AN: Behold my first oneshot ever. After seeing the episode "Unto the Breach" I was sad and mad and all those other emotions I'm sure all you Rogan lovers experienced as well, and hence…I decided to write an oneshot to just write my frustration off of me lol. So here it is. I hope you enjoy it. Please, let me know what you think :)!
PS. Italics means flashbacks.
Disclaimer: As if the show would have ended the way it did if I owned it!!
Warning! If your stomach does not digest cheese, please do not even start reading this oneshot, for it has gallons and gallons of it! ;)
Leap of Faith
" Can you imagine, that thousands of years ago…some Greek warrior- a Spartan maybe- could have stood on this exact spot?"
"At the airport you mean?" I look at him with furrowed eyebrows. I do not appreciate my admiration of the location, my first steps on Greek soil, to be mocked. He grins and puts an arm around me.
"Don't pout, you're in Athens for heaven's sake. I apologize, I am convinced that someone….some thousands of years ago has stood on that exact spot. In the least place it was some bum, maybe even a goat herder. Who ever it was, I'm sure he or she or … it…had heard from the oracle of Delphi or some other woman high on weed and other hallucinogens that thousands of years from that point on, there would be an airport and in that airport two honeymooners pondering the poor man's fate." I roll my eyes as he pulls me towards the luggage belt, despite my husband's lunacy I feel giddy like a five year old in a candy shop. I'm in Athens. I smile at that thought. I'm in Athens with my husband. I'm still not used to that terminology. Husband and wife. Wife and husband. Mr. and Mrs. Huntzberger. Hubby and wifey. I pull up my nose at the latter and take the bag he hands me from the luggage belt, dropping it on the cart.
"Are we going to the Acropolis today, hubby?" I ask. His head flicks around and he raises an eyebrow.
"What did you just call me?"
"Nothing." I grin, "I just asked whether we were going to go to the Acropolis today."
"And then? After that?" He inquires squinting his eyes, "Did you call me "hubby"?"
I giggle pulling a straight face again and clear my throat.
"No. Definitely not."
"You called me "hubby"!"
"I did not! You are jetlagged and its noisy here. You have misunderstood."
"Sure, sure," he shakes his head taking the last bag and putting it on the cart, "Come lil' Mrs. Let's get this crap to the hotel and then you to the Acropolis."
"Thank you, hubby." I hook my arm through his and he pointedly stares at me.
"You did it again!"
"At least I didn't call you "chubby hubby"," I stick out my tongue.
"Oh, that will be covered. Now I'm married, I fully intend to get fat and hang on the couch 24/7 watching some game, while balancing a bowl of chips on my fat stomach, a beer in one hand and the remote in the other, and I will publicly scratch my crotch and burp."
"That is beyond words disgusting. That so will end in a divorce."
"Nah…by that time we will have kids. I say…about 5 maybe 6. You will be too busy wiping their butts and noses to care about me laying there on that couch like a walrus. Man… sounds like a wonderful life."
I can't help but feel appalled by that image of a hillbilly existence while at the same time the vision of a 500 pound Logan is a complete hoot.
"What if I decide to get fat too? Who will tend to those…5 kids then?"
"Oh that's perfectly fine, the fatter you get the more there is to love." He wiggles his eyebrows, "As for the kids… the boys will do fine. The law of the jungle."
"Oh my God, please stop." Too disturbing. Too disturbing.
"I'm just kidding, Ace. 5 kids? Please. I'm not ready to share you. We will wait at least 2 years (enough time to put on 80 pounds or so) and then I was thinking we will do 5 in 5." I stop walking and cross my arms in front of my chest.
"Ha.Ha.Ha. I agree to 5 in 5 if YOU will push them through your vagina!" A woman looks at me with a staggered facial expression and I colour bright red, continuing in a hushed voice, "And then you will wipe their butts, and noses and you will prevent that little army of yours from bashing their sculls. Then there will be the mountains of laundry and dishes and I, I will be walrussing on the couch! Ha!"
Logan starts laughing and soon I laugh too. Getting so riled up over a joke appears to be so stupid. However, I cannot shake the feeling that this conversation is not all wit. We have never talked about kids. One would assume that a couple does so before legally committing to one another, but we haven't and this feels like a testing of waters of sorts. Our eyes meet and he chuckles waiting for me to catch up.
"Walrussing?" he asks as we leave the airport and are met by a wave of heat, "I think you invented a new verb."
"I'm cunning like that," I shoot back.
"You certainly are, Ace," he smirks motioning to a taxi driver, "you certainly are."
My heart drums in my ears as everything else in the room fades away to the background when he utters those 6 words.
"Rory Gilmore… will you marry me?"
Then it rushes back in, like an avalanche of sound and light and I stand there unable to speak or breathe for that matter. I stare at the ring in his hand as the gushing and the whispers of the people around us, my mother's shocked facial expression and my grandmother's delighted one, Logan nervously waiting for a reply are all buzzing in my head and all I can utter are some 'uhm's' and 'wow's'. I feel embarrassed for the lack of articulacy while he put himself out there, despite the nerves and asked a question everyone seemed to expect apart from me.
"Is there a "yes" in between those uhms and wows?" he asks with an anxious smile. I try to formulate a sentence. One with actual words and maybe a verb.
"Uhm…I'm just…I'm so surprised," I finally breathe out and it's true. I am. I almost feel stupid for not seeing this coming. How could I have missed it? "I-I just…would, w-will you come outside to talk?" I stammer and he nods, clasping the blue velvet box shut in his hand. We leave the stares and the murmurs behind us and he closes the patio doors, that only leak a faint piano tune from inside the house.
