A/N: Guess who's back. Back again. NJH is back. Tell a friend XD
2 posts in less than 24 hours?! Who am I?!
Thank you to everyone who has given me feedback and/or has posted reviews! Your words are part of the reason I decided to go ahead with this idea.
I wanted to mention a few things that I kept forgetting in my other notes:
- Some of these one-shots will be fix-its/AUs and some will not. Thus far I've chosen to go the fix-it/AU route because let's face it: these two have a lot of moments that should be fixed/AU. I have a few in my head (ha ha) that are simply scenes/episodes from purely Luke's perspective. Sounds boring but I promise it will be interesting.
- Can I just make a general disclaimer that I don't own any of this? I don't.
- Go ahead and assume that there will be borrowed dialogue in each chapter. Sometimes it's directly from that ep, and sometimes it's from others that just fit this particular setting. I just know that I will forget to say that it is borrowed every time, so if it sounds familiar or seems like it's very witty, it's probably not mine.
Anyway, if you have made it to the end of this extremely long A/N congratulations! Hope you enjoy :)
It has been a slow night at the diner, not all that unusual for a Sunday. The mornings are usually packed with the non-church going crowds while the afternoons are full of the church-goers. But Sunday nights are typically a bit quieter, with sporadic small groups of people over the course of a couple of hours as opposed to the consistent swarms throughout the daytime. The nightly flow (or lack thereof) is not so great for my income, but is very good for when I want to be alone with my thoughts.
As is the norm, especially lately, my thoughts drift to a certain blue-eyed brunette with a problematic caffeine addiction. It's become a ritual of sorts the last few months, where most days I find something to pull my thoughts in another direction, but Sundays I just let them be. Is it actually helpful? Not really. Do I tell myself it is? You bet.
My thoughts shift for a moment as the only guests for the last hour finish sipping their coffee and walk to the counter to pay their bill. I give them an obligatory "thanks," and a wave as they leave. With nothing better to do, I start wiping down the probably perfectly clean counter. Another half hour passes. One customer comes in and orders a salad. Easy enough. I go back to my spot behind the counter and continue to wipe it down, returning to my thoughts of Lorelai.
I had heard whispers around town that she had broken up with the guy she had been seeing. No one seemed to be sure if she had been the one to break it off or if it had been him. All they knew was Lorelai and Max Medina were over.
How it happened didn't matter to me. My initial reaction was a rush of hope and a little bit of joy. This was fleeting, though, once I realized regardless of who had initiated the break-up, Lorelai would be hurting and upset. I have known her long enough to know that this was her first real relationship since….well, ever. I tried my best in the following weeks to hassle her a little less about her eating habits, and be compliant when it came to her little bits, but not enough to tip her off. I just wanted to make sure she knew I was there for her, without actually saying I was there for her, because that's what friends do. They're there for one another when the other gets dumped. I can't help but wonder how different things would've been if Lorelai had been around all the times Rachel had left.
Then again, if Lorelai had been around, you probably wouldn't have even bothered with Rachel again, a voice in my head points out.
Despite my best efforts, I can't seem to extinguish the small feeling of hope inside of me.
Now's your chance, the voice says.
This isn't the first time that little voice has tried to urge me into action. But as the years have passed, it has become more difficult to find an opening, the right moment always seeming just out of reach.
Coward. It's not the first time I've heard that, either.
I'm wiping away at the counter, lost in my thoughts, when a small group enters the diner.
It's Lorelai, along with Sookie, Jackson, and an unpleasant looking guy I don't know.
I take in a sharp breath as she makes her way to the counter. She looks stunning.
"Hey," I greet her nonchalantly, like I haven't been thinking about her for the last few hours.
"Hey, four menus, a coffee and an anvil please."
I look at her questioningly. "What's the anvil for?"
"What's a Rune?"
"Please not that question again."
"O…kay." I pour her some coffee.
I ask her about Sookie and Jackson. Apparently they're on a first date, and Rune is Jackson's cousin who was supposed to be Lorelai's date.
"Believe it or not, he's even less thrilled with the match up than I am," Lorelai says.
"You're kidding! Why?"
"I'm too tall."
I scoff. "Get out!"
Before I can stop myself, I say, "Doesn't he understand how great that is? You can get all the stuff from the top shelf."
