I just found this on FF roaming thought articles, and thought it was brilliant!
Disclaimer: Not written by me, it is the property of "daviderl" the FF author.
I Just Like To See You Happy
It is Rory's last night in Stars Hollow before leaving to follow Obama on the campaign trail. Sookie told Lorelai the idea of the surprise party and sewing together the tarps and tents to cover the square from the rain was all Luke's doing. Lorelai went looking for him.
As Lorelai walked away from Sookie she saw Luke in the diner. She passed Kirk, Taylor and Babette on the way and they spoke to her but she didn't hear. She only had eyes for Luke. As she got to the diner he walked out with a bag of charcoal briquettes for the grilles. He stopped when he saw her.
"Hey," she said.
"Hey," he said back.
She sighed, then, not sure what she wanted to say, she just said, "Thank You."
"It's no big deal," he replied.
"Luke," she said, not wanting any more of his "just friends" talk.
"I just -- like to see you happy."
And before either realized it, they had their arms around the other, their lips pressed together.
"Sookie, have you seen Mom?" Rory asked.
"She went looking for Luke."
"She isn't mad at him again, is she?"
"Oh no. I think she wanted to thank him for all of this. It was all his idea, you know -- the party and the tent."
"No, I didn't know. He really did all this, for me?"
"Sure he did. He loves you, honey. You know that."
"Did she say where she was going?"
"No. but she was headed for the diner."
Rory walked in the direction of Luke's Diner. As she got to the edge of the street she saw them holding each other as they kissed. And without knowing it, a big smile covered her face. She continued to watch, not wanting to interrupt them.
After a while, Lorelai and Luke stopped to take a breath. They smiled at each other, then Luke remembered something. He took a long box out of his pocket and handed it to Lorelai. With a curious look on her face she opened it, and her face changed to one of surprise and extreme delight.
"Oh, Luke, it s beautiful."
"Well, when I was picking out Rory s earrings, I saw it and it just looked like you, so I thought what the hell, maybe I ll get a chance to give it to her. So, here it is."
Lorelai took it out of the box, then turned around and moved her hair out of the way so Luke could fasten it around her neck. When he had done so, she turned back around and once again her arms went around his neck and she gave him another, long, loving kiss.
It was at this moment that Rory decided it was now okay to interrupt them and she walked across the street to them.
"You guys should be ashamed of yourselves," she said, the grin still on her face. "Kissing in public like that. It's purely scandalous!"
"I guess we're busted," Lorelai said as she smiled up at Luke.
"Looks like it, " he replied.
"You're not ready to go home are you?" Lorelai asked.
"Oh no. Of course not." Rory said, then she looked at Luke. "I just want to thank you for all of this -- the party, the tent, and the earrings, which I love, by the way."
"It wasn t just me, the whole town helped set it up."
"Yeah, but it was all your idea, so I just wanted to thank you."
"You know you're always welcome," he answered.
"You've always been so good to me, and to Mom. And I think that after Mom, and Lane, I'm going to miss you the most."
"Well, that's one list I don't mind being number three on. And you know we're all going to miss you."
Suddenly, on impulse, Rory put her arms around Luke's waist and hugged him as tightly as she could. Luke put his arms around her then bent down and kissed the top of her head. When he looked up at Lorelai, her eyes had a bit of glisten in them.
Rory let him go, then said, "I think I heard Caesar say he was waiting for more charcoal for the grille."
"Oh! Right!" Luke exclaimed, then picked up the bag he had dropped and they all went back to the party.
"Did you ever get anything to eat?" Luke asked Lorelai.
"Just a snack or two here and there."
"Well come on, there's a couple of cheeseburgers with your name on it. Rory?"
"You guys go on. I want to visit with Lane and Zach for a while. I'll be back around."
"Okay, hon, "Lorelai told her, and watched as she hurried off to find her second best friend.
"So," Luke said. "Tomorrow's the big day."
"Yeah, it is," Lorelai answered, trying not to sound too heartbroken.
"Yeah. We have to be on the road to Kennedy by six, six thirty at the latest."
"I'll tell you what, why don't the two of you come by the diner about five. I'll have some coffee ready and you two can have one last breakfast together."
"You'd do that?"
Lorelai's hand went to the necklace. "You know, I never thought I'd say this, but apparently you and Dad have something in common."
"Oh? And just what would that be?"
"You both know how to buy jewelry for your women."
"I'll take that as a compliment. But you realize that Liz made the necklace, and Rory's earrings."
"I kind of figured she did. But that doesn't matter. Liz is very talented. Her stuff is really beautiful."
