Disclaimer: Own nothing to do with Gilmore Girls
A/N: Just another scene from all their lives, set a day or so after the last chapter. Reviews would be love.
Leah runs faster than I have ever seen any other four year old run. She did not get that from her mother or me.
"Daddy, come on," she moans, pulling on my hand so that I keep up. "I want to see Mommy."
"She's not going anywhere," I tell her for the five thousandth time. "She'll be there even if we're a few seconds late." Leah marches on determinedly, her white sneakers slapping against the floor of the airport loudly.
"I want to see her now," she says, rushing towards the baggage claim. We've been through this routine before. I jog lightly to keep up. Leah pushes past the other people in the baggage claim area bossily before stopping abruptly. "I need to see my mommy," she says to an old man in front of her who isn't getting out of the way. "You need to move."
"Leah," I say, warning. She pouts.
"Okay, please, move? I really need to see her," she explains impatiently to the man. "I don't want her to forget about me." He moves out of the way, smiling tightly at me. I nod my head back at him, and let Leah lead me towards the seating area where she knows from experience that Rory will be waiting. Leah's grip on my hand tightens and I start to quicken my pace. She's getting anxious.
Turning one last corner, Leah squeals and drops my hand, sprinting excitedly and catapulting herself into Rory, throwing her arms around her neck. Rory stumbles slightly, her high heels teetering. But she doesn't let go of Leah, wrapping her arms as tightly as she can around her back.
"I missed you, baby," Rory says, looking up at me, smiling.
"I missed you, too," Leah says, her voice muffled as she buries her face in Rory's black jacket. Rory rubs a hand across her back. I lean over Leah and Rory kisses the corner of my mouth quickly. I frown and she mouths, 'later', swaying gently with Leah. After a few minutes, Rory clears her throat gently. Leah doesn't make any motion as to move.
"Leah, Mommy's back is starting to hurt."
"That means you have to get down now, bunny."
"No," Leah says defiantly, hugging Rory closer. "I'm not letting you go," she says, tightening her legs around Rory's waist. Rory looks at me over Leah's head; her arms straining to keep a grasp on her. I motion for her to hand Leah over to me.
"C'mon, Lee. Get down so Mom can regain the feeling in her arms."
"What?" Leah asks, confused. Rory rolls her eyes at me, but pulls back slightly so she can look Leah in the face. Her black skirt is getting wrinkled from Leah digging her shoes into it and she keeps lifting her ankles slightly out of her high heels. She's tired. Her feet hurt. And from the looks of it, Leah's beginning to cut off circulation.
"Mommy's really tired. Daddy wants to hold you now. He's super jealous that you're with me right now," she whispers the last part loudly, nodding at me to start talking. I fold my arms across my chest.
"Man. I wish I could carry Leah out of the airport," I say, scratching the back of my neck. "Then we could go get something to eat, watch a movie... maybe even unwrap some of those presents that Mom has in her suitcase..." Leah squirms eagerly, and Rory puts her down on the ground. Leah rushes over to me, holding her hands up in the air.
"Thank you," Rory breathes out quietly. I motion for Leah to climb on my back. Rory grabs the handle on her suitcase, and we start to make our way out of the airport.
"What did you get me?" Leah asks excitedly. Rory raises her eyebrows, shrugging playfully.
"I'm not sure. It depends on whether you've been a good kid this week."
"I've been great," she says self-confidently. "Daddy and I fed the ducks, and we colored, and then Grandma came over. She was silly," Leah adds, giggling. "She made Daddy clean the house." Rory looks over at me, her eyes widening.
"My mom made you clean the house?"
"Uh, no. Grandma Senior," I correct. "Apparently our daughter's living in a shit hole."
"Jess!" Rory says, pinching me hard on the arm. "Leah, never, ever say that word. Hit Daddy." Leah complies, swatting me on the back of my neck lightly with her hand. "And we do not live in a messy house. It's comfortable," she says.
"She says it smells," I note. "I told her to go-."
"Leah, where do you want to eat?" Rory asks brightly. "I have to go home to change first, do you maybe just want to order something?"
