DISCLAIMER: I do not own Downton Abbey.
AUTHORS NOTE: Basically, I love Edith. I think she's due some happiness, and I desperately want her to have some fun in the 1920's. To fulfil this wish, I wrote this story, so even if Julian Fellowes is a cruel mistress to poor Edith I've given her a good time. I hope you enjoy it, but it's the first time writing for these characters so PLEASE let me know about errors or being ooc.
Once Sybil had gone, Edith had known it wouldn't be long before she went too. It was as if by leaving like she had, Sybil had broken the hold that Downton had on her. It had started something whispering in Edith's mind; see, you can leave. There is life beyond these grounds. Sybil had written her a letter after she left for Dublin, and some of it had resonated uncomfortably with Edith.
Edith, please do something for me? I want you to go and do wonderful things. You seem so unhappy now the war is over, and I want you to be happy. Perhaps you can only do that away from Downton. Live your own life, away from Mary.
That is exactly what she needed to do. Get away from Mary and from the whole lot of them who didn't expect anything from her. She was tired of her family. She was tired of Downton. There was very little keeping her here, but she had no idea how to escape. She didn't have a handsome radical in the wings with a plan to sweep her off to Dublin. She had to find her own way out.
"Edith, darling, I have the most important question to ask you, and I want you to think about it very carefully."
"Go on…" Edith had been summoned to the telephone by Carson, who had told her Dorothy Madison had called to speak to her. This had been a great surprise. Edith and Dorothy had done the Season together, but that had been nearly seven years ago. They had kept in touch through occasional letters and their only real connection was that they had both remained unmarried – Edith through lack of offers and Dorothy by sheer bloody-mindedness. Dorothy had always had the idea that she would get a career for herself, which had horrified her mother and amused her fellow debutantes. She had been the girl you could rely on to spice up a dull tea party with a flask of gin, or Ascot by being caught flirting with the jockey's. In deb terms, she was a liability, but so astonishingly well-connected that she was never left out of a society event. Mary had always detested her for being 'showy', but Edith had rather liked her.
"Well, the thing is, I'm getting a little flat in Bloomsbury, but Papa's being terribly dull about it all and saying I need to find another girl to lodge with me." She sighed. "I imagine he thinks I'm less likely to get into scrapes if I have someone else around."
Edith laughed. "Either that or you'll drag somebody else into them."
"Exactly! Oh I knew you'd be game for it darling!"
"For rooming with me! Oh it's going to be such larks!"
Edith wasn't sure she'd actually been asked yet, let alone accepted. "Dorothy –"
"- I was thinking of moving down next month. I can get the train up to Downton at the weekend so we can arrange it all properly."
"Will you send a car to pick me up from the station? Have you replaced the chauffeur who married your sister?" There was none of the condescending, gleeful pity in that comment that Edith had come to expect when people spoke of Sybil. "Gosh, I wasn't half jealous when I heard. If only we had a nice-looking driver – ours is about 80. Wasn't he Irish, too?"
"Yes." Edith said, feeling rather dazed by the speed of Dorothy's conversation.
"Oh how divine. Lucky old Sybil." She paused dreamily, as if to imagine just how lucky Sybil was. "Right, so I'll see you this weekend? I'll telegram you the train time."
"I'll meet you – I can drive a motor now." Edith found herself saying.
"Oh do you darling? That's marvellous! You'll have to teach me! Well, cheerio Edith! You have no idea how happy I am you've accepted me."
The telephone clicked and Edith blinked. She wasn't completely sure what had happened, but she suspected that she had found her escape route. It was a mad idea and Dorothy was the maddest girl she had ever met, but she was fun and exciting and Edith wanted to feel excited about something again.
"Are you quite all right, m'lady?" Carson was watching her curiously.
She nodded. "Yes. I'm going to be quite all right now."
So that's part one! I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, I'd love you to let me know. If not, please let me know why.