Part 18: Fighting Isn't Only for the Pros
"So, Colin is dating your best friend?" Robert asked as they walked to a nearby twenty four hour fifties themed diner, they were both craving something sweet so Robert had decided to take Rory to a diner a few blocks away from the pub that he tended to frequent.
"Yeah, Lane, she's great, you know."
"So I've heard," Robert laughed opening the diner door for her, letting her walk in before him. He led her to a booth in the corner, smiling at the waitress as they sat down. "Isolde."
"Robert," she said with a roll of her eyes pulling her shiny slightly curly dark brown hair into a ponytail. Rory tilted her head and was amazed by how much the waitress, Isolde, looked like the man sitting across from her, especially with the light green eyes.
"I guess this is why you weren't at the pub?" he teased.
"Not all of us have daddy's moneys to lean on," She said sarcastically as she took out her waitress pad from her white apron that was tied securely around her waist.
"Or daddy just cut them off to learn responsibility." Robert corrected.
"Look, I still say my credit card got stolen and then returned to my wallet, no way would I spend twelve hundred dollars at Pup-N-Stuff."
"Not even for your prized Maltepoo?"
"Shut up Robert." She smiled at Rory. "Who's the girl?"
"Isolde, this is Rory Gilmore, Finn's girlfriend. Rory this is Isolde, my non whore sister."
"Oh wow." Isolde said pushing Robert over to sit next to him; Robert grunted and glared at her. "Robbie told me Finn settled down. I didn't believe him."
"Robbie?" Rory teased, looking over at Robert with a small smirk.
"Oh, only I'm allowed to call him that." Isolde amended, causing Rory to look back over at her. "But I'll give you permission for a price."
"Oh, I'm intrigued." Rory laughed leaning forward in her seat.
"No, no." Robert said waving his hand in a crossing motion. "It's bad enough you call me 'Robbie' until I know Rory better, you do not give her permission."
"So, you're Robert's…" Rory trailed off.
"Twin." Isolde said.
"Oh, wow, resemblance is uncanny."
"Ugh!" both of them groaned.
"What'd I say?" Rory asked in amusement.
"We hate being compared to each other." Robert told her
"We look nothing alike." Isolde said at the same time.
"So are you both close to Colin?" Rory asked, deciding not to argue that, even though Robert and Isolde looked a lot alike.
"Robbie's closer. But I consider Colin just as much my brother as Robert."
"Isolde." Robert said patiently wanting to get his sisters attention before she let out embarrassing stories that Robert knew she had.
"Hmm?" Isolde asked distractedly as she smiled at Rory happily.
"You are a horrible waitress," he teased.
"What? Oh!" she stood up again. "I forgot I was working. Robbie, you're usual?"
"And Rory what would you like?"
Isolde smiled. "What kind?"
"Surprise me, I'm not picky."
"Robert, I like her." Isolde said with a laugh before walking away.
"So, is she the sister you would keep?" Rory asked.
Robert laughed. "Yes, Isolde is the sister I would keep."
"Good, I like her."
"Okay," Isolde said coming back. "Two coffees, and two cream pies." She said setting them down. "Robert, you better leave a big tip, I've got about four hundred more to go before I pay daddy back the card."
"Service sucked." Robert said picking up his fork. Isolde picked up the pie just as Robert was about to dig in, causing his fork to hit the table. He looked up at her in annoyance as she stood at the end of the table, one hand holding the plate while the other was resting on her hip, her own look of annoyance on her face.
"Let me rephrase that. You will leave me a big tip or I'll tell mom who really broke her Russian vase last Christmas."
"Is fifty good?" Robert asked with a sigh.
"Perfect," Isolde said. "Enjoy." She put the pie back down, before going to the door to greet the guests coming in.
"I have been systematically paying that damn credit card bill for the past three months." He shook his head. "I don't know why I don't just pay my father that way Isolde can finally quit."
"Your father and you…" Rory bit her lip. "Are you close?"
Robert shrugged. "I guess."
"Sorry, I'm prying." She said looking down at her plate.
"No it's fine." Robert smiled. "My mom stayed with my dad for ten years, they married young, sort of a reckless thing you know?"
"Yeah, I know."
"So she had Brandon, but Brandon has no interest in taking over Bancroft Airlines, then it was Isolde and I, then my two little sisters who are sleeping their way through high school, if you know what I mean." He smirked causing Rory to roll her eyes. "Which means Isolde and I are the most likely to get the company, because of that, our dad talks to us, takes an interest. But he lives in Europe most of the time, we only see him maybe once or twice a year, its phone calls weekly though."
"Are you close though?"
Robert nodded slowly. "Sure, I mean it's not like Finn with his father."
Rory laughed, "I don't think anyone has a relationship quite like Roland and Finn."
"Very true, but my father and I get along well enough. There's no pressure from him for me or Isolde to follow in his footsteps, but hell, both of us love the company."
"Do you fly?"
Robert nodded. "Occasionally, I don't have my license yet though."
"I'm assuming from your questions, you're not too close to your father."
"Not so much anymore, no. I'm closer to my mother."
"I've heard the rumor." He laughed. "My mother and I are close too, nothing like you and your mother from what I've heard. If anything I trust Isolde and Colin with my life, more than my parents."
Rory laughed. "It's just weird you know, I spend my Friday nights and Saturday mornings over at Roland's house and I see how close he and Finn are, and its odd that I never really had that with my own father, the closeness." Rory shook her head. "I don't do this." She admitted.
"Do what?" he asked looking up at her curiously.
"Share." Rory admitted with a small smile. "It took me weeks to open up to Finn yet here I am talking to you as if I've known you for years."
Robert shrugged. "Trust me, I don't usually answer questions about my family like I'm doing with you, but I find you comfortable to talk to. It's not…awkward."
"It's not," Rory stated with a smile. "I feel that too." She bit her lip as she took the last bite of pie pushing her plate away. "You do know I have no romantic interest in you."
Robert choked on the piece of pie he'd put in his mouth, swallowing with a wince before wiping his mouth. "God, I hope not, Finn would kick my ass for seducing you."
Rory laughed. "You couldn't seduce me."
Robert rolled his eyes. "Trust me, I could."
"You really couldn't."
Robert laughed, having a feeling she wasn't going to give up. "Look, Colin is, for all intent and purpose, my brother."
"And my brother is very fond of you, so fond in fact that if I was to even think about making a move, he'd kill me then revive me so his best friend could have his turn. It wouldn't matter if you reciprocated those advances or not, I'd be dead. So…with Colin being protective of you because of Finn, and me being loyal to said brother, I'm not going to invoke anyone's wrath. If anything you've just gained a protector."
"And Robbie is just the best protector." Isolde cooed pinching his cheeks before sitting back down causing Robert to glare at her and slap her hands away.
Rory smiled drinking the last of her coffee. "I like you guys."
"Good, because I'm pretty sure we like you too." Isolde said with a smile, before settling her feet on the seat next to Rory. She turned to Robert. "I get off in an hour."
Robert looked at his watch. "So, three?"
Isolde nodded. "Do you want me to get a taxi or…"
"No I'll walk you back." Robert said, "I'll walk Rory back to her dorm, then come back and get you, does that sound ok?"
"Oh perfect. I need to get off my feet." Isolde groaned wiggling her feet.
Robert shook his head. "If you didn't love that Maltepoo so much."
"Oh shut up Robert." Isolde said. "I'm telling you the truth."
Robert turned to Rory who was looking at them in amusement. "A few months ago, my dad got the credit report for Isolde's credit card. Limitless credit card."
"Oh no." Rory laughed looking between the two.
"She was two thousand dollars over a limit that doesn't exist," Rory laughed as Isolde rolled her eyes, Robert continued. "She swears that someone stole her credit card out of her wallet, and after they were done using it, put it back."
"And I'm telling the truth." Isolde said firmly.
"She has no money management skills." Robert pointed out.
"That's Robert's department. I'm more the fashonista." She bragged as she stood up.
"Oh yeah, totally." Rory said looking down at Isolde's uniform. It was a lime green dress that ended just above her knees and a white rounded out apron that was wrapped tightly around her waist, and a white headband hat.
"Hey, don't knock the outfit; I actually have wonderful fashion sense when I'm not working."
"She does, I don't dress myself you know." Robert teased standing up and pulling out his wallet. "How much do I owe?"
"150," Isolde answered easily.
"Robert," Isolde said impatiently.
"Isolde," Robert said matching her tone.
"Fine, 100," Isolde conceded.
Robert sighed and pulled out the bill leaving out on the table. "Happy to pay your bills, sis."
"God, I could just sit here all day watching you guys." Rory teased
Robert shook his head. "Come on, I'll walk you back."
"Isolde, it was great meeting you."
"Same here Rory, I hope to see more of you, I mean if you can put up with Robert and all."
Rory looked at Robert then nodded at Isolde. "I think I can manage."
"Great, cause I've got like this sixth sense."
"Oh jeez," Robert groaned.
"And it's telling me, you and me, great friends."
Rory laughed. "That is wonderful to hear."
"Isn't it?" she smiled, she looked at Robert. "An hour."
"An hour." He said absently kissing the top of her head. "Be ready."
"Promise." Isolde nodded, stuffing the bill in her pocket before gathering their plates. "Bye Rory."
Isolde smiled. "Call me Iz. All my friends do."
Rory smiled back as she let Robert lead her out, and walk her back towards campus. "And now you just proved to me you're not an ass."
"Oh really?" he asked with a short laugh.
Rory nodded. "Sure, you're going to walk me back to my dorm, then walk back to the diner, sit around for maybe half an hour for you sister to get off work, then walk her back. That's sweet."
"Maybe, or maybe it's practical," Robert shrugged.
"A few years ago," Robert started "A girl got attacked; it freaked Isolde out, especially since she had to get a job to pay back our dad. So I offered to walk her to and from work. I usually hang out there anyway to study, free internet."
Robert watched her with a tilted head as they walked across campus. She was talking about something or other, rambling more like it, in the four hours he'd been talking to her, he'd figured out she liked to ramble and as he got to know her, he defiantly regretted promising Stephanie he wouldn't induct Rory into the Life and Death Brigade.
Getting to know her and the fact that she didn't believe what everyone else said about him, that she was able to keep up with Isolde, and not judge her for working or judge him. She was what the Life and Death Brigade stood for, a non judgmental safe haven.
The meaning had gotten skewed over the years, and the brigade had gotten the reputation of it being a bunch of privileged kids doing what they wanted because they could, which it was, but the definition Robert held on to, which were the stories that Andrew McCrea use to tell him and Colin from time to time.
About a group of people that could hang out together, do stupid things and not be judged for their actions. They have a common denominator between all of them. They all had something expected of them, no matter how big or small; there were family obligations for each and every one of them.
The Life and Death Brigade let them forget that, let them forget that the same people that wished to be them were also judging them, calculating every move they made. Rory didn't do any of that, she didn't wish to be in their world, but accepted that she was because of who her family was and whom she was dating.
Yet she knew what was expected of her as a granddaughter and a girlfriend, but even though the people that had talked to her tonight had talked about his reputation as a stuck up asshole, she still didn't perceive him as one, and he couldn't help but feel relived and grateful that he'd found another person he could just be himself around.
Yes, he was defiantly regretting the promise he made Stephanie.
"Penny for your thoughts?" Rory asked, flicking something over at him, he caught it in his palm and laughed at the penny that was sitting there.
"Just thinking about how glad I am that we met," Robert smiled. "It's very rare I find someone I can be myself around, with no defenses."
"How many of those people do you know?" Rory asked as they reached Durfee Hall.
"Two, three now," Robert said a small smile on his face. "Colin and Iz, and now you."
"Well I'm glad that I'm among the people you feel comfortable around." She rummaged through her purse finding a pen and scrap of paper and scribbling something down as they reached her door. "Give that to Iz won't you?"
He looked down and saw her number scribbled down. "Mind if I steal it?"
"Not at all." Rory laughed unlocking her door. "It was very nice getting to know you, Robert, you made this night much more enjoyable."
Robert nodded. "Trust me, it went both ways."
"Night, and thanks for walking me back."
"It's not a problem. Night." he said with a wave as she walked in and closed the door. Robert shoved the paper into his pocket as he made his way back to the diner quickly. He entered and took a seat at the counter next to Isolde who was laying her head on the counter top. He slid the paper in her direction.
She blinked and took it. "What is this?"
"Rory's number, she asked me to give it to you."
Isolde smiled. "That's sweet." She said taking the paper. She looked at Robert who was looking back at her. "What?"
"She's gonna be a big part of our lives isn't she?"
Isolde laughed. "Oh, so now you believe in my abilities?"
"I think your abilities are crap." Robert told her. "But I know you're able to tell when someone's going to impact us and when we shouldn't waste our time."
"You don't like her, do you, Robert?"
Robert laughed. "I don't want to sleep with her if that's what you're insinuating."
"Yeah, right." Isolde said with a roll of her eyes. "I'm going to go grab my stuff and tell Joey I'm done for the night."
Robert nodded, standing again, as she grabbed her purse from behind the counter and yelled at the cook that she was off for the night. Putting her coat on they left the diner, Robert put an arm around her shoulders as they walked.
"So?" Robert asked.
"I like her." Isolde nodded. "She's nice, down to earth, and can obviously tolerate you, which is a rare feat nowadays, what with your reputation being trashed."
Robert shook his head. "I swear, you punch one guy's nose…"
Isolde laughed as she hugged her brother closer. "And Colin appreciates you defending his honor, now about Rory."
Robert rolled his eyes. "What about her?"
"You're not interested?"
Robert sighed. "You can't tell anyone Iz."
"Promise." she said with a smile and a roll of her eyes sticking out her pinkie. Robert stopped and wrapped his pinkie around hers as they shook three times and spit on the ground.
"Colin wants me to watch out for her." Robert said as he wrapped his arm around her again and kept them walking. "He called me a few weeks ago, Logan and Finn got in a fight about Rory, Colin thinks Logan is going to try and break them up."
"Why? Logan, like, into her or something?"
Robert shrugged. "I don't know; I don't talk to him."
"Right, so why is Colin worried?"
"Colin has a theory, he thinks that because both he and Finn settled down and are with girls they both happen to really like."
"Colin is really into this Lane chick huh?"
"He seems pretty serious about her, something about knowing who "The Kinks" were. He was very excited."
"Colin has weird vices." Isolde laughed.
"At least now he finally has someone who understands it."
"True, so go on."
