Better start with the disclaimer before I get into any trouble: Not mine and to be honest after season 6 and 7 I don't even want to own it and those who do should hide in a hole.
Thank you all for your amazing reviews guys and for pointing out mistakes I made. Keep them coming. I really appreciate them – the good and the bad.
AN: Oy it has been forever since I updated. I'm so sorry for that but one blink and two months are gone. I hope you enjoy the chapter. Finally some Luke AND some Luke and Lorelai :D About time you say ? Then off you go and read…..
Special thanks to Vaso and sit your butt down and start your story Missy *wiggles finger into your face*
"Do I smell burgers?" Lorelai asked, sniffing the air in the Jeep.
"Yeah, I thought we would join Luke and eat dinner with him." Rory explained. "Give him some company you know. Besides I'm starving. Haven't eaten anything real all day." Rory finished and looked over to her mother.
"Is that ok?" She asked after seeing the frown on Lorelai's face.
"But I can have the coffee now, right or do I have to wait till we are there since it takes us a while and although I inhale coffee even when it's cold, I'd somehow prefer it hot right now." Lorelai rambled.
"Yes junkie, you'll get the coffee now." Rory said, rolling her eyes and handing the to-go cup over.
Lorelai took a big gulp and wrinkled her nose. After seeing her mother's face, Rory asked:
"What is it?"
"Luke didn't tell Caesar where he keeps the good stuff." She pouted but took another sip after all.
"Next time he is tied to a stretcher we get that information out of him first and tell Caesar where he can find it." Rory replied sarcastically.
"Well I kind of figured I wouldn't get the real deal anyway." Lorelai stated. "I'll live…have been for months." She added in a whisper.
"Maybe Luke tells you where he has the good stuff and you can tell Caesar to brew it for you." Rory tried to lighten up the mood.
"I'm not in the 'we know where Luke hides the special blend' club anymore hon." Lorelai answered.
"You'll always be in his club mom." Rory reasoned.
"Doubt it." Lorelai mumbled.
"You shouldn't" Rory shot right back.
Just as Lorelai wanted to reply a cell phone went off and Oblivious by Aztec Camera echoed through the car.
"Is that Luke's cell?" Lorelai asked bewildered.
"Yeah. How do you know it's his?" Rory asked, looking curious at Lorelai while digging for the phone.
"I put the ring tone on it." Lorelai said matter of fact.
"It should be April wanting an update on Luke." Rory explained to her mother.
Rory got her cell phone out of her purse and answered it. Lorelai listened to the one-sided conversation. Rory gave April an update on how the town meeting went and told her they were on their way to Luke right now. Since Lorelai was only able to hear Rory's side of the conversation she could only assume that April updated Rory on her status as well. Rory assured April they would take good care of her father and she could contact either Rory or Lorelai anytime she wanted. Since Lorelai would be using Luke's laptop to update diner businesses, April could contact her via instant messenger if she wanted to. As the conversation was nearing the end Rory again assured April to not worry about Luke and concentrate on school. Luke wouldn't be mad at her for not being able to come. School comes first.
"She can't come down here?" Lorelai asked once Rory said her goodbye and hang up the phone.
"No she has a science project going on and they are going to do a field trip because of that. She can't miss it or she fails class." Rory sighed.
"How long is this field trip going to be?" Lorelai asked further.
"About three weeks." Rory stated. "This sucks for her big time."
"I can imagine." Lorelai sighed. "But you told her she can call and use whatever messenger she is using with Luke. We can set up a time schedule so she won't miss out on any updates."
"That's a good idea." Rory said. "Oh we are here already." Rory said surprised.
"Almost." Lorelai said. "We only need to find a parking space or if you want you can jump right out of the driving car." She grinned at her daughter.
"Funny mother of mine." Rory said, rolling her eyes.
Lorelai found a parking space and both girls made their way to the hospital entrance. Since Rory knew where Luke's room was located, they made their way quickly through the hospital.
