Author's Notes

You've stumbled upon my scribblings of…everything. Invented bits that happen during or very soon after the novel. Missing scenes from my past works. Vague thoughts that didn't merit their own full story. All of it weaves together into a single timeline meant to follow canon.

This probably won't be updated consistently. I'm just going to polish my nonsense when my imagination surrenders to the wiles of Jane Austen. Well, maybe not every time. That would be troublingly often.


A Father's Right


"Papa!"

Darcy looked up from the letter he was writing with a start, blotting the parchment with ink. He had no more than pushed himself away from the desk when a small flurry that was all whirling dark curls and pale blue frock bounded into his lap and began sobbing into his waistcoat.

"Elena!" Darcy exclaimed. "What is it? Are you hurt?" The words came tumbling over each other in alarm, but no answer outside of a whimper was forthcoming. He attempted to pry her from his chest to see her properly, but her arms were much too tightly clasped around him.

With little else to be done, he held her to him and stroked her hair while she went on crying as though her heart should break; hot, noisy, piercing weeping. All the while, he promised her in low murmurs that he would make everything better.

At length, Elena's tears were spent. When she was only sniffling and her grasp had slackened considerably, Darcy made another attempt to loose her arms and place her further back on his knees. This time he met with little resistance, no doubt because of her exhaustion after such a violent outburst.

The face he looked into was almost an exact miniature of Elizabeth's, but with deliberate mistakes that bespoke of his own features. At the moment, it was over-pink and the occasional residual shudder wracked his daughter's entire little frame. An ache stirred somewhere deep inside Darcy's chest at the sight.

"Will you tell me what happened?"

There were a few false starts before she finally managed, "I heard Uncle Richard and Aunt Georgiana talking in the music room." The tell-tale wobble of her bottom lip let him know she was dangerously close to tears again. "He said Aunt Georgiana is going away because she will be married!"

Darcy's heart sank. He had known the news of Georgiana's engagement would be hard for Elena, but he wished she had not found out this way. He and Elizabeth had planned to tell her soon, to explain, but now there was nothing for it. What was worse, he realized he could not keep his promise after all. This was something he could not make better.

As though she were thinking the very same thing, she turned her glassy, pleading eyes to his. "Can you make her stay?"

"Oh, Elena, no," he told her gently, "I cannot. She wants to go, you see."

A tear, disarming with its glisten of inexperience in either true unhappiness or unfairness, the kind only a child can cry, rolled down her cheek. In a small voice she asked, "Why does she want to leave me?"

Darcy brought up his hands to cradle her face between them. "Aunt Georgiana loves you very, very much. But when people are grown, they find someone to fall in love with and get married to, and then they go to live with each other. Mama left her home with Grandfather and Grandmother Bennet to come stay here with me."

He had intended to comfort her in saying so, and at first the lineaments of her face smoothed into something like calmness before crumpling again in terror. "I will have to go away without you and Mama when I am a lady?"

"Not if you do not want to," Darcy reassured her quickly, "but you might feel differently when you are older." Even as he said it, his heart swelled, and he allowed himself to entertain the selfish, unaffected desire that she would always be with them at Pemberley.

Wiping her tear-stained cheeks with his thumbs, he lifted her to sit atop his desk while he rose to pour her a drink of water from the pitcher on the sideboard. Once he had her sip from the glass, he took her up in his arms again and carried her to her bedchamber. Elena protested a bit once they reached their destination, but she could not resist the decided heaviness of her eyelids for long and drifted off almost as soon as her father tucked her in. Seeing her asleep, Darcy kissed her cheek and quietly left her to the custody of Miss Hart, who would divide her time between here and her other two slumbering charges in the nursery.

In the corridor, he leaned back into the closed door and let his eyes fall shut.

"You handled that very well."

Elizabeth was before him.

Smiling softly and holding out her hand, which he took, she led him to their rooms. Once they were alone, he caught her up and embraced her tightly. She, in turn, stroked the curls at the nape of his neck in a soothing gesture, much as he had done with Elena.

"Is it too much to hope that she will always want to stay with us?" he finally voiced aloud in an accent that was muffled against her neck.

Regarding him with mild confusion, she pulled away to question, "Georgiana?"

"…Elena."

Elizabeth's eyes brightened with amusement. "My love, she is but five. I hardly think it time to let yourself be disturbed with thoughts of her leaving us quite yet."

Darcy's expression continued to be pensive and brooding.

"Oh dear. Do you need to be comforted too, Fitzwilliam?" she asked archly.

"Perhaps," he said, his lips twitching into a supposedly reluctant smile. "How do you sugge—"

But Elizabeth was already kissing him soundly.


End Author's Notes

So Colonel Fitzwilliam isn't actually an uncle to Darcy and Elizabeth's children, but I think they could refer to him that way.

Sorry—take this in advance too—that I suck so bad at titles.


This story is featured at FFNet's "Elizabeth/Darcy (Modern&Regency)," "Closet Stories," "My Favourite Pride and Prejudice Fanfiction," and "Femme Malheureuse's Wash List" community archives, and at the Jane Austen FanFiction Index.