A/N: Hey guys! This was based on a picture that a firend of mine on Deviantart drew for me: .com/art/APH-I-wish-to-help-186127844?q=sort%3Atime+favby%3Abones-sickle&qo=0
I was so happy with the picture it inspired me to write this, hence some parts specifically written to match the pic (like France's uniform and cut hair, as well as the bloody handprint). So go see her work, love it and comment and fave since she is amazing! Go forth, do it I say!
Anyways, expect FrUk Fluff and angst and, whatever you wan to label it as. ^_^
Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia.. or World War II for that matter. O_O
Fire sent the sky ablaze even in the darkest night as bombers made their way across chilled skies, their burdens dropped on a defenseless city. But... so was the way with war. He watched the skies shoot flames as another explosion erupted in the streets of London, men, women, and children fleeing for cover and their lives as their homes were turned to ash.
There was nothing he could do but watch, gaze across the Channel as his precious person was harmed because he could do nothing. Germany had taken his own precious city, Paris left in ruin under the soldiers of the man he once believed to be a friend. Germany's new boss had corrupted the country, turning him against the world when Ludwig would never have done so this viciously before. Perhaps it was his fault... after all, he had been ready to reduce Germany to nothing after the first Wreat war.
Now, none were spared in his path to victory, and so Francis could only watch, watch from his captivity as Britain, his Angleterre was burned to the ground.
The words that Arthur had spoken that day still rang through his ears after all these years. The shorter, yet angrier man's eyes had held a determination one rarely saw, the readiness to protect his people ablaze in emerald pools. 'I will never again let London burn... not again.'' That had been after the Great Fire of 1666... and because of him, because he had failed to stop Germany... London was once again stripped to ashes, flames running rampant from the constant night bombings.
"When will they stop..." He murmured to himself, words hidden in whisper behind glimmering tears. He knew what it must feel like for Arthur, such agonizing pain as your country is destroyed and ravished by battle... but this was different. It had already been three months, the bombings happening every night without fail, one after the other. Even where he was now, Francis could swear to himself he could hear England's strangled cries night after godforsaken night.
It tore him apart, but what was he to do? He cold not help, and even someone as strong as America, their eldest boy, would not help either of them, preferring to remain neutral. Francis knew not to blame the poor lad, it was his boss's fault, but still...
Such a betrayal could hardly be brushed aside.
Suddenly voices could he heard outside his door, whispered in harsh undertones. France did not know the native language of his captors but for a few words, yet as he pressed his ear to the door he understood, heart skipping at the slightest glimmer of hope.
"Vorübergehenden... Blitz... Wolkendecke zu dick..." It was twice as hard trying to listen to such tones with hard wood against his ear but, nevertheless he'd heard enough to understand. They had temporarily ceased the bombing... the cloud cover over Britain was too thick, not allowing the Luftwaffe to go on their raids.
He would not get another chance like this, not again...
I have to go. It did not matter if they killed him upon return, finding that he had escaped. No... he had to go and find Arthur, he had to know if the man was alright!
And so in the dead of night, he did what none would dare, sneaking out of his own captive country to try and aid a suffering ally. After all... England had did his best for France when he was in need.
"Just like at Dunkirk..." He murmured, pinching the bridge of his nose as he tried to will away the exhaustion and grief. War truly was a terrible thing, never allowing for rest even in the silence of night.
All eyes were on the sky that night, if not the troops which constantly moved about the many battlegrounds. Why would anyone notice poor, drab France, shamefully decked out in the uniform of his captors, Swastika and all. He felt dreadful wearing such a terrible symbol... the German bastard had even lopped of his once beautiful hair to a style more 'military suitable'! In every manner, he looked to be an enemy, not the once glorious country of romance and love.
He crossed the English Channel and entered what was once Arthur's brightest city. Now, London lay in ruin amidst the bombed buildings, ashes of homes, and fires which still refused to be put out no matter how the citizens tried. Francis knew that they would never surrender, Britain was far too stubborn for that. And yet, he feared that the man's stubbornness would end not in victory, but in death.
