A/N: For those of you who haven't read The Contract Rules, which this is a missing scene from, Just know that Rory and Logan are arranged to be married; Rory, April, Will, and Gigi are Lorelai and Chris' children, and Rory and Logan have known each other for a long, tumultuous week. In story-time (this takes place during the end of/directly after Chapter 6), Rory and Logan have just called a truce.
And Logan is already relatively close to Rory's younger siblings than he is to Rory herself.
Other than that, you don't really need to know much.
"...and then she had a mental breakdown on stage that was pretty much shown to the whole country" Rory finished her story as they turned onto her street. "It was epic. Paris going on about Harvard and how it crushed her dreams."
Logan shook his head, laughing. "Paris did that? On C-SPAN?"
Rory nodded. "Yup."
"I know, right?"
"Besides, who needs Harvard?"
"Logan! That's not fair, I wanted to go to Harva-hey," she craned her neck to see a car parked across the street from her house. "Who is that?"
Logan turned into the Hayden's driveway, parked the car, and then turned around to see what she was looking at. "What the...?"
"There's someone in there!"
And there was. While Logan couldn't clearly see who or what it was, the person seemed to have a phone to their ear, and they kept looking up at the house. He got out of the car and quickly crossed the driveway, jogging the rest of the distance to the car. As he got closer, the window of the driver's side came down, revealing a teenage boy on the phone.
"...I'm kinda outside your house right now. You said you'd been studying all day, and I figured I could take you out to get some dinner. Take a break and all..." the boy trailed off and looked at Logan, who pointed to the car and mouthed 'move your car'.
The boy nodded, and then said unsurely, "Yeah, why, is that a bad thing?"
Logan rolled his eyes and glared at the boy, completely ignoring the phone. "Move the car. And stop looking at the house like that. It's creepy and I don't like it."
"Logan!" Rory protested as she came up behind him. "That's kind of mean."
He gestured to the kid. "He's ignoring me."
"He's on the phone."
"Okay, cool. I just have to move my car. Apparently, it's kinda creepy the way I keep looking at your house, and the guy who just pulled into your driveway doesn't like it much."
At the words 'your house', Rory frowned and looked back at her house. The boy was here for April?
Logan sighed impatiently, and said, "Okay, that's it, kid. Phone, now." He held out his hand. With a frightened look on his face, the boy handed the phone over to Logan. "Thanks."
"James," he heard April's voice. "I think we're going to have to reschedule that dinner."
"Actually, April, I don't think we have to do that," he replied. "Because your boyfriend is going to be joining us for dinner."
April looked nervously from Logan to James as they sat down at the table. Will and Gigi had already eaten and were watching The Lion King in the living room with Summer, and the remaining four had sat down to eat.
To say that she was nervous was a massive understatement. Her father had never done something like this, and she barely knew Logan. Who knew what sort of a stunt he could pull? Still, he gained major points for caring, she admitted to herself grudgingly. Logan must really want something stable in his life, if he was making this much of an effort. But still.
"SO, James," Logan started. "What grade are you in?"
"He's a senior," April cut in quickly. "At Hall High School in West Hartford."
"That's a really good school," Rory commented, as she pierced a piece of broccoli on her plate. She took a bite, wrinkled her nose, and, when she thought Logan wasn't looking, put it on his plate.
"Ace, did you really just do that?" he turned to her.
"What?" she asked innocently. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"You bit a piece of broccoli and put it on my plate!"
"You have no proof."
"I saw you do it from the corner of my eye!" Logan protested.
"No proof," Rory repeated.
"Ro, why'd you even take the broccoli," April asked.
"I dared her in the car," Logan answered. "She stubbornly stated that while Gilmore Girls didn't eat healthy foods, she could eat anything."
April snorted. "Of course she can't. The only green things Rory will eat are avocados, the seaweed in sushi rolls, and unhealthy things with green food coloring.