"Well, Colin thinks that Logan might feel like their priorities aren't straight. This trip they're on is suppose to some sort of last hurrah, and it seems like the only one hurrah-ing is Logan."
"Finn and Colin are so wrapped up in the girls…" Isolde said trailing off as they reached her dorm room.
"That Logan is the only one enjoying in the excess." Robert finished. "Colin's also worried that once he's done with Finn, he's going to start working on him and Lane. Which has him freaked, because he hasn't even had a date with the girl other their ten minute phone conversations and he's already afraid of breaking up."
"Shows how much Colin likes her."
"You coming in or…?"
"For a while." Robert said following her into the dorm room as she flipped on the lights. She opened the mini fridge and tossed him a water bottle before grabbing one for herself and plopping on the couch, Robert next to her.
"So you're doing what for Colin?"
"Just keeping an eye out for Rory, pretty much, it started out with some light stalking but I don't know…" Robert trailed off with a smirk.
Isolde laughed and smacked his arm before settling herself down with her feet in his lap. "Come on, Robert."
Robert sighed. "I didn't expect to enjoy her company; I mean hell Finn doesn't have the best taste in women but she's smart and you can tell she cares for the guy, Logan not so much."
"Oh well, only the whores like Logan anyway."
Robert laughed. "You shouldn't insult yourself that way Iz."
Isolde scoffed. "Please, it was a high school crush, that boat sailed a long time ago."
"Thank God," Robert said in relief.
"She's a Gilmore," Isolde said slowly looking at her brother for a reaction.
"She is," He nodded.
"Is she being inducted?"
Robert sighed and took a swig of water. "She was on the list."
"But, Stephanie believes that she knows Rory better then anyone."
"Bitter!" Isolde laughed at the sound of Roberts voice.
"Annoyed," Robert corrected. "I think Stephanie shouldn't be making a choice like this for Rory before giving her a chance to decide for herself."
"True, what's Stephanie's reason?"
"She thinks that since its Rory's freshmen year that she'd want to focus on school more than the LDB."
"The LDB only has two major events Robert."
"The rest are during vacations," Isolde shook her head. "God, I hate Stephanie."
"Strong words, Bancroft." Robert said with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh, like you don't hate her." Isolde scoffed.
"I'm not the one with the rivalry." Robert pointed out.
"It's just, who is she to make this decision for Rory? The whole point of the LBD is to make our own decisions, decisions that our elders don't allow us to make, to break away from our set patterns, and here's Stephanie doing exactly what we don't want to be done."
"I know, Isolde."
"It pisses me off."
"You should induct Rory anyway."
"I can't, Iz." Robert said regretfully.
"Because I promised Stephanie."
"Fuck that." Isolde spat out.
"Iz." Robert sighed, looking at his sister patiently.
"I'm serious." Isolde said. "Stephanie isn't anything to us."
"I'm bound by my word Iz, until Stephanie lets me out of it, I can't do anything."
"Why did you agree to this Robert, why would you agree to keep someone out of the induction process? That's not like you."
Robert sighed. "I didn't know Rory, I could have cared less about not inducting another person, so I agreed, Stephanie said Rory didn't know anything about the LDB so it's not like Rory's going to come up to me asking why she didn't jump off any scaffoldings lately."
"Robert," Isolde sighed.
"I regret it Iz, okay, I really do regret it, but I can't do anything."
"God this sucks."
"I need to get to bed." Isolde said after a few minutes of silence.
Robert nodded, moving Isolde's legs off him before standing up, he hugged his sister, kissing the top of her head. "I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay."
Isolde nodded as she walked him to the door. "Thank you for walking me home."
"My pleasure, what time do you go to work tomorrow?"
"Two, I can walk on my own though."
Robert nodded. "Call me if it gets too late, I've got an English paper to write, I'll pack up my books and head down to the diner to work," Robert told her as he started walking away.
"I will, love you bro."
"Love you too." Robert called back with a wave over his shoulder. Isolde watched him walk as she leaned against her door jam. She really hoped Robert found a way out of his word, for his sake and for Rory's.
"Good morning sleepy head."
Finn groaned as the light hit his eyes, he forced them back closed, grabbing the pillow at his side and covering his head again.
"You're up, Finn, might as well get out of bed."
Finn groaned and gave a soft whine before pushing himself up and glaring Colin who was sitting at the table on the balcony, the French doors open letting the ocean wind come into the room.
"How is it that less the 24 hours ago, you were so doped up on drugs the doctors gave you, you didn't even know your own name, yet here you are, as if nothing's happened?"
"Lane called me very early this morning." Colin said as Finn made his way to the balcony and sat down across from Colin, where breakfast was already set up, along with Colin's laptop.
"What'd she say?"
"She was very upset that I was reckless." Colin laughed. "And to give you her number so that information doesn't get relayed from me to you to Rory to her, she wants direct contact."
Finn laughed. "Right."
"Now…how did we get to the hotel and who was the idiot that chose bright pink for my cast?" he asked lifting up his right arm that was covered in bright pink plaster.
"The pink was your choice." Finn laughed.
"It was not!" Colin denied.
"Between all the colors, you thought pink was the prettiest, and who were we to persuade you otherwise."
"Bastards," Colin muttered. "And the hotel? I thought the doctors wanted to keep an eye on my bruises?"
"They did, but they got the x-rays back earlier than expected, said since you didn't have any internal bleeding, or broken ribs, we were good to go."
"My head's okay?" Colin asked.
"Is it hurting?" Finn smirked.
"A little." Colin admitted.
"That would be because when I was helping you up out of bed, you decided you were fine to walk by yourself, pushed me away, lost your balance and banged your head on the bed railing, pretty damn hard."
"Oh." Colin said sheepishly rubbing his head.
"Yeah." Finn laughed.
"So if you and I shared this room, where's Logan?"
Finn shrugged. "I have no idea, we were all at the hospital together for about two hours while you were getting checked, when you came back into the room, Logan went to talk to the doctors while I made phone calls. He never came back, just texted me that we had to wait for x-rays, I asked where he was but he never texted me back."
Colin rolled his eyes. "Great, I'm a gimp and Logan's MIA. Again."
"And somehow I ended up the rational one on this trip. I don't like being in this position."
"I don't think I like it either." Colin frowned, as he used his un-casted hand to move the mouse on the laptop.
Colin nodded. "Yeah, apparently my dad's found a new playmate," he said with an eye roll.
"Is she hot?"
Colin shrugged. "I really don't care, because either way, eight months into the marriage, my new mommy is going to find my dad fucking Augusta in his study."
"Augusta?" Finn asked in confusion.
Colin laughed, he really didn't blame Finn for not remembering, in Colin's twenty-one years of life, his father had been married eight times, twice to the same lady, one Augusta Bancroft, that same Augusta Bancroft that always wormed her way into his father's heart when he up and married someone else. "Robert's mom."
"Ah, your favorite mommy." Finn nodded.
"I'll admit Augusta is my favorite of my father's harem." Colin laughed. "I just wish they'd get their act together and just stay together."
"Aren't they due for another wedding?" Finn teased.
"I don't know whether I want them to marry again or just leave each other alone. Ugh," Colin shook his head. "Whatever, I'm old enough not to be bothered by this shit anymore."
"Obviously not." Finn pointed out.
"Obviously." Colin muttered, making a mental note to either call Robert or e-mail him the news of his dad's latest girlfriend and to see what Augusta's status was.
"Anything else new?" Finn asked, referring to the e-mails.
"Not really, just an e-mail for Isolde, another from Lane from a few days ago, and one from Tristan."
"How is dear Isolde?"
"Still paying back her dad." Colin laughed.
"How is she doing that?" Finn asked pouring himself some orange juice.
"Working as a waitress over at Joe's."
"Oh, I would kill for pictures." Finn laughed, imagining Robert's sister waiting tables. "God, she'd be a horrible waitress."
"From what Robert tells me, she's actually pretty good at the job, except with him." Colin laughed. "She makes sure Robert tips big."
Finn shook his head. "God, what we're missing…"
Colin laughed as he pushed the laptop Finn's way. "I'm heading to take a shower, you can borrow the laptop if you want."
"Thanks, my dad sent me an e-mail a few days ago that I've been meaning to read."
Colin laughed, as he stood, Finn taking his seat and pulling the laptop forward. Colin stopped at the nightstand and frowned at the box of plastic wrap.
"This for me?" Colin asked.
Finn nodded. "I paid one of the guys downstairs to get it for you."
Colin came to the table, with the box, hating the fact that Finn had to help him wrap up his arm, since both of them knew Colin would never be able to do it on his own, they knew from when Finn had broken his own arm and had snarled at anyone trying to help him.
"Okay," Finn said as he finished wrapping the cast. "Don't drop the soap, cause I love you man, but there's just some things I'm not willing to do."
"Got it." Colin laughed as he started to walk away, his free hand working the button of his pants, he turned around and was about to ask Finn if helping him was totally out of the question, when Finn answered.
"I'm not undoing your pants Colin." Finn said as he double clicked on the internet icon, not looking up from the computer. "Only pants I'm undoing in the near future are my own and Rory's."
"So, figure it out myself?"
"There you go." Finn said with a slight nod as he put some eggs on a clean plate and brought his juice closer to him, he couldn't help but laugh as he heard Colin's grumbling all the way to the bathroom. He logged into his e-mail account, just as the hotel room door open, looking up and smirking when he saw Logan looking worse for wear.
"Where the hell have you been?" Finn asked as Logan came and sat in Finns old seat.
"You do realize that last night I was the responsible one right? I stayed with Colin, and nursed him back to health."
"You sat at his bedside reading the newspaper and making calls while the doctors made sure his bruises weren't life threatening." Logan shrugged as he took a piece of bacon from the platter in front of him. "Totally routine."
"So what girl caught your attention last night?" Finn smirked as Logan grabbed the paper that Colin had been skimming.
"Really hot nurse." Logan smirked back. "She wore the uniform and everything."
Finn shook his head. "At least you're getting enough for all of us."
"Living vicariously through me, huh?" Logan asked.
"I guess so." Finn said slowly skimming his e-mails. He found his fathers and read, pretty much the same, only that Rory, with her busy schedule had skipped a few Fridays, but he didn't blame her, if anything they were going to do their movie nights once a month instead of every week, which Finn knew would probably happen anyway.
Tristan had sent him the same e-mail that he'd sent Colin, since he'd forwarded it to all three of them. Just pictures from their night out at the pub, Finn frowned when he saw that Rory was noticeably absent from the pictures.
He noticed Evie's e-mail and opened it, cringing when he saw the greeting
My dearest Finn,
In all of the years we've known each other, from the days of bathing together to graduating, I never knew you to be such an asshole.
Finn frowned, and ran through the things he'd done that might cause Evie to be mad at him, he came up empty and kept reading, the tone of the letter changing considerably.
How dare you put me in this position!? You told me everything about that girl Finn, everything, things that you probably shouldn't have told me.
"Who the hell are you talking about?" Finn muttered to himself.
"What?" Logan asked.
"Nothing." Finn muttered back still reading.
And I'm talking about Rory, you asshole! I know you've got that stupid look of confusion on your face. You told me everything about her, and told her nothing about me!
"Oh fuck." Finn said leaning back in his chair and running a hand through his hair.
Logan looked up. "What's up?"
"I fucked up." Finn said and he continued reading Evie's letter. "I'll tell you in a minute."
Do you know how awkward last night was!? Here I am, telling her how you're description of her, so totally did not do her justice (which it doesn't BTW) and she's looking at me like I'm sort of stalker. And not only that, but now she probably thinks I'm some sort of scorned lover, since I apparently stuck my foot in my mouth by asking about her sister, that Tristan didn't even know about. Meaning that siblings aren't something she opens up about! Meaning you've told me things that are supposed to be kept between a girlfriend and boyfriend!
God Finn, did you think we wouldn't run into each other or am I really that unimportant in your life that I wasn't worth mentioning to someone that you describe as being one of the most important people in your life.
You better have a damn good reason as to why you didn't tell Rory about me, I don't like being some dirty little secret, because you know our relationship is platonic and I don't want Rory thinking it's something more or that I'm going to up and steal you, because after this little stunt, you're not worth it.
Yes I'm being harsh, but god Finn, I'm your best friend, have been longer than those other two dumbasses you hang out with. I'm pissed beyond words, so you better come up with a damn good apology and not just to me, but to Rory. Because as hurt as I am about this, Rory has got to be even more upset about not knowing such a vital part of your life.
You're an asshole Finn, and I tell you that repeatedly, but last night I realized just how big of one you are.
"You look pale." Colin pointed out as he came out rubbing the excess water out of his hair.
"I feel sick." Finn said, feeling like he was going to throw up.
"What happened?" Colin asked.
"Rory and Evie met last night."
"They didn't hit it off?" Logan asked, wincing at the excitement in his voice. Everyone in their circles knew that if Finn had an interest in someone and didn't get Evie's blessing, Finn wouldn't pursue it. Much like the relationship he had with his sister Honor and the same went with Colin, Robert and Isolde.
"You could say that." Finn said slowly looking up at him, as Colin took the free seat between them around the circular table. "It was my fault though."
"How?" Colin asked.
"I didn't tell Rory about Evie." Finn admitted with a slow blink. "God I could have sworn I told Rory about Evie."
"Finn." Colin said in shock. "How could you-"
"I know," Finn said interrupting him. "I fucked up."
"You and Evie are close…" Logan pointed out.
"So close, that Rory may think you guys had a thing," Colin finished, knowing where Logan was headed.
"I told her I didn't sleep with any girls from that group, and I haven't." Finn said, frowned as he thought about it then nodded, "Yeah, I haven't."
"But here's Evie, who is such a bit part of your past Finn, it makes Rory think you were hiding her, you may not have slept with Evie, but you have a past with her." Colin told him.
"I fucked up okay, I realize that," Finn snapped running a hand through his hair, as he closed Evie's e-mail. "I'll call Evie later and talk to her."
"And Rory?" Logan asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Rory's first." Finn admitted. "I'll call her later." He looked at the time and saw it was nearing noon their time, meaning it was four am Rory's time. "I'll call her after dinner, that should be, what, noon there?"
Colin nodded. "Yeah."
Finn took a deep breath as he opened the next one, it was from Seth. He frowned over that one as well.
"You're frowning again." Logan pointed out.
"Um…Seth." Finn said, then shook his head. "He says he met Rory, likes her, and was surprised to see her spend most of the night with Robert."
