Disclaimer: These characters are owned by the WB, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, and Amy Sherman-Palladino.
Author's Note: Thank you to my fabulous beta JeSouhaite. This story truly would not have been the same without her feedback and input.
"Sooo…how was your romantic birthday dinner with Luke?" Sookie teased.
"Really nice. He had candles and soft music and he made me this wonderful dinner…but it was a little weird too."
"That whole romantic dinner thing – it's not Luke. It made me think that there was a reason he was doing it."
"Sookie," Lorelai's voice grew soft. "I thought he was going to propose."
"Oh." Her eyes widened.
"I mean, romantic dinner for two, on my birthday. If he were planning on doing it anytime soon, that would have been the time, right?"
"Maybe, maybe not."
"I was so nervous when I first got there that even he noticed it."
"And now you're disappointed."
"No, it was really nice," she paused at Sookie's skeptical look, "Okay, maybe a little."
"If you really feel that way, you should ask him."
"Ask him what?" Lorelai asked, confused.
"To marry you, silly! Why don't you propose?"
"But if he wanted to get married he would have asked me."
"Lorelai, this is Luke we're talking about – it took him eight years to ask you out," Sookie looked at her and Lorelai sighed, "and it wasn't because he didn't want to."
Lorelai was looking at her feet. She tilted her head sideways to glance at Sookie. "Yeah, I guess." She looked down again briefly before saying, "Wow…do you really think this is a good idea?"
"Are you ready to get married?"
"I am. I really am."
"Then yes, it's a great idea."
Lorelai's face lit up in a wide smile, "Oh my god. I'm really going to do this." A thrill of anticipation ran through her at the decision.
"Okay then…when, where, how?"
"Sookie, give me a second here to wrap my mind around this." She thought for a few moments, "I know! The anniversary of the test run is a week from Sunday."
Sookie shot her a confused look, but then remembered. "Your first kiss."
Lorelai nodded and continued, "I think the honeymoon suite is available. We could have a private dinner."
"Ooh, ooh! I'll have to make something really great. Maybe those veal medallions with-"
"No red meat, Sookie. Remember, this is Luke."
"Oh right. How about salmon? Grilled salmon and-"
"Uh, how long have you known me? Since when do I eat fish?"
"Then you're going to have to give me some time to come up with the perfect proposal menu."
"I have total faith in you. Just make sure the vegetables are on the side."
"Why you even need to ask that question is beyond me, but make it something with fruit. Maybe I'll be able to convince Luke to eat it."
"Honeymoon suite, fabulous dinner, champagne-"
"No champagne. Luke hates champagne."
"But it's a proposal."
"He doesn't like it."
"What are you going to toast with, beer?" Lorelai glared at her. "Fine, we'll resolve that detail later. You've got a time, a place, dinner, there'll be music, the only thing left is how?"
"How are you going to ask? Get down your knee? Put a secret note in his meal? Spell it out with frosting? Write it on yourself with edible body paint?"
"I just wanted to give you some options," Sookie giggled.
"I'm going to need to give that a little more thought…by myself," Lorelai added firmly.
The credits of the second movie had just scrolled by during the post-Yale-finals movie marathon. In the pause before Rory changed the movie, Lorelai asked, "Hey, what would you think about Luke and I becoming more permanent?" Though she attempted to sound casual, she was betrayed by her nervous twisting of a Red Vine.
"What? Mom! You would tell me if Luke proposed…right?"
"Wait, what makes you think that he would propose?"
"When we were planning your party, we talked."
"What did he say?"
"He just asked what I thought about you guys being together and said that he was planning to be around for a while." Rory paused for a moment and took a breath, "then I asked if he planned to make it official."
"You asked him that? Why did you ask him that?" Lorelai said in a panicked voice.
Rory gave an innocent shrug, "I guess I just wanted to freak out your boyfriend. Do you think it worked?" she added with an evil grin.
"Rory! Just tell me what he said!"
"Wow, no need to be hostile," she said defensively, then her voice grew softer. "He said 'yeah, at some point.'"
"At some point, hmmm."
"Mom, what's going on?"
"I think…Would it be totally crazy if I asked Luke to marry me?" She bit her lower lip as she watched her daughter.
"Are you serious?" Rory looked stunned.
"Yeah. Do you think it would be weird? I mean there's this part of me that really wants him to ask me, but then I wonder if that's the influence of being raised in Emily World."
"If you want him to ask you, then let him ask you."
Lorelai sighed softly, "At some point."
"I don't want to wait for 'at some point.'"
"Oh, you're impatient," Rory said with a smirk.
"Yes, hence the question. Is it totally crazy for me to ask him?"
"Would you be okay with that?"
"With you and Luke getting married?"
"Yeah," Lorelai's voice was tentative.
"Of course! You guys are so great together. He makes you happy. So…what's your plan? Tell me the details!"
"Sookie and I have it partly worked out."
"You told Sookie?" She looked hurt.
"She's the one who suggested proposing."
"Have you figured out how you are going to ask him?"
"No, I'm still working on that part. It's so hard. Gah! There is a reason the guys are supposed to do this."
"You really want this?"
"Yeah I do," Lorelai replied with a small smile.
"Why now? What happened to make you so impatient?"
"I don't know if it was anything in particular. I just…ever since we got back together - I just know that he's it and I realized I don't want to wait."
"Oh my god Mom, that's so 'When Harry Met Sally' of you."
"You know when Billy Crystal says, 'When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.'"
"That about sums it up. Does that make me Billy Crystal?"
"I guess so, but you're a lot cuter."
"That's not saying much."
"I guess that makes Luke Meg Ryan."
"But he's way hotter," Lorelai grinned.
"Hey, that's my future step-dad you're talking about."
"I know, and you're okay with that? I mean, eventually he'll move into our house and use our bathroom. It won't just be us anymore."
"Really mom, it's great. I love Luke and I love him with you. Now tell me more about your romantic proposal plans."
On the morning of the anniversary, Lorelai woke in Luke's apartment to the smell of coffee. Apparently, he had found the time this morning to sneak up and leave it for her. There's a reason I want to marry this man, she thought. That made her think of her plans for the evening and she mentally ran through the list of details. She had worried for quite a while about the 'how,' but an idea had come to her yesterday. It needed some polish, but she would figure it out by tonight. In the meantime, there was coffee waiting.
She threw the covers off and padded across the room to the table, hugging her arms around the soft flannel shirt that she wore. In her sleepy and preoccupied state, it wasn't until she picked up the coffee mug and sat down that she saw the card propped open on the table. The front of the card was a photo of a single red rose and the inside was blank except for Luke's words.
A year ago you changed my life.
As she read the card she felt a lump in her throat, touched that he remembered the anniversary of their first kiss and amazed at the way that he could say so much in just a few words. Picking up the card, she ran her finger over the words, trying to memorize the way that they looked written in his script. It was then that she noticed the red rose in the vase behind the card and put down the card to reach for it. She stopped mid-reach, stunned by the small velvet box sitting next to the vase, and tried to imagine any other reason for it besides the obvious. With a trembling hand she picked it up and opened it, tears forming as she looked at the ring inside. It had a single diamond in the center with sapphires on either side, held by an intricate band of white and yellow gold. The box and the ring were clearly not new, and the realization that this might be his mother's ring pushed her tears over the edge.
After a few moments, she was pulled back to reality when she felt Luke's hands on her shoulders. She hadn't noticed that he was in the room, but somehow it didn't startle her that he was. His voice was soft and unsteady when he spoke, "So, what do you think? Will you marry me?"
Though she had known what the ring meant, the words still took her by surprise. She turned to look up at him, nodding as she tried to make the words come. "I…Luke…yes…Oh my god, yes."
He reached and wiped away her tears with his thumbs. "What are these for?"
"I'm just happy…really, really happy."
"Good. I love you."
"I love you too. Will you put it on?" she asked, handing him the box. He pulled the ring out of the box, looking at it a moment before sliding it on her left hand. "It's beautiful." She saw him swallow and asked, "Luke, is it…was it…"
He nodded and she could see that his eyes were brimming with tears. "My Dad gave it to me before he died. He said to give it to the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with."
