I felt that the courtship between Lizzy and Darcy was a bit lacking. So, I decided to try my hand at fanfic. Might I just add that nothing can ever compare to the masterpiece written by the one and only Jane Austen. This story contains some lines from the book. I could never be fortunate to own them. This is my first fanfic, so please bear with me.

It was late night and the ladies had already retired, for which both gentleman were greatly relieved. Lady Catherine was decidedly unpleasant after her dining with Collins' and Mr Collins' impertinent cousin. So the gentlemen were pleasantly alone in the drawing room.

However Mr Darcy was on edge, pacing the floor excessively. This spectacle was looked upon by his cousin.

"Darcy, old man. Pacing is not going to solve anything. What is on your mind?"

"Who is upon my mind?" Darcy replied

"You mean to tell me the cool and collected Mr Darcy has grown a heart." Colonel Fitzwilliam continued mockingly

"It seems miss Bingley has finally succeeded. You must give her some credit for her diligence."

Mr Darcy stared at his cousin perplexed. The thought of Miss Bingley only aggravated him further. What would she and her high society friends think of his marrying a country nobody? What would his family say? But how could he not follow his heart? He was drawn from his reverie by his cousin.

"So, when did Miss Bingley's charms finally break through your hard façade?"

"I do not have any attachment towards Miss Bingley"

Colonel Fitzwilliam looked surprised. He was sure that Miss Bingley was the type of woman who got exactly what she wanted. And it was evident she wanted Mr Darcy.

"I however ardently admire Miss Elizabeth Bennet."

"By George! That fair creature that dined with us last night? I understand the attraction. If it was not for her lack of fortune, I believe we would have duelled for her. She has a handsome face and quick wit."

"There is no need to inform me of her merits, I am well aware. And you would have stood no chance compared to me if it came to duelling." Mr Darcy added slyly. This elicited a chuckle from his cousin.

"But Darcy, if you love this lady as much you claim, what is the reason for your foul temper?"

"I do love her. I intend to marry her. I am simply contemplating how to phrase my proposal."

"Well, let me hear what you have so far."

Mr Darcy looked sceptical. Uncomfortable at airing the feelings he had only recently come to grips with. Colonel Fitzwilliam however looked at him encouragingly, hoping to set his cousin at ease.

"You must swear not to mock me." Darcy warned, to which the Colonel nodded.

"Miss Bennet, might I have a word in private?" Darcy began.

His cousin answered in a mock feminine voice, "Why of course Mr Darcy." Darcy tried to scowl but could not keep from grinning.

"Miss Bennet I have thought of this for quite some time. I have struggled with it and berated myself for it. But I find that I ardently admire you. Though you of a lower standing and of little fortune. And have the most improper relations. I am willing to overlook all of this for I love you. And I would be overjoyed if you agreed to marry me."

His cousin stood there speechless. After some time he decided it would be best to be brutally honest with his cousin. For miss Bennet definitely would.

"Darcy you cannot propose."

"What! Why not? I expected Lady Catherine to look down on the match but not you."

"I do not mean you cannot marry her. I simply mean you cannot propose to her like that! You just insulted her to great lengths and then you believe she will fall into your arms." Mr Darcy still stared uncomprehending. "You told her she was an ignorant nobody from the country. That her family is ridiculous and that you are far superior. But that you would condescend to marry her." his cousin concluded.

"I did not mean it to be so. I was only trying to express my love. I tried to convey that all of that means nothing to me because of her." Darcy replied falling into a nearby chair.

"Can I give you some advice?" Darcy nodded "I believe you must first start with a clean slate. For I fear you have slighted miss Bennet in the past. And her acquaintance with Wickham has not helped your standing in her mind. " Darcy tensed at hearing Wickham's name.

"That braggart! Not only does he try to corrupt my sister! But now he threatens my love!"

His cousin slightly amused by this uncharacteristic passionate outburst continued, "I believe you should call upon miss Bennet as you intended. But first right the wrongs. Then you can continue forthwith, for I believe Miss Bennet is not to be trifled with."

At that Mr Darcy smiled. He knew Elizabeth to be feisty and loved her for it.

The following morning Mr Darcy excused himself immediately after breakfast which earned him a sly look from his cousin. Since then he had been ambling about the grounds of Rosings hoping to find a way to speak to Elizabeth without that toad Mr Collins nosing about. At just after ten he decided that he would go see Miss Bennet with or without Mr Collins snooping about.

He arrived at the parsonage not long after. He was relieved to find it unoccupied save for Miss Bennet. He was shown in by a servant, who announced him. A startled look adorned the lovely face of Miss Bennet before she composed herself and curtsied.

"Mr Darcy, what a surprise. I am afraid Mr Collins has gone into town and will not return until later."

Elizabeth was perplexed at seeing Mr Darcy for she knew he held neither Mr Collins nor her in high esteem. And thus they would not merit a visit.

"As a matter of fact, Miss Bennet, I was hoping to have a word in private with you if you would consent?"

"Yes you may. But I see no purpose behind it."

Mr Darcy steeled himself for this would most certainly not be easy.

"Miss Bennet, I have a confession to make. And some facts I would like to put straight. I would like to inform you of my relationship with Mr Wickham. I believe you have been misinformed. Mr Wickham was indeed promised a living, which he refused and asked for its value instead. This value he then gambled and drank away. He then preyed upon my sister. He tried to elope with her. She was only 15 and heartbroken at discovering his true intentions. I am afraid Mr Wickham has lost my good opinion and I dare say many other's as well."

It was the longest speech she had heard Mr Darcy make. This surprised her almost as much as its contents.

"Sir, I apologize for thinking ill of you on account of Mr Wickham. But I regret my poor judgement of character even more. "

"I still have a confession to make, Miss Bennet. And it is for this that I ask your forgiveness. I did encourage Mr Bingley to quit Netherfield."

Elizabeth was infuriated by this and could not hold her tongue, "So, sir do you believe it fair to separate two loved ones simply on account of fortune. It is true we are not of great fortune but Jane is the kindest most genteel lady I know. Far more than many a accomplished lady."

"Miss Bennet please allow me to finish." Elizabeth regained her composure and nodded towards Darcy to let him continue. "I was only trying to spare my friend's feelings. I have no doubt that your sister is worthy of Mr Bingley. I only observed that his attachment was deeper than hers. And thought it best he depart to spare him the heartache."

Elizabeth was stunned at this statement. She believed that it was because of Mr Darcy's pride that he looked down upon her. And found her unworthy. How she misjudged him.

"Sir, I can assure you that my sister returns Mr Bingley's affections. Jane is shy by nature and hardly ever shows the extent of her feelings."

"I see that I have misjudged your sister. I will try and right the wrong I have perpetrated."

"Thank you , Mr Darcy." Elizabeth exclaimed.

"I believe I have inconvenienced you long enough. I should be taking my leave."

And with that Mr Darcy strode out of the parsonage narrowly missing the annoying Mr Collins.

That night after dinner Elizabeth excused herself feigning a headache. Ironically a headache ensued as she lay in bed trying to decipher her earlier meeting and the enigmatic Mr Darcy. She berated herself for trusting Mr Wickham. She could hardly believe her folly. Nor could she comprehend this sudden insight into Mr Darcy's character. He truly meant them no ill will. He only sought to protect his friend. He had revealed some of his most personal stories (the dreadful Wickham and his poor sister) and then continued to apologize to a woman he found barely tolerable. Her head gave another throb as she struggled to understand before drifting off to sleep.

Colonel Fitzwilliam was eager to learn of his cousins meeting. After the ladies had retired he immediately asked, "So, how did she take it?"

"Fitzwilliam have I ever told you how grateful I am for you? She was positively livid at hearing of Bingley. She assumed I advised him so because of their fortune. If I had proposed to her as to you, I am sure you would be picking up scraps of me on the parsonage floor."

His cousin laughed heartedly, "But you will pursue her?"

"Undoubtedly, she is the only woman I will be prevailed upon to marry. And Miss Bingley can hardly hold a candle to her."

The men laughed and said their goodnights. Once in his room Mr Darcy collected his writing things and sought to start his courtship.

Elizabeth took leave of the Collins' two days after her meeting with Mr Darcy. Since then she had not seen him, she was not sure if she was relieved or disappointed at this. She arrived at Loungbourn happy to be home. Nothing much had changed. Lydia and Kitty were still chasing after officers and to her regret and relief Jane still mourned Mr Bingley's departure. She was sure to warn her father of Wickham's nature, thus ending the acquaintance. She told no one of her meeting with Mr Darcy. She only wished he would fulfil his promise.

The following day she received a letter. Luckily everyone had already left the breakfast parlour so there was no one to enquire after the mysterious letter. Elizabeth decided to take a walk and read the letter in peace. After making herself comfortable under a large oak tree she opened it:

Dear Miss Bennet

I write to you with one purpose. I wish to court you if you would allow it. I am sure your feelings cannot equal mine at the moment. But I would be honoured if you would agree to be my correspondent. For I believe I am quite taken by you and you do not even notice the snare you have set for my heart. Please send an answer even if it is in the negative.

Your most ardent admirer

Elizabeth was stunned. Who could possibly write such a letter to her? Of all her acquaintance she could not think of one young man. The letter intrigued her and she wished to know more of this admirer. She decided to write back. The address was a postal box which did not help her in solving this puzzle.

Dear Ardent Admirer

I give you leave to court me. But tell me your name. I feel it unfair that you know mine while I feel like a fool addressing a letter to "ardent admirer". I should warn you I am not a lady with which you can toy and hold no disillusions. I shall not give you false hope.

Yours sincerely

Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

Darcy was over the moon on receiving her reply in London. Now he had to woe the woman he loved into loving him.

Miss Elizabeth

I shall not divulge my full name until the time is right. You may address your letters to William. I must say that since meeting you, you have haunted me. I nearly confessed my love for you but realised it would not be received with great joy. Thus I endeavour to ensure it is when I meet you again.

Yours truly

William

Elizabeth was excited by this mystery man. She could not help but be caught up in the romance of it all. Still she waited and hoped upon Mr Bingley's return.

Dear William

I see that you will not budge on the subject of your identity. But since you know who I am I trust you have met my family. And I must applaud you for still pursuing me. Since, I probably have the three silliest girls as sister and a quite ridiculous mother. I of course exclude my eldest sister Jane in the grouping of silly sisters. But now that you know of my silly family tell me of yours.

Yours truly

Elizabeth

Darcy laughed aloud at reading Elizabeth's letter causing Caroline Bingley to give him a pointed look. He however shrugged it off and retired to reply to the letter. Not wanting to listen to Miss Bingley's comments on his fast writing or long words. He was glad that she and her brother would be departing soon. He would find happiness and she would be out of his way.

Dear Elizabeth

I am not easily deterred. Not even by the silliest three girls. I hope your sister Jane is well. She seemed quite kind at our last meeting. My family is but small. My father has passed several years ago and my mother during the birth of my only sibling and darling sister. My sister is the only close family I have left, except for an utterly ridiculous and superior aunt and two cousins. Tell me more about you.

Yours

William

Upon the arrival of the mail Elizabeth was exceptionally excited. To her great dismay her sisters were becoming suspicious of her sudden amount of correspondence. And after witnessing the arrival of the third letter within a week's time, they aired their suspicions. Elizabeth blushed and tried to evade the questioning eyes.

"Come now, Lizzy. To whom have you been writing?" he mother prodded.

"Mother, I have … I…." she could not continue for she did not know how.

How do explain to your mother that you are writing to a mysterious man of unknown origins? And that you are falling in love with said man.

"Lizzy?" her father asked.

"I am being courted if you must know." she said

"O! Dear, dear Lizzy?" her mother gushed

Luckily her father saved her from her mother's intrusive behaviour.

"Let the girl be. He is merely courting her. No need to go shopping for a wedding dress." he reprimanded

The subject was left in favour of the upcoming ball and Lydia's continued lamentations about the militia's departure.

Dear William

I fear you have no idea what you have let yourself in for. My mother is already picking out wedding dresses upon learning of our correspondence. A reasonable man would run by now. I am also dismayed at my Jane's condition. She is quite heartbroken. I do wish Mr Bingley would have the sense to return. As for me, I love long walks and reading. However both are considered improper. Since, no man wants an intelligent wife and a young lady should not by trampling about the country. It was once pointed out to me. I dabble a bit at playing the pianoforte though it nothing compared to Lady Catherine's niece. Now you simply must tell me more about you. For in recent times it has become clear to me that I am not nearly as well equipped at judging character as I thought.

Yours truly

Elizabeth

Darcy thought back on the night at Rosings, when Elizabeth played so beautifully and his aunt had been her condescending self. Bingley had left for Longbourn just that morning. He left a vexed Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst behind. Bingley could hardly believe his ears when he had told him of Jane's feelings. Bingley being the man he is did not harbour any ill will towards Mr Darcy. He reprimanded himself for leaving Jane and letting himself be influenced by his sisters. His sisters' motives were not as innocent as Mr Darcy's. It was quite a humorous encounter all in all.

