Title: Luck Has Nothing To Do With It
Pick your Pairing/Character: Trory
Pick your Rating: PG-13
Ickle Words (Pick One):
- Schmoopy – (adj) – To be sweet and adorable and cute to the point where it creates an entirely new word to describe it.
pick two of the three:
Someone Completely Unaware of:
- Another person keeping them unaware of the consumption of their stuff, through continual replacement. (i.e., putting another chocolate back in the box, or refilling a beer bottle.)
- If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky? – Stanislaw J. Lec
Summary: Rory thinks she's doomed to bad luck on Valentine's Day. Tristan is out to prove her otherwise.
AN: Thanks to K, who had to suffer many versions and my complaining and whining. (sends virtual chocolates)
Tristan Dugrey was prepared. In his hands he held a dozen roses, a box of the finest Belgian chocolates, and he had reservations made weeks in advance at the most romantic restaurant in town. He stood in front of his girlfriend's door, adequately later than the time he said he'd pick her up, but with plenty of time to get to the restaurant.
What he hadn't accounted for, clearly, was the state he'd find his girlfriend in. Granted most times he arrived at her apartment she was still in the middle of getting ready. Hair would be half up, mascara yet to be applied, or shoes still in her bedroom closet. But he'd never seen her this… not exactly slovenly, but no where near ready for an evening out. Black sweatpants, bare feet, hair in a messy bun, and no make up whatsoever to speak of. Had he known better, he'd ask her if she were feeling well, but the scowl on her face told him to tread lightly with the questions. PJ Harvey blared from her stereo in the corner of the room.
"Happy Valentine's Day," he leaned in for a kiss, but caught her cheek as she turned away. He cleared his throat, not willing to give up this easy. If he'd done something to anger her, then she'd tell him; but no way was he going off with his tail between his legs when there was a romantic evening to be had with his normally non-psychotic girlfriend.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded.
He frowned. "I'm here for our date."
She huffed and turned away from him, ignoring the gifts that he still held for her. "I told you I wasn't going."
He went into her kitchen, grabbed a vase from above her refrigerator, and set to putting the flowers in water. "I assumed you were kidding."
He winced as he heard a loud thud come from the living room and a string of swear words spew out of her mouth. "You okay in there?" he asked as he deposited the flowers in their new home and slid the vase into the middle of her dining room table—which looked like a mail facility. Stacks of opened mail and otherwise useless fliers waited to be dealt with. She was holding her foot in her hand, hopping back and forth on the unharmed one, and rubbing the sore foot gingerly.
"Stupid coffee table," she glared at the offending inanimate object. "Stupid Valentine's Day," she grumbled, presumably at the world in general.
"I'm sorry," he moved closer, to hear her better. "Did you just say 'stupid Valentine's Day?'"
She fell back against the couch, still attending to her throbbing foot. "Yes, I did."
He sat down next to her, his overcoat gaping open to reveal the custom-made suit he'd changed into fresh after work. He took her foot carefully in his hands and examined it. She'd stubbed her toe, and it was turning an angry red. Bruised but not broken. Just like his current spirit. "Well, your day may have been bad up until now, but I promise, it's about to get a lot better."
She eyed him suspiciously. "I'd prefer to just get through the next five hours, thank you. I'm going to take a book to bed, and pray I come out with just a few paper cuts."
"What about our date?"
She sighed. "I already told you, I can't go out with you tonight. It's too dangerous."
"Dangerous?" he held back the desire to mock, but it was bordering impossible to squelch. He'd seen her be dramatic before, pushing the limits of silliness even, but if she kept this up much longer, they were going to lose their table. The Dugrey name did carry a lot of weight, but every restaurant in the city would be giving away tables five seconds after the reservation was called tonight. If she didn't give in soon, he'd have to slip a dress on over her sweats and toss her over his shoulder against her will, lest they end up at McDonalds in Times Square when she finally came to her senses.
