Title: "It's Still There"

Pairing: Lorelai/Luke

Spoilers: Sequel to "It's Right There."

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Amy Sherman-Palladino and the WB.

Author's Note: Okay, for a few months, I pretty much had my mind made up that I wasn't going to write a sequel because I didn't think I'd be able to do it well. Then, last month, I started getting this overwhelming urge to try it out, and I started writing, and decided it was something I really wanted to continue working on. So, now, here it is. . .this story picks up two weeks after where "It's Right There" leaves off, so we're still back in September of 2002. Thursday the 19th, if you want to be exact. :)

Part 1

On Thursday night, Luke pulled into the driveway and parked behind Lorelai's Jeep. He grabbed the takeout bags from the passenger seat, climbed out of the truck, and walked toward the house. As he pushed open the front door, he called, "Food's here!"

From the kitchen, Rory called, "Luke, she won't leave me alone!"

Luke dropped his keys on the hall desk, then walked to the kitchen where Rory and Lorelai were sitting at the table. Rory had her schoolbooks spread open in front of her and Lorelai was flipping through a magazine.

"What are you doing now?" he asked Lorelai as he set the bags on the table.

Lorelai scoffed. "Nothing! I am being a nice mother who is merely trying to inform her daughter of the important news in today's society."

Rory rolled her eyes. "I'm sitting here trying to do my homework and she comes in and starts reading the fall movie preview section aloud."

Luke tilted his head to the side. "Tsk, why are you bothering her while she's trying to work?"

Lorelai raised her hands innocently. "Hey, I just thought she might've wanted to decide now which movies we should see this fall. Sorry for wanting to plan some quality time with my daughter."

Luke gestured to Rory's books. "Look at all the stuff she has to do. She has more important things to worry about than movies." Luke walked over to the fridge to get himself a drink.

"Thank you," Rory said to Luke while glaring at Lorelai. "Apparently she's forgotten what the phrase 'Mom, I'm busy' means."

Lorelai frowned. "I was bored, and I'm still not used to you being back in school." She stood up and rifled through one of the takeout bags. "I think it's crazy that you have so much homework in only your second week. Don't they give you any time to get back into school mode?" She pulled some containers out of the bag and set them on the table.

"Well, most students at Chilton are in school mode year 'round," Rory reminded her.

"Right, the ones who have that chip implanted in their eyes," Lorelai said. "Good thing you were absent that day."

Rory stood up and closed her notebook. "Guess I'll finish after dinner. Let's eat in the living room and watch a movie." She grabbed the other takeout bag and her can of soda from the table. "Grab some plates and forks." She walked to the living room.

"Okay, we'll be right there," Lorelai said. She turned around to face Luke, who was standing near the sink. She smiled and walked over to him, and he set down his glass of juice on the counter. Lorelai wrapped her arms around his waist and pressed her lips against his, kissing him softly. She pulled back with a smile. "Hi."


Lorelai ran her hands over his chest. "How was your day?"

Luke kissed her again before replying. "Pretty good. Yours?"

"Pretty good, too. One of the guests asked me if I would come up to his room and give him a personal massage," Lorelai said, raising her eyebrows suggestively. "Said he'd give me a hundred bucks for it."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yup. Easiest hundred bucks I ever made," Lorelai replied. "Thankfully, he wasn't into anything kinky. You know, sometimes you get up there and they have all these personal requests about what they wanna do and where they wanna do it and everything. . .it's crazy. But this guy was easy."

Luke stared at her curiously for a moment. "Okay, just confirm to me that you're kidding before I start doubting it."

Lorelai smirked and kissed him on the cheek. "Yes, I'm kidding."


"He was into kinky stuff. But don't worry, just to make you feel better about the situation, I'll give you half of the money," Lorelai said. "Kind of as if you're my pimp. I'll call you PimpLuke. Or Pluke, for short. How's that?"

Luke rolled his eyes. "Okay, how much of this conversation is real?"

