Lorelai, Rory, and Lauren are walking through the town square, over to the diner. Lorelai has a bandage wrapped around her hand due to trying to clean the house gutters herself.
"It still hurts!" She complains, loudly.
"Do you need stitches?" Rory asks, trying to examine Lorelai's wrapped hand.
"We should go to a doctor." Lauren tells her, looking worried.
"No. No doctors. You go into a hospital, you don't come out again." Lorelai says, dramatically.
"Well said, Ida Morgenstern." Rory rolls her eyes.
"I'm starving. I need pancakes."
"Can I just ask what you were doing?" Lauren asks.
"I thought I was being a self-sufficient woman."
"But you hate ladders and heights."
"We needed our rain gutters cleaned."
"Well, hire somebody." Rory tells her.
"Oh well, aren't we suddenly a Rockefeller."
"Well, it's better than you killing yourself."
"Yeah. I need you for at leas a few more years, Mom." Lauren tells her.
Lorelai sighs, dramatically. "I'm fine. I'm just being dramatic. It's what I do."
"No more ladders." Lauren says, sternly.
Lorelai peeks inside her bandage. "I think I have gangrene."
"You do not." Rory says, trying to take a peek, too.
"On, boy." Rory rolls her eyes.
"One leg feels shorter than the other."
Lauren and Rory look at each other. "This is gonna be the Vanity Fair paper-cut incident all over again." Rory tells her sister.
Lorelai opens the bandage to get a better look. "Wow."
"Leave your bandage alone."
"Look, it's turning purple, but a really glowly purple! Look!" Lorelai tries to show them.
"No, thanks." Rory grimaces.
"I'll look." Lauren pulls Lauren hand down to her. "Hey. Maybe our rain gutters are radioactive or made out of some kind of alien metal so that when you cut your hand, you got infected with an extraterrestrial substance which is altering your internal make-up!"
Lorelai gasps. "Maybe I'll turn into a superhero!"
Rory shakes her head. "No more Smallville for you two."
"Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and suddenly be able to shower really fast."
"We'll go pick out your cape after breakfast." Rory tells her as she pushes them both into the diner.
They sit at an empty table. "I'm starving. Must be from the loss of blood." Lorelai says.
"Yes, that must be it." Rory dramatically says back.
"I'm getting pancakes with a side of pancakes. Where's Luke?"
Lauren shrugs as they look around the diner. "I don't know. Storage room?"
Lorelai sees Caesar cooking in the kitchen. "Oh, no."
"Why is Caesar cooking?" Rory whines.
"I don't know."
"His pancakes stinks." Lauren frowns. "So, do we resort to donuts?"
"Wait here." Lorelai goes upstairs to Luke's apartment. "Hey, Luke, are you in there?" She knocks, loudly. She hears a faint 'ow' inside. "Luke, are you okay?"
"Stupid lamp!" He yells.
"Hey, Luke, are you being attacked by your possessions again?" She jokes. Luke opens the door with a scowl on his face and a sock hanging on his shoulder. "Hi."
"What're you doing?"
"I'm looking for my supply ledger." Luke tells her as Lorelai follows Luke into the apartment.
"Is it going well?"
"It's going fine."
"You have a sock on your shoulder." Luke looks down at this shoulder and throws the sock off. "Is it helping you look?"
"What are you doing up here?"
"The girls and I are starving. We need you to cook us breakfast." She says, closing the door behind her. The apartment looks a complete mess. "Oh, wow."
"Caesar can make you breakfast." Luke tells her.
"What happened to this place?" Lorelai asks.
"This is what I always pictured the inside of my head to look like."
"See if you can find a brown leather ledger." Luke tells her as he continues to look around the cluttered apartment.
"I've never seen so much stuff. It looks like a white-trash Hearst Castle."
Luke glares at Lorelai, knowing she isn't really going to help. "I'll find it myself."
"Where'd all this stuff come from?" She asks.
"Jess. Liz shipped the rest of his stuff last week." Luke tells her. "He finally unpacked it."
"He did a very nice job." She says, sarcastically.
"I know. It's crazy now, but I just have to get it all organized, figure out where to put everything, buy another dresser, a portable wardrobe, some storage bins."
"A can of gasoline, box of matches."
"Did I mention Caesar can cook you breakfast?" Luke says, annoyed.
Lorelai smiles. "But he doesn't make the good, fluffy pancakes like you do."
"Then order eggs."
"No." Lorelai scoffs. "See, I had a near death experience today." She shows Luke her bandaged hand.
"Yes. I almost fell off the roof trying to clean the rain gutters, so I have to have pancakes. Please?" She begs. "I'll help you shower when I become a superhero."
The bathroom door opens and Jess walks out. "You've been in there for two hours." Luke tells him.
"Yeah. Well, my hair just ain't bouncing and behaving today." Jess tells him.
"There are other people living here, too."
"Huh. Learn something new everyday." Jess grabs his book and walks out.
Lorelai turns back to Luke. "Well, his people skills are really improving."
Luke points to the door. "Go downstairs. I'll be there as soon as I can."
"How long is that?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know."
"Ball park figure. Off the top of your head."
"Did I mention I almost fell off my roof?!" Lorelai interrupts.
"I'd lie down if I could find the bed."
Lorelai walks towards the door, but she stops when she sees what Luke's been looking for. "Hm. Is this what you're looking for?" She asks, picking up the ledger, showing him.
"Great. Thank you." Luke reaches for it, but Lorelai holds it away from him.
"Not unless you make the pancakes."
"Give me the book."
"Give me the pancake!"
Luke sighs, giving up, and walks to the door. "Come on."
"Thank you." Lorelai smiles.
"You sure you weren't almost pushed off the roof of your house today?" Luke asks. Lorelai laughs and follows him out of the apartment.
Lorelai and Rory are walking through town, on their way to pick up Lauren from Elizabeth's.
"I think I'm finally ready to get a tattoo." Lorelai smiles.
"Oh, please." Rory rolls her eyes. "Mom, you've been saying that for five years."
"But I mean it this time."
"Fine. What are you getting?" Rory asks, curiously.
"What do you mean 'why?' The 2000 Year Old Man, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie. You don't think Mel has earned the right to have his face on my butt?"
"I am sorry, Mel."
"Oh, he'll love it. Trust me." Lorelai smiles as they walk up to Elizabeth's door and ring the doorbell. Elizabeth answers it, laughing hysterically.
