Title: Safe 'Til St. Patrick's Day
Time Period: Yale
Ickle Word: Precuperation – (noun) – The duration of time before a big blowout where someone prepares for the almost certainty of being hung over.
Two of three: Someone completely unaware of a see-through shirt that wasn't meant to be sheer, and the quotation, "Love wouldn't be blind if the Braille weren't so damned much fun.-Anonymous"
Summary: Logan's about to find out the only thing more difficult than dating a Gilmore Girl is breaking up with one.
Author's Note: Written for the Valentine's Day/St. Patrick's Day BAF challenge - Sure I missed the deadline, but a story is a story, right? Special thanks go to my two wonderful betas, Bernadette and Asia! The idea for this fic came while listening to the song St. Patrick's Day by John Mayer. Lyrics used belong to him.
Girlfriend. A year ago the word had been foreign to Logan's ears and even now, his tongue tripped over the syllables whenever he said it. There
were other words that also once had trouble fitting into his vocabulary. Relationship. Monogamy. Boyfriend. To see these words become a part of his vernacular, to see him welcome these changes into his lifestyle surprised no one more than it did him. In a previous life, Logan Huntzberger didn't do relationships that lasted any longer than what it took to get what he wanted. In this life, he was firmly in the middle of what could only be described as a serious, long-distance relationship.
He wasn't so sure he liked it.
It wasn't that he didn't care about Rory; in fact, it was quite theopposite. He did care for her, he loved her even, but he wasn't convinced he wouldn't hurt her. He wasn't convinced that he wasn't exactly like hisfather; that he hadn't inherited Mitchum's wandering eye along with his good business sense. He could handle many things, but the one thing he knew he couldn't handle would be to see pain in those clear blue eyes if he ever let her down in any way.
There was only one thing to do. He had to let her go. He had to set her freebefore he broke her. And he had to do it soon.
What Logan was about to find out is what only a few men had learned before him; the only thing more impossible than loving a Gilmore girl was breaking up with one who didn't want to be broken up with.
"You need to move fast," Finn urged him. He and Colin were in London,visiting Logan for the weekend, and the three of them were sitting in the little pub that was Logan's watering hole away from home. Logan had justspent the last hour detailing his plan to them. "Halloween is just around the corner."
"Okay, sure. Halloween is two weeks away. What does that have to do with me breaking up with Rory?" Logan asked. "I don't think she knows anything about witchcraft, or spells, or anything like that."
"Logan, you can't break up with a girl you've been with for this long after Halloween. You have to do it before that day!" Finn paused to take a drink from his mug before continuing on. "Don't you know the rules? Of course you don't, why would you, eh? You've never been in a relationship before this one."
Logan turned to Colin. "A little help here? What is he talking about?"
Colin shook his head and held up his hands. "I have no idea. I stopped understanding Finn about four years ago." He ducked as Finn tried to hit the back of his head.
"If Logan waits until after Halloween to dump the lovely Rory, he becomes a Halloweenie," Finn explained. "And yes, before you ask me, I am going to explain to you what that is."
"Please do," Logan said dryly as he took a drink. He waited expectantly as Finn launched into his explanation.
"A Halloweenie is, and I quote," Finn began, "someone who breaks up with someone around Halloween because it's the last stop before the family-filled, gift-mandated, high pressure holidays. You know, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Valentine's Day too, if you think about it." He stopped, and looked around the table at his friends' faces.
"What? I read Cosmo," he said defensively. "You would too, if you knew what was good for you. I've learned some very important things from that magazine." He paused reflectively. "Although, I guess, if you don't break up with her within the week, next week might be too late and you'll still be a Halloweenie."
"Stop calling me a Halloweenie," Logan said, annoyed. The word wasridiculous coming from Finn, even more ridiculous to hear from his own mouth.
"Then don't become one," Finn said reasonably. "Besides, you don't really want to break up with her. In fact, I'll tell you what. You won't break up with her."
"I have to," Logan insisted. Finn was right though, he didn't want to break up with her, he just didn't know what else to do. He couldn't stand to see her end up like his own mother. The least he could do was save her from the misery that would likely ensue should they continue their relationship for very much longer.
"I hate to say this, but Finn's got a point," Colin broke in. "You and Rory are good together. You're just scared. You shouldn't break up with her because of that."
Logan shook his head. "When did we become the Golden Girls?" he asked. "I'm going to break up with Rory and that's all there is to it. Now come on! The night is young and we have a lot more beer to drink, don't you agree?"
"I know I do," Finn said as he set down an empty mug. "But one more thing?"
"I'm Blanche, right?"
The next two weeks flew by and before Logan knew it, it was Halloween, and he still hadn't broken up with Rory. He had meant to do it right after Finn and Colin had left but work had gotten extremely busy, and Rory had been busy with the newspaper – as much as he wanted to end things as quickly as possible, he couldn't justify doing it over the phone either. The first chance he could get enough time off to go see Rory was, of course, Halloween, and he couldn't get Finn's previous words out of his head. He and Rory had opted not to go out with everyone else, but, rather, to stay at the loft, with Rory planning the night's events.