"Um, up to the part about some guy wanting me to give him a personal massage," Lorelai replied. "He really did ask, but he didn't offer any money. Plus, he was like eighty years old. And I said it wasn't in my job description, so I couldn't do it or I'd get fired."

"Good answer." He walked over to get some plates. "Speaking of money, did you go to the bank?"

"Yup," she replied.

Surprised, Luke glanced at her over his shoulder. "You did?"

Lorelai smirked and rolled her eyes. "Don't give me that look."

He pulled the plates out of the cabinet. "What look?"

"The same shocked look that people gave Julia Roberts when she told them she was married to Lyle Lovett," Lorelai replied.

He set the plates on the table and walked back over to her. "Well, I'm surprised. I've been reminding you everyday to deposit that wedding money and you kept forgetting."

"I did not keep forgetting, I just didn't have time," Lorelai corrected him.

"You had time to go shopping for shoes after work yesterday."

Lorelai wrinkled her nose. "I know."

"At the shoe store right next to the bank," he added.

Lorelai sighed. "I told you already, I went right from the inn and I didn't have the money with me and I didn't feel like coming home to get it."

"You should've just let me take care of it," Luke said. "I told you I would do it."

"You were even busier than I was," Lorelai said. "You can be in charge of the wedding money deposit next time."

Luke rolled his eyes. "I don't think we're gonna have another wedding."

"I was referring to when we get married again in our next lives," Lorelai said.

Luke rested his hands on her waist and pulled her closer. "You really think I'd be crazy enough to marry you a second time?"

Lorelai placed her hands on either side of his face and guided his lips to hers, kissing him long and deep. When she finally pulled back, she stroked the back of his neck as she smiled up at him. "I think so."

"Yeah, I think so, too," he agreed, leaning in to kiss her again.

"What's taking so long?" Rory called from the living room.

They reluctantly pulled apart. "Uh, would you believe we're trying to decide which plates to use?" Lorelai called.

"No, I think you're making out, so knock it off because I'm hungry!" Rory called back.

Lorelai gave an impressed nod toward Luke. "She's good."

. . . . .

. . . . .

A few days later, in the kitchen of the Independence Inn, Sookie was chopping up a stalk of celery while Lorelai sat on a stool next to her. "So, what about yesterday? What'd you guys do?" Lorelai asked.

"We went to that corn festival I was telling you about, remember?"

Lorelai nodded knowingly. "Oh, right, right. How was it? Fun?"

Sookie smiled and nodded. "Yeah, it was great. We were there for such a long time."

"Was there lots of corn-related food? Ooh, did they have those cute little tiny corn cobs that Tom Hanks eats in Big?" Lorelai asked.

Sookie giggled. "Yes, they did. They pretty much had every corn dish you could imagine. Corn bread and corn muffins and corn dogs and corn casseroles and. . .just tons of stuff like you wouldn't believe. And, of course, Jackson had to compare everybody else's corn to his corn," Sookie said, rolling her eyes.

Lorelai sighed. "Men. They're just not happy unless they're certain that their corn cob is nicer and juicier than everyone else's corn cob."

"Don't I know it," Sookie agreed. "So what did you do this weekend?"

"Uh, let's see." Lorelai thought a moment. "Saturday, Luke worked in the morning, so Rory and I hung out, watched TV and stuff. Then Luke came home in the afternoon and mowed the lawn, and Rory went to Lane's to do homework."

"And you?" Sookie asked.

"Didn't you hear me – Luke mowed the lawn," Lorelai repeated.

Sookie nodded knowingly. "Ah, right. So you sat on the front porch and watched him work up a sweat."

Lorelai grinned. "You know me so well."

"How was that, entertaining?" Sookie asked.

Lorelai raised her eyebrows suggestively. "Very. Then he went upstairs to take a shower, and of course, you can't let a man who just mowed the lawn take a shower all by himself. It's dangerous. He might be too exhausted and collapse and drown."

"Drown in a shower? In what, the centimeter of water that accumulates around the drain?" Sookie asked.

