A/N: A prompt from Reggie. Luke opens Lorelai's bathroom cabinet. What does he find? Get your minds out of the gutter, people who thought DIRTY! (Although that was my first thought, too, Lorelai's influence is too great to ignore. And the title says 'dirty', but it's not like that…) Feedback is like Red Vines on movie night! Takes place between "It's Just Like Riding a Bike" and "Lorelai? Lorelai?"
"Remind me what's wrong with this sink again?" Luke asked, following Lorelai up the stairs.
Lorelai sighed, stopping on the third stair and turning to face Luke. "I turn it on, and then the water flows, but when I turn it off, the drain gurgles. It goes… okay, you can't get me to fall for that one again, Luke," Lorelai said, pointing at Luke.
"You did the first three times I asked you what was wrong with your sink," Luke pointed out.
Lorelai smiled. "I'm not that gullible."
"Sure. Just ask you," he teased, putting Bert down on the bathroom floor.
Leaning against the doorframe, Lorelai sipped her coffee. "Don't mock me. I give you most of your business, and have for years," she insisted. She watched as Luke opened the cabinet beneath the sink and worked on the pipes. She shook her head, absolutely clueless as to what he was doing.
She smiled. It was the first time since their breakup and reunion that Luke had come into the house. It was a big step. It wasn't a thought that entered her mind until Luke was underneath the sink, fixing whatever was wrong with it. Did he feel weird just walking into the house that Christopher stayed in?
"Ah, jeez," Luke said, looking at his hand.
"What happened?" Lorelai asked.
"I brushed my knuckle against this part of the pipe," he said, pointing. "Scraped my finger."
"You can wash it out in the sink and then you can hear it going berserk, if you want," Lorelai suggested, motioning toward the sink.
Luke shook his head, pulling himself up. "Nah, I'll just grab a band-aid. They aren't Barbie this time, right?"
"No, they're not, but uh, Luke…" she started, watching as he opened the bathroom cabinet. She buried her face in her hands, realizing that she was about to be really embarrassed. It wasn't the feminine products that she was worried about, either.
Luke reached in the cabinet, pulling out a small black cap from the cabinet. "You stole the cap to my aftershave?" he asked.
She sighed, crouching down and leaning against the doorframe to the bathroom. She was caught red handed, and this would surely open up a can of worms that should have stayed shut. There was no way around it, she couldn't deny it. He obviously knew it was his because his own cap was missing. The only solution seemed to be to tell the truth. "Guilty as charged, Judge Wapner," Lorelai admitted.
"You kept it?"
Lorelai hugged her knees to her chest and took a deep breath. "Well, when you and I were together, I had this urge to steal it from you, because you always smelled so good, you know? So, one night, I just unscrewed it from the bottle and I stuffed it in my purse. It was really a silly idea, but I decided that if I needed a flannel shirt that I also stole to smell like you, I would just… rub it on the shirt and curl up in it. It sounds really dumb, I know."
"You kept this… even when…" he started, not able to finish his sentence.
She nodded. "Well, see, everything that had to do with you was gone very quickly, but this hung around for awhile. I don't know why, it got lost in the shuffle. Then after Christopher left, I found it and… I don't know. I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. So I put it in the cabinet."
Luke looked at the black cap in his hands, and then back at Lorelai. "You kept this? Seriously?"
"Well, says the man with the horoscope," she said. "It's my version of that. We both have our dirty little secrets."
"I knew the cap was missing from it, but I thought it was my own stupidity," Luke admitted.
Lorelai smiled. "It was, for you not asking me where it went."
"Noted," he replied.
She stood up and leaned on the door frame. "I guess… well, Luke, if you and I can't be together anymore, can we at least be friends? I mean, the car shopping, that was a big step for us. Things were almost normal for awhile. I still care about you, Luke."
He nodded. "We've been friends before, haven't we? What's so hard about going back to that?"
"But we were never really 'just friends', you know? It was a little of you wanting more than friendship and a little of me denying that there were feelings. Luke, this 'friendship' thing is completely uncharted territory for us."
"We can't do platonic? You didn't know I had feelings for you until I said something," Luke replied, closing his fist with the cap still in it.
Lorelai shrugged. "I don't know, I just hate the… awkwardness of it all. You've been in my life for so long now, it's not appropriate for me to just cut you out of my life completely because things didn't work out between us."
"I don't want to cut you out of my life, either," he answered.
There was a long pause. Where else could the conversation go? The only way of figuring out where they stood was to broach the topic of friendship. It seemed to be the only solution to the completely awkward situation they were in.
"Well, then, I guess we're going to have to tread the 'friend' waters, Luke. We're Lewis and Clark exploring new land," she teased, waving her hand.
Luke held the cap out to Lorelai. "Do you want this back?"
She took it and inspected it, eventually opening the cabinet and putting it back on the shelf where it was found. "You still have the horoscope?"
He cleared his throat. "Uh, yeah," he said, avoiding eye contact.
"Well, maybe that's a good thing. We have a history, Luke, and you can't ignore that history, but like I said, I really do still care."
He gave her a slight smile. "I know you do," he said, gently touching her arm. "Your sink should be fixed, let me know if you need anything else."
"I will," Lorelai promised. She walked him to the door and watched him as he stopped about halfway down her driveway.
"Lorelai?" he asked.
"I uh, still care about you, too," he said, standing there for a moment before he gave her a wave and drove off.