Anne and Gilbert: A Love Story

Author's Note: Anne and Gilbert are the creation of L.M. Montgomery. The rest is from my mind. Enjoy and read and review!

In Gilbert's hospital room, there was a chair beside the bed upon which she sat. It looked as though Gilbert was asleep. Anne sighed; she would have to wait for a while before she could tell him how she felt. She settled for taking hold of his hand, trying to provide what little comfort she could. With her free hand, she felt Gilbert's face to see if the fever had gone down. It had, but he was still alarmingly warm.

Gilbert, for his part, hadn't been sleeping at all. He'd heard footsteps indicate a new entrant to his room, but he didn't know to whom those footsteps belonged. When he felt that person's hands upon his hand and face, however, he had a pretty good idea who it was.

"Anne?" he croaked, opening his eyes. He was really surprised at how raspy his voice sounded. He knew that he felt bad; he ached, he was tired, and the fever made him feel so warm, but the voice was still a surprise.

"Yes, Gil, it's me. How are you feeling? Do you need anything?"

"I've been better," Gilbert said with a slight smile tugging at his lips. And no, I don't need anything...just you." He was taking a big risk in saying this, but he was sure that he hadn't been imagining things when Anne had told Mr. Burns about her true feelings and when she told the doctor that they were engaged.

"Oh, Gilbert!" Anne exclaimed, choking back tears. "I thought I was going to lose you. And I finally realized...but I thought I was too late...oh, Gil. I do love you. I always have. Even when I hated you, I loved you!"

Gilbert smiled, truly smiled, for the first time since Anne had rejected him all those months ago. He had reclaimed his reason for living. He could be happy again, with this girl...woman...he loved by his side. But there was one question that he needed to ask Anne. He knew Anne was upset, so he had to tread cautiously.

"Anne-girl," he said. "May I ask you one question?"

Anne thrilled to hear his nickname for her. "Of course you may, darling. Ask me anything you wish."

"Why did you tell the doctor that we were engaged when we aren't?"

Anne blushed. "I didn't know that you heard me tell him that. You see, they said that only relatives would be able to stay and visit you. So, I admit, I lied and told him I was your fiancée. I just couldn't bear being separated from you for very long."

"Well, I'm glad you did lie. You don't know how much it meant to me to have you here when I woke up. But Anne, I'd like to make an honest woman of you. I asked you this question once before and you refused me. I hope your answer is different this time. Anne, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"

The look of pure love in Anne's eyes conveyed her answer well enough, but she smiled and said quietly, "Of course."

Anne leaned toward Gilbert and, forgetting in the joyfulness of the moment that he was sick, she and Gilbert shared a sweet kiss full of all the love and tenderness that the possessed. As they pulled away, Anne spoke:

"I love you, Gil. Truly I do. I'm just sorry I didn't realize it sooner."

"I love you too, my Anne-girl. Forever."