"Hey, if your nose and mouth land in that one centimeter of water, you could be a goner," Lorelai said seriously.

Amused, Sookie shook her head slightly. "Uh huh."

"So we got in a nice session of attempted baby-making," Lorelai finished quietly, glancing around to make sure no one could hear.

Sookie rubbed her hands together excitedly. "Aw, that's so exciting!"

Lorelai smiled and nodded. "Luke still doesn't want anyone to know that we're trying, though. He says that when people say that they're trying for a baby, they're basically just coming out and saying, 'Yeah, we're having lots of raw, unprotected sex.' He feels weird having people know that about us."

Sookie giggled. "As if everyone in town would otherwise think that you two are celibate?"

Lorelai shrugged. "Apparently. When I told him that I told Rory that we were trying, he got all embarrassed and nervous. I mean, I see the point where he obviously doesn't want Rory thinking about us like that, but I mean. . .like, it's a big shock to her?" Lorelai rolled her eyes. "She's not four, she knows that we sleep together." Lorelai took a sip of her coffee.

"Yeah. I mean, she's probably even heard you guys doing it before," Sookie said.

Lorelai wrinkled her nose. "Aw, come on, stop it. I don't wanna think about that."

"Or seen you," Sookie added. "Do you ever leave the bedroom door open?"

Lorelai grimaced and shook her head. "No, we always lock it. Now, let's quickly move away from this topic because it's starting to weird me out."

"Okay, sorry, pick a new subject," Sookie said. She tossed the rest of the celery into the bowl, then walked over to the sink to wash her hands.

"Rory's birthday's in a few weeks," Lorelai said. "My little baby's gonna be an official adult."

Sookie smiled. "Aw, that's so exciting. We need to start planning a party menu."

Lorelai nodded. "Yeah, we better get on that soon. And then the week after Rory's birthday is Luke's."

"Oh yeah? I didn't realize they were so close together." Sookie dried her hands on a dishtowel and walked back over to Lorelai. "He'll be what. . .like, 37, right?"

"38," Lorelai corrected her. "He's three years older than me."

"Right. So, are you throwing a party for him, too?" Sookie asked.

Lorelai sighed. "I want to, but you know Luke. . ."

"He's not exactly a party guy," Sookie said knowingly.

"And he's especially not a party guy when the party's for him. I suggested that we celebrate his and Rory's together – you know, like a joint party, but he said no. He doesn't even want presents," Lorelai said. She scoffed and shook her head in disbelief. "What kind of freak doesn't like getting presents?"

"The kind of freak you married," Sookie reminded her.

"I know, what was I thinking?" Lorelai mused.

Sookie giggled. "I don't know. You're gonna get him something anyway, aren't you?"

"Of course I am," Lorelai replied. "And he's crazy if he thinks I won't. It's the first special occasion we'll have together as a married couple. I'm not gonna just ignore it. I told him we're at least going out to dinner to celebrate."

"Speaking of married couples, when are your wedding pictures coming in?" Sookie asked.

"Oh, they said they would definitely get here by Thursday," Lorelai replied excitedly. "I can't wait to see them."

"Me, too. And the video?"

"Same time. It'll all be delivered together," Lorelai said.

"I wanna see it," Sookie said.

"Definitely. You can come over sometime this weekend and we can hang out and watch it," Lorelai said.

"Sounds good," Sookie said.

"We ordered three copies," Lorelai said. "An extra one for us in case something happens to the first one. . ."

"Good plan."

"Yup, and Rory suggested that my parents might want one, so. . ." Lorelai shrugged. "We got one for them, too."

Sookie smiled. "Aw, they'll love that."

Lorelai nodded and stood up. "Okay, I better get out there before Michel has a fit. I'll talk to you later."

. . . . .

. . . . .

A few nights later, while Lorelai was upstairs taking a bath, Luke and Rory were downstairs on the couch watching television. During a commercial, Rory picked up the remote and started quickly flipping through the channels.

