Title: Together While Apart
Summary: How Logan and Rory deal with being apart. ROGAN.
Warnings: A little warning: This is a mushy story. Just so you're warned. Also, there will be a bit of light action in it, nothing graphic though I think.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gilmore Girls and am just borrowing the characters.
Copyright: Sarah Diaz 2006/2007
Spoilers: 7.02, the rest is pure coincidence.
Thanks: A big 'THANK YOU!' to Emma, who was so kind to volunteer to beta for me. You did great work!
Together While Apart
Chapter 1: Sex on the beach
"Hey Ace," Logan answered his phone with a smile.
"Am I interrupting a meeting to plan to take over the world?"
Logan chuckled. "Nope, you got two minutes until it starts."
"Oh good, I won't take long anyway. I just wanted to thank you for never having sex on the beach with me."
Logan blinked. Really, he should be used by now to the strange, seemingly no making sense at all comments that came constantly out of the mouth of his girlfriend and yet she managed to surprise him time and time again. "Uh… my pleasure?" he slowly answered, hesitating. He knew it was a bad idea to even ask, but… "Ace?"
"Yeah, I mean, we did a few – adventurous things," she replied and Logan had to suppress a groan when he remembered those adventures and his body automatically reacted to those truly memorable memories. "But never sex on the beach, despite the times we were at Martha's or somewhere else on a beach. So… thank you."
Slowly, Logan shook his head in order to try to clear his head. "Ace, have you ever had sex on the beach? It sucks. Unless you have it in the water but that usually gets too cold very fast or if you have a blanket the size of Yale's library – and even then the sand will probably find its way to places it should never be."
She laughed. "So I've heard and that's why I suddenly felt the need to call and thank you for sparing me this experience because really, if I'd ever had had sex on the beach, then it would have been with you."
"Glad to hear that," Logan answered sarcastically. "Now, will I ever get an explanation or should I just store that in that Tokyo-size closet in my head filled with things I'll never understand and probably, that's for the best?"
"Tokyo-size, huh?" There was a slight pause in which Logan could almost see her shrug. "Oh well, it's Lane. She got home from her honeymoon in Mexico and explained long and detailed to me how her mother had always been right and every other woman, me included, have lied to her about the great experience that sex is and just how wonderful it is. She turned into Mel Gibson and now thinks it's one vast conspiracy and is perfectly fine with never having sex again for the rest of her life."
"Ah, let me guess? Sex on the beach?" Logan smirked, starting to understand finally.
"You nail it, Buster."
"I hope you told that poor girl to give it a try again."
"I did, but she won't believe me. I'm part of the conspiracy."
There was a knock at his door and his assistant Bobby popped her head in. "Sir? The meeting," she mouthed. He nodded at her and signaled that he'd be there in a minute. The door closed behind her again.
"Sorry Ace, gotta go," he sighed.
"Okay. Call me later?"
"Absolutely. Oh and Ace? Perhaps you can convince her… tell her about that time in New York, the elevator ride?"
"Are you kidding? She'll never let Zach touch her again. I think she definitely needs to first try it the good old-fashion way… in a bed."
"But it was fantastic," Logan pouted.
"Goodbye Logan!" Rory laughed and the line went dead.
Still grinning, Logan grabbed his briefcase and hurried out of his office.
When he called later that night he expected anything but the tear-stained, muffled voice of Rory that answered him with a weak "Yeah".
"Rory?" he asked, instantly worried.
"Logan," she sobbed and her cries cut into his heart like hot, sharp blades.
"Rory, what's wrong? Did something happen?"
She didn't answer, just kept crying and it was making Logan insane. More than anything, he wanted to be there and be able to take her into his arms, ran his hand over her back, soothe her. But he was thousands of miles away and could do nothing. Nothing… but try to get her to talk to him.
"Rory, baby, please, tell me what happened," he pleaded, pacing in his living room.
After another long moment, her sobs finally quieted down enough for her to start to speak. "I… it's just… when I got home after having talked to you Mom… Mom surprised me with having turned the whole house into Asia, because I'm so disappointed we couldn't go on our trip and she wanted to cheer me up and it did, because it was nice and helped a little and the dessert sushi was so great but then Dad called and, and…" she sniffled. "She slept with him, Logan. She broke up with Luke and she went to sleep with Dad. Why would she do that? She loved Luke, she was happy with him, I know that, but the minute she broke up she goes to Dad and sleeps with him." Her voice strengthened with anger. "But why am I surprised? That's her deal. Every time she's finally happy with a guy, she does ruin it by going to Dad, or call him or sleep with him or something like that. But this time it's different. It's Luke, Logan! I love Luke. He was more of a father to me than Dad ever was and now he knows and he went and punched Dad and I… I just…" A sob once again broke out of her. "I don't know how to deal with this. Am I supposed to never talk to Luke again? I can't do that! And I'm so mad at Mom, because finally, everything was going good between me and Dad and Dad and Mom but now she slept with him and I know either Dad will break her heart, again, or Mom will break his, again, and Luke's already broken and I'm stuck in the middle of it and forced to choose sides I don't want to choose and having to deal with Mom heartbroken and Dad disappointed and not able to go to Luke and I just don't want to do either of that and on top of it all I miss you so much and, and, and…" her voice died down and she went back to crying.
