Who? Mr Darcy, Miss Sully, Sergeant Sully, Miss Darcy (& cameos) Where? Pemberley When? Saturday morning What? Marriage ceremony! Open? No, complete g-doc Rating? Low, the minister's there, come on now.
To be nervous was entirely natural and expected, or so Bingley kept telling Darcy that morning. He wasn’t sure he’d actually slept; he was a mixture of anxiety and excitement, and there had been the added problem that Ashley had not been with him. Although she was of course still at Pemberley, they’d gone for tradition and not seen each other the night before.
He kept telling Bingley that he hoped she was okay, that he hoped she wasn’t too anxious, that everything would be perfect and just as she had hoped, that nothing at all would happen to spoil her day in any way at all.
“My God, man. It is truly admirable that you worry yourself so, but you simply must calm down. Everything is fine, what on earth do you think will happen? She has her cousin, and Georgiana, they’ll be taking excellent good care of her, I assure you,” Bingley had told him as they walked through the house to meet the minister. He was an excellent best man, and sure enough by the time they had made it to the drawing room, Darcy was looking a lot less terrified.
Mrs Reynolds and her housekeeping staff had outdone themselves - he actually found himself momentarily speechless as he walked into the room. There were simple but beautiful floral arrangements, and although they were a small gathering, chairs had been turned to create something of the appearance of an aisle. White material had been tied into bows around each chair, and an elegantly decorated table placed at one end of the room for signing the papers when the time came. Georgiana’s pianoforte had been moved into the room, and he had the feeling that she was going to play something at Ashley’s request, or perhaps at her own insistence. It was perfect - nothing too ostentatious, but beautiful in its simplicity.
He and Bingley greeted the minister, and after a very brief explanation of the order of events, he got them all into position and told Mrs Reynolds that she could send for the bride whenever she was ready.
Ashley was pretty sure she'd never been that nervous in her life. She hadn't gotten any sleep the night before, even with Georgiana offering to sleep in the bed with her so it wouldn't feel empty. It was strange that she already couldn't sleep without him beside her.
She checked the full length mirror for about the dozenth time as she waited. She'd gone with a cream colored dress with matching opera gloves. Ashley was fully aware what the white dress stood for and she didn't feel that she should wear one since she definitely didn't qualify. She pulled up the gloves again even though they weren't slipping down and she fretted with her hair.
“If you don't stop touching it, you're going to mess it up.” Bobby said with a chuckle. He looked so handsome in his tuxedo. He'd blushed when she insisted on taking pictures to show his mother later. Ashley was grateful that he'd offered to stand in for her father and a little sad that it was necessary. She tried to smile at her cousin. “Ash, it's going to be perfect. There's no need to be nervous, okay?”
“Okay.” Ashley nodded. He was right. There wasn't a need to be nervous. Georgiana came out of the small dressing room looking very beautiful and grown up in the lovely blue dress that she picked. Ashley had let her decide on what to wear. “I should go get ready to play.” She smiled and walked over to take Ashley's hands in hers. “We’re just a few moments away from being sisters.” She giggled. The excitement was infectious and Ashley laughed softly. “I'll see you in a moment.” Georgiana gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before leaving the room. Ashley took a deep breath and closed her eyes to relax. She jumped a little at the soft knock on the door.
“It's time, miss.” Mrs Reynolds said as she poked her head in the door. Ashley had insisted the staff not use the fake title she'd bestowed on herself.
“Thank you, Mrs Reynolds.” She said with a nod. She picked up her bouquet that matched the other flower arrangements, took Bobby's offered arm and then walked out to get into position. In just a little bit she was going to be Mrs Darcy. The thought put a rather large smile on her face.
It probably seemed a little silly, but in an effort to keep him calm, Bingley was reminding Darcy how to breathe properly so that he definitely would not faint. He was a dear friend for trying to help, and so even though under different circumstances he might’ve chided him for being ridiculous, today Darcy was humouring him by breathing as he instructed.
