100 chapters. I can't even beleive this. Wow. Thank you for sticking with me through 100 chapters! How insane is that! Especially considering this was supposed to be a one-shot! This has been my favorite story to write and I feel so grateful to all of you. You are amazing! Thank you for everything! Not sure how much more of this there will be...but we will see. Maybe I'll do a sequel at some point! I definitely have other ideas for different stories too so we shall see!Anyway enjoy Chapter 100 and we will see where the road takes us!
Lorelai had been awake for nearly four days now but was still stuck in the hospital, being monitored by the nurses and Doctors. She was getting antsy to leave, but understood that she needed to take things as easy as possible. One afternoon, she was sitting with Ellie in her arms, admiring her softly.
"Look at you little one." Lorelai said with a smile, "You are so beautiful." She sighed and touched her soft cheek, "I knew you were meant to come into this world." Ellie cooed up at her, "You're perfect. But...I can't wait to go home."
Dr. Navarian walked in the room and smiled, "Well I'm hoping we can get you out of here soon...just not today."
Lorelai sighed, "How much longer?"
Dr. Navarian sat down beside her in the chair that Luke usually occupied, "Where's Luke?"
"He's calling my parents. Checking in on Rory." She said with a smile, "He'll be back in a minute. He refuses to go home."
Dr. Navarian smiled, "Well he just wants to take care of you."
Lorelai stared at him for a moment, "Tell me how bad it was…"
Dr. Navarian held his clipboard close and sighed, "You want the whole truth?" She nodded once and nuzzled Ellie, "I didn't think you were going to make it Lorelai. I truly didn't."
She cringed slightly, "So that bad then...I can't imagine he took it well."
He smiled sadly, "Well his worst fears were coming true. He held up well for your family...but I know he was pretty terrified too. He stuck with your wishes though. He told me to save little Ellie first, that's what you wanted. I know it killed him to do it though. Not that he doesn't love your little girl."
Lorelai looked down at her, "She's a wonder, isn't she?"
He smiled, "I always think it will get old, delivering babies. Yet everyday, every baby I bring into the world always amazes me. And this little one...there was something special about her. There is something special about her. Just like her Mother. You fought hard, and I'm glad I was able to be there for you both."
She smiled at him, "Well we are both very grateful you helped us through this. I couldn't wait to meet my little girl...I was determined to do it. But I wouldn't have been able to make it through without you. Or my husband."
He smiled and stood up, "Two more days at least, okay? Let us continue to take care of you. You need all the rest you can get. You practically came back from the dead there Lorelai. No simple feat."
She smiled and nodded her head slowly, "Okay. We'll rest."
He gave her and Ellie one last look and then walked out of the room just as Luke was walking in. He smiled at her and sat down in the chair Dr. Navarian had just gotten out of. "Rory is coming by later."
Lorelai sighed, "She shouldn't be spending so much time in the hospital. It's no place for a kid…"
Luke smiled and scooted forward to take Ellie from her arms, he pressed a kiss to her small head, "She misses you. She wants to see you."
Lorelai sighed and rested her head against the wall, "Dr. Navarian says at least two more days."
He cringed, "Geez…"
"Luke you need to go home." She said softly, she saw him start to fidget, "You need to get back to the Diner."
"None of that matters." He said rocking Ellie gently, "I need to be here."
She sighed, "Hon I know that-"
"I need to be here." He said looking up at her quickly, "I'm not leaving. Okay?"
Something in the tremor of his voice startled her, she sucked in her bottom lip and nodded before whispering, "Okay."
He stared at her for another moment and then sat down again with Ellie, "Rory said their are lots of flowers being delivered at the house. And apparently Kirk brought some sort of tree for us to plant."
Lorelai snapped out of her daze for a moment and frowned, "A tree?"
He shrugged, "Who the hell knows, it's Kirk?"
She smiled, "Fair enough." She looked down at her hands, "My Mom apparently wants to come stay with us for a few days...when I do go home."
Luke nodded, "It's not a bad idea."
She smirked at him, "You really want my Mother to live with us?"
He sighed, "Is it ideal? No. But, we're going to need help. We knew that anyway. But under the circumstances…"
She opened her mouth to say something but a knock on the door interrupted her, "Can we interrupt?"
