A/N: I'm on a roll! (On everything but what I need to be)… What would have happened if Luke spent the night with Lorelai instead of Emily in "Rory's Dance"? Read on. Dedicated to gilmorefanforever. And before I end up in the hole, writing more to a fic that I didn't intend to write more of, sorry, this is a oneshot, although I appreciate your enthusiasm toward my work.
"Mom, please relax. Dean is a good kid. Rory's gonna have a great time. You got your pictures and tomorrow I will call you and give you all the details."
"What are you going to do?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well you certainly can't be left alone."
"Yes I can."
Emily huffed. "Fine. If you want to sit on the couch like that, immobilized the entire night, that's your choice. You are the most stubborn person I've ever met."
"Write it on the calendar for me? I may forget the anniversary of the day that my mother called me the most stubborn person she's ever met for the millionth time," Lorelai groaned.
"Good bye, Lorelai," Emily said, walking out the door. "Have Rory call me tomorrow."
Lorelai put her head back on the couch, letting out a slight moan. She was hurting. This wasn't supposed to happen. Lorelai had plans for Chinese food and a corny movie on TV, all by herself, lying on the couch however she was most comfortable. Stupid attack of the dresses.
She eyed the phone from where she sat. It was all the way on the other end of the couch. That was like trying to walk the 500 miles the Proclaimers said they would walk, plus the 500 more, and then somehow reaching the total of the 5000, without understanding how or why they walked in the first place. She slowly slid over to the other end of the couch, inches at a time, trying not to overexert herself. When she finally reached the other end of the couch after what seemed like hours of strategic shifting, she picked up the phone and dialed the first number that came to her head.
"Can you come over?" Lorelai asked, putting her free hand to her back.
"You sound hurt," Luke noticed.
She nodded. "I hurt my back when I was making Rory's dress for the dance. Now I can't move. I feel like…"
"I'll be right over," Luke insisted, hanging up the phone.
Lorelai was shocked that his interrogation was so brief and that he had agreed to come so quickly. Coming up with a reference wasn't even necessary for the explanation of her pain, because Luke was already on his way. She closed her eyes and put the phone next to her, trying to get as comfortable as she possibly could. Talking Emily out of staying at her house was the smartest thing she'd done all week, besides the new pair of jeans she bought on sale. Those jeans were an awfully smart purchase. As she recalled the marvel of getting the perfect pair of jeans, she heard Luke's truck pull into the driveway. The doorbell rang and she groaned and mumbled something unintelligible.
The door opened and Luke came inside, carrying a bag of food. "Are you all right?"
"Well, let me put it to you this way. Do you remember in 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', when the guy just gets his limb cut off, and he says 'tis only a flesh wound' although he's spurting blood?"
Luke nodded. "Vaguely."
"Tisn't a flesh wound," she said gravely. She finally got to use the reference she'd thought of while Luke was on his way over.
Luke sat on the couch beside her, opening the bag he brought from the diner. "Well, here, eat up. Eating should take your mind off of it for awhile, right?"
"If I had three wishes, that would be my third," Lorelai said, taking the cheeseburger from Luke's hands.
"Why would that be your third?" Luke asked. "You're in physical pain, you'd think that would be your first wish!"
Lorelai nodded, contemplating the thought for a moment. "Why, yes, I am in pain, but of course, I have to wish for unlimited wishes and a million dollars first. THEN I can consider my state of well being after that."
"You're insane," Luke grumbled, taking out a salad that he had packed for himself.
"You're eating, too?" she asked.
He nodded. "Yeah, of course I'm eating here, I'm making sure you're all right, and God knows how long that will take."
"I'll be fine in a little while, but I just needed someone to make sure that I could… move and function at a very primitive level for now. I'll be fine."
"You called me, in pain, telling me that you need help. I'm here now. How do you expect to get up those stairs tonight?"
Lorelai grinned. "I can fly! It will be a very 'Peter Pan' moment, I'll sing and everything."
Luke stopped chewing the bite of the salad that he had just eaten. "You're even crazier than I thought."
She watched him as he ate his salad, getting more and more disgusted with every bite he took. She shuddered and turned to her own burger, letting out a disgusted "blech" as she ate.
"What? Why were you staring at me?" Luke questioned. "What's with the groan?"