Logan straightened, "Robert?"
Colin nodded. "Yeah, Isolde said they really hit it off, she sent me an e-mail, about an hour ago, when she got off work, said she wanted to send it to me before she forgot."
"Hit it off?" Finn asked turning to Colin, as did Logan.
"Yeah, they went to the diner around two am after the pub."
"So when I asked you what was new, you didn't think this was important?" Finn asked, feeling panic rise.
"Um…no." Colin said slowly. "I didn't think it was that big of a deal."
"Why did they go together?" Finn asked. "Where were Tristan and Steph?"
"I don't know," Colin said with a shrug. "Isolde just said that they came in, stayed maybe half an hour, forty five minutes had pie and coffee and talked. Robert walked Rory back to her dorm, came back and walked Isolde back. It's all innocent."
"You don't know that," Logan said going back to his paper and hiding his smirk. "I mean it is Robert."
Colin scowled. "I put up with a lot of shit on Robert's behalf and I really don't mind it, but Robert is loyal, and he is, for all intents and purposes, my brother, he's not out to steal girlfriends, Logan."
"How do you know?" Logan asked.
Colin hesitated, not wanting to tell Logan about his lack of trust in him or that he'd practically hassled Robert into becoming Rory's bodyguard, he shook his head. "I just know."
"You hesitated," Finn said.
"Finn, it's innocent, I swear, Isolde said that if anything Robert felt guilty."
"About what?" Finn asked.
Colin sighed, knowing he'd regret ever mentioning anything involving Robert. Robert tended to be a sore spot with everyone, except him. "Apparently Rory is on the list of inductees for the Life and Death Brigade."
Logan stopped reading and looked at Colin in shock, while Finn rubbed his face in agitation of the news. "What?" Logan asked.
"She's a Gilmore, Logan," Colin told him. "She's in the founding family." He shook his head. "Anyway, apparently at the beginning of the year, Stephanie asked Robert to not induct Rory, apparently without Finn there, Stephanie didn't think Rory would be comfortable partaking in the LDB events, and she thought Rory would prefer to focus on school."
"Why does Robert feel guilty then?" Finn asked. "Her reasons seem to make sense."
"It's not our way." Logan said slowly, hating what he was about to say. If he had it his way, Rory wouldn't have anything to do with their world. "We're not meant to decide who gets inducted or when, it's the inductee's choice. Rory has to decide, not Stephanie."
Colin nodded. "But Robert agreed, since he didn't know Rory he didn't really care."
"But he met Rory," Finn said slowly.
"And took a liking to her," Colin said just as slowly. "Isolde said that Stephanie is probably afraid that Rory's going to make friends outside of their little circle and leave them behind."
"Isolde isn't a reliable source Colin." Logan said. "She and Steph have had a rivalry since the fourth grade."
"True, but Iz is a good judge of character, Logan, and I think she's right." Colin shrugged. "I think Stephanie is afraid that Rory's going to make these friends in the LDB and hang out with her and Tristan less and less. We finally get another girl in the group, and she gets taken away by someone else, and Isolde no less."
"Isolde thinks highly of herself." Finn said.
"Isolde," Colin said forcefully, getting tired of his family getting attacked, "is just stating what she thinks. She says that Robert believes that Rory is what the LDB stands for and he's regretting going along with Stephanie, but unless he gets permission to initiate her from one of us, an elder, Stephanie or Rory herself, he can't go back on his word."
"Are you going to give him the permission?" Finn asked
Colin sighed and leaned back in his seat. "I would love to Finn, I really would, I think the LDB would be great for Rory to make friends outside of ourselves, to get new experiences, and to break out of her shell a bit more."
"But?" Finn prompted.
"But, I think you should be the one to give the permission. She needs a sponsor."
"I wouldn't be able to." Finn said.
"It would need to be male."
Colin nodded. "I know."
"You're nominating Robert," Logan stated in awe.
"Look, I know you guys don't have the highest opinion of Robert."
"Damn right we don't," Finn muttered.
"But, I think since he and Isolde have hit it off so great with Rory and Tristan is one of the initiates, that Robert would be great."
"Why not Seth?" Finn asked. "Or one of the gay guys from the LDB? Brandon! He's gay."
"Rory doesn't know Brandon; she wouldn't trust him. And Seth, though she's met him, do you really think she'd be willing to jump off a fifty foot scaffolding with him after a five minute conversation?"
"No…" Finn said a bit bitterly.
"She's starting to trust Robert, by the time the induction comes; she would trust Robert and she'd jump with him," Colin shook his head. "But whatever, it's your choice Finn, I'm leaving it up to you, you can either let her get inducted this year, let Robert be her sponsor, or wait for next year, and you be her sponsor."
"That is if you last till next year," Logan muttered.
"Logan," Colin hissed, as Finn glared.
"Sorry, slipped." Logan said, looking at Finn who was leaning back in his chair.
"I'll think about it." Finn said after a moment.
"That's all I ask." Colin said as Finn leaned back towards the computer.
"Any of you know this e-mail address?" Finn asked turning the computer towards Logan and Colin.
Colin shook his head. "Not me, Logan?"
Logan stared at the e-mail, and couldn't help the rise of guilt mixed in with satisfaction as he saw the e-mail address that belonged to Georgina. "No," he lied. "I don't."
Finn bit the inside of his cheek, the system read it as virus free, sighing he clicked it, and frowned at the caption.
Thought you might like these.
Underneath, there were pictures. Frowning at the pictures, he felt an anger and panic he'd never felt before, his heart quickened and nausea filled his throat as he stared at the screen.
Rory, Rory and Robert sitting at the bar, laughing. Some of Robert leaning in close whispering something in her ear, as she smiled, much like the picture he had of him and Rory at Martha's Vineyard, it was intimate, much more then he and Rory. Some of Rory, with her hand on Robert's, both of them laughing.
"Finn?" Colin asked.
"I've thought about it," Finn bit out.
"What?" Colin asked in confusion.
"Robert's not going to be her sponsor." Finn said pushing out of his chair, grabbing his cell phone and leaving the room, slamming the door. Colin grabbed the computer, as Logan stared at the door in shock, Georgina must have gotten some damn good pictures.
"Oh shit," Colin muttered.
"What?" Logan asked leaning in and looking at the pictures. "Oh."
Colin got out of his seat and ran after Finn. Logan stared at the pictures, just as his cell phone buzzed; he opened it and opened the text, wincing when he saw the message.
How'd I do?-G
Colin gripped Finn's arm just before he got onto the elevator. "Finn."
"That's your so called brother? The brother you supposedly trusted and is oh so fucking loyal?"
"Finn, those pictures are innocent!" Colin said. "They're paparazzi shots, you know that, they're pictures that look bad if you're not there!"
Finn shook his head. "I need air."
Colin let go of Finns arm, letting him into the elevator, just as the doors were about to shut, Colin put his hand out to stop them. "Don't do anything stupid Finn."
"Let the doors go Colin."
"Finn, don't do anything stupid, calm down before you call anyone, you're going to ruin everything."
"Let go of the doors, Colin."
Finn pried Colin's hand off the door, letting the doors close, he fingered his cell phone in his pocket as he punched the ground floor button.
"Morning sleepy head." Stephanie smiled as Rory came out to the common room rubbing her eyes.
"What time is it?"
Stephanie looked at the small clock on the coffee maker as she handed Rory a mug. "Almost eight."
"Ugh." Rory groaned as she fell onto the couch with her coffee. "What am I doing up?"
"I didn't even hear you come in, what time did you get home?"
"Um…" Rory thought about it. "It was almost three."
"The pub closes at 2." Stephanie pointed out.
"I know; we went to the diner near the pub for pie."
"Robert and I." Rory said as she took a sip. "We weren't ready to come home yet, so he offered pie and coffee, and well Gilmores can't deny coffee, especially when pie is involved."
"You guys went out for pie?"
Rory nodded. "Yeah, and I met his sister, Isolde, god, she's great." Rory laughed.
"Isolde isn't that great." Stephanie muttered as she sat on the ottoman next to Rory.
"She and Robert are great to watch, they're conversations are like the ones me and my mom have."
"So, you like them?"
Rory game a small nod. "Yeah… they're amazing; I didn't know Robert was so close to Colin."
"Not like I'm close to him," Stephanie muttered loud enough for Rory to hear.
"Well yeah, you're blood, Steph, obviously, but Robert and Colin, I don't know."
"So, you had fun?"
Rory nodded. "Yeah, I'm glad I went."
"You could have had fun at the table too." Stephanie told her. "I mean, you just sort of left."
"It took you guys about two hours to realize I'd gone," Rory pointed out. "I wasn't missed."
"Come on, Evie felt like she couldn't say bye."
"She could have." Rory sighed. "Things were uncomfortable, things with Evie were tense because Finn told Evie things that I don't share with just anyone and the fact that he didn't tell me anything about Evie, it's just…I don't know it's going to take some time for me to be comfortable around her, you can't expect us to be buddy-buddy after a bombshell like that."
"She was fine." Stephanie told her.
"She wasn't fine, she was just as uncomfortable with me as I was with her, give it time Steph."
"But you had fun with Robert?"
"I did, he's a nice guy."
"When he wants to be apparently," Stephanie said with an eye roll.
"No, when you treat him like one." Rory defended. "If you treat someone like an ass, eventually they're just going to end up acting it."
"Rory, no offense, but I've known Robert a lot longer then you have, him being nice to you is just another ploy to get into your pants."
"It's not always about sex Stephanie."
"In Robert's case, it's always about sex."
Rory shook her head. "I'm going to get ready." Her voice filled with annoyance.
"Where are you off to?"
"The reason I'm up so early." Rory groaned, remembering the text. "Isolde wants to hang out."
"So, you're hanging out with Isolde Bancroft now?" Stephanie asked with a raised eyebrow and a bitter smile.
Rory leaned against the door jamb staring at Stephanie. "Yes, is that a problem?"
"I just don't like her that's all."
Rory sighed and her voice softened. "Stephanie, I love you, but even we get tired of each other."
"That's not true." Stephanie denied.
"Stephanie, I love you and Tristan, and I love hanging out with you guys but when you and Tristan are together, it makes me remember that I don't have Finn with me and it makes me sad."
"And I don't want to feel sad all the time; Robert and Isolde don't make me feel sad. It's not like I'm going to forget about you." Rory laughed. "I really can't forget about you, you have my shoes."
Stephanie laughed, giving Rory a weak smile. "Okay."
"I don't want to get in between what you and Isolde are going through. If you guys don't like each other fine, I'm fine hanging out with you one day and her another, but I don't want anyone telling me who I can and can't hang out with. I wouldn't do that to you."
"I know, I'm sorry." Stephanie said. "And I'll try not to let my personal judgments come out when you mention her name, but I have the right to be jealous, I had you first."
"Well, I'm flattered." Rory laughed, "Now I'm off to change."
"Good idea, I do smell like bar don't I?" Rory laughed as she grabbed her towel and went into the bathroom to shower, fifteen minutes later she was out and in her room pulling on jeans as her phone rang. She looked over at her cell phone and smiled at the caller id.
"Hey you, I missed your call last night."
"How's Colin?" she asked buttoning her pants and grabbing her shirt off the bed.
Rory frowned at his tone as she pulled on her shirt sitting on her bed to put on her shoes. "You okay?"
"Oh jeez, what did Logan do now?" Rory asked with a half laugh as she held the phone to her ear with her shoulder as she tied her shoes.
"Why do you think Logan has something to do with my anger?"
"Because he usually does," Rory said as she pulled on her other Converse. "What's up?"
"How was last night?"
Rory frowned again at his change of topic and tone. He seemed angry at her and she had no idea why, the last time they'd talked they'd ended on good terms. Great terms actually, she thought of the shirts that were lying in her drawer. "Great, actually I went to the post office and sent you a box, so make sure to be on the lookout for it, then I went to the pub, had a very awkward encounter with a girl by the name of Evie."
Rory shook her head. "You're really not going to apologize for that?"
"No, I'm not." Finn answered his voice coming out sharp.
"You know what Finn, I really don't want to talk to you when you're in this kind of mood, I'm annoyed with you already and you're just making me even more annoyed."
"I think I have to right to be annoyed with you."
Rory gaped "Excuse me?"
"You spent all night with Robert."
"I didn't spend all night with Robert!"
"Then how did you end up at the diner with him?"
"What? Are you spying on me?" Rory asked standing and pacing her room in agitation.
"I have good friends, not a very good girlfriend though."
Rory stopped and stared at the wall in shock. "Excuse me?"
"It doesn't look right for me to be across the world and you to be hitting on another guy."
"I wasn't hitting on Robert!" Rory said loudly. "I was talking to him."
"Why would you talk to Robert after I told you to stay away from him?"
"Because I don't let anyone dictate who I can and can't be friends with. Robert happens to be a really nice guy Finn."
"How did you even end up at the bar with him, let alone the diner?"
Rory shook her head. "I don't have to explain anything to you Finn."
"I'm your boyfriend. Of course you do."
"No, I don't, you're my boyfriend, the boyfriend who talked me into going into the pub in the first place."
"Yeah, to hang out with Tristan, Steph, and some of the other girls, not to spend the entire night talking to some asshole, so he can seduce you."
"Oh my god!" Rory hissed. "You sent me to that pub, knowing full well Evie was there, Evie who knew everything about me, and me nothing about her."
"That's beside the point." Finn said quickly.
"No, it's not, it is the point, it was awkward and uncomfortable for me to sit there and have Evie talk about my life in passing, talk about aspects of my life that I told you in confidence Finn, that I don't open up about it to just anyone, Robert made me feel comfortable, he's not the ass you all make him out to be."
"Yes he is,"
"No, Finn." She said forcibly. "He's not."
"Why are you so quick to defend him? Do you like him or something?"
"Yes Finn, I'm so fucking in love with Robert I can't see straight."
"I don't want to hear your sarcasm right now Rory."
"You're overreacting." Rory said with a shake of her head. "You're overreacting to a situation you forced me into. If you remember correctly I didn't even want to go to the pub, you made me go."
"I didn't make you go anywhere."
"You certainly talked me into it."
"I saw the fucking pictures, Rory," Finn yelled.
Rory gaped. "Are you really having your friends spy on me?!"
"No, but I'm starting to think that it's a good idea if my girlfriends going to start acting like a whore."
Rory gaped and felt her heart stop, "I can't…." Rory took the phone away from her ear and snapped it shut. Before she realized what she was doing, she flung it away from her as if it had burned her, with such force that it smashed against the wall, falling to the ground in two halves.
