Disclaimer: The Gilmore Girls was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino.
Lucky girl.
Couple: Luke/Lorelai
Rating: PG
Vague Summary: A period Java Junkie piece filled with artistic
license and anachronism. What if Luke and Lorelai met in 1984?


Younger Now (or Party Like 1984)

by Nes


"White fingerless? Or the lacy blue kid glove?" Lorelei turned to
Staci.

"Couldn't you wear both?" Staci lay belly-down on Lorelei's bed,
fiddling with her banana clip.

"No," she explained patiently. "If you wear both, they have to be
the same glove. They have to match. You don't wear two different
gloves unless you're a fashion retard."

"Well," Staci answered after serious consideration, "Are you going
for Michael Jackson or Madonna?"

"You're right," Lorelei turned back to her full-length mirror and
pulled both gloves off. "What kind of statement am I going for
here?"

She looked critically at her newest ensemble. Her shoulder-length
brown hair was feathered and tucked behind one ear to show off her
feather-earrings. Blue eye shadow, light coral (not pink) lipstick,
and just the right amount of eyeliner in chocolat mousse made her
look eighteen. The off-one shoulder blue-and-black striped top
reached just to the top of her thighs and was belted loosely around
her hips. Tight Guess jeans were french-cuffed over blue glitter
slouchy socks and soft black kung fu shoes. She nodded at herself
approvingly, Lorelei Gilmore definitely did not look fifteen.

"I could buy, like, cigarettes or something," she thought
whimsically. She didn't smoke (due to bad kissing experiences that
she preferred to think of as 'character-building' in retrospect), but
she looked old enough to do so. Which was the whole point., of
course.

A knock on her balcony window sent Staci flying to open the casing.
Lorelei watched in amusement as her blonde friend threw herself into
the arms of her newest boyfriend, Joey Gellar.

That tears it, she thought, they're gonna be attached at tongue and
hip all night long.

Two slim legs appeared in the window as Christopher Hayden slid into
the bedroom. His eyes twinkled as he drank in Lorelei's body.

'I am not melting,' she chanted inwardly. I have seen the boy eat
crayons. I am not melting.'

"Enchante," he said as he bent down to kiss her hand.

'Melting, now.' She picked up the shades hanging around his neck,
"These new? Very Don Johnson."

He laughed and turned his attention to the other couple in the room.
"We better get outta here before those two remember there's a bed
behind them."

"Ew, that's my bed. If anybody's getting action in that bed, it's
gonna be-"

Christopher raised an eyebrow.

"Just shut up. My parents aren't asleep yet. Where's this party
anyhow?"

She listened as Christopher led her to the newest Porsche, a silver
911 Turbo. Mostly, she paid attention to his voice. It was a good
voice, Scott Baio quality. She gave herself a mental shake. Chachi?
When did she start getting Chachi feelings for one of her oldest
friends?

"Over on the other side of Hartford," Christopher was saying.
"Gotta pay a cover charge, there's supposed to be drinks."

Lorelei gulped a little. She'd only ever had a mint julep. But this
was her first real party-party, so she tried not to show her
nervousness. 'Madcap adventure,' she said to herself, forget it and
have fun.'

***

"You said we'd pick up your mom's papers. 'In, out, two hours tops,'
you said."

"Oh, that was just to shut you up, Luke," Tom's voice was cajoling.
"Rach's been gone for months and you're still all mopey. It's our
senior year, man. Forget the ball and chain. Check out the babes."
Tom gestured expansively towards the car-filled lawn. More kids than
went to Stars Hollow High School were in various states of mingling,
some of them carried kegs and bulky brown bags into the house. "And
I do mean, babes. These are high caliber Duran Duran video girls."

Luke reluctantly looked at some of the 'video girls.' Ratted hair,
ripped jeans, and huge bangle earrings. The whole lot of them didn't
hold a candle…

Peru. Who studied abroad in Peru? Who even knew you could? France,
Italy, sure –but an American exchange student in Peru? What did they
have in Peru? Llamas? What could Rachel possibly be learning from
llamas?

