The bell above the diner rang out signaling the entrance of yet another customer. The morning had been busy, very busy and though Luke welcomes the extra funds coming into his business he is already work weary. He sighs and looks up, his tired façade changing quickly into annoyance.
"What the hell do you think you are doing," he asks in the gruffest tone he can muster.
"Luke, I am bored and I am hungry and if I have to watch one more episode of 'The View' or 'Little House on the Prairie' I will kill someone. And if the first person I happen to see in my homicidal rage is you, well so be it," Lorelai's return is filled with the angry annoyance of a woman carrying inside of her what should by now be a one-week old baby.
Seven days ago, on her due date, Luke and Lorelai had sat around the house just waiting for the first signs of labor so they could rush off to the hospital to greet the coming child. Two days later, Luke finally went back to the diner as there was no sign that anything was going to happen soon.
"Look, Lorelai I know that you are tired of all the waiting around but the doctor said…"
"LUKE! The doctor said that moving around would get this thing out of me."
"She ALSO said that you need to take it easy and not go far from home. And NO driving."
"I was bored. Come entertain me."
"Lorelai… I have to work if I want to take time off when the baby is actually here."
"Well then, let's just get it OUT!" He could tell she was just about too far beyond pissed to think rationally and he wasn't sure how to diffuse this situation.
"Lorelai… you know I'd like to. I don't want to see you like this but…"
"But what, Luke haven't we been working things out? Haven't we been doing really good?"
"God, Luke. Stop with the excuses. If you don't want to touch me, if you can't bring yourself to touch me again then what the hell are we doing?"
He hung his head and when it looked like she wouldn't get an answer she shook her head and walked back out the door.
When he heard the door close behind her he came around the counter to go after her and was greeted with a large group of kids coming in after some Saturday activity. Yet again, they'd have to leave the important conversation for later.
By the time he leaves and heads to see Lorelai it is early evening and he hopes she has had time to calm down. He also hopes that she'll be open to reason when they talk. He quickly bounds of the steps to her porch and opens the door. He silently curses her for not locking the door, yet again.
"Lorelai…?" His voice rings out in the house as he does not see her sitting the living room. As he shuts the door he notices the sound of soft music filtering down the stairs from the bedroom. He trudges up the stairs and the music gets louder. He now notices it as one of those old torch singers Lorelai likes.
He knocks on the door and her muffled 'come in' sounds calm enough to him so he opens the door. He is shocked at what he sees. Candles, dozens of flaming candles on every surface; even in the bathroom. And Rose petals, strewn all across the floor. Lorelai is sitting on the bed reading a book on 'baby's first year' and softly humming along to the music.
"Lorelai, what is all this?" She stops humming and puts her book down after marking her spot with a petal nearest to her. Her legs swing over the side of the bed and she leans back slight, resting her weight on her palms.
"So, I realized that I was a little hormonal today. I mean really, I am a beached whale why in the world would you want to sleep with a crazy hormonal beached whale?"
"Lorelai, you're not…" She cuts him off by raising her hand in a 'stop' motion.
"Don't. I know that I am pregnant. But I am uncomfortable and have gained so much weight that I can hardly remember what it was like not to weigh the size of a small submarine. However, this whole not sleeping with me thing isn't about my size, is it?"
He shakes his and whispers a quiet, "no it's not."
"No, it's not. We've been doing well. You and I, on some sort of forward track and that's great. But, I've wanted a little more lately, some intimacy. And we haven't been able too because of the baby and everything. And I know you stay here every night and we kiss and you rub my extremely sore back but… it's not enough.
"I want you. And now we have this chance and you don't want it. I was mad today, I've been mad, that you haven't wanted to have sex even when the doctor said it could help 'move things along'. I've been thinking all day and at first I thought you just were disgusted by what I had done.
"But then I thought 'no, Lorelai that cannot be it because if he was he would be man enough to tell me and not sting me along if he doesn't want to be with me.' So what I've decided is this: It's not very romantic. Having sex with me for the first-time, after all this time, because we are trying to get the baby to move down and my water to break that's really sexy stuff, huh. So I thought, maybe, a little… seduction," she winks one of her patented terrible winks at him then, "would help." He smiles at her and shakes his head as he makes his way to sit next to her. The voice in the background is crooning on and on in some foreign language he vaguely thinks is French.
"This is really nice Lorelai. You didn't have to do this. I should have just… taken it like a man. Here you are, carrying my baby around for nine plus months and all you want is for him to be born and I can't have sex with you. I think I may be kicked out of some guy union for this. I'm stupid."
"It's not stupid Luke. You wanna be romanced. It's sexy." She teases him and starts to rub the top of his thigh in affection.
"I do NOT want to be romanced; I kind of wanted to be doing the romancing. I just thought I'd have time, after the baby was born to… do it right, and do not say 'dirty'."
"Oh…?" She sounds intrigued that he had thought about when they would 'get primordial' again.
