There's the Rub. Wee Spoilers, PG13, LL, Complete.
Lorelai cringed. Why was there a bright light shining in her face?
Oh, right. It comes back to her: She has been asleep face down on her
She slowly opens her eyes and squints at the morning light shining through
the window. She raises her head slowly and moans at the spasm in her neck.
Ouch. She reaches her fingers back to tentatively rub the tight spot, then
sits up and looks around.
Not again, she thinks. I have fallen asleep on this table three nights in a
row, and I'm still not finished.
She reaches over and switches the sewing machine light off, and picks up
the sheer dotted swiss she had been working with when she crashed, folds it
carefully and puts it back on the table.
Then the doorbell rang.
Jeez, what time is it, anyway? she wondered as she plodded heavily to the
door. She glanced up at the wall clock on the way: 8:30. Too early, she
She pulled the door open and blinked again at the light: It was Luke.
"If you have coffee, I will bear your children," she told him.
Luke looked at her: Her curls were astray. She was wearing a tight blue
tank top (no bra, he tried not to notice in an obvious way) and striped
cotton drawstring pants. He'd obviously just awakened her.
"I have coffee." he told her.
"Then come in and have your way with me, but I warn you that I am frankly
too tired to notice." she said as she grabbed the to-go cup from him and
turned to go back in, assuming he would follow.
"Well, tempting as that proposition is, I am here on business." he told
her, and followed her into the kitchen. She sat back down at the sewing
"Ok, but not monkey business. I get it." Lorelai closed her eyes and drank
deeply of the coffee, moaning her appreciation.
Luke shifted uncomfortably as he watched her. Change the subject, before it
gets weird, he thinks.
"What have you been up to?" he said looking around the kitchen.
"No good, I can assure you."
"I wouldn't have thought otherwise." Luke looks at the piles of fabric,
tissue pattern pieces, the sewing machine, and an ironing board set up in
"I am making curtains." she told him gesturing to the mess.
"Oh." Luke nods.
"For the Inn." she adds.
"You are making all the curtains for every window at the Inn?" he is
impressed "How many windows is that?"
"Sixty." groaned Lorelai as she put her head back down on the table.
"Have you had any sleep at all?" he asks.
"No. I finally fell asleep on my nice comfy table here, when somebody rang
an annoying bell that woke me up."
"Why were you sleeping on your table?" asked Luke as he sat across from
"It wasn't my plan," groaned Lorelai, from within her folded arms, "For
three days and three nights, I have been working on these curtains and they
just won't get finished, inconsiderate little buggers. I keep falling
asleep at the table, just like they do in fairy tales, but the damn elves
never come to finish the job for me."
Luke smiled. "Yeah, they don't clean the diner either. When do you need to
have them done?"
"Wednesday." Lorelai lifted her head "Do you know how to sew?"
"Only buttons back onto flannel shirts."
Lorelai nodded and smiled. "Thank you for the coffee."
"Sure." he said
"Did you just have a psychic premonition that I needed some?"
"Because that would save me a great deal of effort in fulfilling my coffee
"I came by to bring you your copy of the loan papers you wanted done. I
stopped to sign them on the way over this morning, and Jeff gave me a copy
He pushed an envelope across the table to her, "Happy now?" he asked.
Lorelai looked him in the eye. "Luke, I want you to know how grateful I am
"Yeah, let's not talk about it..." Luke looked away with a scowl.
"No, really Luke, this is not something you can grump away."
"So," he added "since I'm here, is there anything around here you need
"You don't happen to have a chiropractor's license do you?"
"Then, not really, no."
"Are you sure?" he looked around again.
"Luke, you already feed me, fund my business, and talk me down from crying
ledges: You do enough."
"How about breakfast then? I could make you breakfast." He got up and
walked to her refrigerator and opened it. "Lorelai, you have food in
"It's all part of the new me." she shrugged.
"Well. I could make you something..." he said poking his head in the
refrigerator and looking around.
"Luke," Lorelai turned to look at him "What's going on?"
"What do you mean?"
"Come sit down again and tell me what's going on."
He went back around and sat across from her at the table and sighed.
"Luke, what?" she asked a little concerned.
"Nothing." he looked away.
"I know you better than that." she insisted.
"Hey, why do you have food?" he asked, changing the subject.
"Man, you sound like Rory."
"You haven't been eating at the diner in quite awhile." he noted looking at
"I was in yesterday."
"You've only been having coffee, sometimes a muffin. But, that's it.
Lorelai, are your financial problems that serious?" he asked, getting a
"What? No, Luke. Really. I will be honest with you, I have been tightening
my belt a little, but it's just part of the sacrifice called for right now.
