Summary: A crisis threatens Sookie and Lorelai’s success with their new inn, and Rory fights to maintain her relationship with Jess in the face of her mother’s opposition.
Rating: PG
Content: Nothing you wouldn’t see on the show.
Characters: General Lorelai and Rory, with subplots of Rory/Jess and Luke/Lorelai
Author’s Notes: This takes place sometime in the future. The events in the “Previously on...” are all fictional.
Music references: Cat Stevens. The Barenaked Ladies. The Beatles. The laa-laas. (There’s a bunch of variations. Imagine whichever one you want.) A theme I’m calling “Townie Mischief.” (See the scene in “Christopher Returns,” where Miss Patti spreads the word about Chris through town for an example of what I mean. It’s sort of sneaky sounding.)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I wish that I’d been the brilliant genius to create these characters, but I wasn’t. Sometimes I cry about it at night.



Oh, to be Amish

by emrie


Announcer: Previously on “Gilmore Girls”…

(RORY and JESS sit on the couch, watching a movie)

(Scene of JESS pouring coffee for LORELAI and RORY. JESS smiles at RORY)

Rory
: (Voice Over) We’re just friends, Mom. He really needs a friend right now.

(Continuation of earlier scene, RORY and JESS have started making-out on the couch. LORELAI walks in, stops in shock. RORY looks guilty.)


(LORELAI runs into the inn’s kitchen, clutching a piece of paper.)
Lorelai: Sookie! She signed it! We own the inn now!
Sookie: Oh my god!
Lorelai: I know! Can you believe it? (They hug.)

(LORELAI and RORY mid argument)
Lorelai: I don’t trust him!
Rory: What about me? You trust me! (She searches LORELAI’s face.) Don’t you?
(LORELAI doesn’t answer.)

(LORELAI sitting in her kitchen talking to SOOKIE.)
Lorelai: ...the catch is, we have to be open for business in two months!
Sookie: (horrified) Two months?!

(Continuation of the argument)

Lorelai: Are you sleeping together?
Rory: What?!
Lorelai: Are you?!
Rory: (defensively) If we are, it’s none of your business.
Lorelai: From now on, he’s not to be in this house if I’m not here!

(LORELAI talking with SOOKIE)
Lorelai: Do you really want to do this?
Sookie: I really want to do this.

*


(Open on the Gilmore kitchen, RORY and JESS enter. RORY’s still wearing her uniform, and they’re both carrying backpacks.)
Rory: I can’t believe you’d say that!
Jess: (Sits down.) I can’t believe you’re disagreeing with me!
(RORY goes over to the coffeepot and turns it on, then returns to sit across from him.)
Rory: It’s just that there’s no comparison! I mean, “Faustus” versus “Hamlet”! Which one are people more likely to have heard of?
Jess: Notoriety has absolutely nothing to do with quality! Just because no one’s heard of him doesn’t mean he’s in any way inferior!
Rory: (crossing her arms) I’m sorry, unless we’re talking about the movie “Shakespeare in Love,” where Rupert Everett is better than Joseph Fiennes any day, Shakespeare was infinitely superior to Marlowe!
Jess: (laughing) You’re wrong!
Rory: I am not! Shakespeare’s themes remain as true today as they were four hundred years ago, whereas time has rendered Marlowe’s writing almost obsolete!
Jess: (rolls his eyes) You got that out of a book, and it’s not true! Marlowe knew what he was talking about!
Rory: (leans towards him flirtatiously) Okay, prove it!
Jess: (Thinks for a beat) “O, thou art fairer than the evening air, clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.”
Rory: Fine. “Doubt that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”
Jess: (looking charmed and annoyed at once) You’re impossible!
Rory: (smiling) Thank you! (She stands to check the coffeepot, then searches the cabinet for a clean mug. He gets up as she lifts the pot, stands behind her, and gently kisses the side of her neck. She startles.)
Rory: Spilling coffee is high treason in the Gilmore household!
Jess: (Instead of moving away, he wraps his arms around her.) Should I fear for my life?
Rory: (She leans back, covers his arms with her own, and turns her head to look at him.) I think I might be able to arrange a royal pardon.
Jess: Good.
(She turns to face him. He kisses her mouth lightly, his hands cradling her face.)
Rory: (pulls back to look at him) What time do you have to work tonight?
Jess
: No idea. (smiles) What day is it?
Rory: Thursday.
Jess: Not ‘till five, then.
Rory: Good. (La-las begin. She pulls away, grabs her mug of coffee in one hand and his hand in the other, and leads him into her room.)

(Opening credits)

(Laa-laas play in the background. The kitchen at the Independence Inn. LORELAI enters with a long roll of paper.)
Lorelai: Sookie, I need you to look at something.
Sookie: (drying her hands on a dish rag) What?
Lorelai: Okay. (starts to spread out the paper) Is this counter dry?
Sookie: Not really.
Lorelai: How about over there?
Sookie: Nope.
Lorelai: I’ll just hold it then. (She unrolls the blueprint midair, and SOOKIE leans over her arm to look at it.) Now, these are the plans for the kitchen. The problem is, I think the stove is in the wrong place.
Sookie: (frowns) Oh, yeah. That’s definitely not right.
Lorelai: I thought so. So where’s the stove supposed to go?
Sookie: Oh…I don’t remember!
Lorelai: (stressed) Sookie!
Sookie: Okay, okay, okay, let me think! (She closes her eyes, mapping an invisible kitchen in her mind.) So the counter’s over there, right? Which means the fridge is there…(she gestures and knocks over a bowl of cherry tomatoes.) Oops! (giggles) One sec, I’ll clean that up!
(As she bends down, MICHEL enters. He stands behind LORELAI and clears his throat.)
Lorelai: (not turning around) Yes, Michel?
Michel: I understand that you are very busy with your little house drawings, but I would greatly appreciate it if you did not completely ignore your actual job.
Lorelai: Oh, poor Michel. Are you feeling neglected?
Michel:
No. (LORELAI smiles smirkily at him. He scowls.) Visualize my patience as being like a very thin layer of ice, which you are now treading upon with large, steel toed boots.
Lorelai
: (brightly) Okay! (He waits, staring angrily at her.) Phone call for me?
Michel: Yes. (He leaves.)
Lorelai: (half laughing) I think if he has to come get me once more, Michel will have a nervous breakdown and we’ll find him drooling on the reservation book.
Sookie: Come on, take pity on the guy. We have been extra distracted these last few weeks.
Lorelai: I know. (She hands SOOKIE the plans) Try to remember about the stove, okay?
Sookie: Okay.

