Author's note: Aha! I have returned to post something for the first time in months. Go me. I recently had the pleasure of rereading Pride and Prejudice again, and after I finished I kept picturing this scene in my head. I know Georgiana is slightly in awe of Darcy, but I couldn't resist the idea of her perhaps using her only moment of bravery teasing Darcy for his obvious partiality to Elizabeth. Besides, if she thought there was really a possibility that Darcy might ask Elizabeth for her hand, I reckon Georgiana wouldn't be so inhibited as to avoid broaching the subject. In any case, here goes.


Fine Eyes

The final notes of the aria, the name of which presently escaped Mr. Darcy, faded glass-sleek and pale into the waiting silence. An image of Elizabeth Bennet's pert rosebud lips curving into a teasing smile, her dark eyes lustrous with merriment, lingered in his mind. Though it was a most ungentlemanly activity to envision her so intimately, Darcy could not quite summon the chagrin required to banish such an agreeable picture from his head. The keys of the pianoforte stilled; after a momentary pause, Georgiana—voice infused with a note of arch mischief—called casually across the room, "Is she very handsome, brother?"

Darcy glanced up, startled and astonished. His image of Elizabeth laughed, a sound that pealed bell-like and lovely, and then vanished in the midst of his discomfiture. He cleared his throat, recovering himself admirably, and responded with the most composure he could gather, "Of whom you inquire I can safely assure you I cannot fathom."

Georgiana peered at him over the lid of the pianoforte behind which she was seated, all innocent curiosity. Seeing his sister framed by the rays of light dozing on the floor around her, he was once again struck by the lack of color that marked her countenance and made her unusually beautiful: moon-pale skin, mirror-blue eyes, sun-spun hair. Then he noticed the uncommonly playful wickedness glowing bright in her ordinarily sweet face, as well as the earnest air about her.

"Why, Miss Bennet, of course," she clarified.

Her brother stared at his astute young charge, absolutely mortified at the thought that his passions could be so transparent. "You are mistaken, I'm afraid," he asserted, almost convincing himself. "I was doing nothing more than admiring your playing."

Georgiana laughed, a soft sound that drifted over to him, porcelain-light and delicate, and then dissipated on the very air currents that conducted it. She smiled shyly. "Then I must have made an error in my observations. But, in my defense, I must confess that I was quite certain, for the peculiar expression on your face exactly mirrored that which you always assume while relating some anecdote about her to me." She averted her eyes to the pianoforte at this last, but not before Darcy detected that certain vivacious glimmer which he had consistently had the undoubted pleasure of encountering in Elizabeth's eyes directly preceding one of her witty teasing comments.

"I was rather of the impression, you see," Georgiana continued smilingly, "that I should inquire further into the habits, countenance, and general character of the woman I may be fortunate enough to greet, someday, as my sister."

Darcy could do nothing more than gape at her, the color rising rapidly in his cheeks as he considered how easily and thoroughly caught out he had been. She perceived his perplexity and embarrassment, and kindly suppressed an obvious urge to laugh once more; yet when Darcy himself succumbed to a most odd compulsion to laugh her effort was overcome and she was quick to join in. Soon thereafter the room was fairly echoing with their merriment, Georgiana's pure and exultant, Darcy's marked with a hint of self-deprecation.

Finally collecting himself, he asked rather breathlessly, "Are my emotions so unguarded—so imprudently unambiguous...?" Her dancing eyes answered his query immediately. Darcy sighed, admitting defeat.

"She is uncommonly handsome," he affirmed, and then added, as an afterthought, "and bestowed with a remarkable pair of particularly fine eyes."


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