"Oh, hey." Elizabeth says.
"Hey, Liz." Lorelai smiles. "Is Lauren ready?"
"I'll get her." Elizabeth opens the door wider for them to go in while she goes get Lauren.
"Should I be surprised that her mom isn't here?" Lorelai asks.
Rory shrugs. "I never am."
Elizabeth walks back in with Lauren following them, holding a towel on her arm. "Hey, kid." Lorelai says.
"What happened to your arm?" Rory asks.
"Hey." Lauren says, nervously. "Uh-"
"She fell." Elizabeth tells them. "It was funny. I mean, not the getting hurt part, but the falling and taking everything down with her was pretty hilarious."
"It was funny. But I'm hurt." Lauren sighs.
Lorelai walks over to Lauren and takes the towel from her to look at the damage. "What did you fall on?" She asks, putting the towel back onto the large cut after seeing all the blood. "What the hell, kid?" Lorelai panics.
"I'm fine, Mom. I was just trying to grab something and I slipped and hit the edge of the nail from the counter."
"You are so clumsy." Rory tells her.
"Okay. Let me look at it again. Elizabeth, do you have a first aid? We'll patch this up for now until we get to the doctor."
Elizabeth nods and walks out to get the first aid. Lorelai examines Lauren's arm. "Can't you and Liz ever do normal things when you guys are together? Like read a book?" Rory asks.
"We like to have fun." Lauren shrugs.
"Well, look where that fun got you."
Elizabeth runs back in and hands Lorelai the first aid kit. "At least my mom always keeps this around."
"Hey, Mom, we're twins!" Lauren smiles, looking at the bandage on Lorelai's hand.
Lorelai wraps Lauren's arm. "Alright. You're all done. Where's your mom, Liz?"
"I'm not sure exactly. She always comes home before midnight, so it's all good." Elizabeth tells her.
Lauren looks at Lorelai knowing she's worried. "Well, call us if you need us, okay? For anything. Or just come over."
"Okay. Thanks, Lorelai." Elizabeth smiles, gratefully.
"Alright. Let's get you to the hospital and see if you need stitches." Lorelai tells Lauren.
They walk passed Luke's a little later, after coming back from the hospital. Lauren did need a few stitches and a Tetanus shot along with it. They decided to go grab some ice cream on their way home, but Lorelai stops when she sees Luke, through the window, watching something on a really small t.v., at one of the tables in the dark.
"What's he doing?" Lauren asks.
"Hey. You two go grab the ice cream and make sure they give us maraschino cherries." Lorelai tells her girls.
"Okay. Come on, cripple." Rory says, leading Lauren across the street.
"Now you're going to make fun of me?" Lauren asks.
Lorelai walks into the diner and Luke turns around, surprised to see her. "Hey." She says.
"What are you doing?" Luke asks
"The girls and I are just on our way home to eat something you wouldn't approve of."
"Sounds good." Luke smirks.
"What are you doing?" Lorelai asks.
"Watching t.v." Luke points to the t.v. in front of him.
"Oh, wow. That's cute." She says. "Is it the first time it's been away from its mother?"
"It's a very good t.v."
"Mm. Black and white, coat hanger antenna, really bad reception."
"Don't you have a fully grown t.v. upstairs?"
"Yeah. Well, Jess is upstairs."
"So, when Jess is upstairs that means the stereo's blaring and the place is a mess. I just need a little privacy." Luke explains.
"So, you came downstairs to sit on an uncomfortable chair in an empty diner that smells like onion rings."
"Calgon take me away!"
"It was very peaceful until two minutes ago." He tells her as Lorelai sits next to her.
"Hey, Luke, did you ever think that maybe you should get a bigger apartment?"
"I don't need a bigger apartment."
"That place upstairs was your father's office. You made it an apartment. It wasn't meant to be lived in." Lorelai tells him.
"It's too small for two people. It's too small for one person, if they have any kind of life."
"We'll make do. We just need to-"
"No. You don't need to organize." Lorelai interrupts. "You need to move."
"I like my apartment."
"It's not just your apartment. Jess lives there also." Lorelai reminds him.
"Jess is fine.
"Are you sure? He could be pinned under a box for a year in that place and you wouldn't know it until the neighbors started to complain about the smell."
Rory and Lauren walk in with their ice creams. "Hi, Luke." Rory says.
"Rory. Perfect. Get her out of here." Luke tells her.
"Oh, okay. Fine. I'm leaving." Lorelai says. "Think about what I said." Lorelai stands up and grabs her ice cream from Lauren.
"Oh, hey." Luke says, stopping her. "Did you ever hire anybody to do that work for you?"
"The rain gutters?"
"Oh, yeah." Lorelai lies. "Lauren did them." She jokes.
Luke looks at Lauren, who is smiling at him, and he notices the bandage on her arm. "What the hell, Lorelai? What did you do to her?" He panics, looking at Lauren's arm.
Lauren laughs. "Luke, I didn't really clean the gutters. "I fell at Elizabeth's."
"Oh, good." He sighs in relief.
"So, are you offering to clean my gutters, Luke?" Lorelai asks.
"No. I was actually thinking about Jess."
Lorelai looks unsure. "Oh, Jess."
"He's always looking for a little extra cash. He doesn't make that much here, and I hate to think of where else he might try to get it. I mean, you don't have to pay him the same as you would someone else. You save a little. He keeps busy." Luke explains.
Lorelai forces a smile. "Yeah. Well, maybe. I actually have to check with a couple of people that I'm supposed to hear from, but if they can't do it, then sure."
"Great. Just let me know."
"I will. Bye." Lorelai and her girls walk out of the diner.
"So, who are all these people you asked to clean out our gutters?" Rory asks, curiously, never hearing about this before.
"Oh. Well, you know."
"Okay, there's Cid." Lorelai makes up a name.
"Mom, we don't know a Cid." Lauren tells her.
"Oh, and there's Moose, if Doris will let him out of the house again, you know, after that incident at Chicky's bachelor party."
"Mom, I thought you said you were gonna give Jess a chance." Rory tells her.
Lorelai sighs. "I am."
"Then why don't you hire him?"
"I'm just-not very comfortable with him, Rory."
"Well, try and get comfortable."
"Mom, he helped me. We need to help him." Lauren tells her.
"Well, I don't know if I can."
