Title: The Context for Minivans
Rating: PG, if that.
Category: L/L fluff.
Spoilers: None. Takes place a few years in the future.
Archive: Ask first, please.
Summary: Lorelai's talking crazy again.
Author's Notes: I probably shouldn't admit this before you read, but I am very new to the GG world. I've only seen a handful of episodes over the years, but lately I've been bingeing on L/L fic. This idea attacked me and I had no choice but to write it. It's unabashed fluffiness as I try and get my bearings for the dynamic duo. I apologize for any glaring errors. Constructive criticism is appreciated, but flames are not. :) Enjoy.
The jingle of the bell over the diner door alerted Luke to a new arrival. He knew immediately it was her. Her entrance always caused a shift in the air, her very presence tilting molecules and putting the world off-balance.
Looking up, he smiled. A slightly strained tentative smile that belied his real happiness at the familiar sight, but a smile nevertheless. Her expression was quite the opposite, leaving no doubt to her true feelings. She was all bright eyes and perfect teeth. She carried with her the smell of mischief and spring. Her absurdly pointy shoes clicked merrily on the tile floor as she walked toward him. Lorelai glowed a little more than usual today.
Plopping down at the counter, she tossed her hair over her shoulder and grinned up at him. "Hey, handsome."
He eyed her suspiciously. Something was up. Her azure eyes twinkled in the afternoon light. Knowing Lorelai as he did, he prepared himself for whatever battle lie ahead. "Flattery will get you nowhere, Lorelai."
She feigned hurt and a Southern twang. "Why Luke! I wasn't trying to get anywhere! Am I not allowed to compliment my own husband without some ulterior motive? Can I not just see you across that counter all decked out in flannel and think, my, doesn't my man look dashing and positively virile today!" She finished her words with a flourish, long arm painting the air. He rolled his eyes.
After being married to this woman a year, not to mention dating for a year before that, and far too many years of friendship before that, he had come no closer to demystifying Lorelai Gilmore. (Even claiming her as Lorelai Danes had done little to suppress her innate Gilmore-ness, though not for lack of trying.)
"Well, I guess if you're just here to admire the scenery, I'll leave you to it. Table five is waiting on pie."
She took his bait, grabbing his hand to prevent him from leaving. "No, wait! I'll admit it! My ulterior motive is your delicious, greasy food!"
Luke smirked. "I thought so." He brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it quickly, hoping no one in the diner would see. His general policy was no public displays of affection while on the job, or really whenever in the presence of the Star's Hollow public. Frankly, his marriage was none of their damn business. Still, Lorelai's chipper mood was unfortunately contagious and sometimes he couldn't resist being a little sappy. A stunning smile rewarded his uncharacteristic gesture.
Dropping her hand and fumbling for his order book, he cleared his throat. "Right. So, what can I get you?"
Lorelai pretended to think. "Hmm…all I had this morning was one of those awful cardboard breakfast bars you bought…Oh, let's see…"
Luke sighed. "Don't got all day here."
"I know, I know. So, as I was saying…my poor stomach went on strike and will only be appeased with a juicy bacon cheeseburger and fries, minus anything that will not contribute to the clogging of my arteries. This is a victory celebration, after all."
"Why am I not surprised," he deadpanned. "And let me guess, a giant cup of coffee to further destroy your cardiovascular system?"
Lorelai fidgeted in her seat. "Actually," she whispered conspiratorially, "I was thinking more along the lines of a tall glass of milk."
Luke gaped at her.
She smirked at having ruffled his feathers. "Chocolate milk, of course."
"Of course." Luke nodded, satisfied that his wife hadn't been victim of a body snatching. He looked up at her, anticipating her inevitable additional request for her lifeblood.
Luke gestured with his hand. "And?"
"And what?" She tried to play dumb, but thought better of it at his exasperated look. "And it pains me to inform you, but coffee and I have agreed to a short term separation for the time being. We have a few differences to work out."
"You're serious?" Lorelai turning down coffee? It was a sure sign of the apocalypse. Over the past few years, he'd slowly been able to integrate more healthy food into her diet. It hadn't been easy (or even entirely honest) but it was progress. Coffee, however, was the one food he could never trick or strong-arm her away from.
