Story Notes:
(Disclaimer! I do not own the Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Movie, Tv Show, Comic Books, or Characters!)
Two women stood side by side on the crowded walkway. No one seemed to pay them any mind, which should have been the first thing to tip him off. For these ladies to be out at such a time of night, unchaperoned? Quite unusual, but it wasn't his place to point out such things to strangers. That'd be rather bold of him would it not? To make such presumptions. For all he knew their escort was on his way to meet them, or perhaps he's lagging a few paces behind. To give them some privacy so they may converse more freely. He's aware he's staring at this point, if they caught him they'd assume the worst. That he was some rude, uncouth scoundrel, fully intending on causing them harm. When that couldn't be farther from the truth. Mr. William Pratt was just admiring their contrasting beauty. Like the sun and the moon, the two ladies across the road couldn't be more different. The woman on the left had hair as dark as the night itself, with skin as ethereal as a beam of moonlight. Her full billowing white dress was a mesh of lace and frills, it was as though Selene herself had rode her chariot down from the Heavens to grace the mortals of this world. Where as the woman on the right had hair as light as the day itself, with skin as effulgent as ray of sunshine. Her sleek shapely black dress appeared to be made of satin and chiffon, like Electryone herself also decided to float down from above to bless everyone with her presence. She was the one who called to his very soul the most.

Someone knocked into him from behind as they were bustling past, William stumbled. Thankfully righting himself before he could go careening into the road. He would've surely been trampled by a carriage if that were the case. He moves to glare at the offending party, only to find them long gone in the sea of passersby. Returning his attention to the Goddesses across the way, he notices that they've suddenly disappeared. He frantically searches for them, only to come up empty. He realizes he must look like a madman, people are certainly staring at him like one. Face reddening in embarrassment, he mentally scolds himself for being so foolish. He hurries home, hoping Mother isn't too worried by his less than punctual arrival. She isn't, or if she is, she chooses not to mention it. Instead choosing to remind him of a party he promised he'd attend the following night, in hopes that Ms. Cecily Addams would be there. He of course didn't state that as his reasoning, he'd never hear the end of it otherwise. His mother's been adamant about how he should confess his feelings to Ms. Addams. He admits the notion is quite romantic, but wouldn't that be too forward of him? He'd loathe to ambush her in such a way. He's hesitant, strangely enough even more so after seeing those mysterious women. He considers mentioning them in passing, but thinks better of it. There'd be no point to it after all. He doubts he'll ever see them again, unfortunately.

He chastises himself for fantasizing about multiple other women, when his heart belongs to another. After a cuppa tea with his frail mother, and a promise from her that she'd retire for the evening very soon, he moves in the direction of his bedchambers. His nerves are on end, and he fully expects to not receive a wink of sleep that night. Yet he surprisingly sleeps like the dead. He dreamt of the sun and moon on opposite ends of the sky. Day and night met in the middle, right where he sat on a grassy hilltop. He somehow knew he had to choose a side, he couldn't live in both worlds. The night was alluring, but his heart tugged him in a different direction. To the day, the light. Having made his choice, he stood, only to be pulled from his slumber. Back into the real world, where things made much more sense. Two completely different times of day existing in the same place? How preposterous and fantastical indeed. The remainder of his morning and afternoon was that of a boring and typical nature, predictable and repetitive. Evening fell and he had changed into more appropriate and formal attire. He joined his mother in the drawing room, deciding on entertaining her with his poetry before having to take his leave. She once again pushed him to confess, even read his poetry out loud at the party. He internally cringed at the idea, he already knew what his peers thought of him and his writings.

He'd be embarrassing himself in front of everyone. Of course if it would mean he'd win Ms. Addams' affections, he'd read his entire notebook to the crowd. Instead he decided to pitch the idea of reciting one of his works to his love in a private corner of the room. His mother was ecstatic, congratulating him on such a marvelous idea. He refrains from chuckling out how it was all her doing he even came to such a conclusion in the first place. She'd surely keep him well over time by singing his praises to boost his confidence, and that wouldn't do. Being punctual was very important, and something he prided himself on. You could say whatever you liked about William, but you couldn't deny that he was never one to be late. He thinks it's a redeeming quality that sets him apart from the other gentlemen. All his other qualities could arguably be called, less than ideal, at best. He kisses his mother on the cheek before insisting he must be on his way. The carriage was already waiting for him out front. The coachman was privy to the gathering's address, so they wasted no time in such formalities. They reached the estate at a reasonable and timely fashion. He ducked into the building, trying to avoid as many people as possible. If he were lucky, no one would even know he was there except Ms. Addams herself. That was why he was forced to make an attendance after all, for her. He slipped into the drawing room and tucked himself into a chair in the corner.

