16 days. In the grand scheme of things 16 days is like a drop in the ocean. 16 days since the dreaded Huntzburger's meal however has not been like a drop in the ocean! More like a tidal wave hitting a ship! The thing with that is a ship will naturally try to stay afloat, but you need some calm waters or its so bumpy you never know if you are going to capsize. That's how Rory was currently feeling packing her back to go skiing. The last 16 days felt like 6 months, if not longer. The trip couldn't have come at a better time, it seemed as though the waters were settling but she wasn't going to hold her breathe for how long it would last.
Lorelei had taken the fact that Rory was in contact with her paternal grandparents quite well, too well. Turns out her father had slipped up and Lorelei had actually known all about it, when Christopher had confronted her at the Gilmore vow renewal (in spite or maybe drunkenness) blurted out the few facts he knew. The next time Rory had seen her mother was to confess all about Tristan so no wonder her mom hadn't brought it up.
Lorelei had taken it well, and to a point even encouraged it, she explained how she never wanted to keep Rory away from her family but the circumstances and forced her hand which Rory completely understood. Lorelei didn't handle the meal quite so well, she was livid. Then the pair ended up laughing at the audacity of the all, how could people with millions still feel there millions meant more than someone else's. It was a world that only the elite could possibly understand. Surely if they heard themselves they would realise how ridiculous it all sounded! At least her and her mother could turn it into something funny and Lorelei was proud of her daughter for finally speaking up. Maybe Logan was a better match for her daughter than she first thought, he definitely brought a side out in Rory that Lorelei was pleased to see. One down one to go.
Emily didn't take the news well that Rory was in contact with the Hayden's. She retired to her room with a headache. Rory tried to explain but her grandmother was not in the mood to listen. After staying late with her grandpa in his study reading Emily finally emerged and let Rory explain. When Emily questioned why now she had come clean Rory decided honesty was the best policy. She told her grandparents about what happened at the Huntzburger's and to say the elder Gilmore's were not happy was an understatement. They were disgusted. Her grandmother more so for the fact that she was one of the few d.a.r ladies who accepted Shira and gave her the benefit of the doubt. To Emily Gilmore this was a declaration of war. Richard was much calmer outwardly but she could see her grandfather bubbling beneath the surface. He never liked Elias. Most people didn't, but it didn't stop Richard being the man they all came for regards their insurances. He was the top in his field by a long shot and anyone with money knew he was the man to go too to make sure that everything was covered and air tight!
The Huntzburger's had just shot themselves in the foot, no doubt Mitchum sorted all of this sort of thing out, so the people actually in attendance at the meal had no clue. Unfortunate for them.
Finally was Francine. She handled it differently again, not at all surprised at what had happened, a smug 'told you so' was also included but she had shocked Rory at asking for a family gathering with all the families! Rory didn't for one minute think that would be a good idea but apparently Francine making amends with Rory had meant her and Emily had now spoken and the pair were on somewhat civil terms.
They used to be very close before Lorelei got pregnant and the women had decided to leave the past in the past and show a united from. Rory believed it was more of the fact the pair now had a common enemy. Shira Huntzburger. Elias wasn't off the hook either but the fact was he hated everyone and the feelings were usually mutual. So as Rory packed her final bag ready to leave for skiing she placed them at the door ready to load the car up. Logan should be here any moment and the pair would be going to a family dinner. What a way to start trip! Least if its as explosive as Rory thinks its going to be the pair will be out the way of the after math.
Logan loaded his bags into the car and looked to his right at a smirking Finn. This could not end well! Finn being the excellent friend that he was offered to do the driving to the airport as the escalade was bigger and easier to fit luggage in, the only down side was tonight wasn't only the night of the 'family' meal it was also the night that Steph and Colin where attending her parents house for a meal. 3 doors down from the Gilmores! So Finn was dropping Colin and Steph off and then had invited himself to the Gilmore's. He had even gone as far as to ring and speak to Emily herself! Turns out his mom and Emily were good friends when Finns family came to stay in Hartford so of course Finn could attend the meal. Finn had even pointed out how much Shira and Mitchum hated him which just excited Emily to no end! Only Finn!
