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Just a Small Favor

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                “Please Luke? Please, please, please, please?” Lorelai begged.

                “No.” He grunted.

                “Oh, come on Luke it’ll only be a few hours of your time, and when do I ask you for anything?” Luke just gave her a look, “Okay, so I ask you for stuff on occasion, but it really is such a small thing, tiny, miniscule even, I mean blink and you’ll miss it kind of a small deal.”

                “If it’s such a small deal, why can’t you get anyone else to do it?” He challenged. “What about that guy you’ve been seeing? Dick something.”

                “Digger?” She raised her eyebrow knowing full well he knew Jason’s name, “We broke up months ago when he sued my dad.”

                “Oh,” He nodded, wiping down the counter. “Sorry.”

                “Don’t be, it wouldn’t have worked out anyway.” Lorelai shrugged. She sat in silence for a few more moments before renewing her endeavor, “Which means I have no one else to do this with me, please Luke, help me out here. Call it my early birthday present.”

                “Your birthday was a month ago.” He groused.

                “Okay call it a late birthday present.” She conceded.

                “Why can’t Sookie and Jackson do it?” Luke suggested, “I mean she already has the dress and he has the… kilt?”

                “She’s eight months pregnant, Luke. There’s no way she’d fit that dress right now and I want to do this before the wedding planning season is over.” She sighed, “Otherwise I have to wait another year to promote the Dragonfly as a legitimate venue for weddings and receptions.”

                “Did it ever occur to you that I might have plans on that day?” He huffed, “I do have a life, you know.”

                “What are you going to do on Saturday that’s so important that you can’t help out a friend?” Lorelai challenged, “Kick Kirk out for the two billionth time? Yell at Taylor again?” She pouted, “Please, I am begging you it’ll be over before you know it and you can get back to your regularly scheduled life.”

                Luke sighed, he knew that she had him, not that he could resist her pout anyway. “It’d only be a few hours?”

“Yes, just a few hours.” She nodded.

“I wouldn’t have to do anything but show up?” Luke pressed.

                “Right,” Lorelai confirmed, “Just show up and look pretty for the camera.”

                “Men aren’t pretty,” He grumped.

                “I’m sure Miss Patty and Babette would say differently,” She smirked, “You don’t even have to worry about what you’re going to wear; I still have your measurements from when we got you your suit for Rory’s graduation.”

                “Fine I’ll do it,” he huffed, “When do you want me?”

                “Dirty,” Lorelai laughed, “Come by the Inn next Saturday at 10, we’re starting early.”

                “Ten is early?” He challenged.

                “Early for a Gilmore Girl,” Lorelai shrugged, “Besides some people,” She pointed at herself, “Will need longer to get ready than others for this thing.”

                “Fine, I’ll see you at 10.” He rolled his eyes.

                “Thank you,” She beamed before laying a few bills on the counter and flouncing out the door.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

                The day of the photo shoot, Rory found Luke pacing the lobby, fidgeting nervously with his tie. “Hey Luke,” She smiled, “Let me fix that for you.”

                “Remind me again why I’m doing this?” Luke grumbled as Rory adjusted the pale blue tie of his tux. Lorelai had picked the color to match his eyes, even before he’d agreed, knowing that he would eventually have given into her.

                “Because my mom, your best friend, asked you to.” She smiled up at him, neither noticing the soft click of the camera as they spoke, capturing the pseudo father-daughter moment, “Besides, no one asked you to do what you did this morning.” At the stunned look from the older man, Rory just smiled, “Did you think I wouldn’t notice?”

                “No, I figured you would,” He sighed, “What I still don’t understand why out of all the people in town, I was the one your mother had to drag into this charade.”

                “You know why,” She gave him a knowing look, “Come on, Diner Man, let’s get you fake-married.”

                Luke rolled his eyes before following the girl he’d long since considered like a daughter into the courtyard where the final touches for the photo shoot were being seen to by the inn’s staff.

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

Lorelai looked out the window and smiled at the early spring morning. It was still a little cold out, but at least it was a clear day. “Would you hold still?” Sookie poked her in the side with the hairbrush, “I can’t do this if you keep moving around like that.”