"I'm-I… sorry," I start fidgeting with my hands, "I d-didn't want to talk in front of everybody." My heart is still raging in my ribcage and I sit down on a stone bench fixing my gaze on the gravel on the ground. He stands in front of me, looking down, his jaw clenched and so is his hand, holding the little blue box.
"I understand," he says in a voice that almost isn't his. I turn my head and spot a carriage with two white horses.
"For us? Yeah." he finishes my though and once again a sense of nausea flushes through my body. I have really been blind. There had to be something to indicate that this was coming. A clue, a hint…anything. But I haven't seen it. I have been so busy with Yale and my future that I missed a whole chunk of information.
"I'm sorry I know you said you were over big gestures, but that's what wedding proposals are. And tonight with your parents here and your grandparents, I just thought… " I look into his eyes and shake my head rising from the bench.
"No, no…it's not the size of the gesture. It's the gesture itself," I say and almost hit myself for making it sound so callous. Then again, I am not sure what to feel. It is all so overwhelming, so out of the blue.
"Rory, I got the job in Silicon Valley." Bang. Another surprise. I feel as if I have just awoken from a yearlong hibernation sleep and everything has changed in a way that it is hard to grasp.
"What? You did?! When?!" I inquire trying to make sense of it all.
"They offered me the position about 45 minutes after the meeting." Of course they did. They would be stupid not to…as am I for not realizing any of this.
"But I wanted to save the news until after I proposed." He continues.
"Wow, you have been thinking about this for a while," I conclude and I see him getting more and more dejected about my response. It is clearly not how he envisioned it to be, nor I. I listen to him going on about Palo Alto, hiking in the Dish, biking at the Baylands, coffee drinking on University Avenue, a house with a backyard holding an avocado tree. Once in a while I mutter a weak response and take the time to think. But he is so sure of himself, so passionate and I am overwhelmed.
"Wow, you've done a lot of research," I say and he is still on his high grabbing my arms and I feel the soft velvet of the ring box pressing into my skin.
"You could work at the Chronicle, The San Francisco Bay Guardian…"
I swallow. When was it that our roles reversed? Since when was Logan the one thinking ahead and making plans? Since when was I such an undecided mess?
"That sounds really amazing, Logan, wonderful," I smile feebly, "I just…I don't know. I mean I didn't know any of this. All your research and the time you put in this. It's so sweet and wonderful, but like I said…it's the first time I'm hearing about this…and I haven't had time to think any of this over."
His smile falters, a sadness nestling in his chocolate coloured eyes.
"So you're saying in the past three years, you never thought about marrying me?" He asks and it feels like an accusation. One that I deserve for the way I am standing here, undecided, vague.
"Of course I have!" I tell him. That is something that does not hold any doubt. I have, more than once, in those many wonderful moments we have shared together through the years even more so after he came back from London.
"And?" he inquires his eyes boring into mine.
"And it's always a fantastic thought but that's what it is: a thought…it's always hypothetical…and…"
"Why wait, Rory?" he interrupts my train of thought grabbing my hand, " Remember when we jumped off the scaffolding? We stood on top of that tower and we held hands and jumped. Lets do it again, Rory, take my hand and let's jump."
I smile for his words move me and I realize how much I love him. His ardour and his energy. How unyielding he stands in life, the same way he stood unyielding on top of the scaffolding 3 years ago, taking my hand firmly in his, giving it a light squeeze as we neared the edge and how he never let go. And I remember how I pressed it to my chest once my feet touched the ground such a rush flowing through my veins that it frightened me. Am I willing to do it for real now? Take the jump?
"I don't know," I say as my eyes fill with tears and he sighs, "I need time. I need to think. I'm sorry."
My hand feels naked as he lets it go with a sigh and nods, opening the hand holding the ring. I hesitantly take it from him.
"I will leave you to it then," he sighs desolately, "See you in a few days?" His thumb brushes over my cheek and interrupts the path of a tear that has left my eye without me noticing it.
"Don't cry," he smiles sadly, "Just…do your thing. Think about it, pro-con me." I nod and watch him disappear into the night.
"The Stathatos collection took its name by the donors and major Greek benefactors Antonis and Eleni Stathatos. The collection features about 1000 objects mainly jewels as well as metal objects, vases and pottery from the Middle Bronze Age to post-Byzantine era. Its highlights are the Hellenistic period golden jewels from Karpenissi and Thessaly. The pottery…"
"Oh my God, can this be any more boring?" Logan whispers and I shoosh him intently listening to the guide. Our 3d day in Athens is extremely hot and as bushfires are raging outside the city we have sought our refuge in the National Archaelogical Museum.
"How can this be fascinating? It's like watching mold form," he goes on and I swat his arm giving him a stern look.
"Behave." He sighs as we move to the next artifact and the guide starts telling us about the geometric style of a Minoan vase. I try to focus on the story, but in the corner of my eye I see Logan rocking on his feet. Like a little child, he seems to be unable to stand still. The group moves forward and the guide plays with his white moustache admiring another vase, before he opens his mouth again. I nearly lose my balance as Logan grabs my hand and pulls me backwards.
"What? Logan-, what are you doing? Where are we going?" I ask in a raised whisper as he pulls me away from the group and drags me to another room. He suddenly stops and I bump in to his back. Much time to inquire once more what it is he is thinking I do not get as he kisses me.
