A/N: Hey gals. And guys. Assuming there are guys reading this. Who knows? I mean, there might very well be. But I think the majority of you are girls. Not gals. 'Cause that's what my grandma says. And I'm just way too young to accept the pearls.
I'm BACK FROM GREECE! Actually, I came back five days ago. But then I read Harry Potter 6...And it took me a few days to get over that...Yeah, that's right, I wallowed over a Harry Potter book, so shoot me. And then I spent the next few days watching Gilmore episode after Gilmore episode, having remained abstinent for so long...I do so hate it when my love and I are torn apart... And then I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then spent the next day laughing my ass off. You know what? I don't think you care. Alright, moving on.
Muffin Is Injured: Clydette, meet your new little sister, Klydetta. Yeah, that's right, I named your new review Klydetta and MIKA, YOU STUPID DOG, STOP JUMPING ON ME! Sorry, she was, um, jumping on me. She's just too hyper. She needs to be tranquilized, or I need a spray bottle...ARGH! STOPPIT! You realize, by the way, that I'm not talking about Clydette or Klydetta, right? Good.Ok, she's gone now...ANYWAY. Yourenthusiasm for rantaciousness is just astounding. You deserve a bow, like at the county state fair or something. 'Clydette' IS a really great name for it. I'm allowed that bit of self-esteem, aren't I? That I'm extremely good at naming things? And we ARE awesome. After we float around with the angels singing holy psalms, we should start join together and start a rambling cult...no, sorry, cults are freaky...group! Yes, a rambling group, in which we knock on random people's houses and then just begin talking about things like how grass is multi-colored or why in the hell the backstreet boys are starting up again. Except I know absolutely nothing about either subject and would have to improvise it, and...Alright, I'll work on that concept. Oh yeah, there's also that little problem about how we don't actually know each other. I'm sure there's a way to get around it. I laughed out loud every time youmentioned the popping thesaurus and the'gn' thing. It made me think of the different words that startwith 'gn'. Like 'gnu'and 'gnarled' and...I'm out.
I love it when Rory talks about the round pies...That's the best moment in the pilot, or at least it's the best moment with Rory in the pilot...Hm, I need to watch that one again...AND YOU GET TWO RUSSIANS? What's up with that? Can I have one? I wish I knew how to say 'A peacock is eating my leg' in Russian. Can ya teach me, next review, even if you absolutely hate this chapter? Hm, I have the oddest feeling I'm reviewing your review. Time to move on to other people. Yeah, you're special, but you're also in Europe, which for now puts a damper on your specialness. In Europe, you're just no goodto me.You're crushed! I know. I'll get the tourniquet.
Oh, by the way, you'll get an answer, FINALLY, from this one. I like answered proposals, too. I mean, if I ever ask someone to marry me, I would really prefer it if they said something. 'Yes', particularly,if I like them.
bloodymary2: Ha! She compliments me again! You said that you felt like you were in Lorelai's head. How does that feel? I remember in the second season when Lorelai walks into Luke's really messy apartment and says, "Huh, this is always how I imagined the interior of my head would look like." Lorelai actually has a place on my shoulder. She's the devil who urges me to go up to random people and use bad catch phrases or pinch peoples butts. Sometimes I listen to her...Sometimes I ignore her...This makes me sound insane. But it's true. I like how you like I am handling the 'Rory' Situation. Once again, I hope I live up to your expectations, even your supressed expectations. I love writing andI lovegetting reviews, especially positive ones (what kind of hack enjoys being negatively criticized?) But it makes me nervous to think that the same people who love me today could hate me tomorrow. Iguess it's a trade-off, with the power you have as a ff dot net writer. That makes me sound wimpy. Perhaps I am. MaybeI LIKE being wimpy. Oh, and to answer your question, I wasNOT a drama-queen ten-year-old. Quite the opposite. I was the kind of ten year old who spent her daysvery, very quietly, staring at hershoes, mostly reading. I read alot.I was just very angsty and thought alot (hence the penname), and had a small group of friends who spoke in inordinately large vocabularies (that was mostly me) and exchanged bits of angst and wrote lots of dark poetry. And we had group emotionalbreakdowns. But it's not likewe ever complained to our parents; it was just amongst ourselves.I think it was just to create drama, since we weren't at all naturally dramatic. Yeah, I'm weird likethat.