"I'm so happy you're here!" Rory said, not for the first time since she'd met him at the door earlier this morning. "I know we were going to see eachother for Christmas, and I know you've only been gone for a couple ofmonths, but I've missed you." She was busy setting out bowls of snacks for the night and she missed the look that briefly crossed over Logan's face.
"Things have been so busy, I had to get away and I needed to come visit my girl," he said. He grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her down into his lap. "In case I don't say it enough, I missed you too." It was true, he did miss her. He wasn't trying to end this relationship because he didn't care about her, he reminded himself.
But then again, he couldn't break up with her now that they had this whole night planned out, could he? Without thinking about it, he leaned in and kissed her. Kissing Rory was like breathing; he sometimes felt as though he needed to do it to survive. He pulled away, twisting a piece of her hair through his fingers. "So what do you have planned for tonight?" he asked.
Her eyes lit up. "Passing out candy to trick-or-treaters and watching scary movies. It's a Gilmore tradition. The sugar buzz followed by the sugar coma edge out being scared of the movie."
"I'm not bothered by scary movies though."
"I am," she replied. "I can't help it. I love to mock the idiocy of these movies, the formula of top-heavy starlets running up stairs and not out the front door, but every time that creepy music starts, every time I see the killer, I get scared."
"So all of this candy." Logan gestured to the dozens of bowls laid out in front of them. "For us or for the trick-or-treaters?"
"Well for us, of course. The pass-out candy is in three bowls by the door." She winked devilishly. "As soon as we run out, we unplug the doorbell."
"So, what are we watching first?" Logan asked, picking up the stack of movies Rory had set down next to him. He flipped through the titles and glanced up at Rory. "These are some pretty heavy slasher films, Ace. Are you sure you can handle it?"
"No – but that's why you're here to protect me." She flashed him another smile before selecting one of the movies, sliding it into the DVD player.
For the next several hours, Logan was acutely aware of the girl snuggled firmly into his side. They had finally ran out of candy and were halfway into their third movie. All of the lights were off, there were candles lit all around the living room and there was a definite dent in their candysupply. Logan couldn't help but smile as he watched a teenaged Jamie Lee Curtis run away from a masked killer, while Rory hid her eyes in his shoulder sleeve. It was nice, he decided, as he pulled her a little bit closer. He couldn't ruin tonight for her by telling her he wouldn't see her again. He would just have to come up with another time. He'd have to do it soon though. He had to.
They were startled out of their comfortable silence by a loud pounding at the door. "We're out of candy!" Logan yelled, irritated.
"Then give me whiskey instead!" came the muffled response. Logan sighed and Rory giggled as she untangled herself from him and ran to get the door.
"Happy Halloween Finn!" She said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. Shestepped back and took in his costume. "A sailor? I think I'm a little disappointed."
"Ah love, I'm past the point of dressing up for shock value," he declared. "Now, I'm simply just trying to attract the ladies. And show me a lady who doesn't love a sailor!" He turned to Logan. "Am I right, Logan?"
"Well if Fleet Week means anything, you're right."
"You two watch more Sex and the City than I do," Rory said as she rolled her eyes.
"Anyways, I just stopped by to say hello, and to see if I couldn't convince the two of you to come out tonight. We've got quite the party going on, you know."
"We're going to stay in," Rory said, turning to Logan to confirm it. "But thanks for stopping by!"
"Anytime Love, you know that." Finn grinned at Logan. "Happy Halloweenie." He gave them a salute and was back out the door.
"What is he talking about?"
"No clue." Logan pulled her back over to the couch and they resumed watching the movie. Another twenty minutes passed and neither of them had their eyes on the television.
Rory tasted of chocolate and, as Logan's hands slid up underneath her sweater, he could detect the faintest traces of cherry taffy beyond herlips. Any other time, he would have made fun of her for this, but tonight it only served to turn him on more. As he pushed her deeper into the couchcushions, he peeled the sweater away from her stomach and pulled it over her head in one smooth motion, kissing her even more fiercely than before. He kissed her thoroughly, sweeping his tongue through every inch of her mouth as his hands moved up and down the length of her body.
"I missed you so much. I need you." His breath scorched her skin as he kissed his way down her neck, across her collarbone, over her breasts. Hisfingers dug into her hipbones, releasing his grasp only when she began toremove his own shirt and he raised his arms obligingly to help her. Logan replaced his hands immediately, the fingers of one hand dipping beneath her jeans as the other hand brought her breast to his mouth. In a blur, they were both rid of the rest of their clothing, and, truth be told, he wasn't sure which one of them had moved first.
Rory's eyes were open, wide with want, as he positioned himself above her.He bent his head to kiss her lips once more before sliding into her with one even thrust. He groaned into her shoulder as she cried out softly, her nails digging into his back.
