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GG Fic: Sometimes You Do 19/40

A/N: There is an actual plot twist in this chapter! It only took me 19 chapters to get here! That said, it wasn't my idea and it's not overly, erm, happy. Sadly, sometimes the best character growth comes in times of conflict of turmoil. Also, I think most of you have read them, but for those who want more insight into Dean, be sure to check out the prequels to this fic :) Previous parts here.

A/N: There is an actual plot twist in this chapter! It only took me 19 chapters to get here! That said, it wasn't my idea and it's not overly, erm, happy. Sadly, sometimes the best character growth comes in times of conflict of turmoil. Also, I think most of you have read them, but for those who want more insight into Dean, be sure to check out the prequels to this fic :)

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Lorelai was eating ice cream. Which wouldn’t be too unusual, except she was sitting at the table, eating ice cream, and staring at it like it was the first time she’d ever done such a thing.

“What are you doing?”

Lorelai didn’t look up, but kept her critical gaze on the bowl. “Studying.”

“Studying ice cream?”

“The package said it was peaches and cream.”

“So?”

Her mother scooped out a bit and held it up to her. “Does this look like a peach to you?”

Rory looked closer, noting the odd shape and reddish coloration. “Looks like a berry.”

“I know,” her mother said. “It does look like a berry. And taste like a berry. And smells like one. So I’m trying to figure out if it is in fact a berry and why a berry would be in peaches and cream ice cream.”

“I suppose calling it peaches and cream doesn’t necessarily preclude the presence of berries. Are there peaches?”

Her mother took a bite. “Yes.”

“Cream?”

“Yes.”

“Then it’s peaches and cream with a little extra.”

“That’s not what the box says.”

“Then the box is lying.”

“Why would the box lie?”

Rory glared. “Why are you being so juvenile?”

“And why are you in such a foul mood?”

Rory sighed, collapsing into the chair across from her mother. "My plan isn't working," she said.

"Okay, you're going to have to fill me in here," Lorelai said. "What plan?"

"My plan to woo."

"Your plan to woo who?"

"Woo Dean."

"Who? Dean?"

"No, woo Dean," Rory said. "I have a plan to woo Dean."

Her mother raised her eyebrows, nodding slowly, cautiously. "Okay. And why do you have a plan to woo Dean?"

Of all the days for her mother to be slow on the uptake, today was not the ideal one. "Because I want to be with him," she said in exasperation.

"But I thought he wanted to be friends."

"He does," Rory said. "Which is why I need to woo him."

"But doesn't wooing go against exactly what he wants?"

"Yes," Rory said, forcing herself to be patient. "Which is why I am wooing in stealth."

Her mother's expression was a mix of humor and disbelief. "Wooing in stealth? As in, what, wooing without him knowing it? I mean, doesn't it take two to woo?"

Rory crinkled her forehead. "Wooing can be a solo event," she said. "I woo and he is wooed. If we're both wooing each other then I'm not sure it's really wooing."

"Then what is it?"

"Flirting or just dating. The whole reason one woos is to get the attention of someone else. That's the purpose of wooing, is it not?"

Her mother seemed to consider this. "I suppose. To woo is to try to catch someone else's attention, which is sort of what you want to do, but then I don't understand why it's in stealth here."

"Because if he knew was trying to woo, he would be upset," Rory reasoned. "But I need to woo him to get him interested again, but I have to let him think he's just falling for me."

"Which is really what wooing is."

"So you see my difficulty."

"Actually, all I see is the fact that my daughter is officially neurotic," Lorelai said. "I think this calls for a pizza."

"A pizza?" Rory asked, incredulous. "How will a pizza help this?"

Her mother stood, pushing away from the table. "It won't," she said with a shrug. "But I figure if I'm going to spend any more time trying to figure out this whole wooing thing, I'm going to need the extra calories to maintain such a level of thought. Because, really, you are in rare form tonight."

With a sigh, Rory buried her head in her arms, folded across the table. "You're supposed to help me, not fatten me up."

Flipping open the phone book, her mother was unfazed. "Oh, I'm helping," she said. "With all the stress you're feeling right now, I'm taking the responsibility of trying to find food for you. Not to mention the fact that I happen to know that pizza can be a real comfort food, especially if I order Canadian bacon and pineapple. Plus, the pineapple totally has the nutrients you need to help spur on your plotting. So I'm totally helping you out here."

Rory lifted her head. "You're still trying to make me fat, though."

Picking up the phone, Lorelai just grinned. "Come on, sweetie," her mother said. "What better way to disguise that you're on the woo? Dean would never suspect that you're trying to win him by gaining twenty pounds."

And that, oddly, made sense. For tonight, that was good enough.

