Lucky Number Four
A/N Ehh….hides I know, it's been SO long since my last chapter…I finally got around to it though! To make up for my huge hiatus (and not telling you guys) I'm open to suggestions for what you want to happen. Mind, I might not use all of them, but I will definitely use some. And I'm also posting the next chapter really soon.
Chapter Three: Big Enough For Both of Us
"What is this garbage?" They had just barely reached the ferry before Luke went into rant mode. Actually, Lorelai was rather surprised that it hadn't started sooner.
"ACDC," Lorelai told him cheerfully. "It's classic."
"Classic to who? This is probably why I'm always fixing stuff at your house. Stuff like this puts you in a destructive mood, just like the rest of the dysfunctional youth of America. In fact, that's probably why all of them are dysfunctional."
"Are you calling me dysfunctional?" Lorelai asked, gasping. "I resent that!"
"You represent that," Luke quipped.
"I, personally, am offended that you could ever think such a thing!"
"Spend some time with yourself, you'll see the light."
"Yet again you jest, but I know you're a big softie at heart. You're just a big desperate wedding invitation acceptor slash Miss Congeniality watcher." After a smirk and a beat, she added, quite unconsciously, "You know you love me."
Luke scowled out the window, part of him knowing it was true and part of him hating himself for it. He changed the topic quickly, feigning annoyance. "Where is this place again?
"Well, the ferry building is over there," Lorelai said patiently, as if she was speaking to a small child and gesturing. "We've got about forty-five minutes. And we get to ride on the ferry! You like those, don't you?" She smirked again. "But every time you ask if we're there yet, that's one day you go without dessert." She grinned and Luke just scowled again, directing it at her.
His silence lasted for about ten minutes, during which Lorelai pulled up, paid the ferry toll, and drove on the ferry. Then ranting-Luke came back again, rearing his ugly head. "Who's Martha? And why would you name a vineyard after yourself? What kind of name is that anyway?""
Lorelai shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe she really liked wine."
"Nobody likes wine that much. And anyways, why do the rich need another place to spend their money and complain about society? What, the three or four beach houses and summer homes they already have aren't enough? Now they have to do it with others just like them who probably have never worked a day in their lives and just lounge around all day because they've got nothing better to do. Do you have any idea what this must cost for…what, five days? How are we supposed to put up with these people? And it's only Wednesday!"
Lorelai just watched the water out her windshield. Luke's rant slowed to quiet grumbling to himself, and she reached out to turn up the radio. She had a feeling that before this week was over, she would share Martha's passion for alcohol.
Lorelai pulled into the parking lot and poked Luke, who had somehow managed to fall asleep despite the fact that he'd only caught her sneak the radio up once out of the four times she'd done it. She turned off the engine and said, "Wakey wakey! We're here."
Luke yawned and stretched. He didn't say anything but climbed out of the car. Lorelai got out too. "I have to go check in. You can come or stay here or whatever." Luke shrugged and followed her as she made her way up to a large brick building.
The Vineyard was beautiful in the summer, Lorelai noted as she looked around. The lagoon was beautiful, the water sparkling just over a grassy hill. She loved the beach. It had been so long since she'd last been there, but she truly loved it. She loved the way her toes felt in the soft sand, the way the ocean breeze stirred her hair and even the way the smell of the salt water made her ravenous.
Half way between her car and the office building, Lorelai spun around, her hair flying out around her. Luke stared at her like she'd grown another head, but she ignored him and giggled, her heart light. It was so easy to feel happy in a place like Martha's Vineyard that was so pretty.
After her brief moment of the childishness she felt in her heart, she grew more serious, although she couldn't stop grinning. Once she got her keys (one for her and one for Luke), they got back in her car and tried to find their room. They were staying at the Herring Run House in the Breezeway Room. After driving around for twenty minutes and avoiding several family members who waved at her to pull over, she found it. Lorelai parked and, happily toting only her purse, left Luke to carry the bags. They mounted the stairs, found the room and were stopped by none other than Emily Gilmore.
"Lorelai!" came the sharp bark.
It was too late to hide or run, so Lorelai whirled around. "Hi mom."
"When did you get here?" Emily looked from Lorelai to Luke back to Lorelai, but didn't say anything. Yet.
"Uh, just a little while ago." Lorelai twisted the hem of her shirt behind her back. She waited for the criticism, which was sure to target Luke.
To her surprise, it never came. Instead, Emily said, "Oh. Well, carry on. Make sure you are ready in one hour for the meet and greet downstairs."
