A/N: I do apologize for the delay, however I am super busy with life right now (ughhhh), but here it is :)
"It looks like you're surviving" Rory laughed as she practically jumped on Logan's back as he watched the kids interacting from a far.
"You were watching from the house" Logan stated as he pulled her in front of him and kissed her gently, "Enjoying watching me struggle?"
"Well you've never had the pleasure of dealing with all of this" Rory shrugged, "I wanted to see how you would handle it all"
"Well, so far, so good" Logan told her, intertwining his hand in hers, "It's kind of funny"
"What is?" Rory looked at him with a broad smile.
Rory thought about it for a moment and then let out a long laugh, "But we're in a better place than the last 5 years of our marriage was" Rory told him, squeezing his hand, "So, let's go find the kids and try to navigate the waters which are corporate leadership. You will be astounded by the things people will talk about at kids birthday parties"
"Of course" Logan nodded as Rory began pulling him in the direction of where she could see Riley laughing with a friend who was having her face painted.
"She's having a blast" Rory noted.
"She deserves it" Logan agreed, "No one deserves it more than that little girl"
"Well either way, she has an amazing father, and I have an amazing boyfriend" Rory told him with a wink as they got closer to the kids, smiling at other kids as they passed. There were easily over 150 guests at the party including parents and the various nannies that some of the parents brought with them.
"Mommy, look at Sydney's cheek!" Riley pointed to her friend as her parents got close to her.
"Wow" Rory agreed, "That is quite the butterfly" Rory told the little girl as she took a closer look, "Are you girls having fun? Did Dad do a great job?"
"Yes!" Riley grinned while her friend nodded, "Thank you Daddy, you can plan all my birthday parties"
"Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves" Logan laughed, "But make sure you see all of your friends"
"Ok" Riley nodded, "After Sydney is done, we are going to play with my friends from school" she explained, referring to the preschool she was attending before she had to begin treatments.
"Thanks babe" Rory smiled, "I'm going to go find all of your Grandparents, and Aunty Paris"
"Not our parents" Logan groaned as he followed her to the group of adults who were hovering near the gift table.
"Some party" Chris laughed as he raised his glass to Logan, "Someone certainly is turning into Mr. Mom"
"What can I say, maybe publishing isn't my calling" Logan shrugged, "Maybe it's party planning, I mean that would explain my failed marriage" he laughed as he wrapped his arm tightly around Rory.
"Well son, everyone seems to be having fun" Shira stated with a smile, "And your father certainly didn't plan any of your birthday parties"
"No kidding" Logan laughed, "If he had they would have been in a boardroom"
"Funny" Mitchum mused, "Where is Christian I haven't seen him?"
"He is around here somewhere" Logan scanned the children in front of him, "He is right by the pool with his friends"
"I'll go say hello" Mitchum told him, "Shira would you like to come?"
"Of course" Shira smiled at Logan and Rory, "Rory you must tell me all about your book, Logan says you are working on another"
"Of course" Rory nodded, "Maybe after the party" she then turned to Logan as she saw that Mitchum and Shira were out of ear shot, "You told her about the book?"
"I'm sorry" Logan chuckled, "It came out, and I mean, its true, you are working on another book"
"And you told your mother?" Rory continued to stare at him, "I mean, she was so supportive of the first book...if I recall there was one drunken night where she called and told me she had purchased 5 copies...and burned them"
"Dad was supportive" Logan shrugged with a devilish grin, "Huntzberger publishes your books Ace, you are an amazing author, and I am sure that this book will be just as good as the last, and my mom will probably not want to burn it. I can't make that promise because I think most of my family could use extensive psychiatric observation, but, maybe she won't"
"Oh thanks" Rory laughed as she continued to watch the kids, "This is almost reassuring"
"Until you realize who's coming up behind us" Logan whispered in her ear as heard a familiar grunting behind him, "Kevin, how are you?"
"Logan" the man, Kevin, approached him, he was wearing a pair of khakis and a polo and looked incredibly uncomfortable, "You aren't usually at these things"
"Changed man" Logan extended his arm to him, "How is business?"