Georgiana appeared eventually, and the men turned to look at her, both beaming at her with a sort of brotherly pride. “Georgie, you look very grown up. You’re beautiful,” her brother told her. He watched as she settled at the instrument, seeing that he was right in his assumptions. That was quite nice, it would cover any uncomfortable silence.
He was glad that Ashley had decided on having the minister come to them. If he was this anxious in his own home he couldn’t imagine how he would feel in the church. After checking with Bingley for the hundredth time that he had the rings and everything was fine, he turned to the door. Mrs Reynolds slipped back in first, and took a seat toward the back of the room. He had insisted she did - he had known the housekeeper since he was only four and she had kept filling up with tears at every mention of their wedding. She seemed as overwhelmed as if he were her own son. She even gave him a little smile of encouragement as she caught his eye.
Georgiana blushed a bit at the compliment. “Thank you.” She took a seat at the pianoforte and got the music ready. She had all the pages spread out so she wouldn't have to turn any. When Mrs Reynolds slipped into the back, Georgiana counted silently to herself and started playing.
Ashley took a deep breath as they got into position. She was pretty sure her heart was pounding. She smiled when she heard the brief exchange and then Georgiana started playing.
“That's our cue.” Bobby smiled. He patted the hand that she had on his arm.
“That's it.” She nodded and took another deep breath to calm down. She'd practiced. She knew what she was going to be required to say. They started slowly moving down the aisle and her smile got a little brighter. He looked so amazing. All of the nervousness just melted away as soon as she saw him.
Georgiana started playing, and Darcy was sure his heart was fit to burst out of his chest. He exchanged a quick glance with his best man, and then looked to the door as it opened. And there she was - Ashley Sully, looking every bit the regency bride, walking slowly but determinedly towards him.
She started to smile brightly, and the look of sheer terror was quickly wiped from his expression and replaced with a warm smile of his own. In fact, he was properly beaming at her by the time she made it to his side.
“Hello. You look amazing,” he whispered softly to her as she reached him. Bingley gave his shoulder a squeeze and smiled gleefully at Ashley before taking a step back to sit down for the first part.
“Dearly beloved…” the minister started.
“So do you.” Ashley whispered back. She was suddenly desperate to touch him but knew that she had to wait. They weren't to that part of the ceremony yet.
Bobby wasn't completely sure whether or not he should stay standing until Bingley went to sit down and then he joined him. He kept his eyes on Ashley, occasionally sending her happy thoughts even though he was sure she was going fine on her own.
Georgiana stopped playing when the minister started and went to sit with Mrs Reynolds who was a bit of a mess. She imagined that's how their mother would have acted. A momentary thought that neither her brother nor Ashley had their parents at their wedding and it made her a little sad but only briefly.
Darcy knew that he was meant to be sincerely concentrating on what the minister was saying, but he couldn’t help but occasionally steal glances over at Ashley. It was all the very serious and heavy part, but it was difficult to feel anything but sure and certain when he could catch her eye.
“Therefore if any man can show any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace…”
Maybe it was silly, but it was the part that Darcy was somehow fearing. He knew that there was no lawful reason to object, unless someone wanted to sound insane by claiming she was from the future on a space station. Still, not everyone had been exactly thrilled by the match, and he just dreaded the idea that someone - particularly her mother - might make a bit of a display of it now.
The moment passed in silence, and once the minister moved on he realised he’d been holding his breath. The minister was asking the same question of them, and only another brief moment of silence would have to be endured.
Bobby smiled as he watched them. When the question was asked, he did a quick mental scan of the area. He didn't want to risk anyone trying to ruin things. He hadn't realized how much he had tensed up until it was over.
Ashley had also been holding her breath. None of the people she’d invited to the reception knew the time of the wedding but she was still very briefly afraid of there being a problem. She relaxed when there was nothing but silence and then the moment passed.
With that part over, the minister smiled and even he looked a little more relaxed about it now. “Good. Then we can move on,” he told them, and then turned to Darcy first.
“Fitzwilliam Darcy, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?”
“I will,” Darcy responded without hesitation, feeling his heart racing a little with the reality of the moment.
Ashley smiled and listened carefully as the minister spoke. It wasn't all that different from modern wedding vows. Only the language was a bit different. The minister turned to Ashley.
