Chapter 14 – Happy Birthday to -

Rory and Finn quickly fell into a routine once they were back on campus. Most of Rory's classes were in the morning, so she would get up, have breakfast with Paris, and head out to class. Always stopping by the coffee cart, because, yeah, coffee. For lunch she would often meet Finn, either alone or with other members of the LDB, at the Timothy Dwight Memorial Cafeteria in the Old Campus, her grandfather having told her about his fondness for the cafeteria, before heading off to the library to study until dinner.

Dinner would often be a group event with the core LDB members of Finn, Rory, Logan, Juliet, Stephanie, Colin, Seth, Rosemary, and sometimes Robert. Sometimes they would simply meet up at one of the dining halls on campus, but more often than not, they would head out into New Haven to various restaurants. What surprised Rory the most, though it probably shouldn't have, was the fact not all the restaurants were high end, five star places.

Tonight the group was in their good ole standby, Rich Man's Shoe. "So, RG, what is this shindig at your grandparents place this Friday? I thought your party wasn't until Saturday in that little town of yours?" Colin looked across the table at his friend expectantly.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Rory replied. "I know my grandparents are having an alumni thing for their friends, and I'm required to attend, but I didn't think anyone from Yale currently was invited."

"Party? Why wasn't I invited?," Logan asked, setting down the round of drinks he'd just gotten.

Rory ignored Logan, "That's weird," Rory said, taking a sip of her cappuccino.

"I'm feeling left out, I didn't get an invite," Stephanie said from beside Colin. She reached into the middle of the table to take one of the wings in the basket of appetizers.

"Well, consider yourself invited," Rory says taking a bite of the fried mac and cheese. "It sounds like it's a surprise birthday party for me, so please, come. You can be my plus one."

"Now I'm just offended, Kitten," Finn said with a smirk firmly in place. He gave her a side hug before digging into the chili cheese fries.

"Hey, you're the one ditching me for some family obligation," Rory said with a laugh.

"But, you know I'd rather be with you, Darling," Finn said dramatically, his accent thicker as he tried to be charming. "Besides, my da hasn't gotten back to me with the details of this thing yet. The hazards of being here when they're in Oz."

"I'd think that'd be perfect with your aversion to the sun and all," Colin piped in, waving the waitress over to take their main meal orders.

"Yeah, but everyone always seems to be out of the house," Finn said after giving the waitress his order. "And Alec isn't any help either. He just told me it has to do with some close friend and it would be a great snub if someone didn't represent the house of Morgan," Finn added importantly.

"And this great friend gets stuck with you," Logan smirks. "Such a shame. That's scraping the bottom of the barrel if I've ever seen it."

"Hush it, Blondie," Rory says, tossing a fry at him, "that's my boyfriend you're talking about."

"Fine, Ace. I'll lay off the Aussie so he doesn't get his wittle feelings hurt," Logan says, dodging the fry Finn threw at him.

"So, everyone has plans for Friday, but you'll all be in Stars Hollow for Saturday?" Rory said, turning the conversation. "We'll do the festival then have a big slumber party at The Dragonfly, correct? How did you convince my mother to let you rent it and not give it to you for free?"

"I appealed to her business side," Finn said. "Once she realized that I was a friend of yours, anyway. The Dragonfly is a new business and she shouldn't give up any profits." Finn kissed Rory's cheek before continuing, "She did give us a discount. I couldn't talk her out of that."

"Sounds like Mom," Rory said, spearing the last of the chili cheese fries and stuffing them into her mouth. "Man, these are great!"

"You just like food, I almost hate you," Juliet said with no heat and a smile.

"You can try some if you want. I'm sure Logan wouldn't leave you for eating," Rory says, pushing the plate of fried mac and cheese toward the blonde.

"No, he has too much money and could leave me if I got fat," Juliet replied, pushing the plate away slightly.

"Never," Logan replied, pushing the plate back toward Juliet. "I've got you back, I'm not letting you go again," he whispered to her, however, Rory still heard. She couldn't help smiling at the sentiment. Who knew the biggest playboy at Yale could be tamed.

The dinner continued, everyone talking about Rory's birthday party that weekend, who they thought Paris would hook up with next, eventually turning to the LBD party for Halloween.