There was a cry of terror from nearby and Francis whipped around, hoping to find the cause of such distress. Instead of a raging fire or squadron of guards, there was a solitary woman not even a block from where he stood, pointing at none other than the country himself. She was looking terrified as her eyes fell on that which emblazoned his shoulder.
"Dammit, ceirse those basteirds!" he yelled, tearing at the patch. It would not budge and he had no way of removing it at the moment. He really hadn't thought this through... What if he was seen? If the British military found him, would they too mistake him for the enemy? There was no way he could risk it... he had to find England!
"But... een all zhis city... wheir would 'e be?" He shook his head, running towards a mass of debris where once a building stood. He could hardly see anyone in sight, the area nearly deserted. Despite the lack of bombs, a siren was still sounding in the distance. He could smell blood and smoke from every angle.
So much destruction... he could only imagine how many people would be in danger...
That was it! "Oh no... please non..." He knew where Arthur would be, there was no way around it. The Brit was as stubborn as a mule, but he would never allow his people to die without a fight. He knew where England would be...
"Wheirevere zhe danger is 'ighest." He breathed, running to the east, smoke billowing in a large column to the sky in that direction. It looked like another fire had gone out of control from the bombings. If the rest of London that he'd seen was any indication, this would not be good.
Francis ran with all his might, dodging debris and falling wreckage through the dismal city as he made his way towards the chaos. Screams were being heard better now, the siren becoming clearer. He was getting close. "Mon Dieu... please let him be alive! Arthur ees a fighteir... please, pleasedo not let heem die!" he kept repeating this over and over, the thought driving all movement.
No matter how many people screamed as they saw him, nor yelled angrily in their beautiful accents, Francis would not stop, nor leave. He just had to go...
Suddenly, all the gray and black turned to red as he peaked the proverbial summit, the fire in sight. It appeared an entire city block was ablaze, people crowded around, trying to put the fire out with what little they had. In the center lay a large multi-story housing complex, possibly an apartment building or condo. He hid himself behind what may have once been a post office, watching the chaos.
There must not have been anyone inside any longer, or perhaps it was too late as there were no policemen holding back sobbing mothers or family members. No one was trying to enter the inferno to save a loved one, they all just stood there passing buckets in a line, firetrucks that had not been bombed into oblivion doing their best.
It warmed his heart to see everyone working so hard... just as his own people had done. "Only... we weir too weak. We seirendeired to Geirmany instead, and look what eet did to my country..." A shiver suddenly went up his spine from nowhere, the heat of the raging fire doing nothing where it should have burned fair skin.
"What was..." He turned around, form still hidden behind wreckage where the citizens could not see. For a moment he did not move, the feeling of dread only growing stronger as his sight went farther out, to an area nearly smothered in darkness.
The light of fire seemed not to have reached this dismal corner of the city, ashes and debris turning everything black and gray behind the clouds above. The colors gave everything the feel of a photograph, no colors permitted through. Without thought or presence of mind, Francis instinctively headed that direction, climbing through with care. A rational mind spoke words of caution, but instincts drove his body forward.
No one bothered to watch the solitary figure disappearing when such a terrible fire caught all attention.
Francis ran into the night, stumbling along the carnage that lay at every corner. The destruction never seemed to cease... not a single area untouched or missed by the Luftwaffe. Yet just when he thought that it could not be worse, that was when he found the one person he so desperately wished to see.
The building was in shambles when he arrived, gutted by the bombings and littered with remains of once beautiful stained glass windows. It's high ceiling was left to not, the turrets and entryway all completely gone. Once such a stunning cathedral... now, war had taken that beauty away.
That was when he knew. Somehow... Francis just knew that Arthur was inside the once glorious structure. Even before he ran in, before what little light came through revealed the motionless form in the center of it all, he had known.