"just let me talk to love mate, she will understand plus who wouldn't want Finn there"
Logan smiled and shook his head, but Finn was right who wouldn't want him there! Lorelei was going to love him! He was glad he had met her a few times already, he didn't need this to be anymore awkward and meeting Luke had also gone well. No bop it moments which the Gilmore girls assured him was a big win in Luke world! He knocked on the door and Rory opened immediately and dived at him. He lifted her off her feet and kissed her like they hadn't seen each other in months. It was only when Finn cleared his throat that the couple pulled away and Rory gave Logan a confused look before raising an eyebrow at Finn. Before he could say a word Rory spoke.
"I already know Finn, Grandma's been on the phone praising me on my excellent skills at picking friends and how if your ever lonely you should come to Friday night dinner! I told her you'd love too"
She finished with a smug look and evil grin taking over her features! She was good! Logan couldn't contain his laughter as he took his aces hand in one hand and grabbed her bags in the other. They made to it to the escalade in record time and to dinner 25 minutes later. Finn was still pouting and whining like a child but Logan knew he secretly loved being included.
They parked and headed to the front door seeing Luke and Lorelei there themselves. Rory introduced Finn and then the 5 people just stood there. No one moving, eventually Logan looked at his watch and realised they were bang on time and reached to push the doorbell. No sooner did his finger touch it Lorelei's shout of triumph physically made him jump. Apparently because he was the one who pressed the door bell he was the one to blame for everything that went wrong that night! These Gilmore girls and their traditions. Luke was shaking his head and Finn was shaking with excitement! The maid let them in and took their coats as she ushered them through to the parlour to have drinks. When he stepped in the room the tension hit him! His parents and grandfather were already sat there, Francine was also in there along with the Gilmore's. The tension was palpable.
Finn gave himself a pat on the back, he really did come up with the best ideas if he didn't say so himself, when he spoke to Emily he was relieved she had happily accepted him for dinner, he didn't really think she would say no especially with how close his mom was to the Gilmore's the last few years but knowing that it would rub Mitchum and Shira up the wrong way was like the icing on the cake. He knew he could never confront them about how they had treated Rory and in all fairness Logan. The shame Logan still felt about what had happened was something he could relate to. He would have felt the same himself. Luckily for him his mother and father were far more laid back than everyone else's, he didn't have an upbringing like Rory but there was never a doubt that they loved him.
When the group headed into the room he could feel the tension, the women all had on their society smiles, Richard was making himself busy at the cart, Mitchum looked the most uncomfortable Finn had ever seen him and Elias, well he was Elias. Many still thought he didn't really have a clue what day of the week it was, he thought he was the Head of the Huntzburger family but the reality couldn't be further from the truth. He was just a grumpy, miserable old man. Finn had never seen the bloke smile. Why break the habit of lifetime. He shared a quick glance with Lorelei and realised she was going to speak so jumped in first, right as it became apparent the seated group had spotted the latest guests.
"Emily Richard! Thank you so much for having me!"
He shared a quick kiss on the cheek for the Emily whilst shaking Richards hand, he then moved onto Francine who had had never formally met and introduced himself. She seemed like a pleasant enough lady but didn't think they would me on a first name basis anytime soon. Then he glanced over at the Huntzburger's, they were still rooted in their seats and hadn't even jumped up to greet their son. He casually took a seat next to Elias whilst the could hear the Gilmore's all greeting one another.
"Elias, Mitchum, Shira it's nice to see you all again. How's work going mitch"
Finn gave each a head nod, Shira forced a somewhat expression that could be classed as a smile, Elias grunted and Mitchum, well Mitchum looked furious. Finn had for as long as he could remember called Mitchum mitch much to the elder man's dismay. Finn knew it irked him, he just didn't care enough to stop doing it.
"there is always news to found Finnegan, as I've explained multiple times and please don't call me mitch"
Finn chuckled, Mitchum's expression may have been furious but his words didn't have the usual bite to them. Mitchum was many things but stupid wasn't one of them. He knew as much as all the others in the room that his father and wife had made a mess. To put it bluntly they fucked up. Now it seemed as though Mitchum had been dragged into the clean up operation.
The next 30 minutes passed quite quickly, the atmosphere was tense but Finn had to admit Lorelei was an excellent buffer, the pair just seemed to bounce off one enough, he even had a laugh out of Luke. She kept conversation light barring the odd dig that Shira needed to head back to a retreat insisting she looked far too tired, which caused a chuckle amongst all the guests. The families had moved into the dining room by this point and conversation had seemed to have hit pause as they were waiting between courses. Suddenly Mitchum cleared his throat and Finn had to give it to the bloke, he definitely took the bull by the horns!