"Just take the flowers and leave, please."
He rubbed his temples. "Okay. Did we have a fight I'm not aware of?"
She shook her head. "I'm not mad at you, Tristan," she sighed. "It's just that we can't go out tonight. Pick any other night, just don't make me leave this apartment with you tonight."
She'd always been good at blindsiding him, or keeping him on his toes as she liked to call it, but this was bordering on torture. "Because it's Valentine's Day?"
She breathed a sigh of relief. "Exactly. I'll call you tomorrow?" she stood up, looking down at him, as if she expected him to rise and walk with her to the front door.
He remained rooted to the couch. "If you don't feel like going out, we can stay in."
She let out a strangled groan, picked up the vase of roses, yellow ones that she loved more than all others, and the large box of candy he'd brought, and moved to stand next to the door.
"Taking your gifts out for a walk?"
"The longer you're here, the worse it's going to be."
He hung his head for a long moment, and then looked up at her again. "The worse what's going to be?"
"Think of it as me letting you off the hook. You don't have to do all the cheesy, stupid, schmoopy things that guys only do to make girls happy."
He considered what she was saying, and it wasn't that he didn't appreciate her sentiments. When he was younger, he looked at this particular day of the year as something he had to endure in order to stay on the good side of which ever girl he was dating at the time. Those earlier girls had dropped hints, laid out what they expected so clearly that it would have taken an imbecile to screw things up. Rory had done none of those things. All the plans he'd made, he'd done with her in mind, but of his own volition. He just wanted a perfect night with her.
"Is there some reason in particular that you chose tonight of all nights to become a feminist?"
She opened her mouth slightly. "I've always been a feminist!"
He rolled his eyes. "Yes, but I'm guessing that wearing black sweats while listening to PJ Harvey on Valentine's Day and refusing chocolate and flowers is a new past time."
She cocked her head. "You recognize PJ Harvey?"
"Is there a reason I shouldn't?"
She sat the flowers down on the sideboard in her front entry. No doubt the leaded crystal vase he'd put them in, a gift from her grandmother he was sure, was making her arms tired. "You really don't remember anything about high school at all, do you?"
He smirked. "I remember you wouldn't go out with me in high school."
"Well, then you're used to the rejection."
He stood up and walked over to her. He got as close as humanly possible without touching her and leaned his head down slightly. He was past being in her personal space—he was soaking it up. "You really don't want to spend Valentine's Day with me?"
She whimpered and clutched the box of chocolates to her chest. "I can't."
"You have other plans?" he asked, not sure he'd react well to an affirmative answer. He was pretty sure she'd have crystal shards to clean up if it were the case. They hadn't been dating very long, but she was the only person he was seeing, exclusively. They were adults, that much was true, but he thought that meant being over all the bullshit of talking about where this was going. He only wanted her, and up until this moment, he'd been sure that was a mutual feeling.
"I told you, I'm curling up with a book and a box of chocolate," she held up the object that apparently she'd decided she approved of now.
He raised an eyebrow. "So, if I were made of chocolate, I could stay?"
She got a dreamy, far-off look in her eye. He rolled his eyes and snapped his fingers. "Earth to Rory."
She shook her head. "You think I don't want to go out with you?"
"Well, you've done everything you can to get me out of here since the moment I showed up, so what would you have me think?"
She looked at him for a minute before taking his hand and leading him over to the couch again. She sat, and he did the same. "You have to promise not to laugh."
He crossed his finger over his chest, but his lips were working hard to maintain a straight line.
She let out a breath. "Okay. It's just that Valentine's Day, it's not a good day for me."
"I thought only sad, lonely girls hated Valentine's Day," he frowned.
She shot him a look of disgust. "No, it's not that I don't like it. It's that," she bit her lip, her cheeks blushing furiously. "It's unlucky."
"Unlucky?" he repeated, blinking.
