Okay, so I have started a new mini-fic! I think…I don't know. I might just leave it as a one-shot. It's up to you guys if you want me to continue. If I do it shouldn't be more than a few chapters, probably five give or take a few. It's an AU starting immediately after Twenty-one is the Loneliest Number. It's also a Rogan, surprise surprise, but it also deals with the Rory Lorelai rift and Richard and Emily. It's kinda sad…but it's good. At least I think it is. Tell me what you think!
Summary: She left without saying goodbye…Rory's reaction and the thoughts of the whole Gilmore clan during Twenty-one is the Loneliest Number. AU. Rogan. Maybe some JavaJunkie later.
Disclaimer: Don't own Gilmore Girls, just like to write about it.
Make A Wish
"Make a wish, Ace." Logan whispered in her ear as the chorus of people around her held out the final note of the birthday song. She smiled and tucked her hair behind her ears before leaning over her chocolate praline cake. The heat from the candles warmed her face and she could smell the smoke emanating off the colorful wax sticks plunged into the creamy frosting.
Looking at the tiny flame of the candle nearest to her, and image of a cigarette lighter flashed in her mind. She could see a thumb flicking the small metal wheel sending up a spark before creating a small line of fire. A feminine hand, with nails painted a bright shade of red, brought the cigarette to the flame and pulled it away, bringing it to a matching pair of red lips. She inhaled and a line of smoke traveled out of her mouth as she threw a hand of cards onto the green table in front of her. Black Jack.
I wish I was in Atlantic City.
She blew had hard as she could, almost successfully extinguishing all of her candles. Four flamed still remained lit until Lane leaned over and quickly blew them out before Rory had the chance to completely empty her lungs.
"All in one breath!" her best friend cheered, earning a soft round of laughter from everyone in the room. Logan pressed a kiss underneath Rory's earlobe and squeezed the arms he had circled around her waist tightly.
"Happy birthday, babe." He whispered just as Rory made eye contact with her grandmother from across the table. Emily raised her chin and narrowed her eyes, sending a look of disapproval that Rory had never before received from anyone. For as long as she could remember she was the angel of the Gilmore family. Her grandparents had always trusted her. They always had complete confidence in all of her choices. Well…almost…
Maybe I was some horrible uncontrollable child like you say, but Rory isn't. She's smart and careful and I trust her and she's going to be fine! And if you can't except that or believe it, then I don't want you in this house!
Perhaps it was all a façade. Perhaps by her grandmother inviting her into the pool house she was trying to undermined all of her mother's teachings. She was trying to keep her from becoming exactly like Lorelai. She was trying to keep her from making the same mistakes. Perhaps Emily thought it was inevitable…and now… she didn't even have her mother to defend her like she did before. She was trying to defend herself from her mother as well. When did her life take such a drastic turn for the worse?
As her grandmother continued to send a withering stare in her direction, an unexplainable emotion built up inside of her. It was foreign and indescribable for Rory. Defiance. She suddenly understood her mother's insufferable need to turn Emily Gilmore into a seething pile of rage. Wanting nothing more than to piss her grandmother off, Rory leaned into Logan's embrace, placing her hands directly over his which were resting on her stomach. She tilted her head up to the right, placing a gentle kiss on his cheek before turning back to her grandmother and staring her directly in her eyes. She achieved the reaction she had wanted. Emily's face turned a bright shade of red and Rory could swear she saw smoke coming from her ears.
"Let's cut the cake, shall we?" Emily called cheerfully, clapping her hands together in feigned excitement. A maid handed her a knife wrapped in a deep red linen cloth to keep the blade from cutting anyone. Emily turned to Rory still wrapped in her boyfriend's arms. As soon as Logan noticed her attention was on them, he dropped the arms he had around her, placing one hand in his pocket and running the other through his hair. Emily smiled in satisfaction and Rory's piercing gaze intensified.
"Rory, would you like to do the honors?" Emily asked. Rory smirked and took the knife that was offered to her.
"Sure, Grandma." She said, matching Emily's tone of forced happiness. She shed the red cloth and sliced through the layers frosting and cake, cutting pieces to distribute to all of her guests. She handed the first to Logan who smiled.
"Oh no you don't, Ace. You gotta eat the first bite it's your cake."
"I don't want any right now. I had two chocolate boxes and a full plate of sushi. I completely stuffed." She argued. Logan picked up a fork from the table, scooped up a piece of the dessert, and hovered the morsel in the air, trying to get her to eat it. Rory fought him, placing her hand between the fork and her mouth, trying to swat it away.
