EDIT: Fixed some typos.

Mostly, I just wanted them to have sex, but there's some feelings in there too. Takes place loosely during season five, from their first date to their reconciliation.

Recommended listening: Bon Iver's Heavenly Father, or possibly anything by Fleet Foxes. Enjoy!


Kingdom

The first time is warm and slow and good, and happy in a way that sex usually isn't.

He takes her home, through the diner, up the stairs, into his apartment, because he knows—of course he knows—and undresses her as though he's been waiting to for years. They talk and laugh their way through it, and gasp and sigh and groan in all the right places, and afterward she drapes herself over his chest, lacing her fingers together just over his heart to prop her chin up and look at him.

If she liked him before, well, it's nothing compared to how she feels about him now. She knows his face so well, and yet now, in the half light shining in through the window, it is completely new: his hair disheveled, his lips swollen, a satisfied look in his eyes as he runs his hand up and down her spine. He's magnificent.

"You're magnificent," she says, and he rolls his eyes.

"You're alright," he says wryly, and kisses her.

"God, and that thing with the—the—" She makes a hand gesture to illustrate her point, and he raises an eyebrow, which is rude, because she knows he knows exactly what she's talking about. "Anyway. That was great. Ten out of ten."

"Well," he says, shifting to get more comfortable. "I've picked up a few tricks." She feels his body roll beneath her as he moves up the bed, like a wave, and she lets herself fall to the side, leaning her head against his shoulder.

"I can't believe you kept that horoscope," she says after a moment, wondering, marveling, and when he smiles, something inside her settles, clicks into place, and she thinks, This. This is what I've been waiting for.


It's different, she thinks, after you've seen somebody naked.

She's not an infant and she understands object permanence, and, more to the point, has seen naked men before; but it was one thing to know that somewhere beneath all the denim and flannel there existed a naked man, and another thing entirely to know the freckles of his back, the tattoos on his shoulders, to have run her fingers through the hair on his chest and over the muscles in his thighs.

She watches him stocking in the store room, and when he grips the boxes to tear them open, she thinks of the way he had gripped her thighs, his fingers strong and sure against the backs of her legs. He stacks crates of onions and tomatoes, and she watches the swing of his shoulders and thinks of the way his body had shifted beneath her hands, and the hard muscle of his lower back, where her fingers had found purchase against his spine. He licks his lips and swipes at his forehead, and she thinks of the taste of his mouth and the salt of his skin, and the way his tongue had felt, wet and hot against hers.

They make out behind shelves of pickles and mustard and empty milk jugs, and he smiles lazily against her lips, staring at her with a knowing glint in his eyes. "I didn't realize you found canned food so sensual," he murmurs, pressing a kiss to the corner of her mouth, and she laughs, tipping her head back as he grins, delighted.

"Dirty," she whispers, pressing her tongue against her upper teeth and wrapping her arms around his shoulders as he pushes his thigh between her legs.


She likes to mess with him. He sits at the kitchen table to eat toast and peanut butter and orange juice, dressed and showered, with twenty minutes to open the diner, and she slides onto his lap, straddling him, her legs hooked around the back of the chair.

"Lorelai," he warns, as she traces his shirt collar, dragging her nails against his skin.

"What?" she asks, smiling. "Am I bothering you?"

"Lorelai, I have to eat."

"Oh, are you hungry?" Because I'm starving." She shifts, feels the rough fabric of his jeans against the cotton of her underwear, and wraps her arms around his neck, stroking the tense muscles in his shoulders.

"Come on," he says, almost pleadingly, as she leans forward and buries her head in the crook of his neck, breathing in against his skin. His hands fall uncertainly against her back, resting lightly on her shoulder blades, warm though the flannel of the shirt she stole from his dresser. She sticks her tongue out and drags it up his neck, biting underneath his jaw, and his hands clench convulsively, his fingers digging in, as though he's about to push her away but can't quite manage it. "Lorelai, please," he insists, but she can hear the defeat in his voice as she leans back, smiling, before licking across the top of his mouth.

His hands fall to her hips and he pushes her down against his lap as he surges up to meet her mouth with his, and there he is, pressing up hard between her legs, and she laughs as he unbuttons her shirt and kisses his way down her chest, cussing her out with every breath.


He draws the line at sex in the actual diner.


Her home is sacred ground, and while the rules aren't as rigid as they had once been, there is still a hesitance in the way Luke steps over the threshold he has crossed for so many other reasons, so many times before. There is deference in the way he lets her take his coat off, and pour him a glass of wine, and later, lead him up the stairs to her bedroom. And there is reverence in the way he moves down her body and wraps his arms around her thighs, and in the look in his eyes as he dips his head to press his mouth between her legs.


