Disclaimer: I do not own Luke, Lorelai, Rory, or Jess. I do own Billy Danes. The song this story is based off of Reba McEntire's hit He Gets That from Me.
Lorelai stood alone in the cemetery, tears dripping down her cheeks. It had been a year, one year today since she had lost her best friend, her lover, and her husband. It had been exactly one year to the day since Billy lost his mentor, his teacher, and his father.
Lorelai didn't know how she made it through the last year. Of course, Rory had been there, but she had her own life with Jess, her own children to raise, she didn't need to be in Stars Hollow babysitting her widowed mother. All of Stars Hollow had been very supportive since it happened, but it never would be completely right again, never.
Lorelai knew that the only way she made it was because of Billy. Her son. His son. Their son. She was only able to survive because of that little piece of humanity that was part of her and part of him.
Lorelai knelt down in the grass in front of the cold marble stone that marked the grave of her dear husband and touched the inscription lovingly. "Hey, Honey. It's been a year all ready. A whole year. I never would think it would be possible to be without you that long. I never thought I would have survived it. Not without you by my side.
"Billy's getting big. You'd be so proud of him, the way he's taking care of things. Of course, there are things that you wouldn't be so proud of. You practically have to drag him out of bed in the morning, and he'll only eat Frosted Flakes. He gets that from me.
"And, you should see his hair, so curly, just like mine when it's wet. Of course he has my knobby knees and he freckles when he's in the son, but you always that was cute. He got into trouble at Friday night dinner, he never misses a beat that kid. He gets that from me too. I hope that eventually a bit of your monosyllabic ways show up in him, save him from some humiliating situations."
Lorelai stopped and laid her head on her knees. She thought back to the day when they finally got together. After years of toying around and playing around, she and Luke had finally come together in quite an explosive way. It was the day of the test run at the inn and of course Luke, being an investor and her dearest friend was invited to it. Things went along smoothly until Jason Styles had shown up demanding to talk to her and to try and work things out. Before that day Lorelai had suspected that she and Luke were on the verge of something more than friendship, but that night he'd solidified it for her.
She was checking on the final things for the night and saw Luke still awake downstairs.
"Hey. The last one up?" she'd asked, though it was obvious.
Luke sighed, "No, not the last one." He was referring to Jason.
Lorelai chuckled, "You okay? I heard Babette was kicking your butt at Yahtzee."
"Actually, I'm feeling pretty stupid right now," Luke said walking away from her.
"Why?" Lorelai asked.
"I'm not a mysterious man, am I?" Luke asked a bit sarcastically.
Lorelai of course had to return his sarcasm, so instead of a simple "No" she replied, "Well, the wardrobe's a bit of a head scratcher."
"I think I've been very, very clear with my intentions…" Luke began.
"Your…" Lorelai was confused, but that was nothing knew when Luke went on a rant.
"You know, the wedding, the movie invite, the flowers," Luke listed off the things he tried to do to let her know.
Lorelai gave another little laugh. "Luke…"
Luke blasted, "You knew what I was doing!"
"Well, no, not officially," Lorelai informed him. She hadn't been sure what he was doing.
"Not officially? Oh, come on. I mean, I didn't have a ref present, but other than that," he declared."
"Well, you didn't say anything official," Lorelai defended.
"What was I supposed to say?" Luke asked. "I did things. I let my actions speak. That's what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to let your actions speak. That's the romantic way to do this, damn it," he stated. He wanted to be romantic; he wanted to be what she needed. He wanted to be the kind, romantic man to love her and hold her for the rest of her life. If only he didn't suck at it.
Lorelai gave up. Luke was right, it was romantic, if you had the foggiest idea what he was talking about. "Okay, you're right. I'm sorry."
Luke continued, letting his hurt out. He didn't have anything to lose anymore. "And you went along with all of it. So naturally, I assumed we were on the same page, and then your boyfriend shows up here at the inn that I invested in."
Lorelai reacted with shock, putting her hands up in front of her, "Whoa, what boyfriend? Are you talking about Jason?