"Maybe because your salad looks utterly disgusting, it's like one of those car accidents that you just can't NOT look at," Lorelai mused. "Or the guy on TV who you know is about to get chopped up into little pieces yet you can't take your eyes off of the screen!"
"Don't look at it, then," Luke shot back. "And some of us would prefer not to hear things like that while we're eating."
She pouted. "Did I not JUST say that I couldn't NOT look at it?"
"Well, if you'd eat right and exercise, you wouldn't be in the position that you're in right now. You wouldn't be disgusted by my salad, and most likely wouldn't be in physical pain."
Lorelai shook her head. "A very, very wise person once said 'to exercise is human. Not to is divine.'"
Luke's eyebrows furrowed as he closed the now empty plastic container that his salad had been in. "Who said that, a heart surgeon who makes no living if people don't get clogged arteries?"
"No, no, it was someone even wiser. And she is also prettier, and buys the perfect jeans when they're on sale."
"Britney Spears?" Luke asked.
"Nice try with the reference, but you'll never live up to the references I can make. I was talking about me," she replied, reaching her arm out in front of her without moving the rest of her body.
"What are you reaching for?"
"The remote," she said. "My superpowers aren't working right now."
He leaned over and handed her the remote. She smiled and pressed the 'power' button, with no result. "Stupid remote! It won't turn the TV on! Luke, will you flip the channels for me?"
"Your hand's not broken, you do it," Luke grunted.
"No, see, I'd have to twist to get the little electronic beam thing to hit the sensor on the TV. And then I'd be in a severe amount of pain. And the screaming I am capable of is matched by no man," Lorelai replied, crossing her arms.
Luke sighed, took the remote back once again, and turned on the TV. He slowly flipped through the channels. "Are you going to pick something anytime soon?"
"Is there anything on TV tonight that's not a wannabe John Ford film?" Lorelai replied. "I'm not in the mood to venture into the wild, wild West tonight."
"You know who John Ford is?"
Lorelai nodded. "Obviously I do. Need I remind you that I've seen almost every movie known to man? Plus, Rory's studying Hollywood auteurs, and he was one of them."
"A director or producer who's known because of the certain style of film he creates," Lorelai replied. "You can immediately identify one of their films because of the elements of style, the aesthetics, the concepts. John Ford's known for his westerns."
"Are you sure you're feeling okay? Since when do you remember this stuff?"
Lorelai grinned. "I remember it because it's pertaining to something that I find rather interesting. And you know, now that you mention it, I think I'm having a major 'Freaky Friday' moment. I'm actually Rory, you just didn't know it."
He rolled his eyes. "Sure. Whatever. Are you going to pick something to watch?"
"No, you can watch your stupid ballgame," she consented.
"There is no game," Luke countered.
She groaned. "Just find something for me to watch already! Ooh, stop it there, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion!"
"Who and who did what?" Luke asked.
"Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino are these two loser valley girls who get an invitation to their 10 year high school reunion and realize that they've done nothing with their lives, so they decide to make it all up," Lorelai explained.
"That sounds like the dumbest plot," Luke started.
She held up her hand. "Ah. Luke. Listen. I never said this movie was good, by any means. They claim to have invented Post-Its."
"Yessiree Bob," Lorelai replied. "Turn it up."
Lorelai gazed at the TV screen for a moment, watching as the ending credits of the movie rolled by. "Oh, man! Now there's nothing on!"
"Travesty," Luke deadpanned.
"Do you ever watch TV?"
"When I have to," Luke replied. "You can't get the weather report in the Stars Hollow newspaper, and I also would like to know what's going on outside of this crazy town. There are trillions of people that live on this planet that aren't residents of this place."
Lorelai gave Luke a 'duh' look. "I know that. You really hate Stars Hollow that much?"
He sighed. "I don't hate it… the people here just get on my nerves sometimes, you know? Miss Patty and her insistence on pinching my ass, Babette's nosy questions about my personal life, it just gets old after awhile."
"Ever think about starting a rumor just for fun? That could make it rather entertaining," Lorelai suggested.
Luke shook his head. "No, it wouldn't."
"Apparently you were the winner of the 'world's biggest party pooper' contest, you never claimed your prize, though. A lifetime of cynicism and unhappiness, without laughter and cheer," Lorelai shot back.
"I'm not an unhappy person," Luke replied.
Lorelai sighed. "Really? Because your outlook on the world just makes me feel peachy keen!"
"I'm not an unhappy person," he repeated.