(LORELAI walks out behind the counter and picks up the phone.)
Lorelai: Independence Inn, Lorelai speaking. (pause) Oh hi! We were just— (pause) Uh-huh. (Her face falls.) Okay, but you’ll still be— (pause) What? You can’t do that! (pause) Isn’t there anyone you can call? (pause) Look, I really can’t afford to...(pause) I see. (Pauses, then says quietly.) No, no, I’ll figure something out. Okay. Bye, then. (She puts down the phone, and stands there for a moment, looking lost.)

(LORELAI reenters the kitchen, looking close to tears, or panic. SOOKIE’s studying the floor plans.)
Sookie: (giggly) I figured it out! See, I was picturing the counter over there when it’s actually—(she sees LORELAI’s face) What’s wrong, sweetie?
Lorelai: (blankly) Um, that was the contractor on the phone. He said that—he said that he can’t do the renovation for the inn.
Sookie: (horrified) What?! How could this happen?!
Lorelai: (sitting down on a stool) Apparently he had a fight with his partner, they’ve dissolved the company, and he’s returning to the family business in Milwaukee.
Sookie: But what about us?! He can’t just up and leave!
Lorelai: Well, I tried to tell him that, but he started to cry so I dropped it. I mean, it’s not like we have the money to sue him or anything.
Sookie: So what are we going to do?
Lorelai: I have no idea. Anyone we could hire now would never be able to start in time. (She sighs.) I guess we’ll just have to open later.
Sookie: But then they won’t be able to put us in that book!
Lorelai: I know, but there’ll be other guide books.
Sookie: Not like that one! I had the menu all planned and everything!
Lorelai: I know you did, sweetie. (She tries to smile and fails. SOOKIE looks worried.)

(It’s drizzling as LORELAI crosses the town common and enters Luke’s. LUKE walks over and pours her a cup of coffee. She sits at the counter, looking depressed.)
Luke: What’s up?
Lorelai: I don’t want to talk about it.
Luke: Okay. (He starts to walk away.)
Lorelai: (slams down her mug) People can be so irresponsible! (LUKE turns around and comes back, leaning against the counter to listen.)
Luke: Why do you say that?
Lorelai: It’s the stupid contractor Sookie and I hired to renovate the inn! He just called and canceled, and now it’ll be weeks before we can find someone else to do it!
Luke: Well, don’t worry. I’m sure it’ll all get done eventually.
Lorelai: That’s the problem! There is no eventually!
Luke: What do you mean?
Lorelai: We got this incredible offer from a friend of Mia’s who’s writing a guidebook of New England inns. As a favor, Mia asked him to review us. (She takes a sip of the coffee.) And it would be perfect—it was his review that got the Independence Inn off the ground—but he has a deadline, and needs to have the review written in three weeks!
Luke: (surprised) Three weeks!
Lorelai: I know! (She takes another sip.) I hate people! They never do what they say they’re going to do!
Luke: Tell me about it! Jess was supposed to be here for his shift half an hour ago, but do you see him anywhere?
Lorelai: (suspicious) Jess isn’t here?
Luke: Of course not! (LORELAI sits up straight, watching him wide eyed.) I swear to God, someday I’m going to—
Lorelai: (sharply) You know what? I have to go! (She jumps up and leaves. LUKE watches her go.)

(La-las in background. Rory’s room. RORY and JESS are curled up together on her bed, each reading a book. RORY’s book is Survivor, JESS’s is Girl With a Pearl Earring. After a minute she puts down her book and studies him. He looks at her out of the corner of his eye, then raises an eyebrow.)
Rory: (smiles) How’s the book?
Jess: Good.
Rory: See? I told you.
(She picks up her book again. After a second of silence LORELAI comes charging through the door. RORY and JESS sit up and JESS scrambles to his feet.)
Lorelai: (furious) I can’t believe this!
Rory: Mom!
Jess: (Holding up his hands defensively) Lorelai, we were just reading, I swear.
Lorelai: (Turning her fury on him) You! Out!
Jess: Okay, I’m going. (He starts towards the door, and as he passes her she grabs his book.) Hey!
Lorelai: (Venomously) That’s my book! (He pauses.) Now get out! (JESS leaves, and she follows him out into the kitchen)

(RORY enters the kitchen and stands nervously in the doorway. LORELAI pours herself a cup of coffee without turning around.)
Rory: (pleading) Mom—
Lorelai: Don’t! I don’t want to hear it!
Rory: We were just reading!
Lorelai: Do I look like I care? (turns around, stirring her coffee furiously) I can’t believe you would deliberately disobey me like that!
Rory: I didn’t think you were serious about that rule!
Lorelai: Why? Why would you think that?!
Rory: Maybe because it seemed more like something your parents would have done! And I thought you were better than that! (Looks disgusted) I guess I was wrong!
Lorelai: Oh, that was low!
Rory: (angry now) Deservedly!
Lorelai: I am nothing like my parents!
(RORY shrugs and goes back into her room.)
Lorelai: (putting down her coffee and following her) Hey! I don’t have to take that from you! (RORY flops down on her bed.) Don’t you dare accuse me of being like my parents! You have no idea how good you have it with me!
Rory: (sitting up) You know what?!
Lorelai: What?!
Rory: I am so sick of hearing you talk about what a saint you are! Everyone keeps watching me like I’m going to screw up, but you’re the one who got pregnant at sixteen, not me!
Lorelai: Look, I may have screwed up, but don’t go knocking me too much, okay! You’re here because of my lapse of judgment!
Rory: That’s a stupid thing to hold over my head! I didn’t ask to be born, you know!
Lorelai: So what? I didn’t ask for you to be born, either!
(There’s a moment of stunned silence.)
Lorelai: Oh god, I—
Rory: (starting to cry) Get out!
Lorelai: Rory, I didn’t mean that!
Rory: Get out! Get out! (She forces LORELAI out the door and slams it.)
(LORELAI sits down at the table and starts to cry.)