Luke hoped this would satisfy Rachel's wanderlust. He'd only ever
wanted two things in his life: Stars Hallow and Rachel Evans. Did
they have to be mutually exclusive?

Tom interrupted Luke's brooding with an elbow to the rib. "C'mon and
meet my cousin Mark. He's our gracious host."

The twinkle in Tom's eye warned Luke that his friend was scheming.
Sighing, he locked up his truck and followed Tom inside the house.

The house was lit only by stragecally placed glowing wands –the kind
used at Halloween- giving it the effect of being a dark cave. Luke
found himself bumping into several of the bodies writhing to the beat
of Aha, and had to work to keep up with Tom.

He gave up after the second staircase and god-knows-what turn and sat
down with a warm beer. Tom, naturally, appeared at the moment Luke
got into a comfortable position. Somewhere along the way (also
natural for Tom), he'd seemed to have picked up twins. On the end of
each arm, hung a busty blonde.

"Bootsy," Tom pushed the one in a green headband towards Luke. "Meet
my friend, Mr. Danes."

The girl looked him up and down appreciatively before settling in his
lap.

***

"So what kinda speed do you get with that monster?"

"Guy, it's a Harley, what kinda speed do you think I get?"

Lorelei looked at her Swatch. Thirty minutes and they still hadn't
gotten to the party.

The house, yes.

Sort of.

The lawn, anyhow.

They'd barely parked the car when the bikers had rode on in.
Christopher had been drawn to them instantly, even forgetting to tell
Joey and Staci not to get lipstick on his leather interior. Lorelei
had followed Christopher and been bored for her trouble.

She was not dressed like this just so Chris could grope a motorcycle.
She wanted to dance like a Kevin Bacon-loving fool.

"I'll trade you."

"The Porsche?"

Christopher dangled his keys in front of the other boy.

Finally at her breaking point, Lorelei tugged on Christopher's arm
and dragged him to the side.

"What are you doing? You just got that car a week ago."

"Two weeks."

"Big dif! You could buy that bike tomorrow and not lose the car."

"Who cares about the car? It's just a car. Tomorrow's too far away
and I want that bike." He shrugged her off and went back to the
circle of bikers.

"You want your hair flying in the wind, Christopher? You're giving
into a cliché," she yelled at his back. "And you wouldn't look good
in leather, it'd make you all sweaty and I bet that leather is gross
when you sweat."

In desperation, she yelled, "Don Johnson wouldn't ride a hog!"

Strangers turned to stare at her and suddenly Lorelei felt very
disposable. As if she was the Porsche. Was that how Christopher
felt about girls? Just girls, and he could just trade…she swallowed
her discomfort by staring back at the crowd and throwing her head
back. Crazily, she laughed, "And your little dog, too!"

The people all turned back around and she beat a hasty retreat inside
the house after handing over her five dollar bill.

"This is so rad," Lorelei said to herself. "This must be what a
disco is like."

***

When Bootsy had stopped talking about the last season of "Facts of
Life," Luke had welcomed the silence as a long-lost friend. He now
knew more about Jo, Blair, and Trudy than any man had a right to
know. He knew birth dates, heights, and favorite blushers. He could
write a book.

But he wouldn't.

He was too busy being thankful she'd shut up.

But then she'd slid her arms around his waist and sucked at his neck
like a vampire.

Luke sighed and pushed her away gently.

Her vacant blue eyes stared up at him, "Was that not enough small
talk?"

He groaned, wondering where Tom found these girls. Wondering what he
could possibly say to make the situation less absurd.

And then he found it only got worse.

Suddenly, her vacant blue eyes had gone even more blank as a missile
shot out of nowhere and into Bootsy's head. She landed on the floor
with a clunk, leaving Luke with a projectile in his hand.

Now Luke wondered, "God sends euthanasia in the form of shoe?"

***

Lorelei had quickly settled into the mob of dancers, letting her body
flow to the honey of Debbie Harry's voice.

She loved dancing! It was so freeing. She could wave her arms, she
could shake her hips, she could do whatever the hell she wanted.

She could breathe.

