Chapter 1: Anniversary
Paris is currently staring at the envelope in Rory’s outstretched hand like it’s a poisonous snake. “What’s your angle, Gilmore?” she asks suspiciously.
“No angle!” Rory promises. “Well, four angles. Get it? ‘Cause the envelope’s a—”
“It’s not a state or national holiday,” Paris interrupts, still eying the envelope with gratuitous concern. “And you can’t be serving me legal papers unless you’ve somehow attended law school without my knowing. Wait, is that what this is? Some kind of Legally Brunette situation?”
“You think I’d go to law school so I could get my girlfriend entangled in our country’s flawed judicial process?”
“Maybe that’s your version of keeping things fresh.”
“Why don’t you just open it?” Rory suggests. Paris ignores her, surprise surprise.
“Are you finally paying me back for that time we saw The Force Awakens in 3D? The gesture’s purely symbolic, of course, now that we’ve joined our bank accounts. Plus, watching Rey annihilate Kylo Ren’s whiny ass was payment enough.”
“Paris,” Rory says, shoving the envelope into Paris’s face. “What’s in exactly two and a half weeks?”
Paris softens. “This is an anniversary thing?”
“You could find out if you take the damn envelope.”
Paris snatches the paper, grinning. When she fishes out the tickets, her expression quickly shifts from confused to glowing.
“Just like old times,” Rory says, her heart beating a little too fast. She needs some verbal confirmation that she hasn’t messed up her first anniversary gift. “We can even get my mom to knock down every door in a random New York apartment building, if you wanna really recreate the magic. …Do you like it?”
Rory barely gets out the question before she’s engulfed in a bone-crushing Paris Geller hug.
Chapter 2: Romeo and Juliet
Prompt: "Talk about when they did Romeo and Juliet!"
Paris returns from berating Professor Anderson like a lion returning from the hunt. (A really tiny lion. A pygmy lion!) She’s still got her ridiculous Romeo getup on, wig and all.
“We’re not going to fail,” she tells Rory exuberantly. “Anderon’s giving us an A.”
“Take that, Tristan!” Paris pumps her fist. “He thought he could throw me one last curveball before he skedaddled off to god knows where. Little did he know that I’m — uh —” Paris looks to Rory for help. “Who’s a good baseball player?”
“Bugs Bunny?” Rory offers.
“You’re lucky I’m in a good mood,” Paris says, and yeah, she looks it! She’s smiling! It’s kind of weird!
“Good job on the spontaneous understudying,” Rory says, starting to dismantle her own ridiculous costume. “I don’t know how you got that memorized in time.”
“I’ll be making my Globe premiere any day now.” Paris looks like she’s riding a serious adrenaline/good grade high. “Good job yourself, Juliet. Very convincing dead act.” She pats Rory’s arm in what could be described as approaching friendliness.
“Yeah, but I sucked on an Altoid for nothing.”
Paris wrinkles her nose. “Halitosis?”
“No, you told me to — ‘Thus with a kiss,’ and all that,” Rory explains. “I wasted a perfectly good Altoid.”
“Quite the sacrifice.”
“It was!” Rory grins. She’s digging this refreshingly non-aggressive Paris banter. “‘Curiously strong’ is right. My mouth’s still burning. And what do I have to show for it?”
“‘One kiss, and I’ll descend,’” Paris quotes, and leans up to peck Rory’s lips.
Rory feels — something. It’s sort of like stage fright? Before she can figure it out, Paris’s eyes get wide and scared; she darts, leaving nothing behind but a cardboard sword and a really ugly wig.
(When Dean asks about the performance later, Rory technically doesn’t lie.)
Chapter 3: Puppy
Prompt: "Paris & Rory going and picking out a dog for Tim and Gabriela."
“They smell,” Paris whispers as the kids run up to a yipping golden retriever.
“Well, yeah,” Rory says. “They’re dogs. And there’s, like, twenty of them.”
“Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.” Paris retrieves a bottle of hand sanitizer from her purse, squeezing out a liberal amount. “You know, Doyle used to say the backyard would be perfect for an array of topiary trees. There’s a topiarist in Manhattan who could trim a dog more lifelike than any of these mongrels.”
“We promised the kids a pet, not a plant,” Rory reminds her.
Paris grimaces, slathering hand sanitizer on Rory’s hands. “Plants don’t defecate on the carpet.”
“Why don’t we go see if there’s a pup that can win your heart?” Rory suggests, pushing Paris toward the dogs.
“Alright, Cruella. How about this little guy?” Rory scoops up a mutt wandering their way. “Aw, she wants to meet you!”
“That’s Cleo,” Gabriela announces, grabbing Rory’s arm.
“What did we say about naming them?” Paris says. Gabriela ignores her, petting Cleo’s head. “Watch your hands, Gabby.”
“She’s not gonna bite,” Rory promises. “Here, say hi.”
Throwing a dirty look Rory’s way, Paris cautiously extends a hand. Cleo watches her with curiosity, her tongue lolling out of her mouth. When Paris’s hand gets close enough, Cleo gives it a big lick.
