Disclaimer: If I owned it, it would not have made into six years now :) Amy Sherman-Palladino owns the Gilmore Girls with the grand high Mucky Mucks of the WB, all I claim is the obsession with writing fuzzy warm javajunkie fanfiction. No money was made from this, nor was any copyright infringment intended. Any similarity to any stories not my own is coincidence.

"The First to Fall;" Terri Clark (sorry, I cannot for the life of me, remember the year or album)

Rating: This is more fluff than anything and I'd say it's only PG, though maybe an older PG

Timeline: After the proposal and answer of Season 6. Rory has dropped out of Harvard and is still living with her Grandparents.

Summary: Lorelai has one or two be birthday surprises for Luke!

Author's Notes: Okay, there's a couple. For one, this is javajunkie fanfiction all the way. And I am not ashamed to say that(hehehe) Also, this will be very AU starting tomorrow actually, so anyone reading it after this Tuesday, be aware that it is going to be nothing like what really happened. I do not know when the Founder's Day celebration really is, I only think that I remember the characters dressing warm during it, so I placed it sometime late September or in October. Also, I couldn't find Luke's "real" birthday. I only know that he's a Scorpio, so November 9th falls under this sign and that's about as close as I get. And for purposes of this story, I have assumed that Lorelai really isn't pregnant as a result of the magazine party night. The song is just what got me into this ficlit and it seems to suit L&L. :) Think that's all besides the time break being shown in boldface and ellipsis.


Of Apples and Birthday Wishes

I've had love and love's had me…I've been held and been set free…And I have lived enough to know…That you might stay or you might go…So here I am one more time…Call me brave call me blind…

I'm gonna count to three…I'm gonna hold my breath…Try not to be afraid…Though it scares me half to death…I'm out here on a limb…Although I know that it might break…My heart is gonna want you anyway…And if this love has any chance at all…Someone's gotta be the first to fall…

The best is just a touch away…We'll make forever day by day…It'd be a shame to let this go…

How sad to think we'd never know…How the morning light would fall on us…After we make all night in love…

I'm gonna count to three…I'm gonna hold my breath…Try not to be afraid…Though it scares me half to death…I'm out here on a limb…Although I know that it might break…My heart is gonna want you anyway…And if this love has any chance at all…Someone's gotta be the first to fall…

So here I am one more time…
Call me brave call me blind…

I'm gonna count to three…I'm gonna hold my breath…Try not to be afraid…Though it scares me half to death…I'm out here on a limb…Although I know that it might break…My heart is gonna want you anyway…And if this love has any chance at all…Someone's gotta be the first to fall …

Though she fairly hummed with excitement, Lorelai held herself still through sheer force of will. She clasped her hands firmly together and set them on her lap even though she longed to reach out to Luke where he slept peacefully next to her on the bed in his apartment. She concentrated on her breathing, keeping it slow and steady, even though she longed to wake Luke with a happy declaration of love and surprise. She wondered that he didn't hear her heartbeat, it was racing so loudly through her whole body.

Anxiously, she looked over to the old white alarm clock. It's numbers glowed softly in the autumn moonlight that poured in through the windows. As she watched, the hands slowly passed through a minute, bringing the time to five minutes before midnight.

Luke sighed softly in his sleep and Lorelai smiled as she took a moment to admire the man lying next to her. Her eyes traced his form hidden by the green comforter, and her smile turned a little wicked as she pictured in vivid detail everything that the comforter hid from sight. Her eyes traveled over his bare chest and arms, and she clasped her hands more firmly together as she felt the almost overwhelming urge to run her hands over Luke's strong muscles. Finally, her gaze drifted to his handsome face and she marveled at the way his lashes lay against his cheek. And she shivered slightly, thinking of his deep blue eyes and how they always looked so intense and gentle when he looked into her own eyes.

Luke sighed softly again and his lips curved into a small smile as he dreamed. Lorelai smiled herself seeing it, hoping that he was dreaming of her. She knew that she dreamed of him often, and she imagined that she smiled to herself in her sleep.

