Title: Longing With a Cherry Tomato on Top | Chapter Four | The Pros and Cons of Romancing Paris Gellar

Author: Nate

Pairing: Paris/Rory, Rory POV

Inspired by: From past subtext from the last half of season two and the first half of season three with many spoilers from those episodes. This chapter of the series however is all from my own ideas, we will get back into the show in the near future. There's also a little plot device taken from A Tale of Poes and Fire.

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

Disclaimer: Can I claim ownership over the characters of Gilmore Girls with the season one DVD set I bought at Wal-Mart this morning? Anybody? Is there a lawyer in the house? Never mind, here comes the folks at Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, Hofflund-Polone and Warner Bros. Television to give me a finger-waving lecture on the fact that they own the show and the ideas and I can't claim them, and they have a bad 70's educational film about intellectual property rights rolling starring Telly Savalas from Kojak (pout)! Can I at least ask the WB to create one of those huge PDF document posters like they have for Sophia Bush and Lauren with the 417 kiss in full color oversized detail? I promise I'll never bug you Hollywood types again!

Summary: Rory's thoughts on Paris become even clearer in the same class, along with a plan that you wouldn't expect an innocent girl like her to ever brainstorm.

Archiving: GilmoreGirlsSlash, aff.net and ff.net. Anywhere else ask first.

Author's Notes: It's certainly not easy posting a GG slash story and asking everyone to read it, but I've been heartened at the feedback I've been getting back from everybody about how they like my viewpoint of Rory and Paris romance. I'll admit I like PWP or frenzied attraction like the next average guy, but I've always been one for the slow tease, which is how I love to write, so to those who read this and somehow held back from asking me to have them jump each other crazy in this chapter, thank you and you'll be rewarded after this and the next double chapters, that's where things start to take the romantic turn.

Thanks to Raven for betaing, everything you've said about the story is appreciated beyond words, you make this story what it is with your corrections. And Cinnamon my other beta, who got me out of a minor rut with her newest chapter of Thoughts, which you should read even if you're not a Trory shipper just for the simple fact that Rory acts like a big tease and partakes of the pleasures of her own flesh to the fullest.

And if you're on ff.net, read the previous three chapters, and are just now realizing 'Uh, that ain't Tristan those two girls are thinking about?' and you don't like femslash, this is the fifth warning to hit the left-pointing arrow marked back on your browser toolbar, the X button or stoplight in the right-hand corner, and surf another story.

Finally, feedback, any feedback about this story is strongly appreciated, multiple words in a review are welcomed with hugs and smiles :D! See, there's one now! Go read now before you seal off my mouth with electrical tape to shut me up...

Feeback: Please use Feedback Form

There are those who are in the love 'industry' that will tell you that an attraction can start at the oddest and most inopportune time possible. The romance novelists, writers for soap operas and romantic comedies and those analysts running those dating sites on the internet seem to live on this theory and try to convince everyone who buys their ideal that Cupid is always hovering over you and that significant other, ready to release the arrow at anytime and start the gears of attraction into motion faster than Jessie Spano's Vivarin overdose on Saved by the Bell.

Let's just say I don't really believe that. In my own opinion, Cupid stuck his arrow into me two years ago, but instead of being fast acting, the effects of it have been slow to take root, like a cancer or Alzheimer's disease.

Okay, eww, fine, that's a bad example, but apply that analogy to a more positive situation and you'll see what it means when it comes to my attraction to Paris.

It seemed innocent and such a throwaway line two years ago that fateful Parent's Day when I found out that my mother was having more than parent-teacher conferences with my Lit 201 teacher, Max Medina. Paris had found out as she passed by that they making out in his classroom, and her attitude then being sour towards me, spread the gossip like wildfire across the school, I never saw it coming. After I found out she had poured the kerosene on the rumor, I had nothing but hate for her. I wanted her to feel as if she was the weak one in our little rivalry, and I was actually prepared to use fists to achieve it.

I had thankfully calmed down by the time I decided to make a truce with her. I approached her eating her lunch with Madeline and Louise after she made some offhand comments about Mrs. Gellar sleeping with a teacher, and told her we needed to talk. The other two girls seemed to draw their claws out before she called them off, and it was just Paris and I.

Everything else about that meeting is just a blur besides the fact I gave her an opening that if she ever needed an ear to listen to her problems, she had it in me. She was kind of off-hand about it, but I knew she would come around eventually, thus the state of our friendship today.

But the little joke she made before I took her to task for spreading the gossip about Lorelai and Max caused me to become disturbed for a moment and brought me off my train of thought.

"You're not going to kiss me are you?" she asked, with a wide smile spread across her face. If it wasn't for the fact my mother was becoming a sexual being for the first time in years with someone who could play with my grades, I probably would've brushed it off, which I did on the outside, and went on to call her on her crap.

Before I did, there was this weird flash in my mind of dropping my book bag to the ground, taking her by the hand and into my arms, and just planting a nice big smacker right on her lips. My shy reserved little self was pretty shocked by what my mind had just come up with, and I was strangely not repulsed by the image planted within. I had remembered a month before at the Formal her own reaction to me accidentally finding out that her date was her cousin, and her anger at me finding out about that fact. Her forehead was completely scrunched and she had bent down right to my face level to go off on this odd tangent that I was going to ruin her because of the small information that Jacob was her cousin, when really I felt so much empathy for her because I had hoped Tristan would've bought a clue, along with a ticket to the dance for a girl so smitten with him instead of that vapid Cissy.

I hadn't ever really looked at her before then as another girl, just as a classmate. But she had on this Kermit-green formal gown which went down to her ankles, yet on top was cut so that a lot of skin was exposed in her front. She just had so much cleavage showing on that dress, and I took in everything in front of me and wondered why she would ever be stuck with taking a relative to the dance. Paris looked very cute, and as I remembered her anger at me for finding out about her odd dating arrangement, I realized something I wouldn't have expected to ever happen to me; I was having thoughts about her like I had Dean! I also had offered her an opening in my heart, no strings attached.

So I did what I do best when I feel like I have a problem; denial. I put a wide gulf between that weird 'Paris is cute' feeling and those I did have with Dean. With Tristan involved with my love life back then he became the backup defending Paris from sliding into home position. Even when Dean let me go after I couldn't say those three words, I obscured that in a wild move of abandon by trying to bury it in a honey-do list for myself and Madeline's party, where kissing Tristan seemed like the best way to end that conflict. Unfortunately, my love for Dean came back with a string of tears, and along with it a feeling of betrayal against Paris. I had promised myself I wouldn't touch Tristan, and just like that I felt if she found out we'd never have a friendship.

The Bangles concert came through my synapses as his lips touched mine, and Paris' declaration as her friends abandoned us for some party that Eternal Flame was her favorite song. In the context that it was in, seeing it third person, it didn't look like anything abnormal. But the timing of her words, along with the smile she gave me and the eerie green sheen coming from the spotlights creating interesting shadows on her face, to me, it seemed like something out of a romantic movie. Dean was nowhere around, my mother was far away in the back edges of the balcony with her best friend, squinting to see what seemed to barely look like Susannah Hoffs, and there Paris and I stood, her friends gone, making such a cute declaration.

At the time, I put on a face of indifference and sighed, knowing she was just over-stimulated from being taken from her comfort zone of studying and into the own little happy world Mom and I inhabited. Then when she said this was the best night of her life, in addition to seeing her friends eviscerated by Lorelai, I continued to attribute it to her abandoning her competitive drive temporarily and wanting to finally start a friendship.

Of course you know the see-saw that happened after all that, with me hooking her up with Tristan and then her misconstruction of the PJ Harvey tickets. I then spent most of the summer after Dean had successfully reacquired my love in the courtyard with Tristan watching basking in nothing but heterosexual feelings for Dean. Paris didn't even enter my conscious as we built the house together, and we kept up our childish fighting.

Around the time of the Shakespeare project though, there were signs that the innocent little joke she made in the heat of an argument was actually begging to be answered realistically. Tristan had pulled all his crap, and she started finally rubbing the Vaseline from her eyes and seeing him for the jerk he was. She was distracted, and the flame she had for him was snuffed out, so she put 130% into the project. Which meant she projected a lot of anger towards Tristan, and I got a little more of a taste of her passionate side.

