A/N: Yeah, when I said it would be three parts, I really meant at least four. This story is going places I didn't expect. I wasn't planning on updating tonight, but I felt bad for the posting mistakes I made on the previous chapter so... I'm attempting to make up for them. ;) Thanks for the great feedback! I hope this chapter doesn't disappoint.
The Father-Daughter Dance
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4
That night, Lorelai tiptoed up the stairs, having just finished a TV movie that she had been watching in the living room. When she entered the dark bedroom, she paused for a moment, allowing her eyes to adjust, before glancing at the bed. She could see Luke’s outline, as his chest rose and fell in tune with his snores. Quietly, she approached the bed and gently sat down next to him, on the empty side of the bed, and turned on the lamp on the night table. Luke lay on his back with a partially opened mouth and arms sprawled out at his sides. With a devious smirk, Lorelai leaned forward and planted a soft kiss on his stubbly cheek. When he didn’t respond, she kissed him a few more times. He moaned softly, but didn’t wake. Finally, she shifted so that her entire body was on the bed and then climbed over Luke, straddling him. She leaned her palms against his chest as she began to nuzzle at his neck. Unconsciously, he tangled his fingers in her hair, pulling her closer to him.
“Wake up, Luuuke,” she whispered in a sultry tone against his ear. Encouraged by the goose bumps that broke out along his neck at the feel of her warm breath against his skin, she repeated his name, louder this time. He groaned and muttered a sleepy, “wha?”
“C’mon, get up. We need to talk.” He shifted beneath her and, even though he didn’t open his eyes, she knew he was awake. “So, that father-daughter dance...”
“Oh God,” he groaned, “you woke me up to talk about the dance?”
“Hey, it’s important!”
“I’d been up since 4:30 AM and I had just fallen asleep, Lorelai. Nothing is that important.”
“What if I was dying, huh, Luke? Would that be important enough to wake you up?”
“But you’re not dying.”
“I know, but… if I had been…”
“But you’re not.”
“I know!” she replied, exasperated. “I would just like to know whether or not I would be allowed to wake you up in the middle of the night if I was dying!”
He opened his eyes and sat up, giving Lorelai an annoyed look. “If you, Amelia, Rory, or anyone else related to us was sick or dying, I give you permission to wake me up.”
“But that does not give you permission to wake me up about a stupid dance!”
She pouted. “But you’re already awake. And it’s not stupid.”
“Taylor’s organizing it?”
“Yes, but –“
“Then it’s stupid.”
“…Amelia wants to go.”
“Yeah, well, Amelia also wants to be a cowgirl. Life isn’t fair sometimes; she might as well learn that now.”
“And you want to be the one to demonstrate that particular aspect of life for her?”
“Better me than some stupid teenage punk.”
“Don’t even go there,” she muttered. “Come on! You love spending time with her, right?”
“Of course I do. But I love taking her to the park or the zoo, not… a dance,” he spat.
“We’ll talk about this tomorrow.”
“Say you’ll go with her.”
“Tomorrow,” he repeated sternly.
“Say you’ll go with her and I’ll let you go back to sleep,” she challenged. He merely pulled a pillow out from under his head and covered his face. “C’mon Luke, this means a lot to her.”
“And sleep means a lot to me,” came his muffled reply.
Lorelai sighed and yanked the pillow from his hands. “I’ll tell you what, big boy,” she whispered seductively, running her fingers along his tee shirt clad chest. “If you agree to go to this dance with our daughter, I’ll convince Sookie to keep her for the entire day afterward.”
Luke raised his eyebrows and placed his hands on her waist. “Oh yeah?”
“Yep. All of Sunday, just me and you and this very empty house.” She nibbled at his ear. “How does that sound?”
“I’m not wearing a tux,” he mumbled into her neck.
“Oh, you will.” Lorelai brought his lips up to hers for a breathless kiss. After a minute, she pulled back, smiling teasingly at him. “No previews. You’ll just have to wait for the real thing.”
“I thought you were tired.”
“Not anymore,” he muttered, leaning in for another kiss. She moved out of his reach.
“Well, I’m beat.” She reached for the lamp on her night table and turned out the light. “’Night, babe. I love you. Have I mentioned that you’re the best?”
“Yeah, yeah,” he grumbled, watching the reflected moonlight bounce off the ceiling as he attempted to fall back asleep. Instead, he lay awake for another hour and was dismayed to find that he was almost looking forward to Saturday night.
Amelia stood on a chair in the kitchen, her baby blue dress flowing down to the tops of her matching shoes. She looked down at her feet and wiggled them a little, admiring the bows. Lorelai groaned and stood up so that she and Amelia were eye-to-eye.
“Stop moving or my finger is gonna come with you to this dance.”
She pouted. “But I’m bored!”
“I’ll be done in two minutes, if you stand still, I promise. Oh and by the way, that pout will not work on me, missy.” She shook her head. “I perfected the pout. The student cannot surpass the master.”
Amelia’s pout deepened as Lorelai went back to work, and, for a blissful thirty seconds, Amelia stood still. However, at the sound of the front door opening, she began to bounce in her place, excited at the prospect of visitors.
“Oww! Amelia, what did I just –“
With that, all semblance of order was forgotten as Amelia hoped off the chair and ran over to her half-sister, hugging her midsection tightly. Rory laughed as she wrapped her arms around Amelia and rocked her slightly. Rory then bent down to place a kiss on her cheek. “I missed you!”
“I missed you, too!” replied Amelia, tightening her grip around Rory.
“Okay,” Rory gasped, loosening the girl’s grip on her, “I think you’re rupturing some vital organs…”
Once Lorelai wandered into the living room, she and Rory locked eyes and, for a moment, they merely grinned at each other. Then, Lorelai wrapped her arms tightly around her older daughter. The women held onto each other for a minute, and, before pulling away, Lorelai planted a kiss on the top of Rory’s head.
“Ugh, I’ve missed you, kid!”
“I’ve missed you, too, Mom.”
Lorelai then wrapped an arm around Rory’s shoulder, steering her into the kitchen. Amelia trailed behind them, squealing in delight as the excess material of her still unfinished dress trailed behind her.
“Coffee?” offered Lorelai.
“Do you even have to ask?”
“In the top cupboard.”
Rory moved to get the coffee grinds. “You’re making me, the guest, make the coffee?”
Lorelai snorted. “Please. If you can walk in without knocking then you can make the coffee.”
“So, not that I’m not ecstatic to see you visiting here on a random Saturday without calling first, but I am curious as to why…”
“Well, I had a day off at the paper.”
“And you thought, ‘hey, I have no boyfriend or career to worry about, so I might as well drive all the way from Boston to Stars Hollow and check up on my clinically insane mother’?”
“Ha ha,” she responded dryly.
“Actually, I came down for this beautiful little lady here.” Amelia’s face lit up at this comment. “It’s not every day that my sister gets to go to her very first dance! Have I told you how beautiful you look?”
Amelia bit her lip, blushing. “Thank you,” she replied shyly.
“You’ve really outdone yourself with that dress, Mom.”
“Why thank you, Ms. Gilmore.” Lorelai began to finger the fabric of her daughter’s dress as she continued, “It just seemed to fit her. You know it’s… so sparkly and full of life.”
“I think it fits someone else in this room, too,” Rory pointed out.
“You have to stop with all these compliments or we may force you to move back in here, full-time.”
“Okay, Amelia –“ Lorelai pointed to the chair –“climb on up and let’s try this again.” Amelia groaned. “Hey, if you don’t want to go, I’m sure Daddy could find someone else to go with him… like me.”
“But you’re not his daughter!”
“You’re right. Hmm… but Rory is.”
Amelia focused on Rory, horrified, as tears formed in her eyes.
“Mom!” admonished Rory, as Lorelai chuckled. She turned toward Amelia. “I’m not going instead of you.”
“Jeez, sometimes I forget how literal little kids are,” she muttered to Rory. Then, Lorelai lifted Amelia up and kissed her cheek. “I was just kidding, baby. Your father wouldn’t take anyone to that dance but you.”
