A Different Path
Chapter 1: Not Your Cup of Tea
Disclaimer: This is the part where I tell you that I don't own any of the characters or the show or anything of that stuff...and I also do not make any money off of it or anything like that.
Summary: Have you ever wondered how things could have been different? Like if the liquor store had been closed that night, maybe your entire life would have turned out completely different… My version of how things could have gone different. L/L
A/N: So... Yet another story… I can't help it, I just have tons of ideas. Plus I get this natural high from everyone's nice reviews. Also, if you haven't already please check out my other stories, 'Stand Still' … 'Diary'… 'After it Fades' and also my One-Shot, 'The Things You'll Do For Love'
Oh, and I know, cheesey, non-original title... But that's one thing I'm not so good at, picking a title. I've gone through about a hundred before I finally settled on this one, and I know it's pretty sucky but whatever.
Also, don't forget to review.
BTW: This takes place right after Say Something.
She stood up and suddenly felt extremely dizzy. You know when you stand up too fast, sometimes you feel a little bit dizzy for a second, and you black out a little? It was like that, times ten. She leaned on the dresser so she wouldn't fall over. She couldn't remember the last time she had gotten out of bed. It must have been at least 10 or 12 hours. She walked over to her mirror to examine herself. Her eyes were red and puffy, her hair was a huge mess, there were tearstains all over Luke's flannel shirt that she was wearing, her makeup was smeared under her eyes and her face still a little bit damp from all the crying. She wiped her finger under her eyes, in an attempt to fix her makeup a little bit, but it didn't work out too well. She put her hair back into a ponytail so it wouldn't look too bad, but it still did. She walked over to her closet, slowly. Her knees felt extremely weak and she could barely walk straight. She took out a sweatshirt and put it over Luke's shirt. He left the shirt at her house a few weeks ago and had never asked for it back. It still smelled just like him, though. It was that amazing, Luke smell. It wasn't something she could describe to anybody, but it was still wonderful.
She looked in the mirror once more and then began to carefully climb down the stairs. She hadn't been downstairs since she had come home from Doose's after talking to Luke. In some strange way, it looked so much different. It looked strange, as if she didn't even live there. Luke had fixed almost everything in the house; all of it had some connection to him. She wandered around the living room, sliding her fingers across everything she looked at it. She felt as if she was going to collapse any second, so she went and sat down at the couch.
She shouldn't have pushed him; she should have let him have his time, his space. She just didn't want 'his time to clear his head' to become weeks, months or even years of not being with each other. She didn't want to have just an ending with Luke; she wanted the middle, too.
'He could have been the one'
She got a chill just thinking about what she had said. It sort of slipped out of her mouth when Rory had come to check on her. She didn't mean to say it, but it sounded perfect. It sounded real… and true. She told Rory that Luke could have been the one. It was one of the few things she remembered from that night; almost everything else was a blur. It wasn't everyday that she went around saying something like that but she knew it was true. Luke was the guy that she had been waiting and hoping for. She wanted to be with him. He made her so incredibly happy, and he was always there. He was that consistent person, she could always count on. Whenever she needed him, she knew he would be there. When she needed him to make her a burger, he would. When she needed him to fix a window, he would. When she needed his shoulder to cry on, his shoulder was all hers. When she needed someone to complain to, he would always listen. He was that whole package that she had wanted.
She just wished she could have told him that before.
She screwed up… She screwed up so bad. This time was different, though. The other times, when somebody would tell her how she was running from something, she had always thought of it more like, she was running towards something. She thought there was always something more out there for her, and that's why she had to run, why she could never stay with someone. She hadn't known what that better thing, the thing she was running to, was until she was with Luke. He was the one, he was the one she was running to, but then she went and ran right over him. She lied to him about Christopher. She let him sit there and listen to Christopher go on about how they wouldn't last and it was all temporary. She lied. She screwed up so much.
Here they come, again. Those damn tears. She hated crying. She hated that burning feeling she'd get when her tears made her eyeliner go into her eyes. She hated the way it made her face red and puffy. She hated being that girl. She hated being that girl who sat around, crying for hours, sleeping, and not eating because of a guy. She had never been that girl before, it's not who she was.
But, then again, this time was different. It was Luke. He was worth crying over. He was the man she loved, the man who was the whole package, and the man she wanted the middle with.
"Lorelai?" She heard a small voice coming from the other end of the door, along with a few knocks.
She stood up and walked over, not really wanting to see anyone. She knew it was Sookie and she knew Sookie wasn't going to just go away, especially since she knew she was here. She checked herself in the mirror quickly, to make sure she didn't look completely horrifying, She did but she didn't care.
