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GG Ficlet: Five Times Dean Does the Wrong Thing 1/1

August 18th, 2011 (07:24 am)

Title: Five Times Dean Does the Wrong Thing

Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: This is another old one that may or may not have been beta'ed (I honestly can't remember!). I did give it a read before posting, so hopefully there aren't too many mistakes. It's a series of snapshots with spoilers from S1-S5.

Summary: Dean believes Rory's the best thing that ever happened to him, and maybe that's something he'll never doubt, even if he really should.

 

-o-

Five.

Dean's always known that Rory is special but he's never seen it quite like this. He's never seen her believe it quite like this.

Because this time, he's standing outside of her grandparents' house, waiting for her to come, waiting for her to remember. She shows up, tipsy and smiling, tiara in her hair and an entourage behind her. She has no reassurances to offer. She has no placation to give. She has nothing except an aristocratic giggle and a vague look of regret in her eyes.

She doesn't have to say anything, because he already knows. He knows.

He knows it's over. He knows it was over before it started. He knows Rory never loved him, not like he loved her, and that this thing between them wasn't anything at all.

It roils his stomach and he wants to be sick. He should have seen this coming. He should have seen it when he came here the first time, when Richard tore him down and he never got invited back. He should have seen it when Rory tried to talk him out of community college, tried to talk him into something better. He should have seen it when she let Jess crash the car he built her, the one he labored over, the one he proved himself by. He should have seen it when the only thing she was worried about afterwards was another fight.

He should have seen it when she asked him to meet her here, but wait outside.

These were signs, he knows now. These were signs that he'd never been good enough. That he'd never been her equal.

Just like that, it's all piling up on him. All his years with Rory, all the times she hurt him, all the times he held on too tight. All the things he's tried to do to make things right, to make things better, only to have them fail. The things he did to try to make himself happy, to help himself move on. His marriage, his divorce, working at Doose's, doing construction, just to end up alone and miserable and so damn alone.

Now Dean just wants to lose control, to do something dramatic, something real, something right. He's tried living for Rory. He's tried living for Lindsay. He's tried living for himself, but none of it makes any difference.

Instead, he says goodbye to Rory-and he means it this time. He gets in his truck, gives her one last look, and drives away slowly. When he looks in the rearview mirror, she's still there, watching him go without a word.

And Dean wishes he could take it back. Not leaving, not walking away from her like that. Because this is right, even if it hurts, even if he may never recover from it. There is nothing else he could have done.

He doesn't even regret all the years he's loved her, all the kisses he's given her, all the money he's spent on dinners and books and cars. He can't even regret all the phone calls, all the days he spent waiting for her, all the nights he's spent wanting her. Because that's what love is, that's what emotions are, and parts of it will always be worth it.

Still, there's regret so deep, gnawing at him from the inside out, aching in his belly, resounding in his mind with the echo of lost years of his life.

The road is dark ahead of him, his headlights skimming bleakly over the pavement, and he wonders where he'll end up, where he'll go next, what he'll do. And he wishes so much that he could just take it back-take back standing there, outside that house, too afraid to be a part of her world.

That's what he regrets, more than anything-not falling in love, not walking away, but just waiting there, a whole half hour, standing there compliantly like the nobody that he is. He wants to go back, stop himself from going to see her, stop himself from believing he had a chance in the first place.

Four.

For a while, he thinks he can do this without her. Without anyone. Like that's how it's supposed to be.

But he loves her. He's always loved her. His love means more than the shame of his divorce and all he can think is that if he doesn't take this chance, if he doesn't go to her, he may never be happy again.

When he finds her at the post election party, she smiles at him and looks like she's glad to see him and Dean tries to believe that this might work.

But there's a distance, a question in her eyes. It's a question she's been dancing around for days now, maybe weeks, since this all began. He tries to avoid it, to ignore it, to overlook it just like he tries to overlook the fact that maybe her dating him is just her way to make the whole mess seem less wrong. But he's ignored it all so well, and even if he doesn't have a real job or any real skills to back him up, he's an expert at denial.

"If Lindsay hadn't found the letter, would you still have left her?" she asks.

He's supposed to say yes, of course, and he does. Because that's what he had told himself when he went to see Rory at her house that night last summer. That's what he had told himself all summer before Rory came back. That's what Rory needed to hear now. That's what can absolve him, absolve them.

But it doesn't sound right. Not at all. He's supposed to think it's a silly question, so silly that it doesn't need to be asked. He's supposed to laugh away her doubts, run a hand through her hair and smile and kiss her until she forgets she ever asked the question at all.

But he hesitates. Not because he doesn't want to believe it, not because he loves Lindsay like he loves Rory, not because of anything except the sudden doubt that maybe he shouldn't be here. Not that he should be with Lindsay, but maybe that Rory wasn't worth breaking up his marriage. Things like that, decisions like that, are supposed to be on his terms.

He manages to get the words out, to try to reassure her (because she's all he has at this point), but it does little to assuage her growing doubts. He can see that much, even though she doesn't say anything. Because they're both too far into this to back out now. It's still too fresh, the reality is too raw, and Dean is almost a little grateful for that.