                “Sorry Sook,” Lorelai smiled at her friend through the mirror. “I’m just a little nervous, I want this to be perfect.”

                “If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were getting ready for your real wedding rather than just a promotional photoshoot.” Sookie chuckled, pinning up the last of Lorelai’s half-up do and securing the veil under the gathering of curls at the back her friend’s head and adjusting it so it cascaded over her soft waves and down her back. “But then again, it is Luke.”

                “What do you mean ‘it is Luke’?” Lorelai gave her friend an odd look.

                “Like you don’t know,” Sookie rolled her eyes as she helped Lorelai up and started preparing the dress for Lorelai to step into, “How long have the two of you been circling each other?”

                “I’ve told you once and I’ll tell you again; you’re imagining things.” Lorelai rolled her eyes.

                “So, Patty, Babette, Rory, your mom, Jess, and everyone else but you and Luke are imagining seeing the way you two look at each other?” Sookie quirked her eyebrow up at her friend as she slid the fabric up an over Lorelai’s shoulder and secured the gown.

                “Well, I…” She stammered.

                “Uh huh,” Sookie gave her a knowing look, smoothing down the dress and stepping back to get a look, her eyes misting over, “Oh Lorelai, you look wonderful.”

                A knock sounded on the door a moment before Miss Patty and Babette burst through the door. “Lorelai, Hunny, you look absolutely gorgeous,” Patty sighed, “If I looked that great on my wedding day, I may not have had to repeat it four times.”

                “You do realize this isn’t a real wedding, right?” Lorelai chuckled.

                “Neva mind about that, Suga,” Babette rasped, “Have you seen the groom.”

                “Fake groom,” Lorelai corrected.

                “He looks positively delicious, I just want to take a bite out of him,” Patty agreed.

                “Please leave him alone,” Lorelai sighed, “It was hard enough to get him to do it.”

                “Dirty,” The women chorused.

                “I… Uh…” Lorelai blushed, for once at a loss for words. She turned to check her make up one last time and stopped suddenly as she caught sight of herself in the mirror. She had designed the dress and tried it on several times before but had never seen the full effect before. Like Sookie had said, she looked every bit the bride, she just hoped that she could sell it in the pictures.

                Once more a knock sounded on the door as a red head, a few years older than Lorelai, stuck her head in the door. “You ready to go?” She asked.

                “Yes,” Lorelai nodded, shaking her head to clear it, “Thanks again for doing this, Rachel.”

                “No problem, I love this old property and you have done such a great job restoring it.” The woman smiled, “Wait, I want to get a couple shots in here really quick, pretend like you’re getting ready.” The women set to work pretending to adjust the veil, hair, and dress of the “bride” as Rachel took shot after fake candid shot. “Perfect.” She smiled.

                A few moments later the women were heading down the hall and toward the back of the Inn. “Where’d you get the chuppah?” Rachel asked as they went along.

                “What chuppah?” Lorelai asked, a puzzled look on her face.

                “Oh, yeah, Luke and Jackson brought it over early this morning,” Sookie supplied, “Luke made it a few years back for another wedding.”

                “Yeah, you know Luke, always doing things for other people.” Lorelai blushed.

                “Well it’s absolutely lovely,” Rachel smiled, “Especially with the flowers all over it, and the goat is so cute.”

                “We call him Gilbert.” Sookie smiled.

                “I think I got what I need here, I sent Rory to get Luke outside; they should be waiting for us.” Rachel nodded, “I want to get the typical ‘wedding’ shots including the aisle walk, Sookie could you get the flowers please? Miss Patty, Babette, could you please go get everyone seated so we can get this show on the road? I’m sure Luke is itching to get out of that monkey suit already.”

                “Sure thing, Dollface,” Babette smiled as she and Patty breezed out the door. Sookie handed Lorelai the bride’s bouquet, a cluster of white Gerbera daisies interspersed with blue chrysanthemums and tied with a white ribbon around the stems that was accented with blue stones before grabbing Rory’s bouquet. The bridesmaid’s bouquet was slightly smaller than the bride’s bouquet and held more mums than daisies, so the colors were reversed. The stems were bound by a blue ribbon and accented with pearls. Grabbing the train of Lorelai’s gown, she followed Lorelai and Rachel down to the courtyard where the remainder of the photo session was to occur.

