AN: Hello all!! Thanks so for the wonderful feedback I'm getting. You guys rock your socks.
So I know a few people are wondering, so here are a few spoilers for following chapters:
For everyone waiting for a Rogan reunion (and aren't we all), I'm sorry but you won't see one for a while. There'll be plenty of Rogan-ness on the way, but I want this story to be about more then Logan's physical healing, but the healing of their relationship (corn goofy!grin) and that would become quickly moot if Logan and Rory spent the bulk of this fic making out.
The cast assembles in this chapter, which means plenty of Finn, Colin and Honor. Mitchum might make a cameo soon, but he won't have a large part because honesty, he sucks :). The latter three will definitely be major players in the remainder of this fan fiction because I love, love writing for the stooges and I think it needs another female role to counter balance their maleness.
Thirdly, and this is the big one, Drama is looming in the near(ish) future. Let's just say that Rory was about as pristine during their time apart as Logan was, and The Real Paul Anka went in a slightly different direction then canon.
Anyway, that's it from me. Enjoy and Review!!!
She sat herself tentatively into a chair next to his bed. Logan didn't cease his perusing gaze, and Rory shifted uncomfortably as she tried fruitlessly to read his expression. She wondered if he was upset with her, undoubtedly he was hurt at her dismissal, but had the hurt developed into anger when she had left? Then his lips turned up and Rory realized with relief that Logan was smiling at her.
"I'm glad you came back." He told her softly, she replied with her own sheepish smirk.
"You know what? I think I am too."
An impasse stretched between them and for many long moments Rory simply sat next to Logan, studying to tiny grooves of his knuckles and waiting for him to break their silence. She started when he finally did.
"You don't have to give me an answer right away. I can give you time, all the time you need."
The hope in his voice hurt Rory's heart a little, but she sensed his earnest.
"Thank you." She told him sincerely. Rory reached out for Logan's hand, it was cool in her hot palm and it felt good to share her warmth with him again. "That's all I need."
Silence blanketed them again, but this time Rory had no urge to end it. It was comfortable and familiar to sit with Logan and be blanketed by their companionable silence. He had entwined their fingers, and now Logan was studying them with some sort of strange conceptual curiosity. With his thumb he traced the indentured lines that tattooed their digits. Rory studied his face cautiously; looking for a trace of left over malice or regret, instead Logan seemed strangely absent. The spark in his eyes seemed to a have left and taken residence in another place, another time.
"Penny for your thoughts." She asked. Trying to retain a mask of casual interest.
Logan seemed to snap out of his thoughts, a smirk spread slowly across his face.
"Even I don't have that many pennies Ace."
She leant forwards conspiratorially, her own smirk mirroring his.
"Come on. You can tell me…
He leant forward too until their noses where mere centimeters apart. Rory shivered as she felt his breath against her lips and resisted the urge to put space between them. She couldn't resist the challenge in Logan's eyes.
"No." He breathed. "But now that you mention it, that does seem awfully appealing."
Rory felt goose bumps raise on her skin as Logan gave her a predatory smile, her head shouted at her to break the heat between them, but her body seemed to be effectively immobile. Then, in a moment, the frisson between them broke as Logan leaned back and indicated to a plate of what looked to Rory suspiciously like hospital food.
"I was thinking about Jell-O."
Rory blinked and waited for the punch line, but instead Logan simply stared at her earnestly. She sniggered.
"Jell-O? I feel like I should be a little bit insulted."
Logan chose to ignore her insinuation and instead picked up his small plate of Jelly and showed it to her.
"I have never seen Jell-o this shade, and considering I've eaten an the Yale cafeteria at a regular basis that is really saying something."
Rory raised an eyebrow at him in exasperation.
"It's just blue Jell-O"
"It's not blue. It's purple. I've eaten blue Jell-O before, I've eaten purple Jell-O before in fact and it didn't look like this. Incidentally what flavor is blue Jell-O? Is blue a flavor?
Rory rolled her eyes.
"You've been out of a coma twelve hours and you're worrying about confectionary. I'm pretty sure I'm rubbing off on you Huntzberger."
"I'm definitely sure." Logan grinned, a tad obnoxiously. Rory cuffed him lightly on his good shoulder and shook her head.
