Word Count: Part 2 - 3,600
Summary: Paris outs herself and Rory during a televised argument with Michele Bachmann. Peskiest of all is the fact that Paris and Rory aren't actually dating. A documentary crew wants to make
Author’s Note: Things I know nothing about:
+ med school (I apologize on Paris’s behalf to any aspiring doctors in our midst; you are undoubtedly awesome and I salute you!)
+ documentary film crews
Things I do know about:
+ Downton Abbey (viva la Mary/Lavinia!)
Other profound matters:
It’s possible – and by that, I mean totally the 100% truth – that I stole Nigel the documentarian from the episode of Xena where she and Gabs are randomly being followed by a documentary film crew. He just wants the truth about lesbians, okay!
Part 2: Dances With Bagboys (Analyze That, Dr. Freud!)
Rory is sleeping, and then she isn’t. One second, she’s standing in the fairylit gazebo with Paris, and they’re both wearing matching wedding dresses and everyone she has ever met is staring up at them, including Headmaster Charleston and her dead great grandmother: Dean jumps out of the crowd to shout, “I OBJECT! RORY, I LOVE YOU.” and Paris retorts with, “Really? You want to go there, bagboy? You wanna dance? Huh??” and throws her bouquet at him, and Rory knows she should be horrified by this turn of events (her grandma certainly will be), but instead she’s just sort of delighted—
And then she’s awake, and the whole situation makes a lot more sense. The room is pitch-black, and there’s a sudden weight next to her in bed, shoving her over quasi-gently. For a second she thinks it’s her mom, because her mom is the only person who has a history of committing that particular offense in this particular room, but then, nope. It’s Paris.
“Blech,” Rory mumbles, but she moves a little to the left to make more room for her new (and always, always strange) bedfellow. “Early. Busy dreaming. Come back later. With coffee.”
Paris doesn’t seem to notice she’s talking. Which is pretty typical Paris. What isn’t typical is that she stays quiet herself, for a long time – and when she finally does talk, it’s to ask the ceiling, “Why are we doing this?”
“Well, because I refused to take no for an answer,” Rory says. She sneaks a glance at the clock – 4:17 – and then turns to look at Paris. She still only has eyes for the ceiling.
“This is me doing that thing again, isn’t it,” Paris says. “That thing I do. The fires of righteous indignation and insuppressible drive burn too bright in me, Rory. It’s a problem. You’d think there would be no downside to a literally endless fount of unstoppable ambition—”
“Oh yes,” Rory says. “The Macbeths only ever had nice things to say about that.”
“—but it’s a curse and a blessing. First, I get myself basically ostracized from the entire medical community, just for shining a light on just what cretins are passing for doctors-to-be these days. I’m House with breasts, I tell it like it is, but apparently that doesn’t fly unless you’re gimping around with a skillfully suppressed British accent. I can’t decide if it’s sexism or yet another instance of TV irrevocably skewing all our life expectations.”
“My whole book was about incompetence rising to the top. And what did I do? I abandoned medicine. I’m the asshole. I need to get off my ass!” She makes a move to do it, too, which is just silly. No one should be standing up at four in the morning.
“To pursue an amazing career,” Rory reminds her, grabbing her arm and dragging her back down. “Paris, you are making stupid amounts of money writing books about the idiocy of humankind. You’re in preliminary talks to get your own show. You get paid to blog. Your YouTube channel has a flobbity-gajillion subscribers. A flobbity-gajillion people are hooked on your ability to indignantly rant. You’re well on your way to becoming what the universe has given us to make up for Rush Limbaugh. And you can work from home. You can work in pajamas. Isn’t that the dream? I feel like I distinctly remember us deciding that was the dream.”
“Oh, please,” Paris scoffs. “Like you don’t love getting all cutesied up for a day on the job, Lois Lane.”
“I do love a good twirly skirt and some darling but sensible heels,” Rory admits. “But it’s not a dealbreaker. I love what I’m doing. And so do you.”