"No, Tom. Yes, Jason," Luke sighed moving away from her. He didn't want her to see his pain.
"You guys were talking? What did he say?" Lorelai wanted to know.
Luke sighed, "He said you were together. I mean, I was sitting there listening to this guy spout on and on about how it's right, you're right, he's right. The whole time, I'm thinking, "What the hell have I been doing all this for? She's taken." With that Luke stormed out the door, feeling like a bigger idiot now than he'd ever felt before in his life. Lorelai followed him, vehemently protesting the existence of her relationship with Jason. She knew that Luke loved her now, it was plain in his voice, in his face, in his eyes. She was scared to admit it though, just as she was scared to lose it.
Lorelai sputtered, "I -- I'm not taken! We broke up!"
"Well, he doesn't know that!" Luke pointed out.
"Well, just calm down!" Lorelai tried to soothe him a bit, to reason with him.
"Aw, I don't want to calm down! I did everything right! I did exactly what the book said!" he yelled at her as if she'd know what he was talking about.
"The book?!" Lorelai was confused, but suddenly his reaction about Jess' choice of reading material made sense.
"I thought we were on track, and now you're standing there looking at me like I'm crazy," Luke shouted. He felt so out of control, he was saying things he'd never say.
Lorelai defended herself. "I'm not looking at you like you're crazy!" she argued.
Luke continued, not comprehending Lorelai's argument, "You know the last time I bought flowers for someone? Never! That's when! Very easy stat to remember!"
"I loved the flowers!" Lorelai insisted.
"And then when I walked you home after the wedding," he continued. "There was a moment. I thought there was a moment."
"There was! There was a moment," Lorelai agreed, her tone softening.
Luke gazed at Lorelai then finally he moved closer.
"What are you doing?" Lorelai asked, backing up out of instinct.
"Will you just stand still?" Luke said finally gathering her into his arms. He put his lips on hers in a gentle kiss filled with years of love, friendship, and a host of other emotions
Luke let her go and they stared at each other for a moment. Then Lorelai moved closer to Luke.
"What are you doing?" It was Luke's turn to question her actions.
Lorelai echoed his earlier response. "Will you just stand still?"
Lorelai reached for his face and held it between her hands. Luke's arms wrap around her as they kissed again, so much emotion conveyed in that kiss. She pulled away again. As they gazed at each other, Luke grasped her waist and pulled her back.
After that moment the rest of the night fell apart, but still memories of those moments on the porch carried her through the rough patches ahead.
Not long after that, Luke had decided that they'd been dating long enough, considering the dance they'd been doing for year, teasing and learning about each other, and that it was time that they get married. Lorelai had never know Luke to be so forward with his wants or desires, but he knew that she was going to accept.
It was the most romantic night of her life. Lorelai had gone to the diner after Friday night dinner to find it closed. The sign on the door said "Closed for Private Party." If Lorelai had been a normal customer she would have left when she saw that sign, and assume that at some point the silent empty diner would be bustling with people. She wasn't the normal customer however, and Luke took advantage of that. He'd counted on her knocking on his door and insisting on getting some coffee, so when she did so, Luke immediately reacted to that.
"Hey, I was expecting you," he smiled and kissed her lips.
"You were. I thought you were expecting the "private party," Lorelai smiled.
"I was. It's here," he smiled and motioned to the candlelit table.
"Luke," she gasped covering her mouth with her hand. "What…"
"Just sit down. I made us a supper." Luke pulled out her chair for her, then brought over two plates covered with those tin hats they have in fancy restaurants.
Lorelai opened hers and gasped, "Hamburgers."
"Yep, I didn't put any ketchup on it though. I know you like to do that yourself." Luke couldn't help but smile.
Lorelai opened the ketchup bottle and took the top bun off the burger. She never did pour the ketchup on the burger that night, for on top of the greasy red meat was the most beautiful diamond ring she'd ever seen.
"Luke, I…" she whispered, voice husky with tears.
Luke came around to the other side of the table and knelt before her, on one knee. He took the ring and her left hand. "Lorelai, I know we haven't been together very long, but in some ways we've been together for so long…will you marry me?"
