Dean was waiting at the bus stop for Rory to get back from Chilton. She spotted him and smiled as she got off the bus.
They started to walk together to get some coffee.
"So what you doing Friday?" Dean asked.
"Got my grandparents' dinner but then after I was wondering if we could meet up and watch the bonfire? I know it's corny but it's really pretty."
"How about you get out of your grandparents' dinner?" Dean suggested.
"That's not going to happen. The only way I will be able to get out of it is if I'm in hospital." Rory joked.
"What if it was for a special occasion?" Dean said.
"Yeh say like two people's three month anniversary…"
Rory stopped and looked at him. "Wow, it's been three months?"
"I feel bad that I didn't realise…"
"Don't. So do you think you could get out of dinner? I've got something special planned."
"I'll see what I can do." Rory smiled.
Rory and Lorelai were back home a little later and Rory came into the kitchen to see her mom with a packet of hamburger mix.
"No." was all Rory said.
"I want to cook!" Lorelai whined.
"You can make soup."
"No I want to really cook! Like on the food Channel. I wanna sauté things and chops things and the BAM, I wanna be the iron chef."
"Fine!" Rory gave in, despite thinking the fact her mom's best friends excluding herself, are professionals in the kitchen and also the fire marshal should be alerted every time she turns on the oven.
"Really?" Lorelai brightened up.
"Yes. I'll even help."
"Yay!" Lorelai beamed. They got up and got out things they needed. "Okay, I need a pen"
"and a fire extinguisher" rory quipped.
"Funny, Funny girl" Lorelai said giving her daughter a playful hit on her arm.
"So why the sudden need to be domestic?" Rory asked.
"I don't know. I'm just in a funky mood. Too much love and stars. It's making me cranky." She replied not fully understanding her crabby mood but her excuse sounded logical enough.
"So I guess you haven't heard from Mr Medina?"
"Maybe that's why you're cranky?"
"Ok new subject please!" hmmm maybe? Lorelai pondered, Damn my intelligent daughter for being so attentive.
"Fine. Actually there is a favour I need to ask..." Rory said.
"It's mine and Dean's three month anniversary on Friday and he's got something special planned but I would need to get out of dinner for it."
"Three months wow!" Lorelai said as she thought her daughter is better at this relationship thing than she ever was, especially at her age, but of course she is, she isn't pregnant and locked away in Ava and Adolph's tower of torture. "Well good luck calling them!"
Lorelai sighed. "Fine!"
She got the phone and called her mother ready to grovel for her daughter's happiness. Surprisingly, she said that Rory could miss it, she then tried her luck hoping Emily had taken her happy pills that day but Lorelai was to show up promptly at seven o'clock. Her reaction to Rory's request did make Lorelai wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind this decision considering it is Emily after all. Alas all she could do was wait and find out.
Lorelai was at the inn, surrounded by couples in love, which were making her cranky, even seeing her best friend necking with Jackson in the kitchen had set her off, then finding Michel of all people whispering sweet nothings to a lady friend via phone call. She was even crankier when she discovered the inn didn't have any coffee left so she went off to Luke's, one of her few constants in her life, her dependant if you will. As she was walking through the square in a glum disposition, a paper Mache star suddenly fell from above just in front of her, jolting her from her thoughts. "Agh!" she cried.
"Oh my god! Are you ok?" A man ran up to her. "That's never happened before."
"Really? How about that…" Lorelai sighed and went into Luke's hoping her elixir of life and flannel man could cheer her up or at least hope he was in his grumpy form so she wasn't alone in the world.
"A paper Mache star just nearly crushed me. How's your day been?" She said going up to the counter.
Luke had seen what just happened through diner window, noticing her spark was absent from her persona today, god even when she's down she's beautiful he thought. "Well it's looking pretty good now. Coffee?"
"Please, and hold the shot of cynicism." Lorelai sighed.
"Why so cheery?"
"I'm just in a mood, I don't know why. Maybe I'm bipolar."
"Yeah I hear that's very big these days" he replied. Good a joke, she will be fine Luke reasons.
They turned around when they heard Taylor and Miss Patty debating how Stars Hollow was actually founded, each theory sounding more ridiculous than the last.
"Urghh can no one talk about anything other than this stupid festival?" She said loudly turning towards the counter again. She then stopped and realised everyone had gone quiet. "That came out louder than I thought, didn't it?"
"Yep." Luke said.
"Yep." Lorelai said and turned round to face them.
"Young lady, this is a festival to celebrate our town." Taylor said.
"I know. I'm sorry Taylor."
"She's bipolar." Luke said.
"Really? But you're so young?" Miss Patty said.
Everyone then resumed their talking and Lorelai turned back to the counter.
"I don't know what is wrong with me. It's a nice festival. People should enjoy it." Lorelai sighed, she ponders for a moment maybe it's because I haven't had sex lately? Or maybe Rory is right, maybe it is to do with Max, or maybe Chris, or Luke… Luke? That STUPID dream…Where did that come from, I see him every day and he is standing right there… looking very good as always I might add, ok Lorelai stop it!
"It's a stupid festival based on two crazy people who probably didn't exist to celebrate this even crazier town but were created by rich drunk opportunists who made up the story to make it look good on a poster and make money." Luke said.
Lorelai smiled at this. "You are full of hate and loathing, and I gotta tell you I love it!" Luke loves it even she does that cheeky squint thing with her eyes, it's somehow playful but sexy, and what else does she love? He questions to himself. Going along with the conversation, he leans in closer to her dropping his voice slightly "it's so good to have somebody to share this hate with" sending her a wink with it.
"My Pleasure" and she genuinely smiles at him, 'Oh god he looks so good I could kiss him right now… Woah what? C'mon Lorelai get a grip she says to herself. Trying regain composure she calls out to him "Hey Luke can I get a refill fill and since I can rely on you to share my hate with, I was thinking maybe tomorrow, we could plan on despising everyone who says 'Hey, how's it going?'" She smirks.
"You're on." Luke said, hmmm maybe I could hang out with her at the festival, just so it would cheer her up - He said to himself.
"Hey, how's it going?" A voice behind them said.
"Now that's just too easy…" Lorelai joked. She then saw Luke's startled face as he turned around to face a blast from the past.
"Rachel…" He said.
"Rachel? Your Rachel?" Lorelai said surprised.
Luke nodded. Lorelai turned round and looked at the woman.
"Yep I'm Rachel." Rachel smiled.
"What are you doing here?, not just state side but…here…in stars hollow?" Luke said, and here is where fate is a bitch.
"I don't know. I saw a plane going to Hartford and before I knew it I was on it and now here I am." She said coming to sit down at the counter. "You look good."
"Yeh um, you look, um, you, um you look…" Luke stammered.
"He thinks you look good too." Lorelai said, helping him along. "Right?"
"Right." Luke said, oh god why, what is happening here, the one woman I tried to love only to be rejected – multiple times and the woman I am too scared to admit anything to because she's my best friend.
"And you do." Oh man, she thought, Sookie wasn't kidding when she said Elle McPherson good looking "I'm Lorelai by the way." Lorelai smiled at her.
"Nice to meet you."
"Oh yeh that's um, Lorelai. She works at the Independence Inn." Luke said almost kicking himself at the same time.
"Run it actually." Lorelai said finding Luke's state weird but cute, is that all he can say about me?
"Oh wow, I love that place. You must be very proud of it." Rachel smiled only questioning if Luke wanted her there, he's acting odd, maybe it has to do with this Lorelai sitting, or the fact I did just show up out of the blue.
"Thanks. Yeh I am." Lorelai smiled but feeling uncomfortable knowing some of the history between this woman and her Luke… wait 'her' Luke? God what is up with me lately? "Anyway, I better go. I uh… I… I'll probably see you around." She said and then quickly left.
Lorelai helped Rory get ready for her special date with Dean.
"He thinks you look good too… I run the place… I'll see you around, gah I am such a spaz" Lorelai expressed frustratingly, as if she needed more reason to add to her funk.
"Well you are Lorelai" Rory quipped. Lorelai knew her daughter was trying to diffuse her frustration but it didn't help. "Ow! Okay, I'm still attached to the head."
"Okay, sorry. I'm a little worked up." Lorelai reasoned.
"Mom, it just Luke's ex-girlfriend."
"I know. I just hate that I made myself look so stupid in front of…" she trailed off
"Luke?" questioned Rory "I don't get the big deal it's just Luke and I highly doubt you made yourself look stupid, no more than usual anyhow".
"urghh" scoffed Lorelai "not Luke, I am meaning Rachel, and he's staring at her like she's Miss September and she's looking at him like he's Johnny Depp, and I was just the stammering troll, like a moron, what is wrong with me?!" she rants brushing Rory's hair more and more furiously.
"Ow! Ow! Okay, you are now officially off hair duty. What's going on with you!?"
"I don't know. It's just all this love in the air, you know. I guess I miss having someone, maybe its Max, or your dad or…I don't know" Not exactly ready to admit to her daughter about the Luke factor in this scenario, "and I have just had some change in thoughts or feelings lately that I'm not use to and it's honestly freaking me out a little. I mean there's just been so much going on with your Dad coming home and family stuff" newly developed feelings about a certain Diner man… "and your constant existence…"
"Thanks for the love." Says Rory, cutting in.
"Any time." She retorts back "So I haven't had a lot of time to focus on it and I miss having a guy, you know?"
Lorelai sighs, deciding she should tell her daughter about her recent unconscious endeavours, Geez Freud would have a field day analysing me. "I had a dream about someone the other night… or should I say someone's"
"No, absolutely not. And when you're 21, I'll tell you the real answer. Anyway, it's made me confused and opened things up for me, but then I guess now it has put me in a funk."
"Me too. We could talk about me for years, and believe me, we will. But let's focus on you, the lady of the evening. No hooker reference intended."
"Glad to hear it."
As Rory was waiting for dean, Lane arrived to say hi.
"I need to stop hanging out with you. You make my life look too uncool and sad!" Lane joked.
"Are you going to the festival?"
"Oh yes. My mom set me up again." Lane said.
"Uh no..." Lorelai said coming in, maybe Mrs Kim could set me up? she thought. "Yep plus his in-laws are coming." Lane said …okay perhaps not, you're better than that Lorelai.
A car then honked. "That's Dean. I want to hear all about it after, ok?" Rory smiled at her friend.
"Sure, have a good time." Lane smiled.
"Bye!" She smiled at her. She then hugged her mom. "Bye mom!"
"Bye hon! Have fun!"
They watched her leave and then Lane looked up at Lorelai. "So I guess I can't hang out with you tonight?"
"Sorry. Not unless you want to come to Hartford!" Lorelai said.
Lane sighed. "Maybe you could run over me on your way? Maybe my mom won't make me go if I'm in hospital?"
"How about you run over me then I'll run over you." Lorelai smiled.
Reluctantly as always, Lorelai drove to Hartford, and as always, Lorelai found herself having a miserable time at her parents' house. Her mom had invited a man over, Chase Bradford, to try and set her up. Lorelai insisted she could get her own men though reflecting on her thoughts she had only a few hours ago the coincidence had hit her, she was definitely not this desperate. He was the most boring man she had ever met. Luckily, she saw that her dad thought the same thing, which she found comforting and curious considering insurance is almost as boring as… well whatever Chase did.
"Why don't you and Chase retire to the living room for brandy as I help wash up?" Emily said.
"Um…." Lorelai said.
"That sounds lovely, shall we?" Chase smiled creepily.
"Oh um…sure…but I need to freshen up first…I'll uh…meet you in the living room" Lorelai said making her escape upstairs, thankfully her vivacious past and winning personality had allowed her to be a pro at this sort of thing.
A few minutes later, she was escaping through her bedroom window as Richard came in. "Lorelai, your mother…." He started saying but stopped when he saw the position she was in and what she was obviously about to do.
"Hi Daddy…" Lorelai said sheepishly like she was 15 years old again. "Look I know we fought last week and I'm really sorry that you think I'm such a disappointment but please please don't make me go back down there, because that guy is boring!" She said.
"Emily she's not up here!" Richard called.
Lorelai smiled. "Thank you daddy." She said before disappearing.
Back at the festival, Rachel was taking lots of photos before sitting down next to Luke on a bench.
"You getting some good stuff?" He asked.
"Yeh, it's beautiful, the firelight really changes people ya know, makes them seem happier, freer, all troubles of the world completely gone." She smiled.
"Yeah that and the founders day party punch" Rachel chuckled, they sat in silence for a moment before Luke had to finally ask "What are you really doing here? In Stars hollow?"
Rachel sighed. "I don't know. All I know is that I missed you and I wanted to see you. I don't know what else to say. Are you not happy to see me?"
Luke smiled a little at her "no no I mean I am, but this is becoming a habit of yours, so I guess forgive me for being a little guarded about it, but yes I am happy to see you."
She simply smiles at him. "So since we're both being blunt, what's the deal with Lorelai?"
"What are you talking about?" He asks wondering where this is going.
"I'm talking about Lorelai, the lady who runs the inn, the one you've told me absolutely nothing about, and been very careful to leave out of every story, anecdote, or gossip about the town."
"There is no deal with Lorelai. We're friends." He insists.
"Yes." Well hopefully for just now, he admits quietly.
"And in the future?"
"Well, Lorelai is, she's just uh…I don't know. I mean, at time it seems like, I don't know." Luke explains only stumbling through his words, on the inside he's says oh who am I kidding, she's probably the only woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, not that I have a chance in hell.
Rachel seemed satisfied for the time being of his vague answer, "I'm going to go get some punch." She said.
"That stuff will kill you."
Rachel laughed. "Some things never change."
Luke watched her go and then suddenly Lorelai joined him. "Hi." She said.
"Hey. Aren't you meant to be in Hartford?" He asked.
"I climbed out the window."
"Oh." He said somewhat amused.
"Oh? That's it? You're not going to ask why?"
"Hmph, that's why I love you." Lorelai said. She then froze. Had I really just said that?