"A Gilmore Groundhog Day"
A/N~ Well this one's a Trory. I hope that everyone will read BOTH chapters though… the 2 are very different, yet they are also have at least one *major* similarity- let's see if you catch it! Any ways… I guess it's time to begin the ending. (Hee, hee!) Oh yeah! And I know that none of you care… since no one MENTIONED it- but I have 2 huge- FAT- mistakes in the last update! I HATE finding stuff like that after I've posted! It seems like the only time that I can catch the stupid errors is AFTER I've posted- several WEEKS after in fact. Sorry for the rant- I just don't like posting stories with a lot of errors. =) Maybe I'll go through some day and fix everything… Yes, I think I will! =)
"Nothing Left Behind Us"
Rory looked up into blue eyes that held a world of emotion deep within their depths. His face was drawn, as if he were fighting to remain impassive- but his expression was anything BUT impassive- he looked strangely- Vulnerable? Yearning? But for what exactly? Was it her love he was after? Rory bit her lip- thinking of Dean and all of the foolish mistakes that had been made. No, she wouldn't try to give him the promise of love- not until she knew that it was genuine. Her hands toyed with his hair- soft strands of silk- as she lost herself in thought.
Thought brought on by the feeling of searing warmth deep inside her… the attraction that had always sparked between herself and the boy in front of her. She had written it off in the beginning- refusing to believe that she could be drawn to such a callous person, refusing to believe that physical attraction was enough to justify her feelings. But now she realized how wrong she had been. It was true that he wasn't perfect… in fact, once you got passed his looks, he was so far from it that most people had written him off as an insufferable jerk, after all- even she had. Yet underneath all of his faults and defense mechanisms was a boy starved for love. A boy that she had caught glimpses of, on and off, whenever he would lower his walls and let her see him. REALLY see him, like he was now.
Steeling herself, Rory said the first thing she could think of. "Tristan… Do you remember what happened at Madeline's party?"
The cerulean eyes that had been so open moments before became shuttered-effectively hiding all emotions as his mouth twisted bitterly. "I'm not likely to forget."
Listening to the carefully masked pain and regret that leaked through his icy mask, Rory mentally berated herself for not anticipating this reaction. "Tris, that's not what I MEANT. I just wanted to know-"
Tristan cut her off with his own words as he backed out of her embrace coolly. "It's okay Mary. I know what you're going to say… You don't want me to 'tell anyone' right? I'm not even back in town for a fucking day and you're already freaking out about a stupid kiss. You don't have to spell it out for me- believe me, I KNOW. It was NOTHING. And don't worry about me telling anyone- I don't exactly want it spread around either."
His scornful words were doing exactly what he had intended for them to do- hurt her. And staring into his angry features, she almost allowed them to drive her away- but like a person trapped in the dark, she thought of their kiss and allowed it's memory to shine through her pain like the barest ray of guiding light.
"I'm sorry Tristan. I'm sorry that I said what I did, and I'm even more sorry that I hurt you… but I can't undo the past… All I can do is try to make things right." She spoke softly and clearly, trying desperately to say what she felt, and knowing instinctively that if she didn't say the right thing he would retreat so far into himself that she may never reach him again.
She stepped closer to him, with one hand stretched out beseechingly to him, as she continued, "I think the reason I was so worried about what would have happened if you had told Dean that we kissed, that I never stopped to consider how you might feel about my request. I didn't say it because I thought you were vile or anything- I was just afraid of losing Dean. My first boyfriend- the first boy that ever told me that he loved me… I think that deep down I knew that what I felt for Dean was more comfort then anything… but I was so afraid to let go of it. I was so afraid to let go of him that I panicked and treated you like dirt. And I'm just really sorry."
Tristan's face was stiff, but the aggression that had surrounded him like a cloak seemed to have disappeared. "Apology accepted. Now if you'll excuse me- I think I'll go get ready for school." His words were polite, but so formal and distant that they hurt Rory more than any cruel remark ever could. Stepping visibly around her outstretched hand, he walked smoothly out of the dining room hallway and up a wide stretch of curving stairs.
