Disclaimer: Oh if only I owned Gilmore Girls. This seasons would not have sucked as royally as it had.
He hadn't had a night like this in years. He felt horrible, stumbling into his apartment at three o'clock in the morning after hitting the bars with Ryan and Peter. Although this time he wasn't really drunk. After all he had to drive all three of them home. However, the fact that he had stayed out into all hours of the night when he had to go to work the next morning probably wasn't the best idea.
It had been so long since he had acted so juvenile but he couldn't help it. Once again his life – his perfect, wonderful life – was being destroyed right before his eyes. He was going to lose everything one more time. He was going to lose the one person who taught him to love again just like he had lost… just like he had lost her.
He couldn't remember exactly when he lost the ability to speak or hear her name. But he knew that at some point during his move to San Francisco the word 'Rory' was no longer able to escape his lips. The last time he said it might have been the last time he saw her.
It had been almost five years now…five years yet every time he thought of her he still felt a knife slice through his heart. Tears were welling in his eyes at this moment just as they had the moment he turned his back as he walked away from her the day of her graduation. He had never wished to drink a glass of champagne and take a picture so hard in his life.
He'd gone through taco bell for lunch that day, a distant memory tugging at the back of his brain. He was silly enough to think that and ultimatum would make her jump. That because once upon a time he was willing to jump she would be also. That when he leapt off that scaffolding his hand would pull hers down with him. He forgot that her other hand was not only held in her mother's, it was cemented and Lorelai wasn't jumping anywhere. Logan slipped out of her hold without even seeing what was coming. Only this time, she was the one wearing a harness. Logan hit the ground with a thud. He was still picking himself up – with the help of one very important doctor.
Their first meeting was less than remarkable. She had knocked on his door three days after he moved into his apartment in San Francisco, forcing him out of the bed in his miserable, pained, and hung-over state. When he opened the door dressed in a pair of flannel pants and a Yale tee shirt that he hadn't changed out of since he arrived, he saw her standing there looking beautiful and cheerful holding a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Despite his haggard appearance and the frown on his face her smile remained in tact as she welcomed him to the building. She lived directly across the hall. Without a word Logan grabbed the cookies and slammed the door in her face.
He didn't want to be welcomed there. He didn't want to live there at all. His tiny one bedroom apartment didn't have a backyard with an avocado tree. That's where he wanted to live. He wanted the old lady living in the house with the blue shutters across the street from that house to give him chocolate chip cookies not the twenty-something living in the apartment across from him. Most of all he wanted to share the cookies with her.
Feeling a headache coming on, Logan had placed the cookies on the kitchen counter and made his way into his cold empty bed. He had wished more than anything that he hadn't gone ahead and bought the King size. Well…maybe not more than anything, he could think of one thing that he wished harder for. It got to the point where sleeping on the couch was the only way to cure his insomnia. And from the couch he found himself staring at the plate of cookies.
His grandmother used to make chocolate chip cookies when he was upset. His mind was flooded with distant memories of standing on a chair and pouring the chips into a bowl while she stirred. Of course his favorite part had been placing the cookies on the sheets. He would always sneak a bite of the dough when she wasn't looking, thinking he was so coy. Looking back, he had a feeling she knew. She never failed in putting a smile on his face even when he had been bawling his eyes out fifteen minutes before.
He took a bite and smiled, that feeling of love washing over him again. His grandmother had died when he was so young that it took something tangible like a cookie to remind him of her. For the first time in weeks he had a smile on his face.
With a sigh he had walked up and made his way across the hall. She answered the door, anger apparent on her face and almost slammed the door at him in return but he stopped her with an apology. She smiled reluctantly, invited him in, and introduced herself. Her name was Jenna Perry.
He sat on the couch and she offered him a drink, which he gratefully accepted. She could tell by the look in his eyes that something that happened to him and she asked if he was okay. He didn't hesitate in telling her no. Logan had always been one to tell it like it was. And right now, this girl was the closest thing to a friend he had.
