Here I am, back with another story! This time, it's a parody of the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz has been one of my favorite stories since I was tiny and so with the recent anniversary of the movie and the fact that I'll be reading the book in class (pure win, I tell you), I felt like throwing litte Arty (surprise, surprise) into Dorothy's story. So I hope you all enjoy and please review!
Before the Rainbow
There was once a small town called Bloomsberg in the state of Kansas, one of the flattest states in the US of A. It was a regular, everyday, humble town and was completely normal. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, unlike Roswell. However, one day came when something extraordinary happened in the small town of Bloomsberg. Something life changing…
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Anyway, there was a small farm just on the outskirts of Bloomsberg. It was home to a young married couple and being of the same gender, they were not able to have children. However, one of them was related to a family that lived across the pond in the United Kingdom. The mother and father got into a terrible accident, leaving their two sons orphaned.
The couple in Kansas were their only relatives, so the boys made their way to America. They then began their new life on the small farm, adopted children to the couple.
Arthur Kirkland and his younger brother Peter stood in front of the house, holding their suitcases.
"Arthur, are you sure this is it?" Peter whispered, tugging his brother's sleeve.
"Of course," Arthur assured him. "The address is right. I'll knock on the door." He reached out and lightly rapped his fist against the door.
"Coming!" someone shouted from inside. There was the sound of footsteps and the door was thrown open, revealing a young man with silvery blonde hair.
"Arthur! Peter!" he gasped, his Finnish accent clear. "Look at how much you've grown! Come in, come in! I'm your uncle Tino, by the way."
"Hello…" Arthur muttered as he and Peter entered. "Thank you for taking us in…"
"Well, I couldn't let my nephews go hungry when I could do something about it!" Tino smiled. "Make yourselves at home. I'll go get your uncle Berwald."
The Finnish man bounded off, his expression energetic. Arthur and Peter exchanged glances, dumb-founded.
"So… Home, I guess?" Peter asked.
"Yep…" Arthur sighed. "This is home. Unpack, Peter. We don't want our uncles to get ahead of us…"
"Got it," Peter said, picking up his suitcase. "And our rooms?"
"Uhm…" Arthur looked around, trying to figure out the house. "I… don't know…"
Peter frowned and suddenly, something was nipping at his ankles. He looked down to see a small, fluffy white dog pulling at his socks.
"S' ya've f'nd H'n't'm'g'…" a tall blonde man mumbled as he followed Tino into the room.
"Hanawha?" Peter asked.
"Hanatamago," Tino smiled, picking the dog up. "She's our dog. And this is your Uncle Berwald."
"H'llo," Berwald greeted, his face expressionless.
"Hello, I'm Arthur," Arthur greeted, shaking the Swede's hand.
"I know," Berwald said. "And your brother, Peter. Your mother Rachel was my sister."
"Thank you so much for doing this," Arthur said. "We didn't know what we were going to do…"
"N' pr'bl'm," the Swede said. "Y'r r'ms are ov'r th're. Sleep w'll b'cause t'm'rr'w, y' two w'll be w'rk'ng on th' f'rm."
The crow of a rooster woke Arthur up, the young man trying to rub the last traces of sleep from his eyes.
He had been living on the Oxtersteina farm for a week.
The Brit rolled out of bed reluctantly, muttering curses under his breath. He and Peter had been put to work instantly, only getting breaks to eat or sleep. Aunt Tino, as Peter had been calling him, was always kind to them and made sure that they had full meals and reasonable amounts of sleep each night. Berwald, on the other hand, was stern and made sure the boys stayed with the farm hands while working.
Arthur snorted as he began to put his shirt on. The farm hands…
The farm hands were definitely an interesting bunch. There were only three of them but they worked hard, earning a fair pay. They needed to put food on the table and with Berwald having them employed, money wasn't becoming an issue.
However, Arthur did not think fondly of the farm-hands, save one. One of them was a tall and slightly muscular American with messy blonde hair and sapphire eyes. He was the joker of the group and was constantly getting on Arthur's nerves, poking and prodding at the young man to get under his skin.
The second was a strong yet quiet German man by the name of Ludwig Beilschmidt. He was tall and strong with slicked-back blonde hair and icy blue eyes, usually intimidating people with his stature. Ludwig had arrived to the states to find a good job and send some money back home to provide to his older brother, who was currently in poverty. He was the only one Arthur could stand yet the Briton felt slightly afraid of the giant man.