"But you said-"
"I know what I said, but I can't help it." Lorelai interrupts.
"How many times do we have to tell you-"
"That I don't know the real Jess?" Lorelai asks.
"Fine. I don't know him, but I'm not too fond of his stand-in."
"People are different once you get to know them. And, you remember, you weren't too fond of Luke at first."
"That's not true."
"You called him Duke for two years to make him mad." Lauren reminds her.
"And let me tell you, it worked." Lorelai smirks.
"But then you guys talked and eventually, time went by, now you love him." Rory tells her. "We're just asking you to give Jess that same chance."
Lorelai stops walking and looks serious at her girls. "Rory, you like him. Lauren, you like him. But I don't have to like him."
"Please?" Lauren and Rory both beg.
"Can I at least call him Tess for awhile?"
"You'll give him the job?" Lauren asks.
"I'll give him the job." Lorelai nods.
"Thank you." Rory says, gratefully.
"You're welcome." They start walking again. "Tell me something." She asks Rory.
"Why is it so important to you that I like him? I understand why Lauren wants me to, but why you?"
"Well-" Rory thinks. "I just think that he's Luke's nephew, and we like Luke, and we eat at Luke's everyday, we see Jess when we eat there everyday, and that it just might make things nicer if you liked him."
Lorelai nods. "And that's the only reason? It's all about Luke and the diner?"
"It's got nothing to do with you?"
"So, you and Jess aren't-friends?"
"Well, yeah, we're friends."
"Uh-huh." Lorelai says, waiting for Rory to continue.
"I mean, we're not good friends, but we're friends. We're friendly. But that doesn't mean that we're friends in the traditional Webster's Dictionary definition of 'friends.'"
"Friendish might be a better term."
"Okay. Friendish. Got it."
"Mom, can we get home before my arm falls off?" Lauren asks. She was actually tired of the Jess talk.
"Yeah." Lorelai says, wrapping her arm around Lauren's shoulders as they continue to walk home without another word about Jess.
Lorelai is sitting in the living room, playing with her new alarm clock when Rory walks into the house.
"Mom?" She calls out.
"Come here. Come here. Come here." Lorelai says, quickly.
"I'm here." Rory runs into the living room. "What's the matter?"
"Sit. Sit. Sit." Lorelai sets the alarm clock on the table. "Okay. That should do it."
"Wait." Lorelai says, patiently.
"What are we waiting for?" Rory whispers.
"Are we close?"
"Very close." A few seconds later." Getting closer."
"Should I get chips?"
"Ready? And-" The clock turns to four and it starts squealing like a pig making Lorelai laugh.
"The clock is grunting."
Lorelai turns it off. "This is a state-of-the-art c.d. clock radio that enables you to wake up to the barnyard animal of your choice."
"That is great." Rory laughs.
"I have selected the Perky Piggies. You might choose the Cheery Chickens, or Lauren may choose the Goofy Goats."
"This is as close to a farm as I wanna get."
"Amen, sister friend."
There's a knock on the door. "I'll get it." Rory goes over and opens the door.
Jess tosses a c.d. to her. "Here."
"The Shag?" She asks.
"Okay. You're very punctual."
Jess walks in. "Yeah. Well, it was this or continue apartment hunting with Luke."
"You're moving?" Rory asks, looking confused.
"I don't know. Luke flipped out last night. The next thing I know, he's dragging me all over town, measuring square footage. It's crazy."
"A new place might be nice. More space. Maybe you'll get your own room."
"You changed your hair?" Jess asks, curiously, staring at her.
"Your hair looks different."
"Segue's not your thing, huh?"
"No. I wear it like this a lot. Why?"
"Just looks different."
"Oh. Bad different?"
Jess smirks. "Hey, ducks!" Lorelai yells.
They look at where the quaking is coming from. "We just got a new alarm clock." Rory tells him.
"Bet I know the lead story in tomorrow's Stars Hollow Gazette." Jess says.
Lorelai walks in looking very happy. "Hey. Did you hear the ducks because they are great. Jess, you're here. Terrific."
Rory looks at Lorelai hoping she'll say more, but they each turn mute. "So, would you like to come in?" Rory asks him.
"Oh, yeah. Come on in." Lorelai tells him. "Sorry. I was just so excited about the ducks that, uh, do you want something to drink?" Lorelai asks as they walk into the kitchen. "You have good timing cause we shopped yesterday, and in addition to a case of Maybelline Fresh Lash mascara, I also bought some of that new freaky Coke with the lemon in it. It's very addictive."
Rory looks at Jess. "You can sit, you know?"
"No, thanks." Jess says.
"So, Jess, what's new?" Lorelai asks.
"Jess and Luke are looking for an apartment." Rory tells her.
"Oh! You guys see anything good yet?" Lorelai asks.
"Nope." Jess says, simply.
"You know, there's some really cool places over on Peach or on Plum, Orange. Basically, any of your fruit named streets are pretty nice." Lorelai laughs, lightly. She looks at Rory and smiles. "Okay. I guess you should get started. There's a ladder right out front and some buckets and gloves and stuff on the porch. If you need anything else just walk against the wind."
Rory was getting really annoyed with Jess because her mom was trying really hard and Jess wasn't trying at all. "Come on. I'll show you." Jess follows Rory out the back door and into the yard. "Question."
"Yes?" Jess asks.
"You come over. You seem to have a very firm grasp of the English language. You put together several full sentences using a couple of words that contain two or more syllables. And then, my mother appears, and suddenly, we need a thought bubble over your head to understand what you're thinking. Why?"
"The verbal thing comes and goes."
"I would really appreciate it if you would try to get along with my mom."
"I took the coke."
"Personally, I think it's a little crazy to put lemon in Coke, but I took it anyhow."
Rory sighs. "Stop it." She says, frustrated.
"Stern face." Jess teases.
"Look, I went out on a limb for you trying to get my mom to give you the benefit of the doubt, okay? So, I don't think it would hurt you to try to be nice."
"Why?" Rory questions.
"Because she's my mom and she's a friend of Luke's." Rory tells him.
"What do you mean 'so?'"
"Because she's your mom or Luke's fiend doesn't mean I have to get along with her." Jess says.
"Jess, my mother is a great person. She's also my best friend in the world. So, if you care about me or Lauren at all, you would consider that and be mildly polite to her."
"What makes you think I care about you or Lauren?" He asks.
