Chapter 1: Unbelievable

Luke couldn't believe it. Lorelai Gilmore was bound to go on a hiking trip. It sounded like a joke to him; a very bad one with an even worse punch line. Lorelai Gilmore wanted to go on a hiking trip. She had come up with the idea by herself, and no Hello Kitty booth was involved. Luke couldn't believe it. The longer he thought about it, the less he could actually wrap his head around this idea.

Confusion was not the only thing he felt while he comprehended the fact that Lorelai would spend three weeks in the wild. He also felt anger inside him. Lorelai Gilmore, finally, decided to do something outdoorsy, something Luke would enjoy, but she decided to do it without him.

In the past, Luke had never brought up going camping or fishing with her because Luke knew that was something Lorelai did not enjoy. It was something she wouldn't consider doing even though she cared about him.

However, suddenly out of the blue, Lorelai Gilmore had actually made the decision to go on a long hike and did not even consider that this would be something Luke would enjoy too. It could have been something they could have shared with each other like a shared interest; a shared experience.

That though was not Lorelai's intention, not part of her plan. Lorelai Gilmore was stubborn as hell and what was set on her mind would be done as she pleased. No room for discussion. Lorelai had decided and she would go through with it.

Ever since she had told Luke about her plan in the summer, she was wrapped up in preparations for her trip and they hardly talked about the fact that she would be gone for three weeks. She had told him that night in the kitchen and ever since they just didn't talk about her hike. She was preparing and whenever he dared to give his advice she answered dismissively, asking him to let her do it on her own because this was something she had to do on her own.

Luke got frustrated with her behavior. He had spent a lot of time outdoors and knew what was important to consider when planning such a trip. He could offer her so much advice, but she would not take it, even though she was a newbie to outdoor stuff.

That fact bothered Luke a lot. He wanted her back in one piece and with her lack of knowledge, he was afraid something horrible might happen to her. He was sure she would get hurt in the process, she was clumsy at points and being alone on a deserted trail seemed like a good suicidal method for her.

Maybe this was her intention, Luke wouldn't know. All year long, Lorelai had been a big mystery to him. Ever since Richard died, Lorelai had changed and he couldn't recognize her anymore at times.

Luke also knew they had issues, big issues, which were not talked about properly. They had made up after their fall out in the dinner in summer, but a lot of the brought up issues had not been discussed. Things between them were still unresolved and by pretending they never happened both Lorelai and Luke tried to deal with them. Avoiding what was really bothering them was a strength of theirs, they were capable of leaving the real important stuff out of a conversation and instead concentrating on silly little details, which did not matter.

After their big fight in the diner, they had sort of made up that same evening, not saying too much, not even apologizing properly. Lorelai had approached him as he sat on the bed, getting ready for sleep; she was about to give a big speech Luke could tell by the deep breaths she had drawn before speaking up, "Luke-".

But he had stopped her, waving it off, "It's fine, Lorelai."

"Really?" Lorelai sounded unsure, tilting her head as she leaned against the doorpost, seeking some kind of support. Their fight in the diner had been bad and ugly.

Luke nodded in response, patting the space on the bed next to him. There was not use in arguing in his opinion. Everything was out now and they could move forward with their cards open.

Lorelai went to the bathroom to get changed, her pajamas were again the drawer Luke usually put them, but she didn't comment on it. Luke could hear some water sounds coming from the bathroom, she was probably getting rid of the awful day by washing her face and rinsing of the sour feeling she had been feeling ever since. He had done the same before.

It took Lorelai longer than Luke had expected, that's why he decided to settle into bed and turn the light off. He stayed on his side, facing towards the windows. He was not sure if Lorelai wanted him to settle in their usual sleeping position, with him facing towards her. It felt wrong to him; he never slept on his right, it felt weird, everything was out of place.

She joined him a little later in bed, sighing deeply when she settled under the sheets too. By the pulling he could feel on the blanket, he knew she was getting ready to sleep on her left, facing away from him, which was nothing unusual; it was her preferred sleeping position. After some more stirring on her part, she sighed again and asked into the dark, checking if he was still awake, "Hey Luke?"