So Finn was right, he decided as he moved steadily over her. Logan was a Halloweenie, but right now, right here with her, he didn't care. All hecared about was the girl surrounding him, the girl whose taste he was addicted to, the girl he, though reluctant to admit it to himself, loved.Their release was quick; they came together in a frenzy of tangled limbs and mouths, with hushed tones and muffled cries. He looked at Rory in the dim light; her eyes were half-closed, her skin was flushed. As she smiled lazily up at him, he couldn't remember why he ever wanted to leave her in the first place.
No way November will see our goodbyes…
Halloween passed without incident and Logan found himself back in London still with a girlfriend. He had planned on talking to Rory the next morning, but as he lay there and watched her sleep, he hadn't been able to bring himself to do anything other than stare at her. He flew back to London with promises of seeing her again at Christmas but as he kissed her goodbye at the airport terminal, he knew he'd be breaking up with her before then; he was just waiting for the perfect moment. If there even was such a thing.
As it turned out, there was, and it came to Logan in the form of a phone call turned argument with Rory during the week before Thanksgiving.
"So there was Paris, on stage in front of the whole auditorium, nearly 300 of our classmates watching, and she's about to give her speech when it happens."
"Well, when Paris picked out her clothes for the presentation, she did not take into consideration that there would be stage lights on her. Her shirt had turned completely sheer. We're talking absolutely see-through. Paris had a total Tara Reid moment, without the booze, and the entire front section got a first-rate look at her goodies."
"Please don't refer to anything of Paris' as 'her goodies' ever again,"Logan said through his laughter. "That's great though, I hope someone got pictures of that."
"If they did, I'm sure they'll encounter the wrath of Paris." Once their laughter died down, Logan could sense that Rory was trying to gather her courage to say something.
"What's going on, Ace?" he asked after a few moments of silence. "What's on your mind?"
"Thanksgiving is coming up in a few days," she said hesitantly.
"Don't remind me," he said with a groan. "My mother is insisting I come home for the family dinner."
"That's what Grandma said at lunch today," Rory replied. "When did you find out you were going to be home?"
"About two days ago, why?"
"Well you haven't said anything, that's why." Rory paused. "I was thinking, if you're going to be in Hartford for Thanksgiving, maybe you'd want to come to the Dragonfly for Sookie's famous Thanksgiving brunch?"
"I don't know Rory, I'm only going to be in town for that day and the family is expecting me there. Trust me, I'd rather be anywhere else, but I don't see how I could possibly get out of it."
"But it's just brunch," Rory insisted. "You'd be gone for an hour and a half, maybe two hours at the most. I miss you," she added.
Logan sighed. "I miss you too Rory, but we just saw each other at Halloween and we're spending Christmas together next month," he pointed out.
"So that means we should just ignore the fact that we'll actually be in the same state at the same time between those two instances and just not see each other?" Rory asked. She had a valid point. "It's Thanksgiving, Logan, and you're going to be in town. My mom would really like it if you actually made it to one of our family dinners for once!"
"Jesus Rory, I don't want to spend the day with my family; why the hell would you think I'd want to spend it with yours?"
He wasn't surprised when she hung up on him.
Logan almost threw his phone across the room but decided against it,choosing instead to take a few deep breaths and redial her number. He was elated when she picked up.
"I didn't mean that the way it sounded," he said, after he was greeted by her silence. "I'm sorry; things have been rough around here. I've been in meeting after meeting all day long every day, and then I find out I have to take a red eye into Hartford for a family gathering, only to have to jump on another flight back to take a meeting the next morning. I'm stressed out, but I shouldn't have snapped at you." She was still silent. "Rory?"
"Will I get to see you at all while you're home?" she asked finally.
Logan sighed again. "I don't think so Ace, I won't have the time." Part of him hated saying these words to her, but another part was relieved. If she got angry enough with him, breaking up with her would be somewhat easier. As it was, he told himself, he really wouldn't have the time to see her while he was home. He wasn't making that up. Okay, maybe he was a little. But he really did hate holidays.
"Fine," she said shortly. "I'll tell you this though Logan; if you think you're going to break up with me like you did last Thanksgiving without telling me, I will never forgive you for that."
Crap. He had forgotten about last year. "That's not what I'm doing at all," he said sincerely. Well, as sincerely as he could while only being half-truthful. "I just don't see that I'll have the time to see you. I promise I'll more than make up for it at Christmas though. If you want, we can spend New Years Eve in Paris, or Venice, or anywhere you want to go."
God, he was an ass, making her promises like that.
"Sure," she said, her voice still flat. "I have to get to bed. I'll talk to you later. Bye." That was the end of their call – no wishes for a good day, or even an 'I love you'. She didn't even promise to call him the next night like she always did.
Her phone call didn't come the next day. Or the day after that, and his one attempt at calling her went straight to her voicemail. It was almost ridiculous – something that he wouldn't even qualify as a fight between the two of them had resulted in this? He knew that the distance between the them made everything at least ten times harder, but this was still just stupid in his opinion.
