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04 February 2011 @ 11:27 pm
[Harvest Moon] Secrets: Chapter 2  
Title: Secrets
Fandom: Harvest Moon (Animal Parade)
Rating: T for kinda adult themes I guess...?
Characters/Pairings: Gill/Molly, Emma, Ciel, tiny flashback Luna cameo, Wizard/Molly if you squint
Summary: Are some secrets really better left untold? Wizard isn't sure what to believe when, at Molly's request, he peers into her husband's heart in order to find the perfect gift for their anniversary. (Part 2/2)
Author's Notes: Ahurr, here's the second and (for now) last part! I got a few reviews saying that Molly should find out/walk in on Gill and Luna and proceed to kick either of their asses but...teeheehee you'll see. I knew how I was going to end this from the start but tell me what you think!




Something was up.

Gill didn’t like to think of himself as a particularly paranoid man but for some reason his wife and children were acting more than a little strange. For the past week and a half or so, while Molly had been her usual self, his wife seemed unable to make eye contact with him. He’d only asked her about it once, but she had just smiled at him and said he was being silly. When he later tried to ask their children about it, they immediately adopted identical expressions of utter seriousness and shook their heads.

“Mama said not to tell you!” Emma puffed her cheeks out.

“It’s a see-kwit!” Ciel added, crossing his little arms.

Gill found himself unable to ask any of them after that and instead was left to stew in his own thoughts for a few more days. His wife’s strange behavior had begun about two weeks ago…and this worried him more than anything.

He honestly hadn’t meant for it to get so far. Gill couldn’t really pinpoint when or why it had started…or why it had escalated to where it was now. He loved his wife. This hadn’t changed since the moment he had finally decided to call Molly out to the lighthouse and confess his feelings just over ten years ago. Gill couldn’t say he was unhappy with his life either. No, it was quite the opposite.

And yet…lately he couldn’t help but think back to how things were before. Back to when Castanet had just been fully restored to its former glory due to his wife—though back then they were still dating—and her hard work. Gill had an idea, a vision of what his life would be like in ten years. He had so many plans. He’d always been a good planner. He’d even made a list on the back page of one of his old journals so he could always look back on it if he ever grew discouraged. He had written it long before the Castanet had been restored and it was what kept him going when he had left his hometown. Even when he hit dead end after dead end in his search he refused to lose hope. It was nothing but a simple list that he added to every so often but it was his treasure.

Revive Castanet ✓
Become mayor
Learn to like bell peppers
Help Father work a little less
Marry Molly ✓


Though the last entry to the list had been added more than six months after he had returned to Castanet, he still had expected to have at least the first two and last two checked off by now. But…he’d only been able to cross off two of the five. Though he’d given up hope on the third one (no matter how he tried, they always made him feel sick), it was the remaining two that bothered him.

He knew that marrying Molly meant that things would have to change. He would no longer live in the town he had known since he was little and would instead choose to move over to her farm…which was almost an hour away from the town by foot. While it wasn’t so much the new extended commute that bothered him (though it did play a small part) what did was the fact that he was now so much further away from the center of everything. He couldn’t be a proper mayor while living so far away. And that meant his father still had to take care of everything, even ten years later. He wasn’t getting any younger and it irritated Gill that he himself couldn’t do anything about it.

He hadn’t voiced his concerns to anyone. Not to his father and least of all his wife. Gill knew it wasn’t a good idea to bottle up his feelings like this but he always had his journal and pen to help him sort out his emotions. There was always something about writing in pen that he liked; it always seemed to make everything more concrete and permanent and it gave him a chance to look back and evaluate things. However, even pages upon pages later the heavy feelings still refused to lift from his chest.

He felt guilty. Guilty that he had assured his wife that he’d be perfectly happy “downgrading” as she had put it (though he didn’t see it that way at all, to be honest) to live a humble life on a farm instead of following his plans to become mayor. In truth, a part of him was upset that he so easily gave up the dream that he’d so carefully guarded since he was young. However, the other part of him hated that feeling. He had a wife, two kids, a roof over his head, and he still lived fairly close to his father. What was there for him to complain about?

