(It's been a while, so please review previous segments before continuing.)

...SEGMENT FOUR

INT. DRAGONFLY INN – THE NEXT MORNING – WEDNESDAY – APRIL 23rd

Scene opens on Emily Gilmore entering the inn. Just as she steps in, she runs into Michel.

MICHEL: (By the banister, he grins and drags his words) Emily.

EMILY: (Nods politely but her mind is clearly elsewhere) Hello Michel.

MICHEL: What a pleasant surprise to see you here.

EMILY: Do you happen to know where Lorelai is?

MICHEL: (As he senses a serious tone in Emily's voice, he gestures towards the kitchen) I believe she's in the linen closet; I'll get her for you…

EMILY: (Holds up her hand) No, that's fine… I'll find her. (As she takes a step towards the kitchen) This way?

MICHEL: (Nods curiously) Yes.

As soon as Emily is out of sight, Michel takes the cell phone out of his pocket, dials a number, and holds it to his ear.

MICHEL: It's me.

CUT to SOOKIE in the KITCHEN… Scene cuts back and forth from the kitchen and the foyer of the inn.

SOOKIE: (As she preps for lunch) Me, who?

MICHEL: (Rolls his eyes) Do you know anyone else with a heavy French accent that would say, "It's me" to you when you answer the phone?

SOOKIE: (Frowns) What do you want, Michel?

MICHEL: Just wanted to warn you, there's a storm heading your way.

SOOKIE: (Looks out the window) What do you mean it's heading "my" way… (spots Emily coming through the small hallway and into the kitchen) Oh. (Hangs up, and wears a nervous smile on her face) Emily… what a pleasant surprise…

EMILY: (Nods) Sookie. Is Lorelai around?

SOOKIE: (Points at the big linen closet just outside the kitchen with her phone) She's in there.

EMILY: (Nods again) Thank you, Sookie.

Sookie notices Emily's restraint as well.

Cut to...

EXT. LINEN CLOSET

The door is very slightly open, and Emily peaks in to see Lorelai sitting in a comfortable armchair with her feet up on an ottoman – working. Emily very slightly pushes the door open, and the subtle creak makes Lorelai jump in her chair.

LORELAI: (Places a hand on her chest) Oh my God! You scared the baby out of me!

EMILY: (Concedes) I'm sorry, Lorelai. That wasn't my intention. (Looks around the medium-sized walk-in closet) What on earth are you doing in here?

LORELAI: (Curiously looks at her mother) I like working in here.

EMILY: This is no place to conduct business.

LORELAI: (Struggles a bit to get up off the chair – then stands directly in front of her mother) I'm not conducting business, I'm sitting here going through our accounts.

EMILY: (Looks at her condition) Besides you shouldn't be working when you're so close to the due date.

LORELAI: (Rolls her eyes) The due date's not for another month. (Cuts to the chase) Mom, what are you doing here?

EMILY: I wanted to talk to you…

LORELAI: (Holds up a hand) If it's about Rory, I don't want to hear it…

EMILY: You hung up on me before I had a chance to talk… so I want to clear the air.

LORELAI: Start by driving a Prius. I don't want to talk about it, mom.

EMILY: (A little annoyed) Why do you insist on never listening to me.

LORELAI: "Never listening" to you? I think the reason we're standing here chatting is because I listened to you. And now Rory is angry at me. What an idiot I was…

EMILY: What…

LORELAI: (Cuts her off) In fact, all I've been doing the past few months is listen to you. (Emily looks on a little surprised) And frankly, I don't see how it has in anyway made things better for either of us. (Looks directly at her mother and sighs) I've tried mom… I thought if I made a conscious effort to get along… and let you in, that things would turn out fine. Especially because I had this crazy notion that 'I' was the main reason why we never ever got along… But no, it's you! You're the reason we can never reach an understanding…

EMILY: (Frowns, but composes herself) Lorelai…. (takes a moment) I don't think you should be getting all worked up in your condition.

LORELAI: (Frowns as well) No, this has to be said! I'm not leaving this… uh… room until we settle this.

CUT TO SOOKIE IN THE KITCHEN…

Michel joins her. The two look at each other in wonder. In the background you can hear mumbled words back and forth.

