10 Apr 2005

Duke Lane's Diner

OPEN IN LORELAI'S KITCHEN

Rory sleepily shuffles in. Lorelai is already up.

LORELAI: You were up kind of late last night.

RORY: I know. I had some homework I wanted to finish up so I wouldn't have to do it this morning.

LORELAI: Maybe you're taking this homework obsession thing a little bit far.

RORY: You can never do too much homework, not if you want to get into Harvard.

LORELAI: Well, Hon, you've still got six or seven years, you don't have to do it all right now.

RORY: I know.

Pause

RORY: Mom, when are we going to get some furniture?

LORELAI: What are you talking about? We HAVE furniture!

RORY: Yeah -- two beds, a kitchen table and two chairs.

LORELAI: Hey, don't forget the TV . . . .

RORY: Which we have to sit on the floor to watch.

LORELAI: But we love sitting on the floor. And we also have a toaster and the coffee maker.

RORY: Can't we at least get a couch or something?

LORELAI: We'll get some furniture, Sweetie, but we don't want to go out get just any old thing. One day you'll look around and say, 'Where did all this stuff come from?' You know we haven't been here that long, have some patience.

RORY: Okay. You know, a desk for my room would be. . . .

LORELAI: AAAAAAAUGHHHH

RORY: What?

Lorelai has dropped a coffee filter full of fresh grounds onto the floor.

LORELAI: The coffee! It's on the floor!

RORY: Well, make some more.

LORELAI: There IS no more. That was the last of it!

Lorelai is down on her knees, scooping up the spilled grounds and putting them back into the filter.

RORY: Oh NO! NO! You are NOT going to make coffee with grounds you scraped off the floor. There is NO way that's going to happen!

LORELAI: But -- but it's all we have!

RORY: Too bad! You should have bought groceries yesterday like you said you were.

Rory pulls her mother up from the floor, puts her into a chair, and sets the filter on the counter, well away from her.

LORELAI: But the coffee . . . .

Lorelai whimpers pitifully

LORELAI: The coffee!

RORY: I have to get dressed for school.

Rory leaves the kitchen, taking the grounds with her.

LORELAI: I wasn't going to!

Ten minutes later. Rory comes out of her room. Lorelai is still sitting at the table, pouting.

LORELAI: We need coffee! You need coffee!

RORY: I can get my caffeine fix from Lane's secret stash of sodas on my way to school.

LORELAI: But what about me?

RORY: They have coffee at the inn, get it there.

LORELAI: Rory, the idea of not having to go in until eight means you do not go IN until eight. If I go in earlier, then it defeats the whole purpose of eight o'clock.

RORY: Then go to Weston's, Fran's coffee is pretty good.

LORELAI: But she doesn't open up until 7:30, God only knows why!

RORY: Then either go back to bed or wait until she DOES open.

LORELAI: How can you be so cold hearted to the very woman who gave you life?

RORY: Sorry, Charley, that guilt trip no longer leaves the station. I'll see you this afternoon. Oh, I need some lunch money.

LORELAI: Grab some out of my wallet. It's down in my purse, somewhere.

RORY: Okay, thanks.

Rory kisses Lorelai on the cheek and makes a point of showing her she is taking the dirty coffee grounds with her. Reluctantly, Lorelai gets dressed and goes to work.

CUT TO INDEPENDENCE INN LOBBY

LORELAI: Hi, Tobin.

Tobin looks up from the front desk. He isn't happy to see her.

TOBIN: Lorelai! I thought you weren't coming in until eight.

LORELAI: Well, I wasn't, but I ran out of coffee at home, well actually, I spilled the last of the grounds on the kitchen floor, and to make a short story even shorter, here I am.

TOBIN: But, if you're here now, then that means I'll lose an hour's pay.

LORELAI: Don't worry, you'll still get paid, I'm just going into the kitchen, make some coffee, and drink it in there. You won't even know I'm here.

TOBIN: Well, okay.

LORELAI: Just carry on.

Lorelai goes through the kitchen doors. In less than five minutes she comes back out of the kitchen.

LORELAI: Tobin!

TOBIN: What? I thought you weren't coming back out until eight.

LORELAI: Where's the coffee?

TOBIN: In the kitchen?

LORELAI: Yes. The DECAF's in the kitchen! Where's the REAL coffee?