"Yes." That was the only answer she could think of. Of course she'd marry him, this man she loved. She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, there was no one else she'd rather be with.
They kissed after he slipped the ring on her finger, and spent the night sharing their love, their thoughts, and their dreams.
"I want us to have a baby together," Lorelai told him. "I want him to have your eyes and my curly hair. I want him to cook like you and eat like me."
"You want us to have a son then?" Luke asked. "I thought you'd want another daughter."
"Daughters are great," Lorelai admitted. "But we all ready have a daughter."
Luke smiled at that. He's always thought of Rory as his daughter, but he was glad that Lorelai shared the sentiment.
"What do you want for the wedding?" she asked him after a minute of silence.
"I only want one thing really," he sighed and studied the ring on her hand.
"What's that?" Lorelai asked softly at his serious tone.
"I really want Jess to be my best man."
He had been too. Luke had called Jess and he had agreed most readily to be Luke's best man. He also agreed to watch the diner for his uncle while he was on his honeymoon with the only woman he'd ever love.
It was during that time that he proved to Rory how much he'd changed, how much he'd grown up and when Lorelai and Luke returned from three weeks in Rome, Italy, it was to find Rory and Jess curled up on Lorelai's sofa, sound asleep at 3 am.
A year later, it was Jess' turn to make a surprise proposal and Luke's turn to be the best man. Rory had wanted him to give her away, but Jess had convinced her to give Richard that honor so that his own father figure could stand up with him. Lorelai finally gave in and let Lane serve as Rory's made of honor, and she sat in the front pew as the Mother of the Bride should.
It was at their reception that Lorelai first realized that by this time next year she and Luke were going to be parents. She'd been dancing with Jess, her dad, Luke, pretty much everyone when she'd felt horribly dizzy. The world lurched around her and she fainted right in the middle of the dance floor.
Lorelai felt Luke's hand on her cheek when she woke up in the hospital emergency room, gently caressing the soft flesh. She opened her eyes and was blinded by the bright lights over her head. Luke reached out and shut off one of the lights in her cubicle.
"Okay," he whispered. "Try again."
Lorelai did try again and this time opened her eyes to meet her husbands. "What happened?"
"You fainted," Luke told her. "You had me worried."
"I'm sorry. I ate. Didn't I eat?" Lorelai asked.
"Yes, you ate, but you still collapsed, Lorelai," Luke said, smoothing her hair off her forehead.
"What's wrong with me?" Lorelai asked, getting worried. It would be her luck that when everything was finally going right for her she would get sick or something else bad.
"The doctor should be right in. Then we'll find out what the blood tests said," Luke comforted.
"I love you, Luke," Lorelai whispered squeezing his hand.
Luke leaned over and kissed her brow. "I love you too."
A short time later the ER doctor came in to see Lorelai. "Mr. and Mrs. Danes, I have the results of the blood tests we ran," the doctor told them.
"What is it? Whatever it is, we can take it," Luke said in a calm voice, holding her hand tightly.
"Well, while Mrs. Danes will have to take it easy for the next couples of days her condition should resolve and she'll be fine," the doctor said with a smile.
"Condition?" Luke asked nervously. "What condition is that?"
"Of there's nothing to be alarmed about Mr. Danes. IT's nothing that nine months won't cure," the doctor said.
"Nine…you mean, she's…" Luke looked down at Lorelai, who's eyes were filled with tears.
"I think she means I'm pregnant, Luke," Lorelai sighed.
"We're going to have our baby," Luke he whispered.
The doctor smiled again. "I'll leave you two alone. A nurse will be by in a few minutes to get you discharged."
Luke leaned down and kissed Lorelai's lips softly. "I love you, Lorelai Danes."
"I love you too," she told him then sat up in the bed. "Let's get ready to go home. I can't wait to tell Rory."
"Yeah, that'll be one hell of a wedding gift huh?" Luke laughed.
"You can say that again," Lorelai laughed and began to put her clothing back on.
Rory and Jess were delighted with the news that Luke and Lorelai would be adding to their family. Jess kept joking with Luke, calling him Daddy and buying him little funny gifts like earplugs and nose plugs. Then came the day about six months into Lorelai's pregnancy when Jess stopped calling Luke Daddy and started calling him Grandpa.
Lorelai was having a cup of dreaded decaf tea when Jess joked about Luke being a Grandpa.
"What do you mean Grandpa?" Lorelai asked Jess. "Did you get my daughter pregnant Mariano?"
Jess smiled sheepishly and nodded. "Yeah but don't tell Rory I let it slip. She wanted to be the on to tell you guys."
"We won't say anything," Luke promised. "Will we Lorelai?" Luke raised his eyebrows at her.
Lorelai placed a hand on her rounded belly. "Me?"
"Yes you." Both men chorused as Lorelai began to cry.
Luke sighed and moved around the counter to embrace his wife. Jess look starlted then nervous at Lorelai's sudden outburst of tears.
"It's okay, Lorelai," Luke comforted.
"My baby's having a baby," Lorelai sobbed into Luke's chest.
"Whoa," Jess seemed a bit embarrassed. "I thought you would be happy about the baby."
Luke sighed again. "She is happy about the baby, Jess. She just gets emotional sometimes. You'll have plenty of these times in the next nine months."
"Can't wait," Jess murmured.
Rory chose to break the news of her pregnancy in a unique way. She invited Luke and Lorelai over to her and Jess' house for dinner. For the main course she served baby back ribs, baby chicken wings, baby snow peas, baby corn nibblers, and for dessert she served Baby Ruth candy bars.
By the end of the evening Lorelai posed the question, "Rory, are you trying to tell us something with all of this themed food?"
Rory looked at Jess, then at Luke and Lorelai's knowing smiles. "You told someone. He told you didn't he?" Rory playfully slapped Jess' arm.
"He did, but really honey, I'd have known the minute I looked at you. You're glowing, Rory," Lorelai gushed. "I'm so happy for you, Sweets."
Lorelai and Rory hugged while Luke and Jess hugged. Then Lorelai and Jess hugged while Rory and Luke hugged. Finally Luke and Lorelai hugged and Rory and Jess hugged.
Jess then said out loud what Luke had been thinking secretly in his head, as he admitted to Lorelai later. "Uncle Luke, can we really deal with two fat, coffee deprived and hormonal Gilmores?"
Luke rolled his eyes. "God only knows, Jess. God only knows."
As it turned out, Jess dealt a lot better with Rory's early pregnancy stages than Luke had dealt with Lorelai's. Lorelai remembered as the end approached trying to get Luke to go to Lamaze class, trying to get him to watch the natural child birth tape, and so on. She also remember how, when it finally was time, how what a terrific coach and partner he turned out to be.
Lorelai knew it was time for the baby to be born early on morning in mid-October when she woke up with a gnawing pain in her back. Her labor with Rory started the same way, nagging pain in her lower back. She also knew it would be hours before her water would break and their son or daughter would make his or her appearance.
About two o'clock on October 16, Lorelai felt a stronger pain accompanied by a rush of warm fluid from between her legs. Now it was time to call Luke.
"Luke's Diner," he answered in his customary gruff tone.
"Luke, hey, what are you doing?" Lorelai asked keeping her tone light.
"Actually I'm really busy here. Do you need anything?" Luke asked.
Lorelai had called him a few times a day for the past few weeks when she was bored. So he didn't suspect that she was having the baby now just that she had wanted some company he confessed later.
"Yeah, I need my husband to drive me to the hospital. But if you're too busy…"
"Hospital? Is it time?" Luke asked.
"Yeah, my water just broke and I've been having contractions all morning so I'd say so," Lorelai said with a hint of sarcasm.
"Okay, Honey. Just sit tight. I'll be right there," Luke said taking a deep calming breath.
Lorelai sat down and waited for Luke to get home. In the mean time she called Jess and Rory, as well as her mother and father so they could meet her at the hospital. She was just hanging up the phone with Sookie when Luke burst in through the door.
"Lorelai, what are you doing on the phone? You should be resting," he said hastily in a rush of breath.
