This chapter comes from the grave to you all from one half of those very Righteous Orbs (which appears to no longer be hosted, hence my lack of linkage). Anyhow, this was Tamarind’s contribution to that contest I ran several lifetimes ago. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
ELIZABETH was rotated out the next morning, and fishing in Dalaran, while the rest of the guild were gone on to Icecrown Citadel, when she was startled by an invitation into a party. As she had received no whisper, she thought it not unlikely to be Lady Catherine, and under that apprehension was putting away her weather beaten fishing hat that she might escape all impertinent questions, when she joined the group, and to her very great surprise, it contained Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy only.
He seemed astonished too on finding her alone, and apologised for his intrusion by letting her know that he had understood they were going to do a heroic.
They stayed grouped, and when her enquiries after the raid were made, seemed in danger of sinking into total silence. It was absolutely necessary, therefore, to think of something, and in this emergency recollecting when he had last tanked for her, and feeling curious to know what he would say on the subject of their hasty server transfer, she observed,
“How very suddenly you all quitted the server last November, Mr. Darcy! It must have been a most agreeable surprise to Mr. Bingley to see you all after him so soon; for, if I recollect right, he transferred his main but the day before. He and the DPS were well, I hope, when you left Magtheridon?”
“Perfectly so — I thank you.”
She found that she was to receive no other answer — and, after a short pause, added,
“I think I have understood that Mr. Bingley has not much idea of ever raiding with us again?”
“I have never heard him say so; but it is probable that he may spend very little of his time there in future. He has many alts, and he is at a time of life when guild commitments are continually increasing.”
“If he means to be but little on this server, it would be better for the guild that he should give up his raid spot entirely, for then we might possibly recruit another tank. But perhaps Mr. Bingley did not transfer here so much for the convenience of the guild as for his own, and we must expect him to stay or gquit on the same principle.”
“I should not be surprised,” said Darcy, “if he were to give it up, as soon as any more progressed guilds are recruiting.”
Elizabeth made no answer. She was afraid of talking longer of his friend; and, having nothing else to say, was now determined to leave the trouble of finding a subject to him.
He took the hint, and soon began with, “This seems a very casual guild. Lady Catherine, I believe, did a great deal to it when Mr. Collins was first promoted to GM.”
“I believe she did — and I am sure she could not have bestowed her kindness on a more grateful object.”
“Mr. Collins appears very fortunate in his choice of officers.”
“Yes, indeed; his friends may well rejoice in his having recruited one of the very few sensible women who would have accepted him.”
A short dialogue on the subject of the guild ensued, on either side calm and concise — and soon put an end to by a group invite from Charlotte and her sister, just returned from their Argent Tournament dailies. The tête-à-tête surprised them. Mr. Darcy related the mistake which had occasioned his intruding on Miss Bennet, and after staying a few minutes longer without saying much to any body, left the group.
“What can be the meaning of this!” said Charlotte in party, as soon as he was gone. “My dear Eliza, he must need more DPS, or he would never have grouped with us in this familiar way.”
But when Elizabeth told of his silence, it did not seem very likely, even to Charlotte’s wishes, to be the case; and after various conjectures, they could at last only suppose his party invite to proceed from the difficulty of finding a decent pug, which was the more probable from it being close to server reset. All weekly runs were over. Within the guild there was Lady Catherine, heroics, and a scavenger hunt; but a tank with a 10k gearscore cannot always be within a casual guild.
It was plain to them all that Colonel Fitzwilliam had joined them because he enjoyed raiding with them, a persuasion which of course recommended him still more; and Elizabeth was reminded by her own satisfaction in healing him, as well as by his evident admiration of her gemming, of her former favourite George Wickham; and though, in comparing them, she saw Colonel Fitzwilliam did less DPS, she believed he might be the best informed about his rotation.
But why Mr. Darcy raided with them, it was more difficult to understand. It could not be for society, as he frequently sat on Vent ten minutes together without opening his lips; and when he did speak, it seemed the effect of necessity rather than of choice — a sacrifice in order to remind people to get out fire, not a pleasure to himself.