AN: So, I finally did it. I bet you were beginning to think you might never live to see this day. But here it is, proof that I haven't given up on my stories. This is the final chapter of WHiV. Yes folks, after surpasing my original plan of three chapters by 200 percent, I have finally finished this story. I hope I sucessfully wrapped up all the issues I brought to life in this story and gave our favorite couple the happy ending they deserve. Let me know what you think.
The air smelled sweet despite the fumes of the cars and airplanes that surrounded me. The sun beat down and I prayed that the SPF 30 I applied would be enough to save my pale skin from turning beet red since I could hardly stand to put the top up on the Mercedes convertible Logan had reserved for us. I slowed down as I passed the US Airways "Arrivals" terminal. Glancing at the clock, I noted that Logan's plane should have landed twenty minutes ago; he would be walking out the door any minute, but there was no sign of him yet. With an impatient sigh, I pressed my foot down onto the gas and made another loop around the airport.
I couldn't wait to see him. I wanted nothing more than to hold his hand, to feel his lips against mine, to have his arms wrap around me and make me forget the stress of work, and my mother and even our unsteady relationship. I wanted to pretend for a while that everything was perfect and that we really were a smitten newlywed couple on our dream honeymoon. At the same time I was nervous and anxious, knowing that things between us weren't okay, and that this was as much a last ditch effort to save our marriage as it was a honeymoon; knowing that pretending would only go so far and that the reality of our fragile relationship would need to be addressed before we could truly enjoy ourselves—if we could truly enjoy ourselves. This trip could turn out to be the best or the worst of my life and the uncertainty was tying me in knots.
The terminal came into view again and as I eased off the gas I noticed Logan wheeling his luggage towards the curbside. He was dressed in a pair of Dockers and a button up Hawaiian shirt that I would bet a million dollars on, that he had borrowed from Finn. His hair was as artfully tousled as always and his eyes were covered with a pair of Ray Bans. I pulled the car up to the curb; undoing my seatbelt and unlocking the door before I'd even come to a complete stop. I put the car into park with one hand and opened the door with the other, but my excitement waned as I noticed the lack of a smile on his face. I slowed down my exit from the vehicle and approached him cautiously.
"Hey Baby," I smiled guardedly as I circled my arms around his neck.
"Hi," he responded, circling his own around my waist but his posture remained stiff and his face was still expressionless. I leaned in to give him a quick kiss but his lips felt as though they were paralyzed. Maybe he'd just decided to give Botox a try—so what if he was twenty-five and completely wrinkle-free—but I was going to go out on a limb and say it was more likely that he was upset about something. He couldn't still be mad at me about postponing the trip, could he? After all, we were here now and I was ready for this vacation in my cutest, little sundress.
"Is something wrong? Was your flight alright?"
"The flight was fine," he answered, extracting himself from my embrace and grabbing his luggage. He walked around to the trunk of the car and opened it, placing the bag inside. "We should get to the hotel." He continued on to the driver's side and automatically took over the seat. I worried my lip and slipped into the passenger seat. If only he had let me drive I would have had something to concentrate on other than the stony expression and cold greeting he'd met me with. Instead I had to sit and dwell on it the entire—silent—drive to the hotel.
He continued to practically ignore me straight through check in, up the elevator and into our room. Logan tipped the bellhop who politely thanked him and slipped out of our suite.
"So," I started, trying to break the tense silence. Logan simply unzipped his suit case and began unpacking without a word. "What do you want to do first?" I asked him.
"I'm unpacking, Rory."
"We don't have to do that right away," I suggested. "We could go to the beach."
"It's too late for the beach."
It was only 3 o'clock and the sun wouldn't set for a few more hours—plenty of time to catch some rays. "Are you sure you're okay?" I asked with a furrowed brow.
"No, Rory—I'm not okay." He spun around angrily and his sudden outburst had me stumbling back a few steps in shock. The back of my knees hit the bed and I lost my balance, just barely keeping myself standing.
"What's the matter with you?"
"Why don't you tell me?