Lorelai looked at Luke, realizing that his comments were totally and completely serious. "You aren't? Well, that's great."
"I guess it is."
"What makes you happy?" she asked.
He paused for a moment, unconsciously rubbing his chin in the midst of his thoughts. "Well, feeling needed makes me happy," he answered. "I'm not exactly the most social guy on the planet, but knowing that people are willing to ask for help is nice."
"Noted," Lorelai said, giving Luke a soft smile.
Luke let out a sigh. "How's your back?" he asked, obviously sidestepping any further questioning regarding his happiness or unhappiness.
She nodded. "It's okay. It's still really sore."
"You want to try and have me walk you to the bedroom?" he asked.
"What time is it?"
He looked at his watch. "Eleven thirty."
"No, I'll just wait up for Rory here."
"That can't be comfortable," Luke said, attempting to stand up.
She grabbed his hand, pulling him back down onto the couch. Both their eyes locked on their joined hands, and their hands quickly separated. "I'm fine, really," she reassured him.
"You can't be fine, I can tell you're straining," he said, grabbing a pillow from his side of the couch and placing it behind her back. "Better?"
She smiled. "Much."
"Good," he replied, flipping the channels until Lorelai once again found something to her liking.
"You know what I love about this movie?" she asked.
"That it was reviewed as 'one of the worst movies of the summer'?"
She crossed her arms. "Are you insulting my taste in movies?"
"Maybe," he replied with a smirk.
She rolled her eyes. "You're unbelievable. I'm not telling you now."
"Come on, finish your sentence," Luke insisted.
She turned up her nose, trying not to giggle. "No. You missed out."
"Lorelai!" he hissed.
"I like it because the guy in it would do absolutely anything for the girl," she said, inching closer to Luke.
"You find that appealing?"
She nodded. "Very. Selflessness is actually very attractive."
"I'm sure that's not what those magazines you read say," Luke pointed out.
"You make them sound like trashy magazines," Lorelai defended. "I get them solely for the beauty tips."
"And men get Playboy for the articles."
She shook her head. "Totally different here."
"Weren't we talking about why I like this movie?"
"But I want to know the difference, you say there is one, I say there isn't, it's your argument," Luke insisted.
"Well, my magazines do have trash in them, but I'm honestly reading the tips," Lorelai continued.
Luke nodded. "Fair enough."
"You're consenting at that? No more?"
"It's getting late," he said. "I'll wake you when Rory comes home." He got up and turned off all but one light in the living room and sat on the couch again. "Do you want me to walk you upstairs?"
She shook her head. "I'll just stay here," she said.
He sat next to her, then stood up again. "How are you going to sleep?"
"You can sleep in my bed," she offered.
Luke sat on the couch again. "I'm not sleeping in the bed."
"Well, then, I guess you sleep sitting up and I sleep sitting up," Lorelai reasoned.
"That can't be too comfortable," he pointed out.
"Hand me that pillow," she said, reaching for the pillow on the other end of the couch.
Luke handed her the pillow, and by the look on his face, he was totally confused as to what Lorelai was doing. She put the pillow on Luke's legs and slowly lowered herself so her head would hit the pillow. "What are you doing?" he asked.
She smiled as she looked up at him. "I'm much more comfortable now," she said, allowing her eyes to close. "Night. Move if you're uncomfortable."
"Night," he replied. "And that's impossible to do without hurting you."
She giggled. "I'm a heavy sleeper." She closed her eyes once again and tried to fall asleep. She thought about how kind Luke was to be there for her when she was in pain. It was obvious that Luke really cared about her. After making a mental note to thank Luke for his kindness profusely in the morning, she realized that Luke was snoring.
It took all the strength that she had to keep from giggling. Luke's snore was rather amusing, and she nearly burst into a fit of laughter, until Luke's hand moved to her back. He was obviously asleep, but the presence of his hand made Lorelai's spine tingle. It was nice, she told herself, he was only trying to subconsciously make her feel better.
It took awhile for her to fall asleep, with all the Freudian psychoanalysis she was enduring. She finally fell asleep and didn't wake up until the sun had risen the next morning.
She sat up, confused as to why Luke wasn't on the couch. The voices in the kitchen were getting louder, and all she could hear Luke say was "what?"
Walking slowly into the kitchen, she stretched, noticing that the majority of her back pain was gone. When she saw Rory and Luke in the kitchen, her mood turned from relieved to worried. "What's going on here?"
