|Safe in the Arms of Love
Author: Matthew White PM
As disaster looms on two fronts, Gilligan comes to terms with his feelings.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Mary Ann S. & Gilligan - Chapters: 20 - Words: 32,937 - Reviews: 47 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 01-01-13 - Published: 08-09-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8410725
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The crescent moon was just approaching the horizon as Mary Ann and Gilligan reached the beach. Its reflection added to the already serine setting and a gentle breeze blew in from the water, just enough to put a slight chill in the air. It was a welcome relief after the blistering heat of the day.
Gilligan staked out a palm tree close to the shore and laid out the blanket they had brought. They sat down, Gilligan resting against the tree and Mary Ann's back against his chest. He gently rested his arms next to her and she pulled them around her midriff, placing her arms on his.
Settled in, they watched the moon as it started its dip below the horizon. On a moonless night, the sky would fill with stars and, without light pollution, they could see so many more than on the mainland. One night, Mary Ann asked him about the stars and constellations and Gilligan named a few of them. Spica, Antares, Arcturus, Vega, and Denab, were all visible in the summer sky, and he had pointed them all out to her. As a former navy sailor, these stars were like old friends as seamen had been navigating by them for centuries.
Sometimes they would sit in silence, just enjoying the sheer beauty of the heavens above, and sometimes they would talk all night, about anything and everything. Tonight, they were both anticipating contemplative conversation.
"The moon is almost gone, Gilligan. We should be able to see the Milky Way tonight."
"Yeah," he agreed. "We should be able to see it good."
He paused a moment before continuing, "I still can't believe that man has walked on the moon."
Mary Ann didn't answer right away, something that wasn't uncommon for either of them during their quiet time.
"Gilligan, do you think normal people will ever get the chance to travel to the moon?" she finally asked.
"Someday," he responded, "maybe even in our lifetime. The Professor said one day flying to the moon will be as common as flying from Honolulu to Wichita."
Mary Ann squeezed his hand and he knew that she was thinking the same thing, that is, the thought of being separated from one another. It was a while before she spoke again.
"If someone asked you about us, Gilligan, what would you tell them?"
"What do you mean, Mary Ann?"
"About our…relationship, would you tell them we are friends or, something else?"
Gilligan knew that his answer was going to open a new door for them. Am I ready to trust someone again? He pondered this for a while. He finally said, "I think we are much more than friends, Mary Ann."
A tear rolled from her eye and she pulled his arms tighter around her. "I think so too."
Her admission didn't frighten him as much as he thought it would. "I guess this makes us a couple, you know, boyfriend and girlfriend," he said, after a while.
"Yeah, I guess it does."
Mary Ann moved to his side and Gilligan scooted down so they could face each other. She reached out to caress his shoulder.
"I'm still a little scared, Mary Ann."
"Just a little," she asked.
"Well, maybe a little more than a little."
"I think it's okay to be scared," she said. "It's like sailing on uncharted waters."
"Or exploring an uncharted island," he added. "Mary Ann, I wish…I wish we could stay here, you know, on the island, even if the others get rescued."
"I think I'd like that, Gilligan." She reached above his face, pushing a strand of hair aside. "Whatever happens, I've decided that I'm staying with you, it doesn't matter whether it's Honolulu or Wichita."
Gilligan turned onto his back and Mary Ann settled in next to him with his arm around her. Unlike the first night they had snuggled, where he felt somewhat awkward, having her in his arms now, seemed natural and he found himself completely at ease with her. At least while they were alone.
"Are we going to tell the others, I mean…about us?" he asked.
"I don't know, Gilligan. I don't really want to hide anything, but, I'm not ready to make a public announcement either. What do you think?"
"I'd like to keep it our secret, at least for now," said Gilligan. "But I think the Skipper knows that something is up."
"So doesn't Ginger," Mary Ann replied. "And I might have helped that along a little bit."
Mary Ann sighed, "I got upset when she said that you wouldn't notice if I did myself up. It really made me mad."
"Gee, Mary Ann, what did you say to her?"
"That you weren't as inept as she thought," she replied, coyly. Seeing a look of confusion in his eyes, she continued, "Ginger was trying to say that you didn't know how to be romantic, but I know better."
"Do you really think so?"
"No, Gilligan, I know so," with that, she reached up and kissed him.
As their lips touched, and the kiss became more intense, Gilligan thought, I love you, Mary Ann. And one day I'm going to work up the courage to tell you.
"Ginger, this isn't right," objected the Professor, once he learned of her plan to spy on Gilligan and Mary Ann. "They obviously came here for privacy and we should respect that. Besides, this is Gilligan we are talking about. I'm absolutely sure that the thought of romance hasn't even crossed his mind."
"It certainly crossed Mary Ann's mind."
"Why do you say that?" he asked.
"If you'd take your nose out of those books once in a while, you might learn something about women. You didn't see Mary Ann when she left our hut, I did. I'm telling you, Professor, there is something going on between them."
Roy Hinkley shook his head, "Ginger, let's assume you are right, what if they are involved. If they wanted us to know, they would have told us."
"Oh, don't be a party pooper," she retorted. "Shhh, we're coming to the beach."
The pair ducked behind some vegetation just shy of the beach area. There was still enough moonlight to see by and they spotted their quarry nestled against a lone palm tree.
The Professor couldn't believe his eyes. Gilligan had his arms draped around Mary Ann in, what appeared to be, a very tender loving embrace. He almost passed out when he saw Gilligan reach to kiss her on the cheek.
"How romantic," said Ginger, who was obviously enjoying the spectacle. "I didn't think that Gilligan had it in him."
"Neither did I," said the Professor. He had stopped his protests as the scene unfolded before him.
"Oh my God," said Ginger, sometime later, when she witnessed the pair engaged in a prolonged kiss. "Gilligan has become a real man. Come on, Professor, let's go. I can't wait to tell the others."
With that, she led the Professor back to the path. When they were far enough into the jungle, the Professor called to her.
"What?" she asked.
"Do you consider Mary Ann a friend?"
"Of course I do," Ginger responded defensively. "What kind of a question is that?" The shocked look on her face told him what he needed to know.
"So you wouldn't ever purposely do anything to hurt her?"
"No, I wouldn't. Professor, you must know that? Why would you even suggest it?"
"Ginger, we both know how shy Gilligan is. Somehow, Mary Ann has managed to bring him out of his shell. If we tell everyone what we saw tonight, Gilligan is liable to withdraw again and that would hurt Mary Ann to no end. Is that what you want?"
Ginger sat down on a nearby rock as she considered this.
"I didn't think about that," she said in a small voice. "Oh, Professor, I almost made a terrible mistake."
"I think we should keep this to ourselves. Mary Ann and Gilligan will tell us when they are ready."
"You're right, of course, Professor. Thank you for bringing me to my senses."
She stood and they continued back to camp in contemplative silence. As they approached the clearing, Ginger spoke up.
"It's too bad we can't say anything, Mrs. Howell would jump right into wedding plans for them…"
"Which is another reason we should keep this confidential," interjected the Professor. "The last thing Gilligan and Mary Ann need, is someone pressuring them into marriage. I must confess that I've suspected their relationship to be more than friendship for some time now. But I had no idea that it had evolved to the extent that it has."
When they entered the clearing, Ginger asked, "Show me what you were looking at through you telescope."
"I'm afraid it's too late now. The object has slipped below the horizon and we'll have to wait until tomorrow evening."
The Professor had walked her to her door.
"Good night, Ginger."
As he turned away, she called to him, "Roy?"
The sound of his given name on her lips sent a tingle up his spine.
"After you finish your observations tomorrow evening, would you mind taking me for another walk?"
"Another spy mission?" he asked.
"No, not this time," she said, almost shyly. "I was thinking about a stroll to the lagoon, that is, if you want to?"
"I'd love to, Ginger. Until tomorrow?"
"Good night, Roy."
When she retreated to her hut, the Professor gathered his notepad and covered the telescope. Once inside his own hut, he flipped through the note pad and made a few quick calculations. Whatever this new object was, it seemed to be moving at incredible speed.
The Professor flipped on the shortwave receiver and tuned into the US Naval Observatory frequency. If this was a new object, it was probably being tracked by several agencies and he would be able to compare his data with theirs.
Depending on who saw it first, Gilligan may very well get the credit. After we are rescued, he thought.