"Well, life after Huntzberger is different" Kevin told him, "But good. Promising, I have some good avenues to look at" he turned to Rory, "Good to see you Rory"
"You too, thank you for coming" Rory smiled, she knew that sometime during their split, Logan had forced Kevin to resign from HPG, Kevin reportedly had a drinking problem, but unfortunately their kids had grown attached to each other, which meant that Kevin and his third wife, Mindy, always attended the functions, "Where is Mindy? I'm sure she has a great pair of shoes to show me! Or a new diamond" Rory excused herself as Kevin pointed to his wife who was talking to another group of women.
"How is work going?" Logan asked his old friend honestly, he hadn't wanted to force Kevin out, but when it started effecting business, he had no other choice after Kevin refused to seek treatment, "I heard you were working for Harper Collins?"
"Absolutely" Kevin nodded, "And I am off the sauce, everything is good. How about you? You seem to be rather at home"
"Well I'm sure you've heard that Rory and I got back together" Logan nodded, "Things are going well. Riley's treatments are done"
"Riley's treatments?" Kevin looked at him with an incredibly puzzled look on his face.
"Riley...she has leukemia" Logan reminded him, "You came to a fundraiser we hosted for the children's hospital last month Kev"
"Oh" Kevin nodded, "Yeah, I remember that, I ... wow, I'm sorry. I didn't realize...Riley, wow"
"My thoughts exactly" Logan agreed, "But she's doing well, so everything for me is going as good as it can"
"I'm glad" Kevin nodded.
"Are you really good?" Logan asked, concerned for his old friend.
"I'm good" Kevin assured him, "I'm going to go check on the kids, I think our boys are in the pool"
"That means my Dad is watching them" Logan laughed, "Good seeing you though" Logan clapped his hand on Kevin's shoulder, "Keep in touch"
"Daddy!" Riley giggled as she sat on Logan's lap while the giant metallic cake was wheeled out. The cake was designed to look like a giant tiara, it was incredibly intricate and far too extreme for a 5 year olds birthday, but it is what Riley had wanted, "I love it"
"Happy birthday" Logan kissed her head while the rest of her friends sang happy birthday to her in the tent where they were eating.
"Make a wish" Rory squeezed Logan's hand as she watched them, Christian was grinning on the other side of his sister while she blew out her candles.
"What did you wish for?" Christian asked her.
"I can't tell you" Riley told him obviously as the crowd applauded her for blowing out her candles, "If I tell, it might not come true"
"I guess" Christian agreed as the cake was wheeled away to be served almost as quickly as it came.
"Alright" Logan maneuvered Riley off of his lap so that he could stand up, "Hi everyone" Logan raised his voice to gain the attention of the room, "Rory, Christian, Riley and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for coming. This is such a big day, I can hardly believe that our little Riley is 5" he laughed, "I'm sure you all remember more of these birthday's than I do" he looked to Rory who shook her head as she chuckled, "Anyway, we appreciate that you could all make it, and we are so blessed and fortunate to have such an amazing family and amazing friends. So dig in, this cake looks awesome" Logan raised his glass and turned to his family, watching as the adults in the room raised their glasses as well, "Everyone have an amazing time"
"Daddy why did you make that speech?" Riley asked as Logan sat back down.
"Well because you need to say thank you to everyone for coming" Logan explained, "Anyway, eat up" Logan told her as a waiter brought them all a slice of cake.
It was hours later when all of the guests were gone, and thankfully everything was cleaned up, Rory had to admit she loved the fact that she didn't have to clean any of these parties, they were a disaster. Even though the life she was living now was far from the life she had lived when she was a child, it was a life she loved, and she tried to keep her kids grounded, despite the fact that they were very fortunate, they needed to understand that they were fortunate, and that their father, and grandfather had worked very hard to give them a great life.
"What are you thinking, Ace?" Logan asked after he finished putting Riley to bed, he glanced at his watch, "If you're writing, I can put Christian to bed too"
"He has another hour doesn't he?" Rory asked, staring intently at her computer screen.
"He has another 20 minutes" Logan laughed, he loved watching her work. She was so focused, so intent on what she was doing that nothing else would matter to her in those moments, "Can I see what you're working on?"
