Title: Scandalous Discussions

Summary: Elizabeth and Charlotte discuss the most amiable Mr. Collins. Oneshot. (Humor)

Rating: K+

When Elizabeth woke that morning, she was surprised—pleasantly—to discover that Mr. Collins had left for town. However benevolent Charlotte made her situation out to be, Lizzy still felt compelled to comprehend guilt, as though it were a fault of hers she was to suffer through a life of ennui.

On entering the kitchen, the young woman seated herself at the table and addressed her companion with these words,

"I propose we go for a walk along the banks after breakfast. Is that agreeable for you, Mrs. Collins?"

At this, Charlotte laughed, "My dear Lizzy, please do not address me as so! You make me to be matronly already."

Elizabeth smiled and leaned across the table eagerly, "The epithet is true enough, Charlotte. But I must ask you a thing. (I hope you will think me not imprudent.) It has been gripping me curiously for days. Perhaps I shan't. Mother thinks me already to be rash and I would not want to shock any of the servants that may pass by."

"That has never stopped you before," cried she. "Pray, do tell. My interest is grasped."

"Well, then," said Elizabeth, dropping her voice in volume dramatically, "seat yourself across from me, and I shall question you."

"All this suspense is far too exciting for a matron as myself," said Charlotte. "Now, what possibly could I tell you?"

"I have often wondered, Charlotte, about—my, there is no way to put this delicately, is there?—about the occurrences between man and wife after matrimony."

"Why, what an odd question to ask. Do you not see before yourself? Mr. Collins leaves quite often and I handle the housework. Interaction is somewhat limited."

"That's not quite what I meant to say, actually."

"Elizabeth, do make yourself clearer. Many a people will have difficulty understanding your thought process."

"Occurrences, that is to say, nightly ones. Do you understand now?"

As Charlotte understood her friend's meaning, she ducked her head to hide, indeed, the faint blush coloring her face. She had misunderstood, of course, Elizabeth's warning of being imprudent. However, promiscuity even, should not have surprised Charlotte, being acquainted with the person she was.

"Do you not have Mrs. Bennet to relay that information to you?"

Elizabeth laughed, "It seems as if I have embarrassed you, friend! And I only meant the interactions between yourself and the perfectly amiable Mr. Collins. Is he not satisfactory?"

"Elizabeth!" cried she again, "While I must agree this warrants a degree of merriment from myself, it is inappropriate to discuss while the man in question is not situated at the present."

"Would you prefer he was seated with us, then?"

"Lizzy, do not tease me so!"

"Still, you avoid the matter at hand. Was he not adequate in your liking?"

Charlotte, far from mortified, tried unsuccessfully to hide her amusement from her confrere. She conceived, perhaps far too belatedly, the length at which she would yearn for her life in Meryton, from talking to Elizabeth.

"I may be far too kind in saying this, yet, 'tis true: my dear Mr. Collins was—still is, to tell you the truth, Liz.—benighted and utterly illiterate at the matter at hand."

"I must confess: this is not the least surprising to me. And I do pity you, Charlotte, to suffer through an existence without the smallest bit of felicity. But it is my duty to inform you, most gravely and seriously, that I have a solution to the problem at hand."

"You cannot be guileless! What can you possibly propose!" cried she.

"Mr. Wickham," said she, beside her honest façade, "has communicated to me that a regiment is to be stationed in distance of a mile of Rosings Park. I have seen, I daresay, quite a few of the men. Agreeable, most certainly. And handsome, do you ask? Indeed, very much so!"

Elizabeth's teasing discourse ceased almost suddenly upon the opening of the Collins' main door. Mr. Collins stood in the entrance of the kitchen, with a slightly confused demeanor about him. Elizabeth stood up and bowed in greeting, attempting to keep her conduct quite steady.

"Ah, is it raining, then? I'm afraid that does cut our plan for a walk, doesn't it, Charlotte? Please, Mr. Collins, step back into the room. I daresay, Charlotte would appreciate yourself dry before soiling the household."

"Yes, an excellent suggestion, Miss Bennet. I have much to tell the both of you about the Lady de Bourgh. She in fact just—Why are you giggling, Mrs. Collins? Did I say something that necessitated laughter? Anyhow, it seems to be a most unagreeable habit for a married woman such as yourself."

A/N: Reviews are appreciated and welcome.