Hi everyone, (SPOILER ALERT) I was looking forward to this chapter for some time, here there are a few basic things explained about Lizzy's accident. Further on I will have her tell firsthand how everything happened, but this is a sort of summary. I hope you like it.
Elisabeth () = Thank you very much, I am trying to update at least once every week. =)
"Will, could you come on my date with Jane today?" Charlie asked as he was munching some cereal.
"I don't think you are supposed to take you friend to a date, Charlie, I may be wrong, though. It has been a while since I was out of the game, and the rules may have changed"
"Do not laugh! This is serious business, I was going to ask her to go with me alone, only the two of us, but then Caroline walked in while I was telling her if she would like to go out and invited herself and Louisa. Now, if I can make Hurst tag along, and bring you, it could be some sort of triple date. Please, I am asking as your best friend" Charlie explained and pleaded with Will all in one breath.
"Are you planning to get me to date your sister?" He raised an eyebrow.
"No, I mean yes, I mean… I know you don't like Caroline but please do me this favor"
"Does she know I will be going out with her as a favor to you, and not because I want to date her?"
"Yes, I mean, no" Charlie blushed uncomfortably.
"I do not want to hurt her, and I do not want to get her hopes up. Please, Charlie, it's your sister, help me out on this one"
"And, what if I ask Jane to bring along her sister, would you come then?" Charlie asked suddenly hopeful "I do not mean anything, Will, for God's sake! If there were two women you couldn't be dating both of them, so it would be a friendly outing, but there would be enough people so that I may run away with Jane unnoticed" Charlie explained after he saw Darcy's astonished face at his suggestion of bringing Jane's sister along.
"I am such a good friend, go call Jane and tell her that her sister may tag along" He granted.
In reality he just wanted an excuse to talk to Lizzy, or just to see her. Since the party he could not take her out of his mind, and yet, he could not afford to fall in love with her. He was supposed to marry Anne, though they weren't engaged yet. Heck, they weren't even a couple, but it was what everyone expected of him. At first he had thought that maybe one day he would find the girl for him, but as the years passed by and still no one came he began to lose hope, and eventually he quitted dating, so he was more or less resigned that he would probably end marrying Anne, much to Georgiana's dismay and their Aunt's happiness. He tried to convince himself that he could not forget Lizzy because he had not wanted to dance with her and that if he somehow atoned, her memory would leave him alone. Still, he had not wanted to dance only because the pain in his leg would be unbearable if he stood up for more than a few minutes.
Lizzy was sleeping uncomfortably; they had been too lazy last night to make Jane's bed, so they had decided that Lizzy and Jane would be sharing bed. It was a really bad idea, since Lizzy now had a cramp in her neck, and woke up with her sister's feet on her face. This did not help to lighten her humor, she had slept nearly nothing last night, and waking up to her sister's phone ringing in such a position was certainly not her idea of a good morning.
"Ugh, Jane, do you still have I will follow you into the dark as a ringtone, seriously?" Charlotte complained after Jane's ringing phone had waken her up
"I still love death cab for cutie, forgive me for using my favorite song as ringtone" Jane said sassily as she answered her phone "Hi….yes, Charlie…Fine...sure…yes, I understand…She would love to come…yes, see you later, Bye"
At the mention of the name Charlie both Lizzy and Charlotte perked up and started paying attention to the conversation.
"So, what did dream boat Bingley wanted to say to you that was so important that he had to wake us all up? It better be worth losing my beauty sleep" Lizzy said in a suggestive tone.
"Actually, he wanted me to ask you if you could please come with us today" Jane said innocently
"What?" Both Lizzy and Char shouted in unison
"What kind of guy wants to bring the sister to a date?" Lizzy asked annoyed on her sisters behalf
"Only a pervert" Charlotte answered in a monotonous, matter of fact, suggestive voice, making it sound even more disturbing than it already did.
"No, girls, please. He called to apologize, saying that Louisa had invited John Hurst, and that, seeing as Darcy was his guest he could not leave him alone, so they had invited him too, and asked if I would like to invite Lizzy too, I think he did it to make it less awkward"
"Well, instead of making it less awkward I think he has just succeeded in making it the most awkward friendly gather in the record of awkwardness" Lizzy concluded pitifully.
