Chapter 14 'The Kelly Gang'
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia
Australia's head shot up from the book he was reading when he had heard the door slam shut. He had been forced out of his room by England earlier that morning, England had calmed down somewhat but he was still as touchy as a taipan ever since his rebellion. Australia didn't mention the name mistake from that night and England didn't bring it up so Australia figured that he didn't even notice that he had called him that.
He placed the book down and walked down the short hallway to see England muttering angrily. Australia rolled his eyes, it was probably something to do with the rebellion, but he spoke anyway.
"What's up with you?" asked the teenage nation asked raising an eyebrow at England's muttering. He tried to sound like he couldn't care less, but deep down he was curious to see what has riled his Dad so much.
"There are some outlaws gallivanting around committing horrendous crimes," Explained England, "I don't want you going outside until they are caught, heaven help you if you get any ideas from them"
Australia narrowed his eyes in a glare before muttering under his breath, "It's not like I could leave even if I wanted to."
England had practically kept him on house arrest and doubled his lessons in responsibility and behaviour anyway as well as his chores, so his chances of leaving the house were slim at best. His privileges were taken away as well, he wasn't even allowed out in the back yard. He would wake up, eat, chores, lessons, eat and then sleep again and that was pretty much all he was allowed to do with the occasional time he was allowed to sit and read.
"And you bloody well know why you can't," England growled, he still felt the hurt and anger from Australia's little rebellion against him. It had reminded him too much of America's revolutionary war.
England sighed 'He's just like America' he looked directly into Australia's green eyes. Seeing the familiar streak of defiance gleam in the young nation's eyes. Australia undoubtedly still held some resentment toward him for his actions in the rebellion, but he would not indulge his childish sulking.
"Listen to me. These people are dangerous and will harm you if they see fit, so to put my mind at ease you will not be permitted to leave the house for any reason," England didn't mean to sound too harsh, but Australia was going through a rebellious phase, so he doubted the child would listen. "Do I have your word that you won't leave the house?"
Australia's eyes looked directly into England's. He was tempted to say no, he had a strong urge to fight for freedom and to spite the older nation, but he didn't feel like fighting with his father at the moment. It honesty wasn't worth the punishments.
Sighing, Australia muttered a quiet 'yes'. Satisfied with the reply England removed his hands from the boy's shoulders and straitened up with a slight smile, maybe Australia was finally starting to learn after all.
"Don't worry, it's only until those criminals are caught" England reassured before walking away to do some more paperwork.
Australia was about to turn away and head to his room when a noise brought his attention to the window. He could have sworn he heard the faint neigh of a horse, followed by shouting. He forced himself to walk away and ignore the burning curiosity coursing through his body.
Australia woke from his deep sleep to the sound of gunshots and screaming. Throwing the sheets off his body and swinging his legs over the side of the bed, he walked over to his window. Was someone in trouble or hurt?
Maybe he should go and have a quick look, he reasoned with himself. He didn't trust England to really tell him what was happening anyway, why should he after he didn't even tell him what was really happening on the gold fields. Australia sighed. The thought of England had reminded him of their whole conversation earlier that day, actually it was one of their more calmer discussions in the past few months.
Silently, Australia had crept outside England's darkened room and stuck his head through the doorway. The older nation was fast asleep, and by the look of the dark rings underneath his eyes he would be a long time. England wouldn't tell him why, not that he asked in the first place, but he seemed to be coming back from New Zealand's place more stressed and tired. New Zealand had mentioned in some of his letters that he had been in his own rebellion against the British as well.
So, after making sure that England wouldn't suddenly awake Australia went back to the window in his room that outlooked his backyard. He opened the window and let out a sigh of contentment, the cool night breeze seemed to calm him down a little. He looked over to his bed side table and picked up the knife that he had found lying in the dirt some time ago, he had brought it back home and cleaned it while hiding it from the older nation. He placed it in a leather pouch he had bought and attached it to his hip, he hid the weapon under his shirt, he doubted he would need to use it but just in case.