“Ashley Ellenore Sully, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?”
“I will.” She said with a nod. The wording made her giggle internally. Of course in this era the wife was servant to the husband. If they only knew about how things worked in Ashley's time.
Even having only lived in her world a short time, Darcy did have to suppress a bit of a smile at the wording of her version as well. The thought of her obeying and serving him was a little ridiculous, but he knew that the wording was non-negotiable, even with the special license. They’d been lucky with the exceptions made for the rings.
“Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?” the minister asked of the two seated men.
Bobby had been trying very hard to pay attention. It was a lit of flowery language that he wasn't quite wrapping his head around. It was only because he wasn't completely listening, though. He was listening just enough to catch his cue and he got to his feet.
“I give her.” He smiled at Ashley. It was all just ritual with the wedding, but he did get a little emotional. His cousin was seconds away from being a married woman. It made him proud and he wasn't quite sure why. As he’d been instructed, he took Ashley's hand and passed it to the minister. Once that was done, he returned to his seat.
The minister then offered Ashley’s hand over to Darcy, who took her hand in his and gave it an almost imperceptible squeeze.
“Repeat after me. I, Fitzwilliam Darcy take thee Ashley Ellenore Sully, to my wedded wife,”
Darcy repeated the words, and the minister continued.
“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer…”
Again, Darcy repeated what was said.
“...in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part…”
He repeated again, feeling his voice crack just a little with the emotions behind it all.
“...according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.”
The last part was repeated as well, his voice trembling just a little as he made it to the end. He gave her hand one more little squeeze before letting it go again, quite reluctantly even though he knew he’d get it back in seconds.
Ashley was fighting back emotions at this point. She smiled at the slight squeeze to her hand, and she almost didn't want to let his hand go. But soon enough, she was taking his hand again and repeating after the minister.
“I, Ashley Ellenore Sully, take thee Fitzwilliam Darcy to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.” Her voice was shaking by the end and she blinked back some tears. The whole thing was so beautiful.
Darcy was lost in her eyes as she spoke, and he felt the emotion on her every word. By the time she was finished, she was not the only one having to blink back some tears.
Their hands parted again, and the minister requested the rings. Bingley stepped forward, produced the two rings and placed them on top of the bible that the minister held out to him. Then he immediately went to sit back down.
“Gloves,” Darcy whispered at her with a small smile as the minister handed over her ring to him.
“Oh yes.” She blushed a little. Bobby stepped up and took the bouquet from her, and then her gloves when they were removed. Ashley gave an apologetic look to the minister before looking at Darcy.
Her little blush was adorable, and Darcy’s smile grew a little wider as she prepared herself for the next part.
The minister reminded him of what to say, and then he went ahead and spoke to his fiancé.
“With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
It was a rather beautiful sentiment, and he could feel his hands trembling a little as he slipped the wedding ring onto her finger.
A tingle went through her as he took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. She smiled, wanting to kiss him but she had to remember that wasn't part of the ceremony. With the special concession for the second ring, Ashley had worked with the minister on what she would say, agreeing to what he thought would be appropriate. She took the ring and took Darcy's hand, looking him in the eye as she spoke.
“With this ring, I thee wed. With my body, I thee worship. With my heart I will honor and obey thee. In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Darcy smiled right back at her, and he remembered what she had told him about this part. He could understand it; it absolutely felt like the right time to kiss her, but they would have to hold back.
He gazed right back at her as she spoke. Of course he did not know what she would say, and he had wondered how she would talk her way around the ‘worldly possessions’ part when it would seem inappropriate for a woman to be vowing to a man at the time. They’d managed a workaround, and he was so glad that they had asked. It felt wonderful to be given a ring of his own, much more like it was a mutual promise.
He knew that the next part was where Ashley was worried she was going to get lost, but he had faith that it was going to be just fine. The minister motioned for them to kneel, and he did so. A prayer followed, and although he was trying to listen so that he knew when to respond, he was mostly listening to the sound of his heart hammering away in his chest. She was so nearly his wife.
