AN: I know it's been pretty Finn and G centric - but I've just enjoyed writing them a lot. It's easier to write those who are purer, have less deep history and deep issues (just to keep my own mood lighter). But I promise - soon there'll be a lot of visitors coming to the vow renewal and some major steps for Rory and Logan to go through as well. So I promise, I haven't forgotten them...

This time Finn and G - not terribly light, but some much needed heart-to-heart.

Chapter 79

July 17th, 2024

G got back to the estate late, driving Finn's red convertible he'd now decided to keep at hand, when it was already dark outside, having stayed late finishing the last load of laundry she'd started to get everyone's bedlinen washed and dried. The day had started with her mapping out things she wanted to get fixed or remodeled, but other than adding a couple of more modern wardrobes, there really wasn't much besides switching out a couple of smaller furniture items. The rest of the time she'd scrubbed, mopped and dusted - hell, she'd never worked so hard physically in her life, and she could still feel her tank top sticking to her back from sweat and her fingers were still a little wrinkly from wearing rubber gloves.

Celeste had originally hoped that Adreanna, the estate's housekeeper, would be helping out with all of that, but both Celeste and G hadn't had the heart to tell the woman to take on extra work after she'd told Celeste her about her grandchild's birthday she was travelling to the other side of the country for a long weekend. And as they had been unable to find someone new entirely this short notice, they'd figured they needed to just manage, so Celeste had been helping out for the first half of the day. They might have been brought up in much different settings, never having to lift a finger to clean the first half of their lives, in G's case more than that, but much had changed since then. And neither took much pride in the fact they'd grown up so privileged - not Celeste as she'd rebuilt her life, not G when she'd tried to fit in with her peers and not stand out too much. So with that mindset the task really wasn't beneath them.

It had been hard work for G, but despite that - it had felt liberating. She hadn't just been cleaning an apartment, some random space - she was cleaning her building. A piece of real estate that was hers and hers alone. She had no debt, no one to answer to. The liberating feeling was mixed in by the weight of responsibility. But still, it had left her feeling pretty good about it.

However, as one of her dreams was now reality, she felt the question - what was she going to do with the rest of her dreams - was rising more and more. Was she going to study? Work? Travel? Volunteer? One dream down - so many more to go. She didn't even yet know what else was out there, having not really had the chance to explore anything but the internet and academia.

G got out of the car and made her way through the alleyway, seeing Celeste and Jess in the kitchen cleaning up, talking and giggling. She loved how effortlessly those two seemed to function - a small touch here and there, an unmistakable chemistry, it was like they were at a constant dance with each other which led on to something more. She hoped she would have something like that at their age. What was strange was that despite having seen Jess and Celeste around each other for years, that thought hadn't really crossed her mind until she actually had someone she cared about like that and felt that similar chemistry with. Though she knew that in Finn's case this wouldn't be so simple - the age difference being a brutal one once she did the math. When she would be Celeste's age, Finn would be over 60. It wasn't about fearing he wouldn't look great, in that she didn't see an issue - but somehow that number 60 sounded old to her, in a way that 40 and 50 didn't. She wasn't sure if that just meant that eventually they had a time limit or whether this all was just her being scared of picturing a long term future. She didn't like to think about it - both for the image itself but also for the fear of jinxing it altogether. She knew better than to put too much effort into dreaming that far ahead. But the fact that she did, spoke of how much he meant to her, how central he was to her.

Pushing the thought aside, she continued along the gravel path seeing Rory and Logan by the pool, nursing a beer and chatting. The kids seemed to be already asleep or at least inside playing with the nannies. The pool house looked dark, making her wonder where Finn was. It was just as she nearly passed it, heading for her own room in the guesthouse, when she noticed Finn returning from inside the pool house, his own beverage in hand, beginning to just sit down on the recliner next to them as he caught sight of her.

She made a quick hand wave gesture as she passed, but hurried off to her room - feeling rather gross after a long day. Besides, she'd had a lot on her mind - various scenarios of her future playing out in her mind, many of those scenarios too complicated, too unbearable to think about. She wasn't really sure if and how she would ever confess thinking of these things to him, not wanting to hurt him. Would he think she wanted them to end if she said she wanted to travel - see the world, for example?

