Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Author's Note: This is for bridges, because she wanted fluff. Thanks to my number one, amazing beta JeSouhaite.
What Did You Say?
Will you marry me?
"Wha…What did you say?" he asked slowly, as if he couldn't believe what he had heard. Well maybe he couldn't. She barely could. But she meant it. More than ever now, she realized that she wanted this man with her for the rest of her life.
"Will you…marry me?"
"So you did really say it."
"I did." She was hesitating now. "Do you want to marry me?"
"Why? What do you mean, why?" She registered the word 'yes,' but the question confused her. Why?
"Why do you want to marry me?"
"I love you. I want to be with you. You've been there for me, no matter what, always. I just don't want to ever be without you."
"Are you sure this isn't about Rory and your parents?"
"What? How could you think that?"
"You're upset about that, about them. They're shutting you out and you're reacting to that."
"That's not what this is about," she cried, frustrated that he didn't believe her. "I want to marry you. I'm sorry I didn't plan this better, ask you better. It's just that when you realize that what you've always wanted is standing right in front of you, you can't just let it go."
"So, you want to marry me?" His tone was still that of disbelief.
"Yes Luke. I want to marry you."
He looked at her for a long moment and then he started pacing back and forth, mumbling, "I had the house. I had it and I gave it up. I signed the papers but then I gave it back."
"House? Luke, what house?"
He looked at her then like he didn't realize he had spoken aloud. He was silent, just looking at her.
"Luke. Tell me what you are talking about. What house?"
He sighed and looked down, as if he was making a reluctant admission, "I bought the Twickham house for you…for us…to live in."
"You bought a house? But I have a house. Wait. You. Bought. A. House? For us?" Lorelai was incredulous.
"Why did you buy us a house?"
"Your house is small."
"It's been big enough for me and Rory for all this time. There's room for you to move in, especially now that she's moved out," she said bitterly.
"She'll come back," he said, his voice reassuring.
"Maybe. But what's wrong with my house? I like my house."
"Are you sure that it's big enough?"
"Big enough for what?" Lorelai was clearly confused.
"Big enough for us."
"But there's just two of us, maybe three, if Rory comes home."
"For now," he said hesitantly.
"For now…" her voice trailed off as realization dawned. "Kids…that's what you meant by kids. You want kids?"
He just nodded.
"But you hate kids. I thought you hated kids. You're always talking about how they spread stickiness wherever they go and make too much noise-"
"Lorelai, stop. I don't hate kids."
"So you want to have kids…with me." Now it was her turn to sound a little shocked.
He nodded again.
"Wow. I never thought…"
Luke couldn't hide a look of disappointment. "You don't want more kids. I guess I just assumed..."
"I didn't say I didn't want more kids. I just assumed…you didn't."
"Well you know what they say about what happens when you assume?" She smiled wryly. "So you bought a house for us to live in with the kids you want to have?"
"Yeah…" he paused for a moment. He looked uncomfortable.
"I gave it back. Taylor said I had three days to change my mind."
"You changed your mind? You don't want…the house…kids?"
"No, that's not it," he corrected quickly.
"You're mulling over this offer to sell the inn and take a consulting job. You didn't talk to me about it, so I thought you wanted to do that, to travel. I didn't think you would want to stay here with me and have kids."
"That's not true. I want to be with you. I was just mulling. I'm not really going to sell the inn. I love the inn."
"Then why the mulling?"
"Luke, no one has ever offered me anything like that before, wooed me like that before. I was just reveling in being wanted."
"I want you," he said simply and her heart melted, because it had been in front of her all along, "but I don't want you to give this opportunity up for me."
"I'm not. If I really wanted to do this, I would. It doesn't have to be either or, right?"
"No, I guess not."
"Besides, I've got a much bigger opportunity right here in front of me."
"What?" he asked, confused.
"You. I want you and I like the idea of a family. Not sure about the Twickham house though. I still really like my house. Can we compromise on that?"
"Well I think I lost my opportunity for the Twickham house anyway. Kirk is probably going to get it."
"Then we can live in my house. When do you want to get married? We can have the wedding at the Dragonfly."
"Married…a wedding." He looked somewhat stunned at the mention of a wedding.
"Yeah, you said yes."
"No, you said yes. You're not backing out now. I'm going to hold you to it. Didn't you say yes?"
"Yeah, but are you sure we're ready for this?"
"Says the guy who bought a house for us to have kids in," she said with amusement before turning serious again. "Are you saying that you don't want to marry me?"
"No, I want to very much. I just don't want to hold you back from what you really want."
"You're not. You are what I want – who I want."
It seemed to hit him then. The disbelief was gone. His expression softened and he smiled. "We're getting married," he said softly, taking her hands in his and pulling her from her seat to stand in front of him. "You're going to marry me."
"Actually, you are going to marry me. Remember, I asked you." She smiled up at him and kissed him gently on the lips.
"Yes, you did," he mumbled into her lips as he reached for her waist to pull her closer. She brought her hands up and slid her fingers gently across his jawbone, until her fingers were holding tight to the back of his neck. She didn't let go for a long time. She needed to hold on to know that this was real.
When they did stop to catch their breath, her hands slid down and rested on his chest. He reached up to hold her hands, absently rubbing the backs of her fingers. "You know…you're going to need a ring."