Disclaimer: sadly, I do not own Gilmore Girls

Summery: Rory and Tristan struggle when their relationship is on the brink of falling a part. Trying to keep the negative thoughts at bay. But most of all, trying to get those around them to believe in them.

Timeline: Everything up the The Third Lorelai has happened, everything after that is all my imagination. The piano kiss, Rory trying to set Tristan up with Partis - all happened. This is set about six months after TTL and will take place in December, because I deem it necessary. And everything that happened inbetween will be explained with flashbacks. Happy Reading.



-xXLittle WondersXx-


This may never start
We could fall apart
And I'd be your memory
Lost your sense of fear
Feelings insincere
Can I be your memory?

Rory ran down the empty halls of Chilton, one hand smoothing out her skirt, the other balancing her books in her arm. She was late - beyond late. Her first class had started thirty-five minutes ago. Reaching her locker, she dumped her armful on the ground in front of her before she reached up, throwing her hair up into a messy bun.

Spinning the combination of her locker, she felt like crying when she gave the final spin and lifted the lever and the metal door wouldn't open. "You can't do this to me, not now!" Balling her fist up, she pounded on the already dented metal. When it didn't budge, her the panic begin to rise.

Hearing footsteps in the hall, she felt a sudden ball of hope. Swiveling, her eyes found

the tall, built form of Tristan DuGrey. Her heart leapt into her throat, beating wildly as his eyes landed on her messy form, the pile of books at her feet. Giving her a look she knew so well, she moved out of the way without thought as he walked over, giving the locker a good punch and with a squeak, it swung up. He gave her a worried look and whispered "Later" as his hand trailed over her lower back before he disappeared into their first period class.

Shoving her books into her locker, save for the ones she needed, grabbing her notebook and backpack from the ground and rushed to what was left of her first class. She hesitated at the front of the door, wishing she had a large mug of coffee with her. Sighing at the inevitable, she pushed the door open and immediately felt all eyes on her.

She knew what they were all thinking and didn't wish to explain in front of any of them. She could already imagine the snickers for Rory Gilmore being late to class. As Mr. Flanagan turned, spotting the intrusion in the class, she tucked the loose strands of her hair behind her ear, her cheeks burning red as everyone in the room eyed her.

"Miss Gilmore, please take your seat and see me after class." was all he said before he turned back toward the black board and continued on.

As she slid into her seat, she could hear the whispers and laughs around her. Taking out her notebook and No. 2 pencil, she deftly copied the notes onto her paper. Feeling a sudden breath on her neck, a shiver race down her spine, and immediately knew he was leaning forward.

"Mare, late to class this is unheard of." he whispered.

Once more she got the familiar heated sensation where his breath hit the back of her neck. She moved her hand to the back of her head, making a gesture to shoo him away.

Tristan smirked at her reaction. "So, you think you'll get in trouble?" he asked, letting his warm breath dance teasingly across her exposed skin. She tried ignoring him as she continued writing her notes but the feeling of his breath across her skin was so inviting to loose herself in. "So, I was think-"

The rest of his sentence was lost as Mr. Flanagan's voice rang out, interrupting him, "Mr. Dugrey, what is so important that you couldn't wait to ask Miss Gilmore until after class?"

Rory felt her cheeks flare up even more as once again, all eyes were on her, looking between the pair in question. "I was just curious to see why she was late for class." replied Tristan, a smirk stretching his lips.

Davin Flanagan nodded. "Oh I see, you thought you would play teacher,"

Tristan's lips stretched tighter over his teeth in annoyance. "No, sir."

Mr Flanagan eyed him, every teacher knew to keep an eye on Tristan. "Well, you can hold your curiosity until after my class or you'll find yourself in more detention, understood?"

Ignoring the snickers around him, Tristan nodded, knowing another detention would get him in trouble with his parents. "Understood."

"As I was saying," Davin continued on with the lecture, turning back to the board.

The rest of the lesson continued on without a hitch after that point, notes being passed from one student to others. But for the rest of the class, the only thing she felt on her were his eyes. She couldn't explain how she knew but she just did, she always knew when he was staring at her.

