Pairing: FACE ... it's complicated XD
Length: 1500 words, chapter 1 (1/5)
Notes: AU; the English Empire consists of three main islands - England, America, Canada
i. there's a storm in your eyes i've seen coming for a while
England throws himself into the blow and grits his teeth as their swords meet, a strength equal to his own pushing back at him.
“Die, you bloody wine bastard,” he hisses at his opponent, baring his teeth. His words can barely be picked out from the rushing torrent of shouts and grunts that surround the two of them, but he knows that France is listening.
“That’s incredibly uncivil,” France pants, a grin slowly unfurling as he whirls back and forward again for another blow. “Not that I would expect anything else from you.”
“You’re one to talk,” England growls, trying to wrest his opponent’s blade away from him. “I heard you’ve taken yet another mistress; you have no idea what loyalty to a person means, do you?”
France bursts into laughter, not even cringing when England finally manages to draw blood. A thin trail of red flickers across his cheek and he springs back, still chortling. “Until next time, Angleterre.”
England is left with France’s blood gleaming on his sword, taunting him, as the French troops retreat.
America paces back and forth before his brother, his breath condensing in the cold night air. The two of them are alone by the barren seaside, far away from any towns or villages. “England’s furious. He’s planning a full scale attack on France in a week’s time.”
Canada nods to show he’s listening and tries to warm himself with the pastry America brought for him, but the treat tastes strange, overly sweet and sticky, after the French food he’s been eating for the past two days.
“Can you make it there and back before tomorrow night?” America asks, leaning forward to take a bite out of the pastry. He chews and wipes his mouth clear of crumbs before continuing, “England wants to have a war meeting with us and asked me to find you.”
Canada wordlessly offers the rest of the pastry to his brother, who accepts it happily. “If I go now, I can probably make it.”
America swallows his mouthful and considers for a few moments, the seconds ticking away around them. “Would it be a better idea for you to go after the war meeting?”
Canada shrugs and walks away. “See you tomorrow night.”
“Merci,” France purrs in his ear as they stand in the broken moonlight. His accent is thick, his voice low, as he whispers, “There’s nothing else you can tell me?”
“England wants me to be on the war council. I probably won’t have any more time to visit you until after.”
France’s eyes glimmer blue-silver as distant bells ring in three o’clock. “If you say so, Mathieu.”
“America said you have a new mistress,” Matthew adds, staring at the glowing lights of Paris out the window.
France’s hands ghost down his body, his breath warm against Canada’s neck as he says, “There’s only you, Mathieu.”
“This is unacceptable!”
Canada bows his head and keeps his gaze fixed on the floor. His brother remains silent beside him, but he can see the way America’s fingers are curled into a fist that presses angrily against the cold floor.
England stops his pacing to grab Canada’s chin, forcing him to look up. “Have you been sneaking out to meet that filthy bastard?”
Canada shakes his head mutely, a weight lodged firmly in his throat. He tries to meet England’s eyes, but his father has already moved on.
“America,” England says quietly, kneeling before his son. America raises his eyes slowly, blue chips of ice embedded in a young face. England leans closer, his voice barely above a whisper. “Was it you that told France about our plan to attack tonight?”
“No.” America’s voice is firm and powerful, and England’s own flinty eyes narrow slightly at his tone. “Face it, you lost. It wasn’t our fault!”
England stands over America, his hand still raised and trembling with rage. Canada rushes to his brother’s side with a cautious glance at England, who snorts and turns to ascend the steps to his throne.
“I’m raising the taxes again,” England announces as he sits down, his glare daring his sons to defy him. “We need more funding if this war is going to drag on like this.”
“You can’t do that!” America shouts, ignoring Canada as he tries to hold him back. America looks livid as he grips his sword tightly but keeps it sheathed. “My people are already suffering! Why should they have to pay for your war? This has nothing at all to do with them!”
“Canada, get out.” England’s voice is deadly quiet. Canada gives his brother a warning look before bowing and backing out of the room. As the guards close the door, their faces impassive, he hears England say, “It’s time you learned your lesson, Alfred. They are not your people. They are mine.”
Canada runs down the hall, England’s poisonous shouts echoing behind him.
America appears in Canada’s room around noon, rousing him from his sleep. Canada motions his brother in and wordlessly starts treating his wounds, ignoring the winces and hisses of pain as he cleans off blood.
“Arthur threatened to cut my tongue off if I didn’t watch my words,” America tells him, unmistakably proud despite the fact that his mouth is bloody and bruised and he can barely talk.
“Don’t call him that,” Canada mutters, dabbing at America’s lip until his brother pulled back.
“Arthur? He’s hardly worthy of being called England anymore,” America snorts, running a hand through his hair as he walks over to the curtains. He pulls them back and squints as sunlight streams into the room. “His time as leader of the English empire is over. This world needs a new hero.”
