|The Long Road Ahead
Author: TashaLaw PM
LL, Sequel to 'The Essential Light of Need.' PostpostPartings. Now that Luke and Lorelai have worked things out, can they keep it together when other problems threaten their relationship?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Lorelai G. & Luke D. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 64,933 - Reviews: 195 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 42 - Updated: 09-06-06 - Published: 08-09-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3095371
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Long Road Ahead
Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls. Don't sue me or I'll sue you back.
Summary: L/L, Sequel to The Essential Light of Need. Post-post-Partings. Now that Luke and Lorelai have worked things out, can they keep it together when other problems threaten their relationship?
Author's Notes: This story picks up right where The Essential Light of Need left off. You should read that first if you want to understand this.
Rating: T for adult situations, but nothing terribly graphic.
"Oh, God, Luke, this is wonderful," Lorelai moaned as she stretched out decadently on the bed next to him. It was a big bed, larger than even the standard 'king size,' but they had yet to maximize the benefits of its opulence as they had barely moved more than a few inches out of each other's space.
At that moment, Lorelai lay on her side, facing Luke, the fluffy hotel bath robe tied so as to show off her long legs and neckline. She leaned her head on one hand so that she could better see her new husband. The other hand deftly wielded a spoon laden with creamy home-made vanilla ice cream and equally rich home-made cherry pie. The dish - along with the remains of their dinner (including fresh lobster from Maine), lay on a breakfast tray next to them.
Taking another bite of the heavenly desert, Lorelai said, "You have to try this."
"I told you already, I don't want any." Luke's voice was tempered by his smile - as little as he liked sugary desserts, watching Lorelai enjoy them was an indulgence in and of itself.
"But it's so good," she insisted, refilling the spoon and holding it out for him. "Just try it."
"Not gonna happen."
"Please?" Her foot began to gently stroke his, making its way up to the bottom hem of his sleeping pants, his only clothing.
"Pretty please?" She slid her knee up his leg, the robe she was wearing riding up to show even more skin.
"Lorelai..." His voice had become a warning.
"Pretty please with a nice..." The leg went higher. "Juicy..." And higher. "Red..." She sat up slightly so that her robe fell off one shoulder. "Cherry..." Her knee made contact with the bed between his legs. "On top..." she finished, her lower half straddling his leg and her chest level with his eyes. She still held the spoon out to him, carefully using her other hand to maintain her balance.
"If you insist," Luke said with an exaggerated groan. He allowed Lorelai to spoon him the desert, then smiled at her obvious look of pleasure at having won the battle.
"How does it taste?" she asked, putting the spoon down on the tray.
"Not as good as you," came his answer, and he pulled her in for a kiss. She offered no resistance, melting into him as fluidly as the ice cream melted in his mouth. Without disengaging her lips, he rolled them both over until she was on her back and he was poised above her, his weight balanced on his arms.
Lorelai's robe had fallen even further open at the neck, revealing enough creamy skin to entice him away from her mouth. He began to kiss down to her throat, and then along her collar bone until he reached the top of her breasts, now just barely hidden by the terrycloth robe. She felt his breath on her skin as he paused, hesitated, considered - for far too long in Lorelai's opinion.
"You stop now and I'll kill you," she whispered, reaching up to run her fingers through his hair. She did so gently, mindful not to pull to hard. Though Luke had never said anything, she knew that he felt a little sensitive about his receding hairline that had begun to thin on top. It was one nearly universal male vanity and possibly even the reason he wore his baseball cap so often.
"Lorelai..." he said quietly, unable to continue on but unwilling to move from the spot. He wanted to have a conversation now?
"Less talk, more action," she said, moving her body under him enticingly. But he remained still, frozen in position, and his lack of movement began to worry her. "Luke, what's wrong?"
"Can we... can we talk for a second?" he asked finally, bringing his head up to look her in the eye.
"Sure," she told him, matching his serious tone. Lorelai had no idea what was troubling him so suddenly. He had been happy and upbeat all day, from their drive in to Martha's Vineyard to the wedding. She knew it was not the idea of intimacy - they had crossed that hurdle several weeks before. The first time making love with Luke again after the debacle with Christopher had been a little awkward at first, as though neither of them knew what to expect or what to do. But they quickly found their rhythm again, realizing that neither of them had really changed. Lorelai still loved the feel of Luke's unshaven cheek against her skin. And he still could not get enough of that spot where her neck met her shoulder, the tiniest touch to which could dissolve her in the most sexy giggles.
"Um, Lorelai... I didn't bring anything," Luke confessed.
Her mind took a moment to register the fact that she had no idea what he was talking about. Thoroughly confused, she asked, "What?"
"I didn't bring anything," he repeated. He certainly looked cute when he was embarrassed, but Lorelai was no closer to understanding than she had been the first time he said it.
"Well... neither of us brought anything," she ventured. "That's why we had our little shopping trip this afternoon. Clothes, toothbrush, dental floss..." Suddenly his unspoken meaning hit her. "Oh. You didn't bring anything."
His lack of preparation surprised her. He had done so well with all the other details of their weekend. Rory and April, the minister, the shopping, the hotel reservation. How had Luke Danes, the most responsible man she had ever known, forgotten to bring protection on their honeymoon?
"I, uh, I guess we should have discussed this before," he said awkwardly. "I just thought maybe we could... if you want... now that we're technically married..." He paused for a long moment, waiting for Lorelai to catch up and connect the dots, but she continued to stare at him in confusion. "Cause we talked about it before, but not that much, and we didn't say anything definite..." Still no light bulbs going off in her eyes. "You know what, I think they have a gift shop in the lobby. They probably have... this kind of thing. I'll be right back." Luke began to get up from the bed.
"Oh!" Suddenly, the entire conversation clicked for Lorelai, and she reached out to stop him from leaving the room. Instead, he sat back on the bed and she moved to sit next to him. "You didn't bring anything-anything... on purpose?" she asked.
"Well, yeah. But like I said, we should have talked about this before," he said. "Its kind of a big decision, and I don't want you to think I'm rushing you... 'cause I'm not."
"I just thought... because, you know, we sort of talked about it, before, when April was in the hospital. And I've been thinking about it and..."
"And?" Lorelai prompted anxiously.
Luke shrugged. "The idea of having a kid has sort of grown on me."
"You mean having another kid," she pointed out.
He clarified automatically, "Having a kid with you."
"You want to have a kid with me? Really?"
The restrained hopefulness in her voice caused Luke to smile.
"Yeah, really," he said softly. "What about you?"
"Oh, I've already had a kid with me," was her coy response. "It turned out pretty well the first time, but that may have just been luck."
"Rory's great," he agreed. "And it wasn't luck. You're a terrific mother."
Lorelai took a faltering breath, amazed at where this conversation was taking them. "You're a pretty great father yourself there."
"April's thirteen. I missed most of her... 'kid' stuff. I don't know how good I'd be at it." There was doubt in his voice, fear of the unknown. But Lorelai also heard a measure of possibility, a sort of hidden longing.
"I think you'd be really good at it," she assured him.
Lorelai nodded. "Definitely."
The image of Luke holding a child - their child - was one that she had never quite been able to get out of her head. Sometimes it was a newborn, all pink and wrinkled the way newborns tend to be. Sometimes it was a little girl wearing a pink dress who had her father completely wrapped around her little finger. But most of the time, the child was male, and Luke was teaching him to tie his shoes or play catch or make a grilled cheese sandwich. She felt certain she would love to have another daughter, but Lorelai very much wanted to give Luke a son.
"So, then, do you want to..." she stammered, looking from him to the bed, then back to him. It bothered her that she felt so hesitant with him, but the fear of messing things up again weighed on her continually. She did not want to press him, to force him into something for which he was not ready.
"If you do," he said, bringing his hand up to run along her shoulder, letting his thumb trace circles around her collar bone and the spots he had kissed earlier.
"I do," Lorelai whispered, leaning closer towards him.
"I do, too," he answered, meeting her lips with his in an explosive mixture of passion and comfort, relief and excitement. Lorelai quickly lost her robe and Luke divested himself of his pants. Hands roamed, mouths explored, and fingers caressed. As she gasped out his name in a haze of pleasurable sensations, Lorelai could think of only of how lucky she was and how easily she could lose it if she was not careful. He wanted to have a baby with her. A baby! Somehow, that knowledge made their wedding night even more special, more beautiful than she ever thought possible.
To Luke, making love with his new wife felt simply like coming home.
Although the newly weds spent a large portion of their weekend indoors, Lorelai insisted on Sunday afternoon that they go back to the beach. The weather was much warmer than their visit on Valentine's Day, prompting Lorelai to buy a new bikini and force Luke into a bathing suit as well. The latter of those tasks had been especially difficult, but was accomplished with the promise of the former.
"I love it here," she commented to him as they sat side by side on beach chairs in the sand, facing the ocean. Despite being the busy summer season, there were surprisingly few people out. The water was a crisp blue, and the waves beat out a slow, steady rhythm as they crashed on the shore.
"Yeah, its not bad," Luke answered, giving his stamp of approval.
"We should come back. Maybe every year or every other year, as an anniversary sort of thing."
"As long as we don't tell your parents," he said, remembering some talk about the elder Gilmores' affinity for the Vineyard.
Lorelai shuddered at the thought. "God, no. My parents never need to know. It can be our secret. Kind of like our wedding..."
"We can tell people if you want," he said in response. "I just thought since you're planning the wedding in February, everyone you're inviting might feel left out that they weren't invited to this one. Like Sookie and Jackson, Babette, Miss Patty..."
"...my parents," Lorelai finished. "Oh, trust me, I appreciate the thought. And besides, I really loved that this was our personal, private wedding. And I didn't have to wait eight more months to be married to you." Smiling at him brightly, she could not help but take his hand in hers as she evaluated how much weight his beach chair could hold.
Luke simply smirked back at her, caught up in the romance of the weekend and the beach setting. "That was one of the main benefits of eloping," he confessed.
Between the sun and the sand, the love radiating from Lorelai's eyes warmed him the most. The touch of her hand was enticing, and he gave it a gentle tug, willing her to come to him. She did so gladly, putting one arm around his neck to balance herself as she sat on his lap, knowing full well that the beach chair that was not designed for two occupants. One of Luke's hands automatically went around her waist while the other sought out the wide expanse of leg left bare by her bikini. Lorelai's legs always drew his attention, not that he necessarily considered himself a "leg man." Indeed, all of her physical features seemed specifically designed to drive any red-blooded heterosexual male to edge of their limits.
"Have I told you how much I love this suit on you?" he said softly, almost shyly.
"Yeah?" Lorelai grinned at him. "How much?"
"Not as much as I like it off of you..."
Luke laughed good-naturedly, having expected her well-used retort. But then he grew serious, intent on making sure that she knew - all jokes aside - just how incredibly beautiful she really was. He did not tell her enough, just as he did not express his love as often as he should. To Luke, these were things that just went without saying. Giving them voice seemed redundant. Of course he loved her. Of course he thought she was beautiful. Gorgeous, really. Probably the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
"You're so beautiful," he stated matter-of-factly. "In the suit, out of the suit, in a plastic garbage bag..."
Lorelai beamed at the compliment, far too touched to come up with a suitably witty rejoinder. "Thank you," she said, then added, "You better remember this when I get pregnant and blow up to the size of a beached whale." Her remark caused Luke to frown. "I was kidding," she told him, noting the look in his eye. "Although, not by a lot. If I get pregnant, you better expect to see me get bigger. When I was pregnant with Rory, I was huge, but-"
"Does that bother you?" Luke interrupted her. "With the wedding coming up, I mean. Would it bother you if you got pregnant before then?"
She thought about it for a second, then shook her head. "No. I mean, we're already married, even if no one else is going to know that. And obviously I'm not worried about protecting my reputation in the pregnant-out-of-wedlock area..."
"What about your dress?" he pointed out. "What if it doesn't fit? Do you want to wait until after the wedding to try for kids?"
"Did you just think about all this now?" Lorelai asked with a laugh. "Luke, it doesn't matter to me if I'm pregnant in February for our wedding or not. Actually, I'd rather be pregnant by then, because I'd be pregnant, and we'd be expecting a child. And I wouldn't be worrying about whether I waited too long to have another baby or if I even can anymore. I'm almost forty, Luke. My child-bearing years are rapidly coming to an end." Taking a breath, she continued on more cheerfully. "And if the dress doesn't fit, I'll let it out. Or you'll buy me a new one. It doesn't matter. That wedding is about them - our friends and family and everyone else in that crazy town. Of course giving my parents aneurysms would be an added bonus..."
"Lorelai, I just want you to have the wedding of your dreams, and if that means waiting a little while to get pregnant, that's okay. I'm not expecting you to start popping out babies right away or anything-"
Leaning in to kiss him gently on the lips, she whispered, "I've already had my dream wedding." She gestured to the beach and the crashing waves. "And I'm already married to my dream man." She put her hand on his chest, the one with the engagement ring, to emphasize her point. "Now I want us to have that dream family."
"Lorelai... you and Rory and April - you are my dream family," Luke replied. "Now we can just work on expanding it."
She smiled brightly at him, wondering when it was that she had ever felt so happy as she did in that moment.