OMG, such a long time. We have no excuse - just life - and hope someone still wants to read this.
Oh, and to make it up to you a little - the last part of this chapter is already in endproduction and there will be at list a little Rory/Jess scene so ...
Chapter 2 – Abrupt Awakenings
Sunday June 11th, 12:00 PM, Harford Memorial
Lorelai slowly walked down the corridor the nurse at the front desk had pointed out to her, scanning the numbers on the walls. Right outside 334 she stopped, looking back at the double doors leading out into the main corridor, and out of the hospital, briefly considering turning around.
But she shook her head and knocked on the wooden surface in front of her. She had spent an antagonizing hour trying to work after Luke’s phone call earlier that morning, freaking Sookie out, before finally deciding to go to the hospital and get it over with. And now that she was here, it would be silly to just drive all the way back again.
She didn’t feel comfortable enough to just open the door and walk right into the room though. Instead she stood outside, waiting for it to open, shifting her weight from one foot to the other nervously.
But then she heard footsteps on the other side and she quickly tried to compose herself, standing up straight and bracing herself for the meeting.
Moments later the door opened, revealing a tired looking Luke, and she wondered if he had slept at all the previous night. He stared at her, shock evident on his face.
“Hey,” she said, a small smile on her lips.
“Hi,” he nodded, still looking surprised. “What are you doing here?”
Lorelai opened her mouth to say something, but he quickly interrupted her. “Sorry, I just didn’t expect you,” he said, offering a tired smile.
Lorelai nodded and he opened the door further, silently asking her to come in. She cast a quick glance inside the room, before looking back at Luke.
“He’s asleep,” Luke answered her unspoken question and she nodded, walking past him.
They both stayed silent as Luke closed the door and Lorelai looked around the room. Finally her gaze stopped on the bed and the sleeping form in it.
“So, he’s going to be ok?” she asked when Luke came up beside her.
“Yeah,” Luke confirmed. “They’re just keeping him for observation, to make sure there won’t be any late effects of the blow to his head.”
“Good,” Lorelai said, surprising herself with the fact that she actually meant it.
Luke looked at her curiously, but shook it off and nodded in agreement. “So…” he started, still not sure why she was there.
Lorelai quickly looked back at him. “Right,” she nodded. “Well, after your call I thought you could probably need a shower and some real food,” she said, trying to make it sound like the most natural thing in the world. “And I think I should add some sleep to that list as well,” she added.
Luke looked down at his clothes, still the same he had worn yesterday and still sprinkled with dust, and nodded.
“Yeah, I know. I just don’t want to leave for too long. The doctor might be back with more information, or…”
“Or Jess might wake up,” Lorelai said, continuing before she could think it through too much. “You should go home for a while. You can take my car, it’s right outside. I can stay here and cover for you.”
Luke looked at her surprised. “Are you sure?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m sure,” she said, smiling slightly, handing him her car keys. “Now go, before I change my mind.”
“Ok, I’m going,” Luke agreed, hesitantly accepting the keys. “I won’t be long, just a quick shower and pack some of Jess’ things,” he added before starting towards the door.
He stopped with his hand on the door handle, turned around and gave her a brief smile. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” she said, watching as he closed the door and then kept staring at it, already wondering what she was doing here. Eventually she took a deep breath and turned around, slowly walking up to the sole chair by the bed, sitting down in it.
Sunday June 11th, 12:15 PM, Gilmore House
It wasn’t until she woke up, clutching her comforter tightly to her chest, her pillow still a little damp from her tears, and sun streaming in through her window, that she realized she’d finally fallen asleep. And almost immediately she wished she could go on sleeping.
She burrowed her head under the pillows, willing the world to make sense again, wishing she could go back to a time when her life was simple and organized. Realizing her attempts were completely futile she gave up. She needed coffee and she desperately needed to talk to her mother.
With a sigh she flung the covers to the side and slowly dragged herself out of bed, wondering what time it was. Yawning she opened the door to the kitchen, and immediately saw the yellow post it note on the coffee pot, and she slumped back against the door post in disappointment. Her mother wasn’t at home.
Slowly she walked over to the coffee pot, ripping away the note, scanning it quickly, before pouring herself a mug of the lukewarm coffee and putting it in the microwave. As she watched the mug turn inside she contemplated calling her mother.
