AN: You asked for it (albeit LONG ago) and I did it (FINALLY). Anyhow, ask for a 4th installment and I'll ignore it, but three, well, how can I say no? J/K. On with the saga. . . For back-story, read What Happens When then Joys of Family.
SET: 16 years after the epilogue of JOF
CHARACTERS: Usual suspects from prior stories plus a few more children that came along. . .
RATING: PG-13 moments mixed w/this 3rd helping of Trory fluff.
"Ella! NOW!" Rory Dugrey called for the fifth time.
"Just. A. Second. Mother!" came the harassed tone from upstairs in the vicinity of the 17-year-old's room.
Rory rolled her eyes, making a mental note to punish her husband for passing on his past teen-age tendencies on to their daughter. Luckily, she'd known how to deal with him then and her lovely daughter now.
"Three more seconds and I cut off your phone privileges all weekend!"
One-one thousand, two-one—a very put out but seemingly ready to depart girl appeared in front of her. Just at that moment, Tristan re-entered the house.
"Perfect timing," he kissed the top of his daughter's head.
He watched in confusion as Ella gave her mother the most angelic smile in her repertoire and went to join her brother in the backseat of the car.
"Problem?" he chuckled as he could practically feel the steam coming off of his wife's ears as he pulled her into an embrace.
"I hate teenagers," she sighed before following him out of the house. He took the time right there on the steps of their front porch to purposefully kiss her until every thought escaped her body; save for how amazing it felt when he soothed her bottom lip with his tongue after pulling it open with his teeth.
"EW!" Jake groaned.
"GOD! Get in the car, people will see you!" Ella instructed from the car.
"Me, too," Tristan agreed with Rory, though his eyes were gleaming with lust that still filled him. Reluctantly, he moved to open Rory's door for her before getting into the drivers side himself.
And with that, the Dugreys began the pilgrimage from White Plains to Stars Hollow for Thanksgiving. Also in attendance, as per tradition, would be the Mariano, Melville and Danes clans. The amount of potential teenage angst was enough to unhinge the sanest of people. Rory felt that having two was quite enough. Ella seemed to think that going away for four days was a personal attack on her social life. She took Tristan's hand and glanced in the rearview mirror. She couldn't help but smile at her scowling daughter who was text messaging someone on her cell phone that Tristan had assured her he was buying for her, 'in case of emergencies'. Rory rolled her eyes at the thought, wondering if she were spelling out her sob story of being forced into hanging out with her relatives or lining up a prospective date for their return.
Ella was a replica of Rory—long golden brown hair, with piercing blue eyes. Unfortunately, she had inherited her father's social skills and charm. Over the last two years, Tristan had threatened most of the male population of Ella's private school, knowing exactly what these boys wanted from his beautiful baby daughter. Rory laughed at him and called it Chilton's Revenge.
Jacob, now 15 and insisting on being called Jake, shared his mother's more reserved nature and her fascination for knowledge. Ella claimed this made him a geek, which contributed to most of the sibling scuffles in their house of late. Jake looked like Tristan, from back in his Chilton days, especially when he had his private school uniform on. Jake loved school, and tried to steer as clear as he could from Ella and her popular friends. Mainly he hung out with Ambrose Mariano in the library or under the bleachers at the stadium at lunch.
Sitting amongst gridlock holiday traffic in New York City, Erin Mariano turned up the music to drown out the honking and yells that surrounded the air around their car, seeping in through the vents she guessed. Jess sat obliviously next to her, reading. She couldn't complain—he'd won the coin toss after all. He had to deal with any child crisis during the trip as per the arrangement they'd always had, but she decided this was no longer a fair trade off as both Ambrose and Juliet were self-sufficient and had books of their own to focus on. She sighed and tapped her left foot to the beat.
Lorelai Danes ran up to the front door of her house hurriedly; coat, purse and a large paper sack all held to her torso with one arm as she tried to free her key form the lock.
"GAH!" she exclaimed, kicking the door.
"Lorelai –hey! Stop that! You just have to push the door back while jiggling the key," Luke reminded her, retrieving her keys from her as he demonstrated then shut the door behind them.
"That would require me using two hands," she stated disbelievingly.
"So?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at his wife.
"When've you ever seen me with two free hands upon arriving home?" she arched an eyebrow of her own back at him.
"I'll look at it later," he consented, kissing her cheek.
"Thank you. Is Will here?" she asked, following him into the kitchen with the paper bag.
"He's helping Sookie's bunch bring food over," he shook his head.
"Hmm," she thought for a moment. "He didn't mention Bree, did he?"
"You made a rhyme," Luke mocked her until he saw her non-playful expression. "No, no mention of her."
Lorelai nodded, hoping Will was really done with her once and for all. Bree had been his high school sweetheart. She herself had more than approved of the relationship and was thrilled when Will told his parents that he was thinking of proposing this Christmas. Unfortunately, when Bree came back this fall from a summer abroad in England, she hadn't been alone. She had become pregnant by another student from her program she'd had a fling with over the summer, and confessed to Will about two months ago when she'd discovered that she was indeed pregnant. Will, devastated, moved out of the apartment they shared in New Haven and in with Davey Melville in Stars Hollow, opting to commute to his classes at Yale University. Bree had called him for a while, trying to get him to come back to her but he had too much of his parents in him to get over her betrayal.
"He's going to be okay," Luke said softly, pulling her gently by the arm until she moved into him.
"I hope so," she gave a smile and leaned against her husband's strong frame.
"So, what's in the bag?" he asked to change the subject to a lighter one he hoped.
"Well, I was checking in at work, when suddenly, it hit me what we'd forgotten."
He furrowed his brow, knowing each last detail had been covered and rechecked for the upcoming weekend. Then he saw the glint in her eye.
"Chocolate turkeys," she smiled broadly, opening the back for his inspection.
Rolling his eyes, he turned his attention back to the stove and the real Thanksgiving food he was preparing.
Will helped Davey carry out dozens of covered trays to the back of the Melville Party Wagon, as Davey referred to his parents' Suburban that they'd upgraded to when Sookie was pregnant with Lia. They leaned back against the bumper, waiting in the brisk air for the others to join them.
"So, you heard from her again? God, she doesn't get it, does she?" Davey asked in disbelief.
Will shook his head, " I just wish she'd stop. She's just scared, I mean, she's pregnant, alone, and her dad disowned her when he found out. Plus it's the holidays."
Davey looked at his friend in amazement, "You seem so calm and rational about this, man."
Will shrugged. "I figure she did me a favor. Saved me a few fucking grand," he said off-handedly. Just then, Anna Melville emerged from the house, jumped into the Suburban and slammed the door behind her.
"What's with her?" Will asked his best friend.
"Don't ask. Trust me," he informed Will as his parents and two younger siblings, Billy and Lia, joined them all ready for the short trip to Lorelai and Luke's house.