Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls or anything else
A/N: This takes place in the future and then cuts back a different version of Season 7, Episode 17. I hope you like it! I'm going to explain it as I go, so if it doesn't make sense right away, it will eventually.
Tristan was out on the front porch swing, staring out at the world that was passing him by with complete ease. He couldn't remember ever being this happy. His thoughts were disrupted by a small hand on his shoulder.
"Hey you." She said. "I brought you some tea." She said as she handed him the glass. The sight of her made him smile. He wanted to stop and take a picture.
"Aren't you the picture of Southern perfection." He laughed at seeing her standing on the front porch with a glass of sweet tea. "You're fitting in better than I thought."
"Just take the glass." She said as she rolled her eyes.
"Thanks." He said as he set the glass down next to him. He motioned for her to join him so she did, sitting opposite of him on the swing.
"Whatcha doing out here?" She asked, her curiosity refusing to be still.
"Nothing. And it's fantastic." He grinned like a little kid who just got away with something naughty. His joy was contagious, but she couldn't help herself.
"You should be inside, we've got so much to do yet." She said.
"Can you sit for just a minute?" He asked, holding her still. "The chaos isn't going anywhere." She sighed, both of them knowing that she couldn't. "Come on, it's a perfect night. Just sit and appreciate it for five minutes." She couldn't argue with five minutes. She glanced around, looking down the street at the house that started it all and smiled.
"Do you remember the day we met?" She asked as she nodded towards the house.
"How could I forget." He said.
"Hello?" Tristan yelled as he walked into the house.
"Tristan, don't make me tell you again. We have a baby in this house. Use your inside voice. If you wake her up, you're going to have to deal with her." Cora said.
"Sorry." He smiled, knowing that he had some charm left in him. She just smiled and rolled her eyes back, knowing that it worked. "Looks like quite the party outside. What's going on?"
"Our next door neighbors are getting married. Mia and Howard?"
"Don't know 'em." He said as he glanced out the window.
"You should. Mia's a Yankee like you." She teased him as she kiss him on the cheek.
"You say that like it's a bad thing." He teased her right back.
"She used to have a business in Connecticut." She said as she looked out the window. "There's been a guy sitting outside by his car for hours, just waiting for something. It's starting to freak me out."
"Want me to go find out what he's up to?"
"Would you?" She asked. "A southern girl can only keep her curiosity at bay for a few hours, but then the neighbors start to talk." She grinned guiltily.
"Be right back." Tristan left the house without a plan, which he instantly realized as soon as he got to the stranger's car. "Quite a wedding going on, huh?" He asked as he walked up.
"DuGray?" It took a minute to register that he was staring at Logan Huntzberger. "I was not expecting to see you here. Do you know Mia too?"
"No, I live down the street. What are you doing here?"
"My girlfriend is inside."
"No, I meant, here here." He said as he pointed to the street. Logan smiled and sighed.
"We got into a fight before she left. She won't see me yet." He admitted.
"Wow. You must really like this girl." The Logan he knew would never have a girlfriend, let alone stand outside of a stranger's house waiting for her. It was a little creepy, now that he thought about it.
"Do you want to come inside for awhile?" He asked as he pointed back to his house. "I could get you a drink, looks like you need one." Logan was just about to answer when his eyes shot toward the house.
"Incoming." He muttered under his breath as he lowered his gaze.
"What the Hell is the matter with you!" Tristan turned to look at the girl before heading for cover, but was stopped in his tracks. "I told you to go home, Logan. I broke up with you. You can't just fly here and expect me to be impressed. We're not going to talk about this anymore."
"Go home Logan." In the midst of her fury with him, she hadn't noticed the stranger to her right who was staring at her. He just smiled slowly, amazed that fate had seemingly brought his entire high school back into his life. "What the Hell are you doing here?" She asked him.
"Rory, this is Tristan DuGray."
"I didn't ask for an introduction." She said, still mad at Logan. "I wanted to know what he's doing here." She turned back to look at him.
"You haven't changed a bit, you know that? Still breaking hearts."
"They usually have it coming." She said, knowing that they weren't talking about Logan anymore. Tristan nodded.
"Usually." He agreed with a smile. She forgot about that smile of his. He was making it very difficult to stay angry.
"You still haven't answered my question." She said, remembering her point.
"I live two houses down."
"What, you never left?" He shook his head.
"I like it here." She was running out of reasons to have an attitude, and Tristan knew it. "You going to be in town for awhile?"
"How is that any of your business?"
"I was just wondering if I should lend Logan a boombox, a Peter Gabriel tape, maybe a blanket or something. Gets kinda cold at night." She knew that he was simply teasing her, but it drove her nuts. She hadn't sparred with him in a long time, but that familiar feeling was quickly rising in her gut. She fought the urge to one-up him. She didn't want to get into anything here. Logan already ruined Mia's wedding; she wasn't going to add to the damage.
"I'm so not surprised that you two are friends." She said as she started walking back into the house. "Do whatever you want." She told him. "I'm done with him." Even to Tristan, that was a cold way to break up with someone.
"See you around, Mary." He said, the last word triggering so many memories that she stopped dead in her tracks. Logan chuckled at her reaction, unused to seeing it. She turned around and walked back over to the boys. "Forget something?" He said again, pushing her buttons. She shook her head.
