Here is the first of several submissions to the Spring Ficathon! We hope you all enjoy it.
Title: Never Before (Part 1)
Authors: mithrigil and puella_nerdii
Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia, traditional historical timeline
Characters: America and England
Words: 4300, this part.
Rating: PG-13, foul language.
Timestamp: 1939-1941, this part. Eventually to 1945.
Summary: World War II, for them, in letters and telegrams.
Never Before -- Part 1
axis powers hetalia
Mith and Puel in the Special Hell
1 September, A.D. 1939
In case you weren't aware, Germany's invaded Poland.
September 5, 1939
Sorry, man, I'm staying out of this one. Have fun beating up Germany again.
...hey, do you guys need munitions or anything? Because I think I can get you a discount. You know, if you ask nicely. Cash only.
10 September, A.D. 1939
This again. Isn't your economy still in the shitter?
Will probably take you up on it. Standing blockade on German goods, though--if you can afford it, you should probably follow suit.
Canada's declared war too, you know. Of his own volition.
November 4, 1939
My economy's doing a lot better now, thanks for asking. Probably because I'm not splurging on bombs and bullets and whatever else you guys are using to blow each other out of the sky or run each other into the ground. I'm investing in domestic programs. You should try it.
Look, if you arrange for the transport, and if you and France pay me in cash right away--and I mean right away--I can sell you supplies. That's going to piss enough people off, believe me; they're still blaming you guys defaulting on your loans for this shitstorm in the first place. I'm just saying.
Have fun fortifying France.
PS. Is Lithuania doing okay? I heard he's back with Russia again...
13 December, A.D. 1939
BATTLE OFF THE COAST OF URUGUAY STOP
GERMANY IS THAT CLOSE TO YOU STOP
IF YOU LOOK AT A MAP YOU WILL SEE WHY THIS IS A PROBLEM STOP
NO FLYING FUCK FOR YOUR NEUTRALITY FULL STOP
December 14, 1939
ENGLAND STOP STOP
IF GERMANY SKULKS AROUND MY COAST I'LL DEAL WITH HIM STOP
WE'RE KEEPING AN EYE OUT BUT I'M TRYING TO DO LIKE YOU ALWAYS USED TO TELL ME STOP
AND KEEP A COOL HEAD IN THIS STOP
WHY ARE THE LINES IN THESE THINGS SO SHORT STOP
CANADA SAYS HE'LL BE AT YOUR HOUSE IN A FEW DAYS WITH TROOPS STOP
DON'T MESS HIM UP TOO BAD FULL STOP
18 December, A.D. 1939
Canada got here all right, don't be concerned. Well. Don't be concerned for him, at least.
Also, we've kicked Russia out of the League. His conduct has been appalling. I haven't seen Finland that colour since I had to look up to see it. At least most of the blood isn't his. So much for Wilsonianism. Alas, the best laid plans...
05 - 10 - 1940
"Hey, England. Still stuck on the Maginot Line?"
"Yes, and it's boring as f--oh bloody fucking shit."
"--England? England, what the hell's going on?"
"Nothing. Not here. It's Be-- I can't talk now. Later. Call me later."
"England, no, wait -- tell me what's happening -- England? England? Are you still -- ?"
14 May, A.D. 1940
If you care at all, I'm whole. New boss and everything. Yours should be pleased--my new PM is his cousin. He sends his regards and looks forward to meeting you. Been rather vocal about it, actually. His message may get to you ahead of mine.
I'm asking. Do a little more than sell to me.
If not for me, then for Belgium and her brother. Holland's with me now, Belgium's still out there taking a page out of Rome's book. With any luck it'll work as well now as it did on the Rubicon.
June 6, 1940
I can give you non-belligerency. How's that?
(We're building up our armed forces a little, too.)
13 June, A.D. 1940
And where the hell are you?
August 13, 1940
Election year, man. It's always a little crazy. I think Roosevelt's going to win again, though -- three terms, can you believe it? Well, I guess you've had bosses who've stuck around longer. (Say hi to Winston for me, by the way.)
England, this isn't my war.
You know what kind of position you're putting me in here, right?
24 August, A.D. 1940
Can't be a worse position than mine. Then again, the Luftwaffe's starting to lose its sense of direction. Maybe it'll find you instead of Coventry next time. I should be so lucky.
For all the talk about so many owing so much to so few, it doesn't strike me as particularly honourable to have a heap of other people's debts of gratitude. I'd rather actually have their aid. Yes, America, I know very well what kind of position I'm putting you in. You put me in it once, you know. Admittedly, on a much smaller scale--but there was a time I thought to let free reign run its course. I haven't asked you for help since we were securing you as mine in the first place.
