Notes: Gilmore Girls and characters herein property of not me. Not for profit. For Jae W. Thanks to Victoria P. and Mosca. Title from the Jewel song Hands.


"We need to address our long-standing sexual tension," Paris says.

"Our what?" Rory even sputters a little, adding to her typical deer in the headlights look.

Rory says, "You're getting married, Paris."

"And it seems foolish to do so without making sure that you're not the one for me." Paris has been thinking this through for days. "We kissed, you might recall. There could be more there."

"We kissed as a thing, as a -- Paris, I need you to step back now. Also that kiss was years ago!" Rory scoots back on the couch.

"Rory, let's be blunt. Since we met, we've been connected. We were roommates for four years in college. I was there for you through your rather tiresome romances and you were there for me through mine. But maybe we've missed out on how close that connection can be." Paris pats the space that has now sprouted up between them on the couch.

"Isn't being your maid of honor enough? Do I have to kiss you now, too?"

"I've explained this," Paris says. She sighs.

"You love Paul, right?" Rory is still clenched in fear on the corner of the sofa. Paris finds it attractive. When she examines her feelings, there's definite attraction. Rory has beautiful hair and skin like buttermilk -- one would have to be blind to miss that.

She says, "I do. Of course I do, I'm marrying him. Assuming our sexual tension is resolved correctly. And because I love him, I don't want to trap him in a soon to be loveless marriage as we only have sex when I can convince him to wear a wig to better resemble you."

"I don't think a wig would make Paul look like me, Paris. He's a foot taller than me and also, he's black."

"He's more of a creamy coffee color. A Barack Obama shade, really. We make a very handsome couple and our children will be beautiful. Though, now that I've met Paul's mother, any daughters we have will need to watch their diet very carefully." Paris shifts over an inch.

"Stop shifting, Paris, I see you. I'm right here." Rory shifts as well, so she's now sitting on the arm of the sofa. Paris doesn't stop herself from trying to catch a glimpse of Rory's thigh. It's titillating. "Paris, I think you have cold feet."

"So you won't sleep with me because you fear my cold feet will chill you in bed? That's a ridiculous excuse."

"No, I mean you're nervous. You're getting married in two months, weird thoughts are popping into your already weird head. Maybe you should re-hire your life coach?"

Paris has had enough. She lunges and pulls Rory into a kiss. At first, it's rather dry and close-lipped, which is frankly what Paris always imagined Rory would be like. Then Rory opens her mouth and it's warm like coffee. Given that it's Rory, it also tastes a little like coffee. Paris likes the hint of coffee somewhere, the hint that if she keeps kissing Rory it will be completely there.

Rory pulls back and falls off the sofa. "Oh my god, Paris. I don't believe you." She scrambles up and runs out.


Rory comes back two days later. Just shows up one morning standing on the doorstep in one of her cute little outfits that emphasize her hips. Paris says, "Back for more red-hot kissing and falling off the sofa? This time I thought we could move past first base."

Rory blinks. "Can we not do this on your doorstep?"

"The neighbors wouldn't mind. The fellows living over there once had a two hour make out session on their porch. I thought about filming it for Guys Gone Wild." Paris holds the door open wider so Rory can skitter by. There's little chance Rory would do anything when there was a chance someone was watching.

Rory says, "Let's talk. Talking is good. Not crazy kissing, because, whoa, no more of that."

"You don't sound sure." Paris smiles. She hopes it isn't the smile Paul compared to a wolverine's.

"I'm very sure." Rory's voice wavers.

"You really don't sound sure. You liked the kiss. There was tongue this time. I think that was the difference." Paris walks into the living room, knowing Rory will follow. Which she does with little stuttering steps Paris thinks are very cute. She must be attracted.

"I think. Okay, Paris, there was a kiss and you're crazy. I think we need to deal with this and get beyond it because I'm your maid of honor and I've made plans for bridal showers and other things maids of honor do which does not include making out with the bride. I checked etiquette books."

"Rory. You need to understand my problem. I can *not* commit my entire life to Paul without knowing for sure that I won't break his heart by running off with you. I love him very much. It's important to me that I don't hurt him."

"He won't be hurt that you're making out with me two months before the wedding?"

Paris wants to stamp her feet but she's twenty-five now and it would be childish. Still, very infuriating. "Not as much as it would after the wedding. Why is this so hard for you?"

"Because I don't have sex with women, Paris. And neither do you because you would have told me." Rory crosses her arms under her breasts.

"Well, I haven't yet. And I'd rather not find out that I want to for sure after I've had my perfect wedding for three hundred guests." Paris sighs. "Should we kiss again?"

Rory looks scared all over again. Then she takes a deep breath and says, "Upstairs. Let's do this upstairs. And we're going all the way. So we never have to talk about this or do it again. Got it?"

"Excellent." Paris nearly runs to her bedroom.

The kissing is even better than the sofa session. The fondling goes well after some initial hesitations. They pause there when Paris suggests that alcohol might make the rest a little easier as they're both inexperienced when it comes to pleasing women. Paris asks what Rory likes when she masturbates, but Rory blushes and refuses to answer. Paris thinks about telling Rory that every woman should masturbate and do it frequently but they're both naked and sweaty and drinking fine brandy on the quilt Paris's grandmother made for her first year on her own. Lectures about allowing oneself pleasure can happen later.