As the bell rang, all of her classmates made a break for the door. She noticed Tristan hesitate and look back at her for a minute before he continued on his way. Sighing, she grabbed her yellow bag from the floor and nervously walked up to the front desk. She had been asked to stay behind before but it was never because she was in trouble. "You wanted to see me, Sir?"

He looked up from the papers he had spread out in front of him, easing his glasses off the bridge of his nose to rest just on the top of his head. "Yes Miss Gilmore," he said, "it was quite a shock not to see you in class when I arrived, even more so that you were late. Would you care to explain why. It's not your normal habit to be late to a class."

Rory looked down, a faint pink creeping into her cheeks. "Because my alarm didn't go off this morning which caused me to miss my bus. Then when my mother told me to take her car, we found out her battery was dead. So we had to run back into town to get my mom's friend to give me a ride and she had to take over his business." she said in one breath.

Mr Flanagan nodded his head, having kept up with her rushed explanation. "Just out of curiosity, what do you mean 'business'?"

As he spoke, Rory picked up a faint Irish accent, wondering briefly why she had never heard it before now. Which explained why Louise and Madeline were always sharing their fantasies involving their favorite teacher. Even going on about how gorgeous he was and how dreamy his eyes were.

"He owns a diner."

He nodded once more, as he opened a draw and pulled out a yellow scrap of papaer. "Understandable."

he said as he signed something down on the paper and handed Rory the slip. "Here you are."

Confused she looked down at the paper in her hand. Worrying her lip, she asked, "What is this?"

"It is your detention slip, Miss Gilmore."

"My what? But I thought you said you understood?" She was positive the color had drained from her face.

He gave her one of the smiles she was sure any one of her female classmates would have fainted over. "I do understand, but I have to give them out to someone who is late and/or miss behaves in my class."

Rory groaned, making a mental note not to be late to any of her classes ever again. "Then why didn't Tristan get one?" she asked lamely.

Mr Flanagan gave her an understanding look, guessing she had never received a detention before. "He did. About two weeks ago and his last detention is today. Now I suggest you get to your next class, you don't want to be late for that one either."

With a tight smile and a nod, she left the classroom. Her eyes were locked on the piece of paper in her hands, her feet following the well-worn path to her locker. She kept her eyes on the slip, almost as if she was expecting it to disappear. Or waiting for someone to jump out and yell April Fool's day!

As she stopped in front of her locker, she let her backpack slide to the floor, landing with a soft thud. Opening her locker with ease, she let out a breath, her eyes returning to the slip she still held lightly in her hands.

Oh God. She had detention!

Rory Gilmore. The girl that was never late for a class, never had a sick day had just received a detention.

What was she going to do? This would be on her permanent record! Harvard and every other school she was going to apply to was going to see this!

A groan tumbled off her lips, her head falling forward to lean against the steel shelf inside her locked.

This was not happening. It could not be happening.

Her stomach growled, reminding her she had yet to eat today which also served as a reminder that she hadn't had any coffee yet.

Boy, what she wouldn't give for a nice big cup of steaming coffee.

There was no way this day could get any worse, she though, first no coffee, now a detention.

"Well, well, well. What do we have here?"

Never mind, she spoke too soon. This was definitely getting worse.

Rory flashed a look at the annoying blond male currently leaning next to her locker.

Why did he always do that leaning thing she wondered, as she looked at him out of the corner of her eye. He was always leaning back in his chair in class and whenever she saw him in the hall, he was leaning against someone's locker. She even noticed a few times when he was driving, he tended to lean toward his center consol.

She would never tell him, though, it was kind of sexy. The way he would lazily lean there and his eyes would be sparking and he would send her one of those smiles that showed how much he took care of his teeth. Or sometimes if the moment was right, he would smirk at her and in a brief moment, she would feel like dragging him into the nearest classroom and doing things that still made her blush.

As she felt her cheeks begin to heat up, she quickly banished the thoughts. Reaching down to grab her yellow bag, she stuffed the detention slip in one of the pockets and sighed. "Tristan... can you just... drop it? Please?"

As he smirked at her, she noticed it was the one that made her want to slap it off his face, not the one that would make her heart rate speed up. "Looks like we have detention together, Mary."

