Disclaimer: Wait, hold on, let me check…nope, still not mine.
A/N: This is it. We have finally reached the end. Please please please, even if you have never reviewed before, review this chapter. Everyone who reviews will get a reply from me letting you know when I post the sequel and what it is called. I have decided that it won't be an SVU crossover but I am going to stick with the idea that the statute of limitations runs out and the rapist returns. It should be an exciting one.
If any of you are rape victims, I want to dedicate this last chapter to you. I personally am not a victim, but I know several. I hope that in some way my story has touched you.
A/N 2: I'm not 100 sure of the in-character-ness of this chapter. Nothing even slightly similar to this has happened on the show before. If you think a character would act differently than they are, keeping in mind everything that has happened so far, please feel free to let me know. I'm doing the best I can.
Chapter 13: Fifteen again.
It was like she was fifteen again. She stood there in the woods about a quarter-mile away from her parent's house. She was watching the scene play through her mind like a bad movie:
The man had stayed for several hours, raping her twice. He left her with a kiss and a reminder that he knew exactly where she lived and would hurt her and her family if she ever told anyone.
Lorelai cried into her pillow for a while, then sat up, ripped off the pillow case and threw it on the floor on top of where her pajamas had landed. Next to go were the sheets off the bed. Then the comforter. She stripped everything off the bed down to the bare mattress and threw it in the pile. She wanted every trace of him gone. She ran downstairs and grabbed a huge trash bag. She threw a few other random items in it as well, so that if her mom noticed her missing comforter they could blame a homeless robber looking for a warm blanket and a few items to pawn for cash. She filled the garbage bag and left it sitting in the middle of her room while she took a hot shower. She scrubbed herself raw. The water and soap stung the abused flesh between her legs, but she kept on scrubbing. Fortunately all of the bruises and cuts were in places easily covered by her clothes.
After almost an hour in the shower she got out and got dressed. Then she picked up the garbage bag and headed outside. She couldn't throw it in the trash just in case it was to rip open and the garbage man were to see. She couldn't stick it in the neighbor's trash for the same reason. She headed for a small wooded area about a quarter-mile from her house and walked deep into the woods off the path. She found a tree that had fallen over, pulling some of the roots up with it. Where the roots had been it left a little bit of a hole. She stuck the garbage bag in the hole and covered it with a layer of dirt. Then she turned around and walked back to her house for another shower.
The years had eroded most of the dirt on the top of the bag. Animals had torn through the old plastic and eaten up some of the fabric. The candlesticks were still well intact, as were her pajamas, which were made from a synthetic cloth.
The blood stains were faded but still visible if you knew where to look. Lorelai pulled each item out one at a time and spread them out for everyone to see. She felt numb, surreal, like she was watching the scene unfold from somewhere outside herself.
Emily had complained the entire time they were walking, but Lorelai hadn't said anything. Not a word. Not to anyone. She just walked, followed closely by Emily. Luke and Rory had stayed behind a few paces. They were there as mediators; this was Lorelai and Emily's battle to fight.
As soon as Emily recognized the items she gave a little cry, and then stood with her hand over her mouth, holding back a sob while Lorelai systematically spread everything out. She didn't care that her hands were getting filthy. She didn't care that the sun was starting to go down. She was like a robot. Lift item. Unfold item. Lay item down. Repeat. Over and over again until the bag was empty.
Luke and Rory were in almost as much shock as Emily. Lorelai had never mentioned this to either of them.
As soon as the bag was empty Lorelai looked up at her mom and asked, "Satisfied?"
Emily just stood there, staring.
Lorelai looked from the objects spread out over the ground, to her mother, to Rory, and back again, biting her lip, holding back tears. She had cried about this many times now, but not since the first tears unloaded into her pillow right after it happened had she ever actually cried for herself. She had cried for her unborn child at the doctor's office. She had cried for Rory on her first day of Kindergarten. She had cried for Max when she couldn't marry him. She had cried for Luke when she finally accepted the truth and told him. She had cried for Rory again after telling her, and she had cried for Emily earlier that day. She had always considered herself to be an emotional but controlled person. Now she was on the brink of tears again for what seemed like the thousandth time, but this time they were all her own.
