a/n: Well, I'm on a roll! Thanks to the lovely reviews!
I pretty much wrote this like Gilbert was my nonexistent perfect guy who is just WONDERFUL….so, he's in character alright! Perceptive, caring, a great kisser, gorgeous, and calm (well mostly), Gilbert Blythe is every woman's dream! Duh! This is the sappy, Christmas-y story that came out of no where but I did promise a sap story. And I've never really written sap before (but I've read A LOT) so it was sort of embarrassing to write…. Tell me how I did PLEASE!! (Did I scar you? Did I make you blush, or squee, or laugh, or cry?) I think I'm going to have vignettes from all three years before they're married in here but I don't know. It depends on how good I am at writing them together so to speak. The fluff is almost obnoxious but it was soooo addictive that, even though it was embarrassing to write, I COULDN'T STOP!! Please don't be thrown off even though it sounds like a bodice ripping romance novel (haha, it's not THAT bad). and damn I just forgot that Rachel's supposed to be living with Anne and M. but lets just say her husband hasn't died yet (i know this is getting bad...)
Oh yeah, all the cities I refer to I'm pretty sure they're real but if I talk about them in a geographically wrong way- my apologies. Also, about the eye reference (thank you btw) I usually get his facial features from the actor Jonathan Crombie (who I think does have dark blue eyes but I'm not sure, I'll have to check). Anyway, I think we can all agree that GB has curly dark hair yes? And also, now that I think about it, if his eyes were hazel, they could be a hazel blue (mine are hazel green) that just means they have brown and blue in them depending...
Disclaimers apply of course- enjoy and review!
The surprise snow storm that had hit Avonlea the night before would have usually been a pleasant surprise for one of its residents. However, once Anne Shirley found out that because of the snow storm all of the trains coming into the little town were canceled or delayed until the storm cleared up, Anne figured it was shaping up to be a Jonah day after all.
"Why does this always happen to me!" Anne exclaimed, looking out the frost covered window at the barely visible tree line across the road. "Marilla, this has ruined everything."
Marilla Cuthbert, who was sitting across the room in her rocker trying to mend a pair of socks, discretely rolled her eyes.
"There had been warning of a snow storm for the past week Anne, if Gilbert was smart, he would have canceled his ticket ahead of time." He probably did. She added silently to herself, tying off the end thread on the mended right sock.
"And we don't even know that! The mail's been stopped for the past two days because of the storm that hit Carmondy." Anne sullenly turned around, pulling her knees up to her chin. "What if he's hurt Marilla? I would never know it."
"Anne, child you worry too much. The Blythes have always had a strong constitution and your Blythe is particularly smart." Marilla sighed tiredly as Anne looked up at her doubtfully from her knees. "I'm sure in your heart you'd know if something were really wrong. Besides, Rachel said she'd send Matt Lendbury over with news if anything happened to anyone." And Rachel would know.
Anne sat up and looked towards the fire. "Yes, I would know wouldn't I." It wasn't a question.
Still…Anne thought as she calmed her frayed spirits down. Still, I was so excited about spending Christmas with Gil…With spending anytime with Gil.
It was the sixth month of their engagement and this Christmas was going to be the first time since August that Anne had seen Gilbert. Gilbert had explained to Anne that their separation pained him, that their separation for the past two years had pained him. He'd hoped to help her prepare for the worst, for the strain that was sure to come and Anne had felt she was prepared.
The strain was really not that bad when she wrote letters to Gilbert everyday about what she had done, what she had said, what she thought he would have said had he been there – he might as well have been there!
The strain was not that bad when he wrote her letters back, with his strong, smooth penmanship that talked of his days at school, his hard tests – that he passed with his immense wit and hours of studying -, the replies to her days – what he really would have said, how he missed her.
The strain was not so bad except when she sat down to write the love letters, and perhaps that is why she told Gilbert she must have the perfect sort of pen to write him a letter of that kind. It wasn't that she didn't love writing them to him, although the first one had been sort of embarrassing, it was just that she felt his absence most keenly when she wrote about how wonderful she thought his hair was, how wonderful she though his hugs where, his hands, his eyes, his mouth.
Anne sighed. Yes this was a Jonah day.
But she knew it would get better. Tomorrow the snow would stop, the mail would arrive, with news of Gilbert, and it would be Christmas in Avonlea.
Yes, the strain was not so bad, and even with three years of waiting ahead of her, Anne knew it would be worth it.
If only three years did not seem so long. Was Anne's last thought on the matter, as Marilla successfully snagged her attention with a debate she had seen in the newspaper from a week ago.
