Meanwhile, back at the Cheshire Cat.

An extension of the scene from 2x04 'The Road Trip to Harvard' with Lorelai and Rory lying in bed at the Cheshire Cat Inn.

Disclaimer: If any of us owned the show, would it be over? 'Nuff said.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

'I think you love him.'

'Rory, go to sleep!'

'I think you love him, and you got scared and you ran, but you're really going to regret it. And soon!'

'Rory!'

'Fine! Goodnight.'

Rory lay still for a few secconds, anger and frustration boiling deep inside her. She could also detect a little bit of hurt creeping in, the combination of which was going to make it rather difficult to fall asleep anytime soon.

A few minutes later found her throwing back her side of the covers, grabbing a coat and sneakers and slipping through the door.

Still wide awake, Lorelai was fully aware Rory had left the bed, but didnt say anything, figuring she was just going to the bathroom. She didnt particularly want to initiate any of the forms of ugly conversation that were likely to arise either.

Rory crept down the stairs, slowly, one by one, hoping beyond hope there were no Donna Reed Show rejects still rendezvousing downstairs.

After several painful minutes, she found herself opposite the front door, her coast clear. Padding queitly across the threshold, she opened the front door with a barely audible creek and closed it silently behind her. She stood on the top step leading down from the porch, looking up at the stars and breathing in the crisp night air smells of damp grass and late dinners.

Intending to try to walk off her frustration, she set off around the side of the B&B, rubbing her arms to keep away the chill.

Rounding the back of the house, she almost collided with what seemed to be a small shed. Rory had seen enough B grade horror flicks to know that the last thing you did late at night was go into rundown sheds in the backyard of strange hotels. But this shed...this shed was different. For a start, the door was bright red, with what seemed to be a characture of Betty Boop giving a rude gesture illustrated in vivid colors. She glanced past the door to the murky window, where an old Beatles poster hung crookedly.

Intrigued, and also a little eager to get inside out of the chilly air, she pushed open the door a little, and slipped inside, standing on the threshold, not brave enough to let the door close behind her.

She blinked a little, eyes adjusting to the dim light cast over the room by the moon. She fumbled arround on the wall before coming across a light switch roughly the size of her hand. She tried the switch, and suprisingly the lightbulb flickered tiredly to life.

She glanced, awestruck around what appeared to be the remains of Donald something-or other Stein's original inn. She saw classic Hello Kitty posters, various memorabilia of old bands and films, classic movie posters, even a lamp with Kermit the Frog giving the peace sign as the stand.

She continued to take everything in, still from her post in the doorway. Her mom would love this stuff...

Her mom. The anger and resentment from earlier in the evening came reluctantly back. Rory sighed. She wanted her mom to be happy, more than anything. And if being with Max wasn't going to make her happy...but Rory couldnt just leave it there. It must be her journalistic instincts. She needed to know why, how her mother had come to this decision, had to make sure it wasn't just her mom running scared. She didnt want her mom to regret this, to be miserable after and Rory know she could have done something, and didnt.

Back in the room, Lorelai could feel a funny feeling coming over her. Rory still wasnt back. It didnt take that long to go to the bathroom. And all the inns eccentric occupents would be asleep by now, so she couldnt have been held up...

A tiny bit worried now, and feeling a bit guilty having driven her daughter out of bed, Lorelai got up and threw on a sweater and ugg boots.

She made her way out of the room and down the stairs, still a little wary lest any zany night owls were still lurking around. She did a quick scan of the common area and the desk. No Rory.

She made her way over the threshold and cracked the door ajar a little, peeking out to see if she was on the porch. There was still no sign of her. Lorelai's little ball of worry sitting in her stomach was turning into a rather large rock now.

Aprehensively, she made her way out onto the porch and down the stairs, her boots crunching on the gravel path. Trying to make as little noise as possible, she headed towards the side of the house.

Spotting a light on somewhere near the back of the yard, she hastened her step. The dark did crazy things to your head. What if someone had Rory? What if it was Donald, living in the shadows all this time, taking her for his eccentric collection? Lorelai was close to convincing herself she had stepped into a cliche 90's horror flick, when she spotted Rory through a grimy window.