SOOKIE: Oy.

MICHEL: (Gradually grins) If there was ever a good reason to sit back in a LazyBoy and eat buttered popcorn knowing that you're adding one-hundred-and-eighty calories of junk into your perfect body, but not care… this would be it.

SOOKIE: (Frowns at Michel) Shh! (Sees a staff member enter the kitchen) Oh… no… no.. the area is closed.

The employee, with a confused expression on his face, backs up and leaves.

CUT TO THE LINEN CLOSET…

EMILY: You have no right to speak to me that way!

LORELAI: And you have no right to meddle in my life… or Rory's for that matter. If she wants to go off to Africa with a bunch of her colleagues – she can do just as she pleases. And she needs to be assured that her mother would never interfere in her adult life – unless she needs help! Clearly you have never understood how it works…

EMILY: (Taken aback… she takes a moment to process, then responds) I was only trying to… (pauses)

LORELAI: Trying to what?

EMILY: I don't want to miss out…

LORELAI: (A little frustrated) Miss out on what?

EMILY: Miss out on her life… (gestures) your life… (points at her stomach) and this baby's life.

LORELAI: (Sighs, and softly continues) But you don't do it by force. You can't… it doesn't work that way. You have to let everything just unfold. By forcing it, you're only going to make people distance themselves from you. (Shakes her head) Mom, haven't you learned that from the past? From our past? (Emily is speechless, she looks down which prompts a sympathetic expression on Lorelai's face) I want you to be a part of Rory's life, a part of my life, Luke's life, and most importantly a part of this baby's life. I don't want to run away, or keep you at a distance. Don't you understand? (Emily's expression suggests that she's touched by Lorelai's words – but she doesn't express them verbally)

Pause.

EMILY: (Looks up for a second, then looks down at her hands again) I saw how Rory looked at him…

LORELAI: (Rolls her eyes) Not this again.

EMILY: (Nods) I've seen that same expression on your face… from a long time ago…

LORELAI: (Confused) What are you talking about?

EMILY: (Calmly) You will realize in time. (Lorelai is confused)…

Pause as Emily composes herself.

EMILY: I'm sorry I've imposed myself yet again. I'm trying to meet you half way… but this is the only way I know how…

LORELAI: (Tilts her head) Mom…

EMILY: (Admits) I want to be around for my second grandchild, Lorelai. I want to be involved.

LORELAI: (Nods) And you have every right to be. But not by forcing it…

EMILY: (With a slightly trembling voice) I'm trying. But I'm afraid… (Lorelai is shocked at Emily's voice. Emily emotionally confesses) I'm afraid that I'm going to miss out… just like I missed out on Rory's life. And I don't want that to happen… And I really didn't mean to meddle with Rory's life. I didn't mean for Rory to be upset with you… that's the last thing I wanted.

LORELAI: (Takes a step forward, but isn't sure how to comfort her) Mom… it's okay. Rory and I will be fine. She was just a little upset.

Silence as Emily quickly manages to compose herself.

EMILY: (Takes a deep breath, and continues calmly) Anyway, I just came over to apologize. (Opens the door, but pauses a bit before she steps out) Tell Rory it was all my fault.

LORELAI: (Jumps in) Mom…

EMILY: (Barely looking up) Yes, Lorelai?

LORELAI: You should join us… (Emily looks up) for dinner on Saturday. You know, with the DiLucas. It can be a small farewell thing for Rory…(raises an eye as she adds) even though there's a month and a half until she leaves.

EMILY: (Pleasantly surprised, yet shakes her head) No thank you, Lorelai. I'll only be in the way...

LORELAI: (Firmly) I insist, mom. I'd really like you to be there.

EMILY: (Unsure of how to respond, she nods) Alright.

LORELAI: (Smiles) Thanks.

An awkward pause takes over the scene.

EMILY: (Sighs) Well then, I should get going. (Nods at her daughter) Have a good day, Lorelai.

Scene fades on Lorelai's tentative, yet hopeful face.

INT. BROAD STREET SHELTER – LATER THAT EVENING

Scene opens on Rory walking into the shelter. She looks around for Nate, but doesn't see him. Rory spots Valerie at the back of the wall, and walks towards her.

