A/N: This fic is one of the two fics I promised to write for the Support Stacie Auction. This one is for Jmaka. Jmaka left the prompt open ended, so I chose to take Lorelai's line about having the house to herself in "There's the Rub" and expand on it. Thanks, Jmaka, for bidding.
I also need to give a huge thank you to Filo, because she is the person who helped me through this fic. She not only beta-ed, but encouraged me throughout this entire process. The many much ways of contacting me to make sure I knew I did all right couldn't have helped more. Thank you. And thank you to the SCPP for putting up with her teasing all of you about how she had a sneak peek.
Lorelai plopped down on the couch once again after seeing Rory out. She placed the bowl of popcorn back into her lap and leaned back against the cushions. Once she was comfortable, she grabbed the remote, turned the volume up on the TV, and attempted to find something to watch. She now had the house to herself for the entire night. Rory had come home after her date was cut short by a frustrated Dean, and had left soon after to spend the night with Lane. Lorelai was back to having the house to herself once again.
She thought about the possibilities as she flipped through the channels. Having the entire house to herself for a night could be extremely satisfying, or incredibly boring. She reached into the popcorn bowl to find that there were only kernels left. Lorelai sighed. She dropped the remote and put the popcorn bowl on the coffee table. She pulled her hair up into a messy ponytail as she walked into the kitchen, realizing she probably should have stopped at Doose's the other day like she had planned.
But she still had hope. There had to be some sort of junk food left over from a previous movie night that was hidden somewhere. She opened a cabinet, looked inside, and found a bag of chocolate chips. She could eat them straight out of the bag, if nothing else. Lorelai tossed the chocolate chips onto the kitchen table, giggling as she saw them sail across the surface and land on the floor.
"Ah, you see, this right here is the exception to the five second rule. Each and every one of you is safe inside that bag and therefore, I still plan on eating every last one of you," she said, staring at the bag.
After all the cabinets were opened, all the hiding spots were scoured, and the search for junk food was called off, Lorelai picked up the bag of chocolate chips and thought about opening them. She opened a few drawers, looking for the scissors but found nothing. She placed her hands on either side of the bag and tugged gently before realizing the bag wouldn't open without force. Lorelai had two choices to make. She could pull them open and watch them scatter everywhere as the ten seconds of the 'five second rule' ticked away. Or she could find the scissors.
Of course, there was a third option. She could always go out and get some more junk food. She pouted. That would be the easy way out. She leaned against the counter and sighed. She could always poke a pen through the bag. That was the perfect plan! She wouldn't have to find the missing scissors or go out to buy more junk food. Reaching behind without turning around, she blindly dragged her hand across the counter, hoping to find a pen. As she searched with her right hand, she held the package of chocolate chips in her left. Lorelai scanned the back of the bag, searching for the part of the bag that stated the amount of chocolate chips inside, when some recipes caught her eye. Suddenly, she got an idea.
The chocolate chips on their own would be fine, but as she read the recipes on the back of the package, Lorelai realized that the chocolate chips could be put to better use in combination with something else. Abandoning the search for the pen, Lorelai placed the chocolate chips on the table and walked into the living room. She grabbed her keys and her jacket and headed out the door. She was on a mission, and Doose's was her first stop.
After getting about halfway to the market, Lorelai started thinking about the recipe for the Chocolate-Covered Cappuccino Crunch Cake she found on the bag. She grinned. Her mouth started watering just thinking about it. And the alliteration was amusing, too.
"Chocolate Covered Cappuccino Crunch Cake," she murmured as she walked. When she approached Doose's, she reached into her pockets to find nothing but a packet of tic tacs and a gum wrapper. "Oh, crap!"
She stopped in the middle of the street, realizing that she forgot the recipe. She hung her head in frustration and crossed her arms. There was no way she could remember all the ingredients she needed. Lorelai started to cross the street and head back to her house, but backtracked as she caught a glimpse of the diner.
