Hi all! I'm back with a new story. Unlike my other one, I don't have all of the chapters written yet. Because of that, I'll be posting sporadically.
And if you haven't read it, my first Gilmore Girls fanfic is called "Butterflies Cause Hurricanes." Check it out!
Premise: Basically, Luke has Lorelai's back story and Lorelai has Luke's. Roy, Luke's son, is basically a polite Jess/male Rory. Luke is 32 and Lorelai is 28, Roy is 15. [Update 5/8: Sokka is the male version of Sookie. And Cassy is the female version of Caesar]
Luke Gilmore is a single dad to his son Roy after his girlfriend ran off at 16. He manages the Independence Inn & frequents Lorelai's café. Small-town Lorelai Danes is the sunshine of Stars Hollow. She turned her dad's hardware store into a café: Latte Lorelai. She cheerfully serves all of Stars Hollow. Luke & Lorelai are best friends, ignoring their feelings. AU/JavaJunkie/Set in season 1.
August, 2000: The Letter
As his alarm went off, Luke rolled out of bed. He missed the time when summer meant fun and parties, not waking up at 7:00 to get to work. He walked down stairs, already hearing his son's music playing as the teen got ready.
Luke Gilmore got his girlfriend pregnant when they were 16. After giving birth to Roy, Rachel refused Luke's proposal and ran away, leaving Luke with the baby. Rachel didn't see her son again until Roy was in kindergarten. Luke and Roy were very close; they loved the same music and they shared the same hobbies, which included movie marathons, videogames, and not cooking. That's what the café was for. Luke was one of the first customers to eat at Latte Lorelai, Lorelai Danes' café.
As Luke sat in his kitchen, drinking tea and looking at the mail, he heard his 15 year-old son come out of the bedroom next to the kitchen.
"Morning, Dad," Roy said, dressed in swim trunks and a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and ripped under the armpits. He pointed to the pile of mail on the table. "Did it come?" Roy was talking about an acceptance letter from Chilton, a prestigious prep school that would be Roy's ticket into Harvard. Roy had the grades, but Luke didn't have the money.
"Sorry kid, maybe tomorrow," Luke said. "Ready to go?"
"Yeah, sure," Roy was obviously disappointed, but it was rare for transfer students on the waitlist to be selected a couple weeks before school started. Luke straightened his tie and grabbed his suit jacket before following his son out the door.
Every morning, Lorelai woke up at 5:45 on the dot, despite being a night person. She put on one of her dad's old flannel shirts. She tied her frizzy curls back into a low ponytail then put on one of her many hats on her head to keep her hair out of her face. Then she would go downstairs to open her café. That day was no different.
Lorelai Danes was the daughter of Stars Hollow. She grew up there, went to school, participated in sports, was prom queen, and was voted 'Most Likely to Succeed.' Emily, her mom, died when she was in elementary school. Lorelai had to stay strong for her dad and her sister, Liz, and got used to holding all of her feelings inside. Without a constant female role model, Lorelai became a sort-of tomboy, and Liz became rebellious. Liz got pregnant right after she graduated high school, and moved in with an aunt upstate. Their dad owned a hardware store, Richard's Hardware, until he passed a year before Lorelai graduated from the University of Connecticut in Mansfield.
"Good morning," Lorelai greeted as the Gilmore guys entered the café.
"Morning," Luke said shortly as the pair sat at the counter. Luke's daily paper was waiting for him at their usual spot.
"Morning," Roy said like his father, lacking his usual smile.
"Well, you seem to be having a bad morning. What gives?" Lorelai asked them.
"The letter hasn't come," Roy explained. Lorelai nodded.
"Awe kid, that sucks. It'll come, don't worry about it. I know what'll make you feel better: Coffee," she said, holding a pot of her special roast. She looked at Luke, expecting his daily refusal.
"Lorelai, for six years you've been offering me coffee. And for six years, I have declined. Why do you keep asking?" Sometimes he just said no thanks, but on his less-than-good days, Lorelai received a small rant.
"In case you change your mind," she said with a sweet smile. Luke glared at her, making her smile more. "Your tea will be right up. Roy, coffee?"