She nodded, a grin playing on her face. "Just for a short while. Actually—"
The phone interrupted the rest of her sentence. Luke shot her an apologetic look. "Sorry, be right back."
A few minutes later, Luke putzed around the diner refilling coffee and clearing dishes. The lunch rush was dwindling down and now he had only a few straggling customers. He could feel Lorelai's gaze on him as he moved around the tables. Whenever he would glance her way, her smile would widen and she'd bounce happily on her stool like a puppy eager to play. Luke shook his head. He really doubted the claim she was separating from coffee. Instead, he suspected, she'd found an alternative source for her addiction. No matter. He had his ways of finding her new supplier and shutting that bastard down. After all, he was the only one allowed to aid in her efforts to slowly poison her body. Lorelai had stated it in her wedding vows.
"What do you think of the name Ulysses?"
"Nothing much," he answered, already knowing the futility of trying to find context for Lorelai's verbal brainstorming. He went to make more coffee.
"With an epic name like Ulysses, you'd have to be destined for greatness. Like the presidency! Or a grand adventure! A long and pretentious novel!"
"Not to mention an early death on the playground."
Lorelai gave an exaggerated sigh. "Poor Uylie. Tragically cut down before his prime. The good ones always die young."
"At least he didn't live to suffer the horrors of high school. Those bullies are even more ruthless." Luke wiped down the counter. Lorelai took a big slurp of milk, a thoughtful look on her face.
"Denzel? Malcolm? Or how about Fergie for a girl?"
Luke raised an eyebrow. "This is an interesting topic of conversation."
Lorelai opened her mouth, eager to respond, but before any words could come out an obnoxious pop song trilled from her purse.
"Outside," Luke barked. Lorelai only pouted a little before hurrying with her phone toward the door. Luke shook his head. At least they'd learned to pick their battles.
While Luke finished up with the few customers he had left, Lorelai dawdled eating her lunch. Luke was slightly disturbed by this behavior. Even more, she kept sneaking glances at him while he worked, almost as if she were waiting for him to do something. She didn't seem upset, so he hadn't forgotten something important. Beyond that, he was at a loss. He didn't worry too much, though. Lorelai wasn't exactly known for her patience; she would crack sooner or later.
"I was thinking of trading in my Jeep," she said as Luke cleared away her dishes.
"What's wrong with it?"
Lorelai absently twirled her hair around a finger, still looking at him expectantly. "Oh nothing." He could almost see her brain gearing up for witty jab and sure enough, "not everyone keeps their vehicles until all the parts become obsolete, you know."
"Watch it, Mrs. Danes. Some men love their cars more than their wives and would send them packing with a remark like that." His voice was gruff, so he smoothed it over with a quick wink.
"Guess I'm lucky I married you, then." She leaned across the counter and stole a kiss. When she pulled away, he ignored her smug look and put on his obligatory scowl.
She preempted his inevitable scolding for putting the moves on him while at work by circling back to her original topic. "Like I was saying, the Jeep has got to go. Time for greener pastures. Maybe a nice family sedan."
He looked at her in alarm. "A sedan? Lorelai, are you sure you didn't forgo coffee for drugs?"
With that same secret smile he'd been seeing all morning, she leaned across the counter and grabbed his hand. "I don't know, Mr. Danes," she said, her voice low and deliberate, "I think it's time for a change. Perhaps a minivan?"
She was watching for a reaction, he knew, but he wasn't sure what she expected. Utterly confused (not exactly a new state for him while around her), he pulled away and adjusted his ever-present baseball cap. Turning, he went to go take out the trash, but not without a final remark over his shoulder. "I'm calling the nice doctors to come pick you up now."
Luke muttered to himself as he trudged toward the dumpster. Sometimes he questioned his sanity in marrying Lorelai Gilmore. Sure, he loved her and all that junk. But voluntarily agreeing to have his brain tied in knots for the rest of his life? He had to be just as insane as her!
After tossing a bag of garbage into the dumpster with much more gusto than necessary, he took a few deep breaths and tried to decipher just what the hell his wife was up to today. He doubted it was Rory-related since Lorelai could never hide anything connected to her daughter for very long, especially from him. No approaching festivals or parties that he knew of for Lorelai to try and manipulate him into participating in. The Inn was running smoothly. Sookie and everyone else were doing fine. Everything was normal, so far as he knew.
