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GG fic: For the first Time

January 13th, 2009 (06:05 pm)

Title:  For the First Time

Summary:  This is Lindsay’s life and it’s all she knows.

A/N:  This wasn’t written specifically as part of the redemptive!Dean verse, so it can stand alone, but it also fits in, especially as a companion piece to sendintheklowns ’ latest fic, Summer Project.  That said, this isn’t really about Dean, but is a character exploration for Lindsay.  I firmly believe that the failure of Dean and Lindsay’s marriage is both of theirs.  Yes, Lindsay was hurt far worse and nothing she did (or could have done) would have warranted Dean and Rrory’s treatment of her, but she has her responsibility as well.  This is my take. Thanks to sendintheklowns  for encouraging me, and geminigrl11  for the lovely beta work.

Disclaimer: Not mine.  I took a lot of liberties but Lindsay is still not mine.

-o-

Lindsay has lived here all her life.  Stars Hollow is home, just like the cute little Cape Cod on Briarwood that her parents have owned since before she was born.  All the rooms are decorated in cute little themes and they have a dog named Winston with a dog house in the back corner of their fenced-in yard.

Lindsay is the youngest of two children and the only girl.  Her parents dote on her, put ribbons in her hair and dress her up in pink and frills and parade her on her older brother’s arm.  Her brother, Derek, plays football and joins the family business after he gets married to his high school sweetheart and starts having kids right away.

Her father works for the county and makes good money, Lindsay figures.  He used to do construction, but he outgrew that, her mother says, and they’re better than that now.  No more blue collar lifestyle for them.

In fact, her mother doesn’t work, never has, and it seems like the one thing her mother is really proud of.  Her mother is the classroom mother all through Lindsay’s grade school years.  In junior high, her mother helps organize dances and bake sales and makes sure Lindsay gets into all the right classes with all the right teachers and that her locker is in the main hallway.  She knows Lindsay’s schedule better than Lindsay does and keeps track of Lindsay’s life in the planner that she carries in her purse.

This is Lindsay’s life and it’s all she knows.  Her house on Briarwood with a pink room and a canopy bed and an older brother who was quarterback of the football team and a father who is wrapped around her little finger and a mother who wants all her own dreams to live on in her little girl.

-o-

Lindsay wants to play soccer. 

She’s played with her dolls on enough blankets at her brother’s games to know what it’s about.  She knows about kicking and defense and offense and she can see the way kids smile and laugh and eat orange wedges during half time.

“Little girls don’t need to play soccer,” her mother tells her while she brushes Lindsay’s hair one night.

“But I want to.”

Her mother doesn’t seem to hear her as she pulls Lindsay’s hair back into a braid.  “We can start you in dance, instead.  You’ll like dance, honey.  You’ll see.  I always had so much fun in dance.”

Lindsay has everything she wants, she has dolls and tea sets and so it seems silly to protest now.  When her mother buys her a pink leotard and a ballet bag with embroidered slippers on it, Lindsay tries to be excited.

She still dreams of soccer balls.

-o-

Lindsay plays with Sara Quentin who lives across town.  Sara’s in her ballet class and Lindsay always thought she was kind of snooty with her hair in a bun and her little upturned nose.  Lindsay never really talked to her during class, but her mother arranges the play date and makes Lindsay get dressed in a blouse and matching shorts when Sara visits.

They play Barbies in Lindsay’s Dreamhouse, which normally Lindsay might like, but Sara wants all the good Barbies for herself and doesn’t even ask when she takes out her Skipper’s hairdo.  But it would be impolite to say anything, so Lindsay just tries to smile.

Sara’s mother picks her up and Lindsay is a little relieved. 

She’s putting her dolls back in order when her mother comes in with a fresh pile of folded laundry.  Her mother starts putting them away when she says, “Wasn’t it nice to play with Sara today?”

Lindsay doesn’t think so but just shrugs.

Her mother continues, barely even looking at Lindsay.  “So much better than those neighborhood kids.  Good family, the Quentins.”

Lindsay doesn’t know what makes a family good, but Josie Lucas down the street is way more fun.

“Sara’s mother invited you over next weekend,” she concludes.

Lindsay’s mouth opens in protest.  “But why?”

Her mother finally looks at her, more confused than angry.  “Oh, sweetie, you’ll see.  This is for the best.  Friends like Sara Quentin--that’s the image you want.  You’ll thank me someday.  And it’ll be such fun.”