epona9009: You said that you were surprised no one questioned Lorelai about not knowing where Luke was. I'm assuming you mean in theone hundred and firstepisode when everyone gives Lorelai shocked looks when she asks people where Luke is. Well, just assume she was at the Inn alot, and had enough sense not to ask people where Luke was. Right. Sure. I didn't even think about that! I wonder if i should've? Anyway, don't be annoyed, you'll get your answer this chapter. Glad you loved the last one. Hey, every one seems to think I'm brilliant! Do you realize how great this is? And don't worry, I'm sure they'll put Luke and Lorelai together. Come on, how couldn't they, after all the emotional pain we've gone through the first four seasons? And then when they broke up? It would just be wrong.
candlewick866: That's two people I've made sputter with my genius. You and Muffin. Glad to know I've got another person thinking I'm amazingly talented. Just, please, tell my parents that? And my sister? Announce it on the P.A. at my school? It couldn't hurt. Although people might think I'm even more crazy. And, hey, you reviewed this yesterday! Aren't you glad to get another chapter just one day later? It's like I'm doing this just for you. And hey, missy, you are on the gilmore girls section of fanfiction. There are plenty of people in this area who share our talent of talking about absolutely nothing for ages until someone slaps us. Don't worry about your name. It's not me who you've got to worry about, it's the other reviewers. But seeing as how they don't even have a general idea of where you live, you should be fine. Joss Wheden has something to do with Buffy and the Vampire Slayer. He's the creator, isn't he? Ha! I knew that! I like that show, except in the last season when my sister started watching it and it came on the same time as gilmore girls and since she's much stronger I had to spend several hours i could've been watching Jess gallavanting around in his uber-tight clothing sulking in my room in emotional pain. As for the De-ja-ing of that Vu, it has already been Deja-ed, this is its second Deja. Poor Vu, he's been Deja-ed twice. Narharharhar, that's funny. To me.
Thanks also to LukeNlorelaifan, goldenwillow, brelaine,shamelessOne, ultimategilmoregirl, Ace's Buddy (ha! you reviewed all five chapters! i love you! and why didn't my A have a plus? I guess i can just resurrect one with my new wand),egbert, VeroSNM,Lauren, and ProFfeSseR. I love you all dearly. Unless you wish not to be loved. In which case,I don't.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Gilmore Girls.
And so begins a slightly shorter, slightly more angsty, slightly more unrambling chapter. Enjoy. At least don't gag.
It was both simple and complicated- what Luke and Lorelai had.
Complicated, because of the attraction they'd had that had gone beyond their friendship at one point- the one they'd denied through various chances to go beyond, moments where courage and chance-taking was required and both had none.
Complicated, because that was muddled with family expectations and unreasonable reasons (they were ignored, but they were there), and a general sense of 'what if?' because both had different paths to go down; there were forks in the road and wooings and different people who both at one point loved and were going to spend the rest of their lives with…maybe.
There was that, and there was also simple insecurities and fear because what they'd had as friends was good. It was good enough, good enough to not want to be ruined by single moments where precautions and reasons were not made- a field Lorelai especially was deeply experienced in.
But beyond that, what they had was simple. It wasn't that they had a lot in common- it was that what they did have fit, somehow, corresponded. A love for coffee and great skill in making it…Witty retorts from both and mutual acceptance. There was also the inexcusable comfort they felt in each other's presence. It wasn't that their banter was predictable- it wasn't that they could immediately assess what the other was going to say, it was knowing that what the other was going to say would make a difference. It was that they cared. It was that even when Lorelai didn't have another person in the world, Luke would be there and he could say the same about Lorelai. That, above everything else, was simple. And hard to find, and nice, after Lorelai's rigid relationship with her parents, and the loneliness Luke felt during his life. Despite how many times he explained 'he was a natural loner.'
But I've changed all that, haven't I, Lucas.
Lorelai lay stick-straight in bed, her hands curled over mingled sheets and comforter straight up to her chin. Her head was turned, admiring the scruffy curve of Luke's sleeping face. He was breathing deeply, so deeply that his breath somehow reached the front tuft of his hair and it fluttered softly and continuously with the rising of his chest.