Rory and Luke both saw Lorelai's face and stepped towards her to comfort her, but Emily got to her first. She reached out a hand and tentatively placed it on her daughter's arm, but Lorelai brushed her off. Luke and Rory's efforts to comfort her were greeted with the same response. She sank down to her knees, and then rolled back so she was sitting on her rear with her knees tucked to her chest. She hugged her legs close to herself and buried her face between them, sobbing openly.
Emily could have been hurt by the fact that Lorelai rejected her comfort. She could have stomped off, accusing Lorelai of making a scene. She could have even remarked that the evidence before her proved nothing other than that Lorelai had bled when she lost her virginity and then decided to hide the proof.
She did none of these things. Instead, Emily Gilmore did what she wished she had done twenty two years earlier. She sat down on the ground next to her daughter, wrapped her arms around her, and pulled her baby's head into her lap.
Lorelai could have fought her mom off again. She could have argued that Emily was only doing this for show. She could have said, 'sorry, this is twenty-two years too late,' stood up, and left.
Instead, Lorelai did what she wished she had been able to do twenty-two years earlier. She buried her face in her mother's lap and bawled.
Emily held her own tears at bay, letting out only the occasional sniff while she stroked her daughter's hair and rubbed her back. "It's okay, I'm here. It's okay," she repeated over and over again, knowing the words sounded like nothing but empty comfort but not knowing what else to say.
Luke and Rory sat down next to the pair slowly. Rory rubbed her mom's back rhythmically and Luke held her hand.
Lorelai had almost forgotten that they were there. Feeling Rory's hand drew her back out of her trance. She wasn't fifteen anymore. She was thirty-eight, had a twenty-one year old daughter, a fiancé she was madly in love with, a good job, and a good life. All things considered her life had turned out alright. She sat up, giving Luke's hand a little squeeze before letting go and wrapping her arms around Rory. She pulled her close for a deep hug and asked, "Are you okay?"
Rory had been trying very hard not to dwell on the fact that she was the result of the bloody mess on the ground in front of her. She didn't know how to answer her mom's question. She pulled her mom in closer and hid her face in her shoulder.
"You," Lorelai promised, "Are the one good thing about all of this. Don't doubt that for a second."
"I know," Rory admitted, "But it's weird, you know? This is all so new to me, then to be here, and see this…it's all very…weird, you know?"
"Yeah, kid, I know." Lorelai pulled her tighter, kissing the side of her head. Emily continued rubbing Lorelai's back. Luke put his hand on her shoulder. They sat like that a few moments, no one speaking, barely moving.
Emily shivered. Lorelai noticed. She pulled back from Rory and turned to look at her mom and Luke momentarily. "You know it's getting late, it's going to be dark soon. We should probably go."
"Of course." Emily replied. Luke stood up first and offered his hand to each of the women in turn, helping them to their feet. He embraced Lorelai for a moment, then the foursome (A/N: NOT dirty, get your mind out of the gutter) started walking back in the direction of the house, leaving everything from the garbage bag scattered on the ground.
Emily offered to let them, all three of them, spend the night, but Lorelai wanted to get back to her house and Paul Anka, things that were familiar and comforting. Luke and Rory got into the jeep, leaving Lorelai and Emily alone in the driveway for a moment. Luke was going to drive since both Lorelai and Rory were too exhausted.
"Well, then, good-bye, mom. I'll see you on Friday."
"Yes, Friday. Good-bye." Emily hesitated. "Lorelai?" She asked.
"I love you."
Lorelai's breath caught in her throat. She gave her mom a little smile, then said, "I'll see you Friday." She turned and headed towards the jeep. Half way there she stopped, turned her head, and said, "I love you too."
"Are you sure you don't need me to stay?" Rory asked for the second time that day.
"Yes, I need you to stay alive, which will not happen if you are late tomorrow morning. I know Paris, remember?"
"Okay, but you'll call if you need anything, right?"
"Yes, I promise, now go!"
"Luke, you promise too. If she needs me you are to call me immediately, understood? I don't care what time it is, I will be on my way before you hang up the phone."
And she was gone. Luke put his hand gently on the small of Lorelai's back and guided her inside an up the stairs to bed.
