My shortest piece yet, and fluffiest, I'm assuming! To those wonderful people who are following Correspondence, this is proof that "No, I'm not dead, but I will update soon, I promise!" This story is the result of a sudden brainwave that woke me up this afternoon, and of course, I just had to share it with you guys!

As usual, please do review!

P&P is open-source: so no witty disclaimer, sorry. Believe me, I love them as much as you do.


Beautiful

She was so beautiful.

Fitzwilliam Darcy could hardly take his eyes off her. Although the sun's warm rays were only beginning to show over the horizon, Darcy had been awake for quite some time already: and had spent all that time gazing upon her sleeping face.

For it was the most perfect face he had ever seen. Perfect, now-familiar eyebrows; delicate rose-coloured eyelids which were now closed over those maddening, twinkling eyes; a perfect little red pout for a mouth. His gaze travelled down to her exposed body, marvelling at the smooth, milky whiteness of her skin. Every bone was well-formed and elegant, every curve captivating. Not a single mark upon her skin as his eyes searched her form incessantly, not a single blemish to offend the eye. Every inch of her was attractive to him –from the shimmering chestnut locks that crowned her head, to the small, perfect white toes. His gaze shifted to her small hand, and he remembered the first time she had placed her hand in his, the first time he had taken her in his arms, and the strength of feeling that had coursed through him at both those moments. Once again, his thoughts shifted to her awake moments with him: her delightful compelling laughter, the joy that brightened her face every time she saw him, the admiring glances that were sent her way from most people and his pride at that well-deserved admiration –she was perfect. Absolutely, heartbreakingly perfect.

And she was his.

He continued to watch over her sleeping form as the sun rose ever higher in the sky –he had found that simply watching her breathing, her white chest rising and falling in gentle rhythm, was enough to soothe him. Everything that was sweet and gentle would impose itself upon his senses, and one small glance at her –be she awake or asleep –was enough to smoothen any amount of anger and resentment away. How he loved her so!

He thought of her running in the grass, running towards him, welcoming him perhaps, after a business sojourn in Town, running for the love she harboured for him. He thought of her in the library, meekly reading whatever he had suggested but with that inescapable twinkle in her eyes, a warning for some impertinence to come. He thought of her with Georgiana, the two of them laughing, sharing both music and familial love in equal amounts. He thought of her in a glittering ball gown, beautiful, enchanting, easily able to take any sane man's breath away.

Presently, she sucked in a soft, deep breath, a small moan escaping her lips as she shifted her position. Darcy suddenly held his breath: he did not want to disturb her obviously deep sleep. After a little fidgeting, during which he watched her porcelain skin ripple over her bones with wonder, she settled down again, her lips slightly parted in a most endearing manner.

The small interruption of his reveries made him look out the window: servants were stirring, and a new day was beginning.

His lips curved into that joyous smile which had first appeared on his lips on that momentous day eight months earlier; he leaned towards her, and whispered in the softest of voices, "I love you."

He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, while his mind repeated the words which rang in his head whenever his lips found her soft skin.

My own. My love.*

Then, after rearranging the bed clothes on her angelic form, he shot a last regretful glance for leaving her, and he departed for his wife's chamber.

She was already awake. "Mr. Darcy," she greeted him stiffly. "Pray tell me, where have you been this early in the morning?"

Her own formal manner made him quickly rearrange his expression, and as he sat next to her on her bed, he was fully composed as he said, "Madam, I can bear it no longer. There is something of the utmost importance that I must confess to you."

She raised her eyebrow. "What may that be, sir?"

He did not respond for a moment, watching her guarded expression. His gaze seemed to discompose her, and she turned away, colouring. That he could still make her blush!

Unable to completely keep a smile from curving his lips, he clutched her waist and gently drew her to his chest, and whispered in her ear –"I am sorry to say, Madam, that I may love our daughter more than I love you."

He did not have to look at her to see her own smile. "I was afraid of it. After all, thanks to that young miss, I have completely lost my figure!"

He kissed the top of her head, on the smooth chestnut locks that she had bequeathed to her daughter. "You are always beautiful to me, Elizabeth."

She looked up at him, her eyes twinkling in the manner that he adored, and said, "Rest assured, my love, that you will forever be precisely tolerable enough to tempt me."

Darcy burst out laughing. "I'm afraid I shall have some very trying years in the future, surrounded as I will be by witty, impertinent ladies. I shall be quite at a disadvantage."

Mrs. Darcy made a grand show of thinking deeply, her eyes still glowing with mischief. "Perhaps a son would help? –he certainly will even out the numbers!"

"I like that idea exceedingly."

Elizabeth smiled –a pure, innocent smile belied only by the warmth in her eyes. "Then you must do something about it, sir! You will find that sons are not so easily to be found as one might imagine –ask of my parents!"

"Your words ring true, Mrs. Darcy. I will set upon the task directly, with your permission." He flashed her his wicked smile, that smile which never failed to weaken Elizabeth's knees, as she had often confessed to him.

Her response was already soft, loving. "You always have my permission, dearest Fitzwilliam."

As expected, after a suitable interval of time, the Darcys were indeed blessed with a son, with Mrs. Darcy immediately pronouncing that he was the most handsome young man she had ever laid eyes upon. And with this mutual admission of otherwise-engaged affections, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy were able to live a long, rapturous life together.


*I was strongly tempted to add "My precious...", but I didn't want to ruin the general fluffy mood. Poor Gollum, after all, is far from fluffy!

Also, if it's not obvious, this is a slight dig at some of the Mary Sue-esque renderings of Elizabeth -not that I don't like them, they make a story that much more fairy-tale-like!