Lindsay closes her mouth and tries not to pout as her mother leaves the room.  Pouting, after all, only makes her look ugly.

-o-

Lindsay likes Biology.

She’s never really liked school much before.  It’s always been okay, but a little mundane.  She does her homework, she goes to classes, she gets decent grades and she just looks forward to lunch when she can sit with her friends.

But Biology.  Genetics.  Double helixes and recessive alleles.  It’s so fascinating and she spends her nights making Punnet squares between herself and some imaginary husband she knows she’s supposed to have.

When registration comes around, she wants to take Advanced Biology as an elective, to get some more experience, but her mother says no.

“Oh, honey, what are you going to do with Biology?”

Lindsay thinks maybe she could study it, maybe even in college, but her mother laughs.

“Girls like us, honey, we don’t need that,” she says.  “Boys aren’t attracted to smart girls.  Boys like girly girls.  That’s your best bet, honey.  No need to waste your time.  There are plenty of other fun things you can do.”

So Lindsay signs up for Creative Sewing instead.

-o-

James Gallagher asks her to Homecoming.

He’s cute about it, all shy and sweet as he stuffs his hands in his pockets and scuffs his feet on the floor.

And she likes him.  He’s got a cute face, even if it’s a little broken out, and she likes the way his hair flops over his eyes.

When she tells her mother, she’s glowing...until her mother says no.

“Why not?” Lindsay asks, confused.  Dances and boys, those are the things she was supposed to care about.  The things she does right.

“James Gallagher?  Oh, honey, please,” her mother says, folding a sheet.

“He’s nice,” Lindsay says.

“I’m sure he’s very sweet, dear.  But he’s a Gallagher.”

Lindsay doesn’t really know what that means.  “But I like him.”

“Sweetheart,” her mother says.  “You can do better.  A boy like James Gallagher will never be able to support you like you deserve to be supported.  You can do better than that, and it’ll make you much happier.”

“But I’m only sixteen,” Lindsay says.  “I don’t want to marry him, I just want to go to Homecoming.”

Her mother just raises an eyebrow.  “I had already dated your father for two years by the time I was your age,” she says.  “You brother started dating Kathy right around this time, too.  You need to start looking ahead, honey.  Trust me, you have to think of your future.  Girls like you, you aren’t planning on college.  There’s no need, right?  We can do better for you, I promise.  And you don’t want to work at the sewing shop downtown, do you?”

Lindsay doesn’t and Lindsay knows she’s not on track for college.  She realizes her entire life is being geared toward one thing, on one course, and it probably is too late to change that now.

The next day, she tells James she can’t go and even though he looks devastated, Lindsay’s pretty sure she’s the one who was missing out.

-o-

She goes to junior prom with Daniel Newcomb, which makes her mother very happy.  The Newcombs live on Bradbury Street, which is even nicer than theirs, and Daniel’s mother is on the PTA with hers.

Her mother is so excited that they go all the way to New York to shop for dresses.  They rent a limo for Prom Night and get reservations at an Italian place in Hartford.

It’s all exciting and overwhelming and Lindsay sort of feels like Cinderella getting ready for the ball, it’s that big of deal.

The pictures are beautiful and they spend a full half hour posing and smiling in front of the clicks of cameras.  When Daniel finally gets her to dinner, he watches her, sort of dreamy-like, and Lindsay wonders if this is it, if this is love, the thing that she’s been waiting for.

He dances with her all night, his hand at the small of her back as he pulls her close.  She feels flush under his hot breath and it’s like the entire room is watching them.

Daniel drives them to After Prom and Lindsay thinks this night can’t get any better.  But he pulls them into an empty parking lot behind a strip mall on the south side of town.  She looks at him, perplexed, and he just smiles, putting the car in park and killing the engine.

He moves closer to her, his hand starting on her shoulder and he looks lovingly into her eyes.  “You look awesome,” he says.

She beams a little, though she feels a little weird.  “Thanks.”

His fingers begin to trail down her shoulder, skimming the strap of her dress.  “So awesome,” he says.

Lindsay stiffens, swallowing a little.  “Hey, shouldn’t we get going?”

He doesn’t seem to hear her.  He’s fondling the top hem of her dress, scooting close to her across the seat, brushing his lips on her cheek.

She laughs and tries to pull away.

He just pushes forward harder, his other hand on her thigh, running up her leg. 

“Daniel,” she says.  “Don’t.”

