Has it really been three months since I've updated? How does that even happen? I'm sorry for the extremely late update. After returning to the States, and the holidays, and work and then second semester starting, and my birthday, and personal shit, I completely lost track of time. But now I'm back with a new chapter, I hope you like it!
I know that the Bid-a-Basket even happened in February in the series, bit it makes more sense for my story to have it in November, you know, when it wouldn't be freezing.
November: Basket Case
Every year, the Stars Hallow Fundraising Committee hosts the Bid-a-Basket auction on the second Saturday of November. The men of the town would make picnic baskets and the women would but them. In 2002, the auction proceeds were going to the Stars Hollow Retirement Home. Luke, as with every town tradition, never participated. Roy didn't have a reason to either until he dated Dawn, so this was the second year he participated.
The day before, Luke and Roy were talking about Roy's basket at the café.
"Lorelai, can you make me some cookies to put in the basket?" Roy asked. Lorelai smiled sweetly and shook her head.
"No can do, kid," she said.
"Why not?" He asked, more curious than whiny.
"Because that isn't the point of the tradition," Lorelai said. She looked completely at Luke to see how he'd react. And as expected, Luke rolled his eyes.
"There is no point to this thing," Luke started. "The only reason this thing exists is because some guys—decades ago—decided that they needed to have picnics in November, which makes no sense because it's almost freezing."
"Roy, do you want to hear the story?" Lorelai said, ignoring Luke.
"Yes please," he said. Lorelai filled his cup with more coffee, then set the pot down and leaned against the counter.
"This tradition started off after World War II. It was a time of happiness and glee. But in the conservative town of Stars Hollow, there were social structures that prevented the soldiers to mingle with the ladies of proper age, and there was a record-low marriage rate that year. The councilmen were making decisions about the fundraising plans they have in the town, and decided to have a picnic festival. People would pay a couple dollars to sit in the square and listen to music," Lorelai said, remembering the stories she was told in elementary school.
"Ugh," Luke groaned, but Roy nudged him to be quiet.
"But when Daisy Roger, the wife of the head councilman, noticed that her son hadn't met a nice girl, she asked her husband to lighten the courting rules a little bit. they decided to change it up and have women bid on baskets. Back then, one man out of every household had to provide a basket for bidding. If a family had a son younger than 16, the father would do it. Older than 16, then the father or son could. Then women over the age of 16 could bid on the baskets."
"That good-old age of consent," Luke groaned. That was another reason he and Rachel decided to have sex so young: Just because they could.
"So ever since, the town has the Bid-a-Basket twice a year," Lorelai concluded. "Once in the Fall, and once in the Spring when the ladies put their baskets in."
"How many times have you bid?" Roy asked.
"I've bid every year I could. I always bid on Sokka's and I always get it. Except for this year when Jackson will get it," Lorelai said. She omitted that Chris would bid on hers unless they were broken up.
"You're the biggest basket case of them all, then, huh?" Luke asked. Lorelai laughed at his pun.
"Yeah, you could say that," Lorelai shrugged. She looked at the time and reminded the boys that Doose's was closing early in preparation for the auction.
"Yeah we still haven't gotten the basket," Roy said. They gathered their things and headed out.
"I'll see you tomorrow!" Lorelai said as they left.
"See ya," Luke said. There was a brief moment of eye contact between the two before the guys made their exit. Lorelai didn't knew what it meant, but she was forever hopeful.
"You should bid on his basket," Jessie said from behind Lorelai. The last couple months have been much better for Jessie. grades were decent, and she would hang out with Roy and Dawn a couple times a week.
"He doesn't have a basket," Lorelai said.
"But if he did, would you?"
"Yeah right, do you know what would be in the basket?" Lorelai asked, deflecting the real reason. She knew that neither of the Gilmore guys had any sort of cooking skills, and even if Luke put a basket in, it would have leftovers or a bag of carrots it it, nothing else.
"Exactly," Lorelai said. "If you knew, you would understand why I wouldn't be bidding on his basket."
"Uh huh, sure," Jessie rolled her eyes. "Can I get two pancakes please?"
"Sure thing," Lorelai was more than happy to make Jessie as much food as she wanted.
"How about this one?" Roy asked, holding up a large wicker basket. They had been in Doose's for five minutes and Luke was already sick of it.
"No, it's too big. It raises expectations," Luke said.
"Like there's actually a home-cooked lunch in there, instead of whatever is leftover in our refrigerator?" Roy said. Luke nodded and Roy put the large basket down.
