Disclaimer: Gilmore Girls and its characters belong to the WB, Amy Sherman-Palladino and whoever else owns. I'm just having fun here.
Ah, ok, this was originally another idea, but I can't do that until summer and I'm not waiting that long, so this might be a little exaggerated... sue me...
3/8/2001 (Yes, this takes place BEFORE "Star Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers". Actually, this is right before "Christopher Returns". I started writing this after "Double Date".)
Lorelai walked in with a smile on her face and her purse in her hands. She went up to the counter and waited for Luke to come out of the back, knowing he would have that grim expression plastered on his face just seeing her there so late. He always had that look on his face, like she was going to do something bad or embarrassing. Sometimes Lorelai felt like she should do just as he thought she should, but she knew that wouldn't be nice.
"Be nice to Luke," Rory used to tease when she was younger, "If you're not, we can't eat." Lorelai knew her child was just being silly, but sometimes she thought she might be right. But Rory stopped telling her that about the time she realized that Lorelai could practically do anything to Luke and he would still serve them. Rory then began to tease Lorelai about that, until Lorelai found out that Rory could easily be blackmailed with baby pictures.
"What do you want? I don't have coffee," Luke said, making his way towards her pointing at the empty coffee pot.
Lorelai tried to look shocked, "How can you not have coffee?"
"It's after eight PM, Lorelai, what would you need coffee for?"
"To stay awake."
"At the time when you should be ready to go to bed?" He shook his head, "I'm closing in half an hour anyway, why make a fresh pot?"
Lorelai grinned, "For me."
"I'm not making you a whole pot, it's a waste of coffee."
"Not if I drink it all."
He shook his head, "I won't let you drink it all."
"Why not?" She asked, pouting at him.
"It's not healthy."
"Neither is our air, but we still breath."
"There's no choice."
Luke scratched his head, then grabbed the pad from his waist, "What do you want?"
"Two cheeseburgers, to go."
"Well, I'd ask for strippers, but I'm pretty sure you don't offer them. And since there's no coffee, there's no point in asking for that. So two cheeseburgers, to go. Please."
Luke smiled, "I mean, no fries, no chili, no insane side orders that make me cringe thinking about what they do to your insides. Not to mention Rory..." he trailed, staring down at the pad he shoved back into his waist, knowing he'd only grabbed it out of habit anyway. He never needed it when Lorelai walked in, he had her orders memorized.
"And again I ask, if you don't like the items, why do you sell them?"
"If I don't sell what the public wants, I go out of business. I'm sure you know a little about business, taking those classes in Hartford."
Lorelai grinned, "Just two cheeseburgers, Rory's not feeling up to a stomach twisting meal."
Luke's looked up from his register, concerned, "Is she alright?"
Waving a hand, she told him, "Oh, she's fine, just not in the mood for the 'insane side orders' tonight."
He shrugged again, "It's just good to know she's ok."
"I'll tell her you think so."
He grunted, going into the back to make her burgers. Lorelai sighed, taking a seat and rummaging through her purse for money. She gripped it, closing her purse and waited for him to emerge again. Glancing at other customers, she tapped her finger nails against the counter.
"That's annoying," Luke said, placing two small white containers into a plastic bag.
"That's not biodegradable," she pointed.
"Just give me your money."
"You know, if you cared about your customers, you'd be nicer."
Luke grinned, "Have a nice night; don't choke."
"You know you love me."
"Yes Lorelai, now go feed your kid."
She stood, handing him the money, "Keep the change."
He looked down at it, "Oh yeah, I can get a stick of gum with it."
"Then you'll be fresh breathed tomorrow," she sang.
Luke looked up surprised. "I'm not even going to dignify that with a response."
"And yet, he speaks..." she trailed, taking her bag. Lorelai smiled, "See you tomorrow, Luke."
He laughed, "Bye." Then he raised a hand, "Hey Lorelai."
She turned, taking a step back towards him, "Yeah."
"Tomorrow, they're predicting a good sized storm."
"So..." she waited.
He shrugged, "I'm just saying, take an umbrella. Rory too."
"Take Rory?" She smiled.
Shaking his head, "No, make sure she's got an umbrella, and check the bus routes, if it gets too bad, she might be stranded."
"Trust me, with Emily Gilmore five minutes away, she won't be stranded."
"I'm just saying..." he smiled.
"Your concerned, I get it. Bye." Lorelai walked to the door and waved at him, leaving. Luke shook his head, staring down at the counter again.
"Mom, you're gonna be late!" Rory shouted from the kitchen. She poured her mother a cup of coffee and stared at the toast machine, waiting for their Strawberry Pop Tarts to pop. Once they did, she placed them on a napkin and went to the table, glancing towards the stairs. "MOM!"
"I'm coming!" She heard her mother shout from her bedroom. "Rory, where are my socks with the pink stripes."
"In the washer," Rory responded.
"Damn," Lorelai spat. "Where are my socks with the blue stripes?"
"In the washer."
"In the washer and why do you own so many pairs of socks with stripes?"
"They were on sale?" Lorelai questioned. "Where are the ones with the pink poof balls?"
Rory bit the inside of her cheek, trying to think of what she was talking about, then responded quickly, "In the washer."
"Ok, where are my pink crotchless underwear?"
Rory looked up, confused, "What?"
"Just looking for a response other than 'in the washer.'"
"Mission accomplished." Rory laughed, going to the dryer, "What about some white ones with elephants on the top?"
"Who's socks are those?"
Rory wrinkled her nose, "I'm not sure and now I'm a little freaked out."
"What color are the elephants?" Lorelai asked, coming down the stairs barefoot. She held her sneakers in her hand.
"What's up with the outfit?" Rory stared at her mother, who had on tight dark blue jeans and a pink Power Puff Girls shirt. Her hair was pulled into a tight ponytail at the base of her neck and Rory knew it was hair sprayed stiff.
"Well, Luke said it was gonna rain. I'm not gonna get stuck out there in a nice outfit if it's gonna be raining and awful," Lorelai said quickly.
Laughing, Rory asked, "And since when is Luke our meteorologist?"
Lorelai looked as though the answer was obvious and threw one hand in the air. "Since he watches the news and I can't stand it for more than five minutes so I never get to see the weather. So he knows if it's gonna rain or not whereas I know the color of the inside of my sheets, which are white."
Rory creased her eyebrows, asking, "Then what about all those times you forced me to go to school in that horrible yellow poncho?"
Lorelai grimaced, "I guessed."
"Guessed. You guessed. I had to be in school telling my friends that my mother was smarter than other kids parents because she knew it was going to rain while they all thought I was insane, and you're telling me you guessed?"
"Sometimes I heard it on the morning radio."
"Well, thank goodness some of the time it was an educated guess."
"Rory, what color are the elephants?" Lorelai stared at her daughter, a smile plastered on her lips as she tried not to laugh out loud.
Rory sighed, "Well, the elephants are grey, but you're wearing pants..."
Lorelai looked at them a moment. "Throw them away."
"Why, they're perfectly good socks?"
