Title: Broken Promises
Summary: Spring, summer, autumn, winter. Rory and Tristin rediscover themselves and each other throughout the course of a year. AU Trory.
Background: Instead of Jess straightening Rory out, Tristin did it. He came to her grandmother's house and took her to dinner and told her what she needed to do. Instead of getting back together with Logan, they broke up that night and she and Tristin started dating. After her graduation from Yale, they married. This is set a year after they get married. Rory leaves Tristin for Logan. This story will be only four chapters long – maybe five if I decide to write an epilogue.
Rating: M – Be warned.
A/N: Yes… I'm horrible. However, I plan on re-posting/revising Finding Grace and Light Years Away when I get inspired for them.
Thank you: My lovely beta, Emily :)
Spring: The Bridge We've Burned
It is April, and the rain has, for once, subsided. Spring in Connecticut. The time of year he normally would have been thankful for. However, as he nears his house, he gets a feeling. A bad feeling. And when he steps inside of his house, his large and daunting house that looks more like a dungeon, the feelings kick into overdrive.
She is standing in the foyer when he gets home. Dressed in jeans and one of her Yale t-shirts. She looks gorgeous. He moves to touch her when he enters the house, but she moves away. He stares at her quizzically, and it is then that he notices the bags.
"What are you doing?" he asks. But he knows what she is doing. Their marriage has been less-than-perfect. He has been thrust into a role he never wanted. He is a lawyer at his father's firm. Their life has become a string of late nights in the office and society galas that he knows she has never wanted. Their simple life has been turned upside down and he has known for quite some time that she is not happy.
She shrugs her shoulders and looks at the floor. He has always loved that she has never lost her look of innocence. No matter what has happened, she has always been the innocent, naïve sixteen year old girl he met at Chilton. She has always been an untainted angel with a shiny halo and wings that help her fly.
It is now, though, as she is preparing her getaway, that he realizes just how tainted she is. He realizes now that her wings have been clipped. Her spirit has been broken. And her halo, the one he has always seen, has been taken. The angel has died. And in its wake is a woman who has been turned into her worst nightmare: a trophy wife who had, at one point, had goals that had been within reach.
He curses himself for hurting her. He had been the one to get her back to school. To get her back to chasing her dreams. And in one short year, he had taken her dreams from her. He had taken everything she had worked for and set fire to it. Leaving her to watch everything go up in flames.
"I'm leaving," she states simply. She has not met his eyes. She is leaving something out, and he knows it. He knows, though, that he has lost every privilege to ask her what detail she is omitting. He stares at her, trying to break through the wall that she has put up. This wall has been there for quite some time, he realizes. And he has allowed this barrier, along with a thousand more, to separate them.
The shrill sound of ringing breaks the silence between them, and he sees her eyes light up as she looks at the ID on her cell phone. She turns away, but he knows she is smiling. The tone in her voice gives it away. Whoever has called is the one who makes her happy. He wonders who it is that has taken his spot. The one he had once coveted, but now was willingly giving up.
In a way, though, he still covets that spot. He longs to be the one to make her melt into the telephone with just one word. To make her blush with a lewd comment (which he used to do daily, but those have become nonexistent). He wants to be the one to hold her hand and make it alright. But he has done the opposite. He has pushed her away and made everything ten times worse.
"Logan," she scolds in a voice just barely above a whisper. And his heart drops at the sound of that name. The guy who hurt her in the first place. The prick who let her drop out of Yale.
But you are much worse, a voice reminds him. You are the asshole who made her run back to him. And he knows this voice, his conscience, is correct. He has hurt her and ruined her. And when she turns back around, blushing from what he assumes was a profane comment, he knows he has lost her.
"I have to go," she tells him. He only nods, swallowing a lump that has risen in his throat. She picks up her bags, and then stands back and stares at him. As if expecting him to tell her to stay. She's daring him to fight for her. But he won't do that. He realizes that he has lost this privilege, along with a million – nay, a hundred million – more. She has not been his for quite some time. And though he is not okay with it – he will never be okay with it – he accepts the fact that it has happened. He has lost Rory Gilmore.
She presses her lips to his cheek, and he swears they are moist from a nonexistent tear that she has shed. He forces himself to look at her, and he sees something in her eyes that he has not seen a long time: happiness. He smiles weakly at her and gestures to the door. "Take care of yourself." He pauses, unsure if he should add the next part, but he lets his old self get the best of him. "Mary."
She nods, and opens the door. He looks outside and watches her walk over to a Mercedes. And the blonde prick has the balls to have the window down as she walks over to him. He will not say anything though. Because he is letting her go. Because he loves her. And he will not hold her back.
The car pulls out of the long driveway and he watches it disappear. Hours later, when he is looking at their wedding picture, he hears thunder. And it begins to rain.
It is spring. And he is alone.
She has always been the one to run. She ran from Dean when he kissed her. She ran from Dean when he told her he loved her. She ran from Dean when Jess arrived in town and made her mind weak and her body ache for something more. She ended up running from Dean after she slept with him and ruined his marriage. She allowed Logan to let her run.
