Well, I ficced. You’re welcome. :) And look at that! I wrote something for the fandom that might not get canon-balled next week!
Title: Students of the Fine Art of Trolling
Summary: It takes Lizzie seven takes to send Charlotte any usable footage for the intro to episode 98, thanks to a certain someone …
Lizzie turns on the camera and settles back onto the stool, centering herself. She want to suppress the grin on her face, but she knows that’s going to end up being a task of Herculean, if not Sisyphean, effort, so she does the best she can, knowing this would be a way better intro if she could keep a straight face, but in the end, doesn’t worry about it too much.
She closes her eyes briefly and takes a deep breath, and when she opens her eyes, she’s in character for the camera. “Hi, everyone,” she says brightly, and the breath of laughter is minuscule, almost imperceptible, but she hears it, and her eyes snap to his. “You can’t laugh,” she says with a shake of her head.
William Darcy ducks his head and gives a silent chuckle to the carpet, then stands straight again, his features carefully schooled into a neutral expression that she envies, though the hint of a smirk lingers at the corner of his mouth, and she wants nothing more than to go kiss it off his face. Giddily she realizes that she can do that now, if she wants, whenever she wants. The thought makes her breath hitch in a way she’s becoming quite accustomed to.
She doesn’t realize she’s staring until he quirks an eyebrow and says, “Don’t you have an intro to film?”
She tears her eyes away from him, suppressing another smile, and starts again.
“Hi, everyone. So. How are you?”
William raises his hand swiftly to his face, pressing his knuckles against his mouth to keep the laughter contained, but the movement is enough to pull her focus, and she loses it as well.
“Stop it!” she says, laughing.
“I apologize,” he says, once more schooling his features into a carefully composed mask.
“Thank you,” she says with the greatest dignity, turning once more to the camera.
But she’s barely said hello again before she meets his eye without meaning to, and they both burst into laughter again.
She’d say she doesn’t know what’s wrong with her, with them, but that’s decidedly untrue. She knows exactly what’s wrong, and it’s the fact that there is a ‘them,’ that they’re here, in her parents’ den, filming an intro to the video that basically outs them as a couple to the entire internet. It’s that they’re in love, and there are finally no barriers between them, and that is such a giddy feeling that neither one of them has been able to stop grinning for the past three days.
But she has to get through this, because she has to get some of her own back before the ‘I told you so’s start pouring in and thousands of viewers across the globe started punching the air in delight. Before social media sites explode with feels and squees and posts from beyond the grave. The past three days of blissful solitude and secrecy have been wonderful, but it’s almost Thursday and the truth has to be told, but she’s going to do it her way, and she’s going to taunt them, just a little bit.
If, that is, she can get through her scripted introduction without breaking into laughter like a hyperactive child.
This time she makes it halfway through, “This really should be more of an equitable back and forth relationship, don’t you think?” before she loses it, and William protests quite adamantly that he was not laughing.
“You were looking at me!” she tells him, mock frustrated, but she can’t even pull that off because the grin won’t go away, and he’s still looking at her, but now that eyebrow is quirked again, and the look is much more suggestive, and she can feel herself turning red. “I’m going to make you leave,” she warns, her voice breaking with a laugh on the last word. He turns down the smolder, but it’s still there, and he knows it, he’s doing it on purpose, testing her resolve. “Be. Good,” she says emphatically, pointing a finger at him, and he holds up his hands in a protestation of innocence, but he looks away and lets her get on with it.
Her fourth take carries her through “Me, me, me, me, me,” and she can see his smirk, and she forces her own gut reaction down, trying valiantly to carry on, but it’s no use. The take is ruined, and she’s glaring at him for all she’s worth because this is his fault.
They’re both laughing too hard for the fifth take to get much past the first few lines, and this is just no way for two grown adults to act. “We are professionals,” she gasps out. “Professionals, William Darcy! I literally get paid to do this, so stop making me laugh!”
“It is hardly my fault if you cannot maintain your professionalism around me, Lizzie Bennet.”
She glares at him and decides not to dignify that with a response. She takes a deep breath and shakes out her hands.
“Does that help?” he asks, and it sounds innocent, but she can hear the smirk in his voice a mile away. She glares again.
“Yes. Now shut up.”
The next two takes she ruins all on her own, once by flubbing a line and once by realizing almost at the end that even though she’d gotten through the whole thing without breaking character, her eyes had drifted past the camera to him on almost every line, so the whole clip was unusable.
“Okay, that’s it,” she says, standing, and marching past the camera to him. “You have to leave.”
“Why? What did I do?” he asks even as she physically marches him to the door.
“You are a distraction,” she informs him as she pushes him across the threshold and reaches for the doorknob. He stops her by leaning back across the doorframe.
“Not nearly as much of one as I could be,” he says in a low voice, and she shakes her head with a grin.
“You stay out here until I’m done,” is all she says, and he flashes one last smirk before she pulls the door closed.
She settles herself back on the stool, focusing on the camera that has captured all of that, and takes a deep breath.
She makes it all the way through without laughing, but she knows the stupid grin is on her face the whole time. She can’t help it. She has feelings that can’t be repressed, not any longer, and she finds that she’s really not interested in suppressing things any longer, not even for the sake of trolling her viewers.
So in the end, she knows she isn’t fooling anyone, knows she’s coming across as a giddy, lovesick fool, but strangely, she’s okay with that.
She sends the footage to Charlotte while Will traces patterns on her feet despite getting kicked for his trouble, and attaches only the following message:
Do with it what you will.
“Well, the world will know in less than 24 hours,” she said, closing her laptop.
“Yes,” Will agrees.
“Are you really letting Fitz and Gigi find out with everyone else?” she asks. He smirks.
“Yes,” he says again. Lizzie grins and laughs.
“God, we are such trolls.”
Looking at him grinning at her from the other side of the couch, she can’t even bring herself to be sorry.