A/N: The Unconventional Series was planned prior to episode 83 airing; it has strangely not yet been canonballed. I've been getting a lot of reviews for the series (thank you!), and I just wanted to take a moment to respond to a few recurring questions.
There are currently fourteen one-shot stories planned in the Unconventional Series, with a possible fifteenth multi-chapter fic; you can view a full list, including those still unpublished, on my profile page. They are listed in in-universe chronological order. If I add anymore, I will make a note in the next story I publish.
In "An Unconventional Admission," I specifically left out Lydia's reason for being in the hospital, since theoretically, Lizzie would have mentioned it in an earlier video, and it wouldn't make sense for her to repeat herself. In the Unconventional universe, Lydia intentionally overdosed in response to George Wickham's actions. We still do not know what she is going to do now that Lizzie has shown her the tape, but this is probably going to be the first thing canonballed.
Unless noted, all stories in the Unconventional series are one-shots. While I appreciate the sentiment of adding the story to your alerts, it won't do much good for you. 3
Now for some fluff 'cause God knows we need it after the past week we've had...
Summary: Darcy asks Lizzie to move in with him; she has some problems with that. "'Don't you think we'd be moving a little fast?' His frown indicated that no, no he didn't think they'd be moving a little fast. 'William, we haven't even had sex, and you're talking about moving in together.'"
An Unconventional Decision
July 5, 2013
"Sorry, what was that?" Lizzie asked, her head snapping up from her computer screen. She sat on William's bed in Netherfield, where he was staying with Bing (and Gigi) for the holiday weekend. And she was quite determined that he did not just ask her what she thought she heard him ask.
"I said, 'why don't you just move into the condo?'"
"I don't see why it's so farfetched of an idea. You have to move to San Francisco to work at Pemberley."
"Yeah, I figured that out. But… I don't know, wouldn't that be weird? 'Hi, I'm the new girl on the production team; oh and I'm also the CEO's live-in girlfriend.'"
"You posted our first kiss on the internet, Lizzie; anyone who does a quick search of you will know we're dating in a few seconds."
"Not if they watch the videos from the beginning. Then it would take them, like, ten hours…"
"Lizzie. We've already discussed how our relationship will affect your position at the company. So, what's your real reasoning?"
Of course, William would know that she was just stalling to get her thoughts in order. And of course, William would not allow her to actually accomplish it.
"Don't you think we'd be moving a little fast?"
His frown indicated that no, no he didn't think they'd be moving a little fast.
"William, we haven't even had sex, and you're talking about moving in together." She tried to sound as un-accusatory as possible when she said it. Because she knew he thought it was important to "court her properly." And because it's not like they'd had time since her shadowing had been completed, what with her living at home again and his travelling for work. And also because – though it was totally unspoken between them – he wanted to prove just how much of a better man he was than Wickham, that he would never expect sex for a confession of love.
"That… it can be temporarily if you'd like. So you have a chance to actually see the places in person. I don't like the idea of choosing an apartment on Craigslist," he said, waving his hand at her computer in reference to what had prompted this conversation. "Then, when you've considered a number of residences and choose one, I'll buy it for – "
"You don't have to buy me a house!"
His lips puckered the way they always did when she fought with him over his spending money on her. "Lizzie, I have the resources to buy you ten chateaus in the south of France. It's impractical for you to waste your money."
"Well, when I decide I want to move to France, I'll let you buy me a chateau." She immediately regretted saying that when she identified the look on William's face as his filing that information away for a later conversation; she was sure that the second she left him alone, he would call his real estate agent to discuss buying a chateau.
"Would it make you feel better if you contributed to the utility and food bills at the condo?" She chewed her lip, and he looked away before continuing, "If your objection is to sharing a bed with me, we do have extra rooms…"
"I think I've made it pretty clear on several occasions that I definitely do not object to sharing a bed with you, William." He looked at her again. "I just… I need my own space, you know?"
"No. I can't say I understand why this is important to you, but I understand that it is, so… at least promise me no Craiglist and take a couple weeks once you arrive in San Francisco to properly investigate the apartments."
"I'm paying for the utilities and food I use at the condo."
July 31, 2013
"You realize this is weird, right?" Gigi asked as she helped Lizzie settle into her bedroom at the Darcy condo. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to have a reason to redecorate, and I totally get the benefits of the extra closet space, but… this is weird."
"I… need my own space. And Darcy," Lizzie couldn't call him "William" around anyone else, even Gigi, "Was the one to suggest this."
She just rolled her eyes and opened another box.
"We don't actually have to unpack everything. Remember this is just temporary while I apartment search."
Gigi just looked at Lizzie with the same exasperated expression she'd seen on Darcy dozens of times and picked up a stack of books. "I give you a week."
"A week for what?"
"A week until you're sleeping across the hall."
August 5, 2013
It was only the first day of Lizzie's first week at Pemberley Digital when the other members of the production team she'd been assigned to overheard a conversation between Lizzie and their boss. Only one of the five had any reason to think Lizzie and Darcy even knew each other let alone talk so familiarly and of "home."
Stammering, Lizzie tried to explain how her sister was dating his best friend and she was friends with his sister, and she was just staying at their condo while she was searching for an apartment. "It's just temporary," she said for possibly the fifth time before scurrying off to get another roll for her lunch totally only because those rolls were really good.
August 7, 2013
It was late and Lizzie had work in the morning, but after tossing and turning for at least an hour, she got out of bed and, forcing herself not to look at the door across the hall from hers, went down to the kitchen for a glass of water.
