So I suppose taking the characters from one thing and putting them in a situation from another thing isn't the most creative... thing in the world. But the story's been nagging at me, so write it I shall.
The nations (yes, nations, it's not a Hetalia Gakuen AU ;) ) are kidnapped and forced into a Battle Royale scenario of kill or be killed, with only one survivor allowed...
It won't follow BR's storyline to the letter, but there's bound to be plenty of plot similarities, due to the similarity of the situation. And there's some memorable moments in BR that I just have to utilize!
I debated for ages on whether to use the book's or the movie's time limit rule, and ended up deciding on book. Then at the last minute I changed my mind and went with movie. I'm so decisive!
America's technically the main character, though of course the story will switch between the zillion (well, 39) other characters. Though romance isn't the main part of the story (hehe, ya think?) there's still pairings, either already established, or cheesy last-minute love confessions and whatnot. For the most part, just the "usual" pairings – America and England, Germany and Italy, Austria and Hungary, Sweden and Finland, etc. etc.
Disclaimer: Hetalia's not mine. Neither is Battle Royale.
Okay, enough of the friggin long intro.
"So my idea," America concluded, slapping his hands onto the conference table and startling several sleeping nations, "is to set a bunch of giant traps and use their favorite foods as bait!" He grinned at the room, at the other thirty nine assembled nations, waiting for their praise. All that met his questioning glance, though, were a bunch of looks that ranged from amusement to incredulity to horror.
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" England finally said after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence.
America was not phased by the insult. "Look, I know you have no idea what their favorite foods are. I don't either! That's what Google is for."
Rubbing his temples, Germany rose to his feet and strode to America's side. "I'm taking over now."
"What? No way! I'm always in charge."
"We're discussing something very serious here! And you can't be serious for five min-"
"I can be serious," America said. "Don't be such a sour kraut. I'm handling this." He propelled the spluttering, red-faced German back to his seat, and shuffled through his note cards.
The situation that had brought them together in an emergency meeting of forty nations—thirty nine, technically, what was Prussia doing there?—was the disappearance of four Central American nations. The remaining three were baffled as to what had happened. They had all been in a meeting together, everything was fine, they returned to their hotels, and the next day there were only three. The others had vanished without a trace.
The kidnapping made some sense, though. They had 'America' in their name, that made them awesome, of course someone would want them!
"Ah! Here we are." America found the right card. "Let's see. There have been investigations going on as to what has become of their countries in their absence. Who was in charge of that?"
"You were..." a soft voice said, and everyone looked around.
"Eh?" America blinked. "Oh, Canada! Thanks." He accepted the manila envelope his brother was holding up and dug out some papers. "Huh."
"You didn't even look at the information first?" Prussia muttered.
"No. And why are you here, anyway? You weren't invited."
"I came with my brother. As his guest. Didn't you get our RSVP?"
"Your what? This isn't a bloody wedding!" (at that, England smiled to himself. He liked when the boy's upbringing showed through during times of annoyance.) America tried to tune out further distractions as he scanned the documents. "Well. This isn't good."
"Spit it out!" several voices cried.
America licked his lips, his expression growing uncharacteristically serious. "Guatemala is no more," he said, voice soft. He looked around at the shocked, unbelieving faces. "Buildings destroyed, people dead, the works. Nothing left."
"But...how?" Italy whispered.
"Unknown. As for the rest...it makes even less sense. Nicaragua is fine. And while El Salvador and Honduras weren't destroyed like Guatemala, they no longer exist as countries. The borders were erased; they are now part of Nicaragua."
There was another moment of shocked silence, before the room erupted into a tidal wave of sound. Nations loudly expressed their alarm, bafflement, fright. They demanded answers, they blamed each other, they clung to each other. The chaos continued for quite a few minutes before a shot rang out, and silence descended once again.
America lowered his gun, ignoring the bits of plaster that crumbled onto his head. "Panicking will get us nowhere." He rather liked the way everyone was gaping at him like idiots. That was more like it! "We need to think rationally. What could have happened to them to cause such results in their countries?"