(first commercial break)

(Emily and Richard’s dining room. Absolute quiet. EMILY and RICHARD are unnerved by the chilly silence emanating from RORY and LORELAI. EMILY shoots RICHARD an eyebrow message to say something.)
Richard: (clearing his throat) So, Rory! (RORY looks up as if coming out of a trance.) How’s school?
Rory: (Nods) Good. (She looks down again.)
Richard: That’s good. (He shrugs to EMILY.)
Emily: Lorelai, how are things going with your new inn? (RORY looks up.)
Lorelai: (swallows and forces a smile) Oh, great.
(RORY returns to picking halfheartedly at her dinner.)
Emily: (smiles) That’s wonderful. Isn’t that wonderful, Richard?
Richard: Yes, yes of course.
Emily: Have you started interviewing people yet?
Lorelai: Actually, yes.
Emily: And?
Lorelai: And, what?
Emily: Who have you hired?
Lorelai: (laughs a little) Oh, no one yet.
Emily: Why not?
Lorelai: Well, the first man we met with referred to himself as Jim throughout the interview.
Emily: So what?
Lorelai: His name was Eric.
Emily: Oh.
Lorelai: Actually, it only got worse from there. (EMILY sets down her fork.) After him we had a Cher look alike, a guy who tried to steal the tablecloth while we were sitting at the table, and a woman who I swear to god actually was the mother in “Psycho.”
Emily: So you didn’t hire anyone?
Lorelai: (sarcastically surprised) No, Mom, we didn’t. We would have, but we didn’t feel like cleaning up after every guest who got hacked to death in the shower.
Emily: I just don’t see how you’re going to be able to open this inn without employees.
Richard: Now, Emily, there’s still plenty of time to hire people. I’m sure Lorelai has this all thought out. (LORELAI looks like she feels sick.) Right, Lorelai?
Lorelai: (She’s shaken by lying to her daughter and her parents, but tries to smile.) Right. (She goes back to her meal and changes the subject.) The soufflé is delicious.
Emily: I’m glad.
Richard: Oh, Rory, I found that first edition of The Awakening we were talking about last week. Let me get it for you. (He rises and leaves.)
(There’s another awkward silence. LORELAI drains the last of her wine. The phone rings.)
Emily: I’ll get that. (She exits. LORELAI clears her throat; RORY looks up.)
Lorelai: (trying to be civil) So you’ve been awfully quiet this evening.
Rory: (bitingly hostile) I’m sorry, I didn’t know there was a conversation quota I was supposed to be meeting. Tell me, can I fill it with small talk, or does it have to be intelligent conversation?
Lorelai: Don’t talk to me like that. (RORY is silent; her face emotionless.) Look, yesterday was bad. Really bad. I didn’t—
(EMILY enters the room.)
Emily: It was just one of those telemarketers.
Rory: (coldly) I have to go to the bathroom. (Leaves.)
(EMILY pauses, then sits slowly, looking like she’s about to comment on the tense situation, but LORELAI cuts her off.)
Lorelai: What were they selling?
Emily: Who?
Lorelai: (deadpan) The Partridge Family.
Emily: What?
Lorelai: The telemarketer, Mom.
Emily: Oh. (Busily spreads her napkin in her lap.) Some new phone service. I hung up on them.
Lorelai: I usually just tell them I don’t have a phone. (She laughs, and EMILY smiles vaguely. There’s a pause.)
Emily: (Takes a sip of wine.) So what was that all about?
Lorelai: (avoiding the question) What was what all about?
Emily: You don’t have to lie to me. I know a fight when I see one.
Lorelai: (grimly) Just drop it, Mom, okay?
Emily: After all, it’s not like you and I didn’t have our share of arguments.
Lorelai: (muttering) You couldn’t let it go, could you?
Emily: I’m just saying, there’s no need to be ashamed of fighting with your daughter.
Lorelai: I think I need another glass of wine.
Emily: (suspicious) What are you hiding, Lorelai?
Lorelai: Nothing. I’m not hiding anything.
Emily: Is everything all right?
Lorelai: Of course everything’s all right. Why wouldn’t everything be all right?
Emily: You haven’t been yourself all evening.
Lorelai: (defensive) That’s not true.
Emily: Of course it is.
Lorelai: No, it’s not!
Emily: (shrugs sarcastically) Fine, it’s not true.
Lorelai: God! You can’t just let me be, can you?
Emily: (primly) Lorelai, you’re shouting.
Lorelai: (losing it) Every comment that comes out of your mouth is critical! (standing up) Would it kill you to be supportive? Or are you too busy celebrating the fact that my daughter hates me too?! (She storms out of the room.)
Emily: (dumbstruck) Lorelai! (Stands, places her napkin on the table, and chases after LORELAI.)
(In the front hall. LORELAI is pulling on her coat.)
Emily: Lorelai, please come sit down. You haven’t finished your meal.
Lorelai: I’m not hungry, okay? (opens the front door) Tell Rory I’m waiting in the car. (She goes out and slams the door.)

(LORELAI and RORY in the car, driving home. RORY stares out the window as they enter Stars Hollow.)
Rory: (suddenly) Grandma’s mad at you.
Lorelai: Oh, believe me, I know. The hatred’s just flooding in from all generations.
Rory: (under her breath) Not undeservedly.
(LORELAI brakes sharply and pulls over.)
Rory: What are you doing?!
Lorelai: Get out of the car.
Rory: What?
Lorelai: You heard me!
Rory: (gets out) You’re unbelievable.
(RORY slams the door, and LORELAI speeds off. Slowly, RORY crosses the street, hugging her coat around her.)
(LUKE is cleaning the counter of the empty diner. He looks up when RORY enters.)