Rolling her eyes, she took a book from her bag and placed it on the shelf before pulling out the one she needed for the next class. Ignoring the male beside her, she quickly arranged her books in the order she liked them to be in.

Figuring she wasn't going to say anything else, Tristan carried on. "You don't have a Franklin meeting after school today, do you? Because Paris is definitely going to be pissed if you can't make it because you landed your ass in detention. People will already be talking, I mean you were late to class and she's bound to find out. Hey, are you okay?" he asked once he noticed she seemed to be frozen in her place and the color had drained from her cheeks.

She slowly turned toward him, her eyes bright and wide as her mind worked in over drive. "Paris is going to kill me. She's just now really talking to me, if she found out I got detention, she's going to think I'm not suitable for the Franklin next year!"

He cursed under his breath, regretting even bringing up Paris in the first place. "Listen, I'm sure it'll be fine and she will understand your car not starting."

"How do you know? I didn't even say anything to you." she asked, desperately wishing for that mug of coffee as she felt the headache building.

Sending a wink her way, he just smiled. "I have my ways."

Feeling a smile tug at her lips, she turned away from him, shutting her locker and adjusting the yellow pack on her shoulder. "Just please don't say anything to her about it until I can talk to her..."

Sighing dramatically he turned until he was standing side-by-side with her and flung his arm over her shoulder. "So much you ask of me. I think I'll manage not to say anything. Do I get a prize for keeping this hush-hush?"

Rory rolled her eyes, hating the smile that was threatening her lips. "And what, may I ask, it is you want?"

Oh she knew what he wanted and if she knew him like she thought she did, he was probably going to get it too. Damming herself for not hating what he did to her, she just went along with it, knowing there was nothing she could do about. Moreover, nothing she wanted to do about it.

Before he could reply, the bell rang. Glancing up at him, she gave him a smile as he led them to their next class.

By the time lunch came around, she left like crawling into a dark hole, away from the school and filled with coffee and pie. Since the winter break was coming up, the teachers were giving out piles of work that would take up her first free week, at least, just to put a dent in the pile. And to top it all off, she was assigned a project with none other than Tristan.

She cringed slightly, knowing they wouldn't get much done, unless she put her foot down. With that in mind, she scanned the cafeteria for a empty spot somewhere. But as her eyes took in the room, she saw it was flowing with students and the rumors alive in the air, carrying from person to person, table to table, one mouth to another. With that in mind, she slipped out to the courtyard, ignoring the chill of the wind, having grown more accustomed to it with all of Stars Hollow's outdoor events.

Having wanted to just come straight to lunch since she missed breakfast, she still had her backpack and set it down next to her, grabbing her jacket out of it she had stuffed into in her rush out of the door this morning. Pulling the zip up, she reached for walkman. Once she had her ear phones in place and the music playing blissfully in her ear, she finally began to eat. Savoring it, even if it was Chilton food.

It was peaceful and wonderful out here, she realized, when her class mates weren't out here mulling around, smoking and sitting on any available surface. It was quiet and serene as the wind blew through the trees, swaying them back and forth. Picking up the leafs and letting them tumble through the air in a joyous winter dance.

Pushing her empty tray away, she pulled her books out, hoping to read a chapter before the bell rang.

- xXx -

Half way through the chapter, she suddenly felt it. It was a chill that tumbled down her spine that had nothing to do with the cold.

The second reaction was a raw heat coiling in her stomach. Oh how it still surprised her that her body still acted like that whenever he was around. She always called it reaction 1 and 2.

He had yet to make his presence known and she knew he was around because of her body and how it seemed to have a mind of its own around him. Dragging in a deep breath, she concentrated on the words in her book.

She knew he was standing just a few feet behind her the way the muscles in her back stiffened then relax. Her breath caught in the back of her throat, refusing to move forward as his lips met the back of her ear, whispering, "If I had known you were out here, I would have been here sooner." Before placing his cold lips on the skin below her ear.

As his lips lightly kissed her sweet spot, Rory couldn't help her eyes fluttering shut before they were gone and he was sitting next to her.

With a light blush on her cheeks, she cleared her throat before taking a sip of her drink. Closing her book and switching off her walkman and place them back in the bag.

