Disclaimer: It's too late into the story to think of something witty and unless you're a Grade A idiot, you know I don't own Pride and Prejudice.
Chapter Twenty-Six—Face Down
I miss the years that were erased
I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face
I miss all the little things
I never thought that they'd mean everything to me
Yeah, I miss you
And I wish you were here
-From Where You Are--Lifehouse
Excruciating and mind blowing pain licked the insides of Will's body like a fire would to a forest. He heard muffled, urgent voices from above and he moaned in pain, unable to move his body.
Will groaned again feeling something warm trickle down his forehead. Where the hell was he? Why was he lying on the ground? Where was Lizzy? He tried to get up but he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder, restraining him.
"Stay put buddy, an ambulance is coming."
Will slowly opened his eyes to see three men and a woman standing over him. Chills racked through his body and he shivered violently, teeth chattering.
"The poor man is freezing!" Someone shouted urgently. "Donna, get the blanket from the backseat! The last thing this guy needs to catch is the flu!"
Will groaned again. "Izzy." He croaked, unable to say anything else.
"What did he say? Hey man, can you repeat that?"
"What's your name?" Another voice asked that seemed to be screaming in his ear. "Will D-Darcy." He choked out, feeling his body tingle and numb.
"I'm Chet, Will." The man who spoke this was red-haired and was crouched near Will's head. "And these are my two sons, Bill and Aaron. My wife Donna is getting a blanket for you."
Will felt his eyelids start to get heavy again and he knew he didn't have a lot of time left before he passed out again.
"Lizzy." He said, his eyes fluttering.
"Who's Lizzy Dad? Is it a girlfriend?"
"I don't know Bill. Will? Who's Lizzy? Will?"
It was too late by then. Will had tumbled into the warm and inviting darkness again.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Fact: If that beeping didn't stop anytime soon Will would rip it apart with his bare hands.
Conclusion: The beeping should stop if it valued its life.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
His arm felt strangely heavy as he blindly reached for the offending object but found that he could only lift his hand a few inches before it collapsed.
Frowning, Will opened his eyes to see what was holding his arm down but something bright blinded his already sensitive eyes.
Shifting slightly, he jumped nearly a foot in the air when he heard a shriek come from his left.
"WILL!" Someone squeaked. "You're awake! Mom! Dad!"
Giana? Will thought to himself in confusion as he slowly opened his eyes to see his sister's familiar long blonde hair. Aren't you supposed to be in California?
He heard footsteps running and he squinted to see some blurry shapes run in.
"William!" A tearful, feminine voice squeaked and the comforting, familiar smell of his mother's perfume reached his nostrils. "Oh my God!"
Will moved his head slowly and opened his eyes wider to see his mother standing over him, tears tracking down her face. "Will!" Anne Darcy sobbed, bending towards Will and throwing her arms around his neck. "I thought we lost you."
"Where am I?" Will asked groggily.
"At the hospital," a familiar man's voice said tightly as if holding back tears. "Do you remember anything at all son?"
"Getting in the taxi with Lizzy." Will said slowly, the haze of fog still thick in his memory. "Talking to Lizzy. Really bright lights—" He paused and looked at his family. "I was in an accident, wasn't I?"
His family stared at each other quickly; an action that did not go unnoticed by Will. He drew up his own conclusions.
"How bad?" He asked in concern wanting to know if Lizzy was alright. "Don't hide it either."
"This should wait another day." Anne cut in, shooting her daughter and husband dirty looks. "You need your rest Will."
"Don't treat me like I'm five Mom!" Will hated how tired his voice sounded. "How bad was the accident?"
Giana spoke up, biting her lip as she did so. "The witnesses who saw it said they were dumbfounded that anyone could have survived it."
"Georgiana Ava!" Anne scolded as Will's heart thudded, causing his heart monitor to accelerate. "He did NOT need to hear that!"
"Oh for the love of God Mother!" Giana shouted back. "Will isn't a child anymore!"
"He does not need to hear that though!"
"So what are you going to do Mom? Sugar coat what happened?"
"What did happen?" Will inquired, not liking being kept in the dark.
His mother and sister, heated in their argument, did not hear Will's question. "When he was better I would have!" Anne defended herself.
"Yeah, because that makes so much sense. Good idea Mother—"
"That is enough." Matthew Darcy snapped. "Enough arguing, damn it! Will just woke up from a horrible accident for God's sakes! Can't we keep the arguing at bay for five damn seconds?"
Anne and Giana fell silent until Will said, "Will someone just tell me what the hell is going on?"
