Sorry this took me a little longer to update than usual, I was a little stuck on what to write.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.


"One year."

"One year." Rory reiterated as she snuggled into his chest further as they laid on Tristan's living room couch watching the snow fall outside the large window.

"Best year ever."

"You are just saying that."

"I'm not. I've accomplished a lot of things in this year." Tristan told her as he ran his hand through her hair lovingly.

She shifted slightly so she was now looking at his face but was still cuddled into his arms. "Like what?"

"Let's start from the beginning."

"Ok."

"On December 22nd of last year, I became the boyfriend to a remarkable girl."

"You don't say?"

"Then about two months later I realized I fell in love with that very same girl."

"Two months? You didn't say I love you till April."

"I wasn't willing to say it out loud that I was in love but I knew I was."

"Pathetic. Big, macho guy can't even say three little words. Big scary words."

"Are you done?"

"For the moment."

"Then I finally had the courage to say I loved said girl, to which she responded by crying and not saying it back."

"Maybe she forgot! She was probably was so surprise and overwhelmed."

"Whatever helps you sleep at night, Mare. Anyway, May came and I attended prom, graduated all with this amazing girl by my side."

"She is pretty amazing, isn't she?"

Ignoring her comment he continued. "Then July approached and I finally got my wish."

"Tristan-" Rory warned knowing exactly what he was going to say.

"Yes, I finally got a much wanted Escalade to add to my collection of cars." He grinned. "I also made love for the first time in my life."

"I'm just glad it wasn't in the Escalade."

"If I remember correctly, it almost was."

Rory smiled shyly at him as a blush grew on her cheeks. "You looked really hot that day?"

"Are you implying that I don't look hot everyday?"

Leaning up she tenderly kissed him, her lips lingering on his longer than intended. "Of course you do, baby. Now, finished telling me about your best year ever."

"Well…Then I went off to college."

"I'm still mad at you about that."

"Getting an education? And I thought that you wanted what was best for me."

"You fooled me into believing you were going to Princeton!"

"I wanted to surprise you."

"Then you could have taken me to the carnival not tricked me into thinking you would be almost four States away."

"I've apologized a million times."

"Yeah, yeah."

"On with my story. So, then I went to college where I attended Yale and learned to enjoy the luxury of unsupervised dorm rooms. Now here we are."

"But you forgot all the other stuff!"

"Like?"

"Luke chasing you when mom let it slip I wasn't a virgin anymore or when you got drunk and ended up kissing someone else or when we had that huge fight at the Halloween party."

"I chose to block those things out." He told her pressing a kiss to her forehead.

There was a long silence where they just sat in each others arms watching the snow fall. It wasn't very often they had the chance to just sit quietly with each other, they we re always being interrupted whether it was their roommates or their friends, they rarely had moments like these.

"I love you." Rory said quietly.

Tristan smiled, that was one thing he'd never get tired of hearing. "I love you too."

"So…Can we do it now?"

"Oh, I see. The 'I love you' wasn't sincere it was just an attempt to butter me up to get me to do what you want me to."

"I do love you but it may have had a underlying motive…" Rory smiled sheepishly.

"Mare-"

"Please Tristan! Pretty please."

"You can't wait?"

"No! I've waited to long already!"

Tristan sighed. "Fine. Go get them."

Rory squealed excitedly. Placing a quick kiss on his cheek, she scrambled to get up and ran out of the room.

Tristan sat up and leaned his head against the soft cushions of the couch. Closing his eyes, he reflected on the past year with Rory. Sure, they'd had their rough moments. Moments when he wasn't sure they were going to make it, moments where he figured they were just too different to be together. Though as cheesy as it sounded for everyone one of those moments he had a hundred that made him believe she was it, she was always going to be his everything.

"I've got them!" The familiar, cheerful voice said.

Opening his eyes he glanced at his girlfriend who was carrying two objects and a cup of coffee. "You stopped by the kitchen?"

"I had to give Cynthia her present anyway."

"You bought my cook a present?"

"You don't?"

"No, I do. It's just, she's the cook at my house…You didn't have to do that."

"Cynthia has been a life saver this past year. She's always got coffee made and breakfast when I spend the night…She's amazing." Rory said dreamily as she thought of the food Cynthia had cooked her.

"Are you sure you aren't with me just for the cook?" Tristan asked motioning for her to sit down on the couch next to him.

"I'm positive. Now, let's do it!"

"You go first."