TOBIN: It hasn't been delivered.

LORELAI: What are you talking about? We got a shipment in yesterday. I signed for it myself.

TOBIN: Well, last night I was kind of stocking up, you know, trying to stay busy, and then I noticed that all they sent was the decaf.

LORELAI: WHAT! Why didn't you call me?

TOBIN: It was late, after eleven, and you said you were going to bed early. So I didn't call. I figured you could sort it out today.

LORELAI: So all we have in there is decaf? There are no real coffee grounds here at all?

TOBIN: Maybe in the garbage.

LORELAI: Well, even I'M not THAT desperate. I guess I'll have to drink the damned decaf!

CUT TO KITCHEN

Lorelai is making a pot of extra strength decaf coffee, with three times the normal amount of grounds.

Sookie arrives at seven-thirty to start breakfast and Lorelai in a pretty foul mood, almost the entire pot of coffee gone.

SOOKIE: Honey, I'm sorry. I'd go back home and see if I have any regular coffee, but I really need to get breakfast started. What with the hiker's convention here, they're going to want to eat just as soon as the dining room is open.

LORELAI: That's okay. I'll live. Not happily, but I'll live.

The morning passes particularly slowly, and particularly aggravatingly, for Lorelai. Every time she thinks she can sneak away to Weston's for coffee, something comes up that requires her attention; nothing that she hasn't done a thousand times before. But as the new manager, she wants to make sure Mia would know that she hasn't made a mistake naming her manager, so she takes extra care that everything is done right.

It is one o'clock. Sookie suggests to Lorelai that she go get her coffee fix even though it is the middle of lunch. Lorelai is getting too cranky and she is more than happy to leave.

CUT TO OUTSIDE OF WESTON'S BAKERY

Lorelai almost pulls her shoulder out of its socket as she snatches on the door, but it won't budge. She notices the sign on the door -- Closed for Inventory, Please Come Again

LORELAI: WHAT! NO! NO! It can't be! It's a JOKE, a cruel, inhumane joke!

Lorelai pounds on the door several times, hoping Fran will hear her and come out from the back and let her in. But there is no Fran. Several passers-by look at Lorelai as if she's crazy, but she doesn't care.

STRANGER: You know, Luke's is open.

LORELAI: Luke's? Luke's what?

STRANGER: The diner. You know, the one with the Williams Hardware sign.

LORELAI: I thought it was a hardware store.

STRANGER: No. It's a diner.

Lorelai follows the stranger to the diner. She looks through the window and sees a gruff looking man with his baseball cap on backwards. He is walking around and pouring coffee into large cups.

CUT TO INSIDE THE DINER

Lorelai follows the man with the baseball cap to the counter.

LORELAI: Hi! Coffee!

LUKE: Sure. Take a seat and I'll be with you in a minute.

LORELAI: No. You don't understand. I need coffee. NOW!

LUKE: I said, I'll be with you in a minute. There are other customers ahead of you.

LORELAI: Please! You don't get it, I need coffee -- immediately!

LUKE: No, I do get it. And you'll get it after I've taken care of these other people.

LORELAI: But . . . .

LUKE: You want coffee? Then wait your turn.

LORELAI: But I can't wait!

LUKE: You'll wait your turn just like everybody else does.

Lorelai sits down at the counter. Gives Luke a dirty look, impatiently waiting her turn. In front of her is a newspaper.

LORELAI: Hey, when's your birthday?

LUKE: That's none of your business.

LORELAI: Come on, when's your birthday?

LUKE: Why do you need to know when my birthday is?

LORELAI: For your horoscope.

LUKE: I don't believe in all that foolishness.

LORELAI: Humor me?

Luke looks around.

LUKE: No one else is to know, understand?

LORELAI: Sure.

Luke looks around once more then whispers close to her ear.

LORELAI: So, you're a Scorpio, huh? Verrry interesting.

Lorelai open the paper and leafs through it until she finds the horoscopes. She starts writing in the margin next to the paragraph for Scorpio. When she's finished, she tears it out.

LORELAI: Here, read this.

LUKE: I told you, I don't believe in all that crap. Besides, I'm busy.

LORELAI: I'll only take you a few seconds, even less if you're a speed-reader.

Luke gives an exasperated sigh. He takes the scrap of paper and began to read out loud.