"look let's not beat around the bush, we all know why we are here. What my wife and father said to Rory at dinner is inexcusable, I wasn't there and if I had been the conversation would not have gone ahead! It does not matter to me what Rory does or doesn't want to do when she finishes college and it certainly makes no difference if she was a Gilmore, a Hayden or both. There is many aspects of my sons life I try to control but who he decides to 'date' is not one of them. Rory I've read some of your work and I've got to say I'm impressed, I would love to offer you an internship at the Stafford Eagle gazette, you can shadow me, meet the team and get a real feel of a news room, what do you say? Can we just put that awful dinner behind us and start over because quite frankly miss Gilmore I think you are going to be a big part of my sons life"
Rory sat in her seat glued to Mitchum, 6 months ago she would have jumped at the opportunity to get in the news room, now though not so much. It wasn't even about principle, she had worked her whole life and didn't want anything handing to her. Especially not some ill placed good will gesture. She glanced around the room and all eyes were on her, Logan gave her hand a squeeze and Finn patted her leg. The rose between two thorns Finn had joked but she loved having her 2 favourite guys with her. It gave her a strength she didn't think she would ever have, and being in the life and death brigade had taught her to live for the moment, do what feels right. She knew what she needed to say.
"I think we can all agree that the Huntzburger shanghai doesn't need to be rehashed anytime soon. You wasn't there Mr Huntzburger but I appreciate the gesture. Saying that I feel like I have to decline your offer, I've never had anything handed too me and I have no intention of starting now, if I get an internship it will be because the editor wants me, not because my boyfriends father feels the need to make up for a situation he wasn't even apart of, some opportunities are sometimes too good to be true, and I won't have anyone think that I'm with Logan because his dad owns HPG or for his money. I think we all know money and net worth doesn't even need to be discussed, I hold no grudge against you or your family and I'd be happy to leave it there and not speak of the night again"
Mitchum had to hand it too the young girl she had balls. Everything he had said was true, when he had found out what had been said at that dinner he was furious! Shira had been prodding the bear with his father which everyone knew ended only one way! Not only that it was Honor's night to announce her engagement, it should have been a time of celebration and about his daughter.
Mitchum knew all about the lovely miss Gilmore, his son had been dancing around her for quite some time if the rumours were true. He laughed to himself sometimes, he heard of all the things the LDB got up to and had many times even covered up things the group didn't know existed! It hadn't been keep secret all this time without having some of the elders helping. He had followed in his own father's footsteps and took over making sure the media hadn't gotten their hands on any stories that did not need to be made public or put the group at risk. He had also noticed a change in his son, he wasn't out getting in trouble, drinking too much and having to much fun with the ladies. He had seen he had been writing more for the paper, turning up to class and generally making an effort. He seemed happy. He had no doubt that it was for Rory. She probably hadn't even noticed! He suspected his son wanted to be a better man for her and he was all for that.
He had no doubt that this wouldn't be the end of the situation. Looking at the Gilmore's and Mrs Hayden he knew they were being polite whilst the kids were still about. But that was a battle he would deal with, he wanted to make it right with Rory, so he smiled told her he understood and that if she ever changed her mind to please let him know. No sooner had the words left his mouth the maid returned with the main course and no sooner had they all finished eating Rory Logan and Finn excused themselves. The LDB were going skiing. No sooner had the door shut Mitchum heaved a sigh. Now the fun began, he had no doubt the elders in the room wouldn't be quite as understanding and forgiving as Rory Gilmore Hayden.
Logan pulled Rory into his arms as they climbed into Finns car, dinner had gone far better than expected but Logan wasn't naive enough to believe it was he end of the matter, he laughed to himself thinking that they were all most probably in there now getting into it but he didn't care. His girl was happy and he couldn't wait to go skiing! The group made small talk as they picked up Colin and Steph. Their night had gone well just like they thought it would and after Rory had finished explaining what happened he and Colin shared a look. Colin knew as well as he did what would be going down in the Gilmore residence right now but Colin didn't mention it. He pulled Rory closer and kissed her head, if he was really honest he couldn't care less what was happening in Hartford. He had everything he needed right in this car and one of those things was his girl and he had every intention of making the most of the time away! Skiing here they come!