A/N: I'm kinda falling in love with AU fics, and one of the things that shocked me was that we don't have a Jane Austen inspired one! So preferably, I would LOVE for a much more talented writer to do this, but it kinda wouldn't leave my head, so I'll give it a shot. I'm kinda just gonna see where this story takes me. Okay. Enjoy!
It is a well-known fact among many that English women were praised for their culinary talent, their soft-spoken nature, their meticulous needlework, their amiability, their submissiveness, their gracious child-rearing, and their utmost devotion to their mate. To come up short in even one of these attributes was considered a tragedy and most likely doomed the lacking woman to a life of solitude and poverty. There are exceptional cases, of course, to this particular binding circumstance, but these cases have occurred rather far and few between. It was very rare indeed to come across an outspoken, awkward, gregarious woman and rarer still to find one whose aspiration did not consist of being the woman of an extravagant household and bearing three sons who had her eyes and their father's chin. Yet, Miss Rachel Berry was adamant in wanting much more – and she never hesitated to share this nugget of information to any soul nearby. Rachel accepted that she did not fit the perfect mold of an English woman, but her spunky nature would not allow her to mourn her seemingly tragic shortcomings. She was well aware of whom she was, and I dare say, she did not mind in the slightest.
She was secure – perhaps even a bit conceited – in her vocal talent and relied on it to compensate for other shortcomings. Any party she was invited to that had a pianoforte would have her make a beeline for the instrument and grace the other amused and sometimes irritated guests with her beautiful singing, playing anything from treasured church hymns to melancholy ballads to heartwarming arias. Not a soul could dispute her God-given gift, yet her overbearing drive frightened many of her peers away from an acquaintanceship. And thus the vicious cycle continued – she sang to ease her loneliness while they kept their distance from the outspoken, talented woman.
Miss Berry grew up in an unusual household. Her darling mother, Lady Berry, sadly died giving birth to the precious baby girl. The tragic event caused Mr. Berry much grief, and for the first several years of Rachel's life, he would not even deign to touch her, requesting that the family nurse, Ms. Susan Sylvester, take care of Rachel. Immediately after Rachel celebrated her fifth birthday, Mr. Berry decided that grieving his late wife was denying him the love of his perfect, beautiful, lively little girl, and to the relief of the entire manor, Mr. Berry begged forgiveness from the child – which someone at the tender age of five could not fully understand or give - and doted on her with love and hugs and kisses and kind words.
Following that blessed day, father and daughter were inseparable. He woke her each morning by singing in his strong tenor voice lovely Irish hymns or songs that he amusingly created himself. She would giggle gleefully in bed, and add on her own verse to his wonderfully unusual dirges and humorous ballads. They would then race each other to the dining area where they would strike up conversations with Ebony Jones, their lovable cook whose wonderful cooking skills paled into comparison to her beautiful, big heart. She had a daughter, Mercedes, that was Rachel's age, and Rachel delighted in playing with her friend.
Nurse Sylvester did not bother to conceal her disapproval of the connection between Mercedes and Rachel, saying that ladies should not subject themselves to associate with the common folk. Rachel would cheekily reply that she was no lady, she was a girl, and she would "associate" with whom she "darn well pleased, thank you very much". Nurse Sylvester only clucked her tongue in response and went back to scribbling in her infamous journal. This journal fascinated young Rachel to no end. She and Mercedes would devise elaborate schemes to steal the journal so they could see what stiff, old Sylvester wrote down, but they never acted on their plans. It is good that they refrained, I think, because the mystery of the journal was what made the game so desirable.
And like her household, her looks were rather unique, as well. She had lovely chestnut hair, but she knew it did not compare to the fair-haired beauties that she envied. She hated her olive skintone, fully believing that she would be much lovelier with skin that was delicate, porcelain, and, of course, fair. She possessed, to her great dismay, a little girl's figure with a small bosom and slight stature. Yet, her most despised characteristic was her nose, prominently gracing (or rather, cursing) her already unusual face. Though if one were to encounter her on the street, I daresay they would also notice her beautiful, plump, rosy lips or the dainty beauty marks that dotted her cheeks. Mr. Berry would try and dismiss her misgivings about her appearance, informing her soothingly, that she was quite beautiful just the way she was, and gentlemen from far and wide would soon be lining up to ask him permission to escort her to the most desired societal gatherings. As a little girl, Rachel eagerly accepted the fatherly doting, but as time went on, his once comforting words were not quite sufficient for her happiness.
As you may be able to conclude, her abrasive nature, the lack of a matronly figure, the friendship with a dark-skinned peasant, and her unusual appearance made it very hard for Rachel to make other friends. She certainly did try. She loved Mercedes, and was exceedingly grateful for their relationship, but she enviously watched groups of rosy cheeked girls and boys playing together whenever she would go into town with her father, and she longed for the day when she might spin in merry circles with the laughing children.
But this no mournful tale. Rather it is an epic story of love between an unlikely match. But everything about Rachel was unique – why must her romances be any different?
A/N: So, what didya think? I know this was just the boring introductory…and I'm currently creating Finn and Rachel's first meeting, but I wanna hear some feedback, so maybe I can pin down what I want to continue with…it might solidify in my mind…