Disclaimer: Gilmore Girls, its contents, characters (with the exception of Amy, Jackie and Katherine) and (most) situations (more importantly the history of the main characters) are the property of WB, Amy and Daniel Palladino, its writers, directors and producers. The fanfic situations used were borrowed from within the series and were not meant to be spoilers or be meant as gospel. Hope you enjoy the story!
Things he hated first thing in the morning: hangovers, doing the walk of shame, gray skies…
Marilyn Manson interrupting his comatose state.
He groaned and put the pillow over his ear. However, the goth sound of 'Tainted Love' reverberated in the still room.
He cursed the wretched song. He thought it would be funny to associate the song with his life when shit hit the fan. Whatever was rose-colored and perfect was actually a mirage.
At nine in the morning, he knew that his day was starting on a sour note.
He lifted his head from the soft, goose-down pillow. Scanning the dimly lit room, he realized his state of undress, quickly followed by the presence of a similarly unclad female next to him. He lifted the sheets. No underwear. Not that it meant anything significant. His idea of pajamas was his birthday suit. The fact that there was a girl in his bed, perhaps random, scared him more.
He did not remember her.
He stared in bewilderment at her dark locks that fell unceremoniously from her shoulder to her back. She was oblivious to his state of dread.
The room smelled of fresh-cut roses and vanilla. Did he have the room set up? Why doesn't he remember a thing? God, why did he feel like he had to impress a stranger? Did they…?
His heart pounding, he scanned the room quickly for a sign of responsibility: a condom, even if it was just a torn wrapper. At least he would know that despite his state of stupidity, he would've protected himself from potential trouble.
However, the jarring tones of the mobile just made him abandon the search momentarily. Picking up his trousers off the floor, he walked to the bathroom and answered the phone.
"What have you done?" the male voice at the end of the line was tainted with a glint of anger and confusion.
He distanced the cell phone from his ear before his eardrums burst. "What do you mean?"
"I mean the stunt you pulled last night. God, I thought when you said you needed time away, I was thinking about you getting holed up in a cabin in Montana. Not this! This will be a PR nightmare that would be hard to spin."
"Adrian, Adrian, calm down," he grumbled, rubbing his head with his thumb and forefinger. "Whatever it is, we can fix it."
"This isn't college, you know," Adrian pointed out. "This isn't a 'my-bad' moment that that the bigwigs would easily forget."
"Have I ever not been able to deliver the goods?" Tristin was pretending like he knew what he was talking about. The fact that he had done something so wrong that it might jeopardize his career was still unfathomable.
"I hope you're right for your sake," Adrian grumbled back. "You've just handed them the nail to seal your coffin!" He took a deep breath before continuing on. "Have you seen it yet?"
"No," he replied cautiously. He still didn't know what his lawyer-slash-friend was referring to at this point.
"Headline News, now," he ordered.
He located the remote that was neatly propped up against a remote holder close to the porcelain bathtub. Turning on the TV, he watched in amazement at an event he never thought would ever happen to him.
Kelly Wallace was running down the thirty-minute rotation of news when the Business and Entertainment segment was being prepped. He saw a glimpse of himself right before the advertisements came on.
Suddenly, his heart did a flip. He knew things couldn't be good if the news had made the Time-Warner Corporation rounds. The fact that Adrian Faulkner asked him an account of his whereabouts in a time zone three hours behind the Philadelphia corporate office made things a little harder to digest after a night of heavy drinking.
"In Business News, the most eligible bachelor, Tristin DuGrey, had finally taken himself out of the dating pool. As reported by the Smoking Gun, he was seen taking off for the Penthouse suites at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas after he was seen leaving the Graceland Wedding Chapel in a limousine with a brunette that is presumed to be is his bride. Tristin DuGrey is the new CEO of Velocity Enterprises, the Fortune 500 company depended upon when it comes to the latest and greatest in aeronautical flight…."
Tristin's heart pounded fast and hard against his ribcage.
No, it just couldn't be.
Switching his cell phone from his left hand to his right, he gazed at the cheap gold band that circled his left ring finger.
He was fucked.
"Tristin, are you still there?" Adrian asked.
A beat passed before he responded. "Yeah."
"Should I…" Adrian's voice trailed.
"Yeah. Make sure it's ready by tomorrow," he decided. "And Adrian? I'm forwarding all my calls to you. Tell the board nothing."
Just like that, he hung up.
He tossed the mobile on the marble countertop and watched it careen off the sink's basin. Sighing, he slumped up against the cold stone and tried to figure out a way out of his current bind.
From the look of things, he was hosed.
She could barely move.
