Posted on Monday, 31 March 2008
"Have you seen Georgiana?" asked Darcy of his guest. Kitty was at the breakfast table by herself. "Good Lord. That's a lot of marmalade."
"I can't help it. This breakfast consists of marmalade, toast, white soup, and strawberries."
Darcy shook his head. "Damn fan-fiction writers. Unless Hurst or Collins is in the room, we hardly get anything to eat... where is my sister?"
"She took the carriage out this morning. Come to think of it, she had packed a trunk and said something about London---or was it Londonderry? Well, you know Georgiana. She's always running off to London or Kent or Hertfordshire or someplace. She has quite the independent mind."
"Not again." Darcy shook his head again. He shook his head almost as much as he nodded, though not as many times as he raised one eyebrow. "I suppose I shall have to go find her at some point. I hope she didn't go somewhere for my sake. That's her greatest tendency, of course, to overcome her shyness and rush across the country to rescue me from myself. But I'm not sick nor have I fell into a drunken stupor. So she wouldn't have gone to Hertfordshire... Oh, damn."
"What is it Mr. Darcy? Do you know where she went?"
He sighed and shook his head (yet again). "Well, I'm heartbroken---and I have been heartbroken for three years. So she must have gone into Hertfordshire to convince Miss Elizabeth to marry me. Good Lord, this must be the third time this month."
"But I thought you were over my sister and madly in luv with me." Kitty stood up from her breakfast and stamped a foot.
"Yes, well you were wrong, you silly little girl. For a silly little girl you are, despite your obvious maturity. And although you are the age that Lizzy was in the novel, and though our age discrepancy would not be anywhere near Austen's widest, you are simply too young and silly for me."
"Now, now, stop blubbering. You be a good girl these next three years and I'll take you to a review at the end of them." Darcy patted her on the head. He turned his attention to the groom that, for some reason, was standing in the breakfast parlor. "Dawkins, saddle me a horse in the next thirty seconds. I must be off to Hertfordshire!" He turned and left Kitty sobbing over her marmalade. After a moment, she turned and ran after him.
"But Mr. Darcy! No!" screamed Kitty, tears falling down her face like a waterfall in the fashion of Victoria or perhaps Niagara, had they been widely accessible to English visitors in the Regency era, which they were not, at all in the case of the former, and only with great difficulty in the case of the latter.
"It is no use," he cried in a dark and possibly brooding way as he mounted his horse. "It is only your sister I shall ever luv, and though I have not seen her for three years and she hated me then and I have not yet atoned for my misdeeds, at least not in front of her, I'm sure she will adore me now! Who could not, for I am Mr. Darcy!"
"'Tis true, for I luv you and I shall never luv another! Never ever!!" Kitty was beside herself. "Wait, why don't you take me home? I can hardly stay here at Pemberley if you are leaving."
"Of course you can. I'm sure Mrs. Annesley is around despite the fact that the authoress has ignored her pretty much entirely until now."
And with that comment, he galloped off- without luggage or servant or carriage-- for Pemberley was widely accessible to Netherfield and he could come back for his things whenever he needed to.
Kitty sat down on the doorstop, her tiny figure obscured by the massive house.
"Oh, how I wish there was a man of the cloth here to console me!" she wept.
Suddenly a tall shadow (though not so tall as Mr. Darcy's) fell over her.
But it is midday and there should be no shadows, she thought.
"Miss Bennet," she heard a quiet and Alan Rickman-esque voice say.
"Henry Tilney!" she cried. A man of the cloth must be Henry Tilney if he was to be handsome. Edward Ferrars and Edmund Bertram were sooo second rate as far as handsome clergymen went.
"No, it is I, Mr. Fulton. I have the living at Pemberley, remember?"
"Oh, yes, Mr. Fulton." Kitty jumped up. "I'm sorry I did not recognize you-- for you did not actually appear in this story. You were only spoken of for a matter of chapters and then ignored again."
"Maybe the authoress should have bothered to have me as a real character-- for you would have liked me very much indeed."
For the first time Kitty looked, truly looked, at the clergyman. He was (and this should come as no surprise to the reader), the most gorgeous specimen of man ever, excepting Mr. Darcy and Richard Armitage. And he had Alan Rickman's voice, as the authoress has already established.
