(comfortable and so broken in)

"Uh," Colin stuttered, starting slowly as Steph shook her head, almost laughing. Rory also bit back a laugh.

"Scary," Finn said, tossing back a chip.

Logan rolled his eyes at his father's drama.

"Rory!" Lorelai screeched. "You let him in?"

She looked at her mother blankly. "I gave him an invitation."

"I want you all out of my house," Christopher demanded, talking to Finn, Colin, and Logan . "And you," he said, pointing to his daughter, "I'll deal with you later."

"No," she said quickly. "Deal with me now." This wasn't her father. He was usually calm – but this, this was unexpected. She had never actually seen him like this, and truth be told, she was almost scared.

"You think I'm going to let you make a fool of me in my own house? At my own party?" he said, his eyes narrow slits and teeth bared, slightly resembling a ravage dog.

"Christopher," Lorelai said, her hand placed soothingly on his arm, but he shrugged it off.

"I won't let you; you are not to see this boy again," he said with quick strides into the kitchen where they were, causing all the teens to jump back, sans Rory.

"You can't tell me that. You can't make me!" she yelled loudly.

He pushed her against the counter by her forearms, her head jerking back with the force; her hair wrapped as a halo coming unwoven and tumbling down. "You won't!" he yelled, seeing past her tear-brimmed eyes.

Everyone stood in shock; they had never seen anything like this. The usually calm father and semi-obedient daughter in a fight, especially like this. The father using his authority against her, especially in public was something they had not witnessed.

Lorelai stood useless to the side and the Huntzbergers watched in almost pity for the girl. And Logan, well, needless to say he was pissed. He shoved Christopher off of Rory, his sudden movement surprising the older man into letting go and grabbed her hand gently, pulling her behind him out the back door quickly.

They were out on her back porch within seconds, Colin, Finn and Steph staying to keep anyone from following them, not that anyone would have been eager to follow after that scene. He stopped suddenly and she nearly ran into him, placing her hands up to stop.

He smoothed his hand down her cheek, pushing her hair out of her face. "Are you okay? You're okay?" he asked.

She nodded, a small smile on her face at his concern. "I'm fine." She didn't mention that her arms were sore; it was something trivial.

"Come on, we'll stay at my house tonight."

She pulled his hand back from where he had starting walking, causing him to turn and look at her. "Logan, no! No, your parents already hate me, this is just the icing on the cake. I can just stay in the tree house. I can climb back into my room and get a blanket or whatever. It'll be fine."

"Rory, no. I'm not letting you sleep in the treehouse. There's not even a door."

She pouted, "But I like the treehouse. And your parents aren't there."

"They won't even see you."

"Wow, thanks. I feel so much better." They had started walking and he shrugged off his jacket and wrapped it around her as they wandered through the more recently beaten down path.


They did something new when they got to his house – walked through the front door. It was never really an option when they would go to Rory's house, but here, he seemed pretty sure that there wasn't a problem with it.

That didn't mean that she didn't feel uncomfortable doing it.

They walked up a winding staircase, Rory looking about the house, both out of awe and to see if she would see the elder Huntzbergers roaming around.

She followed him down a long hallway, empty, except for a few large paintings and an antique table set stylishly against one of the walls. She hadn't been in this house since her age consisted of one digit, and the memories came flooding back to her in a rush, quickly, without heed or warning.

"Logan Huntzberger!" a five year old Rory yelled as she ran down the hallway, forgetting Mrs. Huntzberger specifically telling her not to run down the hallway. In her five-year old daze of finding what she was looking for, she tripped over her black shiny Mary Janes, and she tumbled to the floor in a pile of frills and lace, courtesy of Lorelai.

A blonde head poked out of a doorway, his eyes only visible behind the woodwork, a small smile on his face as he watched his friend try to stand up. He walked to where she was, pulling on her hands to help her up. She wiped her few tears away with the back of her hand.

Rory remembered that moment perfectly. She had known that he would be there to help her up, always, no matter what. She didn't know then how uncertain everything was in her life, how often things changed. She was only five years old, but now she more than knew better.

They had then proceeded to go into his room and five-year old Logan showed her his "guys", the little action figures that he had gotten for his recent birthday from some distant relative. He had them involved in an all out war, and Rory just sat and watched.

She was pulled out of her reverie when he stopped in front of a door, his door. He pushed it open and she followed him inside, running a stray finger along his mahogany dresser, easing her palm around knick knacks that were placed randomly on the top; tennis trophies, a picture frame of him with Finn and Colin, and about a thousand other little nothings.

"So this is how the other half lives," she murmured, taking in his perfectly kept room. She walked to the window, and sure enough, there was her window in plain view, her light off, curtains pulled half open.

There was a king sized bed pushed up against a wall with a navy blue comforter and a desk in a far corner. Her eyes flitted over doors to what were probably a closet and a bathroom.

He laughed lightly, "It's not as if your room is lacking in anything."

"I never said it was. I just…it's homier than I thought. All the pictures and stuff, it's not what I expected."

He didn't answer, but just pulled a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt out of a drawer of his dresser, handing them to her, motioning to a door on the right. "You can change in there, if you want."

She walked by and his arm reached out to touch hers, looking at her. "You're okay, right? I mean, you would tell me if you weren't?"

She smiled, reaching up on her toes to kiss his cheek. "Yes. I'm fine. It's a little weird; he's never done that before, but I'll live." She looked to the door and back to him, pursing her lips. "I'm gonna change."

When she came back out, he was already laying in bed, on the left side. "I can sleep on the floor," she said. "If you give me a blanket and pillow," she added, a small smile pulling at the edges of her mouth.

He rolled his eyes, "You aren't sleeping on the floor, Rory. My bed is big enough for you, easily."

She walked around to the other side. "Alright," she said, pulling down the heavy comforter, climbing into the inviting bed and laying down. "No funny business," she teased.

"Wouldn't dream of it."

She folded an arm under her head as she lay on her side, watching his face as he quickly fell asleep. While she expected to fall asleep soon, too, it was something that didn't come.

How quickly they had changed, going from almost complete strangers to being so close, almost able to read each other's simplest facial reactions, reading into words what was really meant.

She rolled over to face the window and sighed, knowing sleep wouldn't come.