"Blue is a flavor." She dictated blandly. Logan cocked his head in mock interest. "It's been a flavor for years Logan. Many a great manufactured good has been blue flavor, and that, my friend, is an important part of the establishment. Plus I'm pretty sure the blue Jell-O is blueberry flavored."
"This isn't blue Jell-O." Logan reminded her; Rory rolled her eyes again this time with some force.
"It's probably home brand Jell-O." She reasoned snappishly, she scowled when she watched Logan's face split into a winning smile.
"The fruits of an ivy league education, people of the jury."
Rory made a face at him and Logan simply chuckled. His face spit suddenly into a huge yawn, and Rory realized with a start how exhausted he looked. Logan smiled sheepishly at her expression.
"I swear I just woke up a couple of hours ago."
"It's the medicine they have you on for the pain." She told him softly. "Go back to sleep."
"No. I want to keep…" His body betrayed him with another yawn, and with a groan he sunk back down against his pillows. "…Talking to you."
Rory smiled and took his hand. "I'll be here."
His eyelids fluttered closed, and Rory watched silently as sleep began to overtake him.
"I miss talking to you… so much." He told her drowsily, "Sometimes I think it's the thing I miss most. Then I remember touching you, and laughing with you, and kissing you and you're so beautiful…"
"Logan." Rory scolded him softly. He ceased with a shuddering sigh and Rory felt her lips twitch up into a small sad smile as she watched him fall back into a deep sleep. Sure that he was completely out of it, she leaned down and rested her head against his side, feeling his chest raise and fall, lulling her into unconsciousness.
"Aw, take a moment folks to look upon the epitomization of true love."
Dimly, through a breaking veil of sleep, Rory heard Colin's voice coming from somewhere near by, his words shrouded in sickly sweet sarcasm.
"Is that sadism I hear coming from your pure and honest lips Colin?" She heard Finn snark, his voice also coming from an undistinguished part of the room.
She groaned and shifted, hoping that this interruption to her beauty sleep was just some wiggy dream.
"Shut up." She heard Finn snap in an exaggerated whisper. "You'll wake them."
"You woke me"
"You'd been sleeping for like twelve hours. I was bored."
"You're always bored, bored is your neutral state of mind, and I had been sleeping for eight hours thank you very much. Even Rory gets to sleep more then I do."
"All I hear from you Colin." Finn told his friend dryly. "Is bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch."
"And all I hear from both of you." Rory spoke up, her face still buried comfortably in Logan's side. "…Is noise, annoying noise."
She stewed happily for a moment in Finn and Colin's surprised silence, before turning around to face them with a self-satisfied grin. Rory yawned and blinked drowsily at them.
"What are you guys doing here?"
"I think the real question Love." Finn replied, glancing slyly at Logan. "Is what are you doing here?"
Rory felt herself blush, and she damned her sensitive complexion. She shifted away from Logan and wrapped her arms around herself defensively.
"What? It's not like you walked into a scene from Eyes Wide Shut. I dozed off."
Finn rolled his eyes.
"Sure, and we totally believe you." He paused a beat and looked between Colin and Rory who both had identical expressions of exasperation on their faces. "That was sarcasm, just so you know."
With a groan Rory pulled herself to her feet, immediately regretting the loss of Logan's warmth beside her. With a single backward glance she indicated toward the door and guided Finn and Colin out of it.
"Honor just called." Colin informed her, his voice low. "She'll be here in a couple of hours."
"And so we thought we'd all just stay here tonight, worry about designating time until tomorrow…"
Finn, who seemed to be possessed by a sudden manic energy, cut into Colin's sober explanation.
"I was thinking red vines! Maybe some vodka for the adults, a little Tarantino…"
"Hold up!" Rory interrupted, suddenly seeing the uneasy calm that her and Logan's truce had produced flying out the window. "Are you suggesting, and correct me if I'm wrong, a slumber party? What are you five?"
"Don't try to out cool us Gilmore." Colin interjected dryly. "We've all heard about movie nights with your mum."
Rory flushed, but simply stuck out her tongue childishly. "Yeah, however my mother actually does have the soul of a five year old."
"Finn just graduated from the karmic Kindergarten."
Both Colin and Rory turned and looked at Finn who was picking at his flaking nail polish and failing to pay attention to their conversation. He looked up, and his eyes widened in surprise when he realized he was the centre of attention.
