Title: What Lies Within Us

Chp. 1 Prologue
(just a little intro)

Disclaimer: I don't own nor am I associated with Gilmore Girls. I bet you are all shocked.

Introduction: I know I'm delusional….but Trory. Well, obviously not at first because that would be too easy, but I wanted to clarify. Basically set in the present, slightly altered to make things work.

Rating: Pg-13. For now. It's the way I am with fanfic, the rating will raise.

Author's note: I hate reviews (I'm also a really bad liar).

Rory sat at a table at Luke's, attempting to read her political studies book while Lorelai flirted shamelessly with the proprietor at the counter. There was a final on Tuesday, and she swore she wouldn't make it necessary to pull an all-nighter like last time. Of course Luke's wasn't the best study environment, but he had good warm coffee and beggars couldn't be choosers when one was in Stars Hollow, not exactly renowned for it's libraries.

Desperately, she tried to focus on the political infrastructure of the countries of North America as Miss Patty was getting into a debate with Taylor behind her over his "suggestions" regarding her choreography for the dance at the Christmas pageant. "Really Taylor," she was saying irately, "The day I let you tell me how to choreograph is the day Kirk gets a steady job…."

She huddled with her sweater around her; it had been a cold winter, but snow had yet to fall in Stars Hollow. Most of the residents were disparaging that they might not have a white Christmas. In a town like Stars Hollow, that seemed the end of the world. What would the annual Christmas pageant be like without at least a glisten of snow on the ground? Not that it hadn't happened before, but Stars Hollow tended to over dramatize things

The ringing of her phone broke into her concentration which was minimal at best anyway. Out of habit she checked the call display before answering; Logan. "Hey," she answered, taking a soothing sip of coffee, "I thought you were studying." She shielded the phone, knowing Luke still wasn't too thrilled with the concept of cell phones in the diner, no matter who he was dating.

"No," his voice came over the phone, "You TOLD me to study and for some reason assumed I'd comply….I, being me, chose to catch a movie with Finn."

"A movie?" Rory's tone was slightly disbelieving, "Isn't that a little commonplace and boring for the two of you."

"We wanted to act along to the movie at the front of the theatre while it was playing…..Finn does a pretty convincing Julia Roberts when he's in the mood. Took the theatre workers at least half an hour to notice what was going on."

"And kick you out?" Rory asked with a smile on her face.

"Of course not. I pride myself on talking my way out of any situation," Logan said smoothly. "Or, into any situation for that matter."

"Listen, I'm going to stay over an extra night at home," Rory told him, smiling gratefully as Luke not only refilled her coffee, but didn't do more than spare a disparaging glance at the cell phone. "Lane's band is playing at a local club. You are of course invited if you're in the mood," She added that last part, knowing he never would. Since they had started dating a month ago, he had come to Stars Hollow once. And, after he lasted about an hour, she knew he wouldn't likely be back. To put it mildly, the small town atmosphere wasn't his 'scene'.

"I have plans," he circumvented the invitation as she knew he would. "But come by my place when you get back to campus tomorrow; we'll be around. Already planning an end of finals shindig for the society; it's far superior to studying."

"I'll see you sometime tomorrow," she promised, and flipped the phone shut just as Lorelai sat down across from her, trying hard not to have a guilty look on her face. It seemed best to be discreet some of the time as Lorelai hadn't warmed up to Logan yet. She didn't seem to take to the outwardly charming type.

"Limo boy?" she asked, sneaking a fry of Rory's plate.

Rory just shook her head, "It's time to stop calling him that mom." It had been long enough since that incident. Then she smiled, "At least upgrade it to limo 'guy', he is 22 years old."

"Positively ancient," Lorelai said sarcastically, leaning back in her chair. She hadn't seen much of her daughter's latest boyfriend, but couldn't say she was fond of the boy from the few times they had met. She tried to be reserved in her dislike as Rory seemed to have no intention of breaking it off any time soon. "Honestly, the day a daughter of mine dates someone my parents would approve of….although the only thing to recommend someone to them appears to be family connections and money."

Rory just ignored her, accepting the fact that her mother was not a fan of Logan. "I'm going to go back tomorrow morning instead of tonight…I want to catch Lane's band playing, she called earlier to tell me they have a gig in Hartford. I haven't heard them in awhile, and feel guilty being an absentee friend so often."

Lorelai looked momentarily taken aback, then said quickly, "Allright."

"What is it mom?" Rory asked, not missing the hesitation.

"Nothing," Lorelai tried to look innocent, fiddling with the salt shaker.

"What?" Rory insisted, "I'm not going to quit until you tell me what it is."

"Fine," Lorelai replied, shaking her head. Then, attempting for a nonchalant tone, she continued, "It's just….Luke was, ah, spending the night."