Luke: Hey, you want some coffee? I can heat up what’s left in the pot.
Rory
: That’s okay. (She stands there awkwardly.)
Luke:
Your mom coming?
Rory:
No, she had... (vaguely) something else to do. (She quickly scans the diner.) Is Jess around?
Luke: He’s upstairs. (She starts up the stairs. He points his dish rag at her.) Five minutes. (She nods.)

(Upstairs. JESS is reading on his bed, wearing plaid pajama bottoms and a t-shirt with a picture of a rat that reads “Black Death: European tour 1347-1351.” He’s reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. RORY pushes open the door and he looks up. “Wild World” by Cat Stevens begins to play softly.)
Rory: Hey.
Jess: (sounding surprised) Hey.
(Slowly she walks over and curls up next to him. He pulls himself into more of an upright position to put an arm around her, and she tucks her head under his chin. With one hand he dog-ears his book and sets it down. She takes a deep breath and exhales, seeming to deflate completely.)
Jess: That bad, huh?
(She nods, face crumbling.)
Jess: (exhales) God. I’m sorry. (He kisses her hair, and she closes her eyes, holding onto his shirt with one hand.)
(Music crescendos on the chorus. Downstairs, LUKE checks his watch and sighs, exasperated. The camera cuts to him reaching the top of the staircase, opening the door to the apartment, and starting to enter. He then catches sight of RORY and JESS sitting on the bed. JESS is holding RORY while she cries. JESS looks up and sees LUKE. They watch each other warily for a minute, then LUKE nods and leaves, closing the door respectfully behind him. RORY doesn’t notice; JESS buries his face in her hair. Music decrescendos.)
(Downstairs again, LUKE picks up the phone and dials.)
Luke: (awkwardly) Hi, it’s Luke. How’s it going? (pause) Listen, I wanted to talk to you about an idea I had...
(Fade out on him talking on the phone.)

(LORELAI at the inn. She’s standing at the front desk tapping a pen on a legal pad. After a minute she makes an exasperated noise and leaves for the kitchen. Cut to the kitchen, where she pulls out an empty pot of coffee.)

Lorelai: (desperately) Sookie! (A man wearing a chef’s hat enters carrying a large pot.) Fletcher, where’s Sookie?
Fletcher: She’s not here. Is there a problem?
Lorelai: Yes, there’s no more coffee!
Fletcher: (worried) But the last breakfast seating was an hour ago.
Lorelai: Oh, you meant a problem with the inn. Right. I’ll go get coffee elsewhere.
(She leaves the kitchen and stops to talk to MICHEL at the front desk.)
Lorelai: Michel, do you know why Sookie’s not here?
Michel: No.
Lorelai: Okay. I’m going to Luke’s to get coffee, so if anyone calls, I’ll be back soon.
Michel: I could try to care less, although I’m not sure that it would be humanly possible. (LORELAI rolls her eyes.)

(LORELAI walks through a surprisingly empty center of town. “Townie Mischief” music plays. Miss Patty’s is closed, as is the market. She goes up to Luke’s and tries to open the door, but it’s locked. She looks surprised, then notices the note taped to the door.)
(Camera angle on the note. It reads: “The diner will be closed all week, possibly longer. Sorry for the inconvenience, but don’t bother complaining. P.S. Lorelai—come to the inn.”)
(Camera cuts to LORELAI driving down a road towards the inn. She turns onto a dirt road and travels for a moment, then hits the breaks. There’s a line of cars parked along the side of the road. She gazes for a moment, parks, gets out, and walks the rest of the way, looking bewildered by the cars. At the end of the road she stops dead.)
Lorelai: Oh my god...
(La-las play in the background. Camera pans across the grounds of the inn, where dozens of townspeople are working industriously, building, painting, etc. Fade out on LORELAI looking shocked.)

(Second commercial break.)

(LORELAI walks in a daze among the working townspeople, looking absolutely speechless. A couple of men go by carrying a long plank, and she barely gets out of their way in time. She goes around the side of the house, and the camera switches to show LUKE and TAYLOR arguing. LUKE’s holding a rolled up blueprint.)
Luke: (Gesturing with the roll of paper.) For the last time, Taylor! Sookie said specifically that they wanted cream paint in the dining room, not this— (gestures helplessly at the bucket TAYLOR’s holding) — purple stuff!
Taylor: (snippy) For your information, this is mauve!
Luke: It’s purple, Taylor! And we’re not using it! Now if you’ll just— (He catches sight of LORELAI and stops.)
Lorelai: (stunned) What’s going on?
Luke: Taylor, I’ll talk to you later. (TAYLOR makes a noise of annoyance and storms off. LUKE walks over to LORELAI.) What does it look like’s going on? We’re fixing the inn for you.
Lorelai: (Looking at him in amazement.) You’re fixing the inn for me?
Luke
: (embarrassed) It’s not a big deal.
Lorelai: Not a big deal? Luke, there must be fifty people here!
Luke: (shrugs) Everyone wanted to help.
Lorelai: But what about the diner?
Luke: (a little defensive) So it’s closed for a few days, so what? I needed a vacation anyway.
Lorelai: Luke, rebuilding my inn isn’t a vacation!
Luke: I don’t mind. Why should you?
Lorelai: Because I feel bad! (trying to explain) This is my problem, not yours.
Luke: (annoyed by her reaction) Look, are you saying you want me to stop?
Lorelai: No, that’s not—
Luke: Because I can tell everyone to go home. Just say the word.
Lorelai: (reproachfully) That wasn’t what I meant.
Luke: Fine. What did you mean?
(LORELAI stares at him stubbornly for a second.)
Lorelai: I meant— (She stops herself, looking for a moment like she’s about to cry.) This means so much to me, Luke. (She gives him a watery smile.) Thank you. (She hugs him. It takes him a moment to return the hug, and he pulls away quickly.)
Luke: (gruffly) Well, I—Taylor’s getting ready to mutiny, so unless you want a pink kitchen, I should get back to work.
Lorelai: (laughs) By all means, hurry. (Neither of them move.) Okay. I’m going to go home and change, but I’ll be back soon. (She turns around and walks back towards her car. LUKE watches her go, then turns and walks up the steps into the house.)

