Authors Note: Okay just a small note you should read before reading the story. This story takes place in season one of the show and about two months after Rory and Dean broke up. I changed it a little though because I don't like Dean and so Rory already got over the break-up and is completely fine. Also her and Tristin never kissed but they did become friends sort of…I think that's all…Oh and the date that Lorelai has in this story isn't Max it's just some guy she's going out with for one night. Well, that's it…On with the story!
It was another typical Friday night when the Gilmore Girls found themselves pulling up in front of a rather large mansion.
"I can't believe we have to come here tonight," Lorelai whined, roughly stepping out of the jeep and closing the door behind her.
"We come here every Friday mom," Rory reminded her as she met her mother in front of the car. "You'd think you'd be used to it by now."
"Well I'm not," Lorelai told her, pouting like a two year old. "And, personally, I don't think I ever will be," she added on, shaking her head back and forth vehemently.
"Well unfortunately you don't have a choice in the matter," Rory said and grabbed her mothers hand in her own and started to drag her towards the front door.
"No, but you do!" Lorelai exclaimed and stepped in front of Rory, waving her hands excitedly for a moment. "We're only here because they're paying for Chilton."
Rory raised an eyebrow at her mom and sighed before embracing her stomach, keeping her coat close to her body, protecting herself against the night time chill.
"Yes mom I know that," she finally answered with.
"Well how about we go in tonight and tell them, 'thanks but no thanks'," she announced.
"And we get the money for Chilton how?" Rory asked, knowing not to take her mothers antics seriously.
"Well…" Lorelai paused in her planning and thought for a moment before her blue eyes lit up. "I've got it! You quit school and I'll quit work and we form a mother/daughter band and go on tour!" she exclaimed, clapping her hands in front of her.
Rory nodded her head, looking at her mother with amusement shining in her eyes. She quickly walked around Lorelai and stuck one finger out and pressed the button for the doorbell, waiting patiently for her grandparents to answer the door.
"Mean," Lorelai sulked as she stood next to Rory and stuck her tongue out when she saw her daughters grinning face.
"Really Lorelai, how immature," Emily Gilmore's voice suddenly interrupted their staring contest and both girls whipped their heads forward.
"Grandma, hi," Rory greeted and moved forward, grateful to be stepping into the warm house and out of the cold December air. "We were just fooling around," she explained as she slipped her coat off and let the maid take it.
"Oh now that doesn't matter," Emily exclaimed, her lips suddenly stretching into a wide smile and her eyes twinkling madly.
"It doesn't?" Lorelai questioned suspiciously, narrowing her eyes at her mother, wondering what was wrong.
"No of course not," Emily promised and motioned for them to follow her into the living room. "Now come along girls, we've got a busy night ahead of us!"
Lorelai and Rory stayed behind, frozen to their spots and trading glances as they watched Emily Gilmore almost skip into the other room.
"A busy night? What can that mean?" Rory asked fretfully, knowing full well that her grandmother was never that happy without a reason.
"I'm not sure," Lorelai answered and gripped her daughter's wrist. "All I know is that I'm pretty sure the last time my mother said that I ended up spending my whole night sorting her spoon collection with her."
"Spoon collection?" Rory repeated, her eyes darting back from her mom to where her grandmother disappeared to.
Lorelai was just about to answer when Emily's voice rang throughout the house, demanding what was taking them so long. The younger generation Gilmore's spared each other a glance before walking into the living room.
Rory nervously looked around the room the minute she walked in, wondering if they had guests that night but was met with only the presence of her grandparents. She brought her hands up and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and sat down on the couch next to Lorelai. She bit her bottom lip as they all sat together in silence, the only sound coming from the constant tick tock of the grandfather clock somewhere near them.
"So?" Lorelai asked, never able to sit silently for long. "We're not having drinks tonight?"
Rory watched as her grandparents exchanged looks and then both shook their heads at the same time.
"Not tonight Lorelai," Richard told her and patted his hands on his thighs. "No, we're on a tight schedule this evening," he informed them and either didn't notice Rory and Lorelai's confused looks or chose to ignore them.
Lorelai was once again about to say something when she was interrupted however this time it was by the maid who was announcing dinner. Lorelai shook her head in disbelief as her parents rose from their couch opposite them and started to lead them into the dining room.
"They can't be serious?" she asked Rory as they stood to.
"It's not even seven o'clock yet," Rory told her mother, now knowing something was definitely up. She let her gaze travel towards the nearest clock she could see and tapped her moms shoulder. "Look, it's only quarter after six!"
"Okay this doesn't make any sense," Lorelai whispered as they entered the dining room and took seats at either side of the table.
Almost less then a minute after they sat down, the maid came out and served the dinner. Lorelai and Rory watched in amazement as Emily and Richard instantly starting eating, not even stopping to make polite conversation as they usually do.