"Hi." She said trying to sound like she was fine, but it was harder than it seemed. Sookie came in and Lorelai turned around to lead her into the living room, trying to hide her red, puffy eyes.
"Honey… I'm getting worried..." Sookie began.
Lorelai turned around to face her now, not really caring about the makeup running down her face or how horrible she looked. Sookie already knew, she knew Lorelai was miserable, why try to hide it?
Sookie sighed and gave her a sad look, as if her puppy had just died or something, "You'll be OK..." She said touching her shoulder.
"No, I won't." Lorelai told her quietly. She hated this. She hated complaining to Sookie and putting in Sookie a situation where she has to make her feel better, but she just really wanted to feel better…
Sookie gave her this weird look. Lorelai knew that Sookie had never seen her like this. Lorelai was always strong around her; she never acted so sad and so…broken around Sookie. She probably didn't know what to do. Lorelai felt horrible for putting this on her, she wanted to say something that would make Sookie think she was OK, but she had no idea what to do.
"You need to eat. What do you want? I'll make anything." Sookie said trying to cheer her up the only way she knew how, through her stomach.
"I'm not hungry." Lorelai told her. She wasn't, she felt like she'd throw up if she ate anything.
"You have to eat something. When was the last time you ate?"
She shrugged and sat down on the couch.
"C'mon. Anything...I'll make you anything." Sookie told her.
She sighed and sank into the old, couch, cushions.
"Lorelai..." Sookie began.
"Later." She argued. She did not want to eat, really. She was too sick to eat.
"Anything." Sookie repeated.
"I feel sick." Lorelai told her.
"Because you haven't eaten." Sookie told her.
"Please eat, Lorelai? Please?" Sookie was begging now. She was really worried about her.
"Fine." Lorelai gave in; she decided she could just pick at something to make Sookie think she was OK. Then maybe things could be a little less awkward.
"Good. What do you want?" Sookie asked.
"Can I have an apple?" She asked her.
He surveyed the diner, looking around at every single person inside. He knew she wasn't going to be in there, he just hoped that maybe she would be. Maybe it was all just a bad dream and she would walk in the door any second, begging him for coffee, and she'd shoot him that magical smile and flip her hair and he'd give in to her, like always. He wanted yesterday to be a dream… a nightmare. But, it was much too real to be a dream. He just wished it had been a dream. He wished he could wake up any second in his bed, snuggled close to her, with his arm around her waist.
His eyes wandered outside, towards the square. However, he still didn't see her. He didn't really expect to see her there; he just wished she would be there. He wanted to see her so badly. He missed her. He hated not seeing her. For the past eight years, he had seen her almost everyday of his life and now he might never see her again. He was stupid. He was angry. He was confused. He did not mean to say those things like that. He loved being with her, He loved spending time with her, and he didn't want it to be over.
It was just getting so hard. The lies, Christopher, and her parents… it was getting to be too much. He missed her, though, more than he ever thought he would.
He had sat by and watched her be with other men, he watched her be engaged and then call it off. He watched her almost get back with Chris. He and sat by and watched for eight years. Then, he finally decided it was now or never. He was all in. He told himself he wouldn't mess this up, if their relationship didn't work, he would at least know that he gave it his all.
He had promised himself. Then, how did everything end up like this?
He yelled at her, he said things that he wanted to take back so badly. He hadn't realized it was over until she went and called him her ex boyfriend. When they were standing there in front of her porch, he was mentally screaming at himself to say something, to kiss her, to take it all back. He did nothing. Why didn't he do something? This was Lorelai. He wasn't supposed to give up so easily.
"Luke?" Lane began waving her arms in front of him, interrupting his thoughts.
"Oh, sorry." Luke said, snapping out of it.
"You, OK?" She asked.
"Fine." He nodded, staring down at his note pad.
"You sure?" She asked again.
He looked up at her this time. He just couldn't help himself. He'd go crazy if he didn't ask her about Lorelai. He just needed to know. "Have you seen her?" He asked quietly.
Lane shook her head. She knew who he was talking about. Of course she knew.
"Only Rory and Sookie have." Lane told him. "Last night." Lane explained.
He nodded and then began to stare out the window again, still looking for her, hoping that she would come down the street or something. He just wanted to see her. He needed to see her.
"I'm taking my 10." Lane stated, knowing better than to ask him anything about the break up.
He nodded, still staring out the window.
She wasn't out there. He didn't expect her to be, he figured that she was probably working or something. He just wanted her to be. But, she wasn't. It was only those stupid townspeople with those damn ribbons.