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

                “Is everyone here?” A familiar voice rang out, Luke couldn’t hide the shock on his face when he turned to see Rachel striding across the lawn, cameras around her neck.

                “Rachel?” He stammered, feeling like he was seeing a mirage, “What are you doing here?”

                “Lorelai liked the pictures I took a couple years ago of the Dragonfly and hired me to do this photoshoot.” She shrugged, “You’re an idiot by the way. You never talked to her, know how I know? I’m shooting a fake wedding instead of a real one right now.”

                “Whatever,” He rolled his eyes, “Let’s just get this thing over with; where do you want me?”

                “Dirty,” Rachel and Rory snickered.

                “The two of you have been spending too much time with Lorelai,” He grumbled, following them to where the chuppah stood by the pond. He smiled gently as she saw Rory approach and give a quick hug to a tall, young, man with dark hair who clearly had eyes only for the younger woman. Relief that it seemed she was starting to move on from the drama that surrounded her high school relationships washed over him.

                “You stand here,” Rachel instructed him, “Marty, could you please stand right next to Luke here? Thanks.” She smiled at the young man who shrugged and took his designated place.

                “Luke Danes,” Luke offered his hand to the young man, “I’ve known Rory for many years, you hurt her I hurt you.”

                “Marty Harris,” the young man shook Luke’s hand, “I have no intention of hurting her, Sir.”

                “Good man.” Luke nodded turning back toward the crowd that had assembled on the lawn before him, a clear aisle separating the group with a runner down the middle. Rory had been told to head back to the in, to get her mom.

                A moment later, Rory dressed in a knee length, princess cut, pale blue gown with cap sleeves and a scoop neck returned, carrying a small bouquet in her hands as she made her way up the narrow aisle. She gave a quick smile to Luke as Rachel ran about taking picture after picture of the procession. Rory dutifully hit her mark on the opposite side of the chuppah as everyone turned back toward the Inn. The French doors swung open to reveal Lorelai, she was dressed in a full-length gown with a similar princess cut bodice to the one Rory wore, the neckline plunging a little deeper than the younger girl’s dress. The fabric skimmed over her curves before falling gracefully to the floor and had a train that flowed gently behind her. The light veil caught the breeze drifting lightly in the breeze.

                Luke was awestruck, looking the picture of the love-struck groom, which Rachel took full advantage of as she made her rounds. Luke had never seen her look so beautiful in his life. Their eyes met as he watched Lorelai float down the aisle toward him, it was so surreal; it almost felt as if he were dreaming. He forgot about everything else and only saw her. “Mr. Danes, breathe,” Marty nudged him, bringing him back to reality just as Lorelai took the last few steps toward him, their eyes never separating.

                “Wow,” He sighed as Lorelai smiled up at him, a dreamy look in her eyes, he smirked realizing that she was just as caught up with the moment as he was.

                “You’re not so bad yourself,” She grinned, playfully tugging at the lapels of his jacket.

                “Okay, hold that pose,” Rachel called, “Luke put your hands on her hips, that’s it. Keep looking, keep looking, wonderful.”

                Rachel set up a few more poses before pausing, camera in one hand, and the other on her hip. “Does anyone have rings we could borrow? I promise you’ll get them back, but I want to get some ‘after’ shots and it would look weird if both of them were ring-less.”

                “I have some we could use,” Luke offered, smiling slightly at the surprised look on Lorelai’s face, “I figured you had so much on your plate you might forget that tiny detail, so I grabbed my parents’ set out of the safe, no big deal.”

                “Why Luke Danes you surprise me.” Lorelai chuckled as Luke pulled out a black velvet box and opened it, revealing a white gold wedding set with a yellow gold inlay, the engagement ring had a round diamond bookended with two small sapphires on either side.

                “Okay, give Marty the box, and take the rings out and Lorelai put on the engagement ring.” Rachel instructed, she quickly posed them as they went through the fake ring exchange, “Great idea Luke, it would have looked strange if after he ‘wedding’ the ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ still didn’t have rings. I just have a few more shots to take and then we can do bridal party and reception-is shots.”

