Sony31 – Dark literati is a term that was first used on the site, I believe, by the fabulous (and AWOL) Green Eve. Far be it from me to steal the term. I don't think my story will really be that dark…just semi-depressing. Read my note at the bottom. And thank you for your essay of a review.
Encarta – Nip/Tuck was just the first show that came to mind.
gilmoreaddict – Hmm, this isn't really an epilogue. It takes place a couple months after chapter 25 ended, but there were time gaps all throughout the story, so I don't necessarily think this counts. If you want it to be one, however, feel free to pretend.
BatmansBabe – LOL, I definitely didn't mean the same guy, but I was fishing for names and I started adding letters to friends' names and characters from books' names. So someone noticed, huh? Guess I gotta be more original from now on.
javarox – I know EXACTLY what you mean, luv. I knew he was coming back, but seeing the previews made me jump up and down screaming. My neighbors were not amused.
And speaking of the October 25th episode…what's with the whole Logan got her virtue thing? I hate to bring up his name in polite conversation (because it's hard to keep it polite) but hello…DEAN?
do I look?
Rory: Where are you going?
Paris: I'm putting myself out there.
Paris: Yes, now.
Rory: It's 11 o'clock at night, who are you hoping to hook up with now - Spike and Drusilla?"
-From "But not as cute as Pushkin". I love it when my favorite shows smush together like that! Like I love Danny Strong (Doyle), though he'll always be Jonathan to me… And do people know that Jane Espenson and Rebecca Krishner, formerly Buffy writers, now aid the Gilmore writers? Small world, huh?
So, let's do this thing, shall we? The final chapter of Lights, Camera, Action.
"The 13th floor? Are you serious?"
"How about just now? Were you serious then?"
"I think so. What were we talking about again?" Rory groaned.
"The 13th floor! You want to move into the apartment on the 13th floor!"
"Because it's exactly three floors up from this place, so we can get two empty cans and some string or whatever, and make a phone connecting both apartments!"
"OR we could use cell phones."
"Aren't pretty girls supposed to be dumb?" She squirmed in her seat, making Rory's project move away from her, and the younger girl scooted towards it as she tried to reason with her mom.
"I still think you should think about it before you take an apartment on the 13th story. I mean, it's the 13th story. Bad things are supposed to happen on the 13th story."
"Rory, not only do I want to stay in the same building as you and all the other lovable wackos who inhabit it, but Luke wants to keep his job. That apartment's the only one open, and we have to act fast to get it."
"Mom, can you even pay for it?"
"Well, we ran the numbers last night- actually, Luke ran the numbers, while I watched Desperate Housewives- and as long as you stay well-employed, and don't fire me, and maybe once in a while give me a little holiday bonus…we're good."
"Rory, I would not tell you I had the money if I didn't."
"I know, I know. Now, will you be eating much in this new apartment of yours?"
"We've got it, Rory."
"What about your personal spending budget? That's gonna get considerably cut down, and you do love to shop."
"Rory, Bunny, we will make it work."
"I don't see why you feel you have to move out- I'd be fine with Luke living here!"
"I know you would, but I'm getting married here, and I want Luke and I to have some place of our own. Plus, when it's just you, Jess can keep you company without any hazardous games of Clue."
"What are you talking about?"
"It was Luke Danes, in the kitchen, with the butter knife." Rory winced as she recalled last week's painful incident where both mother and daughter's boyfriend had spent the night, and the two had run into each other in the kitchen the following morning.
"Right; we definitely want to avoid that ever happening again."
"I'm still sorry; if I'd remembered he was here, I wouldn't have sent Luke to get me a bagel."
"It's fine, I told you we were cool all around."
"You and I are cool. Luke and Jess are a different story."
"Then again, they were never really all that cuddly with each other to begin with."
"So true. Anyway, Luke and I have it under control. You need two things to get into this building; money, and connections. Luke knows everyone here, and I work for Rory Gilmore, so yea, we have connections. And we may not be taking baths in cash, but we have the minimum required to snag a place here- which we're doing, so this discussion is now officially over."
"Fine. Just don't come crying to me when you have to shop at Wal Mart."