"Perfection!" she shouted, running toward the door. She walked inside, passing Tom and his crew, and quickly ran up the stairs leading to Luke's apartment. After banging on the door several times, once with her head, she made her way back downstairs. The idea of making her cake sounded less fun as she thought about it more and more.
"You looking for Luke?" Tom asked, looking up from his power saw.
Lorelai nodded. "Have you seen him?"
"He was mad, he said he was going out," Tom replied, putting the screwdriver down. "That was about five minutes ago. I think he went for a walk. I'd check around town if I were you."
"Thanks, Tom," she said with a smile. Lorelai walked out of Luke's, allowing the thought of the sweet treat to enter her mind once again. "Chocolate Covered Cappuccino Crunch-Cake! Chocolate Covered Cappuccino Crunch-Cake!" she chanted enthusiastically as she searched for Luke. She spotted him standing in the gazebo, pressing down on his baseball cap. He was obviously less than amused.
"Hey," she said, walking up the steps.
Luke turned to acknowledge her presence, then leaned his forearms on the railing of the gazebo once again. "You know, I don't think I heard you over all the construction sounds in my head. Say that again?"
"Ha, ha," she said, rolling her eyes.
He shook his head. "I'm serious. I can't even think straight. All I hear is the sounds of the saws going, and the hammers and the nails, and the drilling, and the yelling over the power tools to get a point across. It's not like anyone can hear what they're saying anyway, but they still try it. Are they stupid? Are-"
"But you're not in there where all this is occurring," Lorelai replied, pointing across the way to the diner.
She grinned. "Well, we should definitely check out your medication bottles, see if persisting construction noise is one of those symptoms you should seek immediate medical attention for."
"I'm taking charge of my own treatment," he replied sarcastically.
"Oh, really?" she asked.
"Yes. That's why I'm here."
"Well would helping your friendly neighborhood Lorelai be an acceptable form of treatment, Dr. Danes?"
Luke turned to face her. "Oh, jeez. Why do I get the feeling that this is going to be some nutty idea of yours?"
"I'm planning on making a Chocolate Covered Cappuccino Crunch-Cake—"
He held up his hand. "Wait, you're asking me to help you bake?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
She shook her head. "No, no, see, I left the recipe at home. And I need more ingredients. But I'm too lazy to go home and get it. And I'm really in the mood to just try it out. So I was hoping maybe you could find a recipe for something eerily similar for me?"
"What makes you believe I have something like that?"
"Wishful thinking," she said, pouting. "Please check for me? I want to make this cake so much I've made up a song about it, want to hear it?"
"You're going to make this cake?" Luke confirmed, raising his eyebrow.
"Did you not hear the part where I said I was going to make up a song about it, I was that excited?"
He rolled his eyes. "I'll get you the closest thing I have. And I'm coming over to make sure you don't burn your house down while you're attempting this."
She snorted. "Tonight was supposed to be my alone night, and you're crashing the party! After I made this cake, I was going to have a nice soothing bubble bath with some Kenny G playing in the background--"
"I could just ignore the fact that you don't have a recipe and send you on your way," Luke interrupted.
Lorelai giggled. "Fine, since I pity you, we'll make a deal. You're welcome to hang out at my house until they leave tonight on the condition that unless the house is burning down, you do not interfere with the baking process. Otherwise, be my guest. Use my house as a safe haven from all things construction related."
"I thought you said that you made up a song about this cake. You're going to be disappointed if it doesn't turn out right," he insisted. "You'll taste it, realize you screwed up, and then ask me why I didn't help you out."
"Hear that? Hear it? Uh huh, I think it's those power tools, they're taunting you," Lorelai shrugged.
"Wait here," Luke said, making his way across the street to the diner.
