Author's Note: This is the end of the road for this story. I hope you enjoyed it. I still don't own Gilmore Girls...
Town Troubadour's POV
I won't soon forget the day that changed the small town of Stars Hollow. It was only a month ago that it happened and the town hasn't been the same since. It's like a piece of Stars Hollow disappeared that day. I had the unfortunate privilege of being the only one to witness to the horrific event. Well, maybe not the only witness, but the one person who saw first hand what happened to him.
It was an ordinary spring day when it happened. I remember standing on the street corner thinking that I'd never seen a bluer sky. In fact, I wrote a little song about it and I thought I'd write it down later, however, by the end of the day it was long forgotten.
The day started no different than usual. I nodded hellos to Miss Patty and Babette. I saw Jackson hauling a wheelbarrow full of some kind of fruit, or vegetable. I wasn't sure what it was, he so often liked to play Dr. Frankenstein to his produce. Lorelai walked to the diner as briskly as she could for being almost eight months pregnant. It was an average day in the average town of Stars Hollow.
The morning passed quickly and I remember taking off my jacket and playing in just my button down shirt. It was warmer than usual, but everyone seemed to be enjoying the weather. Sookie even took off Davey's shoes and let him run through the grass while she was on her lunch break. Most shocking of all, Luke Danes actually wandered outside the diner in nothing but a T-shirt.
So the afternoon went on and the sun shined and birds chirped and the children played. It was about 4 o'clock by the time the clouds started to roll in. The blue sky was suddenly replaced by an eerie green and clouds so dark they looked like billows of smoke. The wind blew forcefully and children were called inside, I put my coat back on and people started to carry umbrellas.
The streets were all but deserted by the time packed up my guitar. That's when I heard it. It was a high-pitched whining sound that we don't often hear in Stars Hollow. It was the civil defense siren wailing mournfully into the dark sky. No sooner had the siren blared than the sky opened up and let loose a torrent of rain without mercy. I struggled to latch my guitar case and walk swiftly to the nearest shelter. Shielding my eyes from the flying debris I fought against the wind and opened the first door I could find-the door to Luke's Diner.
I struggled to push the door closed against the wind when Luke came from behind the counter and helped me push it closed.
"It's getting pretty nasty out there," Luke said matter-of-factly.
"Yeah," I replied breathless from the struggle to get inside. "The siren just went off."
"Yeah I heard," Luke nodded taking my guitar case. We started toward the kitchen when the lights flickered once and then disappeared.
"Look we'd better get in the back there's a lot of glass out here," Luke said.
No sooner had he made that statement then I heard a high pitched wail. It was like no sound I'd ever heard in my life. I knew that the storm was upon us. I quickly tried to run behind the counter and I turned to see if Luke was behind me. That's when I saw it. The large tree branch from the oak tree in the square was barreling toward the window. The last thing I remember was Luke looking back at me with wide eyes as if he had just understood what was about to happen.
I can't recall what happened when the limb hit the window. I remember feeling the weight of Luke hurling himself at me as we fell to the floor. He pushed me behind the counter before the glass shattered. After that I don't remember much of anything until I realized I was on the floor which was covered in debris. Bits of glass scattered with leaves. The wet floor slippery and dust covered looked ancient and worn. I was behind the counter and I turned my head. It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. There would be no singing on the street corner for a long time to come.
I turned my head and that's when I saw it. Luke's hand was poking out from underneath an overturned table. His leg was bent in an awkward position and I knew immediately it was broken. I couldn't see his face and I tried to move my body in order to nudge him. It was obvious he was lying on his stomach, struck down from behind. Struck down trying to help me escape from the eminent disaster.
"Luke," I whispered as loudly as I could. "Luke, are you alright?"
No answer. The rain had stopped and there was an eerie quiet that hung in the air, save for the one lone bird that was ironically chirping. I swiveled my body around and used all of my strength to push the table that covered Luke back onto the floor. I gasped for breath. It was only later that I learned I collapsed a lung in the fall.
"Luke," I tried again. I shook him gently and then I saw it. The small pool of red liquid formed below his head, but luckily it appeared dry. I had no idea how long we'd been there. I had no idea if anyone knew we were there and needed help. I hadn't even been in the diner long enough to know if anyone else there. What was clear was that we both needed help. As desperately as I willed myself to stand and find someone to help us I couldn't. The world seemed to be a fuzzy haze and I couldn't summon enough resolve to stay awake.
I don't know if my next memory if coherent or an unfortunate side effect of my concussion, but I do recall being moved. I think I was being rolled, to what I can only assume was an ambulance. As I was being lifted I heard a sound. The sound was the deepest anguished cry I've ever heard and believe I will ever hear again. It was sound of Lorelai Gilmore's heart breaking into millions of tiny pieces, just the like the window that had shattered behind her husband.
A month later and the I'm still not back to singing. The doctor's think it'll be a few more weeks until I can get my full lung capacity back. I guess that's to be expected. But that isn't the important part of this story. The important part is that Luke Danes, husband to Lorelai, father to Rory and a healthy baby boy, friend to most and tormentor to Taylor, returns home from the hospital today.