"There is nothing wrong with Wal Mart, young lady. They have that Maybelline stuff I like."
"I'm sure they sell Maybelline at other places."
"But the only place I already know I can find it at is Wal Mart."
"Boy, the concept of shopping around is completely lost on you."
"I hear some people swear by it, but I'm more of a habitual make-up shopper."
"I still think you'll be miserable."
"Well I think you're just sad because you'll miss Mommy."
"Of course I'll miss you, but at the moment I'm more concerned about the fact that you'll be living in an unfurnished, unheated, unlit apartment."
"We will have furniture and heat and light, not to mention I'll only be three floors away! We can stay in our pajamas and just take the elevator back and forth; it'll be like I still live here, only not. And I still fully intend to try that phone thing."
"Done." Rory stepped back and let her mother's last remark fade away as she inspected the newspaper veil she had been making for her mother as they talked.
"What do you think?" Lorelai asked her daughter as she inspected herself in the floor length mirror they'd dragged into the living room.
"I'm not so sure the veil idea is a good one anymore; none of the lengths we've tried have screamed 'Lorelai!'"
"Well, then what do you suggest?"
"I don't know. Maybe a wreath, or a tiara."
"Should we make a newspaper tiara to test it?" Rory sighed and looked down at her gluey hands. They'd started with tape, moved on to staples, and eventually settled on Elmers to hold the paper headdresses together. Adding insult to injury, crafts had never been her passion, so not only was she sticky, she was bored.
"How about we do that tomorrow, and watch a movie now?"
"Rory, I'm getting married in five months!"
"You were the one who wanted to watch a movie this morning while I was the driving force behind the modeling of the Entertainment section!"
"Yea, but your productiveness rubbed off on me, and now I want to do everything right this minute." Rory rolled her eyes as she got up to wash her hands.
"I'll make you a deal. We watch The Terminal while I make your tiara, and then you go down to Luke's and talk with him about your guys' wedding plans." She looked over her shoulder at her mother who stood in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room as she spoke.
"But you're my maid of honor," Lorelai pouted. Rory incredulously threw her arms out, sending tiny drops of water onto the kitchen wall.
"But he's your fiancé! I think he's a little more important to the wedding planning process!"
"Sweetheart, Luke knows the date, and what size tux to get. Flowers, appetizers, music, dresses, location, and guests lists aren't really on his radar." Lorelai pouted, and Rory consented with a roll of her eyes as she dried her hands.
"I'm only giving in because this is the last month to get some of these decisions out of the way before Jersey Girls starts up again. I want you to know that."
"I'll make a note, Bunny. Now, let's get creative!"
Jess Mariano walked into the Gilmore's building, hoping he would run into Luke coming out of one of the apartments. It wasn't that he wanted to pall around with his uncle or anything, he just wanted to smirk at the man's face as it got redder and redder, remembering a certain kitchen incident several days back…
Though not one to blush, his face acquired a nice cherry tint to it as he remembered what had taken place on that day.
They'd been dating for a few months, but still had yet to take that final step. And after a 'Johnny Depp movie night' (Finding Neverland, Ed Wood, and Edward Scissorhands) with Lorelai and Luke, what had started out as a semi-innocent string of goodbye kisses behind her door had led to much, much more. The hours blurred together as Jess remembered her soft sheets, kisses trailing all over their bodies, Bjork playing on her stereo, the pink morning light creeping through the window, the cute little happy-noises Rory made at different points during the whole encounter, and, last but not least, Luke's face when he'd walked into the kitchen to see a shirtless Jess angrily punching the buttons on the coffee maker.
He was so busy reminiscing that he nearly collided with a grey-haired man as he hustled down the hallway in a tweed suit.
"Excuse me!" Jess looked quizzically at the man, and noticed that he appeared to be almost out of breath.
"You're excused." The man looked completely aghast at this response, so Jess smirked as he crossed his arms and planted his feet. He couldn't wait to see Rory, but there was no way he was going to walk away from this chance to irritate someone.
"Do you know who I am, young man?" Come to think of it, the dude did look kind of familiar…not ringing a bell, though.
"Give me a hint?"
