AN: I've been sitting on this one shot for a while and thought Valentine's Day would be a good time to post it. Still working on editing An Accidental Elopement but life has gotten rather busy. A more thorough explanation on my next post. Until then enjoy this short little story.
The Dastardly Mr. Hurst and the Cowardly Mr. Bingley
It was well past two in the morning when three figures made their way slowly down a deserted hallway at Netherfield Park.
The seemingly lifeless body of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy hung between the two men as they drug it quietly through the corridor.
"I can't do this. I won't be party to this despicable act anymore," whispered Charles Bingley as he stopped their progress.
With a huff, Mr. Albert Hurst threw down the body between them in an awkward pile of limbs.
"Listen up Bingley, what's done it done. We have to finish what we've started. Now stop being such a little girl and help me!"
"But Darcy is my best friend... was my best friend," Bingley replied as he gazed sadly upon the body of man on the floor between them.
"Don't think of it like that. Think of it as soon you will be free."
Charles shot his brother-in-law a sad glare.
"I'm seriously Bingley. You know neither one of us can live in peace while Caroline continues to dominate our lives AND," he continued before Bingley could say anything, "you know she will not move on with her life until Darcy is dead or married. Louisa and I want to start a family Charles. That won't happen as long as that nagging shrew is living in our house."
Hurst gently patted his co-conspirator on the shoulder. Bingley however still stood there staring doubtfully at the man who had done so much for him laying crumpled on the floor.
"Think about Charles," Hurst tried again. "Do you really think that deliciously beautiful Miss Bennet will marry you while having to set up house with that harpy of a sister of yours?"
"Jane is a wonderful, kind woman who would open her house and heart to anyone," angerly replied Bingley.
"Of course she is Bingley, right now anyways, but think down the line. Think of years from now, the constant nagging and put downs that your dear sister will keep throwing at your wife. How will your marriage fair? I'll tell you. The stress will build. Soon you will start to hate the very site of each other. You'll take up the bottle and the lovely Jane will run to her sister all the time to discuss what a disappointment you are. Is that what you want?"
Bingley's expression hardened with resolve.
"You are right Hurst. This is the only way. Let us be on our way before we rouse anyone."
With a gleeful smile Hurst helped Bingley pick up the large body of Mr. Darcy and made their way farther down the hall.
The two gentlemen quietly open the doorway toward their final destination and with great effort once more threw down their heavy load. This time a loud snore emitted from their friend. Both the men froze momentarily.
"Don't worry Bingley. He won't wake till morning."
"Fine. Lets just get out of here. I feel nauseous."
"We will in a moment. First help me get his night clothes off."
"Hurst! We can't leave a naked man in an unmarried woman's bed!"
"Oh come now Bingley, didn't I tell you to stop acting like a little girl?"
Charles Bingley could only response with a look of total shock.
"Fine. I'll do it myself." With great effort he was finally able to strip down the unconscious man. Hurst threw the night shirt over his shoulder and got to work situating him in the bed.
Turning around Hurst found his wife's brother carefully folding Mr. Darcy's night shirt.
"Bingley," quietly shouted Hurst while slapping the shirt from the other gentleman's hands. "A man in the throws of passion does not take the time to fold his clothes!"
"Hurst keep it down! You'll wake Miss Elizabeth!"
"Don't worry about that. I told her maid that the apothecary wished for her to have some laudrum with her night time tea. Since she's been so tired caring for her sister and needed a good nights rest. Both are sufficient drugged till morning," Hurst finished with a devilish smile.
"No no it's not too late. We can still take Darcy back to his room and no one will know. What on earth are you doing now?!"
Hurst had grabbed Miss Elizabeth's arm and was pulling it over top of the now nude Mr. Darcy.
"Well it has to look convincing," Hurst winked.
"I can't...this...this is just too much...we can't..."
Hurst firmly grabbed Bingley's shoulders and turned him towards himself.
"Listen and listen good. Have you ever known Darcy to show ANY woman ANY amount of attention?" Charles shook his head in the negative.
"And would you agree that he basically stares at Miss Elizabeth constantly?" He now nodded his head to confirm.
"Well there you have it. Now he won't have to worry about gazing out the window so much. Or worry about knocking over vases right and left if he didn't," joked Hurst which only caused Bingley to blush furiously at the crude implication.
"Seriously Charles, you're more womanly then my wife. You know Darcy. He will think of a hundred reason why he should not be with Miss Elizabeth and once he finally decides he's an idiot and she perfect for him, she will have probably found someone else. Thereby leaving Darcy heartbroken and unmarried and us putting up with Caroline for life. Cheer up. They'll probably be so grateful they'll name one of their children after us."
The thought of being rid of Caroline caused Bingley to straighten his back.
"You're right Hurst. It's for the best. Let's go. Sorry my friend but it's for your own good too," Charles whispered as he shut the bedroom door on his friend.
The next morning the Hursts were awoken by a loud scream and a sound the shattering dishes. That was follow immediately by another scream that sounded suspiciously like Miss Elizabeth Bennet. 'Thank goodness I ordered that early tea to be brought to Miss Elizabeth, thought Hurst with a smirk.