She ran from Jess when she kissed him at Sookie's wedding. She metaphorically ran from Jess when she returned from Washington and refused to fight for him. Because he'd found himself a blonde bimbo and she didn't have the guts to beat her trashy ass and take him away. She ran from Jess when he asked her to run away with him.
There was only one boy that she hadn't run from. And in the end, she ended up running from him and back to Logan. Because Logan had offered her a way out. And she needed a way out. An escape from the DAR and the country club and the prying eyes of her grandmother and mother-in-law.
Her mother had stopped speaking to her. Lorelai had never liked Logan, and had always loved the idea of Tristin. He was, after all, the one who got her back to Yale. And Logan had been the one to keep her from it. Now, though, it was Tristin holding her back. And Logan was offering her a way to reach her dreams. But Lorelai would have none of it. And so Rory had cut ties with her mother.
She is afraid to tell him what she is doing. But she knows that she has no choice. After all, he did get her to finish school. And he had pushed her to graduate with honors. The least she can do is tell him good-bye. She begins to wring her hands together when she sees his car in the driveway. The April sun shines through the clouds and illuminates him. He looks like a god. An Adonis.
He opens the door and her breath catches. She is nervous to tell him she is leaving. He makes a move to kiss her, but she moves away. In truth, what she wants to do is kiss him madly and let him take her upstairs and fuck each other senseless. But she won't do that right now. She needs to get out. She needs to get away from this stuffy house. This gigantic house that makes her feel like a prison inmate and not a wife.
"What are you doing?" Her heart melts at his question. She shrugs. It is the best response she can come up with. She knows his question is rhetorical. He knows very damn well what she is doing. He has known her long enough to know that she is not happy. That he has broken her. She has allowed him to break her. But she is broken nonetheless.
She does not want to speak to him. She fears her voice will betray her. She does not want to leave him. She wants to stay here. She wants to feel his hands on her, tracing every inch of her body. But they have put up so many walls between each other. She cannot help herself. She cannot stop herself from answering it. He deserves an answer. At least, that is what she tells herself when she replies with, "I'm leaving."
They are silent. She wants to know what he is thinking. He is driving her crazy with his staring. She feels his eyes. They are burning her. For a split second, she wants to call it all off. She wants to call Logan and tell him that she can't leave. Because she is in love with Tristin and they can work it out. They can have a happily ever after. They can make it work. She knows they can. She knows—
Her cell phone rings, and she smiles when she sees it is Logan calling. He has stopped her from staying here with Tristin. He has stopped her from being some fucked up delusional pill-addicted housewife. She opens the phone and melts when she hears him say her name… Ace.
He tells her he is on his way. That he is getting ready to be in her driveway. She cannot shake the feeling of Tristin's eyes on her. She feels guilty for being happy. She is upset that Tristin is not the one making her smile. That Tristin isn't talking dirty to her about the activities that will ensue when they enter his apartment. Tristin's voice isn't the husky one on the other end of the line, telling her he's going to fuck her until she can't spell her name right. She blushes and scolds him in a voice she has not used in so long… "Logan." Her voice is just above a whisper, and there is a wetness pooling between her legs.
She still feels Tristin's eyes on her. Logan tells her he is in the driveway waiting. She closes her phone and turns to see Tristin staring at the floor. She buries the feeling of guilt. And she forces herself to speak to him. "I have to go." She picks up her bags and something inside of her tells her to wait just a second. To let him beg her to stay. She longs for him to fight for her again. To call Logan a blonde prick and beg and plead with her to make it work. She tells herself that if he asks her to stay, she will. But she knows he won't do that. He won't tell her to stay. He has stopped fighting for her.
She feels a tear slip down her cheek. She lets it dissolve and presses her lips to his cheek, shocked that even when she is this upset with him, she still feels sparks. Even with a simple gesture, he still drives her crazy. She feels something else, though: closure. And for the first time, she is relieved. She is happy. Happiness, a long dormant emotion in her life, has made a comeback.
He looks up at her, and she knows he has seen her happiness. His smile is so weak, but she loves him just the same for forcing it. For letting her take some time away from this. She wonders, briefly, if she'll be back. But that thought is pushed away when he speaks.
"Take care of yourself." He has broken the silence with words she remembers from one night at one play. When she was with Dean. A boy she had run away from. A boy she had not wanted to kiss that night, but had forced herself to do because he was the safe one. She hopes that he does not end this good-bye the same way as that one, though.
"Mary," he adds. He has crushed that hope. And it is nothing new for her. She opens the door and makes her way outside. Logan is smiling at her and she smiles back. She hopes this smile does not look forced. She does not want to leave Tristin. But she cannot stay here. She knows they will not make this work. At least, that is what she convinces herself of as she gets in the car.
Logan drives off. She still feels Tristin's eyes on the car. Even though they are miles from that house now.
It is later in the afternoon, when Logan is unzipping her jeans and sliding his finger into her, that she looks outside and sees that it is raining.
It is spring. And she tells herself that she is happy with this decision.