Half an hour later the Bennet girls had left Char's house and were deciding what to wear. It was midsummer and very hot, so Lizzy went for a pair of ratty shorts with a small light brown belt, a white tank top, an unbuttoned dark blue light sweater which reached to the length of the shorts and her personal trade mark bracelets. Jane, instead, went for a skirt with a white chemise tucked inside and her favorite high heels.
As the bell rang the two girls were finishing tying up their hair. Elizabeth had been wearing a messy bun, when Jane, with her perfect curls, walked in and decided that she would rather Lizzy wore a braid down one of her shoulders. Lizzy grabbed quickly her purse and was putting on her toms when, to the sisters' dismay Lydia opened the door and found Charlie there with Darcy standing awkwardly behind him.
"You are coming to look for Lizzy and Jane?" Lydia asked with disbelief as she opened the door.
"Actually yes, we had agreed we would pick them up around four" Charlie explained as Jane and Lizzy arrived at the door breathless.
"Thanks for opening Lydia" Lizzy said menacingly, going out with Jane and shutting the door on their sister's face before she could embarrass them.
When they reached the car Charlie realized the loophole in his master plan. His mini cooper only had five seats, and they were seven people.
"I drive, and Jane will be coming shotgun." Charlie said, trying to decide who got to sit in which place "Then, we can make Louisa sit on top of John" He continued
"Oh, I could sit with Will if we are lacking space" Caroline interrupted her brother. At this Will started silently pleading with Charlie, who in turn begged him to stand his sister for the ride, they were having a silent argument, and though they were discreet, this was not lost on Lizzy, who had been paying attention, concerned of where she would have to seat.
"No, I think it would be best Lizzy shared a seat with Will" Charlie concluded. Will shot his friend an angry look, to him it appeared as if Charlie was taking him from the frying pan to the fire. His friend gave him an amused smile, deciding Elizabeth was just Darcy's type; they just needed a little help to start bonding. He thought the way she had laughed at the party and how she had shut the door on her sister's nose was typical Darcy behavior.
The ride to the cinema was really disturbing. Lizzy was pressed in between Darcy and Caroline, Darcy was leaning against the window, trying to ignore Caroline who was leaning over Lizzy trying to flirt with him.
"Will dear, how is your leg going? Charlie told me you were done with rehabilitation, though it must still hurt a lot. I hope you are not planning to go on another tour once you are fully recovered?" Caroline asked while patting Will's knee.
"It has not yet recovered fully, though once it is I will go and live with Georgiana for some years until she goes to college. I do not trust anyone else to look over her." Will said sadly, looking over the window.
"Oh, yes, poor dear, all those years living without her brother, don't you think it awful, Elisabeth?" Caroline asked, drawing Elizabeth into the conversation because she was sitting in between both of them.
"Sorry, what did you say?"Lizzy asked looking over to Caroline, she had been hearing the conversation but she could not understand half of it.
"I was saying that it is a pity that Georgie had to live all this years without her brother"
Was this the same Georgie with whom they had compared her the night before? Why was she living without her brother, and how old was she? She was probably Darcy's girlfriend, so she would have to be at least twenty, since he looked to be around twenty five, but he had said that she wasn't yet going to college for some years…
"Being away from your loved ones through any lapse of time is sad, so I can only imagine what it must be to be parted from a brother for years. Though why it was necessary to part siblings must remain a mystery to me" Lizzy said, trying to get some of her questions answered.
"I followed a friend into war to Iraq" Darcy intervened.
"Georgie is your sister?" Lizzy blurted out unable to contain herself, she had been more than half convinced that Georgie was his girlfriend.
"Yes, we have been divided for the last ten years, though I have been in war only the last four"
"He has come back because someone shot him on the leg, and he almost lost it. Luckily we were able to save it, though it still hurts a lot. Isn't it like that Will dear?" Caroline started talking, not liking to be left out of a conversation she had started. Darcy just nodded, not liking that Caroline though it was her duty to tell everyone he was hurt. While Lizzy stared at him, thinking that, maybe, he had a reason to hate humanity other than mere misanthropy.
"Must have been hard to go through it" she said in a low voice, almost to herself. Darcy heard her, since they were sharing seats.
"More than you could ever imagine." He answered.