"What is the theme for this year's party?" Robert asked. He'd been quiet most of the evening, watching everyone interact. He took a sip of his drink, looking toward Colin and Logan in particular for the answer. Finn might know, but it was just as likely that he'd been drunk during the planning.

"Famous Duos," Colin said, finishing his scotch.

"Doesn't that favor the couples of the group?" Rory asked.

"Yeah, so?" Logan asked. He, too, finished his scotch, swirling the ice in the empty glass.

"Well, isn't that a little mean?"

"Well, people don't have to participate. Or, they could go with friends instead of someone they're dating. Or, it's a great time to get a date," Robert added to the discussion. "Or maybe we should open it to famous duos and/or groups. That way someone, like me for instance, could work my magic and maybe end up with a threesome."

Rory couldn't help the blush that came to her cheeks at Robert's outrageous remarks. Though, she was sure he was only kidding slightly. She wouldn't put much past most of the LDB.

"So, what duo do you want to go as, Kitten," Finn asked Rory, leaning over, once again, to kiss her cheek.

"I'll have to think about it," Rory responded, turning to give Finn a gentle peck on the lips.

"Get a room!" Several people at the table yelled.

"Oh, shut it!" Finn snapped back as he pulled Rory closer.

"So, what does everyone else think for costumes?" Finn asked after a moment.

"Bond and one of his Babes?" Colin responded with a smirk.

"You just want to see me in a bikini," Steph said. "Again."

"Isn't that a bit—overdone?" Rory asked hesitantly. She was always thinking outside of the box and wanted to do something unique.

"You just don't want to be in your underwear," Colin shot back. At Rory's affronted look, Colin smiled and stuck out his tongue.

"Forgive me for not wanting to show the goods," Rory said with a smile, sticking her own tongue out in response to Colin.

"The goods are just for me," Finn adds in, pulling Rory close to his side. "And I don't share."

Rory hid her face in his shoulder, struggling to fight off the blush she could feel rising to her cheeks.

"You've never had a problem with that before," Robert added. He just wanted to see how red Rory's face would get before she hurt someone.

"All right," Rory said, her face tomato red, "Some of you all need to have your mothers wash your minds out with soap."

"Meh, most of our mothers wouldn't take the time away from the pool boy or their tennis instructor," Logan contributed. "Our nannies might have, if we didn't corrupt them," he added with a smirk.

The conversation devolved into a contest of who did the most corrupting of their nanny back in the day.

"I heard you, Kitten," Finn whispered into her ear. "We'll brainstorm something unique that fits our personalities."

Rory gave him a beautific smile before kissing him on the cheek. She tuned back into the fight that had erupted between Logan and Colin over who had had the weirdest nanny.

Friday came all too quickly for Rory's sanity. She wasn't really looking forward to the party at her grandparents even though Stephanie would be with her and keep it from getting unbearable. The two women had gone shopping Wednesday afternoon, Rory forgoing her normal study time at the library, to pick out new dresses.

As Rory got ready she thought a bit more about potential costumes for her and Finn for the Halloween party. Unfortunately all the ones she was coming up with involved eggs. Green Eggs and Ham, bacon and eggs. Her other thought was coffee and cream, but she could just imagine the comments from the guys if she suggested that one.

She had just finished curling her hair when there was a knock at the door. "Paris, can you get that please? I'm trying to find my heels."

"Sure, make me your bitch, Gilmore," Paris groused from the common room. "I don't understand why you didn't ask me to go with you if you didn't want to go alone. I, at least, know your grandparents."

"Oh, Paris, I told you it was a spur of the moment thing at dinner. Stephanie didn't have anything planned for tonight because Colin evidently invited to the alumni party at my grandparents," Rory explained, once again as she came out of her bedroom. "Now, could you please answer the door?" She asked as she sat on the sofa to put on her found shoes.

"Yeah, yeah," Paris mumbled as she moved toward the door. "Keep your nickers on, Blondie," she yelled through the door. "At least until you get to the party and find someone to rub up against in the coat check room."

"Good to see your bitchiness hasn't subsided in your time of morning," Steph shot out as she moved into the room.

"Sure, come on in, what do I care? I just live here," Paris complained.

