A/N: Another one shot (sorry, I don't have excellent follow-through!) about a different beginning for Logan and Rory. This takes place at the beginning of Rory's 2nd year at university. The "Dean debacle" never took place. Hope you enjoy!
Society girls were never his type; usually they were looking for marriage, or better put, a merger. Granted, some of them were cool because they understood the pressure of "dynastic responsibility", and the lack of choice in life, but those girls were few and far between. Let's face it, just Steph and Jules, and that's why they would only ever be friends. It wasn't worth the risk of losing them.
But the two girls who'd just cornered him at the start-of-term Branford House pajama party were exactly the type of women his family wanted him to be with – the trophy wife types, no minds of their own. One of them, Mandy, or Cindy, he thought, had already tossed out possible names for children, for Chrissakes. Briefly, the brunette spitfire he'd met earlier in the week flitted across his mind, not for the first time. He quickly pushed those thoughts aside for the time being, and looked for an escape route. The exit was currently blocked by the girls, obviously anticipating his flight, so he ducked through the door closest to him, planning on exiting through the window. Thank God he was on the first floor!
Sad, Logan Huntzberger reduced to fleeing a party through a window. That was certainly one for the history books. But lately, he hadn't been all that interested in any women, society or not, to tell the truth. With one notable exception.
He made his way to the room whose window, he figured, would face away from the dorm building's entrance. Suddenly, he heard a voice, clearly arguing with someone, from behind one of the bedroom doors. Since he heard only one voice, he figured she was on the phone. That voice was familiar…
"No, mom, I'm not sitting in my room reading a book. Yes, I'm socializing. No, you can't hear the party since I came in my suite to use the bathroom. What? Yes, I'm wearing cute, sexy pajamas. The lacy blue nightie you bought me actually… really, I promise! Stop calling me that, mom, or I'll tell Kirk how much I'm looking forward to him being my daddy! Ok, fine! Love you too!"
He heard an exasperated groan, and what sounded like a cell phone hitting the floor. Curious, to say the least, he sat down in the common room and waited for the girl with the sexy voice and the lacy nightie to leave her room and join the party. He had been sitting for over 10 minutes when he realized that the exasperated girl was not going to the party, and had probably just been appeasing her mother on the phone. He peeked through the door, which was halfway open, and was stunned into silence. It was the blue-eyed girl he'd been thinking about for days, the one who put him in his place when he'd dared to insult her bartender friend. Rory. Huh, normally he had problems remembering girls' names, and called them things like "Beautiful" and "Babe" to cover it up. Like it mattered. But this name had been stuck in his head ever since she'd told him.
His mystery girl was sitting up against the headboard of her bed, with her legs tucked under her, wearing a fitted t-shirt that read "Coffee Lovers are the Best Lovers", not the blue nightie he'd been promised. He had to stifle a laugh, as, funnily enough, she had her nose buried in a book. Freaky Friday, the mom was calling to make sure she went to a party, and she was staying in her room with a long novel. He couldn't make out what it was, but was definitely interested, until she snorted out loud. He jumped, thinking she'd seen him, and then realized that she was laughing at something in the book. Standing in the doorway, he heard a loud scream from the party in the hallway, and Rory didn't even blink, much less look up. She was clearly deep into what she was reading, and she was cute as hell while doing so.
He busied himself looking at her bookshelves which were full to bursting, and was happy to see that her books didn't look like those in his father's library. These books looked read, looked loved, even the textbooks. And her collection was quite eclectic. He saw a new book by one of his favorite writers, and decided to take it and sit in the armchair in the corner of her room. Still, she didn't look up. Logan opened the novel and started to read, frequently glancing up at Rory. She was mesmerizing, and had no clue how beautiful she truly was. She was really into her book, occasionally biting her lip, giggling softly, or groaning at something. He then had to do a double take, for he was sure he'd just seen her smell the book after cracking the spine. Had she really just sniffed a book? He grinned, and went back to his book. After another couple of chapters, he thought to himself that he'd never felt this at peace before in his life. And he liked reading, he did, but this, this silence, this sense of calm that overcame him while just sitting in shared silence, was one of the best moments of his life. Beaches in Fiji, mountain cabins, he and his friends had made those places as loud and crazy as possible. Were they all avoiding silence? Was it the postponing of the inevitable death knell that would toll for him and his friends, telling them their lives were over?
He exhaled loudly, unfortunately right as Rory was getting up for something. Her head whipped around so fast, he thought she'd break her neck.
"What the hell are you doing in my room?" she demanded, not unreasonably.
Unsure how to answer that, Logan looked sheepish. "I, um, got sidetracked while trying to escape the party," he mumbled, embarrassed at being caught in her room.
