New York's In Love

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: The characters are from the show, and the title's a David Bowie song. I own nothing.

This was the result of round two of the OLC ficathon. My prompt was to include:

-Town square

-Giant lego blocks

-maple syrup

-butterflies

And it had to be Java Junkie. Which was actually the hardest part for me, go figure.

Thanks to Dreana, who kept me occupied with thoughts of Booth, Jess, flowers, and bunnies as I almost ripped my hair out of my scalp. Love ya!

--

"Mom, hurry up!" Rory said, turning around to face her mother, who was at least ten feet behind her.

"I can only go so fast in heels, babe," Lorelai pointed out, catching up with her daughter, who promptly set off again.

"We're already late!"

Lorelai sighed and followed closely behind. "Wow, where's the pocket watch and the white fur?" she asked, stopping to adjust her shoe, which was slipping off from all the walking.

"Mom," Rory groaned, noticing the stop.

"We're late! We're late! For a very important date! No time to--"

"Mom!"

Lorelai smiled and made a show of getting up and walking over to where Rory stood.

"Relax, Rory!" She paused for a moment to think. "Okay, here's the plan. We'll just sneak really quietly into the meeting. Maybe no one will notice our lateness!"

"Oh sure," Rory said sarcastically. "That's brilliant, mom! Of course it will work! But on the off chance it, you know, doesn't, you can explain to Taylor why you needed to spend two hours in the bathroom!"

"Well, if I wasn't pretty, I'd be a teacher," Lorelai joked, twirling a piece of hair around her finger.

"But two hours? No one needs to be that pretty. It's not like you have a date."

Lorelai was silent for a moment. "So... who are you so anxious to see?" she asked, changing the subject. "Our favorite narcoleptic bag-boy, I assume? Or perhaps Stars Hollow's resident Danny Zuko impersonator..." She smirked.

"You're mocking me. It's very cruel."

"So... is Dean Eddie Fisher or Richard Burton in all of this? He'd be Eddie Fisher, right?"

Ignoring the question, Rory changed the subject. "We really should hurry up. Taylor apparently has some big news, and we're already probably missing it!"

"Whatever you say, Elizabeth."

When the two finally reached Ms. Patty's Dance Studio, they approached slowly.

"Remember," Lorelai said, "sneak."

Rory sighed and walked up to the door, opening it in a manner that was not at all sneaky. Lorelai rolled her eyes and both went inside, finding, to their surprise, that the meaning hadn't started yet.

"Did we forget Daylight Savings again?" Rory asked.

"I don't think so. Everyone's here... Just no Taylor."

"There's Luke!" Rory pointed out.

"Very funny, honey, but this is not the time to joke around about Luke's hermit ways. We have to figure out who kidnapped Taylor!"

Rory poked Lorelai in the shoulder and pointed at Luke, clad in his customary flannel and blue baseball cap, before making her way over to the diner man. Lorelai stood still, a little startled by the sight of Luke at a town meeting. Luke looked up and their eyes met, a sheepish smile crossing her face before she looked away. As she went to go sit next to Rory, a voice came from behind her.

"I'm sorry I'm late everyone, but I can see I'm not the only one! Lorelai, are you going to sit down or would you like to run tonight's meeting?"

"You know, I was actually thinking of running for... what exactly are you again, Taylor?"

"Town Selectman," Taylor answered with a raised eyebrow.

"Exactly. So I guess I should get some practice, huh? May I please have the gavel?" A few people in the room laughed and Taylor narrowed his eyes. "Okay, I'll just observe tonight." She smiled at him and walked over to the seat next to Rory, sitting down and crossing her legs.

Taylor rolled his eyes and stepped behind the podium, banging in the meeting. "An important issue has come to my attention. I--"

"Not so fast, Taylor," Patty interrupted. "We want to know why you were late. You're never late!"

"Yeah, Taylor," Babette agreed from the first row. "Is the world endin'?"

"Call Bruce Willis!" Lorelai yelled.

"And Ben Affleck!" Rory added.