                “This is going to look so great,” Lorelai beamed, “What’s next?”

                Rachel simply smiled, a mischievous glint in her eye. “Okay Luke, kiss her.”

                “’Scuse me?” Luke asked, shocked.

                “You heard me, lay one on her.” She insisted.

                “Rachel,” He warned.

                “I don’t mind Luke,” Lorelai gave him a reassuring smile, “It’ll make a good picture.”

                “You sure?” He asked looking for any hint of doubt in her eyes but instead finding a good-natured dare sparkling back at him. He started to lean in when Rachel’s voice cut in.

                “Wait! I have to frame this up.” She explained, “I’m going to get it from both sides, Rory, Sookie could you make sure Lorelai’s dress is laying straight? Good,” She smiled as the women adjusted the dress’ train and straightened Lorelai’s veil, “Now Luke, I want you to place your left hand on her cheek.”

                Luke awkwardly placed his hand next to Lorelai’s face, barely touching her. “Oh, come on Luke, you can at least act like you like her,” Rachel scoffed, “I know you know what I want you to do, stop being deliberately obtuse.”

                The women snickered as Luke rolled his eyes and adjusted his hand so that the heel of his hand caressed Lorelai’s jaw and his fingers were partially buried in her hair. “Good, now place your right hand on her hip, Lorelai I want your hands is similar positions.” Lorelai quickly complied, stepping closer to Luke as she reached up to touch his cheek, surprised to find it smooth rather than the perpetual 5’o’clock shadow he usually sported.

                She felt her heart speed up as his left thumb gently brushed up and down on her cheek, the contact sending shivers down her spine. She could feel his right hand slowly contracting and expanding at her waist as it slowly inched its way closer to the middle of her back. Almost as if drawn by magnets, their eyes met and refused to disengage. She had never felt so intimately connected to someone, not even Chris or Max over the years. She was amazed how just a look, and the feel of Luke’s gentle touch made her knees week like she was about to melt into the ground if he wasn’t holding her up.

                Somewhere in the distance she heard Rachel praising them and the great photos she was taking, “Alright moment of truth, Luke, go…” before Rachel could finish, Luke ducked his head, gently claiming Lorelai’s mouth with his. First it was light but quickly grew deeper, more intense as he pulled her flush to his body and dug his fingers deeper in to her dark curls.

                The catcalls, cheers, and hoots that went up from their audience went unheard as the friends, if they could still be called that continued the exploration of each other as Rachel circled them snapping pictures. “Okay, okay, I think you’ve proven your point, you can let her go now,” She chuckled tapping Luke on the shoulder. “Wow.”

                The pair quickly separated, both blushing as they both floated back down to Earth. Not wanting to waste any day light or let the couple over think what had just happened, pushed them to continue. “Okay Luke, Lorelai, Rory, and Marty I want you over by the duck pond.” Rory lifted her mother’s train as the group migrated toward the pond. Rachel quickly adjusted the train of Lorelai’s dress so that it swept around her side and was draped gracefully forward. She had Luke standing next to Lorelai, Rory on Lorelai’s other side and Marty making up the other bookend.

A few shots were taken of just Lorelai and Rory, Luke and Rory, Rory and Marty, Luke and Marty, and Lorelai, Luke, and Rory in various poses. While Rachel like nearly all the shots she’d taken, her favorites so far were the ones of Lorelai holding her bouquet up to hide her and Luke “kissing” and the one of Lorelai and Rory both kissing Luke’s cheeks, causing the man to blush and let out one of his typical “Aww, jeeze” sighs although no believed he really meant it.

                “Something’s missing, it seems too posed.” Lorelai mused, “We need something spontaneous.”