"I happen to be a very important person. I know the president!"
"Do you now."
"He is a dear friend of mine. You really don't know who I am? How long have you lived in New York?"
"All my life."
"Do you vote?"
"I'm guessing you're a politician. Republican?"
"Well, of course, who isn't?"
"The entire Democratic party springs to mind."
"I know you know who I am, young man."
"I really don't, sorry." The man sighed, and rubbed his hairless head as muttered audibly under his breath about today's youth. Just then his cell phone rang, and he perked up.
"Senator Doose," he said pointedly as he answered. Jess had to bite his tongue– hard- to keep from laughing as he remembered what Rory had told him about several of her neighbors…
"Miss Patty is the actress who lives directly above us. She's super nice, but I wouldn't go near her alone if I were you. Then there's Babette and Morey, they're both really sweet, but if they catch you they'll talk both your ears off. Kirk, well, avoid Kirk at all costs, Lane and Dave from Devil's Advocate are in the building, plus Zack and Brian hang out here all the time. Senator Doose has appointed himself the propriety police, which means he can never ever meet you, and he likes to roam the hallways. But the one person who you'll really want to meet is Andrew, but you'll know him better as A. Norman Cooper."
"That's him. He's okay on most days, unless he has a deadline, in which case he runs all over the building in his bathrobe with red eyes, asking people where commas go…"
Not bothering to hide his smirk, Jess left his congressman standing there, gabbing into his phone about the proper font for sending interoffice memos.
He continued on his way up to Rory's apartment, but found the door already open once he got there. Amused, he leaned against the stair doors and watched as Rory gracefully accepted a stack of newspapers from another tenant while Lorelai made a note on a clipboard she'd most likely swiped from the Jersey Girls set.
"Thank you so much, Mr. Phillips. We need all we can get right now, so your donation is appreciated. The man shuffled off, and Rory spotted Jess several yards away.
"Hey. What's the newspaper for?" He made the mistake of walking towards her as he asked, so the load of papers was deposited into his hands seconds later.
"We're making trial wedding dresses, and we ran out. Next time you come over, bring some." She and her mother moved aside so Jess could carry the heavy stack inside, where it joined the massive heap of newspaper which currently occupied the living room floor. Rory shut the door as her mother began naming people from her list that had yet to make a donation, and she and Jess waded their way through the papers to the couch.
"So once we hit floors six, nine, and fifteen, we'll be done with everyone we know. Then we can get out the really old Girl Scout cookies, take them to the people we don't know, make friends, and get their newspapers that way."
"Lorelai, if I can butt in her for a second, you did say you were making wedding dresses out of all this, right?" Both his girlfriend and her mother looked at him as to ask what was so confusing about it, and he shrugged his way out of the conversation.
"Kirk's going to be hard, because he collects newspaper. But Babette gave me his girlfriend's phone number, and I think she might be our backdoor. But nothing's for sure yet, so keep memorizing those floor plans of Kirk's apartment I gave you."
"You have Kirk's floor plans?" Jess couldn't help but interject. He got the look again. "Sorry, but I have to know."
"He gave them out to everyone at Patty's Christmas party a few years ago, in case there was a fire, and we needed to get him out. He color-coded the rooms, based on usage, so we could determine which room he would most likely be in at the time of the fire, and go directly to him."
"And you kept this map?"
"It seemed like a good idea; we were actually considering making our own at the time, but then we decided it'd be creepy. But hey, if you think that's bad, I have birthday cards from Rory's fifth birthday."
"Mom, I thought we got rid of that stuff."
"We got rid of a moldy piece of macaroni art, and Rory's first and last attempt as a watercolor impressionist. Everything else we just organized by year. The fifth birthday stuff stands out in my head because that's the year when I met Sookie, and she took all those pictures of you naked in the bathtub." Jess cracked up as Rory blushed.
"Lorelai, can I see those?"
"Ew, I was five! Do you know what that makes you?"
"Interested in my girlfriend?"
"Perv!" He shrugged nonchalantly at Rory's remarks, and again turned to Lorelai.
"Please?" He even pouted a little, for effect.
"If I come across them, they're all yours, buddy."
