Spoilers: Season Finale, but you should have
seen it already, if you havent, where have you been?
Content: Swear Words Ahead
Pairing: Rory/Tristin with some Dean
Disclaimer: Gilmore Girls and its characters belong to Dorothy Parker Drank
Here Productions and Hofflund/Polone in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Authors Note: This is my first fanfic, so I would HIGHLY appreciate
feedback. Its cheesy, but I loved writing it, and I hope yall
enjoy reading it.
What is Fair in Love and War?
Sometimes life was fair.
Tristin sat on his bed, despondently staring at the crumpled tickets on his
desk. He clenched his fists in frustration as he remembered how happy he
had been to find out about the concert. One day in class he had noticed the
PJ Harvey sticker on the back of Rorys notebook. Only two short weeks
later he had heard on the radio that PJ Harvey was in town. He had vacillated
for two days before deciding on a whim to go downtown and buy the tickets.
As he had been standing in line he had felt his hopes lift. This was something
that she was sure to go to because it was so special he was positive.
And then he showed up. No, that wasnt fair. She didnt
want to go with Tristin to the concert to begin with. He winced as he remembered
the words that were yelled back and forth between the two in front of him.
Rory hated him? When had that happened? He thought
he thought that things
were becoming right. Especially after he had confided in her.
God, had he been wrong. In a fit of fury he picked up the tickets and tore
them in two, then crumpled them again in his fists.
When he saw Dean standing there, his stomach had sunk. It was a bad omen.
Then when Rory strode forward, Tristin knew. Who the hell was he kidding?
He had been a jerk from the start. Taunting her, teasing her, trying to get
under her skin like she had under his. The more she resisted, the more desperate
he became. He couldnt go days without saying something, anything, because
the days in which he didnt talk to her seemed somehow more
And so life was fair. Because the jerk never got the woman.
The smell of roses filled the room. He focused on the two bouquets that he
had bought that morning in the hopes of giving them to Rory and her mother
that night. Next to the roses was a brown box with a cream ribbon. A box
that he had had for months, but couldnt quite get himself to toss because
hope sprang eternal. The box was sitting in the same exact spot it had been
since that fateful night in December when he bought the gift.
He didnt know why he did it to himself. Bought things for her ahead
of time. Maybe it was to lift his hopes something tangible that Rory
couldnt refuse. Clearly it was a waste of money as all of the stuff
he had bought was still here
reminding him of his failure.
He was angry with her. Angry with her for not listening. Angry with her for
not returning his feelings, feelings that made him feel helpless. He
wouldnt go so far as to say he was in love with her, but he knew he
Why was it that when he finally found someone that finally made him feel
worthwhile he couldnt make the connection? His grandfather had hinted
when he had told him about Rory that women needed to be wooed, but he
hadnt listened. So, he had rightfully lost the person he knew would
have warmed the piece of him that so desperately needed it.
He looked around his room. He hated it here sometimes. Hated the coldness,
hated his parents, hated Tristin Dugrey. But he knew that he was stuck with
what life had decided to give him. He knew he should be happy for his wealth,
his stature, his opportunities.
But why did he feel so fucking cold? So fucking cold
In a fit of anger and pique he lifted his blazer clad arm and struck out
at the objects on the desk. Sweeping them off the end of the desk and onto
the hardwood floor along with pencils, books, and cups. After their loud
crash he heard his own harsh breathing raggedly in the quiet room.
And then Tristin Dugrey did something that he never thought he would do over
For the following months Tristin avoided Rory, knowing that she would not
miss his presence. As time passed, she took up less and less of his thoughts,
though at times, he would catch himself staring at her in class. He dated
less than before, recognizing now what was missing in his previous relationships.
Chilton girls were very
He didnt fall in love throughout his remaining two years at Chilton.
The cold feeling never lifted.
As graduation neared Tristin finally ventured to say something to Rory in
the halls of school.
"Hey yourself." She looked up at him with a perplexed smile.
"Yup, parents acting like idiots as they watch a three hour long ceremony
to bad music and the same boring speeches. I just hope my mom doesnt
bring the bullhorn like she did to my middle school graduation. She accidentally
pressed the horn during my principals opening speech that year, and
he jumped so hard the podium fell over and all the speech papers went everywhere.
I think my mom is forever banned from that auditorium." She rolled her eyes
as she put books back into her locker.
did you meet your eternal goal?"
"Huh? Give me a minute, I think my locker is experiencing pangs at losing
me in a few short days and is refusing
history book!" She finally wrenched the
book from her locker, managing to pull back and smack her elbow on the locker
door. "Ow! Hey I didnt deserve that!" She blinked back tears as she
cradled her elbow awkwardly with her opposite hand.
"Hey, are you ok?" Tristin reached forward and palmed her elbow with his
left hand, covering Rorys left hand with his own.
"Yeah, fine. Just trying to get over Vindicator the Locker giving me a parting
love tap." She shook her head and pulled her elbow and hand from his light
grip uncomfortably. She looked up at him confusedly, her eyebrows furrowing
as she tried to figure out why exactly he had chosen to come talk to her
at this particular moment in time.
As Tristin felt her move her arm, and saw tears blinked away, he flashed
back to another time when she had cried in front of him. His gaze dropped
to her lips as he remembered the kiss that they had shared. The kiss that
had kept him awake for hours, as he thought it had been something he had
done to make her cry. The memories were not as painful as they once had been.
He smiled. "Well, Vindicator the Locker will have to deal with you leaving
because youre going to Harvard right?"
"Ah, that eternal goal. For a minute I thought you were talking about my
goal to own all of the great books in history, which clearly is not attainable,
though intriguing because the house needed to own all of those books would
be rather large, and wouldnt be able to hold all of them, so I suppose
I would need several houses, and now Im heading into scary babbling
territory, arent I? Well, um, yes, I did get into Harvard, Im
starting this fall." She shyly tucked an errant strand of hair behind her
ear as she clutched her history book in excitement.
"Well, well. Ill see you there."
"You got in too?"
"Well, the Dugreys have several plaques in existence in several buildings
on campus there, so naturally, yes." Tristin paused. "And somehow that came
out sounding a lot more cocky than I wanted it to sound. So, let me rewind.
Yes, Rory, I got in there too. Do you know what youre going to major
"Nope, I have a vague idea about pre-med, but me and Biology arent
really friends, and thats a problem. Then I have this vague idea about
English, but what would I really do with that type of degree? Then I get
other vague ideas, and they multiply and breed, and Im back at square
one." Rory waved her hands in the air as she spoke, illustrating her frustration
with her career dilemmas.
