Authors: April and Hilda (also known as Diddlee)

Author's Note: This fan fiction is a result of a collaboration between myself and the wonderfully talented Hilda. It was an honor for me to be able to work with her on writing this story, and I'm so glad we decided to expand on the idea when we originally thought of it. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did writing it, so let us know what you think by kindly filling out the review space! We greatly appreciate it. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: We don't own anything but the stories. April and Hilda are not the same person regardless of what rumors you hear floating around out there.

Fallen So Deeply

Rays of golden sunlight filtered through the stained glass windows of the chapel, casting swirls of ethereal hues across the room. The dancing light patterned the cream colored runner positioned over the aisle, leading up the few steps to the altar. Slim, tall candles rested atop intricately crafted, golden stands, standing at the end of each pew. Each surrounded by a blanket of white rose blooms, pure as the first snowfall of winter. Spectators filled the pews of the vast church, spilling into the aisles and the extra seating sprinkled through the church., Faces belonging to friends and family of the beloved coupled, eager to experience the blessed union. A little boy, his face peppered with freckles, squirmed impatiently in his mother's arms, struggling to free himself from her tight hold. He pointed excitedly to the roses beside his seat, reaching out and plucking a soft petal, and promptly shoving it into his mouth. His childlike giggles rang out in the silence of the chapel, quickly shushed by his mother's delicate finger on his mouth. A murmur washed over the crowd as a trio of violinists made their way to the front of the massive room. Softly they began sliding bows over the strings of their newly polished violins, the first few strands of Pacabel's Canon in D dripping like a mountain spring over the scene.

He followed his old college buddy Tim, now fulfilling the duties of best man, out to the altar, piercing eyes darting over the crowd, nodding at the familiar faces. He alternately clenched and loosened his hands at his sides, swallowing deeply, not at all surprised to find his throat dry. Tim reached over and straightened the white rose pinned on the lapel of his tuxedo, giving him a quick pat on the back and a thumbs-up gesture. He barely even noticed. All his attention focused on the beginning of the procession, as he peered around the corner, anticipating even just a tiny glimpse of her. He took a few deep breaths, knowing that momentarily he would not be able to breathe at all. For she was a site that could take his breath away. The woman who meant more to him than life itself. The woman who he could not imagine living his life without. His bride.

*****

Rory took a deep breath, a failing attempt to calm her racing heart. Slipping her hand through her father's arm, she watched as her mother made her way down the aisle, arm in arm with Luke. She was grateful not see her face, knowing the wells of tears already shed that day would resurface at a single glance. With her free hand, she smoothed down the front of her silky, white dress, the strapless bodice hugging her slim frame, skirt drifting in waves down to the floor. Lane moved to adjust the veil showering over her face, curtaining the loose curls that cascaded down her back. She winked in her direction, that one gesture conveying all that needed to be said between a bride and her maid of honor. She gripped Rory's hands elatedly for a moment before taking her place in front.

Christopher glanced down at his daughter, a proud smile gracing his worn features. Her eyes shone with an unspoken happiness, the type of contentment that can only be granted by finding that one special person who you know you will love for the rest of your life. When he had first heard of the engagement, he had fallen into the whole over-protective father routine, the one he had told himself he would never give into. It was instinctive. Things had changed when he was given the opportunity to spend time with the man who had stolen his daughter's heart, for he had discovered that this man was right for her in every possible way. Her perfect match. He regretted not always being there for Rory when she was younger, and that was something he could never restore. He was confident in the fact that this man would never leave her side. The love that these two shared was far greater than anything fate could throw at them. He leaned down, planting a soft kiss on her cheek. "You look beautiful, sweetheart."

She looked up at him, tears glistening in her eyes. Tears of true joy spawned from the discovery of something deep inside of yourself, buried deep within your soul. An inexplicable feeling that has always been there, but that is only awakened by the one person who can set your world on a tailspin with just a simple glance. "Thank you, Daddy." She tugged his arm, holding him back from moving too fast, memorizing every moment, knowing she would cherish them the rest of her life. A few brief seconds and she nodded at his adoring gaze. This was the perfect time. Her heart skipped a beat as they took a step closer to the beginning of the aisle, her eyes coming to rest on him, his tall figure waiting for her at the altar. The jacket of his tuxedo draped over his broad shoulders and muscular frame, masculinity radiating from his very stance. Feeling her presence so near, his eyes jerked up and locked on hers, a smooth grin forming on his lips.