"I don't mean care, like care. I mean, if you like me or my sister at all-not like, like." Roy stutters making Jess smile. "I just meant that if you think of me remotely as the sort of person that you could occasionally stand to talk to then you will try to get along with my mom." Jess continues to look at Rory with a smirk on his face, only causing her to get even more annoyed than she already was. "You care about Lauren!"
Jess laughs. "Okay."
"I can't guarantee that it'll work, but I'll try." Jess says, giving in.
"You're welcome. I should probably get to work."
"Right. Sorry. Go ahead." Rory goes back into the house letting Jess get to work on the gutters.
The town is throwing a book fair, so of course Dean and Rory are there. Dean is looking very bored, though, while he sits on the stoop waiting for Rory.
She walks up and hands him another book. "Inherit the Wind. Seventy-five cents."
"Great." Dean tells her.
"Now, here's a copy of Rilke's Letter to a Young Poet, which I already have, but in hardback. This is paperback. It fits perfectly in a coat pocket, and it's only $1. I'm torn. Opinions?"
"You look bored." Rory frowns.
"You sure you don't want to look? They have great stuff."
"For five minutes."
"No, I looked for twenty minutes, and then I stopped and you continued for another two hours." Dean tells her.
Rory smirks. "It's not been that long." Dean lefts his arm and shows Rory the time on his watch. "Oh, sorry."
"No big deal." Dean assures her.
"Let's go." Rory starts picking up her books.
"Are you done?" Dean asks.
"Yeah. I've looked enough."
He laughs. "You're not done."
"No. I'm fine, really. Let's go."
"Rory, stop it. You want to keep looking. I know you."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. I'll just pay for these, and then we can go."
"I thought we could go see The Lord of the Rings again." Dean suggests.
"Oh, okay." Rory says, clearly uninterested.
"I thought you loved The Lord of the Rings."
"You said you wanted to see it a hundred times."
"Yes, and we're being very literal these days."
"Fine. We'll see something else." He says as they walk towards the register.
"Lord of the Rings is fine." Rory tells him.
"Wow. You made it like a bandit." Gypsy tells her as she looks at the books Rory has.
"Well, you've got great stuff this year."
"Hey. Did you see the astronomy section over there?"
Rory looks where Gypsy is pointing. "Oh, yeah."
Gypsy looks surprised. "You didn't find anything?"
"Wait. I didn't see you look over there." Dean tells her.
"I told you, I'm done."
Dean sighs and shakes his head at Rory's stubbornness. He then notices that Rory isn't wearing her bracelet that he gave her. "Hey. Where's your bracelet?"
"What?" Rory looks down at her wrist.
"You're not wearing your bracelet. Where is it?" He asks again.
Rory feels up and down her arm to make sure it wasn't hiding, or fell off in her sleeve. She didn't remember ever taking it off. "Oh. I took it off." She lies.
"Well, because I got this weird rash on my wrist."
"From the bracelet?" Dean asks, looking confused.
"No. Just a fluke thing. Actually, I think my Spanish midterm gave it to me."
"But it's getting better. It's almost gone."
"And as soon as it's completely gone, that bracelet goes right back on." Rory tells him, nervously.
Dean pulls Rory away from the register. "So, compromise?"
"You go look at the astronomy section, we'll see Lord of the Rings, and on the way home we'll rent Autumn in New York and mock it for the rest of the afternoon."
"With full on impressions?" Rory says, getting excited at the thought.
"Deal." Rory smiles, happily. "I just want to see if they have some new books for Lauren."
"Go. I'll wait." Dean promises." Rory looks unsure. "Smiling. Not at all bored."
Rory kisses Dean and quickly runs over to the astronomy section.
At Elizabeth's, she and Lauren are sitting on the floor of Elizabeth's room, doing homework.
"So, it's Saturday." Elizabeth says, looking up at Lauren.
Lauren continues to write, not taking her eyes off her paper. "And?"
Elizabeth throws her pencil down. "It's Saturday, Lauren. Why are we sitting in the house doing homework on a Saturday?"
"Because it's Saturday and there's nothing to do in Stars Hollow. Plus, we really need to finish this paper."
"We can do it tomorrow." Elizabeth grabs Lauren's books and notebook away.
"Elizabeth!" Lauren yells.
"Lauren, let's do something. We can finish the paper tomorrow."
"What do you want to do?" Lauren sighs.
Lorelai walks into her kitchen and opens the refrigerator and taking out leftover Chinese food. She grabs a plate from out of the cabinet, and walks towards the table, but she stops when she hears the banging coming from above her. She looks down and figures it may be a good idea to try the whole Jess thing again.
"Jess!" She yells when she go outside. Jess continues banging on the gutters, not hearing Lorelai yell for him. "Hey, Jess!" She yells, coming into his view.
Jess stops and looks at her. "Sorry. Too loud?" He asks.
"Oh, no. It's fine. It's just that I got a ton of leftover Chinese food in the kitchen, and I thought you'd like some lunch."
"Okay." Lorelai smiles and starts to walk back into the house.
Jess thinks about it again, remembering what Rory told him earlier. "Chinese sounds great." He yells, changing him mind.
Lorelai turns back around. "Really?"
"If you're sure you have enough."
"There's plenty." Lorelai laughs, lightly. "We decided to take on the chicken column last night."
"Well, it's all out on the table, so come in when you're ready."
"I'm ready now."
"Okay. Then I'll see you inside." Lorelai walks back inside and grabs another plate. Jess walks in and looks around at the food. "So, basically, everything here is chicken. You've got garlic chicken, Kung Pao chicken, Szechwan chicken, chicken in brown sauce, which looks like the Szechwan chicken except it's got these peppers, and if you eat them, you die. Plate?" She offers.
Jess puts his hands up. "I thought I'd-"
"Oh. Soap's on the counter." Lorelai points to the sink.
Jess begins cleaning his hands. "So, when was the last time you had those gutters cleaned?" He asks, attempting to make conversation.
"It's been awhile."
"Yeah. I found an 'I like Ike' bumper sticker up there."
"Is it really bad?"
"It won't be by tomorrow."
Jess dries his hands and walks back over to the table. "I like hearing that." She smiles.
"So, you guys aren't too hot on vegetables?" He notices.
"What are you talking about?" Lorelai asks. "There's green peppers in the Kung Pao."
"So, are you a healthy eat like Luke?" Lorelai asks as they fix their plates.
