Disclaimer: I don't own Pride and Prejudice

A certain Miss Bennet sat in her bay window, reading a book and occasionally glancing out the window where she could view her backyard and some beautiful rose bushes, but nothing else.

Soon, Elizabeth tired of her book and began writing in her journal. She wrote abut her new next door neighbors – the Bingleys and their adopted children, William and Georgiana Darcy. She didn't really write about the new family, rather, she wrote about her mother, who had forced the entire Bennet family to go next door to greet their new neighbors before they'd even had a chance to refresh themselves.

Liz had always felt that her mother was entirely too nosy, a sentiment shared by her eldest sister, Jane, and her father. Unfortunately, the baby of the family, Lydia, had turned out to be just as nosy as her mother and more flirtatious than Anne Boleyn trying to catch the eye of Henry VII.

Anyways, she'd learned three things about the Bingley/Darcys: They were rich, they were all beautiful, and they all possessed the charisma that equals popularity. The children, four in all, were the Bennet girls' age: Charles Bingley and Will Darcy were seniors, like Jane; Caroline Bingley and Georgiana 'Anna' Darcy were juniors, like Liz. Apparently, the Darcy siblings had decided to keep their birth names when they joined the Bingleys rather late in childhood, so Darcy their name had stayed.

The next day was the first day of school. Oh, how Liz hated the boredom and materialistic world of high school. Jane, of course, was the popular pick for Homecoming Queen, but she didn't have a boyfriend to share the throne with, so she was out of the running for now, but still very popular. Lydia was a popular sophomore. Elizabeth was considered a part of the popular crowd, but she tended to spend some time alone in the library to get away from unruly teenage hormones.

As Jane pulled into the parking lot, a rather familiar blue Porsche was spotted in the Bennet sisters' usual spot. Jane, with her trademark cheerfulness, simply despite Liz's grumbling and Lydia rubbernecking to find the Porsche's owner.

"You can stop looking, Lydia. Don't you remember that that's Will Darcy's car? Or were you too busy ogling at his butt?"

Lydia was not embarrassed in the least by Liz's teasing. "For your information, I was still dissecting his face when we left. Besides, who cares about how pretty the car is if the owner's even prettier?"

Elizabeth sighed and got out of the car. As soon as she reached her homeroom, Georgiana Darcy, aka Anna, was beside her.

"Hi, Elizabeth! I'm so excited! I've already met some of the people in our class, and they are just so nice! Charlotte Lucas was absolutely the most interesting person I've met in ages!"

"Hey, Anna. Glad to see you've met Lotty. Call me Liz -- I only hear Elizabeth when I'm in trouble, capital T."

Anna, it seemed, was a very hyper person. Liz introduced her to everybody in her class and pointed out People to Avoid. Liz may have disliked the social network of high school, but she wasn't stupid enough to completely disregard it. She knew what was a 'do' and what was a 'don't'.

Liz had the next four periods with either Anna Darcy or Caroline Bingley. She was much happier than she had been in a while when she walked into fifth period. Liz enjoyed her afternoon classes the best -- math and journalism were her favorite subjects.

She walked to her usual desk, only to find it occupied by Will Darcy. What was it with him and talking her usual spots? Liz brushed it off; she was too happy to care. She took a seat next to him and settled in for the beginning of journalism.

"Hey, Will," she said. "How's your first day at Netherfield High?"

"Fun, I guess. I liked my old school better. The girls were prettier and had more personality. And everybody was smarter." Liz ignored the insult; her good mood was dangerously close to fading, but she was determined to hold on to it.

"I didn't see you at lunch. Where were you?"

"At the library. If Netherfield High doesn't have a lot of pretty girls, the more than make up for it in books." Just then, the bell rang and the teacher began his lecture. Will Darcy didn't speak to Liz for the rest of the period. She passed it off as being a good student, but she was wrong.

Liz ended up being paired with Will for the year. Lucky Jane got paired with Charles Bingley. Liz had noticed Jane and Charlie getting rather cozy, and she knew that in less than a week, they would be a couple. She was right.

