Author's Note- Did any one else freak out with the FF website being down yesterday? I had to console myself with re-watching Lizzie Bennet Diaries and browsing the Socially Awkward Darcy/ Darcy's Inner Struggles - it was very entertaining. Well - this epilogue had been finished but it did not save properly when the site crashed - so I've been slowly trying to get it the way it was before.
I wanna thank the following for reviews now (cause this epilogue has a rather long note at the end) - nanciellen, Pozemom (if you haven't already, when you finish this epilogue check out her story Darcy's Wife!), Haruko Higurashi, AmyGoddess, ahschung, QOP, Lily Draco, ev2017, shellyprz, HarnGin, loulou25 (merci encore!) and those anonymous guests - that last chapter was very scary to post, but I'm very glad I did.
Mr. Bennet had spent a good portion of his time in the drawing room pondering the goings-on in his library. He did not suppose correctly about much of the subjects discussed but did guess the reason why Mr. Darcy came out into the hall to speak to him. He had barely engaged in a sentence of his book as he read, as he had thought greatly instead on the prospect of his most favorite daughter accepting such a man.
It was true, he no longer thought of Mr. Darcy as disagreeable, as all their friends and family had once considered, but he also was unsure if Lizzy had any regard for the gentleman. He feared his intelligent and independent daughter would accept a proposal from such a man on the basis of his wealth and position, but he did his best to recall Lizzy's true nature - she would never marry a man she could not respect and love he hope- no doubt if she did not want, Mr. Darcy she would not accept him. With all this weighing on his mind, it would have been easy for him to ignore the transformation of that gentleman as he exited the library.
As he passed through the doorway, Mr. Darcy had more animation and passion on his features than Mr. Bennet had ever seen before. Within the seconds of door closing behind him, the gentleman's face had shifted to a more guarded, though still happy, look. There was no need for an extensive conference, Mr. Bennet would have savoured the opportunity to make the proud gentleman squirm, but he had already made his decision.
With consent given, they both returned to the library, to discuss how best to inform Mrs. Bennet that she would need to begin planning two weddings. Both Lizzy and Mr. Darcy were eager for her to be informed as soon as she had arrived at the house, Mr. Bennet though believed she would be too excited from the day's activity, such news would be a great shock. The discussion was useless though, as they soon learnt when the Bennet carriage was seen to have returned.
For most of those who had been at Netherfield that day, there had been little doubt as to the whereabouts of Mr. Darcy once he had been discovered missing, so much so that Mr. Bingley and Miss Darcy had followed the Bennet carriage home in Mr. Bingley's curricle. Only Mrs. Bennet seemed to be unaware and was a little befuddled by the appearance of the gentleman in her drawing room. The rest of the group seemed so eager to hear of any news, Mr. Bennet could not continue to allow her exclusion. She exclaimed somewhat loudly and in curiosity when Mr. Bennet gently indicated that she should step into his library for a moment, and he swiftly whisked his wife and daughter out of the room to avoid embarrassing Mr. Darcy and Lizzy any further.
As he had predicted, Mrs. Bennet was all shock and silence, and for so long that Lizzy almost ran to fetch her smelling salts, but once she recovered unaided, she readily accepted the prospect. Her husband and daughter sat with her for some time, awaiting all of her exclamations about Mr. Darcy's wealth and Lizzy's good fortune to be exhausted before they decided to return to the drawing room.
There was little need for an announcement, as Lizzy was quickly beset by hugs and handshakes, the foremost of which came from Miss Darcy. Within moments they had named each other sister and the younger girl was soon quite teary, though she insisted that it was with happiness. Mrs. Bennet was so occupied in improving the dinner plans to include Mr. Darcy's favorite dish that she hardly had time to address her intended son-in-law at all. She did however have the honor of sharing the news with Mrs. Philips that very afternoon, and it was not long before the entire neighbourhood was told.
It had been Mr. Bingley's romantic mind that brought forth the idea of a double wedding – set for mid-January as Mrs. Bennet was adamant that she would need plenty of time to prepare her daughters. Special licences were obtained, also on Mrs. Bennet's insistence, but the intended couples were perhaps in too much a state of bliss to take much notice of her fussing and fretting.
The attendance to the wedding was mostly friends and neighbours of the Bennets. The Gardiners were still at Longbourn, though they were soon due to depart, and the two little Gardiner girls were dressed sweetly in light blue dresses to accompany their cousins. The only family that was missing was the Wickhams, and it could not be said that they were missed by most.
Of the grooms' friends and family however - both were reasonably represented.
Mr. and Mrs. Hurst had arrived just before Christmas and it was decided that they were continue on to Bath with Miss Bingley in tow after the wedding, to allow Mr. Bingley time with his new bride. Unlike her sister, Mrs. Hurst was genuinely pleased with her brother's choice and became quite attentive to Jane in all of the preparations.
Colonel Fitzwilliam and his parents, Lord and Lady Gavendy were able to attend - however their other children could not make the journey to Hertfordshire. On their arrival the day before the wedding, her intended's aunt and uncle presented Lizzy with several letters and gifts from them. Georgiana had remained at Netherfield, and was to travel with the Fitzwilliams to their London townhouse after the wedding. Lady Catherine was not heard from.