Australia jumped down from the window sill and landed with a soft thud as hit feet hit the ground. He felt exposed out in the cool night air, a certain thrill for disobeying his Dad made him grin, his Dad's anger was worth being outside even for a moment. He had missed being outside. After all, his whole life before he had been found by England he had been outside and now it had felt a bit weird to be confined indoors.
Australia's cowlicks had bounced lightly as he walked down the once noisy street, he could have sworn he heard a loud commotion around here. After walking a couple more miles away from his house he still couldn't see anything out of the ordinary, except for a few broken windows in the bank horse tracks in the dirt. He was about to turn around to go back home when he heard footsteps and a husky voice speak to him from the shadows.
"You alright there lad? Are you alone?" asked the voice.
Australia turned around to see a man that was twice his size with a gun in his hand approach him. Australia froze in fear and his heart beat faster in his chest as his eyes flicked around him, looking to see if the man had any other friends that may sneak up on him. His hand unconsciously twitched towards his hidden weapon, seeking to bring some sort of reassurance.
He may have been alive for a lot longer than the stranger but dammit he was still young… for a nation anyway, and he had never been approached by a possibly violent person with a weapon before. The rebellion didn't count as the British basically fired on anyone at the time. But this was the first time he was singled out.
Australia knew he would lose if it came down to a fight. Because one, he didn't have a weapon to go up against a gun. Two, he didn't really know how to fight. And three, the man was so much taller and more muscular built than he was.
"Oi kid," The stranger snapped him out of his thoughts, "You speak English, right?"
The stranger stepped closer to Australia, who on instinct took a step back, trying to at least maintain a bit of distance in case this thing went south. He summoned up his courage and replied to the man.
"Yes sir" He accidently slipped into a formal tone, he lacked his usual slang. He blamed the intimidation the stranger was giving off.
A part of him was saying to run back to his house and to the safety of his father, but the other half was scolding himself for not being able to handle a simple confrontation by himself. The latter of the inner conflict won out in the end, and he stayed rooted to the spot. He was determined to handle this on his own, he didn't need England's help, not to mention he would be grounded for another century if the elder found out that he snuck out, like the punishment after the rebellion wasn't enough.
"You don't need to be scared kid," The man said and bent down to Australia's eye level, "People call my Ned Kelly, what's your name?"
"Aus- Jett," Australia covered. He almost slipped up and said his country name. England had said it was risky for a human to know about them; the personifications of nations. He didn't know why, England did explain the reason but he saw a kangaroo jump past the window, so his attention had strayed. He had come up with the name after reading the name from one of the books he had been allocated to read, his little brother New Zealand had chosen the name Christian.
"Well Jett, now that you have seen me you need to come with me," The man, now identified as Ned Kelly said in a commanding tone, "Don't worry my friends and I won't hurt you if you behave"
And Australia had never felt the need to be more well behaved in his life.
Next thing Australia knew, he was being led away deep into the hidden areas of the bush, rope tied his hands together as a precaution so he didn't do a runner. He wasn't stupid, he knew a hostage situation when he saw one, but now he was starting to wish he listened to his older brother.
A few minutes later he was led into a clearing amongst the scrub. He noticed three other men sitting on the ground beside their horses; Australia assumed that these were Ned's friends he spoke of. All of it suddenly hit him, like a wave washed over him. These people were bushrangers that England warned him about. Australia mentally groaned. He was so dead. England was going to kill him when he found out.
"Sit down lad," Ned pulled Australia out of his shocked stance, "Now my brother Dan here, is going to untie you, but don't even think about hightailing it out of here"
Australia tensed as the person named Dan offered him a sympathetic look and proceeded to untie his hands. But Australia didn't sit down and instead he took out his knife that he had concealed underneath his shirt, and held it out defensively in front of him. Maybe by some slim sliver of hope that he could be able to intimidate the gang for him long enough to escape.
His plan failed when the group of men broke out into a fit of laughter. Australia's face burned in embarrassment.
