A/N: I've been thinking for a long time what I had to do with this story. I decided to end this story with an epilogue. Many of you reviewed the last chapter, and it's obvious that most of you don't want me to end this. However, one of you told me to end it here, because the last chapter was just too perfect. And I agree, it was the perfect ending to the story, so I end this with the epilogue. But don't be sad, because this won't be the real end. I mean, it will be for the story, but there will be a sequel.
I wrote this chapter a few weeks ago and send it to LorelaiAkaCoffeeAddict , but since she just started college she didn't had the time to read it yet, and I just wanted to post it so this one is only checked by me. I hope no-one is mad about that but right now it seemed like the best option. I already wrote 2 and a half chapters for the sequel and all I really need is a name, so if you give me one I can post the first chapter of that one ;) For now, enjoy reading the end of this story and don't forget to let me know what you think!
Nobody could have expected where they would drive into when they reached Stars Hallow. It was 5.15 p.m. and they were all very tired from the long flight home. The flight went without any problems, no delay, and the plane arrived almost 15 minutes earlier than expected. Luke and Lorelai had taken their car to the airport a few days earlier, so they had to drive home. Luke didn't expect to be this tired and would later admit that it wasn't responsible to drive like this and would never do that again.
When Luke drove the car towards the town center, he suddenly had to hit the brakes. The street was filled with people. On the side was a big banner with the words 'Welcome Home Rory!' It was as if the entire town was empty and they were all there. Lorelai turned around to look at her daughter who looked overwhelmed, shocked.
"Did you knew this?" Rory asked.
"No, but I guess we could have expected it. They really missed you."
Rory just smiled as she opened her door and stepped out of the car. She looked at all the people who came even closer. In the middle she saw her grandparents with big smiles on their faces. Everybody was talking through each other, all asking the same questions. Rory ignored them as she walked towards her grandmother and enveloped her in a tight hug. After that she turned to her grandfather and did the same.
From the car Luke and Lorelai were watching Rory. They looked at each other with huge smiles on their faces. "They all came."
"Yep." Luke used his usual grumpy voice, but Lorelai knew better.
"We better get out there too, before they kill her." They saw that after Rory hugged Richard, the whole town wanted to hug her. She tried hugging them one by one, but they all came closer and it started looking like one big group hug, with Rory in the middle.
"Don't you think we should safe our own lives? We could get killed too if we get out there."
"I'm willing to give up my life for my daughter's, but you can stay here if you want." Lorelai stepped out of the car and walked to the backdoor of the car. She opened it to get Lucan out.
Luke had turned around and looked at Lorelai. "If you want to get killed, fine by me. But leave him in there. I want him to live a little while longer."
"And not me?"
"You're a grown woman, it's your own choice."
"Gee thanks. Remind me of those words later."
"When, you're funeral?" Luke smirked.
"Very funny mister." Lorelai took Lucan out of his car seat, leaving Luke with no other
choice than to step out of the car as well. The three of them together walked towards the crowd. "Give her some room to breath." Lorelai yelled and slowly everybody started giving Rory some space.
Rory mouthed "Thank you" to her mother, as people kept asking her questions.
An hour later everybody was used to the idea of having Rory back. They all went somewhere to get some dinner, leaving Rory behind with her parents and grandparents. "We should be going too." Emily told Lorelai.
"Mom, you don't have to go. You hardly had the time to talk to Rory. Why don't you come home with us so we can all have some dinner and get a change to talk. I'm sure you want to know how the last few weeks have been for Rory."
"We would love that." Emily smiled. "But really, it's not necessary."
"Nonsense mom. We'll ask Lane to bring us some food. I'm sure Rory missed all the good diner food."
"Yeah grandma, please come. And you don't have to eat burgers, Caesar makes the best salads." Rory tried to sound convincing, although she didn't knew if she told the truth about the salads.
"Please mom?" "Please grandma." Both woman said at the same time with begging eyes.
They each walked to their own car and took the short drive home. Richard parked his car behind Luke on the driveway. While Lorelai took Lucan, Rory and her mother inside, the men went to get the luggage.
When all the luggage was carried into the house, they found the 3 woman inside on the couch. Lorelai was feeding Lucan, while Rory and Emily were going through one of Luke's take-out menus. "Thanks for the help with the suitcases." Luke said sarcastically, making the woman look up.
"What?" Lorelai asked with an innocent voice. "I really wanted to help, but your son was hungry."
