A/N: A bit of Dizzie for your day. Because there's no such thing as too much Dizzie. Though I tried to balance out the sweetness of Dizzie Day a little bit.
They're screaming and her face is going blotchy and he wants it to stop, wants it to stop, needs to pull her closer and shut her up with a kiss but her face is doing its "not amused" thing and everything is just too much.
"I'm sorry," he snaps and she rolls her eyes and shoots him a look that makes his heart hurt a thousand times over. "I'm sorry," he says and it's softer.
All he wants to do is take care of her, but she's Elizabeth Bennet and she won't have any of that. He gave her his heart on a silver platter but she hates it when he spoils her so she threw the ornate tray away and gave him the same old speech. Something about needing to be independent, to live on her own and he shouldn't push her, shouldn't push her (he's pushing her, he knows it) because people are talking ("besides the point!" he tells her, but it is the point to her, so she gives him a withering glare) and because it's what she needs.
"I don't like fighting," he tells her.
"It's all we do lately," she says after a long pause. Her voice whisper quiet and it's the scariest thing he's ever heard.
He reaches a hand out and runs his thumb along her cheekbone, tracing the lines and massaging the pride out of her expression. "I love you."
"And how much did this plate cost, asshole?" She shrieks and her hair is a frizzy halo in the light of the kitchen. She throws it at a wall and laughs as it cascades china onto the tiled floor.
He's in his pajamas, the blue ones she knows are worth more than her computer, and he's just standing there. He's just standing and not reacting and she hates him in that moment. He's making her look crazy, she knows, with all his calm and patient smile and those damn pajamas, those pajamas that make his eyes look impossibly bright.
"How about this one?" she's screaming again and her throat is raw from the sound. It shatters like the last, but she's not laughing anymore. Her shoulders fall inwards and he steps forward and pulls her close. "You don't understand," she whispers against his chest.
He holds her tighter and she's crying these big heaving sobs that have her shaking like a leaf. "Let me fix it," he murmurs into a moment of stillness.
She pulls away from him, hands on his forearms and chin defiantly set, "I can't do that."
"Why not?" he asks and they're somewhere exotic, somewhere warm with a name she can't fit into her mouth, clunky vowels and hard consonants pushing against each other until she can't even choke out a sound.
She sips her drink, a fruity little thing with a colorful umbrella and too much rum to keep her head straight.
"You've been rich all your life," she sighs, "and I know you work for it, but-"
"Let me help you," he says, tone measured and voice gentle.
She licks her lips, "you've already done so much for me. Just giving me another chance was too much, but buying out the company for Lydia... Will, I can't let you. I just can't let you do more."
"I love you," he tells her, as if it's that simple. As if everyone in the world didn't think she was only dating him for vacations on faraway beaches and dinners so fancy her head spun. As if she didn't hear what they were saying: gold-digger, only with him for his money, using him, manipulating him. As if she needed another lock on the golden prison it felt like he kept her in.
"I have to do this on my own."
His hand finds hers and the sand suddenly felt too hot, it was burning and scorching and she needed air or water or something. Space, maybe, she needed space. "It's making you unhappy," he says and she laughs because that's the understatement of the century, "your happiness is in my best interests, your happiness is my main interest. Let me help."
The vacation ends and she comes back to an empty house with a yellow letter on the door. Damn, she knew she was behind on rent, but not by so much.
The next day she gets another letter:
It appears that a fallacious eviction notice was presented to you on March 3rd, 2014. There was a clerical error, please disregard it...
"Why did you do that? Are you crazy?" Her eyes are cold and her hands are shaking.
"Do what?" he asks mildly, but she does that "not amused" face and he knows that she knows that he knows what this is all about.
She exhales shakily and things are suddenly not funny in the slightest, if he would've ever found them so. "You bought my building. You bought the whole damn building. I was a little behind on rent, it was no big deal, but you had to go-"
"Lizzie, you were getting evicted. I had to-"
She slaps him.
And then almost considers doing it again, but settles for a searing look and a reminder that she's "not a child, William," and he swears she sounds just like Gigi. "I'm not your responsibility. Let me live my life. I got myself into this debt and I will get myself out."
Pride is etched in her face again, along the curve of her jaw and the set of her brow.
"Marry me." He says and his voice is so smooth she almost can't catch the nerves fluttering below the surface, but she does, and that makes her smile a little. The ring is... not what she had expected from him. One diamond, smaller than she had anticipated, with laced threads of metal running along its sides.
"It's beautiful," she sighs and she can imagine it on the third finger of her left hand now and forever.
He smiles at the light in her eyes, "my mother's," he answers and it answers the question she didn't ask. It was classic and elegant, not as gaudy as his usual gifts. She was both relieved and incredibly in awe of the significance. "She'd have loved you," he says and tears rush to her eyes.
"Oh yeah?" She chokes out and he squeezes her hand, the diamond ring still in its red velvet box on the table in front of them.
"Beautiful," his other hand is brushing a fallen piece of hair out of her eyes, and the contact of skin, the brief touch, makes her shiver, "articulate, intelligent, witty," his fingers are slipping down her left arm and she doesn't know if she's ever been so entranced, "kind, loyal, passionate," he lets go of the hand he was holding, "independent, funny, stubborn," and the tips of his fingers are tracing around her knuckles and then there's the cold shock of platinum against her skin and the ring is impossibly heavy but, oh, oh does it look good on her hand, "everything she'd ever want for me."
She has to laugh to keep from crying, "I didn't say yes, Will," but he smiles and she glows and they kiss.
"Say it, then," he says into her lips and she looks down at the sparkling diamond.
"Yes, a million times over, yes. But-" he's already moving towards her lips and she has to shake her head to get his intoxicating presence to stop stealing her words, snatching her breath, "but I'm pay off my student loans on my own. So there."
He laughs and it's a real sound, low in the back of his throat and bubbling over and she doesn't know if she's ever seen him look so happy. "I wouldn't expect anything less."