SPOILER WARNING: Everything up to "Paris is Burning" is fair game.
PAIRING: Rory/Dean
SUMMARY: The five times Dean called while Lorelai was out on her date with Max in "Paris is Burning." This is basically fluff.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the Gilmore Girls characters. Amy Sherman-Palladino, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, and the WB do. No copyright infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story has no plot. Just warning you :)

Dial Tone

by Rebecca Carefoot

Rory was deeply submerged in her reading, the outside world having faded to a distant murmur. She jerked upright when the phone interrupted with a loud jangle, then looked up from her book and over to the kitchen where the phone continued ringing. She wrinkled her brow and returned her attention to her book, ignoring the continued electronic noise. After a moment the answering machine picked up. She looked up again, but the caller hung up before the answering machine message had finished. She was about to settle back into her reading when the phone immediately began to ring once more.

With a sigh, she marked her spot in her book, then slid out from under the blankets she had tucked around her body on the couch. She hurried to the kitchen on socked feet, and picked up the portable phone, hitting the talk button as she returned to the couch.

"Hello," she said.

"Hey. It's me." Rory smiled, recognizing her boyfriend's voice.

"Who is this?"


"Me who?"

"Oh come on, Rory. You know my voice by now," Dean said. "Why didn't you answer the first time I called?"

"Why didn't you leave a message?" Rory asked.

"I knew you were there."

"Cause you've been watching me?"

"You told me you were going to be home all night. Thus I assumed you were home."

"You're pretty smart for a bagboy."

"Well, it's not like I go to Chilton."

"Lucky you."

"And I'm definitely not going to Harvard."

"You decided on Yale then?"

"Yeah, seems much less snooty."

"Less ivy."


"So what are you doing?" Rory asked after a pause.

"Talking to you."

"You're not multitasking?"

"I tried walking and chewing gum and rubbing my head while patting my stomach, but I really couldn't spare the concentration."

"Understandable. So what were you doing before you were talking to me?"

"Eating dinner," Dean said. "And what were you doing?"

"I was reading."

"Want me to let you go?" Rory hesitated, and Dean continued. "Why don't you call me when you finish your chapter?"

"No, it's okay..."

"Too late. Talk to you soon." Rory listened to the click of Dean hanging up, then hung up herself and settled the phone in her lap. She opened the book and resumed her reading.

A chapter and a half later, Rory looked around in surprise when the phone began to ring in her lap. She snatched it up.


"You read more than a chapter, didn't you?" She looked guiltily at the book.

"No." She paused, then, "yes."

"I knew it."

"Well, it was only a chapter and a half."

"In that case you're forgiven."

"I guess that means I can let out this breath I was holding."

"I guess so."

"So what were you doing this time?" she asked.

"Staring at the phone. Waiting for it ring."

"Almost like watching TV then, but without the people and sounds and things to see."

"Right. Lots of fun." Rory tapped her feet against the end of the couch, waiting. "Are we still on for Monday? The bus stop..."

"Of course. I wouldn't miss it. If I did I'd have to walk to school and that'd take about three weeks."

"Or you'd get your mom to drive."

"True. But I was being overdramatic."

"Ahhh...is that a girl thing? Or a Gilmore thing?"

"A little of both."

"So do I have to wait until Monday to see you?" Dean asked. "We could go out tonight."

"Tonight is sort of an alone night."

"Right. Book night. Should I let you go again?"

"No, I'm taking a break. Resting my eyes. Mom always used to warn me that I'd ruin them."

"I'm on board with preserving the eyesight. Possibly the most important of the five senses."

"Hmmm...possibly. Although I think it would be pretty bad to live without taste."

"But which would you rather give up, books or coffee?"

"Rip out my heart why don't you?"


"If I were blind I could still have books. Because there are books on tape and there's Braille. And you could read to me."

"I knew my literacy would come in handy one of these days."

"That would be kind of nice actually. I could be all tucked in here under my blankets, and sit by the fire, if we had a fireplace, and sip my coffee and listen to your voice."

"And fall asleep."

"Only if you were reading Proust to me. Or Dorothy Parker." Dean laughed at that.

"Just call me Narcolepsy Boy."

"We do," Rory said with a smile.

"Uh oh. My dad's giving me a frantic hand signal. Either he wants me to steal second or he needs the phone."

"Okay," Rory said. "I'll see you on Monday then."