"Hey," Stephanie said as she walked into the room. "I heard something break…Rory what's wrong?" Stephanie asked as she saw tears making their way down Rory's cheeks.
"I have…I have to go." Rory said grabbing her bag and keys, before leaving the dorm room and slamming the door on the way out.
Finn stared at his phone in horror. "Oh god," he whispered. "Oh god, I didn't just say that." He dialed her number again.
"You've reached Rory, I'm not here, because well I have a life, leave a message and I'll pencil you in!"
"Rory, Rory, I'm so sorry, it just…it came out and I…God, call me back. I'm so fucking sorry." He swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat and closed his phone, running a hand through his hair in frustration.
He should have listened to Colin, he should have calmed down first before making any type of phone call, he had ruined everything, Finn groaned, he hated it when Colin was right.
"Fuck!" He yelled into the open air before making his way back to the hotel. He felt his phone vibrate in his hand and opened it without looking. "Rory?"
"Stephanie," she corrected.
"Not now, Steph."
"What did you do?"
"I said not now," He said harshly before he hung up on her.
He didn't consider himself a jealous type of person, he really had no right to be a jealous type of person, he hung out with both guys and girls and one of his closest relationships was with Evie. He was as close to Evie as he could be without actually dating her and he'd never had a real relationship with someone, it was always casual, so if one of his bedmates slept with someone else, it was okay because he was doing the same.
But with Rory, god, things got skewed and turned upside down, and the idea of her being close to another guy that wasn't one of his trusted friends, he saw red, and for the first time in his life, he'd actually felt jealously rear it's head, and dear god was it ugly.
His heart was still going lightening fast at that thought of Rory not talking to him or Rory regretting ever getting in a relationship with him. She hadn't signed up to be called names, especially as harsh as the one he'd called her.
He opened the door to the hotel room, and winced when he was met with Colin's pissed off glare.
"What the fuck did you do?" Colin asked standing and walking over to him.
"Not now, Colin."
"Stephanie just called me and said that she heard Rory arguing with you, then something smashing against the wall. Rory left the dorm in tears. What did you do?"
"I don't want to talk about it with you, Colin."
"I told you not to do something stupid! Why would you call Rory when you were so pissed off?"
"Not now, Colin!" Finn yelled as Logan came out of the bathroom looking at the two.
"Finn did or said something and made Rory cry." Colin accused.
Both Colin and Finn glared at Logan who put his hands up in the air in defense. "Sorry, I meant, Finn," he said his tone changing to a more dry and robotic sound. "You bastard, what did you do?" he rolled his eyes as he sat on the bed. "They had a fight, big deal."
Colin ignored him and turned back to Finn. "What did you do?"
"What part of I don't want to talk about it and not now, do you not understand?" Finn asked with a glare of his own.
Colin was about to respond, when his cell phone rang, he looked at the caller ID and sighed as he answered. "I can't talk right now Robert."
Robert was an early riser by nature, but even he needed his sleep when he'd gotten to bed at four in the morning, so when the knock on the door came at nine in the morning, he cursed whoever it was as he got out of his bed, called his dresser a bastard after stubbing his toe on it, and cursed out loud when he remembered he was out of coffee meaning he'd have to walk all the way across campus for the good stuff.
He looked in the peephole and cursed his virile father who'd given him a twin sister instead of leaving him in his mother's uterus by himself.
"Iz, I'm tired, go home." He said resting his forehead against the door tiredly.
"Robert," Isolde said banging on the door again. "It's important."
"I gave you enough money to pay dad, it's not fault if you spent it."
"No, Robert, its Rory."
"No, you're Isolde, I know my own sister."
"No dumbass, it's about Rory. Just open the damn door."
Robert grudgingly did what he was told, "Okay, what?"
Isolde pointed to the floor next to the door and sitting there, her arms wrapped around her knees close to her chest, was a silently crying Rory.
"What happened?" Robert asked instantly awake, helping Isolde lift Rory up and bringing her into the room. They sat her in the couch before Isolde spoke.
"I don't know, I was on my way to her dorm, we were going to grab breakfast and talk."
"Smack about you," Isolde said with a small laugh pinching his cheek.
Robert smacked her arm away. "How did she end up crying?"
"I don't know, we literally ran into each other, we both fell." She showed him her scratched up palms.
"I'll grab the first aid kit." Robert said heading towards the bathroom.
"Where's Nate?" she asked, surprised to see the dorm room empty of Roberts roommate.
"At his girlfriend's!" Robert called back. Isolde frowned at the hall before focusing on Rory, who wasn't crying anymore expect for a sniffle and staring at the wall.
"Hey," Isolde said, bumping Rory's shoulder with her own as she sat down next to the girl "Wanna talk about it?"
Rory shook her head as she wiped her cheeks. "I'm okay."
"Obviously you're not okay," Isolde said carefully as Robert came back out.
"Okay palms out."
"You pre-med or something?" Rory asked as she held out her palms without thinking.
Robert laughed lightly as he opened the first aid kit and grabbed the antiseptic. "I have Colin as a best friend; a busted arm isn't the only injury he's gotten in twenty one years, plus this one." He said nudging his head over to Isolde who rolled her eyes. "She was a real tomboy when we were younger, use to fall out of trees all the time."
"It wasn't that often," Isolde muttered.
Rory winced as Robert dabbed at her cut up palm "Finn and I had a fight." She said quietly, looking up at him, then back at her palms.
Isolde bit her lip. "Bad?"
Rory gave a small nod as Robert placed the bandage over her palm and moved over to work on Isolde. "Well, you can stay here if you want." Robert told her being rougher with Isolde, causing her to move her hands.
"Watch it! It hurts!"
Robert grabbed her hands and held them still. "Stop."
"Well stop being so rough! You practically soaked that cloth with the antiseptic and it hurts!"
"Baby." Robert muttered as he dabbed her cuts more carefully and bandaged her up. "I heard you guys were going out for breakfast."
"I don't…" Rory looked at Isolde and Robert and sighed. "Yeah…"
Isolde looked at Rory who was holding her hands together lightly as to not put pressure on her palms; she noticed that even though Rory's voice and demeanor was calm, her hands were shaking quite violently.
"Robert, why don't we stay in this morning, I've got to go back to my dorm at noon anyway to get ready for work. How about you start some coffee?"
"I…don't have any."
Rory gasped and Isolde looked at him like he was crazy. "What?" they both said in shock at the same time.
"I don't have any coffee, I was going to go get some when…" he looked at Isolde, who had widened her green eyes and stuck out her lower lip, and Rory's blue eyes that were wide in shock. "Oh shit," He muttered. "Let me go get dressed and I'll get breakfast." He went to his room and pulled on jeans and a sweater, before grabbing his keys and wallet from the table near the hall, making a mental note to himself that if he was going to start hanging out with his sister and Rory more, he had to avoid their eyes, they were killer on his conscience.
"I'll get one of everything." Robert called but Isolde stopped him and handed him a slip of paper from her waitress pad. "What's this?"
"Our order," Isolde said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"Excuse me?" he raised an eyebrow and looked down.
"That's what Rory and I want from the diner."
"You're lucky Rory's sad," Robert growled stuffing the paper in his pocket before grabbing his cell phone off the side table and leaving. He fingered his phone hesitating, he didn't have any information other then Rory being upset because she had had a fight with Finn. He didn't have the why, and he didn't want to worry Colin, but…he flipped his phone open and dialed.
"I can't talk right now Robert." Colin sighed.
"You better make time," Robert said. "My ward just showed up at my door crying."
"She's there?" Colin asked there was static on the line then Colin's indignant "Hey!" before Finn came on the line.
"Rory's with you?"
"Not everything revolves around your girlfriend Finn, now pass the phone back to Colin, I was having a conversation with him, not you."
"Is Rory there with you?"
Robert didn't hesitate. "No," and technically she wasn't, she was back in his dorm.
"Why would I waste my time and energy to lie to you? What motives would I have?"
"You're protecting Rory." Finn accused.
"Who would I protect Rory from? You?"
"I want to talk to her."
"And I'm telling you she's not here, pass the phone back."
"Not until I know where she is, she's not answering her phone."
"Not my problem, she's not my girlfriend now is she?"
"She might as well be, with you two all chummy." Finn muttered.
Robert stopped and stared at his phone, before answering. "What?"
Finn sighed. "Never mind."
Before Robert had a chance to get angry, Colin came back on the line. "Hey, sorry, he grabbed the phone before I had a chance to stop him."
"What did he mean by that, Colin?" Robert asked as he continued walking.
"I'll tell you in a minute, just a sec." Colin said as Robert made his way into the diner.
"Hey Robert!" Nancy, the waitress, greeted, "Iz doesn't work till two."
"Oh, I know I actually came to pick up some breakfast for us this morning."
"Well, aren't you the nicest brother."
"At times, she gave me this." Robert produced the paper Isolde had given him and handed it to Nancy, he watched in amusement as her eyes widened.
"Jeez, you're feeding an army."
"We've got a friend with us." Robert said, "And can you add in one of my regulars, I don't know if Iz is willing to share."
"Got it, it'll be about twenty minutes, we're slow this morning."
"I'll be here, thanks." Robert said as he sat at the booth ad turned back to his conversation.
"Rory's with you, huh?" Colin asked.
"I'm guessing you got away from the asshole?"
Colin laughed, "Yeah, well he wouldn't stop pacing and he kept staring at me."
"With reason." Robert nodded.
"Do you know what happened?" Colin asked.
Robert shook his head. "Only that she and Finn got in a fight, pretty bad one by the looks of it. She and Iz were going to go get breakfast and on her way to the dorm, Iz literally ran into Rory, I guess Rory was crying and Iz brought her back to my place."
Colin sighed. "She didn't tell you any details?"
"She didn't want to talk about it, she seemed calm, but her hands were shaking pretty bad, Iz got me out of the room, I'm getting breakfast now, so maybe she'll get something out of Rory, and you know, Isolde has a way with people."
"That she does."
"What do you know?"
Colin sighed again. "Not much, I do know it was a culmination of things. Finn got bombarded by all these e-mails this morning and he left here angry."
"Evie, she sent him a very angry e-mail about the fact that Finn didn't tell Rory about her."
"Evie needs to get over herself and realize the world doesn't revolve around her." Robert muttered.
"True, but you have to think about it from her point of view. What Evie and Finn have is like what you, Iz and me have. They're more siblings then friends, because they grew up together. The fact that Finn didn't tell Rory about Evie, is like me not telling Lane about you and Iz."
"Lane is looking forward to meeting the siblings that turned me pink for a month."
"Good times," Robert laughed. "Now what other e-mails?"
"He got one from Seth, about meeting Rory, something about him being surprised that she spent most of the night with you."
"We talked," Robert defended.
"I know, but I might have made it worse."
"Iz sent me an e-mail about how she met Rory at the diner, how you guys came in and talked, how you all really hit it off, Finn was upset and I sort of added to it."
"How?" Robert asked again dreading the answer.
"I told him about the LDB."
"Colin," Robert sighed tiredly rubbing his face.
"And how I thought that if Rory was inducted this year, it would be a great experience for her, which I still believe, but now that I think about it, it might have come at the wrong time."
"You think?" Robert asked sarcastically.
"I regret it, but hell, who knew Finn would get upset, I told him you were trustworthy and you wouldn't take Rory from him, he seemed placated and said he'd think about it. Two seconds later, he opened an e-mail and said you weren't going to sponsor Rory."
"What was in the e-mail?" Robert asked.
"Of you and Rory last night at the pub." Colin said quickly.
Robert frowned. "Yeah, and? We didn't dance so there were no pictures of us grinding together, not that I grind."
"We barely touched; we sat at the bar for three hours talking." Robert said with a frown.
"I know that," Colin assured. "But if a person that didn't trust you to begin with saw these pictures, they'd think the worst."
"I want these pictures."
"What?" Colin asked.
"I want to see what I'm being accused of. I'm not explaining shit to Finn, because I don't owe Finn an explanation. I know what happened last night, Rory knows what happened last night, and Iz knows what happened last night. If Finn thinks Rory cheated on him, then he obviously doesn't have the full story and should feel like shit for thinking that about Rory."
"Wow, in 24 hours you've gone from 'you owe me big' to Mr. Protective."
Robert shook his head. "The LDB's gone to crap if we can't trust the very people in it, which is the whole point of the society." He looked up as Nancy approached his table with three bags, he smiled and pulled out his wallet but Nancy stopped him.
"It's on Iz's tab."
"Thanks." Robert laughed as he grabbed the bags and made his way outside again. "Ah, the perks of having a sister as a working girl."
"Thank Mr. Darcy."
"That Maltepoo is going to be the death of her." Robert said with a laugh. "Look, Colin, I really don't know the details of what happened this morning, but it's got to be bad if Rory's not answering her cell phone and is in my dorm room with me and my sister and not with Steph and Tristan who she probably trusts a lot more than us."
"Yeah I figure that too. Finn… he looks like he regrets something. I told him not to do anything stupid when he left, but he did something, and I can only hope that it's salvageable."
"I'm sure it is, look, send me the pictures, I was keeping an eye on a few people at the pub last nights, I think I might be able to figure out who took them."
"All right, Mr. Holmes." Colin said sarcastically.
"Look Watson," Robert smirked as Colin laughed. "Just send the damn pictures. Do you remember the e-mail address?"
"No, but I'll forward them so you can see it, might narrow down the suspects." Colin said mockingly.
"You're an ass." Robert growled.
"That's Mr. Ass to you."
"Ass esquire?" Robert asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I like it," Colin laughed. "I'll keep you posted."
"I'll do that same."
"Thanks, I know you don't like being responsible for other people."
"Other then you and Iz? No, but I don't have many friends either, as much as I hate to admit it."
Colin laughed. "It's the reputation."
"Am I ever going to live that down?" Robert asked tiredly.
"Probably not, unless you come out with the full reason as to why you punched Bobby Hallowell in the nose at the Hallowell's Christmas party."
"I'll keep the reputations."
"Better you then me, huh?"
"Much," Robert sighed. "And it really isn't a problem, I happen to like my ward."
"Good, I'll e-mail those pictures to you."
"Thanks." Robert said before hanging up and opening the door to his dorm, Rory was on the couch sleeping, her head on Isolde's lap as Isolde ran her fingers though Rory's hair in a calming gesture while looking at him in a mixture of shock and anger.