"So, this looks good," Lorelai commented, sticking her fork into the meat on her plate and lifting it in the air.
Rory narrowed her eyes when her grandparents didn't notice Lorelai and she shrugged her shoulders before she started eating her own meal. She'd been eating for only about five minutes when she suddenly caught sight of Emily staring at her, fork raised in mid air. Her eyes widened and she looked down at her food, letting her hair fall in front of her face.
"Rory, you and that Dean boy broke up right?" Emily suddenly asked, returning her fork to her plate and bringing her napkin up to her mouth.
Rory let her eyes flick towards her mom who shook her head and shrugged at the same time. She then swallowed the small bite of vegetables she'd just taken and turned to her grandmother.
"Yes, grandma, Dean and I are no longer together," she told her, wondering back to the night about two months ago when he'd broken up with her on their three month anniversary.
"Wonderful!" Emily stated and her wide smile once again took over her face. "Well I think that's enough time," she announced.
"Enough time for what?" Lorelai asked curiously.
Rory and Lorelai looked at each other with confusion swimming in their identical eyes. All of a sudden the door to the dining opened and the maid came in and took everyone's plates. When the table was cleared Emily and Richard stood and looked at each other for a moment before they nodded.
"Girls, would you like to accompany us into the living room again? We have something to discuss with you," Richard explained and Rory and Lorelai curiously followed them, sitting back down on the same couch as before.
"We have a proposition for you Rory," Emily exclaimed and Rory's eyes widened at being suddenly singled out.
"For me?" she repeated and wiped down her sweaty palms on her thighs. "What kind of a proposition?"
"Well, I'm glad you asked," Emily stated and laced her fingers together, laying them delicately on her lap. "We're hosting a party tonight."
"You're hosting a party?" Lorelai asked disbelief evident in her tone. "That's what all the weirdness has been about?"
"Why Lorelai we haven't been acting weird," Emily said innocently and she and Richard shared a small laugh before returning their attention to Rory.
"We would like to extend an invitation to you Rory," Richard explained.
Lorelai pouted slightly, even though she didn't want to attend one of her parent's parties she hated not even being asked to come.
"Why don't I have to go?" she asked them.
"Lorelai you made it abundantly clear last week at dinner that you couldn't stay long tonight as you had a date," Emily stated with a snooty tone of voice. "And Rory does not have to go either, we were just wondering if she would like to."
Rory, who had remained quiet up until this point, suddenly spoke up.
"Grandma what kind of party is it?" she asked, wondering if it was for some benefit or for her grandfathers business or something.
"Excellent question Rory!" Emily exclaimed excitedly. "We're hosting this years Masquerade Ball," she told them proudly.
"Masquerade Ball...you mean with those big gowns and the masks and everything?" Lorelai asked, trying to hide her amusement.
"Well of course, Lorelai," Richard said and then let his attention stray to the clock and he stood up. "Emily we need to finish preparing, guests will be arriving in about an hour!"
"An hour!" Emily cried and she to flew up to her feet. "I wonder if the decorators are done? Richard, go up to the ballroom and see," she told him in a business tone of voice and Richard easily disappeared through the hallway.
"They have a ballroom?" Rory asked incredulously to her mother.
Lorelai smiled sweetly at Rory and patted her hair lovingly. "I was hoping you would never have to see it," she whispered to her.
"Now girls that's enough," Emily scolded them and they both rolled their eyes before focussing their attention back on Emily. "Good, now Rory have you made a decision yet?" she asked hopefully.
Rory chewed on her bottom lip and looked away from her grandmothers pleading gaze and turned to her mother. Lorelai gave her a small smile and once again combed her hand through Rory's hair. Rory sighed out and closed her eyes briefly before meeting her grandmother's gaze again.
"Sure grandma, I'd love to go," she announced and Emily's eyes lit up with delight.
"Wonderful! This is just wonderful!" she cried excitedly and grabbed Rory's hands in her own. "Well no more time to waste, we have to get you ready."
"Get me ready?" Rory asked her nervousness coming back ten fold, not knowing what to expect from the likes of Emily Gilmore.
"Well you can't go to a masquerade ball dressed like that," Emily commented, looking over Rory's simple green dress with a calculating eye.
"I don't have anything else to wear," Rory told her grandmother running her hands down her dress and tightening her fingers around the material.
"Of course not," Emily exclaimed and took Rory's elbow in her own and started to lead her towards the stairs. "I had Miss Celine put together a little collection of dresses, all the rage in fashion!"
Rory swallowed past the large lump in her throat and looked over her shoulder at her mother, a panicking edge in her eyes. She jerked her head forward, gesturing for her mom to follow them and Lorelai quickly moved until she was directly behind Rory and Emily.