"I thought we'd get Sookie or someone to watch the baby and I'd take you to Sniffy's and it'd be kind of like our first date, a renewal if you will."
"Well, Luke, that sounds nice. We can still do that, baby. It'd be a great first night without the kid thing. But I don't need that. I've just wanted you, us, again."
He sighs and leans in to smell the shampoo on her freshly washed hair and then dips down a little to press his lips to her temple.
"I've wanted you too; I just didn't think I should. That's not very fatherly of me is it; even after the doctor said you shouldn't be having 'you know' I still wanted to."
"Hey now, mommies and daddies gotta have time for each other too." She smiles into the crook of his neck as one hand has come up to caress her cheek and the other is softly rubbing her back.
"Hey… lay back." He whispers gently into her ear and she gives him a sultry smile as she complies. He begins to unbutton the shirt she is wearing and her eyes go indigo in response.
"You know, I really like this song." He whispers as he gently kisses her neck, as he is now pushing down her stretchy pants.
"Edith Piaf, great French singer, 'Non, Je ne regrette rien.'"
"What does it mean?"
"No regrets." He stops his ministrations and after a moment pulls back to look at her. Her eyes are full of worry.
"No regrets, sounds like a good song." And his lips capture hers for the first time that night and slowly, gently they move forward from the past year of pain. They both wish that many things that occurred would not have but in this moment, as they embrace each other and prepare to bring their child into the world neither one can really think of any regrets.
The pain is unbearable, a tightness, a ripping feeling. Lorelai's screams pierce Luke's ears but he can't worry about that pain. His hand feels as if each and every bone in it is shattered and yet she squeezes harder and harder, occasionally pulling the rest of his arm along as she drags it to her lips and biting through her own pain.
He thinks about how all those birthing pamphlets were right about natural child-birth not being a delight.
She is sweating and crying and screaming and struggling with all she has in her. His hand is killing him, but looking at her in this pain is a pain beyond death. Lorelai is in pain and he cannot help it, he cannot be himself and fix it.
Their bedroom activities had indeed 'moved things along' and a mere five hours after they finally went to sleep Luke awoke to a decidedly un pleasurable moan from Lorelai and the feeling of water seeping into the sheets, only it wasn't water. He had sprung to life then, quickly grabbing his clothes and helping Lorelai into hers. They had made it down the stairs, out the door, and out of Stars Hollow in five minutes, pretty fast for a man who drives like an 80 year-old grandpa.
And here they were, 12 hours of waiting and two hours of pushing later.
"This sucks." Lorelai's voice breaks through the pain that is clouding his head.
"Yeah… but at least we get a nice prize at the end."
"When's the end," she asks and before he can answer the will to push overtakes her and she is squeezing his hand again.
"Hey, Lorelai, you're doing great. We can see the head." The doctor's voice is perky, too perky for Luke or Lorelai at the moment but Luke can't help but smile and venture a look. It is not pretty. He shouldn't be surprised, but he is because not that long ago that area most certainly did not look like that. He quickly snaps his focus back to Lorelai.
"Yeah, head's out." He states in quiet horror. And Lorelai laughs, which in her current situation really surprises him.
"Oh great, he'll never look there again." She says to the doctor who looks at him and laughs and shakes her head.
"Okay, Lorelai, before we have to revive Luke, three more good pushes should do it. Are you ready?"
"Hah, like it'd matter if I said no."
In reality, it only took two because as Lorelai said afterwards she's always been an overachiever in the baby birthing subject.
So he is here, all 9 pounds 13 ounces of him, and he is beautiful and perfect and Luke can't remember why he ever thought for a second in his life that having a baby wouldn't be the most amazing thing he'd ever do.
"Hey, Papa, hand him over." Lorelai is giddy and rested and ready to hold her baby without fear of falling asleep and dropping him. Luke waits for her to straighten herself up and then places the brand-new Danes boy into his mother's waiting arms.
Lorelai removes the hospital cap from his head and softly strokes his full head of dark hair.
"Guess I know now what caused all the indigestion. Thanks a lot buddy." The baby replies with a swat of his blanket-covered arm and a wrinkled nose.
"Hey now mister, that is no way to treat your mother. Can you believe him, Luke? He is so grounded when we get home."
"Ah, maybe we can give him a pass; it's been a rough day for him." He smiles at her, he's been doing a lot of that lately; just smiling. Luke is now rubbing her arms and staring at the baby in awe, they both are.
"He's perfect." He says in a low whisper and Lorelai looks up to him with wet eyes and laughs and nods her head.
"Yeah he is."
The nurse comes to take him away once again but promises to bring him back after Lorelai has had a chance to eat and rest a bit more. She pushes the small baby-bed up to Lorelai's and Luke takes the baby and places him in it. Before the nurse can push him away, Lorelai reaches down to stroke his chubby cheek and whispers into his ear.
"We'll see you later. Happy Birthday, Baby."