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Things You Can't Take Back

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The collision of the Bennets, Lees and Darcys was inevitable.

Lydia was watching them. All of them, from the outside, because if there’s one good thing Jane-and-Lizzie-and-Lydia-doesn’t-even-rank did for her it was giving her perspective. They were in a bubble of their own and she could step back and it was all so simple.

It’d come to reason that when three spinning tops are set on a flat surface, they’d either fall off the edge or they’d crash together.

The fallout was ugly, nasty, teeth-cutting-to-bone.

She just never thought she’d be part of the debris.

--

“-and I get stuck with the alcoholic substance-abuser, yaaaay.”

“Ughhh, Lydia’s being a stupid whore-y slut again!”

“Nobody’s going to coddle her because she’s the baby of the family.”

“Maybe Lydia will act maturely for a change-”

“Everybody has to change-”

“Get your own boyfriend.”

“-petty and immature-”

“Didn’t Jane and Lizzie leave you behind for Netherfield?”

“I’ve seen Jane and Lizzie. They have their own little clique. The Bennet sisters. And you’re-you’re never going to be in between that. Jane is always going to side with Lizzie…
I mean I’m here for you, Lydia. Where are they?

--

There’s a waterfall in their Podunk town. It’s the only place she had kept for herself. She hadn’t told Jane, or Lizzie, or their dad, or even-

When she gets near the edge she screams FUCK until her own voice-and its echoes-aren’t recognizable anymore.

--

Mary messaged Gigi to find out what really happened. Lydia asked her to. When she finds out what has happened, she’s almost bitter; she’s just another stepping stone on the way to Lizzie’s heart. But that gives way to gratitude, because regardless of intention, he’s saved her family from herself.

Which is more than she could have done, in the end.

--

“William?”

“Yes, Gigi?”

“I’ve been thinking about this, and…”

--

He approaches Lydia the night before he leaves, after dinner. He’d knocked on her door and she’d said, “Come in.”

When she looks up at him, she has the cordiality to say, “Hi, Darceface.”

“Hello, Lydia.”

“What’s up?” she’s biting on her lip to prevent herself from saying, I think you’ve got the wrong door, Darcinator.

“Lizzie told me how you stuck up for me in the kitchen, with your mother, when I first came over for dinner. And in the videos. I wanted to thank you for that. I don’t know if what you said was for Lizzie’s sake, or-”

“I did it because I-whatever you did, whether it was just to get with Lizzie or whatever, it was big. You must really… love her to do what you must have done.”

“That’s not the only reason I did it, Lydia.”

“Then what? It can’t be because you felt for me, the energetic embarrassment-”

His chin is pulled back almost so that it’s part of his neck. He takes a deep breath and shakes his head vigorously. “Lydia, I’m the embarrassment in this situation. I’m sorry. I truly, sincerely am. I’m an unmitigated ass. You are-you are a loyal sister, a true friend and funny. Truth be told, I was a little jealous.”

“Jealous? Of me? Dubs tee eff, man.” His impassioned speech has her turning around in her chair, his awkward stance in her red room suddenly scrutinized.

For a moment she swears she can see the ghost of an amused smile, but only a moment. He inhales and continues, “I’ve always had trouble with words and expressing myself. I later realized my annoyance with you had some part in that you could do what I could not. You always expressed yourself freely, did what you wanted and seemed to feel no deep self-consciousness over it. I, on the other hand, was always paralyzed by judgment. My own, of course.”

“That’s still not an excuse for what you said about me.”

“No. No, it wasn’t. I’m sorry-and I’m here to do something I should have done earlier. I didn’t consult you during the takeover, at the time, which I should have, regardless of the time-sensitive situation. It was your choice to make, and yours alone.”

He timidly goes over to her computer desk, where she’s sitting at, and slides over a few sheets of paper. The Pemberley Digital letterhead is on top. He takes out a pen-a pen with a kitty on top-and places it beside the contract.

“My sister suggested it and I thought myself an asinine troglodyte for not thinking of it earlier.”

Her expression is unreadable as she scans the contract. “Did you swallow a thesaurus at birth?”

“Not that I can think of.”

“I’ll get back to you. Have Lizzie send me your email.” She still won’t fully turn around and look at him. But hey, that’s better than nothing.

He takes it as his cue to leave and as he does, he says, “Good night, Lydia.”

He’s closing the door when he notices she’s finally turned around to look at him. It’s a shock; her eyes blaze into him. They’re fiery and focused and he can see what Jane meant when she said she and Lizzie have always been so alike.

“One day. When I’m ready. I’ll need you to tell me where he is.”

“I’ll hold, you punch.” He replies, sly, but at the same time deadly serious.

--

A few days later, Lydia signs off an email to Darcy thusly:

Lydia Bennet
Owner of Novelty Exposures LLC

--

@TheLydiaBennet
Being a CEO or like, an executive anything, is so weird. Is that the right word??

@PemberleyDig
We would like to announce that @NoveltyXposures is no longer a part of the company.

@PemberleyDig
However, we feel that it is in the right hands now.

--

“Mary?”

“Yeah?”

“Would you-I’m about to watch the videos with Gigi in them. Would you come over and watch them with me?”

“…of course, cuz.”

--

They settle on her bed after dinner. She’s got a box of Kleenex and Mary brought over chocolate. She can do this.

Gigi’s a surprise, to say the least. She’s so cheerful and bright and crazy, fun and just a tad bit out of her mind, with some slight rich privilege on the side and Lydia finds herself liking her against her will.

82 is where things get real and she knows the punch is coming, but it’s a stunner anyway. Mary holds her hand tight.

“He was just trying to protect you.” Lizzie says to Gigi, and she sees Gigi’s bubbly demeanor slip as she calls Lizzie exactly on her bullshit.

Later on she says, “He told me he needed me. No one’s ever needed me before, you know?”

She skips Darcy and Lizzie after that. The only thing that matters is watching Gigi, and when she gets to the 5th Domino video, she has to hit pause. Gigi went through a heartbreak as crash-and-burn as hers and she still did it for her. Messaged and went so far as to call George. Lydia cries soundlessly as she watches Gigi do this for her. She can see her every wound re-open and she does it anyway, demands George to tell her the truth. Not about her, but about the tape. For a girl she doesn’t even know.

It was Gigi that saved her.

When she finishes watching, she cries and Mary holds her.