Rating: PG
Pairing: L/L friendship
Spoilers: Everything up until `Snowed Inn'
Teaser: Luke remembers past dinners with the girls. This
installment: The First Cup Of Coffee.
Disclaimer: I wish upon wish, I hope upon hope…that these characters
belonged to me. But they don't. Which is good because if houseplants
are anything to go by, I'd kill them anyway…
Note: Yup, my first GG fic!! I was inspired, you might say, by
Pixie's fic, and the previews for next week's ep. I missed a lot of
season 1, so if there is info that I got wrong, please let me know.
More Notes: Probably the first ficlet in a series, if there is
enough interest.
Feedback: Oh please oh please. Let me know if I suck or not. With
an emphasis on the "or not" kind of feedback? (:


A Tiny Little Fuzzy

by Len


December 12th, 1985.
Stars Hollow, Connecticut.



Nineteen-year-old Lucas Danes leaned against the outside wall of
William's Hardware, getting some air. It was the middle of December,
and so the air was painfully cold, but at least it was _outside_. He
loved his dad, but things had been strained ever since mom…well, ever
since the previous November. And now with his sister and her new
husband, and her new kid here…it was open season for the Traditional
Will Danes Furious Rants. There was only so much ranting a son could
put up with.

Something in the store behind him crashed, and Luke winced. Dad
was going to give himself a heart-attack one of these days if he
wasn't careful. The teen took another swallow from his coke and slid
down the wall until he was sitting on the sidewalk, long legs
stretched in front of him. He'd been working since six a.m. and his
back, to put it mildly, hurt.

The glass door to the store flew open with an accompanying tinkle
of bells, narrowly missing him. Luke shied away from it. "Hey,
watch it there, Liz!"

His tiny, fragile-looking sister looked down at him in
surprise. "Luke! Dammit! I'm going, okay? Do you want to come
with me to say goodbye to Steve?"

He tried not to smirk. He really did. But he was apparently
unsuccessful, because Liz stomped her foot in fury, disturbing the
sleeping infant in her arms. "Dad's turned you against him, too,
huh? Lucas, he's your brother-in-law – get used to it!"

Luke rambled to his feet. "Dad didn't have to turn me against
Steve – Steve did it just fine on his own."

Liz tilted her chin up defiantly. "Fine, then. We're flying to
Chicago in the morning, but I think we'll clear out of the house
tonight. Sleep in Hartford, I guess." The baby started to whimper,
and Liz patted it gently, trying to quiet it. Luke instantly felt
guilty.

"Oh, c'mon Liz. Just stay the night. Dad'll cool down."

"No he won't. You know it."

"Fine." A cold cloud of condensation accompanied the words, and
Luke's shoulder's slumped. "I'd better say good-bye to the kid,
then."

His sister smiled sadly, and placed the baby in his arms. "You're
a good uncle, Luke. I wish we could stay longer. But it's too hard."

"Yeah." Fine dark fuzz stuck out from under the knitted cap, and
Luke adjusted it so the baby's tiny ears were covered. "Bye, Jesse.
You be good for your mom, okay?"

His reply was a wide-eyed stare and a little spit bubble. Luke
grinned, then cleared his throat and handed Jess back to his
mom. "Take care of yourself, Liz."

"I will." She rose on tip-toes to kiss his cheek. "You can come
and visit, you know."

Luke snorted. "Yeah, right. If I make enough money for college
in the next two years, I'll be lucky. I don't think I'll be able to
afford cross-country flights any time soon."

"Well, keep it in mind."

"I will. Now, you should get the kid inside, before he catches
cold."

Liz nodded, patted his arm, and turned to walk down the street.
Luke watched until she disappeared around a corner, then tossed the
remains of his coke in a trash can. He needed to walk. He still had
ten minutes left for his break. Enough time to get the hell away
from the little family drama that surrounded him.


The Christmas decorations were up around town, replacing the dried
flower arrangements that normally wrapped around light posts, and
mailboxes, and signs, and…now that Luke thought about it, just about
everything in Stars Hollow was normally covered in dried flowers. It
made the town look so…fluffy.

As he walked around the Christmas light-strangled gazebo in the
middle of the park, the Hartford bus pulled up with a belch of
brakes. Five people got off. One of whom was Miss Patty – swathed
in an array of holiday colors, and…were those sequins?

He quickly ducked back behind the gazebo. There was something
about that woman that freaked him out. It was like she undressed him
with her eyes, and for a woman her age to be doing that to a teenager
was just…disturbing.

Once he was sure she was gone, he stood up and peeked around above
the railing. The streets were deserted. All clear.

"It's safe," someone said, directly behind him.

"Gah!" he jumped back, tripped over one of the wintering rose-
bushes, and hit the side of the gazebo. As he struggled to regain
his balance, he stared at his attacker. "Sheeze, where the hell did
you come from?"

The girl had the bluest eyes Luke had ever seen. "The bus."

"Ah." They stood sizing each other up for a moment; she clutching
a pile of blankets to her chest, he clutching his chest and willing
his heartbeat to slow. "I wasn't hiding," he finally said
defensively.

