A/N: A little different from the norm here. My own entry to "Author, Out of Water". Angsty, JavaJunkie. Read and enjoy, all comments appreciated.
The one thing that Luke Danes missed the most about Lorelai Gilmore after their breakup was the sound of her laugh. Whether she was laughing AT him, WITH him, or about nothing related to him at all, he didn't care. He loved her laugh. It was a sign that Lorelai was happy, content, satisfied, and enjoying herself. The sound of her uncontrollable giggle, the one true indicator of her positive mood or the one thing that pulled her out of a bad one, was all he longed to hear again. He'd have given anything to hear her laugh, and during that long year without her, he realized that more than he ever had before.
Luke remembered times when he unintentionally caused a fit of giggles from Lorelai. He often said something sarcastic, expecting a sarcastic comment in return. But instead, he'd sit watching as she wiped the tears from her eyes, nearly doubling over laughing. There were also times when her laughing was entirely inappropriate, often followed by a "dirty," and made him roll his eyes, groaning as he tried unsuccessfully to get her to stop. There were also times where he'd unexpectedly laughed himself. She said something, he chuckled, and she smiled. Then she laughed with him. The moment wasn't one that happened frequently, but when it happened, it was special.
But when she was gone, he realized he wanted the laughter back. Even if it was followed by a gasp and a "dirty," he would take it over what he dealt with in the time without her. As much as he loved the sound of Lorelai's laugh, he hated the sounds he heard while she was gone even more.
Of course, the sound of Kirk's car hitting the diner wasn't pleasant. The sound was a symbol of what his life was like, crashing down around him quicker than he ever thought possible. He hated hearing himself argue with her. The sound of him yelling at Lorelai was still playing in his mind, over and over. He hated himself for what he said to her as the conversation in the middle of the street ran through his mind again. The sound of her yelling back made him cringe. The words she said, especially her admission of sleeping with Christopher, gave him a migraine. His fist hitting Christopher in the face was a slightly satisfying sound, but it didn't bring Lorelai back. The sound of April's swim coach's laugh just made him long for Lorelai's that much more.
There was also the sound of his conscience, telling him what a stupid idiot he was. Are you insane? You kept April from Lorelai, now she's gone, and she slept with Christopher. Good going. Hope you enjoy the rest of your life being single. You blew this one.
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and the vein in his neck popped out when he heard the hushed whispers of the townies in the diner. He remembered their words as though they were spoken hours ago.
"How ya think he's holdin' up?" Babette whispered to Patty, glancing at Luke to ensure that he wasn't anywhere near their table.
Miss Patty shook her head. "He's miserable. He can't deal, seeing her with 'you know who'. Poor guy. He deserved to be happy, he waited for so long."
Slamming the ordering pad on the counter, he stormed up the stairs, threw off his new black baseball cap, and opened the fridge. It was completely empty, minus one bottle of water. He took the water and sat at the table. He let out a huge sigh.
He sat in silence, looking around his apartment. It was then that he decided that the worst sound he had to bear was the silence. His cell phone never rang, no one begged him for coffee quite as earnestly, and no one sang in the shower. The radio in the truck wasn't turned on and the TV never left the channel that the ballgame was on.
And there was the sound of his conscience again to accompany the hated silence. Nice work. You did a great job screwing up your life. You hate the silence, don't you? Well, you deserve it. Quit feeling sorry for yourself… you had just as much to do with this breakup as she did. Now you move on.
He'd tried to move on. It didn't work so well. As they started their relationship again, it took awhile to hear her laugh. Rory was gone, and Lorelai was having a rough time. But then there was one day when Luke said something, and Lorelai lost it, starting with a giggle and ending in what she later described as a 'hyena mating call'. The sound was the greatest sound he'd heard in so long.
Now, as he stood in Lorelai's kitchen, making dinner, the sound of her laugh made him smile. He finally had her back, and she rarely stopped laughing and talking. But he wouldn't have it any other way. As she walked into the kitchen, her cell phone pressed to her ear, she let out another giggle that made him turn around, curious as to who she was talking to. The sound of her laugh often made him have to reassure himself that he wasn't dreaming, and she really was back in his life once again.
She winked at him as she walked into the kitchen. "Well, sweets, here's Luke, I'll let you tell him yourself, okay?" Lorelai said, presumably to Rory, as she said goodbye and handed the phone to Luke. "It's Rory, she has good news," Lorelai said with a smile, patting his arm and sitting down at the kitchen table.
He took the phone. "Hey, Rory," he said.
"Hey, Luke, how are you?" Rory asked.
Luke held the phone with his left hand and held the spoon that stirred the sauce he was making with his right hand. "I'm not too bad, how are you? Your mom said that you had good news."
"Yes, I do, I get three weeks' vacation in the middle of July," she said.
"That's great, Rory, we can't wait to have you back," Luke said, genuinely excited that April and Rory would be around at the same time.
"Thanks, Luke, will you hand me back to Mom? No offense to you or anything, I just forgot to tell her something," Rory replied.
Luke looked in Lorelai's general direction, almost as if to alert her to the fact that the phone was coming back to her. "Yeah, she's right here. Hang on one sec. Talk to you soon."
"Bye, Luke," Rory said.
Lorelai took the phone and walked into the living room. All Luke could hear was her giggling and trying to catch her breath. When she finally re entered the kitchen, she closed the phone and sat at the kitchen table again. "So I have a funny story. I'll tell you the story, if I can get through it without splitting my sides from laughing so much."
"It's that funny?" Luke asked.
Lorelai nodded. "It involves Kirk and a care package he sent to Rory."
"Here we go," he said, rolling his eyes and adding the sauce to the noodles he had just finished preparing. He could only imagine what Lorelai was about to say.
"Hang on, let me run upstairs and change," she said, leaning in and giving him a kiss. "I promise, you are going to love this story!"
I'm sure I will, he thought as he watched her run up the stairs.