"Charles, you cannot be serious! You know she feels nothing for you." Miss Bingley had cried

"On the contrary, sister, I have left her heartbroken. What a cad she must think I am."

"But Charles, you simply cannot. She is… she…" Mrs Hurst stammered

"She is what?" Bingley enquired

"Well, she is simply not good enough." Miss Bingley helped her sister

They could see the good natured Mr Bingley had not expected that. Betrayal, hurt and anger washed over his face.

"Is this why you told me to leave her?" he demanded of his sisters

Looking for a comrade Miss Bingley turned to Mr Darcy, "O, Mr Darcy. You must agree with us."

"Not at all. I do not see why your brother cannot marry the woman he loves and the woman who loves him."

Miss Bingley was aghast. She turned to her sister haughtily and said, "It appears he will see no sense. Let us leave him to his follies."

She then departed with her sister. Bingley had set off from London within the hour.

"I hope you win this mystery lady's heart, Darcy, for I am going to collect my heart where I left it behind." Bingley said as he had mounted his horse.

Dear Elizabeth

I hope things will take a turn for the better. Concerning your mother, I am not opposed to wedding dresses. I cannot think what to tell you more of myself. I wish to meet you, to see you, to hear your laughter ring. I would love to take long walks with you because there is nothing improper about you being on my side. I would have no wife but an intelligent one. And might I say that I have heard you play the pianoforte and it was beautiful. I cannot find the faults you have alluded to. I am sure they were spun by a jealous lady. Elizabeth I love you.

Yours truly

William

Elizabeth had not yet had the time to open her new letter. Mr Bingley had shown up a little after breakfast asking for a private audience with Jane. Jane's excited laughter and tears of joy filled up the room. Mrs Bennet had gone into frenzy.

She kept repeating, "My daughter married." and "I knew she could not be so beautiful for nothing."

The entire house was filled with joy. Preparations began immediately. They even set a date, the wedding would be held the coming Saturday. Jane had told Elizabeth of the proposal after Mr Bingley had left.

"O, Lizzy! He truly does love me. Can you believe it was because of his sisters that he left. They told him I did not share his feelings! And they were always so kind towards me. But it does not matter he is here now and we are getting married." Jane squealed with delight

"Jane, I am so happy for you. If anyone deserves true happiness, it is you. And not even the poisonous Miss Bingley can keep you from it."

"Lizzy, one day you shall find a man and you shall have to hold your tongue."

Mrs Bennet then entered and claimed Jane for the wedding preparations. Elizabeth took her chance and stole away for a walk to read her letter. She was already filled with joy for her sister. She could not imagine being happier yet the letter managed to bring even more joy to her life. She hurried home write a reply so that she could possibly make the afternoon mail.

Dear William

I am overjoyed. Your words and my sister's betrothal! I could not be happier. My sister is to be married to Mr Bingley the coming Saturday. Mother is already driving Father up the walls with her wedding planning. Yes, I would love to meet you. I want to unmask this mystery man I seem to have fallen in love with. Come see me.

Yours

Elizabeth

Darcy had just finished reading Bingley's letter which brimmed with the man's joy. Mr Darcy was to report for the duties of the best man on Friday. He then read Elizabeth's letter. He could hardly believe it. She loves him. She loves him! He could not wait to see her. But what if she is disappointed in learning it is him? It does not matter he must see her. Tell her what he has wanted to tell her since he first met her.

Dear Elizabeth

With the arrival of your letter I also received my invitation to Mr Bingley's wedding. So I will see you shortly. I arrive in Longbourn on Friday. I will find you in between all this wedding madness. I will come see you, my love.

Yours

William

Preparations for the wedding were well on their way. Elizabeth would be Jane's maid of honour and her dress was already finished. Jane was walking on clouds she was deliriously happy. And so was Elizabeth. Friday could not come soon enough. She still had no idea who this man is. She knew who William is. But who is William? I does not matter she loves him. She would love him even if he was eighty-eight and a poor beggar. Elizabeth Bennet would not marry for anything but love and that he had.

"Elizabeth! Elizabeth, there you are." Jane called her from her daydreams

"Lizzy, you must help me. The Netherfield-company is coming on Friday and I have no idea how to manage the two sisters."

"Don't fret Jane. I will keep the future in-laws in line." Elizabeth assured her.

"O, and Lizzy you will have Mr Darcy as your companion. I know you are not particularly fond of him but he is Charles' best man."

"Jane, you should keep calm. These things are of little consequence. And regarding Mr Darcy we have long since buried the hatched."

Jane was relieved and went on her way. Elizabeth met her father in the study. He used it as a hiding place from all Mrs Bennet's wedding madness.

"Lizzy." he called

"Yes, father?"

"Now I do not want to press you but when will you be meeting your courter?"

"I shall see him on Friday. He has been invited to the wedding by Mr Bingley."

"So this man is clearly an acquaintance of ours."

"It would seem so but I cannot think who."

Mr Bennet nodded and Elizabeth took it as a sign that the conversation is over. Elizabeth had no idea who this man could be. But Mr Bennet was confident in who it was. And the thought did not displease him, not at all.

Friday had finally dawned. Elizabeth could hardly contain herself. Only her father knew of today's significance. Elizabeth was the first one down to breakfast.

Mr Darcy had eaten breakfast and was ready to set out for Longbourn before the milkman even did his rounds.

"Lizzy pass me the toast please." Kitty groggily said

Mrs Bennet was growing more and more anxious as they approached Saturday. She was on edge and was painstakingly critical of her daughters.

"Mary don't slouch! Kitty it is not proper to yawn at table. No, Lydia, I have told you. You cannot go. Mr Bennet look at your daughters! What am I to do? " she exclaimed exasperated.

Mr Benner simply let his wife continue to lament the horrors of the morning. He knew well enough that he would not get a word in edge wise. After breakfast the girls dispersed to their activities and their father took shelter in his study.

"Lizzy, you must remember. We are to go and receive the Netherfield party at 11 o'clock."

Elizabeth had forgotten the arrival of the poisonous sisters and greatly grieved it now. But for her sister's sake she said, "Of course, I could never leave you to fend for yourself."

