Farewell To Old England Forever
Disclaimer – My support group leader says to always wish for the things you want. So, yes, they're mine.
Author's Note – The title of the story will probably only make sense to people from Australia. And I'm Dutch go figure. Browny point for anyone who can tell me what the title means. Extra if you're not Australian.
A big smoochy thanks to my three beta readers: Kasey, Ivy and Calyn. Thanks for being so bouncy.
And... let's go with the banana!
He heard this song once, some time ago, when he was walking around in New York. There was this Australian guy standing on a corner somewhere, singing a song, something about how the first convicts came to Australia and there's this line in the chorus, something like "toorelai oorelai" but he sang the words so close together that it sounded like Lorelai and it made him smile because he thought about her and then the smile disappeared because he was thinking about her.
He sits in his apartment one night, in his easy chair and he looks at his guitar standing in a corner, just resting there, over twenty years old and probably out of tune and collecting dust, and he wonders if he should write a song.
Liz told him once he sounded like Springsteen when he sang.
It's a morning like any other and she comes in, all bubbly and Lorelai-y and he pours her coffee while she talks, and he's feeling a little fidgety because he can't get this tune out of his head. And he's surprised at the mildly itchy feeling his fingertips have acquired but it's a pleasant feeling as well, and when she's left for work and the breakfast crowd is gone he tells Caesar he's going upstairs for an hour or so.
At the kitchen table he settles the guitar in his lap and fiddles with the tuning knobs for a while until the thing sounds reasonably in key again although he's not quite sure; he hasn't played in such a long time. But he starts to pluck at the strings anyway and his left hand manages to find the right chords and he's humming a little. So he takes a pencil and a piece of paper and starts trying to figure out that tune in his head. He gets it with fifteen minutes to spare, so he starts to arrange the chords to go with the song, working out longer sequences and tweaking a thing here and there and it's actually beginning to sound like something half decent. He even thinks of some words, lines in that melody he's been figuring out, but halfway through he throws down his pencil because it's so damn cheesy.
What's he gonna do, sing it to her?
So he puts the guitar back in its lonely, dusty corner and begins to crumple up the paper to throw it in the garbage when something stops him and he unfolds it, smooths it out, folds it in four and sticks it in the top drawer of his bedside table.
And the next night when he's sitting in his chair he can't help but pick up his guitar again and getting the piece of paper out, because she's come to dinner and whenever he sees her this tune comes back to him and he's actually sort of scratching his fingertips. So he's playing and writing the words and sometimes, even, haltingly, singing. Softly though, because God forbid somebody hears him.
He's been doing this every night, seven nights in a row, and he hasn't even come close to finishing it. He fears it's becoming one of those epic songs, like the one about Ulysses or those poems they used to write in the Renaissance about people, listing all their good qualities and such, but he can't stop, there's so much he has to say about and to her. The paper is this waste bin and he's just pouring out all the crap and stuff that's been accumulating in his head all those years into it.
He finds himself humming it, too. He hums it when he's flipping burgers, doing dishes or while sweeping the floor after closing. He even hummed it once in the shower, which was kind of a bad idea. He's hummed it so many times it has become a part of him and when Lorelai asks him one night, when he's setting down her plate in front of her, what he's doing, he doesn't even know what she's talking about.
But when she clarifies, alarm bells go off in his head, accompanied by a loud thought of "Shiiiit!"
He finally manages to stutter something about a song on the radio that got stuck in his head, which is a bad idea, because didn't he once tell Lorelai that he hated radio? Yes, that's right, so he stutters something about Jess and the radio and does that kid ever listen anyway when I tell him to turn that damn music off? His brain is nodding at him, saying, Very good, Luke, blame Jess.
When in doubt, blame Jess.
Lorelai gives him a weird look, but apparently decides to let it go because she nods and turns to her burger.He is so relieved he actually voluntarily gives her more coffee, at which she squeals in delight, which makes him smile because he made her happy and now he's happy.
What to do with the song, though?
He decides, three nights later, that this will be the last night that he does anything with it. He will write the last verse, think of something really nice to end it with and then burn it. Or eat it maybe. Flushing it down the toilet seems appealing, but it would probably clog the drain and then the toilet would overflow.
And maybe, just maybe, after he's finished this stupid thing, he'll work up the courage to walk up to her and instead of offering her pancakes he'll offer himself. Wear his heart on his sleeve and ask her out, not in that uninterested way that guys seem to be doing it right now, but in a way that will make her see that he is serious.
That he really likes her. That he very probably loves her.
Oh, who are you kidding, Lucas, he tells himself sternly, you're head over heels in love with her. You want to do all those things Sandra Bullock told what's-his-name in that weird undercover cop-turned-beauty-queen movie.
He's a little tired of having to fight his impulses. And what are his impulses exactly? Not that he wants to fuck her. Well, he does want to fuck her, but he doesn't want to fuck her. No, all he really wants to do is kiss her. Not even the big kind of passionate kiss. Just a kiss on the lips. He wants to kiss her every time she walks into the diner and makes the bell above the door jingle and his toes along with it. He wants to kiss her when he's pouring her coffee, leaning over the counter just a bit. He wants to kiss her when he's setting down her plate of burgers in front of her. He wants to kiss her when she opens the door for him because he's come to fix something. He wants to kiss her hello and goodbye and hey you've been here fifteen minutes already it's time to kiss you again.
The next day, he does.
He's in the diner, walking from A to B with the coffee pot in his hands and she walks in and he swerves to A and a half where she stands and kisses her on the lips. He points her to a table and continues on to B which happens to be Kirk trying to steal the sugar packets again.
He kisses her again when he brings her her coffee and during the next three refills and ignores her questioning sounds, just gives her sort of a smile. Somewhere during the hamburger kiss he's sort of lost his mind and he has stopped wondering if this is a bad idea or a good idea. He read somewhere once that when you are sober good ideas are good ideas and bad ideas are bad but when you're drunk all ideas are good ideas. He's not drunk so this must be a good idea. Or a bad one. He can't remember. So he kisses her again when he takes her plate away.
When he kisses her as she comes to pay the bill, she kisses him back.