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Of Lion King and blanket nests

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Fitz blinked rapidly, unable to quite believe what he was looking at. Next to him, he heard Gigi make an effort to stifle a squeal of delight. He turned and glared at her. Apparently she was completely out of try today, because it still sounded like a small animal had just been stepped on next to him. It was a testament to how engrossed they were in their conversation that neither Lizzie nor Darcy seemed to notice the two of them lurking at the entrance of the living room.

He felt Gigi nudge him in the ribs and turned to look at her, eyes shining with triumph and pride. He fought the urge to laugh. Given the look on her face, he was surprised she hadn't just started dancing around the room, waving streamers and throwing glitter in the air in some sort of victory celebration. Before them were Lizzie and Darcy, sprawled out in the living, watching the Lion King on an 84 inch flatscreen. Or, rather, Lizzie was sprawled out on the living room floor, cocooned in what looked to be a dozen blankets and comforters heaped high on one another. Darcy was reclining on the sectional next to her, always too neat looking to apply the word 'sprawling' to. Lizzie had a wide, completely unabashed grin on her face, looking more relaxed than Fitz had seen her since he had first met her at Collins and Collins. Definitely the most relaxed he had ever seen her in the presence of Darcy. Darcy himself looked almost dazed with happiness; you could almost feel it rolling off of him in waves. His face was a look of utter contentment mixed with a certain amount of smugness and pride. Fitz took a glance around the room - at Lizzie nestled in a sea of blankets, bright and animated, surrounded by a smorgasbord of candy (which Fitz assumed were all of her favorites. Darcy was always especially into the details) and kettle corn - and grinned even wider. Hell, Darcy deserved to feel rather smug. The guy had definitely upped his game on this one.

Two hours earlier.

After a moment of silence, Lizzie turned to Darcy and said, "Do you think maybe we can go to a coffee shop that isn't that crowded? I know Lux has the best chai but it's always so filled with hipsters after five on Friday and I just am not in the mood to listen to eight different people say the same things about the Coachella lineup."

Darcy smiled at her. "Of course." He tapped his fingers idly on the steering wheel and furrowed his brow slightly before saying, "I have an idea."

"I am for the hearing of the ideas." She replied with a grin.

He glanced over at her quickly, hesitating for a moment.

"I was thinking that perhaps, that is, maybe we could just grab coffee at my house? We have a wide variety of coffee, all of it very good. Also, Gigi keep the house stocked with enough baked goods to rival most bakeries in the area, so that wouldn't be missing either." He looked over at her, seeming almost nervous, and took in her measured silence. "And I promise not mention Coachella at all the entire time."

Lizzie smiled weakly, though her stomach fluttered a bit. It wasn't the first time she would be over at the Darcy house, nor the first time she would be alone with Darcy in a social capacity. It would just be the first time both those things would be happening in conjunction. For a moment, the idea struck her as seeming strangely...intimate. In the next moment, she dismissed the idea. Her and Darcy were friends. Friends did things like go over to one another's houses and have coffee after a long day. Not only was it a nice gesture, it was also economical, as Lizzie had been spending far too much of her already limited funds on coffee and chai.

“That sounds perfect.” She finally said (and if there was a rather strangled quality to her voice, Darcy was nice enough not to point it out).

“Perfect.” Darcy echoed, beaming at her for the second time that night.

Somehow it was even more pleasant the second time around.

Somewhere between the car and the front door of Darcy’s massive house a wave of nervousness had overtaken Lizzie, leaving her breathless and jumpy. As she stepped through the front door she forced herself to take a deep, calming breath and banish any thoughts about literally running out of the door and to her cold, empty home - unforgiving hills be damned.

She felt a hand on her back and jerked backwards, colliding directly into Darcy.

For the second time that night.

She spun around quickly and looked down, willing her blush to disappear. After a moment she laughed shakily and said, “I really need to rethink the four inch heels thing.”

Darcy gave her a small smile and said, “May I take your coat?”

She shrugged out of her coat and handed it to him, concentrating an absurd amount on not toppling over onto him for a third time. At that rate, one might accuse her of doing it on purpose (which of course would be completely ridiculous).

She fell into step with him as he started off towards the kitchen, confused when he stopped abruptly and turned to her. She could see him swallow and take a sharp intake of breath. In the next moment, his head bobbed strangely, the muscles in his neck sharpening for a quick second. As though he had meant to tuck in his chin and then forced his head out the other way.
Part of her wanted to laugh at his obvious, conscious play at hiding a nervous tic. Most of her found it endearing and she had to twine her hands together as a sudden, irrational urge to tip her hand under his chin came over her.

