A Mother's Hope

Chapter one: Pre finals movie night

The bells above the door rang out as Lorelai bounced into Luke's diner for lunch. She headed for her favorite seat at the counter as she did when she was alone and eyed Kirk who was eating a sandwich or rather picking at it with great concentration. "Hey Kirk," she said as he dissected the entire sandwich before him. "Oh hi Lorelai," Kirk mumbled without looking up. "He's been doing that for the past ten minutes," Luke remarked when he turned from the coffee pot and spotted Lorelai giving him that I-want –coffee grin. He put a cup in front of her and filled it.

"So what'll you have?" Luke asked Lorelai as she continued to stare at Kirk's food antics.

"I'll have my usual," she replied without even glancing away in Luke's direction.

"One dead cow on a colon clogging bun coming up." Luke put in the order to Caesar in the kitchen. "Kirk! What in god's name are you doing with my food?!"

"I think I lost a contact in my sandwich and now I can't find it." Kirk stated with some apprehension.

Lorelai giggled at the thought of Kirk digging through his sandwich in an effort to find a lost contact. She herself had on occasion put her contacts in backwards but had never dropped one in her food. "I didn't know you wore contacts Kirk."

"Yeah apparently when I crashed Taylor's car into the diner I started having problems with my eyesight," Kirk informed them, "and since then I've needed glasses but glasses are so dorky so Lulu suggested I get contacts. The only problem is I keep losing them or they fall out. I think Mother may have swallowed one of them in the soup I made her last week."

"Kirk! You've got five seconds to get your contact filled sandwich eating self out of my diner," Luke barked, "You're freaking out my customers!"

"Well can I get some p.." Kirk began but Luke cut him off. "OUT!" Luke yelled while pointing to the door.

"Fine but don't expect a tip!" Kirk called out as he grabbed his sandwich and headed for the door.

"I think I'll live," Luke shot back as Lorelai's cell phone rang. "You too! Outside!"

Lorelai gave Luke a pout as she pulled out her cell and answered it. "Hey Hun! I'm being kicked out of Luke's and I'm starving so make it quick before I faint from hunger."

"Mom, I doubt you're going to pass out from hunger. You have your emergency candy stash in your purse remember?" Rory was balancing her cell phone on one ear while trying to adjust her backpack on her shoulder without dropping the huge cup of coffee she was carrying.

"Oh yeah! I forgot about that," Lorelai replied as she began to search her purse. "Ew! Hey kid you're supposed to remind Mommy to check the stash now and then. I found something flat and gross that I think was a Snickers bar in another life at the bottom of my purse."

"Mom I have way too much going on in my life to remind you to check for gross candy that's been petrifying in the bottom of your purse for the last six months."

"Mmm it's still good. Disgusting but good," Lorelai stated as she took a bite of the flattened, mushy candy.

"Oh gross Mom! Tell me you did not eat that!"

"Well I'm hungry and you are keeping me from my dead cow on a colon clogging bun that is probably getting cold by now."

"Your WHAT? Wait, I don't want to know. This conversation is achieving a level of repulsiveness that astounds even me," Rory said, weaving her way through the onslaught of fellow students as she headed to her next class. "I just called to see if I could come home to study tonight. Tomorrow is my last day of finals and I really need some peace and quiet to study."

" Sure Hun. I'll order Chinese takeout. Now I also know that you have probably been studying for finals for weeks so you're likely more than prepared so I don't want you to pull an all nighter or you'll have some kind of brain spasm during the tests and forget everything." Lorelai eyed the food that Luke had set down at her place on the counter hoping it would still be there when she came in. "I know how you freak out during finals so you can study for a few hours then we are going to have a movie night so you'll be relaxed for tomorrow."

"But What if I don't…" Rory began when Lorelai cut her off. "You are the smartest kid I know. Rory, honey, you are probably more prepared for these tests than anyone, well except maybe Paris but then that girl is a freaking robot. You will do great as always and make Mommy proud, as always. So come over, study, but when I quiz you on the material and you know it we are going to stop and watch movies so that your head will not explode from information overload. O.k?"

"O.k but I get to pick out the movies." Rory conceded. "Gotta go Mom. I'll see you later. Enjoy your dead cow."

"I will. Bye Hun," Lorelai said as she hung up. " Luke! Drop that plate mister!

Lorelai ran into the diner as Luke was removing her plate from the counter. "I'm starving and I just ate a disgusting, flat and melted candy bar that I dug out of the bottom of my purse. No wonder my wallet smelled like chocolate. I need food! Real food! Must…have…burger…" she gasped as she reached out for the plate in Luke's hand with the Gilmore pout firmly in place.

Luke rolled his eyes at her histrionics as Lorelai feigned passing out. "Now you'll have to eat cold dead cow cause you were on the phone for so long."

"I don't care. As long as it's dead I'm good," Lorelai responded in a muffled voice with her head on the counter. "Besides I've got to get back to work so I don't have time to wait for a new one."

"Get your head off my counter. It's unsanitary. I'll get you some hot fries at least even though they'll kill you as well." Luke took the plate and handed it to Caesar for some fresh fries.

"It amazes me that you run a diner that serves food that you think is toxic," Lorelai marveled, as she took a sip of the fresh cup of coffee Luke placed before her. "You know my eating habits and yet you still try to get me to eat healthy."

"It's supply and demand. I get my customers what they want and they give me money. It's how I pay the bills and support your unhealthy eating habits. Besides I don't care what the nut jobs in this town eat. I DO care about what you eat. I don't want to see you keel over from a massive heart attack or have a stroke cause your arteries are clogged with crap because of your diet." Luke placed the plate of fresh fries in front of Lorelai who suddenly looked sad. "Aw jeez! I forgot about your dad's heart attack. I didn't mean …"

"I know," Lorelai interrupted, " You're right. I should eat better after seeing Dad go through that coronary bypass but I just love that artery clogging crap so much." She thought about how they almost lost her father. She felt like she was just beginning to get to know him. As a result of her father's heart attack, she finally felt her family was starting to communicate a little. Why does it take a near tragedy to bring together a family?

"Look I didn't mean to upset you Lorelai. I just care about your health." Luke actually cared about more than Lorelai's health. After all they had been through this past year he was still unsure of where they stood. Lorelai was coming by the diner regularly and things seemed to be back to normal as far as their interactions but were they? Would it ever be the same?

"Can I get a cup to go?" Lorelai asked as she got up from the counter. "I need to get back to work. Rory's coming over to study tonight and I don't want to have to work late."

Luke filled a cup of coffee to go and handed it to Lorelai. She smiled at him. "See you later," She said, grabbing her purse. "Oh and the next time I order a burger I want it hot and fresh and preferably on a REAL bun! Don't think I didn't notice that organic stem and twigs bun you gave me! If I weren't in a hurry I would have flung it at you like a Frisbee!"

"I'll slaughter the cow out back when you order," Luke joked. " And you ate the bun and it didn't kill you did it?" He called out to Lorelai as she headed for the door. She turned and gave Luke a big smile as she bolted out of the diner. He smiled back, shook his head at Lorelai's absurdity and began to wipe down the counter.

The afternoon seemed to drag as Lorelai looked forward to having a movie night with Rory that night. She hadn't seen much of her daughter lately as Rory was so busy with finals. Lorelai thought about how things were about to change. Rory was about to graduate from Yale. This was the day they both looked forward to since Rory was a little girl. Her baby was all grown up now and about to head out into the big world. Would she get a job close by or would she have to move away and leave her mother behind? A pang of sadness dug at Lorelai's heart at the thought of letting her daughter go. She wanted her to be around forever, her best friend, but she knew that Rory would follow her heart. Lorelai took comfort in knowing that no matter where Rory ended up they would always be close and in contact. Besides, she had time. Rory was still waiting on replies from the many resumes she sent out. They had time to spend together before Rory got a job and moved on.

After work Lorelai stopped to pick up take out from Al's. As she pulled the jeep into the driveway she noticed that Rory was already there. She's probably already studying, Lorelai thought as she parked behind her daughter's Prius. Lorelai juggled her purse and the bags of take out, trying not to drop anything, while she kicked the door of the jeep closed with her foot. She headed up the walkway to the front door and gave it a kick hoping Rory would come out to help her. She dropped her keys on the ground just as Rory opened the door.

"You got one of everything at Al's again didn't you?" Rory remarked as she grabbed some of the bags of food from her mother's arms. She walked into the kitchen and placed the bags on the table.

Lorelai dropped her purse and keys on the counter. "I couldn't decide so yeah we now have enough food for a week. How long have you been here?"

"I left after my last final and got here around 4:30. It was nice to have a few hours of quiet to study."

"Why didn't you call me at the Inn? I could have come over earlier to help you study."

"No offense Mom but with you around there would have been no studying happening just the sound of me banging my head against the wall in frustration. I love you Mom but you are not the ideal study partner." Rory said as she took out plates and began spooning food onto them.

"But I helped you study all through grade school," Lorelai replied with a pout.

"No. You did sock puppet reenactments of my history assignments and danced around singing School House Rock songs," Rory corrected her.

"But you loved it!" Lorelai giggled. "I'd like to think that your proficiency in English was due to me and all those Saturday morning cartoons I used to watch."

"Well it did help me to remember my rules of grammar but it was very distracting," Rory said taking a bite of the food on her plate.

Lorelai jumped out of her chair waving her arms around as she sang, "So when you're happy HOORAY! Or sad AAW! Or frightened EEK! Or mad RATS! Or excited WOW! Or glad HEY! An interjection starts a sentence right!" Both Gilmore girls burst out in a fit of hysterical laughter.

"See. Very distracting," Rory gasped as the laughter subsided. "Besides, I'm more of a solitary studier. You know that."

"Well I hope you got all that studying out of your system cause we are totally doing movie night tonight," Lorelai said as she wiped away a few tears on her cheeks from laughing so hard.

"I actually think I'm pretty prepared for tomorrow. You're right. I have been studying for weeks. I'll be so glad to finally finish my exams. After that it's graduation and finding the perfect job."

"Just as long as we have some time together before you go out into the big world and leave Mommy all alone." Lorelai shuddered slightly at the thought of her daughter possibly moving far away if the job was right. "Let's finish up so we can get to the movie watching. You were supposed to pick the movies for our viewing pleasure this evening."

"I thought we could go back to the masters of unapologetic mocking, the great ones who taught us everything we know…" Rory began.

"A marathon of Mystery Science Theater 3000!" Lorelai finished as the mother and daughter squealed in delight. They settled in front of the big plasma tv. "Let the mocking begin," Lorelai announced as she pushed PLAY on the remote.

"Uh Mom? How long has this bag of mini marshmallows been in the cabinet?" Rory asked as they set out more snacks.

"Why?" Lorelai replied as she scooped ice cream into bowls and covered it in chocolate syrup and granola. "Look, I found a use for that granola Luke left here. He thought I should eat something healthy for breakfast. Like pop tarts aren't healthy!"

"Pop tarts AREN"T healthy but they taste good," Rory answered, "and this bag of marshmallows is now a congealed mass of marshmallow." Rory pulled a large clump of sticky marshmallow from the bag. Lorelai chuckled and took the clump, breaking it up over the bowls of ice cream. "See, it's still good." Rory just smiled and shook her head at her mother.

"Oooh! Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman is coming on!" Rory shouted with glee. "I haven't seen that movie in ages." She leaned back on the couch and propped her feet up on the coffee table. Lorelai started giggling. "What's so funny? Joel hasn't even begun mocking it yet," Rory said. Lorelai only laughed harder.

"Attack Of The 50 Foot Emily!" Lorelai gasped between laughs. "Can you picture my mother as the result of nuclear fallout?" Rory was now giggling in spite of herself. "Maids and sales people take cover lest you be trampled to death by Emily Gilmore! She's 50 feet tall and as demanding as ever."

"Mom, you know it's not nice to mock Grandma." Rory said stifling her giggles.

"Ooh! Fifty foot Emily battles Granzilla in a fight to the death! Useless gifts will be thrown! Insults will be flying! It would be the smack down of the century!" Lorelai was now laughing so hard she rolled of the couch and onto the floor.

"Now you're mocking Grandma and Great Grandma! You are so going to hell now. You better get some flame retardant clothing cause you're going to fry for all eternity." Rory helped her mother get up of the floor.

"Oh honey, you're coming with me to the nether regions of hell," Lorelai said as she wiped her eyes. Rory gasped, "Says who?"

"Sweetie, you were laughing at Grandma's expense too you know." Lorelai said putting an arm around her daughter.

"Great! Now I'm going to have nightmares tonight," Rory said with a pout. "Let's just stick to mocking the movie ok?"

Lorelai kissed her daughter on the cheek as they settled in to watch the rest of the movie. They watched several movies and fell asleep curled up next to each other on the couch.