"Arthur!" France ran to where the figure lay, blood shining crimson against the other man's green uniform. England only lay there, unresponsive, something dark dripping down his forehead from an unseen wound. He was pale, eyes closed tight against incessant pain, while blood was on his hands, side, and arm from cuts and gashes.
Francis was at his side in but a few moments, sending fragments of glass and rubble across the damaged floor in haste. He hurriedly knelt down beside the fallen soldier, trying to lift Arthur up as gently as possible. Fear gripping his core at the wounded man's frail form, he hoped with all his heart that England was not...
"Get away from me you bastard!" Suddenly an arm shot out as Arthur rolled over onto his side , hand clutching the fabric of France's pants leg in a flash. Fire lay in the nation's eyes as he recognized the uniform which adorned the enemy. For a moment, neither moved in fear of breaking the silence which threatened to drowned all.
After that tense moment Arthur's hand loosened it's grip, trembling as his weakness showed, leaving behind a dark stain mirroring his palm on the fabric once held. "I must be... hallucinating." He breathed, eyes momentarily wide at spotting the unmistakable features visible even beneath uniform and cropped hair.
Those blue eyes, stubble on such a feminine face...But it couldn't have been. He knew that wasn't possible...
England immediately went slack again, rolling onto his back once more as he gave up the futile effort. It hurt too much to stay in such a strange position, and why bother looking at the face of someone he was merely imagining? It only hurt him worse.
Staring at the sky with only half-opened eyes, the smallest shadows of a smile crossed his features, wrenching a knife into Francis's heart.
"It can't be you... it c-can't." The man's entire body felt cold beneath France's touch, such little life seeming left... all but for the blazes of heat which would suddenly flare up before dying, remnants of London's ever-burning fires.
"Y-you're under his control now." Arthur stated bitterly, the voice harsh from pain and coughing, only just higher than a whisper. "You can't r-really be here... he'd never let you come..."
His eyes faded, the once shining green going dim as the spark seemed to die once and for all. Lids slowly closed as the island nation barely shook his head in defeat, coughing. Agony ripped through him with every forced breath, but it did not matter. He must have been dying anyway to be hallucinating someone like Francis.
Watching as blood dripped from his friend's pale lips when the coughing ceased, said Frenchman could not control the grief which overcame him. Tears unwillingly fell from his eyes as he wrapped one arm around England's waist, the other stroking thin fingers through unkempt blond hair.
"Oh mon cher... what has he done to you?" Arthur's torso was now off of the ground, leaning backwards against France's chest as the occupied country held him a close as he dared. It pained him so to see the once great country of Britain so weak and frail...
A hand suddenly reached up as Arthur's eyes cracked open. His gloved fingers just barely brushed against Francis's lower arm, feeling the warmth of such close contact. He hadn't felt such natural and painless warmth in so long... always either frozen by cold or burned by the fires and endless bombing.
"F-francis...?" He whispered, pleading with what little hope he had left that this was not a lie. The stroking through his hair ceased, resting gently just above the cut on his forehead as the Frenchman nodded. The hand at Arthur's side, however, tightened it's grip slightly as grief threatened to overwhelm. Even such a small and once harmless movement sent fire shooting up England's side.
The feeblest cry of pain escaped parched lips and France felt the body he held tense in pain. "Oh, mon dieu... I'm sorry!" He immediately slackened his grip, afraid of what the previous action had caused.
But Arthur merely shook his head, briefly closing his eyes once more in a battle against the agony. "N-no it's alright..." He squeezed Francis's hand every so slightly with his own.
For a moment, all was quiet, the sounds of the city too far away, and the wind far too low to be heard. Only England's labored breaths were audible as he shuddered under his caretaker's gentle hand. Arthur felt as though he could lie there forever, the warm chest against his back, hand gently holding his own with such care... but it could not last, he knew that.
"You really are here... y-you came...?" The words were spoken with effort, clearing doing nothing to ease the Brit's suffering. Yet, he sounded relieved and comforted by them nonetheless. "But how?"
