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i dream of blanket forts

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“What’s that thing you always wanted as a kid but never got?” Lorelai asks one night while they’re lounging on the couch in the glow of the TV.

“Peace and quiet.”

“It’s just me here, Sir Grumps-a-Lot. It’s okay to be a little off-brand.”

“Can you imagine growing up with Liz? She’s really calmed down in adulthood, by the way.”

“Well, okay. Fair.” Lorelai ruffles Paul Anka’s ears and stares dreamily into the distance. “I wanted a blanket fort.”

Luke looks over at her in surprise. “You never had a blanket fort?”

“When you think of Richard and Emily Gilmore’s Guide to Parenting, does the phrase ‘blanket fort’ factor anywhere into that concept?”

“No, I guess not.”

“Every time I would try to build one, my mother would thwart me with a fun lecture about how I wasn’t a hobo or part of a traveling circus. And the nannies were no help; they’d totally freak at the thought of my mother seeing what I’d done, and they’d take those suckers down and fold ‘em neatly and put ‘em away.”

“The fact that there were nannies, plural, makes it seem like they were right to be afraid.”

“Oh, they were absolutely right to be afraid. But couldn’t at least one of them have sacrificed her livelihood to make a blanket-fort-deprived kid’s dream come true?”

“You probably shouldn’t hold it against them.”

“I bet you were a good blanket fort architect.”

“I was more into camping,” Luke says. “You know. Tents.”

“Tents?” Lorelai gives him her judgiest look.

“Tents.” No reaction to her judgment. The man is totally straight-faced.

“Ugh. Who likes tents more than blanket forts? The only time I’m pro-tents is when you’re stitching them together for my daughter’s goodbye party in a gesture so profoundly wonderful that the Stars Hollow Gazette called it, quote, ‘proof that Lorelai Gilmore should lock that down immediately.’”

“Think about it. What’s the point of a blanket fort? You’re already inside.”

“You’re just trying to make me feel like I didn’t miss out on blanket forts,” Lorelai says, poking his chest affectionately. “Which you can’t, by the way. This wound is deep and eternal.”

“This seems like a good time to remind you that our planet is burning and there’s a bunch of bozos running the country into the ground.”

“Are you trying to force me to have perspective about my objectively very privileged upbringing?”

Luke shrugs innocently.

Unbelievable,” Lorelai tuts.

 

+

 

Predictably, Lorelai comes home from The Dragonfly a few days later to find their living room transformed into the blanket fort of dreams. Every single blanket they own has been co-opted into the cause, plus a few that she doesn’t recognize.

“Luke?” she calls.

“You’ll have to meet us in here,” comes his muffled voice from somewhere inside the fort.

“Please tell me ‘us’ isn’t you and Kirk.”

“Paul Anka. He either loves it or hates it. I can’t tell yet. Either way, he won’t budge.”

She gets down on her hands and knees -- which is, depressingly, a slightly more painful process than it used to be -- and crawls into the fort. There are fairy lights strung up all throughout, turning the darkness cozy and warm. (Real Stars Hollow men know how to hang fairy lights.)

She finds her boys hanging out on a magnificent pile of pillows in the heart of the fort. Luke is crouched down beside Paul Anka, whose tail thumps at the sight of Lorelai.

“You do know we’re married now, right?” Lorelai says. “You’re supposed to start disappointing me instead of making all my most ridiculous and extremely specific lifelong dreams come true.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Good,” Lorelai says, settling in with him and Paul Anka in the pillow nest of dreams. In a stage whisper, she adds, “Not really, though, right?”

“Nah,” Luke says, putting his arm around her. “Where’s the fun in that?”