She likes going to bed with him almost as much as she likes waking up with him. She likes his routine, likes getting to know it: the way he never presses snooze on the alarm clock, just takes a deep breath and rolls out of bed; the way his watch is the first thing he takes off before bed and the last thing he puts on before work; the way he always tucks the blankets back in around her before he leaves.

She says she doesn't want everything to change, and she doesn't. Still, on days when she's up early and he's up late, she lets him make her breakfast, sometimes, and even eats the fruits he slides onto her plate; bites into the strawberries and raspberries he holds up to her lips, licks the juice from his fingertips with a smile.

She likes that when she walks into the diner, he has a coffee on the counter and a smile on his face just for her; likes that when she leans in for a kiss, she can smell her soap on his skin, see the bruises she left on his neck beneath the collar of his shirt. She squeezes his hand on her way out, and as he raises it, pressing a kiss to her knuckles, she wonders how she went so long without this.


On Friday they go to her parents' for dinner, and when they get home, they don't make it to his bed. He grips the backs of her thighs and presses her against the inside of the door, pinning her with two hundred pounds of obstinacy and enthusiasm. She wraps her legs around his waist and he slides her skirt up, one hand on her ass, the other fumbling with his belt buckle as he kisses her, nipping at her lips, letting her run her tongue against his teeth.

It is hot and hard and quick, and her arms ache from the grip she keeps on his shoulders, and when it's over he lowers her legs and leans into her, his hands around her waist, his head against her shoulder, his body crushing hers to the wall.

"Have you been working out?" she mumbles against his collar, and he laughs like he can't help it, and she revels in the shift of his chest against hers, the warmth of his breath against her ear.


Usually, they lie in bed and talk about their days, and what outrageous thing Michel said to which guest, and what ludicrous bylaw Taylor is pushing for now, and how Rory is doing at Yale, and what she's busy with, and whether she's happy. Today, they exchange battle scars.

"This is from this one time, when I was trying to cut a bagel, and the knife slipped," she says, showing him her finger, letting him rub his thumb over it. "It was a pre-cut bagel."

"The most challenging variety of bagel," he concurs gravely, pressing a kiss to her knuckle.

"A menace to society. And this," she continues, squirming away to show him the mark on her ribs. "Is from my aunt's cat. I was too young to see the evil in its eyes." His hand traces over the faint white marks, his fingers broad and callused, before moving up to stroke the underside of her breast. "Ah, yes," she sighs, threading her hand through his and moving it down to her stomach. "The most important scars of all. God, I hate stretch marks."

"They're not a big deal," he says, giving her that Luke-ish look, and she rolls her eyes.

"Stupid, beautiful men. Just another thing you don't have to deal with."

Unexpectedly, he rolls away from her, and she's confused until she sees where his hand is pointing, at his side, where pale lines glimmer like stripes beneath his skin. She runs her fingers over them, slowly, curiously, and he turns back around, sliding his arm under her waist. "Growth spurt," he says, shrugging, and she kisses his mouth, his nose, his forehead, his eyelid, his jaw; showers him in kisses until he grabs her face with both hands and drags her mouth down to his.


She dreams about him, sometimes, on the nights they are apart. Her life is small, but her dreams are big; he takes her in the sand, in the grass, in her childhood bedroom, quickly, quietly, hoping, in that adolescent way, that no one will walk in on them. What is consistent is the shift of the muscles in his shoulders; the weight of him as he presses into her; the blaze of his eyes, fluorescent blue against the dark of her mind.

She goes to the diner for lunch, and if there's a lull, he makes himself a sandwich and sits beside her at the counter, knocking his knee against hers. She leans in close and whispers her dreams to him, every minute, every detail, her lips brushing against the shell of his ear. When she pulls away, he is wide-eyed and white-knuckled, a flush spreading up his neck and across his cheeks.

"Don't tell me that," he grumbles, staring studiously at the counter.

"Why ever not?"

"This is my place of business. I work here."

"I don't," she says cheerfully, and squeezes his thigh, enjoying the flex of his hands against the counter, the smile pulling at his lips.


Date night is whichever night they can both make it, and afterward, sometimes it's his place, and sometimes it's hers.

He comes up behind her as she roots around for her keys, wraps his arm around her waist, and uses the other to move her hair off her shoulder so that he can press a kiss to the place where it meets her neck. She sucks in a breath as he licks the bridge of her ear and tilts her head, baring her neck like an offering.

"The door?" he whispers against the skin below her ear, and she remembers the bag in her hand, tries checking the outside pocket. Luke makes his ways down her neck, kissing, licking, undoing her with the softness of his mouth and the hard scrape of his jaw. His right hand has slipped below her shirt, his fingers tracing circles against her ribs, holding her to him, his thumb just brushing the underside of her breast. He reaches her collarbone and bites down, sucking, and her hands feel numb, groping blindly through her purse. She can't even remember what she's looking for.