Her life became the last scene of Romeo & Juliet. She'd call in every script revision she made, every little change in scenery, and then the fact we were going to rehearse on my home turf. Little did I know that the whole situation would make me see the light when it came to men.

That when two men who have the hots for me got into the same room, they become total assholes. Paris and I seemed to be the only one with our hearts in the project at all, while Tristan was using the situation as a big transparent excuse to get into my corset in front of Dean. I thought my boyfriend would be the mature one, but instead he acted like an overprotective jerk. Until that moment, Dean seemed to be the one with the most pull on my soul.

Then I kept finding myself looking for help in Paris' eyes. Her commanding demeanor and push for me to be Juliet no matter what seemed to affect my performance a hell of a lot more than Tristan could ever cause. Dean certainly wasn't helping his case by acting like my personal bodyguard. I actually thought 'fuck you Dean' so many times during that whole thing I didn't want to touch him, much less look at him.

I thank God every day now that Tristan robbed that safe and got sent down to North Carolina. Without his stupidity I would've been buried in some soap opera-ish love triangle thing, and with that, I didn't have to face those artificial 'feelings' that flared up after the piano kiss. With him leaving, Paris was free to come in like a bat out of hell and get my focus off the devastation of losing a familiar teasing face. She put on the Romeo wig and told me to get ready to reenact like I never had before, and in her own joking way, suck on an Altoid. She didn't kiss me and faked that last move during the 'thus with a kiss I die' spiel, but it seemed more in fear that Dean wouldn't take it too well than in revulsion. I think that because her head seemed to lie on my chest just a little longer than usual, and I swore she smelled me. No matter, her adrenaline was probably piqued from actually getting to earn our grade, and just was breathing a sigh of relief.

I just would've loved to tell Dean when he asked in the diner if we did rehearse the kiss "Of course Dean, and let me show you the big ol' hickey she planted on my left tit before she slid three fingers between my folds and screwed me 'till the cows came home, we did way more than kissing backstage." Too bad I wasn't thinking of her that way when he asked, the reaction would've been fun.

I've had so much time to recall those little things Paris and I have shared over the last two years as I sit in a class that I'm only taking for the shiny gold seal under 'English and Literature Merit' I get on my diploma, Russian Novelists and Their Works 401. When you're in a class that even Paris hates (and trust me, she loves every class), that's not a good sign. I've had to read some of the dullest crap ever to come out of a pen and printing press, when the evaluation comes up after the final exam where I have to write down what I thought about this class, I'll be creating my own long-winded and boring novel describing how draining Mr. Mercurio and his love for Russian literature has been on my will to learn. This is the only class I half-ass, reading the Cliff Notes and doing whatever it takes to get an A without actually putting an effort into the class at all.

I have to admit however, it's helped me on one front. Whenever I don't have to read yet another dull Tolstoy plot point that has nothing to do with either war or peace, I've been adding on entries to something I keep hidden from everybody and deep in my backpack, and since Mr. Mecurio never goes past his own desk, I'm free to write whatever I want in a project I've been working on for the last two weeks. I like to call it 'Pro and Con; Romance with Paris Gellar'.

I started doing it on a whim one night when I was bored and all my homework was done, and my mother was working at the Inn. I turned to the back of my notebook, drew a line in the middle of the page, and wrote pro and con in big bold letters on the top line of the sheet. I also made up a sheet for Dean, in the case that Paris' cons outweighed her pros, thinking that because I loved him I'd have filled up the left side with reasons to keep him and knew for sure my little lesbian crush was just a phase.

Dean, I'm sorry, I stopped your list a few days ago when the pros were soundly defeated by cons 35-12, and even more sadly, in a college-ruled notebook. Yes, the things that attracted me to him at first were right in the pros, like the fact I loved him, he's a good kisser and he built a car for me, the obvious things. But those were taken out of commission by the cons that he dumped me for awhile because I didn't feel the same, his kisses no longer turn my knees to jelly, and his car is back in the junkyard, proven unsafe by Grandpa and fated to become a scrap metal cube when a little squirrel ruined things between me and Jess for awhile, and Dean's attention to safety was lacking since I had my arm in a sling for most of spring. Also not helping his cause was a big con that he distrusted me around anything else with a penis, he'd probably beat Brad to a pulp if he told me my hair looked cute in a ponytail!

With that list finished, I was free to concentrate on the girl who gave me a summer to remember. I honestly tried to drive everything she did into the cons column, scraping my mind for anything. But I only have about five items under the cons list right now, even those are little things.

·She doesn't like Luke and thinks he runs a brothel.

Paris was trying to get the Oppenheimer and hoping for a bite that there was a dark side to my town, so Luke became the victim of her drive. Once I can get her to know him though, I'm sure he'll relent. She does like Jess as a friend, helping her cause plenty with Luke. I'll also clue her into his long time crush on Lorelai and reveal him as far from depending on revenue from prostitutes, everyone in town already knows about their mating dance.

·Paris abhors my diet and keeps trying to make me eat healthy.

Once she gets a good taste of Luke's cooking and I can pull away from her health freak of a mother, she'll take it up. Though it's cute that she likes tofu and drinks soy milk.

·Stars Hollow is too stifling and all the people are too wacky for her liking, she thinks most of them are hicks.

I could make the same argument that she doesn't know one person on the cul-de-sac she resides on, and some of the high society matrons of Hartford are way too doped up on Paxil to be considered sane. At least Kirk is good for the occasional juvenile laugh, and Taylor's an interesting enigma.

·She talks in her sleep, keeping me up at night.

I live with Lorelai, who acts like a ten-year-old when she really wants something and wakes up to the sounds of either mooing or meowing. I already get woken by my mom at least twice a week for some little unimportant thing and am used to it. Paris just talks in her dreams, which I eventually tuned out in DC when it became clear she wasn't going to get herself off in one again. Plus, it's cute and something I'd recall as such when I'm old and in a rocking chair. If I can't get to sleep, I have two choices, NyQuil or getting myself off so I eventually pass out, it isn't as if she's a loud snorer.

·Paris would break my heart when she found someone else, or might disassociate from me if I admit I like her.

Not such a little point there, but it's definitely possible; I can't talk myself out of this con. I only have small clues to guide me towards what she feels for me, so she might not be lesbianic, not even bisexual. If she did feel the same for me, I might just be a gateway towards someone cuter, a Gina Gershon or Sheryl Crow-type woman later on, I don't know. But if I'm just her schoolgirl crush, at the very least I have to take a risk and hope it can last longer than these last few months at Chilton. I don't want to keep this silent, marry a guy I'm not in love with, and see her at the altar with the man or woman she used to dissolve her crush on me if she held one herself, and have to think 'what might have happened if I had told you I liked you Paris?'.

So yeah, that's all of the five reasons, all lonely on the right side of my notebook. Over to the left however, I've pro'ed so many things that on the surface might seem like cons, but upon further reflection I've erased and put on the the other side. For example;

·She owns medieval hardware and isn't afraid to use it.

To any boy who might have found this fact out, they might think Paris is some kind of whacked Xena nut and flee from her screaming bloody murder. When she brought out her sword as a prop for the project it freaked the living daylights out of me at the time. But when I thought about it in conjunction with my crush, I kind of found it arousing. If her family has passed down weapons to her, it has to mean she has enough interest in them to train on how to use them, I've fenced her in class before and she was a very worthy competitor. I've imagined her sleeping with me, and a burglar decides to break in through the window, trying to start some trouble. She'll unsheathe some dagger she has under the bed, and with her training the guy'll be too scared to mess with her unless he has a fetish for flesh wounds.

Oh, and I had a Buffyish fantasy about Paris slaying demons in a graveyard a few days after I came home, and woke up in a cold sweat due to what she did to my dream self to 'exhaust the energy'. For that alone, weapons usage goes on the pro list.

·Our arguments would be passionate and arousing.

I'll talk more about that later. Moving on...

·I'll see the world with her at my side.

I still plan on backpacking with Lorelai in Europe when I graduate, but unless Grandma springs for my own private jet, I won't be leaving the States very often after that. Paris however, I remember her trying to get me off Washington's beaten path and tour much more than the area around the Mall. We actually went into the city and Georgetown and she went into detail about things I didn't know about our nation's capital. She knows the hidden little things about cities, states and countries I would have never known if she hadn't turned me on to reading beyond the tourist brochures. Touring Fez would be the trip of a lifetime if she could come with me, and I'm sure she'd spoil me rotten giving me a vacation to remember.

