"I'm not really sure why I came here. I guess ... I needed to see if you are okay. But they told me you haven't woken up yet. It's ... weird. Being here. Maybe I shouldn't have come." Rory was sat in a chair beside a hospital bed. Lying in the bed was Logan. He was currently in a coma after a car accident in San Francisco. It had been in the papers that the Huntzberger heir was in hospital and seeing as Rory was already in California on the campaign trail, she made a quick decision that she needed to see him.
"I spoke to one of the nurses and they said that you could hear me ... maybe. So maybe this would be the perfect opportunity to say all the things that I'm too scared to tell you normally. I've thought about what I would say when I saw you about a thousand times in the last couple of months. Then in the taxi here I tried to relax but ... I guess I was nervous. The nurses say that you're going to be okay ... you just need to wake up. Everyone's been to see you apparently, Finn, Colin, Steph, even your dad. He's not here at the moment though, I made sure of that. I'm kind of rambling now. Maybe I should just say what I came to say." Rory took a deep breath a looked around the room. She took Logan's hand and squeezed gently.
"I'm sorry for what happened. I've thought about it nonstop and I still don't know if I made the right decision. When you proposed to me I ... I was shocked. You were the last person I thought would want to get married young. I don't doubt for one second that you did it for the right reasons and that you loved me. But I was just ... surprised. I spent that night thinking about everything and I guess I ended up focusing on all the marriages in my life that have gone wrong. My parents couldn't stay together, when I was born and when they were married. Then there was my mom and Luke. I know they're together now and they were never actually married but they had lots of trouble. Then there's dad's marriage to Sherry and Dean's marriage to Lindsay. To me ... marriage just didn't work. Even my grandparents have had their fair share of problems. Lane and Zach have managed it I suppose but ... they have the twins to hold them together now. They're the exception. I panicked and I shouldn't have." Rory shuffled uncomfortably in her chair.
"Every day since graduation I've doubted my decision. But when I said I didn't want to get married I didn't mean I wanted to break up and I never expected that would be the outcome. I just thought ... I don't know ... that we could carry on as normal. So many things were changing in my life ... leaving Yale, not having a job lined up and not knowing what to do ... I just needed something to stay the same. Thinking about it after I thought maybe I should have just asked for a long engagement. I didn't want to lose you. I loved you and I still do. I decided a long time ago that you were the man for me. I think I may have loved you ever since you held my hand and we jumped off a seven story platform. I was so scared but somehow ... because you were there ... it made it okay. And I hardly even knew you at the time. Then when you said you had to go to London I thought about our relationship and what it meant to me. I decided it meant everything. It was then that I first thought we would be together forever. I guess ... what I'm trying to say is that I made a mistake. Marriage does scare me but ... with you ... it shouldn't. I love you and that should have been all that mattered ... not what has happened to other people or anything like that. It was the biggest mistake of my life and if I could take it back I would." Rory paused and wiped tears from her eyes. She had never voiced what she had just told Logan. Not even to Lorelai or Lane. But it had always been there at the back of her mind.
"Ace," came a hoarse voice. Rory jumped slightly and looked over at Logan. He squeezed her hand and turned his head slightly to look at her better. She wiped fresh tears from her eyes and stood up quickly.
"Logan, you're awake. I should go get a nurse," she said, not really thinking.
"Ace, I ...
"Don't try to speak, I should go get help." She moved towards the door, letting go of her hand.
"What you said," he started again.
"Logan I'm sorry for what you have probably just heard. I shouldn't have come here. I don't know what I was thinking," she said quickly, leaving the room.
She had checked herself into a local hotel before visiting the hospital and after informing a nurse that Logan had woken up she returned to her room and spent a long time pacing up and down. Had she just made a huge mistake? It was silly of her to think that Logan would still feel the same way. Selfishly she had thought she could come and tell Logan the truth about how she was feeling and he would never know. The nurses had said he could hear but how much did they really know? But the look on Logan's face when he had woken up had told her that he had heard everything. Now what? She thought about catching the next plane to San Diego to continue with the campaign. She had already missed a couple of speeches but they weren't high profile so it wasn't the end of the world. She phoned the airline and found that the next available flight wasn't until the following morning anyway. So she rang down for room service and turned on the TV. She was used to living like this now. Out of a suitcase and being alone in a hotel room hundreds of miles from home. It was a lonely life. At about 8 o'clock however, there was a knock on the door. Opening it, she found the last person she expected to see.
"Hello Rory, may I come in. I have some things to talk about," said the deep, powerful voice of Mitchum Huntzberger.
"Umm sure," she said quietly, her heart racing. "Can I get you a drink?" she asked.
"No," he replied. Rory sat down on the bed whilst Mitchum chose one of the hard, uncomfortable dining chairs that accompanied a small table in the corner of the room.
"Have you seen Logan today?" she asked.
"I have just come from the hospital. He is doing just fine now that he has woken up."
"Oh, good," she said, relieved.
"I hear that you went to visit him earlier and were there when he awoke."
"Yes. I shouldn't have visited, it was stupid of me."
"My son has been in a coma for a week. According to the nurses his injuries weren't that bad and he should have only been out for a couple of hours. His friends have all visited, as have myself and my wife. None of us could get him to wake up. You visit him ... and that changes. What does that say?" asked Mitchum. Rory sat in silence, processing what Mitchum had just said and what he was getting at. "My son loves you Rory. He never stopped. And from what I'm guessing, seeing as you came here, you love him too." Rory blushed.
"I ..." she started but couldn't quite form the words.
"I have an apology to make. In fact I have two apologies. The first, for saying that you didn't have what it takes to be a journalist. Everyone can make a mistake and I don't make them often but there is the odd occasion. This was one of those occasions. I followed your work on the Yale Daily News and by all accounts you were one of the best editors the paper has ever had, which is saying a lot seeing as I myself was editor once."
"I wasn't that good," Rory cut in.
"I'm not saying that there weren't any problems, but the way you dealt with them was ... very professional."
"Thank you," replied Rory, shyly.
"And I've followed your articles on the campaign trail, they're good. Very good. Like I said, it's not often I make mistakes, but I have to admit I did in this case. I think that ... perhaps my judgement was affected by your involvement in my son's life. Which brings me on to the second apology. I didn't realise, until now, how much of a positive influence you are on Logan. I thought that by getting involved with you it would ... take him further away from what his mother and I want from him. But again, I was wrong. Instead of distracting him, you encouraged him to fulfil his potential and I didn't see that until recently. He matured a lot whilst with you."
"I don't know what I'm meant to say to all of this," said Rory after a couple of minute's silence.
"Logan got into a car crash because he had been drinking," stated Mitchum. "When the doctors checked his blood he was over the limit, although not hugely. I spoke to him this afternoon and he said it was no big deal, that drinking was a big part of his life. I accept that at his age this may be so but then I spoke to his friends who informed me that it has gotten worse since he moved here ... since your graduation and yes, I know what happened that day. Luckily I have managed to make a few calls and no legal action will be taken. Logan, however, will come back and work for me. He will be based in the New York office and live in our penthouse on Fifth Avenue."
"What has this got to do with me?" Rory asked.
"I would like you to also come and work for me. I regret what I said all those years ago and I want to put that right by offering you a job. It is clear that any newspaper would be lucky to have you and I would like to make an offer before another major newspaper does."
"Mr Huntzberger I don't think I can- " started Rory but got cut off.
"You would also be based in New York and I would like to start you in the politics section so that you can finish the campaign. You would not be on the road however, instead you would only fly out to the major speeches and focus more on the public's reception and opinions than you are at the moment. After the election, we can meet to discuss your future. Features may be a good fit, like at Yale. But we can talk about it at a later date."
"Thank you for the offer but- "
"A lot of people would kill for the job I have just offered you," pointed out Mitchum. "The chance to work for HPG. All sorts of doors would be opened for you and you would only be a few hours from home."
"I don't know if Logan would like that. He probably hates me."
"Remember what I said at the beginning, Rory. He only woke up when you came to visit. Whatever you said to him ... it worked. His life has been a mess since the separation and you obviously still care about him or why else would you be here? Think about it at least. Phone me tomorrow with your answer, I'll leave a business card." He pulled a small card out of his pocket and placed it on the table. He stood up and moved towards the door. Before opening it, he turned back to Rory who had stood up. "Visiting hours at the hospital start at 9 tomorrow morning. My wife and I shall be busy then and unable to visit until at least 11. Plenty of time to talk I should think."
"Does your wife know you're here?" Rory asked before he left.
"Yes. She still isn't your biggest fan, but warmed to you somewhat considerably when she found out your fathers name."
"What?" asked Rory.
"The fact that you are not only a Gilmore, but also a Hayden puts you in a much better position in my wife's books. I don't believe in such nonsense and if I did, I would never have married her. She was simply a trophy wife looking for the glamour. I don't want that for my son. He deserves better. I shall speak to you tomorrow," he finished and left the room.
Rory lay back on the bed and went over everything that Mitchum had said. If the business card hadn't been on the table, she would have thought it had all been a dream. Mitchum had hated her. He had been unimpressed with her journalism skills and told her she didn't have what it takes. But now had just called her one of the best editors of the Yale Daily News and offered her a job. Then there was all the stuff about Logan. In truth, seeing him had made her more sure that she was still in love with him. There was just the small matter that she had broken his heart and that he probably would hate her forever. She looked up at the ceiling and knew she wasn't going to get much sleep. It was going to be a long night.