He supposed that this is where Luna came in. She was his escape in many ways. Spending time with her made Gill feel like they were back to the way things used to be. Back to ten years ago when things were, in many ways, much simpler and the future seemed so much further away. Back to when that last page of his journal wasn’t beginning to wrinkle and yellow with age.

It started off innocent enough; he’d been at Sonata Tailoring one weekend almost a year ago, looking for a new shirt to replace the one Ciel had accidentally spilled blueberry juice on, when Luna approached him. To say it was surprising would be an understatement, considering that they hadn’t had a proper conversation since he’d gotten married and even that hadn’t ended too well. And yet there she was, striking up a conversation as if nothing had happened. Though at first Gill didn’t know quite what to do, it wasn’t long before he remembered his manners and responded back, telling her what he was doing there in the first place. Luna went on to help him pick out a new shirt after that and told him that he could come by whenever he felt like it.

Gill hadn’t thought anything of it then, but it wasn’t long before he took her up on her offer. It wasn’t as if anything was wrong at home; he just thought it was a good chance to get back in touch with an old friend. How wrong he was. He didn’t remember who instigated that first kiss only a few months ago but after that it they quickly backed off from each other. Neither of them felt comfortable with it and even Luna had apologized some few days later and swore to forget the whole thing.

“I know…things are different now. I know that.”

But it wasn’t long before it happened again. Twice, in fact; once in Luna’s room at the Tailor’s while Shelly remained completely oblivious behind the register and again in the Town Hall while his father took his children to the beach. Neither times had been in public where someone could have seen them but…it was wrong, he knew that. He felt disgusted with himself. Again, both of them swore it was the end of things, but this time it was for real. Although both of them finally stayed true to their word, Gill couldn’t help but worry. During those times…he knew that they had been careful, that Molly couldn’t have found out about anything, but yet…his wife’s recent behavior made him reconsider.

That was why he was standing outside the door to Wizard’s house. Gill had long since been made privy to the man’s true abilities as much more than a simple fortune teller but fortune telling was exactly what he came for. Though the thought of Wizard reading people’s hearts and minds so easily unsettled him a little, he felt that this was important. Hesitating a little before knocking, Gill slowly pushed the open door ajar and stepped inside. “Hello?” he called out, taking a look around. Though he’d been inside more than his fair share of times to pick up his wife and kids during their weekly visits, the interior never failed to astonish him a little. Though practicing magic didn’t interest him in the slightest, Gill’s curiosity was always piqued at the sight of all the books crammed into the bookcase in the back of the house. The books on astronomy and botany in particular he’d like to read sometime…

No, he was getting sidetracked. Shaking his head a little, Gill opened his mouth to call again but he was interrupted by a quiet inquiry from the direction of the small kitchenette to his right, the view blocked by the sturdy oak door. “Yes?”

The blond quickly took a few more steps into the house and closed the door behind him. “Ah, you are here after all.” He paused somewhat awkwardly as the other man continued to stare at him curiously. “I, um, need to ask you some…thing…no, I mean…” he began quietly before finally shaking off most of his nerves and clearing his throat so he could continue in a stronger voice. “I have a request.”

Gill wasn’t sure if he imagined it or not, but Wizard’s eyes seemed to narrow suspiciously for a moment before he nodded and set down the containers he was holding onto the counter. He didn’t say anything in reply until he finally made his way over to the small table that was located in the middle of the room. “What…do you want to know?” he asked softly, an ever so faint frown marring his features. Somewhere in the back of Gill’s mind, he wondered if he had come at a bad time.

“I-er, well, it’s about Molly. She’s been acting somewhat strangely the past two weeks and I was wondering if she was upset with me for any reason,” he replied somewhat uneasily as he took a seat on the other side of the table.

Wizard’s frown became slightly more pronounced. “Is there a reason she should be upset…?”

Gill, fortunately, had the sense not to fluster but he couldn’t stop himself from swallowing guiltily. “Not that I can think of but I…just wanted to make sure,” he said with a small sigh.

