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Jane Austen Fight Club: RP

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1 Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 22nd December 2011, 23:30

Welcome to "Jane Austen Fight Club," the premier Sandbox RP!

For more information on this RP (and spoilers) see the Discussions page.

This RP is currently only open to Brink, Miss Austen, and beeayy.

This RP is for mature audiences who can handle some violence, swearing, and sexiness.


DW: The Bachelor
Sandbox: Elinor Dashwood
SG: Agent Double-Oh-Negative
Merlin: Sir Leon
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2 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 23rd December 2011, 16:14

It was completely silent in the dark room. Neither of them breathed for a moment.

Elinor pushed Edward down on the bed, caressing his side whiskers as she smiled into his green eyes. His arms were in the way--she pulled his shirt open and down, pinning his arms back. He let out his breath quickly and sucked in another, his senses drenched in her perfume.
She twisted his arm, making him yelp into her kiss. She buried her nose in his hair, grinning and snarling into his ear. He smelled like sweat under soap. His fingers squeezed her knees, and she pulled his cravat up around his throat, then blindfolding him with it to the sound of his excited breathing…

"Miss Dashwood?"

Elinor looked up, suddenly realizing she was not about to take the measure of a man, but was instead attending a ball in the village her family just moved to last week. She had been staring into the chandelier above the dance floor for the last five minutes. Hardly anyone asked her to dance or even talked to her at these sorts of balls. She was surprised to find that she had been daydreaming, but even more surprised to find Edward--no, Mr. Edward Ferrars himself standing before her. She blinked at him; and controlling her blush was easy now that she was reminded that in real life she had never seen him even close to naked.

"Mr. Ferrars," she said, curtsying. "How do you do?"

"Very--very well, thank you, Miss Dashwood." Ferrars, a plain and shy young man with medium hair and a sense of fashion more influenced by his mother than by himself, stood silently in front of her a few moments, turning his eyes to the dancing to distract her from his inability to speak. She ignored it--Mr. Ferrars was not the most talkative of individuals, and she enjoyed the silence better than inane chit-chat. "I have not seen you dance tonight, yet," he said, after a while.

Ask him to dance, the voice said. Don't ask. Take him on the floor yourself. He'll enjoy it. He's practically begging you to.

"I will not dance tonight, sir," she said, showing the poor man some compassion.

"Oh," he said, indeed looking quite relieved. "Have you settled in at Barton?"

"Yes--the Middletons are very kind to accommodate us. I'm sure we will be very happy in Hartfordshire."

"Have you met much of the society in the area, yet?"

"No, this is our first time. I have not met anyone yet, aside from the Middletons."

A small smile flickered across Ferrars' lips. "Perhaps I can be of use in that respect." He scanned the room. "The gentlemen in the red coat is Mr. Wickham, an officer in the regiment--there is his Colonel, Forester. Mr. Knightley in the blue, speaking with Miss Wodehouse…Sir William Lucas, Captain Benwick, and Fanny Price at cards. There are others, of course--the conversation of any of them will prove interesting."

Is it so hard to converse with me yourself? She thought to herself. She wasn't angry--but it was particularly striking. She nodded in thanks, and they stood together in silence for several pregnant seconds until Elinor saw Marianne waving enthusiastically at her across the ballroom. That certainly made her blush, and she curtsied to Mr. Ferrars before she made her way over to her sister. When she arrived, looking flustered, Marianne only laughed.

"Excuse me?" Elinor snapped. "Is that really appropriate?"

She just sighed. "Oh, come on, Elinor, there's someone I'd like you to meet! Come on!"

Elinor sighed, and, shaking the last of the inappropriate daydream from her head, followed her sister through the crowd.


DW: The Bachelor
Sandbox: Elinor Dashwood
SG: Agent Double-Oh-Negative
Merlin: Sir Leon
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3 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 23rd December 2011, 18:20

This whole day had cost her more energy than a walk through the entire southern English country side. The entire day her younger sisters Lydia and Kitty would not be quiet about the ball and could not stop talking about dresses, headpins and ribbons. And potential husbands.
In the late afternoon, when the five Bennet sisters started to get ready for the ball, chaos broke out because Lydia could not find her gloves while Kitty lost her dancing shoes and accused Mary for stealing them after their fight a couple of days ago. Well, and Mary, as unsociable as always, agitated Mrs Bennet by telling her that she did not want to attend any further ridiculous balls.

On days like this Elizabeth took a book and escaped somewhere in a safe corner outside where nobody could find her. However, this afternoon there was no chance of escaping because she had to get ready herself, and that meant she had to endure her sisters’ complaining, moaning and fighting.
But she was used to it. Even if she sometimes- or often- felt the strong desire to strangle each one of them. Her older sister Jane was the only exception. When everybody of the Bennet ladies ran around hysterically, Jane was the only one who remained calm.

The Bennets had arrived late for the ball, as usual. One could not expect a household with five young women to arrive early for a ball. Lizzie was slightly embarrassed about that fact, but she could not change it.
After they arrived at the ball, Lizzie realized that her patience had not yet been challenged enough. Much to her surprise, Mr Wickham was among the guests. She had not expected him. Not at all.
Lizzie took a deep breath and tried to hide behind her sisters while observing the undeniably handsome officer. She did not know what to think of him, and that worried her. Usually she was quick to judge people by the first impression she received from them, but Mr Wickham was like a riddle she could not solve. What worried her the most, however, was the fact that she could not stop smiling when he talked to her. That was very unusual for her.
Mr Darcy did quite the opposite. Everytime she saw him she wanted to chase him with an arrow and bow. And why in God’s name was she thinking of Mr Darcy again??? Even when he was not physically present, he was still able to upset emotionally.


Someone had called her name, and she turned around. When she recognized her friend’s face she smiled.

“Marianne, you came!”

“Of course I came. After all, Elinor and I need to be properly acquainted to all those new faces. Speaking of my sister…” Marianne’s glance wandered around the room. “I wanted to introduce her to you but I cannot see her anywhere.”

Lizzie had met Marianne shortly after the Dashwoods moved to Hartfordshire less than two weeks ago. The two met in town, purely by coincidence, and immediately bonded. Marianne had told her about her older sister Elinor and Lizzie looked forward to finally meet her in person.

“Let me see if I can find Elinor”, Marianne said, winking at Lizzie. “You can continue observing that handsome young man in the red coat.”

Lizzie felt heat rise to her cheeks. “I was not observing anyone, dear Marianne, your eyes must be mistaken.”

“Certainly, Lizzie”, she replied, then disappeared in the crowd. A brief moment later Lizzie saw Marianne pulling a young woman behind her.