Several months later
Lulu caught the bouquet. Kirk mauled everyone, shoving them out of the way to catch the garter, because "No other man is marrying my girlfriend!" Their first dance as husband and wife was Reflecting Light, by Sam Phillips, because it had been their first dance as a couple, too. Then Liz's water broke.
All in all, a perfect wedding.
After much consideration, they decided not to take the house that Emily and Richard wanted to buy for them. They had already put so much money into Lorelai's house, and loved it way too much to move. Instead Emily and Richard paid for the honeymoon: Two weeks on a private island near Martha's Vineyard.
As much as everyone tried to convince her, Lorelai refused to see a psychologist. Rory made a few more visits to the same man she had seen upon her return to Yale, and he suggested some things that they could all try. Friday night dinners continued with the rule that everyone had to say something positive about everyone else at the table at least once, and they couldn't use anything they had used the previous week. Eventually Luke started coming on a regular basis, the only stipulation being that Richard was not to use the word "franchise" at any time when Luke might be able to hear him.
Lorelai had also, at the advice of Rory's psychologist, started to write down a detailed account of everything that had happened on the night of her rape. She also went back out to that place in the woods and re-buried all of her mementos, this time with Luke's help so that they would stay buried.
Lorelai was thinking about all of this as they pulled into the driveway upon returning from their honeymoon. It had been quite possibly the best two weeks (and the best Christmas, since they'd been there through the end of December) of their lives. Lorelai was starting to get one of those "happily ever after" feelings that she usually scoffed at.
(A/N: If you want the story to end here, quit reading. If you plan on reading the sequel (coming soon) read the rest).
Luke took the luggage inside. Lorelai sat down on the porch. She was admiring the two rings on her left hand when something caught her eye.
On the front step there was an envelope that they had missed before because their hands were full. On the front there was nothing but the number "10," big and bold. Lorelai grabbed it, thinking that maybe it was some sort of late wedding card and that the ten was something witty and clever that would be explained inside.
Inside was a very small piece of paper, cut from a dictionary. It read:
statute of limitations (noun) : A statute setting a time limit on legal action in certain cases. If the statute of limitations runs out, the robber can spend his money freely without fear of penalty or incarceration.
Still thinking that it was some sort of joke that she would figure out later, Lorelai went inside. "Hey Luke, come look at this." She called, pausing by the desk in the hall. She glanced aimlessly at the "Hello Kitty" calendar. Today was December 29, 2006. January was on the same page as December, and her eyes fluttered over January 8th. She and Rory always went out on the eighth of every month to celebrate another month of Rory being alive. Lorelai hadn't told Rory this yet, but January eighth was also the date of her conception.
She counted the days. Ten. There were ten days between today and the day of her rape. Suddenly she understood the note. Luke came down the stairs in time to see Lorelai drop the envelope and gasp, covering her mouth with a shaking hand.
Even if you have never reviewed before in your entire life, REVIEW NOW! Everyone who reviews will get a personal e-mail from me both now, and when I post the first chapter of the sequel. You know you want to. Come on. Do it. Now. The more reviews I get the sooner I will post the sequel.
"This is the song, that runs under the credits. These are the credits, so this is where it goes. Has nothing to do with the movie so we'll say, hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey." (What? You haven't seen the veggie tales Jonah movie? Shame on you.)
Special thanks to: All of my reviewers, Amy Sherman-Palladino for inventing the Gilmore Girls, David Rosenthall for keeping them alive (even if it may not be exactly how we all want it), My mom for giving me life. My friend Hannah for beta-ing the first couple chapters to get me started. And lastly, thanks to Big Idea productions for the credits song. If I'm forgetting anyone sorry, you're just not that important.
"There once was a song that ran under the credits that went with the movie, but this is not that song t has nothing to do with the movie song we'll say, hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
"Wouldn't it be nice if the song under the credits had something to do with the movie you just saw. But that's not the case so for now we'll have to say, hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey."
Peace, Love, and an Ostrich,
"There should be a rule that the song under the credits remotely pertains to the movie's basic plot. That rule has not been made so for now we'll have to say, hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey. Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey, hey hey hey hey hey hey hey…"