That night Luke came home from work and the kids were already in bed.
"Hey." Lorelai called out when she heard the front door open and close hoping that he was in a better mood than when he left and they could talk about what happened at the park.
"Hey." He replied shortly coming to sit with her.
"So you're still in your mood then?" Lorelai asked bluntly turning off the tv.
"Lorelai.." he sighed in frustration not turning to face her still staring at the blank tv screen.
"Just talk me through how you're feeling. What went wrong there that we weren't expecting?"
"That's not the point," he turned to face her now, "just because I expected it doesn't been that guy doesn't get under my skin. Everything he does annoys me. Everything. And I know I've just got to deal with that and I'm trying to I really am trying to but god does he make it hard. Like he did not need to kiss your cheek especially with Jess on your knee but he did that as a point to me. And calling me possessive. I'm not possessive. And you know what when it comes to my family when he's involved who the hell cares if I am I little bit possessive, I sure don't. And what does he want us to do hand Rory to him until he gets bored and then we take her back? Has he ever thought ahead in his life more than 30 seconds?"
Lorelai tried to hide her smile, she loved ranting Luke and was glad that he was getting all this out.
"What are you smiling for?" He asked playfully the tension from before all but gone.
Lorelai leaned towards him, "I'm not smiling." She denied with a grin now on her face.
"I'm being serious, you know?"
"Yeah I know, and you are right. And Thankyou for putting up with him even though he annoys you so much, you really are a saint for that, but remember it's only for a short period of time once a month. We can do that. And you can be as possessive as you want then, make me sit on your lap to wind him up for all I care." She added teasingly.
"Thankyou but I don't think that'll be necessary," Luke rolled his eyes, 'you can come sit on my lap now though if you like?" He raised an eyebrow at her.
She giggled and scooted over to him, "very smooth Danes."
"Why Thankyou Danes." He said before kissing her.
The next morning Luke opened the diner muttering to himself about damn bells and was scared half to death to find Liz sitting at the counter waiting for him.
"My god Liz," he said with a jump, "it's 5am, have you ever been up this early in your life?"
"I needed to speak to you about something important."
Luke tried to suppress a groan, "go on then."
"Well you know TJ?" She asked as he walked around the diner getting it ready for open.
"Still with that one then are you?"
"Yes. He's the most special man I've ever met."
"Special would be the right word."
"That's what I would like to talk to you about."
"No Liz. No more marriages or babies. You're too young, you remember what happened with Jack don't you?"
"Yes of course I do!" Liz yelled back, "you don't need to throw all of my mistakes in my face all of the time! And I never said we were getting married or having a baby but we could do both of those things if we wanted to."
"Then what do you want to tell me about TJ?" Luke asked frustrated as he unstacked chairs from tables.
"We're going to be living together." She said proudly.
"Not up there you're not." Luke laughed.
"Luke you are such a hypocrite!" She said angrily as she followed him into the kitchen.
"How's that?" He asked almost amused.
"You do know people around here talk don't you? It isn't hard to find out any information. I know that you and Lorelai have lived with each other right from when you met! I've never moved in with a guy when I met him. Never. And then you go lecturing me and telling me what I can and can't do. It's a bit sad really."
"It wasn't like that at all." Luke said spinning to face her, "and I'm not justifying anything about my marriage to you."
"What age was she back then," Liz cut in, "16?"
"Get out." Luke said.
"Go on, go live with your special boyfriend TJ, see if I care, just don't do it here."
Liz seemed to struggle for something to say then yelled, "fine!" Turning on the spot she ran out of the room and Luke heard her storming up the stairs. He took a few deep breaths and then got back to work.
Later on as she often did Lorelai came into the diner in the early afternoon after the lunch rush when it wasn't so busy.
"Hey." She greeted Luke with a kiss sitting down at a table watching to make sure Jess and Rory sat down too.
"Hi," Luke said surveying the diner quickly before sitting down with them.
"I had a bit of a situation with Liz earlier on." He whispered to Lorelai.
Lorelai turned to Luke with wide eyes concerned, Liz always put her on edge.