“Elinor, this is Elizabeth Bennet. Lizzie, this is my sister Elinor.”

“It is nice to finally meet you”, Lizzie said, shaking her hand. “I already heard so many things about you.”

Elinor smiled gently. “I can only say the same about you, Elizabeth.”

“Please, call me Lizzie”, she replied. “So, this is your first dance in the new society, I assume?”

“Yes, it is. We have not made any acquaintances yet.”

Lizzie quickly turned around when she heard Kitty laughing hysterically about something inappropriate, then she turned back to the Dashwood sisters. “Ladies, I think it is my obligation to warn you...”

“Warn us?” The sisters raised their eyebrows.

“Gossip seems to be the main occupation around here.”

Elinor laughed. “Yes, I noticed that already.”

“So whatever you do, make sure the ladies in this town do not know about it”, Lizzie said, winking at Elinor.


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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4 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 27th December 2011, 22:00

"I think you will like Lizzie very much, Elinor." Marianne scanned crowd as they entered the ballroom, looking for a dress that matched Miss Bennet's description of her intended outfit.

Most party-goers were either dancing or socializing in small circles about the dance floor. A handful of onlookers were gathered around a card table, some of them more interested in the players than their hands. The woman at the table looked as though she wished to prematurely end the game and shy into the drapery. Meanwhile, the drapery wished to shy from Mrs. Jennings (Lady Middleton's mother-in-law), whose conspicuous laughter and jolly commentary on the many uses of fig syrup could be heard above the dance music.

"I am eager to make Miss Bennet's acquaintance. You have spoken so highly of her." Elinor replied. A glance at her sister told Marianne that, although Elinor was indeed eager to meet Miss Elizabeth Bennet, she also hoped to meet another. Hmm, perhaps.... The younger sister suppressed a grin as a certain gentleman entered her peripheral vision about twenty paces before them.

"Oh! I believe I've found her!" gasped Marianne, locking her gaze on a potential (perhaps imagined) Lizzie and plunging into the crowd. Elinor's discomfort at the swift and improper departure was nearly audible to Marianne. She politely wove between the social clusters, smiling at the thought of her sister's reaction had she take the shortest path - straight through the dance floor.

As she approached the figure she hoped to be Elizabeth Bennet, the woman turned her head to reveal an unfamiliar profile. Marianne redirected her path leftward toward the musicians- her intention from the start, of course.

'Where are you, Lizzie?' She wondered under her breath, re-scanning the crowd as a party of six or seven entered the ballroom.

"Are you looking for someone, Miss..."

Marianne turned to face a grave gentleman standing at the outskirts of the nearest cluster, pleasantly disengaged in conversation until present. His voice shared the gray color of his suit, quiet and unremarkable.

"Dashwood." She was not strict in her appreciation of etiquette or proper introduction, but the gentleman's reserved boldness irritated her. Had nature blessed him with more dashing features or had he been on the right side of thirty, perhaps her tone would have been sweeter or her manner more congenial. However, this was not the case. "Yes, I have spotted them. Excuse me."

After all greetings and fetchings and proper introductions had been done, Marianne's inquisitive nature emerged. She could not help her awareness of the room and the fresh personalities it hosted- nor could she help the natural curiosity each individual aroused.

"I'm afraid we cannot enjoy the main form of entertainment quite yet. Names would have no faces, with the exception of yours and perhaps Mr. Edward Ferrars'." With the mention of Edward, Marianne grinned and turned to her sister expectantly. "And how is Mr. Ferrars, Elinor?"

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5 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 30th December 2011, 04:56

"He's fine, Marianne, thank you for asking," Elinor said quickly, hoping that the heat in this particular part of the room would hide her blush. Marianne always said the first thing that popped into her pretty little head, didn't she?

She turned to Miss Bennett, trying to think of something to say before Marianne could reply. Elizabeth Bennet was a thinnish girl, like Elinor herself, but possessing natural beauty more akin to Marianne (she could wear a burlap sack and still look lovely). However, she did not look particularly at home in her elegant evening dress and hair ribbons. Best not talk about fashion, she supposed. What, then? Despite Miss Bennet's appearance of nonchalance her eyes darted around the room, to a couple of girls Elinor supposed were Miss Bennet's sisters, to a man in uniform, and to a dark chap looking very ill indeed. Her expression as she looked at them was anything but serene. Best not talk about her family or other gentlemen.

Elinor swallowed, running out of ideas, and noticed Miss Bennet's shoes. They were very nice shoes--probably at one time very elegant. But they appeared to have had much use, as if their owners did a lot of walking…or, perhaps more likely, dancing? "Have you danced much this evening, Miss Bennett?" she asked.


DW: The Bachelor
Sandbox: Elinor Dashwood
SG: Agent Double-Oh-Negative
Merlin: Sir Leon
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6 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 30th December 2011, 20:37

“Have I danced much?” Lizzie laughed. “Well, if you have a mother whose only concern is to marry her daughters off to young gentlemen, you can perhaps imagine how many times my sisters and I had to attend balls in the past year. After all, balls are the perfect place to meet a husband, according to my dear mother.” She couldn’t hide the sarcasm in her voice. “So, yes, I have danced a lot in those shoes, probably more than my younger sisters who often spend an entire evening just talking to gentlemen. I most certainly do not envy those poor fellows…”

The Dashwood sisters laughed.

“Your family does sound very interesting, Miss Bennet.”

“Please call me Lizzie”, she insisted friendly. “And trust me when I refuse to introduce them to you right away, I want to have a chance to get to know you more properly before you run away from me and my deranged family.”

“Oh, they cannot be that bad!” Elinor grinned, but then she noticed that her sister’s facial expression had changed within a couple of seconds.

“What is it, Marianne?” Just after she asked, Elinor saw what, or who, had caught Marianne’s attention. “Oh, it is Mr. Willoughby…”

The moment Elinor had mentioned his name, Lizzie bit her lip.

“No, Marianne!”, she said in a warning voice.

“But Lizzie, you do not understand-“

“I understand just fine!” Lizzie turned to Elinor. “I think we do your sister a great favour if we leave this room immediately.”


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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7 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 12th January 2012, 02:30

It was too late. Marianne had taken leave of her sister and friend and was weaving once more through the crowd.

"Willoughby!" she called out, treading lightly on dancers' feet. "Willoughby, is it you?" she cried out, brushing past the card table and scattering a hand. "Willoughby!" She came to a halt several paces before a tall broad shouldered figure. His face did not light up with recognition. There must have been something in his eye, for he avoided her gaze. He also seemed to lack control over his left arm, which was wrapped firmly around the gemmed-frilled-and-ribboned peacock of a woman beside him.