“Why don’t you go ahead and make yourself comfortable in the living room and I’ll get the coffee started?” He said, motioning in that direction.

“Are you sure you don’t need any help?” She asked, though she wasn’t sure why she even offered. Making coffee wasn’t exactly a two person job and ducking out to the living room would at least give her some time to quiet her nerves.

“I’m sure I’ll manage.” He replied dryly, a hint of a smile on his lips.

“Well, say no more. I believe your incredibly comfy couch is calling out to me. Do you want me to look for something to watch?” She offered with a smile.

“Whatever you’d like.” He said.

“Then off I go.” She replied and spun around in the direction of the living room. She heard Darcy’s steps head in the direction of kitchen a moment later. She rounded the corner and stopped suddenly at the entrance of the living room, completely taken aback by the sight that greeted her.

On the floor was a mountain of blankets and comforters piled high in a rumpled nest of what Lizzie could only imagine was luxurious comfort; directly next to the blanket nest, well within arm reach, was a buffet of candy so varied yet specific - sour jacks, milk duds, peanut butter m&m’s, ferrero rocher - as though Darcy had somehow been able to catalog every single sugary sweet that she loved, including the ones that were always too expensive to get on a regular basis (which, of course, her waistline thanked her for). Near the buffet of candy was the largest bowl she had ever actually seen (really more of a cauldron than a bowl, she thought) of kettle corn so sweet she could smell it from where she was standing. Plastered on the gigantic flatscreen was the opening menu screen of The Lion King.

Giddy with excitement, warm with absolute delight, she shucked her shoes by the door of the living room and sank down into the pile of blankets on the floor.

“Oh. My god.” She said loudly. Perhaps louder and more vehemently than was advisable, as Darcy came careening into the room.

“Lizzie! Is everything al--” He said, slight panic in his voice, before looking over and seeing her cocooned in a nest of blankets with only her head peaking out. “Oh. I see you’ve found...everything.” He finished awkwardly.

She sighed contentedly and smiled wide at him, completely overwhelmed by his kindness. “This is amazing. I can’t believe you did this.” She met his stare, dark and intent, focused solely on her. She blushed and sank further into the blankets. “Thank you.” She said softly.

He cleared his throat and said, “You’re welcome.” After a moment, he said, “Although you should probably thank Charlotte. She was kind enough to take my call this afternoon and informed me of all your preferences for a day such as this.”

Lizzie blinked at him in surprise. “You called Charlotte?” She asked slowly, realization dawning on her. She had assumed that her texts to Charlotte had perhaps prompted her to call Darcy in an attempt to cheer up Lizzie. Except it hadn’t been that way at all. Darcy had gone to Charlotte first, had made the attempt to cheer her up. More than an attempt, judging by the massive spread before her. A wave of happiness spread through her, a mixture of gratitude and another, less definable sense of tenderness, leaving her face flushed and her fingers tingling.

She looked up at Darcy shyly, surprised to see him looking  down at her apprehensively as though worried that he had done something wrong. “Yes -- well.” He began, his hands fidgeting at his sides. “I knew that Howard can be a bit much, overwhelming really - he really is our very own Miranda Priestly, though much less stylish - so I thought. Uh.” He cleared his throat. “I thought that the absence of Charlotte and your sisters shouldn’t preclude the small comforts of home. As it were. I realize it might be a bit much, so I understand if --.”

“Darcy!” She said, trying to bite back her laughter. She found his rather bumbling, rambling nervousness endearing, where it might have once been irritating. She smiled up at him. “This is really, really awesome and I appreciate it so much. This is the perfect end to a day like today, and I mean, I assume that this candy buffet is what heaven will be like, and oh my god, did you make a Devil Wears Prada reference somewhere in there?”

Darcy rubbed the back of his neck and looked at her sheepishly before smiling softly at her. “It was one of Gigi’s favorite movies for a stretch of time. I have seen it at least half a dozen times.”

Lizzie laughed and saw Darcy relax his shoulders. He stepped into the room, surveying the spread critically. “So, this is all to your liking then? Charlotte said that you liked blanket nests but was a little unclear as to what that exactly entailed.”

“Are you kidding?” Lizzie said as she stretched out and burrowed into the pile of blankets. “This is perfect. Seriously, these blankets? So soft. I didn’t even know they made blankets these soft. How you manage to get up and out of bed every morning is a mystery to me.”