It wasn't weird.

Why wasn't it weird?

Should it be weird?

"Urgh", she groaned, confused. Should it be weird? Not really. Did she feel weird? Not at all. So what was the problem? It wasn't like...

"Okay," Tristan said suddenly. "I was coming out here to ask you what you wanted to do about the project..."

Rory sighed, grateful for the distraction. "I was thinking we could meet up whenever you had time, you know, research and take notes because the essay part will be easy once we gather all the information. The great thing is, it's due the day we come back from break so if we can push it, we can have it done before Christmas."

Tristan let out a breath. "Slave driver, you are. But yeah, that sounds good. I'd like to finish this ASAP, I don't want to be buried with work the whole break."

Laughing, Rory nudged him with her elbow. "You don't want to do any type of work."

Smirking, he shook his head, winking at her. "I'll have you know, I do a lot of work, Mary."

Cringing, she scooted away from him. "That's gross, Tristan."

Laughing, he said "Aw, but don't you like it?"

Before she could reply, Paris walked through the door that lead to the cafeteria, her normal expressionless mask in place. "Have you two completely lost your minds?! It's freezing out here, you could get sick! And for some reason, I care since you two are important on the Franklin."

Rolling her eyes, Rory replied, "I have a jacket on, Mother. Besides, I didn't actually feel like eating inside."

Shooting the brunet a glare, Paris flushed, noticing how close they were setting. "I don't care, I just need to know that you won't be gelid later."

Drawing her brows together, Rory asked confused. "Later?"

The blond let out an impatient huff. "Yes, later. The gelidity already affecting you? Besides, didn't Louise tell you we need to have an emergency meeting? Of course not. I knew I should have just told you myself."

"Er, Paris..."

Tristan took one look at Rory's panic stricken face to the red crawling up Geller's neck to know if he didn't say something, it was going to get nasty. "Paris... Rory and I have a school project to work on, which is what we were talking about before you came out."

Rory nodded her head vigorously, thanking the Gods that Tristan could lie. "Yeah, and I haven't even seen Louise all day. Or Madeline..." She, at least, wasn't lying, just adding more cover to the reason she couldn't be in the meeting after school.

"This is just great... I'm gonna kill those two!" she growled, before storming off.

"Was she snarling?" Tristan asked, watching as she stormed back inside.

Rory just nodded her head wordlessly, wondering why Paris hadn't tried to talk her into going to the meeting.

"Right so... wow."

Laughing at his stunned face Rory poked him in the ribs, giggling as he jumped and bumped his knees on the underside of the table.

As her giggles calmed down, Tristan looked at her, surprised still by the knot in his belly he'd get when he was around her. Her hair had fallen loose, framing her face with wind curled hair, her eyes bright and electric, shining with laughter. The rosy cheeks and red nose from the cold suiting her just fine. And the genuine smile that slid over her features.

Surprisingly, his favorite thing was that her face was void of any make-up. Sure, he loved those ocean eyes of hers but the fact she could walk around the school day in and day out, without feeling pressured to change who she was, was his favorite thing about her. That she had the strength, the courage to walk around and be who she was without feeling the need to change, to fit in.

"We should head inside... you're looking a little red in the face." he smiled.

"We?" she questioned.

Sending her a mock glare, he said, "Yes we. We have the same class... do we not?"

Standing up and gathering her things, she walked ahead of him, ignoring his last question.

"Hey, hey. Not so fast Rosy Cheeks, you can't get away from me that easily." he laughed, taking large strides to catch up with her.

-xX Detention Xx-

She had decided to sit in the back, the farthest from the door, hoping that if Paris happened to walk by, she wouldn't be able to see into the class room and see her. Besides herself and Tristan, there was two other guys in the room but she didn't recognize them. One of them had his head lolled back, trying to balance a pencil on the bridge of his nose. And the second was hunched over his desk, his head in his hands but she swore she could hear a snore from him every few minutes.

Sighing, she adjusted in her seat, stretching her legs out in front of her.

It wasn't bad, she reluctantly admitted to herself. Being in detention. But not something she would make a habit of, knowing any amount of detention looked less than stellar on her permanent record.

