Anne heard somebody knock on the door as soon as she pressed the record button.

She froze for a second, her fingers hovering over the device. She had told her friends explicitly that she had no desire for company that day, and she would have been very surprised to see them ignore her request; especially at a time as trying as this. The only one of the trio who might try to take matters in her own hands was Phil but then again, she certainly wouldn't have bothered to knock, even if she hadn't been sharing the small room with her.

Her eyes flickered back to the camera as she pondered whether she should turn it off, if only to avoid the unnecessary questions or comments that were bound to come if the visitor was anyone from outside their small group, and of that she was almost certain. The remembrance of Roy scolding her for wanting to document every hour of her life didn't feel very encouraging at first, either; until she also remembered how little she cared for his schooled judgements and opinions.

She had no idea what the unexpected visit would bring her – she could as well have it recorded, even if she decided against posting it anywhere.

Maybe she would just keep it for herself. For...

...for memories.

She was startled by another knock and she straightened up, turning hastily towards the door. Had there been any room to run, she would have done it; being were she was, she as well as jumped to the entrance and, pushing away the painful thoughts that had come to her mind just seconds before, she grabbed the handle and swung the door open. She felt that her smile wasn't entirely sincere but she was more than sure it would do well enough for now.

She could totally do this.

"Hello, Anne."

Or could she.

She blinked repeatedly as she stared at her unexpected, uninvited and yet most welcome guest. She eyed him from top to toe and back, feeling her jaw lower at the sight and only half-consciously hoping that she wouldn't start drooling at some point.

Gilbert Blythe was at her door.



And he was okay.

"Anne?" she heard him say again and she shook her head, wanting to bring herself from her stupor before her friend decided to interfere. She returned the smile somehow hesitantly but stepped away. The last thing she wanted was to scare him off, when he'd decided – on his own accord no less – to come and see her, when she was sure he had so many other things to take care of.

Regardless of the lack of a voiced invitation Gilbert seemed to have understood her cue and crossed the threshold, the smile on his face widening ever so slightly.

Anne closed the door and turned around. It was still difficult to believe that he really was there, standing in her own room, when they had been so close to never speaking to one another again. The accident had left her more scared than she ever had been, and the feeling hadn't quite gone away yet – and even as she'd learnt about his recovery, she still felt too anxious to believe he really was going to be alright.

Now however, he was standing before her and he looked just like she always thought he should look. Strong, healthy, with joy and determination reflecting on his face. He smiled at her and she felt her heart leap.

The world appeared to be singing with joy. Or maybe it was just her soul that did?

"I'm sorry for intruding like this," he began somehow apologetically, while Anne couldn't come up with a proper reason for him speaking like this. She wanted to protest but the lump in her throat successfully prevented her from it. Gilbert went on, "I guessed you'd be busy and I see you're recording, so I honestly hope I didn't spoil anything – although I wouldn't have knocked if I'd heard you talk. Anyway, I met Stella in the park earlier today, and she said -"

"It's so good to see you," she cut him off eventually, obviously disinterested in whatever Stella had had to say. She saw the surprise in his eyes and shook her head with a little laugh. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have interrupted you. But you really didn't spoil anything, I only just started and... And I'm just so happy to see you again. I've tried to visit you at the hospital but they wouldn't let me in as we obviously aren't family and they seemed determined not to understand that a friend can be just as important and then when you got better I had to take care of the -"

"Hey, hey, calm down!" It was Gilbert's turn to laugh quietly, with both of his hands raised in defence. "I'm not here for an apology and I know you've been at the hospital. It's okay. I'm okay."

"You're okay," she deadpanned after him, unwittingly echoing her own thoughts from just a few moments earlier. She could feel tears welling up in her eyes already, and with a forced smile, she wiped them away before any of them could fall down her already reddening cheeks.

All she wanted was to run towards him and throw her arms around his neck and never, never let him go again, holding him close to her until he admitted that his feeling for her didn't change. She knew it was not what she should do – her mind told her it was reckless, considering the accident he probably still hadn't fully recovered from. Her heart stopped her for a different reason entirely.