He steps impossibly closer, crushing her to him, and she puts her hands against the door to steady herself, dropping her bag onto the porch with a clatter. The sound is muted, dull against the cold, damp night, and all she can hear is Luke, and his breath, and his mouth, and all she can feel is him, his arm around her like steel, his belt buckle pressing into her back, his hand sliding down her hip.

"Babette," she chokes out, letting her head fall back onto his shoulder.

"Is in New Haven, visiting her sister," he replies gruffly, scraping his teeth across where her pulse is fluttering beneath her skin, sliding his hand up her skirt, between her thighs, his hand warm and rough and sure as she trembles against him.

And here is something she never thought she would be doing with Luke Danes, diner owner and class-A curmudgeon: standing on her front porch, gripping his arms and arching against him as he rubs hard, slick circles between her legs and leaves a trail of bruises along the side of her neck. She comes with a gasp, digging her nails into his skin, and he turns around to kiss her once before stepping back and licking his fingers off, one by one.

"Well?" he says, and she realizes she's been leaning back against the door, watching him with her mouth open. There is an undeniable smirk on his face, and it suits him. "The door?"


He comes by the inn when he's done work, sometimes, and she grabs him by the collar, hauling him in for a kiss.

"Thank god," she says, affection blooming in her chest.

"Miss me?"

"You have no idea. Uh—Michel? I'm gonna, uh, show Luke that thing? With the faucet?" Michel raises an eyebrow and opens his mouth to say something spiteful, but she's already snatched a key off the wall and is dragging a bemused Luke up the stairs, down the hallway and into a room, where she all but throws him against the wall.

"Lucky number seven," she murmurs, as his mouth works at her jaw and his hands work at her blouse.

"What?" he mutters distractedly, stilling against her.

"Nothing," she says, reaching behind him to lock the door and dropping to her knees.

"Wait," he says, catching on. "Are you really—" But she's already got his jeans unzipped and his boxers pulled down, and his voice cuts off when she takes him into her mouth, hollows her cheeks, runs her tongue up and down the length of him. He threads a hand through her hair, cradling the back of her head, and when she looks up, he has his head thrown back against the wall, his teeth against his knuckles, his eyes shut tight as his chest heaves with great shuddering breaths.

He's a great big man with a surplus of irritation and goodwill and words, and she likes that she can reduce him to this, and that he lets her.


He has a temper, and she has a stubborn streak a mile wide, and when they argue, it is almost always a real fight. He paces and waves his arms and clenches his teeth; she plants her feet and rolls her eyes and digs her fingers into her hips. Sometimes he capitulates; sometimes she decides it doesn't matter; sometimes they don't talk for hours, the air thick and tense, their apologies like leather between their teeth. Sometimes one of them cracks, and the tension dissolves into laughter; sometimes there is an olive branch, a coffee or a pie or a beer, and he pulls her into his lap and cradles her against him, shaking his head.

Sometimes he slams the door, and she slams it right back open, and he pushes her against the counter, granite against the small of her back. He kisses her more with his teeth than his tongue, tugs on her hair, tears at her clothes, bends her over the table with a hand between her shoulders, and he says You're infuriating and she says I love you too as he pushes into her with something that is not quite anger, but stings against her hips and her shoulders and her mouth all the same.


In bed, as in life, Luke is usually happy to follow her lead. But sometimes, something strange comes over him, and it makes him unpredictable. Unknowable.

"Excuse me?" she says, not so much offended as turned on, and he looks at her evenly, throwing his jacket on the couch and crossing his arms. His eyes are sharp and bright against the hard set of his mouth, and he rolls his neck, shifting to stand with his feet apart.

"Take it off," he repeats flatly, his head tipped back, his eyelids low. She stares at him, wide-eyed.

For once in her life, she does as she's told.

Twisting her arm up behind her back, she manages to pull down the zipper on her (black, plunging, clinging) dress, and shimmies a bit, letting it drop to the floor. Luke keeps his apartment a bit colder than she likes—he's a big man, and he doesn't spend much time up here anyway—and the cool air washes over her flushed skin like a balm. His gaze follows her dress, running over her chest, her stomach, down her legs and then back again. She's wearing her favourite lingerie set: purple, lacy, sheer.

"Your hair, too," he says, and she reaches up to take out the pins, one by one, throwing them in the direction of the dresser. She watches him watching her, solid, immobile, his eyes running over her body like a caress. She pulls out the hair elastic and feels her hair tumble to her shoulders, and Luke nods, once, uncrossing his arms and starting to unbutton his shirt. "Sit down," he commands (because that's what these are—commands), and she does, stumbling over the foot of his bed and catching herself with her elbows, landing with a bounce.