"I'll e-mail you the chapter once it's done" Rory assured him, "Would you mind grabbing me a drink? Gin and tonic?"
"Coming right up" Logan nodded, leaving the library where Rory always wrote, as he passed the door to the basement where Christian was playing video games, he opened it slightly, "Christian you have 20 minutes" he shouted, only to hear a grunt in response.
Rory chuckled to herself as she heard the interaction and returned to the computer screen. She had been working on the book for a few weeks now, she hadn't really told anyone much about it. Except for her mother who had seemed cautiously optimistic about the choice. She typically worked on the book while she was working, or when the kids were in bed, but since the party, since seeing everyone in her life come together, for Riley's birthday much less, she had wanted to do nothing but write.
Chapter 3 - The Trouble With Kids
When you have a child, you immediately feel this sense of responsibility. As a mother, I remember this feeling of hopelessness when I held my son for the first time. It was a feeling of terror when after only 12 hours they put me in a wheelchair, sent me to the curb, and waited for a black sedan to pick me up. How on earth could these doctors, individuals who had participated in years of schooling in order to take care of us in our times of medical crisis, they had decided I was capable of taking home a little human being? But this little human being, this perfect, angelic little boy I was holding, sitting in a wheelchair, waiting for my husband at the curb of the hospital, he was ours.
The moment I realized that he was ours, that he was going to be my responsibility for the rest of my life, everything changed. The fact of the matter is, it became my responsibility to watch out for him, and later to watch out for our daughter. I did my part, I watched out for them, I made sure everyone who came to the house was washing their hands, and I forced them to wear elbow pads when they learned how to ride a bike. So how did I end up here? How did I find myself in a hospital, learning that my daughter, my precious daughter had cancer. What had I done wrong? Did I forget to use sanitizer? Or should I really have bought organic all the time? Maybe I should have never let her have dairy or sugar or gluten or anything that tastes remotely good. Maybe I should have put her in a bubble and never let her leave the house. All of these were options, most of which would be insane to any regular person. My mother however, bestowed upon me wisdom which suggested that there was nothing I could do to keep my kids safe all of the time, unfortunately some things just happen, and my daughter getting cancer was one of those things.
The feeling of hopelessness you have when your child is sick, whether it be a fever, the flu, or the feeling I had when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer are all different versions of the same thing. The horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when something is wrong, it doesn't go away. Through the treatments and the late nights, and the tears, as a mother you just feel this sense of panic, and it never goes away. But then, there are moments, moments where you watch your little girl laughing and being happy, and enjoying her 5th birthday party, and in that moment, you truly believe that everything is going to be alright.
"How's it going Ace?" Logan laughed as he reentered the library, "You need to come to bed, or at least back away from the computer"
"I'm having a moment of clarity" Rory laughed.
"Well, does that mean you can let me see?" Logan prodded as he took a seat on the edge of her desk.
"You realize you are sitting on a $15,000 desk?" Rory groaned as she shut her computer and stood up.
"Yes, I do" Logan laughed as she walked towards him, "What is it about?"
"Life" Rory shrugged, "The way things change, the way things are" she continued as she wrapped her arms around his neck, "Right now I'm talking about the kids, and the ridiculous fear that comes with having children"
"I couldn't believe they let us take them home from the hospital" Logan admitted as he held her close to his body, "I mean, they let two people come home and live with us, that has got to be a sick and twisted joke. We could ruin them, well, you couldn't, but I could"
"You are a great father" Rory told him as she relaxed against his chest, "Everything was great today. You did a really good job"
"Well, party planning is never going to be my forte" Logan admitted, "But it was nice, it was nice to do something for the kids, and it was nice to see you relaxed for a change. If I didn't know better I would say you liked some of those other crazy Mom's"
"They aren't crazy" Rory laughed, "Are we going to bed, or what?"
"I was thinking that we could go to bed, and not even do a little bit of sleeping" Logan kissed her sweetly.
"I thought you had meetings tomorrow?"
