"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charminggardeners who make our souls blossom. "

-Marcel Proust

O&O&O&

It starts with a slate. She always thought slates were a more modern model of a rack. Things for math sums and brain-befuddling questions she never can answer. But there, with its pieces around on the floor, it is suddenly less painful and much more profitable.

He looks up, brook-brown eyes full of speckled amusement and surprise, and a smile on his face. Utterly charming.

(Correction, she thinks, it starts with a smile.)

O&O&O&

Gallant is a word of Normans. It was pierced through a Saxon knight at Hastings before it was put into the English language. He is called gallant, but not by her. He is called handsome, but not by her. He is called charming, but not by her.

And those words don't mean anything, he knows, if they're not from her.

O&O&O&

She is supposed to be a writer. The words should be present more than nitrogenous atmosphere, readily compounding themselves in black curly-Qs onto the page. This not happening. This is the grave of her brain child's baby, scattered. One last child of talent lying crippled.

She forgets that greatness belongs as an ermine-rimmed possession. It is something for Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald, not her.

O&O&O&

"It's lovely." A smile stimulates his pulse.

"We'll have to go exploring tomorrow, we can see that brook, and the beach, and look for little nooks and crannies."

"You are welcome to go Gilbert Blythe, but I am planning on staying right here. In our house. With you."

"Is that what you want?"

"Yes."

"Then you shall have it."

"Gilbert, I'm afraid you spoil me. Though, I should be angry at you for taking my dreams from marble halls to wood ones."

"Anne, please don't say things like that. I don't want you to feel cheated or angry or like you've surrendered yourself."

"You silly goose! I said I should be, never said I was. Besides, you charmed me out of all of those dreams years ago, because I knew they could never compare with the luxury of having you."

"You really love me that much, Anne?"

"You have charmed, enraptured, and made me love you, that much."

O&O&O

Somehow, she has lost herself. It is none's fault but her own she concedes, but it brings a filmy sadness that nothing previous has. It must be situated in the lining of her stomach, which has tossed and turned and been heavy to ground-levels.

This is an era of erosion, such desires having been half-formed metamorphic rock, not built of strong stuff, and people wonder why all she can write about not is little fairies with airy wings. She always regretted having talent instead of genius. But the way he smiles at her from across his pillow in the morning is something charmingly utterly wonderful beyond confines of words.

The Great Question: is greatness more important than love? It is said hypothetically, but she finds her own life to give it a practically. She has stopped writing because of him, because he has charmed her into believing that love is more important than scribbles.

She is not going to be a Queen Victoria to his Albert. He has faults, is not "angelic", and would never convince her to help him shave every morning. He is, however, disarming. Her slate has gone down, her surrender complete.

O&O&O&

The first time they say "Ma'am, can you hear us?" she makes no movement from the couch.

(i don't want diamond sunbursts or marble halls…i just want you )

The next thing she hears is "Mother, please, you must listen. You must understand. Father is dead. Mother? Do you understand me?" and Jem's voice has thirsted and supped with tears.

(i don't want diamond sunbursts or marble halls )

At "Mother, please! Please, mother! Try to understand! Say something, mother!" she looks with an aloof, bird's-eye view pity.

(i just want you )

There is an entrance and a new voice with "Is she any better?" and Faith's violet rimmed eyes and tussled goldy-brown curls give evidence of grief.

(just want you )

The noise continues with "No, she isn't responding at all." and Jem's head is now on his wife's shoulder: tears for his father, and now for his mother. This is a maelstrom of tears.

(want you )

The decibel scale would be appalled by the volume of "Oh, God, father! Mother! Faith, why now? They were so happy! Why of everyone, them? She didn't even say goodbye to him, the Alzheimer's took even that from her. She didn't know what happened." and she is sure it would consider the quality and quantity of the sobs positively disgraceful.

(you )

She thinks when Faith says "I know, but don't you think their life together was worth it? Don't you think the love is worth the pain?" but she can't decide.

(And after that she can no longer hear.)

O&O&O&

"Anne, I'm dying."

"What nonsense are you cooking up now, Gilbert Blythe?"

"There's no pot. Honest, Anne. This is real, my Anne-girl. Remember, I am doctor. I know the signs, and I know what's going on in my body. I've lived my life, Anne."

"No, Gilbert, don't give up on yourself. You're going to fight through this. If you can save so many lives, surely you can save your own!" She is on her knees in a kind of silently emitted prayer.

"Anne, my spitfire Anne-girl, you must learn that one doesn't always have to fight."

"But one fights for what one loves."

"Anne, my love will be wherever you are. North, south, east, west, heaven, hell, in moonshine or sunrise. In a minaret or a synagogue. It will be there with you."

O&O&O&

In the end they call it a Great Love (never omitting the capitals). They sigh and speak of its romance- Loving Wife dying with her Beloved Husband, never accepting His Death. A tale of Romance Beyond The Grave.

She wonders at their stories and admiration. This love was so binding, so powerful, it couldn't have ended in any other way. But maybe, with grandchildren's satiny cheeks' and dimples of mirth, is hasn't ended quite yet.

And maybe, just maybe, it never will.

AN: I tried. I really, really did. I thought up this fic, I thought and thought and scoured and scoured and it only came to this. Pshaw. I'm not all that satisfied with it, and I need some help. PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON ME!

Thank you for reading! Please review!

And have a great day!