She sniffed, still looking unconvinced. “But he didn’t want to go before.”
“Oh no, honey, he did!”
“Don’t listen to Taylor,” she warned. “He was just trying to trick you. Your father loves you and he loves Rory, too, but you asked him to that dance and he said yes, which means you are officially his date. He won’t back out on you.”
“Do you swear?”
“Cross my heart. I’ve been on a lot of dates with your dad and he hasn't once stood me up.”
Amelia nodded, wiping at her moist eyes. “Do you think he’ll like my bows?” she asked quietly, wiggling her right foot out in front of her.
“No, I think he’ll love your bows,” Lorelai promised.
Amelia grinned at Lorelai and hugged her tightly, before pulling away to admire her shoes more. Only then did Lorelai let out a sigh and muttered, “Dodged that bullet,” before beginning to hem the skirt again.
“It’s a wonder I’m not in need of more serious psychiatric help because of you.”
Lorelai threw a piece of balled-up fabric at Rory’s head, and then began to work again. “Oww,” she muttered, pricking herself yet again.
Five Barbie band-aids and three cups of coffee later, Lorelai and Rory lay sprawled out on the couch watching the news. They were sharing a bowl of popcorn that was strategically placed between the two of them on the couch. When they first started eating, Lorelai had been careful to avoid dropping popcorn on the floor. She knew how much Luke hated it. However, at this point, the two of them were too distracted to notice.
“You know,” Rory pointed out, “nothing ever seems to happen on the local news.”
“Connecticut just isn’t that interesting,” Lorelai agreed. “You’ll find better places to report on.” Rory merely shrugged in response. “No, seriously, Rory –“ Lorelai sat up and met her daughter’s eyes – “You’ll do great things, I know it. Just wait - you’ll see very soon.”
Rory smiled at her mother and hugged her tightly. “I really do miss you.”
“Good, you should. After all, it’s the way I’ve programmed you.”
“I’m glad you have Luke and Amelia though. Keeps me from worrying as much.”
“You shouldn’t worry about me.”
She smiled slightly. “I know I shouldn’t, but I do anyway.”
“Thanks, hun.” Lorelai paused, looking down at the almost-empty bowl of popcorn thoughtfully. “Hey, Rory?”
“Are you, um, upset about this?”
“Luke, Amelia - dance?”
Rory gave her mother a puzzled look. “Why would I bet upset about that?”
Lorelai shrugged, frowning. “I dunno… I –“ She sighed. “Never mind.”
“Mom, what –?“
However, before Rory could question her mother further, the door opened and Luke’s heavy footsteps echoed through the room. Amelia, clad now in an old tee shirt of her father’s, immediately ran out of her room. She slid across the hardwood floor until she met her father at the door and wrapped her arms around his waist. “Daddy!”
“Whoa,” said Luke, catching his balance, “Hey there, Amelia.” He kissed the top of her head before steering her into the living room. “You would think this kid hadn’t just see me two hours ago at the diner.” She smiled at Lorelai and kissed her on the lips. Hey there. Oh, Rory!” he said, startled. “What are you doing here?”
“Nice to see you, too, Luke,” replied Rory with a grin, before leaning forward to give Luke a hug. “I wanted to see you two off on your dance!”
“Oh, well, uh, thanks, Rory. I’m sure it means a lot… to Amelia.”
“Yeah,” Rory replied quietly.
Lorelai’s gaze shifted from Rory, to Luke, and back to Rory again. She suddenly felt even guiltier for flaunting this father-daughter dance in front of Rory. After all, Rory had never really experienced all of that with her own father. Lorelai worried that she was overemphasizing the aspects of Amelia’s life that she hadn’t been able to give Rory – the father-daughter relationship being the prime example of this. However, before Lorelai could worry about it anymore, she felt Amelia climb onto her lap. Lorelai raised her eyebrows at her, amused.
“He’s still going with me, right?” she whispered into Lorelai’s ear.
Lorelai looked up at Luke, who was shifting impatiently in his spot. “Can we just get this over with?” he grumbled.
“He wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Lorelai replied confidently.