"Logan…stop." She said as she tried to pass around the other pieces.
"Eat it!" he demanded.
"No I-'' Logan interrupted her by shoving the cake into her mouth with out warning. She brought her hand to her mouth in surprise as she was forced to swallow the chocolaty morsel.
"Logan!" she protested, swatting him on the arm and trying to wipe off the line of frosting smudged on her upper lip.
"You missed a little…" he said, pointing to the area on his lip. Rory brought a finger to the opposite side of hers, missing frosting completely. Logan smiled. "Here I got it." He said before kissing her briefly on the lips. He pulled away and grinned. "All gone."
Emily watched them from across the room, completely frozen and forgetting her hostess duties. All she could think about was Logan's reputation, Reverend Boteright, and the night twenty-one years ago when her daughter came home and told them she was pregnant. She had been sixteen years old, a child herself. And she was ruined by one mistake. And now Rory was-
"Oh, aren't those two just so adorable!" The screechy British accent of Nora asked, snapping Emily out of her reverie. She turned to her fellow DAR member and forced a smile.
"Yes…yes…they are…" she said softly as she turned back to the young couple and watched them pass around cake to everyone in the room. They were hunched over the table, cutting more pieces and Logan's hand was pressed in the small of her back as he leaned into her, whispering something in her ear as she handed him another slice to pass around. She laughed at whatever it was he had to say, resting the knife blade on the table until she regained her composure.
A jolt of pain overtook Emily as she watched the scene. She couldn't shake the feeling that she was loosing her only granddaughter. She was loosing her just like she had lost her Lorelai and she was loosing her to Logan Huntzberger.
"Ah to be young and in love…" Nora continued. "I remember when my Donald and I were like that."
"Nora, who on earth is Donald?" Emily asked, knowing well that Donald was not the name of the woman's husband.
"My first husband." Nora explained. "Wonderful man, such a shame he couldn't…well…you know…"
"Oh, honestly, Emily, we're both adults, here. Now, that marriage didn't last long, as you can imagine. Camp as a row of tents, that one. He told me a week after the wedding. Last I heard he's living in Australia. Goes by Donna now, if you catch my meaning."
"Oh my…" Emily said, in a state of complete awkwardness.
"Yes, 'oh my', indeed." The red head agreed, raising her eyebrows and bringing her 'Rory' to her lips. She took a sip, swallowed, and brought her attention back to the hostess. "Luckily for dear Rory here, I don't think we need to worry about that one. If his reputation precedes him he's straight as a nail.
"You know, I heard that six years ago he dated Martha Hutchinson's girl Gracie. Apparently her mother found a pregnancy test in the girls trash can. Now, it was a negative, thank the lord all mighty but still…with a scare like that she was ruined. Never told Logan about it either, that girl, not that I can blame her. Shira was furious was she heard, though. Sent the poor lad to Andover. Told him it was because of their journalism program, though everyone knew she just didn't want to deal with the child any longer.
"Poor thing…being raised in that family. It's no wonder he was the way he was, you know, so…promiscuous and troublemaking and all. He needed something to get his mind off all that…his home life that is…"
Emily listened to her friend's drunken ramble, trying desperately to swallow the feelings of abject fear rising within her. Rory didn't need to be the next Gracie Hutchinson, ruined by a false alarm. God forbid if she was ruined by real one.
"…It's so wonderful he's found Rory, though. Don't you think Emily? That girl's completely turned that boy around. She's not his usual type, though I'm sure you already know that. I mean Rory, she's a brain that one, talented to boot. And well she's…she's so…innocent…the morals of most of the girls he used to see were, well, questionable to say the least if not non-existent. You should be proud of-"
"Anna!" Emily called to a server walking past them with a plate of appetizers. "How many times must I tell you, no garnish! It's not that hard of a concept to grasp! Honestly, you'd think I was surrounded by incompetent three-year-olds!" She snatched the offending greenery form the tray and turned back to her friend. "Excuse me, Nora. It seems I have to do everything around here!"
As Emily turned the corner and walked into the kitchen to dispose of the plant, she leaned against the counter and brought one hand to her eyes in order to shield the falling tears from the others in the room.
"So, what did you wish for?" Logan asked as they cut the last piece of cake.
"I can't tell you!" Rory exclaimed. "If I tell you then it won't come true, now will it?"
"Oh, well. I'm sorry. Just forget I even asked, then."
"I plan to." Rory said with a teasing smile. "I'm going to go give this to my Mom."