(LORELAI returns, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. She makes her way through the crowd and into the inn.)
(RORY is painting the wall of the lobby sky blue. She sees LORELAI enter, puts down her roller and leaves quickly. LORELAI walks up to BABETTE and MOREY. BABETTE is painting the trim by the floor; MOREY is painting the ceiling. BABETTE sees LORELAI.)
Babette: Hey, doll. How’s it going?
Lorelai: Hi, Babette. (She looks around the room, which is already half painted.) This looks great!
Babette: Oh thanks. Luke put me and Morey in charge after Taylor tried to hide the blue paint.
Lorelai: Thank god. (She puts a hand on BABETTE’s shoulder.) I want to thank you two so much for helping.
Babette: Oh, it’s no problem, sweetie. Me and Morey wanted to help. Isn’t that right, Morey?
Morey: Yep.
Babette: Listen, I was saying to Rory that I felt just sick when I heard about what happened to you. The nerve of that man, just canceling on you like that!
Lorelai: Rory’s here?
Babette: Sure, she was painting right beside us a minute ago. (looks around) Where’d she go? (yells) Rory, sweetie!
Lorelai: It’s fine, Babette. I’m sure I’ll run into her later. (She starts backing away.) I think I’m going to go check on the other rooms now. (She leaves. BABETTE nods and smiles.)

(LORELAI enters the kitchen to see SOOKIE holding a drill over an unfinished counter. SOOKIE sees LORELAI and startles. LORELAI steps back and knocks over a pile of wood leaning against the wall. There’s a huge crash.)
Sookie: Oops!
Jackson: (off camera) What happened?!(running up) Sookie, I told you to be careful!
Sookie: I’m sorry!
Lorelai: (to JACKSON) You let her have a drill?!
Jackson: (confidentially) It’s not actually plugged in.
Sookie: It really isn’t! See? (She tries to demonstrate, and the drill starts up. LORELAI takes a step backwards in alarm.)
Random Guy: (off camera) Sorry! Wrong extension cord!
Jackson: Hey, what did I tell you about the blue cord?!(walks off towards the random guy) You never, ever plug in the blue cord!
(SOOKIE carefully sets down the drill.)
Lorelai: (trying to figure things out) So, you knew about all this?
Sookie: Ooh, that’s right! You didn’t know! When did you get here? Were you surprised? (She grabs LORELAI’s arm.) Hey, you’re not mad, are you?
Lorelai: No, I’m not mad. Shocked, maybe. Was this your idea?
Sookie: No, Luke’s. He called last night to ask for my permission. And the blueprints.
Lorelai: Wow. (She looks around thoughtfully.) I can’t believe he’d do this for us. (SOOKIE shoots her a look.) What?
Sookie: (chidingly) Oh, sweetie.
Lorelai: Why are you looking at me like that?
Sookie: (Leans against the counter, lowering her voice.) Luke didn’t do this for me. He did it for you!
Lorelai: (dismissing the idea) Sookie... (She starts to walk around the kitchen, pretending to inspect the counters.)
Sookie: (following) How long is it going to take you to figure this out?
Lorelai: I don’t know what you’re talking about! (She refuses to look SOOKIE in the eye.)
Sookie: Lorelai, everything he does is for you! He hears you’re in trouble, and he’s there for you, every time, no questions asked!
Lorelai: He’s a good friend.
Sookie: Please! Even I’m not that good!
Lorelai: You know what? I’m going to go check on the construction outside.
Sookie: Will you at least admit I’m right?
Lorelai: No, I won’t, because you’re not. (She exits. SOOKIE starts to follow, but catches herself on the newly stacked pile of wood, knocking it down again.)
(Cut to LORELAI exiting the kitchen.)
Sookie: (off-camera) Sorry! I’m sorry! I’ll pick that up!
(LORELAI shakes her head and smiles.)