Seeing him walk away, and realizing what she had lost, Rory finally gave in to the pain; she walked over and sank slowly onto the first marble step before allowing silent tears to fall down her cheeks in icy trails.
* * * *
Rory was still sitting there when Jeeves arrived. (AN~ Jeeves to the rescue!!! lol) He paused in front of Rory, and asked in kindly voice, "What has he done this time?"
Rory remained uncharacteristically silent- she wasn't sure if she could get herself to speak without lapsing into more tears.
Slowly, her voice scratchy from muffling her sobs, Rory answered him: "It's not what HE'S done, it's what I have."
Jeeves looked down at the clearly distraught girl and felt a pang at the thought of the two of them- clearly caring for each other- yet allowing their own insecurities to be the very barriers that kept themselves apart. Oh to be young again…
He reached up to flick a speck of non-existent dust off of the mahogany hand-rail, and in doing so, ended up closer to Rory's ear. "Fifth door to the right- He may think that he needs to hide but I have never allowed him to wallow when he could just as easily be seeing reason. Why don't you go instill some upon him, hmm?"
Backing up, Jeeves had a moment to look into her eyes- earlier shattered, and now shining with a grim determination. She's got you now my boy, you'd do well now to just accept it. Thinking again of the innocent little boy Tristan had been and the troubled young man he was now, he had one last thought while he watched Rory ascend the stair: Don't push her away again…This may very well be your last chance at happiness.
* * * *
"What the HELL!!?"
Tristan's startled bellow had probably brought the whole house to attention. It was obvious that he was unused to his private domain being invaded, especially not when the intruder in question had slammed the door open so hard that his trophy shelf had been knocked askew.
Hurricane Rory had arrived.
"Okay. Fine. You didn't want to listen to me so you decided to find a way to shut me up. I see that now. I'm surprised I didn't before, but since I was in the middle of sharing my heart-felt emotions to someone who HAS none you'll have to excuse me for not catching on quick enough." Taking a deep breath, Rory noted how still Tristan was… And how much he DIDN'T have on. His essentials were covered by gray pinstriped boxers and he was holding a towel in one limp hand. I wouldn't care if he were naked at the moment…he's going to listen to me this time!
Taking that particular thought to heart, Rory continued her one-way bombardment, "What you DIDN'T let me finish telling you down there is that every since you left I've been thinking about Madeline's party…About what happened between you and me at Madeline's party…About the kiss. I think I started falling for you then, but then you started acting like a dick again and I was too unsure about you. You weren't comforting and normal- you were a roller coaster. One minute up and flying, and the next falling down a curve so fast that my head was spinning. I mean, sometimes you were this great, funny, guy and the next you were King of the Chiltonites and all-around Bad Ass. Who the hell are you REALLY Tristan? And why do you pretend not to care about anything? Why are you pretending not to care about me? Because I'm sick of being afraid of rides that have more energy than the "Tunnel of Normal Love". I'd rather just fall."
And for the first time in Tristan's adolescent life, he was absolutely speechless. Not that she gave him much time… Immediately after she finished emptying her heart out to him she stalked up and ripped the towel out of his hand. "There are better things you can hold with that." Rory growled before seizing his lips with her own.
* * * *
Kissing Tristan was definitely going to be her favorite past time. After all, who needed books when you could have satin lips caressing and nipping your own with such delightful intent?
Goosebumps rose from her neck as Tristan's hand traced her ear with a fingertip. His other hand was alternating between smoothing across her cheek or slipping into her hair with soft tugs that brought liquid heat to Rory's scalp. Apparently he had taken her harsh command VERY seriously. I'm going to have to remember to boss him around a little if it always gets the same type of compliance…
Slowly, maddeningly slowly, Tristan drew away from her feverish embrace. "I really think we should stop now…" He managed to gasp out once he was able to breathe. Impish blue eyes caught and held his own, "Why?" Rory smirked. "I finally have you right were I want you and you want to stop? The irony is overwhelming…" With every other word a defiant step was made- closer and closer to her prize…Closer and closer to the much-shocked Tristan.
