One Night Changes Everything
Provider of Quality Fan Fiction
Hi this is your friendly disclaimer: I REJECT ASP's REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN! Once again, I don't own (DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT!!), No Harm No Sue.
R/R: yes please I love reviews; I wanna marry them (as previously stated, I have strange passions.)
Luvz: Miss you, because you are multifaceted abnormal
AKARANA: for your insight, your valued opinion and your friendship.
To Guro and Localizy: Even in my darkest hours of uncertainty, thanks for the pep talks and the encouragement to go with my GUT instinct!!
Summary: The year 1993; What if two pairs of blue eyes met, shared an incredible evening together, and altered the history of Stars Hollow …FOREVER. ONE NIGHT changes everything! A WITTY BRUNETTE and a GRUFF HANDY MAN pair off. YES I'm talking about JAVA JUNKIE.
Luke Danes looked around the Inn and felt out of place. He was waiting in the lobby of the Independence Inn for his long-time friend Mia Davis. He noticed the strange looks he was getting from the elite, snobbish clientele that frequented the Inn who most likely came here for the historic tourism and antiquing. He prayed that Mia would be free soon.
"Lucas," the seasoned woman greeted him as she appeared from the dining room. Mia had been sort of a surrogate mother to him ever since his mother died when he was a boy. When he lost his father too, William Danes' old circle of friends kept tabs on Luke like any parent would.
Luke winced slightly at the use of his proper name, "Hey Mia," Luke rolled his shoulders since he had been standing there a while holding his tool box. Plus, he didn't know if Mia would try to hug him but seeing as he had his hands full, Mia seemed to settle on smiling proudly at him and touching his arm.
"Have you been waiting long?" Mia asked maternally.
"No, not at all," Luke said politely, showing the appropriate respect to his late father's friend. "The place looks great."
"It's been a while since you've been up here, I think; we've recently repainted. One of my girls insisted it would enhance the guests' experience. She's always doing things like that," Mia chuckled.
"Yeah, well, it looks great."
"So how are you? You've kept suspiciously busy the last few weeks," Mia said cunningly, genuinely wanting an update since she hadn't really had a heart to heart with Lucas since Rachel came back to town...again. Mia was surprised that the curly haired wanderer had stayed for her longest stretch to date, yet there had been whispers of Rachel's departure; naturally the surrogate mother was concerned for how that would be affecting Luke. "How is Rachel?"
"Fine, we're… fine," Luke answered vaguely. He was so tired of that question. It was like everyone in town already knew his business and had been asking merely out of ceremony to be polite or for their own nosey curiosity; he knew Mia was only asking out of genuine concern.
Since his recent breakup with his girlfriend, people had been sending ridiculous clichés his way to make him feel better, which never worked. Things like "if you love someone you should set them free, if they come back to you it was meant to be", or some such nonsense. Every time Rachel left town for another whirlwind adventure, people would whip out the old adages and idioms while Luke's scowl would set in more firmly into his features.
The whole reason Rachel said she had become a photographer was because it was always exciting; it kept her traveling, kept her moving, as a consequence it also kept her from establishing any real roots with Luke Danes in Stars Hollow; not that she voiced the latter to Luke's face. Luke didn't like the situation but what was he going to do, he had been in love with Rachel, so he let her have her space and she always came back to him time and again.
However, it had been almost a decade since they started this routine and the truth was his loyalty had already started to wane before this last parting. Luke had grown tired of their same old pattern because over and over again, it got him nowhere but a lonely apartment. He was tired of the anxiety and anticipation; How long till Rachel came back? How long till she went away again? What was she doing without him? Was she faithful? Was she seeing other people on her travels, tormenting other unsuspecting men with her wanderlust?
Sometimes Rachel would call saying she was coming back to town, sometimes she'd just show up unannounced. Sometimes she would say goodbye, sometimes she didn't. Sometimes she stayed for a month; sometimes she'd stay away for a whole year. The problem was Luke never knew where he stood with Rachel, never knew if they had a future or not; which is why they had their final blow out a few days ago.
