disclaimer in part 1
The Plan
by snoflaik
_ _ _

Part 7: Heartache and Avoidance



And so the weekend was over and back to school did the two go. Rory and
Tristan started eating lunch together and opened up to each other more about
their lives. The better he got to know her the deeper his attraction and
feelings became. There was a point however where he could not listen to her
talk any longer. And that point was when the conversation turned to
boyfriends and crushes. Rory as naïve as she was still didn’t know who the
girl was which Tristan was crushing so hard on. When the conversation
turned to weekend plans or past occurrences the subject was always changed
before it could be divulged any longer. When she was around he found it
easy to become lost in her eyes or watch her motions not hearing a thing she
said as she talked animatedly about her family or her friends. He felt his
pulse begin to race and sometimes felt queasy just being around her. By the
time he recognized these warning signs the damage had already been done. He
was hopelessly and desperately in love with Lorelei Leigh Gilmore III.

He knew it was pointless but it just wouldn’t go away. Dean. He was always
and would always be there between them keeping him from being with her. He
watched her at all times of the day as she talked with friends about her
weekend. He saw the way her face lit up and how her eyes became brighter
and hazy like she was remembering and reliving the night as she told it. It
all came to a head once as he could hear her in class talking with Sharon
and Jackie [A.N. I know she doesn’t really have any friends at Chilton since
Paris is mad at her but once again I’m taking my privileges as an author and
inventing friends. It’s for the good of the story trust me.] about her date
that weekend with Dean. He could not bear to hear it anymore. With every
word she said his face got more solemn and he felt even worse. Thankfully
the bell rang and he practically ran out of the classroom so that he could
get to his locker and the next class without Rory trying to talk to him.
But alas he was not quick enough.

“Hey Tristan,” exclaimed Rory coming up behind him.

He took in a deep breath and blew it out. “Hey,” he replied lifelessly not
turning around.

Rory was so wound up after talking about her amazing weekend that she
continued talking to him.

“So how was your weekend?” asked Rory brightly.

“Fine,” was only response she received.

This Tristan was totally different from the one she was used to
encountering.

“Are you alright?”

“Peachy.”

“Ok can I get a response beyond a monosyllable here.” She asked slightly
annoyed.

He finally couldn’t take it anymore. If he didn’t leave he was going to say
something he was going to regret.

“Look Rory,” he replied turning around,” I’m sorry but I’ve gotta go.”

And with that he began to walk down the hallway. She just stood there
looking after him with a hurt look on her face.

“Alright, Ill talk to you later then.” whispered Rory.

* I wonder what’s wrong with him. *

Tristan walked outside ignoring the pouring rain, straight to his car. When
he got in he leaned back in the seat and sighed deeply.

* God Dugrey What the hell is wrong with you? Just walk away when she’s
trying to be nice to you. Why can’t I get her out of my head. Because you’ve
fallen hard and there’s no getting up from this one. *

He sat there for a few minutes, started the car and drove the long way home.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Soon the time came for the annual end of year dance at Chilton known as the
Farewell Formal. When he was at his locker between periods, a student was
handing out flyers about ticket sales. He was handed one and stopped to
lean against a locker to read it.

*I know Rory’s going to this thing with Dean. Judging what happened at the
last dance, I’m definitely not going to this one. *

He felt someone’s eyes on him and looked up. He met the gaze of two deep
blue eyes looking at him from across the hallway. He felt his heart beat
faster and his palms sweat at just seeing her again and looking into her
eyes.

*You’ve got it bad DuGrey. Better not do anything that would make things
worse. *

Their gazes still locked, he crumpled the paper up in his hand. He then
looked away and started walking down the hall to the next class throwing the
paper out on the way. Rory just watched him the whole time and sighed at
his retreating back before walking to her own class.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Over the next few days, Tristan tried to avoid Rory as much as possible. It
just hurt him so much to be around her. He came into class just as the bell
rang and sprint out of class when it was over. He didn’t even bother going
to his locker after 8th period. He just brought the necessary books to his
class. This behavior, of course didn’t go unnoticed by Rory. He had felt
her eyes on him many times during each day but forced himself to keep his
head down at his notebook.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Hey Tristan.”

