Yet another story written when I couldn't sleep – this is becoming a habit.
Lizzie vlogs about an awkward dinner with Bing, Caroline, Fitz and the Darcy's, including some costume theatre. Again, I find writing in this vlog style difficult, but it was necessary for this story.
Enjoy and don't forget to review!
The shot opens with Lizzie sitting in front of the camera in her office at Pemberley, the door behind her open to reveal the hallway beyond. She is wearing a light blue blouse with her hair down around her shoulders, smiling at the camera in a slightly strained way.
"So, as you guys know from my last video Caroline and Bing Lee are both in town and we had plans for all of us to go out to dinner last night," she introduced, leaning ever so slightly backwards with her hands clasped in front of her. "And when I say all, I mean the Lee's, the Darcy's, Fitz, and me out on one big, happy group outing – because I don't have a reason to feel awkward or uncomfortable around any of these people," she finished sarcastically.
Straightening her shoulders slightly, she stared into the camera. "My name is Lizzie Bennet, and dinner last night was … weird," she said, followed by the customary credits clip and introductory music.
"Now some of you are probably thinking 'Lizzie, what possible reason could you have to feel uncomfortable around Fitz?' and don't get me wrong, it was great to see him again. He is such a fun guy and I haven't spoken to him since autumn, but …" she pointed in a playfully accusing manner at the camera, "I am on to you, Mr Fitz Williams!" she warned. "It appears that he and Gigi are in cahoots, apparently it was his idea to shove me and Darcy in a room together with the camera rolling."
The video cut to Lizzie pulling a slightly disgruntled face. "So yeah, thanks for that – wasn't an awkward moment for either of us in the slightest."
The video cut again. "They seem pretty determined to see me and Darcy …" she paused, looking thoughtful. "I don't know … friendly, I guess?" she said, raising one shoulder slightly. She then smiled wryly, clearly amused by what she was about to reveal. "It was to the extent that when I got to the restaurant Fitz leapt up and, ever so gentlemanly, pulled out the chair next to Darcy for me even though there were two other seats free.
"And I didn't mind," she continued, looking entreatingly at the camera, as if imploring to her audience to understand that her perception of Darcy was changing. "We are actually getting along … pretty okay," she said with a small smile. "Since that video last week when we did costume theatre we've spoken about one of Dr Gardiner's papers and from there the conversation just kind of … grew, I guess, into a discussion of other literature, and then … normal talking, without arguing," she added, and then paused as a thought struck her. "Well actually that's not true, we did argue quite a lot, but it was in a polite I-see-where-you're-coming-from-and-I-resect-your-opinion-but-here's-why-you're-wrong kind of way."
Lizzie seemed to realise she was smiling at the thought of a conversation with Darcy and quickly continued with her original train of thought. "But anyway, the awkwardness of dinner - Bing is still blissfully unaware of my videos, so none of us were mentioning them at all even though I am pretty sure most people at the table watch them, and Caroline …" she trailed off, her expression twisting in annoyance. "I don't care if she is still watching these, after what happened at Collins and Collins I just thought we would slip into mutual yet still reasonably polite dislike …"
She paused again, looking at some point over the camera for a moment. "Actually the kind of relationship I used to have with Darcy, thinking about it … But anyway, last night she was just being plain spiteful, which led to a few uncomfortable moments."
The video cut to Lizzie sitting on the far left of the screen, wearing the scarf and sunglasses that Charlotte had used to portray Caroline all those months ago. "So Lizzie, are you seeing anyone at the moment?" she asked in a sickly sweet voice, smiling widely enough to show most of her teeth.
The video cut again, this time Lizzie was sitting on the far right and wearing the blue shirt over her blouse. "No, I'm not," she said in a causal and breezy tone.
Another cut, returning to costume-theatre Caroline. "I thought you were getting quite serious with that swimming coach while we were staying at Netherfield," Lizzie said in her slightly drawling Caroline voice. "What was his name again?" She snapped her fingers as if she had suddenly remembered. "George Wickham, wasn't it?"