Tristin smiled at her verbal antics, and unfolded himself from his perpetual
slouch against the locker. "I think Im going to major in business."
He staggered and put his hand to his heart. "Big surprise there."
Id love to stay and chat, but Ive got to go catch my
" Rory uncomfortably shifted from foot to foot as she looked
up at Tristin.
Tristin nodded. "Dont want to keep you. Uh, I guess Ill see you
Friday night then?"
"At the ceremony, yup." Rory started to backpeddle as she lifted her backpack
to her shoulder. "Bye."
"Bye." Tristin lifted his hand in a halfhearted wave as she departed. Not
a complete truce, but something. At least she wouldnt leave this school
thinking he was a total asshole. And that made his day just a little brighter.
He smiled, and started to make his way to his car.
Rory sat and watched the buildings pass on the ride home.
What the heck had gotten into Tristin? She literally hadnt heard from
him in months, when suddenly today, conversation. And not only conversation,
but non-confrontational conversation. Had something happened?
Rory shrugged. She had given up on figuring out Tristin months ago. She smiled
as she thought about Harvard and all that it would bring. She was looking
forward to the classes, the campus, the people, the knowledge, everything!
The whole experience was going to be one of a kind, she knew it. The only
thing she was sad about was her mom. She didnt know what life was going
to be like without her mom being there for breakfast and dinner and all the
times in between. But she figured that now that her mom was creating a second
life with Luke that she could keep herself entertained. She had caught the
two of them in a clinch last night, and after Luke had knocked over the tool
box from shock and surprise, stubbing his own toe in the process, she thought
that they would never even hold hands in front of her. She laughed out loud
Luke, shy in front of her! She never thought that it could happen.
As the bus neared her destination Rory realized that there was one more sad
blip on her radar screen. Dean. He had been accepted into Stanford, and although
it was a wonderful opportunity for him, it was clear across the country.
They hadnt had a discussion about it yet, but things were tense as
they both realized the other was avoiding speaking about it, procrastinating
until the last possible minute. She sighed
she didnt know if she
wanted to have a long distance relationship. Wait. Yes she did. Ok, rephrase
the question. She didnt know if it was fair to have a long distance
relationship at their age with all the trials that she knew were going to
happen during college. Studying, new friends, balancing schoolwork with life.
It was going to be tough, so keeping in touch with your girlfriend miles
across the country was neigh impossible. But how was she going to get through
the day without Dean making her laugh, stroking her hair or giving her one
of those irresistible kisses?
As the bus shuddered to a stop she saw Deans visage through her window.
She smiled and waved, and he returned her greeting. As she stepped off the
bus she thought, well work it out, we always do.
"Dean?" Rory lifted her head off his warm chest and looked him in the eyes.
"We need to talk."
"About what?" Rory felt his body tense beneath hers, and his eyes shied away
from her own.
"You know what about. School." Rory reached up and sifted his wonderful brown
hair through her fingers.
Dean sighed and slowly raised himself up to a sitting position, dragging
Rory into his lap in the process. "Ok."
"Well, were going to be far apart physically." Rory said, and then
squeaked in surprise as Deans arms suddenly tightened around her body.
I dont want to break up you know? I love you, and youre
beautiful and so good for me, and I cant think about days without
" Rory looked at the grass and then back up at Dean, trying
to show him her confusion in her eyes.
"But, itll be hard."
Rory sighed and tried to continue. "I just dont know if it will be
fair to the two of us, staying together, when we will have so much going
on. Dont get me wrong, I want to, I so want to. But I just dont
know I would rather have this, than have everything go wrong in a
few short months. Do you understand?" Mortified, she felt her eyes start
to fill with tears.
Dean brushed her cheeks with his fingertips as he looked down at her. "How
can you be so mature?" He said. "I do know what you mean. Id rather
have us part happy, then have our relationship fall apart and us not be able
to speak to one another because were so far apart."
Rory blinked back tears as she looked up at the face that she had come to
love dearly. "You are such a good boyfriend, you know that?"
"I know." He paused. "But promise me something, all right?"
"In four years when we meet up again in the same city, cause we all
know thats whats going to happen, if we still have this
we try again, pick up where we left off
" He trailed off hopefully.
"Dean." Rory sat up suddenly and poked her boyfriend roughly in the chest.
"If you think you are going to get away with not talking to me for four years,
or not seeing me over summer vacation, you have another thing coming. Got
that?" The end of the tirade resulted in another finger poke, causing Dean
to wince slightly.
"Got it!" He took her finger gently, pushing it to the side. "Are you sure
you dont want to apply to Westminster? I think they have great places
for women who are bossy and wound their boyfriends." His sad smile at the
end of the sentence gave the sentence a bit of levity that the two sorely
"I wont forget this, or you, so in four years, you bet your bippies
that I will be knocking on your door."
"What the heck is a bippie anyway?"
"A bippie. Its a thing with bippieness. It comes from Bippie world
along with all the other bippies, like yours."
"Youre odd, you know that?"
As Dean leaned over to kiss her Rory realized she had just replayed a
conversation from long ago with another young man. As Dean proceeded to kiss
her senseless, she fleetingly wondered if that was a sign for the future.
But after a few seconds, she stopped wondering at all, giving her attention
to the boy that had created a bubble of happiness for her over the last two
"Lets go!" Lorelai swung her purse to her shoulder, nearly taking out
Luke as he got up from tying the laces of his black shoes.
"I know, Im just making sure my hairs right!"
"Sweetie, your hairs the same as when you checked it five minutes ago,
then 1 minute ago, and now in the ten seconds that youve been staring
at it in the mirror. Unless you think that its suddenly going to run
off to Bora Bora without you, we need to get a move on so that I can actually
witness your graduation as opposed to telling all the other happy moms lies
because I missed it." Lorelai walked to the railing and pounded on it in
"Lorelai, dont terrorize the poor girl, shell be down when
shes ready." Emily Gilmore calmly sat waiting with camera prepared
on the living room couch.
"Yes Lorelai, be patient." Richard Gilmore spoke behind a copy of the NY
"Yeah, this coming from the grandparents who bought 10 rolls of film for
today. 10 rolls?! What are you going to do wallpaper one of your walls
with pictures?" Lorelai exasperatedly flung her purse forward to make her
"Now that you have nearly decapitated me twice with that death instrument,
I recommend that you turn your attention to the stairs as your lovely daughter
has decided to grace us with her presence."
All eyes turned towards the stairs as Rory walked down. As she proudly descended
the final steps, all Gilmores reflected on lifes trials and
tribulations that had brought them to today, and looked at the lovely young
girl that had made those obstacles and spectacles worthwhile.
It was a wonderful day in the Gilmore household.
