A/N: I'm going to post this before the story so that you can't say I didn't warn you. This story is completely cheesy. And campy. And fluffy. There is absolutely no redeeming value to it. No angst. It is legitimately a quick story about Lizzie and Darcy being at a point in their relationship where they've been dating for a while and they are in love and it's just supposed to be obnoxiously adorable. It's just, with all the angst in the fandom right now, I needed something happy put out there. Here it is. ~writergirl8
Lizzie Bennet was eleven years old when she knitted for the first time. It was arts and crafts day in school, and Charlotte had gone over to the glitter glue station, having been going through a sparkly phase. Lizzie, however, had recently suffered through a glitter related incident, and the idea of following her best friend over there had been most unpleasant. The only other station where she knew a person was Jenny Elden, sitting quietly at the knitting table, so Lizzie detached herself from Charlotte and headed over there. The first time she held those needles in her hands, she had just known that she loved knitting. And, as time went on, she grew to enjoy it even more. The clickity clack of the needles. The way the yarn felt as it slipped through her fingers. The genuinely pleased look that people got on their faces when she presented them with a freshly knit scarf or hat, tailored to work exactly with the winter coat of their choosing.
But then she got older, and knitting began to be something that was frowned upon. By the time Lizzie was thirteen, she had pretended to the world that she had completely given up on knitting. She didn't knit in public. She didn't give people knitting as presents. She had become acutely aware of the fact that a thirteen year old who knits was far less adorable than a twelve year old who knits. Besides, it made her mother far too happy to see Lizzie doing something so domestic, and even at thirteen years old, Lizzie still wasn't going to allow her mom that much satisfaction
As time went on, Jane learned how to sew, and Lydia forgot about Lizzie's knitting thing altogether, but Lizzie never did. Instead, she kept a basket tucked away in the corner of her room, yarn and needles ready to comfort her if ever she were in need of a real pick-me-up. A cup of tea, a good Colin Firth movie, and knitting needles were really all Lizzie needed for happiness. Maybe a book on tape, if the film didn't work. She obviously couldn't read while she knit- not that she had never tried.
Even though working at Pemberly Digital is extremely relaxed and creatively fulfilling, Lizzie still gets stressed sometimes. After all, sometimes one's life can be going absolutely perfectly and there can be nothing at all to complain about, but there are still things to make a girl panic. And that's when Lizzie likes to pull out the knitting needles. It's one cold January night in San Fransisco when she yields to the need and drags her basket out from under the bed. The soft blue yard feels delicious under her fingers, and as she curls up on the couch with a cup up tea and her knitting goodies, she imagines who she would put the yarn on. It might wash Lydia out. Jane would never wear this kind of hat. Gigi might look cute in it. But, then, so would her brother.
Lizzie is startled from her thoughts by the sound of a key in the lock. When Darcy's head appears in the apartment, she laughs slightly.
"You know, I was just thinking about you."
"Ah. Well, I'm nothing if not timely."
"True," Lizzie agrees simply, leaning up on the couch as he goes over to kiss her. "So how was your day?"
"Excellent. I managed to persuade a representative from... what are you doing?"
Lizzie stares at him in blank confusion for a moment before it dawns on her, and she looks down at her knitting with a shocked look on her face.
"Oh. Uh. Nothing."
"You knit?" Darcy asks, laughing a little bit as he lifts the ball of yarn into his hand and examines it carefully.
Yep. Definitely his color.
"Only when I'm stressed," Lizzie says hastily. When his eyes turn to her with a mirthful twinkle, she concedes rather quickly. "Fine. Yes. I knit."
"Why did I never know about this?"
"Because if you did it would mean Lydia told you, and god knows we don't need another item on the list of Reasons Why Lizzie Bennet is Perpetually Single."
"I resent that."
"Fine. Reasons Why Lizzie Bennet is Perpetually Single Except for Now Because She's With Darcy."
"Better. Nonetheless, I'm going to divert us away from this tangent by asking… why didn't you tell me?"
"It's... it's nerdy. And honestly kind of sad. Plus, I didn't need you to picture me as a grandmother before we were even... you know."
"No, I don't. What?"
"Well... serious, I guess," Lizzie says, blushing because that wasn't exactly the meaning that she had been going for.
"I'm pretty sure we've been serious from the start. If you don't think we're serious, maybe I shouldn't be staying over here so much," he smirks.
"Oh, shut up. You know that's not what I was saying."
"Oh, I know. In reality, you were secretly trying to hint that you want me to ask you a question."
"Yeah? What kind of question?" she asks, her face getting closer to his, because him teasing her always makes her want to kiss him. He kisses her very lightly on the mouth before pulling back, leaning his forehead against hers, and looking into her eyes.
"Lizzie Bennet," he says, "will you go steady with me?"
It feels as though she's been rehearsing for this moment her entire life. Quickly, Lizzie queues up her mother's accent and cries,
"Why Mr. Darcy, I thought you'd never ask!"
