The Golden Cage
By Chibi Ra Chan
Pairing; Hungary/Turkey, also some one sided Prussia/Hungary.
Chapter I; Choices and Consequences.
"While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions."
-Stephen R. Covey
"How could you do this to me!" Hungary screams, his, her eyes blazing with anger. Gilbert wasn't quite used to openly thinking of his long time friend and companion as a female yet.
"Eli don't look at me like that. I couldn't have told you!" The young Teutonic Order fought the urge to defend himself with his sword but thankfully he has enough common sense to realize that doing that would only upset the volatile nation more.
So instead, the white haired young man settles for dodge rolling out of the way when she threw a vase at his head, narrowly missing it. Girl or not, Hungary had great aim.
It was so difficult to think of his long time friend and companion as a girl. True, he had know for years that she was a woman. He had known ever since he had unconsciously groped her when he was eight. Now he is fourteen and the part of him that thought he imagined it was completely silent.
Seeing Eli in a dress, an honest to god court dress, with her hair done up in some elaborate fashion was doing strange things to him. He noticed things he had not noticed before back when he thought she was a boy.
He had never remembered her facial features being so round, nor her mouth so pink, or her eyes so green, like the jewels in one of Europe's grand cathedrals. Gilbert had always been around armies and thus men. He could have never have expected that seeing just a hint of peach tinted flesh just above the swell of his friends' not so fully developed chest would cause him to act as he was.
Which reminded him, he was supposed to be defending himself, not getting lost in thought.
"Bullshit Gilbert!" She swore, glaring at the armored youth who she believed she could trust. Clearly she was wrong. "How could you have told them?" She flung an ink well at him. It wasn't like she would need it anymore, they wouldn't let her write now anyways.
It was uncomely for women to be too intelligent.
"You kept getting hurt! I had to protect you."
That only made her throw harder trip on the long train of her dress. Hungary growled in frustration. "I didn't need protection then and I don't need it now!"
A antique basin crashed loudly inches from Gilberts head. "But it's different now Eli!" The Teutonic order yelled, tired of being reprimanded for being a good friend.
"How?" She shrieked, her voice raising to a higher pitch than either of them expected. "How am I any different than I was even a week ago Gilbert? A week ago I was kicking your ass all around the country side and now I'm suddenly weak? What makes me as a girl different from Eliot?"
"Eli, you know it's not like that. Its not my-" Hungary interrupted him.
"How am I am different Gilbert?" The tone was quiet, but that did nothing to do quiet the anger in it.
How could he possibly explain to her that it made everything different? That if he was a guy he didn't have to worry about her getting hurt, or someone else finding out and doing….something less than gentlemanly to her? Not that he was a shining beacon in chivalry, but he knew men that had low morals, men who would just love to find out that a pretty little girl was amongst their mists. Gilbert cringed. Didn't she get that being a woman changed absolutely everything?
But the Teutonic Order was too young and inexperienced to know how to say that out loud without losing face. So he did what he did best when things upset him, he made an ass out of himself.
Plastering his signature grin onto his face, Gilbert snorted. "Look Eli it doesn't matter why it's different now, it just is. Don't worry your pretty little head over it. Go sew or whatever it is that chicks do. Let the real men like me be concerned with awesome state stuff."
She threw a stack of papers at him which scattered across both the floor and furniture of the parlor room. "Real men? As in no weak delicate fainting girls?" He heard shuffling, but ignored it along with the sharp intake of air that followed it.
The Teutonic Order smirked while keeping his eyes closed in a gesture of pure smugness. "Yes! It's about time you got it through your head." He waved a hand dismissively.
"Of course! I mean who could ever fight with these on!" He was suddenly hit with something cloth and heavy. "This torture device that I have to suffer with now, all because you opened your big fat mouth!"
"What the hell! Didn't we just go over thi-" Gilbert's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.
Hungary was standing there in nothing but her shift, glaring at him. Dazedly, his mind put together that it was her corseting that she had assaulted him with. "Wh-What are you doing?" He gulped nervously. The funny feeling he got whenever her was around Hungary returned, but it was so much worse now that she was clad only in thin white material that did nearly nothing to hide her body from his eyes.
Oh God, please forgive him for thinking such lewd things about his friend.
"Is this what makes all the difference Gilbert?" She clutched at her chest, the fabric twisting and pulling around her. "It seems to me that because of these useless mounds of fat I can't do anything! I can't fight, I can't write, I can even dress myself because of these. So is this the big difference? Does this make you look at me any differently than when you thought I was a guy?"
'You have no idea how differently…' Wisely, Gilbert did not say this out loud, her instead let her continue her rant.
"Do these breasts make me any less a warrior, less honorable than a man is? Because I thought that real men kept their promises!"
"Hungary, I told you I had to tell. You can't pretend anymore! Ow! Stop throwing shit at me!"
She only responded by throwing one of the hand mirrors that Austria had given her when he found out she was a girl. She hated it, she hated everything about this.
The polished mirror shattered into a thousand pieces as it missed it's white haired target and it hit the opposite wall. Vaguely she heard some of the servants reacting to the loud screaming and noises, but she ignored it. Hungary just wanted answers.
"You promised me! You promised to keep everything between us! You asshole, it was a promise between men!"
Before he could get a grip on his anger Gilbert retaliated by lashing out. "You stopped being a man so I stopped keeping your fucking secrets!"
Nothing could have prepared him for the bolt of liquid agony that he felt when he saw the look on her face.
She was shocked, appalled probably. But what really made the Teutonic Order's stomach churn was the surprised tears that hung in the corners of her suddenly very wet eyes.
He struggled to find something to say, anything to stop her from staring at him like that. But he couldn't find the words at all. He was never good a being delicate.
The door suddenly swung open and in came several servants and staff alike.
"My lady!" exclaimed a rather plump woman who Gilbert guessed was her governess. "What has happened here?" It didn't take a genius to see what was going through her mind and the minds of all the flabbergasted staff.
A ruined parlor, shattered glass everywhere, an angry young man and their mistress crying in a state of undress. It didn't look good from any angle.
"Woah! It's not what your thinking! Eli tell them!"
"Like, what the hell happened in here?"
Oh great. Poland, that's exactly what he needed right now.
"Stay out this you weirdo. This is between me and Eli."
The blonde man ignores him and goes to Hungary's side, looking her in the eye. "You okay Eli?" He asks with honest concern in his green eyes.
Gilbert had forgotten that they were so close.
Hungary simply clutches at her bare arms, refusing to look at him as tears roll down her cheeks. Gilbert's heart beat painfully in his chest.
"I would like Mr. Beilschmidt to leave now. Please." She speaks in a voice he has never heard from her before.
"Wait, Eli, don't. Just listen to me! Don't do-" He spits out trying to get her to listen to him.
"You heard her Gil, she doesn't, like, want you here anymore."
"Just listen!" He ignores the part of his brain that tells him that it is distinctly un-awesome to be practically begging for forgiveness, but Hungary gives him a look that is heartbreaking that he ignores that inner voice.
"If there can not be any trust between us as we are now, then I don't think our countries can be allies any longer. Please leave." One of the maids fetches a sheet and together her and the husky governess wrap it around the female nation, hiding her once again from him. "Goodbye Gilbert."
She allows Poland to lead her away, his arm around her shoulders. Feliks sends him a vicious look before the servants shut the doors, blocking him from his once battle companion.
The governess gives him a sharp look. "Mistress Elizaveta has made it clear that she never wishes to see you again. And after your conduct I can not say that I blame her. Good day Mr. Beilschmidt, I do believe you know your way out."
The door once again shut and The Teutonic Order is left alone in the disarrayed parlor room.
He clenches his fists and grits his teeth, trying to stop himself from feeling. Because he is a man; and men do not cry just because pretty girls suddenly start hating them.
'Her name is Elizaveta now.' he thinks sulking. If she had not kicked him out of her lands then he just might have told her that he thought the name was beautiful.