Lorelai tapped her fingers on the railing of the gazebo as she waited for Luke to return with the recipe. She was glad that she now had plans for her "alone" night. Sure, she liked having time to herself, but she would never pass up an opportunity to torture Luke. As she picked at a piece of wood sticking out from the railing, she thought about how she viewed the time that she spent with Luke. Maybe torture wasn't exactly the right word. She did enjoy pushing his buttons, and she wasn't afraid to admit that. But she also wasn't oblivious to the fact that Luke seemed to enjoy it as much as she did, despite his attempts to cover it up.
"How's this?" he asked, holding out an index card as he walked up to her.
She took the card in her hand and checked the ingredients. "Perfect," she said, grabbing him by the wrist and leading him to Doose's. "Now it's time for us to get the stuff to make it with, and we can be on our way."
He followed her toward the market as he jerked his hand away. "Do you even have something to cook this in?"
Lorelai glared at him. "You're interfering with the baking process."
Luke held up his hands in surrender. "If you say so."
She sighed as she opened the door to Doose's. "I may need to find those baking pans."
Lorelai and Luke walked through the aisles of Doose's together for awhile before Lorelai suggested that they split up to get the ingredients faster. They met up at the register, paid for Lorelai's items, and left. As they walked back to the house in silence, Lorelai gasped.
"Did I give you the recipe to hang on to?"
Luke nodded. "You practically threw it at me when we were in line and you had to search for your credit card."
"How was I supposed to know it would be inside my mitten? For all I knew, it could have been in my wallet," she said, opening the door and walking toward the kitchen with the bags she was carrying.
"Well, normal people put their cards in their wallet so they don't panic and call the company to cancel the card unless it's actually missing," Luke pointed out.
She placed the bags on the table. "I did that once, Luke. Once. They were very understanding about it."
"Probably because they ended up scamming you somehow," he grunted.
"Do you want some tea?" she asked, ignoring his statement.
"No thanks," he answered, unpacking the bags. He pulled out a package of Red Vines and held them up for Lorelai to inspect. "These weren't part of the recipe."
She shrugged. "Thank you, Captain Obvious."
He emptied two more bags and put the Red Vines aside. "Why did you get them if they weren't part of the recipe?"
"This could technically be considered interference," she said, throwing away the grocery bags and holding out her hand. "Recipe, please."
Luke sighed, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the index card. He sat down at the kitchen table and watched as Lorelai ran around the kitchen, trying to gather all of the ingredients necessary to make her cake. "Where's Rory tonight?"
"She's at Lane's," Lorelai said, glancing at the card and grabbing a pan from the cabinet. "She and Dean had a weird night, apparently. She didn't really give me much to go off of when she came home. I figure a night at Lane's will do her some good. You know, help her get her mind off of things."
He nodded. "Sure."
Lorelai squinted as she read the card. She sighed, turning over the card, and walked to the cabinet. "Aha! This looks like a good pan to use."
Luke shook his head. "You can't—"
"Uh, hello, zip it, mister. You're interfering," she said sternly, pointing to Luke and trying not to laugh as he put his head in his hands. "Okay, I'll skip that part and go to this part." She glanced over at the table, watching Luke as he tried not to interject. As she baked, she glanced over at Luke, who was still seated at the table. She didn't want him to be bored out of his mind while she baked, so she quickly searched for a topic of conversation. "So, things aren't going well with the construction, I take it?"
"They're probably going fine, I just can't stand to hear the noise anymore," Luke started, throwing up his hands. "I work there, I live there, and it was starting to get to be more than I could handle for the night. Tom told me they'd need to stay late, but I didn't anticipate them making that much noise." He sighed, crossing his arms and shaking his head.
Lorelai chuckled, pouring the chocolate chips into the pan. "Ah, but noise is necessary for progress, my friend. The noise and the renovations are kind of a package deal."
"That would be fine if they were actually making progress," he said. "Right now it's just a bunch of holes everywhere."
She grabbed a spoon and stirred the chips in the pan. "Well, I'm sure things will turn out okay. Hand me the whipped cream, would you?"
