It’s a week after William Darcy proposes that they actually bring up the idea of a wedding. Lizzie Bennet is firmly against some time wasting tradition when they could simply elope. William understands that she does not want to go through the stress of her mother taking over the wedding planning like she did with Jane’s.
His only argument is that of their first dance. She says that they can dance anytime and gave him a little smile.
“Lizzie. I don’t care if 500 people come or 5 people. I want the opportunity to prove myself on the dance floor after our most awkward dance ever.”
“William, you’ve already proven yourself to be an excellent dancer. Why are you so stubborn on this?” she asks.
“My parents…my parents danced a lot when I was a child. I want that new memory of you and me dancing. At OUR wedding…where I can call you my wife. We can do away with all the other outdated traditions of the garter toss and cake cutting. I just…I want to dance with you, Lizzie Bennet” he says slowly.
Lizzie stares at him for a moment before giving him a teary smile and resting her hand on his cheek.
“Oh Will,” she murmurs. “I would love to share that first dance with you.”
In the end, Lizzie stands her ground and her mother gets no say in the wedding. It takes place at a small banquet hall in Lizzie’s hometown and only 20 guests are invited. They want to be only surrounded by their closest friends and family.
The ceremony is short but full of emotion and nobody has seen William Darcy happier than when the officiant announces them husband and wife. He smiles from ear to ear before wrapping his arms around Lizzie, picks her up and kisses her with enthusiasm. She laughs into the kiss and wraps her arms around his neck before he puts her down and rests his forehead against hers. They turn to the small but spirited crowd and make their way back up the aisle grasping hands.
After congratulations are said and most of the pictures are taken, everybody but the couple return to the banquet hall. Lizzie and Darcy stay outside the doors for just a few moments in a quiet stupor. There is a gentle breeze under the willow tree and it gives Lizzie goosebumps. William ends up being the first to break the silence and Lizzie welcomes his voice.
“Have I told you yet how beautiful you look?”
“Maaaybe but I don’t mind if you tell me again,” Lizzie teases.
“Well, Lizzie Bennet-“ William smiles
“Darcy!” she interrupts.
“Wow. How dare I. Lizzie Darcy,” William likes the sound of that on his tongue as he continues. “You are a sight to behold. You took my breath away when you walked through those doors.”
Lizzie inches closer to him and slides her hand in his before giving him a quick kiss.
“You’re not so hard on the eyes yourself,” she breathes out.
They linger under the willow tree for a few moments more before Gigi bursts through the doors.
“Come on, you love birds! You need to be announced and have your first dance. Don’t make me push you again!” she exclaims.
They exchange a quick knowing look and head in behind Gigi who is practically skipping from excitement down the hallway.
They wait behind the French doors and listen for their cue.
“For the first time ever…please welcome Mr. and Mrs. Elizabeth and William Darcy!”
The French doors open and they are greeted with love and enthusiasm from their family and friends, Lizzie distinctly hears Lydia holler, "get that mancake sis!” William gives Lizzie’s hand a tight squeeze and chuckles before leading her to the small table labeled ‘Mr. and Mrs. Darcy.’ She smiles at the sight of the small, handwritten by Jane place card and lets out a small giggle at realizing for the first time that she is really married to William Darcy. He lets out a happy sigh before tucking his chin in out of old habit and then helps her into her seat. Her tea length cream colored gown gives her no troubles but the gesture is engrained in William’s head. He joins her in the seat next to her, makes sure to grab her hand once more and slowly strokes her hand with his thumb. She gives him an encouraging smile because despite the crowd being small, she knows he is never comfortable being the center of attention.
There is a clink of glasses and an outburst from Lydia, “Kiss the shit out of him!” followed by Lizzie’s mother reprimanding her.
Lizzie and William laugh but follow tradition with the clinking glasses. William leans over and caresses her cheek before gently kissing her lips and breathing her in. They kiss for a moment more before they break apart and share a loving look. William whispers “I love you” as he rests his forehead against hers once more.
As the night progresses, dinner is served and all the speeches are heard. Everyone laughs when Gigi retells the story of pushing and locking them in a room together and everybody cries when she talks about how their parents would be so proud of him.
After the cake is served and the plates are cleared, the tables are moved to make way for dancing.
It is time for their first dance.
Lizzie realizes that they don’t even have a song and begins to wonder what William even chose for them. She turns and is about to ask him when Fitz grabs the microphone and practically screams that it is time for ‘part 2 of the most awkward dance ever.’
William cringes slightly at the mere mention but Lizzie gives him a reassuring squeeze and they share s quick smile. He rises from his chair and helps Lizzie out of hers before leading her to the dance floor.
As they reach the center of the dance floor, William stops to puts one hand around her waist while holding her other hand in his.
The music begins and Lizzie recognizes the sweet melody almost immediately.
Someday when I’m awfully low
When the world is cold
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight
She gives William a loving but quizzical look and is about to ask before he quietly begins.
