SEGMENT FOUR

EXT. DiLUCA MANSION – SATURDAY MORNING

Scene opens as the front door of the mansion opens, and we see a medium built middle-aged woman with a light tan complexion open the door. Curiously she looks out at Rory as she stands there wondering who she is. The older woman (dressed in casual clothing) curiously looks at her as well, but with just a hint of a nod, it appears she figured it out...

RORY: (Nervously) Hi… hi… umm, is Mrs. DiLuca in? (Clears her throat a bit) I'm Rory Gilmore…

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN: (A smile appears on her face) Oh, hello. (Gestures) Come in… come in… (Rory obliges, and the woman closes the door behind them) I'm Maria…

RORY: (Brushes a few strands of hair behind her ear) Oh, Maria! (With a nervous chuckle) Nate has mentioned you quite a bit…

MARIA: (With a questionable grin) Nathan mentions me, huh? (With a bit of sass) He better… I didn't look after him for 26 years for nothing.

RORY: (Amused) 26 years… wow. You've known him since he was 4…

MARIA: Three and a half… (brushes it off) He may have moved out of house a decade ago, but he's still the four year old rebel I remember…

RORY: (Not as nervous around the friendly face, she sighs) That's nice.

MARIA: (Clearly aware of who Rory is, she gives her knowing smile) Rose must be in the study… (gestures and starts to walk towards the great room – Rory follows)…

Rory assumes that she's to stay in the great room (though she's not a stranger to the DiLuca mansion, she's reserved), but Maria gestures for her to follow…

MARIA: Come along…

RORY: Oh, I don't want to disturb her…

They walk through the great room and into a large hallway…

MARIA: (Brushes it off) Oh honey, she doesn't care… Rose welcomes visitors. In fact, she prefers spontaneity…

They approach a dark mahogany door. Maria knocks a couple of times and turns the door handle.

MARIA: You have a visitor!

Just as Maria opens the door wider, Rory gets a good look at the study (one of the many rooms she hadn't seen in the house). To her surprise, it's not as neat and tidy as the rest of the mansion. Books can be seen all over the place. And behind the desk (covered in more books), we see Rose.

ROSE: (Turns around and lowers her reading glasses to look at the guest) Oh! (She removes her glasses and walks towards the door) Rory!

RORY: (Nervously smiles) Mrs. DiLuca… hello. (Maria curiously observes Rory)

ROSE: (As she steps closer to Rory and Maria) Nah uh… I've already asked you to call me Rose… I insist.

RORY: (Nods) Rose.

ROSE: (With hand gestures, she turns to the study) I'm so sorry about the state of this room. (Explains) We're collecting more books to ship off to the Maldives.

RORY: (Amazed) Wow. That's great. (Thinks) Would you like any help sorting… or something?

ROSE: (Smiles) Thank you… but, I think I have it all sorted out… (frowns as she sees how it doesn't look very organized) It does look chaotic… but I promise you, there's an order.

RORY: (Chuckles) I believe you.

ROSE: (Looks at Maria) Besides, I welcome the break… Maria, how about a little snack outside? (Looks at Rory and asks) In the back garden? (Rory nods)

MARIA: (Nods and looks at Rory and exclaims with a dry sense of humor) I'm guessing you're a coffee drinker… (shakes her head) you have to be if you're with Nathan.

RORY: (Surprised) Yes… yes, I am.

Maria leaves the room leaving Rory and Rose alone. Rose smiles at Rory.

CUT to a few minutes later.

EXT. DiLUCA MANSION – BACK GARDEN

Scene opens on Rory and Rose sitting outside under a big canvas shade.

ROSE: (As she helps herself to a cookie) So, tell me… are you excited about the trip?

RORY: (Still unaware of her fate) I am… (nods and looks at her coffee) I am…

ROSE: Well, I'm glad. The first time I visited South Africa and neighboring countries, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and so on… I just couldn't stop talking about it… (chuckles) I think I talked about it so much that my parents decided to retire in Europe to get away from my constant rambling about Africa…

RORY: (Curiously) Oh yes, Nate mentioned he spent the summers with his grandparents.

ROSE: (Adds) Both sets of grandparents.

RORY: (Confused) I'm sorry?

ROSE: (Nods) Tony's parents also retired and moved to Europe… to Italy. My parents live in northern France.

RORY: Oh wow… I didn't know. That's so great…

ROSE: (Animatedly) Oh, I agree… it's also great for me. (Shakes her head) I love them all… but there are perks of having them live so far away.

RORY: (Chuckles a bit) I see.

