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Secret Santa for randomgirl17! (M - GillxAngela - HM) - "Chores to be Done"


SterlingSilver

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A/N: Randomgirl17! It’s Christmas magic~! I’ve got you again this year, haha! Hopefully this will top my gift from last time ;D.

I saw that Gill from HM was the one you always listed first on everything, so I went with my gut and assumed that he was one of your more favorite characters~.. I have to say, he’s an adorably formal tsundere <3. I wasn’t entirely sure how to write Angela, so I just followed my instincts. Plus, the best results for Gill in the heart events usually require the most enthusiastic and positive replies >w>~ (ehehehe, wikipedia~ trololol).. Also, I wasn’t sure of what kind of sneeze spellings you liked, so I used your own fanfiction as a reference~ Hope you don’t mind!

I hope you enjoy, and have a very happy holiday this year~ Merry Christmas (or any other holiday, or season, depending on what you celebrate~!).

(Also: http://ask-giru.tumblr.com/ )

OWO

Chores to Be Done

The spidery frost on the glass reminded Angela of doilies, so delicate and thin they were. Like lace. Resting a finger on the glass, she traced the maze of them, feeling the chill on the surface. It snowed last night, the weight of it making her roof creak, and she didn’t want to drag herself outside to tend to the farm. It had to be done, however, no matter the temptation of a cozy, quilted bed. Granted, her house was humble and cabin-like, but that made for incredible insulation and heat distribution. Not a single inch of her home was cold.

After some morning tea and an orange, Angela zipped up and braved the cold, blinding-white wonderland. Snow was a joy to watch, sitting with soft music humming over the radio while gentle flakes perched on fences. But after a few days of the stuff, it got mushy, dirty, and then icy. With a sigh, Angela realized she would have to keep the animals in the barn until she could clean a section of the field for them to stand and graze without freezing to death. She would probably have to crank the heat up in the chicken coup and check for holes in the wood, so there wasn’t a draft for the babies. The work of a farmer was never done, she groused as she lifted timberwood from the shed. Then again, she consented, there was never something so rewarding either.

Angela watched her feet as she rounded the corner of her barn, heading for the heavy doors, but she hit an obstacle along the way. Literally, she hit it. Staggering back with some surprise, she would have fallen if it weren’t for the strong, almost vice-like grip that snatched her upper arm. After a moment or two to regain balance, Angela looked up and met a pair of blue orbs, just as glacial and wintery as anything else during the season.

“Gill!”

Stricken for a moment, as if she had discovered and unfortunate secret he had been trying to keep from her, he composed himself and removed his hand only to adopt his trademarked pose: crossing the arms. Angela tried to hide her smile.

“You really should watch your step. You are lucky I was here,” he said, his somewhat lofty tone very familiar to her. It was a tone she was growing fond of at an alarming rate. He darted his eyes from her smile, as if it was a little too bright to look at directly.

“I suppose I am,” she said. Moving around him, she continued toward the barn, pausing when he swooped forward to open the door for her. Always with a grim sense of propriety about him, Gill was a master of both serving and looking burdened by such servitude. Angela realized this was more of a front than anything, able to tell only after the many times he had done something kind for her with an austere expression. When she offered a grin while walking by, brown hair peeping through her hood, he couldn’t help but offer a sober smile in return.

Only after they were safely inside without a falling incident, the timber on the floor and the animals making a ruckus, did Angela turn to face him. Slim navy trenchcoat, slick brown boots, thick khaki pants, black leather gloves… With his wheat-colored hair (a little windblown, but always styled to perfection), frosty eyes and pink-tinged nose, he was quite a picture. She must have stared for too long, for he grew grumpy.

“What, pray tell, has captured your attention?” Self-consciously he ran a hand through his hair, tousling it.

“Why, you look like a regular Jack Frost!”

“A what?”

Angela just laughed, throwing her head back at his incredulous and affronted expression. Boldly, she took his hand and led him further inside. His expression was still wreathed with a regal pout, but he allowed her to pull him around. After a snatch of silence, she watched her shoes.

“You do look nice today,” she told him. Rather than looking up, she continued to observe their steps—the bits of snow that would chip off the bottoms of boots.

“Thank you,” he said finally, and his voice was soft. She wondered if he was flushed. “You as well.” There was another wash of background noise: the wind on the barn wall, the clumping of hooves on wood, the chuff of breath on musty air. It was toasty for the animals, especially the wee lamb and colt that were born that early season, so it wasn’t long before Angela found herself stripping her gloves and outer coat. Gill followed suit, and it caught her attention. It occurred to her she hadn’t even asked why he had come, though his determination to stay made her curious.

“Oh, are you staying?” She had assumed he dropped in on his way to town, or something of the like, even if her farm was a little out of the way.

He looked caught at first, expression loose before hardening. “I thought you might need a hand today. You mentioned something about shoveling the… er, plowing.. fields, or the like.” Gill felt his cheeks heat and he growled a soft sigh, sniffing once afterwards.

Angela did not poke fun at his lack of farm terminology, as she knew insulting his intelligence was a good way to make him vacate the premises immediately. Instead, she hung her coat on a makeshift hook on the wall.

“Thank you for the help. I could use it today,” she said. She beamed when he smiled openly, and then gestured toward the direction they entered. “Will you pick up the logs I left at the door?” He gave a curt nod, reaching his hand up to his nose and giving it a rub, before turning on his heel to fetch them. Satisfied, she went about hauling a bale of hay from the loft by the stables, relishing the dusty thud on the floor when it hit.

As she slipped her pocketknife from her jeans to cut the twine, Gill’s feet appeared beside her. She heard him sniff, and then sniff again, the sound insistent. A glance to his face made her giggle a little. He was twitching his nose around, much like a young child, as if bewildered and annoyed by some sensation it gave him.

“Itchy nose?” she asked, tugging the twine against the blade and listening to it snap. The mayor’s son dropped his head back, his whole face creased with irritation.

“S-.. slightly. It—…hh..” Angela’s eyebrows rose as she watched him momentarily panic, unsure of how to shield his face with his arms full of wood, so he turned his head and body to the side at the last moment. “Heischh!

She had never heard Gill sneeze before, but it was just how she imagined it. It was hushed, a little bashful, not stifled but still restrained enough to be cordial somehow. He stayed turned from her for a few seconds after, hesitantly straightening. Angela thought he must have felt another, and no sooner did he right himself before—

Ah’heischh!”

“Bless,” Angela offered, rising to her feet as he once again turned slowly to meet her. He sniffled again, deeper this time, forcefully trying to preserve his propriety without the use of a handkerchief. She reached forward and received the wood from him.

“Thank you,” he muttered. His voice, normally very light and well-enunciated, seemed a little clogged from the sneezing. Gill about-faced as he pulled a clean, crisp handkerchief from his back pocket and brought it to his nose.

Angela went about her business, allowing him his privacy. However, she cocked her head when she heard a soft, “hh-HH-”… a pause.. “Ah’heischh!” Hm.. While they were dry and generally healthy-sounding, Angela felt a pang of worry course through her.

“Gill?”

“Mmmb?” His blue eyes met hers as he looked over his shoulder, the cloth still pressed to his face. He was wide-eyed over the fabric, and she could just make out the delicate blush on his pale cheeks. He had such pretty, milky skin; it was easy to tell when he was embarrassed. Whatever she had thought to say, she forgot.

“Bless you.”

Giving her a nod in return, he swiped a few times under his nose and cleared his throat, coming over and stooping to help her cut the rest of the bonds. Angela peeked at him as she worked, noting the way his nostrils flared as he sniffed, which was an action he seemed to perform more and more often. Perhaps the brittle, hot air of the barn was just irritating his sinuses. After another few minutes, it would probably equalize.

After snapping all the twine restraints, Angela stood and crossed the length of the barn to grab a pitchfork. She had only one. Turning on her heel, she called to him.

“Gill, would—”

Ah’hieshh!.. hiescchh!!..” Hands on his knees, doubled with the force of them, he held a wrist to his nose with a sour expression. Again, he pressed his handkerchief to his nose, blowing as softly as he could manage. Angela, heart blooming in sympathy, pretended to busy herself with something at her position by the wall. She waited until she heard a dry sniffle, and a scowl in his voice.

