I am amazed by all of the positive feedback I am getting, thanks guys! You have encouraged me to write another – but no Lizzie in this one, I am afraid!
Please leave a review and let me know what you think, oh lovely readers!
After several long, emotionally harrowing weeks away 'monitoring corporate progress' at Collins and Collins, the sight of his Los Angeles apartment building was like a balm for William Darcy's tired body. After parking his car in the underground parking-lot he took the lift straight to the top of the building, the familiar lift music lifting his spirits in a way it never had before. The doors opened on the penthouse he shared with Gigi and he instantly heard the sound of light footsteps running towards him.
Instead of throwing herself into his arms, as she usually did after he had been away, she skidded to a halt a few feet from him, her fluffy socks sliding slightly on the polished floor.
She was wearing his old university hoodie (which he had never actually had a chance to wear before she had commandeered it) over leggings, with her jet-black hair carelessly pinned out of her face. What scared him, however, was the look of playful malice shinning in her blue eyes that any sibling would recognise anywhere.
"I honestly don't know whether I should hug you in consolation or laugh in your face right now," she said gleefully.
Oh god, she had seen the videos.
"I can't imagine what you could possibly mean," he said, setting his suitcase down in the hallway.
Gigi simply stared at him, her eyes bright with amusement and her lips tightly pursed together. She was almost bouncing in the balls of her feet in anticipation.
Will sighed in resignation, "how did you find out."
"It's the twenty-first century, oh brother of mine," she said, brandishing the new Iphone he had bought her for her birthday as evidence. "Phones get the internet now."
"But how did you find out?" he repeated. "About her, about her videos?"
Gigi's smile was kind now, with the teeniest hint of sympathy – she seemed to realise he wasn't quite in the mood to be teased about this. "You mentioned Lizzie to me several times when you were staying with Bing in the summer. When you started following her on twitter I clicked on her out of curiosity and then found the link to her videos," she explained in a gentle voice.
Will walked into the living room, just brushing Gigi's arm with his hand as he walked past her to let her know it was okay. He threw himself onto the sofa and started undoing the knot on his bowtie – he had always preferred the ones that you tied instead of the clip-ons.
"I like her, you know," Gigi said from the doorway.
His fingers paused in their ministrations and he glanced up at her. "You do?"
"Yeah," she said, perching daintily on the arm of the sofa. "Well, I mean I didn't at first. The first video I watched was the whole -" she cleared her throat and slipped into an uncanny impression of Lizzie Bennet impersonating him, "- 'Uh, Lizzie Bennet, I am in love with you' followed by her 'I hate your guts, William Darcy.' I thought she was a bit of a bitch to you, to be honest, but then I watched the rest of her videos."
"And?" Will asked, his hands still frozen on his bowtie.
Gigi smiled down at him. "And aside from wanting to slap her silly over the whole George thing, a lot of the stuff she said about you was … kind of justified." She clearly noticed his crestfallen look and hastily continued. "I mean, I know you, Will. I know that when you specially install speakers and say 'do you wanna get your groove thing on -'"
"I never said that," he interrupted, but she just spoke over him in a louder voice.
"- that it's your heart desperately trying to deal with all of the love you feel, and I get that." She paused, apparently for dramatic effect. "But Lizzie doesn't know the real you, and she never will if you continue to display all of the social graces of a misanthropic pot-plant."
"A pot-plant can't be misanthropic," he pointed out.
"Just like a lobster can't be agoraphobic?" she retorted cheekily.
Will threw a cushion at her, which she caught with a laugh.
"But seriously, Will," she said, tossing the cushion back down onto the sofa. "Aside from the fact that she can be a bit prejudiced and perhaps slightly too easily led by toss-pots like George Wickham, I thought Lizzie Bennet was pretty darn cool."
"Pretty amazing," he said, pulling off the loose bowtie from around his neck.
Gigi wrinkled her nose in a faux-cute way. "Daww, you really do love her don't you?"
"Desperately, ardently …" He screwed up the bowtie and tossed it across the room. "Hopelessly."
There was silence between them for a long moment, then Gigi slapped her hands onto her thighs and straightened her shoulders perkily. "So, when can I meet her?"
"Why not?" she pouted, then her eyes filled with something akin to panic. "You're not giving up, are you?"
He raised a single eyebrow at her.
"William Darcy, tell me you are not going to give up!"
"Me, give up?" he snorted, his voice laden with sarcasm. "Over so small and easily surmountable an obstacle as my beloved's hatred and being humiliated on the internet in front of thousands of viewers?"
"Will, be serious," Gigi said, sliding down from her perch on the armrest to join him on the sofa. She touched her hand gently to his arm. "This is the first time you have ever felt anything for a woman – you can't give up."
He sighed heavily. "I'm not … giving up. Not entirely, anyway," he said, running his fingers through his hair, making it stand on end. "I honestly think we would be perfect together, and I am not about to throw that away." He paused pensively. "But I am giving her some space. I told her a lot about me and my past -" He cut off suddenly and glanced at her, a trace of guilt in his eyes. "I told her about you and George too, I hope you don't mind – I did ask her to be discrete."
Gigi nodded understandingly, urging him to continue.
"She needs to understand why I acted the way I did, and that I am not a bad person." He turned to her and smiled sadly. "Somehow I think that is going to be a very gradual process."
"You told her all of this … to her face?" Gigi asked, wondering how that conversation would have gone.
He shook his head. "I wrote her a letter."
"A letter?" she snorted in amusement. "Jeez Will, what's wrong with email? You're the CEO of a media company, for gods sake."
"She could delete it without even opening it."
"She could just throw away a letter," Gigi pointed out, but Will shook his head.
"I think she will be too curious not to read it." He chuckled, a little self-deprecatingly. "Especially with the wax seal."
"You wax sealed it?" she asked incredulously. "Will, I got you that wax sealing set as a joke, I didn't think you would actually use it, you hipster!" she said, shaking her head in mixture of amusement and despair at her older brother, remembering how she had seen the parchment and wax set when she had visited Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London and thought it would make a cool present. "Don't tell me you wrote with the quill I got you too."
"Biro," he muttered moodily. "And I am not a hipster."
"Yes, you are," she insisted affectionately. "If you were anymore hipster you would be a dinosaur in black frame glasses, hugging a gramophone to your scaly chest with your tiny t-rex arms."
Will looked at her in confusion. "I understood each individual word you just said, but somehow they made no sense whatsoever. Why a dinosaur?"
"They existed before it was cool."
"Very funny," he said, chucking her lightly under her chin. She watched as his expression darkened once more, his thoughts clearly turning back to Lizzie Bennet. When his gaze flickered up to meet hers, she saw that he looked unexpectedly vulnerable. "I will do everything I can to get her, Gigi. I don't think I will be happy otherwise."
"I hope you do," she said, taking his hand in hers and giving it a tight squeeze. "Now, do you want me to raise the tone?"
He almost smiled. "Give it your best shot."
"And just to clarify, I have full permission to tease you about the videos?" she said, biting her lip in anticipation of what she was about to reveal – she had been waiting for him to come home all day to show him this.
"Yes, but I reserve the right to retract said permission at any time," Will bartered, beginning to feel mildly nervous about the sheer, wicked merriment on his sisters face.
"Cool," she exclaimed, bouncing a little in her seat. "Now, have you googled yourself since you appeared in Lizzie's video?"
"What?" he said, startled. "No, I haven't."
Gigi was up in a flash, dashing into the kitchen with her black hair streaming behind her like a banner. In mere moments she was back, lugging her bright pink laptop with her.
"Oh god, Gigi what is it? He asked desperately, watching as she balanced the open laptop on her knees, her fingers flying over the keyboard as she opened the internet.
"You're a hit," she said with a grin. "Lizzie's surprisingly large amount of followers have dubbed the day her video with you came out as 'Darcy Day' and a disturbing amount of the comments on said video are women asking her if she doesn't want you, can they take a run at you instead." Her smiled widened, she was clearly loving every minute of this. "Also, they ask her if she can please construct some elaborate ploy to get you to take your shirt off for the camera."
Will snorted, reluctantly amused.
"But my favourite result of all of this …" she turned the computer to face him, a Cheshire Cat grin on her face. "Congratulations, oh brother of mine – you have officially become an internet meme!"
"What?" he said, leaning forward to get a good look – the screen was filled with lots of blue squares containing his picture and a caption.
Gets rejected by girl, follows her on twitter.
Mistakes suppressed hatred for flirtation.
Tries to declare love, becomes a meme for social awkwardness.
Hey I just met you, and it's been crazy, but I hate your family, so love me maybe.
"Oh god," he said, bracing his elbows on his knees and burying his face in his hands.
"There are twenty four pages of pictures so far," Gigi said happily. "Personally this one is my favourite, I have it saved as my phone background." She slipped back into her impression of him again. "I dislike smiling, it contorts the face, I am going to pull it out and show it to you every time you go all grumpy on me -"
She suddenly noticed that his shoulders were shaking.
"Hey, Will? Are you okay?" she tugged on his arm, her voice filled with concern. "Come on, if you're not amused then I just feel mean for showing you."
He lifted his head and she was relieved to see that he was laughing – laughing! She hadn't seen him laugh properly since before the whole George Wickham incident.
"Oh Gigi, I made a spectacular mess of things, didn't I?" he said, chuckling away.
She smiled, glad he wasn't upset. "Of course you did, it's called falling in love you duffus." She took his hand in hers again, and this time it was him who squeezed it affectionately. "Falling for someone is rarely clean and never simple – there, a limited edition piece of Georgiana Darcy advice."
"You are far to young to be so wise," he said, staring down at their linked hands as he played with her fingers.
"Oh don't give me that," she said with an air of false modesty.
"I'm serious, Gigi," he said, looking suddenly into her face. "I don't know what I would do without you."
"Suffer, no doubt," she said optimistically. She surprised him by suddenly bounding to her feet and grabbing his hands in an attempt to pull him from the sofa. "Now, come on!"
"Umph, I just sat down," Will said grumpily, resisting her efforts to move him,
"But you need to get dressed!" she insisted.
"I am dressed."
"Ja, in work clothes," she said, shaking her head at him. "We are going out."
"You're taking me to the Royale," she said, figuring he needed a distraction otherwise – knowing her brother – he would spend the entire evening looking up memes of himself in order to discover peoples opinions on him. "You promised me ages ago, remember?"
"So I did," he said, allowing her to pull him to his feet. "Alright, let's go."
"Oh and Will?" she called after him as he started to walk from the room.
He turned around to face her. "Yes Gigi?"
Walking quickly towards him, she threw her arms around his waist, tucking herself under his chin as she hugged him tightly. He seemed startled for a moment, then his arms enfolded her and they stayed like that for a long moment, just pleased to be in each others company once more.
"I'm really glad you're home, Will."
Come on, you've read this far … how about leaving a review?
And if you do, answer me this question – other than Darcy, who is your favourite Austen hero and why?
Mine is Henry Tilney, he is just so darn funny and adorable :)