Lorelai looked up and smiled when she saw Jamie and Tyler standing in the doorway, "Hey...I thought you guys were heading home today."
Jamie smiled and walked in, "We are...but we wanted to come see you first."
Lorelai smiled and sat up as she watched Jamie take Ellie from Luke's arms, "I'm glad you did."
"I'm only going back for a few days." Tyler said, "Then I'm coming back."
Luke shook his head, "Tyler you really don't need to do that. It's okay. You have a life to get back too."
Tyler frowned, "And so did you when you came and took care of me and the kids."
Luke sighed, "I think you've made up for that more than once Ty. Really. We're good. Lorelai's Mother is going to come stay with us anyway. We'll have help."
Tyler sat down beside Lorelai and smiled, "Mom's moving in, huh?"
Lorelai smiled softly, "We were just discussing it but it seems my husband has made the final decision for me."
Jamie rocked Ellie gently, "Having two little ones is going to be a lot of work. Plus...you just went through quite an ordeal Lorelai...you're going to have to accept a little help."
"That's not something she's very good at." Luke said with a little smile as he looked at his wife.
She narrowed her eyes at him, "Oh and you are?"
He chuckled, "Fair enough. But right now...it would help me if you allowed others to help you."
She stared at him for a moment, "And what about you?"
He smiled, "I'm good Lorelai. Really. Just focus on you."
She opened her mouth to say something but Tyler squeezed her hand and gave her a smile. She looked down and hesitated, trying to decide what to say.
"Hey Luke want to come outside with me real quick? We brought some stuff from the house for Lorelai." He said.
Luke looked at his friend, oblivious to his motives, "Oh sure." He turned to his wife, "You okay?"
She nodded, "I'll be here. Don't worry."
He smiled once and gave Ellie a quick kiss in Jamie's arms and then walked out of the room with Tyler. Lorelai watched him go and sighed sadly, feeling an ache in her chest. Jamie continued to nuzzle Ellie but looked over at her friend.
"You okay?" She asked gently, "Feeling any pain?"
Lorelai shook her head, "No I'm okay. Still sore obviously...and very tired. But I'm getting better everyday."
Ellie had started to drift off to sleep so Jamie placed her down gently in her bassinet. Carefully she walked over to her friend and sat down on the edge of the bed, "He worries. It's what he does."
Lorelai sighed, "I know. I know that's what he does...he always has. But...it almost feels like this has changed something between us."
Jamie frowned, "It only changes things if you let it change things."
Lorelai looked down at her hands in her lap, "Jamie...I have to be honest for a second. I really didn't think that I would go through that. I thought...I thought it would be okay. I thought I'd have the C-section and everything would be fine. I know that was probably naive but...I just did."
"It wasn't you being naive, it was you being hopeful." Jamie said with a smile, "You didn't want anything bad to happen. Of course you didn't. But...you're okay now."
Lorelai frowned, "But I almost wasn't."
Jamie sighed and looked down, "Do you have any idea how much Luke loves you?"
She cringed slightly, "I've always thought I did. But...I'm not sure I realized how deep it went until now."
"You are his world." Jamie said with tears prickling in her eyes, "He was a mess Lorelai. I mean he kept it together for Rory...for your family. But I could see it. The haunted look behind his eyes. I know he has never been that scared before."
Lorelai sniffled slightly, "I'm sure he felt like I did when he was in a coma…"
"Then you understand how difficult this is. Especially for him...he's had a lot of loss. He was already scared. I imagine finding you like that in the bathroom...it is probably something he will never forget."
Lorelai sighed, "So what do I do?"
Jamie squeezed her hand gently, "You let him process. He'll come to you when he's ready."
"Did he tell you about...about what I saw?" She asked curiously.
Jamie smiled, "He did...and I'm sure that has brought up a lot for him too."
"You don't think I'm crazy?" She asked softly, "I wouldn't blame you if you did."
Jamie leaned in and gave her a hug, "I've always known you were capable of miracles Lorelai. So no...I don't for a second think you are crazy. Rest now…"
Lorelai leaned back against the bed, "Thank you for being here…"
Jamie squeezed gently and got back up to check on Ellie. Lorelai sat on the bed and wondered how she would be able to get through to her husband…
Outside, Luke was transferring things from Tyler's car to the sidewalk. He was tense, Tyler could see it but he waited until Luke was done.
