How Revisionist of You: Part III

Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, I only play...

Summary: She contemplated the things she would change if she could overcome such improbabilities in physics.

Dedication: This one's all for Julie. Can I get a standing ovation please? This is all because of her.

Notes: Okay. Here's the deal. This used to be Chronicles of Change and is no longer, thank god. This is also a rewrite of chapter 3, never to read the old version again. Sorry folks couldn't take it. Expect the end to be soon.

Pouring through our veins, Intoxicate moving wine to tears

When she was younger she loved echoes. It was the only scientific way she could truly talk back to herself without appearing completely nuts. Yelling in any public setting was totally unacceptable to her parents, but it was freeing. Not one to normally commune with nature, she found it nice that nature did enjoy the sound of her voice as much as she did. An empty room or an open valley could bounce the sound back over and over again. If it were anyone else, of course, she would bring up the point of echoes being the one way nature mocks humans, making one's voice sound empty and redundant. Never one to turn criticisms back on herself, and being as narcissistic as she was, she could discriminate between which of her inner voices to listen to and when to listen.

It is, however, an entirely different sensation when it seems as though you, as a person, are echoing. When you echo, no one else can hear you. It's just you and it's very lonely.

That's how she felt as she stood in the middle of this empty, but familiar space. As her heels clicked on the scuffed but clean linoleum, she felt as though she was being mocked (a difficult position tobe in for a seasoned mocker). It was dark and no lights were on, save a pale glow from the behind the curtain. Shadows stretched and seemed to hide the normalcy achieved in the light of day. This was not her sanctuary and she wondered (not for the first time) what she was hoping to achieve by coming here now.

She did know that she was exhausted from fighting with herself so much. She couldn't sleep like she normally did (like the dead). She wasn't communicating as she should with her daughter and one of her best friends had been less and less of a friend and more and more of a person who saw her naked. She was being approached by a gentle and handsome man with an ivy-league education who made her feel wanted and beautiful and at peace during the time they spent together. The peace only lasted moments though, a memory of an aggressive caress over her hip bone in a darkened room would make her eyelids flutter and the puff of a gasp to leave her lips. Max would then cock his head to the side and look at her oddly. The brilliant thing about a whimsical personality with a little crazy tossed in, was that odd behavior was run-of-the-mill and easily overlooked.

She jumped when she heard the soft scuffle of socked feet overhead. A quick glance at the door presented an easy escape but little resolution. She turned on her heel, made quick strides past the curtain. She paused at the foot of the stairs, placed a hand on the worn banister for balance and slowly removed her sling-backs. It was like removing a heavy piece of armor and she felt relieved and slightly vulnerable. This also allowed her to pad softly up the stairs that loomed before her into total darkness, into the unknown.

She found herself at the door to an office, before she realized she did honestly want to be there. She knew that he lived above the diner, but she'd never actually been this far before. It was a bit shocking to her, having known him so long and so intimately that she had never been in the place he called home. She raised her hand to knock and stopped mid-air to control her shaking. She still wasn't sure what it was that had her so entirely out of balance. She didn't know what she wanted, and she always knew what she wanted. She had come here with some hope of getting answers to that phenomenon. If she was honest with herself, however, she also knew that she didn't really know this man at all. She had come to him from the very beginning and took, and continued to take whatever it was he was willing to give. She resolved her strength. It was time to give a little back.

Drinking it deep

Then an evening spent dancing, Its you and me

The knock echoed loudly in the empty hall and in her chest. She didn't hear his footfalls approaching the door, only the creak from the greaseless doorknob as it was turned. The door cracked allowing a sliver of soft lamplight to fall across her face. The opening widened and a tousled head of hair soon became visible. The backlighting shadowed his face entirely, she couldn't read his expression.

"Lorelai?" His whisky rough voice didn't echo at all and that comforted her slightly.

"I'm really sorry Luke, I know that it's late, but I'd really like to talk to you."

He was silent for an eternity. She knew this was one of the consequences of her flippant behavior towards him. The mistakes she had made in the past had always seemed worth it, the consequences seeming more like blessings than punishments. The weary look on Luke's face, though, made her reassess her whole view.

