Lorelai stood in the middle of the junk food aisle of the supermarket, analyzing all of the different kinds of munchies that she wanted to get for the next movie night. There were Ring Dings, Ho Ho's, and cupcakes of all kinds, even the ones with the pink coconut on the top. But none sounded appetizing to her at the moment. She grabbed one of each for later, surely she'd change her mind by then, and moved on to the next aisle. She was hungry, but there wasn't anything that she wanted to eat.
Moving to the soup aisle didn't help. Her stomach growled and she let out a sigh. She had a case of the munchies, and the soup wasn't going to cure that, either. She let out a sigh and leaned against the cart, staring at the soups on the shelves. She stared so long that all the soups seemed to blend together. Lorelai straightened up when she thought of that disgusting combination literally, and slowly pushed her cart down the aisle. Why, and more importantly, how, had Luke convinced her to go food shopping? Food shopping before she and Luke got married consisted of Doose's runs occasionally, and emergency stops in a big supermarket in Hartford if absolutely necessary. But now, she held Luke's list in her hand, and tried to remember her mental list at the same time. It was proving rather difficult. As she approached the section with the breads, she stopped to look at her list. Staring at the list, not really sure where to start filling her still empty cart, she seemed to forget the entire rest of the world.
Until her cell phone rang, that is. She jumped, startled by the sudden interruption of her already fleeting thoughts. She dug through her purse for the cell phone and finally retrieved it. "Talk to me," she answered.
"Is it your goal in life to answer the phone in a crazier way than the time you answered it before?" Luke's voice asked from the other line.
Lorelai smiled, leaning against her cart once again. "Yes, I'm glad it's working. What's up?" she asked, patting her pocket for the list she had obviously discarded when looking for the phone.
"I need to add some things to the list. Did you bring a pen with you?"
She opened her purse and found a Hello Kitty pen lying next to the list she had put down when she found her cell phone. She clicked the pen and held the phone to her ear with her right shoulder. "Yes, I have a pen, and the list. What do you need to add?"
"Apples and oranges. I was going to make apple pie for your parents when they visit tomorrow night, and I was going to try and get your dad to try an orange smoothie instead. Less fattening, but he'll never know, right?" Luke said, obviously trying to convince himself and Lorelai.
Lorelai clicked the pen again and dropped it in her purse, grabbing the phone with her free hand and starting for the produce section. "Yes, he's gullible as can be!" Lorelai quipped. "Anything else you need while I'm out?"
"Nope, that should do it. I'll need a lot of apples, so grab a dozen or so. Any leftovers will go toward apple tarts," Luke suggested. "Your reward for going shopping today."
She smiled. "In July?"
Luke sighed. "Do you want the apple tarts or not? Because if you don't, they can disappear from my to do list as quickly as I mentioned them."
Lorelai giggled. "Fine, apple tarts in July. Sounds like a plan. Have I told you today that you are the best apple tart maker ever?"
"No, not today," he replied.
She pushed the cart up to the dairy section, which was on the opposite side of where she had originally started. Maybe she'd actually get some shopping done if she started at the beginning. "Well, you are. You are the Renoir of apple tarts. No, not good enough. You're an apple tart god!"
"Whatever you say. See you when you get back," Luke said.
Lorelai shut her phone after saying goodbye, and quickly went through the majority of her list and Luke's list. She made it to the produce section and quickly found the oranges she had been asked to get, but the apples weren't as easy to spot. She sighed. "If I were an apple, where would I be?" she asked herself, pushing the now heavy cart around the produce section. "I don't want the stupid carrots, or those… other… green vegetables that aren't carrots… I want apples, they're a fruit, they're red? Well, usually they're red, but sometimes they're yellow or green. But I'm looking for red apples. Anybody seen the red apples?" she asked, letting out a sigh.
