Author's Note: Well folks, this is my very first Trory so be gentle but let me know if you think it's worth continuing…
Chapter 1: Welcome
She got off the plane and looked around her. She was here. She did it. Well…it wasn't technically here yet, but she was closer. Pulling her minimum two suitcases off the luggage carousel, Rory moved towards the waiting crowd, looking for the person holding a sign reading Gilmore. She wouldn't be able to thank her grandfather enough for setting this up for her. It was exactly what she needed—or so she hoped. Pushing the trolley full of her luggage, still exhausted from the flight, Rory was relieved when she finally found the man holding the sign.
"Miss Gilmore?" He asked her. Rory nodded. "You alright?"
She nodded, prepared for the strange question. "Just tired."
"Your flight was okay?" He asked her, taking hold of her trolley and moving towards the exit.
Once again, Rory nodded. "Thanks."
"Follow me and I'll take you into the city."
She was going to spend two weeks in the city before being drive out into the country. Gran had a place in the city, though it was no longer used regularly, and her grandfather had been happy to give Rory the key for as long as she stayed in the country. There was other family spread through the country, but everyone had their own space. Richard and Emily only let her travel this far because of all the family she had over here. Happy to see the car, she moved towards the open door. "Excuse me, what is your name?"
"Thanks Toby." He closer the door as she slid inside and relaxed against the comfortable leather—her mother would kill her when she found out, but Rory needed to do this and wasn't going to let anyone stop her. She hadn't even told Logan what she was doing. They had broken up, badly, a few weeks ago and she wouldn't give her mother the pleasure of knowing. Begging her grandparents to keep quiet about it (not that they spoke to her mother often), Rory was using this time to get away from all of it. Hopefully London, Oxford University and the entire United Kingdom held something for her. There had to be something here that could change the way her life had become. The final straw had been her grandmother bringing her the D.A.R. application. Rory knew she needed out and since Yale was not an option, this was her "next best choice". It wasn't like Oxford was an awful school or anything. Just a little bit farther away then Yale. Distance was fabulous.
"Miss Gilmore?" Toby's voice shook her out of her thoughts.
"Sorry Toby." She slid out of the car and stared at the building in front of her. "So this is it, huh?"
"You've never been here before?"
Rory shook her head. "First time at the apartment, I've been to London before."
He nodded. "I'll make sure your things are brought up to you."
"Nonsense. I only have two suitcases, plus I have the key, so I'll be fine. Thanks though."
"If you are sure." He eyed her skeptically. "This is my number." He handed her a card, "I am at your service any time you need me. Your grandparents arranged it all."
"Regardless I will see you in three weeks, I'll be driving you up to Oxford. The time will be arranged closer to departure date. Is there anything else you need?"
Rory smiled at him. "You've done quite enough, thank you."
Toby smiled and tipped his hat at Rory before getting her luggage out of the trunk, knowing the door would be opened for her. He got back into the car and drove away, leaving Rory to take a deep breath and walk to the front door. It was opened for her immediately. "Thank you."
"Miss Gilmore?" A male voice, the doorman, she saw, called out to her.
"Does everyone know of my arrival?" She questioned him.
He laughed. "Emily and Richard wanted to make sure you would be properly taken care of."
"You know them?"
"They usually stay here when they visit. I'm Nigel, the daytime doorman; Edward works at night. You're on the top floor, the only room up there."
"The entire floor?" Rory squealed.
Nigel laughed. "The entire floor miss."
"Leigh, please." London was a fresh start and she decided to use a different name.
He nodded. "It's a beautiful apartment Leigh, you'll enjoy living there."
"I'm sure. If you don't mind I'm going to check everything out before exploring the city."
"Of course. I'll be here if you need anything."
"Thank you Nigel."
Rory took a hold of her bag, smiling when Nigel held the elevator door for her. Rory headed up to the top floor, anxious to see her living quarters for the next few weeks and periodically throughout the semester. She walked into the apartment, registering that it was a duplex. Slamming the door behind her, Rory locked it, unzipped her suitcase, taking out the bathroom necessities she would need to wash the grime of the airplane off of her. Almost an hour later she grabbed the paper with her new address on it, her keys, and her purse and headed to explore London.
"Nigel?" She asked once she got downstairs. "Where can I find coffee?" It had been over four hours since she had a cup of coffee and it wasn't a good thing.
He laughed. "There is a Coffee Republic down the street. Make a right once you leave, at the corner go left, it's right up there, can't miss it."