Luke grabbed the whipped cream and cringed as Lorelai plopped it into the pan. He returned to his seat at the kitchen table. She could feel him staring at her. Lorelai could picture him pressing down on the bill of his baseball cap in frustration as he tried not to say anything..
"You want to say something, don't you?" she teased. "I know you. You're dying to say something. But you can't. How sad for you."
Luke leaned back in the chair, crossing his arms. "Nope, I'm going to let you ruin it on your own. It's not like I could convince you to let me guide you anyway," he smirked.
She pulled open the bag of Red Vines. "We'll see then, I suppose," she said, sticking a few Red Vines in her mouth and picking up the recipe card once again. Lorelai reached for the leftover chocolate chips in the bag and dropped them in the pan on the stove. She turned around to see that Luke was watching every move she made. She crossed her arms, laughing and shaking her head in disbelief. "Okay, now you want to say something. If you didn't before, you do now."
"Why did you ask me to come over?" Luke asked.
She turned to face Luke. "What?"
"I mean, you could have asked Sookie to help you. I'm sure Sookie would have a better recipe than I do," he pointed out.
She opened the carton of ice cream and scooped some of it into the mixing bowl beside her. "Okay, fine, you caught me, I'm secretly lusting after you. It's all a very 'Great Gatsby' like scenario, but I use the porch light instead. That's why it's always out," she said with a playful wink, gesturing toward the porch with the ice cream scooper.
Luke simply rolled his eyes, catching a malted milk ball in his hand as it rolled off the edge of the table.
Lorelai shrugged. She grabbed a Ziploc bag from the box next to her. "I mean, you were right there, and I was right across the street, and you had visions of power tools dancing in your head. I'd hate for the twisted version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to haunt you while Sookie and I baked. Wasn't like I was doing anything important, anyway." She paused for a moment, trying to open up the bag. She put the milk balls she had in her hand back on the table and looked up at Luke. "I uh, you know, wanted to… I don't know why I asked."
He nodded. "Okay."
She placed the malted milk balls in the bag and held it out in front of Luke. He placed the milk ball that he had caught in the bag and watched as she sealed it. As she looked for something to crush them with, she walked past the stove once again to check on the contents of the pan. What was it that she was looking for? It didn't say that on the recipe. Or did it? Lorelai hummed to herself as she tried to remember the next step of the recipe. Maybe it was time to put the pound cake in somewhere. She sighed, choosing to stay where she was and improvise a little.
She let out a sigh, continuing to add ingredients to the pan with the chocolate chips. What else could she possibly put in there? She'd gotten almost everything in that pan. And how much longer did it need to be on the stove, anyhow? Lorelai walked away from the pan and grabbed the recipe card once again, tapping her fingers against the back of it. She skimmed the procedures, looking only for the answers to her questions and disregarding everything else. As she put the card down and started to turn around, she saw that Luke was staring at her again. Lorelai looked back at him, blushing as they made eye contact with each other. This time he didn't look away. She felt her cheeks get hotter as she maintained eye contact, finally realizing how red she was probably turning. Taking a step forward, she realized that the entire time she was engrossed in baking, Luke hadn't said a word.
"You know, not interfering doesn't… mean being… silent. You can still talk, as long as it doesn't involve telling me how I'm, uh, screwing up the recipe," Lorelai stuttered, taking a step forward.
She nodded. "Right, I knew you... figured that," she said. Lorelai took a deep breath in, once again noting the silence in the room. She scanned the recipe card to find the next step she wanted to attempt. As she read, she found a detail that she had failed to pick up on before she started. "Oh, no!"
"The cake has to be in the freezer for about nine hours," she said, handing him the index card. "Ugh, forget it, there is a reason I don't bake. Help me put this stuff away?" She grabbed the pound cake that was sitting on the table and put it into the refrigerator. When she shut the fridge and turned around, she walked right into Luke.
Her breath caught in her throat as she realized what happened. She took a step backward, hearing herself let out a nervous giggle as she tried to get out of his way.
