Disclaimer: This is an original story based upon the characters of Gilmore Girls. No profit will be mde from this story and no copyright infringment is intended.
Author's Note: And so the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end." And so ends the longest thing I have ever written in my life. It certainly has been so much fun writing it. In the beginning, I had no idea it would last this long or take almost a year to write. Thank you all for your feedback, it has been so much fun to read. I appreciate it as always, and look forward to starting the next new story!
Camille Andrews was confused. When she had applied at the Gilmore "House of Terror" as her friends who had come and gone quickly through Emily the Terrible's reign, she had been terrifed, but she had heard that Emily Gilmore paid well and being paid well was what she needed. When she had finally met the Mrs. Gilmore that everyone had talked about it, she had found her to be one of the most pleasant people she had ever known. She always talked to her as an equal, helped her clean on the afternoons that Rachel had called in sick, and had even extended friendship to her, something that was unheard of in the maid world. And so she had decided to quit, not wanting to of course, but she couldn't cause trouble for her kind-hearted boss. It had been over three months now that she had been working at her new job, and though they paid her well, she was treated as just a servant, a part of the furniture and she missed her days with Mrs. Gilmore. About a month ago she had heard through another maid that had worked for the Gilmore's that Mrs. Gilmore had had a serious accident, and as a result had got her memory back.
"You'll see," her friend had told her. "It'll be back to the same old thing. The maids will come and go, Emily the terrible will reign again." Camille had told her that she was wrong. Mrs. Gilmore wasn't like that. Mrs. Gilmore had changed.
Which was why, she was so confused when she opened the door the afternoon of Christmas Eve as she was wrapping a few Christmas presents to put under the tree for her husband, and saw none other than Emily Gilmore standing there, her eyes narrowed, her mouth in one straight thin line and her hands on her hips.
"Mrs. Gilmore," Camille said in suprise.
"Let's not waste time with pleasantries, shall we Mrs. Andrews, I have come on some very important business," she said briskly and walked right into the apartment.
"What business?" Camille asked in confusion as she followed her house guest back in to her apartment.
"Let's get one thing straight, you don't just tell your employer that you have quit your job and not let them know where you can be located. You left so quickly I didn't have time to give you your severance pay."
"Don't interrupt me my girl, yes your severance pay," she brought out an envelope in her purse and handed it to her. Camille took the envelope and stared at her former employer as Emily's face softened and brightened into a smile.
"Did you find a job alright?" she asked, her tone softer.
"Yes," Camille said smiling back and suddenly her eyes were filled with tears.
Emily reached out a hand and placed it on her shoulder. "I'm sorry about before. You did wonderful work for me. If you ever need a job, you know where to find me."
The girl nodded, and Emily smiled as she made her way to the door. "Merry Christmas Camille," she said.
"Merry Christmas Mrs. Gilmore...and thank you," Camille replied.
Emily turned back towards her, "It's Emily, and you're welcome."
Camille watched her walk down the stairs through the window and then she opened the envelope. Inside were four crisp one hundred dollar bills.
"Mission accomplished?" Richard asked as she stepped into the car.
"Yes Sir," Emily nodded. "She looks well."
"You know something Mrs. Gilmore?" Richard said as he started the car.
"What's that Mr. Gilmore?"
"I think you're pretty amazing," he said and as she turned to him and smiled, he reached over and ran his fingers through her hair, "And I think you're amazingly pretty too," he whispered. She leaned over and gave him a quick kiss.
"Come on, we're going to be late," she said and they drove away.
An hour later, with their arms filled with groceries and Christmas presents, the turned the lights on in the Stars Hollow home. A snow storm had come the night before and the whole property was covered in sugary white. Emily was delighted.
"Maestro, your kitchen awaits," Richard said placing the bags of groceries down in the kitchen.
"Thank you Darling," Emily said as she followed him in, "Go change your clothes and shovel the walk way will you?"
Richard changed his clothes and then stood at the doorway of the kitchen frame, and watched his wife roll her hair back and place a pen in it, and tie on an apron. Quietly, he tiptoed over to the stereo and pressed play on the Christmas music CD.
I'll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me.
Bing Crosby's voice filled the air. Emily looked up from her Betty Crocker cookbook and saw him standing there. She grinned as he approached her, and taking off her shoes, she took his hand and placed her head on his chest as he took her in his arms and began to dance to the music.
"Was it just last Christmas I wanted to die because I didn't have you anymore?" Richard whispered, holding her tightly to him.
"I love you Richard," she whispered back.
"I love you too Emmy."
The song ended and they kissed gently, and then Richard went out to shovel the walkway and Emily got to work. By the time Lorelai and Luke arrived at five-thirty, there was a brown sugar glazed ham cooling, the breadbasket was filled with golden Parker House rolls, the whole house smelled of cinnamon and apple emanating from the apple pie that was in the oven.
"Merry Christmas Dad!" Lorelai said as she walked in, Luke staggering behind her with a mountain of presents.
