The Clockwork Stranger is a dark High School A.U. fanfiction loosely based on Hetalia: Axis Powers, in which an arrogant Alfred F. Jones messes with exactly the wrong person, and buckets of Nightmare Fuel and Squick ensue.
A short summary: Alfred is a popular, athletic, and fanatically religious student in southern Ohio who becomes rather enraged when the resident Strange Boy Arthur Kirkland steals his parking space. In a quickly escalating retribution, Alfred winds up turning the majority of the student body against Arthur's bizarre habits and social apathy. Arthur means to take a minor revenge by scrawling an occult symbol on Alfred's hand; however, it seems, he has less control over the demon he's summoned than he had previously anticipated.
Elements of horror, burgeoning romance, and a clash of philosophies combine to what is regarded as a very worthwhile read for Hetalia fans and others alike. It is, however, rated M for a reason.
This fanfiction provides examples of:
- Armoured Closet Gay: Alfred, though less fiercely as the story goes along. One of the reasons he hates Arthur.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Arthur just wants to spook Alfred. Well, it works... just a bit too well.
- Big Bad: Slenderman. It's thoroughly terrifying.
- Black Magic: Arthur is a practitioner of it, albeit not a very good one.
- Break the Cutie: In the case of both Alfred and (later) Arthur.
- Break the Haughty: This happens to Alfred over the course of the story, though it comes to a head with his death.
- Crisis of Faith: An ongoing subplot for Alfred during his struggles with Arthur and the demon.
- Classical Antihero: Both Alfred and Arthur qualify.
- The Cynic: Arthur is this, though by the end some of Alfred seems to have rubbed off on him.
- Darker and Edgier: Than the source material. Hence the Dark Fic.
- Dark Fic: Immensely so.
- Despair Event Horizon: For Alfred, it's when Arthur leaves him alone after they kiss. For Arthur, it's when the demon rapes Alfred.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Arthur's revenge for Alfred's teasing? It kills him
- Enemy Mine: For a short time, when Alfred falls asleep on Arthur in the church.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Arthur learns this in a very hard way.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Arthur parking in Alfred's parking space. Due to Disproportionate Retribution, Alfred's bullying becomes this.
- The Fundamentalist: Alfred, making his experiences with Arthur and the occult all the more difficult for him to understand or accept.
- Genius Ditz: Alfred is this, and gradually more so as the story goes.
- Good Shepherd: Father Rome of Alfred's church is this, acting as a voice of reason and kindness for both main characters.
- High School A.U.: A rather dark example, of course.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Arthur is this, though the "knight" part didn't come out until later.
- Loners Are Freaks: Arthur proves this to be true, being a demon-summoner and all.
- Love Hurts: For both Alfred, whose attraction to Arthur triggers a poorly-timed Crisis of Faith, and Arthur, who must leave his beloved to die.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Alfred, particularly in the second half.
- Noodle Incident: Arthur's first attempt at summoning demons.
- Prayer Is a Last Resort: Alfred prays for the dawn and Arthur as he dies. His prayers are answered.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In the final chapter, the demon does this to Alfred, pushing the horror of the situation Up to Eleven.
- Rasputinian Death: Alfred gets carved up for months without sleep, crashes his car, has his intestines flayed, his eye ripped out, and his ribs torn apart before he finally dies... after another few minutes.
- Saintly Church: Alfred and Arthur attend one, and the finale takes place in one.
- Shoot the Dog: Arthur leaves Alfred to die, hoping for his pain to end.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Arthur thinks he might be this for Alfred, though it's somewhat ambiguous.
- Tragic Bromance: Poor Alfred. This doesn't end well for him.
- Tsundere: Arthur, particularly at the beginning.