Ashley's hands were shaking just as much as his were when she placed the ring on his finger. She heard a soft sob from the back where Mrs Reynolds was sitting and Georgiana's reassurances to the woman.
And now came the difficult part. She'd tried very hard to learn everything she was supposed to say but this was the place she always fumbled. She hadn't really been raised in a religious house so it was all so new to her. She knelt when she was supposed to and tried very hard to concentrate as the minister spoke.
Darcy had said that he would give her hand a little squeeze when she was to speak, but for the first ‘amen’ she was on her own.
The prayer being done, the minister joined their hands together once more and then spoke, his tone much lighter and quite cheerful now.
“Forasmuch as Fitzwilliam Darcy and Ashley Ellenore Sully have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost-”
Darcy gave her hand a little squeeze and said “amen”. He was smiling away as he realised that that was it. So, screwing up the prayers a little would maybe be a bit embarrassing, but it wouldn’t matter. He had pronounced them man and wife.
The minister was moving on to the blessing, and all Darcy could think about was that he was holding onto his wife’s hand.
Ashley had been a little behind on the first amen but it seemed that no one noticed. Or at least no one cared. She smiled as they joined hands again. And then they were officially married. From that moment forward she was Ashley Darcy. A few happy tears spilled down her cheeks as the ceremony was concluded.
She tried to stifle a laugh as Mrs Reynolds let out another soft sob. She noticed out of the corner of her eye that Georgiana was quietly moving back to the pianoforte. It really was absolutely perfect.
The blessing went on a little bit, and Darcy squeezed at her hand for every little ‘amen’ required of them. Before too long, Georgiana was starting to play on the pianoforte for psalm 128. It was the more upbeat of the two choices offered, and even now Darcy was trying really hard not to burst out laughing at this inappropriate moment. He was glad that he was looking down as though solemnly praying, because he was sure that if he looked properly at Ashley they’d both be giggling like idiots over her being a fruitful vine. It was lucky that they weren’t actually required to sing along, and he was sure that Ashley would feel the slight tremble in his arm as he fought to hold himself together.
Ashley kept her head down but she did cut her eyes over at him. She wasn't going to live that one down, she just knew it. It was a bit funny, though. She squeezed his hand a little when he was obviously trying not to outright laugh. It was supposed to be a serious moment after all. She did smile along with him, though. When the psalm finished she said the amen that was required.
Darcy said the ‘amen’ with her, and cleared his throat a little to compose himself for the prayers, especially considering he was meant to be the one who knew what he was doing. He was also quickly realising that it was a very long time to expect someone to be on their knees, and he was oddly grateful that they were on carpet.
“Lord, have mercy upon us.”
Darcy gave Ashley’s hand a little squeeze and responded. “Christ, have mercy upon us.”
“Lord, have mercy upon us,” came the minister’s response again. They were onto the Lord’s Prayer, and he knew Ashley had been practising over and over so he really wasn’t worried for her.
Ashley closed her eyes for a moment and listened. She found that her back was hurting a little bit from the position they were in which surprised her. She thought it would be her knees.
“Christ, have mercy upon us.” She said with the hand squeeze. And now it was time for the Lord's prayer. The one part in all this that she felt confident about not messing up.
Darcy was really, really trying his best not to think about his back. He had only very recently stopped being in constant pain with it following the accident with Annie. It was more the managing to get back up again without it going he was worried about.
For now, he spoke through the Lord’s prayer with his wife, and onto the part he knew she was a little more worried about. He would give her a little squeeze for every required response.
“O Lord, save thy servant, and thy handmaid,” the minister spoke first.
“Who put their trust in thee,” he responded with the squeeze.
“O Lord, send them help from thy holy place;”
“And evermore defend them.”
“Be unto them a tower of strength”
“From the face of their enemy.” “O Lord, hear our prayer”
“And let our cry come unto thee,” he said with one more squeeze before the minister was on to the longer prayers that only required the ‘amen’ to be uttered by them again.
Ashley blushed a little as she did mess up one of the responses, though not badly enough for the minister to notice. Or maybe he just assumed that it was because she was American. Either way, she spoke whenever her hand was squeezed and did her best.
