Part 3: Falling in Love With You

Lorelai soon found her way into his thoughts. He tried to play it off as mere attraction. A blind man would be attracted to her, he told himself. Surely he wasn't the only one who noticed the confidence, the beauty that radiated off of her whenever she entered a room.

He wasn't deaf, he heard the rumors.

The first time had been about three years after he and Lorelai had met. She had stopped in for a quick cup of coffee before heading to the inn, and they had talked for a bit. Well, she had talked. He had just nodded from time to time and pretended that he understood her insane ramblings. After she had left for work, promising that she'd return later, Patty and Babette had promptly began discussing the scene in what they thought was a whisper.

"Aren't those two just the sweetest thing?" Babette had asked excitedly. Patty nodded eagerly in agreement.

"I haven't seen Luke that happy since Rachel," she said. "And Lorelai's such a sweet girl. They really would be perfect for each other."

"And have you seen them? Imagine the children!" Patty sighed dreamily.

"Oh, to be young and in love." The two had turned to him, smiles on their faces, then moved on to the next item of gossip, something about Jerry Cutler's new wife. He, however, was confused.

Love? They thought he was in love with Lorelai? There was no way. She was annoying, a caffeine addict, and her taste in food made his stomach churn. Half the time he had no clue what she was saying, and the other half, when he could understand her, she still left him confused.

But, then again, she was never unwelcome to the diner. And her need for coffee and junk food was what kept her coming back. Her immaturity worked for her, and her endless babbles were just one of the many quirks he had grown used to.

That certainly didn't mean he loved her.

Sure, when Max came along, he felt uneasy. The guy wasn't her type. Bookish, and boring. She seemed happy, though, and he had Rachel. It wasn't his place. He made her a chuppah, he went to her party. But the news of Lorelai calling off the engagement brought free coffee to everyone in the diner.

Christopher had always bugged him, but really, who didn't he bug? Anyone who couldn't see what a great daughter he had, who chose to ignore an amazing girl like Rory, didn't deserve her. And that smirk he always seemed to wear on the face annoyed him to no end.

The summer after Jess and Rory's accident had been hard. Every time the bell above the diner's door rang, his head had shot up, hoping Lorelai would come bouncing. She didn't, and that brought extreme disappointment, but only because he missed his friend and wanted to apologize for all the cruel things he had said to her.

At least that's what he told himself.

He couldn't pinpoint the exact moment he really had fallen in love with Lorelai. Maybe there wasn't a specific moment at all. Maybe he had been in love with her all along. One moment did stick out clearly in his mind, however. The precise second when nearly eight years of denial crashed down on top of him and he realized that Lorelai Gilmore would never just be his friend. It was all because of some stupid self help tapes.

"Do you see her face?"

Luke looked up suddenly, a rag in his hands, and shock plastered on his face. He did.

There you have it. My plot bunny fulfilled. Maybe now Bella will let me focus on one of my existing stories, which are in major need for an update. Thanks for reading!