Richard looked up from where he was untangling Christmas lights on the couch. "Merry Christmas Lorelai, Luke," Richard stood up, shaking Luke's hand and giving his daughter a peck on the cheek.
"Merry Christmas!" Emily exclaimed excitedly as she walked out of the kitchen drying her hands on her apron. Lorelai gave her mother a hug and Luke kissed her cheek.
"Okay you two, Lorelai, you're coming in and helping me in the kitchen, Luke, you and Richard go out and find us a tree. Luke, isn't there a tree lot in town?"
"Yeah, Kirk owns it."
Emily rolled her eyes, "Of course."
"We'll do our best," Luke said putting back on his coat.
"So...let me get this straight," Richard said standing up. "We are going to get a live tree."
"Yeah, that's the plan, get with it Hon," his wife teased.
"Live--as in real pine needles falling all over creation, making an eternal mess, as in live tree the kind we have never had in over forty years of marriage."
"Hurry back!" his wife replied smiling as she turned and put her arm around her daughter and led her into the kitchen.
"Mom, this smells amazing," Lorelai exclaimed as she stuck a finger in the freshly whipped cream for the pie.
"Thank you Sweetheart," she said handing her daughter an apron and gently slapping her hand for the stolen taste of the whipped cream. "Mash these potatoes for me, will you?" she said handing her a bowl of steaming golden potatoes and a silver masher. She turned and took the pie out of the oven, putting on a rack, and exchanged it for two round cake pans filled with dark batter.
"That boy is going to marry Rory just for the sake of your chocolate cake Mom."
"Well, they have been dating for over three years, a little encouragement never hurts," Emily said, turning around and winking at her.
They worked in silence for awhile but it was a nice, comfortable silence and it felt good. Neither felt pressured to say anything, neither needed to say anything, it seemed as though in finally healing their relationship that it was stronger than it had ever been.
"Are these alright?" Lorelai asked, bringing the bowl of potatoes around to show her.
Emily turned to look at her.
" Mommy, did I do it right?"
"Mommy, look at the picture that I drew!"
"Mommy, did you see me in the play?"
"Mommy...look at me."
"Perfection," Emily said smiling. "Would you chop that celery for me?"
Lorelai smiled and taking out a knife, began to slice the celery. She had cut up a few stalks when she turned back to see her mother looking at her with shining eyes.
"What?" she asked.
"Nothing," Emily replied, "I just love you."
Lorelai swallowed the tears that suddenly surfaced and smiled as she went back to cutting the celery.
The relish plate of pickes, deviled eggs, celery with pasturized cheese and black olives was complete when there was a loud knock at the door and the two women opened it to see their two husbands carrying in a large sweet smelling Christmas tree. The whole house immediately smelled of pine as they brought it into the living room and set it down.
"It's perfect!" Emily cried, clapping her hands like a little girl.
"I feel so invigorated!" Richard exclaimed. setting down the tree with a triumphant flare. "Darling did you know that you can actually chop down your very own tree at a place called Rudolph's Tree Farm. The place in town was really quite disparaging so Luke suggested this delightful little farm outside of town, and I chopped down the tree myself. I feel like a woodsmen!" Richard exclaimed delightedly, causing the two women to smile at eachother in amusement.
"Okay well, Paul Bunyan and I are going to put the tree in the stand while you two go back in the kitchen and you know...do the woman thing," Luke said bringing in the tree stand.
"We get to do that too?" Richard asked happily.
Luke looked at Emily in confusion, "They've always been delivered, tree already in the stand," she replied shrugging.
"Sounds great," Luke grumbled as he put the tree stand down in the corner of the room.
Rory and Logan arrived at 7:00, and a raspberry pie, a bowl of sweet potatoes and silky chocolate cake with ganache joined the array at the table. The family had drinks in the front room and then dinner. Emily's dinner was praised highly, and Logan had three thick slices of chocolate cake for dessert. After dinner they decorated the tree together. Emily had brought boxes of ornaments from the Hartford house, there were the Parisian glass slippers that Hope had given her for Christmas the first year she was away from home, the set of silver bells that made a magical tinkling sound that Richard had given her for her first Christmas. Lorelai took out the tiny real satin ballet slippers she had recieved for her fifth Christmas, the year she had wanted to be a ballerina, and Rory took out the intricately designed tiny christening dress they had had special made for Lorelai's first Christmas. Dozens of ornaments, from the crystal Eiffel Tower bought in Europe on the second honeymoon, to old fashioned Santa Claus ornament that had come over from Germany on the boat with Great Great Grandmother Gilmore. Lorelai had brought a box of ornaments as well and Emily cried out in delight as the box was opened, they were not fancy ones like hers but they were a part of her girls past and she loved them already. There were a set of red Christmas balls that Lorelai had bought her first year away from home, and a star fashioned out of an old coat hanger and some aluminum foil. There were a pair of red ruby slippers that Mia had given her one Christmas, and while Emily felt the sting when Lorelai told her where they had come from, she quickly swallowed it back down. Emily especially loved the ones that Rory had made, Lorelai had inscribed them all with the year and how old Rory was when she made them. Emily turned them over with delight, a stuffed dog made out of felt from Kindergarten, a popsicle frame with red and green glitter and her school picture in it from first grade. She loved it all.