"I am resting. I'm also talking and…" Lorelai stopped as she was seized by a strong contraction. "Aaah," she moaned.
"Just hold my hand and breathe deeply," Luke coached, kneeling beside her. "As soon as it is over, we'll go."
When Lorelai's contraction ceased, Luke held her hand and helped her to the car. IN less than twenty minutes they were at the entrance to HartfordHospital and in less than one hour, they were in a maternity room, listening to their baby's heart rate on the fetal monitor.
"I can't believe this is actually happening," Lorelai gushed. "I can't believe we are finally going to have our baby."
"I can," Luke said, his face turning green as he watched Lorelai labor.
"What? You don't want to have a baby now. Well, it's a little later for that," Lorelai grumbled.
"That's not what I meant," Luke sighed. "I'm just…" He shrugged. "I'm just scared."
Lorelai turned his head to look at her husband. "Why?"
"I don't know. I'm just not good at this dad kind of stuff," Luke said, a bit embarrassed.
Lorelai laughed, "You're not good at this dad stuff? Luke, look at how great with Rory since she was oh, six. And Jess, look at the miracle you worked with him. This baby," she said touching her stomach, "is going to be so lucky to have you as a father. Just as lucky as I am to have you as a husband.
"I hope has you big eyes. I hope he can hold me in the palm of his hand, just like his Daddy can." Lorelai felt her eyes tear up, just as another contraction seize her.
Luke sat with her through the entire labor, holding her hand, wiping her brow, and encouraging her to breathe deeply and hang on when their baby took his sweet time appearing to the world. It took hours of agonizing contractions, and then even more hours of pushing before the doctor finally suggested going to get the baby by caesarean section. Both parents refused. Finally, Lorelai had pushed the head out
Luke held Lorelai from behind as she cried and struggled to give their baby life. "Come on, Lorelai. Just one more and we'll have our baby."
"I can't do it anymore," she sobbed. "I'll just stay pregnant forever."
"You can do it, Lorelai. I'm here with you, I'm right here," Luke encouraged.
"You are never touching me again," she shouted. "Not ever."
"That's fine, Lor. Just push the baby out," Luke told her.
"On three Mrs. Danes," the doctor told her.
"Okay, Sweetheart, this is it. One, two three," Luke said in her ear.
Lorelai took a deep breath and pushed with all her strength. She felt herself weakening, getting so tired, but Luke's voice kept her strong. "I love you so much, Baby. So much," he told her interspersed with encouraging shouts of "That's it, Lorelai," and "Good girl."
Finally, Lorelai fell back against Luke's body as she expelled the baby, who met the earth with a mighty cry.
"It's a boy, Mr. and Mrs. Danes. A fine, healthy baby boy.""He's still a fine healthy boy," Lorelai said. "And is like you in so many ways. He has your big eyes and he's got me in the palm of his hand. Sometimes, it's just like you're here again. And his smile, that little crooked smile, there's no denying whose son he is. Without him I don't know what I'd do, Luke. I guess he gets that from you." Luke had so many talents that Lorelai never realized he'd possessed before William, who they affectionately called Billy was born. He played the guitar and had a really nice singing voice. He liked to sing country western and old rock hits to the baby. It was not that like Billy really knew what he was saying, but it was a nice way for the father and son to bond.The day Lorelai went back to work she came home tired, but couldn't wait to hold Billy and give him a little loving. She walked into a clean house which smelled of coffee and heard the soft sound of Luke's voice and the unmistakable sound of a guitar strumming.Luke was singing and old story song to the baby, The Cat's In the Cradle. "I didn't know you played guitar," Lorelai said when he finished the last chord and had laid the baby down in the crib. "Yeah, my Dad did. He though every man should know an instrument, so I know an instrument," Luke told her. "How was your first day back?" he asked kissing her lightly on the lips."It was long. Very, very long. I missed you guys," Lorelai said returning his kiss."I missed you too. But I did have fun playing with Billy all day," Luke told her. "I made you dinner. Come on, he'll sleep for awhile."Lorelai walked downstairs with Luke. She walked in and smelled the supper Luke had made for her."Pancakes! You made me