Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls or the World Cup or any teams mentioned in this chapter. Or the Spice Girls.
A/N: So this is just a small one-shot that I couldn't stop thinking of after I watched the World Cup on Sunday. I was actually inspired for this by my best friend who made a similar bet with a guy at school! She lost the bet to…
Anyway, I guess all you need to know is that Tristan never left for military school, Rory and Dean never got back together, the kiss at Madeline's party still happened and it was their only kiss. Oh and for the purpose of this story lets all pretend that the recent World Cup took place during Rory's senior year at Chilton!
Do Your Worst
She officially hated Mondays.
Not only did it mean the weekend was over and that she had five days of Hell to go through –namely Chilton- but this Monday was even worse.
On top of sleeping in past her alarm clock and only waking up when her mother started to blare a Spice Girls CD in her bedroom, she hadn't enough time to stop for coffee before heading to school. So walking into Chilton she was overly tired and had no caffeine pick-me-up in her system…plus she could swear she'd ripped a huge hole in her tights while hurriedly getting dressed that morning.
Of course Rory was sure that it was all just another cruel joke the universe was playing on her. Aftershocks from the huge practical joke that was her Sunday afternoon.
Or better yet, the day of the World Cup final.
Now normally, soccer doesn't do anything for Rory. She'd never had the urge to kick a ball around a field for any length of time and so it came naturally that watching this on TV would also be boring.
It was just her luck though that the Spawn of Satan himself was a major soccer fan, and would impart on her every morning his thoughts on each game.
Rory had grown over the past seven months of her senior year to tolerate Tristan. If she was honest with herself than she would admit that his locker visits were something she looked forward to and that their teasing banter was one of the highlights of her day at Chilton…
However, since she hasn't been being so incredibly honest with herself, Tristan's recount of the soccer games was cracking her already weak defences against him. She was letting him get to her, letting him goad her, bait her.
And then she'd finally snapped.
She still wasn't sure why she'd done it in the first place. Placing a bet with Tristan Dugrey of all people, on the outcome of a soccer game she'd had no previous interest on could be nothing but a horrible idea.
But she'd done it anyway…because his smirk had never been so wide before, because his eyes had never sparkled so brilliantly before, because she'd never before felt her heart pound that hard.
His team was Italy; she'd learned the second World Cup had started. He'd even stuck a large Italy flag on his locker, proudly displaying for all to see.
She hadn't even known who was competing against them, but she'd already placed all her faith in the team. Tristan was nice enough to inform her that meant she was cheering for France.
She'd told Lorelai all about the bet, fuming the entire time as she cursed his name inwardly. Her mother had loved the idea and made them go out instantly and stock up on supplies. The only way to survive an afternoon of soccer was with loads of sugar and coffee.
She'd also bought Rory an armload of France memorabilia. Flags, shirts, mugs, postcards, anything she could find. Rory had laughed when Lorelai had eventually brought out the brand new French – English dictionary she'd bought, so they could learn the language of their new favourite team.
And before she knew it, Rory was actually getting into the game. Her eyes were locked on the ball, watching as it got kicked back and forth, between Italy and France. She was leaning back on the couch, stuffing her mouth with handfuls of popcorn and other treats, but her body was racing with adrenaline.
She couldn't even lie to herself; she was actually enjoying watching soccer on TV. And she was more than proud; it had only taken her ten minutes to find out which colour jerseys she was supposed to be cheering for. Apparently that qualified her as a natural in her mothers' eyes.
Her mind had kept going over her bet with Tristan. She couldn't help wondering where he was watching the game, at his house, with friends, at a restaurant. She wondered if he was as on edge as she was, but she doubted it, he'd seemed pretty sure that Italy would win.
This had her up on her feet and doing a victory dance with her mom when France scored the first point.
It also sent a scarily, natural urge through her system to call Tristan. She could remember how much her fingers had itched to pick up the phone, to tease him, to talk to him.
Of course that thought had her narrowing her eyes and reaching for a can of soda off the table in front of her, anything to keep her fingers occupied. Because calling Tristan was a bad idea…which she knew she'd had to try to hard to convince herself of.
But soon enough Rory had been eyeing the phone suspiciously when Italy tied the game with another point, she could just see Tristan calling her up, gloating and reminding her yet again of the stakes riding on this game.
But the call never came.
In fact, even after the game was over the call never came.
Rory had never before felt as anxious as when she'd been watching the penalty kicks. The game was still tied, which had her nerves quieting ever so much. She'd forgotten her mom had even been watching the game with her as she'd been sitting on the edge of the couch, her hand halfway between her mouth and her lap, a soda clutched in her grip.
