Summary: What should have been the night of episode 1.15 'Christopher Returns'. JavaJunkie all the way. Hate Christopher! AU of course.
Setting of the scene: A very brief and disastrous gathering between Lorelai's parents and Christopher's parents, both sets of Rory's grandparents, turns ugly and vicious when Straub verbally attacks Lorelai and Rory for ruining Christopher's future. After Richard throws them out, he rebuffs Lorelai's gratefulness for defending her saying he was only defending the family's name. Heartbroken, she escapes to the one place in her parents' house that ever offered her safety and solitude. After she's cried a little, Christopher comes out to join her…
A/N: Revised from earlier version and a second time based on a review.
Disclaimer: Own nothing but my stuffed duckie cushion. They belong to WB. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Chapter 1: Fallout
Chris is sitting in the living room alone thinking over the events of the evening. What a disaster this was! But it wasn't really a surprise that it would end badly…to anyone, except maybe Emily, who had on these rose-colored glasses that they could finally merge the two families together.
'Damn, I can't believe tonight! Not only do I have to see Richard & Emily, but also had to face my parents. Not that they aren't impossible, but why did Lorelai have to provoke my dad with that comment about Bush? Did she really have to go and push those buttons? She had to know that it couldn't possibly turn out good…'
He ran his hand through his hair ruefully, 'Granted, it's hard to believe that he would say those things about her and Rory but I suppose he's still disappointed that I didn't measure up to his vision of an ideal son,' he justified his father's actions.
Then he got an idea of how to turn the night around. He went to the bar and looked for the bottle he wanted. 'There's nothing that I can do about that, but maybe I can make things up with Lorelai. We've always had our best moments with 'Jose Cuervo' so I'll just bring a bottle and go find her. With how upset she must feel she's probably out on her balcony. That was always her safe spot.'
Meanwhile on the balcony…
Lorelai was busy wiping the tears away from her eyes. She was torn between hurt and fury. And right now she was leaning towards the latter.
'Man, tonight sucked! I mean Friday Night Dinner is never something to look forward to, but this could be listed as a potential form of torture.'
She snorted in disgust, 'It's not really a surprise considering how the conversation went when they found out about the pregnancy, but still…Given how great Rory has turned out, you'd think they would show some interest in getting to know her.' She shook her head at how hateful the man had been. She obviously was right not to marry into thatfamily.
'And that crap about ruining Chris' future – yeah, right! He managed to screw that up on his own. Now if we had gotten married, then they might, just might, have a point. But we didn't and he was free to do whatever the hell he wanted to. So guess what, he screwed up his future all on his own. The only difference is that he didn't take us down with him. Thank goodness.' she breathed a sigh of relief. They really were much better off this way.
She hugged her arms around her as if to ward off the attack from earlier. 'And of course there's my good old dad…I really thought that he was finally backing me upon something. But, of course, that would be asking too much. Again it is only the 'Gilmore Name' that needs to be spared disgrace. Not his only daughter, no not her!'
Stopping for a minute, she allowed, 'Okay, I didn't know how hard they took it when I left, but then again, how could I have? It's not like they ever made that clear or tried to make things easier when I did contact them. If they were really that shaken up, you'd think that they might try to be kinder to us so it wouldn't happen again!' she concluded decisively.
She shook off her feelings of self-pity and turned her mind towards her daughter. 'Shoot, I should have gone to Rory before now. She's got to be pretty upset by all this. I'll make sure that she knows that Straub and Francine are complete and utter morons who don't deserve her and that their opinions mean absolutely nothing. Less than nothing. Minus nothing!'
She made a move to go inside, only to run into Christopher coming out. 'Crap, what does he want…?'
"You look great," he smirked charmingly at her.
"Yeah, well, I look the way I feel, wise guy." She gave a half laugh, mentally groaning at his attempt at flirting. She was still angry that he hadn't stood up to his father for his own daughter.
He shook off her less than welcoming response. "The old balcony's still the same, isn't it?" he led, nudging her down memory lane, willing her into a more receptive mood.
"In all of its beautiful away-from-them-ness," she allowed.
"Perfect hideout, totally private, we spent a lot of time out here," he teased, pushing just a little more.
"Sneaking Dad's telescope, scanning the skies for alien ships." She chanced a glance at him, not liking the half leering way he stared at her.
"Never found any," he continued before bringing out the big gun. He figured that the tequila would help loosen her up.
She saw the liquor and thought that was just what she needed to numb away the reminders of the night. "Huh...holding out on me?" She shuddered at her utter stupidity when she was younger and vowed that it wouldn't happen again, even if it did have onegood result.
He smiled in victory. "Take it. And in an effort to further chronicle this balcony's history, we are now in the immediate vicinity of the spot upon which was Rory's initial emanation," he toasted.