“I see…” Wizard placed his hands on the crystal ball that sat in front of him and closed his eyes. It only took a moment for the crystal to begin glowing softly and Gill couldn’t help but find himself leaning forward a bit to see if he could discern anything.

Unfortunately though, he saw nothing but his own reflection. “Well?” he asked after a few minutes. The other man didn’t reply right away and it took a few more seconds before the crystal dimmed and he opened his eyes once more.

“She isn’t angry with you,” he finally responded somewhat reluctantly. “She’s…merely preoccupied with other things.”

Try as he might, Gill couldn’t stop the relieved sigh from escaping his lungs. So she didn’t know after all… “That’s good. I was getting worried,” he chuckled softly. At this, however, Wizard’s eyes narrowed dangerously again and this time Gill knew he wasn’t imagining things. “Yes?”

“You should…treasure your wife more.”

Almost as if someone had simultaneously pulled a plug on his emotions and doused him in cold water, Gill’s small emotional high came crashing down in an instant. He didn’t know if it was the almost—no, completely—accusing tone that the other man used or if it was because the accusation hit dangerously close to what he had been feeling guilty of all this time but he found himself immediately on the defensive. “What is that supposed to mean, exactly?”

Wizard seemed surprised—not at Gill’s reaction, but at his own sudden outburst. He seemed to contemplate continuing for a moment before the frown returned. “She treasures you more than you know…” he said before adding quietly, “I’m simply saying you should do the same.”

Gill’s returning frown was sharp and his eyes were cold. “If you have something you want to say then, by all means, say it,” he snapped.

His eyebrows furrowed for a moment and he seemed to debate with himself before his expression relaxed, leaving nothing but a stern glare. “I peered into your heart two weeks ago.”

At this Gill was flabbergasted. His mouth opened and closed a few times but nothing came out. When he did finally regain his composure, it was all he could do not to slam to his feet in an angry outburst. “Wh-What in the world gives you the right to--?!”

“Molly asked me to,” he replied simply.

For the second time that day, Gill felt all his emotions drain out at once, along with the color in his face. “She did…?” he asked faintly, fists curling and uncurling loosely against his knees under the table. “So she…”

Wizard shook his head. “I…didn’t tell her. I didn’t feel it was my place to.”

“I-I see,” he breathed, feeling his heart begin to pound against his ribcage once more. When had it stopped…? “Then what was she asking about?”

“That…” Wizard paused for a moment before shaking his head again. “That is also not something I should say.”

Though Gill was faintly irritated with this response, he was too emotionally drained at this point to care very much. So she didn’t know…but then why was her strange behavior unsettling him so much? There was always the option of asking her directly but—

“Is that all…?” the sudden inquiry abruptly ripped him from his thoughts and he looked up to see Wizard staring at him with an unreadable expression. It took Gill a moment to process what was being asked before he nodded and slowly rose from his seat.

“Yes…thank you,” he mumbled before turning and walking over to the door. It was when he already had one foot out that the other man spoke again, his voice clearer and sharper than he had ever heard him use.

“Are you going to tell her?”

A long silence passed between them. Gill gripped the door tightly before he glanced over his shoulder with a glare that matched the unwavering stare Wizard pinned him with in return. “I love my wife,” he responded, cerulean eyes blazing, “More than you could ever know.”

With that he slammed the door behind him.

-.-.-.-.-

The walk back home, to say the least, was not a pleasant one. Being alone meant that Gill was left to brood without anyone to stop or distract him. Too many things were whirling around in his head at the moment. If Wizard knew about…his infidelity all along, then he very well could have been lying to him in the first place about Molly not being angry. If she truly wasn’t angry then maybe she could have already forgiven him…no, that was only wishful thinking. Gill was sensible enough to realize that. Maybe she really didn’t know. But then why…?

He let out a slow quiet sigh as his house came into view. The lights were on but since it seemed that Molly hadn’t thought to draw the curtains yet, even from the distance he could see what was going on inside. Molly seemed to be telling the children to keep something a secret; a wide grin lit up her face as she held one finger up lightly to her lips. Both Emma and Ciel nodded seriously before they too broke out into wide smiles and giggled to each other.