Deciding to work on an unfinished piece of his to pass time. Maybe he'd even choose to recite this particular one to Ms. Addams when the right moment arose. He tries not to associate the line about 'raven colored clothes' to his mystery woman- the mystery woman. She wasn't his, and although he wasn't a gambling man, he'd bet all the pounds in his wallet he'd see neither hide nor hair of her for the rest of his days. His brain doesn't get the message, and all he can picture is her standing there. Amongst the lamp posts, hoards of people, and cobblestone. Her presence somehow so striking in the busy setting, while everyone else blended into the background. She was absolutely glowing, glistening, effulgent... That's it! The perfect ending to his poem! 'Inspired by your beauty, effulgent.'. He pushes aside the tinge of guilt he feels once he realizes he just wrote a piece about a stranger, instead of the lady he had hoped to court. It's not like Ms. Cecily would know the difference, or maybe she would? Maybe her knowing gaze would pierce his, and she'd see right through him. She'd see him, and know he was lying through his teeth if he claimed she was his muse for tonight. That'd be all too cruel of him. He lets out a discontent sigh. He'll just have to choose one of his other writings for the occasion, one of the many that're about her. He doesn't know why on Earth he feels disappointed. Or why he formed a rather quick attachment to a poem he's just finished, but it feels special for some reason. Perhaps because the woman who inspired it is special herself.

He was so lost in thought, that his tormenters manage to sneak up on him without his knowledge. The group of ruffians snatched his journal from his hands, he let out a cry of surprise. "Hey! Give it back, please.", he weakly pleaded as he jumped to his feet. Edwards pushed him away as the group eagerly manhandled his book. "Easy there, Pratt, we just want to have a little look-see. Don't we fellows?", Hughes laughs while holding the notebook out of the owner's reach. William's embarrassed, angry, and fearful. Bloody Hell! What if they tear out the pages as another form of mockery? What if they run to Ms. Addams, already knowing who his poems are intended for, and steal his confession right out from under him? What if they tease her about it? He makes another lunge for the journal, causing the men to laugh harder as they hold him back. Which they don't have much difficulty doing, he wasn't exactly the strongest. Or very strong at all for the matter. While his peers went out hunting, playing cricket, and lord knows what else, he had better things to do. He stayed inside his own personal library. He read, wrote, and painted on occasion. Not that his interests could help him at a time like this. "Careful! The ink is still wet.", he chided as the men took turns pointing at his latest work. Judging by the expressions on their faces, they don't think too highly of it. He can't say he's too surprised, brutes like them wouldn't get something as soft and meaningful as the poems he produced.

He knew his pieces weren't any good, but poetry isn't always about the words. They're about the feeling behind them. It was then that Ms. Addams made an appearance. "Cecily.", he murmured dreamily as she glided past everyone. He was entranced, yet also simultaneously damning his luck that he'd be in her presence unprepared. If he could only get his notebook back. "Cecily! You must come read the rubbish Pratt's been cooking up! William The Bloody strikes again!", Edwards shouts. The poet in question shrinks in on himself. Bollocks, he wishes the flooring would splinter open from beneath and devour him whole. She can't hear his poetry, not like this! Especially not THAT one! His frightened stare briefly locks onto hers. She doesn't look too pleased. She must be mortified, being accosted from across the room by a gaggle of men. "I have no interest in such things.", she primly states. She turns around and continues her intended route. He doesn't know whether to feel relieved or hurt by such a dismissal. He attempts to shake it off. That was simply her refusal to stoop to their level, she's not like them, and neither is he. They're cut from the same cloth, he's sure of it. They'd make an excellent match he thinks. "But you do agree don't you?", Hughes presses on. She stops once again, her patience clearly running thin. He prays he won't be the one to incur her wraith later on. "What exactly am I agreeing to pray tell?", she huffs.

