A/N: This is Amy, here, with a Netherlands x fem!Indonesia. Yeah, I know that fem!Indonesia is yet to be canon in the anime/manga, so she still counts as an OC. This piece of fanfiction was made for a storytelling homework for English (hopefully I earned a satisfying grade; my teacher told me she was touched by the story). This story is based on Diponegoro's War (Indonesian history) when the Dutch took away the land that belonged to his ancestors. Also, I will be using the name 'Raden Kirana Putri' for fem!Indonesia and 'Abel van der Berg' for Netherlands.
Carnation of A Dutch
Hetalia APH Historical AU. [fem!Indonesia x Netherland]
Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia. If I did it would create chaos for my pleasure only.
Summary: At the bottom of the box, Kirana found a crushed flower – a Carnation. A striped Carnation.
And when she read the paper attached to its stem was the moment she broke into howling cries.
Ik hou van je. Het spijt me.I love you. I'm sorry.
"Astagfirullahhaladzim, what is the meaning of this?!"
The man fumed in anger as he glared at the large mahogany wooden poles standing tall and firm from the lush green grass. He knew it was the work of the Dutch. How dare they take custody over his land in Tegalrejo? The man known as Diponegoro, at the age of thirty seven at that time, has had lived long enough to witness the cruelty of the Dutch. They placed the weight of the exploitations of their lands, the increase of tax, disrespect of culture, economic troubles and slavery on their shoulders to burden their lives. But claiming his ancestors' lands as property of Netherlands? This is unbelievable, he thought. This has crossed the lines of my patience for them.
"My prince, is there something the matter?"
"Please do not address me as such in public, Kirana," the old man sighed at the girl whom had approached him as he rubbed his temples in hopes it would help soothe the migraine in his head. "I am merely Diponegoro."
"Yes, Pak Diponegoro." she nodded her head in respect. The girl, eighteen at age and dressed in a long-sleeved cloud white kebaya with a batik songket wrapped around her waist underneath, was an adopted child of the prince of the Mataram Kingdom in Yoygakarta, Java. She was a lady of grace and elegance, her beauty was known from village to village. Not just beauty, but her intelligence and her thirst for knowledge were found within her for every day she sits in the library reading until the sun set. She was as sweet as sugar, but can be as stubborn as an ox. She had the softest of dark brown hair and the brightest of chocolate brown orbs, her skin tanned from her days of housework under the sun. Raden Kirana Putri was her name. "I see your land has been claimed by the white people."
"Yes, Kirana, they have." he replied, clutching the rippled cloth of the front of his clothing. "I have had it with them. For all these years looking at our people suffering in the hands of those Dutch I have held my patience. But this," he gestured to the land before him, a fence of mahogany circling the entire ground, "This is too much. They have disrespected our culture and my ancestors. My patience is wearing thin. I must do something about them."
"I agree, Pak." her eyes observed the sight while tampering with the jasmine flower in the strands of her hair. "We cannot tolerate disrespect of our culture that has been passed on for centuries. We must fight back."
"The question is, how?"
She pondered over the question, before answering, "We ask for support. There must be people who also would want to rebel against the Dutch, Pak. For instance, we ask Bapak Mangkubumi for help. From there we make an organization and plan strategies to use against the Dutch."
He tilted his head at her. "You make it sound dangerous and violent with the word 'rebel'."
"What makes you think it won't be?" she asked quietly.
"Hmm. I will think about it once we are home."
Then fell silence in between them, only the soft chirps of birds and distant sounds of construction ringing in the air. They decided to leave the place and take a walk across the rice fields. They passed a large amount of white-skinned men marched towards their direction, every step of polished leather boots in sync, muskets in grasp held tightly to their chest. The Dutch, of course.
"Goedemiddag," a golden blonde haired man greeted them, his sharp eyes casting a glare at the Javanese man. "It is a pleasure meeting you in person." With a mock salute, he said, "Long live the Queen of Netherlands."
"Welcome, General van der Berg," the Javanese man muttered, a thin line curved on his lips. The general adjusted the blue scarf around his neck. He wore a beige coat outside the usual military uniform. "What do I owe the pleasure in meeting you today?"
"I was wondering if you had seen the beautiful piece of land we just fenced up last night." he said casually, but there was sarcasm hinted in the tone of his voice, causing Kirana to frown.
"Yes, I did." he grunted yet still maintaining a polite tone in his voice. "Claimed by the Dutch and no longer mine," he finished.
