A/N: I changed the nickname for Rory's baby to Elle because Lilo just wasn't working and Elle seems more like something that they'd call the kid. I updated the previous chapters.
Also, sorry I haven't had time to write- I just got a 4 year old foster child on Friday and haven't had time. I see Luke and Lorelai as ideal potential fosters because of their ability to take in any kid as their own so it's also a little bit research for a potential fanfic when I've wrapped these 3 up. In the meantime, I apologize for the slower updating. I hope you can forgive me!
I was in a rush to post this so I went back and fixed a couple things I forgot to update. Including original plans.
As penance, all 3 of my main fanfics will be updated today . As always, thanks for reading and commenting.
The twins were now 2.5 months old and Elle was barely over 3 months. Rory's Birthday was in just a few days and the original Gilmore Girls had only seen each other a few times since their offspring had entered the world. They video chatted pretty much daily but for a pair so close, it wasn't nearly enough. Sure, Rory had spent much of the past few years gallivanting in search of a story, but they were both more emotional and nostalgic now. Even positive change like new life can be traumatic and more than ever the women needed each other. They made plans for Rory and the baby to stay at the Danes house the evening before and the next day Logan was supposed to come and watch her alone for a few hours so they could have a birthday dinner. This would be his first time doing so and he seemed jazzed for the opportunity.
Luke, of course was completely content to spend an evening with his two infants. Emily had been there almost daily with a couple of weekend reprieves since the day the two Danes babies made it home from the hospital but oddly, it only irritated Lorelai sometimes. Most of the time, Emily was helpful. Having an extra person to change diapers was a relief. This was shocking to Lorelai and Luke, but as Emily put it, "I fired so many nannies when you were a child that, a good deal of the time, it was up to me to change you. The practice hasn't changed since then, Lorelai." Plus, Emily spent a good deal of time in Hartford, reinitiating her ties with that world. She had no desire to be in it the way she was before, but she wanted the option open for her grandchildren to be a part of that society when they were older. It gave her a renewed purpose in the planning and balls she used to go to- so much so that she'd secretly hired a realtor for a small place in the city. (Small to Emily was half the size of her original home but twice the size of Luke and Lorelai's place).
Rory had seen people come in and out for short visits since Elle was born but the traffic really slowed to a near stop except for Lane once the twins were born. She didn't mind much because it was pretty stressful having such a flow of traffic. Lane was her only visitor really at the moment aside from Emily and even then visits were short. Even if they were longer, the only person she'd hoped to see soon was her mom. Now that the initial irritation at her mother for making it look too easy while she was struggling had faded, she missed the eldest Lorelai. She hadn't thought of this part when romanticizing the Father of the Bride storyline. Of course two babies would keep her mother tied down, just the one was exhausting her and she was 16 years younger. She reasoned that having full time Luke instead of part time Logan leveled the age gap, but still twins was a nightmare Rory had whenever she was overly stressed about Elle. She'd wake up in a panic to verify she only had one and thank the heavens.
2 days before her birthday, Logan had to cancel his appearance and plans seemed ruined. His reasoning was legitimate, Shira had a cardiac event and he and the rest of the family were at her side. Both girls were thoroughly disappointed.
At 4:01am on October 8th Rory was startled by her phone's ringing.
"Let me in!"
"Rory, hurry. It's almost 4:02 which means it's going to be 4:03. Let me in!"
"Mom? You're at the door?"
"Yeah, I figured calling you would be less likely to wake my little Elle Woods and cause her to sue me once she gets her Harvard Law degree."
"How can you make references this early?" Rory groaned.
"Rory. Door. Now. Or I start pounding."
"No!" Rory whisper shouted. "Almost there," she pacified her mother as she hobbled from bed and opened the door. She went for the couch but Lorelai dragged her to the bed.
"Mom, this is silly, we haven't done it this way in years," Rory protested weekly with an involuntary smile at the feeling of being next to her mom.
"Yeah, but that's only because you've been a wanderer and never on the same continent, let alone city since 2010. Even when I thought we could do it last year, we weren't in the same place at the same time. Now that you're here, we get to do this right." Rory sighed and Lorelai squeezed her arm around Rory's shoulders, nodding to her phone which read the time. "It's 4:03. You Ready kid?"
"Well, it was at this moment, many moons ago…" the story began. After all these years, the story never changed, and the tradition this year meant even more to both of them. At a time when everything was changing around them, it was nice to have this to hold them together.
"Are you going to do this with the twins?"
"Of course! It'll be easier because it won't be at the wee hours in the morning like some inconsiderate children," she mock chided and kissed her daughter's hair. "Does that bother you? I suppose I could leave it as our special thing if it does."
