When Mr. Darcy kicked open the front doors of Pemberley, he was quite a sight be seen. Mrs. Reynolds nearly fainted at the sight of him striding into the entrance hall, dripping wet and carrying Elizabeth's equally sodden form in his arms.

"Mrs. Reynolds, if you would be so kind as to fetch Mr. Stoves with all due haste, Miss Bennet needs immediate medical attention." Mr. Darcy said as he walked past his astonished housekeeper, not even sparing her a glance as he proceeded to the guest wing.

"Yes sir... R-right away, sir." Mrs. Reynolds said, gathering her skirts and bustling away to the medic's quarters as fast as her old bones could manage.

A trail of puddles marked the route Darcy took to the nearest guest bedroom, his long strides making his boots squeak on the floor.

Every so often, he would look down at Elizabeth's pale face, and reassured himself that her cheeks were rosier and lips less blue, but worried that it was mere fancy and not actual truth.

After what seemed like an extraordinarily long amount of time, Darcy reached the guest wing and kicked the first door open. The room looked clean enough, so Darcy set Elizabeth gently down on the bed, suddenly unsure of what to do. He shut the door, then changed his mind and opened it again.

As he often did in moments of inactivity, Darcy began to observe.

He started with the window curtains and the bedposts, which were french lace and carved mahogany as best he could tell. When inventory of his furniture grew to be nearly unbearable, he was forced to start observing the other occupant of the room. Elizabeth.

It was then that Darcy was hit with Elizabeth Bennet's beauty.

In unconsciousness, Elizabeth lost the guarded, proud look that she often carried in his presence. He had seen this look vanish once before, when she laughed with her sister Jane at a joke they shared while at the ball. It had caught him off guard then too- causing leave of his senses to where he asked her to dance.

It had been the most awkward thing he had done in his life... And how now, in retrospect, he wished he wasn't so much of a... well, an ass.

"Damn it all, Darcy." He whispered under his breath, unable to tear his eyes away from Elizabeth's face. Her perfectly formed lips; graceful eyelids covering large brown eyes; sculpted nose; graceful neck that curved down into a pair of perfectly formed-

"Good heavens."

Darcy whirled around to see Doctor Stoves standing at the open door, accompanied by a fussing Mrs. Reynolds.

"That will be all, Mrs. Reynolds, you may retire for the evening." Darcy said smoothly, his mask of calm shutting back into place over the surprised expression that had, for a second, graced his features. Mrs. Reynolds curtsied and left.

Doctor Stoves set down his bag and rolled up his sleeves, proceeding past Darcy silently. This left the latter man to do nothing but hover beside the bed anxiously.

"Mr. Darcy." Stoves said, pausing in his examination. Darcy acknowledge him with a tilt of his chin. "Please exit the room, you are doing no good to the patient standing there dripping on the carpet."

Darcy hastily looked at his feet, realizing that he had indeed created a large puddle on the carpet.

"I see. Please keep me informed." Darcy said, exiting the room swiftly.

"Mr. Darcy? Please shut the door behind you." The Doctor called. Darcy squeaked his way back to the doorway and bowed his head curtly before shutting the door with as little force possible. He then squeaked his way upstairs to his bedroom.

Once in his room, Darcy began pacing, once again unaware of the mess his still sodden coat was making.

Elizabeth had to be alright. She had to be. There was no force on earth or in heaven that could conquer the Bennets, least of all his Lizzie.

The fact that she was lying in a bed somewhere below his feet, certainly ailing, possibly dead, was making Darcy want to tear his hear out bit by bit. The only thing that kept him from doing so was the thought that when she awoke, Elizabeth probably would not want to see him sporting a bare scalp.

If she wanted to see him at all.

Darcy heaved an all mighty sigh and threw himself down in the chair across from the fire, immediately springing up again as his wet coat soaked his trousers.

Frustrated now, Darcy threw his jacket onto the floor, adding his simple cravat and overshirt before shimmying out of the rest of his clothes and adding them to the pile. Realizing just how soaked and cold he really was, Darcy suppressed a shiver and crossed the room to his washbasin, where he opened the drawer beneath and retrieved a towel and robe to wrap himself in.

Darcy sat before the fire once more, taking care to fetch a new chair. He stared moodily into the flames and listened to the clock on the mantelpiece tick.