A/N: Prompt response fic. Prompt from EL was to write a "what if?" fic. I chose the apartment scene from "Lost and Found"! Enjoy yourselves, feedback is the Luke's cheeseburger I'll never have.
"Hey Mary, could you possibly leave me and little missus alone for just a minute?"
"Why, of course."
"I promise we won't do anything dirty."
"Oh please, if my husband and I looked anything like the two of you, we'd never get dressed."
"Oh, you are bad!"
"Let me just leave this rental agreement with you in case you decide to fill it out."
"Oh, I hope you take it. It's got a great vibe for a nice couple like you two."
As Mary left the room, Lorelai turned to Luke. The tension between the two was obvious, and completely uncomfortable. Lorelai tried to lighten the mood a little, letting out a small giggle. She patted Luke on the shoulder and gave him a grin. "And the Oscar goes to…"
"What was that?" Luke grumbled.
Lorelai smiled. "A bird, a plane…" she started, letting out another giggle.
"No, that act you put on with Mary," Luke clarified, pointing to the door.
She shrugged, looking at her shoes. "Oh, the answering the door wrapped in cellophane? The Yankees cap? Aw, Snuffy, calm down, I'm only teasing, I know you hate the Yankees. And I'm just trying to make her happy so you can get the apartment. Speaking of which, what do you think of the apartment, Snuffy?"
Luke crossed his arms. "Stop calling me that and answer my question first. What do you think about what just happened?"
Lorelai put her hair behind her ear, shifting her weight. She couldn't understand why Luke was so frazzled about the situation. She tried to interpret his tone. He spoke very quietly, presumably to avoid having Mary hear him, but he also seemed… nervous. "Okay, Curious George, what's with the third degree?" she asked, half-joking.
He sighed. "You were pretending we were together."
"So? I was just teasing!" Lorelai defended. She walked over to the window and let out a sigh. "I was just trying to make the moment a little less uncomfortable." Throwing her hands in the air, she shook her head. "Looks like I screwed that one up, I'm sorry."
Luke watched as Lorelai sat beneath the window, pulling her knees close to her chest. He sat down next to her and she turned to him, letting out a small smile. "You know, I'm not mad," he replied.
"Good. I'm glad. I'd have had to make it up to you somehow, and I have a feeling it wouldn't be pleasant."
He gave her a smile, reassuring her that he wasn't enraged over the situation. "I'd probably have made you drink decaf for a day and then switch you back. I'd feel the repercussions of it, regardless."
She nodded. "You are a smart guy, Luke Danes."
"But it was definitely an uncomfortable moment," he replied, gesturing with his hand as he spoke.
Lorelai nodded. "I can imagine. It's not like I was totally in the proper persona, either. I should have done something really in character with the husband-wife dynamic. But, I can imagine your… discomfort."
Luke shook his head. "No offense, 'Mrs. Danes', but I don't think you can."
She scrunched up her nose. "You think it was easy for me to think of that one on the fly? Really, I'm not a stand-up comic, improv just isn't my thing."
"That's not what I meant," he grumbled, turning to face her.
Lorelai was confused. Luke was obviously really upset about what she'd done. Or maybe upset wasn't the right word. He said he wasn't mad, but he wasn't thrilled with the idea, either. There were lots of things she could have said to offend him, lots of things that may or may not have touched a nerve with Luke. She tapped her fingers together, feeling slightly guilty about what she may or may not have done as she turned to get a better look at him. He took a deep breath.
"So you know why Rachel left, right?"
"Rachel? Your Rachel? The self proclaimed 'anywhere-but-here' girl? You mentioned her absence," Lorelai replied, repositioning herself on the floor.
He took off his baseball cap and ran his fingers through his hair. He was extremely flustered, and Lorelai knew it. She cleared her throat, feeling even more guilty for doing whatever she did to bring back thoughts of Rachel. He sighed. "Well, uh, she left because of me, sort of, and a lot of it actually had to do with someone else."
"You cheated on Rachel? Ross, you were on a break!" Lorelai said, trying to lighten the mood again.
"I'm going to brush past the reference and say what I'm trying to say, here," Luke continued.
"She left because… she thought I loved someone else."
Lorelai looked at Luke. She cleared her throat, trying to run through anything she could have said to provoke a confession from him. He wasn't like this, he just wasn't. She'd pretended to be his wife or girlfriend before, but nothing bothered him before now. She shuddered. Was she really prepared to learn more about Luke's love life than she cared to? "And… uh, who would that be?"
"Uh, well, I was uncomfortable about you pretending to be my… wife, because it's kind of frustrating to sit and watch you pretend, to have to play along, and then watch you laugh about it after. She noticed that you and I are kind of… we have a relationship that's…"
She looked at Luke, still unable to figure out what was going on. "I'm confused," she started.
"Jeez, Lorelai, it's not that hard to understand," Luke groaned, standing up. "She was talking about YOU!"
Lorelai stood up, still trying to process the information. "You… me… Rachel… what?"
"You've pretended to be in love with me so many times, Lorelai. But I have to pretend I'm not, every day, and watch you go out with all of these guys! I mean, really, do you think that I enjoy that? Well, I don't. And today, I had to sit through it again, and watch you brush it off afterward!"
Her eyes widened and Luke sighed. Lorelai looked at her toes again, not sure what to say in response. She watched as he paced the room, continuing his rant.
"And like I said, I'm not mad, it's just, all these feelings, I just… hate hiding them, and now, here they are," he said, sitting under the window again, putting his head in his hands.
She sat next to him, taking his hand. "I had a feeling you felt that way, but I wasn't sure. People always told me you liked me, you did some really, really good things for me… and I don't really… know how to react."
He leaned in to kiss her, and she wasn't so startled by his confession anymore. He was an awfully good kisser. She pulled away, smiling.
"Mary didn't see us, did she?" Luke asked.
Lorelai shrugged. "Who cares. She thinks we have nice vibes."
She leaned forward for another kiss, and Luke pulled back. "And now we're not pretending anymore," he said softly.
Lorelai stood up, took a look around the apartment, and took Luke's hand. "You've liked me for how long now?"
"Forever," Luke replied. "That's the only accurate word to describe it."
"Forever, huh? Ah, that means I have so much influence on you now. So you're taking the spruce, right?"
"I guess I have to listen to you now, don't I?"
"Like you wouldn't have before," Lorelai scoffed, putting her arm around his waist.