"What the hell happened?" Robert asked as he set he bags down on the coffee table.
"You're going to be pissed." Isolde told him.
"How pissed?" Robert asked preparing himself.
"Fly down to Fiji and kick Finn's ass yourself pissed. I know I am."
"What did he do?"
"Hey Robert." Colin greeted. "We just hung up the phone, you missed me that much?" Colin laughed as he opened his laptop.
"I know what happened."
Colin looked over at Finn who was still pacing and running his hands through his hair. "You sound angry."
"I am, I'm two seconds away from going to Fiji myself and kicking his ass."
"That bad? Come on, Robert I'm sure you're exaggerating."
"He called Rory a whore."
Colin turned to Finn in shock, Finn stopped and stared.
"Oh shit," Finn muttered.
"Robert, I'll call you back."
"Wait no,-" Robert started.
"I'll call you back." Colin repeated hanging up the phone and tossing it on the table. He looked at Finn, clenching his jaw, before getting up from the table and over to him.
"Colin, wait…" Finn said putting up his hands, but Colin didn't listen, instead he reared back his fist and punched him.
"FUCK!" both of them cursed. Colin gripping the arm he'd just broken and used to punch Finn, while Finn gripped his eye as he fell on his ass.
Logan walked in to the room carrying a pack of sodas and frowned at the scene. "What the hell happened?"
"Ask Finn," Colin ground out, flexing his fingers.
"Did you really need to use the hand with your cast?" Finn asked laying back on the carpet with a grimace his hand still over his eye.
Logan sighed, putting the pack on the bed, before crouching in front of Finn and prying his hand away from his eyes. Logan winced when he saw blood. "Looks like we're taking a trip to the hospital…again, it looks like you broke something, Colin."
"Good," Colin said still flexing his fingers.
"Why are you doing that?" Logan asked looking at Colin's arm.
"Doing what?" Colin asked.
"Your fingers," Logan stated, motioning with his chin as he helped Finn up.
Colin looked down and shrugged. "I just punched him in the eye, it hurts."
"Yeah, and you may have fucked up your arm again, come on both of you," Logan said as he led Finn out the door. He paused when he saw Colin standing in the middle of the room glaring. "Colin, you too, you need to get the arm rechecked."
"I'm not getting in a car with Finn."
"Colin." Logan sighed.
"I refuse to be around him right now."
Logan glared at him. "Colin, get out of this fucking room now! I'm taking you to a hospital to get that rechecked. Now go!"
Colin debated with himself before glaring and walking out the door, slamming into Finn's shoulder as he left the room.
"Really? Was that necessary?" Logan called as he watched Colin start for the stairs. Not bothering to call Colin back, Logan led Finn to the elevator. "So, I'm gone for five minutes and you manage to piss off the only person that could test Mother Theresa's patience. What the hell did you do?"
Finn clenched his jaw, and winced when the motion pulled at his eye. "Colin, found out what I said to Rory."
Logan nodded as they got into the elevator. "And it was bad enough to piss off Colin?"
"It's bad enough for Rory to reconsider being with me." Finn whispered.
Logan sighed, and leaned against the wall. "Look, Finn, I'm -"
"Don't try Logan, I appreciate the sentiment, but coming from you it would just be empty words. So just…don't."
Logan nodded and helped Finn off the elevator and led him towards the door, where Colin already had a taxi waiting. Logan slid in first then Finn. Closing the door the taxi took off to the hospital Colin had given.
"Colin…" Finn started.
"Don't," Colin said crossing his arms and looking out the window. "I told you Finn, I told you when we first met Rory that if you were just going to treat her like all your other girls, to let it go, to not get involved."
"I'm not treating her like all my other girls," Finn ground out.
"Calling her a 'whore' is worse than how you've treated all the others."
"He called her a whore?" Logan asked in disbelief, turning to Finn. "You called her a whore?"
"Colin-" Finn started again, ignoring Logan. Colin cut him off again.
Colin shook his head. "You hurt her Finn. I told you, nothing is going on with her and Robert, they were just talking at the bar, talking about me."
"That's very egotistical of you," Logan muttered.
Colin turned and glared. "It's true, I'm the common ground. I'm close to both of them."
"Come on Colin," Logan scoffed. "You're her boyfriend's best friend. That's not considered close. That's more of an acquaintance."
Colin shook his head. "Just because I don't talk to you and Finn about it doesn't mean I'm not friends with her. I talk to her twice a week."
Both Finn and Logan looked at him. "What?" Finn asked.
"Twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon after her Governmental Law class, she knows I know a few things, she told me during the summer she'd thought it looked interesting, so I told her that if she ended up taking it and had questions to call me. So, when she started school, she called and we talked."
"About school," Logan said.
"What started off as school, now she asks questions before she forgets and then we talk, we talk for about an hour. I'm close to her Finn."
"What? Like a sister? Are you putting her under a sister?" Logan scoffed. "Come on two hours a week, Colin."
Colin shook his head before speaking quietly. "You have it easy Logan, you may have a crappy relationship with your parents but you have Honor to bitch to. Finn, you have a great relationship with your father and great relationship with your sisters. What do I have? I have a revolving door of mothers, to the point where I don't even know which one's mine, a father that only pays attention to me for three months and siblings that are in and out of my life." The taxi stopped in front of the hospital. Colin shook his head. "Why do you think I'm so close to Robert and Isolde?"
Colin looked at Finn. "Rory is an official part of my family, the minute that we started talking and we confided in each other, and the minute that Robert and Isolde took her under their wing. You hurt her; I'm going to be pissed. You hurt her beyond belief, Finn. Not only did you call her a name that doesn't fit her in the slightest, but you pushed aside the trust she had in you, and for what? For a couple of pictures that showed that she was happy without you?"
Colin scoffed. "At this point, Finn, I really wouldn't blame her if she dumped you." He turned and got out of the car, he turned again. "Go to another hospital, I can't even look at you right now."
He slammed the door closed and walked into the hospital in quick strides, leaving Finn and Logan to look at the place he just vacated in disbelief. Logan blinked as the driver asked where to, and he directed him towards another hospital.
"I still don't want to talk about it." Finn said looking out the window as Logan moved down the seat. "I don't want to talk about it with you especially because you really could care less."
"That's not true!" Logan said.
"Please!" Finn scoffed. "It's absolutely true! You could care less if I work this out with Rory, you'd be elated if because of what I said in a moment of anger she broke up with me. Do you want me to be miserable, Logan? Because right now I am, I probably fucked up the best thing that's happened in my life! You got what you wanted, now shut up and just get me to a fucking hospital."
Logan leaned back in his seat. When he'd asked Georgina to send those pictures, he hadn't thought of the outcome, he thought a small fight would ensue, just to put tension in the relationship, he hadn't meant to cause this much drama. He hadn't meant to get his two best friends pissed off at each other.
But how was he supposed to know Colin was so damn close to Rory? How was he supposed to know that Colin would look at her like a little sister and treat her as such? Colin 'adopting' Rory was not a part of the plan, Colin taking this all so seriously was not part of the plan. Logan breaking Rory and Finn up….
That had been part of the plan, hadn't it? In the long run, he'd wanted to break them up. He just didn't think it would happen like this. He hated feeling regret, he felt that a lot in his life and he hated when everyone was mad at each other, he had had a lot of that in his life as well. He shook his head. He knew since he had been the one to mess things up, he should be the one to fix them, but at this point he just couldn't.
Rory laid on the couch her head on Isolde's lap as Isolde ran her fingers through her hair in comfort.
"You have to go to work soon, don't you?" Rory asked.
Isolde looked at her watch and gave a short nod. "I should probably get going in like ten minutes, Robert will be back by then."
"Where'd he go?"
"To get my uniform, so I could change here."
Rory nodded, as she continued to stare at the wall. Isolde had the TV on and was watching it, but Rory couldn't keep her attention on whatever show Isolde was tuned to. Her hand in her hair was relaxing and was close to lulling her to sleep again, but she couldn't stop thinking. She felt the sob lodge in her throat before it came out.
"Oh sweetie!" Isolde said, giving a soft laugh. "It's going to be okay."
Rory shook her head. "No, it's not."
"Rory, it was your first fight, Finn was bound to screw something like this up sometime."
Rory turned over onto her back to look at her new friend. "I knew," she started. "I knew going into this relationship it was going to be difficult, I knew that it wasn't all going to be a happy relationship that we were going to get into arguments, but if he's going to be calling me names…"
Isolde laughed and patted Rory's head. "Rory, look, no one is more pissed at Finn for what he said then myself, what he said was amazingly out of line but you have to see it from his point of view."
"Which is what?" Rory asked agitated.
"Your boyfriend…is a first timer." Isolde laughed. "He's never had a girlfriend, much less a reason to be angry at any girl he dates. And from what you told me of your conversation and what Finn said and how he said it, it sounds like Finn had his first taste of jealousy and wasn't quite sure how to handle it."
"That's no excuse," Rory whispered.
"No it's not," Isolde agreed slowly. "But as you're stewing and avoiding, like I have a feeling you're going to do, because god knows that what I would do, just keep that in mind."
Rory gave a short nod, just as the door open to admit Robert holding Isolde's uniform.
"All right, here are your clothes."
"Thanks, bro." Isolde said as Rory sat up and let Isolde go get her clothes. "I am going to change and then get out of here." She left down the hall to the bathroom, as Robert came and sat next to Rory.
"How are you feeling?" Robert asked.
Rory shrugged. "I'm, uh…better, cried out, but a little better, still angry beyond belief."
"That's to be expected." Robert nodded.
"Your sister helped."
"That's also to be expected. Isolde's dated her share of losers."
"I heard that!" Isolde called back from Robert's room.
Robert rolled his eyes. "Like it isn't true."
Isolde came out of the room holding her jeans and shirt in her hands and pulling down the hem of her dress, turning around for Rory to zip up. "That's beside the point." Isolde said turning back around to tie the apron on. "And it's not like the girls you date have been prizes."
"Oh I know they're not." Robert smirked. "But they are good at what I want them to do I'll tell you that."
Isolde and Rory looked at Robert in disgust as he leaned back against the couch proud of himself.
"And that's my cue." Isolde said grabbing her bag from the floor and stuffing her clothes inside. "Rory want me to walk you back to your dorm, it's on my way?"
"It's probably against my better judgment but I think I'll stay here." Rory laughed, glancing at Robert who laughed. "I don't want to deal with Paris and Stephanie right now, you know?" she said her voice becoming somber.
"Well, Robert will take care of you and he'll even let you raid his secret movie collection if you butter him up."
"I'm not into porn." Rory teased.
Robert laughed. "That's not so secret."
Isolde giggled as she made her way to the door. "His animated movie collection is under his bed." She said quickly before exiting with a laugh, as she heard Rory's laugher and Roberts's groan of embarrassment.
Roberts love for animated movies was his closely guarded secret, only she and Colin knew, and she had a feeling that Rory would probably find out in a few minutes anyway. Robert always felt that as a guy, people judged him for loving the animation world, which consisted of classic Disney and newer Pixar movies, as much as he did. Isolde and Colin knew that it was because Robert was just a big kid at heart, and animation was his way of expressing that.
Shaking her head, still laughing, she made her way across the court yard. Thinking about the impact Rory already had in their lives. Knowing her for less than twenty four hours, and Robert knowing her for a little less than a week, Isolde knew just by the way Rory looked and acted around them, that she would become quite a permanent figure in their lives. Especially if she had Colin' support behind her. There was no way Robert or she would let anything happen to Rory.
Isolde smiled, it would be nice having a girlfriend to talk to. The girls in the LDB were so fickle and keeping an actual girlfriend for longer than a couple months was hard in their world, there was always backstabbing and competition that got tiring. All Isolde wanted was a friend she could go to with anything and she knew that Rory would fit the bill perfectly.
Isolde stopped and turned at the sound of her name, only to groan when she saw the two blonde figures running towards her.
"What the hell do you want?" Isolde asked as they got close enough to hear her. She checked her watch and groaned again, she had ten minutes to get to work and she still had about a fifteen minute walk.
Stephanie glared at her. "As much as it pains me to ask you this, do you know where Rory is?"
"Nope, can I go now?" Isolde said, as she started walking away.
"Isolde," Tristan said patiently. "We know that Rory had a breakfast date with you."
"Yeah, and she bailed. And quite rudely too, left me sitting at the diner without calling." Isolde lied then waved her hand in dismissal. "Now, go on, leave me alone." Stephanie grabbed her arm and pulled her to a stop; Isolde glared at her and wrenched her arm out of the blonde's hand. "Do not touch me."
"We know you're lying," Stephanie said. "Rory ran out of the dorm crying and her car is still in the lot, we know she was with you."
"Have you tried calling her?" Isolde said, looking at her watch again.
"She threw her phone against the wall and broke it."
Isolde raised an eyebrow, "Impressive."
"Iz," Tristan started only to correct himself when she glared at him. "Isolde. I saw you guys when I was going towards Steph's dorm, I saw you leading her away. We know she was with you."
"Look, whether she was with me or not, I'm not telling you where she is now," she looked at her watch again. "I'm late. I have to go."
"That's right; you actually have to work for your money." Stephanie said a smirk on her face.
Isolde turned towards her again with a smirk of her own. "Stephanie, I'm not your bitch, I don't answer to you or to your little puppy." She said eyeing Tristan who gave her a glare of his own. "And at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I'm earning my money in a legitimate way, instead of on my back like someone did during high school."
Stephanie gasped and reached for Isolde, but Tristan grabbed her around her waist and lifted her up. "She's not worth it." Tristan whispered in her ear, loud enough for Isolde to hear.
Isolde scoffed. "Maybe not I'm not, Tristan, but here's some food for thought, why would Rory, run to me with her problems, a girl she literally met ten hours ago, instead of staying where she was and pouring her heart out to friends she's had for the past five months? Now, I have to go to work and if I get docked pay because of this little interrogation, I'll be billing you," Isolde turned and sped walked towards the diner, leaving Tristan and Stephanie to gape at her.
"She came from Robert's room," Stephanie whispered.
"Steph," Tristan sighed.
Stephanie turned to him. "Something's happened Tris, between her and Finn."
"But do you want to know to help Rory, or for your own morbid curiosity?"
Stephanie swallowed. "I want to help Rory."
"Steph," Tristan sighed resisting the urge to rub his temples in frustration.
"She came from Robert's room," she repeated. "Isolde's dorm is nowhere near the diner, she would need to take her car to get there. Robert's place is closer."
