Title: Broken Shoes
Summery: Logan sees Rory three years after her graduation and watches a relationship develop unwittingly. One-Shot.
Disclaimer: Not mine :(
Beta: Flynn… HAPPY B-DAY!
Spoiler Warning: up to 7.21
The first time Logan had seen her, she was walking down the San Francisco streets, she had the phone to her ear and was leaving Starbucks, a coffee in her free hand.
He remembered what she was wearing, jeans and a red short-sleeved polo, with red heels. Her messenger bag was slung over her shoulder and her hair long and wavy brunette like he remembered back in college. It was fixed in Sixties style with a thick headband pulling the hair away from her face.
He noticed her take a wrong step, causing her heel to break and her to fall backwards into the man behind her. He caught himself while Rory went tumbling down, her coffee and things flying all over the sidewalk.
Logan had been preparing himself to cross the street to help her when the guy behind her stooped down and started to help gather her things. He must have said something because Rory looked up at him in annoyance, but let him help her up with a smirk.
Logan had stood across the street, watching them talk for a few minutes. The guy was blonde, had blue eyes and was wearing a suit. They appeared to have known each other because Rory hugged him.
While they talked, the blonde pointed down at her coffee, then bent down to pick something off the ground. Next thing Logan saw was Rory handing the blonde her shoes and going back to the Starbucks, leaving him to laugh and follow.
He lost sight of her and got into the car he had been standing in front of and told the driver where his meeting would take place, all the while wondering just what had brought Rory to his neck of the woods.
"Yes, mother, I'm flying out this weekend," Rory said walking up the hill of the San Francisco sidewalk. For a girl that never did exercise once in her life, San Francisco was kicking her ass with all its hills. She'd gotten her morning coffee and was now walking towards the Chronicle.
"Well, that's a miracle if I ever heard one."
"Forgive me if I can't fly every weekend to across the country."
"I do," Lorelai laughed as Rory rolled her eyes.
"I'm hanging up now, I'll talk to you later."
"Uh huh," Rory laughed hanging up the phone. She moved to put her phone in her messenger bag when her heel caught on a crack on the sidewalk, snapping the heel and causing her the stumble into someone. Unable to catch herself, she fell to the floor with a thud.
"Oww." she groaned as she began to gather up her fallen things, looking longingly at the brown liquid that mixed with the white of the whipped cream, as it slid down the side walk. She hoped the sewer rats liked mocha. She sighed and felt someone help her gather her papers.
"Got to say," a deep voice next to her said, "I never thought you'd fall at my feet, Mary."
Rory looked up and locked gaze with a pair of bright blue laughing eyes. Glaring she let him help her up and took the papers from his hand putting them in her bag. "That was unbelievably corny," she told him. "And after all these years, I'm dismayed to find that you still have not learned my name."
"Rory," he said softly near her ear, causing the hair on the back of her neck to stand up. He moved back and smirked. She smiled up at him and hugged him.
"Good to see you, Tristan," Rory said pulling back, her balance uneven because of the missing heel.
Tristan leaned down and picked up the missing shoe part before pointing down at the spilled coffee. "How about I buy you another cup of coffee and I fix your shoe?"
"All that Ivy League education and you've became a cobbler?" Having heard on the grapevine that he attended Princeton, she took in his pinstripe suit that fit him well, his briefcase, and his slicked back blonde hair. "A very well dressed cobbler apparently."
Tristan laughed. "I was actually going to ask the employees inside if they had glue."
She looked at him with his smile, not his smirk, and found herself smiling as well. She could be a bit late for work. Her boss loved her after all. She bent down and took off her shoes and handed them to him.
"Mocha latte with extra whipped cream," she told him walking back to the Starbucks.
"Great," Tristan laughed following her.
The second time he'd seen her had to have been close to six months after the last time. He'd been having dinner with a female co-worker that he ate regularly with. Not a girlfriend, even though she hinted at it.