Darcy pulled a face of mock seriousness. “It’s truly a struggle.” He paused and feigned a small shudder. “Although the thought of the wrath I’d have to face from board members for not leaving my bed is a good motivator.”

Lizzie made a face of disgust. “It’d probably make me want to stay in bed even more.” She wiggled her toes into the blankets, still surprised that something could be so incredibly soft. If she were wealthy, this was definitely something she’d spend money on. “You know how when you were a kid and you looked up at the clouds and they looked so puffy and soft? And you just wished you could wrap yourself up in it. I mean, even though later on you learn that if you did jump into them, you’d just fall right through and it’d be all cold and wet anyway." She looked up at Darcy, his face plastered with an amused look shot through with something soft and affectionate. Lizzie could feel a blush creeping up on her and quickly turned her gaze back to the blankets around her. "But, that’s not my point. My point is that these blankets feel like clouds look and it is beyond anything I could've ever imagined." She looked up at him and grinned slightly. "You might have some trouble getting rid of me. I seriously may never move from this spot ever again."

Darcy stared at her intently for a long moment. She could almost see him working through replies and disregarding them one by one. Finally, he shot her a wry look and said, "Well, that certainly wouldn't be the worst thing in the world."

She smiled. "No, it really wouldn't." She met his gaze for just a moment before flicking her eyes over to the tv screen. "So, are you going to actually sit and watch this movie with me or just stand there by the door? I mean, the couch is no blanket nest but it's still pretty comfortable."

Darcy smiled and sat on the sectional near Lizzie. He pressed play and sat back, enjoying the way Lizzie's eyes lit up the moment the movie began to play on the screen.


Darcy looked up and saw Gigi and Fitz hovering by the door. Gigi thought she saw the briefest look of disappointment flit over his face before it smoothed out into a gracious welcome. He waved a hand in greeting and said, "Are you two finished lurking by door?"

Lizzie turned and faced them, a smile lighting up her face. "Hey guys! I would totally get up and give you both a hug except for the fact that I'm almost positive I may never leave this spot ever again."

Gigi smiled and bounded into the room, collapsing onto the pile of blankets to give Lizzie a hug. Darcy raised an eyebrow at her and then looked over at Fitz, who waggled his eyebrows over at Darcy and tilted his head slightly in Lizzie’s direction. Darcy simply offered a rather smug smile at his friend, to which Fitz mouthed, “Way to up your game.” Fitz then turned to Lizzie and greeted her warmly, while Gigi leapt up and grabbed her brother by the arm, forcibly dragging him out of the room under the pretense of getting more drinks for the group.

The moment they were in the next room, Gigi grabbed her brother in a tight hug.

“William! I can’t believe you!”

She released him and took a step back, eyes gleaming in excitement. Darcy looked torn halfway between exasperation and his own brand of delight. Delight won out.

“Yes, well.” He angled his head in the direction of the living room. “It does seem to be going quite well.”

Gigi rolled her eyes but kept her smile on her face. "I don’t know why didn't just text me and tell me not to come home."

Darcy looked at her in disbelief. "What exactly are you expecting out of this night? Never mind. Don’t answer that. Anyway, I didn’t text you for two reasons. One, I am not going to exile you out of your own home. And two, you and Fitz are both required for the next part of the night."

"THERE'S A NEXT PART OF THE NIGHT?!" She yelped out in tone pitched so high Darcy actually flinched. She shot him an apologetic look and cleared her throat. “I mean, what’s next?”

He smiled and steered her back to the living room.

Darcy cleared his throat.

"So, I have something that all four of us can do together that we will all hopefully enjoy." He reached into the entertainment center and came out brandishing a metallic cardboard box. He handed it to Lizzie and watched her quizzical look transform into one of complete delight. Gigi peeked around William’s frame to see Lizzie holding Scene It! Harry Potter: The Complete Cinematic Journey.

Lizzie looked up at Darcy, eyes soft with affection. “Thank you.”

Darcy returned her gaze solidly, looking away before the warmth turned into the heat he was keeping just below the surface, and said, “Charlotte mentioned that you were something of a fan.”

(What Charlotte had actually said was, “Lizzie is obsessed with Harry Potter. The only thing she likes more than Harry Potter is winning Harry Potter Scene It! We all stopped playing the game with her because she’s just too good. She literally does not forget anything, ever.”)

