Posted on 2011-04-16
Darcy approached Bingley in the shrubbery of a Sunday evening with his usual deliberation and no small amount of trepidation. Bingley turned 'round, exclaiming "I say, Fitz old boy, it must be something particular to bring you to the shrubbery this time of day!"
"Er... Undoubtedly... Bingley, I'm afraid I have a confession to make-"
"Sorry, old chap, I will be of precious little help with that. Should you not go to the church?"
"It's not that kind of confession, you dolt!" Darcy paused and regained composure. "I have been an unmitigated ass-"
"Well, that's not much of a confession. We all know that, and yet we still tolerate your company."
"Bingley," yelled Darcy with frustration, "I am trying to be serious!"
"There is no try, Darcy, either do be serious or do not."
"Oh for Heaven's sake! I knew Jane was in London and I did not tell you."
The shock of Darcy's words was not enough to dull Bingley's reflexes. The smaller man's fist connected with Darcy's chiseled jaw with an alarming "CRACK!", forcing Darcy to step back and Bingley to shake his hand out from the pain, whining "Ow! that HURT!". However, even the pain was not enough of a deterrent and Bingley swung again, Darcy evading the blow rather easily.
"Please, allow me to explain!" Darcy cried sharply, blocking another potentially devastating blow with his arm.
"Explain this!" Bingley snarled, landing a jab in Darcy's abdomen, causing the great, tall man to double over, gasping for breath.
While he struggled to regain his wind, Darcy momentarily wished his talents lay more in the pugilistic arts rather than swordsmanship, or that at least his friend had not been able to keep up with his boxing lessons after quitting school. From the corner of his eye, Darcy spied that Bingley was winding up again to deliver a punishing downward jab and made the mistake of confirming his suspicion by turning his head.
"Not the face! Not the face!" Darcy cried again
It was too late. Birds scattered, taking to the air in a flurry of wings and frightened chirps while small woodland creatures hid in the underbrush. As if time slowed, elongating the motion, Bingley leapt into the air, spun around three times and delivered a roundhouse kick to Darcy's temple. The effects were felt as far away as the house, where the cheese shook on the pantry shelves, and the stables, where the horses whinnied and cried out in terror.
Darcy was unfazed. His undeniably thick cranium rendered him nearly impervious to most assaults above the neck, and his resistance to physical violence was further aided by the special blue tights and red underthings worn beneath his regular clothing.
"Dammit, Darcy, are you wearing that infernal red cape, too?" Bingley asked, exasperation leaking out of every word.
"Hey, Bingles, want to plug up that exasperation, boyo? You're one to talk, you cannot deny that you are wearing that dashed utility belt! I at least wear my togs under my clothes, even if the chafing is more than bothersome."
"Holy watch fobs, Darcy, that's... that's T.M.I!" Bingley exclaimed, holding up one hand.
"Fine, fine," Darcy said, standing and brushing imagined dirt from his jacket lapel. "I came to tell you that I was wr- wro- wr-"
"That you were what? Ridiculed?"
"No, no, that's wrong."
"No, no, that's wrong."
"No, no, that's wrong."
"Well, confound it all, Darcy! What are you trying to say? Spit it out, man!"
Darcy took a deep, steadying breath and shouted "I WAS WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG." In a softer voice, more like his usual tone, he continued. "Mark the date and time, I was wrong."
"About what?" Bingley asked, his own voice the picture of serenity.
"I was wro-wrong to separate you from Miss Jane Bennet."
"How was that wrong? She didn't love me."
"No, you idiot! She does love you!"
Bingley was off and running toward Longbourn in a flash. Darcy called for a lantern and a horse, not wishing to follow his friend in a mad dash through the park in the gathering darkness without something to light his way.
"No, no, the green one!" he shouted, vaulting onto the back of the horse. The hapless groom held two lanterns, one shaded with thick green glass. Holding the green lantern in one hand, the reins in the other, Darcy shouted "Ride like the wind, Bullseye!"
The horse turned his head to look at the rider as if to say "Really?" Darcy kicked the beast into a trot, then a canter and finally a gallop, catching up to the speeding Bingley in a moment.
"Wait!" Darcy called. He scooped his friend up as he galloped by. Bingley regarded horse and rider with lowered brows. "Ask her tomorrow, man. It's too late, and your clothes are all in disarray from running through the hedgerows."
Bingley sighed. "Perhaps you're right. And anyway, I'm starving. Think we can glean some nuts from the hedgerows?"
There was a very, very long pause while both men considered just how inappropriate Bingley's suggestion sounded.
"Uh, let's just have a pantry raid back at Netherfield," Darcy said.
Another pause followed.
"Anyway. Can you forgive me?" Darcy asked eventually, turning the horse back toward the estate.
"I suppose so."
"Good. I don't think I can take any more abuse, should you go all Chuck Norris on me again."The End