AN -- Thisis NOT a new story. I have rewritten one or two sentences to correct an inconsistancy.

Lorelai's Dilemma

31 Jan 2005

1

Lorelai stood in the cold outside of Luke's diner, waiting for the last of the customers to leave. And even after they finally straggled out and he locked the door and turned over the "Open / Closed" sign, she waited.

She slowly approached the window, watching him wiping off tables, stacking chairs, and sweeping up. And only when it looked like he was about to turn off the lights and head upstairs did she get up the courage to tap on the front door.

"We're CLOSED!" Luke yelled out.

Lorelai knocked harder.

"Jeez!" Luke exclaimed, now getting angry. But when he got close enough to see through the window and realized it was Lorelai, his anger evaporated. There had to be a good reason she was there this time of night. Something had to be up.

"Come in," he said as he opened the door.

Lorelai entered without saying a word, and went to the first table she came to. Luke hurriedly put the chairs back on the floor.

"Coffee?" He asked. It was obvious something was very up. He couldn't remember the last time she looked so troubled. When she didn't answer, he went behind the counter and started brewing a fresh pot.

As he waited for the coffee, he was watching her. She hadn't moved since she sat down. Her hands were folded tightly in front of her on the table, and she was staring a hole in the back of the chair on the other side. He could tell her breathing was coming hard, as if she were in a panic.

Luke brought over a large cup, poured the coffee, set the pot on the table, then sat down in the chair next to her.

After a few minutes, Luke pushed the cup against one hand. Instinctively, Lorelai wrapped her hands around it, but that was all.

"Hey," Luke finally said. "You okay?"

"Huh?" Lorelai answered, then looked over at him as if she didn't know how she got there, and her eyes began to tear.

"I asked if you were okay. Which, obviously, you're not. Want to talk about it?"

Lorelia shook her head and looked down at her coffee.

"Is Rory all right?"

The mention of Rory's name brought her back to awareness.

She nodded slightly. "Yeah. Rory's fine, she's . . . fine."

"Talk to me, Lorelai. What's wrong."

Lorelai looked over at Luke and suddenly she was crying, the tears were pouring down her cheeks.

"Oh, Luke! I'm in trouble. GOD! I'm so much in trouble!"

"What? You need money? You're behind on the mortgage?"

Lorelai shook her head again.

"No, not that." She said, still crying. "I'm late."

"Late? But not the mortgage?"

"I'm LATE!" She shouted. "Woman late! A girl's best-monthly-friend late! How-the-hell-did-I-let-myself-get-in-this-position late?"

"You're pregnant."

"YES! I'M PREGNANT! Haven't you been listening?"

Luke wasn't exactly sure what was the best thing to say.

"Does Rory know?"

"No." Lorelai wasn't crying quite as much. "I just found out. Well, I suspected. I bought a bunch of those tests. They all said the same thing – 'PG City, Missy. REAL smart! Good going! You get an A+ for this one!'"

"Are you going to tell her?"

"Well, obviously, I have to. Oh, God! What's she going to think?" She was crying again.

Luke let her cry a little longer.

"Anything I can do?"

Lorelai shook her head, then took a sip of the lukewarm coffee.

"It's Christopher's, you know."

"No. I didn't know."

"It was the Friday night I was supposed to help you paint. We had this big, wonderful reunion at Mom's – Me, Rory, Chris, my parents, his parents. What a total fiasco! Somehow, Chris and I ended up on the very same balcony where Rory was conceived. And he had this half pint of tequila. And we took a drink, and another, and, uh, it happened. And just as soon as it was over, I knew it was a mistake. God, if I only knew what a mistake! Anyway, that was why I didn't show up. And, as they always say, the rest is history."

"Again I ask, is there anything I can do?"

Lorelai gave him a small, grateful smile. "No. I just needed someone to talk to. Thanks anyway."

"When are you going to tell Rory?"

"I don't know. How about never?"

"She's going to find out eventually."

"I know, everyone will. Oh my God! My parents! They're going to just love this! I can hear them now – 'How could you be so irresponsible?' and 'How could I do this to us, AGAIN!' and ' How could you do this to Rory?' "

"Have you told Christopher?"