Taylor hit the gavel against the podium, calling for order. "All your questions will be answered in due time."

"But Taylor--"

"As I was saying, a very important issue has come to my attention. It appears our neighboring town Woodbury is trying to get itself into the record books. And with all the publicity they're getting, tourists may bypass a trip to Stars Hollow to go to Woodbury instead!"

"Oh, the horror," Luke commented. Lorelai turned to him and watched as he set himself up for a fight with Taylor.

"This is a very serious matter, Luke. We could lose our place in 'A Tourist's Guide to Connecticut'! What are you doing here, anyway?"

"I live here," Luke pointed out.

"But you hate town meetings."

"Well, there wasn't any paint I could watch dry, so this seemed like my best option!"

"If you don't care about this town, Luke, I don't know why you bother to show up to a town meeting." Before Luke could retort, Taylor continued. "As I said, press is flocking to Woodbury. They even managed to get a story in Connecticut Magazine!"

"How dare they!" Lorelai exclaimed. Taylor ignored her.

"You all will be proud to hear that I have managed to get Stars Hollow some publicity of its own..."

"Oh, Taylor, please tell me you didn't make a sex tape!"

Luke turned to her with a look of disgust. "That image is so wrong it's not even funny." Lorelai smiled at him brightly.

"No, Lorelai. I have challenged the mayor of Woodbury. I said that Stars Hollow could break that record faster and better!" Kirk let out a whoop, but everyone else stared at Taylor blankly.

"Taylor," Gypsy began. "What is the record, exactly?"

Taylor was beaming. "The largest structure built out of giant Lego blocks!"

"I love giant Lego blocks!" Rory said.

"Me too!" Lorelai agreed. Taylor nodded in encouragement as more people voiced their love of giant Legos.

"That's insane!" Luke commented. "And don't you have to put these sorts of things to a vote?"

"Who here is in favor of competing against Woodbury?" Taylor asked. More than half the hands in the room shot up and Taylor grinned at Luke triumphantly.

"Fine," Luke consented. "But there is no way in hell I am having anything to do with this."

"Participation is mandatory, Luke," Taylor told him.

"Is that even legal?" Luke asked incredulously.

"Luke," Lorelai said. "Don't be a spoilsport! It will be fun!" She dragged out the last word, smiling in his direction. "Didn't you have Legos when you were younger?"

"Yes. Doesn't mean I want to build something out of them now."

"Aw, Luke, don't you want to prove that you're better than Woodbury's grumpy diner owner?" She continued to smile at him, weakening his resolve.

"Fine! But I refuse to do more than put a few blocks on the thing."

"We can use maple syrup to hold the blocks together!" Kirk announced. Several people turned to him and stared. "It's very sticky."

"Um, Kirk, they stick together pretty well by themselves," Taylor pointed out.

"Yes, but, you see, if we layer the blocks with maple syrup, there is no chance of them falling apart and making the structure fall apart."

"I don't think you understand, Kirk. Legos are made to stick together on their own..."

As Kirk went on about how he could get multiple bottles of maple syrup for an "excellent price", Lorelai found herself staring at Luke again. Her mind drifted off to the event which had sparked her new habit.

"This is the second time I let myself do this." Lorelai said dejectedly, looking up from her cup of coffee.

Luke, who was doing his best to pretend that she wasn't sitting there nearly in tears, struggled not to reply, but found himself unable to. "Found what?" he asked.

"Love, comfort, safety." Luke made a noise acknowledging his understanding and she continued. "I mean, first with Max, which of course, I screwed up, and then with Christopher, which of course, all the elements of the universe got together to screw up."

"Yup, it's tough when the universe is against you. That's like taking on the Manhattan garbage union," Luke commented. He wasn't comforting her, and she didn't expect him to. They were fighting, after all. At least he was listening.