Luke watched the screen for a few seconds, then reached over and took the remote from her. "God, you're as bad as your mother."

Rory gasped and frowned at him. "Hey! You know the rules, first one in the room controls the remote."

"All the flipping's giving me a headache." Luke changed it back to the channel they'd been watching. "It won't kill you to sit through a couple commercials."

"But Luke, most commercials are so boring and uncreative that I fear that even minimal exposure to them will rot my brain. And you don't want your stepdaughter's ivy league-bound brain to get rotted out, do you?" She pouted and reached for the remote.

Luke held it out of her reach, explaining, "But you like mocking really stupid commercials, which requires the use of your imagination, meaning you're utilizing and even strengthening your brain, not rotting it out. So sit and mock the commercials."

"But I'm not in a commercial-mocking mood right now," Rory said.

"So, then, just don't look at the tv," Luke suggested. "Just sit with your eyes closed."

Rory sank back against the couch cushion and closed her eyes. "I can still hear them," she said in a singsong voice.

Luke rolled his eyes and muted the television. "There, happy?"

Her eyes still closed, Rory smiled. "Yes, thank you." She held out her hands. "Could you pass the chips?"

Luke picked up the bowl from the coffee table. He set it on Rory's lap and waited for her hands to cradle it. "You don't wanna rot your brain, but it's perfectly fine to rot your insides with junk food?"

Rory smiled and nodded. "Yup." She ate a few chips. "So, you sure you don't wanna come to dinner with us?"

"Nah. I'll let you and the Gilmores have some quality time together," Luke said.

"I'm sure they wanna spend quality time with you, too," Rory said. "I mean, now that you're part of the family and everything."

"Yeah, well. . .maybe I'll go once in awhile," Luke said. "Just not every week."

A moment later, they heard the upstairs bathroom door open, then a moment later heard Lorelai gasp loudly. "Ah! Hon!"

Rory opened her eyes and glanced at Luke. "Is that me or you?"

Luke shrugged. "I'm not sure. Are you usually hon or honey?"

"Both. It varies," Rory said.

"Hm." He glanced toward the staircase, then turned back to Rory. "Should we ask or wait it out?"

"Wait it out," she replied. "I'm sure it won't be long."

As if on cue, Lorelai, now sounding impatiently annoyed, called again, "Hon!"

Rory smiled at Luke. "See?"

"Yeah, but she still didn't clarify," Luke pointed out. "Maybe it's a clothing crisis – that means she needs you."

Rory stood up and walked to the bottom of the staircase. "Mom, who are you calling – me or Luke?"

"Whichever one of you wants to come up here and remove this spider from the hallway!" Lorelai called back. "Ah, hurry, it's moving!"

Rory glanced at Luke and gestured upstairs. "That's you." Luke sighed and stood up. He handed Rory the remote as he passed her, and she smiled. "Thank you."

Luke slowly climbed the staircase and stopped at the top step. Lorelai stood in the bathroom doorway, a towel wrapped around her, staring intently at the wall next to the laundry room door. "What's the problem?" he asked.

Lorelai glanced over at him. "Took you long enough. You hear me call out in a panic and you don't rush to see what's wrong? I could've been up here being attacked by a burglar or something."

Luke rolled his eyes. "I think your cries for help probably would've been more than 'ah' and 'hon' if you were being attacked." He walked past her into the bathroom and ripped off some toilet paper from the roll. He walked back over to her. "Where is it?"

She pointed toward the wall. "Next to the door."

Luke walked into the hallway and eyed the wall. When he finally spotted the spider, he glanced at Lorelai with an amused look. "This is what you're scared of? It's not even a grown spider, it's like the size of an ant."

Lorelai gestured toward it. "Just take care of it, please."

Luke covered the spider with the toilet paper and squeezed his fingertips together. He pulled it back from the wall, then checked to make sure it was secure in the paper. He looked at Lorelai and gestured toward the wall. "There, it's gone. Happy?"

Lorelai frowned. "Aw, you didn't have to kill it. Poor thing was probably just trying to find his family."