A laugh from the tall Dutch was their reply. "I see! It was your land, eh? Well, now it belongs to the Netherlands."
Kirana said, "I'm not surprised you would take away Pak Diponegoro's land away. You people do not understand the meaning of culture or the word 'respect'."
With a glare he told the girl in a threatening tone, "If I were you, I would keep my mouth shut. I know respect more than a little girl would do."
"Why treat a man respect when he does not even treat a lady with equal in return?" she fought back, a determined look in her eyes.
The man was slightly taken back. "Tsk. What is your name, little girl?"
"I was taught not to give such information to stranger."
"You consider me a stranger?" the Dutch sneered, taking a long drag from his pipe before puffing grey smoke into the air. "Nonsense. The Dutch are allies with you Javanese people."
"Allies? Oh, do you mean as a colony? As master and slave?" Kirana growled, crossing her arms across her chest. "All you Dutch think you're so special and walk around like Allah's gift and order people around. But let me say this; your people are the same as ours. You consider us filthy and uncivilized? We consider the same for you too."
A horrified look crossed on Diponegoro's face. "Ya Allah, Kirana, please watch your words!"
"Kirana? Kirana. You're feisty." the general said, casting an amused look with his forest green eyes. "You're different than the other young females around here. I might take interest in you, sweetheart."
"Don't 'sweetheart' me. Go away."
The old man whom stood behind the girl fought the urge to smile at her boldness. The Dutch general continued to eye Kirana with the same look in his eyes before bowing to her and said, "As you wish. But mark my words, young lady; it will not be the last time we will meet."
She scoffed. "I hope not."
With a lazy smirk on his lips, he bid farewell and left with his soldiers.
After a while of pondering over Kirana's idea, Diponegoro had finally made up his mind and contacted his uncle, GPH Mangkubumi – as Kirana had predicted earlier – agreed excitedly and had quickly found a large amount of people whom had taken interest in the rebellion. Kirana had approached him with a suggestion of a place that would be served as headquarters, in which they had held meetings in Selarong Cave. The word about the rebellion spread quickly like wild fire, from Pacitan all the way to Kedu, causing men from around the island to soon join the army.
They were Diponegoro's army, and they had one goal; to defeat the heathen clan – the Dutch.
As a lady, Kirana was not supposed to be joining in work that is usually restricted for men only, but Diponegoro saw the fire of determination and the desire of freedom flaming brightly in her eyes. It would be a shame to ban such an intelligent, hard-working girl like Kirana from the rebellion, so he agreed on letting the beautiful girl stay and help out. The dark haired girl was assigned as the secretary in meetings, writing down notes and future topics to be discussed later on. In the evenings, she would be found in the kitchen with other ladies whom have been helping in the cooking for the men or serving portions of rice and salted fish on their coconut palm leaves.
Her second encounter with the Dutch man happened when she was alone and walking home from the market with a basket full of vegetables that could last for weeks tucked neatly in between her frail arms. She sighed to herself, relieved to be able to survive the rampage at the market. Ever since the invasion of the Dutch, food has been a rare resource that only people with money could afford. If only the Dutch would stop forcing the villagers to harvest crops for them to take, she thought to herself as she walked, we wouldn't be having this food crisis.
The sun was setting, she noticed, so she picked up her pace and walked faster. It was then she caught a glimpse of a blonde man from afar, approacing her. It was the Dutch general in his uniform. Strangely, his face glowed a fluch of red on his cheeks under the sunset. His hands were clasped behind his back. He had approached her with an expressionless face before pulling out a small jasmine flower from the pocket of his coat and offered it to the dumbstruck girl.
"A beautiful flower for a beautiful lady," he had whispered, tucking the flower between her ears."There. Very pretty."
"Why are you doing this?" she asked, face flushed in embarrassment.
"Like I said before, I have taken interest in you." Suddenly, he says, "I forgot to tell you my name. It's Abel."
They were silent, Kirana's face red from the warmth of his hand on her cheek and from the meaning behind his words, before saying, "We can't."
He stepped forwards, only inches apart from touching. "We could."
"I don't want to," she told him. She didn't know why she was saying this. She had loathed him ever since their first encounter, but his gentleness that day had changed the way he was for the girl. "We'll only get hurt."
He had a sad look in his green eyes. "I know. But we can try."
War ensued between Diponegoro's army and the Dutch so great, cost 20 million gulden and more or less 15.000 Dutch soldiers. The war had led the Dutch into utter confusion and panic.