"Nothing to worry about." He added quickly, "I'll tell you the details later." He then raised his voice, "so what can I get my favourite customers?"
"Can I have some pie?" Jess asked.
"Me too!" Rory added.
"Only if you promise to eat your dinner later." They both nodded.
"Coffee?" He asked Lorelai and she smiled at him.
He went up and got one slice of pie and cut it in half as he was putting it on two separate plates Liz and TJ walked in, they didn't seem to notice Lorelai and the kids or they didn't care and walked straight up to him.
"I'm not doing this again Liz. I told you to get out. There are people here please don't make a scene." He said in a low voice so that only she could hear.
"I'm here to get my stuff." She said loudly.
"Fine, go get it!" Luke said pointing to the curtain.
Liz turned as if huffing and dragged TJ behind her.
Luke brought the stuff back to the table and sat back down.
"Get her stuff, huh?" Lorelai asked as the kids happily dug into their pie.
Lorelai didn't want to stick around and wait for Liz to turn back up so on the bell when the kids had finished their pie she left and went back home.
That evening Luke wasn't closing the diner so he brought them home dinner. After dinner he helped Lorelai give the kids a bath and then they settled them infront of the tv with a movie.
Lorelai grabbed Luke's hand before he could sit down and dragged him into the next room.
"What happened earlier?" She asked him.
Luke told her leaving out the comments on their relationship.
"Where is she going to go?"
"See if I care." Luke shrugged.
"She'll go off with that moron boyfriend of hers." He shrugged again, "come on," he said dragging her back into the living room and over to the sofa where the kids sat, he didn't want to talk about it any more.
As the days went on more and more people started to understand Luke's hatred of the bells.
"It was just like this last time." Luke said smugly over breakfast.
"I still like them." Lorelai said stubbornly.
"I give you a week tops." Luke said still looking smug.
"So when in a weeks time when I still love the bells what do I get?" Lorelai asked.
"What do you want?" He asked confidently.
Lorelai looked him up and down and was about to speak when Theo started crying behind her, "you change every dirty for a week. If you're right I will."
"Deal." Luke said getting up and taking Theo from her to go change his diaper now, "I'll get this one."
Over the next week everything that could go wrong did. The next day Jess woke up with a fever and a stomach bug and he couldn't keep anything down for 2 days. As soon as he started to feel better Rory got sick as well.
On the sixth day the house was starting to feel better. No one was throwing up but everyone was tired and all three of the kids were clingy to Lorelai. Luke was in work but Mia had come round to visit as she had heard they were all sick.
"You do look awfully tired dear." Mia said to Lorelai after she had let her in and made her a cup of coffee.
"I'm fine." Lorelai smiled at her picking Rory up and swinging her onto her hip, "Jess was sick and then Rory was sick and thank god Theo hasn't been sick but he's just been a bit clingy and hasn't been sleeping brilliantly this last week or so."
Mia decided to stick around all day to help with the kids. That afternoon Lorelai was putting Rory down for a nap as she was still getting over her illness when the distant bells woke her up when she was nearly asleep.
When she finally joined Mia again she said, "that's the final straw, I officially hate the bells!"
Mia laughed, "keep her awake did they? Well I've got to say it took you long enough. You're the only person who I haven't heard complain about the bells yet. Apart from Stan ofcourse, dear old Stan always did love those bells. I don't know how your Luke hasn't broken them again yet."
"I think he's been tempted." Lorelai said an idea coming into her head.
Mia was still there when Luke came home that evening.
"The bells have lost their last supported." Mia said to Luke.
"Don't tell him!" Lorelai said as Luke eyes jumped over to her in joy.
"Why not? He'll probably break them for you." She teased them.
"I only had to like them for one more day to win a bet! And I did like them up until today!" She groaned.
"I knew it wouldn't last!" Luke boasted.
"Yeah yeah." Lorelai tried to brush off.
"Will you break the bells for me?" Lorelai asked looking at him innocently.
"Sure." He chuckled getting a laugh out of Mia as well.
"That boy would do anything for you dear." She said causing Luke to blush and Lorelai to smile.
"Although it's really a two man job I'll have to see if one of my buddy's are free sometime."