Tristan sighed and nodded. "Fine, let's go."
"Would it be all right if I took a shower?" Rory asked looking up at Robert, from her spot on the couch, her head was resting on the arm rest while her feet lay curled up by his leg. "I just know I'll feel better after it."
"Yeah, sure." Robert nodded, pausing the movie as he got up from the couch, helping Rory and leading her towards the bathroom. "I'll grab you a clean towel and leave it on the sink."
"Promise not to look?" Rory teased.
"I swear I won't look," Robert laughed as he closed the door behind her. He went to the linen closet where he and his roommate Nate kept their towels, grabbing a clean one; he went to the bathroom, only to get deterred by a frantic knock at the door. Throwing the towel on the table next to the hall, he went to answer the door. If Rory was anything like Isolde when she was sad, she'd be in the shower for hours. He opened the door, only to groan when he saw the two blondes standing there.
"Yale really has to invest in some peepholes."
"We want to see Rory," Stephanie demanded.
Robert stepped out of his room and closed the door. "Don't you think that if she'd wanted to talk to you, she'd have gone home already?"
"So, you admit she'd in there." Tristan said pointing towards the door.
"No point in denying it, what I'm curious to know is how you knew she was here?"
"We ran into your sister." Tristan explained. "She was coming from your dorm."
Robert nodded, accepting the answer. "Iz ran into Rory, saw her running away from her dorm and brought her here." Robert shrugged, he looked down when he felt his phone vibrate, taking the phone out, he looked at the caller ID and pressed ignore, Colin knew to give him five minutes after being ignored.
"Look, Rory left upset, we just want to make sure she's okay." Tristan told him.
"She's fine," Robert said crossing his arms and leaning against the door. "She and Finn got in a pretty bad fight, that's all."
"I didn't know the fight was so bad." Stephanie asked quietly, she looked up at Tristan. "Why wouldn't she tell me?"
"Ever think," Robert said, causing them both to look at him. "That maybe your loyalties aren't where she needs them to be at the moment?"
"What are you talking about Robert?" Tristan asked.
"You're loyal to Finn," Robert said with a roll of his eyes.
"So?" Stephanie asked.
Robert rolled his eyes. "You would instantly side with Finn, Stephanie, wouldn't matter what the argument was about, you would be on Finn's side, no matter what."
"No I wouldn't! I would listen to Rory's side," Stephanie defended herself, glaring at Robert.
"The thing is you shouldn't need to listen to sides Stephanie, Rory's upset, Finn made her upset, you're thinking should automatically go to Finn being in the wrong. I know you; you would instantly side with Finn, especially with what they fought about."
"You know what they fought about," Tristan said amazed at just how much Rory had come to trust Robert in twenty four hours.
Robert gave a slow nod. "She talked to me and Iz because our loyalties lay solely with Colin, we could give a crap about Logan and Finn. So when she talked we listened, and we worried, and we blamed the right person. She doesn't need some bitch that's going to make the situation worse."
"Hey!" Tristan said defending Stephanie, who stared at Robert with wide eyes.
"I only took the shot because, knowing Stephanie, she took one at my sister when you two ran into her."
Tristan's jaw clenched but backed down when Stephanie touched his arm and pushed him back. "I would have listened, Robert."
Robert shook his head with a sigh. "Sure Steph, I believe that, but I also believe, given the subject of the fight, you would have sided with Finn. Rory doesn't need that right now."
"What? She needs you?" Stephanie said disgust in her voice.
Robert clenched his teeth, to keep from lashing out at her. He knew what the entire Life and Death Brigade thought of him and thought of his sister, it didn't matter that they were richer than most of them, at the end of the day, the Bancroft name was equivalent to dirt on the bottom of their shoes. It still grated on him.
"She needs someone to listen to her, and be loyal to her, and her only. She may be your friend Stephanie, but you sure as hell wouldn't take a bullet for her."
"And you would?" Tristan asked in surprise.
"Wouldn't you?" Robert asked him, looking away from Stephanie. "Come on Tristan, there had to be a time in high school when you would have done anything for her." Tristan swallowed but his silence was enough answer for Robert. "I may not have known her for years, Tristan. But I know a good person when I see one, Finn sure as hell doesn't deserve her."
"So, this is all a ploy to get her!" Stephanie accused.
"I'm saying that Finn treated her like crap today and she deserves better than that." Robert sighed and looked down at his phone again when it vibrated, this time he answered. "Hey, you hung up so fast I didn't get a chance to finish talking." Robert frowned as he heard the background noises on the phone. "Where are you?"
"Hospital," Colin answered.
"I jarred my arm when I punched Finn."
"You hit him?" Robert couldn't help but laugh. "Dude." He looked over and saw the blondes glaring at him. "Just a second…Yes?"
"We want to speak to Rory," Stephanie said.
Robert rolled his eyes. "Look she's fine," he quietly assured. "She's taking a shower now, we're going to watch some movies and she'll be in her dorm crying on your shoulder by tonight. In other terms you're dismissed."
"Harsh," Colin said in his ear. "But my cousin's a bitch anyway."
"Whatever," Robert said turning and going back into his dorm not caring if Tristan and Stephanie stayed or left. "With the way they probably spoke to Isolde and how they spoke to me they deserve-" Robert stopped and stared as the door shut behind him. "Whoa."
Rory turned with wide eyes just as she tucked the ends of the towel under her arm as Robert took her in. The short towel ended mid-thigh, the tops of her breasts just showing and the ends of her hair dripping water down the valley of her breasts. Every man's fantasy was standing in the middle of his common room and he felt...
"Nothing." He said.
"What?" Colin and Rory both asked.
"Rory, she's standing in the middle of my common room like every man's wet dream and I feel nothing."
"Hey!" Rory said with a frown, shifting uncomfortably. "I'm standing right here."
"Really?" Colin asked.
"What are you doing in the common room?" Robert asked.
"Oh, you forgot to give me a towel, so I called your name, but you didn't answer, so I came out."
"Naked?!" Robert asked shocked that even that did nothing for him.
"What! Man, I'm trying to get you on Finn's good side, you looking at Rory nearly naked isn't going to help you any!" Colin said with a sigh as Rory raised an eyebrow.
"I thought we'd established the 'we're not into each other' rule." Rory teased.
"No, it's amazing because I really don't feel anything." Robert said, awe filling his voice.
"Seriously?" Colin asked. "Nothing?"
"You do realize that when you said that you were looking at my breasts right?" Rory laughed.
"Well obviously, I'm a man Rory, my brain says 'boobs', and it's impossible not to look, but I've got nothing going on down here." He said gesturing to his groin.
"Really?" Colin said with a laugh.
"I'm limp, dude."
"Ugh!" Rory groaned shaking her head.
"Sorry," Robert said wincing himself "It's hard having this conversation at the same time with two different people."
"Well, not for long, I'm going to go get dressed." Rory said with a roll of her eyes before leaving the room.
"So really nothing?" Colin asked.
"Absolutely nothing, which is quite a relief, I thought when I told Isolde last night I didn't want to sleep with Rory I was lying, got to say, I'm glad I was telling the truth."
"I'm happy for you." Colin laughed.
"So, you're back at the hospital?"
"On my way out now, I'm fine."
"Good to hear, what about Finn?"
"Colin…" Robert sighed.
"Logan thinks I may have broken something, I hit him with my cast. The worst that probably happened was I spilt some skin."
"You hit him with your cast?"
"In the eye." Colin said proudly.
"You're supposed to be the pacifist!" Robert laughed.
"I didn't kill him!" Colin laughed back. "I just hit him."
"So what are you going to do now?"
Colin sighed getting serious. "I'm going back to the hotel, grabbing my stuff and going back to Taveuni."
"What about the other guys?"
"I really don't want to be in the same room as Finn right now, I'd rather just cool off on my own. I know it's crazy being this protective about a girl that I barely know, but…I am."
"Trust me, I totally get it." Robert said just as Rory came back into the living room pulling her hair into a ponytail.
"I think I'm going to go to my mom's," Rory said gathering her stuff.
"I'll drive you." Robert volunteered.
"What?" both Colin and Rory asked.
"I'll drive you." He turned back to his conversation. "Colin, think your actions through before you go through with them, all right?"
"Alright, I'll call you later."
"Talk to you later." Robert said hanging up and grabbing his keys. "I'll take you to your mom's house."
"That's sweet and all Robert, but how would I get back?"
"I'll pick you up when you're ready, just give me a call and I'll go. It's not a problem; I have to go into Hartford today to see my mom anyway."
"Liar, but I have a feeling you'll keep bugging me about it, I'm too tired to fight you, so let's go."
"Great," Robert said grabbing his messenger bag, jacket and keys and leading her out the door, towards his car.
Colin sat on the bed of the hotel room staring at his cast, thinking. Maybe he could cool down here in the hotel; they'd go back to the boat together, instead of separating. Colin sighed and ran his non cast hand though his hair. He couldn't do it. He wouldn't be able to sit in the same room with Finn and not get angry. Getting up he gathered his clothes hanging in the closet and went to the desk to grab his laptop. He would probably be able to rent a car to get back to Taveuni.
He looked up and winced when he heard the door open letting in Logan and Finn.
"What are you doing?" Logan asked as Finn closed the door.
"Going back to the yacht." Colin answered absently looking over at them.
"Great, we'll all go." Logan said, just as Finn turned around. Colin put his hand to his mouth to keep his laughter in.
"Go ahead. Laugh." Finn muttered, going to the bed, flopping down on it, wincing. "Logan made pirate jokes the entire way back."
Colin swallowed his laugh and shook his head, amazed that his mood had changed. It had to be because of the ridiculous eye patch Finn was wearing over his eye. "I, uh…I'm not going to apologize, you know."
"I know." Finn said with a short nod. "And as the doctors explained the benefits of wearing an eye patch, I realized that I deserved it."
Colin couldn't help the smirk that formed on his face. "So matey." Logan laughed as he sat on the chair across the bed. "Should we go back to the boat or loot the island for treasure?"
"Har. Har. Har." Finn laughed sarcastically rolling his eyes.
"No, really what should we do?" Colin asked.
Logan shrugged. "We could stay till tonight; go back first thing in the morning. We never got to explore when we got in."
"A doped up Colin does that," Finn said with a smirk of his own, before grabbing the remote for the TV.
"I hate to ask." Colin said. "But have you called Rory?"
Finn nodded. "About a million times, and each message says the same. 'I'm sorry, I'm an idiot, call me please' I'm pretty sure I'm begging at one point." Finn answered.
Colin sighed. "She's with Robert."
Finn looked up at him. "What?"
Colin sat at the desk chair. "Rory, she's with Robert."
Finn sat up on the bed and looked at his friend, while Logan watched silently. "When I talked to Robert earlier he said Rory wasn't there."
"And technically Rory wasn't. He was on his way to the diner for breakfast, Rory was at his dorm."
"Breakfast?" Logan asked. "Did Rory sleep there?"
Finn looked from Logan to Colin. "Well?"
"You know she didn't, Finn, you talked to her this morning too."
Finn nodded. "Right, right I did." Finn ran a hand through his hair. "So she's with Robert?"
Colin nodded. "From what he told me she ran into Isolde when she left her dorm, Isolde was worried and took her to Robert's since it was closer. When I talked to him about half an hour ago, she was still there," Colin couldn't help but laugh at the conversation he had with Robert. "And trust me; nothing is going on between them."
"You don't know that, Colin," Logan sighed.
"Trust me, I do know that." Colin defended. "I'm not going to go into details, if Robert wants to tell you okay, if Rory wants to tell you great. But I'm not going to be the one to tell you the details of the conversation. But I heard something about a 'we're not into each other' rule from Rory. Trust me; Rory and Robert are just friends, probably close friends."
"In twenty four hours?" Logan asked with a raised eyebrow.
Colin shrugged. "I knew Robert was my best friend within minutes of knowing him."
"You were five," Logan pointed out.
"So?" Colin asked. "It took me minutes to know that you two were going to be my best friends."
"Can't have more than one best friend," Finn said, looking over at him.
Colin sighed and looked over at him, something that was usually said teasingly, was now said in all seriousness. "Don't ask me to pick sides Finn, because both you and Logan know I'll pick Robert."
Logan shook his head, "That's not fair."
Colin frowned. "Of course, it's fair. Robert and Iz have been there through all of my shit."
"Come on, Colin." Finn said. "He has not; you guys didn't even go to the same schools after your parents divorced the first time."
Colin nodded slowly. "You know, the only reason Robert punched Bobby Hallowell was…" Colin shook his head as Logan and Finn stared at him in interest. No one knew the reason Robert had punched Bobby Hallowell during the Hallowell annual Christmas party, no one except Robert, Colin, Isolde and obviously Bobby. But that one punch that led to Robert having to be escorted off the premises had ruined Robert's reputation in the younger generations' eyes.
"Robert is my brother. I don't care what you all say. If you make me pick, I pick him and Isolde."
Finn sighed and leaned back against the pillows. "Is she okay?"
Colin sighed in relief glad to have let that subject go. "She's fine, he's driving her out to her mom's, probably on the way back now."
Finn nodded. "Good., I'm glad."
Colin nodded, and grabbed his laptop off the desk. "I'm going to go down to the restaurant for a while. Get something to eat, and send some stuff off to Robert. I'll be back up in a couple hours."
Logan nodded his head. "All right," he looked out the window and saw the sky darkening, god it'd been a long day.
Finn watched as Colin left with his laptop bag over his shoulder, he lay back on the bed and flipped through the channels as Logan said he was going to shower. Biting his lip he went through everything going through his head. He knew Colin had been going through some personal issues, things he didn't talk to him and Logan about, because he and Logan weren't the personal issue type guys. They were the guys they went to, to stop thinking about all the personal shit.
He knew Robert; while he was an ass it was mostly because Finn never gave him a chance. When he'd been accepted in the group Robert had already been ostracized by everyone other then Colin and Isolde, and Finn had just followed everyone's example.
He knew that Colin didn't trust easily and Robert and Isolde were the two people that he trusted absolutely. And Colin was one person that Finn could trust absolutely, so mathematically, he should be able to trust Robert.
Finn groaned, he didn't want to think about this anymore, he wanted to talk to Rory, he wanted to explain himself, he wanted to apologize a million times until she accepted, he didn't want to think about another guy maybe encroaching on his territory.
"God, maybe I should just pee on her," Finn muttered in disgust, turning off the TV and settling on his side that didn't have the eye patch.
