A once in a lifetime love
A love like we've all dreamed of
It may go disguised right before your eyes
A once in a lifetime love
-Alan Jackson-

…Luke took a deep breath and opened his eyes to the pale rose wash of light surrounding him. He took another deep breath of the crisp air, savoring the cool sweetness of it; and another deep breath to take in the warmth of the rich dawn light and the scent of roses and daisies in the hushed air.

Above him, covering the arch of the chuppa that he had built for Lorelai, was a shivering canopy of washed blue silk. Beneath its quiet dance, Luke waited, as he always had, knowing that what he wanted was more than worth the wait.

For several heartbeats, the only sound that he could hear was the simple cadence of the snowflakes as they fell with a fragile whisper against the cloth above him. Then, the beginning strains of 'Canon in D Major' drifted gently amongst the delicate crystals of the first snowfall, lending an ethereal quality to the moment.

Luke turned his attention the pink daisy strewn path that lead to the chuppa. He caught his breath and felt his heartbeat leap as he finally saw what he had been waiting for.

Lorelai began her walk toward him, the white train of her dress flowing out behind her and snowflakes glittering in her dark hair. Luke watched, the sight of her beauty filling his eyes, his heart, and his soul. When she finally reached him, he whispered, "You look beautiful."

"It's the dress," she whispered back, irrepressible, even now.

Luke smiled, knowing that it was that playful, wild spirit that had first drawn him to her; made him love her. He lost himself in the bright blue of her eyes as he said quietly, his voice deep and rich, "I love you, Lorelai. I have always loved you. I will always love you."

Gently, he took her left hand in his and carefully slipped the elegant gold band on her finger.

Lorelai mirrored Luke's action, taking his left hand in hers.

"Luke, you're all I want. You're all I need. You're everything. I love you."

She slipped the broad, simple gold band over his finger.

Luke's hands went to Lorelai's waist where they lay warm against the rich white fabric.

"You are the love of my life," he whispered.

Tenderly, he pulled her to him and brought his lips to hers, losing himself in the sweetness of her kiss…

Luke woke with a gasp as he sat up from his slumped position in the chair, his heartbeat racing with the memory of his dream. The sound of his alarm clock was a buzz in the background as he ran a shaking hand over his face. He looked to his left hand, almost expecting to see a gold band there, so real had his dream felt.

"Oh man," he murmured, still feeling the warmth of the kiss that he and the Lorelai of his dream had shared.

Luke ran another shaking hand over his face and through his hair.

"Oh man," he repeated once more before shaking his head slightly to clear it of the dream and getting up to make a start of his Saturday…

The crisp light of a Stars Hallow winter sky filled Luke's diner, streaming in through the large windows and washing over the last of the Saturday morning breakfast crowd. They were mostly regulars this morning that had braved the first snowfall to make into Luke's for a warm breakfast, though there were one or two tourists that stared in strange fascination at the locals surrounding them.

"Coffee, coffee, coffee," Luke heard the familiar plea as Lorelai came in, glittering with snowflakes from the gentle fall outside.

He felt the familiar initial skip of his heart upon seeing her, and welcomed the momentary breathlessness that always accompanied his first sight of Lorelai. Then, just as quickly, he covered the quiet longing with the beginning of his normal rant about the Stars Hallow re-enactors. "Look at them."

"Another beautiful thing about the first snowfall," Lorelai responded happily as she settled at the counter while Luke poured her a large blue mug of coffee.

"It's ridiculous," Luke mumbled.

"Oh come on Luke, it's a part of the first snowfall. It's one of the things that the first snowfall is for."

Lorelai met Luke's deep blue eyes with her own, and blushed slightly as she remembered what else she had told him first snowfalls were for.

Luke smiled slightly, saying nothing until Lorelai returned his smile with a quiet one of her own.

"Luke, we need some more coffee here, or are you going to stand talking all day with Lorelai, ignoring your other customers," Taylor called over in an superior and self-important tone.

"Oh, yeah, beautiful," Luke grumbled as he went to fill up the freshly empty cups of the re-enactors. As he was filling up their cups, Rory bounced in, gave a cheerful hello, and made her way over to where her mom sat at the counter.

"I'm sorry about last night," Rory said by way of greeting. "Paris was in rare form and there was no convincing her that we had a life outside of Chilton and The Franklin."

