Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's Note: So here it is: my first drabble. It's sort of a fix-it fic for The Long Morrow, and therefore all of S7.
I decided to write this because it has always bothered me that Luke and Lorelai just accepted their "fate." Even though both characters went through a journey and transformations in S6 that painted them both in a not-so-great light, it seemed so unbelievable to me that Luke would just give up without a fight, and part of me thinks that hurt Lorelai even more. She addresses the fact that he didn't fight for her when she gives him the ultimatum, but then he does nothing again when she admits her affair, and she barely reacts. I know a lot of that during and after The Long Morrow is simple denial, but it has always bothered me. I hold both of them to a higher standard ;)
Shoutout to jumpingcattlehockey for helping me edit - if you haven't read her stuff please do so immediately!
Another shoutout to meags09 for the encouragement - read her stuff as well!
Anyway, I borrowed some dialogue from the revival. The ending is pretty cheesy, and it's my first drabble, so please be kind :)
Also - this is Luke's POV in case that isn't clear!
I'm standing on her lawn babbling (since when do I babble?) about her and my life and how the two have become one in the same; if those elements are not fused then I don't know that I am capable of just existing. The desperation in my voice is evident, but the sincerity of my words is just as clear (I hope so anyway - I have to make her understand).
As I continue to babble (seriously, who am I right now?), I notice her face, even though she is mostly staring at her feet. I think about how I have always been able to read her like a book, even more plainly than Rory, her own flesh and blood with whom she shares that freakish link. A little voice in the back of my head nags at me about how little effort I've put into reading her recently...and not so recently.
The thought almost stops me in my tracks. Have I really been pushing her aside? I wonder. Surely she would have said something?
She did say something - remember last night, genius?
Before then, I argue with myself. Why didn't she say something before then.
Maybe she tried, the voice is back. Or maybe she tried to let her actions speak.
If my heart wasn't racing before, it's definitely racing now - like world record speed.
Once this realization hits me, I make an earnest effort to really look at her. What I see makes my stomach turn over.
There's some anger, obviously. Then there's the sadness, which is bad enough since I know I'm the one who caused it. But I also see...guilt? Shame? And that's what makes me the most uncomfortable because the reason for it is completely unknown to me. What could she possibly be feeling guilty about? What does she have to be ashamed of?
By this point I'm nearing the end of my diatribe, her interjections and all, and I say, "Let's go. Let's do this. Let's get married right now. Let's go," and even with the sick feeling in my stomach and the pitiful look on her face, after everything that's happened, I know that I mean it with every fiber in my being.
"I slept with Christopher."
My ears hear words come out of her mouth, but my brain is slow on the uptake. I take a moment to process this information, but my head was playing it back in slow motion. What?
I didn't initially realize I had actually uttered this aloud (seriously slow brain processing right now), but then I see her take a deep, steadying breath before she repeats her words.
"I slept with Christopher."
It's like a thousand knives to my gut.
The guilt. The shame. The wheels in my head are suddenly whirring at warp speed as all the pieces click together.
"What?" This time I heard and understood perfectly, but I was completely in disbelief.
"Luke…please don't make me say it again," she replies tiredly.
I just stare at her. She stares back at the ground. I want to yell or to bolt, but it's like my jaw is wired shut and my feet are nailed to this spot. I'm frozen.
We might have stood there 30 seconds or it might have been 2 hours (time has eluded me at this point), but regardless it feels like an eternity before she finally, slowly but surely, brings her eyes up to meet mine. I can see everything in her expression - the anger, the sadness, the guilt, the shame - it's all still there.
As her eyes bore into mine, I also notice something new.
She is afraid.
Lorelai "Wonder Woman" Gilmore is afraid.
Not only is she afraid, she is afraid of me.
That thought makes me even more nauseated. I can almost feel the bile start to rise up in my throat. I swallow to keep it at bay.
I want to say something but don't quite know where to start. My mind is running a mile a minute.
She betrayed you in the worst possible way.
She's hurting in the worst possible way - that's why she did this.
She's telling you she made her choice and it's not you.
Then why does she look so upset.
Who cares - she went to him. She fucked him. She went straight into his arms as soon as she thought she was free of you.