“What?” he asks.  “This is what people do at prom.  Don’t you know that?”

Lindsay didn’t.  Lindsay thought prom was dresses and make up and hairdos and pictures and she never wanted anything more.

When she says no again, Daniel sighs and pulls away.  He’s not mean but he’s lost that spark and he doesn’t really look at her anymore.  When they get to After Prom, he politely ditches her and doesn’t find her again until it’s time to go home again.

She gets out of the car without a kiss and he doesn’t look back as he drives away.

-o-

She dates Scott Fredericks for awhile, which also makes her mother very happy.  Scott is nice, predictable, and rather boring.  He’s a year older than Lindsay and has a scholarship at UConn, where he’s going to major in accounting.

They go out every weekend and he picks her up and spends more time talking to her father than he does to her.

When they break up before Scott goes to college at the end of the summer, Lindsay barely notices but her mother is disappointed.  Lindsay is helping her frost cupcakes for a church social when her mother brings it up.  “I thought you had a chance with Scott.  You two were very cute together.”

Lindsay shrugs noncommittally.

Her mother licks her lips evenly.  “I know it’s hard for you sometimes.  You’re shy, I understand that.  But.  Well.  You have to try, you know,” she explains.  “Boys don’t just buy rings on their own accord.”

Lindsay pauses at that.  “I wasn’t looking for a ring.”

“You should be,” her mother said.  “You’re almost a senior now.  That’s one year left to find a guy.  To get this right.  And I’m just worried about you.”

“But Scott and I had nothing in common.”

“And your father and I do?” her mother asked, dipping her knife in the frosting.  “It’s not about that.  It’s about common goals.  About common plans.  About being a good set.  Trust me.  It’s been working for us all these years.”

“But Scott didn’t love me.”

“Oh, honey,” her mother says.  “You can make any boy love you if you try hard enough.  No boy thinks about love and engagement rings.  It’s up to us to make them realize that’s what they want.   It’s up to us to make them think and feel what we want them to.”

Lindsay considers this and wonders if it’s true.  It isn’t until hours later that she realizes that the real problem wasn’t that Scott didn’t love her, but that she didn’t love him.

It’s the next day before she lets herself wish that her mother had cared to ask.

-o-

Her senior year is almost over.  Her friends are talking boyfriends and college, neither of which are things Lindsay is aspiring, too.  Her classes are boring, her social life is predictable, and she’s beginning to dread graduation.

Something has to change.  She has to do something.  Her father pets her after dinner and tells her how pretty she is and her brother’s wife is pregnant and her mother sits her down and asks her, “Honey, what is it that you think you’re going to do?”

Lindsay doesn’t know.

But the hours are counting down and days are growing shorter and Lindsay wishes she had taken the time to ask herself that years before.

-o-

Dean Forester breaks up with Rory Gilmore.

It’s like a godsend.

She’s always liked Dean.  He’s tall, with handsome features.  Better than that, he’s funny and industrious, always attentive in school though never the top of his class.  He works at Doose’s and is still new from Chicago in her mind. 

His locker has always been across the hall from hers and she’d secretly hoped that he’d ask her out, but then Rory Gilmore happened.

Rory Gilmore and her private school, rich grandparents, and golden girl status.  The girl who had everything without even trying, got and dumped Dean Forester for Jess Mariano, no less.

For all her brains, Rory didn’t seem all that smart to Lindsay. 

Not that Lindsay had anything against Rory.  She barely knew the girl, but Rory’s stupid choices might just be Lindsay’s last hope.

The whole situation has left Dean sort of a mess and everyone can see it.  He’s not the same guy anymore.  He doesn’t smile like he used to and he seems less interested, less invested.  It’s kind of sad, but for some reason, all Lindsay can see is the opportunity.

Lindsay’s never been forward before.  She’s never gone for anything.

But she goes after Dean Forester.

She thinks about what her mother would say, about how she needs to go after things that she wants to happen and she suddenly gets what her mother’s saying.

It starts with borrowed history notes and then a shared ruler.  When she starts hanging out at his locker, it almost seems natural.  She flirts and she laughs and she wears soft pink clothes that look so pure and good.  She knows what guys like him want.  She knows what guys like him need.  Something wholesome and sweet and she can give him that and more.

So when he finally asks her out, about a month later, she’s hardly surprised.  But she smiles like she is, biting her lower lip with enough gusto that she sees his face light up for the first time in weeks.

