made plans to be unbreakable,
love was all we knew.
No insurance for the unthinkable,
blindly get us through.
We've been searching for a lifetime,
short as it may seem.
Riding on the fuse that spark us,
while igniting dreams.
knew we were making.
Mistakes we knew we were making.
The ninety degree weather of June and July beat down on Stars Hollow until mid August. And then one day it began to rain, a relentless unending rain that lasted three days. When the rain stopped the citizens of Stars Hollow once again took to the streets and rejoiced for the sweltering heat of summer was gone, replaced by gentle breezes of perfect seventy degree weather.
Luke Danes barely noticed.
His summer had been a busy one, despite the heat, tourists came in droves to Stars Hollow and its surrounding areas to escape their own lives and crowd those of the locals, buying antiques (and most importantly, burgers) as they came and went. Things were beginning to slow down.
It was that magical time between the summer peak and the fall-leaf watchers now. Taylor was busy buzzing about and planning the end of summer festival, not to mention beginning the committees for the welcome to fall festival that would soon follow.
In between burger and omelet sales, Luke kept busy with April.
At first, taking the time it took to finalize all the things necessary for visitation and support.
The mediation with Anna and he and their lawyers had gone relatively smooth, one hitch being when she tried to bring up the subject of significant others. Luke vehemently refused to allow anything to go into the papers that would keep him from introducing his daughter to whomever he chose; his lawyer had agreed with that and after Anna's lawyer had gotten her to see that she really couldn't do such a thing, they proceeded in a civil manner.
Now, Luke gets April every other weekend (he'd fixed up Jess' old side of the apartment and put up a partition for her), school break, and holidays, as well as any day throughout the week that April and he (and Anna) agree upon. Anna was also coming along, a bit roughly at first but as time passes she seems to be more and more at ease with the situation. Not that Luke really cares too much about her worries. He sees April smiling when they hang out or rolling her eyes at him doing something very dad-like and knows that he is being a good father and that Anna isn't the one he has to prove anything too, just April. And still maybe, Lorelai as well.
Lorelai, another thing that has kept Luke busy throughout this summer.
After their talk on Father's Day the calls between them became more and more frequent. They now talk every single day. Sometimes he will call her and other times she will call him. It is not something they plan on, this calling every day, but more an act that they cannot suppress. If it gets too late in a day and they still have not talked, one must call the other. They cannot stop the impulse nor do they want to.
It is late in the evening, on a day early in the third week of August, and Luke has finally come up from the diner after having cleaned up after the tail end of the summer tourists when his phone rings and he smiles. He knows who it is; he does not require modern technology in the form of caller-ID to tell him. It is Lorelai. He unbuttons his flannel shirt and hurriedly grabs an ice-cold beer from the fridge as he walks over to his bed to pick up the phone ringing loudly on his bedside table.
"Hey." He says in a voice low and drawn out, in the way of a man who knows that a beautiful woman is on the other end.
"You know, one of these days it's not going to be me on the other end of the line and whoever it is will find out your secret."
"Yes, your secret. The 'I act all gruff and manly and dress like a lumberjack but am 'secretly' dead sexy" secret."
"Ah… That secret, well, it's bound to come out sometime."
"NEVAH! If Ms. Patty ever gets hold of this sensitive information, I won't be able to save you my man, and it can only end in tragedy."
"She may already know. I was at Doose's the other day and she pinched my ass."
"Well, I can't blame her… you've gotta nice ass." She was teasing him and he loved it.
"Jeez. Between you, Ms. Patty and Sookie… I tell ya."
"SOOKIE? MY Sookie? Chef at the Inn Sookie? Best friend of ME, Sookie?"
"How many Sookie's do you know?"
"Married to the 'mushroom man", Sookie?"
"YES! Her, Sookie, B-F-O-T-B Sookie, 'I found a little groom topper with your ass' Sookie."
"She really needs to stop talking about your ass without me."
"Withou…? YOU TALK TO HER ABOUT MY ASS?" He felt so used, like nothing more than a piece of meat.
"Well, Hun, it's a fantabulous ass. One of the top twenty in New England, I'd say."
"Only the top twenty?"
"Well, maybe top ten"
"That's a little better."
"I'm sorry; I will never talk about your ass to Sookie anymore. I mean, why talk to HER about it when you see to be more than willing to talk about you ass with me."
"Change subject, please." The phone goes quiet for a moment and he thinks she is just racking her brain for some inane subject to talk about, however, when she speaks her voice is serious.
"You wanted to help plan the wedding didn't you? I mean, Sookie was all B-F-O-T-B and then I planned everything in one day. You wanted to help didn't you?"
"Yeah… but it's… Lorelai… it wasn't a big deal. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything weird. Wasn't Sookie supposed to have dancing mushrooms or something at her wedding?" He wanted to brush off this subject. Not only did the mention of their non-wedding hurt but he didn't want her to know how badly he had really wanted to be apart of the planning.
"That was my mother's idea."
"Well, good thing she wouldn't have wanted to plan our wedding."
"Oh, she foresaw a diner-themed wedding for us. Complete with ketchup bottle bouquet."
"Great. When was this? After Rory came back?"
"Actually, no; it was before we even got together."
"Around the time your uncle died."
"That long ago?"
"Yeah, actually she uhm… she… at Rory's sixteenth birthday party, when you brought the ice, mom thought you had a thing for me."
"Well, she was right, I did." No reason for him to lie about it now, she knew he had been pining.
