"Rory! Come on! Your mom will kill me if you're late to your Graduation!" Logan called from the hallway.
Rory smiled from her place in the closet. She zipped up the zipper on her cap and gown carrier, grabbed it, and walked out.
"Don't we look all nice and spiffy, today?" she said seeing his new suit.
"Well, it's not everyday that the love of my life graduates from Yale." Logan said grinning.
"You look beautiful." He said kissing her deeply.
"Thanks." She said once they had come up for air. She was wearing a new blue dress with a matching bag and shoes. Her hair was fixed pretty, too. "Now let's motor baby!" She grabbed her cap and gown carrier and walked out into the hallway, Logan right behind her.
"Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!" Rory exclaimed backstage. All of her graduating class was behind the stage putting on their caps and gowns. In just a few short minutes, they would all walk out and begin the ceremony.
"Rory, are you okay?" Paris asked rushing over to her. "What's wrong?"
"What's wrong? What's wrong?" Rory cried. "What's wrong is that I'm too stupid! I shouldn't be graduating! And I really, really can't make my speech." She started pacing back and forth franticly. "I mean who in the hell would make me valedictorian? I'm too stupid! I can't do this!!!!"
Paris goggled at her. She, Paris, was the one who usually freaked out. Not Rory. "Rory….. Stay here. I'll be rite back." She said finally.
"Where else can I go? I'm too stupid to figure my way around!" Rory cried, still pacing furiously.
Paris shook her head. She ran outside franticly looking for Logan. She found him in the closest row to the stage, behind the graduates reserved seats. He was chatting with Lorelai and Luke. They were all laughing. She rushed over and grabbed his arm.
"Ouch! Paris! What the hell?" Logan exclaimed.
"No time to talk, just come!" Paris yelled, continuing to pull.
"Why?!" Logan said, finally getting up.
"Rory's freaking out! She saying she's too stupid to graduate and it all her fault!" Paris said quickly leading him backstage.
Logan immediately spotted Rory, still pacing franticly, and rushed over. He grabbed her shoulders gently and turned her toward him.
"Ace, what's wrong?" he asked, his eyes full of concern.
"Logan, I can't do this!" Rory wailed. "I'm too stupid!"
"What? No you're not." He said firmly.
"Yes! I am." She argued.
Logan pulled her over to a seat and sat down facing her.
"Rory." He said firmly. "You are not, under any circumstances, stupid."
"Yes, I am!" She argued. "They only picked me to make the speech because of my grandparents! And the astronomy building they wanted for me! And I don't even like astronomy that much! But not that it was even up to me. And the font! What about the font? I can't do this, Logan. You know I'm no good with speeches!" She rambled.
Logan looked at her, a bit confused. But he had no time to ask questions, the ceremony started in ten minutes.
"Ace, look at me." He said cupping her face in his hands. "Now, I know you Rory. I love you. And I know you can do this. You've studied hard. You've passed your finals. Your professors love you, and you're a good person. Now, I'm not sure about this astronomy building, but that's not important." He wiped away some of her tears with his hand. He looked her straight in the eye. "You can do this." He said sternly.
Rory looked up into his face and saw that soft, warm, and loving person she knew she loved. She finally understood. She was going to do this. She knew her speech, and she knew it was good. And she had passed her finals, just like Logan said.
"Your right." She said after a minute. "I can do this."
"I always knew you could, Ace." Logan said grinning. Rory smiled and wiped her tears away with a Kleenax.
"Two minutes, everyone!!!!!" The dean called loudly. "Two minutes!!!"
"I'm gonna go, Ace." Logan said getting up. "Knock 'em dead." He kissed her deeply for a second, then went to find his seat. Rory smiled. She then realized she had about thirty seconds to fix herself up and get in line. She franticly wiped off her face, adjusted her cap, and got in line behind Paris.
"You alright now?" Paris asked.
"Yeah. Logan talked me out of it." Rory said smiling. "Thanks for getting him Paris. I owe you one."
"Think nothing of it."
Back in the audience, Logan took his seat next to between Lorelai and Finn. Everyone was there for Rory. Finn, Colin, Juliet, Stephanie, Rosemary, Emily, Richard, Lorelai, Luke, Himself of course, and about a trillion other Stars Hollow residents and Rory fans.
"Is she okay?" Lorelai whispered worriedly, as the music began to play.
"She is now. She was freaking out saying she was too stupid, but I talked her out of it." Logan whispered back.
Lorelai looked at him for a minute and smiled. Maybe he was a keeper after all.
