Disclaimer: This is an original story based upon the characters of Gilmore Girls. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit will be made from this story.

Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait in finishing up this story. I have had an unbelievably crazy few weeks. Hope all is well with all of you! Enjoy!

Here I am again–it's amazing how little it's changed in twenty-one years. Twenty-one years–that boggles my mind, can it really have been twenty-one years ago? I turn and look at her, nervously twitching in her seat. Yes, it's been twenty-one years since I was last in this room. I take her hand in mine–the reason why I was in this room, who celebrated her twenty-first birthday last October. Richard left us an hour ago–probably out pacing the grounds somewhere. He has never been one for sitting and waiting. I try to look at my watch without Rory noticing. It's been over twenty hours and I am getting more than a little concerned. Rory looks over at me, sensing my anxiety. Suddenly she looks five years old. I put my arm around her. She leans forward and rests her head on my shoulder.

"She'll be alright Sweetie," I say quietly, trying to sound confident.

"What if something's wrong?" she asks. I reach up and smooth the hair away from her forehead.

"Nothing's wrong. We'd know. These doctors remember me. They're scared of me. If something was wrong–I'd know." She laughs lightly and sits back up–her moment of regression to childhood over.

Suddenly, through the shades I can see the doctor walking towards us–quickly. My heart starts pounding. Something was wrong--it has been too long, I could tell it in the doctor's eyes.

"Rory, I could really use a cup of coffee. Would you mind getting one for me?" I ask her quickly.

"Sure Grandma," she says, and thankfully walks out the other door on the other side from where the doctor is about to come in. I stand up quickly as he walks in.

"What is it, what's wrong?" I ask nervously.

"Mrs. Gilmore, the labor is going a lot slower than we thought. Lorelai's blood pressure is dangerously high. We're beginning preparations for a C-section." the doctor tells me, and then as quickly as he came, he leaves again.

A C-section–I can handle that, they'd get the baby out, the baby would be fine, and Lorelai would be fine. Everything was going to be fine. I keep saying that to myself over and over again as I sit down in the chair. Everything will be fine...Everything will be fine...Everything will be fine...and suddenly, my heart wins out over my head and I start to sob.

"Mommy, why do birds have two wings?" Lorelai asked from atop Richard's shoulders.

"I don't know Lorelai," I replied–not really hearing the question. Lately, when ever I heard the word Mommy and a question reflection at the end, the phrase "I don't know" was on automatic pilot. Lorelai was in that questioning phrase, wanting to know about everything and anything.

"Richard, why in Heaven's name did we come on this hike?" I asked. We could have been sitting in the cabin, by a nice fire, but Richard was on this nature kick and suddenly decided that we needed to become a Wilderness family.

"Emily, we're not in the jungle, we are on a nice beautiful, hike with a paved sidewalk. What more could you want?"

"I like it Daddy" Lorelai said, patting his head. Richard smiled,

"Thank you Lori-Bug" Richard chuckled. I looked up at Lorelai.

"Trader!" I said smiling. She giggled.

"Mommy?" she asked a moment later.

"Yes?"

"What's a trader?"

It had been a beautiful hike. It was delightful to be together too–just the three of us. We reached the end of the hike, a beautiful waterfall.

"Oh Richard. It's beautiful!" I breathed as he put his arm around me.

"Can I get down?" Lorelai asked. Richard lifted her down.

"Don't go near the water!" I said.

"I won't" she answered back. Still, I watched her like a hawk.

"Emily! Richard!" we heard a call. We turned. It was the Pullmans.

"John! Kathryn! What are you doing out here?" Richard asked, starting towards them. I turned to look at Lorelai. She was on a small area of grass, playing with some sticks. I walk towards the Pullmans, continuingly looking over my shoulder. The Pullmans start talking about their vacation, work, life, and I look over my shoulder–checking on Lorelai. Richard starts talking about business, and I start talking about the DAR.