It was close to Halloween, yet he'd seen people dressing up all week which he had found amusing. He'd seen her walking by Pier 49, her hand tightly clasped in the blonde's hand whom Logan remembered from the Starbucks.
They were dressed in 50's garb, her in a pink poodle skirt with saddle shoes, white shirt, with lace running down the buttons and a pink sweater left unbuttoned. Her hair was swept into a ponytail, a pink silk scarf tied at the top, leaving it hanging down and her bangs swept to the side.
The guy was dressed as a Greaser, dark blue jeans, classic black and white converses, white undershirt and black leather jacket, his hair slicked back. From where Logan was sitting, he could see it had a lot of product in it to keep the hair back. What caught Logan's attention though was the white purse he was carrying which Logan assumed had to be Rory's.
They stopped to talk, then Rory lifted her leg and looked at her shoe as she started adjusting it, looking quite annoyed with the guy with her as he held her up. Logan watched the guy reach into his pocket with one hand while the other held Rory.
When she looked up, she looked at his hand and back at him in shock. He said something making her laugh, but he closed his hand, leaving her to try and open it back up laughing.
She finally pried open his fingers taking the object from his hand and holding it close to her chest before handing it back to him. He laughed at something she said, took it and put it back in his pocket as she took off her shoes and handed them to him.
He could see the guy laughing at her before leaning down and letting her jump on his back. Rory said something, causing him to turn around and look at her seriously before kissing her.
Logan gave a sad smile before turning back to Diana, his co-worker friend, and a little part of him was disappointed at the thought that it wasn't him giving her the innocent piggyback ride anymore. Instead he was having dinner with a woman he happened to like, but had no romantic feelings for and had been trying for the past few months to get that point across.
With a sigh, he nodded and smiled politely, trying to tune her out.
"My shoes are too tight," Rory complained, pulling Tristan to a stop.
"I told you to get a size bigger," Tristan told her.
"Don't gloat, it's not attractive."
"I'm just saying feet change. While you could wear a size smaller at Chilton and still be comfortable, you have to give your feet room to breathe as you grow older."
"Feet breathe?" She asked in mock fascination.
"I'm just saying that you can't expect shoes you used at Chilton to fit comfortably after not wearing them for almost 10 years."
"It has NOT been 10 years!"
"Nine, eight, it's close to ten."
"They fit when I tried them on last week!" She protested.
"Mar, you put them on, walked to the kitchen and back, sat down, took them off and said 'Tristan, they fit.'"
"Well, they did!" She said grabbing his arm and bringing her foot up to readjust the too tight shoe.
"You wore them for five seconds! That doesn't mean they fit!" He laughed.
"Well, you should have convinced me to get new ones."
"Excuse me?? Wasn't it me who said 'Rory, let's go get you some new saddle shoes for Joe's party'? But you were like 'Oh no, these fit, Tristan, just like new.' You wouldn't even entertain the idea of getting new ones!"
"Oh, shut u-" Rory looked up to see him holding out in his hand a shiny silver key, sitting innocently in his palm. "Wha-"
"Move in with me, Rory."
Tristan nodded as she put her foot down and watched him. "You rent, I own. It's more convenient for you to move in with me."
"So I'm a convenience?"
"Mar," he sighed.
Rory smiled. "Why?"
Tristan shrugged. "I like waking up with you. I like you making a mess in my kitchen and living room. Your stuff is already there, so why not just move in?"
"Tris, we've only been dating for-"
"Seven months," Tristan smiled. "I think that's long enough, don't you think? We know each other, it's not like we just jumped into a relationship. We've known each for years. But I mean if you don't want to…" He closed his hand, causing Rory to try to put her hands on his and to open them.
"I do! I DO!" She laughed, trying to pry his fingers open.
"Really? Not just for the shiny key?"
"Not just for the shiny key!" Rory laughed as he opened his fingers. She grabbed the key and hugged it to her chest. "I want to move in!"
"Good, I'm glad that you do."
Rory looked at the key with a smile before giving it back.