The oven beeped and she retrieved her coffee, warming her hands on the mug and took a sip, only to spit it out again, making a disgusted face.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid!” she muttered angrily, studiously poured the coffee in the sink and sighed. It definitely wasn’t her morning.
Right then she just wanted to crawl back into her bed again and forget the last couple of days ever happened. But she didn’t want to give up again, so she decided to at least try to face it and with a deep breath she headed upstairs to take a shower.
Next on her list of things to do that day was to find some decent coffee and then to go talk to Lane, hoping her friend could make her see how ridiculously she was behaving.
Sunday June 11th, 12:30 PM, Stars Hollow
Luke drove the distance between Hartford and Stars Hollow faster than he ever had before; he even thought he might have exceeded the speed limit a couple of times. He wanted to get there and back as soon as possible.
But when he neared the diner he suddenly stopped in the middle of the street. He was a block away, only had to turn the corner to see the street outside the diner, but he was starting to question his hasty decision to leave the hospital. Maybe he should just turn around and go right back.
He could always call Caesar and ask him to bring some things from the apartment, surely the hospital had showers he could use, and the food wasn’t really that bad, if you ignored the weird consistency of it.
He had almost decided to turn around when the sound of a car horn startled him out of his thoughts. Glancing in his rearview mirror he saw a line of cars behind him and after looking out the window he realized he had stopped beside a truck unloading boxes to one of the stores by the street.
With a sigh he put the car in gear and waved apologetically to the driver behind him, starting forward again. He turned the corner and came in full view of the diner, and almost stopped again at the sight.
The car had been towed away, but nothing could disguise the damage to the building, and with a sigh Luke drove up outside, trying to avoid the rubble on the street. For a moment he just sat in the car, the engine running, dreading going inside. But then he realized how silly he was acting and quickly turned the key, and got out of the car.
And immediately he regretted his decision, as he was assaulted by an all too well known sound.
“Luke?” Taylor’s voice called out, sounding both expectant and hesitant at the same time.
Luke slowly closed the car door, tightening his grip around the keys in his hand as he did. Of all the people to be there, and it had to be Taylor.
“Get away from me Taylor,” he said warningly and started towards the diner.
“But Luke,” Taylor tried again, almost pleadingly. “I wanted to talk to you about renovating the diner. We had a meeting last night and…”
Taylor abruptly stopped as Luke turned around, staring at him furiously.
“Jess is in the hospital!” Luke yelled, emphasizing the words with his arms, staring at the other man in disbelief. “You and your stupid camera put him there, and you want to talk about the freak show you call town meetings?”
“Oh, yes, I was going to ask you about Jess too, of course,” Taylor hurriedly cut in, suddenly looking a little uneasy.
Luke shook his head. “Of course you were.”
Taylor tried to ignore the hostile expression on Luke’s face, but took a small step backwards, just to be on the safe side. “We’re all very anxious to see how he is,” he added, trying, and failing, at giving a convincing smile.
“He’s alive,” Luke said shortly. “Now get out of my sight Taylor.”
“Oh, good!” Taylor exclaimed, and visibly relaxed, ignoring Luke’s request.
Luke just stared at him for a moment and then turned and continued towards the diner.
“But Luke,” Taylor protested, “what about the renovations? I have a plan here I want to show you…”
With a heavy sigh Luke stopped once more. “Don’t you think you’ve done enough damage already, Taylor?” he growled at him.
“Stay away from me Taylor, and stay away from my diner. I don’t want to have you anywhere near it. Understood?” He didn’t give Taylor enough time to answer before he walked up to the diner door. Despite his anger he felt that it would have been wrong to enter through the hole in the wall.
At the door he paused for a second. “And the same goes for Kirk,” he added before opening the door, walking through it, slamming it behind him and starting for the stairs.
At the counter he stopped briefly, glancing at the dark spot on the floor, but continued up the stairs quickly, ignoring Taylor calling out behind him.
He was fuming all the way up, muttering choice words that would have made him more than a little uncomfortable had the situation been any different. As it was, he just clamped up the stairs, as if trying to make as much noise as possible, and slammed the apartment door behind him after entering.
Once inside it was as if all the anger suddenly dissipated, and he leaned back against the door, completely drained of all energy. Standing there he suddenly had no idea what to do. Up until now he had been operating on auto pilot, doing what had to be done and pushing everything else to the back of his mind.
For a long time he just stood there, trying to catch up emotionally to the last couple of days. Then he inhaled slowly and pushed himself off the door, telling himself to stop acting so weak. This wasn’t the time. Jess needed him and he would not let the kid down.
With new found energy he quickly got started, and twenty minutes later he left the apartment, his hair still wet from a quick shower and in new clothes, not covered in dust, and holding a bag of things for Jess, including clothes, five books and a couple of sandwiches to make up for the hospital food.
Moments later he emerged from behind the curtain at the foot of the stairs and hurried towards the door. Rounding the counter he stopped abruptly, as he found himself face to face with Lane.
“Oh, hey,” he greeted, surprised to see her, or anyone for that matter in the diner.
“Hey Luke,” Lane said, giving him an apologetic smile. “Sorry if I scared you.”
Luke shook his head. “You startled me, that’s all.”
“Oh,” Lane mumbled, looking away nervously. “Sorry.”
Luke made a noncommittal answer and they both fell into an awkward silence, Lane searching for the right words to ask the question that was hanging in the air, waiting to be asked. Finally she opened her mouth.
“How is he? I mean Jess, how is Jess?” Lane babbled nervously. “No one seems to know anything, is he…is he ok?”
Luke nodded. “He will be.”
“Good,” Lane said with a smile. “That’s good to hear.”
“Yeah,” Luke said. “Thanks.”
Luke nodded and then gestured outside the diner. “Yeah…well, I should be getting back to the hospital. I left Lorelai alone with Jess, and I’m beginning to think it wasn’t such a great idea.”
“Lorelai’s at the hospital?” Lane asked, surprised.
“Yeah,” Luke confirmed and half turned towards the door. “So, I should be off.”
“Oh, yeah, right,” Lane said and hurriedly added, “Could I just, before you go maybe…ask you something?”
“Um…ok?” Luke said cautiously.
“Well, everyone feels really bad about what happened to Jess, and the diner, and they all want to help in any way they can and I know you probably don’t want their help and especially not Taylor’s, but if you could just think about it?” Lane rambled, almost tripping over her own words.
“Please?” she added after a moment when Luke still hadn’t said anything.
Luke just kept looking at her for a long time and then shook his head. “Taylor put you up to this?” he finally asked. “I told him to stay away from me.”
“No!” Lane exclaimed quickly.
Luke gave her a strange look. “Ok, so…”
Lane smiled awkwardly. “We all just really want to do something.”
“But I –” Luke began, but Lane cut him off.
“Just think about it, ok?” she quickly suggested. “You can go back to the hospital and make sure Jess and Lorelai haven’t killed each other and let me know when you’ve decided anything.”
Luke hesitated. “I don’t know, Lane…” he trailed off.
“Just think about it, please?” Lane asked him.
“Fine,” Luke conceded and Lane’s face broke in a huge smile. “But no one does anything without my consent.”
“Of course not,” Lane agreed.
“And no Taylor, you hear me?” Luke added.
“Yeah, sure, no Taylor,” Lane assured him. “I promise.”
“Fine,” Luke reluctantly agreed. “I’ll think about it.”
“Yay!” Lane exclaimed, receiving a questioning glance from Luke.
A moment of awkward silence followed, until Luke cleared his throat, pointing out at Lorelai’s car. “I should get going.”
“Right, sorry,” Lane exclaimed, darting over to the door and opening it. Then she hesitated.
“Say hi to Jess from me,” she blurted, before she could change her mind, and then left the diner.
Download links for the PDF Files with pictures and all - which is much more fun!
CHAPTER ONE here Mediafire
CHAPTER TWO here Mediafire
Coming up next on The domino effect:
Teaser - Beginning of part five
Sunday June 11th, 1:00 PM, Harford Memorial
When Jess woke up the second time, the feeling of cotton balls filling his head was gone and he sighed with relief. But it didn’t last long, because instead he became aware of a throbbing pain behind his right ear... To be continued :)