Author's Notes: This story was a complete surprise. I was in the midst of working on a couple of other ideas when I started mulling over a certain Stars Hollow fact that never made sense to me. Here's my attempt to explain how two people could have lived in a tiny town for ten years and not met. It takes place a few weeks after The Ins and Outs of Inns.
"Wait! It's time for my weekly stupid question," Lorelai reminded Luke when he started to push back his chair.
He sank back down wearily onto his seat. "It's been three weeks. Do you really have to do this every time?"
Lorelai scoffed. "You're asking me that? Of course I do!"
"You know," Luke said with a long-suffering sigh, "I hear that the internet is the place to go to get stupid questions answered."
"But then I don't get to see the veins bulge out on your forehead."
"Go ahead. The faster you ask, the faster I can get back to work. And there's a business tip for you. Actually working increases your profits."
Lorelai pouted, hoping she looked adorable as she did it. "You're not taking these business how-to sessions very seriously, Luke."
"I'm not taking them seriously?" For a moment he looked like he was puffing up to begin a rant, but he got back into control just in time. "Go on. Just get it over with," he said through gritted teeth.
Lorelai flounced out her curls and then settled herself. Mia's decision to sell the Independence Inn, announced during her visit to Stars Hollow a few weeks ago, had finally pushed Lorelai to take Luke up on his offer to tutor her in small business ownership. Their meetings so far had been informative, fun, and also filling, since Luke almost always offered her a snack. She saw her role in these lessons as the provider of the humor. After the road trip to Harvard, when Luke had first suggested helping her, she'd shown him right away that his statement of 'there are no stupid questions' didn't hold true. Each time they met she made sure she had a silly question ready to spring on him.
"OK." She looked at him as gravely as she could, attempting to stop her blue eyes from twinkling. "Why doesn't a duck's quack echo?"
"What?" His patience evaporated. "Who cares?"
"Well, ducks all over the world, I imagine."
"I can tell you who doesn't care. Me." He put his hands on the table decisively, once again ready to escape.
"Hey, Luke, I do have a real question," she piped up quickly. It was true; she did. Ever since Mia's visit something unsettled had been twisting around her brain. She was hoping that by discussing it with Luke she could get the riddle solved.
"Is it business related?"
"No." Lorelai tempered her honesty with a sweet smile she hoped would convince him to stay. "It's something about Mia," she revealed.
"What about her?"
"She knew you growing up, right?"
"I'm warning you right now. One more snipe about Star Trek and we're calling these sessions off altogether."
"No Trekkie references. I promise." She held her fingers up in what she thought was a close approximation to the Boy Scout's salute. She switched into the Vulcan sign of greeting as soon as his eyes shifted away from her.
"OK," he grumbled. She could tell he really didn't trust her but he settled back down into his seat. "What?" he asked, already cautious.
"For one thing, how long have you known Mia?"
"Seems like most of my life. Why?"
"How well did you know her? I mean, I know you're fond of her. You let her call you Lucas, so she must have been close enough to get blackmail material on you."
"She was a business owner; my dad owned this place. Stars Hollow is only so big. You meet. Mingle. You know how it is. She and my mom got to be friends, I guess. And once my mom died, she'd look in on us whenever she could. Tried to monitor what was going on with us. You know how it is."
"Um, maybe." Her forehead puckered as she tried to put into words what was bothering her. "Doesn't it seem strange to you that we didn't run into each other before we did? I mean, you just said it about small towns and mingling. How did we go for so many years and not meet?"
Luke shrugged, deliberately unconcerned. "I doubt that we traveled in the same circles then. I hadn't turned this place into a diner yet. You weren't a homeowner, so you weren't attending town meetings. No reason for our paths to cross."
"But I was in town all the time. Groceries. Weekly trips to the library. School stuff, once Rory started. How did we keep missing each other?"
"I think you just said it. Do you think I was hanging out at the PTA? Or the library, for that matter."
"OK, so maybe our paths wouldn't naturally cross. But that's why I was asking about Mia's place in your life. She was my surrogate mother and mentor, and it sounds like she was keeping tabs on you, too. If both of us were so special to her, don't you think it's bizarre that she never introduced us? You'd think that she'd want us to get to know each other." Lorelai watched him, waiting for a response. "Well?" she finally snapped when he didn't. "Don't you think that's weird?"