"Oh," Rory's response came slowly. Logically she knew her mother and Luke were sleeping together, it was just something she had never been forced to dwell on. It was her mom, but one didn't tend to like to think about sex when it came to a parent. "Listen mom, I appreciate you shielding me from your love life. But I'm an adult now. My rooms downstairs. As much as I don't like dwelling on that aspect of your love life, you don't have to cancel your 'sleepovers' just because I'm home. It's Luke." When she finished she realized that didn't make it better. She had said it 'was Luke' to illustrate it wasn't some illicit affair, but really, it was disturbing in its own way. Now not only did she have to think about her mother having sex. She had to think about Luke having sex. With her mother. Rory decided it would probably best for her peace of mind to wear ear plugs to bed.

Lorelai was silent for a moment. It had been one of her rules, separating that part of her life from Rory, even when she had been going to marry Max. But her little girl was an adult now. Not that the fact changed the relationship, but she was older. Ok, and although she tried to forget that it had ever happened, Rory had slept with someone too. And, this was Luke. She wasn't going to flaunt it, but Rory could handle knowing she was having sex. "I think I'll sleepover here," she compromised calmly, taking a sip of her own coffee. She'd never had sex with her daughter in the same house, and regardless didn't think tonight was the time to start. How married parents did it she would never know.

Rory just shrugged in response, and slipped on her jacket. "I'm going home to study, so I can at least partially justify going out tonight. I'll talk to you before I leave for the concert?"

Lorelai nodded, "I just have to stop by the inn to sign a couple papers then I'll be home. Don't study too hard; there are still weeks of finals to go. And, I like my daughter sane. Well, as sane as she tends to be."

"Ha ha," Rory replied sarcastically and pulled on her mitts and scarf. "And who's the one who suggested we have an adult-themed Christmas pageant this year? And, at the town meeting no less."

Lorelai just shrugged innocently, "At least we wouldn't have to spend a lot on costumes."

It was early the next morning when she pulled out of the driveway. Just as well Lorelai had stayed at Luke's. At 8 AM, it was not like she would have been up to see off her daughter. She had to compromise on the late sleep in sometimes as Luke operated a diner that opened early, but made sure it wasn't that often. Rory had left a short note saying goodbye and promising to come home for at least a couple days during finals if she had time, which she knew she likely wouldn't. Full course load meant finals spread right up until Christmas.

The drive back to Yale didn't take too long. It's wasn't as if there was snow to slow down driving conditions. As it was already December, she had cranked up her favourite Christmas CD to sing along to as she drove. As it was every year, it could be hard to get into the Christmas spirit with finals up to pretty much the last day. She tried to make at least a partial effort to be part of the holiday season. Last year she had attempted a little Christmas tree in their dorm room until Paris had make her take it down, claiming it to be a distraction or some such nonsense.

"…partridge in a pear tree." She was warbling as she pulled into the dormitory parking lot. She stopped off at her dorm room to drop of her stuff, noticing she was the only one there as Paris was up and about already, probably at the library pouring over the books. That was the one thing nice about a roommate like Paris; she was even more anal-retentive when it came to school work than Rory was.

She decided to head over to Logan's like she'd promised. It was around eleven, so it meant Finn would be asleep for at least another 3 hours, but maybe she could get in some quick time with Logan so he wouldn't feel neglected when she ignored him for studying. Logan never did poorly in his classes; it was just that her concept of hard work and dedication was foreign to him. He sometimes had a hard time understanding that her not seeing him wasn't neglect, it was a necessity so she could study and get decent grades. She wasn't the type who could just write a final off the top of her head. Wrapping herself in a scarf and touque, she decided the walk would do her good, and besides, there was a coffee stand on the way.

When Rory arrived, she knocked on the door loudly; she sometimes got a perverse pleasure out of waking Finn. One of her few joys in life. Even though today she had come specifically when he would be asleep, she couldn't resist. But she heard Logan coming to the door, so she refrained from pounding loudly like she sometimes chose to do since they didn't have a doorbell.

"Hey," she smiled in greeting as he pulled her into a slow kiss. That was one thing that was easier to do when his friend wasn't around. She let herself relax and enjoy it as he pulled her closer. When they pulled apart, she said teasingly, "One might almost think you missed me."

"After a couple days?" Logan looked at her disbelievingly. And the thing was, he probably hadn't. He just wasn't the pining type of person.

"My mistake," she said dryly as he stepped aside to let her in, not really hurt. Sometimes she wondered if she should care more, but accepted the fact that maybe growing up meant relationships were like this.

"Listen, there's someone I wanted you to meet," he said, as he unwound her scarf from around her neck and tossed it on the table. "An old friend of mine. He's enrolling at Yale next term and staying on our couch for a couple days."

Rory nodded, and avoided rolling her eyes. She had met a lot of Logan's old friends. Spoiled rich kids for the most part. Some were amusing, but more were haughty and too snooty for her tastes. "Not another James Crossley?" she asked, fervently hoping that it wasn't like the last one of his friends she'd met. "I don't think there's a single aspect of my life he didn't inadvertently insult."

"No," Logan told her chidingly, "And even if he were like that I couldn't tell you because he's sitting on the couch behind you in the living room."

"Oh," Rory could feel the blush on her cheeks beginning to form. She turned around, prepared to offer some apology, when the sight of Logan's guest stopped her in her tracks.

"Tristan?" was all she said.