VALERIE: (As she continues to work) Hey.

RORY: Hey Val. (Looks around again) Busy.

VALERIE: Yup.

RORY: Is Nate around?

VALERIE: (As she wipes down part of the long table) Said he'd show up a bit later.

RORY: Ah. (Sighs)

VALERIE: (Looks up at Rory) Here to help?

RORY: Oh, sure… sure (Valerie grabs an apron from the shelf and throws it at Rory) Thanks.

VALERIE: (Goes back to her work, but gestures at two older gentlemen) Watch out for Frank and Ernie. (Rory curiously looks at them) They're grumpier than usual tonight.

RORY: Why is that?

VALERIE: (Raises an eye) Ernie claims that Frank stole his beef jerky.

RORY: (Makes a face) Is that a euphemism for something dirty? (Shakes her head) Never mind. Forget I asked.

VALERIE: (Sees someone enter, and gestures) There's Nate.

RORY: (As she ties the apron-straps around her waist, she looks up) Oh.

Nate, with a determined expression, walks directly to Rory.

NATE: (Nods at Val, then looks down at Rory) Hey, do you have a minute?

RORY: (Suddenly nervous for some reason) Y-yes… actually I wanted to talk to you too… (But Nate walks away to his office – and Rory follows).

CUT to NATE'S OFFICE AT THE SHELTER…

Nate walks in and removes his jacket, throws it on a chair close by, and holds the door open for Rory.

NATE: (Closes the door behind them) I'm glad I caught you tonight.

RORY: (Explains) Me too, actually… I just wanted to say, I'm so so… sorry…

NATE: (Cuts her off) Gilmore, I had no idea my mother would do that. I am so embarrassed… I wanted to apologize.

RORY: (Confused, she looks up at Nate) Your mother?

NATE: You haven't heard? (Shakes his head) I don't know how… but my mother got in contact with your mother and set up a dinner "thing" at the Dragonfly Inn… and it's this Saturday. (Shakes his head again)…

Still surprised, Rory wonders if she should tell him that it's 'her' mother that initiated the whole thing.

NATE: (Notices Rory's expression) That's exactly the face I had when mom told me this evening. I can't believe her. (Takes a step forward) Will you please forgive me for Rose DiLuca's meddling?

RORY: (Decides to explain) Actually, I think it's my mom that…

NATE: (Shakes his head yet again and paces) Oh no… it's definitely my mother. As much as I love her… she can be a little forceful in her ways.

RORY: But…

NATE: (Cuts her off again, and explains) Sometimes she just does it to annoy me. You know?

RORY: (Takes a step forward to try and explain… again) I think…

NATE: (Cuts her off… again) There was this one time in high school; I had just started my freshman year. And Jon (his brother), who was in his senior year, introduced me to this "Goth-chic" – (looks at Rory) Clearly I had a thing for older Goth-chics in plaid skirts and tongue piercing(s)… because the moment I looked at her, I couldn't utter a word. (Rory is a little puzzled). Every time I saw her, I just froze – but she didn't even know I existed… so I was bummed out for a long time, and mom started to notice.

RORY: (Now Amused) What happened?

NATE: (Leans on his desk) She drove me to school one day, and noticed me staring at this tall, pale white female with black hair, and a god-awful makeup job…

RORY: Uh oh…

NATE: She drops me off, and I start walking up the stairs – but a familiar voice makes me turn and look. (Explains) My mother had walked up to Gerry "the Goth-chic" and started giving her a lecture on how lucky she is that I even look at her. (An amused smile appears on his face) And what a great "catch" I would make… and in a few years, she'd regret never acknowledging me in high school. Gerry was completely oblivious… and I just ran inside faster than a Zulu tribesman on steroids.

RORY: No?!

NATE: (Nods) Yup, freshman year was a bitch. (Adds) But that's Rose.

RORY: (Chuckles) She sounds great.

NATE: Please don't ever mention it in front of my folks on Saturday.

RORY: Oh, so you're going to be there?

NATE: Did I mention my mother's very persuasive? (Sees Rory's face, and asks) Don't tell me you won't be there.

