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The Lady with the Lamp (day 2)

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"Here's your pillow, and your neck pillow, and your scented eye pillow, and a bag of Double Stuf Oreos and a glass of cucumber water just like you're in a spa and your copies of US Weekly and People from 2006 for some reason, just like you're in a spa several years ago."

"Thank you," Lorelai said weakly, "you are a good daughter to return to your mother in her old age, to load me up with comforts and supplies before abandoning me to my fate. Your reward will be – wait, is this cucumber water? I'm sorry, I read that cucumber water was out of fashion these days, only the saddest most out-of-touch aging socialites and D-listers drink cucumber water at their spas, I think even the Jersey Shore girls insist on something a little more up to date. But if I must struggle on with cucumber water, then I suppose I must. I suppose I won't even notice as I fade slowly into the long sleep. And by long sleep I mean death, obviously, I mean I'm not going to somehow fade into a Raymond Chandler novel. Though how cool would that be – the clothes alone, and also I've always thought I would make kind of a snappy dame, the kind that could kill you with a look or with a .45 –"

"Give me the water back," Rory said. "Man. You are pathetic when you're laid up. Also you mean The Big Sleep. Or The Long Goodbye. Or – never mind. I will bring you – what type of water do you want?"

"Entertainment Weekly says mint water," Lorelai said. "Or wait, was it lavender? I can't remember. But let's go with mint, because I don't want the inside of my mouth to smell like your grandmother's underwear drawer."

"Oh my god, never say that again. Mint it is," Rory said, and headed into the kitchen.

"It's taking an awfully long time in there," Lorelai hollered after her. "Have you abandoned me to my fate already? That's kind of shady behavior, sneaking out the back door leaving me here talking to myself, like a crazy lady. That's doubly shady, actually, because not only are you abandoning me to die alone, you're making it so that if anyone does come find me by some strange mischance, or, more likely, investigating the smell after I've been alone for days, they won't even rescue me, they'll just send me away to some asylum and when I tell people I'm not crazy, they'll just smile sadly and raise their eyebrows knowingly at each other, because what sounds crazier than somebody saying they're not crazy? Oh thank god, you're back, I thought –"

"For the record," Rory said, "I have been here less than two hours and in that time thirteen people have come to visit or check up on you or bring you old magazines or deliver cookies. Delicious cookies, by the way –"

"Hey, don't eat a dying woman's cookies!"

"You're not dying. You're not even close. Unless, of course, you keep up the abandoning you talk, in which case I'm not sure I can be held responsible for my actions –"

"Did you bring my mint water?"

"It's right here. You didn't have any mint in the kitchen but I found a peppermint patty and dunked it in the bottom so that will have to do."

Lorelai tasted it and then smacked her lips. "Perfect. You are truly an angel of mercy. Wait, is that the kind of nurse like Florence Nightingale, or the kind that kills you in your sleep? You're the first kind, if you were wondering."

"Oh, I was," Rory said. She walked into the front hall and Lorelai leaned over the couch.

"Where are you going? Is it abandoning time already?"

"I'm getting my bag from the car," Rory said. "I told you fifteen times already, I'm staying till you're feeling better."

"Are you sure? I mean, you have a big important job and a boyfriend and a life in the city, I don't want to bother you. You know how much I hate to be a bother, after all –"

"I know, it's your worst nightmare," Rory said. "Did I tell you I have an US Weekly from this calendar year in my car with your name on it?"

"You are an angel of mercy," Lorelai said, falling back onto her pillows on the couch. "I can just see you with your lamp."