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Gilmore Girls fic: Through the Grapevine.

June 23rd, 2011 (08:25 am)

Title: Through the Grapevine

Disclaimer: Note mine.

A/N: I wrote this years ago and it was beta'ed years ago by geminigrl11 . Just now posting because I keep telling myself I need to post my random fics :) Spoilers for Dean's storyline throughout the series.  Fits with the rest of the redemptive!Dean verse.

Summary: By the time Luke hears it, it's old news. Really old news. Year-old news, actually.

 

-o-

It starts with Lisa Lister's best friend Wendy Hodgkins. Lisa tells Wendy everything about her family and her life, so when Lisa's daughter Lindsay gets screwed over by her still-new husband and his ex-girlfriend, she's the first to know about it. The first to know that Lindsay Forester will be Lindsay Lister again and that there weren't enough damning things to say about Rory Gilmore and her wiles.

Lisa's mad at everyone. She's mad at Tom for hiring Dean to work at the Dragonfly where that wench's mother works (who, Wendy notes to Dana Edgar on the PTA, has quite a colorful history with men herself). She's mad at Dean for having a wayward dick. She's mad at herself for not making Dean stay in more, for letting him go out each night she comes over to sew or bake or play house with Lindsay. Lisa's really mad, beyond mad, at Rory, who went to Chilton, who goes to Yale, and is pretty and smart and steals other girl's husbands to boot.

Wendy doesn't tell the whole story, of course, because that would not be proper. But Lisa needs some time off from the PTA to deal with the mess (divorce, now, they're talking divorce) so she has to tell Dana, discreetly of course, just so the bases are covered.

-o-

Dana Edgars doesn't know the whole story, but she knows enough. She knows that Lisa Lister is a mess and that it's her daughter's marriage that's to blame, but it's not their fault - not Lisa's, not Lindsay's. No, it's that boy, that Forester boy, and that ex-girlfriend of his, Rory Gilmore.

The fact that there are three names when discussing a divorce and not two is quite enough, so that's all Dana tells to Grace Hayward and Anne Ryan. After all, the PTA meeting is over and they're just making small talk and thinking about whether or not they should try to ask Lisa to make those cute little scones for teacher appreciation week.

And one thing leads to another and they want to talk about the scones but the scones come second to Lisa's personal life, which is of course, of the utmost importance. They are her friends, after all. They can't help her if they don't know the whole story.

So maybe they'll ask her about how Lindsay is and inquire about the scones and hope she mentions something about how Lindsay found out, about if it's really over, about Lisa's fantasies of castrating Dean Forester and eviscerating little Rory Gilmore (who always thought she was too good for their school, and now apparently too good to stay off another woman's husband).

-o-

Grace Hayward mentions it to Sally Reeves. Sally doesn't know Lisa very well, but she does remember Rory and Dean, and how cute they were together. And she can't be sure what happened, but she remembers something about Luke's nephew and a really public breakup from that Forester boy. Temper on that kid, she thinks. Probably why he was good at hockey.

It doesn't take much to put two and two together, to figure out that Dean was never really over Rory, that he probably pined for her all along, even while playing husband to poor Lindsay.

She sees the boy living at home, working at Doose's, and notes that he's a fine looking young man. He seems so dependable on the outside, but with Rory Gilmore? At least there was history there, lots of it, but he's broken Rory's heart and now he's broken Lindsay's.

It doesn't take three strikes to be out in Stars Hollow.

-o-

Reba Salisbury sees Dean with Rory first, that's what she insists, and given what she's heard, she's a little surprised. It's one thing to have a one-time fling, but it looks like Dean really thought about it all before he cheated on that blonde of his. It's a big deal, this Dean and Rory thing, bigger than the first time and the second time because this time Dean's legally still married and Rory just doesn't look very happy.

Neither of them do, actually. She gets why Dean's with Rory, that boy could only hope to be worthy of her, but it says a lot that Rory's with Dean. It says regret. It says she's trying to make it right by making it real.

Who knows. If anyone can make it work, it would be Rory Gilmore, and that boy is rather crazy about her. At least that's what Sally Reeves seems to think, which is good enough for her.

-o-

Rachel Daly hears it from Reba Salisbury that the Lister girl is filing for divorce and suing the ass off that cute little husband of hers. Rachel likes the sound of that; her own husband tried to run away with some tart from down the street and she took pleasure in raking him across the coals and getting far more than child support by the time it was all said and done.

Rachel also remembers hearing that the Lister women had it out with the Gilmore women downtown, which is, of course, a juicy tidbit and she wishes she'd been there. They say that Rory at least looked guilty, but not guilty enough since she's been spotted with that Forester kid since then.

Quite the audacity. Those two in public together. If they wanted to be together, they never should have broken up. Boys are dumb like that, though. The grass is always greener, which is why Rachel's husband wanted to reconcile.

Rachel rejected him so hard and fast and so Rachel hopes that Dean Forester gets every terrible thing coming to him in this life and the next.

-o-

Cindy Becker doesn't like Rachel Daly - truthfully, the woman kind of scares her, but Rachel says something about the divorce of that Forester boy and the Lister girl and she can't help but be interested. She got them a toaster for their wedding and it hasn't even been a year since then.