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Really, Rory? You don't have anything you want to tell me?" He stared at me, waiting for a response, but I had none to give him. What did he want from me? "That's what I thought." He turned back to his suitcase and slammed the lid shut. "I can't do this anymore," he scoffed. "This…" He motioned from him to me. "Our marriage…it was doomed before it even started. You were right to say 'no' the first time; you clearly have more important things to do than to be my wife."
I sunk back onto the bed which was still right behind me, mouth agape and watched him walk towards the door. I didn't have the emotional energy to fight back this time. I didn't even know what I'd done wrong and he was still mad as hell at me. I was tired of fighting this losing battle. I was tired of the constant feelings of failure. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Still, I at least had to know. "What did I do wrong?" The tears were prickling my eyes and I tried hard to keep them at bay.
He sighed, took a step away from the door, and paused without turning around. "It's not what you did, Rory. It's what you won't do. I can't be in a marriage with a wife who won't talk to me."
"We talk every day," I argued.
"And yet you haven't said one real thing to me in weeks." He finally turned to face me. "Were you ever going to tell me?"
"Tell you what?"
"About my father." What? How did he find out about that? No wonder he was so upset. Mitchum had been messing up his life for the past twenty-five years. He had to be thinking the worst. But that's why I hadn't told him. I didn't want him to worry about Mitchum interfering in his life or our marriage.
"There's nothing to tell, Logan. He ambushed me. I had nothing to do with it."
"There has to be some reason you'd hide it from me."
"Because he wanted me to tell you," I pleaded, standing up and walking over to Logan. "He's trying to weasel his way back into your life, and you are doing so well without him. I didn't want to mess that up." I tentatively reached out for his hand.
"No." He drew his hand away and ran it through his hair. "I'm a big boy. I can handle my father. You don't get to decide things like that."
"I was just trying to protect you."
"When have I ever needed protecting, Rory?"
"I just thought…." I wiped away the tears rolling down my cheeks.
"What? Please, explain to me what you've been thinking, because I'm not a fucking mind reader, Rory. I need you to talk to me."
"I'm trying here," I sniffled. "I really am, but I just don't know what to do. I thought I was doing the right thing by not telling you. I mean, you have so much going on—with your business, with your family…with us—I didn't want to give you something else to worry about. I thought…" I stuttered, feeling completely insane for what I was about to say. "I thought it was what I was supposed to do…"
"Supposed to do?" he repeated incredulously.
"God, I sound like and idiot." I buried my face in my hands, sniffling loudly. "It's just, I'm not there Logan. I'm your wife and I'm supposed to be by your side." I wiped some more tears away; they were falling faster now. "But I'm not because I'm working. And I just…I can't give that up because I'm good at it. Being a reporter is what I've been preparing for my whole life. Nobody prepared me to be a wife and there are all these things that I'm supposed to do and I can't do them because of my job and so I suck at being your wife and it's like the harder I try, the…" sniffle, "the…the more I suck and I just don't know how to do any better but I'm trying, Logan, I swear."
I finished my incredibly embarrassing ramble and for a moment there was silence. I couldn't bare to look up at him to see what he was thinking.
"Rory," he finally said my name and I felt his arms wrap around me. I buried my face in his chest and I felt his lips press softly against the top of my head. My silent tears turned to full out balling and he gripped me tighter, holding me until my crying calmed back down and I stopped shaking. "Have you been taking marriage advice from the Real Housewives of the OC, or something?" he said lightly.
It was a joke, meant to ease the tension, but I responded anyway, shaking my head 'no' against his chest. "So just from the Housewives of Hartford, then?" he asked, more seriously this time.
"I'm sorry," I sniffled.
"Hey…" he led me towards the bed so we could sit down. "I'm sorry."
"What?" What on earth was he apologizing for?
"For my mother," he clarified. "God, Rory, that dinner was years ago. Have you really been carrying this around all this time?"
