Monarchy Over the Danube: Or, an Alternate History Tale of Austria-Hungary through the Nations Themselves.
Hofburg, Vienna. 8 April 1938.
As far as most people knew, including the Kaiser, a terse meeting regarding the Empire's future had just ended. Elizaveta, like her husband had been around long enough to know that it wasn't going all too well. I've been in worse, she thought while fixing her dress uniform. Still, as the Hungarian lady kept her eyes sharply at the other Nations around her, she had to admit that this was particularly different. Even without the nobles and officials who had only just left, the room never looked any more crowded than it did now.
"So what do we tell the Beilschmidts?" Czechia, as Bohemia insisted on calling herself, sneered. Occasionally, she took a glance at her dear Slovakia before returning a vaguely hidden death stare at the Magyar. "That we just roll over and side with then like last time?!"
"Ve~" Feliciano sighed as the Italian embodiment brought out another plate of pasta seemingly out of nowhere. "I'd really like us teaming up with Ludwig and Gilbert. We don't have to confront them...I mean, we can try convincing their boss that this whole war idea won't help them at all. And isn't Feliks also an old friend of yours, Liz?"
"Please, Italy. Don't try to bring Poland into this. You've already overstayed your welcome," an even more irritated Serbia groaned. "Besides, what do we care about any of those idiots! Not like we can just walk over into Berlin and give the Nazis a damn pat in the back! I'm sure those that nice bunch of depraved psychopaths would welcome us in after kissing their jackboots and turning over all our Jews
Hungary couldn't help but cringe at their mention just it was to hold back the snide remakes of her old comrade-in-arms. It was true that her people, much like the rest of the Empire weren't always kind to them, as much as she and Austria wanted to think otherwise with all the progress made these past few years. But if those reports are really true
Nem, they couldn't be that cruel right?! What other choice is there? Just as the Nation rose to cut off the Serbian however, she found her husband very stiffly standing up as well. She knew him long enough to know what that meant.
"That would be enough Marko!" she heard the aristocrat say in a carefully controlled calm before clearing his throat. "Danke schon. Now, I understand that this situation is not at all to our liking. In actuality, allow me to be so blunt: we are at the very heart of a War that could happen any day now!" Without looking, his hands subtly but anxiously moved to hold hers. "And as our Kaiser would proudly say, we must all work together to overcome this grave crisis. Between Herrs Hitler and Stalin, we cannot stay neutral forever."
"Roderich's right," the brown-haired Magyar added for him. "As you may already know, Ivan and his Soviet masters aren't subtle about their plans to take over our lands once they're through with Feliks. It's also about the only reason why those Nazis are even considering having Ludwig and Gilbert talk with us soon." She gave an assuring nod towards the bespectacled Nation before continuing. "Either we fight together or die trying! But we must decide now what happens from here on lest you
"Make nothing of it!" She turned around, surprised to find Emperor-King Otto snap uncharacteristically at the mere mention of their neighbors. As the increasingly weary man walked in, he slid into a gentler though somber frown. "We won't deny that even in this so-called peace, we are in peril," he continued using the old royal form. "Ja, it is difficult. But are we not good God-fearing, free peoples one and all? We shall not sacrifice our virtues. Neither to Stalinists nor National Socialists."
As much as the Nation wanted to believe that, it was little consolation for what she, Austria and everyone else knew to be a painful struggle. "With all respect Felség," she answered. "There aren't that many friendly countries out there willing to help us. As America would put it, we're between a rock and a hard place."
"What other choice is there, můj lenní pane?" Bohemia protested much more bluntly. "Surely you're not suggesting that we fight this out alone. My people don't want to die on the losing side!"
At this, instead of raising his voice, Otto gave a coy, though almost apologetic grin. "None of us would have to be." He turned once more towards Elizaveta and her husband, passing on a letter containing the monarch's signature. It was written in the King's English. "I'm sure you know of my family's connections. But as much as I'm really sorry for not informing any of you sooner," he added, all the formalities gone.