He looked up from the book he was reading to see who had called his name.

“Do you have a date to the dance yet?”

It was Jackie. Who was sitting next to Sharon. Who was talking to Rory, who
at the moment was not two feet in front of him.

Sharon and Rory stopped their conversation when Jackie had asked the
question. All three were waiting for his response.
He smiled slightly and forced himself not to meet Rory’s eyes.

“I don’t think that I’m going to go.”

Jackie and Sharon looked shocked, not only did the most eligible and hottest
bachelor in school not have a date, he wasn’t even planning on going.
“But why not?” They asked simultaneously.

He looked up again form his book and straight into Rory’s eyes.

“I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately. You know queasiness,
dizziness, fever, and my pulse has been racing. There’s also someone I’m not
to keen on seeing there. Maybe if I feel better by then I’ll be there.”

He broke his gaze just as the bell rang. He stood up in a languid motion and
walked out the door leaving the girls to sit there and stare. Everyone
pretty much knew what had happened between Rory, Tristan and Paris but Rory
somehow knew that his response was especially directed towards her. And
what was with that whole illness crap. Lord, he could be so infuriating.
Rory was fed up.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She held her temper that whole day, his interactions or lack there of making
her anger burn even higher. Finally the bell ending the day rang, Tristan
realized that he would have to go to his locker before he left since he had
forgotten a book he needed. He tried to do so as quickly as possible. He
stopped short when he saw Rory leaning up against the locker next to his,
waiting for him.

“What the hell is your problem?” yelled Rory.

“What are you talking about?” asked Tristan, obviously trying to avoid the
subject, as he searched his locker for the book he needed. His pulse was
already racing from being so near her. He refused to meet her eyes.

* Damn her! Why does she have this affect on me*

“Why have you been avoiding me?” she asked more quietly. “I thought we were
friends,” she added sadly.

He didn’t reply and she watched as he searched desperately for his book,
which had somehow mysteriously disappeared from his locker.

“Looking for this.” He slammed the door to his locker shut so that he could
now see Rory holding up his copy of Macbeth.

“You get it back when you tell me what’s going on.”

“Fine then.”

With that he turned around and started to walk down the hallway and out the
door.
Rory stood there for about half a second and then ran down and out the door
finally catching up to Tristan in the middle of the courtyard. She ran in
front of him forcing him to stop.

“You’re not getting away that easily. Now tell me what is wrong.”

She stubbornly stood there with her arms crossed. He tried many times to
just walk around her but she always moved into his path. Tristan finally
reached his breaking point and his anger rivaled hers.

“I don’t have to explain anything to you. And I don’t want to be having this
conversation. Now get out of my way.” He said coldly.

“I won’t move until you explain yourself.” She replied icily

“You are the most pig-headed exasperating girl that I have ever met.”

He was so angry and so emotionally drained that he said the first thing that
came to his mind

“Fine, since you are so gung-ho about knowing. Ill tell you why. It’s
because I’m in love with you. It hurts me too much to be around you while
your talking about you precious Prince Charming because I hear you talk
about him in that way and the only thing I can think about is how I wish you
would talk and feel the same way about me. I can never have you and that is
tearing me up inside. So I backed off because I am tried of being hurt. I
avoided you because every time I’m around you the only thing that I can
think about is pulling you close to me and kissing you. So I’m sorry but I
can’t be around you anymore not when I love you but your in love with
someone else.”

After this outburst Tristan maneuvered around her and walked down the steps
through the parking lot to his car. The crowd of spectators just stood there
before quietly walking away shaking their heads and talking amongst
themselves. They couldn’t believe that DuGrey had actually fallen for
someone and apparently had fallen hard. And as for Rory, she just stood
there in there standing in the middle of the courtyard with eyes wide and
mouth agape while she tried to make sense of all that he had told her.

