Again, guilty pleasure turns into inspiration. I was listening to "Ben Franklin's Kite," by Something Corporate, and got to thinking about Gilmore Girls and how the song could fit into the series. So here's a summary for ya...
Lorelai moves to Stars Hallow with one-year-old Rory and one of the first people she meets is William Danes, whom she immediately develops a father-daughter bond with. Shortly after, however, William is admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with cancer. How will William's family, Lorelai, and Rory handle the situation?
Okay, so let's see if I can make it as good as it sounds!
Disclaimer: I do not own "Gilmore Girls," or Something Corporate. I do own a stuffed teddy-bear named William, if that makes any difference.
She stepped off of the bus and squinted as the harsh April sun cut across her eyelids. At the bus station, she'd all but closed her eyes and pointed to choose a destination, and this is where it had led her. She looked at the sign by the bus stop: Stars Hollow, Founded in 1779. Population 9,333. She'd never fancied herself for a small-town girl, but maybe it was exactly what she needed. This thought was interrupted when the bundle in her arms began to squirm and she the bundle a little closer, whispering sweet-nothings of comfort. This was 17-year-old Lorelai Gilmore, and her year-old daughter, Rory.
Lorelai turned her attention back to the bus driver, who was handing her the two large duffle bags she'd packed. She smiled and thanked him as he got back in the bus and drove off. Struggling to hold Rory in one arm and pick up the two equally heavy bags in the other, Lorelai twisted and grunted, wondering how she'd ever made it to the bus stop in Hartford like this. It seemed almost impossible now.
"Excuse me," a voice behind her said. She turned quickly and found an older man standing there, a grin of amusement across his face. "Do you need some help?"
Lorelai, who had never been one to accept help from anyone because, where she came from, they always expected something in return, shook her head, "No, I've got it." She managed to loop one bag over her shoulder, careful not to squish the diaper bag that already hung there. The weight of it pulled her to the side and she always toppled to the grond, were it not for the man's strong arm reaching out to quickly steady her. He gave her a knowing look and picked up the second bag before taking the first from her shoulder, holding them easily. Lorelai sighed, defeated, and mumbled, "Thank you."
He nodded, "If even the possibility that one could help another, one should always attempt to do so," he said in a philosophical voice. "That's what I've always said." He gave her a warm smile that made his ocean-blue eyes twinkle with kindness, "So, where are you headed?"
"Um, I'm not--" Rory began to cry then and Lorelai held her to her shoulder, patting her back soothingly. Then, to the man, she confessed, "I'm not really sure. I sort of came here on a whim, and..." her voice trailed off, unwilling to get into the whole thing right there.
But the man seemed to catch on quick. Instead of peppering her with default-runaway questions, he asked, "What's your name?"
"And your baby's?"
Lorelai's eyes widened slightly. Everyone always assumed that Rory was her little sister, or her niece or cousin, but no one ever seemed to immediately assume that she was her daughter. "Lorelai Gilmore, technically. But I call her Rory."
The man put both of the bags over either shoulder and reached out to run two fingers over the baby's dark hair, "Please to meet you, Lorelai and Rory. My name is William Danes." He shook Lorelai's hand before asking, "How old are you, Lorelai?"
She frowned and fessed up, "Seventeen," she mumbled, her eyes locked on her daughter's face.
She was so sure that William was going to begin interrogating her, or drag her to the police station to call her parents, or at least give her a very long lecture, but he did none of these things. Instead, he said, "If you'd like, I can take you to meet my good friend Mia. She owns the local Inn, and she's always looking for help around the place. She'll probably give you a job, if you need it."
Lorelai's eyes snapped to him, wide and confused. Why would any stranger be so kind to a teenage-runaway-mother? Or to anyone, for that matter. It didn't make sense. But she'd take it. With a small, cautious grin, she nodded, "That would be great. Thank you very much." Letting him lead the way, they started the walk to the Independence Inn, making light conversation, mostly about Rory. William didn't ask her where she was from, or why she ran away; he just kept smiling kindly from the eyes and telling her all the great things about the town, and how she'd enjoy it here so much.
When they finally reached the Independence Inn, William put Lorelai's duffle bags by the inside of the front door and walked up to the counter, the teenager walking behind him. He smiled and reached across to hug a woman about his age, "Mia, good to see you."
"And you, William," the woman had a slight natural waver to her voice, but a level of kindness in her tone that Lorelai had scarce ever heard. "Did we have a lunch date today? Please tell me we didn't; that would mean I'm getting old and forgetting things."