"Nonsense," Mia said, "I'll mind the kids, the two of you go out tonight, break some bells on your way home."
"No Mia that's asking too much, you've already been here all day. You've got things to do!" Lorelai said.
"I don't mind dear, you need some time off and I like spending time with them."
"But Theo will need fed." She argued back.
"How long between his feedings."
"A few hours.."
"So he'll be just fine if you feed him before you go out. Come on you need to go out just you two every now and then."
Lorelai looked at Luke who shrugged and then nodded at Mia, "thankyou." She said.
"It's settled then."
Mia ate with the kids while Lorelai got ready to go out. After they had eaten Luke got Rory and Jess ready for bed while Lorelai fed Theo.
"There's a couple bottles in the fridge if he needs them but he should be fine."Lorelai said coming downstairs and handing Theo to Mia.
"Where are you going anyway?" Mia asked.
Lorelai looked at Luke who was sitting on the couch between Rory and Jess.
"I was thinking Sniffys." He said standing up. Mia nodded.
"Ohhh, very nice." Lorelai smiled going over to kneel in front of the kids.
"Be good for Mia, you two, me and daddy are going out." She said giving them both a kiss on the head and a hug, "and look after your little brother!"
"I will mummy." Rory said giving her a big hug back.
"Good girl." Lorelai said giving her another kiss.
"Don't forget your tool box." Lorelai whispered to Luke as she walked past him.
Luke drove his truck out to Sniffys. About half way there Lorelai asked Luke, "have I been a bad mother this week?"
"No you've been an absolute saint dealing with them both sick as well as a new baby, I don't think I would have been able to do it. Why on earth would you even think that?" He asked turning his head to look at her slightly.
"It's just something Mia said. She's been helping me out all day, on her day off and then she sends us out like we need a break."
"Everyone needs a break sometimes, that doesn't mean you're doing a bad job. And Mia loves being with the kids, you know that."
"Yeah I know but I just feel like I could have been doing more for them."
"I don't see how and I don't think they would ask for anything more. Those kids worship the ground you walk on. I admire you everyday." He took her hand and squeezed it, "please don't doubt yourself, especially as a mother, ok?"
"Ok." She nodded squeezing his hand back.
"Ok new rule," Luke said as they walked towards the door, "no kid talk all night."
"Alright." Lorelai smiled as Luke wrapped his arm around her shoulders and opened the door for her.
"Lucas! Lorelai! How are the kids? Theo must be getting so big!" Maizy said coming over to greet them and leading them to a table.
"They're good now Maizy, with Mia, and he is but we are on no kid talk." Luke said taking his seat.
"Oh sorry, sorry, my mistake, how are you two then?" She asked.
"We're good too Maizy, glad to be out." Luke said.
"Let me get the two of you a drink. I know you're only 20 dear but I won't tell if you don't." Before either of them could say anything Maizy was off.
A couple hours later Lorelai and Luke left the tavern hand in hand laughing together.
"Let's go break some bells." Lorelai said giggling.
When they arrived at the church front doors were locked.
"What, they lock the door to a church, are they serious? What if I need to do something holy?" Lorelai gasped.
"Like commit vandalism?" Luke suggested.
Lorelai continued to try the door. Luke put down his toolbox and took something out, "I'm going to have to break the lock."
Lorelai stood back and watched as he broke the lock and the door flew open, "that was hot." She said.
"Are you going to say that to everything I do?" He asked.
"Only if it's hot." She answered honestly.
"Ok, now just hold the flashlight, do not do any moving spotlight gags and point it at me and yell "Freeze, drop your weapons."" He said handing her a flashlight.
Lorelai laughed, "How about if I shine it on the wall and do a dirty hand puppet show?"
"We can do that on the way out." He suggested.
"So, what's the game plan here? Personally, I thought we could whack the bells really hard with a hammer." Lorelai suggested.
"You don't break bells by hitting them with a hammer. we could just jam the turnbuckle, or wedge the main mechanism, just for fun disconnect a few of the clappers; Contrary to popular belief you don't have to break every bell. If you just damage a couple, say the tierce and the prime, you pretty much ruin the set."