"Omigod, you are beautiful."
"Yes, I know." He kissed her in a manner entirely unbecoming to a clergyman. "Kitty, I must have you. Marry me instantly."
"Yes, sir, at once," she panted, gasping for breath. "Wow, you taste so good that I would have guessed that you had the advantage of fluoride in the water supply."
"My beautiful, darling Kitty, I will whisper sweet nothings to you and other such things a dark and brooding luver is supposed to do."
"Oh, nevermind that. You must obtain a special license if you are to marry me instantly."
He shook his head. "Kitty, do not be ignorant. I cannot obtain a special license. The reference to such a thing by your mother in the original novel was meant as a joke. There is an Anglican establishment we must bow to, and strict marriage laws we must adhere to."
"So how do you plan to marry me today?"
"Easy. My twin brother, the clergyman at Kympton, will claim that I read the banns in my parish, and I will claim that he read them at his parish, and no one will ever be the wiser."
"But...oh I see-- then we will record the marriage in the books of both the parishes, just in case. It all makes perfect sense." Kitty nodded vigorously in order to assure the readers that such a trick was possible. Though the authoress is sure that it isn't. But she is too busy to look up how a common license might work or how long it might take Mr. Fulton to obtain one.
"Yes, for it would make no sense for me to ride to get your father's permission and actually bother with the morays of society. Such bother would be so out of place in a novel of manners."
"And Scotland is so far away. Really not worth the effort. And let's completely ignore the fact that I am underage."
"Let us stop worrying about such details. Let us go and be instantly married!"
And so Kitty and Mr. Fulton ran off and got married. I will not bore the readers with the patched up affair of a wedding, as no sensible female character in fan-fiction has ever cared about her wedding, despite the fact that females caring about their wedding seems to a be a pretty common occurrence in real life. No, let's skip that bit and instead jump ahead two hours.
"Well that was a gloriously earth-shaking and mutually satisfying experience!" laughed Kitty. "Not at all awkward or embarrassing, despite my former status as a maiden."
"Yes, only that one single nanosecond of pain for you, as is required by law in fanfiction," replied her husband. "But really Kitty, had it not been earthshaking it would have been clear that we could not luv each other. For true luv equals a perfect wedding night. Everyone knows that."
"Or wedding morning, as it is. Do you think we ought to step in the next room and inform your mother or our marriage? You do live with her, you know."
"Damn you and your remembering that! No Kitty, for the next week at least, you and I are the only people in the world. Excepting of course for our child whom we have undoubtedly just conceived."
And so Kitty and Alan Rickman Fulton and their quadruplets lived happily ever after.
Now let us turn to Darcy and his gallop of an unclear length of time toward Netherfield.
He found Lizzy riding a horse.
"No this is not right my luv! I have it on good authority that you are deathly afraid of horses. You do not even know how to ride!"
He gave him an odd look. "Why would I not know how to ride? I am a gentleman's daughter. Seems a bit odd that I wouldn't know how to ride at all, doesn't it?"
"You are no horsewoman Lizzy! I chose to interpret that statement in the most drastic of manners. Get off that horse instantly, and I will teach you how to ride when you move in with me at Pemberley. I will also teach you not to be afraid of horses and you will reward me with the type of favors such that married people give each other."
She did as she was told, and stared at him. "It is so odd how I am attracted to you when you order me around."
"And I often do order you around. A disturbing amount really. But I'm such a monster in bed, it doesn't matter."
"Really? Because after months of marriage, I'm still a maiden. Charles keeps calling me Jane. Ruins the moment. That would make it morally OK to jump you right here in the field, right? I've been studying casuistry"
"What an animal!! I shall take care of you in a way he cannot!" He jumped off the horse and kissed her in the way that Mr. Fulton kissed Kitty earlier in the chapter. When they had finally paused, he looked around for the familiar figure.
"Bingley! Where are you?! Show yourself!"
"Darcy, what are you doing here?" asked Bingley, now visible on his white horse over the crest of a hill. "It doesn't matter of course, for I am all ready to forgive you, genial idiot that I am."
"I challenge you to a duel!"
"Why? For being married to my Lizzy! You are suppose to be with Jane."
"Jane died when I was 24 years old. You really want to curse me to a life without luv?"
