Title: Longing With a Cherry Tomato on Top | Chapter One | A Table with Quite a View

Author: Nate

Pairing: Paris/Rory, Paris POV

Inspired by: Just something that flew into my mind after a conversation with Freelance, not inspired by any particular episode. It does reference most Paris/Rory scenes from seasons two and three. This is what you end up with after a long drooling session with a fellow luster of the French soda monitor. Plaid skirts are going to be the death of us!

Rating: R (swearing, naughty femslash thoughts, self-pleasuring)

Disclaimer: It's not my world, I just live vicariously through it. Amy Sherman-Palladino paints the picture, Hofflund-Polone finds the museum to hang it in, and Warner Bros. Television puts the word of mouth out to see it, while hoping people decide to study the portrait in detail, especially those little details that convince you to buy appliances, breakfast pastries and orgasm-inducing shampoo, then waste a half-hour of your life watching Off Centre.

Summary: How does subtext taste? Kind of like ranch dressing and cherry tomatoes. Paris thinks of Rory as she sits across her at the table during lunch, and looks back at the last year.

Improv: #12 (lips, accent, pain, button, wine)

Archiving: Subtextual Intercourse, Improv, GilmoreGirlsSlash, and ff.net. Anywhere else ask first.

Author's Notes: This is a story I wrote about a year and a half ago on a whim, and never had plans to sequelize until my Paris/Rory thoughts came back strong this week with all the talk of the kiss they're sharing during a dance scene in Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin' the Twist. I haven't seen it yet, but I hope to have a second part to this story out soon after that. I also have plans to use more Season Three subtext to eventually bring the two together, and POV switches with each chapter (Paris in the odd-numbered, Rory's thoughts in the even, along with some combined POVs later on).

My thanks to Freelance for the interesting conversation about subtext that inspired this story. Challenge words are bolded.

Feeback: Please use Feedback Form

Really, I don't mind sitting across from Rory Gilmore all the time at lunch. It's not as if I have a choice in the matter however.

It's been in the Chilton bylaws since 1938 that the president elected by the student body must sit at the same table as the vice president in the dining hall, and next to them during assemblies in the auditorium, on stage or in the audience. The reason why is unknown to history, but supposedly according to a past president, it shows strength and resilience in the student government when we sit in the same place.

Funny they would say that. Because I feel my weakest when I'm sitting near or next to Rory.

When I found out the poll results from Madeline and Louise last year, I panicked like I usually did. I jumped to the first conclusion that I had, and immediately thought my chances of getting elected were slim to none. I was going against a boy who promised the world and the stars, and a girl who tried to convince the boys to vote for her by trying to pull a Basic Instinct stunt as I went on about my agenda if I were elected.

My first thoughts after finding out I was universally disliked were that of promising more than I was actually going to do. Fuck it, I thought, Little Debbie, sign on the dotted line and turn this school into Times Square, full of ads for Swiss cake rolls and oatmeal cream pies. Thankfully, my mind thought better.

For awhile.

It went through your general list of candidates who I felt worthy of being vice-president alongside me. I went through the names I remembered being in the top thirty of our class. Most of them had achieved fame in clubs such as chess and the mathlete team. A few were just quiet students, coasting along and knowing that their mothers would be happy if they were 22nd in the class and had some tough times in calculus. A couple of them, forget it. The only reason their grades were so high was because either they or one of their parents had succumbed to a teacher's sexual favor.

My mind was up to 15th in class when I directed my gaze over to Rory, sitting alone in the middle of a sea of chairs in the hall, furiously writing up her story on how each of us candidates did with each of our speeches for her op-ed column.

And just like that, I decided to throw my campaign on her shoulders. Damn her.

When she came two years ago, I was the strong one, able to order her on command not to do something. Many a time I told her to forget even bothering to ask for my notes, or to be my partner in a project. But my grip on her eventually faded, slowly but surely. A bump here caused by a misinterpreted date with Tristan, another somewhere else when I was spurned when I just wanted to go over debate transcripts with her...

Yeah Paris, keep telling yourself you were just going to do academic stuff with Rory that cool March night. The moment she said no to you so she could spend time getting to know that ditzy vessel her father called a girlfriend, you felt a pain rise through your stomach, and hit you in the heart, where it hurt you the most.

That's right, I'm in love with Rory. And if it weren't for that Sherrie bitch, I might've been able to finally tell that to her a few months earlier. It was perfect, a dozen roses delivered to the house, candlelight dinner with soft classical playing throughout the house. I had a Eisenhower-era vintage bottle of wine sitting on the work table in my bedroom, where I hoped to show Rory that she was way too good for Tristan, and Dean, along with everyone who ever carried an XY chromosome.