Her eyes drifted back to the clock, mildly frustrated that it said that it had only been a minute since she last checked. She glared at the clock. Then, as if mocking her, the hands slowly drifted to eleven fifty-seven, only to drop back to eleven forty-nine, then back to eleven fifty-eight.

She suppressed the urge to growl at the clock and made a mental note to buy Luke a new one. "Maybe a fuzzy teddy bear one with a baseball cap," she thought playfully, and almost giggled imagining Luke's reaction. It would almost be worth loosing coffee, "almost," she thought.

She turned then to reach for the watch that she had tossed carelessly on the small table next to the bed.

"12:01," she read to herself. She glared back at the white alarm clock that contradicted her watch by stubbornly reading 11:59.

Lorelai hesitated. It was important that it be 12:01 when she woke Luke. It wasn't his birthday unless it was 12:01. And, she was certain he was going to be a little grumpy at first when she woke him. She needed to have proof that it was all for a good cause. Not a lot of course, one smile and a kiss, and his grumbling would stop. "Well, maybe a few kisses," shethought wryly. But she had to have the right time as back-up. So she sighed inwardly, and forced herself to wait.

Lorelai decided to spend her time contemplating Luke's full, smiling lips. It wasn't hard at all to loose herself in pleasant memories of all the wonderful things associated with Luke's lips; the way he bantered with her, the way he said her name, how gently he said that he loved her. "Not to mention the amazing way he kisses," she thought happily, a warm feeling spreading through her at the thought.

When next she looked over to the stubborn alarm clock, she was surprised to see it steadily saying that it was 12:03.

She watched it a moment longer though as it slipped back to 12:01.

Not wanting to wait a moment longer, and willing to hope that the perverse thing would stick to 12:01, Lorelai chanted in a sing-song voice, "Luke…wakey wakey…Luke…"

Luke mumbled slightly.

She shifted and moved to straddle him. "Luke…"

Lorelai kissed him softly before she crooned happily. "Oh, birthday boy…Lucas…wakey wakey…Lucas…" She kissed him again.

Luke mumbled quietly again. "Lorelai?"

"Wake up, Luke. You're missing it."

"If it is sleep," he grumbled, "you're right. What time is it?"

"Well, your clock says 12:03. Remind me to get you a new one by the way," Lorelai replied happily.

"Then why in heaven's name are you waking me up?" Luke grumbled. "Go back to sleep."

"But, Luke, it's November ninth."

"It's the middle of the night."

"On November the ninth, Luke," Lorelai said happily.

Luke cracked his eyes open slightly.

"Happy Birthday!"

Luke groaned. "Lorelai," he growled softly, his voice rough with sleep.

Suddenly, she was bouncing up from the bed and pulling the covers down.

"Lorelai," he warned.

"Luke," she mimicked him.

"Whatever crazy thing you have planned can wait until morning," he grumbled, reaching for the covers.

She reached for the covers as well, preventing him from pulling them back up. "Luke," she pouted prettily.

To his credit, Luke tried to resist. He looked into her bright blue eyes and tried to convey just how much he didn't want to give in to her craziness. Lorelai just stuck out her bottom lip and gave him soft 'puppy dog' eyes. "Luke," she pleaded sweetly.

He took a deep breath.

"Luke," she pleaded again, giving him gentle lingering kiss.

He took another deep breath, his deep blue eyes softening slightly.

Lorelai smiled brightly, knowing that he would eventually give in. She kissed him again. "Please, Luke," she pouted and gave him another kiss for good measure.

Luke sighed deeply, and Lorelai knew she had won. She bounced on her feet lightly and clapped a couple of times happily before she ran over to the closet to grab Luke's red plaid shirt as he slipped on his socks.

As he pulled his shirt on, she ran back to the door and brought him his green coat and his boots.

"What do I need these for?" Luke asked, bemused.

"Well, it is a little chilly outside, but if you don't think that you'll need them," she said playfully and shrugged her own warm coat on over the blue plaid shirt that she had claimed as her own.

"I'm not going outside," he asserted. "It's the middle of the night in November."

