Author's Note: Wow, how long has it been? Feels like forever. Well, married life is busy, people. While I do appreciate the fact that people still want me to update this fic and are interested in it, I haven't been as dedicated to it as I once was…I will finish it but it'll just take me some time. There is only one more chapter left in this fic after this one so hopefully it won't take that long. Thanks for the patience, people.

Disclaimer: The lyrics in the chapter are Snow Patrol's "You Could Be Happy".

Chapter 20: To Be Happy

You could be happy and I won't know
But you weren't happy the day I watched you go

You could be happy, I hope you are
You made me happier than I'd been by far

Rory stared out the window of her office into the dull, gloomy London evening. Typical, as everyone said it would be. It wasn't as if she didn't enjoy her job and she didn't even dislike London either – she was just terribly homesick after six months away from her friends and family.Six months away from Tristan.

Shaking her head so that she wouldn't dwell on that particular sensitive subject, she turned her swivel chair towards her desk, intent on doing what she was paid for, by Mitchum Huntzberger.

She felt someone staring at her and looked up to see blonde hair and charmingly devastating smile. One that always made her smile back, regardless of the mood she was in. "Logan," she greeted, standing up. "Hey."

He crossed the room and came around her desk to stand next to her. "Hey Ace. You look sad."

She waved her hand in the air, dismissively. "It's the weather. It makes me sad to see such gloom. And so much grey. Seriously, what is up with London?"

"Something only a foreigner would say," Logan joked, running a hand up her arm. She didn't jerk away from it as she would have in the beginning of their acquaintance. After about a month of seriously considering bringing the son of her boss up on sexual harassment charges, she realized that Logan just happened to be extraordinarily touchy-feely. Only with her, she knew this, but after developing a friendship with him in a place where she had no one familiar, it was comforting to have Logan act as if they'd known each other for years.

"Yes and you're so British it's shocking," she retorted sarcastically. "I don't know how you and Madonna do it."

"And Gwenyth, too."

"Right, of course."

"Well, we have a club," he answered with a grin. "It helps."

Rory rolled her eyes and then laughed. "So what's the plan for tonight? Debauchery and debasement with your two cronies as per usual?"

"Well of course," he deadpanned but then reached for her hand and kissed the knuckles. "Or I could take you out to dinner. There's a swanky new place in town and it has a huge waiting list. I'm not on it and I'll still get us a table before the guy who booked it for his anniversary months ago."

"God, you're such a romantic."

He ignored her sarcasm. "What do you say?"

She looked at him sternly. "What I always say, Logan."

He let out a resigned sigh. "It's not a date."

She nodded. "It can't be. But a girl's gotta eat and I love swanky restaurants."

Logan grinned. "Fine, I'll take it."

"I give you no other choice," she answered cheekily. Before he could say anything else, her cell phone vibrated on her desk and she didn't have to look at the caller ID to know it was her mother. "Lorelai calling."

"Tell her I say hi," he said, taking his cue. "I'll wait for you downstairs. Ten minutes?"

She nodded and reached for her phone. "Ten minutes." Once he was gone, she flipped it open and put it to her ear. "Hello mother."

"Daughter," Lorelai replied equally serious. "When are you coming home?"

"Like I said, for Christmas. In exactly a week," Rory replied, sitting down in the chair and swiveling around to look outside the window again.

She could almost hear her mother pout. "But mommy misses you."

"I miss you too Mom," Rory replied with a sigh. "How's Jake?"

"An angel," he mother replied, melodramatically. "Just like you were. Where did I go wrong, I'd like to know? Or does this kind of thing skip a generation? I mean, why can't he - for my happiness - just once, destroy something. Or run around the house or Inn and wreak havoc? I'll even settle for uncouth manners. But no, my son, has to say 'please' and 'thank you' and 'you're welcome' all the time. I'm telling you, if I didn't see him come out of me, I'd say he wasn't mine."

"Gross Mom," Rory laughed, feeling her bad mood evaporate. "Well maybe it's something he'll grow into. Just you wait, come adolescence and he'll hate you and bring home unsuitable women and chain smoke."

"One can hope." Lorelai changed the subject. "How's the Huntzberger heir apparent?"

"He says hi," Rory replied running a hand through her hair. "We're going out for dinner."

"He looks like trouble," Lorelai said, judging from the picture she saw of him online once Rory mentioned that they were friends, months ago. "Sexy but trouble."

"Well then just my type, right?"

"Are you serious about him, honey?"

"Mother," Rory stated irritated. "I've told you a million times, we're friends. I can't be serious about him."

"He doesn't seem like the kind of guy to just give up," her mother said. "They're the 'get what they want' types. You of all people should know this."

"Mom," she insisted. "Nothing is happening between me and Logan. He knows that. I just like hanging out with him, it's like having someone familiar in a strange country."

"There's a reason why he's familiar."

"He's not Tristan."

Lorelai sighed, giving up. "As long as you're aware…"

"I am."

"Good. So then…Christmas?"

Rory smiled; relieved the conversation about Logan was over. "The day Christ was born, yup."

