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Freaky Friday


by Mystic
mysticxf@aol.com
11/16/00
Gilmore Girls and its characters belong to the WB and whoever the heck owns them. I'm just borrowing for the fun of writing. This is for my mom, because the show just wouldn't be as fun without her watching with me. :) And this is my first Gilmore Girls story and it's really different from the other stuff I've written, so I'd appreciate if ya'll comments on EVERYTHING. :) No pressure... Enjoy!




Independence Inn.
12:29PM


Rory Gilmore stood in the center of the lobby of her mother's Inn with her hands intertwined in front of her. Her back pack had long since been discarded behind the front counter and her blue Chilton jacket was hanging off the arm rest of the couch next to her. Her body was tense and if it weren't for the fact that her hair was done into a tight braid behind her head, she'd be chewing on it. She could feel the acid working on her stomach and her head felt light as she looked at the room. There were people standing all around her staring at the elevator. Some wanted to know what was going on; some wanted to get up to their rooms. Rory knew they were all upset, but somewhat amused that Lorelai Gilmore was stuck in the elevator.

She was amused... slightly. Her mother had this way of having the most odd things just happen around her. When Rory was a little kid, she thought that the amazing things that happened in movies weren't so amazing because her mother seemed to be plagued with the same kinds of situations. When she was five, a circus came to town and ended up performing on their front yard. On her seventh birthday party the cakes got switched and instead of a puppy coming out of her cake, a male stripper came out. At her eighth birthday party, they arrested a clown. When she was twelve some rock group ended up stranded with no place to go but their house. On her most recent one, Rory's grandparents actually showed up, though luckily left before the small food fight.

Rory always thought wild occurrences were normal occurrences.

Now she stared ahead of her and swallowed hard, watching firefighters walk past her towards the elevator with the jaws of life. It was what would take to get her mother out of there, Rory knew. She glanced over, seeing Sookie pacing in front of the counter where Michel was answering phones with an annoyed look on his face. Everything was an annoyance to him, Rory thought, even when it was actually part of the job. When she was younger, she used to think it was funny to see her mother taunt him. She still did, but part of her felt sorry for him. Then again, he had an attitude that could make Zeus himself jealous, so he deserved some of the crap her mom laid on him. Rory shook her head slightly, not wanting to smile during this. That's all she'd need is for some adult in the room to look over at the child who's parent was stuck in an elevator and see the kid smiling to herself. This wasn't a joking situation.

Glancing up, she watched Sookie's hands. The colorful bandages that were a constant were being picked at in panic, panic that Rory knew wasn't justified. While being stuck in an elevator wasn't the best of things, it certainly wasn't going to be a hindrance for her mother, it was going to be the next big joke that she'd rehash at every moment. But Sookie, she knew, blamed herself. Sookie was weird like that. Rory reconsidered, Sookie was just weird. Just like everyone here was, and people wondered why Rory was quirky. Get it from my mom, she always said, but it wasn't really true. Everyone in her life was insane. She turned seeing Miss Patty seated next to the whack job of a harp player discussing quietly what might be going on inside the elevator. Rory didn't want to listen to it, she just wanted to get her mother out and go home. They could drink coffee, eat a home cooked meal, maybe, and then sleep in the same bed.

What a way to end your week, Rory thought with a roll of her eyes. Only her mom could get stuck in an elevator on a Friday. Most people reserved that kind of thing for Mondays, but not Lorelai Gilmore. Rory heard the sound of metal sliding against metal and she looked over at the elevator doors. They started to open and people started working on the wires. Stuck on the fourth floor. Rory sat slowly, watching the men in their suits work. Electricians were making their way through, fighting over jurisdiction which the firefighters though they still had.

"You got the doors open, now it's our turn," one man shouted.

"We can handle this," shouted another.

Rory walked over and again, they restrained her. They wouldn't let her near the elevator. She didn't understand why. She had the urge to push past them and just cut the wires free herself. Let the damned thing come with a nice crash and her mother can emerge, looking shaken, as she stared at the growing crowd. Her mother was used to crowds. The fireman standing in front of her held her shoulders and she pulled away from his grasp, going back to the couch to throw herself in it.

"Oh honey, it'll be ok, you know your mother," Sookie tried to sound comforting, but she had an overactive way of talking that made everything sound frantic. Rory glanced up at her. "Being stuck in an elevator is nothing. There are worse things that can happen."

Rory sighed, crossing her arms over her chest, "It's not her being stuck in the elevator that worries me."

"Then what is it?" Sookie sat at her side and ran a hand through her hair. Rory found that relaxing and she thought of all the times her mother had done the same thing, calming her.

"She's stuck in the elevator with Luke."




Inside the elevator, the lights were dim and the sounds of the workers below were echoing within the small chamber. It was near impossible now to hear the sounds coming from within the elevator itself. Lorelai wasn't thinking about who was listening though, neither was Luke. They were too busy kissing.




4 Hours Earlier...
Independence Inn.
8:29AM


Lorelai Gilmore pushed open the front doors with a sigh as she straightened the front of her dark brown skirt suit. Friday. She was always more tired on Friday and it wasn't because it was the last day of the week. Normally she'd be hopping just knowing that the weekend was right there and she'd be able to hang with Rory and go out and have some free fun. No thoughts about school or work, just the two of them, occasionally Rory's friend or Sookie would join them, but it was them and the world. They'd get some ice cream, catch a movie, or just sit in and paint their nails. The two of them would talk private things, or argue about the declining state of television drama's, but there was nothing else in the world that could stop them from having their night the way they wanted it.

Now Friday's just meant that sooner than she wanted she'd be at her parents house having to endure the hell that is her mother. Lorelai didn't hate her mother really, just the attitude she brought with her to the dinner table. There was always some insult, which Lorelai would defend herself against and it would just fly from there. It had been the same since she'd been old enough to speak. They just butted heads against each other until one left the room. If it wasn't for needing the money for Chilton's tuition for Rory, she would probably have never have agreed to the Friday night dinners. She loved her daughter more than anything else in the world and would do anything for her. Even go back to a house she despised. All for Rory. Everything was for Rory. She knew without her, those evenings would be unbearable.

Thank God for Rory, Lorelai sighed again. When the evening was over, Lorelai still had her as-sane-as-can-be daughter to smile at her and nod her head when she bitched. She knew she could bitch for hours about her mother and Rory would listen to her, nod her head in agreement and then suggest something stress relieving for the rest of the night.

"Hey Michel," she said loudly, passing the odd looking little man. He just sneered at her. He always sneered at her. She smiled, knowing she'd pissed him off. It was weird, but she liked it. It made her feel that she controlled him because no matter how much he was angry, he couldn't quit. "Did they finish the elevator repairs they started last week," she whined, walking back to him.

"You're late," he said to her, his French accent thicker than usual. He was angry about something else, probably his family. Lorelai could just see him on the phone with them now, his accent always got thicker after he called them. She watched his eyes narrow down at the sign-in book as he was checking young couple out of the hotel.

"Yes, I know that, but did they finish the elevator repairs. Don't want people having to take the stairs if they don't need to."

"No, we wouldn't want the pampered customers to break a sweat."

"Michel, did they fix it or not?" she asked in a sing-song voice.

He stopped writing and looked at her, "They're not here, they took off the Out-of-Order sign off it and people have been on it, I'm going to assume it's fixed."

"You know what they say about people who assume..." she trailed, walking away from him.

"I hate you," he mumbled under his breath.

"You know you love me, Michel."

He glanced up quickly, slapping the pen down, "Only because it's Friday and I don't have to see you all weekend." He gave a small smile and went back to his work and Lorelai grinned, walking into the kitchen. She liked the kitchen best of the whole place. It was where Sookie was. Sookie was the chef for the Inn, and the most amazing chef in the world were it up to Lorelai.

