Birthday Bash

NOTE: I don't own these Gilmore Girls characters, as they're the property of the WB. Rosa is very much mine, though.

A/N: I know what you're thinking. It took me forever to write this one, right? Well, now it's time for a new one. For those of you who've never read the other stories you might want to go find them and refresh yourself before touching this one. Anyway, enjoy!

          CHAPTER 3

          Rosa bounced energetically into a Kids Gap store followed by Luke and Lorelai. The two adults watched the child as she moved through the many racks of clothes awfully filled with liveliness.

          "I'm thinking we shouldn't have let her have the smoothie and the ice cream," Luke said.

          "Hey, if you can resist that face, I'll take my hat off to you," said Lorelai.

          "So why are we here, exactly?" Luke asked her, looking at a display of kiddy jewelry.

          "Luke, honey, we talked about this in the car," Lorelai reminded him. "I want to horribly humiliate you by bringing you into a little kid's store."

          "Took me all the way to Hartford just to humiliate me," Luke sighed. "I can feel the growth in this relationship."

          "Yeah," Lorelai said, absentmindedly looking through a rack of blouses. "I actually wanted to talk to you about that."

          "Hey," Rosa suddenly chimed in, appearing from behind a stand of festive t-shirts. "They have Hello Kitty everything in here."

          "Why don't you pick out a couple things?" Lorelai suggested, clearly trying to distract the child.

Rosa nodded and went back to what she was doing.

"You were saying?" Luke said, redirecting the conversation to Lorelai's previous statement.

"Oh, right," Lorelai remembered. "Well, it's just that you and I have been in this thing for a pretty long while now. Thick and thin and all that fun couple-y stuff."

"This leading to a general point?" Luke nudged.

"Uncle Luke," Rosa said, walking up. "Look. They got that baseball cap you wear all the time." She held up a blue cap, which was very identical to the one Luke wore on his head at the moment.

"Really exciting stuff, kid," Luke said with fake interest.

"Rosa, you remember the deal," Lorelai said, hugging Luke's arm. "It's my turn to annoy Luke. You can have him back in an hour."

"OK," Rosa said then walked off again. "Can we go to the food court?"

"You just had two desserts," Luke said.

"That was dessert," Rosa said. "Not pizza."

"She has a point there," Lorelai had to agree then smiled at Rosa. "Sure. Let's go."

Rosa smiled and headed out of the store.

"I guess we'll talk later," Luke said to Lorelai.

"Later is good," Lorelai said, hiding her disappointment.

Rory stood among a crowd at Luke's diner, all people arguing at once. Rory shook her head in exasperation for what had to be the fourth time that past hour. How could something as simple as planning a birthday party for a little girl be so complicated? Rory made her way through the people and went to stand on top of the counter, looking a firm leader.

"People, please," Rory said. "We're having the party indoors."

"But outdoors makes a statement, honey," said Miss Patty.

"I'm allergic to most things found outdoors," said Kirk meekly.

Rory sighed as the arguing continued then climbed down from the counter and headed outside. What kind of mother, or almost mother, would she be if she couldn't even plan Rosa's birthday party properly? Then Lorelai wasn't there to help regulate the people with her amusing comments, as she and Luke were keeping Rosa busy that day.

"You're wearing that deep in thought look of yours," a familiar voice said suddenly. "What's wrong?"

Rory looked up to see… "Dean!"

"Hey," Dean smiled at her.

Rory went up to him and started to hug him, but stopped herself and just touched him lightly. "What are you doing in town?"

"I'm staying with my mom for summer," the young man replied. "God, I haven't seen you in two years. How have you been?"

"I'm good," Rory replied with a shrug.

"I've been in town for like two days and I already heard that you and Jess were back together and you're acting as mother to his wedlock born child."

"What? No. It's a whole big story there, but, yeah, we're back together," Rory confirmed before adding, "And happy. Couldn't be happier in fact."

"That's great," said Dean with a smile. "Anyway, I was just heading home. I'll see you later." He turned and started to walk away.

"Yeah, later," Rory said, mostly to herself.

"Rory." She turned to see Jess headed her way. He gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Sorry I'm late." Jess examined her face for a moment, also noticing the deep in thought look. "You OK?"

"I'm fine," Rory replied quickly. She took his arm and began to lead him away. "Come on."

"OK," Jess shrugged, allowing himself to be tugged along.

A/N: Mad at me for not updating in a while? Well, be happy! Please review!