Disclaimer: Luke, Grace, and the gang belong to Barbara Hall and CBS. I am merely playing in her world.

Author’s Note: My memory is awful. I can’t remember exactly how the conversation between Grace and Luke went, meaning I can’t remember if she agreed to date him or not. If she did, then call this an AU. If she didn’t, then yay! This was written for the JoA flashfic.

Luke Girardi hadn’t come out of his room since he got home from school. Even when his mother called him to dinner, he said that he wasn’t hungry. After dinner, both of parents tried knocking on his door, but he’d tell them to go away. He didn’t even answer Joan when she tried. Finally, Kevin had had enough. He positioned himself in front of the door and knocked.

“Go away!” came the standard reply.

“Forget it. Either you open this door or I’m knocking it down,” Kevin warned.

“With what?” Luke dared.

“This chair is a whole lot heavier than it looks.” Luke didn’t answer. Kevin turned his attention to his sister’s room. “Hey, Joan. Could you come out here for a sec? Give me a running go; we’re going to knock down this door.”

“Sounds like fun,” Joan responded as her bedroom door opened.

Just then, Luke’s door swung open. He fixed them both with a piercing glare. “Why don’t you just leave me alone?”

“Nope, sorry, can’t do that.” Kevin nodded thanks to Joan and pushed his way into Luke’s room.

Defeated, Luke closed his door and turned to face his older brother. He angrily shoved his glasses onto the bridge of his nose without looking away. “What do you want?” he demanded.

Kevin shrugged. “Just wanted to see how you were doing. You missed dinner tonight.”

“Is that a crime?” Luke stormed passed his brother and sat down at his desk. On the computer screen were plans for his latest science project.

“Something’s bothering you,” Kevin noted.

“Gee, you think?”

Kevin wheeled closer to him. “What’s going on, Luke? This whole angry teenager thing just doesn’t work with you.”

“Nothing. Could you just go away, please?” His younger brother wouldn’t even look at him.

“Is it Glynis?”

Luke’s back stiffened at the sound of her name. “Maybe?”

Kevin leaned forward. Now he was getting somewhere. “Did she do something?”

Realizing that his older brother wasn’t going to give up, Luke met his eyes. “It’s more like I did something.”

“What did you do?”

Unable to sit still, Luke began to pace from his desk to his bed and back again. “I broke up with her. I rejected her because she had become more popular.”

“You what?”

Luke stopped pacing and sat down on his bed. He explained everything, from the make-up class to his jealousy to his conversation with Glynis. “But that’s not all,” he added.

“It’s not?”

“No. I’ve been thinking about Grace a lot lately.”

“Joan’s friend?”


“And?” Kevin moved over towards Luke’s bed, stopping at the edge.

Luke looked up at him, hurt in his brown eyes. “And, I really like her. I just don’t think she likes me back.”

Leaning back in his chair, Kevin crossed his arms. “Let me get this straight. Glynis likes you and you like her, but you like Grace, too. Then Glynis starts wearing make-up, and you use that as an excuse to break up with her. But you still like Grace. Does Grace know this?”

“Yeah, and she even kissed me at the dance.” Luke threw his hands up in frustration. “Okay, you’re the big brother. What am I supposed to do?”

“Well, coming from a man who’s made quite a few mistakes, I’d say go talk to Grace.”

“You sure?”

“I’m positive. You need to talk to her about this; not me.” “Good.” Satisfied, Kevin turned and headed for the door. “Oh, and you better go eat some dinner before Mom comes up here and starts poking around.”

Agreeing, Luke made his way downstairs.


Luke didn’t gain the courage to talk to Grace until Joan fell ill. Seeing his sister lying in that hospital bed made him realize that life was pretty short. What if he didn’t get the chance to say what he wanted to say to the spunky blonde who kept sending him mixed signals?

He chased her down, told her everything, and even kissed her. Grace was very noncommittal about the whole thing, but Luke could tell that she felt something, too. Unfortunately, Grace Polk wasn’t about to admit it.

When summer started, Grace still hadn’t spoken to him. She had come by the house a couple of times to see how Joan was doing, but she always managed to slip past him. Finally having enough, Luke screwed up his courage once again and made his way to her house.

It wasn’t like he had imagined. Her house was big, beautiful, and white. Luke marched up to the porch and rang the bell. He practiced what he was going to say to his dad and what he would say to her, but all his practice went out the window when the door opened. Grace stood there with her arms folded and her eyes narrowed to little slits.

“Can I help you, Girardi?” she asked.

Forgetting everything that he had rehearsed, Luke reached for her. Placing his hands on her jaw, he kissed her. It was deep, breathtaking, and better than any of the other kisses they had had. Stepping back, Luke didn’t let her speak.

“Yes or no?” he demanded.

“What?” For once, Grace Polk was speechless.

“Yes or no?”

“Girardi, I don’t think --.”

“Yes or no?” Luke wasn’t about to let up. He needed to know if he had made the right choice.

Taking a deep breath, Grace let down her tough persona. As she met his eyes, a smile spread across her face. “Yes.” It was very brief and then she was back to stern Grace. “You’re like a persistent fly, Girardi. You won’t go away.”

Luke stepped back, smiling. “No, I won’t. Friday night, them movies, my treat.”

“Just because I said yes doesn’t mean you can go ordering me around, geek. I still call the shots in this relationship.” She paused. “Friday matinee.”

“Deal.” Luke kissed her again and then bounced off the porch. “Good night!” he called over his shoulder.

Grace just shook her head as she closed the door. “Persistent geek.”


© 2004 Crimson Idealist