This was my second contribution to the trip to the playground theme at AHA. This one is pure fluff, as opposed to my latest One-Shot.
I've been inspired to write it by a song I heard on a concert I went to last week. I adore this song, but every time I hear it Live it fills me up with all these... feels...
ETA: I hope I didn't blunder too much with the profession names and terms. In Hebrew we use the same names for music producer, film and concert, I couldn't find much about concerts/show producers and professions. If you see an error, please tell me!
Blurb: This is a story about childhood and friendship and how some friendships never die.
"What are you doing? You'll fall over!"
"I won't! Now fuck off!"
"Yes you will! You're just a little girl!"
"I'm not a little girl! I'm eight! And I've climbed it before, asshole."
Lizzy Bennet huffed at the stranger's remarks. She was not little anymore! Insufferable boy. She stuck her tongue at him and kept climbing the scaffoldings until she reached a reasonable height where she could comfortably watch the clouds in solitude. But she couldn't enjoy it this time, not as much as she wanted anyway, because thoughts of the annoying, gangly boy with the mop of dark hair kept invading her thoughts in a most disagreeable manner. Insufferable boy!
"Lizzy, it's getting dark and the show is about to start. Come here."
Lizzy sighed and left her perch towards the gaffer's post, where her father, the chief lighting technician, was ready to roll, as he liked to say. When she reached her father she was surprised to see the annoying boy from her midday climb.
"You!" she growled.
"Lizzy," her father said firmly, "this is Fitzwilliam Darcy. He's thirteen and Mr. Darcy's son. You are to be nice to him, understand?"
"Yes Papa," she said in resign, but when her father turned back to his equipment she stuck her tongue out again.
Fitzwilliam frowned but said nothing, keeping his eyes on the stage.
Their first meeting marked Lizzy's intense and ongoing dislike of Fitzwilliam Darcy. He was aloof and brooding and boring and taciturn and oh so annoying! It was even worse knowing that she had to be nice to him because his father was the big boss.
George Darcy was Catherine Debourgh's producer. She was the most famous singer in England and he was the best producer in the world, it only made sense that they will join forces. That's what her father said anyway, she didn't really understand what forces they had. Was it like in Star Wars? Did Catherine Debourgh kill people with her high pitched voice? It made sense, she was so nasty sometimes. But Mr. Darcy? He was nice, Lizzy couldn't even imagine him hurting anyone. How he had such a standoffish son was beyond her.
They might never have had any friendship to talk about, had George Wickham not come along with his father, the soundman, one day. At first, Lizzy was excited by the easy charm of the older teen and their common hatred of one dark, brooding boy. Things seemed to go well and then went downhill in a crash.
It happened so quickly.
When her father went to get them lunch, George Wickham dared her to try a cigarette. She coughed and vomited all over the cables near her father's post. And Wickham laughed. He laughed at her! Had she not felt so bad, she would have punched him. She needed have had to, because she heard a thud just as she finished throwing the second batch, and raised her head to see none other than Fitzwilliam Darcy punch the nasty Wickham right in the nose. Wickham scampered and Lizzy couldn't have been more surprised when the standoffish Fitzwilliam Darcy pulled her hair back when another wave of nausea hit her. Afterwards he got her a cup of tea from somewhere and cleaned the mess she made just before her father came back with their sandwiches.
Lizzy offered Fitzwilliam half of her sandwich with a weak smile and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
From then on, Lizzy and Fitzwilliam spent their time on the scaffoldings together from midday until just before the concert started. Then they both watched the show until Lizzy fell asleep, usually in Fitzwilliam's arms.
"What about this one?" Lizzy pointed at the sky. "Doesn't it look like a dragon?"
"Looks like a pigeon to me."
"Nope, I hate pigeons, this one is definitely a dragon."
"Why do you hate pigeons?"
"Because they shit everywhere, especially on these structures, and everywhere else they can ruin. Like exactly on the door handle just after I clean Papa's car."
Fitzwilliam laughed and leaned on the scaffoldings back structure, Lizzy crawled into his lap and together they watched the clouds for a while. Until Lizzy said in a small voice, "Mama used to feed pigeons."
"What happened to your Mum?"
"She didn't want Papa anymore, so she took my older sister and left. Now it's just me and Papa all by ourselves. It's sad cause my sister Jane is really sweet, but we still talk on the phone and write letters to each other."
Fitzwilliam hugged her and placed a gentle kiss on the top of her head. "Your Mum is stupid."
"My Mum is dead."
"I know, Papa told me. He lectured me for being mean to you, said you were really sad and that I should treat you nicer."
"Hey, I'm not a ninny!"
"It's ok, you can be sad with me. At least you have good memories, right?"
His arms tightened around her and she thought she felt wetness on her head. After a while, when his hold relaxed, she lifted her head to watch him. "Wickham said he's bringing his git of a son next week. How about we put salt and pepper in his drink?"
And just like that, everything was right again.
After that summer and at the end of Catherine Debourgh's tour, Mr. Bennet found a job in Liverpool. It wasn't as exciting as touring the country, but it was stable and Lizzy could go back to school, so it had its advantages. It had one major disadvantage, it severed Lizzy's friendship with Fitzwilliam for a very very long time. Lizzy carried the memory of his friendship with her for years, no friend ever came close to what they shared and no hug ever compared.