But whenever I get close, something pushes me away from her. So instead of inhaling her scent as we made love to each other, I sat in my room in dead silence, the wine glasses put back in the pantry, and the alcohol my love and me were supposed to share sitting in my bottom desk drawer once again. And I sat there, wondering how I could get that bottle opened up one day in the future.

So I stayed persistent. I begged for her help when I got a B in class. I've gotten B grades before, back in 7th grade I took it a little too easy and slacked off. A B wasn't even a big deal to my mother honestly, she just would ask me to try harder next time, honest.

But sometimes when you're in love, you have to lie. I turned on the Gellar charm (what little of it I have), and told her I'd never even gotten a B in my life. Sucker, she said she'd help me out a week later.

I decided to stop by her house and see if she would help me out after school, even after she said she was busy. Funny, she didn't look too busy, folding her clothes for a night alone with herself. My first thoughts as she said that were very perverted. In my mind, it was just her laying on that couch with thoughts of me actually initiating a real, truly passionate kiss as the emergency Romeo in our Shakespeare project. And her wanting to take it beyond that boundary, into something truly impure.

I can dream though, can't I?

Just the sound of her voice talking about obscure equations made me feel weak in her presence. It's those blue eyes that always do it to me, and the way she bites her lip in concentration as we ponder a solution to the problem. She can just make me go all aflutter just by doing her homework in front of me. Thank God she concentrates real hard, because I was scoping her out as she read the problems to me. She was laying on that couch in the perfect position for me to just walk up and sweep her into my arms. I sat there idly writing notes on my paper, as I imagined what kind of satin or cotton layer was beneath the fly button and zipper of her jeans. Or if there was a layer at all. She's way too pure to go that far though, so I don't even venture to think of her that way. Well, not that much.

They say to imagine people in their underwear when you give a speech. With Rory Gilmore though, I do it all the time, even when no speech is being given. I have an inner pervert trapped inside of me, I swear.

I wished that the hour would go on and on, and that after awhile I could finally admit my feelings for her. But then the boys who fawn over her had to come in and ruin my fun once again. Dean and Jess, the equivalent to two guards standing watch over the gates of my personal Buckingham Palace named Lorelai Leigh, but who keep denying me access to her. I had to fake being interested in what both of them said, then hope the aching I was going to get was light when I had to lie through my teeth and tell Dean I was interested in Jess, and that's the reason I came over.

What I really wanted to say was "Hi Dean, do you mind if I get down on one knee and decide to confide my eternal love for your girlfriend of eighteen months? It's not as if you're ever going to let her get past second base anyways, and I'm sure that us being gay would be something you'd totally embrace." Love made me numb once again though, and I didn't confess my feelings for her that night, even being able to sleepover at her house, my stomach filled with snacks my mother warned me never to touch, and my knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem being threatened to be lost forever, replaced by the strains of the opening theme to Muppets Take Manhattan, along with the usual vivid fantasies of us making love to each other. Rory is holding my soul hostage, yet she doesn't even know it.

So who do I ask first to be my partner in crime when it comes to the Chilton council? My favorite coffee-addicted brunette, of course. I wasn't going to be stuck with a nobody for a running mate, and Rory fit the bill perfectly. She was the perfect Al Gore substitute, except for the stick up her ass and claim of inventing the internet. I was Clinton without that whole thing for land deals and chasing every tail that happened to walk by the Oval Office door.

I had to make an impassioned speech to her about how important this was to me, and we were totally the perfect campaign ticket. I was so desperate to get her running beside me I even pointed out we shared a G in our last names, and it rung off the tongue perfectly. Gilmore and Gellar; Gellar and Gilmore. I ignored the little voice inside my head that wanted me to sweep her off to Montpelier and put a hyphen in the middle of our surnames.

Finally after minutes of her not listening, and with her running out of the room looking at me as if I just escaped Bellvue, I got the excuse out of my pocket that was like my get out of jail free card. I brought up Harvard.

Suddenly she was cooperative, although I could tell she did it half-heartedly and without much effort on her part. But hey, Cheney sits on his ass all day waiting for that moment to come out of the bullpen that is sure never to come, there was an excellent chance Rory would do nothing in her capacity.

I got to look over the ballots after the voting was finished and we were declared the winning ticket. Somehow I knew in my mind that it wasn't the band that saved our hides from being in the loser column. Everyone can see that Rory and me have this secret thing going on, that both of us will just never acknowledge. And I think that won me a lot of favor I may not have gotten if I ran with a boy. I'm sure that some of those boys voted for us because girl/girl tickets inspire corrupted thoughts, and they were hoping to hear juicy details of a romance when we came back from D.C.

