A/N: Soooooo... There's something in that mini-series that definitely plays with my mind... How can I not fall for Dolokhov when he is played so brilliantly by Athos - Tom Burke? Mmh, HOW?
So this is it...I got Burketeered...
Burn me with fire
It is well known that when one plays with fire, one ends up getting burned. And it appears that Fedya Dolokhov really liked to play with fire.
It happened that Fedya Dolokhov was refused by a young woman of little importance who bore the name of Sonya Rostova. It also happened that he was angry enough to enact revenge on the young woman's sweetheart, the naive Nikolai Rostov.
What is less well-known is that another woman came to not long after, and that she was a force to be reckoned with.
Anya Grigorievna was a young woman of 20, not especially pretty, but who bore herself with the confidence that only people who love themselves can have. She had brown hair, like most girls at that time, but had green eyes that changed colour with the weather. That was her most remarkable feature, and she liked to use it to her advantage.
Anya Grigorievna was an heiress. Oh she would not inherit much, but enough for her to expect a respectable number of suitors when she got out in society. Among those suitors was, unsurprisingly, Anatole Kuragin.
She was going out to the opera that night when she crossed path with the man and his delightfully horrible sister Helene Bezukhova. Anya had always hated her with a passion, and since her unhappy marriage to her dear friend Pierre, her hatred had only risen in intensity.
"My dear Anya," Helene dared to tell her when they crossed path, "how long it has been."
Anya's mother waited patiently on top of the stairs, amused if her face was giving out anything. Anya smiled as venomously as she could and greeted, "Countess," in a cold and even voice that made the other's smile falter a notch.
"I don't think you have met my dearest brother Anatole?" Helene said, her voice less convinced than before.
Anya outstretched her hand and as the poisonous man leaned down to kiss her fingers, she withdrew it and left the scene without another word.
Her mother scolded her but only so long.
That evening, Anya could not help but take pleasure in the way Helene and Anatole looked her way every now and then, frowns on their handsome faces. She was very pleased with herself and longed to share the gossip with her confident Sofia.
It was on one of the occasions when she gazed up at the Bezukhov's balcony that she saw another man join in the party, one who quickly left after Helene apparently made a fuss of things.
The man struck Anya as being extremely handsome. A soldier, no doubt, from the stance and the uniform, but also a commoner. His hair was untidy and lacked the perfect cut of Anatole's, but he made up for it by the spirit that exuded from him. Even from afar, Anya could feel that man was a spit-fire.
She did not think much of it, of course, she barely did, but the feeling would not leave her until long after when she saw him again.
Anya's mother enjoyed taking part in card games. It was unreverentious and extremely rude, but some women liked it and took the opportunity to flirt with other players when they could. Anya's mother, widowed for ten years, was no exception.
Anya stood behind her mother's chair, a glass of white wine in her gloved hand, looking utterly bored, when a slurry voice shook her off her reverie.
"Mademoiselle Grigorievna, what a pleasure to see you again!"
Anya plastered a fake smile on her lips and turned slightly, but not fully, to acknowledge Kuragin. "Prince Anatole! I'm afraid I cannot return the favour!"
She heard a low chuckle and looked as the man from earlier appeared from behind Kuragin. She had been right to think him handsome. He had a round face, yes, but there was a definite something in his aura, and especially his eyes, as blue as a summer's sky, that somehow peaked her interest.
The man stared at her with a smirk and bowed the head. "Captain Dolokhov, Mademoiselle. Pleasure to make your acquaintance."
She smirked back, taking a sip of her glass without answering. Both men were at a loss concerning her attitude, for Kuragin's eyes widened and Dolokhov let out a surprised huff.
After a time, Anya just walked away to help herself to another glass.
She felt Dolokhov's blue eyes on her all night, and would have lied if she had said she did not enjoy it. To be looked at by handsome men was always agreeable, especially when they were as spirited as this Dolokhov appeared.
Once or twice she stared back, a smirk on her lips, but not the flirtatious one. The kind of smirk that told one that their challenge was accepted, and that they had to get prepared to lose.
When her mother had won enough money to last her through her next shopping spree, Anya moved to grab her coat from one of the waiters, and was mildly surprised to hear "Let me," before she was helped into the coat by the same Dolokhov.
She eyed him with a small smile and whispered in a voice that breathed mischief "I did not think you the kind of man who'd like fur, Captain".
Dolokhov chuckled again, in awe this time, and she felt his gaze on her as she left with her mother. She was pleased.
She did not see Dolokhov until two days later. That day, she visited the Rostov's household in Moscow in a hope to see her dear cousins again before they left for their country home.
Anya shared little blood with Natalia and Nikolai, but they were distant relations and had been raised close to each other.
When Dolokhov's name arose in a conversation, she could not help but ask more information. Sonya, dear Sonya, who had pined over her cousin for so long, could not help but admit that the handsome Captain had proposed to her, and that she had refused him. And that Nikolai had then lost a lot of money from the man.