To side with them?! Hungary could barely hide her surprise even as she noticed Austria barely faring any better. Didn't they try to tear us apart last time? "But
"I know. But times change. I promised that this Empire would not fall again. But whether or not our old enemies are on the victors' side in this new War
at least we would not be fighting alone."
There was an unnerving silence that followed. Despite the growing anxiety however, she and no doubt her dear Roderich knew that what they were about to do was for the best. If it means preserving everything they've fought to regain
Let's do this.
Undisclosed location outside London, United Kingdom. 15 July 1938.
The world was inching ever closer towards the abyss. Arthur knew this all too well, and so did everyone else sitting around the large map of Europe laid on the table. They should bloody do by now! the embodiment of the United Kingdom thought irritably.
Hitler's Germany was on the move. Poland would likely be overwhelmed before anyone could step in to save him. France's Maginot Line seemed to grow more and more ridiculous by the day. While out east, Ivan seemed to grow ever more impatient in making the world one with him. And that didn't include Japan's "Co-Prosperity Sphere" escapades in Asia. Barely twenty years after the Great War, and it looked as though another one was bound to happen any day now. Never again, my arse
Even Alfred with his absurd failure to read the atmosphere would have to be blind to see the panicked, exasperated and outright angered looks on their faces as they kept on bickering. Which isn't helping me one bit here
Especially with the couple waiting just outside.
"Right," England sighed at long last as the commotion died down. "The main order for this meeting is to introduce the newest
unlikely members of our Entente Cordiale. It is for the interests of everyone here that you be on your best bloody behaviour!"
"Ah, be out with it ma cheri!" the embodiment of France asked with a hint of frustration. With so much commotion and conflicting news going on, it made sense that not everyone spoke on the same level. "We all know Amerique is bound to take a side eventually! Les Italies of all people did! So spare us the speech and bring him in, tsi?"
The Nation forced himself not to strangle the Frenchman, let alone slap himself. That he could see the unnerving concern in Matthew's face, let alone notice the Canadian along with the rest of the Empire didn't help matters at all. Now or never, you wankers. With a practiced if awkward gesture he stood up, clearing his throat while taking a glance the door behind him. "Allow me to welcome into our Entente Cordiale the Austro-Hungarian Empire." There was a pause as he steeled himself. "You may enter!"
As he said this, the doors opened up to reveal two familiar Nations in old yet dignified uniforms walking towards the group of Nations. While England himself was able to get over the shock the rest were loudly showing beforehand, the sight of them walking purposefully together in outfits not seen since the War still felt unnerving.
" France snapped. "You're letting them in?! That aristocrat can't even find his way to the toilet right! "
"If you must know," Elizaveta countered with a forced veneer of restraint. "We are doing just fine, thank you very much! And don't think we've forgotten about Versailles or Trianon either!"
"Though be rest assured," Roderich added in accented French, though with the same disdain. "I would rather have you be a nuisance rather than a traitorous dictator. After all, we are fighting the same enemy, ja?"
enough of this bollocks. "As I was saying
" the Englishman cut in, resisting the urge to slam the table. He walked up to and shook the hands of the newcomers. "It is a great pleasure to have more friends against the menace sweeping across Europe," he said with a long-practiced diplomat's voice. "And while you may have every right in being rather
upset at us over the War, let bygones be bygones."
Though Austria clearly hid it better, he could still see from the reunited Empire's faces that they were finding this whole thing just as surreal as his side of the Entente. Perhaps they're desperate, or maybe trying to have one last chance at glory. Then again, he and they were old allies once upon a time
"This had better be worth it, Angleterre," Arthur heard France whisper. But as he showed the couple the official documents, he simply ignored it and shrugged.
Better with us than with Jerry. What could possibly go wrong?
"Now, please sign on the dotted line."