William's tempted to grab the book from Hughes' unsuspecting clutches while he's distracted, but fears he wouldn't be fast enough to get away. That wouldn't give Ms. Addams a very good impression of him either. So he settles on the action of sulking in place as he's waits for this Hell to be over with. "That Pratt really should get a new hobby. How he thinks anyone could possibly like that drivel is beyond me.", Edwards jokes as he breaks away from the group. The rest of his lot laugh, all except for the butt of the joke himself. He catches Ms. Addams trying to dampen a grin as the berk reaches her. His heart sinks as the wanker grabs her hand to bestow a kiss upon it. That was what he was supposed to be doing at this very moment! "That isn't very nice to say you know.", she lightly points out. Edwards just grins at her, she doesn't push the subject. "I'll catch up with you fellows later, yes? Ms. Addams here owes me a dance or two.", he boldly calls from over his shoulder. Why the nerve of that tosser! To just assume- to not even request her dance card- OWES?! To his shock and horror she bats her lashes at him all while smiling. She should be furious, and offended, and plenty of other not so pleasant things! "Just two?", she asks coyly. The men around him let out cheers and wolf whistles, stirring up quite the ruckus really. Not that anyone seems to bear them any mind. Their lot could bloody well get away with murder if they so wished. "Hand over that dance card darling, and I'll sign my name on every line.", Edwards promises.

He cannot fathom what he's seeing, what he's hearing. That wanker is making a pass at his Cecily, and she's allowing it! No, not allowing, encouraging. Does she- is she in love with him? She giggles as she's handing him her card. Gleefully watching on as his bully scratches his signature under every song, claiming every dance as his own. Claiming her as his own. The message clear as day, she was never William's, and he never stood a chance. It takes every ounce of self control and willpower for him to not burst into tears and flee the building. He can't let on how deeply the unspoken rejection's gotten to him. He won't give any of these pillocks the satisfaction or ammunition to further lay torment to the rest of his days. Edwards whisks his former love off to the ballroom. His heart is on the floor, crushed from where Ms. Addams has stepped upon it on her way out. Like smelling blood in the water, the sharks circle back. "Well don't they make such a fine pair. Pretty soon we'll all being addressing Ms. Addams as Mrs. Edwards.", Abrams predicts. Oh God, so it's official then. She's his intended. He must've told the chaps about his plans, or maybe he's been telegraphing them so plainly while William's had his head in the clouds. Well, buried in his notebook would be a more accurate comparison. "That aside, I do believe we were in the middle of witnessing Pratt's failure to put together a single good-", Hughes attempts to steer the rest of his gang back on track.

He's cut short when in a swift motion, the journal of discussion is ripped from his palms. William just about falls over and contracts the plague once his gaze follows everyone else's. It's that woman from the other night, his Electryone. He can't be buggered to correct himself that she's not his, not when she's standing right in front of him, holding his notebook. Wait a tick, holding his- oh bloody Hell! He's done for if her stunning green eyes skim over the pages. He realizes he's being quite irrational, in that she'd have no way in guessing some stranger was writing poetry about her. Yet fear grips him all the same and refuses to let go. She gracefully shuts the book with care, as if it were her own. He'd sag in relief if it'd go unnoticed. Stepping around the other men, she stands before him. He feels unworthy to even dare to be in the same room as her. She's wearing a different dress this evening, a similar silhouette, but in baby blue and white. Her golden locks are in a complicated updo. She's a vision, she reminds him of a sunny day with just a few clouds scattered across the sky. He opens his mouth to speak, to do anything at all other than stare at her like a complete ponce. His throat is dry, no sound comes out. She returns his journal to him, he gratefully pockets it. "Th-thank y-you, um, Ms., erm?", he somehow manages to sputter out. She giggles as her entire face lights up. He falls in love with her on the spot. Glancing over he sees those horrid men, no further than a foot or two from them, watching on in amusement.

Clearly waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. For her to rebuff him, for him to make an even bigger fool out of himself. He's sure they're just biting at the bit, all too eager to ask for her dance card. To see who's the lucky fellow that will best capture her interest. The thought makes him madder than he has any right to be. "Elizabeth, Elizabeth Grim, and you are?", Ms. Elizabeth introduces herself as she offers him her hand. He bows as he gently grasps said hand in his own to place a light kiss across her knuckles. Elizabeth, what a beautiful name. It's quite fitting he thinks. Her last name is rather odd, but she does have an American accent. It makes sense that her surname would be just as exotic. He rises as he allows her to retract her hand. He immediately feels cold at the loss of her searing warmth. He almost thinks she would've burned him if they remained in contact for a second longer. "Ms. Grim, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I'm William Pratt.", he says in return. This is fine, formalities, he can barely manage such. She smiles at him, and his heart just about gives out as his face warms. Or perhaps not. "Oh the pleasure is all mine Mr. Pratt. My sister and I saw you the other day on the street. I hope you don't find me terribly rude for running off before introducing myself then. It was dark, and we had to get home before we were missed you see.", she apologizes. He's completely dumbfounded and stupidly hopeful.

She noticed him! She noticed him, and she wanted to meet him. No one ever gives him a second glance unless they need someone to poke fun at. Though he has this gut feeling she's not like the rest of them, she almost has this otherworldly feel to her. A Goddess among mere mortals indeed. He wonders what she could have possibly seen in him that would warrant such a response. "Not at all! That is, I um, understand com-completely. You n-needn't express any um re-remorse for n-not rushing ac-cross the road and uh dodging c-carriages for, erm, me.", he nervously rushes to reassure her. For a split second he regrets not fleeing the estate while he had the chance. His peers are having a right laugh at his expense as he helplessly flounders in front of this charming young woman. It makes him question if this hasn't been some elaborate prank, that Ms. Grim is a friend of theirs. All too eager to kick a man while he's already down. He's not too sure his already broken heart could deal with another unspoken rejection. Her smile never falters as she reaches around and wordlessly hands him her dance card with a small pencil. His eyes widen marginally. She surely couldn't mean to- that is- why? "I don't suppose you'd consider sharing a dance with me?", she shyly offers. His tormenters stop laughing, and he's sure they look just about as shocked as he does. He'd sooner believe that vampires exist, rather than someone like Ms. Elizabeth would crave his company in such a way.

This is a bold move on her part. If he didn't know better he'd almost hope she was making a pass at him. "Well I um, that is, of course I- it'd be my honor Ms. Grim. Uhhh, which dance would you- do you have a preference in? I don't mind- I ummm-", William prattles on until she leans into his space. The air leaves his lungs and he chokes as Ms. Elizabeth hovers over her card. "I'd love for you to take them all, only if you want to of course.", she clarifies. He's certain he's heard her incorrectly. ALL of them, every song? Surely she wouldn't want to waste her entire night entertaining the likes of him. He doesn't think many could stomach even a single dance with him. Yet here she is, with an adorably hopeful and yearning expression on her face. He knows then in that moment he couldn't deny her, not just in regards to this. No matter what she asked of him, he'd try his damnedest to provide her with what she needed. He was completely and utterly in love with this woman, with Ms. Elizabeth. He candle he once held for Ms. Addams paled drastically in comparison to the torch he bears for her. With a nod and trembling hands, his cursive covered the entire rectangle. As she took the card and pencil from him, she bore a smile that could turn winter to spring. In a forward, and borderline improper move, she took his hand in her own. Intertwining their fingers before leading him towards to ballroom. He heard the gits behind them uttering scoffs of disbelief.

For a moment it feels like he's finally bested those barbarians, and then a wave of guilt washes over him. Ms. Elizabeth isn't a tool to be used in such petty games, that wasn't his intention at all in the first place. She wasn't a prize to be won, not that there was any trying by his opposers. Most likely since the assumption he'd get no where with her was an unspoken fact, or it was supposed it be. That wasn't what he was trying to accomplish, and he knows he'd have fallen for her all the same if they were the only ones in that drawing room. That he would've allowed her to lead him anywhere regardless of external factors. They reach the ballroom as the beginning strings of the next song ring through the air. He doesn't bother scanning the floor for Edwards and his intended, he doesn't bloody well give a damn oddly enough. His Golden Goddess rushes to bring him to the center of the festivities. Her enthusiasm is quite contagious, he can't stop himself from smiling at her. Nor would he want to, not when she's looking at him like there's no where else she'd rather be. She rests her free hand on his shoulder as he tentatively places his free hand on her upper back. He takes the lead, raising their joined hands and beginning the waltz. "I must admit, I'm all too pleased to be away from your friends.", she says conversationally. He guffaws at her boldness and at how much he shares the same sentiment.

He's sure that outburst has earned him a few disdainful glares from nearby couples. Yet again, he doesn't feel too bothered by it. Being in Ms. Elizabeth's comforting presence seems to have emboldened him. "I wouldn't really call them friends, but yes, I can see why. I do hope being in their company wasn't too off-putting, and if it was, I can assure you I'm nothing like those blighters.", William firmly states before he could think better of it. He eyes widen as soon as he realizes his mistake. Here he was, claiming to be of a better breed, while in the same breath using a term like 'blighters'. She must think him a fool, a hypocritical pompous fool. He starts to apologize, and is fully prepared for her to leave him there all alone mid dance. He'd deserve as much after all. Instead she stops him by giving his shoulder a light squeeze. Her eyes are alight with mirth, not at all distressed. "I know you're not William, you're a good man, I can feel it in my soul. You needn't censor yourself around me you know. I've heard much more scandalous things come out of my father's mouth.", she giggles. He feels his heart skitter as soon as his name leaves her lips. He's never heard a sweeter sound. He's more than delighted to know she doesn't think the worst of him after his slip up. She leaves his arms as he twirls her around in time to the swell of the music. She sounds so sure of his character, can she see him? For all that he is, for all that he can offer? For all that he'd be willing to do in the name of love?

She returns to his embrace, it feels like that's where she was always meant to be. That his entire life has been leading up to this moment in time. Has been leading up to her: his mystery woman, his Electryone, his destiny. "I'm flattered you think so highly of me Ms. Grim. I-", he starts to respond before she intercepts him. "Elizabeth, please, call me Elizabeth.", she breathes out. Her gaze is desperate, as if she's waited forever to hear him speak her name. He briefly recounts their interactions so far, and realizes he's only ever addressed her by her proper title. Though who could blame him? This was their first meeting, and he was a gentleman brought up right by his dear mother. He considers reminding her how inappropriate that'd be given the circumstances, but his resolve crumbles as he's lost within the depths of her spring green eyes. How could he even dare to go against this effulgent creature's wishes? "If that is what you want, Ms. Elizabeth.", he finally agrees. She looks at him in awe, and another emotion he's too fearful to name. Not wanting to risk calling upon his bad luck with the fairer sex. "It is, but that's not all I want.", she informs him. She piques his interest. He wonders what other unorthodox requests she might have hidden under her skirts. He dips her as the song comes to a close. Holding her there in that intimate moment before the next number begins. He brings her upright before stepping back.

"What else does your heart desire?", he questions. She curtsies to match his bow, he takes her hand in his, and they start the mazurka. She waits until his hand has returned to her back to speak. "You.", she utters. It's due to his years of ballroom training that he doesn't stumble and step on her shoes. He must've gone completely mad, that's the only feasible explanation. The maid came to fetch him this morning and he was incoherent, probably blabbing about the sun and moon to boot. She'd have sent for the doctor, maybe he gave William a strong sedative and this is all an elaborate dream. Or perhaps he was too far gone and they hauled him off to the asylum. His mother too frail and gentle to do anything but watch on in horror as he was taken from her. "Forgive me, Ms. Elizabeth, but I believe I must've misunderstood.", he apologizes with a red face. If she didn't think him unworthy before, she certainly would now. For even daring to-. Her hand leaves his shoulder in favor for his back as they closely circle each other. "Oh no, you haven't. You're what my heart desires. I felt it the moment I saw you on the streets, my soul called to yours. You felt it too, didn't you?", she reiterates. They switch arms and rotate in the other direction. He can't believe- does she really? She couldn't- and yet? He's elated, in disbelief. He could only ever hope that in his dreams she'd return his affections, but for her to confess?

To describe the same pull from deep within he experienced that faithful night? It was like something out of a fairytale. He looked at her with all the love and admiration he dared to convey. "Of course I did, Elizabeth.", he reverently whispered. Her expression reflected his as they stopped spinning. Once again only connected by one hand each, repeating the beginning steps over again. "You're why I attended this party, I knew you'd show. I wanted, no, NEEDED to meet you tonight.", she explains herself. William's surely grinning like an idiot now, but he can't help himself. She came here for him! She chose him, out of every eligible bachelor in London. She wants him, not Edwards, not Hughes, not bloody Abrams, but HIM! He's all too giddy. He's half a second away from saying sod the rules of etiquette, and taking her into his arms for a kiss. The rest of the packed room be damned. He feels loved, and wanted, and accepted, and seen. Really seen, for the first time in his life. "I will be forever grateful that you did, and I will spend the rest of my life ensuring the happiness of yours. If you'll let me, Ms. Elizabeth, I would very much like to court you.", he brazenly throws out there. They interchange hands and his once free one is now on her back. She gives him courage, he finds. Gives him the courage to say how he feels without room for his usually awkward verbal stumbling. "I'd rather you went ahead and married me instead.", she counters.

He thinks maybe being around him loosens her tongue as well. This was all happening rather fast, and dare he say, rushed. He should feel panicked, under pressure, maybe even suspicious of her intentions. A woman was proposing to him during their first proper meeting. He once again entertains the notion of being strung out on sedatives somewhere. "We hardly know each other.", he points out. Sure they get on now, but what about a few years down the line? Hell, how about a few months? She could end up hating him by the end of the week. "What does that matter? We've got forever to spend learning what makes each other tick. Look not with your mind, but with your heart. You're IT for me, we fit together perfectly. You were made for me, William. You're my destiny, our souls are intertwined. You must feel the same. Please, tell me you do.", she pleads. Her hand falls to his back, they turn in sync. His eyes have gone misty. No one's EVER looked at him the way she does. No one's EVER said such poetic and heartfelt things to him. They switch hands and move counterclockwise. "Oh my dearest, my love, my Elizabeth. You have no idea how much you mean to me already, how much you make me feel.", he chokes out. THIS is all he's ever wanted, all he's ever craved, her. "But I do, because I feel the exact same way about you, my William.", she promises. The song ends, and she leads him from the ballroom.

"Where are we going? I thought you wanted me as a partner for all the dances?", he asks in confusion. Had he done something wrong already? Perhaps she's tired and needs a temporary reprieve. "I'm afraid we don't have time for that, my love.", she tells him just as they reach the drawing room. He warms at the pet name, a sure sign that she does indeed love him as he does her. The lads are still gathered around, in similar spots to where they left them actually. William's surprised they haven't hunted down any unsuspecting women to hang off their arms while they trade stories. "Do you have an early day tomorrow?", he worries. He'd loathe to keep her after curfew and be the cause of her exhaustion the next day. "I-", she starts before those dastardly men catch wind of them. They're all too happy to greet them, motioning for the pair to join the group. He dare not refuse, less he wants to be labeled as a rude man by society. Elizabeth lets out a huff as he regretfully walks them over. "Aren't you two still supposed to be dancing?", Abrams asks with a wicked grin. It's just his luck these twits would still be sober enough to remember the slight scene his Elizabeth caused by requesting his presence for the entire night. "I hope Pratt here didn't make a fool out of himself and you on the floor.", Hughes adds on with a laugh. A laugh that the rest of their lot join in on. He winces, his Golden Goddess frowns. "Of course not, William's a wonderful dancer. It's just that it's getting late, and my sister and I must catch the early train tomorrow. So my dearest here will be accompanying me back to the inn we're staying at.", she explains.