But she has, so instead he collects his sword and storms out of the castle with his wounded pride and broken heart. He goes to rally his people to leave this country because he suddenly hats being here.
Fine, he'll leave, he'll start his own country and show everyone that he doesn't need stupid Poland, or any allies at all. He'll show her that he didn't need her or her pretty name one tiny bit. He'll be fine on his own.
Still no matter how many battles he wins and how many countries he defeats, Gilbert can not force her face out of his dreams.
The newly christened Elizaveta Hedervary, the Kingdom of Hungary, was beaten and bruised on the battle fields of Mohacs.
'Well,' She thought with cynical humor. 'This is what I get for sneaking out.' He had stolen armor from the armory and gone into battle, without her king's permission, and against direct orders of her general. And now look what had happened.
The battle was over and her small rapidly changing body was worn from the struggle. She had lost this fight, the first major loss in her life. The taste was horribly bitter in her mouth.
How could this have happened to her, Hungary, a force to be reckoned with? Before when she was a boy everything was so simple, she'd wake up every morning sure of herself and then she'd go beat up Austria with Teuto-
'Oh that's right, his name is Prussia now.' She thought wearily from her spot on the ruined and blood stained grass. 'It's still a silly name.'
Stupid Gilbert was gone. Never mind the fact that she was the one that had sent him away in the first place. He wasn't supposed to actually leave. He had never listened to her before, so why start now?
Then her people were all up in arms because her king was useless. The church was pressing in on them and that prissy pants Austria was making waves for her as well by sending her gifts.
And to top it all off, she was a girl.
In a single instant her entire life had been changed, and not for the better.
Being a girl had complicated everything. Now her bosses wouldn't let her fight, they wouldn't let her speak freely, they forced her to wear a dress and worst of all they made her feel like she wasn't even a nation anymore.
Except for maybe Poland, the rest of the nations had suddenly stopped taking her seriously now that she was a girl. They all talked down to her like she was less than a nation ever since she was stripped of her sword and given an embroidery circle instead.
It was completely ridiculous. Why should two mounds of useless flesh change her entire world?
Elizaveta attempted to push herself off the bloodied ground, but the movement proved too much for her weakened body to handle. She fell back with a thud. 'Well at least it can't get any worse'
"It's a little odd seeing you in a dress Eli."
Clearly she was wrong, it could get worse.
Cocking his head to the side with a grin and his mask in place, Turkey stood above her unmoving form.
It was all she was able to do to stop herself from groaning in annoyance.
"Not Eli anymore." Elizaveta spit out, tasting copper on her tongue. How embarrassing, to be beaten by Turkey. The man was infuriatingly chipper, even when she used to kick his masked ass all across Europe.
The man drove her insane sometimes with that smile.
"Oh, so you've figured it out then?" He asked nonchalantly, still watching her. A choked gasp torn through her throat as she sent the Turk a wide eyed incredulous look. Hungary could not believe this conversation was happening.
"You knew?" She managed to push past her lips with much difficulty. How had he known? Better yet how had he known when even she hadn't?
He waved his hand in a dismissive manner. "Of course I knew. So have they decided on a proper name for you yet? It's not right for a girl to be running around with a man's name. Besides you were always too cute to be an Eliot."
She grit her teeth as a fresh wave of pain coursed though her body. Did everyone but her know? It was bad enough that he had beat her and won the battle, but now he wanted to patronize her as well? "Go away."
The ever present grin didn't falter. "Not happening kiddo. You see, you and I have some business to take care of." He sat down next to her, and she determinedly refused to look at him. "The way I see it you can either stay here and be picked to pieces by the countries around you, and don't think that past relations will stop them from taking their land because it wont."
She wouldn't dignify that with a response, although she had a sinking feeling that he was right. Felik's wasn't dumb no matter how much he seemed to be. He wouldn't miss the opportunity to get more land, especially after Gilbert had just taken some of his.
"Your other option, the best one in my opinion, is to join me."
Anger flooded Elizaveta's head and she darted upright, ignoring the throbbing it caused in her chest.