Rory turned back to Colin.
She tilted her head as she considered their idea. Shenanigans aside it was actually a pretty good idea, the company would keep Logan's spirits up and act as a buffer for the undetermined chemistry between them.
"Fine." She conceded finally, after several long minutes of consideration. "But no alcohol."
Finn gave a wicked smile that suggested that he was planning to ignore her. Rory glared at him fiercely.
"No alcohol Finn!"
Finn looked anxiously at Colin who reluctantly nodded his head, the boy deflated with a huff.
"Live with it."
Colin cleared his throat in a deliberate way and rolled his eyes at Rory. Rory simply smirked in return.
"Finn and I will raid the nearest Wal-Mart and you, sweet Rory, will be trusted with the imperative task of demanding a DVD player."
"I don't mind going to the supermarket." Rory offered hopefully. The idea of escaping the sterile and confining walls of the hospital was pleasantly tempting.
Both Finn and Colin adjusted themselves uncomfortably, exchanging between themselves sheepish glances.
"The thing is…"
"Honor…" Colin confessed awkwardly. "Might not like us very much."
"So true." Finn sighed theatrically. "In fact I think her exact words where spoilt, over coifed, narcissistic, bitchy, imbecilic, pieces of…"
"I think it was 'excitement' but I wasn't listening too hard."
Rory frowned at them for a moment. "I'm sure she was just angry at you for letting Logan get hurt. I'm positive she didn't mean it."
"Well now actually… I think these exact words were said… when was it Colin?"
"After the TJ hookers?"
"After we burnt down that Duke's condo in Amsterdam."
" The thing that 'will not be
named in present, impressionable company' at her graduation
"And she had to pay back Bono for his horse! That's right!"
Rory felt a little flummoxed at the insinuations of the Terrible Three's tomfoolery. She blinked a few times and then grimaced painfully.
"Do I even want to know?"
"We wouldn't tell you if you did." Finn replied blithely.
"So you want me to wait for Honor?" Rory said unnecessarily.
"If you could."
Rory indicated to the half closed door beside her.
"Are you going in? Or did you
visit purely for the joy your company brings me?"
Finn and Colin exchanged contemplative looks, and Colin shrugged half-heartedly.
"We'll just go and get supplies. Wouldn't want to wake up Briar Rose in there."
Rory glanced in Logan's direction and nodded.
"I'll stay by him."
She immediately regretted her words as Finn's face split into a smirk of supreme satisfaction.
"I'm sure you will Love."
Rory repressed the urge to throw something hard and blunt at his smirk, and settled with a fierce scowl.
"No comments from the peanut gallery." She snapped, marching back into Logan's hospital room. Both Finn and Colin fought to repress a smile as, as an afterthought, her voice floated out to meet them. "And don't forget the Oreos!'
"So, Mum walks out and Sookie shows her a five tier wedding cake made entirely of S'mores."
"I kid you not. The bride's mother had marshmallow strings coming off Gucci wrap dress."
Rory watched with a pleasure as Logan doubled up with laughter. His cut and bruised face completely transformed with mirth.
"The bride walked around with a daub of chocolate beside her mouth all night, apparently she wasn't that popular because no one thought to tell her."
Logan's chuckles only grew louder, and Rory grinned loopily.
"Although, saying that I
thought I might have seen a spot of chocolate on the best man's
Logan lurched with the effort of catching his breath between giggles.
"Stop! Stop!" He puffed hysterically. "I'm going to pop a stitch."
His words halted Rory's carefree attitude in a heartbeat and she pulled near as her face cracked into a frown.
"What? Are you ok!"
Logan rolled his eyes at her and took her hand, patting it placating.
"A turn of phrase Ace."
Rory huffed irritably, but she couldn't stop the sheepish smile that spread across her face. She wasn't sorry when she was a spark of pleasure alight in Logan's eyes. They sat smiling in companionable silence for a long moment, both fully aware of the smiles that where plastered across their faces.
"I'm glad you made up with your mum." Logan said finally. His voice so low and intimate it sent inadvertent and unwelcome shivers down Rory's back. "You where so miserable with out her. Anyone could see that."
Rory ducked her head slightly in acknowledgement. It was obvious that she had been wreaked with out her best friend beside her for so long, yet it went unsaid between them that he had been the one then, there everyday making it better. It was easier for at the moment to try to push those memories out of her mind.