"Hey! You gotta try this!" Sookie practically shoved a spoon down Lorelai's throat and she coughed, pulling back as she tasted.

Her eyes closed and she let the sauce sit on her tongue a moment before widening her eyes and looking at the chubby woman who always reminded her of the plump little fairy from Cinderella. "Oh my God, Sookie, that's awesome!"

"It's a buttery shrimp sauce to put on some of the seafood items."

"Put it on everything and I'll die a happy fat woman," Lorelai interjected walking around her.

Sookie blushed and placed the spoon down, watching the other woman move to the coffee pot and lift it and shake it slightly, looking at Sookie in a state of panic. "I ran out. I can make a new batch."

"I need it now. IV, stat." She patted her arm with two fingers, then put the pot back. "Sookie, you know what day it is."

"Friday," Sookie nodded her head.

"I need my coffee." Lorelai raised one eyebrow.

"I know." Sookie continued to nod.

Lorelai started shaking her head slightly as she kept going, "I can't make it through the day on Friday without many many shots of black coffee with triple sugars."

"I'll make more."

"Now."

"Going." She moved past her and started filling a new filter with coffee. Lorelai stood over her, inhaling the scent rising from the thick brown powder.

"I can't wait." Lorelai grabbed her mug.

"Lorelai, by the time you get to Luke's this'll be done."

"But it'll already be done there and maybe I'll get it a second sooner," Lorelai pleaded, walking back towards the front door where Michel was waiting with a paper for her to look at. "Later."

"Your coffee addiction is sickening," the man uttered.

"I love you too," Lorelai shouted back as she rushed towards the front door with her mug in her hand.




Outside of Luke's
8:48AM


Lorelai hopped out of her jeep and practically ran into the place. She was glad to see it wasn't packed. Luke's didn't generally get a lot of customers, just enough to get by, Lorelai guessed. Never were there so many people that Luke couldn't serve her first. Sometimes she'd joke with Luke that Rory and she should have their own seats with their names on them. Luke never laughed, just said, "As long as you pay for what you eat." Though Lorelai knew he knew she was right. It made her upset sometimes, that she barely knew how to make her own daughter a meal, but she always perked herself up with the fact that at least she could provide a meal at all. Lorelai knew some people weren't so fortunate.

Glancing around the room, she saw two elderly women in the back who seemed to be regulars and another group of young men, presumably from colleges nearby, who were watching her walk in. She suddenly wished she'd gone with her black pant suit rather than a skirt that showed off the fact that her legs never ended. Grunting, she went and took her place at the counter with mug in hands. Luke stepped out from the back with several plates in his arms. Watching him, Lorelai set her mug down.

He was like one of those guys out of a Rugged Men catalogue, she thought for the millionth time, with that grungy look of his. Luke always seemed to have three day stubble and his hair was almost always under that cap. His grey long sleeves were pushed up under the rolled up dark red, black and grey flannel shirt. Sometimes Lorelai wondered if he looked in the mirror when he got up in the morning. But then, she never said anything because she'd come in more mornings than not before she'd even dressed just to get her coffee fix. Michel was right, her addiction was sickening, but she reasoned, it wasn't her fault, it was the stress of her life. Her wacky life.

Luke set the plates down in front of two of the college boys and then came back to her, wiping his brow with the towel hanging on his shoulder. He glanced at the cup and then back up at her and he shook his head, "No," he stated in his gruff voice.

"Come on, Lukey," she pleaded, giving him her best smile.

"Don't call me Lukey, I'm not your puppy." Luke stared at her and she grew serious.

"If I buy you a collar, can I call you Lukey?" His eyes wavered and she laughed at him. He was easily embarrassed, but would never admit it, she knew.

He turned away, pouring two glasses of orange juice, then he looked back at her, "Not even if you buy me a million collars.

"Does that mean you want a collar?" She joked. "I could get you a collar if you really wanted one. With little Rhine stones and everything. A bell even."

"No, Lorelai, I don't want a collar and I told you: No coffee."

"But I'm a paying customer."

"Haven't we had this fight before?" He narrowed his eyes at her.

"Probably lots of times, but that won't stop us from having it again. Now, give me coffee." She thrust her mug at him.

"No."

She pulled it back, holding it in the center of her chest and stared at him seriously. "I'll pay double."

"No," he repeated.

"LUKE!" Lorelai gripped her mug and whined, "I'll take de-caf, hell, I'll take watered down or imitation, just please, one cup."

"Just give her the damned coffee, Luke," another waiter said coming out from the back, "If you don't, she won't leave."

"Then she won't leave."

"Awe," she playfully slapped his arm, "You want me to keep you company, isn't that sweet."

Luke turned, staring at her a moment with a look that would have sent any normal woman screaming, but not Lorelai, she just held her mug up and waited for him to take it, knowing public embarrassment about a relationship between them was probably the best way to get anything from him. Which only meant, she knew, that he liked her. He tore the mug from her hands and went behind the counter.

"Thanks Lukey," she smiled, tossing her purse onto the counter and waiting as he passed the mug back to her. He glanced at the bag a moment, ready to make another comment about how large and useless it was, but he just waved her off and went to his other customers. Lorelai blew on the top softly and then took a small sip of it, letting the warm liquid glide down her throat and into her stomach. Yeah, she smiled, that's the ticket. Better than sugar; better than candy; better than sex. Coffee was definitely God's greatest creation, Lorelai thought. In minutes it'd be in her blood stream and she'd be ready for whatever the day had to offer, which, she knew, would be something big because it was Friday.

"You know, I used to love Friday's." She said absently.

"Why's that?" Luke asked. She turned, surprised he heard, or cared. "I didn't have to see my parents."

"What's so bad about your parents?"

"You don't know them."

"I met them."

"You didn't talk to them, only saw from a distance. They're pretty from a distance, all dolled up and rich looking. It's up close when you can see the claws and teeth."

Luke cracked a half smile. "Drink your coffee and go to work. You're bothering the customers with YOUR claws and teeth."

Lorelai narrowed her eyes, "I don't have claws and teeth."

"Fine, but you've got a yap big enough outdo an N'SYNC concert." He snapped. Then said, enunciating each word slowly, "Go. To. Work."

Nodding her head, Lorelai saluted him, then pushed off the stool and pulled her purse back onto her shoulder, heading out the door. Raising her cup, she pushed the door open with the other hand and said, loudly, "Thanks again Lukey."

Luke only grunted at her, wanting to scream. In all the time he'd known her, he'd always wanted to yell at her for every stupid little thing she did, but he found it impossible. The times he'd come most close, she'd turned and given him her sweet smile and he'd chickened out, just grunted at her. He sighed, staring at the door, she probably thought he had more in common with your good ol' caveman than he did with her. Luke lowered his head, shaking it slightly, while thinking up an excuse to call her later and complain. He knew she'd be in after dinner with the parents. Her and Rory would sit at their regular table and talk for hours, until he told them it was closing time.

He'd give them ice cream, they'd smile and thank him. He knew the routine. With Lorelai, everything was a routine. She only thought she was spontaneous and wild, but Luke knew the truth. He knew that she'd go to her hotel and chat with Sookie for an hour. She'd then help Michel with the customers all day until that time in the afternoon when she knew Rory should be coming in. Then she'd stare at the door until her child walked through and she'd smile. Luke thought those were her best smiles, when Rory entered a room. They were pure, unlike some of the ones she gave him just to get her way. He pinched his own leg, stopping himself from thinking about her any more and he looked up at the diner counter where her cell phone lay.

"Hey, I'm going over to the Inn for a sec," he shouted to the others working. So they'd know to send someone out to tend to the tables.

"Why?" One questioned.

He held up the cell phone, "Musta fallen out of her overstuffed purse."

"She'll be by later, just wait."