(Outside. Camera pans across people painting the outside of the inn, fixing the back steps, planting bushes. KIRK is standing in front of LUKE with a pile of boards, looking angry.)
Luke: These are too short.
Kirk: No they’re not.
Luke: (annoyed) Kirk, I asked for boards that were five feet long. As in sixty inches. Did you even measure these?
Kirk: (blinking angrily) Those are sixty inches. And I measured twice.
Luke: You measured twice?
Kirk: Measure twice, cut once, that’s my motto.
Luke: Nice motto, but you measured wrong.
Kirk: No, I didn’t.
Luke: Yes, you did!
Kirk: No, I didn’t!
(LUKE adjusts his cap, pulls out a tape measurer, and kneels by one of the pieces of wood. He measures the board, then snaps back the tape measurer and stands up.)
Luke: You measured twice, huh?
Kirk: I measured twice.
Luke: It’s only 23.6 inches.
Kirk: No it’s not! (He kneels down and measures the board using his own tape measurer.) See? sixty inches exactly!
Luke: (trying to patient) That’s a metric tape measurer, Kirk. You measured in centimeters.
Kirk: What?! (He looks at it.) They told me it wasn’t a metric one this time!
Luke: (looks surprised) You couldn’t tell?
Kirk: (angrily) I have astigmatism!
(KIRK stomps off. LUKE tosses the short board on a scrap pile, and when a man grabs the board out of the pile the camera follows him as he joins the end of a line. Every person in the line looks bored or annoyed, and at the front of the line, ANDREW, the bookstore guy, is arguing with MRS. KIM.)
Andrew: I told you I need six screws.
Mrs. Kim: Everybody gets five. Next! (ANDREW refuses to move.)
Andrew: But I need six!
Mrs. Kim: Can’t have six.
Andrew: Why not?
Mrs. Kim: (firmly) Everybody gets five! No more!
Andrew: But the wood won’t hold without six screws!
Mrs. Kim: That your problem! Not mine!
Andrew: When Luke put you in charge of supplies I don’t think he meant—
Mrs. Kim: You have five screws, yes?
Andrew: (reluctantly) Yes.
Mrs. Kim: You don’t need nails? Hammer? Board?
Andrew: No.
Mrs. Kim: If you don’t need anything else, please leave!
Andrew: What I need is one more screw!
Mrs. Kim: Next! (to ANDREW) No! No more screws!
(ANDREW walks away. The woman behind him leaves the supply area carrying a hammer and the camera follows her around the side of the house, where MISS PATTY is standing behind a group of men lowering a ladder from the side of the house.)
Miss Patty: (giving instructions) Good, good—now don’t drop it! (The men struggle with the heavy ladder, but she makes no move to help them.) Treat it as you would a fainting lady; lower her gently to the ground. (She gesture with her cigarette.) My, what a strong group of men. I hope you’ll be nearby if I have one of my fainting spells. Delicate constitution, you know.
Lorelai: (walking up) Hey, Patty.
Miss Patty: (turning around) Lorelai! You’re finally here!
Lorelai: (smiling) Yes, yes I am. I—
Miss Patty: When Luke called me last night I was so glad to be able to help.
Lorelai: Yeah. Anyway—
Miss Patty: (lowers her voice) You did know that Luke organized this?
Lorelai: Yes, I did.
Miss Patty: Very nice of him.
Lorelai: Yes. It was.
Miss Patty: I wouldn’t object to him organizing something on my behalf.
Lorelai: Okay...Look, I just wanted to thank you for spreading the word about this. We never would’ve recruited this many people without your help.
Miss Patty: Oh, it was no problem, dear. Anything I can do to help.
Lorelai: That means so much to us. Really. (She smiles.) Thanks, Patty, I’ll see you later.
Miss Patty: ‘Bye!

(RORY is painting the lobby again. She looks up and watches LUKE give instructions to some man wearing a carpenter’s tool belt. He notices her and walks over.)
Luke: (appraisingly) This looks good.
Rory: Yeah. It’s a nice color. (She continues painting.)
Luke: (He waits a beat, looking like he’s debating whether or not to say something.) So Jess told me what happened. (RORY stops and looks at him.) With you and your mom, I mean. (She nods, expression unreadable, and bends down to put new paint on the roller.) How are you holding up?
(RORY closes her eyes for a moment, then stands up.)
Rory: (abruptly) I’m fine.
Luke: Okay, good. I mean, good that you’re fine, not that you had a fight.
Rory: Right.
Luke: (uncomfortably) I’m going to go now. (He stops.) Hey—if you need to talk, I’m, you know...
Rory: (smiles) Thanks. (She returns to painting.)

(LORELAI walks along the front porch and passes JESS, who’s drilling in a new support on the railing. He looks up as she goes past, then puts down his drill and follows her determinedly.)
Jess: Lorelai!
Lorelai: (turns around) What?
Jess: I wanted to talk to you.
Lorelai: (She studies him appraisingly.) So talk.
Jess: I just want to apologize for the other day.
Lorelai: (not buying it) Right.
Jess: We were just reading.
Lorelai: Yeah, you said that already.
Jess: But you don’t believe me.
Lorelai: (coldly) No, I believe you.
Jess: So what’s the problem?!
Lorelai: The problem is that Rory broke the rules.
Jess: (crosses his arms skeptically) Really?
Lorelai: Yes! She knew I didn’t want the two of you alone in the house together, but she did it anyway!
Jess: So that’s really what you’re upset about? Rory breaking the rules?
Lorelai: Yes!
Jess: (appraisingly) Because it sure doesn’t seem that way to me. It seems like this is more about you not liking me, and taking it out on Rory.
Lorelai: Well, you’re wrong. This is between me and Rory, not you and me.
Jess: Are you sure? (He takes a step towards LORELAI, so they’re face to face.) I think that’s exactly what this is.
Lorelai: (furious, but takes a step back) You have some nerve!
Jess: (shrugs) I’m just calling it like I see it!
Lorelai: I didn’t ask for your opinion!
Jess: No. But that’s never stopped me before. (He turns his back on her and walks off.)

(Sad la-las in background. LORELAI walks in through the inn’s front door to the lobby. Unhappily she watches RORY painting, chatting with MOREY and laughing. RORY feels her watching and turns around and meets LORELAI’s gaze. RORY looks pained and after a second turns away. LORELAI goes back outside and sits on the front steps. Fade to black.)

(Third commercial break)

(RORY’s in an unfinished bathroom, washing a bunch of paintbrushes in a utility sized sink. JESS enters, and she makes room for him as he grabs a paintbrush and runs it under the water. They stand in silence, shoulders touching while they work. JESS tests his paintbrush against the side of the sink, checking to see if the water’s running clear. He tosses the clean brush into an empty bucket harder than necessary.)
Rory: (surprised) What’s the matter?
Jess: (He braces his hands on the edge of the sink and looks at her sideways.) Your mom. Has she always been that stubborn?
Rory: (alarmed) What did you say to her?
Jess: Nothing. (He shakes out a paintbrush, spattering himself with water. RORY hands him a rag.)
Rory: (warningly) Jess.
Jess: Okay, I might have said something. (He wipes his face with the cloth and goes to sit against the closed door.)
Rory: Like what? (She sits beside him.)
Jess: I can’t really remember. (She shoots him a look.) Something about how...she didn’t like me and was just taking out her anger on you. (RORY closes her eyes, upset.) Was that so bad?
Rory: It sure didn’t help our case.
Jess: (exasperated) What would you have me say?
Rory: (upset) I don’t know! But being polite normally works.
Jess: Normally works? Are you, by any chance, referring to Dean?
Rory: (embarrassed) Maybe.
Jess: So you’re saying I should be more like Dean?
Rory: No! It’s just— (she falters) my mom liked him. And I liked her liking him.
Jess: (caustically) Well, that’s sweet!
Rory: Jess—
Jess: No, this is stupid! (He stands up.) If your mom doesn’t like me, that’s her problem! I’m not going to morph into some creepy perfect boyfriend just to win her approval!
Rory: (stands up) That’s not what I meant!
Jess: Well, what did you mean?
Rory: (explosively) I just meant that I can’t stand having the two most important people in my life hate each other! (She tries to calm down and explain.) I know that you’re nothing like Dean and I wasn’t asking you to change! I was just asking you to make an effort to be nice to my mom. (She studies him nervously.) That’s all.
(JESS slowly uncrosses his arms, and RORY looks relieved.)
Jess: (gruffly) Well, if that was all you meant...
Rory: It was.
(She walks forward until they’re face to face. He waits a moment, studying her eyes, then kisses her. As she wraps her arms around his neck, he reaches behind her and locks the door.)

