Chapter 1 : Five Chimes


Hello guys! I know I am three weeks late for this story, but I debated with myself whether to post it as a late Holidays story or wait until next Christmas, and I thought you wouldn't mind so much if I gave you my present late; so here it is.

This is the first time I have written in a present day setting, so I am (funnily enough) adjusting to writing using modern words! I intend for this to be a 5-chapter story, I will be posting a chapter a day (hopefully!).

I hope you like it, please let me know. :)

Snow fell softly as the service for Christmas day ended. The quiet and white stillness of the landscape was broken only when the congregation dispersed upon the opening of the church doors. An air of festivity surrounded the church, everyone was in fine spirits.

After warm greetings of good tidings were exchanged with the rector and his wife, with old friends and acquaintances, Darcy, Elizabeth and Georgiana proceeded to the threshold of the old church. There they watched for their carriage queueing up to the church door.

"Mr. Darcy!"

A kindly, plainly dressed elderly lady approached them. Walking, with her assistance, was an even older woman, almost bent from age.

"Miss Crowe and her mother, Mrs. Crowe." Georgiana whispered to Elizabeth. She is an old maid. They have a nephew in London who supports them. They live comfortably enough on the other side of Lambton, near the blacksmith's."

"We have yet to call on them." Elizabeth's heart softened at the sight of the two.

"You and William have only just arrived three days ago. I am sure our friends will not begrudge you being gone for your honeymoon, Lizzy." Georgiana gently said.

Nodding, Elizabeth smiled at her new sister as Miss Crowe and her mother reached them.

"Miss Crowe, Mrs. Crowe, happy Christmas to you." Darcy bowed while the ladies curtsied. "May I present my wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy."

"Oh, Mrs. Darcy! It is truly an honor to meet you." Miss Crowe smiled warmly at Elizabeth. "Miss Darcy has told us all about you, and we are overjoyed that Mr. Darcy has finally settled down." She gestured to the newlyweds and continued, "My mother and I offer our congratulations and best wishes!"

"Thank you, Miss Crowe, Mrs. Crowe." Elizabeth smiled sincerely. "I am very happy to make your acquaintance. I hope to be able to call on you with Miss Darcy in a few days' time?"

"Oh yes, of course, we shall be very glad to have you and Miss Darcy for tea."

They conversed more about Elizabeth's impressions of the Derbyshire winter until the Darcy carriage arrived. As Darcy and Georgiana bid Miss Crowe good bye, Elizabeth smiled at old Mrs. Crowe. The old woman smiled back at her.

"The clock will chime five times."

"I beg your pardon?" Confused, Elizabeth thought she heard wrong, was this a continuation of another conversation?

"You will hear it chime five times, and then you must go."

Most bewildered, Elizabeth leaned closer to her. "Go where, Mrs. Crowe?"

"Not where, but to whom."

"Mother, we must be on our way—oh you are conversing with Mrs. Darcy!" The surprised delight on Miss Crowe's face confused Elizabeth even more, she felt as if she were in a play where she did not know her lines.

Once inside their carriage, Darcy leaned towards his wife.

"Mrs. Crowe is not one to talk very much, she mostly just smiles." With a thoughtful expression, he took Elizabeth's hand. "In fact, in all my life I think I may safely say that I have heard her speak not more than ten times."

"I think she took a fancy to you, Lizzy." Georgiana smiled.

"Pray, what did she say? I did not hear." Darcy inquired.

"I am quite uncertain if I heard her correctly myself." Elizabeth smiled still puzzled, "she said I would hear the clock chime five times and then I must go."

"Hmm, perhaps Mrs. Crowe's age is catching up to her." Darcy suggested.

"Perhaps. She is rather old." Georgiana added.

Nothing else was said of that subject after. The conversation shifted to their Christmas dinner which, as they had agreed upon before Darcy and Elizabeth left for their wedding trip, was to be comprised of only the three of them. It being Elizabeth's first Christmas at Pemberley, they all felt that an intimate celebration was more desirable.

The snow fall did not cease, but only grew stronger as they reached Pemberley, where Mrs. Reynolds awaited them with a cheerful fire and hot tea.

Elizabeth's hand traced circles on her husband's bare chest as she lay enveloped in his arms.

The hour was late, and the master's chambers was cast in shadow, the only light came from the fire that crackled cheerfully in the fireplace. Outside snow fell just as strongly as it did when they arrived from service.

Sleepily, Darcy caught Elizabeth's hand in his. Eyes closed he chuckled.

"Wife, I suggest you take your rest for I shall be waking you up again before morning."

The sound Elizabeth made was somewhere between a gasp and a laugh, Darcy kissed her temple and looked intently at her.

"Happy Christmas, Mrs. Darcy."

"Happy indeed, Mr. Darcy."

They beamed at each other.

"William, I had not thought my heart could be so full. If everyone else felt a fraction of what I feel, then this world would want for nothing."

Darcy's eyes spoke to her, conveyed more than any words could, taking her hand he kissed it softly and laid it on his heart.

"My heart is yours, Elizabeth."

Settling deeper in her husband's arms, she breathed in his scent. Elizabeth closed her eyes, a smile on her lips. As they both drifted to sleep, Elizabeth felt herself entering dreamland, thought herself hearing the chiming of a clock. One. Two. Three...

Elizabeth slowly awoke to soft kisses on her neck. She could feel Darcy's hand stroking her leg, smiling she opened her eyes. It was still dark, the fire had finally burned out it seemed. The light of the moon escaped through a gap in the drapes of one of the windows. Strange, Elizabeth thought, had that window always been in that part of the wall?

