SEGMENT FOUR

INT. AUDITORIUM – SATURDAY NIGHT CONT…

(Scene opens to Cinderella and Prince Charming enjoying some punch as the guests dance)

PRINCE CHARMING (Rory): (to Cinderella, teasing) I do hope the Courtiers don't mind that I've monopolized all your time since the first dance.

CINDERS (Lulu): I think not, your Highness (blushing prettily). I'm afraid I am not a very good dancer.

PRINCE CHARMING (Rory): (entranced) You dance like a dream. (glances towards the dance floor with humor) Now, the other… ahem … "ladies" here I'm not so sure about. (Cinders giggles softly)

(Cut to Listeria and Salmonella clomping around the dance floor with their sore-footed partners, Dandini and Buttons. The ugly-sisters shoot daggers at Cinders as they dance past the couple…)

Cut to:

LISTERIA (Kirk): You know, I learned recently that light travels faster than sound.

BUTTONS (Lane): (to audience, with an exaggerated wink) This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak…

LISTERIA (Kirk): I'll have you know, I'm not as stupid as you think!

BUTTONS (Lane): No, you're not. You couldn't be…

(Cut to Salmonella (Jackson), who has been latched on to Dandini (Zach), all night…)

SALMONELLA (Jackson): (saucily) To many girls, the word 'marriage' has a nice ring to it.

DANDINI (Zach): Indeed … Marriage is a three ring circus: engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering.

SALMONELLA (Jackson) : Marriage is an institution!

DANDINI (Zach): (to audience) Who wants to live in an institution?...

(Cut to Dyspepsia (Taylor), dancing with the Baron (TJ)…)

DYSPEPSIA (Taylor): I heard the most interesting story in the Royal powder room earlier.

BARON (TJ): (intrigued) Oh? Do tell, my dear!

DYSPEPSIA (Taylor): Well, it seems an invisible man, over in the next county, married an invisible woman. Imagine that!

BARON (TJ): I imagine their kids won't be much to look at…

(Cut to front row of the audience, where Richard lets out a hearty guffaw, and Emily smiles in spite of herself)

Cut back to:

(Prince Charming and Cinderella exchanging a longing look, as the music ends and the orchestra pauses before their next song)

PRINCE CHARMING (Rory): (hopefully) May I impose on you for another dance?

CINDERS (Lulu): (curtsies playfully) Please impose, kind Sir.

(They grin at each other as Prince Charming leads Cinderella to the center of the dance floor, and "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" starts to play. As they waltz slowly around, Cinders gazes into the Prince's eyes, and sings…)

Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay
Would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you

(Cut to audience sitting in rapt attention)

EMILY: (Impressed, whispers to Richard) You were right earlier, she's really quite good.

RICHARD: Indeed! (smiles broadly)

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be

Take my hand,
Take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you

(Cut to backstage. We see Luke, arms wrapped around Lorelai as she leans back into him with a dreamy expression on her face)

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be

(Cut to soundbooth. We see Morey and Gil swaying to the music. Gil gives Morey an appreciative "This is da bomb!" look. Morey nods in agreement)

Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you
For I can't help falling in love with you

(Cut back to stage. As the song ends, we hear the clock begin to strike. It's midnight. Cinders' look changes from one of wonderment to panic)

CINDERS (Lulu): I must leave! (turns to go but her hands are held fast by Prince Charming)

PRINCE CHARMING (Rory): But...what is wrong? (confused)

CINDERS (Lulu) Please! (frantically pulling her hands from the Prince's) I must leave...I must!

PRINCE CHARMING (Rory): (in bewildered shock) If you must...(Cinders pulls free and runs off stage right, and he starts to follow…) Wait! (arm outstretched imploringly) How will I find you again?

