I do not own Hetalia okay? This is an idea I had bouncing around for a while and it's not my usual style it's something I have wanted to play with. Anyway, enough of this A/N, on with the fic.
Alfred looked at the letter in his hand and sighed. "Some fucking farmer I am." He sighed and looked down at his feet in shame. He had taken over the family dairy farm after his father had died a few years ago thinking it could be something that would help him. Having come back from the Great War with breathing troubles caused by a faulty gas mask and his vision had been damaged from that same attack, causing him to have to wear glasses. "Not like I left this place on the best of terms when Dad was alive." Alfred sighed as he looked up at the sky. He was 19 when the call had gone out for men to join the army back in 1917. His brother had already snuck off from their Wisconsin farm to join the Canadian Corps, a move that had surprised both of them, knowing Matthew. After the battle of Vimy Ridge, neither one had heard what had happened to him. They had petitioned the Canadian government for his records and all they said was that he was missing in action. Not wanting to see the same thing happen to his other son, their father had begged Alfred to stay when the call went out. Being 19, he craved adventure. War sounded like the fun he needed. This led to a heated argument that Alfred walked out on and swore to never speak to his father again.
And when he had gotten back from the war, he vowed to keep his word, even if he was having issues with shell shock after the war in addition to his injuries. This resulted from going from job to job in factory to factory in the upper Midwest until one day he had gotten a letter from a lawyer who somehow had managed to find him in Milwaukee telling him his father had passed and as the last known living heir, the family farm was his. So for the past 5 years, he had been taking care of it. His father had gotten great prices for the milk but now, it just wouldn't seem to move. Land values went up, increasing the property tax on the sizable farm. So doing much like many of the other farmers in the area, he took out loans on the property so he could modernize and get some of the new equipment to increase output. Only to find that despite the roaring economy for everyone else it seemed, he was losing the farm. The mailman that day had dire news. If he hadn't come up with the money for the missed mortgage payments, he was going to lose the farm.
Looking over the land to the road, he sat crying when a brand new Cadillac Touring Coupe had pulled up in the driveway, causing Alfred to grab the foreclosure letter in a rage, head into the house and pulled out the Winchester 1897 shotgun he had been able to take home after the war. He had taken many a coyote that had threatened his cattle, he would see the banker trying to foreclose his home just the same. At this, two brothers came out of the car, one with dark brown and one with reddish brown hair. The one with the reddish brown hair held his hands up in fear while the one with dark brown hair looked angry.
"What the hell you bastardo?" The dark browned man said in an Italian accent. He turned to his brother and yelled. "And stop surrendering to everyone for anything!"
"Sorry big brother but that gun is scary." The reddish brown haired man said with the same accent.
"Idiota" The brown haired man said. "Hold it there Americano." He went on as he held his hands up, closing his eyes. "We aren't bankers."
"How did you know I thought you were bankers?" Alfred asked.
"Just a good guess, a lucky one." The man smiled. "I am Lovino and my brother Feliciano is well…." He looked at his brother thinking of a few choice words he wanted to call him but it wasn't the time to insult his brother's cowardice. If Grandpa wasn't the boss, then you'd have no place with us. "a business associate in our grandfather's shipping business."
"So?" Alfred said as he held the gun close to his shoulder tight. If there was one thing that he lost in the war was his sense of trust. "Why would you be here, a farm in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin then?"
"I see you want to get to the business." The dark haired Italian man said. "I am Lovino Vargas and that is my brother Feliciano." Alfred looked at the men confused. Lovino took this as a chance to get in close with him. The fact he thought they were bankers meant he was likely having money issues and if he offered him enough, he would agree to their idea. Men may have morals but they last only so long when you risked losing your home. "We are, like I said, associates in our grandfather's shipping business." Shipping business…. Technically we are shipping just what we are shipping isn't exactly legal….
"I am not looking for someone to ship the milk." Alfred sighed.
"No, no we are not looking for new clients." Feliciano said suddenly. "We want a place for our truck drivers to rest."