Rory expects the shelter to be suddenly drowned in a deluge of hand sanitizer. Instead, Paris makes a sound as high-pitched as any of the dogs, looking at Cleo with pure adoration. (No fair, pup. It took Rory years to get Paris to look at her like that without at least a little bit of hatred mixed in.)
“We’ll take her,” Paris announces to the woman working the front desk. Tim and Gabriela cheer. “In fact — Rory, considering the square footage of the house, I’d say we could take at least —”
“Just the one for today,” Rory interrupts, giving their new family member a fond pat.
Chapter 4: Bake sale
Prompt: "Shenanigans while baking for an event/bake sale type thing."
“That doesn’t look right,” Paris says oh-so-helpfully from the doorway.
“They’re brownies. They’re supposed to be lumpy,” Rory says, poking at the tray.
“Not pregnant-camel lumpy. I’m just saying, if this were the Food Network, you’d be walking the walk of eliminated losers while you tried to justify your failure via voiceover.”
“Do you want to give this a try, Geoffrey Zakarian?”
Paris inspects the brownies. “What’s your mom’s chef friend doing these days? Cookie?”
“You know her name is Sookie, Paris. She catered our wedding.”
“Maybe she could give us a hand. A pedestrian dish like this seems right up her alley.”
“Everything’s supposed to be homemade,” Rory reminds her. “You don’t want Tim bringing in dishonest brownies, do you?”
“With what that school charges per semester, I doubt they’d have a problem with dishonest.”
Rory takes a bite of a brownie. Not half bad! Maybe she wouldn’t be making that Food Network walk of shame after all. “Try one,” she says. “They’re pretty good.”
Paris sighs. “The taste doesn’t matter. All the private school parent vultures are going to care about is the appearance and right now, I’m thinking they’ll walk away from our booth saying, ‘well, I bet the Geller-Gilmore pastries have a great personality.’”
“Then we’ll be sending Tim an important message about not judging books by their cover,” Rory says, holding a brownie in front of Paris’s face. “Come on, try it! If you really hate them, I’ll call up Sookie.”
“Sweetheart, it’s not about whether I like them, it’s —”
“You hated me at first, right? Those first few Chilton years, forget about it. But then you… took a bite —” Rory grins at Paris’s blush — “and you loved it!”
“Your metaphor is seriously flawed.”
“Eat the damn brownie or I buy us tickets to Stars Hollow’s community theater production of Les Miz.”
Paris chows down in record time.
“Well?” Rory prompts.
“Delicious,” Paris says, although Rory has a sneaking suspicion she just wants to shut her up. “They’ll be the talk of the town.”
“Great!” Rory starts plating her masterpiece. Little to Paris’s knowledge, two front row seats to Les Miz are already reserved under their names. Rory can’t wait. She has a feeling Taylor is gonna make a mean Cosette.
Chapter 5: Les Miz
Prompt: Paris and Rory attending the Stars Hollow production of Les Miz mentioned in the last prompt (bake sale).
“Welcome, fair maidens! Forsooth!” Kirk says as he hands them their playbills. “Verily, your seats doth over yonder.”
“He does know this takes place in nineteenth-century France, right?” Paris says.
“Never underestimate the amount that Kirk does not know.”
Paris glances at her playbill. “Les Misérables: the Extended Edition?” she reads aloud. “What could they possibly extend?”
Honestly, as far as Stars Hollow performances go, Rory’s seen worse. At least it’s not a Taylor original.
That isn’t to say Taylor didn’t get his hands into the script. As Lorelai had warned her earlier (between gales of laughter), Taylor had felt that all the death scenes were too extreme for their small town’s delicate tastes, so after each unfortunate demise, the character in question would stand back up and exclaim something along the lines of “Mon dieu! I feel so much better!”
“Fantine can’t just magically get better,” Paris hisses in Rory’s ear. “She has freaking tuberculosis. I need to speak with the medical consultant for this show.”
“I’ll get right on that,” Rory whispers back.
At intermission, the cast comes out and mingles with the crowd while in character. Each actor seems to have a different understanding of when and where the musical takes place. Paris is in hell.
By the middle of Act II, Rory is remembering why she stopped attending her hometown’s attempts at theater on a regular basis. She’s already made awkward eye contact with Dean at least three times, her wife is melting into a puddle of fact-checking rage, and wow, they really weren’t kidding about the ‘extended edition’ thing.
At least the girl playing Eponine can sing. Her rendition of “On My Own” is pretty nice, even if Taylor is visible readjusting set pieces in the background.
On the line “And I know it’s only in my mind,” Paris takes her hand.
“You okay?” Rory whispers, concerned. Paris is not one for PDA of any kind.
“Yeah,” Paris says, looking at Eponine with uncharacteristic fondness. “I’m just glad I don’t feel like that anymore.”
The rest of the show doesn’t feel quite so torturous.