"She also thought I liked the idea of you having a thing for me."
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't. You know, I thought about it. I thought about it, US, a lot over the years of our friendship."
"Yeah, when we were supposed to paint the diner together, I thought maybe that was like going to be a date type event. Sounds silly, I know."
"No, it doesn't. I sort of thought the same thing."
"But then I didn't show… and… it didn't happen then."
"Yeah… Christopher happened" He couldn't hold back the bite in that.
"Yeah…" Her voice was solemn and he had the feeling she had no idea what to say.
"Not always." She tried to make it sound defiant, but it was a weak come back and they both knew it.
"Yeah, not always, just most of the time: then, when we fought over the crash, at your parents vow renewal, after we were engaged; but no, not ALWAYS."
"I don't love him." The tone of her voice was final. No one could listen to her say that and not believe her… but still… for Luke, it was hard to.
"You say that, but every time… EVERYTIME, I get close or I screw up he's there. Is that how it's going to be, forever? When we're married? I come home late and you're not there but at Christopher's. We have a fight and instead of staying and working it out, you go to him? I act in a way that makes me unworthy of the pedestal that YOU put me on for a few months and then instead of fixing that or confronting me about that you get mad and you give up and you go to HIM?"
"NO! It wouldn't be like that! I thought we were getting better. I thought we were working this stuff out."
"We are! This is COMMUNICATING!"
"THIS IS YELLING! This if FIGHTING, Luke." Her voice was becoming more and more hoarse, with every word spoken.
"Well, at least it is better than NOTHING, which is what you did for MONTHS! I didn't KNOW Lorelai, I'm sorry, but I didn't KNOW. I'm not perfect, I'm just a man. A man who got thrown for a loop and didn't think that the one person he loved more than anything, the only person he trusted with anything in his life in YEARS would be the person to leave him. I thought I had you, I thought if anything I was doing was hurting you that you'd tell me because you knew me enough to know that I'd never want to hurt you."
"You always used to know everything I was thinking." She spat the words at him over the phone wire.
"I'm not a fucking mind-reader! There was something, something HUGE, going on in my life. I am so sorry, that I couldn't take the time to bow down to the Lorelai Gilmore temple."
"Oh, so what, I'm selfish? I was selfish when I gave you the time you asked for, when I tried so hard to be respectful of your wishes, to be PATIENT?"
"PATIENT? You think you were patient? Yes, I said we could elope, but I thought the point of postponing a wedding was to plan one AFTER the original date. Not to be at work and have your fiancée flying into your business acting all crazy and demanding to elope before running off to sleep with someone else."
"God, Luke! What do you need? What do you need from me to get over that, to forgive it, to realize that I love you and only you?" She was pleading. She needed an answer and she needed one that she could plausibly do.
Luke sighed. His beer had been knocked over in the dispute as he gestured wildly. He sat on the bed, then sank into it and brought his free hand through his hair.
"You; I just need you, all of you." And he quickly sat up and laid the phone on its cradle.
It has now been three days since he has talked to Lorelai. After the first day of silence he tried to call her but her phone just rang and rang without an answer. He found himself at a cross-road. He has no idea what to do now. Wit her being in Italy and not answering the phone, he sees no way to continue with the forward motion that they had been so diligently working at. His hopes are that she will call him in a few days time and that one fight wouldn't deter them from making amends. Mostly, he just misses her; and not just her calls. He misses seeing her face, her eyes, and her smile. He misses the smell of her shampoo, the feel of her body pressed against his in a tight embrace. Longingly, he thinks back to the days not so long ago when the bell would ring and he would look up and there she would be, talking a mile a minute and begging for coffee.
His thoughts are deep all day long and soon it is time to close up for the night. He turns the sign to closed, lowers the lights, and sets about the task off wiping tables and upturning chairs. He is facing the kitchen wiping down the crumbs from the toaster when the bell rings. Without turning around he addresses the unwanted intruder.
"We're closed. Come back tomorrow."
"Could I just get a cup of coffee? I'm a bit of a junkie when it comes to that stuff and I haven't had a good cup in a while." He stiffens and then turns. He feels his eyes involuntarily glisten but holds back that particular emotion.
"It's Mimi, actually. I was here a few years back, great coffee, thought I'd come back for another cup."
"Yeah… sure." He grabs a cup from under the counter, in the back. It is her favorite one. Setting the mug down in front of her as she sits in her usual spot at the counter, he grabs the pot of coffee and pours the hot black liquid. She grabs the mug with two hands, closes her eyes and inhales deeply before taking a long sip.
"Just as good as I remember."
"That stuff will kill ya."
"I'll take my chances." And there they are, her sipping coffee and he behind the counter, staring at her; these are the roles that they have played for ten years.
She looks up at him and smiles, eyes sparkling.
"I've missed you burger boy." And before he knows it she is crying and to his surprise he feels wetness on his cheeks and realizes that he is too. He leans back against the rear counter, not knowing what to do. And then she is moving. She slides off of the stool and comes around the counter. They are instantly hugging. His arms wrapped tightly around her and hers are clutching him in return. Her head is against his chest and he leans his cheek to her head, inhaling her scent. After a few moments she pulls back slightly and their eyes lock. They both laugh and sniffle back tears. She brings her hand to his cheek and softly caresses it.
"You've got me, all of me, forever." And her lips capture his and they are melting together and somehow they know that they'll be okay.