him out of his thoughts.

"You will," he replied, smiling. He waved goodbye and headed to his car, getting in and quickly starting the engine. He looked up at the house and waved one last time as Max placed an arm around Rory's shoulder and led her back in the house after they waved him off.

"You are one lucky girl, Rory Gilmore."

xxxxx

"Kill me, please."

Tristan laughed as she dropped into the seat next to him, her head thumping off the table and her lunch tray sitting on her lap. "What happened?" he asked, exchanging a look with his friends.

"Paris Gellar is evil. I used to think you were evil, but, no, Paris got dibs on all the evil in the world."

"See, that's what I've been telling you for years, DuGrey," Brian said, picking a piece of lettuce from his sandwich and throwing it at him.

"Well, you were right," Rory said, finally sitting up and placing her lunch on the table instead of her head. She removed her backpack and sighed, half heartedly prodding the sandwich on her tray. "Word to the wise, don't piss Paris off; she will make you pay for it."

"You know," Graeme said with a frown. "I've never really understood that saying, 'word to the wise'. Surely if you're wise you wouldn't need someone to hand over useless pieces of information."

"Agreed," Rory said with a nod. "But not pissing off Paris is not useless, it's very much an idea to take on board."

"But surely if I was wise, you wouldn't need to tell me that," Graeme countered.

"Yeah, well, no one ever said you were wise, man," Colin said, ducking when Graeme swung at him.

Rory laughed and Tristan smiled, looking at her for a moment. It had only been a week and she had somehow managed to fit right in. On the second day of their friendship, he had invited her to their table for lunch, promising that his friends wouldn't bite, at least, not unless she wanted them to. She had reluctantly agreed. She had been at the table less that fifteen minutes when she had managed to argue Graeme into submission, insult Colin, start a small food fight with Brian, get along with Anna, talk literature with Dave, and talk Derek into finally asking out Karen Hayes, whom she had heard did actually like him, despite his protestations to the contrary. All in all, his friends loved having her around as much as he did.

"So, what did Miss Gellar do this time?" Derek asked, stealing her Hershey's bar.

She glared at him and Tristan laughed. "Don't steal food from a Gilmore, man, they can be rabid," he advised. Derek wisely placed the chocolate back on her tray.

"She tried to blow me up."

The boys exchanged glances and Tristan nudged her. "She what?"

"She tried to blow her up," Anna said, sliding into the chair opposite Rory. She kissed Dave on the cheek before turning back to Tristan. "Don't look at me like that. There's a black mark on the Chemistry room ceiling. Mr. Michaels is not a happy man."

Tristan looked at Rory and frowned. "Are you okay?"

She sighed. "Yeah, it was only a little bang."

"Are you guys serious?" Colin asked and the girls nodded. "Excellent!"

"Yes, because me nearly being killed is excellent," Rory said, before turning to Tristan and pouting. "Colin doesn't love me."

"Trust me, honey," Anna said, "you don't want him to love you. From what I've heard, there's not much there."

"Ouch!" Brian said ad the table erupted in laughter. "And I'm not even going to ask how you know that, because Dave might hit me and, let's face it, he could eat me."

Tristan laughed before turning to Rory. "Are you really okay?" he asked softly.

"Yeah," she said, turning to him and smiling. "Paris was just being irritating. She didn't mean to sabotage me, just didn't stop me. Peter switched some of my vials and she saw but didn't think to tell me."

"So technically, Peter Johnson tried to blow you up."

"Not really, he's not that brainy; he was just trying to be funny, he had no idea what the reaction would be. Paris, however, probably knows the chemical reaction to every possible mixture of every substance known to man and she didn't tell me."

"She still giving you a hard time about us being friends?" he asked, feeling awful that he was still messing up her life.

"Yeah, but its okay. I got a few more friends in the deal and she doesn't like that either." Rory shrugged. "I've come to realise that Paris will hate me no matter what I do. On the upside Louise smiled at me today and Madeline said hello."

Tristan grinned. "There's not much up stairs with those two, but they're nice enough. Especially Madeline. She's spacier than most, but nicer than most of the people in the school put together."

"Unless you upset her friends," Rory mumbled, and Tristan knew she was remembering the PJ Harvey incident.

"Yeah, but that's also a good thing. Unless, of course, it was my fault in the first place." She opened her mouth to refute it but he shook his head. "It's okay, Rory, it's the truth."

She frowned. "Did you talk to her?"

He shrugged. "I might have said a few words. It's no big deal; I just wanted them to know the truth and stop bugging you. It's bad enough that Paris hates your guts."

"It's okay, so long as she doesn't try to kill me again, it'll all be fine."

Tristan laughed and turned his attention back to his friends. He noticed that Derek was looking at him, smiling at the way he had been talking intimately with Rory, but he ignored it. Derek was probably the person he was closest to, but he really wasn't in the mood to deal with the fact that his crush on Rory Gilmore was only getting stronger by the minute.