And then there was more praying. How much longer were they going to be on their knees? She gave her husband a sideways glance, worrying that she might have to actually help him get up. And it also caused her a slight bit of concern for their wedding night. She certainly didn't want to risk hurting him.
The prayers and blessings felt like they went on forever, and he tried to focus on just breathing and staying relaxed. He focused as best he could on the words that were being spoken, and there was so much love and beauty in it. For every amen he gave her hand a little squeeze, until the minister came to the final prayer at last.
“....and live together in holy love unto your lives' end,”
Together they said amen, and because there was no actual congregation there, considering it was inside his own house and not in the church, they did not have to listen to a full sermon to follow. The music began once more, and knowing of his injury already, Bingley kindly stepped forward and took Darcy’s free arm to quite subtly give him a little hand up to his feet again before stepping back to allow him a moment with his wife.
The prayers were finally over. There was that. Bobby stepped forward to help Ashley up, mainly because she'd been afraid of stepping on her dress and falling over.
Ashley was thankful for Bingley but she was also thankful to have a moment with her husband. The two men that were so important to them both stepped off to the side.
“I get to be Mrs Darcy now.” She said with a teary smile. “Now and forever.”
Darcy gently cupped her face in his hands, her teary smile mirrored in his own expression. He gave her a nod of agreement. “Now and forever, Mrs Darcy,” he told her. He really wanted to kiss her, but he didn’t trust himself to leave it at a peck and he knew they should probably wait for the minister to leave. So, instead of risking it, he just placed his forehead gently against hers for a moment. “I love you,” he told her, quietly so that it was just for her to hear.
While they had their moment, the minister had moved to lay out the documents on the table provided, and waited for them to be ready.
“All that remains is the signing of your marriage certificate,” he told them, and Darcy pulled back but took her hand in his to walk to the table with her. “Will these two gentlemen be signing as your witnesses today?” the minister asked, and Darcy confirmed that they would.
She wanted to kiss him so desperately she could feel it but they would have to wait. “I love you, too.” She whispered back. She took a deep breath and smiled at him. Squeezing his hand as they walked to sign the certificate.
Bobby got to his feet and moved to stand next to Ashley, ready to sign as her witness. “I'm really happy for you.” He said softly. Ashley smiled at him.
“Thank you.” She nodded. She looked down at the certificate and it was hard not to get teary eyes again. She really wanted her father there.
Bingley moved to stand beside Darcy, catching his eye to give him one of his boyish smiles of encouragement. “Congratulations,” he whispered to his friend, and Darcy said a soft “thank you” in return.
“Mr Darcy, you will sign here first,” the minister told him, and Darcy picked up the pen and dipped it into the ink. He did momentarily wonder if Ashley had even tried this type of writing before, but it was rather too late to worry about it now. He neatly signed his name on the certificate under ‘husband’.
“And Mrs Darcy, you will sign here, using your maiden name one last time,” the minister said. Darcy passed her the pen, and then placed his hand reassuringly against her back. He understood that it had to be a mixed feeling to change names. Sully was her father’s name, after all.
Ashley took another deep breath. She had, fortunately, used that kind of pen on a couple of other occasions so she wasn't completely unfamiliar. She smiled at the hand on her back and looked down at the paper. It took her a moment to actually be able to sign, but it wasn't reluctance.
“Sorry.” She apologized softly as she handed the pen to the minister after signing. She wasn't a Sully anymore, at least in name. It was affecting her more than she thought it would.
The minister passed the pen on to Bingley, and Darcy stepped back a little to let him sign his name as the first witness.
“Are you okay?” Darcy whispered softly to his wife while the focus was on the other men for just the moment.
Bingley passed the pen over to Bobby, and they were very nearly done.
Ashley stepped back with Darcy whe Bingley and Bobby were doing their part. She smiled at him a little, though her eyes were misty.
“Just missing my dad.” She shrugged a little. She really was happy, some things were just hard to hide.
