The Fortune Cookie's Always Right
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my imagination.
Author's Note: Remember the party that Emily and Richard organized sophomore year of Yale for Rory to meet eligible bachelors? Well suppose Logan's "rescue" was a bit more intimate, and suppose Dean saw it?
Remember: This takes place directly after "You Jump, I Jump Jack"; we pick up the story halfway through "The Party's Over." Rory and Dean have had a depressing we-don't-connect-anymore meal where he probably didn't read her LDB article, and Logan did. We begin to mess with the existing Gilmore Universe by altering the party scene and creating a love triangle that didn't have a chance to play out…
CHAPTER 1: YOU LET ALL YOUR FRIENDS KISS YOU LIKE THAT?
A sixteen-piece orchestra played quietly in the background as scores of Yale alumni roamed the ballroom. Emily and Richard Gilmore were talking animatedly with one of Richard's business associates near the grand staircase.
Over on the balcony, Rory's eyes glazed over as she listened to the latest male specimen hand-picked by her grandmother drone on about his newly acquired sports car. She stifled a yawn and threw in a random 'uh-huh' whenever he paused.
"Do you wanna see it?" she heard him say.
"Oh, well, um," Rory searched for a polite refusal. "Well, actually, uh…" She turned as the door to the patio opened, the music wafting through the now-open door.
"So sorry I'm late, how's my best girl?" Logan interrupted as he strode up to Rory, throwing one arm around her shoulders and giving her a quick squeeze. Rory tried to hide her surprise. The last time she saw Logan was the Life and Death Brigade event – what was he doing here? And why was he smiling like that?
"Fine now," Rory said, her voice dripping with sweetness. She might as well play along.
The drone looked confused.
"Oh, have you met Logan?" Rory asked innocently, leaning her head on his shoulder and slipping her arm around his waist.
"Logan Huntzberger," Logan said, sticking out his hand, keeping one arm around Rory.
"Jordan Chase," he replied, shaking Logan's proffered hand. "Uh, so you're Rory's…?" he asked, looking confused.
"Yup!" confirmed Logan cheerily. "Going on a year and a half," he said, smiling down at Rory.
"Huh. Well, I've got to…huh." Jordan walked back inside, scratching his head.
Logan watched him leave, then dropped his arm as Rory took a step away.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Rory said, relieved to be rid of the drone.
"Yeah, you looked a little bored there, Ace," Logan smirked, leaning against the balcony wall and crossing his arms over his chest.
"Not that I don't find dissecting the engine of his latest greatest car incredibly interesting but…yes. Completely bored," Rory confirmed with a small smile, walking over to lean on the wall near Logan. Her smile quickly turned to a frown.
"I just can't believe my grandparents," Rory said angrily.
"Well, they just want to find some fine, upstanding, well-connected young man to court you," Logan said, tilting his head to acknowledge the sea of Yalies in the next room. Rory rolled her eyes. "Seriously, though, I've been to a million of these things. They're pointless," he said, blowing it off.
"Well I don't understand. I mean, I already have a boyfriend," she said, puzzled. She missed Logan's surprised look; he hid it before she glanced at him.
"Hmm. But does he have a trust fund?" Logan asked playfully.
Rory didn't answer, but her face looked troubled. Logan sized her up for a moment before speaking.
"Well, Ace, you're gonna have to choose someone from this room tonight. That's how these things work, you know."
"Are you serious?" Rory asked, torn between incredulity and derision.
"Deadly," Logan said, a twinkle in his eye.
"I don't think I can stand meeting another heir to the fortune tonight," Rory moaned.
Logan just laughed. "Tell ya what, Ace. Every time you get yourself in a situation, you just give me the signal and I'll come play boyfriend."
Rory scoffed. "I don't know whether to be thankful or scared." She contemplated her options, then sighed. "Ok." She pushed off the wall and straightened her dress. "I mean this can last only, what, one or two more hours?"
"Pretty much," affirmed Logan.
"Ok. But my grandparents are so dead after tonight," she grumbled. Rory paused. "Wait, so what's our signal?"
Logan thought for a moment. "How about a Carol Burnett?"
"Gotcha," Rory confirmed. Logan opened the door for her, following her onto the floor. Rory stood there awkwardly for a moment until her grandmother caught her eye. Logan just winked at her and headed to the bar. He got a drink and positioned himself to keep an eye on Rory.