"Go find a desperate man or a tree to hump," Stephanie said without heat, not even sparing a glance toward Paris as she gingerly sat on the edge of the sofa so as not to wrinkle her dress. "Ready to go, RG? The atmosphere in here is killing my party vibe."

"I didn't know anything could do that but the various STDs you've contracted over the years," Paris shot out, her razor sharp tongue on full display. "You know not all of those are curable. Have you kept track of what you've gotten and who you got it from?"

"Paris, chill," Rory said, grabbing her coat off the tree by the door. "I'll see you tomorrow in Stars Hollow."

"Can't wait for the hoedown," Paris gave as a parting shot as the other two women left the room.

"Why do you constantly antagonize her?" Rory asked her friend as they made their way to the parking lot where the car her grandmother insisted on was waiting.

"It's fun," Stephanie explained. "Not to mention it goes back to our days at Chilton. She's never gotten over that Tristan preferred me to her."

"You both need help," Rory said as she slid into the town car. She slid across the seat to give Stephanie room to get in.

The two continued to chat about this and that as the car made its way to Hartford. All too soon the car pulled up outside the home of Richard and Emily Gilmore. Rory marveled at the lack of cars in the drive, but she figured most people had car services for events like this.

"Here goes nothing," Rory muttered as the driver held the door open for first Stephanie and then herself get out. At the door Rory just stood there, not moving to ring the bell.

"Uh, Ror, don't you have to let them know somehow that we're out here? I mean, osmosis might work, but I'm assuming your grandmother employs at least one maid for things like this," Stephanie said after a long moment of silence.

"This house always scares me a little bit," Rory said, not making a move to ring the bell. "It's like this looming thing that is just waiting to go all judgmental and belittle all of your accomplishments."

"Uh, Rory," Stephanie began as the door opened.

"Rory, there you are," Emily greeted her granddaughter. "I thought you got lost or something. Come in, come in," she motioned to the two women. "Who's your friend? Did I know you were bringing a friend?"

"Hi, Grandma," Rory said kissing her grandmother's cheek. "This is Stephanie, a friend from Yale. She was lonely tonight so I invited her. I hope that's okay?"

"Fine, fine," Emily said dismissively. "So, Stephanie, you go to Yale, what do you study?"

"I'm studying business, Mrs. Gilmore. I believe you know my parents, Arthur and Melanie Vanderbilt?"

"Oh, yes," Emily replied, her smile a tad bit warmer at the last name. "Why don't you ladies come with me. I have my hair and makeup people upstairs. They can fix you right up, Rory. And, Stephanie, I'm sure you wouldn't say no to a bit of pampering?" Emily didn't give them time to object, herding them across the room and up the stairs.

She leads the two younger women into her dressing room where two vast stations are set up. "Sit, sit." Emily encourages. Each woman takes a chair, one at the makeup station, the other allowing the hairstylist to guide her to her chair.

"So, Mrs. Gilmore, what do you recommend?" The hairstylist asked as she began brushing the curls out of Rory's hair.

"Oh, I think an up do, like Sabrina, would be beautiful," Emily gushed, completely ignoring Stephanie and the makeup artist. "Oh, and she can wear my tiara, the one I wore at my wedding," Emily continued.

"Really, Grandma, I don't think that's necessary," Rory tried to argue. She watched in dismay as Emily moved off to the closet, coming back a few moments later with several jewelry cases. "Grandma, reall—" Rory tried again.

"Oh, this is going to look so lovely on you," Emily gushed as she opened up one jewelry case after another.

"That's some serious frosting," Stephanie whispered as she watched Emily set each open case on the table between the two women.

"Grandma, it's too much," Rory tries again.

"Nonsense, Rory," Emily brushes Rory's words aside. "Everyone wants to feel and look beautiful." Once the hairstylist is done with Rory's hair the two friends switch chairs as Emily begins draping Rory in the jewelry, often getting in the way of the makeup person.

Finally both the makeup person and Emily are done futzing with Rory who looks at herself in the mirror, wondering what the hell happened to her. There was frosting, then there was this. Rory looked toward Stephanie, grimacing at the weight of the jewelry. She watched as Steph lightly coughed into her hand to hide her laugh.

As they made their way down the stairs, Emily a step or two ahead of them, Rory took in a sharp breath. Before her was manly, many older women and men dressed to the nines. Beside most of the elderly couples was a young man, looking to be about Rory's age, dressed in a smart suit.