*~*~*~*

Part 8: Confusion

Rory was shocked to say the least. She stood there for a full ten minutes
just looking where Tristan had left. What he had said played in her head
over and over. What confused her even more was the look in his eyes. She
had never seen such expressive eyes before and as he was speaking the guards
were let down and she could see into his soul. A mixture if pain, despair,
hunger and love filled their blue depths. She could she them now as his
words played around in her head. And she knew that every word he had said
was the truth.

She soon felt the rain as it fell on and around her. She moved as if in a
daze and walked to the bus stop and onto the bus. She looked out the windows
but didn’t see what was out there

The ride was soon over and she finally snapped back into herself when she
saw Dean waiting for her, where he had been waiting for her everyday since
they got back together. She knew she could never tell him what had happened
that day. She wasn’t even sure if she could tell her mom or Lane. He
stepped towards her and kissed her lightly. She stood there and did not kiss
back. As he pulled away, he saw her eyes briefly; they were clouded and
distracted as if she were confused and thinking hard about something. They
cleared seconds later and she smiled up at him. He took her hand and they
started down they’re daily route to Luke’s.

“How was your day?” asked Dean. He could tell that she was only half
listening her eyes were diverted and her mouth was frowning.

“Great.” She plastered a quick smile onto her face. He knew she was lying
and tried to pry deeper.

“Have those Chiltonites been bothering you again?”

“Nope same as always.”

She had started looking away again, deep in thought.

“Ok so then I thought that . . . ” began Dean.

“Sorry but I’ve gotta go.” And with that Rory turned and walked straight
home with out a glance back.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“HE SAID WHAT!!!”

“Lane can you keep it down here.”

“HE’S IN LOVE WITH YOU!

“Lane!”

“I KNEW IT! I knew it all along. That whole helping act that was all a
scheme so that he could go out with you. I knew he had a thing for you. I
could just tell you know. I mean like why else would he go berserk at the
dance. Wow he liked you all the way back then.”

“Would you stop babbling on about it! I need to know what to do.”

“Well there’s the obvious question that I just need to ask even though your
with Dean. What do you feel towards him? And think about it cause its
important.”

Silence ensued

“Rory? Rory, you still there?”

“I guess I kind of don’t hate him as much as I used to. I don’t know. I’ve
never really thought about him in that way seriously. I always just brushed
off his asking me out and flirting because I knew he wasn’t serious but this
is different. He was totally honest. I could see it in his eyes.”

“Hmm. . . staring into his eyes are you?”

“Shut up”

“Okay sorry. Well when you think about what he said, how do you feel?”

“Confused, angry, scared, surprised and I’ll admit a little. . . happy.”

“RORY LOVES TRISTAN!”

“STOP THAT! I DO NOT”

“Sorry, it slipped.”

“So anyway back to the topic at hand. What should I so about it?”

“I wouldn’t do anything. He’s prolly waiting to see what you’d do and if you
would return his feelings. An IF you can’t do that, I would just continue
on with life. He’ll eventually get over you and move on. On the other hand,
if you think you might possibly have feelings for him. Figure those feelings
out. Don’t wait because you could end up driving Tristan AND Dean away.”

“Thanks a lot Lane.”

“No Prob. Just call me Boy Problems Anonymous.

“Later”

“Later, And you better keep me updated!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

School on was buzzing with the news of what happened in the courtyard the
past Friday. Tristan DuGrey, in LOVE. Those words just do not go together.
No one bothered saying anything out loud about it but the situation was
being passed all around school.

Tristan just continued through the week before the Farewell Formal as if
nothing had changed. He felt a sense of freedom. It was like tremendous
weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Letting go had left him feeling
almost airy. He did not regret it. Not one bit. The ball was now in her
court. He neither sought Rory out nor ignored her. And if she thought that
she would be bombarded with pleas of love and tokens of affection, she was
wrong. Tristan played it cool in all things and love was no exception.