Francis tried his hardest to hide the sound of sobs as he clutched the injured man in vain, wanting nothing more than to take the pain away. "I 'ad to come." He said, trying to smile as he cradled Arthur's head. " I'm sorry... oh, mon cher, I'm so sorry!"
His body shook with sobs, tears staining England's already tainted uniform. The Brit could do nothing to comfort the man he loved, too tired to even bother saying that he'd be alright. After all... with the way that Germany was fighting, he knew that he may not come out 'alright' in the end.
"L-listen Francis... I'm sorry about... about what happened." The words came to him before he even realized what he was speaking of. Arthur held more tightly onto the arm which rested upon his head. "I-I should have been more help... at Dunkirk, and with Paris..." He shook his head. "If I had fought harder m-maybe... maybe you wouldn't be-"
Suddenly the words cut off as England let out a gasp, back arching painfully. One hand grabbed France's arm, nails digging in to barely covered flesh, while the other clutched whatever rubble lay nearest his fingertips. Sharp glass met his grasp, only spilling more precious blood.
A strangled cry pierced through the night, Francis never before hearing such anguish come from the one he held. Arthur's eyes stayed wide in shock, body shaking violently as he crumpled once more, sweat glistening on his already bloodied forehead.
"Th-they've s-started again... an-nother... another b-bombing..." The words were forced through clenched teeth before Arthur once again squirmed against the pain, trying to ease his own suffering without any luck. His breathing came in sharp gasps, blood splattering out with each crippling cough.
Francis rocked the wounded country back and forth slowly, running a hand soothingly through Arthur's hair once more. Even as tears cascaded from lowered lashes, he did what little he could, knowing full well that it could never be enough.
"It'll be alright... you're strong Arthur." He waited with care and patience until eventually England ceased his struggle, shaking breaths rattling through an unclear chest. Francis wiped blood from the mans chin and lips tenderly, cradling the broken form as he planted a soft kiss on the back of Arthur's head.
The moment his breathing had evened out enough, the Brit tried his best to speak, energy failing. "You have... to go..." he managed, trying to calm his trembling limbs. "He'll... he'll f-find you here..." green eyes were hidden slightly as England's eyes began to flutter, consciousness slowly slipping away.
Francis looked on in horror, light flashing through the sky even as the sun began to touch the horizon. How had England been able to bare such pain this long already? Terror filled France's heart as he watched emerald pools dull further.
Would he last through the night without care?
"Non! I have to stay. Geirmany won't find me, not yet." He shook his head, wiping away the tears in frustration. Arthur tried to move his hands away, struggling to sit up against all odds. He had almost forgotten, watching the country in such pain, that England was stubborn and strong, unwilling to give in.
"Please listen to me mon Angleterre! I 'ave time, zhe clouds are coming back which means that zhe bombeirs cannot launch zheir attack." Francis pleaded. Regardless of Arthur's earlier fit, it appeared that the roiling masses of gray had indeed returned, their presence assuring temporary relief and safety. As long as they remained, the Luftwaffe could not drop their deadly loads.
Arthur tried to argue but the effort was too great. His vision failed, body collapsing once more in a blackout. All he knew was darkness in that moment, complete and overwhelming. But for a moment, that was alright, for he knew that Francis was far too stubborn to leave, even if it meant his death.
Truth lay in such thoughts as the man in question watched Arthur's eyes close, a body once rigid from pain finally relaxing in the shadowed slumber of unconsciousness. He gently stood, lifting the smaller country carefully into his arms, holding England as if he were a sleeping child.
"Sleep Angleterre..." he whispered, turning a saddened blue gaze to the heavens. The cloud line remained in tact, for now. "I'll keep you safe..." He would have to return to Germany before the day's end, otherwise Ludwig may take his anger out on Britain instead.
That France would not allow.
