Title: Split Second
Type : AU. Set in the future. 3-parts story.
Rating: T (Tissues might be needed)
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the characters I create.
Summary: My life was perfect, I had the woman of my dreams, and we had two beautiful kids. This is a story of how a split second changes everything.
Spoilers: Mainly all seasons.
AN: Lorelai was pregnant in season 5 but didn't know. All the shitty things in S6 and S7 didn't happen. Luke and Lorelai did get married. April does exist. Set sometimes after S7. Rory has been on the campaign for a while then got a job at a Hartford newspaper. Lorelai and Luke occasionally leave little Liam and Will with their grandparents for the weekend. Liam and Will are 4. This is Luke's POV.
Warning: Not really a happy story.
.oO° °Oo. .oO° °Oo. .oO° °Oo.
She was laughing, looking at me with that gleam in her eyes. I was watching the road. She was happily chatting away. Things between her and her parents could not have been better. Liam and Will both loved spending time with their grandparents. And Lorelai loved seeing her mother playing with her grandsons. It really was a sight!
We were coming back from dinner at the Gilmore's. It was night time. We got to a crossroad. Our light was green, so I slowed down a little and crossed.
She didn't see the SUV coming. But neither did I.
I heard the truck slam into the side of jeep before I could understand what was happening. I heard the glass break. I heard her scream. I heard my screams. I heard the tires squeal. The car had flipped, we were upside down. Then everything faded to black.
When I regained consciousness, I saw a man's feet approaching. They stood still, then turned around, got in the car that had hit us and left. I saw a partial plate number. My leg and my head were killing me, but I had to remember those numbers.
I slowly took my surroundings in, searching for Lorelai, I knew she was next to me but I couldn't see her. I tried to move my head to her side, but I couldn't. I searched for the seatbelt hook. I unclenched it. I fell forward. I looked to where Lorelai was, and I was horrified. She had a really bad gash on her head, the right side of her face was bloody, her right arm seemed twisted in so many angles it wasn't possible. Her right leg was pinned under the door which had been deformed due to the smash. I tried to unhook her seatbelt but it wouldn't bulge. I started to look for something to cut the belt and I found a shielded knife. That's when I saw the small flames in the back of the jeep. I started to cut furiously into the belt. When I finally cut her free, she slumped forwards in my arms. I glanced at the fire while trying to get the door open with my unharmed foot. It was still small, but it was progressing towards the tank.
I finally popped the door open, and with Lorelai in my arms, I tried to get us as far as possible from the car. The explosions propelled me on the ground, and I tried to shield Lorelai as much as I could.
I desperately searched for my phone in my pockets. My fingers were numb as I dialed for 911. I finally got through and told the woman on the other side what happened. She said the ambulances would be here in less than 5 minutes. I dropped the phone on the ground as I held Lorelai against me. I felt her stir.
- "Luke?" Her voice was so weak.
- "I'm here Lorelai, I'm not going anywhere." I said as I rocked her.
- "I'm so tired.
- I know you are, but you can't sleep yet, please you can't. You have a bad bump on your head.
- My eyelids are so heavy. It hurts to keep 'em open.
- Don't close your eyes! Look at me, focus on my eyes.
- Luke, I can't…" She was closing her eyes, and coughing blood.
- "Please, Lorelai, don't go." I tapped her face where she wasn't bloody to wake her up, it was the only thing I could think of, and I silently thanked God as she reopened her beautiful blue eyes. "The help is almost here, you can't fall asleep now, can't you hear the sirens?"
She slowly nodded.
- " I can hear… Luke?
- Yes, I'm right here, Baby, I'm right here.
- I'm sorry…" She whispered.
-"What?" I said, not understanding what she meant. "Lorelai, please, I can't live without you!"
I tried desperately everything to get her to open her eyes again. I failed.
I don't know exactly how long it was before the help got where we were. My face was damp, I realized that I had been crying, I was numb. I saw them take her away on a stretcher.
A paramedic was talking to me, but it was as if I was watching the scene from afar. They put me on a stretcher too. In the ambulance, the paramedic kept asking me questions. I tried to answer them the best I could.
When we got to the hospital, I was taken to X-ray's room. Then they put a cast on my leg and gave me crutches.
I don't really remember much after that. I was on pain medication when Lorelai's parents showed up with our sons.
As soon as the twins saw me, they scurried down their grandfather's arms and ran to me.
I knelt uneasily before them and hugged them. I had a few broken ribs and it hurt like hell, but all I could think of at that moment was how was I going to tell my sons that they would probably never see their Mom's smile or hear her laugh again.
