Monday, August 20, 2007

Say You'll Be There

Title: Say You’ll Be There

Author: Brigtherthansunshine (aka Ally)

Word Count: 4321

1.) Character/Pairing: Rory/Logan
2.) Rating: M
3.) Time Period: Post “The New and Improved Lorelai” but before “Fight Face”
4.) Ickle Word: Chillax

And then whatever the two out of three optional categories you choose:

5.) Quote: "Sunburn is very becoming, but only when it is even. One must be careful not to look like a mixed grill." ~Noel Coward
6.) Random Object: An N’Sync song

AN: It’s kind of a random song choice, I know. But I couldn’t get it out of my head and it seems nice and summery and also seemed to fit this stage of Rory and Logan’s relationship. This is my first real attempt at both a fluffier story and something smutty. I hope I did them justice! Many thanks to Nicole for being an excellent beta.

“I told you this Porsche was too small for a road trip!” Rory groused grumpily from the passenger seat.

Logan gave her a disgruntled look, but remained silent, choosing instead to focus on the road.

“I just don’t know how you can expect me, a Gilmore Girl, to take a road trip and then not have room in the car for the necessities!” she continued after a few more minutes of silence.

“Ace, there’s plenty of room for the necessities,” Logan replied, emphasizing the word necessities with a grin. “What there isn’t room for, however, are four bottles of water, a bag of Oreos, a gallon of coffee, three tubes of Pringles, and five pounds of Swedish Fish. Not to mention the case of CDs you felt the need to bring along, even though you and I both have functioning iPods.”

“Grinch!” Rory retorted, refusing to admit Logan had a point. “Besides, when taking a road trip, you need to bring along insane amounts of goodies, including but not limited to entertainment and junk food. And coffee, of course, is clearly a necessity for me. I am my mother’s daughter, after all.”

There was an awkward pause and Rory bit her lip and looked out the window, her amusement at their bickering giving way to sadness as soon as she mentioned her mother. Two weeks had gone by since she’d moved into the Gilmore poolhouse, and she was still getting used to not talking to Lorelai. Logan had been surprisingly supportive, offering to squire her around Hartford and even delaying his European jaunt with Finn and Colin until she got settled and was able to pick up her car from the garage.

He placed a reassuring hand on her knee and squeezed slightly. “It’ll be ok, Rory,” he said in a low voice. “She’ll come around. She’ll see you just needed time to…reevaluate everything.”

Rory shook her head. “She won’t forgive me until I’m back at Yale and out of the poolhouse. She’s forgiven me for so much worse …she’s always been there for me, even when I’ve really screwed up, you know? She’s always wanted to at least talk to me about it. And for her to just…abandon…me like this…”

She trailed off; her voice choked with emotion, and continued to stare determinedly out the window.

“You’ll figure it out. In my reevaluation time I sunk a yacht in the Pacific. Comparatively you look like a saint.”

“I’m not sure that would help my case, but I’ll keep it in mind,” she replied dryly. “How much longer until we reach Cedar Point?”

Logan gave her an exasperated look. “It takes about 10 hours to get there, and we’ve only been on the road for 30 minutes, Ace. Plus, we’re only driving part of the way tonight since I had to go see Satan this afternoon.”

“How was it?” Rory asked tentatively, biting her lip. She wanted to be supportive of Logan, but really didn’t want to discuss Mitchum. It was still too new, too raw. So incredibly humiliating.

“It was fine,” he said dismissively, but she could hear the strain in his voice, so she dropped it.

“We need better music,” she declared, fiddling with his iPod to find a new song.

The air in the car was filled with the tension of things unsaid.

“Where are we?” Rory’s sleep-filled voice asked, peering out the window at the dark highway. “How long was I out?”

“We just crossed into Pennsylvania and you weren’t out that long, maybe half an hour.”

“I’m hungry,” she complained and her stomach rumbled loudly in confirmation.

Logan chuckled and conceded that he could also go for something to eat. “Let’s pull over at the next place that has both food and a hotel for the night. I can drive all day tomorrow and that puts us at Cedar Point in the early afternoon. I figured we can check into the hotel, get some dinner, and relax at the pool before getting up early for the park the next morning.”

“That sounds perfect!” Rory paused, as if actually listening to the music for the first time. “What are you listening to?” she asked with a huge grin on her face.

