A/N: This is going to be short compared to the last two stories in this series, it's more of an epilogue than anything. Everything in Italics is a flashback to the time between the ending of Nothing Like You and now. There's a three year gap. I hope you guys enjoy!
"To Rory!" Matt raised his glass. "May she take my place and move Truncheon to bigger and better things!"
"To Rory!" The others echoed, all smiling as they clinked their glasses together.
"Welcome to the family," Chris hugged her.
"Happy to be here," Rory beamed.
"So, how does it feel to be a full partner?" Cynthia asked.
"Gonna be honest, it doesn't feel any different," Rory frowned. "Now Chris has to listen to me when I yell at him, but that's about it."
"I had to listen to you before," Chris pointed out. "For fear of physical and psychological harm."
"Good point," she nodded. "So, yeah, no difference."
"Rory!" Jess walked into the apartment loaded down with takeout bags. "Ror, are you home!"
"In here!" Her voice called from the living room.
The apartment was still full of boxes, as they had only moved in a few weeks before. It had been hard leaving the apartment above Truncheon, but they really had outgrown it- or at least their library had. The new apartment was only a couple blocks away from the store, within walking distance, but they had been too busy since moving to really unpack anything. This had been Rory's first day off, and she had dedicated it to organizing and shelving all their books.
"We have a serious problem," she complained when Jess entered the room. "I've been at this for hours and I've only gotten through half of our non-fiction books. I haven't even opened a fiction box yet. At this rate, we won't be unpacked for months."
"Well there's no hurry," Jess shrugged.
"Do you want to be living in boxes for the foreseeable future?" she challenged. "Because I don't. I almost died trying to get to the kitchen this morning."
"We'll make a better path," he offered. "Come here."
"What?" Rory finally turned to look at him. "What's that?"
She pointed to the paper bags he was carrying.
"Dinner," he held up the bigger bag. "And a surprise," he held up the smaller one.
"A surprise from the liquor store?" Rory recognized the bag.
"Sort of," Jess agreed. "Disentangle yourself from the box jungle and come here."
"Alright, alright," Rory rolled her eyes and picked her way over to the kitchen. "So, what have you got there?"
Jess grinned and pulled out a bottle.
"Champagne?" Rory raised an eyebrow. "Since when do you like champagne?"
"Since we have something champagne worthy to celebrate."
"I got a call today," Jess started to explain. "And I am here to tell you, that my new book is number 5 on the New York Times bestsellers list."
"Oh my God!" Rory squealed and threw her arms around him. "That's amazing! I'm so proud of you!"
Jess grinned and spun her around the kitchen excitedly. "I'm a New York Times bestseller!"
"You're a New York Times bestseller," Rory repeated, laughing. "This definitely calls for champagne."
Rory knew that planning a wedding was hard- especially when Emily Gilmore was your grandmother and refused to take a step back. She had expected there to be a lot of drinking during the process, just to keep from going insane. Every day that she spent with her grandmother seemed to push her farther and farther onto her mother's side in the whole "Emily Gilmore is trying to kill me" argument. However the few things that she had hoped to have fun with were the music and the cake. Emily had other plans.
"Rory, you have to try all the cakes!" Her Grandmother scolded as they sat in her dining room surrounded by plates of cake.
"Mom, don't worry!" Lorelai interjected, taking a bite of her own piece. "She's just giving every piece an equal opportunity."
Emily sniffed disdainfully at this and got up to have a word with the caterer.
"You were supposed to tell her that Sookie was doing the food," Rory whispered to her mother.
"I did, but she insisted that we try someone else, just be sure that you wanted Sookie."
"But I am sure I want Sookie," Rory insisted. "I've wanted Sookie to cater my wedding since I was 8!"
"Okay," Lorelai shrugged. "You go tell her that, then."
Rory looked over to where her Grandmother was having a heated discussion with the caterer, waving angrily at the table of cakes, and picked her fork back up.
"I guess you can never try too many cakes," she shrugged.
"Chicken," her mother laughed.
"Rory! Try another damn piece of cake!" Emily screeched.
When she got back to the apartment above Luke's that afternoon, loaded down with four boxes full of cake, all Rory wanted was to take a nap. Unfortunately, her fiancee had other ideas. She could hear the yelling from the stairs leading up to the apartment above the diner.
"YOU NEED TO CONTROL YOUR POET!" Jess was screaming. There was another muffled voice yelling at the same time, which Rory assumed was coming from the computer. She was surprised to find, however, that Matt and Chris were standing in her living room.
"RORY!" Matt saw her first, leaving the other two to argue and helping her with the boxes. "How's it going?"
"Don't ask," Rory huffed. "What are you guys doing here?"
"There's a couple books coming up on their deadlines, and Chris figured it would be easier to finish up here, instead of having to e-mail and Skype everything to you and this idiot."
"I can hear you," Jess said over his shoulder.
"I know that," Matt acknowledged.
"I can't talk about this anymore!" Jess threw his hands up, walked over to Rory and kissed her. "How was your day?"
"We're not supposed to ask," Matt told him.
"Okay... what's in the boxes?"
"Cake?!" Chris jumped up from the chair he was in and ran over to the table. "Hi, Rory!" he waved as he hurried past her to find a fork.
"Why do you have cake?" Jess asked. "I thought Sookie was doing the cake."
"She is," Rory agreed. "But knowing that something has already been decided has never stopped Emily Gilmore from trying to do it her own way."
"Aah," Jess nodded. "You want some coffee?"
"No, I just need a few hours without my grandmother around."
"Well she's not here now," Matt offered.
"Yes, but today is Friday," Jess sighed.
"What does Friday have to do with anything?"
"Every Friday night that we're in town we have dinner with her. We've been doing it since I was in high school," Rory explained. "Which means that I have three Emily free hours, and then it's back into the lion's den."
"Well then," Chris got up from the table. "We'll give you guys some quiet time."
"No, you guys don't have to go!" Rory assured them. "Where would you go anyways?"
"We're staying at that Inn your mom owns, Cynthia's there now. We'll go get settled in," Chris assured her. "Meet you for a drink later?"
"You'll have to meet us in Hartford, but sure." Jess agreed.
"What, you guys under prohibition here?" Matt asked. "You hide beer under the floorboards?"
"No, just music." Rory laughed at her own joke while the guys just stared at her.
"There just isn't anything open past 9. So you can go pick up some stuff, or you can meet us in Hartford," Jess explained.
"Ahh," Matt nodded. "Alright, we'll let you know. See you later!"
Once they were gone, Rory dropped onto the couch, grabbed a pillow and screamed into it.
"That good, huh?" Jess chuckled and sat down beside her.
"She's a nightmare! I mean, I've spent 25 years listening to my mom talk about how insane she is and I was there when she was hovering around Mom and Luke's vow renewal, but this is ridiculous! She won't back off! She was nowhere near this bad before!"
"Your mom has a habit of exploding when she gets fed up with things, so people tend to avoid pushing her too far," Jess offered. "Besides that, you guys are a lot closer than her and Lorelai. She probably feels like she's allowed to have more of a say in this."
"She does have a say! That doesn't mean she can take over the whole thing!"
"Then why don't you tell her that?"
"She scares me." Rory covered her face and leaned into his chest.
"I can't help you with that. Emily Gilmore would have scared Osama bin Laden."