The two eldest Bennet sisters departed to Netherfield where they were warmly received by Mr Bingley. He and Jane we caught up in their happiness as Elizabeth sat waiting impatiently for the sisters to arrive so that she could go meet William. They were seated in the drawing room when Mr Darcy entered. Elizabeth had quite forgotten that he would be present and act as her companion for the wedding.

Mr Darcy's heart almost leapt from his chest at seeing her. She sat on the chair closest the window staring out forlorn as his friend and her sister were talking. He hoped she wore that expression for him, waiting for their meeting.

"There you are Darcy. I was wondering where you were off to."

"Miss Bennet." he greeted Jane and turned to Elizabeth "And Miss Elizabeth Bennet." He loved saying her name. How it resounded through his chest.

"Mr Darcy, I do not believe we were expecting you so soon. I assumed you would be arriving with Miss Bingley and the rest of the party." Elizabeth answered. His eyes were magnificent. Had she noticed that before? And the way he was looking at her.

"No I rode early from London this morning."

They then continued on into pleasant conversation of no consequence. They talked while awaiting the arrival of the rest of the party. The sister arrived not long after to Elizabeth's great relieve. Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst greeted her as coldly as expected. Miss Bingley showed the same contempt towards Mr Darcy. This Elizabeth could hardly believe. The same woman who had commented on the length of his letters simply to engage him conversation was ignoring him. What could have transpired?

In the drawing room they gathered once more.

"Now tell me what exciting news is there from the country." Miss Bingley maliciously said. This earned her a stern look from her brother and a proper scowl from Mr Darcy.

"Not much has changed since you last left. Miss Lucas has been married and now resides near Mr Darcy's aunt's home in a parsonage with our cousin Mr Collins." Jane replied kindly

"Did Mr Collins not propose to you Miss Elizabeth?" Mrs Hurst enquired

Elizabeth who had been avoiding conversation answered, "He did, but I refused him as is quite obvious."

"Was he not good enough for you Miss Elizabeth?" she pressed.

Mr Darcy had become stiff in his position. Trying very hard not to lose his composure and say something he might regret at the Bingley sisters.

"Mrs Hurst, I did not refuse him on grounds of his fortune but my affections for him. I refuse to marry unless it is for love."

Miss Bingley gave a very unladylike snort and eyed Mr Darcy. It became evident to Elizabeth that she was a woman scorned Mr Darcy being the recipient of her wrath. As time drew on Elizabeth was contemplating ways to politely excuse herself but she could not leave Jane alone. She had to keep true to her promise. Please find me, please William. She thought.

Mr Darcy could not concentrate on the mundane conversation at hand. His eyes kept wondering to Elizabeth. She had grown more agitated as time drew on and this pleased him to no extent. He was glad that he did not suffer alone. His patience too was waning.

"I believe we should unpack our things and prepare for lunch." Mrs Hurst said to her husband, even though this lady had probably never even packed a picnic in her life.

It was clear that the Bennet sisters have now stayed their welcome and were welcome to depart, and swiftly please. Elizabeth did not have to be told so subtly again. She took Jane's hand and they said their farewells.

On the ride home Jane enquired, "Do you think they approve of me?"

"No, they do not. But they definitely like you which only vexes them more."

Jane laughed and they rode the rest of the way in silence.

After Elizabeth had departed and a suitable amount of time had passed Darcy excused him. He was bent on finding Elizabeth. He decided to forego a horse because he knew he would find her out walking.

Elizabeth was indeed out walking. She had come to understand of late that it was the only way to have any semblance of peace. As she walked down the familiar lanes her thoughts wandered. She thought of her meeting, of letters, of Jane's wedding, of Miss Bingley's cold manners. She finally came to a stop at an familiar oak. She then neatly sat on the warm sun baked grass and smiled.

Mr Darcy had been walking quite some time before he spied her sitting under a tree. Now how to go about this he wondered. He probably could not simply walk up and say, "Good day, I am William. Love me." That would not do.

Elizabeth heard movement behind her and then a warm deep tenor voice. It sounded eerily familiar.

"Elizabeth."

"Yes" she turned around only to be faced with Mr Darcy. The disappointments clear on her face.

"What are you doing out here?"

"I went out on a walk." there was no need to inform Mr Darcy of her romance. He would laugh at her folly.

Mr Darcy was amused by her complete ignorance and failed attempt at concealment.

"Elizabeth, has no one ever warned you about walking all alone? Why it is almost as dangerous as writing to an unknown man proclaiming his love."

Realisation washed over Elizabeth's face.

"However a man standing in front of you whose name and face you both know proclaiming his love is far less dangerous." he smiled

"William?" she tentatively said. "But Mr Darcy, at our first meeting you found me barely tolerable."

"I believe I am no better judge of character than you are."

He took a step closer to Elizabeth.

"Believe me when I say this. I adore you. I am your most ardent admirer. I gave you my heart before I even knew it. I only discovered its absence when I left you. I wanted so desperately to tell you how I felt, to try and verbalize all that you are for me. For you have become my sun, the centre of my universe. Please tell me you feel the same? Please Elizabeth?"

"William. When I met you I could not decide whether to despise or admire you. But fear not. I have made up my mind. My love is not fickle. And my love is yours. When I wrote to you I did not write empty sentiments. William, I love you."

Mr Darcy was overwhelmed with joy. He pulled Elizabeth into an embrace and spun her around her laughter ringing in his ears. After he set her down he drew her close and whispered into her ear,

"You have bewitched me body and soul. Be my wife, let us never part."

Their lips met in a slow passionate kiss. Breaking apart for a lack of oxygen Elizabeth breathed one word,

"Yes."

And it turned Mr Darcy's world around. They stood there for a while simply looking at one another. Eventually they intertwined their fingers and started towards Mr Bennet's study. After a few paces Elizabeth let out a little giggle.

"What is it, my love?" Mr Darcy enquired

"I was simply imagining Miss Bingley's face at hearing the news."

At that they both laughed and strolled onwards deliriously content.

Epilogue

It was a lovely wedding. Jane looked breath-taking and Mr Bingley's face threatened to tear at his smile. Mr Bennet was quite correct when he thought upon Elizabeth's mystery man. And still the thought did not displease him. A date was set, which sent Mrs Bennet into another flurry of nerves. Firstly se berated Elizabeth for not telling her of the good fortune and then she continued on to mutter how clever Elizabeth was. With the two eldest and most sensible Bennet daughters leaving home Mr Bennet was left alone to the follies of his other daughters and his matchmaking wife. Both sisters lived happy lives filled with joy and good will. And Miss Bingley's face did not disappoint.

