Story: Worse Fates Could Befall Us
Author: elude (arsepoetica)
Story URL: Story Link 1
Alternate URL: Story Link 2
Word count: 14,800
Summary: A desperate Wickham, on the run from alarming debts in Meryton, encounters a Miss Bennet at an inn, just as he believes someone has caught up with him. His subsequent actions affect the fates of several, in ways that no one could have foreseen.
It is rare for me to latch on to a Jane-centric story. I love sweet Jane; she just isn’t sufficiently fiery or flawed to capture my imagination in most stories the way that Elizabeth does. But in this story, I was sucked in to Jane’s tale right away. Although she is written very true to canon, we get to see a side of Jane that is not fully explored in P&P. Her depth of emotion, which is certainly alluded to in the book, is more fully experienced in this fic. It is very easy to imagine Jane becoming caught up in the excitement that develops in this story, and both her mistakes and her quick thinking all feel very true to her character, as do her sweet attempts to protect the Colonel from his own nobility.
In addition, I’ve always been fond of Jane/Col. Fitzwilliam pairings, though there don’t seem to be many out there. So I loved how this author approaches that pairing in a way that feels so very logical. As Elude writes the pair, it’s so easy to imagine Jane and the Colonel as a perfect compliment to one another. Elude’s Colonel has so many of the traits that Jane appreciated about Mr. Bingley – he is gentlemanly, caring, cheerful, smart, amiable and warm – and yet he also has more of a backbone and, to my mind, would not need to lean upon Jane’s strength as much as Mr. Bingley might have. Rather, it’s easy to imagine in this story that Jane would be able to look up to and depend upon the Colonel in a way that would lead to a more lasting respect and affection.
My only critique: I had to search for a bit to come up with something to critique in this lovely story. 🙂 I can only think to mention the inclusion of a famous bit of dialogue from “The Princess Bride,” which is spoken here by Jane and Col. Fitzwilliam. As much as I love that movie, I found it to be a distracting, inorganic insertion, taking me outside of the captivating story for a moment. In spite of the author’s good efforts to work the quote in naturally, it just didn’t quite work for me. Given how much of the story I love, though, that’s a rather minor quibble.