Epilogue – New Year's Eve
Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year's Eve ~ Vonda Shepard
A year's time brought them nowhere near where they had been expected to be, yet if asked, neither could come up with a single thing they would change. Yes, though the last ten months had been trying, they had handled each trial and tribulation that came there way with as much grace and strength as they could. United, they were realizing, they could overcome most any problem thrown their way.
The reactions immediately following their elopement had been worse than anticipated. Shira had taken to seclusion, not speaking to either Rory or Logan for three months' time. What she had failed to realize was that this made their transition into husband and wife much easier than if she had played the part of a meddling mother-in-law. A part, they'd found out in early spring, that fit Shira like a silk glove. Now, barely a day went by without her phoning them to remind them of an upcoming social engagement or to ask that ever delicate question of when they were going to have a child.
The Gilmores, once thought to be the stronger ally to their granddaughter and her new husband, had been equally disappointed in the marriage that had taken place. To be sure, they were delighted in the union itself; Richard had beamed for days over it and Emily had gloated to the DAR Ladies; but they refused to relent in their disappointment that they had chosen to elope. A word, so tacky in their circles, that immediately, they all found themselves in a whirlwind of gossip that began with the whispered words "shotgun wedding" and ended with malicious and unfounded snark over trust funds attached to matrimonial vows.
Lorelai had perhaps, the most surprising reaction of them all. She had greeted them both with open arms on Christmas Day once they had arrived in Stars Hollow. She hadn't ridiculed or mocked, she didn't condescend or belittle their choice. She had; however, asked Logan to call her Lorelai, but by the end of the evening had come to terms with his calling her Mom. Though, to get even, she did make him endure an hour long talk from Luke, about what exactly would happen should he ever decide to break Rory's heart again. It was a fate Logan didn't care to explore beyond merely hearing about it. And from that day on, Lorelai had become their biggest supporter. She refereed between family squabbles; she even put Shira in her place when needed. And most importantly, she had graciously declined to hold a grudge upon hearing that Honor, Josh, Colin and Finn had been present for her daughter's wedding when she herself had not.
Logan and Rory had taken it all in stride, laughing off the gossip and placating both sides of the family with whatever they could. Friday night dinners had been reinstated by Emily and upon hearing this, Shira had insisted on Sundays.
Yes, they were living in Connecticut. Though truthfully, it had been Rory who had first relocated to California, a mere two weeks after they had gotten married. A month and half later, she still hadn't found a job she felt she would truly be happy at and by the end of the second month, she was so homesick for the East Coast that Logan had taken one look at her and before she knew it, had moved them back to Hartford. Within a few weeks, at the ever so slight nudging of Mitchum, Rory found herself happily settled back at the Stamford Gazette as a contributing features editor. Logan too, made himself comfortable back on home ground, throwing himself headfirst into the family business, much to Mitchum's delight. Logan was doing well enough that rumors began to swirl of Mitchum's imminent retirement; rumors that both Logan and Mitchum scoffed at, knowing damn well the old man would work until he was dead.
Mostly, marriage seemed to agree with Rory and Logan in every way. Well, in every important way at least. Learning to live together again had been a challenge for the both of them, but in an endearing and romantic-comedy type of way. She had blocked out the memory his penchant for belting out 80's hair band songs while in the shower and he had forgotten that she was apt to leave a minimum of five half-empty coffee cups laying around the house every day because she would set one down and forget where she had put it. Eventually, they resolved their issues; partly because they weren't really issues at all but mostly because after one ridiculous fight, Rory had threatened to withhold sex that evening and that was an idea Logan had not been fond of. Sure, their marriage was not without difficulties, but their sex life was not something Logan was willing to give up over a couple of coffee mugs. He even went as far as to make an effort to not sing as loudly as he normally liked to while in the shower.
Then, November happened. Their night, a Thursday evening to be exact, had started out pleasantly enough. The plan had been pizza and a movie, and Rory had just finished placing their order when she heard Logan's key turn in the lock.