"Never! I'd never become one with you!" Any further statements she had were cut off by the harsh coughing that escaped her throat. Once again she tasted the red metallic substance in her mouth, burning it's way up her trachea and covering her hands. God, why was this happing to her? Hadn't she been a good nation? Didn't she follow her people's wishes and tried to be fair?
Then why was she being repaid with humiliation and backbreaking humbling? In front of stupid Turkey none the less.
"Woah, there. Calm down çocuk, breathe. Just breathe and hear me out." He spoke as he slowly patted her back, and as much as it pained her to admit it, the motion helped soothed the convulsions that racked through her body.
'I've fallen so low' She thought with bitter acceptance of his aid, still she had enough pride to not look at him directly. Instead she focused on the bright red fabric of his robe that had come to rest on her knee.
"I didn't say become one with. You're way too young for that. I really meant join me. There are others who are under my wing. It is not as bad as being picked apart, believe me."
"I won't be fooled. You'll take everything from me." she rasped out thickly. 'Not that there is a lot left to take…'
Behind his mask Turkey's expression turned into something akin to pity. "It's not as if you have anywhere else to go, there is no one else who will help you re-establish. You may not like it but without my help you'll perish, vanish just like old man Rome did."
That struck a chord in her mind.
While she had never actually met the man, she had grown up hearing stories about the great Roman empire and how it fell because he was too weak on the inside to fight of everyone on the outside. It scared her and fueled her desire to do better, but in reality wasn't that what was happening to her now?
Nándorfehérvár had fallen because her nobles were too busy oppressing the serfs to notice the threat that the Ottomans posed. Even she had neglected to realize how close she was to losing everything because of her own personal misery.
Turkey was right, even if she hated it. What could she really do? Gilbert was gone, and it was her own fault. He wouldn't be coming to save her no matter how much she hoped he would. Poland, she thought with a bit of bitterness, was too busy with his new best friend Lithuania to help rebuild her. And Austria….
Ha, that was laughable.
She had spent the entire first half of her childhood beating the Germanic nation up. Besides he was never very good at fighting anyway. What's worse was that he seemed to be under the delusion that he could woo her into being his ally. That was the last thing she wanted.
"What of my people?" She threw the question out; desperate for any excuse not to see the wisdom in Turkeys words. She shouldn't even be considering it. Turkey had been messing with her ever since she could remember. Surely he had something other than her interest in mind. "What of my King and Queen? You can not expect them to suddenly-"
"Your king is dead, as is your army leader. I was not joking."
"Dead?" She breathlessly muttered. It pained her to take the information in. Lajos II was dead. And is was her fault. She hadn't been strong enough, she hadn't listened when he warned of the threat that Ottomans posed. She hadn't paid attention at all, and now he was gone, Tomori as well.
"You must choose çocuk. I would much rather you join me than to see you be picked apart by lesser nations. Joining me will not be anywhere near as you think. You'll be a part of an empire and you'll have siblings to play with, you'll want for nothing. I take good care of my things, that includes the nations that I conquer."
She bristles immediately. "I may be a woman now but I am not a thing to own."
The elder man laughs and Elizaveta feels her ears heat up. He may be an arrogant asshole who wore a stupid mask and an even stupider hat, but he has a rich voice that she can't help but warm up to.
But only a little.
"Of course not, you are a young lady and I will make sure you are treated as such." Turkey stops his motions on her back and stands. From the corner of her vision, Hungary sees his silhouette. Said stupid hat has blocked most of the little sunlight that there was. He had his gloved hand outstretched toward her.
It was a huge decision. One that shouldn't really require any thought at all. When she was a boy she would have never even considered taking up his offer.
'Real men don't take charity, especially from enemy! Never give up, never surrender!' Gilbert's voice resounded in her head. She could practically see the white haired boy grinning, his burgundy eyes gleaming with pride.
They had made a pact years ago that they would never give up, that if the other was in trouble the only person they could take help from was each other. 'We're like brothers in arms Eli! Men amongst men!'