Logan smiled as he watched Rory bounce of into the living room in search of her mother. She was so unbelievably happy, something that he hadn't seen since well…let's just say it had been a long time. Her mother was here. He knew that was the cause of her sudden elation. She had been nervous before. But when he saw them talking in the foyer a while ago he knew her nerves had disappeared. Perhaps this birthday party would finally bring an end to the rift between them. He hoped, for Rory's sake, that it did.
"Logan!" a cheerful voice of a DAR member called from behind him. He turned and smiled at the woman.
"Hello Mrs. Gately. How are you?"
"I'm wonderful dear. Thank you for asking. Your mother told me that you've been working with your father. Finally training to take over the empire?" Logan forced a smiled through the feelings of contempt, something that he had become a master of over the years.
"Yea, I'm a regular Luke Skywalker. I just wish my father would take off that damned helmet. I might be able to understand him better…" What he hadn't become a master of was repressing his smartass comments.
"Nothing, Mrs. Gately I was just making a…joke...um…Yes, I've been working with Dad a lot lately, getting the feel for things."
"How wonderful. You're enjoying yourself I presume?" Mrs. Gately asked.
"Well, I don't have much of a choice now do I?" Logan received a soft laugh from Mrs. Gately and he forced himself to smile once again. He was glad people found so much pleasure out of his pain.
"Oh, Logan, you're such a card. Just like your father…"
"Excuse me, Mrs. Gately, but I need to go find Rory. She seems to have disappeared." Logan said, feeling the desperate urge to get away.
"Of course, dear. It was wonderful seeing you."
"You too." Logan said as he walked into the living room in search of Rory.
Just like your father…
He stepped into the room and looked around, finding her nowhere in sight. Where had she run off to? She had to be somewhere around here. After all she had just left his side only moments ago, claiming to go find Lorelai. When he had fetched her to blow out her candles the mother and daughter had been talking in the foyer. They can't have traveled that far in the short amount of time. Yet, they were nowhere to be found.
Just like your father…
He spotted Lane in the living room standing by the bar with a Rory in her hand. Walking up to her, he tapped her on the shoulder. She jumped, bringing a hand to her heart and turned around to face him.
"Oh, hey, Logan!" she said with a smile. Logan smiled back, genuinely this time.
"Hey…uh…listen, have you seen Rory?" he asked, looking around the room yet another time.
"Um…yea I saw her walking upstairs a second ago. I think she was going to get something from her room. Have you by chance seen Zack? I lost him a while ago."
"Um, no, sorry. I've been too busy being cornered by my parents' friends." He said.
"Oh, man, that sucks. But hey, if you don't find Rory and I don't find Zack what do you say we run off together?" Logan genuinely laughed for the first time all night while speaking with someone other than his girlfriend.
"You've got yourself a deal. But if I don't come back in ten minutes, go ahead without me."
"Bye." Lane said as Logan slipped away, up the stairs. He left the party behind him, forgetting all of the people and stupid conversations.
Just like your father…
He turned, leading himself down a hallway with absolutely no idea where he was headed. Knocking on random doors, he was met with silence from all of them. He peeked his head through a couple of rooms, concerned that maybe she just wasn't answering. He found, a master bedroom, a bathroom, a closet, and a room that looked strikingly similar to Honor's old room in his parents' house. It must have once belonged to Lorelai.
Just like your father…
Damn it! Why couldn't he get that woman's voice out of his head? It was ridiculous. He was nothing like his father. He wasn't. He was absolutely nothing like his father. He and Mitchum had not one thing in common. They were completely different people. They both hated each other. To say that he was just like Mitchum was absurd and…just…well it just wasn't true at all…It was stupid…wasn't it?
Coming to the last door in the hall he drummed his fingers lightly against the wood. Hopefully he would find Rory in here. It wasn't like her to leave in the middle of a party like that. Something must have gone horribly wrong with her mother.
"Please leave me alone, Grandma." Her distressed voice called from the other side.
"It's me, Ace." He said softly.
"Who else calls you Ace?" he asked. "Can I come in?" He waited in silence for a few moments, receiving no reply. "Ace?" he prompted again.
"I'm nodding my head." Rory called with a sniff. He smiled and pushed the door open, wincing once he saw the décor of the room.
"Homey…" he commented. "Please tell me that's not Justin Timberlake." Rory laughed and then broke out into a strangled sob.
"Hey…whoa…" he said as he climbed onto the bed next to her. When he walked in her face had been buried in a lace trimmed pillow and as soon as he was lying next to her it was buried in his chest. She clutched him, holding on for dear life, and her tears soaked through the fabric of his shirt at immediate contact. Her shoulders were quaking violently as she breathed in ragged breaths of air. He could tell by the way she gasped that she was having a hard time exhaling.
