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Disclaimer: I, most unfortunately, am not Jane Austen. My writing is merely the creative whimsy of a bored teenager.

On the grounds of Longbourn, there strolled a young man and a young woman. They appeared perfectly calm and happy, observing the trees and other plants that adorned the walk. They were silent, but, after a moment, the lady spoke.

"Fitzwilliam," said she, "We seem to have strayed from Jane and Mr. Bingley."

Her companion turned slightly, his own observations confirming her own, and looked back at the lady on his arm.

"Yes, Elizabeth; so it would seem," he replied, a very small smile upon his lips.

She laughed, looking at him with eyes that clearly spoke of her affection. He met her gaze, his eyes never wavering from her own.

"It is very improper," said he, "But I cannot find myself regretting our separation from your sister and Bingley. Much as I enjoy their company, I find that I crave moments like this, when we might be alone."

"I do as well, my love." Elizabeth laughed again, clasping her betrothed's arm. "It seems so strange," she said thoughtfully, "to think that, in but two weeks, I shall be Mrs. Darcy, wife of the formidable Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley." There was a teasing lilt in her voice that betrayed the serious tone she had attempted to adopt.

Mr. Darcy raised his eyebrows. "Formidable?"

"Of course!" cried Elizabeth. "To all excepting myself."

He smiled, an expression that very rarely was seen upon his countenance. An observer would have noted how it became his already handsome face, melting away at the icy mask he constructed for himself.

"I am very grateful that I do not intimidate you," said he, "though I have long thought such a thing impossible."

Elizabeth raised her eyebrows. "Indeed," she said skeptically. She held this expression for a moment before adopting another. "Fitzwilliam, I feel fatigued. Might we sit down?"

Mr. Darcy looked at Elizabeth anxiously. "Are you quite well? Surely you are not fatigued after so short a walk?"

"I confess that I have been rather weary of late. Mamma has been quite unbearable with all the nonsense about the wedding."


Elizabeth looked up to see that Mr. Darcy had resumed his mask. She hastened to reassure him.

"It is only nonsense because she dwells endlessly upon the difference between plum and amethyst, and other minute details that, if the planning were left to myself alone, would have been decided in but a moment."

She saw, out of the corner of her eye, Mr. Darcy's stiff posture relax slightly as he led her towards the bench. They sat far closer than was proper, but neither could bring themselves to be scandalized at the other's proximity. Mr. Darcy very gently reached out and held Elizabeth's hands in his own.

"Sometimes I wish that I were gifted with the power to control time," Elizabeth admitted. "I find that I cannot wait a fortnight to marry you; you will soon find that you have chosen a very impatient bride. Indeed, the thought of waiting but a day to become your wife is torturous; how shall I ever survive a fortnight?"

Mr. Darcy smiled, gently squeezing her hands.

"You, my dear, have just spoken my very thoughts." A soft chuckle escaped his lips; another rarity that was very quickly becoming more common. Elizabeth's vivacious personality was already influencing him.

He lifted their intertwined fingers to kiss the back of Elizabeth's hand. A sharp intake of breath escaped Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy looked up to ascertain her reaction. A small blush now adorned her cheeks, a pleased smile dancing upon her lips. Gently freeing one of his hands from her grasp, he reached over and brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. Her blush deepened, but her smile grew. She looked at him with those eyes that had bewitched him and he was lost.

He leaned closer and kissed her, gently and tenderly. She seemed by no means displeased but, fearful lest Elizabeth's sister or Mr. Bingley should happen upon this path, he retreated slowly, observing her closely. Her cheeks were pink, but her eyes were dancing.

"Fitzwilliam – " she began, but a call stopped her.

"Lizzy? Lizzy, dearest – at last we have found you!" cried Jane. She and Mr. Bingley approached the couple, both smiling triumphantly.

Elizabeth remained seated, still clutching Mr. Darcy's hand, and smiled at her sister. "I am afraid that I was quite unaware that I needed to be found and fear that I have made your task far more difficult than it needed to be."

Jane laughed, shaking her head affectionately at her sister. Mr. Darcy stood and offered his arm to Elizabeth, who very gladly took it. The two young men and women soon returned to Longbourn, where they found themselves accosted by Mrs. Bennet and the details of the upcoming wedding.

But such affectionate couples as these did not despair, for, when one is quite determined, stolen moments might always be found.