But, this was what he wanted; he had to remind himself as he stared at his phone, waiting for it to ring. He wanted her to be on her own, he wanted to be on his own, and maybe, if the phone calls never came, he wouldn't have to do anything else about it.
He went to sleep that night with the phone in his hand. It didn't ring once before the morning.
Soon enough, it was Thanksgiving and he was at his father's house. He hadn't spoken to Rory but once since their fight. Their conversation had been brief, awkward, and filled with more silences than he ever thought possible for her. They ended the call with terse goodbyes, and neither one of them had mentioned Thanksgiving. By all accounts, Logan was free and clear.
He wasn't exactly happy about it. In fact, he kind of hated it.
He hated not knowing how her days went. Not knowing how Paris had gone off the deep end this day or how many cups of coffee she had drank that day. He hated not hearing the Lorelai stories, or how Emily and Richard had fired yet another maid. Most of all, he hated not hearing her voice.
He couldn't fight it, he knew better than to do so – like it or not, he was in love with Rory Gilmore. How else could he possibly explain why, after dinner with his family, he was standing on the Gilmore's front porch with enough chocolate and bad movies to end any bad feelings that Rory might still have towards him.
She answered the door with a look of surprise on her face. She quickly hardened though, staring at him icily.
"Sorry I missed brunch," he said with a genuine smile. "But I hope chocolate turkeys the size of your head and a really bad movie from the 80s makes up for it?"
She considered this for a moment. "What movie?" she finally asked.
"Does it matter? I mean, you did hear me say chocolate turkey the size of your head, right?" he asked, holding up the bag.
Rory smiled finally. "Come on in," she said, holding the door open. He was surprised at how relieved he was to finally see her smile again.
"Happy Thanksgiving," he said, pulling her into his arms for a much-needed kiss. They fell against the doorway as all of the anger and bitterness over the holiday washed away from them, and Logan realized that he might need to rethink his entire way of thinking.
When it comes to December it's obvious why no one wants to be alone at Christmas time…
"Open the damn door, Logan," Rory said through clenched teeth as she waited for him to find the key in his pocket.
"I'm trying," he shot back, finally retrieving the key and unlocking the door. They both tried to enter the apartment at the same time and he stepped back to let her in, following three steps behind her. "Well that was just fucking great, Rory."
"So you're saying it's my fault?" She whipped around, her eyes snapping as she glared at him. "Please, tell me how this is my fault? When you promised me Christmas in London you failed to mention that your parents would be joining us! How was I supposed to react to that? I didn't even have time to process it, all of a sudden there they were!"
"I didn't know they were going to be here!" Logan poured himself a drink from the bar and took a long swallow before going on. "But the fact of the matter is, they're here and we have to deal with it."
"Wrong, I don't have to deal with it at all!" She kicked her shoes off and ripped her sweater over her head, pulling on a tank top instead. "You knew how hard it was for me to spend Christmas away from my mom and you said we were going to have an amazing holiday together. Alone. Just the two of us. And now here we are celebrating with Mitchum and Shira?"
"Neither of us knew they were going to be here, but did you have to be so damn rude to them?" Logan asked.
Rory laughed. "Yes Logan, I was the one who was rude to them. Never mind Shira's snide comments about my mom's motel, or Mitchum reminding me how well that internship had worked out." She pulled her suitcase out from under Logan's bed and flipped it open. "Your father is an ass, Logan. He's mean, and he's condescending, and he doesn't like me. He doesn't even try to hide that fact anymore. And your mom? Going on and on about how much she likes 'that blonde girl you work with." She began tossing clothes into the suitcase without folding them. "I can't just sit here and take this, Logan. I won't."
"What are you doing?" he asked, setting his glass down and watching her.
"Leaving. I'm not going to spend Christmas being belittled by your parents! You didn't even stop them, Logan. You let them say whatever they wanted to me and now you're mad at me for not just sitting there and taking it with a smile on my face?"
"In case you didn't see it, they weren't exactly all cheery with me either," Logan snapped. "It was cut down after cut down from my dad." He crossed over to the bed and stilled her hands. "Rory, come on. You can't leave."
"I can too,' she insisted, sounding every bit a three-year-old. He couldn't help but smile. "It's bad enough spending tomorrow away from my mom, but I'm not going to put up with this on top of it!" She threw another piece of clothing into the suitcase.
"Rory, stop!" Logan sighed and shook his head. "You're not going to spend Christmas day on a plane, I'm not letting you leave."
"Letting me? I didn't realize you were my boss."
He rolled his eyes. "Oh enough already! Yes, it's unfortunate that my parents are here, but what am I supposed to do Rory? It won't kill us to put up with them for a few hours tomorrow." His eyes landed on something shiny and red in her suitcase. Hooking a finger around the shoulder strap, he retrieved the satin and fur-trimmed lingerie from her pile of clothes. "Why haven't I seen this yet?" he asked.