It's not a permanent thing."
Luke stood up. "I want you to come to the diner and have breakfast now."
"Luke, I'm all right." Lorelai smiled at him. This was not the 'charity
case' speech from her grandmother. This was her friend who cared and
worried about her. "I know you're just trying to take care of me, but I'm
Ok. Now tell me, what's going on with you?"
Luke sat back down and was silent. Lorelai just gave him some time and
sipped her coffee.
Then finally, when she could wait no longer, "If I come to breakfast, will
you tell me?" she leaned in and smiled as sweetly as she could.
Luke tried to restrain his smile. She always got what she wanted. Hell, be
honest, Danes, it's why you came over.
"Liz is back."
"Oh." Lorelai's eyes widened a little.
"Yeah, she's in my apartment now."
"Luke, she's your sister. She adores you."
"She came to town to look for a place to live. She and that TJ-Gary-guy are
planning on moving to Stars' Hollow."
"Oh, well, that could be nice Luke."
He didn't respond.
"Has she found a place?"
"She wanted to rent Dad's house from me. The one we grew up in. But I'm not
evicting Mrs. Cassini after sixteen years."
"Of course not." nodded Lorelai, "But you own that other building north of
town too, don't you?–that duplex."
"Yeah, Jeff manages it for me, he says there's a vacancy. Liz is going to
go look at it this morning."
"So, problem solved?" asked Lorelai.
Luke just looked at her.
"Problem not solved?"
"I don't know. She was never happy here as a kid, you know. This could just
be one of her pie-in-the-sky larks."
"You're worried about her." nodded Lorelai. "But she's a grown woman, Luke,
and apparently in a committed relationship. You can't spend all of your
time waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don't want you to get ulcers, my
friend." she paused thoughtfully then, "Let me ask you this: Is she happy?"
"I think maybe she finally is."
"But you don't trust that." said Lorelai knowingly.
"Luke, life is short. We have to make happiness for ourselves. We have to
let the ones we love make happiness for themselves, too."
"Lorelai, how is it that you raised such a great kid, and created a life
for yourself and she couldn't?" Luke really wanted to know.
Lorelai looked at him, "Because I found what I wanted, Luke. I found Stars'
Hollow, and you, and the Inn, and Sookie... a life that made me happy. As
far as Rory goes, I don't know. Total luck is what I've finally landed on,
because I'm sure I did a lot of things wrong with her."
"No, you didn't." said Luke.
Lorelai smiled at him, "Thank you" and then "Just wait it out, Luke. Just
love her." Luke groaned and nodded. "Listen," she added, "I'm going to go
upstairs, shower and change, and then I'll walk back with you for that
breakfast," she said as she stood up.
"Ok. Anything I can do down here while I wait?
"Well, there are a few boxes in the entry. I put some stuff together for
Lane–You know; forks, plates, pans, detergent, towels and stuff–All those
mysterious things I don't know how to use anyway..."
"Where do you want it?" he asked standing.
"Back of the jeep, keys are next to my purse," she smiled, bouncing a
little. Then, "Ow!"
"I slept on my neck crooked."
Half an hour later Luke and Lorelai went out the front door of her house.
"Oh, Luke, stop." Lorelai took his arm.
"What?" he asked.
"Look!" she happily gave him a squeeze and gestured broadly.
"What am I looking at?"
"Spring!" Lorelai turned and gave him an electric smile.
The corners of his mouth tugged up, "Come on, Crazy, I think low blood
sugar has clouded your thought processes."
They walked together to the diner.
Shortly thereafter Lorelai was eating pancakes and writing in her
When she finished eating and Luke cleared her table, she continued to work
on her to-do list: If I can just get the curtains finished and up before
the furniture arrives, she thinks to herself, I could spend time setting up
the rooms while they finish staining the woodwork in the dining room (She
yawns here). And then, there'll be accessories to get. We are definitely
committed to fresh flowers in the rooms, nothing artificial, so I should go
check out that supplier in Brooklyn for vases. Or, maybe Mrs. Kim would
have an estate sale source...
Lorelai began to nod a bit. She rested her chin in her hand.
Some depression glass might be nice, she thinks on, not the right era, per
se, but we wanted something slightly eclectic, anyway, and it certainly has
that 'American' thing going for it...
And then Lorelai was asleep on her hand.
Luke saw her drift off from across the room. Might as well leave her, he
thinks, the place is empty, the early morning crowd gone. And so he begins
to quietly clean up, glancing at her now and then.
Exhausted and asleep, she is still the most beautiful woman he has ever
seen. You're a loser, Danes, he tells himself as he wipes down a table. A
loser and a coward.