And then it was over and Rory was left with a slow restlessness that ebbed throughout her body. Italy had won, 5-3, a clear victory, and yet she couldn't find herself to be that disappointed. In fact, a blush was slowly covering her cheeks, something that didn't go unnoticed by Lorelai who just gave her daughter a knowing smile before returning her attention to the TV.
But another form of disappointment had quickly been born as she'd waited all night and he hadn't called her, hadn't shown up at her door. Nothing at all came from him and Rory was shocked from the slight hurt that had attacked her heart because of that.
Tristan had rapidly burrowed himself into her mind and her heart, all through a twisted bet placed on the World Cup final. But Tristan not doing anything to rub it in that he'd won their bet was making her rethink some things.
She had to smile as she remembered what she'd asked of him if France had won. Having him find the nearest cliff to jump off was probably not the best demand, although she had meant it as a joke.
But then she'd asked him what he'd wanted, told him to do his worst in trying to find something. And he had…
But as she'd laid in her bed later that night she couldn't help but think, did he not want what he'd betted her for?
Because even though the thought of kissing Tristan Dugrey terrified her, it also sent a thrill running along every nerve in her body.
All those hard to conceive feelings and thoughts she'd been having ever since the beginning of the game had made it that much harder for Rory to walk into Chilton on Monday morning.
Although things had started to look better when she'd gotten there just in time to hear that homeroom had been cancelled, giving her a twenty minute window. Rory breathed a sigh of relief and trudged further into the school, holding her breath as she approached her locker, half of her wanting him to be leaning up against it, smirk in place.
But he wasn't there.
The disappointment that started to once again flood her system irked Rory. Where the hell was he? Did he not remember their bet?
Rory slammed her locker door shut, just in time to run into someone who was passing her by in the hall. She was about to apologize when she looked up into a smirking face and the words died on her lips.
Only this smirk wasn't the one she'd been thinking of for the past 24 hours. And it definitely didn't belong to the guy she'd actually wanted to run into.
"Hey there Gilmore," he greeted her, snaking an arm around her shoulders.
Rory immediately shrugged out of his grasp and sent him a glare. "Go away, Bowman."
He smirked, "Oh come on, girl," he pleaded, "I'd go to the end of world for you."
Rory rolled her eyes, holding back the urge to snort at his completely unoriginal pick up line. After bantering back and forth with Tristan for a almost three years now she'd come to realize that he was one of the only people in this school who actually managed to keep her on her toes.
"But would you stay there?" she shot back in true Lorelai fashion. Rory momentarily paused to watch the expression on his face. Embarrassment, anger, lust and confusion, not exactly a combination you see everyday. "Trust me," she started and smiled sweetly, "I didn't really expect you to get that."
She tried to hold back a laugh as she turned back around, only to once again collide straight into someone. Only this time she instantly knew who it was. The hands that griped her arms to keep her in place were burning through her uniform and sending delicious tingles through her body. She was exactly eye level with his neck and the familiar puka shell necklace that hung around his collar bone, exposed from his lose tie and open shirt, only backed up her presumption.
She wasn't sure what to say as she tilted her head back, raising her eyes to meet his. She shook herself, smiling shyly before backing out of his embrace, frowning at the cold feeling that replaced the warmth he'd been giving off.
"Hey Mary," he said, his voice its normal volume and it seemed to break through to her and she once again smiled up at him.
"Hi," she said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, juggling her books in her arms so they wouldn't fall.
Tristan grinned down at her and was pleased to see the blush colouring her cheeks. He buried his hands in his pockets, leaning backwards so he could meet her eyes. "Where you off to?"
She averted her eyes. "The library," she told him, not sure what he was doing exactly. She would have been much more comfortable if he would come right out with the fact that Italy had won and therefore he'd won their bet. Actually, she knew that if he didn't bring it up soon she would, because the anticipation was killing her.
"I'll walk you," he offered and leaned down, snatching her books out of her grasp and started to lead her to the library.
"You actually know where the library is?" she asked, falling back on their natural banter, but still her mind was going crazy trying to think of a reason why he wasn't demanding his 'prize'.
He clicked his tongue. "Contrary to popular belief I can read…though I much prefer picture books."
Rory laughed, and then melted as he held open the library door for her. She walked in, a chill shooting down her spine, though she couldn't be sure if it was from the air conditioning in the library or the hand he'd just place on the small of her back.
Rory could never remember ever feeling so nervous around him before, or around anyone for that matter. And it definitely wasn't helping that he looked completely casual, like there was nothing going on between them. Which of course there wasn't…except the bet…and the kiss she couldn't stop thinking about. But other than that there was absolutely nothing…
Rory blinked, confused by her own tirade of thoughts and took her books away from Tristan, giving herself something to do. She had to put the books back on the shelf where they came from; she'd only borrowed them from the librarian.