"What's all this about?" he asked while running a soothing hand up and down her back. Rory continued to sob, gripping him even tighter. Understanding that she was currently unable to speak, he whispered soothing words in her ear and continued to rub her back in an effort to calm her down.
"M-Muh-My M-uh-om…s-she…sh-she luh she l-left. S-She l-l-left witho-out…she l-left without s-s-uh-s-saying go-goodb-bye." Logan sighed, closing his eyes tightly and held her as tightly as possible.
"S-She le-left without s-saying g-goodbye and I-I th-thought that…I th-thought that we-" Rory interrupted herself, breaking out into another fit of sobs. Logan cradeled her as best he could. Running on hand down her back and the other through her hair.
"Sh…it's okay. Everything's, okay, Ace. I'm here. Let it out."
After his fourth glass of scotch, Richard Gilmore finally felt as if he could brave the crowd of people gathered in his home long enough to wish his granddaughter a happy birthday. He stepped out of his study for the first time all day and looked around at the celebration. Emily had done a wonderful job. It was a beautiful party. It was her specialty, after all. No one could plan an event better than she. And now…finally she had someone to pass on the knowledge she had acquired to. Rory would make a fine apprentice.
After all, she had already planned the most successful DAR event in years. Emily herself couldn't have hoped for a better success. He should be proud. Rory was quite the hostess, charming, funny, intelligent. She would make someone a fine wife one day. She would make him a fine wife one day. It was sickening. He needed more scotch.
Scotch. It was his drink of choice as well. The nefarious rodent that had stolen her…He couldn't bring himself to even think about it. Damn that boy! He should have known. He should have read him the moment he walked through those door with that pack of cigars, the brownnosing scoundrel. He had known his reputation. He had heard all the rumors about his actions in the past. Gracie Hutchinson and now Rory Gilmore.
He was naïve. He was naïve in his assumption that Rory was strong enough to resist the temptation. That boy was too slimy for his own good. Just like his father-a master of double talk and false values. He had ruined her. He had taken his beautiful, talented, strong-willed granddaughter and changed her into a mindless drone, a Barbie. This was all his fault. Lorelai was right. He had been thrilled that Rory had made such a wonderful contact with someone from their world, a fine upstanding young man. How wrong he was. He had seduced her into a life a meaningless parties and stupid small talk. He had seduced her into a number of things…
Okay, that word, perfect, he is not. I mean, no one is, okay, but especially him! I mean, at your wedding, I caught him and Rory in the back room… …uh, kissing… Kissing
Recalling his daughter's words and finally understanding their implications, Richard slammed his hand down on the bar top before snatching a glass of scotch that the nervous bartender handed him. She was having sex with that boy! He was reliving that moment twenty-one years ago all over again. She was throwing her life away! She was going to end up pregnant and she was never going to go back where she belonged. She was never going to go back to Yale. It was just as he liked it. He had his perfect future trophy wife. Damn him!
"Richard!" Emily exclaimed, running up to him with a look of panic in her eyes. She grabbed his arm tightly. "I haven't been able to find Rory and when I asked her Asian friend where she was she told me that she went upstairs-"
"Honestly, Emily, I don't see what the big problem is. Perhaps the girl was just tired. I would make sense with all the hard work she does."
"Richard, she's up there with Logan!"
"What!" the man barked, gaining the attention of everyone in the room. He ran up the stairs as fast as he could, fuming with anger as he turned the corner and walked toward his granddaughter's bedroom.
The second he got his hands on that retched vermin of a boyfriend she had, he was going to wring his neck, strangling him with his own bare hands. He approached the slightly open door, ready to pounce when he froze suddenly, hearing cries coming from the room. These cries, however, were not ones of lust like he had imagined, but rather cries of pure paralyzing pain. His heart broke inside his chest as he listened to Logan trying to calm her.
"Sh…it's okay, Ace. Calm down…its okay." He heard Logan whisper.
"No it's not okay!" Rory yelled in anger, startling Richard with her forcefulness. She began to cry again, her sobs being muffled by something, more than likely Logan's embrace. "It's not okay…n-nothing's o-okay an-nym-more. E-Everyone ha-hates m-me."
"Oh, no that's not true." Logan soothed. "That's not true at all. I don't hate you." Richard's anger with the boy faded hearing the meaning of that statement.
"Y-You're th-the only o-one. M-y M-Mom a-and and m-y g-grandparents and P-Paris…"
"Paris hates, everyone, Ace." Logan said, causing her to laugh through her tears. Richard's feelings of anger were now completely gone, being replaced by the despair of having his only granddaughter think he hated her.