Logan flushed slightly and reached out to change the song on his iPod. “I don’t know, it just came on, Ace. I wasn’t paying attention.”

She swatted his hand away and reached for the display. Letting out a laugh that could only be described as a guffaw, she exclaimed, “NSYNC?!?! Logan Huntzberger, you were listening to ‘Bye Bye Bye’!!”

“My whole library is on shuffle! It came up randomly, babe, hate to break it to you.”

Between giggles Rory managed to choke out, “if ‘Tearing Up My Heart’ comes on next, you’re never hearing the end of it, Huntzberger.”

The flush on Logan’s cheeks deepened as he hastened to change the song.

“Oooh, even better would be that god-awful ‘God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You’,” she crowed, collapsing against the window as another fit of laughter took hold.

“I’m never living this down, am I?” he inquired darkly.

“Not while I draw breath, that’s for sure!” she said, eyes brightened with laughter and mirth.

Logan looked over and caught her eye, pulling off the expressway and into the parking lot of the hotel. “It’s good to see you laugh,” he said simply.

Two days later Rory bounded out of bed and opened the curtains. “It’s going to be sunny!” she exclaimed happily, taking in the cloudless blue sky and the sparkling lake.

Logan squinted and covered his eyes against the sun shining through the now-open draperies. “Why are you up so early, Ace? I thought you were angry with me last night because you thought I tired you out too much?” The faint traces of a smirk lingered at the corners of his mouth.

“I’m excited for the roller coasters, silly! I’ve never gotten farther than the Six Flags in New Jersey because Mom couldn’t afford to take me. And, if we don’t get moving the lines for all the best coasters will be huge.”

“Plus you need some coffee,” he commented, rolling out of bed and heading to the bathroom.

“You know me too well!” she called back.

Twenty minutes later, Logan emerged from the bathroom freshly showered and dressed. As he dug around in the bureau, looking for the bag he was going to bring with him to the park, he casually told Rory that she didn’t need to worry about waiting in lines for the coasters.

“Logan,” she said exasperatedly, “it’s the beginning of summer, school’s out, and a gorgeous weekend day. Of course there will be lines. And since I like to ride more than 3 rides all day, we should be there early.”

“Well, I checked into it and decided to surprise you with VIP passes to the park…we won’t need to wait in any lines, worry about finding a good lunch place, or parking. It’s all taken care of already,” he said somewhat sheepishly, slightly uncertain how she’d react.

Rory looked at him, flabbergasted. “Wow. Just…Wow.”

“I thought you might like to be able to ride them as much as you wanted, when you wanted.”

She ran over to him and threw her arms around his neck. “Thank you! You’re like my very own Daddy Warbucks.”

“I think I’m slightly creeped out by the reference, but seeing that you’re currently delirious with excitement, I will let it slide.” She leaned up and captured his lips in a sweet kiss.

“I am so excited!” she squealed, bouncing over to the dresser to pull on her outfit for the day.

“Just don’t forget the sunscreen. Who was it that said, “Sunburn is very becoming, but only when it is even. One must be careful not to look like a mixed grill.”” I remember reading that somewhere not too long ago.”

“Sorry, I skipped “Obscure Mid-Century Playwrights 101,” Rory quipped. “Okay, so I’m wearing a tank top, shorts, and flip flops, but should I bring a hoodie in case I get cold once it’s dark?”

“Nah, I’ll keep you warm instead,” he said over his shoulder as he gave her a wink.

“Be serious, please, if you can manage to for just a minute!” she replied, laughing.

“It’ll probably get cooler once it’s dark, and we both like to ride coasters at night, so why don’t you bring a long-sleeve shirt with you and I’ll carry it in the backpack until you get chilly,” Logan conceded.

“What’s going in the backpack?” Rory asked quizzically.

“Sunscreen, sunglasses, digital camera, umbrellas, your long sleeve shirt, and water bottles that I’m sneaking in because I’m Logan Huntzberger and I can,” he answered promptly.

“You certainly seem prepared for all eventualities. Clearly you prepare for a day at the amusement park, but preparing for a long road trip just isn’t in the cards!” she teased. “Besides, do we really need all that stuff with us? It sounds more like you’re getting ready for a hurricane or something.”

“Ace,” he said, giving her a wry look. “You of all people should know what I’m getting ready for.”