That's why it didn't pay to marry young, she figures, and why she'd balked at every guy her own daughter brought home and looked dreamy-eyed about. Girls might be ready, Cindy could consent. But boys? Never. Boys were silly and immature and far too tempted by anything and everything.

Not that that poor Lister girl deserved that. Especially with the way that boy goes out with his new girl now. Or his old girl. Rory Gilmore.

Shame, she always liked Rory Gilmore.

What was it about tall men that made girls do stupid things? He is a cute kid, no doubt, but once a cheater, always a cheater, and if Rory Gilmore is as half as smart as they say she is, she'll get the hell away. That boy is going nowhere fast, and Rory Gilmore doesn't have time for that.

-o-

It's Carol Watson who puts it all together. She's taking a small trip from her office between her appointments. She just wants a snack, listening to people talk about their problems can be stressful after all, and she gets it. One look at the slumped shoulders of Taylor's bag boy, and she remembers to sudden absence of Lorelai's girl that Babette so moans about and she knows the couple known as Dean and Rory is no more.

She supposes that Rory finally got wise to it all, that she finally realized that she didn't want to keep living on that mistake that she made, that she saw Dean Forester for the little rake that he was.

Dean can't stay true to a wife; he can't keep a girlfriend. The kid needs to do some serious reevaluation of his life if he's going to go anywhere. Maybe some counseling, though Carol can't say she'd like to see him wind up on her couch. She's seen some doozies in her day, but she has so little patience for people who make messes of their lives and then can't find their way out of it.

It's her job to care, though, but only when she's paid. Dean Forester would have to pay a lot for her to give a crap about him.

-o-

Babette usually likes town gossip, but she never liked this tidbit. She never liked that Dean Forester was getting married because Rory had always been so hot for him, and understandably so. And she didn't like hearing about the big scene Lindsay pulled when she kicked Dean out, especially since she'd been seeing Dean with Rory lately.

Bad business, married men with single women. Very bad business.

She hadn't thought, though. Not even with the showdown between Lorelai and Lisa in the park. Not little Rory.

But yes, little Rory. Little Rory and Dean Forester. They were dating, after all, before the ink on Dean's divorce was even dry.

Little Rory Gilmore. Poor kid didn't know any better. She was always so naive. Naive about all of it. Which was why she'd gotten hurt by Dean and Luke's nephew in the past. And now, seduced into bed by another woman's husband-

Well, that wasn't gossip that even Babette cared to share. No matter how juicy. For Rory's sake.

It is with great satisfaction, though, that she tells Miss Patty about how alone Dean Forester is now, about how he's living on a couch in his friend's apartment and looks very not good these days.

Adultery does that to a guy, she supposes, and she's just glad there's some justice left in the world.

-o-

By the time Luke hears it, it's old news. Really old news. Year-old news, actually.

Which is mind-boggling, since he really was kind of close to the situation. He'd even gone on a double date with Dean and Rory and he hadn't known. He'd been the only one to hear Dean's pre-marriage confession and he hadn't known.

Maybe he was as dense as Lorelai told him he was.

Or just blessedly naive.

Because Dean and Rory had never made a ton of sense. The kid had never been good enough for the likes of her. But finding out that he had actually cheated on his wife...with Rory.

Hell, it takes all of Luke's resolve not to track the kid down wherever the hell he is right now and pound him senseless for even thinking about Rory that way. For touching her that way. It isn't right, is not right and it amazes him that Lorelai had tolerated Dean's presence at all.

He stews about it all for awhile and keeps a list in his head of ways to punish the kid should he ever see him again. His favorite involves ground up glass in a burger, but the kid never comes in the diner, so Luke never has the chance.

The next time Rory comes in, he fawns all over her and insists she takes a plate of cheese fries and throws in a piece of pie just because.

When he confronts Lorelai, asks her how she forgot to tell him, how she could let this happen, why Dean Forester wasn't dead by now, Lorelai just tells him he doesn't know the whole story.

But Luke knows what he needs to know. Dean Forester broke Rory's heart, betrayed his wedding vows, then broke Rory's heart again. Some piece of work that kid is, and Luke will tell that to anyone who asks (and some who don't, too).

-o-

It's been over a year since everything happened, and sometimes Dean's ready to move on. Rory has, of course, and Lindsay has, too. His parents have gone on and the Listers have settled back into the socialite routine they'd been in before Dean and Lindsay had ever been an item.

There has to be a statute of limitations on this kind of thing, he figures. After all this time, everyone knows, and it's old news. It's not the hot gossip at the supermarket checkout anymore, and the PTA circles have surely moved on to more pressing controversy, like whether not the new math teacher is banging the cheerleading coach.

Sometimes, there's comfort in that. Dean can take solace in the day to day of his life, working as many jobs as he can find, earning money, earning a way out, earning whatever respect he can muster just by sheer dedication of it all. Because he knows he screwed up - he knows it. He knows he's a failure and a disappointment. He knows he's in his twenties, a divorcee and and adulterer, still working construction and as a stock boy.

It doesn't get much worse than that, he thinks (he knows).

