Two Households Both Alike In Dignity
“Those kids are staying together for as long as they like. You won’t stop them.”
Emily Gilmore would soon come to regret that threat, for if there was anything she hated most in the world, it was losing face and looking weak. She had meant the words, of course, but had nothing with which to back them up. After all, in her haste to defend her granddaughter’s honor, she had forgotten how impossible it was for rich kids to function without their trust funds.
“Can you believe the things that old witch said to me?” Shira Huntzberger ranted to her husband once they returned home from the cheesy USO-themed charity fundraiser. “Calling me a gold digger. Saying Logan’s not good enough for that snot of a girl! She made Huntzberger rhyme with Spears!”
In her anger and desperation, she nearly let the comment about her husband’s infidelity slip. Thankfully she caught herself in time, though. She still had some pride.
Mitchum ran his hands through his hair and tried to think of something commanding to say. His wife wasn’t the only one who had been insulted by the Gilmore’s, after all. “It was no picnic being reprimanded by Richard, either, let me tell you.”
“They just have no class!” Shira continued undeterred. “That girl Rory has no business being a part of our family. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We have to make Logan come to his senses.”
Mitchum didn’t have to think too long or hard about that one before coming up with a solution. Emily Gilmore was not going to get away with embarrassing his family if he had anything to say about it. And obviously Rory, who had gone crying to her grandparents over some slight criticism and even dropped out of school, was no prize either.
“Ring Logan up immediately,” he ordered his wife, whose eyes were shining brightly at the thought of finally getting her way. “We have something important to discuss with him.”
Rory knew Logan wouldn’t show up to her first DAR event, seeing as he was the type of guy to shun the stuffy crowds his parents loved to run in. However, it wasn’t like him to not call and check in afterward. She had thought he’d love to hear all her witticisms about the evening and Paris – perhaps he’d even get a kick out of his mother’s behavior. And yet she hadn’t gotten a single call. She had tried calling herself, of course, but he hadn’t answered – and she thought it might look a little clingy to be the person filling up his voicemail. And as clingy as Rory felt sometimes, she certainly didn’t want to act on any such impulse.
Which is exactly why she found herself outside Logan’s apartment half an hour later, knocking on his door. It was not being clingy; it was called surprising him. She just really wanted to share her experiences that night, and she knew he’d have fun with them as well.
“Logan? Are you in there?” She asked after ringing the doorbell a couple of times and getting no response. Maybe he had gone to bed early? Or perhaps he was out partying with the boys? She waited a few minutes, and then sighed a little. She supposed she could just go over plans for a Communist takeover with Paris for the rest of the evening, even if that was infinitely less exciting than spending time with her boyfriend.
Once she got into her car, “Hey Big Spender” began playing loudly on her phone, and she knew exactly whom it was. Perfect timing, she thought to herself with a little smile.
“There you are!” She cooed upon picking up. “I was starting to worry someone had kidnapped you. I was going to sic Paris on them.”
Logan chuckled his approval of her little joke, but something felt off about his laugh. “Good to hear from you, Ace.” He greeted her sweetly, but once again she couldn’t help but notice he didn’t sound like himself.
“Oh, my God. You have been kidnapped. I’m talking to Finn’s impersonation of you, aren’t I?” She made sure to sound as glib as possible, but it didn’t really feel like a joke. If something was wrong, she hoped he told her now before it got out of control.
He laughed again, a little more at ease this time. “No, it’s nothing like that. I swear it’s me. I’ll even give you the secret password.”
Rory smiled and felt a bit more satisfied with this response. “So nothing’s wrong, then?” she prodded one last time, just in case.
At this, he let out a heavy sigh. It was no use pretending – she would figure it out eventually if he kept being dodgy or started avoiding her out of sheer cowardice.
“My parents are being…” Logan began his pitiful explanation, wondering if Rory would leave him just because he cared what his parents said. He knew he shouldn’t, after all. “I think the word I’m looking for is ‘irrational?’”
Rory stayed silent, waiting for him to continue. She knew all about how irrational his parents could be, and thought it best if she left her story for later.
After a pause, Logan decided he might as well get it all out now. “It seems there were some altercations at your very successful event, and now dearest mommy and daddy are setting an ultimatum to restore their wounded pride.”
“Uh oh,” Rory trilled sympathetically. “What are the terms?”
“Um… Stop seeing you or lose my trust fund?” He made it sound as much like a joke as possible, but wondered if his girlfriend would take it like one.
“WHAT?” She nearly yelled. She might have found it funny any other day, but she had already been humiliated enough by the Huntzberger’s for one evening. “How can they – I mean, you’re obviously not going to…” She faltered a little, not wishing to sound like a shrew. “What are you going to do?”
“Well, I’m not going to stop seeing you, of course,” he promised quickly. “I’m just not sure how we’re going to handle this for a little while. I wish I could be strong and just stand up for you right now, but…”
“Your millions are more important than me, I get it,” she teased him, but she was fuming inside. Not at him so much as at his parents, but really? Couldn’t he stand up for her?