"Wait one minute, those pictures are of ME. Don't I get a say in this? Isn't it considered child pornography if people are looking at them without my permission?"
"Not if I have your parent's permission, and Lorelai seems totally on board with this." Lorelai nodded apologetically.
"He does kinda have my permission, Bunny. Besides, it's nothing he didn't see…the other morning." Cackling, she turned towards the kitchen as Rory's face burned. Laughing, Jess pulled her to him and kissed her forehead.
"So, changing the subject now, did you get it today?" she asked. Reaching into one of the many pockets of his pants, Jess pulled out a bent script. Eagerly, she grabbed her own from the end table it rested on, and they opened them together, as previously agreed upon.
Kayla: It looked bigger before.
Madison: Well dur, we're students here now. It's our home, not just our goal.
Kris: Oh, hot guys, ten o'clock.
Kris: You gotta stand right next to the speaker, and look down. They're going towards that dorm across the green.
Madison: Hello, children? Can we have some help unpacking?
Haley: Madison, you gotta check these dudes out. They'd make you forget about Tony in a heartbeat. (Madison gets a determined look on her face, which Kayla sighs at. Madison pushes Kris and Haley aside, and stands where they were standing)
Madison: And…nope. Still love Tony.
Haley: Figure of speech, mad literalist.
Kayla: Hey guys, where should I put the disco ball?
Kris: OH MY GOD! (Three whip around to stare at her) I just realized this- we have our own dorm! Away from our parents! With college boys all around!
Madison: Uh, Krissy, honey…you WERE there when we moved out, right?
Kris: I was, it just…wow. It just hit me. We're free. We're on our own now.
Kayla: We're not on our own, we swung a dorm for all four of us. We've got each other.
Kris: Yea, but I mean, we're adults now. We can party, and date, and hang…but also, we gotta take classes, and learn about life, and stuff. It's like…a new phase of our lives. The mature phase. (Sees disco ball in Kayla's hands) Put it in my and your room, Kayla.
Haley: I was beginning to worry about you there, dearie.
Madison: Same here. But she's right, we're gonna grow up while we're here.
Haley: So what else is new? We've already done most of our growing up together; why should this new phase be any different?
At this point, Rory was supposed to hug Louise, but out of the corner of her eye she saw a familiar scowl amidst the crew watching from the side. She smiled at him before she could stop herself, and Max jumped to his feet.
"Cut! Rory, Do Not Look at Jess!"
"Sorry, Max." She saw Jess standing behind Max, wiggling his eyebrows at her. She giggled involuntarily as Max whipped his head around.
"That is it! Do I have to separate you two?" The crew groaned, and even Max in his stressed-out state caught the irony. He threw his hands into the air, and began yelling at the ceiling.
"Why? Even when they like each other, we still can't get through a scene! Why me?" Awkwardly, Lorelai tried to lead him away, as the cast moved off on their unspoken 15-minute break. Rory tried to shoot Jess an angry look, but failed. He was too damn cute, grinning at her in Tony's oversized sweater. She liked the way his growing hair threatened to brush against the white turtleneck, but it made her wonder…ridiculously stupid, or ridiculously sexy?
A million thanks to everyone who has reviewed, a thousand thanks to everyone who has read (the reviewers get more thanks, see that? Huh huh?). I'm so giddy that so many people liked it, and :sales pitch music, if such a thing exists: I'm kind of writing a sequel. It's up to the reader whether it's a sequel or not. I'll explain: Hollywood Hearts will be my vision of what takes place six years after Lights, Camera, Action! However, I've read stories before that ended oh-so-happy, and the author chose to make an angsty sequel that completely killed the happily-ever-after theory. Well, I'm going to be that author, and I'm going to make Rory and Jess's relationship completely horrible, and see if they can make it work in the end. Anyway, here's the point I'm trying to make, but am probably failing at: The backstory for the new story will be LCA. You can read either or both, and you can treat Hollywood Hearts as a sequel OR a story with the same backstory as LCA. That way, I hope I won't upset anyone when the ending of LCA is completely overridden by the Mariano's failing marriage. All I ask is that you guys give it a chance.
And, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the story. Did you enjoy?