"Don't worry, I won't have to. Just as soon as Emily knows, Christopher will know. And two seconds later every wedding planner in the world will know."

"Would marrying Christopher be so bad? I mean, Rory needs a dad. And . . . ."

"I don't want to marry Christopher. I CAN'T marry Christopher. It wouldn't work. He's still way too unstable. It just wouldn't work."

They sat together a while. Lorelai finished the cup of coffee and Luke refilled it.

Trying not to cry again, Lorelai looked at Luke.

"A fine fix I've gotten my self into, huh?"

"Quite a fix."

"What am I going to do, Luke? You always know how to fix things. Can you fix me?"

"No power on earth could do that. But I do have a suggestion, if you'd like to hear it."

"I'm open to anything right now."

"Tell them it's mine."

"What? Are you crazy! And I thought I was screwed up!"

"Why not? That way you won't have to deal with the Christopher problem. And we spend a lot of time together, so it might not seem that unusual."

"I can't do that, Luke. This is MY problem. It wouldn't be fair to lay all this on you. Do you realize all the crap you'd be getting? Not only from my parents, but from everybody -- the whole town."

"I'm a big boy. I can handle the pressure."

"They'll expect us to get married; demand that we get married. And if we don't, we'll never hear the end of it, and Rory will be caught right in the middle."

"We could do that, get married, if that's what it took."

Lorelai looked at Luke in disbelief.

"You're really serious, aren't you?"

"Never been more serious in my life."

Lorelai began sobbing again. Luke sat patiently, waiting.

She shook her head. It was getting too insane.

"I have to go home. I have to tell Rory."

Luke walked her to the door.

"You'll think about what I said?" he asked.

Lorelia caressed his cheek, then let her hand slide down to his chest, patted it a couple of times, and started to leave.

"Let me drive you home."

"I can walk."

"It's too cold to be walking. Give me five minutes, then we'll go."

Lorelai smiled faintly and nodded.

2

Luke turned off the engine in Lorelai's driveway. Neither spoke for a while.

"I should be going in."

"Okay. But, think about what I said." Luke repeated. "Just think about it."

Impulsively, Lorelai leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

"Thank you, for everything. I don't know what . . . ."

Lorelai opened the door without finishing her sentence.

" 'Night." Luke said as she got out. "Get some sleep."

She smiled back at him, and walked toward the house.

3

Lorelia quietly opened the door to Rory's bedroom, the light behind her falling across the bed of the sleeping Rory, softly illuminating her face.

Not having the courage to enter the room, Lorelai leaned against the door jamb, watching the Light of Her Life as she slept.

'Oh, Rory," she whispered. "How could I have done this to you? How could I have been so stupid?" She was beginning to cry again.

How long she stood there, watching, she had no idea. The passage of time had no meaning.

Rory took a long breath, then rolled over, away from the light. Her movement awakened the resolve in Lorelai and she entered the room.

Sitting on the bed, Lorelai put one hand on Rory's shoulder, gently shaking her.

"Wake up, Sweetheart, I have to talk to you."

Groggily turning toward her mother, and squinting against the light, she asked, "Is it time to get up?"

"No. It's late."

Rory started to turn away but Lorelai's hand stopped her.

"What?"

"This is important. We need – I need -- to talk to you."

Rory realized something wasn't right and sat up.

"What's going on? You look terrible."

"I feel terrible. Oh, Honey, I've done something -- something bad, something completely unforgivable. And I can only hope that you'll find in that great big, wonderful, heart of yours some way to forgive me."

Rory was becoming alarmed. She had never seen her mother like this.

"Tell me! It'll be all right."

"No. No it won't be all right!"

"Will you TELL me, already?"

Fighting back the tears, Lorelai forced out the words.

"Your mommy is going to be a mommy . . . again."

"What?" Rory asked, confused.

"I'm pregnant. I'm going to have a baby."

Lorelia broke down. She was sobbing uncontrollably, her head down on Rory's knee.

Rory gently raised her head and tried wiping away the tears.

"How?" Rory started to ask. "Well, I guess I know how, but who, and when?"