"It started in high school," she shook her head. "I was dating Dean, and he was mad about my friendship with Jess, and my Dad chose that week to introduce his new girlfriend to me and Mom," she paused, watching his partially amused, partially disbelieving reaction. "The next year, I was with Jess, and we got into a fight because he had a black eye, and the year after that--," she began to speed up, like a snowball rolling down a hill.
"Let me guess, your boyfriend dumped you for another girl?"
"No! I had to drop a class, and I ended up crying on my married ex-boyfriend's shoulder!"
"Huh," he conceded, not expecting that combination. "Continue."
"Well, the next year, I made out with a guy in a coat room, only to have my mother, father, and Luke all walk in on me, and my Mom and Grandma got into a horrible fight and didn't speak for months," she bit her lip, looking up at him.
"You're really telling me you think a holiday is conspiring against you?"
She put her hands over her face for a minute, and then peeked out at him through parted fingers. "It gets worse and worse every year."
"Getting walked in on isn't that big a deal. It happened to us at that charity ball two months ago, and you didn't seem traumatized by it," he smirked, remembering with great fondness the coat check room they'd stolen away to, of course, not having realized her weakness for such interludes.
"That wasn't exactly the worst one."
"What ever it is, it can't be so bad that we can't go out on a date tonight."
"Last year," she began slowly, "was the worst."
He felt his mouth dry, a stupid reaction she'd caused in him by her use of dramatic storytelling. She had her own talents. "What happened last year? Did someone die?"
He was mocking her, but the way she was looking at him, he'd believe it if in her next breath she said someone had died.
"It was supposed to be perfect," she said, and the last word rang in his ears. It was the word that he'd had in his head all week, thinking in anticipation about this evening. "You know I was dating Logan," she paused, quickly meeting his eyes. He hadn't been a fan of hearing about her relationship with the other blonde, and she'd generously skimmed details of him out of her stories from the last couple of years. He knew they had been serious, more serious than Logan Huntzberger had ever been about anyone, if the rumor mill was to be believed. On one hand, Tristan couldn't blame the guy for realizing he had a good thing. On the other, he wanted to have him removed from the planet. He cleared his throat.
"Anyway, he had this whole night planned out. He took me to my favorite restaurant in the Village, we saw a show, he gave me these earrings that matched a tennis bracelet he'd given me the year before," she began to ramble and fidget, clearly uncomfortable talking about another guy in front of him.
"When does the disease and pestilence come in?" he asked impatiently.
She edged her nail under the box of chocolate, as if she were itching to open it. "Then he took me on a helicopter ride."
"Did it crash?" he swallowed.
"No. It landed safely," she stared at the box in her lap.
He gave her a look, urging her to arrive at a point. Preferably one that he wouldn't have to get violent at the image of once it was embedded in his mind.
"He flew me out to the country, near Stars Hollow, and he, um, kind of, proposed."
Tristan blinked. He hadn't been aware they'd been that serious. "Huh."
She opened the edge of the chocolate box, and then closed it again. She repeated the motion, over and over again. "Yeah."
He swallowed. "So…."
"So… I said no. And we broke up."
Tristan looked up at her, dumbfounded. "You… seriously?"
She shrugged. "It's not something I like to talk about."
He made a few sounds, as his mouth opened and closed, prepared to say several things, but none came out with any success. He ran his tongue over his lips and tried again. "Why'd you say no?"
"I wasn't ready to get married."
"But you loved him?"
"Tristan," she warned.
"I want to know."
She looked down at the box again, her point of safety. "Yes."
"But you didn't want to marry him."
She sighed. "I didn't want to marry anyone."
All his blood rushed to his feet. He wasn't sure why that statement affected him so—they'd only been dating a few months, and he'd never thought about marriage in a real way. This distracted him until his mind caught up to the reason she so desperately didn't want him to take her out tonight.
He couldn't help but chuckle. "You thought I was going to propose?"
She looked at him crossly, opened the box, and popped a chocolate truffle into her mouth. "It's not that funny."