"What?" Tristan said. "Changing your mind already?"
"No, silly, I don't have pockets. Hold onto it until we get home," she laughed. "Home."
"Yep, home," he laughed taking the key and putting it back in his pocket. He started walking again when Rory pulled him back and started taking off her shoes.
"What is it with you taking off your shoes when we're walking around town?"
Rory shrugged as she handed them to him. "My feet are going to die before we reach Joe's. Now bend down."
"'Cause you're giving me a piggyback ride."
"I am? When did I agree to that?"
"Um… you did in your mind. Now bend down."
Tristan rolled his eyes bending down as she jumped on his back. He arranged her so that he was holding on to her so she wouldn't fall and he wouldn't drop her shoes and purse which she'd handed to him the minute they left his apartment, now their apartment.
"Are you up for living with me?" She whispered in his ear. "Can you put up with me?"
Tristan turned his head and looked at her seriously. "Baby, I can deal with anything."
Rory laughed leaning down and kissing him, pulling back before he went too far. "Let's go."
Tristan nodded as he started walking the three blocks to Joe's.
The next time he'd seen them, he had been walking to a nearby Starbucks he'd first seen her, almost two years after the fact. They were standing across from it, him handing her a cup of coffee and her bag, and her looking at him in annoyance while he walked away. He thought about stopping and saying hi. Just to see how she was doing? What she was doing in San Francisco? But then he heard some of the conversation as he walked up the hill.
"Turn around and walk like you were doing when we met."
"You're a weirdo, you know that?"
"Just turn around and walk!"
He's lost track of their voices, but turned back, when he heard people applauding. He looked and saw Rory hugging him, a ring box in her hand. He turned away and kept walking, not being able to handle the fact that she didn't needed to think about it, she didn't hesitate and said yes.
It pained him to think that he'd had a shot with that girl, but because of their age and because of her future, they had to break it off.
It could have been him, he thought walking into the office. Had he just waited, it could have been him, sitting in the middle of the street holding her as she accepted his proposal. It should have been him.
"Come on, we're almost there."
"Tristan, where are we going?" Rory asked as he dragged her up yet another hill. He'd been acting weird all week, shifty eyes, real mysterious and, frankly, it was scaring her. He never acted nervous, yet this past week he was a schizo-paranoid freak.
Rory frowned at the Starbucks before hitting his arm. "There's a Starbucks near the apartment. We had to walk four freaking blocks for this one?"
Tristan frowned. "You don't remember this one?"
"They're Starbucks, Tristan. What am I supposed to remember about them? As long as I get my coffee, I'm happy."
"This is where we saw each other again."
Rory frowned, looked at the Starbucks, then up the hill where she remembered falling. "My ass hurt from that fall."
"I helped you with coffee."
"Hmm." She leaned up and kissed him. "That you did." He started pushing her and she turned. "What are you doing?"
"Just keep walking."
"Why?" She asked whining.
"Keep walking, Mar." He stopped her a few seconds later and stopped. "Okay, now I want to reenact the fall."
"Ha! Like you're going to get me to do that."
"No, there are people all around."
"There were people when you fell that last time. And there were people at Joe's birthday party last week when we..." Rory covered his mouth smiling at the older lady as she passed.
"Shut up," she hissed. He smirked as she uncovered his mouth. "It's different if I fall down accidentally and fall on purpose. If I fall on purpose, I'm going to look like an idiot and forgive me if I don't feel like looking like an idiot in front of half the San Francisco population."
Tristan sighed knowing that this would be harder than he thought. "Just... please. I swear, you won't look like an idiot."
Rory looked at him. It looked like he had a plan. "Promise?"
She smiled as she wrapped her pinky around his and shook. "Fine, where am I walking to?"
"Just wait here a sec. I'll be right back."
Rory frowned as he walked into the Starbucks and came out seconds later with a hot cup of coffee and her messenger bag. "Tristan?"
"Here." He handed her the coffee and the messenger bag. "Put it on."
"Just do it, Rory," he said wanting to get it over with.