"Mom, I'm so sorry," Rory said, near tears.
"What happened?" Lorelai asked, turning to Luke.
Rory sighed. "I was with Dean last night, and we left the dance early, and then we started to read. We fell asleep in Miss Patty's, I just got home."
The look in Luke's eyes turned from one of concern to one of fury. He stormed into the living room, grabbing his jacket and putting on his boots.
"What are you doing?" Lorelai asked, holding her right hand out to tell Rory to stay put.
"To kill the bag boy," Luke grumbled, tying his right boot.
Lorelai grabbed his arm. "Luke. We can't have you in prison, you feed us."
"There are plenty of other restaurants in the world," he muttered, putting on his coat.
Lorelai groaned. "Luke, stay here. Just… stay."
"He'll get away!" Luke protested.
"Hey, look, Whitey Bulger, stay here for a second, there is to be no bloodshed in the streets of Stars Hollow," Lorelai said, her tone becoming more forceful. She walked back into the kitchen, crossing her arms. "You what?"
"I fell asleep with Dean, it was an accident, nothing happened," Rory protested. "I'm so, so, so, so sorry and I swear, it will never happen again."
"Rory, are you serious? You fell asleep in Miss Patty's?"
Rory threw her hands in the air. "What do I have to do to get it through to you that nothing happened?"
"Well, Repeat, you've said it about 600 times, maybe a Yak Bak will do the trick," Lorelai shot back.
"What's your problem? I said nothing happened!" Rory defended, her tone becoming more angry.
Lorelai shook her head. "I never said anything happened, you're not explaining anything to me!"
"What do you want, the Tarzan version?" Rory shot back.
"I want to know why you're just getting home," Lorelai insisted.
"I fell asleep in Miss Patty's. Dean and I were reading and we fell asleep. Simple as that. I ran here in my bare feet to make sure that you knew I wasn't hurt, Mom! Why are you so angry?"
Lorelai shrugged. "Well, jeez, Rory, I don't know, because Luke's in the living room, ready to strangle Dean with his bare hands? Maybe because I'm thinking about bringing my stash of weaponry and going along for the ride? You didn't come home, Rory, how am I supposed to feel?"
Rory looked at her feet. "I don't know, you didn't even notice me come in, you were still sleeping. And why is Luke here?"
"Don't pawn this one off on me, missy, I am an adult. You are sixteen years old, and you're coming back at an ungodly hour! I have a right to be upset!"
"Fine. I guess you do. I already said I was sorry, what else do you want?"
Lorelai sighed. "I don't know. I'm just realizing now that you're more like me than I thought."
"I'm not going to…"
Lorelai shook her head. "I need to make sure Luke isn't sharpening his sword right now. We'll talk about this later."
Rory walked into her room and shut the door, obviously still upset.
Lorelai walked into the foyer, looking for Luke, until she caught sight of Luke sitting on the couch. His arms were crossed and he was visibly angry. "It's okay," she said. "You don't have to kill this guy."
"Then who will? I knew he was trouble," Luke pointed out.
Lorelai sat next to him. "It's the fact that I know you'd kill for Rory, or for me, that's keeping me from telling you how insane you are."
Luke turned red and cleared his throat. "I…"
Lorelai put her hand on his arm. "You would. I know you would. Thank you again for helping me last night. And this morning. You're my hero," she gushed in her southern accent.
"I just hate seeing you upset," he replied.
She gave him a small smile. "I know."
"I gotta go open the diner."
"Promise me you won't kill Dean?"
He nodded. "I won't."
She stood up and walked Luke to the door. "That wasn't very convincing. If you care about me at all, or Rory, please don't kill Dean."
"I won't, I said I'm not going to touch him," Luke said, stepping onto the porch.
"Well, again, not very convincing."
Luke leaned in and kissed Lorelai. She pulled back in shock, staring at him with her mouth gaping open. "Convinced?"
She nodded. "I… uh… I…"
"Go smooth things over with Rory, we'll talk about… things… later."
She nodded. "Yeah. Later." She watched him unlock his truck and pull away, realizing that the previous night and that morning were proof that he loved Rory and Lorelai like he had loved no one else before. If the coffee cake, and the mashed potatoes, and the caterpillar's funeral weren't proof enough, she finally had the evidence. Luke Danes was her hero.