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Borrowed Time

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Summary: She may be 'the one girl in all the world', but Mary Bennet has never never gotten much acknowledgment of any sort.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Classics > Author: Jane AustenPeapodsFR711,57912191,63530 Aug 0830 Aug 08Yes
Title: Borrowed Time
Rating: PG
Crossover: Pride and Prejudice(the mini-series) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Disclaimer: So not mine, any of it. All Jane Austen's and Joss Whedon's.
Summary: She may be the one girl in all the world, but Mary Bennet has never really gotten much acknowledgment.
*****

When Mary Bennet was 16 years old she accidentally put her boot through ten inches of solid wood. It had been a petulant kick, she had been annoyed that she had to wait outside instead of continuing to the music shop. The encounter left her incredibly unsettled. She had told no one of it, even her elder sister who had only stopped into the bookshop that sunny afternoon with their father.

*****

She staked yet another vampire, quickly as she could as she stared around the small cemetery. They were growing bolder, she noted. They were not even fearful of the one girl in all the world who could challenge them. Mary sometimes wondered whether she was doing much good at all when vampires kept coming and people kept dying.

She took one more pass through the graveyard before returning to Longbourn, stealing quietly through her window, dropping soundlessly to the floor. She had obtained a separate wardrobe with her allowance to patrol in--long dresses, after all, were hardly suitable attire for slaying the undead. Her family mostly believed she spent all that money on books, music, and paper. She had endeavored not to disabuse them of the notion, being sure to affect a certain air around them so they would not grow suspicious.

She was nineteen years old and for three years she had been on the front lines of a battle her sisters would call preposterous. But for all her wit, and her pride in it, not even Lizzy had discerned what was really going on with Mary.

Mary was a Vampire Slayer. And she had no option but to remain so until the day she died. A day, she was sure, that grew closer with every new battle.

*****

"You're dropping your elbow, again," Mr. White said as Mary trained in her watcher's dining room.

"What? No praise at having finally mastered that flip?" she asked, knowing she would receive none.

"Yes, yes, bravo, but that will mean little if you keep dropping your elbow."

*****

"Mary will never marry, she will die an old maid with only old Fordyce for company," Lydia commented one day within Mary's hearing.

"At least she hasn't married because she has no wish to. Sometimes I despair of ever finding a beau," Kitty moaned.

No, Kitty, that is not the reason I'm not married. Though it is convenient enough.

*****

She pulled herself into her room by will alone as her strength threatened to leave her entirely. She hauled herself into a chair and peeled her sticky shirt off. She had only managed to best the large demon that had surprised her during a fight with a vampire. But she had gotten a nasty stab wound in her belly for her trouble.

She pulled over her basin, the water still warm, and began cleaning the wound, hissing in pain. It was deep, but not so deep that she wouldn't heal in a few days. Thankfully, her family thought her rather sedentary already. She would simply need to maintain that she was greatly interested in some book to keep from accompanying her sisters into the village.

She reached for a round of bandages and unwound them around her belly. She washed her shirt before tearing it into strips to be used on further injuries. She then took a small dose of laudanum and dumped herself into bed.

The next morning, no one was the wiser of Mary's pain or her nighttime activities.

*****

"You cannot feel regard for him!?" her watcher said, appalled. He had seen Mary's behavior toward the insipid and toady Mr. Collins that morning and couldn't bear to see it.

"No, of course not, but I think my father has been growing... suspicious," Mary said, eyes tracking back and forth over the graveyard.

Phillip White narrowed his eyes. "You haven't given him any reason to suspect have you?"

"Only that he has been wondering more often when I became so severe. I was always fond of studying, Mr. White, but hardly to the extreme I pretend now."

"He can never know," Mr. White said gently. "You know that, don't you, Mary?"

"Of course I know that!" she snapped. "And be rest assured that their musings will go nowhere. I am no favorite of my father or mother." She was resigned to that fact. It would make things easier, when the time came.

"You speak of them as though they would not be distressed if you died."

"Why, Mr. White, I do believe you've grown to like me. That is the first time that you have mentioned my premature death as a question of 'if' rather than 'when'."

"Mary," he said simply. She colored immediately. She had been aware, for months now, of her watcher's great regard for her. He was not so old. Not as old as some other watchers. He was only thirty-two. She had not known what to do or think. This man was, in some ways, responsible for her life and happiness already. Could they go further?

She was spared answering by a vampire.

*****

When her plainness, her severe manner, or her mother did not drive persons away, a good spot of willful impropriety seemed to work well enough, as it had at the Netherfield Ball. She had no desire for the occupants of Netherfield to think well of her, and that Mr. Darcy was really far too intelligent. She had seen him one too many times while out on patrol. He, thankfully, had not been privy to her presence, but should that change...

She was sorry to make such a spectacle of herself, especially with how happy Jane seemed to be with Mr. Bingley.

But it really wouldn't do for them to stay much longer.

*****

With three sisters gone and the other as ignorant as ever, Mary's duty became much easier to discharge.

The neighborhood quieted as the supernatural noted the stepped up presence of the Slayer.

Mary was unsure whether this was a good thing.

*****

"A few years happiness, Mary. You do not think you are undeserving?" Mr. White asked softly, pressing her hand in his.

"Mr. White, up until the last year you spoke to me of duty and destiny. That my death was a matter of 'when' and sooner rather than later. What can have happened to make you forget the unavoidable facts of this calling?" she asked, equally quiet. He had been introduced to her parents, they had spent much time together. Her parents were obviously desirous to be rid of their second to last single daughter.

"Mary, I can no longer be contented with only knowing you at night. With only knowing your strength and nothing else. Not that these things are not attractive, and for awhile I was made happy by these things, but now I wish to know all of you," he added in a softer voice, "even if it is only for a short time."

*****

Mary closed her eyes in pain as she lay still on the ground. Her wound was grievous, she could tell. The demon was slain, its headless body feet from Mary's. The world was still here. She had averted an apocalypse. But she could not move. She was weak.

It was time.

"NO!" came an anguished shout and a moment later she was hauled into loving arms, a hand going to futilely going to staunch the blood-flow.

"'Tis too late," she said.

"Nay, Mary, you will be fine," Phillip whispered even as her breathing grew labored.

"I think-I should have liked being married to you.... Mr. White," she said, a smile blooming on her face. "I do love you."

Her watcher was crying, grief-stricken.

"I think I'll go now," she said, "Good-bye." And closed her eyes.

Her last thought was of plain Mary Bennet. Who managed to save a world that would never know her sacrifice.

As always, she was fine with that.

*****

Epilogue:

Mr. Bennet had often professed Lizzy to be his favorite daughter, very closely followed by Jane. But for all these mutterings it was only because their temperaments were more suited to his. Despite the silliness of his younger daughters, he did not love them any less.

Had he only paid more attention.

He stood by the graveside of his middle daughter and thought of conversations never had, suspicions never confronted. When young Mr. White had walked into his library with a face so devastated that Mr. Bennet feared the young man's life, the Master of Longbourn knew he had somehow failed in his duty as parent.

The story the young man had to tell was fantastic, but when Mr. Bennet had questioned the man had become so incensed that he could do nothing else but believe him. His quiet, solemn daughter. Fighting night after night.

Mrs. Bennet had been distraught at the news, but Mr. Bennet did not relate the tale that had been told to him, rather he made up some lie about a horse trampling. Her sisters were stoic. Mary had never endeared herself to her family. Had never made any friends. Close relationships, he understood from Mr. White, made loved ones targets when associated with a Slayer.

His misunderstood little girl.

He had done wrong by Mary. But he would not forget.

The End

You have reached the end of "Borrowed Time". This story is complete.

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