Letters From War

Author: aynat
Summary: Rory finds some old letters she'd kept hidden... and tries to come to terms with the fact that they stopped. Abruptly.
Spoilers: From beginning to end.
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine... just trying to keep my head held high now that it's all over.
Author's Note: This story does not reflect my views of the war in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I tried to keep this story as unbiased from my views as possible and tried to keep to what the characters would be feeling. Please do not flame me for what you believe my views are because of this story.

Dear Rory,

I'm not sure I was really fair with my last letter since I shipped out the day after I sent it. I said I wouldn't write again if you asked me not to, but I never gave you the chance to respond. I guess I was afraid you would be to quick to jump on that opportunity and I really, really want you to hear what I have to say.

I don't know what has happened with you but I thought I could catch you up on the last five years for me. Military school was rough, but I met Mark there. He's the friend who's dad died. He's a really decent guy Mary, I think you would like him.

We made it to graduation without any major incidents. Least none we got caught for. After Mark's dad died he had a rough couple years so I stayed around him instead of heading back to Hartford because I wanted to help. I did my best to help him and his younger sister as best I could, but I screwed things up worse than you could imagine.

I ended up marrying Suzy, his sister. She was two years younger than me, and fresh out of high school. I should have known that it would be a mistake but I didn't question anything. I never question what I'm doing.

I was divorced only six months afterwards. There's no hard feelings between Suzy and I, we both knew we jumped into everything too quickly. It was after I signed the divorce papers that Mark and I joined the Army. After everything I'd done wrong it was time to do something right.

Of course, because it's me, I gave no thought to it before I jumped in. Now that I'm here in Iraq, and I see the terror and tragedies all around me. Rory, I think I made another mistake and I'm so lost in what to do.

This time you really can ask me to stop writing, but I hope you wont.

Rory tried to picture Tristan married, she couldn't. She wondered if he wore a tux, if the bride wore a white gown. Was it a big ceremony or just vows recited at City Hall? She was surprised at how curious she was about it all, but Tristan DuGrey was the last person she could imagine getting married.

She noticed his letter said little about what Iraq was like. Was he trying to shield her from that or was he trying to escape it by writing to her? She wondered if she would really like this Mark guy, Tristan never was one who could judge her very well.

Jumping up when she heard the door close she quickly stuffed the letters back into the drawer where they'd always hid. A secret from everyone, words she wanted to keep only to herself. As she closed the drawer her mother came into the room holding several large pizzas.

"Pizza?" Rory asked, surprised. "We're not going to Luke's for dinner?"

"As perfect as that would be for you first visit home," Lorelai told her, "Luke is on a trip with April. Something to do with digging and bones." Rory raised her eyebrows at this but didn't question it. Lorelai continued. "So since he's gone, and you've come alone, I figure it's a girl's night."

Rory looked her mother over again. "Even for us that's a lot of pizza mom. I don't have the metabolism I did in high school." Lorelai laighed.

"Of course you do, you're my daughter," she insisted. "But I said girls night, not mother and daughter night." Before Rory could question the meaning of this Sookie and Lane both came running in with beer, movies, and even more food.