Luke was tired of Rachel roaming, of her not wanting to be in Stars Hollow, not wanting to be with him, and Luke had reached his boiling point so he blew his top and confronted her about their future. He just wanted her to grow up, settle down, have a permanent address, and want the same things he wanted. This time around, Luke had been encouraged when Rachel managed to stay in town for a straight six months. Luke had dared to hope that this time it would be different, that she had really come around and they could, maybe, someday get married and have a real life together in the Hollow; a house, a family, everything.
Until he came home from work, and found her packing her things again. Luke's reaction was instant and after shouting till they were both hoarse, Rachel left the following morning, taking with her all of that buried hope inside Luke. He hadn't even told Mia that Rachel had left for good this time; he just said he wanted to keep busy. It was to keep his mind off women and his troubles, to help Mia out if he could, but he figured Mia already knew, since nothing stayed a secret in Stars Hollow for long, and that she only trying to give him the opportunity to talk about if he wanted to; He didn't.
Mia's voice pulled him out of his thoughts with, "I really appreciate you doing this."
"Sure Mia, if I can save you from being swindled by some con artists, I'm happy to do it." He had agreed to do any small patch up jobs around the property because that's just the kind of guy Luke was. He wasn't the expert craftsman his father was, but he could get by. Luke knew it was important to take care of the people he cared about, As long as Luke didn't sit still, he could keep the loneliness at bay.
"Let me just get one of my girls to show you where the problem is…" Mia spotted someone over Luke's shoulder and got her attention with a motion of her hand, "Oh, Lorelai ..."
Luke forced a smile since he was trying to keep busy with as many manly chores as he could handle to keep from thinking about women. However, his smile faded when Luke turned and looked over his shoulder in the direction Mia was gesturing at the girl across the lobby, the brunette may have been the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen. She had long dark curls, and eyes that seemed to penetrate his broken heart.
"Yeah Mia," Lorelai said brightly, then her smile faded too when she saw the intense gaze from the handsome stranger at the front desk was giving her. Whoever he was, he was really cute; Lorelai hadn't been looked at that way in a long, long time and hoped she wasn't blushing too obviously. She noted the toolbox and studied him curiously.
"This is my old friend Luke," Mia introduced, knowing the name he preferred, "He is going to be doing some light maintenance around the Inn till we find a new, more permanent handy man. Could you please show him the problem on the second floor?" Lorelai and Luke stared at each other a moment longer, Mia patiently interrupted, "Lorelai?"
"Yeah," Lorelai said distracted.
"The second floor? 207?"
Lorelai focused on her boss again, "Umm sure, right, um right this way," with a wave of her hand she escorted this Luke and his toolbox upstairs.
Mia shook her head at the pair as Lorelai led Luke off, wondering if sparks of attraction were already starting to fly between the two young people, by the way they had been intensely eyeing each other mere moments after being introduced. Mia figured nothing would come of it though, Luke was too shy to talk to a girl he had just met; beside there was his hopeless loyalty to the ever variable Rachel to contend with. No matter how charming Lorelai thought she was, Mia didn't think she could break down the walls of the reserved quiet Luke Danes. Lorelai Gilmore had met her match with Luke Danes.
Luke silently followed the beautiful girl with his toolbox and did his best not to check her out, but she was slightly ahead of him on the staircase and he was a red blooded, now single, 27 year old male. He tried to make conversation up the stairs while avoiding the amble view of her posterior, "So uh, I've never seen you here before. Are you new?" trying to focus on the stairs at his feet and not on the sashaying female form directly in front of him.
"Oh, God, no, I've been here for years. Maybe it's because I'm more out in the open then before, I was a maid for a long time but right now I'm a hostess in the dining room and occasional assistant event coordinator; Mia is taking me under her wing to be in management one day."
Luke merely nodded at the new information; he asked a simple question and he was getting her life story.