As the music began to play Rory felt a tingle of excitement run through her. This wasn't her high-school graduation. It was bigger. Way bigger. She was graduating from college.
She took her place in the audience next to Paris. As the dean and a few others took their places onstage, Rory began to search the crowd. It took her the whole of about three seconds to find her mom, Luke, and Logan. She smiled and waved.
The dean stood up and the podium and began. "Ladies and gentlemen, friends, family and relatives. Welcome to the Yale College Graduation Ceremony of 2007!" The huge area full of people erupted in cheers. The dean then went on to talk about how great it had been having the students at Yale and that it he hoped that it had been a wonderful experience for them all. He concluded his speech by saying that he knew he would be seeing them all at there 10 year college reunion, standing proud and successful, as he knew they would all become.
"And now, I present to you the Valedictorian of the Yale Class of 2007. Ladies and gentlemen, Rory Gilmore." He said stepping down to his seat. At the sound of Rory's name the audience once again erupted into cheers. Rory stood up, took a deep breath, and took her place at the podium.
"Fellow graduates, parents, friends, and faculty. Starting today, everything changes." She read from her paper. Suddenly, she stopped. What she wrote didn't seem important anymore. She crumpled up her paper and threw it behind her. The audience gasped and she saw the dean put his head in his hands. "Now, many of you know doing that was a big thing for me." She continued. "But I've learned from my time here at Yale, that life is about taking chances. And trying new things." She looked directly at Logan when she said this, and she knew he understood that she was talking about their relationship. She had taken a chance with that. And it had worked out better than imagined. "I think that college is not only to teach you about facts and dates, but also about life. While here we've all experienced happiness, rage, sadness, fear, and love." She said softly. "We've learned that in the real world you have to make your own way. That you can't expect your parents, or your teachers, or anyone else to make it for you. Because, at the end of the day, it's the best feeling in the world to know that you got yourself where you are. Not because of being in the right family or knowing the right people, but because of yourself. So in closing, fellow graduates, I congratulate you. I congratulate us all. Because we got here on our own. We made it!" she exclaimed. The audience arrupted into the loudest cheers yet and Rory grinned. She took a small bow and went back to her seat.
"Anna Gammon, Jenna Garth." The dean called. Rory and Paris moved up a few steps in line.
"This is it, Rory. In about 30 seconds we'll be college graduates." Paris said softly.
"Yeah, I can't believe we made it." Rory whispered back.
"Rory, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you being there for me all this time. You really are my best friend."
Rory smiled. "Me too, Paris."
"Paris Geller" called the dean.
"Here goes everything." Paris said before walking up. Rory applauded as she took her diploma and shook the dean's hand firmly. Once at the other side of the stage she smiled and pulled the tassel on the cap to the other side.
"Rory Gilmore" Rory took a deep breath and walked up. She took her diploma and shook hands with the dean. "Congratulations, Rory." The dean said. "I know you'll make me proud."
Rory smiled and nodded. She then pulled her tassel to the other side of her cap and grinned at everyone, who were snapping pictures like crazy. She went back and stood at her seat and waited for the rest of her class.
After the last person (Maria Zellner) had gotten their diploma they all looked up at the dean, who once again stood at the podium.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Graduated Yale Class of 2007!" He exclaimed.
Everyone screamed and cheered. Rory threw her cap in the air where it met many, many others. She turned to Paris and began jumping around while hugging her.
"We did it, Paris!" She screamed over the noise. "We graduated from college!"
"Thank-God!" Paris screamed back, still hugging and jumping.
"Ace, you were amazing!" Logan yelled as she ran into his arms. He kissed her passionately. It only lasted for a second, though. Everyone wanted to see the new graduate.
"Hey! What am I? Fried liver?" Lorelai pouted from a few feet away.
"Mom!" Rory ran and threw her arms around her.
Lorelai grinned and hugged back. "Honey we're all so proud of you! You did so great!"
Rory beamed. "Thanks."
"Grandma! Grandpa! Hi!" Rory exclaimed giving them both hugs in turn.
"Rory that was wonderful!" Emily gushed.
"Simply magnificent." Richard put in. Lorelai ran over to Rory, closely followed by Logan, and tapped her shoulder.
"Excuse me, but I do believe everyone is waiting for you in the town square to celebrate."
"Oh! Right! Let's go!" Rory said getting into the passenger side of Logan's car. She noticed him talking to her mom for a moment before getting into the car.
"What was that about?" she asked.