A/N: Thank you for reading.

I felt that the courtship between Lizzy and Darcy was a bit lacking. So, I decided to try my hand at fanfic. Might I just add that nothing can ever compare to the masterpiece written by the one and only Jane Austen. This is my first fanfic, so please bear with me.

It was late night and the ladies had already retired, for which both gentleman were greatly relieved. Lady Catherine was decidedly unpleasant after her dining with Collins' and Mr Collins' impertinent cousin. So the gentlemen were pleasantly alone in the drawing room.

However Mr Darcy was on edge, pacing the floor excessively. This spectacle was looked upon by his cousin.

"Darcy, old man. Pacing is not going to solve anything. What is on your mind?"

"Who is upon my mind?" Darcy replied

"You mean to tell me the cool and collected Mr Darcy has grown a heart." Colonel Fitzwilliam continued mockingly

"It seems miss Bingley has finally succeeded. You must give her some credit for her diligence."

Mr Darcy stared at his cousin perplexed. The thought of Miss Bingley only aggravated him further. What would she and her high society friends think of his marrying a country nobody? What would his family say? But how could he not follow his heart? He was drawn from his reverie by his cousin.

"So, when did Miss Bingley's charms finally break through your hard façade?"

"I do not have any attachment towards Miss Bingley"

Colonel Fitzwilliam looked surprised. He was sure that Miss Bingley was the type of woman who got exactly what she wanted. And it was evident she wanted Mr Darcy.

"I however ardently admire Miss Elizabeth Bennet."

"By George! That fair creature that dined with us last night? I understand the attraction. If it was not for her lack of fortune, I believe we would have duelled for her. She has a handsome face and quick wit."

"There is no need to inform me of her merits, I am well aware. And you would have stood no chance compared to me if it came to duelling." Mr Darcy added slyly. This elicited a chuckle from his cousin.

"But Darcy, if you love this lady as much you claim, what is the reason for your foul temper?"

"I do love her. I intend to marry her. I am simply contemplating how to phrase my proposal."

"Well, let me hear what you have so far."

Mr Darcy looked sceptical. Uncomfortable at airing the feelings he had only recently come to grips with. Colonel Fitzwilliam however looked at him encouragingly, hoping to set his cousin at ease.

"You must swear not to mock me." Darcy warned, to which the Colonel nodded.

"Miss Bennet, might I have a word in private?" Darcy began.

His cousin answered in a mock feminine voice, "Why of course Mr Darcy." Darcy tried to scowl but could not keep from grinning.

"Miss Bennet I have thought of this for quite some time. I have struggled with it and berated myself for it. But I find that I ardently admire you. Though you of a lower standing and of little fortune. And have the most improper relations. I am willing to overlook all of this for I love you. And I would be overjoyed if you agreed to marry me."

His cousin stood there speechless. After some time he decided it would be best to be brutally honest with his cousin. For miss Bennet definitely would.

"Darcy you cannot propose."

"What! Why not? I expected Lady Catherine to look down on the match but not you."

"I do not mean you cannot marry her. I simply mean you cannot propose to her like that! You just insulted her to great lengths and then you believe she will fall into your arms." Mr Darcy still stared uncomprehending. "You told her she was an ignorant nobody from the country. That her family is ridiculous and that you are far superior. But that you would condescend to marry her." his cousin concluded.

"I did not mean it to be so. I was only trying to express my love. I tried to convey that all of that means nothing to me because of her." Darcy replied falling into a nearby chair.

"Can I give you some advice?" Darcy nodded "I believe you must first start with a clean slate. For I fear you have slighted miss Bennet in the past. And her acquaintance with Wickham has not helped your standing in her mind. " Darcy tensed at hearing Wickham's name.

"That braggart! Not only does he try to corrupt my sister! But now he threatens my love!"

His cousin slightly amused by this uncharacteristic passionate outburst continued, "I believe you should call upon miss Bennet as you intended. But first right the wrongs. Then you can continue forthwith, for I believe Miss Bennet is not to be trifled with."

At that Mr Darcy smiled. He knew Elizabeth to be feisty and loved her for it.

The following morning Mr Darcy excused himself immediately after breakfast which earned him a sly look from his cousin. Since then he had been ambling about the grounds of Rosings hoping to find a way to speak to Elizabeth without that toad Mr Collins nosing about. At just after ten he decided that he would go see Miss Bennet with or without Mr Collins snooping about.

He arrived at the parsonage not long after. He was relieved to find it unoccupied save for Miss Bennet. He was shown in by a servant, who announced him. A startled look adorned the lovely face of Miss Bennet before she composed herself and curtsied.

"Mr Darcy, what a surprise. I am afraid Mr Collins has gone into town and will not return until later."

Elizabeth was perplexed at seeing Mr Darcy for she knew he held neither Mr Collins nor her in high esteem. And thus they would not merit a visit.

"As a matter of fact, Miss Bennet, I was hoping to have a word in private with you if you would consent?"

"Yes you may. But I see no purpose behind it."

Mr Darcy steeled himself for this would most certainly not be easy.

"Miss Bennet, I have a confession to make. And some facts I would like to put straight. I would like to inform you of my relationship with Mr Wickham. I believe you have been misinformed. Mr Wickham was indeed promised a living, which he refused and asked for its value instead. This value he then gambled and drank away. He then preyed upon my sister. He tried to elope with her. She was only 15 and heartbroken at discovering his true intentions. I am afraid Mr Wickham has lost my good opinion and I dare say many other's as well."

It was the longest speech she had heard Mr Darcy make. This surprised her almost as much as its contents.

"Sir, I apologize for thinking ill of you on account of Mr Wickham. But I regret my poor judgement of character even more. "

"I still have a confession to make, Miss Bennet. And it is for this that I ask your forgiveness. I did encourage Mr Bingley to quit Netherfield."

Elizabeth was infuriated by this and could not hold her tongue, "So, sir do you believe it fair to separate two loved ones simply on account of fortune. It is true we are not of great fortune but Jane is the kindest most genteel lady I know. Far more than many a accomplished lady."

"Miss Bennet please allow me to finish." Elizabeth regained her composure and nodded towards Darcy to let him continue. "I was only trying to spare my friend's feelings. I have no doubt that your sister is worthy of Mr Bingley. I only observed that his attachment was deeper than hers. And thought it best he depart to spare him the heartache."

Elizabeth was stunned at this statement. She believed that it was because of Mr Darcy's pride that he looked down upon her. And found her unworthy. How she misjudged him.