She looked up at him and blushed before remembering she was angry with him. "You would have seen it tonight," she said as she snatched it back from him.
"Can I still see it?" he asked. He covered her hands with his again. "Come on Ace, you don't really want to leave tonight." The last couple of words were barely more than a murmur as his mouth found its way to her neck.
She tried to twist away from him. "Stop it Logan, I'm still angry."
He held her wrists tight at her side, continuing his assault on her neck. "I'm still angry too," he whispered. "But we're not angry with each other, are we?" He sucked the tip of her earlobe between his teeth, smiling at the gasp that came from deep in her throat. "That doesn't sound very angry to me." He dropped her left hand, trailing his own up the curve of her back. He brought his hand down her back again, the soft sound of her zipper being undone filling the room as he did so.
She stopped him then, placing the palms of her hands on his chest and forcing some space between them. "They're never going to think I'm enough for you, Logan," she said softly. "And maybe they're right."
Logan stared at her incredulously for a long moment. He couldn't believe that this woman, the most perfect he'd ever know, was standing in front of him voicing these concerns. He stepped closer, trapping her hands between them, and resumed undressing her. "You're wrong, Rory," he whispered, burying his face in her neck, inhaling the scent of her perfume as her dress fell to the floor. "I'm not enough for you." He didn't wait for her answer before hooking an arm under her knees and laying her down onto the bed. He paused to remove his own clothing before climbing up to join her. She tried to speak again but he covered her mouth with his. Whatever protests she had, whatever concerns and fears, he didn't want to hear them. Not tonight. Tonight he just wanted her to know she was more than enough for him.
His mouth searched hers frantically as his hands moved to run through her hair before they started a trek of their own down the length of her body. He needed to touch her, all of her, right down to the tips of her painted toes. He pulled her leg up to steeple next to him, running his hand from the sole of her foot back up the curve of her knee, his nails scraping over the soft skin of her thigh before his fingers found her. She was hot to his touch, and more than ready for him but he continued on, removing his fingers and running them up her sides, over her smooth stomach, across her breasts, and along her collarbone. "So beautiful," he murmured to the girl laying beneath him. His mouth left hers, resulting in a small whimper from her that quickly turned into a moan as his lips began to follow the same trail his fingers had just been on. She strained to reach him, but he just looked up at her with a smile and shook his head slowly. "Lie still," he
instructed softly before lowering his mouth back to her skin.
Rory's head fell back into her pillow as Logan continued his slow assault on her. His teasing was relentless. One moment his tongue would flick against her, the next he'd be kissing her stomach. He was making her dizzy with need and she knew she wouldn't last much longer. "Logan…" she tried to make her voice authoritative, tried to command him into moving quicker but she failed, her words coming out weak and soft. "Please."
He listened, moving to cover her with his body, and she could feel him, smooth and hard, straining against her thigh. She eagerly moved her legs beneath him, guiding him until he was ready to enter her. She expected him to be slow, teasing, and was startled when he thrust hard into her, filling her immediately. Clearly she wasn't the only one who was in need tonight. Her hips rose and fell with him, matching his pace and pulling him deeper into her as she tried to bite back the sounds that were forming in her throat. His hands worshipped her, his mouth claimed her, and she couldn't stop the cries that escaped her as he thrust deep into her once more, his own moans filling the room as they came within seconds of each other. He was still inside her as he pulled her tight against him and kissed her slightly sweaty neck. Her hands worked at the knots in his neck and shoulders and just barely, over the sounds of their still frantic breathing he heard her whisper, "You're enough."
His eyes opened and focused on nothing as he played the words over and over in his mind. He didn't know what he believed anymore.
February won't you be my Valentine…
By the time Valentine's Day rolled around, Rory and Logan's relationship had taken a trip to Bizarro world. This time, it wasn't Logan who was
contemplating breaking up with Rory, but Rory who was wondering if she should end things with Logan.
"Why are boys so difficult?" she complained to her mother and Lane as they were putting the final touches on the decorations at Miss Patty's dance studio. It was the night before the annual Stars Hollow Valentine's Day Festival and the town was in full swing, preparing for the event.
"What did Logan do now?" Lorelai asked as she looked down from the ladder she was on. "I thought the two of you were doing great after New Years?" She looked to Lane for confirmation. "Isn't that right? Didn't she come back from Europe all disgustingly glowing and all 'oh I love my boyfriend, he's so dreamy!'?"
"I definitely think the word dreamy was used," Lane agreed, as she sorted different colored candy hearts into jars.
"Dreamy he's not!" Rory insisted. "Okay sure, Christmas and New Years were almost perfect, and things have been really well since then, but I just can't shake this feeling that something's wrong. I think he's trying to break up with me! And I think he's only trying to do it on holidays!"