pancakes for dinner," Lorelai smiled."Well, you like pancakes," he shrugged."But you always say that pancakes are only made between the hours of 6 and 10," Lorelai reminded him as her eyes filled with tears at Luke's effort to show his love for her.Luke saw the tears swimming in her eyes and checked his watch. "It is 6:15."Lorelai laughed at the joke. Luke always knew how to do that when she was on the verge of crying from the baby blues. Luke closed the gap between them and held her in his arms. "Did I tell you I love you recently?" he asked."Everyday," Lorelai replied. "I love you too.""Billy found that old guitar of your Dad's the other day. He loves it. He's taught himself to play two songs all read. He's all ready mastered Old MacDonald and Farmer in the Dell. I suppose he gets his musical talent from you too. That boy, Luke, you'd be so proud of him. He melts my heart, he tells me he loves me every day, just like you used to." Lorelai wiped her eyes as the tears fell from them. "He's been so great this past year. I know he's only five but he knows how to crack a joke at the perfect time. He can make me laugh when I want to just sit down and cry over what I've lost. He's everything to me, Luke, just like you were. Just like you are. I suppose he gets that from you, too." Lorelai remembered the day Luke gave her the news that would end with her in a graveyard crying in front of a marble stone. She'd come home from dinner with Rory. She had just given birth to her third child with Jess. The men were keeping an eye on four year old Billy, four year old Lucas, two year old Sarah, and three week old Kelly. All the children were asleep when they got home, and Luke and Jess were in the kitchen serious looks on both of their faces.Lorelai was the first one to ask. "What happened? Is one of the children sick?""No," Jess replied. "Luke and I have been talking. You better sit down."Lorelai and Rory sat at the table and looked at their husbands. Jess looked like he'd been crying, his eyes were red and his cheeks were blotchy. Luke looked like he was about to be sick to his stomach."Jess," Rory asked worriedly. "What happened? Why do you look so sad?""Um, Luke," Jess said. "Do you have anything you want to tell Rory and Lorelai.""I think want is to strong a word Jess," Luke said. "But yes, Lorelai, Rory there is something I have to tell you.""I knew it," Lorelai said, her voice cracking. "You're having an affair. That's where you've been going all those times you weren't at the diner. Wasn't it?""Lorelai, don't be ridiculous," Luke scolded. "I'm not having an affair. I'd never have an affair.""Is Jess having an affair?" Rory asked. "You better not be having an affair.""Rory," Jess snapped his voice tightening."Lorelai," Luke continued. "This is the hardest thing I'll ever say to anyone, and I know it's the hardest thing you'll ever hear because when I heard it, I knew I'd never forget how I felt. And I prayed every second of every day that I'd never have to say anything like that," Luke said in a voice laced with tears. Those tears appeared on his face, as he showed Lorelai a side of himself he'd never shown anyone other than Jess just a few moments ago."Luke, what's going on here? You're scaring me," Lorelai told him studying his wet face, red eyes, and trembling hands."I have cancer Lorelai. The same kind of cancer that killed my father and my mother. It's in my lungs, and it's spread to my chest cavity and rib bones," Luke told her. "I've been going to doctors for six weeks now, getting opinions and opinions and more opinions. They say I have about six months."Jess started to tear up again and leaned closer to Rory, who was starting to cry herself. Lorelai just stared at Luke, not comprehending what he'd just said. Finally she laughed and pushed at his chest with all her strength. "How dare you! How dare you play such a dirty dirty…joke," she finished on a sob, reaching out for him then and burying her face in his shirt. Lorelai clung to Luke and cried, until she couldn't cry anymore. Luke held her and said nothing, he just let her get it out.Once Lorelai had her composure she asked, "Can't they do anything? Chemotherapy? Radiation? Anything?""They can," Luke replied. "But it'll be a really hard road and I didn't know if you'd want to go through that.""Didn't know if…Luke, you are the silliest…Of course I want to go through that if it means that you'll have a chance," Lorelai declared."It doesn't mean much," Luke told her. "My dad had chemotherapy and…""Don't say it