A/N: This is a challenge response... the challenge on Our Little Corner was to write about a childhood event of one of the characters. Here's mine, so read, enjoy, and tell me what you think!
Luke slowly rolled out of bed, trying not to wake Lorelai. He tiptoed across the room and out into the hallway toward the bathroom. It was Sunday morning. Sunday mornings meant nothing in particular to Lorelai, but they meant a few hours of serenity for Luke. Luke went fishing every Sunday morning.
Luke loved Lorelai, he loved her more than anything in the world, but fishing was a means of escape. He could only take her chatter and coffee addiction for so long without a break. Luke always thought that fishing taught him patience, which was totally and completely necessary when dealing with Lorelai. So, he decided to keep the Danes family tradition alive. Before day broke on Sundays, he would take a trip to the lake, fishing license in hand, as Taylor wouldn't allow it any other way, hoping to catch something.
He was never a very sentimental guy, but for some reason or another, sitting by the lake with his fishing pole and tackle box close by reminded him of his father. It was like William sat next to him as he fished. As Luke put the bait on his hook, he recalled his first fishing trip.
"Luke, son, wake up," William whispered.
Six-year-old Luke slowly rolled over to see why his father was waking him up. It was Sunday, and he didn't have to go to school. He forced himself to sit up as he yawned.
"Come on downstairs. I'll make you breakfast, and then we're going fishing."
Luke's eyes lit up at the mention of fishing. Luke had always wanted to go fishing with his father. He had never asked William about it, but he had been hoping for this early morning trip for a long time. Luke threw on a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and thumped downstairs. He was so excited to finally be going fishing with his dad.
"Shh! Luke, we don't want to wake your mother or Lizzie. Here, have a pancake," William said, placing pancake with maple syrup in front of Luke.
Luke shoveled the pancake in his mouth, chewing as fast as possible. He wanted to get the fishing trip started as soon as possible.
"The fish can wait, Luke, take your time," William chuckled. "They'll still be there if you eat slower."
As Luke finished off his pancake, he began to realize he didn't know how to fish. He'd sat with William as he organized his tackle box, and listened to his explanations of what each item's use was, but he had never been taught exactly how to fish. A part of him was nervous he'd do something terribly wrong, and his father would never take him fishing again.
His fears were alleviated as William led him to a shady area of the lake. The sun was just barely up, and the sky was a spectrum of color. There were other fishermen in the area, but none anywhere near Luke and his father. Luke stood behind William, in awe of the spot he'd found.
"Do you get this spot every time you fish?" Luke asked, almost in a whisper.
William nodded. "This spot has been in the Danes family for years. My father took me to this spot when I was your age. My grandfather took my father to this spot. And someday, you'll take your son to this spot. Everyone in Stars Hollow knows this is our spot."
Luke held his fishing pole, eager to learn how to fish just like William did. He watched as a bird flew close to the water's surface. Everything was so different when the majority of the town was asleep.
William stood up, motioning for Luke to come closer. Luke obliged, almost tiptoeing toward his father. William took Luke's pole and removed a clam from his bait container. "All right, Luke. This is how you put the bait on the hook. Now, it's pretty simple, but you want to make sure that you don't hurt yourself, first and foremost, and you also want to make sure that the bait is on there good and tight. We don't want it to fly off when you're casting. See that? Nice and tight."
Luke observed, attempting to remember exactly how to put the bait on the hook. He couldn't believe he was really fishing with William.
"Now, stand over here, and we'll teach you how to cast," William said. William took Luke's pole and moved off to the side, so Luke could see exactly how it was done. "Now, you take your pole, bring it back like this... It's not like pitching when you go over the top. It's more like a sidearm throw. Then you let go of this, and you throw it. Don't let go of your pole, though," William teased. "Here, you try."
Luke took the pole from William. He took a deep breath, and attempted to cast. His hook went into the water, but not out very far. Luke sighed in frustration.
"Luke, it's all right. You got the bait in the water, that's a start. Here, we'll reel it in and try again," William insisted.
Luke reeled the line in and casted again. This time he got it further into the water.
"Nice job, son. That's perfect. Now, have a seat, and we'll wait for the fish to bite."
Luke stared at his pole for a minute, then turned to William. "Dad? How will I know when a fish is biting?"
William turned to his son. "You'll know. You'll feel something tugging on your pole, and your line will move more than it is now. All right? Just be patient, they'll bite."
The two sat, silent while they waited for the fish to bite. Luke wanted to ask some questions about fishing, but he'd heard somewhere that talking scared the fish. So he stared out into the water, waiting for the fish to bite.
Finally, Luke felt a tug on his fishing line. "Dad, I think I have a fish!" Luke said.
William abandoned his pole to help his son reel in his first catch. Together they reeled in a bass that was a pretty good size for Luke's first fish. "Excellent catch, son! I'm impressed. Nice work. I don't think my fish was this good, in fact I'm positive my first catch wasn't nearly this good. "
Luke smiled, ear to ear, as his dad situated his bait and hook again for Luke to attempt to catch another fish. Luke was overjoyed. He had made his dad proud, and he caught his first fish. He swore to himself that he'd remember this moment for the rest of his life.
Luke reeled in his line as he recalled the first time he'd been fishing with William. He hadn't caught a thing, but he was satisfied. Being at the lake made him feel closer to his father. No cemetery could do that for Luke. He packed up his tackle box and headed back home.
He opened the front door to find Lorelai sitting on the couch, clutching a mug of coffee. "Hey," he said. "What are you doing up?"
Lorelai shrugged. "Babette's cat got out, and she rang the doorbell, begging me to help find her. I haven't been able to fall asleep since."
Luke put his tackle box down and sat next to Lorelai. "Need some more coffee?" he asked, motioning toward the cup.
"No, not yet. In a minute, maybe. How's William?"
He wasn't entirely surprised that Lorelai asked how his father was. She knew how Luke felt about the lake, and William's presence there.
"He's fine. He's mad we didn't catch anything today, though," Luke answered slowly.
Lorelai nodded. "Tell him hello for me next time you visit, will you?"
"Sure will. He'll be there, bright and early," Luke said, kissing Lorelai's cheek and getting up to put away the tackle box. "He always was."