But he still smiles at every customer. He still takes every job Tom offers. He carries groceries for the little old ladies and he pulls flour off the top shelve for customers. He picks up lunch for all the guys and helps people with their cars on the street.

And he's looking into school again, too, not that he lets people know. He's got pamphlets from schools, even UConn. He just has to retake the SATs, improve his scores. He's talked to Gypsy about volunteering a little in the shop, just for some experience. He can do it. He can.

Dean's not doing it for them, but he hopes they see it. He hopes they believe it. Sometimes the entire idea of making things better makes him feel like he almost belongs. Sometimes being in the market, running errands for Taylor, having a regular with the guys down at Jojo's, it makes him feel like he's still accepted.

That's empowering. It's reassuring. It helps.

But then, when he's walking home, someone gives him a look. Another one gives him a frown. Someone whispers and Luke is standing behind his counter, arms crossed, looking right at him. Luke's got a gruff exterior, but everyone knows he's a softie. Most of the time.

Not with Dean, though. But he has to remember, this is all he is now. The kid who cheated on Lindsay Lister. The guy who defiled Rory Gilmore. Scum of the earth, bane of man's existence. Because people don't forgive in Stars Hollow, and they certainly never forget.

 

Comments

Posted by: medusafox (medusafox)
Posted at: June 24th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)

This story is so sad. Even though the general theme on Gilmore Girls was to blame Dean, he was really the victim of Rory Gilmore in it all, in my humble opinion.

You need to write something in the Redemptive Dean universe now, to make up for this! :0)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 24th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
cute dean first time

I find the entire arc of Dean Forester rather sad, which is why I have to envision that he went on to better things.

And I do need to write more in this verse. I just need to nail my muse down :)

Thanks!

Posted by: sidura (sidura)
Posted at: June 24th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
Dean from GG

Even though it is depressing and to be honest it isn't what I need to read right now this was good and really realistic.

I hope though you are going to go on with this 'verse as it is good and has everyone growing rather than what a lot of other fics do. I know that is a long shot as I know you are busy catching up with Primeval and H5O and Chaos fics though why did they have James Murray do a Scottish accent - Billy is supposed to be from North Edinburgh? Why does he sound like he ran away from Kirky instead?

The man is a Manchester why can't they let him sound like one?

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 24th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
dean/rory never let go

It's hard not to write canon!Dean and not get depressed.

And I do hope to get back to this verse--at least, I intend do. I do need to get my muse under control but James Murray really has monopolized my attentions for the moment. As for his Scottish accent--I saw an interview that just said it was the writer's preference. I imagine his lapses with it are more obvious to those who are familiar with the various accents--for me, it all sounds vaguely the same, so unless I'm trying to listen for it, I usually don't catch it.

But I agree that his original accent is quite nice enough as it is :)

Thanks!

Posted by: sidura (sidura)
Posted at: June 24th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)

Problem is I live in Edinburgh and am actually from the West so his accent when consistent sounds more like the area that Craig Ferguson is from to me.

I do hope you get your muse in check though as like your gilmore girls stories.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 24th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
happy james

Yeah, I can see how that would be frustrating. I suppose the crew/writers can't hardly notice the variations since they're likely mostly American/Canadian so they don't overthink it much. But for people who live in England and Edinburgh in particular, it's probably pretty glaring. I imagine keeping an accent for a part is pretty challenging overall.

We'll see how my muse fares. Knowing there are readers out there for such stories is helpful :)

Posted by: percysowner (percysowner)
Posted at: June 24th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)

This sadly very realistic. TGG was so determined to keep Rory the perfect little person, so Dean became completely OOC. The town would have treated Dean like this and he would not have deserved it. I admit, I quit watching GG after the Dean/Rory hookup. I knew where things were going and I couldn't take it any longer. That said, I love your redemptive Dean verse. Dean finally gets some understanding and compassion. I hope you get back to it some day.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: June 26th, 2011 12:41 pm (UTC)
cute!dean water bottle

The writers really massacred Dean. I came to GG after the fact and knew about the sad trajectory of Dean's character before I started watching, which sort of made it easier for me to cope with. Though, writing fic to make it better is still something I feel like I have to do since the character never got justice on screen. So I do hope I get back to it once my muse settles down :)

Thanks!

Posted by: Lady Korana (ladykorana)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Sammy -hurt

Very sad, but all too realistic and easy to picture happening in canon.

Poor Jared's getting really quite good at playing characters that get more than their fair share of blame heaped on them, for events that have plenty of blame to go around. (sorry, moment of bitterness there. I'm good now!)

I own the first 3 seasons of Gilmore Girls, and have watched all the way through to a good chunk of the first half of season 5, but I just can't bring myself to watch 'The Party's Over'. Your redemptive Dean 'verse is such a balm to my Dean-loving soul.

Edited at 2011-07-02 11:48 pm (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 6th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
dean/rory never let go

It is hard to follow an actor who has had roles that get dumped on so profoundly. So I understand your bitterness, trust me :)

The only way I can deal with GG is to think that Dean had a happier ending than the writers gave him. Because he deserved so much more.

Thanks!

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