It was nine in the morning on a Saturday. There were people walking outside with cups of coffee in their hands. The sun was shining through his windows, falling almost uncomfortably on his eyes. And apparently, Rory Gilmore was in his living room.
"I'm sorry," he propped himself up on his elbows and stared at Colin, "You want to repeat that?"
"She had a rough night," Colin explained, staying close to the doorway as if to ensure a quick escape, "So we picked her up at her grandparents last night, took her for coffee, and brought her here."
"And she's sleeping?"
"Yes, so you can sneak out whenever you're ready."
"Great," Logan slid his legs over the bed and pulled on a shirt, "I'm going to do that. Go make sure she's still asleep or something, okay?"
Colin practically bolted out of the room and Logan would have smiled, if he weren't so incredibly angry. He understood that Rory was having a hard time. He understood that Colin and Finn were just trying to get her through everything. What he didn't understand was why she had to get through everything in his living room.
He sighed as he slipped on a pair of jeans, followed by socks and shoes. He would grab a quick shower at Stephanie's, then make Colin bring him a bag over later. It was the least his best friend could do after putting him in this situation.
He felt bad for Rory, he really did. If they were in any other situation, he would be the first person to comfort her. However, they were in this situation and honestly, it was going to be hard enough seeing her sleeping on the couch. He took a deep breath as he stood up, preparing himself for laying eyes on her for the first time in months. He told himself all he had to do was walk through the living room, out the door, and then he'd be home free. He could avoid the apartment for the rest of her visit as long as he could make it out that door without her waking up.
He opened the door slowly, peered out into the living room, and then froze. He couldn't move, he could barely breathe. Rory Gilmore was standing right in front of him, but shockingly enough, that wasn't even the most amazing part. The entire main room was decked in holiday decorations from Thanksgiving through to New Years. There was a small Christmas tree, lights, turkey decorations, New Years Eve poppers and balloons, and he was certain he smelled turkey in the oven.
"Hi, Logan," she said slowly, softly.
"Rory, what is all this?" he asked as he stepped out into the living room, feeling his anger swelling, "You're supposed to be asleep."
"I know," she admitted, "I asked Colin to lie for me."
That was it; he was killing Colin. They had many years of wonderful friendship, but he was just going to have to murder his best friend.
"How nice," Logan muttered, "Have fun with your party. I'm leaving."
"Logan, please," she stepped in front of him, "This is for you."
He shook his head and stepped past her, heading for the door, "That's nice, Rory, really. But you broke up with me, remember? And I really, really don't want to see you, let alone talk to you, let alone participate in whatever this is."
"It's everything we've missed while we've been apart," she said, just as he was stepping out the door, "Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve…it's everything we've missed."
He slammed the door closed, turning to face her with fire in his eyes, "We're still apart, Rory! You might want to add Valentine's Day to that list, because it's fast approaching."
She was silent. She stood in the middle of the room, ringing her hands together with her eyes cast downward. He wanted to leave, he wanted to storm out of the room and not look back, but a part of him just wanted to know what she was doing. Was this her idea of a joke?
"What is this, Rory?" he demanded, "What are you doing? This isn't a game. We've been broken up for months. I haven't heard a word from you. Nothing. And then suddenly you're putting up turkeys and Christmas trees in my living room? What are you doing?"
"I'm saying I'm sorry," she murmured, barely audible, "I'm saying I'm sorry and that I made a horrible mistake. We should have been together all this time, Logan."
He stared at her in disbelief. Who did she think she was? How could she stand there and say that like it was something he didn't already know? He fought for them. He tried to hold them together. She was the one who pushed him away and then proceeded to walk out of his life. How dare she.
"You think that makes you clever?" he spat, "Guess what, Rory? I knew that all along. At least I used to. Now, I'm not so sure. You know what? I'm not having this conversation."
He started towards the door again, but she reached out and grabbed him by the arm, her fingers wrapping around his wrist.
"I know you knew, Logan," she said, her voice oddly steady, "You always believed in us and I blew it. I was scared and I blew it. But I learned my lesson."
"Good. Have fun with your regrets."
He shook her loose and continued walking towards the door. His only thought was to exit his living room so he could breathe again. What was going on? This was all like some kind of crazy dream. This couldn't be happening for real.