Anya huffed angrily, thinking the matter very stupid indeed. She asked how much was lost, and Natasha left the room, affronted, before Sonya admitted to the 43 thousand.
That evening, Anya Grigorievna joined in a party in Moscow which was well-known for its card players.
Among them, she found a blue-eyed Captain.
When she joined in his table, Dolokhov's eyes widened and he briefly enquired on her willingness to bet real money. She answered by placing ten roubles on the table and placing her first bet.
She had learnt to play that game from a young age, and her mother had become quite good at it. Most men around the table left empty-handed, but Anya remained, eyes trailed on Dolokhov who was desperately trying to make her lose.
When she had won ten thousand, Anya decided that the man had learnt his lesson and left the table.
She had just grabbed her coat when a warm hand closed around her arm, pulling her back to face an angry-faced Captain. Who had also drunk a bit too much.
"What are you playing at?" he asked in a growl.
Anya pulled her arm free. "I was playing cards, Captain."
Dolokhov stared at her blankly for a moment, then he said, "You are doing this for Rostov."
Anya smirked and pulled her furred hood over her face to go out into the chilly air. "I did not think you the jealous type, Captain."
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, some say. In some cases, it makes the love falter into a memory fondly remembered.
For Anya, the absence of a handsome Captain in her life made her bored.
She found herself amused by his presence when she met him, for it was very amusing to challenge him and to refuse him the simple pleasures of smiles and giggles that the other lesser women would give him.
For seven months she did not see the man, until one evening, she stumbled upon a handsome Minister.
She had been gone to the opera with her chaperone, her old governess, after her mother had passed away three months prior. The death of a mother was not as bad as a father's, some said, and so she was not required to be in mourning after that evening. It would be refreshing to wear fair clothes again.
She crossed his path around a corridor as she searched for the ladies refreshment room, and his appearance made her pause.
He looked more weary, less mischievous, somehow. He did not see her until she said a clear, "I don't think yellow is your colour, Captain".
He paused too and a smile appeared on his lips. He did not turn before he answered "And black is definitely not yours".
Dolokhov's eyes had not changed. They were still blue and mesmerizing, and they reclaimed some of their former glory when he started bantering with her. Anya had forgotten about repowdering her nose, she was not bored anymore, and when he kissed her fingers, she let him.
They stumbled upon the other twice again in that fashion. Surprisingly, the second time was at a ball. Not a formal one, mind you, a simple party held for Sofia's birthday. The girl was a noble birth and her parents had gotten bankrupt for this event, but the happiness and laughter in the room was payment enough for them.
Anya had been paying her compliments to her dear friend when he entered in a bright white uniform. White was definitely better than yellow.
He looked around the room, not for anyone in particular, just to assess who was there, until he found her, and a smirk appeared on his lips. She mirrored the look, and found herself rolling her eyes when he walked to her to ask for a dance.
She thought about refusing, but was curious about the way he danced. She knew he had not been raised high enough to have been taught the waltz at a young age; but surprisingly, he held her steadily and did not step on her foot once.
Dolokhov's proximity made Anya realise she liked his presence very much. She had not thought about it before, but she appreciated the man a lot: his looks, his spirit, his banter, his lack of prudence, and most of all, his smile. A crooked one that would have made a younger version of her weak in the knees.
"I wish to speak to you, Anya Grigorievna," he said in that low voice of his after the dance, and Anya laughed and followed him.
Fedya Dolokhov took her to an empty room, and closed the door on his serious face and Anya's amused one.
"Anya, I..." he started, and she did not like seeing him flustered like that, "I have been thinking about you a great deal." She did not answer, and he got closer, his hands taking hers softly, too softly to her taste. "I...I find myself wishing you would feel the same for me."
Still she did not answer. She stared at him, at his blue eyes, at his full lips, and wished for something else...
"Would you make me the happiest man and marry me?"
Anya remained silent, then she laughed.
Dolokhov might have thought it part of an approval, for he started leaning in, as if he was going to kiss her. Anya had been kissed before, in dark and ushered rooms when she was but a child, and no kiss had held meaning, but she decided that she did not like this setting at all.
She wished to be the one to kiss, not to be kissed.
So she leaned in until she turned her head and felt his lips on her cheek. She let out a clear laugh, and pulled away from a stunned and slightly angered Captain.
"Oh my dear Fedya," she said, using his birth name for the first time, "you of all people should know I am not a woman to be proposed to in that fashion..."
And Anya Grigorievna left him there.
When you play with fire, you will get burned.
Fedya Dolokhov got burned that evening.
But so did Anya Grigorievna. For, as free-minded as she hoped herself to be, she also found herself wishing she had not leaned away, that she had let this handsome captain kiss her.
So, the following morning, she sent a very short note to a certain F. Dolokhov.
"Come back from the war. Husband. A."
Well, at least, that was not romantic. At all.