"This must stop immediately," one of the men grunted from the square table, eyebrow twitching in annoyance at the amount of paperwork placed in front of him. Documents on the loss of money and deaths of soldiers along with the demands of fresh spices and crops from the kingdom with signature boxes yet to be signed made the leader of the meeting feel mocked by their presence. "We will lose the land to those filthy people if we lose."
"We must fight back!" a man demanded with a bang of his fist onto the table. "I cannot accept the fact that us Dutch will bow down to those pheasants! Strike them down, I say, and slay them all. Make them regret toying with us."
"We are low on soldiers!" another growled back at him, papers in his grasp as he skimmed the page, bemoaning to himself. "Look at the money we have left; it would take a fortune to send in soldiers from Netherlands. The fund won't be enough to equip more weapons. Unless it happened to rain gold and silver from the clouds above, there is nothing we can do."
Frustrated, a man shot back, "Find another way, then! Is there not something, anything that will help us bring that stubborn man down to his knees?"
It was then the room blasted into noisiness, men grunting strategies to capture the man behind the cause of their troubles.
"I might have an idea."
The men in the cold room turned to face the man who sat furthest, in a corner near the shadows. He had his eyes closed in ignorance despite the conflicts being discussed and took a long drag from his pipe before puffing dark smoke into the air.
A short plump man flushed in anger and from shock. "And what do you propose, General van der Berg?"
"A contest," he drawled lazily, clicking his tongue before continuing, "Whoever manages to capture Diponegoro will be rewarded with 50.000 gulden, dead or alive. With the struggle of economy nowadays for the villagers, they would be willing to do anything for money, no?"
"Preposterous!" a man in a hat exclaimed, lips curled into a frown. "We would waste the money we have left!"
"Do you have a better idea then, sir?" he retorted sarcastically.
Majority of men nodded their heads in agreement. The leader of the meeting – whom sat at the front – whispered back and forth with his colleagues next to him, exchanging thoughts in rapid Dutch. After a minute or two, the chatter stopped and the room fell into deep silence.
"We have come into a conclusion," he announced, his heavy voice echoing through the concrete walls. "We accept van der Berg's idea of the contest. It will take a lot of money, yes, but it is only rational we do it. We must do everything, and I mean everything, to take that prince down."
A chorus of 'yes, sir's followed after, some in agreement and some half-heartedly. After the series of voices died down, the leader turned to look at Abel van der Berg. "You, General, will be in charge of this contest. Make the flyers and talk to the villagers the first in the morning. I expect results from this, you hear me?"
Diponegoro appeared in his thoughts, his old face filled with determination. Abel disliked the man. He had caused nothing but trouble for them white people, a nuisance for the kingdom, a pest between their growing crops. But then an image of a scowling face replaced Diponegoro; a young lady with glowing brown hair and bright brown eyes and pale lips curled into a frown. Kirana, he wondered to himself. Oh, how that woman intrigued him. She was the first woman to ever talk back at his face; the first person to ever do so. She was brave, intelligent, hot-headed, and feisty. Naïve, in a way, but she painfully reminded Abel of himself. Both were fighting for what they believed in, for what they thought was right, fighting for what they love.
She had intrigued him. She was all the Dutch could think every day and night. He hated to admit, but he was attracted to her like a moth to a flame. Irresistible. Attraction. If not careful, she could be a threat to him; deadly. Deadly attraction. He knew it could not love, for they have only met twice. But was it true – the term of love at first sight?
Kirana, would you hate me for doing this, he wondered to himself. Capturing your mentor? Taking away your land? Taking away your freedom?
"Do you hear me, van der Berg?"
Abel finally opened his eyes, revealing jade green irises. He lowered the pipe from his lips, not a hint of emotion on his pale face as he said, "Yes, Governer."
The war never showed signs of stopping. The natives of the island along with Diponegoro, fought as one against the invaders of their land. Every day turned into night, slowly each Dutch territory became theirs. The natives fought with ferocity that had struck a fear inside the heart of Netherlands. Blood was spilled every day and the amount of lives being torn were too much to be counted.
Diponegoro was reminded of what Kirana had once said to him.
"You make it sound dangerous and violent with the word 'rebel'."
"What makes you think it won't be?"