"See," Logan raised his eyebrows at Rory. "That's what I said. You don't eat healthy. Neither does April," he added to James. "What about you?"
"I actually don't mind broccoli," James said. "It's healthy, right? And it doesn't taste that bad, if you steam it."
The remaining three of them stared at him, before April uncomfortably broke the silence. "To each his own, right?" She turned to her sister and future brother-in-law. "So Logan, Rory, what brings you here for dinner so late at night?" she asked with gritted teeth.
"I'm sorry, April. I didn't know you had plans," Rory said apologetically. "You didn't mention it when I called earlier."
"She didn't." Logan pointed out. "And they made plans when we pulled into the driveway, right?"
"Kind of," James answered. "I figured she could use a break, since she'd been studying all day."
"So you decided it was okay to distract her?"
"Logan!" Rory stabbed his thigh with the end of her fork under the table. "Can you stop?"
"I'm just asking a question," he whispered back. "It's not a crime."
"He's right," James spoke up. "It's normal. I've gotten much worse from fathers and brothers."
"Much worse?" Logan asked with raised eyebrows. "How many girlfriends have you had, exactly, James?"
"Plus various dates for school dances and just...dates," James added quickly, thinking Logan thought three was too small a number.
"Huh, three." Logan said uneasily.
While Logan had only known April for one week, he had already spent a decent amount of time talking to her over the phone when he called to talk to Will and Gigi. More quickly than not, he was already starting to think of her as his own younger sister. And James seemed like a younger version of himself. And a younger version of himself with April was a scary thought. It suddenly struck him why Lorelai had been willing to give him a chance, but Christopher had not. He had obviously reminded Christopher Hayden of his own younger days. Nevertheless, he had clearly proven himself to both Richard Gilmore and Straub Hayden; otherwise he wouldn't be marrying Rory.
And now James would have to prove himself as well.
"Okay, I'm going to go watch The Lion King with Will and Gigi. Because that is what I came here for," Rory announced, standing up and lifting her plate off the table. "I did not come here to see my fiancé interrogate some high school kid. But I guess you can if you want to," she added resignedly. "You, on the other hand," she turned to April with a no-nonsense tone. "Are coming with me."
Logan looked up at her. "I'm just going to...finish this."
"You do that. I am not interested." she said flatly. "Let's go, April."
"Ro..." April started.
"Uh uh," Rory said faux-sweetly. "We have some things to talk about." She plastered a clearly- fake bright smile on her face and reached her free hand out to wrap around her sister's waist. They started walking out the door, both boys watching them. "Why didn't I know...?"
"Right," Logan said to James as soon as Rory was out of earshot. "What do you want with April?"
"I...what do you mean?"
"What do you want with April? As in, what are you looking for? Something fun, like a fling? Or just a friend? Or are you looking for a serious relationship."
"Oh, I-I don't really know. I'm graduating in six months, and it's just-"
"Do you know where you're going to school?" Logan cut him off.
"No, not yet. Early decisions haven't come in yet. But I'm hoping to go to UConn-Storrs on a scholarship. I have decent enough grades and I'm a good player."
"Where else did you apply?"
"Stanford," James said with confidence. "The University of California, at Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Davis. Cornell, Brown, Johns Hopkins, Boston University, UPenn, NYU, Harvard."
"No Yale? Princeton? Those are big ambitions if you're hoping to get into UConn on a scholarship."
James scoffed. "Why go to Yale when you can go to Harvard. And Princeton isn't up-to-par with either. Plus, I just want the validation that I can get in."
"Look, kid. You can apply wherever the hell you want. But when you're in a house full of Elis, saying 'Go Harvard' isn't exactly recommended. when Ms. Hayden Sr. in there and I are currently enrolled at its academic rival. Especially not since Rory has a building named after her on campus, and I'm the heir to a multi-million dollar communications group. Also, I'd turn down the attitude if I were you. So far, I'm not liking this."