But she wasn't a man anymore, she never was, and Gilbert wouldn't be coming to her aid. She had yelled horrible things at him, she made him leave her country. She abandoned him and now she was abandoned herself.
The irony of the situation wasn't lost on her.
She had nothing left.
With that sobering thought in mind Hungary spoke. "Elizaveta."
"My name, you asked if they gave me a name yet." She looked at him for the first time, straight into the mask that held something that she wasn't sure off. He was her enemy, it was his fault that she was like this; broken, in pain, bleeding. Yet he was the only one who would offer to fix her, to make her more than she was now.
Girl or not, she knew when to man up and face the music. This was the lesser of two evils.
"My name is Elizaveta Hedervary." Calling on the last of her strength she reached her small hand out to take hold of his larger one, but he pushed the appendage away. Instead he leaned down and picked her up with ease, as if she was nothing more than a light bolt of fabric. Hungary didn't have the energy to contest it.
"Ilizabeta." He spoke in his native tongue, as if testing it out. "I like it. It's a strong name."
He smiles down at her and begins to walk. She isn't sure where they were going but anywhere was better than the war torn battle field of Mohacs.
"Turkey where are we-"
"Sadiq." He answers quickly. "And we are going home tatlım. We're going home."
Hungary does not answer, she only closes her eyes and sleeps.
Sadiq himself is not sure why he has brought this country with him. She is much different than the other nations he had taken under his wing. She is much farther than his other territories, it would be difficult to keep her under control, which is what he would tell others when they asked why he had taken her in.
Because the others would question it, that he knew with certainty.
After all, the biggest thing that set Hungary apart from the other nations he now held, was the fact that she was a girl. A young girl of only thirteen. That was going to raise some eyebrows.
It went against everything he knew to bring a female nation into an all male household. But Elizaveta wasn't your average female. Up until recently she hadn't even known that she was one. Something about that struck a chord with him.
It was horrible to not know who you are, to be lost in the world.
He supposed that's why he had decided to take her in. Hopefully he would be able to convince her to not hate him, the last thing he needed right now was another Greece. Still he was certain that with a little push in the right direction, Ilizabeta could become a proper woman.
'It would be wise not to push too hard though.' He thought contemplatively. 'She has one powerful right hook.'
He couldn't stop himself from grinning at that.
When he finally arrived home, hours later, in the dead of night, the help ran themselves frazzled trying to catch a glimpse of the new addition to the empire. "Prepare a new set of rooms near my quarters." He announced to the amazed assortment of men and woman that ran his household.
"S-sir?" His head of household asked with a bit of uncertainty. Still holding the exhausted Hungary with one arm, he took his hat off, handing it off to someone. "S-sir may I ask, just who the um, young lady is?"
Sadiq blinked. Already, he could feel rumors starting. Perhaps he should have phrased that a little bit better.
"This is Ilizabeta. She will be staying here for an undisclosed amount of time." His voice boomed, and much to his pleasure many of the staff members nodded.
He had always had a flair for public speaking. "Her country has just fallen. This is to be her new home. You will indulge her in whatever she asks." He thought about it for a moment. "Well, anything within reason anyways."
He did not put it past Hungary to still try and weasel out of their deal.
"Treat her with the same respect you would treat me. Dismissed." Instantly the concentration of interested people scattered, like beetles to get on with the large task he had just given them. Nothing quite made Sadiq as happy as efficiency did.
"Turkey?" A quiet voice questioned lightly. While he didn't vocally ask anything, Sadiq had been around Egypt long enough to sense the unasked question.
"Yes she's one of us."
"Who?" They were walking toward the sleep chambers, Gupta's steps quieter and more subdued behind his own.
"I thought she hated you?" Chimed in a not so polite voice.
"Manners Greece." Gupta chided mildly. Such words were hardly out of the ordinary around here.
Turkey rolled his eyes, not that either of them could see it thanks to the mask. "Nice to see you too Heracles. And apparently she does not hate me, at least not as much as I originally thought."
"Did she come…?" The rest of the question hung stale in the air.