The ride to the cinema had been rather long, but when they arrived it proved to be worth it. They watched The Butterfly effect, much to Lizzy's joy, since it was one of her favorite movies, and she did not know it was on cinemas again, she enjoyed herself, even if Darcy was sitting beside her, wincing every time he saw blood or explosions, or fire, or any type of violence, which was, basically, the entire movie.
Charlie and Jane seemed to have enjoyed it, or well, what they had seen of the movie, as they had been most of the time looking to each other when they thought they could not be seen and then looking away, or awkwardly bumping knees, elbows, or reaching for popcorn at the same time. All in all, Lizzy thought they were adorable.
Dinner was good enough, they took Chinese food, and Lizzy would have enjoyed herself if she could have just turned a deaf ear to what Caroline told her. They had just sat down on the table, when Caroline, sensing the threat that the Bennet girls possessed, and without Darcy within earshot to guess her motives she began picking on Elizabeth.
"So, Elisa, right?" She asked as she sat down besides Lizzy.
"Lizzy actually" She corrected with a tolerant smile, Lizzy had already decided she did not like Caroline when she saw the way she leaned upon Darcy, though it was hilarious to see his distressed face.
"I rather call you Elisa; it sounds more sophisticated than Lizzy, if you can understand what I mean. Elisa has a classier ring, whereas Lizzy sound vulgar, at least in my ears, who are accustomed to higher class speech. Though you do not have to understand what I am talking about, I mean, there is a notable lack of decent society here, but it is so with all small towns" Caroline explained, talking as if she was speaking to a dumb child who was really sleepy and could not only not understand what she was saying but whose brain was much too slow to grasp her meaning. "Not that I say that you are not decent society, you are rather the ones left to suffer this lack, since you and your sister are the only decent people in the whole town" She added as an afterthought, when she realized she was being only too direct in insulting her.
Lizzy just raised an eyebrow and nodded her head slowly in response. To her, Caroline was talking slowly because she was kind of thick, not because she had meant to insult her, so she responded in the same retarded way.
After a while Darcy noticed that they were talking to each other as if they were brainless, so he decided to intervene.
"Did you like the movie?" He asked looking at both of them, though referring at nobody in particular.
"No, I think it was silly, he appeared and disappeared in different places out of nowhere, and what was the whole deal with her. Also, there was way too much blood for my taste; I would have preferred something a little more sophisticated" Caroline started talking; leaving in evidence she had not understood the movie at all.
"Unquestionably too much blood" Darcy made a face of disgust.
"I like it" Lizzy said in defense of her favorite movie. "I think it is genius the way in which, when he travels back, all his blackouts make sense."
Caroline stared at her and Darcy said nothing. She had warmed up to him a little during the ride to the cinema, but she wanted to seriously punch him at the moment. Caroline was no better.
The rest of the meal passed in silence, and so did the ride back. Louisa and John had wanted to stay and take a walk through the park, so there was no need to share seats this time.
When they arrived at the Bennett's Faye opened the door, and upon seeing Darcy and Charlie insisted that they should all walk in and have a cup of tea. She would not be denied, so it ended up on them walking inside, only to find Lydia running down the stairs waving a bra in her hands.
"Lizzy, I need to go out with my friends tonight; we are going to see a new band that has just arrived to town, so I need you to lend me your pushup bra. I absolutely need it" Lydia screamed as she run down the stairs, the bra in question in her hands.
"Lydia!" Lizzy screamed, embarrassed to death, she knew that, sooner or later, something like that would happen.
"What, you have never used it. See, it still has the price tag on. You do not need it, since you don't date anymore, but I do date, and I need to appear the best I can if I want to catch anyone" She complained, suddenly noticing they had visitors. "Oh! What a surprise! I did not know you would be coming!" She said, looking at Darcy pointedly but addressing the whole of the company with a smile.
"Lydia, would you come with me?" Lizzy said threateningly, staring to walk out of the room.
"No, I won't, since you are sure to shout at me once we are out of earshot, I prefer to be here where Jane can keep an eye on you. I will also take your sexy skirt, the one Jason gave you. You have only worn that one once, and that was because he begged you to." Lydia continued rattling on.
"LIDYA, you cannot take any of my things especially that skirt!" Lizzy was starting to stress, and stressing was not good.