"I know." She replied simply, then as an afterthought she opened her mouth. "I never told you how th-"
Rory was interrupted by an unholy crash that headed a loud and shrill yell of indignation. Logan frowned and turned to Rory with an eyebrow cocked.
"Another escapee from the six floor psych ward?"
Logan laughed heartily at his own joke when Rory merely rolled her eyes.
"I think I might have liked you better when you where asleep."
"I'm hurt Ace, wounded."
They both turned suddenly as Logan's hospital door swung open, revealing his apparently jetlagged and obviously frantic older sister.
"Only your ego little brother." Honor remarked dryly. "Apparently your own senselessness survived the fall."
Honor waved at Rory as she brushed past her to hover over her sibling.
"Costa Rica? Cliff Jumping? Finn and Colin? Seriously Logan what the hell where you thinking?"
"Hello Honor." Logan replied
dryly. He lifted his head slightly and planted a kiss on the cheek of
his only bearable family member. "I'm fine, thank you for asking.
How was the honeymoon?"
"Cut short, tah for that Darling by the way." Honor told him crisply. Her gaze softened and she took in Logan's broken and bruised body, and Rory empathized greatly with how Honor must be feeling, finally confronted with the reality of Logan's injuries. "How are you really?"
"Fine." Logan told her stubbornly, he wilted slightly at the glare he received from the two females in the room. "Ok. I feel sore, stupid and powerless in this stupid bed. Happy?"
"No!" Honor sat down in the seat Rory had previously occupied and with a perverse fascination studied her brother's injuries. "What did the doctor say?"
Logan glanced helplessly at Rory who smiled sympathetically.
"When they brought him in he was in pretty bad shape." Rory interjected helpfully, Honor turned sharply and focused her attention on Rory missing the look of amusement Logan gave her behind her back. "But he's doing a lot better now. They brought down his fever and stopped the internal bleeding, re-inflated his lung…"
"Oh my god!"
"…Strapped up his broken limbs and stitched up any minor cuts and abrasions."
"Oh my god." Honor repeated in exasperation. "What the hell where you thinking Logan!"
"What?" Logan replied sulkily. "I didn't go off that cliff saying 'Golly gee Huntzberger, today I think I'll give myself some serious internal injuries'. It's not my fault I'm here."
Both Honor and Rory glanced at him in identical expressions of irritation.
"Ok…" He admitted sheepishly. "Maybe it was a little bit my fault."
"Thank god Rory was here instead of Bevis and Butthead. What do you think we'd know then huh? Jack shit that's what we'd know."
Logan glared at his sister.
"You realize I woke up over twenty four hours ago."
"The hospital doesn't secrete information from the actual patient. Plus both Finn and Colin have access to millions of dollars so I think that given a little perseverance we would have figured out that the reason my leg is in a cast is because it's broken."
Honor huffed angrily and crossed her arms across her chest.
Rory stood suddenly and scooped up her bag.
"You know what…" She said tentatively, eager to give the squabbling siblings some room. "I'm going to go… get some coffee. Anyone else want some?"
"Don't leave on my account." Honor said stiffly, glaring at her brother.
"No!" Rory assured quickly,
already on the way to the door. "You guys should um, catch up."
She turned minutely so she was addressing Logan. "Honor's worried about you. Cut her some slack and stop acting like a two year old."
Logan opened him mouth to respond petulantly, but Rory was already out of the room and down the hall. Her heels click clacking a rabid beat with the quickening pulse of her heart.
After making sure the walk to and from the cafeteria took as long as humanly possible, Rory returned to find Honor waiting for her. The blonde raised her hand and wiggled her palm in a lame wave, her half smile unsure and awkward. Rory smiled and fell ungracefully into the seat next to her, handing Honor a cup of what she knew to be possibly the worse coffee made ever. The two women, united in their love for one boy, sat in quiet for a few long moments as Rory waited for her elder to speak. She flinched softly when Honor finally did break the silence.
"You didn't know did you?"
Rory's stomach dipped unpleasantly. She sniffed shortly and shrugged.
"When I talked to you on Thanksgiving…" Honor's voice wavered softly. "Lo-he hadn't broken up with you…"
"No." Rory affirmed softly, studying a gritty corner of the hospital hall. "That was pretty much the first I'd heard of it."
