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Revolutionary Fuckboys

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When Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette came to New York City as an exchange student he was nineteen years old and wrote English better than he spoke it.  He was officially labeled as “proficient” in the language, a title he would have gotten even without his family’s ridiculous wealth and his prior introductions to various important people in the university he had decided to attend for a year.  He could make himself understood with relative ease, but was unfamiliar with American slang and turns of phrase, making it difficult for him to follow along in more informal conversations.  That “came to New York City” and “decided to attend,” by the way, put a pin in that.   As smart as he was, Lafayette was also a reckless teenager and his choices weren’t always as good as he made them out to be in polite company.

“John.”

“Yes?”  Hold up.  No one likes exposition but let’s get this out of the way: John Laurens was a stud.  First string on the football team, played all through high school, now in his senior year and with his eye on championships.  Tall as his father, a congressman from South Carolina, since hitting puberty, Laurens like Lafayette was the complete package if what you wanted to unwrap was a country boy with killer abs and father issues the size of his family’s estate.  

“What is a ‘fuckboy’?”  Lafayette—he didn’t bring it up on his own but the name was a title, he actually was descended from the marquis who went to France for more funds and came back with more guns, but don’t pull at that thread too hard unless you actually want him to draw you a genealogy diagram explaining how he descends directly from the more famous Marquis de Lafayette, Daveed Diggs, Voltaire’s Hero of Two Worlds—was sitting cross-legged on his small twin bed, thick black hair pulled back and out of the way, his laptop open next to him.  When Laurens made an awkward noise and didn’t answer quickly enough, Lafayette lied, “I need to know for class.”

“It’s like…”  Laurens turned around at his desk.  “Someone who is very rude and disrespectful, un connard, especially when dating.”

“Ah, I see,” Lafayette said with slight disappointment, leaning back over his laptop and continuing to scroll through the comments on the forum he was browsing.  “I thought it was, how you say, a boy you have for fucking.”

Laurens shook his head.  “That’s a ‘fuckbuddy.’”  This was probably not a conversation the war hero Ramos ever thought one of his descendants would be involved in.  Actually, let’s retcon that line too; he wouldn’t have been surprised at all, even if Laurens wasn’t too sure how he got dragged into it.

“What is ‘buddy?’”

“‘Friend.’”

“All right,” Lafayette nodded, closing his laptop now that Laurens was providing him the answers he sought, “and that is like ‘friends with benefits.’”

Laurens paused to consider this and then shook his head again.  “A ‘fuckbuddy’ is just someone you fuck.  It’s not someone with whom you’re friends but also have sex.”

Vous américains êtes-si compliqués,” Lafayette complained, taking a pen and notebook out of his back pocket and copying down these new pieces of vocab. 

“They do say it’s the most versatile word in the English language,” Laurens joked, getting up at the knock to get the door before returning to his desk.

“Hey.”  Alexander Hamilton (ball of wiry energy, not actually as short as he looked next to the other two, 4.0 honors student currently in his second year and set to graduate after his third because of course he was, and the man to blame for the third and at this point final extensive narratorial aside), sat on the bed next to Lafayette.  “So just FYI what we’re doing right now is I’m acculturating you to the U.S. of A., if the exchange student welcoming committee or whatever asinine thing they’re calling themselves this year contacts you, give me a rating of five out of five.  I took time out of my busy schedule to do my bit as your assigned mentor or touch guy or whatever.”  He dug in his bag.  “Poptart?”

Lafayette took it curiously.

“Real American.  Eat shit, the simple carbohydrates and white sugar will get you hooked on the land of the free.  I’m pretty sure that’s the actual goal,” he added, breaking off a piece for himself once Lafayette had opened it and talking more towards Laurens than Lafayette now.  “Consumer diplomacy.  You know about the fight to get Coke imported to France, right?”  He turned back to Lafayette.  “So post-war—”

Obviously Hamilton had problems shutting up.  It was a good thing he didn’t know he was actually related to that guy on the ten or the world would never hear the end of it.

“Stop taking out your issues with the committee on Lafayette.”

“Look,” Hamilton cut himself off, looking back to Laurens.  “Technically I’m not ‘on exchange.’”  He made air quotes.  “I was never ‘on exchange,’ it’s a part of the country and if you’re going to colonize the damn place you might as well remember that you took it.  Fuckin’ rude,” he added with his mouth full.  

“You didn't have to volunteer to help out this year.”

Hamilton shrugged and turned his attention back to Lafayette.  “So what did I interrupt?”

“John was giving me an English lesson.”

“Really?”

“No,” Laurens answered quickly.

“Yes,” Lafayette said with a devious grin. “Listen.  ‘Alexander, are you and John friends with benefits?’”

“No,” Laurens said sternly.

Hamilton laughed.  “No.”

“That’s too bad.  It’s such a good phrase,”  Lafayette explained to Laurens.  “I wanted to be able to use it in conversation.”

“So how did this come up?”  Hamilton asked.

“He was explaining to me all about his friends with benefits.”

Laurens dragged a hand down his face.  “Not ‘my,’ Lafayette, you don’t put the pronoun there.”

“My mistake,” Lafayette said lightly and not at all apologetically.  “But he was helpful.”

“Right.  Actually, I stopped by for another reason.  Not that I don’t actually want to spend time with you at some point when I don’t have to clock hours for it, but can I borrow your copy of Barbauld?  I finished the rest of the reading through November and the library still hasn't processed the recall I put on the annotated version so Aaron Burr is still sitting on it.  I was going to go throw rocks at his window until he handed it over but then I remembered you’re in Dr. Bartow’s other section.”

“You’re caught up through November?” Laurens asked incredulously.  “Alexander, it’s only September.”

“Right, and I would be done by now if it wasn't for Burr.”

“The syllabus says not to do the work in advance of discussion classes,” Laurens pointed out.

“Yeah, because the professor doesn’t want to deal with some obnoxious prick who thinks he knows everything just because he read one book on the subject,” Hamilton said, completely missing the irony.  “I’m not going to turn anything in until after I make sure the criteria hasn’t changed, don’t worry.”  He stood up to get the book off of Lafayette’s desk and started flipping through it.  “Excellent, this even has the extended introduction.  The library copy is an older edition.  That’ll show Burr to hoard books.”

Lafayette greatly doubted that it would, but he let it go in favor of asking a more interesting question. 

“Who is this Aaron Burr?”

Hamilton closed the book and tucked it under his arm.  “Burr’s that guy who actually brought the professor a basket of mini muffins on the first day of class because he ‘saw them on sale at the market and remembered that she liked them.’”

“What a fuckboy,” Lafayette sighed.  Hamilton and Laurens both gave him that amused “you tried” half smile that frustrated Lafayette to no end because it meant that something had gotten lost in translation again.  He wasn’t used to having words come out wrong or phrases go over his head in France.  “What?” He asked, a little accusatorially.  “Laurens, you said that meant someone who was inappropriate in relationships.”

“It’s rougher than that.  And I doubt Burr is trying to hit on the professor.”

“Oh my God, can you imagine though?”  Hamilton’s eyes lit up with delight.  “Burr’s so slimy, I bet he’s smooth like a ken doll down there.”

Lafayette didn’t even pretend to understand what Hamilton was talking about, and changed the subject altogether.  

“I have a lunch date with my girlfriend tomorrow,” he said to Laurens pointedly.  “So can you—not be here?”

“Sure,” Laurens said.  “I’ll just go—”

“You can come with me!” Hamilton cut in.  “We can crash that seminar Burr is leading and boo and hiss at him discreetly to throw him off his game.”

“You need new hobbies,” Laurens told him sternly.

 

A little before five the next morning, Laurens was woken by Lafayette shaking his shoulder roughly.  He opened his eyes to find all the lights on in the dorm room and his roommate dressed in a nice shirt and slacks, freshly delivered flowers on his desk.  “What are…  You’re wearing a tie?”

Lafayette looked down at his outfit.  “Well—of course.  It’s a date, non?”

Laurens looked at his phone.  “It’s—it’s five in the morning.”

“Yes, now get out.”

“You said it was over lunch.”

Lafayette held up a brown paper bag.  “Yes, it’s lunchtime in Paris.  Please go,” he added as Laurens sat up slowly.  “I’ll call you when you can come back.”  He waited impatiently while Laurens grabbed his gym bag and headed out the door, the clothes he slept in fortunately more or less what he would have put on that morning anyway.  

Laurens yawned and automatically reached for his phone only to realize he had forgotten it inside.  “Lunch in France better not take more than two hours,” he muttered as he consoled himself with the thought of having free pick of equipment at the gym.

 

It wasn’t until the the fifth time this happened that Laurens finally complained to Hamilton over actual EST lunch.

After laughing for several minutes, Hamilton asked, “Why don’t you just come over to my apartment?  At least you’ll have somewhere more comfortable to wait until he’s done with his booty call.”

“I don’t even think it is a booty call,” Laurens said, taking a long drink of sweet tea.  “Honestly, Alexander, I think they just talk and compare sandwiches.”

“Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

“I’m serious.  Everything is always so neat afterwards.  The room is just like I left it, and he’s perfectly—Did I tell you that he wears a tie for this?  I wouldn’t mind as much if it actually lined up with my schedule.  I have to be out of the room before six half the time anyway, you would think the two things could line up.”

Hamilton laughed again.  “Speak of the devil,” he said as Lafayette sat down at the dining hall table next to him.  “It’s a turn of phrase,” he clarified unnecessarily, pretending to do so for Lafayette’s benefit.  “I’m not talking about Burr this time.  But, so, about those evaluation forms, I need you to—”

“I need to go shopping for Adrienne.  My girlfriend,” Lafayette clarified equally unnecessarily, seeing as how frequently she had come up even in the few times he and Hamilton had talked.  “I don’t think she’s forgiven me yet.”

“What does she need to forgive you for?”  Laurens asked.  “What on earth did you say to her over lunch?”

Lafayette carefully folded his hands on the table and completely avoided eye contact.  “Alexander,” he said, diplomatically picking the current lesser of two evils, “come shopping with me and I will personally go to the head of the university himself and tell him how much help you've been.”

“I thought he just needed you to—”

“Done,” Hamilton agreed readily, putting his hand out.  “Screw the form, think about that line on the resume, John.  See if you can get something in writing,” Hamilton added to Lafayette.  “It’s always better in writing."

Chapter Text

Three hours later Lafayette and Hamilton were looking for dresses in a large but mostly empty boutique that Lafayette was clearly right at home in and that Hamilton couldn’t help but think would have turned him away at the door a couple of years prior. 

“I literally can’t afford to buy a keychain in this place,” Hamilton muttered to Lafayette as they passed a small rack of accessories.  He turned one to see the labeled price.  “Yep, no, can’t afford it.”

“If you want, I’ll get it for your birthday.”

“Thanks, but for that price I’d rather you just pay my rent.”

Lafayette, dressed to the nines, shrugged.  Hamilton noted that several people in the store had been throwing Lafayette approving glances while looking at him with distaste and he felt a sharp stab at his pride, the kind of twist of the knife that argued it was better to just keep digging until he came out in middle of the Indian Ocean. 

“Anyway,” Hamilton said, louder than he needed to as they passed a sales assistant.  “That party last weekend got real wild.  Those two Schuyler sisters—I couldn’t keep them off me.”

“Did you want to keep them off of you?”

“No, of course not!  Besides, that’s not what that means.  It means that they both wanted me.”  He made eye contact with the  employee.  “For sex.”

“I don’t think I believe you,” Lafayette said.  “But what happened?”

“It was awesome.  Picture this,” Hamilton drew his hands out in the air in front of him.  “I’m on the couch—”

“What do you think of this dress?” Lafayette interrupted him.

“That’s nice,” Hamilton agreed.  Lafayette told the salesperson the size he wanted and continued to move through the store.

“Anyway, so they’re both all over me,” Hamilton paused, the running monologue in his head of  what he wanted to say getting distracted by what had actually happened.  “But the window’s open,” he admitted with less bravado, “and I can hear Laurens outside on the phone and it sounds like his father is just going off on him.  Like, shit, I don’t know what they were arguing about but it sounded pretty brutal.  He just left after that, didn’t even come back inside, and I don’t think his friends had to drag him there.  I’m just saying that it’s too bad, he’s a pretty popular guy, football jock and all, maybe he could have finally gotten some.”

“Is Laurens trying to get a boyfriend?”

“No, I don’t think he’s into guys—”

“Incorrect,” Lafayette said, taking a pink dress with red pinstripes down and looking it over.  “Too much?”

“Not for you,” Hamilton said.  “But I don’t think he likes guys.  I mean, I know shit about him beyond that he’s pretty good about getting me in contact with you when I’m trying to hunt you down—By the way, you got your phone to work, didn’t you?  I’m going to need a copy of your number because I keep thinking of shit you should know that’s not included in those handouts.  I’m pretty sure the last time they updated them properly we were still paying for things in pounds.”  Hamilton paused.  “Maybe that’s why the office thinks the Virgin Islands count as foreign.  Remind me, I gotta look up the originals, fifty/fifty they were drafted before 1927.”

“I don’t know about that but he definitely does,” Lafayette said, barely bothering to glance at Hamilton as he said so and handing him his phone so he could get his number.  

Hamilton looked skeptical still as he sent himself a message from Lafayette’s cell and gave it back.  “I can text you, right?  You got a data plan?”

“Of course.  Unlimited everything.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes and tried once more unsuccessfully to guess the password for the store’s wifi.

The final total at the register was more than Hamilton had paid for his meal plan for the entire semester. 

 

After paying for everything and sending the box out (overnight express, “Seriously?” “Oui.”), Lafayette took Hamilton out to dinner to thank him for his help.

“I’m just saying,” Hamilton began, “whatever it was can’t have been that bad.  She’s still talking to you, isn’t she?  Haven’t you been texting her on and off all day?”

Lafayette shrugged, checking his phone again.  “I miss her,” he said simply.  “It’s not easy being so far away.  You understand, I’m sure.”

Hamilton toyed with his food.  “Right, sure.”

“This is just very different from living with her.”

“You were living with her?”

“With her family,” Lafayette clarified.  “I was going to school in Paris and they live closer than I do.  You should come to France, you would like it.”

“I’ve known you a couple of weeks, are you seriously inviting me to go on a trip with you?”

“Is that strange?”

“A little.”

“It is a long flight,” Lafayette said, not really getting the point.

“Uh-huh.  Anyway,” Hamilton said, in the tone of someone decidedly moving on.  “Hey, question.  Can I ask you something?”

“I flew on—”

“No, no,” Hamilton gestured at him to stop.  “Not about that.  I know it’s none of my business, but it’s not like I can just turn it off, so you’re his roommate, what’s the deal with John’s dad?”

Lafayette cocked his head to one side.  “I think that was a private conversation.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Lafayette was clearly waiting for some kind of explanation.

“It’s just,” Hamilton tried again, “Look, I’m curious, okay?  Sue me.  Besides, we’re both washed up on foreign shores, apparently.  We should get each other’s backs.”

“Hm,” Lafayette took a bite of his food.  “I’m not sure.”

“About John or about the rest of that, because that’s a legitimate immigrant community survival tactic—”

“About John.  He doesn’t talk about his family much but I know they’re important to him.  If you really wanted to know you’d have to ask his friends.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes.  “Right, I’ll walk right on down into the middle of the stadium, thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“I know.  But I’m right.  He spends more time with them than with me.”

“He’s smart, though,” Hamilton said, getting a little more enthusiastic.  “I know, I know, ESL, but you’ve gotta be able to tell by the way he speaks anyway.  I think the tendency is to assume that he’s just some meathead but he’s smart.  And it’s kind of a surprise, it comes out of nowhere, you know?”

Lafayette laughed a little.  “I know.”

“I told you, you and me,” Hamilton gestured between them, “we’re on the same wavelength.”

“Wavelength?”

“You get me,” Hamilton clarified.

Lafayette smiled.  “And I’ll have your back.”

“Get Laurens’, too,” Hamilton said.  “I’m pretty sure he could use it.”

“All right,” Lafayette promised.  His phone vibrated and he checked it.

“Adrienne?”

Oui.”

“You must miss her.”

“Yes, it is not easy,” Lafayette said, then continued almost like he was trying to convince himself.  “But she is still in school also and we wouldn’t be together often anyway.  The timing is right.”

“But I mean—miss her, miss her,” Hamilton teased.  “Comme baiser.”

“Yes,” Lafayette sighed, “I do miss that.  There is the computer, but it is not the same.”

Hamilton choked back a laugh.  “Sorry.  It’s just—I told him you guys were fooling around and he didn't believe me.”

“Well, we don’t do anything inappropriate over lunch.  She’s at school after all, but if we see each other later…  I clean up afterwards, and even if he did come back before I was done I would be able to make myself look presentable.”

“Yeah?”

Lafayette nodded seriously and leaned over the table.  “Adrienne has five siblings.”

Hamilton whistled.  “Shit.”

 

“What are you…”  Lafayette’s eyes widened as he set his bag down on his desk, looking at Laurens’ book.  “Is that Évariste de Parny?”

Laurens glanced up from where he was lying on his bed.  “Yeah.  Do you know him?”

“Know him,” Lafayette enthused, “Of course I do!  ‘Du calme et du repos quelquefois on se lasse, on ne se lasse point d'aimer ou d'être aimé.’  How are you liking him?  Are you very familiar with his work?  I inherited a full collection of his books as a child and—”

“Whoa.”  Laurens put the book down, the sticker on the spine that indicated he had bought it at the school bookstore now visible.  “I’m sorry, Lafayette, I’m only reading this for class.”

Lafayette’s shoulders sagged.  “Oh.”

“He’s good, though,” Laurens agreed.  “This isn’t really my style but you can’t deny talent.”

“That’s true.”  Lafayette perked up and sat on his own bed.  “He’s very talented.”

“Yeah.”  Laurens picked up the book again, finding his place.  “Actually…”

“Yes?”

“Okay, this is going to sound weird, I don’t mean the content but he reminds me a little of Alexander.”

“Oh.”  Lafayette nodded very politely, trying to restrain himself.  “I see.”

Laurens looked embarrassed that he had said that even after recognizing it was odd.  “I don’t mean in content—Well, maybe I do for that one about the king—but his control of language.  Have you ever talked to him when he’s really on a roll?”

“Évariste de Parny?”

“No, Alexander.”  Laurens was pretending to read again.  “He’s really something.  His way with words, I mean.”

“Hm,” Lafayette watched him curiously.  “I’ll have to listen more.”

 

> A. Hamilton: important question—2 dicks at one time, can your ass actually stretch that far or would you just tear something

> A. Hamilton: maybe unrelated Burr keeps staring at me across the room at the student body council meetings and if he can actually read my mind I want to know if I’m scaring the shit out of him or giving him an actual rage boner

> A. Hamilton: maybe more related GodDAMN this meeting is boring, what’s up with you?

> G. Lafayette: mdr

> G. Lafayette: yes I will explain to you later.

> G. Lafayette: Adrienne liked the package

> G. Lafayette: She says hello

> A. Hamilton: bonjour

> A. Hamilton: so how long have you two been toghetr?

> A. Hamilton: *together

> G. Lafayette: five years <3

> A. Hamilton: jfc 

> A. Hamilton: Lafayette you’re 19

> G. Lafayette: She is my light.

 

Hamilton wasn’t sure what to do with that.  He glanced up from where he had been semi-surreptitiously typing under the table at the meeting.

The guy next to him caught his eye.  Hamilton shrugged and mouthed “Lafayette,” not really sure how to convey the full message.  The other guy must have at least recognized the name because he gave him an understanding nod.

 

> G. Lafayette: Have you ever read Évariste de Parny?

> A. Hamilton: he’s at the top of my list right after all the other shit I have to get done  

> A. Hamilton: ill squeeze him in when its a slow day at work.

> G. Lafayette:  I thought it was always slow?

> A. Hamilton: hah

> A. Hamilton: front desk of the student union  

> A. Hamilton: friggin zombie apocalypse let me tell you

> A. Hamilton: either overflowing with idiots or completely dead  

> A. Hamilton: Seriously though I asked them if I could forward calls from the desk phone to my cell so i could take them while working on other things but they denied me.  

> A. Hamilton: it’s bullshit!  

> A. Hamilton: ofc I did my first parttime office bitch at 14 so at least i’ve got experience dealing with that crap

> G. Lafayette: I’ll lend you my copy.

> A. Hamilton: Thanks

 

Hamilton made the effort to pretend to listen for a while but the speaker was still summing up conclusions that had already been made blatantly apparent half an hour ago, so he looked back down at the new messages on his phone.

 

> G. Lafayette: I want to go to an american football game but they're always “away”

> G. Lafayette: Laurens is on the team

> A. Hamilton: yeah they travel a lot

> G. Lafayette: Oui 

> G. Lafayette: The next home game is in two weeks.  Will you go with me?

> A. Hamilton:  sorry can’t

> A. Hamilton: finals are like RIGHT THERE I'm gonna be swamped

> G. Lafayette: I’ll take Adrienne

> A. Hamilton: …okay…?

> G. Lafayette: video chat

> A. Hamilton: youve got the best dmn data plan

 

Lafayette looked up from his phone—one chat open with Hamilton, one with Adrienne—as Laurens roughly opened and then slammed the door to their room behind him.

Fuck!”

Laurens angrily tossed his gym bag against the wall behind his bed.  His keys followed it.

“Did you lose?”

“We didn’t fucking lose,” Laurens slammed the door behind him and took off his freshly pressed blazer, sitting heavily at his desk and opening his laptop.  “We didn’t fucking have a game today.  Coach wanted me to talk to someone about my excessive penalties and instead of getting the last one struck from the record I got banned for the rest of the season.”

“They can do that?”

“Yeah, apparently, it was right there on paper but Ben Walker miscalculated on our end,” Laurens snapped, “Von Steuben was trying to head them off before it got finalized since our counts didn't match up.  He knows people, he can pull strings, he told me to comb my hair and wear a tie and I’d be able to easily get the count reduced.  Excellent work on my part, making nice and smoothing it out, I did a great job there.”

“It’s all right,” Lafayette said soothingly, at a loss for how to actually help. 

“No, it’s not.”  Laurens wasn’t talking loudly any more, but his words were hard.  “Fuck.”

Lafayette was silent for a little while.  “Is there anything I can do?”

Laurens was already typing.  “I need to tell my father.”

Lafayette nodded, even though he couldn’t see him.  He waited for a moment, then got up.  “I’m going to see if Alexander is free yet.  Do you want to meet us later?”

When Laurens didn’t respond, Lafayette showed himself out.

 

Chapter Text

 

Hamilton stared at Lafayette and took a long drink from his thermos.  “Shit,” he finally said, lowering it and sending a puff of steam up into the cold air.  “He’s gotta be pissed.”

“He’s very upset,” Lafayette agreed, walking alongside him with his hands shoved deep into the pockets of his coat.  “I tried to invite him out, but he was busy writing to his father and wasn’t interested.”

Hamilton winced and took another drink, then adjusted his scarf back over his mouth.

Lafayette continued.  “The exchange student organization is having an end of semester event this weekend.  Do you know if it’s any good?”

“I don’t, sorry.  Never made it to one of them.  Also too close to finals.  Also they’re crap by default,” Hamilton added as an afterthought.  “I checked, by the way, the version we’re stuck working with was initially composed in the 90’s, so there’s no real excuse.”

“You’re very…”

“Don’t tell me I’m hung up on it, it’d piss you off too.”

“I was going to say that you are very hard working,” Lafayette said smoothly. 

“Oh.”  Hamilton seemed a little confused by the compliment.  “Thanks.  Hey, cross your fingers I’ve got a slow day at work,” he added as the student union came into view.  

“Are you going to start on de Parny?”  Lafayette asked.

Hamilton laughed.  “At the end of the semester?  Some other time.  Besides, poetry is better when it’s warm out.”

 

Lafayette sat down on the table Laurens was using in the library, supposedly studying although how he could read with the bass up that high was a mystery.  His bag was in the seat opposite from him, apparently reserving it for someone else.  “Is Alexander meeting you?”

“No.  Friend from the team.” Laurens did not look up from his book or take his headphones off.  He did lower the volume.

“A good friend?”

“We go back a couple years.”

“A… very good—”

Laurens looked up, not amused, and Lafayette stopped trying to not-so-sneakily feel out the relationship.  Sloppy work, he chided himself, he could do better.

“So where is Alexander?”

“Studying.” 

“Why?”

“Because he wants to do well on the exams.”

“But he doesn’t need to study,” Lafayette complained.  “I had to switch to his section the other day and he practically quoted the entire chapter to the professor.”

Laurens shrugged. “He’s determined to get a perfect score on all of them.”

“He’s going to give himself a heart attack,” Lafayette said.  “Stupid américain work ethic.”

“He’s not here, in any case.”  Laurens was sounding increasingly irritated.

“Where is he?”

“He’s in his apartment.”

Lafayette decided to cut his losses and look up the directions on the way.  Laurens had the music back up before he had walked away from the table.

 

> G. Lafayette:  I’m downstairs let me in.

> A. Hamilton: studying

> G. Lafayette: I brought you a sandwich

> A. Hamilton: put it in the mailbox downstairs, apartment 9B.

> G. Lafayette: I need the book you borrowed

 

“Is this your place?” Lafayette looked around after he was buzzed in and found his way to Hamilton’s door.  “Not bad!”

The studio was strewn with books and papers, and the epicenter, where Hamilton’s desk was, was piled high with even more.

“I’ve been really focused on my work lately,” Hamilton explained, talking faster than normal as he picked up a few books and handed one over as if that would make any difference to the overall chaos of the room.

“I only see a desk.  Do you have a bed?”

“Of course I have a bed!”  Hamilton gestured to a blue and gray floral print futon that was folded on top of itself in three segments in the corner of the room.  It looked like it had not been used for some time.

“I think you need a break,” Lafayette said, eyeing the thin foam mattress skeptically.  Not even a bed frame? “Why don’t you study with Laurens in the library? I just met him there.”  He decided not to mention the mood that he found him in.

“I can’t study with Laurens,” Hamilton said, too tired and his mind going in too many directions to really pay attention to what he was saying. “He’s too distracting, with his face and his everything.”

Lafayette raised his eyebrows then grinned.  “Maybe that is really what you need.  Some of his everything.”

“I… What?”

“You’re right,” Lafayette said, tucking the book under his arm.  “He is smart, like you said, but he is also very attractive.  I bet I could get him to be your benefits friend.  You did tell me to look out for him,” Lafayette added, not saying the part where he would be asking on Hamilton’s behalf.

“Haha.  Yeah, right.”

“Are you not interested?”

“The fuck have I ever been picky?  I just don’t think he’ll agree and I’ve got too much going on right now to experiment with—No, scratch that, that’s selfish.  Didn’t you tell me he’s having some kind of quarter-life crisis?  I’m pretty sure I walked in on his father forcing him to delay his graduation via strongly worded texts.”

“He wasn’t forcing him.”

“Don’t split hairs.  You tell him anything and he’s gonna freak.”

Lafayette was watching him closely.  “You care a lot.”

“I’m nicer than I pretend sometimes.”

“You’re nice.”

“Depends who you ask.  Most people say I’m a pain in the ass.  Look,” Hamilton toyed with the edge of his collar, too amped up to keep his hands still for long.  “I’ve never had a group of friends before, I don’t want to wreck it.”

“I bet I could do it.”

Hamilton lifted an empty mug to look inside and put it back down under the coffee maker.  He hesitated.  “Knock yourself out.”

“Are you telling me to leave?”

“No, it means—give it a try.” 

 

“He really has been helpful,” Lafayette enthused, carrying a watering can as he walked, quickly in order to keep up with the older man he was talking to.  “I would have had a much harder time without him and he’s even worked with me on his own time.”

The man stopped walking, crouching down to check the moisture of the soil around one of his plants, pressing his dark fingers into the dirt and then rubbing it between them.

“Give this one just a little, Lafayette.”

Lafayette obliged, still talking.  “He helped me pick some things out and he told me about all the work he has done for his other job.  It sounds like he’s doing much more than they asked him to.”

“Hamilton is at the Registrar?”

“Student Union,” Lafayette corrected.  “But he helped them out as well.  Dr. Washington—”

“You can drop the title,” Washington told him kindly, getting back to his feet, taller than Lafayette and of a noble enough bearing that Lafayette actually felt short next to him.  Lafayette nodded enthusiastically, overly giddy at having both been invited to dine with the president of the school and his wife and to speak with him more informally.

“…Washington,” he couldn’t bring himself to call him anything other than his last name, “Alexander told me that he reorganized the—”

Washington laughed.  “I hear you.  He’s an excellent worker.”

“Would it be possible to get that in writing?”  Lafayette asked timidly.

“Finish helping me with my garden and I’ll look into what he has done,” Washington promised.  “Come around to the back, I want to show you my greenhouse.”

 

“Laurens,” Lafayette said the following afternoon when Laurens returned from the practice he still had to go to even though he wasn't allowed to set foot on the field on game day.  “You are single, yes?”

“Who’s asking?”  Laurens said suspiciously.

“I am,” Lafayette said.  He looked around the room, confused.

“It—it’s an expression.  Never mind.  Why do you want to know?”

“Just making small talk.  No pressure,” Lafayette assured him.  “But anyway.  Yes?  No?  Interested?”
“In you?”
“No, I am asking for a friend.”  He pulled out his notebook and flipped to the correct page.  “Fuckbuddy perhaps?”

“Uh, not really looking,” Laurens said, obviously uncomfortable now.  He put his bag down and stood awkwardly by his bed.  

“Oh, too bad,” Lafayette said sadly.  “He’s really into you and I know you’ve had such a bad month.  I thought you deserved something nice.”

“‘He’?”

“Is that not okay?  I told him I would ask.  He is very smart and good looking.”

“Well, I—Who is it?”

“So you are interested,” Lafayette said, trying to feign the appropriate amount of surprise.

“I didn’t say that.  I just asked who.”

Lafayette sighed and made a note.  “‘Maybe.’”  He waited for a few minutes while Laurens dug through his bag and took out his work and headphones.  “John,” he started again.

“What?”

“I miss Adrienne.”

Laurens looked at him and made the effort to be sympathetic.  “Yeah.  I’m sure you must.”

“If she were here and we just hadn’t met yet—or even if we had met but weren’t together—wouldn’t that be nice?”

Laurens nodded, confused but trying to roll with it.  “Yeah, it would be.”

Lafayette was looking up at the ceiling.  “Do you ever get lonely?”

Laurens didn’t respond and after a few seconds Lafayette turned his head back down.  Laurens was plugging his headphones into his laptop and scrolling through his playlists.

“John?”

“It doesn’t matter.”  Laurens sat at his desk, not looking at him.

“You’re my friend,” Lafayette said, genuinely a little surprised by the reaction.  “You’ve made living here much easier.  I know I’m not a very good roommate sometimes,” he continued.  “But you’re very patient.  I appreciate that.  I like to help my friends—”

“It doesn’t matter,” Laurens repeated.  “I’ve got a lot going on anyway.  I don’t have time for anything like that.  Besides, my—”  He cut himself off.

“Your father?”

“I need to work on this paper,” Laurens said, indicating the conversation was finished.

 

The day after finals Laurens returned to his dorm room after dropping off his books at the return outside the closed library.  He put his key in the lock, turned it, opened the door, and gave a yell of surprise as he accidentally walked in on Lafayette touching himself over Skype with his girlfriend.

“I’m sorry!”  He shouted, closing his eyes immediately and blushing bright red as he fumbled blindly on his shelves by the door.  “I just need—”

“Get out!”  Lafayette yelled, using his free hand to slam the laptop shut.  

“Sorry!  Sorry!”  Laurens stumbled out of the room without getting what he had wanted from it. 

Without thinking about it he began to walk, heading in the direction of Hamilton’s apartment, remembering the offer he had made him back at the start of the term.

He rang the buzzer for Hamilton’s studio.  There was a slight pause and then, crackily, “Hello?”

“Alex.  It’s John.  I’m sorry to bother you, but can I come up?”

A noticeably longer pause.  “Sure.”  The buzzer rang and the door unlocked.

It was only a minute before Laurens knocked on Hamilton’s door.  He had barely taken his hand away when Hamilton pulled it open.  

“Hey.”

“Hey—” Laurens looked up at the ceiling.  Apparently Hamilton had taken the extra few seconds to respond because he had been in the shower.  His hair was still dripping with water and he was only wearing a pair of jeans. Laurens couldn’t help but bring his head back down and trace his gaze over his body, thinking dimly that he looked as though all of his bragging stories about his sexual experiences were not only true but understated because how could anyone not be attracted to him?

“Sorry,” Hamilton said.  “Come in, I’ll just go change.”

“I can go—”

“No, don’t go—” He grabbed Laurens by the wrist.  Laurens stared at him a minute and Hamilton, throwing caution to the wind, kissed him squarely on the mouth.

Laurens stumbled backwards.

“S-sorry,” Hamilton said quickly.  “I just took a shot. I haven’t slept in a week, I was weak, I was awake, and I spent all day cleaning my apartment because it looked like some sort of book dungeon.  I had like three shots of expresso today and I’m not sure I had lunch and when you came over I thought—”

Hamilton was cut off by the sound of an incoming text message on his phone.

“It’s Lafayette,” he said, “he wants me to tell you that he’s done.  Did you say something to him?”

Laurens looked puzzled.  “I walked in on him jerking off over Skype with his girlfriend.”

Hamilton’s eyes widened.  “Oh, shit.”  He stared back down at his phone. 

“What?”

“I told him he could give it a shot.”  Hamilton looked guilty now.  “I didn’t think he was going to trick you or anything—he just said he could do it.  I didn’t realize he was serious.”

“That’s crazy,” Laurens said.  “Alexander, I really did just walk in on him and his girlfriend.  It was an honest mistake.”

“You don’t understand,” Hamilton argued, motioning between himself and an invisible Lafayette.  “This is how we think.

Laurens shook his head.  “I’m going back to the dorm.  You should get some sleep.  I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Yeah, okay,” Hamilton said. “Uh, thanks.”

 

The first thing Lafayette said when Laurens opened the door was: “Adrienne convinced me to get an Instagram.  You should follow me, we can stay in touch that way over break.”

“Did you mean to set me up with Hamilton?”  Laurens asked as soon as the door closed behind him.

“What is that?”

“Did you know he was going to kiss me?”

“Oh, yeah.  I did.” Lafayette said, all traces of his formerly heavy French accent suddenly gone.

“I don’t understand you,” Laurens said in a mixture of frustration and awe.

Lafayette pushed his chair back to face him directly, “Are you mad at me?”

“No,” admitted Laurens.

Lafayette smiled broadly, his normal accent comfortably back.  “Excellent!  How did it go?”

Laurens turned a deep shade of crimson. 

Lafayette, accurately sensing that Laurens was desperate for a change of subject, returned to his new Instagram page.  “I wanted to make my ‘handle’ Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette,’ but it wouldn’t fit in the space provided.”  He sighed dramatically for effect.  

“Wait.”  Laurens raised a hand.  “Marquis?”

“Marquis, my title.  Cur non?”

“That wasn’t on the roommate form they gave me.  Is that your actual title or your made-up-for-fun title?”  Laurens would not have even thought it possible except that so many other things that he had previously not thought possible were apparently so.

“Of course it’s my actual title.  Why would I take someone else’s?”

“You’re actually a marquis?  Does Hamilton know?”

Lafayette considered this.  “Peut-être nonIntéressant.  Ah, well.”

Chapter Text

“Did you see Lafayette’s Instagram?”  Laurens asked Hamilton at the start of spring term.  The two of them were in the library where Hamilton was collecting all of his required reading for the semester.

“Of course I did.  He kept tagging me as his cats.  Do you know that after a while people started actually referring to his cats by my name?  I don’t know what’s weirder, that there’s now a white fluffy cat in France named Hamilton or that she eats better than I do.  I’m buying instant noodles and I’m pretty sure he’s got the cat added to the list of people their cook needs to provide for.  Seriously, between that and this weather it was enough to make me wish I’d taken him up on his offer to visit.  It would have been better than sitting on my ass all day wishing humans could just friggin’ hibernate and get it over with.  What did you do over break?” Hamilton asked, his words all coming out in one unbroken stream and standing on tiptoes to reach a book on the top shelf.  

Laurens came up behind him and reached for the book.  He was about four inches taller than Hamilton and could easily get it.  Hamilton looked up at him, remembering the last time Laurens had leaned over him not-quite-like this.  Laurens seemed to remember as well, because he quickly stepped back and answered the question.

“Not a lot.  Spent time with family. Did you know Lafayette is actually a marquis?” Laurens asked Hamilton as he handed him the book.

“Yeah, I did,” Hamilton said.  He glanced away, then back, wondering if the library was an appropriate place to hit on Laurens or ask him back to his apartment.  A simple yes or no, really, would suffice.  “He didn’t tell me though.”  God, did it suck not being told.

“It makes sense in retrospect,” Laurens said.  “This is my fourth year and the first time I had to jump through so many hoops after putting in my roommate request.  Do you know that I had to do two different in person interviews?  They took my fingerprints and a saliva sample, Alexander.  I thought someone on the team must have made some accusations.”  

Hamilton gave a short laugh and flipped through the book to make sure it was the right edition.  “‘De Lafayette’ is actually his title, and his real name is Gilbert du Motier.  He goes by Lafayette or the Marquis de Lafayette but yeah, that’s his inherited title rather than his given name.  I looked him up after I saw the pictures he was posting of his fucking castle,” Hamilton explained, glancing up. 

“Is Gilbert’s girlfriend a marquise as well?”

“Her father’s a duke.”

“Marrying up,” Laurens commented.

Hamilton shrugged.  “Gilbert’s the actual marquis.  He’s already inherited the title.”  He shot a glance at Laurens.  “It was all right there in the database.”

“Oh, shit.”  

“It’s not a secret,” Hamilton said, and then, to change the topic, “He earns over a million a year from his properties alone.  I raise the motion that drinks are on him save for select special occasions.”

“That’s not fair,” Laurens said.  “Besides, you’re both under twenty-one.  He can’t even purchase anything here.”

“I have to work twenty hours a week at the receptionist’s desk at the campus center redirecting calls and giving directions to lost prospective students and their parents on top of having to maintain a 3.0.”  Hamilton didn’t clarify for the sake of this argument that he had also yelled at the registrar until they had granted him special permission to take greater than a full load of courses even though his scholarship specifically discouraged it and that he was getting a 4.0 anyway.  “He’s being paid enough to send an entire village to college just for sitting on his ass.”

Laurens frowned a little and studied the shelf, feeling a little jab of guilt.  “Did you get everything you needed from the library?”  He asked, switching subjects again.  “Speaking of Lafayette, he said he brought us both some things from vacation.  Do you have time to come hang out for a while?”

Hamilton brightened, not actually bitter towards Lafayette in particular in spite of his argument.  “Sure.  Lead the way.  I considered buying a cat,” Hamilton continued as he and Laurens left the library, “but fuck that responsibility.  I can barely keep myself in order some days, I’m not subjecting an animal to that.  Besides,” he added as an afterthought, “I’d probably waste too much time doing shit like sitting it in my lap and then slowly turning the chair around every time someone came over.”

“Do you have people over often?”  Laurens couldn’t help but ask, remembering the state of the apartment.  Hamilton seemed to guess why he was unsure and he looked a little embarrassed.

“It’s usually better than that.  The end of the semester, I kind of let some things slide.  Look, it stops at the door, no one needs to know,” he said defensively, gesturing to himself.

Laurens glanced down and had to admit his point.  Even at the worst of it Hamilton had always shown up looking perfectly put together and even now—boots, dark jeans, coat…  Hamilton adjusted his scarf against the weather.

“I know people beyond you and Lafayette,” Hamilton continued, hackles still raised a little.  “You’ve got your teammates, I know people through the student council.  And other places!”

Laurens just nodded.

“They’re not all Aaron Burr,” Hamilton continued, rightly guessing that Laurens still wasn’t convinced.  “Don’t tell me you actually like everyone on your team.”

“…You’re right,” Laurens conceded.  

“I mean, okay, I don’t actually invite those guys over for freakin’ afternoon tea, but don't think you and Lafayette are the first people to ever come over.  I got the place through a friend to begin with!”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Hamilton agreed emphatically.  “I know this guy, back when I first came to the city—”  He lost his train of thought as Laurens opened the door to his room and Lafayette put a heavy hand on his shoulder by means of greeting.  

“I miss Adrienne.”

“Uh,” Laurens started, not quite sure how much this was just an act for the sake of getting a reaction.  “You said you had something to give us.  Is this a bad time?”

“Oh, right!”  To Laurens’ great relief, Lafayette perked up and went over to his partially unpacked luggage.  He retrieved a large paper-wrapped bundle and handed it to Hamilton.  “Open it carefully.  It is breakable.”

Hamilton sat on his bed and slowly unpeeled the tape.  It had eight layers and he opened them painstakingly, trying to be as cautious as possible.  Lafayette was practically bouncing in his seat as he got to the last layer.

It was a ceramic cat.  Not just any ceramic cat, but a huge, life-size white persian with its fur sculpted in such a way that it looked like it was sitting in a wind tunnel.

“Since you are Hamilton the Cat now,” Lafayette explained.  

“I’m not,” Hamilton said stubbornly.

“I wanted to make sure you knew what she looked like,” Lafayette said.  “In case you stopped checking my Instagram as well as responding to my texts.”

“You did say you wanted a cat without the responsibility of actually owning a cat,” Laurens pointed out.

“I’m not making it its own twitter account.”

“Were you going to do that if you got an actual cat?”

“Lafayette,” Hamilton said, smoothly moving away from the subject, “where did you find this?”

“Adrienne and I went on a trip to Belgium,” Lafayette explained.  Hamilton restrained himself from commenting on the fact that Lafayette went on vacation while already on vacation.

“We found it in an antique shop.  I considered buying you a book or two instead, but this seemed funnier.  Laurens, I brought you something as well,” Lafayette said, reaching into his suitcase again, taking out and handing over an old book of botanical prints by Pierre-Joseph Redouté.  

“Redouté?” Hamilton asked as Laurens quietly turned the pages. 

“Because Laurens draws,” Lafayette explained.  “Haven’t you seen his work?”

Laurens looked up at Lafayette. “I don’t know what to say,” he said quietly.  “Thank you.”

Lafayette waved a hand at him.  “Enjoy it and I will be happy.”

 

When classes started, Laurens didn’t think much of the fact that he and Hamilton would be taking chemistry together.  That is, he didn’t think much of it beyond the fact that it was chemistry and he would be taking it with Hamilton.  He was more interested in biology, but he had a knack for science, having once considered going into medicine as a career.  Anyway, he figured that even chemistry would be better than his problem class (African and African American Studies: Global Ethnic and Racial Relations), taught by Professor Jefferson, who Laurens found strangely abrasive even as he had heard other students praise his class.  To each their own, but he wished that it wasn’t a requirement for the major.  Laurens assumed Hamilton would be a good chemistry partner, so when they were told they needed to pair up for their lab work for the term he didn’t think twice before asking if he’d like to work together.

“I already did all the reading for the course,” Hamilton told Laurens proudly.  “Read everything over break.  We should ace class no problem.”

“Great,” Laurens agreed.  “I haven’t taken chemistry in a few years but I really enjoyed it in high school.  Actually, I considered applying to schools for pre-med.”

“Really?  Medicine?  Why did you change your mind?  Not that I’m complaining, of course.”

Laurens wasn’t quite sure if Hamilton was being flirtatious or if he was reading too much into his small-talk, so he just hitched up his backpack and kept walking.  “I decided I wanted to get a major more applicable to law instead.  It’s been the family career, after all.  Besides, I enjoy that as well.”

“Medicine and art…”  Hamilton mused.  “And law.  You’re a triple threat, John.”

Laurens laughed.  “I’m not sure what those three would all be effective against.”

Hamilton laughed as well, uncomfortably.  “It doesn’t matter.  This is my street, I’ll see you in lab tomorrow night.”

Laurens headed back to his dorm, where he read ahead in their chemistry textbook before getting started on the rest of his work.

 

As it turned out, Laurens quickly realized, there was an actual threat and that threat was chemistry with Hamilton.  It wasn’t that he didn’t understand the material—in theory he understood it all perfectly and he did excellently on any written quizzes or answering questions in lecture.  It was more that his hands couldn’t keep up with his mind and he didn’t care quite enough about the topic to force himself to slow down.  Or something like that, anyway, Laurens couldn’t quite decide what the exact problem was.  Whatever the issue was, the result was that Hamilton would think ahead to step seven while still working on step five and as a result skip over six entirely.

“Look, it’s not—” Hamilton was frustrated, fuming.  “I did everything the instructions said.”  He tapped their page of printed instructions while Laurens frowned at his half of the experiment, which was behaving exactly as their shared worksheet suggested it should be.  “Reacting more vigorously in hydrochloric acid solution than in acetic acid my ass,” he muttered.  “At least that one gave a reaction at all.”

Laurens leaned his arms on the metal table, tipping his head to one side to look at Hamilton’s disorganized work space.  “You didn’t add it,” he commented.

“What?”

“Alexander, look.”  He pointed to the vial sitting, open, behind Hamilton’s stack of books.  “You opened it and moved it to the side so you could fill out Table 10.3, but you never actually finished, you just moved on to the next question.”