"Have you had any sleep?" He asked his friend softly.
Luke sighed, "Ty I'm fine. Really."
Tyler nodded, "Sure. Yeah I know. I know you're tough. But...this has been a lot on you. On everyone."
Luke looked down, "Everything is fine now."
"Is it?" Tyler asked cautiously, "It doesn't look that way to me."
Luke frowned, "What's your point Tyler?"
"My point is that I know you. And I know that you are still scared...and under stress. So why don't you take the advice you gave to your wife and let someone help." He said with a frown.
Luke sighed and slowly sat down on the curb, "I can't get the images out of my head...of her lying there on the ground at the house. Of the blood. OF the days it took for her to wake up…"
Tyler nodded, "I know." He slowly went over and sat beside his friend, "But she's okay now."
Luke nodded, "Sure. Now she's okay...but what if she hadn't been okay? How would I have raised those three kids on my own?"
"You wouldn't have been totally alone." Tyler whispered, he frowned when he saw Luke cringe, "Yes she wouldn't have been here but...you know what I mean." There was a pause, "But...she is here Luke."
"Then why does it feel like I could still lose her?" He asked looking at his friend, "Why am I still so scared?"
"Because you love her." Tyler said with a sad smile, "I've felt that way with Jamie. And Lorelai felt that way with you after your accident."
"Yeah well it sucks." He said with a sigh, "And I'd like it to stop haunting me."
"It will take time." Tyler said softly, "But in the meantime...she needs you healthy and strong too. Therefore you need rest."
Luke looked back at the hospital, "I hate the thought of her being stuck here alone at night."
Tyler nodded, "You want me to stay? Because I can. Jamie can take the kids back and I'll go back later."
Luke shook his head, "No...no you need to go. It's time."
Tyler sighed, knowing there was no getting through to his stubborn friend, "Fine. But...you call me if you change your mind and I'm coming right back."
Luke smirked at his friend, "I know."
Tyler stood up and clapped him on the back, "Come on...let's go back up."
Luke stared at him for a moment, "She's okay…"
Tyler nodded slowly, "She's okay."
Taking a deep breath, Luke stood up and went to grab the bags from the sidewalk. Together, eh walked with his friend back upstairs, he had to start relaxing or it would drive him completely insane. And right now...all that mattered was his wife and the rest of their family.
Back at the house, Rory was sitting with Liam in his room playing with him. Liam giggled and clapped as she made funny noises and faces.
Emily knocked on the door and smiled, "Having fun?"
Rory looked up at her Grandma and nodded, "I like that he can actually play back a little now."
Emily smiled and walked over to them, "A very fun age indeed." She looked back at the door, "There's some friends of yours here to visit."
Rory frowned, "Oh really?" She hadn't seen many of her friends lately because she was spending so much time at the hospital with her Mom, "Who?"
"Jess brought Lane, Paris and that Dean boy over." She said with a little smile.
Rory's face flushed, "Oh...oh really?"
Emily nodded, "I'll take over from here. Go spend some time with your friends."
Rory bit her lip gently, "It feels weird...considering everything that has been going on."
Emily sighed and leaned down to pick up Liam, she smiled down at her grandaughter, "Your Mother would want you to be happy Rory. She's okay now...and so is your sister. It's okay to be a kid again."
Rory took a deep breath and stood up, "Okay...but maybe we'll just hang out close by. You know just in case Mom calls and needs me. And I'll be back later, I told Luke I'd visit."
Emily smiled, knowing there was no use in arguing with Rory, "Okay. Grandpa or I will drive you."
Rory smiled and kissed Liam's cheek before walking out of the room and down the hall. She walked out to the front steps and smiled at her friends, "What are you all doing here?"
Lane stepped up and gave Rory a hug, "We thought you could use an escape for a few hours."
Rory hugged her back, realizing just how good it felt to have a distraction, "That would be nice."
Paris smiled softly at her, "How is your Mom doing?"
Rory shrugged and shut the door behind her, "She's getting better everyday I guess. Still pretty tired...but hopefully she'll be home soon."
Jess smiled at her, "She'll be back before you know it Rory. No one can keep your Mom down for long."
Rory smiled at her cousin, "I know."
Dean shrugged, "What do you guys want to do?"
