Day 1: Crossovers/Fusions
A/N: For Day 1 of KC AU Week, I have succumbed to the temptation (and the nudge-nudging from some of you) and wrote a Pride and Prejudice fusion.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Many of you know I’m obsessed with Jane Austen so I feel like this was inevitable at some point? (Regency AU)
Also for the lovely Maf, @kickassfu. This could use more editing, but I got tired of staring at it haha. *Fingers crossed* I’ll be able to write you something else for your birthday later this week.
xx Ashlee Bree
A Lady’s Tongue is Quite Rapid
In a small town like Mysticton, to engage in gossip about one’s neighbors was a sport of sorts. It meant, that much like fencing, no one was exempted from a sparring strike which could expose some truth about his/her disposition or reputation to the rest of the villagers. No one.
In fact, it was of little consequence to the surrounding residents as to what, or where, or about whom this ‘sharing’ included so long as the topic was titillating, the person was some combination of scandalous or mysterious, and the discussion was breached artfully: with tact, with sophistication. Such a practice was allowed in trifles—encouraged, rather—but only so far as it did not tread upon common decency. After all, there was nothing more impudent to members of respectable society than rudeness or vulgarity.
Since the English valued propriety above all, therefore, it was an unspoken rule amongst them that gossip was to be whispered and never trumpeted. It was meant to be censored not flaunted. It mattered not whether folks were from the city or the country, nor from what class or rank from which they hailed, but that they knew best how and when to be inconspicuous. And none in this world of manners, as it happened, commandeered the art of whispering more effectively than the fairer sex.
…Most of the time, anyway.
“Come now, Caroline,” Miss Katherine trilled from the edge of her wine glass, her mouth cut in a minx-like expression. “You cannot deny the striking set of his features with that rough, angular jawline and those eyes so blue and cavernous, they could trap a girl in the dark forever. He’s quite delectable in a way, would you not agree?”
The young lady smoothed a loose blonde curl against her temple.
“Handsome or not, a man who offers nothing but snarling personality at first sight holds no charms for me. We’d never suit. Besides,” she clucked, “I find his snobbery almost unendurable.”
“Now, now, don’t cast him off so readily.”
“Why ever not? You know how much stock I place on early impressions,” Caroline said.
“Firstly, he’s rich and titled. Secondly, he knows how to strut in a pair of tailored breeches. And thirdly,” Katherine continued while Miss Forbes rolled her eyes, “not all of us are who we appear to be amongst people we don’t know well. Though you’re loath to believe it, friend, he may prove to be much more intriguing than you suspect at present.”
“You cannot be serious.”
“Ah, except I am.” Her fingers tapped along the wall behind her, her expression clouding, her thoughts drifting away, “Perhaps he’s emotionally withdrawn for good reason?” she proposed.
A sneer. “Conceited, unsociable, and taciturn for no reason, you mean!”
Katherine leveled a look at her companion, her lips compressed from want of laughter at this vehement outburst.
“Why, I don’t believe I’ve known you to chide anyone so disparagingly in my life! If I didn’t know better,” she said, “I’d say this fellow has sunk his teeth beneath your skin and has hit a discordant vein you find oddly compelling.”
“That is absurd,” Caroline answered.
“Is it?” Miss Pierce’s tone was suggestive, stoking her companion’s composure enough that she gaped and colored.
“Yes!” Crossing her arms defensively, Miss Caroline turned up her nose when she met Katherine’s eye, her cheeks burning hot with indignation at such a claim. “I’ll have you know I find his incense and irritable nature entirely unbecoming. I can hardly stand the man!”