"Fine. I'll talk to you later, sweets."

"Love you, Mom."

--

"So you're heading back home for Christmas?" Logan asked her he wiped the corner of his mouth with a napkin.

The restaurant they were in was swanky, the food was delicious and so far, Rory was enjoying herself. "That's the plan. You?"

"Yeah, my grandfather insists we spend holidays together."

Rory took the last bite of her steak, chewed and swallowed. "The Huntzbergers are a close-knit bunch, huh?"

Logan scoffed, took a sip of wine. "Oh yeah, we're the Bradys."

"Yet holidays together are a must?"

"After Grandma passed away," he said, looking a little sad, "yes they are."

"My grandfather passed away a few months ago."

"I knew Richard," Logan said, surprising her. "I'm sorry."

She accepted his condolence with a small nod. "Anyway, my grandmother insists on our ritual Friday night dinners together. But without him there, it's just not right anymore. And that leaves us alone, with Grandma and Grandma is just so…"

"Emily?" Logan supplied with grin. "I know what you mean. The family gathers for the holidays so we can 'spend quality time together' as he puts it, but Grandfather misses Grandma so much that he gets drunk. And my grandfather is a fucking mean drunk. Excuse my French."

Rory shook her head, smiled wryly. "And on that note, dessert?"

"Anything you want," he answered and summoned the waiter, looking at her in that intense way of his that made her extremely uncomfortable. She shifted in her seat and avoided his gaze, instead focusing on her wine glass. When the waiter arrived, Logan, without bothering to ask her, placed the order. "We'd like the chocolate mousse. Two spoons."

"Yes Mr. Huntzberger," the man answered dutifully before clearing the table and walking away.

"You didn't ask if that's what I wanted." Rory said lightly.

He smiled, eyes trained on her, assessing her. "Didn't have to."

"I might've wanted the tiramisu," she argued, uselessly because she really did want the chocolate mousse and hated that he knew that. "Or the crème brûle."

"The chocolate mousse is better," he answered arrogantly, annoying her. "Can I ask you a question?"

Folding her arms, she answered childishly, "I don't know, can you?"

He laughed at her, eyes filled with humor. "Funny girl. But seriously, I don't think you're going to like what I want to ask you."

"Just ask."

He waited, leaned back in his chair and studied her before asking, "There's a guy, isn't there?" When he only got a blank stare from her, he elaborated. "The reason why when walk you home tonight and try to kiss you, you'll give me your cheek – it's because there's a guy back home."

She considered lying but knew that Logan was extremely perceptive when he wanted to be so she inclined her head to side, answered as honestly as she could. "Well, first it's because you're my boss." When he waved his hand dismissively, as if that didn't matter, she continued, "but yes, there's a guy. It's complicated."

Logan took another sip of his wine, nodded tersely. "Doesn't sound complicated. There's a guy. Of course there's a guy. It's simple."

Because she had grown to care for him over the past few months, Rory leaned forward and took his hand in hers. "It's been on-and-off with him for years, for too long. I don't know what we are but," she paused to smile brightly, "I do know that if it wasn't for him, I would have let you talk me into bed by now."

He linked their fingers together, chuckled. "Yeah?"

"Oh yeah," she answered with a laugh. "You had me from the moment you tried to grab my ass while innocently reaching behind me to grab a stapler off my desk."

"I remember no such incident," he said and the pulled his hand away when the waiter came with the dessert. "I really do like you, Rory Gilmore."

"I really like you too, Logan."

"So this complicated guy," he said, dipping his spoon into the chocolate mousse. "What's his deal?"

--

Rory dropped her keys into the small glass bowl in the foyer of her one bedroom apartment and closed the door behind her with the heel of her shoe. Smiling, she touched her fingers to her lips, to the spot where Logan had kissed her moments ago before wishing her goodnight and walking away. She hadn't given him her cheek like he had said, mostly because he moved so quickly she didn't realize what he was doing until his lips pressed against hers.

It was a nice kiss. Different. A little exciting, she had to admit. It had been a long time since she had been kissed like that, for the first time, gently, unknown territory. Tristan's embrace was familiar, exciting and raw, but familiar. Tristan's kisses had her head spinning and emotions churning hours after the fact.

Logan's kiss was simple, made her lips tingle, her knees go weak.

Despite her protests to Lorelai, she was attracted to Logan. He was the kind of guy most girls were attracted to, she reasoned. And she had to admit to herself that having him focus attention on her when he was so sought after in the highest of social circles did wonders for her ego.

But – like Logan had inferred so accurately – there was Tristan.

Sighing, Rory shrugged out of her coat, hung it near the door and walked into the tiny kitchenette for a glass of water. Filling a glass for herself, she leaned back against the fridge and took a long sip, thoughts blurring in her head.

A big part of her attraction to Logan was that he was baggage-free. They didn't have a history, their conversations weren't fraught with unspoken words and the time they spent together always made Rory feel relaxed.

Rory frowned and shook her head as if to clear it from thought; she shouldn't be thinking about Logan at all. Nothing could come out of their relationship – she'd looked into the future with him and knew that once the lust that stemmed from initial attraction was fulfilled, they wouldn't work on any other level.

