Episode 10.06 "Same Crap, Different Shack"
by sosmitten & Jewels12


Authors' Note: We're honored to be bringing us back from hiatus. Thanks so much to wounded, mag1 and Robinpoppins for their help and patience with our episode. It wouldn't be the same without them! We hope you all enjoy the show! It's great bathroom reading material. ;)

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A substantial crowd had gathered on the sidewalk outside of Stars Hollow's premiere bookstore, buzzing about the sudden and unusual disappearance of its owner.

"Maybe he's sick. He could be sick," Kirk offered from his place in the throng of people.

Patty shook her head. "He hasn't been sick in over fifteen years."

"And the store's never been closed on a weekday before," Bootsy added.

"Since when do you read?" Kirk eyed Bootsy skeptically.

"I read," Bootsy said defensively. "Besides, everybody knows that statistic about Andrew."

"Wow," Kirk mused. "He must have a really great immune system."

Everyone turned to their left as Babette's stout figure came bounding around the corner, huffing and puffing out of breath. "She's not there! She's not there!" she cried, hunching over with her hands on her knees.

"Who's not there?" a flurry of voices shouted.

"Gypsy!" Babette wheezed. "She's not at the garage!"

Patty smiled devilishly at the news. "My, my. How interesting."

"So he won't take a sick day, but he'll take a sex day?" Kirk scoffed in disgust.

Morey nodded, holding tight to Babette's sagging frame. "Worthy cause."

"I was ready to nominate him for the Stars Hollow Proprietor of the Year Award," Kirk said, "but I take it back!"

"You better hope Taylor doesn't hear you say that," Patty replied with a playful wink.

"How do you know they're having sex?" Lorelai asked, inserting herself into the mix of familiar faces. "They could be, uh ... at a mechanics convention ... about books that mechanics use to help them, um, mechanize things..." she trailed off hopelessly. "Okay, they're having sex."

"On a Wednesday morning of all days," Kirk continued railing. "Why Wednesday?"

"Well, you know what they say about Wednesday." Patty raised her eyebrows suggestively.

Kirk stared blankly at her. "No, what do they say?"

"People, people, what have I told you about loitering on the sidewalk?" Taylor's booming voice called out from several feet away.

"That we should do it, and do it often," Lorelai enthusiastically contributed.

Taylor sighed. "I assure you that I will get to the bottom of this great mystery involving the disappearance of two of our most trusted business owners."

"Gypsy charged me eighty bucks for an oil change the other day," a random citizen interrupted.

"So there is no need to panic," Taylor continued. "Now, move along, and while you're moving, you might be interested to know that toilet paper and bananas are on sale at Doose's. Essentials for every household!" he promoted, gesturing for the crowd to disperse.

"Shameless," Patty murmured.

Babette nodded. "You got that right."

"Why can't Taylor disappear for a day? Or multiple days," Bootsy grumbled.

Kirk chased after Taylor as the assembly of people slowly dwindled. "Is it the extra-strength toilet paper, Taylor? Lulu doesn't like any debris left behind..."

The remaining townspeople cringed.

"Well, at least Andrew and Gypsy are having a good day," Patty sighed wistfully.

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"So, got any plans Friday night?" Kevin's voice was muffled by Rory's hair as she lay draped over him in the bed, the sheets down around their ankles.

"Did the alarm go off?" she groaned, still delirious.

Kevin chuckled, blowing her hair out of his face. "Yeah, which means nothing to your internal clock, I know." His hands gently glided along her satin-covered spine. "Did you hear my question about Friday?" he asked softly.

"What day is it today?" Rory gasped, whipping into an upright position. "How long have we been sleeping?"

Kevin sat up with her and pecked an affectionate kiss on her cheek. "Today is Wednesday, and the standard eight hours, I think, although you were a bit kinky last night so we might have lost a few minutes," he finished with a wink.

Rory jumped out of bed and snatched her robe from the hook on the back of the closet door. "I have so much to do today. Why did I go to sleep? I shouldn't have gone to sleep."

"Interviewing the Dalai Lama?" Kevin teased, pulling the sheets back in place.

She raced around the room, grabbing books and paper and any other loose and potentially useful items she could get her hands on, and jammed them into her bag. "Where is my grey skirt?" she sighed as she frantically searched for the desired article of clothing.

Rory froze mid-stride and turned to Kevin. "What about Friday?" she asked, her mind finally catching up.

"Dinner," he said, smiling. "With my parents."

She dropped her robe to the floor. "Whoa."


"That's big."

He nodded. "I think you can handle it." His hands nervously played with the sheets covering his torso. "My mom wanted to meet the woman who stole her Kevin's heart."

Rory smiled. "That's very sweet. Of course I'll be there."

"Good," Kevin said, breathing a sigh of relief.

"I'm actually taking the day off on Friday to help my mom move, but I'll be back in time to get ready for dinner... which is great. You know what else would be great?" she asked rhetorically. "If I could find my skirt..."

Kevin chuckled as she anxiously flitted around the room again.

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"You're just lucky the new owners had to delay their move. They must be familiar with the famous pack rat that is Lorelai Gilmore," Luke teased as he navigated his way through the obstacle of boxes in the living room.

"I am known throughout the land." Lorelai knelt on the floor, safely placing small knick-knacks into an empty box.

"How in the world did you cram all this junk into this house?"

"Hey, it's not all junk, and it wasn't just me," Lorelai said pointedly. "But if you must know, this house is magical, like Mary Poppins' bottomless bag."

"Yeah, it is magical," Luke agreed, watching as a smile blossomed on Lorelai's face.

She abandoned her task and sat cross-legged, staring at the far wall. "I remember when Rory and I first moved in, Rory asked if we could have pancakes for breakfast one morning, but I didn't have all the necessary materials—no measuring cups or spoons, not even a good mixing bowl. I thought I had finished unpacking everything, but I found a lone box in the upstairs hall closet. It was filled with kitchen supplies: utensils, measuring cups, bowls, pots and pans, and even non-perishable food items." Lorelai's eyes filled with joyful tears as she recounted the memory. "Mia eventually confessed to planting it there, but I told Rory it was a magical box, and whenever we needed something, we'd always search there first. I've never forgotten that."

Luke knelt down on one knee and stroked her cheek, brushing the fresh tears away.

"I just... I knew this day would come, that we'd have to move, but at the same time... I didn't. Does that make any sense?" Luke nodded. "I guess I just wanted this to be our special sanctuary forever. It's the first and only house I've ever lived in that actually feels like a home to me."

"The new place will too. Just give it time."

"Oh, I know," Lorelai said confidently. "It'll be wonderful. It's just hard to say goodbye, you know?"

He slowly stood up, pulling her to her feet in the same motion and wrapping her in a warm, protective embrace. "It'll always be here," he whispered into her hair. "Any time you want to swing by, you just say the word."