William himself tries not to frown at the thought of her leaving London so soon. He for some reason assumed she was a new resident to the area, not that she was just passing through. If she's really- then what happens to them? What happens when she toddles off to her new destination? She spoke of forever, she was supposed to be his forever.. Her hand squeezes his, he forgot she was still holding it. As if she's read his mind, she gives him a look that conveys her intentions, he relaxes. They can always write to each other until their inevitable marriage. Then he'll move her into his- their estate, and they'll be together again. He's so wrapped up in everything that's her, that he fails to register the astounded looks his tormenters are passing around. "Pratt ol' sport, you don't mean to tell us that you're already courting Ms. Grim here.", Hallewell pipes up from the rear. That brings him back to himself. He's the center of attention, and as per usual, he doesn't like it. He looks to Elizabeth for direction. He'd hate to air out their personal plans so soon if it's against her wishes. She nods at him while wearing that blindingly beautiful smile of hers. He falls in love with her even more, if such a thing were possible at this point. He was already deeply entrenched to begin with. She isn't ashamed of him, and he's proud to even be standing near her. "Ms. Elizabeth's my intended.", he states with his chin up. Challenging anyone to question his decision or her sanity.

His bullies' jaws hit the ground at the revelation, and probably at his use of her first name. "You can't possibly be-", Hughes begins to brush off. "Serious? He most certainly is. Now, if you'll pardon us, gentlemen. We must be off, we bid you all a good night.", his Electryone finishes for the man. William laughs as she hustles him out of the house. More than amused at how easily she shut that lot of berks down. His lady really is something extraordinary. "Is your carriage still on the estate?", she quickly prompts. Oh, right, they were meant to be in a hurry. He nods, briskly walking over to the attending butler in order to request for their transportation to be brought around. Stressing that they were in a hurry to get back, seeing as Ms. Grim had an early morning train to catch. The man complied, his coachman appearing a few moments later. Elizabeth ran to him then, and at that point he was starting to get a bit concerned. "What inn are you staying at?", he wearily asked. He's being put under the impression that she's more so fleeing from something rather than racing with the clock. Unless it's both. What if she's in trouble with the law? Or avoiding an abusive family member? "I'm not.", is all she responds with before climbing into the carriage. He pokes his head inside, about to make his confusion and worry very much known. She looks at him desperately, it frightens him.

"Elizabeth-", he begins. She shakes her head. "Take us to your home. I'll explain everything later, or on the way if we have enough time.", she insists. He heavily sighs before instructing Blakeley to take them to his own estate. He wordlessly clambers after his intended, sitting next to her just as they take off. They're touching, it's improper, he's past caring about any of that at this point. Besides, he's more concerned about her well being than what their peers would think if they could lay eyes on them in this moment. "How long do we have?", she questions. He turns to look at her, she's looking out into the night. "Until we've arrived?", he clarifies. She nods, but doesn't face him. A dreadful feeling starts to overcome him, he forces himself not to panic. That wouldn't help either of them. "Not terribly long, thirty minutes.", he relays. She lets out an unladylike snort, he finds it charming. "I think your version of long and my version of long are two completely different things.", she quips as she finally turns to look at him. Even in the dark her eyes still shine, she still shines. He takes her hand in his. "My dear, please tell me what's troubling you so. I'm sure we can deal with it together, whatever it may be.", he reassures her. She smiles at him before taking a deep steadying breath. "I'm not so sure you'd believe me if I told you.", she humorlessly barks. It's his turn to shake his head. "I trust you, and I trust that you'll be honest with me about this.", he says earnestly.

She manages a half smile in his direction as she shakes her shoulders. It appears she's as nervous as him. He's not sure how good of a sign that is. "Do you know what happens when you die?", she asks. He's momentarily taken back. Out of all the things she could've uttered from those perfect lips of hers, he didn't expect that to be one of them. "Well, death is a tricky thing. Who's to say what kind of afterlife may or may not be awaiting us when the time comes? I'm afraid I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject, seeing as how I'm still among the living.", he responds. He wonders what's brought this on before stopping himself. She surely has a point she's getting to, that apparently ties into the absence of life. Has she a family member or close friend who's passed? She doesn't seem to be in mourning, so it would've been nearly a year ago or longer if that were the case. "I do, I know what happens.", she solemnly states. He can't help but quirk his brow at her. How could she possibly claim to know such a great unknown? She is very much alive after all, and William's not completely sure he buys into the idea of things such as ghosts either. "If you're a bad person, when you're about to die, the Soul Eaters come for you. Nasty things they are, corpses that float around in tattered black cloaks. They gobble up your soul just as you pass, and turn you into one of their own. Then they drag you back to Hell with them, and you spend eternity feeling hungry and hollow. Never to feel a moment of peace, happiness, or satisfaction ever again.", she continues.