August 30, 1940
ARE YOU ALL RIGHT STOP
I HEARD ABOUT LONDON STOP
FDR THINKS GERMANY’S AN ASSHOLE STOP
DID THEY GET BIG BEN FULL STOP
30 August, A.D. 1940
FUCKING LUFTWAFFE STOP
AM ALL RIGHT STOP
SO IS BEN STOP
GOD KEEP MY POLICE FORCE STOP
MOCK THEIR HATS ALL YOU LIKE STOP
GOOD IN A PINCH STOP
GOING TO KILL THAT KRAUT FULL STOP
September 16, 1940
We've got a draft now. We've got a peacetime draft, I don’t think we’ve ever done that before. There was a lot of caterwauling in Congress, but what are you gonna do?
Are you still holding out over there? I heard you strafed Germany out of the sky yesterday, so good job on that. Tell me you’re at least shelling Berlin, and give Germany a few good whacks upside the head for my boss. And for France.
17 September, A.D. 1940
We hit him so hard that he doesn't dare invade, now. Op. Sealion's postponed, possibly indefinitely. France is pleased, he’s duking it out with his usurpers in Africa, I'll pass your good will along. Of all the times for things to improve between us... Well, I suppose four years in a trench with him had to be good for something.
I think everyone out here is waiting on the threat of you. How are you arraying your recruits?
October 13, 1940
The Corps Areas will handle the administrative stuff from now on; we’re separating them from the field armies. We're going to hit sixteen million men registered for the national service soon, FDR says. He thinks -- well, suggests -- we should start drafting eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds. The boys like the sound of that one, their parents not so much. But that's the way it always is. It looks like he’s going to win the election, too, so that should make your boss happy.
We set up an embargo on Japan—we won't send him any more fuel, scrap iron, or steel. It looks like he hopped into bed with Germany and Italy right after, so I'll see where that leads all of us, I guess.
The draft number drawing start on the 29th. Take care out there, okay?
11 – 04 - 1940
"Thanks. Three terms. Man, I don't even know what I'm going to do with myself once that guy gets out of here."
"Stranger kings have been crowned."
"My boss says he'd look weird with a crown. They look better on men with hair a lot thicker than his."
"There does seem to be a trend in bald bosses these days."
"Give your boss a rub on his noggin' from me and FDR."
"From you? I'm sure he’ll appreciate it."
"He would also appreciate it if you came out here and did it yourself."
"Look, my boss promised six days ago he wouldn't send our boys to war."
"You know, it's never wise to build a campaign on a foundation of self-contradiction."
"...We'll see what happens, okay? We'll see. Check back up with me in January, I might have something for you then."
14 November, A.D. 1940
Spoke too soon about Coventry. Fucking Luftwaffe. I think I'm going to hospital for a few days.
December 31, 1940
I wasn't sure if your house was still standing or not, so I addressed this to the hospital just in case. If you're actually at home, I know you'll write back and call me an idiot.
I heard about Coventry, and about Liverpool and Southampton and Bristol and Birmingham and Manchester. The new ambassador -- not Kennedy, sorry about him, he's a jackass,
I know I'm going on and on about this, but I guess I realized there aren't that many of us left now. The democracies, I mean. If Germany didn't topple them, they sagged and collapsed on their own, because no one stood underneath and held them up, built the infrastructure from the bottom, from the people, and let it climb up from there and kept the supports strong. What I'm trying to say is -- if you go, I'm next.
I can't ask my boys to fight and die for a home that's not theirs. But I can ask my factories and my foremen to shore up your arsenal. Hang in there long enough for my boss to push this bill through Congress, okay? You can pay me back after the war's over, we'll work that out later. (I'll even be nice about the interest.) Trust me, my boys can give you more planes and trucks and ships -- and food, I bet your legs are skinny as a chicken's right now -- than you'll know what to do with. Well, okay, I guess you have a few ideas.
I'm sending a transcript of my boss's last fireside chat to you. I don't know if they've printed it in your papers. You guys still have papers up and running, right? But in case they haven't, I thought you and your boss might want to have a look at it.
Thank me later. Groveling is a totally acceptable temporary payment method. Temporary. I'm gonna need that money back someday.
1 January, A.D. 1941
Happy New Year, and I thank you deeply. I don't think I'll be groveling any time soon but I will say that if your news had come a second later I'd be quite sore with you. We've lost several churches and historical buildings in London today and the hopeful words of you and your boss are quite the boon to my beleaguered people.
Thank you for addressing it to the hospital; my house still stands, I should think, but I should be here a short while more. A week, perhaps, so address the next letter home. I built it; when I build things, they do not fall. Well. Perhaps not. But write to me at home.
Take care, and come to me soon.