He doesn't snore.
She smiled when she realized she'd never noticed that.
All those nights…
All that noise-making…
AndI never truly appreciated the only time he was silent…
She stifled a guffaw and yawned contentedly instead. Unconsciously, her hand reached up to smooth his hair back. She paused as her finger glimmered softly in the darkness.
It wasn't '…Lorelai's ring glittered in the mingled moonlight, ricocheting on to her bright eyes and causing her heart to beat even more deeply…', it was the red light from Luke's alarm clock that made her new ring shine- an alarm clock that now screamed 3:47 a.m. in a slightly ominous way. Truly, it was the Darth Vader of alarm clocks. But it did create a new, intense feeling in her, the same one she'd experienced six hours ago. After Luke's proclamation 'I bought a house,' made her admittedly slightly confused, very frustrated, and just a little bit worried, the rush of happiness after he'd done exactly the thing she'd wanted him to do was heartwarming. The obliterated sadness of everything she'd experienced- her failed relationship with her parents- gone. The Rory aftermath- gone. The only thing she could see was that she had finally, after a few weeks of pure disappointment, gotten what she really wanted. And needed.
He'd looked at her, kneeling down… It was hard to explain, even to herself, what she felt when he'd looked at her like that. It was the most genuine she'd seen Luke's face, when Luke was generally so hidden behind this need to be gruff. And that look, more than what he'd said after it, was what caused the flush of tingling happiness to spread from the center of her body to her limbs- like she had been in black and white before, and only now was she realizing what it meant to live in color.
"Lorelai, will you marry me?" He'd asked, his eyes facing hers directly, holding, still, that expression of absolute warmth. It seemed like a ray from the heavens was shining on his face when he said it, like all of the darkness of the night around them and the disappearing taste of pie in her mouth was gone. Then she'd realized it was a streetlight. But somehow, that seemed even more poetic.
In moments like these, moments she knew she'd never have again, she lingered, because if she didn't she would regret not having done so later. So they'd stayed like that for two or three long wonderful, moments, moments in which it seemed like they had both suddenly realized how alike their blue eyes really were. Then Lorelai had knelt down in front of him, remembering a thought she'd had years ago that the whole kneeling-will-you-marry-me concept was just so guys could get a look up their respective girlfriend's skirts. Then she'd pushed his hair back, a glimpse of a thought asking herself, why doesn't he just go without the hat?
She'd answered his question as near his mouth as she could go without actually touching it, so that her warm breath touched his lips between her completely welcome consonants of acceptance.
"Yes," she'd said, still holding his gaze. Because he hadn't answered her proposal, but she sure as hell was going to answer his, no matter how miffed she was. And then the ring…oh, the ring. It was better than Max's, better than the one she'd always imagined (a little bit too hopefully) Johnny Depp was going to surprise her with when he declared his love for her in several recurring dreams that were extremely interesting, especially for her.
That was six hours ago. Now, at nearly four in the morning, the buzz remained. She wondered if everyone who was engaged walked around like this, or if someone had just slipped drugs into her coffee… squirmy, but also content… Like you could happily save the world from all occurring wildfires in a swoop, but also like you would be even more blissful if you just stayed right where you were.
It wasn't corny at all to her. It was…magical. Although saying it in exactly those words would be something reserved for repetition in her own messy little head, at the risk of ruining her famed sarcastic and very unsentimental edge.
After the initial rush, she'd gotten a faint feminist thought- what's so wrong with answering my proposal? Eh, Luke? That lasted as about thirty seconds of growing angst, but eventually fluttered away. Was it worth an argument- even a cutesy one?
And now, she was buzzing still with that feeling. She felt like she'd just drunk nine espresso shots in the space of two minutes. It wasn't bad.
She turned around in her position, so she was facing her dinerman. Her dinerman.
"Luke?" She prodded him gently in the nose.
"Luke, honey, wake up."
"Stop it. You're starting to sound like Jackson. Which in a weird way makes it seem like we're both cheating with him which is wrong on a great number of levels, starting with the fact he's married and we're engaged and ending somewhere in another dimension. I do not want to spend my time explaining them to you. So, please, wake up and say something intelligible."
Without opening his eyes, Luke pointed drunkenly out the window.
"Moon. Stars. Dark," he grunted.
"I. Are. Baboon." She prodded him again.
"I thought we went over this already, Luke. I'm not annoying; I'm witty, charming, beautiful, with an attractive bosom and extraordinarily great-smelling hair. I'm also very modest and only know these things because my humble escort spends his days staring at my picture and repeating them."
He opened his eyes regretfully and faced her. "Whaddya want."
"I just wanted to share something with you," she whispered, smiling.
"Share something with me. Really." He rubbed his eyes.
"Yeah, share. Offer you half a Popsicle, if you will."
"Can't refuse an offer like that." He started to grin.
"I…Just wanted to tell you…"
"You mean share."
"Yeah, I just wanted to share with you…that I am getting married." God, it felt nice to say and hear that.
"Figured you were." He fingered his shirt.
"Really?" Her smile brightened. "Why?"
"You know…the guy…seemed really nice…when I met him. Handsome. Intelligent. Worthy of your charms."
She smiled at him genuinely. "I'm glad you think so."
"Did you set a date?"
"Nah, not yet. Pretty soon, though."
"And I'm invited?"
"I'll have to think about that…you might, after all, just steal my fiancé from me. You really seem to like him." Her grin curved into a smirk.
"Heard he's got a great butt, too." Luke yawned.
There was a pause. Lorelai swallowed.
"And you know what?" she asked, softly this time.
"What?" He murmured, starting to drift back into sleep.
"We've decided. We're not gonna have a coupon drawer." He grinned, though his eyes were closed.
She kissed him gently on the forehead, to a consenting murmur on his part, and beamed back at the shadowy ceiling yet again, with the most wonderful feeling that things were beginning to float, like the terminal calm after a storm, to their rightful places.
"Wake up!" Luke whispered into Lorelai's ear. She groaned. He rolled his eyes.
"Wake up, Lorelai."
"Ummmmmmmmm go away…" She swatted him away.
"Your phone is going off." Sure enough, the Rocky Horror Picture Show's 'Time Warp' was being annoyingly copied in a very high-pitched ringtone, and it was going off insistently. It was seven in the morning.
"Don't care. Need to stay pretty." She swatted him away with more gusto.
"You were the one who woke me up at four in the morning. What about my prettiness?" He bounced onto the bed, if it were possible for Luke Danes to 'bounce' and put her cell phone next to her on a pillow.
"You were gonna wake up in forty five minutes anyway. Besides, you woke me up in the first place. You snore too loud." Ha. Complete lie.
'...drive you insa-a-a-a-ane...'
"I do not snore!" If I snored, she would have already mocked me about it, endlessly, with more than twenty references. Don't know there are more than twenty 'Luke snores' references in this world, but she would find them, and use them. Deadly.
"Aw, don't make me prove it using that classic sitcom plot, in which I stalk you with a voice recorder and you thwart me and I never get to do my glory jump over your sleeping body shouting, 'ha, world, see? He does have weird sinuses!'"
'Let's do the time warp again…'
"See, you just used a superfluous run-on sentence. You're already awake. Now answer your phone. It's annoying." Her phone was still ringing, insisting on being answered, where Luke had placed it.
'…the pelvic thrust…'
Finally, she rolled over and sighed, puffy-eyed and pouting. Luke walked back to the door.
"Where're you going?"
'Let's do the time warp agaiiin…'
'And you jump to the left…'
"Why were you just up here?"
Luke pointed to a tray on the bedside table, where a stack of pancakes, eggs, and a mug of coffee awaited her. Lorelai grinned at him. "My guy. Always anticipating my needs. You've officially compensated waking me up prematurely." She happily took a sip from her full mug.
'…Time warp agaiiin…'
"Sure. Just never call me 'your guy' again. Ruins my street cred." He half-smiled and left to her ringing laugh.
Lorelai watched after him, smiling a moment, and then turned to her phone, where 'Time Warp' had just stopped ringing. She took a bite from her eggs, enjoying them, and blissfully forgetting about her phone.