Couldn't work, maybe is more accurate, a voice chided her softly. Not as long as Tristan resided in her heart.

She stared at the tiny table squeezed between the fridge and wall of the kitchen and remembered the conversation that had taken place in her kitchen in Boston, almost six months ago.

"So London, huh?" Tristan said with a mirthless smile as he sat across from her at the table. After she had told him about her job offer and where it was, he had announced that he needed coffee. They had made their way into the kitchen and made breakfast, without speaking until he sat down in front of her and pushed her favorite mug of coffee across the table. "Seems like a whole lot of ocean to put between us, Ror."

She shook her head. "That's not what I'm doing, Tristan."

He nodded, pursed his lips together. "What do you want to do?" Fighting back tears, she shrugged helplessly, unable to say anything. "You should take it."

"Tristan, that's not what-"

"No, it is what you want," he replied vehemently. "I know you inside out, Rory. It's your dream come true to work for such a prestigious paper. With Mitchum Huntzberger, no less. You would regret every single day if you didn't take the job."

"I would miss you every single day if I did," she answered, for what seemed like the first time in ten years, as honestly as she could.

His eyes darkened and he reached across the table to take her hand in his. "It'll kill me to know you're so far away. But it's not like we haven't been apart before. And I won't stand in the way of this. I've never done that."

Her lips twisted into a smile that was almost bitter. "No you've never asked me to stay."

"Rory."

She took her hand away from his, shoved away from the table. "Forget it, Tristan."

She stood up and turned around so he wouldn't see her cry. His chair scraped the floor and he came to stand behind her, putting a hand on her shoulder. When she didn't budge, he wrapped an arm around her waist, pulled her against him.
His lips grazed her ear as he said, "Rory, don't."

"I can't help it," she replied, sniffling. "It's the same thing over and over again. I don't know what to do, anymore."

"I know, baby," he said and tightened his grip on her. "But I'm just trying to give us some perspective. As much as I hate it, distance might be a good thing for us. And not just distance that we can easily cover and seek each other out, whenever we want to. If you're on another continent, I might be able to stay away."

A sob escaped her and she turned around, putting her hands on his chest. "We need this."

He nodded firmly. "We do. It's healthy. When you left my house that day, I was so mad I almost came after you, wanting to drag you back and keep you locked up and give you no other choice. I'm not exaggerating; I was already in the car."

She smiled, knowing exactly how angry he would have been. "But you didn't."

"No, because I need you to come to me on your own terms," he answered, brushing a strand of hair off her face. "I need to know that when we come to each other it's because it's meant and not because we're stuck in some sort of twisted cycle."

She ran the back of her hand under her nose, feeling disgusted. "That's what I want too. That's why I left that day. It's almost like we're addicted to the misery we seem to so easily inflict on each other."

His hands rubbed soothing circles on the small of her back and he kissed her forehead. "I've been addicted to you since I was sixteen. It's been a hard habit to break."

She laughed weakly, resting her head against his chest. "I don't know how I feel being compared to drugs."

He chuckled and then pulled away, bringing his hand under her chin. "Nothing would make me happier than to see you happy, Rory Gilmore."

A tear trailed down her cheek. Unable to find words, she lifted her face and kissed him, wrapping her arms around him, pouring all her love into that one kiss, hoping he knew what she was trying to say.

He responded his lips hungrily devouring hers, before bending down and lifting her into his arms and carrying her into the bedroom.

They had made love on her bed as if it were the last time they were going to see each other. It was the first time in a long time since their lovemaking had been so tender, so intimate. She rose above him on the bed; fingers linked together, eyes locked as they rode out the first peak together.

He had stayed with her until she was asleep and when she woke up later that afternoon, he was gone.

She had been surprised when he had called the night she was leaving, asking her if she needed a ride to the airport. She hadn't been able to say yes, knowing it would make it harder for her to leave with him standing there at the gate. She thanked him for the offer and told him she'd see him at Christmas.

He didn't tell her loved her.

Do the things that you always wanted to
Without me there to hold you back, don't think, just do

More than anything I want to see you, girl
Take a glorious bite out of the whole world

In her kitchen in London, Rory wiped away an unbidden tear and turned to put her empty glass in the sink.

She'd see Tristan at Christmas. And maybe finally, they'd find some peace.

To Be Continued…

PS – Download the song if you haven't already. It's wonderful. Lyrics for your reading pleasure.

You could be happy and I won't know
But you weren't happy the day I watched you go

And all the things that I wished I had not said
Are played in loops 'till it's madness in my head

Is it too late to remind you how we were
But not our last days of silence, screaming, blur

Most of what I remember makes me sure
I should have stopped you from walking out the door

You could be happy, I hope you are
You made me happier than I'd been by far

Somehow everything I own smells of you
And for the tiniest moment it's all not true

Do the things that you always wanted to
Without me there to hold you back, don't think, just do

More than anything I want to see you, girl
Take a glorious bite out of the whole world