LUKE: "You will meet an annoying woman today. Give her coffee and she'll go away."

He looks at Lorelai, who is grinning hopefully.

LUKE: Okay. You win. Do you want it here or 'to go'?

LORELAI: Which is the bigger cup?

LUKE: To go.

LORELAI: Then that's what I want.

Luke pours the coffee.

LORELAI: You need to save this. Put it in your wallet and always keep it with you, and one day it will bring you luck.

LUKE: Yeah, I'm sure it will.

Luke puts a lid on the cup and hands it to her, but she immediately takes the lid off and drinks almost half of it down.

LORELAI: Oh, my God!

LUKE: What?

LORELAI: This coffee!

LUKE: What's the matter with it?

LORELAI: This has to be the BEST coffee I have ever had -- EVER!

LUKE: Well, okay, thanks.

LORELAI: This is amazing coffee!

LUKE: I appreciate the compliment.

Lorelai suddenly realizes the time.

LORELAI: I need to get back to work. Oh, by the way, I'm Lorelai Gilmore. I manage the Independence Inn. Ever been there?

LUKE: Well, I'm Luke Danes. And nah, I'm not much for those fruity bed and breakfast places.

LORELAI: It is neither fruity NOR a bed and breakfast. It is an historical inn, with a long and famous heritage.

LUKE: Well, I've never been there.

LORELAI: You should come. We have this chef, Sookie St. James, the BEST cook in all of Connecticut, if not the whole of New England.

LUKE: Well, maybe, someday, if I get the time.

LORELAI: So, what do I owe you?

Lorelai looks for her wallet.

LORELAI: Oh no! My wallet! I must have left it at home. I told my daughter she could get lunch money and she forgot to put it back in my purse.

LUKE: Uh HUH!

LORELAI: No! Really. Look, you hold onto this coffee and I'll run back to the inn and get the money and I'll be right back.

LUKE: I'm not going to hold onto your coffee. Just throw it away.

LORELAI: But I'm not finished with it. Please! I'll be right back!

LUKE: Look, forget the money, take the coffee. The first cup's on the house.

LORELAI: Thank you. That's really great.

Lorelai picks up the cup, but realizes it's only half full.

LORELAI: How about a refill?

LUKE: Refills are for here only, not to go.

LORELAI: But I drank it here.

LUKE: But it's in a 'to go' cup.

LORELAI: Yes, I know. But I'm here. I drank it here. I didn't go.

LUKE: Gimme the damn cup!

Lorelai smiles happily as Luke refills it, puts another lid on it and gives it back to her.

LORELAI: Well, it was nice meeting you.

LUKE: Yeah, you too.

Luke watches her as she leaves, shaking his head.

LUKE: Pretty girl, but man, what a flake.

He starts cleaning off the counter then sees the scrap of newspaper with his horoscope on it. He picks it up and reads it again, and looks out through the window at the disappearing Lorelai. He carefully folds it up, takes out his wallet, puts it inside of it, then goes back to clearing the counter.

CUT TO LORELAI'S HOUSE

Rory is sitting on the living room floor watching TV and doing homework as Lorelai gets home.

LORELAI: Hey, Sweetie. How was school?

RORY: It was okay, but not much homework tonight. I think the teachers are getting lazy.

LORELAI: Ah, well, a pox on them. Oh! Guess what!

RORY: What?

LORELAI: I had the best, most delicious coffee in the ENTIRE world, this very afternoon!

RORY: You did? Where?

LORELAI: At that Luke's diner - hardware place.

Rory has a horrified look on her face.

RORY: You didn't really go in there, did you?

LORELAI: Yeah, I did. Shouldn't I have?

RORY: That's a TERRIBLE place!

LORELAI: Why?

RORY: Well, the guy that owns the place is EVIL!

LORELAI: No!

RORY: Yes! He won't let you use the bathroom unless you buy something.

LORELAI: What? Oh, man! How mean can you be?

RORY: And he wears that hat on backwards because he was in PRISON!

LORELAI: I'm shocked! How do you know that?

RORY: Everybody at school knows it.

LORELAI: Huh! Duke didn't seem to be so wicked to me.

RORY: Duke? His name is Duke?

LORELAI: I think so. I think that's what he said, Duke Lanes, or something like that.

RORY: So somebody named Duke owns Luke's? Doesn't that sound kind of odd?