She ate her breakfast as quickly as one who was eating Luke's extremely fluffy pancakes could, and swigged down her coffee speedily, now used to the welcome scalding she always felt as it slithered down her throat and woke her up. She wondered whether she should bother getting dressed into her clothes again. Weren't the dear, gossip-prone citizens of Stars Hollow used to seeing her in Luke's plaid in Luke's diner yet? She knew that she should discuss releasing the fact she and Luke were getting married to the town before actually releasing it…Which was regretful, because she never felt like joining the jolly Riverdance people more than she did now. It was better than Luke's pie. And few things were better than Luke's pie.
But screw Stars Hollow…I think they can handle me in plaid… You know, I can really see what Luke likes so much about it…
So she took off her ring (the perfect size) and put it on her right hand.
She pulled on a pair of boxer shorts (plaid) from Luke's drawer (Ha! A pair of drawers from a drawer…) and flagrantly disregarded the state of her hair in the mirror. She picked up her tray and stomped downstairs with bare feet.
"Oh Lu-uke! My sweet little something! I need a little sweet little something to put in this wonderful invention called the coffee mug! And what an invention it is! Now I can drink without all the other gazelles pushing me over in the watering hole! Wonderful, I tell you…"
Blank stares met her at the bottom of the stair well. Nice…Third time this week. Boy, I'm really improving on that whole awkwardness thing, aren't I?
She just laughed. "Soooo…here we are. You're there, and I'm wearing plaid! Isn't this fun? Now if only you guys were wearing it and we had raccoon hats, we could be swigging down maple syrup and having a lumberjack party."
Their stares went blanker.
She sighed. "Luke? Please?"
Luke came out of the kitchen with two plates of eggs and an amused expression on his face. "You're down."
"Yeah. Coffee ran out." She indicated her mug, putting her breakfast tray down on the back counter.
"Alright. Hold on."
Lorelai gasped. " 'Alright, hold on'? Luke? You do realize that that response implies that you're going to give me coffee? The substance that will eventually make me look old and wither-y? You're going to make this innocent mug a mug of death! You're going to give me my drug of choice and I don't even need to do the pouty eyes to get it from you!"
He set the two plates down in front of their respective customers- Morey and Kirk. They both raised their eyebrows at her attire. Kirk made an unintelligible joke about 'Sacagawea' and 'sausages.' Morey ignored him. Lorelai began to regret not changing.
"Do you want the coffee or not?"
"I do, but the next time you offer me deep-fried Kit-Kat, I'm reassessing our relationship. And your sanity." She gazed at him somberly and extended her mug. He filled it.
"What's with the plaid?"
"It's not like you answer that question when I ask it to you."
"But there's people in the diner."
"Luke, I know that dress I wore last night does my legs great justice, but in order to do that it cuts of all circulation to my lower body. I do not want to end up having to cut my feet off. I'd have to throw away all my shoes. I'd probably become like that chick from 'She's Come Undone,' and I don't want to end up fat."
"Has anyone ever told you that you talk far too much?"
"It's why I don't weigh nine hundred pounds, so I wouldn't be complaining." She smiled seductively at him, and she could see his defenses melting away. She loved that she had that power over him, and she loved that he had that power over her. She leaned in to kiss him. It went on a full thirty seconds before they came up for air.
"That's why all of the listening to me rambling is worth it," she whispered.
"That's gotta be a health code violation," Kirk said accusingly, pointing at the two perpetrators. They ignored him.
"Why don't you go upstairs with your coffee and I'll ask Caesar if he can cover for me in a little while, okay?" Luke breathed.
"What, Luke? He's going to leave us? Caesar's pancakes suck," Kirk complained.
"Shut up, Kirk, Luke's gonna get some," Morey confided. "Don't blame you, buddy!" Lorelai walked back up to Luke's apartment jauntily.
Luke rolled his eyes, trying to appear the old gruff guy he was everyday but an impenetrable happiness cloaked him. He'd hoped, for years, that this moment would come someday, that he would somehow get them here, and finally, here it was… Ruined only slightly by Rory, and the feeling he'd had as Lorelai had excitedly told him about opportunities to 'travel' that was insisting on being remembered in his mind. But he shook that away. Lorelai wouldn't first of all, propose, then accept his proposal, if getting away was all she was going to do anyway. She wouldn't do that. Would she?
Upstairs, Lorelai lounged blissfully on Luke's unmade bed. It was pretty much her bed, too, now… right? She grinned to herself evilly. If it's my bed, I can do whatever I want with it… She stood up and began jumping, laughing hysterically while doing so. She felt like screaming it out… "I'M GETTING MARRIED!"
