|Because It's You
Author: singsongsung PM
Lucas Scott has been running from betrayal for two years, but it finally catches up with him in the town he always wanted to be a safe haven. He ends up in New Haven, Connecticut. He wants an escape, but will pursuing it ultimately pull him back?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Lucas S. - Chapters: 14 - Words: 62,751 - Reviews: 49 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 10-25-08 - Published: 07-10-08 - id: 4386544
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: If there is even anyone who cares about this story anymore after I've neglected it for so long: I'm sorry. I don't have any excuses other than real life, really, and a lack of inspiration. But I still love this story, and I still plan on finishing it - I'm expecting it to be somewhere between 25 and 30 chapters long, so we're probably about halfway there right about now. I have it all planned out, now I just have to write it! And just a quick note: break lines don't seem to want to work for me lately, so I've inserted '-x-' where those should be, just to indicate a time lapse or a change of POV. Read on.
Lucas had slept on floors, in tents, in the back of cars, in a bed made with Egyptian-cotton sheets in his ass of a father's home, on air mattresses…but never had he slept on sheets decorated with small, baby blue, purple-dress-wearing, dancing bunnies.
Rory had whipped them out proudly with one of the brightest smiles he'd seen her wear since the Logan/possible baby debacle. There was something slightly mischievous about her smile that made him suspect that she knew exactly how much she was torturing him…and also that, when she was wearing that smile that made her blue eyes glow so much, he just couldn't say no to her.
To trump the girly-ness and the humiliation of his bed sheets, Lorelai had come downstairs and presented to him – with a flourish, no less – an NSYNC comforter, with a great big picture of the band on it. Wearing the same smile as her daughter, she'd sung out, "Sleep tight."
"Do your sheets scare you?" Rory asked him teasingly, snapping him out of his thoughts. She was wearing pyjama pants and a lightweight, hooded sweater, leaning in the archway between the kitchen and the living room of her sweet, small-town home.
"In all honesty?" he asked, cupping the back of his neck with his hand, "Yeah, I am, a little bit."
She laughed lightly, walking over to him and resting her hand on his arm. "We don't exactly have macho sheets in this house."
He grinned back. "I think you've underestimated me."
She bit down on her lower lip. "Oh, yeah?"
"You see, Rory," he said as if he intended to tell her an important story or give some sort of serious lecture. "I can make even bunny-print sheets look good."
Rory rolled her eyes at his declaration. "I'd say that I'd like to see you try…but I'm not sure what I would be getting into."
Lucas stared right into her eyes, and lustful blue encountered lustful blue. It was funny, he couldn't help but think. He'd never actually dated someone with the same colour eyes as he had, and maybe that was what made the pulse of sexual tension that passed between them even more intense. "Yeah…" he said, swallowing hard. "I don't think you'd want to know."
The moment was broken by the sound of someone purposefully clearing their throats, and both pairs of blue eyes flew to the stairs, where Rory's mother stood, arms crossed over her chest. She arched a single eyebrow, and Rory groaned lightly. "Mom."
Lorelai gave her a pointed look. "As much as I love watching my daughter kinda-sorta flirt with the guy she randomly showed up with today…I think it's time for you kids to get some sleep, and in your completely separate sleeping areas." She walked down the last few steps and hooked her arm through her daughter's. Even though Rory was exasperated, their was a comfort, a sense of love, in the glance that she threw her mother's way.
"Goodnight," Rory said softly, sounding suddenly demure and yet also coy. It was clear that she wanted to say a lot more with that word, but she couldn't.
"Thanks for brining my girl home," Lorelai told Lucas earnestly, but there was still something guarded in her eyes. "If that couch doesn't kill you, you're welcome to a room at my inn tomorrow."
He smiled back at her. "Thanks. For…"
Her smile grew to its full potential, entirely genuine. "You're welcome," she told him gently.
