With or Without You

(It's around 11:00 pm and Lorelai is standing at the front door of the diner. She's wearing her pajamas and is holding a coffee mug in one hand and a flannel shirt in the other. Luke comes to the door and unlocks it, scowling. Lorelai enters quickly.)

Lo: Ok, before you start screaming in high- pitched feminine tones.I have a very good explanation for this-

Lu: You ran out of coffee.

Lo: No.

Lu: You set your house on fire.

Lo: No.

Lu: You enjoy tormenting me.

Lo: N- yes. But that's not it. I was snuggled up in my bed, layers of blankets and fluffy pillows surrounding me when I had a sudden - and when I say sudden, I mean gynormously huge- pang of guilt.

Lu: You forgot to watch Oprah.

Lo: No. I realized that I'd stolen a recruit form your flannel shrine.

(Holds up flannel shirt smiling sweetly.)

Lu: Ok. how exactly?

Lo: Well.last night, we were watching movies- you fell asleep. I went upstairs; you musta taken your shirt off in some dream version of a male strip club. then when you woke up you were totally disoriented- you left, abandoning your shirt, and I thought that it was a cute couch adornment, so I named it Ernie- and then totally forgot about it. So, now, I'm here, your flannel's here and my couch is pining for it's best friend.

Lu: Ah. (Regarding her with a slightly amused expression.)

Lo: Well. here's your shirt back.take good care of him.

(She slowly, almost regretfully gives Luke his shirt, but he gives it back.)

Lu: Genderized inanimate objects aside. I think maybe you should keep it.

Lo: (Looks touched.) Why? Lu: (Gruffly.) Well, because- you know it's late. you're bugging me and. I uh wouldn't want your couch to be lonely.

Lo: That's very compassionate of you. (Holds shirt close.) So, while I'm here and you're awake and-

Lu: One coffee coming right up. (Lorelai smiles and sits down at her usual table.)

Lo: Rory's coming home tomorrow. she got a bit sick of tapping her heels, so I told her to get her butt over here before I put on my witch hat and teleport her- seemed to work.

Lu: (Chuckles.) How ya feeling about it?

Lo: Life without mini- me? (Luke nods as he gives her her coffee and and sits down at the other side of the table.)

Lo: Ok, I guess. who am I kidding? It sucks! One day I started missing her so much that I began a very one- sided conversation with a photo I found in her room. it sucks when people you love aren't around to quench your endless needs for chatter.

Lu: (Distant.) Yeah. (Looks at him for a minute, then is jolted with sudden realization.)

Lo: Oh Luke. I'm sorry.

Lu: That's ok.

Lo: No, really. that was totally out of order. things just slip my mind and I start blabbering. I'm sorry. (She reaches for his hand and takes it in hers.)

Lu: (Looks down at there hands and says a bit huskily.) Don't worry about it.

Lo: I guess just being lonely takes a little getting used to. At least for someone who's accustomed to having their best friend right next door. (Luke nods.)

Lo: (Emotional.) I thought adapting would be easier then this. but it's seriously like living in a box.

( Luke gently removes his hand form her's and awkwardly pats her on the shoulder.)

Lu: You'll move on. someone new will come along, and even though Roy will still be as big a part of you as she is now. it won't seem so much like you're giving her up.

Lo: (Looks touched.) Where do these outbursts of sentimental wisdom come form, Luke Danes?

Lu: (Chuckles.) I've got a few tricks up my sleeve.

Lo: But how is it that you don't know anything about gift- shopping but when it comes to cheering people up you can outrun Willy Wonka himself?

Lu: (Blushes.) I guess I get it form a lot of different stuff. life experiences. they help you gain insight. Like- you know- my dad dying, opening the diner at eighteen. the numerous traumas of finding Rachel packed up over and over again.

Lo: Wow. you've been through a lot. Crap. a couple broken lipstick tubes are my ultimate claim to fame.

(Luke laughs and Lorelai seizes the opportunity to ask him something that she's been wondering about for awhile.)

Lo: So. what happened with you and Rachel anyways?

(Luke gazes at her intensely, daring her to go on.)

Lo: I always wondered. that day- you came over and told me that she was gone. and I never really got the inside scoop- not that I wanted the inside scoop- I mean, not that it's any of my business. I was just kinda curious.

Lu: She had her reasons.

(Lorelai gives him a probing look.)

Lo: Such as.?

(Luke stands up very quickly.)

Lu: Maybe you should go.

Lo: What?? "Maybe I should go"? I thought we were taking our skeletons our of the closet. and you CAN'T interrupt that kind of secret session with "Maybe you should go."

Lu: Well, I just did.

(Lorelai pouts as she stands up.)

Lo: You confuse me.

Lu: That's my job.

Lo: You sure you don't wanna talk? I mean. it really helps! That's my wisdom bit right there.

Lu: (Quietly.) I don't wanna talk.

Lo: (Laughs.) What? Was she a cross- dresser?

Lu: (Glares at her.) No.

Lo: European refugee? Missionary? Michael Jackson fan?

Lu: Go. (She picks up her mug and newly acquired flannel and he ushers her towards the door.)

Lo: Then what? Luuuuuuuuuke.

Lu: You are incredibly determined.

Lo: Thank you for noticing. So. does my persistent side win over that little tid- bit?

Lu: Nope.

Lo: Come on!

Lu: No!

Lo: It's not like you have anything to hide form me.

(Luke shifts uncomfortably and looks her directly in the eye.)

Lu: (Quietly.) Maybe I do.

(He suddenly become very fascinated with his feet and so misses Lorelai's change in expression, for surprised to thoughtful.)

Lo: Maybe someday you'll tell me.

Lu: Maybe someday I will.

Lo: (Exiting.) See ya later.

Lu: Yep. Bye.