"No cracks, please," Rory said tiredly as Robert made a turn at Monty the Rooster and entered Stars Hollow.
"Wasn't going to say anything, Colin gave me a warning beforehand."
"Good." Rory said. "I called my mom; she's waiting for us at the house. Make a left up here."
Robert took her directions and sure enough there was an older version of Rory sitting on the porch with two take out cups of coffee and a white bag next to her. Robert parked behind the jeep and was about to go around to open Rory's door only to find her out and walking towards the porch.
"Hey sweetie," Lorelai said handing her a coffee cup.
"Hey mom." Rory said sitting next her on the porch step sipping on her coffee and looking in the bag. "Hey Danish, it's not Danish day"
"I know." Lorelai said with a smirk, before looking over at Robert who was watching the scene in amusement as he leaned against his car. "Who's he?"
"That's Robert, he's my new friend." Rory said waving Robert over.
"Hello, Robert Bancroft." He said offering his hand.
Lorelai looked him up and down before nodding. "Lorelai Gilmore." She said shaking his hand.
"Nice to meet you, Rory's talked a lot about you."
"Yep, in the twenty four hours I've known you." Rory said with a smile as she bit into her cherry Danish.
"You've known each other twenty four hours?" Lorelai asked with a raised eyebrow.
"He's safe," Rory laughed. "He's Colin's brother."
Robert smiled at Rory while Lorelai looked at her confused. "Lane's Colin?"
"Mhmm…" Rory said sipping her coffee.
"I didn't know he had a brother and they have different last names."
Robert laughed. "I was his step brother, but our parents divorced, twice."
"Ah, got it now." Lorelai nodded. "And how did you come to drive my daughter home? Why not one of the blondes?"
"I'm hiding from the blondes." Rory admitted.
Lorelai raised an eyebrow but kept her mouth shut. "So, Luke and I are having a movie night."
Rory raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Last movie he saw had Charlie Chaplin and it was in its original form."
Rory laughed. "That man has been living under a rock."
"You can join if you still wanna hide."
Rory smiled. "Thanks, mom."
"And hopefully talk about the reason you want to hide."
"I…" Rory looked up at Robert who smiled slightly.
"She and Finn got in a fight." Robert filled in taking Rory's cue.
"You fought with Finn?" Lorelai asked.
Rory gave a nod. "Yep."
"Aw, sweetie you must really like this guy!" Lorelai laughed.
Robert raised an eyebrow. "How do you figure that?"
Rory rolled her eyes. "Here we go."
"Rory's never fought with her boyfriends. Dean was absolutely perfect to start with; they didn't rock the boat ever."
"Ever?" Robert asked amused.
Rory sighed. "We fought once, it was quickly resolved."
"She dressed up like Donna Reed!" Lorelai laughed. "I have pictures."
"I was trying to prove a point! And I proved it!"
"And with Jess, well…" Lorelai rolled her eyes.
Rory sighed. "It was pointless to fight with Jess, he fought with the world and he shouldn't have had to fight with his girlfriend too."
"The fact that Rory was actually willing to fight with Finn, that's big."
"It wasn't willingly," Rory said quietly.
"Want to talk about it?" Lorelai asked.
"I'm here!" They heard a voice call out causing them to look at the driveway to see a Korean girl running up to them. "I'm here!" she ran up to Rory and hugged her before letting go to catch her breath.
"Hey Lane." Rory laughed as Lane pulled away and leaned against her knees to catch her breath. "I didn't know you knew I was coming into town."
"I….didn't" Lane said between breathes, before sitting on the porch. "Colin called, told me you were coming in. I timed it perfectly. I have about an hour to listen to everything that happened before running back home to my mom."
"You're Lane?" Robert asked straighten up to look at her.
"Yes." She answered, looking over at him. "I haven't met you before. You move into the old Bensen place?" Lane turned to Lorelai. "I thought the newbies didn't have kids."
"They don't," Rory laughed. "Lane, this is Robert Bancroft."
"Robert…" Lane muttered, her eyes widening. "The Robert?"
"I don't know if I deserve the 'the' in front of my name." he laughed. "But if you're talking about Colin's best friend, then yes."
Lane smiled. "He doesn't describe you as his best friend."
Robert frowned. "What?"
"He calls you his brother," Lane said. "At least when he talks about you."
Robert frowned at her, before giving a short nod. "I should go."
"You can stay Robert," Rory said grabbing his arm before he started walking away.
"No," he said smiling lightly at her. "I wasn't lying when I said I had to go to Hartford."
"You were but it's cool." Rory laughed, standing up and giving him a hug. "Thanks."
"No problem." He said hugging her back.
Lorelai stood up and smiled at her daughter. "Hey sweets, why don't you and Lane go in and order some food for movie night?"
"All right, thanks again Robert." She said pulling Lane up and heading into the house.
"I take it you want to talk to me." Robert asked as Lorelai walked him to his car.
"Rory's not going to tell me the full story. She's going to play it down, make it seem likes it's not a big deal, but I have a feeling it was a huge deal. I also have a feeling you know both sides of the story, and it has to do with you, now spill."
Robert sighed and leaned against his car. "How much do you know?"
Lorelai laughed. "You're smart, but I know nothing. Rory just said she was coming home, she usually doesn't call when she comes home, she just…shows up, meaning she wanted to make sure I was home so she could talk. She also sounded upset and the fact that she's avoiding the blondes, who was practically attached to during the summer, has me worried."
Robert sighed. "Rory doesn't know that it has to do with me."
Lorelai frowned. "What?"
"Rory and I met on Monday, some friends were throwing a party at the pub to welcome us all back, I was to invite Stephanie and Tristan, ran into Rory with them, invited her too."
"Okay." Lorelai said with a raised eyebrow. "What does that have to do with anything?"
Robert rubbed his face with a groan before looking back at Lorelai, "Rory and I really hit it off last night, we're both pretty close to Colin."
"You more so."
Robert nodded. "And from that we found out we have a lot in common, so we spent most of the time talking, we ended up grabbing a bite to eat before I walked her back to her dorm."
"And Finn comes into this where?"
Robert ran hand through his hair. "Apparently someone sent pictures to Finn of last night and…"
"From what I've gathered Finn got a wee bit jealous last night, and took it out on Rory."
Lorelai sighed. "There is a lot more too this then you're telling me, isn't there."
"So much more." Robert admitted.
"And you're not going to tell me."
"I'm telling you my involvement in this mess. Also telling you, Finn is a jackass and Rory has every reason to be angry."
"How much reason?" Lorelai asked trying to get a grasp on how bad the situation was.
"Colin punched out Finn."
"So regret bad?"
Robert shrugged. "I have to go. Talk to Rory, she'll break down eventually."
Lorelai nodded. "Thanks Robert, for taking care of her, you didn't have to do that."
Robert laughed as he opened the door "I actually did, but it was my pleasure."
Lorelai frowned as Robert back out of the drive way, now what did that boy mean by that. Lorelai sighed before turning back towards the house; she opened the door quietly and listened for a minute, locating her daughter and best friend in Rory's room. Walking quietly she could hear bit of the conversation.
"He really called you that?" Lane asked in shock.
"I know he was upset, but…" Rory paused and sniffed as if she' been crying. "I didn't do anything wrong Lane."
"You didn't, Rory, Finn has no right to be mad."
"Did Colin tell you?"
"Just that you and Finn had a fight…" Lane trailed off.
"And that he called you a whore."
"Ugh!" Rory groaned as Lorelai's eyes widened in shock before turning and leaving the house.
Rory buried her face in her pillow and screamed, before pulling away and throwing the pillow against the wall.
"Hey what'd the pillow do to you?!" Lane asked with a small laugh.
"This entire situation is so frustrating!"Rory yelled.
"So what are you going to do?" Lane asked.
"I don't know." Rory said quietly.
"Are you going to break up with him?"
"It was one fight; it's not grounds for breaking up."
"He called you a pretty nasty name, with little provocation." Lane pointed out.
Rory sighed, "Unfortunately Isolde is very wise."
"So I've heard." Lane laughed.
"I'm still angry."
"I know." Lane said sympathetically.
"But unfortunately I know where Finn came from, but still no right."
Lane laughed. "Rory, be mad. Deep down you know that Finn's sorry, that Finn didn't mean it and you know where it came from, but he was still in the wrong. You have every right to be mad, to ignore him, to yell back."
"Rory!" Lane laughed getting up to hug her friend. "It's your first fight, a fight you did nothing to cause. Handle it the way you want to handle it." Lane pulled back and shrugged. "But if it had been Colin, I would have given him the silent treatment for a few days."
Rory laughed and hugged her friend again. "Thanks Lane."
"So you're back on the boat?" Lane asked, causing Colin to laugh.
"Yacht," He corrected, it was approximately three in the morning Monday, Lane's time, but a few weeks ago he got tired of trying to catch Lane at the right time, so he gave in a sent her one of his old cell phones that he'd had activated for her, knowing she'd never accept a new cell phone.
She'd argued with him for over an hour trying to convince him that she didn't need a cell phone, he argued otherwise saying they wouldn't even being able to have a long conversation such as the one they'd had if they were on a regular phone, causing her to concede.
But because they were both paranoid, he'd been calling her during times that they both knew her mom was dead asleep and Lane could talk freely in her closet. Colin thought that initially this whole process would grate on both their nerves, trying to stay awake on Lane's part, and him trying to carve out time out of Logan's jam packed schedule to call Lane, but so far the odd phone calls to her at three in morning, and her phone calls to him that came in at midnight was something they both looked forward to.
"Eh, less pretentious if I call it a boat." She teased quietly.
"And yes." He laughed again, "We're back on the 'boat'. I'm actually on mail duty."
"How's the arm?" she asked.
He looked down at his cast with a slight glare. "Annoying, how's your closet?"
Lane laughed. "Comfortably cramped; thank you."
"How's Rory?" Colin asked.
Lane sighed. "She's not use to fighting with her boyfriend, she tends to avoid confrontation, but this fight with Finn really got to her."
"Robert told me."
"She wants to be mad, Colin. And she wants to stay mad; I think deep down, she doesn't want to let Finn off the hook. If she does, then it makes what he said okay and it might happen again."
"Finn…he feels horrible Lane."
"And that makes it all right?" she asked in shock.
"Of course not!" Colin said walking into the post office. "I'm in no way condoning what he did; I'm just saying that he feels horrible for what he said. Just a second." He told the lady behind the counter the name on the account, and showed her his ID. The lady smiled and nodded before going behind the counter to get the mail they'd asked to be put on hold. He turned back to Lane. "Look, I'm trying to stay out of it."
"And failing miserably." Lane laughed.
Colin rolled his eyes, signed for his mail that the lady brought back to him, raising an eyebrow at the box that she carried. He grabbed the large and slightly light box and tucked it under his arm, before grabbing the letters that had also been sent.
"All right so I'm failing miserably at staying out of it, I can't stand to see Finn this miserable though, I'm so use to seeing him bouncing off the walls, that him locked in his room calling Rory every half hour hoping she'll answer, it just…doesn't work for me."
"It's the plight of the Pacifist." Lane told him, half teasing half serious.
"Rory will probably kill me, but tell Finn to stop calling her cell phone."
"Deep down Finn knows that Rory's not going to answer, but he doesn't want to give up hope." Colin told her.
"It's not that she doesn't want to, it's that she can't." Lane clarified.
"Rory was very angry when she hung up with Finn the other day…she ended up throwing her phone against the wall. It broke. Lorelai and Rory are going to go buy another next weekend."
"Well that explains it then." Colin muttered then shook his head. "Ugh off the Finn and Rory subject, I feel like I've been talking about them forever, I'm not going to waste any more of our time talking about them."
"So…" Colin laughed.
"I met Robert."
Colin laughed again. "He told me."
"I don't think he likes me though." Lane told him quietly.
"Why do you say that?"
Lane shrugged then remembered Colin couldn't see her. "I probably made a bad impression, I came running up to the house like a lunatic, ignored him completely. I just focused on Rory."
"Trust me, Robert likes you just fine." Colin assured.
"How do you know?"
"He told me." Colin said slowly, trying not to laugh.
"Robert is hard to please, but he does respect certain aspects in a person. One of those aspects happens to be, when a friend is in trouble you drop everything to help them. He saw that when you went to Rory."
"She was hurt," Lane said.
"In our group of friends, Lane, you don't see that characteristic much. We're all good friends, same background, same lifestyle, but none of us could care less about the others personal issues."
"But you, Finn and Logan."
"Have a good time together." Colin said. "Yeah, Finn and I are close and yes, I'll help him through tough times, but Finn has his own friends to go to when he's in trouble with family issues, same with Logan and same with me."
"So…you're not best friends?"
"We are." Colin laughed. "It's hard to explain. With you and Rory it's easy and uncomplicated, you know that even after months of not seeing each other nothing will change between you two and you can go to her with anything. For us…it's different."
"How so?" Lane asked. "Explain it to me."
Colin sighed as he made his way up the gangplank; he set the mail on the table and looked around to find the saloon empty. "Logan, Finn and I all went to high school together and because of that we became the best of friends and because we go to the same college we stayed friends. Had we gone to different ones, I can't say if we would have stayed in touch."
Colin sighed again. "Like I said it's the circles we run in, months apart can change a lot in a person, like me, or Logan, or Finn. It changes a lot of the dynamic of how you interact and how you treat people."
"So what about us?"
"What about us?" Colin asked with a frown.
"We've been apart for months, are you going to change?"
Colin laughed. "It's different with other people. Robert and I went almost three years in our youth without seeing each other, and when we finally met up in boarding school again it was like I'd seen him a week before. With certain people things don't change. Robert and Isolde have been with me for everything and know my inner most secrets that not even Finn and Logan know."
"Inner most secrets that you'll share with me?" Lane asked.
"Eventually." Colin assured, "When the time is right, but I think it would be most appropriate to tell you when we're not limited to three am phone dates."
Lane laughed. "Very true."
"And don't worry about Finn and Rory, things will work out."
"With you as their mediator I'm sure of it."
"Good night Lane." Colin laughed.
"Have a good day Colin." Lane laughed back before they hung up the phone. Colin stood up from the couch stuffing his phone in his back pocket before sorting the mail. He left Logan's mail on the table, which consisted of three letters from his father and one from his sister. He grabbed his, which consisted of some CD's he'd ordered offline and the usual monthly check from his dad. He looked at the box, which was Finn's only mail; he raised an eyebrow when he saw the return address.