"Really?" she asked, smiling. "So you'd be okay if I wanted to swing by, say, once a week?"

Luke shrugged. "Sure."

"Twice a week?"

"Why not?"

"Every day?" She leaned back and wiggled her eyebrows playfully.

"That's getting a bit obsessive."

"Every minute, every hour ... I'm gonna shower you with love and affection. Look out it's comin' in your direction." She giggled, turning to the side and bumping her hip into him. "I'm gonna make you love meeeee!"

Luke rolled his eyes, but couldn't hide his smile. "Hurry up and pack, crazy lady."

"Yes, I will. Yesss, I will," she continued singing, blowing him a kiss as she squatted down and resumed her job.

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"I don't understand why you're freaking out," Lorelai said patiently. Rory could hear Ellie sigh and some rustling as Lorelai switched the phone to her other ear. "Why don't you ask Kevin what to wear?"

"Oh, I did, when I talked to him a few minutes ago," Rory answered, her voice rising with exasperation. "He just told that what I'm wearing right now would be fine."

"Which is?"

"Just jeans and a random top."


"Mom!" Rory protested. "I can't wear jeans to meet his parents."

Lorelai let out a long, weary sigh. "You've spent way too much time with your grandmother. Fine, then. Just wear a skirt and a sweater. You've still got that blue one you stole from me. Might as well make some good use of it."

Rory sputtered. "Stole from you? That light blue one?"

"Yeah, that's the one I'm talking about."

"You mean the one you asked me to get for you in New Haven, then had me change it for a different color—which I did, by the way—then you changed your mind and wanted the old color back?"

"Yes!" Lorelai said triumphantly. "That's it. You never brought it back."

"I think that you relinquished your rights to it after the second rejection. It decided it wanted to live with me instead."

"I bet it misses me," Lorelai teased. "You should cheer it up by taking it out on the town. Oh, I know! Maybe to meet Kevin's parents."

Rory shook her head and chuckled in spite of herself. "I guess that could work. Of course, Kevin will tell me that I didn't have to wear a skirt." She sighed. "Boys are so difficult."

"And why is it again that you're getting so worked up about this?"

"It's his parents," Rory said with emphasis.

"But you said they sounded totally cool."

"It's still his parents. I'd like to make a good impression. I'm still trying to forget my last 'meet the parents' dinner."

There was silence for a moment, and then Lorelai said with recognition, "Ah. The Huntzberger night of hell. I didn't realize the scars were so permanent. Does Kevin know about this psychosis?"

Rory was just a touch too anxious for the humor, so she changed the subject. "Okay, I'm done with that now. New subject. How's the packing going?"

"It's fine," Lorelai replied, though her voice sounded subdued. "We're getting close. I'm just glad that the buyers pushed back the closing. I didn't think we'd need so much time to pack, but I keep getting distracted going through all of our old stuff."

"You, distracted?" Rory said facetiously. "I can't imagine."

Lorelai let out a little laugh, and then was quiet a moment. "It's been a good house."

Rory nodded. "It really has." Mentally scanning her calendar, she added, "The move is Friday, right?"

"Yeah. Unless plans have changed yet again."

"Well then you should leave Thursday night open for one last Crap Shack Movie Night."

"That sounds perfect," Lorelai answered, sounding considerably brighter.

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Lorelai walked up behind Luke who was standing in the doorway of what would be Ellie's room. Sunlight glowed on the lemon colored walls. He tilted his head back as she looped her arms around his waist and rested her chin on his shoulder. "Came out nice, huh?" she asked.

"Yeah. It's a good thing we were able to close on this place last week so there was time to paint." He gave her hands a squeeze. "It looks good in the sunlight."

"So, see, I'm not a total nightmare with the paint chips."

"Never said you were."

"But you nixed my color for the dining room," she said, pouting playfully.

"I draw the line at a purple dining room. The blue was a good compromise."

She shrugged. "I guess, but the purple would have been so much more interesting. Hey." She unwrapped herself from him and squeezed his shoulder gently. "Can you go do your thing with the toilet? It didn't quite flush right."

"My thing?" he asked dubiously, turning around to face her.

"You know," she said, gesturing animatedly. "The thing where you take the top of the tank off and fiddle with it."

"Okay." He drew out the word, his tone skeptical. "Did you at least jiggle the handle?"

"Dirty!" she said, giggling.

"Only you could get a dirty out of that," Luke groused, looking at her expectantly. "So...?"

"Yes." She raised her eyebrow teasingly. "Even though I thought you might want me to save my jiggling for other purposes, I did waste some jiggling on the toilet bowl handle. So now it's time for you to fiddle."

He shook his head as he walked past her. "Fine, but one of these days I'm going to show you how a toilet works because anyone can fix a tangled chain."

"I'm not putting my hand down there!" Lorelai cried, horrified. "That's what husbands are for."

"Lucky me," he said sarcastically as he turned the corner.

Lorelai grinned. "You bet you are, buddy!"

She stood in the doorway, just as Luke had been moments ago. As she listened to him working in the bathroom, she mentally arranged the baby furniture in Ellie's room, smiling softly. She heard Luke go downstairs and return a few minutes later. He tested the toilet a few more times and muttered something under his breath.

"Is everything okay, Luke?" she asked cautiously. "That toilet is a pretty crucial part of our existence here."

"I'm sure it's fine. I'll just try one more th-" He stopped abruptly and Lorelai could hear some odd gurgling. "Crap."

"So, uh..." she hesitated, walking slowly toward the bathroom door. Leaning against the doorframe she asked, "Did the fiddling not work? There's usually not this much muttering."

He gave her a frustrated glance, but then sighed and admitted, "I think I need to call a plumber. It's not just this toilet."

"But we're supposed to move in tomorrow and we really need toilets in all of their happy flushing glory." She gave him an exaggerated frown. "Please tell me our house isn't broken."

"It's probably just a clog or something. I should be able to get a plumber here today and they can just snake it out." He reached out and rubbed his thumb across her brow, smoothing out the worry lines. "I'm sure it will be fine. And if there's a problem, I think I could get a rudimentary outhouse built in a day or two."

He gave her an evil grin as she looked up at him in horror and whimpered, "Please tell me you're joking."

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Luke rolled his eyes for the fifth time at the group of townspeople who had taken over his diner.

"So they're back now?" Lulu asked.

"Yeah," Babette confirmed. "The shop and the bookstore are open for business."

Patty leaned in conspiratorially and said, "According to East Side Tilly, Gypsy had a certain glow about her this morning."

"And Andrew looked like he'd been through the mill," Babette chuckled.

Kirk shook his head in revulsion. "So it's true then; they were having sex."

"Lulu, darling, it appears that your hubby isn't a fan of sex," Patty remarked sympathetically.

