A Definition Is What You Make Of It

A fic by Ruby Garnet. Dedicated to crazy-dreams because as an amateur, once in a while, it's good to know that a master is leaning over your shoulder, encouraging you every step of the way.

A/N: This is an ongoing multi-parter. Instead of my writing a million one-parters and flooding my profile, I'll just glue them together and you get the adorable little scrapbook that is this fic. Credit to dictionary.com.

Prologue – { … incandescence … }

Incandescence (noun) - The emission of visible light by a hot object.

It was hard for Lorelai to remember a Stars Hollow winter colder than this one.

Frost crusted over the corners of window panes around the house and instead of looking magical, it looked like an eight-year-old had gone crazy with cheap window crayons from a car wash. The sealant underneath the back door wasn't tight enough and a burst of frigid air sliced through the house's warmth every time a rush of snow flurries whirled across the porch. A fire flickered tentatively in the fireplace, but the flames weren't strong enough to effectively emit any source of heat.

Therefore, Lorelai found herself curled up on one end of the couch with an obsessive amount of fleece blankets and the December issue of Cosmopolitan. On the other end, Luke, covered in afghan, brought a thermos of Earl Grey to his lips and flipped the Stars Hollow Gazette to a new page. "Watch out Connecticut, we're in for one of the coldest winters in history. Expect 6-8 inches of snowfall within the next few days."

A log fell in the fireplace, extinguishing the desperate flames. Luke sighed, pushed the paper from his lap, and walked over to the screen. Seven long-stick matches later, the fire was roaring with twice the previous intensity. Satisfied with his "manly" accomplishment, he let out a barely noticeable but victorious grunt and returned to the comfort of the black and white print of the Gazette.

Lorelai shivered beneath the blankets and she miserably thought to herself, "How romantic. It's freezing cold, the fire won't stay, and the heater has selective tendencies. Fabulous." Visions of her and Luke snuggling against each other on the couch, bathed in the warm gold of a crackling fire, drinking cups of hot chocolate dissipated into an unreachable region of her conscience.

She came across a "Letter to the Editor" from a woman named Sara, who was having relationship troubles in the purest sense of the words. She went on to describe the trials of her relationship and then ended the letter with a sentence that every reader most likely related to.

"I think the problem is that he and I just can't define where we are right now. I can't tell if we should break up or stay together."

She didn't like to admit it when women sitting alone, halfway across the country, had the ability to dictate her realities, even if the words made her stomach twist in unnatural ways with their impact.

It was hard to remember when the awkwardness began, when they started sitting on opposite ends of the couch and avoiding eye contact if at all possible. The tingles on the back of her neck from his hands used to tickle her into giddy daydreams, but one day, some time ago, they began to dull. He didn't touch her there anymore - he didn't touch her at all - and gradually, the feeling faded until there was nothing left and she pushed away the memory of anything ever being there at all.

They were still friends – it was hard not to be when you saw each other every day and shared the same small, cramped town with a population of about two hundred. Unfortunately, things still change. He stopped giving her a hard time about her cell phone usage (He said it was because he understood that she needed Rory, but that never stopped him before) and she started asking for coffee in the way a normal customer would, begging eyes and flirty smile obviously absent.

"I'll have coffee, please."

That's why he was here, alone, sitting with her. This was what friends did together on lonely nights.


"Yeah?" Luke responded, sounding bored.

Lorelai bit her lip and gestured to his side of the couch. "Can I come sit by you?"

A puzzled frown crossed his face, but he erased it quickly, hoping that she didn't see. (She did.)

"I suppose," he said, more hesitantly than he'd intended.

She gathered her blankets in her arms and scooted over until she was next to him. She sat stiffly, her back straight against a cushion. Lorelai realized that she'd left her magazine over at the other end, but it was too late to retrieve it. She locked her eyes onto the blinking numbers on the cable box. 10: 10. Even numbers, safe numbers.

She hadn't realized it, but Luke had gently laid the newspaper on the floor and fixated his gaze on Lorelai, who was fixated on something else. He draped his arm over the back of the couch, absently lowering it until it slid behind Lorelai's neck and rested at the middle of her back. She turned her head slowly to look at him. Luke half-smiled and Lorelai did the same as she leaned into him.

"How would you define where we are?" Lorelai asked quietly.

He knew she wasn't talking about her address. "Somewhere that's … okay."

"Define "okay"."

"There's not a definition for everything, Lorelai."

"I know, but how would you define it?" She persisted.

"You wouldn't understand. You don't know exactly what I'm feeling. A definition is what you make of it. Just you and nobody else."

"I could try to understand."

"I know you could. But I also know you won't succeed." He took her hand in his and squeezed.

She nodded as a tear slid down her cheek, the warmth and incandescence of the fire reflecting in a cold, crystal drop.