Title: Shot To Happiness
Summary: A shot that changes everything, opening up second chances - or utter despair. ROGAN - post show.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of the TV show Gilmore Girls.
Copyright: Sarah Diaz 2009
Author's note: Only recently, I finally forced myself to watch the disastrous second to last episode of Gilmore Girls. While I admit that the way they set up the proposal, it was only logical that Rory said no. But that's the problem, they messed it up completely. While I live out my wishes for how the last season truly should have been in my story Together While Apart, I can't leave the series end like that and not do my own version of how they still might get back together after her declining Logan's proposal. So, hence this story. For those who wonder if this might be the conclusion to Different - No, it's not. I do have a draft for the next chapter already and once I'm at that point in the Different universe, you'll get that version as well. Until then, I hope you'll enjoy this one.
Thanks: To my beta who makes sure this baby is readable. You rock!
Shot To Happiness
People around him were cheering and clapping with the music playing loudly; there was a noisy excitement in the stadium with everyone's eyes on the promising candidate for president but his.
He wasn't sure why he was here. No way had he wanted to come; he had even outright refused it when his colleagues had invited him to come to the speech. He had told them he couldn't, that he had too much to do.
Truth was he simply didn't want to see her. Knowing that she's been at every stop of the campaign trail since she had joined the Obama press corps, the chances were great that he'd see her, should he go. And he wasn't sure if he could stomach seeing her.
It had been more than a year now since she had given him back his ring and he had walked away from her rather than give a long-distance relationship another shot. He still didn't know if it had been the right thing to do. For many months he had thought it was. Her refusal still stung like hell and all the while he missed her terribly, but he had been certain that it had to be either everything or nothing at all. Then, even though the hurt his pride felt started to fade, all that was left was the longing. A longing so fierce that it went deep into his bones, producing a constant ache he apparently couldn't seem to get rid of, no matter what he did.
Everyone told him that with time, it would get better. Be able to simply move on and eventually, he'd find someone else. That he'd stop missing her. Stop loving her.
Well, everyone had been wrong.
He had tried to move on, had dated. Randomly as well as a bit more seriously, trying a new relationship even. For a while he had thought that Amanda could be the one to make him forget her. But in the end, after five months, even she had lost her individuality and was only compared to his Ace all the more, becoming nothing but a pale substitute to the one he really wanted. So he had ended it before she got even more hurt by his inability to forget his college sweetheart, never really wanting anyone else other than her in his arms.
Because he still wanted her so badly. Loved her so much.
At last, he caught a glimpse of her, sitting among the rest of the press corps that was constantly following the man who by all means looked as if he was about to make history. Her concentration was solely focused on listening to the speech, sometimes looking around to gauge the reaction of the people in the stadium.
It was like a hard punch into his gut.
God, she was beautiful. Even more so in person now than in his memory or dreams of her that he still had almost every night. She hadn't changed much, though he thought he could see more maturity in her face.
He wondered if she still thought of him from time to time. He wondered if she had been wary to come here, knowing that he was living near enough for her to be able to run into him. And more than anything he wondered if she missed him. Still loved him. As much as he did still miss and love her.
Was their being apart as hard on her as it was on him? Could she also feel the incompleteness of life without the other, the certainty that despite what had happened after her graduation more than a year ago, they still belonged together?
Well, she sure had never tried to come to him, get him back. He halfway had expected her to, though. For months, each time the phone rang, each time his door bell sounded or whenever his secretary announced some unexpected visitor, he expected it to be her, begging him to take her back.
But it never had been his Ace and once he realized that this deepest hope and wish he held on to wasn't going to happen, it had hurt almost worse than her saying no the first time.
So maybe she felt nothing of what he did, perhaps never had and he was a fool to still believe, after all this time, that she was the only woman for him. That it was either her or no one. Not ever.
She wasn't seeing anyone though, that he knew for sure. He still had his contacts, people close to her who would tell him about her. So he knew that her only passion was work right now. And as often as she could, she visited her folks home, though they were rare occasions, there was hardly any pause in the campaign trail that would allow her to go home.
And of course, he read every piece she had written. She was good, no surprise, and getting better and better with each new article. He knew she was receiving more and more job offers, now that the presidential campaign was almost over. So far, she hadn't accepted any and he knew that Hugo was going to keep her on assignment at the White House, should she decide to stay with him.
Or maybe, she was waiting to be invited to join the Office of Communications of the new president, a likely possibility as well from what he had heard.
It didn't surprise him. He had always known that she was a natural for this business. That one day, young children would dream to be like her once they've grown up. And had he still worked for his family's firm and had she not been his girlfriend, he would have made sure that she'd work for him. As it was, his father was quite mad that he no longer worked for the family business and added to that they had lost Rory as a reporter as well.
So with all this success she was having, why should she miss him and regret that she had not said yes in the first place? If she had, none of this would have happened. She would have succeeded at the San Francisco Chronicle as a writer, of that he was sure, but it would hardly be like the one she had now. Or maybe, she'd even be pregnant with their first child by now and would soon have to take a break from work.
Looking at it like that, he could almost understand why she never even tried to get back with him.
Maybe that was why he never had gone to seek her out again and see if they still had a chance to be together again after all. Because, as unlikely as it seemed, part of him still believed that somehow, they could find their way back together and have the happy-ever-after at last. That was probably why he had never been able to let go of her, of them. Still, he had never tried to talk to her again, meet her, anything, only following her career from afar, with interest, with pride but also with sadness. Because, looking at her new life, he could not see a place for him in it.