Thinking of how one detention would look on her record, made her think of Tristan. How did it look since he had all of those on his? Did that make a school want to re-consider him or would daddy just but his way in? Frowning, Rory went back to concentrating on the work in front of her, trying to push the thoughts out of her mind.

As she paused in her work, she looked up briefly, her eyes landing on Tristan, looking like he was about to fall asleep where he sat, wondering if he was okay since he hasn't talk to her since lunch. With the frowning returning to her lips, she looked back down at the paper, knowing she just had a few more lines and she was done.

Sighing, she stuffed her work into her pack before leaning back in her chair with ten minutes left.

She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, before taking her hair down completely. Running her finger through it, acting as a makeshift brush before gathering her hair into her hand and bringing it up and using her hair tie to make a loose pony tail. And just like that, reaction 1 and 2 working there ways on her.

Trying to act like she didn't know he was staring at her, she shifted in her seat, taking her blazer off, figuring it would be fine since she was the only one in the room with it still on. While biting the inside of her cheeks to keep her smile in, reached down, popping the top buttons of her shirt, knowing his eyes would be following her hands. As the blush rose into her cheeks, she let her hands drift lower, into her lap, knowing they were hidden from view at his angle. Lowering her hands, she pretended to scratch her thigh, knowing she had his attention.

Taking a peek, she knew he wouldn't see her staring at him, as he was busy watching something. With a wicked thought, she uncrossed her legs and re-crossed them, bending slightly as trailed her hand over her ankle, adjusting the stockings.

And just like that, it was broken as his eyes snapped up to hers and she suddenly felt breathless as his navy blue eyes locked with hers, swirling with lust.

She kept his gaze, that all too familiar building within, she could feel her stomach tighten and start that burn that would develop until there was only one way to extinguish it. And that thing was...

Faintly, until it brought her out of the heated gaze, she heard Mr. Flanagan clear his throat. With a blush tainting her cheeks, she looked up towards the front of the room. "Detention is over for today and you all are free to go. Hopefully, I won't see you back here tomorrow." Before he went back to grading papers.

Without looking toward the blond again, Rory quickly grabbed her things and made a dash out of the room, not needing to stop by her locker. When she was half way down the hall, she heard another pair of shoes running down the floor behind heard her before she heard Tristan yell out her name.

With a smile, she picked up her pace, knowing she was going to regret running later. It wasn't the number 2 Rule in the Gilmore Handbook for nothing.

Just as she pushed the door open, his hand sank into her shoulder turning her toward him. "Why must you play hard to get?" he huskily murmured.

Ignoring the tingles that were shooting through out her arm, she laughed, looking at him, his eyes bright as the summer sun. "I was just wanted to see what you would be if I ran from you..."

He groaned as a smirk twisted his lips as he leaned down, his lips daringly dance over her ear. "You mean after that little show you put on back there? You're such a tease."

Biting her lips, she looked up at him once he pulled back, the blush on her cheeks not leaving. "You know you like it."

"Never said I didn't." he winked at her, amused by her bashfulness. "Need a ride home?"


As the pair turned toward his car, Rory couldn't help the smile that tugged at her lips. Looking up at Tristan, her stomach did a flip, realizing that he was truly smiling.

Once they were in the safe confines of his car, Tristan leaned over, kissing Rory thorough before pulling back slightly, his hand tracing her cheek.


"What?" he asked, still not opening his eyes.

"We can tell them soon. Okay?"

Sighing, he sat back in his seat, wishing she hadn't said to ruined the mood.

Taking his silence as a bad thing, Rory rambled on. "I just, a little more time, is all I'm asking for."

"How much more time do you need, it's been six months, Rory."

She cringed, it was a sore spot with him. "I just..."

Running a hand through his hair frustrated, he sighed again, hating that he made her upset. "Listen, I understand, Rory, I do. But they are getting suspicions of things. It would so much easier to just came straight out and say it then go to school one day and find out someone has already found out and is making all the rumors to go with it."

Rory nodded, knowing he was right.

Leaning over, he kissed her, letting his tongue ease into her mouth, until they were both wanting more before he pulled back. "Let's get you home."


Original chapter: 2,165
Updated/revised chapter: 4,620