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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

GG Fic: Sometimes You Do 37/40

A/N: So Rory's decision is made. But is Dean's? We have a few more chapters to see :)  Previous stuff here.

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

Dean wasn't the only one who was surprised.

"You what?" her mother asked. Which would have been normal enough had her mother not asked it three times already.

Rory sighed. "I bought the Gazette."

It was a rare thing, to see her mother so completely and utterly flabbergasted. So rare that Rory almost didn't have the heart to be amused. "But--I mean--why?" Lorelai asked.

That was a question she hadn't quite been prepared for. From other people, maybe, but not from her mother. She'd kind of supposed her mom would get it. At least, maybe she'd hoped so. Because she wasn't sure she could explain it herself.

So she shrugged. "I wanted to."

"You wanted to? But what about the job?"

"It wasn't going to make me happy," Rory said, and at least that part was easy enough.

"And living here will?"

"Not necessarily."

"Not necessarily? What do you mean, not necessarily? You just spent twenty grand on a small town newspaper that--" her mother stopped mid-sentence as realization dawned on her. "Oh, my God. You didn't, did you?"

She couldn't deny it. Wouldn't. She didn't even want to. "I love him."

Her mother's shoulder dropped along with her mouth. "You love him? Love him love him? The sappy you-complete-me, lifelong commitment, love him? I mean, are you sure?"

"Well, I did just buy a small town newspaper that may or may not make me happy."

"Good point," her mother said, sobering a little. She drew herself together. "Have you told him?"

Again, more questions she didn't want to answer. Because those weren't the easy answers. "I told him."

"And he said?"

"He said he couldn't say anything," she said. "He couldn't make promises."

"Aw, honey," her mom said, her lips quirked with a sympathetic smile. "I'm sorry."

"I knew it could happen," she said with a shrug. "I mean, that was the risk. After everything that's happened, after all the ways he's changed, it was possible. I mean, that was the point, wasn't it? About sacrifice?"

Her mother's brow knit together. "You were really listening to that one, huh? I mean, of all the ones you actually listen to--"

"You were right," Rory interjected. "So, really, I should be thanking you."

"Are you sure? I mean, I think if we go back and talk to Ned that he'd--"

Rory shook her head, adamant. "No," she said. "I'm sure. This is what I want. I mean, I don't know why but I want it. But I feel like it's my one chance at really being happy. Nothing else will ever come close."

Her mother was watching her, almost studying her.

"You think I'm crazy," Rory said, looking down and blushing. "Stupid and romantic and naive--"

"No," her mother said. "Not at all. I'm just sitting here wondering when you grew up."

"Well," Rory said. "After you did, I figured I had no choice but follow."

"Ooh, low blow!" her mother said.

"Again, I learned from the best," Rory said with a rueful smile.

"Well, there is one good thing about this," her mother said lightly.

"Oh? And what's that?"


"Free advertising," she said.

"Seriously? I blow twenty grand and you want free advertising?"

"Have you seen the price for a two-by-four ad? It's price gouging in the extreme. The only thing more outrageous is Yellow Book."

“Then complain to Yellow Book.”

“Yes, but you don’t own Yellow Book.”

“Exactly.”

Lorelai opened her mouth and then shut it. “You know, sometimes I get the feeling that you don’t truly appreciate what it means that I’m your mother.”

“Seriously, how could I forget?” Rory asked.

“You may know it, but you don’t appreciate it.”

Rory shrugged. “Semantics.”

“Says the young journalist.”

“Says the tired daughter.”

“God, I love semantics.”

“Who doesn’t?”

“I’m glad you bought the paper.”

Rory just smiled. “I figured that was what you were trying to say.”

“Lost in all the semantics.”

“I think it’s beginning to lose its meaning now.”

“Probably,” her mother agreed. “But for a romantic, crazy, newspaper owning daughter, I think you have bigger things to worry about.”

Maybe. But good things, Rory decided. Very good things.

-o-

Dean may have been reserved in his response to Rory's big move (or lack thereof, really), but her mother decidedly was not. After ascertaining that Rory was indeed set on this decision and was oddly and maturely at peace with it, her mother decided that it needed to be celebrated. And how else to celebrate except to throw a party?

This one, thankfully, was not a full-town affair. No, it would be a quieter, more subdued event, just a few close friends and some snacks.

At least, that was the way it started.

By the time it was done, Lorelai had a guest list of seventy-five and Sookie was breaking out all the stops with the catering, the centerpiece being, naturally, rum cake.

It was all very exciting, Rory was sure, though she had to admit, she wasn't exactly giddy with anticipation. She did not regret her decision, but neither did she feel particularly like celebrating it. But, like her mother had said, love was sacrifice, and perhaps this party wasn't just about her, but about her mother and Luke and everyone else who felt like they had some kind of vested interest in Rory.

