"Strawberries"

By Ellie

Any ways! This is a little ficlet that happened to tumble into my clouded mind this morning. Here ya go!

Big, huge, fat Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to the show. If I were, I'd definitely be doing stuff more interesting then this...

Rating: PG-13 'cause PG sounds SO lame::::hee hee:

Pairing: I'm sure you can figure it out...c'mon! Use your imagination!

Feedback: Sure.

8/30/02 PS This is a story that I posted a long time ago, at a different site, I decided to post it here, because when I was looking at my BIO it bugged me that I only had one story out here. So, I decided that even if it killed me I'd post another story. I apologize in advance for the incredible 'mushiness' of it all. What can I say- I had a moment. ;)

7/16/06 This fic has been edited for my own sanity. I believe that I wrote it sometime in 2001, possibly 2000 and while it's undergone some undeniable changes and edits, it was still pretty cringe-worthy.

Strawberry Cheesecake.

Tristan stared down with slight hostility at the fine china plate that supported the delicious concoction that Marie, his cook, had proudly placed in front of him.

Damn. It was no use, he just couldn't bring himself to eat it. Looking at the plump, juicy-appearing berries that carefully glazed the smooth, creamy dessert were enough to keep his fork poised just out of reach.

"Master Tristan, you normally dig into your dessert as though you are engaged in an eating contest. Don't you want the cheesecake?"

Looking into the kind gray eyes of Marie and seeing her mouth slightly pinched in the corners at the thought of giving him something he obviously did not like was enough to make him snap out of his stupor.

"No! Of course not Marie! I was just thinking that's all!" After reassuring her, he preceeded his heartfelt speech by stabbing his fork into the plate hard enough that the clink of sliver on china resounded through the room. Quickly pushing the morsel into his mouth he began to make little "Mmmm..." sounds, trying desperately to make sure that Marie would not be upset at seeing that her act of kindness was not helping him get over his sulking.

Marie let out a small smile at the act that Tristan fervently put on for her benefit. He was always a sweet child, but now that he was a teen, she found that he seemed to brood and wander around the manor, looking lost. It was happening more and more lately, and Marie was again reminded that though her "Master Tristan" was now a charismatic young man, the little boy that she had tended to, so long ago, was still inside of him. She shook her head slightly as she pushed through the doors into the kitchen thinking of how Tristan's parents were always conspicuously absent whenever he needed guidance of any kind. It had been that way since he was a toddler, and Marie only hoped that Tristan had received enough love from the rest of the staff to keep him from making the same mistakes that his father had. Gregory DuGrey was a cold man, using people for his own gain and marrying out of mutual consent and bloodlines, instead of love. Thinking of the young man sitting in the dinning room, Marie sent out a silent prayer:

Please, let him walk his own path, and most of all...Grant him happiness, God knows he hasn't had nearly enough.

Tristan tried not to concentrate on the knowing look on Marie's face as she exited the dining room. He knew that she was trying to cheer him up with his favorite dessert.

Sighing and looking down at the remaining cheesecake, he pushed a stray strawberry through some whip-cream garnish on the side of his plate with his fork.

Strawberries.

Looking at the lush, ruby-red chunk of strawberry now laced with whipped cream, he reached down with his fingers and slowly picked up the ripe fruit, placing it in the cavity of his mouth.

He closed his eyes and savored the light sweet taste of the whipped cream blending with the flavor of the strawberry. The strawberry tasted sweet and tangy, like forbidden fruit. Tristan almost sagged to the floor when he was hit with the memory he had been fighting to bar from his mind for the past week:

She tasted like strawberries.

Rory Gilmore. The ultimate forbidden fruit.

He thought of the kiss, the only kiss. He had leaned in, preparing himself for rejection, and remembered feeling surprise and pleasure ting through him as she met his mouth with his. Tangy and sweet; it suited her perfectly, and he couldn't get enough of it. Of her.

But then it had ended. She had pulled away with the salt of her tears trailing onto his lips. She had cried, and it had almost killed him. He held it in, asking stupid, inane questions while his heart thudded wildly as it sunk in.

Rory Gilmore and I just kissed. And now she's crying. I want to take her in my arms and protect her from whatever has hurt her...But what if it was me?

She dashed out of the room like something evil was pursuing her. Self-doubt chained him to the piano bench, while part of him screamed to race after her.

So I let her run...Away from me, the last place I wanted her.

Snapping back to reality he, once again, looked at the china plate covered in ripe red fruit, and the wedge of cream cheese. Marie had tried to help him from the strange mood he'd been in lately. She had, in fact, done just the opposite...Or maybe not.

Determination filled him as he slammed the chair back and grabbed his car keys.

20 minutes later he rang the doorbell, before his courage deserted him.

Beautiful blue eyes, snapped open in surprise...

"Tristan!"

Their gaze locked before he bent down and did what he had been longing to do since that night long ago...

Strawberries.

It was then that I knew. This girl held my heart in her hands, and I was helpless against her. Pulling away, I brushed my finger across her slightly swollen lips before turning around and walking back to my car.

Now we BOTH have something to think about.