"Yes please," he said, nudging an empty mug toward her. Lorelai had converted Roy a couple of years ago from tea to coffee, much to Luke's dislike, which made it more fun. Lorelai poured the coffee and set up Luke's mug with a tea bag and hot water.
"What'll you have to eat?" She asked, order pad at the ready.
"What did you make today?" Roy asked, eager to get his hands on something fresh, warm, and sweet.
"Cranberry scones, apple cinnamon buns, and the usual cookies were baked this morning. I just made muffins an hour ago, chocolate chip and blueberry. And you know the regular menu. Oh, and I have cranberry pancakes for the special today."
"I'll take a cranberry scone, scrambled eggs, and bacon please," Roy ordered, earning a look from Luke. "And a side of fruit," Roy added. Luke didn't know how his son could eat so poorly, but he knew a certain café owner was partially to blame. Lorelai wrote it down and looked at Luke.
"Your usual?" Lorelai asked. Luke nodded as he read the paper. It was a slow morning, so Lorelai got started on their food. Luke and Roy talked about school and work and the cute new girl in town, Dawn.
"Wait," Lorelai budded in when she came back with their food on a tray, "is she the tall brunette that just started working at Doose's?"
"Yeah that's her," Roy said with a small blush. Lorelai thought his young love was adorable.
"Oh, she's a cutie," Lorelai said, setting the tray down.
"Yeah, she's the reason he's awake before 10:00," Luke explained.
"Really?" Lorelai smiled.
"Well the guys and I were going to the lake today anyway, but she has to work at 11:00, so we agreed to meet there at 8:00," Roy's face was turning red. Luke's did the same thing whenever an uncomfortable topic came up. Lorelai leaned in closer to Roy.
"In a month, ask her to the Autumn festival, and when you go, bring her in here and I'll make some apple cider."
"Stop trying to play match maker," Luke scolded, but Lorelai didn't take it for truth.
"Sorry, Miss Patty and Babette keep trying to pair me up with someone, maybe it's rubbing off."
"Yeah, Lorelai, how would you know what girls like anyway?" Roy asked.
"Because I am a girl. I'm actually a woman, which means I used to be a girl, which means I have a life time of knowledge. Under this layer of pastry dough and cooking grease, I am 100% female."
"When was the last time you went on a date?" Roy asked, causing Luke to look up from the paper. Lorelai put her hand on her hip.
"Now what kind of father raised you to ask a question like that? Definitely not this one," she gestured to Luke. "He minds his business, as he should."
"He does but you don't," Roy countered. "You know everything about us because you, ma'am, are nosy," Roy accused as Lorelai smirked, nodding in agreement. She enjoyed their daily banters. It started because Luke and Lorelai would bicker all the time, but now Roy had taken over Luke's spot.
"Fair enough, I have taught you well in the ways of argument, Kemosabe. My last date was last week, thank you very much."
"Is there going to be another one?" Luke found himself asking. Lorelai laughed.
"Of course not, do you know me at all?" Lorelai asked. Because she grew up worrying about her parents and her sister and everyone else, Lorelai rarely took time for herself. After her high school boyfriend Christopher, who left to backpack through Europe after graduation, Lorelai hadn't dated anyone longer than two weeks. Every six months to two years or so, Chris would pop up, stay a week or three, then leave again. She wanted to stop falling for him, but she couldn't help it. When he was gone, so were the feelings. But when he came back, the feelings returned with him.
"Just wondering," Luke defended. Roy gave his dad a confused look.
"Well how about you? When was your last date?" Lorelai asked, trying to look busy by starting a new pot of coffee. Luke shook his head.
"Patty set me up with this woman from New Haven a month ago, it didn't work out," Luke said, trying to avoid oversharing. As he ate his oatmeal, he tasted the familiar flavors she added. Whenever he made oatmeal, he could never make it taste as good as Lorelai's.
"I gotta get to the lake, bye Dad," Roy said, looking at his watch. Roy gathered his things and stood up to leave.
"Bye kid," Luke said, handing Roy the book forgotten on the counter. Roy departed, leaving Lorelai and Luke alone at the counter.
"Hey, can you come by today? The porch railing is starting to wobble again," Luke asked. His father, William Gilmore, wasn't much for physical labor. 'That's why God created repairmen,' William would say. Because of that influence, Luke never learned anything about tools or fixing anything. Lorelai, on the other hand, learned everything about home repairs from her father. If she wasn't at the café, she was probably fixing something around town.