again, Luke," Jess warned as her rocked a still sobbing Rory in his arms. "Don't even think it. You're too ornery and stubborn to die from some stupid cancer.""I wish Jess was right Luke," Lorelai sobbed. "I wish you were too stubborn to die from that cancer. I wish I were a better wife to you while you were trying to fight it. I wish so many things, Luke," Lorelai whispered touching the name etched on the stone. Luke fought hard for nearly a year. He got treated for the cancer, chemo, radiotherapy…even experimental surgery, but sadly nothing worked. Finally, the doctors told them there was no hope and that Luke should use the limited time he had left to be with his wife and his son.Lorelai vividly remembered the days before Luke's death. She remembered that he'd collapsed at the diner and Jess had him rushed to the hospital. She remembered the doctors saying that the tumor had invaded his brain and had encased his heart. They told her he only had a matter of weeks maybe a month before he died. Luke told her that he wanted to die at home, with her and their family looking at the tree he planted the day they brought Billy home from the hospital.Lorelai obliged him. They rented a hospital bed and set it up in the living room so that Luke could see the tree and so that the family could be around him. He was permanently on oxygen now and was almost constantly cold do to all the weight he'd lost. He laid on the bed, a pillow propped under his neck and legs, blankets covering him. The hand that held his wedding ring lay outside the covers, and Lorelai held that hand with her own."Lorelai?" he whispered opening his eyes to look at his wife."I'm here, Luke," she said and knew this was likely the last conversation they would have together. "Are you cold?""No," he replied. "You always keep me warm. I wanted to tell you…" he slurred through the large doses of morphine he'd been taking to erase his terrible pain. "I wanted to tell you Billy's lucky to have you for a Mom."Lorelai smiled softly. "He didn't do too badly in the Dad department either.""I'm sorry, Lorelai. I'm so sorry.""Don't you apologize, Luke Danes. Don't you dare apologize," Lorelai scolded. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
"Yes, I do. I have to apologize for leaving you, for not doing what…what I'd promised I'd do," Luke told her before closing his eyes against a wave of pain.
"What is it? Are you in pain?" Lorelai asked. "Let me adjust your pillows, maybe that will help."
Luke rested a moment while Lorelai fussed. In reality the jarring and fussing made the pain worse, but Luke knew that it was the only way Lorelai felt as if she were helping him so he let her do it.
When she finally stopped, he wanted to continue saying what he wanted to say, but he heard Billy's childish laughter come running through the living room. "Mommy! Daddy! Look what I made in school!"
Lorelai took the picture, of her and Luke, who was still well in the picture, making burgers, and Billy, who was helping Jess and Rory serve the food. They all looked so happy in that picture.
"This is before Daddy got sick Mommy. See he's making burgers for you and Rory," Billy pointed out.
"I see, Billy. Here Luke, he's quite the artist, isn't he?" Lorelai held the drawing for Luke to see.
"A regular Rembrandt," Luke smiled. "Billy, sit on Mommy's lap for a minute okay?"
Lorelai lifted Billy onto her lap so that Luke could see him without straining his all ready poor eyesight. "Daddy, when are you going to heaven?" Billy asked before Luke had a chance to say anything.
"That's what I wanted to talk to you about," Luke said with as much strength as he could muster. "Daddy will have to go to heaven soon to be with Grandpa Billy and Grandma Sarah, and I wanted to ask you to do something special for me while I'm there okay?"
"Sure, Daddy!" Billy answered excitedly. "Anything you say."
"Well, Daddy's going to need your help. You see I won't be able to be here to look after Mommy like I do now, so I'm going to need you to be my special helper and do that for me. Okay?"
Billy bit his lip and looked at his father. "Okay, Daddy. I'll take care of Mommy for you. I can do it."
Billy sounded so proud and confident that it made Luke smile. "I'll be watching over you two every day, and so will God."
"You'll be with God Daddy? Does he know Santa Claus?" Billy asked, as Lorelai let out a sob.
"Yes, Billy. I'll be with God and I think he does know Santa Claus. I'll put in a good word for you," Luke smiled. "Go on now. Run along and play."