Before she even had a chance to form the question in her mind, he looked at her and continued, "It's been in a safe-deposit box since he gave it to me. I didn't even think about getting it out until we got back together."
"So, not for…?" She needed confirmation.
"No, not at all…until now."
"It means the world that you're giving it to me."
"It could never be for anyone else."
Lorelai stood and wrapped her arms tightly around him, saying, "You're the best." She gave Luke time to surreptitiously wipe the tears from his eyes before releasing him just enough to look him in the eye. "God, I love you," she whispered before pulling him down for a long kiss. She pulled away reluctantly to catch her breath, leaning her head on his chest.
"How did you get from 'at some point' to this in just a few weeks?"
He pulled back and looked at her curiously, then he nodded, "You talked to Rory."
He took a deep breath and spoke softly but surely, "I love you and that's not going to change. You're the one I want to be with. When Rory brought it up, I started to think that maybe you felt the same way. I didn't think she would've asked the question if she didn't think you wanted me to ask," he glanced at her nervously, "right?"
"I hadn't talked to her about it, but she wasn't wrong."
"When you were so nervous at your birthday dinner, I didn't get it right away, but later I realized I probably missed a perfect opportunity. That was the reason, wasn't it?" She looked at him, not wanting to admit it, but then nodded slowly. "Were you disappointed?"
"At first, maybe a little, but this is big for both of us. I don't want it to have to share my birthday."
"I think the reason I hesitated was that I was worried you were freaking out after we had that talk about kids. You seemed so…I don't know…restless?"
He glanced at her and she shook her head, "No…It was impatience."
"Yeah." She looked at him thoughtfully, then went to her purse and pulled out an envelope. She studied it, twisting it around in her fingers, took a deep breath and handed it to him. "It's not the final draft, but you'll get the general idea."
He looked at her curiously while opening it. His eyes widened as he read the note inside. She tried to remember the wording of the most recent version.
Your very nervous girlfriend wants you to marry her. Please say yes.
"I was going to …tonight. I thought today would be a fitting occasion. I reserved us a room at the inn. Sookie planned a dinner."
"I ruined your plan." He looked crushed and her heart melted.
"No, this is perfect Luke, really. I think there's enough old school Hartford in me that I really wanted you to propose." She looked at him sharply, "Don't you ever tell my mother that." He chuckled at that, as if trying to imagine why he would be having that conversation. "But seriously Luke, this," she said, holding up the card, "is beautiful. This proposal, it's all I ever wanted."
"Then why…this?" he asked softly, holding up her note.
"I want to start our middle…now."
"And you thought I didn't?"
"I just wasn't sure what 'at some point' meant."
"You didn't want to wait eight years."
She gave him a small smile, "I didn't want to wait at all…and I'm really glad you didn't either. And," she continued brightly, "we have a celebratory dinner all ready for us tonight at the inn."
"That sounds perfect," he said, "but I can't believe I'm going to miss out on the opportunity to hear you propose to me."
"I can still ask. It will be easier knowing your answer."
He looked at her thoughtfully. "Were you really that nervous? Did you really think that I wouldn't…?"
"I knew you wanted to be with me. I just didn't know if you were ready for this."
He took her hands in his and looked her in the eye. " I am." Lorelai felt her heart jump as he leaned in for a lingering kiss. When he pulled back, he said, "Speaking of celebratory meals, would you like some breakfast?" He looked up shyly. "Caesar and Lane are covering the diner so I could have breakfast with you."
"Oh! What time is it?"
"I was supposed to meet Rory for breakfast in a half hour. We were planning to hang out today."
"Why don't you ask her to join us? You need to tell her anyway. She should be the first to know." He thought for a moment. "Hey, did she know about tonight?"
Lorelai nodded. "I told her when we had her post-finals movie marathon last week."
"You've been planning this since then?"
"Actually, since a couple days after my birthday," she admitted. "What about you?"
"About the same."