Six hours later, the storm had not abated and at ten o'clock at night, the two women at the Green Gable farm were preparing for bed.
Anne in her nightgown and open robe was sweeping the kitchen, commenting on how Matt hadn't even thought to come over and tell them the storm wasn't stopping to Marilla who was walking up the stairs, when there was a knock on the door.
"Well, speak and he shall come!" Anne said laughingly as she ran into the foyer to let the young man in, knowing the weather was cold and that the news must be urgent. Holding her robe shut with one hand and forcing the swollen wood open with the other she looked up with a warm smile at Matt.
Except it wasn't Matt, it was Gilbert.
There was a moment where both seemed unsure what to do with themselves: Anne stood in the threshold, her hand had fallen from her robe and the wind was sweeping it over her left shoulder. Her eyes where trained to the man's face that was pink from the cold, her mouth was open. Gilbert's hands were clenched at his side, his battered trunk at his feet, and his eyes, his eyes were sweeping Anne's form as if he'd never expected to see her again.
But that moment was gone so fast it almost ceased to exist, as Anne gasped, Gilbert smiled, held out his arms and, with a laugh that sounded suspiciously like a sob, Anne Shirley fell into them.
Weaving one hand into her loose hair and wrapping the other tighter around her waist, Gilbert pulled her snuggly to him.
"Do you always answer the door in such a state Anne Shirley?" He asked, voice low, as he chuckled into her neck causing her to shiver. "I should be worried. You'll either catch your death or shock whoever's visiting."
Anne, who was looking over his shoulder and smelling his hair, it smelt of Christmas and snow, blushed.
"I thought it was Matt Lendbury, with news about the storm." She spoke quietly her mind seemed to have forgotten its speech, her eyes blurred, her breath caught. She tightened her grip as she felt Gilbert begin to pull away. "You are so much better."
Gilbert did pull away, but only far enough to kiss her.
It was the sort of kiss that Anne knew would invade her dreams at night, and fuel at least a years worth of love letters to this man, perfect pen or not.
Closing her eyes she sank into him, into his mouth and let her tired mind fuzz over as his tongue swept her thoughts away.
When he pulled away an eternity later, his hands cradling her cheeks, he whispered I love you, and she started to cry.
"Anne? Anne, what is it?!" He asked worriedly, pulling her inside, kicking his trunk in with his left foot and closing the door blindly. "What, do I kiss that badly?" He asked, in an only half-joking manner; it had been a long five months of separation.
Anne shook her head, putting her hand to her mouth and took deep breaths trying desperately to stop her tears.
Gilbert reached over to gently sweep some curls off her forehead, as he hugged her again.
"It's okay." He whispered, tucking her head under his chin. "I'm here." For a couple of minutes they stood like that, him in his dark wet wool trench coat, red scarf, and traveling hat, her in her blue robe and night gown, barefoot but still so warm in his arms.
Soon the tears died down as other thoughts crowded her head and she realized she had absolutely nothing to be upset about, she'd never been this happy. She stilled in his arms for a moment, listening to his steady breaths and his whispered endearments, holding onto his damp lapels…
"Gilbert! You're all wet!" She pulled back and looked at him in dismay. The man was leaving a nice puddle in the foyer. "You'll get a cold!"
Gilbert laughed and watched her with warm eyes as she reached up to unwrap his scarf. He stood where he was, as not to spread the puddle farther, and Anne hung up his scarf. Walking back quickly she raised an eyebrow and held her hand out.
"Give me your hat Mr. Blythe." She said with her chin raised.
Gilbert fought a smile, raised his chin in a haughty manner in response and folded his hands in front of him.
"Why, Miss. Shirley, I don't believe that's a very decorous way to talk to a guest."
"Mr. Blythe, would you please give me your hat. You're making a rather obnoxious puddle in the middle of my foyer and it would ill mannered of me to let you air dry, but I simply cannot let you in any farther with those wet garments on." Anne spoke clearly and politely, keeping her eyes on Gilbert's and biting her lip at the end of her speech to stifle what looked suspiciously like a grin.
Gilbert could not stifle his.
Reaching up, he pulled off his hat, which ruffled up his dark curls endearingly, and handed it to her wanting very badly to just grab her for a kiss. Ah, but that would not be the decorous thing to do in this little game, he laughed silently as he scolded himself. He began to unbutton his coat as she hung his hat up, so he had it ready for her in his hand before she turned around to request it.
"Thank you Mr. Blythe." This time a smile slipped through her mouth and he was out of his shoes, in his red christmasy socks, and behind her before she had a chance to turn around from putting his coat away. Wrapping his arms around her, and kissing her neck he relished the surprised gasp she let out.