"Come on, Luke," Lorelai replied, blithely ignoring his protest as she pulled him up from the bed.

He grumbled slightly, but put both the coat and his boots on. "Where's my hat?"

Lorelai smiled and picked his blue hat up from the chair by the bed. She walked over to him and placed it carefully on his head before she kissed him tenderly and lead him to the door.

They made their way downstairs where Lorelai stopped Luke at the lunch counter. She reached for something that she had hidden on the shelves behind the counter. He watched her, a slightly wary look in his eyes.

When she pulled out a black blindfold, he started to shake his head. "Oh no you don't Lorelai Gilmore. I am not putting that on," he protested.

"Luke…"

"No."

"Luke…"

"No."

She crept forward, holding the blindfold in front of her. "Luke, please. I worked so hard to keep this a surprise. Your beautiful, charming fiancée would be eternally grateful if you played along," she whispered, her voice soft and her eyes gleaming playfully.

Luke raised an eyebrow.

"Very, very grateful," she purred into his ear, her breath warm against his skin.

"Dirty," he murmured, as he relented, smiling.

"Oh, most definitely," she replied quietly as she smiled in return and tied the blindfold over his eyes.

Then she carefully lead him across the room and out the door, the bells chiming merrily as they left Luke's.

"It's freezing," Luke grumbled as the chilly air of autumn turning to winter hit him.

"Come on, Luke," she encouraged him.

"I think I'm loosing my fingers," he protested.

"Nope, all twelve still there," she teased.

"I can't feel my toes," he complained as they continued to walk through the empty streets of Stars Hallow.

"It's better that way," she replied blithely.

"This is crazy, we're going to freeze to death."

"Ooh, how romantic, just like Rose and Jack," Lorelai responded playfully.

"It's not romantic. If they had just stuck to warmer waters, or heeded the iceberg warnings, or been going slower, or hit the iceberg straight on…" Luke ranted.

"Ooh, I love ranting Luke. And a Titanic rant even."

Luke grumbled, and continued to be lead through the moon drenched night. After several moments though, he muttered, "Remind me again why I'm marrying you."

"Because I'm your Ava Gardner," Lorelai responded lightly, kissing him softly before she continued to lead him forward.

Luke laughed lightly and Lorelai smiled, even though he couldn't see it.

"Okay, steps," she warned as she lead him up the steps of the Twickham house.

"Where are we?"

"All will be revealed in due time," she responded.

"Lorelai," he said, his voice low.

"Trust me," she said quietly as she opened the door and lead him inside to the foyer.

"Well, at least its warm," he murmured as Lorelai shut the door behind them. "Can I take this off yet?" Luke asked as he reached for the blindfold.

"Not yet," she responded, stopping Luke from removing the dark fabric.

He sighed.

"Now, wait here. And keep that blindfold on," she instructed him.

"Lorelai," he protested, even though he knew that he would do exactly as she asked.

She leaned forward, her hands braced on his arms as she whispered in his ear. "Just remember, very, very, very grateful."

"You added another very," Luke observed, his own voice going slightly husking with feeling.

"Well, if just following me a little way gave you another very, imagine how many more you can get if you keep playing along," she responded playfully.

He smiled quietly and Lorelai giggled as she practically danced away and up the stairs.

Lorelai smiled as she made her way to the master bedroom upstairs. She opened the door quickly and began to move rapidly around the room, lighting the dozens of white candles that she had scattered about on the windowsills, mantelpiece, and over the small scattering of bedroom furniture that she had convinced Michel and Jackson to help her move from her house.

Their light gleamed over the dark wood of the floors and walls. It danced merrily over the bushels of bright red apples that were also scattered around the room. Then she lit the single candle that she had placed in the muffin size carrot cake that she had, had Sookie bake for her, and that waited on a small end table.

She straightened the papers that lay next to the small cake and set another red apple on top of them. As a final touch, she knelt down next to the fireplace and lit a small fire before she heard Luke's voice from downstairs as it drifted up to her.

"Lorelai, where are you?" He called, a touch of impatience tingeing his deep voice.