"No." He says, quickly. "No one's a healthy eater like Luke. Euell Gibbons wasn't a healthy eater like Luke." Jess tells her.
"Wow. It's been ages since I heard a good Euell Gibbons reference."
"Many part of the pine tree are edible."
"Right. That's right." Lorelai agrees. "Wonder what the research process was like to get that information."
"I'd say fairly painful."
"Here." Lorelai grabs Jess's plate and puts it in the microwave to heat up. "So, how's school?" She asks.
Jess sits down. "It's still there."
"You on any teams or anything?"
Jess shakes his head. "No. No. No."
Lorelai laughs. "Not a jersey guy?"
"Definitely not a jersey guy. Though, the thought of throwing a ball at some jock's head isn't entirely unappealing." Lorelai laughs, quietly, and then they sit in silence for a few moments. "Look, I'm not really good at this small talk thing." Jess says, honestly.
Lorelai shrugs. "You're doing okay."
Jess smirks. "Mom!" Rory yells as she runs into the house.
Lorelai's face fills with Rory as she follows Rory's screams. "Right here. What!?" She asks, running into the living room where Rory is looking through all the coat pockets. "What's going on?"
"I don't know where it is." Rory panics.
Lorelai looks confused. "What?"
"My bracelet. It's gone."
"What are you talking about?"
"How could I lose my bracelet?"
"Honey, tell me which bracelet. Maybe I stole it from you, or Lauren took it. You know how she likes your stuff."
"Dean's bracelet." Rory tells her.
"The one he made for you?"
"It's gone? Where?"
"I don't know where!" Rory says, throwing her arms up, dramatically, as she searches around the couch. "If I knew where, I would have it."
"Well, when did you first notice it was gone?" Lorelai asks.
"When he pointed out I wasn't wearing it."
Lorelai gasps. "What did you say?"
"That I had a rash and had to take it off until it healed."
"Nice save, Gretzky."
"It's not here. It's not here!"
"Okay. Let's retrace your steps. When was the last time you remember wearing it?"
Rory thinks. "I don't know."
"Think hard. Yesterday?"
"I don't know."
"The day before?"
"I don't know."
"The day before that?"
"No! I don't remember. I can't remember. Help me move the couch."
Lorelai and Rory push the couch back. "What about your locker at school?" Lorelai asks.
"I don't know why it would be there. I never take it off at school. I never take it off at all."
"Just Grandma's pen." Rory shows her.
"Leave it there."
"It makes life fun." Lorelai says, sarcastically.
"I'm gonna freak out." Rory says as they stand back up.
"We'll find it." Lorelai assures her.
"I'm going to have to tell Dean that I lost it."
"Let's not go there yet."
"He made it for me."
"He'll make another one."
"But he's going to be mad."
"How do you know?"
"Um. Looking at the track record, all signs point to it. Did you look in your room?"
"No." Rory runs to her room.
"I'll check the car. And don't worry, if worst comes to worst, and we can't find it, we'll follow Dean to work, hide behind the cantaloupes, jump him, blind him, and he'll never find out!"
"As long as we have a plan!" Rory yells.
Lorelai runs outside and to her jeep. Jess stands off to the side of the house and watches Lorelai search her jeep.
Elizabeth opens her front door where two boys are standing. Lauren walks up and she is surprised to see them.
"Hello, boys." Elizabeth smiles.
"Hey, Liz. Looking good." One of them says.
"Thanks, Blake. Lauren, you remember Blake and Gavin from school."
Lauren looks skeptically at her friend. "Uh. Yes. Hi. Elizabeth, can we talk for a minute?"
Elizabeth rolls her eyes. "Sure. Come inside." She tells the boys. "Make yourselves comfortable." Elizabeth follows Lauren into the kitchen. "What are you doing?"
"Me? What are you doing?" Lauren exclaims.
"I'm bored. And I like Blake. So, I invited him and Gavin over."
"Look, I know you're still freaked out about the whole Alex thing-"
"You say it like it isn't a big deal." Lauren glares at her best friend.
"I'm not asking you to make out with him. Just keep him company."
"Yes. Now, come on." Elizabeth pulls Lauren back into the living room.
Lorelai wasn't due back to work, but she wanted to check the place for her daughter's bracelet. So, she is at the front desk, on the floor, looking around the desk, while Michel stands above her.
"What is this?" He asks, looking through the mail.
"Let me see." Michel shows her the envelope. "Maintenance."
"Are you going to be down there long?" He asks.
"Uh. I just want to make sure Rory's bracelet didn't get kicked behind something."
"And so earlier when you asked me to look for the bracelet and I told you I did look, and I did not find it, you-"
"Just decided to double check." Lorelai tells him.
"Yes, though another theory is that you did not believe me."
"I did, too."
No. I believe you thought I was lying. That I did not actually get down on my hands and knees, in a brand new Donna Karan suit and crawl around on a floor where people who have stepped in mud and garbage and animal waste have been traipsing all day long."
Lorelai stands back up. "It's not there." She sighs.
"No? Why, I'm shocked."
"Okay. I'm sorry I doubted you, Michel."
"Well, that means a lot. Thank you." He says, sarcastically.
"We turned the house upside down. Rory's having a heart attack. It's awful." Lorelai tells him.
"Yeah, well, as soon as my dry cleaning bill is paid, you will have my sympathies."
"I will pay for you suit, Michel."
The phone rings. "Independence Inn." Michel answers. "Hold on, please." He gives Lorelai the phone. "It's for you."
"Lorelai here." She says, grabbing the phone.
"I don't want a wood-burning fireplace." Luke tells her.
"But if I take an apartment with one, even though I could give a rat's ass about it, I have to pay an extra $200 a month for it."
"And three of the places make you put down a $500 deposit if you have a dog! Can you believe that!?"
"You don't have a dog." Lorelai reminds him.
"I know, but it's wrong."
"Agreed. What else?" She asks.
"Parking!" Luke yells. "How can people ask you for a monthly fee for a parking space? I mean, they're making money off your rent, your utilities, when you use their coin-operated washer and dryer. That's cash directly in their pocket. And it's not even that good of a parking space. It's out in the open, under one of those trees that drop the sap on your car that eats away the paint!"
"Who's gonna pay for my car?" He continues. "Where's my $500 paint-killing, tree sap deposit!?"
"You haven't found a place yet?" Lorelai assumes.