(Cut to RORY trying to exit the bathroom surreptitiously. She’s carrying a bucket full of clean brushes. As she turns a corner LANE nearly knocks her over.)
Rory: (caught off guard) Lane!
Lane: Hey! Where have you been hiding?
Rory: (too quickly) Nowhere!
Lane: (confused by her reaction) Okay...
Rory: (changes the subject) Did you just get here?
Lane: Yeah. See, I wanted to come earlier, but my mom made me stay home and watch the store.
Rory: Well, you’re here now.
Lane: (cheerfully) The second she walked in the door I came straight here.
Rory: Great. We’re almost done with painting the living room. (They start walking in that direction.) Did you bring music?
Lane: Do you even have to ask? (She opens her shoulder bag and starts pulling out CDs.) I’ve got Billy Joel, the Grateful Dead, Michael Jackson before someone stole his face...
Rory: Bruce Springsteen?
Lane: Of course! What’s painting without “Born in the U.S.A.”?
Rory: Enough said! (opens a CD player sitting in the lobby) What do you want to play first?
Lane: Well, I’ve been dying to listen to this homemade CD I found in a used music store in Hartford. Get this: Bob Dylan playing with The Band! On one album!
Rory: Wow! That’s incredible!
Lane: I know! I never thought I’d find a copy!
Rory: The only problem is, (lowers her voice) I’m not sure how it’ll go over with this crowd.
Lane: (makes a face) You’re probably right. How about...(searches her bag) “Rubber Soul”?
Rory: Much better.
(LANE puts in the CD. “Drive my Car” by the Beatles starts playing. MOREY turns around.)
Morey: Nice choice.
Lane: Thanks! (She picks up a brush and starts painting the trim beside RORY.) So how are things with you and Lorelai?
Rory: Bad.
Lane: Do you want to talk about it?
Rory: Not really.
Lane: Okay. (waits a beat) So how are things with Jess?
Rory: (smiles shyly) Still good.
Lane: Do you want to elaborate?
Rory: (smugly) Nope.
Lane: Oh, so that’s where you were earlier.
Rory: (embarrassed) Lane! God, imagine if Miss Patty overheard you!
Lane: Don’t worry, she’s outside flirting with the plumber.
Rory: Good.
Lane: Come on! Tell me every steamy little detail!
Rory: (mock offended) Excuse me, nothing about it was steamy!
Lane: Nothing?
(RORY grins slyly, and LANE laughs.)

(Later. LORELAI enters the lobby carrying a clipboard. She looks around for RORY, sees her painting beside LANE, and walks over.)
Lorelai: Hey, how’s it going?
(Both girls turn around to look at her.)
Lane: Great! We’re almost finished with the trim.
(RORY puts more paint on her brush and goes back to work.)
Lorelai: (writing on her clipboard) Wonderful. Can I put you two in charge painting the bedrooms tomorrow?
Lane: (brightly) Sure.
(SOOKIE enters the room.)
Sookie: Okay, I have an announcement! (People stop painting to listen.) Because everybody has been so wonderful about helping out, we’re serving a complimentary picnic dinner on the back lawn. Everyone’s welcome so please, come eat! (People start to stand up, clean up painting supplies, and filter out of the room.)
Lorelai: (calling out) I’d hurry, because the construction crew looked like the extras from “Endurance”!
(The room empties out.)
Sookie: (comes over) Do you need help cleaning up in here?
Lorelai: Oh, no, I’ll take care of this. You go eat.
Sookie: Thanks, sweetie. (She leaves.)
(As RORY passes LORELAI, she reaches out to grab RORY’s sleeve.)
Lorelai: Hold on a second.
Rory: What?
Lorelai: I think we need to talk. (RORY makes a face, but she allows LORELAI to pull her over to the staircase to sit down. LORELAI tries awkwardly to begin.) So, it was nice of you to show up and help out.
Rory: (shrugs) I did it for Sookie.
Lorelai: (stung) Right. Okay, I’ll make this quick. (She pushes her hair back.) I had a bad day on Thursday. The inn thing fell apart, I was stressed, and I took it out on you. I didn’t mean what I said, and I’m sorry about it.
Rory: (coldly) Great. Apology accepted. Can we go eat now?
Lorelai: No, I need to know we’re okay first.
Rory: (impatient) We’re okay!
Lorelai: Are you sure? Because I have spent the last forty-eight hours wracked with guilt about what I said to you. (pause) Having you was the best thing to ever happen to me. Period.
(RORY is silent.)
Lorelai: Rory? (She brushes RORY’s hair back behind her ear.) Would you say something?
Rory: Does this whole apology extend to Jess too? (LORELAI pulls her hand back.)
Lorelai: (looks away) My rules still stand.
Rory: That’s not fair.
Lorelai: I don’t care if you think it’s fair; that’s how it’s going to be.
Rory: Why are you doing this?
Lorelai: Because I don’t trust Jess.
Rory: You don’t even know him!
Lorelai: Yeah, but I know his type.
Rory: His type?!
Lorelai: Yeah! The type who hangs around after you break up with your boyfriend, just waiting to make his move while you’re still vulnerable.
Rory: Is that what you think happened?! That he took advantage of me?
Lorelai: Uh, guys have been known to do things like that.
Rory: (stands up) Dean and I broke up over a month before Jess and I got together! And I made the first move, not him!
Lorelai: That doesn’t mean he won’t try to take advantage of you in the future!
Rory: If you knew Jess, you wouldn’t think that!
Lorelai: Fine, what would I think if I knew him?
Rory: You’d think that realize he’s smart, and he’s funny, and really trustworthy! Just because he doesn’t make a wonderful first impression, he’s still an good person!
(LORELAI looks away, shaking her head. Her expression says she’s heard it all before.)
Rory: (slowly) I need for my relationship with you to be separate from my relationship with Jess.
Lorelai: (flatly) That’s impossible.
Rory: Why not?
Lorelai: Because I care about what happens to you. And that’s not going to change.
Rory: (crosses her arms) You know I’m not going to stop dating him.
Lorelai: (sighs) I know.
Rory: And you’re okay with that?
Lorelai: No. But it doesn’t look like I have a choice, do I?
(RORY’s look softens. She doesn’t smile, but the tension eases. SOOKIE comes in.)
Sookie: Hey, are you two coming?
Lorelai: (looks at RORY) Yeah. (She stands up.) Let’s leave this mess for later.