“One of my favorite memories…is when I was a young child and snuck out of bed.” He paused, “I found my parents dancing to this song in the living room and they looked so happy in each others’ arms. I watched them dance until I could barely keep my eyes open. It has always stayed with me because I wanted a love like that and I finally found it with you…I have never even told Gigi that story.”
Lizzie is speechless and her eyes are full of unshed tears. William rarely shared memories of his parents and here he was pouring his heart out during their first dance. He pulls her in closer and she rests her head on his shoulder as the song continues.
William starts to whisper the lyrics into her ear and she shuts her eyes as the tears start to flow.
“With each word, your tenderness grows…Tearing my fear apart. And that laugh that wrinkles your nose. It touches my foolish heart. Lovely…never never change. Keep that breathless charm. Won’t you please arrange it. cause I..I love you. Just the way you look tonight.” He breathes.
William kisses her hair and then rests his forehead on hers while they continue to sway to the song. Lizzie feels like they are the only ones in the room with the way his hand is caressing her back and holding her so closely.
Somebody yells (Lizzie suspects it is Lydia and Gigi), “Get a room!” and their intimate moment is broken. They both laugh nervously and smile at each other.
“Hello Mrs. Darcy.” William murmurs.
“Hello Mr. Darcy.” Lizzie says with a big grin.
“Mind if I spin you around?” He teases.
Lizzie lets out a breathy laugh and nods because after all this time, William still is hesitant in his actions. She throws her arms around his neck as he lifts her and spins her for just a moment while the crowd cheers them on. William then dips her and she has never felt so safe in someone’s arms as she does then.
The song ends and as another begins, the couple beckons the rest of the group to join them on the dance floor.
Everybody dances with the bride and groom throughout the night. William even shares a dance with Mrs. Bennett while Lizzie dances with her father. She watches William in amusement as he is no doubt being questioned when the grandkids are coming because his chin is pulled back to his neck.
The rest of the night passes in a blur and the happy couple is more than ready to leave.
Lizzie finds Gigi and hands her the bouquet because there is no way she would throw those flowers after avoiding the rest of the traditions from tonight.
“Without you, Gigi, we wouldn’t even be here.” Lizzie adds, “Thank you so much.”
Gigi beams and pulls her into a big hug while quietly saying, “Take care of my brother. I’m so thrilled that you’re family now.”
William is leaning against the French doors patiently waiting while Lizzie says goodbye to the rest of her sisters. Lizzie finally glides over to him slowly while the smile on his face grows bigger.
“Are you ready to go, my beautiful wife?” William gloats as he holds out his arm.
“As ready as I’ll ever be, my dashing husband.” Lizzie smirks as she slides her arm into his.
Chapter 3: 3 years later
Lizzie wakes to light barely streaming through the cracks in the window shades. She rolls over to find William’s side of the bed empty, checks the alarm clock and sees that it is still very early. She pulls herself up and makes her way to the nursery only to find that room is empty as well.
She hears a quiet voice coming from the den, walks down the hallway and gravitates towards the sound.
William has his back to Lizzie and is holding their one year old daughter Olivia in his arms. He is wearing only his pajama bottoms which meant he arose in a hurry. He is swaying slowly and singing a familiar song.
“Someday when I’m awfully low,” His voice is low “When the world is cold. I will feel a glow just thinking of you and the way you look tonight.”
Olivia has her head resting on his shoulder and looks like she is nearly asleep. William unhurriedly turns around and quietly continues the song when he spots Lizzie standing in the doorway. He gives her a warm smile as Lizzie makes her way to his other side.
“She could not sleep,” He speaks in a hushed tone. “I know you had a long night and did not want her to wake you.”
Lizzie runs a hand through the dark curls of her daughter’s hair and sees that she is now fast asleep. William goes to put Olivia down in the nursery and makes his way back to Lizzie in the den.
He hugs her from behind and breathes in her scent as Lizzie leans her head against his chest. He begins to hum their favorite tune once more and they are swaying.
William breaks the quiet moment and turns her around to kiss her gently.
“Thank you.” He smiles.
“For what?” Lizzie looks at him quizzically.
He caresses her cheek and she leans into his hand.
“For moments like these. For our beautiful daughter…and for your love. You make me feel so absolute.” He finishes.
Lizzie kisses him on the cheek and says, “You make me feel the same, Will. I love you.”
They stand there for just a moment more before Lizzie’s smile becomes mischievous.
She gives him a flirty look and hooks her fingers around the waistband of his pajamas. He quickly lifts his head and raises an eyebrow.
“I saw your shirt on the floor in the bedroom. These should join them.” She winks.
William lets out a low growl as she turns and seductively makes her way down the hall. He runs up behind her, lifts her up in his arms and Lizzie lets out a chuckle as they make their way to the bedroom.
It was the beginning of a good day.