Lane put her arm around her friend, "Rory gets to pick. Today is all about her."
Rory smiled thankfully at her friend, "Maybe just hit the lake for awhile? I'll need to be back later...I promised Mom I'd visit."
Lane smiled, "The lake it is then. Meet you all there in ten?"
"Sounds like a plan." Dean said from his spot, "I'll bring some snacks."
"Me too." Jess said as he walked back towards the center of town, "See you all there."
Everyone except Lane walked away for a moment, Lane turned to her friend, "You okay?"
Rory shrugged, "Just feel like I've been in a daze ya know?"
Lane nodded, "I want to visit...but I wasn't sure if I should interrupt."
"No it's okay. I understand. There were so many people coming in and out it was hard. You'll see Mom and Ellie when they get home." She said with a smile.
Lane reached out and squeezed her friends hand, "You know I'm here if you need me, right?"
Rory smiled, "I know Lane. Thank you."
Lane nodded, "Meet you at the lake in a few minutes."
Rory nodded and turned to dash into the house again. She ran upstairs and started looking for her bathing suit. Emily walked into the room and smiled, holding Liam in her arms.
"Heading to the lake?" She asked as she bounced him up and down.
Rory looked up, "Yeah. Is that okay? Just for a few hours. Then I'll come back to go see Mom and Ellie."
Emily nodded, "It's okay if you miss a day too you know Rory. Your Mom will understand. You need a break."
Rory stared at her Grandma for a moment, "I just...I don't want to miss anything."
Emily nodded, "I understand. Go have fun with your friends though...you deserve it."
Rory smiled, grabbed her suit and towel and went to change in the bathroom. Emily watched her go, hoping the young girl would find the time to relax a little.
Twenty minutes later, Rory sat on the dock with her feet dangling in the water below her. Paris was reading nearby and Lane and Jess were in the water playing a game with other kids from school. Rory smiled at them and waved when Lane waved back at her. Dean sat down beside her and held out a bottle of water.
"Thought you might be thirsty." He said softly, "There's soda in the cooler if you'd prefer though."
Rory smiled and took the bottle, "No this is great. Thanks Dean."
He smiled and sat beside her, "So...any idea when your Mom will be home?"
Rory shook her head, "Not sure yet. Hopefully within the next few days. It feels like it's been forever."
He nodded, "Jess said it was pretty bad there for awhile…"
Rory blushed softly, "It was...it was pretty terrible yeah. I wasn't sure what was going to happen."
He stared at her for a moment, "You okay?"
She smiled again and shrugged her shoulders, "Oh I'm fine."
Dean frowned, "You know you don't have to put up a front for me."
She sighed and looked down, "Honestly? It was pretty terrifying. I thought I was going to lose my Mom there for awhile."
Dean sighed and looked down at the water, "I can't imagine. I lost my Grandpa last year before we moved and it was the worst feeling. We did a lot together...when he was sick I felt like I was constantly waiting for him to die. And then he did...and even then the pain was still there."
Rory frowned, "I'm sorry. I didn't know…"
Dean shook his head, "I haven't really talked to anyone about it. It's part of why we moved. My Mom didn't want to have to be in Chicago without him around I think. So we ended up here."
Rory nodded, "And how do you like it now that you've settled in?"
He looked around and shrugged, "Much different than Chicago. But it's not so bad." He smiled softly at her, "Especially now that I have you as a friend."
She blushed and looked down at the water bottle in her hand, "Well I'm glad we're friends too Dean."
He swallowed hard, "Do you think that...sometime you'd like to go see a movie together or something?"
She sat up a little straighter, "Oh...just us?"
Dean shrugged, "Not if you don't want too. We can invite everyone else if you'd prefer…"
She shook her head, "Oh...oh no I just…" She smiled and looked down, "That would be nice Dean."
He nodded, "Okay. Cool. Um...we can wait obviously until things calm down."
Rory nodded, "Great."
He let out a shaky breath and looked out at his friends in the water, "So...Jess and I are starting to study for our permit test."
Rory smiled, "Oh yeah he mentioned that. Hard to believe we'll be 16...you will be sooner than me."
Dean nodded, "Just a couple more weeks. It will be pretty cool when we can drive around."
"I think it will probably give my parents a heart attack." Rory said with a giggle.
