Safe in the Arms of Love
A Gilligan's Island Story
Written by Matthew R. White
© August 3, 2012
Based on the Characters and series created by Sherwood Schwartz
Historians Note: This story takes place about four and a half years after the shipwreck.
Author's Note: This story is based on the television series, but should be considered A/U to the movies. It's a bit more serious look at our seven castaways than was portrayed on the TV screen although there are some lighthearted classic Gilligan moments. Anyone who has read my profile, knows that I am a sci-fi addict who also happens to be a "dyed in the wool" romantic. I'm also a hard core Mary Ann fan and have been since the day the show aired. (I was five.) This is a new venue for me and I stand with the MAG shippers in the group. I've read several MAG stories (too many to list) that I truly enjoyed, so I decided to have a go at it myself. I hope everyone enjoys the story.
It should be me, lying there. Not her.
It was almost midnight as the despondent young man held a vigil at his friend's bedside, having not moved since he carried her back to camp. Outside the supply hut, the remaining members of the group were gathered around the table, engaged in muted conversation. A very somber mood had settled on the community of castaways.
He gazed back his friend as she lay motionless on the bed.
"It should be me," he said aloud. He didn't notice the door open behind him and jumped when the new arrival spoke.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you."
"That's okay, Ginger," said Gilligan. He suddenly became self conscious as he was still holding Mary Ann's hand, but despite his embarrassment, he held on fast. He was sure Ginger had noticed, but instead of teasing him, she only smiled.
"Has she stirred at all?" she asked, taking the seat across from him.
"No," said Gilligan, as he looked back to Mary Ann. He gently brushed aside a strand of her hair which was covering her cheek. "The Professor checked on her a little while ago. He said that nothing had changed."
Gilligan paused for a moment, "She saved my life, Ginger. She risked her life to save me. Why did she do that?"
It was a rhetorical question and they both knew it.
Mary Ann and Gilligan had been climbing up to a cave, set into the side of the ledge, to ascertain its usefulness as a shelter. Just as they were about to enter the cavern, a large group of boulders came loose from the top of the entrance, just above Gilligan's head. Without a second thought, Mary Ann pushed him out of the way as the rocks fell, one of them striking a glancing blow on the back of her head.
Roy Hinkley had examined the young woman as soon as Gilligan had brought her back to camp. Externally, Mary Ann's injuries seemed superficial, as she had a bump on the back of her head where the rock had hit her. But she had lost consciousness immediately after the accident, and despite the Professor's best efforts, Mary Ann had slipped into a coma. Afraid of exacerbating her injuries, the Professor chose to leave her where Gilligan had placed her. While he had some medical knowledge, he was not a qualified physician. "All we can do now," he said grimly, "is wait." And even though he knew much less than the Professor, Gilligan was certain, that the longer Mary Ann stayed in the coma, the less likely she would come out of it. Not that it will matter in the long run, he thought, remembering the looming threat that endangered them all.
Throughout the day and into the evening, each member of the group had paid Gilligan a visit, as he stood watch over his companion, trying in vain to keep his spirits raised. Ginger noticed that his dinner had hardly been touched which, for him, was unheard of.
"You should try to eat something, Gilligan."
"You're always hungry," she retorted, in a feeble attempt to make light.
The first mate didn't respond as his attention was drawn back to the unconscious figure in the bed beside him.
"I didn't tell her, Ginger," said Gilligan, his voice cracking as he spoke. "I didn't get the chance. And now…"
Ginger reached and placed her hand on top of his. A few weeks ago, the shy young man would have withdrawn in embarrassment, but Ginger's forwardness hardly fazed him as his concerns were rooted elsewhere.
"I think she already knows, Gilligan," she said. "In fact, I think she's known for a long time."
I know, Gilligan thought, I should have said something sooner. I've wasted the last five years of our lives.
"I was going to tell her," he said. "I really was."
Releasing his hand, Ginger stood from her chair and turned to go. Before she reached the door, she twirled around.
"Why don't you tell her now?" she asked, suddenly.
Gilligan looked up to the flame headed actress, "Why? She can't hear me."
"Do you know that for sure?" countered Ginger. "I was in a movie once where the female lead was in a coma and she could hear everything her friends and family were saying. In fact, it was her boyfriend's profession of love that brought her out of the coma."
"I'll bet you played the girl in the coma."
"Well, yes. I did," Ginger remarked, somewhat coyly.
The exchange had brought a brief smile to his face and he looked back at Mary Ann.
"I wish…I wish, this was like the movies," he sighed. "I'd tell her how I feel, I'd kiss her, she would wake up, and we would live happily ever after."
He shook his head in a mixture of sadness and embarrassment of his admission, "I don't know a lot of stuff, like the Professor or Mr. Howell, but I do know that life doesn't work like that."
"Gilligan," she began, "miracles do happen. The Professor once told me that many people in comas have claimed to have heard the voices of those around them. Tell her how you feel, Gilligan. What do you have to lose?"
With that, Ginger stepped out into the night leaving a bemused Gilligan to consider what she had said.
She's right, said the voice in his head.
Even with no one around, Gilligan had to force himself to gather up his courage. He turned back to his dearest friend, thinking, no, she's much more than a friend. Tell her Gilligan. Don't chicken out now.
"I love you, Mary Ann. I've always loved you. Please wake up. I don't want to lose you"
With that, he leaned over and kissed her.