AN:

Seeing as I go back to uni full time in 12 days, I thought I'd squeeze in a fic. Because I now have no time whatsoever to read the book, this is based entirely on the film of Anna Karenina, released in 2012 starring Keira, Aaron and Jude. Hope you like. And no, I do not own Anna, that right goes to Mr Tolstoy.

Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin was a serious man in every way. He was serious about his work, about his ideals and principles and about his suggestions. He only ever voiced something when he had thought it to the bone, and never directly. Let someone infer a meaning, and immediately, should it be treated poorly, you have diminished responsibility. Years serving the state had taught him well.

In marriage, he had chosen with his head and not his heart, thinking that this would ensure a match with solidity and certainty. But, little by little, though his wife was hard-pressed to notice, he had fallen in love with Anna.

How could he not?

She was everything he wasn't and in deepest, darkest thoughts he wished he could be. Free-spirited and lively, always easily laughing and smiling. Life was one unaffected breeze after another for his lovely, youthful wife, fraught with silly little troubles soon fixed and best treated with a winning grin.

How he wished, sometimes fervently after long days, that he could just be like Anna.

The way she affected him, after years of marriage, frightened him to the core, in some raw, human way he was not used to. Orphaned and left with a caring yet careless uncle, he had never felt such emotions before. To feel them now, in a sudden rush, for Anna and then for their boy, frightened him.

He was well aware this fright had made him even more reserved. Did she think he could not see the look on her face, when he would say some distant thing and quickly, but never openly, regret it?

If he ever felt he might be pushing her away, ever felt or thought anything remotely related to the heart, it was replaced with cold, simple logic.

Until one day, when he truly understood the extent to which he'd pushed this poor girl-creature. To where she was now stood on a precipice, all alone, with some charmless charmer threatening to throw her from the edge. From the edge and down into the deep dark chasm in which all good society bled away to rack and ruin.

Now it was too late, and he might have cried at it, were he any sort of man for such things. His coldness, that had been so close to melting, suddenly became his shield.

As he watched her wither, he stood up straighter, lectured her longer, all the while wanting to shout at her that it was, he knew, as much his fault as hers. If those little gestures he'd made had been grander, he could have saved her. But his nature was his nature, and she had known it forever and a day. It seemed, however, he had never known hers.

He had seen fleeting glimpses of her frivolity in the way she treated Seryozha, the way she danced and laughed, strangely, when he was not there. But he had never stopped to think that she was capable of infidelity.

And he soon became as mad at himself as he was at her, though he never showed it. He would let her destroy herself, because he could never do it. She must be the one, she and that Vronsky. Because he couldn't bear to raise the hand of hate himself and smite her, mark her forever, like a leper.

He watched her tumble, watched her fall, became colder and colder and blamed himself utterly and completely, whilst outwardly blaming her, damning her to the pits of hell and cutting off all connection.

He was two people, inside self-loathing, outside loathing her, and the agony of it was indescribable. He might have thought he still loved her, might have thought that was the cause of all the heartache, but he'd never felt such things before, never known their names, their meanings.

Coldness was his ally, and he adopted it well, leaving confusing, tangled, inexplicable emotion to his inner, tormented self.

It was only when she wrote to him. It was only when he knew, or thought he knew, that she was dying that he began to understand. That he loved her more than he could ever hate her. He condemned himself for his inability to show her, far more than he condemned her for her faults and indiscretions.

When he thought he might lose her for good, this enchanting thing that had lit a secret fire in his heart, that had started him on a road to understanding feelings, he clutched at her with a fervency he didn't know existed in him.

Not physically of course.

But from a safe distance at her bedside, he clutched at her fading soul, and she was revived at last. In a moment of thanking God he forgave them both, and truly understood at last the all-consuming power of love. How he wished that when he looked into Anna's eyes he might see it – that love there, for him, so that he could finally show her his.

Vronsky was all she wanted, all she desired. So Vronsky and their daughter and his wife left, and coldness descended again.

As the public world fell apart beneath him, he watched her closely from afar. He watched her unravel, he watched her descend into something he didn't understand.

Then Vronsky takes the time to walk through his front door, having enough decency to bow his head in shame and he knows the full extent of what his Anna has suffered because she was never truly his. Because he never truly made her his by action or word, only by godforsaken marriage deed and damned obligations.

She had committed her last sin. She had killed herself, lost in a daze, confused, unsure, clutching at supports that broke away from her little hands.

She was dead, and he could not bring himself to blame Vronsky. He blamed himself.

As his act of penance, at the loss of a woman he had loved, a loss that melted away his coldness with all the blast power of a furnace, he took her daughter and made her their daughter – little Annie.

He would show this Ann the love he had never showed the other. He would make it right, though he stumbled and fumbled through the littlest of heart's gestures.

Sometimes the coldness would descend. Then he would be reminded of her, in their children's eyes or in a sudden flash of memory, and warmth would come back, warmth that was tinged with bitterness and grief, despair, loss, failed hopes, the realisation of his idiocy, of Vronsky's…of Anna's.

They were all idiots, all three. Idiots lost as they misunderstood love in all its forms, in all the ways one can.

Idiots who all, at some point in their lives, dared to ask why about love.

AN:

Bit of a weird stream of consciousness but I hope you liked it. PLEASE REVIEW!