"Why Mr. Blythe! This is incredibly forward of you!" Anne exclaimed, squirming to turn around in his arms and moaning as his lips latched on to hers hungrily. Yes, five months was too long.
"I'm sorry Ms. Shirley." Gilbert whispered breathlessly as he pulled away minutes later. "But I think you were teasing me by answering the door in your night gown and saying you were expecting another man."
"Oh, shut up." Anne laughed at his mischievous grin and wiggling eyebrows. She dropped the polite game and pulled him into the living room, where a fire was roaring, by his hands.
Sitting on the couch she watched him settle himself in his grey sweater and slacks. His hair was already starting to dry in a disarray of black curls. Gilbert caught her looking at it and grimaced.
"I had it done nicely this morning, I promise." He said as he tried to brush it out flatter with no effect. "It's just that the snow got it and, well…my hair doesn't like being combed in the first place."
It was charming, watching him blush and try to fix his hair for her, thinking she found something wrong with it. Reaching over she stilled his hands and put hers on his hair to replace them.
"I like it fixed to be sure." She grinned at his pout and gave him a quick kiss. "But," She whispered playfully, "I like it curly better."
He laughed, and she settled down in his arms.
"I missed you." He whispered playing with the fingers of her left hand as her other hand swept through his drying hair.
Anne murmured her response of affirmation. "I love you." She said and then- "I thought all the trains where canceled."
Gilbert's eyes had darkened at her voiced endearment, but now he looked a little like a child with his hand caught halfway in the cookie jar.
"Uhh…They were…" He said, coughing to stall for time. "I canceled my ticket yesterday."
Anne sat up and cocked her head. She took her hand from Gilbert's hair and placed it on his shoulder for balance.
"I don't understand. How are you here?" She asked. "Not that I'm complaining." She hastily added.
Gilbert smiled and sighed. Still stroking her hand he began to speak:
"I heard about the approaching storm about a week ago and I knew there was a good chance it would hit Avonlea, as it had already hit Nova Scotia and Kings Port. I canceled my train ticket to Avonlea and ordered one to Carmondy instead because they usually still run their post trains in bad weather. Sure enough, the storm hit this morning and it was snowing when I arrived at Timmons station at around seven." Gilbert paused to scratch his head and to search for words. He didn't want to tell Anne about the phone calls for a buggy, he didn't want her to feel guilty about making him walk but he didn't want to lie either. Shrugging sheepishly he said.
"It was really just luck that my friend Todd's cousin lives in Carmondy and Jeff, the cousin, was willing to take some money to drop me off at Avonlea's train station despite the weather. From there I walked."
Anne was quiet for a moment, as she watched Gilbert watch her. Then, pulling her hand from his she reached up to stroke his cheek.
"You walked all the way from the train station?" She whispered.
"In the snow?" In the storm?
His eyes searched hers. "I had to see you tonight." He spoke softly. "I know I could have waited until the snow cleared in a day or two, but I couldn't wait that long Anne." His voice lowered. "Five months is a long time. Too long a time."
Exactly. Anne thought as she tearfully reached out to kiss him. A few minutes later she reluctantly pulled back.
"I'm sorry you had to go through all that trouble. I wish you would have called me, I could have picked you up from the station."
"I know," He smiled, and she touched the happy dimples in his cheeks. "I wanted it to be a surprise."
"Well, it's the best Christmas present I've ever gotten." She said, leaning forward again.
"I'm glad." He whispered, his eyes glowing bright in the fire light.
They didn't talk for a long time after that.
The next morning, Anne woke up expecting it all to be a dream. Instead, she was wrapped in Gilbert's arms on the couch, head tucked under his chin, and listening to the deep breaths of a sleeper.
Content to lie there forever, she looked to the hearth and the ashes the dead fire had left behind sometime in the night.
It was then that she realized the last time she had seen Marilla was last night heading up the stairs….The stairs that were directly in front of the door…
Anne blushed a red that matched her hair, but after a moment her embarrassment floated away. Marilla hadn't interfered, she'd probably only seen the hug and then walked quietly up the stairs. And even if she had seen the kiss, well, turning a little to look at Gilbert and watching his chest rise and fall, his face relaxed in contentment, and his curls falling in his eyes, Anne couldn't quite bring herself to care a wit.
After all, she thought as she leaned forward onto Gilbert's chest, keen to wake him up with a kiss. After all, it is Christmas…And it has been five months.
a/n: and review please!!