"It's hard to believe that we've both been independently planning proposals for almost two weeks. It's kind of eerie."
"Hmmm, eerie. Just what I was going for," he teased. "So, what about Rory?"
"I'll call her and tell her to come straight here. I need to call Sookie too – just to let her know that the proposal part of the proposal dinner is off." She grinned, then looked grim. "I guess we'll have to tell my parents, too."
"Yes, we definitely need to tell your parents," he said firmly but without enthusiasm.
Lorelai jumped up when she heard the tentative knock on Luke's door. She yanked open the door and pulled Rory inside. "Did you see Luke downstairs on your way in?"
"No, he was in the back cooking." Rory looked at her, her forehead wrinkled in confusion, "Mom…what's going on?"
"This!" Lorelai answered, holding up her left hand and bouncing up and down on her feet.
"Oh my god, Mom! Did Luke…?" Lorelai could only nod her head furiously. "When?"
"This morning. I woke up and there was coffee, a card, a rose, and this!"
"Wow, so he beat you to it? Are you happy?" Rory paused for a moment to look at her mother. "What am I talking about? Look at you!"
Lorelai beamed as she pulled Rory into her arms.
A few minutes later, Luke entered, carrying dishes of food, which Lorelai took eagerly and placed on the table. "Look, here he is – my fiancé. Oh! My fiancé. Rory, he's my fiancé!"
Rory looked over at Luke with an amused expression, "Yeah, we've met."
"Hey Rory." He paused and worked his jaw for a moment before saying, "Are you…uh…okay with this?"
"Are you kidding? I love you and," she gestured at her mother, "you make her so happy."
Luke swallowed and looked down briefly. When he looked up, he was blushing and stammering, "Uh. Well. You know..."
"I know," Rory said as she threw her arms around his waist. "Welcome to the family." Luke hugged her back awkwardly as she said, "Not a bad start, but we have to work on this hugging thing."
Lorelai watched Rory and Luke together, thinking how long she had wanted to give Rory a complete family. It saddened her to think that it hadn't happened until Rory had left home, but she hoped that the bond that she and Luke already shared would help make up for lost time.
"Hey Luke, what was that you said about breakfast?" Lorelai asked, calling attention to the table full of food.
"You'd think that I never feed her," Luke joked to Rory, as they set the table and sat down to eat.
Throughout the meal, Luke watched as Lorelai and Rory excitedly predicted the town's reaction to the engagement. At one point, Lorelai looked at him and asked, "When are we going to tell Liz?"
He shrugged. "Probably later today."
"Oh my god!" she said with sudden horror. "I just realized that I'm going to be related to T.J."
"That's not going to make you reconsider…is it?" He only partially sounded like he was joking.
"God no. If you have to put up with my family, I can live with T.J."
"I think your parents are going to see it as more of a hardship on their end."
Lorelai looked at him sadly. "I just wish they realized how wonderful you are."
"Hold onto that thought."
"Uh," He glanced nervously at Rory, then back at Lorelai. "I have something to tell you."
Rory picked up on his serious tone and said, "I'm going to go downstairs to talk to Lane. Don't worry. I won't tell her yet." She excused herself quickly.
"So what's going on?" Lorelai pressured Luke.
"I called your parents."
"You did what? Why?" Her face paled.
"To see if they would be around. I told your mother that we would come by in a little while."
"What?" Lorelai's voice was tight with anger. She stood and paced with her hands on her hips. "How could you?"
"You said we needed to tell them."
"I didn't ask you to make an appointment. Why did you do this without asking me?"
"Because I knew you would want to put it off, but we need to tell them."
"So this is how it's going to be now? If you think I'm not going to agree with you about something, you'll just go ahead and do it and tell me later that it was for the best? What kind of partnership is that?
His face filled with remorse, "Lorelai, I didn't mean to do that. I just really want to start off right with your parents. As nervous as I am about telling them, nothing is served by waiting."
"You're really worried about it."
"I'm not who they want for you, and I don't want that to come in between you and your parents."