“You’re getting ready for anything,” she said with a sigh. “I don’t know how I missed it before. After all, it was that very fancy catchphrase that brought us together.” She finally caught sight of the clock and hurried them out the door. “We need to be there when it opens, VIP pass or not,” she declared.

“I feel like royalty,” Rory whispered to Logan as their guide for the day escorted them to the front of the line for the Raptor. “I also feel a bit guilty about jumping the line like this.” She was worrying her lip and looking excited simultaneously.

“Don’t worry about it,” Logan replied instantly. “I did this so we didn’t have to wait in line, so we could have fun all day. Don’t think about it – I’m certainly paying enough for the privilege of skipping the line, okay?” Seeing her hesitation he pulled her against him, wrapping her securely in his embrace and modulating the tone of his voice to be lower, more insistent. “I just want us to have a lot of fun today. Standing in a line in the hot sun is not usually on my list of fun activities. You mentioned awhile ago that you wanted to go somewhere and ride roller coasters all day because you love the freedom of feeling like you’re flying, right?”

Rory nodded; mesmerized by his words, the soothing tone of his voice, and the fact that he remembered what she had said about feeling like flying when on a roller coaster. He had suggested the trip so casually she hadn’t even noticed he was responding to her desire to let go.

“Well you can’t do that standing in a line all day, so I just made it easier for us to ride as many rides as we want today. Tomorrow, too, if we want to come back.”

“Thank you,” she whispered, leaning up to give him a quick kiss. “For everything you’ve done in the past few weeks. For being here for me.”

Logan rubbed his hands reassuringly up and down her arms and gave her a grin. “That’s my girl. Now, come on, we have a ride waiting for us.”

She nodded again, grabbed his hand, and turned to their park guide, indicating that they were ready to start the day. Smiling about the way that he called her “my girl”.

Rory was exhilarated from the roller coasters, her legs slightly shaky and adrenaline coursing through her system. Logan’s continual nearness wasn’t making her legs any more stable. He kept running a light finger up and down her arm, pressing a light kiss to her neck, or whispering a naughty comment into her ear. All seemingly innocent actions (well, excluding the naughty comments) and all of these things had left her feeling higher than she ever had in her life. She felt truly happy for the first time in weeks.

She felt free from expectation. Everyone expected her to be the perfect Rory Gilmore, loving and perfect daughter of the local inn owner, adoring darling grandchild, straight-A student, and the pride of Stars Hollow. She was the great hope of the Gilmore clan and an entire village.

She had been suffocating from the pressure. She had never acted out in high school, never said anything negative to the townspeople, to her grandparents, and only the occasional comment to her mother. It was time to figure out what she wanted, with no reference to her mother, grandparents, or the townspeople of Stars Hollow. It was too bad her mother couldn’t see that, but Rory wasn’t going to try to change her mind. She needed this time away from the pressure, the expectations, to just relax and decide what was best for her. If her Christiane Amanpour dream was what she wanted. If she was capable of attaining that goal, proving Mitchum Huntzberger that he was wrong.

She’d like to shove her future success in his face, that’s for damn sure.

“So was today as ‘chillaxing’ as you’d hoped?” Logan’s voice broke into her reverie.

She laughed a bit as his choice of words. “I’m telling you, ‘chillax’ and its numerous variations are soon to be sweeping the nation’s vocabulary, my friend.”

He leaned in to place a chaste kiss on her cheek, then trailing not-so-chaste kisses up her jaw to her ear, sucking on the earlobe gently, before softly asking, “Is that all I am, Ace? A friend? Ouch.”

She heard the teasing in his voice, but answered his question honestly, pulling back to look him in the eye. “You’re definitely more than just a friend. You’re a boy who is very dangerous to my well-being. And you seem to be able to make my body temperature rise just by looking at me.”

“I’m all that?” he grinned smugly.

“Well, you are a Huntzberger. It’s expected!”

“I say we’ve ridden enough rides today, wouldn’t you agree?” He leaned in to whisper in her ear, “I’d like to make your body temperature rise a few times back at the hotel.”

She flushed and felt the adrenaline start to course through her system again. “We’ve been here all day, are coming back tomorrow, and I’ve ridden as many rides as I can stomach for the day. Let’s get out of here. See what else we can make rise,” she added with an impish grin.

Logan wrapped an arm about her waist and they swiftly left the park.