Washington. Damn it, if that isn't a waste of a good six weeks to get the girl, especially when she's sharing a room with me, I sure fucked it up big time.

It was my overdone itineraries that did away with any chance of romancing Gilmore at all. Everything was pre-scripted with the tour groups, the organizers of the conference, and with the other students who were in it with us. By the time midnight had rolled around after a moonlight tour of the Mall where the thought of taking Rory with me all alone to the foot of the Jefferson Memorial and confessing to her my undying love seemed like it was going to happen, I had to bury it under the excuse of yet another meet and greet with the loser congressman who represents my home district and trying to remember all the details of a Supreme Court decision we were going to be heavily tested on two days later.

And it was on that trip I learned that I dream aloud. Rory shook me awake one night, and wondered what I was dreaming about that I was screaming so loud into the night. She said I shouted "Oh baby!" at the top of my lungs, and I was tossing and turning alot.

I knew what it the mirage was about though. I was having another sexual fantasy about her. I could tell because the buttons on my nightgown were undone down to the middle of my breasts, apparently I also unknowingly take off clothes when I'm in my dreamworld. Thankfully the heavy comforter above me hid the image to the world and Rory. After a little comforting from her and a sly move by myself to button my gown back up, she went back to bed. This as I lay on the bed thanking the Lord for not letting Rory find out that my dreams were not involving famous Post writers from the Nixon administration. It took me three nights to get down that she was Woodward and I was Bernstein in my rest.

She didn't talk about the boys in her life much during that trip, so by the third week I knew there was trouble in paradise. I wasn't going to be pushy about it, so I stayed silent, yet told her if she needed an ear I'd be there. Sure, I'd have to hear about how well Dean treated her, yet how rebellious and all-around interesting Jess was in her eyes, but I felt it would be worth it in the end to be a comforting influence, and would help her realize that I'm not always bitter towards her, that I can make a good shoulder to cry on. She saved me that torture, so for that I must thank her profusely.

By the end of the conference, I found out that a guy named Jamie had asked me out. He was everything that I would love in a boy, killer smile and grades, wonderful conversationalist, and someone who I could see fathering my children someday.

Sadly though, he planned everything out to the last detail, so I was mind-numbingly bored sitting in a restaurant frequented by tourists with him. And sadly, the whole time, I was thinking about Rory, and how lonely she must be back at the hotel waiting for me to come back so we could reminisce about the times spent by us in the nation's capital.

I also felt like I was cheating on her. I promised myself the moment Tristan left that until I could find the True One, I was not to date any guy or girl. Unless it was Rory, the girl of my dreams. So I sat there picking at my salad as Jamie went on about how awesome Princeton was going to be, poking at the cherry tomatoes with my fork, and pouring the Hidden Valley Ranch on heavy, bathing the iceberg lettuce in the stuff. All I did during the date was bring up some kind of topic Jamie could go on and on about, so I could sit there and hear him speak as I thought about Rory.

I knew I shouldn't have felt that way, after all it was a girl I hadn't talked my feelings out with yet, I had no obligation to her at all. She told me to go out and have a blast with Jamie, hell if it was late, stay out all hours with the guy.

Instead, I brushed off his timid flirtations, told him nicely that he wasn't my type and it was never going to work out, and thanked him for the lovely dinner. I then walked back into my room, and with Rory still reading in the closet, slipped out of my pink dress, and crawled into bed wearing only my black silk lingerie, dreaming that someday, any day, I could finally get it across to Rory that she was the only one I ever thought of loving.

I lay in my bed, recalling how her hands felt in my locks as she brushed it with her fingers, after I asked her how you knew a guy was right for you. I don't know why I said 'guy' instead of 'someone' like I planned in my mind so my statement would be gender-neutral. Thing was, I didn't want to accent the fact that I was interested in both sexes to Rory. If I said someone, she might try to start on a tangent, and wonder why I wouldn't say guy or girl. And I didn't want to learn then if she was truly straight, with nary a gay thought in that beautiful body of hers.

Still, her advice to me as those nimble fingers worked my hair into something I had never before could be formed with my tresses resonated within me, as I ignored the fact she was applying it to men. "You'll find someone who compliments you," she says to me in that tone she uses that has made me go along with her crazy thoughts. It was then I knew that Jamie was someone who could compliment me, but it wasn't enough for me. Rory has never seen the negatives in me, and though I know she'll be at home telling Lorelai "that nutty Paris is going to be the death of me," it's all in fun. In between Louise's biting jabs to weaken her resolve to stay in Chilton, and Madeline being over eager to be her friend, I'm downright normal in her eyes. I don't let the high life control me like it does those two, and I'm conservative on the outside. I'm never going to be frivolous with money, because the vices would continue to make me feel empty if I never found that love.

