Standard Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB & AS-P.
Dedication: This is for any Egyptians who might be reading. I went on a cruise down the Nile in May 2005 - I strongly recommend going there to everyone. The Nile is a magical place.
Spoilers/Timeline: No spoilers, set in Season 6
A/N: Do read and review.

Mermaids Cry Too
Chapter 4: Don't You Cry

"Hey, pass the chips."

"Get them yourself; they're just on the table, right beside your feet, which, by the way, are unhygienically placed on the coffee table."

"Yeah, but then I'd have to do a sort of sit-up to get there, and as a Gilmore, just the thought of that much exercise fulfils my stomach crunch quota for the next decade."

"You do realise that I'm in the kitchen."

"Yeah."

"Far, far away from the chips."

"Yeah."

"Lorelai..." I grumble under my breath as I stride into the living room, grab the bowl of chips from the table, and dump the bowl in Lorelai's lap.

"I walked ten steps to move a bowl 30 inches." I raise my eyebrows at her, taking in her boneless posture on the sofa. 'She's gonna need a backrub later if she keeps stressing her lower back like that,' I think to myself.

"Yes, but you love exercise, right?" She looked up from the tv, in time to see the tail-end of the look. I just fold my arms and continue to glare at her.

"Do you know how energy-inefficient you've just made me?"

"Why don't you eat some chips, I hear they've pack a punch, energy-wise." Lorelai offers up the bowl to me, jiggling it a little. I sigh into the rustling chips, and she lowers her arm and pouted a little.

"Yeah, yeah, I get the picture. No more energy-inefficient Luke Danes. I got it." She returned her gaze to the tv, which was tuned to some talk-show or other. 'Probably Larry King or David Letterman or Leno or something,' I think, and grimace at the fact that I'd actually been able, without much effort, to run through the names of these talk-show hosts without so much as a blink. 'If this isn't love,' I think wryly to myself, as I return to the kitchen.

I pick up my discarded paper, and continue reading the sports page, but I find that my mind can't stay on the numbers anymore. I sneak a peek at her. She's gazing into the idiot box intently, like it's got some sort of hold on her, which it probably does. I see her pick up the telephone, and stare at it. Put it down again.

She's been doing that a lot lately. She thinks I don't notice, but I do. The little things. 'God is in the details', Mia once told me, when a whole curtain rail fell down at the Independence Inn, along with about a pound of plaster, all because I didn't drill in the final screw (I went for lunch.) I was so apologetic that I think I grovelled just to re-do the entire thing, which was the only thing that I could have done in penance anyway.

She's all happy and smiling, sunshine and roses all day. She laughs and dances with me, twirling like Meg Ryan and her mother in 'You've Got Mail'; she mocks the movies we rent and throws popcorn at the TV, which she insists that I clean up afterwards; she eats ice-cream out of the tub as she reads the paper.

Of course she's dying. I know she is. Her baby's lost to her.

. . .
sweet Lorelei
. . .

"Luke," she turned to me the other night. I look over to her, glass poised halfway between the counter top and my lips. "I don't want to set a date for the wedding until things are right with Rory."

Of course you don't. And I don't want to either. How can we get married if Rory's not your bridesmaid?

I don't know what's been going on in that beautiful head of yours, but I do know this: as brusque as I might be sometimes, I get the important things.

. . .
don't you cry
. . .

I stare, seeing but unseeing, at the tv. I hope Luke doesn't notice. I'm trying not to notice. How the bottom just dropped out of my world. Again. I never through that it could happen twice in anyone's life, but no, it odds are that it had to happen to me. Again.

Is this how my parents felt when I left? I would hate to imagine that I can now empathise with them. A daughter lost to the world. How ironic. They lost me to the banalities of Metallica and Madonna, and I lost her to the niceties of the Lourve and the DAR.

I haven't cried about this. I won't. There are few things in life I'm sure of – death, taxes, and the fact that my daughter will get her education, come hell or high water.

Looks like hell's here, but I'm not letting the high waters in.