Title: Across the Duckpond
Author: Zalia Chimera
Characters: England, France
Notes: This is my attempt at writing something a bit more comedic in the spirit of the Hetalia series itself. I might actually try a more serious look at this event later on.
Summary: In which England finds all this war business awfully tiring, finds out what exactly is going on in his back garden and comes up with a cunning plan.
The first thing that England had noticed when he arrived home from another long day of meetings with his Boss in London, was that someone had been at the packet of rationed chocolate digestives that he'd been saving for the end of the war (whenever that might be). The second was that there was an almighty banging and clattering coming from the back garden.
The third thing he noticed was that France was sprawled naked on his sofa, but as that had become a common occurrence recently, he'd got to the point of being able to tune out the other Nation's casual nudity.
But it was the banging and clattering which was of the most concern.
"What the bloody hell is going on out there?" he said, wincing as a particularly large bang managed to spill some of his tea. He'd used a saucer of course so it didn't touch the table. He was a gentleman, not a savage, even in these savage times.
"It has been going on all day," France replied mournfully, trying to sneak one of the remaining biscuits on England's plate. There resulted a short tussle which ended with France holding half a crumbling biscuit and England clutching the plate to his chest as he carried that and the tea into the lounge.
It was looking a little the worse for wear these days. Bombings didn't do the plaster any good, and there were little piles of dust on the floor beneath the large cracks that had formed on the walls. Still, he could take a few leaks in the roof and he could always re-plaster later. Maybe he'd requisition some paint too. He had to have some perks and a little DIY could only improve morale. He skilfully dodged the slap that France aimed at his arse and headed towards the sash windows which looked out over his back garden, and twitched the curtain aside, peeking out over the lawn towards the Channel.
He was proud of his garden and quite rightly so, even if that too was not quite in the pristine condition it had been a few years ago. Half of the flower beds had been dug up and turned over to the growing of vegetables (he had some very fine beans coming along), although he hadn't been able to bring himself to dig up the roses. Big beautiful blooms they produced, even if he had to keep patrolling them to make sure France didn't use them as impromptu underwear substitutes.
Today though, he wasn't focussing on the flowers or on the peas or the stand of rhubarb beneath the window. No, today his gaze was inexorably drawn south in the direction of the noise and idear god/i he could feel France pressing up against his back and he really hoped that the thing pressing against his buttocks was just a rose stem.
"It came from over there," France said mournfully, his chin digging uncomfortably against England's shoulder as he extended a well manicured hand and pointed towards England's garden pond.
What ihad been/i England's garden pond at least. It now rather looked like a building site and...
"Is that Germany over there?" England said incredulously, squinting into the distance.
"He's been out there all day," France said airily. "He's quite fouling up the atmosphere and I dread to think of the state my house will be in when I get back." He shuddered and England could feel it right down his back. "He is quite out of touch with the fashions," he added snootily.
"I think you've got bigger problems than Germany's taste in interior design," England said snootily and then winced as a small explosion rocked the foundations of the house. "Well, there goes the fountain!" he said, huffing in irritation. "That was put in by Capability Brown you damn barbarian!" he said, leaning forward out of the window and shaking his fist although he doubted that Germany could hear him through the drilling.
"Mon dieu, and he says that I have issues with interior design," France muttered from behind him and wasn't quite fast enough to dodge a kick to the shins.
While he was still whimpering in pain and lamenting the cruelty of the world in general, and England in particular, England dashed outside, grabbing a sturdy walking stick from the stand by the door and heading out towards the pond. Oh lord, he'd left craters in the lawn! He was never going to get those filled in!
As he got closer and could see the outline of Jersey's shore, the full extent of Germany's actions became clear. The whole margin was rutted and marked with holes from the spade! Did the man have no appreciation for the finer points of gardening? Not to mention, he'd thought that Germany would be too distracted with the escalating issue over Russia's Leylandii to to invade England's garden so soon.
He kept to the undergrowth, such as it was, which meant crawling along beneath the stand of rhododendrons, not even pausing to brush the dead leaves and twigs from his hair, until he could peer out at Germany an observe his desecration of England's water feature. Ugh, he'd even pulled up the water lillies! And replaced them with... gun turrets?
Germany looked up when he heard an awkward squawk from the bushes, but brushed it aside and whistled a jaunty tune as he continued digging.
France was just climbing to his feet after finally convincing himself that his leg wouldn't be horribly mutilated by England's cruel attack, when the nation himself came storming back through the door, face red with anger.
"I did warn you," France said.
"No you didn't," England replied shortly.
Well, perhaps that was technically true but... "I mentioned the noise!" he protested. He could not be expected to pay attention to every little detail after all! He was far more concerned with what was going on on his own shores after all. He paused for a moment before asking, "What is the noise?"
England glared at him. "That bastard is building fortifications around my sodding pond!"
France blinked at the news, and glanced over towards the window. "Why would anyone want those dreary little islands?"
"You tried to invade them often enough," England muttered in a stage whisper, making sure that France heard every word.
France sniffed, insulted by the very implication. "Well, what are you going to do about it?" he asked. "The guns are rather in the way. They're blocking my view of Normandy."
A devilish grin bloomed slowly over England's face, an expression that France remembered all too well, and was usually accompanied by massive bloodshed. "Normandy, hm?" he purred, and now it was France's turn to shiver at the icy tone of England's voice. He managed to hold his ground, but it was a close thing.
England marched over to the little side-table which held his telephone, and dialled a number quickly. It rang several times, enough for him to start grumbling about irresponsibility, before it was answered. "Ah, America, hello. I think I've decided where exactly we should do the landing. Ever heard of the Norman invasions?"
- The Channel Islands are British Crown Dependencies off the coast of Normandy, France, and, in 1940, became the only part of the British Commonwealth to be occupied by Nazi Germany. The occupation was harsh, with 4 concentration camps built, and many people suffering from food shortages, particularly during the final months of the occupation, when many of the islanders were left close to starvation.
- Because of the propaganda value of having British territory under occupation, a lot of resources were expended in the Channel Islands to build fortifications as part of the Atlantic Wall, partly because there was a belief that the British wouldn't allow a part of their territory to remain occupied. In fact, the Channel Islands were bypassed completely in the Allied invasion of Europe, and the islands were only liberated on May 9th 1945, with the German garrison surrendering on May 16th 1945.
- Capability Brown was a famous landscape architect in the 1700s.
- The Norman Invasion of 1066 is what Arthur refers to at the end. I've always thought he might have found a little bit of grim humour in starting the invasion of France in Normandy.