Ten Years

'Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.' -Milne

"OUCH!"

William Darcy laughed mercilessly with his friends, pointing at a woodchip covered Elizabeth Bennet. His eight year old mind found it positively hilarious to push her off the swing set. This was the third time he'd done it this week alone. This was the first time seven year old Lizzie got up and punched him square in the face.

"OUCH!"

His friends were laughing at him now as he clutched his nose in agony. A warm red liquid started to ooze from his hand. For a quiet little girl, she defiantly packed a punch.

"William Darthy (she had a severe lisp at the time), you are a bully! Blowing out my candles won't make yours shine any brighter!" She said this in a thoughtful and reciting tone.

"Oh? And who told you that, your mommy?" he spat out venomously. He didn't even notice as she crouched down to pick up a handful of woodchips.

She promptly threw these woodchips in his face before sprinting off to her older sister Jane. Will wasn't allowed to tease Jane because his best friend Charlie like-liked her and Elizabeth knew that. She was hiding again.

It was then and there that he made a decision; he'd blow out Elizabeth Bennet's candles if it was the last thing he did.

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It was the last day of seventh grade and Lizzie Bennet was covered in a brownish green goop concoction entirely of William Darcy's creation. He had Collin Jeffries throw it on her right before she was supposed to get on the bus. The driver wouldn't let her get on now. She smelt like putrefied armadillo.

As the bus drove off without her, she walked straight up to the smirking excuse for a person that was Darcy and watched as his nose crinkled in disgust.

"Every day I have to remind myself that murdering another human being is against the law. And that you're actually of my species."

"Think of me that often do you?"

"Yeah, and every time I have to restrain myself from banging my head against the wall."

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It was about five o'clock and Elizabeth Bennet was still at the high school. Book club had finished a good half hour ago, alas; she didn't want to go home. She was standing in front of her locker, crying as quietly as she could, trying in vain to get her keys out of her backpack, and mulling over what she had been called at lunch.

You're just a hopeless little nerd, aren't you?

"Oh my God, Lizzie, is that you?"

She whipped around to see Charles Bingley. He was still wearing his basketball uniform and the sweat on his face still showed the tell tale signs of excessive exercise. He and Jane had been dating for so long, he was like an older brother. That almost made up for the fact he was best friends with her biggest tormenter. Almost.

"Oh," she sniveled embarrassedly", Charlie."

"What's wrong- wait a second. . .It's what Will said at lunch today isn't it?"

He takes her silence as a confirmation of sorts.

"You know, he didn't really mean it. He just-"

"Don't worry about it, Charlie."

"Why didn't you say something to me or Jane? I thought it was just a banter you guys had going… I mean, I just thought he took it too far today."

She wiped at her face with the sleeve of a tearstained sweatshirt.

"It's hard, I guess, to admit that you're not nearly as strong as everyone thinks you are."

He started to say her name but she cut him off, saying she'd taken ten years of it so far. She could make it through one more.

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She was sitting in the courtyard reading a book when Darcy decided to plop down right next to her and say hello.

She ignored him.

"Charlie told me you were crying yesterday."

She ignored him.

"He said it was because of me."

She ignored him.

"I'm sorry, Lizzie."

Her eyes widened and she started getting up to leave. This didn't sound like William Darcy. He was planning something new. He wanted to make her cry again. Shame he missed it the first time.

Before she could stand though, he grabbed her wrist and held onto it, effectively tethering her to the ground.

"You're interesting and different and I like that," he blurted out.

She gave him a confused look, extremely wary of where this was going.

"I have not shown this feeling in the correct way, though. I wanted to talk to you, honestly that's all I've ever wanted. But I didn't know how. I didn't know what you liked or your interests or anything that you'd want to talk about. All I knew was that if I ticked you off… you would talk to me again."

There was a pregnant pause before Lizzie graced him with a reply.

"I find it difficult to believe that seven year old you found six year old me to be a great conversationalist. Honestly, I don't remember much talking. Just a lot of falling and laughing."

He winced with the memory.

"When we first met, I honestly had no idea that you would be so important to me. It was only after I gained a few years or ten that I realized."

Silence ensued and, coming to the conclusion that he had to intentions of continuing, Lizzie pressed on.

"Realized what? That I didn't deserve it?"

She ripped her arm out his grasp, extremely annoyed with whatever game he was playing.

"That I loved you and had a really shitty way of showing it."

She paused briefly in a building vehemence. "Love me? Shitty way indeed- Darcy, sorry to surprise you but you've hated me since we were kids."

"I understand what would make you think that but-"

"I don't think you do. For ten years, you tormented me, Darcy. Ten years."

"I was hoping that you'd let me try to make up for it."

She wouldn't make it easy on him. After all those years, he had a lot of making up to do.

"You love me?"

"Yes. No matter what…. You're always yourself."

She openly laughed at that statement. Like Darcy knew who she really was? How droll.

"They tell you to be yourself then they judge you."

This stumped her companion, stunning him with its blatant truth.

"Lizzie," he started ", I know that I have been a horrible person. I'm painfully aware of that, but I want to show you the guy I can be."

She took in a large breath before speaking. "Darcy, I'm not sure what you're getting at."

"I wanted to ask if you'd like to be my girlfriend instead of my enemy."

"No."

His shocked expression was more than funny. It was borderline comical. Did he really think that it would be that simple? I know I've been mean to you for years, but love changes it all. Not. Elizabeth thought she'd throw him a bone though, forgiveness is better than holding a grudge anyways. It would be far from easy, but it was still a chance. And everyone, even people like him, deserve second chances.

"You can try to be my friend first. Baby steps."

A/N: Please don't judge too harshly. I literally got an idea and just pushed it out in a couple hours. It's probably not all that great but I like it nonetheless.

Please review this. Maybe check out my other stuff also. You may just like it.