"Oh Rory," Logan murmured and sat down onto his couch, heavily. He wasn't sure if he was following all of it exactly, but he thought he got the most important things. "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault," she told him.
No. But that didn't make it better that the girl he loved was crying and hurt and he couldn't be there for her.
"I'm sorry," he said again. "I'm sorry about your mom and Luke and I'm sorry about your mom and your dad but I think there's nothing you can do. You have to let them sort things out and just be there for them, even if it sucks for you."
"I know," she sighed and Logan was relieved to hear that she had stopped crying. "I fought with Mom, you know. I told her exactly what I thought about her sleeping with Dad. I… I was like a train ramming into her."
Logan cringed. He of all people knew how much she hated to fight with her mother. At least this time, they hadn't fought over him. "She'll understand."
She said nothing, but he felt her nod.
For a while, neither of them said anything, just drawing comfort from hearing the other breathing.
"Ace?" Logan eventually disturbed the silence. There was something that was bothering him.
"What's this about Asia?" he asked quietly.
"Oh Logan, just forget it. It's stupid. I should never have said anything," Rory quickly answered.
"Rory," Logan warned her, knowing that voice only too well. When she used this one it was anything but not important.
"Really, it's nothing. Hey, how was your day? Written anything Pulitzer worthy?"
Definitely important. "Rory, tell me," he told her, not having any of it.
"It's stupid," Rory said, sounding embarrassed and small.
"Doesn't matter. Tell me," Logan once again insisted, his voice soft though.
She sighed heavily. "I just… I knew it wasn't going to happen, but some silly part of me had still hoped that you'll find a way to get your father to at least agree to let us go and make our trip. Or that we'll sneak our way to Asia by, I don't know, maybe you writing a feature story about Asia, the corruption versus the tourism, the Bird Flu against the research and development of the pharmaceutical industry, something like that and I kept planning and hoping. Now it's definitely not going to happen and I have nothing to do all summer but miss you because I planned nothing else…and I'm pathetic."
His heart cringing, Logan shook his head. "No you're not. Never, Rory." He swallowed. "And I'm sorry for not being able to…"
"No Logan, you don't have to be sorry. This isn't your fault and it's my problem that I was stupid enough…" Rory interrupted him.
"Stop," Logan told her firmly. "It's Dad's fault, okay?"
"Okay," she agreed after a moment.
"You do know that I'd rather be in Asia with you now than here, playing the heir, right?" Logan asked, frowning.
"I know," she replied without hesitation, sighing.
"Good. But you should have told me, Rory," Logan told her.
"Whatever for? There was nothing you could do and I didn't want to dump my problems on you when you're trying to get your first job starting and kicking."
Logan shook his head. "That's not how it's going to work Rory. My job here is secondary. You're first, always. But I need you to tell me what's going on in your life. I hate not being there for you so please, don't make this worse by excluding me. I want this to work and I want you to tell me what you're feeling or thinking, just like you have before I had to go, so I can at least be there for you, like today, like right now."
"I… I'm sorry," Rory said, sounding honestly chagrined. "I… I want this to work too, you know."
"Then don't shut me out just because I'm a few thousands miles away," Logan said, trying to sound more lightly again, but not really managing it.
"Okay, I'll try to be better… but it goes both ways, you know?" Rory replied softly.
"Yeah, that's the idea," Logan nodded, smiling.
"So, how was your day, Honey?" Rory asked in an awfully cheery voice.
Grinning, Logan shook his head. But then he grew serious. "You okay now?"
"I'm with you, am I not?" she simply answered.
Once again, his heart skipped a beat, this time though in an entirely good way. "Just always think about the rocket, Ace," he told her, quietly.
"It's standing right beside me, on my night table," she replied and he could hear the smile in her voice.
Logan nodded. "Good."
"What?" Logan asked, perplexed.
"Lane. She's pregnant. She just told me. One single, crappy time and she's pregnant. She's so freaked out and I can't blame her, really," Rory elaborated.
"Oh…" Logan didn't really know what else to say. "Well, pass along my congratulations," he added after a moment.