William laughed at this, "No, no, Mia. This is a surprise visit. There's someone I'd like you to meet." He gestured for Lorelai to stand beside him, and she complied. When she did, he nodded to her, "This is Lorelai Gilmore. She needs a job and I remembered that, last week, you mentioned being short on maids." He gestured to Lorelai to fill in the rest of the statement.
Mia looked the young girl up and down before her eyes fell briefly on Rory, then returned to Lorelai's face, "Do you have any work experience, Lorelai?"
Lorelai bit her lip and shook her head, "No, ma'am."
"Anywhere to stay?"
"You're a runaway, aren't you?"
Mia's eyes found her friends and she sighed, shaking her head, "William, I don't know if I--"
"Please, ma'am," Lorelai interjected, a determined look on her face. "I don't want any handouts, but I do need this job. And no, I can honestly say that I've never worked a day in my life, but I'm a fast learner, and I've spent more time around maids than anyone, so I know everything they do. I know that it won't be easy work, and I know that its a huge risk for you to employ a runaway, but I'll be a damn good worker and I can't leave without a job."
Mia studied her for a moment, thinking, with an impressed look on her face. "All right," she said slowly, "We'll do a trial run. You will work here for two weeks, and you're right, it won't be easy. You'll get all of the dirty work that no one else wants. You will stay on the premises and I will keep a close eye on you. You will work without pay for those two weeks. After that, if I'm impressed with your work, I will hire you, begin your pay, and allow you to continue living here."
Lorelai's chin trembled slightly, overwhelmed with relief, and she cracked a very small grin, "Thank you very much."
"Don't thank me yet," Mia said, but with a smile on her face. Then to William, "Could you take her out to the old potting shed?" William nodded and gathered Lorelai's things, waving for her to follow him.
When she caught up, she frowned, "Potting shed? She's going to make me sleep in the shed?"
William laughed at this, "Its not so much a shed anymore. It was, but a few years ago, when Mia's husband got sick, we turned it into a makeshift house so that he could go out there and rest when he was feeling weak at work. After he died, she never changed it back into a shed, so its still like an apartment."
"But, wait," Lorelai's eyebrows went up, "Won't that be hard for her? Having a stranger stay where her husband spent so much time?"
"Actually," William led her across the lawn to the small shed and pushed the door open, "He never spent a lot of time out here. He usually just fell asleep on the couch in the lobby." It wasn't much; a single bed, a tub and toilet, and a few shelves all crammed together in two rooms, but Lorelai was oddly pleased with it. She was going to be living on her own, now. She was starting her life. William looked down at Rory, "Oh, she doesn't have anyplace to sleep." He dropped the bags by the bed and tapped his chin in thought, "Oh, you know what?" He took a business card out of his pocket and handed it to her, "That's my shop. Come by later today, once you're all settled. I have some of my kids' old stuff that you can have."
Lorelai shook her head, "You really don't have to do all of this, sir. You've already don--"
He shook his head, "Its not a problem. Just come by anytime today. Now, I have to get back to work; don't forget to check back in with Mia." Then he was gone, across the lawn and back through the Inn.
Lorelai sat down on the edge of the bed and fished a bottle out of Rory's diaper bag and began feeding her, deep in thought as she did so. She had a place to stay, a job, a little bit of money, and two people already looking out for her. She could have never imagined, when she left Richard and Emily's house the night before, that she would have a life so fast. She could have never dreamed she'd be somebody when she arrived wherever she was going, but she was. This was her life. Hers and Rory's.
About an hour later, after she'd showered and changed into a pair of jeans and a plain white t-shirt, Lorelai put Rory in a dress that Emily had bought her for her first birthday and began the walk to where the business card said William's Hardware was located. It was very easy to find, right by the town square, and Lorelai entered slowly. She looked up to the counter and found a young man, maybe a little older than her, standing behind the cash register, counting reciepts. He looked up when he heard her enter, his eyes a bright blue like William's, but not nearly as warm and inviting.
Watching her stand there for a moment, the guy finally said, "Are you lost or something?"
"Um," she said, shifting Rory from one arm to the other, "Is William here?"
He popped an eyebrow at her, "Yeah," he said slowly. Then, over his shoulder, he called out, "Dad, someone's here to see you!"
William appeared almost immediately and smiled when he saw the girl, "Lorelai, hello. I'm just getting the last of it into the truck, so could you wait for a few minutes?" She nodded and he disappeared almost as quickly as he'd appeared, leaving his son and Lorelai to stare at each other in an awkward silence.
"So," she said slowly, "You're William's kid, huh?"
"One of 'em," he shrugged, going back to the reciepts. "What's my dad loading into the truck for you?"
She mocked his shrug, "All your stuff."
He looked up quickly, "What?"
