Of Knights, Kings and Broken Promises
Pairing: Various!Hetalia x Nerdy!Shy!Bullied!Reader
AU: Gakuen Hetalia
“Hey, you big bully! Get away from her!”
You let out a soft whimper, cowering from your position on the ground. You don’t even want to look up, in fear of what was above you, even though you can hear the scrambling of sneakers across the pavement.
It’s recess and you’re on the asphalt part of the playground. Maria Beilschmidt, your daily tormentor, along with her two best friends have just gotten finished pushing you to the ground. Their words are still stinging in your head, you can hear what they say over and over again.
‘Chubby cheeks’, ‘Miss Piggy’, ‘Loser’, ‘Ugly’. You wonder where they could’ve gotten these nicknames for you when you realise it’s probably just because you’re different.
Everyone your age here was outgoing. People who weren’t were made fun of. You, Matthew Williams and Feliks Łukasiewicz were these people. Everyone else—like Katyusha Braginski or Lilli Zwingli—that should be bullied too weren’t because they were protected by their siblings.
Even Matthew had a sibling, Alfred, that kept Maria at bay most days and Feliks had his unbreakable spirit, but you... No, you are a lone child and the constant enemy number one.
Luckily, when your tormentor comes, so does your saviour.
“[Nickname], are you alright?” You can hear his thick accented voice hit your ears and your whimpering stops.
Slowly, you manage to nod and get up with the help of his hand “Y-Yeah, I-I’m fine, Danny.”
Daniel Héderváry scowls at your response but that doesn’t take away from his adorable childish features. His shoulder brown hair is ruffled and his ponytail is loose which means that the bullies must've shoved him around in their escape. Still, he knows that you’re not alright and he grows frustrated that those bullies would swoop in right when he wasn’t there.
“Sajnálom.” He quickly apologises as his emerald eyes scan over your small build to see if you had any injuries to take care of “I shouldn’t have left you...”
“Oh, don’t be silly. I-I’m fine, Danny. Really.” You quickly reassure him only to be pulled into a hug.
He’s taller than you, being a couple years older and all, but it feels like you fit perfectly in his arms. It feels like home and he buries his face into the crook of your neck. You’re only in fourth grade but this already feels like true love. The thought makes your cheeks, ears and the nape of your neck warm up.
“I pinky promise—boy scout honour!—that I’ll never ever let anything hurt you ever again!” He says so determinedly that your little innocent mind couldn’t help but believe him “I’m going to protect you.”
He never really did come through with that promise, did he?
You wouldn’t blame him. You’ve always been such a quiet and reserved girl, one that preferred the sidelines. Daniel was sweet and had a personality very much like you but he... he was born for the spotlight.
He has this smile that lights the room, his green eyes capture his emotions so perfectly and he has the charm of a knight and a prince rolled into one.
He’s perfect and you’re not.
It’s no surprise that he drifted away from you. It started in middle school, he met a girl named Rebecka and she took up too much of his time. Slowly, you were pushed out like a forgotten doll on the shelf.
Rebecka was a childhood friend of Maria’s, no matter how much the two argued and everything, and that meant Daniel hung out a lot with Maria too. They made a trio that left you in the dust.
Sure, Daniel checked up on you every now and then. A quick ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ or maybe a ‘Can you hang out?’. The answers were always ‘Fine.’ or ‘No, I’m busy.’ and he was gone again.
That was technically your own fault. You didn’t want to be a burden, he seemed to be having too much fun without you anyway.
Now, it’s the first year of high school and it’s your first day, first lunch period. Daniel is on his junior year and you can see him in the sea of tables and people. He’s laughing loudly, arm around Maria securely.
They had gotten together, forgotten about you together. Maria, not so much. She taunts you, she’s gotten better at pushing you down. Daniel either doesn’t care or doesn’t know.
Still, that’s beside the point. You can see your best friend, Nikolai Braginski, in the very far table. He’s sitting with Nicolas de Burgh and Huiliang Wang. When Daniel left you for dirt, these people are the ones that took you in.
All of you are misfits.
Nikolai is the brother of Katyusha, Anya and Ivan Braginski. He’s notorious for being extremely scary and there are rumours of him scattered around school—some about his dagger/knife collection while others about how he killed a man with a butter knife just because the stranger touched his sister, Anya—but you know he’s a good guy. You're not going to deny the scary thing though, he really is downright frightening most of the time. It didn't help that he was the quiet type either, that just made him even more intimidating. How a big scary Belorussian guy like him got to be your best friend... You're never going to know! But he keeps Maria away most days at school so you're very thankful.
