The Little Things

"Did you know the first person to patent a can opener was from Waterbury, Connecticut? That's not too far from here!" All this she said with her eyes fixed on the computer screen, aware of her fiancé's presence in the doorway due only to the sound he'd made getting there.

He shot her a curious look, although she didn't see it. "What exactly are you doing?"

"Aren't you supposed to be at the diner?"

"Aren't you supposed to be at the inn?"

"I don't have to go in until later today. What's your excuse?"

"Ceaser broke my whisk," he said, holding up a wiry metal object that looked vaguely familiar to Lorelai. "I've seen this one here, and I figure you probably don't even know what it does, so I thought I'd borrow it."

She typed something, read something on the screen, and turned to face him. "Are you kidding?" she said, in mock distress. "That's Wilma! Wilma the whisk! I don't think I can go an hour without her!"

He veiled his amusement. "Then what exactly does she do?"

She folded her hands on her lap and recited, "A whisk is a cooking utensil used in food preparation to blend ingredients smooth, or to incorporate air into a mixture, in a process known as 'whisking' or 'whipping'." She made air-quotes around the words "whisking" and "whipping".

He raised his eyebrows. "When was the last time you used it?"

"Her!" she insisted. "Um," she said, considering the question. Her eyes lit up when she found the answer. "When Rory was nine I used Wilma for an antenna on her robot Halloween costume."

"Where did you even get a whisk?"

"Sookie," Lorelai said with a you-should-have-known-that tone. "Who else?"

"Of course." He shook his head and took a few steps closer to where she sat. "What are you doing, anyway? I thought you hated using the computer."

She beamed. "This is where you're wrong. I hate using the computer to look up useful information. For useless information, the internet is the only way to go."

"I see."

"I mean, you of all people should know I'm a fountain of useless information. Every now and then I have to replenish that fountain lest it someday run dry."

"I somehow doubt that your 'fountain' is every going to 'run dry'." He repositioned his head to get a better look at the screen. "Wikipedia?"

"Although basically useless if you're writing a research paper, it's perfect for obscure facts. And I haven't written a research paper in years, so I'm covered. But I could never be on Jeopardy or Who Wants to be a Millionaire or any other random game show like that because I know nothing about when the War of 1812 started or who the twenty-third president was, but I can tell you that Mel Blanc was the voice of almost every single Looney Toons character, plus Mr. Spacely from the Jetsons and Barney Rubble on the Flinstones."

"1812."

"What?"

"The War of 1812 started in 1812."

"Oh. Okay, well, maybe I could have told you that, but I was on a roll."

"I didn't stop you, did I?"

"And that's why I'm going to marry you." She leaned over the chair and kissed him.

"I thought it was because of the pretty ring," he joked, smiling.

She held up her hand and moved it so that the engagement ring sparkled, a gesture that was becoming more pattern for her each day. "That too!" she said in a high, little girl voice. She kissed the ring.

He shook his head. "I have to go back to the diner. I'm taking the spatula."

"No!" she said in a high-pitched voice. "Wilma! Come back!"

Lorelai heard the door slam and ran out behind Luke, waving her arms. "That's kidnapping, mister!" she yelled.

He stopped and turned around. "Meet me for lunch at the diner by one or I'm calling the men with the butterfly nets to drag you away from that computer." He turned back around and continued walking.

She smiled and watched him until he turned the corner and was out of sight, by which point she heard her neighbor's voice coming from the porch next door. "Wilma?" she asked. "Did he take the baster again, Suga?"

She laughed. "No, Babette, it's Bob the Baster. Wilma the Whisk."

"Ah." She chucked. "You kids."

"Well, if Sookie would stop giving me random cooking utensils, I could stop naming them."

"That ain't gonna happen though, is it, Suga?"

Lorelai smiled. "Not in this lifetime."

"Damn good thing, too. We need somethin' to keep us entertained over here."

"Babette, as long as you live is Stars Hollow, I somehow doubt you'll run out of things to keep you entertained."

"Yeah, you're probably right, Suga. How's Rory? Have ya heard from her lately?"

"She called last night. It sounds like she's good. She likes her job, and she went out to lunch with some of the other reporters yesterday. She says she misses everyone, though."

"That's good. That girl's a gem. She'll make a brilliant reporter. Don't ya think, Lorelai?"

"Oh, yeah. Rory's an amazing kid."

"She is," Babette agreed. Before either of them had the chance to say anything else, Babette jerked her head around and stared into her back yard. "Did you just see something, Suga?"

Lorelai looked around. "No…?"

A bang sounded from behind the house.

Babette walked down her porch stairs and headed for her back yard. Lorelai followed, puzzled.