Luke rolled his eyes as he walked past her into the bathroom. He disposed of the wrapped-up spider in the garbage can, then washed his hands. He followed Lorelai into their bedroom, closing the door behind them.

Luke sat down on the bed as Lorelai walked to the closet. She pulled out a dress, grabbed some undergarments from the dresser, then brought everything to the bed.

He leaned back against his pillow and watched as she dropped her towel and started getting dressed. "So, listen, I was thinking. . .we haven't really talked about what we wanna do about these dinners," Lorelai said.

"Meaning?" he prompted.

"Well, I mean. . .should we keep going? Should we keep letting them pay for Chilton?" Lorelai asked.

Luke sat up in the bed. "Oh. I don't know."

"Well, do you think we can afford to pay for it ourselves?" Lorelai asked.

"I don't know."

"Well, do you think we should try it out and see if we can handle it?" Lorelai asked.

"I don't know."

Lorelai sighed and sat down on the bed. "What do you know? Do you have any input on this at all?"

Luke exhaled loudly and stared down at the floor for a moment. "Look, the only thing I know for sure. . ." He brought his gaze up to her. "Is that whether they keep paying for it or we pay for it or what – you and Rory should keep going to Friday night dinners."

Surprised, Lorelai's eyes widened. She eyed him quietly for a moment, trying to determine whether he was kidding or not. Finally, she cocked her head to the side and said, "What?"

"You and Rory should keep going to Friday night dinners," Luke repeated.

Lorelai shook her head. "No, that wasn't an 'I didn't hear you' what, that was a 'why the heck did you say that' what."

"Look, you've spent the last two years borrowing their money and seeing 'em each week and building a relationship with 'em," Luke reminded her, gesturing aimlessly with his hands as he spoke. "And now what? You're just gonna forget all that because you don't need their help anymore? Go back to just seeing them on holidays?"

Lorelai shrugged. "Not just on holidays. We'd still go over and visit occasionally."

"But they look forward to seeing you and Rory so. . .consistently," Luke said. "I'd even put money on the fact that these dinners are the highlight of their week."

Lorelai sighed. "So,what, you want us to go to Friday night dinners every week for the rest of our lives? Come on, Luke, that's kinda crazy."

Luke raised his hands innocently. "Okay, fine, maybe not every week. Maybe after awhile you can push it back to twice a month or something." Luke paused a moment, then added, "You know, whether you wanna admit it or not, you have been getting along with them lately."

"Yeah, I guess."

"And, you know. . .you're just as used to this situation now as they are," Luke said. "I think you'd miss seeing them every week."

"Miss them?" Lorelai rolled her eyes, but then a small smile slowly formed on her lips. "Well, part of me does enjoy that weekly dose of teasing Emily Gilmore. Did I tell you about the look on her face last week when I told her that you like to walk around the house naked?"

Luke's eyes widened. "What?"

Lorelai giggled and nodded. "That's exactly the look she made!"

Luke pursed his lips. "Lorelai. . ."

She rolled her eyes and patted him on the shoulder. "Don't worry, Rory told her I was kidding. Geez, lighten up."

Luke shook his head slightly toward the bed, then brought his gaze to her. "So. . .uh, the point was that. . ." He paused. "What was my point?"

Lorelai took a deep breath. "I think your point was that they're apart of our lives now and we should try to keep it that way." She shrugged. "Or something like that."

"Yes, that was my point."

"Okay, I admit, your point's kind of valid." She reached for his hand and began stroking his palm. "So. . .what does this mean? That we're gonna try paying for Chilton ourselves?"

"I don't know yet," Luke replied, shaking his head. "We'll have to sit down, look things over, see if we can handle it. But. . .just plan on keeping the Friday night dinners going either way." He lightly rubbed her thigh. "Okay?"

Lorelai nodded. "Mmhmm." Luke leaned forward and kissed her, and when they pulled apart, Lorelai said, "Oh, Sookie's coming over on Sunday to see our wedding pictures and watch the wedding video."