There was something about her, something in her eyes that told Logan instantly that he could trust her. Perhaps he was hallucinating. Perhaps he was so pathetic and vulnerable that he would have poured his heart out to anyone and this girl just happened to be there. But something happened to Logan that day – something strange and unusual - because he wasn't one to open up to anyone – let alone strangers.
But as this girl sat across from him and looked into his eyes he could see the genuine concern shining through – concern for a guy she had met two seconds ago and who had slammed the door in her face. His emotions were reaching their breaking point and he knew that he had to speak. He had to speak for the sake of speaking before he exploded and this girl was the person he wanted to speak to.
So he spoke. He told her everything. He told her about their first meeting. He told her about their first kiss, their first time. He told her about her twenty-first birthday and the way her grandparents had found out about the intimacy of their relationship (finding himself laughing for the first time in weeks). He told her about their first fight, their make up, the bridesmaids, Costa Rica, London. He told her about the rocket and what a waste of time and money he spent on e-bay. He told her about how wonderful they had been and how he was so sure that they were in it for the long haul. He told her about his proposal. He told her about the no.
The only thing he didn't tell her was her name. He still couldn't being himself to say or think her name. It was lethal to him.
"I don't have anything to live for." He had said. "I keep telling myself to be excited about this job but I'm not. I don't care anymore. I would rather be back in New York with HPG if it meant I had her. I would be happy there as long as I had her. Here I have nothing. I don't have anything or anyone. I don't have any friends. I don't have any family. I miss my sister and she's pregnant and I'm going to miss it. I miss my best friends. I even miss the insanity that is my parents. And God I miss her. I miss her so much it hurts to breathe. And I just don't know how I'm going to handle coming home to no one every night."
All the time, Jenna sat on her couch enraptured by the man in front of her. By the look in his eyes she could tell that he wasn't talking to her, not directly anyway. He was watching the wall behind her while he spoke, his emotions so in tune with his words that Jenna could feel him there. She'd wondered how long he had gone without speaking to anyone.
"She didn't even cry. That's what hurts the most. Not the fact that she ended it or that she wasn't ready to get married yet but the look on her face was so…unattached. It's like I never even mattered to her, like the past two and a half years meant nothing. I just don't understand. She said she loved me. I know she loved me. She had to have loved me. What kind of person gives up something like what we had for - I don't even know what she gave it up for! She didn't even have a job yet. I really thought she was going to say yes, you know? I thought she was going to say yes the moment I asked and break out into tears of joy. I didn't have a doubt in my mind."
A small part of Jenna Perry fell in love with Logan Huntzberger that day. Never in her life had she been offered such a deep glimpse into a man's soul as she had been with him. However, no matter how deep that glimpse was he remained an enigma to her for years to come. Every time they seemed to be getting closer he pulled away. Every time their friendship seemed to perhaps be evolving into something more she would walk out of her apartment to find a woman leaving his. She didn't know how many tears she shed over Logan in the first few years he lived in San Francisco. She didn't understand.
She didn't understand his paralyzing fear of her. The day he knocked on her door and she almost slammed it back at him it stirred this feeling within him, a feeling that he hadn't felt in a long time but that he recognized and thrived off of. The look on her face when he stopped the door just fueled the feeling more and he had to keep himself from breaking down into tears. He recognized that face – that look.
"Jerk! Ass, arrogant, inconsiderate, mindless, frat-boy, low-life, butt-faced miscreant"
"Butt-faced miscreant?" "Why would you do something like that?"
"I'm sorry, 'butt-faced miscreant'?"
She challenged him. She made him laugh. She made him scream. She drove him absolutely crazy. She was the one person who was there to help him slowly pull his life back together. She was the person who made sure he got out of bed every morning so he didn't spend the whole day wallowing in despair. She was the one who intercepted his calls from Mitchum on days when he simply couldn't deal. She was the one who kept him away from a calendar so long one Saturday that he didn't realize it was his and her three-year anniversary until it was almost over… and when he did she was ready with a bottle of scotch and some more of her chocolate chip cookies. Apparently she and Honor had been in cahoots.