The final part is awkward, with elbows and biting at the wrong time but then it's right.

Paris sits up and clutches the quilt to her breasts. "You should leave now."

Rory stares at her for a second and then says, "Fine. Fine. God, Paris, that's fine." It takes her forever to get dressed. Paris doesn't see her out.


Paris goes to Rory's apartment and knocks on the door until Rory answers. It takes two minutes. Rory answers in her large blue robe and says, "Paris. It's midnight."

"The wedding is off."

"I know, you called last week and told me. And hung up right after. Which was a little rude."

Paris pushes past Rory into the apartment. "I was very upset. I broke it off with Paul and he was very hurt, as I knew he would be. He wasn't getting that it could have been so much worse."

"I know, Paris. It really could have been." Rory sits down on her sofa. It doesn't look new or expensive. Lorelai must have bought it for her.

"I'm sorry I haven't been here in months. I should have. I was obsessed with wedding preparations and worrying about whether or not I would leave Paul. Which I did, so I could have spared myself the worry and been socializing. Stupid me, I guess."

"It's okay. How are you? Do you want something to drink?"

"Anything but brandy." Paris sighs and sits down on the new old sofa. "It's not your fault, if you were thinking it was, and I would be if I were you."

"I wasn't thinking it was my fault." Rory hands Paris a glass of milk. "Because it's not. Though thank you for saying it."

"You had sex with me. Satisfying, excellent sex. I knew I had to leave Paul because you had sex with me and we both enjoyed it." Paris holds out her milk. "I don't want milk unless it's the flavoring in my White Russian. The wedding is off and Paul cried, because of me."

Rory takes the milk and leaves. She comes back with an open bottle of wine. "You're right. The sex was good. I was really surprised. I was more surprised that you kicked me out right afterwards and haven't talked to me since."

"I'm absorbing a lot. Processing. Do I have to stop shaving my legs? Should I enjoy Ani DiFranco's music now or is liking Jewel okay?"

"Liking Jewel is never okay. And I think you can keep shaving your legs. I have." Rory wiggles her feet so Paris can see her smooth calves and the chipped nail polish on her toes.

"Well, thank goodness you're here for my crisis of identity. You're remarkably sanguine about this. Have you slept with other women and not told me?" Paris drinks the wine straight from the bottle while watching Rory for signs of any sexual identity crisis.

"No, I just talked to my mom. That was really weird. But she was pretty nice about it, actually, and accepting and stuff. I mean, I'm not sure this is a forever choice because it was only you. I've never really been attracted to other women. Have you?"

Paris looks at her feet. "Jewel. Though she better do something about those teeth before kissing me."

Rory nods. "She's attractive, sure. But not her music. Her music is wrong, Paris. Just wrong. My hands are small, I know? Also, has she even released anything in the past five years? How long have you had this Jewel thing?"

"It's not a Jewel thing. There's no thing. This isn't the West Wing, Rory; we can refer to things by name. I've been attracted to Jewel since high school when I first saw that video where she was wearing very tight clothing. Unlike you, she has amazing breasts." Paris decides to have more wine.

"Okay, you seemed to like my breasts two weeks ago." Rory takes the bottle away to have a drink herself. It makes her lips redder. Paris decides to take the wine back and not look at Rory.

"They're very nice. Jewel's are amazing. Which is pointless because I will not be sleeping with Jewel. Could I sleep with you?"

Rory sighs. "Well, the first time ended badly so maybe we should talk more before we do that."

"It did not end badly, I could tell. You were satisfied. I was good at it. Good the very first time, which is very good when you think about it." Paris sits back and lets go of the bottle. It's empty now anyway.

"Paris, you're amazing. You should write a book. Can we get back to actually talking?"

"This is the way we talk, Rory." Paris leans against Rory's shoulder. The robe smells nice. "I was right. Our now resolved sexual tension ended the best relationship of my life and thankfully before I shattered Paul's heart forever. I hate being right. Now I'm without my fiancé and I own a Vera Wang dress I can never wear because we can only marry in Canada. Also Vermont, Massachusetts and the Netherlands. All places where everyone likes hockey. I don't want to move, Rory, I hate hockey."

"I'm not fond of it either. I saw a game once, in high school." Rory sighs. "You were right, Paris. We have something. Maybe we could try taking it slow, seeing what happens. Not worrying about whether being with each other in whatever way means about changing our musical taste or how we dress."

"Well, that seems unlikely. I don't think there are two people less likely to not worry or over think." Paris wants it to be a good idea, though. She says, "Was that Lorelai's advice? Your mother never liked me."

"She likes you fine." Rory pats Paris's head. It feels nice.

"Even after the wedding?"

"She's forgiven you for the screaming and the dancing and the bagpipes at her wedding. Actually, she's thankful that you stopped Kirk from making his toast. She mentioned it in our talk. That Paris, she stopped Kirk from making his toast at my wedding, I still love her for that."

Paris sits up. "Your mother loves me? She's very attractive."

"Okay, gross. Stop. You only get one Gilmore." Rory grins. "You get me, or no one."

"I get you?" Paris smiles.

"Well, probably. Taking it slow. But I think so. I was hoping you'd come by."

Paris looks at Rory again, and smiles. "Does your taking it slow plan involve me sleeping on the couch tonight?"

"Actually, no. Come on, I'll show you the new bed." She stands up without letting go of Paris's hand.


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