Author's note: I take it you thought that the last chapter sucked. Well, this frankly isn't any better. You've been warned! Anyways, I've taken a few liberties for the sake of the story and I would request you to flow with it…
Happy for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs. Bennet had the pleasure of seeing her two daughters being whisked away by two very wealthy and handsome young men for the school formals.
She had prepared for this day with what can be described as a marriage like exuberance. The dresses for the day had been selected specifically from a grossly expensive designer. What Mr Bennet called an expense, Mrs Bennet had deemed as an investment. "They'll soon be married off to them. We could have a double wedding!" Mrs Bennet had excitedly told Mr Bennet.
"We could save up on the wedding then," Mr Bennet remarked dryly. What he was waiting for Lizzy's reaction to the dress. Knowing her daughter, he was pretty sure he'd have a good laugh about it. His Lizzy, wearing a dress? Surely the day of Lizzy willingly watching the horrid celeb gossip show was not far away, he quietly amused himself.
Mrs Bennet had purposely kept the dress from Lizzy, because she was not as averse to Lizzy's choices as she would have liked. Pleading ignorance was, she feared, out of question. So, a week before the ball a shrill voice was heard. "Come here, my lovely daughters!" Mrs Bennet said (best- sugar coat it!) "It's time to reveal the surprise."
Lizzy, at that time was playing chess with her father. She had not lied to Collins when she said that she did not play chess…that well. So, at the call of her mother she successfully dodged another defeat at her father's hand and willingly answered her call.
Her reaction was mild as she just outright refused to wear it and elaborated by saying that if I have to go in that dress she would just not go.
"But, dear, you have to go. It's the end of your school. Wouldn't you want to say a final goodbye to your school for so many years," Fanny Bennet said, in a breath. She had practiced it at least fourteen times!
"I don't and I don't. I have already said my goodbyes."
"What about William Darcy?"
"He's a big boy. He'll get over it. I am sure," Lizzy said.
"Elizabeth Bennet, you will go to the ball. That is final," Mrs Bennet raised her voice.
"I am calling Will," Lizzy said and went out of the room.
Once outside the confines of her home, Lizzy Bennet, now eighteen, was behaving like a kindergarten child. She knew this day was coming; she had to get over her tomboyish years. But, she needed to talk to Will. He had promised her that she would not have to change-spoken in haste at another one of her childish tantrums, she figured.
Instead of calling William; she texted him to meet at their place urgently.
On my way was his reply. It did not matter if he was eating his breakfast at that time. He picked up his sandwich and drove to their special place; which considering these two was, unsurprisingly, a small spot near the football field.
"Hey, what's wrong?" William asked, removing a branch from his way.
"I have to change, don't I?" Lizzy asked, her eyes focussed on her crouched legs.
"Not, if you don't want to," William said and sat beside her; hands on her shoulder now.
"I cannot deny it any more. School is over; I am no longer under the protection of its four walls. I cannot run from what I am."
"Who says you're running?"
"Oh come on, Will!" she said and looked over towards him, "You know it's true."
"You are what you are and I love you for that," Darcy said, cupping her face gently.
"Why can't everybody be like you?"
"Because then I will lose the exclusivity of being your boyfriend."
"You have an answer for everything, don't you?"
"What can I say? I learnt from the best," William said, grinning along.
"I am not wearing a dress for the… whatever ball our school is doing."
"I don't give two straws about what you're wearing as long as I have the pleasure of your company. You can wear your tennis uniform for all I care."
"Charming jerk," Lizzy muttered under her breath.
"What'd you say?"
"Nothing, you're charming as always," Lizzy said innocently.
"Yeah right," William replied, he knew her too well now for that answer to work but knew it best to let go for now. He tightened his hold of her
"Well, what are you wearing?" she asked after a few moments.
"A tuxedo," he replied.
"I will have to wear that dress, won't I?"
"You don't have to. You can if you want to," William said, choosing his words carefully.
"What if I just don't turn up?"
"You're going to let a dress scare you away?" William asked, his eyebrows rising in challenge.
"No," she replied petulantly.
So, with this William Darcy had once again successfully calmed his Lizzy. He did that quite a lot of times in the future. Be it during the time of going to college or at the time of their engagement. She said that too much was changing. She would no longer be her papa's little girl. William had soothed her by saying that Mr Bennet was not losing a daughter but gaining a son. She was very pleased by this response and called her papa that very moment to tell him.
Mr Bennet, very proudly, asked for William on the phone and told him, "Welcome to the family, son."
Lizzy had done the same for Will on many occasions. He was shattered when his parent had died suddenly in a car accident. She was shattered too, but she had supported him through all the grief and the responsibilities. When it was time for their first daughter to marry, William understood what would have been going through Mr Bennet's mind all those years ago. Then Lizzy, tying the knot of his tie, had given the same speech to him. He had kissed her with all his vigour then and would have continued if the said daughter, Elena, had not walked in.
Well, William Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet lived their whole life supporting each other. They were ever thankful to their match making friends and in part even to Wickham. Charles, Jane, Charlotte and Chris had boasted of their exploits several times in front of their children. The Darcy clan, in particular, was never bored of the story.
"You were such a girl, papa," Elena was telling her dad once after hearing the story.
"You did not know your mother then," he replied, sheepishly stealing a glance at his wife, whose head was placed comfortably on William's lap.
"But still, you guys were so stubborn," Elena said; her eyes twinkling like her mother.
"Look who's talking," said Daniel.
"That's no way to talk to your sister," Elizabeth scolded her son.
"Sorry," Daniel replied all too innocently.
"Your father is right," Lizzy said. She opened her eyes to look at her husband directly and with a smirk added, "You only know the post-dress Lizzy."
Both of them laughed at their little private joke of so many years!