Disclaimer: I didn't plan on this, but I got a request from scarletcantley to add an epilogue of a future reunion. I thought it was a good idea. So here it is. There you go children, ask and you shall receive….eventually.
Rory sighed as she stared at herself in the mirror. She kept turning and sighing, then she'd turn a different way and sigh. Finally, Tristan thought it was time to step in.
"Ror, what's wrong?"
"What's wrong? Are you kidding?" She asked, pointing at her stomach. "I'm a freaking blimp. I look horrible in everything I try, nothing fits!" She frustratedly cried as she threw a hanger on the bed. "I don't want to go." She said.
"Then we won't go." Tristan said, reaching to take off his tie. "We'll stay at home."
"But you want to go." Rory said, knowing it was true.
"Not if you aren't going to enjoy yourself. I just thought it would be nice to get out of the house for a night, and considering you did help plan the thing and you were the VP of the class…" he stopped talking. "If you want to stay in, we'll stay in." He said simply. Eight months of living with a pregnant wife and he had learned the art of diplomacy. His stubborn will had disappeared and he acquiesced to whatever she requested.
"You had to go and get me pregnant." Rory blamed him for this whole situation. Tristan smiled. "You ruined my body, you know. I'm never going to be able to wear any of this stuff ever again."
"I think you'll be fine."
"No I won't. I'm going to be fat and swollen forever." She was on a roll tonight with the pouting, not that Tristan could really blame her. It was July and she was eight and a half months pregnant.
"Yes, and after that, I'm going to get saggy." She said, finally sitting down on the bed.
"After forever?" Rory shot him a look that could shatter glass so Tristan decided it was time to keep his mouth shut. "Look, I know how hard this is for you, but you have to look at the positive side for one second. You have a person inside of you." He said, touching her stomach. "And in a few weeks, you're going to be a mother to this little kid. And when that happens, you get to spend the next fifty years torturing it however you please." Rory smiled.
"That is true." She admitted. "I'm sorry I've been such a pain in the ass lately." She said. "Do me a favor. Go out tonight, see your friends, drink enough to forget how annoying I've been lately. I'm just going to stay home and watch a movie or something."
"I'll stay." Tristan said. "It's not a big deal."
"No, you should really go. You'd have so much more fun without me." Tristan knew he should stay home, but he really needed to get out of this house.
"Are you sure?"
"Okay. I'll have my cell phone on me the whole time in case you need anything." Tristan said one more time.
"Good, now go play and have fun!"
"Bye." He said with a kiss. She watched as he walked out of the house and she turned her attention to the TV. She had netflixed some movies, but she didn't feel up to watching them right now. She flipped through the channels and nothing was on. This was not her night. She picked up the phone to call her mother and complain to her, but Lorelei wasn't answering. She sighed and rested her hands on her stomach. The little one kicked her hand and she smiled. Tristan was convinced that she was harboring a soccer star who would be famous one day.
"Ice cream. I agree." Rory said to her stomach. She got up, found her keys, and was out the door.
Tristan came home from the reunion relatively early. While he had enjoyed himself, it felt wrong to be there without Rory. The lights were out in the kitchen, a sure sign that Rory had already gone to bed. He glanced at the microwave. It was only ten. She must have really needed to sleep. Hopefully she would be in a better mood tomorrow. He made his way up the stairs to the bedroom and smiled as he found Rory. She was still in the same clothes that she had worn that day. She looked as if she had just collapsed for a nap and never woken up. An empty ice cream container sat next to her on the bedside table. He quietly walked to the bathroom to take a shower.
"Tris?" She muttered, but he had already turned the water on in the bathroom and couldn't hear her. She felt it again and put her hand on her stomach. So much for eating ice cream and going to bed, her heart burn was terrible. She sat up and put her pillow behind her, trying to find a more comfortable position. Deciding she should probably take something, she waddled her way to the bathroom to find the heartburn medication in the medicine cabinet. Upon hearing the door open, Tristan turned his attention to his wife.
"How are you feeling?" He asked over the rushing water.
"Heart burn." She said. "It's bad this time." She took a pill out and swallowed it down with a glass of water. Tristan turned the shower off and grabbed a towel from the wall. He wrapped it around himself and stepped out onto the rug. As he watched his wife grip the counter, he immediately looked at her stomach.
