Takes place between Acts 1 and 2 of "The Matchmaker."
Title credit and a giant shout-out to callensensei, who knows more about sea shanties than I and who put up with my writers' block whining.


The Morning After

Mary Ann awoke to the unpleasant tingling sensation of her right arm going numb beneath her. She opened her eyes and immediately squeezed them shut again as the bright morning sunlight sent a searing pain shooting through her head. She winced and slammed her left hand over her forehead.

She lay still for a few minutes listening to the peaceful sounds of morning on a tropical island, waiting to see if the pain would subside. It didn't, but she realized that the chirping birds were particularly loud this morning. A monkey suddenly calling through the jungle echoed in her head like a police siren and Mary Ann gasped. Her eyes flew open in surprise and she gasped again as she was blinded for a second time. She clenched her eyes shut and clamped her hand over her left ear instead. She pressed her right ear further into her pillow in a desperate attempt to muffle the noise.

It was at this point that she finally noticed her pillow was moving.

Subtly, yet rhythmically, up and down.

She also noticed for the first time the pressure of something resting across her back and left shoulder as she lay on her right side. Mary Ann almost opened her eyes to investigate, but thought better of it at the last minute. She was trying to determine how best to proceed when the shape beneath her shifted.

"No, you're twice as sweet as me," it muttered in its sleep and Mary Ann's jaw dropped as she suddenly remembered dinner at the Howells', the couple's fight, and the innumerable champagne toasts that she and Gilligan downed in an effort to find the one to reunite them.

Gilligan moved again and Mary Ann felt the object draped over her shoulder – which she could now safely assume was an arm – tighten around her. She felt the other arm appear around her waist as he unconsciously hugged her to his chest as a child hugs his teddy bear mid-dream.

"Mary Ann, stop," he giggled, "That tickles."

Mary Ann was about to reply – maybe even apologize – when she realized that he was still asleep and must be reliving some occurrence from the night before that was currently lost to her own permeable memory.

Her jaw dropped further and she struggled to rack her brain. She remembered that she and Gilligan had finished the bottle of champagne trying to find the right toast to reunite the Howells. She also remembered a bad case of the hiccups and that it had taken three tries and Gilligan's help to get out of her chair after the older couple fled to opposite corners. She also vaguely remembered some sort of confusion as to how to get to the girls' hut as Gilligan attempted to walk her home, even though all the huts are in the same clearing. And laughter. Lots of laughter.

At some point during her furious attempt at recollecting the previous night, Mary Ann's addled brain decided it had had enough and she dozed off, her head throbbing too much to even consider moving. Wherever she was, she was otherwise comfortable, her right arm no longer bothering her since it had gone completely numb. Gilligan's heart beat soothingly by her right ear and his arms around her back kept her warm.

She woke again when he moved once more. "Where'd you learn how to do that?" he murmured and Mary Ann propelled herself off of him as quickly as she could, the sudden movement sending a shot of pain through her head so intense that she nearly toppled over backwards.

She cried out as she saw bright sunlight once again and slapped a hand over her eyes, her numb right arm flailing, looking for something to grab on to. By chance, it found a slender tree trunk and she held on for dear life. She sat back on her heels and whimpered, waiting for the pain in her head to subside. Somewhere in front of her, Gilligan was snoring softly.

"Gilligan," she gasped. "Gilligan, wake up!" She squeezed her eyes closed and reached out blindly. She found his torso and shook him. "Gilligan!"

She heard him groan sleepily and then yelp when he opened his eyes. He threw his arms over his face and fell back. "Ow! Mary Ann, what are you doing in my hut?"

"We're not in your hut."

"Then what am I doing in your hut?" he squeaked.

"We're not in my hut either."

He was quiet and Mary Ann peeked cautiously at the young man sprawled out in the soft grass. "Gilligan. Where's your shirt?"

Gilligan peered down at his t-shirt and seemed surprised to find that it was not hidden beneath his red rugby shirt as usual. He looked up at Mary Ann, kneeling a few feet away, and squinted at her. "You're wearing it."

Mary Ann slowly removed her hands from her eyes and noticed for the first time that the sleeves of Gilligan's shirt were hanging well below her fingertips. She studied the red cuffs for a moment before rapidly pulling her arms free and wrenching the shirt over her head, as if getting it off fast enough would neutralize the fact that she had it on in the first place.

Mary Ann was buried in a sea of red fabric when she heard Gilligan yelp again. "Mary Ann, stop!" he yelled, and then his voice became muffled, "I know why you're wearing my shirt!"

Mary Ann freed herself and glanced at the sailor, who had flung his arms over his face again, and then down at her dress, which was ripped across the front. She gasped and yanked the shirt back down, hugging her arms tightly around herself. "How did that happen?"

"I donno!" Gilligan had rolled over and was now facing the trees just to be safe. "I think you fell."

Mary Ann nodded encouragingly to herself. Falling would explain the gigantic tear down the front of her dress. Falling would also explain the bits of grass and other island debris stuck in the fabric, the streak of dirt across her skirt, and the particularly nasty grass stain on her right side. Falling sounded good.

Mary Ann ran a hand through her hair, sending a light shower of sand to the ground. Any semblance of the fancy up-do she had worn to the Howells' was long gone. She pulled a leaf from the long brunette waves and tossed it away.