"Are you serious? The mood she's in now she'll probably rip off my head if I come with your congratulations," Ace snorted.
"And what a shame that would be," Logan laughed, shaking his head. "But seriously, why is she so freaked out? I mean, she's married at least and not alone."
"Wait, are you kidding me? She's twenty-two, works in a diner and lives in a two room apartment not only with Zack, but Brian as well. And she has the band. A pregnant drummer is not really that cool and I bet, bringing along a baby to gigs at two in the morning is frowned upon as well. And really Logan, she may be married but that doesn't mean she has to reproduce on the spot." She stopped and when she continued, she had that dangerous undertone in her voice men have feared since the dawn of humanity. "Wait, do you want to tell me that you expect your wife to get pregnant within the first year?"
"Whoa, that's not what I've said, Ace," Logan was quick to retreat.
"But you've implied that you're okay with that. Marry and pop out kids, that's it, isn't it?" Her voice got even more dangerous.
Panicked, Logan looked around his office for help. No such luck. "No, of course not," he finally said. But then, he made the fatal mistake to continue. "But I do see kids in the picture at one point and too old parents are just uncool so one should perhaps not wait too long."
"Oh, is that so? How charming. But you know, it's no big deal for you guys after all. I mean, you have a little fun and then nine months later your wife bears your child and perhaps then you'll get to do a little here and there as well," she replied, her voice clipped and sharp.
"Come on, Ace…" Logan tried to amend things.
But she wasn't finished yet. "Perhaps we want to make a career first and a pregnant oversea correspondent just doesn't do the trick. Having a baby means for a woman to make a pause, perhaps not have to stop work altogether but it surely won't be jetting through the world for hot stories either."
For a moment, Logan's heart stopped beating. Then, he started to grin. "Rory, listen. I do not expect to marry and have children right away. Really not. But I think it's fair to think about it after five, seven years." He took a deep breathe, barely believing that he was having this conversation, let alone on the phone. "I know how much you want to be an overseas correspondent. I would never expect you to cut down your dreams."
Silence, but for the loud beating of his heart which he was pretty sure was even audible in Stars Hollow.
"Oh," Rory finally muttered softly.
This wasn't the first time a possible permanent future for them had come up between them. It had, a few times, even before last Valentine's Day and later, since his accident, again. Never addressed directly, it was mostly just casual comments here and there on both sides. Sometimes it had been subtle, sometimes rather candid, like this one. It scared the shit out of Logan, but at the same time, it also comforted him, made him feel all warm. Happy.
"You know, I thought about Asia," he abruptly changed the topic.
"Logan, no. Really, it's okay," she immediately protested.
Logan ignored it. "What do you think about making that trip next summer? Right after your graduation, we party and then get into the next plane to Japan or wherever we want to start our tour."
"If we plan it right now, I'm sure we can manage to actually go. I'll clear my schedule for two, three months, no matter what, and you can look for jobs, starting in the fall," Logan tried to convince her. "This way, your planning wasn't wasted, because we just postponed it, plus, you'll have a whole year to learn all you can about the countries in Asia, their history and culture, their politics, the local specialties and the most important phrases in each language, because I tell you, I will rely solely on you to make sure that I'm not going to eat something I really don't want to eat, if I know what it is or not. So… What do you think? Raincheck?"
"You really think we can make it?" Rory asked after a moment and the hope in her voice made him smile.
"I know we'll make it. We just have to want it both," he confirmed.
"Well… Then, I guess I should get those books and lists out of the garbage, huh?"
"Definitely," Logan laughed.
"Okay, but I warn you, mister. You don't promise Asia to a girl and disappoint her twice."
"I'll remember that," Logan promised smiling, but earnestly.
"You better. Ah, I see the garbage truck. I better hurry home and save those lists. Bye!"
"Call me later?"
"Do I love coffee?"
Chuckling, Logan hung up.
So far so good.
(Author's note: Okay, this is a repost. The last time I posted this, I wasn't sure if I wanted to have this as part of my Different-Epos for the cover of Season 7 or if I wanted to go my own way after this episode. Well, they finally started with the last season in the German speaking TV channels and I recently watched this episode again and I suddenly knew at last, how I wanted to continue with this one. Knowing how wrong it went there at the end, I definitely want to have the seventh season going the way I would have liked as well - beside what I plan to do with my coverage of this season for the Different-Epos. So here it is again, slightly edited and followed up right with the second chapter. I'm writing on chapter five now and if all goes well, by the end of year, this story will be finished. I know there are still my other stories, and I'm working on them as well, but I found out that I first need to right the show's wrong before I can fully concentrate back on Different, Curveball and yeah, also Breaking Free. So I hope you'll enjoy my idea for the seventh season.)