"I'm going to go," she suddenly told him and frowned at his raised eyebrow and wide smirk. "I'm going to go and be…over there."
Totally smooth, Gilmore, she reprimanded herself as she hurriedly walked away from Tristan, seeking refuge in the large library stacks. She easily found the spot she'd gotten the books from and was just about to stuff them back onto the shelf when she felt warm breath against her neck, sending shivers coursing down her spine.
"Mary," he breathed up against her ear and before she knew it her knuckles were turning white from gripping the books so hard. "You're hiding from me, aren't you?"
Rory minutely shook her head, cursing him for his obvious boundary issues. Her body was entirely tensed, her back ram rod straight and her teeth clenched together as she waited for his next move.
Of course her treacherous mind wasn't helping matters as it kept reminding her that if she only backed up an inch or more they'd be touching.
Tristan laughed, deep but soft, making the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. "I never knew you to be a liar," he mused.
Rory sighed and clenched her fists together, forcing herself to turn around, caged in between Tristan and the bookshelf.
"Why haven't you brought up the game?" she asked him, knowing he would have waited until she officially snapped until he asked her about it.
He smiled innocently. "What game?"
"You know what game! The World Cup? Ring any bells?" she asked with eyes wide and crushing the urge she had to slap him.
"Oh! That game," he exclaimed, smirking devilishly. "You watched it?"
She looked up into his eyes and then screamed softly, pushing him away from her. She could practically feel the steam pouring out of her ears. She was halfway down the aisle when she abruptly turned around, finger pointed at him.
"Was this all some joke?" she asked, narrowing her eyes and trying to find out how his brain must work. "You make me waste a Sunday afternoon watching soccer! You make a bet with me on said game! What, Tristan, is your cable out or something? Needed some cheap entertainment?" She was struggling to keep her voice quiet; they were still in the library after all.
"Whoa!" he held up his hands, smirk gone and a frown etching onto his face. "It wasn't a joke, okay, I was just playing around. Wanted to see if I could get you to bring it up first," he explained, running a hand through his hair. "I swear, Rory."
She felt all her rapidly found anger dissipating, until she was standing in front of him with only her previous nerves.
She blinked. "You didn't call me Mary." It was the only thing her brain could formally grasp at this point.
"One time slip up," he promised and she found herself smiling in spite of her muddled thoughts and feelings. "So, since you mentioned the game…"
Rory blushed. "Italy won," she told him, though she knew that he was already aware of that.
Tristan nodded. "Guess I don't have to jump off the nearest cliff, then," he said and she laughed softly.
They'd been slowly shuffling closer together, unconsciously bringing themselves within inches of each other. Tristan brought his hands up and removed her books from her grasp, placing them on an open shelf.
Rory couldn't bring herself to look up into his eyes, not wanting to see what he was thinking or feeling at this moment. She was finding it harder than ever to ignore the way his close proximity was affecting her. She was finding it impossible, actually, to not pay any attention to the butterflies in her stomach, the blood rushing in her ear, the anticipation racing through her.
"Hey," he said, bringing his hand up to her neck, caressing the elegant curve, waiting till she met his gaze. "Mary, you really don't have to do this if you don't want to," he told her, biting the inside of his cheek and forcing the words out. It was the last thing he wanted, he'd been waiting for this exact moment since the night of Madeline's party…but he wouldn't force her.
Rory smiled shyly as she stepped closer to him, raising her hands to rest on his chest. "I think I do want this." An expression of awed joy settled on his features, lighting up his entire face right before she captured his lips in a sweet kiss.
He had longed for the feel of her lips against his own again and he returned the kiss with restless abandon and long repressed passion.
He brought one of his hands to the back of her head to deepen the kiss and traced his tongue lightly over her bottom lip, silently begging for entrance, which she happily granted. His other hand snaked around her waist to hold her close to him and he groaned as he delved into the sweet recesses of her mouth. After being denied for what seemed an eternity, he revelled in the feel of her soft curves pressed up against him, as he kissed her hungrily.
He wanted to go on forever, but he could feel their need for oxygen and broke away with a last nibble of her lips. Tristan rested his forehead on hers and gazed tenderly into her sparkling blue depths that were filled with affection and longing, while they both breathed heavily, taking in large gulps of air, their chests heaving.
Rory felt her cheeks burn through her blush and she smiled shyly up at him, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth.
"So…" she whispered, not sure what to say.
Tristan brought his hand up to her shoulder, toying with her hair, loving its silky feel. "What are you thinking?" he asked, softly.
Rory grinned. "That I'm suddenly a very big fan of the World Cup," she exclaimed and laughed as he hugged her, spinning her around a little.
Maybe Mondays weren't so bad after all…
- - -
Do your worst!