                “Spontaneous huh?” Luke asked lifting his hand to scratch the back of his head before giving a quick look at her as if debating something for a half moment before shrugging, and pulling Lorelai into his arms, tipping her back a ’la V-J Day style and planting a kiss on her. Lorelai with nowhere else to grab instinctively raised her left hand, which was coincidentally closest to the camera to grab his shoulder, burying her fingers in the soft curls at the base of his neck, the rings on her finger glinting in the sun. Rory and Marty didn’t know what to make of it, both looking on with a mixture of amusement and shock painted on their face. Luke set Lorelai back up on her feet with a smirk, “Spontaneous enough for you?”

                Lorelai just nodded dumbly as Luke smirked, secure in the knowledge that he now knew how shut Lorelai up, at least temporarily. Urged on by Rachel, the group returned to the courtyard which had been magically transformed into a reception area. A large tent had been set up and tables placed in a semi-circle around a small wooden dance floor. The residents of the town sat talking amongst themselves as they waited for the next event in the “Luke and Lorelai Floor Show” as they were calling the photo shoot.

                “Okay we need Luke and Lorelai in the middle of the floor.” Rachel pointed for them to take their places, “Um Sookie, could you do something about her train, please?”

                “Just a sec,” The jovial woman along with Babette and Patty hurried over and quickly bustled the train out of the way before returning to their respective tables to watch and gossip amongst each other.

                “Now what?” Luke asked.

                Lorelai tilted her head up at him, a smile playing on her lips as she wound her arms around the back of his neck and whispered, “Entertain me, dance Diner Man, dance.”

                Luke chuckled and wrapped his arms around her waist as he remembered the last time she’d uttered those words. He also remembered his sarcastic proposal that immediately followed. He bit back the response and just focused on the feel of her in his arms. It felt so right, holding her like this, it almost made him wonder why he’d never taken that chance before.

                “Great, Lorelai, lay your head on his shoulder,” Rachel prompted as they swayed back and forth to a soundtrack that no one else could hear. “Just relax, let the moment guide you. Don’t be afraid to kiss each other, be playful; just enjoy it.”

                Luke quirked up a corner as his mouth as he lifted his left hand to claim her right where it had settled on his shoulder and press it over his heart, letting the rhythm set the pace of their dance. “Hi,” He whispered, getting her attention.

                “Hey,” she smiled up at him softly as Rachel kept clicking away. Lorelai let out a squeal and giggled when Luke suddenly spun her out and back into him again.

                “Just one more thing,” Rachel broke in, “Lorelai, you can go take a seat. Rory could you come here for a moment?” Rory stood up from the table where she and Marty had been quietly watching the ‘newlyweds’ dance and walked towards the center of the floor. “I want to get some of you and Luke together.”

                “I’m not sure that’s a great idea, I might hurt him,” Rory cast a careful look up at Luke, “I mean I nearly took out three girls and their escorts at my Debutant ball three years ago.”

                “You’ll be fine,” Luke gave her a soft smile, “I’ve got you.”

                With a small shrug and nod of acceptance, she found herself dancing with Luke, her right hand carefully held in his left while her left arm rested in his right shoulder as they slowly rocked back and forth. “Breathe Rory, you gotta breath,” Luke chuckled as Rory took a deep breath and let it out slowly, “Thatta girl,” He smiled down lovingly at the young woman that he’d help raise from adolescence.

                “I think I have what I need here, just a few more shots and we’ll be done.” Rachel called out, “I need all the ladies on that side of the floor,” she called pointing toward one end of the dancing area, “Lorelai, I need you and your bouquet over here, I think you know what to do, just wait until I’m in position.”

                “Alright,” She nodded, turning her back to the gaggle of townswomen from a few high school girls who had wandered over to see what was going on, to Rory and Lane, even Babette, Patty, and Sookie got in on it. As soon as Rachel signaled she was ready, Lorelai let her hand drop before sweeping it in the opposite direction, back over head releasing the flowers to arch over the floor to the awaiting women who reactively dove for the floral cluster making for a series of fun pictures, especially since Lulu practically tackled Patty and Babette in order to grab the bouquet.

                “Luke, your turn.” Rachel called him.

                “My turn?” He looked perplexed, “For what?”

                “Garter toss! Come on Doll, you gotta do the garter toss.” Babette called out. “Make it worth the show, Luke!”