"Dum, dum, de, dum—" Rory heard Stephanie whisper behind her. She was thinking the same thing, but couldn't articulate what she wanted to say.

"Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, our granddaughter, Rory Gilmore," Rory heard Emily say as if from a great distance. Without thought, Rory moved down the rest of the stairs to stand beside her grandparents.

"Come, come, Rory," Richard began, putting his hand on her arm, grasping it and leading her away, "I want you to meet a good friend of mine, and their son. He goes to Yale."

Rory endured many introductions to "friends" who just happened to have sons that went to Yale.

Eventually they made their way to the small parlor where the piano was. Just as they were crossing the entryway the door bell rang.

"Oh, I may as well get this, who knows where that incompetent maid has disappeared to," Emily muttered as she left Rory standing in the middle of the entryway to answer the door.

Rory smiled wide as she saw Finn moving through the door. After the pleasantries with Emily, Finn moved toward Rory, giving her a light kiss. "Surprise, Kitten," he whispered into her ear.

"That's quite familiar, Rory," Emily said, reproach clear in her voice. "Do you greet all your friends that way?"

"Just the ones I'm dating," Rory said, watching with a bit of glee as the shock washed over her grandmother's face.

"Dating? Since when? Why didn't you tell me this?" Emily began ranting.

"Not for very long, Mrs. Gilmore," Finn replied smoothly. "We wanted to make sure it was going to be something serious before we started telling our families.

"Serious? Just how long has this be going on?"

"Only a month, Grandma," Rory added in. "But, we wanted to make sure it wasn't just going to be a one or two date thing," she said.

"Finn, could you go find Richard, please," Emily finally said. "Ask him to join us in his study, please. And please join him," she added after a moment. Without another word, Emily turned on her well appointed heels. Rory knew, without being asked or told, that she was to follow her grandmother.

No sooner than the door closed behind Rory, Emily pounced. "Really, Rory, why didn't you tell me you were dating Finnegan? Oh, this is just a mess," she added, pacing back and forth not waiting for Rory to respond to her.

"Emily?" Richard questioned as he and Finn moved into the study. Shutting the door he continued, "We have a houseful of friends out there, it's rude to leave them to their own devices."

"Rory and Finnegan are dating," Emily said in way of greeting.

"Good for you two," Richard said, turning to the two young people now standing next to each other holding hands.

"Richard!" Emily hissed. "What about all those—"

Richard interrupted her, "Oh, Emily." He looked at his wife with disappointment, "Did you really think Rory would get together with one of those boys just because we introduced her to them?"

"Well, you never know," Emily tried. "It could have happened," she continued after a moment. "Not that I'm not happy for you, Finnegan, but had I known, I wouldn't have invited those exact friends."

"It's really fine, Mrs. Gilmore," Finn began.

"Please, call me Emily."

"It's sort of funny, Emily," Finn began again. "We'll be able to laugh about this soon."

"Yes, next week we'll be able to laugh about this party," Richard added. "So, for tonight, we need to come up with a plan to minimize the number of times Rory here gets hit on."

"I would prefer not to get hit on at all," Rory deadpanned, speaking up for the first time.

"Let's do this," Richard began, clasping his hands together with a hint of amusement in his eyes. "The cake can come out soon, right Emily?" He asked his wife. At her nod he continued, "Okay, so Rory will say a few words to the group, cut the cake then she and her friends can form one of those sub-parties the youngsters are so fond of these days."

Rory and Finn both sighed with relief.

"Now, Finn, do be a dear boy and whatever alcohol you drink simply replace at a later date instead of filling the empty bottle with water," Richard said with a smirk.

"Of course, Mr. Gilmore," Finn said with a slight bow.

"Please, call me Richard," he said. "Now, since that's worked out, let's get back out there and mingle until cake."

"Give me just a moment?" Rory asked, barely resisting the urge to run her hand over her face. She knew, however, if she did that her grandma would have a fit.

"Sure," Emily and Richard said together before leaving the room.

"Are you okay, Kitten?" Finn asked once the door closed behind the two elders.

"I will be," she said with a sigh. "Can you give me a minute? I just want to take a breath and maybe call my mom. She's supposed to be picking me up tonight."

