Okay, I didn't plan to do this… but I decided that Tristin needed some closure of his own. It's short, but it kinda hit me and I needed to get it out.

Title: In the Sunset

Rating: See first part.

Pairing: No real pairing; mention of Rory/Tristin; implied Java Junkie.


"You're sure you want to do this?"

He nods slowly, eyeing the woman in front of him. He and Lorelai had never met. They'd never really had a chance to get along. Rory had never given Lorelai the opportunity to figure out if she liked Tristin or not. But she decided she did. She liked him better than any guy Rory had ever mentioned.

He's started smoking, and he's lost a little bit of weight. Nothing too serious, though. She figures it's because he's started working more. She knows the feeling. She, too, has thrown herself into work now that her daughter is gone.

"Do you want someone to go with you?"

Tristin shakes his head at Luke's question. Luke has his arm protectively wrapped around Lorelai's waist as they stand out on the porch. The sun will be setting soon, and Tristin knows that he should get to the cemetery before he changes his mind.

Rory's funeral had been bittersweet, but he hadn't had a chance to come back. To see her grave stone. To make sure that she really is gone, and not coming back. He sighs and runs a hand through his hair. He's started growing it out, because he knows she would have liked it.

He tosses his cigarette into the grass and sighs. He feels their eyes on him and forces a smile. "I'll be back later."

They nod, and watch him walk down the driveway and to the right. He takes a deep breath and follows the path that he knows Lorelai and Luke have tread before. He takes a deep breath as he comes up to the gate, opening it with care. Scared of what may happen if he throws it open.

He makes his way to the back, where he sees an arrangement of daisies – courtesy of Logan Huntzberger, he presumes – resting atop the fresh grave. Clasping his hands together in front of his mouth, he sighs. He isn't sure why he's here, but he knows that this is something he must do if he is ever going to get over this.

He crouches down in front of the grave, the sun bright in his eyes. But he won't shield it from his view. She is there, he knows. Smiling at him and watching him as he says his final good-bye. Or it may be a hello. He isn't sure if he'll be back. Isn't sure if this is something he'll have to do repeatedly to remind himself that she really is gone.

"You didn't have to leave." He feels his voice crack when he first opens his mouth. "I wish you would have stayed."

He wants to tell her he would have married her. But he has a feeling she knows. He'd told her as much the second night she was there. She'd stiffened when he had even mentioned it. He'd brushed it off as jitters. He wished he would have pressed her for a reason. But that is the past, and he remembers a lesson from college, where his professor had told him that hindsight was 20/20. Looking back now, he realizes that every kiss and touch she gave him was her way of telling him good-bye.

"I wanted to tell you good-bye." He rests his fingers over her name. "But I'm glad you didn't let me. I would have been selfish and tried to make you stay. And that would have hurt you." He wills the lump in his throat to stay down. He will not let her down by crying.

"I put your picture on my desk at work. Everyone asks who you are." He pauses a moment, searching for the right words. "I tell them that your name is Mary, and you live upstate."

He smiles and remembers every time he called her Mary in high school. And he remembers calling her Mary even after what they had done. "You'll always be my Mary."

He looks up and watches the sunset, and for a minute, he sees blue eyes. He sees her smile. He feels her next to him. And he feels her soft lips on his cheek.

"I'll never love anyone like I loved you." He runs his hand through his hair. She loved doing that. She loved watching him do that. She had told him as much when she had come to see him.

He almost hears her voice. Promise you'll love me forever?

He smirks. He thinks for a second he's going crazy.

"I promise." And this time, he lets a tear fall. Because for once, he knows it will be okay if he does this. He knows she will understand. Because she always did.

He stands and runs a hand through his hair, looking down at the stone that held the name of the girl he would always love. "Good-bye… Mary."

He looks beyond the stone where the sun has set. And for just a moment, he sees her. And he knows that he'll not be back here. He doesn't need to be here to be close to her. She's not here. Not in this secluded spot. She's in his heart. Where she always has been.