"Not really." Luke's voice was very even, maybe a touch patronizing.
"But, Luke! Why do you think she did that?"
"No idea." He got up, pushing the chair in without looking at her. "Guess you'd have to ask her that."
Luke nodded his head at her in curt dismissal and marched back to the kitchen, not giving Lorelai a chance to ask one more question about events that had happened ― or had not happened ― long, long ago.
Lorelai had learned over the years that her mind didn't recall specifics under pressure. It did much better when she focused on something other than what she was trying to remember. That evening, in order to encourage her brain to meander, she fixed herself a bowl of popcorn, grabbed a beer, and settled in front of the TV. Rory was busy with studying and that meant that she could stare at the TV screen, mostly following what the characters were doing, while a small portion of her brain could sift through recollections and events, examining the odds and ends of disjointed pictures she'd nevertheless stored in her memory's filing cabinet. It was messy, but things had been saved in there for a reason.
Eleven o'clock came and she yawned through the first part of the news until she heard the weather report for the next day. Then she took the popcorn bowl and the beer bottle to the kitchen. She stopped a few moments at Rory's door on her way upstairs to call goodnight and remind her not to stay up too late.
It was while she was washing her face that the results of her memory scan came in.
The recalled picture was largely out-of-focus so she concentrated on filling in the details. It was a sunny, beautiful day. Summer. A breeze was whipping her hair around. Rory was there. Tiny but sturdy, shrieking in little-girl delight, and wearing those bright pink overalls she wanted to have on every day. The scent of roses lingered, strong even in her memory.
Then, the sudden feeling of being watched. She turned, Rory safe on her hip. A young man was standing at the top of the hill. His shirt was open, the wind blowing it away from his chest. He was watching her. Watching her in a way that she could feel all the way at the bottom of the hill.
She gasped in sudden realization. Water dripped down to her elbows as she reached for a towel. The guy at the top of the hill, watching her. Was it Luke? Could it have been him?
Lorelai closed her eyes, trying even harder to remember everything she possibly could from that day. She compared Luke's stance to the phantom figure from her memory. His height. His shoulders. His hair and the shape of his face.
She remembered that the sun had been in her eyes. She'd turned away briefly and come back with her arm up to shield her vision. But he'd gone in that instant. Disappeared. His unexpected appearance and then his vanishing so quickly had left her feeling troubled. She'd ended her game with Rory and had led them back into their makeshift home. She recalled that she'd looked at all of the male guests at the Inn for the next few days, wondering if it had been one of them watching her so intently.
But now in hindsight she was almost positive it had been Luke. And if it was, she had some not-so-silly questions he was going to answer, whether he wanted to or not.
The next day Lorelai waited until she was pretty certain the breakfast rush had ended at the diner. She entered the deserted room and climbed onto a stool at the counter.
It wasn't long before Luke appeared in answer to the jingling bells. He nodded his head at her the way he usually did, a friendly acknowledgement. "You eating?" he inquired, wiping his hands on a towel.
"Not right now. Maybe later. After we talk," she informed him.
"You're ready for another lesson in entrepreneurship already?" He sounded agreeable to that and leaned his arms comfortably on the counter.
"No." She didn't know why her nerves were fluttering the way they were. It wasn't like these next few minutes were going to fundamentally change anything between them. She just wanted some answers. "There's something else I want to talk about today."
"That's never a reassuring comment to hear from you," he grumbled.
She took a deep breath before plunging in. "I keep thinking about how I lived in Stars Hollow for ten years, practically, before I met you."
He was instantly on guard. "Why are you fixated on that? Why should that matter?"
"It doesn't, I guess. Not really. But I can't understand how we didn't bump into each other at least once during a whole decade of living in a town this size. I don't understand why we didn't meet through Mia, if nothing else. And besides, I think maybe I remembered something."
"What sort of something?" he muttered, starting to polish the counter so as to not look at her.
"I think maybe I do remember seeing you one time." She told him this slowly, watching for his reaction.
He shrugged with deliberate calm. "It's always possible, I guess." He looked back over his shoulder, frowning at the kitchen.
