I'm gonna put this as complete for now but I might sneak in a few more when the urge suits me. I hope you all enjoyed.
Father – His father said to him once: "Willy, find you a woman who can cook!" It had been one of the last conversations he'd had with the man before he left for the Navy. Back when he was young; when his hair was longer and his face thinner; when his eyes were too big and naive. He'd sat beside his father, his mother frying battered fish in the kitchen and he remembered paying more attention to the smell than the man. "She ain't worth a red cent if she can't cook. And son, I know some say, 'oh, well we'll live on love';" His father shook his head, pushed his thick framed glasses up his nose. "Not really. You do that and you'll starve to death!"
Gilligan had laughed. His father always had a way with his words that would make anyone laugh. "Now, she don't have'ta be beautiful…" he went on. "It's hard to find 'em pretty when they can cook like that."
"You must have lucked out with mom, then."
His father had nodded, smiled at the woman bustling in the kitchen. "Yes I did. And if you ever find a woman who has both of those qualities, then you snatch her up! Don't let her get away, 'cause that's a rare find!"
He hadn't thought much of the advice then. He was young and reckless, wanting more for adventure than to settle down. And it isn't until years later, (when he's older and his hair is short and his face is longer and his eyes are smaller and wiser) that the conversation comes back to him.
Sitting at their crudely fashioned bamboo table, chin in hand, sulking because he's botched another rescue attempt; it hits him like a slap in the face. Those words his father said reverberate in his mind as the smell wafts through the air towards him. It's the smell of freshly baked crust, of banana and crème, pineapple and coconut. It's a smell he's come to associate with one person and one alone. And she follows shortly around the corner of his hut. She's not smiling but she's not mad either, she's just relaxed as she sets the pie down on the table, sits across from him and passes him a fork. Then, without a word and only a hint of a smile, takes her own fork and sinks it into the treat.
She does this sometimes; makes him a treat to cheer him up when he does something particularly stupid. It helps and he's grateful for it. But instead of digging in to the pie, he pushes his fork around the crème for a moment, chin still propped in his hand as he takes a minute to look at her.
He's known it since he met her but hers is a different type of beauty. It's not the flamboyant, movie star beauty that Ginger possesses, nor is it the sophisticated charm of Mrs. Howell. Hers is a simple beauty. Her skin smooth and tanned from the sun, her eyes big and dark, her hair soft dark curls that sweep over her shoulders like water. Her hands with long and slender fingers, pink nails that glint in the sun as she brings a forkful of pie to her plump, pink lips. A tiny pink tongue that licks away a spot of crème forgotten at the corner of her mouth, which quirks into a grin when she realizes his stare.
He looks away, shoves a forkful of pie into his mouth.
"Is it good?"
He nods jerkily, and focuses on eating. She sighs, puts her fork down and walks around to his side, perches on the bench beside him. He pauses, fork held aloft in the air as she kisses his cheek and rubs his back, her perfume overpowering the smell of her cooking. "Cheer up." She says as she pulls away. "There's always next time."
"Yeah, until I mess that up too." He mutters, his next bite taken just a bit more angrily. She giggles. "And I'll have a pie waiting to cheer you up again." She starts to walk away and he moves before he can catch himself. His hand catches her wrist, halting her and his fork drops to the table. She turns curiously and he stutters helpless for a second. Then his fingers hook into hers as his hand slides down her wrist, hold for a minute then are gone. "Uh, Mary Ann?..." he manages to squeak out. "Do you…? That is, I um…Do you want to go swimming in the lagoon later?"
She deflates a little and he quickly throws in, "just the two of us?" And her smile is back again. "I'd love to." She says, and then she turns and leaves him there. He stares after her, his pulse hammering in his chest because he really hasn't a clue what he's doing. But the same words keep repeating in his head, over and over like a broken record.
And if you ever find a woman who has both of those qualities, then you snatch her up! Don't let her get away, 'cause that's a rare find!
Laundry – It's her turn to do the laundry and she's alright with that. She likes doing it; it's soothing and sometimes even a little fun. She carries the basket to the lagoon and sets it in sand as she strips off her dress and shoes. Her black bathing suit needs mending, thanks to Gilligan, but she can't find it in herself to be mad at him. A little annoyed, yes, but not mad. So, throwing her dress into the basket with the other clothes, she hopes nobody passes by to see her in her slip. Lifting the basket, she steps into the water, relishing the chill that races up her heated skin and wades out to her self-dubbed: Laundry rocks. It's nothing more than a shallow area of water, bedded with sand and small pebbles and two shallow rocks to set both her and the basket on. It's far enough away from the deeper ends of the pool where the lobsters and crabs and turtles lurk, waiting to pinch at her feet and just deep enough to get the job done.