She bounded back down the stairs and to the foyer.

"Why, did you miss me?" She teased.

"It isn't that I wouldn't wait forever for you," Luke replied. "But well, now, presents are another matter."

"Why Luke Danes, are you finally getting into the spirit of things?"

"Well, I've always thought that it's best to humor the crazy. Safer that way," he grinned.

He laughed lightly as she punched him softly on the arm.

"Come on," she said as she reached for his hand.

"You expect me to still keep this thing on?" He asked, reaching with his free hand for the blindfold.

"Of course," Lorelai responded, stopping his hand half way.

He mumbled something about butterfly nets and the crazy needing love too. Lorelai giggled and lead him over to the staircase.

"Stairs," she warned as she tugged lightly on his hand, encouraging him to follow her up.

"Stairs?" He asked, his voice sounding bemused.

"Come on," Lorelai urged him, pulling on his hand gently to get him moving.

Luke sighed deeply and followed Lorelai up the stairs. She lead him carefully down the hall and into the master bedroom.

"Apples?" He asked in confusion. "Do I smell apples?"

Lorelai reached up and removed the dark blindfold, stepping back so that Luke could see the room.

Luke blinked his eyes, adjusting to the light. Then, slowly he took in his surroundings. He looked with surprise around the master bedroom of the Twickham house, his eyes turning dark and softly intense with some unnamed emotion. His eyes drifted over the sight of the dozens of candles and the gleaming red apples. He glanced over the warm fire in the fireplace and the carefully arranged furniture, noting that it was all from Lorelai's bedroom in her own house.

His gaze lingered for a moment on the bed, covered with a soft red and white quilt, the color picking out the red of the apples surrounding them. Then his eyes drifted over to the small cake sitting on the end table before they returned to Lorelai.

"Lorelai?" He asked, hardly daring to hope.

"Umm," she murmured, suddenly unsure where to start. She looked down and around a moment, before her gaze landed on the small carrot cake. She bounced over to it and picked it up carefully, bringing it to Luke.

"Now, before you say anything, I will have you note that this is a very tiny cake, so its unhealthy factor hardly counts when you take into account all the other healthy food you eat. And two, I did not bake it, so its perfectly safe." Lorelai grinned. "Third, it's carrot, and that makes it practically a health food. Fourth, what's a birthday without cake. And finally, if you make a wish, blow out the candle, and eat a bite, that'll add three more verys to your list," she smiled seductively.

Luke smiled. If letting her a have little time, would give Lorelai a chance to work her way up to why she had brought him to the Twickham house, then he would do it.

He reached for the cake and prepared to blow out the blue candle.

"Wait, you have to close your eyes when you make a wish and then blow it out."

Luke smiled and closed his eyes, gently blowing the flickering flame out.

"What did you wish for?" Lorelai asked brightly.

"Even I know that you can't tell, or it won't come true."

"Oh well, I'm sure that doesn't apply to fiancées," Lorelai replied confidently.

"I think it applies to everyone," Luke countered.

Lorelai pouted a little but then grinned. "Can't blame a girl for trying."

Luke smiled in response. "I could, but what good would it do?" He teased.

"None at all," she replied lightly. "Well, so that's only two verys."

Luke chuckled as Lorelai reached to break off a small piece of the cake. She held it to his lips and Luke took the offered cake, sucking gently on Lorelai's finger as he did so. He held her gaze the whole time, and Lorelai felt a tingle travel from her fingertip and through her body as she met his intense look.

She laughed a little breathlessly as she took the cake from Luke's hands and walked over to the table to set it down.

"So," he drawled softly.

"So," she replied slowly in response.

"So," he repeated, drawing out the word, as he walked to the mantelpiece and picked up an apple before he turned to look at where Lorelai still stood by the small table with the cake.

"Umm," Lorelai said hesitantly. "So, presents."

She turned and picked up the papers that she had set on the table.

"Umm, so presents…"

"You said that."

"Yeah, right, sorry."

Luke smiled gently.

