(( So yeah… long story short: watching Hetalia/Disney AMVs, saw some done to Mulan songs, roles fit perfectly, 2:00 am inspiration attack, write Hetalia fanfiction inspired by Mulan plotline. Focus is more on the actual character-ness than country representations, just so you know. No real pairing atm, though I might be able to fit in some PruHun later on? Only if it works… hey look it's a fanfic with no fanservice what is that even. Also historical inaccuracies and being unoriginal. Rated… T? For violence and innuendos when France shows up? Upcoming characters: Hungary, Austria, Russia, Prussia, France, Germany, Spain… maybe Belarus and others. All human names used.))
((Je peux aussi le traduire si quelqu'un le veut en français.))
Elizaveta heard the door slam hard, echoing around the usual uninterrupted – save for instrumental – silence of the neat house. She laid her broom against the wall and moved towards the doorway. Roderich was sitting very still on his piano bench, elbows on the key cover, head in his hands, eyes squeezed shut. A sheet of paper lay haphazardly in the middle of the floor, extremely unusual for someone such as Roderich.
Elizaveta moved to pick it up, willing her heels to not click across the hardwood floor.
"Eliza…" His voice thick with anguish, the Austrian ran his fingers through his hair. "What do I do?"
She skimmed the document, then looked up to stare at him. His eyes rose to meet hers, confusion and anxiety, desperate for a solution.
"But… but… you can't be thinking of going along with this?" she protested, crinkling the paper where she held it.
"Don't you see, Eliza? I don't have a choice! If I don't go voluntarily, they'll storm the house and drag me to the front!" He stood abruptly and began to pace the length of his piano.
"You can't go to war! You can't fight! You'll be killed the first battle!" She crushed the rest of the paper in her fist. Perhaps she was speaking out of turn, but she was too angry right now to care.
Roderich paused momentarily in his pacing, then resumed. "Normally I would be somewhat offended by your lack of faith in me, though under the circumstances I would have to agree that no, I am in no way a skilled combatant. However, as I have said, it is neither your nor my decision to make. I must report to the German training camp by noon tomorrow or…" He sighed and stopped to look at her again. "More than that, I have a responsibility to my people. If I don't fight for them, who will?"
She chewed the inside of her lip and sat down on the bench, not meeting his eyes. She hated it when he made sense, which was most of the time. "You shouldn't have to go. There are plenty of other nations to fight for Germany."
He sat down beside her. "Apparently there aren't. There is no one else Elizaveta. I'm sorry, but I'll be leaving in the morning."
Elizaveta plucked furiously at the weeds in the front flowerbed, probably doing more harm than good, as only the leaves came off in her anxious hands.
Roderich wouldn't last ten minutes on the battlefield, of that she was sure. He was an artist, one whose hands were made for holding a violin, not a sword. It was absurd.
I could probably do better than him, she mused, thinking back to her days as a nomad. But no, she had become everything Roderich had wanted her to be when they became partners: ladylike, elegant, gentle… submissive… Was she really like that though? She put on a pretty good show of it. Had the old days of growing up believing she was a boy and fighting for survival every day really leave her for good? She was safe with Roderich. Roderich had done so much for her. There was no reason for her to fight anymore…
Except now there was. There was someone else to fight for him. She couldn't let him just go off to get killed. She dropped the weeds and stood, making her decision. She didn't care if Roderich hated her for this. If doing what he had refused of her for so many years saved his life, it was worth it.
She entered the house and stopped to peer around a doorway when she heard a strange sound. Roderich was there, back to the door, dressed up in his old military uniform. He was standing very still, inspecting the long, sharp object lying in his hands, looking very out of place.
He took the hilt and extended his arm, the polished metal glinting in the evening light streaming through the large widows. He sliced it down suddenly, parried, thrusted, twirled it in his wrist. He wielded it beautifully, but very unlike a weapon. There was no strength behind his false blows, focused as he was on grace and accuracy. He could have been holding a violin bow. The first counterblow would send it flying from his thin hands.
She leaned back against the wall, out of view. Perhaps he could learn. Perhaps he could become stronger in time for the battle. How long was it until that? And even if he did learn, become stronger, somehow survive, would he ever be able to return to the artist he once was, his hands now callused and tainted with blood? Assuming, again, that he came back.
She ducked past the door into the bathroom and locked herself in. Her hand rested on the doorknob for a moment before she turned to the mirror. Filled with a resolve she hadn't felt in years, her sweet, soft face and frilled dress suddenly seemed very foreign to her. She inspected herself thoroughly before reaching up to take the flower from her hair and wiping off her makeup. She washed her lips to make them as pale as possible and rubbed at her eyebrows. Reaching into the cupboards under the sink, she pulled out some extra bandages, then took off her dress to bind her chest. Reaching into a drawer, she took out a pair of scissors and held them to her scalp. She hesitated.
It had taken years to grow her hair to this length. Roderich loved it. Loved when they danced and twirled and it flowed like ribbons after her. Should she really do this? Roderich was her best friend… her partner…
But that was exactly why she had to do it. She snapped the blades closed. A long strand of her silky chestnut-brown hair drifted to the ground. She snipped again and again, the locks forming a pile at her feet. Glancing again at the mirror, the face there suddenly looked much more familiar. An old confidence that had for so long lain dormant rose in her once again. She kicked off her high heels and stripped herself of rings and necklaces.
"Elizaveta?" a voice called from the hall. She froze.
"I'll be going to bed now. I cleaned up the rest of the dishes, so get a good rest and hopefully I'll be able to see you in the morning before I leave."
"Alright," she called through the door. She listened to his footsteps recede and quickly set to cleaning up the hair.
She opened the door a crack to peer out into the hallway. Seeing it deserted, she tiptoed to the room where Roderich had just been practicing. His uniform was there, folded neatly beside his scabbard on the side table. She slipped it on and fastened the belt. It was a little long, but it didn't look too bad considering. She took the scabbard and clipped it to her belt as well, then snuck past Roderich's room into her own to grab the essentials.
The horse's head rose as she entered the stables, snorting loudly. She rushed over to pet its nose and it calmed, recognizing her scent. It waited patiently as she lifted the saddle onto its back and fastened the bridle and reigns.
She had just mounted when the door opened.
"E-Elizaveta… I heard…" They both froze, staring at each other. Roderich's expression changed from shock to disbelief, registering the uniform and the hair.
Elizaveta recovered first. She tore her eyes away, kicking open the gate and clicking her tongue. The horse sped off immediately, dashing out of the stable and down the main path.
She heard him call out her name, all confusion and pain. She did not look back, her eyes starting moisten. Roderich wouldn't come after her. He knew what this meant, and if anyone found out she could be tried for treason, impersonating a national representative.
"I'm sorry!" she yelled desperately, loud enough to carry. She repeated it a few more times, getting quieter and quieter until it was no more than a whisper drowned in the cacophony of galloping hooves.
A tall, silver haired man stood on a ridge, the mild snowstorm whipping at his long coat. His pale violet eyes scanned the landscape before him, an indentation in the white monotony, packed with a thousand of his men.
"The German Empire believes that it can take over the world," Ivan spoke in a low voice that nevertheless was carried downwind across his army, smiling faintly. "The German Empire believes it can defeat Mother Russia."
A mocking laughter spread through the crowd and the soft smile widened. Ivan waited patiently for it to die down before continuing.
"Well. There's only one way for them to prove that, isn't there?" He turned, now speaking over his shoulder. "Let's go meet them, shall we? Play their little game."
A wild cheer rang out and the army marched.