Yes, she terrified him. Because as the years went by Logan would find himself watching her walk through his apartment speaking of the children in her care and smiling a wistful smiles at the fact that she made herself so at home. He began to crave the feeling of her head on his shoulder when they would watch a movie and he reveled in the scent of her shampoo. She had the most beautiful voice he had ever heard and would constantly catch her singing in her apartment while she was cooking or cleaning. The blush that crept to her cheeks every time was adorable. She terrified him because he was falling in love with her and he never wanted to fall in love again. He never wanted to feel that pain again.
He did the only thing he could think of. He distanced himself from her. He made sure that he wouldn't be able to fall in deeper in love with her than he already had. He would run into her in the hallway and engage in small talk but that was as far as he would take it before locking himself in his apartment, leaving her there ignorant to the tears running down her cheeks. He engaged himself in tall blondes until one morning he finally saw the affects of his actions.
When bidding one of his dates goodbye the door across from him opened to reveal Jenna heading off to work, dressed in dark purple scrubs and her hair pulled back in a curly ponytail. She looked beautiful even in a uniform. They awkwardly stared at each other and Logan watched as she broke into tears right in front of him. Without a second glance she turned and ran down the stairs, not wanting to wait for the elevator. He tried to follow her but she wouldn't speak to him. She didn't want him to take any more of her dignity.
That evening when she arrived home he was waiting in her apartment and when she saw him sitting there she tried to kick him out. She was so infuriated with his presumptuousness that, despite her petite frame, she almost succeeded in dragging all 180 pounds of him out of the door. She stopped however when he surprised her with a confession she never expected.
"I love you, Jenna. I'm so in love with you it hurts and I'm scared. I'm terrified. I promised myself that I would never put myself in that position again – that I would never allow someone to hurt me like that again and every time I look at you it takes everything I have to keep myself from taking you in my arms and kissing you senseless. I've been trying for weeks to get you out of my head but I can't. I've been fighting my feelings off with dates and by ignoring you but I don't think I'm strong enough anymore. I can't fight this anymore. I need you."
That night, for the first time in three years, he made love to a woman. He had forgotten what it was like to become so lost in someone - to be so close to someone physically and emotionally. He'd forgotten how peaceful and content the feeling of a head resting on his chest could be. Jenna reminded him of everything wonderful about love. She forced him to abandon his goal of never falling in love again. He had fallen and he had fallen hard.
And now…now he was going to lose it all over again.
He threw his coat on the chair and walked into their bedroom – the bedroom he finally felt content in now that he had someone next to him every night in that huge bed. He noticed instantly that Jenna was still awake on the computer. When she heard him enter she looked up and breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of him.
"What are you doing up?" he asked, walking over to the bed and peeking over the screen which she was trying to hide. "You have to work tomorrow." Jenna bit her lip and looked down. He was going to be so angry.
"No I don't."
"What do you mean no you don't?" he asked.
"I put in my two weeks notice well…two weeks ago." She watched as the reality of her statement sunk in and Logan gave her a hard look.
"No you didn't." He said, shaking his head in denial. "You were in line for that promotion. You're career was going to be set for the rest of your life. There's no way you gave that up."
"I did." She said. "I've been in contact with Northwestern Children's and…"
"They seem to be interested so…"
"No." Logan said with a touch of finality. "You're not quitting your job. You love your job. I'm not going to let you give up the opportunity to become a supervising pediatrician. I'm only going to be in Chicago for two years. I can't let you come with me and force yourself to work back up from the bottom again. I won't let you demean yourself for me."
Jenna snapped her head up at him and shot him an angry look. She slammed her laptop closed and shifted in the bed so that she was able to give Logan her full attention. If there was one thing she wasn't going to do, it was going to be letting him order her around in such a way.
"I'm not demeaning myself!" Jenna insisted on the verge of angry and miserable tears. "Two years, Logan! You're going to be gone for two years! What's going to happen with us? With our business hours there's no way we can make a long distance relationship work. If I don't come with you it's over! Why are you so eager to leave me behind?"