"Not bad for someone who's not even wearing a crazy hat and colorful shawl."
"Far too much practice," Lizzie admits.
"Mhmmmm," Darcy agrees, kissing her lips, then her nose. "Now back to the knitting."
Lizzie glances down at the needles that are sitting in her lap.
"What do you want to ask? I mean, it's pretty straight forward. The needles go clickity clack."
"You are an anomaly, aren't you?" he murmurs, staring at her with awed eyes. She always gets uncomfortable when he looks at her that way. "My mother... she was so busy with work that she didn't have time to cook, much less knit. But you... you can do it all, can't you, Lizzie Bennet?"
"Give your mom some credit. She had a far higher position in the company than I do, plus she had kids to raise, and a husband to manage."
"Manage. If your father was anything like you."
"He would have liked you."
"And if he was anything like you, I would have liked him. Not... in the same way."
"No," Darcy permits, laughing. "Not in the same way."
Her eyes are on him, but his eyes are already focused back on her knitting.
"What is it with you and this knitting?" she ponders out loud. "It's just a hobby, Will. No big deal."
"It's just... I've never had anything knitted just for me before. My mom didn't knit. So I think it's wonderful to be with a girl who does. I... I think I want to have kids who have a mom who will knit them things and bake them things. You know. Just to see how that goes, compared to my childhood. See which one works better. For… educational purposes."
He kisses her on the forehead before getting off of the couch and heading into the kitchen for some food, leaving Lizzie to sit on the couch in shock. She stares after him, brows furrowed, and thinks of all the times she wished she had given him a hat. She pictures his face crushed with the weight of rejection, and imagines how different things would have been if she had just understood him more, if he had discovered her knitting earlier and revealed this much of himself to her. She pictures him walking out of her office on the day that she had gotten her new phone, can almost hear the softness in his voice when he speaks to her and feel the ghost of his hand on her back as he attempts to comfort her, but, more importantly, touches her, really touches her, for the first time. She can imagine the way that his face looks as she kisses him for the first time, how it looks when he kisses her for the first time, and when they make love for the first time, and when she says yes to working at his company after months and months of him begging her, asking her to at the very least move out to San Fransico with him and Gigi.
He has made her so happy. And now it's time for her to make him happy.
Lizzie reaches into the knitting basket and pulls out an array of hats, then walks over to Darcy, who is heating up water in a tea pot, and laying them on the counter in front of him.
"What are these?" he asks.
"I made you a hat," Lizzie tells him. "Actually, I made you fifteen hats. The first one was the night that I read your letter, and I felt so guilty about everything I had done to you. Then I made you another one, after you were so gracious to me on our first meeting at your company. And another on the day that you asked me to the theater and I had to say no. And then I just kept on making them for you. Whenever I felt guilty for rejecting you all those months ago. Whenever I missed you, after we started dating. Whenever I missed you even before we had started dating. Fifteen hats dedicated to you. And I know that you're probably never going to wear them, because knitted hats and bow ties and suspenders don't exactly go well together, but they're yours, and I love you."
He's still staring at the hats in surprise when he returns the sentiment, which is why Lizzie has to direct his attention towards her lips and away from the hats that closely resemble the color of many of the shirts he has worn on her videos.
"I love you," he repeats, words muffled against her lips, and she laughs and reaches out and jams one onto his head, unceremoniously stepping back to see how it looks.
"Beautiful," she confirms, and he laughs and shoves one of the hats onto Lizzie's head as well.
"Beautiful," he repeats, and his voice has a bit less mocking in it than hers does. "So these hats," he continues. "You knitted them while you were falling in love with me, right?"
"Right," Lizzie decides.
"So they were kind of... milestones. Stepping stones to really caring about me."
"A hat of love, one might even say!" Lizzie says teasingly, her eyes widening comically, mouth opening wide into a grin, and her voice shifting in a way that is so endearingly characteristic of her that it forces him to laugh loudly.
"You're cheesy," he admonishes.
"Hey, you knew that before we were dating."
"Besides, you love it."
"One might even say that I... hat it."
"Oh my god, would you stop?"
"You hat it."
"No, I love it. Very different, Sir Lobster."
But as he kisses her again, feeling the scratch of the hat she had knitted for him against his forehead, he all he can think of is trying to get one of his singer friends to record "A Heart Full of Love" from Les Mis with one word changed in the middle. And as he kisses her, all he can think of is returning the warmth she has given him with these hats, both inside and out, because the care that goes into something like that is something that money simply cannot buy.
Darcy is fully aware of the fact that being in love with Lizzie Bennet makes him even cheesier than she is, but he could not care less. Apparently, he is campy when he is happy. But that's okay. If he can makes suspenders and bowties work, he would argue that he could do anything. After all, he got the girl. That's the achievement of a lifetime.