This was what she missing at home and at school, in her whole
existence. For the nth time she wished her parents had allowed her
to go to John Adams High. They probably danced in the halls like in
Grease. She winced, remembering her mom's near-seizure. "Public
school? They won't have a swimming pool, much less a stable!"

They'd just barely let her go to Sidwell Arms. (Luck had nothing to
do with it. She'd burned Chilton's acceptance letter.) It was known
as the "School for Trophy Wives," the girls who continued onto
college from Sidwell were only going for their MRS. Degree.

Trophy wives. Charities and bridge games. Bah! Lorelei wasn't
going to become her mother. No way.

Filled with resolution, she began to dance wildly. The joy of
freedom infused every bop of her head, every swing of her arm, every
kick of her foot-

Every kick of her foot that sent a shoe sailing at Olympic heights in
perfect arcs into someone's head.

"That's gotta hurt," Lorelei said as she went to retrieve her shoe.

***

Luke was still contemplating the divine mystery of mercy killing when
a pretty brunette arrived on the scene.

"I'm assuming the weapon belongs to you?" He held out the
far-traveled kung fu slipper.

"Yeah," Lorelei answered. "That would be my footwear."

"You should have a license to wear that thing; it's pretty sturdy."

"I'll tell the elves." Lorelei looked down at the crumpled girl.
"Hey, sorry 'bout your girlfriend."

A look of distaste flashed over Luke's face, "Not my girlfriend."
Thoughtfully, he added, "Maybe I should be thanking you."

"Nothing says grateful like free alcohol," she said half-jokingly.

"Too late for it to be free, you already paid the cover."

"Well, I wasn't all that psyched about it anyway."

"Plus, you're a underage."

"Oh, and you're legal? You're what, seventeen?"

"Aw, take it," Luke handed her his room temperature can of beer.
Bootsy appeared to be stirring, "No wait, let me get you a cold one."

He gingerly stepped over the blonde's body and took Lorelei by the
arm away from the scene of the crime.

"Are you sure we should just leave her there?"

"She'll be fine. C'mon," he quickened their pace.

They threaded their way to the so-called bar area, conversation made
impossible by the pounding music.

"Bud, Coors, or keg?" The kid behind the counter asked gesturing to
the ice filled tubs.

"How about Coke?"

"Coke?"

"A New Coke."

"Whatever," the kid handed Lorelei a cold can.

"I thought you wanted beer," Luke said.

"I don't drink with strange men." Or barely at all, she thought.
She'd already seen a number of people worshipping the toilet and had
no desire to do the same. At least, not tonight.

"Good," he answered. "You wanna get outta here? Music's making me
deaf."

"Sure," she yelled back. Lorelei decided to just go with it. Chris,
Staci, and Joey were all entertaining themselves and she was pretty
tired of dancing so why not exercise her freedom. Besides, wasn't
this how people with everyday freedom-type people interacted? How
they met? Not in sitting room in underwear that's way too stiff and
uncomfortable to be hidden under petticoat-ish dresses drinking tea.

Besides the guy was kinda cute in his camo jacket with his wavy hair
that just touched the tops of his ears. Plus, those shoulders.
Shoulders like that didn't usually come on guys who could form full
sentences.

He led her out to the back door and she could see the bikers teaching
Christopher some tricks on the bike. Guess he'd traded then.

She turned her attention back to Shoulder Guy. He was sitting in the
back of a pick-up, his legs swinging off the bumper. She swung
herself up beside him and popped open her soda.

"So what's the story with the blonde, you know, the non-girlfriend,"
she nosed.

"Who, you mean, your victim?" He smiled a little crookedly. "Friend
tried to set me up."

"Younger sister?"

"Twin, actually. Her name's Bootsy."

"Bootsy? Maybe she did deserve to be hit with a shoe. Maybe it was,
like, fate. That footwear connection," she said.

"You're really strange." Cute though, Luke thought to himself.

"Thanks." She sipped some of her soda, "So do you have some weird
name, too? Is your name like Shirtsy or Pantsy or-"

"Luke. It's Luke. No silent letters, no apparel associations."