"Just Sookie?"

"Yeah, it'll just be us girls hanging out," Lorelai said. "You know, doing typical best friend things. . .giving each other manicures, braiding each other's hair, seeing who can do a better reenactment of the fake orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally." Lorelai grinned and patted Luke on the arm. "You can be the judge."

Luke rolled his eyes. "Uh, as. . .interesting as that sounds, I think I'll pass. I already have plans."

Lorelai narrowed her eyes curiously at him. "You do? What plans?"

"The plans that involve me not being here for girl time on Sunday," Luke replied.

Lorelai smirked and shrugged nonchalantly. "Fine, but you're gonna miss out on all the fun."

"I'm sure you'll tell me all about it." He climbed off the bed and walked to the door. "I'll go tell Rory you're almost ready to go."


A few minutes later, Lorelai walked downstairs, calling, "Has anyone seen my – " She spotted her black purse on the armchair and finished, "Never mind, there it is." She picked it up and rummaged through it, looking for her lipstick. She pulled it out as she walked to the hall mirror. "Rory, you ready?" she called.

Rory walked out of her bedroom pulling on a sweater. "Yup. Got the video?"

"No, can you grab it? It's on the desk," Lorelai replied. She paused a moment to apply her lipstick, then added, "And grab the album, too."

"Oh, I forgot about that." Rory walked over to the desk, where the extra wedding video sat atop the photo album. "We should've gotten a little gift bag to put them in." She picked them up and walked toward the front door.

Lorelai capped her lipstick and dropped it back into her purse, then waved Rory off. "Eh, it's fine. Luke, we're leaving!"

Luke walked out of the kitchen eating an apple. "Okay. Have fun."

"You going to the diner soon?" Lorelai asked.

Luke held up the half-eaten apple. "Soon as I'm done with this."

"Okay. We'll see you later." Lorelai kissed him on the cheek, then pulled the keys out of her purse.

"Bye Luke," Rory said as she stepped out the front door.


Lorelai grabbed a sweater from the coat rack and followed Rory out onto the porch, pulling the front door closed behind her.

. . . . .

. . . . .

Forty-five minutes later, Lorelai and Rory walked up to the front door of Emily and Richard's house. Rory rang the doorbell, and a moment later, the maid opened the door. They walked inside the house, handed their sweaters and purses to the maid, then headed to the living room.

Emily was sitting on the couch sipping a glass of wine while Richard stood at the drink cart making himself a martini. Emily smiled when the girls walked into the room. "Hello, hello. Come sit down."

"Hey Grandma, hey Grandpa," Rory greeted them, holding the photo album and video against her chest.

"Hi Mom, hi Dad," Lorelai said as she sat down on the couch. Rory sat next to her.

"What can I get you to drink?" Richard asked.

"Coke, please," Rory replied.

"White wine," Lorelai replied.

Emily set her glass of wine on the coffee table, then folded her hands in her lap. "So, how's everything with you two?"

"Great," Rory replied.

"Everything's fine," Lorelai replied.

"Good, good. And how's Luke?" Emily asked.

"He's fine. He's working tonight," Lorelai said.

"He has a good, strong work ethic, Luke does," Richard said from the drink cart. "Hard work is good for the soul, and for building good character."

"And for funding trips to the mall," Lorelai added.

"What's that you have there?" Emily asked Rory.

Rory glanced down at her lap. "Oh. Mom just had some things she wanted to . . .here." She handed the album and video to Lorelai.

"Oh, yeah, we brought you gifts," Lorelai said. She held up the video. "Now, Mom, I know you were dying to see the Sorority Life finale, so I taped it for you. I don't wanna give away the ending, but let's just say that. . .Jordan and Mara didn't join." Lorelai paused and wrinkled her nose. "Oops, I gave away the ending. Sorry."

Rory rolled her eyes. "Mom."

Emily sighed. "Lorelai, if you're going to try to be funny by making silly references, it might help if we knew what you were talking about. Otherwise, it just sounds like jibberish to us."