An awkward pause takes over as Rory looks out at the garden, and Rose curiously observes her.

ROSE: (Sighs as she adjusts the napkin on her lap) You know, you don't have to be embarrassed about what happened the other day…

RORY: (Shocked, she looks at her) Oh.

ROSE: Isn't that the reason you wanted to see me today?

RORY: (Nervous again) Did Nate say that?

ROSE: No, Nathan says very little… (smiles) I had a feeling you'd be uncomfortable about it… so I just want you to know that I'm over it. In fact, I was never bothered by it. It really isn't a big deal, Rory. (Nods) I admit, I was surprised to see you, especially since I had no idea the two of you were together… (Adds) You know Nathan's a very private individual… (Rory nods as Rose wears a smirk) But I have to say, I did have my suspicions.

RORY: (Looks up) Suspicions?

ROSE: (Sighs) You know, I'd worry about Nathan sometimes because his one-track determination and stubbornness would take up so much of his time, that he'd neglect his personal life… and if he did have someone in it, he was incapable of giving it his all. (Rory is intrigued) Nathan never seemed to find the right sort of person… (shakes her head) most of them were 'bimbos' introduced to him by his brother. (Curiously) Have you met my older son, Jonathan?

RORY: (Nods) Yes, a couple of times.

ROSE: (Smiles) Anyway… I don't want to say anything prematurely, but as far as I can see… (Rory swallows a bit as she looks up at her), my son is very happy. He may not show it often, but he is… (looks directly at Rory and smiles).

RORY: (Suddenly blushes) I'm glad.

ROSE: (Satisfied with their little talk, she changes the topic) Now, tell me… how's your mother doing? We haven't talked on the phone since she had Nicholas…

RORY: She's great…

ROSE: And the little guy?

RORY: He's adorable.

ROSE: I'm sure! I have to call her soon… I can't wait to see the handsome fella…

Their conversation continues as the scene fades.

INT. LUKE'S DINER – SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Luke walks into the diner through the back (storage room area) and pauses a bit when he sees April sitting at the counter with three laptops open in front of her.

LUKE: (Continues to walk behind the counter) What are you doing?

APRIL: (Looks over the laptop in front of her) I'm installing Skype on all three computers…

LUKE: (Curiously looks at the spread of computers) Where did you get those? (Curiously) And what's Skype?

APRIL: (Points) This is mine, that one's Rory's… and this one over here is Lorelai's. (Adds) On Skype, you can make calls over the internet for free… (adds) well it's free if the person you're calling also uses Skype… we can do web conferencing and stuff… (Carries on with the installing) Thought it'd be a great tool to communicate with Rory… and when I go back to New Mexico, we can chat over the internet. (Luke thinks for a minute) Don't worry, I told Lorelai I'd teach you how to use it…

LUKE: (Goes about his business) Oh, I'm not worrying. (Takes a moment and smiles) I think it's a great idea…

APRIL: (Surprised) Really? But you hate technology…

LUKE: (Nervously chuckles a bit) Who me? I don't hate technology.

APRIL: (Bluntly) You almost ran over your cell phone with the truck just because you accidentally pressed the red key instead of the green one…

LUKE: (Defensive) That in no way implies that I hate technology.

APRIL: You cursed at Steve Jobs for hogging commercial time with his – and I quote – "idiot phone" – you're definition of the "iPhone"…

LUKE: I hate all commercials.

APRIL: Ah huh. (Goes back to the laptops) The installation is almost complete.

ZACH: (Walks over, stands by April and observes what she's doing) Hey, you're getting Skype.

APRIL: Yup.

ZACH: (Gestures to a table) Lane uses it to chat with her cousins in Korea (turns around) don't you, babe?

LANE: (Looks over he magazine) Yup. It's only cool when all involved has a webcam…

APRIL: (Explains) Oh, I have the oldest of the three computers here… Rory and Lorelai have internal webcams… I have an external one that I can use.

They are interrupted by the diner phone.

LUKE: (With a sarcastic nod, gestures at the phone) I think I'll stick with the old fashion one… (picks up the phone) Luke's.

The talk between Zach, Lane and April fades to the back as Luke holds the phone.

EMILY: Luke, it's your mother-in-law.

Scene CUTS between the INT. DINER and INT. GILMORE MANSION – LIVING ROOM

LUKE: (A bit surprised at the call) Emily…

EMILY: I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time…

LUKE: No, no… (clears his throat and leans against the doorframe of the kitchen) What's up?

EMILY: Lorelai mentioned that Rory didn't want a big farewell party.

LUKE: (Nods) That's right.

EMILY: I was wondering if we should do a little something for her.

