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The Mad Ones

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Sometimes with Logan, she catches herself wondering where she went.

She's used to being made up of loveworn paperbacks and sensible cardigan sweaters and the ghosts of blue plaid. Talking fast and silly but living slowly, quietly, sweetly. There's a lot of Belle and Sebastian. Many park benches. Life with Logan is stumbling in high heels, no-no-no-more-shots-okay-one-more-I-guess and the cheers that follow, it's like that passage in Kerouac that she only dimly remembers (because Kerouac makes her think of Jess, like cigarettes and every moody black haired boy she'll ever see again, and her heart and mind are in firm agreement that it's best not to go there, not anytime soon) about burning, burning, burning, exploding like spiders across the stars. 'The only people for me are the mad ones,' or something like that, and Rory has always liked the sound of it. She has always wanted to live more, to be better, and Logan is all the mad ones and spider stars condensed into one person. He jumps off bridges for fun. He kisses her and her brain swishes and swirls and she can't feel her knees.

He's great. He's spectacular. She loves him. She uses words full of big feeling for him, because she doesn't know how else to explain the rush. Or (sometimes, when he's puking in her bathroom at two a.m. and Finn and Colin are yelling encouraging comments from the other side of the door and Paris is shooting her death glares from hell, the ones that are pretty much code for Guess Who's Buying Me Coffee Every Morning From Here Until Eternity? You Are, Gilmore. You) justify it.

Maybe part of why she loves him so much is defiance. (Because she can do that. She is her mother's daughter.) A hearty shut up to the wise, cardigan-wearing, Dickinson-reading, park-bench-sitting, sixteen-going-on-forty Rory in the neglected corner of her skull, her heart. The one that keeps clucking her tongue and making Really? This one? faces.

She suspects sometimes that she's running from herself, with Logan, and she's got no clue what's going to happen when Rory 1.0 finally catches them up.

But then there are nights when the both of them are tired, when he hangs up his King of the Party crown for one evening, puts on checkered pajama pants and lets her tease him about how, you know what he really needs? some of those footie pajamas. They buy chips and guacamole and sit in front of the TV for lazy, old-seeming hours, a Norton anthology in her lap and her feet in his. He puts the TV on mute when she goes "ooh, ooh, ooh, listen to this!" (which happens once or twice or thirteen times an hour), then patiently obliges while she reads out some line of Donne or Keats or Woolf, the words happily tripping over each other. And he'll watch her with this tiny smile on his mouth, one finger hooking fondly around her big toe, and in that moment cardigan Rory and mad Rory are one and the same, and she thinks -- with warm relief like a sigh, like that first sip of coffee -- that maybe he really is hers for good. That one day he'll settle, and stay.