A/N: This has been running rampant in my head for a long time and I'm glad to expand on it. I'm not making any promises about updates because they'll be sporadic and random…
I'd like to clear this up now and if you choose to ignore it and complain, I'm just going to ignore you. I am not a huge history buff who memorizes everything about everywhere so I might miss things or, because I am changing the time line, I may have done so on purpose. If you know something really important and relavent to the countries involved that happened during the years being written about that you believe wouldn't have been affected by the changes that I made but I did not include, feel free to politely propose it and I'll take it into consideration. I'll ignore rude comments.
Also, this story will have a more serious France, and the other nations will respond in the way I think would actually make sense. I'm using the knowledge I have retained from 12 years of American history classes, 6 years of French courses, and 2 British Literature classes as well as whatever I happen to look up or get ranted at by my dear APH fanatic of a friend who obsesses over historical accuracy unless stated otherwise :)
Please enjoy and review
9th of June, 1941
"Please, Arlo, don't do this..."
Two men stood at the base of a great hill, hidden by the forest that had grown atop it for centuries and now protected what they were led to believe was one of the many bases of the Resistance hidden in the South of France.
Groups had been popping up all over dans la sud and they'd received orders from above
The province of Digne played host to the rowdiest bunch, dragging off German Officers from their posts never to be seen again. Some speculated those that went missing had actually deserted but Arlo was too smart to believe that. Those filthy Maquis, as they called themselves, could only have slit the tender flesh of his younger brother, Johan's, throat and burnt his flesh to hide their sinful act.
"They deserve it, Horst, I'll burn 'em out. Burn 'em all out and straight to HELL."
Arlo's voice was hoarse though he kept it just above a whisper. He was sick of them, the French had agreed to collaborate but they weren't honorable enough own up. There were suck ups, there always are but the rest didn't seem to get the message.
So, Arlo would have to show them.
With mud-stained and trembling fingers he slid pulled his grime covered blond locks away from his face and pulled out his canteen of spirits with one hand and the lighter his parents had sent from home for his birthday last February.
He unscrewed the lid of his canteen with difficulty, tucking the small metal gift into the crook of his arm until the stopper was removed. Horst wrings his hands beside him all the while, shaking and begging him not to do it.
Arlo hesitated, took a short swig of the bitter liquid he'd kept stored for the whole three days he and Horst had patrolled the area. Smacking his cracked lips, he moved to sprinkle most of what he'd saved on the trees and grass, only for his arm to wrenched back by Horst's uncharacteristically strong hands.
Several fat drops of the amber liquid leaped from the brim of canteen, splattering across Horst's face and dribbling down his filthy neck, leaving a clean trail of pale white skin beneath the dust and dirt.
"Don't do it Arlo!" He pleaded, sputtering on the liquid that had mixed with the sweat on his upper lip.
"BASTARD!" Arlo swung his other fist around and against the gaunt cheekbone of his only companion. Horst fell, a purple flower rapidly blooming on the side of his face, still shiny and wet. He didn't get up and Arlo didn't notice the blood slowly pooling around his head on the rock that had knocked him out. He was too busy searching the grass for his lighter, cursing gutturally.
His fingers met warm metal and his grasped it tightly before returning to his task, this time, uninterrupted.
Five minutes later, when he was satisfied with the coverage of the alcohol, he stood back several feet, a harsh smile marring his lips.
Arlo flipped open the lighter.
Red and orange devils chased one another up and down the bark of the trees and through the grass, eating away the border of the forest and climbing up the hill faster, and faster.
He was laughing. He didn't know when he started, only that he was doubled over, howling and crying all at once. But when Arlo looked up Johan's face was watching him from the flames, crimson eyes bored accussingly into his own and white, pure skin burned black and crackled.
Horrified, Arlo tripped and fell backwards, struggling to get away. But Johan was gone and he was by himself with Horst's unconscious body beside him.
Panting now, Arlo hauled himself to his feet and stared into the Hell he had created. As it spread, a long train of destruction had followed the trail of spirits to Horst and Arlo could only stare, distantly, as his friend convulsed, screaming and crying, begging for his to do something, anything to make it stop.
But Arlo was stunned, the consequences of his revenge clear to him now, even as thick, heavy clouds of smoke billowed up into the sky and back down around him.
By the time screams sounded from the hill he was on the ground again, eyes wide with their crystal blue irises reflecting the hot, oranges and reds of the crackling, scorching flames that devoured the grass around him.
They were too entranced by the shining metal in the center of the blaze, glinting and beckoning him, to care about the stench of burnt flesh had wafted around him and encompassed Arlo as his own swelling and reddened skin boiled.
The burns he would live to carry wouldn't hold a candle to the scar that would mark the face of France for decades.