Gilmore Girls is why I joined years and years ago. Massive Rory and Tristan love that never got to be seen through. My earlier works horrify me and to those of you who have read them and been sweethearts and like them, I apologize. I'm sure this piece is full of errors, I started writing it years ago, went back to it awhile later and then again later. It's been on several hard drives since it was started and that much movement helps aid the errors (though never as much as being on …words change and disappear over time, I find that fascinating).
I don't beta and I currently have a crazy sensitive touchpad that can't be turned off, so it's probably distracted me further from finding errors.
Setting: Washington D.C. 2009
Someone Else's Forever
The scene replayed in his mind, both vivid and dulled.
"Hey there handsome," Logan Huntzberger had barely turned his head a fraction of an inch before Ashby Wright kissed his cheek.
"There's aren't even words to describe you, Ash, that year abroad really agreed with you, you look stunning."
The highlighted blonde beamed, everything about her was polished, the perfect short black dress that wasn't too short, the black heels that weren't too tall or chunky, the blonde hair without an ounce of wave or a single fly away. She was everything Mitchum wanted for him. She was a friend of a friend and they had gone out several times before she had gone abroad to London last spring, returning just in time for the fall semester.
"I hope you don't mind that I invited a friend, I really couldn't resist the urge when I ran into him today, my curiosity got the best of me."
"You know what they say, the more the merrier," they were meeting up with other friends afterwards anyway, so he hadn't been annoyed when she told him on the phone, even though he was only in town for the weekend.
"You're going to love him, Tristan is awesome. I can't believe he's engaged. When I left in May, he wasn't even dating anyone."
They paused in their conversation as the bartender came over and asked if she wanted a drink.
As soon as her drink was ordered, he continued, "You haven't met his fiancée right?"
"Mary? No. Most of his friends graduated, I haven't even seen him until today."
"He's at the law school now right?"
"Yea and he volunteers at the VA Medical Center, he enlisted after he graduated high school, nearly got his leg blown off."
"Oh man that's rough," Logan grimaced.
"He's walking pretty well now, his family had the money to get him the best doctors, still I can't imagine, just looking at him, you can tell that he was one of those really active guys."
"What about the fiancée?" he questioned, preparing himself for small talk.
"I think she's a journalist, she was-"
"Hey sorry we're late."
Logan looked up and felt short and then immediately annoyed with how Ashby was beaming. He didn't like to think of himself as a guy prone to jealousy.
"Not a problem," she continued smiling.
"Yea, gave me and Ash a chance to catch up," Logan chimed in. "Logan," he extended his hand.
"Tristan," he said taking Logan's hand in a quick shake.
"So where's Mary?" Ashby quickly questioned, and Logan wondered if she wanted to size up her competition.
All of Logan shot to attention, that voice…
"Ashby, Logan, my fiancée Rory, whom I promise to never call Mary again," Tristan grinned.
"Yea I've heard-" she squeezed her way through the crowd and into their circle, "Logan," blue eyes widened in shock.
"You two know each-" Ashby began.
"That Logan?" Tristan looked down at his fiancée.
"Uh hi," she didn't bother answering anyone back.
"Mary?" It was the only question Logan could even risk questioning. A year and a half ago he had asked her to marry him.
"It's a nickname from high school," her eyes flashed closed briefly as she shook her head, "what are you doing in DC?"
"Just visiting friends, you live here?"
"Um yea, now that the election is over…Oh this is really weird, I need a drink," she shook her head.
"Yea we could probably use a pitcher," Tristan nodded, "what time was the reservation for?"
"Our table should be ready," Logan nodded numbly as he stood from the stool.
"Can I get a Kraken?"
Tristan looked down at his fiancée.
"It's the drink I stopped to ask about," she quickly explained herself.
"Make that a pitcher," he nodded.
Logan wanted a double of the strongest proof they had, but he nodded along with Tristan.
