Fallen Knight

Act 1: Threat

Arthur Kirkland's new office was nothing like the one he had held six-months ago in Westminster Abbey. The large bookshelf had been replaced with stacks of filing cabinets that pressed in on him in the claustrophobically tight walls. His large dark oak desk was now a tiny table with a few drawers made of terrible quality wood. And his secret stash of scotch had been confiscated so he couldn't even drink his woes away. Not at work at least.

He sighed, shifting in his dark uniform, the new fabric feeling unfamiliar and hostile. An Iron Cross sat tightly against his collarbone, nothing more than a choker to make sure their little English dog didn't venture too far. The ceremony had been nice at least, all his people forced to watch as their great kingdom was placed on a leash. That had been the same day the United States of America and Canada had signed a ceasefire with the German Reich.

There was a knock for his door and he automatically got to his feet, pulling at the angles of his livery trying to straighten it. He hoped dearly that it wasn't another soldier sent to watch him. The last one had only lasted an hour before he had to leave the room. It was rumoured he had left the army, which gave Arthur a title among the German occupants, but he had yet to heard it - technically the soldiers were not allowed to use the title so he knew nothing of it. He hoped it was fitting.

Another knock at the door snapped him out of his musings. "Enter." He called, brushing a blond hair off his shoulder, determined - even though he loathed the dark material - to keep it as meticulous as possible, just to show the Germans he still had some pride

The door opened and Ludwig walked in, face severe as always, though his blue eyes had heavy, dark circles under them and the salute was not as sharp and formal as it usually was. He smelt of rain and smoke, making England cough, bringing his gloved hand to his mouth. Recovering from his fit, Arthur's feet came together and he raised his hand to his brow. Germany nodded at the obeisance, muttering at him to stand at ease. The English nation did not hesitate to sit back down again, gesturing towards the only other free chair in the cramped office. The German shook his head, remaining upright.

There was a pause, the Englishman watching Germany carefully while he looked around the small room, as if taking stock of everything inside. "Reichführer Ludwig," Arthur said carefully, knitting his fingers together. The blue eyes snapped onto him. "What brings you to my humble office this fine day?" His voice wavered on the edge of pleasantness, but the distinct sarcasm was impossible to ignore.

Germany bowed his head, looking at his muddy boots. "Brigadeführer Kirkland, I'm here on order to inform you that your King has been locked in the Tower of London and that Buckingham Palace will not be used by anyone, save for the Führer." He said this all very quickly, not meeting the Englishman's cool gaze. Arthur knew Germany was not comfortable with him and he loved it. Ludwig's posture was stock-still, as though he feared even the slightest of moves would set the other nation off.

The silence was made only worse by Arthur's sudden wince and quiet yelp of pain. Ludwig took a step towards him, but England waved him off, shaking his head, rubbing his temples. "Smashing…" He ground out, trough his clenched jaw, "Riots again, around South London… The people of Britain are not pleased by this incident." It actually hadn't hurt that much, the throbs of pain had become too standard for Arthur to care, but he enjoyed torturing the German nation at every opportunity.

Blue eyes were looking everywhere but at Arthur, Germany's poise only getting tenser with each passing minute. "I-I… I gathered as much." He tried to smile, but the look on Arthur's face quickly ended that urge. "I don't think my people would be pleased if we locked the Führer in the Wolfsschanze."

Arthur laughed, enjoying the look of surprise on Ludwig's face. A smirk crossed England's face. "Your people?" He choked out, a hand still held to his temple. Sighing, he closed his eyes and shook his head. "You really can still call them that? My, we are presumptuous aren't we?" Opening one eye, he fixed Germany with a piercing stare.

Germany's was standing straight as a board and Arthur could see his gloved hands twisting themselves behind his back. His eyes light-blue eyes tightened around the edges, making the dark circles even more pronounced. "What are you talking about?" He said coldly.

Sitting forward in chair, Arthur raised an eyebrow, still grinning. "Your people?" He asked, without even bothering to hide the scorn in his voice, "Do you really still hold any influence over them?" He knew that Germany's people were not longer his own, that they're minds were clouded and poisoned by the Black Cross.

"What would you know about influence?" Germany said, trying to keep his cool but England knew that the temper was rising behind the stern manner. "You're occupied, you influence nothing." His words wavered and his perfect stance slumped for half a moment.