"Exactly, keep looking," Luke said. "I don't know why, though. This whole this is ridiculous. You realize this is like a cattle auction, right? You are a literal piece of meat being ogled and bought."
"I think it's fun," Roy said smugly.
"That's because you have a pretty girl to bid on your basket," Luke rolled his eyes.
"Yes I do. And yes, she's fully aware that she should eat lunch before the bidding," Roy said. "And I still need a basket."
"I'll look up front, you take the back," Luke said.
"Divide and conquer, I like it," Roy said. Roy turned and started walking to the back where Dawn was stocking shelves. Luke made his way to the front and saw Miss Patty digging in her purse.
"Hey Patty. Scouting out the shoppers?"
"Well, I'm getting that itch again."
"Oh no, Patty, you don't actually need another husband," Luke said.
"Well, need a husband: no. But want: that's a different story. Listen darling, do you happen to have change for a dollar?" Miss Patty asked.
"I think so," Luke said as he fished in his pockets.
"I don't know where my quarters go," Miss Patty said.
"Down some guy's g-string, I would expect," Luke deadpanned.
"Oh no, honey, a quarter would be insulting," Miss Patty said just as Luke found four quarters in his jeans.
"Here you go," he said. He handed over the change, and Patty flung her hand out of the purse, catapulting a piece of paper out with it. "I got it," Luke said as he bent down to get it. He looked at the piece of paper and saw that it was a picture of him. Puzzled, he looked at Patty.
"Oh," was all Patty could say.
"This is a picture of me," Luke said in confusion.
"It is?" Miss Patty feigned innocence, but Luke knew better.
"Yeah. Why do you have a picture of me in your wallet?" Luke asked. Miss Patty looked flustered, and she scrambled to think of a lie.
"Um, I'm a stalker?" She gave a cutesy smile, trying to get him to give up. It didn't work.
"Yes I know, but why else?" Luke said.
"I'm in love with you?" She said. Luke sighed.
"Yes I know, but why else?" Luke asked again. Miss Patty was about to come up with another lie, but gave up with a dramatic sigh.
"Well, if, in my daily travels, I run across a nice single girl..." Patty trailed off as Luke's face reddened.
"Oh my God," Luke shook his head.
"I just like to have a visual aid to help me with the wonderful buildup I give you."
"Patty, I appreciate the gesture, but I don't need you to try to set me up."
"You're such a handsome man and you deserve a nice girl."
"I'll get a nice girl, but let me find her, okay?" Luke said, wanting to put an end to his match-making once and for all.
"But you're no good at finding her."
"Patty," Luke warned but she didn't back down.
"Would you at least put a basket in the auction?"
"What? Are you crazy? Why would I do that?"
"I'd say for the sake of tradition, but after your sour attitude in the café, I don't think that card will work."
"I wasn't being sour," Luke denied, then looked over. "Was I?" He didn't want people, Lorelai, to think he was sour.
"It sure seemed like it to me. But you know how much Lorelai likes tradition, maybe she'll buy your basket," Miss Patty winked.
"I'm not making a basket," Luke said.
"Come on, what if I don't get anyone? Could you make just in case? For me? I promise not to make you my next husband," Patty said. Luke looked over at his son, who was talking with his girlfriend.
"Fine, only if you stop showing my picture to random women," Luke said.
"It's a deal," Patty shook her hand.
"Thank you. I'll keep this if you don't mind." And with that, Luke walked away with his picture. Little did he know that he only took one of several pictures Miss Patty has acquired over the years.
"Stubborn boy," Patty said before leaving the market.
Meanwhile, in the back of the store, Roy had found Dawn. That talked for a minute before the coast was clear of Taylor's eagle eye, then they kissed. A few seconds later, they heard a shuffling behind them.
"Sorry to intrude," Jessie said honestly, yet still with a smirk like her aunt's.
"Oh yeah, no worries," Dawn said with a small smile. "What's up?" Thankfully, the girls have gotten along. It was a bit awkward at first, but they were becoming fast friends, along with Roy.
"Well, you're having your vertical From Here to Eternity moment right in front of the super glue," Jessie shrugged.
"Here's your glue," Dawn handed the pack over to Jessie.
"Thank you, I'll tell Doose that your customer service skills are impeccable. Carry on," Jessie said then left.
"I really like that girl," Dawn said, shifting to lean against Roy. "I mean at first I didn't think I would, but she seems much… more normal than when she first came here. I mean she's still weird, but nice."
"Yeah," Roy said, agreeing completely. "You should probably be getting back to work."