After dinner they played gin for awhile, until Emily had acquired Richard's new pen light, a free lunch at the Dragonfly Inn, forty dollars, and two tickets to the Nutcracker.
"Unbelievable," Richard said as he put down his cards after the fifteenth game.
They all turned in about midnight, the guest bedrooms all turned down and ready, but even after Richard had dozed off to sleep, Emily found herself still awake. She carefully removed Richard's arm from around her and crept out to the living room. She plugged in the Christmas tree lights and it magically lit up the room. And then, looking around to make sure noone was watching her, she laid on her back and shimmied under the Christmas tree, just like she had that other lifetime ago in Bentley, when she had laid under the tree and dreamed about her family. Back before Richard had come, before she had fallen in love all over again, before she had a great kid--when her family had been Josie...and John. She looked up at the clock. It was only 9:30 in California. She could call him...but she dismissed the thought quickly--John had done her wrong, he had kept her away from her family. But then she thought about where she was, that there was a man she loved sleeping in the bed down the hall and how their love had been rekindled. She thought of her daughter, who used to wriggle off her lap when she was only 6 months old--as if she was trying to get away from her even then. That daughter was here, in the house, and they were going to spend Christmas together. Her beloved grandaughter, the reason why she had remembered how to smile was here, in her house. Her family had been healed. She had changed. Emily Gilmore, hard skinflint proud Emily Gilmore had changed. If John hadn't done what he did...would they be here now?
She stood up, walking over to the phone and picking it up. She hesitated for a moment, but as soon as she dialed and heard the phone ringing, she knew she couldn't turn back.
"Hello?" the familiar voice sounded on the other line.
"John, it's me," she said.
There was a long pause, "Laura?"
She felt no need to correct him, to him she would always be Laura.
"Merry Christmas John," she said.
"Merry Christmas to you too Honey," he replied. "Josie told me you got your memory back. I'm so happy for you."
"Thank you John."
She took in a sharp breath, "John?"
"Thank you for saving my life."
There was a long pause, and she could tell John was struggling to get a hold of his emotions, "You're welcome Sweetie," he said in a husky voice.
"Keep in touch okay?" she said.
"Okay I will," he replied.
She felt so much better after she talked to him and as she climbed into bed and felt Richard's strong arms closing around her she sighed with speechless happiness. The next thing she knew Lorelai was pouncing on the bed, "It's Christmas!" she shouted causing the two parents to vault out of their sleep. The three couples met up in the living room and had a great morning opening presents. Logan had given Rory a week vacation in Paris, Luke had given Lorelai a cabinet he had carved out of wood with intricate designs and LD+LD carved into the center. Richard had given Emily a grand piano music box, with a tiny gold plate saying, "For my Emmy," above the keys just like her piano in Hartford, the one he had bought her when she was first married. When she opened it up, she cried out in suprise because it played Richard's song. Richard had recorded it when he had heard her play it, and had taken it to a music box store where they had fashioned a music box out of it. Richard smiled at her as she looked at him with shining eyes as the music played.
As soon as the music stopped, Lorelai cried out, "Me next, my gift next!" and hurried out the door. Richard and Emily looked at eachother, smiling and shaking their heads.
"Okay, this is for all of you," Lorelai called out and to everyone's suprise, when she stepped out she was not holding anything, but had a large red ribbon around her middle.
"Merry Christmas!" she called out and for a minute noone understood what was happening, and then as they looked at Lorelai and then back at Luke who grinned sheepishly, they all caught on. Rory started screaming and nearly knocked her mother over, and then as soon as Rory seperated herself, Lorelai stepped up to her parents.
"Merry Christmas Mom and Dad," she said, and then covered her mouth in excitement. Richard and Emily simultaneously hugged their daughter to them and the little family stood embracing eachother for a long moment. When they finally seperated Emily cupped her hands around her daughter's face, "My baby's having another baby" she whispered and Lorelai put her hand on top of her mom's.
After the presents were opened, Emily went into the kitchen to fix some breakfast. She was cracking eggs to make some scrambled eggs when Richard came up from behind her and put his arms around her. She leaned against him smiling and put her hands on his.
"Quite a Christmas present isn't Grandma?" he said.
"Yes it is, Grandpa. I guess I need to get another locket engraved."
"You know Emily, it could be a girl this time," Richard said.
"In this family?" Emily retorted, "never."
"Well, the odds are that it would be a boy this time, I mean you have two girls in your family, we have a daughter, and a granddaughter, but I have three boys in my family so maybe the genes would come from my..."
She stopped him as she turned around and a finger over his lips.
"Just shut up and kissed me Stupid," she said.
And he wholeheartedly obeyed.