"Logan!" she said, her voice loud and firm, "I've been up all night buying and putting up decorations. And when I say I've been up all night, I mean I haven't sat down since I left my grandparent's house. I threatened the woman at Wal-Mart until she brought out all the left over decorations and she didn't even give me a discount. I bought a turkey that is currently in the oven. I can't promise that it's actually going to be edible, but I tried. I almost got my hand stuck in the damn thing, so much so that Finn had to come help me out. Yes, Finn. I said it. I couldn't get the decorations to stick to the wall with tape, so I went around banging on people's doors begging for those double-sided sticky things that nobody knows the name of. And what do you know? On the eleventh door I knocked on, somebody had them! I had my life threatened a few times, may I add. I drove to Stars Hollow and snuck in my house to steal the tree we sometimes put on our front porch for decoration. I had to make sure I didn't wake my mother, though, which was an adventure all in itself. I'm cooking, Logan. And I decorated. I'm so exhausted I could fall asleep right here in the middle of your living room. God, what I'm trying to say is that I miss you and I'm sorry and I made what will probably end up being the worst mistake of my life. We missed all this and I just want to give it back to us. I want to go back. All I want you to do is listen. You don't even have to say anything. Just please, listen."
He just stared at her, seriously considering whether or not she took a breath in the middle of that rant. He was still furious with her, and hurt, but at the same time, he wanted to know what she had to say. Well, besides all of the sentences she just rambled off a moment ago. He didn't think there was anything that could be done to fix them. He couldn't be with someone who didn't trust him and who wouldn't fight for their relationship. He couldn't be with someone who wouldn't at least give them the opportunity to make it.
"Well?" she asked, her tone pleading, "Say something."
But he would at least listen.
"Okay," he agreed, sitting down on the couch, "Talk."
He watched her breathe a noticeable sigh of relief and then sit down beside him. She turned to face him and he was immediately struck by the look in her eyes. He saw everything in her crystal blue gaze that was missing during the summer at the beach. He saw her spark, her determination, and her fire. He saw all the reasons he fell in love with her. He swallowed hard, gripping the edge of the couch to stop him from reaching for her. She didn't trust him. She didn't believe in them. She broke his heart. He just had to remember that.
"I'm sorry," she began, and then let out a long breath, "I am so sorry, Logan. I don't even know words strong enough to express how much I regret what I did. I don't know what got into me. That wasn't me. You never did anything to give me a reason not to trust you. I was scared and I let it get to me too much. I miss you. And I'm so sorry."
"I appreciate that, Rory," Logan replied, "But that can't fix everything. You didn't think we could make it; you didn't even give us a chance. You broke up with me, because you didn't trust me to stay faithful to you. Doesn't that sound familiar? Weren't trust issues why Jess and Dean broke up with you? Don't you think it was a little hypocritical?"
Rory winced, "Very hypocritical, actually, and I know that. I want to take the person I was at that point in time and strangle her. I hate that it took me this long to figure it out, but I was wrong. I was so wrong."
"I don't know what you want me to do. I can't be with someone who has that many doubts about our relationship."
"I don't have doubts anymore, Logan, I swear. I would lock you in a room with 40 beautiful models if I could, just to prove how much I trust you. I realize now how much I can trust you. I miss you so much."
Now, it was Logan's turn to wince. He had to tell her the truth before she went too far.
"Rory, look," he paused and took a deep breath, "The truth is, about a month after you broke up with me, I went back to my old ways. I've been with a lot of girls, Rory, I'm not going to lie about that."
He cut her off, holding up a hand to silence her, "Now, I wouldn't have done that if we were still together, I want to make that clear. But I was just trying to numb the pain. It didn't work, for the record. Now, you can leave and stop this, right? I believe this is the point where you say, "I told you so" and leave, crying, so that I feel like a miserable human being."
He stood up, expecting her to do the same, but she didn't budge.
"I don't care," she said plainly, "We were broken up. What you do then is your business. I didn't expect that you just sat in your apartment waiting me to show up and terrorize you with holiday decorations. It's okay, Logan. I still want to be with you again."
He sat back down, stunned, and turned to face her, "Excuse me? Are you the same girl who refused to believe I wouldn't cheat on you in some kind of drunken haze?"
"The one and only," she smiled sadly, "I was screwed up. I've been screwed up. I kissed Tristan last night. God, I almost let him do more than that! That's not me. There was something wrong and it took the strangest person to fix me, but I'm fixed. I've changed, Logan."
"You kissed Tristan?"
"Yes," she grimaced, "Can we just skip the explanation?"
He dropped his head into his hands, "Fine. Whatever. We're done here, anyway. Just stop, Rory. Stop doing this. If we get back together, you're going to breaking up with me in a few months anyway, because you'll be heading off to Harvard and I'll be here."
"That's not true. I promise."
He ignored her as he got to his feet again, pacing in front of her, "You'll think I'm going to screw up, you'll say you don't want me holding you back this time. Something will happen and we'll be back to being miserable again. This is crazy. Please leave."