Billy slipped off Lorelai's lap and started to run for the stairs. He stopped turned around and leapt up on Luke's hospital bed, throwing his arms around his father's stomach. "I'm going to miss you Daddy."
Luke mussed his hair. "I'm going to miss you too Sport."
Billy ran off then and Lorelai did her best to swallow her tears. "I'm going to miss you too Luke."
"I know. But you'll have Billy to keep you busy. If you miss me too much just put him in a plaid shirt and blue baseball cap," Luke started to chuckle. It ended in a hideous cough and wheeze.
Lorelai pushed Luke's back up. "Slow down, Luke. Take slow breaths, just calm down."
Lorelai rubbed his back until he was able to breath easier again, then she helped him lie back into the pillows. "Lorelai, I don't know how much more time I'll have to say this, but I…I need you to know, these last six years…I wouldn't trade any of them for another day on this earth."
Lorelai smiled and gently kissed Luke's lips. "Neither would I," she told him. And she meant it.
That was the last coherent conversation Luke and Lorelai ever had. He slipped into delirium later that day and stopped recognizing her and Billy. Rory and Jess had moved into her house to help care for Luke as he got weaker and Rory kept Billy busy playing with her kids. Jess and Lorelai spent time with Luke, who occasionally would open his eyes and call for his mother or father.
Lorelai or Jess would soothe him and he'd slip back into oblivion for hours sometimes days on end.
"I don't understand," Lorelai said. "He's so weak and sick but he won't. I never thought I'd wish…"
"I know," Jess said. "I think he's…I think we have to tell him its okay to…" Jess' voice broke. "I just can't."
"I know, but…I'll have to do it," Lorelai sighed. "I don't think he even knows we're here anymore."
As if to prove her wrong, Luke opened his eyes and called out, "Lorelai. Lorelai."
Lorelai took his hand in hers, "I'm here. I'm here, Luke."
"It hurts, Lorelai," he said, licking his chapped lips.
"I know it does, Luke. I know it does. I'm going to be all right. We're all going to be all right. You don't have to take care of us anymore. You can rest now," she told him tears dripping down her face.
"I promised to take care of you," Luke whispered.
"And you did. Now, take care of yourself. Go to sleep Luke. Go be with your Dad," she told him. "We'll be together again. Someday, we'll be together again."
Luke smiled and looked at Lorelai. "Goodnight, Lorelai."
Lorelai leaned over and kissed Luke's lips. They were so cold all ready. "Goodnight Luke."
That was a year ago. Exactly one year ago. Now she knelt by his grave, feeling the void and the loss just as much as she had the first day he'd died.
"Last night, I heard Billy praying. He was asking God to help me and him make it through. He wants you to know we're okay. Well, we are okay. I love you. Billy and I will make it. It doesn't get easier and you don't get used to it. But because of that little man, I can make it through, you know?" Lorelai rose from the ground and placed the recent photograph of her and Billy under a stone near Luke's name. "I thought Billy was too young to come here today and see me come apart like this. But he wanted me to tell you he misses you. He really misses you. I suppose he gets that from me."
Lyrics To He Gets That from MeHis early mornin' attitudeYou have to drag him out of bedOnly frosted flakes will doHe gets that from meYeah,he gets that from me His curly hair and his knobby kneesThe way the sun brings those freckles outTalk and talk never miss a beatYeah,he gets that from meHe gets that from me He looks at me with those big brown eyesHe's got me in the palm of his handsAnd I swear sometimesIt's just like you're here againHe smiles that little crooked smileThere's no denying he's your childWithout him I don't know what I'd doHe gets that from youOh,he gets that from you How he loves your old guitarYeah,he's taught himself to playHe melts my heartTells me he love me every dayAnd cracks jokes at the perfect timeMakes me laugh when I want to cryThat boy is everything to meHe gets that from youHe gets that from you Last night I heard him prayLord,help me and mama make it throughAnd tell daddy we'll be okayHe said he sure misses youHe sure misses youHe really misses youHe gets that from me