RATING: PG for some crude language
SPOILERS: minor for Rory's Dance, The Deer Hunters
SUMMARY: Tristan POV. Tristan knows exactly what he wants.
DISCLAIMER: Gilmore Girls belongs to the WB, Dorothy Parker Drank Here, and maybe a few other people all of whom are emphatically not me.


by Rebecca Carefoot

My life up to this point has been fairly simple. What I want, I get and that's pretty much the end of the story. When your parents have more money than they know what to do with, spending it on your every whim seems like a good use of the excess I suppose. Not to mention a wonderful substitute for actual shows of affection or interest. I'm not trying to play the poor little rich boy here, but let's face it, my parents are less than demonstrative or involved. I mean, I called my nurse "mommy" for the first couple years of my life, that's got to tell you something. Not complaining, just stating the facts.

So I'm used to buying what I want. And what I can't buy I get other ways. I'm handsome, and I damn well know it. Girls tend to want me more than I want them, so I just say the word and they're available. Sex is a game I play, I see whether I can get it. And frankly, it's not a very challenging game at all. So what does that add up to so far, rich, handsome, and I almost forgot to mention...smart. I keep that one under wraps a lot of the time, but believe me, I wouldn't be able to coast through Chilton if I were stupid.

And what is the point of this diatribe, you ask? Why am I regaling you with the not so sordid details of my life? One simple reason, Rory Gilmore. The only thing I've ever wanted and not been able to have.

It seems ridiculous, doesn't it? What is she? A nothing, a nobody from small-town nowhere. A charity case. A bookworm. A virgin. I can't explain it other than to say that she has the roundest, most innocent blue eyes I've ever seen. Those eyes were an invitation to the game the first time I saw her. Back then all I wanted was her virginity, a chance to take that innocence and claim it for my own. Another notch in my belt. Something like that. Now...well, I'll get to that in a minute.

I realized pretty quickly that the innocence in her eyes wasn't just the fact that she's obviously still a virgin. The innocence goes much deeper than that. She has no idea, for example, that she's beautiful, absolutely stunning. She does nothing to enhance that beauty. She has no idea how to fit in with the rest of us here, we snobs and backstabbers and bitter cynics. She's much more familiar with books than she is with relationships. And all of this led me to believe she'd lose the game quickly, that she'd be grateful for every attention I paid her because after all I am beautiful and rich and everything a confused innocent could want.

But I was wrong. Her eyes would turn icy every time she looked at me, her tongue barbed. At first it just seemed part of the game, and I enjoyed her resistance. I enjoyed calling her Mary and seeing the frustration and annoyance blossom in her cheeks. I enjoyed making her uncomfortable, playing on her inexperience. The first hint that I might have underestimated her came when she rushed into Mr. Medina's class late for a test. For the first time I heard her yell, at that heartless bitch Paris, at me. Her eyes were electric then, her cheeks red. The quiet bookworm was displaced by a raging fury that swept the room and left me sitting surprised, somehow thrilled, alive.

When her birthday party came along, I was still telling myself that it was all part of the game. It was all part of reaching the goal of getting what I wanted. I teased her about introducing me to her mother. I made advances toward her. It's worked with other girls before, throws them off balance, makes them grateful, makes them lose. But not on her. I can't say I expected her to fall into my arms, but at the same time I couldn't help but expect it. I play the game, and they play right into my hands. That's how it works. But she was having none of it. And her rejection stung. It hurt as if it were not a game. And each time I spoke to her she froze me with the ice in her eyes. It angered me. The audacity of her resisting me, rejecting me; and the sneaking suspicion that maybe this wasn't as simple as things had always been before. Maybe what I was feeling was real. Maybe what I wanted wasn't her virginity, but her.

I buried the thought, the very idea, of course, and continued my pursuit of her as if it were all a joke. As if I didn't respect her more each time I saw her. As if I would be conveying a privilege on her by allowing her to go out with me.

So maybe I'm not smart all the time. Emotions are harder than advertised by the movies. Okay?

It wasn't until the dance that the truth broke on me like being bashed over the head with a champagne bottle. No one has ever looked at me the way she looks at her boyfriend, Dean. God, I hate him. I saw her with her arms around him, smiling at him, laughing, her eyes warm and adoring and soft. I saw her kiss him, and I wanted to kill him. Because the truth is I wanted to be him. I wanted it to be me she was holding and looking at like I was the only person in the room. I wanted to share private jokes with her, and make her laugh, and hug her. I wanted her to love me like she's starting to love him. I wanted... I want to be the person she dreams about and talks to her friends about and calls. I want her to challenge me and accept me and get angry with me and forgive me. I want all of it. I want all of her. I want her more than I've ever wanted anything.

And I can't have her.

So, like a jerk, I attacked her boyfriend. Knowing it's stupid. Knowing it's not the way to get what I want. And still not able to stop myself. The carefully planned moves of the game I play crashing around my ears as I sabatoge what miniscule chance I might still have with her. Maybe it's the fact that old habits die hard. Maybe I really am just an asshole to the core. Or maybe my underused heart is protecting itself by lashing out. I don't know. I just know that I had to remind her I exist. Even if it was only to make her hate me more. I need her to have me on her mind, because she's always on mine. I need to force her to see me, to stop looking at Dean like he's the only person in the room.

He's not good enough for her.

And no, I'm not either. Not by a long shot.

But that doesn't mean I'm forfeiting. Oh no, this is far from over. I've never once been denied what I want, and I'll be damned if I let it happen now. I guess in a way it is still a game, but the stakes are higher this time and I can't allow myself to lose.