Sure, Liz and Jane got plenty of jealous stares from the girls in the class when the teacher called out the pairings, but that didn't matter to Liz when Will gave only monosyllable answers when absolutely necessary and generally treated her like pariah. Liz sighed. It was going to be a long year.

Will always ignored Liz. She knew she shouldn't care so much when the other Bingleys and Anna were such great friends with her, but she did. Jane and Liz were like sisters to the Bingleys and Anna, but Will always had a sort of detached coldness when he talked to Liz. He would converse merrily with Jane, tolerate Lydia and her gossip girl attitude, but he simply would not talk to Liz beyond the requisite 'hi' and 'bye'. Liz's afternoons had gone from 'supposed to be favorite part of the day' to 'DREADED'.

Liz continued miserably through her school afternoons. She couldn't figure out why she cared so much about Will Darcy and the way he treated her, and she resented him for that. Liz was a junior, but she'd never had a long-term relationship or anybody she particularly cared for romantically. She was confused by her sudden interest in Will.

She was surprised when Will caught her on the last day before winter break. Liz was packing up and tidying her locker when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to find Will Darcy standing close behind her.

"Liz, I -- well, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for treating you so rudely." She opened her mouth to reply, but suddenly he was kissing her with so much intensity that all she could do was kiss him back.

They were in a hallway full of students in a festive mood. There were several catcalls and wolf whistles before Will broke away. When he did, he found himself looking into the fierce eyes of an angry cat.

Liz was livid. How dare Will kiss her after treating her like pariah?

"How dare you!" she shrieked, slapping him across the face. The hallway went silent, but neither noticed. "How dare you!" she punctuated every word with a slap. "What the hell are you doing? You treat me like pariah," double slap this time, "and the you kiss me!" Liz turned her back and packed up angrily, then stomped out of school in a fury. Will let her. What else could he do? Everything she'd said was true.

That's why it came as a surprise when Liz came over on her own Christmas Eve. She had a tray of cookies and presents. Will answered the door to see a vsion in white.

"Hi, Liz. I'm sorry about, um ... err ... the other day," he finished lamely. There was an akward silence.

"Will, if I could talk to you privately after this ..." she used her chin to point out her present-laden arms. It wasn't forgiveness, but at least it was something.

"Of course, come on in! Anna and Caroline will be delighted to see you, as will Charlie and the Parents."

So began the half hour or so of gift giving and cookie eating. Finally, it was time to leave. And talk to Liz. She nodded to Will to remind him of his promise.

"I'll walk you out, Liz. I really wish you could stay longer," said Will.

"Next time, bring Jane!" cried Charlie.

"But she comes every day, Charles. Besides, I have to go. Bye, everybody, Merry Early Christmas! Thanks for having me."

"Oh, thanks for coming," said Mr. and Mrs. Bingley.

Will walked Liz to the front door and into the driveway.

"D'you mind taking a walk around the neighborhood?" he asked abruptly.

"No. Let's go." They walked in the crisp air of California wintertime, taking in the festive decor of the neighborhood.

"So what'd you want to talk to me about?" asked Will.

"I wanted to say that I'm sorry. I shouldn't have slapped you like that. I should have been pleased out of my mind that the most lusted after guy in school kissed me on the last day of school, and even more happy that my locker happened to be one with mistletoe under it. I don't know what happened to me. I just want you to know that I know now that I ..." here she paused, seeming choose her words carefully. "I, well, I love you. I figured that out when you kissed me; that was why I cared so much that you ignored me. Because I loved you, and I wasn't willing to admit it."

"I've been very confused about that .... you definitely gave mixed messages." Will chuckled lightly under his breath. "But I have to say that the fault is mine. I shouldn't have 'treated you like pariah'. It's just that I was so confused about you, but now I'm not" He kissed her long and hard, like last time, but this time there was no confusion. There was only new-found love.

They walked back hom, having their first decent conversation. Actually, it was more than a decent conversation. When Lydia saw the lovebirds coming up the walk hand in hand, she couldn't believe her eyes. She ran off to spread the news after a very quick interrogation.