A Rocky Road

Peace and bliss

Darcy POV

I wake up the next morning, anxious for the arrival of my dear sister. I dress, and then make my way down the stairs and into the breakfast parlour. I notice that Bingley is already breaking his fast, which I consider to be unusual due to the fact that he is not usually an early riser. I realise that he must have aroused himself from slumber in order to welcome my sister to his home.

I pour some coffee out of the pot already on the table. Calmly I wait for Bingley to notice my entrance into the room due to the fact that he is absorbed in the correspondence in front of him that must be from one of his sisters, as both are absent from the house now that Jane has arrived.

Bingley looks up, and smiles. I nod to show that I have acknowledged his presence and let my mind wander, as I know that Bingley will not mind if I am silent, as I usually am around him.

"Darce, do you know when your sister is to arrive?" a voice interrupts my thoughts.

I look up. Bingley repeats the question for my benefit.

"Forgive me, I do not know when my sister is to arrive, however I suspect that it will be sometime this morning." I say, smiling a little.

"I shall look forward to seeing her again. It has been an age since I saw her." Bingley says happily.

I smile in response, then stand and cross to the window. I look out, thinking about Elizabeth and the fact that she may be walking in the land between Longbourne and Netherfield. It is this thought that occupies my attention as a footman comes into the room.

"A Miss Darcy for you sir." He says, bows and then exits the room.

My attention is immediately arrested by the fact that Georgiana is finally at Netherfield.

A young lady then enters the room. I realise that it is my own sister. She has grown much in the last fortnight. I walk forward, eager to speak to her again.

"Brother!" she exclaims happily.

"Georgie, I am so glad that you have come." I say with warmth.

"Charles, it has been a long time since we last met, do you not agree?" she asks politely as she curtsies.

"Georgiana, it has indeed been several months at least, if not years." Bingley says with a smile.

The scene before me makes me smile, as Bingley and I have been friends for so long but yet he has not been much acquainted with my sister due to the fact that I always went to see Bingley.

"Brother, in your letter you spoke of Miss Elizabeth being engaged to marry you. I offer you my congratulations and will be pleased to have Miss Elizabeth for a sister." Georgiana states.

By this time, breakfast has gone by and we now sit in the library in privacy. As we walk in the direction of Bingley's library which is not as well stocked as my own, but it serves the purpose of private conversation with my sister. Once inside the library, the conversation resumes.

"Thank you dear sister. I shall be travelling to Longbourne later today if you will accompany me, as Elizabeth told me that she was eager to see you again."

"That would be nice brother, but you would prefer if you could visit privately with your fiancée would you not? I would not want to intrude." Georgiana says.

'Georgie, you shall not be intruding as I wish to speak to Mr Bennet about inviting Elizabeth to come back to Pemberley with us. You would have to chaperone us, but would this be an acceptable plan to you?" I say with some hesitation as to Georgiana's answer.

"That would be wonderful. I should like to show Miss Elizabeth the gardens and the private areas of the house that she was unable to see on her last visit. I shan't mind having to chaperone if it means your happiness, dear brother. Will Mr Bennet acquiesce to this bold request of yours?" She asks.

"I believe that he shall, as long as I state that you will accompany us at all times possible. Elizabeth also wishes to come to Pemberley."

"How long will the duration of her visit be brother, as I know that you will want to have the wedding ceremony soon." Georgiana asks curiously.

"If she agrees, she shall be our guest until the day of the wedding when she shall assume the role of mistress of Pemberley and reside with us permanently." I say smiling.

I read in the library with Georgiana until it is an acceptable hour to call upon my fiancée. Once it is time to pay the visit, I ask Bingley if I may borrow his carriage, to which he agrees as he has no need of it, and I cannot share Storm with Georgiana as she will become dishevelled in the ride from Netherfield to Longbourne if I were to take this mode of transportation. As it is, we reach Longbourne in time for tea.

I hand Georgiana out of the carriage and smile as she looks in amazement at her surrounds as she has not had much occasion for travelling far from Pemberley.

I knock on the door and both Georgiana and I are admitted into the drawing room to be received by the Bennets. It is a short wait and soon Elizabeth enters the room.

"Mr Darcy, it is a pleasure to see you again so soon. Miss Georgiana, it has been too long since we last spoke." She says smiling, seemingly teasing me by not calling me by my Christian name.

Elizabeth POV

He has come at last!

"Mr Darcy, it is a pleasure to see you again so soon. Miss Georgiana, it has been too long since we last spoke." I say, somewhat teasing him as I know that he desires that I call him Fitzwilliam however it would be impertinent to do so in front of his sister.

I am glad that he has brought Miss Georgiana with him as it truly has been a long time since we spoke last.

Mr Darcy returns my greeting with a bow.

