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Cookies and Conversations

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Rory looks at the ingredients spread out on the kitchen table, and then at Paris.

"You were serious?"

"I never joke about hamentaschen, Rory."

Rory's known Paris since they were both fifteen, and even after all these years, she's still not sure sometimes whether Paris is joking or not.

"This was my mother's recipe," she says, unfolding an old, creased, and stained sheet of loose leaf paper. Rory raises a skeptical eyebrow. "Okay, it was Nanny's mother's recipe. She used to make them for me, and read me the megillah before I was old enough to read it myself."

"Are you going to read it to me this year?"

"Don't I always?"

Rory nods.

"Maybe next year at this time, we could read it to our kid."

Rory freezes, shocked, and looks up at Paris, who is staring determinedly at the bag of flour on the table. "Our kid?"

"I was thinking it was time."

"Paris?"

"It's an off year in the election cycle, so you'll be home more, and I--" Paris dumps a cup of flour into the big Pyrex bowl. "I have a lot of vacation time saved up. In fact, HR is constantly asking me when I'm going to start using some of my vacation time." Another cup of flour joins the one in the bowl, sending a puff of white dust up into the air. "I can use that to extend my maternity leave, and then maybe join a local practice."

"I--Paris, are you sure?" They'd talked about it on and off over the years, but their schedules had never really opened up, and Rory sometimes thinks that maybe they just weren't meant to have kids, that they're too set in their ways now to be that crazy and selfless.

"No, but I'm sure that I'll never be sure unless we try, so," she takes a deep breath, "I think we should. And this is a great opportunity. I talked to Dr. Carton, and he's looking to retire in a year or two. He's willing to take me on, so I can get to know his patients, and maybe take over when he retires."

"You want to move back to Stars Hollow?"

"It seems like a good place to raise a kid." Paris finally looks up and meets Rory's gaze. Her eyes are bright, and Rory feels the sting of tears in response. "I mean, you turned out all right. And as much as I loved Nanny, I don't want our kid to be raised by someone else."

Rory leans over and gives her a kiss, then tucks an errant strand of hair behind her ear. "Okay, then," she says. "I'll make an appointment with Dr. Kourtakis."

Paris smiles, and Rory kisses her again. "Uh-uh," Paris says, pulling back. "We have baking to do. I won't let you distract me."

Rory laughs and starts reading through the recipe. "This is a little more complicated than I was expecting," she says.

"We're two brilliant, well-educated women," Paris says. "How hard could it be?"

Two hours later, they have three trays of inedible hamentaschen, and Rory's on the phone to Sookie, begging for help.

"Cookies aren't babies, Rory," Paris says. "I refuse to believe this is some kind of omen."

Rory can't stop laughing. "I know that. I'm not worried. And anyway, we'll always have my Mom and Luke and Sookie and Jackson to help us out."

Even Paris finds that comforting.

end

~*~