"Willoughby, I did not know you had come to Hertfordshire!" She was nearly out of breath (either from her hastened crossing of the room or the astonishment at Willoughby's unexpected appearance.) "Why did you not write? Why did you not call? Have you not received my letters?" Social etiquette dictated he could not ignore her any longer. Neither could the other guests. The room's collective attention settled upon Miss Marianne Dashwood.

"Yes, Ms. Dashwood. I did receive your letters."

Perhaps the quartet continued playing. Perhaps people were whispering in the background, grumbling about fallen cards and sore feet. Perhaps Elinor and Lizzie were quickly approaching behind Marianne to escort her outside. It didn't matter. All Marianne could see or hear or comprehend was the man before her, suddenly cold and formal - as though she were a stranger or a servant.

"Willoughby- it is me, Marianne. By God, Willoughby, what is the matter!?"

The womanly mass of ostentation nestled further into his hold and turned her head to whisper something smug in his ear, and suddenly it clicked. The woman, his arm, the days upon weeks of silence, his frigid manner... Marianne cheeks braced themselves for a storm.

"Please accept my gratitude at the kindness you expressed in your letters. Now if you will excuse me, I must attend to my present company."

A sob of anguish had almost made its way beyond Marianne's lips, but as Willoughby turned away, the Peacock took one last glace at the poor common girl from the country, flashing a conceited smirk at her fallen opponent.

It was anyone's guess which emotion would manifest itself first - rage or despair. Behind a curtain of tears, Marianne gritted her teeth and started forward.

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8 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 12th January 2012, 04:55

Elinor grew up in the country long enough to know an impending storm when she saw one. She took Marianne's arm as she sprung forward, fully aware that such a bold breech of etiquette on Marianne's part, followed by an equally cold breech on Willoughby's, would lead to nothing good. For a moment Elinor caught Willoughby's eye, and understood the full meaning of his aloof, almost disgusted, gaze. For a second Elinor felt what Marianne was probably feeling ten times over: rage, boundless rage that he could treat another human being in such a cruel manner. Willoughby and Marianne were practically engaged with how they had flirted not more than a month ago, and he cut her from his acquaintence as if she were a common enemy. But she managed to control these feelings as always, and suppressed them under a very strong knowledge of propriety.

And, unfortunately, tackling a man in the middle of a social dance was not considered very proper.

"Come away, Marianne," she whispered, forgetting the dreadful Willoughby altogether as she pulled her sister toward her.

"Let go!" Marianne snapped, trying to pull her hand away. "He just didn't--I'm sure he--"

"Marianne, do not make yourself into a fool!" Why did her sister have to be so forward about everything? Willoughby would have had no chance to humilite her in such a manner if she had not been so forceful in pushing herself into his company. She needed control, discipline. She pulled on Marianne's arm harder. "You will come outside and get some fresh air."

And without another word Elinor practically dragged Marianne out of the ballroom and out of the room altogether.

"I beg you pardon," Lizzie said, tagging along anxiously, "but what the hell are you doing?"

"Avoiding a public scene," Elinor said curtly, and despite Marianne's protests, she practically flung Marianne outside. "There!" she told her sister. "Now, calm down!" She could see the anger that was in Marianne's eyes turning on her. For the first time Elinor was suddenly aware of the fact that her sister could, by sheer force of passion, probably beat her to a jelly if she wanted to.

Her sister moved toward her, all sense gone. Elinor found her instincts preparing for an attack almost on their own--she flinched, braced herself, tightened her jaw without thinking.

And thought desperately about what kind of excuse to tell her mother when she turned up next morning with a black eye...


DW: The Bachelor
Sandbox: Elinor Dashwood
SG: Agent Double-Oh-Negative
Merlin: Sir Leon
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9 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 12th January 2012, 16:08

Lizzie didn’t hesitate any longer. She knew that Marianne was indeed capable of many things and definitely stronger than she looked like. Her sister wouldn’t stand a chance against her. Before Marianne had the chance to get too close to Elinor, Lizzie punched her so hard that she stumbled back. Marianne recovered quickly and now started to swing a fist at Lizzie who moved quickly but Marianne was just as fast as she was and slammed her fist into her shoulder.
They could hear a shocked gasp from Elinor who watched the two ‘ladies’ tackling each other.

“Forget about this awful Mr Willoughby!” Lizzie slapped her, but Marianne was good in defending herself and slapped back.

“You better not tell me what to do, Elizabeth Bennet!”

“Then you better be prepared for some heavy beating.”

“Fantastic!”, Marianne replied, trying to punch Lizzie, but she was able to duck quickly enough before Marianne’s fist reached her face.

“Are you completely out of your minds?”, Elinor cried. “What on earth is going on? Have you altogether gone mad?”

Marianne and Lizzie stopped for a moment and took a deep breath. Their hair was completely out of order, their gloves were ripped apart… and yet none of the young women seemed to be bother in any way.
A smile appeared on Lizzie’s face. “That was nice.”

“Yes, it was indeed”, Marianne replied, fixing her hair.

Elinor looked from her sister to Lizzie, and then to her sister again. “Could someone do me the favour and explain to me what just happened?”


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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10 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 29th January 2012, 21:47

Elinor and Marianne took the carriage home presently, in a deathly silence. Elinor glared out the window, trying to keep the impending "what the hell were you on about" lecture from happening. Marianne looked positively pathetic, but not from remorse for *fighting* with another *woman*. She just looked upset that she was going to get yelled at. That made Elinor even more angry.

But whether or not she was genuinely sorry, the next day Marianne was positively in control--almost worryingly so.

"What's gotten in to Marianne?" her mother whispered, watching Marianne work out some difficult piece on the piano. "This morning she even tolerated a visit from Colonel Brandon! And now she's practicing the piano like there's no tomorrow! Did she see Willoughby at the ball last night?"

"Yes," Elinor said, but left it at that. No one, including her mother--especially her mother--needed to know about last night's incident. She changed the subject. "Mother, I do believe we ought to call on Miss Elizabeth Bennet this morning. She is a new acquaintence of ours and Marianne seemed, er...quite attached to her."

"Oh, of course. Marianne! Would you like to visit the Bennets?" she added, again in a whisper, "Perhaps Miss Bennet knows about this marked change in Marianne's behavior."