Then...Kathryn says three words, "How is Lorelai?" and then I realize with a start that it has been an eternity since I turned to check on her...how long? Five minutes? Fifteen? I turn to look, certain as my head is turning that I am being an overly paranoid mother. I turn and my feet give way underneath me...she's gone. This can't be real, this is my dream and it's not real, it can't be. I just need to wake up, wake up...come on, please wake up!

"Richard!" I cry out. Richard turns from his conversation. "Richard, she's gone! I wasn't watching her and she's gone!" I yell. Richard yells out fiercely, "Lorelai! Lorelai!" but there is no answer.

"Richard!" I scream again, "Richard, she's in the water! She's in the water!" Without missing a beat, Richard, plunges into the water. John starts down the trail with Kathryn close behind him, "We'll go for help!" John yells. I run closer to the water–this wasn't happening! This couldn't be happening. Richard comes up gasping for breath. "Lorelai!" he calls again. "Lorelai!" Still there is no answer. What I wouldn't give to here her calling my name now! He plunges down again, and time seems to stop. Where is she? Why wasn't I paying more attention? Why wasn't I watching her? Richard surfaces again, shaking his head. "She's not down there," he gasps between breaths. "She's not down there." I help him out of the river, and he starts towards the woods.

"Lorelai!" he yells again. "Lorelai answer me!" I run after him. "John and Kathryn have gone for help. We need to get you out of those clothes. You're going to get hypothermia!" He pays no attention to me, crashing through bushes and branches of trees–anything that stands in his way.

"Where could she go?" I sobbed, "It was a second, I only had my back turned for a second!" Richard still didn't respond.

"Emily, Richard! The forest rangers are here!" we heard Kathryn call. I could see Richard start shaking, whether from the effects of the bitter cold or the terror of his worst nightmare coming true, I wasn't sure. The rangers got Richard out of the wet clothes and got him a blanket. I gave them the description of Lorelai. I got as far as telling them that she had the most beautiful black curling hair before I fell apart. Kathryn finished the description for me. They ordered Richard and I back to the start of the trail, and they built a fire for Richard to try and get him warm. An hour went by...two...and at two and a half hours I began cursing God. What kind of a God would give me a child, a perfect child that I had prayed so long for...and take her away because of my own stupidity. We didn't talk to each other–Richard and I, we just sat there, staring at the entrance of the hike, listening to the searchers call out Lorelai's name. Their searchlights occasionally flashed, making the woods look full of fireflies.

"It was only a few minutes. I'm sure Richard. It was only a few minutes," I mutter weakly. He reaches over and takes my hand. We sit there together, helpless, waiting.

"I have her!" we suddenly hear a shout. "I have the little girl!" Richard and I vaulted from where we were sitting.

"Is she alright?" we call out simultaneously, wondering which light had our little girl. We hear a commotion close to the trail head and start running towards it. We get there and see one of the rangers hurrying down the trail with a little girl clinging to him–our little girl.

"Lorelai!" I cried out and she turned towards me. She held out her arms for me, and I rushed to her, gathering her in my arms, barely able to hear the ranger's voice telling me she was fine through my own sobs. She hugged me tightly, running her hand up and down my back as if she sensed that I was the one in need of comfort and reassuring. She looked up and saw her father standing there. She wriggled out of my embrace and as she walked towards Richard he dropped to his knees. She ran to him, throwing her arms around him and I watched as Richard crushed her to him, sobbing as though his heart would break. He picked her up and carried her back to the campfire, and there she told us the story of how she had chased a bird and gotten lost. She had fallen asleep after awhile, underneath a large pine tree that had covered her like a canopy, making her oblivious to the searchers.

"I'm sorry Daddy" she said quietly. He hugged her to him, "I'm just glad your okay Lori-Bug. I'm just glad your okay," he said, choking up again. He turned to me, "I'll go get the car." he said, and got up. I turned to look at her, my precious baby girl. Tears filled my eyes again. She turned to me and brought her little hand up to cheek.