"Stop it!" my whisper echoes through the room, "Let's go back." I take his hand and pull it in a vain attempt to get the rest of him to move as well.
"Now, Ace," he starts, capturing me in his arms, "There are just so much more educational and fascinating things we can do here, instead of watching a dusty Greek tell us dusty things about dusty Greek vases."
"Educational?" I raise my eyebrow catching his drift and not agreeing with his idea one bit, "You mean perverse!"
"Not perverse! It's pottery."
"Exactly! It's pottery. I am not going to have sex with you in front of the pots!"
"But it's just…so darn boring in there! " I sigh as he kisses my neck and my ear, "I cannot see another pot. Besides we are on our honeymoon!"
"And yet you are willing to engage in sexual intercourse in front of a dozen of such pots? In addition, the fact that we are on our honeymoon does not mean that we have to hump like rabbits."
"Engage in sexual intercourse?" he echoes, and his hand slips under my camisole, "You have been hanging out with that walking artefact over there for far too long. Humping like rabbits on other hand, is exactly the sort of activity people on a honeymoon do."
"Logan." I groan, "There are –unbeknownst to you- certain places in the world where it is not appropriate to take one's clothes off. Honeymoon or not."
"And one of those places is in front of the pots?" he raises his eyebrows.
"Exactly." I wriggle myself out of his grip, "There will be plenty of time for that. Now let's find the guide." I start pulling him again and this time he comes with me; like a log of wood, yet nevertheless moving.
"I'm sure he died out of old age already," he whines. I am glad and at the same time annoyed that the guide is still standing in front of the same vase as we left him, for now my husband annex 4 year old child at this moment will have even more to whinge about.
"…called "Dipylon shield" because of its characteristic drawing, covers the central part of the body." The guide clears his throat with a disapproving look as we join the group again and continues his story.
"It is not too late to run…" Logan singsongs, "The offer still stands."
"Excuse me!" the guide exclaims, "this is not a bazaar!"
I blush out of embarrassment at the scold and listen even more intently than I have been until the point that Logan robbed me away and ignore as good as I can his fingers playing with my hair.
"I do want children," he then whispers in my ear, my attention on the pots forever gone.
"Now?" I ask meekly.
He laughs softly and I feel the little gusts of his breath in my neck.
"I don't think you can provide them at an hours notice, no. I mean eventually."
I lean back against him pondering his words and can't find anything in them that doesn't engulf me in a embrace of satisfaction, contentment. Having children scares the crap out of me, yet having them together with Logan just makes me smile. I'm done being scared.
"Me too," I then smile, "although not five."
"Nah…we'll start off with 4," he whispers. Once more the guide's stern eyes are on us and he shakes his head muttering something in Greek.
"Let's go?" Logan asks.
The Park Hotel is mere minutes away from the museum yet the heat soaks us both and we fall into our room cranking up the air-conditioning to it's maximum. However, even the maximum seems to be insufficient to mellow the suffocating temperature. Neither of us seems to care much about death by heat exhaustion though, as we move towards the bed, his lips on my pulse and my hands in his hair. We fall on the soft sheets and our eyes meet. He brushes a pluck of damp hair out of my face and smiles.
"I'm not pushing you, Ace, just when you, we, are ready, I really would love to have a few mini-you's running around."
"I know," I answer with a smile, "but whatever are we gonna do if it's a mini-you?"
"Lock it up in the basement, I guess," he chuckles, "and hope that one day he will find a woman who can keep him in line."
"You are not as inherently evil as you fancy yourself, hon." I kiss his nose and his lips briefly curl into a smile.
"Let's get these pesky clothes off," he then declares popping the button of my shorts, "For health reasons only of course."
"Of course," I giggle ridding him of his t-shirt and throwing it away. He teases my lips with his, nibbling and sucking yet not satisfying me with a real kiss, till I groan and claim it myself. Suddenly he stops.
"Oh God, no!" He shouts and gets off the bed. I prop myself up on my elbows and furrow my eyebrows trying to see what it is he is doing.
"What is it?" I ask as he grabs a pot from the dresser, strides to the coffee table and removes another one, "What are you doing?"
"Adhering to you rule," he answers briefly walking past me.
"What rule?!" I shout after him as he disappears in the bathroom.
"Not in front of the pots!"
I look into my mothers blue eyes and I drink in her sympathy as she listens to my rant about guacamole and Californian coffee. How can she be so calm? The carriage turns around the corner and the sound of the horse's hoofs on the street echo in the night. I ask her.
"He asked my permission a couple of days ago," she answers, "Believe me I was surprised. More so than you I'm sure. I had to be resuscitated practically, you almost lost your poor mother."
I gape at her, truly astonished. I do not think she realizes how surprised and caught off guard I feel and this; it magnifies it even more. He asked my mother for my hand. It is not the tackiness of the gesture.. It's that he has calculated in my mother's blessing, one I deem of such a great importance. I close my eyes.
"Tell me what to do."
I hear her sigh.
"I can't, honey," she says, "It is your decision."
"I know that, but tell me what you think I should do."
"I think you should take a few days," she smiles hugging me tight as we turn another corner, "You know, to let the shock wear off."
"It is a shock," I sigh, "It was so out of the blue. I just couldn't answer. I kept telling him, "I don't know. I have to think about it." And I feel awful. He was so disappointed, upset…he was sad, mom. And all those plans, he was so excited and I was just standing there! ARGH!" I burry my face in her arm and for the first time since he uttered those 6 words I feel safe and comforted.
