Part 7: Enter Stephanie

Rory opened the blue double doors that led to the guys' dorm room. She had heard the music pulsating from all the way outside. She found the guys' room, noticing that people were flooding out, crowding the hallways. Everybody with beer bottles in their hands or the traditional blue or red plastic cups that always held different types of alcohol in them, usually in the same cup.

Biting her lip and deciding that the party was worth it and it would not do any good to go back to her room and wallow in self pity she went inside and began searching for her 'boyfriend'.

"Looking for Finn?" She turned and found Colin next to her with a smile.

"Yeah," she admitted. He nodded and put a hand on the small of her back as they made their way through people.

"I thought you weren't coming?" He asked.

"Yeah, then I had a sucky dinner, sucky conversation with my mom and I decided to spend the evening where it doesn't suck."

"That's debatable," he said suggestively, causing Rory to give a short laugh.

"Yeah, it is."

"Love!" They heard Finn. They looked over and saw him standing near the small kitchen that was serving as the bar.

"Looks like we found him. I'll see you later, Rory."

"Yeah," Rory said. "Definitely." She watched him walk away, before turning herself and walking towards Finn.

"Dinner was a dud?" He asked as he poured alcohol into one of the cups and passed it to someone who was waiting.

Rory shrugged as she hopped up on the counter inside the kitchen and watched him work. "Same as always."

"Then something bad must have happened to push you to this shindig, want to tell your boyfriend Finn all about it?"

Rory shrugged. "Just a sucky conversation with my mom. I decided that staying in my dorm, where Paris was bound to come back and ask questions, was the last place I really wanted to be."

"From what I hear around the grapevine, your mom and you are close." Finn stated pouring another drink, with various different liquids, only to hand it to Rory when he was done.

She sniffed it scrunching her nose up and shrugged. "Some crap happened this summer and... I don't know, we can talk about everything, there just seems to be a wall on a certain area that strains our relationship. What's in this?" She asked sniffing again.

"Doesn't matter, just drink it."

Rory stared at him, with his unbelievably innocent smile, and took a sip, coughing when the burning liquid came in contact with her throat.

"Right, might be a little strong for an amateur."

"A little?" She asked in disbelief as he started mixing another drink.

"You know, if you have trouble with your mom, a good person to talk to is Colin."

"So we're back to my mom," Rory sighed.

"Colin is a great listener," Finn told her as he handed her another cup, taking the previous one and downing it without a flinch. "He's a good guy, love."

"Oh yeah, what's so great about him," Rory asked, "Besides his ass like qualities?" She said just as Finn opened his mouth.

Sighing Finn scratched the back of his head trying to get together a good argument on why she and Colin made a good match. "He's smart?" He suggested making Rory raise an eyebrow.

"Yeah, so are monkeys," Rory retorted. "And they fling poo at people. Goes to show just how smart they are"

"He's interested in school just like you," Finn told her, ignoring the poo remark.

"Yeah, so are geeks and nerds, and the AV freaks."

Finn frowned and looked at Colin who was talking to Logan and Stephanie. "Well, if you look at him from this light," he said pulling Rory off the counter and putting her in front of him, "He's strangely attractive."

Rory cocked her head to the side and nodded. "You know, you're right!"

"I am?" Finn asked surprised.

"Yeah, if you cock your head to the side and squint real hard, Colin is attractive in this light." She turned to Finn who was cocking his head to the side. "But then again, Finn, so are you."

Finn looked at her in surprise before he pouted. "That, love, was mean."

"Yeah, and so is trying to set me up with Colin."

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"She's looking at you," Logan smirked, causing Colin to turn and look at Rory who was glaring at Finn, his hands up in surrender. "But I never said who," Logan laughed, causing Stephanie to frown.

"Who are we talking about?"

"Nobody," Colin said glaring at Logan.

"Rory Gilmore."

Steph sipped her drink with a frown. "Gilmore... Gilmore... Insurance princess?"

"That would be the one," Logan nodded taking a drink of his own cup.

"Colin McCrae, are you hung up on the Gilmore girl?" Stephanie teased, pinching his cheeks

"I'm not hung up on anybody, and she's dating Finn anyway," Colin said glaring as he pulled away from Steph's pinch.

"What?" Steph asked turning to Logan.

"Yes," Logan replied seriously with a nod. "Our little Finn has committed to the one and only Rory Gilmore. And here she comes now."

"Hey guys," Rory said standing there with her cup. "Finn's getting on my nerves, so I came over here."

"Delighted that you decided to grace us with your presence," Logan said with a wink. "I thought you had dinner with your dad today."

Rory stuck out her tongue in annoyance at the topic of their discussion. "Dad was his usual self. We talked about my life as of late, he made unnecessary criticism. He talked about his life as of late, I made subtle jabs. He paid for dinner, dropped me off with a promise to call," she shrugged. "I won't hear from him for six months, then we'll repeat the cycle."

"Hey," Steph laughed. "Your relationship is better than any of ours with our dads."

"Now isn't that a depressing thought," Rory muttered.

"Tell me about it. I'm Stephanie Merdock, I'm the female Logan."

"Oh, I'm Rory Gilmore, Finn's..."

