Comment on Here Be Dragons

  1. Lizzie had to stifle an exasperated groan as she entered the kitchen and saw a tall, dark-haired form stationed by the coffee maker. William Darcy was pouring freshly-ground coffee from the grinder into the coffee filter, and Lizzie's plan of making herself a sandwich suddenly seemed like an unbearably long, complicated process that would inevitably draw his criticism. She probably used too much mayonnaise or arranged the meat improperly, or didn't cut it the right way.

    Perhaps she could just steal an orange off the table and sneak away before he saw her.

    Too late. He had just finished filling the carafe with water, and his short journey back to the coffee maker brought her within his sight. Lizzie froze. So did Darcy. Her presence always seemed to make him tense up. He was wearing those stupid hipster glasses, but she could still see his eyebrows contracting behind them.

    He cleared his throat. "Good afternoon, Lizzie," he said formally with a slight bow of the head.

    "Hey, Darcy," she said with a deliberately casual and disinterested air.

    "Would--would you like any coffee?" he offered, probably to feel self-satisfied for being capable of courtesy.

    Well, good job, Darcy. I would give you a rat's ass if I had one.

    "No, I just..." She grabbed the orange she hadn't come down for from the bowl of fruit on the table. She crossed to the sink and began peeling. She would have just taken it up to her room, but Darcy would probably judge her for tossing the rind in the trash rather than depositing it properly in the sink disposal.

    Darcy remained near the coffee maker as it purred smoothly through the brewing process, and the coffee maker was annoyingly close to the sink. He remained silent, but his eyes were fixed on her hands as they peeled, his eyebrows still contracted, his mouth drawn tight.

    Lizzie seethed. How can he possibly find fault with the way I peel oranges? Have I managed to demonstrate incorrect technique even here? She ground her teeth, and in her annoyance, she seemed to have dug her fingernails a little too deeply and punctured the inner skin of the orange, spraying her hand with juice. Darcy's expression tightened even further as he watched her suck the juice off her fingers.

    I bet his sister peels oranges perfectly and doesn't make a big, juicy mess of it, Lizzie thought morosely. She had this picture in her head of what his sister must be like. Tall, like him. Coldly beautiful and standoffish. She probably had perfect, long taper fingers that were incapable of making human mistakes like the improper peeling of fruit. She violently poked her pieces of orange rind (some with jagged chunks of fruit still attached) down into the drain and flicked on the switch for the disposal. When she flicked it off again, she noticed that the kitchen was now silent--the coffee maker had ceased its purring.

    "I think your coffee is done," I reminded him.

    Darcy jumped and nodded and grabbed the cup he had set on the counter. He poured his coffee, but did not leave. He just took intermittent sips from his cup and continued staring at her. Unfortunately for Lizzie, the messy state of her peeled orange made it inadvisable for her to take it up to her room, dripping over her hands and lush, expensive carpets the whole way.

    So she sighed and separated her orange into halves over the sink, eating it slice by slice under the critical eye of William Darcy.

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    1. OMG! I LOVE YOU. I LOVE THIS. What a wonderful surprise. Thank you! Poor Lizzie. That's probably totally 100% what she was thinking, but we KNOW what he was thinking--well, or feeling. Thought might have been a little difficult just then. <3

      You know I've thought a lot about this though--with Lizzie as unreliable narrator and how vehemently she denied Darcy's interest in her--and how deeply she seemed believe that. But I have to wonder if some small part of her suspected the truth--not the love, but the lust. But she did not want to examine that or think about it so she steam rolled it with the ample proof that he was disdainful and a snob. I don't think she ever suspected that he was in love with her though. But I do wonder if she sometimes--deep down--she had the vague sense that he was attracted to her? Just a moment here and there? Because it makes her vehement denials on camera have a bit more weight. If that makes any sense. It's also totally possible that she was so far in denial that it was unthinkable. But as someone who has completely missed signals and failed to recognize someone's interest in me? Totally possible.

      HA! You left a fic comment and I left you a mini essay. We're hopeless and I hope we never change!

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      1. Hey, it's all meta. ;)

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    2. Nicely done and completely spot on, love!!

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