"Yes we are. Here's to Rory," she shot back, silently laughing at his choice of words. ''Emanation'? You're kidding, right?'
"The bright spot in all the darkness," he added for good measure.
"And how..." Lorelai agreed, this time whole-heartedly. Knowing that without Rory, she may never have escaped this life and its less-than-loving families.
"You know, even if you hadn't gotten pregnant and everything had gone as planned I still would've never made it through Princeton," Christopher admitted, sort of believing it.
"Oh Chris, I don't believe that," she encouraged, but notreally believing it since he never showed any signs of maturing. Other than physically, that is.
"Ahhh, yeah. That's why you're you and I'm not," he flattered, pouring it on. He felt her pulling away, so he scrambled for a way to draw her attention.
Except she was thinking, 'And that's why Rory actually has a shot of becoming someone other than a DAR trophy wife. And by the way, quit looking into my eyes. You can't possibly think that I'm in a romantic mood now of all times! Oh great, now you have to grab my hand. Ugh. When will this night end?'she pleaded in her mind.
"I remember how sexy you looked when you would paint your nails," he said, stroking her hand, pulling her toward him.
She inwardly shook her head in disbelief. He really did think that nowwas a good time to get in her pants. Her eyes widened in shock as she realized what he said and what it reminded her of. "Oh my gosh, painting!"
She berated herself, 'I can't believe I almost forgot about Luke. He's going to be so ticked! I hope he's still up…and in a forgiving mood!'she prayed to herself.
"What?" he exclaimed in confusion. He didn't like the turn this conversation was taking. Or the way her eyes kept stealing to her watch as if she were late for a date. His eyes narrowed in jealousy at the idea.
"I almost forgot...I promised Luke that I'd help him paint his diner tonight. Crap, I'm late!" she explained as she raced for the window. She ran over her option in her mind and settled on just showing up, ready to paint and hope that it would show him that she did care.
Lorelai rushed back into the house with a frustrated Chris following, wondering who this 'Luke' guy is and why she was worrying about him.
As they got downstairs, Lorelai started yelling for Rory, "Rory! Where are you?" She fretted, biting her lower lip in agitation, needing to leave right away.
Rory hurried out of kitchen. "What's your damage, Heather?" she retorted with a sudden frown. She didn't like her mom's anxiety or her dad's strange look; she wondered what happened while they were upstairs.
Lorelai grabbed her hand, pulling her toward the front door. "We have to get going... now! I was supposed to be at Luke's a half hour ago!" she also shouted even though they were in the same room now.
Emily sniffed disdainfully, "The Iceman? What on earth could you possibly have to do with him? Christopher's right here; you should be concentrating on him." She ranted silently that her daughter was screwing things up again.
Lorelai clenched her hands to keep from slapping her mother, instead choosing to answer, "Mom! I'm helping him paint his diner, not eloping with him. By the way, I'm not going to get into a discussion with you everabout who I should or shouldn't marry, so drop it!
Christopher suddenly looked nervous, realizing that Lorelai was avoiding the topic of if she liked this guy. He knew he needed help getting her back but was unsure how helpful Emily would be in that.
Rory knew that she had to get her mom out before she totally lost it, which might only be seconds away. "We should get going, Grandma. Thanks for the food and the talk." She hugged Emily and whispered, "It meant a lot to me."
Then she turned away to hide her hidden belief that even if her grandma loved her now, she was still upset about the situation. And it hurt that she might have been unwanted, even for a minute. The people in her life now – in Stars Hollow – managed to make her believe that that was never the case.
As Lorelai sped back to Stars Hollow, she tried to find out what happened with Rory that evening after she sent her to the kitchen. "What was that about a 'talk'?" she probed carefully.
Rory shrugged casually, "Nothing, Grandma was just saying that even though Straub & Francine were saying those nasty things, it didn't make them true. That neither me nor my existence was a disappointment."
Lorelai recognized the look on her daughter's face in the rearview mirror. "I never thought I'd agree with my mother, but that's true. Those angry words were meant for me, not you. Me and your dad have noregrets about you!" she stated vehemently, shooting a look at him.
Realizing that Lorelai expected his input, Christopher confirmed, "That's right, kiddo."
When they get home, Lorelai ran into the house and changed into old, grungy clothes. She hugged Rory and promised to be there if she wanted to talk some more. Because she knew how important this was to her mom and Luke, Rory assured her that she was fine and would see her in the morning.
Lorelai yelled a distracted good night to Chris as she sprinted out to Luke's, forgetting to take the Jeep in her haste. A minute later, she's standing outside a dark diner. When her knocking doesn't get his attention right away, she started yelling for Luke. His apartment lights turned on and he looked out the window at her, then headed down to let her in. He stood in the doorway with clear hurt and disappointment showing in his eyes.
'Oh crap, he is upset. Well, he should be, but I hope he'll be willing to forgive me…' she thought as she prepared her apology.