After looking for the apples for what seemed like hours, she finally spotted the apples to her right. She grabbed a bag and placed a dozen red delicious apples inside. When she tried to tie the bag, she ended up only getting one side knotted. And Luke made it look so easy! She resorted to leaving the bag open, sitting next to her purse next to the bag of oranges. As she looked for the aisles that housed her final purchase request, the urge to munch was back. She rolled her eyes and reached for an apple.
She stopped in the middle of the aisle, holding the apple, coming to the realization that it probably wasn't the munchies that compelled her to grab the apple in the first place. Her eyes widened in surprise. Taking a bite of the apple was going to be the true test. She sunk her teeth into the apple, and decided another bite would be best to determine if her instinct was right. She took another bite, and then another, before finally reaching the apple's core and throwing it in the bag with the other uneaten apples.
The checkout line was long, and it gave her time to think. Apples. She knew what they meant, Luke knew what they meant. All of Stars Hollow probably knew what they meant. She stared at the apples and oranges that sat in the shopping cart, next to her purse, and smiled.
Apples and oranges. That's what these two experiences were surely going to be like. When she was pregnant with Rory, Lorelai was still a teenager. No job, no house, no committed father figure to pick up the slack. Truth be told, she was scared, terrified, of being a mother at sixteen years old. Not that she wouldn't be scared the second time around, but the experience the first time was extremely difficult.
Her parents would be thrilled this time, she was sure of it. Emily had been dropping hints about having more grandchildren, in her own weird and twisted way, at Friday night dinner for weeks now. And April, and even Rory, had always wanted a little sibling… and this time, Lorelai had someone she could count on by her side. She knew countless people would be supporting her through the second time. It would be much less of an experience of isolation than the first time.
The rumors would run rampant, sure. But they would be rumors spread out of excitement, support, and love, rather than maliciousness. After all, it would be rather amusing to guess which town busybody would find out first, who broke the story, and who got the news out of Luke and Lorelai first. Oh, the betting pools that would be set up!
As Lorelai made her way through the line, she flipped her cell phone open and shut while she was deep in concentration. Her thoughts were interrupted by the thought of her parents attending dinner at the house the next night. She groaned. Of course, she had forgotten all about that once the word 'apple' suddenly became more than a grocery item to pick up for Luke. She dialed the home number and pressed the phone to her ear.
"Hello?" Luke answered.
"Did you tell me my parents were coming tomorrow?" Lorelai asked, panicked.
Luke sighed. "Three weeks ago, what, you didn't write it down?"
"Uh! Write it down? Please, who am I, Ollie Organization, here?" Lorelai shot back.
Lorelai rolled her eyes. "Alliteration, Luke, just go with it. I didn't write it down, probably because you told me at an extremely inconvenient time."
"Let me get this straight. You remember being told that your parents were showing up, but you don't remember the concept?" Luke confirmed.
She nodded. "Yup, sounds about right. I have a meeting with Sookie tomorrow night, discussing her new menu plans for the Fall Ball the middle school is having!"
"Well, call her and reschedule when you get back, don't panic. She'll understand, at least it's not a client or something," Luke reassured her.
She smiled. "Okay. I'm in the never ending checkout line now, I'll be home in a few minutes."
"See you at home," Luke said.
Lorelai paid for her groceries and loaded the Jeep with the bags. As she started the car and drove onto the main road, she couldn't help but sneak one more apple. When that apple was gone, she licked her fingers for the juice that was surely left. She pulled into the driveway, throwing the apple core in with the bag of apples, and making a mental note to toss the cores on her way in the door. As she reached for the groceries, her open purse tipped over, and all of her belongings scattered in the Jeep.
"This isn't funny!" she said, talking to the inanimate objects in her purse. She quickly gathered all of the items, frustrated that she had forgotten to close her purse, and grabbed all the bags she possibly could to bring them inside.
"See, it wasn't so bad, was it? You made it," Luke teased.