"No, I want to gift you with a death with true luv. It would be so sweet. The readers would swoon. Now, pistols or swords?"
"Swords, they're more swoon-worthy."
"OK, then." Darcy drew his sword. "Prepare to meet your Jane, Bingley!"
Bingley dismounted and they started to fight. They fought and fought and fought. There were several near-deaths. They fought all the way over to the formal gardens, where Darcy took the opportunity to jump in the fountain to get a height advantage on Bingley. Then they fought some more. And then they fought even more. The horses wandered back to the stables. They fought some more. They fell through the plate glass window of a Greek restaurant. They fought some more. Lizzy swooned maybe eight or nine times. They fought some more. Finally with one symbolically phallic stroke, Darcy pierced Bingley through the heart.
"Jane, I'm coming to join you!!" cried Charles Herman Jacob Heimer Smith Bingley as he fell and breathed his last.
Lizzy Margaret Anne Rose Bennet Bingley looked at Fitzwilliam George Herbert Walker Matilda Darcy, standing tall and triumphant and gorgeous over her husband's body.
"Mr. Darcy! Your shirt! It's all wet! How fortunate that you had to fight through that fountain." She swooned again.
"I know. I'm gorgeous." He puffed out his chest. "My Elizabeth! You must know that I luv... luv... luv you."
"Why do you laugh? I'm super-serial."
"That wasn't the comedy rule of three?"
Darcy shook his head. "No, that was the dramatic rule of three. It means I luv you three times as much."
"Oh, well in that case I luv, luv, luv you too."
"Mary me." He fell forward on his knees and brought out the jewel-encrusted ring he always carried in his pocket. "It's either a family heirloom or straight from Tiffany's. I forgot which. Speaking of, do you happen to know if engagement rings are given in Regency times? I always meant to check. I don't think so, but I'll pretend they are."
"Yes, I will marry you, and take your J-Lo diamond too-- for I have been attracted to you all these years. In fact, I was attracted to you at the Meryton Assembly when you acted like a boorish snob and insulted me. What girl wouldn't be attracted to such a man?" Lizzy leaned in to kiss him, a kiss that would have been deep and passionate and wonderful and perfect--
"Wait! I must have my share in the conversation!" A handsome, dashing redcoat got down from yet another horse, which had galloped up, trampling Bingley's body in the process.
"Richard Armitage--, I mean Colonel Fitzwilliam," said Lizzy, gaspng at his gorgeousness. "Whatever are you doing here? Shouldn't you be with your bride?"
"She died in a well timed carriage accident a week after our wedding," he said in his chocolately Richard Armitage voice. And I'm not sad either. She was nothing but a Caroline Bingley knock-off anyway."
"But that does not answer the question of why you are here! Now of all times!" shouted Darcy, for Darcy was a man who raged with jealousy every time another man talked to his Lizzy. And we know overly jealous guys are always the best catch. Am I right or am I right? Ladies? Anyone..?
"Well, I'm in love with Lizzy of course! Lizzy or Jane! I can't remember which. It's all very confusing given that I am such a bit player in the original novel. But I know it is extremely important that I show up now."
"Excuse me, what about me?!" shouted Mary, who suddenly showed up in the scene. "Why I must always be the ignored Bennet sister?"
"You aren't," commented Darcy. "You always get a husband in fan fic. Or you write highly successful novels. One of the two. Actually in a few cases you join a convent, but that always seems strange considering what Anglicans think of convents during the Regency era."
"Well, I rejected the clerk, haven't shown a writing streak, and I'm certainly not moving to Catholic France like I'm in some Charlotte Bronte novel-- so what am I to do?"
"Omigod!" squealed Colonel Fitzwilliam in the manner of Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear. "Why, if you just did your hair a little differently and smiled, you would be the prettiest Bennet girl of them all! Mary, marry me!"
"Who are you?" Mary looked him up and down and nodded appreciatively
"It doesn't matter Mary. Marry me Mary and I will be merry!"
She considered a moment. "OK, Richard I will. Kitty and Lydia never deserved a redcoat anyways."
"My name isn't Richard," said Colonel Fitzwilliam, confused.
"Speaking of Lydia... what do you think happened to her?" asked Lizzy as she nuzzled Darcy as if her sister and his cousin weren't watching her.
