PG Ch 1
A/N: A giant 'Thank you!' is not enough for IkilledKenny, who generously paid my 2 going rate and then tipped truelovepooh an extra 648 to make this story a reality. My new owner has requested that I continue the Good at Dating series, and her wish is my command. I also want to say thanks to iwannahorn, bigbagofweird, and Phishes for the trash talk and bidding wars that kept us all entertained, and to the Super Cool Party People for egging them on, upping the stakes, providing visual stimulation, holding my hand and giving me oxygen when I needed it. To all who participated and made the Support Stacie auction an incredible success, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Now, here is a peek at the whole package. I hope that you enjoy it!
"We need to get a golden retriever," Lorelai said with a smile.
"You're high," Luke answered with a deep chuckle.
"But we need one," she wheedled.
"The last thing we need is a dog," Luke said firmly.
"But we can wear our matching jogging suits when we walk him," Lorelai said cajolingly.
"No dogs," Luke said as he tried to fix her with a hard stare, but failed miserably.
"Ah, but you didn't say no to the jogging suits," Lorelai pointed out smugly. She smiled at him and asked, "What do you think?"
Luke's smile was brilliant as he looked down at the tiny bundle in his arms and then back at Lorelai as he said, "She's the second most beautiful girl in the world."
"Ew, not Julia Roberts, she has a mouth like a horse," Lorelai whined.
"No, not her, and you're right, she does," Luke said as he sat gingerly on the edge of the bed.
"Edged out by Catherine Zeta Jones again, how sad. Maybe you do have more in common with Michael Douglas than we thought," Lorelai teased as she peeked over the edge of the blanket.
"Nope, just edged out by her mother," Luke said as he reached over and tucked a curling tendril that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear. "You are incredible," he said in a husky voice.
"You think she's a keeper?" she asked him softly.
"Definitely," Luke answered as he looked back down at his sleeping daughter. "Hard work, being born," he murmured to her.
Lorelai smiled tiredly and said, "Tell me about it. Apparently she didn't hear all of that stuff I told her about afternoons being better because Mommy needs her beauty sleep." Luke leaned over and kissed her softly, she whispered, "Don't squish the baby."
"I'm not gonna squish her," Luke answered as he brushed his lips over hers again. He pulled back slightly and said, "You forget I'm a professional now. I plan to do this at home too."
Lorelai smiled and said, "Good."
"Thank you," he said in a soft voice choked with emotion. "Sleep or no sleep, you couldn't get any more beautiful."
"You're welcome," she said with a soft smile. "And you're smitten," she said with a laugh as he gazed down at the bundle in his arms again.
"With both of you," Luke admitted easily.
She reached up and brushed her fingertips over his scruffy cheek as she confessed, "I'm kind of glad she decided to be a middle of the night baby. This way it's just me and you."
"And Caroline," he added.
"And Caroline," she said with a nod. "I can't believe you got them all to go," she said as she shook her head in amazement.
"Well, it took some doing, but your dad agreed that it would be better for them to stay with the boys, and he didn't give Rory and your mother much of a choice," Luke answered with a shrug. "You should try to get some sleep," he whispered. "Everyone will be up here bright and early," he warned."
"You should go home," she whispered back. "You need some sleep too and you won't get it around here."
Luke glanced up at the clock which read three ten and said, "I might as well stay."
"I want you to be there when the boys wake up, otherwise they might freak," Lorelai said worriedly.
"They won't freak. Rory and your parents are there," Luke said with a frown.
"Yeah, but they are used to me being there in the mornings and I can't be," she said worriedly.
"So you want me to sub for you?" he asked with a wry smile.
"Yes," she said with a nod. "That and I don't want you crashed out in that recliner," she said as she jerked her chin at the chair next to the bed.
Luke smiled as he gently pulled back the blanket that swaddled the newest addition to their family so that he could take all of her in just one more time. He lifted one tiny fist with the pad of his finger and said in a hoarse voice, "That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I mean, with the boys it was pretty incredible, but we were so scared, with the surgery and all," he explained.
"You're not weirded out by seeing that?" she asked with a nervous glance at him.
"No," he said softly as he gingerly wrapped the baby snugly again. "Incredible," he breathed again.
"Okay, but remember, there were parts of that you were supposed to forget," Lorelai said with an exhausted sigh as she pressed back into the pillows.
"Don't worry I won't mention that you told me to shove my hat up my ass," he said with a smirk.
"Good," Lorelai said softly.
"I won't remind you that you threatened to cut off my you-know-what with your manicure scissors," he said with a nod. "Tiny snips," he added with a smirk.
"Also good, because I am fond of your you-know-what," Lorelai answered tiredly.
"And I explained to the nurses that I have never actually had sex with my mother, or a duck," he added with a tender smile. "Nor am I flexible enough to, uh, pleasure myself, um, orally," he said with a laugh. "The mouth on you, Lorelai Gilmore Danes," he admonished as he gently brushed his knuckles over her cheek.
"Sorry," she murmured.
