A/N: Ok, this is the absolute last part of this ficlet, I promise! This one just wouldn't leave me alone, especially after -19MikaelA87-'s review. This was only my second GG fic, and I was a bit nervous about posting it. But your reviews pushed me to bring the idea to completion, so thank you for reading and reviewing :)
Sitting at a coffeehouse in Hartford, Logan impatiently checked his phone again for any messages or missed calls. Of course, there were none since he'd had his phone on the table for the past hour and a half. Sad. The mighty Logan Huntzberger waiting for a girl to call him, willing his phone to ring. Not just any girl, mind you, but still… Good thing he had the new Perez-Reverte to read. If only he could focus… He was waiting for Rory to call, to let him know she'd arrived back from her trip to Atlantic City with Lorelai. He didn't think she'd be upset, but he wanted to be nearby just in case. Hence the coffeehouse in Hartford, near her grandparents' house.
He tried to focus on the same paragraph he'd already read several times, but to no avail. Luckily his phone began ringing right as he was contemplating throwing the book across the café.
"Hey, Ace," he said, trying not to sound too eager, but failing miserably, or so he thought.
"Logan, hey, I'm back. Do you have some time this afternoon, I really need to talk to you," Rory said. Well, she didn't sound upset, that was good.
"Yeah, I'm in Hartford, I can be there in 10 minutes. Sound good?"
"Yeah, see ya soon!" she chirped, and at that he had to be surprised. She hadn't sounded chirpy in a long time.
As soon as he arrived at the poolhouse, he looked in the window and was stunned to see her intently reading a book. He hadn't seen her with her nose in a book in weeks. With her DAR work and community service hours, she hadn't had much free time. In the past, though, that wouldn't have stopped her. One of the things that had drawn him to her so long ago was her love of books. His Ace, the old Ace, read like a fiend. Hell, she sniffed library books, for Chrissakes. Logan had missed seeing her as focused as she was right then. She was biting her lip, with her long legs curled under her on the couch, and looked peaceful yet determined. That was the girl he had fallen for. Was her time with Lorelai the kick she'd needed so desperately?
He took a deep breath and knocked. The smile that lit up her face was serene, happy, as she got up to open the door. The minute he walked in, she hugged him tightly and dragged him to the couch with a spring in her step. But still she hadn't spoken.
"So, Ace, you're killin' me here. How was it?"
"Oh, well, I'm surprised you haven't heard already from my mom," she said, with a mischievous glint in her eye.
"What do you mean?" Oh, I'm so not good at playing dumb with her!
"What do I mean? Well, how about the two phone calls between you and my mom in less than 24 hours? Hmmmm? And how about the fact that we stayed in the penthouse suite at the Trump Marina Hotel? And that we flew first class? C'mon, Logan, there's no way my mom could've afforded that. I know you were involved!"
Logan was vividly reminded of that fateful day when she'd cornered him and confronted him with the information she'd gathered on the LDB. She missed nothing. And he should've realized that an open talk between Rory and her mom would be just that. Open. After all, he hadn't asked Lorelai to keep it a secret, but it had been implied, hadn't it?
"I should've known not to keep a secret from you, my super sharp ace reporter," he replied, smirking. "Ok, I give. Yeah, I called your mom the night before last. I'd told myself a thousand times that I wouldn't push you into anything—Yale, talking to your mom, leaving 'all this,'" he gestured around the poolhouse. Anything. I'm not gonna apologize, though. My heart broke watching you that night. I couldn't stand seeing you in so much pain. And I…" he trailed off as she lifted her finger to his lips to quiet him. She then replaced her finger with her lips, and kissed him sweetly.
"Thank you, Logan, for everything. For being there. For understanding that mom and I need each other. It's a weird, symbiotic relationship, I know, and I feel more alive now that things are better with her."
"So, things are better? Tell me what happened!" He was dying to know, and Rory laughed out loud at his impatience. Dammit, he just wanted to know if everything worked out!
"Well, after some uncomfortable seconds at the airport, we cracked. We fell on each other, hugging and crying on the floor—oh, the security footage must be really entertaining. So on the plane ride, we started updating each other on our lives. Would you believe my mom got a dog? My mom? She can't keep a hamster alive. Oh, and the turtle, let's not even get into that. Oh and my baby chick for a school project..." Rory was rambling, but she was so cute when she was excited!
"So, we talked, played 21 and roulette to say we did it, but then we just went back to the room, hit the minibar, and kept talking all night. Best birthday ever."
"So you're good?" Logan asked gently.
"Yeah, we're good. Very good." She shot a goofy grin at him. "In fact, I'm moving my stuff to Stars Hollow tomorrow."
"Really? That's... wow! I'm happy for you, Ace. I never want to see you crying yourself to sleep again. I want you to be this happy all the time. Because that's how happy you make me. I've never cared about anyone's happiness this much, not even my own. You make me more studious, more responsible, you make me a stronger person. A better person. And I love you for it." There it was, out there. No taking it back. Breathe. It wasn't as scary as he'd thought it would be.
"I love you too, Huntzberger, but you knew that already," she whispered into his neck as he pulled her to him and held her tightly. He never wanted to let her go. After several minutes, he slowly opened his eyes and glanced over her shoulder, his gaze landing on the book she'd been reading.
He leaned back, looking into her shining blue eyes, to make sure his eyes weren't deceiving him. Hoarsely, he asked, unable to believe it, "The Yale class catalogue, Ace?"
Still clutching his shirt, she smiled into him again. "Yeah, I was thinking about returning for the spring semester. And there are so many cool classes I want to take! Like there's one called "Deconstructing the Byronic hero", and I really want to take the class on 18th Century French Prose, and that class is only taught once every 2 years, so this is my chance, and I'm so excited!!!" she gushed. Her eyes were sparkling, and he knew for sure that his Ace was definitely back. Who else could be that thrilled about school?
He picked her up and swung her around the living room, damn near giddy. "Well, then, Ace, in that case, I've got a proposition for you. My apartment in New Haven is huge, as you know, and I hate being apart from you, even for a short time. Move in with me next semester?"
She jumped in his arms, wrapped her legs around his waist, and kissed him so deeply that his lungs burned, but he didn't care.
"Can I take that as a yes?" he rasped, trying to catch his breath and keep his balance at the same time.
"Yes!" she grinned, as they fell in a heap on the floor, laughing.
Yep, his Ace was back!