Lizzie laughed. “I’m sure she wasn’t that nice about it. And unfortunately, I have to tell you that you’re wrong. The next part of the night may not be all that enjoyable because I am going to demolish all of you."

In the end, she only managed to demolish Fitz and Gigi. Halfway through the first round, Gigi declared that there needed to be some way to even the playing field.

“Fitz and I will be on a team together, because between the two of us we’ll probably have some sort of chance against you.” She had said, then smiled mischievously. “You can have William.” She had shot her brother a cheeky smile as he stared back at her, attempting (and failing) not to glare outright. “He’s only read the first four books but he is eerily adept at remembering details from the movies.”

Lizzie had turned to Darcy then, wondering, “Why only the first four books?”

Darcy had given Gigi a look of affection then, before answering, “I read the first four aloud to Gigi when we were younger. The fifth one she took to reading on her own, which was a boon for me. The length of that book makes me think that an editor, somewhere, was rather badly rebuffed.”

Lizzie's was somewhere between being offended for the sake of Harry Potter and tamping down the wave of attracti -- affection at the thought of Darcy reading the books aloud to Gigi. She abandoned both and instead just suggested they continue on with the game.

Two hours later.

Harry Potter Scene It lay abandoned on the floor, while Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince played on the TV. The four friends were scattered across the room, three empty wine bottles clustered on the coffee table, evidence of a night that had quickly gotten loud and silly ("Losing this badly will be a lot more fun if I'm a little drunk." Fitz had declared somewhere in the second round).

Lizzie looked around at the group, head slightly (though not unpleasantly) fuzzy from the two (or three - she couldn't quite remember) glasses of wine she'd consumed during the course of the night. Fitz was on the far side of the couch, leaning against the arm rest, his head slowly drooping onto his chest. Gigi had curled up next to him, her feet in his lap, and had promptly fallen asleep four minutes into the movie ("Wine always makes her sleepy," Fitz had teased, though his own eyes had already started to droop when he said it). Darcy was sitting on the edge of Lizzie's ocean of comfort, his shoulder barely grazing hers. He had migrated over at the start of the game at Gigi's insistence ("It'll be easier for the two of you as a team if you're right next to each other," she had said. It hadn't made much sense, but neither Lizzie nor Darcy wanted to go too far into an argument with Gigi), but hadn't moved even with a whole half of a couch available to him. Lizzie found she didn't mind, mostly because it was enjoyable to discuss the finer points of the narrative of Harry Potter, and then the nature of storytelling and adaptation in general as the movie went on.

The two of them had lapsed into comfortable silence as the movie approached its climactic battle. Yet she had something to say to him before the night's end. She hesitated for a moment then reached out to tap Darcy. He started momentarily and then looked down at her, eyes fixed fully on her face.

"Hey." She said, suddenly bashful. She had to admit that the full Darcy gaze could be pretty breathtaking at times (a voice inside of her, sounding something like Charlotte, snorted and said -- Breathtaking? You’re actually admitting that his eyes literally take your breath away).  

"Hello." He replied, voice rough with wine and by a night filled with laughter.

Across the room, the tv boomed loudly for a moment. Lizzie instinctively leaned in closer to Darcy, even though part of her was sure he could still hear her just fine from where she was. She smiled, unsure and nervous, up. "I just wanted to let you know again how much I appreciate all of this. Everything you did tonight was just...amazing. Really amazing. And so nice and sweet and...I mean, you must be so busy - you're the CEO! But you did all this. It's just really...amazing." She finished lamely, and then chuckled with slight embarrassment. "Apparently it was so great that I can't think of any other word to describe it than amazing."

The corner of his mouth quirked up as he said, “It was no problem at all, Lizzie. I just wanted you to know that no matter where you are, you never have to go through bad days alone.”

It was a simple phrase, simply said. No grand proclamation of care or adoration, nothing out of the ordinary at all. And yet it landed heavily on Lizzie and seemed to sink directly into her heart, unlocking something small but vital. She reached out - touched by his kindness, his quiet way of affection - and grabbed his hand, squeezing it lightly.

“Thank you…Will.” She said softly, distracted by the way he had twisted his hand into hers and was now lightly running his thumb over her knuckles. His eyes widened slightly when she said his name, his grip on her hand tightening momentarily.

“That’s the first time you’ve called me by my first name.” He said roughly, his eyes darkening, stormy in a way she’d never seen.