January 28, 1941
ARE YOU GOING TO BE AT THE TALKS TOMORROW OR IS IT JUST YOUR MILITARY STAFF STOP
IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE THERE I GUESS THIS TELEGRAM IS USELESS BECAUSE YOU'RE ALREADY EN ROUTE STOP
BUT I WANTED TO CHECK STOP
AND YOU KNOW THESE ARE CLASSIFIED RIGHT STOP
THIS IS JUST A CONTINGENCY PLAN STOP
IN CASE WE SOMEDAY FIND IT NECESSARY TO COORDINATE A COMMON WAR POLICY AGAINST GERMANY STOP
WAR POLICY DOES NOT MEAN I'M SENDING ARMIES IN STOP
JUST SO WE'RE CLEAR FULL STOP
28 January, A.D. 1941
IF THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE CLASSIFIED DO NOT TELEGRAPH ME ABOUT THEM FULL STOP
21 February, A.D. 1941
LEAVING MOGADISHU TO THE FORCES STOP
FUCKING LUFTWAFFE GOT MY BROTHER'S MONASTERY STOP
CHECKING ON HIM STOP
MESSAGE ME IN WALES FULL STOP
April 10, 1941
So Greenland's name is really misleading. There's hardly any green over here, just sheets and sheets of ice. Also, I can't feel my toes. Or the tip of my nose, or the pads of my fingers. Have I mentioned that this place is basically a glorified iceberg? It cracks and creaks and groans something awful, too, especially on the days when the sun's out and beaming bright and melting the ice until it refreezes at night.
Hopefully the boys and I won't get stuck out here for too long. It's just to protect shipping routes and keep an eye on the Atlantic. I'm kind of jealous right now, honestly; at least it's warm in Africa, even if the fascists are probably about as friendly as the polar bears are up here. At least the polar bears don't have machine guns.
...though that would be kind of awesome.
17 April, A.D. 1941
Every time I get to the African front, I have to leave to take care of things back home. Understandably, this is doing wonders for my condition. Apparently Germany (or Prussia, whichever of them is doing this, I've seen both in both places) seems to have decided that Belfast is mine and worthy of their attention. My sister disagrees. And she's blaming me. She always does. And so I have to leave what's left of France in Africa and I really don't trust him to command in his current state, so could you send someone down there please?
Fucking IRA. Fucking Luftwaffe. Fucking Austria. (Lovely city, by the way.) Fucking unification of all things German.
And you know what else? Fuck me. It probably is my fault. Dear God, what did I do?
May 6, 1941
Are you propositioning me?
Look, my navy can protect your convoys. (Up to 26 degrees west, anyway.) And just between you and me (and whoever else is reading this letter -- hi there, censors, how's the unspecified weather in your unspecified neck of the woods?), I think a certain act that a certain boss of mine has in no uncertain terms condemned might get repealed soon.
But that doesn't mean I'm entering the war.
I'm probably going to stop over and see you once I check up on Greenland. Stupid Greenland. My eyeballs freeze in their sockets whenever I stay there. Maybe I can steam them back into working order with some coffee, if you have any left in London? I heard the Luftwaffe's starting to back off, at least.
12 May, A.D. 1941
You left your socks in hospital.
Once I can get my shirts on without assistance I will be heading back to the front. I hope to see you there.
I would advise, however, not to leave your socks lying around, as the Kraut have very good noses.
May 21, 1941
You’re right about the Krauts having good noses; somehow one of their U-boats sniffed out the Robin Moor and sunk her. My boss declared it a national emergency, an unlimited one, and for once I don’t hear Congress clamoring to disagree, I think everyone’s a little on edge right now. The Robin Moor wasn’t a navy vessel, she was a merchant one, Germany had no right to -- you know, I’m starting to think my boss has the right idea, Germany really doesn’t care what he does and doesn’t have the right to do. Okay, maybe I’m not just starting to think that. But he better not pull that crap again.
I guess you’re kind of used to him pulling crap on you by now?
Anyway, nail that sucker for me, but don’t tell him I said that.
27 May, A.D. 1941
WE GOT THE BISMARCK STOP
YOU ARE WELCOME STOP
EYE FOR AN EYE FULL STOP
July 27, 1941
I know it’s been a while since I wrote you last -- but hey, no news is good news, right? And at least Germany’s too busy duking it out with Russia to keep walloping you. (We’re probably going to have to start shipping supplies to him too, now. Better red than dead, I guess.)
I wouldn't say things are quiet over here, exactly, but they're okay. The economy's really rolling now, so that's perked people up. My boys and I are in Iceland now, which has a lot more green than Greenland does. Maybe they should switch the names around? Iceland’s not the friendliest guy -- he makes you look, well, not prickly -- but he keeps his fridge pretty cold, which is good, because warm beer is disgusting. I'm sorry, but it is. We booted out the German and Italian embassies about a month ago, General Headquarters is coordinating our operations in the Zone of the Interior, and we’re shuffling around stuff in the Selective Service System, too.