LUKE: We?

EMILY: Yes, the both of us…

LUKE: Oh. Well…

EMILY: It could be something small, with just the family… and Nathan's family as well, of course.

LUKE: (Not sure why Emily's calling him) I see… w-well… (looks around) Did you need to speak to Lorelai?

EMILY: (Crosses her legs to write something down on her planner) No, I wanted to speak with you.

LUKE: I don't know, Emily…

EMILY: (Sighs) It's not just for Rory, it's also for Lorelai… (With her eyes raised in a concerned expression) It's difficult enough to say goodbye to your child once, but to repeat it over and over – it has to be devastating. (Luke sighs)

LUKE: (Looks down at his hands) Yeah, I agree.

EMILY: (Shakes her head) It doesn't have to be a surprise… all you need to do is bring everyone together for a small gathering… I will call the DiLucas, if you need me to…

LUKE: (Convinced, he nods) I'll see what I can do.

EMILY: How about next Saturday night at our house?

LUKE: (Nods again) I'll talk to Lorelai.

EMILY: (Sighs with a smile) Good. (Adds) Also, it seems the girls like your coffee the best… so…

LUKE: (Knowingly) How about 5 pounds?

EMILY: (With a nod) That sounds good.

LUKE: (Nods) Good. Ok, then… (the conversation comes to an end…)

EMILY: One more thing...

LUKE: Yeah?

EMILY: (Sighs and with a sincere nod) Thank you, Luke.

LUKE: No problem.

After a short pause…

EMILY: (Not one to keep a good thing going for too long) Oh, another thing I wanted to talk to you about…

Luke listens curiously.

EMILY: When buying a car, I really hope you won't look at massive vehicles. It just seems like such a waste, don't you think?

LUKE: (Confused at the segue) Umm…

Scene fades.

INT. THE MUSE – ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE HARTFORD COURANT – SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Scene opens on Rory as she enters the café. She looks around and spots Nate at a table reading a newspaper. Rory approaches him with a big smile…

NATE: (Looks up from his paper) Hey.

RORY: (Takes a seat across from him) Sorry I'm late…

NATE: (Folds the newspaper and places it on the table) No problem, how did it go?

RORY: (With a cute smile) I love your mother.

NATE: (With his dry sense of humor) Oh good, someone has to.

RORY: We had a great time… and and I met Maria. She's amazing. A little feisty, but amazing.

NATE: Oh yes, she can be feisty.

RORY: Your mom and I talked about a lot of things… and we've cleared the air… and…

NATE: (Cuts her off) … and she told you that the other day was not a big deal.

RORY: (Reluctantly nods) Yes, she did.

NATE: (Leans in and folds his arms on the table) So, you're okay with spending the night there…

RORY: (Shakes her head) No. No, I don't think so. It's still weird spending the night with you at your parents'…

NATE: (Sighs) I agree.

RORY: (Grins) But I have a solution.

NATE: (Amused) Go on…

RORY: I talked to mom earlier, and I told her our little problem…

NATE: (Sarcastically) Oh great…

RORY: (Touches his arm) So she offered you a room at the inn.

NATE: What?

RORY: So you can spend more time in Stars Hollow… with me.

NATE: (Processes it) Well, that's really nice of your her.

RORY: That's because she's a really nice woman.

NATE: I have no doubts. (Rory smiles) So, everything's settled on the living arrangements?

RORY: (Nods) Yup!

NATE: Good (pulls out a phone from his back pocket and starts browsing through his contacts), now that we've got all of that settled, it's time for you to call Gus…

RORY: (Surprised) What? No, he said to call on Sunday.

NATE: (Presses something on the surface of the phone and hands it to Rory) Pretend it's Sunday.

RORY: (Sees that the phone is dialing Gus' number… she takes it in her hand) B… but…

NATE: (Gets up from his seat) I'm going to see how the Courant's getting along without me. I'll be back in a bit… (kisses Rory on her forehead and leaves).

RORY: (Hears someone saying 'hello' on the phone – so she immediately holds it up to her ear) H-hello… Gus… (nervous, she carries on)… it's Rory…

Scene fades to the next.

INT. DRAGONGLY INN – CHECK IN AREA – SAME TIME

Scene opens on Lorelai as she stands in front of the computer. A few seconds later, her cell phone rings. With an eye keenly on the computer, she picks up her phone.

LORELAI: Hello.

LUKE: Hey, it's me.

Scene CUTS between the INN and the DINER.

LORELAI: Hey, I was going to call you.

LUKE: Oh yeah?

LORELAI: (Animatedly) Yeah, dad called.