He tried to calm his laughter, but he had to let out a whole new round of giggles before he put a hand to his chest and tried to focus on his breathing. She'd eaten two more chocolates before he was calm enough to speak.
"Sorry, sorry, it's just," he broke out with another round of chuckles, erupting from deep in his chest.
"You're such an ass," she complained through a candy-filled mouth.
"So, you want me to leave so I won't propose and we won't break up?"
"At the rate you're going, you won't have to propose," she glowered at him.
He took the box of candy from her and turned her so she was facing him on the couch. "Rory, it would take a lot more than bad luck to break us up."
She sighed. "I knew you wouldn't believe me."
"I believe that you think you're cursed or whatever," he rolled his eyes. "But did you ever stop to think it wasn't you that was unlucky?"
She frowned. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, maybe Valentine's Day wasn't trying to ruin your life so much as it was trying to tell you that you weren't with the right people."
She crossed her arms. "I thought you thought this was crazy."
"I think it's crazier that you won't come out with me because you haven't had the most stellar Valentine's Days in the past."
"I want to believe you," she bit her lip in earnest. She got up when the phone rang, interrupting their conversation. She gave him a look of apology and picked up her phone.
"Hey, Mom," she smiled at the familiar voice.
"Hey, Kid. I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"
"Not really," she hedged.
"Seriously? I thought you'd have a hot date with that new boy toy you've been babbling about," Lorelai teased.
"I told you," she complained into the phone.
"I know, I know, you're bad luck, whatever. Maybe Cupid finally got his head out of his little cherub ass and is giving you a reprieve."
"I don't know," she hedged. "Hey, shouldn't you be on a hot date of your own?"
"I will be. I had to run an errand first."
Lorelai sighed. "Luke's been so cute. He says he wanted to make up for lost time, so he's instituted Valentine's Week."
"Well, he knows how well Birthday Week goes over."
"Exactly. So, he sent me chocolates the first day," she paused, and Rory heard some scuffling and a few muffled, cross words. Apparently someone else had been going for whatever her mother was shopping for.
"Where are you?"
"I'm at the drug store," she explained. "See, each day he's given me a different gift. First it was candy, then flowers, then earrings," she sighed.
"Oh no," she slapped her free hand to her forehead.
"I've been through four boxes of chocolate, replacing the ones I've eaten one at a time. He comes over and keeps commenting on my self control," she sighed. "I love that man."
"Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black," Lorelai said in a sing-songy voice.
"I am not hiding my chocolate consumption; I'm doing it right in front of him, thank you very much."
"Let me ask you this: If a man who cannot count finds a four leaf clover, is he lucky?"
Rory looked over at Tristan, who was making himself at home on her couch while checking his watch with some level of anxiety. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you might not appreciate something good when you find it."
"Mom," she sighed, but couldn't help but wish it was true as she looked at the man that wanted to be her Valentine. "I will consider what you're saying."
"That's all I ask. Now I have to get back before Luke gets to the house. I have nothing left of the last box. If this was going to go on any longer, I was going to have to go directly to the manufacturer. Every place is out of this kind of chocolate, and I had to elbow someone to get the last box. She pulled my hair. People are animals."
"Well, that will teach people never to get between a Gilmore and her chocolate."
"Amen. Now go do dirty things."
"Back at 'ya," she said, disconnecting and turning to look at Tristan again.
He looked up at her, hopeful that whatever her mother wanted her to consider was in his favor. He'd only met her mother a handful of times, but he liked her. She was like Rory, but with a much wilder streak.
"Tell me something."
He tried to contain his smile. "Anything."
"Do you want to get married?"
He paled. "You mean now?"
She shivered. "No, God no, I just mean, ever."
He shrugged. "Someday. With the right person."
She smiled slowly, easily. "I just need to go get changed."
"You do that," he smiled back. "And Rory?"
"Plan on getting very lucky tonight."