Rory carefully set her coffee down on the table and grabbed the square shaped object. She slowly took the paper off to find a box. Opening the box she pulled out a snow globe, wordlessly she stared at the small dome of water in her hand.

Tristan didn't say anything, he didn't know what to say. He'd bought her that present a year ago. He wasn't sure she'd like it then and he wasn't sure if she'd like it now.

When she had suggested that they not open their last secret Santa presents until next Christmas, his heart was warmed at the fact that she thought they'd be together for a year. "Do- is it…Do you like it?"

Without saying a word Rory slightly shook the globe and brought it up to her eye level. This snow globe was different that the one he'd given here the year before. This one had a blonde boy and a brunette girl, kissing in the snow. The letters T.J.D and L.L.G. Were engraved on the small silver plate on the base of the snow globe along with a heart.

"It has our initials." She whispered.

"I was presumptuous."

"It has our initials."

"When I got it done I thought that it might make you realize how in love with me you were."

"It has our initials."

"Stop saying that!" Tristan said nervously. "Do you like it?"

Rory slowly nodded, it was perfect. She had half expected him to not get her another snow globe due to the fact that she had trashed the first one pretty quickly. "I love it."

Tristan pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly. For some reason it felt like she was agreeing to be his girlfriend all over again. "Good."

Pulling back slowly, she leaned over and grabbed the second present off the table. "Open yours."

Taking the object from his hands he cautiously looked at it. "I'm not sure if I want to."

"What? Why?"

"Because if I open this it means the magic is no more. The reason we are right here at this moment is gone, over with."

"But if we don't finish off this tradition, how are we going to have more?" Rory asked quietly, gently running her hand over his cheek.

"I guess."

"I won't force you to open it. You know how impatient I am, I had to open mine for my own sanity but if you want to leave yours wrapped it's ok."

Tristan considered her words. She wasn't going to make him open this present, she wasn't going to guilt trip him into it either but she did have a point. He did want more traditions with her and pretty sure he could come up with something creative, manage to find a way to recreate this one; only better. Taking a deep breath, he gave her a small smile. "I'll open it."

"Oh! Good!" Rory said relieved. "I don't think I could handled if you didn't." She admitted.

His hands slowly undid the bow that had become a bit twisted and rumpled throughout the course of the year. Next the green and red wrapping paper was torn off revealing a classic red stocking with his name sewn into it with silver thread. "A stocking?"

"Yeah, uh, when I was over here the night we made the gingerbread house I noticed that there weren't any. Everyone should have a stocking. I was even prepared to tell you that you could have the stocking at my house if your parents wouldn't allow it."

"Even if you didn't like me you were going to let me hang a stocking at your house."

Rory nodded shyly and bit her lip. Her gift was just like his, it insinuated that there was more between them than just a friendship. It was as if it were fate, that is she hadn't gotten enough courage to go after him in the courtyard that day, their feelings would still be known to each other. "Although had you come to my house, I'm pretty sure my mom would have put up mistletoe in an attempt to get us together."

"That does scream 'Lorelai', doesn't it?"

"She believed I liked you from the minute that I told her I kissed you on the piano bench."

"Is that true?"

"I don't know…Maybe, I subconsciously liked you but was either to afraid or to stubborn to admit it."

"You stubborn? Never."

"Shut up!" She laughed, hitting his shoulder lightly.

Tristan grabbed her and pulled her gently onto his lap. His arms encircled her waist and she rested her head on his chest. "We need a new tradition now."

"Mhm…" Rory mumbled comfortably, her eyes dropping slightly.

"Something different that not most couples do."

"Yeah, sure."

"How about we give up coffee for all of the Christmas season? We only drink hot chocolate." He questioned, knowing it would get a rise out of her.

But this time he wasn't greeted with a response, just the slightly sound of her even breathing. She'd fallen asleep. Glancing at the clock on the wall, he smiled. 6:32 PM. Right on time.

Exactly one year ago…

"We really should be doing our homework." Rory told him as they sat on the couch in the DuGrey's living room.

"Why?"

"Because we have school tomorrow."

"Which is ridiculous. What sadists gives us homework three days before Christmas and expects it to be done?"

"The ones at Chilton?"

"I say we boycott." Tristan told her grabbing the book from her hand and throwing it to the ground before pulling her so that she was laying on top of him.

"It's getting late and we haven't done anything productive yet." Rory whined.

"Are you implying that making out with me isn't the proper use of your time?"

"I'm just saying we have two weeks to make out."

"No."

"No?"

"I'm leaving for Vail the day after Christmas."