"I told your mom we had to make a quick stop before we get to the party." Logan said simply.
"You'll see." Logan said mischeviously.
They stopped about a quarter of a mile away from the marina. Logan got out and opened Rory's door for her.
"Why are we at the marina?" She asked.
Logan didn't answer her, but instead pulled her into a deep and passionate kiss.
"What was that for?" she asked after a minute.
"Ace, it's gonna be a long party and I want you to myself for a few minutes first." Logan said kissing her neck.
She smiled. "Well all you had to do was ask." She got into the back seat, Logan following suit. He began to kiss her deeply. She wrapped her hands around his neck and ran her fingers through his hair. He groaned happily. After about fifteen minutes, Logan's cell phone rang. He grudgingly answered it on the third ring.
"Hello?...Yeah…..Okay." He hung up.
"Who was that?" Rory asked.
"Big Bird. Come on, let's take a walk."
"Logan, we really need to go."
"Please, Ace. Five minutes." He begged. She sighed.
"Okay, only five." They got out of the car and he led her toward the docks. He stopped in front of a gigantic yacht filled with people. Rory gasped. A banner hung off the sides reading "CONGRATS TO THE GRAD! RORY GILMORE CLASS OF 2007!" in bold letters.
"You set me up!" She exclaimed to Logan.
"And you fell for it!" He said laughing. "Sorry Ace, but your mom and grandmother needed a distraction. So I agreed to help. Do you like it?"
"Like it? It's amazing!" she said in disbeliefe.
"Well then come on!" he grabbed her hand and helped her onto the boat.
"Wow! A new MP3 player! Thanks Colin, Finn!" Rory exclaimed as she opened another present.
"Your very welcome, Rory." Colin said.
"You deserve it, love." Finn added, draining his third glass of whiskey.
Lorelai walked over and handed Rory a box. "From me and Luke." She said.
Rory ripped off the paper and gasped. "A new laptop! The newest one with the best features! I love it! Thanks mom! Thanks Luke!" She gave them both a hug.
"Rory, your grandfather and I know you won't want to accept this but seeing as we know you deserve it, promise us you'll keep it before opening." Emily said handing Rory and envelope.
Rory sighed. "Grandma….."
"No. Promise us, Rory." Emily ordered.
"Okay okay. I promise."
"Very good. Now open it!" Emily said excitedly.
Rory covered her mouth when she opened the envelope. Inside the card was a check.
"Rory? Are you alright?" Richard asked.
She didn't respond. She couldn't breath. Logan quickly handed her a glass of water, which she drank.
"Grandma, Grandpa. No." she said finally.
"Rory, you promised." Said Emily.
"I- I just- Thank you!" She said hugging them both tight.
"Rory, what'd ya get?" Lorelai said eagerly.
"I just got a check for three hundred thousand dollars." She said breathlessly.
"WHAT!" Lorelai yelled. "Mom! Dad! Are you sure?"
"Of course we're sure, Lorelai. Rory deserves this money. She's earned it." Emily said firmly.
"You never gave me that much money." Lorelai grumbled.
"Um, I hate to interrupt but I want to give Rory my present." Logan said from his seat next to her.
"Of course, Logan. Go ahead." Emily said politely.
He stood up and pulled a small box out of his pocket. He got in front of Rory and went on one knee. Everyone gasped. Taking a deep breath he said,
"Rory, I love you. You know that. And every time we're apart it kills me. I used to be the guy who'd never be able to settle down. The guy who everyone though would never amount to anything. You changed that. You made me realize that I can be someone. I can't… live with out you." He said softly. "Rory Gilmore, will you marry me?"
She gasped as he opened the box, and revealed a diamond ring.
"Logan! Are- are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure, Rory. I love you."
"I love you too." She said, her heart already melted.
"Is that a yes?" He asked laughing.
"Yes." She said finally. "Yes, Logan. I'll marry you."
He grinned, sliding the ring onto her fingers. She stood up and he grabbed her, swinging her around and hugging her. She laughed as he finally set her down and kissed her heavily. Everyone cheered as this happened. Rory grinned, still kissing Logan. She no longer cared if anyone saw them kissing like this. She was engaged.
As they broke apart she looked at her mom. Lorelai had tears in her eyes as she and Luke walked up to Rory and Logan. Rory held her breath. What would her mom say? Lorelai swallowed and looked at them both.
"You're gonna have to make sure you don't have purple bridesmaid's dresses." She said finally. "Blue matches your eyes better."