She felt as if there were things she needed to talk to him about - like her moving to Saint Michel for the rest of the holiday for starters - maybe not tomorrow but in a few weeks certainly. There was the way she was fighting images of their joint future several times a day - them living together, travelling together, going out together, celebrating birthdays and holidays together, unsure what to do about them, still not being entirely sure what he was thinking. And on top of that - there was still that big question on what she wanted to do with her life - what and where should she study? - down to the little details such as whether her dad was going to show to Rory's vow renewal. She just felt a little fragile, confused - maybe she'd just had a long day?

She hadn't been in her room in days for longer than to grab some clothes, but this time she decided to head for the shower, wanting to smell and feel like a human being again. Without turning on the main light, she kicked her Toms off and set her crossbody bag onto a chair, pulling the rubber band out of her hair.

It was then the door behind her made a noise, the building being a rather old one, and a familiar pair of hands wrapped around her waist along with his lips nuzzling into the nape of her neck, making her stomach flutter. God, his touch was amazing.

"Hello, love," he hummed, the outside light just illuminating the room just enough to see her figure in the dark room. His voice was almost like honey to her ears, melting away a lot of what had been on her mind before.

"Hey," she replied, unsure why she was talking in whisper. Somehow the darkness of the room had that affect.

"I'm so gross, I should really get a shower," she exhaled, speaking a little louder now. Her body pulled back a little and turned around, then flipped the switch on a dresser lamp closest to her, shattering some of the mood. Almost apologetically she gave Finn a little peck on the lips, avoiding his gaze just enough to make him suspect something was up.

"You want me to go?" Finn asked, sensing her being a little distant. She seemed cold somehow - both the fact that they hadn't spent a lot of time together these past few days and now her going to her room like this while usually she'd always just pop over to his. With worry the thought that maybe she was reconsidering things, crossed his mind.

"No - I just…. I'm just kind of tired, I'm hungry and I'm sweaty and just... gross," she made a disgusted face.

"Alright," Finn replied, not minding one bit if she smelled a little musky. It had its draw even.

"I can go and grab you some dinner if you want," he offered.

To him she seemed bothered by something, which he couldn't quite pinpoint and he wasn't sure what to do about it. He'd come in here to tell her that he'd spoke to Sylvie, but he wanted to just stick around, hoping she'd open up herself about whatever was up. He certainly didn't want to leave her like this, if he could help it.

"That'd be sweet, thanks," G melted a little and gave him another kiss, this one being a little longer and with more tongue, relaxing Finn a little too. She'd felt him care for her - that had done it. The whole day she'd felt so independent, she'd nearly forgotten what it felt like to have him to lean on - and that he wanted to be the one she could lean on in return.

As Finn began to leave, G pulled her dirty tank top that felt heavy with all the dust and sweat in it off of her, making him grin smugly at her for a second. He could see her smile, especially when she cast a look over her shoulder at him and pushed her shorts off too - it almost looked like an invitation, truth be told, but he knew it wasn't - not right now at least, and he headed out the door to get her some food like he promised.

Finn knew that relationships took communication, learning each other's boundaries, opening up about things the other necessarily wouldn't want to hear. He just wasn't sure where that line went and what could they, what could she handle at this point? Could she handle the fact that he might be looking for someone to be by his side long term without knowing if he had it in him? He realized that he probably needed to tell her that on occasion he needed his own space, but as the two days he'd had pretty much to himself, he was actually really missing her already. There really wasn't much that he needed, and if he were to put that into New York settings - his work usually gave him plenty of that me-time.

Finn wanted to tell her about Sylvie, but he knew it was probably wiser not to tell her everything she'd said. He had trouble getting Sylvies words out of his head, he could only imagine what they'd do to G if she heard them, and unlike her, he knew that Sylvie hadn't meant anything she said in a bad way, she'd rather been trying to be constructive. At least in part Finn knew his sister had been right - he did want someone by his side, he just didn't know how to do it in a way that wouldn't scare her off and at the same time grow his patience and persistence when he got anxious or they would someday, however unlikely that seemed right now, a boring moment.