"Freeze and drop the bags." A female voice coming from behind Rory and Lorelai interrupted their approach.
"Nurse Carol." Rory said, a smile spreading on her face.
"Hathaway?" Lorelai asked without missing a beat.
"No Greene." Rory responded, turning to look back at her mother. When she saw her scrunched up face, Rory asked: "What?"
"Never pictured them together." Lorelai answered with a shudder.
"Mom." Rory hissed back at her and hit her mother slightly in the ribs with her elbow.
"What?" Lorelai asked innocently. "You were pro Doug/Carol, too." She pouted.
"You are bringing our maverick some food?" Carol asked when she came to a halt next to the Gilmore girls.
"Mel Gibson's here, too?" Lorelai's mouth fall open in shock.
"Mom." Rory hissed again.
"Yeah but I'm afraid not even Jodi Foster can get a smile out of him." Nurse Carol joined in Lorelai's joke.
"Well she is not his type anyway." Lorelai shrugged, eyeing Carol warily.
"Nurse Carol, this is my mom Lorelai. Mom this is the nurse who's taking care of Luke." Rory introduced both women to each other.
"Hi." Both said.
Lorelai couldn't help but checking out that nurse. She was pretty much her height and weight. Dark black hair she had put up in a pony tail and brown eyes. She seemed to have the same witty humor Lorelai was fond of and from the few words exchanged, she seemed to know Luke and his attitudes quiet well already. Maybe too well for only knowing each other for 2 days.
"Visiting hours are over already." Carol interrupted Lorelai's thoughts.
"Yeah we know." Rory confessed and blushed slightly. "We just wanted to drop off the food since I bet he didn't touch any of the food here."
"Believe it or not but Mr. Grumpypants ate some fruit and salad in the afternoon." Carol said proudly.
"That's right up his alley: "Lorelai whispered.
"Can we still sneak in for a couple of minutes?" Rory said in a hushed tone as if some grand hospital police would show up and kick them out.
"No, it's ok." Carol said. "But don't make it two hours." She winked and left Rory and Lorelai.
While Lorelai still stared after the nurse, Rory was already moving towards Luke's room.
"Mom?" She called back when she realized her mother wasn't following her. When Lorelai turned, she continued: "You coming?"
"Yeah" Lorelai whispered and walked over to her daughter. Rory pushed Luke's door open and headed into the room. Lorelai took a deep breath and stepped through the door as well.
Luke was lying on his back, eyes closed and a slight snoring echoed through the room. Rory glanced over to Lorelai who had a small grin on her face, Luke's position all too familiar to her.
"He is sleeping." Rory whispered. "Should we wake him?"
"If we don't do it now he will be dead to this world for the next couple of hours." Lorelai whispered back.
"What do you mean?" Rory asked confused.
"He is not in his REM sleep phase yet. Once he enters it nothing wakes him up so now is our last chance to get him back to the living." Lorelai explained and pushed Rory closer to Luke's bed.
"Don't push me." Rory whispered harshly.
"You have to wake him up and make it fast." Lorelai reminded her.
"Why do I have to wake him?" Rory asked.
"Because he won't kill you." Lorelai grinned back at her.
Since both girls were busy arguing about Luke's REM sleep and who should wake him, they didn't realize his light snoring had stopped and two eyes were staring into their direction. Luke had already woken up and enjoyed the little play that went on in front of him. Lorelai was still slightly pushing Rory towards his bed and Rory tried desperately to get Lorelai to wake him up instead of her.
"What makes you so sure about that?" Rory shot back at her mother. "Besides you are the one who has experiences with what's the best way to wake him up."
"That's why I want you to go in the lions den." Lorelai replied, sticking out her tongue.
Rory's mouth fell open: "You are sacrificing your only child?"
"No one is going to get sliced into pieces here." Luke grumbled from the bed. As much as Luke wanted to see more of their little act, he had to intervene at one point or the other. He had missed their bickering and he could have watched for a while longer but he smelled the food the girls brought with them and after the lousy meals he got in this joint he was ready for something even as disgusting as a red meat burger.
Lorelai's and Rory's mouths fell agape and their eyes went wide when they heard Luke's voice boom through the room. They slowly turned into Luke's direction and stared at him.
"I doubt anyone can sleep through your deed. Once you two are in your element you would even rouse the dead." He growled.
"We didn't mean to wake you Luke." Rory apologized and blushed slightly.
"Yes you were and now what's in those bags you are holding?" Luke stated matter of fact and pointed to the bags in Rory's hand.
Rory stared at Luke for another second before turning to her mother with a confused look on her face.
"He has low blood sugar hon." Lorelai answered and shrugged with her shoulders. She grabbed the bags from Rory and moved over to Luke's bed. She put the bags on the table next to Luke's bed and started to unpack them.
Rory narrowed her eyes at them: "You guys are weird." And then moved to the other side of Luke's bed. She picked up one of the chairs and put it next to the bed.
Lorelai took the food out of the bags and handed one of the burgers over to Rory who sat down and started unpacking her goods. She placed the second burger on her side and got the fries out next.
Luke watched the entire scene and was slightly confused when Lorelai seemed to be done unpacking.
"Don't tell me you only got here with your death on a plate and let me watch you eat that?" Luke grumbled, looking from Lorelai to Rory and back again. "You have any idea how starved I am? If I could I would even tackle you down and eat that heart attack on a bun right this instance."
"Calm down Cujo." Lorelai said with a laugh. "We brought you a wimpy with a rose pinned on it and some rabbit food." She chuckled and got Luke's food out of the bag.
"And let me guess you and Rory had two hot blonds for the road?" Luke shot back as he grabbed his food and unwrapped it.
"Yeah but Caesar still doesn't know how to do the java right." Lorelai complained with a pout. "Next time make sure he knows where the special blend is."
"I'll keep that in mind when they wheel me out of the diner again on a stretcher." Luke deadpanned and rolled his eyes.
"Just tell me where you keep the stash and I'll let Caesar know." Lorelai replied and took a bite of her burger.
"As soon as I get out of here you'll get your death in a cup." Luke stated casually and bit into his turkey burger as well.
Rory sat silently eating her food and watching them with an amused smile on her face. Maybe everything will turn out alright and they will at least become friends again. She had missed those verbal tennis matches between her mother and Luke. That's all Rory dared to hope right now.
After a few more bites Luke looked up from his food and over to Rory.
"So what's on the agenda here besides the food?" he addressed Rory and dragged her back into the conversation.
"What?" Rory asked confused.
"Oh right. The town meeting." She shook her head and put her food down for the moment. "Everyone says hello and sends their well wishes. I presented the plan we made earlier to them and they seemed to accept it."
"Even Taylor?" Luke asked suspiciously.
"Well he put up a fight at first but seemed to be ok with it in the end. I guess we still need to keep an eye on him though. Caesar and Zach can handle him." Rory said but seeing Luke's raised eyebrow she continued in a lower voice: "Or at least try to."
"I'm not as good as you when it comes to throwing frying pans but I know how to keep Taylor in check." Lorelai announced with her mouth half full of burger and fries.
"Chew and swallow first." Luke pointed out.
Lorelai chewed and swallowed down her food. She stuck out her tongue toward him and gave him a big smile: "Better now?"
Luke looked over to Rory and said: "Your mother."
"Not my fault common etiquette is lost on her." Rory shot back. "I tried my best over the years."
"Ok focus on the task before she puts another load of food into her mouth." Luke muttered and turned back to Lorelai.
"Hey play nice buddy." Lorelai said and swatted him lightly on the upper arm.
"I agreed to take care of the meat guy since I have him wrapped around my finger already." Lorelai announced all business like. "Does he still show up at the same day and time?