"Just tell me what to do," I beg her. Everything would be so much easier if she just would. She knows me so well. She knows me better than I know myself. And at the moment I feel downright lost.
"I can't, Rory, you are 22. Only you know what you want."
"So you're not even going to give me your opinion?"
"It has to be all you, hon. I cannot decide whom you should marry," she looks at me, something in her eyes that I can't quite read, "Or when, or where."
"I love him," I sigh for the millionth time that evening, "I really do and things have been great lately. But on the other hand…we are so young. I'm only 22. It seems so soon. But then again what does it matter when you're in love and it's meant to be. How do you know if it's meant to be?"
Mom shrugs and gives me a small smile.
"When it's right you just know. You don't want to hesitate. You just know."
I stare at her. Her words ringing in my head and my heart picking up pace.
"So are you saying that… because I'm hesitating this is not right?"
"No! No no no! See? That's why I am refraining myself from any opinion. I am Switzerland! It was just an observation…You know? No. I'm quiet. It is you and only you who can come with a decision and I will support you… no matter what that decision is."
I sit up again and lean against the cushions on the seat. Her words not leaving me alone. If it was really meant to be…would I hesitate? I bite my nail. What if it wasn't right?
"For how many hours do we have the carriage?" I look up a little dazed.
"Uhm, a couple more, I think."
"Want to drive through the centre of town and do the queen wave?" I smile faintly, my heart still racing and my mind spinning in circles. What if it isn't right?
My skin feels sticky and I let out an exasperated sigh rolling on my other side in the vast bed. The sheets are damp and so is my hair annoyingly sticking to my face and chest. I just can't sleep. It is too hot, despite the fact that I am practically naked. I open my eyes and stare into the dark noticing that the other side of the bed is empty. The vast doors to the patio are open and I can hear the soft soughing of the sea. Athens had been a wonderful experience. So much history, so much greatness, yet this little island of Santorini, where we have spent the second week of our honeymoon, has enchanted me body and soul. I get out of bed wondering where my husband had wandered off to and drape the blue silk sarong laying on the floor around my back tying it above my bust. The cool tiles under my soles feel heavenly as I walk outside and look in to the night. A soft breeze plays with the fabric and with my hair and I close my eyes at the touch of coolness. Leaning over the balustrade I peer into the darkness where the starry skies meet the glistering waves of the sea. This little town on the rocks, with its white houses and plentiful colourful flowers, little curvy streets and friendly people is usually busting with life, yet now all that can be heard is the breathing of the sea and the soft whisper of leafs touched by the breeze. The buzz and bustle of people has seized for the day and is not going to pick up till the next morning, yet my eyes spot a lonely figure down at the beach. I don't have to strain myself to know it's Logan and start descending the hundreds of white stairs leading to him, my bare feet noiseless against the pavement. However, the further I near him the farther away he seems. What started as one flight of stairs soon has become exponentially more till a true maze of steps and alleys makes my head spin and I sit down for a moment. I look back up, wondering whether I would find my way back if I started going back up now and am not satisfied by the answer my brain is providing. The perspective the patio of our villa provided is forever gone and all I can see now is town, town and more town, with a slight hint of the Mediterranean sea provided by a glistering horizon. I decide to prevail and start walking again with a sigh. My determination is rewarded by the black and grey lava rocks at the beach, now almost surprisingly cool contrary to the sweltering heat they bore during the day. I step over them towards the water and look around, yet am confused when I can't see Logan. Where has he gone to? He couldn't have strolled that far and I am convinced I saw him. I decide to wait stepping into the water and sighing at the divine feeling. Just what I need next to my missing husband. Where is he? We are on an island so that limits the possibilities. On other hand he is Logan Huntzberger and if Napoleon could escape Elba he could certainly do so with Santorini. I start to get restless and the feeling that I'm losing my mind looks more and more likely. I decide to head back and start wading towards the shore when my foot loses grip on the slippery rocks and I tumble backwards with a short shriek and an inelegant splash. I scuttle up, the sarong soaked and sticking to my body without concealing much and I thank God it's the middle of the night. Rubbing my backside I reach land. My eyes ascend the steps towards the town and our villa and I groan. This is mission impossible and I am never going to get home. I am going to get lost, wet, clad in a see-through cloth and hungry. With a sigh I start my journey. A journey up, that proves to be much more straining than the one down. I let out a tired laugh in victory when I see our house, climbing the final steps. Logan is leaning against the balustrade in a similar fashion as I hadve done and turns around when he hears me coming.
"Where have you been?" we ask simultaneously and laugh.
"Beach." We synchronise our responses again.
"Now that would qualify as a cute moment on a first date…just before we kiss." He nears me and I chuckle.
"If we weren't already married."
"Technicalities," he smirks dipping his head and kissing me lightly, "You're soaked. What did you do? Take a swim?"
"I fell," I pout, "slipped on those darn stones."
"Slippery suckers," he laughs and pulls me in a hug.
"I woke up and you weren't there," I continue, "then I saw you at the beach and went down. When I finally found my way there you were gone. How could we have missed each other?"
"I probably took some other stairs. This town is like an Escher lithograph."
"It really is," I agree, "Just don't disappear like that again. I could have easily thought you have drowned. Or ditched me."
"I would never ditch you. So you can skip that and assume I drowned."
"Logan! That's not even funny."
"It is a little bit. And hey, I came back and you were gone. I could have easily assumed that you ditched me."
"I would never ditch you either except if you did turn into a walrus. The one you so amiably talked about in Athens? I might let you go then." My stomach grumbles as to add weight to that statement. I press my hands to it to muffle its complaining grouse.
"Hungry, baby?" he asks with a chuckle. I nod.
"We still have the avocado salad you made in the fridge." I look up at him with raised eyebrows.
"You said it was hideous."
"It was." I agree, "It's not a food option."
"Hmm…it's almost 5. Since neither of us appears to be able to sleep and there is a stomach to be filled, we can go for a stroll… The bakery is starting its activities around 5.30. We can beg for buns."
"I like that idea. Good idea."
"Well I am a smart man," he observed.
"And a very cocky one," I add turning around and walking inside to put on something dry and a pair of shoes.
"Where are you going?" he asks me.
"You are so smart, aren't you? Where do you think I'm going?" I shout back pulling a t-shirt over my head and grabbing a pair of dry knickers and a skirt.
I look up and am startled by his presence in the doorway to the patio.
"Gosh, stop sneaking around," I scold him with a smirk. He smirks back coming towards me and sits down on the bed.
"You hurt yourself," he says and brushes his fingers over my thigh. I notice the bruise from my fall and smile as he leans in and kisses it. It's sweet, yet I cannot keep myself from mocking him.
"Now that is the definition of kissing ass."
"Shut up before I sink my teeth in it," he grumbles as I pull the skirt over my thighs.
"Is that some sort of fetish?" He pulls a face and I laugh pressing a kiss on his lips.
"You're sweet. Now let's go find something edible in this town. For you did vow before God to love, cherish, honour and feed me till death do us part."
"I vowed to feed you?" he asks getting up.
"Always read the small print, Huntzberger," I sing song pulling him towards the door, "Always read the small print."
The apartment is empty, merely naked (spackled) walls surrounding a vacant space. This is the end of a chapter. I smile sadly. These years, they have gone by much too soon. Just as I seem to have found my spin…it's over. And now a whole world is laying in front of me and it frightens me and excites me at the same time. It is mostly due to Logan that I have come to appreciate the unexpected and yet, his proposal hit me like a sledgehammer, for it feels as if that openness is zipped into a small confined space. Palo Alto, a house, an avocado tree. Just as I have come to terms with having everything open to me for the first time of my life it seems to be taken away. The Chronicle, The San Francisco Bay Guardian. Am I going to let my future depend on a guy? A guy I love, yet nevertheless a guy. What if it is not meant to be and I look back upon my life 10 years from now and I realize I made a big mistake? What if my mother is right? She has not said anything, but I know my mother and she was not exactly jumping up and down out of joy. Maybe it is simply that motherly thing, not wanting to lose your child, yet maybe it is also the person who knows me the best seeing something I am not seeing. Something that isn't right. The timing? The man who wants to marry me? She has come to accept him, him with me, yet she has never been over the moon about him. This proposal suddenly starts feeling like an ultimatum: the boyfriend or the mother. I value my mother's opinion, I value it so much. If she thinks this is not the right decision, am I willing to just bypass that thought? I sit down on a box with "Paris" written on it in the middle of the room and burry my head in my arms.
"Ugh!" Now I'm obsessing about my mother as if I don't have enough to be freaking out about. My tummy concurs with a loud grumble. I need food. My stomach has been in a knot for the past 2 days and now it's making it's presents known. Getting food also means getting fresh air. And getting fresh air may lead to some well needed perspective. I get up and grab the keys off the counter.
The walk to the grocery store is a quiet one. New Haven, as if out of respect for my quandary, is almost deserted. I burry my hands deep in the pockets of my hoodie, Logan's hoodie really, but I annexed it when he left for London and it has been my companion ever since. Especially in those days when he was so far away. It's too big and sinking into it, in it's warmth and comfort, while Logan's voice filled my ear during our daily phone calls made the pain of his departure almost bearable. It had hurt, not being able to talk to him whenever I wanted, not waking up next to him, not fighting about the morning paper. I smile sadly thinking back. It had been the loneliest time.
I enter the small store through the sliding doors and stop, contemplating what it is I want. Something fat, sweet and unhealthy or some salad. Even when it comes to food I feel indecisive. The universe is enjoying taunting me or maybe it is just that I have never been thrown for a loop like that. I have never really been at a crossroad of this magnitude in my life, not one a simple pro-con list couldn't solve. I decide for the salad (Twinkies don't have their appeal at this very moment) and head for the fruit and vegetable section. A cucumber, tomatoes, and lettuce find their way in the basket and I start looking for paprika when my eyes fix on a silly green vegetable. An avocado, laying there lonely in between the aubergines and spinach. I stare at it and it stares back. Is this a sign? If it is, is it a sign that I should say yes? Or should there be two avocados for a yes and one means no? I groan. The thoughts of a Yale alumna. With a last glare I drop it in my basket and go to the check out.
It sits on the counter next to the blue velvet box and stares at me as I shove a fork full of salad in my mouth. I have barely swallowed when a wave of laughter hits me. I cannot believe, that I am sitting here looking at an avocado as if it will spring to life every moment now and will tell me what to do. At the same time it hits me that with all the freedom I would "save" by not marrying Logan I would be like that miserable little avocado. Alone. Lonely. Much like I had been when he was in London. Only now, without his sweet voice putting a smile on my face, the surprise visits, without the prospect of waking up next to him ever again and be truly, incandescently happy. I pick up the ring box and open it staring at the diamond breaking the light in a million colours. It's beautiful. I take it out of the box and slide in on my finger admiring it from a distance. It's the perfect fit… and yet, it misses something. I look around the empty apartment and I realise exactly what.