(Prince Charming stops as he spots something on the floor in front of him, and bends down…)

(Cut to the floor where Cinders' glass slipper should be…. but it isn't there. Rory is dumbfounded. The most important prop of the scene is missing. Thinking quickly to cover, she stands up, grabs a champagne goblet from the buffet, and clutches it to her chest…)

PRINCE CHARMING (Rory): This glass slipper is the only proof she was not a dream. (with both hands clasped to hide the fact there's no slipper, he turns to Dandini) Saddle up Dandini! We must find her! (rushes off, stage right)

(Curtain closes on ball scene, as the dancers watch Dandini dash out after the Prince)

Cut to audience:

PARIS: (murmuring to herself) I'd like to see the foot that fits in that…

INTERMISSION

INT. AUDITORIUM – BACKSTAGE

The cast and crew are memorizing lines, and getting last minute fixes on their costumes as the camera pans across the back stage to April as she sits on a prop and stares into space. Luke notices her mood from a few feet away, and is prompted to walk up to her.

LUKE: (Taps her on the shoulder) Hey.

APRIL: (Looks up briefly and acknowledges her father – but goes back to her own thoughts) Hey.

LUKE: (Takes a seat on the prop next to her) What's up?

APRIL: (With a deep sigh) Oh, nothing.

LUKE: (Concerned, he looks at her face) Can't be nothing with that expression on your face.

(A few good feet away, Lorelai, as she mends a costume, briefly looks at her husband and step-daughter – then goes back to her work).

APRIL: (Looks to her side – at her father and whines) Do I have to go back to New Mexico tomorrow?!

LUKE: Ah, so that's the reason for the gloomy face.

APRIL: I mean, can't I take another week off? Adults do it all the time.

LUKE: (In a fatherly tone, he struggles to disagree) Yes, but you have to go back to school, April. This is all a part of the deal I have with your mom.

APRIL: But it sucks. It sucks so much to leave this town, to leave you…

LUKE: (Sighs and looks down at his hands) I know. I understand. (With a deep breath, he looks at his daughter) But it will be summer before you know it… (Adds) And You will have a baby brother or sister here waiting for you…

APRIL: (Gives in and manages to smile a bit) I guess.

LUKE: (Places his arm around her shoulder) Hey. (April looks up) Summer will be here before you know… I promise.

(Cut to Lorelai again as she observes a pleasant sight where Luke gives April a hug and then a kiss on her forehead. Lorelai smiles to herself.)

INT. AUDITORIUM – HALLWAY – SATURDAY NIGHT –

Nate arrives at the school, and is looking at the poster that's up by the bulletin board in the main hallway. He looks around to see where the auditorium is when he spots a woman (or man) dressed in an elaborate costume tiptoeing out of the men's room. We see that it's Taylor. Taylor looks to his side and sees Nate looking at him. Instead of exiting the premises, he focuses his eyes on the young-ish man. As if a light-bulb turns on, he turns and walks towards him.

TAYLOR: (Gestures) Ah ha! It's you!

NATE: (A little awkwardly) Hey there.

TAYLOR: (Accusatorily) I remember you!

NATE: (Tries his best to maintain his composure while looking at the bearded man in dress) Yes, we met at the basket auction.

TAYLOR: (Shakes his head) No, no… do you really think I'd forget? You… Nathan DiLuca. I remember you well. That article you wrote about me for the Courant six years ago.

NATE: (Nods slightly, but clearly distracted by Taylor's appearance, he cannot come up with a clever response) Yes, I was hoping you wouldn't remember that.

TAYLOR: (Gets ready to give him a piece of his mind) You didn't think you'd get away that easy, did you? I'll have you know that I still have the unpublished article that you sent me, and I'm still cross enough to go to your editor.

The gentlemen look to their side as they hear a specific sound coming from the other end of the hallway.

TAYLOR: (Looks back at Nate) This conversation is not over!

NATE: (Visibly struggles with Taylor's appearance, he manages to respond as he shakes his head) It's not over. Got it.

With a stern look, Taylor lifts up the skirt of his dress and starts to walk down the hallway.

Nate takes a moment to compose himself, clears his throat, then begins to follow Taylor to the auditorium.