"I'm not." Logan said. "You think I want this? Don't you realize that history is repeating itself for me? The thought of losing you - " Logan interrupted himself, not entirely sure where he wanted to take that statement.
"I don't want to lose you either." Jenna said. "I don't care about working from the bottom. I have my whole life to establish my career. But if I let you go… I just…. I can't let you go. I can't live without you."
Jenna stopped when she noticed Logan staring at her with an intense look. She shifted under his gaze uncomfortably, wondering what could possibly be on his mind.
Logan could vaguely hear her calling his name as he stared at her but he was too deep in thought to pay it any attention. So this is what love was. It was an epiphany he never expected to have. He thought he knew. He thought he had shared a love with someone before but standing here in this room with this girl in front of him telling him that she couldn't live without him, he realized that he was wrong.
He had loved her. He had loved her with all of his heart and soul and nothing would have made him happier at that moment for her to have said yes. But she didn't. Because she could live without him. She never loved him the way he loved her. She loved herself far too much to love him the way he loved her.
But Jenna… He didn't even have the words. So this is what Toulouse was talking about. This girl was willing to give him the one thing Rory wasn't. She was willing to put herself to side for the sake of them. Logan was in such a state of happiness and love that he didn't even realize he had thought her name without a wince.
"I said marry me."
"What the hell kind of proposal is that?" Jenna asked, throwing herself out of bed. "What you're commanding me to marry you? I don't even get the courtesy of being asked? You don't even have a ring! Your ex got a ring and a carriage and an audience and a speech about how wonderful she was and what do I get? 'Marry me.' While you're so drunk you probably won't even remember it in the morning and I look like Courtney Love."
"Oh I'll remember this…and I'm not drunk." Logan said, nodding his head emphatically while walking up to her and wrapping his arms around her waist. "And you don't look like Courtney Love. You look beautiful."
"You're just saying that because you want me to say yes." She teased, chocking on the tears of joy that had started to fall from her eyes.
"No." Logan insisted. "It's true. You're beautiful and smart and funny. You always know what to say to make me smile. You light up my life when for the longest time I thought that I was going to be in the dark forever. I don't know what I would have done without you. Before I met you I thought I knew what support was. I thought I knew what unconditional love was but I was wrong. You have been the only person in my life to love me wholly and completely – even when I was a drunken miserable mess. I love you Jenna Perry. Will you marry me?
Logan watched as she stood in front of her with tears streaming down her cheeks. His heart was thumping so hard in his chest that he thought it might explode. He was so sure she would say yes. He didn't have a doubt in him mind but the longer she stared at him the harder panicked. He was so sure about her also. She was going to say no. She was going to leave him a heart broken mess all over again. How was he supposed to get his life back together without her there? How could she do this to him? Why would he ever put himself in this position again?
"Of course I'll marry you, you idiot!"
The breath Logan let out was so shaky it sounded as if he might be in pain. He looked down at her and brushed the tears off of her cheeks, her smile only widening at the feeling of his thumbs against her skin. Logan leaned down and kissed her with more passion than he thought it was possible to muster and when they broke apart he heard her laughing through her tears.
"Now where's my ring?"
"Well I can give you my ex's if you want it." Logan said with a smirk. Jenna broke out into laughter.
"I don't want your tainted ring!" she said with a chuckle, knowing that he wasn't serious. "I want my own ring. I want a special ring!"
"You want a special ring?" Logan asked. "What kind of a special ring?"
"I want a ring made from a jewel from the crown of King Louis XVI." Logan raised his eyebrows in confusion.
"I'll get right on that." Logan said.
"With a band made of gold from King Tut's tomb."
"Uh-huh…and how much do you think this ring is going to cost me?" Logan asked, pushing her slowly toward the bed.
"Just about a billion dollars that's all." Jenna said as Logan shed his sport coat and gently pushed her on the bed.
"Oh is that all?" he asked as he hovered over her.
"I might be able to talk to some people and get it a little cheaper."
"Is that so?" He asked, his face hovering centimeters above hers.
"Yes." She said. "But only if we stop the ring talk now and you make love to me."
"As you wish, my dear."