The Broken Road
I have a horrible tendency to begin new stories before I finish others. In reality, I have about ten fics going right now and only 2 (one of which I put on indefinite hold) are close to being finished. So, to further feed this bad habit, I shall feed the desire for yet another Gilmore Girls fic.
Disclaimer: I do not own nor do I have any association with the Gilmore Girls or any of its characters. Dreaming about them is a totally different thing...
Set-up: When Lorelai Gilmore met Luke Danes in a hospital waiting room, she was 16, pregnant, and looking for a way out of the life her parents have chosen for her. Luke was 18 and had the kind of life that was completely different from the Gilmores. Now, 21 years later, the couple prepares for their twentieth anniversary. This is their story.
Rory stepped out of her car. She had come back to town for her parents' wedding anniversary. The whole town was getting ready for the big party. She spotted Miss Patty's studio and noticed the sign outside the doors. It read: "Today's Story Hour: The Luke and Lorelai Story." Miss Patty always knew how to tell a good story. Of course, her version was much shorter than what happened between the young lovers, but it was always entertaining to hear. Rory made her way over to listen in on the story she knew very well.
"Ok children, gather around," Patty said. "Today I'm going to tell you a story about two young lovers brought together by fate and bound together by love. She was the daughter of a wealthy insurance man and his wife and he was the son of the local hardware store owner. Luke Danes met a very pregnant Lorelai Gilmore on a cold October night in Hartford..."
October 7, 1984
Lorelai Gilmore wobbled her way to an open seat in the Hartford Memorial Hospital waiting room. She was sixteen and nine months pregnant. She wouldn't be pregnant much longer though. Half an hour ago, she was at home watching T.V. when she realized her water had just broke. She scribbled a note to her parents and called a cab to bring her to the hospital. Now, she was just waiting for them to call her name and set her up in a room. She was looking around the room when she noticed a young man in flannel and a backwards baseball cap walk in. He looked to be about her age. He looked tired as he plopped in the only open seat next to her and removed his baseball cap, running his fingers through his short brown hair.
"Long day slugger?" she joked.
"Huh?" he asked, too tired to catch the sarcasm in her voice.
"I was joking."
"Oh. Yeah. Sorry. I'm just…"
"I'm Lorelai Gilmore." She extended her hand to him.
"Luke Danes." When he shook her hand, he noticed her belly for the first time. "Oh. You're…"
"Due any second."
"I'm sorry. I should be used to this by now."
"You get a lot of girls pregnant?"
"Huh? No. No. Of course not. My sister had a baby like two days ago and that's why I'm here. I'm smarter than that." Lorelai raised a brow at Luke. "No! I don't mean you're stupid. Because you're probably not. I just meant I'm responsible. Ok, that didn't come out right either. What I mean to say is when I have sex…" Luke stopped himself from further embarrassing himself. "You must think I'm an idiot."
"No, you're actually quite entertaining."
"Ok, to hell with a baseball career. I'll just be a comedian."
Lorelai laughed and noticed Luke's right hand was taped up. "What happened to your hand?"
"I had an accident. I was working with some wood…"
"Anyway, the power saw nipped me. It's not as bad as getting hit in the head with a baseball."
"You don't have very good luck do you?"
"I'd like to think of it as a repercussion for playing midnight baseball when you're drunk."
"If you say so."
"So, Lorelai, where's your hu...boy...guy that did that to you?"
"I don't know."
"He's not here?"
"Does he know you're here?"
"You wouldn't be sitting there if he did."
"Did you tell him you're here?"
"I'll call him after I go through labor."
"What about your parents?"
"They just got home from a party. They're probably asleep. Don't worry I left them a note."
"Brother? Sister? Cousin? Aunt Marium twice removed?"
"Don't have any. Well, cousins and Aunt Mirium I do, but they don't wanna be here."
"So you're here by yourself?"
"You got it Sherlock."
Luke looked down at his hands. "I just needed to get away from my sister's room for a while, but if you want, I can stay here with you."
"That's alright. You go spend time with your family. I'll be ok."
"Ok," Luke said. He got up and turned to Lorelai. "Nice meeting you."
"Right back at ya. I hope everything goes well," Lorelai smiled.
"Yeah and good luck with the whole labor...thing."
"Wow, you really know what to say to a woman."
"Ah jeez. Bye." Luke walked away, cursing himself for hitting on a pregnant woman and making a complete idiot of himself in the process. He cursed himself more for not getting her number.
Lorelai watched as Luke walked away. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Luke stopped and looked into the room the voice came from. It was Lorelai. "Oh, hey," he greeted as he stepped inside. "You still haven't popped?"
"No," Lorelai laughed. "I haven't 'popped'. Where's the bandage on your hand?"
"I got it stitched up," he said, holding up his hand. "There's ten."
"Wow. It'll make one great battle scar. Just tell people you were stabbed."
"In the hand?"
"Lousy mugger. Duh."
"I was stabbed in the hand by a lousy mugger in Hartford?"
"It's better than letting people think you're a complete klutz."
"You're right. What was I thinking?" he joked. "So, how much longer you gonna be here?"