For a moment, Luke debated whether he should answer her or not, but he was not in the mood to hold a grudge. It was not his intention to leave things hanging. "Yeah?"

"Thanks for taking care of the inn. I appreciate it." She spoke softly, the words just above a whisper, even though Luke did not know why she used that voice. There was no one she would be disturbing if she used her normal voice.

"No problem."

"And, Luke?"


"I stopped going to therapy."

"I know." He paused. "Your therapist is involved with that musical."


If she was taking a step towards him, Luke understood he had to make an effort too. He said, "Lorelai?"


"I won't expand my dinner."

"I know."

"I just-"

He was about to explain it to her, but Lorelai cut him short by saying, "I know, Luke. It's nothing you would want."


"So…" She sounded unsure, waiting for him to say more, but he didn't know anything else. The issues had been discussed for now; they could come back to them later, at a better time. She understood his silence and said, "Good night."

"Good night."

However, the better times to discuss those issues never came by. Ever since their issues had not been addressed. Both of them acted like nothing was off, that nothing was standing between them, but clearly something was off between them, clearly, something was standing between them. That evening when Lorelai had announced she would go and do "Wild", Luke knew for sure that something between was not right at all.

Maybe it could no longer be fixed. Maybe he had missed his chance. Maybe this was the beginning of the end. Maybe. He was not sure anymore. He didn't understand her actions anymore. He couldn't understand where this idea was coming from. He couldn't believe it.

Yet, it was no surprise for Luke to find her sitting on the couch with her laptop on her lap. The sadness sticker on it was matching her face expression, which could be found so often on Lorelai's face nowadays. Luke noticed she was surfing on a hiking equipment shop's website again, looking at tents.

She flashed him a quick smile when she noticed he had entered the living room, but the smile didn't reach her eyes. It was not genuine. No words left her lips. Instead, she kept her thoughts to herself and that drove Luke crazy. She used to start talking whenever he came home, whenever he was in hearing distance, but nowadays, Luke had to prompt her to start a conversation. "What you're doing?"

"Oh, just some research for the trip, you know." She had her eyes fixated on the screen, clicking on random links.

"Anything you need advice on? A second pair of eyes to look at?" Luke suggested, coming closer to the couch, so he could actually tell what she was looking at.

"Nah, the descriptions on the website are really good. I'll manage." She lifted her head a moment, only to look at the website again a second later.

"Yeah, but these descriptions are there to make you buy it," Luke reminded her. He really wanted to be involved in this. He was throwing her a bone, but she didn't take it.

"I want to buy something, so…" She left the rest of the sentence hanging in the air as if that was explanation enough.

"But you can't trust those descriptions. They are not exactly truthful." He tried one last time to make her talk to him, but yet again she was acting dismissive, not considering him.

"I check the reviews too, relax. I know how to shop."

"Not for outdoor stuff," Luke muttered under his breath. There was no sense in even trying; she had averted another of his attempts to be included in her plans.

"What was that?"

"Nothing," Luke dismissively said, turning to leave for the kitchen to prepare dinner for himself and Paul-Anka. He would have to get used to make dinner for just the two of them; Lorelai would be gone soon. Right now, he wasn't even sure if Lorelai would join them for dinner. Luke decided he would make more, just in case Lorelai hadn't eaten yet.

He just had taken the food out of the fridge, which he had inspected for a few moments, when Lorelai stepped up behind him, leaning against the stove. She asked, "Do you have a problem?"

"No, I don't" Luke walked to the other side of the kitchen toward the sink, washing whatever vegetable he had grabbed out of the fridge.

"It doesn't seem like it."

"I don't," Luke repeated. "And if you can't believe me, then you're the one with a problem."

Lorelai scoffed. "So, you don't have a problem with my trip?"

"Me? No, why would I? You can do whatever you want," he said defensively. Of course, he had a problem with her trip, but he would not tell her that as directly. He could not, her mind was set, and he knew that. He would not be able to talk her out of it.