"Son put that away before you hurt yourself" Dan said after he recovered from laughing. Australia scowled in annoyance but put the knife away anyway. Instead he stood straighter, something he saw England do on occasion to project authority, and fold his arms across his chest. His stubbornness prevailed as he refused to back down.
"Whoever you are, you need to let me leave" Australia tried and failed to sound intimidating. And if the looks in the men's eyes were anything to go by they weren't intimidated at all. Australia mentally kicked himself; he probably looked like a little pouting teenager to them.
"Well, you know who I and Dan are, and this is Steve and Joe" introduced Ned as he pointed to the other men sitting beside him, "Sorry not going to happen Jett, you know who and where we are. You can't leave"
Australia sighed in defeat and plopped down on the ground in a sitting position. He tried to think of something, anything to get him out of this situation.
"Hey, no need to get all sad about it, we are good people" Joe said
"Good people, just branded evil by the law" Dan added
"You see Jett, the reason why we became outlaws is because the police have been pushing around our family and even locked my mother in prison" Ned explained.
He then told the story in great detail to the young Australian, who listened with interest at the story. After hearing Ned's side of the story Australia felt appalled at the police, and after what he had experienced in the gold fields, it wasn't that hard to believe.
He had managed to relax somewhat in the group's presence, no longer feeling scared that they would hurt him, but instead he had started to trust them. He wouldn't exactly go as far to say that he trusted them with his life like he did with his father and brother, but he trusted their word when they said that they wouldn't kill him.
"So why are you out all by yourself?" Dan asked, "This country is pretty dangerous for a kid like you"
Australia smirked and supressed his desire to laugh at the statement. No matter how many times he had heard it, he always found it so ironic. Oh, if only they knew.
'Mate, I am the country' Australia thought to himself
But upon remembering they were waiting for his answer, he had begun to tell them the reason, leaving out any important information of course.
"I heard a noise, so I snuck out. My Dad has probably noticed that I disappeared by now though" told Australia. Anyone could tell by the way he said 'Dad' that he was still carrying a heavy grudge against. But speaking of England, he would be in so much trouble when or if he was ever allowed to leave and return home.
"You havin' problems with your old man?" asked Ned curiously.
"You could say that, we had… I guess you could say fight a while ago," Australia said, clearly remembering the rebellion, "It's probably going to be worse when I get back though"
The four men nodded in understanding before announcing that they would be going to bed and that Steve would be taking the first watch.
Australia silently watched as the outlaws fell asleep, everything England had told him about the Kelly gang was wrong. They seemed quite nice and didn't even threaten him once, or even killed him like England had said they would. They weren't all that bad after all.
After a couple of minutes of just watching the stars, he nestled down next to a rock for the night. As he laid there, his eyes grew heavy and he finally slipped into unconsciousness.
Hey Guys! Another chapter is up, so reviews are greatly appreciated :) and thank you to everyone that has left reviews, they make my day.
There are a lot of people that view Ned Kelly and his gang as heroes and villains based on his action and whatnot. But I made Australia look up to Ned Kelly a lot, and view him as a friend because he is a widely respected Australian icon to this day. Because where ever Ned Kelly and his gang stayed they had paid for meals and the most police in Australia in that day were corrupt in that anyone who had some connections to Ned Kelly were arrested, such as his own mother.
So, I tried to keep the story about why Ned Kelly became a bush ranger short, so here is a detailed version. In Ned's version, when the police officer Fitzpatrick came to the Kelly house to arrest Dan for horse-theft he made a pass at Ned and Dan's sister, Kate. Dan had defended her but the Fitzpatrick took their mother and her baby into custody. Ned claimed that he was not there at the time but the police said he was.
And besides, in chapter 16 it will add to the feels if Australia was friends with Ned Kelly.
I also still made Australia hold some resentment towards England after the Eureka Stockade, because Australia is still going through the rebellious teenage phase. So how do you think England will react to finding out what Australia is up to? And what will the repercussions of Australia's actions be? Until next time! :D