"It's true. Although I think it's about time he starts eating some permanent food."
"Can he have that already?" Luke sounded amazed.
"Yeah. You have those little jars in the supermarket, but you can also make some food yourself."
"We'll discuss that tomorrow then. You know what you want to eat?" Luke walked to the kitchen to get a piece of paper and a pen.
"Cheese burger, cheese chili fries and onion rings please."
"Okay." Luke wrote it down. "Rory?"
"Okay. Emily, have you decided yet?"
"I do, actually. I'd like a Caesar salad and a hamburger please."
"What?" Lorelai looked shocked. "You want a hamburger? You hate diner food."
"I like a good hamburger sometimes."
Lorelai shook her head, but decided to let it go and turned her attention back to her son.
"I like a hamburger as well, with fries please."
"Not today." He glanced at Emily who said nothing, she just smiled. She hardly ever let Richard eat food like that, but once in a while, mostly when nobody watched, she let him have some. And since today was a special occasion she decided not to pull a fight.
"Okay." He wrote down Richard's order and what he wanted himself. Then he walked to the telephone to give the order to Lane and asked her to bring it by. It was dinner rush, but since Jake was working as well, Lane could leave for a few minutes.
"So Rory, how is it to be back home again?" Emily looked at her granddaughter.
"Weird. It's just that everything looks the same, as if I wasn't even gone. It's really nice to be back because I really missed this place. My mom, Luke, Lucan, you and grandpa, Lane, my room and everybody else. My friends from Yale, the crazy town people. But I'm really going to miss London and all my friends there. At least Warren will be here in a few days and I think the closest friends I got there will come to visit here sometime and I will go back after a while to see how everybody is doing."
"That sounds nice."
"Yeah, that's what I thought."
"So Rory, did you finish all your courses? "Richard asked.
"Yeah, every single one of them, and all positive!"
"You didn't expect that dad?
"Of course I didn't. But it's always good to know."
Rory looked at her mother making sure to let her know not to say anything more. Then she turned to Emily. "How are you doing grandma?"
"I'm doing very well, thank you."
"Mom told me that before you left you had a panic attack."
"Oh, that was nothing." Emily felt uncomfortable talking about this.
"From what I've heard it was pretty scary. But how have you been doing since?"
Emily looked at her granddaughter, then to her daughter, Luke and her husband, knowing there wasn't a way to get out of the subject. "Things are going really good. I was finally able to convince your grandfather to let the nurse go. I can do everything myself and there's always someone around if necessary."
"That's great mom. You haven't told me that when I called you 3 days ago."
"I didn't thought it was interesting. I found it way more interesting to hear about how you were doing."
"But it's interesting mom. Your health is important to us, no matter where we are. It's great news that you're on your own again. And how about the panic attacks, no more of those?"
Emily realized that her attempt to change the subject didn't work. She looked Richard, hoping he would take over. Fortunately he got the message. "Your mother has been doing really good. The doctor advised her to talk to someone about the accident. She did and that really helped. She has no more nightmares and… well she's doing really well." He was afraid he said to much already and from the look his wife gave him he knew he did.
Lorelai looked at her mother, but knew the look as well and decided to let it go, hoping Rory would do the same. They were saved by the doorbell. It was Lane with dinner.
Richard and Emily stayed for coffee after dinner, but insisted on going home afterwards. From having traveled a lot themselves, they knew how exhausted everyone must be. So after Lorelai promised that they'd be coming to Friday night dinner and that she'd call before that, they left.
"Finally, silence." Lorelai said after they walked back into the house.
"But it was nice they came. I really liked how they were all waiting for us on the streets."
"Luke like or really like?"
"I really liked it. It's crazy how you miss everything when you're gone for so long. It was good to see everyone again, and this saves me a lot of visits."
"I guess that's true. So what do you want to do now?"
"Just go to bed. I know that it's against the jetlag rules, but since I hardly slept last night I'm exhausted. I really need to sleep."
"Yeah, I have to ask Luke, but I think we're going to do the same. Although we might stay up a little longer until Lucan's last feeding. But you can go to bed. I have to check up on the inn in the morning, but we can hang out after that if you like."
"That will be great. And I can go to the diner to hang out with Lane while you're at the inn. We've talked for a little while earlier but not much because everybody kept asking me questions."
"I know. That'll calm down in a few days. Although that will be when Warren shows up so they'll start asking questions about him."