"That's just crazy!" Lorelai laughed. "Why on earth would Logan break up with you, and why would he do it on a holiday? That's not like him at all! No guy would break up with you on a holiday!"
"Lorelai's right," Lane agreed. "If Logan didn't break up with you before Halloween, you're safe. No guy breaks up with you during the holidays. Only the Halloweenies do that."
"Yeah… what Lane said?" Lorelai shrugged her shoulders and made a drinking motion behind Lane's back.
"Oh you know what I'm talking about," Lane insisted. "The guy who breaks up with a girl right before Halloween so he can avoid spending all the major holidays with her? That kind of guy is a Halloweenie!" She looked back and forth between Lorelai and Rory. "I'm surprised at you two, don't you read Cosmo?"
"Oh my God!" Rory's eyes widened. "Logan is a Halloweenie! He's just waiting until after the next major holiday to break up with me! What holidays don't count?" Her voice turned frantic. "Easter? Mother's Day? Memorial Day? Oh God…St. Patrick's Day! Who cares about St. Patrick's Day?"
"Well, the Irish do…Ooh! And leprechauns!" Lorelai interjected helpfully.
"Logan is going to break up with me between now and St. Patrick's Day!" Rory insisted.
"Oh Rory, calm down, you're just talking crazy talk," Lorelai said, coming down from the ladder.
"I'm not! You don't know, Mom! You haven't seen him lately. Ever since…since Halloween! Oh my god, he was trying to break up with me, that's why he came home! He's fine once we're first together, but then he gets this look in his eyes, like he's trapped or something! Each time we're together it takes longer and longer for him to calm down and act normally."
"Like you're acting right now?" Lorelai rolled her eyes. "Seriously Sweets, calm down. Logan is not breaking up with you."
"You're right, he's not," Rory said triumphantly. "Because I'm breaking up with him!"
Lorelai and Lane didn't even bother to hide the incredulous look exchanged between the two of them.
By the time the next morning rolled around, neither Lorelai nor Lane had been able to dissuade Rory from going through with her plans to break up with Logan. In fact, everything that had been said only further encouraged her to do so.
Luckily, Logan wasn't answering his phone. Previously, they had decided to spend Valentine's Day apart. Logan wasn't sure that he'd be able to get the time off to fly to Hartford, and Rory was going to be busy in Stars Hollow, so it had seemed logical not to worry about it. They would see each other next when Rory was on spring break, when he would meet her in New York City for a few days.
What Rory didn't know though, was that Logan had other plans in mind altogether. What Rory also didn't know was that Logan was, at this very moment, on his way to Stars Hollow to surprise her.
"Rory honey, what's this I hear about you breaking up with that gorgeous blond creature?" Miss Patty accosted Rory at the cupcake decorating booth.
"Who did you hear that from?" Rory asked.
"From Babette, sweetie, but she heard it from Kirk. He overheard you talking about it last night. Honey, tell me it isn't true!"
Rory sighed. "You've been in a long-distance relationship before, right?"
"Of course dear. Did I ever tell you about my affair with Charo's brother?"
"Not that I remember but you'll have to sometime. It's just hard," Rory sighed. "Every fight we have is made a million times worse by the fact that he's so far away! I don't like the fact that I barely get to see him once a month, if that, and never for long enough! How do we survive the rest of the year like this when maybe it's just easier to cut our losses now and give up?"
Miss Patty smiled. "You love him, right?"
"Of course I do, but is that enough? And does he really love me? It's hard to figure this all out across oceans and time zones." Rory buried her head in her hands. "I just don't know anymore. It's just too hard. All we're doing is struggling right now."
"Rory, you've heard before that love is blind, right?" Miss Patty asked. Rory lifted her head and nodded. "Well, love wouldn't be blind if the Braille weren't so damned much fun." The older woman grinned and leaned forward. "And if I remember correctly, the Braille on that young man…" her voice trailed off and she fanned herself. "What I mean dear, is that you just need to learn as you go. It's no fun being in love if there aren't some ups and downs along the way. The trying times are what defines you. Those ups and downs are what allows for growth in a relationship. Sure, it's difficult now; but it's already been, what? Five months? You're almost halfway through the year! It would be a pity to give up now." She winked at her as she picked up a cupcake. "Of course, if you do break the poor boy's heart, feel free to send him my way!"
Before Rory could give Miss Patty's words much thought, Lorelai informed her that they were running low on frosting and sent her back to the house to
grab a few more vats of icing that Sookie had prepared. As she made her way up the driveway, the last thing she expected to find was Logan sitting on the front porch swing, eating a frosting-covered cupcake, but there he was.
"I…" her voice trailed off and she opened and shut her mouth a few times.
Logan grinned at her. "Speechless, I like it." He stood up and offered her the cupcake in his hands. "Happy Valentine's Day Ace." He looked down at the pastry. "Of course, this isn't your present, but it's not such a bad start, is it?"
"What are you doing here?" Rory asked, finally recovering her voice. "I thought… I mean, you weren't… What are you doing here?"
