Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Summary: Rory and Logan broke up that day in his room when she told him she couldn't be a casual dater. Will spending New Years Eve together change things between them?
Author's Note: My first Gilmore Girls story! I got the idea for this from reading one of the challenges posted on Illusive. I'm not adhering to all of those rules though; just taking what I thought was fun.
This is a five-chaptered story.
Feedback is never required but always appreciated.
Wanting to Fall – Deja Vu All Over Again
It was total déjà vu and Rory Gilmore hated it. Another one of her grandparents' social events and not only was she bored out of her mind, but she was again being showcased off in her grandparents' hopes that she might find a respectable suitor. Since it was their annual Christmas party, Rory was obliging, despite her having sworn off guys almost a year ago.
But still, here she was, trapped in the corner by the grandson of Richard and Emily's neighbor who thought he was impressing her with stories of hostile takeovers and business mergers. She smiled and nodded along with his story, but her mind kept wandering, trying to think of a way to escape to her room upstairs where she could lock the door and read.
"So then obviously, they knew that there was no way they could outbid us and they caved and the company was ours." Trey laughed as he finished his story. She thought his name was Trey. Maybe it was Todd though. Or Tom. Whatever his name is, he's still boring.
"That's great," she said, her eyes roaming the room. She nearly dropped her drink when her eyes landed on none other than Logan Huntzberger. Of course he'd be there, his parents were friends of her grandparents, she should have known better than to expect him not to be. Except that he hasn't been to a single social event since we stopped seeing each other, she remembered. He noticed her then, and taking note of her situation, he smirked and raised his drink in her direction before resuming his conversation with some girl Rory didn't recognize.
Pompous jerk, she thought to herself as she turned and tried to focus on the conversation at hand. She smiled and nodded and laughed along with Trey but she fumed on the inside. It wasn't like she and Logan were the best of friends after everything that had happened between them but they had managed to remain on somewhat friendly terms. Besides, he saved her once before, he would save her again if he was any type of gentleman.
Except that he wasn't. Butt-faced miscreant indeed.
"Rory, there you are doll!" The smooth voice startled her and she turned to see Logan next to her. "I'm sorry it took so long to get your drink, but people just kept stopping me to tell me how lucky I was to be marrying into this family." He smiled as he handed her a glass of champagne and turned to Trey. "As if I didn't know how lucky I was already," he said with a grin as he offered his hand to Trey. "Logan Huntzberger."
"Tyler Washington." So his name is Tyler, Rory thought. Not that she really cared. She found herself smiling as Logan slid an arm around her waist and she leaned into him, noting how warm he was. It was déjà vu all over again. "Rory didn't mention she was engaged."
"No offense Ty, but it didn't look as though you gave her much chance to talk," Logan chided good-naturedly. "No but seriously," he hugged Rory closer and she was surprised to find he still wore the same cologne. Then she found herself surprised that she remembered his cologne in the first place. "Rory's still being modest about the whole affair, she doesn't like flaunting our love in front of everyone else." He pressed a kiss on the side of her head and while she felt her face flush, she still had to fight the urge to not roll her eyes. "Just one of the many little things I love about her. I, on the other hand, am not so modest. In fact, Rory sweetie, I'm tempted to jump up on that piano and proclaim my love for you right here at the top of my lungs."
"I wish you wouldn't dear," she said through gritted teeth. Logan just laughed.
"She's so cute when she's embarrassed." He reached out to shake Tyler's hand again. "But if you'll excuse us Ty, Rory and I still have some rounds to make." He smiled once more and led Rory away before Tyler could say anything more.
"Thank you," she murmured as he guided her though the room. She was acutely aware of his hand on the small of her back and how it still seemed to fit there. He smiled and nodded at a few people they passed and stopped walking once they were in the hallway.
"We've got to stop meeting like this," he said with that oh-so-familiar cocky grin on his face. "I can't always promise I'll be around to save you."
"Well I'll just have to insist on you being on the guest list of every social event my grandparents have," she said with a roll of her eyes. "But really, thank you."
"You're welcome." She flushed again, as she saw his eyes travel up and down the length of her body. "So how've you been Ace?"