“I still feel like I failed,” Paris says bleakly. “First Harvard, then medicine. Bad things come in threes, right? And here I go again. I recognize the symptoms, Rory. The madness has risen up within me. If I’ve sarcastically invited one of my arch-enemies on a double date, I’ve gone too far! And this is a big deal. This is something that matters a lot. This time, I can’t just … fail.”
“You didn’t ever fail,” Rory insists in her firmest tones. “You just changed directions. That’s all. And this – okay, is a completely crazy idea. And would have probably been better off in the hands of actual gay people. But – you know, you don’t have to be gay to get that love is love. Everybody needs to learn that one. So let’s just – teach them the best we can, okay?”
Paris starts peering around the room.
“What are you doing?” Rory asks, confused.
“Looking for the adorable Disney woodland creatures,” she says. “They’re going to pop out any second to sing backup, Cinderella.”
“Shut up,” Rory orders, poking her in the arm. “I’m being nice to you.”
“And I appreciate it,” Paris admits. “Really.”
“I don’t think being the lady House was your destiny, anyway,” Rory says. “You do really hate sick people.”
“That’s true,” Paris acknowledges. “I have yet to make it through the Spanish Flu episode of Downton Abbey.”
“It’s on my TiVo as long as you need it,” Rory assures her.
“I hope Mary and Lavinia find out about scissoring and leave Matthew with his true love, brooding,” Paris scowls. “I’m sorry, but no penis deserves that much attention. It was like the Romantics mourning Chatterton.”
“Aw, see,” Rory says, wondering when, exactly, she became the cheerleader, “it’s a good thing we’re doing here. For the world at large. For Mary and Lavinia’s technically nonexistent love.”
“Damn it, Julian Fellowes,” Paris grumbles. “I knew he’d never have the balls to go there.”
“You should start a Twitter war with him,” Rory suggests.
Paris’s eyes glaze over dreamily at the thought. Mollified, she says, “Sorry I woke you up.”
“That’s okay. I’ve always found sleep an inferior substitute for caffeine, anyway.”
“You can go back to sleep, if you want. I won’t bother you.”
“You’ll just hang out in my bed and watch me while I do it?”
“That’s the plan. And may I just point out that it works for the stalker heroes in all those paranormal romances that are hopelessly warping the brains and romantic expectations of a whole generation of women.”
“Well, that’s okay then.” Rory settles back down into her pillow. “Weirdo.”
“What were you dreaming about?”
“You said you were dreaming. When I first came in.”
“Oh. Uh.” She decides to leave out the wedding dresses. “You attacking Dean with a bouquet.”
Paris laughs appreciatively – the kind of laugh that seems right for the dark, somehow; low and soft and the Paris version of gentle. Rory relaxes a little, and tries not to be so aware of the way Paris’s left side presses against her right. She’s been this close to Paris before tons of times.
Then Paris smacks her soundly on the side of the head.
“Ack! Paris! What was that?” Rory demands, massaging her hair. It doesn’t really hurt, but it’s a matter of principle.
“I was high fiving your brain,” Paris says, with the straightest of straight faces. “It was a compliment.”
“Your compliments feel a whole lot like physical abuse.”
“Do you really think my career is the universe making up for Rush Limbaugh?”
“You are the Harry to his Voldemort,” Rory promises.
Paris envelops her in a hug. It’s a surprise. A pretty cozy surprise.
“I’m lucky to have you, Rory,” she says simply.
Aw, says Rory’s heart, but her mouth just says, “Don’t you forget it, pal.”
When Rory wakes up the second time, it’s because the bedroom door is being pushed open. She dimly registers that there’s an arm around her waist. A Paris arm, she realizes, but somehow that’s not enough to motivate her to move right away. It’s just so comfy, all snuggled up with the sunshine streaming through the window and making you forget it’s wintertime, painting the whole room subtly gold.
“Ooh,” comes her mom’s way-too-mischievous voice. “Somebody’s getting in-character.”
“Mom!” Rory exclaims, and sits up as fast as she can. Paris starts stirring next to her.
“Kid,” Lorelai returns, eyeing her a little suspiciously.