DW: The Bachelor
Sandbox: Elinor Dashwood
SG: Agent Double-Oh-Negative
Merlin: Sir Leon
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11 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 30th January 2012, 19:24

It was a typical morning in the house of the Bennets. After breakfast was over, Jane helped her mother with housework, Mary practiced the piano, Lydia and Kitty who were also supposed to help their mother only fooled around and ran through the house, upsetting Mr Bennet who retired into his study and hoped to be left alone- and Lizzie went outside, a book under her arm, longing for some quiet time.
Her mother had mentioned Mr Darcy at breakfast, which annoyed Lizzie immensely. Mrs Bennet tended to talk a lot about him, his wealth, his looks, his reputation. As soon as Lizzie changed the subject, Lydia started talking about Mr Wickham, and then she and her mother discussed who of the two gentlemen had the ‘nobler brow’.
Darcy, of course, there was no question about it. But Lizzie was not in the mood to think or talk about Mr Darcy and his noble brow, nor Mr Wickham and his handsome nose.
So, as soon as breakfast was over she went outside, hoping nobody would look for her. She found a nice spot half hidden behind trees and just opened the book, when she heard the annoying sound of Lydia’s voice.


Oh no.


She sighed and remained in her hidden spot.

“You didn’t tell anyone you expected guests, Lizzie. Where are you?”


“Lizzie, I know you are hiding out here! Come inside and don’t be rude to our guests.”

Lizzie sighed, got up and dusted the grass off her dress. “Who are the guests?”

“A Mrs Dashwood and her two daughters. They are new to the town, I’ve heard.” She blinked at her older sister. “I saw them at the ball, but I didn’t know you were already acquainted with them.”

“Is mother talking to them right now?”

“Yes, she can’t just ignore them.”

“Wonderful”, Lizzie replied cynically. “I should have warned Marianne and Elinor before they decided to visit me.”

“Warn them? Of what?” Lydia followed her sister inside.

“Of the species called Bennet.”


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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12 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 31st January 2012, 19:09

“Oh! You play music, Miss Marianne?” Mrs. Bennet shrieked, making Elinor’s ears ring, not for the first time and likely not for the last time either. “Our Mary does so love to play music, don’t you, dear? So lovely to have around the house, you know, so entertaining! And my second eldest, Lizzie—Elizabeth, she’s somewhere about…“

Elinor nodded. “Yes, we already—“

“—She plays the piano as well, though not so well as dear Mary. Though I daresay it is because she has so little time to practice—you know we only have the one pianoforte….”

Blah blah blah, Elinor thought, while keeping her face carefully composed in a look of acute interest in what Mrs. Bennet was saying. But already she could see the attentions of her mother and sister straying visibly. Elinor observed with embarrassment that Marianne’s bruise from the altercation last night was visible over the neckline of her dress. Mr. Bennet, who Elinor would have called the second-most sensible person in the room, quitted the parlor immediately after introductions were made. The most sensible looking person in the room, the eldest Miss Bennet, said nothing at all. The two younger Bennet girls sat on the other side of the room, whispering at each other and essentially ignoring them.

Everyone has their eccentricities, Elinor reminded herself. It takes all kinds to make a world. Some people paint. I paint. Besides, how else are you going to stay sane?

Elinor betrayed her inner distress at thinking such a thought only by turning her purse over in her lap and rubbing her hands once. But now that she thought it, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. People came up with ways to survive being dressed up and put down and paraded around. That was life. You learned to deal with it.

She made a mental note to continue this line of inquiry at a later date, when she wasn’t trying to pretend to be interested in Mrs. Bennet’s talking. Already she had lost track of the conversation.

“…Oh! And here is our second eldest, Elizabeth!” Mrs. Bennet exclaimed, and Lizzie entered the room.


DW: The Bachelor
Sandbox: Elinor Dashwood
SG: Agent Double-Oh-Negative
Merlin: Sir Leon
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13 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 4th February 2012, 14:23

When Lizzie entered the house she already heard her mother talking and she couldn’t help but feel sorry for the Dashwoods.

“And here is our second eldest, Elizabeth!” Her mother turned around and her eyes widened as she looked at her daughter. “Good gracious, Lizzie, your skirt is completely dirty! You cannot show up like this in front of our guests!”
Lydia and Kitty giggled in the other corner of the room while Mrs Bennet just shook her head and turned back to the Dashwood ladies.

“You have to excuse my daughter’s behaviour, she tends to be rather reckless sometimes…”

“Mother!” Lizzie rolled her eyes, then she turned towards the guests and smiled. “Mrs Dashwood, I am glad to finally make your acquaintance.”

“The pleasure is all mine, Miss Bennet.”

Lizzie’s eyes wandered to the younger Dashwoods. “Elinor, Marianne, it’s nice to see you two so soon again. How do you do?”
She noticed the bruise on Marianne’s neckline. She had bruises herself on her arms, though they were well hidden under the sleeves of her dress.

“Very well, thank you”, Elinor replied with a friendly smile.

Mrs Bennet started to introduce the remaining family members to the Dashwoods – both Lizzie and her father looked rather embarrassed because they noticed how hard their guests tried not to look disinterested- and on top of that Mary started to play the piano again, but Mr Bennet made her stop. This was just chaotic, and Lizzie wanted nothing but to lock them all up in a room, except Jane, the only one who remained quiet.

“Tea!”, Mrs Bennet exclaimed. “Kitty! Help me with the tea please”, she waved at her younger daughter in the corner. Lizzie waited until her mother was gone, then she sat down opposite to the Dashwoods.

“Your family seems quite…lively”, Mrs Dashwood remarked.

“I really have to apologise for them”, Lizzie began, ignoring Lydia who was still within hearing distance.

“No need to apologise”, Mrs Dashwood smiled.

Elinor cleared her throat. “Elizabeth-“


“Lizzie…” Elinor smiled. “I had hoped I could ask you a few questions…later…when we have less company…”

“What questions?” Mrs Dashwood looked at her older daughter.

“Oh, just about a few people we met at the ball, nothing important…”

“The ball!” Lydia got up from her place in the corner, walked to the guests and looked at the two younger ladies. “Say, have you two made new acquaintances? Maybe with gentlemen? There are some very fine-“

“Lydia!” Lizzie shot her a warning glance, but her sister continued talking.

“Oh, you have to meet Mr Wickham, he is an officer, you know? “

“I believe we haven’t met him yet, have we, Marianne?” Elinor kicked her sister’s leg before Marianne could fall asleep.

“I saw you talking to a fine-looking gentleman, Miss Dashwood.” Lydia grinned at Elinor who seemed a bit uncomfortable. “What is his name?”

“Who?”, she asked innocently.

“The young man you’ve been talking to at the ball. Very nice hair, handsome face…”

“Oh.” Elinor blushed. “That was Mr Edward Ferrars.”

Lydia giggled. “Mr Ferrars certainly is very handsome, isn’t he?”