The third was a spacey Italian named Feliciano Vargas. He had a wiry and feminine frame, being shorter than the other two. He was also considerably weak and scared of everything around him as if the world was one giant monster that was out to get him. He had also come to the states for money, moving to Kansas with his twin brother so that they could make a living. However, he was weak and took all the easy jobs on the farm. One of the things that annoyed Arthur the most was that he would whine about being tired or hungry. The other two tended to sympathize and took his jobs, letting him take a break. Arthur had always refused to do the Italian's job. It would only be a waste of time.
Arthur stretched and slowly walked out of his room, taking in the wonderful aroma of the food Tino was cooking. He shuffled over to the table, slowly taking a seat as his uncle set a plate in front of him.
"Enjoy!" Tino chirped, an ear-to-ear grin on his face. "Made it from the fresh eggs and milk we've been getting. Thanks for your hard work, hun."
"I should be thanking you," Arthur said humbly as he broke the yolk of one of the eggs. "Where's Peter?"
"He got up early to take care of Hanatamago," Tino smiled. "The poor dear… She hasn't had anyone to play with until you and your brother came along."
Arthur smiled as he began to eat his breakfast. "Is there anything in particular you want me to do today?"
"Well… We need more eggs…" Tino sighed. "If you can find any, it would be most appreciated."
"I'll get to that right after breakfast then," Arthur said as he continued to eat.
"You don't have to start immediately, honey…" Tino said. "You could take some off time if you want. We have been working you and your brother hard…"
"No, it's my pleasure," Arthur smiled as he began to swirl the yolks of his eggs together on his plate. "I'd rather get it done early anyways."
"If you insist…" Tino sighed as he began to mix pancake batter in a pan. "And if you see your brother, tell him that I have breakfast ready."
"Are those pancakes I smell?"
Arthur groaned as the American walked in, smiling brightly. Alfred F Jones was his name and bloody hell, he was so annoying. Tino smiled back at the young man as Alfred took a seat across from Arthur.
"Good morning," he smiled at the Brit, getting a frown in response. "How are you?"
"I was doing just fine…" Arthur spat. "And then you came along."
"I try," Alfred smiled.
"You're here early, Alfred," Tino smiled, offering a plate to the farm-hand who took it eagerly.
"Felt like I should get here while I still could," Alfred smiled. "You know, get the work done before it gets too hot."
"Arthur was going to gather some eggs early," Tino said. "Maybe you two could help each other."
Arthur choked on his glass of milk, gripping his chest as he hacked and coughed. "What?"
"You need to get to know the farm-hands better, Arthur," Tino said. "You can start with Alfred."
"I don't mind," Alfred smirked.
"Fine…" Arthur grunted, glaring at the American. "But only for today."
"Let's go then!" Alfred exclaimed, shooting out of his seat and grabbing Arthur's wrist. With a yelp, Arthur was yanked away from his breakfast and out of the house.
"What the hell was that for?" he snapped.
"We should get working," Alfred smiled as he dragged Arthur to the chicken coop. "That way, we'll get to know each other more. Here, I'll help you get eggs."
"Fine! Fine!" Arthur huffed, grabbing his basket. "Just follow me and don't do anything stupid!"
"Got it," Alfred smiled as he followed the fuming Brit inside the coop.
The inside was crowded and they moved awkwardly, trying hard to navigate their way through the tight space. Arthur began to check the nests at the far end while Alfred started at the beginning. He looked over at the Briton, smiling softly as he plopped an egg in his basket.
"So you're from England right?" he asked casually as he checked the nests.
"The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland," Arthur corrected. "But yes, I am. My family lived in London before the accident."
"What was it like?" Alfred asked with a smile as they moved farther down the line. "Do you still have those red phone booths?"
"Yes," Arthur responded, putting another egg gently in his basket. "And our food isn't as bad as everyone thinks."
"I'll take your word for it," Alfred chuckled. "Hey… I'm sorry about your parents."
"It's not your fault," Arthur sighed, feeling himself relax. "It doesn't bug me much anymore…" He paused. "Well… maybe it does… It hurts… every once in a while…"
"Do you miss home?" Alfred asked, the two nearing each other.
"Yes…" Arthur smiled. "I miss it like no other thing. It was home. I miss home… I wish everyday that I was back in London." He felt his eyes tearing up as he reached for the last nest. "I…"
A hand touched his and he looked up in shock to see Alfred's hand in the nest with his. The two had been so distracted that they hadn't seen where the other was going and had happened upon each other. Arthur felt his face flush and he quickly pulled his hand from the nest, all thoughts of their conversation gone.