"Oh, I- I've been good," she said lamely. Good? I can't come up with a better adjective than good? Some reporter I'll make.
"Well, good's good," he agreed, his eyes finally rising to meet hers again. "You look good too," he noted.
"I—thanks. You too." Form a sentence Rory!
Logan chuckled. "Well, okay. I saved you and now you can run up to your room and read whatever book it is that you have waiting for you. Or…" his voice trailed off.
"Or what?" she asked before she could stop herself.
"Or we could sub-party in the pool house?" he suggested, one eyebrow lifting suggestively. "Pardon me for saying this, but I don't think Richard and Emily will notice if you go missing And if I don't get Finn out of here soon, he's going to make an ass out of himself in your grandmother's study."
"Aww, I miss Finn!" Rory smiled. "All right," she relented. "You round everyone up and I'll be out there in a few minutes." She surprised herself as she spoke, as she hadn't had much contact with these people in the past year but now she realized she wanted to see them all. She told Logan where the key would be hidden and then went to find her mother to let her know what was going on.
"Huntzberger's here?" Lorelai's face scrunched up as she looked at her daughter, taking in her flushed cheeks and bright eyes. "Hon, I thought we were done with him."
"We are," Rory insisted. "But if I don't get out of here, Mom, Grandma's going to have me married off and I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to go register for wedding gifts."
"Oh Emily will take care of that for you," Lorelai said with a wave of her hand. She laughed then, putting an arm around Rory. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but go. And if you're going to party it up with the Hartford socialites, there's a few rules you need to remember." Lorelai smiled. "I'm very honored to pass these rules down to you, my lovely daughter, so learn them well."
Rory rolled her eyes. Her mother needed to lay off the eggnog.
"No one drives that can't, that's what the limos are for. No one tries to do anything stupid like swimming in the pool naked. Remember that it's December and no matter how warm the water looks, it's not. And thirdly, and this is the most important so take notes." She leaned forward. "No one, and I repeat no one drinks all of Dad's scotch and comes running back in here naked and singing Christmas carols. It doesn't go over well trust me. I'm looking at your friend Finn as I say this."
"How did you know about Finn?"
"Oh honey, there's always a Finn." Lorelai patted her arm. "That and he has already asked me if I knew the words to Up on the Rooftop. Now go have fun."
"So by now it's three minutes until midnight, and Logan and Finn are nowhere to be found, yet Colin is insistent on keeping everyone downstairs. He wouldn't even let me upstairs to change after he spilled his martini down the front of my dress—"
"Got a lovely look at Miss Stephanie that night," Colin interrupted appreciatively with a wink in her direction. He blew a kiss at her as she glared at him.
"So anyways, there we are, counting down the last ten seconds of midnight, and all of a sudden we're about to shout happy new year, and Finn and Logan appear in their best Baby New Year attire, and Finn's so wasted, that his is on backwards and—"
"We got a not so lovely look at Finn that night," Colin interrupted again, this time earning a swat on the arm from Stephanie.
Rory laughed along with everyone else, but she tuned out the end of the story. For the better part of the last hour Stephanie had been regaling them with stories of Finn on past New Years Eve parties. They were all pretty much the same though, Rory decided as she rose to get herself another drink. Drunk and naked seemed to be the norm when it came to Finn.
"Looking bored Ace." She jumped at his voice and turned to face him.
"Finn overload," she said dryly. "That and he keeps touching my leg."
"You love it, Love!" Finn declared as he appeared next to them. "She loves it, doesn't she Mate?"
"Judging by the look on her face, I'd say no," Logan answered. "But she could be in deep denial, as what lady can resist the charms of our Finn here?"
"Cheers to that!" Finn nodded and handed them each a shot, taking his first. He turned and looked at Rory again. "Do I know you?" He winked and headed back to the middle of the party.
"Still charming," she said, for lack of anything else to say. "He won't ever change."
"No, he wont," Logan agreed. "But we wouldn't want him to." He leaned against the bar and studied her carefully. "So what gives Ace?" he asked.
He nodded. "Things were going great. We were going great, and all of a sudden you say you can't do us anymore, and that's the end of that. You don't even talk to me anymore."