·Paris understands the way I think.

I have to dumb down things to Romper Room level when I talk to Dean about anything that doesn't involve a hemi or transmissions, and when I argue book talk with Jess I try to keep opinions from the real world out of the debate since Jess isn't heavily invested in current events or topics that bore him. With Paris, I can talk at her level and she'll never go 'huh?' at any of my responses, arguing right back in a smart, cultured and witty way. Discussions that would end up like Fox News pundit segments with the boys would be much more like an enlightened conversation with Bill Moyers if I and Paris were a couple.

·Lorelai could become her second mother and be much more supportive than her real mom.

It's not all about me; though Lorelai would keel over once I exposed my secret, in time she'd relish the fact she could turn Paris from the automaton that Mrs. Gellar groomed her to be, into an actual girl with thoughts besides those that are academic. At first those two getting along all the time will be an iffy proposition, but I certainly never predicted that Paris would wind her way into my heart from her first impression two years ago. She currently talks above my mother's level, but I think she'd definitely take her in the complete package that comes with me, who wouldn't want to have Mom as a mother-in-law? She'd love it and finally have a shoulder to cry on that isn't paid for by her father; Francisca's been more of a mother figure than Sharon Gellar ever will be, and she's just Paris' nanny. I've heard her say nothing but positive things about her father so I'm not as scared of him as I am the woman who borne her; she even has a little humanity for her paternal side and calls him Daddy rather than the ever-unchanging and groaned out 'Mother' used to describe Mrs. Gellar.

I've been building this list from scratch and continue listing at least one new pro about her daily. But I have to admit, I've been trying to come out of my shell and looking for new things I don't know about Paris to list. So I've started doing things to try to subtlety clue her in that maybe I do have an interest in her. A controlled experiment you could call it.

I started out small with simple wardrobe changes that wouldn't startle Lorelai before I left for school. Instead of hosiery covering up my legs, I've been wearing short socks beneath my school shoes. Very few other students in the halls have noticed the change, and Louise hasn't started calling me a slut for losing them, but Paris seemed a little more distracted in the life sciences class I share a table with her in. My legs have accidentally brushed up against hers more times than when I was wearing the hosiery and I'm honestly sure that's far from a coincidence. With the issue of the hemlines approved by Headmaster C, I had Mom raise my own hem at least an inch and a half. It's enough to remain conservative, but just enough to expose a little more thigh.

I've also become more hands on when it comes to the Franklin and she's been giving up some of her editorial power to me and letting me get my hands a little dirty. That's meant I've been pounding the pavement and trying to get advertisers like banks who wouldn't even consider a high school newspaper to give us a try, the acquisition of the new printing press has certainly helped when it comes to circulars. We've also been cutting out any of the student writers who want to pander down to the base level by writing nothing but 'Administration, yay!' and 'Go Blue Demons!' stories. Paris has become much more impressed with my work ethic, and really appreciates what I've been doing to help with the Franklin, even finally thanking me for the help on that damned curtain story that won us the Oppenheimer. That means that attribute is in the pro column again. I'm still embarrassed about that whole debacle to this day, how do you explain to some teenager you hardly know whining that he couldn't rent Nude Bowling that I'm the one to blame for Stars Hollow Video being more chaste than certain places in Utah?

So basically what it's come down to on finding more Paris pros is becoming an instigator to probe deeper into her. I didn't feel very comfortable in the new role I put myself into; I've always been more of the follower, especially where Dean has been involved. She's always been shy around boys however, more so than me despite Madeline and Louise giving her inappropriate sex hints whenever they can. There had to be a way outside of an academic setting to draw her out and find out how she would tick in a competitive environment.

Then it came to me in gym class last week; I'd suck up my usual sour feelings for physical activity and try to prod her into competition. Usually I only get physical when it involves running for the bus when Mom put my pop tart in the toaster a little late and there was barely time for it to cool before I ate it. I totally sucked fulfilling my intramural competition requirements for the Blue Demon golf team a couple years ago, finishing last in the entire Charter Valley Conference out of eighty other golfers from ten schools my sophomore year.

Still, I psyched myself up when I heard we were going to do a field hockey unit in class and were going to play a full head-on game in Wednesday's class. Monday, we learned the skills and strategy of the game, and Tuesday was when the class went over the rulebook. I got my regular coffee from Luke's those days, but dumped it down the sewage grate before I got on the bus (if Lorelai found out I'm sure she wept, but I had to sacrifice to the cause here!) and drank Powerade from the dining hall's vending machine before gym class in order to keep my energy strong. I researched some stretching exercises from the internet to keep myself limber in case my arm decided to refracture or I pulled a muscle in the match.

The worst sacrifice of all; I drove myself to have seductive dreams for those three nights about Kirk, and his mom in the same room to kill my sex drive until Wednesday morning! That's right, I dreamt of the town bachelor's form of romance in order to gag any temptation to touch myself to the sounds of Paris' voice, and abstained from making out at all with Dean so the sexual energy that built up in those three days would instead flow up my stem to hit that part of my brain where adrenaline flowed from. I still thought of her in that tight gym t-shirt and those shorts, but this time instead of us staying relatively clean, I was going to get down and dirty with her, and she'd never be the wiser by the time she realized it. Competition is her fuel, and I hypothesized once she got the idea, we'd be at each other's throats in a different arena than usual for once.

10:00am had finally come, and I thought myself up a little pep talk as I dressed in the locker room. If I did find something up with Paris, I was going to know right away. I was also convinced that we were going to get dirty that day, since the evening before the skies had opened up and left the field outside a little soft and muddy. Perfect, I thought to myself as I stood next to Paris, awaiting the eventual whine from the team captains that they were stuck with the class geeks to pick last.

This time however, they were going to get much more than our usual small efforts to the cause. I felt very nervous as I took my stick and ran with Paris to our forward position just a little far from the goal. Technically we should have most of the shots on goal, but the strategies of both the teams pushed us back towards the center line away from the shooting curve so that the others wouldn't have depend on our usually pathetic athletic skills to win.

We went out to our positions, and Paris of course, looked immaculate. Her gym clothes, like mine hadn't been dirtied in at least a couple months, and her eyes were rolled as Ms. Paschke went over the rules and told the class she expected all of us to give 100% effort. There's just something about looking at the girl you have Sapphic feelings for and knowing in just a few minutes things between you and her were about to get a lot closer than before.

I didn't let her onto my plans at first, lulling Par into a false sense of security. I'd occasionally get the ball passed to the zone I was assigned to with her and quickly see it off to one of my more aggressive teammates. She'd get the ball occasionally and do that same thing, and I'd challenge her very lamely. I was definitely filling my role well as Rory Gilmore, sports wallflower.

Around seven minutes in though, her team had taken a two-goal lead from mine, and I found myself with the ball against my stick. Looking down at the sphere and using my head to compute the trajectory and the angle of the shot, I aimed and prayed that it would somehow make it past everyone and the keeper. I shut my eyes, and heard a yelp from one of my teammates as the ball crossed the goal line and made a little 'swoosh' sound as it hit the back of the net. I smiled and raised my fist, happy with the result as I heard the cheers from a couple of my teammates. 'Good shot Gilmore,' and the somewhat complimentary 'So nerds can play sports, nice attempt'. Yeah, some things about the plan, I wouldn't have minded tuning out.

Paris gave me a surprised look as we got back into our starting position, and asked why I'd want to participate. I told her not to be so stubborn and to have some fun for once, and slowly she got into the game. Based on my good goal I started getting the ball more often from my team and instead of taking a shot right away, tried to goad Paris into defending for her own team. At first her strategy was lame, trying to knock at my stick or shimmying around me to try and catch a pass I'd make and avoid my reaction. Eventually I had to start trying to prod her vocally. I reminded her of past victories in exams and tests, along with that PSAT score that almost drove her into a mental institution because I didn't reveal it until two weeks after the fact. "Come on Gellar," I'd yell at her in my roughest voice as we scrimmaged, "You call that defense? Brad could play better than that!"

After awhile, she started becoming a little more aggressive and I was finally able to see the results of my effort put into action. She started bringing out that energy she reserves for class and challenging me when she could for possession of the ball, our sticks clashing together at every opportunity. I felt the soles of the Cons I bought for gym class heavy with mud, and noted that though they look and work fine when you're far from athletic, purple Chuck Taylors really can't handle the stress of an aggressive field hockey game.

