A/N: Okay so I know I should be working on my other stories seeing as though people are sending rather desperate e-mails but I couldn't concentrate on them until I got this idea out of my head. I would have had this up on Friday but it was my birthday and my best friend who moved away last year came down to surprise me! Anyway that took up Friday and my party was Saturday so I finally got this up today.
I just want to warn everyone who reads this that I was in an incredible happy mood when I wrote it and so beware for how completely cheesy and fluffy this will be near the end.
On with the story…
"Maybe if you could just try and see it from his point of view…"
"Oh no I tried! I just can't seem to get my head that far up my ass!"
Rory couldn't stop the giggle from slipping past her lips. She and Stephanie had been sitting at a corner table in the pub for almost an hour now and while Rory only had one drink, she'd lost count of Steph's after five.
"I don't know why you're laughing Gilmore, you're in the same boat as I am," the blonde suddenly stated pointing her finger across at Rory, so close to her face that she actually jerked backwards.
"I thought we weren't talking about me?" Rory asked, remembering how Steph had been complaining loudly about Rorys' non-stop talking about her current love problems.
"You're right! We're not talking about you! And you know why?" Steph asked, her voice getting louder with each word. "Because Colin is an ass!" she exclaimed, her pretty brown eyes turning completely glassy as she emptied her drink.
"All men are!" Rory joined in, although in a much more subdued manner as she could see the stares the two of them were getting.
"I say we forget about them!" Steph proposed raising both hands in the air, palms facings upwards.
Both girls looked suddenly inhabited with fierce determination for at least ten seconds before their resolve slipped and they met each others eyes sheepishly.
"I'll get us more drinks," Steph announced and all but stumbled towards the bar to plead her case to the bartender who'd already threatened to cut them off.
Rory slowly lowered her chin to rest in her hands that were propped up on the table top. She could clearly remember the events of the day before, every word said and every feeling. Without Stephanie's drunken distractions she couldn't stop from letting the memories assault her mind.
They'd been at a party that night, one thrown by the guys because they'd all had particular nasty encounters with their fathers. Not that that alone was out of the ordinary but Rory had come to understand that the guys would take any excuse to throw a party. She hadn't believed it herself until she been to their 'thank God allergy season is over party', as Colin was particularly allergic to pollen.
They'd been drinking, although he'd been throwing them back a bit quicker than the others. She'd noticed right away but had decided not to say anything, intent on just letting him deal in his own way.
It hadn't been until quarter to twelve that she finally started to try and talk him into leaving. He'd been already sufficiently drunk by that time and had dragged her off to the back of the party, leaning heavily on her shoulder, his hot breath coming out ragged against her neck. Although at the prospect of leaving, his once almost unconscious looking body had sprang into action. She could still feel his hands gripping her hips, his fingers digging into the exposed flesh from her shorter top. She could remember without trouble the smell of his breath as he'd leaned in to kiss her. At first she'd been completely caught off guard and gasped as he wrapped an arm around her back, his hand pressing her into him.
Once she'd regained control she'd kissed him back, not being able to stop herself. But as his hand rose under her shirt, snaking up to the clasp of her bra and the other following that same path on her front she'd felt herself freeze.
He'd obviously felt it to as he'd pulled back a second later. She could have sworn she saw his green eyes flash with guilt before they'd become clouded again, although his time not from alcohol but with anger. An anger so powerful she'd seen his jaw tick and watched as he clenched his fists.
She had never, ever, felt scared with him before that moment. He'd never looked at her like that and with his gaze so intense and his body intimidating as he towered over her, Rory had felt fear prickling across her skin. And she'd done the only thing she could so…she'd run.
"He wouldn't give me anything!" Steph suddenly broke into Rory's thoughts and Rory watched as she slumped down in the booth, a pout forming on her lips.
Rory smiled, "Maybe you've had enough," she hinted, not liking to see her friend get this drunk because of a guy.
"No, he was just being an ass like every other guy," Steph mumbled into her palm where she had her head resting. "Why don't you go ask him?"
Rory frowned. "I don't want anything to drink, Steph."
