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Peace on Earth, Give Me Presents

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Lorelai watched Luke from her spot on the front porch as he struggled to get the holiday lights up on the house and she smiled. Nothing signified the holidays quite like watching someone practically strangle themselves with their Christmas lights.

“Don’t worry. I’m fine,” Luke hollered as she giggled.

“Hey, you’re the manly man who deemed it necessary that our house be viewable from outer space.”

“You’re the Christmas Spirit freak and you’re mocking me for putting up lights,” Luke grumbled, stepping down off the ladder in a tangle of lights. As he tried to get free, he cursed under his breath and met her amused gaze with his own stoic one. He said, “Comfortable over there?”

She took a sip of her hot chocolate and snuggled deeper into her quilt before replying, “Oh, I’m perfect, hon.”

“Good to know.”

She took another sip of her hot chocolate and fingered through one of Luke’s yearbooks that she had found when they were unpacking all his stuff. She held up a picture of him in short shorts and a tank top. She laughed and said, “Oh my god. I need to have this picture blown up.”

Luke managed to get free of the lights and made his way onto the porch. He had that look that said she was certifiably crazy and she couldn’t help but grin back at him. He grabbed the yearbook out of her hands and asked, “Where the hell did you find that?”

“In one of the boxes marked ‘Luke’s high school crap.’ How could I resist peeking into the history of Luke Danes?” Lorelai replied. She opened up the blanket to invite Luke in next to her and once he was seated, she snatched the yearbook back. She flipped through the pages, snickering at various pictures of Luke, and only stopped when she discovered a series of love notes from various girls written on the pages. She held it up and asked, “Who is Tallulah? And what exactly did the two of you do behind town hall?”

Luke’s face flushed and he tried to take the yearbook back, but Lorelai kept it out of his reach. She shook her head and said, “Too late. Finder’s keepers.”

“Do I do this to you?”

Lorelai shrugged. “Most of the notes in my yearbook went ‘Lorelai, way to get knocked up before graduation. Take care.’ Not nearly as interesting as the sordid details of your life.”

“It was a long time ago.”

“Uh-huh,” Lorelai replied. She read over a few more notes before glancing up at Luke. “Luke, you were totally the Fonz of your high school.”

“What?”

“The Fonz, well, without the shark jumping and motorcycle racing.”

“Again, what?”

“I’m engaged to the Star’s Hollow’s version of the Fonz.”

Luke grabbed the yearbook out of her hands and tossed it on the ground. He reached over and cupped Lorelai’s face. “I think we can find better ways to pass the time than revisiting my high school years.”

“But it’s…”

He kissed her and her arms slipped around him, her fingers running along his back. She sighed in contentment and said, “I totally bagged the Fonz.”

Luke rolled his eyes and said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about most of the time.”

“I know,” she said. She sidled up against him and kissed him briefly on the lips before resting her head on his shoulder. She added, “But please tell me that you know who the Fonz is...otherwise I might have to call off our engagement. I mean, I realize that not everyone has my amazing grasp of pop culture, but surely even you know about Happy Days.”

He rolled his eyes and replied, “Want to help me with the lights?”

“I am helping.”

“How are you doing that exactly?”

She huffed and lifted her head up. “I am providing the necessary cheering section one requires when undertaking such important tasks.” She nudged him in the side and said, “You should count your blessings, pal. I don’t sit out in freezing temperatures for just anyone.”

“Good to know.”

Lorelai nodded and said, “And I totally don’t let anyone else touch my Christmas tree.”

“You have a rare gift for making everything sound dirty.”

“You’re a sweet talker, Luke Danes,” she replied.

He stood up and glanced down at her with an amused expression. He ran his fingers through her hair and said, “If you help me with the lights we can get to decorating your tree that much faster.”

Lorelai laughed. “That’s funny. I think it’s safer for everyone involved if I sit here, drink hot chocolate, and oversee your work.”

“If I kill myself, it’s on you.”

“No, my friend, it’s completely on you. Because you suddenly turned into Luke the Crazy Competitive Christmas Decorating Freak when you heard that the Sullivan’s have never lost the house decorating contest.”

“I just think it’s wrong that they win every year.”

“Says the man who has avoided participating in town events for eons.”

“Not eons.”