But besides that, things were working out well. I was playing good defense, but Paris occasionally got a shot passed me and into the goal, giving me a taste of my own medicine with an utterance of "In your face Rory!". I was so out of my element and I'm sure she was too, but we both loved every moment of it. Something had been building in our protests against gym class for the last two years and we were starting to kind of...like it.

Though to be honest, it was more about the physical contact between Paris and I that was spurring me on. When she got in position to take a pass, I tackled and brought her down to the ground, trying to stay legal within the rules. Then she did the same to me. One scrimmage she even grabbed at the back of my shirt and I could hear the seams tearing from stress as she gripped it for dear life preventing me from reaching my stick out to intercept the ball. That not only got me angered from her aggressive play, but it was turning me on! I felt my breasts tighten against my sports bra and my heartbeat speed even further than the adrenaline and exercise was already doing to it. Every little touch, grab, grope and shove from Paris' hands and body caused me to become disorientated as I tried to make hay of the situation the ball was in, and I couldn't take the fact that my plan was working out much better than I originally had expected!

She had attempted to pull my hair a couple times in the heat of competition to bring me down to the turf, so I had to tear out the rubber band the braid was in and unfurl it before she could bring me down again. With that move though, Paris seemed to get this look on her face like she was an untamed animal. I was so aroused by the way she was playing the game I didn't even notice my teammates anymore; they were there just to pass the ball and start another session of untamed groping and collisions between Paris and I. I kept forgetting that phy ed was only a 75-minute class and kept losing track of time; Paris had also truly got into the game.

Geeze, I was becoming so dirty! Everything on my person seemed to either turn brown or red; the red being blood shielded by my socks once Paris had taken a swipe at my ankles with her stick, I wasn't about to let the teacher know that though; she couldn't put me back on the sidelines if she tried. I heard yelling and cheering whenever Paris and I fought for the ball, and there was just something so hot about getting a chance to grab at her waist during a skirmish and not being yelled at for it. She wasn't objecting at all, things seemed to start working themselves out well.

Just before the end though, is something that I can't stop but think about each time I go to bed at night. The score was all tied up and my team was starting to tire out, my body seeming to finally realize that I was being physically active instead of sedentary for once. All that energy saved up from dreaming of Kirk was dissipating and one of Paris' teammates had passed the ball hard towards her so she could attempt the go-ahead goal. Her face seemed to take on a look of shock for being trusted with such a tough proposition, and she was just barely aware herself. Her soaked shirt was tight against her frame and her eyes struggled to stay open, as I nagged myself for not telling her I intended for her to be so active.

Still, something stirred up within as her stick touched the orange plastic sphere, and all I could think was I needed to not only save the game for my team, but find one last excuse to get aggressive with her before we left the field and resumed our pretty much solitary existences.

I untangled myself from the grip of a guy keeping me back from the ball and ran for the other side of the field and towards her. She was pretty much open to make the shot, but when I grunted she turned around and I found my vision clashing with hers.

I had an opening. She was looking down somewhere else (where I couldn't tell since my vision was a little blurred from a drop of perspiration in one of my eyes), and before her or I knew it, I had stretched my stick out and hooked it around her left leg. She stumbled around and regained her footing, keeping the ball in check.

That didn't work, so as other teammates congregated around both of us in anticipation of the ball popping out, I rushed towards Paris and grabbed at her arms, causing her to yelp. I then found myself with very little footing since the rubber of my sneakers was totally caked with mud, and tried to steady myself by grabbing onto her other arm. I failed, and Paris and I tumbled to the soft turf of the athletic field together as the momentum of my crashing into her was far from over.

I heard the sound of Paris' stick being dislodged from her hand, and the butt end rubbed up against the bottom of my stomach as we went down. All the other students saw the ball pop up from our small heap and down the field, and immediately raced to catch back up to it, our little predicament quickly forgotten in the heat of battle.

My teeth maintained the growl from before, and the front of my skull hurt from bashing into Paris', but I was still somehow conscious. Paris' eyes darted back and forth, a good sign that she was fine, but I noticed that she was kind of stunned. Her mouth was opened and I felt a drip of sweat fall off my bottom lip and down into it between her teeth.

But what I really noticed was the inopportune fact that her right knee was right between my legs, and was dug right into my crotch. That same fragrance she had when I watched her fuck herself in the dorm was in my nose, and I could swear she was clenching her legs around my thigh. Her eyes were transfixed to mine, and there was this little moment where I felt her breath in my mouth and just wanted nothing more than to kiss her and wonder if all this physical contact was all worth it in the end.

But then the gym teacher got our attention and wondered if we were all right. The moment was lost, and we complimented each other on putting so much effort in the game, got up and dusted ourselves off. We had to take it easy for the last few minutes of the game per the teacher's orders because she thought we were getting a little too rough, and finished the game rather unexceptionally. Someone on my team scored one more goal and we won 9-8. Paris didn't seem broken up, but it was such a great match I had to congratulate her.

I shook her hand and thanked her, and she gripped it pretty strong. In turn I tightened up my grip on her hand. I let go before she could catch on, and she started to trudge back towards the gymnasium building while the teacher complimented me on my effort and decided to give me a little extra credit for the way I took my academics and placed them into game situations. She then let me go, and I prepared myself to go back to class.

It was about at the threshold as I got back into the building when I remembered the real reason I hated gym class. I looked down at my muddied and dirtied self, and had forgotten in the rush to build up that Paris pro, that I was going to get all messed up and I was going to stink for the rest of the day.

"Shit, Rory!" I cursed to no one, and realized that I was going to have to jump in the shower for once, lest my A for the unit and extra credit was revoked. I had been in the stall many times before, but those times I rushed in and out because Hartford's water supply doesn't agree with my hair or body, at least in shower form. Also one day after class a couple years ago, Summer had teased me about my nakedness and whipped a wet towel at my backside to intimidate me. That pretty much killed my excitement for communal showers.

Worse, this time I was going to probably see Paris nude and all wet as she cleaned off her own grime. The analytical side of my brain told me to ignore any feelings I might get from sharing a stall and ignore her state. Relax, she might even be gone by the time you get in there, you got in late, my conscience tried to assure me.

But as I got into the locker room and started to take off my gym clothes, desire had taken over everything as I looked over the results of my endeavor. My socks were soaked with a thin line of blood from Paris' stick slash, and I thanked myself for deciding to bring along an extra clean pair just in case that ever had happened. I took off my grey gym shirt and shorts, and didn't expect much from the game.

Thank God I decided to change in a stall that day instead of out in the open! My breasts were fully aroused in my sports bra, nipples peaked and one of them had almost wiggled out of the cup, I could see the underside of my right one. I felt all flushed upon seeing that, but that would end up looking tame compared to when I pulled down my shorts.

I looked down myself, and couldn't believe my eyes. Usually when I wear underwear they stay stubbornly opaque, and I wear panties with as much cotton covering the front as I can. But when I looked down that day, they had soaked through so much, I could make out the outlines of not only the area down there, but where the hair down there ended, and bare skin began. I brought a finger to the large wet patch, and could tell that wasn't just rain and sweat soaking them! All that competition had gone up to my brain like planned, but I guessed that with my thighs rubbing up against each other as I ran, along with all that lust of seeing Paris in such an aroused and competitive state and our collision where Paris' knee ended up against mine, those factors combined together to make me drip like a rusty spigot.

"Oh my God!" was all I could utter as I took my clothes off, my lust-filled brain trying its best to not succumb to temptation, I wanted to rub myself off so bad! Somehow I shook off that feeling, and wrapped myself in a towel, grabbing my soap as I headed for the shower. I could easily remember the only other time I had gotten that wet; in that dorm room as Paris and I individually got ourselves off. My fantasies had been refueled, and I crossed my fingers, hoping that Paris took her time showering. Talk about killing all those showering fears!

Let's just say the shower was sort of interesting. Paris was in there and I struck up a conversation with her about this whole field hockey thing we did. She was kind of jarred by it all and I hid it behind the cover that if I'm not active Ms. Paschke is going to be iffy about giving us an A in the class. I couldn't help but feel her eyes dart onto my body several times during the shower, and though it seemed light-hearted, there was a sort of pall over it. She didn't know my motives for the whole thing, and I couldn't gauge her reaction all that well.