"Pizza's on its way!" she called from the bedroom, where she was shedding her work clothes in favor of something more comfortable. She twisted her hair up into a ponytail and stuck her head out of the bedroom door. "You're home a little later than I thought, everything okay at work?"
"Work's fine." Logan was hesitating by the door. "How was your day? Good?"
"Great!" Rory chirped. She finished changing and met Logan in the kitchen. "Sorry I had to cancel on lunch, but I had a meeting I couldn't get out of." She reached up and kissed him. When he kissed her back, she couldn't help but notice the tension in his frame. She pulled back with a slight frown and kneaded the spot between his shoulder and neck with her fingers. "You okay babe? Rough day at work?"
"Work was fine," he said again, absently. He glanced at the door and then back at her. "We need to talk," he said quietly. "And I need you to stay calm and promise not to freak out."
She took a sharp breath and dropped her hand from his neck. "No good conversation starts out like that," she said with trepidation. "Logan, what is it?"
"I need to tell you something," he said unnecessarily. "And while it's not good, it's also not the worst thing in the world, and I need you to promise me you'll remember that. This isn't the end of the world, everything will be okay."
"You're starting to scare me," she said uncertainly. "What's wrong?" He gestured for her to sit but she refused. A million possibilities were running through her head and she didn't care for any of them.
Logan ran a hand through his hair, hesitating again. She watched as he took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. "Okay, so-"
"It's my fault Rory, not Logan's!" Their heads snapped toward the front door as Finn came bursting in. Logan swore under his breath and Rory was too confused to do anything but stare at the two of them.
"I told you to stay away," Logan said through clenched teeth.
"What's not your fault, Logan?" she asked tightly.
"Our wedding," he said finally. He couldn't look at her directly.
"Yes?" She crossed her arms across her chest.
It's my fault!" Finn cried out again. Logan silenced him with a look.
"Our marriage isn't valid." He said the words so quickly that Rory was positive she hadn't heard him right.
"Excuse me?" She couldn't have heard him correctly. "Can you say that again?"
"Our marriage isn't valid." He spoke at a normal pace this time.
"Isn't valid," she echoed. Her eyes flickered between the two men standing in front of her. "I don't... I mean... How? Why? How?" she asked again.
"I can explain, it's not that big of a deal, it's just that Finn forgot-"
"No," Rory interrupted. "No. You said, you said that it was going to be okay. I know a guy, Rory! Remember that? Finn's our guy, Rory, he can marry us! You told me it was legal, Logan!"
"It would have been if someone would have filed our license and certificate like he was supposed to," Logan said angrily, throwing another glare toward Finn.
"Paperwork?" Rory shrieked. "You're telling me that we're not married because of paperwork? Are you kidding me? Why? Why would you leave something as important as filing legal documents in the hands of Finn?" She pressed a hand to her forehead and closed her eyes. "I don't even know what to say right now."
"Rory, this is all my fault. I will fix this," Finn insisted, stepping closer. Instinctively, Rory took a step back and held up her hand.
"Get him out of here," she ordered Logan. Logan reacted immediately, grabbing Finn by the arm and pushing him out the door, locking it soundly as he closed it behind him.
"Rory, I ca-"
"Don't, just stop." She held up her hand again and dropped down into the nearest chair. "We're not married," she said weakly.
"Not technically. But Ace, all we need to do is refile, we can get a new license and I will make sure I'm the one who-"
"Oh my God, Shira," she muttered, dropping her head to the table. "Your mother is going to have a field day with this. Emily too. Seriously Logan, why would you think Finn would be the most logical person to do such an important task for us? Why didn't you do it yourself? Why didn't you have me do it? What were you thinking?"
"I was thinking we had a million other things to do," he shot back. "We had to come back home and deal with our families, we had to move you out to California, I had to work..."
"So you give our lives to Finn to handle? God Logan! Honor was there, Colin was there...seriously, I would have found the time to take the damn papers to the courthouse myself. Anyone but Finn!"