-o-

Luke's had been a staple of Rory’s daily life before, but now she positively lived there. She got up early just to see if she could catch Dean. She stayed through lunch in case he happened to stop by. She even idled close to closing time in case Dean needed a drink on the way home.

She walked a lot, too. When people asked, she told them it was a part of her writing process, that it was the inherent journalist in her always searching for a story. She mostly just wanted excuses to walk by the stereo shop and see Dean hunched behind the counter, to see him talking to a costumer, that rare smile on his face.

She missed him.

Her articles came steadily--covering the full gamut of town events. That was good, she supposed, because it kept her busy. Distracted. She needed that right now more than she ever had before. Work was her refuge, her way of maintaining purpose, of keeping structure. She was pretty sure she'd be flailing without it.

She was a little afraid she was flailing with it.

Not that she'd ever admit it.

She was walking, pretending to contemplate her latest assignment, a very in-depth expose delving into the dark world PTA overspending. It was all well and good and it was a nice day out--nicer than most, because Connecticut could really be rather hot in the summer--but it was warm today, like a refreshing kind of weather, and so she’d walk outside just for the weather, as though there were no PTA expose or Dean to spy on.

That was when Lorelai called. “I need coffee.”

“Then I suggest you go back to the kitchen where I know Sookie keeps a pot going all day long.”

“I need non-inn coffee.”

“You’re discriminating between coffees now?”

“Oh, you do it, too.”

“I do not,” Rory protested, keeping her wayward path toward the downtown.

“You refuse to drink the first cup in the morning.”

“That’s entirely different.”

“How?”

“The first cup is never quite right. It hasn’t settled properly.”

“See, you’re discriminating. First cup, second cup, fifth cup, they should be all the same. But they’re not. Just like inn coffee is not the same as Luke coffee or home coffee or any other coffee.”

“Are you sure you’re just not looking for reasons to see Luke?”

Her mother scoffed. “My priority has always been coffee.”

“I feel the love.”

“Meet me there?”

“I’m already on my way.”

-o-

They got there at the same time.

To most people, in most situations, that might have been just a little too weird. But they were Gilmores and this was Stars Hollow and the commonplace coincidences were part of what Rory had so missed.

Besides, it was another sign of just how ridiculously in synch she was with her mother. Especially when it came to caffeine. She figured it was very possible that they had drunk simultaneous cups even across the country from one another because that was just the way Gilmore girls could be.

“Do you remember how just a month ago we couldn’t do this?” her mother asked, opening the door for her.

Rory slipped inside. “I choose not to.”

“Not a bad plan,” her mother said, sidling up to a seat at the counter. “Denial.”

Rory sat down next to her. “It’s not just a river in Egypt.”

“Just a stage of grief.”

“You’re grieving?”


“We don’t have our coffee yet, do we?”

“Good point.”

Luke came back around the counter, shoving his pencil behind his ear. “You two alone are keeping the economy of Columbia flourishing.”

“We support a global economy,” Lorelai said. “Now fill us up.”

“I’m surprised to see you here,” he said.

“Because we’re such rare visitors?” Lorelai ventured.

“Or we’re just very surprising.”

“Oh, I like that,” Lorelai said. “Surprise is in our nature.”

Luke just looked at them, all too serious, and not in that cynical Luke-serious way, but in the serious-serious way that made Rory uneasy. "You haven't heard, then," Luke said, resting heavily on his elbows on the counter.

Rory's heart skipped a beat. "Heard what?"

"About Dean's dad."

"He had a heart attack," Rory said slowly, though she knew there was something more. Something else. Something not good. Something really not good. "But he's recovering."

Luke dropped his head. "He died earlier today," Luke said. "A second heart attack. There was nothing they could do."

"Oh, no," her mother breathed next to her. "Today?"

Luke nodded.

"Have you talked to him?"

Luke shook his head. "No. I think his mother was with there when it happened. Dean took Clara up from the store. The only reason I know is because Gilbert stopped in here on his way up."

"This is so not what he needed right now," her mother moaned.

"Trust me, I know," Luke said. "I mean, as if he hasn't had enough to overcome, now he's got to get over this. Just when he was really getting back into the swing of things."

"Well, and his mother won't be helping, now more than ever."

Rory could only listen, watching them go back and forth like it was a tennis match. Not that she wasn't used to her mother's and Luke's incessant ability to verbally counter one another, but it wasn't the back and forth nature of the conversation, but the content. About Dean. All those little comments, all those little things they seemed to know--it was all coming to a head and she just couldn't make sense of it. What they knew. How they knew it. Why they knew it.

"Wait," Rory said, shaking her head. "What are you talking about? I mean, since when do either of you really know Dean?"