"But it's funny to me, and we all know how I like to amuse myself," Lorelai said. Richard brought their drinks over and set them on the coffee table. "Thanks, Dad."

"Yeah, thanks," Rory added. She patted Lorelai on the arm. "Mom, just tell 'em what you brought."

Richard took a seat next to Emily. "Yes, what are these gifts you've brought?"

Lorelai picked up the photo album. "Well, we got our wedding pictures in this week, and so we went through and made an album for you guys. There's some pictures of you two, some of me and Luke, some of Rory and . . . well, just a bunch of candids we thought you'd like. Here, take a look." She leaned across the coffee table and handed it to Emily.

Emily's eyes widened as she ran her hand over the satin cover of the album. "Goodness. And this is for us to keep?"

Lorelai nodded. "Mmhmm."

"Well, that's very nice," Richard said.

"Yes, very nice." Emily opened to the first page, and a smile slowly formed on her lips. "Oh, Richard, would you look at that?" Emily titled the page toward him, showing him the picture of Lorelai, Emily and Richard that was taken in the living room just before the wedding ceremony.

"Well, that certainly came out nice, didn't it," Richard commented.

"Yeah, the photographers did an amazing job," Lorelai said. "We're really happy with all the pictures."

Emily turned the page of the album. "Yes, they're lovely so far."

Lorelai and Rory sipped their drinks as Emily and Richard continued looking at the pictures. When they were finished, a smiling Emily closed the album and set it on the coffee table. "Well, this is a wonderful gift, a very nice collection of pictures. Thank you, Lorelai."

"You're welcome." Lorelai held up the video. "Don't forget the second part of the gift."

"What is that?" Richard asked.

"Kind of goes with the pictures," Lorelai replied. "It's a copy of the wedding video."

"A copy?" Emily asked.

"Yeah, we got an extra one so you can keep it," Rory added.

Emily smiled. "My. Well, wasn't that nice."

"Yes, what a nice idea," Richard commented.

"Perhaps we could watch it after dessert tonight," Emily suggested.

Lorelai nodded. "Yeah, maybe, some of it. It's kind of long though, so it might get pretty late if we try to watch the whole thing."

"Oh, well, we'll just play it by ear, then," Emily said. "Have you already watched it?"

Lorelai nodded. "Yeah, the three of us watched it last night."

"Mom used up like a box of tissues," Rory added with a smirk. "She was practically bawling the whole time."

Lorelai scoffed and nudged Rory with her elbow. "Excuse me, you didn't exactly have dry eyes, missy."

"Yeah, but you cried much more than me," Rory said. "I didn't think you'd ever stop. I started wondering if I should hurry up and order flood insurance or something."

Lorelai rolled her eyes. "She's exaggerating," she said to Emily and Richard. "It's an annoying little trait she has."

"One she undoubtedly inherited from you." Emily smirked before sipping her wine.

"So, Rory, tell us, how's school?" Richard asked. "Senior year – must be exciting."

"Yeah, it's good so far. It's busy already," she replied. "Lots of homework."

"But that's okay, because hard work is good for the soul," Lorelai said. "Right, Dad?"

"That's right. And it builds character," Richard replied.

"Well, let me tell you, there must be tiny little construction crews inside of this girl building character 24 hours a day because she's got a ton of it," Lorelai said.

"Uh, Grandpa, I wanted to ask you, do you think you could set up another tour of Yale soon?" Rory asked. "I mean, now that the semester has started, we might be able to sit in on a class. I mean, only if it's not too much trouble."

"Oh, of course it's no trouble. I'd be happy to," Richard replied. "I'll make the call on Monday."

"Great, thanks," Rory said appreciatively.

The maid entered the room. "Dinner's ready, Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore."

"Right on time. Thank you, Maura," Emily said. She picked up her wine glass and stood up. "Shall we?" She walked away, and Lorelai, Rory and Richard followed her to the dining room.

. . . . .

. . . . .

To be continued. . .