A/N: Okay here it is, the final chapter. I just want to say a huge thanks to those of you who encouraged me to keep writing, and to those couple of reviewers who stayed with this story from the very beginning. I've had a blast writing this, and I hope you guys enjoyed reading it. :)
Chapter 7: Good Different
Lorelai and Rory both arrived in Stars Hollow at the same time, parking one after the other in Lorelai's driveway. "Good thing traffic wasn't still horrible…" Rory said laughing.
"Hey! How do you know there wasn't traffic from Maine?"
"I don't, but you weren't supposed to be driving from Maine, remember?"
"Well yes, but I couldn't come up with anything else that would be believable!"
"And the traffic story won grandma over so well…"
"I'm beyond caring if she thinks I was lying. I would have gotten a much worse freeze out if I had told her the truth." Rory nodded, knowing that was probably the truth. They walked through the front door together, heading straight for the couch.
"But if this thing with Luke keeps going, you're going to have to tell her eventually you know."
"Yeah, but I want to enjoy it for a while before she tries to mess it all up." Lorelai got a silly smile on her face, one that Rory was seeing more and more of lately.
"So things are going well for you two then?"
"Why do you say that?" she asked trying to hide her grin.
"Well, you kind of look like you just stumbled on a major shoe sale."
"Wow, that's an intense kind of happy look, are you sure I look like that?"
"Oh yeah, I'm sure." Lorelai made a face, thinking how happy she really was. It wasn't surprising that her expression represented her inner feelings so well. "So spill it!"
Lorelai laughed, "Spill what?" she asked feigning innocence.
"Oh come on mom…so what exactly is this thing with Luke? Are you guys casually dating, or are you in a relationship now?"
"Well, we really haven't talked over the specific labels, but I would be leaning more in the direction of a relationship."
Rory's face broke out into a huge grin, "That's great!" She leaned over and gave her mom a quick hug. "So what does this mean for when he gets back?"
"I actually haven't really thought that far ahead. Things have been going so well that I don't want to freak myself out by thinking way too far in the future."
"Okay, but Luke is going to come back and then you're going to have to deal with this stuff you know."
"Oh I know. I just like how it's just me and him for now. No town gossip, no 'I told you so' looks. It's nice."
Rory nodded with an understanding look. "So when is Luke coming back anyway?"
"Who knows, hopefully soon though. Driving to Maine is a killer."
Rory was about to respond when her cell phone started ringing from the other side of the room. "Ohh, sorry I have to get that. Paris is supposed to be calling me about one of our new assignments for the paper." Rory hopped up off the couch and grabbed her phone, heading into her room to chat.
Lorelai was left alone on her couch, a smile still playing on her lips. The past few weeks with Luke had almost seemed like a dream. It had been just the two of them, alone and hanging out like they used to, only so much better. They didn't have to hold back or pretend, they could kiss hello and goodbye, they could just be together and happy. What more could she ask for? Now everything was becoming real. Rory knew about them now, so it was almost like Lorelai was letting it out to the rest of the world. This was really happening, they were really happening and she really couldn't be happier.
Rory came out of her room then, a hesitant look on her face. "Everything okay hon?" Lorelai asked.
"Well yes, but I have go back up to Yale tonight after all. Paris is freaking out about something that she won't elaborate on unless she can talk to me in person."
Lorelai stood up and walked over to where Rory was standing by the door. "Okay well if you have to go, you have to go."
"I'm really sorry mom, but I'm glad we got to talk at least for a little while."
"Hey, it's not a big deal babe. I know how demanding Paris can be." She opened the front door and followed Rory onto the porch. Giving her a quick hug and kiss, she watched her get into her car and start backing out of the driveway. She waved, and then watched Rory drive off until she couldn't see her anymore and headed back inside.
She stood in the front hall for a second, trying to think of what she would do with the rest of her night, but came up with nothing. Rory was gone, Luke was gone…there wasn't anyone to keep her company! Yawning to herself, she decided to head up to bed. She'd had a long day and sleep sounded like the perfect plan.