Tristan was left with only one option- retreat. He barely had enough self-control to not grab his little Tigress right there and start something that he knew he couldn't finish. Not even if she wanted him to. The fact that he was clad only in a thin layer of cotton and that they were alone in his bedroom hardly strengthened that resolve.
Desperately trying to create some distance between them- Tristan continued to back away from Rory's determined advance…It wasn't long before the backs of Tristan's knees thumped against a yielding softness. Oh, SHIT.
Rory was growing frustrated. Her lips were thrumming with the need to be kissing the boy in front of her. She knew that he wanted to; his eyes were almost black with desire and he was breathing heavily through his mouth. There were other…signs…as well, after all, they had been pressed together rather intimately… But she was positive that it wasn't something he would appreciate her teasing him about, so she kept her thoughts and EYES away from that particular region all together.
She had stalked him from one side of the room to the other and was seriously beginning to contemplate jumping on top of him like a monkey when she realized that he had no where to go. He was trapped between her….And the bed. Hmmm. NOW what should I do?
* * * *
Oh, CHRIST. The little hellion had LEAPED at him. And now they were tangled together on top of a king sized bed. A king sized bed with BLACK SILK SHEETS. Why couldn't his mother ever give him NORMAL presents for Christmas?
Admittedly, Tristan would have found the silk sheets quite pleasant, especially when he had been sleeping on cots with sheets that felt like they were made of terrycloth for practically an entire year at a Military School that enjoyed discipline. Silk sheets should have been heaven. But they were bound to be his undoing if Rory kept letting out those sexy little moans. Stop. Must…stop…NOW! "Rory, please. I'm BEGGING you… Stop!"
Lips that had been exploring his neck ceased their wanderings as Rory sat up quickly. "What is it? Are you all right?"
Glowing at her concern for him… something he still wasn't used to getting from anyone besides his Grandparents and the Hired Help, he answered her question carefully. "I'll be fine. The thing is… I want to do this. More than ANYTHING, but we're here. Alone. In my room. And if you and I don't stop now I'm going to end up jumping you."
Leaning in playfully for a quick kiss, Rory pulled back and asked innocently, "And if I WANT to be 'jumped'?"
Shaking his head clear of thoughts that REALLY didn't belong there, he answered honestly. "That's not what I want. You're different than them, You're….my Mary."
Rory looked into his eyes and saw a devotion that blew her away. She didn't need to ask about "them" anymore than he needed to explain… She was just happy in knowing that what he felt for her was real. He WANTED it to be different with her. They would have a rough time of it, she knew… Years of being the way he was couldn't be reversed in a matter of hours, or even days… but he WANTED to change. And she believed in him. She believed in him with her whole heart.
MIDNIGHT AT RORY'S DOORSTEP…
Rory smiled as warm lips skimmed over hers. They had spent the entire day holed up in Tristan's room talking. She had learned all about his time at Military School and she had filled him in on everything that had been going on in her life while he was away.
Tristan broke away from the kiss and groaned. "I don't even want to leave you alone for a second. What if I wake up tomorrow and this was all just my imagination running away with me?"
Rory pulled away to look into his eyes, "Is that really what you believe? That I'll disappear tomorrow and this was all just a dream?"
He hung his head sheepishly even as his grip on her tightened. "It's just that it's too good to be true… You know?"
Tears welled in her eyes as she looked up at the handsome, enigmatic, boy she had known for years. Because he didn't look enigmatic right then- he looked lost. She cuddled into the warm fleece of his sweater and whispered. "You have me now."
Long fingers tipped her face up towards him. "What did you say?"
She kissed his fingers and then stood on her toes to whisper in his ear, "Why don't you come in?"
