A/N: This is just a quick one shot of what I wished had happened on Rory's 21st birthday…

Disclaimer: Don't own anything, of course.

Logan watched Rory, who usually slept peacefully curled beside him, tossing and turning in her sleep. The night before her 21st birthday. She had cried herself to sleep, after telling him about her special traditional birthday phone call with her mom, as well as their plans to go to Atlantic City. He had tried to hold her, to reassure her, but nothing worked. Knowing the bond between mother and daughter, Logan pulled out his phone, thinking he must be a masochist, and dialed the number he'd programmed into his phone in case of emergencies. Well, this must count as one, right? he thought.

After only one ring, someone answered. "Baby girl?" Lorelai answered hoarsely, sounding wide awake.

Logan instantly knew he was doing the right thing. It was clear that they both were absolutely lost without the other, both unable to sleep on a night that meant so much to both of them.

"Lorelai, it's Logan," he said, holding his breath.

"Is Rory ok? In the hospital? Oh my God, what happened?"

"No, no, nothing like that, I swear," he reassured her.

"Then this better be good."

"Call her, Lorelai. It's tearing her up inside that the two of you aren't having your usual birthday tradition."

"Where the hell do you get off, telling me what to do concerning my daughter? It's your fault she dropped out of school, it's your fault we're like this in the first place," she ranted.

He took a deep breath, hoping that he wasn't ruining any chance of mending the rift. "That argument is for another time, right now your daughter needs her mother. She cried herself to sleep tonight, and I know she's not sleeping well, since she's tossing and turning. Her pillow's soaked. And I think she might have a fever, but I know she's not sick. Now if that's not enough reason to call her, I don't know what is." Maybe telling her that he was with Rory, while she was sleeping, wasn't the best idea. Oh well.

The line was silent for what seemed like an eternity, and then he heard it -- sniffles, then sobs.

"Um, Lorelai?"

"Yeah?" she sniffed.

"Will you call her, please? Please?" Logan was surprised at himself, at the words coming out of his mouth unbidden. He had never begged for anything, never had to. "She's too afraid to call you, afraid you're so disappointed in her. Please be the one to make the first move.She needs you."

Again, he heard nothing but heart-wrenching cries. After a couple minutes, he could barely make out the whispered words, "Okay, thank you."

Closing his phone, he sat and waited for Rory's phone to ring. And sure enough, after what he considered to be Lorelai's time to compose herself, Rory's phone began to ring.

She clutched it like a lifeline, and whispered, "Mom?"

"Happy birthday, little girl."

Logan listened to Rory's half of the conversation, smiling, hoping that this was the olive branch needed to put these crazy women back together. How could they not see that they weren't themselves without the other?


" Really? Feels slow."

"I think it's pretty good."

"Yeah, Mom, I can do that." And she turned to him, eyes sparkling like they hadn't in weeks. "She wants me to put her on speakerphone. Don't be frightened, okay, it gets kind of graphic."

He just grinned back at her, happy to see her happy again.And Lorelai allowing him to be included in their tradition, well, that was just icing on the birthday cake.

"Any complaints?"

" I'd like that whole humidity thing to go away."

" All right. I'll work on that."

"So do I look older?"

"Oh, yeah. You walk into Denny's before 5, you've got yourself a discount."

" Good deal."

" So you know what I think?"

" What?"

" I think you're a great, cool kid, and the best friend a girl could have."

" Right back at ya."

And then the sobs started for real, both women crying with the joy of being reunited, the sadness of so much wasted time, and the knowledge that this time, nothing would separate them ever again. Logan sat there, wistfully thinking about how it must be to have that kind of relationship with a parent. He had been Rory's rock throughout this period, the one person who believed that she'd figure out on her own that she belonged at Yale. He'd had people telling him what to do his whole life; he wasn't about to do that to someone else. But he knew he had been a poor substitute for Lorelai.

He came back to the present, clearly having missed something he'd rather not have heard anyway, from the disgusted tone of the giggles coming from the happy woman next to him, as well as through the phone line.

"And I was screaming and swearing and being surrounded as I was by a hundred prominent doctors, I just assumed there was an actual use for the cup of ice chips they gave me."

" There wasn't."

" But pelting the nurses sure was fun."

" I love you, Mom."

" Shh. I'm getting to the part where he sees your head. So there I was..."

Logan motioned to Rory that he was leaving, but that he'd be back soon. Partially because he didn't think hearing about the "Miracle of Life" firsthand was fun, but partly to give the women their together time. He had wanted to be the one who gave them a push, but not be visibly involved. He grabbed his phone and made a couple of calls, and came back to the room smiling, as he heard,

"So there you have it, kiddo. You caused me unspeakable amounts of pain, but since then have given me more moments of happiness than I ever thought possible. I love you, and I am so, so proud of you, and everything you do. Goodnight, baby."

"Goodnight, Mom. I love you."

The look on Rory's face said it all. Those depth-less blue eyes were shining, and she looked happier than he'd ever seen her. And at that moment, he realized that he would do anything to keep her just like that. That he would never hurt her. That he loved her.

And as she was holding him as though she'd never let him go, he smiled into her hair, thinking about the envelope that would be delivered to Lorelai's house in the morning, courtesy of his earlier calls.


Thank you. And before you call me to complain about the cost, don't. Just take Rory, and don't tell her it's from me. I don't know, tell her you'd been saving up for something special for her. Have fun.