She looked down, not quite up to looking into Luke's loving eyes. She took a deep breath, then plunged. "So, I'm sure you've noticed that I've been kind of dragging my feet a little on the whole 'where are we going to live thing.' And it's not that I don't want to move forward or start a life with you," she said quickly darting her eyes up to meet his.

"And I love you so much. You know that right? I mean I hope you know that."

She took a deep breath. "It's just, with things so messed up with Rory… I mean, she grew up in that house; my house I mean. And you," she darted her eyes back up to his then down again. "I mean, you've kept that house standing. And you're the only one that really ever cooked in that kitchen, except for Sookie of course. And the chuppah, and the ice rink, and everything…" she trailed off a moment. "And Rory's birthday parties were there. And let's not forget some of our best kisses were on the porch," she took another deep breath before pressing on.

"And it's the only other place, other than the Independence Inn, that's ever been a real home to me. I mean, it has been my home, and Rory's home for so long now. And how's it going to feel for her to not have that anymore. I'm not even sure how I'm going to feel about it," she said quickly.

"Lorelai, I know. I understand. After all," he said smiling a little self-consciously, "this is the guy talking that kept his father's boat in a garage for years, and didn't want to paint over an old order that his dad wrote on a wall."

Lorelai risked looking into Luke's warm gaze.

"I understand," he said softly.

Lorelai smiled and then looked down at the papers in her hand before she looked up to meet Luke's eyes as she walked over to him. She took the apple from his hands and placed the papers in them instead.

Luke looked down, not able to hide his surprise as he saw what they were.

"These are papers for the Twickham house; this house."

"I talked to the realtors. If you want it, all you have to do is sign."

Luke noticed Lorelai's own signature carefully inked on the dotted line for ownership of the house.

"Luke?"

He looked into her eyes. "Why?"

"Well, all the places in Funkytown are taken," she replied, falling back on humor to mask her nervousness and the way her heartbeat raced. "And as much as I'd love living in a gingerbread house… and ooh Sookie could make it!"

"Lorelai."

"We could have shingles made of peppermint, you like peppermint," Lorelai said quickly, warming to her subject.

"Lorelai,"

"And we could have red vines for trim…"

"Lorelai," Luke repeated, his voice holding a touch of warning that he expected a serious answer. "Why? Why now? Is this really what you want? Because I understand you wanting to keep your house. I don't have to have this place. We could live in your house, if you want that."

Lorelai looked at the apple still gleaming in her hand.

"Do you know when the last time I really craved apples was?"

"What?" Luke asked, puzzled by the seemingly abrupt change in topic.

"The last time I really craved an apple was when Sookie was in the hospital having her daughter. It…I was kind of worried at the time. But then, I didn't want them anymore. I was back to craving orange crush and twinkies, so I didn't think about it anymore. But then…well for the past couple of weeks, I've been wanting apples like they were a Luke's burger or something."

She looked over to Luke's confused face.

"I mean, I've been sneaking an apple every chance I could get. Me, apples, all the time," she said carefully.

Lorelai sighed softly. "There was only one time before that time in the hospital that I ever craved apples."

"Lorelai, are you going to start making sense anytime soon?" Luke asked.

"You remember the last Founder's Day? We kind of had a repeat of the night of the party for the magazine article. I can't believe we did it again," she shook her head slightly in disbelief that things had gotten that crazy more than once.

"But…well, you remember?" She continued.

Luke smiled, remembering. "We have to stay away from the Founder's Day punch. I think we barely made it to the Diner, let alone the bed."

"And now I'm craving apples. I only ever craved apples about twenty years ago."

"Twenty years ago?" Luke asked, again confused by Lorelai's train of thought. "What about twenty years ago?" Suddenly, Luke's eyes went a little wide as he started see where Lorelai was headed with the apple thing and twenty years. "Oh," he practically whispered, drawing the word out slightly. "Oh…"

Lorelai nodded slightly Luke looked over to her, surprise and questions in his eyes.

"You mean…" he trailed the question out.

"I really, really want apples again."

"You're sure?" He asked, again hardly daring to hope.

"Well, depending on how you look at it, I passed the test with flying colors." She took a deep breath. "Are you…I mean, are you okay with this?" She asked him, her voice shaking slightly with nervousness.

"Are you okay with this?" Luke asked carefully.

She gave him a small hesitant smile.

Suddenly, Luke gave Lorelei a bright answering smile and surged forward to sweep her up in his arms, the papers fluttering to the floor. Happily, he spun her around, lifting her feet from the floor.

Lorelai laughed lightly, giddy with emotion and the suddenly weightlessness she felt as Luke spun her in his arms.

"We're going to have a baby!" He said ecstatically. "We're going to have a baby!"

"I'll take that as a 'yes," she laughed and murmured breathlessly.

He set her down and cradled her face in his hands. "But that doesn't mean that we need this house, Lorelai. You raised Rory in your house. We could raise our child there, if you want," he said sincerely.

"I know. But," she paused a moment, wrapping her arms around him, "I want this house with you. I want our family to have this house. Our house, together."

"What about your house?" He asked, concerned that Lorelai really wanted to keep her house and was only offering him the Twickham house because she thought he needed it.

"I'll figure something out," she said quietly. "And maybe…maybe Rory will want it?" She looked to him, seeking reassurance.

"We'll figure something out," Luke said quietly, and Lorelai knew that he was talking about more than the house.

"Happy birthday," she whispered.

"Thank you," he whispered back and kissed her passionately.

When they finally took a breath, Lorelai murmured, "The papers."

Luke smiled and let her go slowly so that he could walk back to pick up the papers from where they had come to rest on the floor.

"There's a pen on the table Mr. Danes. Just sign on the dotted line, right to next to your lovely fiancée's signature," Lorelai said in a mock serious tone.

Luke signed next to Lorelai's name and smiled as she came up behind him and wrapped her arms around him, resting her cheek on his shoulder.

He turned in her arms so that he faced her.

"I think that I should tell you that I'm very, very, very, very, very, very, very grateful," he said, his voice going husky with love and desire.

"That's a lot of verys there mister."

"Mmm…mmm" he murmured in agreement as he pulled her with him gently, heading for the bed.

"That's just the tip of the iceberg," he murmured as he bent to nuzzle her neck.

"Dirty," she giggled.

"Very," he teased as he lay her down on the bed, slowly undoing the buttons of the blue flannel shirt that she wore over her jeans…

"Lorelai," Luke said softly.

"Mmm?" she mumbled in her sleep.

"Lorelai, wake up," he urged her.

"Luke, what is it?" She asked.

"Wake up. Come with me," he replied, pulling the blankets off of her and handing Lorelai her coat before he wrapped her up in the red and white quilt.

"Wait, isn't that my line?" She asked, her voice soft with sleep as she rubbed her blurry eyes.

Luke chuckled and took her hand, leading her out of the bedroom.

"It's cold," she complained. "Where are we going?" She asked, holding the quilt closed.

"Now look who's stealing lines," he quipped.

Luke lead Lorelai down the stairs and out the front door to stand on a spot in the grass just off of the porch.

"Luke?"

"Just for a minute," he assured her, ducking under the quilt and wrapping her warmly in his arms. "I don't want you and the baby catching cold."

Then, silently, a soft drift of snow began dancing down through the night air.

"My wish," he whispered.

Lorelai laughed in surprise.

"I can't believe you wished for snow, Luke, 'snow's a frozen menace,' Danes. You're crazy," she teased him.

"Then we're perfect for each other," he replied.

"That, Luke Danes, is one of the sweetest things you've ever said. Now if only you would take me inside and gave me a nice warm mug of coffee," she said hopefully.

"No."

"Luke," she pouted.

"No more coffee for you."

"Mean."

Suddenly he shifted, lifting her up in his arms so that she had to grasp for the blanket with a giddy laugh.

"Nothing but bushels of apples and cups of decaf," he teased.

"You know, if I didn't love you so much…"

"I know," he replied softly. "I love you too crazy lady," he whispered as he carried her back into their new home…

Fin