Moon River

AN: This was a bit of a whim thing. It's set chronologically a few months after Strobe's death and goes AU from there. I wanted to explore the idea of Rory and Logan exchanging roles somewhat, but it kinda morphed a little in the process into what appears to be the result of watching too many old movies. I'm capitalizing on the idea. It's a bit angsty I'm afraid, because deep down I'm an angsty, mc-angst whore. Deal, I have. A possible sequel or companion could follow up if enough people beg me to get off my ass and write it. If not, whatever.

Anyway.

Enjoy.

Summary: 'Don't you see the irony Logan? You, training to be the perfect journalist. Me, the perfect heir. It's funny how things work out isn't it?' AU

Pairing: Sophie

--

We're alike, cat and me. A couple of poor nameless slobs.

- Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's

--

It was along time ago but he remembers her, and he remembers her leaving.

It was Colin that told him.

Rory Gilmore was the name that had been written down on a post it note and ignore for five months. Then she dressed up as a guy and invited him into her life with a kiss (and a side of drama). He followed her with hesitation but not with reluctance, he was pretty sure at the time he was already half way infatuated with her. No Strings, she promised, fitting them across his shoulders. He would grin back at her, begin to unbutton.

She was something extraordinary with her blue(blue) eyes, full rose lips, cheekbones that Fred Astaire could have danced on, and she was unfinished, unspoilt.

He was sure she was going to save him, and maybe she would have. If not for…

--

Colin lets him know on a Friday. She left a week before Thursday. He had been waiting for her call for exactly one hundred and forty four hours, and he was planning to never ever call her again. Maybe start a twelve-step plan and call Tracy the Ukrainian 'dancer' he had met three days before.

Colin gave him the headlines, he never really found out the specifics. It took another week for the circles of society to start buzzing and that's when he finds out what really happened to her. Prodigal granddaughter, Rory Gilmore. He considers talking to the furious Paris Gellar (every princess has a dragon), but decides against it. That's a little too much like caring and they never really got the go ahead for that. He decides that both of them pulled away.

He leaves it at that.

He'd been at Strobe Hayden's funeral but he had never considered who would ensure the Hayden line (it had to be after all ensured). After all, Christopher Hayden was very much the fallen golden boy and it was unanimous in their circles that he would never return to the golden door of Strobe and Associates. He does however remember thinking after, that the man was being undeniably selfish; he knows Lorelai must think so too. Most of all he never considered that Rory Gilmore, book sniffer extraordinaire would become Lorelai Gilmore Hayden, Harvard graduate, Solicitor, QC, heir to all that is good, bad and holy in the life of Hartford elites.

He feels a little stupid in hindsight.

"She's finishing her degree at Harvard." Colin tells him flippantly. "The Hayden's have a lineage there did you know?"

He did.

"Did you know she was a Hayden?"

No, he didn't. He wonders once, twice, fifty times why she never mentioned it.

"Mother the Seventh told me that the Gilmore Matriarchs are pissed to hell, their little prodigy being snatched away by the Haydens."

He dimly remembers (she was wearing new earrings that day, he had kept fiddling incessantly with them) her telling him how close she was with her grandparents, how happy she was when her mother and her grandparents weren't at odds and they where just a family, her family. She must be sad, he thinks, where ever she is.

--

After a few weeks of her being gone, he begins to revert to former Huntzberger glory. After a few months he can't remember why she needed to be there in the first place. She's just like everybody else, he slurs at Finn who nods obligingly, why should she get to stay unbroken. Now she knows what life is like, she won't be surprised.

For the best.

Dreams aren't worth shit, it was time for her to learn. He learnt that lesson when he was three and he asked his dad if he could become a cowboy, she got it easy.

She wasn't special.

Except that she was, and he has that crazy messed up feeling in the bottom of his bowel that tells him that she could have been a great Christine Armanpour and a great writer for the New York Times, and this was not how it was meant to be for her.

He wonders how she is from time to time, tries her disconnected phone number on whim when the burn of the scotch scalds a hole in his abdomen.

Most of all he wonders why she let them take her away.

--

He sees her at the bar; a martini perched between manicured fingertips. She still looks the same.

It's been an almost half a decade between them.

His feet carry him over there, place him beside her, rest a hand on the one resting on the bar.

"Rory Gilmore as I live and breath."

The Rory Gilmore of yore would have snatched her hand away, breath hitching, sharp comment on her tongue. He had made her nervous that Gilmore; it was half of the appeal. This Rory Gilmore seemed almost entirely unaffected.

"Hello Logan." She says, voice soft and polite. "It's good to see you again."

Around them the mess of woman with botox smiles and men with college fund cuff links swarm. The lights glitter, Rory's eyes stay dark and lifeless.

Okay, so. Lesson one in coping with painfully boring parties, form a sub-party.

"It's been a while Ace."

He sees her wince at her old nickname. He rests a finger on her wrist, and it's a strangely tender gesture to have his skin against hers for no reason at all. She looks him in the eye for the first time.

"It has."

He walks over to his table and she follows him in long, calculated steps. She sweeps out her skirt when she sits, legs cross like a shield in defence.

"You didn't say you where leaving. I found out from Colin actually"

He isn't sure how to voice the accusation that had sat on the tip of his tongue for so long. She nods slightly as if she has been waiting for this particular axe to fall.

"I know. I'm sorry about. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate."