Hamilton reddened and his embarrassment met his frustration, causing him to snap at Laurens.  “Stop looking at me like I’m stupid—I’m not stupid.”

“I never said you were stupid,” Laurens said gently.  “You just need to slow down.”

Hamilton stared at him, unable to comprehend.

“I’m not trying to rush.”

“I know,” Laurens said, only because he knew Hamilton well enough by now--of course, it was the kind of obvious character trait that you didn't have to know him too well to pick up on--not because it actually looked like he was paying attention to his work. “I make the same kind of mistakes too,” he lied. Hamilton scoffed, adding the acid and taking appropriate notes on the reaction.  “Okay, I used to make them,” he said, lying a little less blatantly.  “I had to train myself to really double check everything.  Cross things off as I did them, even.  It’s irritating, but less so than having to do everything all over from the beginning.”

Hamilton sighed.  “Fine.  You’re right.  I hate this,” he muttered to himself as he got back to work.  "You better be coming out with me and Lafayette after this because if it's just me and him and a million hours of whining about how Adrienne is all the way off in France I'm gonna lash him to that metal bull in the Financial District and tell him it's an American tradition."

Chapter Text

Hamilton woke up in the morning several hours later than normal to a headache and Lafayette’s altogether too cheerful voice.

“Good morning!  I made beignets!”

He tried to roll over and pull the blankets up over his head but could not, instead hitting the leg of his desk and knocking over a mug still filled with about a half inch of Jack Daniels.  Whiskey, Tennessee…  It took him longer than usual to piece the trail back together.  Tennessee, America, Lafayette.  Hold up, that was it, Lafayette had announced at the restaurant that he was transferring to their school permanently instead of leaving America for France at the end of the semester.  He sat up blearily.  None of that explained why his phone was dead but then he realized that Lafayette was sitting at his desk, offering him a tall black coffee and a paper plate of beignets.

“You actually made these?”  Hamilton asked, leaning forward and accepting both, rubbing at his eyes with one hand.  He’d fallen asleep with his contacts in and now that he was more awake it was contending with his headache for what was making him feel worse. 

“Of course!”  Lafayette took a sip from his own coffee.  “It’s an old family recipe.  I’ll show it to you sometime.”

Hamilton realized the sink in his bathroom was running, then it turned off and Laurens walked out, his face still wet.  “That from the cafe across the street?  I mentioned it to you last night.” 

“No,” Lafayette said defensively.

“These are good,” Hamilton said, offering Laurens the plate.  “Thanks for spotting us.”

“I’m not paying for them if you two aren’t going to go along with it,” Lafayette complained, taking the receipt out of his pocket.  “You both owe me five dollars.”

“It’s my birthday.”

“You can’t keep using that one!  It’s been over a month!”

Hamilton shrugged, sipping the coffee.  “It keeps working.”

“You look like shit,” Lafayette helpfully informed him.

“Are you really transferring?”  Hamilton asked, ignoring that.

“Of course, that’s what I said!”

“I’m surprised you remember,” Laurens teased, picking up the mismatched mugs from the ground and taking them into the bathroom to wash them.  “You’re a real lightweight.”

“Shut up, you’re just a giant.”

“Ha,” Laurens laughed from the other room, apparently not affected at all by the previous night’s festivities.  “Yeah, it’s not just you.  Our friend the soon-to-be American’s a tee-totaler too, maybe even worse than you.  Do you remember when we were coming back from the liquor store?”  He leaned out of the doorway to grin at the look of confusion on Hamilton’s face.  “I let you guys get started on the bottle while we waited for a cab?”

“Oh yeah…” Hamilton nursed his coffee, realization starting to dawn on him.  “That’s right… Did he—” he turned to Lafayette, “—did you get into an imaginary drinking contest with your brother in law?”

Lafayette took a long drink instead of answering.  “I need to turn in some paperwork,” he said with great dignity.  “I will accept your payment by cash or check.”

He left and Laurens waited around while Hamilton got dressed for work, straightening stacks of books they had jarred and talking to him though he closed bathroom door.

“Do they really keep you busy the whole time?” 

“It varies from day to day, but even when it is busy it’s so tedious.  It’s just answering the same questions over and over.  A dog could do it, if you trained him well enough.  I tried to convince them that they should just print up a list of answers to frequently asked questions and hand them out, but they said that was a waste of resources.”  Laurens could practically hear Hamilton roll his eyes.  “If you ask me, making me sit there is a waste of resources.  I could do so much more with my time, even if I still had to devote it to their projects.  Case in point, I reorganized the registrar’s filing system.  It’s much more efficient now.”

“You’re not their employee,” Laurens pointed out.

“Same boss.  Besides, they’re right next door.”  He neglected to mention that he was over there on a daily basis anyway arguing his way into various credit hour changes.  “Right,” he stepped back out into the other room, popping a couple of painkillers dry.  “Let’s go.”

 

There was a note for Hamilton at his desk when he got into work telling him to report to the president's office as soon as possible.  He picked it up and looked around.  There was no one else in his vicinity.  Did they really want him to abandon his post for this?  Was it that urgent?  He wasn’t sure what he could possibly be in trouble for—at least not in that much trouble for—, but frankly (he thought with a roll of his eyes) it did seem high time for someone to take him aside again and tell him he needed to sit down and remember his station.

Apprehensively, he put up a sign saying BACK IN FIVE MINUTES and, knowing it was likely to be a lie, the list of answers to frequently asked questions that he had typed up anyway.

 

Hamilton showed up at Laurens and Lafayette’s dorm close to midnight, but still as full of energy as if it had been noon instead.

“Check it,” he said, handing his phone, unlocked and open to his photos to Laurens.  “I show up hungover and late and this shit happens.” 

“Are these HR papers?”  Laurens asked, looking back at Hamilton.  He didn’t seem upset to have been fired (which was the only option that really made sense), so he enlarged the picture.  “Wait a minute.  Did you get promoted?”

Layafette snatched the phone to see.  “I show up late to class and the teacher calls me an indolent youth but you actually get to work with Dr. George Washington?”  When no one immediately responded, he continued.  “Do you get to be in his actual office?  Can you liberate a pen for me?”

“Don’t try to get Alexander to steal from the president,” Laurens scolded. 

“I’ll just get him a regular BIC and tell him Washington touched it,” Hamilton said over Lafayette’s sounds of protest.  “I saw them, half of them are just those free ones that get given out by boring student organizations.”

“Like your Council?”  Laurens teased.

“Ha ha, very funny.  I’ll have you know that it was my work there that got us improved lighting on campus walkways.  Actually, you should know that, I made you pick up the pamphlets I printed out, the ones on relative cost of lightbulbs and the diameter of—”

Lafayette cut him off.  “No one cares about that, Alexander.  Did you actually get to speak with him?”

“Yeah, I’ll introduce you if you want.”

“I already know him,” Lafayette said, a little sharper than necessary in response to just how smug Hamilton was sounding.  It was dawning on him that he might have had something to do with this and he was frustrated about not being able to say anything or risk ruining it.

“Then why are you pissing yourself over this?”  Laurens asked. 

“Because he’s Washington,” Lafayette spun to face him now.  “It’s very exciting!  Don’t you know anything about what he’s done?”

“Overhauled the administrative system.”

“One of the youngest to receive a full professorship or to become dean in the history of American universities.”

“Won the Presidential Medal for Excellence in Education.”

“I think he was on his college’s basketball team as well.”

“Well if you know that then you should understand why I am so thrilled—for Alexander, of course.”

“Of course.”

“I met with him just before the school year began as well, you know,” Lafayette said.  

Laurens laughed.  “Why didn’t you ‘liberate’ a pen then?”

“It was a state of emergency.  My paperwork didn’t go through.  They were threatening to deport me!”

“That’s no good.  They would have made John pee in a cup for nothing.”

“I said they took a saliva sample,” Laurens protested, then turned back to Lafayette.  “What happened?”

“I don’t know.  I had only just arrived the day before.  Adrienne’s father was going ballistic and it finally got late enough that he stopped calling and Washington stepped out to talk to someone about it.  He told me to wait in his office and I thought I would sit at his desk for just a moment to see what it was like but I was so tired… I fell asleep in his chair.  I used his jacket as a blanket.”  Laurens and Hamilton cringed.  “It smelled of his cologne.”

“Okay.  Right.”  Hamilton took his phone back finally.  “This is getting into a weird area and you need to stop.  I’ll look into the pen thing.”

“That’s all I’m asking for.”

“So,” Hamilton put his phone in his pocket and clapped his hands together.  “I’m starved.  I’ve just spent literally twelve hours getting everything straightened out and I think I gave an interview to the alumni newsletter somewhere in there but I didn’t check the kid’s ID.  Drinks later.  Let’s get dinner.”

 

Chapter Text

“Do you want to come over?” Hamilton asked Laurens quietly as they left the restaurant in the early hours of the morning. “I know it’s late but you don’t have to be anywhere until ten and, hey, maybe if I show up late again they’ll be so sick of me that they’ll just give me my degree this time.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works, so don’t push it,” Laurens whispered back. “You don’t want to get fired as soon as they hire you.”

“I’m going on a lunch date with mon cher coeur,” Lafayette announced, having overheard them. “So in fact tonight would be very convenient for you to stay elsewhere. Otherwise I’ll just wake you up in four hours. Your choice.”

“Don’t you think you should ask her to meet you for dinner once in a while?” Laurens asked.

Lafayette shook his head sadly. “She has dinner with her parents. I want them to like me.”

“It’s just that… I know you put up a good show about how you like to see her, but you crash hard later in the day and you’re very difficult to move.”

“Why would you move him?” Hamilton asked.

“It’s not like he always falls asleep in his bed,” Laurens said. “He’s blocked the door before. I had to wake him up so I could get in!”

“Fine, fine, I will consider finding a different time,” Lafayette said. “But we have already made plans for tomorrow and a gentleman does not cancel on a lady at the last minute.”

Laurens glanced at Hamilton who was looking hopefully at him. “All right,” he agreed. It was already so late anyway.

“You know that she calls him her Lancelot?” Hamilton said, to break what was becoming too tense of a moment. “In her texts to him.”

Laurens laughed. “And on the phone. You forget that I still hear the conversations that they don’t schedule in advance.”

“And what’s wrong with that?” Lafayette protested. “I am her knight in white armor!”

“That story doesn’t end well,” Laurens pointed out.

“And they’re British. I would have thought that you would have picked a more suitably national icon.”

Lafayette huffed. “Le Morte d’Arthur is a French work, merci, and it happens to have been one of Adrienne’s favorites as a girl. It is not my fault if popular belief in this country has become so corrupted as to ignore its French roots. And regardless, Chrétrien de Troyes was the first to write about Lancelot, so he is a decidedly French,” he emphasized the word, “icon.”

“I heard that he was actually Irish or Welsh,” Laurens taunted.

“His very name is French,” Lafayette argued back, “L’ancelot, ‘the servant.’ That cannot be a coincidence! Your argument is outdated, stop trying to throw such slander in my face!”

“He calls her worse back,” Laurens said, turning his attention back to Hamilton. “I thought I would hear him say Guinevere, but it’s all ‘my dearest heart’ and ‘my life.’”

“‘Adrienne, my life,’” Hamilton mocked, dramatically putting one hand over his heart. “I must wake before the sun to be with you, regardless of how it affects my well-being and of the utter inconvenience it causes my friends!”

“Very funny.” Lafayette responded sulkily. “But say all you like, it doesn't matter to me.”

“It matters a little,” Laurens bent down a little to stage whisper to Hamilton.

“You matter little.”

“That’s not how the phrase goes.”

“I don’t care. I’m going back to the room to get my beauty rest so I can be in peak physical condition for my dear heart.” Lafayette enunciated the pet name in defiance. “Bonne nuit, mes amis.”

 

Hamilton let them into his apartment and turned on the overhead light. “Sorry about the mess,” he said with the air of someone who always had to make that apology and only really meant it now that something potentially important had come up. “You know how busy I’ve been.”

“I know.” Laurens stepped inside and took off his coat, folding it over his arm. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Put that on the chair, or my desk, or the floor. It doesn't matter.” Hamilton took off his own coat, then looked at the paper-covered desk. “Actually, don't put it on my desk. The chair or the floor are fine.” He draped his over the back of the chair.

Laurens gave a short laugh and followed suit.

“So,” Hamilton began, rocking forward once onto his toes. “Now what?”

“Well…” Laurens looked carefully around the room, his hand straying to the bottom of his shirt like he was about to pull it up over his head but caught himself. “I think Lafayette is right.”

“He’s right?”

“Yeah.” He took his shirt off in one fluid motion and Hamilton’s gaze ran hungrily up over his body just after the fabric. “Cur non?” He dropped the shirt to the floor and paused. “I wish I hadn’t just said that.”

“I’ll ignore it.” Hamilton stepped forward, slipping one hand into his back pocket. “Just this once, though.”

Laurens laughed, low. “Just this once?”

“Mm.” Hamilton leaned up, pressing their hips together. “You’re lucky you’re pretty,” he teased.

Laurens wrinkled his nose. “And I’m going to ignore that. Now we’re even.”

“Hardly. You were trying to be sexy and I was teasing you for it—”

“Shut up and kiss me.”

Hamilton obliged, raising up to meet Laurens’ mouth as he leaned down into the kiss, parting his lips and darting out his tongue. Laurens put his hands on Hamilton’s shoulders, moving him back a step.

“Your shirt.”

“Your pants.” But Hamilton yanked his shirt off, motioning Laurens forward as he walked backwards towards the mattress. “I’ve got—shit, it’s all in the bathroom—hold on. You better be naked by the time I get back here.”

Laurens looked around the room once more then turned off the light. The room darkened, he sat awkwardly on the futon.

A moment later Hamilton returned, made the corner too sharply, and swore loudly when he walked into the chair, dropping what he was holding with a clatter.

“God damn it! John, what the hell!”

“I got the lights.”

“Yeah, no shit.”

“Sorry.” Laurens got up, managing not to trip over anything before he turned the light back on. Hamilton, still wearing his pants, was crouched picking a bottle of lube and a wrapped condom off the floor.

“You’re not undressed yet,” Laurens commented.

“Ha ha,” Hamilton said dryly, still not amused at how he had crashed into his own chair. “And neither are you, technically. Do you mind leaving it on this time? I don’t want to be completely blind.”

“Sorry,” Laurens muttered.

“Forget it. Come on.”  Hamilton stepped closer, hesitating in spite of himself for a moment before standing just in front of him and reaching up to cup his face and draw him into a kiss.

Laurens kept his eyes open for a second before awkwardly realizing that he should close them.  He put his hands at his waist--was that a good place for them?--and stood perfectly, carefully still as Hamilton leaned a little into him.  He could feel his own heart beating nervously, knocking against his chest with anxiety, and he tried hard to clear his mind.

“Hey.”  Hamilton drew back and Laurens felt his pulse trip over itself for an entirely different reason when he looked into his eyes.  “You okay?”

Laurens nodded.  “Of course.”

Hamilton chewed on his lower lip.  He leaned away and Laurens noticed for the first time the freckles scattered over his shoulders and collar and how soft his skin looked over his narrow chest and torso.  “You want the lights off?”

“You said you wanted them on.”

“Yeah.  I mean,”  Hamilton practically launched himself into the words, “I can compromise.  I don't sit on that stupid committee all day without learning to make some deals, not gonna act like I like that part of it, but I do know how to do it and this one seems benign enough.  Make you more comfortable, I'm back in the room and hopefully I can manage to not trip over my own bag and fall flat on my face, that'll make me more comfortable--you, uh, you being comfortable, I  mean.  Not not falling on my face.  Although I'd like that too.  Fuck, you know what, I'm doing it.”  He crossed the room, already unbuttoning his pants, and turned off the lights again.  Laurens sat back down on the mattress.  “That better?  I think that's better.”  Laurens couldn't see him as more than a slightly darker shadow while his eyes were still adjusting but he heard him laugh.  “More romantic or some shit.  Mood lighting.”

“Isn't mood lighting just dimmed?”

“Yeah, okay, I don't got any candles, John.  You gotta make do.”  He sat next to him and tentatively put his hand on his thigh.  “We gotta make out,” he joked.

Laurens snorted and impulsively put his hand on his upper arm and pulled him in to a kiss.  He slipped his tongue past his lips, still uncomfortably aware of every decision he was making and trying hard to keep his mind in New York, in the apartment.

Hamilton breathed out slowly as they momentarily separated.  “John...”

Laurens felt the name rush through him like a jolt of electricity and Hamilton moved so he was practically straddling his leg with both his hands moving hungrily over his back and shoulders.  Laurens kissed him again, deeper, suddenly unable to see South Carolina over the way he was making his head spin.

Hamilton raised up a little higher and then moved away, grinning in the dark as Laurens reached for him automatically.  “I'm just--I gotta take these off, John.”  He pulled his pants down, then rolled onto his back to quickly yank them off the rest of the way and toss them aside.  When Laurens reached for him again his hand brushed his bare thigh and the edge of his briefs and jerked nervously away.  Hamilton caught it and put it back on the side of his leg.  “Hey.  Relax, I want you to do that.”

Laurens laughed nervously.  “Right.”  Here, New York.  “Should I...?”

“Come here.”

Laurens leaned over him and slowly pushed him back against the futon, kissing him and letting their bodies touch. He started when Hamilton--carefully, almost too carefully, almost as if he was trying to replicate something he had looked up and studied for reference--slid his hands up his legs to his ass.  Hamilton broke the kiss and nudged Laurens' head to the side.  When he whispered in his ear his voice was taut with anticipation and nerves.

“I want you to fuck me.”

Laurens was very aware of how hard he was.

Hamilton made a sound like he was about to say Laurens' name and then thought better of it at the last minute.  “You're down, right?  I...”  Slight hesitation.  “Thought it...  I want to try it,” he finished valiantly yet lamely.  “Got lube and a condom.  You know the drill.”

Laurens wondered if that was in fact the case.

“Hey.”  Hamilton kissed him, he forced himself to make it playful, and twisted out from under him, leaning to the side and feeling around until he managed to retrieve the two items in question.  “Here.”  He pressed them to Laurens' bare chest and Laurens, for his part, felt compelled to take them.  Hamilton paused, then kissed him again, assertively.  “I'm gonna take this off.  You probably, I mean, I don't want to tell you how to dress.”

Laurens couldn't help but stare as he sat back, his heart in his throat even as his body eagerly reacted and his hands seemed to finish undressing him of their own accord.  Belt undone, fly down.  He stood.  When he knelt back down on the mattress and ran his hand over Hamilton's back they were both completely naked.  He opened the condom.

 

Meanwhile, several blocks away, Lafayette was spreading dijon mustard on a slice of bread.

He had his long hair pulled back, although not as neatly as it would be for the actual date, and away from his face and he hid a yawn behind the back of his hand as he worked. Soon he would have his sandwich complete and he could pop it in a paper bag with a cookie bought earlier that day at the mess hall, throw it all in the mini fridge, and call it a night. He only had a couple of hours now before he had to get up and wash up for his lunch date with Adrienne, but as he looked at the time he got an idea that would keep him up only a few minutes more and that hopefully would win him some points.

As soon as his lunch was stored, Lafayette grabbed his cell phone and settled back on his bed, leaving the light on and not bothering to get under the covers.

Merci beaucoup, Jean,” he said aloud to the empty room as he adjusted the ties of his yoga pants, slid them down, and took a very artful and not at all tasteless photograph.

 

Laurens woke in the early morning to Hamilton, in a pair of gray sweats and an undershirt, shaking his shoulder.

“Hey. Not to kick you out, but I have to go soon and you’ve got practice.”

“Ah, yeah. Shit.” Laurens sat up and ran a hand through his hair. “What time… Are you wearing sweatpants? And glasses?”

Hamilton stood up. “We’re done here.”

“Hey, come back here.” Laurens grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him back down. “I didn’t know you wore either of those.”

“I have one pair of each. And if you weren’t such a freaking blanket hog I wouldn't have gotten up at three in the morning to dig them out!”

“And the glasses?” Laurens reached out to touch the frames, decidedly unfashionable, round with tarnished gilding.

Hamilton jerked back and stood up. “I wear contacts, jackass.”

Laurens yawned and felt around for his clothes. By the time he was dressed in the same outfit he had shown up in the night before, Hamilton was ready as well, clean clothes and contacts.

“Right. Shall we go?” Hamilton grabbed his coat and bag. Laurens followed suit, uncomfortably aware that he was doing the walk of shame, even as Hamilton whistled cheerfully beside him.

Chapter Text

When Laurens opened the door to his shared room after practice, he was surprised to find Lafayette very, very awake.

“John!” Lafayette grabbed him by the forearms, shaking him and then speaking in frantic slipping English. “Something bad is happened. Something very very bad.”

“What is it?” Laurens closed the door behind him, looking at him seriously.

Lafayette moaned despondently and shoved his phone at Laurens, dropping down on his bed and hiding his head in his hands. “I was trying to text Adrienne,” he said, muffled.

“Uh.” Laurens put his own hand to his mouth for a moment, biting back a laugh. “Did you sext Washington?”

Oui.”

“You asked the venerated George Washington… What color his panties are.”

Lafayette just nodded without lifting his head.

“Well, that was twenty minutes ago. You must have come on too strong because he’s not texting you back.”

Lafayette made an incoherent noise. Laurens sat on the mattress next to him, putting an arm over his shoulders.

“Look, that was clearly meant for someone else. Why don’t you just apologize if you’re that embarrassed about it? You said he’s a friend of the family, didn’t you? I’m sure he will understand.” When that didn’t seem to cheer Lafayette up any, Laurens continued reassuringly. “It could have been worse. You could have sent that to her dad.”

Lafayette stiffened and didn’t respond.

Laurens paused before asking, “Lafayette? You didn’t send something to her father as well, did you?”

“Not today,” Lafayette said, finally looking up. “Once I… I told him I loved him by mistake.”

Laurens couldn’t help but laugh at how tragic he made that sound. “That’s not a big deal. He must have been glad to hear that you were saying that to his daughter.”

Lafayette buried his face back in his hands. “He said ‘wrong number, Larry.’”

Laurens laughed harder.

“Larry isn’t even a French name!” Lafayette cried.

“I’m sure he was teasing you.”

C’est si tragique, he is the one who likes me more. Her mother is still mad we are together, they almost got divorced when I made my intentions known!”

Laurens drew back a little to look at him better. “Are you serious?”

Lafayette straightened up. “It’s true. Her father is on my side. He says it is true love and, besides which, I am a good match for her. Her mother says she is too young now and was too young when we met and they got into such a big argument over it when I was fourteen that he actually moved out for several months.”

“Wait a minute… She was twelve when you started dating?” Laurens took his arm back. “I have to say I agree with her mother on this. That’s awfully young.”

“That’s not the point! I need you to help me figure out what to do with this—” He was cut off by his phone vibrating on the bed. Laurens grabbed it with quicker reflexes but handed it over, unable to speak from laughing.

 

> G. Washington: White.

 

Lafayette yelped and dropped the phone onto the floor as if it were hot.

“He’s fucking with you,” Laurens made out eventually. “There’s no way that he isn’t.”

“You don’t know that!”

“Trust me, the only way someone like him would respond to that at all is if—” Laurens cut himself off suddenly, digging his own, silenced, phone out of his pocket.

“What? Is if what?” Lafayette asked.

“Son of a bitch,” Laurens said, starting to laugh again, and showing Lafayette his screen. At the bottom of a chain of messages complaining (or bragging?) about all the work to be done reorganizing Washington’s files while the man himself was taking a lunch off of the grid (“I don’t care what you say, I don’t know how anyone can just disconnect themselves for two hours.”):

 

> A. Hamilton: lmfao wait until you hear what Lancelot misfired

 

After that, Lafayette switched over to Snapchat for his messages to Adrienne.

 

“It’s a good thing those things don’t get saved,” Hamilton commented as he walked back from the chemistry lab with Laurens. “How much do you want to bet that it’s a solid 75% dick pics?”

“50%,” Laurens countered. “He gets a lot of messages from her.”

“More cats I bet. Did he ever tell you that he has a favorite horse as well? Not just ‘a horse.’ ‘A favorite horse.’”

Laurens decided not to remind Hamilton that he grew up on an estate and his sister showed horses so that wasn’t actually all that strange to him. “No, he never mentioned it.”

“He named it Jean le Blanc.” He rolled his eyes. “How hipster is that?”

“You once told me you wanted to get a unicorn and name it Peacock.”

“One, fuck off, and two, that would be fucking awesome and you know it.”

Laurens laughed but didn’t push it. “Do you want to come up? Lafayette should still be awake.”

“I’ll help you force the door if he passed out in front of it again.”

Lafayette was, in fact, still awake, and had made a nest for himself on his bed with the screens of both his laptop and cell phone lit up. He was talking in rapid-fire French to Adrienne about something on his phone, eagerly showing her the screen.

“Hey, we’ve got a bet going and you can help us decide it. What proportion of your—”

“Look, Laurens,” Lafayette said, cutting Hamilton off and holding up his cell. “I’ve got a great picture of your ass sticking out of a cake box.”

“Right, forget what I was going to say, this is so much stranger. What?”

“It’s this new game he downloaded,” Laurens explained wearily. “Adrienne showed it to him.”

Hamilton looked at the phone. “Is that a cartoon cat?”

“Named ‘John Pawrens,’” Lafayette announced, looking over at Laurens to see his reaction.

Hamilton grinned. “‘Pawrens.’ That’s cute.”

“Don’t get so smug,” Laurens warned. “He made one of you as well.”

“Really? Do I have socks too?”

Lafayette showed Hamilton his cat (Hamewlton; personality: “insatiable”) while Adrienne on her end showed him the currently trending #catsofinstagram Hamilton and Laurens wondered what had happened to his life and why was it now some sort of weird ouroboros version of cat hell.

“You’re all going to shack up together and become weird cat ladies, aren’t you?” He asked.

“Stop being so jealous. Il préfère les chiens,” Hamilton explained to Adrienne.

“Cats are fine,” Laurens protested, but no one was listening to him. Lafayette was busy downloading the app onto Hamilton’s phone after explaining to him that it didn’t require him to actually devote any time out of his busy schedule.

“I considered leaving their names,” Lafayette said, “but then I realized I could name them after my friends and it was so much funnier.”

“Yeah, I’ll probably just name them all ‘Laurens’ since it really creeps him out,” Hamilton said.

“It does not creep me out!” Laurens protested again. “It’s just weird when he doesn’t give any context. ‘Laurens is sleeping in front of the heater,’ ‘Laurens ate all the cat food.’”

“Ooh,” Hamilton showed Lafayette and Adrienne his screen. “Laurens is playing with his ball!”

Cat people,” the actual Laurens muttered.

“We’re still friends, aren’t we?” Lafayette asked suddenly, looking up at Laurens. “I’ll change the name if it’s truly too uncomfortable.”

Laurens sat down at his desk. “It’s fine. Really.”

“Good, because I couldn’t think of anything better than ‘Pawrens.’ By the way,” he lifted up a bag of Chex Mix, “this is crap. Why is everything so heavily seasoned here?”

“First off, why are you eating that?” Laurens asked.

“I sent some to Adrienne so we could try American food together.”

“I’m afraid to ask what else you picked.”

Lafayette began counting off on his fingers. “Buffalo Ranch Doritos, buffalo jerky, buffalo wing kettle corn… And cheese in a can.”

“Why the pattern?” Hamilton asked, not looking up from his phone.

Lafayette shrugged. “It seemed américain, non? These,” he held up the bag of Chex Mix again, “were for the cheese but…” He made a face. “That is not cheese.”

“It is spelled with a ‘z,’” Hamilton pointed out. “Hey, what do the gold fish do?”

“Give me that.” Lafayette took the phone from him and Laurens took the open bag with a shrug. Someone might as well eat it.

“John,” Lafayette said, looking up from the game after a minute, “You should visit with me in France this summer. You can practice your French and Adrienne has these nice big dogs, so you won’t be stuck with the cats all day.”

“I said I don’t mind cats. Thank you for the offer but I’m afraid I won’t be able to accept it.”

“Do you already have plans? It’s so far in the future!”

“He can’t go because his father won’t approve,” Hamilton said, breaking off his conversation with Adrienne and flipping back into English.

“I never said that.”

Hamilton shrugged, switching back to French.

“Is that true?” Lafayette asked, turning wide eyes to Laurens.

Laurens looked uncomfortable. “I always go back home and help him with things. There’s a lot of work to do. We don’t always agree, but…”

“But maybe this summer will be the one in which you change his mind.”

Laurens smiled. “Yeah.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes. “Hey,” he nudged Lafayette. “Say goodbye to your dearheart, she says that she has to go.” Hamilton started to get up, but Lafayette stopped him.

“And what about you? You’re invited as well, of course.”

Hamilton paused, remembering the huge amounts of fun he did not have staying in his apartment over winter break.

“I’d still have to pay rent…”

“It’s covered,” Lafayette said with a wave of his hand. “Please. You would be doing me a favor, I need a third to come along with me and Adrienne when we go out and having a pretty boy like you with me will confuse the crowd, which is always fun.”

Hamilton laughed. “I’ll think about it. If nothing else comes up.”

“Good!” Lafayette beamed. “I’ll let people know to expect you.”

“I said ‘if.’”

Lafayette waved him off, already busy saying his goodbyes to Adrienne.

 

“And those tiny wavy baguettes,” Lafayette complained the next morning. “Are they supposed to be baguettes? They were the best part and that is not saying very much. How can you even eat those dark brown pieces?”

“You cannot tell me that you don’t have similar snack food in France.” Laurens was mostly ignoring him as he packed his bag. “Party mix? Anything like that?”

“They tasted so burnt,” Lafayette continued, “and then you just ate them all while I was saying goodbye to Adrienne!”

“You say that as if it didn’t take you another twenty minutes,” Laurens pointed out. “Shit, I really need to work on this paper this weekend. I can’t believe I’ve been putting it off this long.”

Lafayette rolled his eyes and pulled off his shirt, tossing it to the side. “You need to calm down.  Have Alexander help you with the paper.”  He examined himself in the mirror on the inside of his closet door, first from the front, then turning to the side to better look at his body, lean with broad shoulders

“That won’t work and you know it.”

Lafayette ignored him. “This is a good angle for me. Take my picture from your monstrous height and I’ll post it with a nice filter. Valencia?”

“We're the same height. You’re just as bad as he is.” But Laurens took his phone. “There.”

Merci.” Lafayette sat down on his bed, working at getting the picture ready to post. “I try not to post too many selfies,” he continued, “although technically that wasn’t—ah, you understand. The point is that there is a fine line between enjoying the attention and making Adrienne jealous.”

“If she doesn't like it, shouldn’t you just not post them at all?”

“I never said she doesn’t like it,” Lafayette countered. “It makes me look good, all this publicity, and I know how to use it. If I look good, then so does she.” He waited for the picture to load and for the first couple of likes to appear so he could show Laurens. “See? I’m her status symbol.”

“That’s so shallow.”

Lafayette flipped a hand at him. “Whatever you say. It works. Let me know if you ever want to become famous on the internet.”

“I’ll pass,” Laurens said dryly. “Although you should run that offer by Burr.”

Chapter Text

“Shouldn’t you be done with that by now?” Hamilton asked, bored, draping himself over the back of Laurens’ chair so he could see the screen where Laurens’ cursor was still blinking sadly at the bottom of the second page. “You said you were working on it all morning and it’s only supposed to be six pages. Just spit something out and—” he laughed. “Okay, bad choice of words. Hurry up and finish already.”

“I’m not you,” Laurens complained. “I can’t just throw words on the page without thinking about it. It’ll get done, and it’ll be good, I just need more time.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes. “It’s just practice, John. Give it a shot, go on.”

“I’ll ‘give it a shot’ when it’s not counting for this much of my grade, thanks.”

Hamilton kissed his neck, just behind his ear, paused to see if that would get him a reaction, and when it didn’t, straightened up with a sigh. “Do you want help?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, Alexander.”

Hamilton sat down on Lafayette’s bed, looking across to Laurens’ side of the room. “Do you actually paint?”

“What?”

“Flowers and shit. What Lafayette said.”

“Yeah.” He bent down, taking a large black sketchbook out of the bottom desk drawer and turning to hand it over. “You can look if you like.”

“Thanks.” Hamilton accepted it and began turning pages. “Ha. It’s just not what I expected, you know? From someone like you, I mean.”

Laurens, facing his computer again, smiled. “Someone like me?”

“You know.” Hamilton waved a hand vaguely. “Tall, dark, handsome, all that shit. You should be some meathead jock. No offense meant—you are a meathead jock and we all know it—what I mean is that this doesn’t go with the look and this—honestly, John, it’s pretty great.” He stopped on a watercolor of a small black and red bird on a branch. “Did you ever consider showing these anywhere? I bet you could at least display them on campus.”

“I got some published in a local nature magazine when I was in high school. They were having a contest.”

Hamilton whistled. “Congrats. I thought your dad didn’t approve of this sort of thing.”

Laurens shrugged, wrote a sentence, deleted it. “No, he’s fine with it as a hobby, it’s just not a proper career. I used to take art as my elective at school. There was this good anatomical drawing class. I wanted to be a doctor, you know that, so it seemed to combine both interests.” He laughed. “Of course, the year before I could take it, they switched to only female models. There was an incident with one of the men they hired and after that they could only bring in women.”

“Seriously?”

“That’s true.”

Hamilton turned the page finally as Laurens kept talking.

“Anyway, I still took it but it would have been nice to practice with a male model as well.”

Hamilton looked up abruptly from the sketchbook, but Laurens didn’t seem to have been paying attention to what he said. Putting the book to the side he went back to drape on him once more, sliding his arms across his shoulders and trailing one hand over his chest. “…Oh?”

Laurens stopped writing, lifting his head to look at him. “What?”

“You said you wanted a model.” If Hamilton was a cat he would have been purring as he traced the line of Laurens’ jaw with his other hand. “I’ll be your model.”

Laurens tipped his head back a little. “Mm…” His eyes closed. “Alex, I need to finish this.”

Hamilton sensed that the odds of the argument were tipping in his favor and he moved around in front of him, pushing the desk chair back so he could straddle him. “As a reward, then. When you’re done.” He leaned down, kissing him. Laurens slid his hands up Hamilton’s sides, wrapping one arm around his back and sliding his other hand into his long hair, letting out a startled upset noise when Hamilton abruptly pulled back and hopped down.

“I’m going to the library.”

“I… What?”

Hamilton smiled, that obnoxious smug I-just-won-and-you-haven’t-even-realized-it-yet smile. “You said you need to finish this, so we’ll do that when you’re done. Besides, there’re some books I want to check out. Give me a call when you’re finished and I’ll come back.”

“I hope they’re all on the top shelf,” Laurens growled, slouching down in his chair and glaring at the computer screen.

Hamilton just laughed. “It’s just six pages, John. I could do that in—”

“Go get your damn books,” Laurens snapped.

Hamilton flipped him off behind his back then, when that got no reaction, left.

 

By the time Laurens called, Hamilton was busy trying to flirt his way into a discount at one of the cafes on campus.

“Paint me like one of your South Carolina girls.”

“Shut it and get back here.”

 

Hamilton got back to the apartment, half expecting to have crossed some kind of weird line with his joke and to just be given a paper to proof read instead, but to his surprise Laurens had closed his computer and dragged in a stool and lap desk. He was sitting on his bed and motioned to the stool. “Have a seat.”

“There?” Hamilton asked, dropping his bag and taking off his coat. “I figured that the bed would be—”

“You said you were going to be my model,” Laurens said, cutting him off. “So take your clothes off and have a seat.”

“You’re really good at that pillow talk,” Hamilton said dryly as he unbuttoned his shirt. “Sexy.”

Laurens ignored him, testing the pencil off to the side of the paper. He looked up again once Hamilton was sitting.

“So,” Hamilton began, awkwardly, “am I supposed to pose or something?” He imitated The Thinker. “How long is this going to take?”

“Be quiet,” Laurens said, looking him over carefully. Hamilton couldn’t keep eye contact, not sitting exposed like that, so he turned his head away and stared at the door. “That’s good. Just relax and get comfortable.”

“Easy for you to say,” Hamilton complained, sinking down a little.

 

Laurens drew in silence for about ten minutes before—“Alex. Stop that.”

Hamilton forced himself to stop tapping his foot. “I can’t help it,” he complained.

“Yes, you can, you have marvelous self-control when you want to. Sit still.”

Hamilton thought about saying that willing himself to do something was very different from willing himself not to, but then forced himself to keep silent, thereby winning Laurens’ case for him.

Lafayette swung open the door, holding a new and unopened giant party mix bag of Chex Mix. “Bonsoir, mes amis!” he began, before he saw Hamilton and the last word died in his throat.

Hamilton yelped and jumped up, grabbing the pillow off of Laurens’ bed and covering himself with it as Lafayette took rather too long to close the door to the public (if thankfully mostly empty) hallway.

“What are you doing and why wasn't I invited?” Lafayette asked, finally closing the door behind him.

“We’re not doing anything!” Hamilton said; “I’m drawing,” Laurens said.

“…Right. Let me see. No, not you, I’ve seen that already,” Lafayette said, flipping a hand at Hamilton, who was about to start talking again, and crossing the room to sit next to Laurens.

Laurens pulled the sketchbook away sightly. “I only just started,” he protested. “Seriously, Lafayette, if you had been here ten minutes earlier you could have seen him strip.”

“As sad as I am to have missed that,” Lafayette began, “I understand that this is a work in progress. I will be the gentlest of critics.” He tipped the sketchbook towards him. “A very good start. You’re a quick draw.”

“That’s not what that means,” Hamilton pointed out, sitting back on the stool, although keeping the pillow for modesty.

“He knows what I mean. Just the sketch, you’ve captured his energy very well, even without the details I could tell you who it is of.”

Hamilton leaned forward now, trying to see the picture, but Lafayette and Laurens in unison tilted it away from him.

“That’s not fair. How come he gets to see it and I don’t?”

“Because it’s of you,” Lafayette answered, “and if you know what it looks like you’ll start posing.”

“I’m already posing.”

“He’s right,” Laurens said. “It’s more natural this way. I’ll show to you once it’s finished. Drop the pillow, Alexander, and sit back like you were, put your right foot up on the bar, there. Thank you.”

“I bet Lafayette would pose,” Hamilton muttered.

“Of course he would, and that’s why I only draw him when he’s asleep,” Laurens joked, grinning when Hamilton laughed.

“Ha ha, very funny.” Lafayette didn’t seem too put out, however, and he opened the bag, settling in to watch Laurens work.

The three of them stayed like that in silence, until Lafayette’s phone went off.

“Ah, merde, I completely forgot.” He answered it on video. “Adrienne!”

Laurens glanced up at him and then went back to his work. Hamilton lifted his head from his hand to stare, surprised.

“She can’t see you,” Laurens said without breaking focus again. “Put your head back down.”

“It’s weird,” Hamilton muttered, obeying.

Excusez-moi.” Lafayette put his hand over the screen for a moment. “Alex, I don’t want her to see you in this state, you have nothing to worry about.”

“What?” Hamilton didn’t move, but he did sound offended. “What’s so wrong with me?”

“It’s not decent,” Lafayette sniffed.

“This is art.”

Lafayette looked on the verge of telling Adrienne he would call her back later, but Laurens, now sounding annoyed, spoke up.

“Both of you, stop. Lafayette, it’s weird that you put her through to video while in the same room as us. Yes, I know she can’t see anything but you can understand why he’s reacting. Alexander, stop trying to provoke him just because you’re uncomfortable. Are you really trying to get into a fist fight with him while you’re naked?”

Lafayette blushed as Adrienne started talking to him again, and Hamilton snickered as he heard him trying to explain in hushed French that he was just sitting in on a life drawing class and wasn’t actually in the middle of a tryst.

“Stop moving around on the mattress. Get off,” Laurens complained, shoving him.

Lafayette, caught off guard, yelped and dropped his phone. It spun out across the floor of the room and, before he could do anything, stopped just in front of the stool Hamilton was still seated on.

Ne le regarde pas!” Lafayette shouted, diving on the phone.

“For Christ’s sake, Lafayette!” Laurens snapped. “Sit down and shut up or get out! You can text her all you want but keep your mouth shut and stop moving around!”

Cowed, Lafayette asked Adrienne if he could message her instead and took a seat on his own bed. “Hot,” mouthed Hamilton to him. Laurens glared at both of them and went back to work.

The sound of the pencil on paper and Lafayette typing away on his phone for a long time was all that filled the room, then Lafayette finally raised his hand without looking up from his conversation with Adrienne.

“Yes?” Laurens called on him.

“I’m sorry for the interruption. I have a question for your subject."

"Is this about this summer? I told you I don’t know if I can get away.”

“I talked to Washington this morning. He won’t need you here and in fact thinks it would be good if someone accompanied me.”

“Really? Why is that?”

“Oh, no real reason,” Lafayette said, suspiciously evasive.

Chapter Text

“So can I see it yet?”

“I told you, I’m not done.” Laurens, ignoring Hamilton as best as he could with the aid of the busy mess hall noise to block out about half his pestering comments, took a bite out of his slice of pizza. “It won’t kill you to have a little patience.”

“That’s real rich coming from you,” Hamilton complained. “I saw you checking to see if your grade came back a half dozen times already today.”

“That’s different.” Laurens frowned. “I don’t know what he’s going to say. You, on the other hand… I know what you’re going to say already so I don’t mind waiting to hear you praise me.”

“God, and you complain about how I’m vain. You know what, you’re worse, because people don’t expect it from you somehow. It’s just, oh, John Laurens, he’s so good looking and he could kick your ass but he won’t because he's also so well-mannered and considerate,” Hamilton said, mocking… someone, Laurens wondered who it was exactly that he was trying to imitate. “But they don’t know that he’s also got an ego the size of the entire state of South Carolina and, ha ha, thanks for not telling me while I was talking about it the first time, asshole, he also has his own personal favorite pony because of course he does.”

“I live on a farm.”

“You live on a fucking estate, don’t try to sugarcoat it like that.”

Laurens shrugged. “I’ll rename him Peacock for you, if you’d like.”

“Shut up, I’m not talking to you.”

“I have to admit,” Laurens said with consideration through a mouthful of pizza, “I didn't think you were going to say that.”

Hamilton was saved from having to figure out how to answer that with the appropriate level of snark without actually answering at all by Lafayette’s arrival.

Bonjour, mes amis,” he announced, sitting down next to Hamilton with a plate of meatloaf and rice.

“Trying more some American food?” Hamilton asked, scooting over to make him room. “Are you keeping track of what you’ve worked your way through? I can see if the office has a printout on regional specialities.”

“But of course! But this is more important than even that.” He leaned on the table to look Laurens directly in the eyes. “I would like to commission your talents. I need a portrait drawn.”

Laurens looked surprised, but he nodded. “You don’t have to pay me. You’re my friend, it will be a present. Is it of Adrienne?” When Lafayette nodded, Laurens continued. “That’s fine, but it’ll be hard for her to pose for it. It will be easier if you can give me a picture at the angle that you want.”

“Ah, anything you need!” Lafayette pulled out his phone. “This will be a surprise for her, so don’t say anything to her. Here, I want it done just like she is here.” He held up the screen and Laurens turned red, moving away slightly before he caught himself and tried to recover.

“All right. I, ah, yeah, there’s no problem. I can do that.”

Hamilton, watching this reaction, tipped the phone towards himself. “Let me see—whoa, nice. I forgot you guys do the topless beach thing.”

“She is very pretty, non?” Lafayette let Hamilton take the phone from him then started talking to Laurens again. “I want her like that, but with softer lighting and instead of sand, flowers. Are you sure you do not want me to pay you? It’s a lot of work.”

“No, no, please don’t pay me. I said I’d do it as a present, and, honestly, accepting money for this would be even worse somehow.”

“Because then you’d be a porn dealer,” Hamilton commented, flicking through Lafayette’s photos.

Give me that,” Lafayette snatched the phone away indignantly. “Did I say you could scroll?”

Hamilton looked to Laurens to try to get him on board with the claim that he wasn’t actually doing anything wrong, but laughed. “John, you’re as red as your shirt. You can't even see anything with that angle. Besides, I thought you said you had female models before?”

“That was different,” Laurens protested, reddening further until Hamilton’s exaggerated claim was actually true, “those were professionals. I’ve talked to this girl before. I know her! She’s my roommate’s girlfriend!”

Hamilton laughed again. “God, sometimes you’re so—”

“Shut up,” Laurens snapped.

Lafayette frowned. “This is…”

“You don’t like it?” Hamilton asked, turning his attention to him instead.

“When you first arrived you told me that you like all things American,” Laurens teased.

Lafayette shook his head. “That’s not it. It’s so… so brown, and so tough, and I think this layer on top is just ketchup, and in general the display of it is very poor.”

“And?”

Lafayette paused, taking a other bite. “…I am thinking I need to find a way to let Adrienne have this. Hamilton—”

“I don’t know how to make it and I’m not cooking it for you in France.”

“Damn. I’ll just have to think of something else.”

“Don’t you both have cooks?” Laurens asked. “Just find the recipe online and send it to her.”

“Yes, I will try that,” Lafayette said, taking a picture of his plate and sending it to Adrienne for her approval. Hamilton leaned to the side, out of the way of his elbows. Lafayette looked up once he was done. “Ah, Laurens brought me small mittens.”