"Fine." She crossed the bag over her shoulder and sighed. "Now what?"
"Turn around and walk like you were doing when we met."
"You're a weirdo, you know that?"
"Just turn around and walk!" He laughed.
Growling at him, she turned around, ignoring the stares from the passing people, and started to walk. She felt him a few steps behind her, walking. She had just reached where she fell when she felt his foot come out and make her fall. This time though he caught her and lowered her to the ground, her heel not snapping though from the shock her coffee went flying, smashing on the ground.
"Tristan!" She said as he sat down next to her.
"See my original plan was to have it so that you would walk, trip, and we'd do this, like we first met, me helping you with your things. Sort of a very cheesy thing, but I guess this works too."
"Why did you want to reenact the day we met?"
Tristan fidgeted as he reached into his coat pocket. "I love you, you know, and I just wanted this to be perfect, so I thought 'What more perfect way to propose than reenacting the moment I fell in love with you again.'"
Tristan took out the ring box and opened it, showing her the simple, platinum ring with its square-cut diamond in the center. "I love you, and we've been dating for two years, and I know I want to spend my life with you. What do you say, Mary, do you want to deal with me for the rest of our lives?"
Rory smiled, grabbing the ring box and launching herself into his arms. "YES YES YES YES YES!"
"Yes," she whispered giving him a kiss. They heard the sound of applause going on around them. Tristan pulled back looking at the crowd they'd gathered as Rory hid her face in his neck.
"Want me to put the ring on?"
Rory nodded as she lifted her left hand. Smiling he reached over and took the ring out of the box and fixed it on her finger, kissing it lightly.
"If I remember correctly," she whispered, "the day we met you also promised me coffee." She discreetly slipped out of her heels as Tristan laughed.
"That is true." He stood up and helped her up and noticed that her shoes were now in her hand. She handed them to him before walking over to the door of the Starbucks.
Tristan laughed. "Yeah." He followed her over shaking his head.
Looking at her now as she sat in the park, her back against the tree, a ring flashing in the sunlight, he couldn't help but walk over. For the past three years he'd seen her here and there and he hadn't been able to talk to her. And now, now he finally found his chance.
"Hey, Ace," he said causing her to look up, a shocked look on her face.
"Logan, oh my god!" She stood up and hugged him, his arms wrapping around her and taking in her scent. God, she still smelled of coffee and jasmine. Letting go, she backed away. "I haven't seen you in almost..."
"Five years," Logan nodded.
"Yeah, wow, that's a long time," she laughed running a hand through her hair and eying one of the two coffee cups in his hand.
"Oh, I saw you over here and, well, I know never to approach you without coffee, so..." He handed her one. She hesitated looking around before taking it. She was about to bring it to her lips when he heard a vice ring out.
"You drink that, Mar, and I'm telling Luke."
Logan looked and saw the blonde coming their way. He was jogging over reaching them. He wrapped an arm around her waist and took the coffee away.
"Tristan!" Rory whined.
"No, you know what coffee will do."
"You stopped drinking coffee?" Logan asked surprised, never having thought to see the day Rory Gilmore stopped drinking coffee.
"Sorry, Logan, this is my husband Tristan DuGray. Tris, this is Logan, my..." she trailed off, not quite knowing what to say.
"Ex," Logan filled in, shaking the man's hand.
"And I'm pregnant," Rory blushed. "I can't drink coffee. Well, I can, but Luke and Tristan won't let me."
"We're only protecting the baby."
"You're being anal!" Rory said looking over her shoulder at him. "Luke wasn't even this bad when mom got pregnant."
"That was because Lorelai drank the coffee anyway, there wasn't anything to stop her."
Rory rolled her eyes. "I can drink coffee if I want to."
Tristan smiled kissing her cheek. "You're not going to, though."
Logan felt out of place all of a sudden, like an intruder on a private moment. Rory turned back to him and smiled. "So what are you doing here? I would have thought you'd gone back towards New York by now."