Which made it okay. Because Rory was beginning to realize that she hadn’t gotten here on her own. Yes, she went to Yale. Yes, she got the jobs. Yes, she did her own writing. But who she was, everything good in her, she couldn't take credit for. Because she couldn't help but think of May Forester and her expectations for Dean, the way she treated him, and know she was lucky that indeed, all that had ever been wanted from her was that she be herself. That alone was surely cause for celebration, rum cake and all.

Celebrations and rum cake were one thing, though. Decorations were another.

"Maybe an ice sculpture," Sookie surmised, with a far off look in her eye. "You know, something tactful and journalistic."

They had convened at Luke's, which only seemed appropriate. That way while she was huddled by force at a table with her mother and Sookie, they could pull Luke into the conversation on a whim. Why they thought Luke's opinion would actually matter to them, she wasn't quite sure, because she was pretty certain that even her own opinion was pretty superfluous at this point. When party planning was underway, all thoughts of sanity went out the window.

Considering how little sanity the lot of them had to begin with, that was a scary thing.

"An ice typewriter!" her mother exclaimed, eyes bright as she gripped her cup of coffee closer.

Sookie looked at her curiously. "You think someone will make an ice typewriter."

Rory rolled her eyes. "No ice typewriters."

"An ice pencil?" Sookie offered.

"No ice anything," Rory said. "It's the middle of summer. It wouldn't last more than two minutes anyway."

Her mother drew her eyebrows together in a pout. "Party pooper."

"But it's my party."

"More reason not to poop it."

"I don't even see why we need decorations in the first place."

"To set the atmosphere!" Sookie said, somewhat dismayed.

"I hardly think that there is an atmosphere for buying a paper," Rory pointed out. "It's not one of your common life events. I mean, what do you think we're going to do? Make origami animals out of newsprint?"

Sookie's eyes lit up and her mother grinned. "I like it," her mom said. "And fairly cost effective if we just raid the recycle bins before the paper."

"Great," Rory said with exasperation. "Now we have to sneak around in the middle of the night digging through trash. Not to mention how covered with ink our fingers will be after all that folding. Hardly one of the cleanest ideas we've ever had."

Her mother shrugged. "It's all worth it for you."

As if the conversation couldn't get any worse, that was when Luke came by to top off their drinks. Not that that was all bad, because more caffeine was definitely an improvement. "What's worth it?"

"Legally questionable practices to obtain newsprint in order to create festive yet original decorations for her party," Lorelai informed him with a serious nod.

"That all?"

"Well, and perhaps invest in an ice sculpture."

"Why not just provide everyone with those little reporter hats and notebooks," Luke said. "Require everyone to take notes while the party goes on and write an article."

"Oh! And best article wins a prize!" Sookie exclaimed.

Rory just sighed. "I give up," she said. "If you are intent on torturing guests, then I can claim no part of it."

"Aw, come on," her mother cajoled. "Get enough rum cake in you and things will be great."

"For that many people, that's a lot of rum," Rory observed.

"Even better!" her mother said.

Luke snorted. "A house full of people, wearing dorky little hats, armed with pencils and notebooks with lots of rum. Nope, I can't think of anything better."

"See," Rory said. "Luke agrees with me."

He held up his hand, the coffee in his pot sloshing precariously. "I agree with no one," he said.

"He's very diplomatic," Lorelai said confidentially.

"Which makes him very smart," Sookie added.

"I learn," Luke said. "Let me know if you need anything."

"Someone to rescue me from my life, thank you," Rory tried but Luke was already on to the next table.

"So, I can handle the newsprint project," her mother said. "What about the guests? Are they all confirmed?"

Sookie nodded. "I believe we have most of the RSVPs back. The turnout looks good. Even Ida Burmeister is coming."

"Ida Burmeister?" Rory asked. "The recluse who lives two doors down? But I've never even talked to her."

"Well, yeah, because she's a recluse," her mother said.

"So why did you invite her?"

"Normally I wouldn't, but it turns out, she loved the rum cake so much that she actually was put upon to go to the store to buy the necessary ingredients."

"I heard about that," Sookie said. "Poor woman. Nearly had a panic attack at Doose's because she couldn't find the rum."

"So I nearly killed a ninety-two year old woman?"

"Which is why I had to invite her," her mother said. "Because, really, risking her health for rum cake is a sure sign that she's fully supportive of your work. And besides, I told her there'd be rum cake to be had."

Possibly reasonable, though notably eccentric--not that that was altogether unusual. Still, Rory was beginning to envision something akin to stale graduation parties where half the guests were relative strangers to her and she was subjected to hours of making small talk with them so as not to appear to be ungrateful for their presence. "Is there anyone coming that I'm actually going to know?" Rory asked.