Lorelai sat down at the kitchen table. "Just barely! There were evil price scanners, and evil commanders yelling orders to their loyal grocery subjects. Attention, shoppers, we have a 2 for 1 deal on broccoli, take advantage while it lasts! Ugh, why isn't there a special on Tootsie Rolls or something?"
"Oh, please, it wasn't that bad," Luke grumbled, unloading one bag of groceries at a time.
She crossed her arms. "Yes it was THAT BAD! Vicious old ladies nearly ran me over with their carts. And clearly people don't observe the cart code of conduct they have at the front of the store. They don't even follow the rules of the road in there, Luke!"
Luke rolled his eyes. "You are so overdramatic," he muttered.
Lorelai walked up to the counter and leaned up against it. "And that's why you love me."
"I'd love you even more if you could at least help me unload," Luke insisted.
"I think I've done enough work for one day," Lorelai declared. "I'll watch you for awhile. When are my lovely parents gracing me with their presence tomorrow?"
"Seven, and if you're that sickeningly sweet to them, they're going to know you're being sarcastic," Luke pointed out.
"Hey, it's our house, and we serve dinner and drinks, it's a whole new world of Friday night dinner. We have to thank the floor refinishers for that one. I could come to dinner in my pajamas because this is my house!" Lorelai mused.
"Don't get any ideas if you're not interested in being heckled about your fashion choices all throughout your dinner."
She pouted. "Fine, I'll be nice. But seriously, Luke, dinner here is still going to be rather painful, can't I just…"
Luke pulled out the bag of apples at that moment, holding them up and inspecting them. Lorelai sighed, realizing she'd left the apple cores in the bag. She was caught now. But little did he know how much easier that made her job. He turned to Lorelai, pulling an apple core out of the bag. "You ate this?" he asked, holding the core up.
Lorelai bit her lower lip and nodded.
"You ate apples?"
She nodded again.
She giggled. She didn't really know what to say. She stood up, no longer leaning on the counter. She took a deep breath and crossed her arms. "I, uh, ate two apples while I was in the… store."
"Apples?" Luke repeated.
"As long as they're not Snow White's apples, I think this is a good thing," Lorelai insisted.
Luke smiled. "So that means…"
Lorelai shrugged. "I just added up all the signs, and this was the true test. Plus, when you add it to all the conventional stuff a doctor would tell you to look at, all signs point to apple consumption as not being a fluke. So, Lorelai eats apples, Luke finds out that Lorelai eats apples… the equation doesn't take Charlie Eppes to figure out, Luke."
He pulled her in for a kiss. When they broke apart, he simply hugged her for what seemed like forever. He finally let go and gave Lorelai the widest smile she'd ever seen. "I'm going to be a dad."
"Yeah. You are!" she agreed. "Well, you already are… but I was thinking, in the checkout line today, that this whole experience, for both of us, is pretty much apples and oranges."
"Apples and oranges?" Luke repeated.
She nodded. "Yeah, I mean, you found out about April way after this stage… and with Rory, for me, things were obviously different… apples and oranges."
"I don't care what fruit it is, I'm happy. I'm in shock. I love you so much," Luke replied.
"I love you too," she said, reaching for the bag of apples on the counter. "Toast?"
Luke chuckled. "If this is what it takes to get you to eat fruit…" he started.
Lorelai rolled her eyes. "Dream on, bucko. Okay, what do we toast to?"
"I didn't know you could toast with an apple, so you're the one running the show here," Luke said, motioning to the apple.
"How about we toast to a fruit-ful life for our new baby?" she teased, raising her eyebrows.
"Somehow I knew a terrible pun was coming," Luke replied.
"Whatever, I just want to eat the apple, hear hear!" Lorelai said, raising her apple and taking a bite out of it.
Luke smiled. "Hear, hear," he said, taking a bite from his own apple. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close to him. "And if you think we're naming our kid Apple, guess again."
"I wouldn't dare," she said.