Logan shrugged, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "The Internet company I work with has done good. I'm a co-owner now, so I run the company from here. New York just isn't where I want to be anymore."
"Too close to Mitchum, huh?"
"A little too close," Logan laughed, "Yeah."
"We've run into Finn and Colin a few times too," Rory said. "I was surprised when I found out Colin and Steph were married, a little upset I wasn't invited, but..."
"They were afraid it would be awkward, what with us ending the way we did..." Logan shrugged.
Trista noticed that they need to talk and sighed. "Hey, I'm going to go hit that bookstore over there. You okay here?"
Rory nodded. "I'll be fine."
"Good, and take care of little Tristan."
Rory growled as he left laughing. "I'm not naming it Tristan, you ASS!" Rory yelled after him. She shook her head and turned back to Logan. "He's an ass."
"You look happy."
Rory bit her lip and nodded. "I am. Tristan's great, I knew him back in high school and we literally ran into each other one day," she shrugged. "Things just fell together for us. I was lucky." She bit her lip. "I'm sorry, I'm just... not quite sure what's taboo and what's not when having a conversation with an ex boyfriend who proposed."
Logan laughed. "Nothing's taboo, Ace, We used to talk about things."
"We were together," Rory pointed out. "And well... now I'm married to someone else."
"To a blonde," Logan pointed out.
Rory rolled her eyes. "So everyone's pointed out. I swear, you date one blonde, it's a sin to marry another."
Logan laughed. "So pregnant, huh?"
Rory nodded touching her belly. "Three months. Tristan was excited, he's rooting for a boy."
Rory shook her head. "I'm surprised you still think like that."
Logan shrugged. "All those years with Mitchum referring to me as the heir, not son."
Rory nodded. "He wants a boy so he can finally talk sports with someone," she laughed. "I'm not the most knowledgeable at sports, and when Superbowl season comes around, me and mom are usually watching the Macy's parade or eating, while Tristan and Luke watch the game." She shook her head. "And now I'm rambling."
"What are you rooting for?"
Rory shrugged. "A healthy baby. But if mom had it her way, a girl."
"So she likes Tristan?"
Rory bit her lip. It was no secret that Logan wasn't her mother's favorite person, though they'd made amends during the last few weeks of their relationship, with pie apparently. Lorelai still wasn't fond of Logan for ruining her Yale graduation. "Um..."
"You can tell me. It won't hurt."
"A lot," Rory laughed. "She's actually excited to be a grandma."
"Are you still writing?"
"Yeah, I work down at the Chronicle. It's an editing job. I like it. I write some little things, not too much," she shrugged.
Rory winced. "He's an accountant actually."
"Really?" Logan laughed.
"Hey, don't knock it. He's a damn good one, and he's good with numbers."
"I'm sure he is," Logan laughed. "I just... I really can't picture you with an accountant."
Rory rolled her eyes as they started walking towards the bookstore. "Yeah, neither did I," she shrugged again.
"Well, I'm glad you're happy, Ace," Logan chewed the inside of his cheek not sure if he should tell her or not. "I've seen you a few times over the past few years you know."
Rory looked up at him. "Really?"
Logan nodded. "Yeah."
"Why didn't you ever say hi?" She asked. "I hope that after everything that happened between us it isn't weird."
Logan raised an eyebrow. "You said 'no' when I proposed, Ace. I think things are bound to be weird."
Rory stopped and looked at him. "If I remember correctly, I proposed we stayed together, you broke up with me."
Logan sighed running a hand through his hair. "Rory, it's been a long time."
Rory nodded as she looked over at the bookstore where Tristan was coming out with a bag. "Well, if you hadn't... I would have never found Tristan again."
Tristan jogged across the street. "Ready? We need to pack."
"Pack?" Logan asked.
Rory nodded. "We're heading to Stars Hollow for a week. Mom misses me." She bit her lip. "We're actually thinking of moving back."
"Really?" Logan asked.