So thinking at the time it was a good idea, I decided to ask her a question that was so out-of-character, so unlike me, but that could make her mind spin for an answer. I just up and asked it without any hesitation.

I asked her if my chest was too flat.

Not a question you'd normally hear being asked by a girl to a girl; almost like if Jess dropped his pants one day and wanted Dean's opinion on his size. But it would certainly get Paris' attention away from the usually droll questions asked in school.

Even through the spray of the shower, I could tell she was blushing and looking down towards me to solidify her response. She then laughed, and somehow I took offense to that and almost backed off, embarrassed. Thankfully she clarified that my breasts were perfectly sized.

Damn, she firmed up on me, I thought to myself. So I then concentrated my eyes on hers, pointed at them, and faked a whine by wondering why her's were larger.

Unfortunately it didn't have the effect on her I had been expecting, she turned back into her shy self, made up something about genetics being to blame, and Paris fled the shower before I could say anything else. The way she frowned before she turned around and left me in there stunned, I could tell there was something underlying that caused the casual conversation we had to come to a sudden halt. I felt horrible, but I had to get to the bottom of it all.

However after the incident she seemed to start to ignore me, and I thought she was starting to catch on to my hints too much and was getting ready to give me the cold shoulder. Whenever I got within arm's reach of her the next few days, she either moved over, took the next seat or walked away. I wanted to apologize for the question but she would change the subject so fast there was nothing I could do but get back into the comfortable yet harsh groove we had been in before she asked me to be vice president.

The worst thing was she claimed she had a headache she needed to take care of, and wouldn't drive me back home because of it. Maybe the whole thing was a bad idea, and as I got on the bus to school Friday morning, hoped that I could get some dialogue with Paris so I could clear things up without revealing the underlying reasons behind the whole situation.

Too bad the situation felt like a nagging mosquito bite. Her silent treatment continued, even through a project we were assigned to do together in life sciences. The pit of my stomach felt like a stone, and I ended up throwing out my whole lunch salad because I couldn't even eat it, afraid it would come right back up. After school didn't get much better, as student government seemed to fit the mold of 'typical meeting' and she disallowed any attempts for me to debate or bring up issues. Francie continued delivering me dirty looks and hinting that her little plan to offer Atkins substitutes in the ala-carte line despite the harsh opposition of the school nurse and foodservice staff should really pass without opposition. Yeah, enjoy your lettuce-bunned bacon cheeseburger Jarvis, I thought silently to myself as I gave her a bitchy look, Can't wait to see until you become a fat cow with arteries clogged like downtown Boston during rush hour!

Working on the Franklin that night seemed to feel like we were closing the paper permanently, and Paris wouldn't even comment on any corrections she had made to articles before I rewrote the stories and posted them to the printing network. There was a dark pall and everything about the situation was bothering me. So once all the other staff and Ms. Peters had left for the night, leaving me and Paris alone, I decided to try to get Paris to say anything to me.

"I'm sorry about Wednesday," I told her, smiling. No response.

"Come on Gellar, where did those witty 200 WPM comebacks I'm used to fly off to, you've been Marcel Marceau'ing it lately." She quirked an eyebrow and groaned in response. Having a one-sided talk with her wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

I reached over and tried to grab her hand in a reassuring manner. "Look, whatever I said I take it back, it's nothing to be embarrassed about--"

She reeled it back and got up from her seat violently, not looking at me in the eyes. "I have to get notes from the conference room." She then turned her back, and I gave chase as she walked out of the office and across the hall to the conference room, I couldn't leave this thing going all weekend.

I caught the door to the conference room, and noticed she had pushed the lock on the door in. She must've really hated me because things just seemed to tumble downhill from there. "Paris, please talk to me, I don't understand why you'd act like such a question is--"

"It's not about the question at all Gilmore!" Fuck, she was back to the last-name-as-a-slur thing from last year. "You don't ask that kind of question in a locker room!"

"Well I was just curious about what you think and you seemed to have fun--"

"Which you pushed me into involuntarily; you know how I feel about gym class!"

"God forbid I get some exercise and try to help you!" I whined. "I just wanted to know what you thought about yourself."

"You see the coat?!" she chastised, pointing at her jacket as she moved towards me in a confrontational move. "I'm not Louise; I don't crop my uniform so that I look like a raging whore! I don't give a shit about 'body image' or Ophelia or any of this other bull the media tries to shove down my throat to convince me that I'm homely and dull!"

"That doesn't mean you have to clam up on me when I ask, come on Par! There's a feature about yourself you have to like!"

"Yeah, my brain. I'm here for one reason and one reason only Rory; to learn and get into Harvard, nothing else." Her voice and treble seemed to get louder as she moved closer to me. "When I walk these halls, I could care less about the hot guy walking past me, and I've been hoping that you've been doing that too. Wait, I forget, I'm speaking to a girl who's been mind-fucking two men since she came here!"

She was getting more vicious by the moment and I felt powerless to stop her ranting. "Don't you dare bring Dean or Jess into this, they have nothing to do with--"

I felt my figure shrink as her eyes became darker in mine as she went on. "You string Dean along even if you don't feel anything with him, and played with Jess like he was a pawn while you were trying to figure out whether to go for it with him or not. Meanwhile DuGrey was just your lapdog while he was here, I bet you miss him and want to pitch woo the moment you find out wherever the hell he is!"

Seriously, I wanted to slap that angry grin off her grille because she was getting me so pissed off at her when I just wanted to say sorry. But I took the bait anyway. "This coming from the girl with no sex life to speak of!"

"Whatever, at least I'm happy without companionship!"

"I'm sure you are, God forbid anyone gets into that cold little rock beneath your ribs you call a heart!"

"DO NOT TEST ME!" she cried towards me, her face flushed with blood.

"You know, I like you a lot Paris, I respect you, but I guess trying to get to know you if it doesn't involve a textbook is almost next to impossible, sorry I even try."

"It's a waste of energy Gilmore, besides I bet you need that energy to get Dean to second base before revealing the ball behind your back and tag him out, leaving him with a stiff dick between his legs as he goes home unsatisfied, again!"

I felt my teeth grit with anger as she made that assumption, and couldn't believe her gall. I wanted nothing more than to punch that commander-in-chief in the teeth. I tried to breathe in and out, but didn't feel any dissipation of my mood. I had to get her back.

"You know what's fun Gellar? That I even have a boy to lead around, you bitter little bitch! All I wanted to know is if you like your body the way it is and why the hell you hide it under so many layers, I'm sure a guy would kill for you!"

"I don't want a guy to kill for me, and like I said before. I. Don't. Care!" We were so close that in another situation it would've been a turn-on sexually. All I wanted to do then however was one-up her.

"I care!"

"Fuck off Gilmore, your compliments do little for me!"

"Well it's no matter Tristan never gave you more than a kiss, with an attitude like that I certainly wouldn't fuck you!" I shot back, and almost immediately wanted to take that insult back. She looked at me coolly, and made me feel really uncomfortable.

"Take that back, right now!" she commanded to me, and for some reason or another I didn't back down.

"I won't, because it's true. You just don't want some guy to sweep you off your feet and tip you off that high little pedestal you put yourself on. You're just too chicken to admit that you could be a lust object, and you're becoming just like your mother."

She pointed a finger towards me and her monotone became even deeper. "Don't go there--"

"Get a clue Par, she makes you ashamed to be yourself, and it's turning you into this sour little hag who, at this rate, might have to settle for some 'nice Jewish guy' on the Upper East Side with a small--" I didn't get the last word out as she finally got me to allegorically cry out 'Uncle' in such a way it almost broke my heart.

"I might be a prude," she started, "But at least I don't have a chastity electric fence around my person preventing my fucking boyfriend from doing any more than heavy petting--"

Then she tacked on the hated 'Mary' nickname at the end of her sentence, adding on 'Stone' to hammer home that I was nothing but a 60's sitcom girl who played with boys like building blocks. I lost it right there, and felt my jaw drop as the argument had its exclamation point tacked on to the end. I was too shocked to respond, and almost felt like crying as I left the room in a huff, made a beeline for my locker to retrieve my things and got out to the bus before Paris could catch me. I heard her apologies echoing in the hall, but ignored them. She brought up my most sensitive subject she could and smashed hari-kari through those boundaries I set aside. Not only that, it hurt for someone I thought I could love so deep to say such hateful things about me.