Not that today was any different than any other morning in her entire life. Only this time, she felt like the Hulk was sitting on her chest and pounding on her head at the same time.
The shrill trilling of her cell phone did not help either.
It wasn't everyday that she got an assignment out of the east coast. The three-day stay in Las Vegas was more than a welcoming thought. She needed the change of scenery, not to mention weather and people. So when she found out that her best friend, Lane Kim, and her new band, Wicked Distortion, were invited to the Independent Rockers Convention she had to justify to her boss that there had to be a story to be had in Vegas.
"As long as it's fresh and smart. We don't have the funds to send you to fancy trips," Jackie reminded her.
"I don't wanna!" she yelled as she pressed the pillow against her mouth in frustration, the mobile ringing for the millionth time.
All she wanted was sleep… And a bottle of aspirin. Come to think of it, she also needed water; a ton of it.
The ring persisted.
Rory pretended not to hear the annoying sound, but she knew Jacqueline Goodman, her boss and one of her few friends outside of Yale, would persist.
"Agh!" she cried out in frustration.
Propping herself up with her elbows, she felt the room swirl. Trying to swallow the taste of bile, she closed her eyes, counted to ten, and inhaled deeply. The nausea subsided until she realized her state of undress.
"God, I can't be that drunk," Rory mumbled loudly to herself.
She knitted her eyebrows, trying to think of what happened the night before. All she remembered was a palm reading, some really heavy drinking, and….
Again, the ring jarred the quietness of the room.
Her heart skipped a beat as she saw her discarded outfit scattered haphazardly on the floor. She knew she rarely did that. The fact that her lacy underwear was strewn between the couch and the bed made her feel uncomfortable. The thought of her pulling a Risky Business move of shaking her money maker in nothing but her underwear made her cringe.
"No more tequila," Rory grumbled. Grabbing the annoying device, Rory croaked into the mouthpiece, "Hello?"
"Tell me you have the scoop. Please!" her editor-in-chief pleaded.
"What are you talking about, Jackie?" she mumbled. She stared at the bedside table. The clock illuminated nine-oh-three. "It's just a little past nine."
"Nine?" Jackie screeched. "Honey, it is noon, east coast time. News happens fast when you're on your back."
"I'm not on my back," she replied. "I happen to be on my stomach."
She could feel Jackie's eyes rolling at her.
"I have no time for games, Rory," Jackie scolded. "I was so hoping you'd have the exclusive. It would catapult the sale of our magazine!" Jackie replied, her voice getting pitchy as she hyperventilated. Then, Rory heard her friend's head thump against the hard paneling of her desk when she finally inhaled.
"I may have a scoop if you actually tell me what you're talking about," she replied, pulling the bed sheets against her as she walked toward the window.
"Are you close to a TV?" Jackie asked.
"Turn it on to Headline News," she ordered. "I know that the Graceland Chapel right now is teeming with wannabe journalists trying to scoop out the latest unknown to claim the most eligible bachelor…."
Jackie's voice disappeared into the background as she fumbled with the buttons of the remote control. The images that danced in front of her somehow woke her up from her reverie.
It wasn't enough that Kelly Wallace's perky east coast eleven o'clock voice was irritating her. The fact that the golden boy in front of her reminded her of days she would prefer to forget and a moment she now regretted forgetting.
"The guy…." Jackie mumbled on.
"Is Tristin DuGrey," she finished the sentence for her.
"Yeah," Jackie replied. "I hear he's a big shot who got married last night, and from the description, it's not his latest toy, Katherine Lloyd. I need you to find out who he married."
Her heart did a somersault as she recognized the outfit on the screen. She looked at the clothes that covered the floor. She gasped as she saw the figure disappear into a limousine.
Not trusting herself, she raised a shaky left hand to her face. A simple gold band adorned her ring finger.
"Rory, are you still there?"
Taking a big gulp, her quivering voice responded, "I know who married Tristin DuGrey."
Without saying goodbye, she dropped the device as she realized what just happened. Like a zombie, she slowly walked to the side of the bed, hoping it would stop her from shaking.
What a way to wake up in the morning. The hangover, she could take. The nausea in the pit of her stomach, she could handle.
Realizing that she married her nemesis of years best forgotten: unforgivable.
Her eyes scanned the room once more. Picking up on clues that would have told her she didn't spend the night alone in this room, she started to wonder. Where was he? Did he realize what he had done and fled the room? She should've realized that the suite was expensive and exclusive; something definitely unlike the Hotel Ramada she occupied the last couple of days with Lane.
The sworn never-to-be married Rory Gilmore was now the newly anointed Missus DuGrey.