I sigh. The sun plays on his face, teases his closed eyelids, accentuating the length of his eyelashes and giving his already golden manes a glow. I watch him over the rim of my sunglasses. He has his arms tucked under his head, his bare chest bathing in the sun. I let my eyes travel over his toned torso, his linen slacks low on his hip. His feet are bare, his toes buried in the white sand. I focus on his face again and for the millionth time notice that it has imperfections. There is a slight crook in his nose, a faint scar near his temple, my eyes drift back to his chest and the faded scars there witness how close I was to losing him. I sigh from the painful memory and at the same time from relieve as the warm breeze strokes my skin and it reminds me of the caress of his breath. I look out over the vast sea; the white sails that brought us here shine bright against the surreal color of the water. Another boat far away, till I can't see it anymore as it disappears where the cerulean blue of the crystal water melts with the blue of the sky and I feel so insignificant, so small. The silence only adds to that feeling. It's so silent. No hectic, no rush, no dinners filled with bickering about millions insignificant little things such as porcelain patterns and cutlery, flower arrangements and seating charts, no job-interviews, hectic commutes, non of that…only silence and time and each others company. All that can be heard is the quiet soughing of the small waves nibbling on the shore. It is liberating and humbling at the same time, to be such a small speck in a much bigger whole. And it does not frighten me at all for he is with me.
I pick up my book again and wipe the few stray grains of sand off the cover. They stubbornly stick to my hand that has earlier been in contact with sun block. I open the novel where a plane ticket is functioning as a bookmark and study it for a moment. It feels almost surreal that we have flown half across the world, leased a little yacht and went out to sea to find a deserted sandy beach somewhere, escape the hectic of the town where we are staying. It's a wonderful hectic, yet nevertheless hectic. The feeling I have, the feeling of being alone and yet not lonely is like a breath of fresh air especially after the frenzy of the past months. I lay down next to him and he turns his head, and looks at me through his eyelashes, before he stretches out his arm and runs his fingers through my hair with a smile.
"What is it, Ace?" he asks.
"Nothing," I answer smiling.
"You have been staring at me for close to half an hour."
I blush. I can't help it. I am mesmerized by him. Not in the least place by his looks, but it is more than that. It's what he emanates. Strength, self-confidence, adventure. It's not a façade, yet there is a whole side to him that the outside world doesn't know. A side, silly, loving, and concerned reserved only for me. Two entirely different men, yet inseparably connected, both of whom I love dearly.
"You're doing it again," he says with a chuckle and I blink as to wake up.
"I just like being here with you and I hate that this is our last day here." Tomorrow we are leaving this little paradise. We are flying those thousands of miles back home and I'm bound to experience a culture shock. I don't want to leave just yet. These two weeks in Greece have been heaven on earth. I giggle as he swiftly rolls over me supporting himself on his arms and lowers his head, catching my lips in a searing kiss.
"I'm liking it too, but I have to say home has a certain charming ring to it too," he mumbles against my lips and moans in my mouth when my knee intentionally runs up his inner thigh and I press it into his groin. My arms reach for his neck, I try to pull him down, but he resists, smiling down at me.
"How forward of you, Mrs. Huntzberger," he winks, dipping his head to kiss my neck, my chest, then pulls a face, "You taste like sun block."
"Too bad for you sun block just doesn't come in strawberry flavor," I shoot back with a smile.
"It should," he mumbles, "It should taste as good as it smells…" He lays his head on my chest and I rake my fingers through his hair my eye catching the sun breaking on the white gold band around my finger. Mrs. Huntzberger. I love the sound of it. As much as it frightened me at first, I love it. And although I have not forsaken my own name, each time I sign it, my pen automatically scribbles down a curvy "H". Not in the least place for convenience of course. Or so I tell him, for he gloatingly smirks at me each time I do it. Rory Gilmore-Huntzberger is just a mouthful, but the truth is that I feel the excitement of a little kid that has been promoted from a Daisy Scout to a Brownie Scout, each time I get to write my name, my name. Rory Huntzberger. And it feels so stupid now. Everything. All the angst and all the doubt.
"Phoebe Elizabeth Gabner."
There it is. Graduation day. The start of the rest of my life. I feel strangely nervous as I wait for my name to be called and my heart picks up pace. Paris is standing in front of me like a soldier waiting to jump out of a plane.
"Paris Eustace Geller." She turns her head and gives me a radiating smile before marching on stage and shaking the dean's hand. I cannot hear what she is saying but the grip on his hand must be strong, for the man smiles weakly and tries to pry her hand off of his. I grin, my nerves subsiding for a couple of seconds. The world would be a dull place without Paris Geller in it.
"Roberta Gelson." The dean says after finally having freed his hand from Paris unyielding clasp. There is no one in front of me now. It literally feels as if I am standing at the edge of something. The world is open.
"Lorelai Leigh Gilmore." My stomach makes a flip flop and my breath catches in my throat as I lift my foot and take that first step. I take my diploma, thank the dean and look into the crowd. My mother and father are cheering and clapping, grandpa is snapping pictures and my grandmother is dabbing her cheeks with a handkerchief. I have never seen Emily Gilmore cry and I swallow myself. And there in the sea of people I see Finn standing on his chair waving cheerleader pompons as Colin is giving him exasperated looks and there next to him that characteristic blond head, completely ignoring his two friends, even from that distance his eyes boring into mine. He claps and mouths "I love you" and the ring almost burns a hole through the pocket of my graduation gown and into my flesh. I swallow and remind myself that it is time to get off stage.