But it was true. I didn't truly love Dean anymore, yet kept him along. I felt too distraught to think of anything else except the argument as I watched the headlights of Friday rush hour pass by in the northbound lanes, and I looked out of the bus window in despair. My phone rang in my backpack, but I didn't even bother to take it out. A couple minutes later I heard the chirp of my voicemail, and pretty much assumed it was Paris begging for mercy.

Maybe it had been my fault. I was bringing her out of the shell too fast and perhaps being a little too forward. But I didn't expect to be perfect when I pursued the pro and con list since it was my first time playing the seductress. I needed to regain control and her trust, and hoped that putting space between us to calm down would put us back on an even keel.

Once I got back home, I had to vent to Lorelai my frustration about Paris (leaving out all the girl-crush details, along with plenty of edited language) as we both got ready for Friday night dinner at Grandma's. I don't remember what I said, but it must've been a long tirade because I was still going strong about her as we got in the Jeep, and only stopped once we were midway between the Hollow and Hartford, I went on about almost the whole summer and most of the new school year. I didn't let Mom know about the field hockey stuff, but even with that as we pulled of the I-84 exit towards the mansion, she seemed to figure out something I hadn't been noticing as she glanced in my direction.

"Whoa, calm down there kiddo," Mom told me as she put a hand on my knee, "The way you're talking about Paris I swear you're acting the same way you did before you and Dean got together, ranting on and on without an end because you like her more than you let on. Just breathe hon, she isn't here and the only evil forces in your sights tonight are Emily and Richard trying to steer you towards Yale."

I swear when she told me that, I immediately turned white. Not at the whole college situation of course, but that she saw through my anger and towards my arousal unwittingly. I have my mother to thank for the rest of the night, because instead of stewing in my anger over being called Mary Stone, my body woke up to the fact that the whole argument had left me aroused and wet since it began.

There I sat during Friday night dinner, a time I usually enjoy because my mother's quippy nature becomes mixed with the older, yet refined humor of my grandparents and things always get interesting between the two generations, and all I was thinking to myself was, I'd rather be upstairs in that NSYNC'ophied bedroom scratching that damned itch Paris irritated. I sat in my seat, legs tightly crossed and reanalyzing the entire argument and Wednesday's third period over and over in my mind, trying to find out where exactly pleasure had been triggered in Paris' responses because I sure wasn't noticing before Mom noticed my rant-track. I ate that evening slowly and deliberately, and tried to time my responses to any queries Grandpa and Grandma sent my way so that in the end my answer was satisfactory, they wouldn't ask a follow-up and I was free to go back to thinking about Paris.

Several times that night I wanted to ask if I could either use the bathroom, or take a nap upstairs before I left, but I held my tongue since that would have caused Lorelai to become ever more paranoid about the intentions of her parents. That, and the thought of masturbating with all those frilly covers below wasn't exactly conducive to any fantasies I've had of my classmate.

So I waited until I came home, and after watching some late-late movie on channel 20, went to bed after wishing my mom a good night. By then however, the only thing I was feeling was tired, the turn-on from anger seemed to be fading, but I really wanted to get that tension out before I began my next beg-a-thon for Paris' forgiveness Monday in school. Thinking about that, I felt like crying, but I had to focus on the positives of the situation. I could do this with a heavy heart, or try to keep the flame strong. I silently read my pro-con list to myself (at the time it was a 28 pro-3 con tally), and got my cell phone out so I could listen to Paris' messages. I turned on the phone and noticed that not only did she leave about four voice messages, but a couple of text messages later after the voice mails.

The voice mails were as devastating as I expected, her voice strained and subdued as I heard in the background soft classical music. The last one, left around nine seemed the most apologetic. "I know in the past Rory, I've told you that I hate you, especially after Tristan revealed our date was set up." Her composure seemed artificial as she went on, she was definitely on the verge of tears. "I do sort of hate you, but not for any negative reason. It's just that sometimes I feel like you're way too lucky in your life, and I envy that about you. Your mother speaks in your primary language and is your best friend as you say, and there's just this part of me that wishes I could go up to my mother and she'd act like Lorelai. But I know that's never going to happen, and though I know you didn't mean it, she is a bitter hag."

That's when she started crying, full on. I've never heard her voice so desperate and sad, and it just broke my heart to hear her. "If I ever get like Sharon, I want to know so I can back off that track, because today, there was no doubt I was carbon-copying when she fought with Daddy and accused him of some affair that was impossible with his schedule and everything else. Anyways, please, I beg of you to call me back Gilmore, today we went too far with our fighting. I'm so sorry, and I'll get off the phone before I crumble apart here. Goodbye." Paris then hung up, and I read her short text messages, asking me if I was back home yet.

I knew there was one thing I shouldn't do, so I decided just to go to bed and not think about Paris sexually that night since it wouldn't do any good to fantasize about her when our friendship was fractured. Instead, I went to sleep thinking about all I could do in order to patch things up with her. I knew she'd be sorry, but I was scared that the next time we'd find something to argue about we'd actually come to blows. The simple fact was, there was an untamed lover beneath Paris' façade, but that self was heavily guarded by so many conflicting emotions, problems, and guilt for not going with her mother's planning that she couldn't help but keep herself sealed off. That part of her was so much in her blood that the formerly carefree seven year-old she was, who ran around the playground not worrying about her image or how she came off to the trustees of Harvard or Hartfordian society was trapped beneath her iron bitch self.

Really, that's the first time I really truly knew how my mother felt, and the reason she had to run away with me after my first birthday. Mrs. Gellar had definitely done so many things to screw with Paris' mind up to and including making everyone who didn't support 'The Plan' miserable. I remembered Paris' housekeeper almost dragging her out by the ear the night of the initiation. Definitely hired by Mrs. Gellar, I thought, remembering the times she spoke in animated and happy Portuguese to 'Nanny' on her cell phone. I never understood what they were really saying, but her attitude was so much different than it was whenever Mrs. Gellar had come to school to 'check up' on her daughter. There was also the clear sign that whenever Paris and I were paired up for a project, we'd only go to the Manor if Mrs. Gellar was at one of her club meetings or on a business trip. That woman just makes me so angry that she can have this bright girl she foaled, but could ignore all the positives in her life and hammer home the negatives so hard, Paris can't help but have a bitter front surrounding her.

That night, I didn't have a passionate, sweaty, and porn-without-plot dream with Paris, but instead I just thought of her and us, sitting at a table at Luke's talking for hours on end about anything and everything we could come up with, a true wild card night over a plate of chili cheese fries and endless coffees debating endlessly without interference from the guys or our mothers. When I woke up from it in the morning, I recalled all the good times we've had, the study sessions and the constant quizzing that never stumbled or ended awkwardly. There was nothing more that I wanted to do but resettle things down with her.

But I had remembered the many times I had made peace with Paris, only to see it break and it was on my shoulders to make peace once again. There was a big part of me that wanted to drive out to the Manor and patch up things. However, this time I felt it was Paris who had to come to me since I did still hold some anger over the way she went off about my treatment of Dean and Jess.

So I decided to wait for her to get off the phone and make her amends in person. I did my usual Saturday things, homework, studying, working at the Inn for a few hours, hoping the next person to walk into the front foyer would be a 5'3" blonde hellfire with deep, dark brown eyes. She didn't come by though, and though Lorelai noticed how anxious I was, I avoided her queries and blamed my worry on homework and the whole situation. We had a late night with a taped copy of the MST3K version of Space Mutiny, and I went to bed at two thinking that the Paris stalemate would continue to fester for the next few months, continuing in that three months friends/three months enemies cycle we seemed to always be on.

I was asleep and not dreaming, when suddenly I heard this strange rapping on the pane of my window. "What the--" I mumbled as I struggled to look at the green numbers of my alarm clock on the nightstand. It read 4:34 and it took me a bit to remember the little dot in the corner meant AM rather than PM. I sighed in relief that I hadn't slept fourteen hours accidentally, but was kind of scared about who was trying to get in the house.