Kirana never joined the war. Because men fight, not women, she was reminded by Diponegoro. So she was sent back at base to help the other women clean the rooms, cook, and tend to the injured. Her thoughts never wandered far from Abel van der Berg, the Dutch general who seemed to have found a way into her heart. She felt her cheeks warm at the thought of the handsome blonde and mentally scolding herself for acting so childish. His strange yet beautiful shade of green eyes that reminded the girl of trees haunted her dreams. The gentleness he had when he was alone with her. Was it love that bloomed in her heart? Nonsense, love at first sight were untrue. But a part of her wanted to believe such fairytales were true.
23.000 soldiers were sent on the battlefield against the natives, an amount of men in uniform the Dutch has never sent before. They were desperate, they admitted, to get rid of Diponegoro. The war had become unstable and more violent and bloody. It is not rare to see dead bodies decaying with their guts spilled and blood soaking the ground.
Abel van der Berg never could find time to visit the Javanese girl, to catch a glimpse of her beautiful face. He was involved in the war, and as general, he was likely to be placed in the front. He couldn't find a gap to escape from and to Kirana. He knew war-time romances were unlikely to work, but he was more than willing to try. So he wrote letters to her but never sent them, not able to find time and fear of being caught. Every night in his tent, he would grab his ink pen and a piece of crumpled paper and wrote as if he was speaking with her. He wrote about everything, and hid the stack of papers in a cardboard box under his makeshift bed. Never once Kirana left his thoughts.
It was one day he returned to his tent to find the Governer sitting too stiffly on a wooden stool. Fear rumbled inside of him as he saw the other man holding the box Abel kept under his bed, fingers rapping slowly on the cover. The man gave Abel a cold glare that had made the general shiver before placing the box on the stool, replacing him as he stood. The frown never left his face as he ordered, "Stop this relationship or I will kill her and send your arse back to the Queen."
Kirana never forgot about the Dutch man and their second (and surprising) encounter. She dreamt about him every night and wondered of him at day. It was the source of wonder for the women whom worked with her at the headquarters. Some would tease her for her love of a man (a lucky man, they would say) and try to gain information of the man, but the Javanese girl would stay quiet. The gossip had reached to the ears of Diponegoro and his soldiers as well, causing a rather large depression from the soldiers who had their eyes on Kirana and fatherly protectiveness from Diponegoro. But aside for the protectiveness, Diponegoro had joked about wanting to meet the man who was lucky to have the love of Raden Kirana Putri.
Unfortunately, he was gone too soon – caught by the Dutch in the 1827.
"How dare you!" she had shouted at him one night under the starry skies, her yells echoing in the dead of night. "How d-dare you take away Diponegoro, you idiot!"
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. "It wasn't me. It wasn't my idea."
"But you were there!" she replied furiously, tears blinding her sight. "You're behind this t-too, aren't you? That means... You used me! You used me, didn't you? You used my feelings to benefit in the capturing of Diponegoro! How dare you?"
"I am doing what is best for my country." Oh, Kirana, I never meant this to happen. "I hope you understand me."
"So what am I to you, then? You never loved me, did you? All I thought we had was a lie all along?"
No. No. Oh, God, how wrong you are. "Yes."
Kirana had tears rolling down her cheeks. How Abel wanted to wipe them away and pull her into his arms, but it would cost him her life. He would rather not see her forever than living with the fact that she was dead. "Leave me, Abel! LEAVE ME."
Abel left without another word. It was then he realized how wet his eyes were from tears.
A few years later, Diponegoro was announced dead in the Rotterdam Fort in Makassar, 8th of January 1855. The war was kept going by some of his followers led by Diponegoro's son, Ki Sodewa.
Kirana Raden Putri grew older as time flew by, but she had never forgotten Abel van der Berg. So on one evening when the sun was sinking and fading away, she received a package. A cardboard box, rusty and red with dried blood Kirana tried to ignore. She asked the man who brought the box to her of whom it belonged to, but the man remained silent and withdrew himself from sight. Once she opened the box, her eyes are greeted with stacks of paper – letters, written in neat handwriting. She took some papers out and read. Her face is unreadable as she read and read some more. Evening turned into night, and tears filled her eyes as she read each affectionate, loving word only one man could have ever written to her.
Abel van der Berg.
A sob escapes her lips as she read the tales of the Dutchman; his feeling, his fears, his anger, his love. At the bottom of the box, Kirana found a crushed flower – a Carnation. A striped Carnation.
And when she read the paper attached to its stem was the moment she broke into howling cries.
Ik hou van je. Het spijt me. I love you. I'm sorry.
A/N: Reviews are truly appreciated, and flames deserve to be thrown out of my window.