“Look, when you’re talking about the cat instead of me can you at least call him ‘Pawrens?’”

“I do,” Lafayette protested, “just not in front of you.”

 

Hamilton was leaning over Laurens, seated at his desk, reading with wide eyes the comments on his computer screen.

“Uh,” he finally said, “not that I am not in complete agreement with you and we all know what I think about that dickhead, but, damn, John, I can’t believe you used that assignment to call him out on being such a jackass. That’s the kind of blindly reckless thing that I do.” He took a step back, looking impressed.

“I couldn’t help it,” Laurens said, scrolling up and down through the returned assignment again. “I just..." Laurens pushed his seat back, hands on the desk still like he couldn't stand to be close to the document but couldn't bring himself to really move away. "We had a class," Laurens admitted finally, "and, I don't know why it bothered me so much. I know he wasn't targeting it at me, I mean, he doesn't even know who I am and it's not like I volunteered anything. I'm probably just on edge because I should be—If I hadn't messed up last semester, I'd be—"

"John."

"There was nothing wrong with it, he was just covering theory, the idea of having to pick a side. But, Alex," Laurens looked up at him, "do you know what it's like to not—fit in anywhere."

Hamilton didn't say anything to that.

Laurens sighed. "I know the diplomatic thing would have been to—"

"You can't always be diplomatic." Hamilton cut him off, arguing. "You were in the right, and—"

"And I need the grade," Laurens said with finality. "Especially since I'm not graduating in the spring. It just sucks. I don't know. I'll deal with it."

Hamilton was silent for a moment. “I can ask around, but he explained why he docked points, and it all makes sense. You can see if you can prove that he was harder on you than on other students, but unless you can show some kind of pattern it’ll be difficult to do much. ‘Galley.’ Is there really an ‘e’ in there?” He tipped his head to one side, trying to spell it out. “‘Gally'? Whatever. Did you ask Lafayette?”

“No, even if he could I don’t want him to just step in and pull some strings. That’s not the point.”

“You’re right.” Hamilton sat on his bed. “You’re sexy when you get all rebellious and devil-may-care, you know that? Social justice is a good look on you.”

“I’m not in the mood, Alexander.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes and flopped backwards, leaving his legs off the side of the bed. “Is the picture done yet?”

“Of you? No.”

“What about of Adrienne?”

“I’m still working on it, but you can see it.” Laurens passed him the sketchbook, opening it to the appropriate page. Hamilton whistled, holding it up above his head.

“Damn. If you flunk out you should just support yourself making pin ups. You think you can make her tits a little bigger next time?” He teased.

“Stop trying to make it weird.”

Hamilton laughed. “But it’s so easy! Seriously though, this is really good.”

“Thanks," Laurens said, almost shyly. "I think she’ll like it.”

“If she’s anything like him,” Hamilton agreed, passing it back.

Chapter Text

“It’s really weird,” Laurens complained. “That’s all I’m saying.”

“I think you should be flattered,” Lafayette responded, crossing his arms behind his head where he lay on his bed. “It’s a testament to your skills as an artist.”

“I’m not going to draw anything for you ever again.”

“You’re being such a prude.”

“You taped it to the wall!”

“Yes,” Lafayette said with a soft smile, reaching up and stroking it, putting on a bit of an act to prove his point. “Now she will always be by my side.”

Laurens sighed. “Okay, fine. But if I ever catch you touching yourself to it…”

“I would never!”

Laurens looked skeptical.

“Fine, fine. I’ll be careful.”

“I suppose that’s all I can ask for. Are you really not going to mail it to her?”

“It’s so lovely, I would rather give it to her in person when I see her this May. If you manage to get away, you are still welcome to join us. Always, even if I was not to be there, you could stay with her as a brother.”

Laurens smiled. “Isn’t that a bit presumptuous of you?”

“She wouldn’t mind,” Lafayette promised. “Alexander, however, I might need to put a, how you say, a monitor on him first.”

“Like an ankle bracelet?”

“If he was there without me to rein him in.”

Laurens laughed. “I’d be offended that you don’t think I’m a threat, but there’s no use arguing this. Alexander is the worst. I don’t think he can help himself if he sees the green flag being given.”

“Adrienne, of course, I trust her. But I can only imagine the chaos he would cause in the household…”

“You’d have a lot more defectors to America,” Laurens agreed. “Why did Washington want him to go to France, anyway?”

Lafayette turned away from Laurens so he could focus his attention on the drawing.

“Lafayette?”

“He thinks I am too naive,” Lafayette muttered. “Alexander is more street smart.”

“Oh.”

“I can hear you smirking at me,” Lafayette complained, his back still turned, “that’s not very American of you.”

Laurens decided not to debate whether or not that was true. “You're a marquis. Don’t you have, I don't know, security? Didn’t you tell him?”

“I do!” Lafayette rolled over to face him. “I told him that! I said to him, ‘Sir, it’s not that I don’t want him to come with me, but I don’t need him. I can take care of myself and were anything to happen, we have professionals whose jobs it is to deal with such matters.’ And then he said to me, ‘Lafayette, I want you to listen to my desires because I think of you as my own son and have your best interests at heart.’ How could I say no to that?”

“Did you get me to draw that out of you just so you could slip that in there?”

Lafayette shrugged as best he could in his position. “All right, I'm paraphrasing, but it’s all true. He and his wife had me over for dinner last Saturday.”

“That’s right, I was wondering where you were.”

Lafayette’s phone rang and he checked it. “Ah, it’s Adrienne!” He sat up. “Quick, toss me the tape.”

“You know how I said that it’s weird that you keep it up? It would be less so if you actually let her see it.”

“But then it would not be a surprise, non?” Lafayette quickly taped a handout from class to hang over the picture, then settled back against the wall, accepting the call.

“I feel like you’re just hiding your porn from her,” Laurens complained, loud enough for Lafayette but not Adrienne to hear. “Which is fine except that now I’m a part of it somehow.”

“—oui, le plus—un moment, s’il vous plaît.” Lafayette tipped the phone down to address Laurens. “How you say… Bros before hoes.”

Laurens raised an eyebrow. “Are you actually calling Adrienne a whore?”

“I’m just trying to speak American.”

“You’re being disrespectful,” Laurens teased.

Lafayette turned red. “Excuse me, I’m on a private call.” He turned his attention back to the vidchat.

“This is like your ‘fuckboys’ thing,” Laurens continued as Lafayette was obviously failing to tune him out. “You should look up what some of these things mean before you say them.”

“You’re a fuckboy,” Lafayette muttered.

“Alex is a fuckboy,” Laurens corrected.

Lafayette considered this. “True. But what does that make you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You are his friend with benefits now?”

“Ah… I guess so.”

“Adrienne,” Lafayette said, looking back at his phone, “I have friends who have friends with benefits.”

“I’m going,” Laurens announced, getting up at that. “Enjoy making fun of me while I’m not here to defend myself.”

“We are happy for you,” Lafayette protested. “You’re such a hard worker and you had a bad year, it's like your reward!"

 

Hamilton almost choked on his drink when Laurens told him about his morning.

“Well, he’s not wrong,” he said, still laughing as he wiped coffee from the counter they were sitting at inside a busy cafe. “I mean… Yeah, he’s not wrong.”

Laurens shrugged, not really sure what other reaction he had expected. He continued, his voice unlike Hamilton’s getting lost in the din so that Hamilton had to lean in a little to hear him clearly. “You’re right. And of course he didn’t mean anything by it.”

“What, did you think I would be offended?” Hamilton smiled cheekily. “I’m just glad he finally got to use all that in a conversation. I know he’s been waiting for an opportunity.”

“You two should have been roommates,” Laurens said. “You’re so alike.”

“Nah, we’d just fuck all day and never make it to class.”

“Yeah, right, the only thing stronger than your libido is your need to prove yourself.”

Hamilton laughed again. “Got me there. So is he really not sending it?”

“No, he sounds pretty set on delivering it with you this summer. Oh.” Laurens took a sip of his coffee. “Speaking of which, you’re supposed to go with him because Washington thinks he’s too naive and needs someone to keep his head on straight.”

Hamilton snorted with laughter again and spilled his coffee down the front of his jacket. “Damnit John! You’re not supposed to just go into it, you need to warn me first!”

“Sorry.”

Hamilton waved him off. “At least my shirt’s clean. But he really said that?”

“Sound less pleased with yourself. It’s not hard to find someone less naive than the marquis.”

“You’re just jealous Washington didn’t say that about you.”

“And who’s the one actually living with him? You get him for the summer, I’ve got him for the other nine months.”

Hamilton balled up the dirty napkin he had used to clean himself up with. “This is the weirdest custody battle. I’m not paying you any child support.”

“So we’re divorced now? I guess I better cancel on Saturday.”

“Nah, you’ve got a real hot date. Go make your baby-daddy jealous.” Hamilton leaned forward, sliding his hand up Laurens’ leg and resting it high on his thigh.

“Right.” Laurens shook Hamilton off and stood up, going to toss out his empty cup. “This analogy is starting to make me uncomfortable and I’ve got class.”

“I bet that’s not the only thing making you uncomfortable,” Hamilton called after him as he left.

 

Saturday rolled around and Hamilton was pleased to find himself pushed up against the wall of his apartment, flushed and breathing heavily as he and Laurens scuffled for control.

“This isn’t fair,” he said, not really sounding put out even with one arm pinned up above his head. “You caught me off guard.”

Laurens grinned, looking down at him. “Oh? Is that really the only reason?”

“Don’t be a smartass.” Hamilton ran his free hand between Laurens’ legs, rubbing him over his jeans, and grinned as Laurens, already getting hard, moved automatically into him. He took his hand away for a moment to deftly pop the button and undo his fly, slipping his fingers just inside, then stopping without touching him.

Laurens kissed him aggressively, then grabbed his upper arm and tried to direct his hand, letting out a frustrated noise into the kiss as Hamilton twisted away.

“On my own time,” Hamilton said, sliding his hand back to where it had been a moment before.

“Yeah?” Laurens released his wrist only to pick Hamilton up off the ground entirely, pressing him against the wall to steady them as Hamilton grabbed his shoulder in surprise and put his legs around his waist. “What about now?”

Hamilton laughed, breathily, and kissed him hard, his hand moving from his shoulder to behind his head. “J.,” he said when he pulled away. “This only works if we’re already undressed.”

“J.?” Laurens carried him the all of three feet to the mattress on the floor then let him down. “I like that.”

Hamilton was already undoing the buttons on his shirt. “Good, I like it for you, too.”

Laurens pulled his shirt up over his head and kicked his pants to the side. “There are some other things I like as well.”

“Hmm… I’ll see if you can persuade me.”

“It’d be harder to talk you out of it,” Laurens said, tugging Hamilton down onto the mattress.

“There you go again, and people think I’m the mouthy one. How is it that you have a better reputation than I do and yet you're just as bad?”

“Talk less,” Laurens suggested. Hamilton hit him.

 

“Your dad calls you Jack?” Hamilton asked later that night, handing Laurens his phone from the pocket of his discarded pair of pants and reading the message on the screen.

“Hm?” Laurens took it with his free hand—his other arm was trapped once more as Hamilton’s pillow—unlocked it, read it. “Not all the time.”

“Jack’s not the diminutive for John.”

“Yes it is.”

“Bullshit.”

Laurens showed Hamilton the Wikipedia page.

“I’ll be.” Hamilton reached up over his head, feeling around until he found the book he wanted. “What does he say?”

“I asked him to send me some things. He also says the spelling is g-a-l-l-e-y.”

“Shit,” Hamilton half-laughed as he opened his book and held it up. “I can’t believe you actually asked him.”

“You made me doubt myself.”

“You could have just looked it up, we’re not stuck out in the wilderness.”

“Are you sure? Because I’ve done a lot of camping and I swear I’m lying on a root.”

“Funny, I could say the same thing.”

“This wouldn’t be a problem if you’d get a second pillow.”

“Ask your dad to send you one.”

“Ha ha,” Laurens said dryly. “That’s not happening.”

Neither of them said anything for a few minutes, Hamilton reading and Laurens checking his other messages.

“I should go,” Laurens finally said, sliding his arm free and getting up stiffly. “I’ve got to hit the gym in the morning.”

“My boyfriend’s such a beefcake,” Hamilton teased, putting on a falsetto and not looking away from his book. “Knock yourself out, Jack,” he added in his regular voice.

“Stick with J.,” Laurens advised as he got dressed.

“Right.”

Laurens crouched back down and moved the book to the side. Hamilton let him, sitting up a little into the kiss. “See you tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow,” Hamilton agreed, going back to his book once Laurens had closed the door behind him.

Chapter Text

“I’m surprised you’re not panicking more about finals this semester.”

“Why would I panic?”

Laurens shrugged, leaning back against his desk. “You did last year.”

“I don’t know what to tell you," Hamilton said loftily, "I’m just in a better place this year.”

“Apart from your chemistry class they are all final papers and he’s already handed in drafts for them,” Lafayette explained.

“Ah, that makes more sense.”

“Hey! Whatever,” Hamilton closed his book and put down his pencil. “I’m going to get all perfects again, just you wait.”

“I’m sure you will,” Laurens said truthfully.

“I mean, they’re solid. It’s just a matter of seeing how much they actually want me to edit them down. You see, using my history class as an example, the syllabus says eight to ten pages, but is that a hard rule or is twenty okay? I already messed with the margins, so I’m hoping she’ll cut me some slack.”

“You know, Alexander, when most people use that trick it’s to make their paper seem longer than it actually is.”

“I’m not ‘most people.’”

“Hallelujah.”

“Excuse you.”

“You’re going to piss people off if you write like that.”

“And what about you,” Hamilton began, but stopped himself short when Laurens tensed and glanced at Lafayette. “…I mean,” he turned to Lafayette, looking between them quizzically. “Did you know this guy actually wrote to his dad just to find out how to spell a word? Talk about wasting people’s time.” Lafayette laughed and Hamilton smiled. “Going to work.” Hamilton stood up from Lafayette’s desk. “Anything you want me to ask G-Wash today? You already know the color of his panties, but I could hint around and see if he’d prefer chocolate or flowers.”

“Are we actually calling him that now?” Laurens asked. “Because I sort of like it.”

“I’ll run it by him and see what he thinks.”

“You’re both so disrespectful,” Lafayette complained, “but I still want that pen.”

“Got it.”

 

> A. Hamilton: [image loading]
> A. Hamilton: [image loading]
> A. Hamilton: [image loading]
> A. Hamilton: Shit it’s not sending
> A. Hamilton: Reception in here sucks
> A. Hamilton: [image loading]
> A. Hamilton: I’ll find you after ttys

 

Lafayette wasn’t sure what to expect when he walked out of his American Studies class to find Hamilton waiting for him in the hall.

“You’re not working?”

“I get a fifteen minute break. I usually don’t bother but this is important.” He was grinning and Lafayette couldn’t help but be curious.

“What is it?”

“So I asked G-Wash—”

“It’s very strange that you call him that—”

“—whether he was more of a flowers or a chocolate guy—”

“—and please tell me you kept my name out of it—”

“—and take that stick out of your ass because he thought it was hilarious and by the way the answer is flowers, I’m surprised he didn’t show you his garden when you were over because he talked my ear off about it.”

They had already started walking, heading back towards the building Hamilton worked in. Lafayette looked at him quizzically. “You took time out of your schedule to tell me that? I cannot believe it.”

“Actually,” Hamilton was obviously trying hard to contain himself, “as you know, one of my tasks is to go through his mail, sort it into different categories, draft responses, and discard anything that does not require an answer or filing away. So there’s this envelope, bigger than usual, tan, stiff, some kind of fancy coat of arms embossing. I ask him, ‘Sir, what is this? It doesn’t look like official correspondence and it feels like there’s something inside.’ He tells me that it’s junk, basically, but to open it and see if I want it. Now that’s strange, isn’t it?” Finally unable to hold back any longer, Hamilton took the opened envelope out of his messenger bag and handed it over. Lafayette looked inside, then with wide eyes took out a vial. “Caswell-Massey Number 6. A deluxe sample of your idol’s favorite cologne.”

“And he didn’t want it?” Lafayette asked in hushed tones.

“He’s got like two cases apparently. Anyway, I have to clock back in but I thought you needed to have it ASAP.”

Lafayette pulled him into a tight hug. “Thank you,” he said, his face buried in Hamilton’s hair and shoulder.

“Uh, yeah.” Hamilton awkwardly patted him on the back. “What are friends for if not enabling creepy hero worship?”

Lafayette let him go. “If there is anything you want…”

“Oh,” Hamilton snapped his fingers. “John says he wants the picture to come down. Personally, I think it should stay because whenever he wants to disagree with me on something all I have to do is mention it and he gets so awkward he immediately drops it, but…”

“I’ll tell him that you tried your best and should not be blamed for failing to persuade me.”

“Thanks.”

 

> J. Laurens: Fuck you.
> A. Hamilton: k
> J. Laurens: Seriously, why did you have to give him that?
> A. Hamilton: for christsake j hes our son and it makes him happy
> J. Laurens: Ok
> J. Laurens: 1) That’s weird. Stop that.
> J. Laurens: 2) You don’t live with him. Everything smells like orange blossom now. It’s like he bathed in it. It’s like he washed down the walls in it. I get a headache being in here for more than five minutes!
> A. Hamilton: 1) he’s french, that’s the style, don’t be racist
> J. Laurens: I’m not being racist, Alexander.
> A. Hamilton: 2)

 

Laurens rolled his eyes at the picture Hamilton sent of himself, shirtless, gesturing suggestively to the empty space next to him on his mattress. “Maybe I should just buy a damn pillow,” he muttered under the collar of his jacket, zipped up all the way to cover his mouth and nose.

 

“Okay,” Laurens admitted, finally, much later in the semester than Hamilton thought he should have, “You were right.”

“I told you so.”

“You’ve been waiting to say that. I can hear it in your voice.”

“Of course.”

Laurens didn’t say anything to that, just kept lying on his back on the futon, one hand tucked under his own, just unpacked, pillow.

“You should get a pillowcase for that,” Hamilton said, covering a yawn with the back of his hand and then propping himself up on one elbow. “Then you’ll be properly domestic.” He paused for a moment, working a crick out of his neck, then stood up and started dressing. “You want coffee?”

“Coffee? Alexander, it’s after midnight.”

“That’s not my fault. I told you to come over here so we could study chemistry.”

“It’s kind of your fault,” Laurens muttered, rolling over and burying his face in the pillow.

“What was that?”

“Yes, please.” He sat up, pulling the blankets around his waist. “You know that you’ll ace it, don’t you?”

“Don’t jinx it, J.”

Hamilton came back with two mismatched mugs. “Do you want anything in it?”

“Are you admitting that you don’t know my order yet? There’s something that got by even you,” Laurens teased, taking one of them with both hands. “Black is fine, thank you.”

“Ha ha,” Hamilton said humorlessly, taking a sip from his mug and grabbing their textbooks before sitting down on top of the sheets not wrapped directly around Laurens. “Right, let’s get to work. Chapter one.”

Laurens flipped to the review questions at the back of the chapter but Hamilton grabbed his wrist.

“What are you doing?”

“Reviewing chapter one?”

Hamilton tapped his own book, opened to the title page of the chapter. “That’s not where it starts.”

Laurens groaned. “Alex, come on, we both know this.”

Hamilton kissed him. “You knew what you were getting into.”

“Did I really?” Laurens wondered, turning back to the start of the chapter.

Chapter Text

“How was I supposed to even get there?”  Hamilton asked, leaning in the doorway to Lafayette and Laurens’ dorm room.

Lafayette, at his desk with his hair pulled tightly back and out of the way, answered, distracted as he packed his bag. “It’s in the Caribbean.”

“It’s in Orlando, so I’d have to buy two tickets, one to fly up there and one to get in and honestly I don’t know which one would cost more.”

Lafayette shrugged. “You’re an economics major. Do I need a second pen?”

“That doesn’t mean I can just pull money out of my ass.  I got a scholarship to come up to New York, what am I supposed to do, pass a plate around and ask total strangers to send me to Disney World?”

Lafayette made an affirmative noise.

“Not to engage with stereotypes, but as a Frenchman aren’t you, like, contractually obligated to disapprove of that sort of thing?  I thought it was right there in the Marseillaise, just after the part about your enemies ripping out their mothers wombs.”

“I have a pass.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“A yearly one,” Lafayette confirmed.  “I go with Adrienne.  We’ll take you this summer,” he promised.

“That’s all right,” Hamilton said, checking his watch—an actual one, he didn’t have the patience to constantly wake up his phone during finals, even if he only had to show up at a set time for one.  “I hear there’s an animatronic Johnny Depp and that I’d probably get kicked out for chucking my Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel at his head.  Ready to go?  We should head over.”

“We don’t go on any of the rides,” Lafayette assured him, throwing his bag over his shoulder.  “We just walk around.”

“Fucking rich people.”

“You would do the same thing if you could.”

“Nah,” Hamilton waited for him impatiently out in the hall.  “I’d buy my very own pony.  I feel a little left out being the only one without one.”

“Do you know how to ride?”

“‘Course I know how to ride.”

“I’ll teach you,” Lafayette reassured him once more, “after we go to Disneyland.”

Hamilton laughed as they set off.  “Okay, quick.  Fuck, marry, kill, Disney princesses, go.”

Lafayette looked momentarily taken aback.  “What?”

“I think I’d fuck Elsa,” Hamilton said, answering his own question.  “Wait, scratch that, if I kill her and marry Anna does that mean I’m automatically king?”

“Stop being Hans!”

“I bet Belle is secretly a beast in the sheets.  Oh, damn, but what about Jasmine?”

“Oh my God,” Lafayette said to no one in particular as they left the building, “you are Hans. I never thought about it before but you are so Hans. I think you even have his nose.”

“Right,” Hamilton concluded, ignoring him.  “Fuck Jasmine, marry Belle, kill John Smith.”  He looked up to see if Lafayette was going to contest that.  “I just hate that guy.  Your turn.”

“Fuck Elsa—”

“Nice.”

“—marry Aurora, kill Ariel.”

“Aurora?”

“Oui.  Sleeping Beauty.”

Hamilton laughed.  “You’re not Prince Charming.  Fuck, you’re more like Ariel.  Is that why you don’t like her?  Too close to home?”

“It’s Prince Phillip,” Lafayette corrected him.  “And what do you mean I’m like Ariel?”

“You’re totally Ariel,” Hamilton said, agreeing with himself and taking out his phone to text Laurens.  “You’re both fish out of water and obsessed with another culture.”

“I’m not obsessed,” Lafayette protested.

Hamilton rolled his eyes and kept texting.

“Isn’t it too close to his exam?”  Lafayette asked, craning his neck to look at the screen.  “I don’t think he will respond.”

“Whatever, he can read it after.  I just need to tell him that you’re the freaking little mermaid before I forget.”

“If only you’d forget,” Lafayette muttered.

“Adrienne can be Prince Eric.  They’ve both got dark hair and we know they both like the beach.”

“Who would John be?” Lafayette asked, changing the topic a little.

“I don’t know.” Hamilton started texting him again. “You were so right, though. From first semester. Now that I know him better I can’t believe I never saw it. We couldn’t ask him to play this game, we’d have to make it all princes.”

“Pretend he is here right now. Who do you think he would answer?”

“Kill John Smith,” Hamilton said immediately. “We’re in agreement there. I think he relates to Pocahontas. Fuck, I don’t know, who was the one you said was like me? Hans? Does he count? I’m going to say that he counts.”

“And marry?”

“Shit,” Hamilton looked up, thinking as they walked. “I can’t remember all of them. Which one is the biggest stud? That guy from Mulan? They can get a couple’s gym membership pass.”

 

Laurens exited his test to forty-two missed messages from Hamilton and one, confusingly, from Lafayette explaining in depth why if he was a mermaid he would be the Hans Christian Andersen one. Reading and answering all of them seemed like too great a task after three hours of writing on constitutional law, so he just called Hamilton instead, starting his walk back to the dorm. Irritatingly, the call rang for a minute and then went to voice mail. Laurens tried once more with the same result, then resigned himself to skimming through the texts.

 

He was still reading when he unlocked the door to his room and therefore it wasn’t until he was halfway to his bed that he realized three things at the exact same time.

 

1) His laptop was open and playing music, even though he had definitely closed it before leaving.
2) That overpowering orange blossom scent was finally gone.
and 3) Hamilton was lying naked on his bed.

 

“Hey, J.”

 

Laurens dropped his bag and his jaw. “What are you…”

“Lafayette’s having dinner with the prez and his wife tonight, which conveniently means that I am also off the clock and since we’re both done with finals…”

He let his words trail off suggestively and stretched his arms up above his head, arching off of the navy sheets. For a moment Laurens wanted to ask one of the many questions he still had, but…

“Fuck it.” He yanked his shirt off and tossed it against the door. “You better turn the volume up.”

 

Laurens leaned over and kissed him slowly. Hamilton let him, sliding his hand south again. Laurens started, breaking the kiss in surprise.

“Do you actually want more? Music or not, I think we’re going to get complaints soon.”

“Sorry.” Hamilton took it away. “I never know what to do with my hands.”

Laurens kissed him again then lay back down, yawning. “Don’t do anything with them. I’m tired.”

“Wuss. I could go again.”

“Liar. You’d fall on your face if you tried to get up.”

“Who said anything about getting out of bed?”

“We’re going to have to get up eventually,” Laurens pointed out. “I don’t know about you, but I never got dinner.”

“I thought you said you were tired.”

Laurens yawned again, longer. “Later.”

Hamilton put his hands behind his head, looking up at the ceiling. “Are you sure you can’t come this summer? It’s not like you can’t afford it. Maybe you can convince your father it’s some Grand Tour thing.”

“I don’t know, Alex.”

Hamilton glanced over at him, but Laurens was also staring at the ceiling.

“Whatever.” Hamilton half-shrugged. “Do whatever, but you have to admit that it would be fun. See the sights, hit up the bars, bang à la française.” He grinned, encouraged, when Laurens laughed. “‘Oui, oui… S’il vous plaît, Laurent…’”

Laurens hit him. “The hell is that?”

“I’m trying to make your name French.”

Jean wasn’t good enough?”

Jean, I knew I was forgetting something.”

“And aren’t we at the tu form by now? On peut se tutoyer?

“Hah, I sure hope so. So you’ll think about it?”

“Yeah,” Laurens agreed. “I’ll think about it.”

Chapter Text

For all the noise he had made about not being able to get away, all the work that he could be doing but wouldn’t be, Hamilton was obviously excited to be setting off.

Lafayette stole Hamilton’s arm rest and watched as his friend rifled with interest through the items in the pocket in front of him, finally taking out the in flight magazine and flipping its pages, distracted by every person who made their way down the aisle to his immediate right.

“I’ve never flown first class before,” Hamilton commented, putting the magazine down in his lap for the time being. “These seats are great. I can’t wait until we hit cruising altitude and I can finally see what the big deal about those footrests is.” He pulled up the sleeve of his jacket and checked the time. “Did you already set your watch for France?”

Lafayette tipped his wrist towards him, showing him the sleek black square. “It’ll update automatically.”

“Right.” Hamilton opened the magazine again, this time to the back. “I didn’t know we get complimentary wine. That’s some classy shit.”

“Ah, do we?”

Hamilton showed him the page. “It’s not a new thing, is it?”

“I don’t know.” Lafayette said, bending over and pulling his bag out from under the seat in front of him. “I try to sleep through it all.” He took out a magnetic bracelet and slipped it on his free wrist.

“Can I get your glass?”

Lafayette opened a TSA-approved bottle of ginger ale, swallowed a couple of pills, and leaned back in his chair. “Whatever you’d like.”

Hamilton put the magazine down again, more decidedly this time. “Are you okay?”

Lafayette, preemptively slipping back into French, muttered something along the lines of “I don’t travel well.”

“At least the bathroom up here is probably nice,” Hamilton teased gently. “Did you know that when I came to New York someone tried to smoke in ours? Not only did he set off the smoke detector, he panicked and somehow managed to light the seat covers on fire. I’m serious,” he continued, encouraged by Lafayette’s smile and turning his chair to face him better, “Maybe half an hour before we landed. I was waiting in the aisle because I needed some excuse to stretch my legs after being crammed in—I think I had about an eighth as much room back there as I’ve got now—and suddenly there’s a flight attendant knocking on the door and this muffled swearing and he comes out in a real hurry. I passed her the fire extinguisher and she put it out in a hot second,” he added quickly, realizing this story needed to be wrapped up and without any risk of bodily harm before they left the gate.

“Was that the first time you were on a plane?”

Hamilton shook his head. “It’s the first one I can really remember, though. I flew once before, but just between islands. The plane seemed giant to me, but I’m sure it was one of those tiny things, just two rows of seats.” Hamilton looked across the plane, five seats and two aisles separating him from the other window. “Nothing like this.”

“I don’t like small planes,” Lafayette said, still looking straight ahead and fiddling with his bracelet as they started to move backwards away from the building. “You can feel them getting buffeted about by every gust of wind.”

“You must hate boats.”

“We’re not friends.”

“I’m surprised you went back to France in the winter,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t that long of a break.”

“It doesn’t matter whether I like it or not,” Lafayette explained. “That part… It’s only temporary. Returning to France and coming to America—I could not have done otherwise. When there is something that you want, that is that important, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.” He closed his eyes. “I’m taking something new. Hopefully I’ll be just waking up when we land.”

 

Lafayette was jolted awake at one point high over the Atlantic, just long enough to hear Hamilton bantering with one of the flight attendants, asking for another glass and about her job, flattering her about her work ethic needed for the long hours and ungrateful passengers, and telling a story about his move to New York City that seemed like it was building up to a genuinely funny ending—when he dropped off again, waking up to that same flight attendant going down the aisle and telling people to prepare for the descent.

Hamilton was looking past him and out the window with great interest, watching as the land below dipped into view.

“Good morning, sunshine.”

Lafayette rubbed at his face and tugged on his bracelet again. “I heard right? We are landing soon?”

“Any minute.”

“Not quite that quickly, I am afraid.” Lafayette looked out the window, gauging how far they still were from solid ground.

“We’re going to Adrienne’s, right? Are they picking us up?”

Lafayette bit his lower lip. “Mm. Non. We will take a cab.”

Hamilton nodded, still looking through the window. “All right. It’ll be just like being back in New York, assuming I could afford to catch one there, which I can’t.”

Lafayette noted that it wasn’t a real complaint—in fact, he sounded like he was in an incredibly good mood and just barely keeping a veneer of calm over it. He wondered how much of it was from the alcohol and how much was— The plane dipped in its otherwise smooth descent for a moment and he blanched, snapping his eyes back to the seat in front of him. How wonderful it would be to stand on French soil.

 

“Okay, not that this is a bad thing,” Hamilton started, “but when you said ‘we’ll take a cab’ I thought you meant an actual cab.” They were sitting in the back of a shiny black car, all of their luggage stored away in the surprisingly spacious trunk, the airport quickly vanishing into the distance.

“Did I say that?” Lafayette had been looking out the window, but turned back to him. “It doesn’t matter, the point is that we will get there.”

“These are leather seats,” Hamilton commented.

“Yes. It’s a bit of a ride, so we might as well be comfortable, non? I hope they’re there,” he added, more to himself.

“Hold up, you don't know if anyone is going to be there?”

Lafayette glanced back out the window. “I wanted to surprise Adrienne. I told her I was going to come next week.”

“Right,” Hamilton said, “I’m not sure if that is more romantic or stupid. You can’t just show up places, Lafayette, you have to tell people where you are going.” He paused, sitting forward a little and looking at him. “Why do you look guilty? I’ve spent enough time around you, I know you’re trying to hide something.”

“Ah, no reason.” Lafayette checked the time on his watch. “What did I tell you? It set itself for me.”

“Lafayette.”

“Do you see, here, let me fix yours for you.”

“I moved it ahead on the plane. What’s going on?”

“Nothing is ‘going on,’ it’s fine. I just did not tell people I was going to be transferring schools the first time and they were a little upset with me when I got back in winter. It’s fine,” he repeated, more assuredly this time. “I wasn’t in that much trouble, but it’s a little embarrassing.”

Hamilton laughed.

 

Pushing an hour of sitting with their luggage outside the wonderfully large and picturesque summerhouse, however, Hamilton was growing less amused.

“We could have gone into the city first,” he complained. “My first day in France and I’ve seen an airport terminal and some front steps. Are you sure they’re going to be coming back?”

“Positive,” Lafayette assured him, although he didn’t sound entirely convinced. “Eventually, that is.”

Hamilton stood up and began to walk back and forth in front of the door. The cat sitting in the front window watched him suspiciously. “Did you get through to them?”

“I left a message with her mother—” Lafayette stood up as well as a silver car came into view around a bend in the road.

“Is that them?”

Hamilton didn’t get a reply. Lafayette was already running to the open front gate, waving at the vehicle as it got closer. It stopped just in front of him and after a moment the back door opened and Adrienne—Hamilton recognized her from the many bits and pieces of conversation they had had on one screen or another—got out. He couldn’t see from where he was standing if she leapt at him or if her legs gave out beneath her, but then it didn’t matter much because he had caught her and they were spinning.

“I can’t believe you are here so soon,” Adrienne exclaimed in heavily accented English after the initial flurry of rapid French, looking back over Lafayette’s shoulder at Hamilton, who lifted one hand in greeting.

They were ushered inside, up the stairs, to bedrooms at the end of one of the long wings. Hamilton caught a glimpse of Lafayette’s room—apparently he spent enough time here that he had his own room—before he was left in a guest room about the size of his studio apartment back in New York. Putting his carry-on on the bed, he pulled open the curtains and looked down onto a broad lawn he was familiar with as the backdrop for many of Lafayette’s pictures. His phone, now connected to the house’s wifi, suddenly lit up as a backlog of messages came through.

 

> J. Laurens: You too. Have a good flight.
> J. Laurens: I’m going to install a French keyboard since I know two days in and you’re going to insist on pretending you’re a native speaker.
> J. Laurens: Hey
> J. Laurens: Did you guys land yet?
> J. Laurens: Alex?
> J. Laurens: I’m going to the gym, give me a call when you’re free.
> J. Laurens: Hey
> J. Laurens: okay seriously
> J. Laurens: what the hell

 

Hamilton sat down on the bed, grinning a little as he wrote back. Laurens must have had the phone nearby because he got a response almost immediately.

 

> A. Hamilton: only three missed calls? I’m offended
> J. Laurens: What happened? I was starting to think you’d left it on the plane.
> A. Hamilton: long story. just got on wifi now, didn’t have reception before. Did you know that Lafayette didn’t tell anyone we were showing up today? We got here and had to wait for them to get back so we could get in the house.
> A. Hamilton: which btw is killer, I’ll vidchat you later so you can see it
> A. Hamilton: I’ve got my own tub
> A. Hamilton: it has JETS

Hamilton looked up from his phone at a knock at the door. Lafayette opened it.

“Alex, did you still want to go into the city? You should wash up and then Adrienne’s brother-in-law will drive us. Ah,” he noticed the phone. “Did you get in touch with Laurens? He called me a half dozen times.”

“That jerk,” Hamilton said, putting the phone aside and getting up. “That’s twice as much as me. Yeah, I’d like to go. Let me shower and change and I’ll come find you.”

As soon as Lafayette left, Hamilton closed and locked the door.

“Hey, video works,” he said, propping the phone up on the night stand as Laurens picked up. “You’re a little fuzzy. Can you see me?”

“Yeah.” From what Hamilton could make out of the background it seemed like Laurens must be in his childhood bedroom in South Carolina. He could just see a bedpost and part of a faded team banner hanging on the wall. “Are you going to show me the place now?”

“Nah, not enough time. We’re going out in a little bit.”

“All right… So why did you—” Laurens didn’t bother to finish his question as Hamilton pulled off his shirt and tossed it onto the bed.

“No reason.” Hamilton held his right wrist and pulled his arm behind his head, stretching it out and arching his back, working out the stiffness from the flight even as he posed for the camera. “It seemed like you missed me.”

Laurens glanced over the top of the video, presumably checking that he had privacy. “Yeah.” He looked back at the screen, his desire apparent even with the poor quality picture, and his voice low and quiet. “Are you going to make it up to me?”

“I figured we had enough time to catch up a little.” Hamilton undid the button on his jeans, then his fly.

“Just a little? Hold on.” Laurens moved out of the frame and Hamilton waited impatiently until he came back, headphones on. The screen shook as he plugged them into the phone. “Sorry about that.”

Hamilton laughed, dipping his fingers just into the waistband of his pants. “I’m the one in the guest room and yet you’re that worried about being caught?”

“Don’t ruin it, Alex.”

“Fine.” Hamilton tugged his jeans down a little, just enough that he had room to slide his hand inside and stroke his cock over the fabric of his briefs. “It’s too bad you’re not here,” he said, for just a moment sounding more genuine and less seductive, but then his voice lowered and he rocked his hips forward a little into his own hand. “There’s so much that I’d like to do to you.” Hamilton made eye contact with Laurens and, with a smirk, took away his hand and lightly kissed it before undressing the rest of the way in one fluid motion. His cock was already stiffening from the knowledge that even across an ocean he had Laurens’ undivided attention and he wrapped his hand around it, pumping it slowly.

Laurens felt himself growing aroused as he watched Hamilton’s cock harden and he turned the volume up higher. “I miss your voice.”

“You told me to stop talking.” Hamilton ran his thumb over his head.

“I told you to not to ruin it. I miss the way you sound.”

Hamilton laughed. “Is that how it is?”

“Don’t threaten to keep quiet, we both know that you’re not good at that.”

“Mm…” Hamilton was moving his hand faster, more deliberately. “Give me something to look at. At least take your shirt off.” Hamilton grinned at how quickly Laurens complied, hurriedly undoing the buttons and tossing it to the side. He was still wearing an undershirt, but the white material was stretched tight over his chest and abs, highlighting rather than obscuring his body. “Better—” he let his eyes flicker shut for a moment, tipping his head up as he teased his slit with his free hand, rubbing his fingers together so Laurens could at least infer if not see that he was starting to get wet. “Hold on.” He grabbed the phone, taking it into the adjourning bathroom and swearing under his breath as he struggled it get it propped up somewhere he could still be seen.

“Didn’t think this through?” Laurens teased.

“Got it.” He stepped back and Laurens shut up, watching as Hamilton leaned back against the wall and took his shaft in his hand again, working it quickly, impatiently. Hamilton put his head back again and let out a soft moan as if inviting Laurens to imagine himself up against him, pressing him back against the wall and biting at his exposed neck.

Laurens made a low frustrated noise at his inability to do more than watch and Hamilton tipped his hips forward at that, rocking his cock into his hand. He was getting louder, for Laurens’ benefit not stopping himself from giving little groans with every breath until he suddenly leaned forward and grabbed a tissue with his free hand, barely managing to catch himself as he came.

Laurens didn’t say anything, just listened to Hamilton’s heavy breathing as he cleaned himself off and straightened up, face flushed.

Hamilton grinned at him—not at all embarrassed, Laurens noted with fond amusement—and pulled his hair out of its messy ponytail. “I need to jump in the shower. I’ll text you when we’re back.” He blew him a cheeky kiss as he picked up the phone and ended the call.

Chapter Text

Hamilton was still grinning to himself when he met up with the other three downstairs.  Adrienne’s brother-in-law, a tall, good looking young man with dark hair and eyes, stood up from the chaise in the main room as he entered.

“Are you ready?”  Like Adrienne, he spoke with a heavy but understandable accent.  

Lafayette stood up a moment after him, a calico jumping from his lap to the ground and sauntering away.  “It will take a little while to get there, so Louis suggested we get something to eat once we arrive and then he’ll take us on a tour.”

“Sounds good,” Hamilton agreed and then switched into French as they headed out, watching the flicker of surprise in Louis’ face with enjoyment.  “Lafayette must have told you that this is my first time in France.  I’m looking forward to seeing as much of it as possible during my stay here.”

"I'm glad to hear it," Louis replied, sounding pleased.  "Lafayette told me a little about you.  You were assigned to him, weren't you?"

"That's right."

"By that organization to help foreign students," Louis continued.  "It's a good thing something like that existed.  It made us all feel much more secure about his decision to live abroad.  You were in the foreign exchange program, too, weren't you?  Now, what are you?"

"An economics and political science major," Hamilton said without missing a beat.

Louis looked puzzled.  Hamilton must have misunderstood him.

"I'm going to start my third year in the fall," Hamilton continued, knowing full well that he hadn't answered the question correctly.  "But I'm going to finish a year early."

"Ah," Louis said, seeing no way to get back elegantly to his actual query.  "Is that so?"

 

Several hours, a meal, and a bottle of wine later, Hamilton had decided he quite liked his tour guide.  It wasn’t just that he was intelligent and friendly, but that he had known Lafayette for many, many years. 

“You fell on your face?  At a fucking ball?”  Hamilton asked, turning behind him to look at Lafayette as the four of them walked, two by two, down the well-lit street.  “When I found out that you were a Marquis, I assumed that meant you would have taken some kind of etiquette lessons.”

“I tripped,” Lafayette protested, taking Adrienne’s hand.  “It was very crowded in there!”

“He was only a boy,” Louis said, in an amused attempt at keeping the peace.  “He was only sixteen.”

His good intentions backfired as Hamilton laughed and Lafayette looked away, pointedly staring into the store windows as they passed.  

“Right, so maybe three years ago.”

Lafayette shrugged sullenly. 

“Your friend isn't coming as well, is he?”  Adrienne asked the two of them, attempting a smooth change of topic.

“John?”  Hamilton shook his head.  “He’ll have to be satisfied with pictures of Paris instead.”

“That’s right,” Lafayette said abruptly, turning back from the window displays to finally make eye contact with Hamilton.  “You are absolutely right, Alex.  It is such a shame that he can’t be here with us.”  He casually put his arm around Adrienne’s waist.  “What a pity, I know he would enjoy himself so much if he were here.”  He tugged her to him a little.

Hamilton frowned, just a little, and turned forward again.  Point taken.

“It’s too bad he wasn’t able to join us.  As is said, traveling forms young men,” Louis said, unaware of the unspoken argument he was furthering.  “Although I’m sure Adrienne told you about the renovations that are going on at the house.  At least this way you don’t have to share a room.”

“That’s right,” Lafayette said, trying and failing to hide how much he was enjoying this turn of events.  “I completely forgot about that.  It’s much nicer to not have to bunk with him, isn’t it, Alex?”

Hamilton looked back, annoyed.  “Hey, he could have gotten stuck with you, you know.”

“No, I don’t think so,” Lafayette continued lightly.  “He’s with me all year, in that tiny room.”  He waved his free hand in the air.  “I’m sure he would have asked to stay with you for a change.”  He ducked his head and whispered something—Hamilton was sure it was something not-quite-as-dirty as he wanted him to believe, but it didn’t matter because he couldn’t help but feel that stab of jealousy anyway—into Adrienne’s ear.  “Just take him plenty of pictures,” Lafayette said, glancing up at Hamilton.  “I’m sure that will be almost as good.”

Hamilton cleared his throat and admitted defeat.  “So, Louis…  What do you recommend that I see while I am here?”

 

It might have started off as a taunt or a warning, but Lafayette quickly forgot that Hamilton had anything to do with it and just fully slipped back into his relationship as if he had never been across an ocean, but with the added knowledge that they had to fit half a year’s worth of affection into a matter of weeks.

“I missed you,” he said as Adrienne quietly closed the door to his room behind her that night.  “I know I just saw you a few minutes ago, but I missed you anyway.”

He put his hands on her waist and kissed her softly on the lips.  She smiled a little into the kiss and leaned into him, her arms over his shoulders. 

“I missed you too, Gilbert.”

He picked her up suddenly, her knees bent over one of his arms, and carried her to the bed as she gasped in surprise and then kissed him again.

“My Lancelot.”

“Dearheart.”

He was on top of her, kissing her neck playfully as he lifted up the skirt of her nightgown and slid his hand between her legs.  She spread them for him with another little gasp and he felt her grow warm and wet, and he tugged the cloth to the side, unable to go any longer without touching her.

 

“This better not be a nightly thing,” Hamilton muttered as he closed the window in his room, just a wall separating him from something that sounded a hell of a lot more fun than checking next semester’s required reading against the library catalog. 

 

“I feel like I can’t take you anywhere,” Hamilton complained in English, “which doesn’t even make sense because this is your country!”

Madame is my country,” Lafayette answered, only half paying attention as he nuzzled his nose against Adrienne’s and tipped them backwards until they went from sitting to lying on the couch.

“Okay, see?  That!  It’s stuff like that!”  Hamilton was ignored as Lafayette started whispering half stanzas and promises into Adrienne’s ear.  A siamese stretched languidly and then sunk its claws deep into the chair Hamilton was sitting in.  “Cut that out.”  

He wasn’t sure which of them he was talking to and they both paid him the same amount of attention.  

“Calm down,” Lafayette said (surfacing for breath, Hamilton thought).  “The two of us will go to the Quartier Latin in an hour or so.  You’ll like that, that’s the—”

“I know what the Quartier Latin is, I’m not an idiot.”

“Then you know that you will enjoy yourself.  There will be plenty of people for you to, how do you say, practice your French on.”

 

Lafayette noted that he was, as usual, right.  They had barely reached the outskirts of the college district when Hamilton had perked up, his attention caught by the conversations and the energy and, of course, the people.  

