A little belated birthday fic for Alfred's birthday. From the kinkmeme.

Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia

"Good morning, Alfred." In a sense, it was a good morning in that the sun was shining, the birds were singing, there was nary a cloud in the sky, and there was a gentle summer breeze blowing. It was one of those nice July mornings that should have made one thankful to be alive.

"Hardly a good morning, sir." Alfred replied, masking the bitterness in his voice. General George Meade gave a sad smile.

"I don't know, I like to think the day after a victory, with the weather so nice, it would count as a good morning." General Meade said.

"It is, sir, if you don't mind the smell of corpses mingling with your fresh air." Alfred said, careful to keep a measured tone with the general. General Meade sighed, Alfred was right today was not a good morning. There were dead bodies strewn about the field and the screams of agony and pain from the medical tent could be heard throughout the battlefield as doctors and nurses tried so hard to ease the pain of the wounded and dying. It seemed as though every hour, the medical wagon would leave the tent, laden-down with the newly deceased as soldiers succumbed to their wounds.

"It was their sacrifice, Alfred," General Meade began, reciting from memory the words he had written many a time to the grieving widows and mothers since this war began. "They have given their lives as true patriots to preserve this great Union of ours. Without their sacrifice, we would remain as two nations instead of the one our forefathers intended."

"Some sacrifice…" Alfred muttered, rubbing his leg Ever since the war began, even before the war when there had been rumblings of discontent, his body had ached. It had started as a light headache that began in 1787 and had gotten worse in 1820 when it began to spread throughout his body. The pain seemed to intensify in 1850 and in 1854 he had started bleeding out from his stomach. He had constantly felt like he was being pulled apart and two years ago in April, he awoke one morning feeling as though his lower half was trying to separate. Alfred was constantly worried that one day it would actually happen.

General Meade frowned and was about to say something else when one of his subordinates came running towards him.

"General Meade! Telegram for you!" the boy hollered, skidding to a stop before the pair. He saluted them both before handing the telegram to the general. General Meade nodded at the boy, sending him on his way.

"What is it about, sir?" Alfred asked, noting the general's expression as he read.

"It's from General Grant. Vicksburg has finally surrendered." General Meade said neutrally. Ah, Alfred thought as he rubbed his leg, that explains the pain.

"How nice." Alfred said, continuing to knead at his leg, trying alleviate some of the pain. General Meade sighed sadly at Alfred.

"I wish I could say this was to be the last of it," he said, "but you know General Lee is probably halfway back to Richmond now."

"I know. And I doubt they are going to be remembering this day fondly. I know I won't."

"I'm really sorry, Alfred. Perhaps you ought to get yourself to the medical tent and get some laudanum for your pain." General Meade said kindly.

"No sir, I'll be fine. I've dealt with it for the past fifty-something years. It shouldn't be much longer." Alfred said. General Meade shrugged and was about to leave when the same subordinate from the communications tent came running back.

"Major Jones! Telegram for you!" He yelled. He saluted Alfred before handing him the paper and leaving. Alfred opened it gently, reading over the contents before sighing and dropping the telegram to the ground.

"You know what, sir? I think I will go get some laudanum. Today is a bit different, pain-wise." Alfred said defeatedly, shoving his hands in his pockets as he turned to leave. General Meade nodded as he watched him leave. When he saw that Alfred was out of sight, he picked up the discarded paper and read it, curious to see what it contained.

Dear Alfred,

Happy birthday.

President Lincoln


July 1-3 1863: the Battle of Gettysburg, one of the major turning points of the Civil War. Also the battle with the largest amount of casualties in the Civil War

July 4, 1863: Siege of Vicksburg ends in a Union victory. Also considered a turning point in the war (in combination with the Battle of Gettysburg the day before)

General George Meade: Commanding officer of the Union Army at Gettysburg

"light headache in 1787": Northwest Ordinance was passed in 1787. It outlaws slavery in the Northwest Territories (modern day Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota) and also requires the return of fugitive slaves found in those territories to their owners.

"...gotten worse in 1820...": Missouri Compromise. The state of Maine is admitted as a free state and Missouri is admitted as a slave state. Prohibits slavery in the west north of the southern boundary of Missouri.

"...intensified in 1850...": Everything really begins to fall apart. Compromise of 1850 (admits California as a free state, New Mexico and Utah are allowed to vote on whether to allow slavery, bans slave trade in DC, and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850). Nashville Convention (delegates from 9 Southern states) meets and discusses secession.

"1854": Kansas-Nebraska Act leads to Bleeding Kansas (1855).

"1861; April 1861": 1861, the Confederate States of America is created. April 16, 1861 the Civil War officially begins with the attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

Laudanum: Opium tincture, used alleviate pain.

All information taken from Wikipedia and notes from my American History class

My headcanon tells me that Alfred was in considerable, chronic pain until the end of the war. It started with the Northwest Ordinance and continued to get worse. During Reconstruction and until at least 1964, I imagine he suffered from mild relapses (an aching hip, sore leg, stiff shoulder).

Hope you enjoy! Please read and review!