Okay, so it's finally complete! I have loved writing this story, the longest one I have written to date! Stay tuned for more P&P fanfics, I have a few modern ones I might post and a couple one shot regency pieces as well! Thank you so much for your kind reviews throughout the entirety of this story, and of course for sticking with it! I would not have continued writing if it weren't for your reviews!
Epilogue Part 2- The End
The music started playing and the church doors opened.
Mary was no longer the overlooked middle sister. She was still not considered a great beauty, but she was beautiful today. Her mousy brown hair was shining, weaved into plaits with flowers and bits of ribbon. Jane and she had purchased Mary's gown in London, the best seamstress in the ton made it, but it was undeniably Mary. It was modest but elegant, plain yet it shone.
And to top it off, Mary smiled. She was grinning ear to ear as she walked down the church aisle, a bouquet of daisies clutched tightly in her hands. She had wanted a simple ceremony, only her family and her groom's family, nobody to stand up with them, just the parson.
Her groom, a second son of a farmer in Meryton, was smiling as well, his eyes glued to Mary, and Mary alone.
"I've decided to gift them Longbourne for the future" Her father whispered as Mary continued to make her way to her future husband. She turned to him in awe. She had suspected it, but knowing it now made it better.
"She will love it" She told him. Mary cared little for wealth. She cared for others and the bible, for the sick, and the elderly. Mary would do well in Longbourne. She would tend to their tenants far better then their mother ever did, though she had made more of an effort as her daughters moved away.
They ceremony was short and sweet, and at the end, Mary became Mrs. John Edward Smith. Mary Smith, a name that fit her perfectly, and that she proudly accepted.
They adjourned to Netherfield for the breakfast, Jane's wedding gift to Mary. Jane and Charles usually leased Netherfield, their true home was an estate just south of Pemberley, but decided to spend the summer their for the children's sake.
The breakfast was short. They married couple had a wedding trip to embark on, a missionary trip to the continent for the entire summer, their wedding gift from the Darcy's and Fitzwilliam's.
Kitty and the Colonel retreated to their chambers in Netherfield shortly after the couple left. Both were tired after having only just arrived from Bathe that morning.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet spent a few more minutes with their grandchildren before they too decided it was time to go.
"Shall we go outside, Lizzy? Charlie and Fitzwilliam are going to inspect something or other, and I fear the children have an itch to roam free" Jane told her as she carried a sleeping Ellie.
"Of course" She smiled.
He galloped faster, racing against Bingley. They were neck and neck really, but he was half an inch ahead.
"Gotta go faster, old man!" Bingley yelled as he surpassed him by a quarter of an inch. He laughed.
"You've not even passed me" He jeered. He spurred his horse on faster.
"Whoa, whoa!" Bingley yelled, "Children at two o'clock"
He pulled on the reigns as the sight of running children met his eyes. William was in the lead, Abigail hot on his heels.
"Papa!" Abby lurched to a halt, grinning up at Bingley with her wild blonde curls eschew.
"Abby, dear, why are you running so far from home?"
"Tis not far!" Abby laughed, "And Will challenged me!"
"Ah, he did, did he?" Bingley turned to his son.
"Yes, sir" Will gulped.
"And who won, son?" He asked his seven year old.
"Abby did, father" He told them. "Abby always wins"
"Ah, you'll have to watch out for this one, mate" Bingley laughed, and then reached down and pulled Abby up onto his horse. He did the same to William, placing him in front of him.
"Well, Bingley and I were just finishing our race, let's see if Abby wins again, yeah?"
They raced a bit slower back to the estate. His eyes found his wife's as they approached. She and her sister were on the deck.
Even though they had been married for years now, she still took his breath away.
She was sitting calmly in a wooden rocker chair, gently rocking a sleeping child in her arms. She looked up as they approached and smiled softly.
He helped William down, sending him and Abby to play with the others while he went to his wife.
The babe in her arms was fussing.
"How now my little Anna?" She cooed at the child as she fret in her lap.
"She misses her papa, don't you?" He teased as he knelt next to them. Lizzy grinned at him and rolled her eyes, passing him the little girl none-the less.
"She did not like being left alone with the nanny today, did you?" He cooed, kissing her porcelain cheek. She blinked at him with her large green eyes.
"Papa!" Several little voices called from the maze of bushes, racing up the small stone steps to the deck. Bennet was in the lead, Abby and William behind him, Richard in the rear. "Look, papa! We found him in the mud!" He presented him with a muddy puppy. Charlie laughed as the mud splashed near his shoe.
"Bennet, do not get mud on your little sister" Jane told him, "Why don't you give the puppy to Uncle Charlie?"
"Janey" Charlie whined as he backed away. He quickly scooped both Ellie and Henry up from their blanket. "I have two sleeping children now" He warned.
"Bennet, love, put the pup down, and fetch a towel" Lizzy told him with a grin. "Perhaps if he's clean and cute enough your father will permit you to keep him"
"Will you?" Bennet asked excitedly, "Please, please, please?" He begged.
"Perhaps. But you must get rid of the mud first" He told him. The little boy nodded seriously. "William will help"
"As will Abby" Bingley added.
"Thank you! Thank you!" Bennet threw himself at his legs, hugging him tightly, and getting mud all over him. The baby was spared though. Everyone laughed.
Later, she found herself soaking in a tub, William was tending to the children's nightly story.
He came in a few moments later though, kneeling behind her and kneading her shoulders.
"William refused to sleep without the puppy," He told her with a smile, "As did Bennet"
"And they are now sleeping on the floor with the dog" He told her, grinning, "Henry will not go near the little thing, and Richey doesn't quite know what to make of it"
"She has two more teeth" William noted as he worked. "She's almost seven months old, I cannot believe it"
"They grow fast" She agreed. She smiled impishly at him. "Just as this one shall" She moved his hand to her slightly raised abdomen. His eyes widened, and a large smile appeared on his face, dimples and all.
"Oh Lizzy" He plucked her from the tub easily, embracing her tightly. "Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy"