Set just as Episode 60 finishes, when Lizzie turns off the camera. An angsty ficlet I wrote when I couldn't sleep. I took inspiration for this from the actual proposal scene in Pride and Prejudice, since I felt there were several aspects that the video didn't include due to its format in cutting off.
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"I should have acted differently," Darcy said tightly, his jaw clenched. "I was unaware of your feelings towards me."
"You were unaware?" Lizzie said scathingly, loosing her temper – how could he have been so arrogant that he thought she would reciprocate his feelings? Hateful man. In an impulsive move that she would rapidly come to regret, she spread her hands and gestured towards the camera. "Well why don't you watch my videos!"
Instantly realising the potential ramifications of her outburst, she froze like a deer in the headlights, staring into the tiny lens of the camera.
"What videos?" She heard Darcy query, his voice penetrating her mind as if from a great distance.
She leapt up to switch off the camera and then turned to face Darcy, almost instinctively hiding the camera from sight with her body, as if that would somehow repair the damage.
He was staring at her with a look of confusion. "Lizzie, what videos?"
"Nothing, just … just forget I said anything," she said, rubbing her temples. It appeared that soon she would have a real headache, as opposed to Charlotte just making one up to get her out of the party.
Darcy snorted slightly and stood up, his hands smoothing the material of his shirt. "I don't think I'll easily be forgetting much of what you have said today," he said in a subdued tone, avoiding her eyes. "I wasn't aware that you had such a low opinion of me."
"Oh don't act so offended," she snapped. "You just insulted pretty much everyone I love - perhaps I would have been nicer about rejecting you if you had actually been a gentleman about the whole thing."
Darcy's eyes flashed up to meet hers. "I was honest in admitting the scruples that prevented me from pursuing you, they were perfectly reasonable obstacles that I was determined to over come if it meant I had a shot with you." He broke off suddenly and ran his fingers quickly through his hair, a surprisingly frustrated action from the usually stoic Darcy. "I am not ashamed of my feelings towards you, Lizzie, but you could hardly expect me to be happy about your circumstances. Clearly I didn't factor your pride into the equation."
"My pride?" she exclaimed indignantly – after all, wasn't 'vanity and pride' the supposed Darcy family motto? "You're the one who's placing yourself on a pedestal here, condescending to make a declaration of love to the 'poor, unaccomplished grad student with the ridiculous family,'" she said, paraphrasing his words.
"Condescending?" he said, his voice ringing with incredulity. "Yes, your family are ridiculous and their position in society is inferior to mine, there is no sense in denying it," he paused and his tense expression inexplicably softened. He even took a tentative step towards her.
"… But you?" His gaze roved over her face, desperate to understand her. "Lizzie, do you actually think I am condescending myself in loving you?"
She blinked. Of course he was, there was no reason why he should like her. She was not the beautiful sister, or the fun one. She was just plain Lizzie Bennet - decent enough.
When she didn't reply he took another step forward until he was standing right in front of her – God, he was so darn tall, towering over her as his stormy grey eyes stared her down.
Almost hesitantly, uncertainty and fear of rejection taking over his usual arrogant expression, Darcy raised his hand to her face. She started, wondering what he was doing as his fingertips faintly brushed her cheek, but was unable to find her voice.
"Oh Lizzie, you are in no way inferior to me," he said softly, intensely. He lifted his other hand until he was practically cupping her face, his fingers mere millimetres from touching her overheated skin. The air seemed to vibrate between them. "In some ways it feels like I am the one reaching out of my sphere."
She gasped as one of his thumbs swept deliberately across her lower lip, his gaze rapt on her mouth.
Darcy lent forward slowly, shyly, ready to close the scant distance between them.
"Please leave," Lizzie said, finding her voice.
He paused, so close to her face. Too close. She could smell the peppermint of his breath and see the tiny flecks of green in his eyes. " … Lizzie?" he said questioningly, not lowering his hands.
She pushed him hard, making him stagger back two steps.
"You can't just – after everything we've just said," she stumbled over her words, her mind a scrambled mixture of anger and confusion. They had almost kissed. He had just tried to kiss her, even after the stinging rejection she had slapped him with. This is so messed up.
The expression on his face – surprise, indignation, hurt – closed off as his mask of stoicism descended on his features. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but she cut him off.
"Please, just leave me alone."
Darcy looked at her for a long moment, his thoughts impossible to read. Finally, he gave a brief nod, his eyes flinty. "Of course, you have made your feelings perfectly clear – I suppose now I have only to be ashamed of what my own are," he said, the smallest amount of bitterness leaking through the tight control he had on his emotions.
She made no reply and he walked rigidly to the door. He paused briefly in the entryway to the office. "Goodbye Lizzie," he said quietly, not looking over his shoulder – and then he was gone.
Lizzie let out a deep, shuddering breath and sank down onto the seat in front of the camera. Surprisingly, she found that she was fighting the urge to cry.
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