"It was out behind the Inn," Lorelai continued, pretending that he'd asked her for the details. "You know that hill that slopes down past the tennis courts? Hans the gardener always kept the prettiest rose garden there. Rory loved playing beside it. And on this particular day it was practically the perfect summer day, all blue skies and puffy clouds. I had half a day off, and Rory and I were out playing. We were playing 'Airplane' actually, which is where she'd pretend to get ready for a trip and then I'd swoop in and twirl her around. She loved it. You could probably hear her shrieks in the next county. I stopped to catch my breath and my balance, and I had one of those tingling feelings like I was being watched. I looked up, and there was a guy standing at the top of the hill, watching us."
Luke was trying so hard to act like he wasn't paying attention that she knew she was right.
"It was you, wasn't it?" She tried to make her voice calm and not challenging.
"Might have been," he said, looking off in the distance.
"Cut the crap, Luke. Was it you or wasn't it?"
He was struggling. She could see that. She could tell he didn't want to tell her. But he was Luke, and lying didn't come easily to him.
"Yes," he finally admitted, the smallest acknowledgement he could make.
Lorelai was getting a weird, almost itchy feeling about this. His reticence was more than just his normal desire to be private. It was like he was hiding something. Keeping something safe and out of sight.
"Well, where did you go?" she demanded. "The sun was in my face. I blinked and looked away, and when I looked back you were gone. Why didn't you stick around?"
"Don't know." The damn play-acting shrug was back again.
"Of course you do."
"Lorelai, it was a long time ago. How should I know?"
A cold breath of reality blew down her spine. "Was it Rory?"
"What do you mean by that?"
"Rory. Seeing there was a kid. Did that scare you off?"
"Then what was it? What made you run away instead of saying hi?"
Luke's façade of coolness finally blew. "It was Mia, OK? Mia told me to stay away from you!"
"Mia?" Lorelai blinked, trying to absorb this bit of information. "Why would Mia tell you to stay away?"
"Look, Lorelai, I don't know." He sounded anxious to end her questioning. "You should ask her, not me."
"But it doesn't make any sense. Why would she…" Pieces all at once fell into place and her heart tore a little bit as they did. "Oh, I get it." She bitterly choked out a partial laugh. "And here I always thought that Mia loved me unconditionally. I didn't know she thought I was the Screw-Up Queen the same way my own mother did. But I guess I was wrong. Of course she didn't want you, the nice guy, to get mixed up with me. No wonder she warned you to stay away."
"No, I get it now. I understand. Sorry I was such an idiot." She eased herself from the stool and headed for the door.
Luke put his old track star moves to use and was quickly in front of her. "Lorelai, wait."
She tried to dodge him, keeping her face lowered. She suspected this was one time she wouldn't be able to hide how devastated she was. "I need to go, Luke."
"No." His hands gripped her shoulders and turned her around. "I can't let you leave like this. You can't leave here thinking things about Mia that aren't true."
His strength trumped hers easily. He pushed her past the counter and kept going.
"The kitchen? You're letting me in the kitchen?" she asked in amazement.
"Caesar's not here right now. I can't leave, so this is the best option we've got for at least some partial privacy."
"Well, don't I feel honored." Lorelai looked around, curious despite her inward turmoil. "Huh. Not as big as I thought it'd be." She couldn't stop the snorting laugh and the muttered "That's what she said," that automatically followed her observation.
Luke ignored her and leaned up against the stove, rubbing his face nervously. "What I'm going to say to you now stays here, do you understand? Not one word of this to Rory or Sookie. And you've got to promise me that this is off limits for you, too. You're not permitted to use this for teasing or mocking. Promise me that, or I say nothing." Regardless of how he was really feeling, his voice was firm and strong.
"Sure. I promise. Why would I want to broadcast the fact that Mia didn't love me as much as I thought she did, anyway?" Lorelai said crankily.
Luke drew a deep breath and squared his shoulders. "Because this doesn't have anything to do with you. It's about me."
"What's about you?"
"That day. That day on the hill. The first day I saw you."
Lorelai felt some small measure of satisfaction. "So it was you. You do remember."
His laugh was sarcastic. "Oh yeah. I remember." He shook his head in resignation. "How old was Rory that day? Three maybe?"
Lorelai nodded. "I think so. I could still pick her up pretty easily, and by the time she was four she was too big for me to hoist around like that. So, yeah, three."
He folded his arms across his chest and looked somewhere over her shoulder. "That made you 19. I was 23. Geez." He laughed sourly again. "Do you even remember being 23? It feels like a lifetime ago."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. Usually I figure out how old Rory was at the time. What grade she was in. Then I can usually remember some pertinent details."
"Back then―" Luke stopped and fiddled with his watch strap for a moment. "Who I was at 23 was totally different from me now," he began to explain. "I was…unsettled. I didn't have a real purpose. My dad had the hardware store and I helped him, but it wasn't my life. I tried taking some classes a couple of times but I just couldn't sit still for more school. Liz was up and gone with Jess. I worked construction when I could but that was pretty much a seasonal job, and whenever those jobs dried up I worked here more. To say I wasn't happy doesn't begin to describe how I was then. It just seemed like I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be doing."
Lorelai tilted her head, studying him. "I can't imagine you like that."
He snorted a derisive laugh. "Yeah, well, that's what I'm trying to tell you. I wasn't me then. But Mia was always around and supportive. She'd check in with my dad and me pretty regularly, and she always told me I was welcome at the Inn. On that day you're talking about I'd taken a friend and we were there to use the pool."
"A friend, Luke?" Lorelai waggled her eyebrows, but then grew serious. "Oh. Was it Rachel?"
"No. It wasn't. And that was part of my problem, too. Rachel was gone and I wasn't handling that well, either. I sort of went out of my way to show everyone that I wasn't sitting around moping over her."
Lorelai grinned, trying to picture this. "Are you trying to tell me that you were Luke Danes, dating machine? Were you a player, Luke?"
He turned, hands on his hips, total exasperation coloring every move. And suddenly she could see it. She could remember his stance on the hill on that long ago day and she knew that now ― let alone at 23 ― Luke could definitely have his choice of female companionship.
"Go on," she said, feeling totally chastised. "You were there to swim with Not-Rachel."
"She was sunbathing and I was wandering around, bored out of my skull. I heard Rory's shrieks, and it was hard to tell from where I was if she was hurt or not, so I took off running up the hill, trying to follow the sound. And once I got up there, I looked down, and I ... I saw you."
He paused and looked away, his jaw tensing under some strain. Lorelai waited impatiently for him to continue.
"So is that it? That's the end of the story?"
"No. There's more," he grumbled. "And this is the part you keep to yourself, Lorelai. Do you understand? I don't ever want to hear this coming back to me from anyone. And that includes you!"
"OK, OK!" she acquiesced, putting up her hands.
He sighed mightily, already regretting his decision to start this conversation. "I looked down," he said slowly, "and I saw you. And I was just…" He shook his head, struggling for the right word. "Thunderstruck. Or staggered. Or…" He shook his head again. "I don't know how to describe it, exactly. All I know is that you were the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen."
Her mouth came open. She didn't know how to respond to this unexpected bit of flattery.
He rushed on. "I guess maybe Mia had heard Rory too, and was coming to investigate. Or maybe she didn't trust me and was following me. In any case, the next moment she was there beside me. She saw me there, drooling over you. She suggested pretty firmly that I needed to go back and check on my date."
Lorelai swallowed hard before mumbling, almost to herself, "So that's why you disappeared so quickly."
"But the thing was," Luke continued, "I couldn't get you out of my head. The next day I ditched work. I ditched my girlfriend. I snuck back onto the Inn property, determined to find you. I mean, I'd figured out who you were. Mia had talked about you and Rory of course, but I'd never paid any real attention."
Luke paused, looking ashamed. "I don't know if Mia suspected that's what I'd do, but she was on the lookout for me. She waylaid me before I could even start on the path back to the potting shed. She hauled me into her office and laid into me. She told me about you; about how young you were, and the battle between you and your parents, and how hard you'd been working to make a good life for you and Rory. She let me know in no uncertain terms that if she ever caught me anywhere near you she'd skin me alive, and then she'd turn me over to my dad and let him skin me again." Luke paused another moment, apparently re-living the scene in his memory. "I believed her," he added grimly.
"For such a sweet, tiny woman, she can be intimidating," Lorelai agreed. She was too numb to even think about anything else Luke had just revealed.
They heard the bells over the front door jingle, but Luke didn't seem to be ready to stop his storytelling yet.
"I drifted along for about another year, until my dad got sick. I tried to take over the store more, to help him. He passed away and I still didn't know what to do. I leased out the store for awhile to a guy who owned a hardware store in Woodbury, but he kept wanting to change things, and I didn't want him to change anything, so that didn't work. I tried working some sort of job during the week and only opening the store on the weekends, but that was no good. I was miserable and losing money like crazy.
