Wow, thanks for the amazing response to my last LBDs fic – ask and you shall receive, here is another!
The quote at the top is slightly paraphrased from the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre, and I thought it was quite fitting for Darcy.
Enjoy, and don't forget to review!
"Do you think that I'm a machine? That I can bear it? Do you think that I have no heart? That I'm without soul? I have as much heart as you and as much soul."
Lizzie's videos were surprisingly easy to find, all he had to do was type her first name into youtube and there she was, the third option down on the autofill. She had over sixty videos, well over a hundred thousand subscribers and several hours of footage.
"Okay, you can do this," William Darcy muttered to himself, feeling daunted by the numerous video stills of Lizzie staring out at him from the screen
Leaving his laptop open, he headed to Fitz's kitchen (he was staying in his apartment, but he was out with his boyfriend tonight and had hinted he wouldn't be home) and made himself a strong cup of tea. Then, settling back at the desk, he clicked on the first video.
Three hours later, his tea was still untouched.
And there it all was, irrefutable proof of her hatred towards him. Every word cut like a knife – douche, unpleasant, rude, arrogant and (strangely enough) a newsie.
Somehow the worst descriptor was 'robot' … did she think he had no feelings, no heart or soul, when he currently felt like someone was gouging his heart out with a rusty knife?
How had he misread her so completely?
He thought she had enjoyed their debates, her eyes flashing enticingly at him as they battled with words.
How could she possibly have mistaken his staring for anything other than the open admiration that it was?
And their dance at Bing's birthday – though they had argued he had inwardly thrilled that they were standing so close, that he had one hand at her waist and the other lightly clasped in his own. But here, in the video, their dance was re-enacted, exaggerated, distorted and mocked.
He had honestly thought she would welcome his advances.
The re-enactments stung, though her portrayals of her family were essentially dead on – clearly even she could see the ridiculousness of their actions, particularly their mother. He felt that his disparaging comments towards them were perhaps justified.
But George fucking Wickam.
The blatant lies about him withholding tuition money were ridiculous, but Lizzie seemed to eat them right up without even questioning their validity. If anything she seemed happy to have new reasons to hate him, to feel that she had been proved right in her initial first impression of him.
Will felt physically ill watching their interaction on the videos, how George would constantly lean in towards her, his eyes flicking down to her lips every so often as if he was about to kiss her right there on camera.
His only solace was the fact that Lizzie, though seemingly flattered by his attentions, kept brushing them off.
Casual dating, she had called it.
It seemed like the only thing they really had in common was their mutual hatred of him.
It was just so frustrating, all of the accusations she had hurled his way regarding George had been based on lies.
Well, certain things are starting to make more sense, he absently tweeted, wanting some outlet for his annoyance.
Was he really that bad? He was shy, yes. Uncomfortable around strangers, not comfortable in most social situations and found it difficult to talk to people he didn't know. But he hadn't realised he came off as so snobby and standoffish.
The nicest thing Jane Bennet (Bing's 'angel' who was sweeter than saccharine and probably had rainbows trailing in her wake) was able to say about him was that he was tall.
And how had he been so off about Jane?
Somehow clichés about the accuracy of hindsight are not a comfort.
Seeing her reactions there on camera made him think he might just have made a huge mistake. Her feelings were clearly deeper than he had anticipated – but then, if Bing had been so easily separated from her, were his feelings all that deep?
And Caroline, who had helped him separate the two.
Caroline was in the videos, helping Lizzie to make them – if she was watching the videos, surely she had seen the depths of Jane's attachment? He knew Caroline didn't see Jane as a good match for Bing, but to coldly help him break up what she knew to be a loving couple reached a new low.
She was egging Lizzie on in her rants about him. Had she been trying to drive a wedge between them by feeding Lizzie's hatred while at the same time talking her up to him? He knew that Caroline was attracted to him, but that was manipulative in the extreme.
Oh god, if Lizzie puts up the video of their conversation Caroline would see him attempting (and failing spectacularly) to ask her out - that would have … interesting consequences.
He allowed himself a small smile at Fitz's description of him as an 'agoraphobic lobster' – it was a descriptor that went back to their college days, when a drunken girl had attached herself to his arm and he had apparently stammered and turned lobster red before escorting her firmly to the security of the club and asked them to look after her.
