AN: Hello again. Here's a new one-shot (longer). I find that writing other stories gets rid of my writing block when it comes to a HSHS. So I wrote one based on the 2005 movie proposal scene. It's similar to my other one shot but I personally find it funnier. Please review and tell me what you think.
"You are the last man in the world that I could ever be prevailed upon to marry," Elizabeth Bennett snapped and glared up at Mr. Darcy. He glared down at her. She was so much smaller than he was. It astounded him that so much fire came in such a tiny package. Her words stung, yes, but surely she couldn't mean them. Would she really rather marry that horrible parson than the master of a grand estate? But the fire in her eyes did not lessen with time as he had originally thought it would. Something else entered her expression as well but the fierce look did not cease. She must absolutely loathe him. The thought made his heart wrench. Throughout their argument, they had unconsciously moved closer to each other. He was now close enough that if he took a half-step forward, there would be now space in between them. It was all he could do to not do just that.
Why was he still staring at her? She had just refused him and yet here he still stood, looking down on her. She desperately wanted him to leave so she could be alone in peace. Her words were harsh and ill-thought out. She really would have rather married Mr. Darcy than her ridiculous cousin but that didn't mean she didn't hate him. Perhaps she should be the one to leave…but no. That would be a sign of surrender and Elizabeth Bennett never surrendered. So they stood like that, just glaring up at each other, for a very long time. Eventually, his gaze wandered down to her lips then back up to her eyes, only to travel back down to her mouth. His hand rose slowly to touch her cheek. When his fingertips touched her face, she gasped. He then took a half-step toward her.
"Please, Elizabeth," he begged, resting his forehead against hers. He looked broken, like he just didn't have the power to hold himself up anymore. Elizabeth could almost feel his pain as a single tear ran down his face. Or perhaps it was a raindrop. Either way, it brought her back to the situation at hand. He was so close and starting to lean into her. She did the only thing she could think to do; she ran away.
She ran as fast as she could down the slippery stone steps of the temple and through the dense, wet foliage until she reached the river where the bridge would deposit her safely back at the parsonage. When she arrived though, she stared in horror. The bridge was gone, swept away by the rain-swollen river. For the first time since she was seventeen years old, Lizzy sat down and cried. That was where Darcy found her.
"What on earth possessed you to run away into the rain in a place that you can barely navigate in fair weather?" he demanded angrily. "Think, Elizabeth! Why would you be so foolish?"
"Go away," she snapped. "I wish to be alone."
"Well, I don't," he replied. "Since we've already established that I'm arrogant and selfish, I believe I will stay with you. We cannot remain here though. You are drenched; I am drenched. We must find shelter."
"I can manage just fine on my own," she retorted, still on the ground with her back to him. He pinched the bridge of his nose. All he wanted to do was protect her. Couldn't she see that? She would catch a chill if she stayed here and he knew that he could not live without Elizabeth Bennett. Perhaps he was selfish after all.
"No, you cannot," he said, and completely forgoing propriety, swept her into his arms.
"What're you doing?" she demanded. "Put me down right now, sir!"
"No." He said it with such conviction and determination that she almost didn't protest again. Almost.
"Put me down this instant!" she exclaimed and started to beat her small fists against him. Finally, he couldn't take it anymore.
"Fine," he snapped and Fitzwilliam Darcy, gentleman extraordinaire, dropped the lady in a very large mud puddle.
"Oomph," she grunted as she landed. Unfortunately, the puddle was deep enough that when she was dropped into it, Darcy was also coated with a layer of mud. The sight of the proper Mr. Darcy covered with mud and scowling was too much for Elizabeth. She burst into a fit of giggles which soon became a full-fledged laugh. Darcy stared at her in astonishment. The woman had just been dropped in a mud puddle, by a gentleman no less. What was there to laugh about? He asked her as much, causing her to laugh more.
"You, sir, must learn to laugh at yourself," she said wisely, standing up. He did not see the mischievous glint in her eyes, so he did not know to be wary as she walked over to him. She promptly threw a great glob of mud into his rather shocked face. His look of outrage only fuelled her mirth and if she was honest with herself, it made her think that revenge was definitely a rewarding enterprise. She skipped away from him with a mock curtsy and started on her way to find a way back to the parsonage.
"Oh no you don't," he growled and grabbed her waist to pull her back. She gave a little shriek but soon she was back in the muddle puddle, with Darcy standing over her, looking smug.