"Mine too. But...still it will be fun." He said with a shrug, "More freedom."
Rory looked at him for a moment, struck by how handsome he looked, "Yeah...more freedom."
He blushed and put a hand to his face, "What? Do I have something on my face?"
She laughed and shook her head, "No! No...no you look good." She blushed, "I mean...I mean you're good."
He smirked, "Oh. Okay." They sat in awkward silence for a moment before he whispered, "For the record...you look good too."
She was pretty sure her cheeks were now bright, flaming red, "Oh-Oh thanks. Thanks Dean."
He smiled and turned away from her to watch their friends swim again. She took a shaky breath and tried to catalogue this moment as something she needed to discuss with her Mother. Those butterflies rolling around in her belly seemed to be multiplying by the day...and now more than ever she was sure as hell grateful that her Mom would be home safe and sound any day.
Later that evening, Rory walked into the hospital with her Grandparents and Liam. She waved to the nurses and walked into her Mom's room. Lorelai had just finished feeding Ellie and Luke was taking the little girl from her.
"Hey." Lorelai said with a smile, "There are my other trouble makers."
Rory smiled and placed Liam on her Mom's bed, smiling as he crawled over to his Mom, "We brought you some food from Sookie."
"I knew I smelled something other than hospital food." Lorelai said as she pulled Liam into her arms, wincing slightly, "Thanks hon."
Rory frowned, "You okay?"
"I'm fine hon." She said brushing her off as she placed a kiss to Liam's head, but she winced again as he wiggled around on her lap, "Just uh...just tired."
Luke sighed and placed Ellie in her bassinet before walking over, "I'll take him."
Lorelai frowned and held him a little tighter, "Luke I'm fine."
He gave her a look, "You need your rest. You were up walking around a lot today and you just fed Ellie."
She stared at him, "Luke let me spend some time with my son. I haven't seen him all day."
"Mamma." Liam said grabbing for her, "Mamma!"
Lorelai cringed when he pinched her stomach, "Ow."
Luke sighed and took his son, "Liam don't do that."
The little boy started to cry and she frowned up at him, "Luke he doesn't understand."
He shook his head and walked over towards the door, "He needs to be changed. I'll go do it down the hall."
Lorelai went to move off the bed, "Luke-"
"I've got it." He said shaking his head, "Just lie down. Have something to eat."
Lorelai sighed and leaned back against the bed, knowing it was no use. Richard smiled at his daughter and quietly exited the room to follow his son-in-law. Emily peered down at Ellie and then sat beside her daughter, "He's running himself ragged."
Lorelai sighed, "I know. But he won't stop."
"He's still worried." Rory said softly, "We should have seen this one coming."
Lorelai sighed and ran a hand through her hair, "I guess I should have. But I didn't think it would be this bad. Liam doesn't understand...he wasn't trying to hurt me."
"Of course he wasn't." Emily said with a shake of her head, "And I know that you want to hold him...but maybe it is better to hold off at least until you are feeling a lot better."
Lorelai frowned and felt the tears prickling in her eyes, "This sucks."
"It could have been a lot worse." Rory said with a growing lump in her throat, "Let's just be grateful for what we do have."
Lorelai turned her head to look at her daughter, realizing how hard this must have been for her too, "Oh hon...I'm sorry. I didn't mean-"
"I know." Rory said softly, "But...let's just take it one day at a time. Okay?"
Lorelai held her arm out, "Come here you."
Carefully, Rory got up and sat beside her Mom, curling up under her arm making sure not to hurt her in anyway. Lorelai pressed a kiss to the top of her daughter's head and ran her fingers through her hair. Emily smiled and got up to tend to Ellie, letting them have their moment in peace.
Down the hall, Luke was changing Liam in a family centered room for those who had family members in the hospital. Liam was lying on his back, tossing and turning as Luke tried desperately to change him.
"Mamma!" The little boy yelled, "Mamma! Mamma now!"
Luke sighed, "Liam bud. You gotta stay still for a second."
"No!" Liam said rolling away from him and crawling half naked around the room, "Mamma!"
As Richard walked into the room he bent down and scooped up the little boy, "I see we have a runaway on our hands?"
Luke sighed and sat back on his haunches, "He won't let me change him. He wants to see Lorelai."
"Mamma!" Liam wailed in his Grandfather's arms, "Mamma! See Mamma!"