-o-

Dean is the perfect boyfriend.  He calls her daily and listens to her when she tells him about shopping and her favorite soap opera.  He holds doors open for her and takes her out to dinner and even lets her buy dessert.

After about a month, it’s her mother who sits her down. “So.  Are you serious about this boy?”

Lindsay says she thinks she is.

Her mother seems to consider this.  “Well.  He’s not from the best family,” she says.  “No roots.  Too new.  We don’t know enough about them.”

Lindsay doesn’t have anything to say.

“Nice house, though,” her mother continues.  “And his mother is on the PTA at the junior high with their younger daughter, and that’s a good sign.  I’d like to see him in a better car, maybe a better job.  Does he have plans?”

Lindsay tells her mother about his engineering and his college applications.

Her mother’s brow furrows.  “It’s not the best,” she says.  Then she sighs before collecting herself and casting Lindsay a sly grin.  “But it will do.  He’s awfully cute.  You two will be the talk of the town. Sort of a golden couple, even cuter than Derek and Kathy, and that’s saying something.  Do you think you can get a ring by the end of the year?”

Lindsay just smiles.  “Give me until the end of the month.”

-o-

Dean is easy.

He’s deferential and polite.  He seems to glow under her attention; he flourishes when she shows up to his hockey games and when she leaves cookies in his locker.  He seems surprised when she wants to hang out at his house and takes his little sister shopping.

It’s so easy that Lindsay can hardly believe it.  How they’ve only been together for a few months and it feels like years, how she knows she can get him to do anything.

For a second, she wonders just what Rory Gilmore did to him.

But it doesn’t matter.  She’s not Rory Gilmore.  And she doesn’t plan to be.  Because Rory let Dean go and Lindsay’s not about to make that mistake.

-o-

Dean picks a fight with Jess at a party.

They’ve been dating for awhile. Long enough for it to seem like it’s supposed to be this way, and he still knows how to hold the doors open for her and he can get her the right kind of drink without even having to ask.  He even has her favorite stations programmed into his truck’s radio.

This is good, Lindsay thinks.  This is very good. 

But then Rory Gilmore is crying and Dean throws a punch at Jess.

He doesn’t say a lot about it, and he tries to explain it by saying that Jess is just an ass.  That much is true, but he’s leaving out all the important details.  Sure, he tells her all about the payment plan and the extra shifts he has to pick up in order to pay back the damages, but he doesn’t tell her why Jess was worth it all (why Rory was worth it all).  It’s a little perplexing, the entire thing, because Rory and Dean broke up and Lindsay’s with Dean now.

For a second, all the pieces fall into place and she realizes that whatever Rory Gilmore did to Dean, it’s not just going to go away with cookies and batting her eyelashes.

No, she has to work harder at this.  She has to do something.  Now.  Because Jess Mariano is all but a high school dropout, everyone knows it, and Lindsay knows that Rory is smart enough not to be dragged down by someone like that and if Dean Forester is still available...

Well, Dean just can’t be available.  Lindsay needs to make sure of it.

-o-

When Dean proposes, it’s more her idea than his, but she doesn’t let him know that.  The ring is small but he’s so romantic, if in a perfunctory way.  He’s trying so hard, though, and she squeals in delight and flashes the ring to everyone she sees.

Her mother is ecstatic and pulls out bridal magazines and planning books and for the first time in her life, Lindsay feels like she’s done something right.

Things are happening so quickly.  They’re reserving the church and the square and making floral arrangements and it all feels new and good.  Her mother is so proud and Lindsay just feels so relieved.

Dean’s there for everything.  Sweet and invested and supportive, though when Lindsay really stops to look at him, to really look at him, she almost feels guilty because she can’t tell if this is what he wants or not.

-o-

As the wedding day approaches, Lindsay begins to get scared.

The wedding is elaborate, with all the frills.  Her father has spared no expense.

But she has no money.  Dean’s savings are meager.  And Dean looks a little flustered when Lindsay says she wants a townhouse.

He tries to explain that he’ll be going to school, that he’ll have no job, that he’s not sure what they will be able to afford.

That’s not part of Lindsay’s plan.  Lindsay’s whole point, her whole dream was right now.

He hedges and hems and haws but doesn’t quite ask her if she can get a job.

Lindsay’s not getting a job.

Lindsay has worked to hard to get this ring on her finger to settle for work now.  What would her mother say?