But nobody knew. No matter how hard they brainstormed, everyone was at a loss. It made no sense! What had happened to the nations? What had happened to their countries? And...and why was Finland sleeping!? Even Greece was wide awake! America was just about to storm over there and give him a mighty poking when Sweden slumped against the smaller man and also snoozed away. Oh, that was just great. America was actually hosting a good meeting, and it had been at least ten minutes since he had been called stupid, and everyone was listening to him, and...there went Estonia! He slumped forward onto his notes, followed swiftly by the other Baltics.
As nation after nation passed out, America was starting to think that something may be wrong. As did the others, who quickly stood up with cries of alarm. But they too succumbed, dropping to the floor. Romano and Vietnam made a dash for the door, but they tumbled to the ground before they had even crossed half the room.
And so America stood alone, mouth hanging open. It had all happened so quick, so shocking, escape hadn't even occurred to him. He took one step away from the table before his limbs suddenly felt impossibly heavy and he pitched over onto the carpet. His foggy brain couldn't even form a coherent thought before darkness consumed him.
As he swam closer to consciousness, the first thought that occurred to America was Ow. His head was killing him. In a hangover way, rather than a beat-in-the-skull way. He had been in both states often enough to know the difference. Had he gotten drunk last night? He couldn't remember...
When he finally dared to crack an eye open, he frowned slightly. He had no idea where he was. Wherever it was, it was big, and dimly lit. What was happening?
Then the memories of the last meeting came crashing back to him, and America bolted upright, ignoring his throbbing head. They had all passed out! Gas? Drugged drinks? And now they were in a strange place. Kidnapped!
Kidnapped...just like the devastated Central American nations...
America drew his knees to his chest, chewing on his lower lip. What was going on? Who would kidnap nations? What did they have planned? And why was he worrying? He was a hero! He'd get them all out of this safely.
His eyes were finally growing used to the dim lighting, and he was able to make out a bit more about his surroundings. The huge room had a variety of boxes and crates shoved along the walls. A warehouse of some sort? Seemed likely. The dim lighting came from tiny windows near the ceiling; he had no idea what time it was but the light filtering in indicated day. And the floor was covered in bodies. Their kidnappers had dumped everyone there. Were they all alive? Well, certainly they were, they couldn't be killed. Of course they couldn't.
Trying to ignore the lump of fear in his throat, America crawled among the other nations. They remained asleep, some twitching slightly as wakefulness loomed. None seemed harmed, at least. Once he located a familiar blond mop and set of bushy eyebrows, America settled back down, waiting. He didn't have long, at least, before England gave a low moan and slowly pried open one eyelid.
"Am...erica?" England winced and clutched at his head. "What the hell?"
"I don't know. I think we were gassed or something at the meeting, it made us pass out. The hangover feeling passes after a bit."
"Gassed...?" The Brit slowly sat up, peering at America through narrowed green eyes.
"Or something like that. We've been kidnapped. Looks like all of us. We're in some sort of warehouse..."
"Bloody hell." England covered his eyes and leaned against America. "All of us kidnapped? How stupid. What the hell was security doing?"
"You're wearing a necklace."
"What rubbish are you talking about now? I'm not...oh. I am." England fingered his throat, thick brows furrowing. "So are you, you know."
"I am?" Alarmed, America reached for his own throat. Sure enough, his fingers met cool metal. How had he missed that? "Our kidnappers fitted us with jewelry. That's just bizarre."
"Feels more like a collar," the Brit muttered. "Maybe we're supposed to be someone's slaves now."
"Slaves?" America's heart gave a little lurch.
"Makes more sense than them loading us with bloody jewelry."
"I guess..." The taller blond put an arm around England and drew him closer. He was trying to convince himself that he was a hero, and could get them out of this, and most certainly was not terrified. Around them came slight movement and alarmed muttering as the other nations came to.
"I've been awake the longest," America said loudly, hoping to curtail any impending massive confused panic. "I guess I can fill you in. We've been kidnapped, we're in some sort of warehouse or something, and we're wearing...collars." More cries of alarm as fingers flew to throats to find out for themselves.
"America," England whispered.
"You can...you can get us out, right?"