"Yes, I can." Lorelai crossed her arms in front of her, waiting for him to say more, which he eventually did.

"Right," Luke answered and dragged the conversation in a different direction than Lorelai was probably expecting. "So, will you have dinner?"

"Please, yeah." Lorelai looked at the vegetable in Luke's hands, and added, "But I'm not eating that."

"It's a broccoli. You've eaten that before," he argued.

"Still. Today, I won't." Her voice was harsh, harsher than some light banter about vegetables took place in this kitchen on a regular basis.

Luke decided to go a different route for their healthy-versus-unhealthy-lifestyle-debate. Instead of telling her she would die young if she didn't pay attention to her eating habits, he said, "Avoid anything healthy, I couldn't care less."

"I'm going on a hiking trip," Lorelai stated. "Please enlighten me how this is not healthy."

"Fine, don't eat it." He hadn't expected her to in the first place.

"You so not have a problem with my trip."

Luke turned around to answer when he saw her rolling her eyes, he decided to give in and confess his problems with her trip. They had tiptoed around each other for far too long. It was time. "Actually, I do."

"I knew it," Lorelai exclaimed. Her voice was full of reproach. It seemed like she had been waiting for this kind of admission. "But, why, Luke? Why? I'll be gone for three weeks. What, you're going to miss me? I'm still here and you don't make the impression you care a whole lot. It won't make a difference."

Luke closed his eyes for a moment what she said was not true. He had to clarify. He would miss her, of course, he had grown to her presence. He could not imagine a world without her. Her accusations were so wrong, so absolutely wrong, he enlightened her, "We've never been apart that long."

"What?" She frowned. "That's not true. We sure have."

"Not since we got back together."

Lorelai's frown deepened. "But what about that time I went to see Rory?"

"That was two weeks."

"And April moving into college?"

"Ten days."

"Huh." She paused, clearly stunned by that revelation. "Interesting."

"It's the longest we've been apart since we got back together," Luke repeated, so that fact could sink in. It had astounded him as well when he realized that.

"And that is what this is all about?" Lorelai stepped closer, her arms were not longer crossed in front of her chest, and her voice had softened.

"It's not." Luke narrowed his head. He had to stop her from treating him like a puppy, who would be separated from his mother for the first time. It was not about them being separated for the longest time ever since they got back together. Of course, he was upset about that too, but it was not his main concern.

"Well?" Lorelai prompted him, her voice was low, but Luke remained silent. "You have to tell me, so we can discuss it. I can't read your mind. Unfortunately. It would make it a lot easier if I had a Luke-mind-reader at my hands, but I don't have one."

"I wouldn't mind a Lorelai-mind-reader either." Luke lifted his head, a smirk on his face.

"Well, since we don't have our fancy mind-readers at the moment, care to share your thoughts?" she prompted him.

Luke hesitated, debating how and what to say. Choosing the right words to make his concern clear was not easy. He tried saying it as straightforward as he could. "I don't get you."

Lorelai's mouth dropped open, but she recovered quickly, saying, "OK. It's out now. Am I allowed to ask a question?" He nodded. "Why? What is there for you not to get about me?"

"You're doing a hiking trip," Luke answered. He waited for a Lorelai to realize how crazy it sounded, but again she didn't.

"Not that conversation all over again." Lorelai sighed.

"You of all people," Luke exclaimed, throwing his arms in the air in his astonishment.

"Luke, we already had this discussion. In exactly this room. Can you remember? If we both move a little to our rights we'll even be standing in the same spot."

She didn't get where he was heading with this, he clarified, heading into a ranting mode, he could feel it in his bones. "You do something I like. Camping, being outdoors. And I never pushed you to share my interests because I know it's something you wouldn't like. But now, you decide on your own to go on a hike and you don't even include me. You won't even take my advice. You won't ask me for help. You rather rely on some random people leaving reviews on the internet, which is crazy. Who does that? I should have known, the crazy attracts you but the outdoors that's a crazy that is not you. It's me, being outdoors, camping. But you won't even think about that, you're caught up in your own world, and you won't see me. You forget about me, only seeing the wild nature ahead of you."