RORY: (Sighs) I'll be there.

A moment passes.

RORY: So, whatever happened to Ms. Goth-chic?

NATE: (Raises an eye) She's a Baptist priest now.

RORY: (Amused) What?

NATE: (Shrugs) Who knew?

Pause as they share a smile.

NATE: (Adds as he pushes himself off the desk) You know, I never told you what I thought about the pantomime.

RORY: (Squeezes her eyes shut for a moment) Oh god, please let's not talk about that.

NATE: (With a smirk, he teases) What's that song you sang again? "Where do you go to my lovely?"

RORY: (Flushed, she rubs her forehead) Stop it!

NATE: (Nods as he continues) Nice voice you got there, Gilmore.

RORY: (Gasps at his tone) Stop picking on me.

NATE: (Sighs, then crosses his arms) So, is Trevor going to join us on Saturday?

Just as Rory opens her mouth to explain, a loud noise distracts them, and then they look through the glass wall of Nate's office. They see the two older men going at each other - bouncing around in a fist fight…

NATE: What the… (he dashes out to break it off)

Rory witnesses as Nate pushes the men apart. Scene fades on her tentative expression.

EXT. BROAD STREET SHELTER – LATER THAT NIGHT

Rory pulls the cell phone out of her pocket as she exits the shelter. She dials a familiar number and holds it to her ear.

RORY: (Sighs) Hey mom…

Scene CUTS between the EXT. BROAD STREET SHELTER and INT. CRAP SHACK LIVING ROOM

LORELAI: (Pleasantly surprised to hear from her daughter) Rory! (She sits up on the couch and winks at Luke, who's sitting next to her watching TV).

RORY: Hi.

LORELAI: (Sighs) Are you still mad at me?

RORY: Nope.

LORELAI: (Perks up) You're not mad at me? (Looks at Luke) She's not mad at me!

LUKE: Good.

RORY: Hold your horses woman…

LORELAI: Horses held.

RORY: (Walks up to her car) You will see me at dinner on Saturday… although, I may have to miss Friday Night Dinner in preparation for this weird gathering.

LORELAI: (Grins) Well, mom agreed to cancel Friday Night Dinner since we're "gathering" on Saturday.

RORY: (Annoyed) Grandma's coming? (Whines) Mom!

LORELAI: (Explains) I invited her! Long story short… we had a pretty significant argument today… which, I think, resulted in a moment.

RORY: (Confused) A moment?

LORELAI: I will tell you all about it later… but I think it was a good moment.

RORY: Oh.

LORELAI: Besides think of this Saturday as a small farewell gathering… to send you off to Africa.

RORY: (Gives in) Fine… but I'll have you know that I'm still a bit irked by it all.

LORELAI: (Nods) Understandably so.

RORY: Oh, by the way… Trevor and I aren't dating anymore.

LORELAI: Aw, honey. Are you okay? (A concerned Luke looks at his wife. Lorelai mouths to him) Rory and Trevor aren't dating anymore.

RORY: I'm fine. (Sighs)

LUKE: (Whispers to Lorelai) Is she okay? (Lorelai nods)

RORY: (Sits in her car and sighs again) Figures, I find the perfect apartment – and a couple of months later, I have to pack things in boxes again…

LORELAI: (Sympathetically smiles) Luke will come by on Saturday morning to help you move back…

RORY: Okay. (Snaps out of her funk) I should get going.

LORELAI: Okay, babe. Bye.

Lorelai hangs up the phone and looks at Luke.

LUKE: Is everything okay?

LORELAI: Yeah, it will be. I think she's a little tired.

LUKE: Is she having second thoughts about Africa?

LORELAI: (Thinks) I don't think so…

Pause as the two look at the television.

LUKE: (Sighs, and then gets up from his seat) Okay, I think I'm ready to turn in.

LORELAI: (Shakes her head in confusion) I'm still trying to make sense of what Emily said earlier.

LUKE: (Leans over and gives Lorelai a kiss on the forehead) Let me know if you get anywhere. Are you coming to bed?

LORELAI: (Smiles) In a bit.