"S-sorry!" Arthur gasped, holding his hand to his chest. He looked away from Alfred, trying to keep his red face hidden. He wouldn't admit it but Alfred's touch had felt surprisingly good…
"N-no…" Alfred coughed. "It was my fault…" He looked at the ground with a flushed face. Oh, how long he had hoped to touch Arthur's hand… But it had only ended with the other man pulling away.
"Well, we're done here…" Arthur stuttered, forcing a smile. "Let's take these back to my uncle."
"Yeah…" Alfred said, opening the door for the Briton. "After you."
Arthur nodded slightly, rushing past Alfred as he left. The American frowned as they headed back to the house. He hadn't meant to cause tension between them… but the damage already seemed to be done.
As Arthur was on his way to the house, something slammed into him at full speed. With a yelp of alarm, Arthur fell back and eggs went everywhere, meeting their demise on the ground. He sat up with a loud shout of curses, glaring at his assailant.
"Peter!" he snapped. "What the hell are you doing?"
"It's Hanatamago!" Peter said, holding the squirming dog close to his chest. "I was just taking her out for a walk and that weird Russian guy started harassing us. She bit him and I knew we were in trouble so I picked her up and came back here."
"Oh Peter…" Arthur sighed, taking Hanatamago from his brother's arms. "Come on, we'll tell Tino and Berwald."
"What's going on?" Alfred asked, running up to them.
"Nothing," Arthur said, rushing to the house. "Mind your own business, git."
Alfred nodded, hiding his hurt as the two ran into the house. He placed the basket by the door and turned towards the barn. Work was good for getting things off of the mind and hopefully, it would help.
"Aunt Tino!" Peter cried as he and Arthur rushed into the kitchen. "Aunt Tino!"
"What is it boys?" Tino asked, turning around from tidying up the dishes. "What's the matter?"
"Hanatamago bit Ivan," Arthur explained, holding the white dog close.
"What?" Tino gasped, taking the dog into his arms.
"He provoked her!" Peter protested. "He was picking on me and being nasty. So she bit him!"
"We could get in trouble for this," Tino frowned. "I'll go get Berwald…"
He handed Hanatamago to Arthur, the dog squirming in his grasp.
"Oh, be quiet you little bugger…" he sighed, softly tapping her nose. "If you weren't so feisty, we wouldn't be in this mess…"
Hanatamago snorted in response, her eyes holding a pouty look to them.
Arthur sighed as there was a knock on the door. Ivan was there already. Tino and Berwald then rushed to the door, the Swedish man looking slightly peeved. Tino started to fret as Berwald opened the door, greeting the Russian.
"H'llo, Iv'n," he muttered.
"Hello, Mr. Oxtersteina," Ivan answered, a smile on his face. "I came here to ask you about your little dog. She bit me today."
"H'n't'm'g'?" Berwald asked. "She's n't th't k'nd 'f d'g, s'r…"
"Would like to see the mark?" Ivan asked. "I'll show it to you, da?" He lifted his pant leg, showing the mark of a dog bite on his ankle.
"Oh my!" Tino gasped. "Mr. Braginski, we're so sorry! It won't happen again!"
"There will be consequences for this," Ivan smiled, the threat evident in his tone. "I will make sure of it. I will get that mutt put down if it's the last thing I do!"
"Then you'll wait your entire life!" Arthur snapped, his expression fierce. "I'll die before you lay a hand on this dog!"
"That can be arranged…" Ivan hissed.
"Arthur!" Berwald snapped. "D' n't inv'lve y'rs'lf!"
The Briton shut his mouth but kept glaring at the Russian, holding Hanatamago close to his chest.
"I'll just leave that thought there, da?" Ivan chuckled, turning to leave. "If it ever happens again, I'll take the mutt myself."
Tino shut the door after the Russian with a big sigh. Berwald shook his head and looked at Arthur.
"Arthur…" he sighed. "Wh't h'pp'nd?"
"Ivan was picking on Peter when he was out walking her," Arthur said. "She bit him to defend Peter. It's not her fault."
"But we'll have to do something," Tino sighed. "Ivan is going to fight to get Hanatamago euthanized. He's been doing that since he moved here…"
"You won't let him, right?" Arthur asked but they didn't respond. "Right?"
"Arthur… We can't risk it…" Tino sighed.
"Can't risk it?" Arthur repeated. "But-!"
"Arthur, g' o'ts'de and w'rk," Berwald commanded. "I'm n't h'v'ng th's arg'm'nt w'th you."
Arthur nodded and turned on his heel, bottling up his fury as he left. He had to keep a stiff upper-lip, like his father had told him. No matter how much he cared about the situation, he couldn't emotionally compromise himself.
Not even when his heart longed to be home in London, where he belonged.