He opened the door wider in a silent gesture of welcome, but welcome wasn't what she was feeling. He looked extremely tired and worn, like he hadn't slept well for a couple months. She knew then, wholeheartedly, that this situation needed a remedy and not the one they'd been employing.

"What are you doing here?" He was squinting in just the way that would imply suspicion. For the first time since they started this insane relationship she felt really cheap. Luke made her feel cheap. She desperately needed to fix this.

"I was wrong."

Saying that seemed to strip another layer of armor from her soul, but once said it made the silence seem palpable. It moved and constricted making breathing difficult and nearly inconceivable.

"I was really wrong. Whatever it was that made me decide to go about doing….what we did, and lets face it, I should just stop listening to those voices, because they never tell you to invest wisely or go to bed early, they just tell you to dance around naked in your living room, wear those hideous shoes, or sleep with a really good friend."

He turned to look at her then, his look no more tolerant than before, but he did appear to be listening now.

"Well, it was the wrong decision. I thought that I could compartmentalize like that and I can't. I was offered something truly wonderful from a really decent man and all I could think about was finding some dark place where I could be alone with you." She took a deep, cleansing breath and was about to continue.

"If you were just trying to find a nice way to tell me that you decided to be with that Max guy, it's okay Lorelai. I saw the two of you-"

"What! When?"

"Does it matter?" Anger flashed in his blue eyes. "All I'm saying, Lorelai, is that if you came here to tell me that, you really didn't need all of the late night theatrics. I'm tired."

She took a calming breath as he became more agitated.

"This is what I'm talking about, Luke. I made a mistake. Any decision that I made that results in you thinking you can talk to me like that, is obviously a serious mistake."

Luke's eyes widened in shock and he took a step back, away from her. He turned and took two more steps, propped his hands on the edge of the kitchen sink, elbows locked, and bowed his head. The shadows in the darkness enhanced some of his features and hid the rest. He looked like a tragic hero in a silent film.

"I came here to say a few things…and I need you to hear me." Breathe, Lorelai, breathe.

"I asked you to do something for me a couple of months ago, or rather, you knew that I needed something from you and you complied without being formally asked. Although, how does one go about asking for casual sex? It's got to be uncomfortable and embarrassing. So thanks for saving me from that."

Rudolph Valentino emitted a deep sigh. She was rambling.

"Sorry. I honestly thought that we were capable of doing that, of getting what we needed without any fallout or consequences. That we were the kind of friends that wouldn't fail or falter if things changed a little bit." Luke apparently thought this last idea was amusing. He chuckled under his breath and the sound was so rough, like sandpaper on skin, that goose bumps skittered up her arms and her breath caught on a skipped heart beat.

"Don't laugh at me. I know how easy it is to do that and that I give you plenty of opportunities, but this isn't one of them." He bowed his head like a whipped puppy and turned at an angle so his back was completely to her.

"I should have figured it out. You said that you didn't like change. I was so stupid to think that this wouldn't change anything. I can't talk to you anymore, because you are what I want to talk to you about and I can't talk to Rory because I couldn't even begin to explain our situation to that innocent little girl. So I continue to have these really serious conversations with myself. Let's face it, I'm seriously becoming crazier because of what we did and no one really needs that, especially you. And now I echo."

"You what?" He turned back to face her, for the first time since this whole unloading began and he looked better. Less weariness, more acceptance. There was a touch of amusement in the crinkle of his eyes.

"I echo." She couldn't helpt the grin that tilted in pure reaction to his departure from the noir genre. The silence stretched and the tension stretched.

This love will open our world

From the dark side you can see, The glow of something bright

"So let me get this straight..." She forced her numbing legs back up under her rear, "You ran track. Like Chariots of Fire?"

"If you start humming, I'm kicking you out." The easy grin on his face belied the statement. "I ran track. State, for that matter, and pretty much took home the gold."

They stared at eachother for long moments, relishing the contact. She'd stopped twitching and he'd stopped brooding and the storm outside only served as an excuse for the static in the room. The clock spoke of some ungodly hour, but neither noticed. The creak and slide of the leather couch was the only sound aside from the rain protesting against the high windows.

"Like your extracurricular, high school activities were so much cooler?" Her eyebrows rose at the implication. He sighed and dropped his head.

"Hey, getting knocked up was the epitome of cool, don't knock it 'til you try it." Her haughty tone reinforced the notion that she had no idea of what she was saying.

"So to speak..." It was his eyebrow that raised with the lowering of his voice.

"I was actually in the Debate Club, thank you very much."

''Oh, shocker." She spurted out what could only be construed as a giggle of some sort. His eyebrows returned north. "I would also assume that you were some how involved with the Daughters of the American Revolution?"

Her eyes widened. "Only when dragged kicking and screaming. Oh, and neon orange nail polish, to piss off my mom, of course."

His eyes widened. "You're serious? Holy shit, Lorelai. I was only kidding."

"One does not kid about the DAR, Lucas. We underhandedly comment on the state of Kitty Cunningham's shameful affair with the pool boy and compare our mile long genealogies while barely keeping our claws sheathed, but we do not joke." Her seriousness was contagious and for the first time Luke lowered his eyebrows and narrowed his eyelids into the entirely-too-familiar slits.

"How is it that you are a walking poster-child for Crayola and daytime children's television and came from those people at the same time?" He rested his head lightly against the back of the worn leather couch and she followed suit. Knees pointed longingly at one another, one bare foot was pressed to the floor while another snaked out, bent at the knee to lightly brush at the soft cotton of his sweatpants.

"Jesus. I really don't know. I was obviously a responsibility of a milk man who no longer needed that burden. Whatever excuse I could possibly use wouldn't come anywhere close to the truth. I don't really even know what the truth is. I succumbed to that damn rock and roll, my sense of rebellion was acquiring independent thought, I wasn't loved the way I should have been? The possibilities are endless. And now, all that I know is that there is no way I can ever go back. Well, aside from the ever torturing Friday nights, but that's just the kicking and screaming I was alluding to before. Now, I have a lovely young woman for a daughter who just makes the world brighter, I have a job that I love, I have the most amazing friends and I-"

"Echo." Her hands that had been in a tangle with her hem, stilled. Her breathing grew more shallow and hitched slightly.

She figured that when he'd broken the tension earlier with a swift move to the pantry to retrieve a very mysterious uncorked bottle of wine and two glasses and led her silently to the couch, that they were done with all of the other stuff. Her thoughts were reinforced when they easily slipped into their patented give-and-take question and answer session. The topic had steered clear of all previous topics and now they were back here; his relentless eyes boring into her the same way they had the night he's so unceremoniously stripped her defenses while stripping her of clothing.

There's much more than we see here

Don't burn the day away

He was kissing her. Long and slow. Torturous and deep. The echo was now just the ebbing sound of her heart reverberating off her breastplate. Her hands clutched in fists and refused to move from their startled and useless place, hovering over his tight cotton shirt. His palms remained resting on the back of the couch and the cushion. They touched no other place than lips, sliding and learning in a way they'd never dared to before.

Her tongue dared to sneak out of its home and she tasted him for the first time since the last time and it was the same honey and tea, smoky dusk. That was the cue for one of her hands to come to life and scrape the beautiful rough of his cheek. She reached to tangle in the soft hairs that brushed his neck. His moan was encouragement enough for her to deepen the kiss and force her knees to bend under her so she could press her self to him more forcefully. A strong grip on her shoulders stopped her pursuit and she was sure this was over.

The grasp tightened, almost to the point of pain, but instead of forcing her back it just kept her still as he doubled his force on her mouth. She took this to mean that once again he was going to take control of the situation, but he released his grip and eased his hands over her shoulders to slide down her back with a whisper of silk. His arms crossed along the small of her back until she could rest her entire weight on his forearms. He lifted her then, as if she weighed nothing, never stopped kissing her like she was life itself and carried her to bed like it was his job.

Is this not enough

This blessed sip of life

Is it not enough