"Finally one day I was eating at a restaurant owned by some friends, and the longer I sat there, the more it came to me that I could do something like that. Cooking I understood. They encouraged me and Buddy let me cook there. It got my feet wet and I could see what running a restaurant was really like. I didn't rush into it. I made plans and did the remodeling of this building myself. And then one day, it was ready to open." He smiled, satisfied. "I'd made my own place. And it felt right."
Lorelai nodded and smiled weakly at him, her brain scrambling. She was happy he'd found his way, but she was still majorly perturbed by portions of his story. "Then why did you act like you didn't know me when I first started coming to the diner?" she demanded.
Luke's shoulders rose and fell. "Well, I didn't know you, did I?" She swore there was regret on his face.
"No, I guess not," she was forced to admit. "What happened to the girl?"
"Well, since I'm not certain anymore if her name was Debbie or Denise, I guess we weren't together much past that day. And I found out that it wasn't about the numbers anyway. It was better to have had a couple of special people, like Rachel had been, even if it meant missing them more later."
Lorelai was hurriedly looking around the kitchen, trying to ignore the way her throat was tightening up from sheer disappointment. She forced out her next question. "So do you ever wonder what would've happened that day, if you would have come down the hill and met me and Rory?"
"I've wondered," he admitted, very quietly.
"If Mia wouldn't have stopped you, what do you think would have happened with us?" Lorelai pushed him further.
"I don't know, but I doubt that we'd be friends like we are now."
"Do you think we'd be exes?" she tossed off carelessly, trying to tease him like she normally would.
"Maybe." He smiled, humoring her. "The way we fight about almost everything, that'd certainly be a possibility."
"Do you think we'd be ―" Her hands swirled around, trying to encompass the whole of what she wanted to convey without using any of those words that would freak both of them out. Together? Married? Happy?
"Maybe," he said again. He kept the determinedly good-natured smile on his mouth.
Taylor Doose's voice echoed throughout the kitchen. "Is anybody even here? Are we supposed to serve ourselves cold bowls of cereal and unripe fruit as if we're at a chain hotel out on the interstate?"
"You'd better take care of him," Lorelai said, giving Luke ― and herself ― a way out. She started to walk to the door, even though she hated to end this exceptional conversation they'd just shared.
"Yeah," Luke groused. He walked close to her, almost touching but not quite.
"Luke! There you are," Taylor said pompously as they emerged into the dining room. "I swear I don't know how you keep this place running sometimes."
"Keep your pants on, Taylor. I'll be there as soon as I walk Lorelai to the door."
"Since when does Lorelai not know her way to the door? This is practically her second home," Taylor complained.
The door in question was reached. Lorelai put her hand on the doorknob but couldn't bring herself to turn it.
"So. The prettiest girl you ever saw, huh?" She tried to sound cheeky, the way she normally would, but she couldn't quite pull it off.
"No. Beautiful. The most beautiful girl I'd ever seen." In spite of his earlier threats, Luke didn't sound angry that she'd brought it up. When she turned to confirm that, he leaned towards her. He kissed her softly on her forehead, his lips lingering just a bit. "You still are," he confessed, his low voice coming out deep and true.
Lorelai wasn't quite sure what was happening. Things were changing and flying around faster than she could catalog. She put her hand flat against his chest, trying to find something stable and sturdy to act as an anchor. She reflected that this was the first time she'd touched him not in teasing or as a thank you or as a part of an everyday human transaction. This was the first time she'd touched him just because she'd wanted to.
"I love Mia," she said, shocked to hear the wobbliness in her voice. "I really do. But right now I kind of hate her. For interfering. For stopping…us."
Luke put his hand over hers and squeezed it as he brought in down between them. "Ditto," he said. He suddenly looked flustered and dropped her hand at once. He took a step back from her and glanced over at Taylor. "See you later?" he asked, sounding more business-like.
"Always. As long as you've got the coffee." She smiled and nodded and walked out the door.
Once outside though, she stopped almost immediately. Walking away seemed wrong. Tabling what they'd just talked about seemed troubling. Ignoring the undercurrent running between them seemed completely insane.
Lorelai peered in through the window and saw Luke standing by Taylor, patiently waiting while Taylor hemmed and hawed while giving his order.