"Sure, Kitten," Finn replied, kissing her forehead before leaving the room, shutting the door behind him.

Once she was alone in the room, Rory moved to her grandfather's chair, sitting behind the imposing desk. She glanced toward the wall where her portrait was hanging, wondering, not for the first time, how the hell she let her grandparents get her into these situations. It was too similar to her sixteenth birthday party with the kids from Chiltin.

After one last look at the portrait, Rory picked up the phone and dialed her mother's number. After four rings Lorelai finally picked up.

"You stab 'em, we slab 'em," Lorelai's voice came over the line.

"You know, one day it will be Grandma and she'll tell you how disappointed she is with you, for hours on end," Rory replied.

"Meh, nothing I haven't heard before. What's up, Buttercup?" Lorelai responded.

"How do you know something's up?" Rory asked. She wanted to delay the inevitable. Her mother was going to go ballistic when she found out what her grandmother had done.

"Uh, cause I'm supposed to see you at nine, and you're at your grandparents, schmoozing with the rich and useless?"

"Okay, but don't worry. I've got it under control," Rory said with a sigh.

"Yeah, now I'm really worried," Lorelai said.

"Grandma and Grandpa sort of only invited friends with sons. Sons who go to Yale," she whispered.

"All right," Lorelai bit out. Rory was almost afraid afraid of the ice in her mother's voice. "There are at least fourteen ways out of that house. Write these down, and pick the one that's easiest."

"Mom, it's okay," Rory began.

"No, hun, this is bullshit. They had no right to highjack your birthday like this," Lorelai continued to rant.

"MOM!" Rory finally yelled. "Listen, just come pick me up at nine. We'll go home and forget this night happened with lots of junk food, ice cream, and too many movies."

"All right, sweets," Lorelai finally relented after a moment. "But, I'll bring you a present to cheer you up."

"Sounds good."

Rory took another deep breath before heading back out into the viper pit of potential husbands. She tried to see the humor in the moment, it would come eventually, however, right now she couldn't find the funny.

Thirty minutes later Rory, Finn, Stephanie, Colin, Robert, Logan, Seth, and a few other members of the LDB were ensconced in the pool house, bottles of champagne and swiped scotch were freely flowing. Colin had even managed to swipe the top tier of the ridiculous birthday cake her grandma had insisted on. At least it was chocolate.

Stephanie and Rory quickly dove into the rich cake, alternating with sips of their champagne.

About half an hour later, Finn sat beside Rory on the sofa, leaning in drunkenly, "Spank me, Kitten."

"The hangover tomorrow will punish you enough, I think," Rory replied as she drained her third, or was it fourth glass of champagne. The others in the room had finally dove into the cake, leaving a cake round with chocolate crumbs littering the circle and table.

"Logan," Finn yelled, pulling Rory into his side, "more champagne my good man."

"So, Ace," Logan said as he topped up both Rory's and Finn's glass. "Who's going to be the lucky man?"

"What are you talking about, Logan?" Rory questioned.

"Well, this thing is obviously a meat market," Logan began as he sat the bottle on the coffee table before he's turning around the room. "I'm sure your grandparents expect you to choose one lucky guy tonight. So, who's it going to be?"

"Hmmm, so many choices," Rory said with a laugh.

"Uh, Kitten?" Finn began to question. He moved back slightly, relaxing when he saw her laughing face.

"I'm gonna stick with the hot Aussie I'm with, I think."

"Smart woman," Finn said as he pulled Rory into his side, grazing her lip with a stray bit of chocolate frosting from the decimated cake. He then swooped in, sucking her bottom lip into his mouth lightly before deepening the kiss.

"Get a room!" Several people yelled out, laughing at the two.

"Continue this later?" Finn whispered.

"As long as we're sharing a room tomorrow night at the Dragonfly you've got a deal," Rory whispered back, nibbling on his earlobe.

"Ah, come on," Colin whined.

Rory couldn't help chuckling at Colin's affronted look. It wasn't the first time he'd caught her and Finn making out hot and heavy. They hadn't progressed to sex yet, but she definitely had more experience than she had a month before.

"Shit, what time is it?" Rory asked a half hour later.

"Crying time," Finn said with a laugh. "Here, have some more champagne."

"It's nine fifteen," Someone else said. Rory was beyond tipsy and couldn't tell who it was.

"Shit, I was supposed to meet my mom out front at nine," she said as she moved to put her heels back on. She laughed when she tried to stand up, only to fall back onto the sofa next to Finn. Everyone who saw the moment laughed.

"Come on, Kitten," Finn finally said, standing and holding out his hand for her.

Everyone began straightening up the room, Finn making note of the number of empty scotch bottles. He knew when Richard had asked him to replace the alcohol he'd meant the scotch. Any of the hard stuff they'd emptied.

"What are you all doing?" Rory asked as she got to the door. "You don't have to come with me. You can keep partying."

"But who will help you keep the humping hordes away?" Logan asked as he swayed slightly. Rory thought there wasn't a sober one among them.

As a group, the guys surrounded Rory and Stephanie, who'd linked her arm with Rory's in a show of solidarity, and moved as one through the house to the front driveway.

As they made it to the cobblestones the guys in front, Colin and Finn, peeled off and let Rory move forward.

She glanced quickly at her mother, before focusing on the tall man standing next to a dark green truck. "Dean?" She questioned, squinting slightly wondering if she was seeing things.

Finn moved up closer to Rory, putting his arm around her.

"What are you doing here, Dean?" Rory asked, grateful that Finn had moved to her side.

"I heard your mom venting to Luke in the diner about your grandparents and this mating party and I thought I'd come rescue you."

Rory squeezed Finn's hand before taking a step forward. "I appreciate the thought, but I really don't need to be rescued. Besides, uh, what does Lindsey thing about this?" She faltered before asking.

"Lindsey and I are over," Dean mentioned as he slowly made his way closer. "We never should have been together. I still love you, Rory. We can start over."

Rory shuttered, taking a step to the side, trying to get out of Dean's reach. "I'm sorry that your marriage is over, Dean, but—we can't—I don't feel that way anymore. I'm dating someone else."

"What do you mean?" Dean asked, anger seeping into his voice as he moved to stand directly in front of Rory. "You teased me, flirted with me, and now, now you're going to deny your feelings for me?" He grabbed her arm, pulling her into his body. "You can't deny the chemistry, Rory." He leaned down to try to kiss her.

"Dean, don't," Rory said as she struggled to break free from Dean's grip.

She heard scuffling behind her, but didn't dare take her gaze off of Dean.

"What's wrong, Rory? You know you want it. You want me to fuck you."

Rory was shocked at the crude words Dean was spewing. What happened to that sweet boy she met so long ago, she wondered. When did he become this unbalanced person he was now?

"Dean, stop," Rory begged. As Dean pulled her to his chest, spinning her around so her back was pressed up agains him she felt his arousal and tried that much harder to get away, shuttering in fear at what Dean might do. She noticed that Logan and Colin were holding Finn back. "Dean, I'm with someone else, please, let me go."

"So, which of these rich bastards are you fucking? Or are you screwing them all? Is that what's going on now? You become the whore of Yale?"

"What the hell?" Someone yelled.

Before Finn broke free from his friends' grasp, Rory began shifting her body to fight back even more. She remembered the acronym Paris taught her their first week of their Freshman year. SING. She quickly elbowed Dean in the solar plexus, or as close as she could get with him being so much taller than her. She quickly followed that up with stepping on his instep with her high heel. She realized, because her grandma insisted on spiked heels, that the heel part had slipped into his sneaker, making contact with his sock covered arch. Knowing she would probably fall if she attempted to move her foot while still in the shoe, Rory slipped her foot out, balancing the other foot before kicking off that shoe as well.

Dean loosened his grip, but still managed to keep hold of her. He did lose his grip, however, when Rory kicked him in the calf. On instinct Rory knew she wouldn't be able to reach his knee and manage to stay upright. He pushed her away slightly, giving Rory time to balance herself. The cobblestones under her feet hurt a bit, but she pushed the pain aside.

Dean was taken by surprise by Rory grabbing his groin, twisting her hand as she pulled downward. Rory heard several gasps at that move, but, again, ignored it, instead on the man before her.

"YOU FUCKING WHORE!" Dean yelled as he bent over at the waist, clutching his crotch. He tried to reach out to grab her leg, but she managed to dodge him.

