Disclaimer: Now, for my next trick, I will state the obvious (grin) The Gilmore Girls belong to Amy Sherman-Palladino and the grand high Mucky Mucks of the WB. The show and the stars deserve Emmys. I am making less than nothing from this and no copyright infringement is intended. Any similarity to any other story not my own is coincidence.

"One More Time;" Message in a Bottle; Laura Pasini.

Rating: PG for language.

Timeline: Between "Wedding Bell Blues" and "So...Good Talk" (Season 5)

Author's Notes: I just got to thinking, what would Lorelai do if she made a "Luke Box?"

No More Candlelight

Nothing I must do
Nowhere I should be
No one in my life
To answer to but me

No more candlelight
No more purple skies
No one to be near
As my heart slowly dies

If I could hold you one more time
like in the days when you where mine
I'd look at you 'till I was blind
So you would stay

I'd say a prayer each time you'd smile
Cradle the moments like a child
I'd stop the world if only I
Could hold you one more time

I've memorized your face
I know your touch by heart
Still lost in your embrace
I'd dream of where you are

Dream of where you are

If I could hold you one more time
Like in the days when you were mine
I'd look at you 'till I was blind
So you would stay

I'd say a prayer each time you'd smile
Cradle the moments like a child
I'd stop the world if only I
Could hold you one more time

One more time…

Lorelai took a deep breath and dropped the cardboard box to her feet as she stood in front of her bedroom closet.

"I can do this," she said into the still air of the room. "I can do this," she repeated, willing the words to be the truth.

She took another deep breath and opened the closet door. "Okay," she said, talking herself through it. "So far so good." She scooted the box forward and reached into the clothes that were hanging there.

She spotted a flash of pink, and plucked the dress that she had worn to Liz and T.J's wedding from its hanger. "Okay," she told herself, "Now throw it in the box." But her hands refused to follow her command, and they clung to the fabric, her fingers tracing the patterns on the silk.

Unbidden, memory intruded, and Lorelai could do nothing but remember the feeling of Luke holding her close as they waltzed. She could practically smell his clean, warm scent, and feel the strength and gentleness of his arms as she stood there, lost in the remembrance. Her heart ached and she wanted nothing more in that moment, than to be back in his arms.

"No," she told herself firmly, forcing her hands to drop the dress in the box at her feet. Determined, she reached into the closet again.

This time, she pulled out the green blouse and skirt that she had worn for the Dragonfly's test run. She dropped the skirt into the box. "See," she told herself, "I can do this." But no matter how she tried, she couldn't seem to drop the green blouse into the box with its matching skirt. She wrapped it in her hands, and tried desperately to not cry.

Finally, after several moments, she got a hold of herself, and forced her hands to release the blouse. It dropped into the box like a leaf falling.

She turned away from the closet, only to find herself facing the bed. She took a shaky breath.

"Dresser," she said, choosing to change tactics.

She scooted the box along the floor and opened the second drawer of her dresser. She pulled out an innocuous looking pair of black jeans.

"Nothing special," she reassured herself. "Of course, if they were nothing special they wouldn't be going into the box. So I guess they're something. But they're not something that's going to make me cry."

Lorelai took a deep breath. "Oh my God, would you listen to me babbling to myself? Just put them in the box Lorelai. Put them in the box and keep going. Oh my God, I'm still doing it."

She took several deep breaths, closed her mouth, and dropped the jeans into the box. She reached for the top of the dresser and picked up the necklace and earrings that Luke had given her.

Suddenly, the room felt entirely too close and she couldn't breath.

"Okay, next room. We'll just go to another room," she said weakly.

Lorelai dropped the jewelry into the box and bent down to pick it up. She practically ran out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the living room. She stood at the foot of the stairs, clutching the box tightly.

"Okay, this is good, this is good," she spoke into the still air of the room. "Except that that's the window he fixed, and the lamp he bought to replace the one he broke when we chased down Stella, and the banister he repaired."

She felt tears threaten as she looked around the quiet living room. "The couch where we've kissed," she whispered.

With leaden feet, and still clutching the cardboard box tightly in her hands, Lorelai made her way out of the living room and past the entryway. As she walked through the house and into the kitchen doorway, her mind created a running list. "The lock on the front door; the lock on the back door; all the crazy ways to get into my house. He replaced the front porch light and fixed the kitchen window latch."

Desperately, she turned from the kitchen and walked into Rory's room. But even that room wasn't safe she realized, when she caught sight of the book shelf that Luke had built for Rory when she was in Chilton.

Blindly, Lorelai stumbled out of Rory's room and back to the entryway. With no other thought but that of escape, she opened the front door and stepped out into the chilled afternoon air.

Unbidden, memories of Luke overwhelmed her. She gasped, thinking of the porch railing that he had fixed, sitting with him on the steps and simply talking, and kissing him by the glow of the porch light. "That he replaced," she gasped.

"Oh God," she sobbed, finally dropping the box. "Oh God."

Lorelai raised a trembling hand to her lips, drowning in the memory of Luke's lips on hers. "Oh my God," she sobbed, falling inexorably down to the ground. She brought her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She gasped, sobbing and rocking back and forth.

"Oh God, oh God, oh God…"

"Luke," she sobbed with a sound like her heart shattering into a million lost pieces…

"Mom? Mom?" Rory, knelt down next to her mother where she still sat, though the sun had long since set and the air hadturned frigid.

Dimly, Lorelai registered the concerned voice of her daughter.

"Mom? What's wrong? Oh God, Mom, answer me." Rory's voice took on a quiet edge of panic.

"The whole house," Lorelai replied quietly, her voice sounding distant to her own ears.

"What?" Rory asked, confused.

"The whole house, Rory. It's the whole house."

"Mom, you're not making any sense. What about the whole house?"

"I tried to make a 'Luke box,' but I couldn't. I just couldn't. The whole house is a 'Luke box'; everything," Lorelai sobbed.

"Mom," Rory said quietly, at a loss for what to do; what to say.

Lorelai finally turned haunted blue eyes to her daughter. "How do I do it, Rory? How I do I move on when he's everything?"

Rory had no answer. She had never seen her mother so lost or broken, or in so much pain; not with Max, or even Christopher, Rory's father.

"Oh God, Rory, I really think Luke was the 'one.' And now he's gone…" Lorelai bit back a sob. "He's everything, and it's all here." Lorelai started to rock back and forth slowly.

Rory reached for her mom and wrapped her arms around her.

"What do I do with everything?" Lorelai sobbed as Rory hugged her mother tight, rocking with her and making soothing sounds.

"I love him."

"I know mom. I know. Shh…it's going to be okay."

Rory rocked with her mom as Lorelai sobbed with a sound like her soul breaking…