"Lorelai, I thought you had a date?" Emily asked not even bothering to turn her head in Lorelai's direction.
"I do," Lorelai agreed and laid an apologetic hand on her daughters shoulder. "But we were done eating so fast that I still have about an hour or more before I have to leave."
Emily sighed, "Well I guess you can come then. You can help me pick out a dress for Rory," she conceded and led both girls into a large room that was overflowing with dresses and shoes and jewellery.
"Oh my God!" Rory breathed as she let her gaze sweep over the room. There were racks upon racks of beautiful gowns, boxes strewn about the floor, some open and baring designer shoes. The walls of the room were standing behind impressive tables, upon which lay many boxes with gold jewellery. She couldn't absorb everything, all the delicate fabrics and expensive jewels.
"Well Rory, come along," Emily urged and tugged Rory further into the room and over to a rack of white dresses. "Pick one out that you like," she advised and then hurried out of the room mumbling something about the decorators.
"Okay, what's going on?" Rory asked her mom the second they were alone.
"Well honey, you've just been sucked into Emily Gilmore's world of parties and money," she explained and rubbed Rory's arm with her hand.
"I can't wear any of these dresses," Rory told turning around and fingering the exquisite silky material of one of the dresses. "They look way to expensive."
"Well I'd bet there's well over $100 000 in this room right now," Lorelai commented dryly.
"$100 000!" Rory echoed her blue eyes wide in amazement as she turned around to look at her mom again. "I can't wear that much money!"
Lorelai laughed, "I doubt your grandmother will make you wear everything in the room," she teased.
"Not helping," Rory squeaked, her throat going dry as her gaze focussed on a table in the back that was buried under a mountain of diamond studded tiaras.
"Rory," Lorelai started and grabbed Rory's hands in her own, "I can get you out of this okay? You don't have to do this."
"No," Rory argued and briefly closed her eyes, swallowing hard and then looked back at her mom, her confidence back. "I already said yes. I'll do it," she accepted, offering her mom a small smile.
"Alright, and hey it might not be so bad," Lorelai opted to look on the bright side. "You get to dress up like a princess for a night."
"These dresses are amazing, aren't they?" Rory asked her eyes filling up with wonder and excitement as she went back to looking through a rack.
"They sure are babe."
- - -
"Oh Lord!" Lorelai exclaimed bringing her hand up to her eyes and shielding herself from the dress her mother was holding up.
"What? You two don't like it?" Emily asked looking from Lorelai's actions to Rory's look of appal.
"Well, the front's fine," Lorelai exclaimed and turned to Rory. "Hey kid, maybe if you stand in front of a wall the whole time no one will see the humongous bow on the back!"
Rory laughed, "I think I'll pass on that one grandma," she answered sweetly and watched Emily discard the dress along with many other abominations.
The three of them had been holed up in the same room for a half an hour and had gone through almost a hundred dresses. All seemed to be either way to extravagant, with diamond collars and gold stones adorning them, or they were too frilly or had entirely too many bows on them.
Rory was just about to give up when she saw her grandmother pull out a dress from another rack. The dress Emily had in her hand was gorgeous, made of flowing white satin and with small flowers sewn into the bodice but it was the dress behind it on the rack that caught her attention.
Rory ignored her grandmother's questions about the white dress and pushed herself to her feet and walked over to the other dress. She let her fingers run over the velvet material and sighed deeply as a wide smile spread across her face.
"I like this one," she told her grandmother not bothering to turn around but instead gently took the dress off its hanger and let her hand delve into the smooth pile.
"Wow," Lorelai breathed and stood up also, inspecting the dress. "It's perfect sweetie," she exclaimed and both mother and daughter smiled.
Emily sighed, "Well yes, that dress is nice," she consented although sent a sad look back to the pile of traditional white dresses. "Would you like to try it on?" she asked Rory who nodded eagerly.
Rory slipped into the small changing area and quickly switched her green dress for the much more formal one. Rory had never been the kind of girl who went shopping every weekend and hunted for dresses or anything. She'd never been into fashion but she couldn't deny that the dress was perfect.
The stunning velvet felt like heaven on body and the dress itself fit her like a glove. She nervously brought her hand up to her chest though when she caught sight of the low cowl neckline.
"Rory get out here!" She heard her mother call from the other room and swallowed greatly before walking out.
She couldn't stop the blush that covered her from the neck up when she saw their reactions. Even her grandmother, who hadn't liked the dress as much, brought her hand up to her mouth and smiled wistfully.
"So?" Rory asked nervously, toying with strands of her hair and shuffling back and forth on her bare feet.
Lorelai grinned, "You look hot!" she exclaimed, laughing as Rory's blush almost matched the deep burgundy colour of the dress.