"Rory, dear, come meet James," Emily said, approaching Rory with yet another young man in tow. "Your grandfather used to work for his great-grandfather," she said. Rory sighed inwardly and dutifully smiled up at the latest match. "Oh dear, is that Evelyn? I have the most urgent DAR business with her. If you'll excuse me," Emily said, not-so-subtly breezing away.
"So," leered James. "You party?"
"Um, well, I like to have a good time, relatively substance-free," Rory replied hesitantly.
"Uh huh. Relatively? Right," winked James. "So, I have an apartment near here if you want to get out of those party clothes," he said, leaning suggestively toward Rory.
Rory immediately stepped back and pulled on her ear. Meanwhile, at the bar, Logan noticed a boy in casual clothes and a leather jacket walk up looking very confused. He guessed at this boy's identity, but gave no appearance of recognizing him. When he saw Rory pull on her ear, he grinned and set down his drink.
"Duty calls," he said to the mystery boy. He strode over to Rory as the boy glowered.
"Ace!" he said, coming up behind her.
"There you are," Rory said, relief evident in her voice. She tried not to act too surprised when Logan put his arms around her waist, holding her from behind and nuzzling her neck. From the bar, the mystery boy squinted as if he could not believe his eyes.
"James, this is Logan," she said, a little more confident now. "Logan is my boyfriend." James stepped back in surprise.
"Logan, this is James. James was just inviting me to his apartment," Rory said innocently.
"Oh really?" Logan said, threateningly.
"Whoa, let's not get carried away here. I didn't know – I mean, I would never have – I mean…oh, would you look at the time? I have to…go…now," said James, quickly walking away.
"Ok, I owe you big time!" said Rory, laughing as she turned to face Logan. Her laugh died away as she realized that Logan's arms were still around her, his face just inches away.
"Um, thanks," she said pointedly, trying to extricate herself from his arms. But Logan didn't let her go.
"Don't you think we could avoid me having to rescue you over and over again with one little public display of affection?" Logan murmured in her ear, quickly glancing around the room and noticing the boy in the leather jacket slowly making his way toward them, getting close enough to hear their conversation.
"Logan," Rory said, laughing nervously, "You're forgetting I really do have a boyfriend."
"But he's not here right now, is he?" Logan said. Rory just shook her head silently. "So, one little kiss and all the crazies go away," Logan insisted, trying to persuade her.
Rory placed her hands on his chest. "Logan, I don't think…"
Rory was cut off by Logan's sudden kiss. She was surprised at first, pushing away off his chest, but as the kiss deepened, she relaxed into his embrace, kissing him back and allowing his tongue entry into her mouth. Her hands pulled on the lapels of his coat, drawing him closer. Logan's hands moved from Rory's waist to roam the exposed back of her dress, sending chills up Rory's spine. Rory slipped her hands up onto both sides of Logan's face, threading her fingers through the back of his hair. Logan pulled Rory as close as he possibly could, until their entire bodies were touching. He gradually became aware of the fact that everyone near them had stopped talking and were most likely staring, and pulled away slowly. He opened his eyes to see Rory standing there looking flushed, her eyes still closed. She opened her eyes and looked at Logan with shock on her face, and took a step backwards.
Logan was still in a daze when he felt someone jerk his shoulder, turning him away from Rory, and was still recovering from the kiss when a fist connected with his face.
"Dean!" shrieked Rory. Logan stumbled backwards, clutching his jaw but looking determinedly up to be ready for the next punch. Rory grabbed Dean's arm and pulled him away from Logan. He just shook her off and looked angrily at her.
"Who is this, Rory?" he asked angrily, pointing at Logan.
"Logan. He's just a friend," Rory explained, fear rising in her throat.
"What, you let all your 'friends' kiss you like that?" Dean said accusatorily. "That's bullshit, Rory."
"No, he was just helping me out," Rory tried to explain, the words tripping over each other to get out. Dean just looked incredulously at Rory.
"Listen, let's just calm down and discuss this like rational adults," reasoned Logan, straightening his tie and summoning the famous Huntzberger charm. "Can I get you a drink?" he offered Dean.
"I wouldn't say a word right now if I were you," warned Dean. Logan looked at Rory in askance.
"Dean, come on," Rory said, pulling on his arm, leading him to a side room away from the silent crowd. "Logan, just…" Rory said helplessly.
"Disappear," Logan said, finishing her sentence. Rory looked grateful. "See ya 'round, Ace," he said, playfully saluting her and massaging his jaw as he walked away.