His breath caught in his throat when he first saw her, a vision of perfection in her white wedding gown. She stood with her father at the top of the aisle, calmly waiting for the right moment when she could bridge the distance to him. A distance that would soon be closed forever. He inwardly smiled at her ability to cover her emotions, knowing her heart was flooding with the same pangs he felt. All the people crowding the church were forgotten as he stared at her relentlessly, unable to pry his eyes away. God how he loved her. Over the years, he had questioned many times exactly what he had done to deserve this perfect creature, what he had done to deserve the love of someone so special, so unique in life. He had long ago stopped questioning, afraid he was convincing God of the truth, fearing that she would be taken from him. He had learned contentment to just be with her, trusting the love that they had, and the faith she had in him.

As she began her slow walk toward him, in perfect time to the soaring symphonies of the violins, her mind drifted over the many moments that had led up to this day. The day when she would take his last name as her own. The day where they would pledge themselves to each other eternally. She fondly recalled their first kiss, the day when she had run from him, afraid of what she found there. It was a kiss that had initiated a mixture of confusion and exhilaration, but one that had also ignited a flame deep within her very being, ever growing stronger to this day. Like that flame, they had grown together, discovering themselves in each other in ways only they could fathom. The hundreds of kisses that followed: feather light ones that he placed on her mouth when contact with her was all he needed to be whole. Consoling kisses, intended to brush away her pain, solacing her with the warmth of his skin next to hers. The way his lips brushed her eyelids, savoring the way those beautiful blue orbs lit up at his touch, just one of his favorites of her every feature. The passionate, breathless kisses that sweep you up in their hold, intent on never letting go, epitomized that one night in her dorm room. They clung to each other, trying to fight off the waves of need and want, both promising to wait until their wedding night to truly become one together. Tonight.

Rory's heart fluttered as his penetrating gaze seemed to reach deep within her soul and grab hold of it, the same way he had long ago. She reveled in everything about him, even the way he spoke her name. Whether it was in whispered tenderness or in a moment of teasing banter, it was said in a way only he could, rolling easily off his tongue. An angelic verse to forever be cherished, never to be tarnished. His eyes never strayed from hers as she walked down the aisle, the flame of the candles flickering from the swish of her train. A glow grew warmer inside of her as she saw him mouth the words, "I love you," and she whispered them back, knowing that she had never meant anything more. A few quiet murmurs settled over the spectators, not only directed at the spectacular wedding gown, but also towards the young couple who seemed to deem it impossible to tear their eyes away from one another. The man, a classic picture of the handsome groom, was gazing at his bride as if she were the only thing he cared to see for the rest of his life. As if the pain of being stripped of his senses would mean him no harm, for he would have the vision of her on constant replay in his mind.

He had never felt more alive than when he was with her, and his life had not been complete until he had met her. He had never believed the adage that there was someone out there for everyone. One soul who when matched with his own would together form one whole. He never believed such a concept were true, until she walked into his life. She made him question everything about life, everything about himself. She made him want to be a better person. He would do anything for her. She only needed to say the word and he would gather the light of a thousand sunsets to shed their warmth on her delicate skin. He reveled in the fact that he could make her laugh with a carefully placed tease, could make a flush rise over her porcelain cheeks with a slow, lazy shift of his eyes. The way he could make her tremble with just a simple touch. He remembered all of the break-ups and, more importantly, the make-ups. The time he had sought her out when his grandmother had passed away, and she had spent the night just holding him, the strength of her beating heart giving him comfort like a familiarity of a blanket to an infant. It was the first time he had allowed himself to openly weep in front of another person, and he would never have wanted to share that part of himself with anyone but Rory.

He remembered the day he had bought her engagement ring, and the following days that it had sat on his dresser, the blue, velvet jewelry box beckoning to him. The nights that he had laid on his bed, just holding the band with the diamond solitaire between his fingers, convincing himself he would do it the next day, that he would muster up the courage to ask her. His fears were unsupported, knowing fully what her response would be. On the day he finally laid his fears to rest, he had taken her hands in his, registering her whispered 'yes' as tears streamed down her beautiful face. A word that held so many promises and emotions that matched everything he felt for her. They didn't need any more words than that. An exchange of glances was all it took to tell them what they needed. And what they needed was each other.