“I wonder if I should have brought a leash for him,” he wondered to himself as he watched over the top of his dark sunglasses as Hamilton chatted up a young man waiting for his bus, staying just on this side of extroverted visitor.  He was distracted from that thought by a couple of students at a table nearby who obviously recognized him and were talking about him.

“May I help you?”  He asked, with the smoothest charm he could manage as he walked up and took off his sunglasses.

“I told you it was him,” one of them laughed and nudged the other.  “I told her,” she repeated to Lafayette.  “I’ve seen your pictures—you’re just visiting, aren’t you?”

“Only for a few weeks, unfortunately.  However, I brought my dear cat with me and I’m sure he would like to—” Lafayette turned back to the bus stop.  The man was still there, but Hamilton had vanished.  “Merde,” Lafayette muttered.  “I really need to get him a collar with a little bell,” he apologized as he excused himself and went off.

 

Lafayette finally found Hamilton not charming France’s best and brightest but checking his long receipt outside of a bookstore.

“Do you mind not wandering off like that?”

“I wasn’t lost.”

“You don’t know the city!”

“I speak the language,” Hamilton said dismissively, even though their conversation was in English. “How do you think I got here?  Shit, I didn’t mean to spend that much…”

“I thought economics majors were supposed to be good with money.”

“I’m more of a theorist.  Too bad, right?”

Lafayette took the receipt from him.  “Twelve books?  Do you even have room for all of this in your suitcase?”

“I’ll leave some clothes.”  He picked up the heavy paper bag at his feet.  “Let’s find a place to sit.  I can’t get my cell to connect out here anyway.”

“I knew you were lost,” Lafayette said as they set off in the direction of the nearest cafe.  “This is why you can’t just leave, there’s no way for me to get in contact with you.”

“I wasn’t trying to call you,” Hamilton argued, putting slightly more emphasis on that last word than he had meant to.  “Look, forget it.  Let me show you what I bought.”

“Fine.”  Lafayette directed them to a cafe and got them a table outside.  “Do you know that if you hadn’t gone off we would be sitting here with two pretty girls right now?”

“Aren’t you…” Hamilton changed his mind about what question he really wanted to ask.  “How pretty?”

“See?  You should have stuck with me.”

“Okay, okay.  I’m here now.”

“Good.”  Lafayette scanned the cafe and street but before he could say anything, Hamilton nudged him.  

“Bet I can get the waitress’ number.”

“You don’t even have a working phone.”

“So?”  He smiled brilliantly at the young woman who came up to their table and slid smoothly back into French to ask for directions.

“I know my way around,” Lafayette started to complain.

“He wandered off to talk to some girls while I was at the bookstore,” Hamilton explained.  “It was my fault, really, I found this fascinating old copy of La Fontaine’s Cupid and Psyche and didn’t even realize I was alone until I was halfway through.”

“Oh?”  Lafayette sounded irritated that Hamilton had taken over his game and then turned the previous events against him.  “Where, exactly?”

Hamilton responded immediately.  “‘Fair Psyche yield to Cupid’s sway; the boundless world revers his name: him even the deities obey, their power less soothing than his flame.’”  He smiled triumphantly at Lafayette, then, continuing, turned back to their waitress, lowering his voice slightly as if in a more intimate conversation.  “‘In youth no charm like love we find: all pleasures are in love combined.’  I’m sorry,” he laughed, not really sorry at all, “Back home—I’m from the Caribbean—I would hate it if some tourist took up my time like this.  I know you’re busy, thank you so much for helping us.  If you get the chance, do you think you could help me figure out some suggestions for things to see in the area later?  I’d love to buy you a drink once you’re on break to thank you for your recommendations.”

“You’re the worst,” Lafayette muttered once she had left and Hamilton, smugly, had tucked her number away in his pocket.  “I hope you are actually going to buy her that drink.”

“Of course I am.  I’ve still got just enough money to make good on that.”

“All right.  Let me pick—”

Hamilton was already across the street helping a tourist with her guidebook. 

 

“I have a question,” Lafayette said later as they walked back to the metro.  “What would Laurens think about your flirting with so many people?”

“Psh, he wouldn’t care,” Hamilton said, putting the latest number he got in his pocket.  “It’s not like we’re dating or anything.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’ll prove it to you.  Give me your phone.”  Hamilton took it from him as it was offered up.

 

> G. Lafayette: this is Alex

> G. Lafayette: we’re having a conversation and need your opinion

> G. Lafayette: hypothetically would you mind if I hooked up with someone else

> J. Laurens: “Hypothetically”?

> G. Lafayette: yeah or hit on them

> G. Lafayette: whatever

> G. Lafayette: broad range of interpretations

> J. Laurens: Hypothetically, yes.

 

“Oh.”

“I told you so.”  Lafayette took his phone back.

“I didn’t think it mattered,” Hamilton offered in meager defense.  “Do you think I should toss the numbers?”

“You should consider it.”

“You didn’t want to tell me this ahead of time?”  Hamilton complained as he started to pull pieces of paper out of his pocket.  “You were the one who wanted to be my wingman in the first place!”

“It’s harmless if nothing comes of it,” Lafayette argued.  “You never know when you are taking things too far.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes but didn’t say anything as he balled up the papers and tossed them away.

Chapter Text

There was a problem, Hamilton realized as he sat, bored, on a bench in the shade off to the side of le carrousel de Lancelot, with being an ocean away from the one person he was apparently allowed to flirt with.

He watched as the horses and carriages moved around and took his phone out of his pocket to check it futilely since he knew that he had no connection anyway.

He glanced up in time to see Lafayette and Adrienne pass by, holding hands on their respective horses.

“This is bullshit,” he muttered, checking on his fake cats.  At least that app didn’t need an internet connection.

The rest of the day went much like that.  Hamilton tagged along as Lafayette and Adrienne shopped on Main Street.  He took pictures for them as they posed in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle.  He firmly drew the line at them getting a carriage ride and bitched about how the Indian Village was just an animatronic volkerschau until Lafayette suggested they get something to eat instead.

“Do you want to go on any of the rides?”  Adrienne asked him finally as the three of them sat at a table outside one of the overpriced restaurants.

“Might as well.”  Hamilton looked around.  “That line looks like it’s the shortest.”

“All right.”  Adrienne got up.  “I’ll go with you.” 

“I’ll watch your things,” Lafayette offered, taking her purse from her as she kissed him on the cheek.

“He doesn’t want to come?”  Hamilton asked as they made their way to the back of the line.  “I thought he’d be all over It’s a Small World.”

Adrienne shook her head.  “He really doesn’t like boats.”

Hamilton didn’t realize exactly how pathetic that statement was until they had been loaded into the ride.

“We’re on a track,” he commented, keeping the conversation in French but dropping the occasional word in English for convenience.  “This thing doesn’t even rock.”

Adrienne shrugged and he sighed.  “Whatever.  Let’s take a selfie and when you upload it you can tag him as one of those creepy American puppets in the background.  If you lean back a little I think I can get your mouse ears in the frame.”

Adrienne obliged and smiled for the camera.

“How is he doing in America?”  She asked after the picture had been taken.  “We talk, but I don’t know how much is him putting a spin on things to one end or another.”

“He’s doing well,” Hamilton said truthfully.  “Hell, my boss practically adopted him.  The guy cries in his office one time and now he has dinner with him and his wife every weekend.”

“Good.  I’m glad to hear it.”  Adrienne sat back in her seat, paying more attention to Hamilton than to their surroundings.  “I was worried when he left…  Did he tell you that he hadn’t said anything to us beforehand?”

“He mentioned something about that.”

Adrienne nodded.  “He had been going to school in Paris and my father has always liked him, so he told him he could stay with us instead of having to make his own arrangements.  His grandmother and aunts are in the south, so was more or less on his own.  He moved in and at first everything was going well.  We were supposed to take an end of summer trip, all of us, as a family, and then suddenly he had vanished.”  She took off her headband and toyed with it in her lap.  “Even I didn’t know where he was.”

“He didn’t tell you?  I knew he kept it secret, but I thought…”

Adrienne shook her head.  “I only found out when he had already boarded the plane.  My father was furious.”

“I bet.”

“He wanted to have him sent back, but,” she gave a little half-smile and Hamilton wasn't sure in the poor light if it was genuine or not, “your boss convinced him otherwise.”

“It’s not just you,” Hamilton said after they had both been silent throughout the entire tableaux of central and east Asia.  “We knew he did something but he can be very evasive. He doesn’t tell us things either.  Well,” he qualified, “not some of that important shit that you’d think he would know to mention.  He talks way too much about other stuff.”

Adrienne laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“No, I’m sorry…  Don’t take this the wrong way.  It just reminds me of what he says about you.”

Hamilton wasn’t sure what to say about that at all, so he took his phone back out.  “Hey, there’s France.  Lafayette may be an americanophile, but I want a picture with you in front of that ridiculous tower.”

 

“You’ve been busy.”

“Yeah.”  Hamilton sat on the edge of the bed, watching Laurens walk around his room in just a pair of gym shorts, a towel over his shoulders and his dark hair damp.  “Your hair’s getting longer.  Better than Lafayette, though, I don't know what he and Adrienne have planned but you should have seen the amount of product they came back with. I swear they bought an entire salon. Everything reeks of coconut oil now.”

“Ha. I know, though, I need to get it cut.”

“Don’t.  Be like me, grow it out like a damn hippie.”

“Please.”  Laurens glanced back at the phone on his desk then pulled open one of his dresser drawers.  “You’re more of an aspiring yuppie.” 

“Hey, I’m all for free love.”

“You’re too much of a greedy capitalist, Alexander.  Don’t lie, you’d like to see your face on the dollar one day.”

“Nah, something bigger than that.”  

“There you go again with the greed.”

“Fine, fine.”  Hamilton yawned and drew his legs up onto the bed, lying down. 

“Are you going to bed?”

“Yeah, I’m beat.  I think Lafayette stole the books I bought myself.”

“Do you mean he’s forcing you to actually relax while you’re on vacation?”  Laurens teased, taking out a shirt.  “How cruel of him.”

“He can be pretty mean when he wants to be.  He’s just one room over, you know.  I have to listen to him fucking every night.  I think he’s trying to prove a point.”

Laurens gave the phone a puzzled look then stepped out of the frame to get dressed, raising his voice a little so Hamilton could still hear him clearly.  “So?  He missed his girlfriend.”  Hamilton didn’t respond and Laurens, fully dressed now, walked over to his desk and picked up the phone.  “Alex?”

“Mm?”  Hamilton had been staring up at the ceiling.  “Oh.  Forget it, I’m not making sense.  Good night, John.”

“Night.”

Hamilton hung up and put his phone onto the nightstand to charge.  It wasn’t until he heard faint laughter and Lafayette’s voice raised playfully that he rolled his eyes and slipped under the covers, turning away from the adjourning wall.

 

Lafayette woke up when the sky was just getting light.  At first he couldn’t tell why, exactly, he was awake.  Adrienne was sleeping at his side, curled into him and breathing softly, his alarm was not set to wake him for several hours, and the only noise was… 

“Shit.  Shit,” Hamilton muttered, shaking his hand where the zipper on Lafayette’s bag had pinched him.  “The hell are they…”

“Alex,” Lafayette said in a loud whisper without moving.  “You are the worst robber I’ve ever heard of.”

Hamilton started, then went back to his search.  “I’m trying to find my books.”

“Why?”

“Can’t sleep.  No, that’s not true, I slept a little.  I’m up again and it’s too early to call John and you’ve got a girl on you.  Just let me read my book, Lafayette.”

Lafayette sighed.  “I was trying to do you a favor.  They’re on top of the shelf across from the door.”

Hamilton got up.  “Thanks.  Think you can keep it down in a couple hours?  I might be up but I don’t really want to associate that with Grotius.” 

Lafayette groaned quietly.  “Alexander, you need another hobby.”

“Left it in America.”  He grabbed the book and left, closing the door behind him.

 

> A. Hamilton: Day seven and the natives have started to accept me as one of their own.

> A. Hamilton: While they still look at me with thinly veiled distaste when our paths cross, they no longer whisper of my death as I pass out of sight.

> A. Hamilton: I pray to god that this is not a trick, an attempt by a foe more cunning than I imagined, more intelligent than I dared fear, to lull me into a false sense of security before springing some as yet unknown trap.

> A. Hamilton: Sometimes in the quiet still of the night I hear soft footsteps down the hall outside my room.  If I get up to investigate, there is nothing more suspicious than one of them strolling past on some innocent errand.   If I remain in bed I hear the steps slow and then halt outside my door.  Up to a minute might pass before they continue on their way.

> A. Hamilton: seriously j i wrote you some cat hell horror story the least you can do is ask me how my meeting with my persian doppelgänger went

 

“I think he’s bored,” Lafayette explained to Adrienne as he sat in the empty tub in their adjacent bathroom.  She knelt on the ground outside of it, her dusty brown-black hair pinned up neatly and a pair of plastic gloves on her hands.  “No, that’s not it, I think he’s homesick.”

Adrienne ran her hands through Lafayette’s long hair, working in the purple toner.  “It hasn’t been all that long and he seemed so excited when we went out.”

Lafayette tipped his head back to make it easier for her.  “I know.  I don’t think he’s ever been on a vacation before, and I wanted him to actually treat this as one.  I still cannot believe he went to buy books when I took him out for a little action.  And they weren’t even fun books, Adrienne!  The Wealth of Nations, The Art of War… He woke me up just so he could take back his copy of Mare Liberum!”  

“I’m sure he’s enjoying himself, Gilbert,” Adrienne said reassuringly.  “He must just be the kind of person who always needs something to do.”

“He is,” Lafayette agreed emphatically.  “You should see him during the semester.  He’s always writing like he’s running out of time.  But this is a vacation.”  He leaned back a little more so he could look up at her.  “It wasn’t easy to convince him to come here and I want him to enjoy himself.”

“Stop that.”  Adrienne moved his head back.  “You’re a good friend.  But maybe he needs his hobbies, like his books.  You might find them dull, but maybe they relax him.”

Lafayette frowned, her wording reminding him of something he couldn’t quite place.  “No.  Reading engages him, he gets caught up in it, it just creates more noise inside his mind.  What he needs is…”  He trailed off, looking at the tiled wall in front of him.

“Yes?”

“…Quiet.  Are you done?”

“It should be just about worked in.”

“Good.”  Lafayette turned and kissed her carefully.  “Thank you.  Do you think you can put a little lilac in the ends?”

“Gray isn’t enough? We've been at this for hours, Gil.”

“Or periwinkle.  Since we are doing this much.”

She laughed.  “You’ll look like you’re from the 1700s.”

“Why not?”

 

“You guys have too much time on your hands,” Hamilton declared, backing up to take their photo.  “Hold on, the cat isn’t looking.”

Lafayette, his hair now silver and light purple, pulled back in a loose ponytail, clicked his tongue to draw the attention of the fluffy white cat in Adrienne’s lap.  

“I’ll do yours too if you’d like,” she offered, her own hair curled and dyed to match.

“No thanks, I’d rather not look like some old dead white guy.”  Hamilton took the picture, not bothering to respond to their French in the proper language.  “What filter do you want on it?”  He glanced up.  “Don’t get me wrong, you’re both very, uh, on fleek, as the kids say, but I’ll look like a moron when it starts to grow out.”

“I have chalk!  I can use that instead!”  She had already gotten up before Hamilton could answer one way or the other.  “Gilbert!”  She spun back around at the door.  “This will be a perfect time to take the photos I wanted.  I’ll bring the clothes for you two to change into!”

“What’s going on?”  Hamilton asked Lafayette as Adrienne vanished.

“Ah, she is studying costume design,” Lafayette explained once he detached the siamese’s claws from his pants leg.  “I told her that I would help her to showcase some of the things she created.  Don’t worry, she is very good.”

“He’s flattering me,” Adrienne said with a little laugh as she came back into the room, her arms full of blue and white fabric.  “Here, Gilbert, this is yours.”  She handed him a suit on one of the hangers and then turned to Hamilton.  “I think this will fit you.  You don’t mind, do you?”

“Not at all.”  Hamilton took the costume from her.

“I’ll change in my room and I’ll fix your hair after you’re dressed.  We can go out onto the grounds, maybe I can find Louis and ask him to help…”

Hamilton went with Lafayette back to his room.

“I have no idea what order this all goes in,” he muttered.  “Stockings first, then pants, right?  Did she actually make all of this?”

Lafayette was already partially dressed, shirtless but with stockings and beige breeches, bent over as he adjusted the buttons on the legs.  “Yes.  Put those on and the shirt and I’ll help you with the rest of it.”  He pulled his white shirt on as Hamilton changed, and then a vest cut from the same fabric as the pants.  “The cravat is always the hardest part,” he complained as he adjusted the clothes in the mirror.  “There.”  He pulled on a jacket, blue with trim and buttons to match the vest.  “How do I look?”

Hamilton looked up.  “Like an old dead white guy.  Very nice.”

"I have family on both sides that wore clothes like this," Lafayette pointed out. "Although," he mused, "they are old and dead."

"Turn of phrase, Lafayette. I'm not actually the son of a bitch either, no matter how often that gets bandied about."

Lafayette helped him put on a richly embroidered cream vest and then a long coat, navy like his breeches, with a thick floral band stitched along the edges and at the folded back cuffs.  The lace trim from his shirt stuck out past them and Hamilton glanced down as Lafayette adjusted the effusion of lace at his neck.

“…This is a lot.”  Hamilton sounded uncomfortable, more from the elaborate display than from the fit.  “How come it’s so much fancier than yours?”

“They’re just different styles,” Lafayette said airily as he stepped back to tie on his red sash and put a three-cornered hat jauntily on head.

Hamilton frowned.  “Hang on.  That’s a military uniform.  No, that’s an American military uniform.  I’m the one actually from America, how come you get to be a major general in the Continental Army?”

Lafayette was turning to admire the figure he cut in the mirror.  “It just suits me.”

"Yeah, I bet it'd suit me too."

"Do you know," Lafayette began in a tone that led Hamilton to believe that, no, he didn't know and he was quite alright with that for once, "that one of my ancestors was a major general in the Revolutionary War? That's why I wanted this one."

"Fascinating."

"I know."

“Let me try it on.”

“It won’t fit you, she made this one to my measurements exactly.”

Hamilton gave him a skeptical look.  “Then who was this one made for?”

“I have no idea,” Lafayette lied, perhaps wisely choosing not to point out that Adrienne had a younger brother.  “Maybe one of her classmates.”

Chapter Text

Half an hour later Hamilton was being adjusted into frame on the front steps of the manor, a more difficult task than it should have been because of the wide panniers under Adrienne’s dress, light blue and ribboned with roses.

“Stop touching your hair,” Lafayette scolded him.  “You’ll get the powder all over your jacket.”

“One of the stranger things I’ve done,” Hamilton remarked to Adrienne as he forced himself to stop adjusting the ribbon holding back (rather tenuously, he thought) his whitened hair.  He’d gotten more into the part once his initial embarrassment had worn off, and had to admit that he was enjoying dressing up like some kind of prince of fashion.  “And I’ve…”  He trailed off as a cab pulled up outside the front gates and Lafayette turned around, lowering the camera.

“Oh,” Adrienne said, then immediately glanced away from Hamilton with her hand over her mouth as if to prevent herself from saying anything more.

He meant to ask her about that reaction, but then the door opened and Laurens stepped out, carrying a small suitcase.

“John,” Lafayette said happily (in English, Hamilton noted, and not sounding nearly surprised enough), crossing the lawn to greet him.  “I hope you had a good flight.”

“Very nice, actually.  Good to see you.  Adrienne,” he added, dipping his head briefly in greeting.  She curtsied. “Alexander.”

“Hi.”

Laurens set his bag down on the stairs.  “Pardon my French, but what the hell are you doing?”

“We were taking some pictures for Adrienne, but I don’t think we need Alexander here anymore.  Why don’t you take John upstairs?”

Hamilton nodded.  “Right. Uh, right this way.”  Laurens picked up his suitcase again and followed, looking around.

“It’s even bigger than I thought it would be, somehow, but the light covering of cats seems about right.”

“Yeah, you get used to that.  What the fuck are you doing here?”

“Lafayette invited me back in spring, remember?”

“Bullshit, you said you wouldn’t be able to come.  I’ve been talking to you for weeks and you never mentioned it, so what changed?”

Laurens shrugged.  “I made time and my father decided it would be a good experience.  Are you really so upset?”

Hamilton let him into his room, motioned towards where his open suitcase was spilling out onto the ground.  

“I missed you, all right?”  Laurens put his suitcase down, his tone becoming less formal now that they were in private.  “Both of you.  You can’t really blame me for wanting to be in France rather than South Carolina, especially with the heat we’ve been having.”  He took off his jacket, putting it on top of his bag.  “You look good.  I mean it.”  Suddenly there was very little distance between them.  Laurens nudged Hamilton’s face up with his hand.  “Even with that ridiculous hair.”

“Shove it.”  Hamilton grabbed his wrist and pulled it away, pulled him down, pressed their mouths together and smiled in spite of himself as Laurens moaned softly into the kiss.  “Take this off,” he said, stepping further back into the room and running one hand up underneath Laurens’ shirt.

Laurens obliged, discarding it quickly and half-helped, half-hindered as Hamilton dropped his jacket to the floor.  He tried to kiss his neck as he undid the buttons on the vest but wasn’t able to make contact with his skin and after a few seconds gave a frustrated growl.  Hamilton laughed and turned his face to his so he could kiss him again, pressing his tongue into his mouth and sliding his hand back along his jaw and through his dark hair.  He ran his other hand up along Laurens’ bare torso, feeling his muscles tense at the contact, teasing him as Laurens gave up momentarily at undressing him and put both his hands on his hips, pulling him closer.

The corner of Hamilton’s mouth quirked up as their hips touched and he rubbed against Laurens’ cock and was rewarded by Laurens’ grip tightening and his pressing them even closer.  

“All right, I forgive you,” Hamilton said, pulling away just enough that he could finish undoing the vest while keeping their hips pressed together.  “You really did miss me.”

“I can’t help it.”  Laurens moved his hands up along Hamilton’s body, drawing them up to his neck where he refrained from ripping through the fabric and instead carefully untied it and dropped it to the floor.  He leaned down, finally able to kiss and bite at his neck and Hamilton tipped his head back to make it easier, slipping his hands into his back pockets.

“Yeah—?  Why’s that?”

Laurens was having an easier time with the shirt and his mouth moved down as he pulled it open and exposed his chest.

“It just wasn’t the same.”  He flicked his tongue over Hamilton’s skin, feeling his hips twitch against his own.  “No one to run circles around me.”  He took a half step back and knelt to the ground, letting his mouth graze over the light trail of hair leading to the top of Hamilton’s breeches.

Hamilton put one hand on Laurens’ shoulder, hard, and ran the other over his face, pressing it to his mouth.  “The door isn’t locked,” he muttered.

“I don’t think they’ll disturb us.”  Laurens moved one hand up between his legs, rubbing there as he talked.

Hamilton decided against arguing and tightened his grip on Laurens’ shoulder, muffling a soft noise with his hand as Laurens held him firmly and started undoing the buttons on one side.

Laurens bit the top of the fabric carefully and pulled it open, sliding his hand inside then putting it on the small of Hamilton’s back when he felt his legs threaten to buckle.

“Hey.”  He glanced up, but Hamilton had his eyes closed, and he took his other hand off of him to finish unbuttoning his breeches and then tug them down along with his briefs to expose Hamilton’s erect cock.  Leaving his other hand on his back, he slowly took the head into his mouth.  Hamilton moaned and moved his hand up to Laurens’ head, entangling it in his hair.

“J.—”

“Do you want to sit?”  Laurens didn’t wait for an answer, instead taking as much of Hamilton in his mouth as he could and taking the rest of his length in his hand, moving over his shaft slowly.  Hamilton made a little frustrated noise and Laurens pulled away.

“Don’t pull my hair.”

“S—sorry.”

Laurens put his mouth back on him and Hamilton put his hand back to his shoulder.  Laurens felt his nails bite in as he moved over him and the pain urged him on faster, until Hamilton was bracing himself on his shoulders with both hands and either not noticing or not caring how loud he was.

“John, stop, I—”

Laurens ignored him, distracted by his own arousal and how even as Hamilton said that he moved one hand behind his neck to keep him from pulling away.  He regretted his lack of foresight a moment later when Hamilton came and he slowly sat back as Hamilton, panting, leaned on him heavily.

Laurens patted his arm and stood up.  Hamilton sat down on the ground, leaning back against the wall, and then laughed as he heard Laurens spit in the bathroom sink.

“I told you.”

The water ran.

“You also had your hand on my head.”

“Not that hard.  You could have stopped.”

Hamilton got up, fixing his pants, and went to join Laurens in the bathroom.  He leaned on the counter, checking his hair.  “Look at that.  It actually stayed up.”

Laurens spat water into the sink and turned off the faucet. 

“What did they use on it? It’s getting a little uneven.”

Hamilton turned to the side, examining his reflection.  “It’s not that bad.”

Laurens came up behind him and put his arms around his waist, kissing his neck.  “No, it’s not.”

“Mm.”  Hamilton turned around, unfastening the button on Laurens’ jeans and sliding his hand inside.  “I’m glad you’re here.  Did I say that before?”

“No,” Laurens said, leaning back against the wall.  “You just, ah, you swore at me and then got distracted.”

“That sounds about right.”

There was a knock at the bedroom door.

“Alexander?”

“Shit,” Hamilton swore and stepped away as Laurens hastily did his pants up and went to grab his shirt.  He had barely pulled it on when Hamilton opened the door for Lafayette.  “Yes?”

“Adrienne needs the costume back.”  Lafayette narrowed his eyes at the two of them, Hamilton only partially dressed and his hair disheveled and Laurens looking guilty in the background.  “Did you fornicate in that?”

“No,” Hamilton said immediately while Laurens looked away.  “We didn’t ‘fornicate.’  Besides, I bet that uniform of yours has seen some action in the line of duty.” 

“Be that as it may, I expected better from you, John,” Lafayette scolded.  “We both know Alexander is a lost cause.”

“Hey!”

“Just change out of that,” Lafayette instructed him.  “I’ll get it dry cleaned.”

“If you’re going to clean it anyway…”

No.”

 

“Where’s Jean?”  Adrienne asked the next day, noticing Lafayette and Hamilton talking to each other without the third member of their group.

“He’s outside,” Lafayette said as Hamilton tried not to laugh at the name.  “I promised him that if he came he could play with your dogs.”  

Lafayette and Hamilton both pointed to the bay window behind them and Adrienne looked out to see Laurens literally rolling in the grass with two giant white dogs.

“What are they called again?”

“Great Pyrenees,” Lafayette said.  “They suit him, non?”  He glanced over at Hamilton.  “You’d be a terrier.”

“Scottish terrier,” Hamilton agreed without taking offense.  “What about you?”

Outside Laurens was temporarily and completely hidden from view under the massive white dogs licking his face.

“I’m a grand bleu de Gascogne.”

“You made that shit up.”

“I did not!”  Lafayette took out his phone to show Hamilton a picture.  “They’re hunting dogs.  My grandmother still owns a few.”

Hamilton shook his head at the screen.  “I don’t see it.  You’re more like a basset hound.”

Excusez-moi!

There was a loud bark from outside and all three of them looked out the window again.  Laurens was back on his feet and teasing one of the dogs with a ball.

“You are,” Hamilton continued after a pause.  “Back me up, Adrienne.”

“There is a basset hound named Lafayette in The Aristocats,” she pointed out.  

Hamilton laughed.  “Yeah, exactly.  I knew that.  That’s you.”

Lafayette looked less than amused.

“I’ll be that orange tom cat,” Hamilton continued, turning to Adrienne, “and then I suppose that makes you Duch—”

I think I would be a grand bleu,” Lafayette said, cutting him off as the persian jumped up onto the back of the couch to disdainfully watch Laurens and the dog outside.

 

They stayed at Adrienne’s family’s home outside Paris for another week, and Hamilton marveled at how much nicer it was to explore the grounds and the city with Laurens for company.  He shouldn’t have been too surprised, he reasoned with himself, since after all now that there was a fourth he wasn’t relegated to playing the part of third wheel.  Laurens, for his part, hit it off with Louis immediately and Lafayette soon found himself wishing that he hadn’t reminded Laurens of his offer to stay with them.

“You are kidding,” Louis laughed over his glass of wine as the four of them, Adrienne off visiting with her married sister, sat outside L’Épée de Bois, a bar in the city.  It was evening but still warm out and they were enjoying their last day before traveling south to visit Lafayette’s relatives.  “I never knew he was such a lightweight!”  He leaned over and ruffled Lafayette’s hair affectionately as Lafayette wished for the umpteenth time that Laurens had missed his flight.

“I don’t know that I would say that,” Laurens said, taking another drink from his own glass, his tongue noticeably loosened and his southern accent coming out more strongly than normal.  “But I did have to help him stumble into the cab at the end of the night.  Do you remember, Alex?  Christ, what was it that he was saying?”  He nudged Hamilton, then snapped his fingers.  “How he wished you,” he tipped his glass to Louis, “would have been there to see how drunk he was.”

Louis roared with laughter.

Lafayette put his face in his hand.  “Alexander…”

Lafayette’s plea fell on deaf ears.  “That’s right,” Hamilton added, finishing his glass, “he wanted us to make sure we told you that.  I completely forgot.”

Alexander,” Lafayette repeated.

Hamilton slung his arm over his shoulders.  “We finally told him for you, aren’t you happy?”

“We should never have gone to get drinks,” Lafayette complained.

“Speaking of drinks,” Louis took another and then put his glass down.  “Did he ever tell you about the time he got in a fight?”

Laurens and Hamilton both perked up (which in Hamilton’s case meant that he slid Lafayette into a headlock a little).

“It’s true!  It was during a party, he got into a drunken argument with, ah, what is his name… Gilbert, your friend…  De Ségur, that was it.  This moron,” he said with affection, “tried to challenge him to a duel over a girl that neither of them had any claim on.”

Lafayette slipped out of Hamilton’s grip to bury his face in his arms as his friends cracked up again.  “Someday I’ll come to your homes and talk to your relatives,” he threatened in a muffled voice.

“Not likely,” Hamilton laughed.  “How would that work?  ‘Hey Mr. Congressman, tell me something funny about John, you know, that almost-perfect-but-not-quite oldest son you use as a prop for your own glory.  Do you have any stories about him?’”  

Louis quieted and Laurens froze.

Bullshit,” Hamilton continued, gesturing with a little more aggression than he probably realized.  “And do you even know where you would go for me?  Because if you do, please, let me know, ‘cause I’ve long lost track.  Who the fuck would you even ask?  Can’t ask my mother, sure as hell can’t ask my father, and I don’t got this honorary family built up around me, piece by piece, better even than the real thing because they don’t have to stick around when I run off to America without giving two weeks notice, or remember the details about what party I went to as a kid or why I threw down with my friend.” 

“Alex,” Laurens said, quietly.

“Fuck that, you could have at least left a note before you jumped on the wrong plane.  Whatever.”  He stood up abruptly as his mind caught up with his mouth.  “Sorry I yelled.  Next round’s on me.”  He went into the bar.

Laurens put down his drink and followed him.

“Alexander?”

Hamilton was standing at the bar, drumming his fingers on it as he waited for their drinks.  

“What was that about?”

“I don’t smoke,” Hamilton said instead of answering the question, “too expensive, never got into it.  Could go for a cigarette right now.”

“Calm down.”

“We’re in France, at a bar.  It’s practically customary.”  He made a fist and brought it down, deliberately, slowly, on the counter.  “You calm down, J., we’re not in some DARE after school special.  Besides, I only have enough cash for the drinks.”

“I can get them.”

“I said it was on me.”

“I can get them.”

Hamilton relented and let Laurens get out his wallet. 

When they came back out with drinks Lafayette and Louis stopped talking.

“I completely forgot,” Hamilton said brightly as he sat down and passed Lafayette his glass, “did I tell you about the time Lafayette accidentally sent a dirty message to Washington?  I happened to be working and I intercepted it, but seriously, I’m all for technology but sometimes I think it would be better to go back a couple hundred years.”

Chapter Text

Chavaniac-Lafayette was between Brioude and Le Puy, or as the less detailed map Lafayette had first pulled up to explain showed it, south-west of Lyon.  The town itself was quite small and surrounded by fields on three sides, forest on the other.   The castle Hamilton had mentioned seeing in the background of Lafayette’s instagram photos was on the outskirts of the town, a large stone building that looked as if it had been stitched together from several different centuries. 

They were greeted warmly by Lafayette’s grandmother and two aunts, who seemed delighted not only to see Lafayette and Adrienne (whom they adored) again but to be able to meet Laurens and Hamilton, about whom they professed to have heard much.  Hamilton was prodded and Lafayette was scolded for not feeding him enough up north, to the former’s great embarrassment and the latter’s amusement.  Laurens, on the other hand, his aunt declared to be handsome and charming, especially after a short conversation proved that he did in fact know his way around a stable.  He was encouraged to take advantage of their remaining time in France and to explore the grounds and the surrounding countryside, an invitation he welcomed.

 

“You’re such a country boy.”

“I am not.”

Hamilton laughed, pushing his chair back from the desk in the room he had been given.  “John, it’s nine in the morning, you came to ask if I wanted to go for a ride, and you’ve already got mud on your face.”

Laurens rubbed at his cheek ineffectually.  “All right, so I like the outdoors.  I might as well take it all in before we go back to the city.  What’s the matter with that?”

“Your drawl has been coming out more ever since we got here.  I thought you only let it slip out when you were drunk.  I bet you’re incomprehensible back home.”

“I wouldn’t figure it.”

Hamilton laughed again and got up.  “Right.  Where are we going?”

“Just around the grounds.  Lafayette’s already at the stables.”

Hamilton frowned.  “He’s coming too?”

“He said something about how he promised you that he would teach you how to ride.”

“I know how to ride,” Hamilton insisted, stubborn.

“Ride well.”

Hamilton didn’t say anything to that.

 

“Sit up straight.”

“I am sitting straight.”

“You’re not straight.”

“What do you know about being straight, John?” Hamilton snapped, tilting to the side a little.

Lafayette laughed, literally riding circles around the other two out on the broad field.  “Be easy on him, John.  He’s just learning.”

“I’m trying to help,” Laurens protested.  “Alex, you’re listing to the right.”  

Hamilton finally adjusted his stance.  

“There, better.”

“You remember how to direct the horse, don’t you?” Lafayette asked, demonstrating as he turned first one way and then the other.  “Let’s go, there is a path not far ahead, and it is wide and flat.”

The other two set off without another thought and Hamilton followed, nudging his horse until it caught up and he could ride alongside Lafayette.  

“Okay, you kept your promise.  Disney first, then horses.  About the other day,” he continued as Laurens rode ahead, “I was just talking shit.  You didn’t say anything wrong.”

“Alex—”

“Seriously.”  Hamilton looked up at him.  “I let my mouth run off sometimes, that’s all.  I shouldn’t have implied that you haven’t been shat on too and I don’t want your pity.”

“I know.”

“All right.”  Hamilton turned his attention back to the field in front of them.  “So how do I make this thing go faster?”

Lafayette nudged his horse gently into a trot.  “Allons-y, Jean le Blanc.”

Hamilton decided not to remind him of how dumb he thought the name was and mimicked him, following after.

They turned onto the path where, to their surprise, Laurens was nowhere to be seen.

“He’s not going to ambush us, is he?”

Hamilton rode a few yards down the road while Lafayette rose up in his saddle behind him and scanned the area. 

“Ah, Alexander.  To your left.”  Lafayette led the way a little further down to where the hedges at either side of the path thinned out and a pond stretched up almost to their roots.  Laurens had turned off there and his horse was tied loosely to a bush, just out of easy sight from the road.  He had dismounted and was crouched in the wet grass at the edge of the pond, a small notebook and pen in hand.

“John?”

“Shh.”  Laurens put up the hand with the pen for a second, motioning the other two to quiet.  They dismounted, Lafayette gracefully and Hamilton decidedly less so, and left their horses near Laurens’.

“What are you doing?”  Lafayette asked in a whisper as they carefully walked down to join him.

“I’ve never seen one of these before,” Laurens said as he sketched a small gray turtle with abundant yellow spotting and a rounded shell that was sitting on a half-submerged branch.  “I thought I’d take a look while I was waiting for you two and at first I assumed it was a red eared slider, but once I got closer I immediately realized my mistake.”

Lafayette and Hamilton exchanged a surprised look.

“That is a cistude d’Europe, a European pond turtle,” Lafayette explained.  “They’re one of two native freshwater turtles,” he went on as Laurens quickly turned to a new page and scribbled down notes.  “Their population has gone down quite a bit and they’re rare in this area.  We know they're on the property,” he added to answer Hamilton’s incredulous look at his seemingly out of nowhere turtle knowledge.  “Once a year university researchers come down here to tally up the population.”

“Are they endangered?”  Laurens asked, back to his sketch.

“Vulnerable.”

“Can you find the other species in this area?”

“No, it’s only in Languedoc-Roussillon.”

“Languedoc-Roussillon…”  Laurens repeated the place name, then turned the page back again to copy it down for later.

Hamilton knelt down carefully next to Laurens, tipping his head to one side as he looked at the drawing.  “So… Turtles, huh?  I thought you were into birds and flowers and shit.”

“I like nature drawing.”

“You’re cute.”

“Don’t make fun of me.”

“You’re almost putting more effort into that picture than you did into the one of me—still waiting to see it, by the way.”

“I’ll get it to you.”  

The turtle decided it had finally had enough of all of the attention and it slipped back into the water with a splash.  Laurens stood up, stretching out his upper back and putting the notebook and pen in his pocket.

“I’ve got a turtle as a pet back home, all right?  It’s not that weird.”  He looked at the other two, both giving him matching skeptical looks.  “What?  It isn’t!”

 

A couple days before they were to return to America, Lafayette informed the other two that an acquaintance was in town and would be joining them for lunch.

“Actually, you already know him,” he commented as he opened his laptop.  “It’s Professor Jefferson.  What do you think about these pictures?  Adrienne wanted to make sure you didn’t mind her using them for her class.”

Hamilton, who that last part had been directed to, took a moment to make sure that Laurens wasn’t choking on his coffee before answering.

“Uh, yeah, sure they look great.  What was that again?”

“Thomas Jefferson.”  Lafayette looked up, oblivious to Laurens sitting very still at the other end of the table.  “He teaches at the university but I met him through Dr. Washington.  They’re old friends.”

“Of course they are,” Laurens muttered, then covered the noise by putting his mug down on the table.

“He’s here on vacation so I invited him to come by since we didn’t have any plans for today.”

“Right… Right.”  Hamilton glanced at Laurens.  “I guess we’re having lunch with the professor and no one is punching him out even though grades are long in and we’re not on school property because that would be a quick way to get expelled, am I right?”

Lafayette looked confused.

“It’s a joke,” Hamilton clarified.  “Obviously.”

 

Noon saw the three of them sitting around the same table, plus Adrienne and Jefferson, a tall and gangly man wearing a suit with bright red pants.  It was the sort of thing that one might find endearing if it weren’t for the incredibly uncomfortable situation.

“Sweet tea, thank you,” Jefferson said in to Lafayette in response to his question, his voice a disarming drawl.  “It’s so nice to finally be able to meet your Adrienne.”  She smiled, a little embarrassed.  “He’s told me so much about you,” he continued, “and about the two of you as well, of course.  I didn’t catch your last name when he mentioned it before and didn't realize it was the same John as the one in my class.  You know, I never said this before, it didn’t seem appropriate when you were my student, but your father and I go way back.”  He laughed a little when Laurens stiffened in his chair.  “Unfortunately we’re not exactly on Christmas card terms anymore, but there was a time not too long ago when your old man and I rubbed elbows down in DC.  Maybe I should call him up and let him know that I ran into you, I like to tell him what a head you’ve got on your shoulders.  I’m sure he’d be proud to hear about what you’ve been up to.  The Henry Laurens that I remember would be sure to keep real close tabs on y’all, real close, but I’m sure some things just get lost in translation.  Merci, son,” he said as Lafayette came back with a pitcher of sweet tea, clearly prepared ahead of time and poured him a glass.  “Now how have you been doing since semester got out?  I bet you’re glad not to have to bother about any more papers.”

“I’ve been well, thank you very much,” Laurens said stiffly.  “I didn’t know that you knew my father.”

“Of course not,” Jefferson said after taking a drink.  “As I said, I didn’t want to tempt any biases or pandering.  We’re all equal in the hall of learning.”

Laurens looked over at Lafayette, who seemed unaware of the tension and the second conversation going on at the table.  He glanced at Hamilton who was clearly ready to disregard his own advice and throw caution to the wind as soon as one foot was set out of line.

“My father knows about my grades, professor,” Laurens said calmly, pouring himself a glass.  “I know how privileged I am to have his financial support, and I’ve waived my right to confidentiality.  He sees as much of my transcript as I do.”

“How filial of you.  And how’s Miss Martha doing?  The last I heard, your father was preparing to add her name to your holiday card.  But like I said,” he added as Laurens failed to take a drink from his glass.  “It’s been a while since I received one of those.”

“I’m not sure that is any of your business,” Laurens said, forming each word with great effort, as Hamilton’s always expressive face went from thinly veiled dislike to amusement to “what the fuck, John.”  Laurens didn’t look at him.

“I didn’t mean to touch on a sensitive subject,” Jefferson lied, bending down and picking up a tabby cat.  It settled in contentedly on his lap. “She’s a pretty girl; you two made such a handsome couple.”

“They were dating?”  It was obvious that something was wrong in this conversation, but Lafayette’s attempt to change the subject didn’t go far enough.

“I’m surprised he never mentioned it!”  Jefferson took out his phone.  “Let me see if I’m still friends with Manning on Facebook.  I don't think he ever took down their prom picture.  Like I said, handsome couple.  Did y’all make king and queen as well?  I think I remember seeing a crown in that picture—let me scroll, I’ve got to go real far back on this—Your daddy’s got the picture framed in his office, too, if I recall, a good sized print, right there on his desk.”  He laughed to himself.  “Well, I suppose it’s not up anymore.  Here we go.”  He turned his phone around. 

 Laurens didn’t move but Lafayette and Hamilton both leaned in on either side of him to see.  Jefferson had not been lying, the two of them had made a good couple.  Laurens, younger and carrying more baby fat but clearly recognizable as the same person, was posed with his arms around a girl with a cute round face and sandy blonde hair pinned up in a bun.  One stylized ringlet curled down onto her cheek from under a silver crown.  They were dressed to match, his powder blue suit jacket the same shade as her full satin dress.  

“My memory was correct,” Jefferson commented after the others had stared at the photo for long enough.  “Look at that,” he tapped the screen.  “Y’all were royalty.  Love the baby rose corsage,” he added as he put his phone away.  “Very sweet.”

Lafayette looked at Laurens’ stoney face.  Hamilton chewed his lip for a moment but, for once, was silent and still.

“Did you hear back from the university?”  Adrienne finally asked Jefferson, unlike Lafayette finding a topic farther away from the fight at hand.

“Did he mention that to you?  How kind of you to ask!  Yes, darlin’, I did hear back, and you’ll be happy to hear,” he directed this to Lafayette who looked desperately grateful for conversation that was not about his friends, “that they’ve accepted my request and I’ll be moving full-time into the political science department.  That’s right,” he laughed, “no more bouncing around taking on odd classes between there and that Africa studies, I don’t know who they’ll find to work there, with the lack of funding it’s been getting, but thankfully that’s not my problem.  My published work has always set me up for that position, of course, it was just a matter of waiting for the stars to align.”  He smiled at Laurens and somehow it was even worse that it reached his eyes.  “Like your daddy, I’ve seen your transcripts, too.  I understand that you never finished your senior project, what with that incident on the team and all of that hassle with the paperwork to get your classes in order.  Fortunately now you’ll have someone who already know your name when it comes time to turn that in.”

The cat clock on the wall meowed once and Jefferson checked his watch.

“Is that the time already?  You’ll forgive my eating and rushing, but I have another engagement to attend to.”  He carefully let the cat down before pushing back his chair and standing up, taking on a more genuinely congenial tone.  “Adrienne, it was a pleasure to meet you, a real pleasure.  Lafayette, I look forward to seeing you at George’s again when we’re both back stateside.”  He took her hand in both of his for a moment, then shook Lafayette’s when he got up.  “And it was a delight to see the two of you as well,” he added, leaning over to table to shake hands with them.  Laurens stood up and offered his hand on instinct, although his lips were thin and he didn’t respond.  “Alexander.”

Hamilton stood up, took his hand, shook it, waited until they were making eye contact like that, and then, finally, opened his mouth.  

“Congratulations on the position.  I’m in the department as well.”

“Are you?”  Jefferson drawled.  “Just like John.”

“Yeah, just like John,” Hamilton agreed, “Except I don’t got any overbearing father to keep me from running my fucking mouth off.”

Jefferson looked surprised for a moment, as if he genuinely had not expected anything more than a handshake and a polite farewell, but then he laughed.

“Oh, we will have fun this year, won’t we?”  He released Hamilton’s hand.  “I look forward to seeing all y’all’s final projects.”

Chapter Text

“Uh,” Hamilton said, closing the door to his room (well, his room, and the room that Laurens had been basically living in), “You want to tell me what just happened out there?”