They barely got through the door of their hotel suite without ripping each other’s clothes off. The entire ten minute drive back from the park seemed to last hours to Logan as Rory kept leaning over the armrests and kissing Logan’s neck, running her hands through his hair, and whispering everything she wanted him to do to her into his ear.

“What’s gotten into you?” he had asked incredulously. She was pleased to see his breathing was becoming slightly erratic as he tried to focus on the road instead of the erotic images Rory was conjuring for him. It was nice to know that she could affect him as easily as he could her.

Once they got into the hotel room, however, all restraint was lifted. Logan pushed Rory into the door, claiming her lips in a bruising kiss that she happily returned. Their tongues dueled and hands groped frantically for bare skin.

Logan broke the kiss to start leaving hot open-mouthed kisses on her collarbone as his hands started to wander down her torso, finding the hem of her tank top and slipping underneath, kneading the flesh on her stomach. Rory sighed and tangled her hands in his hair, pulling him even closer to her, loving the sense of abandon Logan sparked in her. She felt like her nerves were sizzling as his hands moved further up her body.

Held aloft against the door by Logan’s weight, Rory wrapped her legs around his hips, pressing into him and he groaned a bit at the increased pressure building between them. “What’s gotten into you today?” he repeated his question from earlier in a hoarse voice.

Rory murmured something incoherently as they started to clumsily make their way to the bed, Logan staggering a bit under her weight. His knees hit the back of the bed and he lost his balance, sending both of them tumbling onto the bed in a graceless heap. They both giggled a bit before turning back to each other and resuming their explorations of each other.

His lips trailed from her mouth, down her cheek, and over to her left ear, whispering how beautiful she was in between kisses as his hands roved over her stomach and chest above her tank top. He worked his way down her body, nudging the straps of her tank top down her arm with his nose, never stopping his hands as they explored her curves as well. Her hands kept busy as she raked her fingernails up and down his back, eager for him to move things along, relishing the feeling of being pressed into the mattress by his weight. It made her feel so safe, so protected.

As Logan showed no signs of stopping his leisurely exploration of her upper torso, an impatient Rory took matters into her own hands, slipping them underneath his shirt and starting to tug it upwards. They broke apart to remove his shirt and they then undressed each other slowly, pausing to drop kisses along the way, mumbling words against skin.

Logan was busily nipping and sucking on a spot just below her hipbone, an erogenous zone he had discovered only a few weeks prior, smiling at the way Rory arched into him and clutched at his hair, the sheets, anything within reach as she moaned his name.

“Logan…need…more…” she panted, trying to pull him even closer to her.

He seemed to ignore her request, choosing instead to kiss is way across her lower stomach. Rory, finally too frustrated with his slow pace, reached down between them and took him in her hands, circling the tip of his head with her thumb. Logan inhaled sharply at the sensation.

“C’mon baby,” she coaxed urgently, feeling him trying to resist her, trying to make it last longer for both of them. “I want to feel you inside me.”

Logan leaned up and seized her lips in a scorching kiss, letting his hand wander down to her thighs, teasing the sensitive skin as he worked he way closer and closer to her clit. When his thumb finally grazed it, Rory’s neck and back arched clear off the bed and a loud moan escaped her lips.

“Please…need…inside…” she moaned as his fingers continued to work on her, making sure she was completely ready for him.

“As you wish,” he replied, shifting his weight over her and bracing himself on his forearms on either side of her head. As he slid into her, setting the rhythm that soon had them both calling out each other’s names in ecstasy, his last coherent thought was that he had come home, had found the one person who gave him warmth wholeheartedly and without reservation.

Afterwards, they both collapsed onto the bed, Logan on his stomach with his arm draped across Rory’s waist and his head buried in the crook of her neck. “Mmmm,” Rory moaned appreciatively. “That was perfect.”

Planting a kiss on the juncture of her neck and shoulder, Logan sleepily agreed.

Both sated, they fell asleep with limbs entwined.

Rory woke up in the middle of the night, disoriented. Confused by her surroundings, the only thing in the room that looked familiar was Logan. She clung to him as desperately as a person lost at sea clings to a life raft.

It came back to her in a rush: Cedar Point, flying, stealing the yacht, Lorelai’s disappointment, the trial, community service, leaving Yale. Mitchum Huntzberger’s face, his telling her she “didn’t have it”. Images flooding her brain, overwhelming her senses, leaving her with nothing more than a sense of profound loss. Shifting away from Logan and facing the wall so she wouldn’t disturb him, she let her mind drift to the events of the past few weeks. Events she’d refused to think about, things she couldn’t bring herself to examine.