When Rory is around, I feel full of life. And when she's not around but in my thoughts at night as I imagine her fingers brushing up inside of me, her hushed voice tickling my earlobe, she makes me whole. I thought of her and her voice in that room almost alone that night, my hand against the wetted dark silk of my crotch, as the fingers on my other hand brushed slowly against my erect nipples, prone against the lace of my bra. I prayed to God that I wouldn't be discovered as I drove myself to orgasm beneath those blankets, wishing my hands were feeling the soft flesh of Rory's ass as her pubic bone crushed into and created friction with mine. Sweated dripped off my brow as my fingers drifted further inside of me, thankful that my passion was silent on this night. If I'm in my room, I'll usually be a lot less reserved than I was, laying here on a dorm bed that has had many more memories than only mine.

I bite down on my lower lip as the tip of my index finger finds the spot I imagine her touching one day, that microscopic bit of flesh that turns me from the studious schoolgirl she usually sees into the passionate woman who reveres her as the most beautiful girl, and competitive equal in my world. I imagine my senses taking in the aroma of her fruity shampoo which is mixed in with the scent of a wildflower, and can feel the hair on my head become heavy against my shoulders as the sweat builds up in it.

With the thought of fucking her inside of my father's den in his big leather office chair in my mind, clothes all over the place and the scent of sex in the air, my pleasuring becomes faster and faster, and my prayers are now heavier, I'm hoping Rory doesn't hear the sound of my mattress squeaking and my short little squeaks of enjoyment as I edge closer to the brink of coming, with her in the room, albeit in a closet with some walls that don't let sound through easily.

Finally, with a hard tug of my clit, I start coming, and for a minute and a half, Rory is my entire world, as I ride out the most satisfying orgasm I've ever had. I imagine her doing the same at the same time in my arms, the loud utterances of our names with the occasional scream the only thing you can hear in the room. Her eyes are shut as she tries to savor the moment that I have created for her, and at the same time I thank God that he decided to have that girl attend Chilton two years ago. I feel pleasure ebb through my entire body, and I try to lengthen it as much as I possibly can, furiously rubbing at my groin to finish myself off, thinking of her breasts in my hands.

With my orgasm ending and my panties completely soaked through, my body finally starts to settle down, and I lay there as I put the nightgown next to my bed on, still unbelieving that my most rewarding climax came but with nary a whisper, I bit on my tongue and lips so hard to keep myself shut up I swear I can feel an indent from the teeth marks on my lower lip. With that, I throw on the nightgown, and after a little time to calm down, take off my bra and panties, and put them in the lower layer of my overnight bag, hoping that with my bag zipped up my only episode of self-love in Washington would never be known to anyone but me. That was one load of laundry I was going to do myself when I got back to Hartford.

I pretend to fall asleep, and Rory comes out of the closet a half-hour later, her mind full of knowledge. If only she'd have taken getting out of that closet literally, I'd be one happy girl. She whispered me a good night, and proceeded to change in the bathroom, and then go to bed. She wasn't on to me and my activities that night, thank goodness.

The morning after, she said I didn't dream aloud as usual, and I just brushed it off as a fluke. Of course, that's because I got my dreaming in a little earlier than that. As we packed, we talked about Washington and how we hoped to come back someday. Then she brought up Jamie and asked if I enjoyed it. I dodged the question, except to say I had a fine time with him, and maybe I'd go out with him again sometime. If only to not make my mother suspicious, I thought.

We went our separate ways at Bradley, her for Lorelai and me for Francisca. I love my nanny like a sister, and she's the only one who knows about my secret love for Gilmore. She can't tell my mom, who doesn't understand much Portuguese besides basic commands, and she knows someone who is gay, so we both win. I can't come out to my mom because I'm afraid she'll think I'm a failure because in a desperate bid for companionship I chose to be a lesbian. She puts so much self-loathing in me, and keeps convincing me that the guys she has me date on occasion are the best for my future. I knew if I admitted my interest in girls, she'd be on the phone to a But I'm a Cheerleader-like camp so fast, my head would spin. Keeping up appearances, she'd call it.

Stifling my sexuality might be a better term.

I didn't see Rory again till after Labor Day and the start of Chilton, where we were both sworn in as president and vice-president. My agenda, along with Rory were on my mind as I called the first meeting. Immediately, things turned sour.