"That was eight months ago Logan! You couldn't have brought this up sooner? And things weren't going great."
"Well it was sort of hard, seeing as how every time you see me, you turn and go back in the direction you came from." He leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "Stealth isn't your thing Ace."
She backed away. "You're drunk Logan. If you weren't, you'd remember that this was your choice. You were the one who couldn't handle the strings, I gave you the choice—"
"Ultimatum really," he reasoned. "With no time to think about it at all, you wanted an answer then and there, and I couldn't give you the one you wanted."
"Why bring this up now?" Rory looked around desperately, wanting to get away but not finding an escape.
Logan shrugged. "Seemed as good of a time as any," he said. She watched as he filled his glass, first with ice, then with whiskey. "I guess it's not something you want to discuss then."
"There isn't anything to discuss," she pointed out.
"If you say so." He turned and looked back into the room. "Steph, what's the status on the cabins this year?" he asked.
Stephanie broke off her latest story to look at them. "We're down one girl, why?" Her eyes lit up. "Is Rory coming? Oh Rory, you have to come, please don't leave me with these guys all by myself for an entire weekend!"
"You spend every weekend with them," Rory pointed out.
"Yes, well. Don't make me spend another one with them. You have to come!"
"I don't know," she said doubtfully.
"You should," Logan said, leaning back again. "Technically, it's not a Life and Death Brigade event, not officially anyways, but a lot of us will be there. We rent a group of five or six cabins for the holiday, New Years Day, and the day after. It's a lot of the usual, poker games and drinks and random debauchery, but there's also skiing, and well, it's a lot of fun." She caught his gaze flick over her head to toe again and she wanted to kick him. "Unless of course, you have plans already for the holiday. A nice new and exciting book perhaps?"
She hated him. He always provoked these feelings in her. The ones that screamed at her to do the least-Rory like things and give in to whatever he was suggesting at that particular moment. She wouldn't even make a list of pros and cons, she never did when it came to him, and she blamed that fact on her getting into this whole mess in the first place. As much as she hated to admit it, she found herself seriously considering the invitation.
"Come on Ace," he said softly, touching her arm. The gesture threw her off and she lost her ability to speak for a moment. "It'll be fun, I promise." He grinned at her again. That stupid, self-serving grin of his. God I miss that grin. "I'll tell you what, you can even be my special guest of honor, how does that sound?"
"Like a half-planned bribe," she retorted, finding her voice. "But, it does sound like fun, and I know you aren't expecting it, so count me in." She smiled triumphantly at the look on his face.
He recovered quickly though. "Always full of surprises, that's what I like about you." He held out his arm to her. "Back to the party?"
"Back to the party," she said, linking arms with him and heading back to her spot on the couch. She was surprised that he made sure to sit between her and Finn and when she looked at him, he just grinned and winked.
The moment was broken though, as Finn jumped to his feet, still on the couch. "A toast!" he cried, swinging his glass to and fro. "A toast to you, a toast to me! May we always—bloody hell, let's just sing!" He hopped off of the couch and broke into a peculiar version of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town as he raced out of the pool house.
"Steph, Colin, I was on Finn-watch last night, who's tonight?" Logan asked. Neither made a move to get up, preferring rather, to engage in a staring contest to see who would go. Rory watched amused, as Colin sighed in frustration before giving up. On his way out though, he tipped his drink over Stephanie's lap, smiling delightedly at her shriek.
"Where are you going?" Logan asked as Rory stood up. "Colin's quite capable of taking care of Finn, you know that."
Rory shook her head. "I'm just going to hide the rest of the scotch," she called over her shoulder as Lorelai's earlier words rang in her head.
Life certainly was crazy; Rory realized as she sat back down and watched the crowd around her. Colin had rounded up Finn and now they were back to catching Rory up on the groups' antics of the past few months. If anyone would have asked her, not six hours before, if she thought she'd be enjoying herself with Logan Huntzberger and Company again, she would have laughed in their face and called them certifiable. Never in a million years would she think that she actually enjoyed these people or would spend a three-day weekend with them voluntarily.
Yet here she was, and there was only one reason she could find to explain why.
She wanted to.