"Good afternoon Mr. Darcy." An unfamiliar voice said cheerfully. "How are you feeling?"
It was a doctor, that much Will could tell.
"Sore." Will said truthfully, feeling his entire body ache.
The doctor chuckled and checked his vitals. "I would imagine so. One broken arm, three fractured ribs, a shattered kneecap, one neatly broken leg, and numerous cuts and bruises. You were very lucky Mr. Darcy. It could have been so much worse."
"What about the others?" Will asked urgently, not really caring about his injuries. "There was a taxi driver and my friend Lizzy in the accident. Please tell me they're okay."
"I don't know." The doctor said calmly, checking over Will's casts. "But I'm sure they are okay too."
Will smiled weakly, imagining a banged up Lizzy complaining about being trapped in the hospital and not being allowed to get up—
An inhumane, loud wail broke through Will's thoughts and his entire family jumped.
"What in the world was that?" Anne asked breathlessly, clutching her husband's arm in fear and glancing at the door.
The doctor didn't look fazed as he asked a wide-eyed Giana to close the door. "Probably just a patient." He said trying to soothe the Darcy family. "This is Intensive Care."
"How much pain is that patient in?" Giana whispered as she took one fleeting glance towards the noise before shutting the door.
But Will didn't buy into that story. There was no way a person in pain would make that kind of noise. This was a more personal and emotional cry that came with losing a loved one.
Three hours later, after spending nearly the whole afternoon being fussed after by his mother, Will was finally left alone as Matt Darcy persuaded his wife and daughter that nothing would happen to Will if they went out to dinner for an hour.
Will was just dozing off when there was a knock on the door. Will jerked awake, sleep still blurring his eyes. "Yes?" He called groggily, feeling a stab of pain shoot through his broken arm. He cursed.
"W-Will?" A muffled, tearful voice floated through the closed door. "Is that you?"
"Yeah." Will said, confused as to who the person was. "Come in."
The door slowly opened and there stood a red-nosed, puffy-eyed Charlie Bingley.
"Charlie?" Will asked in astonishment, not believing the sight in front of him. "What the hell man? Have you been crying?"
Charlie didn't say anything but continued to stare at Will as if he were seeing a ghost.
"Are you going to say anything?" Will demanded.
"You're alive." Charlie whispered to himself and crossing the room in five long strides he drew Will into an awkward hug. "You're alive."
"Of course I'm alive. Why the hell wouldn't I be?" Will stipulated. "And what's with all of the sentimentality? This seriously isn't you at all."
Charlie pulled away and Will saw tears in his light blue eyes. "We saw the crash." Charlie explained. "It was all over the news, even in Michigan, but we didn't think anything of it until someone from the hospital called and we took the first flight, leaving Austin with my parents. Oh God Will, how in heaven's name did you survive?"
Will stomach flipped as the memory of Giana's proclamation assaulted him. "How bad was it?" He asked, knowing Charlie would tell him.
"The entire passenger side was crushed into smithereens."
Will's mouth went dry as he remembered the bright lights appearing right behind Lizzy's head and he shuddered.
"Charlie, have you seen Lizzy?" He asked hopefully, wanting to see her again. He wondered if she was more beat up than he was and he could picture her showing off her numerous bruises as a sort of trophy.
Charlie's eyes widened at the question and he looked away. Will's heart thumped erratically and he knew something bad had happened.
"How bad is she hurt?" Will asked, his voice garbled. "Charlie, tell me."
"She's hurt bad." Charlie whispered, not able to look Will in the face. "Real bad."
"Will she be okay?" Will asked urgently, feeling his heart race steadily increase and the numbness to his chest start to come back. "CHARLIE!"
"No." Charlie said softly, roughly wiping away the tears that were tracking down his face. "She won't."
Will didn't understand what Charlie was saying. "Can't surgery help?" He asked desperately. "Is she in IC—oh my God." Will finally caught on. There was a buzzing noise in his ears and the room started to spin. His throat tightened. "NO!" He said loudly. "She's not dead."
Charlie tired to lay a comforting hand on Will's shoulder but he knocked it away. "Don't touch me! You're fucking lying!"
"This isn't a joke!" Charlie's voice was cracking with grief as more tears poured down his face. "Why the hell would I joke about something like this Will?"
And Will knew that Charlie wasn't pulling his leg. The horrible truth sunk in—Lizzy, his Lizzy, was dead.
He couldn't grasp it though. Lizzy had been alive, smiling, and healthy the last time he saw her. How could she be dead? How could her heart not be beating anymore? How could her warm, supple skin now be ice-cold and hard? How could her beautiful green eyes not see anything anymore?