"I don't know where they came from so I'm not putting them on my feet."
"They might be Lane's," Rory suggested.
"If so, Lane needs to have her head checked. These things are ugly. Besides which, why would you have Lane's socks, you have perfectly good socks in your drawers."
"I know, but occasionally Lane buys something cool."
"Gimme those," Lorelai grabbed the socks, sitting in a chair, "Are you trying to tell me I don't buy cool socks, 'cause I have cool socks. I can drag you into my room to show you loads of cool socks.
"Mom," Rory started, giggling.
"Of course, according to you they all seem to be in the washer, but I can drag you to the washer and show you cool socks. I am a cool socks queen."
Rory glanced at her watch, "You're late for work."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, and I'm gonna miss my bus if I don't leave now." Rory looked around, "Your coffee is next to you, as is your Pop Tart and I'll see you later," she smiled, kissing her mother's head as the woman pulled her sneakers on over the socks.
"These are really ugly elephants," Lorelai repeated, then looked up as her daughter walked off, "Hey! Take an umbrella."
"Ok," Rory shouted back, grabbing one before stepping out the front door.
Dean watched Rory approaching him and he smiled as she quickened her pace. He kissed her, then touched the umbrella in her hand. "What's this for?"
"It"Doesn't look like rain to me."
"Well, I've known Luke a long time and he doesn't lie."
"Good to know."
Dean shrugged, "No reason, just good to know."
"Good," Rory repeated.
"Your bus is coming."
She frowned, "I know, this sucks."
"Let's get together tonight," he suggested, taking her hand in his. "We can rent a movie, eat some popcorn."
"I have homework."
He frowned now.
She nodded. "Have to read, but we can get together afterwards, get some cokes at Luke's."
"You realize you spend way too much time at Luke's."
"I know, but it's not like there's a ton of places to eat around here," she said, reaching into her bag for her bus pass.
Dean laughed. "There's Al's."
"Al's food stinks."
Shaking his head, Dean smiled, "Al's food doesn't stink..."
Rory smiled, "I know, Al stinks, I just feel more comfortable at Luke's."
He nodded, "Ok, so I'll meet you at Luke's at..."
"I'll call you before I take off 'cause I don't know how long it's gonna take."
"Ok," Dean said, bending down to kiss her.
Rory smiled into his lips, then pushed off lightly and boarded the bus. She sat quickly, finding him outside of the bus and waved at him.
Lorelai watched Sookie dance about the kitchen to some new tune on the radio while people walked behind and ahead of her, moving obstacles from her path. Lorelai smiled at them, silently thanking them for not letting her friend get injured. She made a mental note to check on flame retardant kitchen ware when they started working on their own Inn together.
"You're being quiet today," Sookie said, rushing towards Lorelai with a spoon.
"Needs more salt," Lorelai told her, touching her chin to keep the soup from dribbling down her shirt.
"That's what I thought too," Sookie smiled.
"I'm gonna kill Luke," Lorelai sighed.
"Uh-oh, what did you do now?"
"What did I do?" Lorelai asked, looking shocked.
"Yeah, if you wanna kill Luke, it's because you did something, provoked him, then he retaliated and now you're mad at him because of what you did 'cause you're too stubborn to admit you got yourself into that mess in the first place."
Lorelai lowered her eyebrows, sitting up straighter, "Am I really that bad?"
"Sometimes. Not that I'm saying you're a bad person, you're a good person, Lorelai."
She smiled, "And you're better."
"Don't I know it." Sookie went back to her pots, "So, why do you want to kill Luke?"
"Have you seen my outfit?"
"Oh honey, I don't think it's his fault if you told him to pick out your clothes, though it does bring up lots of new questions..." Sookie stared at the floor.
"You're dripping on the stove," Lorelai pointed.
"Oh!" Sookie grabbed a rag, quickly wiping at the liquid. "So..."
She gestured towards herself, "My outfit. He told me it was going to rain and normally, I look professional, but today, I look like I stepped out of a bad episode of 90210. Today, because he told me last night it was going to rain..."
"I was getting dinner," Lorelai deadpanned.
"Anyway, I thought it was going to rain so I grabbed these clothes, and I don't know who my socks belong to and Rory has to lug around an umbrella along with all the other stuff she has to lug around and it's not right. I'm starting to think this is his idea of a joke."
"Luke?" Sookie laughed. "Joke?"
"I know, it's a weird concept."
"I dunno, I think he's capable."
"Of conception, not execution."
Sookie stopped laughing, "Are we still talking about jokes?"
Lorelai smiled, "Have you seen the news?"
"Why is this a big deal?"
"It's not." Lorelai clasped her hands together. "It's not."
"Then why are you making it a big deal?"
"I'm bored ok, when I'm bored everything becomes a big deal."
"Nope," Sookie shook her head, "Not getting away from this that easily. What's really going on in that head of yours?"
She shrugged. "Nothing."
"Now there's a statement that should be engraved on a plaque and hung from a wall," Michel said from the doorway.
"What do you want?" Lorelai asked.
"Your mother is on the phone."
"So tell her I'm not here."
He shook his head, "Oh no, I've tried that, she knows."
Lorelai grunted, thrusting herself off the stool she'd been sitting on. "I'll be there in a minute."
"That's too long. She's annoying."
"Yes, just put her on hold."
"Fine, but hurry."
She looked towards Sookie, "Luke asked me out the other day and it's just a little weird, rethinking the last couple of months and realizing how stupid I've been."
"He likes me, Sookie, and it's not something that just popped up yesterday."
Sookie nodded, "You answer the phone, we'll talk tonight over popcorn and chocolate."
Lorelai smiled, "Good plan."
Lorelai turned, walking towards the door, "Oh hey, don't forget, it's restocking time."
"Do I really have to go into that back room? It's dark and scary and I don't like it."
"Do you really think Michel will do it?"
Sookie shook her head, "Fine, but I want lots of details tonight."
"Oh believe me, there are more than you need."
"Ooooo..." Sookie giggled as Lorelai left. Then she turned and stared at the room that housed all the supplies. Things needed to be refilled, restocked, and replaced, but she really hated that back room. Then she smiled, she'd do it later, and went back to her soup.
Lorelai watched Michel walk away from her smiling, he loved annoying her. "I'll get you back later," she said quickly, answering the phone. Michel laughed.
"Get me back?" Emily asked.
"Not you, mom."
"Then who are you getting back? You are at work? Are you talking to Rory?"
"No, I'm talking to Michel."
"The guy that answered the phone."
"Then why is his name Michel?"
Lorelai took a deep breath, "What do you want mom?"
"You don't have to sound so annoyed."
"Well, that's what happens when I'm annoyed. I sound annoyed. Sorry, shall I move on to sounding pissed 'cause I'm sure I'll get there sooner or later."
Emily scoffed, "Oh, Lorelai, you're so dramatic."
"And I'm at work, taking a personal call, something that shouldn't happen at work," she grabbed a pen, tapping it on the register book.
"I'm just calling to ask if you need me to pick up Rory."
"Why, is something wrong?" Lorelai asked, sounding concerned.