It knew that she could not endure his rejection now.

"Don't you want to sit?" she suggested and marched towards the bed, waving her hand at the space next to her. She saw him hesitate and immediately decided she wouldn't let him squirrel out of it so easily. She smiled at him gently. "Come on, Gilbert, after scaring me like you did you owe me a few minutes of an unrushed visit. And I don't bite, you know."

His reluctance seemed to disappear as he returned the smile with more enthusiasm this time. "I suppose magnetic slates have proved to be more effective."

"Lucky you then, because I don't have any with me."

He laughed again then and finally sunk down on the bed close to her. Anne felt her blood run faster in her veins.

"I was so worried about you," she admitted after a while, her voice a little more than a whisper. "When we heard about the accident and about you being involved and about how badly you were hurt... I... I really didn't know what to do. I know it's nothing extraordinary, considering how rarely I actually know what to do or how to behave but... I was terrified, even though we hadn't talked for so long and it almost felt like our friendship was over, and I couldn't just ignore it. I was scared out of my wits, Gil. And I guess I'm just relieved to see you now. And I'm a mess."

"So that's why you're crying?" Gilbert answered with a teasing smile as he leaned towards her a little. "I was beginning to think it was your natural reaction to seeing me."

"Idiot," was all she could say as she pushed his head away, her hand against his face, as she'd done so many times before. She wasn't looking at him but she still could hear – feel – him chuckle against her palm as if her actions had been the most hilarious thing he had ever come across.

She realised how much he'd laughed during his short visit already.

She realised how much she'd missed the sound of it.

"Anyway, what brings you here?" she asked lightly, hoping that his answer would be elaborate enough to let her organise her very tangled thoughts. "You must be overloaded with meetings, or duties, or whatever it was that you'd missed because of that accident. I'm sure you don't really have much time to spare on nonsense."

"I'm not sure overloaded is the word I would use; overwhelmed, more like. There is much to catch up with, although I suppose I was lucky to get hit by that car after all of our exams were over," he chuckled again; Anne smiled fondly at him, again. "But I really am not as popular as you think, so except from trying to get back to my own rhythm and combining it with all the indications the doctors gave me, I don't really have much to do."

"When did they discharge you?"

"Monday. Yes, I know," he added after he saw her stir a little at the news. "It's been four days already, and I promise I would have come earlier but things just kept popping out. Every time I made up my mind to visit, something would prevent it – usually just about the time when I was going to leave."

"That's not what I meant!" Anne protested firmly. "I didn't expect you to come earlier. To be honest, I didn't expect you to come here at all."

"Didn't you want me to?"

"I did, you know that I did. But you're making it sound as if you owed me this visit – you don't owe me anything, Gil."

"Hey, we are friends, aren't we?" Gilbert contradicted her again, this time reaching towards her and covering her hand with his own. He squeezed it gently, in this affectionate yet safe manner of the easy comradeship, as Anne had used to call their friendship before any idea of romance even crossed her thoughts, and for the first time she fully understood what it meant that a friendship was no longer enough.

"Yes. Yes, we are," she answered a little sheepishly, quietly wondering whether she should actually try to let Gilbert know about the real feelings she had for him. She did not withdraw her hand, however, deciding to enjoy the comfort the closeness of him gave instead.

Pushing him away was a mistake she was not going to repeat.

"I'm glad to know that," she heard him speak softly; she looked up and met his earnest gaze with her own. "But I'd lie if told you I didn't have a more specific reason for coming here as soon as I could."

He paused, clearly waiting for her reaction. Anne wasn't quite sure where he was heading with this and she certainly didn't dare to guess – she felt vulnerable enough as she was and had no need of making it worse by some untimely assumptions of hers – so she just nodded, hoping it would be enough to make him talk.

Gilbert understood the hint and went on with his speech, "It's about something Phil mentioned when I was still at the hospital. She came to visit, apologised for not bringing you with her, and... said something about the last video of yours."

She took her hand away then, too surprised to fully control her actions. Gilbert's gaze was steady and dark, determination reflecting in his eyes as he bore them into her face and he seemed too focused on it to have noticed anything.