“Lydia, don’t you want to help mother and Kitty with the tea? They seem to need awfully long.” Lizzie looked impatiently at her younger sister. Lydia rolled her eyes, turned around and left the room.
Lizzie sighed and looked at Elinor. “I am very sorry.”

“That is all right”, she replied. Her cheeks were still flushed.


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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14 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 7th February 2012, 17:50

Elinor blushed when Lydia mentioned Mr. Ferrars, especially since she could tell from Lydia's expression that she thought Mr. Ferrars possessed neither nice hair or a handsome face.

But at least Lydia's bubbly nature had peaked Marianne's interest, and in a moment they had withdrawn from the room altogether so that Lydia and Kitty could show Marianne her collection of bonnets. After tea Mrs. Bennet convinced their mother to walk see around the house, leaving Elinor alone with Lizzie.

"Marianne seems very well-behaved today," Lizzie said, with no small degree of satisfaction.

"Yes," Elinor said. Silence threatened. Lizzie didn't seem to mind--she just picked up a book and started flipping through it idly. Elinor wondered if she could take Lizzie in a fight...

"Where did you learn to throw a punch like that?" she asked.

Lizzie shrugged, refusing to look up from the book. "When your sisters drag you into town every season to look at the regiments, you have to find ways to entertain yourself."

Elinor sighed. "If only Marianne could channel her energies into something constructive!"

"Perhaps that's the trouble."

"What is?"

"That she ought to be doing something constructive. Sometimes you just have to do something for no other reason than that it is an expression of yourself."

"That's ridiculous."

"How else are you going to discover new ways to be constructive?"

Elinor frowned. "You have a point." She looked out the window. "Well, if you have any suggestions for how to get Marianne to calm down like this, constructive or otherwise, I'd love to hear them."

"She's not the only one who needs an outlet."

"I paint," Elinor said defensively.

Lizzie just laughed.


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15 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 9th February 2012, 19:18

“Yeah, painting…” Lizzie closed the book and looked at Elinor. “And other ladies play the piano, or sing, or knit, or braid their hair perfectly well in order to prove to the society what well-behaved little monkeys they are.”

“Excuse me?” Elinor didn’t hide the shock in her voice.

“My dear Elinor, excuse me if I’m a little blunt, but I think there is potential in you and you’re not aware of it yet…”

“Potential? What potential?”

Lizzie leaned a bit forward and continued in a lowered voice. “Aren’t you tired of acting a certain way so that you fit into society? Aren’t you tired of everyone expecting you to be polite, well-mannered and interested in at least four different arts?”

Elinor didn’t reply. She frowned.

“How come that nobody expects a man to play the piano and the violin as well as having the ability to sing and paint and write poems at the same time? Why is it us that have to do all those things if we want to be accepted by society?”

Elinor still didn’t say anything. She obviously had nothing to contradict her.

“What you witnessed at the ball, the little incident between me and your sister, didn’t just happen for no reason. We had planned it…”

“You planned to hit each other?”

“Let me explain.” Lizzie folded her hands. “Marianne and I had already met before the ball, and we soon realized that we both have a rather similar nature. We are both lively, straight-forward and do not mind taking risks now and then-“

“Obviously…”, Elinor mumbled.

Lizzie continued. “And we both share the same opinion about society. We are not happy about it. We are not happy how women often hide their true nature in order to be respected by men, and we both agreed that it was time for women to step up and express themselves.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why you want to express yourself, but do you consider punching each other a form of expression?”

A smile played around Lizzie’s lips. “Have you never had the urge to punch someone, Elinor?”

The young Miss Dashwood was quiet, but that already answered her question.

“I thought so.” Lizzie’s eyes wandered to the window where she spotted her mother with Mrs Dashwood outside. Poor Mrs Dashwood forced a smile and nodded politely while Mrs Bennet kept on talking. “Anyway…” Lizzie turned back to Elinor. “Marianne and I thought there ought to be a society of some sort.”

“A society?”

“Or a club. Something where women who want to express themselves other than by painting, and singing and knitting gather up and just do what they always want to so, but never dare to because they feel pressure under the wary eyes of British society.” She studies the other woman’s face carefully. “What do you think, Elinor? I think it’s time to put that paintbrush aside…”


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16 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 21st February 2012, 23:39

Elinor was silent for a few moments, and she wondered why. Perhaps she was waiting for just the right moment to storm out of the room and cut Lizzie from society altogether. She was particularly annoyed that she had been left in the dark like this, until the last moment, and it made her never want to leave the Bennet house forever. But she didn’t. What she really wanted to do was punch Lizzie in the face, to show *her* what it felt like, in defense of her sister’s honor and in the defense of her own. But she didn’t do that, either. The heaviest thing Elinor had ever thrown was a cricket ball, and she was about seven years old at the time. She couldn’t imagine throwing a punch to save her life.

The really unfortunate thing was that it could almost be a good idea—for Marianne, of course. Let her work out her aggression in a controlled, confined manner. And this could be just the sort of thing that she needed too—a distraction from Mr. Ferrars.

After about five seconds, when she was thoroughly certain that no bolt of lightning was going to strike them down for talking about such things, she said, “Discussing a society of this kind over tea is surely the best way to be discovered,” she said finally. “If such a society were to be formed—and I’m not saying it will be formed—there needs to be structure. Rules.”

“Er—fine,” Lizzie said, looking a little surprised.


“Nothing. You’re—eerily calm about this. Emma screamed like a banshee when I mentioned it first to her.”

“Miss Woodhouse knows about this as well?”

Lizzie shrugged. “We have been mulling over the idea for some time. But I’m sure that she will be willing to follow any structure you would like to have. And if we don’t we can always fight you for the position.”


“Of arbiter! I think a calm, unbiased person such as yourself should take on the task of formulating the logistics of everything, except the meeting place.”

At that moment the door opened again, and Jane and Mary entered. Elinor, feeling she had stayed long enough and had better round up her family members, stood.

“This has been most enlightening,” Elinor said as she curtsied to Lizzie.

“Likewise,” Lizzie said with a wry smile. “Miss Woodhouse and I will call on you tomorrow at eight.”

“No need,” Elinor said. “I can meet you wherever we are going.”

“And have me ruin the surprise for you? I think not! We will have the carriage—it’s really no trouble.”

Elinor raised an eyebrow, and said, under her breath,

“Don’t you trust me?”

Lizzie grinned widely. “Do you?”

Elinor frowned, but dropped the subject, and spent the ride home to the cottage thinking. For all of Lizzie’s brashness she was certainly clever—the temptation for Elinor to tell someone about the whole plan would have been too great had she known where they were to meet.