Richard patted his back gently, "Shhh...take it easy little Liam. You will see Mamma soon. She'll be home soon." He saw Luke fidgeting out of the corner of his eyes, "Luke...if you want to go home and get some rest, Emily or I will stay with Lorelai tonight."
Luke shook his head, "No that's fine. I'm alright."
He stared at his son-in-law carefully, "Luke you haven't slept in a bed in far too long. Your neck must be killing you from that silly chair."
Luke started to pack up Liam's things and stood up, "Really Richard. I'm fine."
Richard stepped up to him, "Honestly Luke-"
"I said I'm fine!" Luke yelled which caused Liam to burst into tears in his Grandpa's arms, "Shit…"
Richard rubbed Liam's back gently, "It's alright Liam. Your Daddy didn't mean to yell."
Luke sighed and held his arms out, pulling his son into his arms. Liam snuggled into his Father's embrace and tucked his head under his chin. Luke bounced him gently, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry Liam. I didn't mean to get upset. Daddy's sorry."
Richard sat down in a nearby chair, "You know you're always telling my daughter that she needs to learn to ask for help." He looked up at Luke gently, "But I think you need to take that advice too."
Luke sighed and stopped pacing as Liam started to calm down, "I just need to be here for my wife."
Richard nodded, "Yes...but you also need to be healthy and rested. You're no good to her if you're falling apart."
Luke was quiet for a moment, "When does it stop hurting?"
Richard sighed and pushed himself up off the chair again, "I think maybe you should talk to her about this."
"She's got enough to worry about." Luke said shaking her head, "All she should be focussing on right now is her recovery and taking care of Ellie."
"But she knows you are upset." Richard said softly, "It's obvious Luke. You may be a man of few words...but you aren't a total mystery. She can read you like a book."
Luke stared at him for a moment, "She almost died."
Richard swallowed the lump in his throat, "I know. I was here…"
Luke sighed, "Every time I get close to her right now...I feel like something's going to happen and she'll slip away again. I don't think I could handle that."
"Luke…" He whispered reaching out to put a hand on Luke's shoulder, "I know you're scared. What you both went through was a lot to handle. It was a lot for all of us. But she is okay...she's here and she's not going anywhere. She needs you just as much as you need her. You need to relax a little bit or you're going to make yourself sick."
Luke looked up at him, "I'd feel bad leaving her tonight."
Richard shook his head, "She'll understand. I promise I'll never leave her side."
Luke sighed and looked at his son in his arms, "I…"
"Luke it's okay." He whispered again, "Everything is going to be okay."
Taking a deep breath, he pressed a kiss to his son's head and nodded once. Trying to find the ability to breath again after this long ordeal.
Later that evening as they were preparing to leave. Rory held Liam in front of her Mom and let her say her goodbyes for the night. She saw the tears in her eyes, but pretended not to notice. She kissed her Mom gently and then walked outside with her Grandparents.
Luke stood at the end of his wife's bed, "I don't have to go home you know."
She shook her head, "I want you to get some sleep."
He sighed and walked over beside her, sitting down carefully he took her hand, "It won't feel right without you there."
She smiled and lifted her other hand to caress his face, "I'll be back before you know it. Enjoy a night where I don't steal the covers from you."
He looked up into her eyes and felt a tremor start in his chest and lift to his throat, "You'll call if you need me? If Ellie needs me?"
Leaning forward she pressed her forehead to his, "I will. But we will be okay babe. I promise."
Luke sighed and breathed her in, "I love you Lorelai."
She smiled and gave him a soft kiss, "I know babe. I love you too."
He kissed her once more, stood up and peered down at Ellie in her little bed. She smiled up at him and his heart melted. Leaning down, Ellie wrapped her tiny fingers around one of his large fingers, "And I love you little Ellie Mae." She cooed up at him and he laughed, leaning down he kissed her softly, "I'll see you both in the morning."
She smiled and gave him a little wave, "We'll be here." He opened his mouth and she knew he was going to try and back out, "Go home Luke. Get some sleep. I need you healthy."
He sighed and walked over to her again, tilting her chin up he gave her a little peck, "I'll see you in the morning."
She nuzzled him gently, "Goodnight."
"Night." He said giving her another kiss and then walking out of the room again before he could change his mind.
Once outside, Richard smiled, "I'll keep them both safe."
Luke nodded, "Richard I-"
"I know." He said with a smile, "And believe me when I say it is a great comfort to me knowing that my daughter found someone who cares so deeply for her."
Luke looked at the closed door behind him and sighed, "She'll be fine…"
Richard nodded, "They both will be. Now go. Get some sleep...Emily will take care of Liam tonight. Nothing to worry about."
Luke swallowed hard, nodded once and then walked down the hallway to meet his kids and Mother-In-Law.
Richard smiled after them and walked into the room, he saw Lorelai reaching for the bag that Rory had brought that still held a few treats from Sookie.
He grabbed the bag and held it open for her, "I see you are gaining your appetite back."
Lorelai smiled sheepishly up at him, "Little by little."
"Good." He said pulling out some left over cake, "I'm glad to hear that."
She opened a little container with some tarts in it, "Think he'll run back in here?"
Richard chuckled and broke off a piece of the cake in his lap, "I'm sure he'll think about it. But...no. He'll go get some sleep. Otherwise I'll drag him home myself."
Lorelai smiled but then frowned softly, "I just...I don't want him to resent me."
Richard shook his head, "He never could Lorelai. You just scared him...you remember what it was like when he had his accident."
Lorelai nodded, "Yeah. I suppose I do. I had that little freak out even after...when I saw that he had made a Will before the wedding."
"When you find the right person, the thought of living life without them is too much to bare." He said with a frown, "Even when I was mad at your Mother when you first came back in our lives... I was always afraid of something happening. She means the world to me. It's hard to imagine life without your partner in crime."
She smiled and looked down at her own food, "Yes it is."
Richard smiled at her, "All you need to worry about right now is getting better. Everything else will fall into place in time."
Lorelai smiled up at him, "Thanks for staying with me and Ellie tonight Dad. As much as I wanted Luke to get some rest...I didn't want to be alone either."
He smiled softly at his daughter, "I'm glad to get some alone time with you both. Now eat up...you're far too thin."
Lorelai smiled and lifted the pastry to her lips. She hoped Luke would be able to get some much needed rest tonight. And more than that...she hoped she would be home beside him very soon.
That night, Luke lay in bed staring up at the ceiling. He didn't realize how big his bed was until he was the only one lying in it. He sighed, turning to what was Lorelai's side he wished more than anything she was right beside him. He knew she was okay. She was alive. She would be home soon. Yet he didn't seem able to shake the images of his wife's limp body from his mind.
He shuddered and stood up, grabbing his pillow he stood up and walked swiftly out of their room. He checked on Rory, then walked into Liam's room and saw Paul Anka fast asleep on the floor beside his son's crib. The strange dog lifted his head and tilted it to the side, staring at his owner questioningly.
Luke smiled and sat down on the ground, he laid his pillow out and put his head down on it. Paul Anka rested his head on Luke's chest and sighed. "I know bud...but she'll be home soon."
Closing his eyes, he suddenly started to drift off to sleep, grateful to not be alone tonight with his thoughts and nightmares…
Two days later, Dr. Navarian finally agreed to let both Lorelai and Ellie leave the hospital. The family gathered around, asked a million questions, got pamphlets, had him write notes and leave his numbers for them. Finally, Lorelai begged them to take her home with a little laugh in her voice.
They gathered their things, packed up the car and carefully put both Lorelai and Ellie into the Jeep. Lorelai felt like her heart was going to beat right of her chest out of pure excitement because she was finally going home. On the highway, she smiled at her husband as she noticed him barely going the speed limit and carefully eyeing the sleeping Ellie in the backseat beside her brother Liam. Rory was in her Grandparents car.
"You know I think we'll need to get a bigger car…" Lorelai whispered to her husband.
He nodded but never took his eyes off the road, "I was thinking of that. Can't have them all cramped in the backseat with the car seats."
She scrunched up her nose, "Never saw myself as a minivan kinda gal…"
He smiled and reached for her hand, "We'll find one that screams Lorelai."
She sighed, "But I'll miss the old Jeep."
Luke was quiet for a moment, "Maybe we can keep it...Rory we'll be learning to drive soon."
She gasped, "Geez...she's going to be 16 in a few months!"
Luke nodded, "Somehow or another...yes she is."