                A chair had been brought out for Lorelai as the men gathered at the end of the floor where the women had previously gathered. Lorelai at least had the decency to blush as she found herself being placed in the chair, “I’m so sorry Luke, I didn’t know she’d want to do this part.”

                “No, it’s fine,” He rolled his eyes, “But I bet you came prepared, just in case.” He chuckled as she blushed slightly, “So I guess I have to…” he motioned toward the skirt of Lorelai’s dress.

                “Yeah, sorry” Lorelai blushed as she gently lifted the hem of her skirt to give him easier access, “I promise it’s not too far up, just above my right knee,” She whispered.

                “Use your teeth, Luke!” Patty called out setting off a series of cat calls from the women and some of the men who were gathered around. Luke rolled his eyes and carefully lifted Lorelai’s dress, slowly running his hands up the sides of her leg, unwittingly sending shivers over Lorelai’s body at the intimacy of the motion. Luke soon felt the lace and satin fabric underneath his fingers and slid it down her leg and past her bare foot which she had slid out of her shoe.

                “What the hell am I supposed to do with this thing?” He asked giving Lorelai a bemused look.

                “It’s got elastic in it, Luke, sling shot it like a rubber band.” Lorelai explained, motioning like she was pulling back a slingshot.

                Luke nodded and shot a quick look to Rachel who indicated she was set before looping the fabric over his thumb and pulling it back. The minute he released it, it flew in a slow arch toward the men. It disappeared behind Maury, Jackson, and Marty, Luke had no idea who might have had it until the excitable but slightly monotone voice of none other but Kirk Gleason called out “I got it!”

                A cake was soon brought out, cut, and requisitely shoved in Luke and Lorelai’s faces followed closely by a kiss from the ‘couple’ purely for photogenic purposes, of course. Soon the festivities were over, and everyone retired to their homes and the ‘bridal party’ back to the suites to get dressed again.

                All were so tired that, after dressing, everyone just headed home without a word, Lorelai and Rory to the Crap Shack, Luke to his apartment, the only people left in the inn were Marty who had a room for the weekend and Rachel who was no holed up in her room, her digital cameras connected to her computer to evaluate and refine the shots she had taken that day.

                Pulling up the first few images, Rachel’s smile widened to a grin, “Oh yeah, these turned out really good.”