Tristan Dugray, Rory's fiancée. Rory's fiancée who she apparently hadn't even been dating last May and it was only December.
"So you met at a speech?" Ashby prompted the conversation to return to the couple, after the awkwardness that had been the 'we knew/dated in college' explanation.
"More like I saw her again as she was walking out the exit. Had to fight through the crowd, run across the parking lot and make a fool of myself in front of a lot of reporters, a few of which had pictures."
"He asked me out," Rory continued the story.
"Again," Tristan smiled, "good thing you said yes because really that would have been the last time."
"No, it wouldn't," she turned and smiled at him.
"I know," his face scrunched, "I think I'm a glutton for punishment. At least embarrassing myself publicly for you."
"It's okay," she nodded at him, "I'm pretty used to it after growing up with my mom."
They continued to smile at each other before remembering with they were others.
"Too cute," Ashby practically squealed. "When did you two start dating? Was I just completely oblivious at the end of term?"
Tristan chuckled, "June 4th."
"6 months," Logan quickly commented.
"Last week," Rory nodded nervously.
"That is fast."
"I probably would have done it sooner if I didn't think she'd lose the ring-"
"That was not my fault," Rory turned to defend herself.
"Reason why we're late."
"Someone was convinced that Walter E. Washington-"
"The mayor?" Ashby frowned.
"The dog," Tristan corrected, "she was convinced he ate her ring or knocked it somewhere."
"He could have!"
"Because you left it on the coffee table, again."
"It's distracting while I'm typing."
Ashby laughed, "Where was the ring?"
"In her jewelry box where the maid-"
"Marietta," Rory forcefully corrected him.
"You need to stop talking to her; this is why our place is still dirty after she leaves."
"Where are you living?" Logan questioned.
"27th almost at the corner of P."
"Oh those fantastic row houses?" Ashby beamed.
"They really are," Rory enthusiastically agreed.
"How long have you been there?"
"Just since after we got back from our trip."
"Our parents surprised us," Tristan added.
"That is some surprise," Logan took a sip of his drink.
"Tell me about it, I'm still trying to get my dad out of buying my love," Rory smiled.
"He can buy mine any day," Tristan said leaning back and throwing his arm around Rory.
"He's joking," she swore to them.
"No I'm not. There's this Lambo-"
"Shut up Tristan," Rory shook her head, her eyes lifted up in amusement.
"Okay," Ashby clapped her hands together, "enough of that. How did he propose?"
"We went down to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving-"
"You didn't go to your Mom's for Thanksgiving?" Logan interrupted.
"Yea Lorelei was not pleasant, but then I told her and she forgave me. Then Luke distracted her with a cupcake or something to stop her from following us."
Rory smacked him slightly.
He pretended to be hurt and rubbed the spot on his chest.
"So we were on the beach and he just kinda rolled over and asked me, actually he told me," she gave him a mock dirty look.
"You told her?" Ashby was baffled.
"You know you have to marry me know, right?" He looked at her with squinted eyes as they lay on their towels.
"Oh really," she smiled at him.
"Let's be honest you spoiled me for all others when I was 16 Mary-"
She laughed and hit his chest.
He captured her hand and kept it close to him. "I mean it Rory, marry me?"
There was only the briefest of moments that passed as she took in the moment, as she took in the look in his serious eyes, soulful and focused, "Okay."
"Seriously?" Ashby's eyes were wide, "That's it?"
"Well if you ask her mother, I tell her I can't live without her, step off a bridge, she screams in horror, then it turns out I was on a bungee and I shoot up screaming marry me."
"Yea sometimes the cord breaks," Rory nodded.
"Is that why everyone kept trying to get me to sit down at the engagement party?"
"That would be why," she nodded.
"You already had an engagement party?"
"Not by choice," Rory pointed out.
"In order to get Lorelei agree to let Rory out of Thanksgiving, I had to promise that we would fly into Hartford and have a makeup Thanksgiving."
"Yea, weren't expecting the entire town to be waiting for us at the town square."
"My family took it well," Tristan nodded and took a sip.
"They did," Rory nodded, "I can see why my grandfather talks so highly about Janlan. Tristan's grandfather," Rory explained.
"So when's the wedding?" Ashby asked with a shake of her head, weddings and romance made her a little silly, she could admit it.
"June 20th" Rory added.
Tristan looked over at her, "When were you going to tell the groom?"
"When the groom starts dealing with all the mothers and grandmothers involved in the planning," she didn't even look at him.
"Have they taken over?" Ashby laughed.
"Oh no," Rory shook her head, "I gave it to them. All we're picking out is the cake and the band."
"Yea and we're only picking out the cake because it means we get to eat samples."
"Exactly," she nodded at him.
"This is the most awkward double date I've ever been on," Tristan said holding her close as they swayed to the music at the lounge they had moved to after the restaurant.
"This is what you get for trying to get out of working on your paper," she smugly informed him.
"So he was your practice Tristan?"
"Come on you know, you worked your way up. Jess the wise ass, Bagboy-"
"Dean, the inappropriate behavior. Then there's this one. A wanna be version of my hair, loaded, cocky, thinks he's god's gift to women, kinda rogue, kinda charming, you know to prepare you completely for rogue and charming."
"Tristan," she almost snorted, "you haven't been rogue since you were a teenager."
"Come on, did you see me going across that zip line?"
She threw her head back and laughed.
"Spoiled rich kid," he teased in her ear. "You couldn't stand it."
"You aren't spoiled," she looked up into his eyes.
"I had to grow up. Had to make sure I didn't screw up my next chance with you."
"I wish you came back to Hartford."
"I had to figure out who I was," he nodded down at her, telling her the words he had told her before, during long telephone calls across the country. "I didn't deserve you then."
"I still don't deserve you, but you know I'm never letting you go Mary," he pushed her hair over her shoulder.
"You left," she pointed out.
"You didn't chase me," his lips twitched up.
"Things I better not ever have to do."
He laughed and pulled her in closer, "It's you and me forever Mary, don't you worry about that."
"I feel bad about Logan," Rory admitted a few seconds later. When Tristan had entered her life again she had given herself over completely and without second thought. That first night she had just been so happy to see him, they spent the entire night sitting up and talking despite the fact that she had to be in Virginia for a Town Hall meeting the next morning. He refused to let her take the train 30 miles outside the city and instead had loaded her into the car with a giant cup of coffee and several doughnuts. She had kissed him goodbye and promised to call.
She walked out of the speech to see him asleep in his car with his head thrown back awkwardly and lunch on the passenger seat. She pulled out her laptop and wrote up a quick blog before waking him. They spent the rest of the afternoon in a park, dozing on each other. He went into the rally later, refusing to say goodbye while she was still so close. As she pulled away that night in the bus, looking out at him, his stoic face, one hand in his pocket, the other up in a frozen wave, she had wanted to scream at the driver to stop. Five minutes of staring at his face on her phone, one of several she had taken of him sleeping a text came through, 'Flight to Chicago takes two hours.'
She ordered him home and to bed even though she wanted to say yes. They spent the next week talking, every day, for hours. By the time she arrived back in Washington, she hadn't hesitated rushing into his arms. She didn't stay in a budget hotel with a roommate who snored, but with Tristan who somehow managed to look perfect even while he slept, no foul noise would dare disturb that scene.
She turned down flights to Chicago and Miami in order to spend those days with him. 3 days in, their first with no outside interruptions, they came across a mobile pet adoption center and thus Wally came to join their family. Her stuff started remaining at his place, a little more accidentally left behind with each visit. A sock or bra accidently stuffed into his bag instead of hers when he met up with her. If she picked up something cool on the road, she sent it back to his place, not her mother's.
