I feel like this is becoming a pattern. Here it is, 4am and I decided to edit and post the next chapter. I hope it you enjoy this (American) Thanksgiving treat! Happy Thanksgiving to anyone celebrating today!
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own the rights to "Gilmore Girls" or it's characters. No copyright infringement intended.
2. Knight in Shining Armani?
Coffee turned into dinner which turned into after-dinner coffee followed by a movie at Colin's house (his dad was away on business as per usual.) The boys revealed their adventures in boarding school, the girls went over the way things worked at Chilton, and the night flew by. For the rest of the week the group ate together at lunch, including Paris who found another target to direct her rath: Brad Langford had also transferred back to Chilton.
In what seemed like a blink of an eye, Friday night had arrived and, once again, Rory and Lorelai were rushing to get ready for dinner at the main house and, once again, they were running a bit behind.
"How much time?" Lorelai shouted from her bedroom while attempting to hop to the bathroom and put her second shoe on at the same time.
"Eight minutes!" Rory called back, while brushing her teeth and pulling her tights on. She spit her toothpaste in the kitchen sink, grabbed her purse (containing her current book of the day), and raced to put her shoes on. She checked the clock, Five minutes to spare. "Do you think she'd even notice if we were late?"
Before Lorelai could respond a shrill, deafening sound dropped her to the ground. "You two had better be over here in less than five minutes or I will have the pool house fumigated and you'll have to move back in here. I mean it Lorelai, don't push me." The worst part of living in Emily's pool house was the intercom connected to the main house which only had one volume: ear-bleeding loud.
Rory ran to the nearest intercom to respond, "We're walking out the door right now Grandma. See you in a few minutes." She ran toward her mother's room, "Mom, let's go! Are you almost- Mom! Your dress isn't even zipped up! Grab your stuff and come on! Put your shoes on while we're walking, because there is no way I want to move into that house for a week or two!"
"Right! Moving, I'm moving…got the bag…got the shoes…and gone! You can zip me up on the way!" Lorelai grabbed her things and both headed for the door.
"I find it a little excessive that we have to ring the doorbell before going in. It's not like we're strangers, or fly-by-night salesman," Lorelai complained as they reached the main entry.
"We expect them to knock before coming into the pool house, and they own it!" Rory retorted. "I find it excessive that I had to come to this party even though they both know I'm going to Harvard. Grandpa is probably going to have his buddies help him to relive 'The Glory Days' in hopes that I will reconsider, again." It was well known that Richard and Emily didn't want Rory to attend any school other than Yale. Lorelai wouldn't mind her attending, it was her Alma Mater after all, but she made sure to keep the promise she made to her baby girl so many years ago. She would always have her choice.
"I'm sure your right about that. It's probably the only reason they're throwing the party. We'll slip out before they start drinking too much brandy; that way they won't have started the singing yet. Sorry kid, being a Gilmore sometimes comes with a little crazy." Lorelai pushed the button and they were welcomed into the house.
Emily was first to reach the door. As she opened it, she glanced at her sparkling watch, "Well, thirty seconds to spare. If I didn't know better, I'd say you weren't very thrilled to be here. Well. Don't just stand in the door way, come in. I've started serving the appetizers and dinner will be served within the hour. Don't forget to greet your father. He is in a particularly good mood tonight." She was about to continue her direction when a server walked by with a tray of salmon puffs. "Is that garnish? Young man? Young man!" And with that, Emily was gone, chasing after the poor soul who didn't follow her orders.
Half an hour had past and Rory found herself cornered by the only two people her age at the party, both boys, and both shamelessly trying to pick her up. She politely nodded and agreed wherever necessary with no interest in the conversation and no visible escape from her new fate. She was about to use the 'I'm going to powder my nose' excuse when an arm slid around her shoulder.
"Darling I'm sorry I'm late. Traffic was a nightmare. Are you mad? Please don't be mad." Rory looked, in shock, up to the man at her side and gave him a disgruntled look. "You're mad. Don't look at me that way, it will never happen again. Were you having a good conversation before I interrupted?" He gave her a quick wink as a sign to play along.