"She was dead on arrival." Charlie's rough voice broke through Will's frantic thoughts. "The truck crashed into her, broke her neck and spinal cord. The doctor said she died quickly so at least she didn't suffer." He spoke the last part bitterly. "Small comfort."
If that was supposed to make him feel better it wasn't working. Will felt tears start to form in his eyes and he wiped at them roughly, ignoring the sting from the numerous cuts on his face. The physical pain he was enduring didn't even cover the emotional pain that he was suffering.
"Janie?" Will's voice was thick, trying and failing to hide his grief as he thought of Lizzy's sister; her best friend.
Charlie's eyes closed in horror. "Janie had the worst job. She had to identify the body."
Something clicked in Will's mind. "I heard a horrible scream—"
"Janie seeing the body. She fainted right after they took the cover off and I had to finish." Charlie swallowed heavily. "It was the most horrible sight I've ever seen. Worse than anything I could have imagined."
Will closed his eyes, not wanting to hear anymore. "Her parents?" He asked, knowing that this would kill Francesca and Ben Bennet.
"They're coming back from Monaco as we speak." Charlie said. "I haven't told them about the accident only that it was an emergency." The next words he spoke were bitter. "How horrible is this that I have to be the one to tell Lizzy's parents that while they were vacationing in celebration for their fortieth wedding anniversary their daughter died?"
Will couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't bear hearing anything more about Lizzy. "Leave." Will muttered, feeling hot tears prick at his eyes. "I need to be left alone."
The next two days passed by quickly for Will but he didn't feel anything. He was emotionally detached, unable to think or feel.
He had a load of visitors within those forty-eight hours. Victoria had shown up and although it had been a messy break-up Will felt some affection towards her again. She had brought over some of his favorite chocolates and a huge bouquet of flowers. When she had shown up she instantly began to take action; bossing around nurses and ordering them to bring the best pillows for him.
Janie had shown up with red-rimmed eyes, saying thickly how glad she was that he was alive but she wasn't fooling anyone. Will knew that if Janie could pick who survived, she'd choose her sister.
Fitzie and Katlin had also visited and it had been the first time ever that Will had seen his cousin cry, and he hoped to God he never would have to see it again. He wasn't used to his always smiling, eccentric cousin with red eyes looking half-hysterical.
The doctors were very confident that Will would make a full recovery after a few months of intense physical therapy, but all Will wanted to know was if there was physical therapy for a broken heart.
After a week in the hospital, Will was finally discharged but it came with a price; he missed Lizzy's funeral.
Giana had gone instead and told Will that he should have been glad he didn't go because it had been horrible. Francesca Bennet had to be sedated because of how hysterical she had been and Giana said that even though Lizzy had been cleaned up, she looked awful.
"She was so pale." Giana said, wiping her eyes with a Kleenex. "It was just unnatural to see her like that as she had been so bouncy and full of life. Janie wrote the most beautiful eulogy and there wasn't a dry eye in the church when she finished." She let another sob escape her lips but tried to cover it up with a weak cough. "Really, you should be glad you didn't go. At least the last image you had of Lizzy was her smiling. For the rest of us, it was her in the coffin."
But that didn't satisfy Will. He had wanted to pay his last respects for the girl he loved; wanted to gaze at her face one last time before they nailed the coffin down for all eternity.
After the funeral Will continued to have a steady stream of visitors, including Francesca and Benjamin Bennet. Will felt horrible seeing Lizzy's parents and he knew his mother did too.
"I can't help but feel so guilty." Anne confessed to Will as she was bringing his dinner tray up to his old room. "Francesca and Ben lost a child while mine survived. The grief they must be suffering, the poor people. I can't even imagine what they are going through."
George Wickham even showed up, the first time Will had seen him in nearly seven years. The two men had a two hour conversation in which Will learned that George was now the manager for an upcoming band called The Scorpions, he had been married but divorced two years later with a sixteen month old daughter and was now dating someone else.
It had been a great conversation but once he left Will couldn't help but wonder when the next time he would see George would be. It took George nearly seven years and for Will to almost die for him to catch up on times.
Will just hoped that the next time wouldn't be when George was in an accident.
Two weeks had passed since Lizzy's funeral and although Will was recovering fine physically, he knew he would never recover emotionally.
His parents and sister were worried about him as he hadn't smiled in a long time and if he laughed it was forced. They tried their best to get Will back but they kept running into brick walls as Will refused to let them help him.
Will just wanted to go back home and grieve in his own way but his mother wasn't letting anything like that happen. Anne Darcy seemed to think that Will if her son went home he would try to harm himself so she refused to let him leave.
But Will grew even more depressed as time progressed, not wanting to do anything but just sit in his room and stare at pictures. He was also suffering from insomnia thanks to frequent nightmares and his doctor had prescribed him sleeping pills that Will hoped would finally let him sleep again.
His doctor specifically told him to only take one pill but Will found that he kept waking up in the middle of the night so he secretly increased his dosage to two pills. He found that he now was able to sleep at night without having the dreaded nightmares of seeing Lizzy's corpse, battered and bruised, invade his mind.
But after a month of this, Will found that the nightmares were returning and he increased the dosage again to four, ignoring his doctor's warnings on an overdose.
Will didn't tell anyone but he wouldn't mind overdosing on the pills and departing the world. Without Lizzy, life just blended together; it brought him no joy, no love, no happiness.
He wasn't living anymore, just breathing.
Later that night, just before Will went to bed, he glanced at the white pills on his bed side table and sighed heavily. He sincerely hoped that taking four pills would get rid of the nightmares for good so he could have at least eight hours of sleep.
Cupping the pills in his hand and without a second thought, Will downed the pills and chased it down with water. Settling himself into his childhood bed, he reached over and turned off the light, waiting for the drugs to begin their magic.
He was in a nice place. The sky was a deep, forget-me-not blue with the sun shining brightly. It looked like he was in a sort of pasture or field. Emerald green grass shined in the yellow sun that didn't warm his face. Looking straight ahead, Will noted that the field seemed to stretch in all directions.
Scratching his head in bewilderment, Will looked around and saw that nobody was here. "Hello?" He called loudly, hearing his voice echo throughout the bare place. "Is anyone here?"
There was no answer.
Puzzled, Will started to walk forward, his eyes taking in every inch of the terrain. One thing Will noticed was how silent this place was. There were no birds or animals. Every so often, Will would spy a random tree but there was no life living in them.
The sun seemed to be only for decoration too because even though it shined brilliantly, Will did not feel it warm the top of his head. Eyebrows furrowing, Will continued his walk, hoping to find someone soon.
He walked for what seemed like hours when he spied a hill in the distance. He decided to climb it, hoping that the extra boost in altitude would help him find a way out of here and maybe, he could find someone in this godforsaken place.
Quickening his speed, he basically sprinted towards the hill and with his long strides he managed to climb the hill faster than possible. Breathing heavily Will collapsed onto the ground, hands laced behind his head and breathed in deeply, trying to calm his racing heart.
From his position at the crest of the hill, Will could see that the field really was endless—and empty.
Until he saw something move in the distance near a large tree.
"Hey!" He yelled at the top of his lungs and waved furiously. "Hey! Stop!"
He ran down the hill as fast as he could, tripping and stumbling as he went. "Hey you!" He yelled again as he gained momentum. "Wait up!"
As he drew near, he saw that this person was wearing a long, trailing white dress with their long, dark blonde hair loose around their slim shoulders.
When he was only a few feet away from this person, he noticed that said person was a she and that her head was turned away, hands clutching the front of her dress.
"Hey!" He said, gasping for air as he finally stopped running. "Who are you?"
"You don't recognize me?" The voice, a very familiar one, sounded faintly amused. "That hurts Will, it really does."
Will's heart started to thump like crazy and his mouth went dry. "L-Lizzy?" He croaked, not daring to believe the sight in front of him.
The girl slowly turned around and for the first time in nearly a month Will was staring into Lizzy's smiling face.
"Lizzy!" Will cried, seizing her into a hug, holding back the tears in his eyes as he took in a deep breath of Lizzy's familiar scent. "You're alive?"
Lizzy laughed and pulled away from Will but just enough so that she could still stroke the skin on his cheek. "Hi."
"Where are we?" Will asked, looking around the place anxiously. "Shouldn't we try to find a way out of here to go back home? I know everyone will be so glad to see you." He tugged on her hand, trying to make her come with him.
Lizzy's face was sad as she continued to stand where she was. "I can't leave."
"Why not?" He demanded, feeling horror mount in him. "You're alive! I know that everyone would love to see you again. Austin's been asking about you, wondering where you've been."
Her look of anguish intensified as she looked down so that her long hair covered her face. "He'll forget about me." She said softly. "He's two."
"But you have to come back—"
"I can't." She stressed. "I'm dead Will. I'm not really supposed to be here either." She confessed, looking a bit embarrassed by this confession. "But I pulled some strings and well, here I am."
"Where the hell are we?" Will pressed.
