Authors Note: I know it's one of the many missing scene fics out there, and not nearly as good as some, but give it a chance.
Thanks to pink hammer for the beta.
We stand, staring at each other, neither saying anything. Finally, I hear him speak.
"I just… like to see you happy."
His tone has me melting. I don't know how I manage to stay standing, but I do. I take a step forward and at the same time I see him moving too. The last thing I hear before our lips crash, is the bag Luke was holding hitting the ground.
The kiss starts tentatively, and when neither of us gives any sign of regretting it or pulling back, it gets more passionate. I raise myself onto my toes, adjusting so that we are the same height. I feel him wrap one of his arms around my waist and the other around my neck. Someone could call it a headlock, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel secure in his arms and boy have I missed him.
We start to pull back and it's only then we remember where we are. I rest my forehead against his and I notice him looking towards the party.
"Do you have to go back now?"
"Rory's saying goodbye to her grandparents, so I have some time."
He takes my hand and he is leading me to the diner. The sight before me takes me by surprise.
"What's all this?"
"The tarps I didn't use."
"Oh my god, Luke, I don't think I can thank you enough for all of this!"
"Well Babette's ankles are never wrong." He says while smiling.
"What do Babette's ankles have to do with anything?"
"Long story, I'll explain later."
He is staring at me.
"You have no idea how much I've missed you," I say, and he is in front of me and kissing me in a matter of seconds. This time the kiss is heated from the beginning and I have no idea how we ended up with me backing him against the counter. After the kiss ends, we share a hug and neither wants to let the other go.
"I lost any hope for us when I heard you say the song didn't mean anything."
I pull back from him dumbfounded.
He looks at me pointedly and I must look like a deer caught in the headlights when it finally dawns on me.
"You heard that? I was just trying to stop them from gossiping. I didn't even know if there was anything to gossip about anyway."
"Did you really think that?"
"Well considering everything…" I trail off.
We stand staring at each other when I realize something.
"That's why you gave me the cold shoulder? Gah! I can't believe I didn't figure out that you'd heard what I said!"
"We are stupid," Luke says smiling.
"That we are," I smile back and here we are kissing again. I take advantage of Luke kissing down my neck and whisper to him.
"I meant it. Every word of it. I love you and never stopped."
He grins at me and I see him playing with my necklace. I feel him reach to unclasp it and then he is searching in his back pocket. I'm confused. He presents me with a similar pink box as the one that had Rory's earrings in it, but bigger.
"Aw, Luke, it's beautiful." He takes it and puts it on me. I see him take a step back.
"Perfect," and he is kissing me again. It seems that we can't keep our hands off each other as the kiss turns to a full make-out session. It feels good to have his arms around me again. We are backing up, neither seeing or caring where we are headed. I feel Luke trip and we fall on the tarps. I hear Luke laughing so hard that I can't but laugh myself.
When his laughter subsides he turns and hugs me, murmuring into my ear that he loves me, and I know that this time we will make it. We stay down staring at each other with goofy smiles on our faces. Just as we are about to resume our previous activities we hear someone calling from outside.
"Mom? Are you in here?"
"I have to go," I sigh. I look at him, trying to make sure that he understands. With a small nod he reaches for me and we stand up.
When we reach the door he turns me to him. "Are you okay?"
"With us? Hell yes!"
"Well, I was talking more about Rory leaving, but good to know."
My face falls immediately and he notices.
"It's going to be alright."
"Mom?" Rory yells again.
"Come by for breakfast tomorrow before she leaves."
"She leaves at five!"
"I probably won't sleep anyway. I'll have to clear the square or else Taylor will hunt me down."
"We'll be here."
With one last peck and a comforting hug I'm out of the door.
When I enter the diner the next day, Luke is preparing to open.
"Good morning. Where's Rory?"
"She's taking a walk around town. She'll be here shortly."
"Good. Do you want anything?"
"I'll wait for her. Hey, come here."
He stands right in front of me and I can see the dark circles under his eyes.
"You look exhausted."
"Yeah, well I haven't slept in two days." He says, shrugging.
"Oh, poor baby!" I hug him and I feel him relax in my arms. I play with his hair and he is ready to sleep in my arms.
"We can leave if you want us to." I suggest.
"No way. I'm giving Rory one last breakfast no matter what."
"You are too good for us."
We smile at each other and we are sharing a sweet kiss just as the bell above the door rings, signaling Rory's entrance.
"Aren't you the sweetest?"
We both blush and pull apart while Rory and I take a seat at our favorite table by the window.
