A/N: This is the third version of this story I've posted on this site! I posted the original on this account, took it down to rework, then put it up on another account I made. However, I decided that managing two seperate accounts would be too confusing for me and that it would be best to consolidate into one account. So, I'm posting it again!

Additionally, I orignally intended on expanding this story to a multi-chapter fic, but I've decided to keep it as a oneshot, for now.

Shoutout to my beta for this story, the amazing Lil_Redhead!

I reference Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë in this one-shot, a story which I do not own. I also use one direct quote from the book, which is in italics. I'll properly credit the quote in the author's note at the end, because it is the intellectual property of Charlotte Brontë, not I. The characters of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, who are mentioned in this story, belong to Charlotte Brontë. I cannot reiterate how much I do not own Jane Eyre. Please don't sue.

Also, the first three lines of dialogue in the story are directly from the episode. They're in italics. Some other lines, further along, are also from the episode, but I thought it might be too distracting to have randomly italicized lines stuck in the middle of the story. I'll properly credit them at the end.

Disclaimer: I do not own Anne of Green Gables or Anne With An E and am not making any profit off of this story. All rights go to Lucy Maud Montgomery and Moira Walley-Beckett.

Chapter One: Reader, I Recommended a Book to Him

"Gilbert, I am very sorry that I wasn't more sensitive about your father and what losing him really meant for you."

"It's water under the bridge."

"I know so much more now than I did then."

Anne sighed and blinked her eyes. Was she thinking about Matthew, his sickness, and her fear of losing him? Gilbert didn't like to see her in distress, though he often saw her in that very state. She always seemed to feel every emotion so intensely and her sensitivity was so...well, there was no other word for it but unearthly. There was an ethereal beauty about her, even in her sadness and pain.

Nevertheless, he didn't like to see her unhappy. He glanced around the dimly-lit cafe, trying to see if he could point out something interesting. That might take her mind off of things. He saw nothing of note, so he wracked his mind for a distraction. He blurted out the first thing that he thought of. "Have you been practicing the mnemonic device I told you about? So that you know more about the Maritimes?"

An unreadable expression crossed Anne's face. Her eyes were scrunched into deep concentration, and she was biting her lip. What could she be thinking about? Perhaps she was remembering the day he had given her the piece of studying advice. Gilbert frowned, the details of it coming back to him. She had rebuked him that time after class when he had tried to help her. Hopefully, he hadn't reminded her of the incident. It might cause an outburst of her fiery temper, which he didn't want when they had finally started getting along.

He glanced at Anne again. She remained silent, that look still etched across her features. Just as he was wondering what he'd do if she broke a plate over his head, Anne cried out, "Aha! I've got it!"

Gilbert tilted his head at her. "Got what?" She was smiling, like she had just discovered something new and exciting. Maybe this conversation wouldn't end with the smashing of flatware.

"I didn't know what you were talking about at first, but I just figured it out! You told me that mnemonic device about the Maritimes. Nice boys never say people eat insects! That stands for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island." Anne laughed.

A bubble of warmth rushed through him, softening the cold of his grief by a trifle. "You remember it! See, you do know more now." Gilbert decided that if there was an antidote to the lingering sadness in his heart, it was making Anne laugh.

Though, he couldn't quite explain the bundle of nerves in his stomach.

"I suppose I do." Anne flushed. "But that's not what I learned." She looked forward, past him, as if she was staring at something she saw out of the dusty window of the cafe. She seemed unsure of herself. "I-um…" Silence filled the air.

His voice gentle, Gilbert said, "What is it, Anne?"

Anne shifted her gaze away from the window and towards him. She took a deep breath, as if preparing herself to recite a poem, before she began. "Well, your father had just been cruelly ripped from this world, so it seems only natural that you would be in the depths of despair. And I...Well I've been in the depths of despair, too. Pain and loss seem to be my shadow, for they haunt me wherever I go. And I thought that I could comfort you, so I told you my troubles, but I know now it was a very selfish thing to do. I chastise myself for an act so insensitive as saying you were lucky. Because you aren't. You've suffered a great loss and I should have been assuaging your sorrow, not worsening it." Anne took a deep breath. She removed herself from the pathos of her display to look at him in the eye with genuine vulnerability. "Can you ever forgive me?"

He felt a rush of affection for her poetic antics and sincere remorse. "Anne, don't feel bad about yourself. There is nothing to forgive. And you're assuaging my sorrow right now."


"By being here." By being you , he wanted to say.

"I haven't done much for you, I don't think."

She had done more than she could know. "Yes, you have. With all the time I've spent away from school, I've needed someone to compete with, stimulate my intellect. And I have that now."

Gilbert noticed a faint blush on Anne's cheek. "I suppose you haven't had someone to spell out words with."

"Or someone to turn the simplest sentences into poetry." He tried to meet Anne's eyes, but she had bashfully looked down, as if she was suddenly intrigued by her arms. Gilbert himself noticed that she was now squeezing her hands tightly around her coat sleeves.

He continued, "I can barely think of anyone else who would say 'assuaging' in a casual conversation."

Anne's gaze darted up, away from her coat sleeve. Loosening the grip of her hands, she crossed her arms in indignation. For once, it seemed to only be teasing. "But you did! You just said I was assuaging your sorrow."

"Yes, but only because you said it first." Gilbert noticed that he had started bouncing his foot under the table.

A mischievous smile crossed Anne's face. "Spell it out for me."

Gilbert felt his heart beat faster. "A-S-S-U-A-G-I-N-G." He smiled smugly. "You see, I can spell it."

