Chapter 43 The Nanny

Luke settled in to his desk down the hall from the nursery and started going over the agenda for the big stockholder's meeting next month. He smiled at how well his life had been going; Lorelai was back at work and he would take the twins to the inn around one. They'd have lunch together and then he would set up in a room down the hall from her office. Yep, life was great. Well, it would be nice to get a bit more sleep. Lily had taken to waking up with Nicholas and Luke was trying to keep Lorelai from having to get up, but that meant it took twice as long to get back to bed.

Luke stifled a yawn as he reread the report for the second time. Maybe he should take advantage of nap time himself. At this precise moment the phone rang. Shaking his head at the timing he answered, "Hello?"

"Luke my boy! I'm heading towards your lovely little town and wondered if I could rate a cup of your coffee?" Luke heard his father-in-laws boisterous laugh fill the airwaves and cringed inwardly.

"Uh, sure Richard, the twins are asleep but I'm due to wake them up and take them to the inn in about an hour." Luke prayed he wasn't going to stay long.

"Wonderful! I have a little surprise for you! I estimate that I'll be there in twenty minutes." With that Richard hung up and Luke looked at his attire.

He had oatmeal and formula on his shirt and while he had planned on showering before taking the children to the inn, he hadn't planned on wearing his khakis or as Lorelai liked to call it, 'business casual,' if he could even figure out what the hell she was talking about. He pushed away from his desk and headed down the hall to their bathroom pulling a blue button-down and a pair of tan khakis out of his closet.

He had just tied his shoes and was heading down the stairs when the door-bell rang. Cursing softly at Richard's inability to understand sleep schedules and loud noises he did his best to cover up his annoyance.

Swinging open the door he stopped short to see Richard standing on the porch with a young man not much older than Rory. Holding the door open Richard ushered the young man in.

"Luke, I want you to meet Thomas Rhodes!" Richard grinned at Luke who looked at him as if he'd lost his mind.

"Did he find a time machine? 'Cause I have to tell you this isn't my CEO." Luke wasn't sure what Richard was up to but he felt like it wasn't going to go well.

"No, no my boy; this is Tom's nephew and your new assistant." Luke did a double take and then looked at Richard.

"I have an assistant, her name is Paige and she's in New York," Luke ground out between clenched teeth.

Richard quit smiling and nodded, "Yes Luke I know you have an assistant but Tom said you've been off your game the past week or so and his nephew is an intern from Harvard for this next year and Tom suggested that Thomas help you out with the stockholder's meeting."

"No! Richard, my life here is separate from New York, that's the way it's always been and I don't need a babysitter!" Luke's voice raised a bit too loud and Lily started to cry.

"Crap! Richard I have to get my daughter and son and get to the inn. Tell Tom…, no forget it, I'll tell him when I fire him!" With that Luke raced up the stairs and changed both babies as he put them in their carriers. Lily continued to cry and Nicholas looked concerned but didn't join in just yet.

Carrying the children down stairs he encountered his father-in-law and Thomas still standing in the hallway. Raising his voice over the wailing baby he said in passing, "Make sure the door's locked when you leave."

With that he locked the children into their car seats and pulled out of the driveway. The ten minute drive felt like thirty since Lily was still wailing. Luke wrestled them out of the car and stormed up the steps as he saw Richard's Jaguar follow him into the parking lot. As Luke strode into the lobby Lily continued to wail and Nicholas decided it was as good a time as any to join his sister. Lorelai ran out of her office to find Luke heading towards his.

"Luke! What's wrong why are the twins crying?" Lorelai followed him down the hall.

Spinning around he glared at her, "You want to know what's wrong? Your father and my ex-CEO decided I need a babysitter so they sent Tom's nephew over. I have an assistant and she's in New York where that part of my life should stay!"

Lorelai motioned for the front desk clerk to join her as she reached for one of the carriers. Luke pulled back and she glared at him, "Are you refusing to give me our children?"

Luke kept holding on to them, "What are you going to do?"

"Luke I'm going to have Jennifer try and settle them down, you know that Lily is responding to your emotions and Nicky is following her lead. Now let's get them in another room so they can calm down and you and Dad can explain what the Hell is going on!" Lorelai held out her hands to receive the carriers and Luke grudgingly gave them to her. She passed them off to the clerk and pushed Luke into his office.

Turning around she called out, "Dad?"

Richard looked at her and began to follow as well. Luke sulked in his office chair and Richard took up residence on the couch."OK, so let's start at the beginning, Dad?" Lorelai stood with her hands on her hips and focused her attention on her father.

Sitting up Richard replied, "Well, Tom has noticed that Luke's been stretched thin the last few weeks, getting ready for the stockholder's meeting. When I was in New York last week we had lunch and he mentioned that he was concerned about Luke's stress level."

At this Luke jumped up and started to say, "Why the Hell…"

Lorelai stepped in and barked at Luke. "Sit! You'll get your turn!"