She could feel the tears gathering hot behind her eyelids as she tried to hastily blink them away. She’d refused to cry. Refused to let Mitchum Huntzberger win, even if it was in private. She sniffled, trying to keep the dam from bursting, blinking furiously against tears that refused to stop forming. As she pushed the covers back, trying to sneak out of bed without waking Logan, she felt him shift and his arms wrap around her waist, pulling her against his chest.

“What’s wrong, Ace?” he whispered into her hair, his voice still sleep-laden but full of concern. She just sobbed and shook her head, unable to articulate her emotions. “Was I that bad tonight? You seemed to enjoy it at the time, but if I’m losing my touch you should really let me know,” he joked, trying to get her to think about something other than what was bothering her.

She spluttered a bit, but continued sobbing.

Logan sighed and pulled her more fully into his embrace, running a hand soothingly up and down her side and over her arms while dropping kisses in her hair, on her shoulder, on her neck. “It’s okay, baby,” he said in a quiet, calming tone. “Just let it out. Shhhh.”

He waited for Rory to cry herself out, never stopping the comforting words said softly into her ear, never stopping the hand running up and down her back. He didn’t have much, if any, experience calming down hysterical females, but it seemed to be working.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered against his chest, hiccupping slightly and reaching up to wipe away the tears still running down her cheeks. “I’m such a basket case.”

“No,” Logan replied firmly, tipping her chin so she was forced to look at him. “You are not a basket case. You are driven, smart, focused, and talented. My father is an idiot and you will realize sooner or later that he had an agenda when he said those things to you. You will succeed at whatever you want to do and you will show him that you are made of stronger stuff than he thought.”

“But I’m just…drifting…right now,” she said tearfully in reply, trying to avoid his gaze. She so rarely saw him this serious, this intent.

“You’re taking a detour from the straight and narrow road you’ve put in place for yourself, you’re questioning that same path. There’s nothing wrong with that, Rory, that’s what college is supposed to be about. You’ve never questioned your life before, stopped to wonder whether or not the dream you supposedly came up with at age two is the same path you want to be on at age twenty. This is completely normal,” he concluded.

“I’m such a disappointment. I’ve let Mom down.”

“Ace, you need to listen to me. You never rebelled in your entire life. Something came along that threw you for a loop and you acted out. You haven’t left Yale permanently. You are just taking some time to figure out if journalism is still what you want to do. Your mom just isn’t used to you doing something for you. It’s always been about her or the ‘Gilmore Girls’ as a whole. You need this. You need to start living your own life, okay?”

Rory nodded against his chest, realizing that he spoke the truth. “Okay.”

He captured one of her hands in his and interlaced their fingers. “I’m here for you, Rory, you know that, right?”

She nodded again, not trusting herself to speak as the tears welled up again. This time, the tears were of gratitude that she had been sent such a wonderful man to share her life with.

“I promise, I’ll be here. I know I’m leaving for Europe for a few days with Colin and Finn, but you just say the word and I’ll come back. Or fly you over to wherever we are. You just have to call.”

Rory blinked back the tears, looked up at him again, amazed. She leaned up and pressed a kiss to his cheek, settling in against his side, her face buried against his neck. “Thank you. For everything. You’ve been amazing and I’ve just been a mess…”

“You don’t need to thank me, Ace. I mean every word, you know that, right? Whatever you need; just let me know.”

The both drifted back to sleep; content to lie peacefully in each other’s arms.

They were on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania, tiredly listening to the radio, both slightly pink from two days spent in the sun.

“I want to go back to school,” Rory blurted out suddenly. “Maybe not this semester, maybe not next, and maybe I don’t even want to go to Yale anymore. But I do want to go back.”

Logan nodded, not taking his eyes off the road, but moving to cover her hand with his. “You’ll figure it out, Ace.”

“I might take you at your word that you’ll be around for me this summer. The community service is going to suck. And I’m pretty sure that Grandma is going to be nosing her way into every aspect of my life.”

“I’ll be there for you, I promise.”

Rory sat back in her seat, content for the moment. She didn’t know exactly what the future held for her, and, for the first time, it didn’t frighten her. She could make her own path for herself.