Authors Note: hello. I swear this time this is the finale lol. I actually had fun writing this chapter (well the later parts), more than any other chapter so hopefully you'll like it =)
But you just smile and take my hand.
You've been there, you understand,
It's all part of a grander plan
That is about to come true…
Final Chapter [part two]: God Blessed The Broken Road That Led Me Straight To You
Everyone's first wedding is supposed to be memorable; something to cherish for the rest of your life.
That didn't apply to Tristan Dugrey.
As he got out of his car and stepped onto the soft, resilient grass, he thought to himself just how wrong that statement was.
It had been two days since the wedding. Two days filled with papers to sign and errands to run. Two days since he last had any decent sleep.
To keep himself awake and in turn preventing him from passing out before reached the house, he let his mind drift over to numerous thoughts.
One of them was Vivienne; that strong, unpredictable but intelligent woman. She alone proved that there was more to a person than meets the eye, making him cringe at his idiocy for misjudging her in the beginning.
He also thought about what was to happen to them as they go their separate ways. He knew she'd fall in love some day; it was all just a matter time and finding the right person.
Whoever it was, would have a tough job ahead of them but anyone who'd be capable of breaking her down emotionally and allowing her to love, would be a lucky man nonetheless.
But now wasn't the time to think about another woman and her future when soon enough he'd have to do something that would truly determine his.
Tristan was now on his way to the front door of the house, closing his eyes momentarily as let the cool water from the sprinklers form small blotches on his army green wife-beater and light faded jeans.
He initially went to her hotel but on his arrival found out that she had checked out almost two days before. Then he called the office headquarters of her magazine, clinging onto an unfounded hope that they'd know where she was.
But then he found out that she quit.
That left only one other option.
As he reached the porch, the creaky floorboards started to make a soft noise, distinguishing his every move until he stopped and reached the whitewashed door. Bringing a hand up to give it a knock, he hesitated for a second, then brought it back up again, this time knowing for sure he was going to go through with it.
'From now on, there's going to be no turning back.'
The door opened a few moments later by a pyjama clad Lorelai, clutching onto a tub of ice-cream.
"Tristan?" she asked bewildered, as she stole a few nervous glances over her shoulder, acting like a teenager about to get caught by her parents.
"Hey Lorelai," he answered coolly, giving her a small peck on the cheek, "Is Rory there ?"
"Rory ?" she repeated, "yes, I mean, no she's not here" she continued unconvincingly, berating herself at her stupidity by slapping her free hand on her forehead then disguising it by casually leaning on the doorway.
But Tristan could see right through her lie.
"I just need to talk to her, that's all"
It was a decision that she certainly didn't want to make. Was she going to tell him to go back home and witness the dejected face of the guy she knew her daughter loved leave or would she let him in, against Rory's wishes and let them sort out their problems.
Luckily a voice from behind answered the dilemma for her.
"It's okay mom," Rory quietly said walking towards the small vacant space the doorway provided, "I want to talk to him too"
Relieved to finally get away before her mouth could cause some serious damage, Lorelai then wandered off into the living room, leaving the two alone.
They stood only centimetres apart; Tristan looking, searching, for any emotion that would convey what she was currently feeling. Rory just stared straight ahead of her, motionless, unable to think of what to say.
Frustrated at their uncustomary awkwardness, she then took it upon herself to break the ice. Placing her cold hands in his, she tilted her head up to finally look directly at him, giving away the emotion of hope, "Meet me at the spot at eight o'clock. We'll talk then."
Tristan gave her a small smile as he squeezed her hands just before she turned around and silently closed the door behind her.
No words were needed to show that he was thankful.
As soon as Rory stepped into her house and looked into her mother's shocked face staring at the tv, she knew something bad was just about to spoil her newly found happy mood.
"Mom, what's wrong ?"
Finally noticing her daughter was back inside, Lorelai flung herself at the television, trying vainly to cover up what it was showing.
But it didn't matter for the sound of the reporter's voice filled the room,
"Congratulations go out to Tristan Dugrey and Vivienne Westmore over their apparent nuptials. It comes as a shock that they would bring their wedding forward, especially since it was scheduled to be held in two months time. Sources say that the cause for this secret wedding was that they were so much in love, they just couldn't wait…"
Every word said from then on failed to comprehend in her mind. Shocked but unmoved, she mechanically walked the few steps to her room, unable to hear her mother's impending voice, persistently telling her she was sorry.