LUKE: (Smiles back at her and nods) Five minutes. I give you five minutes.

LORELAI: (Smirks and slaps Luke's leg with the remote control) Go to bed.

Lorelai watches as Luke climbs the stairs and leaves the scene.

Scene fades on Lorelai pondering.

CUT to THREE DAYS LATER…

EXT. DRAGONFLY INN – SATURDAY – EARLY EVENING

Scene opens on Luke pulling up to the driveway of the Dragonfly Inn. We see Rory in the passenger seat.

RORY: (As she gets out of the truck, she sincerely exclaims) Luke, thank you so much for helping me move today.

LUKE: (Closes the door and walks around to join Rory on the other side of the truck) No problem. You know I'm glad to do it.

RORY: (Smiles) Thanks. (Turns to the façade of the inn and sighs) This is going to be an interesting night.

LUKE: (Takes a deep breath, places his hands on his sides and looks at the façade of the inn as well) I'd say. (After a moment, he looks to the side at Rory) It will all turn out fine.

RORY: (Turns to her left and smiles up at her "step-father") I hope so.

LUKE: (Sees Lorelai exit the Inn) There she is…

Rory looks back and sees her mother standing at the top of the stairs smiling at her husband and daughter. Luke and Rory walks up to her.

LORELAI: There you are! All moved in?

RORY: (Climbs up the stairs) Yup.

LUKE: (Walks past Lorelai) I'm going to go get a drink. Do you guys want any…

LORELAI: (Cuts him off) Emily and Richard are in there.

LUKE: (Stops in his tracks, turns around and stands near his wife) I guess I can wait.

The two ladies chuckle.

LORELAI: (Pats Luke on the arm and gestures) Now, come… come… we're all going to make an effort.

LUKE: (Sighs) Fine.

INT. DRAGONFLY INN – GREAT ROOM

The three characters enter.

RICHARD: (Looks away from a antique vase he had just been examining) This looks authentic. (Asks Lorelai as he grabs his drink from the side table) Is this authentic?

LORELAI: That's what Mrs. Kim said.

RICHARD: (Nods at his son-in-law) Luke. (sees Rory following behind) Rory.

RORY: Grandpa, glad you could make it. (Walks over to his side and smiles at Emily – who's sitting in a chair) Hello grandma.

EMILY: (Nods) Rory.

LORELAI: (Bluntly) Boy, this is going to be awkward. I hope the DiLucas like awkward.

RICHARD: (Lowers his brow) What on earth are you talking about, Lorelai?

LORELAI: You've never met 'awkward'? (everyone looks at her quizzically) Six foot-five, abnormally angular face? (Luke rolls his eyes) Maximilian's bastard child?

RICHARD: (Confused, he looks down at Emily) What?

EMILY: I haven't a clue.

LUKE: (Turns to his wife) It's going to be fine.

LORELAI: (Scans the room) Okay, so Sookie's got a handle on dinner… (gestures at the spirit cart next to the fireplace) The drinks are out…

RORY: Mom, you're making me nervous.

LUKE: (Turns to his wife again) Relax.

They hear a couple of people enter the inn, which prompts them to turn in unison.

A couple in their mid-to-late fifties enter the inn, and look around for a moment before they spot the group of people in the great room. The lady, carrying a medium-sized canvas bag and the gentleman carrying a nice bottle of wine start stepping towards them.

RORY: (Feeling obliged, steps ahead of everyone) Hello there.

ROSE DILUCA: (Extends her arm) You must be Rory!

RORY: (With a a nervous giggle, she nods) Yes, yes… that's me. I'm so glad to finally meet you Mrs. DiLuca.

ROSE: (With a pleasant smile) It's Rose… and it's a pleasure to finally meet you, Rory. (Looks at her husband) And this is Tony.

RORY: Hello. (Smoothes her hair, and gestures towards the group) Let me introduce you to my family. (Gestures) My grandparents, Emily and Richard.

RICHARD: (With a gentlemanly smile) Wonderful to meet you both.

Emily nods politely.

RORY: Luke, my step-father… (Luke nods and shakes Tony's hand) And I believe you've already spoken to my mom, Lorelai.