LUKE: (Confused) "Dad" as in Richard?

LORELAI: Yeah, he found us a contact…

LUKE: (Curiously) In Maine?

LORELAI: (Still on the computer) Yeah, there's a house we can rent for a couple of weeks… it's on the coast. In fact, I'm looking at the photos right now.

LUKE: (Nods) Great… great.

LORELAI: I'll let you see the photos tonight, and we can decide together… (with a smile) How does that sound?

LUKE: (Smiles into the phone) Sounds like a plan.

LORELAI: (Segues) So why did you call?

LUKE: (Shakes his head) Your mother called.

LORELAI: (Confused) "My mother" as in Emily?

LUKE: (Nods) Yeah, she wants to have a family gathering the night before Rory leaves…

LORELAI: Why didn't she just call me?

LUKE: Hell if I know.

LORELAI: (Thinks) Hmm…

LUKE: I said I'd have to ask you.

LORELAI: (Tilts her head) Well… the more I think about it, the more I wish we had some sort of a farewell thing to send her off…

LUKE: (Nods) I agree.

LORELAI: But I still don't understand why she didn't just talk to me when dad called…

LUKE: (Shakes his head too) I don't know… but I think one of the reasons she wants to host it is because we've got our hands full with Nicholas?

LORELAI: Maybe. (Suddenly her eyes light up) Oh wow… I think I just had a revelation…

LUKE: What is it?

LORELAI: (Speaks slowly) I don't know, I think… this is… her way… of… acknowledging you?

LUKE: What? (Dismisses it) No.

LORELAI: (Explains) Come on, Luke. You don't dread being around her anymore, and she seems to acknowledge you a lot more when you're around… (nods) I think this is progress.

LUKE: (Chuckles a bit) Let's see about that. So, what do you say about next Saturday, the whole family… including Nate, Rose and Tony.

LORELAI: (Makes a guilty expression) Is it weird that I think it's a good idea?

LUKE: It is weird that we don't think it's a 'weird' idea.

LORELAI: (Shakes her head) There's no sour taste in our mouths anymore, is there?

LUKE: (Nods) It is weird.

LORELAI: (Agrees) Very.

Scene fades.

INT. THE MUSE – ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE HARTFORD COURANT – HALF AN HOUR LATER

Scene opens on Rory still on the phone with Gus. We don't see Gus, but we hear his voice…

GUS: … well, I'm glad that's all settled now.

RORY: (Looking lost) Me too. Thanks.

GUS: Oh, one more thing before I forget.

RORY: (Manages to blink) Yes?

She looks up and sees Nate re-entering the café. Nate sees Rory on the phone and decides to sit quietly in front of her.

GUS: Nate DiLuca was to be your direct report when we hired you. But the new turn of events will pose a conflict of interest, so the moment we get on those flights… you will be reporting directly to me. If that's okay with you?

RORY: (Shakes her head) No problem at all… in fact, I was going to ask you about that. (Nate curiously looks at her.) Okay, Gus… thank you so much.

GUS: Take care, Rory.

RORY: Okay, you too. Bye. (Rory hangs up and looks down at Nate's phone for a few moments)

NATE: Well?

RORY: (Slowly looks up as she shakes her head) Okay, this whole conversation took a bizarre turn.

NATE: What did he say?

RORY: (Shakes her head again) Gus wants me to find a New York address as soon as I get back from Africa…

NATE: (Eyes widen, but doesn't assume) What does that mean?

RORY: He spoke to HR about putting me on as a freelancer with a retainer for a year. But he hopes to find a position for me within that period, and if he doesn't he said he'd renew the retainer… Apparently they're always looking for freelance journalists, editorialists, (shrugs) bloggers – whatever he can find me. Gus thinks it's the best way to keep me on at the Times… (Nate's smiles at her and she tilts her head)… don't tell me you didn't know this?

NATE: (Shakes his head) I swear to god, I had no idea. And if I did, I would never put you through the past 24-hours.

RORY: (Knowing well he speaks the truth, she nods) I know.

NATE: I think this is great news.

RORY: (Takes a deep breath and nods) I can't believe it. But now I have to find a place… in order to sign the W9 form, he prefers I have a New York zip code…

NATE: (Suggests) You can always put down Rose and Tony's place in the city until we return…

RORY: (Shakes her head) Nooo, I can't do that.

NATE: Why not? I'm using their address until I find an apartment. Seriously, my parents would only be too happy to help out…

RORY: (Nods) Okay.

NATE: (Looks directly at her) And then… (pauses for a second or two)…

RORY: (Tilts her head again) And then, what?