The camera cut to Lizzie playing herself, this time looking mildly annoyed. "Actually George and I were just friends really," she said in a firm tone. "And I have since realised he is not a very good friend either."
The shot returned the Lizzie removing the blue shirt and balling it up in her hands. "I'm not going to lie, I didn't tell you guys the whole story about George after I read Darcy's letter - and I am not going to reveal anything now," she added, looking almost critically into the camera as if she could hear the entreaties to be told more. "But suffice to say, there is enough history there to make Caroline's comment really awkward." She shrugged slightly. "After making it quite clear that I had nothing further to do with George I managed to deflect the conversation."
Gigi appeared in the hallway behind her, her hands behind her back, and Lizzie turned at the sound of her footsteps. "Oh good, I was hoping you would be filming," the younger girl said, hovering in the doorway.
"Yeah, I tend to do it on my lunch break," Lizzie said. "I was just talking about dinner last night, would you like to join me?"
"Definitely!" Gigi said with a wide grim. "I, um, I actually have something for you."
Gigi bought her hands forward almost shyly, revealing Darcy's newsie hat, a bowtie and two pieces of paper. "It's a script, I came prepared," she said, stepping into the office and taking a seat. "I was wondering if I could help you with some costume theatre."
"Sure," Lizzie said, sounding only slightly wary. "Which part did you want to re-enact?"
"It's something that happened when you went to the bathroom," she said, handing one of the pieces of paper over.
"Okay," Lizzie said gamely, looking at the script while Gigi clipped on the bowtie. "I only have Caroline's lines here," she observed, looking confused.
"I know, I didn't want to ruin the surprise of William's response," Gigi replied, adjusting the hat over her hair.
Lizzie pulled a face, still looking down at the paper. "Well this is flattering."
"Oh come on, please?" she said beseechingly, noticing the scarf and sunglasses still left out and nudging them in Lizzie's direction.
The video cut again, revealing the two of them dressed to play Darcy and Caroline.
"Don't you think Lizzie looks so pale?" Lizzie drawled as Caroline. "She seems almost ill, she should really get some more colour about her, she would be so much prettier," she paused, adjusting the scarf and pouting. "Though that said, it does surprise me how some people seem to consider her to be a great beauty. What was it you called her when we first met her, Darcy?" she asked with an almost feral grin, waving one hand in a slightly theatrical manner. "Decent enough, wasn't it?"
"Yes, but that was only when I first met her," Gigi said, her rigid posture and deeper tone of voice mimicking her brother. "It has been many months now that I have considered her the most beautiful woman of my acquaintance."
Lizzie froze, and then slowly pulled off the sunglasses to look at Gigi properly.
"Did he really say that?" she asked softly.
Gigi nodded, her lips pursed tightly together to hide her glee.
"That … that explains the death glare Caroline gave me when I came back to the table," Lizzie said, though it was obvious that she has changed what she was going to say at the last moment.
Gigi was about to reply, but they were interrupted by a knock at the door, which she had closed behind her on her way in. "Come in," Lizzie said, twisting her body round to look at the door.
It opened to reveal Darcy. "I hope I am not intruding," he said politely to Lizzie, who seemed a little flustered. "I was looking for you, Gigi. I thought we were meeting for lunch."
Gigi removed the hat and checked her watch. "Lost track of time," she said, climbing to her feet.
"I was wondering where that had gone," Darcy said, taking the hat from his sisters hands, placing it on his head and looking between the two women. "Do I want to know what part of last night you were re-enacting?"
"Perhaps, perhaps not," Gigi said cheerfully, removing the bowtie. "Lizzie, would you like to join us?"
"Join you?" Lizzie said, finding her tongue again.
"We are going out to lunch," Darcy said. "It's a sushi bar, I think you'd like it."
"… I'd love to," she said, barely hesitating, and then stood up to turn the camera off.
Don't forget to review!
And if you do, answer me this – what other classic stories (Jane Austen or otherwise) would you most like to see done in a modern adaptation and why?