Lulu proudly patted her stomach. "Oh, on the contrary."

"For the love of!" Luke griped as he passed them by, his arms loaded with plates. "People are trying to eat here!"

"Our little Orville is going to be the prettiest baby in all of Connecticut," Kirk cooed, gently rubbing Lulu's slightly protruded belly.

Boosty frowned. "Orville?"

"Kirk really likes popcorn," Lulu explained, smiling in encouragement.

Babette drained the last of her coffee, gesturing to Luke for a refill. "So you two kids are havin' a boy, are ya?"

"Well, we don't know for sure yet, but Kirk has his heart set on it," Lulu replied, squeezing Kirk's hand affectionately.

"And I'm guessing Orville goes either way, right?" Luke asked, topping every cup with fresh coffee.

"Orvella just doesn't have the same ring to it," Kirk answered seriously.

Luke sighed. "Ask a stupid question..."

"I wonder what Gypsy and Andrew will name their babies," Patty considered aloud, resting her chin in her hands.

"Barnes and Noble," Morey supplied.

Bootsy chuckled. "Mercedes and Portia."

"Wait! Gypsy and Andrew are pregnant?!" Kirk shouted, finally catching up.

Everyone rolled their eyes collectively.

"No, honey," Patty told him. "You just worry about little Orville there." She paused thoughtfully. "Huh. That didn't sound so bad."

"It grows on you," Lulu said, a smile glued to her face.

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Lorelai placed another bowl on the blanket that lay outstretched on the living room floor, and marched back into the kitchen again.

"I think this is a little extravagant, even for you," Luke said, eyeing the smorgasbord of junk food with distaste.

Lorelai scoffed. "Don't be silly. Besides, I haven't even brought out the Tater Tots yet." She returned to the living room, adding a bowl of Red Vines, Nutter Butters, and marshmallows to the mix, then took a seat next to her precious provisions.

"You won't eat for a week."

"Never underestimate me," she shot back.

"Fine," he corrected. "I won't be eating for a week. Just looking at that crap is enough to put me off food permanently."

Lorelai stuck her tongue out at him. "Party pooper."

"Speaking of poopers, I'm gonna head upstairs and give the little one a bath. Have fun tonight, and behave yourselves," he said, kissing her firmly.

"You sure you don't wanna stick around?"

"Nah, this is your special night. I can go watch some sports without your commentary."

She smiled. "Thanks, Luke."

"You're welcome. Goodnight," he whispered, kissing her again.

"Kiss my baby girl for me," Lorelai told him as he climbed the stairs.

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Just as Lorelai finished with her preparations, Rory's voice called from the foyer, "Hey, I'm here!"

"Rory!" Lorelai rushed to greet her, pulling her into a hug. "Here, let me take your coat," she offered, folding it over her arm after Rory slipped it off.

"Wow. It feels so empty," Rory said. "It's a little spooky."

"Yeah, and sad," Lorelai murmured, leading the way to the living room.

"You gonna hold my coat the whole time?"

"Forever and ever," Lorelai giggled. "Our coat rack is at the new house. Luke and I just toss ours over the banister."

"Works for me." She stopped walking, her eyes widening in amazement as she noticed the oasis of pillows and the entire blanket of junk food for the first time.

Lorelai took in her expression and said, "Don't worry. The Chinese food is on its way."

"Mom, this is way too much food."

"Well, we gotta do it up right, kid. This is our last chance ... in this house, anyway, unless we make friends with the new owners."

Rory nodded in consent. "Okay, do we have drinks?"

"Luke made us a fresh pot of coffee before he went upstairs," Lorelai gloated. "And there is an assortment of soda in the fridge. We're all set."

"I'm off tomorrow so I'm yours for the night."

Lorelai beamed. "I figured we'd start with Showgirls, maybe toss in a little Casablanca, and finish with The Breakfast Club. Good with you?"

"Sounds perfect."

The two girls settled on the floor, creating their own unique furniture out of the many pillows in order to reach the right comfort quotient.

Rory dipped her hand into the bowl of Mallomars. "I'm gonna miss this place," she said quietly.

"Me too, kid."

"Lots of memories here."

Lorelai nodded. "Good, bad, and in between."

"We'll make new ones."

"And we'll always have the old ones."

They both fell silent as the movie roared to life.

"Hey, Mom?" Rory asked after a beat.


"Remember after my Chilton graduation, when you wanted to carve our names into the wall?"

Lorelai grinned. "Yes," she said leadingly.

"Do you think we can do that here?"

Lorelai paused the movie and hopped to her feet. "Go find me a knife; I'll think of something dirty for us to write."

Rory laughed as she stood up and headed for the kitchen.

"And don't tell Luke," Lorelai urged.

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Luke was upstairs taking care of a much needed diaper change while Lorelai cleaned up the remains of their breakfast. She was trying not to think about having just eaten the last meal in the Crap Shack when Luke's cell phone rang and provided a merciful distraction. She tossed the last few pieces of trash into the garbage and hurried into the living room.

"Luke," she called upstairs, "your phone is ringing."

"You'll have to get it. I'm up to my elbows in baby crap."

"Uh, okay," she said, grabbing the phone and pressing the button to receive the call. "Hello," she said tentatively.

"Hello," said a deep voice, pausing as if confused. "I'm trying to reach Luke Danes. Do I have the right number?"

"Yeah, I'm his wife. May I ask who's calling?"

"This is Jack Powers. I was checking out a plumbing problem for him in the new house."

"Oh, did you fix it? We're supposed to move in today," Lorelai asked eagerly.

"Well—" he started, but Lorelai cut him off.

"No, wait, I'm not the toilet person. You need to talk to my husband." She chuckled nervously as she climbed the stairs.

"It's ironic, but he's, uh, changing our daughter's diaper right now."

The plumber did not seem impressed by the coincidence. Lorelai got to the top of the steps just as Luke exited their room with Ellie in his arms. He handed her the squirming baby before turning into the bathroom and hurriedly washing his hands. When he finished she handed him the phone and followed as he walked down the steps.

Lorelai tried to listen to Luke's conversation, but Ellie was screeching happily and lunging for the ground. She was only able to catch snatches of what he was saying as she kept track of her daughter, but his expression looked grim. She heard him ask, "How long?" and he appeared to be displeased by the answer, though he nodded at whatever instructions the plumber seemed to be giving him. Finally, he closed the phone with a long sigh and Lorelai pounced.

"What's going on? How long will it be for what?" He looked pained and she squeaked, "Are we going to have toilets?"

Luke glanced at her as if he was going to start speaking, but then started pacing. After the second pass he said quietly, "There's a problem with the septic system." He let out another sigh. "There's not enough room for another leach field, so they're going to have to dig it out and replace it."