Fitz knew, or had at least suspected, his attachment to Lizzie. He would keep dropping her into conversation – how fun and smart and witty she was, trying to get him to confess his attraction. If Fitz hadn't been gay, not to mention in a serious relationship, Darcy might have been worried he had a potential rival.
It was the wee hours of the morning by now and, feeling particularly masochistic, he went back and re-watched several of the videos, this time around looking at the comments as well. The ones regarding him ranged from 'this guy sounds like a douche' to 'have you ever thought that maybe he is just shy and can't express himself well?'
After the video in which Charlotte and Jane had voiced their suspicion that he liked her (gold star, girls) a fair number of her fans had started 'shipping' the two of them together, with many of them demanding a convoluted plan worthy of her mother to get him on screen.
He shook his head despairingly as he re-watched Fitz attempt to talk him up to Lizzie, not realising the disastrous consequences – that was the last video she had posted, and he realised that she was literally in the worst possible frame of mind to be approached romantically by him.
Given this new information, it seems I need to re-evaluate a few things.
He still loved her, even the videos couldn't change that.
Oh, he was hurt by some of the things she had said but in the context of the videos a lot of it seemed justified.
And she was mesmerising on screen, playfully staring straight into the camera. Enchanting, witty, spontaneous and intangible, a video instead of face to face communication.
She had clearly made her decision and was fixed in her opinions of him. Perhaps the best thing for everyone would be for him to ignore the unjust accusations she had hurled his way and bow out as gracefully as possible.
Closing his laptop with a sigh, he collapsed fully clothed onto his bed and simply stared at the wall, lost in thought.
It was just after seven in the morning when his phone beeped with a twitter alert. Fishing it out of his pocket he saw it was from Gigi – she had clearly checked twitter when she woke up and had seen his tweets throughout the night.
wmdarcy Hey mopey big brother, what is going on? Never mind, I'm calling you right this second.
Sure enough, his phone started ringing in his hand.
He ignored it.
He couldn't talk to Gigi right now, not with Wickham so fresh in his mind from watching Lizzie's videos.
He waited until his phone stopped ringing and tweeted her back, ggdarcy I'm actually headed out for a bike ride. Clear my head. Will call you tonight.
Dragging himself up from the bed took genuine effort, but within minutes he had changed into his gym-ware and was out of the door. Very few people were awake this early so the streets were quiet. He cycled his normal route around parts of the city, taking around an hour, letting the rushing wind blow the cobwebs of the wearying night from his mind.
He got back to the apartment, showered, drank coffee and seriously considered calling in sick. Disgusted by his own weakness, he settled down at the desk to check any emails he might have received from overseas contacts during the night, still dressed only with a towel around his hips from his shower. He had left youtube open when he closed his laptop the night before, so he immediately noticed Lizzie had posted a new video just a few moments ago.
It was awful, worse than the others – she wasn't just annoyed and ranting about her dislike for him, she was cold and furious. This was her response to Fitz telling her about Jane and – oh god - he noticed that she was wearing the same grey patterned dress she had been wearing yesterday … sure enough, his video self walked in at the end in a wonderful, unplanned moment of dramatic irony, literally as she had said she never wanted to see him again.
Fortunately, the video cut off there – but there were already over a hundred views and lots of comments, most of them demanding to know what had happened after the video cut off with a few 'omg's is that Darcy?!' thrown in for good measure … it appeared he was well on his way to internet fame.
Still, this new video changed nothing – it only made it more apparent that there was no way he could possibly win her.
But then, at the side of the screen, he noticed a video of hers titled questions and answers that he didn't remember watching as he powered through the playlist last night.
He had some time to kill before he had to go to work and, since he was clearly a masochist, decided to watch the six question and answer videos.
And there, in the middle of the first video, someone asked her what she wants in a man.
Someone she can have a lively debate with.
He paused the video and stared at her slightly blurred face on the screen, one hand covering the lower half of his face.
Clearly he was a big part of her life, the fact that he was mentioned so often in her video blogs was testament to that.
There was a fine line between love and hate – and the line between them had been drawn with misunderstandings, pride and deliberate deceit.
But if he was willing to unbend his pride and set the record straight on the matter of Jane and George they might be able to have a reconciliation, possibly even be amicable.
Someone she could have a lively debate with.
It was a long shot, but maybe – just maybe – he thought he might have reason to hope.
And so it was a very deliberate decision to wear a bowtie as he dressed for work.
Reviews are LOVE!
Question – which character that we haven't seen so far do you most want to appear on the video blogs?