Pipers, Wind and Lorelai

Note: Birthday mathom for , who wanted Luke pining for Lorelai while she's with Max.

The Stars Hollow Scotsmen were having their annual gathering and driving Luke nuts in the process. Not only had not one of the men piping their lungs out right in front of his café ever been to Scotland – no, they were also one and all, down to the freckled 12-year-old in the back, wearing those ridiculous skirts, which Luke refused to call anything else, no matter how many times Lorelai tried to teach him the difference.

Ah yes, Lorelai. Lorelai was making everything worse by standing in the open door, cat-calling and whistling whenever the wind threatened to expose even more of the twenty-two pale, hairy man-legs. It was embarrassing, it let the draught in, and Luke had been trying to get Lorelai to sit down for the last ten minutes.

"You can see them just as well from over here, on the chair -- and unfortunately you can also hear them perfectly from over there, where your coffee is waiting for you. You could probably even hear them if you were back at your house, as a matter of fact. So please, Lorelai, close the damn door!"

But Lorelai was not impressed. "But what would be the fun in watching them through the window, Luke? Of course I could hear them, but that's not the point, now is it? They wouldn't be able to hear me, so I couldn't make Tim" -the 12-year-old with the freckles- "blush anymore. You just have no idea of the important things in life!"

With an exasperated sigh Luke capitulated and left Lorelai to enjoy herself, resigning himself to at least two more hours of aural torture and cold wind. Why the skirt-wearing madmen had decided to have their gathering in March, when they knew exactly that it would be cold and very likely raining, was a complete mystery to him.

Looking over to where Lorelai was standing, now brandishing her digital camera, Luke shook his head. Maybe he wasn't the best judge of what was sensible behavior – after all, his door stood wide open to the elements, just because he couldn't say no to the craziest woman he knew. There was something about Lorelai that robbed Luke of his good sense, and when he was honest with himself – mostly late at night when he was nursing a quiet beer – he knew exactly why. Not that it mattered, not with that English teacher of Rory's in the picture.

Luke grunted, disgusted with his train of thought, discordant as the music from outside. Whenever he thought of Max Medina he felt the wish to break something. Not that Max wasn't a good man – there was no doubt that he was, and that he made Lorelai happy – but there had always been a part of Luke that had hoped that maybe, one day, when they were both ready, Lorelai would allow him to be the man who made her happy.

Only now there was a Max, and there was nothing Luke could do, not when Lorelai smiled like that – the way she was smiling right this moment, running outside, mindless of the wind and the rain that had started to fall, to meet Max and kiss him exuberantly. She then started to talk, a mile a minute, gesturing toward the shivering pipers.

Lorelai's coffee was still standing on her table, completely forgotten. Luke sighed and closed the door, shutting out the wind and causing the noise to drop to a much more bearable level. But for some reason this didn't make him feel any better.

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