"No, it's just gonna rain."
"Thank God," Lorelai sighed.
"If that was meant as some sort of joke, I don't understand, but I'm still mad about it."
Shaking her head, Lorelai gripped the phone tighter, "Not a joke, ma, it's just Luke told me it was gonna rain and I thought he was lying, but he's not and... oh what do you care, and no, I don't need you to pick up Rory, it looks fine outside."
"What were you doing with Luke last night?"
"Having passionate sex," Lorelai said quickly, watching several women glance up from the lobby. She rolled her eyes at them and then spoke quietly into the phone, "I was getting dinner, mom. Luke works at a diner, remember? Serves food. I eat there frequently."
"And now I'm not sure if this is another joke."
"Mom, I was picking up dinner at Luke's."
Lorelai touched her forehead, wanting to scream. "Oh yeah, I also had a cavity filled while I was there, he had a good special, you should look into it the next time you're in town."
"Lorelai," Emily spat.
"Don't worry mom, I've got it covered. Thanks for your concern though," she told her honestly.
There was a short pause and Emily added, "If you need me to pick her up, or anything, just call."
"I will mom," Lorelai said quickly. "Bye."
She hung up the phone before her mother could respond and she sighed, looking towards the clock and wishing it were time to leave. Glancing outside, she could see the wind picking up and she frowned at it, not liking the fact that it had gone from calm weather to winds that were bending trees within an hour. Swallowing, she looked back down at the phone in her hand and sighed.
Rory glanced up quickly when the thunder rattled the building. Several students looked up with her, making small noises of surprise. It was getting dark outside and she was starting to worry that Luke might be right, not that she every really doubted him, she just didn't think it was gonna look this bad so early in the afternoon. It was still two hours from release and that morning the sun had been shining.
She groaned, hoping her grandmother wouldn't take it upon herself to come pick her up. That would be great, she'd tell her that she needed to stay at her house overnight and she'd have to deal with that again. Not that it was completely horrible, she told herself, it was just not something she wanted to happen every time the weather went a little south.
"Hey Mary," Tristan called over her shoulder.
"What?" she grunted, ignoring the fact that he still purposely didn't call her by her actual name. She kept remembering the day she'd shouted at him, and then she'd remember that he actually had a crush on her, which disturbed her more than anything else that had happened in the last year, and it had been a weird year.
"If you're afraid, I could hold your hand," he whispered in that cocky manor that made her teeth grind in annoyance.
"If you try, I could kick your ass," she whispered back, giving him a small smile to which he responded,
Rory nodded, ignoring his continued calls while the teacher continued. It wasn't an entertaining class session, though not many of them were. It was math. Rory didn't like math any better than anyone else in the classroom. Even though she got good grades, she didn't like it. Smiling to herself, she could remember a time when her mother had tried to explain fractions to her. The woman couldn't understand half of the problems and eventually Rory had to turn the tables and teach her mother. She wished she could be home now. Glancing at the clock, she sighed again, knowing it'd be a long time before that.
Tristan tapped her shoulder, "How about if I just lend you my jacket? That way you'll be all nice a warm and..."
"Mr. Dugray?" The teacher pointed at the boy, "Care to enlighten the class?"
Tristan leaned back in his chair and twirled his pen. "No, sir."
"Then be quiet."
"Yes, sir," he answered, smiling, "Talk to you later, Mary."
Rory rolled her eyes knowing now she'd have to make a mad dash for door as soon as the bell rang. Rory hated making mad dashes, they just weren't for her. And she always tripped. Rory sighed, she'd make a careful dash towards the door then.
Lorelai grabbed her purse and slung it over her shoulder, walking into the kitchen. She smiled watching Sookie squeeze oranges that Jackson had bought an hour before. Sookie stared at them, squinting her eyes and then looked up at Lorelai, smiling. It was always boring in the kitchen until her friend came in. Talking about stuff always made the hours go faster and they made her feel better. She had a feeling the other kitchen staff didn't like her very much, though after blowing up a stove and setting several dishes on fire that she knew weren't supposed to...
"That good, huh?" Lorelai asked.
Sookie nodded, "The quality sure has gone up since we started dating."
"Awe..." Lorelai trained.
Sookie giggled, "Shut up, I'm sure it's got nothing to do with that."
"Yeah, but now he wants to bring you special fruit. He probably goes down to his supplier and smiles at the fruit thinking about those dimples when you're examining them in your hands. Then, he gets happy thoughts about..."
"Shush, Lorelai, you're making me blush here!" She waved a hand to dismiss her. Sookie picked up the crate and set it beside the stove, next to several other boxes, then turning back and pointing at Lorelai's purse, giving her a pout, "You're leaving."
Nodding, Lorelai touched the purse strap and smiled at her friend, "Yeah, taking the afternoon off."
"I wanna get home, take some stuff off the porch, then pick up Rory."
Lorelai pointed at the small windows at the top of the kitchen walls, "Honey, have you looked outside, the sky is falling."
"It's raining?" Sookie asked, glancing up towards those windows. When had it gotten so dark, she asked herself. She made a mental note to pay more attention to her surroundings when she was cooking.
"No, but I wanna get out of here before I catch it, hopefully get Rory before it hits up there and she has to spend another night with her grandparents. I got the distinct feeling that she didn't like it too well the last time."
"Oh," Sookie smiled, "Gotcha."
Lorelai began walking towards the door, "This doesn't mean you get out of restocking."
"Damn," Sookie snapped a finger.
"Seriously, Sookie, it has to be done."
"Fine, but I'm not gonna be happy about it in the morning."
Lorelai laughed, "You're not happy about it now."
"Yes and it's the unhappiness that continues through morning when you walk in looking chipper and I'm a wreck from nightmares of being stuck in that room."
"Ok, I'll do any horrible act tomorrow to make up for it."
Sookie smiled wickedly, "Oooo, ok." She paused a moment, then asked, "Wait, does this mean our little discussion tonight is canceled?"
"Judgment call Sookie, if you look outside at seven and it still looks like the sky's gonna fall, just stay home. I don't want you out driving in the rain."
Shaking her head, Sookie agreed, "Oh no."
Lorelai nodded her head.
"But I want details about you and Luke."
"There aren't details right now, just thoughts and feelings."
"Which is usually better!" Sookie grinned.
Lorelai smiled, "The restock room is that way," she pointed, "Don't forget, 'cause I'm not doing it for you this time."
"But it's dark and scary and..."
"Sookie..." Lorelai interrupted, pushing through the kitchen door. She went into the lobby and smiled at Michel, "Bye."
"Where do you think you're going?" He asked, slamming a pen down on the register.
"You'll be fine, you've got plenty of overnight staff today, I made sure of that."
"I'm not staying if you're not staying."
"You are if you wanna keep your job."
"Fine, but I won't like it."
"I have such cheerful employees today!" Lorelai smiled, cocking her head to the side. "Now, Sookie's gotta restock..."
"I'm not holding her hand, she squeezes!" Michel snapped.
"I'm not asking you to hold her hand, Michel, I'm just asking you to remind her, maybe check on her while she's in there looking for stuff, you know how she gets."
"Jumpy and squeezy, it's disgusting."
Lorelai pouted, "Michel, please."
"Only because you said please, and I'm still not going to be happy about it."
"Fine, be mad, go plot revenge on me with Sookie."
"I will," he muttered as she walked out the front doors.
Bella's Auto Parts
Luke threw the box of spark plugs, belts and other little gadgets into the back cargo area of his truck and started to climb in. He hated having to get new parts for his truck. Every time they were harder to find and more expensive. As much as he'd disliked what Lorelai had said to him months before, it truly did feel sometimes like he did own the oldest truck in the world. It was his father's. That was the only reason he still had the thing. He'd spent weekends perusing the newspaper, dreaming of getting a new truck, but he couldn't. He'd have to live with the old one for now. At least, he smiled, it was still running.
His passenger seat began ringing and he stared down at it, quickly grabbing the phone that sat there. "What?" He asked into it.
"Ha! I now know Luke's deepest, darkest secret now."
"You own a cell phone," she laughed, "I thought you claimed those things were bad. They distract. They cause cancer. They eat people alive or something?"
"It's for emergencies."
She laughed more, "Big ol' Luke, always complaining about my cell phone and here he goes running around with one."
"How did you get this number?" He stuck his key in the ignition and leaned back in the chair, sighing loudly.
"Paul, at the diner, the guy you left in charge, gave it to me."
"He wasn't supposed to."
"Why, didn't want me to know you had one?"
"No, I just didn't want you calling me. It's one thing to be annoyed at Luke's and quite another to be annoyed while running errands."
"Well, if that's the way you feel, then I'll just hang up on you."
He shouted, "Wait, no, what?"
Luke could just see her smiling on the other end, "You're in Hartford, right?"
"What, did Paul just tell you everything?"
"Just about," Lorelai stated seriously, "Look, I need you to do me a favor."
"Depends on the favor."
"It's nothing you'll lose your head over."
"What do you want?"
He heard her sigh into the phone as she explained, "My jeep broke down when I pulled up in front of my driveway at home."
He could just picture her eyes bug out of her head as she raised her hands in the air, he loved when she was flustered. He had to admit, sometimes he did it on purpose. "So, I can't get Rory."
"Oh," Luke could already feel himself lightening up. He'd kill Paul, but at least this had a purpose, it wasn't just Lorelai out to make fun of him.
"So, it's gonna pour, and I can't get her and I don't want her taking the bus. Do you know how to get to Chilton?"
"Big scary school, yeah, I know how to get there."
"Good, just go in and pull her out."
Luke nodded to himself, "Alright."
"Good," Lorelai said, breathing a sigh of relief, "Thanks, you don't know how much this..."
"I know, Lorelai," he responded quickly, "I'll see you in a little while." Luke switched off the phone, chuckling to himself softly before turning the truck on and pulling out of the small parking lot.
Lorelai hung up the phone and resisted the urge to write his cell phone number down in her telephone book for moments in the future when she decided she needed to bother him. She couldn't believe Luke, of all people, owned a cell phone. It was like her owning a pot of decaf, it just wasn't imaginable. But Luke proved that even things you'd never imagine could happen, Lorelai grinned evilly, thinking about all the jokes she could make on his behalf. She'd have to take a crack at his No Cell Phones sign.
Taking the piece of paper with his cell number on it, she placed it in her purse, knowing, all kidding aside, that it would come in handy for emergencies. She smiled, if he only knew she had his house number as well.
The phone rang again and she stared at it a moment before picking it up, "Yeah?"
"Yeah? What kind of a way to answer the phone is that?" It was Emily, Lorelai cringed.
"It's the way you answer the phone when you're not thinking about answering the phone."
"What kind of an answer is that?"
"It's the kind of answer you give when you're not thinking about giving an answer."
"Lorelai, are you alright?"
She sighed, "Yeah, fine, just wasn't expecting you on the line is all."
"Who were you expecting?"
Lorelai started to answer, but stopped herself. That's all she'd need, more teasing from her mother, who seemed more than ready to perform the wedding herself, all on account of the fact that Luke stares at her sometimes in a way that's more than friendly. "No one, just not you."
"So you were expecting no one, but you weren't expecting me."
"Yeah," Lorelai shrugged, as though it weren't a difficult concept to grasp.
"So you don't want me to call your house, is that what you're saying?"
"No, mom, I'm just saying I wasn't expecting you. It's not like you call here all the time."
"No, I don't."
"See, then there." Lorelai slapped her free hand on her lap, "Now, I gotta go, there are things flying off my porch that I'd rather not see fly off my porch."
"She's at school, mom."
"You're not going to get her?"
"No, my jeep broke down, I can't get her."
"How's she getting home then?" Lorelai could hear the panic in her voice and she switched the phone from one ear to the other.
"She'll be fine, mom."
"She's not taking the bus, is she? Those morons can't even drive straight in normal weather, and it's about to pour."
Nodding, Lorelai answered, "I know, don't worry, she's not taking the bus."
"Well, if she's not taking the bus and you're not picking her up, then how is she gonna get home?"
Lorelai stood, "There went my hanging flower pots..."
"Lorelai, who's picking her up?"
"A friend," Lorelai said, "Oh... couch cushions are making a run for it."
"And there went the magazine I forgot to bring in with me..."
"Is Luke getting her?"
"Mailbox is leaning; mail is scattering."
"Answer me Lorelai, is Luke picking her up?"
"Yes, he's getting her. I just called him. Now, can I go chase the mailbox, it's down the street," she said, staring at the mail box that was still in it's proper place, but shaking slightly with each blast of wind.
Emily was silent, "And he's just the man who works at the diner."
"He's a good friend, mom."
"I'm hanging up now."
"Alright, I just wanted to make sure Rory's alright."
"Oh yeah, my jeep, means nothing." Lorelai made a face.
"Well, your obviously not too worried about it."
She hung up the phone and grunted at it, standing up to catch the couch cushions that were now smacking the gnomes next door, sure that Maury and Babette wouldn't appreciate that. Never hurt the gnomes, the would say, it's bad luck. Bad luck, Lorelai huffed, pulling on a rain jacket to protect against the flurry of raindrops that she could see through the window. Luke's picking up Rory because my car broke down and mom's giving me hell, what was that about luck, Lorelai thought, slamming through the front door.
Sookie stared into the dark room and quickly reached forward, snapping on the light. She hated that damned room. She could see the ketchup bottles in the back, along with other things she'd need. Why did Lorelai always have the delivery man place things as far back as possible. The lights never worked, she thought, it smelled musty and it looked freaky.
"Quicker the better," Sookie said softly to herself.
"What are you doing?" Michel asked.
Sookie screamed, jumping and turning to smack him several times, "Don't you EVER sneak up on me like that!"
"What?" Michel pleaded, "I was just checking on you and you looked a bit perturbed."
"Perturbed?" Sookie questioned.
"Frightened, of that back room."
"It's a bad back room."
"How is it a bad back room, it's simply storage for items until we need them and now we need them, so go get what we need."
Sookie smiled up at Michel, "Why don't you get it?"
"No, I am not going into that room."
Sookie laughed, "You're scared to go in there."
"I am not."
"You are, oh my God, you're scared to go in there."
Michel crossed his arms over his chest, "Lorelai told me to make sure you go in there and get the supplies, so I will stand here until you do."
"Who's running the front desk?" Sookie asked curiously.
"Giovanni and he is not happy."
"Seems to run in the profession."
"Just go in there."
Sookie huffed at him and then quickly ran into the room, aware of the fact that she looked silly, and she grabbed a box off the floor and pulled it, angry when only the back end lifted. She stared up at Michel, "I need your help."
"Oh no, I am not going in there."
"You have to because I can't lift this."
"I'll go get someone else who's paid to do dirty work."
"Michel!" Sookie called, upset.
He looked around, "Fine, but you tell no one."
"Cross my heart." Sookie smiled.
"Fine," he spat.
Sookie moved to pick up the box again and she glanced up as Michel stepped into the room. He walked towards her and she glanced up at the door behind him, seeing it begin to swing close, "Michel, quick, put something against the door!"
He turned to look at it, frightened a moment as he ran towards it, but couldn't catch it before it closed. Grabbing the handle, he twisted several times and turned back to look at Sookie, "We are not locked in here."
Sookie jumped up, running towards the door and pulling hard on the handle. "No..." she moaned. "No, no, no!" She took a step back and watched him bang several times on the door before she started laughing, "That's not gonna do you any good?"
"That door's a foot thick, no one'll hear you."
Luke walked down the long hallway and came to stand in an office with several young people working the desks. He found something very wrong with the fact that people who were barely old enough to drive were being put in charge of student files and affairs. After three unsuccessful attempts at getting some snotty blonde's attention, he brought a hand up to his mouth and whistled loudly. The entire office turned.
"Hi, yeah, the person up here needs some help, thanks."
A young girl motioned him over to her desk, "What do you need, sir?"
Luke sighed, "I need to pull out a Rory... Lorelai Gilmore."
"For what reason?"
"Have you looked outside?"
The girl nodded, "For what reason?" She repeated.
"Her mother wants her home."
"That's not a valid reason."
Luke rolled his eyes, "Doctor's appointment," he half asked.
The girl typed, "Name?"
"Your name, sir," she said, staring up at him.
"Dane?" she asked, waiting for him to nod. The girl began typing, "Can I see some identification?"
"What is this, Fort Knox?"
She shook her head, giving him an annoyed smile, "Just need to match your identification with your name," she pointed at the screen.
Luke pulled out his wallet and thrust his license out at her. "Why do you need to see this, Rory's gonna know who I am when she walks in here."
The girl stopped typing and looked up at him, reciting in her most calm-but-I'm-pissed voice, "It's policy, sir. An emergency contact card must be filled out at the beginning of the school year, should one of the persons listed on the card come to pick up the child in question, identification must be presented at the time of pick-up."
"I'm on the emergency contact sheet?" Luke asked, then waved a hand, "Whatever, look, how long's this gonna take, it's just getting worse outside."
The girl motioned towards a row of seats, "Have a seat, sir?"
Luke watched the girl press a button on an intercom and he sat in his seat, shuffling his feet. He could remember a time when sitting in an office frightened him, now it only annoyed him. He should be back home already, yelling at Paul to never reveal anything to Lorelai Gilmore. The wrong information in her hands could be deadly. He made a mental note to get the cell phone number changed.
"What are you doing here?" Rory asked, walking up to him.
Luke stood, shrugging. "Your mom wanted me to pull you out of school early, avoid the storm."
"You can do that?" She asked, her eyebrows dropping.
"I guess I can."
Rory went to the front desk, "Lorelai Gilmore, you called for me."
"Yes, I need your father to sign for you."
"My fa..." she paused, "Luke, they need you to sign for me."
"Now we're FedEx?" He scoffed.
"Luke," Rory half laughed.
He went over and signed quickly, grabbing Rory's backpack from her hand, "What the hell's in here?"
"And the anvil is for..." he trailed, watching her smile as they exited the building, heading towards his truck. Who knew one simple thing could be so difficult, he sighed, vowing never to pull his own children out of school early, it'd be simpler, he thought, to just let them stay home the day. He was sure they'd like it better also.
Sookie paced the room, occasionally looking at Michel, who was seated on the heavy box that had gotten them locked in the room in the first place. He did not look happy and she didn't blame him. It was scary, and the only light they had was one light bulb firmly set in the center of the ceiling. Sookie sighed, looking at the boxes of canned food resting along the sides of the wall.
"Well, at least we won't die of starvation."
"How long until someone comes in here?" Michel squeaked nervously.
Sookie smiled, "I don't know that, hon, hopefully they'll know we're missing."
"The only person who knows we're back here is Lorelai and she's gone home," Michel pointed out.
Nodding, Sookie walked towards him and sat next to him. "Guess we have to make the best of this situation."
"And how do you suggest we do that?"
She giggled wildly, "Twenty questions."
"I am not answering twenty questions for you."
"Afraid of what I'm gonna ask?"
"No," he shook his head, "I just refuse to. It's childish."
"It'll pass the time," Sookie pointed out.
"I'd rather think of a way to get out of here?" He glanced around, "Can we climb through the vent?"
Laughing, Sookie told him, "Lorelai tried that once, she didn't fit, so I'm thinking we don't either."
Michel started to respond, but stopped quickly, smiling, "Lorelai climbed into the air vent?" He began laughing, finding the visual highly amusing.
Giggling with him, Sookie nodded, "Yeah, we made a bet that she couldn't get from one floor to the one below it through the air vents and she thought she could. Something about seeing it in movies. Needless to say, she's a lot more skeptical about action movies now."
"Lorelai... climbed into the air vent!" Michel repeated, "Now tell me, was she in her skirt and heels?"
"Yup," Sookie said quickly.
Michel turned, crossing his legs and uncrossing his arms, "Now this is a better way to pass the time."
"What?" Sookie asked.
"The amusing misadventures of Lorelai Gilmore."
Lorelai tossed the last of the chairs into Rory's room and smiled, knowing her daughter was going to be pissed off when she got home and found all the patio furniture stacked up high in her room. She would argue that the living room was perfectly good space for that kind of stuff. Lorelai knew she'd just have to admit that during a storm like this, she'd prefer her daughter sleep in her bed, though mostly for her own sake than her kid's. She's always loved and hated thunder storms. They made her crazy. She got scared and she got mesmerized, though at the moment, the former was taking over.
They should be here by now, her gut kept telling her. Of course, she didn't listen and just tried to remain calm. It was hard to remain calm though, she knew, when your kid was out there in a big storm. Thunder rumbled nearby and she jumped slightly, going to the window to check again and see if they were pulling up. She was starting to think that it would have been a better idea to just have Emily pick the girl up. But then, she knew she'd rather have Rory spend time with Luke than that woman, which was just mean, she knew, but that's how she felt.
