I don't own Hetalia okay? I have had a few ideas spewing around and this is one of them. I don't know what else to say here other than enough of this A/N, on with the fic!
"Ugggggghhhhh give me the George Thorogood." A blonde haired man stormed into the bar with an angered look on his face. The place was usually noisy and packed but with it being Christmas day, the hotel's bar was open but no one was there. Just various carols played over the stereo and a strand of blinking lights was hung behind the bar.
"Just what happened to you Al?" The bartender asked as a platinum blonde Russian looked up from his laptop, curious as to what was a quiet place to work that wasn't his hotel room. Back in his home country, December 25th was just another day so he needed to still get work done while on a trip before Epiphany on January 7th, the big winter holiday back home. Because it was Christmas, nothing else was open and he didn't want to stay in the hotel room alone, so he was sitting in a relatively quiet bar, only to find a young man storm in angered.
"Oh the usual Gil." Alfred said as he sat down. He had worked in this hotel as a lifeguard in the summer but as it was off-season the pool wasn't open very often and he didn't have much work. He did however get to know the rest of the staff pretty well. "My oh so perfect brother is over for Christmas and going on about oh how well he's doing now in Toronto now. He's even got himself a lovely little girlfriend who had to stay there for her family over the holiday."
"Oh you know what they say about people who say they have girlfriends in Canada who aren't really around Al." Gilbert laughed. "But here you are. One bourbon, one scotch, one beer. And it isn't that skunky stuff you hate. It's a Sam Adams you little wannabe historian."
"Thanks." Alfred said as he picked up the bottle of beer and drank deeply.
"You know what they say, beer before liquor, never been sicker." Gilbert warned.
"I really couldn't give a fuck about that right now." Alfred sighed. "But I really cannot stand that house right now."
"They won't let it drop huh?" Gilbert asked wiping the bar down, placing some glasses that were recently washed up.
"Of course not." Alfred sighed.
At this, the Russian looked up and headed to the bar. "One vodka please." He said.
"Thought you had work to do Ruski?" Gilbert asked as he poured a glass.
"Well I need to take a break from the project for awhile. I do have time to get the report together." He smiled as Alfred scowled at him. "Just what is the matter with you young man?"
"Nothing." Alfred growled.
"It's Christmas. Time to be with family and from what I heard from your rage filled entrance, something happened with your family."
"Nothing unusual." He growled. "I followed my dream and it didn't work out. So the fuck what? I am picking up the pieces and starting over. Not my fault that my grades weren't stellar in high school. I had other things to do. I was working on said failed dream." He drained the beer bottle and moved to the scotch. "So I can't just pick up like it was the fall after graduation and go to the University on those grades, as if I could afford it anyway. So I go to the local community college's transfer plan and do something sensible. Or at least get the general education crap out the way then figure out what I can do as a 26 year old fucking failure."
"What?" Ivan asked.
"Oh poor kid wanted to be a rock star. Dreamed big, so big he missed the moon." Gilbert sighed as he looked over at a disgruntled Alfred.
"Was he any good?" Ivan asked.
"Had some potential." Gilbert said. "His band performed here from time to time and it wasn't half bad, I think he just didn't get lucky when he did go out to Hollywood. The rest is like every other story of those who go out to Hollywood wanting to make it big."
"Fucking producers wouldn't know talent if it strangled them." Alfred moaned. He pulled out a notebook and began to write a few sentences down. "I'll be back in a few." he walked away from the stool and headed to the bathroom. Gilbert had turned back to the bar. Curiosity got the better of Ivan and he pulled the notebook closer to him and looked over it. It was filled with short sentences and brief what looked like poems, the notes of someone who had a creative mind. Alfred returned from the restroom and took the notebook back. "Like?" He asked annoyed. "That's my lyric notebook."
"I thought you gave up on that?" Gilbert asked.
"Not entirely. I'm just getting something to get my dad off my back and make like I've got a good grown up plan. Just don't have the time like I used to." Alfred said.
"Well it's poetic." Ivan said. "I could sense a real longing in the words. Longing to be noticed. Longing to be acknowledged."
"Well..."Alfred blushed and looked away. "It's not like I can make a living off being poetic and wanting to be noticed." He finished off the scotch and grabbed the bourbon. "And that's all that matters. Make a living. Just cast yourself aside to the wind and fuck what you cared about. All in all you are fucking brick in the wall and if you try to go against that, you'll be cast out and smashed like the clay bricks are made from."
