EPILOGUE: One Year Later

Rory sat on the couch reading a book. She would look up at the clock every now and then, furrow her brow then bring her attention back to her book. After about twenty minutes of this behavior, she heard the front door unlock and open. She put her book down on the couch next to her and looked up to see Tristan walk into the room.

"Where have you been?"

"I know, I know. I had to go talk to a professor about this research project he's putting together. I think I can get in on it."

"Well, Mom'll be here any minute."

"I know, I'm sorry. Really. I'll make it up to you, I promise," he leaned in to kiss her, pushing her back gently as he climbed over her. He kissed her for a few moments, innocently, until she pulled him down closer to her body. He settled down on top of her, enjoying the quiet moment alone. They'd been living together for several months now, since last summer when he'd moved up from North Carolina. He'd been accepted as a transfer student to Yale with no difficulties and the decision for he and Rory to get an apartment together took all of a half a second to decide once he got his acceptance letter. This had been the happiest year of his life, hands down.

"We're here—Oh, my!" Lorelai exclaimed, turning quickly and shielding Luke's eyes.


"Sorry, honey, the door was unlocked, you know that's not a good idea, some crazy nut job could just wander in here."

"Some crazy nut job DID just wander in here," Tristan remarked jokingly.

"Hey mister, you be nice. I let you have my first-born. My baby. The light of my life," Lorelai rambled.

"I thought we were just making a drop off. No drama, no speeches, just stop and go," Luke complained.

"Bossy. Okay, Rory, Tristan, I'm entrusting you with the care of my child. Do you promise not to break him?"

"We promise."

"Call me if you need anything?"

"Yes, Mom, we promise we'll call. Nothing is going to happen. We have the list of phone numbers we might possibly need. Just go, enjoy your honeymoon."

"Listen to her, Lor. Seriously, I know we haven't been away from him, but Rory will take good care of him."

"Hey," Tristan remarked.

"And I'm sure Tristan won't drop him on his head or anything either," Luke followed up.

"Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence."

Rory reached out and took Will out of the snuggly that Lorelai was wearing and held him up in the air a little, bouncing him.

"We're going to have fun this week, aren't we little brother?"

Will opened his eyes sleepily upon being taken from his mother, and began cooing happily when Rory lifted him up repeatedly. She giggled at the noises he made and brought him up to her, holding him securely. She took his little hand and waved at her mother.

"See, he likes me. It's like we're related," Rory pointed out.

"Fine, fine. We're leaving. You ready? I mean, do you need a moment alone with our only son, as we leave him for the very first time? Just to alleviate any feelings of GUILT you might be feeling as a result?" Lorelai probed.

"Nope, I'm good." Luke leaned over Will and kissed his forehead. "You kids have fun," he commented, walking towards the door.

"Wow. He's just so cold-hearted," Lorelai joked. "Seriously, if anything happens, call me. I'll now stop worrying so much and go enjoy my tropical honeymoon."

With that, she kissed Rory's cheek, then Will's. She gave Tristan a hug and joined Luke. When they had finally brought Will's stuff in from the hall into the front room, they left for their flight, leaving Rory and Tristan with Will.

"I can't believe they're finally taking their honeymoon."

"I know. They wanted to wait until Will was old enough to stay with us, though, and Mom's been really busy with the Dragonfly this whole past year."

"That's true."

"So, can we handle a three month old for a week?" Rory asked, looking down at her brother.

"Well, I hope so. Otherwise he's in for a world of trouble."

Rory just started at Will for a few moments. He had drifted off to sleep in her arms. Tristan smiled, watching Rory look at Will.

"You look like an old pro, there," Tristan commented.

"Yeah, it's sort of nice. I've never really been around babies. But this is different than I'd expected. Hey, will you set up the playpen, so I can put him down? He's getting sort of heavy."

Tristan nodded and wandered over to the pile of stuff Lorelai and Luke had brought for Will. He found the playpen and set it up in the living room by the couch. After Rory lay Will down, she turned to Tristan and hugged him.

"What was that for?"

"Just being you."

"So, do you think they brought enough stuff for him?"

"Hey, this little guy has more stuff than I've ever had. I think his book collection surpassed mine before he was born."

"Yeah, your grandparents went a little crazy with the stuff."

"That, and the town held like ten baby showers. They need to move they have so much stuff."

"Do you ever think of what it'll be like when we do all this?"

Rory looked at Tristan with surprise. "You think about that kind of stuff?"

"You don't?"

"Maybe the thought has crossed my mind once or twice."


"It's not like I'm constantly thinking about us. I mean, I do have school and the paper and other responsibilities."


"It's not like I have names picked out or anything."

Tristan said nothing, just raised an eyebrow at her.

"Okay, I have a few names in mind," she trailed off.

"Seriously, do you want kids?"

"Of course."

"With me?"

"Well, we'll see how it goes," Rory joked.

"Rory, I'm serious. Do you see us together?"

"You mean in five years?"

"Five, ten, twenty."

"Yes." She smiled that smile that melted his heart. He took her hand in his and brought it up to his lips.


"So, do you want kids?"

"Yes, eventually."


"Well, I think we should probably get married first."

"Mom didn't."

"Well, I think it'd be nice to get married first," Tristan mentioned again.

"Some people have five kids together and never get married," Rory commented.

