Disclaimer: Amy owns everything but my season one, two, and three DVDs.
A/N: This is not AU, but its alternate-everything else that happens in the show. This takes place beginning of season three. Lorelai knows that Sherry is pregnant, but Chris never came to dinner like in "Haunted Leg"
P.S. I have to admit, I'm definitely not a Chris fan.
P.P.S Thanks again for all the great reviews! I love all of you who have been so great in reading and reviewing this fic! I'm hoping that this is going to be the last chapter, b/c I'm going away for awhile, so I hope to get it done before then. But I could definitely use your help because I'm worried about how I'm going to end it. Try this on:
And just like that, he was gone. Out the door and down the street, leaving Lorelai alone with her thoughts, which immediately bean trying to process what just, happened. And for once in her life, Lorelai Gilmore knew how it felt when someone ran from you. Someone other than Chris, that is.
Lorelai needed to sit down. She needed to process everything that had happened over the past 12 hours or so. She needed to talk to someone, but she knew Sookie would be too excited about the kiss to process everything thoroughly, and she didn't want Rory to be worrying about her eternally confused mother when she needed to focus on the goings-on in Washington. So she just thought for while.
She knew her situation was similar to that of people she had run away from before. But the apparent difference between Lorelai and those she had left behind in the past was that she was stubborn. She had realized, after all this time, what she wanted. She wanted Luke, and she wasn't going to let him run like she had run from others. But she also knew he didn't believe her or her feelings and she knew maybe he should have been nick-named Speedy Gonzales for the way he ran out after they kissed.
God, that was a hell of a kiss, she thought to herself. But she knew that that wasn't the only reason she wanted Luke, it wasn't only for the physical attraction, for the release of years of sexual tension. He was her Superman, her fix-it guy, her shoulder to cry on. He was everything she had ever wanted in a partner and she mentally kicked herself for taking this long to realize it. Well, what are you going to do about it, Gilmore? She answered herself without words as she grabbed her coat off the hook in the foyer and headed to the diner.
Meanwhile at the diner, Luke was a mess. Ever since he had returned from Lorelai's that morning, nothing had gone right. Food was burnt, customers were thrown out, dishes were broken. Everyone could see that he was distracted, but no one dared to ask what was wrong. But they were watching. Miss Patty noticed that every time the bell rang, Luke looked up expectantly. Taylor noticed that Lorelai wasn't in for coffee at all that day. And Babette noticed that Luke's flannel looked a little rumpled that day. Not that flannel ever looks crisp, mind you; it just looked a little…mussed, she thought.
Now, had they put their observations together, they might have come up with something. But the normal busybodies of Stars Hollow were quiet inside Luke's Diner that day, perhaps for fear of incurring the wrath of the proprietor if they annoyed him. They didn't especially feel like being tossed out of the diner on their asses, so they kept to themselves. That is until Luke broke the plate with Taylor's order on it.
"Alright Luke, what's going on?" Taylor was infuriated and nosy, not a good combination for the town selectman.
But unfortunately for Taylor, the only person that had a temper surpassing his was on the other end of the argument. "What the hell are you talking about Taylor?"
Taylor retorted, offended at the tone this flannel-clad Lone ranger had taken with him. "Well you've been skulking around here all day in a terrible mood, worse than usual I might add…"
"You might." Luke muttered, picking up the pieces of the plate that littered his floor.
Taylor continued on his diatribe. "Your service is even less friendly, your food tastes terrible, and that is the sixteenth dish you've dropped this hour…"
Luke had had enough. Of Taylor and his sweater. "Then why don't you just leave, Taylor! If everything here sucks that bad, why don't you just pack up and go! In fact, why don't all of you just get the hell out! I've had about enough of…" he stopped mid-sentence at the exact same time the bell rang, announcing someone's arrival into what was quickly becoming Fight Club. The entire diner turned to see who had been able to hit the "pause" button on Diatribe Luke (now with realistic jaw-moving action). Miss Patty had a feeling that this was whom he'd been waiting for (in more than one sense). Taylor sat, satisfied that he had won for now.