"Luke, I've told you a thousand time: quit with the gymnastics off your porch! I know you're trying to perfect your dismount, but your porch isn't made for that," Lorelai fake scolded. "Actually, that's my bad. I used cheaper stuff for a temporary fix and planned to get back to it. But, you know me, I forgot."
"You didn't forget," Luke said as he took a bite of the fruit cup she had assembled specifically for him, it had extra strawberries. Lorelai gave him a look.
"What does that mean?" She asked.
"Oh, no," Luke got flustered, thinking he offended her. "I meant that you're just busy. But also, you've been fixing up my house for years, I should have learned how to do it by now."
"Dirty," Lorelai beamed at him. He was about to start but she waved her hand. "Nope, sorry, never again," Lorelai 'promised' a while ago to stop making the dirty jokes.
"You always say that. Besides, your dismounting comment deserved a dirty as well," Luke pointed.
"I try to abstain, but it's too fun," Lorelai winked to Luke's rolling eyes. "Anyway, the railing is no problem, I'll come by this afternoon, around 3 to fix it. Will you be home?" She asked, hoping he'd say yes.
"No," Luke said, "There's a wedding at the Inn this weekend and the bride is crazy and Michelle has given up."
"She couldn't handle the bride?"
"No she couldn't because et waz geeving her a headache. Michelle tried for ten minutes before leaving everything on me. And because of that, I won't be back here today. I should be around for dinner tomorrow."
"Good, I'm making a new special then. Pesto pasta, served warm or chilled, with a side of bread and veggies."
"Wow, I'm impressed. It doesn't sound like it'll clog my arteries."
"Yeah, I decided that if I wanted you to eat something besides salads, BLTs, fruit, and oatmeal, I had to change it up a bit," Lorelai said, admitting she came up with the dish just for him. But he didn't pick up on the dedication.
"I've been meaning to ask you," he started, peeking her interest. "What do you put in the oatmeal? I can never make it as good as this," He inquired, sounding more flirty than anticipated. Lorelai looked around.
"Do you really want to know?" She asked. Luke nodded. Lorelai leaned over the counter, close enough to his face so she could whisper in his ear. Luke felt his face blush at the proximity.
"Family recipe, sorry," she whispered. She stood back and smirked at him. Luke rolled his eyes, finished the rest of the oatmeal, drank the last of his tea, and got up to pay.
"Here you go," Luke said, handing her the money.
"So I'll see you later?" Lorelai asked, looking up at him under the bill of her hat.
"Yeah, see you later," he said before walking out the door.
Lorelai watched him go. She'd known him all these years. She knows his favorite foods, his habits, his favorite music. She knew everything about him. Except if he was into her. Lorelai would never admit it, but the reason her dates never go further than the first or second date is because of him. Lorelai was infatuated with the idea of him, but had doubts about going for it for real. She was pinning, and she was comfortable, and she didn't care.
That afternoon, Lorelai left the diner in the hands of Cassy and Trevor, then went to Luke's house. It was a nice enough house, but the previous owner let it go to shit. Lorelai named it the Crap Shack the first time she saw it, and Luke couldn't disagree. She walked up to the front door and knocked. There was no answer, which was no surprise. Roy was most likely still at the lake or running around town, and Luke said he was working, so Lorelai tried the door knob.
"Unlocked, really boys?" She muttered to herself as it opened easily. She went inside to check up on the faucet she replaced a few weeks back. On her way out to the porch, she met Luke at the door.
"What are you doing in my house?"
"It was unlocked."
"So? That doesn't mean that you can just come traipsing in here whenever you want?" Luke knew he didn't really mean that. She had put so much work into the house that
"I was checking your sink. Can I get to work?"
"Yeah, fine," he said, letting her pass. She brushed his shoulder as she scooted out the door, giving him a warm feeling he tried to ignore. He went inside and grabbed a pitcher of iced tea he had made the day before. He poured two glasses, leaving half of Lorelai's to fill with lemonade. She never accepted money, so it was the least he could do. If he learned anything from his mother, it was to be a proper host.
"How was the café today?" He asked, setting the drinks on the small table on the porch. Lorelai was standing on the stairs, replacing studs like a it was her day job.