As Finn returned, a sizable dinner plate filled with cheeses, fruit and bread, G was already out of the shower, in her underwear, leaning her head to the side to towel dry her hair lightly.

"Those two look all lovey-dovey out there," Finn commented friendlily, gesturing casually out to the pool area where Rory was sitting on Logan's lap, sideways, her hand around her neck, cosily. Before they'd just been goofing around, amongst other things trying to make an impression of Colin at the moment he found out about G. But they all knew Colin would be harmless, especially with Harriett around.

"They do," G said as she walked over, and surprised him by wrapping her hands around him from the back, hugging him while he still held the plate in his hand. She pushed her nose against his back and took a deep breath. The affection was almost apologetic to being a little weirded out earlier.

Finn held his palm on top of hers on his chest for a moment, sensing her need for comfort.

"You alright?" he asked, turned, and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. G was wearing a simple t-shirt now, but to him she'd look good even in a potato sack. She was just so effortlessly beautiful.

"I am, just I think I've had too much time to think today...," G replied, with a light groan, taking the plate from this hands with a casual "Yum, thanks," shoving a bite of brie into her mouth and settled to sit against the headboard on her bed, inviting him to join her.

Finn made an ominous "och-o" sound, but joined her, trying to keep things lighter than what he was becoming concerned about.

G was indeed starving, and with her mouth full she added, "Don't worry - nothing like that..," realizing how that must've sounded, unsure if she could come clean about everything while actually keeping herself together. Ideally she would've just wanted to skip having this whole conversation now and have it sometimes when her head didn't feel like it was buzzing.

It calmed Finn a little but it didn't quite enable him to relax.

"Did you get a lot done today?" Finn asked, still feeling a little guilty for not having been able to go help out. While surely, he could've helped with something, he wasn't too crazy about walking stairs, and there were a lot of them in that building, and he still felt like he'd be more in the way than actually of use if he'd just gone along.

"Pretty much finished, just tomorrow I'm taking over some plants and stuff like that. Celeste said, it'd help liven the place up," she replied, taking a bite of bread.

Finn watched her pull her damn hair up into a bun, a bite of cheese still in her mouth. Every now and again there were hints of Rory he could see in her - something he perhaps hadn't noticed before.

"I called Sylvie today. I told her," Finn confessed.

"You did?" G asked, still not quite believing it. She knew about his sister's 1-month rule, and they were just around 3 weeks now, not that she wanted to admit that she was keeping track.

"Yeah," Finn exhaled, still feeling relieved.

"And what did she say?" G asked hesitantly, not yet being as calm about it as Finn was inside.

"Oh, god - no nothing horrible," Finn pushed himself up a little, just realizing that G might have been worried about her reaction. "I mean - sure, she could see how it could be problematic, but she assured me that she hopes I'm happy and that she hopes I can make it work," he simplified.

G felt a little tinge in the bottom of her stomach. At least she was not the only one thinking about the long term.

"Good," G exhaled. "Now it's just my dad, I guess. And I think Rory's a little worried about her grandma, though I don't really know why, it's not like it's her business," G clarified, clearly not having enough experience with Emily Gilmore.

"He still hasn't told you whether he's coming?" Finn noted, the concept of her whole relationship with her dad being an odd one in his eyes. He couldn't wait to speak to his family and did it in passing many times a week, whether it was just sending photos or texting, it was still like they were close despite being far apart. He proved day after day how the distance didn't matter, and frankly he couldn't quite understand why G's father couldn't do the same or even half of that. He almost wanted to face the man and tell him what he thought, though he realized he probably wasn't in that position even if he did arrive.

"He tends to leave these things last minute," G shrugged, leaving it at that. She wasn't even sure if she wanted him there anymore. She didn't want him getting drunk and making a fuss. It was supposed to be Rory's day rather than hers, and she'd almost accepted that it didn't need to happen.