“Hi, Lorelai,” Paris says, totally chill, and stretches her arms over her head.
“Hiya, Paris. Should I drag Luke in here for the whole ‘what are your intentions, young lady?’ interrogation?” Lorelai looks way too gleeful at the thought. “I keep telling him he needs to practice. It would be a vast improvement over the weird silent feud he has going on with April’s boyfriend right now.”
“Depends,” Paris yawns. “Is he responsible for the awesome breakfast smell wafting in here?”
“Do I give off the vibes of a woman who would battle a waffle iron and win?”
“Then leave him to it.”
“All right, you’re off the hook. For now. But keep those hands where I can see ‘em.”
“Mom!” Rory says again, pretty much by accident. She’s not really sure what’s happening.
“Rory!” Lorelai mimics, giving her another ‘the hell, my bizarre offspring?’ look.
“Um,” Rory says, “hi. Ooh, waffles!”
“I’m just saying, you have to show this little imitation Bieber who’s boss,” Paris says with great intensity, leaning forward on her elbows. Luke’s sitting opposite her at the table, and being surprisingly receptive.
“Oh, Paris,” Lorelai rhapsodizes in tones that sound a whole lot like Emily’s, “do marry into the family posthaste! Rory’s dowry of perfectly preserved J-14 magazines and Beanie Babies is yours.”
“J-14?” Paris wrinkles her nose. “Good God, Rory, at least spring for Tiger Beat.”
“The tragic pitfalls of being raised in a single parent household,” Lorelai sighs.
“These waffles are great, Luke!” Rory says pointedly.
“Can I borrow that ‘imitation Bieber’ line?” Luke muses meanwhile to Paris.
“Luke, April’s a senior in high school,” Lorelai reminds him, patting his arm. “I’m pretty sure she’s too old for Bieber fever.”
“But his hair!” Luke insists. “Kyle’s hair! It does that swoosh! You’re the one who pointed out the swoosh. Don’t pretend there’s no swoosh.”
“Far be it from me to deny the swoosh, babe,” Lorelai pacifies.
“No, see, that just makes it better,” Paris says authoritatively. “No eighteen year old guy wants the Bieber comparison. You invoke it, he is at your mercy. And don’t feel like you can’t mix it up a little. Is he tall? Does ‘imitation Bieber on steriods’ ring true? How ‘bout ‘imitation Bieber gone slightly to seed’? ‘Bieber and Bunyon’s love child?’ Seriously, I can do this all day.”
“Paris,” Luke says, “I don’t doubt it.” He passes her the bacon, then adds, “Welcome to the family.”
“This orange juice!” Rory cries. “Is that some prime citrus or what??”
The documentary crew meets Rory and Paris in the town square at noon, all clutching to-go cups of coffee from Luke’s. There’s Rick the camera guy, and Katy the sound girl, and their director-slash-interviewer, Nigel. He’s bouncing around way too enthusiastically. He keeps looking at things like Al’s Pancake World and the statue of Pulaski and exclaiming, “Adorable! Oh, just perfect!” Rory hopes this won’t turn into another Forks, Washington-type situation. They’re probably safe, since Robert Pattinson doesn’t seem the most natural choice to play either of them in a movie.
“First, we just want to get a few shots of the two of you in your natural environment,” Nigel informs Rory and Paris, after many hearty handshakes. “This is the kind of footage we’ll use for transitions, the opening credits, that sort of thing.”
“Opening credits?” Rory says. One thing’s for sure: she has never, in her whole life, contemplated being involved in the opening credits of anything. (Oh, okay, fine, besides maybe the ‘WRITTEN BY’ line at the beginning of a flawless film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s Villette. Someone has to do it. Why does no one in this world have enough enthusiasm about Villette??)
“Sure!” Nigel says. “We’re thinking a little sepia tone, maybe a nice Carol King ditty.”
“Barf,” Paris says authoritatively.