A carriage pulled up, running over Bingley's body as it did. Darcy, Lizzy, Mary and Richard Armitage... I mean Colonel Fitzwilliam looked up.
"We've found her!" Georgiana popped out the door with Lydia, completely unchanged from the girl who had disappeared three years before, and another girl that would have looked familiar except that she was in good health, pretty, and a bit sassy besides.
"Yes, Anne and I. I ran off from Pemberley to spring Anne from Rosings. After so many years, our incestual same-sex luv could no longer be suppressed. We are running off to America where we will be accepted as we are, because in all fan-fic America implies acceptance of all behaviors completely unacceptable in the early nineteenth century! Oh, and we stopped in London on the way and found Lydia. I recognized her from Kitty's drawings. See, Kitty's drawings were not a pointless subplot, not even in this alternative ending."
"What happened to Wickham?"
"He died in childbirth," announced Lydia. "Odd thing that. Didn't think it was possible. But I'm fine, and so is our daughter-- for Wickham barely ever sires sons."
"Well then," laughed Darcy. "Everything turns out for the best! I have Lizzy. Dead Bingley has dead Jane. Mary has Richard-- I mean Colonel Fitzwilliam. Georgiana has Anne. Lydia will undoubtedly reconnect with Lieutenant Denny in the next few minutes--"
"Done!" shouted Denny, who materialized out of nowhere. "And I've resigned my commission because I inherited a baronetcy from a distant relative. So we'll be rich Lydia my luv!"
Lydia threw herself into his arms. "Denny! I don't remember you looking so much like James McAvoy!"
"---and I imagine Kitty has found happiness back in Derbyshire with Alan Rickman Henry Tilney Fulton," finished Darcy. "Oh, and Mr. Bennet will be magically cured of his stroke, and Mrs. Bennet will remember why she luved him so many years ago."
"Do you think that Mr. Collins might die and Charlotte will find happiness with a rich and handsome stranger?" asked Lizzy.
"Don't be absurd, my dear. Deaths just don't conveniently happen in fan-fic, not ever."
"Actually!" A new voice was heard, as a woman walked over the hillside toward them
"Charlotte! Is Mr. Collins...?"
"Dead as a doornail. Choked on his breakfast. A good breakfast it was too. But it doesn't matter. I found out he was having an affair with Lady C. anyway, so I see no reason to pay attention to the rules about mourning one's husband."
"Join the club," laughed Lizzy, staring pointedly at dead Bingley while holding Darcy's hand.
"Mrs. Collins, may I introduce my former commanding officer, Colonel Forster? Seems his wife also died. Isn't that fortunate?" asked Denny, as he held Lydia's hand.
"Benny?" Charlotte looked at Colonel Forster with alarm.
"Charlotte! Is it really you? After all these years?" She swooned and he wrapped her in tight embrace.
"Enough!!" shouted Darcy. "Are there any other minor characters that need to find happiness or have we exhausted the lot?"
"Maria Lucas?" ventured Mary.
"Engaged to the clerk that was supposed to marry you," sighed Darcy with boredom and impatience.
"Mrs. Hurst?" asked Charlotte.
"Her husband died of apoplexy and she is going to marry the Prince Regent. Their marriage will be, against all odds, a great success. Or possibly Mr. Hurst won't die. Instead he realizes the error of his ways and learns to luv his wife. Or possibly she comes to terms with her husband's infidelity and takes a really hot Italian luver. I'm leaning toward the latter," laughed Georgiana.
"Great!" Lizzy turned toward all the rest of the characters. "Now, you all get out of here and take Charles's body with you, would you? Darcy and I need some us time. There is some hay over there and we need to roll in it."
And so the various couples were all happy. They were all married instantly by special license and had perfect wedding nights.
Lise's Captain and Mrs. Croft* were sitting up on the hill, watching the proceedings.
"You know Sophia, that's just too many matches, even for our taste," said Captain Croft.
"I agree my dear. Are you up for a ride in the curricle? The twins are kicking again,"
The moral of this story is of course: "Tru luv forevah!"
*Lise did not give permission for her characters to appear in this story. I meant to e-mail her and ask, but I forgot.
Oh, yeah. April Fool's.