But she can feel the heat beating down on her neck, feels the sweat starting to cling to her forehead. She sets the basket on one of the rocks and after a deep breath, dives into the water. Seconds pass and she surfaces again, brushing her dark hair away from her face with a sigh. Much better. Thoroughly cooled, she wades back to the rocks and setting the basket beside her, sets to work.
Save for the thunder of the waterfall behind her, the lagoon is too quiet today. Most likely because of the looming clouds in the distance that bring the promise of rain soon to come, but still, she finds it a little unnerving. She suddenly wishes she'd brought the radio with her, but hadn't thought much on it, seeing as she couldn't exactly bring it out to the water with her.
She tries to think of a song to break the silence and several tunes float through her head. One in particular bursts from her lips in a melodious little hum. It's a sad little melody, one she adores. She's a die-hard Elvis fan and the lyrics come as readily to her mind as the water that slips through her fingers.
Treat me like a fool
Treat me mean and cruel
But love me
Break my faithful heart, tear it all apart
But love me
Her song floats out over the water, across the beach and then further into the jungle where her fellow castaway is lounging in a hammock. He's dog tired, the day's work dragging him down and the sound almost lulls him to sleep, but curiosity gets the better of him. He pushes away from the swinging net and meanders towards the lagoon. It's such a pretty sound but not the whispery sort like Ginger's singing. It's soft and lilting, then fierce and crying, passion bleeding into the words as they pour from the singer's very soul. There's only two other women on this island who could sound like that and he highly doubts Mrs. Howell is overly fond of Elvis. Besides, he's heard her sing before and it sounds nothing like this.
He breaks the tree line and sees her there perched on a rock in the shallows of the lagoon. He doesn't want her to see him because surely if she does, she'll stop and he doesn't want that. She very rarely sings out loud and never in front of anyone but he's often caught her at it when she thinks no one's listening. She good, better when she's singing for herself and not trying to impersonate the fiery actress. So he lies on his belly on the low, rocky ledge that peeks over the lagoon, and puts his chin in his hands.
The sun glistens off her wet hair, looking like diamonds in the dark tresses. The thin shift she's wearing clings to her skin, leaving little to the imagination but ever the gentleman, he keeps his eyes locked on her face. Or tries to. His eyes sink lower, trace over her figure, committing every smooth curve and soft line to memory. Watches as she slaps the clothes against the water, scrubs them against the pebbles, rinses, and rings them out before inspecting her handiwork. Once satisfied that the article of clothing she's working on is clean, she tosses it next to her on the rock and reaches for another. She grabs his red shirt and starts to slap it against the water.
I would beg and steal
Just to feel your heart
Beatin' close to mine
Well, if you ever go,
Darling, I'll be oh so lonely
I'll be sad and blue,
Crying over you, dear only…
His head slumps in his hand as sleep finally begins to drag him down. Way down. His hands slip out from under his chin, the sand slides under him as he leans too close to the edge and the fragile ledge rocks give way. His eyes shoot open and he releases a shout as he falls face first into the deep end of the lagoon. The sound draws her attention and she turns with a screech of her own. As he surfaces, coughing and sputtering and pushing his hat out of his eyes, she screams again, clutching the red shirt to her chest to preserve her modesty. "Gilligan!"
His eyes widen as she stands and stares horrified at him. "What are you doing here?!"
"I! Uh, I was just!...Um…" He stammers helplessly. Thankfully, the skipper comes to his rescue as his voice drifts through the trees, calling him. "Oh, um…coming Skipper!" He practically walks on the water's surface in his haste to get out of there before she starts throwing things at him. "Gilligan! Now you wait just a minute!" She stands, holds his shirt to her front to cover herself as she shouts at him. "Gilligan!"
"Sorry Mary Ann, the Skipper!" He pauses and it's too tempting to ignore and even though he knows Skipper will probably hit him on the head for lollygagging, he turns anyway and saunters back. She freezes, pulls the shirt closer as he stops at the edge of the water, grinning like a Cheshire. "Oh and by the way…" He says. "Nice shirt, it looks good on you." She fights the smile twitching at the corner of her lips (too surprised to find that he's actually flirting with her) and splashes him, earning a playful laugh from him as he sprints back into the trees.
Fight – She doesn't remember how it started. She just knows one minute she's cleaning their hut, sweating out of her clothes because the whole island feels like it's six inches from the sun, trying to ignore Danny's crying in the next room because he's cranky and doesn't want to go to sleep (she hopes he'll tire himself out with his little tantrum) and the next they're in a screaming match. He'd ended up dragging himself home well after dark, stinking and cranky and tired after performing some menial task for the Skipper. He'd plopped down into one of their crudely fashioned chairs and with a heavy sigh, kicked his shoes off and flung them out in the middle of the hut. "Could you please do something with Danny?" He'd asked, "I'm beat."