"She came willingly if that's what you're wondering. Honestly you two have no faith in me at all do you?"
Greece opened his mouth to speak, but Turkey cut him off.
"Better yet do not answer that." Motioning for a few chamber ladies, Turkey set the girl down on the bed. Hungary was so tiny in comparison to him, and while he was not old by any means, 20 felt much older than 13 did. For a moment a tingle of uncertainty coursed through him. What if he was not equipped to handle a young female nation? He hardly knew anything about them and their strange feelings after all.
The empire pushed the doubt away, he'd cross that bridge when he got there. "Azime." He called to a group of on looking servants. A tall woman with long black hair stepped forward. "Tend to her wounds, and prepare proper attire for her. She shouldn't be running around in armor, no matter what she says."
The woman nodded, and bowed lightly. "Yes sir."
Turkey sighed. It had been a long day and all he wanted to do was to sleep. "Gupta, you will be here when she awakens, yes?"
The golden eyed teenager nodded.
"Good, do not let the little terror poison her against me too quickly." He was sure that the young nation had a few choice words for him. Words that were not the usual gratuitous praise that he was used to hearing, but he heard none of it. Instead he walked away his mind full of the events of the last few days.
Despite his bone tiredness, Sadiq knew he would not be sleeping for quite some time.
She is walking through a long hallway. The walls are painted a dark shade of red and the lighting is dim. She keeps walking and in the distance she sees someone walking toward her.
There isn't any extreme ceremony about it, one moment they are poised to walk right past each other and the next, the person, a boy she thinks, has stopped and so has she.
"Don't listen to him."
She cocks an eyebrow, pushing her newly grown out hair behind one ear. She can't quite make out his face but, she can see a mop of brown hair and light clothing.
"Who?" She asks unsurely. She isn't sure why she's whispering, but it seems right and doesn't question it.
"Turkey, don't put too much stock in what he says."
"He says things, does things, things that change the way you think. He makes you believe in him, but don't be fooled prinkípissa. He isn't on your side. Nothing good ever comes from being around him."
And before Elizaveta is able to inquire any further, the brown haired boy is walking the length of the hall and turning away from her.
Hungary awakens more confused than she had ever been before.
Eliot- This is the name I've given Elizaveta from when she was a boy. I can't imagine that everyone thought she was a boy with a name like Elizaveta. Eliot was in fact a popular name in the 1500's and it can easily be shortened to the nickname "Eli' which is unisex.
Mohacs- The battle of Mohacs was fought on August 29th, 1529 and ended with an Ottoman victory. It ultimately lead to the absorption of the Kingdom of Hungary into the Ottoman empire.
Poland- Poland and Hungary have historically been allies and friends for much of history. To this day they are considers 'sisters is arms'.
Çocuk- Old Turkish, meaning 'child'
Nándorfehérvár- Was a battle that Hungary lost to the Ottomans because they were too busy dealing with the revolting serf population to properly defend the land.
Lajos II- Better known as Louis the II, King of Hungary and Bohemia. He died in the battle of Mohacs with no heir to his throne.
Pál Tomori- Joint commander and chief of the Hungarian army. He was killed at Mohacs while trying to keep soldiers from fleeing the battle.
Tatlım- Old Turkish, meaning something along the lines of 'sweet one.'
Aizme- Turkish name; A variation on the meaning, 'Strong Woman' In this story she is one of the many servants in the ottoman household. You will be seeing a little more of her in upcoming chapters.
And this is my new story. It is also my 75th story. I promised myself that I would get this one up and running before I started to work on the winning story in my poll. (Said poll in question is still open in my profile, so please stop by and cast your ballot!)
In other news, this is my first time writing Turkey. And Egypt. And Greece. All in all The Golden Cage will be a bunch of firsts for me. I had to do a lot of research on these characters, all of who are out of my normal writing niche. In a way it's exciting, but it is also scary.
Either way, thank you for reading! I hope you'll stay with this story too! Drop a review and tell me your thoughts. Good? Bad? Lobster? It's all relevant to me!
Forever and Eternally,