Story Title: It's Not a Perfect Universe
Disclaimer: 'Nough said
Summary: Betrayal, pride and pain wedged them apart. Years have passed since Luke and Grace have crossed paths. Now, with different lives, Grace returns home to patch up old wounds that have plagued her all along. After a run-in with Adam, Grace discovers it may be far too late to undo the damage from the past.
Prologue – It's Not The First, Won't Be The Last, Honest Mistake…
June 12th, 2006
Grace felt the butterflies swirling in her stomach. They always started fluttering when she was this close to him. He was the root of it all. Everything about him was perfect; his embrace, his heart, his lips, his brain, even his paranoia and fear was perfectly crafted. The way he held himself with his head high and his true, unyielding determination was noble and steadfast. His honor, Grace discovered as he pulled away from her breathlessly, was also perfect.
"Wait, stop," Luke gasped out as he held himself above her.
Of all the times to stop an advancing make out session, Luke had to pick the first time she wasn't terrified to give herself to him. Grace stared up at him, trying to discern from his face what it was that had stalled him, as they both lay pressed to each other on Grace's bed with barely more than undergarments on.
"Easy there Rocket boy," Grace tried to make light of the moment. "What's wrong?"
Luke shook his head. "Nothing…nothing I just," He swallowed hard. "Are you-,"
"For a genius you can't read signals very well, you know," Grace smirked before pulling his head back down to hers so she could kiss him again.
"Grace," Luke pulled away again.
Grace despised the space separating them, keeping them apart. "What's the deal, Geek, you don't want to do this?" She asked.
Luke shook his head, "No, it's not that-,"
"What then? Nervous? Cause I gotta tell ya," Grace turned her head and glanced towards Luke's hips, which were pressed into her own, "it sure doesn't feel that way," She offered a small smile when Luke blushed.
"No, Grace, it's not that, it's just…" Luke paused for a moment. "Are you sure…this is what you want to do? I mean-I mean," He cut her off as she opened her mouth to speak. "This isn't…you know…for any other reason than because it's time for us to you know, go there, is it?"
"Was that English?" Grace asked, amused. Luke was having trouble concentrating, let alone speaking, as he felt Grace's hands absently through his hair at the base of his neck and down his lower back.
"You're not trying to do something-anything, to get your mind free or so you don't have to talk about things are you?" Luke asked.
Grace frowned. "I know I avoid things, geek, but I thought you knew better than to think I'd do the do with you just to avoid talking about the booze Queen," She told him.
Luke frowned as well. "I wasn't trying to insult you…I just…" He made sure to keep her eyes locked with his. "Grace, I love you," He said.
Grace stared at him. She seemed paralyzed. She nodded stiffly. "I know…" She whispered as she swallowed hard. Luke watched her. She wanted to say more, he could tell.
"Shut up," Grace breathed.
"What?" Luke asked back.
"Shut up and kiss me, geek," Grace pulled him back down to her again. Luke didn't fight back this time. Instead, he gave in.
"Luke?" Grace asked quietly nearly an hour later as she and Luke lay clinging close to each other under the covers of her bed in the darkness of her room. Grace was glad her parents were gone for the weekend. She listened to the thumping of his heart as she waited for his response.
"Yeah?" He replied just as quietly.
"I um…" Her breathed hitched in her throat for a moment, "I was wrong…"
"About?" Luke asked.
"When I said I was never even going to fall in like with you," She told him.
Luke just smiled, turning his head down to look at her. "I knew that a long time ago," He told her.
"I needed to say it," Grace confessed. Luke kissed her forehead.
"Thank you," He smiled as they tried to nuzzle closer to each other.
3 weeks later
"Mom…can I talk to you?" Luke asked as he numbly sat down on the couch next to his mom, facing her.
"That's what I'm here for," She smiled warmly at him.
Luke swallowed hard. "Mom…Grace is in trouble…"
Helen frowned. "What kind of trouble?" She asked.
Luke looked down at his hands as he wrung them together. He had sworn to keep her secret. He had pledged to protect her. Now, he'd discovered the true extent of her torture. He'd found the bruises when she hadn't shown up to dinner the previous week. Luke had gone to see how she was, and drop off some leftovers and had discovered the bruises and scrapes. She had threatened their relationship if he told a soul, even Joan. Her mother had come home earlier than she was supposed to and found them together. She had rushed Luke out, leaving him to hear Grace pleading with her mother not to hit her as he left. What else could he do? He had to tell his mother, despite the possibility of losing Grace. Eventually, she would be grateful for his help, wouldn't she?
"Her mom…um…" Luke felt his eyes burning as he stared down. Helen reached out and put a comforting hand on Luke's shoulder encouragingly. Before Luke could think better of it, he told her the whole story to a horrified Helen.
"What?" Grace demanded as someone knocked on her door. She was packing. Will had pulled some strings and for the time being until all the investigations and court trials were over, Grace would be staying with Adam and his dad. She looked up as Luke entered her room. "I told you I didn't want to speak to you," She kept packing, refusing to look at him after her first glance.
"Grace-," Luke reached out for her.
Grace pushed his hand away and looked at him with watery eyes. "I trusted you," She angrily wiped a stray tear with the back of her hand. "How could you…" Grace pushed her lips together in frustration. She knew deep down Luke was right to force her to get help but she couldn't help feeling betrayed. Luke had sworn to keep her secret until she told him she'd had enough. Now she was left with the corrupt justice system that was going to lock up her mother and was still undecided if she was going to be allowed to live with her father. "I trusted you," She repeated, avoiding his eyes.
"Grace…please," He stepped towards her. He was shocked when, at first, she didn't fight him as he took her into his arms. "I'm sorry…I had to, you know I did," He rubbed her back as he fought his own tears away. Grace cried for a few minutes before she couldn't take it anymore. She pushed him away.
"I want you to leave," She said, not looking at him. She crossed her arms over herself and fought not to reach out and cling to him and tell him he was right and that she loved him but her stubbornness and her strict inner conflict with the fact that Luke blatantly broke her trust kept her from doing that.
"Grace…" Luke's voice shook.
"Get out!" Grace screamed at him.
Luke turned to leave, but stopped at her door. "You'll understand why I did this one day Grace…" He said. "I want you to know that when you do…I'll still be here, waiting for you…I love you Grace. I won't ever stop."
Grace watched Luke wipe his face as he left the room. She went to the window and watched him walk with his head bowed all the way down the front path and then down the street. It took Grace nearly an hour to recuperate her composure enough to finish packing before Adam arrived. That was the last time she spoke to Luke. Well, at least for a couple of years…
A/N – The story title is derived from a Michael Tolcher song called "Perfect Universe."
It took me a while to figure out if I was actually going to post this or not, because I wasn't sure what I thought of it myself. I need character names for this story and for another story so if you review, could you please, please, please give me a few male and female name suggestions? Thanks!