When her mother had gone into labor while Rory was at a rally, she had called Tristan and demanded he locate and deliver her daughter to the hospital before her brother was born. He called the airline and booked her the first flight out of Missouri; he was waiting for her at the Hartford airport.
Lorelei named the boy Aaron, and there had been some long Elvis debate, discussion that no one was listening to aside from Lorelei herself. Luke had been ready to listen to another Moonbeam or Wild Eagle talk. So 'Aaron Lucas Dane' had just left the other man smugly smiling and oblivious to her words.
On Columbus Day weekend when Rory had declared herself too busy to visit or be visited Lorelei had again called him, only this time she demanded he bring her grandpup because Paul Anka needed to know his nephew.
She then demanded grandbabies and not pups and then after apologizing to Walter and ignoring her husband, who was going on about Rory barely being an adult herself and Aaron not even being two months old.
Apparently that was part of her argument and the fact that there should be a dozen more of him, whose diapers she didn't have to change. He admitted to Luke he already had the ring, but didn't dare disclose the information to a still hormonal Lorelei.
Rory moved in with Tristan and Wally fulltime after Obama's win. Her job agreed to let her cover the political scene full time in Washington. He asked 3 different parents for Rory's hand and then two grandparents, while attending her welcome home party. It had resulted with her father and Luke getting wasted together.
The months apart hadn't been easy, he had debated following her on the road like a lovesick puppy. More often than not they were both miserable and lonely and counting the days until Obama's schedule would allow them some time together. Tristan would have stayed that way for the rest of his life if it had been his only option to be with her.
"Logan," Rory called his name over the loud music as he stood at the bar.
He turned back, she was alone, he was alone; it was the first time that had happened all night. "You're going?"
"Yea I just wanted to say goodbye."
"Bye Rory, it was good seeing you."
"Rory, you don't have to-"
"Logan it was never you," she tried to explain.
"You're ready to marry him after 6 months."
"Why? Because his father isn't an ass. He wasn't an idiot and lost his entire trust fund."
"That isn't why," she loudly defended.
"Because I was waiting for him," she shouted back. She lowered the voice as she realized what she said, "I didn't realize until I saw him again. We were too young in high school," her head shook slowly, "but-"
"I get it Rory."
"I did love you, Logan."
"Yea I got it," he threw back a shot.
"Got our coats," Tristan said walking over.
"Great," she took hers.
"Listen it's been great meeting you. Take care of my girl," Tristan nodded at Ashby, who was a few too many drinks into the night.
"Will do. Nice meeting you. Nice seeing you again Rory," Logan lied.
"Bye Logan," she quietly said as she nodded.
Logan avoided facebook for a week that summer when Rory's wedding pictures appeared on Collin and Finn's pages. He blocked them entirely until her profile picture changed from her being in a wedding dress to her brother's picture. In time, they talked to her less and less. They were all in different places, in their lives and the globe; it wasn't hard to fall out of contact. He barely thought of her for years. Then one day there it was in the "People you may know: Rory DuGrey," she published under Rory Gilmore, he knew that information well.
A baby picture.
A newborn baby picture.
He didn't know why the pointer of his mouse was suddenly in the search box as he told himself it was probably another sibling.
His breath froze as the results came up for Tristan's name.
A barefaced and glowing Rory holding the newborn.
He tried to understand his reaction. He wasn't in love with her. He held no ill-will against her. He was successful in his own life.
The image of her looking happy and content.
The image he had expected to see firsthand one day.
Only she wasn't looking at him, even though it felt as though she was and anyway she had never looked at him quite that way.
He closed the tab and his laptop. Took a look at the framed photograph of his fiancée and himself on his desk. Looked around at the modern and comfortable office he no longer struggled to maintain. He had built himself up, become a man on his own. Done what he had tried to do while with her.
He was proud of himself and happy for her.
Really he was.
Thanks for reading.