Oh, hello! I honestly don't know where this came from, but if anyone is even still interested in this story, here you go.

"Gilbert Blythe, fancy seeing you here," Anne drawled, sounding simultaneously smug and adorable.

"Anne," Gil said softly. "A pleasure as always."

"Now, I'm not sure that's quite true," Anne said, sliding down the door slightly. "You don't have to lie on my account, Gilbert, and I know I've caused you more pain than pleasure over the past decade."

"Now, Anne, I'd hardly say that," Gil began, her bluntness staining his face red.

"No, no. No need to spare my feelings," Anne continued on. "I certainly haven't spared yours over the years, have I? I've been thinking back on all the things I've said and done over the past few decade, and oh, Lord, am I embarrassed."

Gil watched Anne swing her shoes up to hold in both hands. She fiddled with the silver buckles on them. Her thin fingers were still so painfully and conspicuously bare.

"You never need to be embarrassed around me, Anne," Gil said. "I thought you knew that? I think once a man's fished your drowned little ass out of the Lake of Shining Waters, embarrassment is off the table."

Anne kept her head down, eyes glued to her shoes, but relief flooded Gil when a breathy chuckle escape her mouth.

"Well, in that case, there's no reason for me to hold back now then," she said, her voice trembling.

"Hold back? Anne, what's—"

"I turned Roy down. I couldn't believe he asked me like that. But it was so like him really. You know? Grand romantic gestures and the audiences…. Well, I just couldn't answer in front of all those people, of course. So I pulled him out onto the veranda, intending to at least talk about us. Then, there was just this moment…."

At her pause, Gil felt the air in the room disappear. The heavy bass of the music from the other room roared in his ears, making his whole head ache. When his eyes refocused, Anne was staring straight at him.

"A moment?" He prompted.

"The moment," Anne said slowly, pushing off the door and dropping her shoes to her side. "The moment when I realized that I had to say no."

Gil swallowed roughly. Anne stepped closer to him, the filmy green fabric of her dress floating angelically around her hips.

"I had to say no, Gil. And it wasn't because of anything I could really pinpoint in the moment, but I just knew it. Rachel Lynde would call it Providential or a divine revelation, but I just knew I couldn't marry him in that moment. But now, I've had a lot of time to think about why."

She moved closer, and a heady cloud of lavender and lemon breezed around him. His pulse drummed heavily in his veins.

"He never could make me laugh until I was sure I had six-pack. He never brought me a wildflower bouquet when he saw a patch of Queen Anne's Lace on the side of the road. He was never as forgiving or compassionate or steady or sensible as I needed him to be. I always felt like there was something missing in Roy, and I spent these last two years ignoring it. And now, on the other side of everything, I think I've figured it out."

The hem of Anne's dress brushed the toes of oxfords now. He tilted his head up slightly to maintain eye contact. A silence stretched on, and Gil desperately wished to urge her on. But he couldn't make his brain form a single coherent thought.

"Everything Roy was missing," Anne started, her free hand coming to rest on his cheek. "Everything I was looking for in him is what I see in you. Roy could never measure up because he wasn't you. I've been looking for you since the very beginning and I just didn't know it. And I am so sorry, Gil. I should've known the very first time we danced together at that AVIS event, and I should've known all those times when you stayed up way too late helping me with my biology homework. And I should've known the first time you brought me a wildflower bouquet from the side of the road, and I should've known the moment you yanked my braid and called me carrots. And I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I didn't realize sooner, and I can only call it denial and willful misunderstanding. So here I am, begging you to forgive me in this storage room at Phil's wedding and hoping—if you can forgive me—that we can at least go back to being friendly acquaintances with a little less baggage between them. I know that's a lot to ask of you, so I understand if—"

"I forgive you," Gill interrupted her, bring his hand to cover the hand on his check.

"You do?" Anne said, her voice breathless. "Just like that?"

"Just like that," Gil said, his heart blooming with an overwhelming warmth. "How could I not after a speech like that?"

"Gil, I just… I…," she stumbled over the words before leaning down and engulfing him in an embrace.

Immediately, Gil tightened his arms around her, too. He would hold her as close as he could for as long as she would let him. Her warm breath tickled the side of her neck, and the stilettos of her shoes prodded into his back, but Gil couldn't care less.

Anne pulled back slightly and stared into his eyes for a moment. Before Gil could question it, she pressed her lips against his. He felt every nerve in his body electrify, and he instantly responded. She carded one hand through his curls, and he heard the thump of her shoes drop to the ground behind him. He carefully slid one of his hands from her upper back to her waist and began reverently tracing the curve with his thumb. Anne tugged on his curls and moaned lightly, her other hand trailing around his neck and down his chest.

Gil felt like he was on fire. It didn't matter that an entire wedding reception partied on just outside the doors. It didn't matter that there was still so much between them to unpack. All that mattered was that Anne was kissing him and he was finally kissing her.

Anne slowly slipped her hand from his hair down to his neck, and he felt both her hands start to loosen the knot of his tie. Emboldened by this, the hand on her waist slid down over the curve of her hips and to her the back of her thigh. He pulled her forward, and in an instant, she was straddling his lap. Anne worked his tie off and tossed it carelessly to the side. She hurriedly unbuttoned the first few buttons of his dress shirt, and soon, her small, warm hands smoothed over his chest.

Gil's traced his hands up from her legs to her shoulders and pushed the thin straps of her bridesmaid's dress off her collarbones. His lips left hers, and he pressed frantic, open-mouthed kisses along her jaw and neck. Anne's nails scored along his shoulders, and he felt her trying to push the shirt off all the way. His hands circled her waist and found the low back of her dress. His fingers brushed the dangling zipper.

The music suddenly pitched louder, warm air rushed around them and golden light pierced the dim room.

"There you are! Phil sent us on a scavenger hunt for the wedding party so we could take one last drunk picture and—oh! Oh gosh, I am so sorry!" Stella's voice broke through the moment.

Anne and Gil froze. They snapped apart, faces flushed. Gil wrenched his gaze from Anne and found Stella, equally shocked as them, leaning into the room through the barely-cracked door. Priscilla's head peeked around Stella's shoulder, and her cheeks went scarlet and her mouth dropped open.

Anne turned around to face her friends and tried to extricate herself from Gil's lap, her legs tangled in her dress and his hands still holding her firmly.

"I'll be there in a minute," she called at them.

Gil was sure she was glaring daggers at them, and the three seemed to be communicating in some silent foreign language. Priscilla tilted her head to the side, her eyes growing wide and flicking purposefully between Anne and Gil. Stella mouthed something Gil couldn't understand and her hand made a somewhat crude gesture. Anne huffed and shook her head in the tiniest nod.

"You take all the time you need," Stella said, sounding all too pleased with herself. "We'll tell Phil you're just a little, um, busy at the moment."

"Stella, I swear to God," Anne said, finally pulling herself off of Gil and standing up to face her friends.

Gil watched Anne smooth her dress down and slide her straps back into place. She walked to the women at the door and began speaking quietly. At something Anne said, Stella's and Priscilla's gazes darted back to him, their eyes lighting up almost evilly. He flushed and remembered his shirt was hanging open. As he buttoned back up, Anne promptly pushed the other two bridesmaids out the door and turned to face him again

"I know you said we can't be embarrassed in front of each other any more, but that was the exception, right?" She asked, covering her face as she cracked up in laughter.

Gil couldn't help but join her.