I grabbed the closest thing I had to a weapon nearby, Colonel Clucker (Yeah, I'll beat that burglar into a coma with a stuffed chicken. Stars Hollow isn't exactly known for a high crime rate, OK?), and slowly crept towards my window. I mumbled a tired hello and awaited a response as I wiped the sleep out of my eyes.

"Rory?" the voice asked, and I could immediately recognize its owner. I clutched the string of my window shade and pulled it up to confirm who it was.

Paris had driven all the way out to my town on an early Sunday morning on a crazy whim, and I could tell this wasn't well planned the way she usually did before we talked. Her hair was barely done, and her choice of a Harvard sweatshirt with dark sweatpants was an ensemble so unlike her. But what really hurt as I turned on a bedside light and opened up the window was seeing her face.

Her usually spare makeup was gone, and in its place was a face full of worry lines, a frown, and eyes that were so forlorn and tired I was shocked that she could make a forty minute drive to my house, she was in a distraught condition that I never would associate her with.

At first I felt bad about what we had done each other to create a rift in our friendship. Then my mind reminded me that she had called me a teasing prude who could care less about sex. Upon that thought, I opened the window and asked why she was there when she had made the assertion I never thought about sex, being extra harsh about my response.

Instead of a heated argument ensuing like I had expected, Paris just asked meekly if I could let her in so she could tell her side of the story. The way she asked me, with a hoarse and sleepy voice, I couldn't deny her. So even though I was apprehensive, I let her in my room and listened to her carefully.

I was expecting her to stall somewhat, but she went right into answering my question from Wednesday, in more detail than I could've hoped for in the shower.

Thank God, because she only confirmed what I had expected; her mother controlled her body image. I didn't know what to say as Paris explained sitting at the desk that she had so many problems being proud of herself because her mother made her feel ashamed of her figure. When she said that she was forced to consider reduction surgery on her mother's behest though, I didn't know what to say. No wonder she stays hidden, I thought to myself as she relayed to me that no doctor around here would do the surgery as long as she was 17, her mother's too obsessed with her schooling to even consider her wants.

As Paris went on, there was so much seizing up in me that wanted to drag her over to my bed and prove to her that her body was perfect in my eyes. I continued listening to her relay her mother's insane plans for keeping her the dullest and least interesting girl ever, and couldn't understand Mrs. Gellar's motives at all. Why would she want Paris to be almost like a robot?

Then I found out how her mother plans dates, by IQ and how good the boy's genes were. No wonder she kept her heart locked away; she was a hopeless romantic who was unlucky to have a mother who seemed to think courtship was like those Valentine's love surveys the student government used to hand out a few days before the 14th (and was one of the first things Paris and I outlawed, how can numbers and computers create the perfect match? With them in the mix, girls attracted to girls aren't even in the equation!). My anger over her remarks had faded completely, and I invited her to lay with me on my bed as I explained my side of things.

"Par," I started, the words coming slowly, "you were just getting to me in the worst way possible and there was just a lot of baiting going on in that room, there's no justifying calling you a bitter bitch, just as I don't think you could explain why I could be called a tease. I pull away from Dean because he has to get the picture that I'm far from ready from doing that with him."

"I understand that, completely, and I certainly don't frown on you staying a virgin." She lay down and started making amends with me. "You have my word from this moment on that I won't be making any more cracks about our sexual statuses, and I'm sorry I even asserted you were on the level of Louise. Not that's she's a bad girl, she's been my friend since kindergarten."

"Hey, she isn't bad, just goes about things a different way than us two, and at least she does things in a safe way."

"Thank me for that Gilmore; I just about drilled an entire sex-ed curriculum into her blonde little head before her first time."

We both laughed and got off that whole messy subject of Friday night, and she went on and on about her relationships with Harold, her father, and her nanny. She explained that though Mr. Gellar wasn't always there, he was a true father in her eyes and she wasn't ashamed of him, and how Francisca had just about raised her up to her teenage years. Of course lots of details were left out about her mother, and I could tell she was trying to swerve around the topic as much as she could.

So I made her an offer that if she had anything she needed to talk about or find a second opinion, especially about her mother, she could come to me, no questions asked. I wouldn't judge her, nor would I make fun of her.

"Are you sure?" she asked me with some reservations. "What if it's a topic that would make you squeamish, like my love life? Sure, you aren't exactly Caroline Hax, but you know Louise, she's a little extreme, and Madeline, anything more taxing on her brain than fellatio and she needs a picture book--"

I cut her off kindly before some icky mental pictures of Madeline were planted in my brain and took her left hand into my right, rubbing around her knuckles so I could calm her down. "Par, honestly I've already given you more dating help than those two, so what's a little sex talk between friends." I laughed and we turned to face each other. "I don't exactly know how to do much, but in some weird odd little way, you're the closest thing I've had to a kindred spirit since I came to Chilton. We fight and debate endlessly, but at the end of the day we're still two smart young women both vying for the big H and the valedictorian's slot, and probably bound to each other for life in some karmic plan."

"True," she mumbled, and I noticed her grip on my hand become a little tighter, "Fine, I'll come to you for help, but don't expect me to give you advice about Dean, I'm kind of inexperienced."

I think you have nothing to fear, I thought to myself as I acknowledged her and smiled back. From there we forgot all about everything and fell into one of those deep, thoughtful conversations that pop up at the oddest times. Paris and I talked about anything besides the way we think our bodies and families were, including some things about the newspaper and Francie. I had gotten just a little more dirt on the Puffs leader since I became her 'lackey', but nothing yet that would prove beyond a doubt that she was using me for a puppet. I kept silent on that front, but couldn't wait until I had so much taped and written evidence she would be a goner. I'm sure Paris would be mad at first for going behind her back, but she'd commend me later for my resourcefulness.

By the time six had rolled around, I was starting to feel really sleepy, but also very comfortable. My bed was feeling awfully tight since Paris' body took up the right side of the mattress, but I didn't want her to go. She yawned kind of softly, and seemed so drowsy that I couldn't see her going back to Hartford when she was already sinking into my pillows.

Paris tried to lift herself out of the bed and see herself off, but I kept my hand clasped in hers, and held her back with my open arm.

"You're too tired to get back on the road, stay here." I gave her a pleading look, but she was still unsure.

"Sharon might not be happy to let me stay, and really I just came to apologize, you need sleep, right?"

"I don't mind Par; you're not a bad bed partner." I laughed. "Besides, does your mother really care at all?"

I won her with the emphasis on that word, and she kicked off her shoes and brought the covers on her side of the bed over her frame. "I guess you're right, I'll stay."

"Great," I said, and shortly after wishing each other good night despite the sun rising over the horizon, we fell asleep. Not in each other's arms mind you, but close enough that her body heat lulled me into a deep slumber I didn't think would've been possible without her sharing my bed. We brushed against each other a few times, but my senses were cooled and after all that talking my only focus was on recharging my mind.

I didn't have the good sense to set my alarm for my regular 9:30 am wakeup time so that I could get up and work at the Inn however, and forgot all about Lorelai in the rush to set things straight with Paris. Mom knocked on my door around ten, and was surprised to see that there was someone else sleeping next to me.

"Rory, it's time to--" she flicked on the light, and saw the back of Paris' head, misjudging its owner at first. "Dean, what are you doing in my daughter's bed?"

I rubbed the sleep out of my eye and for a moment thinking that it was indeed Dean in my bed, shook her awake vigorously.

The long blonde hair I felt against her shoulder however gave me much-needed relief that everything about last night wasn't a dream, and I had made up with the girl I had such heavy feelings for her. "Mom," I mumbled, "that isn't Dean, it's Paris."

As I roused her awake she was mumbling something about a guy named Milt and his radio show, and when she came to, she was surprised by the fact she was in my bed and in my room.

Mom wanted to know everything that lead Paris to sneak into our house, so I told her about yesterday and how we were both feeling depressed that we tore ourselves apart, though instead of 'the flat question' I made up something about editorial differences with a Franklin story, and Paris was only too happy to go along with the cover. That seemed to appease Lorelai, and Paris got up from her side, straightening her hair crudely by running her fingers through it.

Perfect timing of course, for Lorelai to resume acting like the sixteen year-old girl she always would be in spirit.

"So, you wanted to seduce my daughter by sleeping with her you harlot? I must say you're doing quite a good job," she joked, making Paris' eyes bug out, my eyes roll and both of us take on that familiar shade of red that's becoming familiar between us on our faces.