“Excuse me. You were saying?”

“Would you like to pitch hay, or shovel manure?” She tried to keep her face very straight when she asked, but the affronted expression that flickered over his features was just too satisfactory. Looking down to move her boot across the wood, she hid a smirk.

“The hay, if you please…” Glancing up, Angela found Gill with an arm extended, awaiting the pitch fork. When he took it from her, their hands grazed one another, and they both stole back in surprise. Shocked from her amusement, Angela tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.

“Well.. You’ve seen me do it before. Just start tossing it into the stalls after I’ve finished shoveling, and…” Angela paused, words dying on her lips. Gill sniffled a little, growing embarrassed immediately. She was quite plainly staring at him, not saying a word.

“And?... And wh-hh-hh-! Hiesschhh!.. eh’hischhh!.. uh.. uhh’hck’tischhh!! Those had come upon him with only a sharp pang as warning, and Gill had to bend over and put up an arm as a buffer. He was keenly aware of a coming headache, the throbbing behind his eyes anything but pleasant, and his sinuses were slowly swelling.

“Are you all right? Your eyes look a bit red..” Angela had worry in her tone and Gill steeled against it. It embarrassed him.

“It’s find,” he said, growling at the heavy congestion in his tone. His nose wasn’t so much running as it was blocked, so there was nothing he could do about it at the moment.

“You’re sure?”

“Yes! Yes, I’b sure! If I say I’b sure, I bean id!”

The outburst surprised them both, and Angela slid away to shovel the stalls before Gill could work himself up into a proper apology. He knew his temper had flared due to frustration at his condition, and not because of Angela’s kindness. He thumped a fist against his forehead, hissing softly at his mistake.

The two worked in silence for a time. Just the rustling of hay, the sharp scrape of the shovel on the wood, the knickering of the animals, and Gill’s stubbornly persistent sneezing. They came on him more violently as time dragged on, and after half-an-hour of work, Gill was hopelessly short of breath as he leaned on the pitchfork. He didn’t usually partake in manual labor, and his attempt to impress Angela was swirling down a dark hole of humiliation. If he wasn’t already taxed by using muscles he never used often before, the sneezing and heaviness in his chest made it all the more challenging. But he didn’t want to give up. Just how pathetic would that be?

So caught up in his thoughts, he didn’t hear Angela come up behind him. His breath snagged, eyes twitching shut, just as she put a hand to his shoulder.

Hieschh! Heisachh! hck’AISCHHH!.. kk’jihshhh!.. et’SHUUU! HEH’SHUU!.. ET’KISHHHUUU!! It winded him, the pressure in his head unimaginably thick, and woozily he straightened himself. Taking a breath to speak to her, it caught in his throat, and he began to cough. Angela moved to put her other hand on his back, rubbing there to try and ease the fit.

“Gill, goodness, bless you,” she said. The argument from before was forgotten when Gill glanced over his shoulder, eyes watery, the skin around them puffy. Angela bit her bottom lip, and with a hesitant hand, smoothed some of his hair from his brow to feel for a fever. There was none, though she noted the steady rising pinkness in his cheeks from the contact of skin-to-skin. Her own face alighted.

“Don’t hate me for saying this,” she warned, gently carding a few fingers through his bangs, “But you look unwell.”

“I prombise I amb dot ill,” he said, resolute on that subject. What he felt wasn’t sickness. It was some grand irritation of everything respiratory. He had not found himself in such a plight for years, and the reason was just beginning to settle on him. “The ondly thi’g thad bakes be like this, is—”

As if cued for an onstage appearance, there was a soft meow from the rafter above them. Both people looked up at the calico barn-cat, Gill’s irritated eyes narrowing. Angela blinked a moment, understanding dawning on her.

“You’re allergic to cats?”

“Spectacularly-iiiehh.. Yck’JISHHUU!.. heischh! h’iischhh! ckk’iaschhhh! IT’SCHUU!!” He groaned, putting his palms over his eyes, trying to dispel the pressure there. Angela had found the cat only a few weeks ago; he had been prowling around in the cold, looking for a warm place to sleep, and she put him in the barn without a second thought. Gill had not been inside her barn since… He coughed again, and then stumbled with a powerful, “IISHH!ISSHHH!!”

