Author's Note: WELCOME BACK! 8D
I'm switching the placements of "Born This Way" and "Marry the Night." "Born This Way" was released first, and I've already established it as the opening for this new story series. Plus, switching the two doesn't change any plots I've created.
Title: Born This Hetalian Way
Song: Born This Way
I was born a savior.
A woman looked down at the young child and smiled sympathetically. "What is it, Dear?"
The child looked up, tears streaming down her red, pouty cheeks. She shut her eyes tightly and let out a wail. "Mama! The o-other kids a-always make fun of me! They s-said I was ugly and that God doesn't love me!" She ran forward and clutched her mother's long skirt, fisting the heavy fabric in her hands. Still wailing, she buried her face into the skirt and hugged her mother's legs through the fabric.
The woman rolled her eyes but kept smiling. Gently, she bent down to her daughter and made her take a few steps back. "And you believe them?" she asked.
The girl looked up at her mother, not sure of how to reply. "I just...I just thought that God loves everyone! How could they say that He doesn't love me?"
"Joan, come here," the mother said, offering her hand. The girl called Joan took it and followed her to her parents' bedroom. In the room, the two stood before a reflective surface the mother kept there. Joan stared at it in awe, especially when her mother held it up in front of her. "Look at yourself, Joan. Do you think that you're ugly?"
Joan looked at her reflection curiously and then looked back up at her mother. "No, I don't think so."
"Then that's all that matters. Listen to me, Joan. There's nothing wrong with loving who you are, because God made you perfect. No matter what happens, you've got to hold your head up high. Every single one of us was created by God in a certain way with a certain destiny. Embrace it, Joan. If you do that, you'll go far. And remember that God loves everyone, no matter what."
France was completely, utterly confused.
The nation stood just outside a room where Charles VII, his potential future king, was having a conversation with someone. This particular someone had traveled far, all the way from the far eastern side of the country, just to speak with the man, but that wasn't the most unbelievable thing about this person. No, this particular person was a young girl. She couldn't have been more than sixteen years old. Not only that, but she was an illiterate girl from the farmlands, who claimed to have had Divine visions. She had dressed as a man on her journey in order to get to the royal family in the first place, and she had endured a few backlashes from others high up in the social ladder. And, somehow, she had managed to get here after all that.
Well, this didn't happen every day.
But, in a strange way, France really couldn't argue, not with his current situation. The conflict with England was not going well for him. Much of his land had been captured by the British, and the British army wasn't stopping any time soon. Unless France did something drastic, England would eventually win this conflict.
France was not about to admit defeat.
Suddenly, the doors to the private room opened. France, surprised, took a few steps back to allow the royal man and the peasant girl to exit. Standing up straight, he awaited a statement from the man, but Charles just grinned. The girl behind him smiled victoriously.
"We are to supply this girl with everything she will need to lead a campaign," the royal said, his tone sure and confident. "My mother-in-law is already funding a campaign, so we'll donate everything this girl will need from her."
France was stunned. Whatever that peasant girl had said must have been quite the statement. Either that, or Charles was just that desperate. That would be very understandable.
Regardless, France nodded, though he was still very, very confused. He cleared his throat just as he was about to leave but stopped. He looked back at the man and said, "If I may?"
"What is the girl's name?"
"My name is Joan of Arc, Sir."
Now France was stunned. This girl had just spoken over a member of the royal family! An illiterate, peasant, farm girl had just spoken over royalty! And, even more shockingly, Charles didn't even seem that fazed. The man just smiled and kept his eyes on France.
"Yes, her name is Joan of Arc."
The girl stepped in front of the future king.
"I am going to save you, France. I am going to win this war for you."
How in God's good name had this happened? Just...HOW? Things were not supposed to go this way!
Things were not supposed to go so...well!
France just couldn't believe it. First, this Joan of Arc girl had completely rejected the military's old strategy of war and introduced the soldiers to a new way of invading and attacking. Okay, well, maybe that wasn't so crazy to do. After all, their old way of fighting had obviously not helped them much. The only way the army was going to win was if something changed...or a few things.