Her fingernails are dark, dark, dark purple, tapping over and over again in an agitated rhythm. He wonders if it's him, the situation, or her life. His heart hurts at the shrink-wrap of tears that has seemed to permanently superimpose itself over her eyes.

"You could have called Ace. I was worried about you."

"There was no need."

"I didn't know that, did I?"

A song plays. Her head lifts sharply and his lips do too. It's the first sign of enthusiasm that night.

Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,

"Want to dance Rory Gilmore?"

She extends one elegant hand and one sincere smile, and for Logan it seems like a gift from the past that he can't accept. He takes it and leads her onto the floor anyway. He holds her so close he can feel her heart beating and her food digesting. It's destruction, redemption, catastrophe.

"Feeling nostalgic yet Ace?"

He asks. She nods into his shoulder and he feels her smile grow.

"But oh golly!" She deadpans. "Gee damn!"

He laughs and his hold tightens so naturally that they really could be celebrating her grandparents vow renewals, unpainted smiles stretching languidly across their faces.

"I'm glad I ran into you Logan."

Rory remarks so matter of fact.

"Is that so?"

"Yes it is, would you like to know why?"

Logan smirked down at her, and fought the urge to brush away her fringe (lean down and kiss her) it was getting in her eyes.

"My undeniable charm, and my irresistible good looks?"

"No." She looks up and cocks her head seriously. "You make me laugh Logan, even when life sucks you always made me see the humour in the situation. Make me laugh now."

It occurs to him for the first time that Rory is drunk. It comes as a surprise, and then as another surprise as he realises it shouldn't be. She's really one of them now. Break my heart, pass me a shot, desert my soul, pass the bottle please.

"What do you want me to say Rory?"

He asks weakly, and a small expression of disappointment passes over her face.

"Don't you see the irony Logan? You, training to be the perfect journalist. Me, the perfect heir. It's funny how things work out isn't it?"

Their noses inch closer, breath mingles; the heat in his eyes burns her cheeks a dark red.

"Not seeing the funny, Ace."

He's said her pet name too many times for it to mean nothing, it's like he's reminding her (not letting go) of who she is. Ace, Rory, fantastic, beautiful, loved, wanted.

"I guess you kinda have to be there." She remarks dryly. "And by the way are you ever going to kiss me?"

Inches, centimetres, she's wearing a new perfume and their noses touch like swords in ready for battle.

"Eventually. Why?"

She raises a hand to his face, and it's a very un-Rory like sign of affection. Her blue eyes haven't left his, so he starts counting all the shades of green and blue he can find.

One hundred and one.

One hundred and two.

"I've always been curious."

He doesn't compare them to fireworks or to new beginnings when their lips touch, because that isn't what this is. It's not the ending of their movie, she's still Rory (whoeverthatis) he's still Logan (whoeverthatis) and their happily ever after isn't on the next page, or the next, or the next.

They are.

And that's enough.

--

She pulls them into the empty bedroom.

He smashes his lips against hers.

She guides his hand up her skirt.

He pulls them both against the bed.

By the time she's taunt and writhing beneath him, meeting his every thrust, he's lost count and he's past caring.

She used to taste like ice tea, the peach flavour, he had thought she must drink a gallon of the stuff although he could never find any in her fridge when he looked. Now she tastes slightly bitter, like fine whisky, past that she just tastes like flesh.

He wants to promise her something, anything; even there is nothing to promise. Even as he feels her climax and his own high comes closer he wants nothing more then to whisper into her ear that she'll be happy, he'll make sure of it. He wants to say that he'll be here tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, he wants to promise to blow off London and the whole Huntzberger destiny.

He wants to ask her why she let them take her, and why she traded her freedom for acceptance and three thousand dollar pumps. He wants to know if she's happy, if she enjoys her classes still, if she ever writes for the Crimson Letter. He wants to ask if she likes her new grandma, and if she still talks for hours on the phone with her mother. He wants to know if she still eats potato chip sandwiches or brings an emergency bag of Red Vines in her handbag to movies.

He wants desperately to tell her what he's been trying to tell her since they met, that he misses her, that he's been looking his entire life for a person he thinks she could be.

But he doesn't, because that isn't who they are for each other. Even after all this time they're still tip toeing around the important stuff.

He groans as he comes. She's half laughing, half sobbing into his shoulder; her lips burn against his cheek.

"I think I missed you Logan." She chuckles. "I really think I do."

He leans against her, presses his lips against hers.

"Don't be embarrassed. I am, after all, irresistible."

She smacks him lightly on the shoulder with a grin, and it's so very familiar it almost breaks his heart. That's what being with Rory is like though, a constant creaking and pulling of his heartstrings creating a dull ache in his chest.

If it was his room, or hers, he would have lied next to her like this all night, maybe forever, but instead they help each other out of the sweaty unmade sheets and he slips an arm around her waist. She looks up at him for a moment, eyes shining and lips parting as if she where readying herself to say something. They close shortly and he nods.

It may only be for one night.

But for one night they can pretend.

She'll break his heart (he knows, always has) if he lets her, but who knows maybe…

Possibility blinds him as he steps into the sparkling ballroom, and he sees himself in a year maybe, or two, or ten, seeing her again. Mysterious against a backdrop of things that he knows better then anything. He'll see her, and he'll kiss her again, and this time, maybe, possibly, definitely, he'll ask her why she left, how she is; this time he'll tell her all those things he put off for a day when she said them for him and he won't let her leave.

One day.

wherever you're going I'm going your way)