"Go to sleep," he whispered. "I'm taking Caroline down to the nursery so that you and get some sleep and so you can't tell her that her Daddy is a kinky pervert with sex on his brain twenty-four seven. Then I'll go home so that you can't make any more attempts to pawn me off on nurses who may or may not think the Energizer Bunny is cute in a not so wholesome way," he said as he stood up and carried Caroline over to the isolette that was parked at the foot of the bed and gently placed her in it.
Lorelai smiled but didn't open her eyes as she said, "I love you, Burger Boy, even if you are a kinky pervert."
Luke bent over the bed, gently brushing the curls that had sprung up along her hairline away from her face and whispered, "I love you, Crazy Lady, more than I can ever say." Luke closed his eyes as he placed a tender kiss on her forehead and then whispered, "Goodnight, Sweetheart."
"Night, Babe," she mumbled as he turned out the light over her bed.
Luke wheeled the bassinet holding his daughter down to the nursery. He explained that Lorelai was sleeping and that he was going home for a few hours to check on their sons, but that he would be back. He stood in the nursery for a moment longer, staring down at his newborn daughter, his heart pounding as the blood pumped through his veins and filling him to the point that he feared that he may burst. He leaned down and brushed a gentle kiss to her forehead, mirroring the one her mother had received minutes before, and whispered, "I'm your daddy, and I hope you don't mind if I'm a little too crazy about you, crazy seems to run in the family." When he glanced over his shoulder and saw the nurse hovering nearby, he straightened up and straightened her blanket as he said gruffly, "See you in the morning, little girl."
Luke walked slowly down the hallway and hesitated for a moment outside of the door to Lorelai's room. After a moment of indecision, he pushed the door open and crept quietly back into the room. The light in the attached bathroom was still on, casting a soft glow into the room. He sat down heavily in the recliner and watched the steady rise and fall of Lorelai's chest as she slept. Out of the corner of his eye, he spied a note pad and pen that the hospital provided sitting atop the nightstand. Without thinking, he picked it up, uncapped the pen and wrote in neat blocked print:
Dear Caroline Emily,
Your Mommy just gave me the most incredible early Christmas gift, even though she knows that I hate celebrating holidays early. This one I'll take. Today you were born. A little bit early, but I wasn't surprised by that. Gilmore women are always in a hurry.
Luke tapped the pen against his lower lip for a moment, trying to marshal his thoughts, and trying to get a grasp on all of the emotion that was swirling inside of him.
You are named for both of your grandmothers, so I thought that maybe you should know a little about them. Caroline was my mom, your Grandma Danes…
Luke began to write quickly, his neat printing fading into a hasty scrawl as he hurried to get it all out onto the paper. As he wrote, he could feel his mother's warm hand wiping away the tears that had somehow seeped onto his cheeks, the smell of her perfume filled his head, and he was sure that he could feel the touch of her lips in his hair as she held him close. He flipped the page on the small pad and continued without missing a beat, detailing all that he could remember about Caroline Danes and all that he knew of Emily Gilmore. And then, as he reached the fifth page he began to write about Lorelai. He explained how his life hadn't seemed complete until she and Rory became his family and how with the birth of her older brothers, his reason for being finally became clear to him.
I was meant to be your daddy, but you need to be patient with me, baby girl, I'm still learning. Know that no matter what I do, it's only because I love you all so much. I'm going to screw up. I know nothing about little girls. I don't know how to braid hair, and the whole Barbie thing is a mystery to me, but if you let us, maybe G.I. Joe and I can stop by to hang out sometimes. I like tea, so I could do the tea party thing. I just don't want to have to dress up in a fruity hat or something. Once you get to know me, you'll understand that doing stuff like that isn't really my thing, but for you, I will. For you, your mommy and your sister and brothers, I would do anything.
You are a very lucky girl, Caroline Emily Danes. You have a mommy who will make you fairy wings and pretty princess dresses, and you have a daddy who will think that you are the most beautiful girl ever to wear them. You have grandparents that I fear will spoil you rotten. You have a big sister who is every bit as amazing as your mommy, and will thank you for evening out the numbers. As for Josh and Jake, they will love you too, I promise, even though it may not seem like it for a while. Big brothers can be that way, ask your Aunt Liz. But no matter what, you have a whole bunch of people who will love you just because you are you. You have an entire town that will welcome you as if you were theirs, God help us.
Tonight I told Mommy that you were second only to her. I hope that one day you'll understand that it's not that I love you any less than Mommy; it's just that I loved her first.
Love seems like too small of a word but that's all I have,
Luke rubbed his face tiredly and then glanced up at the clock. With a sigh, he tore the pages from the pad and then stood up to stretch. He leaned down over Lorelai and whispered, "Thank you," again, as he brushed the barest kiss over her hair. He folded the pages into a neat square as he walked to the door and then shoved them into the back pocket of his jeans as he reached for the handle. He hesitated in the doorway to look back at Lorelai. He was torn, knowing that she was right and that he should be home when the boys woke up, but fighting the overwhelming desire to crawl into the narrow hospital bed and curl himself around her. With a sigh, he opened the door and stepped out into the harshly lit corridor, and pulled his car keys from his pocket as he walked quickly toward the elevator before he could change his mind.