Now that the army wasn't so cautious, they actually started to win battles. In just the month of May of 1429 alone, Joan had managed to lead the army to several key victories. They had recaptured the fortress of Saint Loup, recovered the fortress of Saint Jean le Blanc (even though it has been deserted), forced the mayor of Orleans to open the gate so they could continue their campaign ("Take that, Jean d'Orleans!" Joan had shouted smugly.), captured the fortress of Saint Augustins with a single captain, and, most notably, victoriously attacked the English stronghold called "les Tourelles."
All in about three days.
With a horrible arrow wound in the neck.
France could only watch in awe.
"What a résumé."
With things going so well for his army, France decided to join Joan on her next campaigns, which began in June of the same year. When Joan got word of this, she giggled.
"Really? You?" she asked, smirking by the fire at the camp where the army had decided to rest.
France glared at her, offended. "I can fight fine, thank you very much. And it's only appropriate that I join you. I am the spirit of France after all. If I don't fight for what is rightfully mine, what kind of country would I be?"
Joan giggled again. "I'm joking," she replied, still smiling. "I know that you want to fight. You're rather good at it, too, at times."
"Hey, no country can win every single conflict it faces."
France went to say something but stopped short. She was exactly right.
"Can I ask you a question?" he said after a moment, changing the subject. "How did you know that I was a nation when you first saw me?"
At this, Joan's smile turned to a devious smirk. She shuffled a bit and looked away from the man, obviously teasing him. France would have liked this if they were in bed, but he wasn't about to sleep with the girl who was leading him to victory, especially not the girl who had been declared a pure, good, Christian girl.
Finally, Joan looked back at France, a gentle look on her face. "You're different from the others. I could tell," she said. "You give off an aura that's different from a normal human being."
France was surprised. "You could tell?" Most normal human beings could not tell if a person was a nation. It was actually something that only nations could tell. Nations were born with a sense that allowed them to distinguish other nations from normal humans. Humans, for the most part, were not able to tell. But what else did he expect from the girl who claimed to have heard messages from God?
Joan nodded. "Yes, it wasn't that hard," she said, confirming France's thoughts. "I sensed that you were born differently from the rest of us. But that's okay. Being born different isn't such a bad thing."
"Because you were born differently?"
"...I'm not sure."
"Joan, not everyone can hear God's messages."
"...Maybe I am different then. I don't know."
France didn't bring it up again.
It's funny how things can be going so well and yet end so badly. France knew this all too well, thanks to a few incidents in his history, but this might just take the cake. This might be the be all, end all, of good things gone bad.
Joan had been captured.
Only a few weeks after major successes in campaigns to recapture old territories, something had gone terribly wrong. But how could things happen so quickly? France wondered as he stood outside the dungeon holding his beloved savior. After such success in 1429, how could 1430 be so awful?
It had been just over a year since Joan's campaigns had begun. In that time, the French army had come so far as to even try to reclaim Paris from the English. That was a shining moment for France. He was closer than ever to taking back his wonderful capital! Nothing could be better than that! And Charles VII had been crowned King du jure. Really, nothing could be better!
If only that damn skirmish against the Burgundians had never happened. May 23, 1430. France would never forget that date. It was the date Joan of Arc had been captured and jailed for not surrendering. And now it was 1431.
It wasn't like Joan was letting her capture stop her though. She had tried to escape more times than France could count, even going so far as to jumping seventy feet into a dried-out moat! Now Joan was chained inside a cell in this horribly dark dungeon. France looked up as the doors opened, and he was allowed to go inside.
Behind him, England laughed. "You have five minutes, frog!"
France ignored his hated rival and walked down the long hallway towards Joan's cell. As he walked, he began to hate his king. Charles VII was doing nothing to help Joan. How could he be so heartless! Joan had cleared the way for him to become the king in the first place! Without her, he wouldn't have his position of power! And now he wasn't doing ANYTHING to help her in her greatest time of need! France hated him. Oh, how he hated him.
A guard suddenly appeared a motioned for France to come to a certain cell. He did so and looked down, only to see Joan chained to the wall. His heart broke at the sight of the beautiful girl so helpless and at the mercy of the enemy.
But at the same time, there was a kind of strength about her. She was dressed in men's clothes, but she had all the feminine power of a queen. She was both pitiful and powerful. Helpless and strong. Being dragged down and standing as tall as a queen.
She looked up. "Hi, France."
She glared up at the guard. "Leave us. Give us that much respect."
The guard twitched. "Five minutes." And he left.
"I still can't believe you can do things like that," France whispered as soon as the guard was gone. "You have the ability to command people so well, so amazingly. You can't possibly be a woman."
"Oh, yes, I can," Joan shot back. "I was born a woman, most definitely."
France held his breath at the girl's powerful statement. Oh, how he lost all rational thought around her. How she had this hold on him.
Finally, he spoke again. "I'm scared."
"What do you mean 'of what'?" he snapped. "There's plenty to be afraid of! You're going to die, Joan! And you're not the least bit scared? You've been accused of heresy!"
"So what?" the girl groaned. "I did what I had to do, what God told me to do, and I don't regret it, any moment of it. Things would be so much worse if I didn't do all this. You'd probably be the one dying, France."
He wasn't sure of how to reply to that, so he didn't. "I'm scared of other things, too."
"I'm afraid...of what will happen to me in the future. I...I'm afraid that...that I'm not going to be this great fighter forever. I'm afraid of...being weak."
At this confession, Joan rolled her eyes. "So what if your power as far as war goes becomes weak?" she asked matter-of-factly. "It's nothing you'll be able to control. I have a feeling that another nation will be the cause of that notion against you anyway."
France's eyes widened. "Joan, are you psychic?" he asked rather stupidly, but he was deadly serious.
Joan burst out laughing. "No way!" She continued to laugh for a few seconds, seriously amused, but her laughter soon died down to a manageable level of volume and intensity. She looked up at France sincerely and said, "I just know you. You weren't born to be a militarized nation. I know that you actually love art, food, and wine way more than you enjoy strategizing and preparing for war. That's the way you were born. You should be proud of that, France."
Small tears built up in the corners of France's eyes just as the guard returned to lead him out of the dungeon. As he walked, he looked back at Joan, who still had a calm, pleased smile on her face.
May 30, 1431.
France watched in complete and utter horror as Joan was tied to a pillar surrounded by dried branches and coals. She looked up towards the sky and closed her eyes, whispering a prayer as a peasant set a cross before her. After a moment, she smiled and lowered her confident gaze down to Geoffroy Therage, the executioner.
The man felt a shiver go down his spine as he stared into her eyes. "Joan of Arc, you have been convicted of heresy and sentenced to burn at the stake," he said shakily. "...Do you have any final words?"
At this question, Joan nodded. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do." She looked towards the crowd and breathed heavily for a few moments, still smiling. "I'm proud of who I am," she said. "I don't care if I truly am a witch or whatever. I am a creation of God, and God made me PERFECT! SO I LOVE MYSELF! I LOVE THE WAY I AM! And you all should love yourselves just as you are. If God only loves one kind of person, He wouldn't have made us all so different! SO LOVE YOURSELVES NO MATTER WHAT! I may be a witch, but I'm proud of it, because I WAS BORN THIS WAY!"
It had taken a while, but World War II was finally over. France rose from the ashes of a nearly destroyed Paris and breathed a sigh of relief. The fighting, the bloodshed, and the pain were finally all over.
"I shouldn't be helping you out here," England muttered as he offered his hand to help his ally stand. "You were weak. You surrendered to Germany so quickly and barely helped us. It was your fault the Allies almost lost this war."
"Sticks and stones," France shot back, yanking his hand away from the other man's. "It wasn't my fault entirely. I'm not a military nation. I don't think I would have been much help even if I hadn't surrendered."
"So you admit to being weak!" England gasped. "How shameful!"
"I may be weak, but I am far more cultured and refined than you could ever hope to be, Angleterre."
"And you're fine with that?"
"'Fine with that?' Oh, Angleterre, I am far more than just fine with that. I love it!"
"Because I was born this way."
Don't be a drag; just be a queen.
Whether you're broke or evergreen,
You're black, white, beige, Chola descent, you're Lebanese, you're Orient,
Whether life's disabilities left you outcast, bullied, or teased,
Rejoice and love yourself today,
'Cause, Baby, you were born this way.