"Okay, mom." Emily walked past Lorelai, throwing a dirty look at Luke as she passed and shooting Lorelai a look that plainly said we will discuss this later.
Lorelai let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding and turned to open the door. Luke dropped their bags unceremoniously to the floor just inside. He stood next to Lorelai, surveying the room.
The room was huge. It was rather sparsely furnished with off white walls and mahogany furniture. One huge window overlooked the lagoon. In the bathroom, Lorelai could see a huge bathtub and, if she wasn't mistaken, satellite TV. Oh yeah, she was going to like this week.
They both made the observation, though it was Luke who said it aloud. "There's only one bed."
"So?" Lorelai didn't think anything of it. Besides, they were supposed to be dating, what did they expect? Generally, society (and the Gilmores) expected an actual couple. And of course, everyone knew Lorelai wasn't exactly a nun.
"So there's only one bed," Luke repeated, sounding as if she should realize the problem immediately.
Lorelai walked over to the bed and sat down, bouncing slightly. "I know; I can see that."
Luke stared at her in disbelief for a moment. Then – "Okay, so – one bed – and no couch…well, the floor looks suitable. We can probably get some extra blankets or pillows or something. We can make it work."
Lorelai leaned forward and grabbed Luke's hand, pulling him towards her. She patted the spot beside her and Luke sat down, his head tilted to one side, looking at her. "Nah, there's plenty of room for both of us. Plus this is a good mattress."
As usual, Lorelai didn't think before she spoke. She felt her face get warm with the blush and she turned her face away. Did she just tell Luke to sleep with her? In the literal sense of the word of course, but the request still hung in the air. And what did she mean by the mattress comment? There were only two reasons for having a good mattress, and judging by the look on Luke's face, minimized back pain wasn't the one he was thinking of.
Luke turned his patented thirteen shades of red. Did she just tell him to sleep with her? Luke thought it wiser to turn her down. Although it would probably be the closest he ever got her, he definitely didn't want to risk anything happening. "Uh, no, the floor will be fine," he mumbled, staring at the floor. He thought it wise to ignore the mattress comment, although he knew that he could use it later to tease her.
"Okay, well, whatever floats your boat. We should probably get settled…unpack and such," said Lorelai brightly, opting for a subject change. "So we've got, what, forty-five minutes? Plenty of time."
Lorelai dragged her bag over to the dresser. She unzipped it, opened a drawer, and dumped the bag's contents inside. She fished out her make-up bag, which she set on the bathroom counter, kicked her bag into a corner and jumped on the bed with the TV remote. Luke took the care to put his things away neatly, and then stood at the end of the bed, watching at Lorelai flipped through channels. After about five minutes, he said with his usual grumpy tone, "Will you just pick a channel?"
Lorelai stuck her tongue out at him, but found a movie to watch. "Oh, I love this movie!" she squealed. She settled back into the pillows, watching.
"What is this?" Luke asked. "And you can't start watching a movie in the middle. Besides, you can't even watch the rest of it because we have to go down there and meet everyone."
"But it's a classic!" Lorelai protested. "You've never seen Enough with Jennifer Lopez?"
"No," said Luke shortly, his arms crossed. He sat down on the end of the bed, and they watched the movie in silence. She glanced over at Luke every so often to see his reaction to certain parts. The last time he scowled at her, so she stopped.
At quarter to six, Lorelai rolled off of the bed and into the bathroom. She plugged in her curling iron, fixed her hair and make-up and changed into a different dress and, with Luke grumbling and tapping his foot impatiently, managed to make them fifteen minutes late.
Halfway down the stairs, Lorelai stopped and faced Luke. "Okay, you know we have to actually look like a couple, right?" Luke shrugged. "Okay." Lorelai slid her arm through Luke's and smiled at him. "Just remember that." She really hoped they could pull this off.
As much as Luke liked being that close to Lorelai, he knew that in the end, it was all a game for her. It wasn't him that caused her ask him to this wedding. She only wanted to show up her family and prove that she could get a date.
He knew he should be angrier than he was with her. He should be mad that she was screwing with his emotions and messing with his head. But all she had to do was look at him and give him that smile, and all of his anger melted away.
He spotted a bar to the side and asked her if he could get her a drink. She nodded. "White wine. Please and thank you." She grinned again and he walked off.
Emily chose his absence as a prime moment to pull Lorelai away and speak with her. Well, to her rather. "You're seeing the diner man? The man who was looking at you like a steak?" Emily whispered sharply.