Rory grinned and hugged her mom. She knew that was her way of saying she approved.
Luke cleared his throat. She and Logan turned to him.
"Treat her well." He said roughly to Logan, holding out his hand. Logan nodded firmly and shook it.
"I will sir."
"Sir? What's this? I though I was 'sir'!" Christopher said appearing next to them, GiGi holding his left hand.
"Dad! GiGi!" Rory exclaimed, giving them each a hug. "You're here!"
"Of course I'm here!" Christopher said, shocked. "It's my daughter's college graduation! I wouldn't miss it for anything!"
"Hi Chris" Lorelai said waving slightly. "And hello GiGi." She added stiffly, remembering the marker incident.
"Hi Lore" Chris said. "And Luke" He added.
GiGi waved and hid behind Christopher's legs.
"So anyway, I just wanted to say congrats." He went on. "To Rory's graduation and apparently to my future son-in-law." He shook Logan's hand. "I know you'll be happy together."
"Thanks Mr. Hayden." Logan said appreciatively. "Uh-oh. Excuse me everyone. I need to go call and let my sister in on the news. If she finds out later she might seriously hurt me." He kissed Rory's cheek. "Be right back, Ace." Rory smiled as he walked off.
"Rory!" Emily said coming over. "We're so happy for you! Aren't we happy for them, Richard?"
"We are indeed."
"Thank-you grandma and grandpa." Rory said giving them both hugs.
"Now Rory, I was thinking something very elegant for the wedding. We should have it in the fall, when the leaves are just turning colors and-" Emily started.
"Um, Grandma?" Rory interrupted.
"I really appreciate your thinking of me, but I really wanted mom to help me plan the wedding." She said softly.
"Your mother?" Emily said with a taste of disgust.
"Now honestly, Rory. Think about what your saying-"
"Emily if she wants Lorelai to help, then that's what she wants." Logan said putting an arm around Rory protectively.
"And if that's what she wants, that's what she'll get." Lorelai said standing on Rory's other side. "We'll make it perfect, kid." She said to Rory. "Anyway you want." Rory smiled and looked up. Her grandmother was no longer there. On the contrary, she was getting off the boat, storming to her car.
"I better go with her." Richard said quickly kissing Rory's cheek. "We love you Rory. Congratulations."
"Thanks grandpa." She said watching him hurry after Emily.
"Well that's over." Lorelai said happily. "She'll get over it." She assured Rory, seeing the worried look on her face. Rory nodded.
"Come on, Ace. Let's go find Colin and Finn." Logan said, trying to distract her.
"Okay." She said, allowing herself to be led away. They found Colin, Finn, and the rest of the gang near (where else?) the bar.
"Ah, it's the lovely Rory!" Finn exclaimed. "When did she arrive at my mum's funeral?"
Rosemary shook her head. "He's already had five glasses of whiskey, two glasses of wine, and six shots of tequila." She explained to them quietly. They nodded understandingly.
"-so were here to celebrate Rory's graduation. But Logan proposed, so were celebrating that too." Colin was explaining to Finn. "Your mom hasn't died."
"But I don't want to marry Logan!" Finn said. Colin sighed.
"He proposed to Rory. Not you."
"Oh. So my mum's still alive?"
"DAMN! I've always hated her. She was a bloody terrible woman."
"Okay, I think it's time Finn headed home." Logan said. "Colin?"
"Right." Colin said nodding. He picked up Finn over his shoulder and walked towards his car, followed by Rosemary, Juliet, and Stephanie.
"Bye! Congratulations!" called the girls.
"Good-bye Rory. Take care." Colin said roughly under the weight of Finn.
"Good-bye Mum!" Finn yelled.
Rory and Logan waved.
"Why did you have them leave?" She asked turning to him.
"Because after he gets so drunk he begins singing "I'm To Sexy For My Shirt" and begins to remove his clothes while doing so. And since there are people here who I think cannot handle that image I figure it was best for him to go."
"Ah. I see. Logan?"
"Let's ditch this place."
"I'm tired of hanging around here. Let's go home. I want to be with you."
"You are with me."
"I want to be with you." She said, trying to make her point.
"Oh!" he said finally getting it. "Let's tell your mom good-bye and motor." He said quickly.
They found Lorelai by the food table, talking with Ms. Patty. Rory told her she had appreciated everything and had a wonderful time, but was quite tired and wanted to go home and get some rest. Lorelai said she understood and would talk to her tomorrow.
Once home Logan and Rory had barely made it to the bedroom before the fun began.