Dear lord. What in the world possessed me to write a Twilight/Hetalia crossover….? Anyway, I stole my brother's copy of Twilight and brushed up on it, so… I apologize for any inconsistencies.

Anyway, there's a longer crossover that I may or may not post once/if I finish it. This is… something completely unrelated. I just realized that Edward was born in Chicago. That made me think of speakeasies, and then I jumped to Alfred and the Italies… So this was born.

I think Edward went traveling with Carlisle after he was turned…? Let's just say he came back for whatever reason.

Disclaimer: If I owned Hetalia, I would be the most epic person on earth. If I owned Twilight… Well, I don't. Here follows the fruits of an unsupervised afternoon in English class when I was supposed to be reading The Great Gatsby.

It's 1925, and Edward Cullen finds himself sitting in a speakeasy, nursing a glass of whiskey, which he raises to his lips every so often but which is still practically full.

He can't stand it, abhors the tame fire that runs its course down his throat, but the warm, open atmosphere here is a startling contrast to the secretive entranceway, and it draws him in. Carlisle's house, though Edward knows he and Esme try so hard, is cold and distant, just like its inhabitants.

This is the fifth time he's been in here—he knows the bartender by name and the other regulars by their orders—but each time he comes in, he is fascinated anew by the mannerisms of the mortals who sit around him, oblivious to the predator in their midst. He finally understands what Carlisle means when he speaks of "people-watching" and the enjoyment thereof.

Today the door eases open, and three men slip into the room. At the sight of the crisp suits and rakishly tilted fedoras, the other patrons fall silent. Though none of the newcomers carries a tommy gun in hand, Edward wonders if he should do something. Then he wonders if there's anything he can do without giving himself away. After all, he promised Carlisle he would keep a low profile while visiting his old home.

"Relax, folks!" the blond man who stands, hatless, at the front of the group calls out good-naturedly. "We're here for the same reason you are, after all!"

The man on his left snorts, his trigger finger flexing a few times at his side.

As they seat themselves at the table next to Edward's, they push their hats up to reveal twin faces, one scowling and the other beaming, both younger than he had expected. The scowling brother's hair is a deep chestnut; the other's is mahogany, just a shade lighter and tinted red even under the pitiful beams of the room's three lamps.

"I'll order for us!" the smiling man says cheerfully, bouncing up and making his way over to the bartender, with whom he immediately strikes up a friendly conversation, his accent undeniably Italian.

"Whatever," his twin mutters, apparently trusting in his brother's choice of alcohol.

"I want something strong!" the blonde exclaims, his accent marking him as one-hundred percent born-and-bred in Chicago. (Curiously, as Edward listens in on their conversation, he will detect a faint undertone that he can't quite pinpoint, as if the man is from all over the states, all at once.)

"How are you doing?" the grumpy Italian asks quietly, eyes trained on his brother's back.

"It's been tough," the blonde admits, sighing heavily. "It's easier to deal with thanks to your help, though." Before Edward's mind can form any wild (and inappropriate) ideas, he continues, "If it weren't for your alcohol, I don't know what I'd do."

His words confirm Edward's suspicions. Though they may not look like much, if these men are in charge of smuggling alcohol (and, strangely, the American makes it sound as if they're single-handedly responsible for all of it), then they must be high up in mob politics indeed. Perhaps they are a part of the true mafia, whose roots dig deep into the soil of Italy.

Not wanting to jump to conclusions, Edward leans forward, tilting a mental "ear" toward their thoughts.

White noise. He claps his hands over his ears as if the physical motion will stop the mental pain, praying fervently to a God he has forgotten. It's as if all the thoughts in the world are being poured into his mind, overwhelming him.

His head hits the table with a harsh thump, and he must have cried out—within seconds the American is beside him, a tentative hand on his shoulder and a look of worry in his bright blue eyes.

"You okay, buddy?" he asks softly.

Edward fights to keep his composure. He's a vampire, practically invincible, but he finds himself shrinking away from this unknown whose thoughts burn like the sun.

At the same time, something in him is drawn to this effervescent man, something that—if he looked hard enough, if he were willing to see it—he might recognize as his humanity.