"He said he would handle it." Even as the words left his mouth, Logan knew it was the wrong thing to say. He had known better than to let Finn handle the paperwork, but Finn had insisted and well, he had had other things on his mind.
"We're not married," she repeated. She felt sick to her stomach. "So this past year... we've what? Have we been breaking any laws?" She was starting to panic. "I changed my name! I'm not actually a Huntzberger."
"We'll be okay," Logan insisted. "Like I said, all we need to do is refile. No one will even have to know about this."
"You want our entire first year of marriage to be a lie?" She shook her head vehemently. "Absolutely not Logan, I can't do that. I can't pretend that this isn't a huge deal. This is going to be such a freaking scandal with our families, Logan." Her eyes widened. "What if we had gotten pregnant?"
Logan's head shot up. "Are you?"
"No," she admitted. "But we could have been! Can you imagine the nightmare that would have been?"
"Let's not make this any worse than it is." Logan was trying to diffuse the situation but she just glared at him so he dropped it. "What do you want to do next, Rory?"
She took a deep breath and looked down at the floor. "You need to leave."
"What?" He hadn't expected that.
"You need to go," she said quietly. She brought her eyes up to his. "I am so angry right now, Logan, I don't even know what to do. What I do know is I need to be alone to think for awhile, and if I leave this house, I can't guarantee I'll come back tonight. So please, just go."
He stared at her for a long moment and finally nodded. "Okay," he agreed, grabbing his coat and his keys. She didn't move from where she was at the table, so after a slight hesitation he bent and kissed the top of her head. "Love you," he whispered before leaving the house.
Rory stared at the door for awhile, wondering if he would actually leave. The sound of his car backing out of the driveway confirmed that and for a moment, she regretted asking him to go in the first place. She pushed herself out of the chair and wandered aimlessly around the house, ending up in their bedroom.
She picked up a framed picture off of one of the dressers. It was the two of them, taken by Honor the night they got married. She winced, realizing that she couldn't actually say that. She would now have to look at that picture and remember it as just a picture of the two of them from Christmas Eve. She sighed. Was she being overdramatic? Was Logan right in that this wasn't that big a big deal? Could it really be as easy as signing their names on two new pieces of paper?
She was started by the ringing doorbell. She smiled briefly, wondering if it was Logan. She sprinted through the house and set the picture down on the table before opening the door to see the pizza delivery guy standing there. She had forgotten about that. She paid him quickly and set the pizza box down next to the picture she had dropped.
Rory was angry. She felt like the entire last year didn't count. It had taken everything she had in her to finally admit to Logan that she wanted to be with him, and then the whirlwind proposal and engagement. She had thrown herself into this marriage headfirst and given it her all, they both had, and for what? It didn't count. None of it counted.
But it had counted. Though they would never dare admit it to anyone but each other, getting married the way they did might not have been the best thing they could have done. They had acted impulsively, and there had been so many consequences to their actions. Consequences that luckily had ended up making their relationship stronger in the end, but had been scary at the time. Neither of them had known what they were getting into, but they had realized they needed to learn as they went, and to learn from the mistakes and celebrate the successes. At first, it was abundantly clear that Logan had no clue how to be a husband and Rory too, had struggled with her ideas of what kind of wife Logan had wanted. Now Rory couldn't understand why she had said no in the first place three years ago and at the end of every day she couldn't imagine not being married to Logan.
Except, she wasn't married to him. She felt tears stinging her eyes and looked toward the door again. Why had she told him to leave? When was she going to learn that running away from their problems never worked? Why was it always her first inclination to distance herself from him before confronting their issues? What if he decided not to come back? She looked down at her rings, twisting them nervously as she glanced at the clock on the wall.
Just then, her Blackberry buzzed, nearly dancing itself off of the table. She made a grab for it before it vibrated off of the edge.
Can I come home yet?
She smiled, a choked laugh slipping from her throat. He hadn't been gone thirty minutes but that didn't stop her fingers from flying across the keypad.