"Really? Wow, you could have fooled me."

"I wasn't!"

"No?" She leaned a little closer and gave him a sly smile. Luke
leaned back in alarm. "Not even from the `Mrs. Claus Does Vegas'
lady? I swear, give that woman menacing theme music and you have a
new super-villain."

Luke snorted. "Okay, so what if I was?" he challenged.

"Don't worry, I won't say anything. I think you're probably being
very smart. When I got on the bus in Hartford there was a guy about
your age sitting next to her. When I got off…nothing but a
drumstick. I think she had something to do with it."

"You're nuts, you know that?"

She smiled widely. Now that he looked closer, he realized how
exhausted she appeared. Dark rings bruised the skin under her eyes,
and her clothing was mismatched and hardly appropriate for the
weather. "I know. Many people have told me that, many times."

"Okay." Luke pushed away from the gazebo and started walking back
towards the Hardware store. The girl fell in step beside
him. "You're from Hartford?"

She nodded. "Used to be."

"But you're not from there anymore?"

"Nope. I've decided to see if I can be from here, now."

"I don't think that's how it works."

"Sure it is." The bundle of blankets in her arms shifted and
yawned, and Luke nearly fell off the sidewalk.

"Holy--!"

The girl looked at him curiously until she realized what he was
staring at. "—baby powder, Batman?" she finished.

"Huh?"

"You know – just continuing the whole `super-villains/ super-
heroes thing….yeah. I'll be quiet now."

But Luke couldn't quite wrap his mind around the fact that less
than ten minutes before he'd said goodbye to a baby the same
approximate size and, well….shape. "Where the hell did he come
from?" he sputtered, pointing.

"She's a she, actually. And if I have to tell you where she came
from, then I'm thinking that someone doesn't get out enough…." She
trailed off, jokingly. But he thought he caught a flash of hurt
across her face.

"She, huh? She's beautiful," he told her. "Um…your sister?"

"No." The blue-eyed girl raised her chin defiantly before
continuing. "My daughter. Lorelai."

Luke nodded, considering this piece of information, and looked
down at the baby girl. Her tiny mouth opened in another yawn and her
gorgeous blue eyes blinked at him. He felt some teeny, tiny place in
the middle of his chest go all warm and fuzzy. "Wow."

The child's mother watched him watch her for a moment. "That
translates from Baby Lorelai Talk into, `Hello, pleased to meet
you,'" she said. "It was the two blinks, did you see those?"

"Yeah. Well, I'm pleased to meet you, too," he replied.
Remembering the finer points of his manners, he stuck out a hand
towards the teen. She shook it. He noticed her fingers were icy
cold. "I'm Luke Danes. My dad runs the Hardware store on the corner
there."

Her eyes followed his pointing arm across the park, and she nodded
thoughtfully, obviously committing this bit of information to
memory. "Cool. Well, I'm Lorelai. Lorelai Gilmore, the second."

"Really? That must make it kind of confusing for your family,
with all those Lorelais running around…"

Even as the words were leaving his mouth, her expression turned
stony. Suddenly, she looked like a very alone, very young girl; far
too young to be on her own. A runaway. "I am my family. And so
because I don't usually talk to myself, it's pretty easy to figure
out which of us I'm talking to."

Luke sighed and took off his baseball cap to scratch his
head. "Sheeze. Look, I'm sorry – I didn't mean to—"

"Oh, don't worry about it. It's not important."

"I'm still sorry."

"It's fine. Really. But hey, if you're still sorry, do you think
you could make up for your terrible, terrible faux-pas by telling me
where `The Independence Inn' is? I found this add in the newspaper…"
she fumbled around, trying to locate it on her person. He quickly
took the baby out of Lorelai's arms before she dropped her along with
the two bags she carried. "Ah ha! Here!" The teenager stuck the
clipping in his face, and he squinted at it.

"Yeah, I know where that is. I can show you."

Baby Lorelai started to snore in his arms, and all of a sudden
Luke really didn't want to have to say good-bye to either Lorelai
quite so soon. He quickly came up with an idea. "Tell you what –
let's go grab some dinner first. The food at the Inn is terrible, so
believe me – you'll thank me tomorrow when you don't wake up with
food poisoning. Plus, some coffee would warm you right up."

"Coffee?!" she squealed, "Luke, this could be the beginning of a
beautiful friendship!" The elder Lorelai smiled again at him, this
time so blindingly bright that he felt that same spot in his chest
become a little fuzzier. Fuzzy, he thought with a snort. Stay long
enough in this fuzzy town and before long you're a walking floral
arrangement yourself. But, as he walked towards Mac's Café with
Lorelai talking about the miraculous restorative qualities of
caffeine, he found he really didn't mind a bit of fuzziness. As long
as it was only on the inside. Where no-one would ever, ever see.
Never ever.

And back in William's Hardware, Will Danes watched his son from
the shop window and figured he'd better clock Luke out for the night,
because the boy had obviously forgotten about work. The work ethics
of the young these days…


The End

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