"What about my video?" was all Anne managed to say.

"Phil said it was incredibly important and that I watched it," he answered. "She almost made me promise that I would. I asked her what kind of video it was – what sort of news I should expect, but she wouldn't say anything. All she did was repeat how crucial it was that I watched it."

Anne drew a sharp breath, readying herself for the truth that was about to come.

"Did you?"

Here she was, blabbing about her worries, thinking whether she should tell him how she felt about him – when he'd already known it. He'd known it all along, not just for today but for an entire week because that was how much time had passed since Phil had visited him. There was no way he had refrained from watching the video, not after Phil had advertised it to him in such manner – and even if he only had done it so Phil would leave him alone, it made no difference, because he had known.

When he had come to visit her, he'd known. When they'd talked about the accident, he'd known.

And yet, he was there, sitting on her bed right next to her, staring at her expectantly. Just mere moments earlier he'd been holding her hand and if it hadn't been for her sudden reaction, he would have probably been holding it now.

Did it mean he was happy about her admission? Or did he feel so completely at ease that he could allow himself such words and gestures, and had only come because he wanted to clear things up and tell her he no longer cared for her?"

"No. I didn't."

His words roused her from her stupor. She needed a few more seconds to fully comprehend what he'd just said, no matter how short his answer had been.

"Oh?" she stuttered eloquently. "Why not?"

Gilbert looked away then, and bored his gaze onto his knees. "I don't think it's much of a surprise to know that I didn't really follow your documentary lately. Not after... after what happened in the Spring. I tried at first and even though it was hard, I made myself believe that I can do it, if only to support you as I had before. But then Roy came into picture and I gave up. I couldn't... wouldn't force myself to watch you two grow so close, see you blossom in his company. It was enough to see you together on all those college events. I think the only video I watched after that was the one for Ruby, but then again, that was different."

He made another pause, although this time it was more about him trying to find the right words than to give her time to process. He sighed deeply and continued, "When Phil told me about the latest one, my first thought was that it was about some great announcement concerning you two. I knew you had broken up, but maybe that was what it was all about? You getting back together, loving, and happy and all. But even if it wasn't – if it was something entirely different – if it really was that important, I thought I'd rather hear it directly from you."

Anne made no immediate answer, too busy trying to calm down her own heart that had suddenly begun to beat so violently in her chest. All at once she felt more terrified than she had been since she'd heard the news of Gilbert's accident, even if for different reasons entirely. Just a few moments earlier she'd been shaken at the thought that her secret was out – only to realise that in was the opposite, and that if she wanted her kindred spirit to know the truth she had to explain it to him openly, now.

She had to confess her love once again, only now he was sitting next to her, and he could actually reject her this time.

And she hadn't got the slightest idea how she could do it.

She was not looking at him now, although she could tell his eyes were on her once more. She felt him lean towards her. "Anne? What is the news?"

A little reluctantly, she turned to him again, wondering how on earth she was supposed to tell him everything she felt at the moment. All the shame and guilt, and amazement, and love, which seemed to fill her body and soul together with the fear that was mingled with those. What if instead of the beautiful speech Gilbert so deserved she told something stupid as she had done so many times in the past? What if she couldn't explain it properly and he would get the wrong idea?

What if he really had stopped caring for her?

Her mind raced back to that cursed afternoon back in the Spring when he had come to confess his feelings for her, the confession she had so recklessly rejected. She had been a fool, she knew it now, but that wasn't what caught her attention. Was this how he had felt that day, as hesitant and insecure as she did right now?

And yet, he'd come and said the words, risking everything they'd had, because he cared and was brave enough to show it.

It was her time to be brave, too.

"Anne?" Gilbert repeated in a hushed, slightly cracked voice. She glanced up and once again was met with the intensity and concern in his gaze. "Anne, is there anything -"

"I love you," she said then and there, suddenly indifferent to the consequences of her statement. Gilbert's eyes widened. "I love you, in that way. In that and in so many, many others. I'm pretty sure that I have loved you like that for a long time, I just didn't realise it until recently – I think there were so many ways in which I loved you that I missed the romantic one among them. I'm sorry it took me so much time and a car accident to understand that but I'm happy that I did at last, even if your feelings have changed entirely, which they probably have and – and I'm prattling again."