Of the hundreds of dinners I'd shared with him, I knew exactly which one he was talking about. It was the first. Or at least the first we'd shared as a real couple. And it was also the first time I'd met his family. They had made no attempts to hide their disapproval of me. I wanted to work, after all. I could still hear Shira Huntzberger's sing-song voice in my ear…"A girl like Rory has no idea what it takes to be in this family…She wasn't bred for it…" Or Logan's grandfather's—"You are going to be taking over this company…and when you do, you're going to need the right kind of person at your side…" I wasn't the right kind of person. I wanted to work.
"Just that you think you need to be like 'that Fallon girl'?" he air quoted. "You know that's not what I want, Rory." He led me over to the bed so we could sit.
"Just that there are all these expectations," I said.
"Whose expectations?" he asked. "My parents'?" Because I thought we'd agreed that they were insane-os who should not be listened to."
"It's not just them, Logan. It's everyone. Your family, my family, your colleagues, my colleagues…people we don't even know and will never meet. You may not be the future CEO of Huntzberger Publishing anymore, but you've got your own company and people know your name and they expect certain things from you including the kind of wife you'll have."
"So that's why you said 'no' when I asked you to marry me? Because you didn't want to be the kind of wife you thought people would expect you to be?" he asked. I could tell he was a little hurt by that but I needed to make him see that it wasn't about what I wanted. What I wanted had always been him.
"I said 'no' because I couldn't be the kind of wife I was supposed to be," I corrected, cupping his hands in mine on his lap. "These past few weeks have been Hell, Logan." I could see him immediately starting to react so I cut him off before he had a chance to misinterpret what I meant. "I mean…I am so happy to have this second chance with you. I love you and I was miserable when we were apart."
"I was too," he added. He reached up to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. For a moment neither of us spoke, just taking that split moment in time to feel the love and devotion we had for each other despite all of our problems. But I had to finish what I was trying to say.
"…But from the moment I woke up in that hotel room in Vegas wearing this ring…" I held up my left hand. "…I feel like I've been disappointing you."
"Rory…" he tried to interrupt, to tell me that it wasn't true, only it was, so I didn't let him say it.
"No, let me finish."
"Okay," he conceded.
"I feel like I've been disappointing you and then I felt guilty about that which made me start sucking at work because all I could think about was you and then I think maybe, in some small way I started resenting you for making me suck at work which is why I got so angry when you asked Hugo for time off for me and I'm sorry for that because it's not your fault…" He squeezed my hand but didn't interrupt me this time.
"I've been letting everyone down and I just feel like this huge failure, which, you know is totally not me. I don't fail. And if I had said 'yes', I just would have been setting myself up for this big, fat failure. But then I got drunk and I listened to my heart and married you anyway, because you are what my heart wants. I want you Logan. I want you and this marriage. But my heart has never been the best decision maker, hence the pro-con lists, which I didn't make and now I'm here and I'm failing and I'm letting you down which I never wanted to do…"
Logan chuckled out loud and my head snapped up to look at him angrily. "You're laughing at me?"
"No!" he insisted. "Well, yes, but only because I never cease to be amazed at your ability to rant endlessly without coming up for air."
He smiled at me. "Stop that," I scolded him. "You're supposed to be mad at me."
He brought his hand up to my face to cup my chin, forcing me to look him in the eye. "You just bared your soul to me, Rory Gilmore, how can I be mad at that?
"No," he interrupted. "You got to say your piece, now I'm going to say mine." I nodded my head in agreement. "You're crazy, Ace."
I stared at him for a moment, waiting for more. "That's it?"
He shrugged. "Granted, I knew that when I married you and for a long time before that, so it's not exactly anything new, but you're crazy."
"Thanks." I rolled my eyes.
"It's just, you keep talking about all these expectations, but the only one who's putting these unrealistic expectations on you is you. You've somehow gotten it into your head that I need you to be some kind of Stepford wife and that if you can't manage my life and shmooze my business associates with dinner parties and flirty smiles and be 'pleasant' all the time that you shouldn't be my wife at all which is just completely insane because that's exactly the kind of wife I don't want. So yeah, you're crazy."
I didn't know how to respond because it really was as crazy as it sounded so I just forced a small smile and said, "see, I knew you had more to say."
He laughed, it was short but sincere and he leaned forward until his forehead pressed against mine. "I love you."
"I love you too." His lips collided with mine for a chaste kiss.
"And I know you, Ace. I know how hard it is for you not to have the approval of my family. You're a people pleaser, and I love that about you. I love that you want to make everyone happy but not if it means sacrificing your happiness—or mine," he added with a smirk, giving me a peck on the forehead. "The only opinions that really matter in this relationship are ours and I'm pretty sure neither of us wants you to turn into a Shira-Huntzberger-approved trophy wife. I married you and the only expectation I had when I said 'I do' was that I was going to share the rest of my life with you."
"You make it sound so simple."
"It is simple, Ace. And if you'd told me this six months ago it could have simple then."
"You didn't exactly give me the chance."
He sighed and the smile slipped from his lips. "You're right. You didn't talk, but I didn't listen. I should have listened. I let my wounded pride get in the way. The break-up was as much my fault as it was yours."
"We really need to work on our communication skills," I surmised.
"So let's promise to do that, right here, right now. You promise to always tell me what you're thinking and what's going on in your life even if you're worried it will upset me, and I promise to always listen and try to understand."
"Like making a new vow?" I giggled. "I promise to love, honor, cherish and communicate?"
He grabbed my hands in his and entwined our fingers, staring me straight in the eye. "Rory Gilmore, I, Logan Huntzberger, promise to love, honor, cherish and communicate with you, till death do us part," he repeated seriously.
I wanted to be as serious as him but he was just too adorable. I giggled again. "Are you sure you don't want to just write it down on a post-it note?"
"Huh?" He furrowed his brow in confusion.
"Never mind," I laughed. I would have to get him up-to-date on his pop culture references some other time. I plastered the best serious face on that I could and looked him straight in the eye. "Logan Huntzberger, I, Rory Gilmore, promise to love, honor, cherish and communicate with you till death do us part," I agreed.
"I'm going to kiss the bride now," he informed me.
"You better," I instructed with a smile.
He took my face in his hands and kissed me passionately, the way I imagined he did at our real wedding. Only I was glad it wasn't our real wedding because it quickly turned into something that should definitely not be witnessed by other people. He pushed me backwards until my head hit the pillow and he shifted his own body on top of mine to continue our kissing.
His lips migrated from mine, pressing their way down my neck. He pushed the strap of my sun dress down so he could suckle at the pulse point at the crook of my neck and I moaned in appreciation.
"I like this dress," he whispered against my skin with a smirk as his hand dipped below the hem to travel up my leg. "Nice and breezy."
"I'm glad you approve."
"I do. It's coming off though," he added, bringing his other hand down to push the skirt up. His hands felt amazing against my skin but something was distracting me.
"Logan?" I asked suddenly.
"Hmm?" he hummed as his hands trailed up over my hips
"I'm sorry about your Dad." I probably should have just let it go. The fight was over and we were headed for some very steamy make-up sex. But something was bugging me.
"We already discussed this, Ror, and I'd prefer if we not mention my Dad while I was undressing you; it's creepy."
"I know, I'm sorry, it's just, I should have told you. You shouldn't have found out from…how exactly did you find out?"
Logan sighed in frustration and pushed himself up on his forearms. "Hugo told me."
"Hugo?" I asked.
"Apparently when Dad heard about us his evil brain hatched some evil scheme to get to me through you. He called Hugo up to find out where you were going to be. When Hugo told him you wouldn't be back for over a week, Dad must have decided that was unacceptable and he threatened him into making you come back early. Hugo felt so guilty though, that he called me up last night to apologize," Logan explained.
"Oh." It actually made sense—Hugo's sudden need for me to be back to work, his weirdness on the phone when he told me…I certainly wouldn't have put it past Mitchum. "Well, I'm sorry."
"So you said. Can we get back to the make-up sex now?"
I laughed, pulling his head down to mine. My hands clumsily undid the buttons of his shirt as he continued to kiss me. As soon as I had successfully removed his shirt, Logan scooched down and disappeared beneath my dress which was bunched up nearly to my cleavage. I could feel him toying with the hem of my panties, teasing me. My hips bucked up a little in anticipation but the pleasure didn't last as I was once again distracted, this time but a sudden overwhelming sense of guilt. There was so much more I had kept from him, not just the thing with Mitchum.
"I lied," I blurted out. I felt his head collapse against my lower abdomen, though I couldn't see him since he was still underneath my dress. He let out a sharp breath which tickled slightly. I squirmed a little at the feeling, trying not to let myself get excited by it. "I do regret not getting the big wedding with the dress and the cake, and my family. I didn't want you to feel bad that I felt bad so I lied."
He lifted his head up and the hem of my dress fell away, revealing his face. His expression was a mixture of annoyance and amusement. "You know when I made you promise to tell me everything I didn't necessarily mean right this second. Can't confession wait until after the make-up sex?"
"Yeah, right, of course…"I shook my head slightly, trying to banish the thoughts from it.
"Good," he replied, picking up the hem of my dress once again. "Because I'm about to do that thing with my tongue…"
I knew exactly which 'thing' he was talking about and I felt my stomach clench in anticipation. I loved that thing. But just as his head started to disappear from view again I stopped him.
"Really, Ace?" he asked, dropping my dress and looking at me with raised eyebrows. "Really?"
"I haven't talked to my Mom since I called her from Vegas to tell her we were married," I confessed quickly.
With a sigh he rolled over and fell flat on his back next to me. "And the make-up sex is officially on hold," he grumbled.
"I'm sorry," I pouted. "What are you doing?" I asked him, as I noticed him rolling away from me.
"I'm getting the phone," he replied, reaching for the phone on the night stand and rolling back over to offer it to me. I looked at it as though it were toxic. "You have to call her, Rory."
"No!" I shook my head adamantly, feeling nauseous and sweaty at the mere thought. "I can't, she hates me."
"She doesn't hate you," he assured me. "She hates me. And if you don't call her, not only will you be miserable until you do, but Lorelai will once again blame me for causing a rift between you two."
"She doesn't hate you." He gave me the 'who are you trying to convince look' and continued to hold the phone out to me.
"You have to call her," he reiterated. "For all you know she could still be expecting us for Thanksgiving." He rubbed his forehead in frustration.
"Trust me, she's not."
"How do you know that?"
"Because she hates you," I blurted out. He looked at me with raised eyebrows. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. I just mean she knows that I wouldn't want to bring you there after the things we said on the phone last time."
"Rory," he growled in annoyance, pushing the phone towards me. "I am not going to be the reason that you and your mother aren't talking, so get on the damn phone and fix this."
I just stared at him. "Fine," he said after a moment when it became clear that I wasn't going to take the proffered device.
"What are you doing?" I asked in horrified awe as I saw him punching numbers into the phone.
"If you won't call her, I will." I was suddenly very interested in taking the phone from Logan. I tried desperately to get it but he maneuvered it away from me and pressed the 'send' button.
I could just barely hear it ring—once, twice, three times—and then my mother's voice sounded from the distance. "Hello?"
My eyes were wide and frightened, but I couldn't back out now. Logan slowly brought the phone to my ear. "Mom," I whispered nervously.
"Rory?" My heart clenched a little at the sound of her voice close-up.
"Is there someone else who calls you 'Mom'?" I joked half heartedly, but I felt myself relax a little, rolling onto my side and leaning back into the pillows beneath me.
"Where are you?" she asked seriously.
"I'm sorry I haven't called." I felt Logan snuggle up behind me and throw his arm over my waist. He placed a chaste kiss on my shoulder as though he was telling me it would be okay and in that moment, I knew he was right. We were finally good and everything was going to be okay. "We're in Hawaii…" I told her, "on our honeymoon. But we'll be home for Christmas."