The next morning Lorelai woke up to the sound of someone knocking loudly on her door. She tried to bury her head under her pillow to block out the offensive sound, but whoever it was just wasn't giving up. "Oh my God," Lorelai mumbled as she rolled out of bed. "Who the hell is knocking on my door early on a Saturday morning!" She continued to complain under her breath as she made her way down each step and then as she flung the front door open. Her mouth abruptly shut as she realized who was standing on her porch. "Luke?" she said groggily.
"Um, hi. What're you doing here?"
"Wow, that happy to see me huh?"
Lorelai shook her head, trying to clear out the remnants of sleep still lingering. "Of course I'm happy to see you, it's just early. And Saturday. And you're supposed to be in Maine. Lots to process when I've only been awake for thirty seconds."
"Yeah true, sorry about that."
"Hey, it's okay." She leaned up, giving him a quick, soft kiss. "Come on in."
He walked through the open door, stopping to wait for her in the living room. "So I just got back in town this morning, and wanted to tell you that I'm back, that's why I'm here so early. I can go if you want to go back to sleep."
Lorelai slid down onto the couch, running a hand through her messy hair, trying to make it look a little bit like it was brushed. "Don't be silly, I'm glad you came! Are you home for good now?" Lorelai's face was hopeful.
"Yes I am. Liz and TJ can fend for themselves now, so I decided to come back."
He smiled at her obvious pleasure in his return. "So I guess I should head to the diner for a little bit and make sure it's still standing."
"You haven't been there yet?"
"Nope. Like I said before, I came right here first." Luke blushed slightly at the look Lorelai was giving him.
"Okay, well how about you run to the diner and make sure that Cesar and Lane are still alive and kickin, and I'll get dressed and meet you there in a little bit?"
"Sounds good to me." He gave her a little wave, and backed himself toward the door. "Bye."
"See ya Luke." The second Luke was out the door, Lorelai sprinted up the stairs and into the shower. She was in major need of Luke's coffee, and she had missed actually seeing Luke himself when she went into the diner.
She got ready quickly after hopping out of the shower, and was on her way to Luke's about a half hour after he had left her house. Her stomach was fluttering as she passed by places in the town that she had walked by thousands of times in the years she'd lived there, but everything seemed so different and new. She was not only on her way to Luke's (Luke's was only 'Luke's' when he was there…otherwise it was only the 'diner'), but when she got there, it was going to be different. Good different. New different. She was on cloud nine.
The bell jingled above her head as it always did when she opened the door, and she spotted Luke behind the cash register. He looked up when he heard the door, anticipating her entrance, and his face broke out in a smile that mirrored the one on Lorelai's face exactly. Lorelai's head clouded over the second they locked eyes, and her field of vision and all thoughts in her head became about Luke. She didn't notice that Kirk was sitting at a nearby table watching her with a curious expression on his face, or that several other townspeople were scattered around the diner eating, but also watching. And she didn't notice the hush that fell around her when she leaned over the counter placing a long kiss on Luke's lips.
She slid herself down on the stool that was directly in front of Luke so she didn't have to pull away from his face much as they both kept grinning. The moment was shattered though, when they heard Kirk make a strange whooping sound behind them. Turning quickly, Lorelai caught the back of Kirk's head as he flung the door open and ran as fast as he could down the street headed straight for Miss Patty's.
Lorelai turned back to Luke. "Whoops," she said with a smile. "Guess everyone's going to know about us now."
Luke smiled too. "Is that a problem?"
Lorelai set down her purse next to her, wiggling down into her chair more comfortably. "Can I have a huge cup of coffee please? I hear my boyfriend's making it again."
"You got it." He squeezed her hand, and then turned to get her cup of coffee like he always had, but now his heart was racing, his smile threatening to crease his face forever. This was what he'd always dreamed of, always wanted and now it was here. The two of them together, here in his diner. Luke and Lorelai together in Stars Hollow was the way it should be, and the rest of the town seemed to agree because as Luke passed her the first cup of coffee for the day, every single town member began making their way to the diner. Most stopped outside the windows just watching in awe as the couple sat laughing and talking together, but some ventured in to try to hear first hand the happiness in their voices.
Luke and Lorelai were oblivious to the things happening around them, only noticing each other. "You know Luke," Lorelai started, taking a long sip of her coffee. "This tastes a little different."
"Really? Is it a good different or a bad different?"
Lorelai nodded to herself, "Definitely a good different."