Kiss Of Life
Disclaimer: Mine, schmine.
Author's Note: I was inspired by a story I read in which Luke was dead. It's called "Legacy", by NotAContrivance. Check it out. It's sad, but very good.
Thanks again to those three special girls who are always willing to use what little of their spare time they have left to check out my stories for potential suckiness. You guys rock.
And the banana is off!
Even though the sun was shining exuberantly and the birds were chirping gaily from where they were perched on the branches of the numerous trees planted alongside the edge of the grass, it could in no way be called a beautiful day. It couldn't even be called a good day.
Lorelai stood, dressed all in black, surrounded by Rory, Jess, Miss Patty and all the other townsfolk, besides a coffin that held one of the most important people in her life. Even Taylor was there.
Luke was dead.
This was his funeral.
As she made a half-hearted attempt to blink back tears, she thought back to just a few days ago, when he had died.
She had walked into the diner one afternoon, sat down at a table and demanded coffee. He had walked over, doing his patented grumpy glare thing, and had started pouring her the coffee even as he told her it was going to kill her someday. She had just been about to launch into one of her patented rants to justify why she was drinking so much coffee, when he had made a face, grabbed his arm, dropped the coffee pot and keeled over.
He was dead within seconds.
Trying to ban the thoughts about the chaos, the panic and the grief from her mind, Lorelai tried to focus on the man in the robe speaking the perfunctory words, but she couldn't help but let her mind wander.
She was shook from her reverie by the man slamming his book shut, then the whirring sound of the mechanism that started lowering the coffin. Before she knew what she was doing, Lorelai let out an agonized scream and threw herself on top of the coffin, crying uncontrollably. She felt hands grab her and try to pull her off, but she held on, crying and struggling...
Lorelai woke up with a start and a loud scream. Her back dripping with sweat and her face stained with tears, she tried desperately to untangle herself from the sheets that seemed to have a death grip on her.
When she had finally freed herself, she sat for a couple of moments, trying to stop her body from shaking.
Luke was dead. He was really dead.
Well, in her dream anyway.
She knew he wasn't really dead, but it had felt so real. The grief, and the tears, and the way it hurt to know that he wasn't going to be there anymore.
She had the sudden urge to go and check. To make sure he was still there.
Taking a quick look at the clock and seeing that it was 5:30, she jumped out of bed and into her old sneakers. In the kitchen she wrote a quick note for Rory explaining where she'd gone and then grabbed her coat and keys and headed out the door.
Ten minutes later, she was standing outside the diner, looking through the window.
He wasn't there. Where was he? He was supposed to be downstairs, making coffee and filling salt shakers and all those other things he did before opening.
Lorelai shuddered to think that her dream might have come true. As a tear slid down her cheek at the thought of it, she saw the door to the storage room open and Luke emerging. She let out a sqeak and sighed in relief. Walking up to the door, she knocked quietly but urgently on the glass.
He looked up and she saw a look of slight annoyance cross his features. But he walked over nevertheless and opened the door for her.
"Coffee's not ready yet," he grumped.
"I don't care," Lorelai replied, before throwing her arms around his neck and hugging him fiercely. "You're alive, that's all that matters," she mumbled into his neck.
"Huh?" Luke said, a hand hovering near her waist. "Lorelai, what's the matter?"
She pulled back to look at him, cradling his face in her hands. She absentmindedly traced his lower lip with her thumb and took in his features. It felt like she had never really looked at him before.
He was really quite a beautiful man. Clear blue eyes with long lashes, but not too long, a straight nose.
"You didn't die," she whispered.
A strong jaw.
"You're still here."
A gorgeous mouth with a full lower lip.
"Don't ever die, okay?" she asked.
"Uhm, okay," he replied, still looking confused. "Why this sudden urge to make sure I'm still among the living?"
She ran a hand through his hair, which was sans baseball cap. And very soft.
"I had a dream," she said. "You were dead and I was at your funeral."
"Oh," he said. "I'm sorry."
She laughed at that, just a little. "What for?"
"It was hardly your fault."
"Oh, okay then."
"Luke?" she asked, smoothing out his left eyebrow.
"Hold me, please."
"Please. I just want to feel you. To make sure."
He crushed her to him and she buried her face in his neck, breathing in his scent. One hand was clawing at his back while the other reached up to tangle in his hair. She wanted somehow to be completely absorbed by him, to drink him in and make sure he was alive forever. She felt herself crying again.
"Hey now, hush, don't worry, I'm right here," Luke soothed her as he rubbed her back. She cried even harder and pulled back to look at him again.
"How do I know that?"
"Well, because," he said, looking at her with a soft expression. "I'm right here."
"Yeah, but you might not be. You might just one day keel over, in spite of all the healthy food you eat. You might just-" She was choking up again.
He cupped her face in his hands. "I won't," he said, wiping a tear away.
She hiccuped. "Promise?"
He smiled. "Promise."
"Okay then." She tried to smile back courageously, but felt her face fall again.
"Cross my heart and hope to live," he whispered. She took a deep breath and calmed down a little. Leaning her forehead against his, she breathed a deep sigh.
They stood like that for a couple of minutes, until Lorelai felt she had sufficiently calmed. She yawned excessively. Luke chuckled.
"I should probably go home," Lorelai said, her eyes half closed.
"Catch up on my sleep."
"Might be a good idea."
Neither of them moved. A few more moments passed.
"Seriously, I should go," Lorelai said.
"I don't want to."
He dragged a finger down her cheek. "Then don't," he whispered, sounding unsure of himself.
"Maybe just one more thing to make sure you're alive," she breathed and angled her face to press her lips to his.
"Good idea," he mumbled against her mouth, then pushed against the door with one hand to swing it shut.