"What am I a freaking dog?" but he sat anyway.

Turning back to her father she said. "So you decided that Luke needed a babysitter?"

"No!" Richard denied. "Tom's nephew is a junior at Harvard and is taking a year off to intern with Tom at BD. Since his parents live in Hartford Tom and I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for Thomas to learn from Luke and also help prepare for the meeting. Thomas is also the oldest of seven children and has been helping his mother out with diaper duty since he was ten years old. He could be a big help in many ways."

Luke started to sit up as Lorelai put out her hand to stop him. "So Dad, did it ever occur to you to talk this over with Luke? You know, the guy that owns the company?"

"Well Lorelai, Tom wanted to call him but I couldn't see what objections Luke could have to some more help. I can see I was clearly wrong about this, but I still don't understand why he objects so strongly." Richard almost looked offended and Lorelai shook her head as Luke tried to stand again.

"You don't know why I would object?! I'll tell you why I object! You're treating me as if I don't have a brain in my head! Paige is my assistant and she's where I want her, in New York! And another thing…" Lorelai stepped between them and addressed her father.

"Dad, why don't you go home now? I'll call you later but now is not the time." Richard looked as if he wanted to argue but took his loss and turned to leave.

Lorelai looked at Luke and shook her head. "How much sleep have you gotten this past week?"

"I don't see what difference that has to do with the fact that your father and my CEO decided I need a nanny!" Luke stood toe to toe with his wife and she refused to back down.

"Luke you're behaving in a way I've never seen. It's irrational and extreme. Now either you take a nap in one of these rooms or I'm going to have to insist you go home today." Lorelai looked at her husband who was struggling to come up with an argument.

"If I take a nap who's going to watch the twins?" he challenged.

As Lorelai rolled her eyes she replied, "I will or if I have to take a meeting I have Jennifer as an extra today. Now let's get you set up in Room 111."

Luke sulked all the way down the hall and as they entered the empty room he crossed his arms over his chest and said, "I'm not tired and I can't get to sleep."

His wife prodded him over to the bed, "Just lie down and close your eyes I'll check back in ten minutes and if you're still awake I'll believe you."

"Fine, but it'd better be ten minutes; I've got stuff to do." Luke lay down and closed his eyes. Lorelai took the extra pillows off and went to get an extra blanket from the closet in the room. As she turned around Luke was already snoring softly. Chuckling Lorelai covered him up and closed the blinds. Then she quietly shut the door and went down the hall to find the children.

Jennifer had gotten Lily and Nicholas calmed down, but the afternoon seemed to have been too much for Lily as she was fast asleep. Nicholas however was wide awake. Lorelai smiled as she took her happy baby and went towards the kitchen.

"Well at least one of the Dane's men has a pleasant disposition," she cooed. Nicholas gave her a gummy grin and reached for her nose. Going into the kitchen she held him on one hip as she reached for the coffee. Sookie came out of the pantry and saw Lorelai.

"Oooo, I heard that Luke lost it! Is he ok?" She swung around her wooden spoon and Lorelai had to take Nicholas out of her line of fire.

"Yeah, I think so. I've never seen him lose it like that. I set him up in a room and he fell asleep right away so it makes me think Tom was right, but I don't know what changed." Lorelai sipped her coffee while trying to keep it away from the baby.

"Well hopefully he'll feel better when he gets up."

Lorelai nodded and headed towards her office. Setting Nicholas in the playpen she began ordering supplies. Nicholas was playing with his toys when Jennifer brought Lily in.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Lorelai; she's awake and hungry but I couldn't see any bottles in the baby bag."

She smiled and shook her head, "Jen, these are my children and you're helping me out with them. Don't apologize because they're hungry; although Luke must have been out of it because he's almost hyper vigilant with the baby bag. Give her here and if you wouldn't mind keeping an eye on Nicky, I'm sure he'll be hungry soon as well."

Lorelai took Lily to a small part of her office that held a comfortable rocking chair and began to nurse. She loved these moments when it was just her and one of the babies, it gave her time to think and her thoughts turned to Luke. Sighing she looked at her daughter, "Well sweets, when Daddy wakes up we should have a nice long talk."

Letting that go she enjoyed this time with her daughter.

Four hours later Lorelai once again peaked into Luke's room expecting to still see him asleep. However this time he opened one eye and struggled to sit up. Putting his hand to his head he looked around and blearily asked, "Where's my hat?"

Lorelai stifled a laugh and replied, "You didn't wear one in today."

He looked confused and the afternoon came rushing back to him. Closing his eyes he groaned and covered his face with his hands.

"Well it seems you remember what happened today so care to let me in on the reason you Hulked out?" She sat on the side of the bed as Luke shook his head.

"I know your father and Tom think they know what's best for me, but when they took matters into their own hands without talking to me I just flipped."

"Boy howdy did you," she interjected. Luke scowled at her as he continued.

