A/N: Hey guys! I'm sure you thought that all my stories were dead. It's been an insane several months. I was away all summer sans technology, so I couldn't write. Then when I came home and the semester started again, I've been overwhelmed by my schoolwork and writing articles. But I'm trying to get back on track with my stories.
I kept this chapter short and fluffy so that I could get it finished as quickly as possible for you guys. I had more planned, but I wanted to get this up quickly. I'm going to try to go back to regular posting. Enjoy!
Chapter Fourteen – I'm Happy if You're Happy
Despite only getting a few hours of sleep, Logan woke up feeling completely rested. It took a moment for his sleep addled brain to remember why he woke up feeling so content. He was technically awake; that is to say, Logan was conscious. But he had yet to open his eyes or move at all; his body was still numb and his brain was still filled with fog. He was in the process of trying to remind his body how to function when he heard a sigh, and felt another body curling into his.
Logan smiled, his brain finally waking up enough to register where he was. Rory was still sound asleep, her mused hair falling across her face. Logan carefully pushed the hair aside, not wanting to wake her just yet.
It was hard for Logan to believe that they had only been apart for a few months. So much had happened between them in that short amount of time. Now they had come full circle; or at least Logan had. He was happier than he'd been all summer. He felt like they were back to where they had been before the proposal, before Logan screwed everything up. He felt content in that feeling.
He would never admit it to her, but Logan was thanking God, his lucky stars, or whatever higher power there was that Rory had gotten pregnant. If she hadn't, it might have been years before his anger subsided enough to try and win her back, if ever. He was a fool to think that they had to push their relationship forward; they were developing just fine on their own. Now he couldn't even remember what had made him think that it had to be one way or the other. Rory may have been his first real relationship and the first person he'd ever fallen in love with, but Logan wasn't an idiot. He knew that what they had, what they had grown into with time was something special. It didn't come around very often, and Logan had been so stupid to think he should just let it go so easily, especially considering how hard he'd fought in the past to hold onto them when it looked like they would fall apart. What made him think that not being ready to get married meant the end of their relationship?
He would be eternally in debt to that baby for willing itself into existence right at the moment when his own pigheadedness was getting in the way. But he could never tell Rory that. Logan could tell that she was still a little on edge about the whole pregnancy. And why should she be happy? She was giving up so much in order to have that baby; she was putting her dream on hold for it. She'd left a dream job to move back to Connecticut and work for a small paper. She wasn't traveling and covering what could be one of the most historic presidential elections in the country's history, she was back in her small hometown. Except for a few meltdowns, most of which Logan hadn't even witnessed, she hadn't once complained about how much she was giving up.
If Rory had come from any other family with any other upbringing, Logan would have expected Rory to get an abortion. She was the most determined person he'd ever met, and he'd never doubted that she'd let anything stand in the way of her high journalistic aspirations. Even during her time away from Yale, he'd always thought she'd get back on the right track eventually. A pregnancy was possibly the only thing that could derail her; she was knocked off course without a second thought of going back. Not because she didn't want to, but because she couldn't. She, like her mother, was willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of her child. He admired that in her.
In a way, Lorelai had almost had it easier than Rory. When Lorelai ran away with baby Rory to make a life for the two of them, the only thing she was giving up was easy financial support. What she was gaining, freedom, was far more valuable than any dollar amount. And in a way, Rory had become the solution to a problem Lorelai barely knew the answer to. She'd wanted a way out, though maybe not this way out, and Rory had provided it. Logan knew all too well the life Lorelai had left behind, so he could pretty much guarantee that Lorelai hadn't given a single thought to her future before finding out she was pregnant.
Rory, on the other hand, had done nothing but think about her future. Going to Chilton and Yale, becoming editor of the Yale Daily News, interning at smaller papers: they were all merely stepping stones on the way to becoming a journalist like Christiane Amanpour. Even her first job out of college was the perfect next step towards achieving that goal. It must have been heartbreaking for Rory to watch it all come crashing down the minute the strip turned pink. He'd seen firsthand how hard she was willing to work for something she wanted, particularly when it came to journalism. Logan kicked himself again for thinking that she would put their relationship first. Not now, not when the thing she'd wanted her entire life was in such close reach. But she was putting all of that aside now so she could stay healthy and take care of the baby.
Logan kissed her head lightly before carefully extracting himself from her tangled limbs. This wouldn't be forever, he told himself. He wouldn't let it. Logan was going to make sure that this little hiccup in her plan didn't keep her from achieving everything she ever wanted. Stars Hollow was fine for now, but Rory needed someplace bigger. His new goal in life was to make sure that this didn't stop her. He had no clue how he'd do it; there were so many other factors now that a baby was involved. But Logan would make sure that Rory would still get to be everything she'd always wanted.