Lorelai smirked and walked closer. She lifted Rory up so her two feet rested on the counter and she was facing the guy, "Say 'thank you,' sweetie."
Rory stuck two fingers in her mouth and gurgled, "Afvruuh-gah." Then she fell back onto her butt on the counter and giggled at the action, turning her head up to look at her mother, who smiled and kissed her nose. Rory smiled and turned her attention back to the young man, reaching for the paper in his hands.
"No, no, babe," Lorelai insisted, pulling her daughter's arms back. Rory pouted and began whimpering in protest, still trying to reach out.
The guy sighed and leaned over to retrieve something from under the counter. He handed handtowel to the little girl and she took it happily, twisting it, tossing it, and shoving it into her mouth. At Lorelai's concerned expression, William's son told her, "Its clean; don't worry."
She nodded to him, "How'd you know she'd like that?"
"The towel?" She nodded and he shrugged casually, eyes still on the paper in his hands, focused, "I have a nephew around her age."
Lorelai opened her mouth to inquire further, but William entered just then, a small frown on his face. "Lucas," the son turned to face him, "Barry Crishmarr is here."
His frown matched his father's, "But the meeting isn't supposed to be until tomorrow."
"Apparently, something came up, and he has to do it today. I'm going to be to up my ass in paperwork for the next three hours." He frowned apologetically, both for the cursing and what he was to say next, "I won't be able to drive all the stuff to the Inn. Lucas, could you?"
"Could I what?"
William tossed his son the keys, "Drive the truck to the Inn and unload."
"Unload what? Dad!" But his father had already rounded the corner again. The guy looked at Lorelai and sighed, "What did you say your name was again?"
"Lorelai," she told him promptly, then, pointing to her daughter, "Rory."
He pointed to himself, "Luke. Let's go; I have other things to do today." He walked out the front door and went around the building to where the old green truck was parked, the bed full of old baby things.
Lorelai followed, "Yes, I could tell by all that stimulating reciept counting. What was next on the agenda? Hit the turtle races? Watch the grass grow?"
He rolled his eyes and grumbled, "Just get in." She opened the door to the passenger side and slid in, placing her daughter on her lap and holding her close. It was illegal, she knew, but she figured the chances of finding a carseat in this crapbucket of a car were slim to none. Luke drove them in silence until they reached the front of the Inn and Lorelai shook her head.
"I'm in the potting shed." He sighed, as if it were a huge inconvenience, and circled the Inn until he was closer to their destination. He turned the truck off and got out, going to unlatch the bed door while Lorelai scrambled to open the shed door with the key Mia had given her before she left. The first thing Luke brought in was a high-chair, hinting for Lorelai to put her daughter down and come help unload. She complied, figuring she had to get used to doing work, and went out to help him carry in the cradle William had supplied her with. It was beautiful, handcarved, stained dark, with the word ELIZABETH carved in fancy script on the side.
"Say," Lorelai grunted as they set the crib in the corner, by the bed, "Whose Elizabeth?"
"My sister," Luke said, walking back to the truck with the girl in tow. He didn't go into any details and Lorelai was beginning to sense a pattern. They unloaded the rest of the furnature--a bouncer, a small changing table, a box of chew-rings and other toys--before they were finally done and putting the final touches on the way everything was arranged.
Once they were done, Lorelai gave Luke a small smile, "So, thank you."
He only grunted in response, hands in his pocket, shrugging.
"And tell your dad I said thanks."
She stared at him for a second before forcing a chuckle, "I'd offer you an iced tea or something, but...I got nothin'."
Finally, Lorelai rolled her eyes, "Oh, my god, are you mute?"
He looked up, then grumbled, "Nope."
"Does it hurt your throat when you talk? Like some searing, burning, piercing pain that hurts so bad you have to limit your speech?"
He scowled at her, "We done here? Good," he said, without waiting for her reply. He turned and started to walk back to his father's truck.
"You'd kick ass as an auctioneer!" She called to him as he left, her voice thick with sarcasm. As soon as he was gone, she closed the door and began wiping the dust from all the new furniture. When she'd finished with that, she put Rory down in the crib for a nap, covering her with a large t-shirt, since she hadn't yet washed the baby-blankets William had given her. After Rory had fallen into a deep sleep, Lorelai donned her sweatpants and slipped under the covers of the small bed, deciding to take a nap before Rory woke, hungry for dinner. As she closed her eyes and thought back on her day so far, she began giggling in a borderline-fit of a way, her thoughts on Luke Danes.
He really was very good-looking, she told herself. If only he weren't so callous.
Okay, so there's chapter one so far. What do you think of it? Please review, so that I can continue writing this piece! PRETEND YOU LOVE ME, PEOPLE!