AN: I know, I know, I can barely update the stories I already have; the last thing I should be doing is starting another one. But you see, I was watching the video to Mr. Brightside, and I had this idea and I just couldn't shake it. The pairing in the beginning is a little...unconventional, but rest assured it IS and Rogan, as always. Let me know what you think, please. If it's just too disturbing, I'll put this on the back burner and concentrate on my other stories. Here's a few facts you need to know, since it's AU...
Rory went to Harvard, so she never met Logan. She moved to NY after graduation to work at a newspaper and she lives with Paris. Paris did go to Yale and the only changes to her storyline are that she and Doyle did break up right before graduation and she chose to go to Columbia, not Harvard for med school. Logan went to London after Yale and spent about 2 1/2 years there. Mitchum and Shira are divorced. I think that's all for now. Any questions, let me know.
Blink…blink…blink…Rory Gilmore stared dazedly at the blank, Word document filling her computer screen. She had sat down after lunch with every intention of starting on her latest assignment, but over an hour and a half later she hadn't even come up with a title. She was beginning to wonder just how many times the cursor could flash in front of her eyes before it triggered a seizure. Would anyone even notice if she had an epileptic attack at her desk? The foot traffic by her cubicle was pretty minimal seeing as she was located at the far end of the floor; still, a convulsing, features reporter would be sure to get someone's interest. In fact, it would probably gather quite a crowd. The commotion would be certain to get the attention of her boyfriend who would rush to her side to make sure she was alright, completely forgetting that their relationship was supposed to be confidential due to the scandal an office affair would create.
Rory sighed, leaning back in her chair. She was sick of hiding her relationship, but he insisted that, as much as he loved her, not everyone would understand the connection they had. It was true that they were an unusual pairing. In fact, at first Rory had ignored the chemistry she felt with him due to the many complications their relationship was bound to bring about. There was their professional relationship to think about, of course but in many ways, that was the least of it. She had also considered the significant age difference between them. They were at completely different points in their lives. She had just graduated from Harvard and moved to New York for her first real job at the Village Voice. He had already lived an entire life since his college graduation. He'd been married and divorced and he even had two children. But no matter how much she fought it, she just couldn't resist him. He was charming, good-looking, and one of the smartest men she knew. She had followed his career for years; always amazed at what he had accomplished in his life. If she could achieve half as much as he had in twice the time, she would consider herself a success.
She had finally given in to the attraction a few months after she started her new job. At the time, she had heartily agreed that they should keep their dating status to themselves so as not to cause a stir. Rory had even kept it from her mother—as much as it killed her to do so. Lorelai was more than a mother to Rory, she was her best friend. The younger Gilmore had never hidden anything from her namesake. But there was a first time for everything, and Rory knew her mother would never condone the relationship. Rory simply told her mother that she was dating—keeping the specifics to a minimum and always making it sound like she was dating someone different. She didn't think any of his family knew either. In fact, she was fairly certain that the only person who knew about their relationship was her roommate, Paris, and she could hardly say anything, considering she had dated a sixty-something-year-old professor during college.
But now they'd been together over a year and yet they continued sneaking around like he was still married. Sometimes she wished something drastic would happen that would force him to publicly acknowledge her so that the little nagging voice in the back of her head that wondered if he was ashamed of her would shut up. She knew she should stand up for herself. After all, if their relationship was going to go anywhere something was going to have to change, but she just couldn't risk losing him—losing everything.
"Miss Gilmore," Rory's thoughts were interrupted by the buzzing of her intercom. She immediately recognized the voice as her boss's secretary. With a deep breath, she leaned back in her chair and pressed the button on her phone.
"Yes?" she asked, trying to hide the worry in her voice. She had turned in another article that morning on the Shakespeare in the Park Festival, but it hadn't been her best work.
"Mr. Huntzberger would like to see you in his office," she announced.
"I'll be right there," Rory informed the receptionist. She sat back up and took a moment to compose herself—running a brush through her hair and quickly touching up her strawberry lip-gloss. With one final glance into her compact mirror, Rory pushed her chair back and stood up before marching to the Boss's office.
"Close the door," Mitchum Huntzberger announced as she entered, not bothering to look up from the stack of papers he had in front of him. Rory did as she was told.
"Look," she said, stepping a little further into the office, "I know it wasn't my best work, but…"
He looked up at her, eyes narrowed curiously. He didn't even let her finish before holding a hand up to interrupt her. "What are you talking about?"
"My article. I know it wasn't my best and I'm sorry, I've just been a little distracted lately."
"The article was great, Rory," he told her matter-of-factly.
"Really," she asked, eyes widening in excitement, "it was?"
"Believe me, if it sucked, I'd tell you. I'm a straight-shooter, Rory. You know that." It was true, Mitchum Huntzberger didn't believe in coddling his employees. He wanted to keep morale up so he always made sure to start a criticism with something positive, but it was very rare that an unqualified compliment came out of his mouth.
"Thank you," she smiled earnestly.
Mitchum turned his chair around and stood up, smirking wickedly. He took a few steps towards her. "Well, if you really want to thank me…" he began suggestively, slipping an arm around her waist and pulling her in close.
"Miiitch," she whined, giggling slightly, "is that what you called me in here for?"
"I'm sure I had a very legitimate reason, but it seems to have escaped my mind at the moment," he played along, leaning in for a quick kiss.