And every one of the 10 rolls was used.
Graduation was a bit of a boring day for Tristin. Standing in the reception
line he greeted the people his parents had invited for his graduation party.
He couldnt wait to get out of this hellhole. College was a new starting
place for him. A place to discover the real Tristin Dugrey. And he knew a
place that would give him some difficulty because he wouldnt be the
most popular guy anymore.
He was actually looking forward to it. Away from the pressure, away from
the cold. Maybe this time he would actually figure out what he wanted to
do in life as opposed to doing what everyone else expected him to.
Dr. Johnson started as he was suddenly gifted with a stellar smile from the
host of honor. He shook Tristins hand and moved on, wondering what
caused the young man to smile so.
Im getting away from the fucking cold
The first few years of school were fantastic for both Rory and Tristin.
Rory came to the stunning realization that she did indeed want to become
a doctor, regardless of her slight difficulty with Biology. She figured that
she had time to master the subject, and as the years rolled by, she learned
to love the intricacies it provided.
She was in her element. The other students here respected her, she studied
well, and she was at the top of her class. Superficial students still existed,
but she merely avoided them. After her first year she had found a group of
friends that supported, loved, and enjoyed her.
She and Dean had kept in touch, and they were planning a visit during Christmas
vacation. After their first year, both had started to date other people.
Dean had a steady girlfriend named Miranda. Rory had dated, but found that
she didnt have the time, or the patience, for a serious relationship.
As her senior year began, life, though stressful, was progressing at a wonderful
pace. Though she barely had any time to breathe, and a few times found herself
sleeping at the breakfast table, she didnt regret a second. She decided
to indulge, and take one last fun class in her last year at Harvard.
Tristin had a similar experience. After the initial culture shock of going
to such a large school, he started to simply meet people. And meet people.
He enjoyed talking with them, hanging out with them, and doing whatever he
wanted away from home. He started to open up, talk more about his own opinions,
and learn about subjects that he never knew existed.
Heaven forbid, he was becoming well-rounded.
He even dated for one year, ironically, a girl named Mary. She was blond,
blue-eyed, and one year older than him. After meeting her in his Economics
class, she blew him away. Fun, energetic, rambunctious and wild, she loosened
him up in ways that he couldnt describe. One night she simply decided
that the two of them were going on a treasure hunt within Boston. They had
a test the next day, but Mary had decided that she was simply not in the
mood to study. Tristin didnt regret a single second of that night.
It was something he would never forget, especially the very end of it, standing
in Harvard Square as Mary kissed him, holding the flowers that he had bought
her as part of the hunt. The look in her eyes that evening as she leaned
back from him warmed him to his core.
one year later, Mary moved on. He knew it was bound to happen. She
bored easily with long term things, and he was one of them. She needed something
new, she was young, bright, and as her life moved on, so did she. They had
never said I love you to one another, because both of them had provided the
other with something they had needed. And though it might or might not have
been love, it was something that neither student would forget.
Tristin headed into is senior year as an economics student looking forward
to recruiting in the falls for jobs. Based on his internship, he knew he
wanted to do public policy, and the competition was fierce. But he also wanted
to have fun in his last semester. He decided to indulge, and take one last
fun class in his last year.
Tristin walked into the Psychology 150 lecture hall with his backpack negligently
thrown across his shoulder. Choosing a row in the middle, he sat down and
lifted up the table for writing from the right side of his seat. As he leaned
over to open his bag and take out his notebook, he saw the shoes of someone
who was about to sit to his left.
He looked up, and met a pair of startled bright eyes.
Rory walked into the lecture hall, waving goodbye to her friends as they
headed off to their next class. She knew that this class was going to be
a challenge as she didnt know anyone else in it, but hey, it couldnt
be that bad right? At least, thats what her mother said after extolling
about the virtues of being able to pick apart people minds in Star Hollows
when she got back.
She rolled her eyes. She didnt really want to know what Mrs. Patty
was thinking. It probably would make her blush.
As she sat down she noticed that the guy to her right was taking something
out of his backpack. Something about him struck her as familiar, but she
couldnt put her finger on what.
Then the blond hair hit her.
Tristin felt his jaw open in shock as he stared at the girl in front of him.
beautiful. Her hair pulled back into her quintessential ponytail,
she quirked her head to the side and smiled as he realized that he was taking
an inordinately long time to say something.
"So, youve spent three years here, and upon our meeting you say
uh? What have they been teaching you at this school?" Rory tapped
her pen on her chin as she laughed at the perplexed young man.
"Well, Im actually auditing this class. See, I dropped out two years
ago to become a member of the CIA, and now Ive decided to take this
class to try to understand the true workings of the criminal mind."
Rory blinked. "You are kidding me right?"
Tristin laughed. "Yeah."
"No, seriously, how have you been?" Rory leaned forward, searching the face
of the boy who had since become a man somewhere in these past few years.
"Pretty good actually. Im majoring in Econ, in the hopes of someday
working in the White House." Tristin mocked a salute, and then leered playfully.
Rory laughed. "Well then, we need to make sure youre properly greased
up before you go work there. Have you managed to scam someone yet? You know,
take their money, dupe them into fake pills, sleep with an intern, or more
than one of the above?"
Tristin blew on his nails, and then nonchalantly said, "Even better. You
know the gazebo out on the lawn by the dorms?"
"I teepeed it last week with some buddies."
Rory dropped her forehead into her right hand. "The future of our country
resides in capable hands."
Tristin playfully tapped her hand. "And dont you forget it. What are
you doing these days?"
"Seriously?" Rory nodded.
Tristin shook his head back and forth. "Whoa youve got a death
wish all right."
Rory grimaced. "Really, its not that bad. Only once this week did I
wake up with Frosted Flakes stuck to my forehead because I feel asleep in
my cereal. Usually its a two time a week occurrence. I also manage
to get lovely book creases on my forehead and cheeks from falling asleep
on my library books. Its hard to explain to your friends without them
laughing why exactly your face looks like a butt due to the deep crease running
down the middle."
"And you chose this profession why?"
"Because I love it. I love helping people, and want to continue to do so."
"You know, I get what youre saying." Tristin looked absently towards
the front of the room. "The reason I want to do public policy is because
I feel like I can contribute towards the nation, you know? Do something
worthwhile with lasting value. Well, hopefully. I may end up the butt of
all late night show jokes like some of our other politicians, but at least
Id like to try. And Ive enjoyed watching my parents have strokes
because I decided I didnt want to go to law school. You know, I
didnt know people could turn so many shades of purple."
Rory laughed again, then looked at Tristin consideringly. "Youve changed,
you know that?"
Tristin looked at Rory, and felt a rush of electricity run through him. This.