"Yes, mother." Lorelai was seriously racking up the patience points. I better be getting major karma points for this, she thought.
"When did this start?" Emily looked up from her glare at Lorelai to smile at some cousin or other. "And what on Earth are you thinking?"
Lorelai closed her eyes for a moment, collecting her thoughts. "Um, not that long ago. I just decided…" Lorelai really had to swallow her pride on this one, "you were right. That all this time I couldn't see what was right in front of me…" Lorelai fiddled with the end of her hair behind her back. "And um, so yeah. Now we're seeing each other."
All Emily said to this was, "Don't say 'um'. It isn't proper. Neither is 'yeah'."
Lorelai raised her eyebrow at the second time Emily Gilmore had chosen not to criticize her, but before she could say anything, Luke returned to them, handing Lorelai her wine. Emily pursed her lips and said tightly, "It's nice seeing you again, Luke. How is that diner of yours?"
"It's doing fine, Emily, thanks for asking." Luke said uncomfortably, taking a sip of his own drink.
"Well, I'll be getting back to making the rounds," Emily said. As she walked off, she shot a glare at Lorelai, who rolled her eyes.
"Ookay. That's my mother for you," she said and took a drink of her wine. She reached over and intertwined her fingers with Luke's. "Appearances, my dear," she said to his questioning look. She finished her wine in one drink, deciding that the glasses were entirely too small. She set her empty one on a nearby server's tray. She tugged Luke back towards the bar, but half way there, they were stopped by an aunt.
"Lorelai, how nice to see you again!" she gushed. "How have you been?"
"I've been good, um…" She paused to fish for a name, but she gave up. "Good. And you?"
"I've been good too! So, is this your date?" she asked, gesturing to Luke.
Lorelai nodded. "Yep, this is my…him. This is Luke, Luke this is my aunt Chris – em – antha --ahem." She coughed to cover up the name, as she couldn't remember it.
"Well, it's very nice to meet you, Luke." He accepted the hand she extended.
"Yeah, nice to meet you too."
"Well, I'll be off," said the aunt. She winked at Lorelai and gave her a thumbs-up behind Luke's back. Lorelai just rolled her eyes again.
Once free of the aunt, Lorelai sighed in relief. "Ugh, I hate these functions. So many relatives that I haven't seen in ages, and yet they expect me to remember them from that one time I met them when I was like, five."
"So what are we supposed to do at this thing?" Luke asked. Although, he didn't really care as long as Lorelai kept her hand where it was currently located – in his.
Lorelai shrugged. "Mingle," She told him as they walked around the room, smiling at her relatives. "Relive moments of my horrible childhood until someone decides they want to toast the bride and groom and then we have dinner."
"Gotcha." He removed his hand from hers and pulled her closer to him, sliding an arm around her waist. He figured he could get away with it, what with the situation and all. Lorelai raised an eyebrow at him and he said, "Appearances, my dear."
"Oh, good thinking," she said, but her mind wasn't on it. Her mind was instead on the way she seemed to fit into Luke's arms. Normally, walking with someone's arm around you proved to be awkward and resulted in tripping. But now, as they stopped to chat with various family members, she saw that they were walking just fine. Not only that, but every time he moved his arm the slightest bit, his touch sent shivers down her spine. And not the creepy kind, but like they were supposed to be there, in each other's arms. Like it wasn't pretend anymore and had transformed into some sort of perfect first date for the two of them, only without the awkwardness of searching for conversation topics. It was…nice.
But of course, Lorelai couldn't enjoy it. Thoughts of a ruined friendship squashed the thought of Luke's arm around her, and her fight or flight instinct, once again, took over. She pulled away from him and said quietly, "I'm going to, ahem, powder my nose. I'll be right back."
She practically ran off towards the bathroom, leaving a very confused and uncomfortable Luke behind her.
She leaned against the sink, staring into the mirror above it but not really looking. This wasn't how this weekend was supposed to go. It wasn't supposed to be…right. Luke was supposed to grumble the whole time; she was supposed to have to force him to do everything…Why couldn't he understand that?
But Luke was being perfect. He chatted with all of her cousins and aunts and uncles and he pretended to be with her. It was just…perfect.
She took a deep breath and reapplied her lipstick. Two could play at this game.
A/N: Review, please! Remember, tell me what you want to happen! I'll try to work some of them in. Plus, ya know, if you do review, you have my undying gratitude plus hugs and cookies. And it does make me write faster.