"Then it's a perfect match for you."
Two hours later it was almost 10 pm and Rory had visited everyone one last time, then made her way back to grilles where Luke and Caesar were starting to clean up the area since all the food was gone.
"As much as I hate to leave, we do have to get up early and I'm kind of tired."
"Well, sure, it's been a long day," Lorelai agreed. Then to Luke she said, "I hate to leave you with all this clean up to do."
"Don't worry about it. Everyone said they would come back tomorrow and help out."
"I'm going to see Lane one more time," Rory said, "and then we'll go home."
"Okay, hon. I ll be right behind you."
After Rory left, Luke said, "So, I'll see you two tomorrow morning?"
"Yes you will," Lorelai said, then kissed Luke warmly, much to the delight of the those who were still around to see it. She then followed after Rory.
The next morning Lorelai and Rory were up at 4:30 and by five they had finished getting Rory packed. Not wanting the moment to leave to come too soon, Lorelai started rattling off the things she wanted Rory to know -- where to sit on the bus, what not to wear, not to be too shy. Rory tried to get a word in, but Lorelai was talking too fast.
"You need zip lock bags," Lorelai said. "You should have them all the time, they re so handy."
"And I'm gonna give you that orange sweater. I know you've wanted it, and you know what, I m finally gonna give it to you."
"Mom," Rory finally managed to say. "You've given me everything I need."
Lorelai stopped and sighed. She knew what Rory meant, and she so hoped it was true. She then hustled Rory out the door, telling her they had a stop to make before hitting the road.
When they got to the diner, the lights were on and Luke was waiting for them with fresh coffee.
"You opened up just for us?" Rory asked.
"You need at least one more good meal. I have a feeling your eating habits are really going to suffer -- vending machine snacks, convenience store hot dogs, fast food burgers."
"Yeah, you re probably right."
As they sat down, Luke poured them both full cups of coffee.
"Mmm," Rory said as she put the cup to her lips. "The coffee smells good."
"Your first pot is always your best," Lorelai said as she sipped it.
"Well, there s plenty of it, so drink up."
"Thanks for opening up the place," Rory said as she set the cup down.
"I got to take care of my best customers," he replied, smiling at her.
While they got started on eggs, bacon and hash browns, Luke began to cook up pancakes. By six, they had finished breakfast and were ready to go. Luke sent along two large to-go cups of coffee and a bag of donuts and muffins. Rory hugged Luke one more time and went out to Lorelai's Jeep. Luke got a warm hug and kiss from Lorelai and she followed Rory outside.
Luke watched as they drove away, a huge lump in his throat.
The drive to New York wasn t as bad as Lorelai expected. She and Rory talked some, Rory dozed some, and Lane called because Quan woke her up crying with a stomach ache and she was waiting for Zach to get back from Doose's with something mild enough he could take without getting sicker.
And it even wasn't that bad as she watched Rory disappear down the long corridor she wasn't allowed entrance to since she had no boarding pass. They had said their goodbyes, hugged a couple of times, and promised they would call and email and do whatever necessary to keep in touch. At the last second Lorelai pressed five twenty dollar bills into Rory's hand. Then she was gone.
It wasn t until Lorelai got back into her Jeep that it finally hit her that Rory was gone, and would probably gone for at least six months. And the dam burst. For most of twenty minutes Lorelai cried, then sobbed, then cried again as waves of despair washed over her. Between the crying jags, while she was only sobbing, someone tapped on her window. It was a security guard. Lorelai unzipped her window.
"Miss, are you all right?"
"Yes. No. My daughter just left for Souix City, Iowa, to report on Barak Obama's presidential campaign and I miss her already and she's only been gone a half hour. I don't think her plane's even taken off yet." Lorelai sobbed again, then continued. "We were close, you know? I mean REALLY close. More like sisters, but closer."
The security guard nodded sympathetically. "I understand. It's hard to watch them grow up and leave the nest. I've had three sons go off to college and then two of them moved a thousand miles away."
Lorelai smiled as best she could.
"I'll be back around in fifteen or twenty minutes, in you need anything."
Lorelai nodded and gave him a weak smile and zipped the window back up as he left. Then blowing her nose with her last tissue, Lorelai started the car and began the long, lonely trip back to Stars Hollow. When she got back to town she drove straight home. She knew she would be no good to anyone if she went back to the Dragonfly to try to work. It was almost four o clock anyway, and if she was gone this long there was no sense in going in now.
Her first stop was Rory's room. She knew how the empty room would make her feel, but she couldn t stay out of it. She almost wished she had gone over to Babette s to get Paul Anka, but she just wasn t in the mood for Babette's depressing but well-meaning sympathy.