She took a canvas and easel to one of the hills by the cottage that evening and painted the road leading away from their cottage and into the wide world beyond. The road twisted and turned, ever narrowing until, under her careful brushstrokes, it ended in a single point, a corner. It was curious that the winding road, ingrained in her mind as neverending, limitless, ended only a few inches up on her canvas, stuck, held back from what she knew to be beyond by perspective and gray paint. How odd that she never noticed that before!

She stood back from the painting, looking at it. It looked like dozens of other paintings she had made. There was nothing particularly new in it. Her paintings were stuck in a twisty little corner, just like the end of that road.
With a few strokes of paint she continued the road up over some distant hills, extending the horizon, ignoring everything she had learned about perspective and the diminishing background. When she stood back it indeed looked absurd. But at least the road continued, off the edge of the canvas, into the uncharted unknown of space.

So must the rules for this Fight Society be, she thought. Secure and unbreakable, but never ending, two parallel lines of road that continue without narrowing.

“The first rule of the Fight Society,” she painted into a bit of cloud at the top of the canvas, “is that you shall not mention Fight Society.”

It seemed a bit small, so she wrote it again, this time on a bigger cloud: “Second Rule: you shall NOT mention Fight Society.”

“Third rule: If someone cries “halt!” or ceases to move, the fight is finished.” No one ought to get really hurt, after all.

“Fourth rule: Only two to a fight. Fifth rule: One fight at a time.” There had to be limits. There was still plenty to do in a fight against one…

“Sixth rule: No corsets, no jewelry, no hairpins.” That could get too dangerous.

“Seventh rule: Fights will go on as long as they must.” There it was, the rule of the true road—unending, forever. A lot of things could happen in ‘forever’.

She threw her brush to the ground, surveying how the rules written in the painted sky gleamed, their paint still wet, and grinned.

The next day she stepped into the carriage with Marianne, and watched Lizzie’s and Emma’s expressions as they surveyed the rules she painted.

“Just one more I think,” Lizzie said, and, without asking, took a file from her purse and began to score a rule into the hills and over the road on the canvas.

“Lizzie--!” Elinor complained, starting to jerk the canvas back.

“Calm yourself, Elinor!...There!” Lizzie let go of the painting and Marianne turned it around so that she and her sister could read the words Lizzie scrawled across the bottom of the canvas.

“Eight rule: if this is your first time to Fight Society, YOU MUST FIGHT.”


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17 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 22nd February 2012, 00:43

"Fight Society: Rules of Engagement."
Elinor Dashwood and Elizabeth Bennet.
Acrylic on canvas.


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18 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 26th February 2012, 12:22

Elinor’s eyes wandered over the painting. “You sure have a rather bad handwriting, Lizzie”, she remarked, more jokingly than serious.

“I am aware of that”, Lizzie replied with a smile.

“And you do have a rather interesting selection of rules, Elinor”, Emma said. “At least we have someone in our midst who does know how to plan and set up rules. That is not something Marianne and Lizzie are particularly good at.”

Marianne shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t like rules. They are pointless.”

“Not all rules are pointless, dear sister.” Elinor shot her a brief side-glance, then she turned back to Emma and Lizzie.

“Miss Woodhouse-“


“Emma.” Elinor smiled. “I was really surprised to hear that you are part of this…um…rather unorthodox society or whatever we might call it.”


“Well, yes, I didn’t particularly expect a lady of your status and reputation rebelling against society, and, er…I didn’t expect someone like you to fight.”

Emma laughed. “To tell you the truth Elinor, I had no idea that I could fight like that, and that I in fact wanted to fight.”

“And that woman knows how to punch!”, Marianne said.

“Well, yes.” Emma scrutinized her perfectly delicate hands that pointed out her noble birth. “To be honest, I’m just tired of all those fancy dinner parties, and dances, and uncomfortable ball gowns, and gentlemen who talk about nothing else but money and good carriages. It’s like a competition; who has the fastest carriage?”

Marianne and Lizzie giggled, but Elinor still had a hard time believing that someone like Emma Woodhouse knew how to use her fists.

“Anyway, when Lizzie told me about the whole idea of fighting society, literally fighting, I thought she had completely lost her mind, but I woke up the next day, thinking ‘Why not?’ Pardon my language, but I would love to kick that dreadful Mr Elton right where it hurts.”

Elinor gasped while her sister and Lizzie started laughing again. “You go, Emma!”

“May I ask…” Elinor looked from Emma to Lizzie, “Are there any other…members?”

“We seem to have caught Fanny’s interest”, Lizzie replied.


“Fanny Price.”

“Oh, Miss Price. I believe I saw her once in town.”

“And we will try to talk to that unfortunate Catherine Morland”, Emma continued. “For some reason she seems so unhappy and lost. She is quite shy and perhaps a bit odd, mainly because she has her head in those strange books all the time. But I think I see some potential in her, don’t you, Lizzie?”


Elinor looked out the window as they approached an old windmill. They were deep in the country side and couldn’t see the town anymore. After the four ladies got out of the carriage, Elinor turned to Lizzie.

“Is this our destination?”

“Yes, it is.”

“A windmill?”

“Indeed.” Lizzie smiled and followed Marianne and Emma who already went inside. Elinor, who held her painting tightly in her arms, approached the entrance of the mill with hesitation, but as soon as she stepped inside her eyes widened in surprise. The inside of the windmill was surprisingly spacious and comfortable. There was even a table and various chairs.

Lizzie looked at her friend. “Welcome to the headquarters of Fight Society.”


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19 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 13th March 2012, 22:55

The windmill arms had long ceased to move, and the structure that they arrived at appeared to be good for nothing more than an addition to the picturesque landscape.

And, perhaps, a home for rats.

"Just one more thing before we begin," Lizzie said, jumping down from the coach. She turned to the coachman and held out a purse. "That's for your trouble, and...not mentioning this to anyone?"

"Give me the money if you like, Lizzie," the coachman said, "But I think you'll regret it!"

A moment later the coachman jumped down and pulled back his collar, revealing that he was not the coachman at all, but Miss Price herself, grinning at them.

Lizzie glared at her. "And what are you doing here?"

"You're to be invited before you just--show up!" Emma added.

"Oh, come off it!" Fanny said, giggling. "I just couldn't wait for one of your invitations! Besides, I'm just showing initiative. I stuffed a pillow up my shirt and everything."

Lizzie rolled her eyes. "Oh well, in you come. I don't have any clothes for you to change into, though."

"Oh, that's alright," Fanny said. "I used to dress up as a boy all the time when I was younger."