"Oh, no. I want them to feel just as special as I do right now. I'm gonna do this with Elle too, steal your tradition, if that's alright with you."
"I wouldn't have it any other way," Lorelai beamed. She adjusted herself more comfortably on the bed.
"Hey, don't you think Luke will be nervous if he wakes up and you're not there? And what about the babies?"
"Luke knows," she yawned and burrowed just a little deeper into bed. "Babies only need my milk, not me, which there is plenty in the freezer. Luke just puts on my big "Babies on Board" shirt from when I was pregnant and feeds them so they'll use the bottles."
"Tell me you have pictures?!"
"Yes, pictures. I have pictures, but Luke said he'd stop feeding them if I shared… I'm sure he knows I will show you as a birthday gift though. Just…." She trailed off for a second as her breathing started to slow "Just… Later. Pictures, later."
Both women dozed off with smiles at the thought of Luke in Lorelai's shirt feeding babies- Rory because it was funny and Lorelai because she knew there was nothing that man wouldn't do for her.
Early the next morning, Rory heard the faint whimpers of her newborn as the beginning of her rousing. Luckily, her early, just like the other two Lorelai's was 8:30AM.
Rory began to trudge out of bed, but Lorelai popped up and volunteered as a birthday gift. She did not protest but plopped back into the pillow.
After finishing changing Elle, Lorelai was bringing her to Rory to nurse and there was a wrapping on the door. Caesar came up toting the full array of breakfast foods with an added coffee cake that had a candle in it.
"Luke called a little while ago and told me to send this all up to you. Actually, he told me yesterday but I think he figured I'd forget so he called again. He's a smart man that Luke. But I need a raise," Caesar mused and rambled as he sat the food on the table while Rory and Lorelai thanked him. "Oh and he says you should call him just to check in- nothing to worry about he specifically told me to tell you. He just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Rory."
"Thanks Caesar, we will. And I'll tell Luke you need a raise," Lorelai flirted innocently and the man took his leave.
"Hey sexy flannel man, whatchya wearin," Lorelai greeted her husband as he picked up the phone.
"At the moment, just a white t-shirt because Emily upchucked on my flannel shirt. I guess that makes me undershirt guy… until Will decides to pee on that, then I'll be shirtless man," he replied dryly without skipping a beat of their banter.
"You do know how to talk dirty to me," she cooed. Even over the phone, she knew she managed to make him crack a smile.
"Careful, with that charm, I might give you triplets next."
"Oh God, you're getting a vasectomy," she warned. The thought though funny seemed like a terrible nightmare.
Luke ignored her and impatiently asked, "Where's Rory?"
"She's with Elle. I'll spare you the visual, but she'll be out in a minute."
"Thanks for that."
"Oh, speaking of the devil- Rory, your Luke's on the phone."
Rory picked up, "Hey Steve Martin, thanks for the coffee cake."
"Is it too much to ask that one of you just answer the phone without a cryptic message?"
"Luke, you know by now that that's an impossible request."
"Yeah well…" he muttered to himself. "Anyway, happy birthday Rory. Did you see the uh… the coffee cake?"
"What?" Rory scanned the table and found it. "Oh! Yay! Luke, you old softie. Thank you!" her voice cracked as had become her new normal. Though her crying at little things wasn't nearly as bad as when she was full term, she still had to stay away from happy news videos. Reading them was a gamble as well.
"Oh, hey, don't cry."
"Oh no, it's just… God you're the best. You have twins and a nutso wife and you still made me a coffee cake?"
"It's no big…" he started.
"It's a very big deal. You know it is. Hey, I was going to ask you to have dinner with me tomorrow but maybe, do you think we could have lunch? I wanted to um, to ask you something."
"Um, sure, ok. Noon alright?"
"Perfect. You can meet me and Elle up here. I'll have Al's delivered."
"I can't believe you live over my diner and still have Al's deliver to you upstairs. It's like living over the Boston Red Sox stadium and only catching minor league games. Completely ridiculous."
"Aw, as nice as your rants are, I really want his Chicken Lo Mein sandwich and that's the special today. If it makes you feel better, bring up a salad."
"Fine," he seceded.
"Later Luke, thanks."
"You need to ask Luke something?"
"Um yeah, before you go back, I wanted to tell you/ask you first and you're already here so I figured today was better. Plus Luke's coffee cake really sent me over the edge."
"Ah, the beginnings of a nice ramble. You are indeed my daughter. I wonder if Emily will inherit this trait. Oh, what if Will does?! That would be great. Luke would be beside himself." They both chuckled but Lorelai detected the seriousness in Rory's eyes. "Sorry for the interruption. Proceed."
