Disclaimer: This an original story based on the characters of "Gilmore Girls." No profit will be made from the story and no copyright infringement is intended
Author's Note: I'm sure there are many of you out there who over the past five years have wondered if I was still alive, let alone if I was ever going to finish this story. All I can say is that it has been a busy/sometimes good/sometimes bad couple years for me. I went through a writing slump for awhile and am trying to get back into it again. Thank you all for your patience, and for all your reviews of my stories. The boost my confidence and mean so much!
The room was silent, except for the ticking of that aggravating clock…tick, tick, tick, tick. She tried to concentrate on the lecture she would give the nurse about how inconsiderate it was to have such an insensitive device in a waiting room, but she could not. She could not think of anything but her baby's laugh, silky raven-colored curls, bright beautiful eyes, and little arms that she too often stopped from hugging her. Emily's head rested against Richard's shoulder, and she clung to the comfort of his strong arm around her, and the scent of his aftershave and cologne. Rory rested her head in Emily's lap, and Emily found more comfort in caressing the girl's hair. She was relieved to have them close to her, to be able to touch both of them. This was her world, Richard, Lorelai, and Rory. In all the midst of all her terror, one thing had become clear to her. All her riches, all the DAR meetings, the boards, the charity work…all the things that mattered so much to her…they meant nothing compared to Richard, Lorelai and Rory. She was so lost in her thoughts that she almost didn't hear the small far-away sound of her granddaughter's voice.
"What did you say Sweetie?" she asked gently, bending down to kiss the girl's head.
"Why didn't she tell me Grandma?" Rory said again, her voice thick with emotion. "What if she dies? I could have been here. I could have been here to say goodbye."
At that Richard's free hand clasped Rory's in his.
"Because she loves you," Emily whispered into Rory's hair. "Because she's so proud of you and didn't want you to worry. She knew you'd be on the first plane out when you found out and she didn't want you to lose your job. Besides, no one is going anywhere. I simply won't permit it." She tried to adopt her bossiest Emily Gilmore tone, but failed, and Rory tried to laugh, but failed, and so they both went back to the silence. When Emily's head fell back against Richard, she exhaled slowly, and then whispered quietly against him,
"Richard…I can't live without her."
His arm held her tighter and he rested his head against hers. "I know Emmy," he whispered. "I know."
She wasn't sure when she allowed herself to succumb to her exhaustion, but the next thing new, there was a general commotion as the doctor came into the room. Richard, Emily and Rory were to his side in a moment.
"Where is she?" Emily asked anxiously. "Is she alright?"
"She survived the surgery," he said, and Emily felt her knees give way with relief. Richard's strong arms steadied her. Then she saw the doctor's face.
"Something's still wrong," she breathed.
The doctor sighed and Emily's heart beat even faster. "She developed complications because she was so weak. Her blood pressure is still low and she is running a high fever. We're giving her medication to help her, but the next few hours will be critical."
There was a general cry in the room and Rory turned into Emily with a sob.
"Will she live?" the words cut through her like a knife.
He looked at her for a moment. "I need to get back," he said, and then he was gone. Luke put his hands on his head in agony and walked out of the room. Emily guided Rory back to her seat, looking over her shoulder after Luke. As soon as she helped Rory sit down, she started to go after him, but Rory clung to her like a child.
"It's alright Sweetie. Grandma's coming right back," she said gently, caressing Rory's cheek and then turning her to Richard, who put his arms around her. She walked out of the waiting room, thinking about how strange life was, how much time she had spent disliking Luke, and doing everything she could to destroy the relationship and now she trying to find him. She didn't even really know why. Did she want to comfort him? Was she seeking redemption? Or was she trying to hold on to Lorelai any way she could? Whatever the reason, as she turned the corner and found him, staring out the window, head up against the glass, she felt no animosity for him.
She said nothing, just put a hand on his shoulder. Life was so very, very strange. They were quiet for a moment and then he spoke quietly.
"I…I just got her back."
"Me too," Emily replied.
"I just started to feel like I could breathe again. And now…" his voice broke and suddenly her arms went around him. For a moment she was nothing but a mother and him nothing but a man who hadn't had a mother in a long time. For a moment, they were simply two people who loved Lorelai Gilmore. "You come back," she said softly. "You come back and sit with us."
And again they waited. A half hour…an hour. A nurse came in and they all jumped to their feet. She simply said there was little change with Lorelai, but that Mia had woken up in recovery. Emily sat back down and then, surprising herself again said, "Please…can I see her?"
Evidently, Mia was just as surprised at her visitor as Emily was to be there. Emily stood in the doorway for a moment, just watching her. Mia seemed different now. The few times Emily had seen her, she seemed so confident and secure. Now she seemed smaller and as she looked at Emily her eyes were full of fear.
