To Be With You Tomorrow
Chapter 1: Back to You
Disclaimer: Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino have created a wonderful world that I am merely borrowing for my own happy ends, and hopefully to bring a little joy to the Gilmore faithful.
Hello and welcome to the fic. First off, this is part one of a three part-as-yet-to-be-named saga. If you were wondering, this is my take on what would have been season eight. To Be With You Tomorrow deals specifically with Luke and Lorelai rebuilding their relationship. Of course, the best laid plans never do go off quite as intended, so expect plenty of the unexpected. Please be aware that while I do have quite a little chunk written, I'm prone to writing myself into corners and then spending several weeks (or heaven forbid months) trying to get out of them. Please enjoy!
The house seemed empty. Even with Paul Anka waiting for her return, Lorelai admitted to herself that the house was empty. She put her trusty Jeep into park and turned off the engine. After several minutes of just sitting in the Jeep, Lorelai got out and trudged into the house.
Lorelai Gilmore prided herself in the fact that she never trudged. Even when her mother forced her into something, she never trudged. She would reluctantly shuffle instead. But Rory's departure for Barack Obama's campaign had made Lorelai trudge.
Upon actually entering the house, Lorelai became painfully aware of how big it was. When Rory was at Yale it hadn't seemed so big – of course when Rory was at Yale she would periodically come home, plus Luke had also been around, and then there was Christopher and GiGi…
Looking at the clock, Lorelai groaned as she realized that she was conscious during the unholy hour of six A.M. More precisely it was six-thirty. Rory's plane had taken off at just before six, sending the college grad into the world on her own. Back at the airport, Rory had made her mother promise to go back to bed once she got home. However Lorelai was up, showered, dressed, fed and caffinated. There was no way she was going back to bed any time soon.
Facing the inevitable, Lorelai turned back around and marched herself to Luke's Diner. She marched in and sat next to Kirk at the counter, looking around for the diner's owner and namesake.
Luke found her, as it turned out, and made her nearly jump out of her skin when he placed his hand on the small of her back. "What are you doing here?" he asked her.
Regaining her composure, Lorelai tried to think of why she had returned to the diner. "I need coffee," she answered weakly.
"Uh-huh," Luke replied. "After the three you had earlier?" But he still poured her a cup anyway.
Lorelai looked up at him and she felt what little composure she had left disintegrating. Luke saw the unshed tears in her eyes and quickly put the coffee pot down. "Hey, let's go home."
Let's go home. Three, magic little words that made Lorelai's lip quiver. Sensing that she was near a breakdown, Luke gave Cesar and Zach orders to hold down the fort and call in for back-up if need be. He was going to be out the rest of the day. Ushering Lorelai from the diner, Luke put one arm around her waist and walked her home.
"I'm pathetic," she mumbled as Luke opened the front door. "I should be happy for Rory."
"You are happy for Rory," Luke answered as he steered her towards the living room. Once there, he sat on the couch at an angle and pulled Lorelai against him. "But you're also her mother, which entitles you to be sad, too."
"I feel like an amputee," Lorelai said frankly, causing the corners of Luke's mouth to twitch up. "I keep thinking she's gonna walk out of her room and ask for coffee."
"I'm sure she misses you, too."
"Yeah, yeah," Lorelai muttered. "She's miserable following Barack Obama around." She snuggled deeper against Luke's chest and sighed. There was just something comforting about him. Perhaps it was the raw masculinity that seemed to seep from ever pore, but Lorelai took comfort in that.
"You raised a good kid, Lorelai. You should be proud of yourself."
"I had some amazing help, you know."
Luke blinked a few times in confusion. "From who?"
"Luke, you were there and Christopher wasn't. Plain and simple. I think, deep down, Rory thought of you as being like a dad. That's how I knew that you would do just fine with April, and you've done a great job with her."
"Mostly because I had you. You helped me, you know."
"Aw, we're mutually beneficial to each other."
"Lorelai?" Luke's tone had become very serious. Craning her neck to look at him, Lorelai found an equally serious expression on his face. He wasn't looking at her; rather he was looking at her mantle and all of the pictures that graced it.
"What?" she asked in a small voice, afraid of what he would say.
"We should go slow."
Pulling away from the comfort of his arms, Lorelai looked at Luke in confusion. "Go slow?" she parroted. "What do you mean by that?"
"We were engaged, and then we weren't. I don't think that it's wise to just jump in and pick up where we left off. I think that we should take it slow for a few months and then see where we are."
"And that means?"
"No sex, at least for a few months."
"Lorelai, I just don't want to rush into this and have it all fall apart. I wouldn't be able to take it. I really believe that it's for the best if we just date for a while and then take it from there."
"Think of the necklace as a promise. A promise of things to come."
"More brilliantly crafted pieces by Liz?"
"Well, I really like Liz's stuff. The earrings, the other necklace, this necklace…"
Luke chuckled. "She'll be happy to hear that, you know. But you're getting me off topic. Stop doing that."
"Rats, you're on to me."
"Lorelai, I don't want to lose you again. For years I watched you with other men and it killed me. That night of the Dragonfly test run when your ex showed up swearing that you two were still an item, I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. That once again I'd been too afraid to tell you how I felt and I'd lost you. After everything that happened when our engagement ended, I decided that if I ever got the chance to make things right with you, I'd take it and I'd do it right this time."
"Okay," Lorelai said simply. "You don't move at my pace. I've always known that and I still pressured you to elope with me. That wasn't fair of me to do that to you. I should have been more understanding of your need to get to know April, to get her acclimated to the idea of not only you, but to us. I just wish that you'd let me have some contact with her. I wouldn't steal her away from you, but since she was supposed to be my stepdaughter, I thought it was only fair that I get to know her. I can understand your feelings, hell, I hated it when Sherry wanted to insta-bond with Rory, but since Chris was serious about Sherry, what choice did I have?"
Luke sighed. "I'm sorry about that. I swear, when April's up here at the end of the summer she can hang out with us, the both of us."
Smiling slightly, Lorelai leaned in and kissed Luke's rough cheek. "I would appreciate that."
Please tell me what you think! I love reviews, I reply back to most of them. For those of you who are lazy, see below.
Copy and paste into review field if you are unable to write one of your own:
Squee! I love this and I'm totally addicted! Please continue! Squee!
Special thanks to Forgotten-Relic for being an awesome beta/sounding board.