After staring at the young man for a moment he shook his head. "Nah-uh," he grunted, "I'll serve her coffee against my will, but I ain't answering her phone." He pulled off his apron and tossed it at the man who exited the kitchen area, then he headed for the door.




Independence Inn.
9:00AM


Lorelai smiled at her customers as she walked towards the kitchen. Talking with Sookie always made things seem so much better, she told herself as she pushed open the back doors. The kitchen was busy with late breakfast requests and Sookie was standing over a stove. Behind her stood a young woman, waiting until Sookie raised her head quickly and the woman moved a pot out of the way. When Sookie turned and went to another bowl, the woman went back to her regular job, leaving the Sookie-watch to another man. Lorelai laughed openly, knowing if it weren't for the rest of the kitchen staff, Sookie would have suffered many more injuries than just the cuts and burns on her fingers.

"Did you get the coffee done?" She showed her now empty mug.

Sookie nodded, "Yeah, but you already had some at Luke's. Or did he not serve you? Luke would never not serve you, would he?" The woman looked confused.

Lorelai shook her head, "Nah, he served me."

"Then why would you need more."

"It's Friday," Lorelai said matter-of-factly. Why didn't anyone else understand what was so horrible about this day, she wondered. Rory would understand, but Rory was in school, probably smooching it up with that guy she'd seen her with at her birthday party, talking in secret. Lorelai shook her head, knowing the other boy didn't look like a Chilton boy. No smoochies for Rory, she reassured herself.

"You really need to lay off the coffee."

"No, I need to jack up on the stuff so I can last through the day."

"I bet if you tried, you'd be able to last the whole day without it."

"No, I'd be trapped in non-caffeinated land."

"Why don't you try drinking coke, or chewing gum?"

"Coke is all acidy and when I chew gum no one understands me."

Sookie placed a hand on her arm, "I hate to be the bearer of bad news Lorelai, but most people don't understand you without gum."

She cocked her head to the side, "I meant audibly, not mentally."

The doors behind her opened and the two women turned to see Michel standing there, another angry look on his face. "The woman in 510 keeps calling and insisting on talking to the Manager."

"So play Manager," Lorelai shrugged her shoulders.

"She wants to talk to you in person."

"Like go upstairs?"

"Like, yes, and while I'd pretend to be more than happy playing manager on the phone, I refuse to do it in person." Michel turned on his heel and exited the kitchen.

Lorelai looked at Sookie and then at the coffee pot. "Are you gonna hold it hostage forever, or do I get my fix elsewhere?" She broke into a wide smile when her friend took the pot and filled her mug.

"Fine, but it's de-caf." Sookie gave Lorelai her most stern face, putting the pot back, but she couldn't stop the giggles that erupted when Lorelai pouted back at her.

"Bitch," Lorelai joked before heading into the lobby again. She started to head for the stairs, but smiled, walking towards the open elevator. She was so annoyed with the stairs already. Not that she wasn't athletic or couldn't take them, but in her skirts and high heels, they were hell to climb up. Taking a sip of her warm de-caf coffee and stepped into the elevator, punching the fifth floor quickly.

Closing her eyes, she drank more coffee, trying not to think about the ensuing fight she was going to have to suppress over the woman in 510. She knew what the problem was, the folks in 508 had four children, all under the age of five, who didn't go to school and were on vacation with their parents who didn't seem to think that four small children made that much noise. She'd already moved them twice to places that didn't have occupied rooms next to them, but then the rooms would be booked and the people would complain. Lorelai was thankful that the vacation would end for those people at the end of the weekend.

The elevator doors slid to a close, but not before Luke threw himself in, slamming into Lorelai and spilling what was left of her coffee onto her dark brown top. Lorelai's jaw dropped in shock and she held her mug a foot away from her while staring at him. He held her cell phone in his hand and was staring at her chest with a look of exasperation on his face.

"This is dry clean," she uttered.

"I'll pay for it," he said quickly.

"What the hell are you doing here?" She screamed.

He held the cell phone forward, "Fell out of your purse."

"And it couldn't have waited? Or been left at the front desk with Michel? I'm pretty sure he can handle cell phone delivery."

"Figured this would be easier."

"And how does spilling my coffee on me make things easier."

"Didn't think that would happen."

"No kiddin'." Lorelai watched the elevator light and wondered why it was moving so slowly. Then she looked back at him. "Can I have my phone?" She held her hand out.

"I really didn't think this would happen."

"It's fine, you're paying for it," she said with a smile.

"But where are you going to get other clothes?"

Lorelai scratched her head, pretending to think, "I don't know Luke, possibly the same place I get all my other clothes from... home."

He let her snatch the phone and she shook her head, starting to laugh. "What's so funny?" He asked, watching her.

"Friday."

"Friday?"

"This would only happen on Friday."

"No, this would happen any day you leave your cell phone in my shop after demanding your coffee and taking off." He sniffed, "And that's not my coffee, you got more coffee?"

"Besides the point," she shot at him. "It's Friday, I'm covered in coffee, what else could go wrong?!" She shouted.

The elevator stopped suddenly and the lights dimmed momentarily. Luke lowered his eyebrows and looked at her questioningly, "The elevator could jam?"




Outside the elevator a janitor brought a sign he'd found tossed behind a garbage receptacle. Kids, he thought with a grunt as he unfolded the giant sheet and pulled a roll of duct tape from his cart of supplies. With two large strips, he attached the "Out of Order" sign back to the closed elevator doors and went back to his job.




Independence Inn.
9:10AM


Lorelai slammed her fingers on all the buttons of the elevator, watching them remain unlit as the elevator remained unmoving. She shook her head, her eyes growing wider by the second as she banged on the elevator doors, hoping they'd have stopped on a floor and someone would hear. "No, no, no, no, this is not happening. This is not happening," she whined all the while.

Luke watched her. He'd seen her nervous, he'd seen her panic, but he'd never seen this. This was sheer terror. It wasn't like they were going to run out of oxygen, he knew. Then he grew serious, they wouldn't run out of oxygen, would they? Shaking his head, he reached forward and grabbed her shoulder. She whipped her arm away from him and then turned suddenly, staring straight at him. Luke had no idea she could look that pissed.

"Why do these things happen to me?"

"I don't know?" He stuttered.

"Seriously. The cosmos think it's funny to bestow these humiliating honors on me. Just me. It's like I'm special. I don't have enough problems in my life so they had to not only stick me in an elevator with you, but they had to have it stop running AND covered in coffee." She paused to point at her jacket. "On a 'dry clean only' outfit I bought just last week, on sale mind you, so that I could smell ONLY the coffee and know that had you not entered this elevator at THAT moment, I might have finished it. Now there's only the lingering smell that will haunt me until we get out of here."

Luke nodded his head and started to open his mouth, but Lorelai pointed a finger at him and he clamped his mouth shut, knowing that at that moment in time he did not have the energy to stop her from ranting. Only one person did and that person was in school.

"This is your fault. It's not that it's Friday, it's a Luke thing. Luke had to deny me my right for coffee this morning causing me to beg. Begging takes time, time where I could have been back here and already up to the floor I was supposed to be on leaving some other poor sap in here."

"Lor..."

"No, shut up. I'm yelling at you. You're not allowed to talk."

"But Lorelai..."

She waved a hand at him, "No, I'm pissed off here. I'm supposed to be up talking some woman out of killing four small children and instead I'm stuck in an elevator with you. YOU! Of all the people in the world to be stuck in an elevator with, it had to be you."

"Your cell phone."

"Yes, because of my stinkin' cell phone. You had to return the cell phone. People live without cell phones, as amazing a concept as that might seem to those morons on the road. I don't even use the damned thing. It's for Rory; for emergencies. But you thought it was so freakin' important that you had to come charging into the elevator, slamming into me. I wouldn't be shocked if the coffee splattered on the elevator controls and gave it a brain fart and THAT'S why we're stuck in here. Because of you and my cell phone. Who's got the obsession now buster? Returning a cell phone like it's important..."

Luke grabbed her arms and shook her slightly, making her stop and look at him in a sort of scared shock as he said, in as calm a voice he could muster, "No, use your cell phone to call someone to help us."

He released her and then took several steps back, leaning against the elevator. Normal men would smile, he knew, but he was so used to her that he knew if he did smile, she'd probably smash her mug against his skull. That's all Luke needed, to make the afternoon news for having a coffee mug smashed on his head. He waited as she contemplated what he had said and then flipped open her cell phone and began dialing the front desk. Holding it up to her ear she began walking around the elevator, then bending over.

"What are you doing?"

She slammed the phone shut, "Dammit! I can't get reception in here."

"Oh."

"Oh?" She stood straight and tossed the phone at him, "Oh is all you have to say."

"Oh shoot?" He scrunched up his face in confusion. "What am I supposed to say?"

"How's about, 'Sorry Lorelai for screwing up your morning,' or 'Hey, Lorelai, sorry about the phone, but at least you got your coffee,' or you could grunt. You're very good at grunting at me when I'm upset and that's the last thing I want to hear. Go on, grunt at me. Grunt."

Luke sighed.

"No! Sighing is Rory's job. I scream, she sighs and you grunt. Follow the script!" Lorelai stared at him a quick second more, then pushed him out of the way to bang on the elevator doors, "HELP!" She shouted.

"I don't think that's gonna work." Luke said, crossing his arms on his chest.

"And what makes you the expert on calling for help?"

"Just the fact that the chamber that an elevator sits in is pretty thick and shouting over other noises in the building isn't going to get us anywhere."

"Ok Mr. I-Know-How-To-Get-Out-Of-A-Jam, why don't you tell me how we get out of here."

"We wait."

"We wait?"

"Yes, we sit back and wait."

"And how is that going to get us out of here."

Luke shrugged, "You run the place. They'll notice you're gone after a while and eventually figure out you're in the elevator."

"Have you seen the people I work with?"

He would have laughed, only she didn't.

"They probably think I'm home."

"You leave home that often?"

Lorelai started to respond and stopped, "No, I don't, but that's what they're going to think."

"They'll think you're at home," Luke said, lowering his head.

She pursed her lips, crossing her own arms, "Ok, so I'm flighty. I go home a lot, but Friday is excusable. I spend half the day thinking about how I'm going to avoid causing a scene at my parents house."

"What is up with your rivalry with them anyway?"

"They're my parents," Lorelai said matter-of-factly. "Don't you fight with your parents?"

"Sometimes, but you take it to a different level."

"Yes, with me, it's an art."

"Why?"

"Because I'm stubborn and my mother is stubborn and until one of us gives up the naughty habit, we'll never refuse to leave a situation sit and since we're so damned stubborn, we don't give up that naughty habit. It's a vicious circle, really, that I'd love to talk about once we're OUT of the elevator."

"But we're IN the elevator."

She snapped her fingers several times in sync with her words, "Point, point, point?"

"That as long as we're in here, we're going to have to occupy time."

"I'd just as well occupy time staring at a wall, thank you very much."

"Oh, come on, Lorelai, it can't be that bad to talk to me."

She grunted.

"Why'd you grunt at me?"

"That is the equivalent of a conversation with you most days."

"I'm talking now."

"Because you find the situation humorous."

"I do not."

"Prove to me that you don't find this humorous. You probably sit at home and think up ways to humiliate me and this has to go be topping some of those ideas right now. I mean, I'm covered in coffee and stuck in an elevator with you."

"Could be worse."

"Please don't say that."

"Why not?"

"Last time the words were uttered and a response was issued, things got worse."

"Ok, so things can get worse, but I won't say how."

"Don't even think it." She pointed a finger at him.

The lights shut off and the emergency light flicked on.

"You thought it."

He raised his hands and then let them fall. "I give up."

"You haven't even started, buddy."

Turning, he raised an eyebrow, "What's that supposed to mean?"

"You've given up after ten minutes in an elevator with me?"

"I gave up ten minutes after knowing you, you just won't let me exit your life."

"Hey, not like I've got you on a leash."

Luke rolled his neck, cracking it quickly before turning around and grabbing hold of the railing on the inside of the elevator. He was glad it had marble walls and not those warped mirror kinds. He'd go insane if everywhere he turned he had to look at Lorelai. Not that she wasn't bad to look at, he thought, but she drove him crazy when he spent too much time talking to her. They probably hadn't spoken this much in the last week and his head was telling him that he should end it and leave, only he knew there wasn't really any way he could. He only turned back to look at the elevator controls.

"Isn't there a emergency phone on that thing?" He asked, nodding his head towards the controls.

Lorelai shook her head, "There is, but the fact that we're stuck here means that the elevator repair co..."

"Repair?"

"The elevator's been busted for a couple days."

"And you got in the elevator?"

"Michel told me it was ok."

"And you listened to him?"

"Well, the Out of Order sign wasn't on it. How was I supposed to know it was still busted?"

"Oh, I don't know, check with the elevator repair company."

"I didn't really have time for that, ok?" She narrowed her eyes at him.

"That's your problem," he grunted.

Lorelai took a step towards him and put a hand on her ear, as if trying to hear better. "Repeat that last statement, I didn't quite catch that and I'm sure it was a jewel of a comeback."

He stepped away from her and stared her down. "Your whole life you've been just rushing forward without taking the time to really examine the situation closely. The things you do, they reflect that."

"What things?"

He hesitated a moment, staring at her eyes. They were that intense blue that looked almost clear. He knew one day he was going to get busted for staring at them. Right now he turned away, concentrating on the argument at hand. "For starters, you're all of thirty two and your daughter is sixteen. Doesn't that seem a little odd to you?"

"What, these days it's practically trendy to pop out the first one at sixteen."

"Yeah, but then you move away from your parents because you're pissed at them for whatever reason and you just, you just do things that are completely irresponsible and childish."

"First off, I am responsible. My daughter is attending one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Second, I'm not childish!" She shoved him.

"Oh yeah, you're the picture of parental perfection."

"I love my kid."

"Not doubting that."

"Then what's the point of this completely idiotic conversation?!" She raised her arms at her sides and widened her eyes at him, demanding an answer.

"Nothing." He turned away from her again and slammed his back against the elevator wall.

"No, not nothing. You don't like how I live my life and I want to know exactly why? What, you don't approve of the fact that I'm spontaneous? That I like to go out and get what I like? That I want to be positive and happy all the time? That I drink coffee like a fish drinks water? What is this about Luke? Come on, we're stuck in the elevator, we've got time. Discuss." She went to him and slammed herself against the elevator beside him, then looked away to hide the hurt from the handle bar crammed into her lower back the way it had.

Luke looked at her, "It's not that I think you're in the wrong."

"Then what is it?"

"I just think you could act a little more like... I don't know... a grown up?"

Lorelai was stumped. "And tell me, with parents so snotty I questioned whether they were real or robotics, where was I supposed to get the game plan from? I play as I go and personally, I don't think I'm doing so bad."

"And what about Rory? She looks up to you."

"Yes, she does."

"You're not concerned."

"May I repeat, my daughter is attending one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. She doesn't drink, doesn't do drugs, doesn't smoke. She comes home when I ask her to, spends most of her free time doing homework and studying and her friends have all been good kids. There's nothing wrong with her so if I'm doing such a bad job as a parent, the evidence sure doesn't lie within her."

They remained silent a moment and she looked over at him, trying to figure out what was going on in his head. There had been many times when Rory and she had been at the diner and they'd made it a game, trying to figure out what he was thinking. They'd whisper to each other and giggle and he'd just look up from what he was doing. Not his whole head, just his eyes. Luke would stare at them, grunt, and go back to what he was doing. Then they'd giggle some more. Lorelai looked away.

"What?" He asked.

"Nothing."

"No, nothing is just nothing to you."

"What?"

"Nothing."

"What?" She smiled now.

He looked at her, "Everything is a joke to you."

"No, some things are serious."

"Like what."

"Bad jokes." Lorelai pushed off the wall and looked at the elevator doors, trying to figure out if there might be some way to open it. Wherever they were, they had to be partially on one floor. They could shout into the hallways until someone came out to see what the ruckus was about.

"It'll take a lot to open those."

"It looks easy enough in the movies." She placed her hands along the center line and tried to pull them apart.

"Everything look easy in the movies."

"No, that whole hanging from the sky and trying to get that one sweat drop not to fall thing they did in Mission Impossible looked pretty difficult. I'd have blown my cover so quick 'cause man, have you ever had a drop of sweat roll down your face like that? It tickle..." she stopped, looking at his annoyed face. "Everything annoys you."

"Not everything," he said, "Just you."

"Oh yeah?"

He nodded, "You're special," he said, repeating what she'd told him earlier. She mocked laughter and went back to working on the elevator doors. Luke shook his head, moving to her side and giving her a slight push to the side.

"What, you suddenly develop a case of the Hercules'?"

"No, but if anyone has a chance of opening this, it's me."

"Oh yeah, I pushed a baby out of a hole the size of a tennis ball. I believe my strength has been tested and given a stamp of approval."

Luke laughed and only looked at her.

Lorelai pouted at him. "Not funny. Just 'cause I've got estrogen instead of testosterone doesn't mean I can't heave it with the manliest of men."

"Heave it?" He stopped and turned.

"Yeah," she tested. Then she pushed her hands back at the crack and pulled. "See, you pull one way and I'll do the other and it'll open."

"If you say so."

She stopped, standing straight. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Are we going to fight all day?"

Lorelai nodded. "It's what we do best."

"I mean you're bossy."

"I am not."

Luke pointed at the door with the hand that wasn't already pulling on the left side of the door, "Just pull on the damned elevator."

"Fine," she spat. "And I'm not bossy," she muttered, letting her body lean away from the door's center, hoping her weight would pull the door open. When it didn't, she let go, letting herself fall on the floor. Luke jumped in shock.

"Are you ok?" He asked, straightening himself up.

"No, I'm not ok, I'm stuck in an elevator."

"I realize that, but is your bottom ok from the fall."

"Oh yeah," she looked at the floor, "My bottom's fallen a lot harder than that."

"Ok," he raised one eyebrow at her and then moved to sit next to her. "So, we're just going to wait?"

"Yeah, eventually someone will figure out the elevator was in use... or something."

"Or something?"

"Yeah, or they'll realize I'm not home, my jeep's in the parking lot, so I must be here and they can start looking for me, eventually checking the stalled elevator knowing it should be on the first floor and it's on the... whatever floor we're on."

"What floor do you think we're on?" Luke asked.

"What does it matter?"

Luke gave her a mischievous smile that sent chills down her back and he chuckled slightly, something Lorelai was sure she hadn't hear. When he was satisfied that she was confused enough, he pointed up towards the square box on the roof that led above the elevator. "If we can bang directly on the doors that lead to hallways, people will hear us and they'll get help."




Chilton
10:25AM


Rory stepped from her second class with a sigh of relief. They had a quiz, which she passed AND no one had bothered her all morning, but Rory knew not to question whether something bad could happen or not -- it was Friday. Rory was starting to think Friday's were just freaky altogether and that the movie of that title shouldn't have been restricted to something about magic. She knew it took a lot less than magic to make things to insane. Like right now, she thought as the sprinklers went off inside the school and the fire alarm sounded. Of all the days that the sprinklers could have gone off, they would have to go off on a Friday. She stripped off her jacket and quickly shoved it into her back pack, knowing it was slightly water proof.

"It's only water," she told herself.

Two boys went running down the hallway with paper bags on their heads and no clothes on their bodies. Rory was suddenly struck with the notion that that was the first time she'd seen a nude male. Of course, she'd seen pictures of them in school books, but never in real life. She leaned on the lockers and closed her eyes, letting the water soak her hair and clothes a moment before heading towards the doors. She wondered if she could be sent home. She'd have to wait an hour to catch a bus, but she'd rather be at home on Friday, or at the Inn, than at Chilton.

Outside she could see the two boys being chased by security guards, their private parts bouncing as they ran in circles. Chilton students were crowded around watching them, laughing and pointing like they'd never seen anything like that before in their entire life. She thought back to the party her grandparents had thrown and sighed, knowing that it probably was the funniest thing they'd ever seen in their whole lives. How pathetic, she thought, her mother could outdo those two boys and she wouldn't have to take off one item of clothing.

Rory screamed when one of the two boys grabbed her by the arms, hiding behind her a moment before running away. Two security guards ran past her to catch him and it was then that she recognized who it had been. It hadn't been a Chilton boy, she knew. He smelled of that cheap, but sweet cologne, and of grocery store bags.

"Had to be Friday," she muttered, closing her eyes against the world.




Independence Inn.
10:00AM


"Jump higher," Lorelai suggested.

"And what, exactly is it that you think I'm doing," Luke responded, stopping before he could jump up towards the ceiling. They'd already broken the handles trying to get up on them, they lay on the floor against the back of the elevator. The only options had been climbing on one another and they'd refused to even utter the words.

"Well, obviously you're not jumping high enough. I should try again, I am taller than you."

"By what, two inches."

"Still makes me taller."

"You broke your heels the last time you jumped, not to mention made countless jokes I choose not to reiterate..."

"Well, you were watching them."

Luke crossed his arms, and stared at her. "I will though state, for the record, that I was not watching your bust as you were jumping."

Lorelai smiled, leaning close to him to whisper, "Then why are you blushing?"

He rubbed his cheeks and turned away from her, "I am not blushing. I'm angry!"

"At me, oh, Luke, there's no reason to be upset with me. I'm just joking. Isn't that what you said before, everything's a joke to me."

He threw up his hands and grunted.

"One day you're gonna hack up a hair ball doing that."

Luke turned back, "Jump if you're gonna."

Lorelai watched him turn away from her again and walk towards the wall. It wasn't truly her purpose in life to piss him off, he only thought it was. The only thing she wanted to accomplish was getting out of the elevator. With a long sigh, she waved him over, "Ok, we both know what has to be done."

"I have to murder you and let the smell of your rotting carcass lead them to me?"

She lowered her eyebrows. "Um, no. Very creative, but no." Then she shook her head. "Kneel down and I'll climb on your back."

"I'm not letting you stand on my back."

"Got a better idea?"

"Yeah, we can try the shouting again."

"I thought we ruled that out."

"Only when faced with the options is shouting a viable alternative."

"Jeez, Luke, it's not like I weigh a ton."

He closed his eyes and let his head slump forward for a moment, then looked back up at her and pointed a finger. "No jokes, no comments, just get on my back, get through the hole in the roof and see where we are, got that."

She saluted him, "Yes, sir."

Luke watched her, trying to figure out just how long it was going to be until she said or did something stupid before he got down on his hands and knees. Lorelai looked down at him and then climbed slowly onto his back and pushed up on the square that separated them from the elevator shaft, "Wow, you looks weird from up here," she said looking down at Luke.

"No Jokes!" he shouted at her.

"Sourpuss," she mumbled back, pushing the square off the hole and looking through. Then she climbed off Luke and stood next to him.

"What?" He asked.

"Was a good idea while it lasted."

"What happened?"

"We're on the fifth floor."

"So."

"So, if we bang on this floor no one will hear us and if they do, they won't think it's us."

"Why's that?"

Lorelai took several steps back, leaning against the wall before sliding to a sitting position on the floor. She looked up at him and began laughing. "The reason I was in the elevator to begin with is some woman in 510 is bitching 'cause the kids in 508 are making too much noise. 508 is about ten steps from the elevator."

"People will just think it's the kids."

"Exactly," she threw her hands up, letting them fall into her lap.

Luke watched her lower her head. Now, he thought, she was serious. He went to the wall, sliding down next to her and he leaned slightly against her shoulder, nudging it with his own. "We'll figure something out."

She nodded.

"And maybe you're right, Michel will know where you went and will figure on you being stuck in the elevator."

"We're gonna die in here."

"Lorelai."

"The walls are going to come crashing in and Rory's going to have to go live with her grandparents and they'll turn her into a pod person replica of themselves and I'll be a dusty skeleton in the elevator with you."

"Talk about exaggeration," he muttered to himself.

"Fine, so that won't happen, but one of us is going to have to use the bathroom sooner or later and it's not gonna be pretty."

Luke glanced at the coffee stains on Lorelai's shirt and chuckled, imagining her squatting in the corner peeing while watching him to make sure he wasn't watching her. When she smacked his arm, he stopped laughing and stared at the elevator door. He sighed, there had to be a way out of here.




Independence Inn.
11:02AM


Rory stepped into the hotel with her back pack hanging low and her Chilton jacket in her arms. Her hair was almost completely dry, as were her clothes, but she sniffled from being wet so long. She glanced around her, seeing the harpist playing some old tune she knew she'd heard somewhere in an elevator and she walked past the people waiting around. Michel was answering a phone call and staring at her with some disdain that Rory found unsettling. She went to the desk and stood there, waiting until he hung up with what was apparently a rude man with no towels in room 209.

"Where is your mother?" he asked.

"Where is my mother?" she asked.

"You mean you don't know?" They both stated.

"But I thought you knew?" They stared at each other as they said the words and then remained silent, waiting for the next question. Rory raised a hand,

"She's not at home and her jeep is outside."

"She's not here, Sookie's been going mad all morning in the kitchen."

"But where would she be? It's Friday, she knows today she's supposed to just stay here and try to remain calm until dinner."

"I guess she forgot. It's not unlike her."

Rory gave him her best annoyed face. She hated when he talked about her as if she were the worst human being on the planet. She was her mother. "Michel, she wouldn't forget Friday."

"Fine, then what would you like me to do?"

"Call Luke. If she's not here, she has to be there getting coffee."

"Should I also put in a call to your grandparents?" He asked, picking the phone up off the hook.

Rory turned, her eyes wide and she shouted, "NO!"

"No what?" Sookie asked, emerging from the kitchen. "Hey Rory, have you seen your mom."

"Seems Lorelai has gone AWOL," Michel sneered at the two.

"What?" Sookie asked.

Rory grabbed her arm and turned quickly, "Michel, please, just call Luke's, DON'T call my grandparents, that's the last thing mom needs." Then she ushered Sookie into the kitchen. "Seriously now, where's my mom?"

Sookie remained serious. "I don't know."

"Well, when was the last time you saw her?"

"This morning, she was going upstairs to check on a complaint."

Rory nodded, "Ok, first thing we need to do is call that woman, see if mom ever got up there to actually hear her out."

Sookie smiled, "See, this is why we need you around more often."

Rory rolled her eyes and gave a small laugh, "Come on." The two pranced out of the kitchen. Dropping her bag near the front desk, Rory pulled her jacket on for warmth and then headed towards the elevator with Sookie. The younger girl looked at the sign, "This thing is still busted? I thought you guys had elevator repairs guys come fix it yesterday."

"Yeah, they weren't done, had to come back today. Said it had a major wiring short circuit or something crazy like that. This is what happens when you let electronics get behind the times."

Rory nodded her head, "To the stairs," she said in her most official voice, pointing.

"The stairs!" Sookie repeated, practically bouncing.




In the Elevator
11:03AM


"My stomach burns," Lorelai stated. She was bored and they hadn't said more than two words to each other in an hour. It was annoying her because she was so used to spending the day chattering with people, so to be quiet for so long, it was just... wrong, she thought. People needed to talk. She needed to talk. It was part of her job description, part of her DNA code, part of her existence -- to just talk. She crossed her arms on her stomach and looked at him.

"What?" he asked.

"My stomach burns."

"And what would you like me to do?" He cracked a half smile.

"First off, don't smile at me like it's funny. It's not funny. I can't go this long without eating and running around and coffee. You realize I'm having coffee withdrawal. I'm going to be drooling all over your shoulder in a little while and my hands'll be shaking and I'll get all pasty white and sweaty."

"Please shut up," he closed his eyes, turning his head slightly.

"Luke, you have to talk to me, take my mind off my stomach."

"What is there to talk about, I believe we've exhausted our fighting words for today."

"Awe, this wasn't fighting," she slapped his shoulder playfully.

"It wasn't," he looked back at her, confused.

"No, fighting involves hair pulling and scratching. This was just witty banter."

"Witty banter?"

"Must you repeat everything I say?"

"You're the one who asked me to talk to you."

"Fine," she spat, "Don't talk to me. I can talk to myself."

"Lorelai?" he rubbed his temples.

"Yes, dear?"

"Shut up."

She pouted, clasping her hands together and letting them fall into her lap. "You know, when Rory was little we used to turn out all the lights and play Marco-Polo when we moved into the house. It was fun 'cause apparently my kid can see in the dark and she never bumped into anything, but me? I'd be ramming into everything and shouting and laughing and she'd find me in an instant."

"That's because you're clumsy."

"I'm not clumsy."

"You're not," he started to laugh. "What about the time you broke your leg?"

"Totally not my fault."

"And the time you were eating and dropped an entire burger on your lap. Open, with ketchup."

"Ok, that was stupid, but hey, my mind was elsewhere."

"What about all the other times you've done the same?"

"My mind is often elsewhere," she defended herself, knowing it was a weak defense.

"You're clumsy, just admit it." He sounded angry, but Lorelai knew he wasn't.

She licked her lips and looked him directly in the eyes, "I'm not clumsy."

"You never give up."

"Never!" She threw one pointed finger in the air and then let it drop, laughing.

"Why are you like this?"

"I'm a product of my upbringing." She crossed her eyes and smiled when he laughed at her. "That's the good thing about me, I can make anyone laugh. Isn't that a good thing? I mean, anyone else would have lost it by now in here, but not me."

"Yes, it's fortunate that you're in here or I might have killed myself," he said sarcastically.

Lorelai let her head fall against the wall behind her. Luke stared ahead of him. She pursed her lips, thinking that now would not be the greatest time to tell him that she did have to go to the bathroom. Damned coffee, she found herself thinking. "You know what I'd like right now?"

"What?" he asked, annoyed.

"Don't sound so excited."

"It's just that you can't stay quiet."

"I can too, I did for a whole hour."

"One hour, do you know what that is?"

"It's a whole episode of Charmed, complete with commercials," she told him, in an excited announcer voice.

Luke creased his eyebrows and shook his head, "Lorelai, shut up."

"Does this mean you want me to shut up?"

"Yes."

"What do I get out of this?"

"The knowledge that you can shut up."

"I know I can, I choose not to."

"Well right now my throbbing brain would like it if you chose to shut up."

"What if I don't want to?"

"You're teasing me now."

"No, being totally serious." She crossed her heart with two fingers.

Luke turned and looked at her. "You couldn't be serious about anything."

"I can be serious about not wanting to shut up." Lorelai smiled. "I told you already: the stomach's a rumblin' and my brain needs to think about something else so I don't think about my tummy. Now, the best way to think about something else is to talk about something so, so I don't want to shut up."

"Are you always like this!?" He watched her nod.

"I have to be 'cause if I slow down, I'll think about my stomach. Did I mention I was trying to avoid that right now..."

Luke reached forward and grabbed her head, pulling her towards him and kissing her. He thought it would be horrible, that the parts of him that didn't like her would make this the most repelling motion he'd ever done, but he found it quite the opposite. Lorelai's lips were softer than he'd imagined and she tasted, not surprisingly, like coffee. Releasing her, he stared at her closed eyes and pouted lips a moment. When she opened her eyes and looked at him, his stomach turned and he swallowed hard.

"That'll work," she whispered.

"What?" he asked, forgetting what they'd been talking about before.

Lorelai leaned forward again, capturing Luke's lips.




Independence Inn
11:13AM


Rory headed down the stairs with Sookie, both looking as perplexed as they had minutes before they went up the stairs. In her mind, Rory was going through all the places that her mother could have gone, but all signs point to her still being at the Inn. Her mom knew better than to go running off without leaving a note, or at least taking her car. A light bulb went off in Rory's head and she ran ahead of Sookie to the front desk, yanking the phone out of Michel's hands.

"This is an emergency, you'll have to call back in ten minutes!" Rory slammed her hand on the phone, hanging it up and began dialing.

"The child's gone insane just like her mother, what is she doing?" He asked Sookie. "What are you doing?!" He looked at Rory as she waited, placing one hand over her free ear.

"Shut up!" She told him.

"No, I will not shut up, that was my cousin! Do you know how long it takes to dial long distance and get through?"

"Shut up!" Rory repeated.

Michel looked at Sookie, who was approaching, "The crazy Gilmore child is telling me to shut up. I thought you told me she was the nice one."

Sookie shrugged her shoulders and touched Rory's back, "Honey, why did you hang up the phone?"

"Mom's cell phone."

"Oh," Sookie sighed, then looked up at Michel. "She's calling her mom."

Rory hung up the phone, "Out of the service area."

"What's that mean?" Sookie asked. The woman didn't care for a cell phone, she was normally too busy cooking something to worry about the phone.

"She's either been abducted by aliens, or she's run away from home."

"Either one believable with Lorelai," Michel muttered. "Personally, I'd prefer abduction, less chance of return."

"Must you be so vile?" Rory shot, narrowing her eyes at him.

"Must you be so small and annoying," he replied, reaching under the desk to pull out some mail to sort.

Rory grunted and turned to Sookie, "Ok, she was supposed to go upstairs and talk to this lady, but she never made it up there."

Michel snorted.

"What?" Rory asked, turning to look at him.

"She didn't go up stairs."

"Then where did she go?"

"She went up the elevator."

"The one that's out of service?" Rory pointed.

Michel looked up and his jaw dropped, "That sign was NOT there this morning." Then he composed himself, trying to look as if it didn't affect him.

"You mean she got in the elevator?" Sookie questioned, pointing again at the elevator.

"Yes, with the crazy man."

"Crazy man?" Rory and Sookie asked simultaneously.

"The one with the cap that doesn't look like he shaves or bathes."

"Luke..." they both sighed, lowering their heads. Then their heads snapped back up as they shouted, "LUKE?!

Rory turned to Michel, "My mom got in the elevator with Luke?"

"I believe that's what I just said," Michel returned.

"And the elevator doesn't work," Sookie surmised.

"My mom got STUCK in the elevator with Luke," Rory corrected herself, staring at Michel who looked somewhat frightened now.

"So the elevator must be stopped up," Sookie nodded.

Rory turned and grabbed Sookie's arms, "My mother IS STUCK in the elevator WITH LUKE." Did everyone else not see the implications, she thought. They'd kill each other, for sure. Rory released Sookie and turned to Michel, "Call 911."

"What?"

"Get someone over here to open the elevator!" She slammed her hands on the desk in front of him and stared at him with her eyes wide open until he picked up the phone and began dialing. Rory paced the center of the lobby, not caring that people were staring at her. She'd probably been there all morning. Rory glanced at her watch, she had to be hungry.

Sookie approached her slowly. "Hon, it'll be ok."

"No, it can't be ok." She looked at her suddenly, "What if one of them has to pee? Or what if Luke gets sick of her rambling, you know how she rambles, and he chokes her."

"Well, I guess she can't ramble, can she," Sookie let out a nervous laugh and Rory went and threw herself onto a couch, pulling her Chilton jacket off and tossing it on the arm, then she leaned back as Sookie sat next to her. "It'll be ok Rory, it's just an elevator. What can happen in an elevator?"

Rory's mind was going through the possibilities already.




In the Elevator
11:15AM


Lorelai finally pushed away from him and she stood, walking to the opposite side of the elevator, not looking back at him. There were a few rules she'd made for herself long ago and one of them was not to kiss Luke, no matter the circumstances. Crossing her arms, she turned and leaned on the wall, staring up at the ceiling.

"Well, it worked," Luke said breathlessly.

"What?"

"You're speechless."

"Oh, the words are jumbling in my head."

"But that's good, they're not coming out of your mouth." Luke stood, leaning against the wall he was on. He stared at her. In all the years he'd known Lorelai, he'd never seen her speechless. It was awkward and making him antsy. It was one thing for her to be quiet while counting ceiling tiles, or playing with her fingers as she'd been doing before and it was something quite different when she was avoiding him and thinking. Lorelai thinking could be a very dangerous things.

"What are you thinking?" She asked.

Again with the words, he thought. "What are you thinking?"

She looked at him, pursing her lips and contemplating.

"Lorelai?"

"How long are we going to be stuck in here?"

"That's what you're thinking?"

"Yes," she admitted.

"Why?"

"Because what just happened, that's something where when it happens, I want to run out of the room, not remain trapped in it."

"That bad?" He looked down.

"That good," Lorelai corrected.

Luke looked up. "What?"

"Not to get your ego all bloated, but that was good." She half smiled, then stopped herself saying loudly, "That's a problem."

"Why is it a problem?" Luke asked, exasperated.

"Because I can't kiss you," Lorelai stated, rolling her eyes.

"Why not?" He was confused.

"Because," she shot, lowering her eyebrows and looking away.

Luke took a step forward and her eyes went back to his. "I want to know."

She raised a finger, "Look who's starting the fight now."

"No, you started this."

"Oh!" She widened her eyes, "How did I start this one?!"

"Your stomach," he pointed.

"What?" She screamed.

"You wanted to keep your mind off your stomach."

Lorelai could hear the annoyance in his voice. But she couldn't help open her mouth and utter, "And you kissed me."

"You kissed me back," he said immediately.

"Yeah, so." Lorelai didn't really have anything better to come back with. She knew this argument couldn't be won by either of them.

"So, you could have stopped this and been done with it, but you didn't."

"So this is my fault."

"Essentially." Luke stared at her and she looked at the floor.

"Fine."

"What?"

"Fine, it's my fault."

"You're admitting defeat?" He took another step towards her.

"Yes," she looked up at him.

"Why?"

"Oh My God!" Lorelai threw her hands in the air as he took another step forward.

"What?"

She looked up and her body jerked back at seeing him so much closer. "Are we going to fight about everything?"

"No."

"When then, when are we not going to fight?"

Luke gave a small nod of his head, "When we're kissing."

Lorelai watched him walk right up to her, hugging her, pulling her against him and she was surprised that her body didn't fight it. Her brain was screaming that it was wrong, that she couldn't be making out with Luke while stuck in the elevator, but her body was telling her, 'Hey Lorelai, it's been a while and he's a hottie.' Lorelai hated her body sometimes. If it hadn't been for the banging on the elevator door, Lorelai knew this would have been an event to remember.




Streets
10:29PM


Lorelai walked with her daughter under her arm. From the minute they'd walked into her parents house at eight on the dot until they left two hours later, her mother didn't say a single bad word. She suspected it was because it was too soon after Rory's birthday and they wanted to keep the good that had occurred that weekend for at least a while longer. They served them a lovely fish meal, which Lorelai had called to request earlier in the day and she took some of Sookie's sauce, which pleased all.

Now she hugged her daughter, knowing she was wondering the same thing Lorelai wouldn't tell: what went on in that elevator. She'd emerged without her shoes on and covered in coffee and her child had jumped up from the lobby couch and ran to hug her. When she looked at Luke, he was rubbing at his face with the edge of his shirt, trying to rid himself of the lipstick that had smeared on his lips. Lorelai thought, for a moment, that they were busted. Life as they knew it would be completely different if Rory found out their lips had met.

Rory stopped her mother, "Aren't we gonna stop at Luke's?"

"Why would we want to do that?" Lorelai laughed nervously.

"Oh, I don't know, possibly because we do it every Friday." Rory smiled at her mother, waiting in front of the door. She watched her mother's features freeze and she narrowed her eyes at her.

Lorelai waved a hand at her kid, acting like she'd told a joke, "I think I've seen enough of Luke for one day, doncha think? I mean, hell four hours in an elevator was enough to kill him."

Rory turned away from her and pushed open the door.

"HEY!" Lorelai walked in after and watched Rory walk towards the table they always sat at and she glanced up at the counter, thankful Luke wasn't there. It was possible the man had gone home, she told herself.

"I'm proud of you mom," Rory said, taking her seat and watching her mom do the same.

Lorelai's eyebrows fell as she remained silent a moment, then asked, confused, "Why's that?"

"You and Luke."

"Huh?" Her eyes widened.

"You didn't kill each other."

She laughed again, "No, we didn't."

Luke emerged from the back and paused when Lorelai looked up at him. He balled his fists momentarily and then walked towards them. "Hey Rory."

"Hey Luke, can I have a brownie smothered in ice cream, whip cream and..."

"Chocolate syrup," he finished for her.

"Yup," she said with a quick nod.

Luke looked straight ahead, "Lorelai, you want anything."

"Coffee," she half whispered.

He nodded and went into the back to get Rory's ice cream. Rory watched him leave and then looked at her mother, "Ok, what happened?"

"What?"

"You just asked him for coffee and he didn't throw a fit. That's not normal."

Lorelai clasped her hands together, "Let's just say we came to a sort of agreement in the elevator."

"So what happened?"

"I think we're just tired of fighting today."

"So you fought?"

"What?"

"In the elevator," Rory laughed.

Lorelai shook her head. "Oh no, not more than usual."

Luke walked back to their table and placed Rory's ice cream in front of her and Lorelai's coffee in the center of the table, then he pointed at her, "Can I talk to you?"

"Sure," Lorelai responded, looking up at him. He remained where he stood and she lowered her eyebrows at him, then jumped up from the chair, "Oh, this is one of those 'private' conversations, isn't it. Damn me and my personal self."

Rory watched the two walk away, towards the bathroom. She took a spoonful of her ice cream and crammed it into her mouth, wanting to know why her mother wasn't talking. This wasn't like her. They shared everything. Looking out the window, she saw Dean passing by and she was tempted to hide. He made her feel so sick to her stomach, but the good sort of sick. He looked into the window and smiled at her, waving, then came in and she found herself unable to speak. Rory wanted to smack herself, it was only when he was around that her mouth didn't work.

"Where's your mom?"

"Talking with Luke in the bathroom," she said quickly.

"Oh," he sighed, his eyebrows falling.

"What's wrong?" She asked.

"I thought you were here alone?"

"Why?"

He smiled, "Thought I'd walk you home." He started to turn and she stood.

"You can."

"But your mom..." he pointed towards the bathroom.

"I'll leave her a note." Rory smiled, reaching into her mother's bag.




In the Bathroom
10:35PM


Luke pushed Lorelai into the bathroom and closed the door behind them, pulling it hard because he knew if he didn't it would swing back open and Rory would hear them. He didn't think Rory would want to hear them. He leaned forward, checking underneath the stalls, not that there had been any customers in the past twenty minutes, but just in case some kid had come in while he wasn't looking. Luke was used to stupid kids coming in to vandalize the bathroom.

"What?" Lorelai asked.

Luke clasped his hands together and asked, "You haven't told Rory, have you?"

"No, and up until now, I'm sure she wasn't suspicious."

"Why would this be suspicious?"

Lorelai stared at him as if he were insane. "Oh, gee, I don't know, the fact that we never talk and suddenly you're pulling me away from the table to have a private conversation on the same day that we were stuck in an elevator together for hours."

"Ok." Luke looked away and then back at her, "Are you going to tell her?"

"Hell No!" Lorelai didn't hesitate, and she could see the hurt in his eyes.

"Good, I didn't want you to."

"Yes, you did." She crossed her arms over her chest, watching im fidget.

"No, I didn't." Luke paused, then said quietly, "Let's not fight about this."

Lorelai dropped her arms at her side and stared at him as if he had just done something amazing, "So, what ARE we going to do about it? I don't know about you, but to me that's not something you just push out of your head and pretend it didn't happen."

"That's what you're going to have to do." He stated, trying to sound as harsh as he could.

"And what if I went out there and told her right now."

"You're not going to," Luke ordered.

"Is that a challenge?" Lorelai asked.

"Is THAT a challenge!?" Luke shouted.

They both grunted, turning from one another. Lorelai looked back first, seeing the tense way he held his shoulders as he placed his hands on his hips. "Ok, so we won't tell anyone."

"Good." He didn't turn, just stared at the floor.

"Fine." She walked past him and pulled on the door, shocked when it didn't open. "Did you lock this?"

"What?" Luke's head snapped up and he stared at her.

She pulled on the door again, "It's stuck."

"What do you mean it's stuck?"

"What's it sound like? The door is jammed, it won't open."

"Yes it will." He went towards the door and moved her, pulling on the door handle.

Lorelai crossed her arms and stood back, watching him, "Oh yeah, we're gonna try this again."

Luke turned, "Fine, Rory's on the other side, we'll scream, she'll hear, she'll come and everything'll be fine."

"Ok," Lorelai nodded, moving closer to the door. "RORY!" She waited a moment, her heart skipping a beat when she heard silence. "Rory this isn't funny! Come here and open the door." Again, silence. "Where could she have gone?"

"You don't think she's outside the door laughing at us, do you?" Luke asked.

Turning, Lorelai gave him an annoyed look and shook her head. "Rory's not the kind of kid who would do that. She'd let us know she was on the other side and THEN she'd laugh at us. That's the kind of kid she is."

"RORY!" Luke shouted. "This isn't a good time for games!" He looked at Lorelai, "Is it possible she went home."

Shaking her head, Lorelai sighed, "Only if a friend came by."

"How often does that happen?" Luke asked.

"It's Friday," Lorelai whimpered. "You have the Closed sign on, don't you."

Luke started to nod and he looked up at Lorelai as she looked back at him. They both saw the worry on each other's face as they realized they could end up stuck in the bathroom for hours. Lorelai started to smile slightly and she shrugged her shoulders, looking around,

"It's a bigger space. We have room to sleep if it gets to that."

Luke looked at the floor and then looked at Lorelai. She did the same quickly and then they stared at each other again. Lorelai licked her lips; Luke bit his. After a moment, they both turned to the door and shouted, "RORY!"




End. Well, that was certainly different. I've never done bickering like this before. Well, not true, once for an X-Files story, but that was way different. ;) Now, this is the part where you comment... please... pretty please.

Mystic
mysticxf@aol.com
http://www.crosswinds.net/~padmex/


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