V for victory. Churchill flashing that thing was pretty ace.
PS -- So you have experience with this -- how do I stop Japan from getting all pissy at me? I mean, I stopped sending him some raw materials and I just seized his assets, and now it's like he's glowering at me through every telegram he sends. Really short snippy telegrams, too.
6 August, A.D. 1941
Odd that I address the post-script first. The short answer is you don't. Japan's anger...well, it doesn't run terribly deep, but all the shallower urges are tempered and dispelled and only the deeper hurts remain. When you act against Japan you have to do so with that in mind, that he'll remember every little thing you do. And he doesn't much like being underestimated. Or undervalued.
I will see you at the signing. Here's hoping this gets to you before then. I don't suppose you want to discuss your reservations about Japan in mixed company. And by that I mean you oughtn't.
August 12, 1941
"Just so we're clear -- this is what's going to happen after the war's over. No territorial gains for either of us, self-determination and self-government for everyone else -- England stop sulking -- "
"I'm not sulking. I'm brooding. There's a difference."
"It's not like you can afford to keep most of your colonies now, anyway."
"It's not like they can afford anything without me either."
"Yeah, well, that's why we're lowering trade barriers and working on the whole freedom of movement around the world thing. Anyway. This is after the war. The war I haven't entered."
"A fact you continue to hang over my head every chance you get."
"I'm not hanging it over your -- I can't declare war right now, England, not without Congress. One man's not supposed to have all the power, remember? That's why you're in this mess in the first place."
"...They look so happy to be straight with one another, don't they. Your President, my PM."
"And so different."
"Well, yours is bald. But a good kind of bald."
"Yes, the better to take to funny hats. ...And you still have no intention of doing more than dancing with the issue?"
"Can we get back to hammering out the eight points?"
"Nails poised. We left off with restating Wilson, am I right?"
"...let's not bring up Wilson. Considering how that one ended."
"Point Seven: not bringing up Wilson."
3 October, A.D. 1941
THE LAST THING I WANT IS A REBELLION IN INDIA STOP
GOD HATES ME STOP
APPARENTLY THIS GANDHI CHAP WANTS TO EXPLOIT THAT STOP
HOPE YOU ARE HAVING BETTER LUCK STOP
SO MUCH FOR FREEDOM OF THE SEAS STOP
BUT THAT WAS WILSON WAS IT NOT FULL STOP
November 27, 1941
Yeah, freedom of the seas isn't doing so well. Think you've got competition on that whole "pirates of the sea" thing. At least we can arm our ships now so we're not sitting ducks for the U-boats -- I guess you heard about what happened to the Reuben James? Right off the coast of Iceland, too. (Sorry about the Ark Royal, by the way.) Between Germany in the Atlantic and Japan in the Pacific, I swear my ships can't catch a break.
Speaking of Japan, his new boss is a total dick. Just when I think I've managed to coax him out of China -- and I do mean coax, I was going to give him about a million gallons of the fuel I've kind of been withholding from him, no really -- I find out he's sailing off to Indochina to plunder France's stuff a little more. Like the guy doesn't have enough to deal with, right? So I tell him either he gets out and leaves China alone or that's it, we're done, don't expect anything else from me.
I guess I just have to see what Japan does next.
Still not at war.
5 December, A.D. 1941
I know, damn it.
Yes, I heard about the Reuben James, and the Keaney as well. Of course I offer respect. Northern waters aren't terribly hospitable, and I've just declared war on Finland so I don't suppose things are going to get any better for us up there. Considering what Finland's done to Russia I'm not even sure this isn't some form of protracted suicide. I suppose it'll be some relief to you when I manage to get a few more ships up there on patrol but honestly, and the only reason this isn't classified is because I simply don't care, I'm stretched as thin as you.
I remember when war used to be fun.
I shall try to find some fun in it before the end.
December 7, 1941
SO UH STOP
I GUESS WE'RE AT WAR NOW STOP
JAPAN AND ME I MEAN NOT YOU AND ME STOP
CAN I JUST SAY THAT ATTACK WAS COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED STOP
AND SPITEFUL STOP
REALLY SPITEFUL STOP
KIND OF FEEL LIKE I'VE BEEN KNEED IN THE BALLS STOP
CLEARLY THE ANSWER IS TO SHOVE MY JETS SO FAR UP JAPAN'S ASS THAT HIS ANCESTORS FEEL IT AND CALL OFF THE ATTACK BEFORE IT HAPPENS STOP
IT IS ON STOP
OH IT IS SO ON STOP
SO NOW WE SHOULD PROBABLY ACTUALLY USE SOME OF THOSE WAR PLANS WE DREW UP STOP
SEE YOU SOON STOP
AT LEAST I HAVE A HEAD START ON THE DRAFT FULL STOP