A/N: Ok here is the next chapter. Things start to get very dramatic but everything happens for a reason. Thank you to all who reviewed. It means a lot to me. Please keep those reviews coming. They make my day. I'm working on the next chapter and I'll have it posted as soon as I can. The more reviews, the more incentive I have to write.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the characters I create. The rest belongs to AS-P and the WB.

Chapter 3: A dream come true

Lorelai had been anxiously waiting for Rory's call. She hadn't spoken to her daughter all day and Rory said she would call when she finished her finals. Having finished doing the payroll, Lorelai was about to head in the kitchen for more coffee when her cell phone rang. She quickly checked the caller id and heaved a sigh of relief.

"Rory, honey, where are you?" Lorelai answered the phone. "I've been waiting for you to call."

"Is this the mother of Lorelai Gilmore?" came an unfamiliar voice on the line. Lorelai felt as if her heart stopped as a feeling of panic rose in her chest.

"Yes, I'm her mother," Lorelai replied, wondering why someone else was using Rory's cell phone.

"This is Officer Foley of the Hartford Police. Your daughter had a motor vehicle accident." The police officer began to recount the details of the accident to Lorelai who sat down at her desk. "I found her cell phone among her belongings and searched for a contact number. Your daughter is being taken to St. Joseph's Hospital. Do you need directions?"

"No, I know where it is," Lorelai replied in a daze. "I'll be there as soon as I can."

As Lorelai ended the call, she noticed the new voice mail icon on her screen. She connected to her voice mail and listened to the message. "Hey Mom. It's me. Of course you knew that. Any way I finished packing up the last of my stuff from the apartment and I'm heading home. I'll probably be home before you so I'm gonna take a nap when I get in. I'll talk to you later and we'll hit Luke's for dinner. Love you Mom."

Reality set in as Lorelai buried her face in her hands and began to sob. She put two and two together and knew that Rory had fallen asleep at the wheel. Her dream, or rather nightmare, had come true. Rory's car was found at the bottom of a ravine. A driver had spotted her weaving before she crashed through the guardrail and flipped end over end down the ravine. The driver immediately called 9-11.

Why didn't I hear my phone? Lorelai thought as she tried to regain control of her emotions. I could have stopped her. I could've talked to her and kept her awake. This wouldn't have happened. A knock on her office door brought her out of her thoughts.

"Hey sweetie, you've been holed up in here for hours so I thought I'd bring you some fresh coffee and a bite to eat," Sookie began. When she saw her friend wiping at her tear stained face she set the coffee down and enveloped her in a hug. "What's wrong Honey?"

"My nightmare came true," Lorelai wailed, breaking down in her friend's arms. "Rory's been in… a bad car accident… and now… I've got to get… to the hospital," Lorelai managed to get out in between sobs.

Sookie's mind raced as she comforted her best friend. Lorelai was in no condition to drive to the hospital and she had to get dinner ready. "Honey, I'm calling Luke to drive you," Sookie said as she began dialing the number to the diner. "He'll do it and you won't have to be alone." Lorelai was in no shape to argue with her so she just nodded.

The phone rang as Luke was putting in an order to Caesar in the kitchen. He slung the receiver on his shoulder as he carried two plates of food to the counter.

"Luke's," he answered, as Zack grabbed the plates and brought them to a nearby table. "WHAT?" Luke paused, a concerned look on his face. "Tell her I'm on my way." He hung up the phone. "Hey Caesar, I need you to take over for me. I've gotta go. Can you close up for me?"

Caesar poked his head out of the kitchen. "What's up?"

"Rory's been in a car accident and I need to take Lorelai to the hospital," Luke said, grabbing his keys and filling a to go cup of coffee for Lorelai.

"Sure, no problem Boss. I got it covered," Caesar said, returning to the kitchen.

"Hey man, I can totally stay if you need me to," Zack said. "I just gotta call Lane and let her know. She's so gonna freak when she hears about Rory."

Luke removed his ball cap and ran his fingers through his hair before replacing the cap. "Look, about that, I'd rather you not tell Lane until I know what's going on. Rory's her best friend and I don't want her to worry if it's something minor."

"You'll keep me posted? Cause Dude, if Lane finds out I'm keeping this from her I'm totally sleeping on the couch and not by choice," Zack said as he headed to the kitchen with some empty plates.

"I promise you'll know when I know so don't say anything til I get back." Luke grabbed the coffee and a couple of muffins in case Lorelai got hungry. Zack agreed and Luke headed out the back door to his truck. He was glad the diner had been relatively slow and that none of the town gossips were there or the news would have spread like wild fire. From the sounds of sobbing in the background Luke knew that Lorelai was not taking the news well. As he spoke with Sookie, he could hear Lorelai's incoherent babbling in the background.

When he reached the Dragonfly, Sookie greeted him on the porch. "Luke! Thank god you're here. Lorelai is in her office. She's really taking this hard. Rory left a message on her cell phone earlier and she just keeps playing it over and over and crying."

Luke went inside and headed for Lorelai's office. As he approached the door, he could hear her muffled sobs coming from inside. He opened the door and entered. When Lorelai looked up and saw Luke, she got up and ran into his arms. She buried her face in his neck, sobbing uncontrollably. Luke just stood there for a moment, rubbing her back and stroking her hair as she cried. "It's bad Luke," Lorelai sobbed, her voice muffled in his collar. "The accident was bad. What am I going to do? I can't lose her!"

"It's gonna be ok," Luke said. "I'm taking you up to the hospital and I'm not leaving."

Lorelai pulled away from Luke. He cupped her face in his hands and wiped away the tears on her cheeks. "Why are you so good to me? After everything I put you through, you're still here for me," she said while trying to regain her composure.

"Maybe cause, in spite of everything you've put me through, I still care. I guess no matter how much I try I can't hate you Lorelai." Luke planted a gentle kiss on Lorelai's forehead and she smiled slightly. "Now let's get you to the hospital," he said, leading Lorelai out to the truck.

Lorelai stared out the window for most of the ride, the silence punctuated by the occasional sniffle. She didn't want to talk so Luke didn't press her. He knew she was still processing everything and would talk when she was ready. At one point he took hold of her hand and gave it a squeeze as a measure of support. Lorelai looked over and gave him a small smile before turning back to the window.

"Just one more movie. Come on. We haven't had a good movie night in a long time," Lorelai pouted as Rory rolled her eyes." Don't tell me you need to study more cause you know the entire course inside and out!"

"Mom, it's getting late. I really need my beauty sleep and not just to look pretty. I don't want to be over tired during my last finals," Rory explained but her mother was not having it.

"That's what coffee is for! Besides, we haven't made through the first disc of Mystery Science Theater 3000 yet. Joel, Crow and Tom Servo have so much more mocking to do."

"I'm really tired Mom. We can finish mocking along with Joel another night," Rory said with a yawn. "Besides, it's after two in the morning and I have to get up early."

Lorelai turned the Gilmore pout on full force and added the puppy dog eyes for good measure. "Please. Please. Please. I'll be your bestest friend!"

Rory sighed. There was no reasoning with her mother. "Alright, one more movie and that's it."

"Mom! I'm going to be late! Why didn't you wake me?"

Lorelai awoke with a jolt. She turned to face the window. Luke looked over and noticed her shoulders shaking. "Are you ok? Did I wake you? You were sleeping pretty soundly there for a while," he said.

"It's all my fault!" Lorelai wailed, turning to look at Luke. "If I hadn't pushed her into watching so many movies last night, she wouldn't have over slept and been so exhausted this morning! She wouldn't have fallen asleep at the wheel. It's all my fault!" Lorelai continued to cry as Luke took her hand in his.

"We're here now," he said as they pulled into the parking lot of St. Joseph's Hospital. "Let's just wait until we find out what Rory's condition is before you have a complete break down. And it's not your fault. If Rory didn't want to she would've gone to bed. She chose to stay up knowing the consequences. Lorelai, you can't blame yourself. Rory also chose to drive home today as exhausted as she was."

"It's still my fault," Lorelai said, barely above a whisper. She got out of the truck and headed for the emergency entrance with Luke by her side. Once inside she walked up to the triage area. The triage nurse seemed too preoccupied to even notice her until Lorelai started banging on the plexiglass window.

"Hey! I need some help here! My god, do I have to be bleeding from the head and missing a few limbs in order to get someone to notice me?" Lorelai called out through the small opening in the window. A rather impatient looking female walked over.

"Have you signed in?" she said, handing Lorelai a clipboard.

"No I haven't signed in!" Lorelai was practically yelling in her panic. "My daughter, Rory Gilmore, was in a car accident and was brought here. I'm trying to find her." Lorelai took several deep breaths to quell the tears that threatened to explode from the very depths of her heart. She was shaking again and Luke put his arm around her to keep her from collapsing on the floor.

"We had a Lorelai Gilmore brought in…" the nurse began.

"That's her! Where is she?" Lorelai ran into the back triage area.

"Wait! You can't go back there," the nurse called out as Lorelai searched each cubical and triage room for her daughter.

"Stop me!" Lorelai stopped in front of a room full of bustling people. There were all kinds of monitors and machines and blood, so much blood. She spotted bloody clothing lying on a steel table. One of the doctors moved out of the way and Lorelai gasped: there on the table was her beautiful Rory looking so broken. Her head and face were covered with blood. A nurse had placed a bag on her face and was pumping it to give her breaths. She was covered with a sheet but Lorelai could see that her daughter's legs were bloody as well.

Luke found her and looked at what she was so fixated on. He saw the blood "Aw jeez!" he said, turning away quickly before he became sick. Hospitals freaked him out any way and seeing Rory like this was more than disturbing. He pulled Lorelai out of the way as the door to the triage room burst open. Half a dozen people came rushing out pushing a gurney with Rory on it. Two men were performing cpr on Rory, while another woman held bags of IV fluids.

"Where are you taking my daughter?" Lorelai had found her voice and followed the team as they headed for the elevators. One of the doctors pulled her aside.

"Ma'am, your daughter has been in a serious accident. She needs immediate surgery and that's where we're taking her. You shouldn't even be back here. Please go wait in the third floor lounge and I will come out when the surgery is over to answer all your questions." The doctor then rushed into the elevator with the rest of the team. The elevator doors closed as Lorelai stood there watching her only child disappear.

Luke led Lorelai back out to the emergency triage area. The nurse at the desk gave Lorelai paperwork to fill out on Rory. She filled it out and handed it back to her. She and Luke then went up to the third floor lounge to wait for news about Rory.

"I'll be right back," Lorelai said as she pulled out her cell phone. "I need to make a call."

"I'll save your seat." Luke gave Lorelai's hand a squeeze. "Are you gonna be ok? I mean that was disturbing, seeing Rory like that: I'm gonna have nightmares tonight."

"Luke, you don't have to stay if you don't want to," Lorelai responded softly. "I didn't mean to put you through this on my account."

"I'm here for as long as you need me. I'm not going anywhere. Gaping wounds and bodily fluids can't keep me away," Luke said pulling Lorelai into a tender embrace.

"Is that like wild horses cause I just don't see the comparison," Lorelai joked lamely in an effort to keep from crying. She snuggled deeply into Luke's arms and tried to make sense of everything that was happening. Rory was seriously injured and it was her fault. She closed her eyes and saw the image of her daughter in the triage room, covered in blood. Lorelai started to tremble, causing Luke to hold her closer.

Luke knew that Lorelai was devastated. He wanted to help her through this no matter what happened between them in the past. He loved her even with all her faults. Even if he had to have her in his life as a friend only, he wanted to be in it. He felt her body collapse into his embrace as she began to cry again. He was surprised that she wasn't hysterical after seeing her beloved Rory in her post accident condition. Now safe and secure in his arms, she sobbed the desperate tears of a mother in mourning. She had a bad feeling that her daughter was gone. Things would never be the same.

Lorelai pulled away from Luke and wiped her tears away. "I need to call Chris."

"Go ahead. I'll be here," Luke said as Lorelai gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you for staying. I don't know how I'd get through this without you," Lorelai said, giving Luke a small smile. Luke saw something in her eyes, a longing behind the sadness. She still loved him. He could tell. Lorelai was about to walk away when Luke grabbed her by the shoulders and turned her to face him. Their eyes connected as Luke pulled her to him and kissed her with all the love he had. She reciprocated and for a moment the world didn't exist. Nothing mattered except that passionate, loving kiss they shared.

As Lorelai pulled back from the kiss, Luke cupped her face in his hands and brushed the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs. She blushed shyly and pulled out her cell phone again.

"I really do need to call Chris," she apologized, holding up the phone. "He is her father and needs to know."

"Go call him," Luke said.

"You know Luke, Chris and I are over so you don't have to worry about him coming in between us any more, that is if there is an 'us'. We both tried and it just didn't work. We've both changed and it took a failed marriage to really hit it home. He knows I have feelings for you and he accepts that." Lorelai turned to walk away.

"It's ok Lorelai. I mean I'm ok with you calling Chris," Luke said, as she started to walk away. "Oh, and I'd like there to be an 'us' again." Lorelai turned and smiled. It was the first real smile he had seen from her since before the accident. Lorelai headed down the hall in search of a quiet place to make her phone call and possibly a coffee machine.

Lorelai found both a quiet spot and a coffee machine. She dialed Christopher's number and he picked up on the third ring.

"Hey Lor! I was just about to call you," Chris began. "What time is that pre graduation party your parents are throwing?" The smile was wiped off his face as Lorelai told him about Rory's car accident.

"Are you ok?" he asked, genuinely concerned for his ex wife and mother of his firstborn.

"Luke drove me to the hospital and is staying with me," Lorelai informed him.

"Good. You shouldn't be alone. I'm on my way. Can I bring you anything?"

"You could bring me some decent food and some magazines to read. It's going to be a long night," Lorelai sighed. She hung up with Chris, got some coffee from the vending machine and headed back to the waiting room. As she approached, she could hear an argument at the nurses station. Emily Gilmore had arrived.