NATE: … and then… (sighs as Rory looks on curiously). After the summer, we could hunt for an apartment together. (Rory's eyes widen and in rare moment, Nate starts to ramble) I mean, we can look for a place with two bedrooms. You know, to have two separate bedrooms… or one could be a bedroom and the other, an office. Or it could be two separate apartments. That could work too…

RORY: (Completely surprised, she takes a moment to respond) Nate… are you sure? I mean, considering how 'new' (gestures at the both of them) this is?

NATE: (He gets up and moves to the chair next to her) Does it seem like it's 'new' to you?

RORY: (Softly) No… it doesn't.

NATE: (Stares into her eyes) It just seems… (adds) to me, like we're going in the same direction. So why not hitch a ride, (shrugs) carpool, whatever… (with a smirk) save on gas.

RORY: (Blushes a bit and looks down at his phone, still in her hands) Wow… (jokes as she looks back up at him) that's the most romantic analogy anyone's ever come up with, I think.

NATE: (In a serious tone) I mean, we have to get through Africa first… but what do you say?

RORY: (Observes his face for a moment, then nods with a smile) I'd like that very much.

Nate leans in and gives her a kiss. As he pulls away, Rory remembers…

RORY: By the way, mom offered us a room at the inn… to stay there until we leave.

NATE: Yeah, you mentioned.

RORY: Oh yeah. (Adds) You can move in tomorrow, if you'd like.

NATE: Will do.

RORY: Good deal (Rory looks at his phone again and randomly asks) Hey, I really like your phone. (Looks up at him with a grin) Can I have it?

NATE: (With his eyes raised) Get your own. (He takes the phone from her and gets ready to leave, Rory gets up as well)

RORY: (Pouts) Aw, come on… it's fancy.

NATE: (As he picks up their stuff from the table) Let's go shop for one, then.

Scene/audio gradually fade…

RORY: No, I want yours…

NATE: Then, what am I going to use?

RORY: Mine.

NATE: Brat.

RORY: Hey!

INT. DRAGONFLY INN – SUNDAY MORNING

Scene opens on Michel, Nate, and Rory in the check-in area of the inn.

MICHEL: (As he hands him the keys) Here you go, room number nine. I'll have someone help you with the luggage (gestures at one of the workers)

NATE: Thanks.

RORY: Yeah, thanks Michel.

Rory sees Lorelai enter the inn through the front door and tend to one of her workers.

LORELAI: (Looking up briefly at her daughter and Nate) Hey there!

RORY: (Looks up, smiles, and walks over to the front door) Mom.

Nate stays back to sort things out with the porter.

MICHEL: (Curiously looks at Nate) You must be new in town.

NATE: (Briefly looks up) Umm, not really. We actually met a few weeks ago…

MICHEL: Oh?

NATE: Yeah.

MICHEL: (Remembers) Oh yes, the boy who put up the lights outside.

NATE: (Holding back an amused smile) Yes, that boy would be me. (Looks at the porter as he hands over his last piece of luggage) Thanks. (Looks back at Michel and nods) Thanks.

Nate walks over to Lorelai and Rory.

LORELAI: (Turns to him) Was Michel giving you a hard time?

NATE: No, no… not at all. (Briefly looks back at Michel and turns around with a curiously expression) Why is he still staring at me?

RORY: (Nods) Don't worry about him, he's jealous of you.

NATE: Why on earth for?

RORY: He's jealous of anyone who's in better shape than he is…

LORELAI: (Gestures) Oh yeah, remember when he went on and on about Leila Ali's arms?

RORY: (Nods) Yup, he's got the short-man syndrome.

NATE: (Amused by the silly exchange, he pulls up his messenger bag) Anyway, I should go tip the porter. (Looks at Lorelai) Thank you for letting me crash here for a few days.

LORELAI: (Smiles) Anytime, Nate. You're welcome to crash here whenever. (Rory's proud of the exchange)

NATE: (Nods) Thanks… (he pats Rory on her arm and walks up the stairs).

As Nate leaves the scene, Rory and Lorelai look at each other.

RORY: (Sighs) I have to talk to you…

LORELAI: (Surprised at the randomness) Oh, ok…

RORY: (Gestures at the front door) Outside?

LORELAI: (Confused and nervous at the same time) S..sure.

Lorelai follows Rory outside.

EXT. DRAGONFLY INN…

Rory and Lorelai step out onto the porch and walk a few steps towards the bench. Rory turns around and leans against the railing. Lorelai takes a seat on the bench and looks up at her daughter.