She caught every word, however. "Well, that doesn't explain what you're doing in my favorite armchair, now, does it?" she snapped, arms crossed over her chest.
"Seriously, Rory, I was avoiding these two girls, and thought I'd make my exit through one of the windows. Then I came in, and you looked so peaceful, and, uh…" he stammered.
"Yeah, seriously. So I picked up one of your books, and here I am."
"How long have you been here?"
"Not sure, you have amazing powers of concentration, probably a half hour or so," he said, looking at the book to see how much he'd read.
"So do you make it a habit of going into the rooms of people you don't know, and just, I don't know, hanging out, um, what is your name?" she looked embarrassed at not being able to remember his name.
His mouth gaped open. No woman had ever forgotten his name, ever. Once the shock started to wear off, he smirked and said, "C'mon, Rory, I promised to instantly remember your name the next time I saw you and you can't seem to recall mine? That's not very fair."
"Well, as I refuse to actually call you 'Master and Commander', no, I don't know your name. Sorry. Must be such a bruise to your ego," she snarked.
"Logan Huntzberger," he said, offering his hand. He felt a jolt of electricity as their hands touched, and was sure she'd felt it too, since he saw a faint blush creeping up her neck. Maybe she could be just as interested in him as he was in her.
"Rory Gilmore. Well, Lorelai technically. It's my mother's name too. She named me after herself. She was lying in the hospital thinking about how men name boys after themselves all the time, you know, so why couldn't women. She says her feminism just kind of took over. Though personally I think a lot of Demerol also went into that decision." She seemed to realize she was rambling, and quickly cast around for another topic. "So what were you reading during your uninvited visit? I'm pretty sure I don't have anything that would interest you," she said.
Still laughing internally at her little ramble, he replied, "I started the new Perez-Reverte. I have to say, I'm kind of disappointed so far."
"It doesn't hold a candle to The Flanders Panel or The Club Dumas. Those were excellent. I like mysteries like his, written for people with a brain. Not the cookie-cutter shit so pervasive on bestseller lists. I'm holding out hope, though, that it gets better."
"It does, I promise. But you're right, his earlier stuff is more impressive. I think I like The Fencing Master the best, Adele is such a strong character." She continued, wistfully, "I wish I could be more like her. Not learning swordthrusts, mind you, but just being stronger and smarter."
Interesting. Not what he would have thought. This girl was such an enigma, and Logan loved puzzles. "Really? I found her cold. Too calculating. You remind me more of Julia, the art restorer. Intelligent, warm…" Quick, change the subject! " Um, so what were you reading? I was so curious the whole time because you were giggling, snorting even; your reactions were definitely entertaining!"
"Oh, it's an old friend, I'm reading A Confederacy of Dunces for like the tenth time," Rory admitted, a bit embarrassed.
She was quirky, all right, but she and that book, although quirky in its own right, didn't seem to mesh in Logan's mind. He had to know, so he asked, "Why do you like that book so much? You and Ignatius don't seem to have much in common!"
"It's not him, per se, but the overall atmosphere of the book. I feel like I'm there, and it's so rich and vibrant and real, but not. And the characters, well, let's just say they remind me of my town. Mancuso is a lot like Kirk, actually."
Kirk? Who was he? A boyfriend? Logan shrugged it off, and commented, "I hear New Orleans is really like that, full of characters that would never fit in any other city in America."
She laughed, a real laugh, and added, "Yeah, New Orleans does seem unique. I've seen so many instances of people there using the oddest humor to get through the past year since the storm. They seem eccentric, resilient. You probably just like it for Bourbon Street, right?"
"Look, Rory, you don't know me so stop making assumptions. Actually, I've never been there, but I'd like to go eventually. For the food, the music, not just the strip clubs. Why do you seem determined to see the worst in me?"
He saw her hesitate, and maybe realize that maybe she had made too quick a judgment on him. Away from his friends, he was different. He knew that, he just had to prove to her that he was real, not a caricature of an Ivy League playboy. "I don't know," she replied honestly.
"Look, I'll let you get back to Ignatius and his earflaps, but I'd like to take you for coffee tomorrow afternoon, maybe change your mind about me." Why did he care so much what she thought about him?
"What makes you think I even like coffee?" she retorted, this time with a smirk on her face to rival his own.
"Um, look down, Rory," he said, trying to bite back his laughter.
Her face turned beet red when she realized what pajamas she was wearing. She bit her lip, giggled, and smiled. "Coffee sounds good."
Her quick acceptance surprised him, since he'd thought he'd have to work a little harder for a coffee date. Considering he'd never really worked hard to get a date, ever, he had actually been up to the challenge. However, he soon saw that the challenge now was to show her that there was much more to him than she thought.