(RORY, SOOKIE, and LORELAI walk out onto the back lawn. The setting is lit in the early evening light, and people are ranged across the lawn, eating and talking. LANE comes running over.)
Lane: There you are! Come on, I saved you a seat! (She pulls RORY away.)
(SOOKIE and LORELAI walk slowly among the eating people. LORELAI takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, sounding content.)
Sookie: What are you thinking?
Lorelai: I’m thinking...that I feel sort of like Kelly McGillis in “Witness.” (She smiles at herself.)
Sookie: You’re Amish?
Lorelai: (confused) No.
Sookie: Evil cops want to kill your kid?
Lorelai
: (laughs) No. (She stops walking.) Remember that scene where the whole community comes together to build a barn?
Sookie: (not getting it) Yeah?
Lorelai: Well, that’s what this feels like.
Sookie: Oh! (She waits a beat.) So do you get to kiss Harrison Ford at the end?
Lorelai: (starts walking again) I wish!
Sookie: I know who you could kiss.
Lorelai: Who?
Sookie: A certain diner owner who’s sitting over there. (Camera shows LUKE sitting by himself on a blanket.)
Lorelai: Sookie, I told you—hey, where’s Kirk taking that plate of salami?
Sookie: What? (turns to look then hurries off) Kirk! Don’t you dare!
(LORELAI waits for a minute, watching her go, then turns and walks over to LUKE.)
Lorelai: Hey, is this seat taken?
Luke: (looking up at her) Do you see someone sitting there?
Lorelai: Maybe. (He rolls his eyes, so she sits down.) Why are you sitting here apart from everyone else?
Luke: It’s quieter. Well, that and if I had to hear Taylor complaining about paint colors for another minute I was going to beat him to death with a roller.
Lorelai: (laughs) Good call. We don’t want any bloodshed. (They sit for a moment in silence.) The inn looks really beautiful, doesn’t it?
Luke: The front steps are crooked. They make the whole place look terrible.
Lorelai: They give it character.
Luke: It looks sloppy.
Lorelai: It looks perfect, Luke.
Luke: Fine, I’ll leave the steps. Just don’t blame me when you get sued.
Lorelai: Oh, I won’t. (She glances over at him and smiles.) Luke?
Luke: (gruffly) What?
Lorelai: Thank you.
Luke: You said that already. Earlier.
Lorelai: I know. (shifts uncomfortably) Can I ask you a question?
Luke: I’m listening.
Lorelai: Why did you do this?
Luke: What do you mean?
Lorelai: I mean, why’d you go to all this trouble for us?
Luke: You needed the help. I knew how to help. (He shrugs.)
Lorelai: So you did it because you’re my friend.
Luke: Right. (looks at her sideways) Why?
Lorelai: Oh, Sookie thought there might be another reason you were helping us.
Luke: Like what?
Lorelai: (lying) I have no idea. (She looks away, unaware that he’s studying her. She catches sight of JESS sitting across the lawn, sipping a bottle of soda.) Can I ask you another question?
Luke: Would it stop you if I said no?
Lorelai: What do you think of Jess?
Luke: Jess?
Lorelai: Yes. Your nephew?
Luke: I know who he is, thank you. (He thinks for a minute.) I like him.
Lorelai: Really?
Luke: He’s a good kid. Smart too, once you get past the sarcasm.
Lorelai: So you think I should give him a chance?
Luke: I think...it would be better if I didn’t answer that question.
Lorelai: You’re no help.
Luke: The question is, does Rory like him?
Lorelai: Yes.
Luke: And do you normally trust her judgment?
Lorelai: (resignedly) You think I should listen to what Rory says about him.
Luke: Hey, I didn’t say anything.
Lorelai: But it’s what you think. (He just looks at her.)
(She looks away and her smile fades to a look of worried contemplation. “Call and Answer” by the Barenaked Ladies begins playing. She glances over to where JESS is sitting.)
(RORY walks up behind him and stands with her knees against his back. He tilts his head backwards to look at her. They both grin and exchange a few unheard words. RORY’s holding a paper plate with cake on it, and she carefully settles cross-legged beside him. He reaches over and swipes a finger of frosting. RORY tries to hit him, but drops the cake instead. He laughs, and lies down on the grass.)
(Cut to LORELAI looking troubled.)
(JESS is gesturing, one arm bent beneath his head, explaining some unheard point. RORY laughs, places a hand on his sternum, and leans over to kiss him. He pushes himself up on an elbow to meet her, his other hand against her face.)
(LORELAI’s face softens. RORY looks up and sees her mother staring. LORELAI looks away, then down, her face pensive.)

(End credits)

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