 

~~~~~~~~~

 

                The next morning dawned early, and like every morning, Luke was in the diner, wiping down the counter. At 9:15 on the button, the bells over the diner door rang out, that special way that could only mean that Lorelai had entered the building. She gave him a shy smile as she sat down and her stool and waited for him to pour her coffee. “Thanks for yesterday; it was fun.” She smiled up at him over the rim of her mug.

                “Don’t mention it,” He shrugged before rounding the counter to take orders and refill coffees.

                “Oh, Rachel sent a few of the proofs over,” She pulled out a small folder from her purse and laid out a few of the pictures on the counter so that he could see. Luke smiled as his eyes drifted over the prints before grabbing a pot of coffee and going about his rounds.

                The bells rang out again as Rory and Marty walked in, taking seats at the counter. “Wow, these are really good,” Rory smiled, looking over the pictures, “Looks like a real wedding!”

                “That was kind of the idea, Sweets,” Lorelai chuckled gathering the photos together, leaving the shot of Luke and Rory from the lobby on the counter. “I think he should keep that one.” Rory just nodded her agreement.

Luke returned to his post behind the counter, smiling gently as he noticed the photo sitting on the counter. After a questioning look to Lorelai, he picked up the print and, grabbing a thumbtack from under the register, put it up on the wall next to the photo of his younger self and his father in the hardware store a few years before the older man passed, and a photo of his parents, sister and himself when he was a kid. Satisfied that the picture looked like it belonged with his other family photos, he grabbed a mug and poured a cup of coffee for Rory before offering a cup to Marty who smiled gratefully at him.

“Oh!” The younger man caught Luke’s attention, “I have your ring box.” He pulled the small velvet box out of his pocket and slid it across the counter to the older man.

                Luke starred down in awe at the box, surprised that it hadn’t occurred to him sooner that he was still wearing the ring that Lorelai had placed on his finger the day before. It struck him how natural it felt to wear the piece of jewelry on his left hand, especially for a man who felt weird even wearing a watch. “Thanks,” He grunted, hesitantly removing the ring from his hand and placing it, reverently, back in the box. Palming the box, he started toward his apartment to put it back in the safe that had been its home for well over a decade.

                “Hey Luke?” He heard her soft voice as he reached the first step, turning slowly he saw Lorelai ducking behind the curtain that separated the diner from the storage areas of the building. “I figured you might be wanting these back,” She smiled gently at him, removing the wedding band from her finger and handing it to him as he placed it next to the larger men’s band and closed the box. “Don’t forget this one,” She slipped the diamond ring from her finger and held it out to him.

                “Keep it,” He smiled down at her, gently pushing her outstretched hand back, “Keep the dress too, I think you will be needing it again.”

                Lorelai stared at him unblinkingly for a moment before the implication of his words washed over him, looking back up with a smirk, she met his eyes, “I’m bored, I need entertainment, dance Diner Man dance!”

                Luke crossed back to her and took her left hand in his while grabbing the ring from her right and sliding it back over her knuckle, “Marry me.” He whispered, pulling her into his arms, “No more small favors, no more fake weddings, I want the real deal. I want it all, with you. I love you, I have since the day you blew in here like a caffeine crazed bat from Hell all those years ago.”

                “Oh Luke,” Lorelai sighed, leaning into him, “I love you too, I always have. You’re always there for me and for Rory, I don’t know what I would do without you. I just have one more small favor to ask.”

                “What’s that?” He smirked.

                “Kiss me.” She pleaded, he wasted no time acquiescing, gently lowering his mouth to hers. It was their first kiss, outside of the photoshoot, not only as future man and wife, but as a couple. Pulling back, Lorelai lifted her hand to study the ring on her finger and noticed something between the band and her finger. Pulling off the ring, she let her eyes gaze at the inside of the band where three small words were inscribed. “Love never fails” She read softly.

                “No, it doesn’t, but I think we’ve been patient enough,” Luke chuckled as he watched her place the ring back on her finger, “Rory is probably wondering what is taking us so long.”

                “I think she’s been wondering what has been taking us so long for years,” Lorelai smiled, “She’s not as good at dropping hints as she thinks.”

“Smart kid,” Luke grinned proudly, “Must take after her mother.”

“Nah,” She shook her head, “She had a good diner-dad.”

Luke grinned at the compliment, “I didn’t do much.”

“You’ve done more than you know.” Lorelai assured him, kissing him once more. “Shall we go give her the good news?”

“I’m pretty sure she already knows,” Luke laughed pointing over his fiancée’s shoulder to where the younger woman was peaking through the curtained doorway a grin splitting her face.

“It’s about time!” Rory cried, launching herself at the pair. “I’m so happy for you!”

“You’re okay with this?” Lorelai checked with her daughter.

“Of course, I am,” The younger woman enthused, “My mom and dad are getting married! What more could a girl want, aside from a younger sister or brother.”

“You may need to wait a bit on that,” Luke chuckled, “I only just convinced her to marry me. Probably should tackle getting married before adding to our family.”

“I like the sound of that, ‘our family,’” Lorelai smiled up at her best friend. “However, I agree, this time I’d like to do things in the right order this time around.”

“You know, the chuppah is still set up at the inn,” Rory hinted.

“Okay, message received,” Lorelai laughed, “But we probably should tell your grandparents first.”

“Oh, right,” Rory nodded, “So next week?”

“How about next month?” Luke suggested, “It’ll give us time to get the license and get your folks and Jess here. Not to mention Sookie would never forgive you for giving her less than a month to plan the menu.”

“True,” Lorelai agreed, “I gotta get going to work, I’ll tell Sookie when I get there.”

“Speaking of,” Luke nodded toward the clock on the wall.

“Oh! Gotta go,” She kissed Luke, “Love you.”

“Love you too,” Luke released her, “Tonight, you and me, dinner?”

“Only if it ends with you still in my bed come morning,” She smirked.

“Mom!” Rory looked at her aghast.

“And every morning after that,” Luke grinned, “Now go to work, Crazy Lady before we further scandalize your daughter.”

“Our daughter,” Lorelai corrected, making Luke blush and smile proudly, “You know where the spare key is, we’ll figure out where everything goes later.”

“Dirty,” Luke growled.

“I know,” Lorelai grinned, turning on her heel and heading out of the diner as Rory shook her head and chuckled at the pair.

“You couldn’t have done this ten, twelve years ago?” She teased.

“If I had, you would have dated your cousin.” Luke pointed out.

“You have a point,” She smiled, pulling the man into a hug, “I really am happy you and Mom are getting married. Love you, Daddy.”

Luke smiled as warmth spread through his body as he embraced the woman who would be his daughter in a few short weeks, “I love you too Rory. You know I always have, even before…”

“I know,” She smiled up at him as she heard Marty call her name from the other side of the curtain, “I gotta get back to school.”

“Okay, be safe,” Luke kissed her head, “You let me know if Marty ever gets out of line.”

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” Rory chuckled, “We’re just friends.”

“Oh please,” Luke rolled his eyes, “That man is head over heels for you, just as you are for him. I’m not blind.”

“I would say the jury’s still out on that, but you finally proposed to my mom, so that’s points in your favor.” She smirked, the grin a mirror image of her mother’s.

“I’m just saying give the kid a chance,” Luke advised, “As a small favor to your adoptive old man.”

“A small favor huh?” She chuckled.

“A small favor.” Luke nodded, “Now, go be smart.” Giving the girl one last hug, he returned to the diner smiling as Rory met up with Marty and the pair headed out the door on their way back to campus.

 