She ran to the front door, intent on meeting him there when he got back. She was startled when she flung open the door and saw him already standing on the step. "I'm sorry," she murmured, throwing herself into his arms. "I shouldn't have asked you to leave."
"It's okay." Logan smoothed his hand through her hair.
"It's not," she insisted. She pulled back slightly to look at him. "I'm not that girl anymore. I don't run away and I shouldn't have made you leave. We need to figure this out together."
"I'm glad you think that, because I think I've figured this out."
She raised an eyebrow at him. "Really? In half an hour, you've figured everything out?"
"I'm good, what can I say." He dropped his hands from her waist and grabbed her hands, pulling her into the living room.
"Okay then, let's hear it." She looked at him expectantly.
"Well." He smirked. "I think we should get married. Obviously."
"I think I liked your first proposal better."
"Well, you'll love our second wedding."
He had her interested. "What do you have in mind?" She sat down on the sofa and waited for him to join her.
"Here's what I'm thinking. All we've heard since last Christmas was how we let everyone down by running off and getting married on our owns. What if we took this opportunity to do it right?"
She frowned. "I loved our wedding though."
"I did too," he assured her. "But still, a traditional ceremony with our friends and family there wouldn't be so bad, would it?"
She shook her head. "It would be nice," she said guardedly.
"Yes, it would be nice," he teased. "And we could let my mom and your grandmother plan it. Lorelai too."
"Whoa, now wait a minute."
"Rory." He threaded his fingers through hers. "We had our wedding. Why not give them theirs?" He squeezed her hand lightly as she pondered his words. "It would mean a lot to them, you know it would."
"But..." she quickly realized she didn't have a good argument. "I don't want to wait forever to be married to you again," she said finally.
"I don't either. I gave this some thought. I don't think we should get married at Christmas again. We don't need to recreate the first wedding," he explained. "But I don't want this year to end with us not being married either, so I think we should plan on New Years Eve."
"Yeah okay," she scoffed. "That's seven weeks away. How do you expect Emily and Shira to plan something in that amount of time?"
He smirked again. "Well now, we can't do this wedding just for them," he pointed out. "We have to do something for ourselves. Can you think of anything more fun that giving them that time frame?"
"That's awful!" she gasped. A small laugh escaped from her as she pictured Emily's face when they told her. "Do you really think they could do it?"
"Emily, Shira and Lorelai?" He gave her a look. "And then throw Honor in the mix?"
"Yeah, okay, they could pull it off," she admitted. She sat back against the couch and looked down at their joined hands, running her thumb over his ring. "I like being married to you," she said nonchalantly.
"Yeah? I like being married to you too," Logan returned. "So we should probably make it legal, don't you think?"
She pouted. "Really? Do I really only get one proper proposal?"
"You got two," he reminded her with a pointed stare. She rolled her eyes and climbed over to his side of the couch and into his lap. She rested her head in the crook of his neck and they sat there silently for a minute.
"It just feels like we're moving backward," she said finally. "I feel like we've finally gotten the hang of this whole married thing. What if we get married again and everything changes? What if it doesn't work out?"
"Do you know how irrational you sound like now?"
"Yes." She was fully aware that she wasn't making any sense as she spoke.
"Okay, just checking." Logan ran his fingers up and down her spine. "We're not moving backward, Ace. So, we're not married." He shrugged beneath her. "We've had a year of practice, so when we are married, we'll be really good at it."
She sighed. "There's really no other strings we could pull?"
"Sure, I could ask my dad," he said with a nod. "But do you really want to do that?"
"No." She sighed again. "So, we're getting married?"
"Looks like." He curled his fingers under her sweater against her bare skin. His mouth dropped to a spot just behind her ear he knew would get a reaction from her as he inched her sweater up slightly. Sure enough, she gasped lightly, arching her neck to give him better access.
"I take it we're not going to do the whole no sex before marriage thing?" she murmured, feeling him harden beneath her.