Lorelai paled. "And that will take—"

The ringing of her cell phone interrupted her question and she groaned at the intrusion. Luke pointed to indicate that he would watch Ellie and Lorelai grabbed her phone out of her purse.

"Hello," she said for the second time in ten minutes.

"Lorelai, this is your mother."

"Mom. Hi," Lorelai said weakly.

"I'm calling with some fabulous news. Can you put Luke on?" Emily asked without preamble.

"Fabulous news. Fabulous news would be good right now." She gritted her teeth and looked up at Luke, saying with false brightness, "Would you like me to put my mom on speaker so that we can both hear the fabulous news?"

"Uh, sure," Luke said hesitantly.

Lorelai switched over to speakerphone and when her mother responded she could tell that she had done the same.

"Okay, Mom. We're here. What's the big news?" she asked, a touch impatiently.

Even through the doubly echo-y phone call, Lorelai could hear her mother's sniff of disdain at Lorelai's tone, but Lorelai was too anxious about the house to give it much thought. "Well," Emily finally started, "your father and I were so pleased to be able to contribute to your growing family by setting up a trust fund for Eleanor's education."

"And we do appreciate that, Mom," Lorelai said genuinely, "but that's taken care of, ri—"

Richard cut her off. "Of course, the trust fund has been established in Eleanor's name. You have nothing to worry about there. The reason we are calling, however, is that your grandmother and I were saying that we would like to support you further, if you would allow us to."

"Further?" Luke asked skeptically. "Lorelai and I don't need any help."

"Oh, of course you don't," Richard added quickly, "and I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I should have phrased it differently."

"We would like to make a gift to the family," Emily piped in.

"Oh, would you like to buy us some toilets?" Lorelai asked half-heartedly.

Luke glared at her and Emily responded, "Why, heavens no! What would make you say that?"

"Oh, nothing, Mom. I was just joking. Please ignore me."

"Well, your father and I would appreciate it if you would take this seriously," Emily chastised her, and then explained. "We would like to offer to make a gift to offset the down payment of your new home."

"Oh, Mom, Dad, that's very generous, but no. It's too much. Like Luke said, we don't need handouts." Luke sighed and shook his head at her choice of words.

"This is not a handout, Lorelai," Richard said sternly. "We know very well that you would never accept that kind of help. "We just wanted to make a gift that would benefit the whole family."

Lorelai took in a long breath and let it out slowly in an effort to keep from screaming. "You know what? Now isn't the best time to discuss how ungrateful I am." Luke shot her another look of warning. "We're trying to get the last few things packed up before the moving truck arrives."

"Fine," said Emily sharply. "Good luck with the move. I know we won't see you tonight, but we will expect you for dinner next Friday."

"Of course, Mom." Lorelai's voice trailed off as she stared out the window at the huge moving van that had just pulled into the driveway. "Uh, Mom, I've got to go."

"But Lorelai..."

Lorelai hung up numbly, and then turned to stare at Luke. "Where are we going to stay?"

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"I'm so glad that you both agreed to be a part of the moving experience," Lorelai said, smiling as she bounced Ellie on her hip. She moved cheerfully to pull open the back door of the diner and hold it for Luke, April, and Rory to pass through, each with a load of boxes.

"Because you needed the slave labor?" Rory grumbled as she passed.

Lorelai's expression grew cloudy. "I didn't plan on needing slave labor. I planned on a celebratory unpacking party in the new house." She sighed and looked wistfully at Luke's almost empty pick-up truck. "I can't believe the movers wouldn't make a second stop. Thank God Luke has a truck."

She followed her daughter up the stairs and into the apartment, which was littered with boxes of all sizes and shapes. "Oh, Luke, wait! That box is marked baby. It should go near the crib. And April, that one is a kitchen box. Don't put it down over there."

"There's no room by the crib," growled Luke. He turned toward the kitchen area. "Or over there. They just need to go where they'll fit."

"But I was trying to keep it organized," Lorelai protested.

"Organized?" April asked, scanning the room with eyebrows raised. "That's a mission that has come and gone," she said matter-of-factly. "Dad, do you think we can get the rest in one load?"

"Yeah. One or two, which is a good thing because we're running out of space."

Luke and April headed down for the last of the boxes and Lorelai glanced over at Rory, her shoulders falling in defeat. "I don't even know where to begin." A moment later she sniffed, then patted Ellie's diaper. "Then again, I know exactly where to begin."

"Diaper," Rory asked helpfully.

Lorelai nodded. "Diaper."

A few minutes later Luke and April appeared at the door again. "What the hell happened here?" he asked in frustration.

"Aha! Got them," she cried triumphantly, standing up with the diaper and only then registering the chaos she and Rory had created in their haste to find the diapers. She looked up sheepishly at Luke. "Sorry! But seriously? Fourteen boxes! Why does Ellie even have fourteen boxes? Her clothes are so tiny. And somehow the diapers were in the very last one."

She stood ready to blurt out another quip, but then she saw Luke scan the room. When their eyes met, she saw that his expression looked as hopeless as she felt. "I'll just..." She held up Ellie gently. "Change her. Then maybe we can try to put some things away."

Rory's eyes widened skeptically, but everyone refrained from commenting.

A few minutes later they began to unpack, mostly in silence for fear of stating once more how impossible the task looked. Eventually, though, Lorelai looked up. "Luke?"


"Where are all my underwear?"

"They've gotta be in one of those boxes, right? I grabbed a whole bunch of your clothes."

"Four," Lorelai said, holding up her fingers. "Four boxes of my clothes. We've got sixteen kitchen boxes, five just for the bathroom, everything Ellie owns, but only four boxes of my stuff. And are there shoes in any of these?" She took a step toward a set of partially unpacked boxes, caught her heel, and landed square on her butt.

No one could get to her easily, so she flailed a bit before managing to right herself. Luke and April stifled their laughs, but Rory failed to catch hers before it burst forth. Lorelai gave her an accusing glance and Rory looked contrite.

Luke sighed and said, "Give me until tomorrow and I'll try to find some of the things we need in the boxes that are at the house."

Lorelai nodded. "Okay, but I am going to need some underwear soon."

Rory piped up from where she was unloading some utensils out of boxes in the kitchen space, "Well, I think I've put away about as much as there's room for. And I do have that dinner with Kevin's parents tonight. Do you guys mind if I take off?"

"Of course not, Rory," Luke said genuinely. "Thank you so much for the help."

"Yeah, thanks, Hon," Lorelai said sadly. Rory gathered her things and gave another wave before heading out. As Rory's footsteps receded down the stairs, Lorelai added, "We were planning to have a first meal all together."

"Well, if we're lucky we might unearth the table soon," April said helpfully.

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Rory stormed back to her closet and grabbed an assortment of hangers, tossing them onto the overflowing pile that was currently covering her bed.

