I know it has been absolutely FOREVER since I posted anything, and for that I can only apologize. I just don't have the time to write that I used to, and lately I have been doing more original fiction than fanfiction when I do write. But, it's finals week, and as I work on papers and such I turn on movies so I don't go completely mad. I was watching the 1995 P&P and a little plot bunny which has always been nibbling at the back of my mind jumped up and demanded to be written immediately, so here it is, straight off the top of my head with no editing whatsoever. Yes, the first part is shamelessly copied verbatim from the book. It sets the stage so well I had to leave it all in. Enjoy!
Handsome Enough To Tempt Me
by Jaina Kenobi
"Come, Darcy," said Bingley, "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance."
"I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with."
"I would not be so fastidious as you are," cried Mr. Bingley, "for a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty."
"You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room," said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.
"Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you."
"Which do you mean?" and turning round he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me."
Mr. Bingley followed his advice.
. . .
Mr. Darcy walked off. Though his countenance retained that composure on which he prided himself in such situations as these, his mind was in quite a tumultuous state. Bingley was far too easy in such company for his own good. He was likely to break half the hearts in Derbyshire before the week was out, without meaning to. If not of the young ladies, then certainly of their mothers – the man must learn to control himself or they would be fighting amongst themselves for his attention for months. And whether or not he fancied himself fond of the attention now, he certainly would tire of it eventually.
Miss Bennet was, he allowed, a rather pretty creature, but as to what Bingley meant by suggesting her sister for a dance partner, Darcy could not begin to fathom. Laying aside her dark eyes, which he would admit to himself if to no one else were rather... absorbing... well, apart from that there was nothing about her worth remarking upon. And their shrill mother could be heard crowing Bingley's praises – and Darcy's condemnation – from across the room. Even if she was a suitable match for such a man, which she was not, such a mother-in-law was not to be imagined, let alone endured.
And yet... he glanced in the direction of the Miss Bennet with the absorbing eyes again – he realized he must discover her name or he would start thinking of her simply as "the girl with the absorbing eyes" – there was something not unpleasant about her for all that she did not meet the popular standard of beauty. Georgiana would surely have encouraged him to swallow his pride and ask the girl to dance, he knew, if for no other reason that a strong desire to see no young lady wanting for a partner at any social function where one would be required. Poor Gerorgie. Should he really have left her alone, and so soon after Ramsgate? Perhaps he should go back to her. At any rate he would be certain to write her a letter and see how she got on. She had not been herself in such a long time, and it worried him no matter how often she tried to reassure him.
A merry laugh across the room caught his attention, and he was somehow not surprised to find the Miss Bennet with the striking eyes - oh, they were strking now, were they? - at the center of it. Slaying my reputation, no doubt, he thought bitterly. "Oh, Lizzie, you are too much!" her companion cried through her giggles. Lizzie, he thought. She must be properly Elizabeth. Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Not that he ought to care. But Georgiana would like to know of her, perhaps – the sister of the prettiest girl in attendance, for what little that was worth.
Nonsense. Nonsense all of it, and he instructed himself to put it out of his mind at once. There were other things to think of. Bingley had much to do to bring Netherfield to the standard at which it ought to be maintained, and he had enlisted Darcy's aid to that end. He would be a poor friend indeed if he did not devote some time and attention toward that matter. Miss Elizabeth Bennet with the striking eyes – just Miss Elizabeth Bennet will do very well, Darcy, and have done with it – just Miss Elizabeth Bennet (with the striking eyes)... that girl would have to be forgot.