"Why not? You've only had like one drink tonight!" the blonde complained. "You really should have another one…it helps, I'm not even thinking about Colin anymore!"
Rory raised an eyebrow. "You're not?" she asked unconvinced.
"Nope, Colin who?" Steph exclaimed, her eyes lighting up when she saw the door to the pub open and a loud group of unknown guys walk in. "In fact, I known something else that will definitely help with forgetting about Colin…"
Rory was going to grab her friends hand, was going to try and talk some sense into her but Steph managed to evade her attempts and walked over to one of the guys. Rory sighed, she could remember clearly that the reason Stephanie and Colin were on the rocks was because he'd gotten drunk and started flirting with another girl. Rory was sure that if Stephanie did the same thing…well it wouldn't help their situation at all.
But she also knew that Steph had a mind of her own and so Rory just watched as her friend finally got her drink, bought by the guy she was now with. Rory averted her gaze, not sure exactly what she should do now. She could wait here for Stephanie and they could just walk back together but the prospect of sitting alone in the pub, without even any alcohol –although that was a decision she'd made on her own- definitely wasn't on her list of top ten things she wanted to do tonight.
Rory was just about to slide out of her side of the booth when she felt a presence in front of her. Instantly she thought it was him and even though she knew she shouldn't get her hopes up, she felt her heart already flying away from her. But when she looked up her eyes didn't lock with sparkling, emerald green ones, instead they found the unwelcoming gaze of one of the guys Steph had gone over to talk to.
She sat there for a second, just watching him, waiting until he said something. She didn't have to wait long until a smirk slid its way onto his face, although his smirk was a lot different than the mischievous one she was used to. This smirk made her skin crawl and the hairs on the back on her neck stand up.
"So…" the guy started and Rory rolled her eyes but then preceded to squirm in her seat as she felt his eyes sweep down what he could see of her body. "My boys over there bet that I wouldn't be able to start a conversation with the most beautiful girl in the room," he finally came out with, while pointing over to the group of guys at the bar and Rory felt her cheeks flush red at his words. "Want to buy some drinks with their money?" he asked, flashing a twenty he'd had hidden in his hand.
Rory looked from his hand to his face and then darted her eyes over to Steph who was giving her a thumbs up. Rory felt her stomach lurch as she understood what the blonde was silently conveying to her. She wanted her to move on, to use someone to get over her own love troubles.
Rory swallowed hard as she looked back up at the guy. Had his smirk and his gaze not made her feel like throwing up she would have thought he was a nice guy, no ulterior motives at all. But after spending most of her time with guys like Logan, Colin and Finn, Rory knew that even the most charming guy could really be a creep.
"Um…" she said and grabbed her jacket from its place beside and stood up from the booth, slipping her arms into the denim sleeves. "I have to go," she told him and started walking over to the door of the pub, ignoring the way he called out to her and the intense eyes that followed her retreat, which she was sure belonged to Steph.
She only slowed down until she was safely twenty yards or so away from the pub and let herself sit down on one of the benches. She couldn't even comprehend how Steph could just throw herself at some random guy, like payback for what Colin did to her. Even the thought of being with someone else made Rory's heart sting.
Rory let her eyes slip back in the direction of the pub and that was when she realized where she was sitting. Even just the memory of that night, almost a year ago, brought her long suppressed tears to the surface.
Rory wrapped her scarf around her neck, fighting against the cool breeze that was still in the air. She could feel goose-bumps peppering her arms even through the material of her sweater and although she was cold she didn't move. Going back to her dorm was not something she could handle right now; she didn't want to face the 'I told you so' look on Paris' face.
Even though Paris had been right…Rory had even known. From the beginning she'd known and yet she let herself get involved anyway. She'd thought Logan was what she wanted; she thought he was the guy she'd been looking for. He was so different than all her other boyfriends, and she thought she could really love him one day.
She couldn't have been more wrong.
Things with Logan started off rocky, the two of them dancing around each other in a no-strings relationship. It wasn't something Rory wanted but she forced herself to endure it, she thought she could change Logan, make him want to be with her and only her.
What surprised her and everyone else was that Logan had committed to her. He asked her to be exclusive and Rory felt she was on cloud nine.
Of course that feeling only lasted two weeks at the most. She couldn't be sure why she'd ever really wanted to be with Logan. Maybe it was because she'd thought she couldn't be with him. You know the thrill of the unattainable and everything.
But being with Logan exclusively wasn't exactly like she'd thought it would be. When they'd been no-strings attached she hadn't been with him enough to really get to know him and vice versa. But with an exclusive relationship, they been together every night and it hadn't taken long for the initial cloud nine happiness to fade away.
Sure Logan was fun and he helped open her up a lot more, helped her experience a lot. But most of those things could be done merely on a friendship basis. The more dating things were what went wrong. It started with the fact that they didn't exactly like the same things, movies and music being key. And it hit its breaking point when they would go to parties together. Rory would end up spending the night either with Stephanie or with Paris if she could convince her to come in the first place. Logan would always get tied up in some poker game or drinking game, not really thinking of her.
And that would be the reason Rory was sitting on a bench, alone, in the cold fall evening. She'd finally broken up with Logan, just like Paris said she would when they'd started dating. They just weren't compatible enough. He was to set in his ways and Rory's ways were too eclectic for his.
It wasn't even that she was upset about the break up. It had been mutual, although Logan had tried to fight it a little in the beginning, there weren't any hard feelings. Rory was more than glad they would be able to remain friends because she knew she wouldn't be able to cut him out of her life completely.
Rory sighed and wrapped her arms around herself, trying to warm her body a little more. She almost jumped out of her skin when she felt a weight, like a blanket, being laid over her shoulders. Her head snapped around to be met with the laughing eyes of one Finnegan Morgan.
"Hey, love," he greeted and sat down beside her, only a grey button down shirt covering him and Rory looked down to see his coat hanging around her small frame.
She quickly moved to take it off but found his hand stopping her. "Keep it kitten, don't want you freezing out here."
"Thanks," she said smiling at him as she let arms slip into the jacket, bringing it closer to herself and letting scent of his aftershave surround her. "What are you doing out here?" she asked him after a minute.
"Was walking back from a party, 'cross campus," he told her, relaxing back against the back of the bench, his arm thrown along the top. "What about you, kitten, you shouldn't be out here by yourself…all kinds of nasties."
Rory smiled. "I was just thinking," she said as way of explanation.
"Well then, it's a good thing I came by…to much thinking can't be good!" he exclaimed.
"I'm always thinking Finn," Rory told him, her blue eyes lighting up. "You should know that by now."
"Of course I do, love!" he said and leaned in closer, gesturing for her to do the same. "Actually, a thought just crossed my mind as well," he whispered into her ear and Rory felt a shiver run down her spine at his intimate tones.
"Really? Must have been a long and lonely journey," she teased, loving the banter her and Finn could so easily slip into, no matter the situation.
Finn tsked, "Well what do we have here? A comedian," he commented but then dipped his head down lower and let a sad smile spread across his face. "I wouldn't think you'd be in the joking mood now, love…"
Rory sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "Who told you?" she asked, averting her gaze.
"I don't know, some random guy I met while walking," he told her, shaking the comment off and then surprised Rory by shuffling closer to her and wrapping his arm around her shoulders. "Tell me, what can Finn do for the lady?"
Rory laughed at his never ending antics. "I really don't need anything," she told him and watched as he rolled his eyes, dismissing her words.
"Now love, don't be brave on my account," he announced and rubbed her arm comfortingly. "I have the perfect solution for your troubles."
"I shall forever defend your honour!" he cried dramatically and leaped off the bench almost bringing Rory with him. "Where's Logan now huh? I'll give him a piece of what Aussie's are famous for!"
Rory frowned. "Aren't Aussie's famous for surfing or something…" she trailed off, her lips drawn together in concentration as she tried to recall something about Australia.
"Sure," Finn agreed readily but shook his head and sat down beside her again. "Although I'm sure a surfing contest wouldn't work…I'm terribly ungraceful and I don't see how standing on a tiny board, in the water, would really help."
"It probably wouldn't."
"But! There is something else we're good at," he told her and grabbed her hand making her turn to face him on the bench. "Want to give it a try, love?"
"I think I'm gonna have to know what it is first," she told him, her curiosity peeked and tilted her head to the side to watch him more closely.
"You don't trust me?" he asked, pretending to be hurt and held a hand to his heart, a fake expression of anguish on his face.
Rory laughed at his display and shook her head. "Sorry, Finny, you're just to cunning to be trustworthy."
"Cunning!" he echoed and brought her hand up to his mouth and kissed all around her knuckles. "The beautiful and witty Miss Gilmore has just called me cunning! I shall shout it from the rooftops!"
Rory's eyes widened and she snatched her hand back, her cheeks already flushed red in embarrassment. "Please don't, Finn," she pleaded, not doubting that he was serious for a minute.
Finn pouted, "Fine, some other time then," he assured her and then smiled again. "Back to my offer…"
"Which I'm still not agreeing to until you explain it to me," Rory interrupted.
"If the lady wishes," he concluded and then snaked his tongue to glide over his front teeth and leaned in closer to her once again. "We Aussie's are famous for our Australian kiss," he told her and Rory felt her cheeks burn even redder. "It's just like a French kiss, but down under."
Rory almost jumped back at his explanation and felt her heart pound double time. She'd never before met someone who so blatantly flirted with her before. She nervously fisted her hands together, not letting herself meet his eyes because she knew he would looking at her in a knowing and satisfactory way. He could always manage to make her beat red with only one comment.
The sound of her name on his lips was enough to make her gaze snap towards him. She smiled innocently and worried her bottom lip between her teeth. "You called me Rory," she told him in an obvious manner, not remembering ever hearing him call her that.
"Seemed like the opportune moment," he answered truthfully and Rory was taken aback by the seriousness in his eyes and voice. She could clearly see the affection he held for her and Rory felt her heart swell with the knowledge she would have Finn even if her and Logan weren't together anymore.
"Thanks," she told him quietly. Off his confused look she took a deep breath and dove into her explanation. "I just…I thought for a moment after Logan and I broke up, that maybe we wouldn't be friends anymore."
"Would never happen, love," Finn eagerly promised. "I like you better than I like dear Logan."
"Finn," Rory scolded not liking the fact that he was taking sides in the situation. And even if he should take sides, Rory would never want to come between best friends like Logan and Finn.
"Don't worry, kitten, Huntz is still my best mate," he assured her but then gave her a toothy grin. "You're just much prettier than he is, so you could see I'm a little biased."
Rory blushed at his words but managed to maintain eye contact with him and she couldn't stop the fluttering of her heart or the way her breath caught in her throat at his intense gaze.
Everything had seemed to fall into place after that one night. Rory and Finn became closer then before, him making sure she really was okay after her break up with Logan, while Rory couldn't explain how she was suddenly drawn to him.
Rory had been more than glad that Logan hadn't seemed to mind the growing relationship between her and Finn. She definitely hadn't wanted to be the cause of anything turning awkward in the group. Although things had rarely ever been awkward with Finn there anyhow, he seemed to be a natural ice breaker.
It hadn't been long before they'd finally begun dating. Their effortless chemistry had been more obvious than usual and everyone had been betting on when they would admit their feelings, even Logan had been in on it. Finn had made the first move, asking her out for evening and they'd been together for a year now, and everything had been perfect.
Rory was drawn away from her thoughts as she heard her teeth chattering against the cool night. Resolving herself for the walk back to her dorm, Rory got up from the bench and started towards Branford where she still lived with Paris.
When she got to her door she found that she didn't need her key as it wasn't locked. Frowning she pushed her way inside, turning to face the door and locked it this time before she continued on into her room. She was suddenly jarred out of her silent ways by the clearing of a throat, a noise that sent her jumping into the air and holding her hands to her heart.
"Sorry kitten," Finn apologized from his spot leaning against her window, his hands stuffed deep inside his pockets and his stance slouched slightly.
Rory didn't say anything as she tried to regulate her breathing and calm her racing heart. She let her eyes trace over his form, not quite believing he was actually standing in front of her, in her dorm…
"How did you…" she trailed off gesturing from him to her door in a silent question.
Finn looked up into her eyes, his usually bright green ones dulled. "Paris let me in before she left," he explained, his voice soft and quiet.
Rory nodded and then shifted nervously on the spot, she wasn't sure what to do now. She still felt as if she was in shock from him being here, after all she hadn't heard from him or seen him since the party.
The party…Just the thought of that night sent a shiver down her spine and her eyes prickling with tears. She could remember the anger coming off of him in waves, could remember her own confusion and helplessness at not knowing what she did.
Rory sat down on her bed, her back to him because she didn't want him to see her crying. She knew he would be at her side in an instant and she couldn't bear him touching her right now. She knew she would completely fall apart if he did.
"Finn?" she questioned, feeling proud of as she managed to keep her voice from wavering.
"Yeah, love," he answered her and Rory closed her eyes briefly at the hesitant, guilty way he was speaking to her. He reminded her of how a dog knew when he did something bad and he would put his head down and whine.
"What happened at the party?" she finally asked the question that had been at the front of her mind ever since that night. "What did I do?"
Rory heard him move before she saw him in front of her. She watched his knees, to stubborn to look up and meet his eyes. She heard him sigh and watched as he bent down in front of her, leaning forward so he could see her face.
"Rory, listen to me," he started, his voice firm, "you didn't do anything, okay. You're amazing and beautiful and perfect and…" he trailed off, running a hand through his hair, frustratingly. "And I'm an ass."
Rory couldn't stop the corners of her mouth from lifting into a small smile, remembering her earlier conversation with Stephanie. "Why?" she asked, finally looking straight at him.
Finn stood up and paced in front of her for a while before he sighed and rubbed at the bridge of his nose. "You know I met with my pops that day right?" he asked and looked back just in time to see Rory nod. "Well me and him don't get along so well…actually not in the least. But we actually agreed on something this past year."
Rory wrinkled her brow and watched as Finn came and sat down beside, more than a foot away, and the distance between them only brought more tears to her eyes.
"He told me he likes you, thinks your damn swell," he told her and Rory smiled encouragingly, knowing how hard it was for him to talk about his dad. "Of course you know you're my world and everything but he seemed to think I wasn't expressing my feelings so well."
Rory had felt her heart speed up at his words but even more confusion swelled inside of her to. "What does that mean?" she asked him, her voice small and uncertain.
Finn snorted and shrugged it off. "Hell if I know, love. One minute he was just yammering on and on and next he's showing me something…" he let his voice grow faint at the end and Rory saw his hands gripping her comforter tight, his knuckles almost turning white with the effort.
"Finn?" she called to him and not being able to stop herself her hand went straight to his cheek, feeling the rough stubble that accentuated it. She gently turned him to face her. Suddenly all her anger she'd felt towards him vanished when she saw the fear in his eyes.
"The old man told me to give this to you," he started again, given the strength he needed to get all of it out by the feel of her skin on his. "Told me not to screw it up…guess I already failed on that request though."
"Finn I don't under…" she felt her voice crack and break off when he let go of her comforter and pulled a small, velvet box out of his pants pocket. Her blue eyes widened at the action and darted back and forth between him and the box. She found herself almost unable to breathe and as she brought her hand up to cover her mouth she saw it was shaking profusely.
He laughed nervously, fingering the box. "Just about fainted when he gave it to me, thought my whole world was gonna end in that moment," he told her truthfully although Rory only caught snippets of what he was saying as she couldn't turn her eyes away from the Tiffany's box.
Finn set the box down on the bed between them and started to wring his hands together again. "After the initial shock wore off…well I don't think I've ever been so mad at him. He'd always told me not to screw things up with you, take my time and there he was pressuring me into something as big as this."
Rory finally managed to look up at him and saw that same anger in her eyes. She bit her bottom lip and averted her eyes. "So, you weren't mad at me?" she asked, almost afraid of his answer because now she couldn't expect anything from him except more surprises.