He would say hi to her if he saw her and didn’t bother to continue with the
charade of sparring and mock hate. Of course, he did miss the opportunity
to get a rise out of her as well as her company but he knew that there would
be consequences to baring his soul.

Rory went through the week as if in a daze. She took notes in class and
paid attention but having Tristan around her made her nervous and she didn’t
understand why. Whenever he talked to her, she replied but didn’t continue
the conversation. She did admit that she missed his company and, God forbid,
missed their sparring. But she didn’t fell comfortable around him anymore
and couldn’t shake the feeling of a joy when she went over what he had said.
This scared her even more.

* No I do not have feelings for him. Not in the least. He was arrogant,
conceited, and a pain in the ass. Notice the operative word in that
sentence Rory; WAS. And you know that you loved it when he supposedly was a
“pain in the ass.” Admit your feelings. One foot in front of the other
straight down the path. *

She argued with herself thus many times during the day, at night in bed and
while on dates with Dean.

Dean noticed something was wrong but she wouldn’t tell him what was so
different. He sensed her growing distant. She seemed a million miles away
while she was with him yet she answered when he talked to her and held her
own in conversations. It was like she was on autopilot. He was in fact
going to the Farewell Formal with her. They had made plans to go to dinner
with Lane and Henry before hand.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She had grown so lonely and missed their conversations so much that on the
Friday of the dance she took a chance and found Tristan sitting on a bench
in the courtyard. She walked up behind him silently before he would know
that she was there. He was leaning intently over a notebook and scribbling
something down:

“Love”
It hits and destroys everything in its path,
there is no rhyme or reason and no explanation
It comes uncalled and fills you with longing
it is unavoidable;
the world is turned upside down
and only one thing remains perfectly clear:
nothing is as it seems

* Wow, I didn’t know he could write poetry like that. Interesting title* she
thought dryly.

“Hello Rory,” he said continuing writing and not bothering to turn around.
He, of course, had known she was there the second she walked up.

Rory intent on reading the poem jumped about five feet in the air when he
had spoken.

“Tristan,” she replied

“Well are you going to stand there gawking over my shoulder or are you gonna
sit down or something. I won’t bite. I promise ” He looked up at her and
motioned for her to sit. “Well at least not hard.” He added with a slight
smile.

When she saw his slight smile her stomach did a small flip. She sat down
without a word. The silence continued while Tristan still wrote in his
notebook. Rory was totally uncomfortable but he seemed at ease. Of course
that was only on the outside; inside he was struggling and fighting keep up
his seemingly unaffected demeanor while he felt his pulse race and felt a
tad queasy. He then whipped the notebook shut, put it in his school bag and
turned to Rory. She was sitting there with her brow furrowed and her eyes
focused onto her hands, which lay linked together in her lap. She looked
deep in thought.

“So to what do I owe this visit, Mary?” at the sound of the old name he had
called her, her head whipped around to look at him.

“Don’t call me that.”

“Sorry just wanted to break this impenetrable wall of silence you’ve got
going. So really what’s up?”

Rory was fighting with herself as to what to say. She didn’t want to tell
him how she missed him. Being near him, however, made the ache better. She
felt her pulse race as he studied her. She made the mistake of looking into
his eyes and got lost in their depths once again. She asked the first thing
that came into her head.

“Are you going to the dance tonight?” she regretted it as soon as the words
left her mouth.

He smiled slightly and her heart skipped a beat. “Well I’m not sure. Someone
did ask me to go but I’ve still been feeling under the weather so I told her
that I’d answer her today. I think that I’m actually feeling much better
now. How about you?”

“I’m going with Dean,” she said hesitantly not sure how he would react. “And
I’m going out to dinner with Lane and Henry before it.”

He smiled warmly and she felt a blush rise to her cheeks. “Sounds like fun,”
was his light reply. “Well I’ve gotta be going if I’m going to have time to
get ready. Have a wonderful time tonight Rory. See you there.”

He stood up and walked out of the courtyard with the last sentence said over
his shoulder and with that mischievous smile that Rory had almost forgotten.

continues