"I do have meetings tomorrow"
"Christian are you ready for school? You need to go" Rory called as she nursed her coffee, the nanny was taking him to school that morning so that Rory could take Riley to another doctor's appointment.
"Where's Dad?" Christian pouted.
"He's at work" Rory told him as she stood up, "Do you have all of your homework?"
"Yes" Christian nodded.
"Is everything alright?" Rory asked as she approached her son, placing her coffee on the counter.
"Yes" Christian nodded once more.
"Christian, I feel like you might be lying to me" Rory asked him again.
"I don't want to go to school" Christian huffed.
"Why not? You love school?"
"Because the other kids are mean" Christian shrugged.
"How are they mean?"
"I want to talk to Dad"
"Christian if you want to talk to Dad I will have him come pick you up from school, but you have to go today unless you can give me a good reason why not" Rory explained as she handed him his backpack.
"Fine" Christian rolled his eyes as he turned on his heels and stomped towards the door.
"I love you" Rory called as she saw Alice, the nanny waved at her from the garage door. She heard Christian mumble something back as she quickly dialed the number to Logan's office, "I would like to speak to Logan please"
"Mr. Huntzberger is in a meeting" the new assistant, Andrew, told her.
"This is Rory Huntzberger, I need to speak with him" Rory reiterated, annoyed that she was having this discussion, Sheila always put her through, no matter what.
"Let me put you on hold please" Andrew fumbled as he put her on hold.
"Ace you are scaring my new employees" Logan laughed as he picked up the phone.
"Well he should know to just put me through" Rory laughed, "How were your calls this morning? You were gone so early"
"I was gone at 4" Logan told her, "They were good. I'm going to have to go to Paris in a few weeks, I was hoping that if Ri is still doing well, the entire family can come"
"That sounds perfect, but I need you to do something for me today" Rory explained as she walked towards the stairs to go and find Riley.
"What do you need?"
"It's Christian, something is going on at school" Rory explained as she climbed the stairs, "He will only talk to you about it, so I said you would pick him up from school"
"Ace, I have meetings all afternoon" Logan groaned, "I don't know if I can make it to pick him up today"
"Logan" Rory warned as she knocked on Riley's bedroom door, to quickly be assured that she simply needed another moment.
"Ror, I can't help it, I have work"
"Logan I am asking you" Rory began, "To prioritize"
"Alright" Logan knew that whenever she asked him to prioritize she meant business, "But I want to talk wedding tonight after I have dealt with Christian. I don't think the Hampton's are a good idea"
"You what?" Rory groaned as Riley emerged from her room, "Hey Ri, go put your shoes on?"
"I think we should do it in Stars Hollow, something low key...think Britney and K-Fed, but without the divorce and with infinitely better taste"
"So the only Britney and K-Fed that I am thinking is the surprise wedding factor?" Rory laughed as she followed her daughter back down the stairs, "We'll talk after you pick up your son, I love you"
"Love you too Ace, give Ri a kiss for me"
"So" Logan looked in the rearview mirror at his son, "Mom says something is up?"
"I don't want to go to school here anymore" Christian stated simply.
"You promise not to tell?"
"No" Logan laughed, "But I promise to do everything I can to help"
"I don't want you to tell" Christian repeated.
"Well I'll tell you what" Logan compromised, "You tell me what is going on, and I promise to help fix it, and if I don't have to tell anyone, I won't, but if it's important, I might have to tell"
"Fine" Christian huffed.
"So out with it Huntzberger"
"The kids are mean"
"What are they mean about?"
"Matthew Woods said that Riley is going to die"
"He said what?" Logan's head shot up as he heard the words.
"He said that she was sick and his Mommy had said that she was going to die"
"Christian, listen to me" Logan began as he signaled a left hand turn.
"Your sister is doing well" Logan told him, "I cannot promise that everything will be perfect, but I can assure you that Riley is doing well. That boy, Matthew doesn't know what he is talking about, and I am having a discussion with your headmaster" Logan continued as he made his way back to the school, "Did you tell your teacher?"
"He heard him" Christian nodded.