James instantly went back to nervously fiddling with his napkin. "Right. Sorry."
"Thought so," Logan smirked. He leaned back in his chair. "Which sport?"
"What do you plan on doing with your life?"
"I...don't know yet. Probably go into business. Open my own company."
"I see, I see. And your parents? Any siblings?"
"I'm an only child. My dad's a doctor, my mom's a nurse. That's how they met. "
"Speaking of which, how did you and April meet?"
"We uh, we met at a- a mutual friend's...thing."
"You met at a party, huh?" Logan asked knowingly. "It's okay; you can be open and honest with me. I don't bite."
"Yeah," James laughed nervously. "I just, how are you supposed to tell your date's older brother that you met her at a party?"
At the mention of 'older brother', Logan was taken aback. Until that moment, he hadn't realized that he was acting exactly like various friends of his when they were interrogating their younger sisters' dates. Subconsciously, his goal was to protect April, and do everything in his power to make sure that she didn't get hurt."
Noticing the look on his face, James asked, "Did I say something wrong?"
"No, no, not at all," Logan answered. For the first time in the conversation, Logan was flustered. "It's just, April's not my sister. At least, not yet."
"She's not? But the way you're acting? This is pretty much the worst third degree I've ever gotten in my life," James admitted.
"She's my fiancé's younger sister."
"The girl you came in with?" James pointed to the door.
"Yeah. Rory Hayden."
James' eyes widened. "Dude! She's hot. How'd you score that?"
"One, that's none of your business, Two, I'd really appreciate it if you didn't talk about my fiancé like that. Three, be a little respectful to your girlfriend. Four, I really don't like you," Logan replied coldly.
"April's not my girlfriend," James repeated. "We've just been on a couple of dates."
"Well then how do you know where she lived?"
"She told me."
"Okay, let's cut to the chase," Logan said, clearly frustrated. "Do you want to go out on more dates with April?"
"It's a yes or no question."
"You need to stop stuttering. If you actually cared about her as much as you say you do, you would be brave and confident and you would sit here and answer my questions and say 'I don't know where I'm going to college, or what I'm going to do with the rest of my life, but I know that I will do everything in my power and then some to make sure April would never get hurt. I'd move the moon if I have to.' Can you do that?"
"Then why are you here?"
James eyes widened with recognition, and the small amount of confidence that he had gathered from within disappeared as quickly as it had come. "I'm sorry. I really, really like your sister or sister-in-law or whatever she is to you. But I think tonight was a mistake," he said, standing up. "A guy can only take so much."
Logan froze, eyes widening in horror. "Wait, no, James stay!" April was going to kill him.
James kept his eyes fixed on the floor. "It's late, I should be going anyways." He started moving towards the door, and then turned around. For a brief moment, Logan looked hopeful. Until James pointed to his chair, where he had hung his jacket. "Almost forgot that."
"Do you have to go?" Logan cringed. "I'll tone it down, I promise."
James averted his eyes.
"It was nice meeting you," Logan said awkwardly.
"Uh, yeah. You too," James said quickly. And then he was gone.
"Fuck," Logan moved his plate and banged his head on the table repeatedly. "April is going to kill me."
"LOGAN!" April screeched from the foyer as soon as the door closed behind James. "I am going to KILL you!"
"Help me!" Logan tried to hide behind Rory. She removed his arms from her shoulders and went to go sit down on the couch.
"No," she said firmly. "You made a mistake, you deal with the consequences."
"I was just trying to protect her, Ace."
"Don't tell me, tell her," Rory shrugged. "I am not in this. I was watching The Lion King. And this makes you a really bad fiancé, by the way. I have to see Simba watch his father die and watch the police take away my sister after she rips you to shreds. All in one night. Tsk, tsk."
Logan stared at her. She had said it all so matter-of-factly, with a little bit of fake-sympathy mixed in, that he almost believed that April would actually rip him to shreds.
"How. Dare. You," April yelled furiously, thundering into the living room. "You had NO right."