Rory shut the door to her grandfather's study.
"What's going on, Rory?" Dean asked.
"Look, my grandparents arranged this joke of a party. As you know, I figured it was some Yale Alumni thing. I get here, and Grandma dresses me up like so," Rory said, pausing to gesture to her ridiculous jewelry and overdone hair, "and I come downstairs to find all of their friends with sons my age just standing around to talk to me." Rory's face hardened as she sent angry thoughts to her grandparents. Dean looked impatient, so she hurried along her story. "So anyway, I was stuck talking to this particularly horrendous boy, and Logan, my friend from the newspaper, walks up and makes some remark about being my boyfriend to drive away the unsavory character." She looked at Dean, whose arms were still crossed and eyes were still narrowed. "I thanked him, and told him how upset I was about this party since I already had a perfectly wonderful boyfriend," she paused and gave Dean a little smile, "and he offered to play the fake boyfriend card anytime I needed rescuing throughout the evening. When you showed up, he had just rescued me from a seriously disgusting guy who was propositioning me, and to scare away any future interests, he suggested a kiss so he didn't have to rescue me over and over for the rest of the evening," Rory said, finally running out of breath.
"Yeah, that much I caught," Dean said sarcastically. "So why follow through?" he asked, part angry and part hurt.
"Well, I reminded him that I had a real boyfriend, and he said…um…well I don't remember what he said, but then he kissed me anyway," Rory said, turning red.
Dean knew very well exactly what words transpired, but he didn't say anything.
"It didn't mean anything," argued Rory. "He just kissed me. That's it," she said, finally running out of things to say.
"But you kissed him back," Dean said pointedly through gritted teeth.
Rory didn't know how to respond. "Well, not at first, but at that point I could hardly pretend he was my boyfriend if I slapped him for kissing me. It had to look real otherwise somebody else might have tried it," she said, trying to convince herself as much as Dean.
Dean just looked at her for a long, hard moment.
"Dean," Rory said softly. "He was just trying to help." That was the wrong thing to say, judging by Dean's expression. She tried a different tact. "You know I love you. That was nothing but a rescue effort gone horribly awry." She tentatively touched Dean's arm. "I would never intentionally hurt you, you know that, right?" she asked, pleading in her eyes.
Dean tried to overcome the gnawing jealousy in the pit of his stomach, a feeling that was momentarily softened by the look in Rory's eyes. He was trying to get over flashbacks of the Jess situation. He shoved aside his anger and reluctantly let Rory hug him.
"Whatever," he said off-handedly. Rory looked up at him and he finally smiled down at her. "You know I can't stay mad at you," he said. Rory smiled back.
"Are we okay?" she asked.
"Yeah, we're okay," he replied. "Just…" Dean hesitated. "Just promise me that you won't let Logan 'help' you again, ok?"
"Oh, definitely," Rory said, vehemently. "To be honest, I don't quite like him. He's one of those Richie Rich guys who gets everything handed to him on a silver platter. One of those take-over-the-family-empire kids," Rory said, allowing disdain to carefully leak into her voice. Dean recognized it as going a bit overkill, but he let it slide.
"Yeah, well, let's not waste time talking about him," Dean said, an air of finality in his voice, leaning down to kiss her. He couldn't help but notice that Rory kissed him with less passion than she had when kissing Logan, but he shrugged it off.
"So, um, what say you meet me back at Luke's in about an hour. I think I have a little damage control to do here," said Rory, already trying to figure out how to explain the fracas to her grandparents.
"Ok," agreed Dean. "Do you want me to stay?"
"No," Rory said thoughtfully, "I'm pretty sure Logan has left by now, and if you can also slip out the back I can go be creative and talk to the elder Gilmores without either of you there to complicate things."
"Ok, see you later," Dean said, with a peck on the lips. He left the study and made his way back to his truck. Rory remained in the study, leaning against her grandfather's desk, pondering just exactly how to explain to her grandparents why her boyfriend was throwing punches at the heir to the Huntzberger fortune.
Ta da! You like? So obviously this story is going to take place a lot at Yale and be Rory-centric, but don't be surprised if some chapters end up in Stars Hollow, where we get a little Luke/Lorelai interaction and more crazy Kirk-schemes.
Oh yes, and the review button is your friend! Let me know what you think, because sometimes you get to influence the plot... :)