The next misfit is Huiliang. He has this huge family of Asian cousins, brothers and sisters but he doesn’t fit in with any of them. He’s also a pyromaniac and tried to set fire to François’ hair in the sixth grade so a lot of people tended to avoid him. He was suspended for a week for that but he says he doesn’t regret it. Apparently, François, Antonia and Maria had just gotten done with bullying you for the day and he wanted to do something about it. 'Payback's a bitch so I had to do somethin' bitchy... Why not light the girl’s hair?' was his exact words. Despite being Chinese, he was very Americanised, that was for sure.
Then there’s Nicolas de Burgh. His older sister’s name is Tessa and she’s in the same grade as Daniel. You don’t know why Nicolas is in your group. He's a sophomore with beautiful blonde locks and shimmering sea green eyes. He should be popular, that was obvious but you like yelling Nick and seeing both Nikolai and Nicolas’ heads turn so you keep him around. Nicolas is a great baker too and loves to cook a lot. This gave Maria and her posse a reason to pick at him—nobody was safe from them, not even the dudes—but he keeps his chin up and you guys help him on his down days. Hey, he even brings foods for you guys to try out.
But all of that is extra detail, just the past. It’s back to the present where you’re standing there with your books in your arms. You want to get to your table with your misfits but, the thing is, Daniel is in the way.
Most people wouldn’t think that as a big obstacle but you do. You don’t want to see him in fear that he tries to talk to you. You don’t want to talk to him because, well, you’re selfish and you want to keep him out of your life. As a sort of punishment for slowly pushing you out of his, I guess.
Pushing up your glasses, you notice that your friends are staring at you. Nikolai is the first to realise why you haven't come over yet. You know this because his steely eyes land on Daniel’s before going back to you. He rolls his eyes, which makes the corners of your mouth twitch up, before hastily gesturing for you to get the fuck over there.
You decide to comply. What’s the worst that could happen?
Apparently, you have the worst luck in the world because, as you pass behind Daniel’s chair, he notices you and takes your arm.
You’re forced to turn around and face his gorgeous smile “[Nickname]! Come sit with us!”
He talks to you so familiarly that it almost—almost—makes you cringe but you hold in the urge to yell at him. He had no more right calling you that odd ball nickname. Still, your timid nature doesn’t let you tell him that.
“I-I’m sorry, D-Daniel. I-I— I-It’s just that—“ You’re floundering and, the longer you stutter, the more you notice all the eyes on you. This makes your face heat up in embarrassment and you hope to god that your [s/c] skin doesn’t make the blush too obvious (though it probably does).
Daniel is waiting for a complete sentence though. One that, it seems, you could not provide. Your [e/c] eyes keep looking everywhere but on him and you just keep fumbling.
Then, thankfully, you feel someone place their hand right above where Daniel has his hand on your arm. With a small tug, Daniel was removed and you look up to see it’s Nikolai with your two other dorks flanking him.
You can feel the tension rise.
“Sorry, the girl is with us.” Nikolai says in his usual cold tone, one that reflected just how harsh winters were in Belarus. That was his entire personality even; cold, steely and heartless.
Daniel, however, seems surprised by Nikolai’s interruption and frowns “E-Excuse me?”
“You heard me, pretty boy. Come on, [Nickname]. Let us leave before he can do anymore damage.” Nikolai replies smoothly and his hand moves from your forearm to your hand. His palm feels freezing but you welcome the action all too happily as you’re led away from the astonished popular table.
Nicolas only laughs that boyish laugh of his and his arm wraps around your shoulders “Ohhh, Nikolai, you sly dog. I didn’t know you had it in you.”
Huiliang is in front of all three of you but you had made out a smirk on his usually stoic face earlier. You’re guessing he’s also impressed by the feat that Nikolai seemed to have pulled off.
You yourself are still dazed but the sudden tightening of Nikolai’s hand makes you look up at him. His beautiful eyes are trained forward but they’re hard and they look so angry.
“I was not going to be letting pretty boy step all over her. And someone needed to put him in his right place.” His accent seemed to thicken as he talked though his voice was monotone. All of us knew this was just a measure of how angry he really was “I am not letting anyone hurt her, not anymore and especially not by pretty boys who think they can do whatever they want.”
This time, for some weird reason, you find yourself believing his every word.