This shut them up, and they exchanged glances. Luke dropped his head again and her mother tucked her hair behind her ear. "You've been gone--"

"--a long time, I know," Rory said. "You keep telling me that but you never tell me what's really going on with Dean and the two of you and this entire town."

"We've just seen Dean go through a lot," her mother said. "Each summer he's been back, it's like he's needed someone there for him, someone to believe in him. And we just--happened to be there."

"Happened to be there?" Rory asked, unable to control her incredulity. It was just a lot to take in--the fact that Dean's died had died, the fact that there were answers to the mystery of Dean that had been so close to her all along.

"You never really realized it," her mom said. "Just how hard he took things."

"How hard he took what?"

"His marriage," Luke interjected. "The affair. The break-ups."

Rory shook her head. "I don't--"

"He needed someone to build him up," her mother said. "His family wasn't doing it. And someone needed to. The things he managed to get done without anyone supporting him--it was ridiculous. We couldn't just let the kid sit around and feel like he was worthless."

"Worthless?" Rory asked. "But he's not--he's always been so confident."

Lorelai just smiled. "You know how you've been confused about Dean?"

Rory just stared.

"It's because you're still making assumptions about him," her mom said. She said it gently, but clearly, and Rory felt a little like she'd been slapped.

She felt too numb to reply. Numbed by the truth of it. Numbed by what it meant. Numbed because she still didn't quite know what to make of it all.

"Do you think we should go see him?" Luke asked, quietly to her mother.

"I'm not sure we should," her mom replied. "I mean, it'd still be weird."

"Yeah, but we can't just leave him--"

"I'll go," Rory said suddenly, finding her voice.

They both stopped, looking at her.

"It wouldn't be weird for me," she said.

Her mother looked at Luke. "She's right about that."

Luke still looked uncertain, and that was so weird. That Luke was worried if Rory would be right for Dean.

"I'm his friend," Rory explained. "He needs a friend."

Luke glanced at her mom, who simply nodded her head. Then he looked back at Rory. "Yeah," he said. "That'd be good. He has a hard time opening up, so that'd be good."

That much she knew--she'd been prodding at this new Dean long enough to figure out just how tight-lipped he could be. What she couldn't be sure about, no matter what she told her mother and Luke, was if Dean would respond to her. She and Dean were in a state of flux it seemed, a struggle of wills and desires and intentions that she still wasn't totally clear on. Friends, they said. Friends, they insisted on. But more was all Rory felt.

But right then, more didn't matter. Dean needed someone to lean on, and Rory could only hope she was strong enough to play the part. He'd done it for her--even when he shouldn't have. Even after he married Lindsay. One call, and he'd come. He'd always been there for her when she needed him like that.

It was time to return the favor.

Next


Comments

Posted by: ChristianGateFan (cgf_kat)
Posted at: September 8th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
pic#89712014

*cries* Poor Dean! I was glad to see at the end that Rory was finally at least a little willing to put her own desires to the side for now and just wants to go and be there for him. That's what he needs, and in the long run it'll help, I think. I really hope he'll be all right.

As for the rest, there was some considerably awesome banter going on in this chapter. Great work! Can't wait for more *pouts* I wanna see Rory comfort Dean. Soon. :)

(We must be in sync now or something. I'm about to type and post my next chapter as well. :P That happened last time you posted. Sweet, lol :P And there's Dean in this chapter! I promise!)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 11th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
cute dean first time

Yes--this will definitely be a shift in their relationship and we'll just have to see how it plays out :)

And LOL, I hope we're still in synch--I need a new chapter!

Posted by: ChristianGateFan (cgf_kat)
Posted at: September 11th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)

I don't have anything else to do this afternoon but read for school some...I'll see what I can do. ;)

Posted by: sidura (sidura)
Posted at: September 9th, 2009 09:49 am (UTC)

Noooo, you can't do that to Dean - it is one thing you keep putting him in hospital but another to do this.

His Mom will want him to run the store forever and he'll never get a life he wants now!

Please say that you are going to make Rory be able to put what she wants to one side long enough to be actually helpful to him while he get over his Dad's death.

Loved the banter about the pizza and coffee tho.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 11th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
happy together

Hee, funny you should mention the hospital....

He does have a lot to work through. Hence 20 more chapters!

Thanks!

Posted by: sidura (sidura)
Posted at: September 11th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)

Yeah he does have alot to work through though from reading the next chapter why do I get the bad feeling the hospital visit will be due to an 'accident' involving a box of pills.


And bad Rory, bad, bad Rory - I know you had her stop which was good but bad bad Rory for almost taking advantage of Dean.

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: September 9th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)

oh poor Dean! :( I hope that at least now Rory doesn't make a fool out of herself and actually acts like an adult

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: September 11th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
cute!dean water bottle

Rory? Make a fool of herself? Never...

Thanks!

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