"Sir, I can assure you that my sister returns Mr Bingley's affections. Jane is shy by nature and hardly ever shows the extent of her feelings."

"I see that I have misjudged your sister. I will try and right the wrong I have perpetrated."

"Thank you , Mr Darcy." Elizabeth exclaimed.

"I believe I have inconvenienced you long enough. I should be taking my leave."

And with that Mr Darcy strode out of the parsonage narrowly missing the annoying Mr Collins.

That night after dinner Elizabeth excused herself feigning a headache. Ironically a headache ensued as she lay in bed trying to decipher her earlier meeting and the enigmatic Mr Darcy. She berated herself for trusting Mr Wickham. She could hardly believe her folly. Nor could she comprehend this sudden insight into Mr Darcy's character. He truly meant them no ill will. He only sought to protect his friend. He had revealed some of his most personal stories (the dreadful Wickham and his poor sister) and then continued to apologize to a woman he found barely tolerable. Her head gave another throb as she struggled to understand before drifting off to sleep.

Colonel Fitzwilliam was eager to learn of his cousins meeting. After the ladies had retired he immediately asked, "So, how did she take it?"

"Fitzwilliam have I ever told you how grateful I am for you? She was positively livid at hearing of Bingley. She assumed I advised him so because of their fortune. If I had proposed to her as to you, I am sure you would be picking up scraps of me on the parsonage floor."

His cousin laughed heartedly, "But you will pursue her?"

"Undoubtedly, she is the only woman I will be prevailed upon to marry. And Miss Bingley can hardly hold a candle to her."

The men laughed and said their goodnights. Once in his room Mr Darcy collected his writing things and sought to start his courtship.

Elizabeth took leave of the Collins' two days after her meeting with Mr Darcy. Since then she had not seen him, she was not sure if she was relieved or disappointed at this. She arrived at Loungbourn happy to be home. Nothing much had changed. Lydia and Kitty were still chasing after officers and to her regret and relief Jane still mourned Mr Bingley's departure. She was sure to warn her father of Wickham's nature, thus ending the acquaintance. She told no one of her meeting with Mr Darcy. She only wished he would fulfil his promise.

The following day she received a letter. Luckily everyone had already left the breakfast parlour so there was no one to enquire after the mysterious letter. Elizabeth decided to take a walk and read the letter in peace. After making herself comfortable under a large oak tree she opened it:

Dear Miss Bennet

I write to you with one purpose. I wish to court you if you would allow it. I am sure your feelings cannot equal mine at the moment. But I would be honoured if you would agree to be my correspondent. For I believe I am quite taken by you and you do not even notice the snare you have set for my heart. Please send an answer even if it is in the negative.

Your most ardent admirer

Elizabeth was stunned. Who could possibly write such a letter to her? Of all her acquaintance she could not think of one young man. The letter intrigued her and she wished to know more of this admirer. She decided to write back. The address was a postal box which did not help her in solving this puzzle.

Dear Ardent Admirer

I give you leave to court me. But tell me your name. I feel it unfair that you know mine while I feel like a fool addressing a letter to "ardent admirer". I should warn you I am not a lady with which you can toy and hold no disillusions. I shall not give you false hope.

Yours sincerely

Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

Darcy was over the moon on receiving her reply in London. Now he had to woe the woman he loved into loving him.

Miss Elizabeth

I shall not divulge my full name until the time is right. You may address your letters to William. I must say that since meeting you, you have haunted me. I nearly confessed my love for you but realised it would not be received with great joy. Thus I endeavour to ensure it is when I meet you again.

Yours truly

William

Elizabeth was excited by this mystery man. She could not help but be caught up in the romance of it all. Still she waited and hoped upon Mr Bingley's return.

Dear William

I see that you will not budge on the subject of your identity. But since you know who I am I trust you have met my family. And I must applaud you for still pursuing me. Since, I probably have the three silliest girls as sister and a quite ridiculous mother. I of course exclude my eldest sister Jane in the grouping of silly sisters. But now that you know of my silly family tell me of yours.

Yours truly

Elizabeth

Darcy laughed aloud at reading Elizabeth's letter causing Caroline Bingley to give him a pointed look. He however shrugged it off and retired to reply to the letter. Not wanting to listen to Miss Bingley's comments on his fast writing or long words. He was glad that she and her brother would be departing soon. He would find happiness and she would be out of his way.

Dear Elizabeth

I am not easily deterred. Not even by the silliest three girls. I hope your sister Jane is well. She seemed quite kind at our last meeting. My family is but small. My father has passed several years ago and my mother during the birth of my only sibling and darling sister. My sister is the only close family I have left, except for an utterly ridiculous and superior aunt and two cousins. Tell me more about you.

Yours

William

Upon the arrival of the mail Elizabeth was exceptionally excited. To her great dismay her sisters were becoming suspicious of her sudden amount of correspondence. And after witnessing the arrival of the third letter within a week's time, they aired their suspicions. Elizabeth blushed and tried to evade the questioning eyes.

"Come now, Lizzy. To whom have you been writing?" he mother prodded.

"Mother, I have … I…." she could not continue for she did not know how.

How do explain to your mother that you are writing to a mysterious man of unknown origins? And that you are falling in love with said man.

"Lizzy?" her father asked.

"I am being courted if you must know." she said

"O! Dear, dear Lizzy?" her mother gushed

Luckily her father saved her from her mother's intrusive behaviour.

"Let the girl be. He is merely courting her. No need to go shopping for a wedding dress." he reprimanded

The subject was left in favour of the upcoming ball and Lydia's continued lamentations about the militia's departure.

Dear William

I fear you have no idea what you have let yourself in for. My mother is already picking out wedding dresses upon learning of our correspondence. A reasonable man would run by now. I am also dismayed at my Jane's condition. She is quite heartbroken. I do wish Mr Bingley would have the sense to return. As for me, I love long walks and reading. However both are considered improper. Since, no man wants an intelligent wife and a young lady should not by trampling about the country. It was once pointed out to me. I dabble a bit at playing the pianoforte though it nothing compared to Lady Catherine's niece. Now you simply must tell me more about you. For in recent times it has become clear to me that I am not nearly as well equipped at judging character as I thought.

Yours truly

Elizabeth

Darcy thought back on the night at Rosings, when Elizabeth played so beautifully and his aunt had been her condescending self. Bingley had left for Longbourn just that morning. He left a vexed Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst behind. Bingley could hardly believe his ears when he had told him of Jane's feelings. Bingley being the man he is did not harbour any ill will towards Mr Darcy. He reprimanded himself for leaving Jane and letting himself be influenced by his sisters. His sisters' motives were not as innocent as Mr Darcy's. It was quite a humorous encounter all in all.