G continued to eat a couple of bites, Finn stealing one or two himself.

"You know, I'm probably going to move to Saint Michel at some point. Once I've gotten everything set up. I want to get a good feel for the place, you know..," G said, not quite looking at him.

"Right, of course," Finn reacted. He knew that of course - it had always been the discussion that she'd keep the apartment downstairs. Of course she wanted to live there!

"I've been struggling a little whether I should even ask you this…," G said, feeling a little tongue tied.

"What? Ask me anything!" Finn urged, half jokingly, perhaps not quite grasping how worried she was about something like this.

"I don't know…," G continued to hesitate. "Do you want to stay here or come with me… I don't know. Maybe I'm just overthinking it. It's just like a month until the end of the holiday and I'll probably be around here all the time anyway because of Rory and the kids…," G blabbered in a Rory-like manner.

Finn hadn't quite thought of it as something this serious - to him this was a holiday house, hardly something that compared to the actual decision of moving in together. Moving in was something he did fairly easily - after all that didn't necessarily ever mean he'd give up anything, just bring a toothbrush and some clothes - he did this kind of temporary moving several times a year when he travelled.

But as this seemed to be something that was weighing her, Finn sighed, unsure what side to take in this. In a way he just didn't like to see her worry, and she did show her youth when she worried like that, but it was cute nonetheless. She couldn't have experience with things like this, he couldn't expect things like that from her.

There was also the question about needing his own space on occasion and her perhaps needing to experience this on her own first. Was it really a good idea that her first place was a place where she lived in with her boyfriend, making it not just her place but kind of like their place? Finn recalled clearly how that had changed the dynamic at his penthouse with Charlie, for example. But having missed her these past few days, and seeing her worry about this - he really didn't want to push her away by telling her 'no' either.

"I think that's something we need to think about…," Finn began. "Moving in is pretty big… it's not that I don't want to be around you, not at all… it's just… that maybe you deserve to enjoy this by yourself first," he explained, observing G's impression change.

He could tell he wasn't doing a very good job explaining this because G's face clearly showed some hurt.

"And it's not like even if we decided to hold off for a while, like I'd never come around or stay over - if you'll have me after I say this," he made puppy dog eyes at her, hoping she wouldn't take this so harshly. "There's also the fact that I kind of came here to be with Rory, Logan and the kids - it wouldn't be entirely fair if I just bailed on them entirely, right?" he discussed. "Believe me - this is not me pulling the brakes or putting us in ice in any way. I just think we've been rushing through a lot of things and I… I just don't want to screw this up," Finn added, the last sentence coming out especially meaningfully with him looking her straight in the eyes. He worried that perhaps having just said all that he was in fact doing what he'd hope to avoid. Was this him fleeing or just trying to be reasonable?

"I guess..," G replied, but her face involuntary grimace, holding back tears that had come as if out of nowhere. "I'm sorry…," G excused herself, wanting to hide her reaction. She wasn't entirely sure why she was crying. She'd cried in front of him before, but just in the dark, but this was…. She didn't quite know what this was.

"Hey-hey… love, I'm sorry," Finn reacted, having not expect that, wanting to understand and comfort her.

"I just… I don't know. I've never had anything like this… I'm so fucking silly, naive…," G sobbed. "I hate that I'm this person - this needy, emotional person... I can see you need your space, how you don't need to be around me all the time. I don't know what I want from you - I get what you're saying, having the place all to myself sounds kind of good, but.. but all I keep thinking is that I don't want to be alone anymore, my brain keeps picturing a future and I know I shouldn't, not yet at least, I try to stop myself because breaking those images will hurt so bad…, " she continued, sobbing and blabbering, one sentence turning into another.

The root of the problem was that they really hadn't talked much about what would happen once they went back home - what and where home was just for starters. But neither really connected the dots at that point.

"I just want what's right for you - I don't want this relationship to strangle you within it, if that makes sense. I can handle being a visitor for a while, I don't want to be alone either. But if you really tell me you don't want to be alone, then I'll make sure you wouldn't be, I just think we don't need to make a whole big official thing out of this particular decision. It's not like you're planning on staying here full time and indefinitely, right?" Finn discussed.

