Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls, if I did, Luke and Lorelai would still be together. I didn't make any money from this and no copyright infringement is intended. Any similarity to any other story not my own is coincidence.

Title: Once in a Lifetime Love
Genre: Gilmore Girls; javajunkie; fluff
Rating: PG
Timeline: The first few seasons when L&L are still just in denial and flirting *grin*
Author's Note: Story breaks indicated by boldface and ellipses.

But every time I'm close to you
there's too much I can't say
and you just walk away,
and I forgot to tell you I love you...
-Sarah McLachlan-

~Lorelai spread her arms out wide and spun in a giddy circle, her boots making soft crunching noises in the snow. She tilted her head back, closed her eyes, and stuck out her tongue to catch sweet cool snowflakes that melted like sugar in her mouth.

She spun until she was dizzy on her feet and she giggled in delight. Her light laugh carried in the crisp evening air as she fell back to make a snow angel in the white blanket of snow beneath her.

"What are you doing?"

Lorelai opened her eyes and looked up into the face of 'her Luke.'

She hopped up. "Come on Luke, enjoy my present with me!"

Lorelai reached for Luke's hands and tried to get him to spin in a circle with her, but he stood still, giving her his patented, 'Lorelai's crazy' look.

"Come on, Luke," she pouted playfully. "Please," she asked, smiling brightly at him. She stepped closer, close enough that if they leaned ever so slightly, they would have been able to kiss. "Please, come play," she smiled charmingly at him.

Luke's lips quirked in a half smile. "Dirty," he teased, and let himself be pulled into a spin.

They spun in wide circles together until they were both too dizzy to stand and eventually collapsed back into the soft blanket of snow. Lorelai began making snow angels, but stopped and turned her head to where Luke lay, when she noticed that he was not making angels with her.

"Come on, Luke," she reasoned. "You have to make angels. That's what the first snowfall is for, angels, and cocoa, and kisses."

"Kisses," he murmured as he rolled on his side to face Lorelai lying next to him.

"Kisses," she whispered back as she rolled to face him, scooting close enough to touch.

He reached for her then, and his lips were soft and gentle as he kissed her. She deepened the kiss, pushing gently so that Luke lay back and she could lay over him. They kept kissing, and kissing, until she was certain that the snow was going to start melting around them. Hands began to move…~

*Beep…Beep…Beep…* The alarm blared on the table next to Lorelai's bed, waking her from her deep sleep. She bolted up in her bed gasping.

"Oh boy," she muttered. She ran a hand over her face, her fingers lingering for a moment on her lips. They still seemed to tingle with remembered warmth from 'dream Luke's' kiss. "Oh boy," she repeated.

"Mom!" Rory called from downstairs. "Come on, we're going to be late!"

Lorelai glanced at the time on her fuzzy clock and hopped out of bed with a look of controlled panic. Quickly, she dashed about her bedroom, dressing in her jewel blue skirt and sky blue sweater.

"Mom!" Rory's voice called up urgently once more.

"Rory, Mommy's hurrying," she called back in a sing-song voice. "Why don't you go start the car?"

Lorelai heard her daughter at the foot of the stairs, grabbing the keys. She hopped down the stairs, trying to get on her heels.

"Stupid heels," Lorelai muttered. "Stupid alarm clock, stupid waking up early on a Friday morning."

Lorelai finally got both heels on and made her way out the door and to the rumbling Jeep in which her daughter waited. As she got in the driver's side and began maneuvering the Jeep out of the driveway, Rory asked, "Are you okay, Mom?"

"Sure I am, why?"

"Well, your sweater's on inside out," Rory pointed out.

Lorelai rolled her eyes with and expression of 'of course,' before she explained to her daughter. "I didn't sleep well. Let's just chalk this one up to not enough coffee yesterday."

Rory smiled slightly. "Well, you can make up for it today I'm sure."

Lorelai smiled back.

"Double Feature Friday tonight?" Lorelai asked her daughter.

"Well, Paris is making us have an emergency meeting for the Franklin."

"Emergency meeting?"

"Yeah, this issue is being submitted for 'Excellence in School Journalism' and it's got Paris even more crazy and stressed than usual."

"Can that girl be more crazy and stressed?" Lorelai asked, her voice incredulous.