Luke she trusted with her life, her mother, she wasn't so sure. Going to the front door, she stepped out onto her now barren porch and looked down the road, imagining Luke's old truck rolling down into her driveway. She could joke about it being old, he'd argue that it operates, Rory would laugh at the two of them and just walk into the house as though it were a natural occurrence, because it was. Smiling to herself, she shoved her hands into the back pockets of her jeans and went towards the stairs.
"Lorelai!" Babette shouted from across the hedges.
"You all ready, it looks like it's gonna be a good one."
Laughing, Lorelai watched the chubby little woman wiggle with delight, "You're happy about this?"
"Not every day in Stars Hollow you get a storm of this magnitude."
Shaking her head, Lorelai walked down the stairs to meet the woman halfway through her yard. "You got all the gnomes packed up?" She asked, glancing around Babette's yard.
"Yeah," Babette followed her eyes, "Maury heard about the storm early this morning and came out to bring them all in."
"So, you're all ready, aren't you?" Lorelai smiled.
"Yeah, sugar, you can't mess with a big storm." Babette waved a hand at her as if to say 'come on, you should know this,' and then looked around behind Lorelai, "I haven't seen Rory come in, is she staying with your folks?"
Lorelai's eyes widened, "Oh, no, she's not. Luke's bringing her home."
Babette's grin grew, "That Luke sure is a nice guy."
"He's sweet on you, you know that."
Lorelai could feel her cheeks blush, "Nah, not Luke."
"Look at you, all red like a school girl, but don't worry, I won't tell a soul." Babette told her, and Lorelai was sure now that everyone was going to be told that she was having some wild affair with Luke, though she was sure half the town was under that assumption anyway.
"I'm gonna go in now, make sure all the windows are shut tight," Lorelai pointed at the house behind her, then began to make her way back to her own porch.
Babette raised a finger, "Good idea, I'm gonna go have Maury check to make sure we're all snug in the house too."
"Good," Lorelai said, giving a thumbs up.
"And remember, baby, don't hesitate to call if you need anything," Babette called before entering her house.
"Right now I just need my kid," Lorelai whispered, turning her attention back to the road.
On the road to Stars Hollow
Luke glanced at Rory who was staring out of a window. He grinned slightly at her seeming wonder at the outside world, as though she didn't drive through it every single day. It amazed him sometimes, that this girl could have come from Lorelai. Lorelai was so out of this world for most of the day that to think of her raising a girl that could be so calm was just unimaginable and yet, Rory sat in his truck, living proof that even crazy people could have decent children. Luke turned his attention back to the main road, not that he thought Lorelai was crazy, just a little more hyper than he could take sometimes.
"So, fun day?" He asked.
Rory turned slowly, "Huh?"
"You look a little dazed."
"So, fun day?" Luke repeated.
Rory smiled, "It was just like any other day at Chilton."
"What's a day at Chilton like?"
"Why do you wanna know?" Rory asked, her eyebrows dropping as the edges of her mouth rose. Luke, taking an interest in her school life? It intrigued her more than he probably knew.
He shrugged, "Well, we've been driving for ten minutes and you've barely said a word."
"So, you're just looking for a conversation."
"That and the fact that I really don't know what a day at Chilton would be like."
He nodded, "That much I figured."
"There are a million classes and things to read, tests to take. School stuff."
"What about the students? Your mother has made it clear that you're not exactly getting along with them."
"You two talk way too much about me," Rory laughed.
Luke shrugged again, "Can't a guy take an interest," he glanced at her, "Besides which, it's not like I can get your mother to shut up once she's started. I just go with the flow."
"And very nicely at that."
"Thank you," he smiled.
Rory leaned back in the chair, turning more to face him, "The students aren't too bad usually. There's this moron who calls me Mary."
"Why would he do that?"
"It's a biblical thing."
"Ah," Luke nodded, "Virgin and all that nice stuff."
Rory grinned, "Yeah, and then there's Paris and her little gang."
"Didn't you all get along at that concert you went to?"
Rory sighed, "Yeah, at least it seemed like I got along with Paris. She split debate time with me."
"I'm sensing that's a big deal."
"Yeah, real big. So I think I might be close to making a friend there."
Luke nodded his head, "Good for you."
Rory shook her head, watching him drive a moment. He was a careful driver, she observed, and she suddenly wondered what had gone on in that truck the night Luke drove her mother to the hospital. He'd shut down his diner for her mom, she knew that much, and her mother was probably hysterical. Rory wondered how Luke dealt with hysterical Lorelai. Rory usually stood back and let her mother go, but she knew Luke better than to just stand back.
"How was your day?" She asked suddenly as they pulled into Stars Hollow.
Luke turned to look at her a moment, "It was ok, your mother found out I had a cell phone."
"Oh man," Rory said slowly.
She looked at the ground and then back up at him, "You have a cell phone?"
"Why is this such an unbelievable concept?"
"This from a man who has a giant sign in his diner that states 'No Cell Phones', the guy who yells at my mom whenever she even glanced at hers..."
"It's for emergencies," he repeated at the younger Gilmore, amazed sometimes at how even though they were very different, they were so much the same.
"Emergencies? At the diner?"
"No, when I'm on the road, getting things and I have to leave someone else in charge of the diner."
"So, it's a work thing."
"Yes," Luke said, pointing a finger at her, "It's not a toy, not for my enjoyment."
"I bet you even pull over to the side of the road when you get a call."
Luke made a noise of surprise, "Tell me your mother does!"
Rory shook her head, "Mom just makes it quick."
"Then why don't you say anything to her about it?"
"Why are you so concerned?" Rory asked, looking amused.
Luke started to get flustered, and he gripped the steering wheel, "It's just that using a cell phone in a moving vehicle, it distracts from driving and could cause an accident," he turned to her, "And you not saying anything about it, that's wrong."
"I'm not saying I'm in the right here, but you know my mother."
"Yes, I do." Luke raised an eyebrow, understanding what the girl was saying.
"You don't argue with Lorelai Gilmore and expect to come out winning," Rory stated for him.
He started to laugh, "She's got an amazing personality."
"She'd appreciate that you said that," Rory said quickly, looking back out the window, "Man, it's gotten really ugly outside."
"Trust me, it's gonna get worse."
Rory glanced at him, "Feel it in your bones, you can?"
He held a grin, "Yes, the force is with me."
Rory laughed, "Oh my God."
"What?" He said, openly smiling now.
"You're a Star Wars fan?"
"Who isn't?" He shrugged.
Rory shook her head, "It's just weird."
"What, that a guy like me can be interested in a children's movie?"
"It's not a children's movie," Rory stated.
Luke nodded, "Ok, but why's it so crazy?"
"You just don't seem the type to be liking a fantasy movie."
"I like fantasy stuff, I fantasize all the time."
Rory paused, "Do I really wanna know about this?"
Luke smirked, then stopped himself, "Let's get you home, shall we?"
Admission of guilt, she thought, he fantasizes about her mom. Rory tried not to look shocked, she shouldn't be, she'd known something was up with them from the moment they met. Silently, she tried to remember when that was, knowing it'd been a long time ago, probably when she was just a toddler. Rory sighed, jumping when lightning struck close by.
"Don't worry, we're almost at your house," Luke assured.
"I'm not worried, just caught off guard."
He nodded, looking ahead. The road into their house was littered with leaves and through them he could see various items that he knew had come off the porches in the neighborhood. It was only going to get worse, he knew. The wind had picked up tremendously since that morning and the lightning seemed to be getting closer and closer with each strike. He could almost feel Rory tense up in the passenger seat as the rain started up thickly on the windshield. Luke slowed the truck down, thinking he could see their house ahead.
Rory looked up first when the lightning deafened her, snapping a large tree branch in half and sent it falling on the windshield of the truck. Luke slammed his brakes and turned the vehicle, swinging the tree branch off and sending them into a spin. Closing her eyes, Rory screamed, but it was muffled by Luke's loud curse as the truck ground to a halt, its back end hitting another tree.
"Oh my God," Rory shouted, opening her eyes quickly. Her head was still spinning and she wasn't totally sure, but she thought it hit the dashboard. Glancing over at Luke, she could see him doubled over, hugging the steering wheel, "Oh no. No, Luke, no." Reaching over, she grabbed his shoulders and shook him quickly and he jumped.
"What?!" He shouted.
"God, I thought you were dead," she yelled back.
"Not dead, just waiting for the world to come to a grinding halt."
"You're bleeding," Rory pointed at his forehead.
"So are you," he raised a hand at the blood trickling down the side of her face. "We should get to the house."
"Good idea," Rory nodded her head with the statement.
Luke climbed out of the truck, gripping the door a moment as he blinked several times, trying to get the ground to stop moving beneath him. He felt Rory's hand on his shoulder, pulling on his arm and he glanced down at her. She stared up at him, concerned.
"Lean on me, come on," she told him, pulling his arm behind her head and leaning herself on his side, hugging him tightly. "Come on, it's not far."
Luke gave a light laugh, "I thought I was supposed to get YOU home."
"Luke," Rory whined, sounding just like her mother. Luke grimaced, walking with her, and imagined what Lorelai was going to say when she saw Rory walking in with a split eyebrow. She was going to be furious, he knew. He glanced up when they reached the stairs and he felt a second pair of hands encircling his waist.
"Lorelai?" He questioned, staring down at the dark curls that were now drenched and hanging limply against her face and shoulders.
"What happened?" The woman asked.
"Lightning snapped a tree branch," Rory answered for him as they entered the house, leading him to the couch and letting him collapse onto it. "Fell on the truck, Luke swung the truck and dislodged the tree branch, but we hit another tree."
"That's it, we have too many trees," Lorelai scoffed and Luke couldn't tell if she was being serious of if she was joking. "Honey, you're bleeding."
Rory smiled, stopping her mother from touching her face, "I'm ok mom, it's nothing, Luke's the one who can't walk straight. I'm gonna go take a bath," Rory said softly, "Play nice."
Lorelai chuckled as Rory left to the bathroom and she turned back to Luke, who was watching the two, touching his forehead, "Don't!" Lorelai ordered, going into the kitchen. She emerged witha bottle of alcohol, a tube of Neosporin, a washcloth and a large bandage.
"Whodda thought, Lorelai Gilmore owning all those items."
"I've spent the last sixteen years with a kid, not to mention Sookie, and then there's myself, having stuff to clean wounds is not that nutty an idea."
"Ok," he said quickly as she sat next to him, taking the cloth and wiping his head clean. Grimacing, he watched her pour alcohol onto the washcloth and he gritted his teeth together, waiting for the pain.
"Oh look at you, ya big baby, it's just alcohol."
"Give birth and then tell me this hurts," Lorelai laughed.
"Then be quiet."
Luke smiled and nodded his head, still hissing when she rubbed the washcloth over the cut above his right eye.
"You gonna be ok?"
He nodded, sitting up straighter, "Just dizzy for a second."
"Stop moving," she ordered, squeezing a generous amount of Neosporin onto the cut. She gently placed the bandage on his head, pressing down lightly on the edges to make sure it didn't unstick. "There, all better."
"Thank you, Dr. Gilmore."
"The bill is in the mail."
Luke smiled. "I'll see you then," he stood slowly and started for the door.
"Wait, you can't leave!" Lorelai shouted, standing.
"Why not, I'm sure the truck is fine, it's just the hood that's a little dented."
"Not to mention your head."
"I'm not kidding, you're not going out there."
"I'll be fine."
Lorelai put her hands on her waist, "Luke, you take another step towards that door and I'll be forced to knock you completely unconscious."
He raised his hands in defeat, "Fine, didn't feel up to driving anyway."
"Yeah, besides," she laughed, "have you looked outside lately?"
"Chaos!" She raised her hands, letting them fall at her sides, then she smiled at him, "Come on, I'll make you tea."
"You know how to make tea?" He questioned.
Lorelai squinted her eyes at him, "Yeah, that's the one with the bags and the pull strings, right?" Lorelai let out a loud laugh when his eyes widened, "Luke, I know how to make tea."
He followed her into the kitchen and leaned against the counter as she pulled out what was, indeed, a box of tea bags. "So, I'm on Rory's emergency contact card, I thought those kinds of things generally required asking permission first."
Lorelai didn't turn, "Well, you know those Chilton authorities. They refused to let me leave unless I gave them the names and numbers of everyone I knew. I tried to keep you out of it, really, I did, but I just couldn't stand the hot poker anymore."
"Oh, then it's good to know that it was for a good cause. Your well-being and all."
She turned, evil grin firmly planted on her lips, "Well, if I knew you had a cell phone, I'd have been able to call from the school to ask you."
"You're not going to let me live that down, are you?"
"Oh no," she said shaking her head slowly, "Luke Dane owns a cell phone."
"So what, you own tea," he replied as though it were an important piece of information.
"Yeah, but I've never publicly stated that I despise tea." She pointed a finger at him quickly.
He shook his head, watching her stick two mugs into the microwave, jamming her fingers on the buttons until it lit up and began humming. "You know, you should be more gentle with that?"
"Why's it gonna scold me for pressing too hard?"
"No, but those things break."
Lorelai rolled her eyes, "Ok, ground rules here. My house, don't pick on me."
"Not picking on you."
"No, just taking the opportunity to tell me that I cannot operate my own microwave. I know how to operate my microwave. I learned, manual and everything. I have a honorary GE Ph.D. in microwave operation."
Luke nodded, watching the thing beep annoyingly at them. Removing the two cups, she handed one to Luke and took her own, sipping slowly.
"Man, this sucks," Lorelai mumbled.
"Yeah, but I'm sure it'll clear up in a couple hours."
Lorelai made a face, "No, this," she pointed at her tea, "this sucks."
Luke drank, "It's fine."
"Needs coffee," Lorelai asserted.
"I know," she smiled up at him. "Wanna watch TV or something?"
"We're soaking wet."
"You're one of those people who believes that a little rain causes pneumonia, aren't you?"
"Well, it does."
She grunted, "Luke, we're almost dry, why go through the whole awkward bath thing right now when there's a perfectly good television that has at least forty channels of nothing on."
"Yes, just, let's just go watch TV."
Lorelai gave a nod and went past him into the living room to switch on the television. Rory came down the stairs with her robe on. "That was fast," Lorelai commented.
"I'm just tired," Rory responded.
"Are you sure you're ok? Don't want me to examine your head?" Lorelai smiled, wiggling her eyebrows.
Rory smiled, "I'm sure I'm fine mom, I'm just gonna go to sleep, ok?"
"Sure, shout if you need anything," Lorelai said quickly, then added, "And make sure if you pass out, you make loud noises going down so we know to check on you."
"Sure thing," Rory shouted, closing her door behind her.
Luke sat on the couch next to Lorelai, "You're really not going to check on her?"
"I'll go in an hour and make sure she's ok, shake her, wake her up, all that, but it didn't look too bad. Yours, yours looked bad."
"I feel much better," he smiled.
"Good," she looked at him, then turned back towards the television, "So, Donna Reed?"
Luke lowered his eyebrows, "Who?"
Michel looked at Sookie, who was counting scars on her fingers and he leaned forward, putting his chin in his hands. "This is hopeless."
"Oh, Michel, I'm sure it'll be fine once the storm stops."
"Only you could be so cheery."
Sookie smiled, "Want me to tell you about the time Lorelai decided she could catch a possum all by herself?"
"No," Michel grunted.
"But it involves blood and nets and screaming and fish hooks."
"N... fish hooks?" He sat up, intrigued.
Luke pulled his head off the back of the couch and glanced at the television. He didn't recognize what was there and suddenly felt sheepish for falling asleep. It was weird to him, sleeping somewhere other than his house. He sighed, knowing one day he'd have to grow up and get a life, a new house, and some guts. Guts that would allow him to tell Lorelai how he really felt about her without making it a joke.
Looking to his side, he smiled when he saw her, curled up on the couch next to him. Luke had the urge to touch her, to run his hands through her hair, but he knew that if he did, it would only get tangled, she'd wake up, and want to know what the hell he was doing. Luke bit his top lip a moment, what if she didn't do that, what if she liked it and... he stopped himself from thinking about it. He wasn't going to touch her, period.
Standing, he glanced around until he spotted a blanket and lightly tossed it over her, smiling when she make small sucking noises as she readjusted to the new item in her sleep. He was tempted to laugh, but wouldn't dare wake her. It was nice, seeing her sleeping. It was something interesting, to see Lorelai Gilmore not in constant motion. Shaking his head, he looked at his watch and saw it was nearing six in the morning and he knew he should go, but he couldn't leave without checking on Rory.
Her door opened quietly enough and he stepped in, careful not to make a noise as he approached her bed, almost standing on tip-toe to see over the covers that were pulled up to her nose. For a moment he watched her breathing, making sure she was ok. He'd heard stories of people who went to sleep with concussions and then died. Shuddering, he started for the door when she yawned.
"Luke?" she whispered.
He turned, rubbing his hands together. "Hey, Rory."
"You're still here?"
"Is that so?" Rory pushed the covers off and Luke shifted his eyes away until she giggled. "I don't sleep naked."
"Well, you can never tell with girls these days," he shrugged his shoulders, still not looking at her.
Slowly, he looked down at the long short sleeved shirt that came down to just above her knees. "Cute."
"Yeah, it's mom that sleeps naked."
"What?" His eyes flashed wide, then he ducked his head feeling silly that he'd shouted. Rory only covered her mouth, laughing. "Aren't you supposed to be the mature one?" He asked, narrowing his eyes at her.
"Yeah, but sometimes, it's just easy."
"To tease people. It's not nice."
"Sorry." Rory didn't look sorry, she was trying not to smirk.
Luke shook his head, letting the corners of his mouth lift. "I have to get going."
"It's like six in the morning."
Rory started to respond, but realized, what was she going to say? "You're right, you should get going, mom's only gonna wanna baby you more if she wakes up and sees your bandaged head is still here."
"Yeah," Luke repeated.
Climbing out of bed, Rory walked past Luke, seeing her mother laying on the couch. She turned, glancing at the man behind her and then looked back at her mother. "Be quiet."
"That was my intention."
"See ya," Rory whispered when he was out her door, and then she closed it behind her. Luke shook his head, smirking and went towards the front door, placing a hand on it.
"Where do you think you're going, mister?" He heard Lorelai's voice.
Turning quickly, he gulped and saw Lorelai wasn't standing and he approached the couch apprehensively. Her eyes were still closed, he observed. Breathing slow. She made a face and then mumbled something else and Luke touched a hand to his forehead. Figures she'd talk in her sleep, he thought.
"Bye, Lorelai," he whispered.
"See ya Luke," she responded before shifting on the couch to face the cushions.
Restraining laughter, Luke made his way again to the front doors.
"Fifty bottles of beer on the wall, fifty bottles of beer. Take one down; pass it around, forty nine bottles of beer on the wall. Forty nine bottles of beer on the wall, forty nine bottles of bee..."
"Shut Up!" Michel shouted.
"What?" Sookie asked, crossing her arms on her chest, "I'm just trying to entertain myself."
"Must your entertainment come from the torturing of my ears?"
"It's not that bad," Sookie laughed.
Michel glanced at he from where he was still sitting, "You make Lorelai sound like a goddess."
Sookie scrunched her face and went back to the box, sitting next to him, "Fine, then what would you like me to do to pass the time?"
"Be quiet," Michel said in a low voice.
"That's no fun."
"This is not supposed to be fun," he motioned around the room. "It's disgusting in here, the light is dim and you're cheerfulness is making me nauseous."
Sookie sighed. "Fine."
The quiet was horrible. Sookie glanced at her feet, watching them wave around in front of her before Michel made a 'Hmph' noise and pointed at them. She stilled the movement and bit the insides of her cheeks. Then she got a mischievous grin and opened her mouth and bellowed,
"It's a small world, after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small, small world!"
Michel let out a scream and stood, slamming his hands on his sides. "That's it. I'm going insane! You are the devil's right hand man sent here to drive me insane! Lorelai wasn't working, and in you come! Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop singing; stop talking; stop swinging your legs! Be still and be quiet!"
"Just trying to make things more cheerful."
"Things are already bad, they're not going to get any better or worse."
"Don't say that."
"That things could get better or worse, 'cause things always only get worse."
He sat quickly next to her. "Howso?"
The light hanging in the center of the room flickered slightly and they both looked at it, and then exchanged a glance. The light grew dim and then quickly went out. Sookie made a whining noise. "Told you," she said softly.
Michel whimpered, "Hold me."
Ah ha. It's done. Of course, now I've just seen Luke and Dean in head locks and I'm going insane wanting THAT next week and knowing that this is going to be a long week ahead just because of the fact that I want to know what Lorelai's gonna say to Luke... ;) Hope you enjoyed this story though! Comments please. :)