"Well, surely the point isn't to make ourselves gentlemen," Elinor said, raising an eyebrow.

Lizzie just shrugged. "To each their own."

Inside Elinor was surprised to find the place already cleaned out, if still a little musty from no doubt years of disuse. The drab walls flickered in the lantern-light. The ladies entered, and Emma, Lizzie, and Marianne started to change into bloomers and short camisols.

"I'm glad I brought the clothes I did!" Fanny said with a laugh. "You look ridiculous!"

"It's better than trying to explain to mother why I've rent my dress in two."

"Elinor, you'd better get out of that dress so mother doesn't suspect," Marianne said.

"What?" Elinor laughed. "I'm not fighting!"

"Who else is going to fight Fanny?" Lizzie said. "It's your first time at fight society, too."

"But--I mean! This is just for Marianne. I'm just here to make sure no one gets hurt."

"Getting hurt's the point, Elinor. You'd better get that dress off, now."

"Look, I'm not going to--"

She was cut off as Fanny tackled her from the side, and over the sound of her head smacking into the ground there was the unmistakable sound of rending cloth.

"You should have changed out of the dress."

Of course, there was little time to worry about that, now. Fanny, who seemed perfectly nice and pleasant not two seconds ago, was punching her repeatedly. Elinor grabbed her fists. "Whoa! Whoa! Hold on!"

"Fight back, Elinor! Come on!" Marianne shouted.

"I can't fight like this!" Elinor protested as Fanny tried to throttle her.

"Then cry halt," Lizzie said. She was rolling her eyes. What, so Lizzie *didn't* think she could do it?

With a snarl Elinor pushed herself up, grabbed Fanny's arm and twisted it back. She hadn't used the move in years, not since Marianne was very little and it was the only way to get her to stop throwing some temper tantrum or another. It was really the only move she knew, and thankfully Fanny didn't know it.

"Ow! Ow! Alright, halt!"

Elinor let go, and touched her bloody nose which had been getting all over her dress.

Emma and Lizzie looked mildly surprised. Marianne, all too familiar with the move, only shrugged. "You'll have to learn another move when you go up against me, Elinor," she said, then turned to the other ladies. "Alright, who's next?"


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20 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 31st March 2012, 19:41

The fact that Elinor could fight like that was indeed a surprise for Lizzie. A pleasant one, of course. She knew there was some potential in Miss Dashwood, however, she did have a few concerns that Elinor would be too hesitant when it came to actual fighting. After all, Elinor usually worked out her anger on canvas, using a paintbrush as ‘weapon’, so Lizzie did not expect her to be able to actually fight like that, completely without a paintbrush, and with a real person, not a canvas.
And there was blood. As in ‘real blood’, no red paint. This was brilliant!

“Alright, who’s next?”, Elinor asked, looking from her sister to Emma and Lizzie. Emma seemed to hesitate for a brief moment, but Lizzie rubbed her hands in excitement.

“I have to say, Elinor, this was quite impressive”, Lizzie said. “I knew there was much more to you than a shy young woman with proper British values and a love for art.”

“Oh, you forgot to mention the interest for a certain Edward Ferrars”, Marianne added, but when her sister shot her a warning glance she quickly kept her mouth shut.

“Anyway”, Lizzie continued. “I would be honoured if I could have the next fight with you, Miss Dashwood.”

“It would be my pleasure, Miss Bennet”, Elinor replied with a smile, doing a curtsy.

As Lizzie swung her fist at the other woman, Elinor moved quickly and slammed her fist right against her chin so that Lizzie stumbled back a bit. Lizzie caught herself quickly, leaped backward, elbowed her in the neck and knocked her over. Elinor, however, was just as quick in getting up and tackled Lizzie who defended herself with several punches. Emma, Fanny and Marianne watched the two ladies punching each other until they both landed on the floor, neither one defeated. Lizzie and Elinor were definitely on a level, which put a triumphant smile on Lizzie’s face.

“Brilliant job, my dear”, she said as she shook Elinor’s hand.

“Right back at you”, her friend replied. They helped each other up and brushed off the dust from their dirty clothes.

“I never thought I would say this, but it feels so good to punch someone”, Elinor said. “I know I shouldn’t embrace violence, but it’s so incredibly relieving.”

“Guess how relieving it is if you can actually punch someone who really annoys you…” Lizzie braided her long, brown hair while Elinor wiped the remaining blood off her face.

Fanny crossed her arms. “We ought to fight against men to show them that ladies are just equally strong if they want to be.”

“Hold on there, Fanny”, Lizzie warned. “I know it is very tempting, but we have to practice more and have a couple more meetings before we can just go out there and swing our fists at the exquisite gentlemen of our society.” She couldn’t hide the sarcasm in her voice.

Fanny sighed. “But I want to grab their ridiculous walking sticks and stuff it right into-“

“Fanny!” Emma looked shocked at her. “Just because we don’t fight like ladies doesn’t mean that we have to speak like thugs.” She shook her head and turned to Elinor. “You have to excuse her, but she is rather…hostile towards men.”

“That isn’t true”, the younger woman complained. “I’m just tired of men treating me like their little pet.”

“We all are, that is one of the reasons we are here”, Marianne said.

For a brief moment Lizzie’s thoughts wandered to a certain gentleman. Oh, how tempting it was to punch Mr Darcy the next time he made one of his sarcastic remarks. She should seriously consider knocking out his teeth, at least he would lose some of his appeal. Wait, what? That man was not attractive, definitely not, so do not even think-

“Lizzie?” Marianne interrupted her thoughts.

Lizzie cleared her throat. “I…ehm…was just thinking about the upcoming ball arranged by your father, Emma. That is next week, isn’t it?”

Emma nodded. As one of the wealthiest families the Woodhouse family often organized balls or fancy dinner parties. Emma was dreadfully bored by it, yet never dared to do something against it until she became part of this…ehm…unorthodox society.

Fanny’s eyes widened. “We totally have to kick some-“

“Fanny!” Both Emma and Lizzie interrupted her.

“What? Just saying…”

“Your thoughts are not completely wrong, Fanny”, Lizzie mumbled. “Not that we start beating random people-“

“Not even random men?”

“No, Fanny.”

“Not even random…I don’t know…butlers?”

“No, Fanny.” Lizzie sighed. “We do not beat up random butlers. However…” She looked from one woman to the next. “In case there is anybody, gentleman or lady, who bothers you in any way or form, you should be able to…ahem…express the fact that he or she bothers you.”

Marianne grinned. “After all, we don’t practice those fights for nothing, right?” She winked at both Lizzie and her sister.