He gave Rory's hair one last gentle stroke before finally getting out of bed, collecting his discarded clothes off the floor. He didn't want to leave. If he could, Logan would stay there with her all day. But he couldn't avoid his meeting at work, and Logan really needed to get back to his apartment beforehand to shower and change. Logan pulled his clothes on with a sigh, and headed into the kitchen to find something to leave a note for Rory on.
Rory felt a rush of momentary panic when she woke up to find the bed empty.
"Logan?" She pushed herself upright, dragging the blanket up to cover her chest. Her heart was racing. For a moment, she let her imagination run away from her. Had he left her in the middle of the night? Was everything he'd said last night a lie?
A terrible thought flashed through her head. In the panic of finding that Logan wasn't there, Rory remembered a time when she was seventeen, talking with her father at Sookie's wedding. He'd promised her that it was for real this time; that he was in it for the long haul. And then, mere minutes after making that promise, Christopher had run off because something else had gotten in the way. Again.
Christopher's promises had all been for nothing. She wasn't enough to make him stay back then. What made Rory think that this was any different? She was still the same person, and Logan had made promises to her before that he hadn't kept. Recently, in fact.
Then, a few seconds after that thought crossed her mind, Logan came striding into the room, and Rory felt herself relax.
"Sorry, did I wake you?" Logan asked, sitting on the edge of the bed next to her.
Rory glanced at the clocked, noticing for the first time the early hour. It was barely even six o'clock.
She frowned. "Why are you up so early?"
Logan grasped one of her hands in his and stroked the top of it with his thumb. "I've got meetings all morning, and I still need to shower and change before I head into the office."
When Rory didn't respond immediately, Logan sighed. The disappointment must have shown on her face.
"Trust me," Logan continued. "I would much rather skip the meetings and stay here with you." He smirked, eyeing the blanket that she was clutching to her chest with her free hand. "For one, the view alone is significantly better."
Rory grinned, comforted by his comments. "What about the company?" she teased.
Logan shrugged, his smirk growing wider. "Ah, I could take it or leave it."
She smacked him playfully in the chest, the blanket slipping to reveal her naked chest.
"Oh yeah," Logan commented casually, not bothering to avert is gaze. "Much better view here."
"So come back to bed," said Rory as seductively as she could. She didn't feel particularly sexy at the moment, but the teasing and the casual banter made her feel almost normal again.
"I would if I could," he promised.
"Five more minutes?" Rory suggested, biting down on her lower lip.
"What would we do for five minutes? Go back to sleep?"
"Hey, who said anything about sleeping?" A sly grin spread across Rory's face.
Logan gaped at her. "I think I'm going to like you being pregnant, Ace." He leaned down to kiss her softly.
"I'll remind you of that the next time I'm crying over an empty bag of Redvines."
"Nah, I think I'll enjoy it even then."
The sense of normalcy that Rory felt during the exchange did more to calm her than Logan still being there. She'd been feeling as though her emotions have been on high alert since becoming pregnant. Nothing made her feel normal quite like witty banter between her and Logan.
"Now, I'm gonna be in meetings pretty much all day, so you won't be able to get in contact with me," Logan told her. "But I'll see you tonight?"
Logan nodded his assent, but didn't so much as shift his position to get up and leave.
"You sure you're about to leave?" Rory asked.
He took a deep breath. "I'm just trying to figure out how to say goodbye to you without feeling like a giant cliché."
"What are you talking about?" Rory asked, frowning.
He kissed her once on the lips, then pushed the blanket aside and kissed her once on the swell of her stomach.
It had been hard for Rory to really take note of the toll that pregnancy stress had taken on her. She'd been dealing with anxiety for months, even before realizing she was pregnant. That anxiety only increased when the tests came up positive. There were questions, never ending questions of why's and how's and the lists she would normally fall back on did nothing to ease her. There was only so much reassuring her mother could do for her, even though Lorelai had been through it all before. She was too emotional, too hormonal to think rationally.
The Logan Question, at least recently, had been the source of many of those anxieties. And nothing made her feel confident that she could, and would, work everything out quite like the feel of Logan kissing her stomach as he said goodbye before leaving for work.
It wasn't gone completely. She was still worried about how everything would work out. But that little voice in the back of her head was now telling her that she will be able to make it all work. That one small gesture from Logan did more to ease her than anything he could have said.
It must have shown, somehow. When Rory stepped into Luke's that morning to meet her mother for breakfast, Lorelai gave her a puzzled look as she sat down at the table across from her.
"What?" Rory asked as she scooted her chair in.
Lorelai frowned. "You're smiling," she stated simply.
So she was. Rory hadn't even noticed. "I'm not allowed to smile?"
"No, I mean you're really smiling."
Rory frowned, but it was the sort of frown that couldn't mask her happiness. "Does this have a point?" she asked.
"You look happy," Lorelai commented in the same tone as before: point blank, but still with an air of question.
"I ask again, does this have a point?"
"I mean really happy," Lorelai repeated, folding her arms across her chest. "You're…are you glowing?"
"I don't know," Rory said, squirming a little under the scrutiny. "What does that even mean?
"Why are you so happy?"
"I'm not allowed to be happy?" she asked as Luke came over to take her order. "Just coffee some pancakes, Luke."
"No way, you're not having any coffee!" Lorelai pulled Rory's empty mug away from her so Luke couldn't fill it.
"Sorry, no coffee for you."
"You cannot be serious!"
"You are way too happy this morning!"
"Since when am I not allowed to be happy?"
"Should I leave?" Luke asked.
"Yeah thanks," Lorelai said without taking her focus off of Rory. "No, you're not allowed to be happy when the last time I saw you, you were having a panic attack because you saw Logan talking to another woman. So you've either had way too much coffee this morning or something's happened since you left my house last night. Either way, you're not getting your mug back until you explain yourself."
It wasn't that Rory didn't want to tell her mother. She just thought she'd have longer than 30 seconds to revel in the moment before letting someone else in.
"I felt the baby kick last night," she said quietly.
Lorelai's face changed immediately. "Really?" She placed the mug back on the table. "Oh, Rory, that's so exciting!"
"Yeah," Rory replied with a laugh, biting down on her lower lip. She glanced down at her stomach quickly and placed a hand there unconsciously. "It was…wonderful, and terrifying. And…and I was just sitting there alone in my apartment, and I remember thinking that this is what it was going to be like for the rest of my life. The baby would take its first steps and I'd be happy…but no one else would be there to share it with me."
"Oh, hun." Lorelai reached a hand across the table to grasp one of Rory's.
"No, it's not a sad thing." Rory took her hand back and placed it in her lap. "I just…I felt weird being alone for that. So…I called Logan."
Lorelai folded her arms across her chest again. "You called Logan."
"And you what, chatted about the weather?"
"No, I asked him to come over."
She scrutinized Rory without saying a word for a few minutes. In that time, Luke came to their table, placed their breakfast in front of them, and poured Rory some coffee, and all the while the two of them didn't speak.
"So let me get this straight," Lorelai finally said. "Last night you feel the baby kick. And in a fit of insanity you decide to call the father of your child to come over. In the middle of the night. Did I get everything?"
"Yeah, that about sums it up." Rory took a sip of her coffee.
"What could possibly possess you to do that?" Lorelai asked. "Did you think having yet another argument about who did a better job of screwing up your relationship was a good idea?"
"I just wanted him to be there," Rory insisted. "I kept thinking about how he's here, but he's not really here the way I want him to be. And, I don't know, I didn't really think about it. I felt the baby kick and I wanted Logan to be there too." Rory studied her mom for a moment. "Are you mad?"
"Why would I be mad?"
"I don't know, because you're not saying anything."
"I'm just bit confused. You feel the baby kick and all of a sudden everything's okay between you two?"
"No! I mean, yeah we worked things out…"
"Just like that?"
"Yes, Mom. Just like that. God, why are you trying to ruin this for me?"
Lorelai frowned. "I'm not…why are you behaving like a teenager?"
"I'm pregnant; I'm allowed to be immature. It's in the handbook."
"Look," Lorelai said. "I'm not trying to ruin anything. I'm just trying to get all the facts here." She paused to take a sip of her coffee. "I'm sorry. I am happy for you. I just want to make sure you've thought it all through."
"Well I have." Rory finally picked up her fork and began piling eggs into her mouth. "I love him, Mom. And he really wants it to work out, for real."
"And this is what you want? What about getting married?"
"He says he'll wait until I'm ready."
Lorelai frowned. "He goes from wanting to marry you right now to waiting indefinitely?"
"It's not like that." Rory put down her fork as she tried to think of the best way to explain things. "We talked about the proposal and what we were feeling at the time and everything that went wrong. And then we talked about where we stand now, and after all that he told me to let him know when I'm ready to get married."
"He's okay with that?"
Rory shrugged. "Apparently."
After a few minutes of silent contemplation, Lorelai finally let the skeptical expression drop from her face. "Well I'm happy if you're happy, sweetie."
"I am," Rory promised. "I really am."