Spoilers/Timeline: Nothing specific. Post-season 4.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I don't make any money off them. Amy Sherman-Palladino, WB, others with money, they get all the credit.
AN: Thanks to carrielynn, my partner in crime, for the ledge-talking and hand-holding. She persuaded me to do this, so all blame should be laid on her.
She thinks of him when she smells coffee (the obvious), the thin oil you squirt on hinges (the less obvious) and that sweetened glue they put on envelopes (the truly obscure).
She thinks of him in a lot of ways, really, but these are the three bothering her today.
She's going to stop thinking of him. Now. Stopping.
Stopping because it's pointless. Stopping because it's annoying. Stopping because he's, well, him. And she's her, and all that ever leaves them is another argument, another grudging truce, another flurry of meaningless small talk, another cup of coffee.
(Which inevitably leads to another argument…)
Stopping because it's pointless.
(And if it weren't?)
If it weren't, it would go something like this:
"Hi, Luke, I was wondering if I could get some coffee and some waffles with whipped cream and…blueberries and a side of bacon and two eggs – over easy – and another cup of coffee and possibly a meaningful relationship or just really great sex."
"I would comment there, but I tuned out right after the blueberries."
"I was wondering if I could get some coffee and some waffles—"
"And more coffee and something about sex. Got it."
He glares. "The coffee."
"Good, because I was starting to wonder just what kind of establishment I'd wandered into. You know, Taylor's not going to be too happy with you opening up some kind of sex store right next to his ice cream shoppe."
"Taylor not being happy is almost enough reason to open up some kind of sex store."
Rory hops up onto a stool. "Luke's opening up a sex store?"
"Yeah, just to see Taylor go all Guliani over town square."
"I am not opening up a—" he drops his voice, "—sex store. This was a family diner before the two of you came in. Now tell me what you want on your pancakes."
"It was waffles."
"I was serious about that, you know."
"About the waffles?"
"Or, well, about the whole meaningful relationship thing."
His eyes linger on hers for just a second longer than normal before he turns away from the counter and wipes one hand on the towel at his waist and uses the other to stuff his order pad back into his pocket.
He's back then, a second later, voice still low and growly, eyes still not meeting hers.
"Remind me not to talk to you before your first cup of coffee."
And then she would sit there, gulping her coffee, staring at the counter and wondering whether if she held her mouth open long enough like a Neanderthal all the words that just spilled out onto the counter and into the air would just hop right back in, and she could pretend it never happened and he would never have heard.
But they won't, and she can't, and he has. So she would gulp the last of the coffee and swallow the last of her pride and trudge back home wondering whether friendship can survive this sort of thing.
And this is why she must stop thinking about him.