"Yeah you're probably right," Dawn smiled. "Are still on for tonight?" Dawn asked.
"Sure thing, I'll pick you up at 7:00," Roy said. He kissed her again before she went to help at the register. Roy turned around to the baskets and almost ran into Jessie.
"Sorry. Two for one sale," Jessie said, slowly reaching around him to grab another package.
"Find anything?" Luke walked over to the teens. "Hey Jessie."
"Hey, Mr. Luke, looking good today," Jessie said. "Blue is definitely your color, and don't let anyone tell you differently. See you later," she said, then walked away.
"What was that all about?" Luke asked his son.
"Not a clue." Roy said. Luke gave him a look. "Really, I have no idea, I promise."
"Alright. Let's get this one, it's small," Luke said. He looked around, then grabbed a second one just like it, but with a blue bow instead of pink.
"Don't say a word," Luke grumbled. Roy tried to suppress a smirk, but failed.
The next day, the auction was in full swing. Luke and Roy got there early to put their baskets on the table in the gazebo. Luke received strange looks and comments from several people, but chose to ignore them. He was only doing this for Miss Patty. But there was a kink in the plan, as on the first basket, Miss Patty won the bid. She got Kirk's basket, and gave Luke a wink when she walked off the stage.
"Unbelievable," Luke mumbled. The bidding continued until they got to Roy's basket.
"Now this one might not look like much…" Taylor started.
"Mine," Roy said excitedly.
"Fully aware," Luke said dully, not wanting to encourage the crazy.
"But remember people: Good things come in small packages," Taylor said. Dirty, Luke thought. Then he rolled his eyes at Lorelai penetrated his thoughts once again.
"How badly does he want to be hosting a game show?" Roy asked.
"I think he can taste it," Luke mumbled. Roy snickered.
"Let's start the bidding at three dollars," Taylor said.
"Five dollars," Dawn said from across the lawn.
"Five dollars, do I hear ten dollars?" Taylor asked. From the back, another girl spoke.
"Ten dollars," Jessie said. Roy turned around and gave her a confused look. He looked over at Dawn and she was equally confused.
"Okay, I have ten dollars. Do I have fifteen?" Taylor said. The bidding increased at high as $50 before Jessie won the basket.
"Dad?" Roy looked to his dad for help. Both Gilmore men were confused about what was happening around them.
"Hold on. I'm trying to think, uh, in what scenario this situation could be construed as positive."
"Well, no blood shed yet," Luke shrugged. He really had no idea how to help Roy deal with this.
"I better go talk to Dawn," Roy said, leaving to do damage control. Luke watched his son deal with the two girls, thinking himself lucky he didn't have to deal with people fighting over him. Little did he know what Miss Patty had in store for him.
The bidding continued. When Jackson bid on Sokka's basket, he became the first man to bid on basket in 10 years. That earned them a free bottle of wine from the market. Luke looked over, seeing Dawn walking away angrily and Roy not following. Before he could go over there and tell his son to go after the girl, Luke's basket was up for bid.
"Well this looks like another Doose's market basket. Nice, huh?" Taylor said. "I'd like to start the bidding at three dollars."
"I bid ten dollars," one woman said quickly.
"Fifteen dollars," said a second woman. He had never seen those women before.
"Do they know that all that's in there is two stale Pop Tarts and a Slim Jim?" Luke said to Sokka who shrugged, occupied with his boyfriend. As the bidding continued, Luke realized that Miss Patty was eyeing him, looking smug. As a third, unfamiliar woman bid $20, Luke walked over to Patty.
"Those are the women, aren't they?" Luke accused.
"Excuse me?" Patty was a good actress, but not good enough.
"The women who you've shown my picture! You brought them here, you're setting me up!" Luke rightfully accused.
"Well darling, you can't be trusted to do it yourself."
"Oh Christ…" he muttered, internally freaking out. After Maxine, he hadn't really thought about dating anyone. Sure, there was a cute woman in his business class, but that wasn't anything serious.
So Luke did the first thing that popped into his head and looked around for Lorelai. Usually she'd pick Sokka's basket, but since he was spoken for, Lorelai was nowhere to be seen. HE almost wished she was there, waiting to bid on his basket. He felt down for a moment before realizing that he never told her he had put a basket in. Without realizing it, Luke was already running over to the café.
"Lorelai!" He yelled as soon as he burst through the doors. Everyone in the café stopped and looked at him and his out of character exclamation. "Well? Where is she?" Luke asked the patrons. "I need her! Cassy, where is—" Luke stopped as Lorelai came out from the kitchen with two plates.