Darcy gave her a bit of a smile and nodded in understanding. “Me too, actually,” he responded quietly. Of course he meant his own father, but he was sure she understood his meaning. His mother, too, but it had been much longer since he’d lost his mother. God, he hoped that Lady Catherine was wrong, that she wouldn’t have been terribly disappointed in him. No, his mother would want him happy. She would’ve… well, she would’ve been sobbing with happiness for him like Mrs Reynolds. He had to believe that.
Once everyone was done signing, the minister looked over the document to check it for them, and then signed as well. They were legally married.
“May I take this opportunity to wish you both every happiness together, and once again God bless,” the minister told them warmly.
“Thank you, Father, God bless you,” Darcy told him, giving him a bow of respect.
Ashley gave a bow as well. “Thank you, Minister. God bless.” She smiled. It still felt a bit weird to say it.
Bobby grinned and looked at both if them. “Congratulations, you two. I really don't think I could be happier for any two people.” He chuckled. Ashley smiled. “Thank you.”
As soon as the minister finished with the license, Georgiana started playing a happy tune. It was on the program after all.
“Thank you, Robert. You have certainly helped us get here, and for that I am eternally grateful,” Darcy told him with complete sincerity.
“Yes, congratulations! I must say, I’ve never seen two people so absolutely perfect for each other,” Bingley told them cheerfully.
Mrs Reynolds approached, her cheeks shiny from all her tears despite her constantly dabbing with her handkerchief. “Oh, thank you so much for having me here, that was… so… so… beautiful,” she told them, trying not to start crying again. “I shall never have control of myself again, oh God help me. Please, sir, humour an old lady for a moment, and if you would be so kind, exit this way here and come back in the front door?”
Darcy gave her a quizzical look, and then looked to Ashley to see if she knew what she was on about.
“Thank you, Charles.” Ashley gave Bingley a little bow.
“Of course we would have you here, Mrs Reynolds.” She gave the sweet woman a kiss on the cheek. At the request she looked at Darcy and gave him a little head shake at his unspoken question. She had no idea what was going on.
When it was clear that Ashley didn’t know either, he turned back to his housekeeper and gave her a nod of agreement. “Yes, very well…” he said, trying not to sound too suspicious. She rarely asked anything of him, and he was sure it could only be for a pleasant reason.
“Shall we?” he smiled at his wife and took her hand before leading her out of a side exit and into the wonderfully cool, fresh air outdoors.
“We shall" Ashley said with a chuckle as she followed him. The weather was amazing and she didn't mind stepping outside for a moment. “What do you think it is?”
“I have absolutely no idea,” he admitted with a soft chuckle. “Oh, but if she’s hoping I will lift you over the threshold, I might have to disappoint her. Especially if I want to avoid disappointing you later!” he grinned cheekily at her.
“We shouldn’t keep them waiting, but I don’t know when we’ll next have the chance…” he said softly as he moved a little closer and pressed his lips to hers.
Ashley laughed softly but shook her head. “Definitely no lifting me. Not yet, anyway.” Maybe after a few more weeks when he had more time to heal.
She reached up and put a hand on his cheek when he kissed her. It felt like it had been an eternity. She smiled a bit. Their first kiss as husband and wife.
“Okay, we need to go in there before I can't help myself.”
“Perhaps when we return to the station,” he suggested. He could lift her into their apartment. Even as he said it he suddenly realised that he wanted her to stay at Pemberley with him instead. In a dream world, the door would just stay open always so that they didn’t have to choose between their two worlds.
The kiss helped. A lot. He knew that no matter where in the universe they were they would always have each other.
He gave her a little nod, as much as he wanted to just keep kissing her for the rest of the day. Instead, he took her hand and started to walk around the building with her.
“Maybe.” She was actually a little sad at the thought of having to go back to the station. She felt like it wasn't really home anymore.
She smiled as she walked around the building, still wondering what Mrs Reynolds had in store for them.
“I'd much prefer to skip straight to the wedding night.” She chuckled. It had been over a month.
