Disclaimer: I do not own Gilmore Girls. It belongs to Amy Sherman-Palladino, etc, etc. I just enjoy playing in her world and I make no profit from this.

A/N: First Gilmore Girls fanfic. I have only seen the first three seasons, so that's what I'm working with. This story will cover Rory and Paris' relationship as they attend Yale together. This first chapter is just a recap of Paris' thoughts and feelings during the first three seasons. Next chapter will get into the actual story. Hope you guys enjoy. Feedback is much appreciated. And yes, this is going to be a girl/girl pairing, so if you don't like that shit, don't read it. Any flames will be ignored and deleted, so don't waste your time. Thank you.

Gilmore Girls

Eternal Flame

Chapter One

My name is Paris Geller and I'm in love with my best friend, Rory Gilmore.

I know what your thinking, right, what a great way to introduce myself. It's true though, and that little statement has really come to define my life. Rory Gilmore means everything to me. I don't know where I would be right now if I hadn't met her.

I used to think that I could handle anything and that I didn't need anybody to help me achieve my lofty goals. I come from a long line of prosperous Gellers, so the pressure was on me to succeed way before I was really ready for it. My mother views me as more of an annoyance than anything – nothing I do pleases her. My father isn't quite as bad as my mother, but he shows more attention to his work than me. I'm not very high on his list of priorities, and I've come to accept that. Let me assure you, none of this really bothers me. I accepted all of this year's ago, way before I met Rory Gilmore.

I more than stood my ground. I was intelligent, determined, and completely dedicated to my future. I knew that no matter what I did, I would never please my mother, so I didn't let her get to me. Okay, so maybe I did a bit, but it was not for a lack of trying. She was my mother after all. Is it really so bad to want her approval? Even just a tiny nod of respect or admiration or pride? I don't think so. Of course, I would never let anyone know this.

Growing up like I did, I learnt to protect myself at an early age. I built a wall around my heart, in a vain attempt to keep my mother out. Somebody should have informed me that this would be a futile effort, but nobody did. It was only after the wall was fully built and fortified that I found out it was useless. My mother was already inside my heart. I would never be able to keep her out. Unfortunately, now that the wall was built, I couldn't tear it down. I was too afraid.

After all, it was pretty clear that I was worth very little. My own mother couldn't even love me. Why would anyone else? No, I thought it was best if I kept the wall up, and kept everyone out. That way they couldn't hurt me. I would be safe. Protected.


Okay, maybe not completely alone. I still had my nanny. She was more a mother to me than my own. If only I could make myself believe it was out of love, and not monetary gain. Francesca was great, and I loved her, but deep down I knew the only reason she paid such close attention to me was because it was her job.

So I threw myself in academia, dedicated to become someone, and futilely hoping my mother would look at me one day and smile. Life went by and I grew a little taller, I filled out, but I never let anyone inside my heart. It was still locked away.

Don't think that means I didn't have friends. I had Madeline and Louise, my two compatriots. Though I must admit, they were more like accomplices than friends. Then there was Tristan DuGrey, my childhood crush. I thought I was in love with him for the longest time. I emphasised with him. He was the only person to break through my wall. At least before I met Rory.

I've since spent a lot of time trying to figure out why Tristan held such a hold on me. I was misguided when I thought that he was my first romantic love. He was more like a brother. As I said before, I emphasised with him. Perhaps I recognised myself in him. My feelings probably stemmed from that place in myself, and I wanted to comfort him, like I secretly wanted someone to comfort me. He was cute too – for a boy.

But then Rory strolled into my life and turned everything upside down.

At first, I just thought of her as a nuisance - like a fly that was buzzing around my head, annoying me, but not posing any kind of real threat. It quickly became clear that she was going to be more of an annoyance though. She was going to be my rival.

I thought I had won when she was late for Mr. Medina's examination, but she proved me wrong. I found myself admiring her stubbornness. She refused to give up and eventually became my academia equal. At first I was upset to learn that she planned on going to Harvard as well, but we both agreed it was a big school and we would likely never even see each other. Or maybe we both just hoped that.

Another point of contention between us was Tristan. It was clear to everyone in the school except Rory that he was crazy about her. He practically followed her around the school and constantly teased her in that way that boys do towards girls they like. I finally demanded to know if they were dating and was relieved when she gave me an emphatic no. At least that was one thing I didn't have to worry about. Rory Gilmore was certainly not going to encroach on that aspect of my life. I was feeling so happy about that new revelation that I was even pleasant towards her for a moment. I complemented her on the party her grandmother had organised for her and as she smiled and thanked me, I felt that first spark inside me ignite. Of course I had no idea what it was. I dismissed it without a second thought.