As Luke organized the ingredients in the freezer, Lorelai reached for the pan on the stove. She grabbed the handle, turned off the stove, and walked over to the sink with the pan. She turned on the water in the sink and allowed it to run through the pan as she saw Luke roll up his sleeves. He grabbed a few paper towels and walked over to the sink with them.
Lorelai moved out of his way and stood to the side. Luke ran the paper towels under water and wiped down the table before grabbing some dry paper towels and going over the spots again. She tilted her head, only half aware that she had started to stare at him like he had been staring at her.
She reached behind her to turn the water off, but Luke had already done that. Lorelai shivered slightly, trying to bring herself back to earth long enough to assist in the cleanup process. She walked to the table and reached for the milk balls at the same time as Luke, jerking her hand away when she saw his arm extended toward the Ziploc bag. He glanced over at her once he noticed her sudden movement, and she could only look back and give him an embarrassed smile.
Lorelai looked around the room and realized that Luke had cleaned everything up already. She returned to her spot at the sink, shaking her head to try to collect herself. She moved to her right to allow Luke to wash his hands, crossing her arms and continuing to watch him. He turned to face her, and instinctively, she began to ramble.
"So, uh, I think I may know why I invited you over," she said with a smile.
"Why's that?" he asked, shaking off his hands before grabbing another paper towel to dry them with.
She looked down at her feet, and then at Luke again. He stood next to her, leaning back against the sink as she started talking. She sighed. "Well, I…"
Lorelai stopped talking as Luke reached over and brushed his fingers against her cheek. He held up his fingers to reveal a glob of melted chocolate on his hand. "You had… right…" he said, motioning to her cheek as he wiped his hand on the paper towel.
She didn't say anything in response. She gently put her hands on his cheeks and leaned in to kiss him. Lorelai could feel her heart pounding in her chest as her lips moved closer to his. At first, she hesitated, but when she felt his soft lips pressed against hers, her mind went blank. As Luke's tongue parted her lips and gained entry into her mouth, she moved her hands from his cheeks and linked them at the back of his neck. The kiss sent shivers down through her spine and to her toes.
Her tongue searched for Luke's as he dropped the paper towel and moved his hands to her waist. She pulled away, grinning as her palms rubbed against his muscular flannel covered shoulders.
"So, why did you ask me to come over again?" he asked as he pulled her in closer to him.
"Well, uh, you said you didn't like the noise, and the banging, and…"
"I don't object to all banging," he said in a hoarse voice.
"Dirty," she said, almost whispering as she grinned at Luke.
"It was meant to be," he said, raising his eyebrows before pressing his lips against hers. His hands instinctively moved from her waist to her backside, and she followed his lead, reaching for the buttons on his flannel shirt. Taking a few steps backwards, she held on tightly to his shirt as she began to lead him toward the stairs.
"You're so full of it," she teased between kisses. She let go of his shirt with her right hand to steady herself on the banister as his tongue made contact with hers. Pulling back, she held onto the banister as she stepped onto the bottom stair. "Upstairs," Lorelai insisted as Luke pressed soft kisses to her jaw line.
"Well, this gives 'be my guest' a whole new meaning," Luke replied, allowing her to take his hand and lead him to the top of the staircase.
When they reached the top of the stairs, Lorelai reached for Luke's baseball cap and tossed it aside while Luke kicked off his boots. She grabbed his shirt once again, pulling him in closer and crashing her lips onto his. Luke's hands once again strayed from Lorelai's waist as she unbuttoned the last button on his flannel shirt. She slipped the flannel off his shoulders, breaking the kiss to admire Luke's toned arms and chest.
"Wow," she said, grinning as she reached for the bottom of his t-shirt. After she got rid of the t-shirt in her way, she took a deep breath in as she caught a glimpse of his tattoo. "Ooh," she said, tracing her finger around it as she looked up at him.
Luke slipped his hands underneath her shirt. "Don't mock," he warned, pulling her sweater over her head.