“We’re so very nearly there, Mrs Darcy,” he told her, and he couldn’t help smiling at her new name, She was his wife. She really had married him. “You really do look absolutely beautiful,” he told her. They turned the corner, and Darcy was surprised to find that everyone who had been inside, plus some more staff, were waiting for them outside with silly smiles that made him slightly suspicious. He gave Ashley a slightly anxious look, but as they got closer he realised the the doorway was prettily decorated with flowers and fabric, creating a sort of archway for them to walk through.
Once they were close enough, everyone gathered there set about their task of throwing petals at them, until it was just a beautiful flowery snowfall all around. Darcy laughed happily, and pulled his wife close to him under the arch, pressing another kiss to her lips.
Just calling her Mrs Darcy sent a slight shiver through her. It was really real. A dream come true. She smiled. “Thank you. “ She was a little suspicious as well but then she saw the archway and laughed softly. The petals falling around them were beautiful and she started to tear up again.
“I love you.” She said right before the kiss.
Darcy was vaguely aware that they seemed to be getting a round of applause just for kissing, but mostly he was just lost in the moment. He hadn’t realised it was possible to love anyone as much as he loved Ashley, and that was all he could feel now.
He pulled back eventually, staying close. “I love you, too,” he replied to her earlier declaration of love. He was sure he was going to be saying it a lot throughout the day.
He walked her under the archway and back into the house, leaving the crowd giggling and chattering excitedly among themselves for a moment. It would be a while before they had anything more to do. He supposed they ought to tell people, actually invite them to the party, but he felt rather like he wanted to keep it to themselves for a little bit longer.
Once they were back in the house, Ashley pulled him close and kissed him properly, her fingers going up into his hair. She held him into the kiss until she absolutely had to breathe and then grinned at him.
“Been wanting to do that for hours.” She moved her hand down to play with the curls that were just above his collar.
As she kissed him, Darcy wrapped her up in his arms tightly. He moaned softly against her lips, her fingers through his hair sending shivers of pleasure through him. It just made him really want more.
He gasped softly for air as she pulled back again, and then he gave her a warm smile. “So have I,” he assured her. He glanced back to the doorway, and then back to his new bride.
“So, Mrs Darcy… I think our small gathering may be able to entertain themselves well enough for a while, don’t you agree?”
There was that shiver again. She smiled up at him, still idly playing with his curls. “It doesn't have to be announced immediately.” She grinned. “And Bobby can be quite entertaining when the need arises so they'll be perfectly fine without us for….an hour or so.” She smirked.
“Did you have something specific in mind?” She batted her eyelashes and played innocent.
“Oh, yes. They’ll barely notice our absence with Sergeant Sully entertaining them,” he laughed softly.
Of course Ashley knew exactly what he was intending, but her playing innocent did amuse him. She played it well, in her wedding clothes and batting her eyelashes up at him.
“I simply must make love to you,” he whispered close to her ear, surprised to find that there was a genuine need in his tone, not just a teasing. “I’m sure it would make us both much more relaxed for the rest of the celebrations,” he added softly.
“I was really hoping that's what you had in mind.” She licked her lips. Everything in her suddenly cried out for his touch. She felt just like she did right before he kissed her for the first time.
“It will be a much more enjoyable occasion if we're properly relaxed.” She smiled at him. “Though I do have to warn you. I'm period accurate on this dress at the moment.” Though she did have a little modern surprise under there as well. “You'll have to help me out if all these layers.”
As much as he enjoyed her coy little act she put on for him, Darcy really was pleased to hear that it was what she wanted just as much as him. He’d often been led to believe that it was something of a chore for a wife, but he’d never wanted it to be like that in his own marriage. Fortunately, such worries were apparently unnecessary.
He was surprised to find that her description of her underthings was enough to get his heart racing. “So now it is my turn to unwrap you like a present,” he said softly, feeling a little shiver run through him.
The junior staff were starting to move again, and a little laughter echoed through the hall.
“.... find a man who’d have me for my charms alone.”
“Eh, what charms?”
There was a shriek of annoyance and they went running after one another down the stairs.
“Come along, Mrs Darcy. Before we get roped into some social affair,” he insisted. He took her hand, and before the rest of the gathering could come and find them, he was ushering her up the stairs.