It wasn’t long before Molly noticed him and she gave him a short wave from inside before her attention was quickly torn away by their children. Though they had already disappeared from his line of sight, Gill wasn’t surprised to see the door burst open only seconds later so they could run out and greet him with two huge hugs.

“PAPA!” They shrieked in unison as they tackled his legs. Luckily, years of conditioning prevented Gill from simply falling over and instead, he gently pulled them away so he could crouch down and give them proper hugs and a kiss on the top of their heads.

Before he could actually say anything, however, Ciel pulled away and began bouncing up and down eagerly. “Mama has a surprise for you!”

Emma pulled away as well, but she gave her brother an angry look instead. “Shhh! Ciel, Mama’s supposed to tell him! Don’t spoil it!”

In an instant, the younger child clapped his hands over his mouth and nodded. “Oh,” was all he said in reply, the noise muffled.

Gill couldn’t help but chuckle lightly at the two’s antics and he ruffled their hair before slowly guiding them back inside the house. “Don’t worry, I don’t know anything so it’ll still be a surprise,” he assured them. What KIND of surprise however…

The moment he stepped inside, though, he was hit with such a nostalgic smell that it nearly made his heart ache. His eyebrows furrowed and Gill looked curiously over at his wife, who stood by the dining room table with a brilliant smile on her face. “Happy Anniversary, Gill.”

His eyes widened. It was their anniversary today…

Molly took a few steps forward, her cheeks pinking slightly but her smile never diminishing. “I…know that you really like Ratatouille. I’d never made it before, though, so I asked Chase and Yolanda to help me.” She slowly wrapped her arms around his neck and looked a little apologetic as she bit her lip. “Sorry if you think we’ve been acting weird but I wanted to keep it a secret to I told Emma and Ciel not to tell you.”

All at once, Gill could feel his stomach clench and heart begin to ache all over again. This…was why she had been so strange. Not because she was angry or didn’t trust him, it was because…she wanted to surprise him for their anniversary. “I…was beginning to wonder,” he chuckled faintly and he wondered if she could tell that it was strained.

But she didn’t seem to notice and instead gave him a small peck on the lips before pulling away. “Well…why don’t we try the fruits of my labor?” she asked with a small wink as she made an overly grand gesture towards the table. At this, both Emma and Ciel skittered over to the door that led to their room.

“Ciel and I are gonna watch some videos with Finn, ‘kay?” Emma grinned, taking her younger brother’s hand tightly in her own. Though Ciel looked slightly confused for a moment, his expression smoothed out into a sort of understanding and he nodded in agreement (although whether or not he actually understood was a different matter entirely).

“We’re gonna watch Sprite Rangers!” he grinned mischievously, causing Molly to giggle and Gill to clear his throat somewhat self-consciously.

“Alright, well you three have fun,” Molly said as the two disappeared into their room. A second passed before she turned back to Gill. “C’mon, let’s eat before the food gets cold.”

“Ah, um, of course,” he smiled in return stepping forward to give her a small kiss on the cheek before taking his seat across from her.

“Is…something wrong?”

“Hm?” Gill looked up from the dish in front of him only to be met with worried auburn eyes. She was leaning forward in her seat ever so slightly and her hand was placed lightly on the table, as if in the middle of reaching out to touch his arm as she was wont to do. His own cerulean eyes widened slightly and he quickly gave her a reassuring smile. “I’m fine, Molly. Oh, about your present…I’ll give it to you later tonight, okay?”

Her lips quirked into a small smirk and she raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”

It didn’t take him long to realize what she was talking about. “N-No, that’s not what I—well, no, I mean…” Gill never understood, even after ten years of being married, how his wife still had that ability to react like some blushing teenager with his girlfriend on a first date.

She laughed. “It’s okay, I understand.”

Gill’s stomach clenched again. He loved his wife. He truly did. He loved his children too. He loved their house, the farm, and all the memories they held within. He was happy. But more importantly, she was happy. He could see it in her smiles, hear it in her laughs, feel it in every touch they shared. He knew he’d made a mistake and he’d be damned if he ever made it again.

That’s why he could never tell her.
 
 
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