"Wow." Honor exhaled loudly, and Rory felt a flush of embarrassment spread across her cheeks. She felt uncomfortably vulnerable discussing the intimate workings of her break up with Logan with his sister. "That kinda sucks. My brother kinda sucks."
"Yeah that was pretty much where I was coming from at the time."
"Have you talked about it at all?"
"A little, not much." Rory waved her hand vaguely as an indicator of just how brief their discussion had been. The reality was that the one and only 'discussion' they had had about the problems between them Rory had been less then receptive. The fight had been a short one, but so emotionally charged that it still weighed her down.
"Look this isn't any of my business…" Honor chewed nervously on her bottom lip, her blue eyes wide. "I guess I just wondered why you two can't work it out when you both obviously care about each other so much."
"It's kinda complicated, even to me." Rory's tongue darted out and wet her lips. "I just really don't think this is the time or the place. We're in a hospital for Christ sake."
Honor's head bobbed mutely in agreement, but with a level of discomfort Rory caught a flash of disparity in Honor's eyes.
"I want him to be well again before we have that discussion." Rory argued, and Honor raised her eyebrows lightly as if to say she agreed with her. Rory wanted to pull out her hair in frustration at that look. "I don't want him to be in a hospital bed, inside sterile hospital walls. I want to be sure that it's only Logan talking, not his injuries or his heartache or his vulnerability. I want to be sure he wants me, only me and not something he wants me to represent."
"Sure." Honor said sweetly,
and she patted Rory's hand. "It's totally your decision. Don't
let anyone else push you into anything you're not ready for
Rory exhaled in relief.
"But…" She stiffened. "If you want my advice, and yes I can see that look, I know you probably don't. If you want my advice, Logan has wanted only you for a lot longer then you could imagine and I really don't think you have anything to worry about."
Honor shrugged and moved to her feet, discarding the coffee cup with a look of disgust. "What ever. Your choice."
Rory watched silently as Honor paced a few feet in obvious aggravation, and then tossed her blonde locks over her shoulder in frustration.
"God." Honor moaned shortly. "I would kill for a cigarette at this moment."
"Go ahead." Rory appeased gently. "I'm sure Logan wouldn't mind, there's a garden a few floors down."
"No way." Honor snapped. "If I have a smoke now, I'll just be my mother and have you met Shira? Of course you have, so now you understand why I'd resist anything to become that."
"You sound like Logan." Rory mused. "Except he does everything in his power to become Mitchum. Do you think everybody fears becoming their parents?"
Honor plopped back down next to her, but her body still fidgeted with nervous energy.
"I dunno, do you? Logan told me that you got on with your mum. Most of the time."
"Sometimes." Rory remarked wirily. "Only when I have to wade through the wreckages of her broken relationships. She was engaged to my Literature teacher for a very short while my sophomore year." Honor chuckled softly, and Rory sat back thoughtfully.
"I wonder if it's our fear of making the same mistakes as our parents that stop us doing so."
"I hope so." Honor replied sadly, studying her carefully manicured nails. "I used to worry about Logan through, especially when he was screwing everything that moves."
"Logan is nothing like Mitchum." Rory said with conviction.
"A man doesn't start off with a heart of solid titanium. The Huntzberger business is really hard; I just worry about Logan not having a person to ground him like you did. I don't want him to be the guy who sleeps in his office, screws his secretary and avoids his society manufactured 'family'. I want him to always remember the person he is now. Because that person is a good guy."
"He'll always have you." Rory said softly. She wanted to promise to Honor that Logan would always have her too, but with her own confusion she couldn't know objectively that she would be able to be by his side in ten years, in twenty. Even the here and now was too much for her to handle, the idea of a future made her want to run and hide.
"I want him to have more then that."
Rory didn't answer; she could hear her own distress and disappointment echoed in Honor's voice. With a gentle groan the blonde dragged herself to her feet, and, feeling slightly disconnected, Rory did the same. Honor walked forward two steps, and then she stopped herself and with out turning addressed Rory.
"Rory?" She asked quietly. "How is he really?"
Rory looked towards the hospital room that encapsulated her fears, her hopes and her dreams for whatever future together they managed to salvage. She answered for the both of them.