Looking into Rory's eyes, Lorelia knew she couldn't lie to her. She had to tell her the truth, no matter the consequences, no matter the complications.

Fighting to find her voice and blinking back tears, she told her.

"Luke?" Lorelia heard Rory say. "Luke's the father?"

"What?" Lorelai was stunned.

"You said it was Luke."

"I did?"

"Yes. You plainly said Luke."

Lorelia was suddenly speechless. She wasn't going to say Luke, she was going to say Christopher. How could it have come out Luke?

"I didn't know you and Luke were seeing each other."

"I – we're not. It . . . ."

Lorelai didn't know what to say. She had it all planned out – the night, the balcony, the tequila, but now she had to lie, and fast.

"When did you guys have time? When were you together? Where was I?"

The questions were coming too fast.

"It was up in Luke's apartment." Lorelia said.

"Why were you in Luke's apartment? You never go up there."

"We – we were having a beer, and had more beer, and then there was this moment. And then there was this other moment. And then this really momentous moment. And, so there it is – I'm pregnant, with Luke's baby."

Lorelia couldn't believe how quickly she was able to come up the lies, and she was ashamed it was so easy.

"Does Luke know?"

"Yeah. I just came from there. Hence, the still wearing of the coat."

"What did he say?"

"You know Luke." Lorelai was trying to lighten mood. "Same old Luke."

"He didn't say anything?

"He said we could get married."

"Are you going to? Marry him."

"I don't know what I'm going to do five seconds from now. I can't think, I can't . . . ."

Rory pulled her mom more onto the bed, getting her to lay down beside her.

"You need some rest." Rory told her. "We can talk more about this in the morning."

Lorelai snuggled up next to her wonderful, understanding, supportive daughter. And started crying yet again.

"Can you ever forgive me?" she whispered.

"Nothing to forgive. We'll figure everything out in the morning. Now go to sleep."

Lorelai knew she wouldn't sleep, she would never sleep again. But the next thing she knew she was waking up and Rory was sleeping peacefully beside her.

Lorelia softly kissed her cheek.

"I love you so much." She whispered, then eased herself off the bed and left the room, making sure the door was closed.

Going into the kitchen, Lorelai picked up the phone and dialed Luke's number. He answered on the second ring.

"It's me."

"How'd it go? Did you tell her?"

"Yeah, she knows. Luke. I did another terrible thing. I told her it was you, not Christopher. I wasn't going to, I didn't mean to, but somehow 'Christopher' came out 'Luke'. I'm so sorry."

"Don't be sorry. That's what I told you to do. How'd she take it?"

"Surprisingly well. Very adult about it. Not like her basket-case of a mother who can't do anything right."

"You raised her. You can take credit for that."

"I can't believe I lied to her like that! I had it all planned out. I knew exactly what I was going to say, and then all of a sudden I had to become this big fat liar! And I hated it! I hate lying to her! I've got to tell her the truth. Tomorrow morning. She deserves to know. Consequences be damned!"

"Are you sure that's the best thing to do? From what you've told me, this Christopher doesn't sound particularly responsible, or stable."

"I can't lie to Rory. She'll find out. I know she will. She's a smart girl. She'll figure it out. Besides, I can't let you take the blame for my stupidity. It's not fair to you."

"Well, I guess you have to do what you think is best."

"But thank you. Thank you so much! You've been great, just like always. I'll talk to you tomorrow. I'll let you know how things go."

"Yeah, you do that. Try to get some sleep. 'Bye."

"'Night."

Lorelai put the phone to her chest, holding it tight with both hands. She was trying not to think, but her thoughts kept racing around and around.

What should she do? How can she tell Rory she lied to her? Could she keep lying to her without her finding out? Which would hurt less – knowing she was lied to now, or finding out later? Or maybe she would never find out. But maybe she would.

Lorelia went to Rory's bedroom door and eased it open. Rory was turned away from the light, so she couldn't see her face. But she didn't have to. She knew what her angel looked like.

For a long time she stood watching Rory sleep, then took a deep breath. She had made her decision.

She gently closed the door and returned to the kitchen.

Lorelai quickly dialed Luke's number, which he answered on the first ring.

"Luke, will you come over?"

"Give me thirty minutes."