"There!" Babette pointed across the yard and she and Lorelai watched a tall figure, all in black, running toward the woods. "Who's that?"

Lorelai rolled her eyes. "Fifty bucks says I know. Kirk!"

The figure turned around, and then realized his mistake and tried again to run for the woods behind Babette's house. Before he got there, he tripped on a tree root and ended up face down in the middle of Babette's back yard.

Lorelai couldn't help but smile as she half-ran toward Kirk, Babette in tow. "Kirk? Are you okay?"

"Mmhph."

"Kirk, can you get up?"

He rolled over and sat up. His face, excepting a strip of his forehead, was completely covered in black fabric. "I was practicing my ninja skills," he complained. "I'm in disguise. You're not supposed to know who I am!"

"Can you see, Kirk?" Babette asked.

"Not very well," he admitted.

Lorelai tried not to laugh, but was unsuccessful. "Pull your mask down, Kirk."

Kirk pulled down his mask so that his eyes were in the slit that had previously been on his forehead. "But now you can see my eyes! It'll be easier for people to recognize me!"

"You need to see, Kirk. Besides, I recognized you before."

"Babette didn't!"

"I do now."

"See?" Lorelai said. She was fully aware that what Babette had said would not help her argument, but also aware that Kirk wouldn't realize that.

"Maybe you're right…"

"Besides, Kirk, you have an incredibly distinguishable forehead. Anybody would be able to tell it was you if they saw that." She was making things up as she went along, but she knew Kirk would buy it. Dealing with Kirk bore certain similarities to dealing with a five-year-old.

"Really?"

Lorelai nodded. Babette smiled at Lorelai, but did the same.

"Okay. Then I guess I'd better wear it like this."

"That's how all the best ninjas do it."

"Oh yeah," Babette echoed. "All the best ones."

Kirk nodded. "Okay. Well, I guess I'd better go practice somewhere else, since you two discovered me."

"Good plan, Kirk."

He started to walk away in a manner that he clearly thought was stealthy, although it looked ridiculous. Lorelai couldn't help but smile. Ridiculous was normal for Kirk. Before he was out of earshot, Lorelai called to him. "Hey, Kirk? Want to know the perfect place to practice your ninja skills?"

--

Oh, God. A grown man walking down the street in a ninja suit could only mean one thing. And he was heading straight for the diner. Great.

Luke went back to the kitchen to put a few burgers on the grill. He looked at his watch. Well, there was a bright spot. Lorelai should be coming any minute. He flipped a done burger onto a plate and headed back out to the counter.

He looked around the diner, mentally taking attendance. He saw no ninjas until he looked through the glass wall into the ice cream parlor.

"Kirk!" Taylor's voice boomed from next door. Luke smiled. Kirk had done something right for once.

Kirk's eyes, which were all that could be seen of his face, looked confused. "Lorelai told me you wouldn't be mad!"

Luke's smiled broadened. He should have suspected that it was Lorelai's suggestion. He fell in love with her more every day. He served the burger he'd made to the customer who had ordered it, and he heard the bell above the door. Instinctively, he glanced at the door. It was Lorelai. "Hey," he greeted her.

"Hey!" She glanced through the glass wall into the ice cream shop. She smiled. "I see Kirk took my advice."

Luke nodded. "He did. Good advice, too. Bug Taylor. You want food?"

She smiled cutely. "Don't I always?"

"What kind of food?"

"Cheeseburger and fries. Please and thank you."

As Luke disappeared into the kitchen, Lulu appeared in the doorway.

"Hey, Lulu," Lorelai said. "Your boyfriend's trying out his ninja act again."

She smiled. "I know. He's been doing it all morning."

Luke emerged from the kitchen. "This town's a madhouse."

"Hey, where's my burger, mister?"

He rolled his eyes. "Ceaser's making it."

She frowned. "No, you make it. Your food's better."

He shook his head, feigning exasperation. Honestly, he sort of liked the fact that she'd rather he made her burgers. It was the kind of thing he used to cling to before. Back when they were just friends. He caught a glimpse of her looking at her ring, and knew it was silly. He had better things to cling to now. But he couldn't help it. It was Lorelai. He loved every borderline romantic gesture she made. Even if the border was wide.

Before heading back into the kitchen, Luke turned and addressed Lulu. "You know your boyfriend thinks he's a ninja, right?"

She nodded.

"And you're alright with this?"

She giggled. "I like a man in black."

Luke went back into the kitchen to finish Lorelai's burger. He'd never understand Kirk or Lulu, but he was beginning to understand something. When a relationship was right, it wasn't just the big things, or even the normal things, that made you happy. It was everything.