INT. AUDITORIUM – SATURDAY NIGHT CONT… END OF INTERMISSION

(House lights flash to signal end of intermission, and 3 minutes to curtain as Nate, instead of taking a seat, makes his way to one side of the auditorium and leans against the wall. Camera cuts to backstage, reflecting the usual chaos of any production. We see April on a step ladder sewing on a few last minute additions to one of the "trees". next to her, Lorelai is sewing back on a bunny ear…)

LORELAI: Okay Susie. No more fighting with your sister until the panto is over. Got it? (pats her little head as Susie hops off followed by a rush of bunnies) Whoa! Grace Slick moment… (shakes head slightly, and turns with straight pin in hand to see who needs fixing next. Spots Crazy Carrie. Smiles evilly) Carrie!

CARRIE: (turns to see who is hailing her) Yeah? (gulps at who it is)

LORELAI: (in a insincerely innocent tone) How's your dress holding up? Need any adjustments?

CARRIE: No!! It's fine. Fine. Uh, thanks. Fine. (quickly moves away, giving a wide berth to Luke, who is affixing a horn on to a stationary bike)

(Past Luke, we see Patty checking her log sheet, glancing around to spot where her main actors are. Rory rushes up to her…)

RORY: There you are! (relieved) I couldn't find you.

MISS PATTY: What's the matter, Rory dear?

RORY: What's the matter? What's the matter? (this to Lorelai as she steps up). The matter is...there's no glass slipper!

MISS PATTY & LORELAI: WHAT??

RORY: (holds up a champagne flute) Lulu's petite, but I really don't think she'll fit into this!

(Patty, followed by Lorelai, rushes up to Kirk)

MISS PATTY: Kirk! (frustrated beyond belief) Where is that slipper?? We needed it for the last scene!

(Lorelai stands poised on her toes, fists clenched)

KIRK: Ladies! I told you I was taking care of the slipper. It's right here. (swaggers over to a table in back, bends down and pulls out a mid-sized Coleman beer cooler)

LORELAI: (aside to Luke) How big is Lulu's foot?

(Luke shakes his head as he discreetly checks out the hem of Lulu's dress)

MISS PATTY: (bewildered) Why do you have it in a beer cooler, Kirk?

KIRK: (opens top, and proceeds to pull out slipper) So it won't melt, of course. (the slipper is made of ice)

(Stunned silence is broken by a thwacking sound)

BABETTE: Kirk! (Thwack! as her wand once again hits Kirk in the head) Rory can't hold that! She's gonna get frostbite! (thwack!)

(Chaos erupts as everyone starts talking over each other)

LUKE: How did you even come up with... (holds hands up)…never mind, I don't want to know… (turns away shaking his head)

TAYLOR: Kirk! (slapping his fan into his palm on every word) Of all the idiotic things that you have ever done in this town...

T.J.: It is kinda cool. (off everyone's mutinous looks) No pun intended…

LIZ: Pretty trippy idea, Kirk!

RORY: (turns in disbelief to Patty) How am I supposed to hold that? It's ice! And how is Lulu supposed to wear it?

LULU: (beaming) I have a baggy for my foot!

LORELAI: (exasperated and livid) Kirk, what were you thinking? What was I thinking? I knew I shouldn't have left you in charge of it. (throws her baggy of red vines at him, misses and hits Zach) Oh! Sorry!

MISS PATTY: Kirk, I swear…. "Break a leg" just took on a whole new meaning! Rory - tuck your hands in your sleeves and try to get a grip. (shakes her head) We'll think of something else for Lulu. Hurry, it's almost your cue!

(Rory pulls her hands in her sleeves, which makes her shoulders hunch even more...this is almost more than Patty can bear...and rushes to take her place on stage. As the angry mob pow-wows, Kirk seizes the opportunity to escape over to stage left…)

MISS PATTY: What are we gonna do? By the time we get to the slipper scene, there won't be any slipper left!

LORELAI: Lulu, what did you wear here? (turns to Patty) We'll just have to use her own shoes.

LULU: (earnestly) I wore my new lime green Isis Birkenstocks. They're so comfortable!