"What fun would that be?" He bit at her skin lightly, moving them both until they were lying across the couch. He wasn't merely just trying to get her to forget their current situation. They'd had a brief interlude upon waking up that morning, one that had interrupted by his phone ringing before they got very far and he'd had to leave her, heading straight into an early meeting Mitchum had insisted on. He'd spent the better part of the day fantasizing about his wife and couldn't have been more thrilled when she had texted him, asking if he was okay with a night in, instead of going out as they were apt to do on Thursdays. He told her this now, in blunter terms, enjoying the reaction his words provoked. Her sweater was now lying on the floor, followed soon by his shirt.
"We have a wedding to plan," Rory protested breathlessly, half-halfheartedly struggling beneath him. Her knee brushed against him and he pushed her deeper into the cushions.
"We don't have to plan anything. Tomorrow we'll tell Shira, Emily, and Lorelai and we won't have to do a damn thing."
"Rory." His voice was a low growl as his hand skimmed its way up her inner thigh. "I'm doing some great work here. Do you really want me to stop so you can start making lists?" He made a move to push himself off of her and was satisfied when she grabbed his ass to pull him back down against her.
"Don't you dare," she commanded, bringing his mouth down to hers again. It wasn't long before the rest of their clothes were laying on the floor. She sighed contentedly when he finally entered her. Say what you would about living in sin, but Rory had found her sex life with Logan before marriage was nothing like it was after. They reached far beyond newlywed status; she had found herself to be insatiable and Logan had no problems matching, sometimes exceeding, her needs.
Of course, she thought lazily as his mouth found hers again, in all actuality there were still living in sin and it was still pretty damned amazing.
Becoming newlyweds again wasn't necessarily such a bad thing after all.
December 31, 2010
"Rory, you need to relax!" Lorelai chuckled from where she sat watching as Rory turned to the mirror again, fussing with her hair.
"Relax," she muttered, flicking a speck of mascara from underneath her eye. "There are 500 people out there waiting to watch me trip as I walk down the aisle and you want me to relax?"
"Now you're being silly. Not all of them are waiting for you to trip." Lorelai sighed as Rory didn't react to her attempt at joking. She stood up and crossed the room, placing a calming hand on her arm. "Seriously Rory, stop." She grabbed both of her hands and led her over to the sofa, forcing her to sit before sitting next to her. "Take a deep breath, this isn't a big deal."
Rory rolled her eyes and looked at her mother in disbelief. They both knew this was a very big deal.
The news that Logan and Rory weren't actually married had been met with mixed reactions. Lorelai, upon hearing the whole story had snickered and told them that was what they got for leaving her out of the whole thing. Emily had been appalled, and insisted Richard do something to make them legal. Shira had been delighted, telling them they could put the whole marriage nonsense behind them and go their separate ways and no one would think anything about it. Mitchum had poured them each a strong drink and told them they would all figure it out.
Naturally, once they had revealed their intentions of another wedding, with the planning falling directly on their families, the reactions had changed. Emily and Shira immediately when into action, trying in vain to convince them both to wait until at least the spring. Logan had been adamant on the date, much to their chagrin, saying it was either New Years Eve or they would again, elope.
And so here they were, standing in the middle of Mitchum and Shira's country club, a mere thirty minutes before the ceremony. In spite of telling herself that this wasn't anything to be nervous about, Rory felt like she was going to be sick.
Lorelai frowned at her. "You just went white as a ghost, Rory, what's going on? You can't tell me you're really nervous about this."
"Well I am!" Rory insisted. She closed her eyes and leaned back against the sofa for a minute. She was nervous, whether Lorelai felt she had any right to be or not.
"Oh honey." Lorelai put her hand back on her arm and waited for her to open her eyes again. "Everything is going to be fine, you know it is." There was a knock at the door, breaking the moment and it opened before Lorelai could reach it.
It was Finn. "I'm here to see if you lovely ladies need anything before we start?" He hovered by the door. Though Rory had since forgiven him for putting her in this situation to begin with, he still tended to be the first person she lashed out when the wedding planning began to get the best of her.