ROSE: (Sees Lorelai, makes an awing expression, and steps forward to shake her hand) Lorelai!

LORELAI: (Grins unsure of how to react) Rose!

TONY: (Holds up the bottle of wine and presents it to Rory) This is in no way encouraging you to drink alcohol… however, this is for you. Thank you for inviting us.

ROSE: (To Lorelai, she holds up her bag) And for you, I have here a recipe for the best mock-tail you'll ever have.

Emily, with a drink in hand, observes the friendly atmosphere.

LORELAI: (Amused, and appreciatively) Aw, you didn't have to…

ROSE: Oh hush. Now tell me… where's the wonderful kitchen? (Explains to everyone) Making a mock-tail is no easy task.

Rory stands there awkwardly.

LORELAI: (Grins besides herself) I'll show you where it is.

Lorelai guides Rose to the back.

RICHARD: (Standing by the cart) Tony, how about a drink?

TONY: Scotch on a rocks, please Richard. Thank you.

RICHARD: Luke? How about you?

LUKE: (An arm stretch her exclaims) Same here… thank you, Richard. (Gestures at the seat next to Tony) Please, take a seat.

TONY: Thanks. (Looks at his wrist-watch) I wonder where Nathan is…

Rory wonders as well.

LUKE: (Attempts to start a conversation) Did you find the place okay?

RICHARD: (Hands the gentlemen their drinks) Here you go fellas.

Emily looks restless.

TONY: Oh it was no trouble at all. We've driven through Stars Hollow a few times before. Quaint little town, isn't it?

RICHARD: It sure is.

Rory, still standing, looks at the entrance of the inn – wondering where Nate is. Emily notices that her granddaughter is just as restless as she.

The gentlemen continue to chat away.

TONY: (To Luke) In fact we've been to your diner, Luke.

LUKE: You have?

TONY: A couple of years ago, in fact.

The dialogue gradually becomes white noise as the camera focuses on Rory. She looks at her wrist-watch, and steps away towards the exit. Emily sees this and a curious expression wipes her face.

CUT to the porch of the inn.

Rory exits just as a black sports utility vehicle parks to the side of the inn. We see Rory's relieved face as Nate gets out and walks up to her.

RORY: You're late, mister.

NATE: No, I'm not. (Turns and gestures at the boxy silver Mercedes G55 AMG parked in front of his Touareg) I'm guessing Hansel and Gretel found the house okay. (Looks back at Rory with a subtle smile) Or the Inn, in this story.

RORY: They sure did. (Nate senses a tone in her voice that makes him lower his brow).

NATE: What's wrong?

RORY: Nothing. (Sighs then admits) This whole thing is weird… I mean the circumstances in which I'm meeting your parents… (shakes her head) just a little weird.

NATE: I agree, but I also understand your mother wanting to get to know the person you'll be traveling with. So it's not all that weird… (lowers his head) Is it?

RORY: (Takes a deep breath) You're right.

Looking up at him, Rory can't help but get lost in his eyes. However, the "unrequited" moment is interrupted by Emily as she stops to see the 'familiar stranger' standing on the porch next to Rory.

EMILY: Oh.

RORY: (Smoothes her hair) Grandma… (takes a deep breath as Nate turns to look at Emily) … grandma, I'd like you to meet Nate DiLuca. Nate, this is my grandmother…

EMILY: (In her curious manner, she nods) Nice to meet you.

NATE: (Nods as well) Nice to meet you too, Mrs. Gilmore.

EMILY: (Looks at Rory and back at Nate) Please… call me Emily.

The three characters look at each other as an awkward moment passes them.

RORY: (Cuts in, and gestures towards the door) Let me introduce you to my grandfather…

NATE: Okay… (Politely nods at Emily as he walks in with Rory)

As Nate steps around Emily to walk in, Emily watches him with the corner of her eye before she follows them into the establishment.

Scene CUTS TO A FEW MINUTES LATER

The six characters are seated at a large round table in the dining area. Richard and Emily are sitting next to each other with Tony to Richard's left and a poor Luke to Emily's left. Next to Lorelai, seated to Luke's right, is Rose and Nate. There seems to be two different topics alive at the table. Lorelai and Rose are talking about Lorelai's final weeks of pregnancy, while Richard and Tony chat about today's economy. Luke, Rory and Nate seem to be pulled in both directions, weaving back and forth between topics.

