A/N: I still don't own Gilmore Girls, and I still don't make any money off of this fiction. I wish I would, but unfortunately I ran out of wishes. This is a post finale oneshot, a challenge response of sorts to use the word "oblivious" in a fic. And here we go...
Lorelai knew all along that Luke was a good guy, a special guy. A guy that would make a good husband and a good father someday. He was someone who was dependable, honest, loyal, hard-working, and protective. Listing all the good things that Luke had done for Lorelai would be impossible, because there were just far too many of them.
But as she stood under the shady tree in New Mexico, watching Luke give his daughter a hug of congratulations, she wondered why she was so oblivious to the fact that he loved her. Or, she wondered why she was oblivious to the fact that she loved him. The "proud dad" look on Luke's face made her start to remember all the times they had a "moment."
There were far too many to count, much like the list Lorelai had thought about making for awhile now. She took her camera and snapped a picture of the moment she was witnessing. April was growing up, she was now a middle school graduate, ready to conquer the world of high school. Lorelai approached the pair and opened her arms for a hug from her step daughter.
"We're so proud of you, April," Lorelai said.
April smiled. "Thanks, Lorelai. Dad, can you get a picture of me and Lorelai?"
Lorelai gave the pleading eyes to Luke. "A picture? Aw, Luke, really, I look awful," she protested.
Luke sighed. "Lorelai, you're beautiful. You don't look awful, you look pregnant," he said, repeating the speech he had recently begun to recite frequently to his wife.
Lorelai waved April over. "Just make sure you make me look really, really good," she teased, playing with April's tassel on her cap.
"You look fabulous, Lorelai, honest," April said, positioning herself under the tree.
Lorelai wrapped her arm around the family's newest graduate and held a smile for the multiple shots that needed to be taken. It was nice to see the side of Luke that came out occasionally. He wasn't quiet or grumpy, he wasn't standoffish or sarcastic (for the most part), and he was in a pretty good mood. Apparently his pride overshadowed the other Luke, and the softie in him came out easily. As pictures were being taken, Lorelai spotted Rory in the background, looking for the family. "Rory!" Lorelai called.
Rory turned and walked over to the tree. "Hi, Mom!" Rory said, embracing Lorelai. "I've missed you! Hi, April, congratulations, I've missed you, too," Rory said, giving her stepsister a hug.
April smiled. "Thanks, Rory, I'm so glad you could come, especially when I'm already coming to Stars Hollow next weekend. I know it was hard to get the time off."
"Anything for you, April!" Rory insisted. "And I can't wait until next weekend." Rory then turned her attention to Luke. "Hey, Luke," she said, giving him a hug.
Lorelai snapped another picture and turned to April. "Blackmail," she whispered with a nudge and a wink, eliciting a giggle from her stepdaughter.
In truth, it wasn't really for blackmail. It was just another moment she wished she'd been able to experience earlier, and wanted to cherish. Lorelai wished that she'd have been able to see just how good a husband and father Luke would make a long time ago. She'd been seeing it a lot lately, even though both of their daughters weren't home.
After all, they'd be having yet another little girl soon, and Luke was already preparing himself. He was already good about getting up at night and making Lorelai whatever she wanted to eat, whenever she wanted it, without a single complaint. The baby's room was coming along quite nicely, and ahead of schedule, because Luke was getting excited. When Luke got excited, he got very ambitious, completing a chunk of the work in one short time period. Lorelai would often lean against the doorframe with an apple in hand, just watching him paint, carve, or do whatever he needed to do, almost in awe.
Rory walked over to Lorelai and April and stood under the tree with them. Luke had three or four cameras hanging from his arm, trying his hardest not to break any of them or forget to take a picture with one. As he attempted to disentangle his arm from the cameras, Lorelai smiled. "Luke, you get all three of your girls in one picture, isn't that great?" she teased, winking at Rory.
Rory walked to the other side of the picture while Luke got situated, and hugged her mom once again. Putting her hand on her mom's stomach, she smiled. "All four of them," she corrected. "Mom, you look so cute."
Lorelai shrugged. "Yeah, well, I am pretty darn adorable," she replied, shooing Rory to April's other side.
"Mom, you put me on the tassel side!" Rory teased, blowing on the tassel. "It's going to cover my eye and we'll get the pictures back and see half my face!"
Luke gave a good-natured eye roll. "We'll take one on each side, okay? That way everyone's face can be blocked," he said, trying to be the arbitrator.
Lorelai sighed. "Fine, but you better take equal amounts," she said, pointing to Luke.
"I wouldn't dare cheat, I know how you two would react," he muttered, taking the first picture.
Rory turned to Lorelai as Luke gently set the first camera down and moved to the next one. "He knows us pretty well, doesn't he, Mom?" she asked.
Lorelai nodded. "He does."
It was true. Luke knew them so well. Luke had always known them better than anyone, and he always would. As the crowd dispersed and goodbyes were said, Luke wrapped his arm around Lorelai and they walked back to the rental car. She hugged him closely as they walked. She was almost in disbelief, this moment was so great, and it was something she'd always dreamed of. As Luke opened the car door for her, she couldn't help but wonder why she'd been so oblivious to her feelings the whole time. She could have gotten her "middle" a whole lot sooner.