She lay down on Rory s bed and curled up around her pillow, hoping she could fall asleep and wake up with Rory scolding her to get back into her own bed. But despite rising so early and the long drive to and from New York, sleep wouldn t come. Her mind kept racing around and around with the worst case scenarios of things that could happen to Rory that would prevent her from ever seeing her again.
Finally she got up to fix a pot of coffee but there were no fresh grounds. And even she was above fishing old grounds out of the garbage to try and make at least one cup of weak coffee. Then without thinking about it, she called Luke.
"Hey, Luke. It s me. I'm home."
" Did Rory get off okay?"
"Yes she did. She said she'll call me when she gets to Iowa."
"Are you okay? You sound a little down."
"That's because I am down, a LOT down."
"I guess you would be. Have you eaten anything today?"
"I had this really great breakfast a lifetime ago."
"Well, how about if I bring something over to you?"
"That would be really great. Any chance you might throw some coffee into that bag?"
"I think I can fit a pot-ful into it. Anything in particular you want to eat?"
"It doesn t matter. I know whatever you bring will be good."
"Okay. How does forty-five minutes sound?"
"Sounds like it will give me a chance to take a shower and freshen up. And thanks."
As promised, in three quarters of an hour Luke pulled up into Lorelai's driveway. She was sitting on the top step of her front porch waiting for him. She went out to the truck to carry in four of his largest to-to cups filled with coffee. Luke carried in two bags of food. She led the way to the kitchen.
As he unpacked the bags he named off the food. "You got a couple cheeseburgers, a triple order of fires with a cup of chili, and some shredded cheese cheddar and pepper jack because I know you like them together on your chili fries. I got a house salad and some Ranch dressing for me. I brought three kinds of pie -- apple, boysenberry, and strawberry. Sorry, I was out of peach. A couple cans of soda just in case. And of course the coffee."
Lorelai took a deep, ragged breath then put her arms around him. He encircled her with his arms and they stood there. Luke could feel her sobbing into his shoulder and was perfectly willing to stand there holding her until she was ready to not cry for awhile. After a few minutes Lorelai slowly backed away. Luke handed her a couple of napkins for her to use.
"I m going to go wash my face," she said. "Why don t you get out some plates and divvy up the food?"
When she got back the burgers and fries were on a plate and ready to eat. Lorelai sat down but before she started eating, she said, "Luke, I'm sorry I embarrassed you like I did."
"When did you embarrass me?"
"At KC s. You remember, 'I Will Always Love You?' Surely you haven't blocked that out already."
"What makes you think I was embarrassed? It was certainly unexpected, and that's all everyone's been talking about, but I wasn t embarrassed. Well, maybe a little."
"Then why were you so cold and distant when I came into the diner that day?"
"I guess I was expecting something, I don t know what, but when I heard you tell Patty it didn't mean anything I guess I -- well, I guess I thought with the song you were sending me a message, but then you weren't."
"Oh god, Luke, I thought you were upstairs. You weren t supposed to hear that."
"So you wanted to talk to Patty behind my back?"
"No! No. I m saying this all wrong. When I came into the diner I wanted to know how I felt about things, about YOU. But when Patty and Babette started in about the song, I just didn't want to hear it. So I told them that just so they'd shut up about it."
"So it DID mean something."
"Yes, Luke! It did! I know I was drunk, but I meant every word of it. I WILL always love you. Always and forever."
"Well, now you know how I feel about you."
Lorelai wanted to say something profound or romantic or even slightly dirty, but all she could do is sit there and feel thankful that they were together again.
"The food's getting cold," Luke said.
Lorelai suddenly leaned over and kissed him, holding him by his shirt collar. Then she sat back and began to eat.
A half hour later they both had finished eating. "I really need to get back to the diner," Luke told her. "The lunch rush, you know."
"I know," Lorelai answered. She didn't want him to leave but knew he had to -- business was business.
"You'll call me after Rory calls you?"
"Of course I will."
Lorelai walked Luke to the front porch stairs. They embraced and kissed, then he left.
It was another hour before Lorelai heard from Rory. Her outgoing flight from Atlanta was delayed by engine trouble and they had to wait for another plane. But she was in her room at the Quality Inn and had an hour to talk before Obama's town hall meeting was to start. She sounded good, nervous, but good. As Rory talked a mile a minute about everything and nothing, Lorelai couldn't help but smile through her tears.
Her little girl was grown up now, and she was going to make her mark in the world. Of that Lorelai had absolutely no doubt.