"Lorelai…" she said weakly. Emily moved closer. It was so strange. What was happening to her? She had hated this woman for so long, and yet she was here and she felt compassion for her.
"We're still waiting," Emily said, "How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine," she insisted, "What's happening with Lorelai?"
"Complications, that's all I know," her voice trembled, "low blood pressure…high fever,"
"Dear God," Mia whispered.
"I just…" Emily started and then lost her composure. She pressed a hand against her forehead, "I just thought you should know and I just to say…thank you for what you did…for donating your kidney." She smiled, a little sadly. "I should let you rest." She turned to leave and was almost to the door when Mia called her back.
"Emily," she said, and Emily turned back towards her. "You were right," she said. "I should have encouraged her to go home. I should have sent her home."
Emily smiled and sat down in the chair next to the bed. "You know the same Lorelai I do Mia," she said and then suddenly tears were in his eyes. "You could never have sent her anywhere."
Mia chuckled, and then swallowed. "I was selfish Emily. I only had one child, a boy, and I had always wanted a girl. I took her in that first night because I felt sorry for her, but I just fell in love with her. I wanted her to stay. I wanted her to be my daughter. And the baby…I just loved that baby."
Again the old wounds came back. She bit her lower lip and tried to swallow the 16 years she had missed. Sixteen precious years she would never get back.
"I'm sorry Emily. She was your daughter. She has always been your daughter."
Emily wiped away her tears, "I um…I don't deserve her. I never did." The words burned deep, but she said them, "You…were a better mother to her during that time than I ever was." She stood up and moved over to her. "I think that um…in a way, she'll always belong to both of us."
Mia smiled, and again barriers were melted away as they simply became two women who loved Lorelai Gilmore. Maybe they never would be friends, and maybe the old wounds would never really be healed, but they were united in that and always would be.
She felt different again as she walked down the hall. Somehow, she stood a little straighter on the inside as well as on the outside. She sat down again by Richard, who softly kissed the top of her head and as Rory put her head against her shoulder, she placed her hand against her cheek. She had lost sixteen years…it was true. But she had had seven years…and they had been wonderful.
She looked up and saw the doctor coming down the hall. Her heart started beating fast again. "Please God" she prayed for the hundredth time, "Please…"
Luke made it to him before he entered the waiting room and they all watched as Luke listened and then turned around. He stood in the doorway, tears spilling over his cheeks. He looked at her…"It's over," he said. "She's going to be fine"
Richard immediately encircled her and Rory and they all cried as she and Rory leaned into him and he held tight to them. Everyone was crying and laughing at the same time and suddenly Emily found herself surrounded by her daughter's friends, some she knew some she didn't. They hugged her and treated her like they had known her forever. It was all a bit much, and during the commotion, she slipped away down the hall to find the doctor.
She found out that Lorelai's fever had broke, and her blood pressure was finally climbing, but that it had been touch and go for awhile. There would be a long road to recovery, but she planned to be right there every step of the way.
"When can I see her?" Emily asked. The doctor smiled, "Well, I would tell you a couple of hours, but judging from what I hear of your reputation Mrs. Gilmore, I know that you would simply ignore me. I'll tell you what, I'll let you see her outside the glass for right now, and then I'll tell you as soon as she wakes up. "
Her breath caught in her throat as he led her to the room and she saw her daughter through the window. She was perfect, as perfect as she had been almost forty years ago, when the proudest mother in the world had looked through another window and seen a darling little baby girl. And as history further repeated itself, she suddenly felt familiar fingers intertwining with hers and she looked up and saw Richard looking through the window.
"She's going to be alright," Emily whispered as she leaned back against him, "Thank God, she's going to be alright." Richard kissed her cheek and leaned his forehead against her.
"Richard," she whispered. "What happened to her…that young mother who wanted to do everything perfectly, who wanted to give her daughter the best life in the world?"
"She did exactly that," Richard said, "in her own way."
Emily shook her head, "I should have…" but Richard put his finger against her lips. "We both made mistakes Emily. So did she. That's what families do. We put things back together. We're better Emily."
He wrapped his arms around her and she put her hands against his. "Do you know what that doctor told me," he said. "That she wasn't going to give up without a fight. She was in there the whole time, fighting to stay alive. She gets that from you Emily. That part of her wouldn't exist…except for you."
Another hour past, and then two…Emily finally fell asleep, again on Richard's shoulder, with Rory's head in her lap. The nurse came to wake them, to let them know that Lorelai was awake.
Luke, Richard, Rory and Emily all hurried down the hall and when they arrived at the door, they all stood and smiled at the still pale and small lady in the bed, who seemed to be drinking them in. She looked at Rory, and Luke, and her dad, and then her mom. And it was that mother who took the first step, motioning for her family…all of her family, to come closer. She put a hand against her daughter's forehead and smiled.
"We're all here Angel. We're all right here."
And that my friends…is the end.