Except the way Lorelai was acting. First, refusing coffee for no apparent reason and ordering milk instead. She'd called him virile too, that was odd. Then the whole asking his opinion on random names. Wanting to sell her Jeep? For a minivan? She was completely—
He finally got it. Whirling on his boots, he rushed back inside. Virile. "Separating" from coffee. Discussing names! Family sedans!
He stomped through the backroom, a man on a mission. Christ! Of all the things for Lorelai to play games about. She was…just.. ugh! He could not believe her sometimes!
Coming to an abrupt halt in the doorway, he immediately sought her out. Their eyes locked. An elated smile blossomed on her face when she realized he knew just what she'd been trying to tell him all along. Desperate to end the game, he marched over to her. She stood up to meet him. Framing her face with his hands, he forced her gaze. "Do you have something to tell me, Lorelai?" His voice was rough with emotion.
Her blue eyes glittered as she reached up to touch his wrists. She nodded. Then, she gently moved one of his hands to touch her stomach as she moved in close. Whispering in his ear, she softly proclaimed, "Luke Danes, you've successfully knocked me up." Her happy giggle tickled his ear.
Luke went totally still. As Lorelai moved back to see his reaction, his hands dropped to his side in shock.
"I…uh…I…what," he stuttered. He felt the earth moving under his feet as his brain tried to understand what was happening.
Lorelai laughed. "Knocked me up, Luke," she repeated. "Put a bun in my oven. Rented out my guest room. Made a money shot in the night deposit box." Seeing Luke was not amused and still not fully comprehending, she settled for a more sedate, "I'm pregnant."
A moment passed in which Luke's world shifted, shuffled, and spun so that up was down, right was left but everything was…perfect. He felt his mouth stretch into a huge, uncontrollable smile. Flustered, his hands gestured lamely as he tried to make his mouth form words. "Oh…wow…I…you…are you sure?"
Lorelai nodded eagerly, the same giddy expression on her face. She clutched his hands tightly and the small gesture somehow brought him back from orbit. Resting her forehead against his, she drawled, "Luke, you're going to be a daddy."
He couldn't help the laughter that bubbled out of him. She'd finally done it. Lorelai Gilmore-Danes had succeeded in completely reordering his world. He had no choice but to kiss her senseless, ignoring the audience they'd undoubtedly drawn with their behavior.
Breaking away from Lorelai, he was relieved to find the kiss had further grounded him. His insane happiness remained, but he was content to just hold her close and revel in the moment without jumping out of his skin. Lorelai purred blissfully as her hands roamed his body.
"We're gonna have a baby," he breathed, their foreheads still resting together. He hardly recognized his own voice.
Lorelai smiled and squeezed him tight. "Crazy, huh?"
"Crazy, but good. Very good."
Lorelai kissed him again before reluctantly moving away with a quick pat to his arm. "We've got an audience, diner man."
That brought Luke back to his senses. With a put upon sigh, he slowly turned around and gave the customers that remained in the diner harsh glares. They all hurried back to their food.
Returning to his spot behind the counter, he berated Lorelai, "You just had to tell me here, didn't you? And not even tell me, but drop bizarre hints expecting me to figure it out."
Lorelai shrugged. "It was fun."
He gave her a dark look. "Right." He went to the refrigerator to exact his revenge. "Here," he said sternly, dropping a side salad in front of a horrified Lorelai, "eat up."
"But nothing. No kid of mine is going to be living on sugar, fat, and caffeine so you better get used to it."
She pouted and picked at the lettuce. "I'm not hungry."
"You're always hungry." She couldn't really argue with that. Drenching a tomato with ranch dressing, she made a disgusted face as she put it in her mouth and chewed. "Good girl."
She stuck her tongue out at him. "You're lucky I love you."
"Keep going, Lorelai. Cucumbers too." She growled, but obliged. Luke could hardly contain his grin. It was going to be an interesting nine months.
Hope I didn't butcher the characters too much. I had this scene so perfectly imagined in my head, I hope I did it justice on the page. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading.