A/N: So sorry it has taken so long to update I have been busy with work and then my computer stopped working so I will be posting 3 or more new chapters in the next few days, and should be able to keep up with writing after that as I have gotten my computer working and my work schedule has changed to something easier to have more time with.
Disclaimer: I am not Jane Austen so I do not own Pride and Prejudice. Any characters you do not recognize from the books are of course my own.
Ch. 3: Suitors and Mr. Bingley's sisters.
Many of the young local gentlemen having seen the potential of Mary and Kitty had decided to visit and see if they could convince one of the young ladies to marry them. Unbeknownst to them Mary and Kitty now had the chance to aspire to a higher class of gentlemen with the dowry's their sisters had set up for them and could now marry where they chose as Lizzy and Jane wanted to see their sisters happily married. Mr. Bennet while not happy with how things had turned out agreed to let Jane and Lizzy take over finding husbands for their sisters and that included giving permission for who they marry.
Many of the young men who came to court Mary and Kitty had previously shunned them as they were not as pretty or lively as Lydia and they did not have as nice of clothing either. Many of these men assumed that Lizzy and Jane had taken over for their father and since they were marrying rich men would be able to supply their sisters a fortune. Lizzy and Jane did not approve of these men for Mary and Kitty and while they were happy to visit with their acquaintances they would not agree to any marriages especially because Mary and Kitty had not had a season in London yet and felt that if they were to select a husband they should be given a chance to meet some of the gentlemen in London before making a hasty decision.
While the men were unhappy with the decision made by Jane and Lizzy they knew they would have a hard time changing their minds. So they decided to show respect for their decisions and show Mary and Kitty their choices here in Meryton before they went to London so they would know what choices they had when the time for them to choose a husband came.
In the midst of all of this Caroline Bingley and Louisa Hurst had been nagging their brother all day about his choice of a wife. Being as she was a country bumpkin she was unsuitable as his wife and that he needed to break off with her as he would seriously effect Caroline's chance at a husband. Caroline was also insisting that her brother convince Mr. Darcy that Lizzy Bennet was the wrong choice for him and that he should break his engagement to her and marry Caroline who would be a proper society wife for him. After hours of listening to Caroline and Louisa complain Charles put his foot down and told his sisters that not only did they not know Jane and Lizzy and had no business insulting them but that he and Mr. Darcy were not going to break their engagements. They had worked so hard on getting Jane and Lizzy to marry them. He also explained to his sisters that not only were Jane and Lizzy suitable as wives but that there were things about Jane and Lizzy that they would find out upon their return to town and that they had better treat Jane and Lizzy with respect or there would be hell to pay upon return to London in two months' time.
After informing his sisters that they needed to get to know Lizzy and Jane as Jane would soon be their sister-in-law and Lizzy would soon be Mrs. Darcy he and Mr. Darcy headed for Longbourn to call upon Jane and Lizzy as well as get to know Mary and Kitty. Mr. Darcy especially wanted to get to know Mary and Kitty so he knew which of his friends would be best suited to each of the young ladies and would have the best chance of winning their hearts and giving their own in return. Mr. Darcy smiled to himself when he imagined the look on Caroline's face when she found out the "country bumpkins" as she termed them were really duchesses of the highest circles of society and that if she was not careful she would offend them and find herself shunned by the ton.
Upon arrival at Longbourn they found themselves ushered in to meet their fiancés, Mary, Kitty and the men who wanted to court them. Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy found the men looking to court their future sisters-in-law to be fortune hunters and not really interested in Mary and Kitty for themselves and decided to inform Jane and Lizzy about it later. And to also help Jane and Lizzy determine the difference between men that will love their sisters and those that only want their dowry and will not treat them right.
After the suitors left for the day and Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy had headed back for Netherfield to sup, Jane and Lizzy sat down with Mary and Kitty and informed them what Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy had told them about the men courting them and let them know they did not have to accept their suit if they did not choose too. Mary and Kitty decided that they would not let the men who only wanted their fortunes to court them as they wanted to be loved like Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy loved Jane and Lizzy.
Over the next couple of days the number of suitors who were coming to call had dwindled to only a few of the more persistent ones. During all of this trouble with Caroline and Lousia was coming to a head as they had invited Jane and Lizzy to dine with them while Charles and William were away saying they wanted to get to know them better. Caroline of course being the jealous shrew she is decided to ask about their family and upon finding out about their "uncle and aunt" who are in trade in Cheapside in London was even more convinced that Jane and Lizzy were not suitable for Charles and Mr. Darcy and resolved to stop the wedding at all cost, first she was going to start with writing a letter to Lady Catherine De Bourge to have her convince her nephew that Lizzy was the wrong choice for him. After that Caroline figured she could convince Charles of Jane's unworthiness. Little did she know that she was about to offend the wrong two women.
After Lizzy and Jane left, Caroline sent a her letter to Lady Catherine.
My Dear Lady Catherine,
You do not have the pleasure of my acquaintance but I felt it my duty to inform you of the most dreadful news. Your nephew and my acquaintance Mr. Darcy is soon to be united to a fortune hunter of the worst kind who delights in the fact that she will have his vast fortune to spend and she brags that she does not love him and only wants him for his money. Please come very soon to Netherfield Park and stop him from making a serious mistake in the woman he has chosen for his wife. I fear he does not see her for the fortune hunter she is and that she will break his heart when he finds out.
Caroline sent her letter express, what she did not know was that by sending a letter filled with falsehoods and malicious intent she had set Lady Catherine and herself up for a large amount of trouble when their graces the duchesses of Merik and Reven received a visit from Lady Catherine and found out who sent her a letter. Not only would she be in trouble from the duchesses themselves but from her brother as well.
Meanwhile at Longbourn Fanny and Lydia Bennet were plotting to get back at Jane and Lizzy for cutting their pocket money as well as making it so that Lydia would no longer be allowed to be out in society until she was of proper age to be out. Not caring about the consequences of their actions could be they set a plan into motion to have Jane and Lizzy put in their place. Fanny felt that as she was Mr. Bennet's wife she should have the running of Longbourn and not his daughters from his previous wife. Fanny set out to the solicitors office to bully him into giving her more money, when she arrived at his office she found him to be uncooperative to what she wanted done. After screeching and yelling at him she found herself unceremoniously escorted from his office with the direction to not come back as she would not be admitted, and she was informed that he only took orders from Jane and Lizzy.
Fanny was in a foul mood upon her return to Longbourn but the news her sister Phillips brought her seemed to improve her mood some. The militia were soon to be in town and just maybe if she and Lydia toed the line they could convince Mr. Bennet to allow Lydia to meet some of them and possibly find a husband amongst them. She was to be disappointed however as Mr. Bennet was not to budge on his decision about Lydia.