"Wow you really did take out the bells last time." Lorelai said with a proud smile, "so you want me to take the tierce and you take the prime or the other way around?"
"You," he said placing his hands on her shoulder, "can hold the flashlight to make sure I can see what I'm doing."
"So when you told Mia this was a two man job?" Lorelai asked confused.
Luke got a mischievous smile, "I got exactly who I was looking for the job."
Lorelai playfully hit him on the chest, "that's bad!" She said with a smirk.
"Come on, we should get this done." Luke said picking out what he would need.
They returned back home with big grins on their faces as their arms around each other's waist.
"Did you kids have a good time?" Mia asked them, she had an awake but perfectly happy Theo on her knee.
"We did," Lorelai smiled leaning into Luke slightly, "got what we needed done," she said in code, "he didn't give you any bother, de he?" She asked going over and taking Theo cooing at him and asking him if he missed his mummy.
"No he was an angel as were the other two, went straight to bed with a story."
"They often do." Luke smiled, "they've been tired the last few days too."
A few weeks passed and on a glorious sunny Saturday morning Luke came downstairs from changing Theo's nappy with a packed diaper bag and an extra bag packed and announced that it was a good day for a trip.
"Yay!" Rory jumped up in joy, the jigsaw she was working on abandoned.
"A trip?" Lorelai asked walking in from the kitchen with Jess on her hip, "where to?"
"I told them two a while ago and told them to keep it a secret, you'll see when we get there. You don't have plans for today, do you?" Luke asked smiling at Rory who was jumping with excitement next to him.
"No I was just going to set up the paddling pool out the back but if you've got some trip planned out let's go, do you have everything we'll need?"
"Diaper bag, trip bag." He said pointing at the two full bags in turn.
"Ok then." Lorelai said excited herself.
"It's where you said before, daddy?" Rory asked.
"With-" she started.
"Shhhh." Luke cut her off picking her up and throwing her into the air slightly to distract her, "don't give anything away."
In 20 minutes they were on the road and Lorelai was pestering Luke about where they were going, how long the drive was going to be and trying to guess where they were heading based on the direction they were driving.
"Honestly you are worse than the kids, there's barely been a peep out of them since we left." Luke said in jest.
"I don't think we are going to the cabin because why would we just go there for just a day, I know you've got to work but we'd at least stay the night it seems a bit far and you haven't packed enough for all of us to stay the night anywhere. At least I hope you don't think we are all staying the night somewhere with the amount you've packed?" She looked at him and he shook his head, "ok good, so cabin is out, but we should spend more time there." She paused to think, "it's a Saturday and one of the first really nice days of the year. What I'm stuck on is that everywhere is going to be so crowded and you would hate that so much."
She looked over at Luke who looked so smug, "this is killing me, at least tell me how long it will take to get there," when Luke didn't say anything she said, "just so I know for breastfeeding you know."
Now it was her turn to feel smug because that worked, "about 40 more minutes. But I'm not giving you anymore so don't even try and that's a very rough estimate."
"It's not close then," Lorelai continued her musing.
40 minutes later they were by the coast and the kids were getting very impatient to get out of the car. Luke was driving past many packed beaches and then he took some turns and he was on some country roads. He twisted through these roads like he was from the area and then took a small turn that Lorelai didn't even see and suddenly a small empty cove came into view. Luke parked the car on the side and said, "we're here."
"How?" Lorelai asked getting out of the car to free Rory who was too eager to get out.
"My mum always brought us here, I've never seen another soul. But it's a lovely beach, soft sand, sun trap perfect really." He helped Jess out of the car and then got Theo out.
"Come here you two." Lorelai called before they ran off in the direction of the water, "you can run around and play but you have to stay on the main sand, you can't go in the water or too close and you can't go to the rocks, ok?"
Once she got two oks back she let them go.
"So what do you have in this bag of yours?" She said walking over to where Luke was awkwardly trying to get two bags out of the car while still holding Theo.
"Bathing suits, sun cream, beach toys, snacks, water, a towel." He smiled thanks to her for taking Theo as he listed what he brought.