At that moment, Logan thanked every higher power there was that murder involved physical contact.
"I had every right," Logan protested. Behind him, he could hear Rory muttering something about digging himself into his own grave. "You were hiding him from us, your parents have never met him, and you were going to just go out with him on a Friday night at nine o'clock?"
"No, you didn't. Logan, you aren't even engaged to my sister yet. And I know neither of you are going to back out of this because you're both already insanely attracted to each other and all," Rory blushed and Logan coughed awkwardly. "But just because you decide that you're ready to be family doesn't mean I'm going to let you play the part of the interrogating dad. If you haven't noticed, I already have one."
"He's not here right now! Plus, does he even know that this James guy exists?"
"Yes. He does. Because I tell my dad things, and he trusts me. He doesn't like that I go out on dates, but he gets it. Look, it means a lot that you wanted to do this and all, but no. Just no. Stay out of it, okay? I really liked this guy. Really, really liked him. Unfortunately, my perfect sister's perfect fiancé scared him because he was too overprotective," she said with all the fieriness of a sixteen-year-old girl who had just had her date ruined.
Logan smirked cockily. "You think I'm perfect?" He turned to Rory. "Hear that, Ace? She thinks I'm perfect."
April threw her hands in the air. "I don't even know why I freaking bother. 'Hear that, Ace,'" she mocked. "Stop being so damn couple-y you've only known each other a week. And I am not amused. You do not amuse me. At all." She turned to Rory, flashing a glare. "And you. You just left. 'I want to watch The Lion King,'" she mimicked. "You're always there for me. Always. Even though you barely come home to spend time with Gigi and Will, and the one time I needed you, like actually needed you, is the one time you decided to go watch THE LION KING?"
"Well if you had just told me you had plans," Rory retaliated, fire lighting up her eyes, too. "We wouldn't be here right now, either. And you didn't tell me that James even existed."
"Because I knew you would want to meet him and he would be intimidated by you!" April defended. She turned back to Logan. "Did you have to tell him you were Logan Huntzberger?"
He shrugged. "I'm not going to lie. He asked me my last name. It was a direct question!"
April's shoulders slumped. She looked extremely close to crying.
"Oh, April," Rory said sympathetically. "Come here."
April sat down on the couch next to her sister, and put her head on Rory's lap, putting her feet up and lying down in the process. Rory ran her hand over April's head comfortingly as her sister began to cry. "I'm sorry. We shouldn't have done that."
"You didn't do anything," April mumbled. "It's all Logan's fault. All Logan."
"All Logan. Bad Logan," Rory agreed. She looked up at him. "You made my sister cry," she said, faking anger. "How dare you?"
April sat up, red-rimmed eyes in full glory. "Leave," she commanded.
She threw an orange couch pillow at him, effectively cutting him off. "Leave now."
"April I'm sorry."
"I don't want to hear it."
"If there's anything I can do to make it up to you."
"You can leave for starters..." Logan's face fell. "And then you can bring me lots and lots of coffee and other really expensive material items every day for the next two months to make it up to me."
Logan smiled. "Done. And done."
Logan moved to sit down on the neighboring couch, when April spoke up again. "Logan."
"Oh you meant now?"
"Yep." She popped the 'p' sound. "Unless you want me to start yelling again?"
Logan couldn't leave the room fast enough.
A/N: A lot of you were looking forward to the dinner that was mentioned at the end of chapter 6, and were disappointed in chapter 7 when I had the time-jump.
Because Meg-Breanne asked me to write this and put this in the story, I did. But I did one better (hopefully); I made it a separate one-shot so it doesn't interrupt the flow of the story and you don't have to wait until I find a place to insert it as a flashback.
I really hoped you liked it, since I had fun writing it. Also, only one person told me their opinion on April getting into MIT before graduating high school, so I still don't know if I'm going to put it in or no.
You know the rules, REVIEW! (: