"Please. You must allow me to say what I feel, Miss Price. Feelings that... you cannot have been completely unaware of."
"I beg you, Mr. Crawford. Pray don't..."
"At first, I saw only your sweetness. Your grace. Your beauty."
"No, this talk, it... Really, I cannot bear it."
"Because you think I'm only playing? I love you with all my heart. I shall never, never cease loving you. I give you myself. My hand. My fortune. Are we not made for one another? Tell me. You must tell me you feel something for me in return."
She was going to refuse him. Really she was. But the look on his face made her pause. He looked at her with such love, adoration and hope that it made her heart ache. How could she crush such a look of hope? Would she ever find someone else to look at her like that? But wasn't he the man who had flirted with both her cousins every chance he got? The man who she had found kissing her engaged cousin? But maybe he had changed. Maybe he was really in love with her. Lady Bertram had said one time that a woman can change a man for better or for worse. Hadn't Edmund changed for the worse after he had met Miss Mary Crawford? And on that note, what about Edmund? Wasn't she in love with Edmund? Yes, she was. But what were the chances that he would ever consider her as a partner in life and not just as his friend and cousin? Considering the fact that he hadn't after all these years then chances were that he never would and his recent behavior left a lot to be desired.
Maybe it was time to give up on childhood fantasies. After all, if Mr. Crawford was truthful about his love for her, would it be that hard to love him? Her feelings for him had already changed, but she was too afraid to let them bloom into something. If she had to compare Edmund and Mr. Crawford she would say that loving Edmund was safe while loving Mr. Crawford was a gamble. She was like a bird right now. If she chose Edmund then she was going to stay near her nest for the rest of her life, where it was safe. On the other hand if she chose Mr. Crawford she would have to open her wings and fly off into the unknown where she might find greater happiness or get hurt badly.
"Yes Mr. Crawford, I'll marry you" and he took her hands in his and started kissing them.
"Thank you Fanny for the great happiness you have given me" and he looked up at her with a brilliant smile that made her heart melt.
"I have seen the way you have acted with my cousins but recently I have seen a different man. I'm taking chance by accepting you Mr. Crawford. Please don't make me regret my choice."
"Call me Henry and I promise you my Fanny, you won't." and he leaned in and kissed her. She froze but then decided to give in to the amazing sensation. He placed his hands around her waist and pulled her closer and deepened the kiss. It felt amazing and so right. She placed both her hands on his chest. After a while he pulled away and gave her a bright smile and she couldn't help but return it with one of her own. Yes, it wouldn't be that hard to love him at all.
End of chapter 1 –to be continued
Mansfield Park is my second favorite book, after Pride and Prejudice. While I am very content with the canon pairing Fanny/Edmund and love the ending, in fanfiction I prefer pairing her other male characters. Now that I think about it the only place I read fanfiction with a canon main pairing is "Pride and Prejudice" because let's face it: it is a truth universally acknowledged that you can't find a pairing better than Elizabeth/Darcy (as proven by the many times they are used as a prototype for many love stories)
This is going to be based loosely on the 2007 movie and maybe a little on the 1999 movie and the 1983 BBC series. I have seen them all and I am prone to mix them all up anyway. So I'll write it and we'll see what the end result is.
Disclaimer: I don't own Mansfield Park or any of its characters.