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a million reasons

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It’s a warm day, just the perfect balance between sunshine and the occasional light breeze, and they’re sitting at their favourite spot on campus: Gil is leaning against the big oak tree in the shadow, Anne is lying in the grass next to him, her feet in his lap, using his backpack as a pillow. They’re studying, because of course it has to be exam season when the weather is that beautiful, but Gil is not complaining. University isn’t always easy, but he actually likes what he’s studying, and he knows that it will be worth it. Also, there’s Anne. That makes everything so much better.

This is pretty much how he always imagined dating Anne would be.

When he looks up from his textbook to smile at her, he can see that she’s actually looking at him – the fondest smile on her face, one that makes Gil’s heart beat harder in his chest. He can’t hold back a grin.

It makes Anne raise her eyebrows. “What?” she asks, as if she suspects he’s up to something.

Gil just huffs out a short, little laugh. “Nothing,” he replies. “Just the way you looked at me.”

Anne bites her lower lip. Gil is sure it’s just to hide her smile; anyway, it’s adorable. “And how was I looking at you?”

She sits up now, pulling her feet out of his lap to sit cross-legged, her fingers combing through the grass around her.

Gil is enjoying this conversation way too much, which probably shows that he wasn’t too keen to study after all. “Oh,” he says casually and shrugs, “just like you had the biggest crush on me.”

“Oh God, shut up!” Anne rolls her eyes and throws some grass at him, but at the same time, Gil can see that she’s considering leaning forward to kiss him. Not to brag or anything, but he has become pretty good at recognizing all of Anne’s different ‘I wanna make out with you right now’ faces. This one is definitely one of his favorite ones. (Though, who is he kidding, he loves all of her faces.)

“Hey, Shirley,” he keeps on pushing, mostly because he definitely wants her to make out with him, but also a bit because teasing her about this is so much fun. “Hey, remember when you thought you weren’t in love with me?” He ducks when she throws another handful of grass at him, then adds, with the most sheepish grin, “I think you might have been wrong about that.”

Anne hides her face with her hands and groans.

Gil already knows that he’ll have to pay for making her this embarrassed in public, but for now, it’s absolutely worth it, because she’s just so damn adorable.

After a few seconds of silence, Anne lowers her hands, smirks at him and says, “Well, don’t forget that you were the one who made a fool of himself back then.”

Gil shrugs. She’s not wrong. “But,” he thinks of a comeback a moment later, “you were the one who put my shame on the internet for the entire world to see.”

Anne huffs, and finally moves closer to lean her head on his shoulder. Her hair tickles under his chin.

“Not a very smart decision of me…” she admits, and she actually sounds a little defeated.

That wasn’t Gilbert’s intention at all though, he rather wants to go back to the teasing and joking (and hopefully to making out), so he nudges her, puts his textbook aside and throws an arm around her shoulder to pull her even closer. In a playful tone he says, “Don’t worry, Anne Shirley, I don’t love you just for being smart.”

She looks up at him, scrunching her nose and trying to keep herself from smirking. “No?” she asks, all innocent. “What else do you love about me?”

Damn, that girl is good. Gil guesses he should really know by now, that when it comes to being smooth, he’s always going to lose against Anne. Not that he minds; he’s more than willing to play along.

“Well, let me think…” he begins, and taps his finger against his temple. (As if he really had to think to come up with reasons why he loves Anne.) (As if Anne couldn’t see right through him.) Then he boops her nose and says. “I really dig your nose, too.”

“You dig my nose?” Anne repeats, definitely judging him for his choice of words.

Whatever, he won’t take them back. “Yep,” he says with full conviction. “It’s a cute nose. I love it.”

Anne nods approvingly, closes her eyes and snuggles a bit closer. “Alright, what else?”

Honestly, Gil wants to keep joking around and calling her greedy or something like that, but Anne being so close and him being able to hold her and smell her hair… distracts him a little from his plans. Besides, he’s feeling a little sappy right now, so the next words come out of his mouth almost automatically. “You’ve got a great laugh. Always makes me laugh, too. And your hands – there.” He takes her hand to interlace their fingers. “See? Fits perfectly into mine.”

Anne hums contentedly.

“And you’re an excellent kisser.”

Anne opens one eye to peek up at him. “Gil, you’re making that face again.”

Gil wiggles his eyebrows and makes a duck face at Anne. It makes her laugh, which makes his insides feel warm and gooey, and that’s definitely what he wanted to achieve here. “You mean this? It’s my seductive face, can’t you tell?”

Anne punches him playfully for it, which, fair enough, he deserved that. “I actually meant the ‘my girlfriend is the greatest and she hung the moon and stars’ face.”

“Same difference.” Gilbert smirks.

That’s what finally earns him the kiss he was hoping for. Several kisses, actually. When he finally gets to breathe again a few minutes later, it takes all his effort to put himself back together from the puddle he has melted into.

Anne is already back to studying when he finally resembles a person again. Incredible.

A little hoarse and breathless, he asks, “how about we go back to your place and make some ice tea and cuddle?”

Anne looks up from her textbook and notes to grin at him. “How about you study?”

Gil sighs dramatically. “But Anne!” he whines. “Is studying really that important?”

Anne raises her eyebrows. “Whatever happened to ‘Who ever gets the better grade in their exam gets to gloat for an entire week’?”

“Good point.” As much as Gilbert loves making out with Anne, he loves teasing her just as much, and teasing her about grades definitely sounds rewarding.

She nods contentedly and returns to her notes.

Gilbert watches as she bites the tip of her tongue while making a note, and he notices the way her hair frames her face so beautifully, and how cute the little wrinkles above her nose are when she thinks about a word before writing it down – and this? This is why he loves her.

This, and a million other reasons.