"Well, five kids is another topic for another time. I'm telling you, I want to marry you first," he said the last part slowly and for the third time. Realization slowly washed over her and the need to sit became great. This conversation wasn't about order of events.

"Rory," Tristan said in a solid yet concerned tone, as she sat down on the couch.

"Yeah," she said, breathlessly.

"I've been trying to think of the perfect way to do this. I've been racking my brain, but nothing does justice to how perfect you deserve to feel or, well how amazing you are. Suddenly I don't think it could feel more perfect than this."

'Oh man, he's doing this, he's really doing this,' Rory thought to herself, willing her breath to return to normal.

"Rory, when we started talking last year, I honestly didn't think I would even get the chance to see you. But when we met for coffee, I knew I had to do whatever it took to keep you in my life. I knew right then and there that I'd do anything in the world, whatever it would take, to make you mine. You've become this indescribable force in my life, you make everything better, brighter, full of life."

Tears pooled in her blue eyes. She was smiling at him, waiting for him to continue. He took a breath, and grabbed her hand again as he knelt down in front of her on the floor. He smiled, looking a bit timid and nervous, and began speaking again.

"What I'm saying is I want you in my life. Forever. I never want to wake up without you there next to me. Will you marry me?"

She had held back tears for long enough. Hearing those words come from his mouth, those words that hung in the air around them, she couldn't hold them any longer. They streamed down her face delicately as she nodded and leaned down to bring him to her. He stood up, still holding on to her and lifted her up into the air.

"Is that a yes?"

"YES! That is most definitely a yes!"

At that, he kissed her. They stood there, in their own celebration, reveling in each other. No one else existed for that moment, until they heard Will stirring. Tristan retrieved him and held him, soothing him back to sleep.

"Oh, God, I want to tell Mom so bad!"

"Call her. I have Will."

"No, if I call now, she'll be back here before I can say hi. She's really freaked about leaving him so soon. She didn't spend a night away from me until I was 13."

"Wow. I knew you guys were freakishly close, but that's nuts."

"It's not nuts! We just like being together."

"What have I gotten myself into?" Tristan joked.

"Hey, you love me."

"Yes, I do. Very much."

"So I guess we're waiting until they get back from the Caribbean to tell people."

"You want me to believe you're going to go a week without telling anyone we're engaged?"

"I can keep a secret."

"It's not a secret."

"I have to tell Mom first. It just works that way."

"Okay. One week. But the second they walk in that door next week, 'Mom we're engaged' has to come out of your mouth so we can tell everyone else."

"My, my. You want to brag that badly?" Rory teased.

"Yes. The most incredible woman in the whole world has agreed to be my wife. I want to go up to the roof and scream it to all of New Haven."

"And you think I'm crazy." Rory shook her head and walked into the kitchen to prepare a bottle for Will. Tristan watched her go, and then turned his attention to the little baby in his arms. Will opened his eyes and reached out and grabbed Tristan's finger with his whole tiny hand. He smiled at the gesture and leaned in close to Will.

"Hey, Will. Since I can't tell anyone else, I know you'll keep it quiet. I'm in love with you big sister and I'm going to be your big brother someday soon. Is that cool with you?"

Will smiled and cooed at Tristan as Rory came back in to the room. She smiled and took Will from Tristan and began to feed him from the bottle.

"You too look chummy."

"Just a little male bonding," Tristan replied, sitting back against couch. He put his arm around Rory, pulling the two close to him.

"Oh, hey, I was thinking, we could probably get Paris to baby-sit tonight," Rory commented.

"Is Marty okay with that?"

"Actually he was the one to mention it to me. I mentioned we'd be taking Will for a week, and he offered to sit one night for us. He's from a really big family. He thinks Paris could use some exposure. He seems to think she'd be skittish around small children. "

"Whatever would give him that impression?" Tristan faked shock, gaping at Rory.

She giggled, "Well, evidently when they went to his folks house last time, his sister came over with her baby, and Paris talked to it like it was a thirty year old. She freaked out when they offered to let her hold the baby, babbling about germs and snot."

"Wow. And you want to expose your brother to this why?"

"Well, I trust Marty, he's from a family of six, and Paris can't do much harm. This kid has Gilmore blood. He's pretty immune to anything. Besides, I think you and I have some special celebrating to do."

"You twisted my arm," Tristan gave in, dialing the number. An hour later, Rory and Tristan left Will with Marty and Paris in their apartment for the evening. They spent the next few hours in a nice restaurant, eating, dancing and enjoying the excitement of this new development. After dinner, Tristan took Rory to their favorite spot, one similar to his overlook back in Chapel Hill. It was just outside of campus, overlooking the entire university. The last few weeks he'd been thinking about proposing, so he'd picked up a special item the last time he was home in Hartford from his grandfather. He took out a box from his jacket and slipped his grandmother's engagement ring onto her finger. It was official, it didn't matter that they were the only two to know right now—Rory Gilmore was his.

AN: That's it! I felt like the last chapter was a nice ending, but I wanted to sort of give a bit more to the story, so I added the epilogue. I thank everyone who read, reviewed and enjoyed. In all honesty, this story was about four times longer than I'd ever imagined it being. I let it take me where it wanted to go, and I'm pleased. I hope you are too.