So no, he had not wanted to come here and see her but reminding himself also of how right it felt to be close to her while at the same time he couldn't be with her. It was just too painful.
His firm had given him a ticket to the event which he took without hesitation nonetheless. Perhaps, deep down, he had always known that in the end, he wouldn't be able to resist the urge to see her, even a glimpse only, at a distance. The closer the day of the big event approached, the more restless he got. On the appointed day, he had left without a word, hurrying towards the stadium where the speech was taking place, being able to get in with no problem.
More than anything, he wanted to go to her, sweep her off her feet and kiss her senseless and remind her that she was his, damn it. Prove to her that no one could make her feel like he did, that no one could ever possibly complete her as much as he could. Show her how much he still wanted her, still loved her.
Should he risk going to see her afterwards? Hugo had given him a free pass, knowing only too well how very hung up on her he still was. Had told him time and time again to talk with her, probably being unnerved by his constant inquiries about her.
What if she didn't want to see him though? Or worse, if she would just treat him like an old acquaintance, happy to see him but otherwise completely indifferent about it?
So there it was, the true reason why he probably never did anything about his unchanging feelings: fear of rejection. He didn't think he could bear another rejection.
All of a sudden, the sound of a shot reverberated through the stadium, followed by another and then more shots. The sound of the shots cut through all the cheering and hullabaloo and, for a heartbeat, time seemed to stand still as an eerie, shocked silence hushed the previously loud crowd. Then all hell broke loose as terrified screams ripped through the silence and up front on the stage, the Secret Service rushed forward to protect the candidate and his family. Understanding of what was happening dawning on them, the people around him scrambled for the emergency exits but Logan knew only one way: forward. His heart beating wildly, he desperately scanned the crowd for her. Not able to see her anywhere, unspeakable fear had him pushing with almost inhuman speed through the hysterical crowd, focused solely on finding her, to make sure that she was okay.
When his eyes finally fell on her, his heart stopped and his mind froze, even while his body still moved towards her automatically, instinctively.
She was still sitting on her seat, a deep red stain rapidly forming on her white blouse over her stomach, her blue eyes wide with pain and surprise. Slowly, she started to slide sideways off the chair.
Seeing her fall broke through the haze the shock had left him in and with a last spurt, he moved forward and was able to catch her just before she hit the ground.
"We need some help here!" he roared as he carefully lowered her to the floor, hoping someone would hear him in the chaos and send the paramedics that were no doubt already on their way towards them.
Without thinking he pressed his right hand onto the wound on her stomach while he held her head against his chest with his left arm. "Come on, Rory, you can't do this," he whispered desperately. "You can't die. You're still needed." A sob escaped his throat and he drew her closer against him, hoping he could somehow hold on to her, stop her from leaving him once and for all. "I can't live without you in this world, Ace."
Her eyes, unfocused so far, slowly cleared and met his. "Logan?" she asked almost tonelessly.
Despite everything, it felt good to hear his name from her lips again. Still, right now she should save her strength and concentrate on surviving, not talking. Pressing a kiss onto the top of her head, he reveled for a moment over the feeling of having her in his arms again at last but at the same time an unspeakable fear filled him. This couldn't be the last time he held her, it just couldn't. Drawing back, he searched for her eyes again. "Don't talk, Ace. I've got you. Help's on the way." He hoped. "Just hang on, okay?"
"'kay," she answered, her eyes now concentrated on him.
He forced himself to a smile. "You'll be okay." He wasn't sure if it was a reassurance or rather a plea. Probably both.
"I'll… try," she promised, her voice getting weaker, worrying Logan to no end.
Where the fuck were the damn paramedics?
"You better," he nodded, his own voice thick with emotions. "But, please, Ace, no more talking. Save your strength."
But she shook her head, weakly lifting her right hand to caress his cheek. "Promise... you'll... stay," she demanded. "No... leaving... again."
His heart constricted painfully as he nodded. "I'm here, Rory. I won't go anywhere. It's you who got to hold on now. Don't leave me," he told her, his voice raw and the emotions in his face and eyes naked, letting her see all, hoping she understood that he wasn't just speaking about the here and now.
She mustered up a weak smile in answer that had his hopes rocketing high, but then her eyelids fluttered and closed, her head falling back and lolling to the side. He panicked. "Rory? Rory? Damn it, Ace, not now! Wake up!" When she stayed unconscious, he frantically looked up, searching for any sign of help coming, if any. Spotting a uniform ten feet away, he lifted her up, running towards the person.
It was a police officer. "My fiancée has been shot! She needs help… right now," he ordered urgently, automatically claiming her to be his fiancée. He had promised his Ace to stay with her and he wasn't going to lose time by arguing about whether he had the right to be with her and be kept informed on her status later on.
Thank God the police officer didn't waste any precious time. He took one look onto the still bleeding and unconscious Rory in Logan's arm and was already reaching for his walkie-talkie, calling for the paramedics.
Looking down at his Ace, he felt his chest heaving as if he had run a hundred mile. Cradling her as close as possible, he repeated over and over the same words in a whisper, like a mantra, hoping she'd hear him somehow, urging her to come back to him. "You've got to live. We have unfinished business, Ace."
(Author's Note: Well, I hope you like this beginning of a new - short - story! More soon!)