Title: Forever Love (Digame)
Spoilers: 5x22 - A House Is Not A Home
Summary: Will Lorelai leave another groom at the altar?
Author's Note: This is a long overdue birthday fic for danamulder. The title is from an Anna Nalick song that I think is just beautiful. Digame is a Spanish word that means "Tell me" and is pronounced dig-ah-may.
Say you'll love
Tell me so
I can hold you in my soul
And if I go
Anna Nalick – Forever Love (Digame)
He is fidgeting. He never fidgets, but he hasn’t been able to stand still for the last ten minutes. He has run his hand through his hair at least five times, checked his watch (discretely, of course) at least fifteen times, and straightened his tie twice.
‘What if she changes her mind at the last minute?’ keeps running through his head. ‘It’s not like it would be unprecedented.’
He thinks he might start hyperventilating and he checks his watch for the sixteenth time in ten minutes.
“Uncle Luke,” Jess whispered, “quit checking your watch. And stop fidgeting. She’s not going to run.”
Luke gives his nephew what he hopes is a disapproving look, but the reaction on Jess’s face (an actual grin, instead of his trademark smirk) tells him that he has failed miserably.
“How do you know?” he asks, unable to keep the desperation out of his voice.
Jess rolls his eyes. “Who asked who to marry them?”
Luke’s eyes narrow as he considers his nephew’s words and remembers that fateful night.
“Will you marry me?”
He stared at her blankly, unable to believe that he had actually heard the words he thought he heard coming out of her mouth. He must have sat in silence for longer than he thought, because her nose crinkled in that adorable way it always did when she was confused.
“Luke,” she repeated. “I just asked you if you’ll marry me. Are you going to answer?”
She really did just ask him to marry her. Lorelai, the woman who ran from commitment and had left one jilted groom already, was asking him to marry her.
“Luke,” she said again, her face etching with worry.
“Lorelai, I…” he had absolutely no idea how to respond to her question. He had been planning to propose, but he was waiting for the right moment, and with everything she had been dealing with with Rory, the right moment hadn’t occurred yet. And now she was proposing to him.
“Luke,” her voice sounded different than he had ever heard it sound. He looked up and saw a tear streaking down her cheek.
“Oh, Lorelai, I don’t know what to say,” he admitted, feeling helpless and confused.
“Yes would be good. No would be understandable. Silence is scaring me.”
“Because silence isn’t an answer.”
“No, why are you asking me? Is it because you’re upset over what’s going on with Rory and your parents?”
Her eyes grew wide. “Luke, I’m asking because I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“But why now? Why tonight?”
She bit her lip and he could tell she was fighting back tears. “I… I don’t know. It just kind of slipped out.”
That made him chuckle. “Oh, Lorelai,” he said, “only you would have a marriage proposal just slip out.”
“That doesn’t make it less valid,” she argued. “I mean it, Luke.”
He stood up. “Come upstairs with me.”
She frowned. “Not until you answer my question.”
He sighed. “Please come upstairs with me. I promise I’ll answer your question.”
She looked wary but followed him.
“Are you okay, Uncle Luke?” Jess looks concerned and Luke realizes that he has been lost in his thoughts.
“Yeah,” he whispers back. “Just remembering the night Lorelai proposed.”
Jess smiles. “Did it help ease your concerns?”
The sigh escapes Jess’s lips before he can contain it. Several guests in the front rows look at Luke and Jess curiously. TJ leans over from behind Jess and puts his hand on Luke’s shoulder.
“Don’t worry, pal,” he whispers loudly. “It’ll be over so fast, you won’t know what hit ya.”
Jess and Luke exchange a look but before either of them can say anything, the music begins to play the processional. TJ stands back in his spot and Jess manages to give Luke a reassuring pat on the shoulder as they wait.
“Sit down,” he told her when they finally got to his apartment.
“Luke,” she pleaded.
“Just sit,” he said, his voice gentle. He knew his actions were confusing her, but her question had totally thrown him.
He went to his desk and opened the third drawer and found what he was looking for. When he turned around, she was sitting on his couch, her face a portrait of concern and despair. He closed the drawer harder than he meant to and he saw her jump at the loud noise.
She watched him walk toward her and get down on one knee.
“Luke,” she began.
“Shh,” he said, taking her left hand in his right. His left hand was behind his back. “Lorelai, I have loved you since the moment you walked into my diner, demanding coffee and hounding me until I gave it to you. I waited eight years to act on my feelings because I knew that once I did, I could never let you go and I guess I sensed that you weren’t ready for that. You nearly broke my heart when you told me you were marrying Max and I remember the relief that coursed through my body when you called it off. Then you almost did it again when you were going to reconcile with Christopher. I should have told you after that whole mess how I felt, but I was scared and I still didn’t think you were ready. I’m sorry I waited so long, but there is no doubt in my mind that I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
He held out his left hand and flicked open the black velvet box to reveal an emerald cut diamond ring. Lorelai gasped at the sight of the ring and when her eyes met his, there were tears in them.
“Luke, how long have you had this?”
“I bought it right before your parents’ renewal,” he admitted. “I was planning to propose that night when we got home.”
“Oh, Luke,” she said, her voice strangled with emotion.
He slid the ring on her finger. “I love you, Lorelai Victoria Gilmore, will you marry me?”
“I asked you first,” she retorted through her tears.
“I guess that’s a yes.”
“That is most definitely a yes.”
He let out a sigh of relief.
“Let’s celebrate being engaged.”
Sookie walks down the aisle first. She gives her children a finger wave and flashes a smile at her husband. When she gets to the chuppah, she grins at Luke and he finds himself returning her smile. She looks relaxed and the voice in the back of his head insists that she wouldn’t be so calm if Lorelai was thinking of running.
He hears Jess’s slight intake of breath and he looks at the back of the yard, where the aisle begins, and sees Rory walking toward them. She is resplendent in her yellow gown and Luke wonders if his nephew is regretting not holding on to her. Her smile is firmly in place as she locks eyes with her own fiancé, Logan Huntzberger. Luke still isn’t quite sure he likes the rich boy, but Rory seems happy and she has returned to Yale, much to Luke and Lorelai’s relief. They are planning a wedding after Rory’s graduation.
Rory winks at Luke as she takes her place. He gives her a tight lipped smile and nods as the music changes.
Luke closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, attempting to center himself.
He feels as if the wind has been knocked out of him when he opens them. Lorelai is standing at the head of the aisle, on her father’s arm, and he has never seen her look more beautiful.
There is a glow around her and, as their eyes meet, they share a nervous smile.
Richard escorts his daughter down the aisle, as all the guests stand and stare in awe. Luke knows some of the townspeople started a block poll when they announced their engagement and there were still people who thought Lorelai would get scared and run again. He isn’t sure if their awe is because she’s actually there or because she’s so incredibly stunning in the gown she made.
And then she is beside him and Richard is kissing her and shaking Luke’s hand and the minister is talking about true love. Luke keeps sneaking peeks at her out of the corner of his eye and he catches her doing the same.
Before he knows what happened, everyone is cheering and Lorelai is giving him a funny look.
“You’re supposed to kiss her now, Uncle Luke,” Jess hiss’s from his spot behind the groom.
Luke blinks and realizes that the minister has just pronounced them man and wife and he doesn’t remember anything that’s happened since Lorelai stood next to him. He leans in and gives her a chaste kiss. As he starts to pull away, he feels her hand move to the back of his head and pull him back in for a deeper kiss. When they break apart this time, both of their eyes are shining.
“Digame,” he whispers for her ears only as they walk back up the aisle.
“Forever, Luke,” she responds just as softly.