"I always thought if he could just get it together, grow up – maybe we could do it. Maybe we could really be a family, in the stupid, traditional 'Dan Quayle, golden retriever, grow old together, wear matching jogging suits' kind of way. And then he did get it together – he became that guy... and he gets to be that guy with her. Chris is gonna have a baby with his girlfriend. He's gonna marry her...and he's gonna be there for her while she's pregnant and he's gonna be there with her while her child grows up, and he's gonna be there for her while she does. . . whatever it is she does. And I am in exactly the same place that I was in before." She struggled to get the words out, tears beginning to roll down her face.

"Is that so bad?" he asked. "I mean, you got Rory." She nodded. "You got friends; you got a house, a job, apparently an iron stomach..."

She gave a sad smile. "No, it's not so bad," she agreed. "I'm lucky, I know. I just...I feel like I'm never gonna have it...the whole package, you know? That person, that couple life and I swear, I hate admitting it because I fancy myself Wonder Woman, but...I really want it --the whole package."

Luke put a donut on a plate and slid it down the counter to where she was sitting. As it landed in front of her, Lorelai looked up questioningly.

"You'll get it," he assured her.

"How do you know?"

His answer was sure. "I know."

"How do you know?" she pressed.

He sighed and walked along the counter until he was face to face with her. "Because you love your daughter more than the world. Because you don't care about how much money someone has or who their parents were. Because you can't function without coffee and your eating habits would make anyone cringe. Because you are possibly the single most beautiful woman to walk the planet." He stared her in the eyes, which shone with shock. "Because you're Lorelai Gilmore, I am absolutely and totally sure you will get the whole package."

"Luke..."

"Please don't question it, Lorelai, because I'm not repeating it. Now eat your donut."

"But Luke... do you mean it?"

A smile crossed his face for just a moment. "No, I was lying," he deadpanned.

"Luke..."

"Of course I meant it, Lorel-" he was cut off from saying her name by her lips. Frozen in shock, he stood there for at least ten seconds before kissing back. And quickly after that, it was over.

"I..." Lorelai began. "Um... I have to go."

She ran out the door, not giving him a chance to even begin to reply. When she made it to where her car was parked, she leaned against the door, rubbing her forehead.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid. That was so unbelievingly stupid!"

The next morning, Lorelai and Rory went into Luke's. Rory was thrilled that her mother and the town diner owner had apparently made up and Lorelai conveniently left out the part about how she was only going in to see how mad Luke was at her.

He seemed surprised that she was there, but acted normally enough. She glanced up at him every few seconds, only stopping when Rory commented on it.

She was pulled out of her thoughts by a loud banging noise. People began to file out of their seats as Taylor yelled "meeting adjourned!" and Lorelai looked around in confusion.

"That's all? The meeting's over?"

Luke sighed as he walked past her. "You know Taylor. He uses these things to talk about the issues related specifically to him then tells everyone to go home."

"Oh, right." She smiled. Once Luke was out of earshot, she leaned over to Rory. "What did Taylor say at the end there?"

Rory smirked. "Didn't you hear? Or were you too busy staring at Luke?"

Lorelai felt her cheeks heat up. "I was so not staring at Luke!"

"Oh, my mistake. It was obviously Bootsy you were staring at." Lorelai didn't reply. "You know, you seem to be staring at Luke a lot lately... Is there something you want to tell me, Mom?"

"Yes. We should probably go home now, since the meeting's over," she said. "Elizabeth," she added, turning and leaving the studio.

"That's not nearly as funny as you seem to think it is!" Rory called, following close behind.

The next day, Lorelai was awoken by an irritating pounding on her bedroom door. After glancing at the clock, and doing a double take, clarifying that it really was only 7:30 AM, she rolled out of bed, literally.

"Crap!" she squeaked, her left elbow hitting her nightstand. Cradling her arm with her other hand, she got up carefully and opened the door. Rory walked in.

"Great! You're already up!"

"Early..." Lorelai mumbled. Rory nodded sympathetically.

"Yes, it is."

"Why is it early?"

"Well, Mom, there are different views on that among scientists..." Lorelai glared at her. "'Project Guinness starts today."

"Sounds like a beer drinking contest," Lorelai muttered. "God, I need coffee."