Rory smiled slightly. "Actually, yeah, believe it or not. But this award is really important. We're talking, 'you like me, you really, really like me' important."

"Okay, 'Sally', then maybe only one movie, no double feature."

Rory nodded. "You pick, but make it a good one. After Paris gives us troops the Crispin's Day encouragement by way of Adolf, I'll need the comfort of a good movie and a burger from Luke's."

"Oh, the pressure," Lorelai teased. "How 'bout Willy Wonka. No one can resist the Oompa Loompas."

"Mom, only you can't resist them. And after not sleeping well, do you really want to risk another strange dream?" Rory asked, smiling, referring to her mother's oft mentioned dream of the dancing Oompa Loompas.

The teasing comment unintentionally brought Lorelai's dream of last night into her thoughts. For a moment, she found herself wondering if real Luke's lips would be as soft and sweet as 'dream Luke's' had been. She began smiling without realizing it.

"Ground control to major Tom…"Rory sang quietly, amused by her mother.

"Mom?" Rory asked, waiting for a response. "Mom?"

"What?" Lorelai's focus came back as she realized that Rory had been talking to her.

Rory smiled quietly, "Never mind." The girl pulled one of her ever present books out of her backpack and started reading as Lorelai firmly drove all thoughts of Luke and his lips from her mind…

…Lorelai sighed quietly as she set the phone back on the table just as knock came at the door. She opened it to see Luke holding two large bags of take out.

"Oh, thanks, Luke."

"What's wrong?" He asked, his voice concerned as he saw her sad expression.

"Oh, nothing major. It's just that Rory and I had a Friday movie night planned, but she just called to say that she had some school stuff that's going to run late so she's going to stay over night at a friend's house."

"Well, I'd ask if you still want all this food then, but I already know the answer to that."

Lorelai smiled and took the bags from him and walked into the living room to put them on the coffee table before she came back to where Luke was standing in the doorway.

Suddenly, she smiled brightly as inspiration struck. "Why don't you stay for movie night?"

"I should really get back to the diner. I left Ceasar there and…"

"And he can watch the diner and close up. Stay Luke, please," Lorelai pleaded, interrupting him. She smiled sweetly.

"Lorelai," he said, knowing even as he protested, that he would give in.

"Just for a little bit, Luke," she smiled even more brightly.

"For a few minutes," he grumped softly.

Lorelai did a little bounce on her toes and clapped before she walked back into the living room to set out the food and put in the movie.

"Salad?" Lorelai asked in disbelief as Luke followed her into the living room, taking off his coat and setting it down.

She held up the clear container of salad as if in accusation.

"It's good for you."

"Pah," Lorelia scoffed and popped a hot fry into her mouth.

Luke simply shook his head as Lorelai giggled and plopped down on the couch, hitting the play button on the remote. When Luke was still standing as Holly Golightly began walking across the screen, headed to Tiffany's, she motioned for him to come sit down next to her.

"Come on, a few minutes, Luke." She reached for the salad and held it out in his direction.

"Eat this. You wouldn't want Rory seeing it and becoming all anxious. She'd start looking around for pods, wondering where her mother went if she saw me with it."

Lorelai laughed softly as Luke rolled his eyes slightly over her comment.

"Here," Luke said, reaching for the salad and settling down on the couch next to Lorelai. "What are you watching?" He asked.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's." When Lorelai saw Luke's utter lack of recognition of the movie's title, she shook her head in mock disappointment.

"Where have you been living, a cave? Breakfast at Tiffany's, only the perfect Audrey Hepburn classic, fabulous clothes, a love story, and coffee."

Luke smiled slightly as he heard the utter delight that Lorelai had when saying coffee.

Lorelai grinned, and turned her attention back to the movie. After a few moments though, she found herself watching Luke. Specifically, she found herself watching his lips. She found herself thinking that he actually had rather attractive lips; lips that looked like they would be very nice to kiss; very nice to be kissed by. And once again, Lorelai found herself wondering if the real Luke's kiss would be as nice as her 'dream Luke's' had been.

"What?" Luke asked, startling Lorelai out of her thoughts and causing her to blush slightly as she realized that she had spent the last several moments staring at the man sitting next to her.

"What?" She asked, trying to cover.

"You were staring at me. What's wrong?"