Vivienne attempted to ignite the engine of her car for probably the millionth time in 5 minutes.
Being in an unfamiliar town, at a time when darkness was about to prevail, only fuelled her panic and increased the amount of regret she felt for even considering to go to Star's Hallow in hope of explaining to Rory what exactly happened between Tristan and her. She also wanted to convince her that the way the media was portraying everything was taken way out of proportion and was just all a pack of lies.
'Hi. Need any help there ?" asked a deep voice from outside, tapping the window opposite the drivers end in effort to get the attention from the girl in the car.
But it went unheard as Viv continued to turn the key over, trying to start up the noisy engine.
Realising that he was going unnoticed, the man walked over to the other side then tapped the window again, now confident that he would be heard.
Viv jumped up at the clicking sound and looked up to see the face of a tall good-looking guy saying something inaudible due to the barrier of the glass between them.
"Do you need any help ?" he asked clearly as she proceeded to get out of her vehicle to make the communication easier. "And don't worry. Im not just some hot-blooded male here to pounce and make a move on you. I can honestly say that I know a few things about cars. "
"Well yeah I'd love some help" Viv replied a bit too eagerly, embarrassed enormously not just by her actions but also by the way he gave the occasional fleeting but otherwise uninterested glances towards her. " I mean yeah, that would be really nice…umm…" she stopped as she realised she didn't even know his name.
He then gave her a wide smile that sent her heart reluctantly fluttering.
"My name is Dean. Dean Forrester. "
Every time Rory got the nerve to get pass the front door of her house and go on her way to meet Tristan, a constant reminder of what he was going to inevitably tell her stopped her from going beyond the steps of her porch.
She convinced herself that the only reason why he wanted to talk was to personally tell her that he was now a married man before anyone could.
It just seemed like the honourable thing to do.
"But I now know, so there isn't any need for me to be there," Rory said to herself as continued to stare at the idle photograph in her hand.
The picture, taken by Lane before she moved to Boston to start her new life with Henry, showed Rory with a sheepish grin on her face looking at the ground, with Tristan holding her hand and leaning over to her ear, murmuring something that would only be heard between the two of them.
They didn't even know that the picture was taken at the time which only increased the amount of value it held on Rory because to her, it captured them; the real them unlike the numerous other photos when they were forced to put on a smile.
She looked at it one more time before she placed back in its frame and into the drawer, once again shielded again from the outside world. Frustrated, she hunched over and placed her head in her hands thinking,
'where did it all go wrong ?'
"Why don't you just go" came her mother's gentle voice whose tall figure was standing in her doorway.
"Why not ?" Lorelai countered, now beside her daughter with an arm around her drooping shoulders, " What are you so afraid of ?"
"I don't know" she dumbly replied, knowing the answer but unable to get it out.
Lorelai then let a few moments of silence flitter between them. " Are you scared that you wont believe what he'll say ?"
At her mother's words, Rory sat up stiffly; the air seeming to thin around as she came to a startling realisation:
Not believing in him was the result of why everything turned out the way it did.
It was just as much her fault as it was Charlotte's for the end of her relationship with Tristan.
If she had only ignored her, and believed that he wouldn't say what he did in the first place, she wouldn't have taken Mrs. Dugrey's revelation personally-- and most importantly, she wouldn't have cracked under pressure and broken up with him…
But as got up and rummaged through her suitcase for a particular item, she induced herself, without any question, that she wouldn't let that same mistake happen twice.
She would listen to what he had to say.
"I have to go mom" Rory hastily said, clutching onto the small object as she gave her a quick hug before she rushed out the door.
She then started praying fervently, wishing that he'd still be there -- wishing that she still had time to turn things around.
It was now nine-thirty.
He was losing his patience. But he wasn't losing hope.
As he squatted down to the bottom of the large tree overlooking the lake that was illuminated by the full moon's ethereal glow, he dusted off a few pieces of stray bark to find something he had been searching for the last few minutes to kill away the time.
The corners of his mouth reluctantly twitched into a full-fledged grin.
RT4EVERit said in big block letters surrounded by a crooked heart giving it a touch of femininity- obviously added by Rory.
He then slowly stood upright facing the tree. Without warning his fist collided with the rough surface of the trunk, forming small bruises and cuts on his knuckles. Surprisingly, after his brutal actions, he felt much better- almost a sense of relief to finally let out his anger.
Tristan sighed as he allowed himself to remember. They were nineteen at the time: young and naïve.
He would give just about anything to go back to that.
"Why Dugrey," came a playful voice nearby. He turned around just in time to see the person come out of it's shadow. It was Rory. " Don't tell me your bad boy instincts are starting to come back to you. I mean, here I was thinking that you actually learned a thing or two when we were together…"
He plastered on a trademark smirk, cocking his head to one side giving out a look that basically said 'Oh really now.' Having to wait almost 2 hours for her arrival now seemed like a distant memory to him…
"But then again," Rory continued, walking over to the lake as she slipped off her sandals and dangled her feet in the water " the bad boy was the person I fell in love with"
"Well you're just in luck because I still have a lot of that left in me," Tristan joked, taking a place next to her and following in suit, " so does that mean…?" he broke off leaving her to detect his hidden innuendo.
He saw a wide smile on her face, then it suddenly disappeared displaying the seriousness of what she was about to say.
"I know you're married. Its all over the news."
Visibly startled, he then started to shake his head slowly as he ran a frustrated hand through his tousled hair.
"I can explain, " he began in a confused state much to the amusement of Rory, "I'm not, I mean I was -- but not anymore. I swear – "
Tristan then felt a hand on his neck, simultaneously feeling her cold lips crash down on his.
"Don't worry, " she murmured, kissing him again, this time more slowly until they broke apart for air " I believe you"
He responded by reaching for her hand and grazing his sore thumb over her smooth, slender fingers. At the gesture, Rory then remembered what she had been trying to give him on numerous occasions but failed inexplicably for some reason or another.
'Maybe that's what its purpose was. To hold out until we were together again'she ashamedly thought as she reached for the encased ring in her pocket. Although it sounded romantic she knew that it just couldn't be true. After all, he probably didn't even know it was missing.
"I have something that you might like to have back," she stated almost shyly, as she placed it in his free hand.
She watched him open the small box and look at it for a few seconds which felt like a few painful hours. To her horror he then registered a look of confusion on his face. But then he smiled.
" No, it's yours" he persisted, gently thrusting it back towards her. " I gave it to you "
"You didn't," she corrected him as she handed over the ring in what was to be a bizarre display of tug-of-war, "I found it on my bed"
"I knew all along it was with you," he said solemnly as if rehashing a painful time in his life, "I went past it Rory -- the night you broke up with me. I saw it lying there. I mean, I could've easily picked it up on my way out but I chose to leave it where it was. You see," he then averted his serious gaze away from her face as if he was about to utter something humiliating, " I had this deluded idea that maybe when you saw it, you might reconsider going to L.A. I thought this ring could bring us together again. It turns out, we didn't even need it's help. "
He then diligently took it out of it's casing before positioning it on the palm of her hand, using his own to gently curl hers into a fist.
"So keep it. Think of it a symbol of my promise that from now on… " he briefly stalled to look lovingly into her eyes, " I wont let anything keep us apart."
Rory bit her lip to keep the tears that she had recently promised to never fall intact. As a distraction, she leaned in closer, brushing her cheek against his as if to give him a kiss. But instead, she whispered cheekily into his ear "I'll give you a race"
Reasonably amused at her ability to tantalise him, he was determined not to be outdone. "You're on" he challenged as they both got up in unison, each vying for the much needed headstart.
A mild breeze then filled the air, carrying a vast array of tattered leaves that floated up in the sky before creating a colourful mess on the ground.
It went unnoticed by Tristan and Rory, as they both lapped up and basked in their well-deserved and much needed happiness.
It would have been easy to mistake the distinct cries of laughter and scurrying of feet in the dead of the night for a pair of reckless teenagers.
But it wasn't.
It was a pair of fully grown adults reliving their former selves, gradually wearing away the wounds from the past with each step they took …and each moment they spent together reunited.
Last Authors Note:Its finally finished!!! I'm sorry for torturing you guys at this (at times) very depressing story but I didn't know how to do it any other way =(
I'm sorry to all you American's out there who probably thought I spelt things funny but yea..I'm from Australia so that should explain a few things.
Lastly thank you to everyone that has reviewed and given me their support. It meant so much to me especially at the times when I wanted to destroy this and discontinue for some reason that has already escaped my mind (probably pms.)
So yea once again, it was fun and I hope anyone that has read that this has somehow enjoyed it—even though it can be so damn depressing =)Kay
P.S – watch out for Liz's new fic! It should be out soon so yea…go check it out =)