When people start suggesting that Dean postpone college, that he work first, that they could afford that cute little townhouse downtown if he just took a second job, she thinks that sounds like a great idea.

And it’s her job to make sure Dean thinks so, too.

-o-

Dean is a good husband.  He works hard.  He tries hard.  He lets her parents come over.  He listens to their suggestions, he answers their questions, and he signs away his paychecks to the rent and Lindsay’s shopping habit.

Lindsay’s days are long and lonely.  She’s supposed to play house, but she realizes that she doesn’t like to cook.  She likes cleaning even less.  She’s good at neither.  Mostly she’s just lonely, with Dean at work all day and the townhouse all cute and perfect and empty.

She gets excited about the dinners she makes that actually turn out.  She looks forward to the nights her parents stop by.  She watches the clock for Dean to come home and take her out.

Because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  The thing Lindsay’s been trained for her entire life.  Her mother tells her it will get better when they have kids, when Lindsay has someone to invest herself into and live through, and Lindsay has to believe her.

Dean comes home tired.  He stops beaming under her attention.  He doesn’t love her.

“Honey,” her mother tells her one afternoon as they’re looking over fabric samples for the curtains in the kitchen.  “I’m sorry to say that this is marriage, too.  It’s not all cutesy and I’m sorry for that.  But I will tell you this: love is overrated.  It’s not about love.  You just keep that boy fed and you keep him happy in bed and that’s all you need.  You smile and you cook and we’ll hit Victoria’s Secret next weekend and take care of that, as well.”

She’s always believed her mother, she always has, even when it was ballet or Sara Quentin or Creative Sewing or getting that ring on her finger.  She has no reason to doubt her, not now, not when she’s come so far.

-o-

She’s picking up some groceries when she hears Rory Gilmore.

She doesn’t need groceries because she only really knows how to make one dish but she’s got nothing else to do with her time so she figures Dean won’t mind an extra bottle of soda in the fridge.  It might even make him happy.

She hears a lot of people, that’s pretty normal, and she tends to keep up on the gossip around town.  But Rory Gilmore’s not the best to listen to when it comes to the ins and outs of the local youth, so she usually tunes her out, but she hears Dean’s name.

And she hears her name.

Rory goes off, a long rant, blasting Lindsay and her townhouse and Dean quitting school and Lindsay hears each and every accusation.

When Rory sees her, Lindsay’s stare is cold and hurt as she turns to walk away.  She doesn’t cry until she gets back home.  As she’s sitting in her empty townhouse, full of pretty things and framed wedding photos, she realizes she’s not angry that Rory said it. 

She’s angry that Rory’s right.

-o-

She’s losing him.

Dean is distant, he’s quiet.  He sometimes picks fights over ridiculous things.  He’s losing interest.  He’s just not happy.

Lindsay doesn’t know why.  She tries to make things he likes, she keeps the house clean, she visits him at work.  She does all the things her mother tells her to do. 

It doesn’t make a difference. 

His favorite meal, perfectly cooked.  Lindsay wears the little black-laced bra and the matching panties and struts for Dean who can barely even look at her.

When they try to make love, it doesn’t work, and Lindsay tries to remember the last time they enjoyed each other in any way at all.

She can’t remember.

-o-

Dean cheats with Rory Gilmore.

And Lindsay’s angry.  She’s betrayed and hurt and so angry.  She cooked for him.  She cleaned for him.  She saved herself for him.  She sat through hockey games and sat home nights alone while he worked and he cheated on her.

She kicks him out without a thing.  She throws out his stuff, all his stupid stuff that she pretended to care about, and spends the entire night crying into her pillow.

Her mother comes over and takes care of her.  Strokes her hair and says nice things and gives her milk and cookies.

“It’ll be okay,” her mother soothes.  “It happens. Men are weak like that.  You bring him back home, you make him apologize and keep a tighter rein on him this time.  Make sure you’re the one he’s thinking about.”

Lindsay just snorts and wipes her red-rimmed eyes.  Her mother’s advice might be nice, might even be good, if Lindsay wanted to Dean back at all.

Because she realizes in all her hours of crying that she’s not upset about Dean.  She doesn’t care about Dean.  It was never about Dean, not from the moment she blinked her eyes at him and made him look at her.

It’s always been about the ring and the wedding, the townhouse and the image.  It’s always been about being the happy little homemaker, about finding a husband to play wife to.  It’s always been about making that work, making it happen, and she’d never stopped to think about whether or not it was what she wanted or whether or not it was what Dean wanted either.