Chapter 6: Quizbowl
Prompt: "I still can't believe chilton didn't have quizbowl/academic bowl... so in that spirit, rory & paris dominating pub trivia PLEASE"
Paris is flushed, panting, and visibly sweating. That’s right, folks! She and Rory just had…
A successful round at their local gay bar’s trivia night!
“Ha! In your face, ‘Let’s Get Quizzical!’” Paris shouts at the opposing team. “Who the hell doesn’t know the capital of Zimbabwe? It’s Harare! Or should I say it’s har-har, because it’s laughable how easily we kicked your asses!”
“Jesus christ, Paris,” Rory says meekly, sending apologetic looks to the losing team. “Do you want to get us banned?”
“This is amazing,” Paris breathes. “How have we never done trivia before? Swift victories over tests of widespread knowledge? That’s all I’ve ever wanted!”
“Hey,” Rory says, a little hurt.
“All I’ve ever wanted besides my loving partner,” Paris amends with an eyeroll. “Now finish your drink, next game starts in five minutes.”
“Ma’am,” the bartender interrupts, sliding a martini Paris’s way. “Courtesy of those girls over there,” she explains, nodding at a couple women eying Paris from across the room.
Oh, jeez. Does this mean Rory has to confront the ladies trying to steal her girl? Rory’s always been the one being fought over — she’s never had to do the fighting. She doesn’t know how!
“I see,” Paris says slowly, sipping the martini. She makes eye contact with the senders and waves. For a second, Rory’s worried she actually will have to fight, but then: “Think you can slip up my game with a little hooch, huh?” Paris shouts. “Not a chance, pal. This brain’s like a steel trap. Inebriated or not, it’s gonna take you down.”
“I don’t think they’re playing trivia,” Rory interjects, but Paris isn’t listening.
“They’re starting up again,” she says happily, and downs the martini in one go, dragging Rory off to meet their next quizbowl victims.
Chapter 7: Carol (2015)
A truly inspired prompt: "Paris (2015) dir. Todd Haynes."
One cloudy afternoon, Harold is sitting in his favorite midtown restaurant with his wife, enjoying some creamed spinach over poached eggs. The owner, a grumpy sort of fellow with a backwards baseball cap, had refused to carry the dish at first — but Harold had insisted.
“So,” he hears from a nearby table. “What kind of a name is Gilmore?”
“It’s Irish,” another voice responds.
Strange, Harold thinks, for two women to be out having lunch without their husbands! In any case, he hopes they’re having a good time.
“And your first name?”
“Rory,” the second woman responds.
“No.” Rory clears her throat. “Your perfume — it’s nice.”
“Thank you. Doyle bought me a bottle years ago, before we were married.”
“Doyle is your husband?”
“Yes. Well… technically we — we’re divorcing.”
Shame, Harold muses. But she sounds like a nice girl, she’ll find someone else.
“And do you live alone, Rory Gilmore?” the first woman inquires.
“I do. Well, there’s Logan. He wants to live with me. He — wants to marry me, actually. He proposed, but…”
“You don’t want to marry him?”
“I wonder why she doesn’t want to marry,” Harold whispers to his wife.
His wife puts her hand on his arm. She has something to tell him.
Chapter 8: Overwatch
Prompt: "Rory teaches Paris how to play Overwatch."
Rory wished she could be surprised when, descending the stairs at ten in the morning, she saw the glow of the TV still lighting up the common room.
“Did you play all night?” she asked sleepily.
“Don’t talk to me,” Paris hissed, hunched over the controller. “This is my Grandmaster game.”
“I thought you hit Grandmaster yesterday.”
“I did. Then Jeff Kaplan’s brilliant matchmaking system decided to pair me with an endless parade of what I can only assume were monkeys who, after escaping the zoo, stumbled across an abandoned PS4. So we’re back in Master.”
“Paris,” Rory said, resisting the urge to head right back up to bed. “We got into this game to bond with Tim, remember? This is his thing.”
“So?” Paris said while annihilating a Mercy.
“So maybe you should take a break and let your son play again.”
As Round 1 finished, Paris finally looked at Rory. “Before I started playing, Tim was in Silver. Silver, Rory. That’s like the Overwatch equivalent of a D.”
“And he mained Hanzo! He had nearly a hundred hours on the guy! His team would be better off if he just threw his controller out the window!”
“Oh my god, it’s just a video game,” Rory burst out, and Paris’s face went full ice-mode.
“‘Just a video game?’” she repeated. “Was it ‘just a video game’ when it recouped before its initial release even happened? Or when its most-marketable character was confirmed as gay to a playerbase of millions? Was it ‘just a video game’ then?”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Paris huffed, putting another one of Mei’s icicles right between that poor Mercy’s eyes. “This game is revolutionizing what multiplayer first-person shooters could mean for the larger cultural— god damn it.” The enemy Lucio had booped her off the map. Paris stormed out of the room, muttering, “That’s the third time this game. Screw this overhyped, half-baked…”
Rory timidly picked up the controller. The last time she’d played, she had fallen off the map at least three times. Jumping into Grandmaster was sure to be interesting.