"What about you?" Lorelai casually returned, unable to help her curiosity about the handsome stranger, "Mia said you were an old friend."
"Yeah, well she was good friends with my dad?"
"How good?" Lorelai said in a suggestive, wry tone.
"What?" Luke asked confused.
"How good?" Lorelai implied, "Did they…. date?"
"NO, no, nothing like that…" Luke said aghast at the mere suggestion, blocking such a bizarre picture from his mind.
"That you know of…" Lorelai giggled.
Luke liked Lorelai's laugh and smile, it was almost contagious, and she automatically reminded him of his girlfriend …that is his ex-girlfriend. Except Rachel had brown eyes, and this Lorelai had the most beautiful blue eyes; they actually seemed to sparkle as she laughed. Luke pushed these thoughts aside, he just broke up with someone, and he couldn't be attracted to someone new that quickly, could he? Wasn't it too soon after Rachel's final departure from town, possibly out his life entirely to entertain these kinds of thoughts? Would it be wrong, too callous to move on so soon? Was he really flirting with this girl or was she coming on to him? He tried to analyze if he had inadvertently sent any signals when Lorelai's voice got his attention again.
"Luke?" Lorelai asked, wondering why he had that sudden sad expression on his face.
He was brought out of his haze, and he realized she had suddenly stopped walking, "Um, sorry? What?"
"It's okay," as she smiled kindly and gestured to the door they were standing in front of. "Here's the problem," and she led him into 207 and stood outside the bathroom, "A rather persistent leak and the toilet keeps running…I think it got jealous of the leak and just wants attention."
Luke had to chuckle at the off the wall statement, "Okay well, thanks; I'll get to work then."
"I'll check you out in a bit, I mean, on you in a bit," Lorelai returned with a weak smile over her gaff, and she decide to check him out while he was right in front of her. Lorelai did raise an eyebrow when he knelt down with his toolbox and she could admire his butt. She lingered for a moment, but quickly left so he wouldn't get too suspicious about her since he didn't react to her Freudian slip.
Lorelai headed down to the kitchen. She knew she had to get that man out of her head or it could mean trouble. So she decided on a visit with her first love: Coffee, Life's nectar that was always a safe bet. Coffee was as loyal and faithful to her as she was to it. Coffee had never let her down in the past unlike linguine spine'd men. Perhaps Sookie could sneak something else tasty her way, fresh brownie, a cookie, and she could have a culinary three-way. Coffee and Calories would get that handsome stranger off her mind. "Hey Sook!" Lorelai sighed, her mind still thinking of pair of tight jeans upstairs.
"Hey? Snack time already," Sookie brightly greeted, while mixing something in a bowl, "Cookies will be ready in ten minutes, but you can't tell Anton 'cause he will kill me. You know how he hates if any of us try to give away his 'creations'" Mimicking the head chef's accent and strewing up her face, 'This is a restaurant, not a soup kitchen it is edible art that should be paid for the privilege…'"
"Okay I'll tide myself over with just coffee for now…" Lorelai causally poured herself a cup as she had a hundred times before.
"Help yourself," then Sookie heard a strange noise; she looked around at her kitchen coworkers and realized the strange noise was Lorelai humming, off key. "Well, you're in a good mood."
"Been that kind of day," Lorelai shrugged taking her first sip of life affirming coffee. Still, Lorelai couldn't take her mind off Luke upstairs. That first moment he turned and their eyes met, she immediately noticed exactly how blue his eyes were. She wondered if that's how other people felt when she flashed her own clear blue orbs to get her way. She knew he had been checking her out too, first off she was a babe, secondly she had that sense to know what men were thinking when they looked at her, and third, this Luke wasn't that good at hiding his emotions. It was an obvious struggle between indulging and being polite and Lorelai enjoyed the boost to her ego. She had to get this guy off her mind, "do you have any chocolate?"
"Clear jar on the counter," Sookie pointed.