"Alright" Logan nodded as he whipped into the school parking lot, "Come on" he instructed as he got out of the car, "You don't say a word, you let me do the talking"
"Dad don't cause a scene" Christian was clearly worried, it was rare that he saw Logan truly upset, and this was an instance where Logan was furious.
"Christian don't worry about this" Logan put his hand on his shoulder and walked into the office, "I need to see the headmaster" he told the secretary quickly.
"I'm sorry but he is unavailable right now, I can make an appointment if you'd like"
"Christian go wait out in the hall for a minute, I'll get you in a second" Logan smiled at his son before returning to the secretary, "Look, I know this isn't particularly your fault, however I will be seeing the headmaster immediately, my name is Logan Huntzberger, and I can buy and sell this school tomorrow if I want. Someone at this school decided to tell my son that his 5 year old sister is dying, and one of the clearly incompetent teacher's sat by and watched. So you find me the headmaster immediately"
"I...uh...Mr. Huntzberger, just give me a moment" the secretary scrambled and knocked on the headmaster's door while Logan called Christian back into the office. "Right this way"
"Thank you" Logan nodded as he walked into the office and shook the headmaster's hand, "We have a problem"
"I don't have time for semantics, I am an incredibly busy man, and my family is a huge part of my life, and as you know, our family has been going through a difficult time" Logan explained.
"Yes, I know that your daughter is sick, she is no longer attending our junior program"
"Exactly" Logan nodded, "And I was under the impression that given the astronomical amount we pay in tuition each year, the school would be supportive of our current situation"
"Of course" he agreed, "We hope that your daughter, Lorelai has a quick recovery"
"I'm glad we are on the same page" Logan narrowed his eyes at him, using a tone that was normally reserved for business meetings which had gone awry, "My son tells me that he was bullied in class last week, and that one of the other student's told him that his little sister was going to die"
"Well Mr. Huntzberger, I can assure you that kind of behaviour is not tolerated"
"You see I would love to believe that" Logan nodded, "But evidently, one of your faculty members heard this behaviour and said nothing to stop the situation"
"Well I find that hard to believe"
"Well I do not particularly care what you believe" Logan told him, "So we will have this situation solved by tomorrow, along with an apology, or else my children will be going to a different school"
"You yelled at the headmaster?" Rory smirked as she and Logan enjoyed a glass of wine once the kids were in bed.
"I didn't yell" Logan shook his head, "What kind of a school condones that kind of behaviour. I do not want the kids going there"
"Where do you want the kids going?" Rory asked.
"Why don't we send them where you went?" Logan suggested, "Chilton? It is a good school. We can't send them where I went because I went to boarding school, and got kicked out a half dozen times"
"A half dozen times?"
"Ok maybe a dozen times" Logan shrugged, "But Chilton?"
"Chilton is good" Rory nodded, "I can look into that tomorrow"
"Perfect" Logan took a long sip of his wine, "I want Christian out of there by Monday"
"Logan don't be dramatic" Rory warned, "This is bad, we know that this is bad, but we will take care of this. Drastic measures are not going to fix anything, so take a breath"
"I just wanted to punch that smug guy in the face"
"I know" Rory laughed, "Thank you for going to get him"
"Yeah well, I'm some dream boat" Logan kissed her, "I was thinking we can grab lunch tomorrow?"
"I leave for New York tomorrow" Rory told him, "Work, and I need to get some work on the book done"
"How is it coming?"
"I'm trying to make it more broad" Rory explained, "Focus on the big picture, family, you know"
"In addition to the chapter about the kids?"
"Yeah, just...my life" Rory shrugged, "Minus the divorce, I have covered the divorce" she put her glass down, "So what were you saying about a Britney, K-Fed wedding?"
"Well, I was thinking, we want it to be special, but why not just friends and family, at the inn, it will be relaxed, low key, no big deal. Riley still gets her princess dress, but we don't have to do something huge and ridiculous"
"We could do it soon" Rory smiled, "I just want to get it done"
"So let's do it. Screw the Hampton's, screw a big party, let's get this done, and then head to Paris for a honeymoon with the kids"
"You want to honeymoon with the kids?"
"I want to go on a trip with my family" Logan corrected her.
"Well then, on a family trip we will go"