The sobbing only magnified.

"I don't know what I want.., I don't know what I want to do…," she whimpered, unable to elaborate. She didn't really know if that was something she'd even consider for real, but the thought had indeed crossed her mind.

Finn wrapped his arms around her, hugging her close. He had do doubt that she wanted him, the way she searched for comfort and safety in him. And that just made his heart melt. He didn't like hearing that her wanting to stay here was an option naturally, but for now he used his compartmentalizing skills and just focused on the fact that she didn't know what she wanted yet. And that in his mind was her right.

"I've dreamed of having the whole world open for me - choosing where and what I want to study, that maybe I should go travel, maybe volunteer somewhere, but I've never felt like doing these things alone. I've been so alone…., and now I feel like I have to choose between one or the other. Not in a month, but now - like this one choise is an example for the rest of them. I can just see one thing lead to the next decision, ...and god, just look at me, I'm such a mess. I don't want to be like this," she sobbed. "I keep imagining what it'd be like to be with you… in years and I'm so scared to picture that as I don't think I could handle it if it would ever not become true…, and I know, I'm so sorry, that it isn't fair to put that kind of pressure on you…," she continued, tears faling down her cheeks, while feeling embarrassed and just wanting to hide.

"I don't want to break those images of a future either...," he said quietly, continuing to rub her back.

They just sat there for a while, Finn letting her cry out whatever she was feeling, needing to think himself.

"It scares me too. The last thing I ever want to do is hurt you. But I think in the end it's up to you what you want to do. I'll never stand in your way for making those decisions - you're so young, you should be allowed to experiment, make your mistakes, build a career. And if you'll have me by your side, I'll gladly be there. The world is not such a huge place, G," Finn explained, "not when you've got money at least," he added, with a light chuckle. His job wasn't tied down that tightly to the US either that he couldn't see a scenario of them just travelling a lot. His job was not fully set in one place, and it was not like he hadn't ever imagined trying something different. Hell - he could even see him going back to Brisbane someday. The world was still wide open to him too, and he wanted her to feel that too.

"I know all of this is very intense for you, it's scary - but for what it's worth, I truly hope we won't just give up on us because of being scared…," Finn continued, a moment later, G still sobbing against his chest. "So more talking, less crying…, eh? I promise I won't get offended if you want to try something by yourself but I'll be around as much as you need me, okay?" Finn suggested, the promise coming a lot more easily than he'd thought it would. He genuinely wanted to be there for her whatever she chose to do.

"I'm sorry. I've never been such a crybaby before," G replied, wiping her tears away, hating that she probably looked like a mess. He might have seen her after a bad night of sleep, but she just didn't want to become this person that cried about every little thing. Twice in a week seemed like a bad trend to her. But what this really was, was that she was just learning to deal with stronger emotions that she'd never dealt with before, and it was as hard as it was exhilarating - and Finn actually got that.

"I love you," Finn said, in a much lighter tone.

"I love you too," she said, hugging him close as she raised to her knees, minding his achy leg.

Finn kissed her cheeks, where a few lingering tears had rolled down her cheeks, as if drinking them. His lips felt so soft, making her smile sofly, while she took deep breaths to calm herself. He was right here, he was not going anywhere.

"Can you picture us like those two out there?" Finn asked, not even glancing at Rory and Logan's direction, just gestured at their direction.

G cast a slight look out of the window, seeing Rory straddling Logan by now. They weren't having sex, at least not yet, but the setting was definitely intimate.

"Yep, definitely," G replied, her reddened lips from the crying, casting a slight smile onto her face. She rememebered fairly well when they'd last been in that position.

"But for real - how did you picture us?" Finn asked, encouraging her to keep talking. He was genuinely curious as to how far and in what form she had pictured them long term. What was even long term for her?

They talked well into the night, cuddling on her bed, finally dozing off mid-sentence talking about all the places where Finn would take her to see the world.