This bantering was something that he missed. "What? Come on Mary, you know
better than that." He ended his statement with a wink.
Rorys smile vanished, and for an instant, Tristin panicked. Maybe he
had said the wrong thing, maybe he shouldnt have made light of the
"You know, with the amount of times you have called me that, maybe I should
seriously consider changing my name. I should also get a nativity scene for
my front porch, so that whenever Im confused about my identity, I can
look in the manger and realize all that I have created." She then laughed
hit him on the shoulder. "You nimrod!"
Tristin felt his worry bleed away as he watched her laugh.
"Ok, nimrod? Who says that anymore? What decade are you from?"
"My mom says it!"
"Ok, now theres an authority on everything hip and happening
she bought stuff off of QVC!"
"Hey, Ill have you know that there are many items on late night television
that are wonderful consumer goods."
a toilet paper dispenser?"
As the semester wore on, to the surprise of each of them, Tristin and Rory
slowly became friends. They studied for class together, and sometimes just
went out after or before study sessions. They bowled, played miniature golf
(Rory beating Tristin so bad he pleaded for mercy), and had dinner. After
two months, they started to talk about themselves, life and future plans.
The topic of relationships, past or present, hadnt quite come up yet.
"So, what kind of doctor do you want to be?" Tristin spoke from the futon,
psyc book straddled across his belly as he tossed a stress ball towards the
"Guess." Rory said from the floor. "You have three guesses. If you dont
make it in those chances, youll have to write the entire ten pages
of our report by yourself."
"Ooo-hoo, someones laying down a challenge." Tristin tossed the ball
at Rory, watching as it harmlessly bounced off the side of her head and rolled
a few feet away.
"Hey! Im trying to study Freud here!"
"Sorrrrryyyy. Far be it from me to take you away from your precious study
of egomania." Tristin leaned over and looked at the page Rory was highlighting.
"Ok, why dont you highlight the parts that you dont need?"
Rory looked up at Tristin questioningly.
Tristin laughed. "Look at the pages. Theyre practically wet from the
amount of highlighting you do."
Rory looked back at her book sheepishly. "Im just prepared, you know,
in case they ask me about page 187 line 17." She picked up the ball and threw
it back in his direction.
"Fine, you want to fight do you???" Tristin picked up the couch pillow and
loomed menacingly over Rorys body.
Rory just gave him a sardonic look. "Yeah. I dont believe youre
really going to do it."
That made Tristin pause. "Why?"
"Because you dont have a death wish." Rory calmly flipped over another
page and rested her chin on her upturned hand.
The pillow came down with force, and the next thing both students knew, they
were looking at a Psyc 150 textbook with a nice fat blue highlight running
diagonally across the page.
Tristin groaned. "Im so sorry. I know you like to be neat-"
Tristin stopped. "What?"
"Oh, you goober." Rory picked up the other couch pillow and advanced menacingly
In the next few minutes pillows flew, and the raucous sounds of laughter
As Tristin flipped his pillow around for another wailing, he caught sight
of laughing eyes. A surge of electricity went through him, and he came to
a halt. Rorys pillow caught him square on the upswing, and his head
snapped back as the pillow caught him full in the face.
"Had enough?" Rory peeked from behind the pillow, shielding her torso with
the large deformed lump.
think so." Tristin slowly tossed the pillow back onto the couch.
"You ok?" Rory looked quizzically at him as she placed her pillow beneath
her stomach, and proceeded to lie back down on the floor.
"Yeah, fine, really." Tristin smiled reassuringly at Rory, then turned back
to the book. "Just plotting my revenge over here in this corner."
"Uh-huh. When you come up with something that doesnt include torture
devices, let me know." Rory went back to reading her textbook, brow furrowing
as she started to concentrate once again.
Tristin studied her face as she read. She was truly beautiful. That baby
face had elongated slightly with the end of puberty, and the eyes remained
bright in that face. She had matured into an elegant woman that had no need
for makeup or glamour. With a sinking feeling he identified the electric
surge that had traveled through him earlier.
He shook his head with chagrin.
He was falling for Rory Gilmore. Again.
The semester ended, and with it, Psyc 150. Both students did pretty well.
Rory pulling an A-, and Tristin doing even better with an A.
"How did you get a better grade than me?"
"Natural ability I think."
"Yeah right, I think youre demented."
"Me, come on, Im a regular genius."
"Oh really? Name one thing youre invented."
"Uh, the Tristin Dugrey cereal toss."
"Oh really, Ive got to see this."
"See, you throw a cereal flake in the air, and then you catch it on your
forehead." Tristin proceeded to demonstrate.
Rory fake fluttered a fan in front of her face. "Be still my beating heart.
How can I resist such intelligence, such genius, such magnificence?" She
spoke the last words as she fake swooned.
Tristin wanted to catch her in his arms and pull her close to demonstrate
exactly what he thought about her statement, but fear held him back.
So instead, he just laughed and continued to fuss with his breakfast.
"You want to see the new movie opening this weekend?" Tristin asked.
"Sure, just let me know when."
Tristin waited for Rory in her living room. And only a few short seconds
later she walked out of her bedroom. Tristin felt his heart flutter and skip
a beat as he looked at her. She was wearing a simply cut black dress with
a small diamond pendant necklace. Her hair was swept back, and her heels
gave her just the right amount of added height. She looked like the Rory
Gilmore he knew. Simple, elegant, and downright beautiful. God, he wanted
to stay in her apartment and just stare at her all evening. A flash of desire
traveled down his spine as he picked up her hand to draw her closer.
He cleared his throat. "You look great." He said quietly.
Meanwhile, Rory took in Tristins appearance. He was wearing black slacks,
and a cream sweater. His eyes were set off nicely against the sweater, and
as she looked at him he returned her gaze intently, almost
something. She locked eyes with him in part wonder as she felt a shiver run
through her body. He was
very handsome tonight. Very handsome indeed.
And then Rory smiled as she couldnt believe where her thoughts were
heading. If she had told her 16 year old self that she would be standing
here today, holding hands with Tristin Dugrey, her 16 year old self would
have laughed in her face and asked if she had been sniffing her moms
"Someone hit you with a handsome stick, as my mom would say." She smiled
up at Tristin.
"Thank you." Again Rory felt surprise as Tristins gaze didnt
leave her own. In his eyes she thought she saw something close
desperation, and something more intent, something she couldnt
quite place her finger on.
As she slowly dragged her fingers out of his hand, she realized that she
felt attracted to the young man. He was different than he was six years ago.
Less cocky, and more sweet, romantic, smart and funny. A guy like that deserved
a wonderful woman.