"Mother!" I cried in an Emily-ish tone, and she laughed at my reaction.

"What, I'm just saying that you have excellent taste in women my darling daughter." Paris laughed at my misery along with Mom, but I guess when you get into a situation like that, you're asking for it.

I got up and secretly held out a glimmer of hope that Paris might decide to have a day of fun with Mom and I, even if it involved some work at the Inn. However looking at her in full daylight...yeah, her shirt and sweatpants certainly didn't scream out 'outing ensemble' at all. So after a quick breakfast she said her goodbyes and I watched her drive off, I got back into my regular Sunday routine, quite pleased that Paris and I had patched things up, maybe even permanently.

This week, I've started to become a little bolder, and losing the excuse of trying to find things to put on the pro/con list. Madeline and Louise were off to troll around for guys lucky enough to be dates for their Halloween shindig and Paris' side of the table seemed a little lonely, so I've taken to sitting next to her at lunch. I sit a little closer than Louise has and can proudly note that Paris doesn't think I've invaded her space at all, and I've been able to brush against her arm a few times as we ate.

I am feeling kind of depressed though. My dad decided to invite me up to Boston for Halloween, and with Sherrie being much more demanding as her pregnancy progresses ("What do you mean I have to take a lighter caseload Chris, I can handle six clients in one day!" she whines, and I so want to tell her gory details of what wrath I wrought gestating inside of Lorelai starting in February 1984), it's up to me to keep them both sane as they drag me off to some lame gathering where there are sure to be few girls I relate to, and I can't turn down my dad no matter how ridiculous the request. I know Paris really doesn't celebrate the holiday and it would've been fun showing her how October 31st in the Hollow was, but I better show some respect to Sherrie seeing as I'll have a sister from her soon.

Also, it hurts that she ruined a perfect costume match-up with Paris being Roxie, and me playing the role of Velma. That dream kept me wet the night after Mads suggested it in jest. Paris could pull off Roxie, she was a top ballerina when she was younger and before she...filled out and became so voluptuous.

A couple things make me feel better though. For one, that she's starting to become a little more cautious and unhinged around me. The other thing is Monday morning I met Paris at her locker, and was pleased beyond belief that the little pep talk I gave her in my bed convinced her to ditch the uniform jacket permanently and go with the blue Chilton sweater instead. It looks so much nicer and flattering on her curves, and makes her in class and extra-curricular activities so much more approachable to others. I steal a glance occasionally in her direction, and my mouth almost waters at being able to look at her in such a way.

I lick my lips as I remember she almost swerved off the road on the way back home Tuesday night because I was reaching over to retrieve a book from my backpack sitting on the driver's side of the backseat, and my hand brushed up against the top of her shoulder. I don't know if I'll be doing that again though, Paris usually pushes 75 on the Wilbur Cross and is a very aggressive driver, managing to swerve in and out of traffic, even during the heavy jams we occasionally run into on route 84.

Though I have to admit, the way she drives? Also a big turn-on...ahem, I should say pro. Yeah, I keep trying to convince myself that I should up and give up, renaming the list 'turn-offs and turn-ons', but if someone happens to glance and see Pro and Con on top instead they'll be less likely to read it if it does get in the wrong hands.

Speaking of hands, I think I'm going to run mine through Paris' hair right about now. She looks like she wants to bite Mr. Mercurio's head off, and I don't blame her because once again, this class is boring! Her shoulders are all hunched up and from behind, it looks like she has this imaginary weight stressing her upper body. I remember what happened when I calmed her down before the date with Jamie and hope that this works too. Thank goodness the boy in back of me is too much of a Russian geek to care about what I'd do with the girl in front of me, he's freakishly into bad Russian fic and keeps raising his hand and butting in with these facts that no one gives a damn about, it's like going to class with a Trekkie!

Wait, that would be an insult to Luke, oops. How about Battlestar Gallactica? Yeah, few fans supporting that fandom, I feel better now.

At first, I comb through her hair with my fingers, then when I notice no one's attention drawn towards me, I part the middle so I can rub right near the back of her neck, noticing the thin gold chain that her Tiffany & Co. Star of David necklace consists of. I've never seen it up close (she usually keeps it concealed beneath her shirt because of her conservative dress), but she told me that Sunday morning it was a gift from her father for her bat mitzvah, and that it had a beautiful brilliant blue topaz stone in the middle pentagon that denoted her birth month of December, and said it was in the same blue shade of my eyes. When she told me that I thought I heard her voice try to flirt, honestly. Hearing her repeat that in my mind sends shudders up my spine as I play with the chain and a couple of my fingers rub against the sensitive skin beneath her hairline.

She starts to ease up a little and relaxes her shoulders as I go along, and then I feel a piece of paper jab against my knee. She passes me a note, and I wonder what it says. I sneak it slowly against my body until it's high enough to hide behind my War and Peace copy, and I open it up.

Paris isn't blunt about her disappointment with this class, and when she compares it with having oral sex with Boris Yeltsin you can't help but laugh. In her own little way she makes it clear she hates the class but loves my 'stress relief', so I'm very pleased.

I hear her unsnap the end of her pencil, which means she wants me to respond. I scribble down a joke about getting drunk on that Russian favorite, vodka, and on a whim I decide to include a little flirtatious overture in the postscript. Surely she's getting my hints as I make them more obvious, and as I pass the note back wrapped around a sharpened pencil, I make sure that I brush her fingertips and linger the touch longer than needed, very obvious to just her.

I can't see her reaction to the 'pleasure' I added on towards the end, but I can feel it. Her pulse is apparent, and I can feel it race oh so slightly, along with a sharp intake of breath that's unnoticed to anyone else but me. Seems like everything is slowly going according to the plan I'm making up as I go along.

"Miss Gellar, can you read from page 337 all the way to page 353 for the class please, you seem engrossed in this story so much."

Damn it Mr. Mercurio, why did you have to call on Paris, she's all tensed up again and I have to back off my little mini-massage! Everyone looks towards her, and I pull my hand back so I'm just touching her hair as she starts reading in a voice that suggests she'd much rather be reading something of substance, say a Hot Topic catalog. I frown on the outside, but turn to the back of my notebook and write she loves a good back rub under the ever-growing pro column.

I'm still nervous what everyone's reaction to my news would be, and still a little bit unsure of exposing my crush on Paris to her. But it seems that with her candid answer about her breasts when she apologized and the shedding of the jacket, I might have more than a kindred spirit, as I told her on Sunday, she might really be my soulmate and feel the exact same way I do. She is letting me touch her in class without trying to shrug it off, isn't she? That's a good sign.

She's reading, and right now I'm curling a couple of strands of her hair around my index finger, retaining just enough of the words she's saying that I'll get out of here unscathed and my love of books won't be warped from reading this crap. I should be soaking it up like a sponge, but instead I'm sitting in this hard wooden desk chair trying to keep the fragrance of her hair out of my mind, and keeping my fingers relatively in control so they don't end up south of her neck. There's so much spinning around in my mind, and the only thing that makes sense is that she's a wonderful person to sleep in the same bed with, our fights pump so much blood around my body where it shouldn't be, and doing more things with Dean to try to dampen these feelings I have for her has lost its intended effect, since I'm now imagining her lips on mine instead of Dean's.

I know one thing though; I'll break up with Dean before I do anything with Paris, because I'm certainly not keen on cheating on him, I'm sure she wouldn't take well to being a side project as Dean and I stayed together.

Although there's never been anything said about fantasizing about a girl while you're still with the boy, so I'll try to keep those thoughts on a speedy boil. Hmm, there was that one I had last night where we were at the point of the Mary Stone crack again, I wonder what I could do with that if instead of stomping out, I shoved her on that big and spacious conference room table and let her know that the 'chastity electric fence' system I wore failed on girls, when it came to her I wanted to do much more than heavy petting, and that I lied about not wanting to fuck her back to fifth period that Friday?

Yeah, I can work with that, and best of all as long as I keep my eyes on the book and occasionally change the page, Mr. Mercurio won't notice a thing. That's the great thing about having a very high IQ and a fast WPM figure (and lusting for the same); you already know how to get yourself off without arousing the attention of anyone, not even the girl in front of you. I better get started then; Paris is down to fourteen pages and she reads a page every twenty-five seconds, not a lot of time to get the friction going down there...

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