Lorelai stopped dead in her tracks when all eyes turned on her. She and Luke stood absolutely still for what seemed to the rest of the diner like hours. Finally she managed some words. "Luke," she almost whispered, surprising herself at how timid she suddenly was. "I need to talk to you."
He gazed for a minute longer, before turning away to throw the rest of Taylor's plate. "I don't need to talk," he mumbled stubbornly.
Her brow furrowed in frustration. "Well good, because you won't have to say anything. You'll just have to have your ears open. Which, when you think about it, is how they always are. I mean it's not as if you have an ear flap that you could close them or anything…"
During her rambling, Luke had been at the coffee machine. Now he turned and placed a to-go cup in front of her, tired of the talking and avoiding the situation. "Here's your coffee. Everything working at your house?"
Lorelai paused, confused. "Yes…"
Luke glared at her. "Then we have nothing to talk about."
Luke didn't realize that the entire diner was watching this soap opera unfold in front of their eyes, or maybe he wouldn't have been so harsh. Hey, what goes around comes around, his brain said, still reeling form this morning. Shut up, asshole, said his heart, which was breaking at the sight of her tearing up out of hurt and anger. She finally spoke in a low, broken tone. "You know that's not what I'm talking about."
But Luke's brain was still winning the never-ending struggle and he brushed it off. "Lorelai, I don't know what you're talking about…"
Lorelai snapped, practically running behind the counter and grabbing his armed, dragging him into the storeroom, where she accosted him in an angry whisper. "You know, I get that you don't like me right now, but the least you could do is talk to me!"
Luke shrugged, still trying to preserve some shred of dignity he felt Chris had greatly endangered this morning. "I thought you said I wouldn't have to talk, just listen. Something about earflaps."
Now Lorelai was furious. "Where the hell do you come off being angry at me, anyway? You were the one who ran off this morning, remember?"
Luke snapped back. "I didn't want to give you a chance to say it was a mistake, Lorelai!"
That stab in her heart only made Lorelai's anger increase. "I don't know if you were there, Luke, but I kissed you! Why in the hell would I say it was a mistake?"
Luke paused for a moment, remembering the kiss, and then remembering the reason he had pulled away. "You were emotional, Lorelai! A lot happened and when people get emotional, they say and do stuff that you don't mean! For you, apparently it was kissing me!"
"God, Luke! You're such a hypocrite! One minute, you're telling Chris that he doesn't know what love is and the next you're running away from it!" As soon as she finished her sentence, she clasped a hand over her mouth, realizing what she had just said.
Luke had stopped dead in his tracks. He turned slowly to face her, not quite believing what he thought he had just heard. "What did you just say?" he asked, in a voice softer than his earlier tone.
At a loss for words, staring at him, Lorelai did the only thing she could think to do. She grabbed him by the collar of his flannel pulled him close, and kissed him with everything she had in her. Before he even had a chance to react, she had pulled away, breathing heavily and staring into his eyes. "Tell me you don't feel anything in that, Luke."
He turned his head away, still in disbelief, partially at what he was about to say. "You know I can't say that Lorelai. But…"
She smiled nervously. "'But'? What 'but'? Luke, there doesn't have to be a 'but', does there?"
He sighed. "Why now, Lorelai? I don't want you to be doing this for the wrong reasons…"
She took a deep breath. "What happened with Christopher has nothing to do with this, Luke. Yes it was a catalyst, and not a very pleasant one, but apparently that situation was what I needed to make me see…"
She looked deep into his eyes. "See you Luke. See how great you've always been to Rory and me. See all the things you've done for us. See how you would drop anything to help us when we were in trouble. See what the whole town has been telling me all these years. But most of all, see what was in my heart."
He smiled a little, somehow knowing where this was going. "And what was that?"
She smiled too, mostly at him and the look in his eyes that told her that she had nothing to fear here, everything was going to be okay. He's always had that look, something deep inside her said knowingly. "I want to be with you, Luke. I want…"
But Luke was never much for words. That was all he needed to hear before he lifted her into his arms for another mind-blowing kiss. And as they kissed, somewhere off in the distance, they heard a diner full of happy, albeit nosy and eavesdropping¸ townspeople celebrating.