A/N: Since my muse is acting up again (this is a good thing, as I haven't updated anything in awhile), and since there's a challenge waiting to be responded to, I think I should answer the call. Okay, lately I've been very into changing what was given to us on the show. It all started with "Thoughts of a Chuppah Carpenter" and has blossomed into most of my writing. So, here's yet another one. Takes place during "French Twist". You know I'm a JavaJunkie, so this shall have the appropriate ending. It's a challenge made by CitizenOfStarsHollow to write about a mistake a character made with the proper decision instead, with a minimum of 1,250 words. Enjoy.
Come on, Lor. We love each other. We belong together. What do you say? Marry me.
She sat at the beautiful Parisian restaurant, across from Christopher. She'd already said "no" to his proposal once. Sure, it was years ago when she wasn't ready, and she was glad things turned out how they did… but somehow, this decision wasn't as easy to make.
She'd done the proposing before, and she'd been proposed to. She'd now been proposed to twice, no, three times… she was being proposed to NOW… and she realized that each time, the man who proposed to her wasn't the man that she needed to propose to her. Lorelai Gilmore wasn't going to get married unless it was right. Was this right?
She put her chin in her hand, letting out a sigh. Staring out into the view of the Eiffel Tower, she mulled over the thought of being Christopher's wife. And for some reason, the thought repulsed her. At first, it shocked her. She shouldn't be feeling disgusted at a time like this… marriage was supposed to be something she went into feeling so much joy.
And what about Rory? Lorelai had thought about what would happen if she ever married Chris, and how Rory would react to the change. Not to mention that Rory wouldn't have been there. Chris would be around more, and Gigi would be if Chris was. Somehow, the idea didn't make Lorelai happy, it actually made her feel as though her space was being invaded, her and Rory's space. There was only one man that should have been allowed in that space.
And her heart ached, because she could no longer repress the memory of what she had done to Luke. It was a stupid fight, a fight that shouldn't have happened if she would have opened her mouth to say something to Luke. If she had talked about things with him, if she had told him exactly what she was thinking and feeling… maybe she wouldn't be in this position. She owed it to Luke, and to Chris, for that matter, to make the right decision. After all, she still loved Luke. She couldn't put them through all of this. She simply couldn't accept his proposal.
"Chris, I…" she turned to look at him, tears filling her eyes.
"Lor? Is that a yes?" he asked, putting his hand on hers and stroking it gently.
She shook her head, gulping and trying to compose herself. "I'm sorry, Chris… I can't marry you."
He took his hand back and widened his eyes in disbelief. "What?"
"I… I can't… no, Chris, I can't marry you. I'm sorry. I'm not… in love with you," she stuttered.
Lorelai stood up and walked out of the restaurant, sniffing and wiping her tears. He followed close behind, trying to comprehend where he went wrong. He walked in front of her, gently putting his hands on her shoulders.
"Talk to me, Lor!"
She stopped, lowering her head. "I can't do this to you, Chris! I've said no before, and I feel bad about doing it again, but I have to. I'm sorry if you feel like I've been leading you on, Chris, but that night, when I came to you, I didn't know what else to do. I'd just lost everything, Chris, everything I'd hoped for! And then, in a moment of weakness, I did something so stupid. I'm not about to do this again."
"You want to get married, don't you, Lor?" Christopher asked.
Lorelai nodded. "Yes, I do. More than anything. But not to you, I'm sorry. I have to get back to Stars Hollow before this becomes even more awkward than it already is for us."
"Lor, we can work it out," Chris said, taking her hand and kissing it. "Your fear will go away, I promise. We are meant for each other, Lor. Just stay the rest of the trip and you know things will get better."
She put her head down, sniffling yet again. "Chris, I can't marry you."
"You can't marry me? Why can't you marry me?" he asked, almost in denial.
"No," she started, shifting her weight and standing upright. "I'm still in love with Luke. Marrying you would just… it would be unfair to you, to me, to Gigi, and to Rory. I've done some pretty bad stuff, Chris, but this would be a disaster. I'm just… I'm sorry, it's not going to work."
She started for the hotel room. After what seemed like the longest walk of her entire life, she arrived and packed her bags. A part of her felt good for what she'd done, but the other part of her dreaded going back to Stars Hollow. The sense of familiarity she was looking for wasn't going to be there anymore. Going to Luke was no longer an option.
Or was it?
Lorelai and Christopher said their final goodbyes at the airport. "Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you're making the decision that's right for you? I think you're just scared, Lor, you know you want this."
"I'm sorry, I'm not letting you pressure me into a marriage I can't accept responsibility for. Really, Chris, it's over," she said, letting out a sigh and straightening up. "Thank you for taking me to the airport. I'll see you around," she said, giving the attendant her ticket and walking onto the plane.
The plane ride seemed longer than it did on the way. Why, she had no idea. She looked out the window, only to see a mass of white clouds outside. Closing her eyes, she let out a sigh of relief, knowing she had made the right decision. She was ready to go back to Stars Hollow, get a breath of fresh air, and start things over again.
If she couldn't have Luke as her husband, maybe she could live with being his friend. But cutting him completely out of her life just wasn't an option. Scenarios of peacemaking ran through her head during the seemingly endless flight.
Lorelai was the quietest she'd ever been. 'Lorelai' and 'quiet' were two words rarely used in the same sentence, unless they were in a command form. Coming back from Paris was going to be the worst experience.
Rory picked her mom up at the airport, and quickly dropped her off in Stars Hollow again. She was a busy girl, and as much as Lorelai needed her to stay and chat, she knew she would just be avoiding everything by talking to Rory all day.
It took days of awkwardly walking around the town square, her mind telling her to go into the diner, and then telling her it would be okay to do the next day. Finally, one bitter cold winter day, she stood by the gazebo, just looking at the diner. Her feet started to move toward the street, but she wasn't going to stop.
She knew she needed Luke more than anything. She'd start off slow. Lorelai wasn't about to throw herself at Luke… they had issues to work out. There was so much going on in her mind… so many questions, so many thoughts, and too many doubts.
But when she heard the bell above her ring, it gave her a calm feeling. She slowly walked toward the counter, glad that the only patron in the diner was a tourist, and seated herself, taking off her gloves and waiting for Luke to emerge from the kitchen.
He walked out of the kitchen, wearing the black baseball cap. The sight of Luke wearing anything but the cap she gave him hurt her so much. She took a deep breath.
"Hey," she said, barely above a whisper.
"Hey," he replied, somewhat surprised to see her.
She sighed. "Can I get a cup of coffee, please?"
"For here or to go?" he asked.
Lorelai seriously contemplated taking the to go cup, but she thought better of it. "Here," she announced. "I like it here."
"I'll make a fresh pot," Luke replied, disappearing into the kitchen once again.
Lorelai let out a sigh of relief, knowing that things could only get better.