"Oh…Yeah." Rory said, trying to hide her disappointment. She had forgotten that he had mentioned his family went to Colorado every Christmas vacation.

"I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what? You don't have to apologize, it's a family tradition."

"I don't want to go." He admitted running his hand up and down her back.

"Why? Because of me? That's silly."

"Rory, now that I have you I don't need to go to Vail. The only reason I ever went was because there was a whole new group of girls I could hookup with. My parents ignore my existence, I see them once, maybe twice from the time we check in to the time we leave. My mom occasionally acknowledges me, my dad doesn't at all. Why should I go?"

"Because even if they don't show it, they do want you there."

"I doubt that."

"You could always leave if you want right?"

"I guess."

"Then go, if it ends up that you are being ignored or whatever than you can leave but I think you should go."

Tristan sighed, Rory didn't understand how society worked but that was part of the reason he liked her. Deciding it was far to soon to be snapping at her for not understanding things, he agreed to go. "Fine but the minute I get bored I'm calling you."

"That's fine."

"Day or night."

"Ok…"

"Seven, eight times a day."

"I don't mind as long as you give it a chance, Tris." Rory told him. When she had met Alyse DuGrey, there was something in her eyes and attitude that showed she wished things were different with her son. Rory knew that Tristan wished he and his mother had the relationship they had before and maybe this was the opportunity they needed to start rebuilding.

There was a long silence as if they were both lost in their own thoughts. "I won't actually call you eight times a day." Tristan told her breaking the silence but got no witty remark in return. "Mare?"

He looked down and glanced at the girl that was snuggled into his chest as she laid on top of him. She had changed when they got to his house into the clothing she had worn the first time she was there. His arms were wrapped around her and her head was buried into the crook of his neck. He could not think of anything more perfect than the position he was laying in at this moment.

He glanced up at the clock to read it was 6:32 pm. The time that he would forever remember as the moment he realized Rory Gilmore was so much more than just a girl, just a conquest. She was someone he could talk to, open up to and not be judged. She had become his girlfriend, best friend and quite possibly could become the girl he was in love with.

He had went on that trip to Vail. His father ignored him but his mother had made an effort to get to know him again. He called Rory twice a day, once around noon and once around midnight but that didn't count the text messages they'd received from one another. He knew he could never even begin to thank her for making him go on that trip, for urging him to put in the effort to reestablish a relationship with his mom.

She had become his confidant, the women who had taught him, as corny as it sounded, what love was. She was his soul mate, the girl that he couldn't live without and he wanted her to know that.

--------------------------

I've read my list and checked it twice, I've found out for the most part you've been nice. (But you certainly didn't lose any points for being naughty.) In light of your good behavior I think you deserve something special, something that truly shows you how much you mean to me.

Yours Truly,

Santa's Helper

Rory had woken up on Christmas morning early to find a small box and note placed on her nightstand. After reading the note and opening the box she discovered a white gold ring with a small diamond in it. Instinctively, she knew it wasn't an engagement ring but a promise ring. A ring that told how much she meant to him.

She'd found him sitting in the living room talking to her mother while they drank coffee. She walked over to him, sitting on his lap and gave tight hug. Handing him the ring back, she told him she wanted him to ask her to wear the promise ring properly.

He'd mumbled something about trying to be romantic and spontaneous but she'd ruined it before properly proposing that she wear the promise ring. She instantly obliged and then showed the ring off to her mother.

After the all the excitement of the ring and presents had been exchanged Lorelai had went to Luke's leaving Tristan and Rory to spend some time together. They'd sat on the porch wrapped in blankets and cuddled together, watching the snow fall gently.

As they sat there, Rory looked at Tristan who'd participated in almost all of the Gilmore Family Christmas Traditions, all except dressing up like an elf because that was something he just would not do, she was overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment.

She'd turned Tristan into a person who'd love the holidays. Sure, she'd received an A for the secret Santa project Mrs. Toll had assigned them but no letter grade could ever amount to what she was feeling at the moment. She'd been able to change her boyfriends outlook on the holidays into something he enjoyed.

She was Cindy Lou Who, and Tristan was the Grinch. And as the story goes, 'Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches plus two.'


Lamest ending ever. I could not think of a way to end this story plus the cartoon version of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas is my favorite holiday program and I wanted to work the last words in some how. But as many of you know from my track record, I'm not to good on endings.

I hope you liked the rest of the story though and I didn't disappoint anyone. Thank you to all who reviewed!