Rory had reached him now, handing Lane her bouquet of exquisite white roses. She blew a kiss to Lorelai, seated in the front pew, a tissue dabbing at her already damp cheeks as she clutched Luke's arm for support. She turned back to him then, the absence of his gaze almost unbearable, noting the mischievous glint that his eyes still retained, pleasantly reminding of their teenage years. He took her hand in his, bringing it up to his mouth to brush his lips across her knuckles. Curling her tiny hand around his, she ran her thumb over the smooth metal of the silver band on his left hand. It's familiarity anchoring her in the crescendo of emotions coursing through her veins. He leaned down to whisper in her ear, his breath tickling her cheek, sending shivers of joy that played hopscotch on her spine. The familiar glint in his eyes and comforting smirk on his face countered the surreal experience of the moment. "Are you ready to become Mrs. DuGrey?" His voice was a hoarse whisper, conveying to her the emotions he himself had been battling all day. He was the only one who could evoke this feeling in her, the only one who ever would. The sense of completion, a feeling of knowing that you were right where you belonged, a feeling never to be surpassed.

Rory squeezed her hand around Tristan's, her simple response confident in it's meaning. "Yes." She had never been more sure of anything in her life. "More than anything." He smiled at her in that tender way only he could do, as they turned to stand before the minister, before God, and before their family and friends. They would pledge their love for one another in the sacred ceremony as they became one. One husband. One wife. One union.

The voice of the minister bellowed through the chapel, covered only by the loud beating of two hearts. She was grateful for the rehearsal the previous night, knowing the words of the minister were lost on her ears. For all her attention was focused on the man by her side who was her everything. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to witness the union of Lorelai Gilmore and Tristan DuGrey in holy matrimony…"

They went through the motions of the ceremony, clutching each others hands in adoration. Their voices echoed out over the clarity of the chapel, his deep voice caressing her soft, quiet one. His cobalt blue eyes speaking only to her.

"I, Tristan DuGrey, take thee, Lorelai Gilmore, to be my wedded wife. To be my strength in times of trial. My comfort in times of need. I promise to give you my all, never taking for granted the love you have so graciously bestowed. I give you myself, knowing there is nothing I could do to ever deserve your love. Vowing to always try. I will cherish every moment we have together, giving you all you could ever desire. I promise to always be your shoulder to cry on, a comforting embrace you'll find within my arms. I have loved you since we were kids, too young to grasp what love really was. And I know that our love will survive eternally, even when we are parted by death."

"I, Lorelai Gilmore, take thee, Tristan DuGrey, to be my wedded husband. To be my savior in difficult times. To be my foundation in all my endeavors. I freely give of my love to you, for you are the only one I have ever loved. My heart yearns for the day when I will hold your child in my arms, our love bringing forth new life. I forever thank God for the clarity to see the magnificent person before me, knowing I was incomplete without you in my life. I promise to always lend an ear when the troubles of the world have gotten you down. I fear nothing in this life, knowing the bond of our love will withstand any turmoil that may come our way, even the turmoil of death.

He gently squeezed her hand, supporting her as emotions took toll of her voice. He raised a shaking hand, gently brushing away the tear from her cheek. She mouthed to him the three precious words, knowing he could feel them through the silence.

He took her hand in his, gently placing the platinum band on her finger. His voice was hoarse with emotion, finally bestowing on her the gift of his words, words he desired to grant her for so long.

"With this ring, I thee wed." He slid the band up her finger, the perfection of the fit echoing the flawlessness of their union.

She stretched her hand in front of her, glints of light radiating from the band. This was where it was meant to be. Had always been meant to be. She watched as he transferred the silver band to rest his other hand, clearing his hand of anything that was not her. His naked hand looked so foreign, realizing that was his intention. That band signified something deep within him, something that was about to change as they became one. The band she would give him would signify what he was with her. From this moment on, it was not about who they had been, it was who they would become. She held his hand gently, seeing as he spread his fingers wide, opening the space that was reserved for her.

"With this ring, I thee wed." Her voice was barely audible, though it was intended for only one person.

He laced his fingers through hers, her thumb again returning to caress his ring. Her heart skipped a beat as she encountered the new feel of his wedding ring, forever home on his third finger, her heart finally registering it's significance.

They bowed their heads in prayer, no one noticing the couple stealing glances at each other while their union was blessed.

He turned to face her, the devilish smirk making an appearance when he heard the long awaited words. "You may now kiss your bride." He lifted the veil over her face, smoothing the lace away from her skin. He reached a hand to her cheek, slowly tucking a strand behind her ear. His lips descended on hers, igniting the spark they shared. He broke away too soon, shocked when she reached up and pulled him to her. The amused laughter of the crowd was lost on the couple who were in turn lost in each other. After a quick kiss, she finally pulled away, knowing if she didn't now, neither would have the strength in a moment.

They turned to face their loved ones, hands entwined together. She was his. He was hers. And nothing could come between that. She listened for the words to finalize the moment. The words that caused the melody of shivers on her spine.

"Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you, Mr. And Mrs. Tristan DuGrey."