"Charles, you cannot be serious! You know she feels nothing for you." Miss Bingley had cried

"On the contrary, sister, I have left her heartbroken. What a cad she must think I am."

"But Charles, you simply cannot. She is… she…" Mrs Hurst stammered

"She is what?" Bingley enquired

"Well, she is simply not good enough." Miss Bingley helped her sister

They could see the good natured Mr Bingley had not expected that. Betrayal, hurt and anger washed over his face.

"Is this why you told me to leave her?" he demanded of his sisters

Looking for a comrade Miss Bingley turned to Mr Darcy, "O, Mr Darcy. You must agree with us."

"Not at all. I do not see why your brother cannot marry the woman he loves and the woman who loves him."

Miss Bingley was aghast. She turned to her sister haughtily and said, "It appears he will see no sense. Let us leave him to his follies."

She then departed with her sister. Bingley had set off from London within the hour.

"I hope you win this mystery lady's heart, Darcy, for I am going to collect my heart where I left it behind." Bingley said as he had mounted his horse.

Dear Elizabeth

I hope things will take a turn for the better. Concerning your mother, I am not opposed to wedding dresses. I cannot think what to tell you more of myself. I wish to meet you, to see you, to hear your laughter ring. I would love to take long walks with you because there is nothing improper about you being on my side. I would have no wife but an intelligent one. And might I say that I have heard you play the pianoforte and it was beautiful. I cannot find the faults you have alluded to. I am sure they were spun by a jealous lady. Elizabeth I love you.

Yours truly

William

Elizabeth had not yet had the time to open her new letter. Mr Bingley had shown up a little after breakfast asking for a private audience with Jane. Jane's excited laughter and tears of joy filled up the room. Mrs Bennet had gone into frenzy.

She kept repeating, "My daughter married." and "I knew she could not be so beautiful for nothing."

The entire house was filled with joy. Preparations began immediately. They even set a date, the wedding would be held the coming Saturday. Jane had told Elizabeth of the proposal after Mr Bingley had left.

"O, Lizzy! He truly does love me. Can you believe it was because of his sisters that he left. They told him I did not share his feelings! And they were always so kind towards me. But it does not matter he is here now and we are getting married." Jane squealed with delight

"Jane, I am so happy for you. If anyone deserves true happiness, it is you. And not even the poisonous Miss Bingley can keep you from it."

"Lizzy, one day you shall find a man and you shall have to hold your tongue."

Mrs Bennet then entered and claimed Jane for the wedding preparations. Elizabeth took her chance and stole away for a walk to read her letter. She was already filled with joy for her sister. She could not imagine being happier yet the letter managed to bring even more joy to her life. She hurried home write a reply so that she could possibly make the afternoon mail.

Dear William

I am overjoyed. Your words and my sister's betrothal! I could not be happier. My sister is to be married to Mr Bingley the coming Saturday. Mother is already driving Father up the walls with her wedding planning. Yes, I would love to meet you. I want to unmask this mystery man I seem to have fallen in love with. Come see me.

Yours

Elizabeth

Darcy had just finished reading Bingley's letter which brimmed with the man's joy. Mr Darcy was to report for the duties of the best man on Friday. He then read Elizabeth's letter. He could hardly believe it. She loves him. She loves him! He could not wait to see her. But what if she is disappointed in learning it is him? It does not matter he must see her. Tell her what he has wanted to tell her since he first met her.

Dear Elizabeth

With the arrival of your letter I also received my invitation to Mr Bingley's wedding. So I will see you shortly. I arrive in Longbourn on Friday. I will find you in between all this wedding madness. I will come see you, my love.

Yours

William

Preparations for the wedding were well on their way. Elizabeth would be Jane's maid of honour and her dress was already finished. Jane was walking on clouds she was deliriously happy. And so was Elizabeth. Friday could not come soon enough. She still had no idea who this man is. She knew who William is. But who is William? I does not matter she loves him. She would love him even if he was eighty-eight and a poor beggar. Elizabeth Bennet would not marry for anything but love and that he had.

"Elizabeth! Elizabeth, there you are." Jane called her from her daydreams

"Lizzy, you must help me. The Netherfield-company is coming on Friday and I have no idea how to manage the two sisters."

"Don't fret Jane. I will keep the future in-laws in line." Elizabeth assured her.

"O, and Lizzy you will have Mr Darcy as your companion. I know you are not particularly fond of him but he is Charles' best man."

"Jane, you should keep calm. These things are of little consequence. And regarding Mr Darcy we have long since buried the hatched."

Jane was relieved and went on her way. Elizabeth met her father in the study. He used it as a hiding place from all Mrs Bennet's wedding madness.

"Lizzy." he called

"Yes, father?"

"Now I do not want to press you but when will you be meeting your courter?"

"I shall see him on Friday. He has been invited to the wedding by Mr Bingley."

"So this man is clearly an acquaintance of ours."

"It would seem so but I cannot think who."

Mr Bennet nodded and Elizabeth took it as a sign that the conversation is over. Elizabeth had no idea who this man could be. But Mr Bennet was confident in who it was. And the thought did not displease him, not at all.

Friday had finally dawned. Elizabeth could hardly contain herself. Only her father knew of today's significance. Elizabeth was the first one down to breakfast.

Mr Darcy had eaten breakfast and was ready to set out for Longbourn before the milkman even did his rounds.

"Lizzy pass me the toast please." Kitty groggily said

Mrs Bennet was growing more and more anxious as they approached Saturday. She was on edge and was painstakingly critical of her daughters.

"Mary don't slouch! Kitty it is not proper to yawn at table. No, Lydia, I have told you. You cannot go. Mr Bennet look at your daughters! What am I to do? " she exclaimed exasperated.

Mr Benner simply let his wife continue to lament the horrors of the morning. He knew well enough that he would not get a word in edge wise. After breakfast the girls dispersed to their activities and their father took shelter in his study.

"Lizzy, you must remember. We are to go and receive the Netherfield party at 11 o'clock."

Elizabeth had forgotten the arrival of the poisonous sisters and greatly grieved it now. But for her sister's sake she said, "Of course, I could never leave you to fend for yourself."