Lorelai's face expression, her frowns, her eye rolls, her tense shoulders, her scoffs were signs of her disagreement at everything Luke said, but she didn't voice it until then, pleading him with a short "Luke!"

He didn't stop though, going on, almost like an outburst of temper. There had been worse rants he knew, but this one probably ranked in this top ten though. "It's fine. You can do whatever you want. Go on the trip, go hike the PCT. Take the time away. We both know you take the trip to get away from the mess here. You make the trip to get away from me. I get that, but I can't accept that. We've been through so much and then you just give up? I know there have been some issues here, but we can work through them. Running away won't solve them. Avoiding them won't solve them."

Luke gave Lorelai time to react to this, her answer came quick enough, short enough, so he could carry on. She said, "I know."

"You can't leave, Lorelai. You can't run away from this." Luke shook his head, making sure she understood how out of her mind she was acting about this and how unreasonable it sounded to him.

"I don't run away," she answered, her voice not as filled with emotion as Luke's, but it was close

"You do," Luke raised his voice. He was relieved they were not living in an apartment, where neighbors could easily listen to their argument.

"No, I take the time to think about the mess that is my life. I need some space between my problems and myself."

"And what if you decide that I'm not enough anymore?"

"Luke," she sighed.

"What? That's possible." That thought had been sitting inside him ever since she had decided to go on the trip. It had been sitting there for weeks now.

Lorelai looked at the ground, swallowing and took her time to answer, however, she didn't respond to his questions, addressing a different topic, "There have been some issues between us."

"I know," he said, nodding. "You've kept things from me, I've kept things from you."

"Yeah." Lorelai agreed, and suggested, "Do you want to discuss them?"

Luke wanted to discuss them, but this was neither the right time nor the right place. "Not now. Not here."

"What?" Lorelai frowned again.

His answer left her no other choice; he knew that. He elaborated on his answer, "You wanted to figure it out on the trail away from here. And that's where we're gonna discuss our issues."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You alone in nature, for three weeks, chances are high I won't see you alive again," he highlighted and then made his intentions even clearer. "I'm coming with you. You'll need me. You need someone, who knows stuff about nature."

All that he got from Lorelai in return was her head being shaken from one side to the other, over and over again. Her hair was swinging from side to side and because it was not held together in a ponytail it covered her face and the disbelief from time to time. Eventually, when her head was all shaken up, she said, "This is supposed to be my thing. I have to conquer it alone."

"Even with me there, The hike won't be like a walk in the park, trust me. It will be hard, for the both of us."

Lorelai hesitated, staring at him with her mouth open, clearly speechless for once in her life. "You're coming with me?"

"Yes, and if you're not fine with that, then you're the one with the problem," Luke repeated his words from earlier, which made Lorelai smile for a second. Luke's mind was set; he would go with Lorelai. He would fight for her. This relationship meant too much to him.

"I don't know." Lorelai struggled; Luke could tell by the way she bit her lip, her eyes drifting from one corner of the room to the other, never staying anywhere longer than a second. She searched for the right words. She seemed to fail at finding them, that's why Luke jumped in, to lay it all out for her.

"No discussion about this. I want to be involved. I want to be there. I want to be there for you. Right now, you're in the worst state to be alone. You're vulnerable. Michel's leaving. Your mother and you aren't speaking. Hell, even Rory and you aren't speaking. Sookie is gone. I'm the last one left, don't push me away."

Finally, Lorelai's eyes didn't drift from right to left anymore, but were lowered to the table, which was standing between them. Luke was not sure whether it was just the light or the perspective, but it seemed like Lorelai's eyes had filled up with tears. When she lifted her head to meet his gaze, he couldn't see them anymore. Her voice didn't sound like she was close to tears. "No, Luke, you can't just decide you come with me. This trip is something I have to do on my own. No one else included, but me and Gary."

"Gary?" Luke interjected. That name had never come up before.

"My backpack."

"Seriously?" Luke shot her a glare. Her habit of naming everything she belonged had gotten out of hand at some point.

"Joey is still in the race, I'll decide when I see it." Lorelai shrugged, not adding anything else to that topic, avoiding talking properly about Luke's idea of joining her on the trip.

"Ok, then it will be Gary, Joey, who will be my backpack. I'm calling dibs on that. You and me. And whatever name the tent will get." Luke had learned to go along with her crazy bits, even though he disapproved of them.

"Tents don't get names," Lorelai explained.

"Of course not." Luke rolled his eyes; he couldn't hold it back.

"The flashlight will."

"Makes sense."

"As much fun as this sounds, It won't happen, at least not this time around. I need to go on my own, to be by myself. I need the space," Lorelai repeated herself.

"No." Luke would not let her go. He was too scared if he let her go now, she would not come back. He had let her go once and it ended badly. She had said it was never or now, it sounded way too familiar to the ultimatum she had given him a decade ago. This time around he would act before she could do something stupid like sleeping with Christopher.

"This is not a question. I'm not asking for your permission. Just accept that. I informed you about my plans because you happen to live in the same house as me."

"I'm not just some roommate, who you inform about your whereabouts," he argued back. He couldn't believe what kind of words had left her mouth. He didn't know where they were coming from.

"According to my mother, that's exactly what we are."

"And since when does Emily Gilmore's opinion matter to you?" Lorelai listening to her mother, letting Emily Gilmore into her head was news to him. Lorelai rejected most of Emily's suggestions and disapproved of her opinions most of the time.

"That's not the point of this discussion," she yelled.

Luke knew better than to push her on this. Her therapy sessions with Emily and why she decided to carry them on was part of a discussion they would have to have on the trail if she ever accepted to let him tag along. "We're doing this together. As partners."

"We're no partners," she scoffed.

"Excuse me?" He retorted.

"We're supposed to be partners," she clarified harshly. "But in reality, we're just two people, having their own lives. Remember the deal we apparently struck? 'Cause I remember it clearly and that's not the kind of relationship I want to be in."

"Me neither!"


"I want to work on this. I know there are issues, but we can work through them. Together. As partners. Damn it, Lorelai, I need you. You can't leave. You just can't leave." This conversation was getting frustrating for Luke. There was no way to make her understand. Out of reflex, he raised his voice, because she had spoken up too. It had turned into a yelling match.

"Luke," Lorelai sighed, apparently this was getting too much for her too.

He should cut back on his tone, but he couldn't. His relationship with Lorelai mattered so much to him. "I'm serious. We'll work on our issues on the trail. It will do us good, being away from all of this." Luke pointed around him. "Just you and me. Working on being proper partners."

"You won't leave me a choice?"

"This." He gestured between them. "You and me, was never a choice. We tried apart."

Lorelai raised an eyebrow, deeply sighing again before she said, "Wasn't the most comfortable and cheerful time of my life."

"Mine neither," answered frantically.

"But together we don't work well either," Lorelai pointed out quickly.

"I had hardly any complaints in the last nine years until recently," he shot back.

Lorelai smiled at that thought. The past nine years had been overall happy. She took a few moments, taking one deep breath after the other, letting the conversation sink in. Luke's chest rose up and down quicker too, and suddenly, Lorelai burst into laughter.

"What's so funny?" Luke didn't quite follow her train of thoughts. He didn't know what on earth could be so funny about their argument that it prompted laughter like that. It was not just a short giggle, but it sounded more like her real laughter, which came from deep down.

Eventually, when she had recovered from the laughter, she managed to say, "We're out of breath from talking."

"Was more like yelling," Luke said.

"We'll be on a hiking trail for three weeks and we get out of breath from just speaking loudly to one another."

Luke's grinned at her. "We'll better start some preparation training."

"Otherwise, we'll only be able to walk a mile a day. All these youngsters will pass us," Lorelai said.

"Even with training, they will."

"We're not that old." Lorelai wrinkled her nose.

"Compared to the twenty-somethings? The thirty-somethings? Hell, even the forty-somethings, we sure are."