Whilst it must be said that acts of matrimony will always bring changes to one's society - with separation from those once dear and the introduction to new friends and loved ones, Mr. Bennet was always considered most beloved to his second eldest and was one of the more frequent family guests at Pemberley. The bond shared by the two eldest Bennet daughters was only strengthened from that day on, and with the friendship between their husbands so secure, the Darcys and Bingleys were not long from each other's company.
Mr. Darcy had teasingly kept his plans for after the wedding from Lizzy, hinting only that she would need to be packed and ready to depart that evening. From his romantic notions came the arrangements for a bridal tour that was almost identical to the one his own parents had taken three decades earlier. When the much anticipated day arrived, it passed quickly, as such days often do. Whilst Mr. Darcy (now Darling to his beloved in private) was awaiting their departure, the new Mrs. Darcy was enjoying her last hours as an occupant of her father's house, before it was time to make their farewells.
It was once they were alone in the coach, and her few bittersweet tears were dried, did he inform her of his plans and intentions. Happily his bride shifted in her seat, so that he might embrace her, and from then they only spoke of what futures they would share.
Author's Note - OK I REALLY wanted to end with a kind of 'explanation' of a few things. I know it's not needed, but I just have to! Feel free to ignore I suppose?
What was Darcy's plan?
Get Bingley to Hertfordshire, and make it obvious he's invested in the place (cause he left so suddenly and rudely before). Help Bingley win Jane back (which gets delayed because his persuasion about Jane's indifference was very effective and the presence of other suitors). Make sure Lizzy is happy with how things (Wickham & Lydia, Bingley & Jane) have turned out and that she thinks better of Darcy. Be social so people don't think he's so rude/proud.
Hopefully it was kind of clear in his proposal that he actually didn't plan to propose - he only gained any hope of her accepting him after he heard she refused to promise Lady C about the opposite. Yes this is similar to the novel, but as they had more conversation before hand, there was able to be a lot less awkwardness during the actual proposal and a lot more friendliness/understanding between them leading up to it.
A bit of Original Character backstory – in case you were wondering!?
Lieutenant Edmund Woodworth – character inspiration Captain Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion), Mr. Knightly (Emma)
Edmund hates being in the navy, but loves the freedom of the sea. He's something in limbo because of a possible forced retirement (after his arm injury) and never planned to own property so the inheritance surprised him. He's a little misogynistic/has anger issues, after losing his mother at a young age, he blames her unladylike life. He likes Kitty, but worries that she's too young and silly to settle down. Maybe one day I'll write them a fanfiction.
Henry Woodworth – character inspiration John Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility), Frank Churchill (Emma) – need I say more?
Henry is materialistic and manipulative. He actually likes Lizzy but as a friend, the conversation at the church was about this – he would have considered courting her but Mr. Collins had informed him and Edmund about the entail and the fact that the Bennets aren't loaded, so he really wasn't that keen any way. Also his father was trying to force him to return home or will cut off his access to family finances (which isn't as much as was suggested) – so he's a little desperate to find a sugar-mama and soon. Conveniently he becomes infatuated with Wilhemina Russell very early on and chooses to ignore the fact that she's a married women – he both taunts her and flirts with her alternatively. It's more of an obsession than love. The dialogue about wild and free creatures in cages was about her and her loveless marriage – not Lizzy and her possible match with Darcy, even though he didn't like that possibility
Wilhemina Russell – character inspiration Jane Fairfax (Emma), Maria Bertram (Mansfield Park)
Mina had promised Caroline to help her get Darcy, but is very observant and when she realizes that he likes Lizzy, actually tries to help him (distracting Caroline, encouraging Lizzy to partner with him over cards, allowing them time alone at the Netherfield Dinner), she's flattered by Henry's flirtations and infuriated when he taunts her – she's motivated to leave with him by the freedom he offers in running away. Her family is related distantly to royalty (not English royalty) and she is a very wealthy woman. She hates her husband, her mother forced her to marry him young – she, like Lizzy, was her father's favorite. Mr. Russell was trying to control her with the purchase of Netherfield, and she was not taking it sitting down.
Mina and Henry after leaving Purvis Lodge, spent a short time in London while they found a way to get to France – their whereabouts after they left England are unknown. It's likely her father helped them to set up a new life, but it's unlikely they stayed together happily for long.
Frederick Langley – Character inspiration – the weakness of Bingley, James Morland (Northanger Abbey), John Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility)
Shy, naive and spoilt, Frederick is boring because he has no opinions or ideas of his own. He becomes infatuated with Jane from their first meeting (which in itself is not an original thought - he was told she's the prettiest and nicest girl in Hertfordshire) and wants to compete with Bingley for her attention when Netherfield people arrive, but he was warned by his cousins about the Bennet's financial situation – his own parents would never approve of her hence he doesnt make an actual move. He's manipulated by Henry in a lot of what he does, especially at the end he was to distract Mr. Russell when Henry and Mina escape.
Alright I'll stop now. Thanks again all for the reviews, favourites and follows. Thanks for reading, it's been fun :)