"No, Daddy said he'd take us out to dinner some place-." She breaks off and I can feel her squirming. "Hey, you're dropping me," she says indignantly.
"No, I'm not," I say, loosening my grip on her legs, letting her slide down my back a little ways. Rory rolls her eyes at me as Leah continues to protest.
"Yes, you are, and I'm going to fall," she squeals, tightening her arms around my neck. Rory laughs at the sight as we continue walking out of the airport.
"I think I'm fat."
"What?" It's midnight and she's been staring at herself in the full length mirror in our bedroom for the past half hour.
"You heard me. I'm fat. Big boned. Pleasantly plump." Rory sighs, pinching the sides of her hips. She pulls up the bottom of her tank top, then rolls down her boxer shorts a little more. Biting her bottom lip, she looks at herself, squinting critically. "I had Leah four years ago. Aren't I supposed to be skinny by now? I tried fitting into my jeans from college last week and I couldn't even button them without holding my breath."
"But you could still button them," I say, putting my book down on the night stand.
"That's not at all helpful and completely besides the point," she says, holding her hair up with one hand and placing her other hand across her stomach, frowning. "Right now you're supposed to be saying, 'oh, Rory, you're so beautiful. I bet you could still fit in your Chilton skirts from high school'."
I look at her silently in the mirror, raising an eyebrow, and she giggles. "Okay, you're not supposed to say it in a dirty way." Turning away from the mirror, she flops onto the bed, burying her head in the comforter. Squirming, she scratches the back of her leg with her hand.
"When did our comforter get so itchy?"
"Probably hasn't been washed in over a year."
"Ew, Jess, don't even say that."
"Well, you're not washing it, I'm sure as hell not washing it... and I'm pretty sure Leah hasn't managed that whole washing machine thing yet." Rory looks up at me, her hair covering her face. I reach over and run a hand through the tangled strands, pushing them away from her eyes. She smiles.
"We should buy a new comforter," she suggests, her eyes lighting up. "Tomorrow, we can go running and then we can go to Bed Bath and Beyond. I can't sleep in this thing, it's probably infested."
"Running?" I ask, backtracking.
"I can't let you be seen in public with me," she says, momentarily sad. "I'm too gross looking. I haven't gotten my hair cut in like, eons. And I'm fat. At least if I go running, I'll feel better about myself."
"Rory, you haven't gone running in ten years."
"Not true," she argues. "I totally went running the day before we got married."
"Oh, so you went running for a block four years ago?"
"Two blocks, and five years ago," she corrects, then looks down. "I don't know, I just don't feel... pretty. I mean, I'm gone three days a week. When I come home, I want to look nice. But I always end up making a mess with Leah, or spilling something on my outfit, and then you always come in looking perfect," she sighs, moving closer so that she can lay her head on my legs.
"Yep," she says simply, curling her legs up near her chest.
"I think that's stretching it a little." Rory shakes her head, yawning against the back of her hand. "You're not fat, Rory. You can go running if you want, but it's not going to change anything."
"I just don't want to wake up one day and be looking like one of those girls on What Not to Wear," she says. "I don't think I could handle it if Clinton said that I looked like a lost cause."
"Does he know how much you paid for those pants you wore out to dinner tonight?" I ask, and a light blush goes to her cheeks.
"Well, yeah," she giggles. "But hey, we have two incomes now. Those were definitely worth it." I lean over and kiss her softly. She kisses me back, pulling away slowly. One last time, she asks, "so you don't care? If I gained five pounds?" I suppress the urge to roll my eyes and shake my head instead.
"I think you look sexier with hips, anyway," I say. She smiles gratefully.
"Not a fan of the skin and bones look?" she asks, mock seriously. "Because I always could go running. And start on a raw food diet or something. Carrots. Lettuce. Maybe some granola."
"No, thanks. I prefer the pizza, Chinese, and tacos, to tell you the truth." She wraps her arms around my neck, smiling brightly.
"And that's why I love you."
A/N: (I always thought Leah would have a lot of Lorelai-ish personality traits.)