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21 Re: Jane Austen Fight Club: RP on 14th May 2012, 03:16

As Elinor opened her eyes the next morning, she resolved to never go back to Fight Society again.

Ignoring the fact that she was sore everywhere and that she hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep with bandaging up Marianne’s sprained wrist after they got home, she just couldn’t see any point in it, especially if all it was meant to do was train them to hit butlers. What could Fanny have against butlers? Elinor liked butlers. And she didn’t understand why Lizzie seemed to take it all so seriously and yet so unseriously at the same time. What did she have to prove?

Yes, Elinor was perfectly happy to sit quietly and paint and say “yes, ma’am,” and “no, sir,” just like the butlers and footmen she liked so much.

Just like dear Edward.

Mr. Ferrars.


Neither Mrs. Dashwood or little Margaret noticed Elinor’s tired, slightly concerned looks throughout the next couple of days, which Elinor was thankful of (even though it did make her wonder whether she didn’t look tired and concerned all the time so them not to notice). Marianne was positively demure—that is, unless Colonel Brandon was around.

Elinor saw Brandon’s imposing figure through the trees first. She, Marianne and Margaret were out walking, and thankfully Brandon rode up to them on his black horse before Elinor could be expected to warn Marianne of his approach. Marianne glared at her anyway, because Elinor had been under express orders to tell Marianne if she saw Brandon coming, so that she could hide and avoid the man’s presence altogether. Elinor thought that to be very rude, especially considering how nice Brandon was. Well—you know, as nice as a very quiet man with an old-fashioned manner of speech, a traditional mode of dress and a slight Northern accent could be. So, nice by Elinor’s standards.

Brandon touched his hat when he approached and quickly dismounted, so he didn’t see Marianne’s glare. He was dressed in his usual brown brocaded coat, apparently his favorite since he wore it so often, with his dark breeches tucked into his Hessian heart-top boots. He wore a flannel waistcoat, too, buttoned all the way to his neck, which was wrapped with a maroon neckerchief. A few locks of his long brown hair hung loose around his jawline and cheekbones, while the rest was pulled back. Sober but mysterious, to Elinor’s eyes. Her sister no doubt thought it was grandfatherly and ridiculous.

“You go along, Margaret, we’ll catch up” Elinor said, getting Margaret (who was already eyeing Marianne and Brandon with suggestive glances) out of the area in the most convenient manner possible. She pouted but continued on the path, and Marianne resigned herself to her fate as Brandon rubbed his horse’s nose. Despite the fact that he was a quiet man, Brandon was surprisingly approachable and not at all awkward. Not like Darcy, or Edward.

“I’m trying to scare up some pheasants,” Brandon said, when Elinor asked what he was doing. He looked at her very curiously—perhaps he noticed the bruise on her neck from Fanny’s attack, but was too polite to mention it.

“With Willoughby?”Marianne said, her eyes lighting up as she searched behind Brandon. She was still waiting for an apology letter from Willoughby, and was plainly ignoring all hints that he would not apologize to her at all. “I’ve seen you hunting with him before.”

“No, ma’am, not today.” He said, quickly turning his gaze quickly on Marianne again. It was almost painfully obvious that Brandon was infatuated with her, and everything in his posture and manner whenever he was around her indicated that he wanted to make a good impression on her.

He frowned at Marianne’s disappointed expression, and so Elinor said, “Marianne’s been bored recently with playing sonatas on the clavichord—she was hoping Willoughby could bring her something new to read.”

“You only have a clavichord to play on?” Brandon asked Marianne.

“I had to leave my pianoforte behind,” Marianne said, with more than a little anger in her voice at Brandon for bringing up such a painful subject.

“I’m amazed,” Brandon said. “You played so beautifully at the ball last month I thought for certain that you had access to a finer instrument. You are welcome to come play mine any time you like. I used to play but I’ve gotten out of habit.”

Marianne gave a “thank you,” of barely-veiled boredom.

“I have plenty of music, should you want anything else to play. Haydn, Mozart, Playford….”

Marianne laughed. “Playford?”

“All very fine composers,” Brandon said, somewhat defensively. “They might be a bit more Classical than what you’re used to, but their technical virtuosity is unmatched.”

“No one cares about technical virtuosity these days,” Marianne said. “It’s all about passion, feeling! Beethoven, Lanner—that sort of thing.”

“I just thought you might like something to improve your speed of execution,” Brandon said.

Brandon’s entire demeanor told Elinor that he meant no offense, but Marianne was already looking for a fight and Brandon’s comment was the last straw. She turned livid. Brandon instantly realized he had said the wrong thing.

“Hello!” a voice called, before anyone could say anything else. It was Lizzie, who appeared riding the Bennet’s horse.

“I had better be getting on,” Brandon said, quickly mounting his horse. “Miss Dashwood, Miss Elizabeth. Miss Marianne.” And without another word he rode off.

“What’s wrong with him?” Lizzie said as Elinor sighed.

“Of all the patronizing nerve!” Marianne shouted, perfectly aware that Brandon was still within earshot. “How dare he come over here and tell me I need to work on my execution! I wager he can’t even play Ring Around a Rosy!” She turned to Lizzie in a huff. “there better be another Society meeting soon. I haven’t heard from my dear Willoughby yet and I’m not sure I can hold everything in much longer.”

“All in good time, Marianne,” Lizzie said with a laugh. “We can’t have Society meetings every night! Actually, preparations for the next meeting are what I came to see you about.”

“Well, I’ll leave you two to it, then,” Elinor said, and would have continued after Margaret if Lizzie hadn't stopped her.

“Hold on, I need to talk to both of you.”

“Fight Society isn’t exactly for me,” Elinor said, hoping Lizzie would leave it at that. She didn’t.

“Wait a minute—Last night you said that it was relieving to throw a punch.”

“A momentary lapse of reason, I imagine,” Elinor said. “If it helps Marianne, fine—but I don’t need this.”

“Yes, you do!” Marianne said.

“Do you know how hard it is to get blood stains out of muslin?” Elinor snapped. “I had my mother thinking she was going mad trying to find that dress while it was hidden in my room so she wouldn’t see.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Lizzie said. “Fanny’s working on clothes to fight in. Don’t worry—they’re not gentlemen’s clothes.”

“But—but I don’t even know how to fight!”

Without warning Lizzie threw a punch, and Elinor ducked just in time.

“Lizzie?!” she almost shrieked. “There is a time and a place for everything—“

“You’re quick enough,” Lizzie said, smiling. “You just need training. Training that I might be able to provide.”

Elinor glared at her but Marianne was practically skipping at the prospect of learning more about how to beat up people.


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