Title: The Proposal
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from the movie Sense and Sensiblility. They belong to their creator Jane Austen.
Distribution: If you want it, just tell me where it's going.
Spoilers: The movie Sense and Sensibility, starring Alan Rickman as Col. Brandon and Kate Winslett as Marianne Dashwood.
Summary: The missing proposal scene from Sense and Sensibility.
Feedback: Yes, please
Mrs. Marianne Brandon sat in the volumous library of Brandon Estate, an open book of sonnets in her lap. Though she was not reading it, her mind was on a certain one. One that had brought her to her senses and brought her happiness as well. In her mind, she went back to the day she had first had the sonnet read to her.
Col. Brandon had been sitting on the bench beside her lounge chair, a book of sonnets in his hand. She remembered hearing his rich voice, wrapping her in it's velvety tone, as he read.
"Or whether doth my mind being crowned with you
Drink up the monarch's plague this flattery?
Or whether shall I say mine eye saith true,
And that your love taught it this alchemy?
To make of monsters, and things indigest,
Such cherubins as your sweet self resemble,
Creating every bad a perfect best
As fast as objects to his beams assemble:
O 'tis the first, 'tis flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kingly drinks it up,
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup.
If it be poisoned, 'tis the lesser sin,
That mine eye loves it and doth first begin."
As his melodic voice died off, she turned from staring at the lake, to look at his face. It had been two weeks since she had come to her senses concerning Willoughby. She smiled at him graciously.
"That was beautiful, Colonel. Are you to read another?"
He had shaken his head no, and her face had fell. "I am sorry Miss Marianne, but I have some important business that I should attend to at this time. But rest assured, I shall return."
Her face brightened again, nodding she bid him good day and watched as he got up and left the grounds. She couldn't help but sit and watch his retreating back until she could no longer see it, before turning back around and gazing back over the lake. She collected her thoughts and found that they settled on the man who had just left her side. He was a wonder, indeed, from the first moment they had met up until this moment.
Col. Brandon had surprised her in his offer of companionship on several occasions. And she being the silly child that she was, had threw them off as of no consequence. How foolish she had been. She had been blinded by her infatuation with Willoughby. It had never truly been love, just a silly girl's obsessed with a dream. She thought of all the times that Christopher had come calling, of how rude she had been. Especially when Willoughby was about. Oh, she had been dreadful. But still, he had been there. When she needed him most, he had been there.
It was he who had went after her that night in the storm. Had brought her back to safety, so that she could be tended to. When her fever had taken hold and threatened to end her young life, he had went on a mission to bring her mother to her side. She had been so sure that after everything she had put the poor man through, that he would be done with her.
But no, he had surprised her yet again. sitting with her, reading poetry aloud in that voice of his. Why had she not noticed before how his voice sounded as if it were wrapped in velvet. Every word uttered from his mouth, even if it weren't poetry, sounded like it just the same. When he read to her, she felt free, freer than she had in a long while. Sighing, Marianne rose from her chair and went back into the house with her sisters and mother. It was nearly tea time and she wished to freshen up before then.
Col. Brandon had arrived back on the property in three hours time, and after they had resumed their seats, he opened up a new book.
"A new set of sonnets, Colonel?" Marianne asked, a bit curious as to why he would bother with bringing a book when she had far more than really needed.
"Yes, Marianne. There is one in here that I wish for you to hear." Came his reply.
Marianne nodded her ascent and leaned back into her chair as Col. Brandon began.
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments, love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come,
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."
The sonnet had moved her truly, but she had no idea why he had wished for her to hear it. Surely, he did not wish to... No, he couldn't still fancy her that way. Not with how she had mistreated him.
When Col. Brandon finished the last verse, he rose from his seat, moved to kneel beside Marianne and took her small hand into his larger, warm ones. Marianne turned to look at him questioningly.
"Marianne, I know that you have never appreciated my attentions, merely tolerated them. And I do not wish to be bothersome with my affections, but if you tell me now that they are unwanted, then I shall leave here. But if you were to permit me to stay, then there is one question in my heart that is dying to be asked."
Marianne gazed at him a moment before answering. "Colonel, your attentions where never bothersome, niether where your attentions never appreciated. I know I never showed it outwardly, but I truly basked in it. I admit, I was blinded for a time. By my childish dreams and expectations. But I have grown up, and I would endevour to hear the question that your heart wishes to speak." Marianne turned fully then, to show that he had her undivided attention.
Clearing his throat a bit, Col. Brandon reached into his pocket and withdrew something which he kept concealed in his palm. Gazing into her eyes, he began.
"Miss. Dashwood, from the moment that I entered Barton Park and heard your melodious voice, my heart has been yours. I know that you see me as old and unworthy of your time. But this last few weeks spent in your company had been the most cherished of times for me. I dread that they will draw to a close, and I do not wish for that to be."
Marianne's heart began to race at the words being uttered. Was he going to propose? She had thought that she had lost her chance at such a possibility. She almost dared to hope that she had been wrong. That she hadn't lost favor in his eyes.
"And so, I wish to ask you, Miss Marianne Dashwood, if you would concent to be my bride." Brandon finished, as he produced what he had kept palmed for the duration of his speech.
A small velvet box.
Marianne's breath caught and tears sprang to her eyes. She could not utter a word, so shocked was she. Colonel Brandon, saw this and bitter dismay played across his features.
"I-I am sorry, Miss. Dashwood. Forgive my overstepping my boundaries. I should not have spoken of such things." He got to his feet and made as if to leave.
Immediately, Marianne was to her feet. "Wait!" She cried. Brandon stopped mid stride, but did not turn around. "Why do you wish to marry me?" She asked. She wanted to... no, needed to hear him say it.
Turning slowly, Brandon looked the woman who had filled his every waking moment since the moment he had laid eyes on her, in the eyes.
"Because, Miss. Dashwood. I love you. I love you, without reason or consequence. You are everything to me. The air I breath. I worship the ground you walk on. Without you, I feel as if I would go mad. All because, I love you." When he finished his declaration, he was quite unprepared when the young woman thew herself into his arms. He caught her deftly and couldn't stop himself from holding her close for but an instant, before she pulled away again. He saw that she still had tears in her eyes. But there was something else there as well. He sucked in a breath as he realized she was smiling at him.
"Oh, you silly man. I would be honored to be your bride." She said before going into his embrace again.
Brandon closed his eyes and issued up a silent prayer of thanks. Thanks that his dream had come true. And also to pray that he could make hers come true as well.