Luke grabs the pot that was brewing and heads to serve us. His favorite girls as he likes to call us.
"Mmm. The coffee smells good."
" Hello, old friend."
" How is it?"
" Your first pot is always your best."
"Thanks for opening up the place."
"I've got to take care of my best customers."
"So, you guys know what you want?"
"Oh, hmm, I have no idea."
"Looks like a delightful menu."
"Oh, it does look delightful, charming."
"Very charming. Adorable fonts."
"I wish there were pictures."
"You know, I'm gonna need a minute. I can't decide."
"Take all the time you need."
"But could we get some eggs and bacon and hash browns to tide us over?"
As Luke leaves to get our order I see Rory eyeing my necklace.
"Hey, I like your necklace."
"Oh, you do?"
I can't keep myself from watching over my shoulder, where Luke is standing.
"It suits you."
After we finish eating I see Rory looking at her watch.
"I think it's time."
I take a deep breath. This is it. I can't prolong it any more. My little girl is leaving and I don't know when I'll see her again. I'm starting to tear up and take a deep breath. I have to be strong.
"I'm going to say goodbye to Luke."
After a while they both emerge from the kitchen. Rory is crying while Luke has his arm around her shoulder and… are those tears in his eyes? They hug, and Rory heads out the door. He has his head bowed down and I go to him. I kiss him and place a hand on his cheek.
"I'll be back after I return from the airport."
"I'll be waiting."
I have no recollection of the trip back to Stars Hollow. The last thing I can remember is saying goodbye to Rory at the gate. I stayed there long enough to actually see the plane take off. Something about it gave finality to the situation.
And now, here I am parked in front of the diner watching Luke drag himself around trying to serve his customers. I can clearly see from here how tired he is, and I wonder why he keeps working when he is supposed to be sleeping. I finally step out of the Jeep, head straight to him and launch myself into his arms. He immediately wraps them around me, hugging me tight.
"Why are you still working?"
"I was waiting for you," he says smiling, before turning and leading me up the stairs.
"Caesar, you're in charge!" He yells. Just before we disappear behind the curtain we hear him muttering "Finally!"
"What was that?"
"Well, let's just say that I wasn't in the greatest shape this morning and I was driving them crazy."
"You know you could have waited up here."
"Nah, I would have fallen asleep instantly and I would have missed you."
"Aw, one of these days Mr. Danes I'll tell everyone how sweet you are!"
We enter the apartment and the changes that have been made this past year are obvious. I stay frozen at the door.
"Nothing. It's just… wow you have a tablecloth now and masks hanging from the walls."
"April insisted I give the place some color and you can see the results. You don't like it?"
"Oh no, it's just different. I'll get used to it" I answer trying to change the subject. I know we have to talk, but not now, not when both of us are dead tired.
"Do you want something to drink?"
"No, I'm okay. Let's just lie down. You look exhausted."
We head towards the bed, stripping off our clothes.
"Do you have anything I can sleep in?"
"I can find something," he says with a grin on his face.
He goes to the closet and I'm surprised when he turns and gives me the blue flannel I had claimed so long ago.
"Will this do or you want something else?"
"This will do just fine!"
The nervousness hits us both, and we are both shooting uncomfortable glances towards the bed. Luke makes the first move, lying on his side and patting the bed for me to join him. I lie on my side as well, but I'm a bit hesitant at first to get too close to him. I finally take my place at the crook of his neck and he wraps his arms around me instantly, kissing the top of my head.
"How are you holding up?" he asks, and I know he's referring to Rory leaving.
"It was so hard seeing her walk through that gate. I thought I would have more time with her, but everything happened so fast. We were supposed to have the whole summer to spend on stupid roller- coaster rides and eating nothing but junk food. I guess we're both stuck in Stars Hollow for the summer."
"Well… I was thinking that maybe… I mean if you want to that is, and since the reservations are already made, wecouldgotothatboattriptogether!" he quickly blurts out.
"We what?" I say sitting up.
"It was just a thought. If you don't want to go, it's no big deal."
"You and me? On a boat for two months?"
"Don't forget the motel reservations you suggested. Look, you don't have to decide right now, take your time."
"I think it will be fun. Yeah, I think it would be great."
"Really? You can think this through if you want, make your pro con lists and everything."
"Nah, I'm sure. You can't get away from me, pal, you're stuck with me for the summer."
"I can't wait."
And then he suddenly grabs me by the waist and drags me on top of him kissing me senseless.
"I thought you were tired," I manage to mutter.
"That never stopped us before. But don't worry, we won't go further than kissing. For now." He says with a devilish grin.