"Luke?" She asked. "What the hell is going on? I could hear you over the fan back there."
"Thank God. Lorelai, you gotta come with me," Luke followed her to the table, and helping her serve out the plates.
"Why and where?" She was confused, but willing to help with whatever he was talking about.
"You gotta come out there with me," Luke pleaded.
"Out where?" Lorelai repeated, still having no idea what was going on.
"The auction. Patty gave my picture out to all these women because she thinks I need one."
"Well she's not wrong," Lorelai said, having getting the Luke is great speech nearly every day.
"You have to come out and bid on my basket."
"Wait, are you serious? You, Mr. Anti-Tradition, you have a basket in the auction? Mr. I have never in my life taken part in one of these crazy group flip outs and I not about to start now has a basket?" She asked.
"Yes, can you hurry it up?" Luke asked.
"We're swamped here, that's why I'm working and not bidding," Lorelai looked around.
"Do you want me to beg? Cuz I might, but you have to buy it," he offered. Lorelai smiled up at her desperate friend.
"Okay," she said.
"Really, it'll take five minutes and you don't have to eat it," Luke kept asking. Lorelai walked to the door.
"Let's go," Lorelai said as she grabbed her coat.
"You're awesome," Luke said with a bright smile as he gently pushed her outside. They got back to the auction and the three women had gotten closer, and so had the bidding. The offers were getting upped by quarters when Luke and Lorelai walked up.
"Forty-seven," the third woman said.
"Forty-seven dollars, are you kidding? For what? Two stale Pop Tarts and a Slim Jim?" Lorelai asked. Luke was silently pleased that she knew him so well.
"Okay, you're not getting the whole saving me here thing, are you?" Luke groaned.
"Fine," she smirked at Luke then turned to Taylor. "Forty-eight!" The women turned around, and kept bidding. A few minutes later, Lorelai ended up winning the basket by outbidding the others by going over the $50 limit.
"And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the basket bidding for today. Victors come claim your prizes and your dates. Let the lunching begin!" Taylor announced.
"You rock," Luke said as Lorelai retrieved the basket.
"I know," Lorelai said. "You're welcome."
"So what do we do now?" Luke asked.
"We eat," Lorelai said, peering into the basket. "Just kidding. Wow, it actually is just Pop Tarts and a Slim Jim. I'll be right back," Lorelai said.
"Where are you going?" Luke asked.
"I'm going to the café," Lorelai said.
"Why?" He asked. Even though he had explained that she would only be needed for five minutes, he realized that he truly wanted her company.
"To get us some edible food. I'll bring it back here for us to eat."
"That is so not the point of today. I made this. I am insulted. I might just pout," Luke deadpanned.
"I'll bring back those oatmeal cookies you like," Lorelai said.
"Pouting has ceased," Luke said with a genuine smile.
"Where do you wanna eat?" Jessie asked as the crowd dispersed.
"Don't care," Roy said shortly. He had spent so much energy convincing Dawn that Jessie was just a friend, and he felt like a liar now. He wanted to go after Dawn, but he knew they needed time to process.
"Okay," Jessie said as she started walking towards the back of the school.
"Where are you going?" Roy asked. Jessie was quicker than he anticipated, and he had to jog to catch up with her,
"Thought you didn't care," she said as he met her. They walked for a couple of minutes before Roy spotted the water.
"I'm not jumping in the lake," Roy said.
"Awe, man, really? Shit I'll have to tell the little mermaid to cancel the plans," Jessie smirked. They walked across the bridge until she stopped abruptly.
"Now what?" Roy asked.
"Now we sit," Jessie said.
"Here? On the bridge, that's where we're gonna eat?" Roy asked.
"Yup," Jessie shrugged, already squatting to sit on the edge. Once they were both seated, she spoke again. "I like this place."
"Wow, a place in Stars Hollow you actually like. I'm stunned," Roy said dryly.
"So what gives?" Roy asked.
"What are you talking about?"
"Why did you outbid Dawn like that?" Roy asked. Jessie shook her head.
"Not yet. I want to see what's in this basket first," she said, and she opened the basket to see a couple of ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, and Sunny-D. "Wow, you treat her well."
"Well I try to, but you made that very difficult," Roy said. Jessie closed the basket without touching the contents.
"Okay we can talk now," she said.
"You don't want to eat?"
"No, this is for Dawn, I'm not going to touch her food."
"I am so confused right now," Roy put his head in his hands.