"So, what are your plans for the weekend?" Anna asked everyone, leaning against Dave, who accommodated her by wrapping an arm around her and pulling her closer.

"I've got to go to my Aunts," Colin said with an exaggerated sigh. "If I come back with no cheeks it's because she's pinched them all away. I swear if I don't get a decent percentage in her will I'll scream."

They all laughed except Rory. Tristan nudged her and shook his head a little, showing that he didn't mean it. It wasn't entirely true, he knew, but whilst Colin would definitely be irritated not to get a cut, he didn't wish the woman dead.

"Party at Louise's," Brian said smiling and nodding. "Tell me we're all going? Except Colin, of course," he added with a wink at his friend.

"Kiss my ass."

"Why kiss what I could kick." The others laughed and acknowledged that they were going, all but Rory and Tristan. "Oh, that's right," Brian said, smirking at Tristan, "this is the Stars Hollow weekend, isn't it?"

"Yes," Tristan said, hoping his friends wouldn't take this opportunity to rib him about Rory. Whilst he had told them time and time again that his friendship with Rory was just that; a friendship, they could all see that he still wanted more, no matter how much he protested otherwise. They hadn't let him alone at first, not until Derek had told them to leave it be. But that didn't stop them from coming out with the occasional wisecrack. Especially Brian.

"We might be able to go," Rory said slowly and he turned to face her, a little surprised that she'd bring it up. The thought had occurred to him, but, given her history with Chilton parties, he had thought she wouldn't want to attend.

"You want to go?" he said, quiet enough that the others wouldn't hear him.

"It might be fun; I've only ever been to one party before," she said, her cheeks getting slightly red at the thought and he smiled. "I guess…I guess it might be different now that I know more people."

He smiled. "You realise that, with this lot around, you won't be allowed reading time."

She laughed. "I think I'll cope."

"Okay, then, if you're sure." He turned back to the others. "You might see us there."

"Cool," Anna said, grinning at Rory. Tristan knew that she was glad to have Rory around. Whilst Anna didn't really spend all her time with them, he knew that part of that reason was because she didn't like being around 'all the testosterone'. With Rory around, she was with them more; or at least she had been that week. The two girls weren't that alike, but Anna was more…real that most of the other girls at Chilton. It had never really bothered him before, but the more time he spent with Rory, the more he wanted to spend time with people he could talk to. She made him different and he liked to think that he changed her a little too; brought her out of her shell or something.

"So what's this festival of yours like," Graeme asked Rory. "I mean is it dancing naked round a campfire, or barn rides and rolls around the haystack?"

Tristan smirked. "If Mary wants a roll in the hay, she knows who to call."

"Ghostbusters?" she said, raising her eyebrows.

"Funny."

"Thank you." She grinned at him before turning to face the others. She shrugged. "It's stalls and stuff. There's likely to be small children dressed as flowers, dancing on the gazebo, Kirk will probably spend most of the time trying to untangle himself from the giant snowflake; it's like a spider's web and Kirk is always like the fly, Taylor will spend the entire time getting angrier and angrier at the fact that the Winter display gets more attention that Spring or Fall until he slowly turns purple and passes out under the huge daisy chain, Babette and Miss Patty will probably get drunk and start singing songs from Gypsy and, while my Mom's betting that they'll actually get to the stripping this year, most of the town is glad that they tend to forget how to slur the words before then."

The table sat in a stunned silence for a few moments.

"You are a very strange girl, Rory Gilmore," Derk said with a smile. "I think I like you."

"You can't have my chocolate."

"Okay." He pulled his hand away as the others laughed. "So, is anyone welcome to this festival, or is it just a town thing."

"No anyone can come," Rory said and Tristan groaned.

"You should not have told them that," he said, looking at her apologetically. "You know they're going to gatecrash."

She grinned evilly. "You met Miss Patty and Babette, didn't you," she said and he laughed.

"This might just be fun."

"Yes, it might." She smirked and he noticed his friends look a little nervous at the fact that they really had no idea what they were getting into if they decided to go. "Who knows, Miss Patty might even get you back up to do some Dirty Dancing."

"Not this time. I'm saving my dancing shoes for you, Mary."

"I don't dance."

"We'll see," he said with a smile and she shook her head.

"I don't dance on demand," she said, throwing words he recognised back at him. "It would take a lot to even get me to think about dancing."

"Dance, magic, dance," he sang softly and she smiled.

"Well…maybe if you ask me again sometime."

He smiled at her. "I will. Relentlessly; until you give in."

Somehow they both knew he wasn't just talking about dancing.

xxxxx

End of Part Six: Dance, Magic, Dance

xxxxx

Well, that went…off topic! I wasn't sure where I was going with it, but it wrote itself and seems quite content with what it became, so I'm just going to leave it be! I just got a job and will be moving about a lot in the next few weeks, but I'll endeavour to keep updates coming as often as I can.

Let me know what you think! Go on, feed the author's friend; that little review button is calling your name! ;)