"Of course not, Rory," he promised her immediately and reached for her hand, covering it with his own larger one. "I was still mad at my father, and when I was with you, all I could think about was how this could ruin everything. How he could be the reason I lost you and I snapped." He looked adoringly into her eyes and Rory felt her breath catch. "When you ran out I was so scared that I'd ruined everything with you. I thought it was over and I realized in that moment that my pop might have actually been right. I need you in my life, Rory. I love you."
Rory already had tears streaming down her cheeks from his heartfelt speech and before she could even think she had her arms around his neck and was drawing herself even closer to him. She felt his arms come around her waist, his powerful grip pulling her into his lap and the two of them stayed locked together.
Rory closed her eyes at the immense happiness rocketing through her system. She pressed her lips against his neck and then lifted them to his ear, whispering what she knew he needed to hear, what she'd told him plenty times before. "I love you, Finn."
He slowly pulled away from her and Rory quickly pressed her lips to his, kissing him desperately as she tried to get herself closer to him. He returned her kiss and they let themselves get lost in each other for a minute before he pulled back. He ran his hand down the side of her face and then gently picked her up off his lap and stood from the bed.
"I went out the morning after the party," he told her and shuffled over to her desk. "I was going to get you a whole bouquet of sunflowers," he exclaimed and Rory smiled at how well he knew her. "Well truth be told, I would have bought every sunflower they had but…"
Rory watched as he walked back over to her and knelt beside her on her bed. In his hand was a single sunflower, the petals perfectly yellow and straight. The prettiest flower she'd ever seen.
"I got this instead, love. One sunflower for the only time I've ever hurt you," he said, his voice thick with emotion and Rory felt tears slide down her cheeks. "And hopefully the only time I ever will," he promised and held out the flower for her, which Rory took immediately and then threw her arms around him again carefully not to harm the petals.
She couldn't believe this was the same guy she'd been with at the party. He was so completely different and everything he did was just another surprise. She held onto him even tighter, her fingers threading into the short hairs at the back of his neck.
This was what she'd always wanted.
Someone who loved her for who she really was…Someone who knew everything about her and every single one of her little quirks…Someone who was just as crazy as her and helped her become the kind of woman she really wanted to be…
They stayed locked together for a long moment, just enjoying being in each others arms. Then Finn started to slightly pull away and looked deep into Rory's watering eyes. He gently ran the backs of his fingers down her cheek and pushed a stray wisp of hair behind her ear.
"I know we're not ready for something like marriage," he said and Rory nodded through her steadily falling tears. "But I'm gonna give this to you anyway."
Rory watched in amazement as he picked up the small, velvet box and gently opened it. The ring was gorgeous, something straight out of a fairytale and Rory's breath caught in her throat. The white gold band had a considerable diamond stone with smaller diamonds flanking it. She couldn't believe the elegance presented in the ring and slowly brought her hand up to him.
Finn smiled as he watched her take the ring in. "It was my grandmum's," he told her. "Been in the family for a while though, my dad thought it was about time he gave it to me…to give to the woman I love."
"I'm not proposing to you, kitten. Would have done it a lot more extravagantly if so," he said and Rory smile, knowing that was true, Finn was always one for dramatics. "I'm giving it to you as a promise…I will make you my wife someday."
Rory for the life of her couldn't seem to say anything and so she just smiled at him and watched as he slid the ring onto her finger. It somehow fit her perfectly, though Rory spent little time worrying over that. The second it was on her finger she threw herself on him again, her arms winding themselves around his neck and clinging to him.
"I'm guessing you like it then, love?" he asked teasingly and pulled her into a comfortable sitting position on his lap.
Rory pulled away so she could look into his sparkling green eyes. She bit her lip and brought her hand up closer, moving her fingers around and watching the ring glint in the light. She looked back up at him and saw he was smirking satisfactory and she rolled her eyes.
"It's okay," she stated and gently slid off his lap.
Rory smiled innocently. "Yep," she said and then squealed as he tackled her, his hands finding the sensitive skin on her sides and tickling it mercilessly. She cried for him to stop, her breath coming out in ragged gasps around her shrieks of laughter.
And she knew in that moment that after everything she'd been through in life, after how much she tried with Dean and Jess and Logan …
She'd finally gotten it right.