"For starters, I don't like you. You aren't my type," Jessie said.
"Yeah? What is your type? Drug dealer drummer?" Roy asked. Jessie didn't let him on, but she was hurt by the comment.
"No, dorkwad, I... I don't know what my type is, but it isn't you, so make sure Dawn knows that," Jessie said.
"Okay? But why?... How?"
"The important thing is why I bid on your basket. Would you like to know?"
"Yes?" He said, his head full of confusion.
"Okay, well it's about your dad and my aunt."
"What about them?"
"They're totally into each other," she said.
"Yeah, no shit, Sherlock, that isn't breaking news," Roy said.
"You know, your tone is a bit much," Jessie was getting irritated. Roy realized that he had been a dick to her without hearing her out. Now was the chance.
"I'm sorry," he said sincerely. "What about my dad and Lorelai?"
"I want to get them together," she said. Roy's head perked up.
"Okay? Why? Why not let them figure it out?"
"I've put Lorelai through hell these last few months. Luke too, for that matter," Jessie started. "I want her to be happy, and I think she'll be happy with Luke." Roy thought for a moment. He would have to trust her, which was going to be hard after the bidding stunt.
"So what's the plan? 'Parent Trap' them? Trick them into being together?" Roy asked.
"Not necessarily," Jessie smiled. "I just think we can nudge them along. Because it's going to happen eventually, and everyone knows it, so why can't we quicken the process?"
"I don't want them to wait too long either," Roy agreed.
"So, tell me, how do you feel about them getting together? Are you okay with it?" Jessie asked. Roy gave her a growing smile.
"Lorelai has been more of a mom to be than my actual mother. She's taken care of me and my dad for years. She's done more for us than any of us realize," Roy said, then he chuckled lightly. "For instance, when I was 12, I had to do a project about family. We had to identify the family members and write a paragraph about how they fit those characteristics. For my dad, I wrote that he tucked me in at night and he helped me with my homework and told me to take out the trash and clean my room."
"Typical middle school mentality," Jessie laughed.
"For grandparents, I talked about William and Margret and how they were grandparents because they're my dad's parents and they buy me presents, as well as Mia for making sure we had a place to live. And then for mom, I thought about how Rachel fit the traits, but besides giving birth to me, she really wasn't like a mom. But, Lorelai fed me, Lorelai helped me with my homework like my dad did, she made sure our house was safe, and she gave me hugs every day. So I called Lorelai my 'mommy-person.' And Ms. James gave me an A for creativity," Roy said, surprising himself when he remembered it all. "And I made Lorelai a copy of her page for mother's day, thanking her for being my 'mommy-person.'"
"And how was that monologue the answer to my question?" Jessie asked. Roy rolled his eyes.
"I already think of her as a mother figure, I'd like it to be official one day. The sooner the better," Roy said. "Let's get them together." The teens smiled at each other and started to scheme.
"You know, your sandwiches actually taste better outside," Luke complimented. Lorelai smiled as she took a bite out of her burger.
"Good. Next time the roof in the diner's leaking, I'll just rip the stupid thing off," Lorelai laughed. "So this is nice, huh? Come on, admit it. The whole thing was fun."
"Never," Luke said as he looked up from his food. Lorelai saw the smirk on his lips and the smile in his eyes.
"What? Admit it, you would much rather be sitting out here than being bored in your house," Lorelai said. Luke shrugged.
"I don't know, there was a good documentary on the discovery channel today," Luke said.
"God, you're stubborn," Lorelai laughed.
"I'm stubborn?" Luke feigned astonishment.
"Yeah, you're stubborn," she shrugged.
"Coming from Miss Flexibility over here, that's rich," Luke said.
"Hey, I can be flexible," she said.
"Oh please," Luke started laughing.
"I can! As long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I'm totally flexible," she smiled and winked at him.
"Oh of course, my mistake," he smiled back. There was a small pause.
"Do you want a fry?" Lorelai offered.
"You want a carrot?" Luke countered.
"Impossible," she shook her head.
"Right back at ya," Luke said, and they munched on their respective side dishes.
"So let me ask you something," Lorelai started.
"Anything," Luke said, really meaning it. Lorelai hesitated.
"Who did you want to get your basket?" Lorelai asked. "I mean, before you knew Patty was gonna put you on the Dating Game, you did pack this disgusting lunch and bring it out here, so who did you want to get it?" Luke sighed.
"Miss Patty," he mumbled.
"Sorry, what did you say?" Lorelai smirked. He glared at her.
"Miss Patty convinced me to put a basket in this year. I only agreed because she said she would bid on mine," Luke winced in anticipation of Lorelai's jokes, which never came.
"I mean that's why Sokka put in his basket all those years, because he knew I would bid on it," Lorelai said. Luke relaxed a bit.
"Next year I'm not going to risk it," Luke said, and Lorelai nodded in understanding.
"You know, it's a nice concept," Lorelai said.
"What is?" Luke asked.
"The basket thing. Just having someone who you love or have some kind of crazy crush on bid on your basket and then share a romantic lunch, it's a nice concept," Lorelai said.
"Yeah I guess," Luke said. "The basket thing wouldn't be so bad if you actually have someone to bid on it. I'm never doing this again unless I'm dating someone who will 100% for sure get my basket." Lorelai smiled at him.
"Well, someday you'll manage to find the right woman and drag her out to this thing and make her buy your stupid basket. Then you'll be sitting out here with her," Lorelai said. Luke thought for a moment about how he had done that very thing to get Lorelai to buy his basket.
"Yeah, someday," Luke said, taking another bite from his sandwich. "In the meantime, I'm glad that you were here to bail me out. Thanks again for that."
"Oh it's no big deal," Lorelai waved off.
"Without you, I would have been stuck with a stranger all afternoon. It would have been a total waste of time," Luke said.
"So being stuck with me isn't a waste of time?" Lorelai joked. Luke didn't find it funny though.
"Being with you is never a waste of time," he said honestly. Lorelai looked up at him with a small smile.
"Why-" Before she could continue, Dawn appeared on the steps of the gazebo.
"I have to talk to you," Dawn said to Luke.
"Oh, yeah, okay," Luke turned to Lorelai. "I'll be right back."
"I'll be here," Lorelai said. Luke smiled, knowing she was there for him. He walked down the stairs and over to the 17-year-old girl.
"Hey, how're you doing?" Luke said awkwardly.
"Uh, I'm not great," Dawn said. "I've been telling myself that it's just a silly town thing, and I tried to go home and forget about it, but I can't. I'm worried about Roy. I don't think he should be hanging out with that girl."
"You don't mean that," Luke said. "You and Jessie get along fine."
"Yeah, because I didn't think she liked him. Now all of that is out the window," Dawn said.
"You sound jealous," Luke said.
"I'm not jealous," Dawn denied unconvincingly. "She just… Roy has to be nice to everyone, you know?"
"I know. But hon, that's Roy," Luke shrugged.
"Well, she's going to get him into trouble. I can feel it, I just know it," Dawn said. They didn't realize that Lorelai could hear the entire conversation, until she stepped down from the gazebo.
"Dawn, you love Roy, right?" She said. Dawn looked guilty.
"Yeah," Dawn said without making eye contact. "Yes, I do."
"So, part of love is trust. You just have to trust Roy," Lorelai said.
"I do trust him, it's Jessie I'm worried about."
"I'll talk to her, okay?" Lorelai said.
"Okay," Dawn said. "Thank you. And I'm sorry, I…"
"It's alright," Lorelai said. She looked at Luke. "Sorry to cut the picnic short, but I have to get back to work."
"I'll see you later," Luke said. He touched her arm as he spoke, but she moved away quickly, barely feeling it.
A few hours later, Luke was watching football on the TV when Roy came back.
"Dad?" He called as he took off his shoes.
"Hey kid. Where've you been?" Luke asked.
"Oh you know, I just went to get some pizza and I, uh, wandered around the bookstore for a little while. Here," Roy said, handing his dad a book.
"What's this?" Luke asked, looking at the book cover.
"You said you wanted to read Catcher in the Rye," Roy said.
"I did?" Luke asked.
"Yeah, the other night when I was reading off Dr. Salsburg's recommended winter reading list, you said you never read it. And my copy is all covered in notes, so I wanted to get you a clean copy.
"Right, right," Luke said absently. "Well, thanks."
"You're welcome," Roy said, feeling a tension between him and his dad, and that was never good.
"So who were you with?" Luke asked.
"What?" Roy asked.
"Pizza, book buying, did you have company?" Luke asked. Roy nodded.
"Oh, yeah, I did," Roy said, suddenly looking more confident.
"Who?" Luke asked.
"It was just me and Jessie at first, then Dawn joined us," Roy shrugged.
"Oh, well that's..." Luke trailed off.
"Did you talk to Dawn? Because when I was eating with Lorelai, Dawn came over and seemed worried."