4

Lorelai waited impatiently on the front porch for Luke's truck to pull into her driveway. She didn't time it, but he was there in twenty minutes.

"What are you doing out here? It's freezing."

"I needed some fresh air. Just … trying to clear my head."

"Well, let's get inside. You don't need to catch pneumonia."

Luke followed her to the kitchen.

"So, Rory was really okay with it?"

"Yeah. I was very surprised at how well she took the news. No 'You're going straight to hell!' or 'How could you?' Of course, there was no 'Way to go, Mom! Yay You!' either, but she seemed to take all in stride."

"She's a good kid."

"Not much of a kid anymore, but she's the best."

"So, are you going to tell the truth?"

"No. I was, but I can't. She doesn't need Christopher coming back in her life, our life, just to bail on us again. Which I know he will, sooner or later, he will."

"Then it's you and me?"

"Looks like it, Bucko. Like it or not, you're about to become a member of the Gilmore Family Totally Insane Club; Emily and Richard Gilmore, founders, and Lorelai Gilmore a charter member."

"Well, maybe I can bring in a touch of common sense and reason."

"Yeah. Well, good luck with that."

"So why am I here?"

"I thought you might want to get used to your new digs. Maybe check out the upstairs bedroom; see if it's to your liking?"

"You're sure about this?"

"You wouldn't be here if I wasn't."

The two of them stood there, staring at the other, waiting for someone to make the first move.

Tentatively, Lorelia put out her hand, took Luke's, and led him up the stairs.

5

"What time is it?"

Luke looked at his wrist watch.

"A little after six. What time does Rory get up?"

"Six thirty."

"Should I be here when she gets up?"

"I don't know. What do you think?"

"Might be a little – awkward? Me being here so soon after . . . ."

"Yeah. I didn't think about that. You might be right."

"I should go."

"Yeah. Okay. Hey, look, about last night . . . ."

"Don't worry about it."

"No. I didn't ask you over just for nothing to happen. I really wanted us to. It's just . . . ."

"I understand. It was a real roller coaster of a night. It'll happen when it happens."

"Thanks."

"See you later. You're still coming by, aren't you?"

"Definitely. Can't stop us now!"

Luke opened the front door to leave when Lorelai turned him around and hugged him tightly, whispering in his ear, "I don't know how I'll ever thank you for this, but I will. You'll see."

6

Lorelai was sitting at the kitchen table when she heard Rory's alarm clock go off.

"Morning, Sleepyhead. Coffee?"

"If you please."

Lorelai got up to pour a cup of coffee for Rory and another for herself.

"Should you be drinking that?" Rory asked.

"Why would you even dream of asking me such an outrageous question like that?"

"The caffeine, it's not good for little baby fetuses."

"Didn't hurt you any."

"Just made me a caffeine junkie, that's all."

"See?" Lorelai said brightly. "Made you just like me – perfect!"

Rory sat at the table.

"Was there someone here earlier?"

"Why would you ask that?"

"I don't know. I thought I heard voices."

"It was just me – the crazy pregnant woman, talking to herself, just like crazy pregnant women are prone to do."

"Okay."

"So," Rory continued. "You're feeling better this morning?"

"Oh yes. Much better."

"Good."

"Look, about last night. I know I was way out there, and I totally lost it, and I'm so sorry you had to see me like that."

"That's okay. It was an intense moment."

"You'll never know how intense. But what about you? We're okay?"

"Never better."

"You're sure? I mean I really dropped load on you last night. And I know I should have waited until today, but everything just seemed to snowball, and I had no control over anything, and . . . ."

"I said it's okay. We're good! You're going to marry Luke, I'm going to have a baby brother or sister, and we're all going to live happily ever after."

"Ahhh, the eternal optimism of youth. Would that I had such innocence."

"We need to get going if we're going to Luke's before my bus comes. We ARE still going to go to Luke's aren't we?"

"Everyday. But I really need to take a shower first. You have no idea how grungy I feel."

"That's okay, I'll get dressed and meet you there."

"You're sure? You won't feel funny or anything going in by yourself?"

"No. Unless there's a reason I should feel funny. He DOES know I know, doesn't he?"

"He knows."

"Okay, then. I'll see you there."

7

Luke spotted Rory before she enter the diner and had a cup of coffee waiting for her.

"Hi." Rory said cheerfully. "Nice day, huh?"

"The greatest."

"Thanks for the coffee."

"No problem. You want to order now?"

"Not right now. Mom's taking a shower and she'll be along shortly. I'll order something then."

"Okay, I'll be over there."

Luke turned away, then turned back to her.

"So, she told you?"

"Yes, she told me."

"And you're fine with it?"

"Perfectly fine."

"And your mom's okay?"

"Yeah. She seemed to be."

Luke fidgeted.

"Rough night," he said.

"Yeah, intense."

"But everything's all right now?"

"Right as rain."

"I'll be over there, if you want anything, anything at all. You just have to holler."

"Nice to know."

"Okay. I'm going now."

Forty-five minutes later Lorelai joined her.

"Mom! Where were you? I was beginning to think you weren't coming."

"I'm sorry, Babe, but once I got in that shower, I just couldn't get out. I'd still be there if the hot water'd held out."

"I thought we were going to have breakfast together, but I have to catch the bus in a few minutes."

"You didn't eat anything?"

"I had a couple of donuts. Luke insisted."

"Well, that's something."

"I gotta go. See you at home?"

"I'll be there. Oh, and Rory, this . . . thing – can we keep it just our little secret for a while?"

"Sure. My lips are sealed. Not a word."

"Thanks. Have a great day. Study hard. Make us proud."

"Always."

Rory bent down to kiss Lorelai and was surprised by an unusually long and affectionate hug.

Luke walked over with a cup and the pot of coffee as Rory left the diner.

"Great kid," he said as she poured the coffee.

"The greatest."

"You're doin' okay?"

"Yeah. I am. Thanks to you."

"Something to eat?"

"Cheeseburger?"

"You're kidding!"

"No. I could really use a cheeseburger right about now, and some chili fries . . . and blueberry pancakes."

Luke shook his head. "Okay, comin' right up."

As he started to turn away, Lorelai put her hand on his arm, stopping him.

"Um, that very generous offer of yours, to make me an honest woman, well, I won't hold you to it."

"I don't make offers I don't intend to honor."

"Okay. Okay, then . . . Still waiting for that cheeseburger!"

8

The next three weeks were just about the same as the three weeks previous – Lorelai still went to work, but she never said a word to Sookie about her pregnancy. Luke still opened the diner each morning. And Lorelai and Rory still ate there at least once a day. The only difference was that they no longer had to pay.

Luke would sometimes go to Lorelai's after he closed the diner, but only stayed long enough to make sure things were fine. He never spent the night.

Then it changed.

Luke had just hung up the phone from taking a 'to go' order when it immediately rang again.

"Luke's."

"Luke, it's me."

"Rory, hey."

"You need to get down to the hospital right away!"

"Why? What's the matter?"

"Mom's here. She broke her leg."

"What? How?"

"I'm not sure. She was in this yoga class and fell or something. She's asking for you."

"Yoga? When did she start taking yoga?"

"Today. I know, it's weird. How soon can you get here?"

"Half hour, tops."

"Okay see you here."

Even before he hung up the phone, Luke was hollering into the kitchen.

"Caesar! You're going to have to take over. I've gotta go!"

9

When Luke entered Lorelai's hospital room he saw her right leg had a cast on it from the top of her thigh down to her toe.

"My God!" He exclaimed. "Are you okay? What the hell were you doing in a yoga class?"

"Breaking my leg, obviously!" She snapped back.

"She's in pain." Rory told him. "And she won't take any pain pills?"

"She's pregnant, she's not supposed to, is she?"

"They're mild ones. It's supposed to be okay."

"Why won't you take 'em?"

"Because. I want to remember this day, and how stupid I am! And let this be a lesson to me not to EVER do anything that even vaguely resembles exercise, or working out, or anything else that looks like physical exertion!"

"She's a little cranky."

"So I see."

"Thanks for the sympathy."

"How did this happen?" Luke asked, trying to change the subject. "And why were you doing yoga?"

