[identity profile] mollivanders.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] prefer_my_life
Title: not with haste, but with urgency
Fandom: Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Lizzie/Darcy, Fitz, Catherine de Bourgh
Author's Note: Word Count - 1,337. For [livejournal.com profile] quick_ly who requested LBD fic where Lizzie and Darcy make out for my Winter Wonderland. So, Darcy and Lizzie spend most of this kissing and I throw in a bit of plot for pretense's sake. You've been warned. Also, this is the last of my Winter Wonderland fics for a couple weeks; they'll pick up again sometime in mid-late January.
Disclaimer: Jane Austen owns these kids. Title comes from a Mumford & Sons song.

William Darcy is a grown man (sort of). He has responsibilities; a sister to look after, a company to manage, and right now, a party to host.

But right now, in spite of all that, he and Lizzie have cornered themselves at the back the library. He can hear guests nearby, the door not quite shut, and tries to concentrate on something other than Lizzie’s mouth at his ear.

(It’s New Year’s Eve, and she said yes forty-three minutes ago.)

“Something wrong?” she asks, shifting closer on his lap. The armrest he’s sitting on isn’t very comfortable and he’s tipping back to the shelves, but he forces himself into a shaky balance and listens closely, the dim gloom around them amplifying his other senses. Lizzie’s fingers drift at his nape, patient.

(The voices fade down the hall.)

“I thought we might have company,” he says and Lizzie’s smirk in the dark knocks at his pulse. For the hundredth time, he can’t believe she said yes.

“You do have company,” she says. “About a hundred people downstairs.”

“They don’t count,” he replies, one of his hands moving to her knees before he carefully swings them down to the actual loveseat, legs stretched out under Lizzie.

(Circa 1820, blue cloth and hand stitched gold spirals, once a gift to the Earl of Winchester. Not very big though.)

“Why, Mr. Darcy,” Lizzie teases, straightening herself to straddle him. “I’ve never seen you so…jolly. Is that an English enough word for you? Jolly?” He smiles, looking down at her ring, and shrugs.

“I have good reason,” he says, his hands pulling at her waist. She shifts closer to him, bracing her arm against the cushion to brush at his hair. “And I’m not English; I don’t know why you keep saying that.” She grins at him. “Interpret, Will. You’re good at that, aren’t you?”

Even in the dark, he’s sure he’s blushing. A moment later it doesn’t matter because Lizzie has shut his mouth with a soft kiss, hands cradling his face, and he tips his neck back to give her better access. She drops one of her hands to his hip, trying for a better angle, but his world has collapsed to the shape of her lips, the soft tang of champagne in her mouth from before and the sound she makes when he pulls her closer. Her gold necklace swings between them, counting the beats. She pauses suddenly and when his eyes slide open he realizes she’s listening again.

“Company,” she whispers while he leans forward to kiss at her neck, wondering how rude it would be to empty the house right now. Lizzie arches against him while they listen; her hands steady on his shoulders. After a moment of silence in the hallway he breathes against her skin and she shivers from the contact.

“Lizzie?” he says, his mind still muddled as she looks down, her hands falling hesitantly to the buttons on his shirt. His stomach clenches in hopeful suspense.

(Hundred and one.)

“No need to hold back, I think,” he says.

She meets him halfway, soft at first and then with insistency. His mouth falls open to hers as he pushes her hair back, a dark cloak around them. Her hand covers his own, fingers laced together, and as she wraps her other arm behind him, pulling him closer, his hips jerk up against her once. She’s in his bones; she’s in his blood and he can’t imagine it otherwise. “Will,” she whispers, the cool metal of her ring grazing his face as their lips break apart, join again. There’s an urgency to her kisses now and as Lizzie meets his pace his teeth catch at her upper lip, pushing them forward.

Something in them breaks at the same time, conscious of where they are headed and not ready, not yet. Just right now, the burden of a hundred guests weighs heavy.

“The party,” she gasps as he pulls her closer, her skirt rustling around his knees as they try to catch their breath. It’s a bargain with restraint and caution as he breaks away and rests his forehead against hers. “I know,” he breathes, shifting back to create a little more necessary space between them. Her fingers track through his hair as he tentatively kisses lower, avoiding the temptation of her lips to favor her jaw, her throat, and a soft trail down to her shoulder until the dark blue strap of her dress halts him, for now. “Do you want to go back?” he asks and Lizzie laughs softly, a low choke in her ribcage. He can’t remember how long they’ve been gone, but it’s a party, there’s music and food and alcohol. What could people want with him?

Still, Lizzie slides off his lap and settles next to him. When she leans closer he slides an arm behind her waist in a cradle. She’s so much smaller than he is and his old protectiveness flares up.

“Nope,” she says cheekily. “I don’t. I think we might have to though. Eventually.” Glancing down, she follows his gaze to the ring.

“How long were you carrying this around?” she asks quietly as he absently toys with her hand.

There’s a gentle, awkward knock at the door, jerking their attention away from each other.

“If either William Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet is in this room,” Fitz says, “their guests are asking for them. It’s nearly midnight, and they want to raise a toast.” There’s a long, deadly pause where Will can’t breathe before Fitz adds casually, “I told everyone that the hosts were attending to a family matter.” His footsteps fall away, back in the direction of the party, and Will leans back against the couch, a blush rising again as he straightens his tie.

“It’s Fitz,” she says reasonably as they stand, and though there’s a bit of nervous energy about her she smoothes her dress confidently. “No need to crawl back into your shell just yet.”

(Hundred and two.)

When they get downstairs, his aunt is the first to descend on them.

“Where have you been!” she asks loudly, looming over Lizzie’s smaller frame and peering up at Will in quick succession while Anniekins snuffles tiredly.

“We had a family matter to attend to, Aunt,” he says hastily, hoping to avoid a confrontation. Catherine’s eyes narrow.

“Something to do with Miss Lydia Bennet?” she bites out, her gaze snapping back to Lizzie. The younger woman’s eyes narrow a fraction before flicking up to Will and back to Catherine. “Actually, no, Ms. de Bourgh,” Lizzie says and lifts her left hand for Catherine to drink in. “I wanted to tell my parents.”

The giant silver ball on the television starts its slow descent and their guests all join in the countdown, blissfully ignorant of Catherine’s falling jaw or the way Will and Lizzie melt into the jostling crowd.

(“10…9…8…7…”)

“Sorry,” Lizzie mutters as he cups her face. “I just really can’t stand that woman sometimes.”

(“6…5…4…3…”)

“Me neither,” he says, and his eyes crinkle as Lizzie loops her arms around his neck.

(“2…1…Happy New Year!”)

It’s a quick kiss, a short promise of long days to come, but when Lizzie drops down she smiles in the way he can’t help but mirror. From the corner of his eye, he notices Catherine is back, her expression having slowly shifted from shock to masked horror.

“Aunt Catherine?” he asks and though it takes her a moment to find her voice, he braces himself for a lecture once everyone else is gone. Instead, the older woman holds out her hand.

“Happy New Year William,” she says. “Elizabeth.”

“Happy New Year,” they echo in confusion, and Lizzie shakes her head before grabbing his hand. “Okay, now we have to tell Charlotte and Gigi and Jane. And then we really have to call my parents, because if they find out from Catherine, I’m toast.” She pauses, smiling privately at him. “But don’t go too far tonight, okay?”

(Hundred and three.)

Finis
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