He hated those stupid ribbons. Not only was he broken up with Lorelai, he was reminded of it everywhere he went.
He looked around the diner, again. He sighed and got back to work.
"I thought you said you weren't hungry." Sookie smiled at Lorelai.
"I am a little bit." She told Sookie. Ever since she took a bite of that apple, she became starving.
"That's 3 apples...I never knew you liked apples." Sookie told her.
"Well, I don't...Not really, anyways. But, I did eat tons and tons of apples when I was-" She froze before she finished her sentence. She was completely still. No, she couldn't be... 'Oh, God.' She thought.
"What's wrong?" Sookie asked.
"Oh no... No, no, no," Lorelai said dropping her apple.
"What? What is it?" Sookie asked.
"No, no, no." Lorelai said putting her face into her hands.
"I'm going to need a little more information, Lorelai."
"Oh, God...Apples...No, no, no." She kept talking, still leaving Sookie in the dark.
"Sookie...Last time I ate an apple...It was when I was 16." She took a deep breath. "When I was pregnant." Lorelai said. 'I can't be pregnant, right? This couldn't possibly happen again. Not again, ohhhhh God.' She thought.
Sookie sank in her chair, her eyes wide. "Well, it might not mean that you're...you know. It could just be some weird thing." She asked.
"My body's trying to tell me something, Sookie." She said, suddenly felt sick again. She was clutching her stomach, now.
"Maybe it's just telling you that, you should eat more fruit." Sookie reasoned.
"I don't know." She said, sitting completely still in her chair.
"Well, are you late?" Sookie asked.
"Well..." She thought for a moment. "The latest I've ever been would be..." She thought again, counting on her fingers "Thursday". She said. 'Thursday? Crap. That's tomorrow. No, no, no. This can't be happening, not again. Not like this...Luke's baby. Oh, God.'
"That's tomorrow, Lorelai." Sookie told her as if she didn't know.
"I know." she nodded, still way too shocked to say anything else.
"Wow..." Was all Sookie could say.
"But, you don't think..." Rory asked Lorelai.
"I don't know." She said, tears streaming down her face. She was wrapped up in a blanket, sitting on the couch, crying...again.
"Well, if you are...It'll be OK." Rory tried to tell her.
"I don't want to do it again, Rory." She told her. "With you...It was different. I had to do it; I had to prove something to people and to myself... And, it was different. I was OK with raising you alone." She said. "I don't want to be alone, this time. " And it was true, last time it was OK. But she was older now, she didn't want to do this by herself again.
"I know." Rory told her. "I'll help you, you know I'll be there for you."
"You have Yale, Rory. You have to study and start a career and-"
"Mom, I'm here."
"Rory, you won't have the time to go back and forth between Yale and here and help me out...And when you are around, you'll change a diaper or two, feed the baby food, sing them a song...I know you here for me, I know. But that's not what I mean when I say I don't want to be alone." She told her daughter. She knew Rory was trying to help and she loved her for it, but the truth was, she was doing this alone.
"Last time, I was completely alone...When I was craving crazy foods, the maid would have to make them for me. When I needed maternity clothes, my mother got 'specialists' to pick them out for me. When I went in labor, I left my parents a note and took a cab. In the delivery room, I was surrounded by millions of strangers...I just, I don't want that again...I want someone to go out and buy me crazy foods and then make fun of me because they are just that crazy. I want to go maternity shopping, and be able to pick them out for myself. I want someone to drive me to the hospital and be all nervous and tell me to practice those breathing techniques. In the delivery room...I want someone's hand to hold." She told her.
"You might not even be pregnant...It could be the stress...Sometimes that makes you late." Rory said.
Lorelai shrugged. "Maybe." She loved Rory for trying to make her feel better, but things don't always work out like that, at least not for Lorelai.
"It's going to be OK."
"You can't say that. And Sookie can't say that...No one knows if it'll be OK or not..." She said. She was just so sick of everyone telling her that lately. They don't have a crazy crystal ball that can tell them how things will turn out. They have no idea how things will be.
"I'll make fun of your crazy food cravings, if you want. And I'll go maternity shopping with you, and drive you to the hospital...And, as much as it grosses me out, you can hold my hand in the delivery room." Rory said, even though she knew it wasn't what her mother had wanted when she said all of those things.
"Thanks." She said. She appreciated Rory's words, she really did. But, it's not what she had meant when she said all of that stuff.
She meant Luke.