"Luke, it's already between us and it's about more than you. They just don't want me to live my life the way I want. They still want the Barbie dream daughter." She threw up her hands in frustration. "I just don't want to ruin this perfect day by having to hear yet again how disappointed they are in me."
"This is exactly why I didn't tell you – you're stubborn and too damn persuasive, but Lorelai, everything you just said would be made worse by waiting to tell them. Can't we just go and tell them so that we don't have to worry about it anymore?" he pleaded.
"It'll really bother you to wait?" He nodded. "Okay, then let's get it over with."
She glanced up at him and smiled. "I don't want to fight anymore – not today."
"I'm sorry I didn't talk to you."
"Just don't go getting all cocky now that I said I'd marry you. I think I understand why you did it, but this can't be the way things work between us. You can't go off and do stuff like this without talking to me. Besides, you shouldn't assume that I'm always going to disagree with you."
"That's been a pretty safe assumption up to now," he grinned as she slapped him playfully on the shoulder.
"Do you think it's a bad sign that we just got engaged less than an hour ago and we already had a fight?"
"That wasn't a fight. It was more of a disagreement, and if we didn't have those, I'd be seriously concerned. It wouldn't feel right if we agreed all the time."
Lorelai giggled at the thought, but it rang true nonetheless. She didn't want either one of them to give up what was important to them for the sake of pretended harmony. "I guess if we 'disagree,' at least we get to make-up afterwards," she grinned up at him as she wrapped her arms around his neck. "Speaking of which…" she mumbled into his lips as she pulled his head down into a kiss and leaned her body close to his. He ran his fingers down her back and pulled her in tightly before kissing along her jawline and down her neck.
She was startled by the sound of a knock and Rory's voice, "Mom, Luke? Can I…"
"Come on in," Luke called as he pulled Lorelai into his chest and kissed her head. He whispered, "We can pick up where we left off later."
Rory entered and took in the scene. "So…I guess everything is okay?" she said with an amused smile.
"Yeah, we just had a slight disagreement about the best time to tell Richard and Emily Killjoy about our plans."
"I take it you have resolved your 'disagreement?'"
"You could say that. Apparently, we're going to go tell them now."
"Yeah. You want to come along to exert your golden child influence over the situation?"
"Actually I would. I'd like to see Grandma's reaction."
"Here's hoping that we don't provide you with too much drama," Lorelai said, worry creeping into her voice. As if sensing her concern, Luke gave her hand an encouraging squeeze.
"They'll appreciate knowing right away, Mom. Besides, all they have to do is look at you to see how happy you are."
"So you think that I look happy?"
Still holding her hand, Luke stepped back and surveyed her face. "You are kinda glowing."
"And you want to take credit for that?" she teased.
"I'd like to think I had something to do with it."
"My, we are getting cocky, aren't we?"
Emily pondered the phone call, almost dreading the impending visit. There could only be two reasons for a sudden visit by Luke and Lorelai and much as she hoped it was not another out-of-wedlock pregnancy, she was not sure she would be any happier about an engagement. She had hoped for so much more for Lorelai than this small town diner owner could offer. The musical tones of the doorbell pulled her out of her thoughts. As she hurried to answer the door, she called, "Richard, they're here."
She was surprised to see Rory with them, and though all three looked happy, there was tension in Luke's face and he held Lorelai's hand tightly. "Good morning. It's nice to see you. What brings you here?" she asked politely.
"Uh…good morning Mom, Dad. Can we go sit down? We have something to tell you."
They moved into the living room to sit down and Emily studied her daughter, looking for signs that would reveal the announcement she was preparing.
Lorelai took a deep breath, looked at Luke then grinned at Rory and said, "Luke asked me to marry him and I said yes. We're going to get married."
Emily had thought about what it would sound like if Lorelai ever said those words. She expected it to come as a bit of a challenge, like so many of her past rebellions had been. There would be an 'I told you so' tone. She was surprised to see only sheer happiness. Lorelai's eyes were bright and she couldn't contain her wide smile. Only her expectant look, as she waited for a reaction, betrayed her inner nervousness.