"Well, I just wanted to ask Luke if it would be okay if I call him Dad. It occurred to me that my siblings will be calling him dad and he's always been there for me. When Dad and Luke caught me and Logan at the vowel renewal for grandma and grandpa, it was Luke's opinion I was worried about. I think that pretty much sums up his status in my life. Anyway, as I'm writing this book and thinking about what Elle will call him, I don't want him to be Luke to her. You guys are married now, so he is my stepdad but step doesn't feel right. I want him to be grandpa and it'd be weird if I called my daughter's grandpa by his first name. Ergo, I'd like to call him dad if it's not too weird."
Lorelai had tears in her eyes, also emotional from the delivery, but also really happy to hear her daughter's words. She might have cried even if she wasn't a new mom again. All she'd ever wished she could give Rory growing up was a dad and it warmed her heart to hear that Luke filled that slot.
"Don't cry mom, you'll make me cry too," Rory said already losing the battle with her tears."
"I'm sorry, I can't help it." She tried and failed to dry her eyes with her hands. "Babe. Wow. Of course you should ask Luke. Today's the best day to do that, too. Are you sure you want to? I mean Christopher…"
"I know that Christopher's my dad biologically and we're on ok terms now since I try to stay in touch with Gigi but Luke's more my dad in every other sense. With Elle, it's just given me new perspective and shown me just how important Luke is. I want to give her the best, and this coffee cake proves that he's, in fact, the best. We Lorelai's need our Luke," she tried to end on a light mood and they both let out breathless chuckles.
At 11:55, Luke knocked on the door and Rory promptly answered.
"Well Gilmore time dictates be late unless it involves food then bring the food as fast as possible. So I swooped by Al's myself and grabbed the bags," he pulled his arms up to bring attention to the 3 brown bags and one white one in his possession.
"Good call, sir. Impeccable logic," she grinned and allowed him to pass. "Hey, you're dressed up! No flannel, but an actual Luke-wears-this-to-the-bank shirt!"
Luke blushed. "Yeah, well the babies threw up on all of my other shirts and um, your mom said I should look good. She picked this shirt," he explained but it was also obvious he wanted to look nice for her. "You look nice too. Isn't it early to be ready for your birthday dinner with your mom?"
"Kind of, but I guess I just wanted to look nice too. It's my birthday after all.
It was only a few minutes before all of the containers were opened and plated. At first they ate in a comfortable silence but Rory grew increasingly nervous to ask and Luke grew increasingly nervous at her nervousness.
"Rory, is something wrong? Did you need more information on me for your book? I don't mind if that's what this is about."
"Oh, uh no. Well, I do kind of need some info about your family tree but that's not what this is about. I um, I wanted to ask you something else."
"Ok, sure. What is it?"
"Um, can I call you dad? I had a long speech I gave to mom this morning- which is probably why she made you wear the shirt."
"Yes," he whispered immediately.
"I'm sure she's expecting a picture or something. But you're a man of few words so I'll give you the compact version."
"no need, yes," Luke tried again but she was on a roll. He decided to wait until the end this time.
I want Elle to call you grandpa and now that you're married to mom, you're my stepdad but the whole prefix "step-" feels weird since you've always been there. So I just want to call you dad so it's not weird that mom calls her grandpa by his first name and not just dad. Plus, I want her to have the best, and you're it. And now that it's out, I guess I am incapable of not rambling. I just wanted to ask if that was okay, so, um, is it… is it okay?"
"Yes. Rory, I already said yes. I'd say yes a thousand times, but maybe the three yeses are enough for you?" He was beaming now, enjoying the entire idea. Rory was always a little bit his to him so it felt good to acknowledge it.
"Really?" she sat up straight, a smile reached her eyes just the way it did when her mother smiled.
"Thanks… Dad." She sputtered. "Gonna have to work on my delivery," she smiled and returned his smile.
"Sure daughter of mine."
Rory couldn't stand it anymore, she jumped out of her seat and embraced him in one of their trademark awkward hugs.
"And I need to work on these."
"It wouldn't be us if we didn't hug awkwardly," she retorted and they readjusted into a proper hug.
"Well maybe now that I'm dad, we can have a new birthday lunch tradition like the one you have with your mom. Every year at..." Luke looked at the clock on the stove "...12:23pm we can share an awkward hug over lunch."
"Aw Lu- Dad, you old softie! That sounds good as long as you still make me that coffee cake."
When Rory returned to her seat, her phone buzzed- a text from Lorelai.
Lorelai: Did you ask him? Send a picture. I made him dress up so you could send me a nice picture.
Rory: Asked and answered. I have to change my shirt first, Elle cried and it soaked my bra. Luke's face is red so he needs time too.