"Wow…that was amazing," Logan puffed out once his breathing had normalized.
"The 'coming' craving has definitely been satisfied," Rory said in agreement.
Logan smirked. "Twice, if I'm not mistaken."
"Oh look, I think your ego just got bigger," Rory rolled her eyes at her boyfriend…no fiancé. He was her fiancé now; they were getting married and having a baby and they were going to be a family.
"Ah, but it's the truth though, isn't it?"
Rory sighed. "Fine, yes. Twice. Are you happy now?"
Logan looked her straight in the eye. "Very," he replied sincerely. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been so happy. He was holding the woman he loved in his arms for the first time in months and he'd forgotten how perfect it felt to have her there. And what was more was that she was carrying his child—a hybrid of the two of them, created in one of those moments of pure bliss when nothing existed but him and her, together as one. Was it seriously possible to love someone so much? He had thought the love he felt for Rory had been unmatchable but he had been wrong. As much as he loved his Ace, he loved this baby just as much and he'd only known of its existence for about an hour; he'd never seen it or touched it, or heard its tiny, little cry. He knew nothing about it—blue eyes or brown, blonde or brunette, boy or girl? And despite all of that, he loved this child so much it ached. And Rory—his love for her had overwhelmed him before and yet that love had grown exponentially in the last hour. He knew in that moment that he really would die for her, go to the ends of the earth for her, and every other cliché ever written about love.
"I'm happy too." Never in a million years would she have expected an unplanned pregnancy when she was unmarried and still in school to have made her happy but regardless of the circumstances, she was thrilled. She had fallen in love with her child long before the stick had turned pink; she had been in love with it the moment that first maternal instinct had kicked in and told her to go get the stick. And now, for the first time since that moment she was able to stop worrying long enough to revel in those feelings of love and happiness. All the fear, and concern, and confusion that had been muddling her brain and drowning out the happiness she knew was there all along, had been wiped away the moment Logan took the sonogram picture from her hands and smiled. She knew in that instant that everything was going to be OK. The boy she had fallen for had grown into a man and the love she felt for him and grown as well. He was going to stand by them; she had been a fool to think he wouldn't—perhaps she'd blame that temporary lack of judgment on the hormones.
Logan scooted down the bed until his head was level with Rory's stomach. He laid his ear flat against her belly, wanting to be as close to his child as he could. Rory ran her hand through his hair, gently massaging his scalp. She chuckled slightly. "I don't think you're going to be able to hear baby playing around in there, hun."
"Hey! Don't mock the proud Daddy," he declared, turning his head slightly to give her belly a kiss.
"I wouldn't dream of it."
"I wonder how long before little AJ's heart starts beating," he pondered.
"Seriously? You're sticking with AJ?" she asked him with a smile. Truthfully, she found it adorable but she felt like giving him a hard time. She had of course been lying when she said she would never dream of mocking the proud daddy in him. She was Gilmore after all; mocking was in her nature.
"Well, it's gender neutral and until we find out the sex and pick a real name we have to call the baby something—and I refuse to call my child an 'it….'" He paused for the briefest of moments before picking up in a new direction. "Maybe I can buy a stethoscope. Where would you get a stethoscope? Maybe a surgical supply store…I can always order one online."
"A stethoscope?" she asked.
"To listen to AJ's heart when it starts beating," he told her.
"Fine, you can get a stethoscope, but I draw the line at getting our own sonogram machine." Logan tilted his head up to look at her and she could see the look of excitement in his eyes. "No!" she declared adamantly. "I'm serious, Logan. You are not pulling a Tom Cruise on me. You are not joining the church of Scientology, you are not going on Oprah to declare your love for me, you are not naming our baby after some kind of little buggy featured in the musical Oklahoma and you are not buying your own sonogram machine."
"But I missed the first sonogram," he whined.
"So we'll find an obstetrician here in London and we'll go have another one, we're supposed to have one every month anyhow so it's just about time."
"It can wait till we get back home. It's probably best to stick with the same doctor," he suggested.
Rory sighed and Logan felt it in the rise and fall of her stomach. He sat up to look at her. "What's wrong?" he asked worriedly.
"Yeah," he prodded.
"About the whole 'back home' thing…" she paused again, not quite sure how to tell him what she wanted to tell him.
"What about it?"
She took a deep breath. "I think you should stay in London."
"No," he said, without missing a beat.
"NO!" he insisted. "I've already been gone for over two months of this; I'm not missing any more. You and this baby are the most important thing right now. I don't give a damn about London. Dad will just have to deal, and if he can't…we'll just figure something else out. I mean, I have some of my own money and I have my degree. Sure it will be hard to find someone willing to take a chance on me what with Dad being who he is and all, but there's got to be someone out there who doesn't give a damn about Mitchum Huntzberger, and if not…I'll start my own damn newspaper. We'll figure something out but I am not going to be away from you."
Rory sighed; he had to understand why this was so important to her. She sat up against the head board. "When I was sixteen," she began. "Dad was in town and Grandma and Grandpa thought it would be nice if the whole family could get together. They didn't just invite me and Mom and Dad—Straub and Francine came as well."
Logan was listening intently now. She never spoke of her paternal grandparents and if she was bringing them up now he was sure it was important.
"It was the first time I'd seen them in over fifteen years—so as far as I was concerned it was the first time I'd ever seen them. The only time I'd ever seen them. It didn't go well, I'm sure you could figure that out. They basically blamed me and Mom for everything they deemed wrong in Dad's life—the fact that he didn't go to Princeton, the fact that he didn't join Straub's firm; the way they saw it, his entire future had been destroyed the moment I was conceived."
"Rory," Logan breathed out, moving back up to the head of the bed so that he was even with her. He saw the pained look in her eyes and his heart broke for her. He had obviously known that she didn't have a good relationship with her other grandparents but he never knew the extent of it.
"I know Dad loves me and he doesn't regret the decisions that he made. I know I didn't really ruin his future and I know that I have two grandparents that are proud to call me their granddaughter so the opinion of these two people that I hardly know shouldn't mean anything…but it does, Logan. It doesn't mean much, not anymore at least…but it still means something."
"They don't know what they're missing by not having you in their lives. They're idiots, Rory."
"Maybe so, but they're still my grandparents, just like Mitchum and Shira are going to be AJ's grandparents." Logan smiled. "What?" she asked.
"You called the baby AJ."
She laughed softly. "Yeah, I guess I did."
He leaned in to give her a soft kiss.
"I may not like your parents, Logan," she said, continuing with her previous thoughts. "You may not even like your parents, but they're family and our baby should be surrounded by as much loving family as possible. Maybe Mitchum and Shira can succeed as grandparents where they failed as parents, but if you leave London now, if you leave your father's company, if you run away from them and the things they planned for you—they won't care that it was the right decision for you. They'll think it's all wrong and they will blame our child. Our baby will not go through what I went through with Straub and Francine, not if I can help it."
"Ace…" he said, looking at her with awe.
"You are the most amazing woman I have ever met and you are going to be an even more amazing mother."
"Thank you, Logan."
"Hey, I just call it like I see it." He smirked.
"So you see why you need to stay in London?" she asked, getting back on topic.
His smirk faded away. "Please, just let me talk to Dad before we decide this. There's got to be some other way. I'm sure we can work something out. I can't be away from you, not now, Ace."
"I think I have a solution."
"I'm going to stay here."
He shook his head. "You have school."
"It's summer Logan."
"You're taking summer classes to catch up with what you missed last fall."
"By correspondence. That means I can do it from anywhere, even here."
"Fine, but that's only for two more months, then you'll have to go back to Yale."
"I'm going to do a semester abroad at Cambridge. I can fly up until my seventh month which means if I leave as soon as finals are over I'll be fine."
"Don't you think that's cutting it a little close?"
"It'll be fine, Logan."
He sighed. "You'll take the private jet, and I'm coming with you…and I'm going to make sure there's a doctor on board in case something goes wrong."
She smiled at him.
"You're cute when you're in over protective mode."
"Rory," he scolded. He was being serious. Flying late in pregnancy was dangerous.
"What ever puts your mind at ease," she agreed.
"Thank you…now, what's your brilliant plan for the next 5 months of my exile?"
"Well you will have to talk to your Dad about getting some time off so you can be there for the birth. I was thinking maybe a month before and a month after. Maybe you can convince him to give you a temporary transfer and then you can go back and finish up in London."
"And leave you alone with a newborn baby? I know you're an over achiever and all Ace but there is no way you can take care of a baby by yourself and go to school."
"Logan, you know I can't take classes in the spring."
"You're not dropping out of school," he insisted.
"Of course not, I'll go back in the fall to finish my last semester. By that time you'll be home to help me and not that I'm a huge fan of nanny's but if we need the help for a few months then it's something to consider."
"Rory, you were miserable the last time you took time off from school."
"That was completely different. I was lost, I had no plans, no idea what I was doing or where I was going. Going to school in the spring is just not an option…that much stress that late in the pregnancy wouldn't be good, plus I can just see myself going into labor in the middle of a midterm."
Logan let out a defeated sigh. He hated that she had to take time off from school again but she was right, what other choice was there?
"I am going to finish. It'll just be a few months later than planned. I'll graduate in December and then we can start planning the wedding."
"Or we could elope," he suggested with a smile.
"Yes, I'm sure our families would be thrilled."
"Because they'd much prefer us to wait until after the baby is born, I'm sure."
"I want a wedding, Logan. A real wedding, with a dress and cake and bride's maids and my family."
"If it's a wedding you want, it's a wedding you'll have. I love you, Rory."
"I love you too."
"I just want you to be happy—you and AJ." He placed a hand to her stomach, stroking it softly.
"I know you do."
"So I guess that means your staying."
"I guess it does."
"I'm glad," he said, kissing her softly. "This whole 'being 5000 miles apart' business was getting old—fast."
"I wasn't a fan either." Rory yawned and snuggled into Logan's side.
She nodded her head. "It's been a long day and I don't have all the energy I used to."
"Go to sleep. We'll talk more tomorrow," he told her, stroking her hair softly and placing a kiss on the top of her head.
"Mmmhmm," she mumbled, already feeling her eyes grow heavy. Within minutes, she was fast asleep.
Rory rolled over in the bed to find the other half empty. She was sure her heart stopped beating for a moment…had it all been a dream?
She slowly pried her eyes open to look around her; she wasn't in her bed, it must not have been a dream. She stretched her neck out to get a look at the clock; it was 9:30. Logan must have gone into work. She tried to suppress the disappointment she felt; of course he went into work, life didn't stop just because she showed up unexpectedly and told him he was going to be a daddy.
Climbing out of bed, Rory walked over to Logan's closet and searched through it, locating his terry cloth bath robe and taking it off the hanger. She wrapped it around her petite frame and tied it closed.
A small gurgling in her stomach alerted Rory to the fact that AJ was hungry. AJ—she loved that their baby had a name, even if was only temporary. She loved that Logan had been so excited, that he had jumped straight into the role of daddy-to-be as though it were the most natural thing in the world for him. Anyhow, AJ was ready for breakfast and so was she. She padded out to the kitchen and was surprised to see Logan sitting at the table working very intently on something on his lap top. She smiled; even if he was working, at least he hadn't gone in to work.
"Hey, you're here," she said softly.
He turned away from the computer and gave her a look. "Where else would I be?"
He waved his hand dismissively. "I called Steve and had him clear my schedule for the day; we have too much to do. Now I know we talked about going out and picking out a ring for you but they have these nifty websites where you can design engagement rings and I got some ideas off them. I was thinking of going down to the jeweler myself and figured we could come up with something perfect but I kind of want it to be a surprise. It might take a little while for them to make it but don't worry, I'll get you something to wear in the mean time."
"That's not necessary Logan. I can wait."
He looked at her like she was crazy. "No it can't. You are officially off the market now and every needs to know it. I don't want any guys out there getting the wrong idea."
"Oh, so what you're saying is that you want to brand me, like a piece of property," she teased.
"What? No, Rory that's not what I meant. I just…I love you and I want everyone to know it," he insisted. He didn't want her to get the wrong idea.
"Hey, calm down there Captain Defensive. I was just kidding."
"Oh, right, sorry. Guess I'm just a little excited right now."
"Seriously, how many cups of coffee have you had?"
"None, I went through all the cabinets and threw out all the coffee, I didn't want the temptation around. I also got rid of all of the alcohol, not that you're much for the liquor, but just to be on the safe side. We should go out and get some decaf for you. I know how you normally feel about decaf but it's just going to have to do because I don't want any mutant babies."
"Breath, Logan," she instructed her fiancé.
"Oh, speaking of breathing, we need to sigh up for Lamaze classes. I should put that on the list."
"You have a list? I thought I was the list person in the relationship."
"Well, I just don't want to forget anything."
"What's on this list of yours?" she asked, peaking over his shoulder to look at the list he was currently typing up. Decaf coffee and Lamaze were at the bottom. "Jeweler, Maternity clothes…" she read. "I don't think I need maternity clothes just yet Logan, everything still fits fine."