"And I've been looking all day!"
"There wasn't one place you liked?"
"Not one place that gave you a little feeling of, 'Huh. That has a nice vibe about it.'"
"I don't use the word 'vibe'"
Luke lets out a long sigh. "Maybe one place wasn't so bad."
"Oh, good! Describe t to me."
"I don't know. It had walls with a kind of a floor with a light."
"Okay. Hold on there. If you tell me it's got a roof, I'm stealing that baby from you." She jokes.
"I just can't tell anymore. I need a second opinion."
"You want me to come look at your apartment?" Lorelai asks.
"It's not my apartment, and yes."
"Please." Luke begs. "I promised the woman I'd give her an answer today."
"Okay. Give me the address."
"62 1/2, B Street. And that's another thing, what's with this half business? Why do all these apartments have this half thing going? It's stupid. If 62 is taken, move on to 63."
"Luke, I'll meet you there in twenty and half minutes."
Lauren is standing in the kitchen, having a slight panic attack, when Gavin walks in.
"Hey." He says, shyly.
Lauren looks up. "Uh. Hi."
"This is weird, right?"
"What? No. Not weird." She says, quickly.
Gavin smirks. "If it helps, Blake had to make me come with him."
"Well, if it helps, I didn't even know you guys were coming."
They stand in silence for a few minutes, both unsure on what to say. Lauren has never dealt with another boy since Alex and his brother, and that didn't go so well. "You're the one that Alex attacked right?" Gavin says, suddenly. Lauren just looks at Gavin, unsure of what to say. Was that what she was going to be known for from now on? "I mean, I didn't mean it like that, I just them saying at school that Alex went away for attacking some girl, and then I found out it was you."
Lauren nods. "Yep. That was me."
"I'm sorry that happened to you." He says, sincerely.
"Thanks." Lauren smiles, softly.
"So, you think they're making out in there yet?" He laughs.
"Well, lets go see." Lauren laughs as they walk into the living room.
At the apartment complex, the realtor is showing Luke and Lorelai around the place.
"It's a very quiet street, and the owner keeps the building up beautifully." The realtor tells them. "He hasn't remodeled it at all. Plus, I bet he could be persuaded to give the floor a little spruce, if you like."
Lorelai smiles. "Oh, yeah. We'd like spruce."
"Spruce is unnecessary." Luke says.
"Hey. You never turn down a spruce."
"She's right." The realtor laughs. "Listen to her."
"Yeah. Listen to me."
Luke glares at er. "You rarely give me a choice."
"Come here so I can lick your face." Lorelai teases.
The realtor brings them around the living room area. "Now, I went over the square footage and the details of the lease with your husband this morning. Did he fill you in?" She asks Lorelai.
Lorelai grabs him, and interrupts. "He didn't. But you know how men are." She laughs as Luke rolls his eyes. "The minute the ball game comes on all the realities of life just go right out the window."
"Don't I know it." The realtor laughs.
"I mean, I could answer the door wrapped in cellophane, but unless I was wearing a Yankees cap, he wouldn't even notice."
Luke shakes his head, feeling embarrassed. "Geez."
"Oh, don't be embarrassed, snuffy. I'm just teasing. It'd be a Mets cap." Lorelai flirts, playfully.
"Uh. Mary, could you possibly leave me and the little misses alone for just a minute?" Luke asks the realtor.
"Of course." She tells him.
"I promise we don't do anything dirty." Lorelai giggles as she pokes at Luke's face.
"Oh, please. If my husband and I looked anything like the two of you, we'd never get dressed."
"Oh, you are bad!" Lorelai laughs as the realtor walks out. Luke jumps away from Lorelai's touch. "Oh! Thirteen shades of red!"
"What is wrong with you?" Luke exclaims.
"You make it too easy."
"By standing here?"
"Oh, relax, snuffy. What do you think?" She asks as she looks around the room.
"I don't know." Luke groans.
"Okay, then, break it down. List your concerns."
"Well, it's too big."
"It's not too big. Next."
"I don't need two bathrooms."
"Yes, you do. Next."
"I like being on the bottom floor."
"Top floor's quieter. Next."
"You know, some how I think this would be easier if you listed your concerns first." He tells her.
Lorelai smiles, agreeing. "Okay. Um. I don't have any. It's great."
"Yeah. It's light and airy. It's got good windows, but not too many so that the sun bakes you in the afternoon."
"It's close to work, the price is good, you're taking the spruce, and it's a two year lease. What's two years?" Lorelai questions.
"I don't know." Luke says, still looking unsure.
"You need to do this." Lorelai reminds him. "You and Jess will kill each other in your place."
"Yeah, but who knows how long he's gonna be there."
Lorelai looks confused. "Why? Did something happen?"
"No. But you never know."
"No, you don't. I think his mom sending his stuff is a pretty good sign."
"And even if he does stay, it'll only be for another year and then he'll go off to college or Attica, and it'll just be me again. I'll be stuck in a new apartment, probably with neighbors I hate who are constantly cooking really strong smelling food."
"Okay. Back up here. Yes, Jess may go off somewhere, someday, but that doesn't mean you will be alone forever."
"I am not getting a pet."
"I'm talking about a lady friend."
"A red-hot mama."
"Big, pretty dish of loving with a spoon made especially for you." Lorelai teases.
"Boy, do I not feel good now."
"Luke, Rachel's not the only woman in the world for you. You'll meet someone, someday, probably at the Timberland store. You'll ask her out, you'll pick her up, take her on a patented 'Luke Danes night of romance,' juice bar, then the batting cages, and then you'll ask her back to your apartment."
"Any amount of money if you stop now."
But Lorelai continues. "You'll bring her back to your place, lead her upstairs to the apartment door. You pause, gaze into her eyes. The stage is set. Fate is waiting." Luke glares at her, wishing she'd stop. "You open the door, and she sees your teeny, tiny apartment, one room and no closet space, and Jess's feet sticking up in the air cause you never did get rid of the body-"
"Stop please." He begs.
"And to make matters worse, she spots it-the single bed!"
"What's wrong with a single bed?"
"You know what they say."
"Never, ever date a guy who owns a single bed. It means he's not open to a commitment. It says, there's no room in this life for anybody else."
"No. It says, there's no room in this bed for anybody else but me."
"Okay, see, that's not much better."
"This discussion is over."
"Luke, as long as you're in that apartment, you'll have a single bed. Don't you want the possibility of more?" She asks, seeing Luke think about it. "Come on, Luke, it's time. Make a move, take a shot. Entertain the possibility of a non-Unabomber existence. What do you say?"
"You got a pen?"
"Of course." Lorelai grabs a pen from her purse and hands it to him.
"I'm not taking the spruce."
"Yes, you are."
Lauren and Gavin are sitting awkwardly on the couch, in the living room, while Elizabeth and Blake are making out on the opposite couch, across from them.
Gavin grimaces as he watches the two go at it. "Well, this is nice to watch."
Lauren is watching them with the same face. "Very. I'm so glad I stopped working on my paper for this." She says, sarcastically.
"You were working on that paper for English?" Gavin asks, curiously.
Lauren nods. "Yeah. The one on To Kill A Mockingbird. Did you finish?"
"Not yet. I was going to finish tonight."
"Yeah, well, I was almost finished earlier then this happened." Lauren points to her friend and Blake.
Suddenly, the front door opens and Elizabeth's mom walks in. "You might just be able to." Gavin whispers.
"Elizabeth!?" Elizabeth's mom yells.
Elizabeth and Blake jump apart. "Mom!"
"What are you doing?"
"Let's go!" Blake yells at Gavin.
"See you at school!" Gavin tells Lauren as he follows Blake out of the house.
Lauren watches Elizabeth's mom, cross her arms as she stares sternly at her daughter.
Lorelai walks back inside her house, feeling exhausted from the events today. She still hadn't found Rory's bracelet, but when she walks into the kitchen, she finds Jess walking out of Rory's room.
"Hey." She says, looking into Rory's room.
"Hey." Jess says back.
"Did you get lost?"
"No. I was looking for Rory's book." Jess lies.
"Uh-huh." Lorelai says, clearly not believe him.
"I wanted to see if she had Franny and Zooey. She does."
"I was gonna get it for her if she didn't." Jess tells her.
"That's very nice of you."
"Yeah." They stand silent for a few moments, just looking at each other. "Okay. I should probably get back to work." Lorelai nods as Jess walks out to the back porch. She peeks into Rory's room, one more time.
Later, Jess is walking down from the ladder when Rory and Lauren walk up. Rory was looking very sad about this whole bracelet thing.
"You look good." Jess says, sarcastically.
"I'm fine." Rory tells him.
"Hey, Jess." Lauren says, as she walks passed him. She left Elizabeth's not long after Elizabeth's mom got there. A lot of yelling was being done, so Lauren decided to pack up her stuff and leave. She could only assume her mom was going to be getting a call later on today.
"Talk." Jess demands as he and Rory sit down on the steps.
"I lost my bracelet." Rory tells him.
"Dean gave it to me."
"I've been all over town looking for it. I've been to Lane's, I've been to Luke's, I've been to the bus stop, I've been to Miss. Patty's, and I've circled Stars Hollow twice, and nothing. I don't know what I'm going to do."
"It's really that big a deal?" Jess asks.
"What do you mean?"
"I know it's got an 'I've been pinned, Bye Bye Birdie' kinda of implication to it, but it was just a bracelet."
"I don't think Dean will see it that way."
"You didn't lose it on purpose."
"I know, but things have been a little weird between us lately, and you couldn't care less." Rory says, remembering who she is speaking to.
"Oh, yes, I could."
Rory sighs. "I just think Dean will read something into this."
"Should he?" Jess questions.
"I think you should keep looking."
"Where?" Rory scoffs.
"Anywhere." Jess shrugs. "Things you lose are usually right in front of your face. Check the house again."
"I've checked the house."
"It's probably laying in your room."
"No. I tore that room apart. It's not there." Rory says, stubbornly.
"Fine. Give up. No biggie." Jess says. "Dean will just have to get over it."
Rory sighs again. "I'll go look again." She says, and goes inside the house.
Lorelai is reading a magazine on the couch when Rory walks in. "Hey. Any luck?"
"No. I'm going to check my room again." Rory tells her as she walks to her room.
"Haven't you already looked in there 1,000 times?" Lorelai asks.
"A thousand and one." Moments later Rory is yelling for her mom. "Mom! Come here! Hurry!"
Lorelai runs into Rory's room. "Are you okay?"
"I found it!" She says, happily, as she shows Lorelai the bracelet. "I looked under the bed, and there it was. I thought I had looked under the bed, but I don't know, maybe I was too panicked. Or I don't know. Who cares!? I got it!"
Lorelai smiles. "That is amazing."
"Put it on." Rory says, giving Lorelai the bracelet to put on her wrist. "Make it tight."
"Oh, I'm cutting off circulation here, baby."
Rory looks back at her wrist. "Oh. Look at it. It looks even better than before."
"I think the time away from home did it good."
The phone rings. "Okay. I'm going to tell Lane she can stop praying now." Rory runs out as Lorelai grabs the phone, laughing.
"Hello?" She answers.
Lorelai knocks, gently, on Lauren's bedroom door. She walks in and finds Lauren sitting on her bed, working on her homework.
"Hey, babe." Lorelai says.
Lauren looks up and sees the look on Lorelai's face. "Elizabeth's mom called you." She says, already knowing.
Lorelai nods. "Yeah. Care to explain?"
"I didn't do anything." Lauren says, firstly.
Lorelai sits down on the bed. "Sitting here. Listening."
Lauren exhales. "We were working on our homework, and Elizabeth got bored. I didn't even know those guys were coming until they were ringing the doorbell. I freaked out at first, and I know I should have left, but I didn't. Gavin and I talked a little then we sat on the couch watching Liz and Blake make out. Elizabeth's mom came home, yelled, and I left." She explains.
Lorelai nods. "Okay. Thank you for being honest with me. And you're right, you should have left."
"I know." Lauren sighs. "I really freaked out on her for calling them without me knowing. I mean, I know I'm only twelve, but Mom, do you think I'll ever be comfortable around boys again?"
Lorelai knew that Lauren was still having a hard time with everything that happened with Alex. So, she understood her apprehensiveness being around two boys alone at Elizabeth's house. "I think eventually you will be. But, hon, you are still very young. I don't expect you to be interested in anyone for a long time. But also, it's perfectly normal to be nervous regardless of your past."
Lauren nods. "Okay." She says, understanding.
"And I know you'll be sad to know that Elizabeth is grounded."
Lauren frowns. "For how long?"