"Come on! Jason is dead now, so he won't be coming anytime soon to ask you to wear the skirt, plus, you never use it, there is no need to treasure it when I can give it a good use. I don't think it even fits you anymore, you gained some weight since you were at hospital." Lydia was trying to piss of Lizzy, so that she would be overwhelmed and give up, but this time it went too far.
Lizzy was about to explode, but, Faye saved Lydia by walking then into the room bringing coffee and tea for everyone. She noticed then that Lizzy and Lydia appeared to have been arguing, Lizzy was on the verge of tears, and Lydia had an annoyed look on her face while she was holding out a new bra.
"What is the problem, girls?" Faye said sternly, if there was one thing that she was, was a good hostess and she liked to keep up appearances and make her guests feel welcome, not make her daughters look like fools as they fought over a bra. Still she had to concede it was a great idea on Lydia's part to bring down the bra, showing it to the gentlemen would probably leave them wanting for more.
"Nothing mom, Lizzy has just offered to give Jason's skirt to me, since he is dead now there is no one to appreciate her on it, so she is giving it to someone who will put it to good use." Lydia said sweetly, making Lizzy turn red from the roots of her hair to the base of her neck. Faye looked more relaxed now, so she left the tea on the table and went to look for some cake or cookies to eat with it. As soon as Faye left, Lizzy said a stiff 'excuse me' to their guests and stormed out of the room, no longer able to conceal her emotions, but not wanting to make a scene.
"Jeez, Jane, you should look more closely on Lizzy, you promised Dad to keep an eye on her" Lydia said as she turned back and went out of the room.
"What was all that about?" Caroline asked annoyed once Lydia had gone out. She wanted to appear disgusted, though she had loved the way in which Lydia had managed to embarrass Lizzy to such an extent she was no longer any competition.
"I am really sorry; Lydia is in the habit of sneaking up into Lizzy's bureau and stealing her clothes, and it annoys Lizzy greatly. I should go check on her as soon as mom comes back" Jane explained, looking worried over to where Lizzy had stormed out.
"No, I did not mean about that, I meant all about that thing of Jason, and the hospital, and the treasured skirt, and promising to keep an eye on Lizzy" Caroline said, trying to see if Lizzy had a boyfriend, or a black past, which made her unavailable for Darcy.
"Oh, well, I don't know if Lizzy would want me to go telling that story about" Jane was concerned, and she knew how her sister hated whenever she told people about the accident.
"It is okay, you do not have to tell us" Charlie said sympathetically.
"Yes, if you do not trust us you have no reason to tell us anything" Caroline said acting offended. This got on Jane, who felt she was being a bad friend by not telling them, so she spilled out.
"Well, you see, when she was younger Lizzy started dating this guy named Jason. I do not know exactly what happened between them, since Jason seemed to be kind of sweet with her; he gave her lots of expensive gifts, like the skirt, and drove her everywhere, and was always opening her doors and that kind of stuff. Anyway, one day they had gone on a date, and he was driving her back when a drunken guy on a truck crashed with them. Lizzy called the ambulance, and waited with Jason until they arrived. When the paramedics were found them Lizzy had lost consciousness, and Jason was dead. She had been severely wounded, and it was a miracle that she did not die as well. After that she spent a lot of time in and out of hospital, and developed some kind of trauma. It was really hard on her, and I think she blames herself for having survived instead of Jason. So as soon as she seemed to be getting over it I promised Dad I would keep an eye on her, to make sure nothing happened." Jane told the story, and when she finished, they saw that Lizzy had been standing in the doorway the whole time, now a single tear was sliding down her cheek, and without a word she turned back and left again.
Darcy was the only one who had remained silent during all the argument, he knew what to lose someone you loved was like, there had been only too much deaths in his family, and he also knew what it was like to be in hospital, being the frail one that had to be taken care of. Everyone was looking down, so Will took the opportunity to go and look for Lizzy, he pitied the poor girl and wanted to help her.
He sneaked out of the room, and walked about a little until he heard gentle sobbing behind a door. He knocked smoothly, and after waiting a while to no avail he opened it a little to see if it was indeed Lizzy the one who was crying. He saw her curled up in a ball, sitting on the floor, with her forehead pressed on her knees and her arms hugging her legs. When she heard him walk in she looked up, and seeing it was him she tried to compose herself.