Maybe she should have.  Because Dean Forester never wanted to work two jobs to make ends meet and live in a townhouse.  Dean Forester never wanted to get married at eighteen and settle into domesticity like he was a middle-aged man.  More than anything, though, Dean Forester had never loved her.

And Lindsay never loved him.

-o-

Her parents buy her the townhouse because they feel sorry for her.  Lindsay gets a job as a secretary at the medical lab in town.  She likes being organized and she’s a fast typist.  The pay’s not much, but it’s enough to cover the basics.

She asks lots of questions about the procedures and learns a lot about the tests and she remembers high school biology.

She loves her townhouse.  She takes down her mother’s curtains and buys a new set from Target. They were cheap but they have a modern edge that Lindsay thinks she may actually like and even buys new lamps to match.

They’re her lamps in her house bought with her paycheck from her job.  It’s all hers, not her husband’s and not her mother’s. 

And when she signs the divorce papers, it’s her life.

She misses him sometimes, of course.  She misses the glow of his dimples and the steadiness of his hand over her skin.  She misses the deepness of his voice as it whispered in her ear and she misses the way he always put her first, until that last time he didn’t.

For that, sometimes she hates him.  For being so weak, for being so deceptive, for sleeping with someone else and coming home to her, for being with Lindsay an entire summer when his mind was in bed with another woman.  That she saved herself for that.

Sometimes, it makes her cry, and it still hurts that she tried to play good housewife and he found solace in another woman’s arms, but other times, when she tries to imagine Dean in this space, and cooking him dinner and raising kids, she can’t help but be so relieved.

She thinks about college over Chinese takeout.  She shops at the thrift store and finds a leather jacket she never would have bought before.  She makes friends with the single mother who lives across town.  She even starts dating the blonde lab tech that commutes from the next town over.  His job is a little second tier, and he’s clearly not all that bright or forward thinking beyond the next beer and weekend football games.  His family is nothing to speak of, and her mother would see him as too brutish and competitive in all the wrong ways to be a good match, but she likes the way he calls her babe and the certainty of his laugh after they do it in the back seat of his car.

Her parents still live on Briarwood.  Her brother has three kids now and her mother has taken to community organizing and accepts a job for the city that suits her just fine. They haven’t changed, after all this time, her family is just the same as they’ve always been and Lindsay only visits once a month when she has to.

Lindsay hears that Dean went back to college, that he got his degree after all, and Lindsay can’t help but be happy for him despite everything.  That he finally got what he wanted, even after all this time.  She hopes that light is back in his eyes and that it never goes away.  Not because he deserves it but because he was a beautiful person once, before, and Lindsay wants to believe that people can change for the best.

And because she knows what it feels like to be empty.  And she knows what it feels like to find herself and she wouldn’t wish the former on anyone, except maybe Rory Gilmore.

But not Dean.

Dean may have given her a broken marriage and a broken heart.  But he also gave her the one thing that really matters:  the life she’d always wanted.  It’s not the life her mother planned for her, it’s not the life she thought she wanted, but it’s hers for the first time ever, and she thinks maybe that is worth everything.

Comments

Posted by: sendintheclowns (sendintheklowns)
Posted at: January 14th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
cute!Dean

Wow. This is so powerful. Especially when you consider that on the show Lindsay was just a plot point and had no development. Here we get the nuances of her life and although she'll never be my favorite character, I actually admire her by the end of this.

I love this 'verse!!!


Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 20th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
forever

Poor Lindsay. No one even wanted to read her fic.

I still like giving her a personality. She's important to Dean's story, so she deserves some depth.

Thanks!

Posted by: reken (reken)
Posted at: January 21st, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)

I just want to tell you that I like this 'verse and especially the voices of the characters (Luke! Lorelai! and I really liked your take on Lindsay's character).
Though I, personally, think that Dean Forester wasn't so much broken as you describe it in fact, I prefer to think that when we see him for the last time on the show, he's already made up his mind about his future and is moving on and leaving Rory behind and that his parents are supporting his decision and though seeing him being hurt in every fic of the 'verse isn't really my cup of tea, I really-really like your writing and I'm going to stalk your lj for the further fics in this 'verse, if you don't mind:)
P.S. I like Lindsay's Mom in your fic - she seems so real and creepy!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 21st, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
dean and rory

I think the show was sort of ambiguous on what was going on with Dean. To me, the fact that he was still bitterly telling Luke about how the Gilmore women would get tired of men like that suggested two important things to me. First, that Dean was not over Rory (hence the bitterness). Second, that Dean felt he lost Rory because he was in essence going nowhere. He couldn't offer her the lifestyle he saw her getting into with the Yale crowd.