Richard and Emily saw on my face what I couldn't voice.
- "I'll call Rory." I heard Richard say.
I felt the weight of Emily's stare as I was trying to calm Liam down. I sat him and his brother in the chair next to mine, sat down and lifted my eyes towards Emily. What I saw must've been a reflection of what were in mine. She sat next to me, and I started talking. I didn't realized until I was done talking, but my cheeks were damp again and Emily was hugging me like there was no tomorrow.
- "She'll pull through. She's tough.
- I don't know Emily, you should've seen her. And the other car, the guy left, he didn't even call for help, he just got in his car and drove off! I barely got his plates' numbers!
- You have to believe she'll be fine, for both you and that little boy." She kept holding me, and I kept crying. Richard came back. "Write the plates' numbers, we'll take care of it." She said to me. I wrote it down on a paper she handed to me. Richard spoke as Emily took the piece of paper back.
- "Rory will be there shortly, I didn't give her too much detail."
It was that moment that the doctor interrupted looking for Lorelai Gilmore Danes' family. I got up as fast as I could on my crutched and Richard and Emily followed me. Richard picked up Liam and took Will by the hand, and we were all gathered around the doctor.
- "I'm her husband, they're her parents and this is our sons." I said presenting us.
- "I'm Doctor Tyler Robertson, I came to give you an update on your wife, she's still in surgery which is a good thing. She has massive trauma to her right side, her right arm and right leg were shattered during the crash and her hip sustained a small fracture compared to the rest but we have our best orthopedic surgeons on it, and they will be able to repair the damage. She has several broken ribs which punctured her right lung and she lost a lot of oxygen because of that. But we are repairing the lung and it shouldn't cause problems in the future. We had to remove the spleen and her right kidney was badly bruised but we hope the bleeding will resorb itself and not worry about removing the kidney. Now all of those injuries are serious but we are really worried about the head trauma. There was a massive hemorrhage we managed to stop, but some damage was done. Our best neurosurgeon is operating on her, and he's really good. You say she was conscious at some point?
- Yes, for a few minutes, it was after I got her out of the car and it exploded and when the help got here she was unconscious again. She kept saying she was tired. I tried to get her to stay awake but she couldn't.
- There is nothing you could have done, Sir. But this means she has more chances of waking up after the surgery. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go back.
- Yes, yes go back.
- I'll try to give you an update every two hours.
- Thank you doctor."
I watched him walk away, and suddenly I felt weak and sick. I managed to get to the nearest trash can and as I emptied my stomach, the reality of the situation hit me. I felt a small hand on my back. Emily was trying to soothe me. Her daughter was lying open on an operating table somewhere in the hospital and she was trying to take care of me!
I found a chair to sit in and she sat next to me. My father in law was standing in front of me still holding Liam. Emily was holding on Will's hand tight. But I wasn't really seeing them. All I could think of was what was going to happen if Lorelai didn't come out of this. I would be a widower, and my sons would be motherless. Rory would become an orphan, and the Gilmores would lose their only daughter.
I was still out of it when Rory, tears in her eyes, arrived with her boyfriend in tow. I vaguely heard Richard explain her Mom's injuries to her. She looked at me and I saw the tears in her eyes. I heard Liam and Will crying, but I couldn't do anything about them, I was almost catatonic. Rory took Will in her arms and tried to calm him down and Richard was doing the same with Liam.
They said they were going to get food to us, and they left to the cafeteria, leaving Rory, her boyfriend, the twins and me alone. They probably wanted privacy to break down since they didn't want their grandchildren see them crumble.
I could understand that, but I was too far gone, and I couldn't help my kids. I felt helpless and useless.
The two hours between updates passed and the doctor was back. He approached us. Richard introduced Rory to the doctor. I lifted my head to him.
- "So what's the news now doc?" I asked in a somewhat shaky voice.
- "We managed to repair the bone damage, with no strain it should heal nicely. However, we will have to remove her kidney if the bruising doesn't go away. We are still repairing the damage to her lung. As for her head injury, our neurosurgeon is still operating on her, he managed to control several bleedings and we are worried that if the swelling doesn't go down, she might lose some of her motor and functioning capacities. I'm sorry I don't have better news, but I have to go back now.
- Of course, thank you doctor." I heard Emily say.
I saw him leave. What he had told us started to sink in. Lorelai might not pull through or she would not be whole again, I couldn't imagine my life without her. She was my life. I tried to breathe, but somehow the air wouldn't get to my lungs. My heart started beating faster. The room began spinning and everything went to black.