She'd turned around and snapped at him and when he'd snapped back just as viciously it had grown into a full out screaming match. She wouldn't be surprised if the neighboring islands could hear them, much less the other castaways.
"You know what your problem is?" She snaps, flinging his shoes off into a corner. "No, Mary Ann, I don't! Why don't you tell me!" He waves his arm at her, beckoning her to continue. "C'mon, let's have it!"
"You're terrified of conflict." She says almost smugly, as if she's just stumbled onto some great discovery. He sneers at her with a sardonic grin and delivers a particularly low blow. "How can I be terrified of conflict? I'm married to you!"
Her mouth drops open at him and her brows scrunch adorably between her eyes and if he weren't so mad right now, he might think it was cute. She cocks her hips to the side; hand perched there like a bold statement. "If the Skipper calls, you come running! If Ginger spills a cup of pineapple juice on you, you apologize! If the Howell's have a job for you even though you have other plans, you say 'oh well'!" She slaps the table in anger and glares heatedly at him, her face flush and eyes flashing. He clenches his fists by his sides, releases them, clenches again. He's not a fighter by nature, but this woman's got his blood boiling over with her accusations. And she's not done yet.
"You are so determined to be a nice guy, you refuse to stand up for yourself! Not to Skipper, not to the others and especially not to me!" She screeches and he's so incensed he yanks his hat off his head, dark locks flipping wildly and throws it across the room. He stalks forward, stops inches away from her. "So you're saying the flaw in our marriage is we don't fight enough?!"
She throws her hands up in the air with a screech of frustration. "Oh, for god's sake, Gilligan! Why won't you just admit that you're a wuss and be done with it?!"
"Only if you admit that you're a bitch!"
With a growl, she places her palms against his chest and pushes him back. Turns; stalks around the hut, snatching up his shoes and hat and a blanket and shoves them into his arms. "Out!" She screeches as he stares dumbly at her. "What?"
"You heard me! I said get out! If I'm such a bitch, then you can just find someone else! Try Ginger, I hear she's just charming!" She shoves him backwards again, and his arm catches on the door frame. "You're being childish!" He snaps. "You're not going to kick me out of my own hut!"
"Wanna bet?!" She grabs a banana and flings it at him. He ducks, almost drops his belongings as more follow. "Ow! Dammit, Mary Ann!"
"I said git!" Once he's outside, she slams the door in his face and walks away. He growls as he stomps off, shoving his hat on his head and a stream of expletives that would make even the Skipper cock a brow streaming from his mouth. He doesn't go far; climbs up in the little hammock strung between two palm trees a few yards away from the hut and crosses his arms with a huff. A monkey chitters above him, laughing at him. With a fierce frown, he pulls his hat over his eyes and crosses his arms over his chest and tries to get some sleep.
After a little while, Danny quiets down, the monkey goes away and Gilligan finally lets sleep drag him under.
Forgive – He feels a touch on his arm and shifts to slide his hat up over his face. She's kneeling in the sand beside the hammock; in her tattered, old sleep shirt. He stares at her puzzled as she nervously tugs at a lock of her hair, twisting it around her finger in little knots. "I'm sorry…" She whispers and before she can get another word out, he's already turning over, his fingers tangling in the thick, dark hair at the base of her neck as he pulls her into a heated kiss. She grins and grips the front of his t-shirt, pulling him closer; giggling as his foot tangles in the net as he tries to stumble out of it in his haste. He ends up face first in the sand with one leg stuck in the net as she giggles helplessly beside him.
With a series of unintelligible mutters, he makes quick work of the knot, freeing his feet long enough to stand and scoop her up into his arms before practically running back to the hut. He leaves everything forgotten outside; his shoes, his blanket, his hat, their argument. Concentrates only on pressing her into their soft mattress as her hands cup his face; pulls him down into a smoldering embrace and tucks her toes into the hem of his jeans, pushing them down his hips as he works at the buttons of her nightshirt.
Family – She'd left after dinner and nobody had seen hide or hair of her since. She'd been a little off all day, but none of them really thought much of it. They'd missed yet another rescue attempt and they all assumed she was still upset. The sun is setting now, and he's climbing the ladder of the watch tower, ready for a long night of staring at nothing but black, rolling waves, hoping for ships' lights. He's startled to find her there, leaning over the rail as casually as if she'd always been there. She must have tried to go to bed early but then changed her mind last second, because she's wearing that long, faded button-up, sleeves rolled to her elbows, over a pair of worn jeans; her bare feet crossed at the ankles. Her hair is loose, drifting lazily in the breeze. It's longer now, brushing well past her shoulder blades. She doesn't seem to have noticed him yet.