"Congratulations…Luke" Emily said stiffly, though with a smile, "and best wishes to you, Lorelai. Richard, this calls for champagne. Can you get some?"
"Of course, I believe we have some in the next room."
Looking back at her daughter, Emily asked, "So, when did this happen?"
Lorelai glanced at Luke, "About two hours ago. Luke left me an anniversary card and the ring with my morning coffee." Her smile as she looked at Luke was radiant.
"Really? Two hours ago?"
"Luke insisted that we tell you immediately," she glared sharply at him before continuing, "but we did take the time to eat breakfast first."
"Thank you Luke, for that consideration. I can't imagine when we would have known if it had been left to Lorelai."
Lorelai narrowed her eyes at that, but before she had a chance to object Luke defended her, "It was Lorelai's idea to tell you. I just called you before she had a chance." His words softened Lorelai's expression and he squeezed her hand affectionately.
Emily watched the interchange with interest and noticed a sense of partnership that she had never seen in any of Lorelai's relationships. She was allowing Luke to make small demands and exert control in a way that she had never allowed anyone else to do, and Emily was quite sure that Luke was allowing the same. It was a balance that she and Lorelai had never managed to find, and it was more than a little painful that she had found it with someone else.
As Richard handed them their champagne, Emily noticed the engagement ring and said, "That's a beautiful ring. May I see it?"
Lorelai held out her hand to display the ring, she and Luke sharing a smile as she did so. "It belonged to Luke's mother." Emily eyed them curiously, wondering how it was that Lorelai had ended up with his mother's ring if Luke had been previously married.
"It really is lovely," she said genuinely.
"It going to look beautiful with the necklace and earrings you gave Lorelai for her birthday," Luke said softly.
"You're right," she said, giving him an approving look. "So…have you picked a date?"
"Mom, it's only been a couple of hours. Give us a chance to get used to being engaged before you start planning the wedding."
"Are you actually going to go through with it this time?"
The shock and hurt on her daughter's face made her regret the words as soon as they were out of her mouth. "Wow, that was harsh. Doesn't anyone have any faith in me?" She glanced at Luke and then back at her mother. "I am definitely, without question, going to marry Luke, understood?"
"Understood, "Emily responded softly, taken aback at the forcefulness in Lorelai's words. She started to apologize, before realizing that Lorelai was no longer looking at her, but at Luke. He gave a small nod, as if he understood the question had been meant more for him than her mother.
Watching Lorelai, Emily realized that her emotions were totally exposed, not because she was intentionally sharing them, but because it wasn't possible for her to contain her happiness. For these few rare moments, Lorelai's life was an open book. Though at first glance, Emily wasn't sure the story that was unfolding appealed to her, she realized that like some great works of literature, it might take a little work and patience in order to fully appreciate it.
Lorelai allowed herself some small measure of relief that her parents were being polite, though it was clear they were not completely comfortable. Emily seemed interested in their plans, though there wasn't yet much to tell her. She was, however, avoiding eye contact with Luke. Lorelai recalled a phone conversation with her mother and thought about whether or not she would ever be able to accept Luke, or if this quiet tolerance was the most they could hope for. At least it was a start.
While Rory and Emily chatted excitedly about something wedding related, Lorelai glanced over at her father. He had gotten up from his seat to get some more champagne, but was still standing in the corner of the room, as if observing the scene. Lorelai brushed her hand down Luke's arm and whispered, "Be right back," and then walked over to her father.
"Hey Dad, you've been kind of quiet."
"It's not every day your only daughter gets engaged."
"Oh." She tried to find the words to ask him what he was thinking.
"Lorelai?" She was startled out of her internal debate.
"You've always been your own person. Everything you did, you did yourself, in your own way. Much to everyone's dismay, sometimes, but it has served you well."
"Does Luke know that?"
"Better than anyone…and he still wants me."
"You don't approve."
"Does it matter whether I approve?"
"It matters to me because it matters to Luke. I don't want him to feel unwelcome for the rest of his life…" She paused and softened her words, trying not to make it sound like an accusation, "like Mom did for so long."
He narrowed his eyes and looked at her for a moment before sighing, "I suppose you are right."
Lorelai hesitated in the hope that her father would be more forthcoming. When he wasn't she began, "You know…I really am happy."
"Yes, you seem to be," he admitted. He then paused, as if measuring his words, "I'm pleased that you're happy."
Recognizing that this was quite a statement coming from her father, she leaned in and put her hand on his shoulder, saying softly into his ear, "Thank you." She then pulled back and asked, "Do you think Mom will ever feel that way?"
He gave her a puzzled look. "Of course. Your mother wants you to be happy."
"She has a funny way of showing it."
"Lorelai…" She recognized that tone. It was the tone he used to show that he wasn't amused by one of her jokes.
"No Dad, listen," she said firmly. "I was happy – and she knew it, but she tried to take that away. No one has ever hurt me like that before. Ever." Her voice wavered as she remembered the betrayal she had felt. "I don't think she understands that." She looked down briefly before meeting his eyes and was surprised to see concern in his expression.
"I believe she does now. As do I." He glanced at Emily and then added, "She will appreciate that you came to tell us when you did."
"Luke didn't want to put off telling you. Family is very important to him."
"He seems like an honorable man."
Lorelai glanced at Luke, then looked back at her father. "Yes, he is," she replied, pleased at the acknowledgment.
"Yes. Well…I should see if anyone needs more champagne," he said as he tipped the bottle toward Emily, Luke and Rory.
As he filled the glasses, Emily asked, "Would you like to stay for lunch? I'm sure that Clara could heat us up some soup and make sandwiches, though anything beyond that would stretch her meager talents."
"As inviting as that sounds, we don't want to put you out and we did just eat breakfast not too long ago."
"We do have another stop or two to make on our way home – a few more people that we need to talk to." Luke added.
"Certainly. You do need to share your news. Well, next time then. Lorelai, might we see you on Friday?"
Rory gave her an encouraging look and Lorelai relented, "That sounds nice."
"Good, that will give us some time to start planning. Hopefully you will have a date chosen by then."
"Uh, Mom?" she tried to interject, to no avail.
"Luke, what about you? Will you be joining us on Friday?"
"Mom, he's got-"
She stopped when Luke squeezed her hand and responded, "I'll check to see if I can make it. Can I get back to you?"
As they said their final goodbyes, Emily looked Lorelai in the eye and said, "Thank you for coming to tell us." Lorelai was touched to see genuine appreciation in her mother's expression. "And do think about that wedding date. We have a lot of work ahead of us."
"We?" sputtered Lorelai.
"So Mom, did you really agree to let Grandma help plan your wedding?"
"No, I didn't, did I?"
"Well, in the face of an outright protest, Grandma would probably take it as agreement."
"Luke, did it sound like I agreed?"
"You didn't disagree," he pointed out. "Why? Is that bad?"
"You saw the vow renewal. She only had one week to plan that. She once told me she had planned out a Romanov theme for my wedding, something about a silver sleigh with white horses, lights in the trees…"
"Rory, please make her stop."
"You asked her to marry you."
"That I did," he said, smiling happily as they headed for Stars Hollow.
After a ride filled with chatter about the wedding, Luke agreed that Liz should be the next to hear the news. Rory asked to be dropped at home, saying, "as intrigued as I am by Luke's sister and this mysterious T.J., I think maybe another time would be more appropriate for me to meet them."
As they pulled away from the house, Luke looked at Lorelai and asked softly, "Hey, do you mind if we make an extra stop before going to see Liz?"
"No, where do you want to go?"
He looked down shyly then back up at her, "I'd like to tell my parents our news."
Author's Note: Thanks for reading. I'd love to know what you think. I need to credit JeSouhaite for planting the idea of Lorelai proposing and for the When Harry Met Sally reference. The idea for using a horoscope in Lorelai's proposal came from a discussion in the Luke and Lorelai thread of the GG forum at TWoP. Lastly, there cannot be enough said about the positive energy in the fan fiction thread of the TWoP GG forum. Thanks for the encouragement!