Things between us didn't improve though. I was still, for some ungodly reason, insanely jealous towards her because of Tristan. He continued to pursue her despite her obvious repulsive feelings towards him. And I lashed out at her because of it. I had to think of her as the bad guy. It couldn't be Tristan. He liked her. She was just being unfair and cruel. She didn't deserve his attention. When the formal rolled around and I couldn't get a date, my "loving" mother decided to pull some strings with my cousin Jacob and he ended up taking me. It's not one of my finest moments. I only made matters worse when I found out that Jacob had told Rory he was my cousin. I confronted her about it and demanded to know how many people she had told. Shame on me for not realising that Rory was actually a great girl. I ended up outing myself as I ranted at her. If I had been paying any kind of attention to Rory, and not just hating her on principle, I would have realised that she would never do anything like that. It was a lesson I was not going to forget.

Of course, ice bitch that I am, it didn't stop me from outing Rory's mother and Mr. Medina when I witnessed the two of them locked in a firm and passionate embrace. It was a hard time for me, having to deal with my parents pending divorce, and the fact that the entire school was revelling in my misery. I just wanted them to talk about someone else for once. I didn't think twice about shifting the attention to Rory. Once again, Rory surprised me with her kindness. She really chewed me out, but when I admitted my reasons, she offered me her ear, should I ever need it. Can you believe it?

Rory Gilmore was like an angel. I found myself wondering how I could ever have hated her.

Our tenuous friendship was formed when Rory and her mother invited Madeline, Louise and myself to a Bangles concert. It was and is to this day the best night of my life. Madeline and Louise bailed not even halfway through the concert, which left Rory and me alone. I was completely engrossed in the music and atmosphere and, unknowingly, the presence of Rory by my side. My heart was thumping the entire time with excitement and I didn't realise until later that it was because I was with Rory. We stood side-by-side and listened to the band play, sharing a smile every now and then. Eternal Flame became my favourite song.

Tristan seemed to have gotten over his thing for Rory (at least momentarily) because he was now hanging all over a girl named Summer. Rory and I found ourselves agreeing when we witnessed how she treated him during Madeline's party. Of course, Rory was broken up over her break-up with her lanky caveman boyfriend, so she wasn't entirely vocal about it, but I could tell from the way she looked at the public scene that she wasn't impressed with the other girl. I found myself wanting to comfort Rory somehow, but I wasn't very good at things like that, so I didn't. I still consider it a missed opportunity. If only I had realised my feelings earlier, maybe I would have tried to take advantage of the situation.

As it happens, I would realise my true feelings for Rory shortly thereafter. It was during my date with Tristan, which Rory actually helped me prepare for. Yeah, take a moment to consider the irony there. The date was okay, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I always thought that my heart would be beating the entire time, that I would be desperate to touch him, eager for the typical good night kiss at the end of the date. Instead, I found myself thinking about Rory. Specifically, about how going to the Bangles concert with her was far more exhilarating than sitting across the romantically lit dinner table with Tristan. The kiss goodnight was plain, flat, dull… utterly boring. I didn't feel a thing. It was like kissing a relative. I crawled into bed that night thinking about Rory. I remembered the concert and how my heart was pounding then. I remembered the feeling of Rory standing so close beside me. I remembered the way she smiled at me as we enjoyed the show. I remembered that I had never had quite so much fun as I had then.

There was only one logical explanation.

I had a crush on Rory Gilmore.

I tried not to think about the ramifications of this little revelation as I tried to sleep, but that proved impossible in my dream state. I dreamt about Rory and I, kissing, touching, and writhing beneath my sheets. It was my first sexual dream. I never even had one about Tristan. I woke up covered in sweat, my pj's sticking to my back. I took a cold shower to try and wash away my shame. My tears fell unnoticeably in the cascade of water.

At school, Rory asked me how the date went. I was prepared for this. I gushed enthusiastically to her about how perfect it was. I had to keep up appearances. No one could know that I was having sexual thoughts about another girl, let alone Rory, the girl in question. But then Tristan had to go and ruin everything by telling the world that I wasn't his type and that the date was as lacklustre for him as it was for me. It also hurt more than I liked to admit that Rory was behind the entire set up. It shouldn't have been surprising. I had wondered what had prompted Tristan into asking me out on a date in the first place. Hurt that Rory obviously didn't share my feelings and humiliated in front of the entire room, I lashed out at her. I even screamed 'I hate you' at her, which was as far from the truth as you can get.

In my heart I knew that I couldn't let her get any closer to me. I had to keep her at a distance. She would never return my feelings. She was as straight as they come, after all. So I made the painful decision that I would push her away. I would go back to treating her like my own worst enemy.

When I found out that Tristan was taking Rory to see PJ Harvey, I didn't even bother trying to hide the pain I felt. It didn't matter either way. Everyone would assume I was upset over Tristan taking Rory, and not Rory accepting. Sticking to my new rule regarding the object of my unnatural affections, I was as cruel as possible to Rory. I made sure Medline and Louise knew that Rory was now to be treated like a boyfriend stealer. When Rory tried to explain that she wasn't going to PJ Harvey with Tristan, I knew she was telling the truth, but I couldn't allow myself to be swayed from my new life decree. Rory had to stay away from me, before I did something I would regret.

I managed to keep this up when we returned to Chilton after the summer break. By this time I had come to accept the reality. I was a lesbian. I had a huge unrequited crush on Rory Gilmore. She had wormed her way through my walls before I was even aware of it.

It was hard and painful to keep her at a distance, but I managed to do it. It was better that way. At least, it was better that way until I saw Rory sitting at the Puffs table. I had been trying to get into the secret Chilton sorority for such a long time, and now here was Rory, sitting at the table and chatting with Francie like they were best friends. I could only imagine what Rory was saying about me!

So I decided it was time to do some begging. I had to keep Rory from telling them how much of a bitch she thought I was. It actually worked out better than I expected, at least at first. Rory once again surprised me with her benevolence when she talked me up to the Puffs. I soon found myself invited to the table as well. I felt my heart swell with love for Rory, but I quickly squashed it. I couldn't allow myself to feel that way.

In the end, it all proved to be a big waste of time. Our Puffs initiation was a disaster. The only highlight of the night was getting to sneak into Rory's home. She looked so cute in her pj's. I just wanted to wrap her in my arms and give her a big kiss. Can you already see my resolve weakening? Of course, I was also immensely embarrassed to be seen with zit cream all over my face, but I didn't allow myself to dwell on that fact. It didn't matter anyway. It's not like Rory ever put any thought into what I looked like. Between the two of us, she wasn't the raging lesbo.

After the Puffs situation, I found myself warming to Rory again. I didn't hang out with her by any stretch of the meaning, but I didn't go out of my way to be cruel to her anymore. I just couldn't keep it up anymore. I almost had a heart attack when Tristan was unable to play Romeo, and I had to step in to take his place. I was just glad I didn't have long to dwell on the stage "kiss" with Rory. Let's just say my dreams that night took on a whole new Romeo and Juliet like angle.

Rory had once again weaselled her way into my life. I spent the night at her mother's Inn during some big nineteenth century themed dinner party. I was desperate to discover Rory's PSAT score. Let's face it; I was unable to stay away. It was simply magnetic. I, Paris Geller, was not meant to stay away from Rory Gilmore.

I ended up teaming up with Rory for a debate about assisted suicide. We won, of course, but that's not the important part. The important part is that she didn't want to celebrate with me afterwards. Not that I could really blame her. I doubt I would have wanted to spend time with me either.

It was becoming clear to me that Rory didn't like me very much.

This was further emphasised when I got a bad grade in Chemistry. I asked Rory to help me study, but she turned me down. She claimed to be too busy to help me, but when I showed up at her house later I found that her big night involved doing laundry. That's right. Laundry was more important to her than me. It was a huge slap in the face for me. I was visibly upset, I just couldn't hide it, and Rory seemed to take pity on me. She invited me to stay and offered to help me after all. Pathetic loser that I am, I accepted. In the end, it worked out pretty well for me. Her boyfriend Dean showed up and went nuts when he found out that Rory had been spending time with another guy. Or maybe it was just this particular guy. It was painfully obvious that Jess had a thing for Rory. Dean was jealous. He was screaming at her and I just couldn't take it. Didn't he know how lucky he was? So I spoke up, lied for Rory, and said that I had asked her to invite Jess over for me because I had a crush on him. Biggest lie in the universe, but it worked. After Dean left, Rory was markedly friendlier towards me. She asked me if I wanted to stay the night. I felt hopeful that I might not have damaged our relationship as much as I first thought. Perhaps we could recover.

By the end of the year I was in desperate need of a VP to run for student council with me. Rory was the only option. I knew that she would probably be less than thrilled with the idea, but after playing the Harvard card, she accepted. This meant that we would be spending the summer together in Washington, DC. I was both tremendously excited and terrified by this development. Would I be able to keep my feelings for her hidden in such close quarters with her?

The summer was just as hard as I thought it would be. You might as well call me a glutton for punishment. I spent many a night internally chastising myself for thinking I could handle three months of having Rory as my roommate. To try and minimise the temptation and desire, I threw myself into books, work, anything that would distract me from Rory. I even ended up dating a boy! Sure, I never intended to. I was shocked when Rory informed me that I had just accepted a date with Jamie, but after thinking about it, I decided it wasn't such a bad idea. It would really help take my mind off Rory and it wouldn't do any harm. It was a summer fling – no commitment. I could handle that. Jamie was a nice guy as well, so it wasn't like I was subjecting myself to several bad dates. They were fun, despite the fact I felt absolutely no attraction towards him. I made sure to sound eager in front of Rory, so as not to arouse any suspicion about my sexual orientation.

However, as these things go, dating Jamie came back to bite me in the ass later that year. He showed up at Chilton and professed his feelings to me. I felt guilty about leading him on, and I was panicking, because I sure as hell didn't want to get into a relationship with him. It would be even worse to lead him on now, but how could I turn him down after gushing ad nauseam to Rory about him? Simple answer – I couldn't. I had to go on at least one date with him, which I did. Then I broke things off with him, under the guise of not feeling the spark anymore, which was partially true. I just left out the fact that I had never felt the spark in the first place.

A new thorn in my side was also becoming apparent. You might remember her name from the Puffs situation. Francie was trying to undermine my leadership of the student council. I was one step ahead of her though. She could try all she wanted, but I was confident in my ability to outwit her. I should have taken her more seriously though. She was an even bigger bitch than I was.

You see things with Rory were going great. We were fast become best friends. Or at least, I considered her to be my best friend. I wanted more, but I knew that would never happen, so being her best friend was the most I could hope for. And I was happy with that. She was kind to me, she respected my opinions, and she was my confidant. The only person I felt comfortable with in my life.

Francie had to go and ruin all that though. I knew that letting myself get close to Rory would end up hurting me eventually. That time came about when Francie revealed that Rory had been going behind my back. I thought we had become close. I thought we were, maybe not mutual best friends, but close friends at least. But she didn't trust me enough to tell me that Francie had been trying to manipulate her. She kept me out of the loop. I had to learn all of this when Francie tried to sell me her spiel, implying that Rory had been trying to undermine my authority. I knew it was a lie, but Francie got what she wanted anyway. She hurt me. She hurt my friendship with Rory.

I felt betrayed. Maybe I overreacted – I have a tendency to do that sometimes – but it didn't change how I felt. I withdrew into my protective shell again. I couldn't afford to let it happen again. I had to be strong this time. I had to keep Rory at a distance.

You would think I'd have learnt by now that I couldn't stay away, right? It turned out that Rory and I would have to give a joint speech for the Chilton Bicentennial. So we once again ended up thrust together. Fate truly was a wicked creature. I insisted that we meet so that we could go over the speech together. This was a little self-serving for me. You see I really needed to talk to someone. And the only person I felt comfortable talking to was Rory. So I was barely through the door before I was spilling my guts. Jamie had called by my house last night, upset, devastated about a bad break-up. He was a mess. I was a mess. We ended up being a mess together. I don't even know how it happened. I'm certainly not interested in boys. I've made that perfectly clear, I'm sure, but it happened anyway. Maybe I was trying to defy fate.

Long story short, I had sex with Jamie.

Rory was supportive, as I knew she would be, and our unique bond was reformed.

Then things just got worse for me. I got my rejection letter from Harvard. My world crumbled. Everything I had been working towards for my entire life, it was over. I wasn't going to Harvard. I was a walking zombie as I arrived at Chilton for the bicentennial speech. Of course, things could only get worse, as I ended up having a meltdown on live television, before the entire audience, screaming that I had sex, but that I didn't get into Harvard. Rory dragged me off the stage and offered me her shoulder for support. I cried, not just for my failed dream, but also because I knew that Rory had got into Harvard. I felt it in my bones and in my heart. I was never going to see her again. Our time together was coming to an end.

The end of the year was heartbreaking for me. I had to accept the fact that our story was over. Rory and I would never be thrown together by fate again. We would go on to live our separate lives. I hid my tears at graduation. Paris Geller does not cry – and certainly not about Rory Gilmore. I projected a proud face to the crowd and headmaster Charleston, but inside I felt my heart shrivelling.

When I said goodbye to Rory, I struggled to keep my composure. I don't know how I managed it, but as I watched her walk away, I knew I would never love anyone as much as I loved her. I wanted to scream it at her back, scream it to the rafters, but I didn't. I was too afraid. I was a coward.

I sat on the steps of Chilton's entrance hall and finally allowed myself to cry. 'Goodbye Rory,' I whispered to myself, 'goodbye my love.'

Yeah, I should have known better, right?

It wasn't the end.

It was only the beginning.