But her urge was interrupted by her cell phone, ringing again. Damn. She bounced on her butt to another little girlish giggle, took a quick gulp of coffee, and propped her phone open.
"Hello?" She asked, unwary, into the receiver.
"Lor?" An all-too-familiar voice rang out in her ear.
Lorelai choked on her coffee, spluttering in her mug for a second, then placing her coffee down, wiped her mouth with her plaid sleeve. She breathed in through her nose, closed her eyes, tried to clear her head. She was not ready for this.
"Are you there?" Christopher asked, more sheepishly than he usually would have, on the other end.
"What do you want?" Her voice was calm but icy. Her body suddenly felt frozen.
"No small talk, then? Right to business? Guess I deserve it, Lor." He chuckled genuinely. Lorelai saw through it. She wouldn't go down with his damn chivalry.
"Chris, why are you calling?" She asked, louder, even colder.
Don't say it. "Chris!" she seethed and grasped Luke's bed with her free hand.
He sighed, finally, and let it out. "Rory's gone…she came over a few days ago, and I'm sorry, I know I should've told you. I know you know why she was here. But now she's gone, she left a note.Three words actually. Not including the 'Dad' and the 'Bye, Rory' but…" He said all this in a rushed, mumbling voice.
Rory and her damn notes. "Where did she say she went?"
"Home," he replied.
"She said she went home."
"Thank you, Christopher, for calling. Say hi to Gigi. I have to go now." Her voice was hard. Her eyes were harder.
Lorelai fumed in position for awhile, not knowing exactly at whom she was fuming. Everyone, for screwing up her first moments as an engaged woman- engaged to someone that she really wanted to marry, that is…Herself, for not being able to solve all this with her mastery of convincing or speedy retorts? Christopher, for suddenly making this flitting appearance in her life? Rory, for disappearing? For going to Chris in the first place? She'd known that, when Emily had told her, of course…but this confirmed it. Home. Why had Christopher called her, knowing she'd find out eventually, if Rory went home in Stars Hollow. Not eventually; pretty darn quickly. Attention? Did he just want to converse with her for a moment, make it known that he'd had an influence in Rory's life, if only for a few days? If so, then he was vaguely pathetic.
She wondered what to do. Rory was probably waiting for her at her house. But with what? A declaration that she'd made a mistake, or the opposite? There was only one way to find out. It was like in an Indiana Jones movie, in front of an ominous tomb or potential booby trap…"There's only one way to find out." To take the step, that is. Take the chance.
Lorelai was infamous for not directly facing her problems; in fact, she tended to avoid them. Despite her showy confidence and wit and sharp-mindedness. This made her a tiny bit hypocritical, she knew. But she cut herself slack on this one, as she lifted up her mug for another sip of the delicious dark black liquid that was coffee, especially enjoying the welcome heaviness of her new gorgeous ring on her finger, and the way Luke's plaid smelled like him- soap, and this wonderful mixture of fries, burgers, and coffee. The three most alluring scents she knew of.
Slack. She at least deserved that.
Three minutes later, Lorelai numbly put her empty mug down on Luke's bedside table and blankly got dressed in the only un-plaid clothes in Luke's apartment- her blue dress from last night and her coat, which were sprawled on the couch on top of each other. She smiled slightly at that. It was kind of…dirty.
As she prepared to go downstairs, Luke walked through the door. He immediately saw her expression.
"Here…you mean here here?"
"Apparently, at our house."
"I thought she was-"
"Well, she's here now, and I have to go talk to her, because I'm the responsible adult," she interrupted quickly.
"Do you want me to come with you?"
She sighed. "No, no… I'll come by later, okay?" She kissed him on the mouth, and said, in a hushed voice, "I love you."
It was amazing, she decided, that she could say that now. And truthfully.
"I love you, too," he said, unabashedly. The confidence surprised and pleased Lorelai. "Good luck. And if you need help, call me. Okay?"
She smiled sadly. "Okay."