The two eldest Bennet sisters departed to Netherfield where they were warmly received by Mr Bingley. He and Jane we caught up in their happiness as Elizabeth sat waiting impatiently for the sisters to arrive so that she could go meet William. They were seated in the drawing room when Mr Darcy entered. Elizabeth had quite forgotten that he would be present and act as her companion for the wedding.

Mr Darcy's heart almost leapt from his chest at seeing her. She sat on the chair closest the window staring out forlorn as his friend and her sister were talking. He hoped she wore that expression for him, waiting for their meeting.

"There you are Darcy. I was wondering where you were off to."

"Miss Bennet." he greeted Jane and turned to Elizabeth "And Miss Elizabeth Bennet." He loved saying her name. How it resounded through his chest.

"Mr Darcy, I do not believe we were expecting you so soon. I assumed you would be arriving with Miss Bingley and the rest of the party." Elizabeth answered. His eyes were magnificent. Had she noticed that before? And the way he was looking at her.

"No I rode early from London this morning."

They then continued on into pleasant conversation of no consequence. They talked while awaiting the arrival of the rest of the party. The sister arrived not long after to Elizabeth's great relieve. Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst greeted her as coldly as expected. Miss Bingley showed the same contempt towards Mr Darcy. This Elizabeth could hardly believe. The same woman who had commented on the length of his letters simply to engage him conversation was ignoring him. What could have transpired?

In the drawing room they gathered once more.

"Now tell me what exciting news is there from the country." Miss Bingley maliciously said. This earned her a stern look from her brother and a proper scowl from Mr Darcy.

"Not much has changed since you last left. Miss Lucas has been married and now resides near Mr Darcy's aunt's home in a parsonage with our cousin Mr Collins." Jane replied kindly

"Did Mr Collins not propose to you Miss Elizabeth?" Mrs Hurst enquired

Elizabeth who had been avoiding conversation answered, "He did, but I refused him as is quite obvious."

"Was he not good enough for you Miss Elizabeth?" she pressed.

Mr Darcy had become stiff in his position. Trying very hard not to lose his composure and say something he might regret at the Bingley sisters.

"Mrs Hurst, I did not refuse him on grounds of his fortune but my affections for him. I refuse to marry unless it is for love."

Miss Bingley gave a very unladylike snort and eyed Mr Darcy. It became evident to Elizabeth that she was a woman scorned Mr Darcy being the recipient of her wrath. As time drew on Elizabeth was contemplating ways to politely excuse herself but she could not leave Jane alone. She had to keep true to her promise. Please find me, please William. She thought.

Mr Darcy could not concentrate on the mundane conversation at hand. His eyes kept wondering to Elizabeth. She had grown more agitated as time drew on and this pleased him to no extent. He was glad that he did not suffer alone. His patience too was waning.

"I believe we should unpack our things and prepare for lunch." Mrs Hurst said to her husband, even though this lady had probably never even packed a picnic in her life.

It was clear that the Bennet sisters have now stayed their welcome and were welcome to depart, and swiftly please. Elizabeth did not have to be told so subtly again. She took Jane's hand and they said their farewells.

On the ride home Jane enquired, "Do you think they approve of me?"

"No, they do not. But they definitely like you which only vexes them more."

Jane laughed and they rode the rest of the way in silence.

After Elizabeth had departed and a suitable amount of time had passed Darcy excused him. He was bent on finding Elizabeth. He decided to forego a horse because he knew he would find her out walking.

Elizabeth was indeed out walking. She had come to understand of late that it was the only way to have any semblance of peace. As she walked down the familiar lanes her thoughts wandered. She thought of her meeting, of letters, of Jane's wedding, of Miss Bingley's cold manners. She finally came to a stop at an familiar oak. She then neatly sat on the warm sun baked grass and smiled.

Mr Darcy had been walking quite some time before he spied her sitting under a tree. Now how to go about this he wondered. He probably could not simply walk up and say, "Good day, I am William. Love me." That would not do.

Elizabeth heard movement behind her and then a warm deep tenor voice. It sounded eerily familiar.

"Elizabeth."

"Yes" she turned around only to be faced with Mr Darcy. The disappointments clear on her face.

"What are you doing out here?"

"I went out on a walk." there was no need to inform Mr Darcy of her romance. He would laugh at her folly.

Mr Darcy was amused by her complete ignorance and failed attempt at concealment.

"Elizabeth, has no one ever warned you about walking all alone? Why it is almost as dangerous as writing to an unknown man proclaiming his love."

Realisation washed over Elizabeth's face.

"However a man standing in front of you whose name and face you both know proclaiming his love is far less dangerous." he smiled

"William?" she tentatively said. "But Mr Darcy, at our first meeting you found me barely tolerable."

"I believe I am no better judge of character than you are."

He took a step closer to Elizabeth.

"Believe me when I say this. I adore you. I am your most ardent admirer. I gave you my heart before I even knew it. I only discovered its absence when I left you. I wanted so desperately to tell you how I felt, to try and verbalize all that you are for me. For you have become my sun, the centre of my universe. Please tell me you feel the same? Please Elizabeth?"

"William. When I met you I could not decide whether to despise or admire you. But fear not. I have made up my mind. My love is not fickle. And my love is yours. When I wrote to you I did not write empty sentiments. William, I love you."

Mr Darcy was overwhelmed with joy. He pulled Elizabeth into an embrace and spun her around her laughter ringing in his ears. After he set her down he drew her close and whispered into her ear,

"You have bewitched me body and soul. Be my wife, let us never part."

Their lips met in a slow passionate kiss. Breaking apart for a lack of oxygen Elizabeth breathed one word,

"Yes."

And it turned Mr Darcy's world around. They stood there for a while simply looking at one another. Eventually they intertwined their fingers and started towards Mr Bennet's study. After a few paces Elizabeth let out a little giggle.

"What is it, my love?" Mr Darcy enquired

"I was simply imagining Miss Bingley's face at hearing the news."

At that they both laughed and strolled onwards deliriously content.

Epilogue

It was a lovely wedding. Jane looked breath-taking and Mr Bingley's face threatened to tear at his smile. Mr Bennet was quite correct when he thought upon Elizabeth's mystery man. And still the thought did not displease him. A date was set, which sent Mrs Bennet into another flurry of nerves. Firstly se berated Elizabeth for not telling her of the good fortune and then she continued on to mutter how clever Elizabeth was. With the two eldest and most sensible Bennet daughters leaving home Mr Bennet was left alone to the follies of his other daughters and his matchmaking wife. Both sisters lived happy lives filled with joy and good will. And Miss Bingley's face did not disappoint.

A/N: Thank you for reading.