And then they are both startled by the ringing of Lorelai's cell phone. She
jerks awake and recoils at the spasm in her neck. She blinks and looks at
"Go ahead," he nods "just make it short."
"Thanks, Luke," she says as she retrieves her phone from her purse.
–Hey, how are you?
–Um, yeah, I guess I have a little time this morning.
–No, I'm at Luke's (She sighs here) Why don't you meet me here?
(Luke is listening as he mops under a table)
–Why would Luke beat you up? (Lorelai laughs)
–Oh, right I forgot. No, I'm sure he doesn't remember that. He has a very
–Really, we're worried about him...
(Luke glares at her now)
–Ok, gotta go. Meet me here in fifteen."
Lorelai clicked her phone off and smiled at Luke, "Thanks."
"Umm hmm." nods Luke as he continues to mop. Who the hell was that? he
wonders. Lorelai's voice was different when she was talking. 'Not good'
Ten minutes later he has his answer when an overdressed city guy walks in,
crosses to Lorelai, gives her a kiss and sits down.
Damn, Luke thinks as he brings another mug to the table.
"Coffee?" he asks the Cheeseball.
"Thanks," says Jason.
"Luke Danes, this is Jason Stiles, my father's business partner," said
Lorelai a bit too brightly.
"Hello." nods Luke, shaking Cheeseball's hand. Then he really looks at the
guy: "You drive an Audi?" he asks.
"Guilty" smiles Jason "Look, I'm sorry about that the other week. I was
late to pick up Lorelai for a date..."
"It's all right. Wouldn't want Lorelai kept waiting." There is no smile
anywhere near Luke right now.
"Right. I'm just used to city driving, I guess."
"Yeah, I don't imagine Stars' Hollow holds much interest for you."
"Oh no, it's nice," contradicts Jason "Especially certain aspects" he turns
to Lorelai, smiles and takes her hand.
Lorelai laughs a little. Luke hears an uncomfortable note in it.
"Yep, certain aspects are nice" he agreed and turned to walk back to the
Luke found stuff to do in the kitchen for as long as he could. Nobody was
jingling through the door, anyway. Good time to get caught up on inventory.
Finally, though, he does hear the door jingle and when he steps back into
the diner, he sees Liz talking to Lorelai and Cheeseball. Then Cheeseball
kisses Lorelai–Jeez, already!–and leaves.
Luke picked up the coffee pot and walked over to where his sister was
taking Jason's vacated seat.
"He's cute," Liz is telling Lorelai, as she watches Jason through the
"Yeah, it's just.. Oh, hey Luke." Lorelai looked up at him as he refilled
her coffee mug and filled a fresh one for Liz.
"Luke, the duplex is perfect, and vacant! That little bay window is the
cutest thing. Jeff said you built the window seat yourself." Liz turns her
chattering to Lorelai, "It's just the coolest little brick house you ever
saw–very Colonial." Lorelai nodded, "TJ and I could move in at the end of
the month!" Liz enthused.
"Liz, what exactly is TJ going to do in Stars' Hollow?" asks Luke as he
picks up Jason's discarded mug.
"I told you, Luke..." Liz begins
"Look," interrupted Lorelai, "I really should get home and back to work,
and leave you two to talk," She stood to go and regretted the sudden
movement immediately, "And take about four hundred Tylenol." she added,
grabbing her neck.
"Did you hurt your neck?" asks Liz, her concern sincere.
"Yeah, I've been working late and I keep falling asleep on my table." said
Lorelai as she tried to rub the tender spot and pick up her jacket and
purse at the same time.
"Let me look at it." said Liz, standing and walking to Lorelai's side of
"Oh, that's not necessary." Lorelai demurred.
"Please, Lorelai, let me try. I had this boyfriend for awhile who was a
masseur. He taught me a lot. Now sit down and let me look."
"Um, Ok." Lorelai complied.
Liz walked behind her, as Luke watched. She scooped Lorelai's hair over her
shoulder and began to gently probe her neck with her fingers.
"Does this hurt?" she asked.
"No, but that's where the knot is..." Lorelai sighed and closed her eyes.
"Yeah, I can feel it." Liz began to gently rub the afflicted area. Lorelai
moaned softly. "Feels good, doesn't it? Carl was the best masseur. And, let
me tell you, he had great hands. He was an incredible lover too."
"Ah, Jeez." said Luke who had been slightly mesmerized by the sight of
Lorelai's enjoyment. He walked behind the counter to put the coffee pot
Lorelai and Liz laughed.
"Lorelai, you definitely need some body work done too. I can feel a lot of
tension in your shoulders. Listen, let's go upstairs. I've found TJ and I
the perfect place to live already, so my work is done for today."