“God damn it,” Laurens said, enunciating each word individually and rubbing his face with his hand.  “That was rough.  You almost got through the whole thing without putting your foot in it.”

“Yeah, rough, sure, that’s one word for it.  So were you ever going to tell me you almost had a shotgun marriage?  We’ve only been friends for, oh, three years now, only been fucking for one.”

“Less than that.”

“Is that really the hill you want to die on?”  Hamilton looked almost more incredulous than angry.  “Seriously, what the fuck, John?  It’s not like I’m some fucking paragon of virginity but we both know that!  It’s right out there in the fucking open. I kind of figured you’d mention shit like that!”

“Why should I?”  John snapped, his voice raising.  “I was a kid, I made a mistake.  And don’t try to take the moral high ground here, no, shut up, I’m not talking about however many people you’ve stuck your dick into.  I know shit about you before we met too, so don’t try to shame me into telling you about a bottle of champagne and a broken condom.”

Laurens had been looking for anger; he hadn’t expected the hurt that flicked briefly in Hamilton’s eyes, like for a moment the wall in front of it cracked.  But it was just a flicker, and just for a moment, and then it was gone.

“Whatever.”  Hamilton turned away, opened his laptop, sat down at the desk.  

Laurens, not sure now what was happening, didn’t say anything.

“I have work to catch up on, John.”

“Alex.”

Hamilton didn’t respond, picking a document off the desktop and then beginning to type. 

Laurens left.

 

The afternoon faded into evening.  Hamilton told Lafayette that, no, he didn't want dinner when he knocked on his door to ask.  He was fine, he was working on something, he couldn’t stop writing, he knew where the kitchen was and would help himself to something later.  Lafayette relented and left him alone because his time in France was fast drawing to a close and if the choice for the evening was to spend it with Adrienne or trying to convince Hamilton to take a break, well, like he said, he knew where the kitchen was.

Hamilton was so absorbed in putting the words onto the page that he didn’t notice the noise until he finally stopped, irritated and not sure what it was that kept breaking his concentration.  Then he heard it again, a little louder than a tap, then a pause just long enough for him to start to get his focus back, then another one.

He sat back from the screen and looked around just as he heard it again, like something was knocking against the window.  

Hamilton gave a frustrated sigh and got up, going to fix the curtain rod so it would stop tapping against the glass, but just as he pulled it to the side a piece of gravel bounced off the windowpane.

He froze in surprise. 

Another one.

Hamilton yanked the curtain all the way open.  There was a brief pause, then a whole handful of gravel clattered against the window.

John!”  He slammed the window open and leaned out.  “What the hell?”

Laurens was standing down below, one hand drawn back like he was about to let loose another barrage.  He dropped his hand and surreptitiously let the rocks fall to the ground.  “…You have my book.”

“You’re a fucking moron.  Why not just use the door like a regular person?”

Laurens looked embarrassed, like he hadn’t really thought this plan through.

“Did you really just grasp at the first cliché you thought of?  Neither of us even live here, what if you had damaged the glass?”

“Hey,” Laurens said defensively, his voice now lowered to a loud whisper.  “Just toss me my damn book and I’ll get out of your hair.”

“Come up and get it yourself.”

The widow and curtains closed.

 

When Laurens knocked on Hamilton’s door he half expected him to open it just wide enough to shove his book at him then slam it in his face.  Instead Hamilton opened it and then stepped back, his laptop closed and the book still where Laurens had left it on the nightstand.

“I should have realized you of all people weren’t going to throw it down,” Laurens said after an awkward pause.

“Ha.  Yeah.”

Laurens looked between the book and the door.  “I think they left your dinner in the fridge.  You should get it.”

“Yeah,” Hamilton repeated.

“Come on.”

Laurens went back out into the hallway and to his relief Hamilton followed him.

“Did you get a lot of work done?”  Laurens asked as they walked to the kitchen.  

Hamilton shrugged.  “I could have kept going if you didn’t break my concentration.”

“I’m surprised I managed that.”

I’m surprised you actually tried to pull some rom-com bs.  Does that mean we’re dating?  Because if we’re not that’s even weirder.”  Hamilton turned on the light in the kitchen and opened the fridge.

“The plate on top.  That’s not what we had, she must have made it special for you.  I don’t know.”

“I yelled at you when you didn’t tell me about your ex—by the way, still kind of pissed you never brought that up, would be even if we weren’t—and you made a grand if poorly-thought-out romanic gesture in order to get me to talk to you again.”  He took out the plate, a piece of plastic cling wrap over a sandwich and a teabag with a note from Lafayette’s grandmother hoping that he felt better.  Hamilton crumpled up the note before Laurens could read it but got a mug and hot water from the spigot.  “Also you told me I couldn’t hit on people even on vacation.  I think we’re dating.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Sound more enthusiastic.”  Hamilton took a bite of his sandwich and added through a mouthful of food, “I’m a fucking catch.”

Laurens laughed, caught somewhere between bemusement and relief.  

“This is good,” Hamilton commented.  “Want some?  I think it’s lamb.”

Laurens shook his head and leaned back on the counter.  “She must have made it with our leftovers.  They like you a lot.”

I like you a lot, so don’t ruin it by telling me that rocks at the window thing is actually South Carolina for ‘sorry I knocked you up, let’s see if there’s a rush deal on marriages down at the local megachurch.’”

“Are we still on this?  Her father had attack dogs and an unlocked gun collection, if I was ever on their property it was in well-lit areas and with his full consent.”

“Sounds like you made a mistake, J.  He was the real catch.”

Laurens sighed, sensing correctly that the quickest way to get Hamilton to let it go was to just give him the information he wanted.

“Her father managed some investments for mine and we went to the same school.  I was friends with her brother, we were both on the team together.  I asked Martha to a school event in my junior year.  By the time prom came around, I, you know, I figured I’d seal the deal.”

Hamilton was still holding the plate but he had stopped eating.

“It was at an afterparty.  A bunch of us rented a couple rooms in a motel just outside the city—we both lied about where we were, of course—and we were drinking, I was drinking… It wasn’t a good year for me.”  Laurens had been making eye contact with Hamilton when he started talking but by now he was looking out the window in the kitchen even though it was impossible to see anything outside.  “When one of the rooms was empty, I broke her away from her friends and we did it.  It wasn’t…  You know?  And then we were back at the party and both of us trying to act like it hadn’t happened.  I don't know what would have happened after that if she hadn’t missed her period, we probably still would have been dating when I left for college.  I didn’t do anything with anyone else.”

Hamilton put the plate down.  “Your dad must have been pissed.”

Laurens laughed, hollowly.  “I didn’t tell him until after I had told her I’d marry her.  If I could have said it in a letter, I would have.  It was kept quiet enough but in the circle our parents ran in, it was known that wedding plans were being made, and without the kind of pomp and expense that you would expect.”  He paused.  “But then she wasn’t pregnant.  I don’t think we ever officially broke up, it was just understood by everyone involved, especially us, that we were no longer together.  That part at least was a relief.”

“I’m sure.”

Laurens ran a hand through his hair.  “There.  Are you satisfied?”

“Of course not.”  Hamilton came over to him and put his hand on his cheek, turning his face down to his and kissing him, long and slow.  “Sorry I’m an ass.”

“I knew what I was getting into.”

“Did you?”  Hamilton wondered, picking up the plate and mug.  “Let’s go back.”

“Isn’t it late for tea?”

“Nah, it’s just a tisane.  There’s no caffeine in here.”  Hamilton stepped to the side and let Laurens get the door for them, going in and putting it all down on the desk.  “Hey.”  He hooked his finger on one of Laurens’ belt loops, playfully pulling him closer and looking up at him with a soft grin.  “I’m glad you stopped kidding yourself, even if you almost set off an honor feud to do it.”

Laurens ducked his head for a moment, embarrassed.

“It made my job a lot easier.”

“What job?  As I remember it, Lafayette did all the work.”

Hamilton laughed, backing them up towards the bed.  “Yeah, all right. I owe him one.”

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you sprained your ankle before the season even started.”  Hamilton was sitting, his own right ankle over his left knee, and his head propped up by his arm on the table, a complete display of bored nonchalance that was ruined when you noticed (as Lafayette did at a glance) how he was tapping his foot on the ground.

“It’s fine.”

“I didn’t say it wasn’t fine, I said I can’t believe it.”

Laurens didn’t respond to that, sitting a little sullenly across from the other two at the table in the dining hall.

“You will be able to play later games, won’t you?”  Lafayette asked.

“Yeah.”  Laurens opened his water bottle and took a drink.  “Alex, calm down, I’ve twisted my ankle before, it’s not a big deal.”

Hamilton stopped tapping his foot, looking defensive.

“It’s a pain in the ass, but that’s it.  Can we not talk about this anymore?”  He got up, putting his weight gingerly on his left foot, the wraps around his ankle hidden under the leg of his jeans and the high top of his shoe, and went to throw away his rubbish from lunch.

“He’s right,” Lafayette commented as they watched him cross the room.  “If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t see it.  I don’t think it bothers him.”

“That’s not it,” Hamilton said irritably as he started bouncing his foot again without realizing it.  Even shit like this, he’s defending himself to his father when he talks to him.  I don’t know if he even notices it, but it’s annoying.”

Lafayette doubted whether “annoying” was the right word, but he didn’t question it.  “I see.”

“Like, I get mentioning it, but the entire conversation it was like he was trying to put just the right spin on it so that he’d come off as the perfect mix of machismo and team player.  It’s like I’m dating a stock photo, except, hold up, we both know I’m not on that checklist of attributes for the perfect son.”

Lafayette waited a moment to see if Hamilton was done complaining.  “Do you know what I think?”

“What?”

“I think it is very weird to hear you talk about dating.”

“You’re the one who hooked us up, mostly!”

“I don’t mean dating John Laurens,” Lafayette clarified.  “I mean dating anyone at all.  I always thought you were more of a one night stand sort of person.  Is that the right term?”

“Yes.  And are you calling me a slut?”

“I never said that.”  Lafayette delicately opened his candy bar.  “Reese’s?”

“You’re going to get fat if you keep trying to eat your way through America.”

“Yeah, you need to save it for when you come down south.”  Laurens sat back down at the table.  “We put butter on everything, it’s great.”

“Is that an invitation?”  Lafayette asked as Hamilton took the candy bar from him.  “I put you both up in France and I’d like to see more of the country.”

Laurens shrugged.  “Sure.  It’s not as interesting as Paris, but you might enjoy spending a few days there.”  He looked over at Hamilton as he finished saying that.  Hamilton glanced away.  “Are you working today?”

“Yeah, I should head over.”

“I’ll come with you.”

“You don’t have to, it’s off your route.”

“I told you, it’s fine.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes exaggeratedly but stopped arguing.

Lafayette was still sitting, staring at Laurens’ ankle and clearly trying to remember something.

“That’s it,” he finally said, getting up as well.  “Don’t you have a cast?”

“What?”

“It’s not a cast.”

“You’re supposed to be wearing a cast?”

“It’s not a cast,” Laurens repeated, “Christ, stop blowing everything out of proportion.  It’s just a brace.”

“And you’re supposed to be wearing it.”

“It gets in the way and I don’t need it,” Laurens argued.  “I told you, I’ve twisted my ankle before and it’s fine.”

“Maybe you wouldn’t have such weak ankles if you actually did what you were supposed to, but whatever, it’s fine.”

“Hm…”  Lafayette tipped his head to the side, his silver hair falling over his shoulder.  “No, I take back what I said before.  Alex, it’s not strange at all.  You’re—”

“Lafayette, so help me if you finish that sentence I am going to put that brace to a better use by beating you over the head with it.”

Lafayette clicked his tongue.  “So touchy.”

 

“It’s a little hypocritical that you would make such a big deal out of it.”  Laurens was lying, naked except for a light sheet, on his back on Hamilton’s mattress.  “That’s all I’m saying.”

Hamilton, not bothering with a sheet, leaned out of his bathroom door, toothbrush in mouth and making a disagreeing noise.

“It is,” Laurens insisted.  “You don’t take the best care of yourself either, Alex.  How many hours of sleep did you get last night?”

Hamilton held up four fingers, then shook his head and ducked into the bathroom.

“Not a good example and not the same,” he said a moment later, going back over to the mattress.  “I would have slept in later but it’s so hot, I had the window open and the friggin’ garbage truck woke me up.”

Laurens looked skeptical.  “On average, then.”

“It’s still not the same,” Hamilton insisted, sitting.

Laurens pulled him down, running his thumb over his high cheekbones and then his fingers through his hair.  “You’re gonna get wrinkles,” he teased, “you’ll turn gray.”

“I’d be a silver fox,” Hamilton replied.  “All the girls’ll be lining up at my door.”

“‘Girls’?”

“Yeah, I banned you after you made fun of my hair.” Hamilton rolled away from Laurens onto his back.  “It’s like a sauna in the city at this time of year.  I’m melting.”

“I thought you’d be used to it.”

“Trade winds.”  Hamilton waved one hand dismissively in the air above his face.  “And not all of this cement for the heat to just bake you in.”

Laurens propped himself up on his elbow, watching Hamilton’s face.

“I bet winter was a surprise.”

“Ha.  Yeah.  I stepped off that plane and—d’you know what, John?  I saw autumn leaves for the first time in my life.  Squirrels.  CVS, for chrissake.  All this shit that I had this image of in my mind because of course I knew about it, I’d seen it everywhere, and that’s the thing, isn’t it?  No one in New York cares if I went to Gore’s of St. Croix, but I’ve got CVS already engrained somewhere in me and it’s beautiful, the flow of power.  Soft power, John, recognize our maps and naturalize our flora and fauna and without even realizing it your center of balance is off.” 

Laurens was quiet and Hamilton tucked his hands behind his head.

“You know what?”

“What?”

“You’re right, four hours isn’t enough.  I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

“That’s not true.”

Hamilton closed his eyes.  Laurens waited for a minute to see if he would say anything else, then lay down once he heard his breathing slow, putting one hand on his shoulder in spite of the heat.

 

“John, what is ‘whipped’?”  Lafayette was sitting on his bed, laptop open in his lap and notebook in front of him.

“You mean…”  Laurens turned at his desk, the action made a little awkward by the brace on his ankle, frowning, and imitated the movement in the space between them.

“I don’t know.”  Lafayette cocked his head to the side.  “I mean in slang.”

“Oh.”  Recognition dawned on him and he nodded.  “It means like, if two people are in a relationship and one of them always does what the other one wants.”

“I see.”  Lafayette leaned forward, writing down the word and its definition in his notebook.  “John, you are whipped.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s true,” Lafayette said, closing his notebook.  “Alex says, ‘take off your shirt,’ you take it off.  Alex says, ‘tell me about your past,’ you tell him.”

“Okay, that first one is not being ‘whipped,’ that’s getting a good thing coming.  And the second one, Lafayette, that’s called good communication.”

“Mm, yes.”  Lafayette looked down at the brace.  “I was wrong, it’s not at all because he makes you feel guilty.”

“Drop it.”  Laurens turned back around in his chair.  “He was right, it’ll heal faster this way.”

“I don’t think it is a bad thing,” Lafayette said, getting up and going over.  “We are just romantics, the two of us.”  He leaned on the desk so Laurens couldn’t ignore him.  “Alexander is too,” he added, “but in a different way from you.  Although you may be new at this—” Laurens pointedly looked away, “—you are more secure somehow.  I don’t know, I think that you might just be more comfortable with yourself as a person.  Alex is too insecure and he needs the reassurance, in spite of what he might say.  Do you know what I think?”

“I think I’m coming to really hate that you’re in that pop psychology class.”

“I think that Alex is putting himself out on a limb by agreeing to be with just you and he wants to see you do the same in return.”

“I am doing—”

“He wants to see it,” Lafayette persisted, cutting him off.  He waited until Laurens didn’t look like he was about to protest anymore, then continued.  “Like with the brace.  Wasn’t he happy to see you put it on when he asked?”

“No clue.”  Laurens looked back at his laptop.  “I showed up at the gym without it and coach bitched me out until I agreed to put his spare one on.”

Lafayette straightened up in a huff and went back to his bed.  “I take back everything I said.  You two are both horrible at this and perfect for each other.”

Chapter Text

“You got me something for my birthday?”  Lafayette sounded genuinely surprised and touched.  “You didn’t have to meet me before work, Alex.”

“No, I know, but you have class all day after this and I wanted to make sure I could give it to you.”  Hamilton shifted his heavy bag on his shoulder as it started to slide down.  “I didn’t get the chance to wrap it, but I put a lot of work into it.  I want you to know that you mean a lot to me.  This time last year I barely knew you and we didn’t mark the occasion and besides, you only turn twenty once.”  He pulled his bag up again.  “Right, that’s enough of that.  Let me give this to you as a sign of how much our friendship means to me.”

Hamiton lifted the flap of his bag and as Lafayette watched with anticipation he took out a large white porcelain cat with a gaudy violet bow tied around its neck.  Lafayette had reached out to take it automatically but Hamilton still had to put it in his hands.

“Is this…?”

“You’re welcome.  It took me ages to find that bow.  And by ages I mean I went on Ebay and did a search for ‘tacky af ribbon.’  I like this one, though, it matches your hair, although I glued it on so you can’t borrow it.  I splurged the extra two dollars to get this one instead of the cheaper Christmas print one, so I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t get lost.  Anyway,” Hamilton glanced up at the clock on the hall.  “I’ve gotta get to the office.”

Lafayette looked between Hamilton and the door to his class.  “You can’t leave me with this!  I don’t have time to go back to the dorm until five!”

“Hey, me too, talk about full schedules.  I’ll see you later,” Hamilton laughed as he waved and quickly vanished into the crowd of students coming out of the classrooms into the hallway.

Lafayette could see people looking at him curiously and he set his jaw and tucked the cat under his arm.  “Perhaps ‘as a friend’ I should make sure that Alex has a very joyeux Noël.”

 

> A. Hamilton: free sat?

> A. Hamilton: 7ish

> J. Laurens: Are you asking me out?

> A. Hamilton: nah

> A. Hamilton: well, maybe.

> A. Hamilton: house party

> A. Hamilton: Does that count?

> A. Hamilton: i’ll go dutch on beer with you

> J. Laurens: Since when do you go to parties?

> A. Hamilton: uh since always literally i have been at the same party as you before and also I know the guy and told him I’d show up and bring something, so are we doing dutch or nah?

> J. Laurens: I’ll pick it up

> A. Hamilton: score!

 

“Brazilian.”

“Eugh, no.”

“Seriously?  That shit’s hot.”

Laurens paused in his doorway, looking with confusion and suspicion at Hamilton and Lafayette sitting on the latter’s bed, hunched over something.  “Do I want to know or should I come back later?”

Hamilton glanced up over his shoulder at him.  “Be the tie breaker, John.  Is waxing hot?”

Laurens made a face at him and dropped his bag by his desk.  

“Come on,” Hamilton pleaded, “pretend for a second that you’re into that.”

“Why are we talking about this?”

“Lafayette got someone’s Cosmo in his mail by mistake.”

Lafayette held up the magazine, open to a page of stylized diagrams.

“We were having fun with it.  Sorry, turns out that I prioritize career over relationships, but your September horoscope is good.”

“I think it’s better to go au natural,” Lafayette said.  “It is more liberated that way.  No one wants to sleep with someone who looks like a child.”

“What kind of prepubescent pubes do you think grow into the shape of a landing strip?”  Hamilton argued.  “That kind of commitment says DTF and argues for some serious practice time put in.  Trust me.”

“What do you think, John?”  Lafayette asked in a cajoling voice.  “I’m right, aren't I?”

Laurens sat on his own bed.  “I’m going to have to go with Lafayette on this.  Don’t look so put out, Alex, it’s not like you wax.  Or even trim, for that matter.”

“You both suck,” Hamilton said without any bite, distracted by the magazine again.  “Whatever, more for me.”

Laurens raised a brow and Lafayette shrugged at him.  

Hamilton, not looking up or paying attention, turned the page.  “I swear, this thing is like three fourths ads.  Screw political science, my other major should be in communications.”

“You have to admit that putting it into shapes is strange,” Lafayette pressed the point.  “You say you like something simpler, but what about the heart or star?”

“I slept with a girl who had hers in a heart once,” Hamilton said.  “I mean, that’s not why, obviously, it’s not like that was the selling point, but it was a neat surprise.”

Lafayette clicked his tongue.  

“Get the stick out of your ass.  So I’ve been with more than one person.”

“So have I,” Lafayette protested.

“Adrienne, and your hand doesn’t count as your number two.”

Lafayette scowled.  “I’ve been with three girls, thank you.”

“Right.”  Hamilton briefly looked up at Laurens with a grin, not quite registering that he was the only one who was really enjoying this conversation.  “What’s the rule?  Divide that by three, you’re back to one, Lafayette.  Let’s do it this way: you’ve got one, so you get one vote.  John, all right, I know you’re not lying, so you get two.  Sorry boys,” he got up and handed the magazine back to Lafayette dramatically.  “I’ve got eighteen and I’m going to class.”

“Does that bother you?”  Lafayette asked once Hamilton had left.  “I’ll tell him to cut it out if he does.”

Laurens was digging through his bag and didn’t look up to answer.  “Of course it does, but it was supposed to.  He was being an asshole and looking for a reaction.  From both of us, that is, trust me, if he had been aiming that at me he wouldn’t have said it in front of you and he would have waited for a response.  Remind me to grab a couple of six packs after class,” he continued, taking out the book he had been looking for.  “Are you coming this weekend?”

“Yes, of course.  I’ll help you make sure our Alex doesn’t get closer to twenty.”

Laurens shrugged.  “I trust him.  He didn’t try anything in France, and I wasn’t even on the same continent.”

“Yes,” Lafayette agreed carefully, deciding that in this case discretion was the better part of friendship as well as valor.  “Nothing happened.”

“You see?  It doesn’t matter how much he runs off at the mouth.  Between you and me,” he added, “I wonder if we shouldn’t be taking that ‘eighteen’ as the number to be divided, not the final sum.” 

Chapter Text

The party itself was being held in an apartment in the Heights.  It was split between three guys, two of them only a year or two older and then Hamilton’s friend Hercules Mulligan.  Mulligan’s younger brother was one of the other two in the apartment and Mulligan himself was about a decade their senior and worked at JFK although he sometimes managed to get himself sent to London on business.  Hamilton had met him in his first semester in New York City, had actually gotten him to show him around and the ropes—how to get a fake ID, which bars wouldn't check it too carefully—and he’d helped him when his suitcase of books showed up but his suitcase of clothes did not.  He was a sort of mother hen, if chickens laid mixers and scolded you for not remembering to bring your coat.

The apartment was pleasantly full, not overcrowded, when they arrived, with drinks and food set on a table pushed up against the wall and music playing off someone’s computer.

“Hamilton!”  Mulligan draped an arm over Hamilton’s shoulders as he entered with Laurens and Lafayette, leading him in.  “It’s been too long!”

“You were off in England for ages this time,” Hamilton pointed out.  “Is this mine?”

“It’s yours now,” Mulligan said, handing him the closed can in his hand and stepping away.  “And you brought people, great!”

“Lafayette,” Hamilton said, gesturing back at them, “and John Laurens.  Lafayette transferred here from France.”

Bonsoir,” Mulligan said, poorly, and then to Laurens, “Hey, thanks.  You can put the drinks down wherever there’s room.”

Laurens put them on the table and poured himself a drink from one of the tall pitchers.  Hamilton and Lafayette were both at the other end of the room by the time he got back, talking animatedly to a mixed group sitting on the couch.  He took the moment to look around the apartment.  It was very clearly lived in by several young men, from the “SONS OF THE REVOLUTION” scrawled above the door to the generally scuffed up furniture (somehow there was a shoe print on the arm of the sofa that Hamilton was leaning on).  Oddly enough there was also a sewing machine stuck under the table.

“From my old job,” Mulligan explained, coming back over to Laurens as he mingled.  “It’s a useful skill to have.”

“That’s true,” he agreed. 

“Laurens,” Mulligan said his name out loud to himself.  “Hamilton said something about you… You’re his roommate?”

“Uh, no.”  Laurens shook his head.  “He’s got his own place, I’m in the dorms with Lafayette.”

“Ah, maybe that was it.”

Laurens wondered if that really had been it, but Mulligan was still talking.

“He’s a good kid, have you known him long?  Me, I met him right when he got here.  He told you about his shirts, right?”  Mulligan laughed, loudly but not unpleasantly.  “Damn, literally shows up with thirty-four books and the clothes on his back.  I thought to myself, this kid’s the biggest Goddamn nerd I’ve seen in my life.  What a nerd,” he repeated with clear affection.  “He’s smart as a whip, isn’t he?”

Laurens cracked a smile.  “Yeah.  His spelling is only okay, though.”

Mulligan laughed again.  “So what’s your deal?”  Once again Laurens tensed a little, only to relax when Mulligan clarified, “You graduating soon or what?”

“Fifth year senior.  I’m on the football team,” Laurens explained, taking a long drink.  “But I’ll be applying to law school after this.”

“Shit, if I had a kid looking at that, no way I’d let him get tossed around on the field.  You sure you don’t want to switch to something a little lighter weight?  Basketball?  Volleyball?  You got the height for it.”

“Nah, I’m a lost cause.” He took another drink.  “This is excellent, by the way.”

“Thanks, man.  You like whiskey?  That’s the Scotch-and-Irish, I got them both when I was overseas.”  He motioned him back over to the table, picking up the bottles and handing him the Scotch to admire.  “What are you, defense?”

“Runningback,” Laurens answered automatically as he examined the bottle then put it back on the table.  “I’m hoping we make it to championships again this year.”

“Your last shot, sure.”  Mulligan was opening a bottle of Kahlùa.  “You like Irish Car Bombs?”

“Yeah.”

“Great.  Shit, remind me to tell you after about the first night I took Hamilton out on the town.  We fucking ended up down at the harbor and that idiot—”

There was a roar of laughter from the other end of the room and Laurens looked up and through the people could see Hamilton on the couch with his arm over the backrest behind a pretty girl with dark eyes, leaning just a little too far into her and talking animately about something on his phone.

“—fucking stolen cannon.  Jesus Christ and bottoms up!”

Laurens snapped back to the conversation just in time to see Mulligan drop the two shot glasses into the larger cups and he grabbed his, drinking it quickly before it curdled.

“Shit,” he swore as he put it down.  “Thanks.  Hey, can I ask you something?  It’s a long story,” he said as he watched Hamilton put his hand on her thigh.  “It’s a long… Anyway, we were fucking around the other day and I’ve got a bet going—”  She took his hand off playfully and he laughed and put it back.  “—with Lafayette.  Do you know about how many people Hamilton’s slept with?  Six?”

Mulligan laughed, for too long, Laurens thought.  “Yeah, maybe when he was fuckin’ fifteen!  I told you that you needed to hear the full story of the first time we went out on the town.  I thought he was just some scrawny little nerd and I was gonna show him the ropes, you know, teach him how to doggy paddle before he tries to go off on his own and jump in the deep end, but that jackass ditched me in the first bar we hit up!  He’s a Goddamn tom cat!”

Laurens watched as Hamilton played with the girl’s hair.

“He even had the balls to bring some girl, Kitty, I think, back when he was crashing here.  I found that out later,” Mulligan said, leaning in but obviously not caring if anyone else overheard, “when I brought her back here myself and she’d already seen my bed.”

“Right,” Laurens said calmly.  “I’ll tell Lafayette I owe him ten dollars.  Excuse me, I just remembered that I need to make a call.”  He ducked out of the party and then, a minute later, Hamilton untangled himself from the crowd and followed.

“What’s going on?”

“I don’t want to make a scene and I know you’re enjoying yourself, but would you mind not hitting on the entire room?”

Hamilton tipped his head to the side for just a moment, confused, then his eyes widened.  “Oh my God, you’re jealous!”

“I’m not jealous.”

“You’re so jealous!”  Hamilton was obviously resisting the urge to either pull out his phone or go back inside to find Lafayette in person.

“I’m not,” Laurens repeated, a little louder, frustrated.

“How about this,” Hamilton said with a smug grin, leaning in close and drawing one hand up Laurens’ side.  “We’ll go back in there and I’ll make sure the entire room knows I’m off limits.”

A burst of laughter could be heard from under the door, and someone knocking up against the wall.

Laurens pushed Hamilton’s hand away and took a half step back.  “Don’t.”

Hamilton slowly lowered his hand, his eyes narrowing slightly.  “Right.  I see how it is.”

“Alex—”

“Go fuck yourself, John.”  

And then Hamilton was back inside and Laurens could hear, or at least imagined that he could hear, him asking what he missed while he was gone.

 

It was some time after two when Hamilton and Lafayette left Mulligan’s, Lafayette giving him a drunken hug and kiss on each cheek to say goodbye.  Hamilton was laughing as he bumped fists with Mulligan and let Lafayette sling an arm over his shoulders, both of them still talking animatedly as they headed down the stairs.

“No, no way,” Hamilton said as he took the phone from Lafayette’s hand and put it in his pocket.  “You’ll thank me later, believe me.”

“But it’s such a long walk back and I’ll miss her between now and then,” Lafayette protested, slipping back into French and missing the last step.

“I’m saying this,” Hamilton started to crack up again and switched languages to match, “I’m saying this as a friend.  You trust me, don’t you?”

Lafayette grabbed his shirt collar, suddenly serious.  “I trust you with my life, Alexander Hamilton.”

“Good, good…” Hamilton patted his hand and gently detached it.  “Please tell me if you’re gonna hurl.”

It wasn’t until he had Lafayette pointed the right way again that he saw the figure sitting on the floor by the door, and it wasn’t until several seconds after that that what he was seeing filtered through the fog of alcohol and he realized it was Laurens.

“What the fuck,” he started as Laurens yawned and stood up.  “John, seriously, what the fuck?”

“Let me help you with that,” Laurens said, coming over and switching Lafayette’s arm off of Hamilton’s to his own shoulders.  They were significantly closer in height and even with the ankle brace Laurens had an easier time directing him out the door and into the street.  “Warm night.  He’s okay, right?  Better or worse than the Louis-Cab Incident?”

The shock of seeing him there all of a sudden had cleared Hamilton’s head for the moment at least and he fell into step on Laurens’ free side.

“Not worse.  He was fine until a little while ago.  I took his phone.”

“Yeah, good idea.  We can use it to call China.”

“John.”

“Yeah.”

“Seriously.”

“I didn’t feel right about leaving you guys.  I know, I know, you can take care of yourself, it’s not a long walk to the subway, you’re familiar with the area.  This guy’s dead weight, though.”

Hamilton didn’t say anything at first and Laurens didn’t continue.

As they waited for the crossing light to change Hamilton spoke up.  

“I wasn’t going to take her home with me.”

“I know.”

“I wasn’t even going to kiss her.”

“I know.”

“Do you really?”  Hamilton looked up at him, skeptical.  “Then what’s the problem?  Because it sounds to me like you don’t trust me to keep my word and that’s bullshit, John.”

“I know,” Laurens repeated once more.  The light changed and they started to walk again.  “I didn’t want you to, I don’t know, be draped on me like Lafayette is now—”

“I’d be a hell of a lot sexier than that.”

“—but I don’t like seeing you act like that with other people, either.  I mean, what am I supposed to do?  Just stand there and let you emasculate me?”

“I’m not emasculating you, John.”

“Or pick a fight?  Defend some kind of territory?  I don’t know, Alex.  And I kept thinking about it while I was waiting downstairs and I don't know.  What do you want?  What reaction are you looking for?  I can’t say that I’ll give it, but I’d at least like some kind of idea about what the rules are.”

“Okay, first of all, not doing it for you.  I like people.  I like talking to people.  Secondly, John, why are you asking me about rules?  I guess you weren’t listening, so I’ll say it louder, this is uncharted territory for me.  Twofold: I’ve never done anything with a guy before—” Hamilton saw that Laurens was about to say that the same went for him, and he made a shushing gesture.  “—and unlike you, I’ve never been in an actual relationship before, either.  I know, you say that didn’t really count, but a year’s gotta give you some kind of practice, even if it’s just a shitty dress rehearsal.  I mean, like, this.”  He gestured between them, dodged a street pole, and then came to a stop.  “Do I gotta change my Facebook status, or what?  I know shit, J.”

The corner of Laurens’ mouth quirked up at the corner and he ducked his head, kissing Hamilton slowly.  

“I’m not worried.  You’re a fast learner.”

“Yeah, you're only so-so,” Hamilton teased, after a pause that went on a little too long for the joke to not be awkward.

“At least I didn’t think to come to New York with a bunch of books and no spare clothes.”

“Shit, he told you that?  That wasn’t my fault, my suitcase got lost!”

“Uh huh, sure.  I don’t know, it sounds an awful lot like you to prioritize like that.”

“So if you don’t get jealous, why’d you come to France?”

Laurens turned red, embarrassed that Hamilton, even drunk, even weeks after the fact, even in the middle of a different Goddamn conversation had made the connection anyway and recognized it as his trump card.  “Get Lafayette’s metro card out of his pocket,” he muttered as they headed down into the station, his lack of response giving Hamilton just the answer he wanted.

Through sheer luck the line they needed pulled in a minute after they got through the gates and the car they got into was mostly empty.  Laurens sat with Lafayette and Hamilton held onto a pole, opting to stand even though there was plenty of space.

“Come over later.”

“What?”  Laurens resisted the urge to look down the car to see if anyone was paying attention

“He’ll be fine, just drop him off and then we can go back to my place.”

“Alexander—”  Laurens looked suddenly down at Lafayette.

“What?”

“He’s talking—it’s so fast he’s basically rapping.”  Laurens leaned down a little, trying to listen over the noise.  “It’s… I can’t tell if he’s actually freestyling or not.  He’s good,” he added, surprised.  “Get a video of this, he’s really fast.”

“I’ll send it to Louis and Adrienne,” Hamilton said, crouching down with one hand still on the pole so he could shove the phone in Lafayette’s face.  “Do you think he’ll kill me even if they like it?”

“Maybe, but do it anyway.”

Obviously.” 

Hamilton sat down on the floor of the car as they rattled along, legs bent in front of him and using his knee to support his hand as he filmed.

“You’re drunk too,” Laurens commented once Hamilton had finished shooting and let the screen tip down.

“Nah.”

“The floor’s filthy, Alex.”

“So?”  Hamilton leaned back against the pole, letting his eyes close.  

“You’re going to get your clothes dirty.”

“Yeah…?”  The rocking of the car and the relative calm now that they weren’t walking or arguing was making him tired, making his head foggier again without his really realizing it.  “Doesn’t matter.  I’m just going to take them all off anyway.  Make you take them off for me.”

“How did I get stuck as d.d.?” Laurens complained.  “I’m even the oldest!”

“Yeah, but it was my party and Lafayette’s French.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

Hamilton shrugged and opened his eyes as the car came to a stop.  “This is it.”  Laurens turned, looking out the window behind him.  “You don’t need to check, I was counting.”  Hamilton put his phone away and got up. 

Laurens shook his head, impressed in spite of himself.

 

Hamilton was taking his shirt off before Laurens had even closed the door to his studio behind him, dropping it to the floor and kissing him hungrily, his hands on the side of his face and his weight leaning into him.

Laurens put his hands on Hamilton’s waist, felt him shiver at the contact, felt the sudden need build within himself and he bit at Hamilton’s lip, pressing his tongue into his mouth, and was rewarded with a low uncensored groan.  He turned them, pinning Hamilton up against the door and pressed his hips against his for a moment, feeling Hamilton already getting hard.  He undid his fly and slipped his hand in, rubbing him a little roughly and Hamilton tipped his hips forward, tightening one hand in Laurens’ shirt and then with a tug indicating that he should take it off.  Laurens did so, taking his hand away and breaking the kiss only for a moment as he yanked it over his head, then resumed, feeling a rush from holding Hamilton a willing captive and from how he could hear his breathing quicken.

Laurens put his free arm up to lean over him and get a better angle with his hand and Hamilton moaned into the kiss.

Laurens responded by nipping again at his bottom lip and growling low in his throat.  

Hamilton made a soft, needy noise, running his hand repeatedly over Laurens’ cheek—rough by this early hour, he’d have to shave in the morning—and back through his hair.  “J.,” he repeated in a murmur, his lips brushing over Laurens’.  “Please.”

The world seemed to turn upside down for a moment when Laurens stepped away and Hamilton had to brace himself against the door until he caught his breath.  By that point Laurens was coming back out of the bathroom and tugging down his pants.  Hamilton beat him to it, undressing quickly, his cock hard and red, and kissed him again as he pulled him down onto the futon.  Laurens bucked his hips, just a little, as they hit the mattress and Hamilton’s shaft rubbed over his leg.  

Hamilton put his hand on his shoulder and pushed him, rolling him over onto his back and straddling his waist, looking down for a moment at Laurens—thick chest, broad shoulders, strong jaw, aquiline nose—and then leaned down and pressed their mouths together again, one of his hands intwining with Laurens’ next to his head.  Laurens brought his other hand up over Hamilton’s bare back, tangling it in his long hair and keeping him down until Hamilton finally pulled back an inch.

“You got the lube?”  He laughed just a little as Laurens tried to tug him back down.  “Put it on yourself.”

Laurens fumbled one handed and blind to open the bottle until Hamilton took pity on him and released his hand and bit at his neck, harder as Laurens turned his head to see what he was doing and exposed more skin.  Hamilton’s mouth was still against his throat as Laurens put his hand on his shaft and Hamilton felt him moan more than he heard it.

“Don’t get too carried away.”

Hamilton sat up, lifting off of Laurens a little and noting with a pleased glance the red mark on his neck.

Laurens, a little frustrated, put his hand between Hamilton’s legs and then, when he leaned into it and let his eyes close, slid one finger inside him, then another.  Hamilton clenched one fist against Laurens’ chest, arching his back, as he moved slowly in and out.

“Wait,” Hamilton commanded after a minute and Laurens took his hand away.  He expected him to get off of him and he was already starting to lift himself up onto his elbows but then he sunk down, his head falling back, as Hamilton lowered himself onto him.  For a second the rush of excitement and arousal was so strong that he thought he might tip over the edge already, but then he regained control, his heart pounding but not sending any blood to his head.  “God, Alexander,” he found himself saying without meaning to.  “Alexan—”  His voice broke and the words turned into a loud moan as Hamilton rose up and moved back down on him.  Laurens put his hands on his thighs, helping him rise and fall and his hips jerked as Hamilton took his cock, drawing the movement out so slowly that he would have complained about it if Laurens had tried to set that pace like that normally.  Laurens heard a short whimper and wasn’t sure if Hamilton had made it or if he had, but then Hamilton gave just the breath of a laugh and if he had any blood to spare it would have gone to his cheeks. 

Laurens thought it was a bead of sweat that had fallen onto his chest but realized his mistake when he wrapped his hand around Hamilton’s cock and found it slippery with a trail of precum.  He moved his hand over him, urging him on to a faster speed, raising himself off of the mattress to push as far into him as possible.  He thrust again, feeling his orgasm start to wash over him, and came, almost shouting his name and clutching at his leg.

Hamilton wrapped his own hand around his shaft, unable to hold back any longer, and with a few quick movements came onto Laurens’ chest and neck, then moved forward to straddle his waist again, tipping Laurens’ face to him with one hand and kissing him hard.  There was a drop of salt against his lips and when he pulled away he flicked his tongue over it, both of them panting and flushed. 

“I didn’t realize you’d like that so much.”  Hamilton kissed him again, playfully, then rolled off and onto his stomach, lying against the wall and folding his arms under his pillow.  He watched Laurens get up and touch his mouth and then his collar.

“Shit,” he muttered as he drew his hand away, wet and sticky.

“Go wash up,” Hamilton said with a yawn, taking his contacts out and discarding them gracelessly onto the floor before tucking his head down and closing his eyes, the alcohol hitting him again and pulling him down hard into sleep.  He was dimly aware of the light going on in the bathroom and Laurens turning on the shower.  He came to when Laurens lay back down beside him.

“I used your towel,” Laurens said.

“Mm.”

“You asleep?”

“Yes.”  Hamilton turned onto his side, facing him.

Laurens shifted closer and draped his arm over him, sliding his fingers into his hair, loose and tangled.  “Good night.”

Chapter Text

It was early afternoon by the time Hamilton, disoriented, opened his eyes.  

For a moment he thought he was back in the Caribbean, lying in bed in the room he had shared after he had moved in with his landlord’s family, the summer heat cut by the cross breeze through the house.  But the air wasn’t soft enough and there wasn’t that faint indescribable scent—something like plant matter and cooking food and pure salt water—and after another moment he recognized the whirr of a fan.  

He sat up, the room still more or less a blur, and got his glasses and a pair of sweatpants from the bathroom and the floor.

He was alone.

Why was there a fan?  He didn't own a fan.

His attention was caught by a note on his desk, written in Laurens’ handwriting.

 

Alex,

I took your keys when I went out, sorry.  There’s a sandwich on the desk for when you wake up.  Don’t lock yourself out, I’ll be back around 2.

J.

Lafayette sends his regards.

 

Hamilton looked between the letter and the plastic bag he now noticed next to it.  His stomach growled in anticipation and he opened it, taking out a store-bought turkey sandwich.  He sat back down on his mattress to eat it while he read.  He had to admit that the fan was a nice touch; he probably would have woken up long before without it, either from the noise of the street or the heat with the window closed.

He had only just finished when he heard his key turn in the lock and looked up to see Laurens come in.

“When did you get up?”

“Not long ago. Maybe thirty minutes.”

Laurens put Hamilton’s keys on the desk.  “You know you slept about ten hours?  I was starting to worry.  You were right, by the way.  It gets sweltering in here with the window closed once the sun starts coming in.  I can’t believe I never noticed before.”

“It’s not bad in spring.  Besides, you always left early.”

“Yeah.  It’s Sunday, though.”

“Don’t tell me you went to church.”

“Just the nearest department store.  I’m not staying over if you don’t at least have a fan.”

“You’re a practical sugar daddy.  I like it.”

“Seriously, Alex, how did you survive here for three years without one?”

“I didn’t move in until it was already cooling off.  And I did have one,” Hamilton added, “but it crapped out and I tossed it.”

Laurens was going to ask why he hadn’t bought another, but Hamilton’s laptop and smart phone were sitting on the desk, a nice if well-worn leather jacket was hanging on the back of the chair, and he figured he already knew the answer.

“You’re so vain,” he said, sitting next to him.

“Because I didn’t buy a fan?”

“Because you knew no one was going to see it.”

“You noticed.”

“It took me three years to find out you wear glasses, too, and I’m pretty sure that was a mistake.”

Hamilton, still shirtless and in sweats (unwashed, hair down and uncombed—his mind continued to add descriptors), took off his glasses.  “Teach me to sleep in,” he muttered as he got up.

“Hey, come on,” Laurens grabbed his wrist and pulled him down just enough to kiss him.  “You’re the one who said we’re dating.  I get to see you before you put your face on.”

“You’ve got something on your neck,” Hamilton said lightly over his shoulder as he stood up and went into the bathroom.  

Laurens put his hand over the mark on his neck, turning red, and chased after him.  “I thought this collar was high enough!”  He tugged it down and twisted to look at himself in the mirror over the sink as Hamilton stripped and hopped in the shower.  “Dammit, Alex!”

“Who’s vain now?”  Hamilton asked over the sound of running water.  “Were you going around with it popped all day?  You look like a tool.”

Laurens turned on the sink as if he could wash the dark purple hickey off and Hamilton yelped.

“Hey!”

“—Sorry.”  Laurens turned off the water again and Hamilton yanked the curtain aside, letting out a billowing cloud of steam, and leaned out of the shower stall, his hair in his eyes and glaring.

“You wanna make that up to me?”

Laurens stared, forcing with what felt like actual physical exertion to pull his eyes up from his bare chest to his face.  “Are you serious?”

Hamilton was grinning now—Laurens realized for the first time how his canines were just low-set enough that when he smirked like that with his teeth showing he looked almost feral—and pushed his hair back out of his face.

It took him a moment to realize he was still just staring, not saying anything, feeling his jeans start to get uncomfortably tight.

Hamilton looked down slowly, pointedly, at him and then pulled the curtain closed.  It was only a few seconds before Laurens was stepping into the shower after him.  Hamilton was going to make a crack about how quickly he undressed but it died in his throat when he turned around and saw him just a couple of inches from him and his eyes dark with hunger.

Laurens kissed Hamilton slowly, water running down his face and into Hamilton’s mouth as they separated, Hamilton stepping back and up against the wall, behind the spray that soaked Laurens’ hair and then hit his shoulder as he leaned down and slid his tongue into Hamilton’s mouth again.  Laurens ran his hands over his slender body, feeling the tight muscle just beneath the surface, his skin made softer and more slippery than usual with soap and water.  He felt Hamilton’s cock, hot as it pressed into his thigh, and he bit at his tongue as Hamilton pushed it past his teeth.

Hamilton groaned—Laurens had learned by now that he was always incapable of keeping quiet—and shifted so he was leaning back against the corner of the two walls where he could better brace himself.  Laurens frowned against his mouth, made an uncomfortable noise, stepped back.

“Your shower’s too small for this.  I’m going to hit my head.”

Hamilton’s heart was beating in his throat, the heat of the water speeding it up and making his head spin a little and cloud with desire when Laurens pulled away.  “So duck,” he said inarticulately, the two words threatening to jumble together.