RORY: (Takes a deep breath) I spoke to Gus yesterday…

LORELAI: Ok…

RORY: He's offering me a freelance opportunity this fall at the Times. With a one-year retainer…

LORELAI: (Processes) Oh…. Wow… Rory, that's great!

RORY: (With an excited smile, she nods) Yeah, it is… I… I was stunned… I didn't expect that at all. I mean, I expected something completely opposite… thought they were going to pull me off the project.

LORELAI: (Curiously) Why would you think that?

RORY: (Shakes her head and dismisses it) Oh, it's a long story… but that's the big news.

LORELAI: (Stands up and joins her) I think this is amazing news. (Thinks) So I guess this means, you'll have to move to New York?

RORY: (Nods) Which brings me to the other thing I wanted to talk about…

LORELAI: (Lowers her head) What, what?

RORY: (Brushes a few strands of hair behind her ear, and shakes her head) I mean, it's not set in stone… we have to get through Africa first…

LORELAI: (Extremely curious) What is it?

RORY: (She looks up at her mother) Nate and I… we… uh, we have decided to look for apartments once we get back.

LORELAI: (Enlightened, she widens her eyes) Oh. Wow.

RORY: What are you thinking?

LORELAI: Just that… (sighs) it's a great idea… but are you sure? Are you really sure?

RORY: (Nods) I am. I really am. (Adds as she shakes her head) Mom, everything's lining up for me right now… for both of us. And we have already talked about it all in great length. We realize that it all depends on how the next three months go. And so far, we have nothing to complain about. And… (looks towards the interior of inn) … and I need to jump in with both feet, mom. And Nate's the guy I want to do it for.

LORELAI: (With moistened eyes, Lorelai smiles at her daughter) I see that. And I truly believe it. I just had to ask if you were sure because it's in my job description.

RORY: (Chuckles slightly as her eyes moisten as well) Look at the two of us. Do you think we finally have it together?

LORELAI: (Tilts her head slightly) I think we're getting there.

Rory takes a step towards her mother and gives her a hug. As they part, Lorelai continues…

LORELAI: (With a grin) This is going to be a fun revelation at the shindig on Saturday night.

RORY: (Curiously) What shindig?

Scene fades.

INT. DRAGONFLY INN – ROOM #9 – SATURDAY EVENING

Scene opens as the camera spans through the room filled with at least 5 or 6 pieces of luggage. Rory's sitting in front of the vanity putting on a pair of earrings when someone knocks on the door.

RORY: Coming!

A barefoot Rory, in an understated black cocktail dress, walks over and opens the door. Just as the door opens half way, Paris bursts into the room.

RORY: (Surprised) Paris?

PARIS: (Walking as far as the bed) Doyle sends his love.

RORY: Umm. (Closes the door) What are you doing here?

PARIS: (Starts to pace) I hear you're going to Africa.

RORY: Yes, you already knew this.

PARIS: Yes, I did… but the new word on the street is…

RORY: (Goes back to her business of getting ready for the evening) Which street?

PARIS: (Paces) The word on the street is that you're moving to New York.

RORY: (Curiously looks up at her) How did you hear about it, especially all the way from Hartford?

PARIS: I've got contacts. (Stops pacing and looks down at her) So, is it true?

RORY: It's not a done deal yet… but yeah.

PARIS: I hear it's a permanent move.

RORY: (Shrugs) It could be. I don't know.

PARIS: (Throws her hands in the air) Great!

RORY: It's not like I'm permanently moving to someplace in Africa. I'll still only be a couple of hours from you… (mumbles to herself as she looks back at the mirror) Although, I should reevaluate that.

PARIS: (Sighs and calms down) I don't think I'm ready to let you go yet.

RORY: (Chuckles at Paris' ridiculousness) Paris, we'll still call each other… and possibly, very possibly meet up once in a while.

PARIS: I guess you're right.

RORY: You came all this way just for that?

PARIS: (Shrugs) And there was a strawberry festival in Woodbury. (Pulls out her planner from her bag and opens it up) Okay, tell me when and where we meet every month…

Rory is overwhelmed by her friend, but just as Paris pulls out a pen, Nate opens the bathroom door and enters the room. To Paris' surprise he's only wearing a towel around his lower waist. As he wipes his hair vigorously with another towel, he's completely oblivious to the guest in their room. Paris, on the other hand, can't help but stare at him. Rory stays silent – hoping the moment will pass soon enough.

NATE: (Unaware, he continues to wipe his hair as he grabs the shirt and pair of pants off the bed) Do we have time?

RORY: Mm-hmm.

NATE: Good (continues into the bathroom).