Casting a quick glance around the barn, Angela saw that just about all the animals were fed and cleaned, and the rest of her chores could wait until she settled Gill inside, away from the allergin. While Angela herself did not have allergies, she’s had relatives who did and knew enough about them to be of some use.

ISHHH! HEISHHH! IESHHHUUU! Apparently seeing the source of his misery made Gill’s allergies all the worse, and Angela quickly ushered him out of the barn and into her home, ignoring any weak protest from the victim. The cold air outside gave Gill’s system a shock, and he hitched with a staggering, “hh’itesschhHHUUUUHH!! It was a heavy, ponderous sneeze; his sinuses, full to the brim with cat dander, were eager to have it out.

She sat him down in a kitchen chair, having to use the heels of her hands to push him back as he swayed a bit from the allergic haze. He had long since forgotten about his handkerchief, and by now it was rather useless anyway. Just as Gill hitched up for another release, the tickling at the back of his nose constant and fierce, Angela pinned a handful of tissues against his face.

HH’ISHHH!! ISHHH! ISHHHUU! ISHHHSHUHH!” His sneezes seemed to have a breathy, but strong quality now. Like a powerful gale on a blustery day. Muzzy, it took Gill a second to realize that the lovely woman he fancied was holding tissues to his nose. He wrestled them from her immediately, trying not to die from the embarrassment. This was already terrible enough without Angela partaking in something as ghastly as that!

“I’b sorry,” Gill croaked, rolling his eyes at the quality of his voice. He was just a bucket-load of attractiveness today, wasn’t he? This plan of his had crashed and burned with flying colors. Angela was at her stove, heating some water.

“Don’t be silly,” she said, smiling over at him. His blue eyes widened in surprise. “It was my cat that caused all this.” They descended into some silence, but distance from the allergen did little for Gill at this point. The damage to his nose was done, and he would probably feel miserable for the day. Angela had strategically placed the tissue box next to him on the kitchen table, and he took a few to tend to his nose.

Suddenly, he was getting tugged to his feet and herded towards the pot of boiling water. He stalled, trying to discover the reason for it, but Angela continued to playfully push him until he stood over it.

“Breathe the steam,” she said, and immediately he understood. Right. That’s what you do for severe congestion. It touched him that she cared enough to heat it for him, and he sniffled as the vapors began to work on him. It wasn’t but a few moments later that he sighed.

“What?” she asked, hearing the wilting tone in that breath.

“Id’s just..” Gill searched for the words, keeping his nerve up before it fell away. “This isn’d how I wanded this to go…”

Angela was silent behind him. Then he started when her fingers grazed his sides. He felt her heat against his back, her chest pressing between his shoulder blades. Her chin rested at the crook of his neck, and he swallowed reflexively. Arms intertwining him, he had never felt so safe before.

“I think it’s going just fine,” she said, and he could feel her smile against his skin. It gave him a shiver, and then a tingle deep in his sinuses.

ii’shhischh!” At least that symptom was calming down. “Hieschhh!!” He felt Angela’s giggle as much as he heard it. And just like that, it was a moment well worth all the trouble. His face relaxed into a smile, eyes closing as he breathed in the steam and the scent of her hair. “ii’ickshhiii!”

“Ahaha! That was a cute one,” she spoke into his neck. Gill scoffed, but couldn’t keep the smile off of his face despite himself. He was just too happy.

“Hush. I’b dot cute-ehh.. ehh’shiiii!!”

“Hmm,” she hummed, nuzzling just a little. Yes, she was most certainly glad he stopped by today.

/fin~

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O-Oh wow. That was absolutely gorgeous! :drool: Gill has always been my favorite and oh goodness with your amazing writing I think I may faint. And the kitty just d'awwwww :heart: :heart: :heart:

Words cannot describe how much I love this. THANK YOOOOOUUUUU and happy holidays~! :hug:

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HARVEST MOON YES!!! I actually married Wizard, but Gill is nice eye candy too~ <3 I am currently playing Rune Factory 4 (it's a fantasy harvest moon, it literally says it in the title) and I'm planning on doing some things with that!! <3 <3 Thank you so much for this fic.

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