"Here" He said holding up a tissue "Don't cry, you are much more beautiful when you are smiling" Darcy tried to soothe her in the same way he did when his sister was sad.
"Would you please leave me alone?" She said miserably, though she wasn't sobbing anymore, she hated to appear weak.
"I'll leave you when you are in a state to be left alone, now stand up from there." Darcy said as she made no attempt to stand he gently picked her up from the floor. She did not move an inch, except to get hold of his shirt once he had lifted her to keep her balance.
They were in Tom Bennett's study, though Darcy did not know it, it was Lizzy's favorite part of the house, since it smelled of old books and tobacco, a smell which reminded her strongly of her father, and which had always managed to help her calm down. He sat down on a big armchair behind a mahogany desk, and cuddled her until she looked up shaking.
"Are you all right now Lizzie?" He asked, and she noticed, as if for the first time, his cute British accent, that made him pronounce differently her name.
"Yes, thank you, I do not know what happened to me, it has been a while since I last had a breakdown and ended up crying" She explained, drying a tear with the sleeves of her sweater.
"It had to happen, sooner or later" He said "Do you want to tell me about Jason?" Darcy did not know exactly why he had asked that, maybe he thought he had to ask. It was certainly NOT because he wanted to know more about him and if she still felt something for her ex, it was because he knew it would make her feel better if she told someone.
"I do not like to talk about it, and sorry, but I just met you yesterday" She said trying to get up from where she was sitting. He grabbed her by the waist and sat her back down on his legs.
"Sure, I only offered because I know firsthand it makes you feel better when you tell someone. True story" He said as she rested her head on his shoulder, smelling Old Spice on his shirt. A few minutes later she felt him lay his hand on her head, and like that she dropped off to sleep, tired of crying and all the melodrama.
She woke up when she felt Darcy shaking her slightly, and she could hear her father, as if from far away, walking into the room and demanding an explanation. However, when she lifted her face and he saw she had been crying his attitude changed completely.
"Baby, what happened?" He asked concerned. She was still cuddled on Darcy's lap, with her face against his shoulder, so her voice came muffled.
"Lydia asked if I would give her the black skirt Jason gave me, and it pissed me off, and Charlie, Caroline and Darcy were there, and I almost died of embarrassment, so I walked out of the room. When I walked in I heard Jane retelling Jason's death, and I had a breakdown" Lizzy explained starting to sob again as Darcy run circles on her back with his thumb.
Tom appeared thoughtful, and it was after a while that he spoke.
"And how came you here?" He asked Will.
Will had been so caught up on stopping Lizzy from crying that he had not though that it would be weird for the father to find his daughter curled up in some man's lap, in the dark, especially if they had never met.
"I am William Darcy" He said offering to shake hands with Tom. Darcy always avoided using his full name when he could, it was a mouthful, and this people could not care anyway.
"Dad, Darcy came in when I broke down, and tried to help. I fell asleep crying on his shoulder." Lizzy explained the awkward situation, truth was, after a while Darcy had also fallen asleep. She loosened herself from his grasp and stood up, facing her dad, who looked to be thinking what to say.
"Well, your friends have already gone, they left about an hour ago, they thought you had already gone home." Tom said as Will stood up.
"Oh, alright, I am sorry to disturb. Good night then." Darcy waved awkwardly and left. Lizzy wanted to offer him to stay the night there, or to drive him, but Tom held her back, and Darcy walked alone back to Netherfield.
"How are you my baby?" Tom asked gently once Elizabeth had settled down to bed. She was all covered up and he was sitting by her bed like when she was five.
"I am alright now, I don't know why I broke down, I had been nervous for some days now, so it was not unexpected, but still, I would rather it had not happened while everyone was here.
"I know baby" Tom caressed her "Still that Darcy stayed with you, would you care to explain that?"
"I don't know, the first time I saw him he said it would be a pain to dance with me, but he has been to war, so I think it was more of a knee-jerk reaction to take care of those who are emotionally scarred." She said, logic was, if he had been to war, he must have seen many disturbing things, so his heart must have warmed up to any suffering peer, who was even more traumatized then he was.
Tom nodded his head, and after a while Lizzy dropped off to sleep.
AN: Disclaimer: This is not mine. Please Review.