"Um, no darling, you didn't interrupt," she started, noticing the looks on the other guy's faces. They clearly thought otherwise. She wrapped her arm around his waist for added emphasis. She was going to have a little fun with this. "Well, don't be shy sweetums, introduce yourself." Yep, just as expected, the two across from her winced at the sickly sweet term of endearment.
"My apologies gents, I'm Derek, Rory's boyfriend." Rory looked satisfied that she was able to get the stranger in Armani to reveal his name; at least she had a name to go with the face.
The boys looked at each other, and then back at Derek when one spoke, "You're her boyfriend? She never mentioned a boyfriend."
"Yeah, going on a year and a half. She can be a bit vengeful and was probably trying to make me jealous seeing as I'm nearly forty five minutes late." He glanced over at Rory and looked apologetic, "I'm so sorry precious, you win okay? It nearly killed me to see you talking to them. You want me to announce it to the room? I will. I'm jealous! I want the world to know!" As he started to raise his voice and gain the attention of some nearby guests, Rory turned to him with utter embarrassment written all over her face. She quickly put her hand over his mouth and pleaded with her eyes for him to take it down a notch. He nodded and spoke again, "Can we please be in love again and go?"
Rory looked at her previous companions with mock apology, "I'm so sorry guys. It looks like we've made up. It was nice meeting both of you, and good luck at Yale next year." She turned to look at Derek, "Let's go cuddle-bear." They both turned and headed outside, Derek leading her by the hand. "Not that I don't trust you or anything, but where are we going?"
Derek chuckled and pointed toward the pool house, "To the party of course!" Rory looked confused but continued to follow. She was just happy to be away from the other two guys. "Okay wait, "Derek stopped abruptly. "Did you seriously call me 'cuddle-bear?' Talk about emasculating. It's a good thing we aren't actually dating because there's no way I'd ever be aroused after hearing that." He laughed again and resumed his pulling of Rory toward the pool house.
"Sorry to make you question your manhood," Rory even had to smile at that. "Thanks for that back there. I think I was about to know what it felt like to fall asleep standing up."
"It's no problem, you looked a little trapped and my friends and I thought one of us should save you while the rest set up the sub-party."
"There are more of you? I thought I was practically the only person under the age of thirty in that room! Why did you rescue me? You don't even know me."
"Relax Rory. It's been a while but you haven't changed much in eight years. Apparently I have though-Ah! We made it!" He reached for the door handle and opened the door to laughter and loud music. "Look what I found boys!" Derek called out to the room.
She heard a collective "Rory's here!" from three or four people and the rest of the room echoed their cry.
Glancing to the left Rory felt a wave of panic as she noticed the door to her room was wide open and she was sure she'd left an assortment of clothing and underwear scattered across the floor and bed. She ran as fast as any Gilmore could and slammed the door shut with force, breathing out a sigh of relief. She turned around to find amused looks on the faces of a dozen or so guests.
"Don't worry Luv, we didn't see anything embarrassing," Finn assured her.
Logan held up his hand and Rory was distracted by the satisfied grin on his face, "Unless you would consider these embarrassing?" Looking away from his face she noticed that Logan was holding something on his finger.
Pink butterfly panties? Why would that- "Oh my God! You stole my underwear!" She darted toward Logan and quickly snatched her belonging back and jammed it into her purse. She pointed her finger at him and unleashed her rant, "This is a new low, even for you Huntzberger! I can't believe I actually thought you meant it when you said that you were done pranking. I guess the joke really is on me! You're the most vile, arrogant-"
"Whoa, hey, don't wave that finger at me and get all accusatory! It wasn't my idea! One of these idiots here decided they wanted a souvenir to show around school. I was merely saving you from a future as the Hartford Hussie." He looked pleased with his alliteration, walked over to her and put his hands on both of her shoulders. "Okay? Calm down, have some drinks with us and relax!"
"Hey bro, get your hands off my woman!" Derek joked and gave Logan a playful shove. "I just got her back and you're already trying to take her away from me."
Logan laughed and raised his hands in defense, "Hey sorry man, I just figured, since mom always taught us to share, that you wouldn't mind."