"You know you're not supposed to do that," Rory chastised half-heartedly as soon as he'd pulled away. She gave him a playful shove. "If I'm in here too often, people will start to suspect."
"So let them," he shrugged nonchalantly, turning away from her and walking back to his desk and situating himself in his chair once again.
Rory followed him to his desk, feeling her heart rate pick-up in her chest, beating a staccato rhythm against her ribcage. Was he really considering letting people know about them? It would be so amazing not to have to sneak around. "Really?"
Mitchum sighed in frustration, indicating that, of course, he wasn't serious. "Rory, we've been through this before," he replied, his voice placatingly calm. He pulled her into his lap, letting his hand fall on her bare knee and giving it a soothing squeeze. "People wouldn't understand. They'd think I was just using you as a piece of arm candy and that you were just using me for my money and status. You're the one they wouldn't take seriously. I don't want that to happen to you."
"But it's not true," she replied indignantly. "I love you. You could be a nobody living in a box and I'd still know how special you are. People will realize that we're serious eventually." She snuggled her head into his chest, enjoying the comforting feeling of his free hand stroking her arm. Despite the words that were coming out of her mouth, she knew he was right. If people saw them as a couple, she would come off as looking like nothing more than a ditzy trollop trying to sleep her way up in the journalism world.
"I know that," he promised, "and you know that—can't that be enough for now?" Rory didn't get a chance to answer—they were interrupted by the buzzing of his intercom. "Yes, Denise," he answered, holding a finger up to his lips to instruct Rory to be quiet.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Huntzberger, I know you're in the middle of a meeting with Miss Gilmore, but there's a call for you. It's Frank, on line one. He says you're expecting his call."
"Yes," Mitchum confirmed, "I've got it."
When the clicking of the phone indicated that the intercom had shut off, Mitchum turned his attention back to Rory. "I'll just be a sec, Pooh," he told her, using the pet name he had for her. He hit the flashing button labeled 'line 1.' "Frank," he greeted, simple and straightforward.
"I've checked with the airport and the plane is scheduled to arrive at 7:00 on the dot. You want me to bring him to you after I've picked him up?"
Mitchum paused, turning his eyes on Rory for a moment. "No, that's alright. You can just bring him back to his apartment. I've got plans for the evening."
"Very well, Sir. If you need anything else from me, just let me know."
"I will." Mitchum reached out to the phone again and ended the call.
"You've got plans, huh?" she asked, crossing her arms over her chest in a faux reproachful gesture.
"Mmmhmm," he acknowledged, "dinner, with a gorgeous, talented, brunette."
"Well she sounds just lovely," Rory smiled brightly. "I'm sure whomever it is that's flying in will understand why you couldn't meet them.
"I'm not sure he won't actually prefer it this way," Mitchum responded dryly.
"Not want to meet with you?" Rory asked with over-dramatic outrage, throwing her hand over her chest in mock disbelief. "But you're the infamous Mitchum Huntzberger," she teased. "Who is this miscreant that doesn't care that I'm stealing all of your time away?"
"My son," he informed her wryly.
The humor slipped from Rory's body. "Your son?" she asked, the tinge of hurt in her voice clearly noticeable. "You didn't tell me your son was flying in."
"I didn't?" he shrugged nonchalantly. "I could have sworn I told you. He's moving back from London. He's going to be helping me out, learning some of the ropes here in New York. It's not a big deal."
The pain in Rory's eyes grew even stronger. Not a big deal? It was a very big deal and he hadn't even bothered to share it with her. "He's moving back here? Of course that's a big deal. He's been living across the Atlantic for the past two years and you've barely seen him. I know you two don't have the best relationship, but this could be your chance to change that." She brushed her thumb along his hairline and looked at him pleadingly, silently asking him to talk to her. He would never admit it, but she was sure he hated the relationship he had with his son. It had to be hard to have such a tense relationship with one's family.
"I don't think so, Rory. My son learned to hate me long ago. He spent his entire childhood trying to get back at me for not being there enough. The stunts he pulled," Mitchum shook his head in defeat, "the schools he got kicked out of…"
"He's not a kid anymore," she reminded him, "I'm sure he's outgrown all of that."
"If he's even grown up half enough to stop trying to rebel against me, I'll be thrilled. I just want him to live up to his potential."
"Second chances don't just come around everyday, Mitch. Take advantage of this. You should go meet your son at the airport. Take him to diner, reconnect. At least try…for me?" she gave him her best, puppy dog look.
Mitchum chuckled. "How can I say 'no' to those eyes?" he asked rhetorically. "Fine, I'll try, but don't expect any miracles."
"That's all I ask," she smiled sweetly.
"But what are you going to do all night without the honor of my company?" he asked cheekily. "Not read another book?"
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with spending a night in with a good book," she defended.
"At the rate you're going, Pooh, you're going to run out of reading material before you're thirty."
"Well then," Rory replied, turning her head away haughtily, and moving to stand up off his lap. "Maybe I'll just go out with Paris tonight and flirt with lots of cute boys."
He pulled her right back down, and lowered his mouth to her ear. "I'm not worried," he whispered huskily, "you flirt with all the boys you want… because I know that at the end of the night, you know you need a man." Rory felt herself shiver at his words. It was true; she couldn't imagine anyone her own age that could make her feel the way that Mitchum Huntzberger did.
AN2: Please, please, please leave me a review so I know whether or not to continue this. THanks :)