"Mommy?"

"Yes Baby?"

"It's okay. I got lost but I got founded. It's okay now," she said. I bring my hand to touch her cheek and she leaves hers on mine.

"Yeah...you did. You got founded."

"Grandma? Grandma wake up. The doctor's coming," Rory is calling me. I wake up with a start. "How long was I asleep?" I ask, amazed that I had dozed off. "About an hour," she replies, keeping her eyes focused on the doctor. I shake my head–half in disbelief, and half in an effort to shake the sleep off of me and orient myself to my surroundings.

The doctor enters and Rory reaches over and grabs my hand. "We didn't have to do a c-section. The baby got it's act together, and came out just fine with a little help."

"Grandma, grandma, you're hurting my hand." Rory whispers.

"It's here? The baby's here, and it's okay?" I cry out. The doctor nodds,

"The baby is here. Mom and baby are just fine." he says smiling. Rory gives a little jump and cries out excitedly. She throws her arms around me and I hug her tightly.

"Can you send someone to tell my husband please?" I ask, wiping away tears. The doctor nods and I turn back to hug Rory.

"Wait!" I call as the doctor leaves, "What is it?" I ask. I grab Rory's hand and hurry down the hall. The door to the room opens and Luke steps out, his face gray and tired from the long night of labor, but obviously delighted with the little bundle in the pink blanket he held.

"Rory, Emily," he says, using one hand to wipe away tears at his eyes. He walks towards me and puts the infant in my arms.

"It's a girl," he whispers, almost reverently.

"Oh..." I say, taking in a sharp breath to stave off more tears, "I just love girls," I turn to hand the baby to her waiting older sister. "How's Lorelai?" I ask anxiously. He smiled, and I could see the fear that had ate at him during the past day. "She's going to be just fine." he replied. "You can see her, but they only want one at a time to go in." I look towards Rory, who is captivated by her new sister. "You can go first Grandma," she says. I hurry towards the door, and then slowly open the door and walk in. She is looking at me, smiling. "We sure know how to manufacture the girls in the Gilmore factory don't we?" she says weakly. I smile and walk towards her. "She's perfect Lorelai, absolutely perfect. I'm so proud of you."

"Thank you Mom." she says. "I'm so glad you were here," I smile at her, and suddenly seeing her lying their in the bed, white and weak, tears pool over in my eyes again. She reaches out her hand, and I take it as I sit down in the chair next to her. Not wanting to cause her anymore pain, but needing to touch her, needing to connect with her, I brought my other hand up to her forehead. She reaches up and places a hand on my cheek.

"It's okay Mommy," she says, "I got founded."

The door opens and Rory comes in, followed by Luke, followed by Richard, followed by a nurse who is angrily whispering that we are breaking the one at a time rule. We stay only for a minute and then we are sheparded out. Richard walks ahead of me, his arm around Rory, and I walk happily behind them. Life is perfect. At this time last year, I had lost everything, but now–it's perfect. I had my husband, I had my little girl, I had two perfect grandbabies, and I had a Luke–a wonderful, dirty, scruffy, make-my-daughter-happy Luke. It couldn't get any better than this. Rory starts towards her car, and we insist that she come home with us. She agrees. She wants to visit the gift store and buy her new sister a present. She hurries downstairs and Richard puts his arm around me. "Let's go take one more look," he says, as he points to the nursery window. We walk over to the nursery and see the nurse bringing a baby in.

"Is that her?" Richard asks. I chuckle, "Richard, do you think any baby with that much hair could not be Lorelai's?" He laughs lightly. "You're right." The nurse has recognized us and smiles. She places the baby in it's clear bed, and fastens a "It's a Girl" sign onto the front.

Richard draws in a breath. "Emily–look," he whispers. I look at the card and put my hands over my mouth,

It's a Girl!

Parents–Luke and Lorelai Danes

Name–Danes, Alicia Emily