The question was at once heartbreaking and terrifying. That didn't sound like something England would say. He always teased his former brother for his heroic declarations and antics. America swallowed hard. "Yeah, sure. I'm the hero, right?"
"I ain't putting up with this bullshit!" someone loudly declared over the rest of the noise. Heads swiveled and eyes turned to Cuba, who had sprung to his feet. He was easily discernible with his loud shirt and dreadlocks. "Are you? We won't tolerate being fucked with and collared!"
"Cuba, sit down," someone else hissed. "You don't know what-"
"Hell no! No way! Don't tell me the rest of you are going to sit tight like good boys and girls." He glared around the room. "Stay and jump through hoops, I don't care. I'm out of here." Despite several protests, he reached back to fumble with the the collar, apparently hunting for its fastening. There was a click in the hushed silence.
Then a loud pop, almost like a gunshot, accompanying a flash of light. And then blood was spurting out from the Cuban's throat. He gaped, eyes widening as he reached a hand up in slow motion to try and stem the flow. But it was far too late. And it wasn't until his body hit the ground that the screams started.
America refused to scream. He simply clung tighter to England, a pair of stones in the torrent of bodies that surged away from Cuba.
"Wait! Wait!" Spain was the only one inching closer to the body lying in a sticky red puddle. "He's...he's one of us. He can't die!"
"He's still alive like that?" Italy wailed.
"He's unconscious, at least." Spain knelt down, trying without much success to avoid any blood. He rested his fingers against Cuba's throat. Frowned. Tried his wrist. Reached under to feel his chest. Felt his lips and nose for breath. "He's dead." And the screaming resumed.
Time passed, it was impossible to say how long. Probably not much. America and England didn't speak, and tried not to listen to the panic around them as the others wondered how they could possibly be mortal, who would want to kill them, and so forth. But they couldn't help but hear anyway.
And then, as abruptly as it had started, the shouts halted. Like somebody had flipped the off switch.
It was, actually, a door. All eyes were on the door that had just slammed open. A man strode in. He was dressed in a fine black suit—it fit in, really, they were all wearing suits thanks to the meeting—which matched his glossy black hair. Appropriate villain color. All he needed was a black cowboy hat, and America would be ready to take him on.
Such would not be the case, though. Following the impeccably dressed fellow were about a dozen soldiers who seemed perfectly capable of preventing good cowboys from confronting him.
The florescent lights that lined the ceiling abruptly flared to life, and everyone winced at the sudden assault on their pupils. That passed quickly, though, and they rounded on their captor.
"So noisy," he said, like an amused schoolteacher chiding a pupil. His voice was soft, accented, though the somewhat geography-impaired American couldn't place it. "I hope you will keep quiet. I don't like being interrupted by idiotic shouting. Understood?" He swept his gaze around the room, meeting the shocked stares of assorted nations. "Good! Oh dear. Poor fellow. Who is that? Cuba, I believe." There were gasps at the casual reference to the man's nation name, by a human. "Well, he taught you all a lesson, yes? That's one less thing I need to teach you. The collars can't be removed." He gave a pleasant smile. "The same thing will happen if I manually trigger them! I can do specific ones, or all at once. And they monitor your vitals!"
"Our vitals?" Prussia exclaimed.
"Yes. Your pulse and breathing."
"It's a good way to make sure you do what we want, and we can keep track of where you are and who's alive!" He grinned, like that was the best idea in the world.
"Who's alive?" America whispered. "Why do they need to keep track of that?"
"Ah ah, stop whispering." The man wagged a finger. "You would be America, correct? Wonderful. I've got a lot of money riding on you. The sergeant over there put his money on Russia. So do me proud, okay?"
America just stared at him. They were betting on something? What the fuck?
"These collars," the fellow continued, addressing the entire room again, "are masterpieces. A brilliant combination of state-of-the-art technology, and black magic." For some reason, he seemed to be looking at England when he said that, and winked. That made no sense. Magic wasn't even real! What did England have to do with anything? "Along with everything I've already mentioned, they will also cause you to die. As long as one of these babies is within ten feet of you, you're as fragile and mortal as a human!"