"And you'll talk to me sooner."

"If I must..." Dean laughed again.

"Bye, Rory," he said, and hung up the phone. Rory smiled at the receiver for a moment, then hung up herself, snuggling more deeply into her blankets and reopening her book. Twenty pages later, the phone's muffled jingling tugged her back to reality. She half sighed, half smiled as she dug the phone out from under a fold of blanket.


"What about tomorrow?" Dean asked.

"What about it?"

"We could go to the movies, or to Luke's."

"I know you can go longer than a day without seeing me."

"Yeah but I start to go into withdrawal. I get the shakes, cold sweats, vomiting..."

"Thank you for the mental image."

"You're welcome." He paused briefly. "So can I come over?"

"You're relentless."

"I pride myself on it. It's my dream that when people ask me how I got you to go out with me, I can say, 'I wore her down.'"

"That's a beautiful dream."

"I know. I should make a speech or something."

"Oh yeah. Martin Luther King, Jr. better watch out."

"If he were alive he would be. Watching out that is."

"Bordering on tasteless."

"At least we're not bordering on sightless."


"So...the movie?"

"I do have homework."

"Yeah, but I bet you've already done a bunch of it."

"But see, you're not thinking in terms of Chilton homework. Even if you do half of it, you're still left with hours and hours of work."

"You're saying out of the sixteen hours you'll spend awake tomorrow, you need all sixteen to finish your homework?"

"Yes I am."

"That's a travesty."

"It's also a lie."

"Lying must be another quality trait they teach at Chilton."

"There's a test on it Friday."

"You can't spare two or three hours?"


"You have to take a study break at some point or your brain will fizzle."

"You have scientific proof of this?"

"I'll show you the charts and graphs over dinner."

"I'm officially worn down."

"Is that a yes?"




"Only good?" Dean teased.

"No, it's great. I sit corrected."

"Shouldn't you stand?"

"I would, but I'm all cozy here."

"Ah yes, exceptions must be made for maintaining coziness."


"I'll call you tomorrow then, give you all the gory details on the movie."

"And again this would be great. Not good, but great."

"I'm hanging up on you now."

"Not if I hang up on you fir-" Rory broke off as she heard Dean hang up his phone. She shook her head, chuckling, and hung up her own phone. It immediately rang in her hand, and she pressed the talk button again.

"That's what you get for hanging up," she said. "You just have to redial."

"What, honey?" Sookie said, puzzled.

"Ooops," Rory answered. "Sorry Sookie. I thought you were someone else."

"Could that someone be Dean?"

"It's a possibility." Rory could almost see Sookie grinning, her dimples standing out in her round cheeks. "Please don't sing that cookies and Dean song again."

"Of course not," Sookie said. "There are no cookies this time. It'd be Dean and the phone and the love and the Dean..." she began to sing.

"I'm going to hang up on you," Rory threatened. Sookie stopped singing.

"Wait. Tell your mom I called, and I need to talk to her about the menus."

"I will," Rory agreed, then hung up the phone as Sookie began to sing again. She grinned despite herself. She tucked the phone back down by her side, and had almost found her place in her book, when its ringing started.

"Gilmore residence."

"Very professional."

"Yes I am. May I ask what this call is in reference to?"

"Mainly nothing."

"I'll make a note of it."

"You do that."

"You said you would call tomorrow. This is not tomorrow."

"I just wanted to say hey."


"Yep, that's what I wanted to say."

"Well, go ahead."


"Hey," Rory answered.

"All right, bye then."

"You're silly."

"Do you like it?"



"Only good?"

"No, it's great," Dean said. Rory smiled. "I'll talk to you soon, Rory."

"But not tonight soon."

"No, five calls is enough for one night."

"You've met your quota."

"The union would get upset if I exceeded it."

"The boyfriend's union?"

"That's the one."

"We wouldn't want to upset them."

"And you have that book to finish."

"Yes I do."

"Then this is good-bye."

"So long."

"Good night, Rory."

"Good night, Dean." Rory waited until Dean's phone clicked off. She listened to the dial tone a moment, then lowered the phone from her ear. She stared at it, unable to keep herself from grinning, glad her mom wasn't there to witness the goofiness of her facial expressions. Then she put the phone on the coffee table and settled back down with her book, sighing happily to herself. Alone time was even nicer when you were almost, but not quite completely, alone.