"Thank you!" Rory smiled and headed out following his directions, excited at the prospect of getting coffee in her system. She ordered two of their biggest coffees, drank one quickly before she even left the store and savored the other as she continued outside to enjoy the unusually beautiful day in London.
Several hours later, Rory found herself sitting in a little café, the sign read Fiori's and she had registered it was on the edge of Leicester Square. Immediately ordering everything that looked good, Rory took the book out of her purse and began to read as she waited for her food. She didn't make it back to her new residence until after midnight, having taken a cab back in the end, and didn't even make it to the bed—she set her cell phone alarm and collapsed on the couch.
Tristan stepped out of the car and looked around. No matter how many times he came and left, there was something about London that excited him. Unfortunately, this time he would only be there for a few days before heading back to school. His parents had been surprised when he passed up all the Ivy League schools in America to move to the United Kingdom, but they didn't argue. He wanted to go to school and was serious about it, which was enough for them. He had finished school in North Carolina, not in military school, but the top prep school and increased his chances of getting away from Hartford—at least for a short amount of time.
Smiling, he checked into his hotel room, only a five-minute walk from Hyde Park, and went straight to sleep; it was extremely late and he was exhausted. Come morning however, he started his day with a run through Hyde Park, enjoying the beauty. After showering and heading out, Tristan wandered along the streets, starting with the closest—Oxford Street—he continued down, stopping in shops and a place for lunch of course and then turning right onto Charring Cross Road—straight for the literary section of the city as he liked to think of it. The entire street housed numerous used and new bookstores that he loved to go through each time he came, finding new and old treasures to add to his collection. His parents would be paying a fortune to ship his books back home when he finally returned.
He walked into a bookstore, heading over to the classics section, looking for one of his old favorites—Casanova—and barely looked around him. Disappointed that his favorite store did not have his favorite book, he rummaged around for something else that might catch his eye. It was during that aimless walk through the store that he saw her. At first he believed he was imagining her—"Of all the gin joints, in all the world, she walks into mine" was the first thought he had, smiling as he remembered her quoting the other famous line, disappointed that he didn't know the movie reference. It wasn't long after that conversation that he rented Casablanca and understood her love for the movie, as well as the quote she had used. How he wished it had been true—they were never friends after that. She said that she hated him and he was shipped off to military school—never to be heard of again. Tristan wondered what she was doing here—Lorelai Leigh Gilmore—Rory—MARY—was sitting only a few feet away from him. He could go over there and scare her to death, smirk at her, talk with her, find out what was going on in her life and why she was there, how long she was there, beg her to let him buy her a cup of coffee, but Tristan did none of those things. As quietly as he had approached, he backed away. Never letting her know he was there and never noticing her look up.
On her third day in the city, Rory had located her favorite spot. The book street she called it, though she knew it wasn't really that street. By this time, Nigel and Edward teased her about it, knowing that in the middle of the afternoon she went there and each night she came home from there. She had gone to the pub a few times, at their insistence, actually meeting a few nice people her age, but they weren't really friends, per se, just people she had met.
This particular day, Rory was slightly depressed over leaving the big city—Toby would be picking her up in two days for the start of term at her new university. She had called her grandparents every few days to let them know she was okay, and purchased a mobile phone, shutting down the one from home. Emily had asked what Rory wanted her to tell her mother, knowing that Lorelai would most likely call her daughter, only to get voicemail each time and eventually start hounding her for details on her daughter. Rory calmly assured her grandmother that her mother would not be inquiring about her, or calling her anytime soon, but should she do so, Emily should calmly tell Lorelai that Rory was abroad indefinitely and pass along her mobile number. Emily thought it wasn't the proper way to handle things, but Rory wouldn't let her do otherwise.
Rory had reached her favorite bookshop after a long walk around the city and a big lunch. She greeted the staff that she had become friends with, ordered the biggest coffee they had and curled into a chair, taking out the newest book she had purchased only the day before—Casanova. Rory had never read the book, but figured with all the male drama in her life, she should at least know the story behind the nickname. Though it was bothering her to read about such a player, reminding her of Logan, Rory continued to read.
She had no idea how long she had been there when she felt someone watching her. She lifted her head in time to see the person turn their head and walk away without saying anything. At first she thought she recognized the person, the boy—well the MAN—that had been watching, but he would have said something to her if it was really him. She hadn't seen him since the night he left before Romeo and Juliet, when he told her he wouldn't kiss her because Dean wouldn't like it. There was no way after things being left like that, that he wouldn't say SOMETHING to her. Secure in those thoughts, Rory turned back to her book, and her coffee, enjoying her quiet time.