"I am not running a boarding house." Alfred sighed. Although I may have to think of new business anyway. "Besides, this is out of the way. I doubt that would be very efficient."
"Our business is rather…unique…." Lovino said. "Out of the way is our specialty. We get some inventory from Canada, bring it to Chicago. But that is a long drive and we operate a lot at night. So at points our boys will have to pull in as the sun comes up and rest. We've been scouting locations and this is perfect."
Alfred looked at the Italian brothers curiously. Something seemed off about the offer. Trucks from Canada going to Chicago? Needing to stop at sunrise where his farm was because it was out of the way? They were bootleggers obviously. Alfred was already at risk of foreclosure on the family farm, getting involved in this was going to be dangerous and he could lose it if he was caught involved. Sure, he was like everyone else and got their alcohol from less than legal means. He had become good friends with a local moonshiner that way. However, in his mind, buying a jar or two of moonshine off a fellow farmer was nowhere near the same as being a rest stop for bootleggers.
"I see you need some time to think our offer over." Lovino said, noticing the look on Alfred's face. "For your time" He slipped some bills into his hand. "Ciao." He waved as he headed back to the car and drove off.
Once Alfred saw the expensive car drive off down the road out of sight, he looked at the money Lovino had placed in his hands. Counting the bills, he realized he was given 250 dollars for just listening to the Italians, even if he had threatened them with his shotgun. He looked at the foreclosure notice in his hand This is enough to pay the balance due to prevent the bank from taking the farm with some left over…. He thought. He's bound to pay more…. Alfred thought as he looked at the notice to the money and to the barn again. What would you hurt by helping bootleggers? You would keep the farm…. "No, no, no, it's too risky. I'll just get caught up on the mortgage and let him go."
The next day, Alfred drove in his old beat up truck he used to make his deliveries into town, and after taking the day's milk to the cheese factory and the various grocers in town, he headed to the bank and paid the balance due. The banker looked at the money and sighed. "Just how did you get this Jones?"
"What do you care? You're paid. Now stop threatening to foreclose the farm!" He said as the banker sighed and adjusted the Jones account in the books.
"You may have come through this time, but your payment history does not show promise." The banker said dismissively. "Your farm may not be on the auction block this time around but it will be. And with the dairy prices the way they are, I doubt you will be able to keep this up. I don't know what you did to get this money, what you sold, but you can't keep it up. We will have that farm."
"Shut the fuck up." Alfred said as he turned and flipping the banker off, headed to finish his errands in town.
"Have a pleasant day Mr. Jones." The banker waved dismissively as he went back to looking over pages and pages of accounts, figuring which ones were late, which ones had entered foreclosure and smiled greedily.
Alfred sat at the restaurant in town, chewing his burger, looking at the coins with a sigh. As much as he wanted to throttle that banker for what he said, there was a little bit of uncomfortable truth in his words. He had hardly made enough to pay for his daily needs and the things he needed for the cattle like feed. The offer Lovino had rang in his mind. He will pay good for the services of my barn. I can still work around them; in fact, I can make it a requirement for the offer. As long as they leave the cows alone, then they can do whatever the fuck they want in that barn, especially if they pay me as well as they did just to talk to me. I can still sell the milk so they won't think I am in with something foul. Alfred thought as he sipped on his Coke. But it's still dangerous. As he thought this, he had an image of the banker laughing at him at a foreclosure action appeared in his mind. He had recalled the bad prices he was getting. Sure some of the wheat and pork farmers weren't doing much better and many of them were facing the same foreclosure threats he was. But they didn't have the offer, the way out that he did. But was he willing to risk getting caught, losing it all and going to jail, rather than just losing it all? Alfred sighed as he finished his coke and headed back to the truck. He couldn't be away from the farm too long. "I have a week to decide. I don't need to tell them now…." He said as he started his truck and drove back to the farm knowing that for now, it was safe.
So how was that? Good? Bad? Short? Long? Let me know in a review. I do not have any pairings intended for this fic, unlike many of my other ones. I don't know how fast I can update, life is crazy right now and I needed to at least start this. Anyway, remember to read (well you just did) and to review. Ciao for now,