"There's a pot downstairs," Rory told her.

"How are you so peppy?" Lorelai asked, sluggishly heading towards the door to get caffeine. "It's scaring me."

"I've already had my coffee."

"When did you wake up?" she asked in surprise.

"About an hour ago." Lorelai gave her a look of horror.

"Are you positive you're my daughter?"

Two pop tarts and three cups of coffee later, the Gilmores were out the door. When they reached the square, they found most of the townspeople had already arrived and scattered amongst several blue tubs, filled with giant Legos. Spotting Sookie and Jackson, the wandered over to them.

"This is insane!" Lorelai said. "Why did Taylor think it made sense to do this thing this early on a Saturday?"

Sookie shrugged, the morning obviously having its affect on her too.

"And what are we even supposed to be building, anyway?"

Almost before the question was out of Lorelai's mouth, Taylor was up on a podium by the gazebo.

"Good morning, fellow townspeople! It's a pleasure to see that you all have generously given up your Saturday mornings to come support your town!"

"We were forced here, Taylor!" a voice from behind Lorelai pointed out. She jumped and turned to find Luke. Butterflies invaded her stomach once again at the sight of him, and she looked away in embarrassment.

"As I said," Taylor continued, ignoring Luke completely. "Your participation today is greatly appreciated..."

Taylor continued, and Lorelai whispered hello to Luke. He presented her with a thermos.

"Thought you might need that."

She took the lid off and sniffed, smelling strong coffee. "Thanks. I already had some, though." She smiled.

"Ah. Had to make sure, though."

"And for that I am grateful."

"Luke, Lorelai, do you have something you would like to add?" Taylor interrupted.

"Um... Well, it's obscenely early, but I could probably think of something to add... um..."

Taylor rolled his eyes and went on with his speech. Lorelai and Luke promptly began their whispered conversation again.

"Where's Jess?" she asked.

He shrugged. "Probably vandalizing something somewhere. I'm sure he'll show up eventually."

"I'm sure you're all curious as to what we'll be building today," Taylor said. Lorelai returned her attention to him. "Well, the town elders and I discussed it in great detail, and we have decided on..." He pulled a white sheet off a picture Lorelai hadn't noticed before. "The New York skyline!"

"That's the best you could do?" Lorelai asked. "That's not incredibly creative, Taylor."

"New York City has a very lovely skyline, Lorelai. Plus, it's larger than the Chicago skyline, which Woodbury is doing," he added quickly.

"Where are we getting the money for all this nonsense?" Luke said. "Shouldn't it be going to into that money to restore the bridge for the millionth time, or something?"

"No, actually. We got the last of the bridge money from the Tennessee Williams look-a-like contest!"

"But still, how did you afford the ridiculous amount of Legos?"

"They were actually donated by a citizen of our fine town. Kirk Gleason, where are you?"

"I feel as if I should be more surprised," Luke said in a monotone voice as Kirk waved his hand frantically.

"We will begin construction shortly. But first, I would like to put you all into groups, to make the building run more efficiently..."

Taylor began reading off names, and Lorelai leaned towards Rory.

"Taylor does realize how many people live here, right? I mean, it's a small town, but still!"

"Maybe he won't list all of us...?" Rory suggested.

Taylor's list couldn't have included all 9,973 members of Stars Hollow's population, but it sure seemed to come close. He split the townspeople into groups for the next hour. Lorelai chuckled when it was announced that Rory would be in a group with both Jess and Dean, and Rory turned white as a sheet.

"Good luck with that one, kid," she whispered. Rory stuck out her tongue.

"...Samuel Pullen, Lorelai Gilmore, Luke Danes..." Lorelai's eyes widened.

"Serves you right! Rory hissed.

Once the list was complete, Taylor dismissed the residents into their groups. Lorelai and Rory shared a glance.

"Might as well get this over with," Luke said. "You coming?"

"Um... yeah..." She followed him to the tub they had been assigned to.

"When Taylor was reading off the names, did he remind you of the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?"

"Yes!" she agreed, laughing. Then she gasped. "Luke Danes has seen a movie?"

He rolled his eyes. "I was alive in the eighties, Lorelai, remember?"

"Oh... right." She smiled, and then mentally kicked herself for acting like such an idiot. So what if they had kissed? It was Luke. Her mind flashed back to the day in the diner, and she closed her eyes, willing herself to think of something else. She quickly looked around the square for Rory, and winced for her sake when she noticed her standing between a glaring Dean and a smirking Jess.

"What's going on over there?" Luke asked, suddenly appearing at her shoulder. At the contact, her skin burned, and she tried to subtly step away from him, but managed to trip over her own feet. Luke steadied her, and she stepped away, her cheeks reddening.

"Teenager stuff," she answered. "Love triangles and such."

Luke looked over at the teenagers. "Love triangle? You mean Jess and Rory...?"

She sighed. "Seems that way."

"And you're okay with that?"

"Not at all," she said with a laugh. "No offense."

Luke smiled. "None taken."

He has a pretty smile, she thought before shaking her head. Luke. It was Luke.

"We should probably..." she gestured to the other members of their group, who had already begun work on the Chrysler building.

Hours later, the square had turned into a Lego model of New York City. Lorelai added a block to a model of yet another skyscraper, bumping into Luke.

"Hello again," she said. "Where have you been?"

"The Empire State Building," he said dryly. "Have I mentioned how ridiculous this is?"

"Not in the last ten seconds," she joked. "I swear, if we don't beat Woodbury, I'm going to pull a Sylvia Plath."

"You're going to stick your head into an oven?"

"Maybe. This is getting exhausting. Plus, the caffeine from my coffee earlier has worn off."

"Well, if you weren't so dependent on it..."

"Shush you."

He smirked. "Lorelai, would you like to go get some coffee?"

"Could we do that?"

"I own a diner... there's a good chance it's possible."

"No, I mean, will Taylor allow it?"

"Do you think I really care? Besides, one of the buildings was tilted to a sixteen degree angle or something like that when I came over here. I think he's distracted."

"So... we make a run for it?"

"Sounds like a plan... we can go around that building."

"Which one?"

"The tall one."

She rolled her eyes. "Your powers of description astound me."

"Just follow me."

Minutes later, Lorelai sat on a stool, and Luke was behind the counter. The familiarity of the scene brought the butterflies back to her stomach, and she swallowed.

"Here you go. Death sentence in a cup," Luke said, setting down a mug of coffee in front of her. She took a sip and smiled.

"Thank you."

She drank her coffee in silence as he milled around aimlessly, having little to do with her as the only customer. Her gaze followed him around the diner.

"Hey Luke?" she called.

"Yeah?"

Before she could stop the words from coming out of her mouth, Lorelai blurted out, "We kissed."

Luke stopped dead. "Yeah..."

"We kissed," she repeated.

"I remember," he said with a nod.

"And? I mean, have you thought about it at all? Because I have not stopped thinking about it. It's really distracting. I mean, you don't seem like you've thought about it. In fact, you seem to be intent on ignoring it even happened!"

"That's because I assumed you were, you know... embarrassed."

"Why? Was it a bad kiss? Is that why you haven't thought about it? Please be honest." she asked, panic filling her voice.

"It wasn't a bad kiss," he told her. She nodded.

"So... it was a good kiss?"

"Yeah."

"A... great kiss, even?" She prayed that she didn't sound as hopeful as she really was.

"Yes."

She beamed. "One... you would... consider repeating?"

"It's been considered, actually," he said.

Her smile grew. "Yeah?"

"Yeah," he confirmed with a small smile.

"Okay then." An awkward silence filled the diner. "Should we... go back to the Legos? Someone may have noticed our absence by now."

"Sounds like a plan," he agreed.

Lorelai hopped off her stool and walked over to him. Just before they exited the diner, she stopped.

"Luke?"

He turned to her, and without warning, she kissed him. Pulling back, she grinned.

"Never mind."

--

Thanks for reading!