Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining to Vanity Fair in any format (book, mini-series, or movie). All rights are reserved by the original owners.
Author's Note: I'm so psyched to be writing this! Vanity Fair is a delicious story. This fanfic is based off of the book, the BBC mini-series, and the novel; all of which are excellent, so check them out! Also, I've done my best to stay true to the characters. This first chapter is mostly introductory; it shows what all of the main characters are doing at this point. I've rated this story T just in case - there may be adult situations later on. I greatly appreciate your questions, comments, and suggestions. That said, start reading!!
~8 years after the battle~
Sometimes he wished that he had died in the battle. That his body had been left on the field after the chaos had ended. That he had been given a soldier's funeral with all of the ceremony that his gallant actions would merit. He should have disappeared afterwards to start his life again, somewhere far away. If only he had considered the consequences that would have and certainly had arisen from his marriage, maybe things would have turned out differently. Gazing out the window of his modest dwelling, he realized that to the fullest extent now. He would have left long ago had it not been for Dobbin providing a means of living for the small family in addition to the earnings he made. At least he had things to occupy himself with…
"George, dearest, why do you keep gazing out the window? Come sit with me for a time, it's quiet now that I've finally got Georgy to rest," Amelia spoke softly as she came near to him.
"I'd rather sit here."
"But it's pouring rain outside! How can that be better to watch than-"
"Amelia, please… just let me be." His cold reply made her comply without a word. It had seemed like the most noble of ideas at the time; Dobbin had urged him to marry her despite the fact that his father was violently opposed to the notion. This was Dobbin's fault, he had made everything possible for the union to occur, basically pushed him into it. Why had he listened to him?
Becky was glad to have the house-servants and maids who looked after the little boy. It was not a task that she enjoyed in the least. The only things that she wished to have occupy her mind were those of dinner parties and other occasions like that. The gambling that her husband did to supplement their income was just not enough; it was actually hurting their chances of climbing higher in society, since those who had the misfortune of playing with him left those evenings at the Crawley residence in London spreading distrust of the family's intentions. In spite of that, they still lived quite well, with comforts that those of the middle class expected to have. It was her own talents that she focused her energy on now. People liked to have her at parties, and Becky made sure that she attended as many as she could, creating a pleasing reputation for herself. Rawdon frequently declined accompanying her to such events, choosing to associate with those of his own ranking, but it didn't bother her; he simply did not understand the importance of what she was trying to do for them, and he would only get in the way.
She left the pawn shop that she favoured with a fresh supply of money. It was partly what they would exist on, since they lived on basically nothing a year. It was also in part what they would pay the bills with, of which there were many, since her little family lived on questionable credit and fragile promises. And a small part of that money was what she would personally use, since it was she who had had to sell a pretty gold necklace to obtain the money. Becky did not mind very much, she was quite accustomed to the process actually, and the fact that she had only received the necklace as a gift two weeks ago for providing her excellent taste in French décor to a lady of high society who wished to redecorate in the French style meant that Becky did not have any sentimental value to the piece either. She had worn it once, so that the lady would notice Mrs. Crawley's respect for the woman, but had actually planned to sell it soon after the event to which she wore it. She did not care; there would be other gifts, and those too would meet the same fate as the little gold necklace.
Receiving mail was something that Amelia had always waited for with great eagerness and anxiety. When she had been courting George, she would sit for hours by the window of her room pretending to read, but really peering at each passerby hoping that each man was either the postman or George Osbourne himself coming to visit her. Now she waited for letters from abroad, the Far East to be exact, where Jos and William were. Her brother was not given to writing in particular, but Jos Sedley did write often to his family, especially since her parents had lost their fortune before her marriage. It was Major Dobbin though, whose letters kept her vigilantly watching the path to her house. His faithful letters were always full of captivating tales of the distant land he was in and they were a delight to read to young Georgy, who, despite his tender age, had grown to both love and respect his uncle from all of the good reports he continually heard about the man from his mother and father. Amelia knew that her husband and William kept in contact through other private letters, which were probably containing financial information that she need not worry about, though she was aware that their long-time friend was assisting them ever since George's father had cut him off from both the family and the inheritance. William's devotion to their wellbeing, his kindness and generosity endeared him more to her each day it seemed, despite the great distance between them. Just how much help he had provided she would likely never know…
Spending time with his son was the sole thing in his life that he truly enjoyed with every fiber of his body. Never did he think that a man as formidable in appearance as himself could have found such attachment to his own child. It was pitiable and strange that Becky did not feel the same way about little Rawdy. She was out again that evening and he had taken the opportunity to play with his son; they were in the midst of constructing various towers and towns out of wooden blocks for the toy soldiers he had bought for his son. It was only then could Rawdon show his true feelings and the boy had grown attached to him for the love that he was shown, much more so than his own mother. When his maid came over to put the young boy to bed, Rawdon insisted on doing it himself and swung the boy up onto his broad shoulders. Marching up the stairs, he sang out one of the militia songs he knew and soon had tucked his son into bed, kissing him on the forehead and wishing him good dreams. As he left the room, Rawdon gazed back with the most loving expression on his face, and then closed the door softly behind him.