"Oh, you know, normal. Busy over breakfast and lunch. Weston's was closed today, so there were these old ladies, you know, the ones that knit all day?"
"The Knit Wits, continue," Luke nodded, smiling at the five older ladies who were rarely seen without needles and yarn. They named themselves and even knitted matching sweaters that looked like sports jerseys with 'Knit Wit' and their name on the back.
"They came in and ordered tea and scones for three hours. Three hours these ladies were in my place, gossiping and knitting and eating! Every ten minutes, I was refilling tea. I had to make more scones for those women! How can a half dozen old women eat two dozen scones? I had to call Trevor in early so I could spend a straight hour making scones for the ladies, and then they left as soon as I pulled them out of the oven!" While she was speaking, Lorelai hopped the railing and started securing it on the other side.
"So just a normal day?" Luke loved to listen to her rant. Her rants were often the high light of his day. She was such a happy person, which made her rants even better.
"Yeah basically," she said, smiling up at him from her squatting position. A few minutes later, she was done. She joined Luke on the porch, sitting on the folding chairs.
"Thanks," she said, sipping the Arnold Palmer. "How was the Inn?"
"Don't get me started," Luke started. Lorelai settled in for a mini-rant herself. "This bride is the devil spawn. First, the carpet in the hall was the wrong color. Then the wallpaper didn't match the bridesmaids dresses. Before I left, she was telling-not asking-me to repaint the exterior. The whole inn needed to be a blue-ish white, not cream-ish! Who does that? I swear to God that woman is on a mission and that mission is to make everyone involved in her wedding miserable. Her groom? Miserable. Her mother? Bridesmaids? The florist? Sokka? Miserable!"
"No! Not Sokka! God, he's accident prone already, stress only makes that worse," Lorelai said. She and Sokka had been friends since high school. When they were sophomores, Sokka came out, telling Lorelai that he was gay. He worried that it could ruin the friendship, but it brought them closer together. They had each other's backs for two decades, and their friendship only got stronger as the years went by. 10 years ago when Sokka started working at the Inn, he met Luke. Instantly, he thought that Luke was perfect for Lorelai. Sokka tried to get Luke to come into town for years. But Luke never had a reason until Lorelai opened the café. Sokka insisted on him going to town for an errand around lunch, and suggested the café.
"Yeah, he sliced his hand when he was preparing the practice salad for the bride. She was yelling at him and he lost focus and almost lost a finger. It was awful," Luke said, shaking his head.
"That man is going to end up in the hospital one of these days," Lorelai said. She looked at her watch. "Shit, gotta go, the early bird special is about to start."
"What are you making for them tonight?"
"The dinner special is a flatbread pizza, but the texture is too tough for the old people, so I'm making them onion soup and soft cheese bread."
"That doesn't sound bad," he said. She stood up.
"Do you know how much sodium is in beef broth?" She asked and Luke shook his head. "If you did, you wouldn't want it anywhere near you."
"I'll take your word for it," he said. "I gotta get back too. I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Unless you found a better place to eat."
"I'll see you then," he grumbled, but with a his typical half smile. He stood on his porch and watched his best friend walk away. Over the years, he tried his best to ignore his feelings for her. He'd use excuses like "You only like her because she's convenient. She feeds you, that's it. She's 28, she wouldn't date a guy with a 16 year-old son."
Despite his efforts, Luke still felt something for her. He didn't know if it was just really good friendship or if it was something more. He basically answered himself when he realized he felt disappointed when she was out of view.
"Dad!" Roy shouted as he entered the café the next day around 10. Rory had just ran from his house to the café, waving the envelope around before realizing the guy at the counter wasn't Luke. They planned to catch a late breakfast that day.
"Roy!" Lorelai returned. "He's not here, what up, buttercup?"
"It came!" He said, holding up a white envelope.
"The letter? That's great!"
"Yeah, I mean, they wouldn't send a letter saying I was still on the waiting list, right?"
"Right," she nodded. "Your dad should be here soon."
"I guess the bride at the Inn is a little coo-coo," Roy said.
"Yeah, he was complaining about her yesterday."
"He threatened that if my future wife was anything like that, he would disown me," Roy said as his dad entered the café.
"Why am I disowning you this time?" Luke said, walking up to the counter. Lorelai noticed the stressed look on his face.
"You'll disown me if I marry a bridezilla."
"Oh yeah, I'd disown you. You too, Lorelai, if you're a closeted crazy, I'd disown you as well. Both of you, I'm begging that when you get married, please do not have it at the Inn. I can't stand weddings anymore," Luke said, and a quick image of her in a wedding dress appeared in his thoughts.
"Thanks for saying when I get married, not if," Lorelai chuckled to herself. "The special for you two?" They both nodded. "Coffee?" She asked Luke.
"I'd like some coffee please," Roy ordered.
"No, it's too late for coffee," Luke scolded. Before Roy could retaliate, Lorelai spoke out.
"Roy," she said with a large grin. "The letter."
"Oh yeah. Dad! The letter came today."
"Open it," Luke encouraged. And sure enough, Roy was accepted. The father and son were caught up in talking about the school, telling Lorelai all about it, that they barely noticed that food had magically appeared in front of them. Luke forgot to get after Lorelai for giving his son coffee.
"Rorerai," Roy said after stuffing his face with the pasta. Luke nudged him, telling Roy to finish chewing before speaking. "This is really good."
"Thanks, Sokka gave me a vegan cookbook as a joke, but it had some good stuff in there."
"This is vegan?" Luke asked.
"Hell no, it's got cheese and cream, and there's glutton in the pasta too," she said. "Me? Make something vegan? Who do you think I am?" Lorelai laughed as she went around the room, refilling water and coffee while taking orders. On her way back to the counter, she noticed the envelope.
"Rockwell?" She read off the address.
"What?" Roy answered.
"Your name is Rockwell?"
"Yeah, you didn't know that?"
"No, I didn't. How did I not know your real name? It's a very interesting name, your choosing?" She asked Luke, not wanting to offend them.
"No, my dad's," he said. She gave him a look, prompting him to give a secret away. "My dad chose Rockwell as my middle name after Norman Rockwell."
"It's a good thing he gave you Rockwell, not Norman. We'd have an ironic 'boy's best friend is his mother' situation going on," Lorelai referenced Psycho. Luke nodded with her, also relieved that wasn't the case.
"Yeah, my dad is obsessed with World War II. He has guns, books, clothing, and paintings. You know that Rockwell had these paintings, the Four Freedoms, right? Well my dad has canvased replicas of them in his study."
"And you passed the name down to your son," she finished his story. Luke nodded. "That's actually a really nice story. If I had a kid, I'd be so doped up after giving birth that I'd probably end up naming her Lorelai."
"Oh god," Luke muttered, "two of you."
"Yeah," she leaned against the counter. "Imagine, me and my clone. Both of us, living to pester you to no end, forcing coffee down your throat. There'd be two of us, so I'd hold you down and she'd pour." Luke hated that he couldn't get the image of Lorelai holding him down out of his head. He wished his mind didn't go to that place all the time, but he couldn't help it.
"I think you're the only Lorelai this town could handle," he said. There was a glint in his eye as he spoke, and Lorelai did her best to keep composure. Something about his blue eyes always distracted her.
The boys finished eating and took some leftover scones to-go.
"Have a good night," Lorelai said after Luke paid. "And congratulations, Roy, you deserve it."
"Bye Lorelai," Roy waved.
"See you tomorrow," Luke said. Lorelai smiled at him and watched them leave.
"Honey," Miss Patty grabbed Lorelai's attention. Miss Patty ran a dance studio in the renovated barn off the square. That's also where town meetings are held.
"Do you need your bill?" Lorelai asked. She walked over to where Miss Patty and Babette, Luke's neighbor, were sitting.
"Lorelai, dear, what are you waiting for?"
"What do you mean?" Lorelai asked, fully aware of where this conversation was going. Sometimes it was easier to play dumb.
"Lorelai, you need to ask him out already," Patty encouraged.
"Roy? I don't know, he's a little young. Maybe after he graduates high school," Lorelai joked.
"She means Luke, Sugah," Babette said.
"I know what she meant. And no, I'm not going to. We're just friends," Lorelai said, picking up their empty plates and walking away.