Lorelai automatically removed the lid and blindly grabbed a chunk of chocolate and took a bite. She stared into her perfect brew, recalling her and Luke's brief, innocent flirting over a toilet and she chuckled again as she chewed her chocolate. She began to wonder if she should go back upstairs; perhaps offer Luke a cup of coffee for his services. It was a cultural norm that men and women talked over coffee all the time. Usually that conversation was followed by a date invite. Lorelai smiled at that thought. She hadn't been on a date in a very long time; she instantly pictured what was in her wardrobe that would be date worthy. Something classy, but still would entice her beau's imagination; after all, there were other benefits to dating that Lorelai hadn't experienced in an even longer time and she took another sip deviously pretending for a moment that the mug was Luke's lips.
"Lorelai!" Sookie said impatiently.
"Huh? What?" snapping out of her day dream pulling the mug from her mouth.
"Why are you so distracted and humming?"
Lorelai shrugged again with a half smile, "Oh, no reason."
"Spill it!! You know I can't stand suspense… that's why you banished me from movie night… I squeal and you said you couldn't hear the movie."
Just then Anton entered the kitchen from the back porch. "Lorelai!" he hissed in an Italian accent, "What 'ave I said about you in my kitchen! Your 'air will get in the'ze food! If you're going to 'ang around with your 'air draped over my pans, Either wear a 'air net like the rest of my staff or get out! The last thing my reputation needs is one of your long strands being pulled from one of my dishes."
"You know, Anton, you are really quite charming when you want to be," Lorelai said casual and playfully.
"And stop eating my chocolate! If I catch you in 'ere again I'll shave your 'ead"
"But what will we do on our second date."
This further enraged the Chef, "Out! Out! Out! You ruin my schedule!"
"Okay," Lorelai said with not so much as a flinch, "See ya, Sook."
The bandana wearing Sookie stood slack jawed, Usually Lorelai shouted back at Anton with more bite. The chef and Lorelai always annoyed each other. This time Lorelai regarded Anton as though he were a minuscule ant deserving no such attention, despite the fact that Anton had threatened Lorelai's long locks. Sookie quickly said "I'm taking my break! Jane watch the cookies and here, finish off this cake," handing off a bowl and spatula to a coworker.
"Sookie!" Anton scolded, "I do not pay you to have others do your work or to order anyone around."
"Ah, you can gossip after your shift!" Anton waved off annoyed muttering to himself, "Always in my kitchen, gab gab gab eating my creations, drinking all the coffee,… what are you staring at… ?" he shouted to the rest of his staff.
Lorelai surveyed the dining room with her mug in hand, bare tables everywhere. Continuing her tuneless humming, Lorelai went to a cart with all the linens and began to dispense and straighten table cloths throughout the room.
"Tell me!" Sookie insisted.
"What? There is nothing to tell," Lorelai dismissed putting down her mug.
"You are in a really good mood and I want to know why."
Lorelai moved to the next table tossing and spreading the cloth, her mood as light and airy as the white material she was smoothing out. "I'm just having a good day, is all."
"Come on… I'm your best friend. What happened to make it such a good day?"
Lorelai couldn't contain herself any longer, she liked to tease, but if she didn't let it out she was going to bust, "I met someone," Lorelai grinned hugging another table cloth to her chest
Sookie gasped, "What? How? Where?" waving her hands aimlessly in the air.
"Oh my God, he is so cute," Lorelai sighed, allowing herself just a moment of cupidity, tossing another cloth over another naked table, carelessly and perfectly smoothing it out.
"So you're human after all, nine years of celibacy and you finally broke down."
"Shh," not wanting others to over hear about her dry spell since moving to Stars Hollow, "I just haven't seen a pair of jeans that tight in a long, long time."
"Hallelujah," Sookie said with innuendo, "That'll do it."
"He laughed at my joke!" Lorelai went back to the cart and picked up another table cloth, "I mean, usually I get the strangest looks from my jokes."
"What was the joke?" Sookie anxiously wanted every detail.