"Probably until I 'pop'."
"You sure do like that phrase."
"Yeah, well, what can you do?"
"Hey, is that offer for company still good? It's really boring in here."
Luke smiled. "Sure is." He took a seat in the chair next to the bed. "How you feeling?"
"Tired. The contractions really hurt."
"Did you ask for an epidural?"
"An epidural. It's an anesthetic they give you to ease the pain." Lorelai stared at him blankly. "You know, a drug."
"Won't that hurt the baby?"
"No. It's perfectly fine."
"Oh. Ok. Can I have one of those?"
"We'll ask when the doctor comes in. How far apart are your contractions?"
"Not far enough."
"You'll probably go into labor soon. Did the doctor tell you if you are or how dilated you are?"
"That's kinda personal don't you think?"
"It's ok. How do you know so much about this?"
"My sister had a baby, remember?"
"Oh yeah. I forgot."
"I bet you do that a lot." Lorelai laughed, making Luke smile. There was something about her that made him smile. Maybe it was because she reminded him of his sister, pregnant and alone. Whatever the reason was, it was going to keep him at her side for as long as she needed him.
"Sir," the nurse called again as she shook Luke's sleeping form. "Sir. Sir, please wake up."
"Huh?" Luke asked as he was jolted from his sleeping state.
"Sir, your girlfriend is about to go into labor. I need you to wake up."
Luke looked beside him to see a screaming Lorelai. He quickly looked at the clock. "It's three forty-five? Oh man, I must have drifted off. My dad is gonna kill me!"
"Luke! Don't leave! Not mow. I need yo...ow!" Lorelai screamed.
"Ok, ok," Luke said, immediately taking Lorelai's hand. "I'll stay. I'm staying. Good Lord you have one hell of a grip."
"Will your boyfriend be going with you to the delivery room ma'am?" the nurse asked.
"I'm not her boyfriend."
"Boyfriend, husband. It doesn't matter. I just need to know if you're going to the delivery room."
"He is," Lorelai replied.
"In that case, I need you to step outside and put these on." The nurse handed Luke some scrubs. Before Luke had the chance to speak, the nurse shooed him out of the room.
Just as he finished putting the scrubs on, they were pushing Lorelai out of her room. He followed beside the bed and when Lorelai reached out for his hand, he gave it to her.
"What do I do?" he asked when they reached the delivery room. "I've never done this before."
"That goes for the both of us," Lorelai said sarcastically.
She squeezed his hand as hard as she could when a contraction hit. Luke bit his bottom lip to keep from yelling. It wouldn't be fair to complain about his pain when Lorelai's pain was twenty million times worse. What was he doing here? What was he thinking? He met this girl a few hours ago and barely knew her. Yet, here he was, letting her break his hand as she tried to push a kid out of her. This wasn't his responsibility. This wasn't his girlfriend and she wasn't having his kid. He didn't have to be here. He didn't have to do this. He didn't have to, but he was.
They were in the delivery room for about twenty minutes and at four o' three, the sound of a baby's cries were heard instead of Loreali's cursing. "Congratulations, you have a beautiful, healthy baby girl," the doctor smiled.
"She's so tiny," Luke remarked as he stared at the baby in Lorelai's arms.
"Babies aren't exactly giants," Lorelai joked.
"Ah, the sarcasm hath returned! Much better than your sailor talk."
"I was in pain."
"You sounded like you had Turrets."
"Ha, ha, ha. You should be a comedian."
"Yeah because I'm so funny right?"
"Right," Lorelai laughed. "Do you wanna hold her?"
"Uh. Sure." Luke took the baby from Lorelai's arms.
Just then, Dr. Reynolds, the Gilmore family physician, walked into the room. "Lorelai," he called.
"Dr. Reynolds!" Lorelai said in shock. "What are you doing here?"
"I got a call from the hospital saying you were going into labor." Dr. Reynolds noticed Luke holding the baby. "Who's this?"
"I'm sorry to interrupt," the nurse said as she walked into the room. "But I was wondering if you've decided on a name for the baby so we can put it on the birth certificate."
"Luke," Lorelai replied.
"You're naming the baby Luke?" Dr. Reynolds asked.
"God no the baby's name isn't Luke! I'm that crazy."
"Then who's Luke?"
"I'm Luke," Luke replied.
"Who are you?"
"Ok, I think everyone knows who Luke is now," Lorelai said.
"What about the baby?" the nurse asked.
"We know who you are," Luke said.
"No, the baby."
"What about the baby?" Dr. Reynolds asked.
"Her name is Lorelai Leigh."
"You're naming the baby after yourself?" Luke asked.
"Why not? Men do it all the time."
"Ok. Baby Lorelai Leigh it is," the nurse said.
"Yeah?" Luke asked.
"Thanks for being here."
"Lorelai," Dr. Reynolds called. "I called your parents as soon as I heard. They're in the waiting room right now. Should I go get them?"
"Give me five minutes would you?" Lorelai asked.
"Why do you need five minutes?" Luke asked.
"Is your name Christopher?"
"Can you run?"
"My father has golf clubs and he knows how to use them, so run. Run really fast."