Lorelai groaned, "A sixteen year old and a newborn. What are the odds?"
He smiled, "Maybe Rory will see how much work it was for you back when you had her."
Lorelai smiled, "Maybe…"
It was quiet in the car again. Lorelai squeezed her husband's hand in hers. They had yet to talk about anything, and she wasn't sure when was a good time. She was about to say something when she spotted the Stars Hollow sign.
"Home…" She whispered softly, not even aware she had said anything.
Luke smiled and lifted her hand to his lips, "Yeah. Welcome home Lorelai."
She sighed happily and let the familiar sights of her little town wash over her, feeling more and more thankful to be alive.
That night, after all the kids were asleep and Emily and Richard retired to the extra guest bedroom. Luke walked into the room he shared with Lorelai and found her sitting up on the bed waiting for him.
He frowned, "I thought you'd be asleep by now. You must be exhausted."
She shook her head, "I was waiting for you." She watched him walk around the room and begin to change his clothes, "Kids asleep?"
He peered down at the sleeping Ellie beside their bed, "Out like lights. I'm sure Rory is finally sleeping well now that you're home."
She nodded once and then whispered, "She tells me you slept on the floor in Liam's room the other night." She watched him cringe, "I thought I was sending you home to get a full nights rest in a bed Luke."
He sighed and pulled his undershirt up over his head, "Yeah well...the floor was as good a place as any."
She sighed, "Luke…"
He turned to her and frowned, "What do you want me to say?" He shrugged, "The bed was too empty without you."
She felt tears welling up in her eyes, "Oh hon…"
"I almost lost you Lorelai." He said in a choked voice. "I mean you were almost…" He looked away from her, "Damn it…"
She patted the empty space beside her, "I'm here now."
Luke took a deep breath and walked over to the bed, he kicked off his shoes and crawled up beside her. Without thinking he lay down and rested his head on her legs, feeling exhaustion take over.
"I'm here." She whispered as she started to run her hands through his hair.
He clung to her legs, "I know I've been a mess...I just…" He sighed and closed his eyes tightly, "You scared me to death."
"I know." She whispered continuing to thread her fingers through his soft hair, "I didn't mean too. It all happened so fast. I thought we would be okay. I mean we are...but I just stupidly thought that that wouldn't happen."
He nuzzled her, afraid to let go and break the spell, "I need you. I need you and our kids. Ellie is perfect...and I kept thinking how will I raise her without you? How will I raise Liam and Rory without you?"
She sighed and lifted his head, "Come here Luke…"
He stared at her for a moment and watched as she carefully inched down on the bed. He watched her wince slightly as she tried to get comfortable. He lay down beside her, almost afraid to touch her as not to cause her any pain. "Lorelai…"
She gripped his hands in hers and held them between their bodies, "I could feel you. I knew you were there the whole time. I wasn't ever going to leave you. I made a promise. And your parents helped me find my way home. I'm right here." She took one of his hands and placed it against her chest, "Do you feel that? I'm here Luke. I'm alive…"
He took a deep breath and felt the tears threatening to spill over, "Thank God."
She smiled gently at him, "You once told me that even Superwoman needs help sometimes." She nudged him carefully, "Same goes for Superman."
He frowned, "I always liked Batman better."
She rolled her eyes, "Fine. Even Batman needs to learn to ask for help babe. Let go...everything is okay now. We're okay. Me and Ellie are here and we aren't going anywhere."
He sighed and moved just a little closer, "I'm afraid still…"
"I know." She whispered, "And I'm sure that won't be the last terrifying thing we go through. But we'll do it together. Just like we always do. But we can only do it if you let me in…"
Sighing he pressed his head to her chest, carefully listening to the sound of her beating heart, "I'm so tired."
She wrapped her arms around him and kissed his head, "Sleep. I'll still be here in the morning when you wake up."
He yawned and snuggled into her chest, "Promise?"
She smiled and nodded against him, "I promise."
She felt his body relax against hers and she breathed him in. Humming softly she listened to him breath deeply, and the little cooing noises that Ellie made in her sleep. Tears burned her eyes when she thought of the fact that she almost missed tall of this. But she smiled, realizing that yes she was here. Yes this was real. And yes...they were going to be just fine.
I'll update when I can! Thanks! :)