He finds himself intrigued by the yarn his Elizabeth's spinning. It of course sounds like a load of rot, a fantastical fairytale you'd find in some imaginative work of fiction. Yet she speaks so frankly, concretely, as if this was a known fact to her. He steels himself, she did warn him that he'd have a hard time processing this. Whatever in fact 'this' turns out to be, he'll show her the support and trust he promised he would. Worse case scenario's that she's a bit barmy, and needs a visit from the doctor to get herself sorted. He'd wait for her recovery before continuing to court her if that were the case. However long she needed, he'd grin and bear it. The alternative of losing her by acting like an arse, wasn't an option he was even willing to consider. "So what happens to the good people?", is what he ends up going with. He's knows it's the right move when she smiles at him, looking a lot less stressed than she did mere seconds ago. "If you're a good person, when you're on your last legs, a Grim Reaper will come to see you. They're special souls that've been chosen by other Reapers, to lead normal souls to their final resting place. They'll capture your soul in a bottle, and bring you back to Heaven with them. You're released into a sort of waiting room. Someplace where you don't have form, time doesn't matter. You feel warm, complete, finished, and safe. You somehow know that everyone you love is alright, and you can rest now. You stay there until you're ready to move on. Then you join all the other souls in this beautiful perfect version of the world, where you live happily ever after for all eternity.", she explains.

He's surprised, impressed, and really thinks his lady should take up writing in her spare time. "What does this have to do with you, darling?", he patiently inquires. She doesn't answer him right away. He thinks she must be choosing her words carefully, or rather searching for something to connect her rapid strings of thought together. He has that very problem at times. So much to say, and so many accompanying feelings, that his parchment remains blank as the ink drips from his quill onto the wooden desktop. "Once, a very long time ago, there was only a sole Grim Reaper. The Master Of Reaping, or Master Grim, as he later took to being called. He lived all alone in this palace, right at the edge of Heaven. He sat upon a throne and used his powers to draw all the good souls from Earth into the Waiting Room. He wasn't allowed to leave his home, because his powers were channeled into this giant crystal ball. It grew out of a tree that sat five feet off of the ground, and several feet from his throne. All was fine for a while, until he sensed a disturbance. Soul Eaters, they were wreaking havoc on the Mortal Plane. Devouring souls fresh from their bodies before Master Grim had a chance to save them. He was at an impasse. If he left the palace the crystal would stop collecting souls, but if he stayed there more and more benevolent beings would be lost in Hell. Twisted into the monsters they were never supposed to be. So he placed his hands on the crystal, and injected all the energy he could into it. Hoping that it would be enough to keep the object sustained while he was away.

He felt the crystal engrave something into his palms, it was the infinity sign. Rather fitting if you think about it. That became the symbol of his specialty, being able to reap any good soul, no matter the age, gender, etc. He teleported all over the Mortal Plane that same night. Gathering souls into bottles, and tucking away those bottles into the safety of his satchel. He couldn't stay away from his estate for very long, it wasn't sustainable, but he was able to save so many beings this way. It was never enough, yet better than nothing. He did this for centuries. All until 1589, the year that everything changed. He came across a younger man named Luke, and he instantly felt a connection. Their souls called to one another. This stranger felt like family, he felt like a son to Master. Luke was a special soul, a Reaper, he just didn't know it yet. Realizing what this meant, he tracked the younger man down the next night, and explained everything. Who he was, what their connection meant, and he made him an offer. Come back with him to his mansion, and fight the good fight with him. If Luke accepted, Master would become his father, and he'd become Luke Grim. Fate's a tricky mistress, and that being so, this was a limited offer. You'll only ever meet a Reaper once for a couple of days, if you're lucky. The second time is when your soul is being raptured into a glass container. He had to make a decision that night, before Fate ripped them apart and Master was teleported to some other part of the world.

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