"Exactly. That is exactly what I bring to a relationship. Explain that to him will you."
I know she is joking, but I can't help thinking I bet you bring so much more. I know you would.
She continues to sip her coffee and chat with me. Once Rune storms out and Sookie and Jackson are alone, she decides to stay at the counter with me so the two of them can really have their date.
We're just starting a game of 5-card draw (in which she got two additional redraws), when we hear the couple laughing. We both look over and see them giggling and smiling like teenagers.
"God that's nice," she says wistfully. "The whole 'first date, beginning of the relationship' glow - everything is new and exciting."
"Every joke is hilarious."
"Every little touch is incredible."
As she says this, she reaches over and touches my arm. My heart leaps into my throat, hammering wildly. I know I need to respond, but all I can manage to get out is a noncommittal, "Mm-hm."
"God that's a good feeling."
I find my voice. "It is at that."
"I miss that."
I turn my head so I'm looking directly into her eyes.
"You'll have it again."
Did I really just say that?! Ah geez…
"Mmm...I guess." She breaks eye contact, looking a little sadly just to the right of me.
I don't know if it's the lighting or her hair or the fact that her best friend is on a first date, but for some reason, I feel a surge of courage coursing through me.
Now's your chance.
My heart is thumping in my chest so strongly I can feel it in my ears, and I'm surprised she can't hear it, too.
It's now or never the voice challenges me.
I can't. I can't.
Just do it!
I take a deep breath. "You know, maybe s-sometime we could…"
I trail off. Her eyes widen, just a fraction, and her face changes from contemplative to deer-in-the-headlights.
She doesn't say anything and I don't continue.
Crap. Crap. Crap.
We both jump a little when we hear the diner door open. The last patron exits with a small wave, his payment on the table.
I cross to the other side of the counter, walking over to collect his money. Suddenly, Lorelai grabs my arm. I turn to face her, but she doesn't release me.
"Maybe sometime we could…?" she looks up at me with curious eyes.
Those damn eyes…
My heart is hammering again.
Get a grip, I chide myself.
I take another deep breath and send a tiny prayer out into the universe. "Maybe sometime we could do it again. This. The hanging out."
She quirks an eyebrow at me. "You want to hang out and play cards with me at the diner?"
She's not going to make this easy.
"I mean if that's what you want to do. Gives me a chance to kick your ass in poker."
She looks like she's not really sure how to respond to this. "Uh sure. I would like that."
I try to stay calm even though my insides are doing somersaults. I look away and clear my throat. "But uh…If you want to, ya know, have dinner or see a movie first we can do that, too."
She gives me a quizzical look and tilts her head to the side. "I didn't think you were a movie guy."
I shrug and look her straight in the face, the courage from earlier rushing back through me. "I can be a movie guy. You like movies."
She lets out a quiet laugh. "That I do. Good, bad, and in-between."
"So you in?"
"Yeah. That sounds really nice."
I realize her hand is still on my arm. Still feeling bold, I remove her hand and place it in mine. The feeling is electric and thrilling.
We both smile at each other, shyly at first, trying to suppress the idiotic grins threatening to overtake our faces. But we can't help ourselves after I say, "It's a date."
We stay frozen in that moment until we are interrupted by some funny guys sitting at the table a few feet away.
"Get a room, you two!" Sookie giggles delightedly.
"Yeah don't you know this is a public place!" Jackson teases.
I turn a million shades of red and move to walk away, but Lorelai stops me. She stands and pulls me closer to her, whispering in my ear, "They want a show? Let's give them one." She pulls back just slightly so that we are only a few inches apart.
Now's your chance.
I lean in and press my lips to hers.
Sookie and Jackson give us a wolf whistle, but quickly pretend to look away and give us a moment.
It's a kiss unlike any other. It's what kisses are supposed to be. All of a sudden all those stupid love poems I had to read in high school make complete sense. This is what those guys were writing about.
It's longer than I anticipated, but shorter than I would like. When she pulls away, she's grinning like a fool, which I know is a mirror of my own look.
"This double date thing didn't turn out so bad after all. I'll have to thank Sookie later," she says, giving me a wink.
I laugh and make my way back behind the counter.
I told you so, the voice inside my head reminds me.
And for once, I'm glad I listened.