“Turn around.  Get under the shower head.”

Hamilton mutely did as he was told, spreading his legs a little and leaning heavily against the wall, his forearms pressed against the slick tile and his head ducked between them.

Laurens bent down behind him and Hamilton whined a little in anticipation as he placed one hand on the wall next to his arm.  He wrapped his other hand around Hamilton’s shaft, pumping it slowly and running his thumb over his head until he was rewarded with a sudden slight warmth and a low needy moan.

Laurens bit Hamilton hard where his shoulder curved up to meet his neck and traced his fingers over his mouth, pressing his cock harder against his thighs as Hamilton licked and sucked at them, tasting his own precum and flushing at how much he liked it.  He slid his cock between Hamilton’s legs, ducking down a little further until he found the angle he was looking for, and pressing his forehead between Hamilton’s shoulder blades.  The fit was tight but wet from the running shower and he thrust slowly at first, then faster.

Hamilton was breathing in short pants, his arms starting to shake as he leaned his weight forward and he felt lightheaded from the steam and the overwhelming desire for contact.  Laurens’ hand was still by his mouth and he bit lightly at one of his fingers to get his attention but Laurens just took it away and tugged at his hair as if chiding him before gripping his shoulder tightly.  Hamilton wanted to touch himself at least, to put his own hand on his shaft and pretend it was Laurens’ but his knees buckled for a moment at the thought and he was afraid he’d fall to them if he wasn’t supporting himself against the wall.  He was rocking his hips, desperate for Laurens to rub up against him, even accidentally, or to suddenly slam into him.  Pain seemed preferable to this taunting and he was whimpering, each gasp ending in a small desperate cry, and Laurens’ name was tumbling off of his lips mixed in with obscenities and praise.

Laurens dug his nails in harder on Hamilton’s shoulder, kissing his back, and came as he thrust again, shoving Hamilton forward and up against the wall.  He held him there and Hamilton pressed his legs together while Laurens breathed heavily against him.

The hot water ran over them and after a solid minute Laurens slowly drew out and straightened up, moved his hand from the wall and draped that arm over Hamilton’s shoulder, moved his face up to press against the small of his neck, and only then brought his other hand down to Hamilton’s cock.

Hamilton bit his lower lip, trapped between Laurens and the wall, his legs shaking uncontrollably by this point, especially once Laurens had him in hand.  Laurens was almost nuzzling his jaw, lazily kissing the start of his collar, and his hand was moving over him slowly and so much at odds with what Hamilton was craving.  He pressed his hips into him, trying to fuck his hand, but didn’t have the space he needed to move.  He felt Laurens bite and suck at his neck, but as if in a dream as the world spun headily around him.  He felt his lips move, but there was a ringing in his ears loud enough to drown out whatever it was that he was saying, if it was even comprehensible (which some very dim distant voice in the back of his mind doubted), and then suddenly his own orgasm was rushing hot through his body and he felt his legs finally give way.

 

“Fuck— Fuck!

Everything was white.

Then there was a darkness around the edges of his vision and dim spots and shadows that coalesced into shapes that turned into Laurens, leaning over him.

“Alex?”

Hamilton was surprised to hear the note of panic in his voice but it felt too much like he was swimming through cotton to respond.  He raised his hand just an inch out of a shallow pool of water and then another question dawned on him, why was he lying (well, mostly, his back was pressed up against a wall) on the wet ground—wait a minute, his brain was starting to catch up with the situation, now it was more like swimming through actual water—why was he lying on the ground at all?

Maybe it was apparent looking at him that he was starting to process things again because Laurens leaned back (okay, a third question, judging by the curtain why had Laurens been crouched just outside on the bathroom floor, which led to the logical fourth, why was he lying in the shower stall), pressing his hand to his mouth.

“‘m okay.” Hamilton said, the words fuzzy around the edges but understandable.  “I’m okay.  John?”  He pushed himself up and to his surprise saw that Laurens was laughing.

“You fucking fainted,” Laurens said, sounding incredulous as he sat back on his heels, taking his hand away from his face.  “I can’t believe it.”

“I got overheated,” Hamilton protested, feeling his face turn bright red.  

Laurens stood up, shaking his head and grinning.  He wiped himself down quickly with Hamilton’s towel then offered it to him.

Hamilton stood up, bracing himself with one hand against the wall and took it, drying off his hair and face.  When he lowered it he saw that Laurens was watching him and he narrowed his eyes, suspecting that it was because he thought he might need his help and his pride had already been duly pricked.

“What?”

“You’re looking at me.”

“Sorry.”  Laurens bit his lip, trying and failing to hide his grin.

Hamilton rolled his eyes and glanced in the mirror, then hit Laurens with the towel.  “You asshole!”  There was a massive hickey on his neck, a solid two inches in diameter, stretching all the way up to just under his jaw.

Laurens sounded just a little too pleased with himself.  “Now we’re even.”

 

Lafayette was enjoying having the room all to himself.  Laurens had come in briefly to check on him and he had appreciated the gesture and appreciated even more the burger and coffee he had brought with him.  He was feeling mostly alive again, if embarrassed and desperately hoping he hadn’t done anything too memorable, and after quickly checking to make sure he hadn’t made any calls or sent any messages, he contacted Adrienne.

She picked up the video call and he lay dramatically down on his bed, holding her above him, hoping his melodramatic display would hide the very real headache he still felt.

“Adrienne,” he complained in French, “I miss you so much.  John and Alex are off fucking and I’m all by myself.”

“Oh no,” she said, correctly sensing that he was setting up for something and going to lock her bedroom door.  “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“I want to hear your voice,” he said, putting one hand over the crotch of his pants and rubbing himself slowly.  “Tell me about your day.”

Lafayette watched Adrienne as she began to talk, slowly and with full knowledge of what he was doing even though he pretended to hide it, pretended that it was a secret he had to keep from her.  She deliberately asked him questions and feigned to be innocently put out if his answers weren’t elaborate enough.  Lafayette for his part was good at this game and she only once or twice had to accuse him of not paying attention as he worked his cock until it was hard and he had to concentrate to keep his body still and not move his hips into his hand.

As she moved on to telling him about the weather they had been having (rainy and no fun) he arched his back just a little and pretended he was stretching so that he could shimmy his pants down onto his thighs.  He put his hand back, still not touching himself directly but keeping a thin barrier of fabric between skin and skin, and made an assenting noise to her story about class as he felt the cloth start to get damp.

“Are you all right?”  She asked.  “You’re getting flushed.”

Adrienne didn’t always get so close to breaking character and he reddened further, feeling his pulse quicken.

“I had a long night,” he told her in a strained voice.  “We got back late.”

“Oh no,” she said with a perfect air of concern, “I hope you stay well.”

“I’ll try.”  He had to swallow, hard, as he moved his hand with more urgency.  He made himself keep eye contact, keep at least looking at her face instead of at where her shirt was dipping low over her chest and where the light fabric was clinging to the edge of her bra, just over her breasts soft and small enough for him to cup completely in his hand and bring up to his mouth and suck—

His hips were shaking a little now and he wanted so much to tug his briefs down as well and take his shaft in his hand and finish, either shooting his load up onto the ceiling or to flip over and fuck his pillow or the mattress, but that would be obvious and he had to maintain the façade, he couldn’t let her know what he was doing, couldn’t let his Adrienne see him like this even when he was right in front of her…  He caught himself staring at her chest and forced his eyes back up, nodding in agreement to a question he had missed entirely.

She leaned one elbow on her desk and propped her chin in her hand, toying with her hair, still dyed silver like his, winding a strand of it around her finger.  

He watched her lips move, his Adrienne’s soft pink lips, soft and warm and yielding.  He heard her sigh, imagined her warm breath on his thigh and what it would feel like to have those lips on his cock.

There was a sudden knock at her door.  Lafayette was so distracted by the task at hand that his heart was shot through with adrenaline as he thought in a panic that it was someone outside his own door and he came into his hand and the fabric with a jerk.  

“Oh,” Adrienne said at the same time he did.  

“Oh.”

She stood up quickly.  “Sorry, Gilbert, I have to go.  I’ll talk to you later.”  The line cut and Lafayette let his hand and the phone drop to his side.  He tipped his head back and closed his eyes, still touching himself slowly over the wet material.  His headache was still there but maybe he’d be able to finish sleeping it off.

Chapter Text

“—and I’m never gonna stop until I make ‘em all drop and burn ‘em up and scatter their remains—”

Hamilton stopped the video before it got too shaky and it became apparent that he was as drunk as he had been when he was filming it. Lafayette didn’t question it, too busy being caught somewhere between mortified and impressed with and in spite of himself.

“To tell you the truth, I took that to embarrass you, but you’re damn good,” Hamilton admitted. “It’s hard to hear over the background noise, but you’re actually enunciating each word individually.”

They were sitting on a bench outside the library, Hamilton, not working that day, in the lowest v-neck he could find on short notice with his hair not only pulled back but put up in a neat bun at the back of his head.

“We’re getting a lot of looks.” Hamilton tipped down his sunglasses to watch a couple of students throw him glances as they walked past them. “Think there’s something going on or are we going to get scolded for loitering?”

“I think they are staring because you look like you forgot that Halloween isn’t for another month,” Lafayette replied, eyeing the deep purple mark on his neck, and then switched to French. “John must be mortified.”

“Whatever,” Hamilton replied in glib English. “He’s the one who gave it to me.”

“Did you really pass out?”

“It was too hot in there,” Hamilton said defensively. “You try to fuck in a sauna, see how well it goes for you.”

Lafayette laughed, more delighted by the idea than anything else. “Ah, but speaking of Halloween,” he had to pause mid-sentence as a gust of wind caught his silver hair and blew it into his face. He brushed it away and continued, holding it back with his hand. “Are we going to do something this year? I think it would be fun.”

“Sure,” Hamilton shrugged. “I’ll double check this afternoon that I’ve got the work done for that week. Mulligan wasn’t around last year but he usually throws a thing, bigger than what we went to. He liked you,” he added, “so don’t worry about it.”

“I thought you said that you did not have any friends in the city?” Lafayette asked.

“He’s not around all the time,” Hamilton said. “Besides, it’s not the same. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful. He’s done a lot for me, helped me get settled, showed me around… Hell, he even let me crash with him for half of my first semester. He’s a good guy,” he added. “He’s loud and he talks a lot of shit but you don’t gotta feel like you need to show off. When I got here he yelled at me about not prioritizing right or planning ahead, then let me crash on his couch for two months and altered factory rejects so I’d have something to wear to class.”

Lafayette nodded and didn’t say anything to that directly, shifting topics back to the holiday. “Does he throw a costume party?”

“People dress up. I don’t think you’d get kicked out for showing up in your regular clothes, but I’m guessing you have something in mind already.”

“I have not settled on anything.” They both glanced up as another gust shook the branches of the tree across from them. “But there are three of us, non? We should do something.”

“I’ll think about it.” Hamilton got up. “I’ve got class soon and if we stay out here any longer you’re going to be pulling leaves out of your hair for the rest of the day.”

 

On Wednesday Laurens ran into Hamilton quite by accident outside the student health center. Hamilton, getting a free copy of the paper out of the wire rack next to the door, was surprised to see him, and Laurens noted with resignation that he was obviously still dressing to show off as much of his neck as possible.

“It’s windy,” Hamilton offered in his defense before Laurens could get a word out. “If I don’t put my hair up like this it tangles before I can even get across the street.”

“Uh-huh.” Laurens had a scarf on under his jacket, even though the weather was still not cool enough to justify it.

“What are you doing here, anyway?” Hamilton asked tucking the newspaper under his arm. “Twist your other ankle?”

“Actually, I’m here to get it checked on. Coach doesn’t trust me to know when it’s healed properly. I’m supposed to bring him a note.”

“A signed one?” Hamilton teased. “Like you’re in grade school again. You’re a liability, John.”

“Yeah, yeah. Drop it.” Laurens stepped to the side, closer to Hamilton, as the doors opened and someone walked out. “I was going to text, but since you’re here, are you busy this Saturday? Lafayette mentioned that he’s going to be having dinner with the Washingtons. I still can’t believe they just let him stay in their guest room.”

“Saturday?” Hamilton’s gaze flicked briefly to the stack of papers. “Yeah, sure. Did you want to get something to eat?”

Laurens shrugged. “We can. I’ve got a team meeting after dinner but I can meet you at your apartment or at the library or something. You’re not too busy?”

“Hm? I’m always busy.” Hamilton gave a short laugh. “But this is something I can make time for. Don’t worry,” he added, as he took a step back to leave, “I’m not risking any deadlines. I’ve got class, but remind me when you get done and I’ll make sure I’m free.” Hitching the paper up under his arm again he left.

Laurens grabbed a copy for himself as well—sometimes it was hard not to feel unproductive around Hamilton, and if there was a wait he might as well make better use of his time than by browsing the internet on his phone—and headed inside. He signed in at the front desk, was informed there was a slight backlog and asked if he had anywhere he needed to be, and sat in a chair at the other end of the room. He adjusted his scarf, hoping it wouldn’t get too hot inside with it on, and unfolded the paper. Of course Hamilton had wanted a copy, he thought to himself, as the main headline was on the latest financial scandal shaking the upper echelons of the city (or, rather, not shaking them enough, as he imagined Hamilton arguing). His eye was caught by another article further down the page warning that, while no serious damage was expected, the tropical storm bearing down on them was still anticipated to make landfall that weekend.

 

“Please,” Lafayette begged, following Laurens through the hall of their dorm the following day. “You’re just so talented! I don’t know anyone else who could capture her spirit like you can, and now that you’ve actually had the chance to meet in person I’m sure you would do an even better job!”

“I already said no,” Laurens responded, taking out his key as they neared their door. “And actually, I’m even less willing than I would be if I hadn’t met her. It’s creepy now.”

“It was never a sexual thing,” Lafayette continued, ignoring the look their neighbor across the hall was giving them as he entered his own room. “You were never turned on by it!”

“That doesn't mean it’s not weird! You never even gave Adrienne the first picture, you just put it back up once we moved back in here!”

Lafayette looked guiltily over at the drawing, in a plastic sheet protector and tacked to the wall again just where Laurens had accused him of putting it.

“Besides, I hadn’t realized how young she is. She’s Martha’s age, the same age as my younger sister, Lafayette. No.” Laurens sat on his bed and started digging through his backpack, trying to signal that the argument was over.

“What if if give you a photo to copy of her in the dress she made? The one you saw her in. That’s not revealing, is it?”

Laurens looked up, jaw set.

Lafayette sighed dramatically and lay down on his own bed, reaching up.

“—Don’t you touch it.”

“If I had another one I could put it over this and you wouldn’t have to see it.”

“Or I could just take it down.” Laurens stood up abruptly. “I drew it, I can take it back.”

Lafayette sat up with a start, his body between Laurens and the paper. “You cannot do that! It was a present!”

“From me,” Laurens insisted, “and since you’re being obnoxious about it I can do whatever the hell I want.”

“Fine. Fine.” Lafayette glared. “I’ll take it down and I won’t bother you about this anymore. Are you happy?”

Laurens sat back down on his mattress as Lafayette took the picture off the wall.

“It’s all well and good for you,” he complained as he put it carefully in his desk drawer. “Your beau is just a few minutes away. Adrienne is on the other side of the ocean and I have to go months at a time without seeing her in person. You should be more understanding.”

“Maybe I would be if you weren’t constantly kicking me out of here at five in the morning,” Laurens muttered.

“Just go stay with Alexander.”

“That’s not the point, Lafayette.”

Lafayette ignored him, opening his laptop and leaning back against the wall.

 

> A. Hamilton: hey

> A. Hamilton: you up?

 

Laurens showed up at Hamilton’s apartment around seven with takeout Mexican he’d grabbed en route, assuming that he wasn’t the only one who hadn’t eaten dinner yet. He was buzzed in right away and was surprised to see that the studio had been cleaned. Books were stacked neatly under and on the desk, there were fresh sheets on the futon, and there weren’t any clothes out.

“This is new,” he commented, putting the bags down on the desk and taking off his jacket and scarf. “I feel like I should have spent more than five dollars.”

He didn’t get the chance to say more than that because Hamilton was on him, his tongue in his mouth and one hand cupping his ass and pressing their hips together.

Laurens made a startled noise, taking a half step back and bumping up against the desk. He was afraid for a second that he would knock the books over but then Hamilton was kissing him more insistently and he closed his eyes and pulled him closer.

Hamilton sighed, then smiled, both of which Laurens felt with a shiver, and he arched back against the desk as Hamilton started undoing the buttons on his shirt and slid his hand up over his chest.

“Strip.” Hamilton barely moved back to say that and there was a slight pleading ring to the command.

“You’re eager,” Laurens teased, but he obeyed. By the time he was undressed Hamilton was as well, and pulling him down onto the mattress.

“I want you to fuck me, hard,” he said, his eyes serious. He pushed the bottle of lube into Laurens’ hand and Laurens, caught off guard for the third time that night, felt a hot rush of desire. He poured some into his hand as Hamilton yanked him down into a kiss, gripping his hair tightly. Laurens pushed one finger into him and Hamilton put his hand on his chest and shoved him back.

“What—”

“I said I wanted you to fuck me.”

“Alex,” Laurens started, but he stopped when Hamilton twisted to the side and grabbed his cock with a little more force than he needed to and started jerking him off.

Laurens hadn’t been fully erect yet but he hardened quickly in his hand and Hamilton stopped when he let out a low moan.

Hamilton straightened out and pulled Laurens roughly down to him again, biting his lip and tugging at his hair. Laurens let the tip of his cock rub between Hamilton’s legs for a moment, then he sat up, speaking before Hamilton could react.

“Turn over.”

A flash of realization crossed Hamilton’s face and he did so mutely, bracing himself on his arms with his head ducked beneath his shoulders.

Laurens positioned himself between his legs with one hand gripping his shoulder. He felt Hamilton’s body stiffen at the touch and then heard him hiss slowly between his teeth as he pushed three fingers into him and spread them slightly.

Laurens moved his hand back and forth, tightening his hold on his shoulder as Hamilton’s hips twitched and he whimpered.

“John, please—”

Laurens took his hand away, eliciting a gasp from Hamilton, and then just before Hamilton was going to tell him to hurry up he pushed into him, moving his hands to his hips.

Hamilton gave a short cry that turned into a moan and he pressed his right hand to his mouth, biting the back of it as Laurens quickly found a fast pace. Laurens took one hand from his hips and wrapped it around Hamilton’s shaft, moving it over him in time with his thrusts. Hamilton soon gave up his attempt at keeping quiet and Laurens, urged on to greater speed by his response, had to try hard not to lose himself in his desire. He felt Hamilton shudder and jerk underneath him, and he kept moving his hand until he was sure he had finished him fully and he could hear Hamilton panting, his face supported and kept off the sheets by his fist. Then he let himself push harder, slamming his hips into him, Hamilton tensing but not stopping him. It didn’t take long before his own orgasm took him and he pulled out, coming onto the sheet and the back of Hamilton’s legs.

Laurens sat back and got up shakily. “Sorry. Hold on.” He vanished into the bathroom and Hamilton collapsed onto his stomach, muttering some small obscenity about how he shouldn’t have bothered to do the laundry.

Laurens came back with a wad of toilet paper and awkwardly cleaned off his leg and, to the best of his ability, the sheet. Hamilton was still lying there when he came out a second time, turned off the lights, and carefully stepped over him to lie next to him.

The window rattled and Laurens turned his head to look at it. Hamilton, his face buried in his pillow, didn’t move.

“You should get some duct tape. Make sure it’s sealed properly. You’ve got too many books for the rain to get in.”

“Mm.” Hamilton sounded annoyed even without giving an actual response.

Laurens toyed with his hair, down to his shoulder blades and curling more than usual with the change in weather. Hamilton didn’t say anything else so after a minute he kissed his temple and settled down on his side, tucking his arm up under his pillow.

Chapter Text

Laurens woke around midnight.  Hamilton was sitting on the mattress, fully dressed, laptop open, typing rapidly.  He could see in the light that the window had been taped shut and the take out bag was gone from the desk.  His stomach growled and he sat up.

“Did you eat all of that?  Half of that was supposed to be mine, you know.”

“You were asleep,” Hamilton said dismissively.  Half a soft taco was lying on a wrapper on the floor and Laurens picked it up.  Better than nothing.

“And here I thought you were a cheap date…”

Hamilton didn’t respond and Laurens tipped his head to look at the screen.  Some forum, he noticed with surprise, not actual work.

Water was falling against the window, although not particularly hard.

“Rain’s being pushed ahead of the storm front,” Hamilton said, still typing.  “Still not expected to make land for another two days.”  He glanced at the clock, saw that it was after midnight on Friday.  “One day.”

“Is it still a tropical storm?”  Laurens asked through a mouthful of disappointingly cold fast food.  “Or did it switch categories?”

“I don’t know,” Hamilton said, and there was that sharp edge again.  “How the hell should I know?”

“You’re on the internet,” Laurens pointed out.

Hamilton clicked his tongue and shut his laptop as the window rattled again in spite of the reinforcement.  “I’m going to the library.  I can’t think with this noise.”  He got up and turned on the light before dumping his computer into his bag, then started sorting through the books on his desk.

“It’s late,” Laurens said with a yawn, crumpling up the wrapper and tossing it in a perfect arc into the trashcan.  

“That’s fine.  They’ll be open.  Unless—”  He unplugged his phone from where it was charging on the floor and swore.  “Damnit!

“Did they close because of the weather?  I was wondering if that might happen.”

“Good for you, beating me to it for once,” Hamilton snapped.  “Shit, that’s—annoying.”

“Okay,” Laurens said, watching as Hamilton did not unpack his bag or sit back down.  “Are you mad at me?”

“No.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.  Nothing’s wrong.  We’re just in the line of a hurricane, that’s all.”  He hesitated, aware that he had just shown his hand, and rubbed at his shoulder as if working a knot out of it.  “Whatever.  It would have been good to go to the library but it doesn’t matter.”

Laurens got up and started to get dressed.  “Come on.”

“Library’s closed, John, we just went over this.”

“I know.”

“I’m not in the mood to get soaked wandering around the city in the middle of the night.”

Laurens picked up Hamilton’s bag and slung it over his shoulder.  “Do you have a windbreaker or at least something with a hood?  I’m calling us a cab but if it starts to rain any harder you’ll probably want it anyway.”

“In the bag already.”

“All right.”  Laurens was on his phone and he switched on a friendly and upbeat tone when the dispatcher at the other end picked up, draping an arm over Hamilton’s shoulders.  “Someone’s in the area but dropping their passenger off right now.  Should be about ten to fifteen minutes.  Do you want to wait downstairs?”

“Yeah.  I can carry my own bag.”

“I got it.”  Laurens waited for Hamilton to lock the door then let him lead the way down to the first floor.  There wasn’t a lobby by any stretch of the imagination, just a narrow hallway with the stairs and then the door to the street.  Hamilton sat on the bottom step, watching the door.  Laurens checked his phone for the time, then put it away and sat next to him.  Between the two of them they completely blocked the way up or down.

“So…”

“I’m not crazy.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“And I would have been fine on my own.”

“I’m sure.”

“I don’t like weather like this,” Hamilton finally admitted, drumming his fingers on his leg.  “Rain is fine.  Wind is fine.  One hurricane was enough, thanks, I would have been all right with not sitting through another one, not able to do shit except wait for it to all blow over.”  He laughed, a little forced, a little in genuine amusement, at his bad joke.  “That’s how I got here, you know?  The hurricane.”

“I always assumed you caught a plane,” Laurens said, countering the joke with one just as bad.

“Nah, it picked me up and blew me 1,678 miles northwest.”

“So what did you mean?”

Hamilton shrugged.  “I wrote my way out.”  Laurens didn’t say anything and after a pause he explained.  “My scholarship.  Like I said, that’s how I got here.  I talked about what I saw and—it was in the news, the year before I came here, the hurricane—and people felt pity and pity might buy rice or bottled water for a couple months, but then it just,” he laughed again, a short angry one, “it blows over.  And then you’re back in the quiet with that yellow sky knowing it’s going to happen all over again while some idiot in the big house on the hill argues that the wind has died down and the water’s receded and so, God bless, we should all be fucking grateful.”

Laurens shook his head, not quite following.  “It’ll be all right.”

“No,” Hamilton said with a little more force and a lot more bitterness, “it won’t be, J., because it never is unless you work your ass off.  I’ve had to fight for everything in my life and it’s still not enough.”

“I know what you mean.”  Hamilton looked skeptical but didn’t argue back and Laurens continued.  “My father.  I love him, Alex,” he began as if he had to explain himself and Hamilton rolled his eyes and looked away, “but I know I’ll never be good enough, no matter how hard I try.”

“So stop trying.  He’s just one man.”

Laurens leaned forward a little to try to see Hamilton’s face, but his head was turned away and his eyes were focused on the wall.

“It’s not as easy as that.  He’s my father.  That means something.  I can’t just give up on that, even though I know he’s being unreasonable.”

“He’s an ass,” Hamilton muttered, leaning his face in his hand so that the words were muffled.

“Don’t say that.”

“It’s true.”  Hamilton turned to face him  “You’re always trying to defend yourself to him and he’s either an idiot for not seeing how lucky he is or he’s just an asshole.”

“And this is just a storm,” Laurens shot back.  Hamilton slouched down a little but kept his gaze. 

A car pulled up outside and Laurens’ phone rang.

“That’s the cab.”

Laurens got up first, getting the door and ducking his head against the rain  that blew in.  

“Shit—Come on.  Do you have everything?”  Laurens was ready to wait with him on the step or get the cab door, find the windbreaker in his bag, tell the driver they just needed to get something and wait for a break in the rain—but Hamilton walked past him down the steps and across the sidewalk and opened the door, holding it for him and brushing his wet hair out of his face.

“Hurry up, John.  That bag isn’t waterproof.”

 

They had been riding for a couple of blocks, slowly, the traffic poor, when Laurens’ phone rang again and he picked it up this time.

“Hello—Dad?”

Hamilton shifted away and watched their slow progression down the street.

“I know, sorry, I missed the call.  No—No, it’s fine.  Yes, I saw the—really, it’s fine, I’m going back to the dorm now.”  A pause, and Hamilton could just hear the older Laurens’ voice on the other end, although it was too faint to even convey tone.  “I was just at a friend’s.  We’re in a cab, it’s hardly even raining but I didn’t want to walk in it.”  He grimaced a little, knowing his father would see right through that.  “I’m sorry, I can’t, I already made plans.  I’m not being stubborn!  —Sorry.  I can’t.”

Henry Laurens was saying something else and they were stopped at a light.

“Yes,” Hamilton glanced over at the tentative sound in Laurens’ voice.  “Well, I’m not leaving my friend.”  

The rain lighted for a moment, just enough that the murmur on the line could be heard as exasperated and final.  Laurens hung up and avoided Hamilton’s eyes as he leaned forward to speak with the driver.

“Excuse me.  I’m sorry about this, but I need to change our destination.”  He gave him the address and sat back, uncomfortably aware that Hamilton had been listening to all of that.

“I write that address a couple dozen times a week.  That’s the president’s house.  Why are we going to the president’s house?  Do you know Washington too?”

“No,” Laurens said.  “No, I’ve never met the guy.  My father has before, I don’t think for very long, and apparently they ran into each other at some event and he told him that I’m at the school…”

“And he offered to babysit.”

Laurens nodded mutely.

“…Right.”  Hamilton took out his phone.  “Then I’m letting Lafayette know.   Maybe he’ll be able to join us.  I’d feel a little weird about double dating with my boss and his wife.”

“You’re okay with this?”

“It’s a hell of a lot better than camping out in your room.”  Hamilton looked up from his phone.  “It’s fine, John.  I like him.  I think you’re a pushover, but this works out well.”

 

Washington’s residence was a large white house with a red roof on a wide lawn.  Lafayette was waiting for them just under the overhang at the front door, the wind at this point having all but vanished and the rain coming straight down.  He got up when the cab pulled up and they got out, hurrying across the driveway.

“You’re here already,” Laurens said in surprise as they ducked under cover.

“The school closed when the storm was upgraded,” Lafayette explained, getting the door for them and stepping into the foyer, spanning the width of the house.  “So they invited me to come by a day early.”

“Alexander, John.”  A rich voice greeted them and in one of the rooms the entryway connected to Washington stood from his chair as Lafayette ushered the other two in, putting his hand out as he crossed the floor, carpeted in tiled floral pattern of blue and red, to meet them.  “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said to Laurens, who was suddenly a little nervous in spite of himself.  “I just spoke with your father, but I’m sure you already know that.  The two of you are more than welcome to stay until the weather has passed.”

“Thank you, sir,” Laurens said, shaking his hand.  “I’m sorry to bother you, especially at this hour.”

“Not at all.  Lafayette.”  Lafayette took the bag from Laurens.  “Would you show them to where they will be staying?  I’m sure you’re both tired,” he continued to Hamilton and Laurens.  “Martha and I will see you for breakfast.”

Laurens looked curiously around at the walls where family portraits and a crest hung, then Lafayette led them back out of the room and up the flight of stairs in the central passage.

“I assume you want your own room,” Lafayette said as they left earshot.  “Don’t look at me, I said nothing.  There is a guest room on this first floor,” he motioned to another door, “near the library, but my bedroom is upstairs and he assumed that we wanted to stay in the same area.”  Lafayette opened one of the doors on the second floor landing to a large, plainly decorated bedroom with several chairs and a fireplace.  A cot was made up next to the bed.  “You might want to at least rumple the sheets in the morning,” he commented after looking at it with consideration.

“Thanks for the advice,” Hamilton said, not sounding particularly thankful, and took his bag back.  “Are you staying up?”

“It’s seven in France, so I’m going to call Adrienne.”  Lafayette headed for his own room through the other door.  “Bonne nuit, mes amis. 

“Dibs on the bed,” Hamilton said, sitting on it as Laurens closed the door.  

“Oh, come on, my feet are going to hang off of that thing.”

“That’s your fault for being a giant.”  Hamilton said, pulling his shirt up over his head.  “Shit, I should have thought to pack clothes besides that jacket.”

“I don’t have anything either.  Maybe we’ll be able to swing back tomorrow.”  Laurens looked out the window at one end of the room, unable to see much in the dark.  He yawned.  “I’m not thinking about that now.  It’s too late.”

“Get the light,” Hamilton advised, stripping off his jeans and placing them folded with his shirt on the cot.  “See if the door will lock while you’re up.”

There was the click of first the lock then the switch as the lights went out, and half a minute later Laurens got under the covers.

“Hey.”

“Yeah?”  Hamilton’s voice sounded muffled and Laurens wondered for the hundredth time how he could lie with his face in the pillow like that and not suffocate himself.

“I’ll drop it after this, but…”

“John.”  The mattress creaked as Hamilton propped himself up on one arm.  “It’s fine.  Besides,” he added with a yawn as he dropped back down, “I’m more concerned about my boss finding out about all the nasty things I’m gonna do to you in his guest room.  Helluva HR meeting that would be.”

Laurens laughed.  “Lafayette’s right.”

“About what?”

“Tell you later.”  He put his arm over him, pulling him closer, up against his bare chest, instead of just letting it drape.  “Good night, Alexander.”

Chapter Text

By Friday morning proper the rain was coming down in sheets although the wind had never picked up again from when it had died down the previous night.  The weather report was still stating that the hurricane would not make landfall until Saturday (although there was a wide range of projected trajectories and it was unclear if it would morph into a category two), but to expect rainfall all day.  

Washington, as Hamilton had learned during his time working for him, was a passionate amateur horticulturalist.  He had a large greenhouse behind the main property, some decorative potted plants out front, and several trees on the lawn to provide shade.  

And that’s how the three of them ended up soaked to the bone and earning their keep trying to save the (stupid, stupid, Goddamn, Hamilton thought) plants from the impending storm.

The greenhouse was on a sturdy frame but Hamilton was standing outside of it and taping over the edges of the windows and doors to make sure no wind would get inside and damage the structure.  The windbreaker he had brought might have kept his shirt more or less dry but his jeans were soaked through and heavy with mud from when he had been helping Lafayette move various potted plants inside.  He wasn’t sure if he would rather still be helping him with that (maybe not, the ground was getting very marshy and hard to maneuver, the nearby stream starting to jump its banks, but he did not envy Laurens who had one of two handsaws and the unenviable job of going around the property with Washington himself and cutting back any branches that the president thought looked too dangerous.

“This is bullshit,” Hamilton muttered as he moved on to the next window, shivering involuntarily as his hood bent under the rain and sent a stream of water down the side of his face and neck.  “Teach me to leave my apartment.  I should have insisted that I get dropped off at the dorm.  At least I’d have dry clothes.”

“You can borrow mine,” Lafayette said, coming up to stand next to him in just a t-shirt and jeans, having given up on even trying to stay dry apart from the very soaked red scarf he had left on.  “John as well.  I have spares.”

“How much clothing did you bring?”

“Only what I had on.  I mean I have some in my room.”

Hamilton shook his head slowly.  “I thought that was a guest room.  You actually keep things here?”

Oui, not much.  Maybe a week’s worth of clothes, just in case there is something I need.”

“That’s weird,” Hamilton pointed out, gesturing with the roll of tape.  “But I’m not complaining.  Thanks.”

De rein.  Let me help you finish here—I finished moving the plants and want to get out of this torrent.”

“You should take a picture for Adrienne,” Hamilton commented as they worked together to finish up.  “Your shirt is basically painted on you.  You look like you’re in a fucking charity calendar.”

“Hm.”  Lafayette twisted, looking down at himself from one side and then the other.  “Yes.”

There was a sudden burst of wind and Hamilton flinched back against the side of the greenhouse as a piece of roofing flew at them while Lafayette still wasn’t looking.  He yelped in surprise as it hit him and then swore loudly, ducking up against the structure next to Hamilton.

“Lafayette!  Are you all right?”

Putain!”  Lafayette grabbed his calf, wincing.

“Shit.”  Hamilton crouched down, seeing red start to seep out from beneath Lafayette’s hand.  “Shit, shit, you’re bleeding.  Okay, come on, fuck this shit, we’re going inside.  His plants can die, whatever, this is bullshit.”

“It’s not that bad,” Lafayette insisted, taking his slightly shaking hand away.  The sudden release of pressure caused the blood to come out faster.

“I’m not saying you’re going to fucking die,” Hamilton said, already a couple steps towards the house.  “Let’s get out of here.”

Lafayette stubbornly took off his scarf and wrapped it around his leg, jaw set, tying it off as Hamilton groaned impatiently.

“I’m going to finish.”

Hamilton glanced up at the sky.  “Fine.  Fine.”  He ripped off a strip of tape and shoved the roll back at Lafayette.  “We’ll finish.”

They worked quickly and by the time they were done Lafayette was leaning with one hand on the side of the greenhouse to take the pressure off his leg, the cut throbbing and blood staining through to the visible side of the scarf.

There.”  Hamilton finished securing the last window.  “Now let’s go.  You're lucky that scarf is already red.”

Hamilton practically dragged Lafayette back into the house and paused in the hall, dripping onto the wood floor.  “Where’s a first aid kit?”

“There’s one in the master bedroom, next to my room.”

“Right.  Let’s get that thing cleaned up before you get tetanus or something.”

He let Lafayette lead the way, limping, through the guest room to another, more private, flight of stairs.  He caught a glimpse of a library, its door open just off of the foot of the staircase.  Lafayette opened a door at the landing on the second floor and let Hamilton into the master bedroom.  The floor was covered in a bold carpet of dusty blue, orange, and green, and a large white canopy bed stood against one wall.  There was a matching white armchair, fireplace, and colonial-style dark wood furniture—including a small desk that Lafayette leaned on.

“Tch… That door is the bathroom,” he said, nodding towards it as Hamilton opened it and went inside.  “There should be a first aid kit somewhere.”  He carefully undid his scarf, putting it wet but clean-side down on the ground, and then unpeeled his pants from his body, wincing as the material chafed against the cut.

“Got it.”  Hamilton came back and knelt in front of him.  “That’s pretty deep, Lafayette.  This is going to sting.”  He was in the middle of cleaning it with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol when—

“What happened, son?”

They both looked up, startled and a little guilty, at Washington standing in the doorway.  

Hamilton was still holding the bloody piece of cotton when Washington pushed past him, crouching on the ground next to him.  “How did this happen?  Was it when you were outside?  I’m calling a doctor, put pressure on that and elevate it.”  He stood back up, dialing from the landline at the desk.  “Lie down on the floor and put your leg up, Lafayette,” he instructed when neither of them moved.  “Hamilton, go get him a towel to put under his leg.

“It’s fine,” Lafayette protested, although he got onto the floor with a wince and elevated his leg on the chair, letting Hamilton put a towel under it and press a wad of toilet paper to it.

“It’s not fine.  I can’t believe you got injured helping me.  Yes, hello.”  Washington turned away from them when the line picked up.

“…Is he calling an ambulance?”  Hamilton asked.

Washington put his hand over the mouthpiece for a moment.  “My personal physician.”

“Oh.  It pays to know people,” Hamilton commented to Lafayette, who gave a short laugh.  Now that they were inside the adrenaline was wearing off and he was noticing the pain more.

“Alex, help me get these back on,” Lafayette finally said, reaching for his soaked pants.

Washington hung up the phone.  “There’s no need.  He’s coming over here to examine you.  I don’t like the look of that cut.  I’ll get you a robe.”  He got one from his bureau and handed it over as Lafayette painfully sat up to put it on.  “I’m going to tell Laurens that the two of you are up here.”  He vanished and a minute later Laurens came into the room, still wearing his wet clothes but with a mug of cocoa.

“Lafayette, what happened?”

Lafayette was back to lying on the floor, his leg elevated, but now wearing the robe.  He waved at Laurens upside down, his hand shaking a little. 

“Some flying shit hit him,” Hamilton explained, holding a new batch of paper to his leg.

“Jesus…”  Laurens sat next to him, then glanced at Hamilton who didn’t make eye contact.  “Does it hurt?”

“It did at first but then it wasn’t too bad.”  Lafayette paused a moment, then added with another shaky laugh.  “Ça craint.”

Hamilton patted his knee bracingly.

“But Washington called his own doctor for me and,” he propped himself up on his arms so he could sit up just a little and look at Laurens more directly.  “He called me son.”

“I think that was a colloquial thing—”  Hamilton began, but stopped himself when Lafayette turned to look at him, eyes wide and wounded. 

“I’m sure he meant it,” Laurens said reassuringly as Lafayette lay back down.

“I want my phone.”  Lafayette was staring up at the ceiling. 

Hamilton and Laurens looked at one another.

“Why do you want your phone?”  Laurens asked carefully, pretty sure that he already knew the answer.

“I need to call Adrienne.”

“Lafayette, don’t you think you should wait until after you get patched up to call her?”

“But she’ll be worried!”

“How will she be worried?”  Laurens asked.  “She’s all the way in France.”

“What if someone tells her?  She’ll think that it’s worse than it really is!  You know people will exaggerate!”

“No one is going to tell her,” Hamilton said.  “Look, if you’re that worried, I’ll go make sure that G-Wash isn’t going to call her.  There’s no way that she’ll even find out at all unless you tell her yourself.”

“She’ll know,” Lafayette insisted, his words trailing off into a slight wail.

“We’ll get you your phone later,” Laurens said firmly.

“She’s very religious,” Lafayette continued as Hamilton and Laurens shared another look.  “She’ll know.  She always knows.”

“Are you sure she doesn't always know because you always tell her?”

 

“Okay,” Laurens said from the bathroom attached to Lafayette’s room, the same size as their guest room but more clearly lived in.  “It’s not that I don’t appreciate this—because I do—but I’m not sure this is going to work.”

“Come out,” Lafayette said, still pantsless but wearing his soaked shirt and leaning, posed, up against the wall while Hamilton, his borrowed pants rolled up several times at the cuffs and shirt hanging a little too big on him at the shoulders, tried to find the best position for the picture that also cropped him appropriately.  The doctor had come and gone and left him with six stitches in his leg and a much better mood than before.  “It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit, you can’t look any worse than Alexander.”

“Ha ha.”  Hamilton lowered the phone and rolled his eyes.  “Alexander is short, very funny.”

“I never said that.”

“Just look up.  You need to either borrow a blow drier or watch the angle so your hair doesn’t get so piecey.”

“I told you, I’m going for the wet look—”  Lafayette stopped when Laurens stepped gingerly out of the bathroom, looking very embarrassed but also somehow even more on display than Lafayette did in just his boxer briefs and wet shirt.

“It’s a little tight,” he said, tugging at the light turquoise collar and then brushing his hands over the sides of the dark jeans, clinging more like spandex than denim, the movement made a little stiff and unnatural by how tight the short sleeves of the shirt were on his biceps.

“I’ll say.”  Lafayette raked his eyes over him in surprise and pulled his bathrobe back on.  “Try not to move too much.  I like that shirt and don’t want you to break a seam.  Or Alex,” he added, turning back to Hamilton who was shamelessly staring at Laurens.

“Cut it out,” Laurens told Hamilton.

“I bet you can’t do stairs.”  Hamilton finally commented and Laurens turned, red, to Lafayette.

“This isn’t working.  Can I just borrow a t-shirt and whatever you sleep in?”

“This is my only shirt, and I don’t sleep in anything I can lend you,” Lafayette said delicately.

“I’ll take that shirt.”

“John, don’t be silly.  It’s all going to be washed and you can have your own clothes back in a couple of hours.”

“Just strip, John,” Hamilton said, still staring at him but not making eye contact.  “I’ll even put some music on.  Think I’ve got some ones.”

“You are so thirsty.”

“I’m looking at a tall glass of beefcake.”

“Dammit, John,” Lafayette mock complained, “I just told you not to break Alex.”

“Alex, stop, that doesn’t even make sense.”  Laurens tried to cross his arms over his chest then gave up and let them hang at his side.

Hamilton put the phone down on the bed and came right up to him, brushing his hair back out of his face and practically purring as he stood in front of him, toying with the bottom of his shirt.  “Maybe I have something for you in the other room that’ll be a better fit—”

“I’m right here,” Lafayette complained.  “And we said that we would only be a few minutes and then we would come down for lunch.”

“Who needs lunch?  We can skip that.”

“I’m with Alexander,” Laurens said, although he stepped away from him slightly.  “I’m not going out in public like this.”

“It’s hardly public,” Lafayette protested.  “There will only be a couple other people there!”

Laurens was shaking his head before he even finished.  “No, no way.  I’m not going.  Tell them I’m still cleaning up, or that my family called, something.”

“Fine.”  Lafayette picked up his phone to look at his pictures.  “But, Alexander, you’re not staying with him.  I’m injured and need your company and support.  Besides which, I don’t trust you alone with him.”

Chapter Text

Lunch was a little awkward.  Laurens, true to his word, did not appear for it and Lafayette had to apologize for him and offer an excuse.  To his annoyance, Hamilton was hardly any better company but kept getting distracted  and staring out the windows in the small dining room.  Not even out them, Lafayette corrected himself as he tried to get his attention back yet again, because they had been boarded up in preparation.  He did jerk back to himself halfway through a story about Coach von Steuben throwing a pantsless party and almost dropped his fork in surprise.

“You cannot stop thinking about him for one minute,” Lafayette accused him as they opened the door to Lafayette’s permanent guest room.

“Let it go, Lafayette,” Laurens said, still wearing the clothes and leaning stiffly against the wall, scrolling on his phone.

Lafayette was surprised to be rebuked by Laurens rather than Hamilton but he pushed on.  “It’s true!  I couldn’t carry a conversation with him at the table any more than I could have with you in the other room!”

“I said to drop it.”  Laurens looked up properly now and put the phone in his pocket—it didn’t fit right and stuck out perilously halfway. 

“You’re too easily swayed,” Lafayette complained.  “Just a little bit of attention from Alexander and you’re on his side!  If we are going to be here all weekend I don’t want to just sit around next door while you two enjoy yourselves.  We should do something together!”

“Yeah, all right.”

Lafayette turned, startled, to look at Hamilton, again getting the opposite reaction from what he had expected.  “Really?”  He asked suspiciously.

“Yeah.”  Hamilton sat on the bed, tapping one foot on the ground.  “They got games or something?  I’ll kick your ass at Monopoly.”  He looked up with a devious grin at Laurens.  “Or Twister.”

“Let me see what there is,” Lafayette said, deciding to run with the opportunity before he changed his mind and split the two of them off.  “Don’t go anywhere.”

 

“Holy shit,” Hamilton laughed when Lafayette finally came back.  “You actually found it?  Is this from their no pants party?”

Laurens, understandably, was confused.  “Their what?”

“Some other time,” Hamilton said, standing up and helping Lafayette spread out the Twister mat.  “Actually, no, it’s a fast story.  Did you know the teachers show up to parties half naked and then do flaming shots?  Your dad knows everyone, you should ask him about that.”

“I’ll keep that in mind if I go home over Thanksgiving.”  Laurens took the spinner out of the box but Lafayette snatched it away.

“No, I’m injured, I get to spin.  Go stand by the mat.”

“I can’t play,” Laurens protested, but Hamilton grabbed his wrist and tugged him over and he was quiet.

“I feel like this is supposed to be a drinking game.  We should ask G-Wash where he keeps his booze.  Lafayette, you’re his son, go steal from your American dad’s liquor cabinet for us.”