"Lane's bringing the kids," her mom offered. "Oh, and I'll be there. Sookie, too. And Luke."

"I was hoping for someone who wouldn't be subjecting me to embarrassing stories about how I actually managed to write a recipe about rum cake," Rory said.

"Dean Forester's coming," Sookie said, well, blurted really, earning a purposeful stare from her mother.

Rory couldn't control her involuntary flinch, nor could she contain the sudden rapid increase of her heart rate. "Dean?"

Her mother smiled, clearly aware of Rory's blatant response. "Yep."

"But he works," Rory said, her breathing feeling strained. "I mean, he works all the time. I don't think he'd be able to."

"Well," Sookie said. "I have it on pretty good authority he'll be there."

"From who?" Rory demanded. Embarrassed, she tried to shrug away her impatience. "I mean, who could possibly tell you that? These days, Dean barely even has time for phone calls." And she should know. Having tried to call him consistently, she’d only had a fifty percent success rate. Yes, he was amenable to seeing her, but that didn't mean he was readily available, through no fault of his own, of course. Running a business took time and work and what else, she wasn't really sure, though it occurred to her that in about two weeks she was going to find out.

"His sister, of course," her mother said. "Apparently, the entire Forester clan is coming out to wish you well."

"The entire clan?" Rory asked. Knowing Dean was coming was one thing. Clara would make sense as well. In fact, she didn't doubt that Dean would come with Clara on his arm, he was just that sweet and she was just that cute. But-- "Even May?"

"Even May," her mother said, and Rory could not help but notice how much her mother seemed to be relishing that tidbit.

"But the woman despises me," Rory said. "Why did you even invite her?"

"Well, it was a little masochistic, maybe," her mother said, fingering her coffee cup lightly. "But then I realized it would torture her more than it would torture us, so I had to. Imagine her, coming and having to be polite and eat the rum cake like she actually was a normal human being. It's priceless."

"And Dean's coming?" Rory asked, wishing her voice would stop shaking. She was sounding like some school girl again with some ridiculous little school girl crush. "I mean, he'll be there?"

"That's okay, right?" her mother hedged gently. "I mean, you're acting kind of weird."

"No, it's good," Rory said quickly, too quickly. Subtle, she was not. "I just--haven't seen him in awhile. It'll be good. Very good."

Lorelai shared a sideways glance with Sookie, knowing and amused. Rory blushed. Her inability to be subtle didn't matter; her mother would see through her anyway.

Taking a sip of her drink, Rory swallowed then cleared her throat. "So, uh, do you even know how to make anything using origami?" Rory asked. Obvious, perhaps. But her need to protect her own vulnerabilities was strong, even if it was nothing more than a facade. And Dean was definitely a vulnerability. He hadn't promised her anything, so she wasn't sure why she was clinging to it all like he was.

Because it was all she had. All she still wanted. It wasn't over, and that meant she had hope. He hadn't said no.

He hadn't said no. Rory realized that for the first time since she'd been back in Stars Hollow, he hadn't said no.

Now he was coming to her party.

Was she looking too much into it?

Maybe.

Did she care?

Possibly.

Somehow, though, that didn't change anything.

Next

 

Comments

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: November 10th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)

of course Dean isn't going to make it easy- but what I love about this is that RORY has decided about everything for herself and not just because of the impulse that now Dean will say 'yes'

I LOVE THIS!

(ps- I'm working on stories for you guys- the one we discussed last month and the other just came to me two days ago and is connected to the VS- only re: where we're starting it...

btw- the first ep? you and SITC are AMAZING! you had me in tears...)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 13th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
first last always

Dean still has some issues he needs to work out but I like to think he's getting there :)

(Stories! You are awesome!)

(And next week let's hit our ep together. We need to work on the extended outline and finish up the plot details so we can start writing ASAP.)

(And thank you!)

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: November 14th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)

(yeah :D but I can never be as good as you or SITC!)

(sure! :D)

Posted by: ChristianGateFan (cgf_kat)
Posted at: November 11th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)

Ack! No Dean! But we heard about Dean. I suppose I can survive on that until friday. :P LOL. Anyway, I loved this chapter. It was cute, being mostly comprised of banter, and I needed a good few laughs. I was a little sad and tired today. *hugs* Can't wait to find out what happens!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 13th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
bus

LOL, I hate to tell you there will be no Dean in Friday's chapter either! We'll get there, though. I promise!

Thanks!

Posted by: sidura (sidura)
Posted at: November 11th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)

Hi there!!

Like this and what you have done with Rory.

Though, Rory having a party to celebrate? With May turning up? What about Emily and Richard are they going to be in attendence?

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 13th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
mine

Hi! And the party will be quite an event. You'll see :)

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