"Well, you don't want to wait until your clothes don't fit do you? Then what are you going to wear to the store to buy maternity clothes?"
"Well, I'll just have to go naked, won't I?"
"That's not funny."
"The expression on your face says otherwise."
"Rory," he scolded.
"Fine," she turned her attention back to the list. "Grocery shopping…Logan, I was in your refrigerator last night and it's fully stocked."
"Yeah, with regular food, not pregnancy food."
"And what exactly is pregnancy food?"
"Well apparently in your case it includes fruit, and you'll need calcium so we'll have to get plenty of milk, other that that you'll have to let me know what you've been craving."
"You don't have fruit or milk in your refrigerator?" she asked him with a laugh.
He turned and glared at her. "If you're going to mock I'm not going to let you see the list."
"Alright, alright, let me see what else you've got on there. Book store? What do we need at the book store?"
"Well the complete works of Dr. Spock for starters. Oh and I noticed you didn't have much luggage, so if you need any books for your classes… Oh that reminds me, we should stop by Cambridge and make sure everything will be OK for you to do that semester abroad there." He scrolled to the bottom of the list and added "Cambridge."
"OK, let's see…Doctor….Well that's definitely something we should look into. We have to find a good OB-GYN if I'm staying here…"
"We have a 12:30 appointment with Dr. Warner. She's the second best OB-GYN in London."
"How did you get a same day appointment with the second best OB-GYN in London….wait, second best?" she asked curiously.
"Well according to my research Dr. Burdow is technically rated the best…"
"So why not this Dr. Burdow? Not that I'm complaining, I'm sure there are plenty of great doctors in London,but I know you and besides, it's kind of strange to cite someone as the 'second best' doctor."
"Well they're neck and neck and I just decided Dr. Burdow wasn't for us. I'm sure he's great and all but Dr. Warner, she just seemed like a better fit."
Rory laughed, catching on to the subtle hidden meanings behind Logan's words. Two words in particular stuck out. "He wasn't for us and she seemed like a better fit, huh?"
"Is that a problem?" he asked innocently.
"So I'm only allowed to have a female doctor? What if my doctor back home is a man? Would that be a problem?" she teased him.
"Is he?" Logan asked worriedly.
"No, actually, but that's not the point," she smiled at him.
"Well I'm sorry, but I don't think there anything wrong with me objecting to some guy poking around between my fiancée's legs," he said defensively.
There was that word again…fiancée. It made her smile, along with Logan's irrational fears about a male obstetrician.
"Hmm, well what if this Dr. Warner is a lesbian? Would you have a problem with that?"
Logan stopped what he was doing on the computer and turned to her with a smirk.
"Eww, Logan. Stop picturing the lesbian doctor between my legs. Pig," she said huffily, but followed it up with a laugh.
"Sorry, couldn't help myself."
"Suuuure you couldn't…Seriously though, how'd you get us an appointment so quickly?
"Well, I may have used my powers of persuasion to convince her to let us come during her lunch hour."
"Logan," she scolded. She hated when he used the influences of his name and money to get things handed to him.
"I'm not going to apologize; it was for a good cause."
She sighed, he was just trying to take care of her, she supposed she could let it slip, just this once.
"Fine, but don't make a habit of it."
"Hey, I'll do what ever I have to to take care of my favorite girls."
"Girls? How do you know it's going to be a girl?" she smirked at him.
"Huntzberger first-borns are always girls," he simply responded.
"Well then why don't we give the baby a girl name? You insisted AJ was gender neutral, but if you know we're having a girl…"
"You know, you're really getting on my nerves today, Missy."
"Oh, I'm getting on your nerves, I see. And just what are you going to do about it?"
"Well," he began, standing up. "I…am going to take you into the bed room…"
"Is that so?" she asked suggestively.
"Uh huh." He nodded his head.
"And what are you going to do when you get me there?"
I…am going to make sure you get dressed," he responded simply. "We've got things to do, Ace. No time for dilly dallying. Hop to it. Go, go, go," he ordered, slapping her on the butt.
She looked at him dumbfounded. "You can't be serious."
"As a heart attack."
"I just basically told you that I wanted you to take me into the bedroom and do unspeakable things to me and you want to…go run errands?" she asked uneasily.
"There will be plenty of time for the unspeakable things later."
"Sure there will—if you're not too busy sleeping on the couch..." she mumbled as she walked off towards the bed room. When Logan thought there were more important things than sex to do on his day off, she knew nothing was ever going to be the same—and she loved it.