She picked up her purse and gestured with it towards the door. "Shall we
Tristin finally tore his gaze from Rory and smiled. "Do you think were
overdressed for Mikes party?"
Rory looked at Tristin in disbelief. "Tristin, this is Harvard, not Podunk
University. You know people love every excuse to dress up. Besides, Mike
himself isnt exactly a "casual" dresser, if you know what I mean."
"Ok." Tristin opened the door, and the two walked out. As Rory walked by
she brushed Tristins arm, and it was all he could do not to blurt out
that he wanted to stay here this evening and just kiss her silly. Inwardly,
he sighed. He couldnt believe he was infatuated with this young woman
again. She had his ticket, punched it, and had come back a second time. What
was it about Rory Gilmore that he found so fascinating? He gave her a sidelong
glance as they started walking towards their friends home.
The party was fun. A multitude of medical students, Tristin was there through
his affiliation with Rory. He had become friends with several of her friends
through mutual parties and the like. So, even though it was slightly awkward
because of his different major, it wasnt a completely strange evening.
As he held his beer and spoke with a fellow student about recruiting, Tristin
glanced at the dance floor. All conversation on his part ceased.
Rory was dancing. With another guy. With a handsome another guy. With a guy
that clearly wanted to make some moves on her. Tristins hand clamped
on his beer bottle as he watched the two dance tightly around one another
to the latest dance mix. He wanted to take the guys slimly little mitts
and force-feed them through his nose.
"Tristin. Earth to Tristin!" Mike stared at his friend, wondering why his
expression had suddenly tightened. As a muscle in Tristins jaw started
to tick, he followed the blond mans gaze. Ah. Looked like the green-eyed
monster had reared its ugly head, and then some. He decided to test the waters.
"So, they look cute together dont they?"
"What?" Tristins gaze flew back to Mikes and his eyes narrowed
at his friend. "Give me a break. That guys trying to get her into bed
and thats it." He took a swig of his beer, and turned his gaze back
to the dance floor.
"So, I take it you and Gilmore have some history together then?" Mike took
another foray into dangerous territory.
Tristin gave a humorless chuckle. "You can say that theres history
on my part, but not on hers. I wanted her bad in high school. Real bad."
Mike raised his eyebrows. "You speak in past tense man, but if your grip
gets any tighter on that bottle, youll be sporting quite a few bandaids
Tristin looked at his hand with the white knuckles. "This cant be happening
to me. I should know better."
Mike sighed. "Man, if you want her, say something."
Tristin gave a tight smile. "I already have Mike. Trust me. I already have."
He thought back to that fateful sophomore year of high school and his futile
efforts to make Rory notice him.
Mike shrugged. "Its your loss."
Rory looked around the room for Tristin, and then went outside to the balcony.
She found him staring out over the grass, in a melancholy mood.
"Ok, so who went and killed your gusto." Rory walked over to stand next to
"Youre standing over here looking like someone backed up over your
pet cat, and then rolled over it again for good measure. Whats wrong?"
Tristin turned towards Rorys concerned face. In the moonlight her eyes
shone, and the slight light gave her face almost an ethereal quality. She
looked like an angel. Tristin felt his heart thump painfully in his chest.
He wanted her, and wanted her bad. He wanted to feel her body against his
in bed. He wanted to wake up and kiss her in the morning. He wanted to talk
to her about his day and touch her face. He wanted to feel her kisses along
his back. He wanted to taste her, touch her, love her.
Rory watched Tristins face as expressions crossed it. He was standing
in a slight shadow, so she couldnt read his face entirely, but she
knew something was bothering him.
Tristin let the silence carry on as he watched Rory. He was in trouble. No,
he was beyond trouble. What he had felt in high school was infatuation. What
he felt now
He was in love with Rory Gilmore. Mindblowingly,
heartbreakingly in love with Rory Gilmore.
He raised his fingertips and brushed her cheek with them. "Just thinking
about what life will bring after college."
Rory smiled. "You know, it looks like were going to end up in the same
Tristin quizzically tilted his head. "What do you mean?"
"You applied for the graduate program here, right?" Rory leaned forward and
played with Tristins sweater collar. "Well, guess what, I did too.
Knowing our backgrounds, I think we wont have problems getting in."
Tristin tried to quell the need to wrap his arms around Rory, then threw
caution to the wind. As soon as he did it he felt like his entire body sighed
in relief. She felt so good.
Rory was surprised when Tristin suddenly gathered her close, but went with
the flow. Leaning against him she came to the stunning realization that she
liked it there. She felt warm and loved
She snuggled her face against
Rory looked up at Tristin, surprised to hear the hoarseness in his voice.
As her eyes caught his, her own widened. His expression
haunted. But then his expression slightly changed as she continued
to stare. Warmth filled his eyes, and one of his hands came around to roughly
cup the back of her head. As he tilted her head back, her mouth opened slightly.
Then suddenly, convulsively, Tristin drew her against him. Molding her body
against his. And then he kissed her. Roughly, passionately. Stunned, Rory
could only sit motionless for the first few seconds. Then, she responded.
Her hands came up and twined in his hair, and Tristin took this as further
encouragement. Bending her back over his arm, he opened her mouth even further.
She tasted so good. Tristin thought. So damn good. He slowly withdrew from
the kiss, lips clinging with hers as he pulled back. His breathing and hers
grated the night air. This time, when he came back for more, the kiss was
"I surprised you." Tristin leaned his forehead against Rorys.
"You did. Luckily I didnt feel the need to practice any Kung Fu moves
on you." Rory leaned back and planted a kiss on Tristins nose.
She abruptly laughed. "I cant believe this is happening."
Tristin tensed. "Why?"
"Because, in high school you were the bane of my existence. You have to admit
that you were a holy terror." Rory lightly touched Tristins face to
show him that she was teasing.
Tristins tenseness didnt ease. "Lets not talk about that,
ok? I dont like to remember it."
Rory frowned. "Oh my God. I hurt you badly, didnt I?" Her mind flew
back to high school and the times spent with Tristin during sophomore year.
Tristin felt a burden lift off of him as he watched Rory squirm with unease.
She truly felt bad for him. She truly cared. And he suddenly felt warmth
seeping into places that he didnt think existed.
The cold was finally lifting
He laughed. A full-fledged honest to God bone ratting laugh. "Rory. Thats
the past, and I have you here right now." He brushed his nose against hers.
"We go back home for Christmas vacation tomorrow. How about we get together
while were back home. Its not like we live far apart." He held
his breath as he waited for her answer.
"Mr. Dugrey, you have yourself a deal. Now, can we head back inside? Though
you are wonderfully warm, you cant cover my entire backside, and my
butt is sending me signals that unless I would like to go through life without
it, we need to get back in so it can thaw."