Francine Jarvis, leader of the Puffs and my new worst enemy, asked if I could put a good word in to Charleston to have the skirt hems raised. My first thought was definitely not, no way was Miss Perfect going to get her way with me. I'm still convinced the initiation was a setup by Francie and her goons to get me and Rory in deep trouble somehow, and if she liked revenge, I could serve it back to her ice cold with a side of screw off.

By some means, I knew this wasn't going to be easy to brush off. Despite my persistence, I knew she'd go to any end to get what she wanted, but I didn't count on her blackmailing Rory.

Somehow, she managed to know Rory was my weakness. Damn Francie for that.

With Rory being persistent after Francie brought it up, I knew Francie had influenced her somehow. I knew, but I wasn't going to say anything because it was such a stupid thing to yell at Rory about. She convinced me that maybe if I threw Francie a bone, she'd back out. So I decided to say yes, but only because at the last minute I had an impure thought of my brown-hair ingénue in a shorter skirt which I really loved.

So basically the hemline controversy didn't come down to my feud with Jarvis, nor was it influenced by a group of students begging me to let the issue pass. It was because my inner pervert screamed out and asked me to bite on this hook, line and sinker. I know the day I come out, the history books will reflect on my decision as 'Miss Gellar wanted more of a gander at Miss Gilmore's gams.'

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you hang around Tristan DuGrey for eleven years, you end up making decisions in government based on how hot your girl is! Thank you Tristan, wherever in the Tar Heel State you are, being trained in 55 forms of hand-to-hand combat and enjoying food only a mother whose idea of high cuisine is Stouffer's could love!

I keep thinking she doesn't want me; I'm paranoid around her all the time these days. After an assembly I hosted with her about applying to college, I realized I had done too much when it came to charity functions. I called Rory on her cell phone and asked her to reassure me, but instead she thought I was panicking too much, and hung up on me. She apologized the next day and said she was in a panic herself.

See, we even get wound up the same way, Blind Date would have a fucking ball charting how many similarities me and Rory share!

I sit here across from Rory, reflecting on everything that happened between us the last eleven months as she sits across from me in the dining hall, as Madeline and Louise chatter on about who's hotter, that carpenter on Trading Spaces or a cute geek guy named Kevin from TechTV that Madeline came across one day while channel surfing.

They're saying this as both me and Rory pick over the item we've picked out for our lunch everyday as a side since the first day of school last year. Each of us has a salad with quite a few leaves of lettuce, and cherry tomatoes. And we both slather each of our salads with three packets of ranch dressing, the better to get a lot of taste out of it.

I sit there everyday, staring at her salad and the way she eats it, and she does the same stare for mine, as if the salads connect us in some weird way. We both take time out of eating if one of us has a little ranch dressing around our mouths, and we usually eat it in relative silence, her listening to her CD Walkman, while I compute a complicated equation in my mind for a later math class.

Occasionally, our legs brush up against each other, and it takes everything I have not to just close the distance between us and kiss her. Her blue hosiery is a tease to me, and one day I hope she decides to leave them at home, coming to school with her legs uncovered and naked. The feel of her nylon hosiery is always something I imagine before I go to bed at night, and hopefully the day she comes wearing knee socks instead of pantyhose, I can initiate some quiet flirting with her, and start a cute little game of footsie, with us silently playing the game in a room filled with 800 other people, no one the wiser.

And it's now that I realize my thoughts are veering into X-rated territory, so I stop them in their tracks.

But in anticipation of the day I decide I've had enough of just dreaming of Lorelai Leigh Gilmore and have her fall in love with me, I can be content in letting my feelings for her out slowly and surely. We see each other from sunrise to sunset, and with the winter coming up, we're sure to be going back and forth between Stars Hollow and Hartford in our cars for various projects. That time alone with her should be enough to try to make her fall for me romantically.

For now though, there's a more pressing issue that needs to be taken care of.

"Rory, ranch dressing, right side of your mouth, you might need to stretch it out a little this time."

She blushes and smiles at me. "Uh, thanks for pointing that out Paris, I'm glad we're such good friends."

I smile back slightly. "Not a problem Gilmore."

Now it's time for me to sit back and enjoy the show as Rory works her tongue around her mouth, removing the offending glob of dressing. For now, I take delight in the fact that I can imagine my tongue is up against hers instead of a tangy salad topping.

The Simpsons were dead wrong. You do win friends with salad. And perhaps, in the not-so-distant future, the eternal love of another woman.

Meanwhile, Across the Table... Nate Gilmore Girls Main Index