"Are you having contractions?" He asked her. She shook her head, but he walked over and felt her stomach anyway. "Are you sure?"
"I think I would know if I were in labor, Tristan."
"Okay." He once again resigned himself to her grouchiness and walked into the bedroom to get dressed. Rory didn't follow. After putting on his pajamas and sitting down on the bed, he heard her.
"Tris," She said, wanting him to join her in the bathroom again. He got out of bed and walked over to her. "I'm in labor." She said, glancing to the floor where her water had just broken. Tristan, for all of his training, just stood there looking at her. "Well, you're the doctor. Do something." She begged.
"Right!" He said, getting his act together. "Let's go!"
"She's coming right back, don't worry." Tristan rocked his daughter in his arms as he walked around the hospital room.
"Come to mama, baby." Rory said as she returned from the bathroom. She laid her gently on her shoulder and sat back down on the bed.
"We've got to come up with a name for this kid. If I hear one more of Lorelei's Dirty Dancing references I'm going to lose my mind."
"It's only been a few hours."
"Well Baby won't fit forever." He said.
"Well, what do you think?"
"Her first name is going to be Lorelei, right?" Rory nodded. "Of all the options, I like Madison best."
"Lorelei Madison DuGray." Rory grinned. "What do you think, Maddie?" She asked.
"We have a name?" Lorelei said as she entered the room. "Her name is Maddie?"
"Meet your granddaughter, Lorelei Madison DuGray." Tristan said as he wrote it down on the birth certificate. Lorelei fought back the tears as she reached out to hug her son in law.
"You named her Lorelei?"
"Of course." Rory said.
"Welcome to the club, Maddie." She said as she played with the little one's finger. "It's a very big responsibility being a Lorelei. Yes it is. You've got to learn how to drink coffee, and drive your parents crazy, but don't worry. Grandma Lorelei is going to teach you all of these things." Rory smiled and looked at Tristan.
"Hey, how about a picture of the three girls, hmm?" Tristan said, holding up a camera. "Say Lorelei!"
"I know that it's our 30th class reunion, but it's the weekend of Maddie's fifteenth birthday too." Rory said into her phone. "Well, we could go up on Saturday and have the party on Friday night." She paused. "At Mom's on Friday, that way we are already up there for…" She was cut off again. "Well, you tell me a better plan." She waited for his response. "Whatever, let's just think about it and decide later? Okay? Bye." She hung up the phone with a stressed sigh. She knew that she was being ridiculous, she could hear herself being irrational. Between planning this reunion and all of her work and trying to keep up with a fifteen year old daughter and a twelve year old son, both of whom were out of school for the summer, she needed this upcoming break from work. She sighed as the phone rang again.
"New York Times, this is Rory Gilmore." As someone droned on about an article they were working on, she half-listened. "Yeah, just have it on my office by Monday." She told the reporter.
"How's my favorite editor?" Her boss walked into her office with a smile.
"About to have a mental breakdown. Is it important?"
"That depends. Why the mental breakdown?"
"Well, when you have a husband who is a doctor and a daughter who is turning fifteen next week, I'm thankful to still be breathing."
"You're taking a three day weekend next week, is that right?"
"Make it four, spend some time with your family."
"Why are you being so nice to me today?" Rory questioned.
"Because, newspapers are dying faster than we can type up our stories about them, and frankly, I want to keep you here as long as possible."
"I'm not going to abandon you. I know that this job is the last of a dying breed, but I enjoy it. I'm a newspaper woman. I can't help myself. It's in my blood."
"Good. Hey, speaking of blood, is your husband still working at the NYP children's hospital?"
"Do you think Sophie could interview him for a piece she's doing on healthcare reform?" Rory shrugged.
"I can ask him. I don't know if he'll have anything to say about it."
"Every source counts." He said as he tapped his finger on her desk. "Have a good afternoon Gilmore."
"You too." She shouted down the hall after him. He waved without turning around. She glanced at the clock. Two more hours before she had to pick up Maddie from soccer. She was definitely going to kill time by doing something unproductive. She opened her email and began sorting through them when the phone rang again.
When Rory finally arrived to pick up her daughter, she had a big bandage on her leg.
"Mads, what happened?" Rory said, examining her leg.
"Some girl hit me with her cleats. It doesn't really hurt, but it's pretty gross." Maddie had gotten a sports streak from her father. Lorelei claimed that this had nothing to do with any of their genes and must be a freak occurrence.
"I think she might need stitches this time." Her coach said. "We've been watching it for a few minutes, but it's not healing up."
"You know what that means?" Rory said to her daughter.
"Daddy." She got a knowing look on her face. Her father was as protective as any father of a gorgeous, athletic, blonde, fifteen year old daughter would be. Rory whipped out her cell phone and sighed.
"You call, I'll drive."
"I hope he doesn't have a chair waiting." Maddie told her mother. "I don't need a wheel chair."
"Just humor him. This will go a lot easier if you do." They made it up to his floor and were directed towards his makeshift suture room.
"Hey kid." He said as they walked into the room. "Battle scars already?"
"It's not that bad." She tried to convince him. "Really, it looks worse than it is." Rory silently watched as Tristan went into doctor mode and carefully removed the bandage. For some reason, she was suddenly reminded of the day that she brought Gigi into get her cast off. Tristan always had the same focused look when he worked on his patients.
"Oh, Madison." Rory said as she covered her mouth. It was the first time she had seen the wound.
"Yeah, that's going to need some work done." Tristan said as he reached for the anesthesia to numb her leg.
"You better not screw this up, it's your kid we're talking about here." Rory said, protecting her daughter.
"I've done this once or twice Dear." He said with a smile. "You know, this is how I met your mom?" He told his daughter. "Right around this time, twenty years ago."
"We met in Hartford, Aunt Gigi was getting a cast taken off her arm and your dad was the one to do it."
"And it was love at first sight, blah blah blah." Madison said. "I know, I've heard the story like, a thousand times." Tristan smiled at his wife. Twenty years. He couldn't believe it had been that long. It seemed like just yesterday.
"Actually, we met when I was fifteen and I hated his guts. That's a much better version of the story." He never took his eyes off of Madison's leg, but Rory knew that he was listening.
"And just as repeated."
"Hold still Mads…" He said as he started stitching up her leg. Rory couldn't watch. Thankfully, her cell phone rang.
"Hello?" She said, exiting the room.
"Mom, can I sleep over at Noah's?"
"Hello Jake, how are you?" Rory said.
"Please?" The twelve year old was too impatient for formalities.
"Is it okay with his parents?"
"Sure, do you need me to bring you some stuff?"
"No, they said that they could stop on the way home so I could pick stuff up."
"Alright. We're at the hospital right now with Daddy, so use the key."
"Have a great night. Call if you need anything."
"Bye." Rory heard the phone slam shut and she sighed.
"All done?" She said, as the two met her in the hallway. Mads nodded from a pair of crutches and started walking to the elevator.
"I told her she had to stay off of it for a couple days." Tristan said, knowing it was a futile argument and that she was probably going to be running on it by then.
"Good luck with that." Rory smiled. "Thanks for fixing her. You're a superhero." She said with a kiss. He groaned at her choice of words. Honestly, while he still hated being called her superhero, he was always glad that he could rescue her from whatever came her way. "Oh, would you be willing to be interviewed for an article about healthcare reform?" She asked.
"I don't know. I just said that I would ask. I'll give Sophie your number." She said, putting a memo in her phone. "What time are you going to be home?"
"Soon. I get off at seven." He said, looking at his watch.
"Okay, Jake is staying at Noah's tonight so I was thinking that we could rent a bunch of movies, wait about thirty seconds for Madison's drugs to kick in and then have the evening to ourselves." Tristan smiled.
"I could bring home dinner from Luciano's."
"Sounds great." She said. "I'll see you later."
"Okay." He said, watching her walk down the hallway. She paused and quickly turned around. "Forget something?" Surprised that he was still standing where she had left him, she walked back towards him.
"Were you watching me walk away?" She said, a sense of power overcoming her features.
"Maybe." He shrugged, refusing to give anything away.
"I forgot my purse."
"Maddie took it with her." Rory nodded. She looked around and pulled him into the room once more for a deep kiss. Tristan pulled away, surprised by her actions.
"What was that for?" He said, still holding onto her hips.
"That was for this morning on the phone." She said, feeling bad that she snapped at him. "And this…" she said as she kissed him again, "is just because I can." He smiled. "Hurry home." She smirked before leaving the room. Tristan chuckled and shook his head. What he had done to get this girl to marry him was beyond him, but he was so thankful that she did.