As he shuts the door behind him, Paris quickly turns to Rory and mouths an "Oh my god!"

With a smirk, Rory shrugs.

Scene fades.

INT. GILMORE MANSION – SATURDAY EVENING

Scene opens on a lively room. Everyone's there. Richard moves behind the cart to make drinks for everyone.

TONY: (Gets up from his seat and walks over to him) Let me help you with that, Richard.

RICHARD: Why, thank you.

Lorelai and Luke sit in the couch across from Rory and Nate.

LORELAI: (To Rory and Nate) Now, are you sure you don't want us to take you to the airport. You'll have a large entourage...

LUKE: (Suggests) We could take a couple of cars.

NATE: (Nods) Thank you. But… (looks to his side at Rory) I think they've already scheduled for a courtesy van to pick us up from the inn. (Rory nods as well).

ROSE: Unfortunately, Tony and I won't be here to see you two off, but we will see you later tomorrow. (Looks at Lorelai) We have a 7 o'clock flight to catch tomorrow morning to Atlanta. So we'll meet up with Rory and Nathan over there…

LORELAI: Oh right, you mentioned.

EMILY: (Curiously) Doesn't that mean you will have to wake up early in the morning?

ROSE: (Dismisses it) Yes, but don't worry about us leaving early tonight. We're here to celebrate…

RICHARD: (As he hands the drinks to Nate and Rory) I'm not awfully fond of that airport.

APRIL: (Chimes in) Same here. I've only been there once… and it was too large for my taste. (Shrugs) Then again, I was only five years old… things always seem larger than they really are when you're little.

ROSE: (Smiles at the young'un and nods) Oh, but I agree, it is too big.

Everyone now has a drink in their hands. Tony takes a seat next to his wife, and Richard gets himself a drink and stands by his own chair.

RICHARD: Now that we've all got our drinks, I'd like to make a toast… a farewell toast to Rory and Nate. (Chuckles a bit) Though, I feel as if we've been here before.

TONY: (Explains) We have, Richard. A couple of months ago…

RICHARD: (With a hearty chuckle) Oh, right. But this one counts more…

Everyone stands up.

RICHARD: (Looks at Emily and Lorelai) It's here, the day has come… the day we say goodbye to our Rory (Nate looks at Rory and smiles. Richard takes a moment and looks at his granddaughter and then at Nate) I think I speak for everyone in this room, and everyone else that's lucky enough to have you in their lives, when I say, we wish you the best that life can offer. The very best. (Lorelai's eyes moisten again, and Emily looks on with pride) And I wish you all the best in whatever you do… in Africa, in New York, or wherever else life takes you. We will miss you while you're gone, but I'd like to raise my glass and quote something a famous 18th Century English poet once wrote… (everyone waits for it), "We only part to meet again."

TONY: (Raises his glass as well) Hear, hear!

As everyone knocks their glasses together and cheers, Rory and Lorelai look at each and smile.

Scene fades.

EXT. DRAGONFLY INN PORCH – SUNDAY MORNING

Scene opens on a white courtesy van parked on the driveway of the inn. As the camera pans, we see Lorelai, Nate, and Luke (holding Nicholas) by the van. And when the camera pans further, we see Richard, Emily, and April standing on the porch. Rory is also on the porch saying goodbye to them.

APRIL: (Pulls away from a hug) Tell Nate I will volunteer at the shelter as much as I can this summer.

RORY: He will definitely love hearing that. (Sighs) I'm going to miss you, April. Don't forget to e-mail…

APRIL: I won't.

Rory pats April on the shoulder and moves to Emily and Richard.

EMILY: Now, please be careful Rory… it's a foreign land.

RORY: (Hugs Emily) I will, grandma.

EMILY: And don't forget to call us as soon as you land in Atlanta. (Adds) And Johannesburg… and wherever else you'll be flying to.

RORY: I promise. (Looks up at her grandfather and gives him a big hug) Bye grandpa.

RICHARD: (As he pulls away with a big smile on his face) I hope you know how proud we are of you, Rory.

RORY: (Smiles up at the gentle giant) Thanks, grandpa.

RICHARD: Remember to take lots of photographs, and I can't wait to hear about your experience there…

RORY: (Tiptoes and gives him a kiss on the cheek) Goodbye.

As Rory turns and walks down the stairs, the camera zooms in on Richard's face as he lets go of one of his favorite Gilmore girls. April steps forward and hangs on to the railing as Richard places an arm around Emily.

Rory walks over to Luke and Lorelai.

