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04 February 2011 @ 11:46 pm
[Harvest Moon] The Gilligan Files: Chapter 6  
Title: Compromise
Fandom: Harvest Moon (Animal Parade)
Rating: K
Characters/Pairings: Gill/Molly, sorta Emma cameo, Craig
Summary: Because even an evil commander can have a mild mannered alter-ego. A collection of one-shots focusing around Gill and his family.
Author's Notes: Forgot to post this, ahaha. ;;; Not much to say, except that I'm still not confident writing Craig.

This one was inspired by a line that Gill says after marriage: "Don't try and move heavy things around. If you need me, just let me know." I found it amusing that although he says that he never actually DOES anything. You just continue on your merry way all the way until the day the baby is actually BORN. So I thought "What if he actually tried to do something...?"




Gill could feel it slipping.

Though some might say he didn't have much to begin with, Gill always felt he had a certain level of masculinity. Though he was mostly a stay-at-home husband, only going to help his father out at the Town Hall a select few times a week, he did his best to carry his weight around the house. The fact that his wife was the "breadwinner" in the family never really bothered him.

Until now.

Molly was due in a week. It was their first child and Gill wasn't sure what to expect. He never really asked his father what his mother was like when she was pregnant, so he didn't have any reference whatsoever. But here was his wife, as pregnant as could be, still waddling around and taking care of the farm. He did his best to ease her workload, but the most she put him in charge of was watering the crops. It had long since been decided that Gill wouldn't be allowed near the animals, as not a single one trusted him. Again, that never really bothered him until now. He knew he wasn't a farmer by any means and that he preferred to take care of the housework instead but things were different now. Although he had no real experience in helping run a farm, he wanted to do more. His wife was in no shape for heavy physical labor and yet she continued on with her work day after day.

Unfortunately though, Molly was prone to mood swings so whenever he felt the need to take over more of the work it would always end up in them arguing over something or another. It always kind of frightened Gill every time argued; how could his bright and gentle wife start a screaming match like that? Though the instances were far and in between, their arguments sometimes escalated to the point where even her tiny Harvest Sprite friend would flee to take shelter in the barn with the animals. He just counted himself lucky that both he and Finn talked her out of mining early on. That was the one thing he put his foot down on.

What worried him the most, however, was how she still traveled all around Castanet. He felt infinitely more comfortable when she stuck close to home, but Molly wouldn't have any of it. Every day she would get on her horse and first travel over to Flute Fields, then to the mining district, then finally over to Harmonica Town before heading back home. Though he'd tried, he wasn't able to convince her to do anything otherwise. Here, his only consolation was that Euphie seemed to sense what was going on and she took extra care carrying Molly from place to place.

So to sum it up…he felt useless.

"You look like you have a lot on your mind."

Gill jumped at the voice and all but whirled around. He didn't realize that he'd spaced out like that. Behind him, Craig stood there with a slightly amused smile on his face, as if he was torn between that or being annoyed with the fact that the younger man was in the way. Gill felt his cheeks flare up a bit in embarrassment and he stepped to the side to let him pass. "Y-Yes, sorry…"

A few minutes of silence passed as Gill continued to make records of Marimba's expected output for the spring season and notes for profitable crops and more efficient harvesting processes to use back home. It was something Gill decided to take up after marrying Molly. Even if he couldn't help out at the farm, he still wanted to be useful in any way possible. He was so caught up in his work that he jumped again when Craig spoke up for a second time. "Well?"

"Wh-What?" He looked up from his clipboard where he was taking notes to look at the older man once more.

Craig sighed and all but rolled his eyes. "Anyone can tell you're worried about something."

Gill didn't reply for a few moments before deciding to play it off as something else. His lips curved into a sheepish smile and he gestured to his clipboard. "Ah, no, I was just…wondering, since it's still fairly early in the season, if it would be more beneficial to focus on renewable crops such as strawberries since they can offer more money in—"

"Don't get smart with me, boy." Craig set the box he'd been carrying down and crossed his arms, looking more than mildly annoyed this time. "Take a look at your paper first before trying to lie to me like that."

Confused, Gill glanced down at his clipboard and immediately felt his face begin to burn again. What was on the paper was little more than a bunch of scribbles. He hadn't even noticed that he'd even failed to write in straight lines, having written some sentences on top of each other instead. When he looked up again, Craig was wearing a small smirk and Gill couldn't think of anything to say. "I…well…"

He shook his head and picked up his crate once more and moved to set it in its proper place on the front display. "Problems at home?" he asked mildly, dusting his hands on his pants as he straightened up. "Not that I particularly care. It's your business."

Gill had to bite back the retort that Craig seemed awfully interested in his business just moments before. He knew that getting into an argument like that was pointless and he didn't particularly feel like getting on the older man's bad side. "No, things are just fine. Molly's due in a week, actually."

Craig nodded knowingly. "I hope you're well prepared for those first few months. Get your sleep now while you can."

Gill couldn't help but chuckle at that. He'd more or less heard the same thing from Jin just a few days ago during one of his wife's periodic checkups. "It's what I keep hearing," he replied. It was then that a thought occurred to him. Craig was a father as well, of two children no less. He'd be able to talk to him, right? "Actually…there's been something on my mind and I was wondering if I could talk to you about it."

"Shoot." Craig nodded again, leaning back against one of the display tables and crossing his arms again.

