(Now, use your little active imaginations and pretend that Rory has already asked the grandparents about Yale money, and Sookie and Lorelai have already looked at the Dragonfly.)

"Good morning my little graduate," Lorelai whispered in Rory's ear the next morning. Rory stirred and opened her eyes.

"Morning," she mumbled.

"You are so grown up."

"I'm not too grown up, we still have college, marriage, and kids to look forward to still."

"I remember when it was your first day of kindergarten. You would not let me leave if my life depended on it."

"Excuse me, but I think it was the other way around."

"Shhh. Mommy's trying to be sentimental."

"Okay." Rory whispered.

"Time just flew and it seems like just yesterday you were going into Stars Hollow High."


"Yes, angel?"

"I love you."

"I love you too."

Rory scooted over to the right side of her bed, and Lorelai laid down next to her.

"Today's the big day."

"Yup." Rory said

"I got you a present. It's rather large."

"You didn't have to get me anything; we are already going to Europe."

"I think you'll like it."

"I know I will."

"Awww, look at you, trying to be all nice to make mommy feel good."

"We should probably get up." Rory said.


"I have to get a shower, and get to the school."

"I have to get ready as well."

"Yeah, so we should get up, and do what we need to do."


They both just laid there.

Luke walked into the apartment, and Jess was sitting at the kitchen table reading.

"I could use some extra help downstairs," Luke announced.

"Okay." Jess got up, and put on his shoes. He walked past Luke, and down the stairs. Luke stared after him, until he got downstairs.

"That was too easy."

Luke walked back down the steps, and behind the counter up to Jess.

"Are you going to kill me or something?"

"What?" Jess asked

"You were civil."


"Ya know…today is Rory's graduation."


"You're planning on going right?"



"I said no"


"I don't think me showing up would be a pleasant surprise."


"Just don't." Jess said.

"Why?" Luke asked again.

"I left."

"But you came back."


"Listen, I'm not going because she doesn't want me there."

"How do you know?"

Jess didn't answer, just walked past Luke to go clear off a table.

"You almost ready?" Lorelai shouted from upstairs.

"Almost!" Rory shouted back from her room.

Rory walked out of her room, and Lorelai came down the stairs. They looked each other over before Lorelai spoke.

"You nervous?"

"Not too."


"So, when do I get my gift?"

"It will be at the graduation."

"You said it was big, how will you hide it?"

"Who said I was hiding anything?"

"Fine," Rory said.

"Lets go."

"Do we have to pick up Luke or anything?"


"Okay. Let's go."


After Lorelai and Sookie got seated with Luke and Jackson, Lorelai's pager beeped.

"Who's paging you?" Sookie asked

"Uh, maybe there's a special surprise party for the valedictorian's mom backstage before the ceremony."

"I bet there is."

"I'll be right back. Wow, look at the gargoyles."

"What? Wow, yeah." Luke said.

"Oh, now those have to be imported from Europe." Jackson said.

Lorelai walked up to a student,

"Oh, excuse me. Hi, I'm looking for Rory Gilmore. She's the valedictorian. I'm her mom."

Rory walked up to her, "Mom."

"Uh, no, wait, go away. I wanna tell a bunch of other people that I'm the valedictorian's mom and I'm looking for you."

"I got good news I wanna tell you real quick. Come here." They both walked away from the girl. "Okay, you ready?"

"I hope so. Ready for what?" Lorelai asked.

"You're getting your inn."


"Go put in the bid on the Dragonfly. You've got the money now, Grandpa's money."

"What are you talking about? How do I have money?"

"Grandma and grandpa are paying for Yale." Rory told her.

"Now wait a minute."

"I explained the situation, they totally understand and they're loaning me the money for Yale."

"When did they approach you about this?" Lorelai asked

"They didn't. I approached them."

"I just left them now. It's a done deal, so go make the call, go put in the bid before someone else does."

"Rory, honey, do you understand, the Gilmores do nothing altruistically. Strings are attached to everything."

"There are no strings."

"No strings?"

"No. I just have to pay them back starting five years after I graduate, and I have to start going back for Friday night dinners."

