Ladies and Gentlemen of , I present to you my latest brainchild, and my first multi-chaptered Hetalia fanfiction, "Save the Drama for the Stage". This fic will have eventually FrUK, as well as a few more pairings that will be disclosed in due time, and is going to feature a whole slew of the cast in a theatre AU. I hope you all enjoy this, and that I can manage to make this fic work. Without further ado, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia, that right belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya-sensei.
Save the Drama for the Stage, Chapter 1
"That's it, I quit!"
"You can't quit!"
"Oh, then what do you call my leaving and not returning?"
"Would you just stop being so bloody dramatic about this and get back to work?"
"But that's exactly it, I'm an actor, I'm meant to be dramatic! Handling the verbal abuse of some red-faced, dictatorial, nit-picky, by-the-book and downright irritating director, however, is not part of the job description!"
"Fine then, go already! Leave like all the others; you weren't that gifted an actor in the first place!"
"Consider me already gone!"
"...So, does this mean I need to make new signs again?"
Arthur Kirkland turned around quickly, his red face and his thick, furrowed eyebrows radiating such a hateful glare that even Alfred had to take a few steps back.
"It was just a joke, man, honest. But seriously, isn't that, like, the fifth guy you scared away from this place?"
Arthur grumbled obscenities roughly under his breath, rolled his eyes violently, and sneered at the younger blond. Alfred jumped up to sit back down on his crate, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
"Aw, is Mister Grump-Grump back? No wonder that guy ran away in fear of the formidable ferocious Artie-brows!" He chuckled, resting a hand over the stack of now useless fliers and posters he'd been passing out and stretching his back out in the bright afternoon sunlight.
"No one asked for your stupid opinion. If we wanted to hear what you had to say we wouldn't have stuck you outside of the theater all day."
"Aw, don't be like that Artie."
"Arthur. Ar-thur. Get it right, you insolent brat."
"Okay, so, one, you're only like, what, four years older than me? Where do you get off calling me a brat? And two, you need to calm down. I think that vein in your forehead is going to rupture."
Arthur clenched his teeth, deciding it was best to keep his comments to himself, and go back into the theater where he could escape both the stifling summer heat and Alfred's terrible sense of humor.
Just as he was about to open the door, however, it swung open.
"Was that noise what I think it was?" Tino, the co-owner of the theater, stepped out into the hot London streets, violet eyes giving Arthur a sharp look.
"Somebody's in trouble." Alfred practically sang from his perch, and Tino gave him a quieting look before turning back to Arthur.
"He was a miserable actor anyways, we didn't need him."
Tino sighed, grabbing a hold of Arthur's arm.
"Just, come with me. We have to talk about this."
"So, tell me what happened."
Arthur sighed, sitting uncomfortably in a seat in Tino and Berwald's office, a large desk in between him and his employer. This was a place he'd found himself in far too often, although Arthur would say that it was not his fault, but that of faulty actors who were unfit for his cast in the first place.
"He started complaining that I was being 'too demanding' and that I was 'stifling his creativity and expression of the character', but I've personally seen more creativity in a lamppost."
Tino paused, and Arthur could see that he was choosing his words carefully.
"Did you ever consider the fact that maybe your level of perfection is asking too much of your actors? They're only human, after all."
"And I'm human as well, but as you can see I'm perfectly excellent at following directions."
"Oh? Good, then, because I have new directions for you. Berwald and I took you in because we believed in your abilities, because you are very talented at what you do-"
Arthur could not keep the beam of pride on his face, but then Tino continued, "But, if this show does not go on as scheduled, we'll mostly likely go bankrupt."
There was a bitter smile on Tino's face that told Arthur he was being completely serious, and the grin that had been on his face moments ago vanished.
"Oh… I see."
"So, I'm afraid I'm only going to be able to give you one more chance. There is another actor who has said he would take on the job, but if something else goes wrong, we won't be able to replace him in time for the show to happen, so…"
"Right, I understand." Something about Tino's tone, and the way he was pushing this so much, was making Arthur nervous about meeting this person. Still, he wasn't about to ruin the couple's life's work for his own overzealous ambition.
"And you'll try to get along?"
Arthur was just about to assert that he had done nothing wrong, but once he'd opened his mouth the challenging look Tino gave him mad him shut it promptly.
"Good. Now, then I guess that's it for this meeting. Your new star should be here about noon tomorrow."
Arthur nodded once more and, when Tino waved him off with a carefree smile, he left the other man to his paperwork and headed back to his own desk.
"Ha, I win the pot again! Take that, old man!" Peter Kirkland chortled, his hands reaching into the center of the pile and grabbing the assorted objects (including, but not limited to, several shillings, a few pounds, some bubblegum, a piece of string, a hair clip, and something so covered in mold none of the players knew what is was) and pulling the heap towards him.
Gilbert grimaced at his lousy hand before looking up; "Aren't you too young to be gambling, you little brat?"
"You're just jealous because your poker face sucks!"
"Yeah, well you're just jealous because you're not awesome!"
"I am so awesome! I'm so awesome that, um…I can fly!"
"Oh yeah? Well, then, let's go up to the roof and see that for ourselves, demon child."
Normally, Elizaveta would have simply walked away when Gilbert and Peter got into one of their squabbles, as amusing as they could be, but seeing the glint of evil in Gilbert's eyes suddenly made her worry.
"Hey, hey, you lost fair and square, Gilbert."
The albino grumbled, plopping back down onto the hardwood stage. "A real man would put the whole pot in again and keep the game going. Are you man enough, kid?"
Elizaveta wanted to laugh at how sad it was, seeing Peter take the bait so easily. Swiping up the cards again, she shuffled the deck and looked up at her poker buddies.
"So then, any news?" She asked, trying to keep her voice level as she dealt out the cards.
"Oh, yeah," Gilbert started, looking thoughtful. "Feliciano caught Feliks and Toris making out in the backroom yesterday."
Elizaveta rolled her eyes from behind her cards, while Peter made obnoxious gagging noises, "Those two are old news, Gilbert."
"Well, excuse me for not being up to date. And what kind of a psychic are you, that you can't even tell what's going on?"
"I am an excellent psychic! Remember the time I predicted you'd suffer a non-fatal head injury, and then exactly that happened?"
"That's because you hit me with a frying pan!"
"Well, I suppose that could possibly contribute to it," she smirked, seeing Peter peek at Gilbert's cards while the other was distracted, and choosing not to comment. "Anything else you have to tell?"
Now Gilbert was smirking, and Elizaveta knew he was hiding something good.
"Well, I guess I could tell you about the new lead that's supposed to be coming tomorrow since Director Fuzzybrows chased off that other guy, but you wouldn't want to know about that, anyways-"
"Tell me, tell me, tell me!"
"I guess I could tell you, but you would owe me a favor…"
"-which I could redeem whenever I wanted to."
"Deal," she cut in quickly. "Now, tell me."
"His name is Francis Bonnefoy; he's blond, straggly, sort of well known in the Paris scene, but his reputation as a flirt and playboy when the curtains close made it hard for him to find work there anymore. So he's come here to try his luck, but I bet he won't last with Dictator Kirkland."
Elizaveta mulled this over, putting her cards flat against the stage with a smile. "Oh, I don't know about that."
"You're plotting something."
"Me? Never. And oh, you've won," she mused, looking at the cards her poker buddy put down.
"Of course I won, I'm awes-"
"-It's too bad Peter left with the pot five minutes ago…"
Ten seconds later, Elizaveta was shuffling the deck again and putting it away, smiling at the sound of a scandalized Gilbert shouting after Peter throughout the halls.
To Be Continued
A/N: As I said before, I'm trying a lot of new things with this fic, so I'm open to any and all critiques you guys can toss at me. I'll do my best to update this as frequently as possible for you, though I'm afraid I can't make promises. Thank you all for reading this!