Disclaimer: Contrary to what my REM fools me into thinking, I do NOT own "Gilmore Girls," or any of its characters. As an extension of that, I DO own a freakishly strong envy of Amy Sherman-Palladino!

-- -- --

Lorelai charged down the stairs and leaned against the railing, glaring intently at her daughter, who sat reading on the couch. "You know what I hate?" She began pushing her hair back until it hung in a sloppy ponytail with numerous bumps and fly-aways. "I hate stress. Stress is annoying. Stress undoes all my prettiness. Stress is..." Her voice trailed off and her lips tightened as she gestured around in a rage.

"Stressful?" Rory offered, closing her book.

"Exactly!" Lorelai shouted, then smacked her hand against the railing. "Stress is stressful!"

"Who woulda thunk it?" Rory said with mock-seriousness.

Her mother pointed a warning finger at her, "Hey, don't be cute." She stomped into the kitchen and Rory heard the tell-tale sound of coffee being poured, then the refrigerator being opened and slammed shut much harder than necessary. She stood quickly and ran to the kitchen, where her mother had begun to slam a carton of milk against the table. "Empty! In the refrigerator! Empty and in the refrigerator. In the refrigerator, empty!"

"Mom. Mom!" Rory grabbed her mother's shoulders and forced her into one of the wooden chairs. "What is wrong with you today?"

Lorelai covered her face with her hands and groaned with frustration, "This shouldn't be so hard. I'm acting like a complete idiot."

"Is it something bad?" Lorelai shook her head in her hands. "So, its good?" She nodded. "Is it really good?" Another nod. "Well, come on, Mom. What is it?"

Lorelai smacked her hands into her lap, "I'm dating Luke," she said quickly, then promptly covered her face again. She started rambling, "Actually, I don't know if we're really dating or not, but we've kissed somewhere around five times and last night was sort of a date and I felt really bad because I never told you and I figured that I should tell you because I know and Luke knows and Jess knows and you didn't know and that was stressing me because you're my daughter and you should know but you didn't and I don't know why I didn't tell you but--"

"Mom, Mom, Mom," Rory held up her hands to stop the rambling. She shook her head, trying to process it all, and then looked her mother in the eye and let out a squeal, "Mom, oh my god!"

"What?"

"You kissed Luke? And you might be dating? Oh my god."

Lorelai stood slowly, nervously, "Okay, honey, you're gonna have to let on more than that. Is this a 'throw-a-party-and-dance-through-the-streets' kind of 'oh my god,' or a 'hey-let's-massacre-my-mom' kind of 'oh my god?'"

Rory raised her eyebrows, "This is a 'I-can't-believe-its-finally-happened-and-I'm-incredibly-thrilled-for-my-mom' kind of 'oh my god.'" She started in to hug her mother, but Lorelai stepped back and caught her arms with her own.

"That was not an option." They stared at each other for a moment before smiling and rushing into a tight hug. "Aw, honey, you're thrilled?"

"Beyond thrilled." Rory pulled back and did a little happy-hop, "This totally explains all the weirdness lately, too. Jeez, I'm so blind. I can't believe I didn't figure it out."

"I can't believe it either," Lorelai said in mock-disappointment, "I mean, even Jess figured it out before you."

"I could switch to being mad at you, if you like."

"No!" Lorelai hugged her, "I was just kidding. Jess used his evil mind powers; that's how he figured it out. You're still the smartest girlie in town, and the funniest, and the prettiest, and let's go to Luke's." She pulled away and went to the front door.

Rory trailed after her, "You just have a bouncy, bouncy brain today," she informed her. They went out to the jeep and drove to the diner, all the way with Rory smiling in the front seat, seemingly pleased with the idea of her mother dating Luke. The smile was contagious, and by the time they got to the diner, they were both smiling noticably.

When they approached the counter, Luke raised an eyebrow at them, "You two could scare Marie Studholme."

Lorelai turned to Rory and put a hand on her arm, "That's code for 'good morning and you're pretty.'"

Rory nodded knowingly at Luke, "Well, in that case, you could scare Marie Studholme, too!" They all looked over when they heard Jess running down the stairs. He turned the corner and ran behind the counter, picking up a coffee pot.

"I know," he said without looking at Luke, "I'm late. I overslept. My alarm clock didn't go off."

Luke took the pot from his nephew's hands, "Would you settle down? I turned off your alarm. You were up late last night, and I thought I'd let you get some extra sleep. Now, sit down, relax; I'll make you something to eat."

Jess gave him a crooked glance, "Thanks," he said slowly. He walked around the counter and sat down on the stool next to Lorelai.

Rory leaned forward to look at Jess and gave him a kind smile, "You could scare Marie Studholme, Jess!"

Lorelai bit back laughter when Jess's face wrinkled in confusion. She gave him a reassuring pat on the back, "Its a compliment."

"Oh," he mumbled, "Well, um, thanks. You...too?"

"Aw," Rory teased, "Mom, Jess thinks I'm pretty!"

"Yes," Lorelai put her arm around her daughter's shoulders and pulled her close, "Just remember, sweetie, you thought he was pretty first."

Luke watched all of this and rolled his eyes, "Look what I've started. You guys ready to order or what?" The consensus was pancakes and cheddar omelets, so Lorelai came up with the idea that Luke should make the largest omelet possible and then put it on top of the largest pancake possible and let them split it. This idea was shot down not only by Luke, but also by Rory and Jess, who could all see the disaster in that situation. Lorelai pouted and muttered something about everyone conspiring against her, and Luke took pity. When he arrived with their plates, Lorelai was elated to find that he had made her omelet almost twice the normal size and gave her a couple extra pancakes. She gave him a sweet smile that started at the lips, but ended at the eyes, which stayed locked for about the longest moment in history. Noticing that Rory was watching this moment with a smile, Jess took a pen out of his back pocket and scribbled something on a napkin and handed it to her behind Lorelai.

