Part 3

Luke Danes had the terrible habit of laughing his ass of every time his nephew told him something serious.

Jess Mariano, said nephew, glared menacingly. "God dammit, Luke!"

Luke snorted and then calmed down. "Okay. Say it again."

Jess sighed, resigned to the fact that the only blood relation on his mother's side that he could stand in a room with for more than thirty minutes could be just as much of an ass as the rest of his terribly dysfunctional family.

"Rory's pregnant. We're having a baby."

Luke fought to keep his composure. "You…a father?"

Jess nodded slowly.

"Of a Gilmore."

"The kid won't just be a Gilmore," Jess argued.

"Look at Rory! She's nothing like her father!"

"That's because Lorelai raised her alone," Jess snapped. "Whatever ounce of personality she inherited from Chris was completely squashed by your crazy girlfriend."

Luke grinned, ignoring him. "Changing diapers…midnight feedings…strolls through the park…piggy back rides…"

"Knock it off," Jess growled, throwing his rag down. He had been helping Luke close up the diner, but he wasn't feeling especially cooperative just then.

"Wow…Jess, how are you guys gonna pay for all this?" Luke asked. "I know you're working two jobs now, but-"

"We'll figure it out," Jess cut him off. "It'll be fine."

"Jess, who's gonna stay home with the baby?"

"I will."

"And then who's gonna run the bookstore?"

"I've got underlings, y'know," Jess replied, starting to get annoyed.

"And what about the magazine gig?"

"I can work it from home, and only go in when I have to," Jess concluded.

"And what about Rory?" Luke asked seriously. "She's been doing a lot of traveling around the East Coast for the Times."

"I know," Jess nodded. "God, how is this any of your business? We'll work it out!"

"Just making sure you've thought this through," Luke muttered.

Jess kept silent for a long while as he lifted up a few chairs up onto their tables.

Luke, too, shut his mouth. He sighed as he drained a ketchup bottle. "I'm sorry, okay?" he snapped. "I didn't mean to freak you out."

Jess sighed and stared at his uncle from across the room. "This is a good thing."

Luke nodded in agreement. "It's just hard picturing you as a dad."

"Believe me, I know," Jess snapped. "I have a hard time with the mental image too. I've never changed a diaper before, I've never warmed a bottle before, breast feeding makes me really uncomfortable, and I can already see myself not being able to assemble a stroller, and lighting it on fire instead."

"Strollers are easy," Luke said.

Jess kept putting up chairs. "Yeah?"

"Yeah, I helped Sookie when Davie was born," Luke went on. "I'll help you."

Jess nodded. "Thanks."


They tidied up in silence for a long while.

"We really want this," Jess said abruptly. "We were gonna start trying the night after we found out."

Luke smirked, and wiped down the counter a little more. "Guess you guys have good timing."

"Guess so."

"You guys want a girl or a boy?" Luke asked.

Jess shrugged. "Either. It'll probably be a girl."

"Hey, it's all up to you," Luke pointed out.

"Yeah," Jess said quietly.

Luke sighed, and went over to the back sink to work on dishes. "Who else knows?"

"Lorelai," Jess replied, following him to help out. "A few of our co-workers."

"That's it?" Luke asked, handing him a dish to dry. "You haven't told Liz? Or Rory's grandparents? You haven't told Sofia? Gloria? Lane?"

Jess shrugged. "We're trying to keep it quiet. We don't want to cause of fuss."

"You always cause a fuss, you little punk," Luke growled with smirk as he splashed Jess lightly with the dishwasher.

Jess jumped back a little and smacked Luke upside the head with the dishtowel.

"Do that again, and I put you in the most painful headlock you've ever had."

"Try me."

And so Luke grabbed Jess, and wrapped a beefy arm around his head.


"Warned you."