"Yeah, well we talked and I think she's okay, we're okay," Roy shrugged. He was being oddly relaxed about the whole thing."
"Yup," Roy said, making eye contact with Luke, trying to bring his point across. "So, how was the picnic with Lorelai?"
"Oh, it was nice. We talked about how stupid the basket thing was," Luke said.
"But you liked it?"
"Well yeah, I guess. It was different eating with her and not in front of her, you know?"
"Yeah," Roy nodded. "Maybe you two should do it more."
"Roy," Luke warned.
"What? Friends eat together! I ate with Jessie. You eat with Sokka," Roy said. Luke rolled his eyes. Years ago, when they first met Lorelai, Roy asked Luke about his marrying Lorelai. It didn't work, obviously, and it took a while for Roy to get over it. Maybe he never did.
"Okay," Luke didn't want to get into it tonight. "Well I have to go to a meeting at the Inn in the morning, so I'm going to go to Lorelai's to get some muffins or something for it."
"Alright, see you later," Roy said, then made his way to his room. Luke grabbed his new book and his jacket, then walked over to Latte Lorelai.
"We're closing in two minutes," Lorelai called from the kitchen as soon as she heard the bells ring from the door.
"This is a robbery. I've come for all your tea," the person said. Lorelai smiled at the voice, knowing it was Luke. She dried off her hands and tightened her ponytail.
"Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me," Lorelai said as she walked behind the counter. Luke's face got all red and Lorelai laughed.
"Do you never stop?" He asked.
"Rarely, but a girl's gotta sleep. But even then I talk in my sleep, so probably not," Lorelai smiled. "What's up? How's my new favorite basket case?"
"Basket case?" Luke asked.
"Yeah, yesterday you called me the biggest basket case of them all. But now you're one of us," she explained. Luke rolled his eyes, and wanted to change the subject.
"Roy and Jessie spent the entire day together," Luke said.
"Yeah, I know," Lorelai said, sad that he came to talk about the kids, not just to talk to her. "And Dawn joined them, and they figured out everything."
"Oh, Jessie told you that Dawn came?" Luke asked.
"No," Lorelai laughed.
"Then how do you know?"
"Well seeming as Dawn is upstairs at this very moment, I'm sure they got everything figured out," Lorelai said.
"Dawn and Jessie, they're... hanging out? Right now? Without Roy?" Luke asked, looking toward the stairs.
"Yeah, and I haven't heard any screams or crying, so I think they're going to be fine," Lorelai said. She walked from behind the counter to lock the door and flip the sign around. "Can I get you some tea?"
"Yes, please," Luke said. "And can I get a dozen muffins? I have a meeting tomorrow morning and it's Sokka's day off."
"I only have two left from today, but I can whip up some fresh ones if you want to sit and talk for a while," Lorelai said, already tying her hair back to get the batter ready.
"You don't need to do that," Luke said. "I don't want you to go through trouble."
"Oh don't be silly. Plus they'll taste better," Lorelai said. Luke knew she was going to do whatever she wanted, and it was best to go with it.
"Okay, thank you," Luke said. Lorelai gave him some tea and started to set ingredients on the counter.
"Why didn't you tell me you put the basket in?"
"What?" Luke asked.
"I mean if I had known, I would have tried to be out there," Lorelai said, masterfully adding sugar to her bowl of butter.
"Why?" Luke asked. Lorelai panicked silently before answering.
"Well, mostly because I would have wanted to see it with my own eyes. But also, I've bought Sokka's basket for years, and in the Spring when the women put baskets in, he bids on mine. But now that he and Jackson are a thing, I didn't really have anyone I'd want to bid."
"But you'd bid on mine?"
"Well yeah, especially to protect you from the crazies," Lorelai. "What are friends for?" She held an egg toward him.
"Yeah, what are friends for," Luke repeated, grabbing the egg and cracking it into the measuring cup she set next to him. He poured it into the mixing bowl. "I didn't tell you because I was embarrassed. Plus I didn't want you to get the satisfaction of making fun of me."
"Oh yeah, that makes sense," Lorelai laughed. "The mocking would have lasted weeks."
"But you're not going to mock now?"
"Nah, not now. We were having a good time. Tomorrow, on the other hand, that's a different story," Lorelai winked. "Can you stir when I add the rest of the stuff?" She asked, and Luke nodded and leaned over the counter to get a better angle. She added baking powder, flour, and then reached for the salt shaker.
"Salt?" Luke asked.
"Yeah, it just enhances the other flavors," Lorelai said. She finished putting the ingredients in and then went under the counter to grab a muffin tin. "Can you put the wrappers in here?"