“No, Ace! It’s not like that at all–”
“Logan!” She yelped his name with the sudden realization. How had she not realized before? It made her almost giggle with how stupid this situation all was. “You’re calling me from inside your apartment, aren’t you?”
“How is this fair? Tell me!” Rory exploded at poor Paris over the phone the next day. She had spent the night ranting and raving at her empty bed instead of sleeping, and now she needed to talk to someone about it. She hadn’t wanted to go to her mom or grandparents yet – she could only imagine the scene it would cause. And – worse – what if her grandparents agreed with the Huntzberger’s? That was unconscionable.
“It’s the wealthy prerogative, I tell you,” Paris replied angrily. “They think that just because they have money, they can treat people however they like. You pick up their food, you clean up after them, and what do you–”
“I should just go there. Go see that stupid Shira and–”
“Kill her?” Paris inquired in a voice that was deadly serious.
“What? What are you talking about?”
“I’m just saying,” Paris answered darkly. “There’s a storm coming.”
“Um…” Rory was at a loss for words. At least Paris has my back, she thought to herself, holding back a laugh. Although maybe someone should calm her down a bit. “You know I’m wealthy, too, right?”
“Of course,” her best friend assented. “Of course I knew that.”
Rory sighed, once more thinking about the reality of the problem. “I understand that Logan wants to sort of cool things down between us for a bit. He’s…”
“A coward?” Paris supplied helpfully.
“It is cowardly, isn’t it?” Rory suddenly felt angry all over again. “I mean, he’s my boyfriend! He’s supposed to be there for me. I know this doesn’t change anything except that we’re hiding from his parents, but…”
“Rory Gilmore is not something to hide!” Paris declared. “You need to rise up, Rory. Show them what you’re made of. Workers of the world unite!”
Rory just shook her head and laughed. Really laughed for first time since she found out her boyfriend was still completely under his parents’ thumb.
“This is unbelievable!” Logan complained to his buddies Colin and Finn over at the pub.
“Unbelievable that you’d be pathetic enough to give in to your parents’ demands and betray the love of your young life?” Colin questioned him with mock seriousness.
Almost as if it were the punch line to a rehearsed joke, Finn chimed in with, “Nah, mate, sounds pretty damn believable to be. Pretty standard non-fiction.”
“Rory probably hates me right now,” Logan lamented sullenly. “I deserve that, but I just don’t know what to do.”
Colin and Finn gave each other one long stare and both slowly nodded at the same time. It seemed they might be communicating telepathically, and Logan didn’t like being out of the loop.
“Am I interrupting some sexual tension here or what, guys?” He asked, waving his hands in front of their faces.
“You usually are, that’s true,” Finn mused, deep in faux thought. “But in this case, I believe we have a plan.”
Logan looked back and forth between them with skepticism. “I don’t know if this is such a good idea…”
“I’d trust you with my life!” Colin shouted, pained by this rejection. “Can’t you lend us the same courtesy?”
“We’ll get your woman back for you,” Finn assured his friend. “And we won’t even need you to do it.”
Shira Huntzberger tapped her foot impatiently as she checked her watch one last time. “It’s just like Logan to show his displeasure by making me wait to serve family dinner,” she murmured to her husband in annoyance.
“It’s not like he’s big on punctuality in the first place,” Mitchum noted. “Why don’t we just sit down to eat – if he’s late, that’s his problem.”
Just then, a deeply distraught Colin and Finn barged into the Huntzberger home unannounced, nearly frightening poor old man Elias out of his wits.
“Help! HELP!” Colin cried out in anguish. He prided himself on being a particularly strong actor, as he had so deftly proved to Rory’s entire class her sophomore year of college.
All three family members and their maid simply stared at the boys in horror. Colin was trying unsuccessfully to pull his hair out, and Finn seemed to be acting out a scene from Gone With The Wind, shaking his fist at the sky as if he were Scarlet O’Hara swearing to never go hungry again.
After a second of complete silence, Finn got himself up off the ground and picked up the slack. “For God’s sake, people? Didn’t you hear the man? Help us!”
“What…” Shira spluttered, looking wildly around the room for some sign of an intruder. “What in the world is the matter?”
Colin took a deep breath and began his tearjerker of a story. “Logan, Finn, and I were out for drinks –”
“Of the very depressing kind,” Finn jumped in, eager to have a share of the spotlight. “You know, because of his heart being broken and all.”
“Yes, of course,” Colin agreed, nodding solemnly. “As we were walking out of the bar, this man jumped out of the shadows and attacked us!”
“Oh, God, it’s like it’s happening all over again!” Finn wailed dramatically.
“Finn and I tried to fight him off, of course, but he was too strong!”
Finn pretended to wipe a tear away before concluding with gusto. “And, seeing as Logan was too much of a wuss to defy his parents, he sadly didn’t stand a chance against this big, burly, monster of a man.”
“Wait… WHAT?” Mitchum gaped. “What are you boys saying? Where’s my son?”
Shira stifled a little scream before quickly composing herself. “He’s alright, isn’t he?” She asked in a quiet voice, as if she were afraid of the response.
“I’m afraid we know not,” Colin informed her in a stage whisper. “He was carried off into the night, and that’s why we need your help!”