She came to the conclusion that Luke had waited long enough.
She flung open the door and rushed back inside, not stopping until she was at Luke's side. She pulled the order pad and pen from his hands and let them drop with a clatter to the table.
"Here, Taylor." Lorelai grabbed a menu and shoved it at the storekeeper. "You peruse this and decide what you really want. I need to see Luke for just a teeny-tiny bit."
"This is outrageous!" Taylor was fuming and flapping the menu around. "Luke, you cannot afford to run your business like this!"
But by then Lorelai had already pushed Luke back into the kitchen. "It'll just be a moment!" she yelled back at Taylor. "You won't even know he's gone, it'll be so fast!"
Lorelai shut the door to the kitchen and turned to see Luke watching her with his arms folded, his face a mix of apprehension and wonder.
She took a deep breath in an attempt to settle her own nerves. "I didn't get to ask my dumb question of the day," she informed him.
His shoulders slumped a bit. "Go ahead," he said dully.
"OK. Here goes. If we could go back ― and I know we can't because we don't have access to any time-traveling DeLoreans, and frankly, I'm not sure I'd want to even if we could ― but if we could pretend to go back to that first time you ever saw me, what do you think would happen next? Provided Mia wasn't around?"
Luke straightened up at once. His arms fell to his sides and he stared down at his shoes. But then he looked up and his eyes locked on hers, and in no time at all he'd closed the distance between them.
"I think," he said softly, one hand cradling her face, "this."
The kiss wasn't long but it was warm and tender, and full of what they'd always assumed was their friendship and trust and respect. According to the internet, it turns out that those are the exact elements love needs to take root and grow.
They held each other experimentally, not wanting to let go yet, but not sure how tightly they should be clinging. Luke rubbed his chin against her hair, his hand cupping one shoulder. Lorelai's hands pressed against his back, massaging lightly.
After a moment Luke cleared his throat. "OK if I ask a dumb question?"
"Of course," Lorelai answered generously, not letting him go.
"Now that we've done this, what happens next?"
She leaned back a little way, so she could smile at him. "I think this," she said, and rose up to connect with his lips again.
This warmth of the second kiss increased into fire-starting range. The tenderness transformed into passion. Seconds turned into minutes as they introduced themselves and started to know each other in a whole new way.
The kiss ended and soon Lorelai started to giggle. "Who would've guessed," she said happily, snuggling against Luke. "We are really good at answering stupid questions."
Luke chuckled. "Yeah, we are," he agreed, still bestowing small kisses along the side of her face while he held her close.
Their moment ended with Taylor's snide voice. "In case you're interested, Luke, more customers have entered your establishment. Shall I seat them and take their orders, since you obviously have more important things to handle than seeing to your business?"
"Sure, Taylor. Go ahead. You can keep the tips, too!" Lorelai called out.
"Over my dead body," Luke muttered.
"Oh, honey, your body is most certainly not dead," Lorelai informed him, giggling more as she pulled him against her.
"What have I gotten myself into?" Luke groaned, although he actually didn't sound sorry at all. He tucked his arm snugly around Lorelai and they walked out into the dining room.
Lorelai went back to her stool at the counter and watched while Luke greeted his new customers and took Taylor's meticulous order.
Luke gave her a quizzical look as he moved back behind the counter. He poured her a cup of coffee automatically. "You stayin' for awhile?" he asked hopefully.
"Just for a bit." She smiled and sipped at the hot coffee. "I might have some more questions for you."
"Go ahead. I've got a minute." He leaned over the counter, closer to her.
She fired them off. "Are we telling Rory right away? Do you want to take me out on a date? Do you think Mia will be OK with us being a couple now?"
"Yes," he said deliberately. "Most definitely, yes. And, yes." He leaned further over the counter and kissed her quickly after the last answer.
Lorelai closed her eyes, committing the kiss to a special drawer in the filing cabinet of her memory. "She will, won't she?"
"Yeah. I think whatever her reservations were about us, they don't apply any more."
Lorelai reached out and took his hand, her thumb rubbing over his. "This might be a totally stupid question to ask, but do you think we're going to be, you know…happy?"
"That's not a stupid question, Lorelai. And I think we both know the answer."
And Luke would have kissed her again except that an impatient Taylor chose that moment to walk behind the counter to get his own bowl of cereal.