"Alright, everyone, say "Fromage"." We all almost simultaneously roll our eyes.
"Dad.." mom pleads.
"Must you always do that?" grandma sneers. Mom of course has to react in her oh so witty way and the two women (that are so blind to how alike they are) start bickering. Grandpa puts an arm around me and I look up at him smiling. The flash makes them go silent and also registers their dazed facial expressions for eternity. That is of course if dad has saved the picture, unlike last time.
"Save the picture, son," grandpa says, "I do not trust those things."
"Christopher, erase it!" Emily scorns, "I do not wish to be on a picture that makes me look like a inebriated lama!"
I giggle as my eye catches Logan chatting with a friend in the distance.
"I'll be right back," I almost whisper absentmindedly as my family fights for control over the camera. I make my way over the grass towards him and hear him faintly bidding his friend goodbye as he turns my way and smiles.
"Hey. Congratulations," he says with a little nod and my heart nervously drums in my ears.
"Thanks," I whisper staring at his shoes.
"Yeah, you did great…no tripping, no dropping the diploma. A perfect ending to a wonderful career at one of the world's most prominent universities." He is nervous too, it is tangible through his banter. His hands are deep in his pockets and he can't seem to stand still.
"No…nothing like that." I try to muster enough courage to say what I'm about to say.
"I remember when I graduated. I was a little tipsy -- that's a big surprise, huh? And I did trip, and I reached out and grabbed the robe of Marcia Hadley, who was so not the person to grab."
"Logan," I breathe out, "I'm sorry… for these past few days. And for the night you proposed."
His jaw clenches in anticipation of what is next to come and I look at him briefly, feeling much so as that first night I took the lead and I wish I had drunk more champagne.
"There are just a lot of things in my life right now that are undecided. And that used to scare me, but now I kind of like the idea that it's just…all kind of wide open."
He takes in a sharp breath seemingly bracing himself for something the size of a derailed train.
"I could only think about what I would give up if I said yes, how many prospects would simply not exist anymore. How I was going to leave all this behind, my mom, my friends. It all just scared me, Logan." His eyes are still intently fixed on mine and I see that my words hurt him. I mentally kick myself and close my eyes to get my thoughts in order.
"I was all alone at the apartment feeling like the walls are closing in on me, after finishing the spackle work. I had to get out and also to get something edible. My stomach was growling and I could not think. I walked to the store and I found myself standing in front of the avocado…funny green thing and I realized, that if said no…" The expression in his eyes darkens some more now not concealing the hurt anymore, nor the anger and betrayal and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. He doesn't say anything, though, so I continue, "If I said no, nothing of that wide- openness before me, not one prospect or journey or my life as it starts today will have any meaning to me, if you are not there with me. And that if I say no, I would be betraying that one thing that I know right now among all this indecisiveness, that I love you in a way I never thought possible to love someone." I swallow the lump in my throat away and look at him with a nervous smile. My teary eyes are mirrored in his as he takes deep breaths.
"I need you to say it," he tells me in a foreign voice not breaking eye contact. I nod as the tears topple over the brim of my eyes.
"Yes…" I whisper ,"A thousand times."
"Yes" That one word feels like such an undoing that I start laughing through my tears and he laughs with me as grabbing my waist and spins me around.
"I bought the avocado," I then choke out between the laughing and the crying and he lets me down and presses me against him, his arms tightly around me.
"You did what?"
"I bought the avocado at the store. It was lonely. It was a metaphor for my life without you. One… lonely…green silly avocado. "
He laughs at me with such a relief in his eyes that I feel guilty for putting him through those days and through my never-ending rant.
"Rory Gilmore, you never seize to amaze me."
"Isn't that why you want to marry me?" I ask and I start believing my heart will never stop beating this fast again as my eyes fix on his lips and I realize his are fixed on mine. We kiss, a slow, sweltering kiss, that makes my stomach flutter and my knees weak and holds a promise in it. The promise that no matter what life will bring us there will always be two of us. He breaks the kiss, his forehead leaning against mine.
"Why I am marrying you, soon to be Mrs. Huntzberger? Because I cannot imagine waking up next to anyone else." He kisses my nose, "And because even when you are not there…I want to wake up in my dreams of you, so I can adhere to the previous. Because I love you more than life itself."
I smile and briefly kiss him again as my hand disappears in the pocket of my gown and I pull out the blue velvet box. I brush my fingers over it before holding out to him and chuckling at the quizzical look in his eyes.
"I put it on my hand yesterday and it didn't feel right."
"It didn't?" he asks puzzled and inspects the ring in the box. I shake my head.
"No…it's missing one major element."
"Woman, please. You have put me through enough today. What is wrong with it? You don't like it?" The exasperation in his voice cannot hide his joy and I feel very much the same.
"Oh I love it," I smile, "But you never got to put it on my finger."
He shakes his head with a smirk and takes my hand sliding the cool white gold on my finger, before pressing his lips on it.
"Better?" he asks.
"Perfect," I nod and stroke his cheek, "There is only one more other thing…"
He sighs and looks at me waiting for whatever I am going to throw at him now.
"I might want to keep my own name." I say.
