Charlotte wasn’t quite sure why she decided to close the door to the den when she went to answer the door. But when the person on the other side of the door was less Asian, less laden with take-out, and much more Darcy than what she was expecting, she was thankful for whatever impulse it was that had led her to close it (her mother’s voice demanding to know if they lived in a barn came to mind, and she thanked her mother ten times over in her head).
The fact was that she wanted to have a few words with William Darcy before he got around to talking to Lizzie. So before he even had a chance to open his mouth, she pressed a hand to his chest, pushed him a few steps backward, and closed the front door behind them.
Darcy gave her a quizzical look, but didn’t seem to object to being manhandled (womanhandled?). Charlotte supposed that, with a sister like Gigi, he’d gotten used to it.
"As Lizzie’s best friend, it is my obligation to inform you that if you ever do anything to hurt her, I will castrate you.”
Darcy’s eyes widened. “I, uh…”
"But I don’t anticipate having to do that. I edited most of Lizzie’s Pemberley videos, so I have seen proof of how much you care about her close up and repeatedly. I’ve also been a lifelong scholar in the many moods of Lizzie Bennet, and I know that she cares about you more than she’s been letting on lately.”
Darcy blinked several times. “So you’re saying…”
"So I’m saying… go for it," Charlotte concluded, stepping aside to allow Darcy a clear path to the front door. "Just don’t be a dick about it, like last time. She’s in the den, first door on the right."
Darcy nodded, took a deep breath, and headed for the door.
"Oh, and Darcy?"
"It’s her birthday today. Our birthday." Charlotte smiled. "Maybe you could take her out for dinner."
"Oh, I… um, thank you, that’s a good idea." He returned her smile as best he could, but Charlotte understood that the poor guy had enough on his mind right now.
"Proceed," she said with a wave of her hand. Darcy obeyed, entering through the front door.
Grinning, Charlotte looked out toward the front walkway, where she saw the delivery guy standing a good distance back, looking awkward. She went out to him and paid for her order.
She navigated through the process of opening the door with her arms full of food. As she passed the den, she was satisfied to hear soft voices emanating from the door. She climbed the stairs and knocked on Lydia’s bedroom door. After a moment, Lydia answered, looking confused at the sight of her sister’s best friend showing up with her arms full of take-out boxes.
"So…" Charlotte said, raising an eyebrow. "Guess who showed up at our doorstep just now and is currently talking-slash-confessing-his-still-undying-love to Lizzie in the den."
Lydia suppressed a squeal. “No. Way.”
"Yep. What do you say to eating lots of honey walnut shrimp and listening at the door?"