"Hey, no problem. I understand. I've met Paris, remember? Better to keep on the good-side of Napoleon, at least until a good Wellington comes along."

Rory smiled at her mother and then turned to Luke as he finally stepped back behind the counter.

"Coffee?" He asked the girl.

"Yes, please. Thanks." Rory beamed at him as he filled another large mug for Lorelai's daughter with a small nod, before walking off to help his other customers.

"So it was okay then?" Rory asked as she turned back to her mother.

"Oh yeah," Lorelai answered, taking the another sip of her coffee and setting the mug down before continuing. "Luke brought food and stayed to watch the movie with me. Can you believe he's never seen 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' before?"

"Really?" Rory asked in surprise.

"Yeah, I mean, classic right?" Lorelai managed to say before her daughter interrupted her.

"No, I mean, really, you watched movies with Luke? You had a movie night with Luke? I didn't think Luke was a movie sort of guy."

"I'm not," Luke said as he overheard the last part when he came back to refill Lorelai's already empty mug of coffee.

"Or a snow angel sort of guy either," Lorelai added before she could stop herself.

Luke felt his heart skip another beat as Lorelai quickly took a sip of her coffee to cover her confusion and chagrin. And watching her, Luke had the not unfamiliar question come to mind of what it would be like to kiss Lorelai. He wondered what would have happened the other night if Babette hadn't interrupted them. And Luke wondered what it would be like to finally sweep Lorelai up in his arms and tell her that he loved her.

Rory looked back and forth between the oddly acting pair and opened her mouth to ask what was going on just as Luke spoke.

"Oh, hey," he said quickly, trying to turn his thoughts from the dangerous direction that they were turning in. "I noticed that your front porch railing is loose again. You should get that fixed before winter really sets in. Why don't I stop by this afternoon to fix it?"

Lorelai lowered her cup. "Oh sure, that'd be great."

"Around two then?"

"Ah, sure. Two. That'd be fine."

"Okay," Luke said.


Suddenly, there was a crash from the kitchen and Luke rushed back to check on what was going on in back.

"Okay, spill." Rory demanded. "Something happened. What happened?"

"Nothing. I told you. Luke stayed to watch the movie. Then he went home," Lorelai responded rapidly.

"Snow angels,' Rory prompted just as Luke came storming out of the kitchen shooing Kirk before him and towards the door.

"Out!" Luke growled.

"I've been wondering lately what it would be like to be a diner owner," the eccentric young man was trying to explain.

"Out!" Luke growled again, herding Kirk toward the door. "And don't let me find you back in my kitchen again!"

Both Rory and Lorelai watched in horrified amusement, their conversation lost in the entertainment of seeing yet another Stars Hallow moment…

Rory snatched up her yellow backpack and headed to the door just as the doorbell rang.

"I got it!" She called to her mom in the kitchen.

The young girl opened the door to find Luke standing there, a large gray toolbox in his hand.

"Mom, it's Luke, and he brought Bert," she called out, referring to the name that they had christened the toolbox with.

"Oh good. Hello Bert," Lorelai said as she walked over to the foyer from the direction of the kitchen a strawberry pop tart in her hand.

"I really wish you won't do that," Luke said.

"What?" Lorelai asked innocently, smiling brightly.

"Refer to my toolbox as Bert."

"Dirty," Lorelai teased, just to get a reponse.

"Jeez," Luke said, much to Lorelai's amusement.

Rory hid a smile. "Well, I'm off to Lane's."

"Bye hun. See you later," Lorelai said as her daughter stepped out the front door. She turned back to Luke, making the pop tart as visible as possible in her hand. A smile played over her lips as she waited for the inevitable.

"Those things'll take five years off of your life you know," Luke's voice finally rumbled quietly.

Lorelai's small smile turned to a bright grin. "Yeah, but it'll be those five years where I would've ended up wearing fushia lipstick way above my lip line and talking about calla lilies in the spring."

Luke shook his head slightly and Lorelai laughed lightly.

Finally, Luke smiled back quietly before he spoke. "So, I'm going to get started on the railing, I want to get it done before it gets dark, or starts snowing again."

"Sure, yeah. Do you need anything?" She asked.

"No, I'm okay. I should be done here before dark."

Lorelai nodded quietly before she said, "Thank you Luke," kissing him impulsively on the cheek.

He tried to not notice how soft her hair was as it brushed his neck, or how intoxicating her scent was as he inhaled. And most definitely, he tried to not think back to his dream and how wonderful it had felt to hold Lorelai and kiss her, telling her that he loved her.