"Oh, I don't know, Liz, I don't want to impose." said Lorelai, though the
neck rub did feel awfully good and the prospect of more was... well, good
"Oh, don't be silly!" said Liz in her good natured way "No imposition
whatsoever. Good for me to keep up with my skills. Come on. You can lie on
Luke's bed." Liz turned to walk up the stairs.
"Well, do you mind, Luke?" asked Lorelai.
Luke sighed. "No, go ahead."
Lorelai smiled at him and followed Liz up the stairs.
And for the next couple of hours as the lunch rush began and ended, Luke
did his damndest not to think about what was happening upstairs. But the
more he tried to push the thoughts away, the more he kept picturing
Lorelai's face, her eyes closed, that little smile of pleasure...that
"Luke, I'm drinking ice tea." Kirk interrupted his reverie.
"So?" snapped Luke.
"You just poured coffee in my glass."
While upstairs, Liz and Lorelai had a great time. Lorelai enjoyed getting
to know Liz and about Luke's early life. Her mind flitted to Jess, of
course, as she wondered about his life with this friendly woman, his
mother. It just didn't seem to fit.
If I'm not completely responsible for Rory being so great, maybe Liz isn't
responsible for Jess being so... well, Jess. But no, she couldn't really
believe that parents don't affect their children, that they don't
contribute to their happiness and unhappiness and, certainly, their sense
of trust. This was a puzzle Lorelai couldn't quite sort. Why was Jess so
angry and hurtful, yet Liz so warm and generous? Well, I don't know the
whole story, she finally conceded.
"I'm so glad you drink coffee, Lorelai," said Liz "I would have thought
Luke's friend would be anti-The Caffeine-Devil." as she poured Lorelai and
herself each a cup from Luke's upstairs pot.
"Yeah, what is with the anti-coffee thing?" laughed Lorelai "When clearly
it is Manna" she took a sip "Wow! This tastes just like Luke's! Yum!"
"Yeah, we both learned to make it for my dad. Only I learned to actually
like it too." said Liz sipping and smiling.
"How come Luke didn't?" asked Lorelai.
"Well, he was such a serious little kid after my mom died, you know, and he
always read a lot. Reading and Running, that was him."
"Yeah, 'Butch'. I always figured that he found an article about caffeine
contributing to cancer somewhere. He would try to switch me and dad to
Decaf occasionally. Then later when Dad got sick... I don't want to say
Luke blamed my parent's deaths on coffee but..."
Lorelai nodded "Yeah, you make connections like that when you're a kid.
"Yeah." nodded Liz "Ok, come on back to Luke's bed, and we'll get to work
on your neck."
"I really appreciate this, Liz."
"Oh, sure!" smiled Liz "Happy to do it."
They walked to the sleeping area. Liz had Lorelai go into the bathroom and
strip down to camisole and underpants, while she spread towels out on the
bed. She lowered the blinds and put on some soft jazz.
And for the next hour or so Liz gave Lorelai a much needed massage while
they talked and laughed together.
"You know, I never got to say thank you to you for the beautiful earrings
you made me. That was really generous."
"He gave them to you, huh?" laughed Liz as she worked on Lorelai's left
"Wasn't he supposed to?"
"I gave them to him–you know he's always done so much for me. I told him to
give them to his wife or you–whichever he chose."
"Lorelai, can I ask you about this wife thing..."
"Haven't you met her yet?"
"No, and I'm starting to wonder if she ever existed."
"Oh, she exists. Barely. But she exists."
"Didn't you like her?"
"Liz, I don't know her."
"Well, I guess it doesn't matter now with the divorce and all?"
"You mean the almost-divorce." said Lorelai
"Oh no, it's final–I saw the papers on his desk."
"What?" Lorelai sat up and looked at Liz.
"Lorelai, lie back down, you're gonna put all the tension back in that I
just worked out."
Lorelai did as she was told and flopped back down on her stomach. Divorce?
Final? Why were butterflies flitting about inside her?
"I guess he didn't tell you either." commented Liz as she started rubbing
"No" said Lorelai, then "I hope he's Ok"
"It's been a month now. He's probably more embarrassed than anything."
"Poor Luke. A month? He never said anything. I wonder what happened."
"I'm surprised he didn't tell you–you seem like the closest friend he's had
since Rachel. Boy, we all knew she wasn't cut out to stay in this town. You
seem happy here, though."
"I am." agreed Lorelai.
"Hmmm." said Liz thoughtfully "How did you guys meet?"
"Well..." and Lorelai launched into the 'Duke' story. Liz laughed.
Other questions flew around during the afternoon too...
"What's with you and Jason?"
"What about you and TJ?"
"How did your daughter turn out so great? Luke raves about that kid like
she's his own."
And then finally, when they were much more comfortable with each other,
"Do you ever talk to Jess?"
"Yeah," said Liz "We are starting to reconnect on the phone, a little. I
wish he could go to someplace like Yale, though. He's so smart–reads all
the time, you know, always did. I don't know. I had a lot of problems when
he was growing up. But, I really love him–even if I sucked as a mom."
Lorelai nodded, "I guess we can only do the best we can do".
"No, we should do better than that for our kids, and I've done a lot by
Jess that I'm not proud of, Lorelai, I'll tell you that. But we have to
keep moving forward in life." said Liz quietly.
Lorelai tried to smile encouragingly.
"But," added Liz on a brighter note "Jess has Stars' Hollow all analyzed."
"I'll bet he does." said Lorelai.
"Did you know that the primary reason you and Luke never got together is
because of class differences?" asked Liz on a playful note.
"What?!" Lorelai turned her face toward Liz and lifted herself up on her
"Yep, it's Jess' Marxist view on Luke and Lorelai" continued Liz as she
started working Lorelai's spine "Apparently, Luke has been in love with
you for years, but feels he's way out of your league–not good enough for
"Jess, said that?"
"Yeah." laughed Liz
With that Lorelai sat up and looked at Liz, completely serious, "Liz, you
don't think that's true do you?"
"Oh, Lorelai, I didn't mean to upset you," Liz knew she had crossed some
line here "I was just telling you what Jess said to make you laugh, that's
"I know," said Lorelai looking down.
"He can be right about people though–he gets that from my dad." Liz peered
closely into Lorelai's face "Are you all right?"
"Yeah," Lorelai looked up at Liz and smiled "It just surprised me, that's
Why the hell was she letting anything Jess Mariano said get to her anyway?
Liz nodded, and after a pause said, "Lorelai, you do have feelings for
Luke, don't you?"
Lorelai stared at her, the need to confide overwhelming, she'd been at sea
a bit with Rory gone, not that she would have talked to Rory about this
anyway, "Liz, I don't know what to...
A knock on the apartment door interrupted them.
"Liz?" called Luke "Can I come in?"
Lorelai looked at the door quickly, her stomach dropping. What was going on
with her? Why was she feeling this way? And what way was she feeling
"Hold on.." called Liz over her shoulder as she handed Lorelai her robe to
Lorelai pulled the robe on and started folding up the towels from the bed
as Liz walked to open the door for Luke.
"Come on in, Luke. Lorelai's decent now." said Liz as she walked to the
kitchen to make more coffee.
"I just came to clean up and change. Ceasar and Lane are going to do dinner
tonight, so I can take you out if you like, Liz."
"Oh, that would be great, Luke! I just want to get back early 'cause I'm
meeting Carrie later."
Luke groaned. Liz laughed.
Luke grabbed some fresh clothes out of his closet and turned to walk to the
bathroom but not before he saw Lorelai standing by his bed in a robe. She
was staring at him strangely.
"How's your neck?" he asked.
"Oh, much better... Much better... Liz has magic hands... I think I owe
Carl a huge debt by proxy... I didn't realize how stiff I was..." Lorelai
let the sentence die out.
Luke just stared at her.
"Ok." he said.
Liz looked back and forth between them. Oh, she thought. And then smiled.
Luke went into the bathroom to change. Why was Lorelai acting weird? he
wondered. But then why was Lorelai ever weird? And why was she wearing Liz'
robe?...Nope, didn't want to think about that one. He turned on the shower
and started to undress. When he turned around to put his clothes in the
hamper, he saw Lorelai's clothes folded on top of the lid.
A black lace bra? .
Meanwhile Lorelai and Liz had some more coffee as they waited for Luke to
"Do you want to talk about it?" Liz asked Lorelai gently.
Lorelai shook her head, "No."
"I just need to think about some things."
Liz nodded again.
Luke came out clean, showered and dressed and sat to put his boots on as
Lorelai slipped into the bathroom to change.
She could smell his shampoo and aftershave in the steamy bathroom. Mmmm,
wonderful. It smelled like Luke and with that smell came a wave of lovely
feelings. And with that Lorelai looked up into the mirror at herself.
"You are a fool, Lorelai Victoria Gilmore," she told her reflection. "And
worse yet, you now sound like your mother."
Luke divorced? Could the powers that be actually be handing her a chance at
something here? Did she even want that chance?
Oh, God, I think I do.
Maybe it was corny, but she didn't care. She knew now– she realized
now.... How could I have been so stupid for so long?
She didn't know.
The only thing she did know for sure was that she needed to go home and
She stepped out of the bathroom and crossed to Liz.
"I want to thank you," she said "for everything."
Liz stood and gave her a hug.
Luke's eyes widened at the sight. Two of his many separated worlds were
merging in front of him–it was strange, but nice too, he guessed. He sighed
"You two have fun tonight." she told them.
"Do you want to come along?" asked Liz.
"No" said Lorelai "I have a call to make and late-into-the-night work to
do–Maybe those elves will finally come help!" she cocked a mischievous brow
He smiled at her. Liz watched them.
"Bye" she said and, "I'll see you soon Liz!"
"Her parents actually approve of this guy I guess, which I gather is
unusual in and of itself-- even though they were sort of sneaking around."
Liz was telling Luke as they ate their salads at dinner.
Luke was listening quietly. He didn't really want to know all this; only he
"He tried to give her a key to his apartment at the diner this morning, but
she wouldn't take it." Liz watched for Luke's reaction. It was
"She didn't?" he was curious now.
"Nope. Too serious. She doesn't want it to go that far. She likes him and
all–but now there's pressure from her folks, and she doesn't want to marry
into that world. She ran away from it, after all" she let Luke mull that
for a moment.
"Hmm." said Luke.
"That's it? Hmm–?" she said laughing
"Liz, what do you want from me?" he was getting cranky now.
"Calm down, Luke." They ate in silence for a few moments.
"Hey, Luke, are Lorelai's parents really that rich?" she asked
"Like the Rockefellers" he deadpanned.
"Wow. Imagine not wanting any of that." Liz shook her head.
"Yeah. If she gets anything in her life, she wants to get it on her
own–that's how she is."
"Luke, is what they all say about you and her true?" Liz asked directly.
"Ah, Jeez, Liz, not you too..." Luke grumped.
"It's just here you are divorced..." Luke looked at her sharply "Yes Luke,
I know-- the papers were on your desk in plain sight..." Liz told him.
"You always were a snoop," he grumbled at her.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Luke, this is your life we are talking about. If
Lorelai is the one, then get off your ass and do something about it."
"Liz, you don't understand anything."
"Maybe not, Luke. But I know she doesn't want Jason. She wants Stars'
Hollow and she wants you."
Lorelai sighed, rubbed her tired eyes, and picked up the piece of brown
checked gingham she'd been working on. She reached for the seam ripper and
proceeded to un-do the mess she'd just made.
She was tired. She was upset. She had fifty million curtains still to make.
And she couldn't stop thinking: Luke, Luke, Luke.
He was all she could think and feel and smell: Luke's face in the brown
gingham (–had she intentionally picked the same fabric for the brown room
as the diner curtains?) The merest scent of Luke in the bad coffee she had
Trying not to picture Luke when she'd called to break up with Jason.
But there he was, still: Luke, Luke, Luke.
And so with a sigh, Lorelai stood, walked to her phone, picked it up,
dialed Luke's number, heard a ring and hung up immediately.
"Chicken." she called herself
That's it, she thought. Enough nonsense. Do you really have more time to
waste in your life?
Honestly? Do you? No was the only answer she had for herself.
And then Lorelai smiled. She was exhausted. She had work to do, but she
Luke. The thought of Luke made her smile.
Sure, she was nervous –What if, after all these years, he wasn't
interested? What if he didn't want to jeopardize their friendship? What if
she was just too crazy for him–just annoyed him too much?
And there was the money thing. She planned to pay him back every cent with
generous interest, even if she had to get a night job at Wal-Mart. Could
that make things all weird between them?
But, Lorelai had reached a kind of certainty with her feelings that she'd
never had before, while sewing and mulling this spring evening.
It had been fun playing single grown up lady with Jason–but the depth that
she longed for wasn't there. Plasma TVs are great, Jason's wit
hysterical–it had been fun to play, but it was no where near the 'whole
In our teens and our twenties we try relationships on, see what fits–which
is pretty funny, thinks Lorelai, because we aren't even finished yet–we are
no where near being who we really are.
But here I am now. I know where I'm going. Rory is starting her life.
But--Will he have me?
Only one way to find out.
So Lorelai turned and walked to her front door, pulled it open, stepped out
and came face to face with the man in question himself: Luke was coming up
her front steps, coffee cup in hand.
They looked at each other.
Luke was wearing his 'Silvano's Restaurant' attire–leather jacket, black
Lorelai was in glasses (she'd been sewing) and blue satin pajamas, sneakers
on her feet.
They both breathed in just how wonderful the other looked.
"I saw your lights on when Liz and I drove back into town. I knew you were
planning to work late, so I brought coffee..."
Lorelai gulped a little. How could she have been so blind for so long?
"Are you Ok?" he asked
"Yeah." and she smiled at him from a heart-deep place.
Luke felt a lightening of his spirit at that and smiled back.
"Can you stay for awhile?" asked Lorelai "I've got some things on my mind
and could really use a break."
"Sure" said Luke, there being no place else he'd rather be.
"Let's sit on the swing–it's such a warm spring night and everything smells
so good." Lorelai walked across her porch to the swing and sat down.
Luke joined her, handing her the coffee first.
"Thank you" she said looking at him. She took a sip and placed the cup on
the porch railing.
"Is everything all right?" he asked. Without thinking he started the swing
to-ing and fro-ing with his foot.
Lorelai smiled at his unconscious movement.
"A lot has been going on lately." she began, tucking her legs to her side
and turning in to him, enjoying the swinging sensation.
"Yeah." he agreed, turning in to her in response.
"Luke, why didn't you tell me about the divorce?"
Luke stopped swinging and turned his head away. "I'm gonna kill my sister."
Lorelai wrapped both her arms around one of his, "Don't stop swinging" she
He turned his head back at her tone, started swinging again, and sighed.
"I don't want to talk about it, Lorelai. It was just wrong from the
beginning. I'm too old for mistakes this big."
"Oh, God, if only we could out-grow making mistakes!" smiled Lorelai "But
then again, think how boring Hollywood romance gossip would be!"
"I didn't want to end up alone." he said quietly staring down.
"I know." she nodded.
"And Nicole wanted me." he added
"Who wouldn't?" she said sincerely. He looked her square in the eye at
"Until she found someone else."
"Oh, Luke, I'm sorry." said Lorelai as she lay her head on Luke's shoulder.
"Just don't... Just don't pity me." Luke closed his eyes and lay his head
against Lorelai's. It felt good, comforting.
"Ok, no pity." smiled Lorelai, with a glint in her eye. Luke could hear it
in her voice and raised his head from her's warily.
Lorelai lifted hers too and looked at him. "Jason and I broke up tonight."
she told him.
"Oh." Luke digested this. "Are you Ok?"
"Yes." said Lorelai "It was just one of those things."
"One of those bells that now and then rings."
Luke groaned here.
"A trip to the moon on gossamer wings.."
"So-- Just one of those things?" he deadpanned, completing the lyric.
Lorelai laughed and Luke had to smile at that.
"What happened?" Luke finally asked.
"It was just dating, you know. He was great fun but it was just..."
"I know, I know–One of those things..."
Lorelai laughed again. "Thanks for playing."
Luke shook his head–how did she do this to him every time? How did she make
him feel better with her nonsense?. He was not a nonsense guy.
And so they sat swinging in the spring night air, quietly happy together.
And then Lorelai knew it was time: 'Carpe Diem,' she told herself–Or,
rather, 'Carpe Luke-em'–Was there even a Latin word for Luke? (Hmm,
consider this later, she put in the Lorelai mental 'working' file.)
She turned to Luke, "Actually, there is more regarding me and Jason: The
truth is, other than creepy unwanted seriousness about the relationship
from the Hartford contingent; You see, I realized that I have feelings for
Luke didn't look at her, sure that she'd somehow know that his stomach had
just dropped to China.
"Oh." that sounded casual, right?
"Yep, someone I've known for years." continued Lorelai "I have been so busy
scrambling... For all these years, you know --keeping everything going for
me and Rory, and now the Inn... I was so busy running my life, that I just
didn't see him in the right light. I mean the guy who is just everything. I
just didn't notice him the way I should. Pretty stupid about love, that's
"Love?" Luke looked up at her, trying to breathe evenly.
"Who is this mystery guy?" Luke asked casually, looking away again.
"Luke, look at me."
He did. She was smiling at him. She was so beautiful–no make up, glasses,
pajamas and all–Perfect. She took one of his hands in both of hers.
"Luke, I have loved you for years. Fought to hold onto this friendship
that is just everything to me, you know?" he nodded, was this happening?
"Of course, I knew how gorgeous you are too" Luke looked away again, don't
let yourself believe this, Danes. "But, if I had lost you..."
He looked back at her and nodded again.
"But lately, I've had other feelings too...different ones...for you.
Feelings I don't want to ignore any longer." Lorelai looked away now
"Lorelai..." he turned in and placed his arm along the back of the swing,
grazing her shoulder.
"Shh, Luke." Lorelai turned and put her fingers over his lips. Luke felt a
rush of adrenalin. "Just let me say it all before you potentially break my
heart here." she let her hand drop into her lap.
"Lorelai, I'm not..."
She gave him a look that meant silence.