Elias eyed them curiously before voicing his thoughts out loud. “If he was taken away last night – since I assume you weren’t out drinking at 5 in the afternoon – then why are you coming here just now to tell us?”
Colin and Finn gave each other a look, but this one was much less savvy and much more screwed. Before they could create a witty response, however, Mitchum seemed to start piecing things together, as well.
“And why didn’t you morons think to call the police?”
This seemed to give Finn the second wind he desperately needed, so he immediately started up again. “Well, you see, the man said that we couldn’t go to the police or Logan would be a dead man.”
“That’s right!” Colin nodded enthusiastically. “And that was the last thing we heard before we both passed out from exhaustion from the fight.”
Finn discreetly nudged his friend in the ribs to reprimand him for his stupidity, but continued in the same vein. “As soon as we came to our bloody senses, we headed straight for your home, to let you know what happened.”
Logan’s family mulled over this for a moment, wary of taking any of what these troublesome boys said as fact. Just as soon as Mitchum came to the conclusion that he should just kick them out and look for Logan himself, his phone buzzed with a text message from an anonymous number. He was busy reading it when a very angry Rory stormed in with Paris her guard dog marching behind. Why was it that everyone thought they could just walk into the house without warning?
Rory was determined to give Logan’s parents a piece of her mind. How dare they treat her relationship with her boyfriend as some kind of commodity? And to suggest that she wasn’t good enough? She had never thought of herself as particularly proud of her lineage, but she was a Gilmore, damnit! If anything, this was a slight of the worst kind to her grandparents.
“I’m sorry for interrupting, Mr. and Mrs. Huntzberger, Mr. Huntzberger…” she began half-heartedly, but a sharp look from Paris prodded her to gain back her balls. “I’m here to demand that you retract your stupid ultimatum!”
“Only filthy rich jerks would think they have a right to order people around!” Paris added angrily from behind. She was here for moral support, but she definitely deserved to have her say, too.
“The fact that you think you can treat your son like this is just… Finn? Colin?” She suddenly realized who else was in the room and felt like she was in the middle of a very bad practical joke.
Mitchum’s face had gone from a pale, ghostly white to a pinkish color accompanied by an almost demonic smirk. “Alright, Miss Gilmore, you’ve had your fun. Call your minions off and get my son down here now.”
“Excuse me?” Rory turned to him, bewildered. “I don’t know where Logan is. I haven’t spoken to him since you forbade him from seeing me!”
“You did that?!” Colin asked, as if it were the most scandalous thing in the world. “Who do you think you are, a Capulet?”
“You think I don’t know you’re behind this?” Mitchum shot back calmly. He nodded to his wife, passing his phone along to her. “Logan hasn’t been kidnapped – he and Rory and just playing a little joke on us.”
Shira looked down at the text and read it out loud in disbelief. “‘Let Rory and Logan be together, or you’ll never see your son again?’ Are we supposed to fall for this?”
“You sort of already did,” Finn pointed out, offended that his plan was not being lauded for the genius it contained.
“What did you guys do?” Rory cried, exasperated. She had written out a well-formed argument with pros and cons for why she and Logan should be allowed to see each other (of course there were more pros than cons). It wasn’t fair that it would all go to waste because Colin and Finn decided to clown around with her life.
“I think you’ve proved your point, Rory.” Mitchum spoke to her in a patronizing tone, but was actually sort of impressed she had the guts to go up against him like this.
“But I didn’t even–” she tried to argue, hoping that she could still get the conversation back on track.
Shira cut her off before she could go any further, her brow furrowing deeply as she looked at her husband. “You’re not seriously suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”
“Mitchum,” Elias started in a warning tone.
“Let’s face it,” Mitchum interrupted his wife and father. “These kids aren’t going to stop torturing us until we give in. It’s better if we just let them have their way now, before it’s all over the internet and somebody ends up faking their own death.”
Rory’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head. “So you’re… You’re letting it go? I haven’t even gone through my bullet points yet!”
“Let’s just say I agree with them all,” Mitchum responded, waving his hand as if to make the matter disappear.
While Colin and Finn were high-fiving each other and bowing to their adoring audience, Logan stepped in from outside – he had heard the entire conversation while hiding out in the bushes.
Everyone gasped in shock when Logan appeared in their view, and he smiled knowingly. “Glad to hear we could work things out. I couldn’t be happier about the outcome.”
Rory wanted to be angry with him for choosing his parents first, but it seemed he hadn’t done that after all. Then she wanted to be furious that he concocted a plan without letting her know, but it had turned out better than she had ever thought possible – probably better than it would have had she been involved.
So, instead, she settled for jumping into his arms and planted a huge kiss on him in front of everyone. He responded and lifted her up, deepening the kiss and pulling her as close to him as humanly possible.
Once he pulled away, he leaned his forehead against hers and whispered, “I’m so sorry. I was stupid and–”
She shushed him quickly with another kiss and smiled to let him know all was forgiven.
“You’re so much more important than money, Ace. Or anything else, for that matter.”
Rory giggled before replying. “And you rank at least in my top ten.”