Luke reached for a napkin and wiped his mouth. "Better?" He asked, a small smile playing over his lips.

"Oh? Oh, yeah, better," she answered and resolutely turned her attention back to the movie.

Luke shook his head fondly, knowing that he would never understand the woman sitting next to him; not if he had a hundred lifetimes to spend with her; not even if he ever got the chance to spend this one lifetime with her.

"Oh, I love this part," Lorelai suddenly sighed. "It's so sweet," she smiled unabashedly, free of the mocking tone that she often had when watching even the classic movies that she loved. On the television screen, Peppard was tucking Audrey into her bed, gently brushing back her dark hair and giving her a kiss on the forehead.

Lorelai turned to look at Luke, wanting to see his reaction. A small smile still lingered on her lips. Luke smiled quietly in response and reached over to brush back a stray lock of her hair. His eyes were warm and inviting, and Lorelai found herself leaning forward. The moment hung there trembling on the breath between them, when suddenly Lorelai panicked and broke it.

"Of course, Mickey Rooney trying to drink his tea…" she said, turning back to the screen. "Now that might be the best. Inspired casting there," she covered, trying to calm her racing heart.

"I should go."

"Oh no, Luke, stay," she said, turning back to him. "You can't miss the end of this one. It's almost perfect."

When he said nothing, she explained, "To be truly perfect, it would have had to have snow."

"Of course," Luke replied dryly.

Lorelai smiled brightly. "Watch, you'll see."

She settled back when Luke sighed and settled back himself to watch the rest of the movie…

…The blue light of the blank television screen flickered over the two figures on the couch. Somewhere between 'Moon River' and the end of the movie, both Lorelai and Luke had fallen asleep.

Now, Lorelai's head lay lightly on Luke's shoulder and her knees were tucked up close. One of his arms was around her shoulders, holding her gently near, and his other hand held hers where it rested on his lap. His own head was leaned so that his cheek rested on top of Lorelai's head.

Outside, a gentle snow was falling. Already a soft blanket of white lay over the grass and trees, glittering under the last of the morning stars and the still glowing moon.

Lorelai opened her eyes slowly and smiled. "Snow," she whispered.

Carefully, trying to not wake Luke, Lorelai slipped out of his embrace and tip toed to the window to look out. "Snow," she whispered once more, her voice hushed and happy.

She tip toed over to the foyer and slipped on her boots and her coat and stepped outside. Once out in the yard, she began to spin, arms outstretched. She turned in giddy circles, around and around, until she was too dizzy to remain standing. She fell back into the already deep blanket of white and closed her eyes.

Happily, she moved her arms and legs, making a snow angel. She stuck her tongue out and savored the cool sweetness of snowflakes melting in her mouth.

"What are you doing?"

Lorelai opened her eyes to see Luke looking down over her. He was wearing his expression of fond bemusement with a look in his blue eyes that said, 'what is she doing now?"

"Snow," she giggled happily.

Luke simply shook his head and held out a hand to help her up.

"Come on Luke," she reached for his hand. "The first snowfall is for angels, cocoa, and kisses," and she pulled him down to his knees next to her as she sat up.

She looked into his dark blue eyes and found herself thinking back to her dream of the other night.

"Kisses," he murmured, his voice thick and husky with sudden emotion.

"Kisses," she whispered back, her own voice trembling slightly.

They were so close now that they could feel the breath between them.

"Oh Sugar! Are you okay? Did you fall?" Babette called from her porch where she was stepping out to get her morning paper.

Lorelai blushed fiercely as turned to look in her neighbor's direction. "I'm okay, Babette. Thanks."

"Luke, you'll help our poor girl inside won't you?"

"I'll help her, thanks Babette," Luke called over.

Babette nodded and headed back inside her house.

Luke helped Lorelai up and they stood awkwardly facing each other.

"Well," Luke stammered, embarrassed. "I should get back to the diner. Need to open soon."

"Yeah, of course," Lorelai tripped over her own words, "of course."

"So," he drew out his words. "See you later."


Luke stepped back, still awkward as he ducked his head, adjusting his ever present blue cap. But when he looked up, his eyes found hers.

"Maybe next time," he said softly, and stepped forward to kiss Lorelai's forehead before he turned to go. She couldn't see his smile, but Lorelai felt the one on her own lips as he walked away…