"Her mom didn't say. But I think this will be good for you both. Elizabeth is going to get you in trouble. I think it's good for you two to take some time apart." Lorelai admits.
Lauren scoffs. "She's been my best friend since we were four. How is that good?"
"Because every time you girls are with each other, by yourselves, something happens. Try hanging out with some other people at school." Lorelai suggests.
"But I don't like anyone else at school." Lauren glares.
"I have homework." Lauren rolls her eyes and goes back to writing her paper.
Lorelai frowns, wanting to say more, but she didn't want to have a big fight with her daughter because they were too much alike and because of that, an agreement would not be done.
Lorelai goes back downstairs, the bracelet still on her brain. It didn't just appear out of no where, especially when she and Rory tore the house apart, looking in those same spot over and over again. And after finding Jess coming out of Rory's room earlier, her suspicions were leaning towards him.
She goes outside, just in time to find Jess cleaning up. "Leaving?" She asks him.
"Yeah. All done." Jess tells her.
"You weren't gonna come get your money?"
"I figured I'd get it eventually. It's not like I don't know where you guys lives."
"Huh. That's true. You certainly do know where we live. Well, here." Lorelai says, giving him money. "After all, you earned it."
"You took it, didn't you?" Lorelai asks.
"Rory's bracelet. You had it the whole time."
"No idea what you're talking about."
"How'd you get it?" Lorelai asks, knowing good and well Jess took it.
"I didn't get anything." Jess argues.
"What? Did you break into our house? You get all dressed in black and pulled a Mission: Impossible?"
"Actually, I came down the chimney and pulled Santa Claus." Jess argues, sarcastically.
"Very funny." Lorelai says, clearly not amused.
"A ridiculous accusation deserved such a response."
"So, it's just a coincidence I catch you coming out of Rory's room a half an hour before she mysteriously finds the bracelet under her bed?"
"Why would you do this?" Lorelai asks in a look of disgust.
"I gotta go."
"I mean, I know you hate the world, but I thought you liked Rory."
"I didn't do anything!"
"Whatever." Jess scoffs.
"Oh, don't you 'whatever' me, you jerk. You let Rory run around completely panicked thinking she lost the bracelet. She was miserable. Understand that?"
"I didn't take the bracelet!"
"You're jealous of Dean because he's great and Rory's madly in love with him." Lorelai assumes. "But you taking the bracelet didn't hurt Dean, it hurt Rory. That bracelet is the most precious thing she owns. She never takes it off. It means everything to her. And you stealing it was unbelievably cruel."
"The most precious thing she owns?" Jess asks in disbelief.
"If it's the most precious thing she owns why did it take her two weeks to figure out it was gone?" Lorelai was taken back and didn't know what to say. "You might want to re-evaluate how madly in love she is. I wouldn't start calling him 'son' yet."
"Get out of here!"
"You read my mind." Jess walks away while Lorelai does the same, going into her house.
When Lorelai walks into the kitchen, suddenly there's a knock on her door. She opens it and Luke walks in. "I just spend $100,000, and it's all your fault!" He yells at her.
Lorelai closes the door, behind him, not surprised that she was once again being blamed for something. "Good." She says, sarcastically.
"I ran into Taylor at the market. And I found out he owns the building that apartment was in."
"That and several others in town."
"He's systematically buying up the town." Luke stresses, dramatically. "He'll turn it into Taylorville, where everything wears cardigans and have the same grass height!"
"Do you want to sit?" Lorelai asks, hoping to calm him down.
But Luke ignores her. "And then he said he'll buy the building next to the diner and turn it into a plate shop for freaks who don't have the brainpower to collect stamps! And then I lost it!"
"I can't picture it."
"I walked around in a blind rage. I was crazy. I bought a Belgian waffle with ice cream dipped in chocolate."
"You ate that?" Lorelai asks, stunned.
"No! I didn't eat it! I'm upset, not suicidal. I just had to do something. I had your voice going around in my head."
Lorelai laughs. "Yeah. It's kinda like the Small World song."
"Take a chance, Luke. Make a move. Can't have a single bed. So, I bought the building!"
"I went to the bank, got a cashier's check, signed the papers, and I bought the building."
"I own the building!" Luke yells.
"Okay. Don't worry. You can still get out of it." Lorelai assures him. "You can tell them you lost your mind. Or I bet you could see it to Taylor."
"So, relax. You can still get out of this, unless you don't want to get out of this." Lorelai says, looking unsure.
"No. I want to get out of this. Why would I not want to get out of this?" Luke asks, confused.
Lorelai shrugs. "Owning that building gives you some options."
Luke thinks, suddenly interested. "Like?"
"Like you can expand Luke's, if you wanted. Or you could rent it to someone else. Someone else who might drive Taylor crazy."
"Maybe I should think about this."
"Sure. Sleep on it."
"Do you want some tea?" Lorelai asks as Luke sits down.
"Tea's good. Sure. Yeah." He says, still thinking about it.
Lorelai looks at Luke after a few moments while she is heating up the water. "Hey, Luke, does Jess ever talk to you about Rory?" She asks, curiously.
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. They just seem to be thrown together quite a lot lately, and I was trying to figure out if that's a coincidence-"
"Or if there's something going on? I don't know. Jess doesn't exactly confide in me."
"If there was something going on, I think it'd be great." Luke tells her.
Lorelai looks surprised. "You do?"
"Yeah! Rory's a great kid. She'd be really good for Jess."
"Oh, yeah. She would." Lorelai hesitantly agrees.
"You think there may be something going on?" Luke asks, hopeful.
"I don't know." Lorelai says, quickly.
"Huh." Luke leans back with a small smile on his face as he thinks about it. "Boy, that would be great."
"Yeah." Lorelai smiles. "Great." She really didn't think it was a great idea at all. She was actually scared by it, but she couldn't admit that to Luke.
Luke walks into his apartment later that night, and there's music blaring from Jess's stereo while he is reading a book. Luke walks passed him and grabs a sledgehammer from out of the closer. Jess quickly follows Luke to the other side of the apartment, looking horrified at what Luke was about to do. Luke pulls the sledgehammer back and slams it right into the wall, making a huge hole. He turns to Jess with a smile.
"That's your room. Finish up. We'll hold hands and skip afterwards." He says, sarcastically, handing Jess the hammer before he walks out of the apartment.
What a wonderful world.