"Um, hello, Pinocchio, those are strings." Lorelai said

"But it was my idea to resume the dinners, and I obligated just me. You are in no way apart of it."

"This can't happen Rory."

"I don't want you to defer your dream."

"You shouldn't have done this behind my back."

"Mom, Yale is my thing. I needed financing, I got it." Rory said

"Oh, those people, those master manipulators."

"Mom, this was my idea. I'm manipulating you."

"They are manipulating you to manipulate me."

"How are they doing that?"

"Rory, don't you see? If you go to Friday night dinners, Mom knows I'll go to just to be with you."

"She wasn't thinking that."

"They're getting exactly what they want."

"Don't you see? We're all getting exactly what we want. It's a win-win-win situation."

"Its not."

"It is."

"Okay, maybe, maybe it is. But just once, just once, I want you to get exactly what you want, and me to get exactly what I want, and them to get nothing."

"Well, we'll see if we can't arrange that sometime. But the ceremony's about to start, I better get back out there. And go buy that inn!" Rory said walking away.

Lorelai ran back out to her seat to tell Sookie the news, to find one thing missing…Jess. Lorelai ran towards the jeep while fishing her keys out of her purse. She got in, started it, and sped off. When she was about five minutes away, she got her cell phone out, and dialed Sookie's cell.


"Hey, Sook."

"Where are you."

"It doesn't matter, I'll be back as soon as I can."

"Where are you going?"

"Listen Sookie, I got some really good news."

"Whats that?"

"We can put in a bid on the Dragonfly."


"I can't tell you the whole story now, but I'll fill you in later. Go call the attorney!"

"I'm going."


Jess was standing behind the counter feeling like every minute got longer and longer, when he heard tires screeching. He looked out the window to find Lorelai practically falling out of the Jeep. He watched her as she haphazardly ran towards the diner. She burst the door open, and said,

"You are my gift! You have to come with me now!"


Lorelai hurriedly walked over to him, and grabbed him by his arm in attempt to drag him out of the diner. He pulled his arm back.

"What the hell are you doing!"

"Jess! Just get in the damn car!"


"JESS!" she screamed.

"Fine." He walked out the door towards the jeep. He picked up the pace when he heard Lorelai screaming at him to hurry up.

They were about two minutes away from Chilton, and neither had said a word.

"I'm your gift?" he asked.


"You said that I'm your gift?"

"Oh, my gift to Rory."

When Lorelai was pulling into the parking lot she said, "We have to run, or we'll miss her speech."

"Okay." When she stopped the Jeep, they both hopped out and ran towards the stage. When they got there Rory was stepping up to the podium,

"Headmaster Charleston, faculty members, fellow students, family and friends, welcome. We never thought this day would come. We prayed for its quick delivery, crossed days off our calendars, counted hours, minutes, and seconds, and now that it's here, I'm sorry it is because it means leaving friends who inspire me and teachers who have been my mentors - so many people who have shaped my life and my fellow students' lives impermeably and forever. I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I've been a resident of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina, and strolled down Swann's Way. It's a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything. Richard and Emily Gilmore are kind, decent, unfailingly generous people. They are my twin pillars without whom I could not stand. I am proud to be their grandchild."

Rory looked up to where her mother was supposed to be sitting, but didn't find her there. She scanned the audience to find her standing at the back, with Jess.

"My boyfriend, Jess Mariano is a constant support throughout all of my life challenges. Though he is a man of few words, I love him, and without him I probably would have never read anything by Ernest Hemingway."

The crowd laughed a little and Rory's eyes started to tear.

"But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life's blood, Lorelai Gilmore. My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn't do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don't know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her. Thank you, Mom. You are my guidepost for everything. As we prepare ourselves today to leave, I wish you all the best of luck. I may not have been close with you all, but I never would have made it through my years at Chilton without you. Thank you."

Rory stepped off the podium and went back to her seat. Lorelai looked over to Jess, and he looked at her.

"Aren't you glad you came now?" She asked.\

(I am officially finished! Hope you all like it! REVIEWS ARE LOVED!)