"Let's do sun cream now." She said looking over at Rory and Jess who were sitting laughing throwing sand at each other in direct sunlight.
"Do you want to get changed first?" Luke asked.
"Yeah we can change them." She passed Theo back to him and grabbed the bag.
"Why did you bring our costumes?" She asked smiling pulling them out, "where would we get changed into these?"
"I told you I've never anyone on this beach ever and I've probably been coming since I was his age." He pointed at Theo, "just get changed quickly over at the side by the rocks or something or back in the car if you want." Luke shrugged.
"I never thought I'd get you to agree to public nudity." She shook her head and then called Rory and Jess over before he could respond.
Rory was more please to get change into her swimming costume than Jess was.
"Can we go swimming?" She asked as Lorelai rubbed sun cream up and down her arm.
"Not right now, but daddy might bring you in later," Lorelai said looking at Luke who shrugged, "we'll have to wait and see."
"I don't want sun cream." Jess moaned as he waited his turn, "I want to build a sand castle."
"Well you've got to have it Jessie I'm afraid whether you want it or not."
Once Rory and Jess were done they went back to playing in the sand bucket and spade in tow.
Lorelai then got Theo dressed into his baby swim suit that came with matching sun hat and spread sun cream over all of his exposed skin.
"He looks so cute!" She cooed at Luke, "I wish I had a camera with me!"
"There's a disposable one in the car." Luke said.
"What?" Lorelai said surprised by this information.
"Yeah, it's definitely yours." He got up to go get it, "in the glove box." He said returning with a disposable camera in hand.
"I can't believe I didn't know about that, that would have been so handy, how long has that been there for?"
"Quite a while." Luke shrugged and picked up his shorts that he packed, " I'm going to go behind that rock over there I'll be back in a minute." He pointed off to the side of the bay where a rock would give him some privacy to get changed.
He returned in just his bathing shorts.
Lorelai gave him a whistle and he glared at her.
"What?" She asked innocently as she lay Theo down on the towel.
"There are children here." He pointed out.
"Watch them will ya?" She asked as she took her costume and sauntered off.
She returned in a bikini, "picked a two piece did you?" Sue asked Luke sitting down next to him where he had already started to put sun cream on himself.
"Got a problem with that?" He challenged her.
"No problem." She shook her head and smiled holding out her hands for the bottle.
A few hours later Lorelai sat in the car rocking Theo to sleep after feeding him and giving him some out of the sun. She sat with a smile on her face as she watched Luke chase Jess and Rory around the beach as they screeched in joy.
She sat with Theo watching for a bit longer after he had fell asleep and then placed him in his car seat covering it with a light blanket before leaving the car and going back over to where they had set up.
Luke came over to her and said, "they want to go into the sea but I'm going to put more scream on them first."
"Only for the fourth time today." Lorelai teased but picked up the bottled.
"You are a wonderful man Luke Danes, you know that?" She said as she watched him blow up arm bands and argue with Jess about wearing them.
Luke shot her a smile, "you're not too bad yourself."
"Bringing us here was such a sweet idea, thank you."
"No problem." He leaned over and kissed her.
"Let's go!" Rory shouted.
"Im coming, I'm coming!" Luke chuckled.
"Be careful!" Lorelai called out, "stay near daddy, do everything he says!"
By late afternoon they were all getting tired and had made their way steadily through the snacks Luke had brought.
Within 5 minutes of driving away they had three sleeping children in the back of their car.
"I'm going to call that a very successful day." Lorelai declared leaning back in her seat.
"Yeah?" Luke asked.
"Definitely," she nodded, "Thankyou for taking us there."
"It was my pleasure. It was good to go back there."
"When was the last time you where there?"
"Year before dad died. We never went when he was sick and we went a lot less as we got older. We only went a couple of times just the two of us it seemed weird to go without Liz and you know she always had better things to do. But before mum died we came up here quite a lot. That's how it got the name of mums beach."
"I can't believe no one else came the whole time we were there. It is a public beach isn't it?"
"Yeah." He chuckled, "just a hidden gem."
"How did your mum find it?"
"I dunno, I never thought to ask."