Rory looked from Derek to Logan and back to Derek again. Mom? "You're Derek Huntzberger? I can't believe I didn't recognize you! I had the biggest crush on you when we were kids and-"
"You had a crush on him? I thought I was your favorite Huntzberger. It's because he's older, right? Figures. Logan Huntzberger, Derek's little brother; that's all I am."
"Aw, I'm sorry little bro. I guess that extra eighteen months just makes all the difference with the ladies. Plus, I'm a college man." He patted Logan on the shoulder in comfort.
"What about me? I'm exotic!" Finn called out from behind them.
"So's the Asian bird flu!" Colin declared.
The room broke out into laughter, drinks were passed, and the night Rory had been dreading became one of the best in her life so far. Rory questioned Derek on life in college and learned that, of course, he attended Yale as a business and journalism major, preparing to take over the family business someday. She also learned that Logan too was Yale bound and immediately saddened at the realization that he would be attending college next year along with Finn and Colin (also going to Yale) and she would still be stuck in high school hell.
The other guests slowly faded out, but Logan, Derek, Finn, and Colin stayed behind talking about life and future plans. The four boys were going to take a boat trip over the summer to celebrate graduation. Being so close in age, Logan and Derek grew up best friends and Colin and Finn were more like brothers to them than friends. They also had a sister, Honor, and Rory vaguely remembered her. She was four years older than Derek so, being a teenager, she wasn't around much when Rory had spent time at the Huntzberger mansion one summer while Lorelai was working odd hours. As the conversation turned back to Rory, they were interrupted by a person fumbling with the door handle, trying to enter the pool house.
"Rory? I know you're in there! Come help mommy with the door. I can't work the knobby thing…" Rory rolled her eyes at her, obviously, drunken mother and glanced over at the clock, 12:30! How had so much time passed? She was supposed to leave with her mom hours ago.
"Coming mom!" She quickly got up from the couch and ran over to the door to help her mom in.
Slightly tipsy and balancing a large bottle of champagne in her arms along with her purse and a champagne flute, Lorelai stumbled into the pool house and took in her surroundings, the smile dropping from her face. After dropping the contents of her arms onto the counter Lorelai turned to face the group in the sitting area, all of whom looked a little worried. "So, I leave you alone to go to the bathroom for five minutes and you disappear and have a party of your own? Way to leave me hanging kid. Dad wouldn't let me leave until I heard all of the Wiffenpoof's greatest tunes. I nearly started shoving salmon puffs in my ears!" The room visibly relaxed, but Lorelai was not pleased to find her daughter alone in a room with four young men. She instantly took a more sobering tone to voice her concern, "So, not that I don't enjoy a good get-together with friends, but I find it a little unsettling to find my teen-age daughter alone with four guys whom I've never met before."
Rory stood up to defend, "We were just talking mom! And you know two of them! Remember the Huntzberger's? This is Derek and Logan. Logan goes to Chilton and that's how I met these two, Colin and Finn." She turned to face the other four in the room, "Guys, this is my mom, Lorelai." She gave them a pleading look, trying to get them to be polite and acknowledge her mother as a figure of authority.
"Of course!" Derek spoke up first. "I'm Derek Huntzberger, this is my brother Logan. It's nice to see you again. It seems we've lost track of time, so the guys and I will leave you ladies to yourselves, come on guys."
As they headed for the exit, they all made plans to get together with Rory's other friends included. Lorelai helped to escort them out when Finn loudly spoke to Logan, "That's Rory's mom! My God that family's got good genes."
Rory giggled and looked up to her mother for her words of disappointment, but was met with another emotion altogether, "I like that Finn. Good choice in friends, kid. They can stop by any time, as long as they bring their flattery." Lorelai never said anything to Rory, but with one look, they came to an understanding that, at the very least, Lorelai would have to be aware that there were boys under her roof.
"I love you mom." Rory leaned in for a one-arm hug and walked to her room. She found herself smiling at the prospect of new friendships and then wondered how crazy and outgoing they could possibly be. These next few months were going to be a great adventure and she knew it.
That's it for this chapter! I am going to wrap up the Chilton phase of the story in the next chapter or two, but there is plenty more in store for these characters! I hope you all had fun reading! (And I hope my 4am delirium didn't ruin anything either!)