disclaimer in part 1

Oh and special thanx once again to dreamy who is the best beta reader in the
entire world!

Going Home

by snoflaik

Stepping Out From the Shadows

He saw her sitting there. Vainly attempting to keep her eyes on the scene in
front of her. They would wander; moving around the theatre; searching,
seeking. He smiled as she frowned in disappointment, turning her eyes back
to the stage; her search unproductive once again. She fidgeted nervously,
unconsciously touching her hair and checking her dress, smoothing it out
once again. She turned slightly, head and eyes moving to the spot where he
was hidden from her view. He wasn’t ready to show himself not yet. He just
sat back in took everything in. Being back, being near her again. He never
thought it would feel like this. He never knew it could.

The first few days and weeks away had been the most difficult. He was so
happy to be ‘home’ and yet so sad to be without her. He walked down the
hallways in anticipation and then smiled as he stopped before the painting
hanging on the wall. Here it was. His grandfather’s favorite painting. He
sat down on the small bench just across the way, quietly leaning his
backpack against the edge, pulled out a pen and a sheet of paper and began
to write. He would write about everything and anything, long rambling
letters. Never before had he shared himself so completely with anyone. He
wrote one everyday, sending postcards and paintings as well.

“1 year, 5 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 8 hours, 4 minutes.” Tristan sighed as
he folded the letter and put it into the envelope. When can I begin to
count differently? He thought silently before getting up and walking away.

Then one day all he sent was a ticket.

She chewed her bottom lip nervously, a movement he knew so well, as she
returned her attention to where it should be focused. Her program was folded
and crushed almost beyond recognition. One hand slowly snaked up to lightly
touch the heart at the base her throat. He smiled as she squeezed it lightly
and sighed to herself. He stepped silently from the shadows and bent down
till he was right behind her.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Where is he? That was the question going through her mind again and again.
She was here; in their special place. And he was nowhere to be found. When
she opened the letter that day and took out the one ticket enclosed, she
knew what it meant. She did her little happy dance around the house and
everything became all right again because he was coming back.

It had been hard; going back to Chilton knowing that he wasn’t there. The
halls became cold and dark again. Every time she walked down the hall to her
locker she couldn’t help but look for his familiar form leaning against it.
Smirk in tact and coffee in hand. Then she would remember and shake her head
in sadness and heartache. What would she give to have his arms around her
again? To get lost in the blue of his eyes? To have his lips on hers and
his hands running through her hair? She shivered as she saw in her mind his
eyes just before he walked away. His emotions always showed plainly. Love
and sadness, despair and hope, want and pain. Why couldn’t anything ever be
simple between the two of them?

“1 day, 5 hours and 10 minutes since I last saw you. And as I sit here, I
hope I can soon count the days until I will see you again.“ read Rory as she
pulled out the piece of stationary.

“What? What happened?” asked Lorelei as she caught her daughter in a hug,
seeing the tear begin to move down her cheek.

“Tristin,” came the muffled response. Lorelei sighed and hugged her
daughter tighter.

She loved reading his postcards and the letters that arrived from all over
Europe. They let her live with him if only for a little while. He told her
everything. All his innermost thoughts, his feelings, his joy, his sadness,
his loneliness because she wasn’t there to share it all with him. He drew
her pictures of all that he saw. The Eiffel Tower at night. The Arc de
Triumph. All the sights of Paris. Someday, they would go back there
together. And only then would it truly feel like home.

Junior year ended and summer came and went. Senior year arrived and he still
hadn’t returned. Now it was the week before graduation. The week before she
was supposed to make her speech in front of her graduating class.
Valedictorian. She wanted him to be there for that. She wanted him there for
her first day of college. She wanted him there forever.

“1 year, 5 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 8 hours, 4 minutes. When can I begin to
count differently?” he wrote in his last letter.

She searched around again. Her eyes brazenly studied everyone. Looking for
the familiar smirk and tousled hair, the twinkle, the heat, the intensity of
his eyes. She frowned. Where was he? came the question once again. Suddenly
it hit her, she felt him near, behind her shoulder. She turned and looked
but only saw the heavy curtain and the empty seat. She bit her lip and
twisted her program in her hand as she looked at the stage once again. Any
other time she would be sitting, rapt in the power if the sounds. But not
tonight, not when he was here. Somewhere. She reached up and touched the
heart at her throat, squeezing it as she had every time she wished he was
beside her again, and sighed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She smiled as she felt the strong arms encircle her and leaned back into the
embrace. Just taking in having him near, smelling his cologne, feeling his
body and his eyes. She stayed silent for a few moments.

“I don’t think my boyfriend would appreciate you having your arms around
me.” she whispered softly as the orchestra played a soft melody.

“Oh wouldn’t he?” he answered just as quietly, his mouth right next to her

“No, so just don’t tell him I did this.”

She turned her head and kissed him soundly as the words left her mouth. Her
hand moved to his neck and his ran themselves through her hair. He bent over
further and the kiss deepened.

“I promise I won’t say a word,” whispered Tristin as they finally broke

“You better not because you do know you can be replaced.” replied Rory as
she turned around fully to look at him. His eyes burned and his smile
sparkled as he looked at her. He was different. He was the same.

“Can I?” he asked with a grin as he reached and grabbed the heart pendant
around her neck, the only piece of jewelry she wore, using it to pull her
inches from him.

“Quite easily,” she answered challengingly.

“Hmmm. . “ replied Tristin as he contemplated her. Like a panther sees his
prey. Never before had she been looked at with such hunger and love. His
mouth melted into a smirk “But could anyone else make you go weak at the

“Bet you can’t.” retorted Rory coyly.

“I’ll take that challenge,” he replied as he pulled her the last inch.