With a gulp, she headed towards the slightly open door.

Trying to think about something other than her current frustrations, Rory spotted an old plant pot and used it to keep the door slighly ajar whilst she ventured further into the shed. Stepping towards the back, she glance around behind the door. A pile of eerily lifelike rubber snakes glared at her from a pile on the floor. She nudged them with her foot, as if making doubly sure they were plastic.

The top snake disloged from its place, revealing something white. She brushed the rest of the snakes away with her foot, revealing...was that a...skull!?

Rory's scream caught in her throat and she whirled back towards the door, but found herself colliding with another body. It was Donald, she was sure of it! The other body caught her, muffling her screams with its hand. It only took Rory a few secconds of struggling to look up and realise...it was her mom.

Breathing hard, Rory threw herself back in her mom's embrace, holding on tightly.

'Rory, you nut. What are you doing in El Freako's Crack Den?' I knew all those guests had to be on something to keep them so chirpy.'

Rory relaxed and pulled back, but made sure she was still holding tighly to her mothers arm.

'I think its where all of your buddy Mr Stein's stuff is stored. Some of this stuff is pretty cool.'

Lorelai raised an eyebrow.

'So what sent you bolting out of here like Luke out of Taylor's store?'

Rory pointed at the snakes and their companion.

'That.'

Lorelai jumped and pulled Rory closer, away from the halloween stock pile.

'Oh, jeez. Heart attack! Its...fake right.'

'Well, you're welcome to look closer and check, but count me out.'

Lorelai looked away with a shiver.

'I was worried about you, kid. I thought that cat went all New-Mexican ant on you and swallowed you whole.'

'I'm sorry Mom.. I just...had to get out for a bit.'

Lorelai eyed her daughter sorrowfully, then looked away to glance around the room.

'Look at all this stuff.' She breathed, glad to change the subject.

Rory nodded. 'Its pretty out-there.'

Lorelai took a few steps further into the shed.

'Mom..come on, lets go. This place gives me the heeby jeebies.'

Lorelai snorted. 'And someones elses 20's edition vocaubulary, apparently.'

She continued to gaze around, intrigued. After a moment, her eyes came to rest on a brightly colored canvas block, depicting a 1950's style housewife and the words

"Anyone who thinks women are the weaker sex never witnessed childbirth"

"So true." Lorelai mused.

She paused thoughtfully.

'Rory...I know it looks like I'm running away...'

Rory sighed. 'You are.'

'Okay, I am. But babe... it's not because I'm weak, or scared, or avoiding things.'

Rory looked up. 'I know you're not weak mom. You're the strongest person I know.'

Lorelai smiled and took her daughters hand.

"Rory, sometimes... sometimes people can mean a lot to each other for a short period of time. Max... he meant a lot to me, at one point. But I got so carried away, that it wasn't till it came to the crunch and he asked me to marry him... that I realised I didn't feel that way anymore. That maybe I hadn't felt that way for a while."

Rory bit her lip. "I just... I didn't want you to mess it up because you were scared of change. I just...want you to be happy."

Lorelai looked her squarely in the eye.

"I am, kiddo. I really am. Max wasn't the one. I know that. And maybe... maybe I just needed to get out of that environment to see it clearly."

Rory let out a long breath.

"Are you sure? You're happy going back to just the two of us?"

Lorelai nodded. "Aren't you?"

Rory kissed her mom lightly on the cheek.

"Only if it means we're back to me having first dibs on the shower in the morning."

Lorelai rolled her eyes, smiling. "I'll look into it."

Somewhere in the yard, and owl screeched. Both gilmore's screamed and clung to each other. A second later they burst out laughing.

"Are we done in here? I think I now have a better insight into good ole' Donald than I ever wanted to."

Rory was already half pushing her mother out the door.

"I'm right behind you, mom."

oooooooooooooooooooooooo

The End :D I have another idea for a oneshot though, with a young Rory. Keep any eye out for it!