"Albert. Albert! Did you here that? It sound as if one of the Miss Bennets are in distress!"
"Oh I'm sure it's fine dear. Now come here and give me a kiss."
Another scream and a thud followed.
"Albert I'm sure that was Caroline! I must go see what's wrong!"
"Oh dearest you know how dramatic your sister is. Come and keep me warm this fine morning my lovely wife."
Louisa Hurst had not heard her husband speak as such in years and couldn't help but fall back into his embrace with a small smile on her face.
The scene the Hursts missed was quite one to behold. The maid scrambling to clean the dishes she broke. Miss Elizabeth sobbing into her bedding while Mr Darcy clutching a sheet to his lower half trying to explain that he had no idea how he ended up there. Add in a Miss Bingley fainted dead away on the floor and a Charles Bingley trying to look angerly at his friend, commanding him to his study to answer for his deplorable behavior in his home and the scene was complete.
Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet were married four days later and removed to Pemeberly to wait for the scandal to die down.
Miss Bingley was so offended by the behavior of these savage country people that she removed herself to Scotland to nurse her wounds leaving Charles Bingley with the great pleasure of courting the lovely Miss Bennet without his sister's overbearing present and married the eldest Miss Bennet three months later.
The Hursts' first born arrived 9 months later to the day after the great Netherfield Hall scandal, as it came to be known.
~~~~~~~~Four Years Later~~~~~~~~~
Charles Bingley paced outside of his friend's study. Four years ago, four years ago today he had dragged his friends body down the halls of Netherfield Park. The guilt had been eating him up ever since. With his resolve set, Bingley burst through the heavy oak doors.
"I can not take it anymore. It is all my fault. I am the one to blame and I would not hold it against you if you never spoke to me again!"
"Bingley have you gone mad? Keep your voice down," reprimanded Darcy.
Bingley looked around and saw Elizabeth gently rocking a sleeping baby. The third and most recent of the Darcy clan arriving only two weeks ago.
"Forgive me," he said lowering his voice, "but I must speak with you."
Darcy nodded his head and motioned toward the chair in front of his desk. Bingley sat long enough to smooth out his pants before popping up and pacing the room.
"Out with it Bingley before the baby's first birthday would be best." Darcy's teasing comment caused Elizabeth to laugh quietly into the little one's fine hair.
"All right, all right it's time. It was all my fault. I am the one to blame because I could have stopped it."
"Yes you already mentioned all of that," smirked Darcy. "But would you like to elaborate on just what I am to blame you for?"
"Four years ago today Hurst and me drug your body down the halls of Netherfield Park..." The next quarter hour comprised of a moment for moment, word for word account of just how Darcy came to be in Elizabeth's bed that night. The flood gate was open and the story poured from Charles Bingley without him even pausing to take a breath.
"I understand if you never want to speak to me again," he finished hanging his head down low.
There was a several minute pause where not a sound was made. The injured party was to stunned for words but to soon passed and changed into something of amusement.
"Well I will have to agree with you," said Darcy as Elizabeth hid a smile behind their child.
Bingley stood with his back straight. He deserved to lose his friends esteem but he knew it would hurt.
"Elizabeth don't you agree?" ask Darcy as Elizaebth schooled her features and nodded solemnly.
"Well there you have it," continued Dracy. "Our newest child shall be Charles Albert Darcy."
Charles looked on in shock at the smiling faces in front of him.
"And to think dear husband, we've been disagreeing for two weeks straight what to name our newest one and Charles had the perfect name all along."
"Indeed my love."
"Wait, your not mad at me!? You don't want to throw me out of your house on my ear!?"
"You're right Charles. Had you told me this the morning after I would have been furious. And I probably would have done something foolish like leave Elizabeth while I wallowed in misery. But how can I honestly be mad now? You gave me the love of my life who in turn gave me my three beautiful children. Anyways I'm sure I would have wised up and married Elizabeth eventually once I got my pride in check," he finished and he winked at his lovely wife.
"Darcy, Elizabeth ... I can't tell you how much this means... You truly are the most wonderful friends a man can have."
"Anyways you're going to have to be the one to tell Jane," smirked Elizabeth.
Bingley once again paled. Jane was still the sweet, lovely, kind woman he had married years ago but he had during that time realized she possessed a temper that once unleashed, was far worse then anyone else of his acquaintance. He had only seen it twice in his life and that was enough. Once was when Caroline had used some very offensive words to describe the kind of woman Elizabeth was right after the Netherfield incident. Sweet Jane made it very clear just what she thought of those comment and where Caroline could go with them. The other time was during her labour of their first born. After 36 hours Charles thought it would be a good idea to pop in and ask if it was going to be much longer. He was not looking forward to seeing that Jane again.
Jane was actually rather quiet in her reprimand of her husband. After all she knew how happy Elizabeth was and could not be too unhappy with him being the cause of it. She did, however, never let her husband alone with Albert Hurst again.
Disclaimer: Pride and Prejudice belongs to Jane Austen. This story is protected under copyright law and is not allowed to be used, copied or republished without written consent from the author.