"If I had known that you were so willing to participate," she started with an impish smile, "I might not have thrown the mud at you."
"Why exactly did you throw the mud at me?" he asked, helping her up.
"Despite what you might think," she said, "I do not enjoy being insulted, forcibly carried and dropped into mud puddles." He had the good grace to look down and blush slightly.
"I apologize, Miss Elizabeth," he muttered.
"I can forgive you for the mud puddle," she replied. "I more than retaliated on that point and I suppose that I did insult you soundly. Sadly, I'm exactly prepared to truly forgive you for that. Good day, sir."
"No," he said and reached out for her. "Please do not go. The bridge is out and there's no way back to the parsonage. We cannot continue to stand in the rain and I would never forgive myself if you harmed yourself."
"I don't see how that's any of your concern," she retorted, face hardening slightly. He blew out an angry breath and ran a hand through his curls.
"Can't you see that I adore you?" he demanded. "You have bewitched me, body and soul. I love you! I never want to be parted from you from this day on."
"No!" she shouted. "You do not love me! You don't know anything about me."
"Yes I do," he said, moving closer. "You are beautiful, lively, and loving. You are intelligent and not afraid to spare with me. You take long walks to clear your head and get away from your family because even though you love them, they grate on your nerves slightly. You are a loyal friend even if you don't approve of said friend's choices." She stared at him. It surprised her how much he actually did know about her character.
"That does not mean anything," she protested weakly. "Do not forget about your hatred of my family. Surely you can't love me, if you cannot abide them."
"I don't hate your family," he said. "They may not be my favorite people in the world but then, neither is my Aunt Catherine. I only come because Anne needs me. She never has any company unless Richard and I come at Easter."
"There's another thing!" Lizzy exclaimed. "You're supposed to be engaged to Miss de Bourgh."
"I'm positive that Wickham is the one who told you that," Mr. Darcy sighed. "I am not engaged to anyone and the only person I want to be engaged to is you."
"I do not believe you," Lizzy said. "Mr. Wickham could be telling the absolute truth."
"But he is not," Darcy retorted. "Mr. Wickham tried to elope with my fifteen year old sister last summer after already getting four thousand pounds from me after my father's death."
"Your fifteen year old sister?" Lizzy repeated. "He…he…" Tears came into her eyes. She who prided herself on being an excellent judge of character! How could she be so wrong?
"Shh," Darcy soothed and handed her his handkerchief. "He is a very good liar and has the blessing of being charming. Unlike me," he added as an afterthought, in a low voice.
"I should have seen through him," she cried. "If I had, I wouldn't have hated you so much."
"Yes, you would have," he said and rubbed he back. "I was not very kind to anyone in Meryton. They're your friends and family. It's no wonder you do not like me."
"I've come to believe that you are merely shy," she commented, pulling away. "Although, I've never experienced the feeling myself, Jane is much the same way."
He sighed. "I should have seen that but I, truly, was only trying to protect Bingley."
"I'm not sure I'm ready to forgive you about that either," she said. "Perhaps once Mr. Bingley and Jane receive their happy ending."
"I promise that I will do everything I can to help them do that," he said. "I would do anything for you, Elizabeth. Can you not tell?"
"Mr. Darcy, I'm still not entirely convinced that you love me," she told him. "Have you ever felt love before?"
"Have you?" he countered. She blushed and looked down.
"No I have not," she said. He sighed in relief.
"Then let's not pass any judgments, shall we ?" he said. "You may not believe it but I do indeed, love you with all my heart. If only I could show you exactly how much I love you."
"How long do you believe the rain will last?" she asked, changing the subject. "Charlotte must be worrying about me and I'm sure that Lady Catherine is worried about her future son-in-law."
"Anne and I have no wish to marry," he said. "I believe that she and Richard have been developing a tendre throughout the years."
"Unfortunately, I cannot see the lively Colonel being happy with quiet Miss de Bourgh," Lizzy said.
"That's because you haven't seen Anne away from her mother," Darcy chuckled. "She is almost as impertinent as you are."
"Then maybe you two are suited to each other after all," Lizzy commented.
"No, I will only marry one woman and she will not have me," he said sadly. "I'm doomed to be a bachelor all my life."
"Really, Mr. Darcy," Lizzy snorted. "I never pictured you one for melodramatics. You'll do your duty and marry a rich heiress as many men have done before you."
"I will not," he said fiercely, stepping closer. "I will marry no one but you. Pemberley will be passed on to Georgiana's first son."
