Story: In Sickness and in Health
Author: Betsy R
Story URL: Story Link (no longer at this link)
Alternate URL: Wayback Machine link (possibly temporary?)
Word count: 32,500
Summary: Soon after Jane’s departure for London, the residents of Meryton are besieged by a plague, which has unexpected outcomes.
When a deadly fever strikes the Meryton area after Christmas, the Bennets are seriously impacted. I bawled my way through much of this fic but absolutely love the beautiful ending. I can’t even count how many times I’ve come back to re-read this. There is a scene between Jane and Darcy that takes place at Dawn and is so vividly depicted that it gives me chills each time I read it.
My only critique: This is one of those stories for which it’s hard for me to think of something which might be a stumbling block to others. Even as an angst wimp, I don’t think this story is particularly angsty. I suppose there are some elements which canon purists might not like or might find implausible. But truthfully, I found the story to be a very good what-if scenario, in that it substituted one Hunsford crises (the failed proposal & subsequent argument) for another (the life-threatening illness) in order to give Darcy the boot-to-the-head he needed in getting his priorities in line.