"Girlfriend, so I was told," Steph said, catching Colin wince when she had said the g- word. "So when did this development happen?"

"A few weeks ago," Rory said tucking a strand of hair behind her ear in shyness.

"Are you sure you can put up with Finn?"

"Not really," Rory laughed. "But I'm willing to try."

"Here you are, I thought you had left," Finn said draping an arm around Rory's shoulders.

"Nope, here talking with your friends."

"Your friends too," Colin said with a slight smile.

"Right," Rory said biting her lip with a nod.

"And are you talking about my lovely self?"

"And on that note," Steph said grabbing Rory's hand and dragging her away from the group, "Maybe we should leave the guys by their lonesome for a while, talk? It's great to have another girl in the group."

Rory smiled. "Yeah, I guess it is."

"Is she having fun?" Finn asked taking a drink from his cup. "She came in pretty upset."

"She's fine, Finn, probably just needs to unwind from her night," Logan told him.

"She got in a fight with her mom too. I think that's on her mind," Finn muttered.

"Has she talked about why she and her mom are fighting?" Colin asked. "I've heard through the grapevine that they're actually very close. Parties that have them in attendance are legendary."

"Or at least note worthy," Logan laughed.

Finn laughed as well. "No, she hasn't told me," he shrugged. "But I know it has something to do with her ex. What, I have no idea."

"I think Colin can probably get it out of her, Logan said taking a sip of his scotch.

"Me? Why me? Finn's her boyfriend, shouldn't he try to figure out what's wrong with her?"

"No, 'cause I suck talking to girls. Why don't you go?" Finn suggested.

Colin glared. "I'll try later."

"Great," Finn smirked rocking back on his heels.

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"So dish," Steph said as she poured herself a drink.

"What?" Rory asked confused.

"Dish what you are really doing with Finn?" Steph asked crossing her arms over her chest.

"I'm with him for the sex," Rory said sarcastically. "Why do you think I'm with him?"

"To get to Logan," Steph said protectively.

Rory looked at her wide eyed. "To get with..." She let a bubble of laughter escape. "Logan? You think I want to be with... God!" Rory started laughing, then covered her mouth quickly to see Steph with a serious face on. "Oh god, you were serious."

"Dead."

"Let me get this straight, you think I want to be with Logan, therefore I'm with Finn to get to him?"

"It's been known to happen."

Rory giggled and quickly stopped, covering her mouth again. "I'm sorry, Steph, that's just... Wow."

"So if you're not with Finn to get to Logan, why are you with him?"

Rory shrugged. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Steph smiled sadly. "No offence, babe, but you're not Finn's type."

"And what's the supposed to mean?" Rory asked offended.

"You're smart," Steph laughed "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you."

"I should have been offended from the beginning, but I'm not."

"Finn doesn't go for smart girls. Hell, the girls he dates don't hang out in libraries, let alone know one exists. Yet here he is dating you, it's a nice change."

Rory shrugged. "Finn's fun, he makes me laugh."

"That all?" Steph asked raising an eyebrow.

"He helped me out with something and I fell for him," she blushed. "It's nothing major."

"It is sooooo major!" Steph exclaimed. "You tamed one of the three playboys."

"No, I..."

"Yeah, you did. There are girls glaring at you 'cause you got Finn. All the redheads of the world hate you now."

"Wow, comforting thought."

"Sorry," Steph smiled pouring herself another drink.

"It's okay," Rory laughed taking a sip of hers. "So how long have you guys been friends?"

"Since forever. Finn came around middle school. We all took an instant liking to him. Best friends for life and shit like that."

Rory laughed. " Yeah, I have one of those."

"Really? Does she go here?" Steph asked.

"No, she lives in Stars Hollow. She actually dropped out of college to pursue her dream of being a drummer."

"Really?" Steph asked surprised.

Rory nodded. "Yeah, she's living with her two male bandmates, working as a waitress at the local diner and just loving it. She's a total audiophile. I love her to death."

"I would so love to meet her." Steph gushed.

"Who?"

Rory looked over and saw Colin next to her smiling.

"Rory's best friend," Steph told him. "She sounds sooo cool."

"What's her name?" Colin asked.

"Lane Kim, I've known her since the first grade."

"Well, if Steph already loves her, you should introduce all of us."

Rory smiled. "Finn's meeting her next week."

"Really?" Steph asked.

Rory nodded. "Yeah, I'm taking him to Stars Hollow. I miss Luke's burgers and I haven't seen my mom in a while. And Lane. I asked him if he wanted to come along and he said sure."

"That's a huge step, him meeting your mom and best friend," Colin stated.

Rory nodded. "Yeah, but..." She shrugged. "My mom's wanted to meet him and I have a feeling Lane would want to as well, so it's a done deal."

"I'm sure Finn would love it!" Steph laughed, Colin entering his own thoughts.

This was really happening. Rory and Finn were really serious if he was going to meet her mom and best friend. He sighed. Now he really didn't have a chance.

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AN: Sorry for the long wait on this one. It's more of a filler than anything. It's short and to the point. I just had a real hard time getting this one out for some reason. But I still am writing this and I have an idea for the next chapter. It's going to be Finn's visit to Stars Hollow, followed by some surprise visitors.

Hope you all enjoyed this one.

Kassandra