A/N ok. It's been like 6 wks since I've updated but I have an excuse. kinda. I forgot about this story. *smiles sheepishly* ok. And I'd like to thank my reviewers

Daffodil - THANK YOU!

Midnight Mistress - You caught me out!

Lizzy Bennet -Yeah, you're right I should put a disclaimer. SORRY! And about the rich young man thing. can't you just imagine a snobby pom turning his nose up at an Aussie? Sorry, I live in Australia, and it's something that I've experienced before. so yeah.

Starborn and Lauz - thanks. But I know you only read it b/c you knew what I'd do if you didn't.

Disclaimer: Nothing on here belongs to me. Everything belongs to the wonderful soul of Jane Austen!!! I OWN NOTHING!!! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------

The Bennets were a very respectable family living in Wahroonga on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, Australia. Their house was called Longbourne and was generously proportioned for a family of seven.

"Oh, Jane, come and look at this invitation! A fancy dress New Year's Eve Party at Darling Harbour!" Harriet exclaimed excitedly, as she opened the most sought after invitation on the Sydney Social Calendar. "And I'm sure Charles Bingley, with all of his exalted connections, will find a way to be there! So of course he will ask you to dance." Mrs Bennet, in her usual manner, was jumping to conclusions without a rational reason or sufficient proof. "I could not understand him if he did not." Her monologue then continued, "You, Jane, have the figure and the face of a supermodel!"

"Mama, really!" sighed Jane.

"Must we go, Mother? For I find little pleasure in such things, and would much prefer to spend the night at home reading Homer, Wordsworth or Shakespeare," whined Mary, the plain, boring one of the family.

Harriet Bennet replied, that they must indeed go, because then ALL of her girls would be introduced to the much talked-of Charles Bingley.

On New Year's Eve, Harriet Bennet and her two youngest daughters, in particular, were in a heightened state of nervous excitement, as they prepared for the dress-up party. Each girl had chosen an outfit which matched her personality: Lydia was dressed as Satine from "Moulin Rouge"; Kitty as a flirtatious playboy bunny; Mary as an unconvincing, frumpish Beethoven; Lizzy as an early eighteenth century noble woman, while Jane was a persuasive Florence Nightingale.

Charles Bingley had indeed been invited to the party. He brought with him four guests: his two sisters, Louisa Hurst and Caroline Bingley; Henry Hurst, Louisa's husband; and a tall, dark and handsome mystery man, who, the Bennets were later informed, was Charles' best friend, William Darcy. Moreover, it was rumoured (and every rumour MUST have a basis of truth for Harriet Bennet), that he was worth twice as much as his charming and amiable companion.

As the evening relaxed into a mixture of laughter, eating, drinking and dancing, Charles was universally acknowledged by all the ladies present, who gossiped relentlessly, to be either their ideal future partner or son- in-law, depending on the age and circumstance of the lady involved. As Lizzy and her good friend Charlotte Lucas observed, he seemed to favour Jane over all the other girls.

With midnight approaching, Lizzy was partnerless and seated alone, when she happened to overhear the following rather amusing conversation between William Darcy and Charles Bingley, who were standing only a few metres away from her.

"Come on, William," said Charles, "You must dance. I hate to see you standing around by yourself in this stupid manner. You really should make the effort to be sociable and get out onto the dance floor."

"I certainly shall not!" declared Darcy. "You know how I detest this type of social conformity. In any event, at such a party as this, it would be insupportable. Your sisters are busy at present and there is not another woman in the room with whom I could bring myself to dance!"

"I would not be as fussy as you are, for all the world," cried Charles. "I have never seen as many beautiful girls in my life, as I have this evening."

"You are dancing with the only worthwhile girl in the room," remarked William, casting his grudgingly approving gaze onto Jane Bennet. "Oh! She is the most stunning woman I have ever seen! But there is one of her very pretty sisters sitting down just behind you. Do let me ask Jane to introduce you." "Whom do you mean?" and turning round, William's steely gaze swept over Elizabeth, until he caught her eye, and hastily withdrew his own. He then remarked, rather coldly in Lizzy's opinion, "She is tolerable, I suppose; but not pretty enough to tempt me. Charles, I am in no mood to pay attention to rather plain, ill-bred, colonial women who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her sweet smiles, because you are wasting your time with me." Charles, being keen to return to Jane, took his friend's advice. William strode off to fetch another drink; and Elizabeth remained seated, alone, with stunned and resentful feelings towards him. Later, she retold the narrative, among her friends; for loved a great joke and in her opinion, this was up with the very best of amusing tales. She delighted in the looks on her friends' faces, when they heard William Darcy's opinion of Elizabeth Bennet and the continent Down Under.

Please review, and I don't mind flames!! It's winter now and I'm cold! :-)