"Remembered." She said. "Do you remember our first kiss?" She asked.
"Yes." They both replied, surprised that the other also answered. Rory smiled at their confused faces. She walked over to Tristan, getting inches away from him. Tristan knew that she wasn't going to do anything, especially with her boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend, or whatever, standing right there, but that didn't stop him from wanting her to. Her body slightly pressed against his, teasing him in a way he wasn't expecting, but could definitely defend against. She glanced down at his lips, and bit her own. Damn it, he had forgotten the lip thing. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and Tristan suddenly recalled staring at it one day in class. She waited until he unconsciously licked his lips before leaning in and whispering hotly in his ear.
"Good." She whispered. "Because it's the only one you're ever going to get from me." She was walking away before Tristan even knew what was happening. "And get him out of here." She said as she walked back into the house.
"Well it's nice to see that nothing's changed since I've been gone." Tristan told Logan.
"You two date or something?"
"Not exactly." Tristan kept his eyes on the front door.
"Too late to accept that drink?" He asked, now very aware that nothing was going to fix their relationship.
"Never, come on."
When Tristan brought Logan back to his place, he never expected what had actually transpired. He pulled out the liquor cabinet and mixed a few drinks. Then, when they were both too drunk to continue mixing drinks, they had moved on to beer. They started talking about Hartford and the common friends that they had shared and where they were now. But then, Logan went on to share every single detail of his relationship with Rory, even down to the great sex they had had.
Tristan had listened, like any friend would, but couldn't blame the girl for hating his guts. He was a creep, but there was a man code, and out of sheer solidarity against being heartbroken by Rory, Tristan had listened to Logan's tale. Then, he had told his own story, dredging up years of repressed feelings that even he didn't realize he had. It was actually quite pathetic, the kind of sharing that Dr. Phil would be proud of. When they were done, Logan had hopped in a cab, still quite smashed, and was driven off to the airport to be flown home on his private plane.
To say that Tristan was hung-over the next morning was an understatement. He looked around his living room and sighed, the remnants of the night before scattering the tables and floor. The phone was ringing as he made his way into the kitchen.
"Hello?" He muttered, not bothering to sound alert.
"Where did you go yesterday?" Cora shouted in his ear.
"Shh, God, you don't have to yell."
"I'm not yelling." There was a long pause. "Are you hung-over?! You bailed on me to drink with the psycho stalker? What is the matter with you?!"
"Okay, now I know you're yelling. It's a long story. Can I tell you about it later?" He asked as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"You better. Some girl was just here asking after you, and she was pretty."
"Brunette, petite little thing, she wanted to know where you lived."
"And you told her…"
"Where you lived." She said matter of factly. Tristan tried swallowing, but his mouth was a desert.
"I'm gonna call you back." Tristan said as he set down the phone without saying goodbye. As quickly as he could for being hung-over, he got in the shower. With his luck, she would show up and the place would look like a frat house, which it was most of the time, but she didn't need to know that.
Rory stood outside of Mia's house, staring at Tristan's. If she was going to go over there, she was going to have to apologize, which she really didn't want to do, but they had been friends, sort of, when he had left. She figured any decent human being would realize that she had just been upset with Logan and had taken it out on Tristan, but she wanted to confirm the fact that she wasn't the Wicked Witch of the North. Taking a deep breath, she crossed the street and knocked on his door. Fighting the urge to run away, she took a step back and then stepped back up to the door. She saw Tristan walking towards her through the glass and smiled.
"Hey." He said, not exactly sure why she was here.
"Hi." She said as he stepped out onto the porch and closed the door. They stood in silence a little before Rory got to the point. "I'm here to apologize for yesterday. I was rude and I didn't mean for you to get involved in any of that."
"That's okay. I was involved already."
"Right. So you knew Logan back in Connecticut?"
"Yeah, same circle of friends. And you?"
"We met at Yale." Tristan nodded. "Anyway, two years of drama exploding in front of you was not the impression that I wanted to leave you with, so I thought I would apologize, which I have, so now I'll leave you alone." She said with an embarrassed smile.
"Going home so soon?" He asked.
"Two weeks of school left, then graduation, then finding a job. I don't really have time for a vacation." She said. Tristan could hear the overwhelmed tone in her voice. "Plus I just broke up with my boyfriend of two years so I'm going a little crazy." She said, mocking herself.
"Well, good luck with that." He said in a slow drawl that reminded her that they were in North Carolina.
"Thanks." She said.
"Anytime." He said as he made his way back to his front door. "It was nice seeing you again, Mary." He said with a smirk.
"You too." She said, disregarding the comment. She was on her way down the steps when she realized that she was being watched. She turned around to glance back at the house, but Tristan had gone inside. She looked around and saw the curtains across the street close. She waved at whoever was staring, knowing that it was with their help that she was standing here in the first place.
Cora and Nate were watching this whole scene unfold when Tristan and the mystery girl went their separate ways.
"What do you think she wanted?" Cora asked.
"I don't know. Unfortunately, I can't read lips." Nate said as he looked one last time.
"They obviously know each other. Crap, I think she just saw us." Cora said as she glanced out the window one last time to check.
"She's waving." He laughed out loud. "I like this girl." He said, waving back. "She's got gumption."