"That's what you get when you live in a small town right? And you know what, you actually miss it when you live in a big city like London. Even at campus there are so many people walking around you don't know. When you walk in the city, you know almost nobody. And if you see the same person a second time, and say hi, they look at you like you're crazy."
"Lucky that I wasn't planning on moving to a big city then. But you better go to bed now, we'll talk in the morning."
"Goodnight mom." Rory kissed her mother's cheek.
When Rory walked towards her room, Lorelai went upstairs to find Luke. He was unpacking their suitcase. Most of the clothes were going directly into the laundry basket.
"Hey." He looked up.
"You didn't have to do that. I would have done it tomorrow."
"That's okay. I don't mind, what's done is done right?"
"Yeah. Hey, I was thinking, do you want to go to bed now or do you want to wait until Lucan's last feeding?"
He checked his watch. "We could get a few hours of sleep if we go to bed now. But I want to finish this first okay?"
"Then I'm going to take a shower before going to bed."
"Sure, get that dirty airplane feeling of you."
"You sound like my mother now."
"When she and Rory came back from Europe two years ago, she didn't wanted to hug me because of the dirty airport feeling."
He raised his eyebrows.
"Don't ask, what you said earlier reminded me of it. I'm going to take that shower now."
She walked towards their bedroom to get some clean clothes before walking back to the bathroom and turned on the shower.
45 Minutes later they were both laying in bed, Luke on his back and Lorelai snuggled up against his side, her head on his shoulder.
"It's good to have her back you know."
"I know. We're finally together, all of us."
"Yeah. This summer is going to be great, don't you think? Of course there's Warren so I have to share her, but I can see her and hang out with her, I missed that so much."
"I know you did. But you don't have to worry about that anymore, because she's here now. She's downstairs in her bed, safe and probably already sleeping."
"Yeah. She really had a great time there didn't she?"
"She made a lot of friends. So many people showed up at the goodbye party."
"I know. She made some impression."
"Just like her mom." He kissed her forehead.
"Hey Luke?" Lorelai asked, after being silent for a while.
"Do you think our life turned out okay?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, last year around this time we found out I was pregnant with Lucan. We hadn't even discussed the subject of kids yet, so do you like how things turned out, even though they weren't planned this way?"
"When we were in London I've told you that I always wanted to have kids with the right person. Even though we didn't plan on having Lucan at the moment, or having discussed the subject of kids, I can't think of our life without him. I wouldn't have had it any other way. And don't forget about the other things we discussed in London."
"So you think it turned out okay?" She lifted her head a little so she could look in his eyes.
"Better than okay. But why are you asking?"
Laying her head back on his shoulder she replied: "When I was standing in the shower earlier I was thinking that my life turned out completely different than I thought it would when I was a kid. When I just turned 15 I wanted to graduate high school and go to Harvard, just like Rory always wanted. I never told her this of course, because I don't regret how things turned out. I wonder sometimes what my life would have been like if I hadn't gotten pregnant with Rory. But I push those thoughts out of my mind soon, realizing I wouldn't have had her. I probably wouldn't have ended up in Stars Hallow either so I would have never met you."
"That wouldn't have been good."
"I agree. You remember the time when we had to go to Stars Hallow high to talk about our successes?"
"How could I forget? You and that blond woman, what's her name? She and her friends all came after you for the things you said about Rory. I didn't told you then, but you did the right thing. You told the truth. Of course it would have been easier to ignore all those questions and to admit that it was a stupid to get pregnant when you were sixteen. And it was, but it turned out okay for you. You're the most successful woman I know."
"You just say that because I'm your wife." She kissed his chest.
"No, I'm saying it because it's true. You were just a kid when you raised Rory, and you raised her into this amazing woman. She's smart, independent, successful, and all because of you."
"I just got lucky with her."
"I don't believe that. I believe that it will be the same with Lucan in 20 years."
"So maybe we got lucky twice."
"I don't believe in luck."
"I do, otherwise I wouldn't have walked into the diner that first day."
"You would have come in on another day."
"Maybe, you never know."
"You needed coffee right?"
"Yeah, but I usually went to Weston's. Only, it was closed for the day so I had to find something else."
"Well, I'm glad you did."
"Me too." A big smile appeared on her face. "Turned out your coffee was way better."
They were both silent for a while and Luke thought Lorelai had fallen asleep when she called his name again. "Luke?"
"What's the best thing that happened to you the past year?"
"That's hard to tell. There were so many great things that it's hard to pick. Our wedding, Lucan's birth. I guess those two come first."