“I’m not doing that!”

“Well I sure as hell can’t, he’s my boss.  And it’s not like John needs another call home to get him grounded.  Come on, spin already.”  He rubbed his hands together, rocking back on his heels in anticipation while Laurens tried to tug down the denim keeping his legs from bending and wondered how he was supposed to complete more than one round.

“You’re so pushy.  Left hand green.”

Hamilton made sure Laurens was watching before he bent at the waist, facing away from him.

Laurens looked up at the ceiling and Lafayette snickered.

“John, left foot blue.”

“That I can do,” he said, following the command, “But seriously, Lafayette, this game is going to last approximately thirty more seconds before I rip something.”

“Strip Twister.”

Laurens looked down at Hamilton.  “I’m not playing ‘Strip Twister.’”

“Right hand red.”

“It would make things easier.”

“Right foot green.”

“I really don't think so.”

“Left foot yellow.”

So much easier.”

“Right hand blue.”

“I don’t—shit—”

“Left foot green.  Right foot red.  Right hand red.”

“He said red, Alex!”

“I’m just reaching for it,” Hamilton argued, taking his hand away from where he had it high on Laurens’ calf and putting it back on the mat.  “I lost my balance.”

“No cheating,” Lafayette scolded.

Hamilton, somehow having managed to work himself between Laurens’ legs with his back to the ground, rolled his eyes dramatically.  “I wasn’t really supporting myself on him, relax.”

“I know,” Lafayette said.  “But you’re going to make him lose focus.”

“Excuse me?”  Laurens asked.

“Oh really?”  Hamilton said at the same time.  He looked up at Laurens.  “Is that a challenge?  Do you not think I can do that?”

“I think I’m forfeiting this until I get my own damn clothes back,” Laurens said, but leaned as far as he could anyway to meet the next command Lafayette gave him.  His borrowed shirt was riding up, baring almost his entire midriff, which was made even more exposed than it should have been because he had never really been able to tug the jeans up properly so they were sitting far too low on his hips.  Hamilton took his time following his next instruction, trying to figure out how best to shift to left hand yellow while still able to keep his abs in sight but maybe also get the bare top half of his ass in view.  Maybe if he went for the far circle, or maybe if he just leaned his head a little to the side…

Lafayette clapped his hand on the board.  “Alexander!”

“What!  Green?”

“Yellow.”

Hamilton changed position, arching up half to better hold it half because then there was barely a centimeter between his chest and Laurens’ and he could feel the heat radiating off of him…

There was a knock at the door and then it opened.  “I brought you boys your clothes—”  Washington stopped in the doorway, looking at the scene in front of him with mild confusion.

“Thank you,” Lafayette said, bouncing off the bed as best as he could with only one properly working leg to take the armful of neatly folded clothes as Laurens turned bright red and half-sprung half-fell off of the mat entirely.  Hamilton was left on his back staring up awkwardly at his employer, and he got to his feet.  

“Thank you, sir.”

“It’s nothing,” Washington replied while obviously trying to hide a smile, then turned to Lafayette.  “You should change as well.  I can’t believe you came to lunch in that shirt.  It’ll be hard to call the doctor back in this weather if you get sick.”

Lafayette assured him that he would put something dry on as Laurens stood in the background, too embarrassed to do more than nod stiffly and tug his shirt down when Washington made eye contact before leaving with a distinctly amused “You kids have fun now.”

“Give me that,” Laurens muttered as soon as the door had closed, grabbing his clothing from the pile and vanishing into the bathroom.

“Oh, come on, John,” Hamilton called after him.  “At least change out here!”

His only response was the click of the lock.

 

“What happened, Gil?”  Adrienne asked immediately when Lafayette called her after dinner.

He shook his head, not realizing just how worn he looked.  “Don’t worry, my heart.  I was injured while helping Washington but I’m fine."

“Gil,” Adrienne started, worried.

“I’m all right,” Lafayette said, a little stronger.  “He even called for a doctor—for his own doctor!—and he stitched me up.”

“You got stitches?”  She asked with a little gasp.

“Six of them,” he confirmed, but then switched back to his previous track.  “I’m fine.  It wasn’t all that bad—it didn’t even hurt much until I came back inside and sat down.  Besides, Hamilton was there with me and he helped me clean it.”

Adrienne frowned, her brows knitted together.

“Don’t worry, my dearheart,” Lafayette said, more reassuringly.  “I am bandaged up and everything will heal itself.  I’ll be as good as new by the time you see me.  Would you like to see?”  He twisted awkwardly to the side, trying to figure out an angle to show her his bandage on the laptop.

“—That’s all right, Gilbert.  It looks like too much effort and I don’t want you to hurt yourself further.”

He put the laptop back down to her relief.  “At least take heart knowing that I can’t go out in the storm once it hits.  My room is on the second floor, of course, and while I can manage the stairs it’s enough of an effort to give me pause.”

“My poor Gilbert…”

Lafayette frowned, adjusting the screen.  “Adrienne?  Hello?  I’m sorry, the connection is getting poor.  Please send my regards to your family and my friends.  I’ll weather this out safe and sound and update you when I can.  You have all my love, my dearheart.”

 

The storm finally hit that night.

When Lafayette woke up his first thought was that it was a reprise of that night back in France when he’d heard Hamilton swearing as he tried to find his book.  A moment later he realized that Laurens was speaking to him from the foot of his bed.

“Did you talk to Alex?”

Lafayette tried to turn on the light on the nightstand and when nothing happened he sat up.  “Non.  No.”  He rubbed his face and winced as a sharp stab of pain reminded him of his earlier misadventures.  “Why?”  He couldn’t make out his expression in the dark but thanks to sharing such a small room with him for so long he didn’t need the light to see, almost feel, how tensely he was holding himself.  

“I don’t know where he is.”

Lafayette got up and picked up his phone to use as a flashlight since the power was out.  “I’m sure he just didn’t want to wake you.  You know how he is up at all hours.”

“The line is down,” Laurens said, misunderstanding what Lafayette was doing, then flinched away from the sudden directed light.

“Sorry.”

“It’s fine.”  Laurens looked unsure, as if he was having second thoughts about waking Lafayette, but then he turned and went to the door.  “I don’t know this place well.”  The wind was howling outside.  “Is there… I don’t know, somewhere further inside, away from the wind?”

Lafayette considered, then nodded.  “I know.  This way.”  He started walking, favoring his right leg, especially as he gingerly went down the stairs.  “What’s going on?”

“He doesn’t like storms,” Laurens said, repeating Hamilton’s wording.  “He was on St. Croix when it got pounded by the hurricane a couple of years ago.  Fucked him up.”

“When he was living with his cousin?  Or the landlord?”

Laurens shot him a confused look.  “Who?”

Lafayette frowned.  “Ah.  Never mind, it is not important.”  He knocked twice at a door and then opened it.  “Alexander?”

To Laurens’ surprise, Lafayette’s first guess was correct, although had he known the floor plan better he might have been able to figure it out as well.  They were in Washington’s private library, about twice the size of Hamilton’s studio apartment, the wall nearest to them was covered by rows of books behind glass and a portrait hung between two boarded up windows adjacent to the door.  There were several desks and chairs surrounded by many of the plants that they had brought in earlier.  The whole place smelled of old books and Washington’s cologne and Hamilton was crouched on the floor, several sheets of paper spread around him and a flashlight propped up in one of the pots, writing without stop.

“Alex?”  Lafayette repeated as he closed the door behind them.

Laurens sat on the floor next to him.  “Hey.”

At that Hamilton looked up with a start, his hair half in his face and genuinely surprised and confused to see them in the room with him.  

“Uh.”  He looked at Laurens, wearing the one outfit he had brought and sitting cross-legged as best he could, then over at Lafayette, his hair a mess and only in a pair of boxers, a large gauze bandage on his leg.  “Hi.”

Laurens put his hand on his shoulder and Lafayette yawned behind his hand and pulled a chair out to sit next to them.  “You’re writing?”

Hamilton gave a short laugh, the sound a little maniac around the edges, and touched Laurens’ hand.  “Yeah.  Couldn’t sleep.  You know how it is.  Came in here, I remembered that he had mentioned it before, told me that I should check out the maps.”  He motioned at the bookshelf.  One of the glass doors was open.  “It’s a neat collection, did you see them?  Colonial stuff, three are drawings made from the battlefield—well, on the land above them, not on them—and there’re several of the city at various stages of development.  He’s even got one of when it was New Amsterdam, I mean, fuck me,” he almost laughed again but couldn’t quite get the sound out.  “Rich people, am I right?  That’s the sort of shit that should be in a museum.  Free access to knowledge and all that, you’d think he’d at least donate it to the university library.  Here, let me show you—”

He started to get up but Laurens’ hand on his shoulder stopped him.  He took it instead and sat back, knees bent.

“—You didn’t have to find me.”

“Don’t be stupid,” Lafayette said with renewed energy, motioning for Laurens to pass him one of the papers on the floor and leaning his hand on Hamilton’s other shoulder.  “We missed you.  I want to have an American-style slumber party and I can’t do that with just John.”  He rolled his eyes dramatically at Laurens and then ducked his head to stage whisper in Hamilton’s ear.  “He’s such a kill-buzz.”

“Buzzkill,” Laurens corrected, intertwining his fingers with Hamilton’s and tightening his grip a little.  “Although I will give this moron credit for knowing where to find you.  Not that I’m surprised,” he went on, “this is basically your natural habitat.”

“It’s warmer here as well,” Lafayette said.  “John, we should just move the pillows and blankets in here and see if there’s any food in the freezer that needs to be eaten.  My laptop still has a charge.  We could watch a movie.”

“We’re not twelve year old girls,” Laurens pointed out, the corner of his mouth twitching up when Hamilton snickered.

“Are you sure?  Because you were certainly dressed like one this morning.”

“Those were your clothes!”

“Alex, what is this?”  Lafayette asked, reading off of the paper.  “‘But like a jealous lover, when I thought you slighted my caresses, my affection was alarmed and my vanity piqued—’”

Hamilton snatched the paper away.  “Give me that.”  He glanced at Laurens and grinned, continuing in a more dramatic tone, leaning in and putting one hand on his chest for emphasis.  “You’re not reading it right.  ‘I had almost resolved to lavish no more of them upon you and to reject you as an inconstant and an ungrateful—’”

“All right, all right.”  Laurens got up, only letting go of his hand once he was standing.  “I’m getting the bedding.”

“You should also get a board game from the sitting room,” Lafayette suggested.

Hamilton had been putting his papers back in order and he perked up at that.  “This time get Monopoly.”

Chapter Text

“You can’t just give John five hundred dollars,” Hamilton argued.

“Why not?”  Lafayette had one hand in the till.  “He said he’s a little short and he’ll pay me back.  Won’t you, John?”

“That’s not how this works!”

“I’ll pay you back,” Laurens agreed, hand out for the money.

“At least charge him interest,” Hamilton went on.  “I knew I should have been bank.  You suck at this, Lafayette!  It’s not even necessary to stimulate the game’s economy because he could literally just wait another round, pass go, and then build the stupid hotel!”

“I can give you five hundred as well.”

“That’s not the point!”

“It’ll make the game go faster,” Lafayette countered.  “You’re supposed to be an economics major, don’t you want to see more money in circulation?  As bank I can take on his debt and he’ll refund me in the future.”

“You just don’t want me to have this because you’re hoping I’ll land on your spot,” Laurens pointed out, taking a sip from the mug of hot chocolate Martha Washington had made them after he accidentally bumped into her in the dark hallway as he was coming back with the game and the bedding and awkwardly apologized for letting themselves uninvited into her husband’s study.  Apparently they really were children at a sleepover.  “I can count spaces too, Alex, I know I’d be a little shy.”

“Lafayette,” Hamilton said, abruptly switching tracks.  “You realize that I’m ahead of John on the board, don’t you?  If you give him a loan for him to build that hotel, he’ll have to build up his other properties on green as well.  You’re on the railroad, so if you roll a six, seven, or nine you’ll hit his new development.  There’re only thirty-six possible combinations of the dice and fifteen of them would get you paying between twelve seventy-five and fourteen hundred.”  Lafayette looked sharply up at Laurens who glanced away, guilty.  “Rounding up, that’s a forty-two percent chance, and even if he pays you back the five hundred, I already own hotels on both side of ‘go.’  I mean, that’s unfortunate right now, but that’s been there for several rounds, and it’s been fine, do you really want to extend that gauntlet for yourself?”

“You might land on Community Chest,” Laurens offered, sheepishly, taking the five hundred still being offered.

Give me that.”  Lafayette snatched the money back from him.  “I cannot believe you tried to cheat a wounded hero.”  

“That’s a strong way of putting it.”

“Alexander.”

“Thank you,”  Hamilton said, taking over the till from Lafayette.  “Sorry, John.”

Laurens grumbled but paid for the development anyway, leaving himself with very little cash to spare.

“Lafayette,” Hamilton said, as Lafayette chewed on his lip and looked at the new, suddenly much more menacing board.  “In recognition of your current position, I’d like to offer you a bank loan.”

“Hey,” Laurens protested.

“I just didn’t want you to have one,” Hamilton clarified, then counted out a thousand dollars.  “Here, if you would like.  Just pay it back with twenty percent interest for each turn.  I assume you’ll need it on hand until you get to your own properties after jail.”

“You can’t pocket the interest,” Laurens argued, “it could take him half a dozen rolls to get that far, you’d end up getting more money than the loan itself!”

“I’m not going to take the interest for myself,” Hamilton said, irritated at the accusation.  “It’s the bank’s money, it’ll all go back in the till.  Look, I’ll even write him a receipt.”  He turned over one of the pieces of paper he had written on and made out a short contract, then shoved it at Lafayette who, feeling distinctly like he was making a deal with the devil, signed it.

Hamilton sat back, taking a handful of popcorn then just moving the bowl into his lap.  “Thank you.  This hot chocolate is weird, by the way, but it’s nice to actually have mugs from the same set for once.”

“It’s also nice to have an appropriate drink in them.  Doing shots out of a university mug just felt wrong.”

“I don’t know,” Hamilton countered, “I thought that had a certain je ne sais quoi.  What’s more collegiate than underage drinking?”

Laurens looked skeptial and took another drink.  “Maybe.”

“It’s the raw egg,”  Lafayette said helpfully.  Laurens choked and gagged next to him.  “It’s an old family recipe.”

“John, don’t die,” Hamilton laughed, hitting him on the back as he coughed.  “I thought you said you grew up on a farm?  Don't you have chickens?”

“You don't just drink raw egg,” Laurens protested when he could finally speak again.  “Are you kidding?”

“I helped make it before, I can show you what goes in it.”

Hamilton shook his head.  “Last year you wanted me to liberate you a pen and now you’re offering to smuggle out their family secrets.  You can’t be trusted.”

Lafayette looked torn between embarrassed and pleased, then swore as he landed on Laurens’ property.

“He could have been out of the game if you hadn’t given him a loan,” Laurens said, putting his mug down far away from himself.

“I want to kick both your asses.  Don’t worry, I’ve got it worked out.”

“You’re a machiavel.”

“‘Am I politic?  Am I subtle?’”  Hamilton put his hand out as Laurens rolled and then landed on his square.

“You’ve never been subtle a day in your life.”

“Mm, you’re right.”  Hamilton leaned over the board and kissed him slowly on the mouth.

The door opened and Laurens jerked away, grateful for the poor lighting.

“You boys are still up?”  Washington was standing in the doorway, holding two emergency lanterns.  “I’m leaving one of these with you, but you know that you don’t have to stay in here.”

“…We like the maps,” Lafayette said, Laurens still looking very deer-in-headlights and Hamilton still leaning over the board.  

Washington paused, letting that answer hang in the air.  “Okay.”  He set one of the lanterns down.  “Well, you boys have fun now.  I’ll be up if you need anything.”

He left, and Laurens stood up.  “That’s the second time he said that.”

“Calm down, J.”

“The second time!”

“It doesn’t mean anything.”  Lafayette made an irritated noise as Hamilton just missed landing on his property.  “Besides, you could come in here with Alexander’s mouth still attached to your neck and he wouldn’t care.”

Laurens rubbed the faded mark under his jaw anxiously.

“John, it’s fine,” Hamilton said and handed him the dice as he sat back down.  “Now roll a three or a four and then I’ll knock Lafayette out of the running.”

 

“You didn’t tell him about your parents.”

“You didn’t tell him about yours.”

The game was put away and Laurens was asleep on the floor, the other two sitting at the table above him and talking in French in low tones.

“That’s…”

“It’s the same,” Hamilton said, raising his mug to his mouth but not drinking.  “You know it is.”

“I told him eventually.”

“After living with him for a full semester, and just to take the heat off of how you tricked him into coming over to my place.  You didn’t want to deal with it either.”

Lafayette glanced down at Laurens.  “Be that as it may.  You might have noticed that he doesn’t mention his mother, either.”

Hamilton finally took a drink.  “Yeah.  You know, I wonder about that.  About her, I mean.  You seen Henry Laurens?”  Lafayette shook his head.  “Don’t judge me, I looked him up.  Congressman, it’s easy, he’s got his own webpage and everything.  Very photoshopped picture.  Very…”  Hamilton looked over at Laurens.  “There’s a strong resemblance, you know?  You ever think about wanting to be someone else?  Something he said to me once, about not fitting in.”

“We like him.”

“That’s not what he meant.  He’s not his father.  And he’s never going to look quite like his father.  But he also will, strongly, and irreversibly.”

“More than he’d like.”

“Probably,” Hamilton agreed.  “Except that it would be better to at least fit in somewhere.”

“Was that why he didn't want me to know about the paper he wrote?”

“For Jefferson?”  Hamilton didn’t bother to hide his distaste and Lafayette didn’t ask him to.  “Yeah, I think that was part of it.  More that he was concerned you’d try to go over all of our heads, straight to G-Wash and get it smoothed over.  Or to Jefferson himself, since you know him too.  I don’t fit in,” Hamilton continued, motioning casually towards his own face, “and that’s obvious.  I can work with that.  He doesn’t fit and no one sees it.”

“I am very fortunate,” Lafayette said after they were both silent for a minute, “because in spite of everything, I have a large family.  My grandmother and aunts, Adrienne’s parents and siblings, even here,” he added with a nod that took in the room.  “I don’t lack for attention.  Somehow I belong.”  He turned back to Hamilton, serious.  “And you on the other hand lost everything and learned to rely on yourself.  You claim at least that you do not need a family because every time one was taken from you, you continued to survive.”

Hamilton said nothing and after a short silence Lafayette kept talking.

“Our John is caught in between.  He has the family but in some sense he has managed in spite of it—not because of it.  Somehow that makes it easier for us to speak openly with one another about these things and more difficult to broach the subject with him.  The two go together, his father’s name and his mother’s death.”  Lafayette shrugged.  “You and I, we both know what our lot has been and we have had to accept it.  He has not been able to do that yet.”

“Yeah.”  Hamilton put the mug down.  “You’re right.”

“I know I am.”

“Do you remember, back when we first met?”

“You were so excited to meet another orphan.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about your title.”

“It doesn’t mean anything in America.  It hardly means anything back in France.”

“It means you’re eligible to star in your own Disney movie.  Except you can’t dance, so it couldn’t be a musical.”

“You’re teasing me,” Lafayette complained.

“Ha.”  Hamilton smiled, a little wryly, into his mug.  “Hey.  Thanks for staying up.”

Lafayette waved his hand nonchalantly.  “It is nothing.  I am French, it is actually noon for me.  It’s in my blood.  John made a good effort.”

“John doesn’t keep hours like we do.”

‘We’re too cosmopolitan,” Lafayette agreed.  

“That’s a good excuse.  I like it.”

 

Laurens was dimly aware that it had to be quite late, maybe early afternoon, even though the only light in the room continued to be the emergency lantern.  He could hear Lafayette sleeping a few yards away—he was used to the particular slow pattern of his breathing—and he could feel Hamilton lying behind him, under the same blanket, his body curved alongside his own, one hand holding the back of his shirt and his other—

“Good morning sunshine,” Hamilton teased as he traced his other hand over the top of Laurens’ pants.  “I see you’re,” he brushed over Laurens’ cock, “up.”

“Mm.  Alex.”  Laurens didn’t move away.  “What are you doing?  What time is it?”  He sucked in a sharp breath as Hamilton pressed a little harder.  “Did you sleep at all?”

“Shh.”  Hamilton scooted up a little so that he could whisper in his ear, and Laurens tipped his head towards his mouth without thinking.  “You gotta keep quiet, John.  Lafayette’s out cold but I think even he’ll wake up if you make too much noise.”

Laurens knew he should object, but his body was craving it and he leaned his hips into Hamilton’s hand. 

Hamilton popped the button on his pants and tugged down the zipper, sliding his hand in to rub him over the fabric.  “I’m not going to take you out, J.,” he said quietly, his lips brushing over Laurens’ ear.  “Less of a mess, although you’ll have to wash those.”  He was focusing his attention on Laurens’ head, teasing the wet spot that was forming.  “All right?”

“Talk less,” Laurens said through gritted teeth as he tried to keep his hips from jerking with too much obvious need.  A short pained noise died in his throat when Hamilton bit his ear, a little harder than necessary, and then he let the softest moan escape him when he felt Hamilton’s hand release his shirt and move down to undo his own pants.

Hamilton’s breath was soon coming in short staccato gasps, each one seeming to speed up the rhythm he was keeping, and Laurens turned his face so he could kiss the side of his mouth.  He was afraid that they would wake Lafayette or attract attention from outside, but Hamilton was still touching him and those concerns were forgotten.  

Laurens reached back and slipped his hand into Hamilton’s back pocket.  He pressed him closer and then ran his other hand down Hamilton’s forearm, grabbing his wrist and forcing him to keep moving.  Hamilton slipped his other arm across Laurens’ chest and dug his hand in to the fabric by his collar, closing his eyes tightly against the feeling of Laurens moving his arm for him, of how he could feel his muscles tense and harden and he wished they were back in the privacy of the guest room where he could convince Laurens to fuck him—His train of thought was cut short as Laurens shuddered and slowly stopped him.  

Hamilton lay still for a moment, his hand still over his shaft, as Laurens took several deep breaths and then rolled over, sliding one arm under Hamilton’s head and, his hand on his shoulder, pulling him close.  He put his other hand on his cock and Hamilton willingly relinquished power once more, grabbing Laurens’ arm and ducking his head down against his broad chest.  Hamilton let him finish him, holding on for as long as he could, and then muffling himself with his fist and not letting go of his arm.

Laurens kissed the top of his head, the thought flickering through his mind that he needed to get up and change.  Then he felt Hamilton relax against him, his hold on his arm loosening, and his breathing slow, and he closed his eyes, resigning himself to staying put.

Chapter Text

“Power’s back,” Laurens said, flipping the lights on in the library as he came back in from showering.  He couldn’t bring himself to make eye contact with Lafayette.  “Wind died down a little too.  I caught something about how it made an earlier than expected landfall.  Do you want to stay in here another night anyway?”

Hamilton was still sitting on the floor, the blankets around his lap.  “I’ll go wash up,” he said, picking them up with him as he stood and holding them in front of himself.  

“Why do the Washingtons' have Twister?”  Laurens asked Lafayette.  “Monopoly I can understand, but Twister…”

“You really should have come to lunch,” Lafayette said.  “It makes a lot more sense after hearing that story.”

Hamilton stopped in the doorway and turned back.  “Can we have a sans-culottes party?  Is that a thing now?”

“A pantsless party?”  Laurens asked, but Hamilton was already leaving again, having planted the idea in mind.

Lafayette stroked his chin.  “Well…”

“I can see you thinking about it and I just want to ask where you plan to hold it.  We’re not doing it at the dorm and I don’t think Alexander has the space.”

Lafayette didn’t answer but his eyes lit up.

“…Lafayette?”

“Hm.  I will see about it and let you know.  Do you have a good recipe for flaming shots?”

 

“He’s still on the phone?”  Hamilton asked after coming back into the library with Lafayette and more popcorn.  “He was on it when I got out of the shower.  He’s not talking to his father, is he?”

Lafayette shook his head and they sat at the table with the bowl.  “He called to check in but I think he’s at the office.  I could only eavesdrop so much.”

Laurens certainly sounded much more at ease than he usually did when calling home, and he was standing in front of the bookshelf, giving off the impression that if it wasn’t for the glass he would be casually pulling titles off of it and putting them back as he talked.

“Yeah?  That’s great.  Our next game will be a good one, you make sure you see it, all right?  Do you have it set to record?”

Lafayette and Hamilton were listening in spite of themselves, waiting for something interesting to come up.

“Good.  Yeah, I’ll talk to you later.  I love you too, Jemmy.”

He hung up and turned around.

“Jemmy?”  

“James.”

“Do I have competition?”  Hamilton offered him the bowl.

“Don’t be weird, that’s my kid brother.”  Laurens took it from him instead of just helping himself to a handful.

“Right, right.”

“How is your family?”  Lafayette asked.

“They’re fine.  The storm didn’t hit that far south.  He said they didn’t even get any rain.  I have to wait for my father to get back to me,” he continued, “but there shouldn’t be any trouble with both of you visiting over Thanksgiving break.  If you’re interested, that is.”

“Of course we are interested,” Lafayette said, looking brightly at Hamilton.

“Yeah, that sounds good.”  Hamilton sounded distinctly less enthusiastic.  “John, are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“What do you mean?”

Lafayette took the bowl of popcorn from Laurens, eating from it and looking back and forth between them as they talked.

“I mean your father’s very, uh, particular, and you see my wording there?  That’s about the extent of my ability to be delicate about this.”

“I trust you.”

“You shouldn’t.”

“I do.”

“Then you’re a fucking moron.”

“You wouldn’t date me if that were true.  Lafayette, give me that.”  He took the bowl back.  “I’m not asking you to spend a lot of time with him.  Chances are that he’ll be busy most of the week anyway so you’ll only really have to talk to him a couple of times, if that.  It’ll be better than staying in the city over break again.”

“Couldn’t we just go down to Cuba or something?  I hear Havana’s real nice that time of year.”

“Alexander.”

“I’ll try.  Okay?  But don’t act like I didn’t warn you.”

 

“It’s a home game next weekend, right?  Friday.  I told Lafayette I’d take him to one since we’ve never seen you actually play football américain before.”  Hamilton was sitting on the cot in the guest room, the weather outside now no worse than sullen rain.

“He at least went last year  Have you ever even been to a game?  Not a school game, but a football game at all?”  Laurens asked as he pulled off his shirt.  “I’m seriously looking forward to getting my own wardrobe back,” he added as an aside.

“Don’t ruin it.”  Hamilton was watching him strip.  “I’m trying to be patriotic.”

“Get him a corndog, too, and a cinnamon roll.  You might as well give him the full American experience.”

“Jumbo-sized onion rings,” Hamilton agreed.  “Ooh, and nachos.  I bet I can get him to paint his face.”

“I’m sure you can,” Laurens said. 

“This is a real nice room,” Hamilton went on, looking around it.  “Do you know what the best part is?”

“The fact that it’s got a queen sized mattress on an actual boxspring instead of a twin straight on the wooden frame or a couple inches of padding on the hard floor?”

“You just get me.”  Hamilton said, moving back to sit on the bed.  

“I can’t believe we fooled around in Washington’s library…”

“Hey, hey!”  Hamilton clapped his hands in front of Laurens’ face in an attempt to bring him back to the present.  “Don’t you do that, don’t actually imply that we’re gonna fuck all night and then guilt yourself out of it!”

Laurens laughed.  “I was just saying.”

Hamilton pulled his shirt off and started to undo his pants.  “Get the light,” he suggested.

Laurens turned off the light (and locked the door) and was pulled down onto the bed as soon as he was within reach 

“Wait, shit—”  Laurens pulled back, Hamilton’s hand inside his fly.  “Wait, do you have any…?”

“In my bag.”  Hamilton turned on the bedside light with his free hand and let Laurens up.  He turned on his side to watch him dig through the backpack, impatient for him to find it and get back.  “What’s taking so long?  Front pocket.”

Laurens unzipped the other pocket, frowned, grabbed something, then turned the entire bag upside down to make sure he wasn’t missing anything.  “This?”  He held up a travel sized bottle of mouthwash.

Hamilton swore loudly.  “Fuck!”

“Not with this we’re not.”

“You know what I mean, John.  Shit, I can’t believe I grabbed the wrong thing.”  He rolled over onto his back.  “Right, go ask Lafayette.  I’m sure he has.”

“I’m not asking Lafayette!”

“You still have your pants on,” Hamilton argued.  “It’s not a big fucking deal, John, just go ask him.”

Laurens zipped himself up and went back out into the hall.  After a nervous glance down it to make sure he was alone, he knocked on Lafayette’s door.  He could hear him on the phone and when he didn’t get a response he knocked again.

Un moment, ma vie, un moment…”  Laurens heard Lafayette coming over to the door and then he opened it with a scowl, hand over the speaker on his phone.  “Quoi?

“Uh,” Laurens glanced back at his own door.  What was he supposed to say?  “Alex brought…  Never mind.”  He dropped his voice to a stage whisper.  “Do you have lube?”

Lafayette gave him the most exaggerated eye roll and closed the door.  He opened it again a moment later and pressed a bottle into his hands.  “Don’t give it back.”

Laurens looked down at the bottle.  “Thanks!”

The door slammed shut.

 

“I’m sorry about that,” Lafayette said in French once he was back on his bed.  “John and Alex had a problem, but I took care of it.”

“Are you alone again?”  Adrienne asked, and Lafayette could hear her voice soften to just above a whisper even though he knew that she was by herself.

“Yes.  I’m sitting on my bed.  And you, my life?”

“I’ll be wherever you want me to be.”

Her voice was so soft now and it sent a shiver through him. 

“You should be asleep.  It’s so late.”

“I’m not tired.”

“Good,” he said after a slight pause.  “Me neither.”

“Gilbert,” she said, drawing his name out, “I miss you.”

“I miss you too, so much, Adrienne.  I think about you all the time.  What it would be like to be able to kiss you and hold you…”  

She made a little pleased noise and he continued.

“I’m so lonely here sometimes, and you are so far away.  All I have are my memories of how you feel, and the sound of your voice… Keep talking to me, my dearheart.”

“Tell me what you’re doing,” she said, turning the command around on him, and he was only too willing to obey.

“I’m touching myself,” he said, undoing his pants as she made that same little sound.  “I’m thinking about you, remembering all the fun we had this summer.”

“Which time in particular?”

“In my room, when I carried you to the bed and we fucked for hours.”  He felt a little thrill from using such corse language with her.  He could hear the smile in her voice when she responded.

“I don’t remember—Remind me.”

“Adrienne,” he almost whined her name.  “You wound me!  Can’t you remember?  I can’t forget a moment of it.”  He didn’t wait for her to explain and instead kept talking, rubbing himself over his briefs.  “I was kissing your lips and your neck, and then you took my hand—” he moaned a little, remembering and grabbing himself directly, “—and you drew it up between your legs.  You were so wet, Adrienne, and it was so warm…”

“I was thinking about the next morning,” she said, softly.

“The next…”  He remembered.  “Mm.  Yes.”

“After we got up,” she prompted him.

“Yes, after we got up, and you let me taste you—ah, my heart, I’m so hard thinking about it—how good you taste and how I made you arch off the bed, twisting the sheets.”  He took himself out now and worked his length in his hand.  “I can still remember the feel of you against my mouth, so soft, your scent like the sea…”

She laughed, just a short breath of it.  “You’re quoting poetry.”

“Your, mn, your body is poetry.”  Lafayette was breathing harder and she could tell that he was having a more difficult time remaining coherent.

“What do you mean?”  She urged and then, just in a whisper, “I’m touching myself.”

He sucked in a sharp breath, his hips jerking and his hand slipping a little in the sudden wetness.  “…Are you?”

Her answer was a slow, drawn out moan that made his head spin.  He could picture her so clearly, his Adrienne lying on her back on her bed, his Adrienne with her nightshirt drawn up over her small breasts and her hand tucked between her legs.  He whimpered, his free hand gripping the side of the mattress.

“Gil…”

Lafayette ran his thumb over his slit, slick with precum, and continued as he toyed with himself.  “You are so, ah, so beautiful, my heart, I’m imagining how my arm fits around your waist and I want to kiss your mouth and between your legs, I want to feel your heat against my face with your soft legs pressing at my shoulders…”  He paused for a moment.  “I want to fuck you with my tongue.”

He could see in his mind’s eye how her mouth opened in a small gasp of pleasure at that and he imagined putting his hand over hers as she moved it between her legs.  He put his hand back on his length, moving it faster and more insistently now, leaning forward a little and remembering how she had lifted herself off of the bed and how soft warm her thighs had been when he pressed his fingers into them, how tightly her legs had bit into his shoulders and the desperate noise she had made as she came—

Lafayette had intended to come into a towel but he was too caught up in the memory and didn’t grab it in time, hearing Adrienne breathing in short gasps on the other end of the line.  He must have made some noise that gave him away because she moaned, still just as soft as before, and low, and then laughed breathily.  

“Oh, my dear Gil…”

Lafayette set the phone down momentarily as he picked up the towel and gently cleaned himself up.  He wiped the floor with the towel and tossed it to the side.  They'd have to run one more load of laundry before they left.

 

“Hey.”  Later that night Hamilton was lying on his back, his hair a mess on the pillow, legs stretched out, taking full advantage of the larger bed.  He reached out one hand without looking and tapped Laurens’ chest with the back of it.  “What did you mean the other day?”

“Hm?”

“Wake up for a second.  You said that Lafayette was right.”

Laurens gave a tired, half-awake groan.

“What were you talking about?”

“Said you were horrible.”

Hamilton turned his head on the pillow to look at him.  “Excuse me?”

Laurens sighed heavily, blinking hard behind his hand as he rubbed his eyes.  “Relax, he said I was horrible too.  You know how he’s in that psych class?”

“Sadly.”

“Right?  It’s the worst.  Anyway, he was going off on that sort of thing, something about how I was wearing the brace to make you feel wanted, I don’t remember.”

“Ha.”

“I said I was only wearing it because they were making me and he got all huffy.”

 “So what did you mean, ‘he was right’?”

Laurens yawned and picked up Hamilton’s hand off his chest, lifting it to his mouth and kissing it.  “He said we were perfect for one another.”

“…Huh.”

“Mm.”

“Are you fucking asleep again?”  Hamilton squinted in the dark, saw Laurens’ mouth part slightly and felt his chest rise and fall.  He rolled onto his side, pulling Laurens’ arm over him and intertwining their fingers.  “Good night, jerk.”

Chapter Text

“This is bullshit,” Hamilton pointed out helpfully, dropping a stack of books on Laurens’ desk.  

“That looks like your Saturday night reading to me.”

“I had to order these all through inter-library loan and they only just came in!  It’s crap that the school doesn’t shelve them in its own damn library and it’s extra crap the kind of markup they’re charging at the bookstore.  It’s a fucking Ponzi scheme!  And before you start, no, I’m not just mad that I didn’t get my hands on a piece of that pie before it was too late.  There are two ways out of poverty and as fucking glamorous as it may be, most kids aren’t talented or lucky enough to kick their way out with a soccer ball.  I’m not even asking for a handout, just that it be a little easier to get access to the basic resources needed to make something out of yourself.”

“We didn’t say anything,” Laurens said, speaking for both him and Lafayette, the two of them sitting on Laurens’ bed and looking up from his laptop.

“Are you allowed to keep those all semester?”

“Long enough to take some notes and make some scans.”

“Ah.”  Lafayette turned his attention back to the laptop.  “Press play.”

“What are you watching?”  Hamilton stopped sorting through his books at the sound of violence coming from the computer.

Laurens didn’t even look up.  “Saving Private Ryan.”

“That’s the fucking worst Netflix and Chill I’ve ever heard of.”

Lafayette and Laurens both motioned at him to be quiet.  Hamilton sat on Laurens’ other side.

“How far in are you?”

“Over halfway.  We were going to watch Remember the Titans but it wouldn’t buffer.”

“Liar.  You’re not watching it because you’d cry when the team captain calls the other kid his brother.  Desegregation and football,” he explained to Lafayette.  “Calling it now.  It has to be his favorite movie.”

“Can we just watch this, please?”

“If you wanted to show him something American you should have gone with Independence Day.  Ooh, or Red Dawn, you could go full McCarthy.”

“John,” Lafayette complained, “use your mouth and make him shut up.  I can’t hear what they’re saying.”

“I’m not making out during Saving Private Ryan.”

“Exactly.  Worst Netflix and Chill.”

Laurens shoved him and paused the movie again, turning to Lafayette.  “But speaking of excellent movies, you’re coming to the football game this weekend, right?  I’ll explain the rules to you if you’d like.”

Merde,” Lafayette muttered, brushing crumbs off of himself as the package of the poptart he was trying to open suddenly ripped all the way down.  “No, I know them.  You don’t play baseball as well, do you?”

“Sorry.  I used to collect the cards as a kid though.”

“That’s fine.  I’ll make you take me to a game.  Do we like the Yankees?”

“South Carolina Gamecocks.”

“What on earth is a gamecock?”

“A penis,” Hamilton said without looking up from his phone where he was scrolling through IMDB.  

“Shut up.  It’s a fighting rooster and you know it.  Stop confusing him.”

Hamilton looked up and made eye contact with Lafayette from around Laurens.  “It’s a penis,” he mouthed.

“I don’t make fun of your teams.”

“Yeah, don’t mess with the VI.”

“They’ve been one of the best teams since the 70’s,” Laurens said to Lafayette, switching back to talking about his own team.  “They have the record for the most consecutive home NCAA wins.  Now, last year wasn’t their best, but the Gamecocks are solid.”

“So do you follow all American sports?”  Lafayette asked.  “Football, obviously.  Baseball…”

“I keep track of how USC is doing, and then the professional leagues.”  Laurens shrugged.  “I like sports.  My dad and I used to watch games together.”

“I see.  And you?”

Hamilton also shrugged.  “I like the Virgin Islands.”  He got up.  “John, can I borrow your headphones?  I want to get started on these but let me know when you’re finished and putting on Titans.”

“Top desk drawer.  I told you, I couldn’t get it to play.”

“I emailed you a link.  You know you want Lafayette to see it.”

Laurens didn’t argue and was about to play the movie again when Hamilton spoke up once more.

“Oh—Shit.”

He looked up to see Hamilton reaching blindly into the drawer to get the headphones.

“…What?”

“Nothing.”

“I left it open, didn’t I?”

Hamilton actually looked a little guilty as he nodded.  “Yeah.  It’s okay, I didn’t really see.”

“Nah, you might as well.  I’m just about done and it’s been long enough.”  He got up, handing Lafayette the laptop, and took the sketchbook out of his desk.  “Here.”  He passed it over to him and Hamilton studied it quietly.  It was the portrait he had started the previous year of Hamilton sitting on the stool.  His feet were on the bottom rung, legs spread slightly, and he was leaning his chin on his hand in what he had initially intended as a mocking imitation of Rodin but what came out on paper as genuinely thoughtful.  Hamilton couldn’t remember looking at it what had been going through his mind, but he recognized the slight furrow in his brow and the way he was teasing his lower lip even though he had never actually seen the expression on his face.

“Well?”  Laurens didn’t sound as nervous as he could, but there was still a note of anticipation in his voice.

Hamilton handed the drawing to Lafayette, who was clearly waiting for his turn to see.  “Mind you do justice to the length of my nose and don’t forget, that I—”

Lafayette had been listening as he admired the picture and looked up when he stopped speaking.  Laurens was kissing Hamilton, his hands on his waist as if he had pulled him to him mid-word.  They stayed like that for about five seconds until Lafayette cleared his throat and they stepped apart.

“It’s remarkable,” he said, obviously meaning the drawing, and he handed it back to Hamilton who looked it over again.  “You truly managed to capture him.”  He thought he caught a sly wink from Laurens but couldn't quite be sure, although Hamilton cleared his throat at that and abruptly changed the topic.

“Right, I need to study.  If you decide you're going to fool around to Matt Damon fighting Nazis let me know so I can give you a little privacy.”

Laurens sat back down on the bed and raised a brow.  “Matt Damon?  You mean Jeremy Davies.”

“And now that I know whose picture I can expect to find tacked to your ceiling when I visit you in South Carolina, I’m getting to work.”

 

“John, can you do me a favor?”

Laurens looked over at Lafayette as he finished buttoning up his shirt.  “What is it?”

“Stand still and put your arm out.  Oui, merci.”  Lafayette came up to him with a measuring tape, drawing it out along his arm to his wrist and then around his bicep.  “Thank you.”  He stood in front of him, measuring his neck while Laurens awkwardly tried not to make very up close eye contact.  “Stay there.”  He ran it from his waist to just under his arm, then went back to his computer to jot down his notes.

“Am I…”

“Don’t go anywhere!”

Laurens kept standing there stiffly, his arm still out, as Lafayette came back and measured down his back from his collar and then across and around his chest and waist.

“Just so you know,” Laurens said as Lafayette wrote everything down again, “this is all a little concerning.”

“Give me your hand.”

“I do have class soon.”

Lafayette ignored him but sped up a little.

“Did you hear me?”

“Shh.”  Lafayette reached up and measured around his head. 

“Lafayette.”

Lafayette dropped down into a crouch, paused to wince and shift his weight off of his bad leg, and took the diameter of his calf and thigh.

“What is this—Hey there!

“Sorry.”  Lafayette stood back up awkwardly.  “Inseam.”

“Are you going to tell me what this is for?”  Laurens asked, sounding annoyed as Lafayette went back to his computer.

“Class project.  That was all I needed, thank you.”

Laurens wanted to push for more information, but a glance at his watch told him that there was no time.  “Right.  Just so you know for the future, I’ve been to a tailor before and you don't need to move anything over.”

“Alex didn’t complain,” Lafayette called after Laurens as he left.

 

“Do you miss girls?”  Lafayette asked as he and Hamilton sat at the counter along the window at a cafe, watching other students walk by outside.

“Do you miss girls?”  Hamilton asked, turning the question around on him.  “Of course I do—so do you, Lafayette.”

“That’s not the same.  I miss Adrienne.”

“Bullshit, I see you looking at other girls.  Don’t tell me you never think about them.”

Lafayette took a diplomatic sip of his coffee.

“What I miss is getting to stick my dick in stuff,” Hamilton continued.  “And boobs.  Shit.”

They both watched as a girl with full red lips and a necklace dipping into her low shirt collar walked by.

“I just didn’t realize we were monogamous until everyone else did.  You can’t blame me for looking.”

“Do you regret it?”

“What?  No, I mean, John’s great.  I like him a lot.  I’m not incapable of keeping it in my pants just because I’ve got a wide range of tastes.”

“I never said that.”

“You implied it.”

“I implied it because you are Alexander Hamilton, not because you are bisexual.”

“Can we not use labels?”  Hamilton rolled his eyes over the lid of his cup.  “I hate labels.  I like what I like.”

“Hm…”  Lafayette took another drink and then put his cup down.  “Did you really mean to tell me that he’s never let you, how do you say, fuck him?”  He made a crude but visually helpful gesture.

“No!  And I’m afraid to ask, I think it’d really freak him out.”

Lafayette sighed.  “Probably.”  He glanced around them at the very full coffee shop.  People were sitting immediately to either side of them and the table behind them was taken as well.  “Do you think we should have been talking in French?”

Hamilton shrugged.  “Je m’en fous.”

 

> A. Hamilton: yo

> A. Hamilton: coming over tonight?

> A. Hamilton: I get off at 5:30, can be there by 6, just saying

> J. Laurens: I’m playing this weekend.

> A. Hamilton: shit you’re right, you won’t be able to break out of my sex dungeon by then, it’ll take you at least three days to chew through the leather straps

> J. Laurens: I’m serious Alex

> A. Hamilton: because I'm looking at my calendar 

> J. Laurens: I’m not having sex before the game.

> A. Hamilton: and it says it’s still thursday

> A. Hamilton: wait what

> J. Laurens: All right?

> A. Hamilton: wait no

> A. Hamilton: bullshit

> A. Hamilton: you

> J. Laurens: Look, it’s not that weird.  A lot of the guys don’t do it, it’s better to wait until after.

> A. Hamilton: sent that too soon. you really mean nothing ALL SEASON not just a day before?

> J. Laurens: That’s what I always do.

> A. Hamilton: Don’t you try to tell me that’s normal because i’m calling bullshit on that, there is no way that all your stupid ripped teammates aren't getting their dicks wet for three months

> J. Laurens: I just said, that’s what I always do.  Let it go.

> A. Hamilton: you’ve never fucking had a boyfriend before john!! it didn't fuckign matter before if you made some weird vow of chastity because WHERE WERE YOU GOING TO STICK IT?? jesus h are you fucking telling me we’re on fucking hiatus until december?!

> J. Laurens: (I saw what you did there.)

> A. Hamilton: (Good.)

> A. Hamilton: oh my god wait no are you counting through championships you fucking better not be counting through championships don’t make me hate myself for wishing you make it that far don’t you do it

> J. Laurens: Thanksgiving break is in between. 

> A. Hamilton: THAT WE WILL BE SPENDING AT YOUR FATHERS HOUSE

> A. Hamilton: LET <E SEE HOW WELL THAT WILL WORK

> A. Hamilton: “Alexander Hamilton, nice to meet you you racist motherfucker please excuse me while I fuck your eldest literally in the closet”

> A. Hamilton: “i brought a bottle of wine, thank you for having me”

> J. Laurens: Go with the red, not white.