Rory sat at the kitchen table, staring at the linoleum, glaring at her watch every other minute as if expecting it to change faster or jump a few minutes each time. Only when she realized that the time had moved forward a mere ten seconds when it seemed like ten minutes did she realize her habit was formulating into something annoyingly obsessive. She pinched herself as she chanced a glance at it one last time. 8:00:01 a.m. Wonderful.
She was both impatient and apprehensive- wanting Lorelai to return now so as to move on and forget the sordid way things had been going as quickly as possible (all her fault, she would admit) for the past week- but also wary of the screaming/ crying/ fighting match that would be sure to detonate as soon as she walked through that door.
8:03:47. Damn. She mentally kicked herself. Where was she? Luke's was the most likely answer to that question. That, or working at the Inn. But she hadn't come last night- had Lorelai gone straight from Luke's to the Inn? Did that make sense?
She felt, for the oddest reason, like she was going back to Chris again. She had the exact same feelings of self-doubt. They felt photocopied. That same 'this is a choice you have to make now' emotion that clamored through her body most unpleasantly- it wasn't something her usually somewhat timid self was used to, and she'd felt it a lot over the last month.
9:11:05- the front door clicked open, seeming louder than other days. Rory lifted her head bravely from her watch and the kitchen floor. She breathed in shakily and then stood up, respectfully keeping her distance from the doorway leading into the kitchen.
Lorelai seemed to linger especially long in the hallway, taking her time to hang her coat on the rack, pretending to check her hair in the mirror. She, too, let in a deep, gustful breath, knowing full well what was likely in her house at this moment. She looked at her ring for reassurance. Her face was set grimly, now, for what was going to come- an explosion for both mother and daughter. Was this encounter going to loosen or reassure their lost bonds?
"Mom." The sound made Lorelai's lungs and heart jump- although scared, although distinctly Rory-sounding, it seemed vastly different in this particular context. She found she couldn't speak, she couldn't reply. Her voice was gone. But only for a few seconds.
Lorelai strode purposefully into the kitchen, her eyes falling just short of blazing.
"Rory. You're here." Stating the obvious.
"Yeah, I'm…I'm here," she said softly. "I'm sorry." The phrase could have covered such an expanse of things that Lorelai chose to ignore it.
"Why?" Her voice sounded infinitely stronger than she felt. "Rory?"
"Can we talk?"
"Talk," Lorelai repeated, laughing shortly. "Yeah, see, the last time you wanted us to 'talk', I ended up wanting to fling my cheesecake at you and I haven't got the baking skills, or, frankly, the appetite to conjure up one now. So if you'll kindly pass over that butcher knife."
"I know you're mad."
Lorelai laughed dryly. "Mad? Rory, 'mad' does not go quite as far as what I've been feeling for the past week! The idea that my daughter, the great white hope of the Gilmore clan, top of her class through Elementary school, Junior high, High school… hell, you beat all the other preschool kids at shoving wads of clay up your nose…the one who makes a pro/con list for everything, the daughter you know I love, decides to pull this stupid Holden Caulfield act for no intelligible reason whatsoever…Yeah, I guess I'd say I'm mad! You're screwing your life up, and mine by extension, and I know I've said this before but I think I need to say it again- this freaking whim is going to lead you nowhere, and you will end up feel even more lost than you do right now!"
Rory felt a feeling resembling anger shake her body. She closed her eyes, and then faced her mother.
"Whatever happened to 'I can do whatever I want to do if it makes me happy?' Maybe Yale wasn't making me happy! Maybe I needed something else to make me happy!"
"Why? Are you happy now? Can you honestly face me and say 'yes, mom, I am perfectly happy right now, in fact, I'm getting the seven dwarves together right now so we can do a communal jig; That's how happy I am'?"
"Well, I wasn't happy in school, either, and not being in school is the only alternative to being in school, isn't it?" Rory spat out.
"WHY?" Lorelai shouted angrily.
"Why weren't you happy in school? What changed? Rory, you love Yale, or I guess I should say 'loved', for the past two years there's been nothing but Yale sweatshirts and Yale parties and Yale and now? What's changed?"
Rory paused, trying to ignore her mother's furious glare.
"Can we please…just… talk?"
"We are talking, if you'll notice the perfectly understandable noises coming out of my moving mouth or do you think the kitchen cupboard is just a really convincing ventriloquist?"