"And the worse?"
"A lot of things happened when it comes to that."
"What do you like best of everything that happened the past year?"
"First of course your proposal. That night was just perfect. I never expected all the things you did for me that night."
"Did you wonder why I never asked you before?"
"Rory told me the night you proposed, when I was angry at you for not telling me that she was home. I was so embarrassed that night, I completely ruined our moment."
"You know that I understand right?"
She nodded. "You always do. Whenever I'm angry at you or whenever something happens you're understanding. Sometimes I wonder where you got that."
"From my father. He was the most understanding man in the world. At least when it came to my mother, Liz and me. He too had trouble dealing with guys like Taylor."
"He was a really great guy, wasn't he?"
"Absolutely. He was there for us when my mom died, even though he had a really hard time. And when Liz got pregnant, he wasn't mad. Of course he was disappointed, but not mad. When Jimmy left her he did everything he could to help her out. It wasn't until after my father died, things went really bad with Liz. Jess was 5 at the time. It was really sad and I tried to help them, but she wouldn't let me. She married a guy and my dad wasn't there to stop her. I know he would have so I tried, but that only worked in the wrong direction."
"She got it together now."
"Yeah she does. So, what else?" He wanted to change the subject again.
"What else besides the proposal."
"The wedding and the preparations for the wedding. Rory was there to help me, and my mom was there to help me, and it was the first time we spent hours together and didn't fight. Me and my mom of course, not Rory and me because we spend a lot of hours together not fighting. And the wedding itself was better than I could have ever dreamed. Every girl dreams about her wedding, from when you are really little. I expected it to be romantic and that I would have a beautiful dress, but it was much more than that. It was… magical."
Luke smiled, remembering the night.
"I can't believe how much we put together in only a few days of time. Some people plan their wedding for years, and I can't believe it would be more special, or even equally special as ours. New Years eve, midnight, the fireworks, the candles, the huge flowers but most of all the snow." Luke smile went even bigger at that. "When I was walking down the aisle all the nervousness faded away. All I saw was you. The words of the minister that didn't even register. I couldn't tell exactly what he said until I watched the wedding video a few weeks later. All I could think was, did he say that?"
"I know, believe me I know."
"And the vows. They were perfect. It's hard to explain how much those words meant to me."
"I just forgot about everything else around us. It was like it was just you and me."
"I sure know that feeling. Weird isn't it?"
"Yeah I guess."
"And the dance. I love dancing with you. We should do that more often."
"Then it wouldn't be special anymore."
"Still, we should dance more often."
"So, how about the day Lucan was born?"
"Well, the delivery is something that definitely doesn't have to happen if you ask me, but somehow you totally forget about that and the pain from the contractions when you hold your kid in your arms for the first time. His tiny fingers, his tiny nose, his beautiful dark blue eyes, the short hair on his head. The moment when you're finally able to see the kid that has been inside of you for so long. It's hard to describe how it feels."
"I think it's different for me because you already connected with him. I already loved him, even before he was born, but it's still different. But the first time I saw him…"
"You were so proud."
"Yeah." A big smile appeared on his face.
"You were so afraid to crush him when I told you to hold him the first time. It took you a while to get comfortable."
He said nothing, but just kissed her forehead.
"It was hard adjusting to having a baby in the house again, but not because of him because we got really lucky when it comes to him. It's just hard having to take care of someone 24 hours a day. I did it with Rory but she grew up and she didn't need me anymore all the time. It took me some time to get used to it again. It just looked like it was a lot easier for you than it was for me."
"That's not true. Besides Jess, I never even held a baby. I didn't knew how to take care of a kid, and I learned it from you. It looked like you knew exactly what you were doing and slowly I started to learn as well. I felt just the other way, like it was natural for you."
"We're something, aren't we." She kissed him.
"Mmm…" He said, after pulling away. "He's growing up so fast."
"Yeah. I can't believe he can eat permanent food already."
"Are you really sure about that?"
"What kind of food?"
"Usually they give fruit in the morning and normal dinner in the evening. Of course you have to mix it so that it's puree and it can't be spicy or something. With Rory I just bought those little jars but if you want you can cook yourself. I'm sure we can find some recipes on the internet that tell what he can and can't have. And he can have more every time. And I guess he can also have porridge. I'll look it up tomorrow."
"I like the idea of making it myself. But how about if you have him?"