BABETTE: Ya can't have Cinderella wear Birkies in her big scene! Ooh…maybe stick that ice shoe in the freezer in between scenes or somethin' to slow down the meltin'… she might have to wear socks with it tho', seein' as how it'll grow 3 sizes on the inside as it thaws, ya know?

LUKE: How much ice did that nitwit put in the cooler?

APRIL: (peers into cooler) There's about enough for a Long Island Iced Tea.

LUKE: (horrified) What? How..? (off April's laugh) Ah, geez! (steers April towards exit) Run over and ask Caesar for a bag of ice from the diner, please – and come straight back!

BABETTE: (to April's back) Bring some thick, flesh-colored socks back with ya too!

LUKE: (turns to look at Lorelai, incredulous) Where the hell is she supposed to get those??

LANE: (calls after her) Oh, April! Up in the apartment - the laundry basket is on the table. There's a pair of pink and orange striped fuzzy socks on top. (turns beaming at the crowd) Zach uses them as tiger hand-puppets for Steve and Kwan!

(April skips out, as everyone turns to face the stage, where the curtain is about to rise on a shivering Rory…)

Cut to auditorium:

(Curtains open on a countryside scene, with trees upstage moving from stage left to stage right, going offstage and back around in a perpetual arc that simulates the background passing by. Center stage we see several pink bunnies, gamboling through the meadow, while in the foreground, Prince Charming (Rory) rides a circa 1980 stationary bike adorned with neon scrunchies, as he juggles something in his hands. We see that it's Kirk's ice sculpture, and Rory is having great difficulty holding on to the slipper-y article. Finally, with frozen hands jammed up inside her sleeves, and a soggy, muffled grasp on the melting shoe, she leans her arms on the handlebars, regains her composure, and in a tentative, warbling, and decidedly off-key voice, she begins to sing…)

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there's diamonds and pearls in your hair

Yes there are…

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard St. Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel

Yes you do…

But where do you go to my lovely,

When you're alone in your bed?

Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head

Yes I do...

(Cut to front row of audience, where we see the collectively stunned, wide-eyed faces of Paris, Doyle, Sookie, Michel, Emily and Richard)

PARIS: (loudly) Does Simon Cowell know about you, Gilmore?

MICHEL: (to Sookie, appalled) Mon Dieu! Last weekend…the brilliance that is Celine. This weekend…there are no words…

DOYLE: (aside to Paris) Was she hiding in the back row when God handed out voices...?

RICHARD: (aside to Emily) Must be the Hayden genes...

(Cut back to stage: )

I've seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on

Yes it does…

(Cut to sound booth, where Gil and Morey scramble to find the glitch in the equipment. Freezing, as they realize there isn't one, Gil shoots Morey a bewildered "not cool, man!" look, and Morey shakes his head "no" in agreement)

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan les Pins
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan, on your back, and on your legs…

(Cut to stage right, where Luke and Lorelai are standing in the wings. We see Luke grimacing, with one eye squinted shut in a seeming attempt to block out pain. Lorelai stands beside him, wearing an overly-bright 'only-a-mother-could-love-this' smile, nodding encouragingly, breath held tight, as though by sheer will she could telepathically induce Rory to sing on key)

(Cut back to stage where Rory is gaining in confidence and gathering atonal momentum…)

And when the snow falls you're found in St. Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon Brandy
But you never get your lips wet

No you don't…

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed…

(Close up on Rory's face, as she looks out across the crowd - she focuses on something, or someone, in the audience and freezes in horror. Camera cuts to the back of the auditorium, where we see Nate casually leaning against the wall, arms crossed, watching her with a decidedly bemused expression on his face. Cut back to Rory who looks away quickly, flushes a deep shade of pink, and almost misses her cue for the next line. Panicking slightly, she stammers her way through, hoping desperately that her eyes were playing tricks on her…)

(Won't you) Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head

Yes I do…

(Rory's eyes drift back to the wall again, and she inwardly cringes. "He's still there, dammit, in all his self-assured glory, eyes mocking and…oh, god…" ... the words to the next verse swim up into her consciousness. Mortified, her voice elevates several squeaky octaves as she continues...)