"Maybe you can spell that one word, but…" Anne stopped, uncrossing her arms. "I've got a hard one for you, but I bet it will be too onerous for you. O-N-E-R-O-U-S." She met his eyes, to challenge him.

"Oh really?" Gilbert smiled, enjoying this banter. "And what might that word be?"

"Truce." She extended her hand over the table, offering it to him in a handshake.

He looked into her eyes and saw a hint of vulnerability over letting go of her animosity. Gilbert felt like he might burst from joy. He tried to steady his trembling hand as he accepted the handshake.

"T-R-U-C-E." They shared a smile, and after a moment, Gilbert reluctantly let go of her hand. "Moody would have gotten that wrong."

"He would've!" They chuckled together. "I'm glad that I've finally decided to raise my white flag and let go of this grudge. Especially now that I know just what I can do to assuage your sorrow. To help you find comfort in being an orphan." Gilbert's smile dimed, remembering that his father's death made him an orphan. It had just begun to sink in. "You can sometimes find a kindred spirit through a shared sorrow, you know," Anne said.

Gilbert blinked. Could he really be a kindred spirit to Anne? It seemed too good to be true. Twiddling his thumbs, he asked, "And you've done that?"

Anne met his eyes. "Yes, yes I have."

Gilbert couldn't stop but let a grin light up his face again. "And who might that kindred spirit be?"

"Jane Eyre! My kindred spirit is Jane Eyre," she exclaimed. Gilbert looked down, dejected. His bouncing foot stopped, his nervous excitement replaced with disappointment. "Oh, I do love Charlotte Bronte. I can't count the number of times I've read that book. I feel as though reading about Jane's story on the page makes her as good of a kindred spirit as anyone I've ever met." Anne looked at him eagerly. "Have you read it? I'm sure she could be your kindred spirit, too."

"No, I can't say I have." Gilbert bit his lip, trying to numb the rush of disappointment that swept through him.

"Well, you most definitely should! Especially now that-now that you've lost someone. I hope that you can find the same comfort in it that I did." A rush of passion for this book filled Anne's eyes. "All throughout my childhood, I always felt like I wasn't so alone in the world when I read about another girl who lost her parents at such a young age, and had to live with people who were cruel to her and spend her days locked in an orphanage where they didn't appreciate her- well, Jane was locked away in a boarding school, which I suppose was similar enough to my situation. And she had to look in the mirror every day and see a face she couldn't find any beauty in." Anne put her hands down. Her excitement over Jane Eyre had made her gesture wildly, as if she were physically incapable of containing her energy.

Gilbert wished that he could give Anne a mirror to look at herself with. If she saw herself right now, alight with passion over her favorite book, he would think she'd have to find beauty in herself and the well of sensitivity she carried. Just as he did.

She continued, "And I suppose that, even though you can't relate to any of those things, because you didn't grow up in an orphanage and when you look in the mirror, I'm sure that...well, you may not be able to relate to any of that, but Jane loses someone else besides her parents. Her dearest friend, her kindred spirit who provides light to her in the darkness of Lowood school, a girl named Helen -"

"Don't spoil the story for me before I read it!"

"Right. Well, someone she loves dearly gets sick. I suppose you could find comfort in her story, in knowing you're not alone in your sorrows. I know I do." Anne gave him a small smile, which Gilbert returned, touched by her kindness.

"I'll be sure to read it."

"That would be wonderful! I would so love to have someone to discuss it with. The story of Jane Eyre inspires me so. When I feel dejected and outcasted from society, I say to myself, 'If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.' I find it to be very comforting."

Gilbert smiled. She certainly wouldn't be without friends if he had any say in it. "It's nice to have something to give you hope, isn't it?"

"Oh yes. I like to imagine that I could be like Jane Eyre and become a governess in a house like Thornfield and meet a man like Mr. Rochester...wouldn't that just be splendid! Although I'd make a dreadful wife, I would love to fall in love with someone as romantical…"

"I told you not to spoil it for me! I'll find out when I read it." He tried to ignore the odd twinge of jealousy he felt towards this Mr. Rochester fellow-though he had no idea who he was.

"Well, I won't tell you the ending. Although it does make me cry every time." Anne looked thoughtful. "Sometimes I wish I didn't feel everything so deeply, but when my heart and soul go on journeys on the pages of books, I know that I wouldn't trade my sensitivity for the world. Because without it, I wouldn't get to feel the great joys and sorrows of the characters right with them."

"It certainly is a gift," Gilbert said, and he truly meant it. Her sensitivity was what made Anne herself. When she was distressed, she was like a wild, frantic bird, but in her joys she was like a white dove, singing out songs of hope for the world. Hearing her voice and seeing her smile certainly filled his spirit with hope.

They sat in silence for a moment before Anne said, "Anyway."

"Anyway," Gilbert repeated. He lost himself for a moment in her eyes before he looked down. "I should-I should go. Work."

A looked flashed on Anne's face-was it disappointment? But before he could determine what it was, she stood up, as did he.

As he walked out the door, Gilbert wondered if there was a bookseller nearby, where he could find this Jane Eyre book that Anne so adored. He wanted to know more about this romantical man named Mr. Rochester. To see what kind of man Anne would like to fall in love with.

Little did either of them know that the kind of man Anne would like to fall in love with was far different than the man she would actually fall in love with. And although she may have to look in books like Jane Eyre to find her ideal, the man she'd actually fall in love with was right in front of her eyes.

A/N: "If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends" (Brontë, 82).

Lines directly from Anne With An E: "Truce." "T-R-U-C-E." "Moody would have gotten that wrong." "He would've!" "Anyway." "Anyway. I should-I should go. Work."

Thank you so much for reading!