Canada sighs and packs away his healing supplies. “England will never abdicate the throne, and he most certainly won’t let you succeed him anytime soon. He’s been king since he was fifteen years old; I don’t think he knows what it’s like to not be in power.”
“That’s something to think about,” America frowns, letting the curtains fall shut again. His previously illuminated face is obscured for a moment by the darkness of the room until Canada’s eyes adjust. “If what the records say is true, then his father and older brothers all died of mysterious circumstances.”
“France claims he became king when he was fourteen,” Canada says quietly.
A look of surprise, twisted by darker tendrils of suspicion, crosses his brother’s face. “There must be some secret they’re hiding.”
Canada shrugs. “He only mentioned it in the passing. You know how they’re always competing with each other.”
America’s face hardens. “They’re always fighting against each other, and it’s tearing apart this whole world! Why are they so self-absorbed? This war needs to end.”
“Yeah,” Canada agrees softly. “We have to do something.”
“L’Amérique veut que la guerre soit finie?”
Canada gasps and arcs upwards at France’s touch. “O-oui, i-il m’a dit q-que -”
“Alors on doit lui donner ce qu’il veut, n’est-ce pas?”
“Q-Quoi? A-Ah … F-France!”
“Mon nom … je m’appelle François.”
“I’ve been thinking,” America says the moment Canada steps off the boat, and then pauses. Canada waits for him to continue, the sound of the waves filling the silence. “If we combine forces and attack together,” he continues slowly, “it shouldn’t be that hard to overthrow Arthur. America and Canada combined make about half of the empire’s population, and there’s no way it’s only our people who are sick of the taxes. I can send a few people over to England and see we can start a rebellion over there.”
“Don’t bother,” Canada replies tiredly, hiding the boat away as he does every time he returns from visiting France. He starts the trudge to his home, America immediately falling into place beside him.
“I’m serious!” America tries to grab Canada’s arm, but Canada just shrugs him off. “Aren’t you tired of watching your people suffering? We have to end this war!”
“I know we do.”
America quickly steps in front of his brother, so that Canada is forced to either stop or run straight into him. “Then help me!”
Canada looks up at his brother’s strained but otherwise handsome face. “War is a serious thing, Alfred. Do you really want to start a civil war on top of this one just because of a few taxes?”
If America is taken aback by the use of his birth name, he doesn’t show it. Instead, he grabs Canada by the shoulders and says earnestly, “Taxes that our people can’t pay! At least if we start this war – and it won’t be a war, more like, more like a revolution! – then it will be for a cause! It won’t be like the pointless war between England and France. If we can’t make Arthur see reason, then he can fight by himself. We were meant to rule someday, Mattie. Why not soon?”
When Canada remains silent, America leans down slightly so that their foreheads are touching and whispers, “Are you with me or against me, Mattie?”
“There’s no middle ground?” America doesn’t answer. Canada heaves a sigh and tells him, “I spoke to France last night. He’s expecting you in Paris within two days. He’ll help you.”
A look of shock flicks across America’s face. “France will help us?”
“France wants a decisive victory too.”
America grins and pulls his brother into a hug. “We’ll watch the English Empire fall and create something even bigger and better out of its ashes, Mattie. This will all turn out for the best. Now, I better get a move on if I want to look decent when I visit France!”
Canada turns away from his brother without saying anything and continues on his way back to Ottawa.
A/N - Just a warning: this fic is about 100% angst.
Some background: Pretend England is a bit bigger and that there are two islands right beside it that are each about half the size of it, add a few swords (because guns make everything harder to write), rulers whose titles are the land they govern, and an author who apparently was really upset one day (I don't even remember why) and you'll get this fic.
Canada and America are England's sons (I imagine he was really young when they were born) and each rule over one of the smaller islands. England and France have engaged in skirmishes pretty much ever since they both ascended to the throne, but the war hasn't been "official" for that long.
I feel like I've just been sitting on this for weeks with no progress, so I'll just dump it here and see how it goes. I'm afraid I tried to shove in too much angst at once and might've ended up with a fic that just drags on, but I guess we'll see. There are five chapters, and all but the fourth are finished, so updates should be regular enough.
Does anyone know what song the chapter title is from without googling? ;D
“L’Amérique veut que la guerre soit finie?” - "America wants the war to be over?"
“O-oui, i-il m’a dit q-que -”- "Y-Yes, h-he told me th-that -"
“Alors on doit lui donner ce qu’il veut, n’est-ce pas?” - "So we must give him what he wants, isn't that right?"
“Q-Quoi? A-Ah … F-France!” - "W-What? A-Ah ... F-France!"
“Mon nom … je m’appelle François.” - "My name ... My name is Francis."