I too like to think he used that to make himself better on his own terms, not for anyone else, but I guess I just see him coming to that a little later than you do :) And I never did quite like the idea that his parents let him get married so quickly when he was so young, though it's hard to say, and I never thought his mother seemed overly supportive the one time we saw her :)

So miles will vary, I suppose, and part of it is that I had to let Dean realize just how much he screwed up in order to really let him grow beyond it because, yeah, he screwed up big time.

I'm glad you're enjoying it all even if it's not quite your cup of tea. He won't be hurt in quite all the fics...not quite. Sorry, but that's just my thing :)

Stalk away!

Posted by: sothereyougo (sothereyougo)
Posted at: January 27th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
wee!jared

I wrote this lovely long comment, and my connection timed out and ate the whole thing. AAAARGH!!!! Since that isn't your fault, I will try to recreate it.

First off, I read "Summer Project" today and left a comment over there. I really loved it!

As for this fic, I think this is a wonderful character study of Lindsay and that it truly is important for us to understand her better in order to understand our Dean better too, especially how he ended up marrying her. You have definitely come up with an excellent background for Lindsay by picking up one of the threads the show gave us for her, namely her apparent passivity, and then delving deeper into it.

What you seem to have found there is a fascinating take on an essentially passive girl being molded from a young age by a manipulative, controlling mother into more of a passive-aggressive personality. The way she goes after Dean has a coldly calculating feel to it, but I can still feel sorry for her because she is only performing the behavior her mother modeled for her.

An emotionally-healthier Dean wouldn't have fallen for it, but the damaged Dean with his self-esteem shaken from his tangled relationship with Rory and the elder Gilmores did. I really like how Dean is shown here, how he goes from responding to what he wanted so much from Rory, which is Lindsay's apparent appreciation and needing of him, to resigned and dutiful, acting the part of the good husband out of a sense of obligation and honor, before he cracks and cheats with Rory.

I'm glad that you also showed Lindsay growing up a little, maturing into a young woman learning to think for herself and able to forgive Dean and wish him well even if she will never forgive the betrayal itself. She realizes that she never loved Dean, but you leave it subtly there for the discerning reader to pick up on the fact that her upbringing would have doomed her at the point of her relationship and marriage to Dean as being developmentally stuck in childhood, the pretty little girl in pink with pretty pink ribbons in her hair and no more able to really give and receive adult love than her actual child-self would have been. Excellent job!!

On a totally separate note, this character study has helped me with a developmental aspect of a plot bunny I have up next after the one I'm working on, which is namely Dean and Lindsay's Senior Prom night (but with a Rory POV to it running alongside theirs.) So, thank you very much for that as well!! *grins*



Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 28th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
bus

The fact that they spent so little time giving Lindsay and Dean's relationship much background always bothered me a bit, especially since the snippets we did see seemed to paint such an incomplete picture. There was always something really wrong with Lindsay in my mind, and I always thought Rory was right when she critique Lindsay for wanting all these things but not working. Maybe I come from a different background, but what kind of 19 year old is a stay at home wife? It never made sense to me, especially since we know Dean wanted to go to school, so I would figure the only reason he'd drop out was to give Lindsay the things that she wanted, because that's such a Dean thing to do. Which just leaves me with Lindsay, who has no sense of reality and no apparent lifelong ambitions except to try to be the happy couple (learning housework and cooking, showing up at Dean's work, going out as a couple).

Which made me think, wow, Lindsay must have had a whacked out world view stemming from a whacked out childhood.

Which made me think, no wonder Dean wasn't happy.

None of this is meant to excuse Dean for cheating, but I do believe that his decisions didn't exist in a vacuum and that if he had been happily married, he probably wouldn't have strayed. There were deep problems between Dean and Lindsay before Rory entered the picture, in my mind--problems that existed on both their sides.

So in the end, I absolve both of them and blame Lindsay's mother :) You'll see much more clearly in the next fic that I really am not kind to mothers in this verse :)

And I'm so glad to hear you're working on fic! There is never enough Dean fic out there. And tackling prom night? Sounds interesting. I'll be curious to see how it turns out!

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