England watched the nation with interest, his eyes not missing the break in Ludwig's flawless form. "I still hold some power over my people Ludwig-"

"It's Reichführer Ludwig." Germany cut across him in a loud voice. They stared at each other; the blue eyes severe while the green ones glinted wickedly. The English nation loved the few opportunities he had to show Ludwig what he thought of the Reich, how broken it was, how flawed. Just as Germany was beginning to show signs of weakness, the quiet whispers of a revolution and a secret war had reached Arthur's ear and he knew that the Reich was revealing cracks in its armour.

"-Ludwig." Arthur finished, offering an innocent smile, knowing that would only incense Germany further. "I know my people are not happy, I know how they feel about you and your fucking Reich. And I know they aren't going to stand for it much longer." As he spoke, he rose to his feet, clasping his hands behind his back, mirroring Germany's tense posture. They watched each other, Arthur knowing that Ludwig wanted nothing more that to pull out his gun and end The United Kingdom right then and there.

Noticing the mocking posture of the England, Ludwig's shoulder relaxed. He reached up with gloved hand pulling the dark cap off. His other hand dragged through his light blond hair, smoothing it back before replacing the hat. "Is that a threat?" He asked calmly. Arthur knew Germany had realized that the pleasant air he radiated was nothing more than a front from the hatred that he felt.

"Take it as you like." He said, touching the Iron Cross that hung tight around his neck, "I'm just mentioning that I still have a connection to my people. Do you Ludwig?"

Striding around his desk, Arthur stood directly in front of Germany, trying to make himself as tall as possible. The other nation was still at least a head taller. "Imagine how you would feel, destroying half of Europe, killing millions and inspiring fear wherever they may venture. Not exactly the most wonderful thing in the world."

Germany's eyes bored into him and it took all his self-control not look away or back down. He took a deep breath. "Can you feel that Ludwig?" He asked, gripping the Iron Cross, "Or have you grown so cold that you can't even hear your people screami-"

"Shut up." Ludwig said, his lips a thin line.

This was it. Germany's stoic demeanour had shattered under Arthur's words. For weeks he had been poking, prodding and slowly chipping away at the German. That, coupled with the pressure of a growing empire, had finally pushed him over the edge, and England took the advantage without hesitation. Having this quiet power over the invading nation was rare and made England fell the tiniest bit better about his current situation,

"I have said nothing but the truth Ludwig. Which I believe you need to hear once in a while instead of that bullshit 'da Führer' has been feeding you." Arthur's hands lifted, mocking the quotations for him.

Ludwig's teeth grit. "I said shut up." He ground out, taking a threatening step towards Arthur. He loomed over England, but Arthur just glowered back.

"Make me."

Arthur said it quietly, but that didn't mask the power behind the words. He may have been occupied, but he was by no means the slave France had become or the lapdog Russia was. He was the United Kingdom and Ludwig needed to remember that.

"Change has come Kirkland." Germany said, finally stepping away from Arthur, shaking his head, "Whether you like it or not."

"But you know us English," Arthur said, giving the German nation the sweetest of smiles, "We're terrible at change. Excuse me Reichführer Ludwig, I have paperwork to attend to." He strode to the door, opening it, gesturing for Germany to leave.

Germany was halfway out of the door, but he stopped, turning back to Arthur. "Your new office is to your standards I hope?" He said and, without waiting for an answer, left.

As soon as the door closed, Arthur let out a growl of frustration at being bet at the very last moment. He threw himself into his chair, kicking his boots up on the table and scowling deeply. He had let his concentration slip and the damned German beat him at his own game of wits. Perhaps it was the occupation that was making his English cleverness desert him.

Sighing, he reached into his jacket, pulling out a small flask, taking a long draft before dragging his feet off the desk, starting on the papers that had piled up at least half a meter high. Who knew occupation meant so many formalities?

Author's Note

um, yay for fanfiction? Idea for this can only be given to the novel "SS-GB" by Len Deighton, which is the fictionalized take over of Britain by the Reich. Major props to my Social teacher who told me to get it out. It's quite poorly-written, but he gives a lot of detail and it's very believable, so if you can look past the terrible prose, check it out~