She didn't know I was still in this.
She doesn't want you. She doesn't care about you.
If she didn't care she wouldn't be acting out like this.
She doesn't want you. She doesn't care about you.
She isn't the kind of person who would beg me to get married one minute then run off to reunite with... him the next.
She doesn't want you. She d-
"ENOUGH!" I yell out loud. I can't take this internal battle any more. Lorelai's eyes widen at my outburst.
"S-sorry..." I manage lamely. I want to elaborate but don't know where to begin.
She looks at me with a confused expression on her face. She's wondering why I'm still here. Why I, Luke "King of the Rants" Danes, have barely reacted.
I am wondering the same thing myself. But the answer pops into my head almost immediately, so naturally, as if this were a normal, run-of-the-mill interaction we are having, rather than the life or death situation that it is (it feels like life or death to me at least).
I love her.
She's shattered my heart and broken my trust with what she has just told me, and she knows this.
But I love her.
And I sure as hell am not going to let her continue to self destruct because of me. She deserves better than what I have been giving her, that much is true, but she is so far beyond settling for a second-rate, mediocre life with... him. No matter how badly she thinks she's screwed up, in this instance and the many others I'm sure she would list because she is so unaware of how utterly magnificent she really is.
It seems like a lot of time has passed (again, time is truly an illusion at this moment), but it's really just been a couple of minutes since we started staring at each other. At one point she does cave and starts looking at the ground again.
Once all this hits me, I hesitantly take a step toward her. Her head snaps up and her eyes are frightened. I stop. We go back to staring, and I try my best to convey my thoughts nonverbally, just with my eyes.
Something must have registered in her brain because her face crumples, and the tears she has been fighting back silently begin to flow. I am almost immediately at her side and take her into my arms. She practically collapses into me, and I hold her tight, rubbing her back soothingly.
"Lorelai…" I begin gently, but this just makes her cry harder for some reason, so I stay silent for awhile, other than the occasional, "Sshh…it's okay…"
After her sobs have quieted and her breath becomes more even again, I kiss the top of her head and say, "I love you."
She sucks in a sharp breath. I pull her away from me, holding her at arm's length. She won't look at me, so I lift her chin up so she will meet my eyes. I look her straight in the face and repeat, "I love you," then I add, "And I am so sorry."
It's not until she pulls me into her embrace that I realize I'm crying (wait - I'm crying?!). We hold each other on her porch for god knows how long. It pains my heart when I think about how long it's been since we have done this. I hold her even closer.
Finally we break apart and wipe the salty moisture from our faces, both at a loss for words. She breaks the silence. "So…what now?"
I let out a breath I didn't know I had been holding. "Now... we talk," I say simply, "And we don't stop ever again. From here on out."
She still looks a little uncertain. "Does that mean…there is still going to be a 'we' from here on out?"
I take her hand in mine, then bring it up to my mouth and place a kiss on her engagement ring.
"I'll spend the rest of my life making all of my mistakes up to you. I will do whatever it takes to fix what's wrong. I will never leave. I will never think of leaving. This right here is all I will ever need. There will always be an us."
"Are you sure?" she says barely above a whisper.
"Lorelai…I really, really screwed up. I know you like to think you're the queen of screw ups, but if that's the case then I'm the king. I'm the sultan. I'm the emperor. I'm the supreme leader of screwing up this relationship. I don't know how it happened but I stopped seeing you. The one thing I always prided myself on, the one thing you could always count on, disappeared. Vanished! I have no good explanations or excuses because the bottom line is you didn't deserve it. None of it. I got stuck in my own head so I went…'Lorelai blind' and you will never know how sorry I am for that. So the question is not am I sure. It is: are you?"
She gives me a small smile that dazzles me, just like everything she does. Just like she always has. And I know it's going to be okay.
There is going to be yelling and maybe screaming (probably in about five minutes). There will be doors slammed (probably in about 15 minutes). We will more than likely storm off somewhere and fume and want to smash something breakable (20 minutes). There will be more than a few tears shed (one minute).
But we will figure this out, and we will always come home to one another. I will never spend another night alone in that apartment.
A/N: So...there you have it! My first (and probably last) fic. Hope you enjoyed on some level! :)