"I promise everything is going to be okay. Your family doesn't hate you." Logan continued.
"Y-Yes they d-do. D-Don't make pr-promises you can't ke-keep. M-My Mom promised s-she'd a-always l-love me and n-now…n-now she…she…"
"No, Ace. No. Your Mom still loves you. She loves you more than you can possibly imagine. So do your grandparents. Trust me they wouldn't want to kill me like they do if they didn't love you." Rory laughed.
"Th-They don't w-want to k-kill you." Rory said.
Yes we do. Richard thought.
"Yes, they do."
Well, maybe Richard didn't want to kill as much as maim…
"Your family is just scared, Ace. They see you, this amazing, intelligent, strong-willed girl that they love falling apart because of….because of something that my father said. That's not like you Rory. You don't crumble because of some ignorant bastard. And yet, here you are dropped out of Yale and planning parties…They don't know what's going on. They're afraid that they're loosing you. They're afraid that they're loosing you to me which is even worse-"
"They're d-disappointed in m-me."
"Maybe…" Rory started to cry harder again.
"A-Are y-you di-disap-disappointed i-in m-me t-too?" she asked.
"Never, Ace. You don't have to worry about that. I'll always be here." He said.
Okay, so maybe Richard didn't want to maim as much as smack around a little.
"Wh-What i-if I ne-never g-go back to Y-Yale?" Rory cried, breaking Richard's heart all over again. She had to go back. It's where she belonged.
"You're going back to Yale." Logan said, surprising Richard with his adamancy.
"B-But wh-what if I-I d-don't?"
"You're going back to Yale. You belong at Yale. You love Yale. You're Rory Gilmore. You like to go the library and sniff books-" Logan was interrupted by Rory's laughter. "You like to walk around the newsroom because it makes you feel important. You like to touch the toe every time you walk past it. You like to accuse people who have fun of being butt-faced miscreants…"
"You are a-a b-butt-faced miscreant." Logan laughed. "B-But I love you."
It felt as if someone had knocked Richard over with sack of bricks. He needed to steady himself with the wall; otherwise he would have fallen over. His granddaughter was in love.
"Well that's always nice to hear." Logan replied. The room was filled with silence for a moment and he could hear the sniffs of his granddaughter lessen as she finally calmed.
"I should go." Logan said.
"No! Stay. I don't want you to go! I need you!" Rory cried. Richard could hear Logan's painful sigh.
"I can't stay Rory. You're grandparents…"
"I don't care about th-them. Stay, Logan, please. I just want you to h-hold me." It felt as if someone was ripping Richard's heart out.
"I know...but I can't. I'm sorry, Ace." Logan said his voice cracking. Richard heard the soft smacking of lips, indicating that a kiss was taking place, followed by another cry from Rory. "I'll send Lane up here to be with you." A brief silence followed in which Rory was probably nodding her head. Logan sighed. "I'll call you."
Shortly after Richard saw the door open all the way and Logan close it behind him, leaning against the solid wood and holding his head in his hands to clam himself down. The boy looked haggard, pained. Richard knew he probably was after having to leave his girlfriend in that state.
"I owe you an apology, Logan." Richard said, startling the boy to death.
"Richard-I'm sorry. I was just…I-I Rory was upset...she…I didn't…"
"I know, son. I heard."
"You heard…" Richard could tell that Logan was upset with that piece of information. He couldn't really blame him.
"Yes, I did. I'm sorry for eavesdropping but when I come upstairs and hear my granddaughter in hysterics its hard to just walk away." Logan nodded.
"No, you won't understand until you have a girl of your own." Richard said. Logan bit his lip and looked down at his shoes. "But, anyway, as I was saying I owe you an apology."
"For what, sir?" Logan asked.
"For blaming you. I see now that I was wrong in my accusations and although I never verbalized them to you I'm sure you suspected. I was wrong and for that I'm sorry."
"It's alright, Richard." Logan said. "But…Do you think you could make it up to me with a favor?" Logan asked. Richard raised his eyebrow at the boys presumptuousness. He really was just like his father…in some ways.
"Depends on what the favor is, my boy." Richard said, letting Logan know with his eyes that under no circumstances was he going to allow him back into that room. It didn't matter how sorry he was. Logan cowered a little before regaining his composure. Richard Gilmore was a very large man.
"I was wondering if you could give me Lorelai's address."
So there it was. Tell me if I should continue with the mini-fic or just leave it as a one shot by reviewing! You know you want to… ; )