Rory wishes that Logan hadn't wanted to surprise her and was actually coming back from Omaha the next day. She had been looking forward to this dinner with Jess more than she would care to admit and as she sits across the table she feels that she should have tried just a little harder at making as excuse for Jess' appearance. It's not the fact that she has anything to hide from Logan; she doesn't. It's the fact that she now has to sit through this painful dinner with the men she loves. (Part of her corrects her thought there. Logan isn't a man, but an overgrown two-year old, with the same appeal and level of maturity. Last night was proof of that.)
As Logan rattles on about authors and book lengths she can't hide the tiny smile that appears on her face. The smile isn't there because of fond memories associated with these books or even the fact that Logan is familiar enough to recall their lengths accurately while drinking. The smile is there because she is sitting at the table with the only person in the world she knows that didn't graduate from high school that she would freely admit to being as smart if not smarter than her.
She then makes the comment that she hasn't read the book yet, and regrets the words as soon as they're out of her mouth. Mainly because she had read the book and as soon as Jess' eyes meet hers she knows that he can tell. (Logan never could see through her lies.) The next thing she knows she's catching the end of some rant Logan's making about the fact that he should write a book as well. The words she registers sting and she wants nothing more than to tell Logan how much he's hurting her by hurting Jess but she can't. She's become more like her grandmother, less like her mother and she hates it.
Jess' title for Logan doesn't sting as badly as it should and the venom she was trying to fake is lost somewhere between the now empty chair and the door. Logan comments that they were trying to keep it friendly and she's surprised that Jess keeps walking with his hands to himself. Rory knows that he would rather be throwing punches at Logan's pretty boy face and she also knows that the only reason Logan won't be bruised and battered tomorrow is the fact that she is dating him.
She makes sure to clarify that she is not to be followed, and even a drunk Logan can tell that she picked the venom up and has now spit it towards him.
"Jess, wait. Jess, I'm sorry."
She puts a hand out to make sure he stops.
The look on his face conveys how livid he is and she wishes that she was instead looking at one of the carefree smiles he only ever shared with her.
"We shouldn't have done this."
He's not talking about just having dinner with Logan. He's saying that he should have mailed her the book like he told Luke he was going to. That would have been easier on all of them. He wouldn't have had to deal with Logan. She wouldn't have had to start all over in forgetting him; in leaving him behind (She's been unsuccessful at doing so because truthfully, she doesn't want to).
"He's just in a bad way lately."
He cuts off her excuse, because neither of them ever cared for excuses.
"He's a jerk."
"I-He was. Tonight he was. In there? Definitely. I'm so sorry."
She's stuttering again. He is the only one that's ever been able to take the power of words away from her, and that kills her (She loves it).
"I read that guy the second I saw him. I should have begged off."
He's buttoning his coat and Rory hates the fact that no matter what she's has to say he's going to walk away. Again.
"Well, I didn't want you to."
"He better not come out here."
She sees in his eyes that he wouldn't be able to stop his better judgment from giving up the reigns and letting the ill-tempered New Yorker steal the show. He can see in her eyes that she wouldn't want him to. Her words say otherwise. Her words are excuses.
"Please Jess. He had a lot to drink. He's tired from traveling .This isn't him. I swear."
"What the hell is goin' on?"
"I-I told you. He's tired. And his family's bugging him right now."
"Crap, I mean with you. What's going on with you?"
He lays emphasis on his words and she still has to ask for clarification on what he means. She has an idea but she's hoping that he might take the hint and drop the subject, shooing it under the rug for a time later in their lives when she's a DAR trophy wife and he's punched out a few successful novels.
"You know what I mean. I know you. I know you better than anyone. This isn't you."
His words are the truth and it's like he's thrown salt in the still raw wounds made by her mother. She doesn't try to correct his saying that he knows her better than anyone because even Paris who she lived with for just under two years can't say she knows Rory better than Jess. He's always known her and the one person who knows her better than him is forbidden from Rory's thoughts (Jess was too, but that never stopped him from showing up in her dreams, when she was bored or even when she was having a conversation with Dean, Logan, her grandparents, and even her mother).
"I don't know."
"What are you doing? Living at your grandparent's place? Being in the DAR? No Yale. Why did you drop out of Yale?"
He's practically screaming at her, and she's currently working very hard at staying calm. He's done the one thing that no one else has been able to do (Like always). He's showing her exactly how much of her life she's screwed up. And she hates that she isn't able to answer any of these questions. His life is turning out nicely and she's so far down the rabbit hole that up is down, and everyone's speaking in riddles (except him).
"It's not. It's not complicated."
Another excuse, and he's thrown it back in her face, sneering the word complicated. He's not interested in the fact that she thinks she's got it rough. No one put a gun to her head and made her drop out of Yale.
"You don't know."
"This isn't you. This, you going out with this jerk: with the Porsche. We made fun of guys like this."
She hears the rage and jealousy and love in his voice and she wants to assure him that she has always loved him, and that her love for Logan is in a different way entirely. She knows that she's changed but she can't help but think for an instant that maybe that instead of growing older she's joined Logan being an overgrown two-year old.
"You caught him on a bad night."
She's trying to make more excuses for Logan because he's taking the ones she's trying to use for herself with an ever-expanding look of disappointment in her.
"This isn't about him. Okay? Screw him. What's going on with you?"
He's bending and bending her and she's sure that he won't break her, and that maybe this is going to smack her back into where she's supposed to be.
"This isn't you, Rory. You know it isn't. What's going on?"
She wants to tell him everything that's he's missed in her life each time he's run away but she knows that that is a conversation to have on a day when she's in a better place and he isn't going to explode if she tells him anything else that would make him angry.
They're looking at each other, him at the part of her eyes he can see, and her momentarily at his shoes (she stills has her matching pair). When he moves his head to get a better look into her eyes she says the words that will end this, instead of saying one of four-hundred thousand things going through her mind that she doesn't want him to know yet.
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
(He hates that phrase. He heard it too much growing up and now he's sure he's going to smack the next person to say it. You always know something.)
"Okay. Ah. Maybe-Maybe-Maybe we'll-Maybe we'll catch up. At a better time."
His words come fast but the sting they leave doesn't follow the same rules as a Band-Aid because the hurt follows her around like a big black cloud hanging over her. She wants to tell him she loves him. She wants to say the words that will catch him off guard like his words had so long ago. She also knows that nothing she can say will surprise him because even though she has never actually said those words she loves him, and he knew before she did.
He starts to walk away only turning around when he's put a good amount of distance between them. His words now are as loud as they were minutes ago, only this time they're devoid of all anger. Leaving a trace of care, and a thought in her head that he remembered better than some of the people in her day to day life and she hadn't seen him for just over a year.
"Happy Birthday, by the way. Wasn't that a couple of weeks ago? Your birthday?"
He smiles before he leaves, taking her heart with him. Rory knows that this visit is going to make her feel worse than a Founder's Day Punch hangover, but she's also sure that more good will come out of this than anything that's ever come out of Miss Patty's punch.
Okay so I hope I didn't lose anyone by the end. :DDD
This is probably awful but I was re-watching the episode and it struck me. It wouldn't go away.
Also, I don't know Gilmore Girls, the dialogue and the song lyric that inspired the title.