Author's Note: Just a brief distraction from my current project. Very short. A telling of Mr. Darcy's conversation with Mr. Bennet, the one we don't get to see in the 2005 movie.
"Mr. Bennet, there is a Mr. Darcy here to see you."
Mr. Bennet glanced up from the book he had been reading with an eyebrow raised quizzically. "Mr. Darcy? Send him in at once." While contemplating what on earth could have provoked such a visit, Mr. Bennet closed his book and took his feet down from atop his desk, folding his hands over his stomach as the reported gentleman entered the room.
The former got to his feet and bowed, eyeing the younger suspiciously as he did the same.
"Good morning, Mr. Bennet."
"Good morning is right, Mr. Darcy. It is barely eight o'clock."
"Forgive me if my early arrival causes any undue stress. I will be happy to come back later in the day if you are otherwise occupied."
Mr. Bennet slowly submersed himself back into his chair. "No, no," he objected, motioning vaguely for Darcy to sit. "To what might I attribute this visit to, Mr. Darcy?"
Darcy sat as directed, and dipped his head again. "It is a matter most urgent, sir."
Mr. Bennet's face betrayed his utmost confusion. "If one of the girls has offended you greatly, I am sure they meant no harm by it. Unless it was my Lizzie, she often means exactly what she says, but I've tried telling her to keep her thoughts to herself. I suppose she takes after me that way. Never knows quite when to hush up." He quieted when he saw a brief smile pass his visitor's face.
"Please Mr. Bennet, no. I have not been offended in anyway, but my presence does have a great deal to do with your second eldest daughter, Miss Elizabeth."
"Lizzie? What has she done?"
Darcy was looking at his hands, something the elder man had never seen the upstanding gentleman do. It seemed he was unsure of himself- nervous even. Mr. Bennet made a face and scratched his head. Of what he had heard from Lizzie, Mr. Darcy was a proud arrogant sort of man-- this behavior was not normal at all.
"Liz-- Miss Elizabeth has done nothing. I am here on account of myself." He paused and took a deep breath, raising his eyes to look directly at Mr. Bennet. "I wish to ask for your daughter's hand."
Mr. Bennet didn't respond, he just stared blankly at the younger man, trying to comprehend what was being requested. "You… You want what?"
His confidence seemed to be coming back. "I wish to make Miss Elizabeth my wife."
Mr. Bennet leaned back slowly in his chair, his eyes drifting to focus on the floor. "Wife? My Lizzie? You? But I thought--" He stopped himself there, when the reality of Darcy's 10,000 a year came to mind.
Darcy watched him expectantly, trying to appear confident, but at the same time, tempted to vomit on the spot.
"You are a fine gentleman, Mr. Darcy," Bennet began slowly. "It would honor me to have you a part of our family, and you do us too great a favor by adding Elizabeth to yours. But Mr. Darcy, if you would not mind, I would like to consult my daughter."
Darcy's expression lightened and he felt a weight like no other lift from his shoulders. He understood Mr. Bennet's reservations, for to his knowledge, the last he and Elizabeth had seen each other was there in Hertfordshire, and at that point they had as little respect for each other as a pair of feuding children. He would want to speak to Elizabeth about her decision, and because she was his dearest daughter, would not allow her to settle into a marriage with a man she could not stand.
Darcy stood and bowed once more, quickly exiting the room.
He found Elizabeth standing outside in the hallway, an equally nerve stricken look on her pale face. He desired greatly to reach out to her and comfort her, but he said not a word, and did not a thing but watch as she wisped by him, into her father's study.
"Shut the door, Lizzie," he heard her father say.
In an act of obedience she did so, stealing a look at Darcy as she did, and flashing him a smile that he would hold with him as he nervously awaited news of the final decision.