Still, he shouldn't be. He should let his divorce be about his own issues, not Rory's, and part of him knows if he's ever going to move on, he has to fix himself before he can fix things with Rory. This is the easy out.

So really, Dean's not sure why it's so damned hard.

Three.

Lindsay finds the letter and it's all over. He says so. She says so. She's angry and sobbing and furious and devastated. Breaking and raging, throwing things and pulling away.

There's nothing more to say, nothing more to do, so he packs his overnight bag, cleans his stuff off the sidewalk, and just walks out.

He doesn't know where to go. He doesn't know what to do. He could go to Rory, because she's supposed to be the reason for this, but he's not sure he wants to.

And he remembers Lindsay's roast, how happy she'd been, how she fawned over him because she loved him, how she wanted to make it work. He'd let her believe it. He'd been too chicken to shatter her fantasy. He'd been too afraid to tell her how badly he wanted to go to college, to tell her what living in the condo didn't mean to him, to tell her the truth about anything. She's always been a little childish, a little dependent on her parents, a little everything, but she was so sweet, so nice, and she had always loved him.

She was crying, now; he knew her well enough to know that. Curled up on their bed, clutching their sheets close to her, and crying.

She had loved him and he had broken her heart. He tells himself it was inevitable, but he doesn't really believe it.

Jaw clenched, Dean feels his own tears spring to his eyes. Maybe it had been over before it started, but he never should have let it happen. Not like this. Not with a letter and false promises and empty hopes.

He wishes he'd just told her the truth. He wishes he'd been that much of a man.

Shoulders slumped, he walks away, and tries not to think about how much of a fantasy that is.

Two.

He can still say no. He could have said no last night, the night before, the week before, the day he proposed. He could have walked out at any time, but he's never really known that, never really felt that until now. Now with Lindsay across from him, all dressed in white, her eyes sparkling, her smile radiating, he can't help but think he shouldn't be doing this.

He should be at college, he should be discovering himself, he should be learning and growing, and here he is in a tux with a minister and a girl who loves him.

Promises to love, to honor, to obey. Promises she means with all her heart. And it's not just a lie before all their friends and family or before her or even God.

It's a lie before himself.

But Lindsay is so beautiful and so many people have come and the day is so perfect and Rory chose Jess and Dean says, "I do."

One.

He hasn't lived here long, and he still misses home. Stars Hollow is nice, but it's small and quaint and it seems like there's nobody here really worth knowing. Sure, he meets some good guys at school. There are a couple of cute girls that have piqued his interest. But he's looking for a connection, something deeper, something true, something-

Her. He sees her. Brown hair, pretty smile, always talking, always moving. He doesn't understand a word she says. He doesn't even know her name. At this point, though, he doesn't need to. That will come with time, he tells himself, and he's not sure why he's so confident. He's never felt suave around girls, but this time-this time it's different.

This girl is different.

He's drawn to her, like a moth to a flame. Just by watching her, studying her, he knows she is something special. Something special to him.

He doesn't know what will happen and he doesn't know where the spurt of courage comes from, but he doesn't question it, doesn't take the time to ask himself the questions before he walks right up to her.

He doesn't think twice. Won't think twice. Not when he's talking to her, not when he's courting her, not when he's telling her that he loves her and she can't say it back. He won't think twice for years, because he believes she's the best thing that ever happened to him, and maybe that's something he'll never doubt, even if he really should.

 

Comments

Posted by: percysowner (percysowner)
Posted at: August 18th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)

This was beautiful. The total destruction of Dean was one of the things that drove me from Gilmore Girls. Dean was a good guy. He made mistakes, but somehow the show seemed to think Rory was as special as Dean did and so we only saw her as the one to sympathize with. Thank you for a story from Dean's POV.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 19th, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
dean rory loved

If I hadn't known about Dean's storyline before I watched the show, I probably wouldn't have been able to handle it. Even as it was, Rory grated on my nerves through the last seasons of the show as she became increasingly obsessed with her own specialness.

Poor Dean never had a chance.

Anyway, thanks for reading :)

Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: August 19th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
cute dean says hi

*sigh*

I'm sad for Dean. I sure hope he turned things around and finally proved to himself that he's worthy. That was the hard part for me...watching him doubt himself.

I have missed cute!Dean. Thank you for bringing him back again.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 19th, 2011 12:28 pm (UTC)
cute dean first time

I think the worst thing about what the show did to Dean was that they wrote him off in a way that left him despondent, bitter, and pathetic. At least Jess and Logan got better send offs (especially Jess). Poor Dean was just not loved.

I miss cute!Dean myself sometimes :) If my muses ever gets off all things James Murray, maybe I can get back to him.

Thanks!

Posted by: Naoe Nagi (nagi_schwarz)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)

This was amazing. I love stories told in reverse, and this was kind of heartbreaking. I always liked Dean, and I love how human and understandable you made him.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 7th, 2013 02:56 am (UTC)
dean/rory never let go

I hated how the show treated Dean, so I coped with fic.

Thanks!

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