"Miss Elizabeth, I am delighted to have been able to trespass upon your time so soon after our last meeting as I fear that it was far too short." He says, smiling at me.

"Miss Elizabeth, it is a joy to see you once more. Fitzwilliam has told me of his proposal of you returning to Pemberley with us." Georgiana says with a small smile that betrays her shyness.

Suddenly, mama and my sisters come into the room. Mama stares in amazement at seeing a young woman with Mr Darcy.

"Mama, this is Miss Georgiana. She is Mr Darcy's sister." I say, making the appropriate and necessary introductions.

Mama politely greets Georgiana and invites our guests to be seated and tea is called for. I sit near to Georgiana in order to continue to converse with her, however her brother positions himself in such a way that I am seated next to him.

"Miss Elizabeth, you are well?" I hear Mr Darcy ask me.

"I am well, thank you. I trust you are well also?" I reply with a smile.

Darcy POV

I sit with Elizabeth, admiring her beauty from my seat. I listen to her family talking around me. I realise that I must speak to Mr Bennet.

I reply in the affirmative that I am well.

"Miss Elizabeth, may I please speak with your father?" I ask.

"Of course, Mr Darcy. I believe that he is in his study." She replies with a smile.

"Please excuse me for a moment." I bow and walk in the direction of the study which I had already been to when I went to ask for Elizabeth's hand.

I walk to the study like an anxious child that has been called out for trouble they have caused. I knock on the door to the study and am admitted quickly.

"Mr Darcy, is there something urgent which you wish to speak to me about? I understood that you came to see Elizabeth with your sister." He says, beginning to stand up. He seems rather confused.

"Forgive me, Mr Bennet. I did come to see Elizabeth, however I also wished to make a request of you, if I may." I say, somewhat nervously.

Mr Bennet gestures for me to sit and I comply.

"Pray, continue."

"Sir, Elizabeth wishes to see Pemberley, and I am eager to show it to her, as it is to be her home. If I may, I wish to bring her to Pemberley when I depart with my sister, in a fortnight."

"Has Elizabeth agreed to this plan?"

"Yes, I foolishly consulted her before making this request of you. Please forgive me" I say, not willing to meet the eyes of Mr Bennet.

"You realise that you ask for my daughter to travel with an unmarried man and his sister, all the way to Derbyshire?"

"Yes, sir I do. My sister will remain with us at all times, acting as chaperone. She has agreed to this proposition as well. She and Elizabeth have become fast friends in the short time since they first made their acquaintance."

"I see no reason to forestall the plan, provided that you keep to your word and are never alone with my daughter. How long is she to be gone?'

"I had hoped that she would remain at Pemberley until the date of the wedding in order to allow for plans to be made." I reply.

"I understand that the wedding to be held in a mere few weeks."

"Yes, sir. After which time, Elizabeth shall become Mistress of Pemberley."

I wait in anticipation as Mr Bennet considers this new information.

"Sir, please make sure that my daughter is well cared for." He says, tears in his eyes.

"I shall, to the best of my ability. She shall not want for anything." I reassure him.

"You may take my daughter away in a fortnight when you exit the county."

I bow and leave the room, eager to tell Elizabeth that the plan shall commence in a fortnight.

I reach the drawing room and can hear Mrs Bennet talking with Georgiana, however I cannot hear my sister's responses.

I enter the room, and all eyes turn towards me. I look at Elizabeth and give a small smile before addressing her.

"Miss Elizabeth, would you do me the honour of taking a small walk in the outdoors, as it is so pleasant out." I say.

She glances at her mother who nods, and then rises to take my proffered arm.

Once outside, I begin to tell her of the conversation that I had with her father.

"Elizabeth, we shall indeed journey to Pemberley in a fortnight and you shall be accompanying Georgie and myself!" I say, unable to hide my delight and joy.

She smiles, clearly unused to the change in my demeanour.

"That is very good news, Fitzwilliam. I shall wait with anticipation. I long to see Pemberley again, as I barely had time to walk all of the gardens."

"I am glad to hear that my dear Elizabeth. I long to spend time with you in the gardens." I reply with a smile.

I begin to walk back into the house with her.

Once inside once more, I bow to her and say that I must return to Netherfield. She seems saddened by the fact that I shall be leaving, which is a change from the last time that I was in the county.

"Georgiana, I shall be leaving for Netherfield. Shall you be accompanying me?" I ask, knowing that she will be wanting to spend more time with her new friend.

"Oh brother, Elizabeth will be sad for you to leave. I wish to stay for a small period of time, if this is agreeable with Elizabeth of course."

I look to my fiancé.

"Georgiana is welcome to stay here for as long as she wishes. I shall like some company once my beloved leaves my presence." She says, her eyes twinkling with mischief.

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