Eons and eons.

“All I’m saying is that we could have a chance at winning this thing.”

“Uh-huh.”

“You already had all the decorations in your garage next to the trampoline,” Luke replied. He gathered a bundle of lights in his hands and stepped onto the ladder. He glanced over at her and asked, “And why do you own a trampoline again?”

“I was going to get in shape.”

“When was this?”

“I don’t remember. I think I was in the throes of a sugar high at the time. Very bad idea. Right up there with the time I tried the Sinead O’Connor look,” Lorelai replied, shuddering for effect. She watched as Luke made his way up the ladder, torn between amusement and worry that he would break something. She glanced around the area and said, “This is really nice.”

“Easy for you to say. I just nearly hung myself with a row of red lights.”

“I’m serious, Luke. This, us preparing for the holidays, is really nice,” Lorelai replied. She wrapped the quilt around her and stood up, walking to the edge of the porch. She glanced up at him and said, “It’s like we’re starting our own traditions of you doing battle with Christmas lights while I cheer you on and read humiliating facts about your teenage years.”

“When you put it that way…” Luke paused while he set up the row of lights over the porch. He slapped his hands together when he was done and said, “…I did it.”

“You go boy.”

He stepped down off the ladder and said, “Now we just need to set up that Santa with the sleigh.”

“What?”

“And that weird snowman thing you own.”

“Frosty isn’t weird.”

“Frosty?”

“It’s like you live in a cave.”

“I know who Frosty the Snowman is. We’ll put him right over there,” Luke said, pointing somewhere behind him.

Lorelai reached out and placed her hand on his forehead. She shook her head and said, “No fever. So you must be pea pod Luke.”

“Why waste the decorations?”

“Because you hate this stuff.”

“I don’t hate it.”

“Yeah, you do. You’ve gone on for years that Taylor goes crazy all over town and that Christmas is really about marketing and commercialism and blah, blah, blah.”

“I’ve never uttered the words ‘blah, blah, blah’ before.”

“You know what I’m talking about. Obviously, you are not the real Luke Danes.”

Luke wrapped his arms around her, pulling her up against his chest. She pulled back enough to wrap the blanket around him too and then kissed him. She smiled into the kiss and said, “You kiss like my Luke.”

“I get it. I’m usually a grump.”

She smiled and said, “Don’t get me wrong. I’m enjoying this. I just want to make sure that you are.”

“I’m fine, Lorelai.”

“Because I’m not marrying you because you’ll hang lights for Christmas.”

“I’d certainly hope not. I did a pretty crappy job.”

“They look perfect.”

He rubbed his hands over her hips and sides. He said, “I wouldn’t do any of this if I didn’t want to.”

She nodded. She had a feeling he was talking about a lot more than Christmas lights. She wrapped her arms around his neck and said, “Good to know.”

“And I like the idea of us having our own traditions.”

“Me too,” Lorelai replied.

Luke lowered his head and kissed her forehead, her nose and then her mouth. Unlike the others, this kiss moved from quick and chaste to deep and tempting, until Babbette shouted something in their direction about melting all the snow.

Lorelai rested her forehead against his and said, “Ready to set up my tree?”

“Yeah.”

“You sure you can pull yourself away from your decorating frenzy out here? I know our tree isn’t nearly as important as kicking the Sullivans' asses with the outside decorations, so I wouldn’t want to put you out.”

“I’ll manage.”

Lorelai smiled and nudged him in the side with her hip. She said, “You play nice and when we’re done I’ll help you come up with a really clever set up.” She paused and stepped back a little bit and opened her arms wide as though she was envisioning the scene before her. She continued, “We could get a big sign that says ‘Peace on Earth, Give Us Presents’ and that would definitely win the competition. Rudolph and Santa are so overdone.”

“Okay…” Luke replied, running his fingers along her collarbone and throat.

“And maybe even call out the Sullivan family with another sign that says ‘suck it, Sullivans’ or something equally clever.”

“And I’m the competitive one?” Luke replied, continuing to run his fingers over her skin. He kissed the top of her head and said, “Let’s worry about that later.”

Lorelai nodded and allowed Luke to pull her inside the house. As he shut the door and reached out for her, she laughed and said, “I like this tradition.”

{Fin}