TONY: (To Richard) The simple question is, what do either one of those candidates have in mind for turning this around?

RICHARD: (Chuckles a bit) Oh, that sir, isn't a simple question!

TONY: Of course it is! (A smile appears on his face) I'm not saying there's a simple answer.

Their dialogue becomes white noise as the focus turns to Rose and Lorelai as Emily watches keenly.

ROSE: (To Lorelai) I can't believe you've had the strength to keep the sex of the baby from everyone else. (Looks at Emily) Can you believe your daughter?

EMILY: (Politely) She's very adamant. (Lorelai gives Emily a subtle smile but turns to Rose)

LORELAI: (Admits) I've almost slipped a few times. Though once, I accidentally said it out loud to Sookie, my friend, but she didn't even notice.

ROSE: After Jonathan (looks at Emily), my eldest son, I was hoping for a girl. (Looks at Nate and teases) Yes Nathan, I was hoping you were a girl. (Rory smirks and Rose looks back at Lorelai) But nope, I got another wonderful boy.

The previous dialogue fades out as the focus turns to Rory and Nate.

RORY: (Turns to Nate and whispers) Aww.

NATE: Stop it.

RORY: (Softly) Your mom's awesome.

NATE: (Remembers, and softly continues) Hey, I thought about what you said, and spoke to dad about the shelter.

RORY: (Turns in her seat) Oh yeah? And?

NATE: Nothing yet, I only mentioned it yesterday. He's looking into some solutions.

RORY: That's a start. I'm glad you went to him.

NATE: I'm hoping it will work out.

RORY: Me too.

They are interrupted by Tony DiLuca, in line with his discussion with Richard and Luke.

TONY: Nathan, aren't you flying into Dakar first?

NATE: (Looks up at his father and Richard) Yes, Dakar, Senegal – then we catch a connecting flight down to Johannesburg. The itinerary changed last week. We were supposed to start at the top and end up in Johannesburg.

RICHARD: (Shakes his head) I regret not doing a tour of Africa… (Turns to his wife) What do you say, Emily? How about a trip to Johannesburg this summer?

EMILY: First of all, it's winter there. And we've already made plans to meet Hope in Amsterdam.

ROSE: (Curiously) Hope?

EMILY: (Explains) My sister. She lives in France, we're meeting in Amsterdam and then we'll fly into Prague to do another tour of Eastern Europe together. But that won't be until the end of summer.

ROSE: Oh yes, I understand (gestures at Lorelai) you don't want to miss out on your second grandchild's first few months. (Emily's face turns pale at Rose's good natured comment).

RICHARD: (Oblivious, changes the topic back to Africa and looks at Nate) I hope they've made all the arrangements for everyone traveling?

NATE: (Nods) Yes Richard, we've been given a very detailed itinerary. They'll take care of us…

RICHARD: I hope they're also letting you travel first class.

NATE: Nope, economy.

RICHARD: (Shocked) What? You're going to be in the air for 20-some hours… the least they could do is send you first class. (Emily is concerned as well)

NATE: (Tries not to offend Richard, but with a smirk he responds) Somehow traveling first-class to Africa doesn't seem right… in my book anyway. (Tony and Rose look at their child with a sense of pride – even Luke has an approving expression. Rory and Lorelai look at each other).

RICHARD: (Takes a moment, but with a hearty chuckle, he raises his glass to Nate) I commend you, Nate. (Looks at everyone at the table, and then focuses on Rory – and Nate) Here's hoping your travels are safe, and may this be a life-changing experience for you both!

Everyone raises their glasses.

TONY: Hear, hear!

RORY: (Sweetly smiles at her grandfather as Emily looks on tentatively) Thank you grandpa.

The waiters bring out dessert.

The group of characters start to chat amongst themselves. Pieces of dialogue can be heard…

NATE: (Softly to Rory as he takes a sip of his wine) Too bad Trevor couldn't join us.