Darcy moved over her, head hovering above hers, and all thoughts were erased from Elizabeth's mind as her husband claimed her mouth.

Elizabeth awoke slowly. As she became more aware of her surroundings, she felt that something was not quite right. Perhaps it was that the same gap in the drapes now let in a brighter, more insistent ray of light. Feeling Darcy still asleep next to her, she rubbed at her eyes. Elizabeth sat up, and almost jumped off the bed at what she saw clearly now.

"William!" She gasped.

When Darcy only grumbled in reply, she shook him harder.

"William, wake up!"


Remembering that she had nary a stitch of clothing on, Elizabeth pulled at the sheets to cover herself and pressed close to Darcy.

"Elizabeth, what is the matter?"

"Is this a dream? William am I dreaming?"

Darcy looked at his panicked wife, he pulled her in his arms in an attempt to calm her. Then following her gaze, he froze.

"What?—I do not understand. Where are we?"

The room they had fallen asleep in, the master's bedroom in Pemberley, was not the room they woke up to. Indeed, this was not any room in Pemberley House that Darcy could recollect.

For one, it was significantly smaller, and it was much simpler, plainer, than any bedchamber in his recollection. Taking in their surroundings, Darcy saw some things that he could recognize and identify, but the other items were a complete puzzle to him.

"This is your bed, William. Look at the posts and the canopy." Elizabeth interrupted his thoughts.

Darcy was about to say our bed, when they heard a sudden sound, one they had never heard before, erupt out of nowhere, they both jumped. It was repetitive, insistent and annoying even.

"It is coming from that box! Are those numbers on it? Why, they are alight!" Elizabeth pointed to a small black box on top of the bedside table.

"Seven hundred AM, what can that mean? And why does it make that noise?" Darcy looked around hoping to find their clothes, for as he recalled, they had dropped them on the floor, but alas, he could not see any article of clothing anywhere. "Nothing makes sense! Tell me, Lizzy, did we imbibe in wine before going to bed?"

"Certainly not, sir! Perhaps, we are still asleep. I shall pinch you to wake you up!"

"Lizzy! That did not help in the least!" Darcy rubbed at the spot on his arm where Elizabeth pinched the skin. "That unholy sound! How can we stop it?"

At that moment, one of the doors in the room swung open. Darcy's arms swooped over Elizabeth, covering her and better securing the blanket over her.

"What th—!" A man walked in and froze at seeing them. His hand still on the doorknob, he gaped at them. "Who are you? How—how did you get in my house?" He moved to the side table and slapped at the source of the noise, causing it to quiet down.

Darcy shielded Elizabeth from the man's view.

"I can answer your first question, but I am afraid as to the second, I am completely at a loss myself."

The man continued to stare at Darcy, trying to make sense of his answer. Then as if suddenly realizing that there was a woman on the bed as well, his eyes grew narrow.

"Did you—did you—in my bed? I'm calling the police." He made to move towards the desk on the opposite side of the room.

Elizabeth looked curiously at the man. What is the police? Suddenly she spoke, she had to understand what was happening.

"Sir, please!"

The man stopped at her appeal, looking at Elizabeth uncertainly.

Cheeks red, she continued. "We can not explain it as well, we do not know how we came to be here. Last night we were in Pemberley."

The man's face seemed to register surprise at the mention of Pemberley, but he remained silent.

"And then when we woke up just now—well, here we were. All we know is this is the bed we slept in last night, our marriage bed, but everything else is—is strange and different." Elizabeth's eyes pleaded with him to believe her.

The man blinked, he seemed to be studying them. Suddenly, his expression changed, a flash of something—recognition?—registered on his face.

Darcy watched him as well, in the tense stillness, his mind realized something that was quite impossible to believe—the man looked like him!

Apparently observing the same thing, Elizabeth whispered to Darcy.

"William, there is an uncanny resemblance between the two of you."

"I have observed as much."

"I will ask again, who are you?" The man interrupted them, but his voice was just above a whisper as well.

Everything seemed so surreal, Darcy answered in a voice that was not quite his own.

"I am Fitzwilliam Darcy, and this is my wife, Elizabeth Darcy."

The man's face went white. He moved back against the wall and leaned against it, hand covering his eyes.

"That's it, I've gone insane."

"Sir? Are you quite alright?" Elizabeth asked. She and Darcy exchanged unsure looks.


The man laughed, surprising them both.

"I will close my eyes, when I open them again, you will not be here. Do you understand?"

Without waiting for a reply, the man did indeed close his eyes.

Darcy and Elizabeth looked at each other, then at him, helpless to the happenings around them.

When the man opened his eyes again, he groaned at seeing them still on the bed.

"That's it, I really must see a therapist!"

"My good man, you seem to know something of our predicament, I must insist on you enlightening us. Pray, start with your name, and where we are." Darcy put as much authority in his voice as he dared considering their situation.

The man sighed. Then, seemingly resigned to what was happening, he straightened.

"My name is Alexander Fitzwilliam Darcy, and you are in my house in New York City."

Darcy and Elizabeth stared at him in disbelief. Darcy recovered first.

"New York City? Do you mean for me to believe that we are in the Americas?"

Alexander made a helpless gesture with his hands.

"Alexander Fitzwilliam Darcy? Are the two of you related then?" Elizabeth said, disbelief on her face.

Darcy studied Alexander again.

"I do not know of an Alexander in the family."

Alexander laughed again, this time it sounded just short of hysterical.

"Oh, you don't know me, but I know you! My parents made sure that all of us children knew every name in that damned tree!"

"I am afraid I still do not understand." Darcy replied.

"Let me see." Alexander ticked off his fingers. "Apparently, you are my great-great-great grandparents come to haunt me."