She didn't have the energy for Finn at the moment. "Finn, please, just go away," she begged. "It's your fault I'm here in this ridiculous dress feeling like I'm about to throw up from nerves in the first place!"
"We're fine, thanks," Lorelai said, ushering Finn out the door and closing it behind him. She turned back to her daughter. "Seriously hon, you need to calm down." She grabbed a bottle of champagne from the table and poured a glass. "Here, drink this. It'll settle your nerves."
Rory took one sip but thrust the glass back at Lorelai. "I can't drink this," she said, turning away and resuming her pacing. Not an easy task to do while in her wedding gown, but she still managed. "I'm going to be sick," she muttered more to herself, but Lorelai still caught it.
"Is this more than nerves, Kid?" she asked. "Are you getting sick?" She moved to place her hand against her daughter's forehead but Rory moved out of her reach quickly.
"I'm fine." She kept her face turned from Lorelai as she moved senselessly around the room.
"Uh-huh." Lorelai wasn't buying it. Realization dawned on her as she watched Rory's hand settle unknowingly across the front of her dress. "Rory," she breathed.
Rory's head snapped up and her hand dropped as she finally turned to face her mother. "Mom?" she questioned.
She gestured wildly at her, unable to form a coherent thought just then. "You... you're.. I mean, you are... are you?" Her mind instantly flashed back over the several weeks and instances during the wedding preparations in which Rory had reacted to certain situations with what Lorelai had thought at the time, had been needless hysterics and random outbursts.
"Am I what?" Rory avoided eye contact with Lorelai.
Lorelai moved toward her again, blinking back tears. "Oh honey, you're-"
"No!" Rory spit the word out quickly, before she could stop herself.
"No?" Lorelai frowned.
"No," she said again. Except that she absolutely was. She was and she hadn't realized it until just after Christmas. The holidays had been a hectic time, between functions between both families and the wedding preparations; she hadn't really paid any attention to her health and had attributed everything to stress. A quick trip to her doctor had proven otherwise. She was pretty sure that the night they had found out they weren't married was the night to blame, but she hadn't had the time to tell Logan yet. Right after Christmas he had flown to California for a couple of days and hadn't arrived back at home until late last night and there simply hadn't been time to tell him.
Rory sighed and bit down hard on her lower lip. She knew she couldn't lie to her mother, but she couldn't tell her the truth either. She sighed, and looked up. "If I was...anything, I couldn't tell you first," she whispered regretfully. "Logan... he would need to know first and I haven't told him...anything." She looked pleadingly at Lorelai. "Please, be okay with that."
Lorelai nodded quickly. "So once Logan knows...anything, then...?"
"Then you'll be the next to know," Rory promised. She blinked rapidly, trying not to ruin the eye makeup the stylist had taken nearly fifteen minutes to apply.
"Okay," Lorelai agreed. Mother and daughter held eye contact for several moments. She took a deep breath and shook her head. "Okay," she repeated, clearing her throat. "We need to get your veil on." Her hands were shaking as she lifted the lid from the box. She laughed, shaking her head as she set the veil back down. "I'm not going to cry," she promised. "I just need a minute."
"Don't you dare make me cry either," Rory threatened. She opened her mouth to say more, but they were interrupted by a slight knock at the door.
It was Shira. "May I come in?"
"Of course." Rory eyed the other woman curiously. She had been the last person she had expected to walk through that door.
Shira stepped in and closed the door behind her. "You look lovely," she offered tentatively. She took a deep breath. "Lorelai, may I have a moment alone with Rory?"
Lorelai looked quickly at Rory who nodded, before nodding herself and slipping silently from the room. Rory smoothed her hands down the front of her dress and looked at Shira expectantly.
Shira cleared her throat uncomfortably and avoided direct eye contact. "I'm not here to make amends for the past, or get into some long winded apology for my behavior, if that's what you're thinking."
Rory raised an eyebrow. "Okay."