“Of course, the stylistic nuances are open for discussion,” Nigel amends smoothly. “All that we really need to get in there, after all, are your two beautiful faces, and our title.” He pauses grandly. “… Paris & Rory’s Modern Stars Hollow Family!”
“But – but we don’t even have kids or anything,” Rory says, feeling one of those stupid impulses to blush. This situation is turning her into a less cute Bashful the Dwarf.
“Yeah,” Paris says, “and also: that sounds horrible.”
“You put the words ‘Modern Family’ into your title, and the awards and critical acclaim throw themselves right at you,” Nigel says. “It’s statistically proven.”
“He has a point,” Rory says.
“Fair enough,” Paris agrees, shrugging.
“So just saunter around, ladies,” Nigel instructs, clapping his hands enthusiastically. “And pretend we’re not here. We’ll stay out of your way, I promise.”
That strikes Rory as so many levels of impossible, but Nigel ushers them off with a chipper “Shoo! Shoo!” and she decides, how do you argue with that?
“Um,” Rory says awkwardly, “shall we?”
Paris smirks at her. “I thought you’d never ask.”
Nigel is watching them with so much expectant adoration that Rory feels a little guilty not engaging in some physical contact. Gingerly, she reaches for Paris’s hand. They’re both wearing gloves, so it’s not like it’s all holy palmer’s kiss up in here or anything. It’s fine. Paris squeezes her hand briefly, a little thoughtless hi there, and they walk on together like it’s the simplest thing in the world. Maybe, maybe it won’t be entirely impossible to sell this.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this place,” Paris declares as they pass the dance studio. Lots of little ballerinas dressed up like flowers are filing their way in. Rick the camera guy clearly doesn’t want to get mixed up in the stampede – smart move – and he winds up hanging back while they keep going. Picturesque panorama time, Rory guesses. “Are you sure it’s not an elaborate hoax, like The Truman Show but somewhat quality?”
“No, but I’m sure you’re the first person to reference The Truman Show in the past decade,” Rory replies sweetly.
“It gives me the creeps,” Paris announces, shuddering as a little sunflower-clad child just misses her.
“Tough,” Rory says, all mock-stern. “You’re raising your modern family here, whether you like it or not.”
“I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad,” Paris determines after a moment. “For kids.”
“Lowood School, it wasn’t,” Rory confirms cheerily, swinging their joined hands back and forth.
“I mean, they’d all turn out hopelessly backwards.”
“Forwards is so overrated.”
“Although,” Paris says, and looks at Rory, “I suppose you turned out well, all things considered.”
“Oh, stop, you’re making me blush,” Rory deadpans.
Paris just keeps looking at her. Something about her face reminds Rory suddenly of Paris showing up at her house years ago, back when they were still in high school – to study, or something, but then it kind of just turned into hanging out instead. Jess came over with food, and the three of them had lively literary discussions for happy, this-is-what-life-should-always-be hours. And, okay, most of Rory’s attention that night had gone to Jess, and pretending not to have all the big crushy feelings for him, but there was also this part of her that liked how weird and … nice it was, seeing Paris out of her element. The girl behind the hurricane, giddy over mac ‘n cheese.
“Remember—” Rory starts to say, but then Paris leans in, her expression the strangest blend of softness and determination, and kisses Rory’s cheek.
“Couples do that,” she offers by way of explanation, with that brittleness in her voice that Rory knows means she’s feeling shy.
“Yep,” Rory says brightly, “I gotcha,” and ignores her stupid heartbeat. It clearly doesn’t know what it’s doing.
FULL TRANSCRIPTS OF INTERVIEW SEGMENTS – PARIS & RORY’S MODERN STARS HOLLOW FAMILY - EPISODE 1: “MEET STARS HOLLOW”
INTERVIEW – Babette Dell, Morey Dell, & Miss Patty
Rory, Rory. Our sweet, sweet, gay Rory.
She loves those girls, doesn’t she, Morey?
She always has, really. Ever since before she could walk.
Not that she’s some kind of lesbian nymphomaniac. We’re not making her sound like a lesbian nympho, are we?