Grabbing the box he went downstairs and knocked on Finn's door, only to receive a groan as an answer, accepting that as an invitation in, he opened the door.
"You got a box." Colin said walking in and dumping the box at Finn's feet causing Finn to sit up and look at the box in question.
"Is it a bomb?" Finn asked rubbing his face in agitation. "Or a bag of poo that's going to light on fire when I open it?"
Colin laughed. "If it is a bomb or a rigged flaming bag of crap, one, you would deserve it and two, I'd both impressed and curious to know how she convinced the post office to send it. Plus it's dated the day before you guys fought."
Finn closed his eyes and nodded. "She'd said she'd sent a box." He pulled the box closer as Colin turned to leave, only to look up when Colin turned back.
"Yes?" Finn asked.
"Rory's not avoiding you're phone calls Finn."
"What?" Finn asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Well I mean, not to say she wouldn't, since obviously she hasn't called you, she is avoiding you to some degree."
"Colin!" Finn warned.
"Apparently she was pretty pissed after hanging up with you the other day that she threw her phone and it broke."
"How did you find out?" Finn asked.
"I've got people." Colin laughed before leaving the room.
Finn shook his head as he opened the box, looking inside he couldn't help but smile at its contents. Newly laundered undershirts folded neatly inside, and a clear bag of…he took the bag out and laughed, still fresh cookies. He took one out and bit down on a chocolate chip cookie, before standing and putting the cookies in the mini fridge he's installed under his desk. He took out the undershirts dumping them on the bed, before moving the box.
He was about to throw it near the door to throw away later when he felt something move and heard it hit the side of the box. Setting the box back down on the bed he looked back inside and noticed a black album with an envelope taped to it. Taking it out, he sat on the bed, pushing the box off, before opening the envelope and taking out the letter that was inside.
I wanted to do something to reciprocate your gestures, making the time to do movie nights(afternoons), sending me your shirts and souvenirs from your trip, anyway, since I wasn't going to send you my underwear, like I'm pretty sure you were hoping I was going to send, I thought this was a good alternative.
(Go on open the album, after you get over your shock, come back and read the rest of the letter)
Finn set the letter aside and opened the album, smiling slightly at the pictures that he was looking at, they were from the summer in Martha's Vineyard that Stephanie had insisted on taking during their last day.
After staring at one of Rory and himself playing in the ocean, with her on his shoulder laughing, he turned the page, his eyes widened and he was pretty sure his heart stopped for a full minute and his lungs seized before he was even able to regain actual thought and even then he wasn't able to steady his breath.
There in front of him was Rory sitting under the covers of her dorm room bed, the covers pulled up to her chest and held tightly, but even then he could see the tops of her breasts and her bare shoulders. The covers were arranged just so, that it allowed him to see peeks of her legs and her upper thighs peeking through. She was laughing at the camera shyly as if she wasn't too comfortable with the picture itself but she was comfortable around the person taking them.
"Holy…shit." He muttered between breaths. He flipped through the rest of the pictures that filled the album, all of them held the same theme. She wasn't completely naked; she was either in the bed under the covers or wearing lacy lingerie. The pictures weren't provocative either, no slutty poses that he knew some girls sent their boyfriends, if anything all the picture showed Rory innocence shining through, and that above all was sexy. It was as if she wasn't trying to show off her body, but show him the clothes.
"She's modeling for me." He muttered flipping through the pages, before picking up the letter again.
So, did you figure it out? I figure that if we were actually dating in the same town and not across the world dating, we'd be talking about sex by now and whether or not it was something that would happen in the near future or in the far future. We'd both agree it would happen eventually, and you'd say something sweet and corny, like 'when you're ready, I'm ready' and I'd feel guilty about having to make you wait. So as a reward to you, I'd model the new lingerie I bought when out shopping with Stephanie and TOTALLY be a tease, because I really don't know any better, and you'd be so frustrated that you'd decided that we were definably going to have sex in the near future.
How'd I do?
"Nailed it." He muttered.
Stephanie took the pictures, just if you were wondering and no one else has seen them, and I'd hope that it will continue like that. I've never actually done something like this, but I find that only for you would I take steps as bold as these and enjoy it. I want this to work Finn and I want you to know I'm committed to making this work. I want to be able to give you things in return; I don't want to be just a taker in this relationship.
Take care, have fun rafting or whatever it is you boys actually have planned, and call me. I'd love to know what you think.
P.S. Those pictures are fodders for your imagination, please don't do anything dirty to them. Thank you.
Finn laughed at the last line running a hand through his hair before folding the letter and stuffing it in the album before reaching for his phone to dial Rory, only to wince when he remembered that not only did Rory break her phone, but she broke her phone because she was mad at him.
Stuffing the album under his mattress, making a mental note to find a better hiding place for it, he went to Colin's room, he knocked and after being told to come in he found Colin sitting on his bed with his laptop open, listening to music and strumming on his guitar.
"I'm an asshole." Finn said closing the door and sitting on Colin's bed.
"Yes, you are." Colin said looking at his computer screen before he looked at his fingers and moved them to position before strumming again. He nodded briefly before looking up at Finn. "But we knew this already, why are you telling me this?"
"I need to tell Rory this."
"Okay…" Colin said, grabbing his stereo remote and pausing the music.
"You know where Rory is."
Colin sat back on his bed and stared at Finn. "What gave you this idea?"
"You said so yourself, you have people. You either talked with Lane earlier or Robert, or both, and they both told you were Rory is, meaning you've talked to Rory, meaning you have the number where I can reach her."
"About knowing where she is."
"About me talking to her," Colin said with a sigh. "I don't think it's such a god idea for you talk to her Finn, I would rather you wait for her to call you."
"I need to talk to her Colin, I can't fix this if I wait for her to want to fix this."
Colin closed his eyes, and gave a bitter laugh, Lane was right he was doing a horrible job staying out of the situation. "Fine, but if anyone asks you figured out where she was on your own."
"Lane is going to kill me." Colin muttered grabbing his phone and dialing the Gilmore household before handing the phone to Finn.
Lorelai groaned and she reached for her clock and started at the bright red numbers that read four thirty am. With another groan she reached for the phone and brought it under the pillow with her as she answered.
"Who that hell are you and why are you calling here at four thirty in the morning?!" she asked.
"Sorry Lorelai, it's Finn, can I talk to Rory?"
Suddenly alert, Lorelai sat up in bed. "No, you cannot talk to Rory."
"Rory told you." Finn sighed.
"I overheard, she doesn't know I know."
"What I said, I said in anger." Finn explained slowly
"That is no excuse." Lorelai hissed. "You broke her, kid."
Lorelai sighed and rubbed her face tiredly. "She's never fought with boyfriends, so she's not quite sure how to handle it, she's better now that she's talked to Lane, but she shouldn't have been upset in the first place."
"I know." Finn said quickly. "And I'm taking full responsibility for my actions, I jumped the gun, and even though I know it's no excuse, it was just a bunch of things that caused me to get angry and blame Rory for things that I know she would never do."
"Finn…" Lorelai sighed, she was angry at Finn, for sure, but she wasn't sure how far to take the berating, this was Rory's situation and while that had never stopped Lorelai from getting in the middle of things, Finn was definitely different then Dean and Jess and she wasn't sure how much she should say. "Rory's been in a good relationship and she's been in a bad relationship."
"Dean and Jess." Finn said.
Lorelai closed her eyes and restrained from saying more. "I don't want you to be another Jess, Finn."
"I…" Finn frowned not quite sure how to respond to that.
Lorelai sighed and got out of bed putting on her slippers, "I'll get Rory."
"Thank you." Finn said quietly.
Lorelai went down the stairs; bit her lip before going to Rory's room where she was finally sleeping comfortably after crying herself to sleep.
"Ror?" Lorelai whispered, causing Rory to groan. "Rory, the phone, it's for you."
"Whozit?" Rory muttered turning over, her eyes still closed.
"Rory, wake up."
Rory groaned again, but peeled her eyes open. "Mom?"
"The phone is for you."
Rory turned to look at the clock only to groan again. "It's a quarter to five, who the hell calls this early?"
Rory stared at her mom. "What?"
Lorelai handed her the phone before walking out of the room. Rory looked at the door as it closed before looking at the phone in shock.
"I'm glad you didn't hang up." Finn said lowly, causing her to squeeze her eyes shut to keep from crying.
"It occurred to me, but I realized that would be a little immature."
"Rory, I'm sorry, I probably left you a million messages apologizing, and I'm an asshole."
"I know, I heard them and yeah, you really are."
"You heard my messages?"
"I heard the first fifteen, I deleted the rest," She admitted.
"Look, what I said…"
"You mean when you called me a whore?" Rory asked sarcastically.
Finn winced. "Yes that, I said it out of anger, not anger at you, just…"
"Anger, I think I got that."
"Rory," Finn sighed.
"I'm not going to make this easy on you Finn."
"And I didn't expect you to, I just…" Finn sighed in agitation.
"I would have thought thirty some hours would have given you time to formulate a better apology, Finn."
"You really aren't making this easy are you?"
"What do you want me to say Finn?" Rory asked sitting up in bed. "That in reality what you said didn't affect me? That I forgive you and everything will go back to the way it was?"
"Yes!" Finn said.
Rory squeezed her eyes shut again and buried her face in her knees which she had brought up to her chest. She fisted her hands and swallowed the sob that was forming in her throat.
Her breathing quickened and her teeth bit into her lip to keep from yelling.
"Rory, are you still there?" Finn asked quietly.
"Fine," she whispered.
"What?" Finn asked.
"Fine, I forgive you, I'm too tired to fight, we both had some time to think and it's just not worth the effort, everything is forgiven."
"Just like that?" Finn asked.
Rory shook her head biting her lip, before giving a nod. "Yep, just like that."
"Rory." Finn said quietly, not quite sure if Rory was serious or not.
"Its fine Finn, I mean it's not, but it is, you know?"
"Yeah, I know," Finn said slowly.
"Okay, then," Rory said, falling back into bed and closing her eyes. "I should…"
"I got your box." Finn cut her off.
"Oh." Rory said unenthusiastically.
"I did love the pictures Rory."
"Good, I'm glad." She resisted the urge to tack on, 'hope they weren't too whoreish.' to the rest of that statement.
"Colin punched me."
"Did he?" Rory asked, running a hand through her hair and gripping the roots hard.
"After he found out what happened with us. He was pretty pissed, I had to go to the hospital, got to wear an eye patch, I'm sure I have pictures on my phone I can send you…I mean when you get a new phone and all."
"Rory, you're still mad." Finn sighed.
"No, I'm not," Rory said. "I'm just tired, it's five am here and I didn't get to sleep till late."
"I couldn't sleep."
"Mom kept you up?" he teased lightly.
"I cried myself to sleep Finn," Rory cursed herself as she heard Finn curse himself.
"Rory I am so sorr-"
"Just stop okay, I just… I need to sleep I'm tired."
"Okay, I'll um…I'll call you later."
"Sure," Rory whispered. "Bye Finn."
"Night Rory." Finn whispered, just before Rory hung up the phone. Rory carefully placed the phone on her nightstand and started at it for a few minutes longer, before grabbing it, she kicked off her covers and was about to go upstairs to her mom when she saw her mom sitting in the living room with the TV on.
"Hey, I couldn't get back to sleep so…Rory?" Lorelai asked looking at her daughter as Rory stared back.
"Mom?" Rory whispered with a frown.
"I think I just lied to Finn."
Lorelai watched as her daughter crumbled and began to cry again. Standing quickly she went over and hugged her wrapping Rory up in the blanket and leading her to the couch, where Rory curled into her mother's side and continued to cry.
"Please, don't let him be another Jess," Lorelai mumbled into Rory's hair and rubbing her back.
Finn walked slowly back to Colin's room and found him still on the bed trying to teach himself a new song on the guitar, Colin looked up at the sound of the door.
"Hey, you were on the phone for a while, how'd it go?"
"She forgave me," Finn said slowly with a frown handing Colin his phone back before sitting on the bed.
"Hey! That's great."
"Colin," Finn said looking over at his friend. "I think she lied."
FINALLY! This chapter has taken me forever to finish. In total this chapter is 72 pages and remember this is the second part of chapter 17, originally it was suppose to be one huge chapter that put together would have ended up being 115 pages and 36,593 words, had I kept that, it would have been a new record for me, one that Flynn would never let me forget. Let me tell you my sanity if forever grateful I spilt the chapters' lol.
This chapter happened more or less the way I had envisioned it give or take a few lines of dialogue. I'm going to answer some questions for you right now, that way I don't get them in reviews…or people get mad at me.
Yes, Robert is a key player in Tales as of right now (if you would like to know just how big of a part he plays just ask and I'll be happy to tell you) and NO, he will not come between Rory and Finn. As he told Colin, he really doesn't feel anything sexual for Rory.
For those of you a bit skeptical on how Rory, Robert and Isolde became easy friends. I refuse to believe you guys have never had a friend that you made and trusted just as easily. I know I have and it's the reason why I wrote it that way.
Robert and Colin are not and will not become lovers. I wrote them very close and as I was writing them I wondered if they came across as a little gay. The Colin/Robert/Isolde storyline actually does get explained later on in the story. I decided early on that I didn't want this to be solely about Finn and Rory…it is, of course, centered on them. But they have friends living their own lives. Colin's story line becomes very important later on. Just know that Colin and Robert do refer to one another as brother to other people and are very close. (Which you see in this chapter and others to come)
And with the Colin storyline does come the Stephanie/Isolde storyline. Which I will not explain, only privileged people know that, and I did make that vague for a reason.
Let's see, I can't think of anything else now. But if you have questions either ask me here in a review(if you do please log in so I can reply, it's pointless to ask me a question and not log in, and I'm not going to go searching for you on FF to find you. So please log in, or at least give me some idea of how to respond back to you)
I really want to give thanks to my Beta Emily, for putting up with my ever changing ideas, and for taking the time to actually go through edit my long ass chapters and still humors me and leave me notes lol. So thanks Ems.
Remember I've got a Twitter, PDLDRogan. I do talk about my stories on there, a lot of the time in great detail, and if you just want to see my randomness throughout the day as well as the stupid things that happen to me at school lol.
And of course the gallery on my website will be updated right after this is posted. So go check out pics!
Okay that's it for me. I hope you enjoyed and the next chapter should be half as long, and hopefully up soon seeing as I've been dying to write it since I thought of it lol.