She took a deep breath as she walked into the pharmacy. She knew this wasn't a good idea, she knew. Buying a pregnancy test in Stars Hollow, there was no way it would lead to good things. But she wasn't about to drive 40 miles to buy a pregnancy test, go home and take it, and then drive another 40 miles away to throw it away. She had her story all figured it if anybody asked about it, it wasn't incredibly believable, but it was good enough. She could say that they needed them at the Inn; that having pregnancy tests was just like having tampons or forks... She would tell people that all Inn's have pregnancy tests. Someone might believe that, right? If not she could say she's buying it for some girl outside who is too afraid to go in because her Mom might find out. That's believable right? Plus, if rumor got out about it, she could deny the entire thing, right?
She walked through each aisle, taking a few things. She figured that if she had a lot of things, maybe no one would notice that one of them was a pregnancy test.
She went up to the counter, only to find Kirk behind the register. He was sure to notice...and to tell everyone...including Luke. She thought about stealing the tests, just putting them inside her coat and walking out- but Kirk noticed her too soon.
"Hi, Kirk." She put on a pretty smile and emptied out her basket on the counter.
He began to check the price tags on her items and punch the numbers into the cash register. She figured, the best way to distract him was to talk.
"So...Kirk...see any good movies, lately?" She asked.
"Hmm… Not really." He replied.
"None? None at all?" She asked.
"Nope...I watched Clueless last night with Lulu, besides that everything else in theaters and on TV are movies about big sleeves, tots, and voting for Pedro. That's not my cup of tea if you know what I mean."
"Yeah, I think I know what you mean." Lorelai said, trying to keep the conversation going.
Kirk nodded, still checking her items.
"Don't you just love the part in Clueless where Cher tries to have sex with that guy, and she finds out he's gay?" Lorelai said trying to distract him.
"Yesssss." Kirk said.
"Hey have you heard that new song by Madonna, Kirk?" Lorelai said.
"I downloaded it last week. It was legally of course, Taylor doesn't tolerate any illegal downloading." Kirk informed her.
"I know, those damn Napster-addicts." Lorelai said as Kirk slipped the pregnancy tests into a plastic bag. Lorelai let out a breath when the box was safely inside the bag.
"How much?" Lorelai asked after Kirk put the last thing in her bag.
"$23" He replied.
Lorelai handed him the money, "Thanks, Kirk".
Lorelai made her way to the door. She opened it and once she was safely outside, she peered into her bag. She wasn't looking where she was going because she suddenly bumped into somebody, causing her to drop her bag.
Sorry". He told her.
"Oh, it's um...fine." She looked up to see him. Luke. She bumped into Luke. Of course, things like this would only happen to her. Why did the world hate her so much?
She began to bend down to start pick up the things that had fallen out of the bag, relieved that the pregnancy test hadn't fallen out. He bent down beside her and helped her.
"You don't have to." She said.
"It's OK." He told her. He picked up the bag and stood up, dropping the last thing inside. She stood up, too and started to reach for the bag in his hands. But she didn't get it soon enough.
His eyes widened as he reached into the bag to pull out the box of pregnancy tests.
"Are you...?" He asked as he showed her the box.
"Oh...no, no, no… That's for Rory." She told him. She didn't mean to say that, it just slipped out. She had a story, Goddamit. Stick the story, Lorelai! She didn't want to tell him, it'd be too hard, especially since she knew what he would do if he found out.
"Rory's pregnant?" He asked, quietly so no one would hear, but still very shocked.
"No, no, no… I mean...They're for Rory's... friend."
"Lane?" Luke asked.
"No... A Yale friend. They were just um, too scared to buy one and well Rory offered but...she didn't want people to think she's pregnant, and you know she's so busy with all of that Yale stuff. So um, I said I'd get them for her."
"You're going to drive all the way to Yale to give her a pregnancy test?" He asked.
"Well...Those kinds of things are… stressful… plus, I don't really have a life anymore." She hadn't meant to say that. It sounded mean and like she was trying to make him feel guilty. She meant to only think that, not say it aloud. Stupid Lorelai.
"Oh." Luke said.
"Yeah. Well, um, I better go. Thanks for helping me pick up all of this." She said, and with that, she was gone.
Well...There we go. Chapter 1 is done. Ohh man, that rhymes.
Thoughts/Suggestions/Ideas/Anything always wanted. Things you'd like to see happen, or just any ideas at all are welcome. It doesn't take too much time and it just about makes my day, so please review! Thanks!
Next Chapter: Lorelai is nervous about taking the test, and it takes a little convincing before she goes through with it. The obvious question: Positive or Negative? and… What's going on under that backwards baseball cap?