He takes his time undoing his shirt; he's unhurried, almost relaxed, as he makes his way down the line, and she watches his hands flex against the fabric, and he watches her watching him, and he looks her in the eyes and doesn't blink when he shrugs it off his shoulders and throws it behind him. He kicks off his boots and peels off his socks, and his hat comes off next, joining his coat on the couch. He ruffles his hair to get it to stop sticking, then reaches over his shoulders and hauls his shirt off over his head, and she enjoys the flex of his arms as he throws it to the ground.

He's walking towards the bed, now, his eyes hot, his face impassive, the bare skin of his chest and shoulders gleaming in the dim light. She realizes that she's been moving backwards, that her back has hit the headboard, that she has nowhere left to go, and he stares her down from the foot of the bed as he undoes his belt, the leather pulling free from his jeans with a hiss.

Her mouth is dry. She licks her lips.

"Come here," he says, and unbuttons his jeans. She wants to make a snappy comment about stripteases, but she can't get her throat and tongue to cooperate, so instead she moves down the bed towards him, and when she's halfway there he puts his knee on the bed and his hands on her waist and drags her the rest of the way, and she knows, when he pushes his fingers past her underwear, that she is wet and ready and wanting.


He likes to push her. Somewhere in the other room, her phone will be ringing. She makes to go find it—what if it's Rory?—and he wraps an arm around her, pulling her back against him.

"Hey, wait, no—I need to get that!"

"No you don't," he rumbles sleepily, his face pressed against the pillow.

"What if it's important?" she insists, her feet pushing against the sheets, her hand scratching at his arm as she tries to wriggle free. "Luke, let me go!"

Instead, he pulls her closer, his arm a vise around her waist, hard and unyielding. "What the hell is wrong with you?" she shrieks, suddenly furious, and he's pressing a hot, open kiss against her shoulder, her neck, is turning her over and sliding a thigh between her legs. The phone has stopped ringing, and she beats her fists against his back as his kisses turn to bites up the length of her neck. "It could have been an emergency, you brute."

"Then they'll call again," he says flatly, dragging his cheek against hers and swallowing her retort with an open-mouthed kiss.


She wants every part of him, body, mind, and soul, and it almost frightens her, the possessiveness that creeps up on her when she is looking the other way.

She feels it during the day, sometimes, when she calls him on the phone just because she can, or traces the skin on the inside of his wrist where he leans against the counter, or makes some excuse to get him into the back and press him against the wall and feel him, the breath in him, the life in him, his heart hammering beneath her hand as she makes out with him in the storeroom.

She feels it during the night, when she drags her nails up his back and into his hair, pulls him into her, leans him against the headboard and sinks down onto him, wraps her arms around his shoulders and presses her mouth against his. This is what she loves; the coarse hair of his chest against her breasts, the press of his stomach against hers, the scrape of his cheek on her jaw.

She always wants him nearer, impossibly closer, wants to crawl inside him, to carry him with her everywhere, so real and warm and undeniably hers. She pulls at her hair and claws at her chest and clenches her hands in the sheets, doesn't know what to do with the pressure behind her ribs, the impossible feeling expanding against her heart, can't handle the hard stubble of his face against the soft skin of her thighs, the press of his tongue just where she aches for him most.


They both have a way of saying exactly what they don't mean to say, twisting each others words as well as their own, shouting and roaring and baring their teeth trying to reach one another.

This time, apparently, Luke doesn't trust himself to speak.

She's expecting him at her door and yet can't quite believe it, doesn't know what to make of the image of him, the reality, standing at her door, panting, eyes burning. She falls into his arms and lets him kiss her, press his mouth against hers with intent, lean her back and speak without words. Her tongue brushes his, and she says I miss you. He wraps his arms around her and says I need you. She pushes her hands beneath the collar of his shirt, digs her nails into his shoulders, and says I want you.

Later, he carries her up the stairs, pulls her knees over his hips and pins her hands to the bed and stares her down as he rolls his hips into hers, and she writhes and gasps and doesn't blink as they both say I choose you.


Sometimes she wakes up before dawn, for no good reason other than the occasional unnameable anxieties that come with sleep, and this is her only real chance to look at him. He is a man who avoids the spotlight like it will burn him, hides beneath layers and scowls and prickly words, hunches his shoulders and ducks his head and makes himself smaller before curious eyes. Asleep, in her home, in her bed, he has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

His back is long and broad and freckled, and his legs reach the end of the bed, and she thinks of The Lion King as sunlight slowly peeks through the window, catching the angles of his profile, the hints of silver on his chin and at his temples, the fine lines that stretch from the corners of his eyes, betraying his temperament.

She's not sure that she's earned him, really, but she's glad that she's got him. She settles in next to him, drinks in his features, breathes in his air, and thinks about choices, and coincidences, and destinies.

Everything the light touches is our kingdom, she thinks, and presses a kiss to his shoulder.

Outside, the sun rises.


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