Whatever insights you have to offer—
Because she’s not! If anything, she’s a serial monogamist! Isn’t that right, Morey?
Yes, yes, we’ve always been so invested in her romances. We can’t help it. Stars Hollow is really just one big family, and so she’s our baby—
So she dated other women prior to Paris?
Oh— well, not very many.
Not very many at all! Just a few. Just three, in fact!
There was …
Deenie. You know. Like the book by Judy Bloom.
Yes! Such a nice – girl, Deenie. It was hard to watch the two of them grow apart. And then—
--ica. … who went by Jess sometimes. You know, because it’s a girl’s name. Isn’t it a girl’s name, Morey?
And then there was Lo—Lauren.
None of us much cared for Lauren.
INTERVIEW – Taylor Doose
Let the record state that Stars Hollow has a highly impressive troupe of Revolutionary War re-enactors. (Shakes a finger at the camera.) Just in case you Tea Partiers get any ideas.
And that has to do with Rory and Paris … how, exactly?
INTERVIEW – Kirk Gleason
If you could sum up the relationship between Paris and Rory in one word—
I don’t need to sum it up in any words. But I will sum it up … in a song. (He retrieves his laptop, and presses play. Cue LANA DEL REY’s “VIDEO GAMES”--)
It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you
Everything I do, I tell you all the time …
God. That is spot on.
Shhhh. Twelve more tracks to go.
INTERVIEW – Lane Kim
So you’re Rory’s oldest friend?
Yep, that’s me. Paris might try to tell you that she’s the best friend, but I’m the best friend. (Beat.) And she is the true love. Which I guess isn’t too shabby. So – you win, Paris. I mean, I have a husband. And kids. I’m not full of secret gay longing for Rory or anything. Although if I was, and there was no Paris, I bet it would work out just fine, because Rory is, you know, a gay woman, and—
So you’ve been here to observe the duration of her relationship with Paris, since it began.
Um. Yes. Yes, I have.
And how would you define their relationship, at the beginning?
Um. Tumultuous? They were kinda archenemies. Like Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Wow, okay, that was a bad reference. That didn’t even totally make sense, because they were married first, and Rory and Paris are so not married – yet. Do you want a better reference?
That will do just fine. Tumultuous how?
I guess – Paris has always been Rory’s other girlfriend. And by ‘girlfriend,’ I mean it in the obnoxious way that straight girls refer to their other straight girl friends. And I should probably – not do that again. I’m pretty sure I’ve never done it before. But anyway. It’s like – in a way, Paris and I had similar roles in Rory’s life, but it never really felt like we were interchangeable. What Rory and I have is its own thing, and what Rory and Paris have … it’s so different.
I guess the thing is – everyone always thinks Rory is sweet, you know? The nicest girl you could ever possibly meet. And that’s because it’s true. But it’s also – she’s not only that. And Paris was like the first person who ever came along and saw that Rory was also really smart, and driven, and capable. Not that we all didn’t know that, but – we saw the nice girl first. Paris saw a rival. And I think that has always really appealed to Rory. Being seen like that.
She’s told you as much?
No, no, it’s just – I don’t even know if she’s noticed. It’s just one of those things you pick up on. In fact, I hadn’t even really realized it until now … Oh – um, also, they make out a lot. On account of being girlfriends-type girlfriends. What can you do with ‘em, right? … Can I go now?
INTERVIEW – Lorelai Gilmore
Do you approve of your daughter’s relationship?
But if you could have picked anyone in the world for Rory … would it be Paris?
Well, for one thing, Paris never helped Rory steal a boat, which automatically gives her major points.
Let me guess: Lauren.
Um, yep. That Lauren! What a hoodlum! Anyway. The thing is, Nige – can I call you Nige?—
I’d be delighted! Do you know, you’re the first person who’s ever asked me that!
Way. How about that. Anyway, Nige old pal, the thing is – Paris makes her happy. Paris makes her – challenged, and Paris makes her think, and Paris makes her crazy. Paris makes her … many things. And that’s what I want for my kid. Many things. All the things, ideally. And then some.