You're in-between twenty and thirty -
A very desirable age
Your body's firm and inviting
But you live on a glittering stage

Yes you do…

(Cut to stage right, where Lorelai is jolted from her reverie by Rory's sudden change in pitch. At Rory's stricken face, her radar goes up, and she peeks out around the wing to see what/who caused the stuttering. Quickly scanning the sea of glassy-eyed faces, she spots someone familiar towards the back, eyes twinkling, and sporting a Mona Lisa smile. Luke, both eyes squeezed shut in silent prayer to the gods of whatever-you-pray-for-in situations-like-this, receives a sharp jab in the ribs, as Lorelai gestures to him to 'Look! See!…)

Your name it is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh

Ahahaha…

They say that when you get married
It'll be to a millionaire
But they don't realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care

Or give a damn…

(Camera pans along the slack-jawed audience, past a smiling and wincing Richard to Emily, who also with a hair-trigger radar, notices Rory's eyes wander. As she glances over her shoulder to look for what momentarily distracted Rory, across the aisle her eyes land on Trevor who looks enthralled as Rory sings. Emily smiles and nods knowingly, but as she turns back, she spies Lorelai and Luke poking their heads out of the wings, and follows their gaze…..past Trevor, to the handsome stranger in the back of the theater…)

Where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head

Yes I do…

I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly born tags

They try…

(Cut to Nate again, as he continues his uninterrupted, amused gaze at the scene atop the stage)

So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear the scar, deep inside

Yes you do…

(With a puddle of meltwater accumulating under the bike, a now-hyperventilating Rory launches into the final chorus or what feels like a never-ending song…)

I know where you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
Cause I can look inside your head.

La - la la la - la la la – la la la la la la…

(applause as the curtains close, and we hear)

PARIS: Don't give up your day job!

(Cut to backstage. Patty crosses herself with a heartfelt "oy to the vey" as trees, bunnies, and a dripping Prince Charming push their way offstage)

CUT

INT. SCHOOL AUDITORIUM – LATER THAT NIGHT

(Curtains open on the kitchen in Nolap Hall. Cinders is on hands and knees scrubbing the floor, while Buttons polishes the Baron's boots at the table. The Baron sits in an easy chair reading the Stars Hollow Gazette, stockinged feet propped up on the hearth, as Dyspepsia paces nearby…)

DYSPEPSIA (Taylor): (to Cinders) Haven't you finished that floor yet?

CINDERS (Lulu): Well, I…

DYSPEPSIA (Taylor): Hurry up girl! We have important company coming. (to the Baron) A visit from the Royal Prince! This can only be good news! Oh, I can barely contain myself!

CINDERS (Lulu): (to the mice): I knew she should've worn Depends.

BARON (TJ): (distracted) Hmmm? (then reading the headlines) "Woodbridge Psychic Friends Network files for bankruptcy". They say they never saw it coming.

BUTTONS (Lane): Yes - and I heard their dwarf fortune teller was imprisoned for embezzlement.

BARON (TJ): Well, apparently he's escaped. It says here we're to be on the lookout for a small medium at large…

(Cut to stage left: Listeria and Salmonella enter, arguing…)

LISTERIA (Kirk): (haughtily) Do you even like raisin bread?

SALMONELLA (Jackson): (sassily) I don't know, I've never raised any!

DYSPEPSIA (Taylor): (fussing) Landsakes - there you are finally! You're slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. Straighten those frilly caps up before….

(Royal fanfare sounds, as Dandini enters stage right…)

DANDINI (Zach): (gestures offstage) All hail his Royal Highness the Prince!