"Lorelai!" Emily reprimanded and glared at her before turning back to Rory. "You look so sophisticated Rory, very grown up," she commented and Rory blushed but smiled even more so.
"Hey, spin for us," Lorelai asked, twirling her finger around and jumping excitedly on the couch.
Rory rolled her eyes but spun around in place letting them both see the open back of the dress and the intense affect of the deep red colour against her porcelain skin. She stopped spinning and looked innocently at the other two women who both looked almost awed.
"Babe, you look beautiful," Lorelai told her and quickly got up and hugged Rory, understanding in a motherly sort of way that her little girl was becoming a woman.
"Oh!" Emily suddenly exclaimed and brought her hands up in the air. "It's perfect!"
"Well now she likes the dress," Lorelai commented sarcastically and Rory couldn't stop the laugh that came out.
"No Lorelai," Emily said and started looking around the room trying to find something. She smiled and then hurried over to a table and picked up a medium sized black satin bag and brought it over to them.
"I think that bags a little big to carry around all night grandma," Rory told her looking from the bag to Emily.
"Nonsense, this isn't a handbag," Emily corrected her and gently opened one end with the black drawstrings attached to it and delved her hand inside. She pulled out an exquisite burgundy mask and proudly handed it to Rory.
"Oh my…" Rory trailed off letting the fingertips trail over the face of the mask and its soft fabric. The edges of the mask were lined with gold that was also outlining the eyes. On the right side of the mask there were a couple of long black feathers attached and two red ones in the middle. A gold flower pin secured them to the mask.
"Wow mom, it's perfect," Lorelai told her and gently took the mask from Rory and started to examine it herself.
"Yes it is, isn't it?" Emily asked staring off into space for a moment before she looked at Rory. "Well, now all you need is some jewellery," she announced and then sped off in search of the perfect necklace.
"There's no point in arguing with her, is there?" Rory asked her mom, to which the elder Gilmore just shook her head. "I didn't think so," Rory sighed and smiled before going after her grandmother.
- - -
"You'll be fine," Lorelai promised as she gently rubbed Rory's back up and down as they stood behind the door leading into the ballroom.
"I wish you could come," Rory whispered as she looked at her mother who already had her coat on and was ready to go.
"Sorry babe," Lorelai apologized and unconsciously brought her hands up to the mask sitting on Rory's head. "You have fun tonight, hon. And remember, with this on," Lorelai told her pulling the mask down until it covered the top half of Rory's face, "no one will know you."
"Thanks mom," Rory said and brought her fingers up to the mask, adjusting it a little and trying to get used to the feeling of having it on. "I guess I should get in there."
"Bye sweets," Lorelai said and hugged her briefly not wanting to mess up her hair. Emily had gone all out with Rory, bringing in her personal hairstylist. And although Lorelai didn't particularly like Rory being sucked into her mother's world, Lorelai had to admit she looked beautiful. Her dress came down to just past her ankles and dragged on the floor a little in the back. On her feet were a pair of strappy black heels and hanging around her neck was a gold necklace that had three prong-set rubies in the shapes of flowers, just like the one of her mask. Her hair had been curled and fell, cascading down across her left shoulder.
"Bye mom," Rory answered back and smiled as she watched her mom disappear down the hallway.
Rory swallowed nervously and fidgeted in her dress for a moment before taking a deep breath and pulling open the large oak door. She hadn't seen the ballroom before that night and couldn't help herself from letting her mouth fall open at the sight.
The Ballroom, like her grandmother had told her earlier that evening had been built along with the original house in 1896. Emily and Richard had fully renovated the whole house but decided to restore the ballroom so that it looked exactly like the original. Rory had recently been reading a couple books on art history for school and she immediately recognized the baroque ceilings and ornaments.
Rory floated forward towards the wrought iron railings that lined the grand spiral staircase. She let her body lean against the railings and looked down at the floor below her. She could only guess that the ceilings were about 10 meters high and breathed out an impressed sigh as she started to glide down the stairs.
Rory let her blue eyes sweep over the imposing room. There were three gold chandeliers, each with crystals hanging down from them. The floor was made out of red marble and the walls were a rich cream colour. While half the room was open for a dance floor the other half was full with white tables and red and gold chairs.
Rory finally reached the end of the marble staircase and couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face, looking out over all the happy and smiling couples.
Maybe tonight won't be so bad…she thought and walked over to join her grandmother, unaware of the intense blue eyes following her.
- - -
Author's Note: Okay so I hope everyone likes this story. I got inspired for it while watching The Phantom of the Opera last night and I had to write it. There will only be one more chapter and then it will be finished…Please review and tell me what you think. And hey, this will be a trory! Tristin will be in the next chapter, which should be up by this weekend, hopefully.