RORY: (Softly responds as she looks down at her dessert) Oh, we aren't dating anymore.

NATE: No?

RORY: Nope.

NATE: Hmm, that's a shame.

CUT to the middle of another conversation…

LORELAI: (to Rose as she pats her husband's shoulder) … yeah, all the furniture in there are originals courtesy of Luke.

ROSE: (Adoringly looks at the couple) Aw, you have to show me this nursery of yours.

Emily is quietly observing everyone at the table enjoying themselves.

CUT to the middle of yet another conversation…

TONY: I agree… I whole-heartedly agree that his endorsement only hurts the Republican candidate. (Smiles) But I don't vote that way, Richard… so you won't see me complaining. (Richard laughs)

Camera focuses on Emily, as she sees how lively everyone seems. The expression on her face suggests that she's trying to join either one of the conversations, but by her own restraint, she is incapable of doing so. After a few moments of failed attempts, she pushes her chair back a bit and excuses herself…

EMILY: (Softly) Excuse me. I'll be right back. (The men at the table acknowledge her as gentlemanly as possible).

Luke, who has been just as observant that evening, senses something in Emily which prompts him to watch her as she walks away. He looks to his right, and sees Lorelai subtly look at Emily as well. Lorelai turns to Luke and shrugs.

CUT to EXT. DRAGONFLY INN – PORCH – A COUPLE OF MINUTES LATER

Scene opens on Emily standing at the top of the stairs looking into the night sky. The expression on her face is that of a person wanting to belong in whatever is going on inside. A loud noise of laughter makes her briefly smile to herself. A few seconds later, a step on the porch makes her turn back. She sees Luke holding his beer in one hand, and what looks like her glass of wine in the other.

LUKE: (Stretches his arm) Thought you might like this…

EMILY: (Pleasantly surprised, she takes the glass from him) Thank you, Luke.

LUKE: (Walks up to the edge of the first step, and sighs) It's nice out here.

EMILY: (Curiously watches Luke, then looks away at the night sky again) It is.

Deciding to stay outside a bit longer, Luke takes a few steps down the stairs, and takes a seat – which prompts Emily to look at him.

EMILY: (To Luke) You're missing out on all the fun inside.

LUKE: (With an expression of confidence, as he continues to look out at the driveway) So are you.

Emily ponders a bit at the 'condition' of the steps – but something makes her take a step down and awkwardly sit at the top of the stairs.

A moment of silence passes Emily and her son-in-law. A moment that ponders the countless times they've been on very different plains for two years short of a decade.

EMILY: (To break the silence, in a way that only Emily knows how, asks) So, is it a boy?

With a smile, Luke shakes his head at her insistence on never giving up. In the backdrop we hear another loud noise of laughter.

Scene fades.

VOICE OVER: Next week on the Gilmore girls…

A scene from 8.19

Rory is running around the town with big bags in her hands.

VOICE OVER: Rory's throwing a party in Lorelai's honor…

BABETTE: It's "baby shower" time! Again!

LANE: Shh! It's a surprise!

Luke rolls his eyes.

VOICE OVER: But will the town's constant need to gossip ruin it for the second-time mother-to-be?

LORELAI: (Curiously grinning) What's going on fellas?

VOICE OVER: Will a temporary break from Friday Night Dinner cause a commotion?

EMILY: What do you mean you won't be coming to Friday Night Dinner?!

LORELAI: (With her arms stretched out, she points her index fingers to her stomach) Hello! About to give birth in a couple of weeks.

VOICE OVER Tune in next Friday for the baby shower of the century!

PATTY: (With a hearty chuckle) Oh-ohhh, this is going to be good!

……………………..CLOSING CREDITS

Firstly, I apologize for taking so long to update. Though I'm tardy at times, I'm determined to finish this season. So bear with me, please.

Reviews appreciated.

Parts of this episode will carry on to the next couple of episodes – so I encourage more discussion. Please visit the LJ (link provided on author profile) to analyze what really happened.

Also, for those of you that missed my edit in the last segment. I'd like to take a moment to promote my very last Gilmore Girls music video. It can be viewed on the LJ as well. Making it was cathartic to me – so I'd like to know your thoughts as well.