She fell silent there, waiting for Gilbert to react. She half expected him to laugh at her blabbing as he usually did, although she couldn't foresee whether his next move would be to gather her in his arms and kiss her or to tell her politely that her words made no difference, because he no longer loved her back; tell her that the change of her heart had come too late to mean anything to him.

Gilbert, however, did nothing of the kind. He didn't laugh and he didn't move, restricting himself to staring, as if he'd been trying to judge the truth behind her words by studying her eyes instead. Anne could not answer it.

"Do you really mean it?" he asked her eventually, his voice weak with disbelief. "Is it how you really feel? Or is it just the pity for your dumb friend who almost died because of his own stupidity?"

Anne couldn't help but snort at his words. "Gilbert Blythe, have I ever done anything out of pity whenever you were concerned?"

"No," he admitted with a small laugh, but returned to his previous seriousness almost at once. "But after all that I've seen and heard, it's pretty hard to believe how it could be true otherwise."

Again, Anne took her time to think about the answer. During Gilbert's short visit she had come up with a hundred possible reactions he could give to her words, but not for once had she thought that he could not believe her.

Not exactly confident, she took one of his hands and squeezed it affectionately. He frowned a little and she smiled warmly in response.

"I mean every word, Gil," she repeated slowly, making sure she wouldn't rush this sweet yet still slightly awkward moment. "I was blind and silly, and stubborn and I hurt you, even though I never wanted to. And I understand if you don't feel the same anymore, after I gave you every reason in the world to stop, but if by some miracle you still do -"

"I do," he interrupted her firmly, and before Anne could react, he cupped her cheek in his hand and drew her close, as close as they only could be.

His lips were soft against her mouth and she could almost hear her heart sing – no, roarwith the happiness that suddenly washed over it.

Because Gilbert Blythe was kissing her.

It didn't take her long to get over her initial astonishment and soon she was kissing him back, her hands flying to his chest and clasping its collar as she deepened the kiss. Gilbert responded eagerly, his other hand embracing her waist and bringing her even closer to him.

In the back of Anne's mind there were the memories of the many kisses she had shared with Roy.

None of them compared to this.

They didn't really edge away after the kiss had ended, the only difference being that their lips were barely brushing now. They remained as close as possible, however, with Gilbert's nose touching her cheek and her smiling against his chin, hardly managing to stop herself from pecking the corner of his mouth or maybe even dragging him back into a proper kiss right after.

"I'm sorry," she heard him gasp eventually, with another of his short laughs following. "I was afraid you would change your mind before I could respond and it would all be for nothing."

"Gilbert Blythe!" she huffed, offended. "Do you really think I am so fickle a creature to do that?"

"Well, you did dump Royal Gardner after all."


He cut her off with yet another kiss, smiling against her lips in the same way that she did against his. It was sweet and it was pure, and it was still as passionate as a girl could ever hope her second true love's kiss to be.

"I love you," Gilbert said when they parted again. "I've loved you since the day you bent that magnetic slate over my head and I don't think I could stop loving you any time soon; I tried to, but as you can tell, I failed spectacularly at that."

"I am very glad you did," Anne responded with a smile. "But I'm afraid it works both ways – you're not going to get rid of me that easily, either."

Gilbert only laughed at this and placed a long kiss on her forehead before moving away a little more and looking her directly in the eye.

"Good. Then we're stuck together, Carrots."

Hello, Kindred Spirits! So, here is my idea for an alternative Shirbert get-together, Green Gables Fables style. I mean, they did it off-screen! You don't do moments like this happen off-screen!

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed reading the story and will stay with me for more. I have big plans, and they include all kinds of settings, from the original books and Anne with an E series to more GGF, if only you wish to see more. And your suggestions are welcomed!

I hope to share something new with you soon, with NaNoWriMo going on and going well. So, I will see you then!

Lots of love and God bless you,