"But," she teased as she pulled back. "Don't think that this is going to make me forget that you still owe me a snow angel." She smiled mischievously as Luke shook his head…

Luke finally set his toolbox down in an out of the way in a corner of the entryway, opening the lid to place the list that Lorelai had given him, inside. Then he latched the lid closed and stepped out of the front door. Lorelai looked up from where she sat on the top porch step, her hands wrapped around a warm mug of coffee.

"Oh, where's Bert? Is he staying?" She asked, smiling.

"I'll come back later to finish up the list," Luke replied simply as he stepped out onto the porch and into the dusky evening light, adjusting his gloves as he prepared to head home to the diner.

Lorelai set her coffee down and stood up. "Hey, Luke?"

Luke looked up and over, meeting Lorelai's bright blue eyes. She held his gaze and spoke sincerely, her voice going soft. "I, umm, I just want you to know that we, that I, really do appreciate everything that you do for me, and for Rory."

With Lorelai standing there, her eyes warm and inviting, the rich light of dusk creating a halo around her, Luke found himself thinking about his dream. Unbidden, the memory of seeing her walking toward him, smiling, in her wedding gown, filled his mind's eye.

He felt his heart skip a beat and his breath catch. For several moments, he was speechless, lost as he was in overwhelming longing.

"Luke? Luke, are you okay?" Lorelai asked.

"Oh, oh yeah," he answered, shaking himself free of the moment.

He turned to look out over the snow that was falling heavily now, creating a thicker blanket of white over everything.

"Ugh," he muttered. Under his breath he started to grumble about freezing water, and what a pain it was to shovel from the sidewalk, and the way that it froze fingers and toes.

"Luke,' Lorelai admonished. "You need to make snow feel welcome. When it feels welcome, it'll keep you safe and protected and bring you beautiful things." She smiled brightly at the grumbling diner owner.

"Besides," she continued, hopping down the front porch stairs and into the snow.

"Wait, don't tell me. Second snows are for something too."

"Of course not," she teased.

Luke looked relieved.

"There's no such thing as a second snow. After the first one, it's all just snow." She smiled mischievously and reached down into the glittering blanket of snow at her feet.

Luke shook his head slightly, secretly amused by yet more strange Lorelai logic.

Still reaching down as if simply enjoying the feel of the tingling cool snow, she said, "And all this lovely snow, is for sleigh rides, and snow women…"

She stood up quickly, a lightly packed snowball in her hand. "And snowball fights," she said quickly, throwing the snowball in Luke's direction before he could respond.

He was startled enough that Lorelai had a chance to make and throw another lightly packed snowball before he growled out her name in warning. She laughed lightly, the bright sound of it dancing through the crisp air. She threw yet another snowball in Luke's direction, hitting him squarely in the chest.

With a soft growl, Luke was down the steps and moving in Lorelai's direction. She giggled and ran, clumsily trying to continue to make and throw snowballs at Luke. With a playful smirk, Luke finally lobbed a snowball back at Lorelai with unerring aim. It hit her with a soft thump.

Lorelai gave a surprised laugh and tried to keep up her end of the skirmish. Eventually, as each snowball she made missed Luke and each one he threw hit her with a soft thump, Lorelai gave up and made a run for the door.

They were well out into the yard, and Lorelai had to weave and duck as she made a break for the chuppa, to dash through it and then to the porch.

"Oh, no you don't Lorelai Gilmore," Luke laughed, giving chase. "You started this."

Lorelai laughed breathlessly and continued her dash for the chuppa. Suddenly, two very strong arms wrapped themselves around her waist as Luke caught her. He spun with her in his arms once before they both tumbled to the ground beneath the chuppa, laughing as Luke landed on his back with Lorelai landing on top of him.

"See," she laughed breathlessly. "That's what snow is for. So no more of this frozen menace talk," she admonished.

"All right," he conceded. "You win," he relented, looking into her shining eyes and trying very hard to not notice how pleasant it was to feel her light weight over him.

"Of course I do," she replied lightly, meeting his amused blue eyes with her own.

Luke reached up with both hands to gently brush back the damp curling tendrils of her hair that had slipped forward. He lay his hands lightly to cup her cheeks as she shivered slightly. Tenderly, he brought her head down to kiss her forehead before he murmured, "You're going to freeze out here in all this snow that isn't a frozen menace."

