Posted on Thursday, 25 September 2003
Elizabeth lay in her bed, staring at the soft rain falling down the windows. The light from the fireplace created dizzying shadows, so disturbing that she huffed and turned over to face the bedchamber door. Disentangling her nightshift, she rose from the uncomfortable position and donned her dressing gown, getting comfortable upon the sofa. I so wish I knew where Fitzwilliam is right now. The clock in the upstairs hall chimed 1, and Elizabeth steeled herself for her wait.
It was not unusual, nay, even remotely unexpected that they would have their first fight. But neither ever expected anything like what had occurred. Fitzwilliam knew Elizabeth was stubborn, but he did not expect her to be angered over a simple trip to town. He could not help that he did not "ask" her opinion on the matter; going to London for the season was deeply entrenched in his personal agenda. He always left on a Friday. It had been that way for years. Did she expect him to just uproot his entire schedule for her approval? Surely not. But either way, she had been furious. Elizabeth had also told him exactly what he could do with his trip to London.
Which is what led to her laying on her sofa, all alone, this bleak and stormy night. The knock at the door prompted her to turn her head, and softly issue a "Come in, please."
"I..." He slowly crossed the room to her sofa, and sat down besides her, clasping her hands into his. "I...that is, I am sorry. I know I promised not to be so overbearing. I am indeed truly sorry."
She looked up into his expectant eyes, glistening in the firelight. "I know. I am too. I had promised to be more understanding. I knew that travelling to London would be expected of us. It was silly of me to berate you over this. I just, well, lately I have not felt the same." She took a deep breath, then continuing, said, "I miss Jane, and papa, and I even miss mama a little. It has been a hard transition, dearest."
"So, does that mean you will come to London with Georgiana and I?"
"Yes, of course, my love."
"Good. Now we will-"
"Leave on Friday. I know." They smiled at each other.
The trip to London was not as bumpy as planned. Indeed, all the parties in the coach were lively and witty the entire way to town. But upon their arrival, Darcy immediately went into his library, asking not to be disturbed. Such went the rest of the day, until dinner. He was quiet all throughout the meal, and abruptly retired. When Elizabeth retired some hours later, it was with great sorrow she found her husband to be in his own chambers, doors locked. She dressed for bed, then sighing, thought, Perhaps he is not as happy as he let on.
The night was long, and morning was a welcome sight. Elizabeth rushed down stairs to greet her husband and maybe even insult him, if she could find the words to tell him how insulting it was for him to sleep in his OWN bedchamber. She sat down to breakfast happily, but her day deteriorated from there. Her husband, she was informed, had already left the house and was presumed not to be back until late tonight. She slumped in her seat, only smiling upon Georgiana's arrival.
"Good morning Lizzy. Is it not a beautiful day? Perhaps we could walk out today." Georgiana sipped her tea, smiling at her sister. If only she knew!
"I suppose we could, Georgie. But I would like to call on Jane today."
"Oh,. you have not been told? The Bingleys are not to town until next week." No!! All the light drained from Lizzy's face. She decided the day would be worse than she had expected it to be.
And so the day was passed in each other's company; a walk in Hyde Park, and a few turns at the pianoforte. Letters were written, cards looked through. Invitations were answered and trips to the milliner were planned. They both delighted in a trip to the binder, each finding new books to please themselves during the tedious hours of the day. But never was there a sign of Fitzwilliam at all. The day grew long, and the ladies retired to change for supper. Elizabeth picked a lovely lavender dress, hoping to impress her husband into speaking to her. She took a great deal of time having her hair done just so and applied extra rose water. But in the end, the two girls dined alone, and her beauty and efforts were wasted upon her sister. They decided to retire to the music room, and after having very few cups of tea, each lady went upstairs for the night; one because of fatigue and one because of extreme vexation. It was the first night Elizabeth ever cried herself to sleep since being married to her dear husband.
The morning dawned bright and beautiful, much to Lizzy's dismay. She decided to take breakfast in her rooms before calling on her Aunt Gardiner that morning. The breakfast itself was simple, and she was downstairs in under an hour. She did not even see a fire in the library when she "discreetly" passed, which she knew meant either her husband was still in his rooms (not probable at 8 in the morning) or he did not come home the night before. Her heart sunk lower as anger began to creep into her breast.
The call went superbly, but Lizzy wished nothing more than to return home and ask Mrs. Willeby of her husband's whereabouts. She accomplished her trip to the tailor, and another trip to the fabric shop, before arriving home to see Darcy's own carriage being taken into the stables.
Fury overwhelmed her. She stomped into the house, throwing down her bonnet, and marched into the library. She walked directly to Fitzwilliam's desk, and stood there until he looked up, rather guiltily.
"Where have you been?"
"I had business to attend to."
She did not accept this excuse very easily at all, and wanted her husband to know this. "Oh really? That is why you did not come home last night?"
"I did come home last night, just not to your rooms." As soon as he said it, he flinched and wished he could take the words back.
"Indeed!" She humphed and almost ran out of the room. Lizzy ran upstairs, vowing to pack a trunk immediately. If he does not want me here fine. I will not tolerate this treatment. She sat as the maid packed, and she began to softly cry, a sense of sadness welling up in her. She knew she could not leave her husband.
Just then, Fitzwilliam silently opened the door, crossing to her, and placing his hands upon her trembling shoulders. She looked back in bewilderment, but relaxed into his embrace upon seeing his countenance.
"Indeed, I did not know my surprise planning would cause this amount of trouble." She looked at him with question, but he simple wiped away the tears and ushered her downstairs to the drawing room.
The sight took her breath away. The tears began to once again flow mercilessly, and she looked at him with utter admiration written all over her face. The anger of the past days was gone in an instant of seeing her family. "I knew they were exactly what you needed." Her eyes looked over everything, and finally she moved forward, hugging her father, then Jane, then Bingley, then her mother. She grasped Kitty's and Mary's hands, lovingly laughing at the absurdity of it all.
"Indeed, my dear Mr. Darcy, you have given me a wonderful surprise. How I missed you all!"
Everyone chuckled, and the night was spent laughing and talking, everyone exchanging information about their lives and homes. Lizzy retired that night, with her husband, and felt so happy that she knew she could burst.
"I love you, dear, sweet man." It is left to assume that there was no little amount of amore spread between the two lovers that night.