He walked over and opened the door, gesturing out into the hallway. He couldn't take this anymore. His head was pounding with a mixture of emotions and he didn't care how early it was, he needed a drink. He needed to get drunk as soon as possible. This whole situation was insanity. She couldn't just walk in and out of his life like this, like it was some kind of game. If she didn't trust him a few months ago, she certainly didn't trust him now.
"No," she stated fiercely, "I'm not leaving."
"Rory, this is my apartment. Get the hell out!"
"It's Colin and Finn's apartment, too, and they told me to stay as long as I like," she stood up and walked over to him, "I'm fighting for us this time, Huntzberger. Just a hint, I don't like to lose."
He slammed the door shut in frustration, "You can't just change your mind like this, Rory! You can't just waltz in here and decide everything is going to be okay again. You accused me of things that didn't happen yet, crazy things. You took away our chance."
"And now I'm giving it back," she shouted, then her voice broke, "Let me give it back, please."
"It doesn't work that way," he shook his head, "People don't just change their mind like this. You can't just change your mind like this. It doesn't make any sense! What has changed, Rory? What suddenly changed your mind?"
"I love you, that's what!"
The air seemed to disappear from the room as soon as the words left her lips. Logan stared at her, unblinking, trying to figure out if he heard her correctly.
"Excuse me?" he managed, "What did you say?"
"I said that I love you," she repeated, finding her confidence again, "I have for awhile. I've just been too afraid to say it and I think that's some of the reason why I broke it off. I was scared of love. And then, when my parents announced they were getting a divorce, I was sure that love was a farce, that it didn't exist at all."
"And what changed your mind?"
"My Grandma, actually. She was talking about how much her and Grandpa are in love. She said that she feels safe when she's with him, that they knew each other. She couldn't stop smiling when they first fell in love, because they just fit. She knew he would always protect her and that she could count on him," she took a step towards him, "And that's how I feel about you, Logan. I feel right when I'm with you, like nothing can touch me. I don't want to me with anyone else, because we fit. We just fit."
He felt himself weakening. She said she loved him. He never thought Rory would say those words to a man again for as long as she lived. But she came here and she ranted and she said those words to him. The Rory Gilmore he met at the first newspaper meeting was suddenly back: strong, fierce, confident, and resolute. She hadn't cried once and he felt like if he turned her down, she wouldn't even cry then. He believed she would walk out of the apartment with her head held high, and that image brought a small smile to his lips.
His Ace was back.
"We fit, huh?" he asked softly, smirking.
"Yeah, we do," she replied,, "Is that smirk a good thing?"
He reached out and placed his hands on her shoulders, looking her in the eyes, "I love you, too, Rory."
"You do?" she squeaked out, her energy seemingly vanishing.
"I do. I wanted to tell you a long time ago, but I didn't think you were ready to hear it. And looking at what happened, I was probably right. But you stand before me a changed woman, Rory Gilmore, and I love you as much as I did before."
He moved his hands behind his neck and leaned down, pressing his lips against hers. It was as if they hadn't missed a second. Kissing her felt so natural, like breathing. He wondered how he lasted this long without having her in his arms. When they separated, her pulled her into a hug, resting his chin on the top of her head as she leaned against his chest. He couldn't believe this was happening, but if it was a dream, he was going to try his hardest not to wake up.
She stepped back from him slightly, "Have I told you how sorry I am? How stupid I was?"
He smiled faintly; brushing back her hair and planting a kiss on her forehead, "Consider everything forgiven," he paused, "Is something burning?"
"Oh my God!" she covered her mouth in horror, "The turkey!"
She raced to grab it, but when she opened the oven door, a smoke cloud filled the room. She coughed and stepped back, turning to face him sadly.
"I think I messed it up."
"Really?" he couldn't help but laugh, "You think?"
She waved an arm around to clear the smoke as laughter consumed her as well, "Don't make fun of my cooking!"
"Maybe you should just stick to your strengths," he offered, walking over and taking her in his arms again.
She leaned up and kissed him, tucking her arms around his neck.
"Like that, for instance," he said when they parted, "That's definitely a strength."
She smiled, "I missed you, Logan. So much."
"I love you, Ace," he grinned, "Now please tell me that the New Years theme includes champagne."
AN: And there we go! I know, you're not used to quick fixes from me, but this just seemed to work. There are probably two more chapters left, three at the most. To come we have: Rory and Stephanie, Rory, Colin, and Finn, Rory and her parents, and maybe something special. Please continue to review. I love you reviews! Thanks for sticking with me and this story for this long, please don't abandon me now. We're almost there. Review, please! ;)