LORELAI: No. Makes perfect sense to me. Maybe he's trying to hide his real identity.

RORY: So he really has good coffee?

LORELAI: Oh, Honey, you wouldn't believe how good it was. And they have coffee cups the size of soup bowls! Tomorrow morning, we are going to Duke's for coffee.

CUT TO LUKE'S DINER

It is 6:30 the next morning. Lorelai and Rory walk into the diner.

LORELAI: Hey, Duke!

Luke walks over with a pot of coffee.

LUKE: Coffee, as if I had to ask?

LORELAI: Yes, please. Oh, and this is Rory, the daughter I was telling you about yesterday.

RORY: Hi. Nice to meet you.

LUKE: Yeah, you too. What would you like, some nice hot chocolate?

RORY: Actually, I'd like some coffee.

LUKE: What? Like half and half with milk and lots of sugar?

RORY: No. Just plain black coffee.

LUKE: How old are you?

RORY: Twelve.

Luke looks at Lorelai.

LUKE: You let this child drink black coffee?

LORELAI: Ummm. Yesss.

LUKE: Are you crazy? Don't you know what drinking coffee can do to her at her age?

LORELAI: Make her pretty like me?

LUKE: No . . . .

LORELAI: So, I'm not pretty?

LUKE: What? Of course you are, but that's not the point here. This stuff can poison her metabolism AND get her addicted to caffeine.

LORELAI: Hey, Duke, chill out, she's been drinking coffee since she was old enough to hold her own bottle.

LORELAI: The name is LUKE! And I cannot condone polluting this child with black, caffeine-laden coffee.

RORY: It's okay, Luke, it really is. Mom said it was the best coffee around, and I really would like to try some. Please?

He pours the coffee.

LUKE: I must be out of my mind!

RORY: I think Luke is a really nice name.

Rory uses an innocent-sounding tone, looking pointedly at her mother.

RORY: Much nicer than Duke.

LUKE: Well, thanks. So do I.

RORY: I'm kind of hungry, can we see a menu?

LORELAI: I thought you had pop tarts.

RORY: No, we're out.

LORELAI: Again? That's the second or third time this week.

RORY: No, it's still the first time! You never bought groceries.

LUKE: You feed this child coffee AND pop tarts? What kind of mother are you?

LORELAI: She likes pop tarts.

RORY: I like pop tarts.

Luke speaks to Rory in a concerned voice.

LUKE: Let me get you a menu. You need a decent breakfast -- for a change!

He gives Lorelai a hard look, then walks away.

LORELAI: I don't believe this. He likes you better than me!

RORY: Maybe it's because I don't antagonize him, AND, I actually call him by his real name.

LORELAI: I'm insulted. I have a good mind to take my business elsewhere.

RORY: Okay. You can go, but I'm staying here. This is really good coffee.

LORELAI: You can't stay. If I go, you go . . . Solidarity, Sister!

RORY: Sorry, Sister, but this coffee's thicker than blood.

Before Lorelai can continue their banter, Luke brings the menus and hands one to Rory and one to Lorelai.

LORELAI: I'll have a cheeseburger.

LUKE: You haven't even looked at the menu.

LORELAI: I know, but I want a cheeseburger.

LUKE: For breakfast?

LORELAI: Uh huh.

RORY: Uh, Luke, it says you have pancakes. Are they just plain old pancakes or do you have different kinds?

LUKE: This morning we have blueberry.

RORY: That sounds good. I have that.

LUKE: Okay, one cheeseburger and one stack of pancakes.

LORELAI: I want pancakes, too.

LUKE: Scratch the cheeseburger.

LORELAI: No, I want the cheeseburger, too.

LUKE: You want a cheeseburger AND pancakes?

LORELAI: Yes, why wouldn't I?

Luke shakes his head sadly.

RORY: And I'd like some chili fries. I saw them on the menu and they sound really good.

LUKE: So, you don't the pancakes?

RORY: No, I want them too.

LUKE: Let me get this straight. You two want a cheeseburger, chili fries, and two stacks of pancakes? For breakfast?

LORELAI: Yes we do.

LUKE: You know, for letting this poor girl eat and drink the things you do, you should be reported ... somewhere ... to someone.

LORELAI: You're not the first one to say that. Oh, and we could use more coffee.

LUKE: I'll get the pot.

Luke turns in their order and brings the coffee over and refills their cups.

LORELAI: You know, you could save a lot of walking if you'd just leave the pot.

LUKE: I'm not leaving the pot.

LORELAI: Okay, they're your feet.

LUKE: Yes they are.

Ten minutes later Luke brings out their order, sets it on the table and pours more coffee.

LUKE: That looks positively revolting.

LORELAI: Hey, you made it, not me! You know, if you wanted to . . . .

LUKE: I'm not leaving the pot.

Back at the counter, Luke watches them as they eat the appalling breakfast and wash it down with the strong, black coffee.

RORY: Well, I guess I better get to school. Hey, Mom, do you think we could do this again sometime? You know, eat breakfast here?

LORELAI: I don't see why not.

RORY: Maybe tomorrow?

LORELAI: If you'd like.

RORY: I would like.

LORELAI: Then it's a date. Look, if you come by the inn after school I'm sure I can find some filing or something for you to do to pick up some extra money.

RORY: Okay, that sounds good. I'll see you then.

LORELAI: Have a good day, Hon. Love you.

Love you, too. 'Bye.

Rory walks to door and opens it to leave then turns toward the counter.

RORY: Bye, Luke. Thanks for breakfast. It was really good!

Luke looks up and waves as she leaves.

Lorelai watches her daughter until she is out of sight. She finishes her coffee, then goes to the counter for her check. Luke hands it to her. She finds an error on it and holds out the check to Luke.

LORELAI: Hey, Duke, there's a mistake here.

Luke grabs her hand and the check together and pulls them down to the counter.

LUKE: The only mistake here is that you seem to have a problem remembering my name!

LORELAI: Are we going steady now?

LUKE: Huh? What are you talking about?

LORELAI: Well, you're holding my hand. Usually when a guy holds a girl's hand it's because they're going steady.

Luke jerks his hand away as if he has touched a hot stove.

LUKE: No. We are not going steady.

LORELAI: Okay, just wanted to clear that up. Now, about this bill -- you charged us for two coffees.

LUKE: Well, you drank two coffees, almost two full pots of coffee.

LORELAI: But yesterday, you said the first cup was on the house, and it was Rory's first cup.

LUKE: You drank TWO pots!

LORELAI: But it was Rory's first cup.

LUKE: Gimme that!

Luke scratches out one of the coffees and refigures the bill.

LUKE: There! You happy now?

LORELAI: Look what you've done.

LUKE: I changed the bill! It's what you wanted me to do!

LORELAI: But it doesn't come out even. I can't figure out the tip.

LUKE: Forget about the tip! Just pay the bill.

LORELAI: Well, if that's the way you want it. Oh, can I have a cup to go?

LUKE: You want coffee to go?

LORELAI: That's what I just said.

LUKE: After drinking two pots of coffee you want more?

LORELAI: Well, Rory drank some too.

LUKE: And you couldn't have told me before I changed the ticket?

LORELAI: I just thought about it.

LUKE: Look, just pay the bill, and the one 'to go' is on the house.

LORELAI: So, the first AND second cups are on the house?

LUKE: YES! For you and you only!

LORELAI: Well, thank you.

LUKE: Don't mention it. Again. Ever!

Luke fixes the coffee and hands it to Lorelai. She pays, gets her change, but just stands there.

LUKE: What?

LORELAI: You didn't say, "Come again." You're supposed to say, "Come again" when the customer pays her bill.

LUKE: And why would I say that? You do nothing but make trouble for me. You order disgusting combinations of perfectly good food. You take advantage of my free refills. You act as if you're the only customer in the place. And you can't even remember my name! So, tell me again why I should ask you to come again?

Lorelai flashes a cutesy grin.

LORELAI: Because you like me.

LUKE: Because I . . . ! Whatever gave you THAT idea?

LORELAI: You give me free coffee.

LUKE: To shut you up, and to get you out of here.

LORELAI: If you say so, but -- I don't know.

Lorelai turns to go and gets half way to the door.

LUKE: Hey, Lorelai.

Lorelai turns around and sees that Luke almost has a smile on his face, and has a rarely-heard warmth in his voice.

LUKE: Come again.

LORELAI: Thanks.

Lorelai's voice is equally as warm, and gives him an unbelievably gorgeous smile.

LORLEAI: I will.

THE END