"Yes." Luke said and shoved a tomato into his mouth.
"Good." Lorelai nodded her head. "And the next thing I need to know is: where do you keep your laptop?"
"My laptop?" Luke asked confused. "What do you need my laptop for?"
"Well since neither Caesar nor Lane knows how to keep the books up to date I'm going to do that. Therefore I need your laptop." Lorelai simply stated.
"I don't have any business stuff on that damn thing." Luke grumbled. "I still keep everything on paper and I'm not going to change that. With all those lunatics out there sending you viruses and Trojans you never know when the stupid laptop goes down and then everything is lost or even worse my personal stuff gets into the wrong hands."
"You finished my ranting energizer bunny?" Lorelai said with a smirk on her face. Luke only glared at her and Lorelai continued: "I'll put my software on your laptop so it's easier for me to see how business goes. If you haven't changed your system I know where to find everything and set it up for my use. I will still keep all the papers so you can look through them once you are back home. I'm not going to throw anything away once it's filed onto the laptop. When you get back you can either keep it or go back to your paper shavings system."
"It is a good system" Luke protested.
"Yeah for when you are still living in the fifties." Lorelai rolled her eyes.
"It worked back then, it still works now." Luke shot back.
"Guys." Rory intervened and Luke and Lorelai turned their heads toward her. "Can we focus please?"
"Sorry." Both mumbled at the same time.
"The laptop should either be on the kitchen or coffee table." Luke started the conversation again. "The ledger and everything else is still in the same place. If there is something missing I've probably put it in the safe."
"Keys?" Lorelai asked.
"Same place as always." Luke stated matter of fact and polished off the rest of his salad.
"So the diner stuff should be taken care off then." Lorelai concluded. "I'll set up the laptop, go over your books and keep tap on the finances."
"Don't forget the meat guy." Rory reminded her and Lorelai only nodded in agreement and ate the last fries. Lorelai got up and collected the trash. She put the containers back into the big paper bag and moved towards the trash can.
"April called while we were on our way over here." Rory said and saw Lorelai's body tense up slightly when she released the paper bag.
"How is she?" Luke immediately turned his focus on Rory. "Those stupid hospital idiots can't get me a phone in here until tomorrow and even that is a wag assumption."
"She is ok." Rory replied and watched her mother walk back over to them. "She is pretty upset since she can't come see you. There is a school project she can't miss and they are going on a field trip."
"Yeah I already knew about the project." Luke sighed. "But school comes first. She can't miss that or she'll fail her class."
"I told her you'd understand it." Rory said soothingly.
"Thanks." Luke replied and lowered his gaze into his lap.
"You are welcome Luke and I'm going to call her later again to give her an update and hello from you." Rory smiled warmly at him once he looked back up at her.
"Do you have an instant messenger on your computer?" Lorelai asked, feeling sad about seeing Luke like that. April is his family and she should be here cheering him up and supporting him. It was not her fault, Lorelai knew that but she couldn't help but feel a new wave of anger towards Anna washing over her. First she kept April from Luke and now she dragged her across the country and far away from Luke.
"Yeah April and I use msn." Luke answered. "Once I had the hang of it that is." He chuckled. "Talking or typing you can choose."
"Both two activities you love most in your life." Lorelai laughed.
"Yeah well." Luke shrugged.
"Since I will be using your computer and if you are ok with it I can talk to her daily if those hospital idiots don't get you a phone soon." Lorelai asked tentatively.
"That would be good." Luke breathed relieved and Lorelai released the breath she didn't know she was holding.
Rory smiled slightly at the two of them and then glanced at her watch.
"Mom." She said. "I think we need to get going before Nurse Carol kicks us out."
"Yeah ok but there is one more thing I need to discuss with Luke." Lorelai started to say and glanced warily from Rory to Luke and back to Rory again. "Can you give us a minute hon?"
Rory gave Lorelai a confused look but decided they could talk about it on their way home. She said her goodbye to Luke and left the room.
"Ok what's going on Lorelai?" Luke asked the second the door closed behind Rory. Lorelai turned her focus on Luke and took a deep breath.
"How is your financial situation?" She asked straight out. "I mean does your insurance cover everything? The hospital stay now and the rehab later?"
"I don't know that for sure yet but my guess would be no." He replied. "I probably need to put some money into rehab myself but before I haven't talk to one of those guys I can't say for sure."
"And the diner? How is that doing? I mean you can keep it open and we'll do our best to run it without you but do you think it's enough?" Lorelai rushed through the questions.
"Well I had to repair a few things here and there especially after Kirk drove his car into it but business hasn't been too bad lately." He explained and studied Lorelai closely.
"What's this about Lorelai?" Luke asked after a moment of silence. He could tell something was bothering her but didn't know how to tell him.
"Well we never talked about it before although we had an agreement about me paying everything back but then we got together and somehow we forgot it - well not forgot but you are an investor and somehow never got anything out of your investment and now that you probably need the money we should talk about that. I don't know why we haven't before and now I feel bad that we didn't since it's your money Luke and the Inn has been open for a while now and business is good and I need to look into the books first and swing it by my finance woman but I don't think it's going to be a big deal…"
"Lorelai." Luke tried to interrupt her rambling but she kept going until Luke raised his voice.
"Lorelai!" He nearly screamed at her. She stopped mid argument and looked questioningly at Luke. "You are rambling."
"Sorry." Lorelai said and blushed.
"It's ok." He assured her. "Try again in one nice and simple sentence."
"I want to pay you back the money you loaned me many moons ago so I could open the Inn." She blurted out at once and winced slightly when she was done.
"There is no need for that Lorelai." Luke brushed it off.
"But it is your money Luke. You loaned it to me and I always intended to pay you back but we both somehow never got back to the subject. Well we somehow didn't need to but now…"
She stopped and averted her eyes. She dug her fingers into her thighs and took a deep breath.
"Everything has changed Luke and it is your money. You will need it at one point and I can pay you back now." Lorelai finished and looked pleadingly at Luke.
"There is no need for it Lorelai." Luke said again. Lorelai sighed loudly and wanted to get into a second argument but Luke stopped her.
"Ok tell you what." He started. "We see how everything goes. I'll talk to my insurance company and see what I have to pay myself and what they'll cover. If it's going to be too much we can talk about this again but for now I'm good." He paused and looked her straight in the eyes. "We are good ok?"
"But Luke…" Lorelai tried again.
"No buts period." He intercepted harshly. "I invested in your dream because I knew you would make it. You are an amazing woman Lorelai and I believed in you and your ability to create the best Inn on the east coast and I was proud … I am still proud to be a part of that."
Luke went quiet for a moment to let his words sink in with Lorelai. She had turned down her gaze again and was playing with her fingers. When it appeared to him that she had collected her thoughts he continued.
"If there is something else behind you wanting to give the money back then we can talk about it but as far as I'm concerned everything stays the way it has been since the day I loaned it to you." Luke looked meaningfully at her and hoped he made his point clear.
"No there is no other reason." Lorelai answered him in a low voice and shook her head.
"Then we'll deal with the issue when there is no way around it ok?" Luke said almost pleadingly.
Lorelai only nodded her head in agreement.
"I should go." She said softly after a few moments and rose from her seat. "Have a good night and don't worry too much about the diner. It's been taking care off."
She gave him a warm smile and made her way to the door.
"Thanks Lorelai." He spoke just as softly as she had a minute ago. "For everything. I really appreciate it."
"No problem Luke." She assured him. "After everything you have done for me and Rory over all those years it's the least I could do for you."
"Good night Lorelai." Luke said tenderly and gave her another warm smile.
"You too." She smiled back and left his room.
If life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt !