AN: So I am trying to do a slow build here, so please don't be discouraged if things take a little while to get hotter. I am very grateful for your reviews ;)
Rory felt reluctant to move from his side, yet the wine and the jet lag together with the overall lack of sleep were getting to her. Her eyelids felt heavy and she'd swallowed several yawns already.
"I'm sorry to say this, but I really ought to get some sleep, it's been a really long day," she sighed, yawningly.
"Of course, I'm a little surprised you made it this far," he commented as they both rose, Logan folding up the chairs and closing the door behind them.
Rory headed to the bathroom to get ready for bed, Logan stayed in the kitchen for a while, placing the empty wine glasses in the dishwasher. Those last few hours out there had been the best he'd experience in a while, in years, in fact. What was he doing actually? What was she thinking? It wasn't really like him to be this insecure, but then again she was the one that got away, after all.
As he walked back to the hallway, Rory was already in her room, looking for something in her suitcase. He went to brush his teeth, but as he returned, the light in Rory's room had already been switched off and he could hear her turning in bed, quietly. To his surprise, she'd left her door wide open. He stood there in the hallway a good few minutes, contemplating what to do. Was that an invitation?
Rory had been tired, and surely she needed a good night sleep, he thought. And the excess wine he'd kept offering, certainly hadn't helped. He'd really needed the wine himself, to ease the tension. And it really had helped. Compared to earlier that day, he was feeling like the flow between them was returning, it was less awkward, but not comfortable enough to actually say what he wanted - what did he want exactly? He only wished he knew. The truth was, he was scared. Scared to get hurt again.
The floorboards squeaked as he turned to leave, deciding simply that she, and probably he too, needed to sleep on it, leaving his door ayar as well. Rory sat up on her bed on the sound of that squeak, realizing it had been him, standing there, just out of reach. It was as if she wanted to reach out her hand, to be near him again. But what would that mean? She brushed the thought aside, surely it was the wine, that was making her imagine things.
She woke feeling hung over. It was barely 6 AM, the sunlight just beginning to eluminate the otherwise dark room. She wanted to head for the kitchen to grab a glass of water, hoping by the time she'd actually have to head out, her head wouldn't hurt so much. As she inched gently across the hallway, the floorboards squeaked again, making her stop at her path, not wanting to wake him. She saw Logan's door open, his bare legs visible from under his blanket. He seemed to be still asleep. She found a jar of ibuprofen on the kitchen cabinet, which it seemed Logan had left out for her. Thankfully she took one and drank a large glass of water to flush it down, glancing outside to the balcony where they'd sat the night before. The sun had just barely begun to rise, rays of sun just beginning to shine in over the house across the canal. As she crept back down the hallway, she couldn't help herself but to glance over to his room. He still slept on his usual side, and somehow just going to lay next to him seemed so tempting. For old time's sake? She might have been temporarily out of her mind just then but even before she could finish her thought, her legs already moved over to the bed, climbing carefully to lay next to him. She observed his face briefly, soon feeling the heavy pull of her eyelids, which soon closed again drifting her off to sleep.
He would've thought he'd wake startled, seeing someone sleeping next to him who hadn't been there when he'd gone to bed, but seeing her there felt so organic, casting a wide smile across his face. Perhaps he wasn't imagining things after all? He checked the time, 7.45 AM, and rose and carefully placed the blanket over her, letting her sleep a while longer. Her conference programme wasn't starting until 10.30.
Rory woke to the sound of the doorbell, old fashioned and loud, hearing Logan answer the door hastily, speaking a few words in German. She felt slightly embarrassed finding herself in his bed, she wasn't quite sure what tricks her mind had played on her to end up there. She rose to her feet, hoping to slip quickly into the bathroom without any awkwardness.
"You're not planning on running off are you?" he smirked, glancing at her body language that looked like she wanted to hide, holding a bag of takeaway food in his hand. The fact that she had chosen to join him, even if just to be close, had made him a little giddy, hopeful even.
"I'll just pop into the bathroom real quick," she said, blushing slightly.
After gathering herself slightly, brushing her teeth and splashing some cool water onto her face, she took a deep breath and headed towards the kitchen in search of Logan.
"Good morning," he said, smilingly.
"Good morning," she replied, still slightly blushing.
"There were no taco places open this early, but I found the next best thing," Logan said proudly of this small achievement, handing her a large cup of coffee.
"Thank you!" she said, adding "Who would've thought that the McDonalds in Hamburg has a Mexican theme," she laughed as she explored the contents of the bag and choosing a beef tortilla.
"How's your head? Do you need a painkiller?" he asked.
"It's better, I took one a few hours ago. I'm sure the coffee and food will take care of the rest," she said.
A pregnant pause followed. He wanted to know what she thought about the two of them, but the morning was somehow too clear, too brittle.
"What do you have planned for today? Back to the conference?" he inquired pragmatically.
"Yea, have two more presenters today that I'm supposed to write summaries on," she replied.
"Let me guess, Barbra Wakefield and Augustina Fernandez," he stated.
"Almost, Wakefield and Kai Meyer, if I remember correctly," she replied.
"Wakefield can be pretty interesting actually, definitely worth listening to, don't know much about Meyer I'm afraid," Logan commented.
"So you're not going back to the conference?" she asked, sounding a little disappointed.
"I have a few meetings today at the local office, I should be done by 5 or so," he replied.
"Okay, so I guess I'm on my own today," she said with a sigh. "I have to say, your commentary yesterday was very enjoyable," she recalled, laughingly.
"How long are you staying, I never asked you?" he said, realizing he was missing a vital piece of information. The potentially very painful piece.
"I have a flight back tomorrow. What, do you want to kick me out already?" she tried to joke.
"On the contrary, Ace," he said calmly, admitting at least partially how much he liked having her around.
"Theoretically I don't have to be back until Monday, so I could try to change my tickets, if they have room on the Sunday flights," Rory suggested, carefully, not wanting to impose. She realized she probably wasn't, but the situation really was the first of it's kind she'd experienced. How long was it appropriate to stay in the apartment of her ex who's proposal she'd once turned down? Even if she still felt like she wanted to stick around?
"I like that plan. If you want to you are more than welcome to stay. I'll show you around, you'll love Hamburg once you get to know the place a little better," he said.
"I'd like that," she replied smilingly.
Rory finished her breakfast, showered and checked the programm to see what time the presentations she aimed for were. She knew she needed to buy some clothes if she was to stay a few days longer, having brought only a change of clothes for the couple of days, and really not a lot she'd wear to outings with Logan, considering his usual choice of restaurants just for starters. She hoped to spare a couple of hours in between the presentations to grab a taxi to take her somewhere, where she could buy a few items.
"The car is waiting downstairs, the same one that brought us back here last night," he said. "And Ace, do you have my old number?" he asked as she was about to get ready to leave.
"Forgot about that, I actually don't. I changed phones a bunch of times," she said apologetically, telling him her number and asking him to call her so she'd have his number.
"Just call me when you're done, I'll send the car or come pick you up myself," he assured.
"Thank you, Logan," she said, hugging him goodbye. They lingered for several seconds, parting reluctantly from each-other's warmth. "I'll see you later," she said stepping out of the apartment.
Logan ran his finger through his hair, muttering to himself, "How did I ever deserve this second chance?"