"Go to hell, Dean. I never want to see you again," Rory yells, kneeing him in the face as he's still bent over.

"Mom, what were you thinking?" Rory asks after moving away from Dean and closer to Lorelai. "Are you so afraid I'll like society life that you would do anything you can to keep me from it? I mean, what the actual—"

Lorelai interrupted her, "Sweets, I didn't do this. Yeah, I guess he heard me complaining to Luke, but I didn't invite him here."

"You know I'm dating Finn," Rory said, not listening to what Lorelai had to say. "Yeah, I was nice to him and talked to him when we saw each other as you were getting the Dragonfly together, but I was just being polite, like you taught me to be." Rory yelled at her mother. "He was married, for god's sake," she continued.

"Well, I—" Lorelai began, trying to defend herself.

"No, there's no excuse for this shit," Rory held up her hand to stop her mother speaking. "I'm done. I can't even believe—" Rory said as she turned on her heel and stormed off, not sure where she was heading.

"I'll go," Rory heard Stephanie say before she made it to the edge of the house, heading back to the pool house to cool down.

Finn heard the vile things this Dean was saying about his girlfriend and moved to punch the asshat. Colin and Logan both pulled him back, shaking their heads when he spared them a glance.

"Let her handle it," Colin whispered.

"She needs to take agency for this. You can kick his ass some other time," Logan added in.

"But—" he began, stopping when he saw his girl begin to break Dean's hold on her. "Wow, that's kind of hot," he said as he watch Rory take down her ex boyfriend.

He, like all the guys standing around he imagined, winced and shriveled a little when they saw Rory grab the guy's crotch, twisting and pulling down in one motioned. When Rory went to storm away he made to follow, wanting to ensure she was okay.

"I'll go," Stephanie told him, placing her hand on his arm to stop his movement. He simply nodded at the blonde in thanks before turning his attention back to the man now laying on the driveway, still clutching his crotch.

"Ms. Gilmore," Finn said as he made his way to Lorelai.

"Call me Lorelai," the brunette woman who looked like an older version of his girlfriend replied somewhat automatically. Definitely distractedly as she continued to stare at the man on the driveway.

"Ms. Gilmore," Finn said again, purposefully not using her given name. "Perhaps you should leave and take this," he pointed toward the guy who had finally gotten to his knees, "with you. I don't think he's in any shape to drive."

"But, I should talk to Rory," Lorelai said, tears streaming down her face. "I need to apologize for this. I had no idea that Dean was so—" she couldn't even finish her thought.

"I'll make sure she knows you didn't know," Finn said with a sigh. "But, it might be best to let her be for tonight at least. I'm assuming the party for Rory's birthday is still on?"

"As long as she wants it to be," Lorelai said, wiping the tears from her face. "Can some of you help me get that into the back of the Jeep?" She asked pointing toward Dean who'd fallen back to the ground. "And, I guess someone needs to move his truck to the street. I'll take the keys and have Luke come with me to take it back to Stars Hollow."

"We've got him, Ms. Gilmore," Logan said as he, Colin, and Seth all moved forward to, none too gently, pick up the jerk and toss him, carelessly, into the Jeep. Before moving him, however, the trio played a game of rock, paper, scissors to see who had to reach into his pocket for his keys.

"Oh, fuck this," Robert said as the game went on. "I'll do it and move the damn truck." He stepped up next to Dean and pulled his keys out of his pocket before getting behind the wheel of the truck and moving it as requested.

"Tell Rory that I love her and I'm sorry. I'll take the trash and toss him over the bridge," Lorelai said, no joking in her tone whatsoever. "He won't bother her again, I'll make sure of that."

"Please do," Finn said once Dean was out of sight. "Or I will." Finn didn't wait for Lorelai to respond, instead moving off to find Rory. He hadn't planned on spending the night with Rory as she was supposed to have gone home with her mother, but now he turned his thoughts to where they could stay in Hartford and whether or not Rory would want their friends to stay as well.

With a deep sigh, Finn, Finn opened his phone, calling the Morgan hotel in Hartford to make sure the family suite was available. He wondered if he could convince Colin to swipe another tier of the chocolate cake. He was sure Rory would want/need the chocolate. With a deep sigh, he opened the pool house door and went inside to take care of his girlfriend.