He watched them walk off into the kitchen together, heads bent close. As a writer, he found Lorelai intriguing. Lucas grew up with a young mother, but there was something more firm and a bit more naturally maternal about Karen Roe. Lorelai was young and hip, quirky and friendly, but also protective and self-sacrificing. When the two of them stood together, the Gilmore girls, there was something untouchable about a bubble that they created around themselves. But then Rory would smile at him and he would think that maybe, just maybe, she could trust him enough to let him get in, too.
"Okay, kid," Lorelai said with a sense of finality in her voice. "Why don't you sit, okay? I'll make tons and tons of coffee, and crack open a new bag of marshmallows…and we'll talk about all this."
Rory looked over at her mother apologetically. She was impossibly happy to be home; she just felt so secure. Logan had spent little time in Stars Hollow, so it was a place free of memories relating to her recently-ended relationship. Her heart still ached for him, at least a little bit, and being in home most definitely helped soothe the pain. And best of all, Lucas didn't seem out of place at all, sleeping on the couch on their crazy sheets.
She took a deep breath in. "Mom…I'm so exhausted. I was hoping I could just sleep tonight. I brought tacos, they're in the fridge…we can do this tomorrow."
Lorelai set down her coffee mug, and Rory squirmed under her worried gaze. "Honey, I'm…concerned about you."
"No, Rory, seriously…I don't…I don't understand. This isn't you."
Rory sighed. She had to tell her mother everything, and part of her was dying to…but an even bigger part of her was dreading it. Lorelai and Logan were not subjects that mixed easily; Lorelai and pregnancy were an even worse combination. She'd felt happy when she'd arrived there earlier, and all she wanted to do was put on her goofily-printed PJs and crawl into bed with Colonel Clucker, the toy rooster she'd had all her life. She wasn't ready to talk to Lorelai, not yet. "Mom, you don't know everything about me."
Lorelai walked over, sitting down across from her. "I feel like…this breakup with Logan has changed you, and…"
"Mom," Rory sighed, smiling softly. "I'm still me. And I'm okay."
"Sweetie," Lorelai said with her own sigh. "You show up here days after you have a huge fight with your boyfriend at your grandparents' house – which you are going to have to deal with, by the way, Emily's already yelled at me enough to last of, another two days or until my next mistake, whichever comes next – and then you show up here a few days later with this strange boy and a smile on your face but…honey, I know you, and I know those eyes…" She tilted her daughter's chin up. "You're keeping things from me, babe, and you know I can't stand that."
"Nothing drastic," Rory assured her quietly. "Mom…please?"
Her mother nodded hesitantly. "Tomorrow night, then, okay? We'll watch Casablanca with your…guy…and then he can entertain himself while you and I talk. Sound okay?"
Instead of answering, Rory wrapped her arms around her mother. "I love you."
She felt Lorelai press a kiss to her temple and hug her just a bit tighter, and Rory gave into the comfort of the embrace. "I love you, too, kid."
"Lucas…Lucas," Rory's voice hissed in Lucas' ear the next morning, and he groaned, waving his hand in the air as if to bat her away.
"Five more minutes," he muttered.
"No, get up," she insisted, shaking his shoulder. "Right now, get up!"
He frowned, attempting to pull the blankets over his head, but she yanked them back. "Lucas Scott, get up right now."
He squinted up at her through bleary eyes. "Or what?"
Rory scowled – clearly she didn't have any sort of witty response prepared for that comment. "Would you just get up already?"
"I would really actually rather…not."
She pulled the covers off of him, making him groan and open his eyes fully. It was then that they both realized that he was wearing nothing more than his boxers, and they both stopped moving. He watched Rory's eyes travel down his body, patiently waiting for some sort of reaction. She shook her head, as if to clear it of the image of his body, and he couldn't help but smirk.
"Come on," she said quietly, her cheeks a little bit red. "Get up and follow me."
He sighed dramatically and accepted her extended hand, following her toward the door. She was wearing her pyjamas and her hair was sticking up in several directions; she looked adorable. He was so caught up in that thought that he didn't realize that Rory had dragged him outside, onto her porch.
"What the hell?" he cried.
"Shh!" she said giddily. "You'll wake up my mom!"
"What are we doing?" he demanded.
She pointed toward the sky as if it were obvious. "It's snowing."
And it was, big white flakes floating down around them, moving slowly through the ice-cold air. "Rory Gilmore, I think you might be crazy."
She tilted her head back and caught a snowflake on her tongue. She swallowed, shivered, and then turned to look at him, arching an eyebrow confidently. "And I think you might actually like it."
Lucas couldn't deny that and he looked down instead. That was when he noticed that they were standing in snow, and both of them had nothing on their feet. "You're going to freeze, let's go in."
She just shrugged, staring out into the winter wonderland. "Some things are just worth the risk."
"C'mere," he sighed as though exasperated, but he was honestly more enthralled with her than anything else. She placed both of her hands in his, shooting him a questioning glance which he did not respond to. Gently he tugged at her hands, upward and toward him, and she got the hint. Lacing her fingers through his for support, she stepped up and onto the tops of his feet, protecting her from own from the snow.
With her standing on his feet, they were pretty much the same height. They maintained a careful balance, grasping each other's hands tightly. And then, in that moment, maybe because of the way the image of the snowflakes dancing in the sky was reflected in her eyes, numbing his brain, he leaned in, and he kissed her.
"No," Lucas groaned, his pout playful but his disappointment serious. "No way."
April grinned, punching her fist into the air triumphantly. "I win," she declared happily.
Rory smiled indulgently. Hanging out with April wasn't exactly something she had Luke's complete blessing to do, and it wasn't Lorelai's preferred activity for her to partake in either, but she really did adore the twelve-year-old, who was even quirkier than she herself had been at that age.
"So what do I owe you?" she asked grudgingly, a playful smile gracing her lips. She'd played Risk with April and Lucas, and April had completely obliterated them despite the countless alliances she and Lucas had made in a desperate effort to maintain a little dignity.
"Two donuts. Cough 'em up."
Rory forked over the cash for the treats and April cleared off the board with a smooth sweep of her hand. "Wanna play again?" she asked.
Rory lifted her eyebrows and looked over to Lucas, expecting him to share her amusement, but he appeared to be lost in thought. She nudged him gently, but didn't pull back, allowing her arm to rest against his. "You alright?" she asked softly.
He snapped back to life and gave her a smile. "Of course I'm not. I just got my ass kicked by a twelve-year-old."
Rory smiled back, but she knew that it didn't reach her eyes. That wasn't what she wanted as an answer. Lucas knew that, but he still hadn't been honest with her. Lucas had shared a lot with her, but he still seemed so mysterious at times. Rory had to admit that she found it attractive, but she wanted to know more. Lucas had seen her at her most vulnerable – heartbroken and possibly pregnant. Lucas had saved her. She was transparent to him now. She was comfortable with it; she just wished that she could know him to the same extent.
They hadn't talked about that morning's kiss. Afterward, she'd been slightly shocked and had tumbled off of his feet. Lorelai had heard them moving about and joined them on the snowy porch, bringing jackets, blankets, boots, and of course, coffee.
Rory tended to overanalyze her relationships, or at least analyze them to some extent. She liked to know where things stood, how both parties felt, where things were going. She liked to be on the same page with people. Normally, she would need to discuss an utterly spontaneous kiss that happened early in the morning just outside her childhood home, but for some reason, the fact that they hadn't discussed it felt…right. As though they were allowed to want something they shouldn't as long as they never really talked about it.
And for the first time in her life, that seemed like it might be okay.
Lucas leaned back in his chair and took a sip from the cup of coffee Rory had insisted on buying for him. He was comfortable as he sat there with the warm beverage in his hands, half tuned in to the conversation Rory and April were having about a book series they'd both read as little kids.
In his peripheral vision, he could see Lorelai at the counter with a large mug cupped in her hands, her crazily patterned scarf still around her neck. She'd been subtly spying on them the whole time. Luke leaned toward her, best she was too focused on Rory to notice.
"What're you doing?" Luke demanded, making Lorelai jump. Coffee sloshed over the rim of her cup.