"No," Lizzy defied. "Please, just move on. I will only marry for love and I do not love you."
"Is it impossible for you to imagine loving me?" he asked in a whisper, steadily moving closer.
"No," she admitted. "Not impossible but improbable."
"To me that says hope," he told her, now standing right in front of her. "I will never give up. When Bingley returns to Netherfield, I will be there with him. I will court you until you fall in love with me."
"Have you never thought about my feelings in this?" she demanded. "What if I married someone else?"
"You have already admitted to having never fallen in love," he said. "If I am persistent enough, I shall succeed."
"No, you shall not," Lizzy hissed.
"Yes, I will," he growled back and kissed her soundly. "Why must you be so infuriating? Is it too much to ask that you be the least bit compliant?"
"Yes," she said, attempting to pull away. "You cannot kiss me into submission."
He smirked hugely. "You aren't the only one who cannot resist a challenge, my dear Miss Bennett. Especially one as enticing at this." Then he proceed to kiss her breathless. By the end of it, she was clinging to his shoulders in an attempt to stay upright.
"You are still arrogant…" she was interrupted by another kiss, "… and infuriating…" his lips stopped hers once again, "…high-handed…kiss…insufferable…kiss...handsome…" He pulled back slightly at this and grinned at her. She saw and growled under her breath, attempting to pull away.
"Do you doubt that I love you now?" he asked, "because I'm perfectly happy to try and convince you again."
"Fine," she snapped. "You love me, now release me."
He shook his head. "Not until you give me permission to call on you at Longbourne."
"Very well," she sighed. "You may call."
"And court you?"
"Then I suggest you get comfortable, Elizabeth," he said, "because we are not leaving until you agree."
"We're standing in the rain, Mr. Darcy," she replied sarcastically. "Didn't you say we should find shelter?"
"Indeed I did," he smiled wickedly. "I don't think that entails letting you go."
"Don't you—" she started but he ignored her and picked her up again.
"Don't worry, Lizzy," he smiled at her outraged face. "I promise not to drop you into anymore mud puddles." She huffed but didn't protest. It wouldn't do any good. They were soon back at the temple and he was setting her back at her feet.
"I should slap you," she told him, glaring.
"But you won't," he said confidently. "You had plenty of opportunity while I was kissing you."
"Breathing is slightly more important that slapping that irritating smirk off of your smug face," she replied. "But only slightly."
"I can be just as stubborn as you when I wish to be."
"We shall see. I'm quite confident in winning this battle of wills."
"Why is that?"
"You cannot use my mama to your advantage."
"Of course I can," he grinned. "If I drop a few not-so subtle hints, I'm sure that I will be forced to endure you company by your match-making mama."
"You would not dare," Elizabeth gasped.
He chuckled. "'Tempt not a desperate man'"
"Deranged is more like it," she muttered and he threw back his head and laughed.
"We are all fools in love," he rejoined.
"I wish you would stop bringing up that word," she informed his, glaring slightly.
"I wish you would stop rejecting me," he said. "But I won't despair. With every rejection, I get closer to the ultimate goal."
Elizabeth snorted. "I wish you all the luck in the world. You shall need it."
"Luck had nothing to do with it," he told her. "Bingley seems adept at wooing young ladies, as is Richard. Their advice would not go amiss."
"Wooing strategies have absolutely no effect on me," she sniffed primly, turning away from him.
"But kissing does," he smirked.
"No it doesn't," she said firmly. Darcy chuckled under his breath and put his hands on her shoulders to turn it around.
"Yes it does," he whispered, staring into her beautiful hazel eyes. She shook her head resolutely but her eyes told a different story. He half-smiled and brought a hand up to her cheek. Their lips touched briefly then he pulled back to look lovingly into her eyes.
"Yes," she murmured.
"Yes?" he asked in disbelief.
"Yes," she laughed. He whooped quite loudly and spun her around. She laughed until he put her down.
"Thank you," he told her fervently.
"This does not mean I will marry you," she warned him. "You can court me and if I do not love you by the time you propose, I will say no."
"It's a start," he grinned and kissed her again. "Hmm, I am looking forward to this. Come, let's return you to the parsonage."
"I thought the bridge was the only way back."
"It is," he grinned. "You weren't at the bridge. I conveniently forgot to tell you that."
"Fitzwilliam Darcy!" He laughed and ran into the rain as she chased after him.
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