"That's impossible," America muttered. But England had gone stiff in his arms, trembling a little. "England? Artie? You okay, man?"
"It's possible," the shorter man breathed. "Incredibly difficult. But possible."
It really was hard to argue further. They had evidence right in the midst of them, sprawled on the floor.
"Who are you?" somebody finally demanded. It sounded like Australia.
"Does it matter? You can call me...Smith."
"And...what do you want?"
"Power! Why else?" His grin was like a hungry shark. "We have already experimented on what happens when one of you dies. Normally, their country is destroyed. That's what happened to Guatemala. And what is happening to Cuba right now, I imagine. But, and here's the interesting part, if one of you does it...if a nation murders another...why, the murderer gains that land! Nicaragua won that little test, and he acquired the two countries he vanquished!"
"Did you know about that?" America whispered, but received no answer.
"So here's the deal! We're going to set you loose on the lovely island we're on. You'll be given supplies. The personal belongings you took to the meeting are here for you to collect, and we also have a nice supply bag for each of you! And each one contains some survival essentials. Food, water, maps, flashlight, that sort of thing. And a weapon! You need a weapon, of course. They're completely random, and not all are even very good. We thought we might as well make a game out of it! And the game will last 72 hours. Or less, depending on how well you do. Last one alive wins! That's all there is to it. You kill each other off until there's one winner."
"And..." Japan's voice was shaking. "The time limit?"
"Motivation! If we imposed no limits, none of you would participate! When time's up, we activate all collars. You all die, and all your countries die with you. The world is devastated. That would suck, huh? But if you participate, nothing bad happens! Well, except to you, personally. But your countries will be safe. The people will be safe. It's just that all that land will belong to the winner. And the winner, who will remain collared and docile, will belong to us."
"They're betting on Russia to win, and they think he will remain docile?" America muttered.
"That's really about it! As I said, we'll know where you are, and who's alive and whatnot. Ah! I almost forgot. As you can imagine, one way to get your collar detonated is to try and leave the island. But another way is to try and return to this building after the last one of you has left. Basically, don't do anything you wouldn't want us to find out about, and you'll be fine."
"This is a bad dream, right?" England whispered.
"The game will begin at noon, when I call the first name. I'll make an announcement a few times a day to fill you in on who's dead."
"I don't think so," America whispered back.
"You'll be filing out in alphabetical order, with a couple minutes between each one. When I call your name, grab your personal items and supply bag, and get your ass outside. Once you do that, your next move is entirely up to you. I'd be careful who I trust if I were you!"
The nations' heads swiveled around, taking in who all was with them. Who would participate? Who could they trust? Various pairs and groups huddled together, whispering, presumably making plans for meeting up.
"I'll wait for you," America said. "They're using our English nation names, I should be first."
"Unless they use your whole nation name," England said.
"Then I'd be one of the last. But in that case you'd be right ahead of me."
"There, twelve on the dot. America!" 'Smith' said, and that answered that.
America just happened to be looking at the crowd when his name was called, and he was a bit hurt by the fear expressed in many faces. They were afraid of him! The thought of America, armed with God knew what, waiting for them scared them. "No worries!" he said, trying to keep his voice steady. "I'm still the hero!" He squeezed England's hand and stood up. All eyes were on him as he walked over to their pile of personal belongings. He picked up his bag, slung his jacket over one shoulder, then headed for the mound of large identical duffel bags. With a shrug, he selected one at random—and damn near toppled over. It wasn't that the bag was too heavy. But the fact that it felt heavy at all...! Was this what everyone else felt like? The strength they possessed? No wonder he could so easily kick their asses! When they said we're as fragile as humans...they meant it. This'll take some getting used to.
He could not show weakness in front of the others, though. Ignoring the bizarre weight, letting no sign of this newfound lack of strength show and hoping they hadn't noticed the initial stagger, America gave the room a jaunty wave. He turned and headed out the door, into a long hallway. He suddenly had a mental image of a prison hallway, the door at the end leading to execution. Stupid brain.
Taking a deep breath, America strode down the hall toward the exit.