Sitting up straight he looked around, "How are Lily and Nicholas?!"

Lorelai calmed him down and said, "They're fine, Jen got smiles and they've been doing their usual routine here. Now, tell me why Tom sent his nephew here? I know you've been more tired, but why?"

Luke looked around the room anywhere but at his wife. He knew what was coming. "Well, two weeks ago Lily started to get up with Nicholas at four and it takes her longer to eat and go back to sleep so by the time I get her back to sleep Nicholas is back up."

Luke let the statement hang while Lorelai processed. "So what you're telling me is that you've been getting four hours of sleep the past two weeks?"

"No, I get more than that…" Luke stammered.

"Really? 'Cause I'm thinking we get to bed about ten and then we're up at midnight and you're telling me you're up again at four and you're still up when I feed Lily at six. Is that right?"

"Well, if you put it that way maybe." Luke sat up against the headboard trying hard not to look at his wife.

"Lucas Buech Danes! What kind of an idiot are you?!"

Luke's head shot up, "Hey now!"

His wife interrupted. "We're supposed to be partners here! Yet you feel it's your responsibility to take this burden on yourself? At the very least we should be trading off nights. Man I'm so angry at you right now I can't tell you! It's New York all over again! Well things are going to change you got that?"

Luke opened his mouth to argue with her but unfortunately the four hour nap had restored most of his objectivity and he realized he didn't have a leg to stand on so he hung his head.

Taking this silence as the acquiescence it was she continued on. "You are calling Tom tomorrow and letting him know that you will welcome Thomas with open arms…"

Luke's head shot up again, "Hey!"

Lorelai held up her hand and continued, "You will call him and welcome Thomas' help. Dad said he was an intern so at most he will be with you a year and yes Paige is your assistant but we're getting ready for the big meeting and you could use some help. You don't need to type your own notes or keep filing your own reports. Let Thomas help you out and we'll see how the next two weeks go."

Luke threw the blanket off and walked to the door. Without turning around she heard him exhale and as he had his hand on the door said, "Fine."

He stalked down the hall to see his children. Unfortunately his emotions were still in a jumble so Lily took one look at him and burst into tears. Lorelai followed him, in picked up a happy Nicholas and shoved him in his father's arms. "Here, Nicky's not so connected to your emotions; let him put you in a better mood so your daughter will let you near her."

Luke carried Nicholas out to his office to calm down. Lorelai soothed Lily and shook her head at her husband.

The following week was a dance of compromises. Luke begrudgingly let Thomas help him out but barely said anything if he could help it. Thomas to his credit was a bright eager worker with his uncle's personality. He was quiet, focused and at the ready. What surprised Lorelai was who took a liking to him right off.

The second afternoon Thomas was working Luke sent him into the lobby to file some correspondence by date. Rory had been feeling out of sorts since Jess' crush was becoming a reality and wasn't watching where she was walking. She bumped into Thomas and sent his files skittering across the floor.

"Oh crap! I'm so sorry sir, I didn't see you there." She was scrambling to help him pick them up when Lorelai walked into the room. It was the first time she'd seen Thomas smile and it changed his features, he suddenly transformed into Mark Paul Gosselaar.

"Crap." Lorelai had to wait until Rory looked up and then saw who she'd bumped into and there it was. Thunderstruck; and Lorelai prayed that Luke didn't choose that moment to walk into the lobby.

"Hey sweets, I didn't know you were going to be here today!" Lorelai said in an overly cheerful voice. Thomas smiled at Rory who was melting all over the floor. Her mother propelled her towards the kitchen as Rory looked back at Thomas over her shoulder.

"Rory, why don't you get some cookies from Sookie? She just took a batch out." Rory just nodded as she continued to look after Thomas. When she was out of sight Lorelai turned back to the intern.

"Thomas, I'm going to be really straight with you and I want you to listen to me ok?"

Thomas nodded, "Yes Mrs. Danes."

"Good, that was my daughter and therefore Luke's step-daughter who he dotes on. She is seventeen years old so still a minor. If you want to continue living, let alone work at BD this year she is off limits. You understand me?" Lorelai stood in front of him like a mother lioness.

Thomas looked shocked, "She's only seventeen?" Lorelai nodded.

"And she's your daughter?!" Again Lorelai nodded and got real close to Thomas.

"But more importantly she's Luke's little girl. Her biological father doesn't feel as protective of her as Luke. Do you get the full implication of that statement Thomas?"

His eyes widened and he nodded.

"Good, 'cause I like you Thomas and the children like you and I would hate to see you lose this opportunity just because you looked at Rory. Right?" Lorelai smiled at the young man.

Thomas nodded and scooped up his papers to file in another room. Looking heavenward Lorelai headed into the kitchen to face her daughter.

A/N Seeing who is still with me on this. Sorry I've been gone, but I just didn't feel like writing for a while. Have a direction I think I will take this if there is still and interest. Please leave a review.