Tristin took off his jacket and put it around Rorys shoulders. "You
know, I could do something about that." He took her hand as they walked back
"As much as I want you to, I dont think putting on a show for the
partygoers is on my list of Top 10 things to do while at Harvard."
"No? Well, Ill just have to work hard to make sure that it gets up
As Rory packed her things that night she remembered the kiss at the door.
Tristin had dropped her off, and instead of pressing matters, merely kissed
her lightly, then walked away. She smiled and lightly touched her lips. It
was perfect. She didnt want to rush this, because it felt
She hadnt felt this giddy since
Oh my God. Dean. Halfway into putting a sweater into her suitcase Rory came
to a halt. He was going to be visiting. Over Christmas vacation. Crap. There
was no way in hell the two men in her life were going to like the other being
in it. Rory sat on her bed. She didnt know how she felt about it either.
Although Dean and her had broken it off upon going to college, he would always
have a place in her heart. And now Tristin
she knew she was falling
for him. But the question was, how much?
She listlessly stared at her bedroom wall.
She needed her mother.
"Hi sweetie. So, have you figured out the mysteries of the human body yet?
Cause Luke has this weird callous thingy on the bottom of his foot
that we havent quite figured out yet, and were wondering if
its going to grow and spawn and branch out into other areas."
"Have you been eating peanut butter and pickles again?"
Lorelai sighed. "If this baby doesnt pop out soon I swear to God Im
going to take out Dooses Market. That would serve Taylor right. You
know, I went there last week, and the man didnt have Ben &
Jerrys ice cream. Said he had run out. Hah! I know he has it stashed
in the back where I cant find it. Hes hoping to save some for
the other townspeople, but Lorelai Gilmore will win out! I must have Chunky
Monkey dammit, and no one is telling me anything else! What kind of statement
is that? Ive run out." A snort was heard over the line.
"Anyhow, Ill talk to you soon honey."
"Mom!" Rory stared disbelievingly at the phone as the dial tone registered
in her ear.
After about 5 seconds the phone rang again.
"It just occurred to me that I never did let you get a word in edgewise."
Lorelais chagrined voice made Rory feel better.
"Youre going through coffee withdrawal, arent you Mom?" Rory
laughed at the sound of desperation that was in her Moms exasperated
cry on the other end of the line.
"Dont you dare utter that word to me! Heresy!"
"I have an issue Mom."
"Well, things are
interesting here." Rory played with a strand of her
hair as she spoke. "You know how I told you a few weeks ago that Tristin
and I are now good friends?"
"Uh-huh. And then I told you that the world would officially come to an end
"Well, the apocalypse may still be coming."
Silence. Then, "Rory, what happened?"
"Well, he kissed me."
"Oh my God that little bugger! He cant let bygones be bygones can he?
He just keeps right on ticking. Is he related to the Energizer bunny? Cause
this boys got a bad case of "
"And I kissed him back."
"Yeah, Im here. Im just pondering whether I should write my will
before next Friday."
Rory laughed. "It felt so good Mom. This time, its right. Hes
changed, really he has."
"If you say so. Ive got to see it for myself. He is going to come meet
"Yup, over Christmas vacation since well be in town together. But
thats where my problems arise." Rory started to pace in her living
room, walking back and forth in front of her TV.
"How so? He doesnt expect to sleep with you in the same room does he?
Cause I still think I can fit Grandmas coat rack into your bed
to keep you two separated." Lorelais vehement voice caused Rory to
See the problem is Mom," Rory rubbed her forehead in frustration.
"The problem is
is that Dean is going to be back in town at the same
Lorelai gasped. "Oh. My. God. Two lovers and no place to go. Honey, this
is like the movies. I think Im just going to sit out in the living
room, get some popcorn, and watch all of you go. Do you mind if I set out
some folding chairs? Cause I know Sookie will want to be there, and
Lane, and Luke of course-"
"Sorry, sorry. Hon, do you know what you want?"
"I think so. I think I want to try it out with Tristin, see where it leads
me. But Im afraid that Ill take a look at Dean, and things will
change. And that will break Tristin, I know it. He and I dont have
the best history when it comes to these matters." Rory flashed back to high
school and the fateful night of the prom.
"Well then, thats what well do. Invite him over for dinner on
the night after you guys get back. Honey, you dont have to make any
decision until you see Dean again. You realize that right? I know its
hard, I know its tough, but this is your heart were talking about,
not some game show. I know the boys will be hurt, but in love, sometimes
hurt happens. Sometimes you have to take a chance for things to work out."
In Lorelais voice was a wistfulness that Rory could place. Taking a
chance summarized her mothers relationship with Luke. That fateful
night of confessions had been
Rory sighed. "Ok. In preparation for the boys meeting on the off chance,
can you have Luke build some war bunkers in our house?"
"No problem. He just needs an excuse. Me and my coffee deprived pregnant
self havent been the best to hang out with if you know what I mean."
"Mom, one last thing. Should I tell them? You know, about one another?"
Lorelai blew a blast of air through her teeth. "I dont know Rory. You
know them better than I."
"Youre welcome. As its late, I should be going to bed or Major
Luke will be after me."
"Ill see you tomorrow. Tristins giving me a ride home."
On the way home Rory tried to muster up the courage to tell Tristin about
Deans visit, but she just couldnt do it. The whole way home they
chatted about life and school, and had a pleasant conversation. When he dropped
her off in front of her house, she realized that she had never seen him look
so happy. So she couldnt tell him. She just couldnt burst that
bubble. After bestowing a light kiss on her lips he waited until she was
in the door, then drove away.
Tristin felt good the entire way home. Glancing at Rory periodically, he
realized that he was actually looking forward to this visit. Not for his
family, but for spending quality time with Rory Gilmore. He couldnt
wait until dinner tomorrow.
As he dropped her off, he realized he was virtually glowing.
He didnt feel cold anymore.
After dropping his bags in his room, Tristin stared at the items crammed
into his closet. He was such a packrat. Opening the closet door, he started
rummaging through the items that had piled up over time. Way in the back,
in a cardboard box stuffed under his skis, he found a brown box with a cream
His smile faded as he stared at it. It had been so long
believe he had kept it. He weighed the box in his hand, and then got to his
feet. This gift was long overdue, but maybe it was time for it to be given.
He reached for a piece of paper, and smiled as he began to write.
The next day brought snow and more cold weather to the town of Stars Hollow.
Rory was woken up by the jarring feeling of someone jumping onto her bed.
" Rory burrowed her head into her pillow, hoping the monstrous
being that had decided to wake her would go away and leave her in peace.
"Just like old times, huh?" Lorelai giggled as she lay down next to her daughter.
"Im a college student."
"What?! Call the cops, I had no idea. Blasphemer!"
"I wake up at the butt crack of dawn on some days in order to study, or go
to a torturous 8am class."
"So, when Im on vacation, I would appreciate it if you would
Let. Me. Sleep!" Rory pulled her pillow from underneath her and smashed it
down over her head in the effort to keep awakeness at bay.
The sound of the doorbell pulled Rory from her reading on the sofa. She looked
at Lorelai and after seeing that her Mom was safely ensconced reading her
own book, she ran to the door yelling "Ill get it!" for Lukes
As she opened the door she realized it could be one of two people: 1) the
pizza guy, or 2) Tristin, about half an hour early.
She was wrong on both counts.
As Tristin drove to Rorys he couldnt fight the fierce sense of
pride that was washing through his chest. Rory Gilmore. His own. He started
singing along with the radio, basking in the need to have everyone in town
hear his joy.
Only 15 minutes till he could hold her in his arms.
Lorelai looked up as the doorbell rang for the third time in half an hour.
She looked up from the couch at her husband who was calmly massaging her
Luke sighed and got up for the door. "Women shouldnt complain about
pregnancy to men, you know that? We have to do just as much work."
Lorelai pouted. "Yeah, and the first second you experienced a labor pain
youd understand, and then try to figure out some way to have babies
without having to give birth."
Luke strode to the door. "This must be Lothario #2."
He opened the door to see a young blond man standing on the front porch.
"Hi, you must be Luke. Im Tristin Dugrey." Tristin thrust his hand
forward for a handshake.
His hand stayed in midair for a few seconds too long, and Tristin seriously
considered withdrawing it when it was suddenly grasped in a firm grip. "Come
on in." Luke ushered the younger man in, and took his coat and scarf.
"Wheres Rory?" Tristin tried to keep the anticipation out of his voice,
but knew he failed when Luke smiled at him.
"Shell be here in a minute, shes just saying good-bye to a friend
outside. Come on, you can help me put out the pizza. No steak and fine wine
tonight Im afraid."
"And thats perfectly fine with me." Tristin struck up a conversation
with Luke as they walked into the living room to gather Lorelai for dinner.
As Lorelai got up from the couch, she shot a worried look over her shoulder
towards the back porch. Rory was taking too long out there saying good-bye
to Dean, and Tristin was 15 minutes early.
This was not good. She needed to run interference.
Rory looked at Dean as they both leaned on the back porch railing.
"I cant believe were here again." Rory tapped her hands lightly
on the white banister.
"Me neither." Dean turned and smiled at her.
"Its been three years you realize."
"I know." Dean ran his hand through his hair. "I had the internship last
year and couldnt make it back. The year before that you had the internship
and couldnt make it back. Emails are fun
but they lack a certain
quality if you know what I mean."
Rory smiled in agreement. "I know." She looked quizzically at him. "Didnt
you say you had dinner with your family today?"
"I did, I just wanted to stop by and say hello." Dean suddenly noticed that
Rory was a bit tense. "Is something wrong?"
Rory started. "No! Nothings wrong. Just
Dean blinked. "What?"
"Well, today I saw some Girl Scouts, and they got me thinking about that
time that I said I was a girl scout and lied to your sister. And I made her
cry! God, how I am going to be a good doctor if I make children cry. See
dont want to develop a history of that, because I want to be someone
who hands out lollipops and candy, cavities be damned, and be loved by my
patients, just like cheesy doctors on TV." Rory took a breath and was about
to continue her tirade when Dean interrupted.
"You havent changed a bit, have you?"
"No, you havent." Dean took a step forward, and tugged on a strand
of Rorys hair.
Rory suddenly went still like an animal caught in headlights as she stared
up at Deans face. Was he
? Then his left hand came up to cradle
her cheek, and off balance she clutched at the front of his jacket in surprise,
fisting a bunch of cloth in her left hand. He took this as a sign of
encouragement, and bent his head forward.
And his lips met hers.
Tristin sat on a stool in the kitchen and watched the married couple interact.
This was what marriage was all about. Two people, totally comfortable with
one another. Loving, warm. He watched Luke playfully dance around Lorelais
belly as he got glasses down from the cupboards. She would occasionally lightly
hit him and her laughter chimed in the cozy kitchen. The two were totally
absorbed in one another, most likely a result of having their first child
He wondered if this was what the future held for him. On that thought, his
gaze traveled to the other room as he wondered what was taking Rory so long.
He slipped off the stool, and started walking towards the back porch.
Lorelai stopped laughing at Lukes antics and turned to include Tristin
in the conversation. The boy had surprised her, holding his own in a
conversation, without being pretentious. From what Rory told her, he had
indeed changed. And he was head over heels in love with her daughter, that
much was readily apparent from the amount of times a giddy grin would cross
his face. He had the glow of newfound love in him.
"Tristin, do you think
" Lorelai petered to a halt as she looked at
the empty stool.
"Oh no. Luke, hes gone."
"What?" Luke turned towards Lorelai, glasses in hand.
"Theres no Tristin, but a Tristin shaped spot."
Their gazes locked as they came to a realization at the same time.
"Back porch." Lorelai pointed.
Tristin opened the back door and shuddered at the blast of cold air that
hit him as he stepped outside.
But the weather was not what had him coming to a screeching halt just outside
This. Could. Not. Be. Happening.
He felt the cold of his teenage years come rushing back to engulf him as
he stared unblinkingly at the image in front of him. He was suddenly just
outside Chiltons gate, staring at a green truck with two kissing teenagers
in front of it. He could suddenly feel the weight of books in his hands as
he watched the two teenagers passionately kiss. And he could feel the same
anger, rage, jealousy and despair eat away at him as he turned and ran away.
He would never escape the cold.
Lorelai stopped as she saw Tristin step back through the back porch door.
"Hey, we missed ya
" She trailed off as the boy strode past her and
Luke, with an expression of torture and hurt riding in his eyes. Only a few
short seconds later she heard the front door slam.
Rory slowly eased her lips away from Deans.
"Im sorry. I should have told you sooner."
"Im seeing someone." Rory stepped away from Dean and wrapped her arms
around her torso.
"I figured." Dean mimicked her pose, leaning back against the banister.
Dean started, propelling himself off the banister. "What?"
"Tristin, he and I-"
On that note, Rory heard a car start in the driveway, and Lorelai poked her
head out from the back porch door.
"Honey? I think you may have a problem." Lorelai winced as she heard the
car drive away.
"Oh no. No, no, no."
"Im sorry Dean, but I have to go find him." Rory strode halfway to
the back door then stopped. "Im sorry."
Dean looked at Rory in surprise. "I dont like him Rory, but if you
do, then thats your decision, not mine. I never expected you to be
lonely while you were away. I just didnt expect it to be with Him."
Dean spat out the last word in disgust.
"Hes changed Dean. And I
care for him a great deal. And I care
for you, but
" Rory wanted to make sure he understood.
"Not that way. Go." Dean put his hands in his pockets and nodded his head
forward. "And tell him what a lucky bastard he is."
Rory leapt forward and wrapped her arms around him. "Thank you." She whispered.
"I didnt mean Id completely let you go, so if you dont
want me to convince you to stay, go now." Dean pushed her slightly away.
As Rory ran through the back door she heard Lorelai yell after her
"Are you sure I cant set up popcorn and chairs? I wont need to
tape my soap operas around you!"
The slamming of the front door and the starting of a car was her answer.
Rory drove to Tristins house, driving too haphazardly for her own taste,
but she needed to find him before he wrote her off for good. In her haste,
she had forgotten her cell phone, so she couldnt call ahead to find
out if he was there.
One hour later, the butler at Dugrey Manor told her that Tristin was not
Rory tried not to panic. Where could he be??? She clutched at the steering
wheel in frustration, and then banged on it, as she racked her brain.
As she rubbed her smarting hand, she suddenly had an idea.
Rory drove up to Chiltons front gates, hoping against hope that she
would spot his car. Then, finally, at the far end of the parking lot, she
She hurriedly parked the car, noticing as she got out that she had parked
in two spaces. Not taking the time to lock the doors, she ran towards the
Tristin sat in on the stone steps of the front courtyard staring aimlessly
forward. The gift that he had brought with him sat next to him on the stairs,
the box becoming soggier by the minute due to the snow.
He suddenly realized someone was calling his name.
Rory slowed down as she neared. He looked
devastated. Her eyes became
watery as she realized how badly he must have hurt when he came upon her
She paused as he finally registered her presence, and then looked up at her
with naked eyes. As she looked into them, she saw pain, and love.
She sucked in the cold night air as she felt her heart pound in response.
She was in love with him. How could she not have seen it? Over the past 5
months, somewhere along the way, she had fallen for him. Just looking at
him now, she wanted to take her hands and brush away the pain, cradle him
in her arms, and feel his body against her own.
She saw a flash of anger in those eyes, and he suddenly surged to his feet.
So she took those last few steps, grabbed his head, and kissed him.
Tristin looked up at Rory, noting in his hazy state that she was beautiful
against the starlit sky. Why had she come? How had she known?
She stopped and stared at him, and Tristin suddenly wondered if she was here
to tell him that their romantic interlude had been a mistake, that she was
taking everything back.
With a rush of anger, Tristin surged to his feet. Then nearly feel to his
knees when Rory walked forward, reached up, grabbed the nape of his neck,
forced his head down, and kissed him.
The kiss was magical. Mouths and bodies moved hard against one another, striving
to get as close as possible.
Rory groaned as she felt her mouth part and Tristins tongue invade
her mouth. He was being rough. Possessive. Her heart thundered as her body
responded to his touch.
Tristin clutched at Rory, trying to get her closer, somehow, someway. He
opened her mouth with her tongue and swept it, trying to get her to see how
much she belonged to him, belonged with him.
As one of his hands grasped the back of her jacket, Tristin suddenly felt
cool skin under the other hand where he had thrust it up her back. He drew
back from the kiss as he realized the dangerous territory into which they
were heading. Rory herself gasped as she felt the winter air touch her back.
Both looked at one another with their breath misting in between them in the
"Im sorry." Rory reached up and touched the blond hair, then trailed
her fingers down the side of Tristins face. "He kissed me, yes. But
I realized while he was kissing me, that things had changed."
Tristin tensed as he listed to Rory speak. "Things?"
"Yeah, you and me things."
Tristins posture finally started to ease. "Meaning?"
"I want you. Only you. Exclusively you. You with me. You near me. You holding
me. The list could go on and on, but yet again, my pestery butt is telling
me that standing out here in the cold is just not a good plan."
Tristins eyes closed as he absorbed that information. He opened them,
and Rory stopped breathing as she took a look at the expression in them.
She decided to go for broke as Tristins hands bunched at her
"I love you."
She didnt regret it. Tristins mouth once again descended upon
hers, and she spent the next few minutes thinking about nothing at all except
how to package his kisses so that she could have them at anytime of the day,
He was wrong when he said she tasted good. She tasted heavenly. Everything
about her was heavenly, and felt so right.
As he finally lifted his lips from her, he said the four small words that
had been waiting for this moment for so damn long.
"I love you too."
"You know, I never did give this you." Tristin lethargically raised the gift
in one hand while cradling Rory in the other.
She looked up at him from where she was reclining on his lap and smiled.
"Open it." Tristin put the package on her belly, then wrapped his other arm
around her where it belonged.
Rory opened the card first.
I meant to give this to you years ago on that day when I found out that
PJ Harvey was, oh my God, a woman. But I didnt deserve you then, and
Im not sure I do now. But I want to make you happy, and Ill be
damned if I dont give it a shot.
Try not to read it all in one setting. Id actually like to see you
Rory laughed. "I take it its a book."
"Your powers of deduction astonish and amaze me." Tristin nuzzled Rorys
hair with his nose.
She slowly opened the package, taking care to remove the wet part slowly
from the book.
She gasped. "You got me an early edition of Emma by Jane Austen! This is
wonderful!" In her excitement, Rory sat up, and promptly clonked Tristin
right in the chin with her head.
"Oh, Im sorry!"
Tristin rubbed his chin and chuckled. "Hopefully you wont hurt me every
time I give you a gift."
Rory leaned forward and lightly kissed his chin. "No promises from this end."
"I wouldnt expect any less."
Rory smiled. "Much as I hate to ruin this lovefest, and I would love to sit
here all day, I think my mother is going to call out the National Guard if
I dont get back soon."
Tristin slowly helped Rory to her feet.
"So, you think we can do this from time to time? Sit on the steps of Chilton
and make out?" Tristin took Rorys hand in his.
"As long as no one else is around, I dont see why not." Rory snuggled
close to Tristin as they walked back to their respective cars.
"Good." Tristin waited for Rory to open her car door and sit in the
"I expect to make you a very happy woman Miss Gilmore."
"I wouldnt expect any less Mr. Dugrey."
As Tristin got back in his own car and turned the key in the ignition a thought
came to him from out of the blue. He smiled.
Sometimes life was fair.