She doesn't really look sad, but she doesn't look anything else either. Her face his blank, expressionless as she watches the sun sink lower over the horizon, reds and golds and oranges scattering like remnants of an intricate oil painting. Finally, she moves, raising a hand to rake through her bangs. It creates an attractively disheveled look and he finds he likes the look on her. She looks…real. Not painted up and primped and trying too hard to be movie star perfect.
"I was wondering where you disappeared off to." He says and she twists around in surprise. "Gilligan…"
Mary Ann glances back out to the ocean and frowns. "Not really, but I will be." She says. He comes to stand beside her, crosses his arms and leans on the thick, bamboo railing. "You want to talk about it?"
She mimics his pose, their shoulders brush. "It's stupid really." She mutters, looking away. Gilligan bumps her shoulder with his and grins. "I bet'cha it isn't."
She bites her lips and tugs at a strand of hair over her left shoulder. "I don't know. I'm just feeling sorry for myself I guess. I've had this dream since I was little and…well, it just feels like the longer we're here, the more that dream seems to…fade, I guess."
He looks a little confused, but at least he's listening. She blows a breath through her nose. "My cousin was getting married when I left. I bet she's got a houseful of babies by now." She says. "I wanted that. When I was little, all I ever wanted was to have a family and a little farm of my own. Someone to share it with and just be…happy."
He's got that slightly awkward look on his face, the one where he looks like he would rather run that talk about this sorta thing. She frowns and turns to go. "Like I said, stupid."
Surprise flits across her face when he grabs her arm and gently pulls her back. "No, not stupid." He says. "I…I think you would be a great…mom." She smiles because it's so cute when he's nervous. "Thanks." She says, then starts to leave again. He's still holding her arm though, unrelenting. "You know…it's not impossible." He mutters nervously. "Oh?" She giggles. This should be entertaining.
She places a finger to her chin in thought. "Hmm, well let's see. Mr. Howell, while rich is sadly taken. The Skipper is a bit too old I think." She smiles as she bristles slightly at her. "The Professor, hmm, well he's nice but I think Ginger's got her eye on him." She taps her chin with her fingertip, shrugs helplessly. "There's no one else I guess."
His sputters for a second. "Hey!" He snaps. "I…"
"You are afraid of marriage." She teases.
"Am not, am not!"
"Oh, please, Gilligan. You wouldn't even pretend to marry me without running away." There's sadness laced with her teasing now and he's starting to feel bad. "Well, that was…I just…"
She pulls her arm away with a sigh. "It's nothing Gilligan. I was just feeling a little sorry for myself, nothing to get worked up over…Goodnight."
He can't help but feel awful watching her walk away, so once more he pulls her back again. "So marry me." He says to his and her utter surprise. She laughs. "What?" He glares at her. "Y…You heard me."
She quirks a slender black brow at him. "You want to marry me? Gilligan, you fall all over yourself if I kiss you on the cheek. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but don't you think you're taking it a little far?"
"No." He says. She gins, knows how to settle this. "Alright then, kiss me." She quips. She swears the color drains from his face. "What?"
"It's what husbands do and if I'm going to marry you, you'll have to be able to kiss me. So, prove it, kiss me."
His adams apple bobs and his hand clenches over her arms but not painfully. She grins in victory because she knows she's won. "Mmm Hmm, that's what I thought." But then he gets this determined look on his face and his arm loops around her waist pulling her close. She stiffens, her heart jolts and begins to jog in her chest. Words stick in her throat as he angles his head down towards her, his eyes flickering from hers to her lips then back again. Her fingers clench in the fabric of his shirt as the gap is closed and he actually kisses her. It's soft and a little clumsy and over far too quickly for her liking.
She smiles as she looks at him because he's actually shaking now, and she can practically see the thoughts racing through his head. He doesn't really want to marry her, he's just Gilligan. He wants to make her feel better and if it means making a complete fool of himself then so be it. She pats his cheek lovingly and kisses him again, her heart fluttering as he somewhat returns it.
"I'm not going to marry you Gilligan." She says pulling away and his shoulders slump and his eyes brighten at the same time and she almost laughs. "But…if you ever decide you actually mean it…" She says shyly, averting her eyes. He frowns, and his fingers flex against her waist. "Well, I might change my mind."
She pulls away and finally, he lets her go.
2 Years later…
He's unusually quiet as she goes back to playing with their son, scooping him up and pulling him back into her arms as he keeps flipping onto his stomach and crawling away, laughing hysterically. The words burst from his lips before he even realizes it. "Marry me."