When I came back to my senses, I was lying on a hospital bed. A doctor was hovering above me. Next to him were the Gilmores. Rory was holding Will, who by the looks of it, had been crying. His brother, in Richard's arms, had tears furrow on his cheeks. Both boys were asleep.
- "Son, you gave us quite a scare!" I heard Richard say. Then the doctor spoke.
- "It looks like it was just a panic attack, nothing to be too much worried about, but you will need to take it slow Mr. Danes." I started getting up, and was promptly stopped by the doctor. "By taking it slow, I meant, you'll need to stay laid down for a while. Now I know your wife is in surgery, and I know you're worried about her so we'll do our best to keep you informed. I have other patients to see, and you're going to stay overnight. The police wanted to talk to you, but I told them it wasn't a good idea. They'll talk to you tomorrow."
Time passed by, and it was the time for the update again. As I saw the doctor approach, I caught Richard checking his watch and heard him it wasn't right, it had not been 2 hours since the last update. I looked at the doctor more carefully, he was twitching his cap, walking slowly as if it would change the outcome.
- "Your wife is out of surgery, but she's not out of the woods yet. All the internal bleedings have been stopped. We managed to get the brain bleeding under control so far. We will have to operate again to reverse the damage. She is in critical condition and she is on life support, but for now, she is stable."
I stepped forward.
- "Can we see her?
- Hum, visiting hours are over. But if you wish, you can come with me to see her. She's in the ICU so only one of you can come."
I turned towards my family hoping they'd understand. I saw Richard nodding my way.
- "Go, you'll give us an update."
I nodded and followed the doctor. Before I stepped inside the room, Dr Robertson warned me.
- "You need to prepare yourself, she might not look good." I nodded, and he opened the door.
She looked so pale, frail and tiny in that hospital bed that I couldn't repress my tears. Several tubes were attached to her. I sat down next to her bed, and I started talking, remembering our good times.
I was ranting like a mad man about ways to kidnap her daughter, and I heard her say those words. I was flabbergasted.
- "What?" I utter shocked, even though I did understand what she said.
-"Luke, Will you marry…" I cut her off and say yes as soon as the information hits my brain. "Well, you can take a minute…" She says to give me some kind of way out.
- "No." Not giving her time to change her mind.
And just like that Luke 'Table for one' Danes and Lorelai 'I need a professional forklift for my emotional baggage' Gilmore were going to get married. And we did. Rory spent a month at her grandparents before coming back to Lorelai and promising her she'd go back to Yale in the fall semester. Somehow Richard had found out what Mitchum had done and talked sense into Rory.
Barely a month after that, Lorelai and I got married at the Dragonfly. Only close family and friends were invited, which means that most of the lunatics in Stars Hollow came. My sister and her family came. Richard and Emily came. Jackson was my best man, Rory was Lorelai's maid of honor and Sookie her matron of honor. It was amazing what they managed to accomplished in such short notice.
It was when we came back from our honeymoon that Lorelai surprised me with the most wonderful news. I was ecstatic when the doctor confirmed it. As it turned out, Lorelai was almost four months pregnant and while we were worried for a little while, her pregnancy went smoothly and little William Richard Gilmore Danes and William Lucas Gilmore Danes were born on February, 8th, healthy and weighing both almost six pounds. I battled a while with Lorelai about our sons' names, and she won giving them the same first name, but I was proud. I was overjoyed, although for a while I was afraid of holding them. After three days, Lorelai got fed up and put Liam in my arms. I was petrified. Then he opened his eyes and gazed into mine, I was smitten. She did the same with Will, making sure I bonded with the both of them. After a while it got easier, and I was able to carry them both without being petrified.
Lorelai was an amazing mom. Is an amazing mom. I rectified myself. I couldn't let myself go there. But seeing her like that, I couldn't help but doubt her recovery.
I approached her more closely, took slowly her hand in mine and I whispered into her ears:
- "Please come back to me, to us Lorelai. I'm lost without you, I can't live without you! You have to fight to come back, I know you have it in you. Liam, Will and I, and Rory and your parents, we need you. A world without you is not a world I want to live in. The doctors are doing everything they can to help you, and some is up to you, please come back to us. I love you so much, I…"
I heard a voice calling from afar, it was the doctor telling me the visit was over and they had to prepare her for surgery again. He had a really sad and apologetic look on his face and I knew he heard my despair. He told me he'd try to give us update every hour.
Please tell me what you think, and if it's worth continuing.