Characters: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg
Summary: Just another Benelux bike-ride.
Holland looks unimpressed.
“I’m perfectly on time.” Belgium responds more out of reflex than as an actual defense. Her brother always does this; maybe he just can’t tell time?
“See?” Shoving her phone in his face only gets a raised eyebrow and a smirk that screams of an ego to rival most others. Most. Not all. America and Prussia just can’t be beat in that department. Anyway, at least the numbers on the digital clock are big enough for him to read, so he can’t pull the age card and dodge out of this one. “Now what does it say?”
“One o’clock.” He pauses to push her arm out of the way; that stupid smirk still painted on his face. “You’re late.” Hey. Hey. They’d agreed to meet at one! She begins to remind the brunet of this, but there are two problems with that. 1) He’s not listening anymore. 2) Luxembourg is there.
“Nyeh nyeh, Belgium’s so dumb she can’t even catch a bus on time!” Luxembourg is a nice height. He’s just short enough to grab in a headlock and choke to death, after all. Belgium finds herself so busy trying to kill him that she almost misses the click of the key as the oldest of them unlocks his bike. Key word being almost.
“Dibs on the rack!” The words tumble out without her thinking, because no way is she sitting up
in the suicide seat on the handlebars while Luxembourg laughs at her ass. Once was enough – never again.
“Dibs?” Her captive croaks echoes in disbelief. Aw, and now Holland is looking at her too. He’s not exactly…enthusiastic, about all the international influences on his people recently. Hearing American slang from her is probably the last thing he wants.
But what does she care? He’s just stupid Holland.
“S-shut up!” Belgium is blushing, she can feel it in the heat rising to her cheeks. Squeezing Luxembourg’s neck tighter doesn’t really help that problem any, but it does make her feel better. A little.
“America left my house just the other day. He’s really loud, and he rubs off on you, okay? Especially his vocabulary.” Despite her completely valid and not at all defensive explanation, Luxembourg is still snickering despite the bluish tinge to his lips and Holland…
…Holland isn’t listening to her. Again. The idiot never has anyway, but this time there’s a reason that isn’t simple sibling cruelty; a reason that involves underage women yet again.
The blonde releases the choke hold to shove her bag at a still winded Luxembourg. “Hold this.” She commands, afraid that if she brings the briefcase with her, it will all too easily find its way into her stupid brother’s head. Belgium would say that she’s afraid of brain splattering onto the buffed leather, but then again, in her opinion Holland doesn’t really have a brain to begin with, so the point is moot.
But in the interests of time, she hopes the sound of her heels clapping on the cement floor is enough to scare Holland out of his daze. It never is, but she can hope, right?
By the time Belgium has crossed the bike garage – clack, clack, clack – her brother is already exchanging phone numbers with the pair of girls – god, how young are those two? Fifteen? Maybe sixteen at most.
“You,” She growls into his ear, “Are four-hundred years too old to be giving those two any ideas.” Pulling him away is like trying to separate a giant pouting child from a candy mountain. He’s still typing their numbers into his phone.
“Call me!” Holland shouts despite the die now aura directed at him, mimicking a cell phone against his ear even as Belgium drags him off by the roots of his spiked hair.
“Every time.” She mutters. “I take my eyes off you and poof! Gone.”
“All you were doing was making excuses anyway…” Now he’s trying to act all hurt and poutish, but that’s not going to work on her, oh no. She’d survived him through the Eighty years war and through her own revolution. A pouty face and pathetic whining noises directed at underage girls? Belgium could survive this too.
And besides, nothing can compare to the pure pouting power that is the Congo.
“I’m just glad none of the judges are female. If you create a scene in that courtroom-!” He won’t. She knows that as well as she knows his favorite color and his favorite food and even his favorite coffee house. But this banter is what they do, away from prying eyes and those who see the word Benelux and think of boredom.
“Well,” He considers, chin propped in his hand, “Lichtenstein will probably be accompanying her brother. So I suppose-”
“Idiot! Flirting with Switzerland’s sister will not help me win this case!”
“And you picking a fight with him won’t help me at all when I’m…um…chatting with her.”
There’s a pause as Belgium feels a twitch develop under her left eye, somewhere in the region of Antwerp.
Hurling Holland onto his bike is made all the sweeter by the little groan of pain he makes as he slides off and clutches at his crotch. Luxembourg holds up a placard with a lonely one on it until Belgium’s glare is directed his way and a zero is hastily added to the end.
Hah. Right. Perfect ten.
“Lets-lets go then.” Holland stutters from somewhere in the vicinity of the floor. Smiling like she isn’t making up for hundreds of years of oppression through sibling relations, Belgium nods.
It’d be much easier for Holland to start pedaling without the extra weight of the two passengers, but asking Luxembourg to hop onto the handlebars is akin to asking for a trip to the hospital, and Belgium is needed in the back on the rack to balance out the weight so they don’t tip from the start. Well, that, and there’s the fact she doesn’t feel like hopping on in a skirt and heels. (She could! If she wanted to! And she doesn’t.)
The arm she loops around Holland’s waist is only so she doesn’t go flying when they make a turn.
“Next stop, the Vredespaleis!”
“Well, I was actually thinking-”
“Denied.” This much, at least, she and Luxembourg agree on. If they stop for fries they’ll never get there.
Surprisingly, it’s actually a smooth ride until they reach Alexanderstraat. Not too much traffic, and the skies seem to have deemed that they won’t break open and pour today. If she cranes her neck and peeps around Holland’s stupidly large hair, she can see the roundabout in the distance.
And then “Het Wilhelmus” begins to play. From Holland’s phone.
“It’s my boss.” Of course it is, because every other ringtone he’s assigned to someone is made up of low quality bytes of Dutch rap and oh wait.
That’s not good. Because if it’s his boss he’ll answer, and then- “Luxembourg, steer please. I need to take this call.” Oh now he’s just doing this to scare her. And if the sudden clenching of her arm is any indication, it’s working.
“H-hey, wait!” Too late. The grin on his face is too wide as Holland lets go of the handlebars, digging around in his pocket for his phone. She can do this! Belgium can do this! They’re not going to die. Luxembourg has driven a bike from the handlebars before, and as long as the idiot in front of her remembers to pedal, they’re not going to crash. Right.
Right? (And it’s with a sinking sensation that Belgium realizes that the only time they’ve done this before was on a deserted country bike path that wouldn’t kill them if they so much as swerved wrong.)
There’s suddenly something pointy against her arm that’s draped around Holland’s middle, and she jerks back in surprise, almost sending them careening into a passing van. Almost. For the trouble of putting them back on course, Luxembourg makes gestures that are far from appropriate. The only thing that saves him from certain death is the fact that punching him really would leave them as roadkill.
Oblivious, or just plain apathetic, Holland breaks the glaring contest with a nudge to her ribs.
‘I need your arm.’ He mouths, holding a pen up in the air. ‘Notes.’
“I can’t have writing on my arm! We’re going to court!” She hisses, really not caring if Balkenende hears her.
“You’ve got sleeves…” His words are almost lost to the bustle of the city around them as he goes for her arm again, and she has little choice but to sit there and let him grab it, lest her evasions leave them stuck to the side of a tour bus or squished under a passing tram.
There’s a sharpie in her bag. If she really wanted to…
“Ah. Ja. Mmm.” Aw, but he looks so sweet and hardworking and not perverted as he sits there and pedals, scribbling down who knows what on her arm. Government stuff. Actually, knowing her luck, it probably has to do with what the new tax rates on strip shows will be.
Sighing, Belgium leans her head against Holland’s back, resigning her arm to its fate of being desecrated and herself to her destiny to be offed by a tram.
“Your music is still horrible, Holland.” She mumbles against the muscle.
No matter how many times she’s used it, at least that still gets a rise out of him.
And if he gets off that phone all the sooner so he can return the taunt, all the better.
Belgium has washed the ink off her arm by the time they take their seats.
She nods cordially to Switzerland, who responds in kind. Common courtesy is important after all, especially when her country is the one that pressed the charges. Lichtenstein waves from behind her brother though, and it’s hard to bite back a smile.
After that, it’s easy to fade into the background. Too easy, considering the fact that the international court of justice has just called together solely because of her,
well, and because stupid Switzerland didn’t know when to let go of the money.
Luxembourg is practically invisible in the back row of seats, his grating voice suddenly subdued and his list of taunts lost when he sat down next to England.
Holland hasn’t made a pass at anyone yet, even though Switzerland has finally left Liechtenstein behind to take his seat on the defense’s side.
They are the Benelux Union. Sometimes
most of the time they are forgotten amongst the bustle and clatter of larger nations, of more powerful nations.
But that’s fine, Belgium realizes as Holland spots her and flashes a very unprofessional thumbs up without anyone noticing. It’s just fine, she decides as Luxembourg makes a face designed to cheer her up without causing England to hit him over the head for rudeness.
This is fine.
 In December-ish of 09, Belgium took Switzerland to court over differing views of the Lugano Convention. Fact is only relevant in that it gives me an excuse to get Swiss + ICoJ in here :D
 Himaruya says that Belgium and her brothers don’t stand out much when surrounded by others, thus causing the last part.
Luxembourg totally is Belgium and Holland’s sweet/annoying/awesome/etc kid brother and you know it.