"Ow," Gilligan suddenly muttered, having rolled onto something hidden in the grass. "What's this?" Mary Ann looked up to see him holding an empty champagne bottle, squinting at the label. "Did we bring this from dinner?" He tossed it toward Mary Ann and it landed in the grass with a dull thud.

Mary Ann studied the dark green bottle and the gold label. "No, this isn't what Mr. Howell had at dinner." She suddenly gasped and Gilligan turned to her curiously. "Gilligan! This must be the other bottle that he had cooling in the stream. Did we drink this last night too?"

Mary Ann dropped the bottle as Gilligan rolled onto his back, looking truly concerned for the first time. "I guess so."

Mary Ann slid her hands blindly through the grass around her, searching for her blue hair ribbon to tie back her unruly locks. Irrationally, she somehow thought she would find it within arm's reach when she was also missing both her shoes, her purse, and a significant chunk of her dress. Miraculously, she felt the edge of the silky ribbon and grasped it, but it didn't come easily. She pulled the ribbon and whatever was attached to it toward her and cautiously opened one eye to the morning sunlight. The ribbon was tied tightly around the stems of a bunch of tropical flowers, collecting them into a large colorful bouquet, not dissimilar to the one Gilligan had left for her the previous day.

Mary Ann sighed and set the flowers down beside her, turning to peer once more at the sailor. He was still, but she knew he was awake. "Where's your hat?" she finally asked.

Gilligan reached up and gasped to find that it was, indeed, no longer on his head. Oddly, he seemed more shocked to learn that his hat was missing than he was to discover a girl wearing his shirt. Gilligan sat up quickly and twisted to look around him. He cried out immediately as the sudden movement intensified his headache and he flopped down onto his back, arms over his eyes.

Gilligan whined into his forearms, his brown hair sticking up in a million different directions above his elbows. When Gilligan moved his arms from his face to press his palms to his temples, Mary Ann couldn't tell for sure through her squinted eyes if his face was sunburned, blushing, or covered with lipstick. She covered her own face with her hands and groaned.

"It doesn't hurt as bad if you lie down and stay real still," Gilligan informed her serenely. His eyes were peacefully closed and he was rubbing his temples in slow circles. "Lie down."

"No," Mary Ann answered a little too quickly. "We have to go back to camp," she decided, but didn't move.

Gilligan took his hands from his temples and squinted at his fingers. He rubbed them together, red smearing across his fingertips. "What's all over my face?"

"What were you dreaming about?" Mary Ann heard herself blurt out in a desperate attempt to distract him.

The sailor froze. "I don't remember," he lied. "Why? Was I talking?"

"No." She finally seemed to come to a concrete conclusion. "Let's go home. Maybe the Professor has something he can give us for our headaches." Mary Ann gripped the tree trunk in both hands and slowly pulled herself to her feet. She held on tight and rested her cheek against the rough bark until the ground stopped pitching beneath her.

Gilligan, meanwhile, had groaned and rolled over. "Mary Ann, I don't feel good," he mumbled, face down in the cool grass.

"Neither do I."

"When we get back to camp, will you make me soup and tell me stories?"

"No." It sounded harsher than she meant it and she could tell he was pouting.

"But you always make me soup and tell me stories when I don't feel good."

"I feel just as bad as you do this time." She hesitated. "You don't understand what's going on here, do you?"

Mary Ann had been expecting a classic Gilligan response, something along the lines of, "Do I ever understand what's going on?" So when he merely sighed, panic began to set in.

"Gilligan, what happened?" Mary Ann asked softly.

He was quiet for a long moment. The birds were still abnormally noisy, but luckily the monkey had moved on. She couldn't hear any waves and Mary Ann knew they were farther inland and farther from camp than she would've liked. Gilligan summoned the strength to push himself up on all fours, then to a sitting position, pressing his palm to his forehead. "I'm not sure."

Mary Ann somehow took a few steps from the tree as Gilligan staggered to his feet and nearly crashed into her. As Mary Ann peered into the grass for her shoes, Gilligan wandered forward and squinted into the distance. "I know where we are!" he suddenly exclaimed, his shout making them both flinch. "I haven't shown you this place yet, have I?" he whispered as Mary Ann approached.

"Apparently you did last night."

If the two castaways were able to open their eyes to the brilliant morning light, they would see that they were in the basin of a lush valley. Behind them the jungle rose sharply up the side of the mountain, but opposite it a path of thick green grass rose more gently out of the valley. Around them, avocado trees towered on three sides before giving way to palms, mango trees, flowering bushes, and a plethora of other tropical plants and fruit-bearing trees. Sunlight trickled through the leaves and speckled the soft grass beneath their feet.

Across the valley, the massive orange sun was almost entirely risen above the leafy horizon. They felt its warmth on their faces and at first had to shield even their closed eyes from its intensity. Mary Ann turned from the glare and hid her face in Gilligan's shoulder as he squeezed his eyes tightly closed and lifted his chin, raising his face to the sun's warmth.

They stood like that for a while and Mary Ann had almost fallen asleep leaning against him when he finally whispered:

"Mary Ann?"

"Hmm?"

"What about pancakes? Will you make pancakes?"