"Friends don't check out their friend's butts," she heard Patty say to Babette. Of course they were right. Of course Lorelai had a thing for Luke, who wouldn't? But Lorelai would never ask out Luke. She knew he didn't like her in that way, that they were just friends. And she wasn't going to ruin that. She wanted to be there for him anyway she could.
Luke, after talking with the Chilton financial office that afternoon, realized that he needed to ask his parents for money. After a huge argument with his mother, they figured out a plan. Luke explained everything Roy that on their way to the café.
"We don't see them that much, so your grandparents are going to loan us the money in exchange for weekly dinners," Luke explained. "Is that okay with you?"
"Definitely, I'd like to get to know them, especially since I'll be going to school close by," Roy admitted, not wanting to tell his dad that he secretly had always wanted to spend more time with them.
The two were caught up in conversation as they sat at a table in the back, waiting for Lorelai to come around. They didn't notice when she approached them until she spoke.
"What can I get you two handsome men today?" Lorelai greeted in her usual cheerful voice. Luke's eyes slowly followed Lorelai's body until he met her gaze. She was wearing a pencil skirt, a dark blue silky blouse, and her hair was smooth and long against her shoulders. He almost didn't recognize her without the hat and ponytail. Luke couldn't remember the last time he saw Lorelai in something other than jeans and a t-shirt.
"Lorelai, um, you look nice," he said.
"Oh, thanks. I had a meeting at the bank today. Surprisingly, they aren't big fans of Metallica t-shirts, greasy jeans, or baseball caps, who knew?" She joked. Her meeting was earlier that afternoon, but Lorelai knew Luke was coming in for dinner, so she kept her nice clothes on. She wanted to impress Luke, maybe edge him toward thinking about her as more than a friend.
"Well you look nice," Luke said. "Your hair looks good down," he said, trying to compliment her without being weird.
"Thanks," she blushed. "It takes forever to brush through, so I usually just put it back," she said. They shared a look for a moment before Roy started telling her his order.
For the duration of dinner, Lorelai caught Luke looking at her more than normal. She enjoyed the attention, but thought that if she needed to dress special for him to notice her, then he wasn't worth it. She liked the experiment, but reality set in.
On their walk home after they finished their meal, Roy asked his father,
"Do you like Lorelai?"
"Of course I do, she's my best friend."
"You know that's not what I mean. I mean romantically, like like her."
"No, I do not, why would you ask that?"
"Tonight you couldn't stop staring at her," Roy said with a coy smile.
"She looked different, it took a while to get used to," Luke said, trying to talk himself out of what he felt when he saw her. It wasn't the clothes that changed his mind. It was the fact that he missed the old clothes. Sure, she looked great, but he thought she looked beautiful in flannel. Though he liked her hair down, that's a definite.
"Are you sure? Because I wouldn't mind if you went out. We might save a couple bucks on food that way," he nudged his dad, who proceeded to put Roy in a head lock. Roy struggled as his dad laughed maniacally.
"Drop it, kid. Nothing is going to happen between me and Lorelai. We're just friends. Besides, she doesn't feel that way about me."
"Please," Roy said sarcastically, trying to get out of his dad's hold. "She's been crushing hard, everyone knows that." Luke released his son.
"No, that's just gossip. Just drop it. Don't you have homework or something?" Luke asked. Roy sighed, knowing his dad was right. Roy would never admit it, but he always saw Lorelai as a motherly figure. She cooked him food, she helped him and his dad out, she took care of him when he had the chicken pox and Luke had to work. They were like a little family.
Luke walked up the steps of his house, holding on to the railing Lorelai fixed the day before. She had put so much time and effort into that house, it felt that she was apart of it. He could look at anything in the house, the table, the couch, the windows, anything and he would think of Lorelai. Luke was convinced that thoughts like that were a subconscious way for his brain to trick him into thinking he liked her. But they were friends, best friends.
So there it is! I have a feeling that the chapters will be approx. 3-5,000 words on average, so about twice as long as the chapters from my other story.
So far, Luke and Lorelai have swapped genders/stories, as well as Roy basically being a male Rory, Sokka is Sookie, etc. Do you have any other characters you want gender swapped?
If you have a specific episode you want me to swap, I can probably make it work.
As always, if you have any suggestions, requests, ideas, etc., let me know!