Tristan laughed with abandon, "Yeah, so you're Mom can chop me into little pieces and hide me under your porch? No thanks. I'd like to stick around long enough to win her over."
"Aww, how sweet! But I'm afraid she wouldn't be in the position to cut you up- she's out of town. And I'm sure you don't want to leave me all ALONE…" She grinned impishly, "So why don't you crash on my couch- 'cause it's late and I don't want you driving all the way back to Hartford."
"You win… But you better control yourself around me Ror, I don't want to get jumped or anything."
She rolled her eyes, "Be afraid, be very afraid."
He closed the door behind them before retorting, "Need I remind you of your highly unusual behavior this morning? I can honestly say that I wasn't the one stalking you around my room…"
She blushed furiously and he laughed with devilish delight, "I think I may have to stop calling you Mary and find something a little more suited to your nature."
She reached into the hallway cabinet and pulled out several fuzzy blankets. Not missing a beat, she promptly flung them at Tristan's head and replied calmly, "Master will do nicely…"
His eyes gleamed wickedly as he picked up a pillow and pursued her, "Oh, 'Master' I have a special GIFT for you…"
* * * *
ONE PILLOW WAR LATER…
Tristan was breathing softly and steadily- he was asleep. They had been exhausted after their impromptu pillow fight and had ended up curled together under a nest of warm blankets. Nestled between the couch and Tristan's shoulder Rory felt content and was just giving in to the comforting warmth and darkness when a surge of panic shot through her. What if when she woke up she was at the table again? What if she had to start all over and none of the wonderful things she had gone through that day would matter? What if she lost Tristan?
Tristan's arm pulled her closer to him as he whispered groggily, "What's wrong?"
"Tris, what if tomorrow morning everything started over for me. What if I just keep re-living the same day over and over until the day that I die?"
He kissed her temple and whispered into her ear, "Then we would find each other over and over again until the day that we die. Go to sleep Rory, I'll be with you in the morning."
Curled next to him, Rory felt her fears fade away. If she really did wake up alone tomorrow she would never truly BE alone. Tristan would be with her.
It was that thought that allowed her to close her eyes and sleep.
She was tired of being afraid. What would come, would come.
* * * *
MORNING IN THE GILMORE HOUSE…
The sound and smell of coffee awoke her… And the strong hands caressing her shoulders. "Wake up Sleeping Beauty, there's coffee brewing."
Her eyes snapped open. Tristan was standing right in front of her… She was awake and Tristan was STILL THERE! She wasn't re-living days anymore!
Laughing with glee, Rory flung her arms around his neck. "You're here!"
His brows furrowed, "Did you want me to leave?"
Rory held him tighter, "No, I don't want you to leave. I finally got it right."
"Got what right?"
Rory just smiled mysteriously, "It's Saturday, right? So let's go do something!"
"What do you want to do?"
"Honestly?" She asked playfully.
"Anything you want." He said firmly.
"I want to go show you off.."
He laughed delightedly at that before lifting her into the air and swinging her in a circle. "Your call, Mary."
"Let's go to Hartford then, I want to stake a claim."
He held her possessively, "Likewise."
Rory slipped out of his arms and pranced to the kitchen, "But first things first. I NEED my coffee!"
Tristan shook his head and followed the girl of his dreams.
After all, he knew better than to stand in the way of Rory and coffee… Besides, he would have her all to himself for the day.
Saturday was theirs.
A/N) To those of you that have waited for so long to see the ending of this story- I am SOOO, SOOO sorry that it didn't come sooner!
And the "Jess" chapter isn't done yet, and it'll probably take a while to complete… so hopefully you all aren't disgusted with me 'cause I still need to FINISH the last 'part'!
PLEASE, review… I really hope you don't think this chapter sucks…. And a HUGE "Thank you" to everyone that reviewed my LAST chapter and those of you that urged me to get off my butt and FINISH this story!
Love you all!