Author: Connecticut Junkie
Title: Not Enough
Rating: PG-13 for now, though it'll most likely get higher.
Summary: Lorelai wants things to be the way they were. What she doesn't know is the Luke wants more- and that she wants more as well. (L/L, lightly R/J) Post S2
Notes: I started working on this in the beginning of July, and I had a moment of freak-out just now when I realized the season premiere is only hours away. I wanted to wait until this was done as to avoid any unintentional influence from the 3rd season, but I'm afraid if I don't start posting this now, I won't post it at all and then I'll have wasted the many, many hours I spent writing.
Disclaimer: All the characters have "Property of Amy Sherman Palladino and the WB" stamped on their asses like cattle. In other words, they're not mine.
I ripped the title from U2's new song because I haven't been able to come up with one in over two months and well, I love U2. Insanely. Every ring on my cell phone is a U2 song. So I apologize for the sucky title.
* * *
You're in my mind
All of the time
I know that's not enough
If the sky can crack
There must be some way back
To love and only love
"Electrical Storm", U2
* * *
The wedding festivities were winding down, Sookie and Jackson were almost ready to leave for their honeymoon, and Lorelai was sitting on the tree swing with a glass of champagne in one hand and a sullen look on her face. Her parents had already left, and she was planning on sending thank you notes to every god worshipped by man for that little blessing. Three hours into the festivities, she'd stopped looking over her shoulder to see if Luke had decided to show up. It was stupid; if he did come, all he'd do was be hostile to her anyhow.
"Hey," a soft voice from behind her said.
"Is for horses," she responded, turning to give Rory a smile. Rory also had a sullen look on her face. Misery must be contagious. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." Lorelai made some room for her on the wooden plank, and Rory sat down.
"Good thing our butts are so tiny," Lorelai commented, her heart not really in it.
They sat in silence for awhile. Rory dug her toe into the ground and gave a soft push.
"So, Jess is back," Rory tried after a few minutes of silent swinging.
Lorelai was both shocked and not surprised. "You saw him?"
"Before the wedding. He came by to tell me; he wasn't here long, since it was just about to start."
Lorelai asked the question she didn't want to hear the answer to. "Are you and him…"
Rory shook her head. "No." She'd spent the rest of the wedding thinking about it, and this was her decision. "He's just a friend." A friend she'd kissed, but since she'd decided that it would never happen again, it wasn't a complete lie.
Lorelai accepted that with some relief. "Your dad left." If she had just exhibited some restraint, and not told Rory about her 'exciting Chris news,' telling her about the disappointment wouldn't be so damn hard.
"I know. Why? Couldn't he have stayed for the wedding?"
Poor kid. For five minutes she'd enjoyed the notion that her parents might actually get back together. Lorelai felt guilty, as if it was her own fault. She should have learned her lesson about Christopher and his promises many times over by now.
"No." The swing had slowed, and Lorelai gave the ground a push with her foot. Her shoe got dirty, but she couldn't bring herself to care. The damn thing was giving her blisters anyhow. "How do you feel about a brother or sister?"
Rory's face paled. "You're not…"
"But I thought they were over."
"So did Chris."
Rory understood the implication. "This so sucks."
"I sacrifice my sanity on a weekly basis to send you to Chilton and the best word you can come up with is 'sucks'?" Lorelai asked, trying to lighten the situation.
"This is heinously atrocious."
"Forget it. Now you just sound like Alicia Silverstone in 'Clueless.'"
"I thought it would have been different this time."
"Me too, sweetie."
"Maybe it's fate intervening, because you and Dad aren't really supposed to be together," Rory tried to console both of them.
"Or maybe Sherry stopped taking her pill." Lorelai grimaced. "Wow, that came out cattier than intended." She patted Rory on the knee. "C'mon, we have to wave goodbye to Sookie and Jackson as they embark upon their honeymoon."
"Can we leave after they do?" Rory was tired of putting on the party face.
* * *
The first thing Lorelai did after making their exit was yank the evil shoes off her feet. She grimaced at the blisters. "Because today wasn't bad enough," she muttered, and tossed the shoes into the back of the Jeep. Rory got in, and Lorelai headed back to their house.
"I need coffee," she informed her mother.
"As long as we're announcing things we need, I need ice cream. And maybe a new pair of jeans."
"Let's get coffee ice cream."
"Believe it or not, we actually have some at home. I'm such a good mother."
"I still need coffee in a liquid form."
"Fine." The drive back to town was short, and Lorelai pulled her jeep up to the curb outside of Luke's. She gave Rory five bucks.
"You're not coming in?"
"I don't have any shoes on," she feebly explained, "and I'm wearing this flimsy bridesmaid dress; it won't stand up to Cool Shoulder Luke."
"Mom," Rory protested.
"I'm okay staying here, and oh, I love this song, I can't leave, I must hear it," Lorelai lied.
Rory frowned. "The station's on commercial."
"Yeah, well, I like the jingle. Go."
Rory got out of the jeep and walked into the diner, scanning for any sign of Jess; she didn't see him.
"You look nice," he told her.
Rory saw him quickly look behind her for Lorelai. He couldn't be too mad at her mom if he was looking for her, Rory surmised. "She's in the car."
"Oh, uh, I wasn't…coffee?"
He poured the cups. "How was the wedding?"
"Good, great, Sookie was happy, Mom ate enough Jordan almonds to kill a normal person."