Truth to be told, Fitzwilliam Darcy didn't think much about Lizzy Bennet over the years. At the end of the summer he went back to school and his life was filled with homework, friends and pretty girls. From time to time he wondered about the little girl with her filthy mouth, mischievous eyes, and compassionate heart that managed to lift his spirits in the tough period he had after his mother died. In time, he didn't think of her at all, until his father died many years later. He wished then to have a friend to talk to, but he had so many responsibilities, so many people to worry about, and no one seemed to worry about him. By the time he was thirty, he was a famous singer and relinquished his production company to his uncle's capable hands while he concentrated on writing songs and touring the world.
"Darcy, so good to see you again!"
Darcy winced at the simpering sound of Caroline Bingley. Why did Charles have to bring her with him to their meetings was beyond him.
"Charles, Caroline," he nodded at them and sat on one of the two unoccupied chairs, both were next to Caroline of course.
"Darcy, I want you to meet Jane, my girlfriend." Charles smiled widely as he introduced a beautiful, blond model.
He nodded at her direction and then went on pursuing the menu. Bingley's girl du jour looked just as the last one. He liked them blonds, he liked them leggy and he liked them to be as vapid as can possibly be. He never had anything in common with any of them, not that he had anything in common with Caroline or even with Charles. Charles Bingley was his production manager and their meetings were always work related, but since he was a friendly man they were on friendly terms, so to speak.
"Listen, Darcy" Charles said after they received their food. "I had a little problem with filling in for Hurst."
"No one wants to work with me, I know."
"Well, you do have a bad name of being a perfectionist."
"I am perfectionist."
"Yes, but it's a bit of a problem to find someone after the way you fired Hurst. You really need to start working on your manners."
Darcy ignored the advice and wracked his brain for names, when he remembered old Mr. Bennet. "I know a good lighting technician. He's old though, might be retired by now."
"Well," Charles moved uneasily in his seat, "Jane says her sister is very good-"
"She's coming over, you can decide after you talk-"
"Darcy, come on, don't be an arse."
"He can't help it," a voice behind him laughed. "He was born with a fucking stick up there."
Darcy turned around, to see a young woman, dressed in a white tank top and jeans that showed her figure very very well. Her long, dark curls were tied in a messy bun at the top of her head and her eyes gleamed mischievously. He knew those eyes!
"Lizzy? Lizzy Bennet?"
"The one and only. I see you still hold your misogynic attitude." Her eyes sparkled.
He laughed, "I see you still have a potty mouth."
Lizzy flopped unceremoniously at the empty chair at the other side of Caroline. Caroline didn't seem happy with the arrangement, by the revolted expression on her face.
"I use much better vocabulary, I've learned how to curse in many other languages as well. Now, do you need a lighting technician or not?"
"You've got the job Lizzy."
"Of course I've got it," she smiled. "Share your sandwich with me?"
Darcy never regretted hiring Lizzy, she was the best worker he ever had. Besides being a hard worker, she never cowered from him, always fought for her opinions and knew when to admit her errors. When time allowed, he spent his middays with her on the top of the scaffoldings, sharing a sandwich and staring at the skies. Until just before the gates opened and Darcy had to go backstage, leaving Lizzy to do her job of lighting him on the stage. He relished saying her name at the end of every concert when he thanked the crew.
It seemed only natural to kiss her on top of the scaffoldings. And backstage. And at his apartment, where they did much more than kissing.
"The next song," Darcy announced at the last concert of the tour, "is very special to me. It's a new song and it's called "At Midday". I wrote it to my best friend, she'll probably tell me to fuck off when she hears it now, but here it is…"
Letting his band go and rest, he grabbed his guitar and sang it alone. When he finished, the crowd went wild and he looked up towards the gaffer's post. He couldn't see her, of course, but he hoped she liked it. It was a surprise, after all, and he knew she probably loved the opportunity to improvise as well.
"Now, before we continue to the next song," Darcy smiled at the crowd when the band came back upstage. "I have a favor to from ask all of you. I want you all to put on your flashlights on your phones so our dear chief lighting technician can leave her post and come on stage for a minute."
"Fuck off!" Lizzy yelled from her post.
He laughed at the cuss, his laugh joined by the fans. "Come on Lizzy, just for a minute. Let her through guys, and keep those phones up."
When she reached the stage her eyes shot daggers at him. "Asshole," she said, "I hope it's not too embarrassing."
"Now," Darcy ignored her and turned back to the crowd, "it's Lizzy's birthday today. She never had a proper celebration before, so we're going to sing her a loud birthday song together. Happy birthday to you…"
"Keep your phones up guys," he said when the song was done. Slowly he took her hand in his and kneeled. "Marry me?" he asked to the sound of his screaming fans.
"You are a fucking idiot, do you know that?" she stuck her tongue out, sparkle in her eyes.
"I knew you'd say yes," he smiled before kissing her right there, on stage, in front of some 50,000 or so fans.