After I regained consciousness I learned that Luke fell into a coma. Apparently, from what was pieced together, Luke was struck in the head by the table I had moved off of him. The blood I saw gathered around his face was from the glass that shattered before he hit the floor. In addition to his broken leg he had also broken two ribs and had various cuts on his body.
Luke stayed in a coma for week-the longest of Lorelai's life. She was under so much stress that she went into pre-mature labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. She named him Lucas after his father and also to keep the tradition of naming her children after their parents. Although born early Lucas had the same resolve as his father and stubbornly refused to give in. It was almost as if the boy thrived on adversity.
Luke woke a few days later and Lorelai wept with joy that he knew who he was, where he was and what day it was. Lorelai had watched enough soap operas to know that Luke could've had amnesia from this sort of blunt head trauma. When she told Luke her fear he dismissed her and said she was just as crazy as he remembered and then proceeded to degrade soap operas as the fall of Western civilization. Although afraid he'd bust a stitch from his subdued rant Lorelai was happy to hear it because she knew she truly had her Luke back.
Between Luke and baby Lucas, Lorelai practically lived at the hospital. She hadn't had time to attend to the inn or deal with the damage to the diner. Lorelai's mother generously offered to help out at the inn. I heard Sookie say something about her not having concrete work experience, but that Emily Gilmore was a black belt when it came to ordering around maids and waiters.
As for the diner, that's why we all gathered here today. It seems as much as Luke Danes would like to think that he lives a private, inconsequential life, he doesn't. In fact his impact on the lives of all the people of Stars Hollow was evident when word spread that he was seriously injured. In the ultimate irony Taylor and Miss Patty held a festival in honor of Luke and the diner. It was proclaimed Luke Danes Day and all proceeds went to fixing the diner. Tom offered to do the labor for free and the hardware store donated most of the materials. Sookie called in a retired chef she knew to cook for a while. Caesar and Lane ran the diner in Luke's absence. Richard Gilmore held all of his business lunches at Luke's to ensure a full diner at lunchtime. It seems everyone wanted Luke to be able to recover without the stress of worrying about the diner.
Today everyone was gathered at the diner to welcome him home. I stood in the back of the throng of well-wishers. Luke and I hadn't said much more than three sentences to each other through the course of my acquaintance with Stars Hollow, but he saved my life nonetheless. I owed him my life and that song about the blue sky if I ever remembered it.
The black town car, provided by Emily and Richard of course, pulled up to the door. I watched Luke struggle to get out of the car, gently placing each crutch on the pavement. He surveyed the outside of the diner. He almost looked sentimental when he realized that Tom's crew salvaged the Williams' Hardware sign that he was so resistant to take down all those years ago.
He hobbled up to the door, still looking worn and battered after our brush with nature. Lorelai carried their son in one arm and helped her husband with the other. A murmur of anticipation rippled through the crowd and Kirk threw open the diner door in excitement. He firmly planted himself in front of Luke and threw his arms around Luke's neck.
"Luke," he cried with joy. "I'm so glad you're back!"
I watched Luke closely and instead of looking cross or irritated with Kirk's very public display of affection he gently tapped Kirk's back with a free hand.
"Thanks," I heard Luke say quietly.
When Kirk finally relented Luke balanced back on his crutches and hobbled toward the center of the diner, surveying the newness that truly made the diner Luke's and Williams' Hardware no longer. Instead of a flimsy curtain, there was a nice set of saloon doors that hid the office area from the diner. The old cash register was destroyed in the storm, but Mrs. Kim had found a register that looked surprisingly close to the original.
Luke surveyed the diner as people patted him on the back, wished him well and showed their genuine affection for the man who'd spent most of his life trying to be the antithesis of town togetherness. In one moment he almost became the poster child for small town affection.
"You put up curtains," Luke said slyly looking at Lorelai.
"Manly curtains," she told him. He smiled at her.
I sat in the back of the diner that day and I observed. It's what troubadours do best. I saw Rory hug her stepfather gently. I heard Miss Patty tell Luke he was still the best looking male resident of Stars Hollow. I saw Emily and Richard Gilmore welcome Luke back home. Most of all I saw the private moments when Luke, still shocked by how close to mortality he had come, looked at his wife in adoration. I saw Lorelai return that look with a glassy eye. She fought valiantly to keep the tear at bay, but it eventually slipped gently down her cheek and Luke kissed it away.
I noticed how Luke's Diner had always been the place where the town gathered, but on this day it was different. The town was coming to socialize and eat, but they were doing more than that. They were here to welcome their prodigal son home, exactly where he belonged. Where he always belonged. This time Luke Danes didn't seem to shun it. He accepted it gratefully. I never really knew what made an ordinary man great. I always assumed it was wealth or power, but it's not. A great man is selfless and kind, loving and loved and maybe a little rough around the edges. A flannel shirt and a backward baseball cap also helps.
A/N: I hope the end didn't turn out too sappy. I just love Luke. I love Luke so much that I couldn't kill him. It was the initial plan. I started writing it and everything, but then I deleted it because I just couldn't do it. So then I mulled over the idea of killing Lorelai, but I couldn't do that either. So this is the ending I came up with. Hopefully it fits and everyone is happy!