~~~~~~~~~

Luke, once again, found himself standing under the chuppah watching as Rory made her way down the aisle toward him, her dress fluttering slightly in the cool breeze of the warm June morning. “You look beautiful,” Luke smiled as he gave her a quick hug before she took her place next to the chuppah and parallel to Jess who was serving as Luke’s best man while Marty sat in the congregation smiling adoringly at the younger Gilmore Girl. He was worried about the moment when the two men met, but much to his relief, the pair got along swimmingly. Rory was, of course, quick to point out that she and Jess were friends first and agreed they were better off that way.

Hearing Hep Alien start their rock infused version of Pachelbel’s Cannon in D, made Luke break form his ruminations and turn his focus on the doors of the inn as the French doors swung open revealing Lorelai on her father’s arm. Her smile radiated love from beneath her veil as Richard slowly led her up the aisle.

“Breathe, Uncle Luke,” Jess chuckled behind him, “It’ll do no good if you pass out now, although, I’m sure Lorelai would love you to fall at her feet.”

“I fell long ago,” Luke reminded him, taking a deep breath, his eyes never leaving his bride.

“I know,” Jess smiled, “I know.”

Once vows, rings, and kisses were exchanged, for real this time, the small wedding party was lead over to the duck pond once more by Rachel who fell in step beside Luke as they walked. “You can’t ever do anything the easy way can you?” She teased, “I’m glad you finally listened, though. I’ve always wanted you to just be happy.”

“I am.” He nodded, running the thumb of the hand that held his wife’s over her knuckles. “How could I not be? I have a beautiful wife, and an equally beautiful and smart daughter. My nephew finally has his head on straight and seems to have found his passion in Philadelphia. I feel like my world is finally complete.”

“And just think,” Lorelai smiled up at him, “You wouldn’t have much of that if you hadn’t agreed to a small favor.”

“Best decision of my life,” He returned his wife’s smile, dropping his head to kiss her, “Well, second best, but you’re right. If it weren’t for that one small favor, I never would have gotten over myself enough to admit that this, all of this was what I’ve truly wanted since the day you swept into my diner. What more could I want?”

“A baby?” Lorelai suggested.

“Wait… you… I… are we...?” He stuttered.

“No, at least not yet,” Lorelai shook her head, “But I wouldn’t mind trying for one, what do you say?”

Luke stared at his wife for a moment longer before a grin spread across his lips, “Do me a small favor and toss out your pills.”

“Already done,” Lorelai kissed him, deeply, “I knew you couldn’t resist a small favor for me.”