When she came back upstairs, she noticed a faint light glowing underneath the door to William's bedroom.
Curious, because she was sure he'd gone to bed at 9:30, she knocked on his door.
"Come in." She opened the door a crack and poked her head it. Some water splashed onto her foot from her glass, which she nearly dropped. William was sitting on top of his covers, propped up on pillows, with his legs stretched out in front of him, and holding a book. Wearing only his glass and black pants. "Lizzie, is something wrong?"
"No," she said, sliding into the room, "I was just coming up from the kitchen when I saw your light on; I wanted to see if everything was ok with you."
"I find I can't sleep without reading. It helps relax me."
Lizzie peered at the spine of the book in his hands. "And Kierkegaard relaxes you?"
He cleared his throat. "Well, I don't always choose Kierkegaard."
"Mind if I join you – just until I'm tired enough to fall asleep – ?"
"Not at all."
"Be right back." Lizzie grabbed the first book she could reach from her bookshelf, not even checking the title and returned to William's room.
Although she was only gone for a few seconds and William looked as though he hadn't moved, the empty left side of the bed now had the covers turned down when they hadn't been before. William smiled briefly at her as she came in, and then returned to The Concept of Anxiety.
Hesitantly, Lizzie crawled onto the bed and finally looked at the book she had chosen for the night. A Clockwork Orange. Apparently she wouldn't be sleeping that night.
She fought to get into a comfortable reading position until she realized William was staring at her.
"Sorry, I'm probably distracting you…"
"You're a welcome distraction." He gave her that look that always stole her breath, but before she could wonder if they would be relaxing in a different way that night, he looked away. But not completely. Lizzie noticed the way his gaze lingered on her legs. She grinned wickedly at him, and he quickly returned to his book, clearing his throat and tucking his head into his throat. "If you're cold," he said, eyes intent on the page, "You're welcome to make yourself more comfortable with the blankets."
Lizzie thanked him, but remained on top of the covers. Instead, she opened A Clockwork Orange and began to read. Except that she couldn't concentrate. She just stared at the page and wondered if William was thinking about her the way she was thinking about him. But based on the methodical turning of pages and occasional "hm," she doubted it.
Perhaps a few layers between them would help her focus, so Lizzie marked her place and slid under the covers. That just made it all worse. William' bed was so soft and inviting. She snuggled deeper in and settled for staring at her book and occasionally flipping pages to keep up the pretense of reading just so she could stay in his bed longer.
She didn't notice she was falling asleep until she was startled awake by the bed moving. "Sh, sh, go back to sleep," William was whispering to her, and she blearily watched him take her book and put it on the bedside table. He leaned over her and turned off the light on her side's nightstand. The room went dark and she could feel him under the covers with her. He pressed his lips to her temple and whispered, "Good night, Lizzie." He shifted away from her then, and she could just see him in the darkness carefully settling in on the other side of the bed. She smiled, vaguely aware she had meant to go back to her room to sleep, and scooted closer to him.
August 29, 2013
It didn't take long for Lizzie to settle into her new routine. At 9:30 every night, she went to her bedroom and got ready for bed. By 10 o'clock she knocked on William's door, heard the soft "come in," made fun of his reading selection (inevitably philosophy or economics or biography), and climbed into his bed. She would read until she fell asleep, the book still open in her hands, and would pretend to stay asleep as William took her book from her and turned off her light and kissed her temple. She and William never commented on her little faux-deception, and even Gigi wisely kept her comments checked, only giving Lizzie a couple sly smiles over the weeks.
But William had broken their routine. He was gone. In New York on business. And when Lizzie crawled into his cold bed that night, it wasn't with a book but her phone. She debated whether she should call him – it was, after all, 1 am in New York. But she chanced it anyway.
"Hello," William murmured on the other side.
"I woke you, didn't I?"
"No," she could hear him shifting and he sounded more awake when he said, "I was still reading, waiting for you to call."
"You were so sure I would?" she teased.
"I hoped," he said simply.
"What are you reading?"
"The Narrative of Arthur Gordon – "
"Pym of Nantucket. You're reading Poe?"
"I miss you."
"I miss you, too. I should let you get some sleep."
"First, can I ask you something?"
"Are you in my bed?"
"Good. I like you there."
"Good night, William."
"Good night, Lizzie."
September 13, 2013
It was Gigi's fault the second time their routine was broken. She had gone away for the weekend on a retreat with her tennis mates, which had led to a stay-in date, which had led (eventually) to their current situation.
William's normally impeccably neat bedroom was a wreck. Their clothes had been tossed in every direction, half the pillows were on the floor, the sheet was crumpled at the foot of the bed, and the duvet had been pulled haphazardly back onto the bed by William to cover them. He was drawing patterns on her bare back with his finger and she was doing the same on his chest.
"Are you falling asleep?" she whispered.
"But you haven't read yet."
"Strangely, I find myself quite relaxed anyway," he mumbled.
She faux-gasped, "How could that be?"
William didn't rise to the bait. Instead, he simply tightened his hold on her, pulling her closer so he could kiss her temple. "Good night, Lizzie."
December 24, 2013
Lizzie couldn't decide when it had happened, but as she ate Christmas Eve dinner with her family, she realized that she hadn't thought of the place where she grew as "home" in quite a while. After all, why would she when her home was in San Francisco where she lived with her boyfriend and his little sister?