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Fic: The Not-So-Secret Engagement
Author: Excel Aunt (aka [personal profile] sue_denim  )[profile] suedenim
Rating: General Audience
Length: 1100 Words - One Shot
Genre: Anne of Green Gables
Characters: Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe
A/N: I'm rereading this series a little bit and found the end of Anne of the Island completely lacking. Where's that first kiss LMM? Do Anne and Gilbert run off and tell everyone they're engaged? I don't think so. I trumped up an idea of how the end could be a bit more complete, albeit, my memory of the canon falters some.

Anne Shirley lifted her eyes and meet Gilbert’s. She could feel herself blush pink, turning a shade that clashed violently with her hair. Her resolve to not turn away, or speak, or do anything to break the spell strengthen. Anne allowed him to sweep her away on a tide of emotion. This time, she was not going to falter.

She said absolutely nothing, but oh, how she spoke volumes and volumes as she sunk into his hazel-eyed gaze. “Yes, Gilbert, I love you!” “Yes, Gilbert, I’ve always loved you!” “Yes, Gilbert, I’ll marry you!”

“Anne,” Gilbert blushed. He cracked first and smirked, and then, he flat out lost control of his own joy. He ran his fingers down the side of her face to her chin. Finally allowed to touch her beautiful skin.

Then Anne kissed him. She acted before she could think. Gilbert half expected, half hoped for it. When her lips brushed his all he wanted to do was hold her there. His hand was laced in her red hair. They collided: Their spirits were as one in that first of many kisses.

“I haven’t had a jolt like this since the slate.” Gilbert said as that moment ended.

Anne just laughed and laughed. “Oh, how my feelings get the best of me!. Or maybe it’s just YOU.” She pulled him by the hand, and led him down the path to back to Avonlea. “I feel like, I’ve caught up to my happily-ever-after now. And I’m so sorry I couldn’t see it sooner, but I just knew when I heard you were dying that I Iove you. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Squashed me quite flat. Gil, I can’t live without you in my life.” She confessed. “Not another second.”

“All these years,” Gilbert stated. “I should have figured out I had to almost die to successfully woo you. Lord knows I tried everything else!”

“And we shall never talk about my stubbornness again.” Anne said. “Let’s not tell anyone just yet, that we’re engaged. We should have a secret delight.” Anne suggested. “I feel like I a monarch butterfly, freed from a cocoon and my wings are still wet. Just a couple of days, but, oh, let’s let the folks wonder.”

The walk back was quiet and affectionate. Gilbert rested his arm on Anne’s shoulders. She had her fingers laced in his. The journey from Hester Gray’s garden, while normally a long walk, went too quickly. And although they meant to kept their romance hidden short term, they were so not so taken with the idea to actually achieve privacy. People began to talk.

The old wives and widows of Avonlea knew as soon as the saw Anne and Gilbert that something wonderful had happened. Anne and Gilbert were spending a considerable amount of time together in the evenings, after the work was done. The Saturday Ladies’ Aide meeting could not stay on track with its agenda, no matter how many times Mrs. Barry banged the gavel. All discussion digresed into, “Are Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe engaged?”

Marilla did her best to stop the speculations, as even she did not know. “All I can tell you, since the day I took Anne in from the orphanage, she’s talked non-stopped about anything and everything. But all this time she’s spending with Gilbert this week, she has nothing to say. It’s so unlike her.”

“She blushes quite easy,” Mrs. Lynde added. “As soon as you say ‘Gil’ there she goes, her face flushed red enough to match her hair. Then she excuses herself to run off. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. That’s what I say.”

The next morning Anne, Marilla, Mrs Lynde, Davy and Dora went to church. It was a crisp morning, a clear indication fall was fast approaching. In a couple of weeks Anne would be leaving for a teaching post at Summerside and Gilbert would start medical school. Anne felt homesick for Gilbert whenever she thought about her immediate future. She needed to talk about her engagement! She needed the sympathy of wives, especially Diana! Her fingers ached to write the most telling of all letters to Mrs. Wright.

Gilbert watched Davy drive Anne, Marilla, Dora and Mrs Lynde up to the steps of the church. Anne locked eyes on Gilbert beckoning him to her side. Davy helped the ladies out of the surrey, but when it was Anne’s turn, Davy stepped aside so Gilbert could take her left hand and help her out.

He could feel his grandmother’s ring on her gloved hand. Forgetting the secret they shared, he said, sounding very pleased, “You’re wearing it.” And he gently indicated her ring finger. The motion of his own hand triggered Davy’s unfiltered curiosity.

“Anne, are you wearing a ring?” Davy asked.

“Shh, not now Davy,” Anne replied. “Run inside and help Marilla and Mrs Lynde. Gilbert will help me.”

Protesting, Davy gave Anne a questioning look. “You’re not going to play hooky so you can kiss Gilbert.”

“Davy!” Anne said, a little horrified.

“I saw you kissing him the other day when I was mucking the barn. And I wasn’t spying, you two couldn’t see I was there.”

Anne and Gilbert exchanged glances, realizing it was time to give up the ghost. Davy ran off before he could get scolded more.

Gilbert walked into the church first. The Blythe pew was at the front. Gilbert’s grandmother, who had been one of the founders of the congregation was a highly religious woman, and wanted to be as close to the preaching as possible. As deaths and births occurred, to take away and add to the Blythe family, their famously upfront pew remained. The only change were the occupants.

Anne entered the church and she removed her gloves. Josie Pye noticed how Anne needed a few deep breaths before continuing to the Cuthbert pew. But Anne lingered there and did not sit down. She and Marilla spoke quietly, with Marilla’s hand over her ward’s,and Josie saw Marilla smile at Anne very lovingly and Anne brushing a happy tear from her eye.

There was barely any time for Anne to sit down, but in an instant, Anne moved to the front of the church to Gilbert’s pew. He greeted her with a peck on her cheek, to which the entire congregation silently shouted their approval, and Anne took her spot at Gilbert’s side.



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