Ivan was impressed with the analogy Alfred came up. But he knew there was a story more than he was letting on. But he wasn't going to get it out of the frustrated young man right now unless he knew just how to appeal to what was hurting him inside. And he also knew he had to make himself seem like less of a stranger. "Well, I'd like to learn more about you, Al is it?"
"Yeah. And who are you?" Alfred sulked. "Going to give me the same lecture as my dad does?"
"No, I just want to learn more about you. I'm Ivan, I work for a cyber-security company based out of Russia." Alfred looked up curiously. "I've heard it all. But I assure you, my job is to keep the other crazy Russian hackers out of my client's networks."
"Sounds fun." Alfred said trying to be polite. He knew Ivan meant no harm but he was being too curious for his liking. He didn't know the guy. He only felt more open to talking to Gilbert because they knew each other and bartenders tended to have a listening ear for those in personal distress. It was part of the job. "Another Thorogood." Alfred said.
"Geesh kid, you set on killing your liver?" Gilbert said. "Any Christmas dinner you had is going to come back up in a hard way."
"Good. Maybe I can pass out until January when my new semester starts and I am the creepy guy too old for this thing or that dumb loser everyone thinks little of while acting like it's so great that they are pulling themselves up by the bootstraps." Alfred sulked. "I just hate being reminded of how I didn't follow the plan and because I had too much personal integrity I couldn't even fit into their prescribed counter culture figure, I lost my chance of my dreams. And the less said that offer in the San Fernando valley, the better."
Gilbert's eyes widened. "You got offered something there? You never mentioned that before."
"Well it's easy to get someone down on their luck to go into that industry and they wanted to pay me good being a 'natural beauty' as they called it, but I have standards man. And frankly, I don't know which blow to my pride is worse. Almost being cast in a porno or having to come crawling back to Dad and start over." Alfred took the second scotch and drank it down in one gulp, feeling the burn on his stomach.
"The tips of your hair are darker than the rest of it." Ivan noticed. He was feeling empathetic for the young man. Having to decide on what of yourself to compromise is never easy and he knew that all of the anger and drunken talk was out of a deep hurt. Inside the man was a young boy crying inside for someone to just care about him.
"Well I did get close to making it big. But before the company would sign me for a record deal, I had to try this secondary persona thing. Rock stars aren't supposed to be blonde. Tell that to Dee Snyder man." Alfred said in a mocking voice "If I was to be in their Backstreet Boys clone band, fine, they wouldn't have done a thing to my hair. But my songs didn't match what they thought the public would think the singer would look like so they dyed it, gave me a pair of sunglasses and a baseball bat with nails in it and a belt with a buckle that said 'fuck' on it for my stage persona."
"So you feel that was a betrayal to your image and your work?" Ivan asked.
"That wasn't all of it. They wanted me to add things or take out things that destroyed the message. I tried it of course. Got to make some concessions I thought, so I play along, and before they sign the deal I had to hit the LA club scene and I wouldn't get to pick where I played, but they did and they are fucking clueless! Like I swear they wanted a rock band to play at a bar frequented by white gloved wine guzzling pearl clutchers?"
"Pearl clutchers?" Ivan asked, unfamiliar with the term.
"Usually a stuffy old person who is like the movies going 'well I never' at the slightest offense. Like come on, know the audience. At least before I left for Hollywood and I played here the audience was a mix of everyone, so some would like, some wouldn't care and some could suck it."
"Well that's just poor business practice on their part. They were selling a product, sorry to refer to it that way," He apologized at Alfred's look, grabbing the neck of the bottle of beer, looking like he'd break it on the bar. He was an artist and hated when someone would talk like that about him pouring his soul out. "But a record company is promote their talent and clients. And to do that, you have to know what music would appeal to what groups. They did you and themselves wrong."
Alfred looked at Ivan with a joyous, slightly drunken smile. He reached over and hugged Ivan, now crying. No one had ever saw it that way. That was how Alfred tried to explain it to his father when he had come home but he did not accept that and said Alfred was supposed to have given in to the client and picked better venues. It wasn't like he could choose, the contract had him do this before they would sign him, record an album, and make it big like he was dreaming. He was playing the game like it was supposed to be. He was too old to just look cute while singing covers on Youtube and get a bunch of views and get big that way. His songs did get a fair amount of hits on Youtube for an independent artist, but hardly enough to get any money from that one could justify making a career out of. So he had to play it by the old rules, get in the right Hollywood parties as staff at the catering company who took abuse by a bunch of phonies with a smile. Just keep telling yourself that the soul crushing would be worth it and then when you get a shot, you sell it all for a chance. Alfred couldn't sell it all and according to Ivan was a victim of poor business practices anyway. Alfred just collapsed onto the older Russian's shoulder, crying he finally found someone who wasn't judgmental of his failures. Ivan looked over at Gilbert desperately who shrugged. "You don't know how badly I needed someone to say that to me, to prove I wasn't just saying that to myself to numb the pain." Putting his hand on his back, Ivan patted Alfred's back, as if to say 'there there' and just calm him down. It was the alcohol making him more emotional, but Ivan knew those emotions came from somewhere deep down. In vino vertias was the old saying.
"Let it out." Ivan said, knowing that while he wasn't a clingy person to those he barely knew, Alfred needed to just let his soul out. Alfred sniffled back some snot that had come from the outburst and then got up to wipe his face on a napkin.
"Sorry if I messed up your coat. Looks old."
"It's one of my favorites yes, but you needed a friend." Ivan smiled.
"You got that right." Alfred said as he turned back to his drink when a loud voice came from across the bar.
"I knew I would find you here. Not many other places you go to open today." A blonde haired older man said with a British accent. "Fun time's over. We are going to have Christmas dinner that your Papa worked hard on. Be grateful for it."
"That's a little rude don't you think?" Alfred said with a burp.
"And I guess I will have to drive you home." Arthur said. "You are obviously drunk."
"Because of you bastard." Alfred said as Ivan sighed. Merry Christmas to you too you rude bastard.
Arthur heard Ivan's sigh and looked over at him. "Mind you stay out of this, it's a family issue."
"And you seem to be going about it rather curtly." Ivan said.
"Oh who asked you?" Arthur said as he grabbed Alfred's hand. "You're not the one cleaning up after your son's poor decisions."
"Well you asked me when you took my sigh as a comment towards you." Ivan said standing up, towering over the Brit.
"I'm sure he told you his sob story. Should have left him out there honestly. He is an adult and made his decisions. It was his Papa that honestly talked me into letting him back home." Arthur said. "Anyway, let's go. If I have to drive you anyway. Looking at your usual depression drink, you are well over the limit."
"If I am such an adult, I can stay here until I sober up." Alfred said taking his hand from his father. "Don't worry, I'll find some way to get out of your hair soon enough." with this, he passed out on the floor.
"Can't even hold your liquor." Arthur sighed. "Well if that is what you have your heart set on, so be it. Don't know why you bothered with him." he turned to Ivan. "Kids today can be so entitled."
Ivan scowled at Arthur and could tell that what Alfred needed was someone to believe in him, treat him like the human he was and not hold what he did against him. "Well funny thing is, I happen to be a manager for a cyber-security firm." Arthur looked at Ivan skeptically. He looked younger than him, but only slightly older than Alfred by a few years. "And I have been looking for someone to train in the field. I prefer to do it hands on anyway instead of having him go through a bloated education establishment this country seems to have."
"Good luck to you." Arthur said. "You'll live to regret that."
"I assure you I won't." Ivan said as he picked Alfred up. "Now if you know what is best for you and your son, I suggest you leave and let him sleep this off." Arthur stared into Ivan's eyes and then looked away.
"Fine." Arthur said. "I hope you know what you are in for."
"Better than you do." Ivan said as Arthur left.
Gilbert looked at Ivan and the passed out form of Alfred. "It's going to get cold tonight. Can't let him sleep in that beat up car of his. One of the windows doesn't even roll up all the way."
"Well I do have a spare bed in my room." Ivan said. "Rest assured I won't touch him like you're thinking of you pervert." He glanced at Gilbert. "But I can tell when there is a hard worker, someone who is dedicated and has a brilliant mind and they are loyal to themselves and their principles."
"And just how did you tell that from him?" Gilbert asked.
"If he wasn't, he wouldn't have come back and would have made it big." Ivan said.
So how was that? Good? Bad? Short? Long? Let me know in a review. Now this is just an idea I had popping around in my mind and how it pans out, well I don't know just how yet. It's not like Klondike where I had that planned from the beginning how nearly every chapter would go. So I don't know how fast I will update this when I have a few other ones I want to work on too. Anyway, remember to read (well you just did) and to review. Ciao for now,