"Sure," he said. He grabbed the light brown liners and placed them in the muffin tin as Lorelai added the last ingredients: Blueberries. She stirred in half of them, then gave Luke a small ice cream scooper.
"Here, now take a scoop and plop it into the liner," she said. Luke shrugged and did what she said. Lorelai went to the storage room for a moment and Luke focused on his pouring. As a naturally bad cook, he became very aware that he was making muffins, and they didn't look half bad. He smirked to himself, and a second later he saw a flash and heard a click. Lorelai was standing at the end of the counter with a Polaroid camera.
"What the hell are you doing?" Luke asked.
"I wanted evidence that you can, in fact, bake," she smiled.
"I did not. I just did what you told me to do," Luke shrugged.
"Yeah, you followed directions, that's all baking is," Lorelai said.
"But you don't follow directions! You already know what to do before you do it," Luke said. Lorelai walked over to the counter and took the scooper from his hands, their fingers touching briefly.
"That's because muffins are literally the easiest thing to make. And I've been making them for 20 years, so I know my shit," Lorelai laughed. Luke took the scooper back and finished the tin. Lorelai smiled at how much fun he was having, and went to preheat the oven, one step she forgot to do earlier. She came back out to Luke, who was picking blueberries out of the bowl.
"What do you think you're doing?" Lorelai asked. Luke was caught blue handed as he was about to drop another berry in his mouth.
"I thought you were done," he said. Lorelai shook her head.
"Blueberries are heavy, so I add some a few minutes into baking so they stay on the top," Lorelai said. Luke nodded. Lorelai sprinkle sugar on the top then went to put them into the oven. She came back with two beers and sat next to Luke on the stools. Lorelai just kept smiling at him.
"Why do you keep looking at me like that?"
"You, Lucas Rockwell Gilmore, just made some muffins," she said.
"I'll drink to that," Luke deadpanned. They clinked their glasses and laughed together. They laughed and talked and drank for 20 minutes until the muffins were done, and after they took them out, they talked for an hour longer.
"I better get going," Luke said after his third beer. "The meeting is early. Thank you, again, for helping me with the muffins."
"Thank you for helping me with the muffins," Lorelai said. "Admit it, you had fun making them."
"Yeah, I did," he said with a smile. A non-sarcastic response threw Lorelai off.
"We should do it again sometime," Lorelai said. Luke nodded in agreement.
"I'd like that," he said. They were sitting close to each other, her foot was propped up on his stool and his arm was resting on the counter, his hand by her shoulder. She leaned back and stretched, then pulled the ponytail holder out of her hair. Her hair was longer than it had ever been, and after she shook it out, it fell against his hand on the counter. He unconsciously played with the ends of her hair, and they sat in silence for a moment.
"So what do you think the deal is with the kids?" Lorelai asked, wanting to keep the conversation going.
"I have no idea. I'm just glad there's no bloodshed yet," Luke said, still fingering through her hair.
"Me too," she said. It felt good to have her hair played with. She wanted to bring up what Jessie had said earlier. She wanted to ask him about the looks they've exchanged for years. What she really wanted to do is feel Luke's hand hold the back of her head as they kissed. She physically shook her head to get the thoughts out of her head, but that caused Luke's hand to back away.
They continued to talk until the muffins were finished, then Luke said he needed to go. Lorelai boxed up the muffins as he cleaned up the counter.
"Thanks again," he said. "This was fun." He knew that they already had this conversation, but he wanted to postpone the leaving process.
"Maybe we should do weekly baking lessons," Lorelai proposed. "We can drink and talk while I teach you how not to burn your house down."
"I'd like that," Luke said. She handed him the box after he put his coat on. Their hands brushed for a moment, and they both felt a spark.
"So I'll see you tomorrow?" Lorelai asked. Luke nodded.
"I'll see you then, basket case," he said. They laughed as he exited, neither of them wanting the night to end just yet.
On his walk home, Luke thought about that spark. That spark was recurring, and it happened almost every time they touched. Luke knew that the spark would either light them up or burn them down. Time would tell.
Well there it is! I have an idea of where I'm going with this, but I would LOVE some comments about how you think Roy and Jessie are going to get Luke and Lorelai together.
I have no idea when my next chapter is going to come up. I'm taking five, FIVE, English classes this semester so I will be pretty busy, but I will do my best to update in the next couple months. If you want to get alerted when I do update, follow this story, maybe favorite it while you're at it.
Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful week! Spread some love!