RORY: (Gently touches Nicholas' head and gives him a kiss on the forehead) I'm going to miss you, kid. (She looks up at her step-father with a sad smile) Luke…

LUKE: (Clearly saddened, he takes a deep breath and nods) I hate technology…

RORY: (Surprised at the randomness) Oh.

LUKE: … but I will definitely e-mail you. (Lorelai and Rory are touched)

RORY: Aw, Luke… you big softy. (She reaches up and gives him a hug) You're the best.

Rory pulls away and looks at Lorelai. The infamous Lalas start to fade in as the camera zooms on the girls.

RORY: Mom.

LORELAI: Rory.

RORY: (Her eyes moisten once more) Any advice for me? Any words of wisdom?

LORELAI: (Holding back tears, she tries to think of something funny) Stay away from termite mounds.

RORY: (Chuckles through her tears) I will remember that.

As Nate looks on at the touching scene, Lorelai holds her daughter's hands.

LORELAI: You know I wish you all the best, right? (Looks over her daughter at Nate) And you, you take good care of my girl... (Nate subtly nods, and Lorelai looks at her daughter and whispers) I like him.

RORY: (Nods) Me too.

Lorelai swallows a bit, and then gently pulls her daughter into an embrace.

LORELAI: Good luck, babe.

Rory nods, takes a look at everyone, and turns around to walk to the van. Nate looks back at everyone and nods, and then the two of them climb into the van.

The Lalas continues.

As the van starts to pull out, the camera cuts to the interior of the vehicle as Rory turns in her seat and watches the Gilmores and Danes' wave at them. Lorelai has taken a few steps forward. A few moments later, Rory turns around and looks at the person sitting next to her. Nate smiles and places an arm around her.

Camera CUTS to everyone outside the inn.

RICHARD: (Takes a deep breath, and looks down at April) What do you say we start a game of chess, April?

APRIL: (Jumps at the offer) Oh, good. I have a new strategy I'd like to test…

Richard and April walk inside. Emily, however, stays outside a few moments longer to watch Luke, Lorelai and Nicholas. With an agreeable nod, she turns and walks inside as well.

Camera CUTS to Luke, Nicholas, and Lorelai.

LUKE: (Observes Lorelai and asks softly) Are you okay?

LORELAI: (Still looking in the direction of the van, she nods) I am.

LUKE: (Pulling Nicholas up a bit) We can talk to Rory through Spike.

LORELAI: (With a smirk, she turns to her husband) I think you mean, "Skype."

LUKE: (Remembers) Oh yeah, that.

LORELAI: (Chuckles a bit) Are you sure you know how to use it?

LUKE: Of course I do, April showed me.

LORELAI: (Jumps slightly and claps her hands) Ooh, let's test it out!

LUKE: (Gestures towards the driveway) Rory's not in Africa yet.

LORELAI: (Rolls her eyes) I know that. We should test it out with April. We should take our laptop to the diner, and ask April to sign on here…

LUKE: Huh?

LORELAI: Come on, let's make a game out of it. (Takes Nicholas' hand) Our baby will like it! Ooh, can we do prank calls?

The Lalas start to fade in again.

LUKE: (Starts stepping back towards the inn) You're crazy.

LORELAI: (Shakes her head as if it's nothing new) I know that.

LUKE: (As he walks up the stairs) You're insane. (Looks as Nicholas) You're mother's insane.

LORELAI: (Follows them up the stairs and throws her hands up in the air) Hello? That's why you love me!

The Lalas fade out.

Scene ends.

END CREDITS

…………..END OF SERIES

Edited to add (10/27/2008): For new development of this series, please visit my livejournal site (link provided on author page).

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First thing's first:
I'd like to give a 'big' thank you to damselfly for all her support. Not only in proofing some of the episodes, but also being one of the pushers that made me hang on till the end. Another one of the pushers, and one of the main reasons I thought about writing the season, is dragonfly. Not only did these two ladies push me to complete this season and read my ideas in the form of ramblings, but they also collaborated with me on a couple of episodes, namely 8.17 and part of 8.19. I can't thank you both enough.

Also, a thank you goes to DieHardJavaJunkie14 for collaborating with me on the teaser of 8.14. Glad I got to experience your wonderful talents as a writer.

Last, but not least… I'd like to thank all the readers who stuck with this story. Thank you to those who took the time to leave feedback, and engaged in wonderful discussions.

I would also like you to know that this will be my last fan-fiction, so I will definitely miss reading your reviews, messages, etc.

With that being said, I'll still appreciate your reviews on this final segment/episode.

Take care, and I hope you all have a good rest of the summer (or winter for those on the southern hem).