"Well, upstairs, the toilet was running…."
"Better go catch it?" Sookie supplied.
"No, I'm much more clever than that; I said it wanted attention because it was jealous of the leak under the sink."
"And he laughed at that?"
"Well, not full on guffaw, but he chuckled and smiled, and he didn't give me the weird look," shaking out another cloth to spread over a needy tabletop. "Man, he has a nice smile when he smiles." Lorelai pondered again what could make him scowl and sad before.
"Uh huh? Well, have you considered how your little love affair will affect Rory?"
"Of course," Lorelai defended. The reason Lorelai had been celibate for nine years was because romantic entanglements wouldn't just affect her; there was Lorelai's daughter, Rory, to consider as well. Rory was almost nine and born under less than ideal circumstances. So, okay, Lorelai got pregnant in high school by her boyfriend Christopher Hayden, and sure her parents the prim and proper elder Gilmores, were less than thrilled about it. Lorelai's mother Emily insisted that the only way out of the situation was 'When you get pregnant, you get married'; it was the "right" thing to do.
At that moment in time, Lorelai wasn't interested in the proper or what was expected of her, she had to do what was best for her and for her baby, right or wrong by Emily Gilmore's obscenely high standards. So, Lorelai fled the Gilmore manor at age seventeen with an infant in her arms, never looking back. They did see the elder Gilmores occasionally, when a national holiday warranted a visit, but other than that they were estranged and knew their granddaughter Rory about as well as they knew their daughter.
Lorelai thought about Luke and how pursuing his tight jeans would affect Rory and shrugged innocently to Sookie, "I'm just admiring his butt, it doesn't mean anything. No harm."
"You're the one humming and daydreaming over how you met someone," Sookie warned, "and if you noticed his butt so maybe he's noticed that tight ass of yours."
"What? I'd kill to have your butt."
"Will you please stop talking about my butt? I feel like I'm being sexually harassed."
"Well, then let's talk about Rory and the guy."
"Well, I'm not going to set her up with him…" Lorelai misdirected.
Lorelai considered her daughter's feelings, "Well, she is getting older now; maybe it's time we have a… is it okay if mommy dates conversation, but I don't want to confuse her, you know. She's still hopes that Christopher will… come around," Lorelai sighed heavily, annoyed how her Ex could hurt their child so much even from so far away.
"Well, before you have that little talk with Rory, maybe you should tell this dream guy that you have a daughter?"
"…And spoil any chance?" Lorelai defended, "You know how guys react when they find out I have a kid. I don't want him to think I'm shopping for a new Daddy."
"Lorelai, you can't hide Rory from them. You have to be upfront and honest."
"I know that! And I've been honest and upfront before and they run for the hills," Lorelai searched for an answer, "Well, maybe I could coax him out, you know like do a test drive date before I tell him about Rory. See how well Rory and I handle it first. Then we'll see if he's …you know open to me already having a kid."
"… unless…" Sookie mused.
"Unless what?" Lorelai wondered if Sookie miraculously found a solution for Lorelai to have a date and her daughter too.
"Unless you're not looking for something serious? You know… no strings?" Sookie insinuated.
Lorelai considered, "Well, I've never really just… dated before? Maybe this is an opportunity; go casual but how do you do that? I've only ever dated with strings."
"Or maybe you're right; maybe if you do get to know this guy a little better, maybe he will turn out to like kids and maybe you will have found 'it'. That would be so great. Oh my God," Sookie recalled Lorelai saying she met the guy upstairs, "Is he a guest? Cause Mia would..."
"No, he's the handy man?" Lorelai explained.
"What? Sam is like 60 years old!! And married …." Sookie admonished.
"No, no, Sam retired. Mia is looking for a new guy."
"Sam retired? Why am I always the last to know everything?"
"Cause you are always on your way to the hospital?" Lorelai informed her accident prone friend, "Anyway, until we find a permanent guy, we've got this temp guy. His name is Luke."
"Luke?" Sookie echoed.
"Yeah, God, I even like his name. Luke," Lorelai elongated with a giggle.
Sookie's eyes were wide at the name, she had to be sure; "Luke Danes?"
"I don't know, do you know him?"
"Backward baseball cap, flannel shirt?"
"Yeah, that's him," Lorelai then became concerned, "Why? What have you heard??"
Having her finger on the pulse of town gossip, Sookie knew all about Luke Danes since he was a favorite subject of Miss Patty and Babette.
"Sookie what do you know? Is he like an ax murderer? Have an affinity for lacy things… what?"
"Oh, nothing like that… you know I have a cake to finish…"
Lorelai stepped in front of her friend, "Sookie! What's wrong with him?"
"Nothing… really, he's just a little…" Sookie grasped for words, "I'm not sure if he's… you know…really your type."
Lorelai gasped, "He's married!"
"No… not married," Sookie treaded cautiously, hating to deflate her friend's happy balloon.
"Well, if he's single and I'm single, granted with a kid… but still what's the problem. You just said if I'm up front and honest with Rory and with him…maybe we could…"
"Honey, Really," Sookie stressed, "He is the most reserved, grumpy, old-fashioned, uptight guy you will ever meet, he blushes just by being in the same room with Miss Patty, and based on past behavior I don't really think he likes kids, plus…" Sookie was sad to inform her dear friend, "as far as I know ... he has a girlfriend."
"Oh," Lorelai sank; naturally the first guy to turn her head in years would be taken already, "Well, of course he does; tight jeans like that."
"I mean it's hard to keep track because their on and off, or she's here and then she's not…but, he's pretty serious about her," Sookie cringed, "I'm so sorry, hon."
"Why, you're not dating him," Lorelai sighed, the philosophically added, "He's just not the one to start my casual dating experiment with, I guess."
"You'll find someone. This is still progress, you're thinking about dating again… and Rory is getting older; I do think it would be okay if you handled it right."
"Well, I'll think about it. Let's see who the next contestant will be. Maybe Kirk.""
"Ugh, you'll never have to be that desperate," Sookie assured.
"That's very comforting," Lorelai forced a smile. "Well, I have to do centerpieces for dinner, fold napkins …etc.."
"…And I have a cake to finish…do you want a cookie?" Sookie lamely offered.
Lorelai grinned, "Sure."
Lorelai finished off her cookie and setting the tables in the dining room, hoping arranging her floral centerpieces would cheer her up. It didn't. About forty five minutes after they first met, Lorelai returned to the second floor room and she saw Luke the handy man with new eyes. Instead of him being a juicy, tempting steak, he was taken with a girlfriend.
"Hey," Luke said gathering up his tools, "Your toilet is no longer jealous…"
Lorelai smiled that he had retained the joke for more than a half hour. That showed at least he was thoughtful.
Luke continued, "… but there is some water damage under the sink from the leak. I was just going to head down to tell Mia. I can patch it up, but it will have to be next week till I get the supplies."
"I'll let Mia, you know, so you can get going?" wanting him out of her sight and out of her mind to begin the healing process of her disappointment.
"Okay, thanks," Luke picked up his toolbox, "Well, see you around."
"Sure, see you around," in her mind Lorelai bid him and his finely shaped butt a fond ado.
Ooooooooooo intrigue; will Luke as out the captivating Lorelai??
"That was all God given Talent" - Thank you Luke
A/N: Thank you all for READING and REVIEWING.
I love you all!
"Cause your memory it lingers and the time moves so slow, I just never been that good at letting go…"
R/R: PLEASE, I like to better myself. To quote The Princess Bride,
"...Remember this is for posterity ... so be honest."
Please be specific with R/R; name one (or as many as you can think of or want to mention…) At least one specific thing you liked
Please! It makes me feel good...inside (Dirty!)
Hence the Rant option below.
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A/N: if not completely satisfied with this chapter, please return unused portion for a full refund...