Luke nodded. "Good for her. For Sookie," he quickly clarified. He decided to change the subject. "Jess is back."
"I told him to leave you alone." He handed her the coffee.
"It's okay. He didn't bother me."
"You tell me if he does, I'll take care of him."
Rory officially decided this was the weirdest conversation she'd ever had with Luke. "Okay." She paid him for the coffee and left.
"Here," she said, handing one to Lorelai when she got back in the jeep.
"Wow, he let you take one for me. He must be in a good mood."
"More like a weird mood." She told her what Luke said about taking care of Jess. "I felt like I was in the Godfather."
"He just doesn't want you to get hurt," Lorelai said, then frowned. "At least he cares about one of us."
"I saw him look for you when I came in, so I don't think he hates you completely."
Lorelai wasn't convinced. As they headed home, she said, "Let's watch Monty Python when we get home." It never failed to cheer her up.
Lorelai sighed. "All of them."
* * *
A tapping noise on her window woke Rory up later that night. She'd been having the strangest dream; Luke had owned a women's clothing store, and Paris worked for him. John Cleese kept trying on different dresses, and Paris would yell at him not to let his fat ass rip any seams. Another noise from her window shook her from her reminiscing.
She opened the window. "Go away," she whispered, knowing who it was.
"I'll have two Happy Meals and some of those cookies shaped like Ronald." Jess smirked.
"We're closed." Rory went to shut the window. Jess stuck his head through; he didn't think she was heartless enough to slam it down on him. Rory sighed. "If you don't move, I will pretend this is the French Revolution."
"So, did you tell Dean?" Jess asked, ignoring the threat to his head.
"Are you gonna stay with him?"
"I don't know."
"No, it's not."
"Oh, I think it is."
"Jess," Rory started, not knowing why she was even trying to spare his feelings, "I think it would be better if we were just friends."
"Then why'd you kiss me?"
"I didn't…because…I don't know," Rory finished. "But I'm not going to do it again. Nothing between us would ever work, even if I wanted it, which I'm not saying I do, so I'm sorry you moved back and everything, but I firmly stand by the friends-only mandate."
Jess bristled, and got defensive. "Who says I moved back for you?"
"Well," Rory started.
"Well I didn't," Jess finished. "You want to be friends? Fine. You're not the only girl in this town." He was gone as quickly as he'd shown up.
Rory stared at the open window, and wondered just what it was about Luke and Jess that made them that way.
* * *
The next morning, neither felt like going to Luke's for breakfast. Or the morning after that. Lorelai discovered she could cook scrambled eggs in the microwave; they managed to avoid Luke's for two more days. After a week, when just the thought of Al's Pancake World or microwaved eggs nauseated her, Rory broke.
"Mom, we have to go to Luke's." She hadn't wanted to run into Jess, but at this point, she'd rather see him than another Pop Tart and egg sandwich.
"But I just learned to cook. I need to practice or I'll forget."
"I think the world would be better off if you forget."
Lorelai looked at her sad little Pop Tart and egg. She gave in. "Fine."
Rory let out a sigh of relief. On the drive to Luke's, she thought about how to handle Jess. She hadn't wanted to hurt him. Hopefully he'd be over it. But if he was anything like his uncle…
"Mom, stop biting your nails."
Lorelai lowered her hand from her mouth. "Sorry. I get nervous right before I know I'm gonna get yelled at."
"Luke's not going to yell at you."
Lorelai parked the Jeep near the diner. "Let's just see about that."
They walked up to the door, and Lorelai shoved Rory in front of her. "You go in first. He likes you."
"So now I'm a human shield?"
"Says the woman who's using her own daughter as a human shield."
"Let's sit at the Mafia table." Lorelai suggested.
"Okay, I don't think Luke's going to sneak behind and whack you."
"I am the mother and I am instructing you to sit there."
"But there are empty tables," Rory said, looking around the diner. She also looked for Jess; when she didn't see him she was both relieved and disappointed.
"I don't want the empty tables."
"But Kirk's sitting there," Rory pointed out.
"Not a problem." Lorelai walked up to the table. "Hey Kirk, my good old buddy Kirk. Mind if we join you?"
Kirk looked up at them in genuine shock. "No one ever wants to sit with me." Then his eyes narrowed. "What's the catch? There has to be a catch. Why would anyone want to sit with me without some sort of catch?"
"Because I think you're so dreamy."
"Please don't lie to me. Beneath my wirey, muscled exterior lies a vulnerable man."
Lorelai dropped the act. "Because I want this table."
"She's afraid Luke'll throw something at her," Rory added.
"Fine. I'll allow you to join me."
Rory and Lorelai sat down. When Luke came over to drop off Kirk's check, he saw the two of them sitting there.
"What the hell is this?"
"Mom thinks Kirk's dreamy," Rory explained.
Luke couldn't think of anything to say to that. "What'll it be today?"
"French toast," Rory decided.
He turned a cold glare on Lorelai. She froze. "Um. Food."
"We got a lot of food. You want one of everything?"
"No. Pancakes." She tried to smile. "Please."
Luke nodded and walked away. Lorelai let out a disgruntled sigh. "Well that was fun. From now on, you can come by yourself."
"I don't want to eat alone," Rory protested.
"I'll eat with you," Kirk offered.
Rory kicked Lorelai under the table in desperation. Lorelai just smirked. "Problem solved."
-end ch. 1-
It gets better. Hang in there.