"Aw, ruin my fun." She looked up at his face, "You wanna play 'This
or That'?"

'Nothing better to do, and she's more entertaining than Bootsy,' he
thought. "That depends. You're not gonna talk about the "Facts of
Life" or jump me, are you?"

"Hmm, you're obscure. But it makes for a better game. I'll agree to
your terms." She spit on her hand and held it out to him.

"That's really unsanitary," he declined to shake.

She pouted, but withdrew her hand and wiped it off on her jeans.
"One, if you had to be a war, what would you be?"

"That's not how you play."

"It's how I play. And you already agreed to play with me, so
answer," she said gleefully.

Luke decided to humor her. "The War of 1812."

"Bo-ring," she said. "The Flintstones or the Jetsons?"

"The Flintstones."

"Wilma or Betty?"

"Betty." He paused, "Hey, you're barefoot."

"Yeah, my shoe didn't survive the assault intact. So much for those
elves; the buckle broke off." She showed him the shoe.

"That's not a good idea out here. Lots of potential for broken beer
bottles, you wouldn't want to step on those. Let me fix that for
you."

"You have extra shoe buckles with you," she asked in a confused tone.
"Are you a cobbler?"

"Uh, no," he said as he started to rummage in the bin on the back of
the truck. He came up with a leather cord, thread, and needle, "But
this should tie the ends together."

He slid the slipper over her foot, and sewed the cord on. "You're
gonna have to cut the thing off, though."

"No, this is great," she flexed her shod foot. "Are you sure you're
not a cobbler because that'd be so fresh. I've never met a shoe
cobbler."

"Not a cobbler."

"Then were you a boy scout, because not many people have this kind of
stuff on hand."

"Just lucky, I guess." Luke was fascinated, the girl gabbed a mile a
minute. "So what's your name?"

"Lorelei," she said. "I bet you were hoping it was something
freakish."

"Actually, I think it's fitting."

"Really." She looked at him suspiciously, "Why?"

"It's the name of this mermaid in the Rhine River in Germany. She
lured sailors to their death. She was homicidal –like you."

"Huh. I thought mermaids lived in oceans."

"Maybe she didn't like the ocean."

"But mermaids belong in the ocean; it's their proper-," she cut
herself off. She was channeling her mother! 'Emily, are you in
there?'

Lorelei recovered, "You're right. Maybe she was stifling so she ran
away to a place where she could be herself."

"Or maybe she was running away from the law, having already killed
lots of sailors in the ocean."

She socked him in the arm, "That's so bogus! Take it back!"

He laughed at her.

"Oh, so you think it's funny, Mister…Mister…I shoulda hit you with my
shoe!"

Luke only doubled over guffawing. Lorelei's eyes lit up with
righteous indignation. "You think you can laugh at me? Well, I
break our bargain then. And since I don't know anything about the
"Facts of Life," I'll just have to jump you!" Lorelei launched
herself at Luke and kissed him with a loud, hard smack on the mouth.

"Ohmigod," she leapt back from him. "I'm so sorry. It's just that
you were laughing and sometimes I get carried away and I'm really
sorry. Not that sorry because that was probably in the top ten, no,
five per cent of my personal repertoire of kisses, not that I'm,
like, a big kissing slut-"

"S'okay," Luke answered, a little dazed. "It's okay, Lorelei."

"Really? Because you're pretty nice and you fixed my shoe."

"Really," he pulled at the collar of his gray shirt. He felt oddly
warm. And tingly.

Daring a little, he took her hand and rubbed his fingers in little
circles over her palm.

She leaned closer and said, "So how come you know so much about
mermaids?"

"My grandma came from there."

"Ah," she said, "the Old World. My people came from Yale."

"What?"

"Er, family joke."

"You are a weird one," he said.

"To the max. But you're just buttering me up."

"Maybe I am," he looked into her eyes and smiled. She smiled back.

Just then, a roaring motor interrupted. It was Christopher on his
new Harley. "Lorelei, this scene's lame. I'm leaving."

"He's my ride," Lorelei said apologetically as she slid off the
pick-up.