Rory unfolded the napkin and barely managed to hold back a laugh: Are you in the loop?

She reached for the pen and scribbled something down and passed it back: This morning.

Jess smiled: Welcome to the club.

I hear only the cool kids get in.

Luke and Lorelai had dropped gazes and Lorelai was digging into her food happily, completely oblivious to what was going on with anyone else. Jess continued writing: That's why its just you and me.

What happens when word gets around town?

The loop opens for outsiders.

We must build a fort.

Jess snorted and Lorelai's eyes snapped to him. She looked down at the napkin clenched in his hands and then looked at Rory, who was also giggling lightly. "Hey," she pouted, "No passing notes!" She reached for it, but Jess held it behind his back and gave her a smug smirk. Lorelai pulled back and wrinkled her nose at him, crossing her arms, "Fine. I was going to share my extra pancakes with you guys, but nevermind that now. You guys are mean!" Her eyes were focused on Jess, allowing Rory to easily slip two pancakes off of Lorelai's plate and onto her own. She gave Jess a little nod and a thumbs up. He started laughing and eating his own omelet, unable to wipe the smile off of his face. When Lorelai turned back to her food, the two teenagers put their plates behind her back. Jess transferred a pancake from Rory's plate to his own and she took some of his omelet, causing him to scowl at her. She gave him her 'I'm so innocent' look and he softened, pulling back. They continued to eat in silence until Luke came back to the counter.

"You're all quiet," he observed.

Lorelai dropped her fork and pointed an index finger to each teenager, "They were passing notes!"

Luke blinked, opening his eyes slowly, "Passing...notes?"

Jess handed Luke the napkin and he read it. Then, with a clever grin on his face, he picked up the pen from the counter: A mote would probably work, too. He handed it to Rory, who immediately doubled over with laughter, nearly choking on the bite of pancake in her mouth. She handed it to Jess, careful not to let her mother grab it. Jess chuckled and gave Luke an impressed nod. Lorelai threw herself at him, arm's flailing in a desperate attempt to grab the napkin. While she busied herself with that, Luke turned to Rory.

"So...?"

Rory leaned forward and whispered, "Yeah, and the word 'thrilled' was tossed about."

He let out a sigh of relief and smiled at her, turning to return to the kitchen.

"Ha!" Lorelai pulled back, clutching the bottom half of the napkin in her hand. She uncrumpled it and raised her eyebrows, "'Mole woolo plooaoly wolk, loo?'"

"Ye-eah," Rory nodded slowly, "Its, um...Swahili. Mole woolo plooaoly wolk, loo, Mom!"

Lorelai smiled, "Don't you Swahili sweet-talk me."

Jess chimed, "Mole woolo plooaoly wolk, loo, Lorelai."

"Wow, something about that feels dirty."

Jess rolled his eyes and went behind the counter. He refilled all of their coffee cups and looked at Rory, "I have to go over to Doose's; want to tag along?" She shrugged and nodded, and they both boxed up their food and said goodbye to Lorelai before leaving. Luke came back from the kitchen and looked at the two new empty seats.

Lorelai smiled and leaned forward, "They went to Doose's market. She looked around to make sure no one was listening and said, in a quiet voice, "Can I talk to you, upstairs, real quick?" He nodded and they went up to his apartment.

Once the door shut, Lorelai wrapped her arms around Luke's neck and pulled him in for a soft kiss. He reciprocated immediately, feeding his arms around her waist and kissing her back with a gentle fierceness that made her feel secure and endangered at the same time. When they pulled back, she smiled shyly at him and said quietly, "Good morning, Luke." He kissed her again, soft and quick, "Good morning, Lorelai." She sighed happily and leaned against him, her cheek against his collarbone. Feeling him breathing, the gentle inhale and exhale, chest rising and falling against her, combined with the strong arms surrounding her, made Lorelai feel suddenly more safe than she'd ever felt, and she was almost afraid to pull away. Luke kissed the top of her head, smiling against her messy hair. He ran his arms up and down her sides, causing a tingling sensation to shoot through her entire body, summoning up a frenzy passion. She leaned up and pressed her lips against his, arching her back to fit his form perfectly. When she felt his tongue enter her mouth, all coherence fled and she gave a small grunt and returned the action, exploring every contour of his mouth. She heard him sigh and felt the long shiver that shot through his body. They were on the same plane now, both lost and unaware of the world around them. A faint whisper of reason echoed in Luke's mind, informing him that if they didn't stop soon, they wouldn't be able to stop at all. And while this didn't seem to be an entirely unpleasent option, the same nagging reason told him that the timing wasn't right; this should be something really special. As all of this ran through his mind, all that was going through Lorelai's was: can't breathe, can't breathe, can't breathe. Simultaneously, they pulled apart, both gasping for air. Luke's eyes were wide and he opened his mouth several times to speak, only to close it again. He walked backwards a few feet, attempting to put distance between the two of them, as to smother the fire building in them.

"Ooh," Lorelai drawled, once she had most of her breath back, "Luke Danes, you are doing all sorts of nerve damage," she looked up, face red and flushed, and gave him a teasing smile.

"You're not exactly unstimulating, yourself."

She laughed and bit her lip, trying to control herself and hold back the pressing desire to run and tackle him to the bed. She pointed her thumb toward the door, "Um, we should probably--I mean, you've gotta work and...Oh, jesus, just go downstairs before I drive myself crazy!"

-- -- --

I don't have time to write a LOT right now, so this one will have chapters. Enjoy, and please leave feedback!