"Luke, you've always been there for me and for Rory too. No other man in my
life ever has, you know? And Rory is a big part of who I am. She is who I
"And she adores you and you are part of our family, and my friend, and
personal banker, and all-around super-hero guy."
Luke shook his head here. Lorelai ignored him.
"I couldn't put any of that at risk, Luke. I just couldn't. No matter how
many times I had to runaway from those lips I wanted to kiss, no matter how
many NC-17 fantasies about you I had to distract myself from..."
Luke's eyes widened at this.
Lorelai smiled. "I could have screwed it up so easily. And maybe it was
selfish, and I'm sorry if it was. Truly. But... I don't know. There you
are, Luke, with your huge golden heart. No wait, scratch that..." Luke
lifted his brows as she amended her statement, "Your huge 'coffee' heart.
Yep, that's much better than a golden heart. Who cares about gold when you
can have coffee, right?"
Lorelai looked into his eyes again. "Luke, I think, after all these years
of loving you that I have started to fall in love with you too. Maybe it's
always been there, I don't know. And I mean 'in love' with you in a way
that I didn't know was out there. This grown-up, deep feeling. This peace
that is so different from anything I've ever experienced with anyone..."
She looked away here and took off her glasses to wipe at a tear that was
And Luke felt his own eyes well. This is real, he tells himself.
Lorelai looked back at him expectantly, seeing his eyes, finally quiet.
"Lorelai," he voice a little hoarse "all these years, I never thought you'd
feel it too. I'd given up..."
"Oh, Luke!" Lorelai sat up on her knees and threw her arms around his neck,
he hugged her back just as strongly. He was shaken because, well, here it
They pulled away from one another and both smiled when they each started
gently thumb-rubbing each other's tears away.
And then Lorelai cupped his dear face in her hands, looked into his eyes
and moved in to place a soft kiss on his lips.
She pulled back only long enough for Luke to put a hand around her neck and
pull her back down to him.
He began tenderly–soft kisses on her eyelids, the corners of her mouth, and
then fully on the lips... but soon these became moist and urgent. And she
met each just as hungrily.
Before she knew it, she had climbed onto his lap, straddling him, unable to
satisfy the strong need to kiss him more deeply.
Luke groaned as his hands ran up and down her back and into her hair. She
lifted her chin as he descended hungrily on her neck. Lorelai felt the
thrill of this intensely and suckled on his earlobe gently in response.
Little moaning sounds were coming from both of them now.
At last, breathless, they rested their foreheads against one another.
"I want you. I have always wanted you." he told her.
She nodded, "I want you too."
They continued to breathe. Luke looked up into her eyes.
"We're moving a little fast here..."
Lorelai laughed. "Yeah, ten years of foreplay has really revved my
Luke smiled, "Lorelai..."
She climbed off his lap, taking his hand into hers, lacing their fingers
together, looking at him.
They both laughed a little at the stupid happy faces they were both
"Luke, it would be so easy for us to go upstairs right now."
Luke closed his eyes, leaned his head on the back of the swing and groaned.
"Here we are, the best of friends, hot and heavy for each other..."
He opened his eyes and nodded his agreement.
"I for one am almost at the '..over heels' stage of loving you."
He pulled her down into another kiss, and when he released her said, "Me
"We are both currently unattached, HIV negative, and mature adults who know
how to use birth control...Right?" continued Lorelai.
Luke smiled at her and began playing with her fingers.
"Yep to all of the above–I had my insurance physical last week."
"And I want you very much." added Lorelai sincerely.
"I want you too–always have." Luke returned.
"But..." Luke groaned, here it comes...
"I've got a lot of work to do in the next two days, and I've had about
three hours of sleep in the past thirty... and this is all pretty
overwhelming..." Lorelai's eyes are welling again.
"I know. I know.. Shh... It's Ok. We know where we're going now." Luke
reassured her, pulling her into his arms. She settled her head on his
"Luke, you make me so happy." she sighed.
"Lorelai, I can't begin to express how you make me feel... It's so
powerful. I never thought I'd have it, you know..."
They were quiet together for awhile until Lorelai yawned.
"If I fall asleep on your shoulder, you'll be stuck with me all night." she
He smiled "That would be fine with me." but then "Look, let's put you to
bed. You need to sleep. You'll do better if you start fresh in the
He was right. "Ok."
They walked in the house, arms around each other, and up the stairs and
into Lorelai's room. She pulled off her sneakers and climbed under the
He sat next to her for a moment, just looking.
"I love you, Lorelai." he said sincerely.
She smiled, "I love you too."
They kissed softly, he pulling the covers around her more snugly.
"I'll call you in the morning." she said sleepily.
"Good." he told her as he stood to go.