"Limbo, I guess." Lizzy shrugged. "Most of us don't come here."
"What am I doing here then?" Will asked, eyes widening at the word 'limbo'. "Does that mean I'm dead?" This had to be a dream. He just took his sleeping pills and last time he checked, four sleeping pills didn't kill a full grown man!
Lizzy shook her head. "No. You're in between life and death though."
Lizzy shrugged, brushing her hair out of her face and hooking it behind her ear. "I don't know. Maybe it's because you've lost the will to live and seriously, are you trying to overdose on sleeping pills?" She sounded faintly annoyed and he felt his face turn slightly red.
"How do I get out of this?" He asked her, trying to switch the subject to one he could understand, or attempt to.
"You have a choice."
"What choice?" Will asked urgently, not comprehending anything as his mind was still trying to grasp the fact that he was DYING.
"You have two options." Lizzy said, distancing herself from Will so that there was space between them. "You can become wake up from this and live out your life. You would die as an old man."
"And the second option?" Will inquired, not liking the distance between them.
Lizzy sighed, blowing her bangs out of her face and held out one unblemished hand. "If you take the second option, you will peacefully die in your sleep."
Will's eyes widened at the second option and he swallowed nervously. "If I choose the first option, would I ever see you again?"
Lizzy sighed. "I doubt it Will. If you choose the first option, you'll die old and by that time I'll be a distant memory. You won't want to see me. Most likely, you'll want to find family."
Will couldn't handle the vista of not seeing Lizzy ever again. He wasn't going to let her slip through his fingers again.
"And if I choose the second," he said slowly. "Would I be with you?"
Lizzy smiled, showing off rows of white teeth. "Yes. But Will, there's something I want you to know. No matter what decision you make I will always love you."
Will understood that he had the option to just wake up and continue on with his life. He was still young, only twenty-nine years old. He had his whole life ahead of him.
But as he stared at Lizzy, his insides screamed at the prospect of losing her again. He also knew that he couldn't ever love anyone else like he loved Lizzy Bennet.
His decision was made.
Looking at Lizzy straight in the eye, Will leaned forward and grabbed her hand, interlacing his fingers through hers. Lizzy laughed with joy and squeezed his hand, staring at him with so much love that if anybody else was witnessing this they would have to turn away.
Without another word, Will enveloped Lizzy into a hug as a bright, white light enveloped the pair and they disappeared to a place where they could be together without anything blocking their way.
Giana carried two steaming cups of coffee along with a bag of cookies to Will's room. She had been returning home often for the past couple weeks, wanting to check up on her brother who wasn't doing any better.
He was hurting still, especially since he found out that Lizzy had died and he hadn't smiled or cracked a joke since then. Giana hated how depressed her brother was and missed his quirky nature and his brilliant smiles.
Climbing the last step, she spied Will's shut door and with her shoulder she nudged it open. "Ahoy there Wills." She said cheerfully, setting the mugs on Will's dresser and throwing the cookies on his bed. "You've been sleeping pretty heavily, it's already ten thirty." Bringing her coffee to her lips, she took a sip and put it back down.
He didn't answer her.
Frowning, Giana moved towards his bed and lightly shook him. "Hey Mr. Sleepyhead! Get—" She suddenly stopped as she realized how still Will was. She stumbled backwards in horror, her back colliding painfully with Will's book shelf. Her breathing increased until her chest was heaving. "Will?" She asked in a small voice, her eyes pricking with tears. "Oh God."
Stumbling away from the book shelf, Giana grasped the wall for support before turning around again to stare at her brother's still form, tears clouding her vision.
As she was about to turn away again, Giana saw something on his face that she hadn't seen in nearly a month.
He was smiling.
Yes, my dear readers, I'm done. No more chapters for this story will be posted anymore.
I'm sure many of you would love to strangle me for making Lizzy and Will die, and if I were a reader I would want to shoot myself too. But you have to understand that when I first planned out this story, this was the ending I saw that was possible. This story was not about finding your happily ever after; it was finding love and seeing how far you would go for it, and to show that not all stories end on a good note.
I love Elizabeth and Darcy just as much as the next person and I do enjoy cutesy little endings but there's so much someone can take of it and I for one wasn't going to let this story end like that.
For this, I must apologize for killing off Jane Austen's finest couple and I am sure she's probably rolling around in her grave right about now.
Once again, thank you for putting up with my rants and tirades and my long gaps between updates. But I would also like to thank you as the reviewers and readers, for reading this story and commenting on it. All praise and criticism have been happily received, I assure you of that.
So, for the last time, this is GC. Peace out.