They all come back home; Lydia, Jane, herself… even Charlotte. They hug, they yell, they cry and eventually it all settles down and goes back to normal, to what it used to be her life. Or so their mother says.
Things are not back to normal. Charlottes goes back to her job and Jane goes back to L.A. and she makes conscious efforts to repair her damaged relationship with her baby sister but she is still somehow in love with George Wickham and Lizzie can barely tolerate the concept of him breathing in the same planet she inhabits.
This is not how her life used to be. She didn't use to miss Pemberley Digital, karaoke nights with Gigi or alliteration duels with Fitz. She didn't use to miss William Darcy to the point of bringing tears to her eyes on particular frustrating days.
Lizzie tries not to think too hard about why neither of them has phoned her in all this time.
Gigi calls the same day the offer for a formal job at Pemberley Digital arrives to her e-mail.
"Darcy said that you'd probably needed time to sort things out with your sister" she says almost as Lizzie gets the call, "that we should gave you some space for private, family time? But it's been a month and I though that maybe it was friendship time already?" Gigi makes a pause and sighs heavily on the phone "I've missed you, Lizzie"
Lizzie would like to be able to teletransport to San Francisco and hug her properly, instead, she lets the tears that fill her eyes drop silently and wet her cheeks.
"I've missed you too, Gigi. I missed you a lot"
They are on the phone for a long time, not laughing nearly enough, but for Lizzie it feels cathartic and liberating nevertheless.
Gigi doesn't comment about Wickham.
Lizzie doesn't ask about Darcy.
Fitz sends her a care package. Among other things it contains an open train ticket to San Francisco.
And an unparalleled amount of homemade cookies.
She tries to focus in other stuff but once her independent study is finish and wrapped up it's just a question to wait for graduation and she can't concentrate on how to pay back her student loans either until she is graduated anyway.
"Are you going to take Pemberley's offer?" asks Jane over the phone.
"I don't know"
Jane sighs, patiently, "Are you sure you don't know?"
"Why are you pressing me on this?"
"Because you loved it there, Lizzie" there is a pause in the conversation long enough for Lizzie to wonder when talking to Jane became such an emotionally exhausted experience. "I'm going to have dinner with Bing" Jane confesses out of the blue "We've been dating for a week"
Lizzie should be glad for her, and a little outraged that Jane hasn't told her before, and she is, really, she is, but instead of making all kind of smart remarks about how "Jing" is now officially a thing she just breathes deep and lets the words that hunts her escape free from her lips "Darcy hasn't called me yet"
"Oh Lizzie" Jane voice comes sad for her and a little too much condescending for Lizzie's tastes "but have you called him yet?"
Lizzie is not as completely, blatantly ignorant of the ways of the law as to not be aware that taking George and Lydia's video down must has been a very expensive and complicated process. She is also smart enough to have figured out that the law firm that allegedly took the case pro-bono is the same firm that Pemberley Digital has under pay check.
She has come to terms with the fact that Darcy probably doesn't want anything else to do with her on a personal level. She has certainly proven to be too judgemental, the situation too complicated and her circumstances too painful as to hold it against him.
Still she takes all the energy and courage she has left and texts Darcy. The message only says "Thank you"
She then proceeds to call Pemberley Digital's human resources and gladly and thankfully accept their employment offer because she really loved it there, and there is still Gigi and Fitz and San Francisco has grown on her as a city, and also because the salary is too good to say no to when you have student loans to pay back.
She is also pretty sure that Darcy will be able to dodge her if it is what he wants.
There's a knock on the front door and then her mother is yelling for her to come downstairs. She sighs and drags her moody self to the front door to find not other than William Darcy at the threshold.
"I received your text message" which is the stupidest and most appropriate thing than anybody has ever said to her.
She smiles, broadly. It feels like is the first time she smiles in weeks. She is also suddenly and embarrassingly aware that she is wearing her bunny slippers and the most awfully unbecoming oversized T-shirt to ever exist.
"I just… uhm… excuse me a minute"
She runs upstairs and into what it used to be her bedroom, changes clothes and runs back downstairs in what it ought to be a new record breaker mark only to find that he has barely moved and is still at the threshold.
Would you like to go out for a walk… with me?" he asks and she enthusiastically nods and closes the door behind them on her way out.
They walk for almost a block in completely silence before Darcy stops and stares.
"I wasn't sure you would want to see me again after all… that has happened"
Lizzie is nervous and confused, and she wants so hard for him to hug her that it almost makes her stomach ill. "What? Why?"
"Because everything may have been prevented If only I had revealed Wickham's dealings with my family"
"No, the only one to blame now and then is George Wickham" she says vehemently, letting herself believe in her own words, watching in his eyes that this is, indeed, the only truth.
He nods, slowly, and they both resume the walk.
"I… I was also— "she starts, fidgeting apprehensively because this is something that she needs to get out of her chest but doesn't really know how to put down in words "I wasn't sure you kept really liking me after looking behind the curtains, as they say, after… everything that has happened" which summarizes all her fears in a stupid, ill expressed sentence.
Darcy stops again but this time he puts his hands on her shoulders "I like you, I love you and I've missed you. I've missed the way you talk like everything is an interesting story and the way you smile till the point where your eyes shine. I've missed the way you push me to do new things, to expect the unexpected and to enjoy it. I've missed the smell of you hair and your uncompressible ever cold hands. I know you, Lizzie Bennet, I like you and I love you"
She throws herself at him, embracing his torso hard with her arms, her head resting on his chest, eyes closed, inhaling deeply his familiar smell. Darcy embraces her back, carefully, lovingly, and kisses the top of her head.
She feels relieved. She feels like for the first time in her life she is truly, entirely and unmistakably where she belongs.
When she gets off the train there are three people waiting for her at the platform.
Fitz wears a red clown nose, Gigi a newsie hat adorned with a flower and Darcy's attire includes an excessively big and colourful bowtie.
It is like getting home.