(Buttons snaps to attention, while the Baron hops to his feet, scrambling to put his boots on. The ugly stepsisters jockey for position, and Dyspepsia fluffs her hair with one hand, while flapping at Cinderella with the other to take her mop bucket and disappear. Cinders scurries off, and they look stage right to the wings, with great anticipation… as the Prince fails to appear …)

DANDINI (Zach): (louder) ALL HAIL…! (still no Prince)

(An expectant hush - peppered with random snickering - falls over the audience, as we hear the sound of a hairdryer running offstage…)

Cut to backstage:

MISS PATTY: (hissing) RORY!

RORY: (to Liz) That's my cue! Hurry!

LIZ: (warming Rory's hands with the blow dryer) Relaaax…they'll wait. They can't try the shoe on without Prince Charming, can they?

(Hands thawed, Rory grabs the dripping slipper and dashes out, stage direction completely forgotten as she enters stage left…to find the ensemble, backs turned, waiting for her entrance from the other side. Nonplussed, she delivers her line and the startled group turns to face her… As the scene continues, camera stays on Miss Patty fanning herself in the wings…)

MISS PATTY: (to Liz, fingers crossed) We're almost home free. I'll sleep until Thanksgiving once this is over.

LIZ: (chuckling) Yeah…touch wood. It's made in the shade.

CUT

INT. AUDITORIUM – LATE SATURDAY NIGHT

(Curtains reopen to a Palace scene, with Prince Charming and Cinderella in full wedding finery, surrounded by Stars Hollow's wonderfully colorful cast of characters. The stage is set for the grand finale, as they raise their glasses to toast the newlyweds…)

FAIRY GODMOTHER (Babette):

The risin' sun may kiss the grass,
The clock may kiss the hours that pass
The flowin' wine may kiss the glass,
And you my friends... Drink Hearty!

BUTTONS (Lane): Three cheers for the happy couple!

ALL: Hip Hip Hooray!

(Cut to Salmonella, downstage left, who's salaciously running her hand up and down Dandini's arm…)

SALMONELLA (Jackson): (suggestively, batting her eyelashes, and pouting kisses) Your body is like a temple!

DANDINI (Zach): (as he hastily retreats) Er…sorry, there are no services today…

ALL: Hip Hip Hooray!

(Camera on Listeria as she stamps on Salmonella's foot, and gives her a hard pinch for her boldness - a slap-fest ensues. Noticing the commotion, Buttons grabs a large champagne bucket and heaves the contents at the warring sisters. They see it coming, however, and duck – and a cascade of icy water sails out over the front of the stage….)

ALL: Hip Hip Hooray!

(Cue music for grand finale, and the ensemble starts to sing "Love Will Keep Us Together"…)

Cut to audience:

(Camera on the stunned faces of Paris, Doyle, Michel, and Emily in the front row, thoroughly drenched and gasping like goldfish. Richard, who escaped the deluge by leaning out into the aisle, is shaking with mirth as he offers Emily a token white handkerchief to mop up her sodden coiffure. Pursing her lips, and with as much dignity as she can muster, she dabs her dripping face – and swears she hears familiar laughter echoing from backstage…)

Cut to stage:

(Camera on a horrified Lane looking from the ice bucket to the front row and back again, eyes wide as saucers as she wonders what happened to the confetti they'd used at dress rehearsal the night before…and we pan to Kirk and Jackson, doubled over and high-fiving each other…)

CUT

INT. AUDITORIUM – LATE SATURDAY NIGHT

The pantomime has concluded, and the cast is making its curtain calls. We see April holding Pierpont up high, as they both take their bows... Carrie, unable to either bow or curtsey due to stabbing pains, can only nod her head up and down... Lane enters with Zach, partially hiding as she peeks guiltily around him to the front row... Next comes T.J, strutting proudly, with Taylor merrily flouncing alongside holding on to his arm. As Taylor makes a deep curtsey, his knees lock, and he frantically whispers to T.J for help… Kirk and Jackson's entrance raises a huge cheer from the audience - Richard cheers the loudest, to the consternation of the four drowned rats in the front row… As our delightful ugly-sisters take their bow, Kirk is giving Jackson the stink-eye, and it's unclear whether he's still in 'bickering ugly-sister" character, or simply hamming it up for the crowd… With a flash and a flourish, Babette walks out, curtsies, and gives Kirk one final thwack! on the head with her wand… And so it continues… until finally, Miss Patty is welcomed on stage to receive recognition for a job well done. Holding a huge bouquet with one hand while fanning herself with her clipboard in the other, she smiles hugely at the cheering audience. She catches sight of Paris, Doyle, Michel, and – good lord! - Emily, soggy, dripping, and waterlogged in the front row, and the 1,000 watt smile dims in dismay. Always the quintessential performer though, Miss Patty keeps smiling while she accepts the accolades, and as the curtains close for the last time, she is overheard muttering:

MISS PATTY: Oy…do you think she'll sue? I doubt the box office take will cover a lawsuit…

Cut to a few minutes later…

Rory wanders off stage and looks around for someone in the crowd, but is interrupted by Trevor and her grandparents.

TREVOR: (With a supportive smile) Hey. (Gives her a quick peck on the cheek)

RORY: (Startled) Hey. (Looks up at Richard and Emily) Hey grandpa, grandma…

RICHARD: Bravo, my dear! Bravo!

TREVOR: Does Broadway know about you?

RORY: (Blushes) Thanks. But I sense sarcasm. (Sees a slightly annoyed Emily) Sorry about the water, grandma.

EMILY: (Tries to hide her annoyance) I'm sure it will dry off soon. Well done, Rory.

TREVOR: (Cuts in as he gestures at his wristwatch) Anyway, I should get going. Just wanted to congratulate you.

RORY: (Smiles) Thanks Trevor.

TREVOR: (Nods at both Emily and Richard) Have a good night Emily.. Richard.

The elder Gilmores smile politely, and then watch as he walks away.

RICHARD: (Nods his approval, though not convincingly) Well, he seems like a fine young man.

Rory, oblivious to her grandfather's comment, looks around again as she pulls out her cell phone and turns it on.

EMILY: (With her radar already up, looks at the phone and up at her) Expecting a call?

RORY: (Shakes her head) Oh no, just turning it on. (A beep suggests she has a new message) Oh! Excuse me… (She holds the phone closer to her as she looks at the text message)

Richard looks at all the craziness going on around them.

Camera zooms in on her cell phone, and we clearly see that it reads, "Congratulations. Welcome aboard. – Nate." Rory sighs and closes the phone, knowing very well what she must do.

RICHARD: (Casually looks at Rory) I hope it's nothing important.

RORY: (Swallows a bit before she abruptly blurts out) I've accepted a temporary project, so I'm leaving the Courant, and will be in Africa all summer.

Cuts to Richard and very wilted Emily as they suddenly wear a very similar shocked expression.

Scene fades.

Next time on the Gilmore girls…

VOICE OVER: Emily spends some quality time with her daughter…

EMILY: (In what seems to be Weston's) I'm just saying, Lorelai. Your daughter may be taking this job for the wrong reasons.

LORELAI: I'm completely confident that she's making the right decision, mom. Now can we please drop this? I'm hungry.

Shot of Emily observing disgustedly as the waiter brings Lorelai three different kinds of pie.

VOICE OVER: Meanwhile, a transaction goes horribly wrong…

NATE: (Throws his arms in the air, then places his hands on the back of his head) I can't believe this is happening!

RORY: (Looking concerned) Are you sure there's nothing that can be done?

NATE: (With a hurt expression) It's useless.

VOICE OVER: Tune in - in three weeks as Gilmore girls returns with brand new episodes!

…………………….. END CREDITS

Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to thank the two brilliant minds of damselfly and dragonfly, for collaborating with me on this. The Pantomime was a brilliant idea, and was exceptionally executed thanks to you. Bravo, ladies!

Please review. The series depends on it…

Also, LJ is now updated with some of the songs used in this segment, particularly - "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" by Peter Sarstedt. Check it out. You wouldn't want to miss it!

Thank you for all the support!

Remember to check LiveJournal for entries that may or may not relate to my Season 8. See you in three weeks!