Though he may roam far away in the centuries to come, Chicago will ever be his home. The stranger's gaze recalls all his memories of the city, the crowded streets and bustling life.

It is a pull even stronger than the allure of a vampire's otherworldly beauty.

"What are you?" he demands harshly, blinking to clear his head of thoughts, both the stranger's and his own.

The blonde's smile falls, allowing Edward a clear glimpse of a cool composure built up over more years than he cares to imagine—this is the face of history, older even than Edward himself.

By now, the Italian has joined them, sliding into the seat across from Edward without asking permission, watching him intently.

His twin, bearing drinks in both hands, sees that his brother and friend have migrated and carries the glasses over without a single question. He sets them down on the pitted and marked surface of the table and then pushes the blond man into a seat.

"What are you?" the American counters even as he sits, his gaze completely serious.

Edward stiffens. They can't know. They're not vampires. There's no way—he can hear their hearts pumping, hears the life rushing through their veins—

But as he listens, he realizes that the blonde's veins don't sound like they should. Though there is the powerful, steady pump-pump of his heart in the background, the rhythm of his blood coursing through his body is wrong. As he closes his eyes, he thinks that maybe it sounds like several rivers crashing through canyons and mountains, meeting the ocean and lapping at the shore and—

Then the world shifts and the moment is gone. Startled, he opens his eyes.

The American is staring at him, the tiniest hint of a sad smile on his lips.

"Maybe it's better that you don't ask," he says slowly, lowly, like he's telling a precious secret.

"Our lips are sealed," the Italian across from Edward agrees, pushing one of the glasses toward his companion.

All three of the strangers lift their drinks at once, sipping at the fire-water in a delicate action, as if to seal an oath, to make a promise... as if they are remembering a time when they supped with kings and queens and nobility and fit in perfectly. As if they are as old as the world itself.

The Italians are the first to set their glasses down, their eyes meeting solemnly across the table.

"We should go," the twin who is no longer frowning says, making no move to stand.

"Yes," his brother nods, still playing with his empty glass. "Matthew is waiting for us."

The American is silent for a moment before finally getting to his feet. "Yeah," he says unapologetically. "Yeah. Let's go."

Edward gives up the pretense of drinking from his glass. He still doesn't know what they are, and the mystery bothers him as nothing has bothered him for years now. "Wait," he says weakly, as if he is flesh and blood, and not granite and ebony.

The American pauses, halfway through pulling on his jacket, which resembles those worn by pilots and bears a large white 48 on its back, and turns just his head to glance at Edward over his shoulder.

"What—" Edward falters; he understands the burden of carrying a secret so close to one's heart. "What… is your name?"

A smile spreads across the man's face, wide and open like the great plains of the west. "Alfred," he says, so softly that Edward almost needs his enhanced hearing to pick up on it. "I'm Alfred F. Jones."

For a moment, his mouth opens again, and it seems like he wants to add more onto the end of the sentence. Then one of the Italian twins coughs pointedly and the feeling fades.

"I've got to go," the blonde says by way of explanation, tilting his head in the direction of the door. "Goodbye, Edward Anthony Masen."

The three men sweep out the door, leaving behind them the bar almost exactly as they found it and a bemused and thoughtful Edward, who wonders how, exactly, the man knew his name—his human name, which he hasn't used since 1918, and which sounds so… natural, falling from those lips.

On the table, gleaming like crystal, sit the four shot glasses, all empty but for one.

Ignoring the lonely drink in front of him, Edward goes back to observing his surroundings, casually sampling each person's thoughts. As he listens, he can't help but get the feeling that he's heard them all before.

I'm not saying I support illegal alcohol consumption, or the mob, or anything else you might pull out of this. I'm actually not sure whether Alfred would be on the side of the law or not, but I figure Edward would have gone along with the majority, just to see what it was like.

Haha, I wonder if anyone will even see this… Tell me what you think?

Oh, yeah. Romano mentions Canada. That's because Canada also went through prohibition around this time… So maybe the North American bros are going to sit together and moan about alcohol…? And yes, there were 48 states in the US during the 1920's.