A Rocky Road

A proposal

Darcy POV

As I walk along the path between Netherfield and Longbourne, I think about what I will tell Elizabeth to make her understand, about how I truly feel and how to make amends for the way in which my aunt may have treated her when she visited her. I do not allow myself to think about proposing again despite my desperate wish to do so, as it would not be received well.

In the distance, I can see a lone figure and my heart starts to beat quickly, surely it can't be Elizabeth? As I walk closer, I see that indeed it is Elizabeth, looking very pretty in the grey morning light. She sees me coming, and I register her surprise before I reach her.

"Mr Darcy." She acknowledges, and I can see that she is still dressed for bed, as am I. This causes me to smile before replying.

"Miss Elizabeth. My aunt…" I stumble over my words.

"Yes, she came." Elizabeth replies with an expression which is difficult for me to place.

"I am sorry that she came. She came to me as well. Please allow me to compliment you on your fortitude to stand up to her like you most likely did, as she seemed rather discomposed." I say with a small smile.

"Thank you, Mr Darcy for your kind words."

"I…I wish to tell you that my feelings towards you have not changed or ceased, despite what my aunt would wish." I say, surprised at myself, as this was not what I had planned to say.

Elizabeth patiently keeps silent as she must know what I am trying to say and she is trying to give me that time.

"I wish to know if your feelings have changed, which will make me that happiest man alive, but if not I at least hope we may remain friends." What will Elizabeth think? I basically just proposed to her again, a thing I vowed I would never do.

"Well then Mr Darcy. I wish for you to know that indeed my feelings have changed quite drastically from what they were before. I am deeply ashamed about what I said to you then. I hope I may gain your forgiveness."

"My dear Elizabeth, what did you truly say that was not true about me? If you had not said those things to me, I may still have been what you detested. May I escort you to Longbourne, as your family will soon begin to wonder where you are."

"Of course. But first…" Elizabeth says with a sly grin on her face, which makes her look even more beautiful.

She pulls me closer to her and then our lips lock, and we share the kiss that I have been waiting for so long to bestow upon her. We pull apart soon after as we are both conscious of the fact that her father has not given consent to our marriage and it is highly improper to kiss in a public place.

We walk to Longbourne in companionable silence. As we reach the house, I notice one of Elizabeth's sisters watching us, and Mrs Bennet in a state of hysteria soon after. I ignore all of this and ask for an audience with Mr Bennet, leaving Elizabeth to deal with her mother and sisters.

"Sir, I wish to convey my regrets at not seeing you sooner." I say as Mr Bennet invites me to sit, somewhat warily.

"Mr Darcy, it is my pleasure to have you in my private study. Is there anything I may be able to do for you?"

"Um, yes. I wish to marry your daughter, Miss Elizabeth." I blurt out.

"Oh? Are you really in love with her or do you just want her for your own benefit?" Mr Bennet questions.

"Believe me, sir; I would not be here unless Elizabeth returned my love, in addition to me loving her." I say, beginning to smile.

Mr Bennet chuckles and says "yes, I can well believe it. Well, sir, you have my consent to marry my daughter."

"Thank you, sir."

"Could you please tell Elizabeth that I wish to see her?"

"Of course."

I leave the study and go into the drawing room where all of Elizabeth's sisters sit. Mrs Bennet tries to engage me in conversation for a little while but soon gives up when I do not respond.

I sit next to Elizabeth and inform her that her father wishes to see her.

Elizabeth POV

I walk to father's study, trying to think up the reason that he wishes to see me.

"Come in Elizabeth and shut the door."

"Elizabeth, a young man has come to offer for your hand in marriage, whom I believe is the infamous Mr Darcy that slighted you at the Meryton Assembly. Are you sure you wish to be joined to this man in matrimony?"

"Yes, father. I am sure that I wish to be married to Mr Darcy. He seems to have changed due to reproof that I gave him some time ago. I cannot account for it but to safely assume he loves and cares about me deeply. Is there any other objection on your part, other than this?

"No, of course not. I will be happy to welcome him to the family as one would a son."

"Thank you, father."

I hurry out of the study and back into the drawing room. Mr Darcy stands up to acknowledge my presence. He looks anxiously at me, as his happiness is either destroyed or renewed by the knowledge I have within my power to impart to him. I ask mother and my sisters for a private moment with Mr Darcy, as I have something important I wish to say to him.

Once my mother and sisters were out of the room, I hurried over to Mr Darcy and embraced him. He was taken aback but soon melted into my embrace.

"My dear Mr Darcy, my father has consented." I announce.

"Fitzwilliam." He states. I look at him questioningly in response.

"I would appreciate it if I was called by my Christian name, Fitzwilliam." He elaborates.

I smile in understanding.

"I am sure mother would not mind allowing her son-in-law to come to dinner tonight, Fitzwilliam as I dearly want you to be there when I announce the happy news to mother and my sisters, however I suspect that Jane already knows, to a degree."

"Please, allow me to return to Netherfield for the remainder of the day, as I must send for my sister Georgiana, as she would enjoy the opportunity to meeti with you once again. I must also put a stop to the rumours by telling Bingley I am engaged to you." He replies with a small smile.

"Of course, as long as you are not late for dinner." I say playfully.

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