Logan laughed. "Successfully surprising you on Valentine's Day," he answered, stooping to kiss her mouth, which was still half-open in shock. Rory was still too stunned to do anything but stand there as he kissed her. He pulled back with a frown. "This isn't exactly the welcoming I was hoping for," he admitted, running his hand through his hair.
Rory shook her head and smiled. "You definitely surprised me," she said, slipping her arms around his waist. "How long have you been waiting here?"
"Long enough to call Lorelai and have her invent some story to get you here." Logan grinned again. "I couldn't let Valentine's Day pass by without seeing my best girl, now could I?" He tightened his grip around her a little more. "Now, how about another go at that hello kiss?" The words were barely out of his mouth before her lips were on his again.
Her mouth was warm and inviting as he braced her against the porch rail, kissing her more firmly. She tasted like cinnamon; as though she'd been eating those little red candy hearts all day, as Logan was sure she had been. His hands, colder than he knew she would prefer, worked their way from the outside of her winter coat to the hem of her sweater, and then to the skin underneath.
Rory yelped and twisted away from his grasp with a glare in his direction."You did that on purpose!" she accused playfully.
"In case you hadn't noticed, it's cold out here," he said, holding his hands up in defense. "I was just trying to warm myself up a little."
"Oh I'll warm you up Huntzberger," she said, her mouth turning up in a smirk as she grabbed his hands and pulled him into the house. She led him towards her bedroom, kissing him the entire way. His legs tangled with hers and they tumbled onto the bed, laughing, both still wearing their winter jackets.
Rory reached up to run her finger across the length of his jaw line. "You're not breaking up with me today, are you?" Her voice was teasing, but theycould both sense the seriousness of her question.
Logan stared down at her and the look in her eyes made him want to crawl into the nearest hole and die. These last few months had definitely taken its toll on their relationship, and he never realized just how hard it must have been for Rory. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her; yet, somehow, he was still managing to.
"No," he whispered. "I'm not doing anything of the sort," he promised. And he meant every word of it. He waited until she smiled and nodded slightly at him before he leaned back down to kiss her again, his hands busying themselves with trying to rid her of her coat.
Miss Patty was right, Rory realized as she slid Logan's own coat over his shoulders. It was the trying, the ups and downs, and the feeling things out that made their relationship what it was. They were still learning what worked for them and what didn't, and while they were both bound to get scared from time to time, that was no reason for either one of them to give up just yet, if ever. Besides, Miss Patty had another good point, Rory realized as she ran her hands over the smooth skin of Logan's bare back.
The Braille on Logan was just too much fun to give up on now.
And we'll both be safe 'til Saint Patrick's Day…
After spending months avoiding any holiday celebrations with their friends, Logan finally gave in and agreed that he and Rory would spend St. Patrick's Day with Colin and Finn and various other members of the Life and Death Brigade. He hoped, for the most part, that Finn would be able to keep his mouth shut over anything that could potentially upset Rory and that he himself would be able to do the same.
She was already wary of the holiday, barely even waiting until his eyes had blinked open that morning before she threw herself over him, straddling his stomach and pronouncing quite authoritatively that he was not breaking up with her today. She held him down until he promised the same thing, even going as far as the ridiculous pinky swear she maneuvered his hand into.
Rory was right, he thought to himself as she released him and left the bed to take a shower. Logan had no plans to break up with her that day. He made it through most of the day believing that too.
He made it through breakfast, where Rory insisted on serving him a Lorelai-inspired traditional St. Patrick's Day breakfast of green eggs and ham for him, a bowl of Lucky Charms for her, along with a pint of his favorite beer dyed green. There was debate on whether the beer had always been a part of the tradition, which Rory denied, insisting that she had added that all on her own.
He made it through the afternoon, or as Finn liked to call it, the Afternoon of Precuperation.
"Always be prepared, that's my motto," Finn said as he lined up various bottles of aspirin on the table next to his bed. Logan had already watched him go through his closet, deciding what boxers and t-shirt were the most comfortable and easiest to get into while intoxicated. These items of clothing were already laid out on the bed.
"That's not your motto."
"Today it is. It should be yours too. Look around Logan," he said with a grand gesture to the many already empty liquor bottles littering the floor. "We are surely going to be dreadfully hungover tomorrow. It's best to have a plan of action in place." He craned his head toward the kitchen. "How's our water supply Colin?" Colin answered with a crude hand gesture. "Right then, I'm sure we have enough."
He almost made it through the beginning of the party, which started in the early hours of evening. As Logan watched Rory getting dressed, his palms started to get sweaty. His heart began to pound as they drove to the bar they had rented out for the occasion and he had to fight to keep the car on the road. By the time they walked through the front doors, Logan was panicking. He had never had an anxiety attack before but as he watched Rory at the other end of the bar, laughing and joking with his --their-- friends as they finished setting up a bar consisting of only green drinks, he was sure he was experiencing his first one.