“I really like your first name.” She said and then colored. That wasn’t what she had meant to say at all. She’d meant to make a comment about how he at least deserved to be called by his first name after all the trouble he went through tonight, or how they were friends and she needed to stop calling him by his last name, or some offhand joke about how they weren’t in the army. But his fingers tracing patterns on her hand and his gaze mapping the features on her face made it hard to speak correctly.

(Made it hard to think about anything but the way his hair would feel woven through her fingers, the softness of his lips on hers, the caress of his palm on her cheek.)

She took a sharp intake of breath and shook her head slightly, trying desperately to banish any thoughts of Darcy's lips or eyes or hands. Of course, the next moment made such a wish impossible. She felt his hand brush up against her cheek, reaching over to tuck an errant piece of hair behind her ear, his fingers lingering on the angles of her jaw. She leaned instinctively into his palm, her eyes heavy with wine and want, her heart pounding loudly in her ears.

A loud crash came from the tv screen, signaling the beginning of the climactic battle scene, jolting them both out of the moment. Lizzie felt a sudden heaviness in the pit of her stomach, a sense of anxiety tinged through with regret.

Darcy had dropped his hand from her face at the loud noise, though his other remained steady on her own hand. She made no move to acknowledge the way warmth leaked out through every touch from his fingertips, nor to move her hand from its place. With an extraordinary amount of effort, she tore her eyes away from his and turned to face the tv. Keeping her eyes fixed on the screen, she said, "I'm not really sure how I'm gonna get home. Gigi's the only one who drank less than a two glasses of wine here and she looks completely out."

She felt, rather than saw, Darcy shift nervously next to her. After a moment, he said, "It might not be the worst thing in the world to fall asleep in a blanket nest."

She glanced over at him and smiled shyly. "Far from it."

She looked down at their hands, his still on top of hers, thumb pressed in between her knuckles. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, making a decision quickly before her courage failed her. She twisted her hand beneath his, twining her fingers through his own and tugging him gently towards her.

"I may not be willing to move from this spot, but I am willing to share the space." She said, meaning to force a joking tone into her voice but only succeeding in sounding breathy and soft.

He moved closer, legs aligned along the length of hers, solid and sure next to her. His entire body felt tense, coiled and worried. She squeezed his hand in reassurance, trailing her thumb down the contours of his own. She felt him sigh, felt the tension leave his spine, his body relaxing into hers. She smiled and rested her head gently on his shoulder, looking straight at the screen. She knew that looking him directly in the eye would be too much like sinking (too much like falling), and whatever that lead to, she surely didn't want it to happen while Fitz and, more importantly, Gigi were in the room. After a moment, and despite the action on the screen, she felt her eyes drooping and her body sinking down further. She faintly heard herself say, "Goodnight Will."

The last thing she remembered before dropping off to sleep was his own voice rumbling, "Goodnight Lizzie," and a gentle pressure on the top of her head, like a kiss pressed gently on her hairline.

She fell asleep with a soft smile on her face.

Sometime in the course of the night, Darcy woke up shivering, a sharp ache in his neck and his shoulder half asleep. He peered down at Lizzie, curled up next to him with her head on his shoulder. The last thing he wanted to do was move, yet his shoulder and neck were screaming out in protest.

He began to move slowly, stretching out and sinking down lower into the blankets, making a concerted effort to do so without waking Lizzie. He let go her hand in an effort to brace himself as he moved and saw her eyes flutter open, glassy with sleep. "Hrmphh?" She said sleepily, blinking slowly at him. He looked down at her, her face half-hidden by her auburn hair. She was obviously still half asleep, and even though she was looking at his general direction, he could tell she wasn't really seeing him. He expected her to roll away from him and promptly fall back asleep. Instead she reached over his chest and grabbed his arm, pulling him towards her and then said, "your arm is freezing," in a voice still muffled by sleep. She laid back down and scooted backwards, eyes half-closed, and lifted the blanket, showing an empty spot next to her. He hesitated for a moment. "Lizzie, I don't think --"

She huffed impatiently, eyes now completely closed but brow furrowed. "Will. It's cold. You're cold. Warmth."

He found the entire thing so incredibly endearing that he had to physically clamp his hands in the blanket to keep from grabbing her face between his hands and kissing her awake. He peaked over his shoulder at Gigi's sleeping form on the couch. No, it wasn't an optimal time for that. But...soon, maybe.

Instead, he moved into the empty space next to her, laying on his back and tucking the blanket around them. She shot him a tired smile and scooted over to him, resting her head in the crook of shoulder as he moved to put his arm around her, resting it lightly on her back. Her arm snaked over his stomach, reaching out to grab his hand and twining her fingers with his own. She sighed lightly and said, “Better?”


He felt her smile into his chest briefly before feeling her completely relax into him, signaling her return to sleep. He breathed in deeply, contented and happy in a way he couldn’t ever remember being before, and closed his eyes. Moments later, he was asleep as well.


Gigi peaked through the curtain of hair covering her eyes, being careful to keep her breathing completely even and her body still. The early morning light filtering through the window and softly illuminating the sleeping pair on the floor in front of her. She watched them for a moment, contentment stealing through her body. She thumped her foot gently on the couch, seeing if either of them started awake, hoping that they wouldn't. Luckily, they didn’t.

She snuck her phone out of her pocket and opened her camera, checking and double checking that all sounds had been shut off. The last thing she needed was an ill-timed clicking sound to ruin the photographic moment before her. She focused the camera and took three shots of William and Lizzie, just to make sure. They were nestled together amidst a pile of at half a dozen blankets. The blankets were slightly disheveled to the waist, revealing her arm thrown across his torso while his own lay next to it, cupping her elbow. Her face was buried in his neck, her hair splayed out across his chest, tangled in William’s other hand.
She looked around for Fitz and found the couch empty. He must’ve gotten up and turned off the tv sometime in the night before crashing in one of their guest bedrooms. Which meant he would’ve seen Lizzie and William as well. They would definitely have quite a bit to talk about in the morning.

Gigi smiled wide as she swung her legs silently to the floor and padded silently out of the room and up to her bed. There was sure to be some awkwardness in the morning between those two, knowing her brother. But hopefully some sweetness as well. Gigi couldn’t keep the grin off her face as she laid in bed and unlocked her phone. She looked through her text messages, re-reading the most recent thread of conversation.

Hi Charlotte, it’s Gigi - William Darcy’s sister. I snuck your number from Lizzie’s phone. Just wanted to say that William told me how you helped him for tonight and I wanted to say thanks!

Hi Gigi - nice to meet you (sort of). And you’re welcome, although I didn’t really do that much. Your brother is really upping his game. Finally.

I know, right? It’s going really well, by the way. In case you were wondering. :)

I thought so. Lizzie hasn’t texted me all night.

Yeah, she’s a little busy pretending not to stare at my brother, while my brother pretends not to stare at her. Although I will say that wine has certainly been pretty helpful in the entire thing.

Ha! I’m totally gonna need to get details from her tomorrow.

At that point, the wine drinking and trivia gaming had gotten a little bit out of hand, and Gigi had set her phone aside.

She attached the picture she had just taken and texted Charlotte.

Presented without any commentary.

It was early, so she didn’t expect a reply. She set her phone aside and snuggled into her blankets, surprised when it buzzed on her nightstand. She opened it and laughed out loud.


YEAH. I KNOW. Not quite sure how that ended up happening.

You ask your brother, I’ll tackle Lizzie.

Will do. Heading back to sleep now, will update you later. We’ll need to figure out a game plan on how to get the those two together. ;)

Gigi’s phone was silent for a few minutes before it buzzed in her hand.

You know, we may not need to.

Gigi smiled and tucked her phone under her pillow, happy to realize that Charlotte was probably right.


Later that day (after a morning that wasn’t half as awkward as she thought it would’ve been; after tangled limbs and muffled laughs and Will’s hands in her hair; after a homemade breakfast where she sat too close to him and was almost blinded by the force of Gigi’s smile; after a small kiss on the lips that felt more like a promise of things to come than a polite goodbye), Lizzie sat in her bed, staring at nothing but buoyed up by happiness and butterflies. She heard her phone buzz and saw a text message from Charlotte waiting for her.

How’d it go?

Well! Sorry I didn’t text you!

No worries, I figured you were having a good time.

Lizzie heard her phone buzz a second time and stared dumbly at the picture that had loaded up on her phone. She felt a blush heat up her cheeks but couldn’t help the wide smile that had broken out on her face.

Her phone buzzed once more and she couldn’t help but laugh out loud at Charlotte’s commentary.


Lizzie shook her head, making a note to chat with Gigi on Monday.

...That Gigi is a wily girl.

Yes, but that’s so not the point. The question is - what’s happening between you and Darcy?

Lizzie stared at her phone for a long moment, biting her lip, changing and deleting the text message three, four, eight times. Finally she typed out two words, the most honest ones she had, and clicked send before she could talk herself out of being sincere.

Something good.