"Too busy, can't mock," she replied, reaching for the waistband of his blue jeans as Luke unhooked her bra. It was true, she thought to herself as she unbuttoned the top button of Luke's jeans and stored the image of his tattoo in her memory. Everything else was secondary to her mission of getting Luke undressed, and the world around her seemed to come to a complete stop. Mocking would come later. Lorelai pulled her arms away while Luke slowly dragged the lacy material off of her shoulders. He exhaled deeply, paralyzed for a moment at the sight of her newly exposed breasts.
Lorelai leaned in and kissed him again, trying to maintain her composure as she realized the gravity of what was happening. She gently pushed him toward the bed and Luke obliged, walking backwards until she stopped him. Lorelai started to unzip Luke's blue jeans as Luke gently brushed his thumbs over her nipples, giving her a cocky grin when he heard her moan in satisfaction.
He moved his hands from her breasts, reaching for the elastic that pulled her hair back as he kissed her passionately. Luke pulled the elastic out and dropped it to the floor, running his hands through her soft curls as she tugged at his jeans to reveal his boxer briefs.
She moved closer to him, pressing her body against his as he took one last step backwards to make contact with her bed. His heart began to beat faster as her tongue slipped inside his mouth and she ran her hands down his chest. The feeling of Lorelai's warm body against his was making him crazy. He quickly removed her jeans, and then her panties, breaking the kiss as he realized that her hands had moved down to remove his underwear. He turned around and saw that Lorelai was waiting for him on the bed.
Lorelai tossed her panties aside and moved up on the bed as her heart rate climbed. "Luke," she said in a half-whisper. "I need you."
Luke crawled onto the bed, positioning himself at Lorelai's entrance. He slowly glided into her, looking into her eyes as she called out his name. She tried to say something more, but her words came out as garbled moans as Luke continued to thrust in and out of her. "Lorelai," he exhaled as she put her hands on his shoulders and gripped them tightly.
She leaned forward to kiss him, running her fingers through his hair as Luke's strokes became quicker. Lorelai quickly broke the kiss as she felt herself approaching her climax. "Luke," she panted. "Oh my God, Luke."
He tried to keep his composure as he felt her tighten around him. Luke watched as Lorelai was sent over the edge, sliding in and out of her as he tried to hold off on his own release to enjoy the moment longer.
"Lorelai," he said, exhaling. "I… I'm going to…"
Lorelai shivered as she felt him losing control, moving her hands to his hips to try and pull him closer. She grinned as their breathing slowed and she looked up into his eyes. He leaned down to kiss her forehead, sending a tingle down her spine.
He gently brushed a strand of her curly hair out of her face and took in the sight of her for a moment before he rolled over to the side.
Lorelai scooted closer to him, lazily tracing circles on his chest with her fingernail. "Wow," she whispered, grinning at Luke.
"Yeah, definitely wow."
"So, I really think I know why I asked you over this time," she teased.
He dragged his fingertips across her arm. "Really? And why would that be?"
She giggled and raised her eyebrows. "Uh, I think you know why."
"Wow, you had some lofty expectations, didn't you?"
"Yes, yes I did," Lorelai answered. "And that exceeded every one of them."
Luke gave Lorelai a soft kiss. "Good to know."
She snuggled closer and allowed Luke to wrap his arms around her. "So, uh, about that pie."
"Lorelai," he groaned, rolling his eyes at her indecisiveness.
Lorelai giggled, closing her eyes as she wrapped Luke's fingers in her own. "Just kidding," she said with a smile. "So, about that tattoo of yours."
"You promised not to mock."
She traced an outline of the tattoo on his arm. "I crossed my fingers when I said it. That doesn't count."
"So were you drunk when you got it? Does someone out there have one that matches? Does it have someone's name written in it? Do—"
He leaned in and kissed her, interrupting her train of thought. She sighed as he pulled back. "Fine. You win for now. But don't underestimate my abilities to find these things out."
"Wouldn't dare," he replied with a smile.