Lorelai nodded and got up carefully, Luke following suit and starting to brush snow from his clothes until he looked up and met Lorelai's eyes.

"What?" he half laughed when he saw her watching him with a quiet thoughtful expression.

He reached over to gently brush snowflakes from her dark hair and she shivered slightly as Luke felt the moment shift from playful, to something deeper and more intense. He looked into her eyes and remembered his dream of standing beneath the chuppa with Lorelai.

"Beautiful," he murmured, stepping closer to her.

"Luke," she whispered.

He reached for her then, placing his hands on her waist and drawing her to him. She reached up and brushed her hands through his hair now that it was finally free of the baseball cap that had tumbled into the snow.

"Lorelai," he whispered her name like a prayer full of longing.

He started to lean in to kiss her, his heartbeat racing.


Luke and Lorelai sprang apart as they heard Rory's voice as she raced up the porch steps and through the front door.

"Mom! Where are you? You're never going to believe what happened at Miss Patty's," Rory called as she entered the house looking for her mother.

For a moment, Luke and Lorelai were frozen where they stood the few inches apart that they had stepped back from each other.

"Lorelai," Luke whispered, his voice low and thick with conflicting emotion.

He wanted very much to ignore the warning in his head that told him to step back; to let the moment pass. For once, he wanted to follow through with the impulse to kiss her. This once, he wanted to feel the longing that he always felt for Lorelai, but normally suppressed.

"Lorelai," he whispered once more, and she stepped toward him.

But before they could close the final distance between them, Rory's voice called from the porch. "Mom? Are you out here?"

Lorelai finally turned and called to her daughter. "I'm here."

She gave Luke a chagrined, apologetic look, then headed over to her daughter standing in the doorway. Luke reached down to pick up his fallen baseball cap and followed.

"So, what happened at Miss Patty's?"

"Hey, Luke," Rory greeted him.

"So I'm going to get going," he said simply. "I'll be around later to finish that other stuff on the list."

Lorelai looked over to him an embarrassed almost uncomfortable look in her blue eyes. "Thanks, Luke. Really, thanks so much."

"It's no problem. See you tomorrow."

"Yeah, tomorrow."

Luke started to head back to the diner, rubbing his hands to keep them warm.

"You didn't mom," Luke heard as he walked away. "You didn't give Luke another big list. Is that why Bert is here? You…"

Rory's voice cut off as she and her mother entered the house…

Luke looked up from the register when he heard the soft knocking on the glass door. Lorelai stood on the other side, backlit by the street lamps. She gave him a smile and gestured that he should open the door for her.

With a quiet sigh, he stepped away from the counter and went to open the door.

"Okay, even for you, it's a little late for coffee isn't it?"

Lorelai ducked under his arm and into the diner as he sighed and turned to face her, the door swinging shut.

"First, I did not come for coffee," she replied. "And second," she said, a mock serious look on her face, "it is never too late for coffee."

Luke smirked and head back over to the register. "So what do you need?"

"I wanted to talk about before."

Luke ignored the quick skip of his heart and keep his voice casual. "Before?"

"Umm, yeah, before…you know, before…" She gestured vaguely with her hands.

Suddenly, Luke didn't want her to continue. No matter what she was going to say, he didn't want her to talk. He didn't want to hear some speech about being good friends. And he didn't want to hear her stumble through the words that she was looking for, even if it was to say that she wanted him. Because he knew that she wasn't ready; not yet.

What he did want, was her. He wanted her everyday and every night. And he wanted everything; all of her; forever. He wanted Lorelai Gilmore like no one before. And he was willing to wait if it meant that he could have that. He could wait, if it meant that someday, his dream of her in a white dress and in his arms could come true.

So he interrupted her. "I have something for you in the back."

"Oh, oh okay," she replied, losing momentum for what ever she had been preparing to say. She sat down at the counter as Luke ducked back into the kitchen.

Luke came back out carrying a pie tray that he sat down in front of her.

Lorelai looked down at the white cheesecake that Luke had set down on the counter. On the top of the pie, was the shape of a snow angel that Luke had created with a knife. He smiled.

Lorelai looked up from the cheesecake, her smile bright and her blue eyes shining happily.

As Luke looked into the blue eyes of the woman he secretly cherished, he knew that he could wait forever for a once in a lifetime love…