"Oh, I saw this stupid show on TV on how important it was for pregnant women to be fit and healthy and how they should (ugh!) exercise. So, I bought these really cute leotards with kitty cats and puppies on them, an-n-n-d, there I went. So the first thing this heartless, ex-prison guard matron woman person did was to have us stand on our heads, to increase the blood to our brains. Like that would help anything. So, I got dizzy and fell over, and took few down with me. Unfortunately, a couple of the heftier models took me out as well."

"It broke her leg and gave her a mild concussion." Rory finished for her.

"Yeah, and a few other things, too."

"But you're going to be okay, aren't you?"

"Oh, yeah! A few days of bed rest, and a few months with Moby Dick on my leg!"

"She's going home tomorrow. They're making her spend the night, just for observation."

"Because of the concussion?"

"Yeah." Lorelai said, with a slightly odd tone. "For the concussion."

"She'll need your truck. I don't think she can get in the Jeep with the cast on."

"Sure. No problem. Just call me when you're ready to go."

"Rory, how about if you run get a soda? I need to have some grown-up talk time with Luke."

"Sure." She answered, slightly curious. "Want me to get you anything?"

"Coffee."

"Okay."

"And close the door behind you?"

"Okay."

After Rory left, Lorelai took one of Luke's hands in both of hers.

It was obvious there was something on her mind, and she was having trouble getting it out.

"So, the concussion isn't too bad?"

"Nah, not too bad."

"And the leg?"

"Broken in two places – above and below my knee, thus the total leg cast-ation."

"So, basically, you're okay."

"Yeah. Almost."

"So, what else?"

Luke could see tears beginning to form.

"Well, it looks like . . . ."

Lorelai took a ragged breath.

"It looks like you're not going to be a daddy, after all."

Luke was momentarily speechless.

"You mean . . . ."

Lorelai nodded her head, causing a few tears to fall.

"Yeah, I – lost the baby. Had a miscarriage."

"Oh, Lorelai, I'm so sorry. I should be sorry, shouldn't I? I mean – I don't know what I mean."

"Me too. Talk about your mixed emotions! You know, I was actually starting to get used the idea of being pregnant. That's why I started that damned stupid class! And I was thinking about eating some vegetables once in a while, and craziest of all, maybe even cutting back on the coffee."

After a few seconds, she continued.

"And now, I don't know. at least we won't have to worry about Emily's ranting and lecturing. And we won't have to put up with everyone talking about us, and about Rory."

Lorelai squeeze Luke's hand.

"And it looks like we don't have to get married after all. Everything can go back to being just like it was before."

"I guess so."

"Which means I guess we'll have to start paying for our food, again, huh?"

Luke smiled back at her.

"Maybe I'll just charge you half price."

"You'll never get rich that way."

"It's a long-term investment."

There was short pause, then Luke asked "Does Rory know?"

Lorelai shook her head.

"Not yet. I wanted to tell you first."

"How do you think she'll take it?"

"I don't know. She was really beginning to get excited about it. She already had the names picked out – Lorelai the fourth if it was a girl . . . and Luke Jr. if it was a boy. I'm sure it'll hurt her. It hurts me."

There was a tap at the door and Lorelai hurriedly wiped away the tears.

"Okay to come in?" Rory asked as she stuck her head into room.

"Sure, Hon, come on in. We're through talking."

"I'll just be going now. If it's not too late, maybe I'll drop by after I close up."

"Yeah, I'd like that."

"If not, then I'll be here tomorrow. 'Bye, Rory."

" 'Bye, Luke."

After Luke left, Rory handed her mother a cup of vending machine coffee, and noticed her eyes were a little red.

"Have you been crying?"

"Not really, you know wonky head, wonky eyes."

"How's the pain?"

"Better."

"You want some pills?"

"Oh, God, yes! Do I!"

Rory opened the small pill bottle and gave Lorelai two tablets, saw the look on her face, then gave her two more, which she washed down with the coffee.

"Sit on the bed here, for a minute, okay?" Lorelai said, struggling to move over to make room.

"What's up?"

"There's something I need to tell you."

"What is it?"

"Well, the broken leg and the concussion wasn't exactly all that happened to Mommy."

"Oh?"