"Er, well…" Gill slowly ripped off the top paper from his clipboard—the one he'd inadvertently been scribbling on earlier—and folded it up before putting it in his back pocket. "It's about Molly…I mean, she's due in a week and yet she still—"

"She's still traveling all over Castanet as if nothing's wrong, right?" Craig finished his sentence, surprising him.

"Y-Yes," he nodded uncomfortably.

"Ruth was the same way before both Anissa and Taylor were born." Craig chuckled softly, more to himself than anyone else. "We always argued and she absolutely refused to simply sit around the house." There was a pause and he couldn't help but laugh. "Sound familiar?"

Embarrassed, Gill nodded. "Painfully so."

"To be honest, I was surprised when I saw her here a few months ago, after she really started showing," he continued, pushing himself lightly off the table. "I know how much you worry about her. But when I asked, she just said that she convinced you it was fine."

"In a way…" Gill replied with a small frown, thinking back on one of their many arguments. He sighed. "I still don't understand, Molly's usually such a gentle person…"

"Don't argue with a pregnant woman. You'll lose." Craig said sagely, giving the younger man a rather uncharacteristic pat on the shoulder.

It didn't help Gill feel better one bit, however. "But…even now, she's taking care of most of the farm. I'm trying to do more so she doesn't have to worry about so many things but she won't let me take over anything. She's still the one making the money for the both of us and I just…" He trailed off, closing his eyes and rubbing his temples wearily.

Craig paused for a few seconds, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "Why don't you try working with her instead of trying to take over everything?" When Gill chose to look back at him with surprise, he just raised an eyebrow and shook his head. "You mean you really hadn't thought about that?"

He blinked. No, he honestly hadn't thought about it. He'd been so focused on trying to carry his own weight and doing more of the farm chores that he hadn't even considered working together with her as an option. "No, I—"

Craig rolled his eyes. "I swear…Go home. Talk to your wife. And if you come in tomorrow, make yourself more useful, got it?"

Feeling rather embarrassed with himself for the third time that day, Gill just nodded and quietly thanked him before rushing out the front door as fast as he could.

-.-.-.-.-

"I'm home…"

"Welcome back, Gill!" Even now, he couldn't help the smile from blooming across his face as he looked at his wife, who was beaming at him from the couch. Both their dogs kept close by her side; their collie, Colette, lazily sprawled out on the cushion next to her right while their Pyrenees, Percy, laid on top of her feet on the floor. The newest addition to the family, a black cat Molly had decided to dub "Blaire" was curled up on the back, eyeballing the yarn that sat to her left. His wife held a pair of knitting needles in her hands and a manual rested on her knees. From the way the yarn was so gnarled up, Gill could guess that she'd been at it for a while, only knitting a few rows before taking all apart to start over again. "You're home early! So how was it today?"

"The same," he replied easily, slipping off his shoes before making his way over to her. He gently shooed Colette off the couch so he could sit down next to Molly and give her a kiss. The dog whined softly but otherwise didn't protest as she relocated down to the floor with Percy. "Where's Finn?"

"In his drawer," she said, her smile softening. "He spent the day keeping an eye on the animals for me so he's exhausted."

Gill opened his mouth to respond, but something caught his attention. "You…didn't go out today?" he asked, glancing back over at the coat rack that stood near the front door. His wife's coat, which she still wore even in spring when the wind continued to have a bit of a bite to it, hung exactly as she had left it the previous afternoon.

Molly shook her head and looked back at her knitting needles. "Mm-mm. I decided to stay close to home today. Candace and Julius dropped by earlier this afternoon with these though. She was trying to teach me, since she's already making some for when Angie gets older. But…" she held up the mess of yarn that she had collected in her lap. "I'm still, um, getting the hang of it."

Gill just chuckled. "Practice makes perfect."

She grinned at him in return before setting everything aside and wiggling her feet. "Time to start dinner then. Percy, time to move." The dog let out a grunt but complied, getting up and moving over to resume his nap behind the couch with a small whuff.

Before she could stand up, however, Gill gently but firmly grasped her arm. When she looked at him curiously, he hesitated for a moment before speaking. "Listen, Molly, about your work tomorrow…"

Immediately, her eyes narrowed and she let out a loud sigh before shaking her head and trying to rise to her feet once more. "Please, Gill, not again…I don't want us to start fighting again. You know I can—"

"I'm not asking to take over any more of the work," he cut in quickly, not wanting her to shut down and simply refuse anything he had to say afterwards. He waited until she relaxed and resumed her seat next to him before continuing. "I just want to help you. Work with you, I mean. I know the animals don't like me very much but if you're there then I believe that with two people then we can finish everything a lot faster. It's a compromise, at least for the next few weeks. Please." He gave her arm a small squeeze. He knew he was practically begging her but he wanted her and the baby to be safe, pride be damned.

She didn't reply right away, instead choosing to stare at him for a few moments before heaving another sigh. He didn't know what was running through her head but his heart leapt when she finally gave him a nod in return. "Just…please be careful around the animals, okay?"

Gill simply nodded back, a wide smile quickly making its way to his lips before he kissed her. "Promise."

Though her face pinked at the sudden gesture, she grinned widely and finally stood up. "How does seafood paella sound for tonight? I've been in the mood for fish all day long."

"Sounds good," he replied breezily, standing up with her. "Do you need any help?"

Molly shook her head. "I'm fine. But…" she paused, taking his hand in hers and giving it a squeeze. "Let's do it together."

Gill chuckled was they both wandered over to the kitchen where the cat was already waiting. "That's fine with me."

And he hoped that, even when they were old and gray, they would still continue to do things like this at the end of the day. Together.
 
 
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