At last, Shira looked at her. "You make my son happy," she said finally. "And Lord knows I've spent enough time trying to figure out why and how. I don't understand it, but it is what it is. You make him happy." She paused. "It wasn't so long ago that we were sure Logan would never settle down. I just knew he'd turn into the playboy Mitchum used to fancy himself to be and then there would be no turning back. But you changed that." She shrugged helplessly. "You made him realize what his life could be like if he settled down. I don't know how, but you did." She moved to stand toe to toe with Rory. "Thank you for that."
Rory didn't know whether she should laugh or cry. "You're welcome," she said uncertainly.
She nodded. "I have something for you," she said, opening the small clutch she held in her hand. "You can say no, of course, but Emily mentioned you were wearing her mother's earrings today, and I thought perhaps you might like to wear something from our family as well." She held up a tennis bracelet, adorned in diamonds and sapphires. "This belonged to Logan's grandmother. I wore it to my wedding." She tilted her head to the side. "I suppose that could be taken as a bad omen," she said lightly.
Rory smiled and took the bracelet between her fingers. "Thank you," she said as she slipped it onto her wrist. "And for what it's worth, Shira, Logan makes me just as happy as I make him."
"Yes, good." Shira cleared her throat again and the moment was over. Her eyes flickered to her watch. "Well, it's time. I"ll send Lorelai back in."
Rory took a deep shuddering breath as she stared at herself in the mirror again. Her nerves were returning just as quickly as they'd disappeared, and frankly, she didn't care for it. Lorelai came back into the room and smiled widely. "Let's try this whole veil thing again, shall we?"
Before she knew it, Rory found herself standing next to Logan in front of a minister and before all of their friends and family. She couldn't recall the steps she'd taken to get there, but she found herself smiling as Logan reached for her hands. Her fingers curled around his and they stared at each other for so long that the minister had to clear his throat to get their attention; a move that delighted the audience.
The ceremony passed without incident. They had opted for traditional vows over writing their own and neither tripped not stumbled over the words spoken. There was no outburst from Shira, begging them to stop the marriage. Rory wasn't overcome with a bout of nausea that forced her to retreat down the aisle.
In short, it was the perfect wedding. Everything both of their families could have hoped for or wanted for them.
Rory tried to keep a straight face as the minister pronounced them married, but one smirk from Logan as he drew her closer and she came undone; her smile reaching from the corners of her eyes to the curve of her lips. He was millimeters away from kissing her when he turned his head to the side and appraised the minister.
"This is legit this time, right?" he asked with another smile, causing a ripple of soft laughter through the crowd. The minister nodded his confirmation and Logan, satisfied, turned back to Rory. "Just thought I'd make sure this time," he said, his hand finding the small of her back.
"Are you saying you wouldn't marry me again?" she teased lightly. Her eyes fluttered as he leaned down again.
"Every day, Ace," he said seriously, finally bringing his lips to hers. "Every day."
"One more, over here!" Rory and Logan paused in their dance, facing the photographer obligingly. They waited for the flash before turning back into each other.
"Seriously, let's just get out of here," Logan muttered into her cheek. "No one would care if we left."
Rory shook her head and leaned in to kiss him quickly. "You know damned well, we'd be missed. If you remember, you're the one who insisted on a New Year's Eve wedding. You're the one who gave Emily and Shira the ammunition they needed to shoot off fireworks at our wedding. Fireworks, Logan," she said sternly, though the tone didn't reach her eyes. "Our wedding is going to have fireworks."
"Yeah, maybe I didn't think that one through. Speaking of Shira." Logan's fingers moved from her hand to the bracelet on her wrist. "Isn't this hers?"
"It is. Your mother paid me a little visit before the ceremony. She was..." Rory paused. "Actually civil. She wanted to thank me."
"Thank you? For?"
"For making you happy," she said simply. "Don't laugh," she protested as he began to chuckle. "I'm serious!"
"Well that's new," Logan admitted. He pulled her close again, kissing her soundly. "You do make me happy," he admitted.
"I'm glad," she said mildly. She rested her head against his for a moment.
