Author: Zalia Chimera
Character(s)/Pairing(s): England, France, Prussia, Germany, suggestion of Germany/England and France/England which will become more definite once I write some more
Warnings: Mild suggested violence, possible suggestion of Non-con but nothing overt/explicit/stated.
Disclaimer: Don't own Hetalia or the characters. I'm just using them for fun and my own nefarious amusement.
Summary: After invasion by Germany during WW2, England waits in his gilded cage.
Time Frame: During World War Two, sometime after the fall of France and a little after Pearl Harbour would have taken place.
It's this college building in Oxford which has become his prison now, an ancient, glorious prison of spires and velvet and ceremony and the luxury of it stings more than the cold of any concrete cell. And ah, Germany and his boss have thought too well on this. A gilded cage and all the luxuries afforded a prisoner of such high rank and all that he has to do is sit at Germany's right hand.
He eats with the servants when he is not forced to Germany's high table, and longs for his tower and his ravens, for cold steel bars to rage against instead of silk bedsheets.
He feels his cities twist as the rope-words of Nazi propaganda entangle him. Most do no listen, a few do and those are all it takes for this puppet government, his own Vichy to arise. His ports, his Liverpool and his Dover filled with foreign warships, his Sheffield become a northern fortress, the precious mills turning out munitions for a push into Russia, into China, across the Atlantic.
And isn't that a cruel irony? That he, the great Empire, must rely on them now, his colonies and former colonies, his Commonwealth continuing the fight where the one who should have been their leader and protector had fallen. The thought hurts because while he had never been a good brother, while England had been a harsh empire, the part of him that is Arthur and is his own had wanted to protect them; his sweet, savage Canada, glorious, dangerous, beautiful India, his Nepal with its magnificent bravery.
The one who had become his own nation so very long ago.
"America's entered the war," Prussia tells him, his words clipped and quiet when he joins England in one of the University courtyards, slumping into the wrought iron chair opposite England's.
England scrutinises him, the first time since Germany's arrival that he's seen Prussia alone. For the most part he has been his brother's silent white shadow and that analogy is one that seems so unfitting for the man that he knows Prussia to be, to have been, a nation of terrifying dedication and discipline. His face is drawn, lacking Germany's healthy glow, but there is still steel in his voice.
"Why?" England asks finally, sipping tea from a dainty china cup while his people fall to a tyrant.
"Japan bombed him," Prussia replied, a bitter twist to his lips that England can't quite place as either triumph or despair. "The brat can't let a direct attack go unpunished, for all his splendid isolation." And there's a flash of something in Prussia's eyes, something triumphant and angry and England knows that it isn't because he longs for America's capitulation.
"Why don't you long for Germany's glory?" England asks, genuine curiosity in his voice now. Of course Prussia can do nothing but follow, it is their place as Nations to follow even if the path leads them to Hell, but they can oppose in their own thoughts and this resentment sparks England's interest.
Prussia stares at him, narrows crimson eyes and smirks, wild and savage. "They took my name from me."
There are hidden notes and hushed words between them after that, tit bits of information hastily scrawled and just as quickly destroyed. War in the pacific, devastating raids in France and resistance on his own sweet soil. He revels in the sour looks from Germany with the news that his beloved Churchill is safe in Canada, leading the war with as much fervour as ever, despite the invasion of his homeland and the capture of his country. The Atlantic is so very wide, so very much more difficult to cross, but it seems as narrow and shallow as the Channel during the brief moments when he hears resistance attacks and stirring speeches on stolen seconds of radio.
Germany visits him when he isn't occupied, pouring them tea which is too scalded for England to find palatable, or brushing large hands down England's spine, across his cheek. It is supposed to be seductive, England thinks, but Germany is too young, too built on brute force to have mastered such sweet lures.
"We're the same, you and I," Germany murmurs to him, sometimes more convincing, sometimes less. "Our people are the same. The proud, noble, Aryan race. They've tainted you, but once you've been cleansed, once you are pure again, just think of what we can accomplish together."
England wonders if he truly believes his words, or whether he is as bound as Prussia. There will be no together, and England finds that he has rather lost his taste for conquest. He hums Rule Britannia and sometimes there is violence which leaves him bruised and bleeding and sick to his stomach, sometimes just a sorrowful sigh and Germany hoping that he will come to his senses, but either way they both know that in that small war at least, England is the victor.
He is still resisting.
It becomes more difficult to hum when he hears of the capture of resistance members, or his own people joining the great Nazi cause, his children indoctrinated. The violence is less then, but Germany's words more honeyed, more appealing, his touches more gentle, caring. There are times when England feels himself at the edge of a precipice and it would be oh so easy to fall into blue eyes and strong words.
In his darkest moments, face swollen and bleeding, or with Germany's fingers brushing his lips tenderly, some twisted part of him wishes that violence had befallen America sooner and greater, to stir him from his neutrality, but that thought leaves more bile in his throat than any of Germany's words.
The next snippet of news from his beloved Prime Minister in exile can bring back his bite, a savage bulldog once more.
Seeing France is at once a punch to the gut and a soaring feeling of elation. They can only exchange glances during the formal dinner while their phony governments exchange pleasantries, the two of them dressed up like dolls, paraded like trophies for the glory of the Fatherland.
"We two are a pitiful sight, are we not?" France asks in a dry voice later that night, and if his face is hollowed out and tired then England makes no mention of it. His eyes are as sharp as ever and his stance as proud and that is what matters. England wonders if he manages to look half as defiant. He hopes so, but the bone-deep weariness he feels makes him consider otherwise. "We great and ancient powers of Europe brought beneath the heel of a child and awaiting rescue by the children that we raised."
There are arms around England's waist, warm breath against his neck as he is pulled back against a broad chest. That the hands rest there instead of teasing, that breath is not followed by lips, these tell England more about how changed France is than any news broadcast could. It feels wrong, but England is grateful for it nonetheless. He's had his fill of seduction from Germany and the arms of friendship, even a friendship such as theirs, is something to be held dear in such times.
"We were as brutal as children," England replied, tilting his head back to peer at France.
"Oui, but we lacked such exquisite weapons of death then," France replies, a subtle shiver running through him. "If we had had them..."
"We would have destroyed or conquered the entire world," England murmurs.
"Is what you own of our green Earth not enough for you, Angleterre?" France asks, lips quirking in amusement against England's hair.
"Children with terrible weapons and maybe all Old Europe can do is stand aside for them. Maybe our time is ending."
"Mon dieu, such terrifying things you say," France laments. "Having our fates dictated by Germany and America. Ah, but if America comes, if he returns my sweet Paris to me, then I shall be grateful regardless."
"You helped him to such a position," England replied with wry humour and old pain, although that has dulled with time. "He'll come," he adds with some certainty, staring out of the window at the clear placid sky.
"I hope that you are right," France murmurs.