But for the moment, they were alone, and Germany had its eyes on the sky alone. He would take Arthur back to the small cottage he called home, a place Francis remembered only too well. For tonight, he would stay and keep watch over the fevered nation in his struggle for freedom from such destruction and agony.
"You bloody frog..." The countryman was broken from his thoughts as the sound reached his ears. Arthur's eyes opened briefly, words so quiet they resembled a breath of wind. Francis quieted him by placing a kiss on his damp forehead, brushing straggling bangs away.
"I told you to sleep." He chastised, a small smile creeping over his lips, just beginning to overshadow red-rimmed eyes. Arthur only raised a single, large eyebrow in protest but made no struggle to leave his savior's grasp. "Don't worry, I'll take care of you."
Something sounded then that neither had expected. It was a chuckle, soft and hurting, but there nonetheless. Arthur gave the tiniest of smiles, letting exhaustion overtake him once more before going to oblivion, safe in surprisingly strong arms. "I suppose... we're even now?"
Francis froze in his walking, tightening his grip on England in a sort of reassuring hug. He thought back to what had happened in this godforsaken war, remembering how hard they had fought no matter what. That was, of course, before...
He shook his head, briefly wandering to the memory of hundreds of soldiers elbow deep in water, taken away on boats not meant for war. "Yes, mon cher..." He whispered, looking to the sky and wondering when it would all end.
A/N: Well I hope you guys liked it! It sure was fun to write. XD
Now a little more about the story... This is basically set during WWII, in the middle of the London Blitz attack on England. France was already occupied by then, but I wanted to have a little fun. This is supposed to be November 2nd, as that night it was apparently too cloudy for the bombers to attack, therefore the Blitz only lasting 57 'consecutive' nights, as opposed to the full 76 it actually lasted being 'consecutive'. I liked the idea of Francis coming to Arthur's aid on the one night he had a chance to, so that's why he's there. The cathedral they're in is suppose to represent the one in Burmingham that was destroyed during the blitz around November as well. I know Burmingham isn't actually that close to London, but I don't care. They're Nations and stuff. So anyways, the 'we're even' bit is because the UK evacuated both the British and French soldiers after the Battle of Dunkirk against Germany in France, which is around the time France later surrendered. It's actually really cool because the British even got merchant sailors, fisherman, and pleasure craft like cruise ships to help evacuate. (Google the 'Little ships of DunKirk') So since Iggy helped him then, France is returning the favor. Yeah, not historically accurate, but it's fanfiction. I couldn't help but write some FrUk fluff for the Blitz! XD There aren't enough awesome-hurt-or-injured-England pictures/fanfics for this time. Plus, a bunch of people do USUK when they do, and I don't like the pairing. So Hooray for FrUk!
This is basically set during WWII, in the middle of the London Blitz attack on England. France was already occupied by then, but I wanted to have a little fun. This is supposed to be November 2nd, as that night it was apparently too cloudy for the bombers to attack, therefore the Blitz only lasting 57 'consecutive' nights, as opposed to the full 76 it actually lasted being 'consecutive'. I liked the idea of Francis coming to Arthur's aid on the one night he had a chance to, so that's why he's there. The cathedral they're in is suppose to represent the one in Burmingham that was destroyed during the blitz around November as well. I know Burmingham isn't actually that close to London, but I don't care. They're Nations and stuff.
So anyways, the 'we're even' bit is because the UK evacuated both the British and French soldiers after the Battle of Dunkirk against Germany in France, which is around the time France later surrendered. It's actually really cool because the British even got merchant sailors, fisherman, and pleasure craft like cruise ships to help evacuate. (Google the 'Little ships of DunKirk') So since Iggy helped him then, France is returning the favor.
Yeah, not historically accurate, but it's fanfiction. I couldn't help but write some FrUk fluff for the Blitz! XD There aren't enough awesome-hurt-or-injured-England pictures/fanfics for this time. Plus, a bunch of people do USUK when they do, and I don't like the pairing. So Hooray for FrUk!