"I might let you." He then replies huskily, yet with amusement dancing in his eyes and recaptures my lips. I only then become aware of the people watching us. My parents, grandparents, Colin and Finn, Paris and Lucy. I smile almost shyly for they have witnessed all this. Then again, I do not care as I take his hand in mine, and start pulling him in their direction, with no intention of letting go. Ever.
The tall trees that seem to be all over Magnolia Drive whisper in the wind casting long dancing shadows over the path to the front door. My flip flops make a clouting sound against the soles of my feet as I walk up to the large house, its soft yellow plaster walls and giant windows warm, welcoming. I put the key in the lock and twist it. The door opens effortlessly and I close my eyes at the coolness that floats my way. I still haven't gotten used to the Californian climate and sometimes I miss the mopish Connecticut days, but I smile as I step inside and look around. The light warm colours, and hard wooden floors, the many bookcases stocked to the point of bursting, the cushions on the couch where we spend so much time curled up inviting and soft. It breathes us. It's practical and cosy. I walk in to the vast open kitchen where we often cook together, spending more time bickering about the essence of good pasta than it actually takes to cook it in any imaginable form. The 4 dirty glasses of wine and an empty bottle we utilised before leaving on our trip with our neighbours are still standing on the granite counter and I smile, making a mental note that we should invite Marjory and Ian again. There had been a definite click and I can not imagine that we are not going to become close friends. I put the glasses in the sink and press on the answering machine button.
"You have-57 new messages," Debby –as we have baptised her- declares. I roll my eyes. 57 messages. Leaving for 2 weeks was obviously enough to mobilize the world.
"First message." Debby beeps.
"Fruit of my loins!! I'm getting the machine, so I am afraid I am too late to save you from a terrible terrible fashion faux pas! I wanted to tell you that should NOT under any circumstances bring your shorts. I do not want you to get stuck somewhere! With the current heat over there in Greece who would want their thighs to melt together with some ruin?! Oh sweet lord have mercy…you brought the shorts... I am going to send word to the American Embassy. Love you!"
I grin and pause Debby as I hear Logan entering the house with our bags.
"Did I hear something about shorts there?"
"Debby has recorded 57 messages." I tell him as he puts my suitcase next to the stairs and raises his eyebrows.
"You're kidding me."
"Nope. Debby gets around…"
"She sure does. I bet 75 percent of those are from your mother." I smile looking at him. The weeks of sun have lightened his hair a shade or two, tanned his skin and I love how the white gold band around his finger forms a contrast. He comes to me and puts his arms around my waist.
"I ran into Ian while parking the car. He invited us for dinner. I figured, since we flew half across the world just now and are too lazy and wiped out to get food ourselves, I should be an idiot to decline…but I told him I had to ask the Mrs." I grin.
"I trained you well."
"Ha.Ha.Ha." he rolls his eyes in mock indignation, but lets the comment slide.
"I would love to, was thinking we should invite them, but they beat us."
"Bastards." He kisses my lips. Once, twice… I part them for the third time and he moans into my mouth.
"Come to think of it, I am not hungry at all."
I push him away with a laugh and make my way to the generously sized French doors leading to our garden. I open them and kick off my flip flops stepping on to the grass barefoot. It tickles my soles as I approach the two things that have been our pride and joy. Gustav, the large avocado tree in the centre of the large garden and a few steps away, Tiny, nothing more than a twig still, but one we have grown from the lonely avocado I got from the store the day before graduation. We didn't really grow it out of that avocado. I tried to, but nothing happened and then one day there was a pot with Tiny sitting on the table. Logan claims it grew overnight to its size, as if I am a 4 year old who believes that it is really the same fish we found floating upside down in the aquarium and rushed to the vet, that is now miraculously swimming in circles. Nevertheless, I love it. It is growing slowly, but steadily and the leafs are a fresh green. I let my fingers run over them and smile, before getting up and patting Gustav.
I turn around to see Logan leaning against the doorframe with a smirk and scoff.
"Work-dork." I retort.
"Book-sniffer." He comes closer and I squint my eyes.
"Now that is plain mean," he declares with a pout.
"Poor baby." I let my hands wander under his t-shirt and scrape my nails lightly over his abdomen, feeling it flex under my touch. My lips settle on his pulse, before I kiss his jaw and meet his lips.
"Don't you want to call your mom?" he asks and hisses when I grind my hips against his.
"Nope. Not now." My fingers unbuckle his belt and pop the button of his trousers, while I tease his ear with my tongue. There are more urgent needs that need attending at the moment and Debby and her 57 messages can most certainly wait.
"Mrs. Huntzberger!" he proclaims, "Not in front of the trees!"
I laugh as he scoops me up in his arms and I meet his adorning eyes, holding so much life and passion and love in them that it makes me shiver.
"Well, Mr. Huntzberger….what do you suggest then?"
"A very comfortable bed mere moments away."
"Hmm…" I mull my arms nestling around his neck and I breathe in his ear, "I suppose that would prevent grass stains in unfortunate places."
He groans in frustration and starts walking towards the house in brisk steps, as I relax in his arms. All the ways he is going to make me pay for teasing him are written on his face and in his dark lustful eyes a love so deep and a need so dire. It's good to be home.
A/N: There people: my very first oneshot ever and it has become quite the monster. I hope your teeth won't rot away from all the fluffy cotton candy sweetness in there, but it was something that obviously needed to leave my head…in the form of 2 gallons of cheese…for it is cheesy (I plead guilty you can't blame me for dreaming.). Hope you enjoyed it nevertheless!! Leave a review, please :)