"This is where you'd say I make you happy too," Logan reminded her, pulling back. He raised an eyebrow when she merely smiled without anything. "Really, Ace?"
She remained silent for just a few moments more before breaking. "Of course you make me happy," she said softly. "More than you could ever know. More than I knew you could." She pulled him off to a corner of the dance floor and gestured at everything around them. "Is this what I was so scared of? Three years ago, why was I so afraid of this?" She turned into him again. "There is nowhere I'd rather be than right here, Logan."
"Did you ever think we'd get here?" Logan asked, as they began dancing again. "Right here, to this exact spot, dancing at our wedding?"
She considered his question, tilting her head to the side. "Three years ago, the first time you had asked me?" She shook her head. "No, I don't think we would have." She pressed her fingers to his lips when he began to protest. "I wasn't ready, neither of us were. And then you showed up last year and Logan, from the moment I saw you at that country club, I knew we were far from over. Did I think we'd end up here?" She shrugged. "I'd hoped, but I wasn't going to get carried away."
"Because we both knew that I would."
Rory laughed. "You showed up in Stars Hollow, with your grand plans, begging me to take you back."
"You played it pretty cool."
"I was playing it safe." She shook her head and laughed again. "I think we both knew I was going to cave before your deadline hit."
"You scared me a couple of times," he reminded her.
"I scared me a couple of times," she admitted. She leaned forward and kissed him again, her lips lingering against his. "I'm not going to lie to you, I knew I was going to marry you the moment you kissed me outside of that town meeting."
He reared his head back, pretending to look angry. "For knowing that, you put me through a lot of crap over those two weeks."
"Don't ruin my moment," she admonished him with a smile. "If you must know, I am sorry for all of the crap I put you through, but neither of us would change a minute of those two weeks, you know this."
"Well, maybe I'd take back the fight in the City," Logan admitted. "But you're right, everything else was worth it, if it brought us here."
"We are turning into a couple of saps, Mr. Huntzberger," she teased. "We need to be careful." She raised an eyebrow as he bent his head to her ear, whispering a sentiment that was anything but sappy, one that tinged her cheeks pink and warmed her from the inside out.
"I'm many things, Mrs. Huntzberger, a sap is not one of them." His hand trailed down her arm, running dangerously close to skimming the underside of her breasts. "Have I mentioned how much I'd like to get out of here?" he asked again.
"Soon," she promised. A glance at Logan's watch told them there were fifteen minutes left before midnight. She figured it would be socially acceptable for them to leave within the hour, but she let him know she was just as anxious as he was.
"Your mom keeps staring at us," Logan noted as Shira and Emily's wedding planner began ushering everyone out onto the balcony as the minutes ticked down. "At you, particularly."
"Really?" Rory hummed indifferently. He was right, Lorelai was watching them like hawks, waiting for any indication that she had shared her news with Logan. Something she had not yet done, and wasn't sure how she was even going to. The more she thought about it, the more she figured she'd just wait until the right moment came about.
"One more minute til the new year," Logan said, wrapping an arm around her waist and drawing her against his chest. "I have to say, as far as years go, it's going to be hard to top this one, don't you think?"
Well she certainly hadn't expected him to give her such an opening, but Rory figured she better take it and run with it.
"Oh I may have another surprise or two up my sleeve" she said, craning her neck back to look back and up at him. Her hands fell to the one he had draped across her middle for a moment and she smiled as the crowd around them began to count back from ten. She squeezed his hand for a second and then twisted in his arms, looking him directly in the eye with a smile.
"In fact, there's something I've been meaning to tell you."
Author's Note: Well, here we are. Not quite a year after I started this story, but finally, it's finished! Again, thank you so, so much for reading, and while this may not necessarily wrap things up, it was definitely fun to write. What I wanted most, when I started writing this story, was to complete something fluffy, something happy... much like every single Holiday movie out there. Was there a lot of substance to this story? Probably not, but it was fun as hell to write. I can only hope it was as much fun to read!