"We can put it in jars or plastic dishes so all I have to do is heat it up. I'm sure I can do that. And the fruit is cold anyway."
"Does he still need milk?"
"Yeah, only less than he gets now. We're still feeding him 5 times a day, it should become 4 or even 3, but we'll see if he's hungry or not."
"Sounds good" He kissed her. "So how about the bad things of the past year?" He was curious how she thought about those things.
"Not everything was easy last year. The first few months after Rory was gone, I was really crabby. I just missed her so much, it must have been really hard to live with me then."
"No. The hard thing was to see you so unhappy. I wanted to do everything to make you feel better."
"You did. You tried so hard and I kept acting so bad. It didn't change until that night when the first snow came. I'm so glad that you talked me into coming with you. It made me realize that I didn't need Rory to be happy. Of course I need her, but in a different way, you know?"
"I do. And I think it was different when she left the second time."
"It was less difficult, because it wouldn't be that long before I'd see her again, at least not as long as the first time. Plus I knew what to expect and had a lot to look forward to. And the unexpected honeymoon helped a lot too"
"So you liked that?"
"Liked it, I loved it! Even though it was only one night, it was very special. I will never forget it."
"I'm glad." He smiled.
"I just didn't realize that I would see Rory again so soon. When my parents got in that accident, it was definitely the hardest thing we've been trough last year. I've never been so scared in my life."
"At least everything turned out okay right?"
"Yeah. And it really changed the relationship with my mom. When she got that panic attack right before we left to London, everything came back. I'm glad it was only a panic attack and from the way she looked earlier today, I think she's doing really great."
"She's doing a lot better. You can see that she's not completely back to normal yet, but she's getting there. There's a big difference between now and two weeks ago. The fact that the nurse isn't coming anymore and she can do almost everything by herself now, is a huge step into the right direction."
"And it's good she decided to talk to someone about the accident. And she never had another panic attack. I just feel bad that she never told me about the nightmares."
"That's just your mother, Lorelai. She doesn't talk about stuff like that. You saw how uncomfortable she got when you and Rory asked her those questions. She tried hard to find a way out without having to answer them."
"She was really happy to see Rory wasn't she?"
"Of course she was. Everybody was." He kissed her forehead again.
"Yeah. It's good to have her home."
"I believe that's where we started this conversation."
"I know, I just can't say it enough."
He kissed her, then turned around to look at his alarm clock. "We've been talking for so long, that Lucan will wake up soon."
"I like talking to you like this. I could do it all night. We don't do it enough."
He kissed her again and she laid her head on his chest when they pulled apart. After a few minutes Luke said: "I think I should go downstairs now to warm up a bottle. You can go to sleep if you want, I'll take care of him."
"Nah, if you go downstairs, I'll check up on our little boy, wake him up, give him a clean
diaper. I prefer falling asleep next to you."
"Sounds like a plan."
They stayed in bed for a few more minutes, enjoying the feeling of being close, before stepping out of bed. While Luke went downstairs, Lorelai walked into the nursery. The baby was still asleep so Lorelai put all the stuff she needed on the changing table before waking up the baby. She walked to his crib silently and enjoyed watching her son for a while before picking him up. He didn't woke up until she opened his pajamas and took of the dirty diaper. He looked at his mother with big sleepy eyes. Lorelai smiled at her son and put on a new diaper. Then she picked the baby up and walked downstairs and sat down on the couch. It didn't took long before Luke walked in with the bottle. He sat down next to Lorelai and together they watched how the baby drank the milk.
When the bottle was empty Lorelai handed Luke the baby. While he lifted him to his shoulder, she stood up and walked towards Rory's room. She opened the room, carefully not to wake her and stood in the door opening. Luke walked up behind her and put a hand on her shoulder. She turned to look at him and gave him a big smile. She gave Lucan a kiss on his nose and stepped into Rory's room to kiss her forehead. Luke stayed in the door opening and watched Lorelai with a smile on his face. She stayed next to Rory for a few minutes before walking out of the door, Luke stepped aside to let Lorelai through and she closed the door behind her carefully.
They walked up the stairs together, into Lucan's room. The little boy was almost asleep already. They both kissed his forehead before Lorelai covered him with the blanket. She took Luke's hand in hers as she they watched their son for a while. He was asleep before they finally left his room.
Back in their own bed they lay in each others arms again. "It feels good to know that both our kids are asleep in their own bed." Lorelai said.
"Yeah it does." Luke replied. And it didn't took long before they fell asleep themselves.