"Hey! I'm a forty-something. Don't make me older than I am. I'm still in the first half of the century."

"You'll get to the other half soon enough," Luke reminded her.

"There's still time for that, mister, better check the calendar. One and a half years left for that."

"Never thought turning 50 will get an even more sensitive topic than turning 40." Luke grinned at her. He still could remember how Lorelai had acted when she was about to turn 40. With each day getting closer to that anniversary, she had been more on the edge. Luke had not decided yet if he looked forward to her 50th birthday or not. It had its perks to see Lorelai obsessing over those kinds of things though.

"Not all of us can be so cool and indifferent about their age," Lorelai argued back.

That, however, was true. Age didn't matter to Luke, he could not change it anyway. So why waste precious energy with something he would not be able to change. "I know."

"But you're right. People will pass us. We just have to keep in my mind that it's not a race and we go at our pace. We don't need to be Speedy Gonzales."

"A sombrero might be a good idea though."

"What for?" Lorelai looked at him with wide eyes. "As far as I know, the PCT doesn't require special clothing, no costumes, which is a pity in my opinion. Even though, we could come up with a team costume, to make this experience more fun if you want. I will go low on the glitter, I promise."

"I meant as a protection from the sun." Only over his dead body, he would wear a costume hiking a trail. That discussion was another, which would have to be dealt with at a different point in time.

"I see. You have your cap anyway and I'll get something too. What do you think I've been doing so far? I've done my research and have done most of my shopping. I've narrowed it down to three different kinds of hats."

Luke did not respond to that, Lorelai's shopping custom was not something he could deal with too easily. Instead, he asked, "Will you give me that book to read too?"

"What book? 'Wild'?"

"Better know what I'm getting myself into. I heard it's more pure than the movie of which I can't remember anything. I think I've seen it." He looked at her questioningly. He wasn't sure whether she had made him watch it or not.

"Because you fell asleep again," Lorelai reminded him. They have had that discussion over and over again. They never got tired of revisiting it.

"I can only repeat myself-"

"You get up at five, I know," Lorelai completed his sentence.

Luke needed some clarification. They were getting off topic. He wasn't sure if they were just joking and enjoying some bickering, when they hadn't talked about them going to the trail together properly. Lorelai had not agreed explicitly to it. He needed some reassurance. "So, we're doing this together?"

"Yes." She locked eyes with him, as she carried on speaking. "You and me on the PCT. As a team, figuring out what it really means to be partners. You said it yourself if I'm not fine with that I'm the one with the problem."

"We'll figure it out." Luke nodded, not able to move, not able to comprehend that he had managed to persuade Lorelai, not able to understand they were really doing it.

All he was capable of doing, was looking at her, staring at her, studying her. She looked outworn, exhausted, but also uncertain and wobbly. Again, Luke couldn't tell whether it was the light, which made her eyes glisten so it looked like they were filled with tears. When she whispered, her voice shaking, he knew they were actually tears in them. "We have to."

"We will," he reassured her. He would do whatever it takes to fix this between them. He won't give up on them, not ever.

"How do you know?"

"I just do." He could not know, but he had to believe.

"How?" She breathed, not even a whisper anymore.

"I can't think of anything else." Luke shrugged; he had no idea. All he knew was that he had to believe in it, no matter what.

"When did you become the optimistic one of us?" Lorelai asked, her voice still unsure, but only because she was holding back a chuckle. She seemed to have gained control over her feelings again.

"When did you become the pessimistic one?" Luke deadpanned.

"I can't pinpoint it exactly but I'd say sometimes in the course of this past year."

"It doesn't suit you," Luke told her. He didn't like the way she had become, the sad and thoughtful person. He liked her cheerful and with her head somewhere else, in her own world, amazing him with what was going on in her brain.

"I'm not too fond of that either," she confessed.

"Otherwise, you wouldn't have decided to go hiking," Luke pointed out. If the past year had not happened like that, Lorelai would have never decided to hike the PCT.

"It's not so out of the box to me like you make it sound like," she suddenly said. "I've been with an outdoorsy person for nine years now, he must have finally rubbed off on me."

"Apparently." Luke let his shoulder relax; the hard part of the conversation was over.

"There are worse habits to pick up."

"Like eating broccoli," he joked, looking over his shoulder where he had laid the broccoli down on the kitchen counter. He wanted to prepare a pasta with some chicken and a side of broccoli.

"Well, all the men in this household love that green tree-looking vegetable. I'm kinda outnumbered here."

"What will we do with the mutt anyway?" Luke asked; he had not seen Paul-Anka ever since he came home what felt like an eternity. Talking, discussing, arguing had taken up a lot of time.

"Woah, all the love you have for our dog," Lorelai said in her oh-so-dramatic-and-offended-voice, which Luke recognized as her joking voice. The voice she used around him in their bickering game, which they have grown to enjoy so much over the years.

"Your dog."

"He's ours. Always been." She clicked her tongue, making sure he understood she was annoyed with his statement, and stepped up to the table, getting a hold of the back of a chair, leaning over the table a bit.

"I didn't pick him, you did."

"That doesn't matter. He was yours too the minute you two met. Anyhow, I'll ask Babette if she can take him. And I guess Kirk would help us out too. Petal and Paul-Anka are best friends after all."

"No, not Kirk. I don't trust him with Paul-Anka." Luke was surprised Petal had survived so long, but he would never entrust him with Paul-Anka for a longer period. With all his special quirks, Paul-Anka was not an easy dog to be taken care of.

"Who's now not caring for the mutt?" Lorelai teased him. "And Kirk is fine. He's caring for Petal very good, and Lulu's there too. Don't worry."

"Still," Luke argued.

"He's even had a doggie day-care, Luke. Kirk's very much capable of doing such thing like taking care of our dog for three weeks. Have some faith in the boy."

"Alright," Luke gave in. Lorelai could wear him down so easily. "But we ask Babette first?"

"Of course. Kirk's only our backup."

Luke nodded; he didn't know what to respond to that. He was all talked out. He said more than he would usually say all day long. Everything was discussed and decided: He would join Lorelai on her trip on the PCT. Details yet needed to be discussed and an additional flight needed to be booked too, but for now, everything was said and done.

Lorelai must have felt the same, because she just looked at him, as he leaned back against the kitchen, holding onto the countertop behind him. Lorelai tucked her hair behind her ears, exhaling audibly, and then she stated, "I can't believe you persuaded me to let you join me."

"I can be very persuasive." He shrugged because he couldn't believe it himself.

"Usually only works the other way around. People won't believe the story." She smiled at him, a genuine smile, the one, which reached her eyes.

He returned that smile, it was so easy to let the corners of his mouth move up, and lock eyes with her. "They'll think I've made it up."

"Pretty sure." Lorelai nodded. "So, do you need help with dinner? You know, my stirring skills seriously have improved ever since you moved in."

The smile on his face didn't leave his face all evening long. There were still big issues between them, which needed to be discussed, but at least now they knew that they would be discussed at a later point. They were not longer living in the unknown, both of them were willing to fight for their relationship, and for more Luke could not ask.

Yet, he could not believe that in two months time they would be hiking the PCT. He would be on the trail for three with Lorelai on his side. They would sleep in a tent, would carry big backpacks, called Grey and Joey, and they would be all sweaty and sticky going through the woods and over some mountains. Not even in his wildest dreams, he would have imagined they would be doing this. It would take another day or two, or maybe a week to finally wrap his head around it. For now, he could not believe it.

Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think so far.

There will probably be an update twice a week; the story has already been finished, but it still needs some tweaks here and there. So, there's absolutely no need for anyone to stress out about a big hiatus coming or even worse this story not getting finished.

Also, I read Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" (haven't seen the movie though…), and I will definitely incorporate some into it. I did my research on the PCT and hiking itself too, but I'm not an outdoor person, not at all, and I have to rely on what I've read. If there is something bothering you, hit me up.

So, see you hopefully very soon and for now, again thanks for reading! (: