A/N: This time, I answer my own challenge. The challenge was to write something from GG that you didn't see, or something you weren't happy with, and make it better. It had to be a JavaJunkie, and it had to be more than 1500 words. So, this fic is supposed to take place during "Partings". If I had my way, it wouldn't be called "Partings", so hence this fic. Read on.
"I don't like ultimatums!"
"I don't like Mondays, but unfortunately they come around eventually."
"I can't just jump like this."
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that."
She wanted to run away, bawling her eyes out, and leave him standing there like a fool. But something made her stay. She sniffed and wiped her tears with the back of her hand, putting the other hand on her hip. She stood, staring at Luke, waiting for some sort of answer, some response to what she'd just told him.
"Well, what do you want from me?" Luke asked angrily, folding his arms. "You're not exactly 'Little Miss Perfect' in all of this, anyway."
Lorelai shook her head. "Obviously I'm not. But I hate how you kept the fact that you had a daughter from me, Luke! A daughter! This isn't something I would have gotten angry at you over, it wasn't something that I would fault you for, in any way! The fact that you couldn't trust me enough to fill me in on this tiny tidbit in your life says something, Luke!"
"What does it say, Lorelai? What does it say? Because apparently I've been saying a whole lot lately without opening my mouth!" Luke shouted.
Lorelai wiped her tears with both hands, placing her left hand back on her hip and used the right hand to gesticulate wildly as she screamed. "It says that you don't LOVE me enough to TELL me these things!"
Luke shook his head. "No, you know what? I love you, Lorelai. I shouldn't have to tell you that all the time. It should be something that's rather implicit. And have you ever thought that this whole April situation came about because I was scared of LOSING YOU?"
Lorelai couldn't wrap her mind around the last part. Luke was scared of losing her? Luke wasn't scared of anything, he was Luke. Luke was the type of person that could stare stonefaced at a scary movie… he used to be the one that Lorelai would hide behind. Luke was the man she could trust to have a solution for any situation. A part of her wanted to melt into his arms, crying and apologizing, and making the situation better. But the rational part of Lorelai needed to pick her battles, and this was an important one.
"If you were so scared, you shouldn't have kept it from me for so long! I don't know when the mothership came down and kidnapped the Luke who would have come to me, looking for help, but dammit, I want him back!"
It was then that the waterworks started to come. The tears of anger, regret, and isolation fell as though the floodgates were opened. She couldn't shout anymore, and she was sure that the whole town could hear her by now. She sat down on the sidewalk, crying into her hands.
Luke watched the whole situation unfold as he attempted to filter out anger from true feelings. Lorelai surely didn't mean all of what she was saying, she was angry and hurt. And rightfully so. Luke kept the fact that April existed from her. But he deserved to have a side in the argument as well. He walked in front of Lorelai, his arms crossed, and began to talk in a somewhat civil manner. "I am sorry I kept April from you. But I don't think you know how unnerving it is to be single, without a kid, for all of these years of your life, then have the news thrown at you that suddenly, you've been a parent for twelve years or so, and you haven't known it the entire time."
Lorelai looked up. "No, Luke, you're right. I DON'T know. But that doesn't mean I couldn't have helped. I do have a kid, you know."
Luke nodded. "I know that. I'm aware. And yes, I should have brought it to your attention earlier. This whole situation probably would have been a hell of a lot easier with you on my side. But I have to point out that you clammed up on me. If you were feeling like this, why didn't you let me know? Whatever happened to being 'all in'?"
Lorelai thought back to the day she'd told Luke she was 'all in'. Her heart wanted so badly to still be 'all in'. But at this point, she couldn't be. Not with all the secrets, the lack of communication. "Whatever happened to 'no secrets'?" she muttered.
"Well, that was a cheap shot," Luke fired back.
"You know, Luke, that's exactly how I've felt since this whole thing fell apart. I wanted it to work so badly, that's why I clammed up. I wanted to give you what time you needed with April, but I also wanted to be a part of her life… she would have been a part of our lives, Luke. April is a part of you, and therefore, she would be important to me. You can't just keep the fact that you have a kid under better wraps than this whole 'chicken or egg' drama, and expect me to go with the flow. June third was supposed to be perfect! Everyone in Stars Hollow was available. The signs were flashing 'Luke, tell your fiancee about your DAUGHTER!" Lorelai said, bursting into tears once again as she finished.
Luke shook his head. "June third was supposed to be perfect. Obviously I wanted it to be. I'd waited for the day I'd marry you since I SAW you. God, Lorelai, why can't you see that I needed you to talk to me? You stepped back, too. You weren't exactly going to reveal your deepest thoughts to me lately, were you? I don't think you get the fact that I wanted to communicate with you as badly as you wanted me to talk to you!"
Lorelai said nothing, instead looking up at the sky, unable to form a sentence at the moment. She thought of all the things that Luke had done for her over the years. She thought about him fixing her window, his Chuppah that stood in the backyard, his appearance at Rory's graduation, and as much as she hated to admit it, bringing Jess to Stars Hollow was selfless as well. She turned to face him as he sat on the curb next to her. "I wanted this to work, Luke. Okay, I still want it to work. But it's not going to if we keep doing this to each other."
Lorelai shook her head. What had she been trying to get through his thick head for the past twenty minutes? "Keeping secrets, going places and talking to people behind each other's backs… not being completely honest with each other. We need to communicate. Starting NOW."
Luke let out a heavy sigh. "Fine."
"Okay. I want to be a part of April's life. I am still all in. I still love you, Luke. I don't think that's ever going to change, you know. And… it was true the whole time, Luke. I'm never going to be happy if I'm not with you!" Lorelai blurted out. She sniffed and wiped an oncoming tear. It was the most she'd told Luke since they had their falling out.
Luke gently placed his hand on Lorelai's knee. "I want you to be a part of April's life. But I also feel like I deserve time to get a grip on what's going on with April. I need some time to feel like a part of her life, and I want you to be able to give me that time with April. I think we can work this out. Keeping you from April was wrong, Lorelai. I know. And I'm still in this, too. You know I'll always love you, I always have. This stupidity has to stop."
"God, I hate this, Luke. I feel like you've been leaving me out of your life!"
Luke moved closer. "I feel the same way. I feel disconnected from you, like I'm in some other universe, and you're suffering and I can do nothing about it. That made me angry!"
Lorelai put her head down, staring at the ground. "I know. I'm wishing now that I said something instead of letting it go."
Luke gulped. "So, that ultimatum?"
Lorelai stood up, looking Luke in the eye. "Am I a part of your life?"
"Yes, Lorelai, you are."
Lorelai played with the sleeve of her shirt absentmindedly. "Do you intend to allow April to be a part of my life?"
"You need to show it," Lorelai insisted.
Luke nodded. "I will. Just… give me a hint, okay? I need a little guidance sometimes. I knew something was wrong, but you need to let me know what you're feeling, what's bothering you. And please, please, please, don't go to Anna anymore. This is a situation between me and her. I fully intend to allow you into April's life, and soon."
"Fine. God, this sucks."
Luke sighed. "Fighting usually does have a negative connotation attached to it."
"So, are we okay?" Lorelai asked tentatively.
Opening the door to the diner, Luke nodded. "We just have to work this out. It will get better. Now, come on, you look like you could use some coffee."
"Wow, you are getting awfully good at this communication thing awfully fast," Lorelai muttered, walking into the diner.