Rory nodded. "Tristan found a job in Hartford that he likes the sound of, and I want to be closer to my mom. These past few years have been hard, seeing her once or twice a year, and now with the baby I want to be closer."
"Understandable," Logan nodded. 'Then I'll leave you guys."
He started to walk away when Rory grabbed his arm and gave him a hug. Pulling back she smiled. "I hope that with everything that did happen between us, we're okay. I mean..." she sighed, "I just... I miss Finn and Colin and Steph and you," she laughed gripping Tristan's hand. "I just hope that you'll tell them to feel free to call whenever."
Logan nodded. "Steph'll like that. I'll tell them."
Logan nodded. "Yeah, I will."
Rory smiled. "Thanks. You should come down to Hartford sometime."
"I'll think about it." He looked at Tristan. "Nice meeting you."
Tristan nodded. "Yeah, you too. And thanks."
Logan frowned. "For?"
"Making Rory who she is. Without you, I don't think she'd be the woman she is today."
Logan laughed. "Trust me, that was all her. Congrats on the baby."
"Thanks," Tristan nodded.
"Bye Logan," Rory whispered.
"See ya, Rory," Logan said, walking away, knowing that he wouldn't visit Hartford anytime soon. And while he would call his friends and tell them to initiate contact with their favorite reporter girl, he wouldn't stay in touch like he promised. If anything, he knew that would be the last time he saw his Ace. He shook his head with a laugh. If only he'd been quicker in helping her up the day her heel snapped. It would be another long while before he could forget his Ace, but he knew he'd get there eventually.
Rory watched as he walked away before turning to Tristan with a smile, peeking into the bag he held in his hand.
"None of your bees wax."
"Oh jeez, not more parenting books."
"Hey, they have some good advice!" Tristan defended as they walked towards their home. "Hey, I found a house in Hartford."
Rory looked up at him. "A house or a mansion?"
Tristan laughed. "House, an actual house. Three bedrooms, two baths, two stories. It's nice. We should go check it out while we're there."
Rory looked at him. "You have something up your sleeve." She pulled him to a stop.
Tristan sighed. "I don't want you traveling back and forth, especially with the baby, so..."
"So?" Rory asked.
"So what if during the week we went house shopping? If we find something, you'll stay in Stars Hollow with your mom while I pack up things here. And we'll just move."
"We can't, Tristan, what about my job, your job?"
Tristan ran a hand through his hair. "I've already put in my two weeks notice... Two weeks ago."
"What?" She asked in surprise.
"They offered me that job in Hartford. I wanted to surprise you."
"Well, surprise me you did," she said pushing him lightly. "What about my job, did you put in my two weeks notice?"
Tristan laughed. "Don't be silly. I just... you miss your mom a lot and I want you to be happy, Rory. You're not happy in San Francisco anymore and, frankly, neither am I. It was nice when it was both of us living here, dating and then just married. But now?" He shrugged. "I'd rather have Hartford or Stars Hollow for a family."
Rory smiled and hugged him."So would I. I'll call the Chronicle when we get home and tell them I may not be going in."
"I can't be traveling while I'm pregnant anyway. Might as well make one trip and make it stay that way."
Tristan smiled and leaned down kissing her. "Good." He took her hand but she stopped him again as she started to take off her shoes. Over the years he got to know that she liked keeping her shoes off when she could, making him carry them which he didn't mind. Taking them from her hand, he led her towards the house. "So Logan?"
Rory laughed. "I love you and only you, you have nothing to worry about."
"Good, because I'd have to kick his ass if he ever touched you."
Rory laughed, wrapping his arm around her waist and leaning into him. "I picked you, didn't I?"
Rory smiled up at him. She was happy with her life. Moving back to Hartford, a baby on the way, a loving husband and to think it all began with a broken shoe.
A.N: I had fun writing this and I hope you enjoyed reading it!
Remember I like reviews!
P.S: Remember that I'm not writing in my blog anymore, I have a LiveJournal and the link can be found on my profile here or link is also on my old blog.