Luke caught her hand before she turned away, "Can I call you?"

She smiled and answered but Christopher revved the engine and all he
could hear as she slipped on the back of the bike was, "-in the
book!"

Then she slid her arms around the guy and they drove away.

Luke leaned back against the truck and finished her forgotten Coke,
"Lorelei," he whispered to himself. "I kissed a mermaid."

***

Lorelei had Christ cut the motor and drop her off down the street
from her house. Her hair was a tangled halo, but it wasn't like
anyone was going to see it. All she was going to do was climb up to
the balcony and sneak in the window.

"Lor," Chris stopped her.

"Yes." She thought, 'it's going to take an hour to comb my hair
out.'

"Chilton has cotillion next week. Want to go with me? Your parents
said it was okay."

"You asked my parents first?"

"Of course, Emily Post and all that. So seven-ish? I'll make
reservations at Costanza's."

"I don't know, Christopher."

"Don't play hard to get, Lor. It's not like you have a better
offer."

She smiled mysteriously as she remembered Luke's warm hand holding
hers. She skipped a little down the sidewalk, "You never know,
Chris. I just might."

***

Epilogue: four days later

"Luke, I talked to my cousin and he said there's no Lorelei in the
directory at Adams High. And he checked around with some of the
other kids at the party, nobody knows your mystery chick. Sorry,
man." Tom patted his friend on the back, "You know, there's always
Bootsy. She's still really interested."

Luke shook his head. The party had been the first time he'd gone
hours without thinking about Rachel. The first time he'd ever kissed
a girl who wasn't Rachel.

And now he couldn't find her.

He leafed through the Stars Hallow phone book again, dejectedly.
Desperately. If only he'd caught her last name.

Luke couldn't decide which was worse, that he hadn't gotten her
number or that he hadn't offered to take her home instead of the
motorcycle guy.

Motorcycles. You couldn't trust guys with motorcycles. Everyone
knew that.

They hadn't even been wearing helmets.

Tom waved his hand in front of Luke's face. "Earth to Luke. She
must've been hot , your Cinderella."

"Cinderella? No wonder you couldn't find her. Her name's Lorelei."
He turned another page aimlessly.

"Dude, you got it bad. Cinderella because she broke her shoe."

"Cinderella didn't break her shoe, she left it."

"Blah, blah. You're looking for her though, right? Like Prince
Charming, see the parallels." Tom paused, "Maybe, and don't get mad,
she didn't give you her real name."

'Of course,' Luke thought. I'm so stupid. Maybe she doesn't want to
be found. Why would she give me to call her? She's got No-Helmet
Motorcycle Guy.

The phone rang. Tom picked it up, "Then again, maybe I was wrong
about Cinderella." He handed the phone to Luke.

"Hello?" The line was static-y.

"Hola!"

"What?"

"It's me, Rachel. Remember me?"

"Uh, yeah. Red hair, bout so high."

"So, I've missed you. I really wish you were here, Luke."

"I missed you, too." He smiled for the first time in days, and
settled into his chair for a long talk.

***

'He hasn't called. It's been four days.' Lorelei smacked her head
against her bed, 'Of course, he didn't call. You jumped him. He
asks you not to do two simple things, so you purposely do one of
them. Of course, he hasn't called. Because if he was really
interested, he would've asked to take you home. The one guy who
doesn't care that my last name is Gilmore or how big my trust fund
is, who doesn't even care enough to ask and he doesn't call!'

A tap at the window interrupted her inner whining.

She looked outside and slid open the casing, "Hey, Christopher."

"So you got plans for Saturday yet? Cotillion looking pretty good to
you?"

"Sure," Lorelei answered, she didn't have other plans. "White gloves
and ruffly dress, it is."

"Don't get so excited, Lorelei." He moved in closer to her and
kissed her softly through the window. "It won't be so bad. I
promise. I'll show you a good time."

She smiled a little, comforted by his familiar presence. A dance
could be nice. And it was just one little dance, it's not like she
was gonna marry him and have little Hayden babies. Not after she'd
learn just how sweet life could be when you were free.

Fin.

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