"We're not talking! We're screaming and my head hurts and my ears hurt and I'm just tired of screaming so please, just sit down and let us talk! Please!"
"A woman who has just digested four cups of coffee does not sit! She does a back flip and then inhabits Lara Croft's body and saves the world from large zombies and…I'm not going to finish that sentence because it's pointless and I'd rather not just scream out pointless things right now! I've wasted too damn much of my life screaming pointless things at people who just sit there and take it anyway! Damnit, Rory!"
"You're screaming again!"
"Well you're not exactly pulling a mime act, are you?"
"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?" Rory yelled fiercely.
Lorelai laughed ironically. "What do I want from you? WHAT DO I WANT FROM YOU? You, Rory, in case you've forgotten, are the one who started this all! You're the one who came in here wanting to 'talk' and guess what, honey? YOU'RE NOT TALKING! I'm screaming at you, and you're screaming at me, and you can't just expect me to understand what you want to say! IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY, THEN JUST SAY IT!"
This last sentence echoed around the kitchen for the longest three seconds of their lives…bouncing off of their ears like the most annoying ghostly boxer in history…It sizzled as frustration and built up anger in their bodies until Lorelai could swear she felt a vein popping out of her forehead, above her furrowed eyebrows and set jaw. So now I look like the evil scientist from "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Charming.
The silence, even more than the comment, affected the girls, for it lingered around them expecting some kind of words, perhaps another yell, another comment, and Rory could tell from the way it lay most heavily on her straightened shoulders that it was her turn to say something, anything, in response to what had just been lay out. She tried to recall what she'd thought last night; she'd written out what would happen in her head, what she would say, how best to calm the enraged mutation of a conflict that she had with her mother right now. It didn't come to her- that planned conversation seemed stupid and all-too unrealistic now that it was playing in her brain. What was needed now was…she didn't know. She closed her eyes and began her search for the right words.
"Mom, I'm sorry."
This 'sorry', unlike the first one, seemed more pointed, and as it was unaccompanied with another phrase, Lorelai had to regard it. She did so warily, with a guarded response although she wanted it to mean that everything was going to be all right again.
"For being…I dunno… I understand why you're angry, I do, It's just that…" her voice wavered and tears bubbled in Rory eyes. She tried her best not to let them show. "I wish I still wanted…what I've always wanted…I wish that…" she carefully wiped her eyes with her shirtsleeve. Her voice was so soft now that Lorelai almost had to strain to hear it. "I wish that…this…feeling…like I'm not doing it right or well enough would go away…But it won't…I wish I could make it…"
"Rory…" Lorelai whispered, in a partially shocked, partially tender voice. She still felt that the people from Candid Camera were going to jump out of her unused washing machine shouting, 'HA! SHE GOT YOU TO GO SOFT! GOTCHA!" at any moment, but her anger was starting to melt away. It couldn't be the twisted look of desperation that was now on her daughter's face, it couldn't be the way Rory's tears magnified the clear blue of her eyes and glued her dark eyelashes into triangles, or the way this moment reminded Lorelai of every other moment when Rory was hurt and sad and confused and went to her, not anyone else…Could it be?
"I just want to know," Rory said, tears now streaming down her face, "If this is really what I want to do, or is it just because it's been what I've wanted to do for so long that- I- I just automatically do it…"
"I hate fighting with you! I hate it!" She sobbed violently, now, her whole body shaking. She sat down at the table and put her head down.
"I hate it, too," Lorelai said quietly, controlling her voice, or at least making an attempt.
What was she supposed to do? She couldn't hold off the motherly impulse to comfort Rory forever, but there was still that stubborn feeling that spoiled it. And pride. Stupid pride.
She wished Luke were there. She wish she could immediately conjure him up and have him as her 'good angel' on her right shoulder so that he could grudgingly direct her what to do for the rest of her life. That would be nice.
Finally, she sighed, and hurried over to her daughter, rubbing her back. Rory hiccuped. Both of their hair was completely tangled.
"Shhh…" Lorelai whispered, as comfortingly as she could, because she had nothing else to say. "Shhhh."
Oh, lord. Angst overload. Too much angst?Review, m'dears, review. Tell me what you think even if it won't make me happy. I have other things for that (dirty.)
I feel kind of guilty for the excessively long review i had at first. i hope you bore with it.