"Here we go again." Finn sighed from next to him. He handed Logan a bottle of beer.
"Here what goes again?"
Finn rolled his eyes. "You've got that look on your face again," he explained. "The I'm about to do something really stupid look. What is it this time? What's making you think you need to break up with her now?" They both turned and stared at the girl in question.
Logan sighed, watching as one of the other girl's talked Rory into letting her paint something green onto her cheek. She was laughing and her eyes were sparkling and she looked just as happy as always. He loved seeing her like this. And just like that, he knew what needed to be done.
"I've got something I've got do to," he said, turning back to Finn. "I'll be back soon, but please, keep Rory occupied until I get back?"
"What could you possibly have to do right now?" Finn asked with a curious look on his face. "The party's just starting."
"I'll be back soon," he insisted. He ducked out of the bar before Rory could see him leave and pulled out his cell phone as soon as he was in his car. "Honor, I'm glad I caught you," he said as his sister answered the phone. "I need your help."
It was almost three hours later by the time Logan made it back to the bar and the party was in full swing. He scanned the room for Rory and spotted her in a corner with Colin and Finn and their dates. From the looks of it, she was in a full-on rant mode.
"Where have you been?" she fumed. He grabbed hold of her left arm to steady her as she fell against him. "I've been looking for you all over and Finn seemed to think the more drinks he pushed into my hand from the green bar, the quicker I would forget that I was looking for you, and he was wrong!" she glared at him. "You left without telling me Logan, where the hell were you?"
"Easy there, Ace," he said with a slight smile on his face. "There was something I had to take care of before it got too late. I'm back now, and I promise I'm not leaving again until we leave together, okay?"
"Okay," she finally relented. "But where were you? What was so important?"
Logan grinned. "All in good time," he promised as he slipped an arm around her and kissed the top of her head. "Now, I'm in the mood for a drink, what do you suggest from the green bar?" he asked as he steered her in that direction.
The night wore on and so did Logan's nerves. He had to do this and he had to do it soon. He swore to himself they'd have one more drink and then they'd leave and he'd take care of everything. Just one more drink. Logan needed all of the courage - liquid or not - that he could get.
As he picked up another mojito from the green bar, a drink he would never be seen with on any other day of the year, he kept his eyes on Rory.
She was incredible. He already knew this, but in the last few months he had come to realize just how incredible she truly was. In October, he had been utterly charmed by the way she had drawn him into another one of her crazy little rituals. By November, he had been humbled by her, realizing he could never stand to see her hurt over something he had done. December had only infuriated him over her, but he had quickly learned just how important she was to him. Maybe it was the sheer force of the holiday, but February had him craving everything about her. That brought him to March, to today, to this very moment where everything about her seduced him and he couldn't imagine spending another day without her in his life, without being in her life. Without her.
This was crazy. He was crazy. Logan shook his head to clear his thoughts, quickly finished the rest of his drink and went off in search of Rory. If he was really going to do this, he had to do it now, before he lost all courage to do so.
"There you are!" Rory found him before he could find her. "Where've you been? I've been looking all over for you."
"I've been looking for you," he answered. He stooped to give her a quick kiss. "You ready to get out of here?" She nodded and so they said their goodbyes to everyone and left, walking back to the car with their arms around each other.
"You okay there, Logan?" Rory was staring at him.
"I'm fine, why?"
"I don't know, you just seem a little off. Quiet." Rory looked down at the ground as they continued walking. "Are you breaking up with me?" she asked suddenly, stopping in her tracks.
Logan laughed. "Ace, I'm not breaking up with you."
"You are!" She insisted. "Admit it, Logan! You've been trying to do this for six months now and God knows what stopped you from doing it before, but there's nothing stopping you now, and you're going to break up with me in the next five minutes. Well go ahead!" She crossed her arms in front of her chest defensively and flashed her angry look at him. "Get it over with already!"
"Rory." He pulled her to him, crashing his lips down against hers before she could say anything. The little black box that he'd been carrying around in his front pocket ever since he got back to the party suddenly felt like it weighed a ton.
He couldn't promise he wouldn't hurt her. Then again, neither could she. He knew the hurt would never be intentional, and they would always find their way back from it. He wasn't his father, as he feared he would be, and Rory definitely was not Shira. She was stronger than his mother. They were stronger together now than his parents ever were, and he would be crazy to ever let her go.
He had been lucky to catch Honor while she was still at their parents' house and she had been able to relay the ring to him. The ring; a three-carat stone in a platinum setting, had been in the Huntzberger family for generations and Logan couldn't imagine it on anyone's hand other than hers. All he had to do now was ask her.
Rory pulled away from him slightly. "You promise you're not breaking up with me?" she asked in a tiny voice, her breath hot against his cheek.
Suddenly, the box didn't feel so heavy in his pocket. "Promise," he vowed as he pulled her back in for another kiss. For the first time since October, it was a promise he was willing to keep.