"Jeez!" Lorelai gasped. "Don't sneak up on me like that!" She grabbed a napkin to clean up the mess.
"I didn't sneak up on you. You just didn't notice me because you were spying."
"You were staring," Luke reported gruffly.
"I was not! I was…observing."
"Rory's a smart girl," Luke said, so quietly that Lucas almost didn't hear him.
"Wh – huh – bu – Luke!" Lorelai cried. "What have you done with my fiancé?"
"Lorelai," he sighed.
"Where," she interrupted him, "is the man who insisted that Rory deserved nothing short of Prince Charming? Where is the man who wanted to kick the ass of every boy who came within two feet of her? Where is the man who went crazy to protect that little girl's heart?"
"You're being dramatic."
"Honey, have you met me?" Lorelai asked pointedly.
"She's not a little girl anymore."
"Stop, she is."
"She's not, and you need to trust her to make her own decisions."
"Last time I sat back and let her make her decisions she dropped out of Yale."
Lucas' eyebrows shot up at that, and his startled blue orbs darted over to Rory. She was playfully debating something with April. In the ultra-short time he'd known her, Rory had only attended one class, but she'd demonstrated a lot of literary intelligence and a simple joy that knowledge brought her. She reminded Lucas of Haley: meant to learn. He couldn't believe that Rory would ever quit school.
"But she went back," Luke said soothingly. "Rory knows how to fix her mistakes."
"Rory doesn't think straight when she's upset. I'm just trying to protect her."
"That's the thing, Luke, she look it, but she's not. I know my daughter. She just broke up with her boyfriend and we haven't even talked about it yet. And she just shows up with this boy…" she trailed off, sighing. "Do you like him?"
"He seems…nice. Respectful. I like him more than that Logan kid."
"He's a sweetheart," Lorelai said softly. "He's been taking care of her, they have a lot in common, and he's got these fabulously intense eyes…Luke, he…he's her rebound and that scares the hell out of me 'cause Rory's not a rebound kind of girl and because I look at that kid with his broody face and all his kindness and think that he could be her guy."
Lucas froze at her words, but didn't allow himself to think too much.
"Wait," Luke said firmly. "Rory's only twenty-one, and they're just friends."
Lorelai scoffed. "The sexual tension alone between those two is enough to freak me out, but throw in their emotional connection…that terrifies me." When she spoke again, there were tears in her voice: "He can take care of her. I know…that that should make me happy, but it scares me."
There was an understanding silence that lasted nearly three minutes before Luke gently said, "I'll get you some pie."
"Two pieces, please," she requested quietly.
Lucas swallowed hard as he mulled over what Lorelai had just said. He had contemplated the future before, and it had seemed so easy and blissful. But when that future was denied to him, the concept of 'forever' grew distant, fuzzy and frightening in his mind. Lucas had seen proof that love could live forever, but he didn't know if he was destined for such a thing. Lorelai thought he was right for Rory, and she'd know him for a single day. She felt it so powerfully that it scared her.
And it scared him, too. He'd left Tree Hill for a reprieve from all the drama. Rory had brought exactly what he'd been trying to avoid back into his life…and he'd welcomed it.
Rory had a lot of stressful things happening in her life, but between them…when it was not Lucas, or Rory, but Lucas and Rory…things were so peaceful and easy.
She must have sensed his staring because her eyes found his.
Lucas' relationship history was dominated by two girls. One would have kinked her eyebrows and batted her eyelashes. The other would have given him a searching look and a playful wink.
Rory just looked at him, wearing a half smile, her gaze soft and unwavering. Lucas returned the small grin, relaxing again. His mildly panicked train of thought faded away and he lost himself to the moment.
Deep within her brilliant baby blues, he caught the faintest glimpse of always.
A/N: If you are still reading, I would really love a review, just to let me know that somebody's still paying attention. And if any of you and wondering why I've left out most of the OTH characters...that's just so far. They're going to come into play much more in the future. Thanks for reading, and I am going to try really, really hard to update within the next couple weeks rather than the next couple months.