Two Years Later

Danielle prided herself on the fact that she was a fairly honest person, she wasn't one who could spout fictions excuses at someone. Still, she had unfortunately mastered the art of pretending that she didn't spend her first Rory-less days curled in her bedroom, staring at nothing. Or how she hadn't taken her ring off her finger since he left, because that thin band of silver on her right hand was all she had left of him.

Sure, things were a little easier at the beginning, when the two would Skype everyday. But everyday soon turned to every other, which turned into once a week, which became a once a month, which faded into nothing. For a long time, Danielle considered switching cell phone companies, searching for one that gave her unlimited texting to Europe.

Not that the past two years had been completely terrible; for example, she and Artie had teamed up and filmed a documentary about the lives of the members of New Directions past and present. They put it online and soon the film had gained so much popularity that both of them were accepted to the University of California for Film Production. Also, Brittany had teamed up with April Rhodes and created a traveling musical-comedy show that got a pretty good review in the Chicago Tribute. Will and Emma were now expecting their first child in July, a child which Sue says "should consider itself blessed if it end up being bald for their entire life". She hadn't heard from Mike and Tina since Mike joined a dance team that was opening for Cirque de Soliel's World Tour, but from the looks of the photos on their website, they were doing just fine. Kurt and Blaine were now engaged, and rumour has it they had set up a meeting with a family in Ireland about adopting a little boy. Finn and Rachel were out in New York doing the old Acting game, Finn had landed a role in the pilot for a series Rachel calls "the next One Tree Hill". And just last week, Sam freaked out because Mercedes called and said an independent record label wanted to sign her. An optimist would say that these two had been monumentally wonderful, but that didn't even come close to shrinking the Rory-shaped hole in her heart.

One late July evening, the summer after her graduation, eighteen year old Danielle sat at
the kitchen table, reading a newsletter U of C sent to her about the fall semester. She was leaving for California next month.

This was her final summer in Lima.

This must have been what he felt like, Danielle thought to herself, glancing sideways at her ring, This must be what it feels like to leave the place you call home.

"I know I've probably said that I hate this town like a thousand times by now, but I actually think I'm going to miss this place." she sighed nostalgically to David, who sat across from her. David was still attending Ohio State, football and theatre, if you can believe that. Here's another thing you won't believe, he dates. Frequently. He had been seeing a guy named Jason for a few months now, and he'd never been so outright happy.

"It's funny how things like that work out, isn't it?" David smiled,"You ever wonder how things wound up like this? How somehow both of us managed to get out of Ohio?"

Danielle nodded, "Sometimes looking at the past is scarier than looking to the future." God, was she about to get all sentimental again? It seemed like all she ever did these days was cry.

"Well, I'd say your future seems pretty bright, good things come to good people, you know."

"Have you been reading those inspirational quotes on Twitter again?" she joked, "You sound like fortune coo-"

The phone began to ring, cutting her off. Danielle stood up to answer it. "Hello, Karofsky residence." she greeted. There was no answer.

David looked at his sister's confused face, "Try the porch, reception's better."

Danielle nodded and headed out the door. She raised the phone to her ear and tried again, "Hello?"

"Dia duit, Danni." came the majestic voice at the other end. All the oxygen was sucked from her body for a moment as Danielle let the words wash over her. What had it been? 6, 7 months since they last talked?

Instantly mental pictures of Rory filled her mind. For some reason, she had spent a great deal of time wondering what Rory's life in Ireland was like.

"I miss you." she said, shredding away a piece of her dignity in place of truth. "How are you? How's home?"

"It's great. Actually, I'm doing a lot better now..."

She leaned her shoulder against the brick wall of the house for support, she was going to be there as long as possible, "Oh really, how so?"

"Well right now," Danielle could almost hear his face breaking into a smile, "I'm looking at the most amazing sunset ever."

Danielle looked up, beautiful ribbons of oranges, reds and yellows painted the sky like a water colour painting, "It is pretty...wait a minute," Danielle's eyebrows knitted in confusion and she pushed herself off the wall, "How can we both be looking at a sunset if we're in two different continents?"

Rory's voice was thick, "Oh, I don't know, maybe I'm a lot closer than you think I am."

"Well the only way you could see it is if you were..." A step. From behind her. A slow, nervous step from behind her. Danielle spun around at lightning speed, to see a tall figure step out from around the corner of the house.


"I have to go." Danielle said into the phone, voice unchanged, believing it to be a dream. She hung up the phone and half consciously placed it on the the nearest surface available. Her wide eyes were glued to the figure. He taller and slightly leaner than she remembered Rory being. His hair was gel-free and wavy strands of it feel loosely over his forehead. He wore a white dress shirt and black pants, no green at all. The figure smiled warmly at her, and she knew it was him. It was Rory!

"I was just thinking about you." She opened, taking a painfully slow step towards him, "Actually, I never stopped."

Her pace quickened, until she found herself running straight into Rory's arms. She threw her arms tightly around his chest, refusing to let go and lose him again. Her fingers balled into fists around his shirt. Her entire body shook as she left out a weary, overjoyed sob. Rory hugged her as well, caressing her back and placing a long, comforting kiss on the top of her head. Tears welled up in his eyes and slid down his cheek.

Danielle tried to collecting as she pulled back to look at him, "This is real, right? I'm not dreaming? You're really here?" She wiped away the falling tear on his face. Rory shook his head slowly, "Nope, it's really me."

And it was. He was here. The familiar feeling of adrenaline coursing through her veins returned, the world around her spun and her heart beat like a jackhammer, and she launched herself at Rory, pressing their lips together. Oh, how she missed the contours of his chest, the way his mouth moved against her that drove her mad. The force that Rory kissed her with was new though, a kind of energy that screamed "I've been waiting for years to do this", and Danielle did not let it go unnoticed. She pulled her hands up to Rory's neck, and he put on soft hand on the small of her back. There was nothing else that mattered to her now, the only things that existed was the contact of the forceful yet soft lips on her's.

Out of desperate need for air, the two broke apart. A smile broke out on Danielle's face, and then, a laugh. A laugh of overwhelming joy. She couldn't help it, she had spent two years think of the boy she loved, waiting for his return like a lighthouse keeper.

"How long are you here for?" Danielle asked hesitantly. The question escaped her lips before she had a chance to stop it. And she already knew the answer; a few months, just like the first time.

"I was thinking about staying for," Rory said softly, "Forever. Maybe a little longer."

"Really?" Danielle exhaled in disbelief, "So we don't have to write letters or talk on Skype anymore?" Rory smiled and shook his head. "Never again. We'll be together forever." Danielle smiled brightly and kissed him again.

Forever. She liked the sound of that.

There you go. That's the end of Through Other Eyes. I can't thank you all enough for your alerts, favourites, and reviews. This was my first ever Fanfic and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing all 33,000 words of it. I may write another story for these two, spin-offs are always fun. So keep an eye out for a collection of Dory Dabbles.

Love Always,