"An entire closet full of clothes and I have nothing to wear," she muttered, staring at her clothes in contempt. "Maybe I'll just show up naked. That would be festive."

With a tired sigh, she grabbed her cell and dialed Kevin's work number.

"Kevin Jamison," he answered on the third ring.

"Are either of your parents nudists?"

"Excuse me?" he said with a chuckle.

Rory groaned. "I've tried on every outfit I own, in every possible combination, and nothing works! I need some direction here!"

"Hey," he said softly. "Just calm down. You're getting yourself all worked up over nothing."

"This is not nothing," she insisted. "I'm meeting your parents, Kevin. Did you miss that whole conversation we had about my previous 'meeting the parents' experience? It hasn't left me with warm, fuzzy memories."

"Did you miss what I told you during that conversation?" Kevin returned. "My parents aren't like that, Rory, I swear. They're very easy going, laid back kind of people. It doesn't matter what you wear or what you say; they're going to love you no matter what."

Rory took a calming breath. "So they won't mind if I show up naked?"

He laughed. "Try to find something to wear. I'll be there in about an hour to give my glowing approval. Okay?"

"Okay," Rory agreed, ending the call. Her eyes fell to the mountain of clothes on her bed. "This sucks."

♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

"Luke, what's wrong with the DVD player?" Lorelai asked as she came out of the bathroom to see Luke still crouched down in front of the television.

"There's nothing wrong with the DVD player," he said gruffly. "But the cord to connect it to the TV is missing."

"Let me guess." She made a dramatic gesture of pretending to think and then pointed her finger as if she'd solved a great mystery. "It's in a box. In the other house."

He just looked at her and sighed. "Probably."

"But we have movies. And pizza. And ice cream. And..." She waved her hand around the room as she plopped down onto one end of the couch. "There's no room to do anything other than sit on the couch, which doesn't leave us a whole lot in the way of entertainment. I was really depending on a movie to distract me from the chaos."

"That was part of the 'hanging out with the family' deal, Dad," April added, handing Ellie back to Lorelai before settling at the other end of the couch.

Luke gave them both a pained expression, and then offered helpfully, "I've got a VHS player. Maybe we could go rent—"

He was cut off by Lorelai's shriek as she jumped up and headed to a far corner. "I think that I saw some tapes in this box over here!"

♫   ♫   ♫  

Forty minutes later they sat in a long row on the couch, Luke flanked by his girls and Ellie in Lorelai's lap. He seemed oddly reluctant to curl his arm around Lorelai or to tug her down to lie in his lap. Lorelai let herself be content with Ellie's warm weight against her chest and the soft sounds of her snores.

"Hey," Luke asked, nudging her. "Do you want to put her down in the crib."

Lorelai surveyed the path and grimaced. "I'm not sure I can get over there without tripping, and that would be just one straw too many. "Besides," she shrugged, "Nothing wrong with a little baby-snuggle."

Luke smiled warmly at her and tapped her knee with the back of his hand. "We can work on getting things more organized tomorrow."

April turned and said with a grin, "Does that include figuring out why—when choosing items for a few weeks stay—you have both The Brady Bunch Movie and ten episodes of The Munsters on VHS, but Lorelai doesn't have any spare underwear?"

Lorelai smirked. "I'm just trying to find a way to blame it on Luke."

♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

Rory and Kevin walked up the steps of a modest sized house with a neat, but not overly manicured lawn. Rory paused, expecting Kevin to stop and ring the bell, but he walked right in. He looked back at her, standing on the doormat. "Well, what are you waiting for?"

"I just didn't expect it to be open. We always have to ring the bell at my grandparents' house."

"My parents are pretty casual about locking up. A little too casual, actually," he said with a slight frown.

"Well, they'd get along well with my mom," Rory quipped.

He cocked his head to the side thoughtfully. "You're probably right, actually. We should find a time to get them all together."

"Yeah, assuming we get through this night okay," Rory said nervously.

"Nothing to worry about, Gilmore," he said, giving her hand a squeeze as he pulled her into the living room.

Kevin's father, David, and Tess were sitting in the living room, watching the History Channel. David immediately stood up when he noticed their presence, showing his tall and trim frame. Tess waved distractedly from her position on the couch, obviously too comfortable to move.

"Dad, I'd like you to meet Rory. Rory, this is my father, David." Kevin expertly proceeded through the introductions.

"Rory, it's wonderful to finally meet you," David said, shaking her hand. "Kevin speaks very highly of you."

Rory smiled, blushing. "I've heard great things about you, too. You have a lovely home."

"Well, that's nice to hear for a change," he said, looking pointedly at Kevin and Tess. "Our kids don't seem to think so. Renata is just in the kitchen fixing up some appetizers. Why don't you two have a seat and I'll let her know you're here."

He hurried to the kitchen while Kevin and Rory sat down on the couch opposite Tess.

"So, this officially falls under the category of weird," Tess muttered, shooting an amused glance at her brother and Rory.

Kevin chuckled. "Glad I'm not the only one who thinks so."

"Yeah, definitely weird," Rory agreed, her knee bouncing wildly.

Kevin put a gentle hand on her knee to keep it from shaking. "Relax," he whispered soothingly.

At that moment, David re-entered the room with a beautiful dark-haired woman by his side. She carefully placed a tray of appetizers on the coffee table, and turned to Rory with a smile that was nearly identical to Kevin's.

"Rory," David said, "This is my wife, Renata."

Rory stood up and took Renata's outstretched hand. "It's very nice to meet you."

"Likewise, Rory," she replied in a kind voice that held traces of an accent. "We're so happy to have you in our home."

"Well, I'm happy to be here," Rory said. "I really appreciate the invitation."

Renata smiled. "Please, sit down and help yourselves to some appetizers. The coxinha and yucca are both Brazilian specialties."

"And they're deep-fried," Tess added.

"Ooh, you said the magic word," Rory said, reaching for what looked like a sort of dumpling and taking a bite, her eyes lighting up in delight. "Wow, this is amazing!"

Renata beamed and thanked Rory demurely. At the same time, Tess caught Kevin's eye and muttered, "Well, she's sold. All you have is Dad now and he's usually the easy one."

Tess' mother responded with a Portuguese phrase that was clearly an admonishment followed by, "You're going to embarrass her, Tessa."

Tess gave both Rory and Kevin an evil grin that made it clear she had no intentions of letting them off the hook, but before she could continue with her teasing, Rory had turned to Renata and asked politely, "Kevin told me that you run a Brazilian boutique. I'd love to come check it out sometime."

Tess rolled her eyes dramatically, but Renata waved dismissively. "It's just a grocery, really. We have a few other products, but they're just knick-knacks and souvenirs."

"It sounds like fun," Rory responded, and then turned to Kevin's father. "And you're a history teacher? I guess Kevin followed in your footsteps."

"I'd like to think so," David responded with a shrug, "but we have no idea where that science thing came from. Bit of a freak, that one."

This time it was David who received the side comment from Renata, along with a playful pat on the shoulder.

"Oh yeah," Kevin mumbled to Rory. "I forgot to warn you that Mom randomly breaks out in Portuguese, especially when she's scolding us."

"Only when they deserve it," Renata said with a smile.

The mutual teasing seemed to have broken the ice and they chatted over appetizers until a timer went off in the kitchen and Renata rushed away, eventually calling Tess in to help her finish up and bring everything to the table.

♫   ♫   ♫  

Rory and Kevin sat on one side of the table, Tess on the other. David and Renata took their place at opposite ends. Rory couldn't help but notice the extra place setting next to Tess, and as if on cue, a low rumbling from below revealed a thirty-something woman, dressed smartly and wearing a casual expression. She entered through a side door in the kitchen and quickly took a seat beside Tess, shooting a wink at Rory.

Tess and Kevin rolled their eyes in sync.

"Nice of you to show up," Kevin muttered.

"And right when the food is on the table," Tess cut in. "What a coincidence."

Renata gave both Kevin and Tess a stern look. "Rory," she said, "this is Izzy, our eldest daughter. She lives downstairs."

"Oh," Rory said, nodding politely. "It's very nice to meet you." She glanced back and forth from Kevin to Tess, wondering why he wouldn't have mentioned that his older sister was going to be at dinner.

"Same here," Izzy replied, favorably glancing at the provisions on the table. "Looks like you're in for a treat, Rory. Mom made her famous Vatapa Fish."

Dishes were passed around from one end of the table to the other as everyone filled their plates with the colorful cuisine.

"So, Izzy," Rory began, "what do you do for a living?"

Tess stifled a laugh. "Not much."

This time David rewarded her with a warning look.

"Well," Izzy said, looking pointedly at Tess, "I actually work at a clothing store."

"That's great," Rory returned, a little too enthusiastically. "By the way," she added, "I really like your outfit."

Kevin sighed. "Don't encourage her. She already has too many clothes."

David and Renata cleared their throats in caution.

Rory smiled nervously and took a healthy bite of her fish, swallowing it quickly. "This is really good fish."

♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

Lorelai groaned as the shrill ring of the telephone awoke her from her peaceful sleep. "Who is calling you on a Saturday morning?" she croaked as Luke grabbed the receiver. "Is it the sadistic bread people? I swear, those people need to find another hobby."

"It's your mother," Luke whispered, holding the phone away from his ear.

Lorelai sat up and wrapped the sheet tightly around her. "Why is my mother calling?" She gestured for Luke to pass her the phone but he shook his head.

"She wants to talk to us both." He slid back on the bed and held the receiver between them.

"Lorelai, are you there?" Emily asked.

She rolled her eyes. "Yes, Mom."

"Good. Your father will be here shortly. You wouldn't believe the ordeal I had to go through in order to reach you."

"Here it comes," Lorelai muttered.

"I don't have a number for your new place," Emily continued, "and I knew you wouldn't be at your old place, so I tried the diner, and a very nice man patched me through to the upstairs where he said you were all staying. Now, before I get into that, it would be nice if I didn't have to ask my daughter for her new phone number."

"You have my cell number, Mom," Lorelai reasoned. "Which you used just yesterday."

"Well, I suppose..."

"I much prefer to speak to someone over a landline," Richard's booming voice echoed. "The sound quality is far superior, in my opinion."

"Is there a reason that you called?" Lorelai sighed.

"Yes," Emily answered. "Your father and I aren't pleased with the way things were left the other morning. By the way, why aren't you in your new place?"

Lorelai turned to Luke, silently begging for him to answer the question.

"There's a problem with our septic system," Luke explained. "Our leach field needs to be replaced, and it's going to take some time."

"How much time?" Richard asked. "I can call in a few favors if need be."

Luke shook his head. "Thanks, Richard, but that won't be necessary. We have things under control."

"How much time?" Emily repeated.

Luke shot a pleading look at Lorelai. "Things are still uncertain," he said. "I figure it'll be at least two or three weeks before—"

"That's dreadful," Emily hissed. "You simply cannot stay in that apartment for that length of time. It's unsanitary for so many people to be living in such small quarters."

"Mom," Lorelai said tiredly, "can we just get to the point of this call?"

"You know why we're calling," Emily returned shortly. "Your father and I want to contribute financially toward your new home."

"Yes," Richard agreed. "We've discussed this at great length, and we'd be thrilled if you would allow us to help offset some of the costs. It would be our gift to your family."

Luke's eyes widened as Lorelai snatched the phone from him and stood up, gritting her teeth. "We've already been over this," she snapped. "The trust fund was one thing, this is something completely different."


"Please let me finish, Dad. You and Mom have contributed so much already. The trust fund, the wedding ... I mean, you provided the venue of all things, and Mom arranged every detail. And we appreciated that; we honestly did. But this house belongs to us. It's ours together—right from the start. And that's how we want it to be." She glanced at Luke and received a nod of approval. "We don't want or need any outside help."

"Outside help?" Emily barked. "Fine. If that's how you want it to be."

That's how we want it to be," Lorelai confirmed.

"We'll see you Friday," Emily finished bitterly, hanging up the phone.

Lorelai collapsed back onto the bed, passing Luke the phone. "Well, that went well," she sighed. "Guess we'll be having brussel sprouts for dinner next Friday. Hate brussel sprouts," she sulked into her pillow.

♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

Lorelai walked into the diner, headed straight for the counter, and plopped herself unceremoniously on a stool. Luke automatically pulled a mug from under the counter and filled it with coffee before sliding it across to her.

"Everything okay at the inn?"

"Yeah," she said, smiling gratefully as she took a sip of coffee. "Just a lot of running around and taking care of everything that didn't get done yesterday." She glanced around the diner. "Where's Ellie?"

Luke gestured toward the ceiling with his thumb. "Upstairs with April."

"And they're okay?" she asked, her gaze drifting toward the stairs. "Cause, you know, April isn't always thrilled about babysitting duty."

"They'll be fine for a bit," Luke assured her. "I need to tell you what I have worked out for the house."

"You mean our beautiful but totally useless house?" she asked bitterly. "Little did I know I should have named this one the Crap Shack."

"Do you want to hear what I've worked out or not?" Luke asked impatiently. "I don't think it will be as bad as I thought."

Lorelai gave him an apologetic smile. "Okay, lay it on me."

"I called in a few favors and found an excavation company that can start on Monday. We're lucky we got them when we did because they've got another job starting up, so if we'd missed this window, it would have taken another couple of weeks." He glanced up at her and she nodded for him to continue. "Once they're done, which will probably take 10 days or two weeks, then the new tank needs to be installed and all of the plumbing hooked up. It might be done in about three weeks."

"I guess that's do-able," Lorelai said with a sigh. "I was just so looking forward to actually being in our new house."

"Yeah, me too," Luke said wearily.

"But everything is all set for the work to start? I can't believe you pulled it together so quickly."

"Well, there is one more thing," he said cautiously.


"The building permit has to be signed by Taylor." Luke pulled an envelope from under the register and tapped it on the counter.

"Ooh, he's sitting right over there," Lorelai said eagerly. "Give it to me."

"I think we need more of a plan for this," Luke said, following as Lorelai hopped off her stool and headed over to Taylor's table.

"It's just a signature, right?"

"It's never just a signature with Taylor," Luke said darkly.

Lorelai bounced over toward Taylor, clasping the envelope behind her back. "Good morning, Taylor. How is your omelet?"

"It is satisfactory, though I think that Luke would find that using the farm fresh eggs from Doose's market would produce a higher quality result than those mediocre products from his regular supplier."

"At twice the price," Luke muttered under his breath.

Lorelai gave him a swat, and then nodded and said agreeably, "You're probably right. I'll try to get him to consider that." She paused for a moment. "While I'm here, though, I wonder if you wouldn't be able to take care of some paperwork for us."

Taylor's eyebrows rose as he adjusted his cardigan. "Paperwork?"

"It's just a building permit for a septic system at our new place."

"Ah," he said in a patronizing tone. "Well, you do understand that these things have to go through the appropriate channels. This request really should be submitted to the office on Monday."

"But isn't it a wonderful coincidence that you're here now and could take care of it without all that hassle?" Lorelai said hopefully. "And we really need to start Monday so that we don't miss our window with the excavation company." She looked back at Luke to confirm that she had the details correct. He nodded and she continued, "Otherwise it will cost us at least two weeks. Two weeks that we all have to live up there." She pointed at the ceiling a little desperately.

When he gave her a condescending smile she realized that she had tipped too much of her hand. "Well, I hope you didn't make too many arrangements. I know that you understand that there is a process to be followed for such requests."

"It just says that we need your signature," Lorelai said weakly, pointing at the piece of paper she had pulled from the envelope.

"Yes, that's true, but the building committee must visit and make a report about the necessity of the work-"

"The necessity?" Lorelai cried. "We can't use our toilets. What more do you want?"

He continued as if she hadn't interrupted. "And the report must be presented and accepted at a town meeting before I can approve the work."

"Okay, okay," she said, her brain humming forward. "Why don't you bring your committee to investigate later today and we can have a town meeting tomorrow night?"

"On the weekend?" he asked, as if the idea were incomprehensible. "Like I said, you can make your request on Monday during the appropriate office hours." He sighed. "Now I really would like to finish this omelet before it gets cold."

Lorelai raised her hand, prepared to thrust the form in front of Taylor along with a clever insult, but Luke looped his arm around her chest and dragged her, arms flailing, behind the curtain. "Next time, you need to give him a hemlock omelet," she said angrily.

Luke nodded soothingly. "I'll see what I can do about adding it to the menu."

♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

Fresh from the shower and wrapped in a towel, Rory entered the bedroom to find Kevin in what sounded like the tail end of a phone call. She picked out her clothes and was about to get dressed when Kevin snapped his phone shut and gave her a wide smile. "Well the verdict is in. They want to give me up for adoption and take you instead."

"Huh?" Rory looked at him blankly.

He chuckled at her expression. "My parents. They think that you're amazing. My dad googled all your articles and my mom wants to know how many babies you want to have."

Rory sputtered and he spoke quickly. "No pressure or anything. That's just, you know, crazy mom talk."

"I get it. After all, you met my grandparents." Frowning a moment, she glanced down at her towel-clad body. "Can we put this conversation on hold for a minute? I can't talk about your parents and my grandparents without my clothes on."

He stifled a laugh. "Seriously?"

Rory raised her eyebrow in challenge. "The situation is reversed. You're naked and we're talking about my mom and Luke."

"Okay, fine. Get dressed," he capitulated, but then proceeded to stare at her with a teasing grin until she had fastened her last button. "So what were we talking about again?" he asked, feigning forgetfulness.

"Your crazy family and whether or not they approve of me."

"Definitely passed the 'meet the family' test," he assured her.

Rory nodded. "Good." She paused a moment, tipping her head to the side thoughtfully. "What about your sister?"

He gave her a quizzical look. "You know Tess loves you."

Rory couldn't tell if Kevin was being intentionally obtuse, but she decided it was a good opening nonetheless. "I meant Izzy, Kevin," she said sternly.

"Oh, well, uh, yeah. She liked you too," he said, stumbling a bit over the words.

"Okay," she said slowly. "I just want to make a good impression with your whole family."

"And you did."

"If you say so." She narrowed her eyes at him. "What's the deal with Izzy?"

"What do you mean?" he asked evasively.

"I mean, there was this weird hostile vibe all night and it seemed really unlike you and Tess, so I figured there must be more to the story."

He shrugged, clearly not eager to talk about it, but Rory waited expectantly. Finally he said, "It's just that Izzy's all talk and no action. She says that she's saving money to get her own place, but she ends up spending most of it on designer clothes." He stopped, as if gauging her reaction, then continued slowly. "She's gotten offers to increase her hours or even manage the store where she works, but she keeps on working part-time instead."

"Okay, so she's not as driven as you, but what's the problem with that?" Rory asked, confused.

"It's not really about being driven. Tess and I are just sick of her taking advantage of our parents."

"In what way?"

"She lives rent-free and even though she's got her own apartment downstairs, she still mooches food off of them."

"Well," Rory said diplomatically, "if my mom cooked as well as yours does, I'd probably mooch off of her too." Kevin glared at her and she shrugged. "Do your parents think they're being taken advantage of?"

"Who knows what they think," he grumbled. "They're too forgiving for their own good."

"Now there's a serious character flaw!" Rory said teasingly.

"Why do you care anyway?" he burst out, suddenly angry. "It's not like you get along perfectly with everyone in your family."

"I'm sorry," she said, realizing that she'd pushed a bit too far. "The only reason I brought it up is that you and Tess are two of the kindest and friendliest people I know, so seeing you like that with Izzy was weird." She leaned in and gave him a kiss. "See, I think that you take after your parents, and I mean that as a compliment."

He finally gave into her teasing and smiled ruefully. "I guess that explains why Izzy texted to tell me that I should keep you."

"See? She is really smart!" Rory said, smiling playfully.

♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

Lorelai threw open the door of the apartment, fuming. "I'm going to strangle him with his cardigan. I'll stuff his 'official forms' down his throat."

"And I'll come visit you in prison after you do," Luke said, giving her shoulders a squeeze.

April walked over to Luke and passed off Ellie who was fussing and squirming in her arms. "What did Taylor do now?"

"He won't sign the building permit, so we can't start the excavation on Monday, which means we'll have to live in here for weeks." Lorelai gestured dramatically around the apartment as she began stepping her way in between and over box after box. In her frustration, she caught her toe on one of them and barely stayed on her feet. She groaned. "And I can't even pace properly!"

"Oh, that sucks," April said, her eyes widening, clearly not looking forward to the arrangement either.

Luke caught April's eye. "How was Ellie? Everything okay?"

She shrugged. "She's fine. I gave her some of your super special homemade organic applesauce. And then I changed her clothes and diaper because she was wearing most of said applesauce. I think she's probably just tired."

That set Lorelai off again. "And we don't have her swing!" She looked at Luke accusingly.

"Because we decided it would take up too much space here," Luke reminded her gently.

"I know," Lorelai cried. "I thought it would only be for a couple of weeks." She let out a long sigh and said bitterly. "If I hadn't thoroughly pissed off my parents this morning maybe they'd let us move into the pool house for a month."

"Oh, that would be fun," Luke responded sarcastically.

April looked back and forth between them apprehensively for a moment before saying quickly, "I'm going to go, uh, hang out with Jen. Are you guys all set?" She looked pleadingly up at Luke, and he nodded. April was out the door a few moments later.

"Hey, let me go check in quickly with Caesar and I'll be right back up to help," Luke promised, rubbing her shoulder gently before handing over Ellie.

As the door closed behind him Lorelai nodded mutely, Ellie still whimpering in her arms. It wasn't the kind of all-out screaming that signaled a serious crisis, but rather the kind of distress that was usually resolved with long, slow circles around the room. Lorelai sighed and looked at the boxes and clutter scattered all over the floor.

By the time Luke returned almost half an hour later, she had convinced Ellie to nurse and they were cuddled up in a pile of pillows at the head of the bed.

She gave him a cranky frown. "Sure, show up now that she's finally settled down. I thought you were just checking in with Caesar."

"Sorry," Luke said genuinely, heading gingerly across the apartment before giving her a soft kiss on her forehead and placing a cup of coffee on the nightstand. "Is she out?"

"Just about."

He nodded. "I'll make myself some tea then we can put her in the crib and start to attack this place."

"Okay," Lorelai said, sighing weakly.

She watched him putter around the kitchen while the water boiled. Hugging her daughter's warm body against her, she let her own eyes drift closed for a moment. Luke returned and lifted Ellie carefully up and into the crib. When he started to head toward a pile of boxes near the couch, Lorelai called him over. He stepped over a small pile of boxes and reached out a hand as if to help her up. Instead she tugged him down beside her.

"I thought you wanted to make this place live-able."

"Wife tired. Bed warm. Do it later."

"Promise you won't yell at me if you fall on your butt."

"No yelling. More snuggling."

He smiled at her exhaustion and gave in, curling himself around her. Relaxing, she admitted, "I guess this part isn't so bad. Brings back some good memories."

She felt him nod against her head. "Very, very good memories."

♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

The diner was packed on Sunday morning. Lorelai was in her favorite seat at the counter, and the usual townspeople were scattered about, gossiping and enjoying their traditional Luke's breakfast.

"Pancakes, comin' through!" Luke shouted, ducking around several people to deliver the hot plates to their rightful owners.

Lorelai pouted. "Where are my pancakes? I ordered mine before they did."

"Yeah, but they're actually paying for their pancakes," Luke playfully shot back when he returned behind the counter.

She frowned. "Well, how about I pay you later?" she offered with a suggestive wink.

"The next batch is yours," Luke told her, smiling.

Lorelai giggled triumphantly, but her giggles stopped suddenly, as did the chatter in general, when a highly talked about pair of individuals entered the diner.

Gypsy and Andrew took a seat at a corner table. They both shrugged off their jackets and used their menus as shields as they began perusing the selections.

Eventually the room once again filled with the roar of conversation.

Babette turned in her chair and asked Lorelai curiously, "Why's she keepin' her gloves on?"

She shrugged. "Could be a tribute to the late MJ. Maybe a botched manicure ... although, this is Gypsy we're talking about."

Luke walked over to Gypsy and Andrew's table and took their orders. Within moments, the contents of their order had been whispered from one end of the diner to the other, in case it would bear any significance.

Patty informed Lorelai that Andrew ordered the full breakfast and Gypsy, a Toasted Western.

"She's gonna need to lose the gloves for the sandwich," Lorelai mused. "Unless this was a bad version of the game 'broken telephone', and Gypsy really ordered a ham and cheese omelet."

"I guess we'll soon find out," Patty said.

Lorelai waved Luke over to her stool and asked, "Any chance you can put a rush order on table twelve?"

Luke frowned. "Table twelve?"

"Gypsy and Andrew's table," Lorelai clarified. "It's table twelve in my head."

"Of course it is. And why am I rushing their order?"

Lorelai stuttered. "They just, um, look really hungry. Like, really hungry. Gypsy's wasting away over there."

Luke shook his head. "It'll be right up."

Sure enough, barely two minutes later, Luke was delivering their orders. Everyone was trying their hardest to watch the proceedings in a discreet fashion.

With a cursory glance in either direction, Gypsy slowly removed her gloves.

No one was prepared for the high-pitched squeal that came from Babette. She hopped to her feet and nearly bowled Gypsy over as she wrapped her in a big, bear hug.

"Oh, you two kids," she rasped. "It's about damn time!"

Gradually, the rest of the patrons noticed the shiny object on Gypsy's finger, and a train of well-wishers was formed.

"Let me see the ring," Patty insisted, grabbing Gypsy's hand before she could put her glove back on. "It's gorgeous!"

"Enjoy it while it lasts. After today, it comes off," Gypsy warned.

"Why Wednesday?" Kirk asked, inserting himself into the conversation.

Bootsy groaned. "Are you still stuck on that?"

"Because we like to screw with your head," Gypsy said to Kirk.

Lorelai took a moment to inspect the ring approvingly. "Where did you guys get hitched?"

"We drove to Rhode Island and got married at the court house in the town my parents grew up in," Andrew explained, much to the delight of his audience.

"What about a honeymoon?" Babette asked. "You kids going on a honeymoon?"

"Yeah," Gypsy replied, "but not for a while. We'll probably leave on a Tuesday, just to switch it up a bit," she said to Kirk specifically.

Luke was in the background circling tables and clearing the empty dishes. "Your breakfast is on the house," he called to Andrew and Gypsy. "And congratulations."

"Hey!" Kirk complained. "Lulu and I never got any free meals when we got married!"

"That's because you didn't get married on a Wednesday," Lorelai teased. "You know the rhyme: Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday, christened on Tuesday, married on Wednesday..."

Kirk rolled his eyes. "Stupid Solomon."




To be continued... 




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