Welcome one and all to another new story,

A Swan In Hiding

A Playful romp through the world of Jane Austen, There shall be romance, adventure and a good dose of comedy, pairing mainly concerned Mary/ Col. Fitzwilliam

If you like the idea I shall continue, it popped into my head and simply wouldn't leave, the story is summed up in one simple phrase.

Every heart deserves to find true love,

I own nothing recognizable

Thanks go out to my lovely second Beta Song Angel who has bravely stepped forward to slay my typo dragons!

Now with the formalities out-of-the-way I bring you

Chapter 1. Mr. and Mrs. Collins


Her performance was pleasing, though by no means capital. After a song or two, and before she could reply to the entreaties of several that she would sing again, she was eagerly succeeded at the instrument by her sister Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishment was always impatient for display.

P&P volume 1 chapter 6

The toll of the church bell broke the silence, it's joyful peals announcing a marriage to the surrounding village. The church doors burst open and the celebrating crowd spilled forth onto the lawn, all waiting with smiles of congratulations and a gentle word for the new couple. Hands gently tossed flower petals upon the pair as they made their first appearance as husband and wife. Soft laughter and tidbits of advice rained down on their heads as the new Mr. and Mrs. Collins stepped into the waiting carriage that would take them to the beginning of a new life.

Mary Bennet watched it all, the volume of verse clutched in her hands as if to ward off the pain in her chest. Dressed in black, she seemed to stand out among the others. Tears pricking at her eyes as the carriage pulled away, with Charlotte waving joyfully to the assembled friends. Oh yes, Mary knew the woman deserved happiness; Yet why did she feel like striking her? With no answers, she turned at the sharp rebuke of her mother.

"Mary, come here at once!"

A blush of shame touched her cheeks, and her sisters looked on her with pity. It was like rubbing salt in an open wound. She knew that Mr. Collins was a silly pompous man, with little opinion of anything but his own importance, but what did that matter? Falling into place beside her sisters, she was silent on the walk back to the house, pretending to be deaf to the whispers that followed them. She knew it all. Neighbors envied her sisters; Jane for her beauty, Lizzy for her wit, Lydia for her good humor and Kitty for her silly but likeable nature. Mary was overlooked. The ugly duckling in a family of swans.

A soft hand broke through her dark thoughts and she raised her dark eyes to meet those of her sister Lizzy. No words passed between them, but the simple compassion of the touch brought Mary's lip dangerously close to quivering. As they passed into the house, She rushed into her room, unaware of the soft footsteps that followed her path. Once there, she cast herself prone on the bed and allowed the tears to rush forth.

"Oh Mary... shhh"

Loving, familiar arms wrapped themselves around her shoulders as Lizzy held her and allowed her this private moment to grieve for a future lost. It was several moments before air was able to fully return to her lungs and her sobs slowly ceased. When she was able to speak, she raised herself up enough to sit, grateful for her sister's presence.

"Oh Lizzy...I was a fool!"

The bitterness of her words surprised even Mary as she looked up at her sister. Lizzy brushed a stay tear from her cheek as Mary took several deep breath to calm herself.

"I know I am not beautiful like Jane, or quick-witted like you Lizzy... but... I so wish..."

Here Jane entered, and her loving face crumpled in sympathy as she took in Mary's appearance. She sat down at Mary's other side, wrapping her arms around the other two. These untended moments of unguarded affection were few and Mary relished the love of her sisters as Lizzy smiled, tapping her on the nose as she had when she was child.

"Oh Mary, we all hope to marry for love," Lizzy said quietly. "It is the best any women can wish for. Don't be ashamed to admit it. Charlotte married for comfort, not love. I would not wish that on my worst enemy..."

Mary nodded, feeling a little better. She knew, of course, that women had little protection in the world beyond marriage or a profession. In her jealousy, she had not even considered that face, only viewing Miss Lucas in the light of a disliked rival who had come in and stolen her chance of happiness. Now in light of this information, she felt foolish and offered her sisters a smile.

"Perhaps Lizzy...I have been unkind to Charlotte... Do you think she would allow me to visit?"

"I shall ask her in my next letter, as I am to visit them in March. I do not think that adding one more to the party would matter."

Lizzy and Jane smiled as they released their middle sister. Elizabeth picked up a brush to untangle the dark tresses of Mary's hair that always tangled at the slightest motion. She reflected quietly that so many misjudged Mary, calling her cold, ordinary or plain. Yet those close to her knew that beneath the books and thirst for accomplishments, beat a heart as kind as Jane's.

"If she allows, I shall be glad to go with you. I think Mama with be difficult to contend with at present."

Here a shudder passed through all three. As if on cue their mother's screech carried up the stairwell. All three women cringed, remembering the marriage from which they had left now meant that the estate was now entailed to the women Mrs. Bennet viewed with jealous dislike. It would be a very long three months!

"Lizzy, Jane, Mary! Oh where are you!"

So ends Chapter 1, apologies if it is a little sad, I promise things get a good deal more cheerful from here

Liked it hated it? Please let me know!

Stay tuned for Chapter 2. A Most Honorable Gentleman

Whoever grants this story its 5th review will have Chapter 2 dedicated to them


P.S. Please take a moment and check my other fanfic. it need love too ^_^