> A. Hamilton: you’re killing me J

 

Chapter Text

“He’s so fucking southern sometimes,” Hamilton muttered to Lafayette behind his scarf.  “I should get him a damn promise ring for his birthday.  I bet I could find one in the shape of a turtle.”

“Were you really unable to change his mind?”

“I got him to promise me a handjob at least once a week, so that’s something.”  He showed his student ID to the girl at the turnstile and waited a moment for Lafayette to follow him into the stadium.  

“The face paint came out well,” he commented, looking him over—the right half of his face was dark blue and he had drawn a matching star on his left cheek.

“Yes, I know.”  Lafayette caught a glimpse of himself in the metal siding of one of the food stands.  “You should have painted yours to match.”

“Too cold.  It’d get all over my scarf.”

“It’s not that bad.”

“It’s in the upper 60s and I’m from south of the Tropic of Cancer.  According to environmental determinism I shouldn’t even be alive any longer.  It’s cold.”  They got in line at one of the larger stands.  “Please tell me you’re coming in November.  I think I’m gonna hurt his feelings if I give him a hard no and besides which, I checked the weather and I’d much rather be down there than stuck in the city.”

“I’ll come,” Lafayette assured him.  “I’ve never been that far south before, or to the American countryside.”

“Me neither—on the mainland, that is.  I’m a little curious,” Hamilton admitted.  “I can’t tell if he’s playing up or down how redneck it’s all going to be.”

“Redneck?”

Hamilton waved a hand.  “I mean it might be weird to see him back on his home turf.  Maybe he actually does go full farmhand and I was wrong for accusing him of being a poor little rich boy.”

“Alex,” Lafayette said, “Even I am surprised by how often he asks his father to buy and send him things.”

Hamilton considered this as they reached the front of the line and Lafayette placed their order.  A few minutes later, each carrying a loaded tray of food, they made their way up to the very front of the student seating.

“I can’t believe it’s been three years and this is the first time I’ve ever actually come down to watch a game,” Hamilton said.  “You do know the rules, right?”

Lafayette nodded.  “It’s like a game of war, and our John Laurens is on the attacking side.”

“Right, he’s a running back.  I was looking at his yardage, he’s good, too.”

“I couldn’t get you to go to a single game with me last semester and John says that you’ve never gone to one at all.  Since when have you cared about football?”

“Since I started dating a first string.”

“Touché.  But does it count as dating,” Lafayette began, chewing one of his onion rings, “if the only people who know are the three of us?”

“My neighbors definitely know.”

“You know what I mean.”

Hamilton stole an onion ring.  “We’ll work on it.”

“You’re being surprisingly patient,” Lafayette commented.  “Let me try your nachos.”

Hamilton handed them over.  “Yeah, because my other option is to insist and scare him off.  Whatever, it’s not like I want to be in some sappy rom-com.”  He paused, then laughed to himself.  “No, forget it,” he said when Lafayette looked at him curiously. 

They had been at the very front of the crowd, having waited extensively outside to be let in, and the seats were filling up around them.

“Looks like it will be a good turnout,” Hamilton commented, twisting in his chair to look back at the rows behind them.

“Ah, Alexander.”  Lafayette pointed up to the electronic screen at one end of the field.  “They are putting up player profiles.”

The screen had been on but was now alternating between commercials and profiles containing photos and stats for various players (Tench Tilghman, James McHenry, David Humphreys all showing up before they started to lose interest).  

Hamilton turned back.  “Think you can get a decent picture for John?”

Lafayette took a test photo as the screen displayed the picture and information for Charles Lee, the team captain.

“That is not bad, non?”

“Little grainy.  But it’ll work.  Try the cinnamon roll.”

They had to wait close to an hour, during which time Lafayette had at least tried all the food they had purchased, before John Laurens’ (#18) profile appeared on the screen.

“Nineteen touchdowns,” Hamilton commented, impressed.  “And that’s considering that he didn’t get to finish last season and is starting late this year.”  The screen flashed to a piece of bonus trivia and Hamilton leaned forward a little.  “Shit—Am I reading this correctly?  John’s committed ten personal fouls?  No wonder he keeps fucking injuring himself.  He's a liability!”

“Calm down, Alexander.”

“I am calm.  I’m just saying.”

“What are you doing… You can’t text him now!”

“Yes I can.  He just can’t respond.”

Lafayette sighed and took the last onion ring.  “Are you really surprised?”

“It’s annoying,” Hamilton argued.  “I keep saying this!  Everyone assumes John’s the nice one!  ‘Oh, John, he’s so sweet and pure and he draws such cute turtles.’  People should know about this stuff!”

“It’s up on the board,” Lafayette pointed out.  “I think people do know.”

“Then it should stick more.”

“Shouldn’t you be happy?  Your boyfriend is even more of a status symbol.”  

“Yeah, yeah, only if they win—Hey, jackass!”  Hamilton stood up, shoving his tray at Lafayette and leaning over the railing to shout at Laurens who had just walked out of the gate with a couple of his teammates.  “Number eighteen!  Laurens!”

Laurens glanced up as he jogged with a ball over to the goalpost and lifted a hand in greeting.

Hamilton was holding his phone up now, still shouting and pointing at the picture he had snapped of the personal fouls.  “You want to explain this?”

“I don’t think he can hear you,” Lafayette said.

Hamilton sullenly sat down as Laurens gave him a confused gesture then looked at Lafayette and tapped his cheek, mirroring where he had drawn the star, and gave him a thumbs up before turning away to throw the ball back and forth.

“You can pester him all you want after the game,” Lafayette said, handing him back his tray.  

“Yeah, I’d rather have the sex,” Hamilton muttered. 

 

Three quarters in and the game was going well.  Laurens hadn’t scored yet, but he had been consistently advancing the ball, even having a run of thirty yards before he was forced out of bounds.  He seemed gracious on the field, congratulating his teammates and even offering a hand up off of the ground to an opposing player that he had taken down.  When their team was playing defense, however, Hamilton and Lafayette found themselves mutually distracted by the cheer line, dressed in the same navy and white as the players, but with a lot more leg and arm exposed.

“Damn,” Hamilton commented succinctly as the girl at the top of the pyramid did a flip and stuck her landing back on the turf.

Oui.”

“You think John would mind if I invited her over?  Not even to participate, just to stand on the side and do her routine.”

“Don’t be selfish, Alexander.”

“That’s not selfish, selfish would be inviting her and the rest of her squad.”  Hamilton leaned forward a little, craning his neck so he could see the benches their team was sitting at.  “And maybe number nineteen.”  

“The quarterback?”

“Yeah.  He’s pretty fine.”

“I didn’t think he would be your type.”

“Lafayette, I do not have a single ‘type.’  I am an equal opportunity employer, in which the job to be done is my—”

“We’re getting the ball again,” Lafayette cut him off as Hamilton started to make an obscene gesture southwards.

Hamilton shifted his attention back to the field as Laurens and the other offensive players switched in.  He was easy enough to make out, even with the matching uniforms, both because of his height and because of the way he carried himself.  Even this far into the game he showed no signs of tiring in his posture or movements and he was clearly confident as he spoke briefly with the quarterback and then clapped him on the back before taking his position.  

The ball was hiked, number 19 backed up and scanned the field before throwing it long to Laurens who leapt and twisted to catch it, tucked it under his arm, and then was tackled out of the air, landing hard on his side, and was quickly piled on by several more defenders.

“That was fast,” Hamilton said, unscrewing the cap of his water bottle and taking a drink.  “Oh well, two more downs.  I bet we can score once more before the quarter’s up.”

A murmur ran through the crowd as the other players got up and moved back to the general area of the new line of scrimmage except for the one who had landed the initial tackle.  He had gotten up but was standing there, saying something inaudible to one of the sideline refs.  Laurens was still lying on the ground.

Lafayette frowned.

“Wait.”  Hamilton leaned forward, his feet solidly on the ground.  

People on the field were clearly talking to one another now and the coach and one of the other professionals from their school hurried over.  

“Wait, shit—”  Hamilton stood up, knocking the remains of their food to the floor.  “Shit, Lafayette.  John!”  

Lafayette got up quickly, grabbing the back of Hamilton’s jacket as he grasped the bar in front of them as if he was about to leap over it onto the field below.  

“Lafayette, let go of me, something’s wrong!”

On the field Laurens finally sat up although from the gesturing it seemed like he hadn’t been asked to do that yet.  

“Alexander, he’s—”

“He’s not fine!”

Lafayette glanced around them.  The stadium was full, especially the student section, and they were front and center.  People were watching curiously.  “Come with me,” he commanded, pulling Hamilton away and down the aisle as the other spectators’ attention shifted back to the field as Laurens got up and walked off the field to sympathetic applause.  

“He’s walking,” Hamilton was saying, still watching the field and then the video feed on the screen over his shoulder as Lafayette steered them away.  “But someone’s helping him, you know he doesn’t like help.  Did he break his arm?”

Lafayette glanced back at the monitor, the footage showing Laurens holding his right arm close to his body as the coach took his left for support.  “I’m not sure.”

“That’s not how he walks.  That’s not how he walks, Lafayette, did you see?” 

Lafayette was guiding them down a flight of stairs.  

“Lafayette!”

They stopped at the last step, a long hallway curving to either side in front of them.  Lafayette turned back to take Hamilton by the shoulders.  

“You need to calm down.”  He felt Hamilton tense and could see the fear in his eyes spark into anger.  “There are ambulances waiting outside in case anyone is injured and they will take him to the hospital.  He will be very unhappy if he finds out that you’ve made a scene.”

Hamilton inhaled deeply and the fire dulled although he was still obviously tense when he spoke.  “Let’s go.”

They made their way out of the stadium and around the back to the parking lot in time to see Laurens sitting down on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance.  

“John!”  Hamilton shouted across the lot, waving one hand in the air and apparently forgetting everything Lafayette had said.  Lafayette for his part broke into a sudden run in spite of his leg, so fast that Hamilton had to chase after him.

Laurens had been coerced into a sling by the time they reached him, his arm bound across his chest and his left hand pressing an ice pack to his right shoulder, which was hanging at an odd sick angle from his body.  His helmet and upper body gear were removed and his dark hair was drenched, sweat beading on his ashen face. 

For a moment it looked like Hamilton was going to jump into the back of the van and grab him but he caught himself after just a step forward and drew his hands back slightly.

Lafayette turned to the assistant coach, an attractive young man only a few years older than they were named Ben Walker.  “What happened?”

Laurens answered that question through tightly gritted teeth.  “Popped my shoulder out.  Walker says I have to go to the hospital.”

“Just what he said,” Walker agreed.  “He says it was from the initial impact and we’re hoping the dog piling didn’t make it too much worse.”

“How bad is it?”

Laurens shot Lafayette a sharp glance, closer to angry than he should have been at that because of the pain and adrenaline. 

“John.”

Laurens took a slow breath, the air hissing through his teeth as he inhaled, then turned his head slightly to look at Hamilton.  “It’s fine.  I’m fine.”

“You always say that.”

“So do you, it’s always true.”

“No, it’s not,” Hamilton said, his voice starting to raise. 

“I’m—”  The muscles over his shoulder twitched involuntarily and Laurens winced, falling silent. 

“Oh my God, you are such a fucking jock sometimes.”  Hamilton ran a hand over his face.

“I’ve never dislocated it before.  They need to take x-rays first.  Muscle relaxants—” he sucked in a breath as his shoulder jerked again and he pressed the ice to it a little more firmly although his hand was shaking, “—to stop it doing that.  Then they can do a closed reduction.”

Walker spoke up.  “I’ll be riding with him, but you guys can call a cab and meet him after they fix him up.”

“I’m his roommate,” Lafayette said.  “I can make sure he gets back afterwards.”

Walker nodded.  “We’ll work something out.  Let’s go, John.”  He got into the back of the ambulance.  The doors closed.

Chapter Text

Hospital waiting rooms are not the most comfortable.  

Hamilton couldn’t stop moving, drumming his fingers on the armrests of the chair and tapping his foot on the ground, standing up just to walk over to the magazine rack and then turn around and sit back down again.

“It’s all right.”  Lafayette looked up at him from his copy of USA Today.  “It isn’t serious.”

“Your paper’s upside down,” Hamilton said a little sharper than he meant to.  

Lafayette turned red behind his face paint and put it down in his lap.

Hamilton resumed drumming his fingers.

“It’s a nice hospital,” Lafayette said to change the subject a little.  “I thought it was very nice that the secretary asked if you were his husband when you said you wanted to see him.”

“Shut up,” Hamilton muttered.

“It’s too bad she got suspicious when you asked if saying yes would mean you were allowed in the back.”

Hamilton crossed his legs, leaning his face heavily on his fist, his ears burning.

“How are you both maimed, anyway?”  Hamilton asked, complaining to put some distance between himself and everything else.  “I thought it was stupid enough when you got yourself cut open but, no, I was wrong, this is even dumber.  Seriously, you’d think he’d know how to not get himself injured by now.  How careless is he?”

The door opened and they both looked up as Laurens walked out, holding his discharge papers and instructions for care in his right hand.  His arm was still in a sling and still with an ice pack pressed to it, but his shoulder looked more normal, if still swollen.

Lafayette stood up.  “John, how are you feeling?”

Laurens looked at them with mild surprise, as if he had not noticed them in the room. 

Lafayette and Hamilton exchanged a worried look.

A nurse appeared in the doorway, pronouncing Lafayette’s name with a heavy Brooklyn accent.  “Gilbert Lafayette?  Right, they said you’d be taking him home.  They had to give him a pretty heavy muscle relaxant to get the joint back in the socket and he’s experiencing some side effects.  It’s very common, but all the information is there on that sheet.  Read it over and call or come back if you have any concerns.”

Hamilton took the paper from Laurens and skimmed it as Lafayette checked with the secretary that everything was taken care of and they were good to go.

“Hey.  John.”  Hamilton snapped his fingers in front of his face and Laurens shifted his focus with some difficulty from middle distance to look at him.  “You with us?”

“Uh.”  It seemed like he was having some trouble putting words together.  “Yeah, Alex.”

“What’s with him?”  Lafayette asked as he held the door and they escorted Laurens into the hallway. 

“He’s higher than a kite.  He’s stoned,” Hamilton explained when Lafayette gave him almost the same confused look as Laurens.  “Come on, buddy,” he said, putting his hand on his back when Laurens started to list into the wall.

“He looks like when our cats come back from the vet,” Lafayette commented.  “Even his hair is a little brushed the wrong way.”

Hamilton frowned and reached up to smooth it down.

“I’ll call the cab again,” Lafayette said as they loaded Laurens into the elevator.  “I don’t think we can take him on the subway like this.”

“Yeah, good idea.”

Laurens was swaying a little as they stood there and they both looked up at him. 

“Are you okay?”  Lafayette asked as the doors opened again and Hamilton half-pushed him out.

“I’m okay.  I’m good,” Laurens assured him, his accent coming out heavily and without him noticing even as his words started to slur together.  Lafayette bit his lip to keep from laughing.  

“They had t’ give me that so they could re, uh, reduction it.  Stopped hurtin’ so bad once they got it back in.”

Hamilton normally would have jumped on the opportunity to tease him for the drawl but he let it go.  “Uh huh.  John, you’re telling me that it doesn’t hurt anymore, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you follow that?”

“Yeah.”

“John, does your shoulder hurt?”

Fuck, Alex.”  Laurens stumbled over the words a little, starting to sound frustrated either with the line of questioning or with his own inability to respond better.  Hamilton didn’t push it.  

Outside Lafayette managed to flag down a cab that was just dropping someone off and they piled in the back, Laurens with his right side against the door and Hamilton to his left.

Lafayette gave the driver the address of the dorm and started explaining what had happened.  Before they were out of the parking lot Laurens had knocked out, sliding down in the seat and leaning against Hamilton’s shoulder.

 

Hamilton held the door as Lafayette helped Laurens through it and sat him on his bed.  Laurens was drifting off again just sitting there and he had to hold him up so Hamilton could take off his shoes.

“What do you think?”

“Leave the pants on, I don’t know how you could lift him up enough to get them down, he’s friggin’ dead weight.”

“All right.  John.  John, we’re back at our room.”  Lafayette looked up at Hamilton.  “Do you think we can lie him down?”

“I got his legs.”

Between the two of them they carefully maneuvered Laurens onto his back and under the covers without jostling his shoulder.

“Shit,” Hamilton swore and put the paperwork on Laurens’ desk.  “No wonder he didn’t want to take anything, whatever they gave him really got him.  Turns out we need a second one of him around just to lug this first one places.  Whatever.”  He kicked off his shoes and lay down next to him.  “I know it’s early but I’m done with today.  Here’s to tomorrow sucking less.”  He fidgeted around under the covers for a moment and then carefully dropped both their phones on the floor, turning onto his side and tucking his face down next to Laurens’ sling.  “Wake me up in like sixteen hours.”

Lafayette was leaning heavily on the desk, reaching down to rub at his leg and hoping that he hadn’t popped any stitches hauling Laurens from the car.  He picked up the phone as Laurens’ screen lit up.  “It’s still on silent.  He has many missed messages.”

Hamilton’s voice was muffled.  “So long as they’re not all his father yelling at him for not looking both ways before he got tackled.” 

Lafayette unlocked the phone and scrolled through them.  “No, it looks like he talked to him from the hospital.  These must be his teammates.  Who is this Andre? He’s sent a half dozen.”

“I dunno.”

 

> J. Andre: Hey, I’m so sorry.  I know they had to take you to the hospital to get looked at and I really hope it’s nothing serious.  Let me know how it goes and if I can do anything.  

> J. Andre: We lost, by the way.  I thought you’d rather hear it from one of us.  Everything just went to shit in the last quarter.

> J. Andre: Coach said you dislocated your shoulder, I’m really sorry. I don’t know if you’re getting these or not or if you can’t respond yet but seriously let me know if you need anything.  I don’t have any plans for the rest of the day so if you need a ride or for me to explain shit to your dad or anything I’m your man.

> J. Andre: That reminds me, he also said he talked to him.  That was all he said, though, spent more time kicking our asses for the loss so at least you missed that.

> J. Andre: Lee’s real pissed you got hurt.

> J. Andre: Hey Laurens, not sure if you’re still at the hospital or not.  Give me a call if you need a ride.

> J. Laurens: Hello, this is John’s roommate.  He’s back at the dorm and is asleep.  I’ll tell him to get in touch with you when he wakes up.

 

Lafayette had barely sent that message when another one came back.  Clearly Andre had been waiting for a reply.

 

> J. Andre: Don’t worry about that!  Thanks for getting him.  I’ll swing by tomorrow to drop off his stuff if that’s ok. 

> J. Laurens: Sure

 

Laurens woke up hours later.  It was still dark out and the edges of his mind still felt fuzzy and there was an ache radiating from his shoulder down his arm and up into his neck.  He tried to move his arm, then realized that it was in a sling—when did that happen?  They had put him in one before he left the stadium, but then at the hospital they had of course had to remove it so they could roll his shoulder back into place.  He replayed the memory of that several times because it was strangely cloudy and dreamlike.  He couldn’t remember anything after that although he was clearly back in his own bed and Hamilton was curled next to him, his arm draped over him, and not exactly helping the pain.

He sat up with effort—the bed was too small for both of them even when he had full mobility—and looked around in the dark for his phone or his laptop.  They were both out of reach.  He shifted to get up and then realized he was stuck, unable to leverage his weight over Hamilton without his right arm. 

“Mm… J.?”

Laurens sat heavily back down.

“What’re you doing?  Do you need something?”  Hamilton sat up.  “Do you feel sick?  Wait, I don’t think you ate since yesterday morning, are you hungry?  I can order something…”

“I need to shower.”

“Oh.  Right.  Okay.”  Hamilton got out of bed so that Laurens could get up.  He turned on the desk light and helped gather his things while Laurens fumbled with the clasp of the sling.

“Here.”  Hamilton undid it for him and Laurens clumsily took off his shirt.

“Do you need help?”

“No.”  Laurens was obviously irritated.  “I can take care of myself.”

Hamilton sat back down on the end of the bed as Laurens left and was still waiting there, wishing they were at his apartment where he wouldn’t have asked at all but would have just joined him in the shower, when he got back.  

Hamilton stood up when he entered.  “Hey.”

“What time is it?”

Hamilton checked his phone then put it back on the desk.  “Almost five.  You need to take anything?”

Laurens waved the question off with his left hand and sat on the bed, rubbing his face with it.  “Thanks for getting me.”

Hamilton took it.  “Are you okay?”

“I’ve been better, but I’ve been worse, too.  I hate taking that stuff, it always messes me up.”

“Ha.  Yeah, you were pretty out of it.  Don’t worry, it wasn’t that bad, you were just basically sleepwalking.  Actually, I’m pretty sure you were sleepwalking by the time we got back here.”

Laurens took his hand away and rubbed at his shoulder.

“Put the sling back on.”

“I don’t need it.  I’m just going back to bed anyway.”

“You’re up now,” Hamilton argued, “and why would they give it to you if you’re not supposed to wear it?”

Laurens opened his mouth to retort but closed it and put his hand back on Hamilton’s leg.  “Fine.  Pass it to me.  I might as well practice getting it on right.”

Hamilton handed it over and sat back as Laurens worked with it.  “You can move your arm.”

“Yeah.  It’s just stiff.  I’d heard that it’s a lot better once they can get it back in and they were right.”

“Are you going to class tomorrow?  I’ll email your professors as you and say you can’t make it.”

“I’ve got a note, but thanks.  I don’t think I’d be able to pay attention to anything they say, anyway.”  He narrowed his eyes at the sling as he got it fastened properly.  “Is this blue?  Like true blue?”

“Yeah.”  Hamilton bit back a laugh.  “You’re pissed that it won’t match your clothes.”

“It’s so bold, why wouldn’t they make it in something more subdued?”

“Maybe they offered you a choice and you picked it out yourself.”

“No way.  I wasn’t that stoned.”

Hamilton leaned forward and turned his head, kissing him gently.  “You’re never allowed to call me vain again.”  He sat back.  “Are you still tired?”

Laurens carefully lay down, using his pillow so he was still sitting up partially.  “Tired enough.  Are you staying up?”

“Nah.”  Hamilton lay down next to him, then paused.  “You don't mind, do you?  I can head back.”

“Stay.”

Chapter Text

 

John Andre came by a little after eight in the morning.

Lafayette, just barely dressed for class, answered the door when he knocked.  “May I help you?”

“Hey.” The young man outside was barely shorter than Lafayette and trim with dark hair styled almost too trendily to the effect that he would not have looked out of place on the poster for a boyband.  “I’m Andre.  Is Laurens up?”

Lafayette’s eyes widened briefly in a very clear “oh shit” and then glanced back towards the other bed.  “Ah, one moment.  John?”

Laurens had been asleep again, Hamilton lying next to him, but he sat up with a start when he heard who was at the door.  

Lafayette smiled at Andre.  “I’m sorry, I forgot to wake him.  Are you on the team?” 

There was a yelp and a thud as Hamilton hit the floor.

Andre looked puzzled at the noise and like he wanted to peer into the room to see what was going on but was refraining himself.  “Ah, yeah, I’m the quarterback.  I know it’s early, I can just drop this off and come back later.”

“No, it’s fine.  Hello, Andre.”  Laurens came to the door.

“Laurens,”  Andre smiled widely.  “I missed you this morning, man.  I’ve got your stuff from yesterday.”  He picked up Laurens’ gym bag from the hall and carried it inside.  “Thanks for letting me know you collected him,” he said to Lafayette, and his eyes lingered a moment on where the picture of Adrienne had been tacked to the wall in the past.  “I didn’t know what was going on and I just wanted to make sure he didn’t get stuck trying to get back on his own.”

“I would’ve been fine,” Laurens said.

“Yeah, of course.”  Andre turned to Laurens’ side of the room to put his things down and was startled to see Hamilton, his hair in a messy ponytail,  standing at the foot of the bed with his arms crossed.  “Oh, hey.”  Andre glanced between Hamilton and Laurens, looking for an introduction and then put the bag down and his hand out.  “My name’s John Andre.  It’s a pleasure.”

Hamilton shook it, his irritation with the whole situation vanishing.  “Alexander Hamilton.”

“Oh, you’re Alexander,” Andre said, as if that explained things.  Hamilton wondered what exactly Laurens had said.

“You’re number nineteen?”

Andre nodded.  “Quarterback.”

“Right, right.  I just didn’t realize—Lafayette was saying that an Andre had been texting him but we didn’t know who you were.  We were around even if John was asleep, you could have dropped that off last night if it would have been more convenient.”

“That’s all right,” Andre turned back to Laurens who forced the suspicious look off his face for a blankly neutral one.  “Actually, I wanted to apologize to you in person.  That was a bad throw and I’m so sorry, Laurens.”

Laurens shrugged with one shoulder.  “I told you to throw to me and we got the yardage.  I’ll be fine, Andre.  Besides, I should still be able to make the end of the season.  Don’t beat yourself up about it too badly.”

Andre nodded, looking relieved even as he anxiously fiddled with his keys, a little jade dog on a red cord clinking against the metal.  “That’s good to hear.  Look, I’ve got class, but again, if you need anything just let me know.  I’ve got the car, it’s not a problem.”

“Thanks.  I appreciate it.”

Andre said goodbye to the others and left.

“I didn’t know you had a gym bunny friend,” Hamilton commented.

“I don’t—it’s weird when you say it like that.  It’s not like we’re the only two guys who show up for training.”

“Yes, but he is the only one who sent you six texts last night before I responded to him,” Lafayette said.

“Yeah, about that.”  Laurens turned to him, annoyed.  “Maybe next time you could mention that I’m expecting company.”

“You were still asleep!”

“Lafayette.”

“All right, I forgot.  It was a very tiring night.”  Lafayette yawned, perhaps more to prove the point than anything else, and picked up his bag.  “I am going to class.  Adrienne sends her love and hopes that your shoulder is better.  Alex, are you coming?”

Hamilton glanced at Laurens.  “Yeah, I should.”

Laurens sat down at his desk.  “It’s fine.  I’ll see you guys later.”

Once they left Laurens picked up his phone and with growing reservation scrolled past his father’s number in his phonebook before putting it on speaker and propping it up against one of his books.

“Pick up,” he muttered, drumming his fingers anxiously on the desk.

After several rings a much younger voice cut in.  “Jack?”

“Jemmy,” Laurens said, relieved.

“Are you okay?  Dad said they had to take you to the hospital to fix your shoulder.”

“Yeah, I’m fine.  The doctors did a good job.  Listen, Jemmy, I haven't been able to see the footage yet, what happened?  Not the actual hit, I know what happened on the field, I want to know what the cameras showed.  Dad was watching, wasn't he?  Tell me exactly what you all saw.”

James sounded confused.  “Yeah, he was here.  We saw you get hit and then that you couldn’t get up right away.  They replayed what happened and then we saw you already sitting up.  Dad got up then and got his phone but he saw you walk off the field.”

“Right, right.  And then?”  Laurens leaned against his fist.  “Did it show the spectators or anything like that?”

“I don’t think it ever went off the field except for when it showed you on the sidelines.  Don’t worry,” James continued as Laurens heaved a sigh of relief, “we didn't see you hurl.”

“Hey,” Laurens protested, “I didn't—Whatever, it’s not important.  Thanks, Jemmy.  Have a good day at school.”

 

“Hamilton.”

Hamilton looked up from filing away Washington’s papers.  “Yes, sir?”

“About the trustees’ dinner next month.  I wanted to make it clear that you are invited to that as well.”

“Sir?” Hamilton stood up, surprised.

“It’ll be a good opportunity for you to make some connections.  I’ll make sure you get an official copy of the invitation.”

“Thank you,” Hamilton said.  “I’ll be there.”

“Good.  It’s a black tie event, so make sure you get something appropriate to wear, and you’ll probably want to bring John.”

Hamilton blinked.  “John?”

“It’s standard to bring a date to this sort of thing.  Could you get me the minutes from the last board meeting?”

Hamilton turned back to the cabinets.  “One moment, sir.”

Chapter Text

Laurens was surprised to find Hamilton at his door.  “Aren’t you—”

“Lunch break.”  Hamilton stepped past him into the room.  “I’ve got forty minutes before I need to walk back over, how’s your shoulder?  Are you still drugged?”

Laurens shook his head.  “I’m—mmph!”  

Hamilton had leaned up and kissed him, pushing his tongue into his mouth and broke away only after Laurens had closed his eyes and put his hand on his waist.

“Good,” he said, breathlessly.  “I couldn’t wait anymore.  Sit.”

“Alex,” Laurens began, although he did sit back down in his chair.  “What…”

Hamilton knelt in front of him, pushing his legs apart and running his hands up his inner thighs, bending forward and brushing his lips just over the fly of his pants.  “You’re not playing this week, so this isn’t breaking that stupid rule of yours.”  

He undid the button with his teeth and Laurens sunk down a little in the chair with a low moan.

“Alex…”

“Rise up.”

Laurens did so, obediently, and Hamilton slid his pants down around his knees.  He ran his tongue slowly up over the bulge in Laurens’ briefs, repeating it as Laurens rocked his hips towards him with a short frustrated whine.

“You’re loud today,” Hamilton commented, flicking his tongue over his upper thigh just off the fabric.  “I like it.”

Laurens let out a slow hissing breath through his teeth and Hamilton looked up quickly but his head was tipped back and his eyes closed.  Laurens pressed his hips towards the warmth of Hamilton’s mouth as he put it back over his cock and put his hand on his shoulder.

“Take them off.”

Hamilton pulled the fabric to the side instead, a little sharply, and Laurens made an uncomfortable noise.  Hamilton leaned close and darted his tongue over the underside of his shaft and Laurens tightened his grip on his shoulder.  Hamilton repeated the motion and Laurens shifted impatiently.

“I thought you said you didn’t have much time.”

“Over half an hour.”  He sat back and pulled his briefs off, looking over Laurens’ cock, before taking just the head into his mouth.  Laurens moaned again as Hamilton slid a little past it, then back up, then a little further down, then back to focus his attention on his head.  Hamilton wrapped his hand around his shaft and ran his tongue over his slit, teasing it without taking his mouth off.  He moved his hand slowly, more for his own pleasure than Laurens’ as he relished the feel and heat of him in his grip.  He tasted salt and took that as encouragement to move his tongue faster and more insistently, as Laurens tried to push his head down.  Hamilton resisted, taking his mouth off of him instead with one last flick of the tongue.

“Before I forget, there’s something I need to tell you.”

“Alexander,” Laurens pleaded.

“So I was at work today—”

Alexander.

Hamilton grinned.  “Fine, I’ll tell you later.”  He put his hands on Laurens’ legs and took as much of him as he could into his mouth, rewarded with a gasp and a moan and Laurens curling his fingers into his hair.

Hamilton dug his fingers in a little as he braced himself, moving on and off and almost letting Laurens set the pace as he tugged at his hair.  Sensing by how insistent he was getting and how his hips were shaking that he was almost done, Hamilton pulled back again, working his head with his tongue and pumping his length with one hand.  Laurens came and Hamilton slid his mouth back down his shaft almost lazily, sucking slowly against him.  

“Mm.”  Laurens squeezed his shoulder.  “Hey.”  He was breathing heavily and the sound of it made Hamilton want to keep touching him but he made himself move away and wiped his mouth on the back of his hand.

“What, uh, you were going to tell me something?” Laurens asked, grabbing a tissue off his desk to clean himself with before he got dressed again.  

“I missed you.”

Laurens looked confused.  “What?”

Hamilton put a hand on his good shoulder and kissed him slowly, his tongue in his mouth.  Laurens felt a shiver of heat travel through him as he realized he could taste himself on him.

“Anyway,” Hamilton started to pull away but Laurens put his hand on his back and pushed him forward so that he almost fell onto him, kissing him again.  He laughed into it.  “Mm.”  He moved away again, kissing the side of his mouth and his jaw.  “I have to go soon.”

“Tell him I needed help with something.”

“You did, and I fixed it already,” Hamilton pointed out.  “You want me to lie to my boss so I can suck you off again?  Right, speaking of whom—”

Laurens had turned his head and was biting and sucking at his neck now, one hand rubbing him between the legs.

“Get on the bed,” Laurens growled against his skin.

“John,” Hamilton protested.  

“Now.”

Hamilton whined.  This was not the time to have accidentally done whatever he just did but also, lord, how could he say no to this?

Laurens pushed him away and stood up, quickly getting the sling and then his shirt off.

“Damn it,” Hamilton muttered, feeling the last of his resolve crumbling as Laurens threw his shirt to the floor and stepped out of the rest of his clothes, his eyes dark and feral.  “Yeah, okay, but I’m going to be fucking pissed if I get fired for this.”  He got on his phone as he started undoing his pants.  “Hello?  Hey, this is Hamilton.  Could you let Washington know that I’m going to be late?  I’ll make the time up tonight.”

Laurens had his hands on his waist and licked his neck, then nipped at his ear.  Hamilton bit his own lip for a second to keep quiet. 

“Yeah.  Yeah, uh, tell him John Laurens needed me to pick up his painkillers for him and I’m not going to get back in time but, uh, thank you and we’ll both definitely be there next month.”  

He had barely hung up when Laurens pushed him backwards onto the bed and climbed on top of him, impatiently helping him pull his clothes off and then kissing him hard, leaning on his left arm while his right worked his cock.

Hamilton made a small undignified needy sound and arched into his hand, wrapping his arms around him and digging his nails into his back.  The little bite of pain urged Laurens on and he moved his hand faster.

“Get the lube from the drawer.”

Hamilton moved back to reach over his head and open the drawer, but then couldn’t find it without looking.  As he sat up, Laurens moved down his body, kissing the bare skin and causing his hips to tremble as his lips brushed over the v in his hip.  He could feel Laurens’ breath hot against the base of his shaft and he forgot what he was doing, turning back and running his hand through his hair and grabbing his shoulder with the other.

“Ah—John—”  He tipped his hips toward him and just brushed the side of his face with his shaft, gasping in surprise and then groaning as Laurens took the opportunity and swallowed him as far as he could.

Hamilton didn’t notice when Laurens took his wrist and moved his hand to the side of his face, but then he was moving his mouth over him and he realized he could intertwine both his hands in his hair and he could feel his own heart racing faster.

“John, mm, stop—”  He regretfully tugged on his hair.  “You’re gonna make me lose it.”

Laurens sat back and took a long look over Hamilton lying on the bed in front of him.  His face and cock were flushed and he wanted to make him spread his legs further, to let him fuck him until all his frustration was gone…

Hamilton saw the way he was watching him hungrily and he sat up gingerly, leaning back against where the head of the bed met the desk and getting the lube.  With a slight grin he opened it and rubbed it on his hand, and then, making sure Laurens was still paying attention, he pulled one leg up and curled to the side, pushing one slick finger into himself.  Laurens leaned forward a little, watching.  Hamilton worked a second one in, not really able to get comfortable with the angle but enjoying the complete hold he had over Laurens.  He was tempted to make him touch himself, to just sit back and watch him jerk off to how much he wanted him.

“Get back here.”

Laurens didn’t need to be told twice.  He was back on top of Hamilton, kissing and touching him as he pushed in.  The fit was so tight and Hamilton gasped sharply and grabbed his shoulder hard to steady himself.

Laurens made a sudden pained noise and Hamilton, realizing what had just happened, jerked his hand away.

“Sorry!”

Laurens kissed him, hard, and grabbed his wrist again, forcefully putting his hand back.

Hamilton pushed away again, his other hand on his chest to keep some distance.  “John!  What the fuck?”

Laurens still had him by the wrist and he was breathing heavily, his voice low and dangerous.  “I like that.”

Hamilton stared at him incredulously.  

Laurens pushed his hand on a little more and Hamilton could feel the muscle start to twitch.

“John, I don’t want to—”

Laurens bit his lip and then his neck, letting go of his arm to brace himself on the mattress as he fucked him and when Hamilton automatically tightened his hold again, Laurens responded more forcefully.  Hamilton tipped his neck back, no longer quite sure what was happening as Laurens   left a dark bruise on it and moved his hand roughly over Hamilton’s length.  Hamilton was moaning encouragement with each thrust and Laurens pushed himself to go faster, feeling his heart pound in his ears.  For once the thought that someone might hear was appealing to him—let them hear, he wanted them to hear this, hear how he could make him arch off the bed and shout his name.

Then they were done and Laurens collapsed, exhausted and sore, on top of Hamilton.

“Mmph.”  Hamilton slipped his right arm free and cradled Laurens’ head, tucking it down next to his neck.  “I can feel your heart trying to pound out of your body.”

Laurens, still breathing heavily, didn’t respond.

Hamilton kissed his temple then turned to look at his shoulder and winced.  “Jesus, J.”  It was more obviously swollen than it had been when he had first taken his shirt off, and an angry red, scratches criss-crossing over it and down his upper arm.  “You should have stopped me.”

“Liked it.” 

“You’re crazy.”

“Mm.”

Hamilton sighed, petting his hair.  “I guess I can’t talk.”

“Nope.”  Laurens’ face was still half-buried but his breathing was starting to regulate.

“I still gotta go back to work.”

Laurens whined and Hamilton laughed.  “Yeah, I do.  I already fucked off to go get some, that’s gonna look real nice after Washington invited us to the party of the year.”

“What?”

“Oh, shit, that’s right.  That’s what I was actually coming by to tell you.”  Hamilton paused, feeling Laurens’ weight against him.  “You know what, it’s a long story and not that important.  I’ll have to work late after this but I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

 

Lafayette had gone over to Washington’s office to eat lunch and had picked up the phone when it rang.

“Hello?  Dr. Washington’s office.”

He heard Hamilton on the other end, a little too distracted to be confused even though he had clearly expected to get Washington himself as no one else should have been there to answer the line.  Lafayette didn’t bother to explain it was him as Hamilton was already talking, impatient to get back to whatever it was he was doing.  Lafayette decided it was better—especially considering that Washington was still in the room—not to ask.

“Were you told about the trustee dinner?”  He asked him instead, sitting up properly in the chair and trying to put on a professional air.  “And about your plus one?”  He was barely able to get that question out before Hamilton cut him off again, tossing what was so transparently an excuse that Lafayette had to fight to urge to roll his eyes.  “All right,” he assured him, “I’ll let him know.  Bonsoir.”

“Hamilton?”  Washington asked once Lafayette had hung up the phone.

“Yes.”  Lafayette picked up his plate and tiny fork from where he had set them on the desk, delicately stabbing a piece of cheese from their platter and taking a cracker and a grape with it.  “He apologizes and says that he went back to check in with John Laurens and will be late returning.”  Lafayette arranged them on his plate.  “He is going to pick up his pain medication from the pharmacy.”

“As long as he gets the work done in time.”

“He said he’d be in later,” Lafayette added quickly.  “And that the two of them would be attending.”

“Good.”  Washington put a piece of cheese on a cracker.  “You must be pleased.”

“I am.”  Lafayette smiled, all pretense of formality gone.  “Thank you so much for inviting them.  I don’t know anyone else and it would have been such a long night.”

“That’s not true,” Washington told him, “you know virtually the entire guest list.”

“But it’s not the same,” Lafayette protested.  “Alexander and John are my friends.  I don’t know anyone else here and they’re both so busy.”

“You should meet more people your own age,” Washington told him.  “It’s not that I don’t enjoy your company, but it’s not healthy for you to be only spending time with someone as old as I am.”

“And Alexander and John.”

“Who are both so busy,” Washington reminded him.  “Have you put any more thought into extracurriculars like I asked you to?  You would do a fine job at the language tutoring center and it would be good experience for you.”

“Yes…”  Lafayette hesitated.  “It sounds like it would take up a lot of time.”

“Lafayette,” Washington scolded him.  

Lafayette felt a twinge of shame.  “I’m not afraid of the work!  But I want to be free to call Adrienne…”

“She sounds like a very understanding girl,” Washington said.  “I’m sure she would encourage you to better yourself and broaden your social circle.”

Lafayette had no real way to argue with that.  “Is it after the deadline?”

“I think I can pull a few strings,” Washington smiled.  “There are a few advantages to having this job, after all.  I’m going to be speaking with the department head after lunch.  I’ll tell her to call you.”

Lafayette nodded, a little disappointed although he wasn’t sure if it was more in how things had played out or in himself for trying to get out of them.  “I did like the class I took at the gym last semester.”

“Did you sign up for another one?”

“A club—actually, I also paid for lessons at another studio off campus.”

“Good,” Washington said, sounding genuinely encouraging.  Lafayette brightened at receiving praise once more.  “I’m glad to hear it, son.”

Lafayette was beaming.  “Tell the department head that I’m very sorry that I am applying so late, but that I would like to be of help in any way possible.  I would love to be able to assist students with their work, as I know how difficult it is to express yourself in a foreign language.  In fact,” he took his checkbook out of his bag, “I would like to make a donation to the department, as a symbolic gesture of thanks for all of the help that I have myself received since coming to America.”

“You don’t have to—”

“I do,” Lafayette insisted, signing his name with a flourish and tearing out the check.  “I would have been lost without the help of so many people here and I would be honored to give back.  When I first came here,” he continued, “my English was so poor.  Do you remember?  When we first met I had to explain my situation to you in writing because speaking was too difficult.  Please, I don’t want to be treated any differently.  I will still fill out the application and interview for the position, just like any other student.  In fact, don’t pass this along until after a decision has been made one way or the other.”  Washington raised his brows at the number on the check and Lafayette didn’t slow down at all.  “I want to give this either way.  You are right, sir, I need to work harder to be worthy of the trust everyone has put in me—you most of all,” he finished eagerly.

“I think you need to worry most about your appearance in Adrienne’s eyes,” Washington said, almost teasing.  “She’ll be with you long after you leave me in America.”

Lafayette hesitated, not sure how to react to the joke.  Washington put the check away in his desk.  “But regardless, thank you, Lafayette, very much.  I will see to it that this is passed along.”

Lafayette smiled broadly once more.  “My leg is healing nicely,” he said, changing the topic.  “It only bled a little after I carried John up to his room.”

“It bled?”  Washington sounded less than delighted.  “Did you break the stitches?  You need to be more careful, Lafayette.”

Lafayette’s eyes widened at the stern tone.  He hadn’t expected that.  “Oh, no, not—well, not very much at least.  He couldn’t take the stairs himself, and the elevator was so far away, and we thought that he wouldn’t like to be led like that though the common area.”

“You should have had someone else help,” Washington continued.  “There are plenty of other people you could have called upon.  Why didn’t one of his teammates stay and escort him back?  Actually, von Steuben should have picked him up himself—”

“I wanted to take him back,” Lafayette protested, uncharacteristically cutting off Washington for the second time.  “I told them right there at the stadium that I would collect him.  I love John, he is like a brother to me!  If I can be of any help to him, if there is anything I can do for him—!”

Washington laughed fondly.  “Yes,” he said, “I know.  You forget just how much you like to talk about your accomplishments.”

Lafayette blushed.

“But you’re a good friend,” Washington continued.  “I know you mean well and we both know I would have noticed it on my own anyway.  They are hardly subtle.  For all intents and purposes we can continue to assume that I picked up on it all on my own.  You shouldn’t be punished for very deserved enthusiasm.”

Lafayette nodded.  “And that’s also why it was necessary that I carry John…”  His words died in his throat as Washington gave him an unamused look, his mouth in a tight line.  “…I’ll go see the school nurse after this.”

 

Hamilton ran into Andre on the first floor of the dorm as he was leaving (still a little flushed, walking tenderly, hair and clothes impeccable).

“Oh.  Uh,” he glanced at the printouts in his hand.  “Are you going to see John?”

“Yeah, I told the professor I’d bring him the assignment and notes from class.  How is he?  I thought he might show up to his afternoon classes at least.”

Hamilton nodded, looking up and avoiding eye contact.  “He’s real good.  Real good.  Better than usual, actually.  Although,” he added, “I’m pretty sure he was, uh, about to pass out when I left.  Maybe just slip those under the door.  Carisoprodol.”  He shrugged.

Andre sounded relieved.  “That’s good.  I was really worried when they had to help him off the field.  Usually he’ll just get right back up and try to keep playing.”

“I don’t usually manage to make it to games.  Does he get injured a lot?”

“A lot,” Andre agreed.  “He’s very reckless.  Honestly, some of those fouls he has he took more of a beating than the other guy did.  I’m surprised he’s actually taking anything and using the sling.  It must have really hurt.”

“Yeah.”  Hamilton searched for a change of topic.  “What class are you taking with him, anyway?”

“French.”  He held up the papers.

Tu parles français?  Moi aussi, mais je ne suis pas dans un cours ici.  Je manque toujours de temps.

Andre laughed a little at that obvious showboating.  “Oui, but it’s not my focus.  I’m a language studies major,” he explained.  “I’ve also taken Italian and German.”

“Really?”  Hamilton sounded impressed.  “That’s hot, I mean, that’s hard to keep track of.”

“Italian and French are both Romance languages so there’s a lot of similarity there.  German is more challenging.  Did you know they actually have a phrase in German admitting that it’s hard to learn?  Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache.”

Hamilton grinned.  “I’m going to remember that.  So why those three?  Are you planning to start your own football team in the Alps?”

“My dad's stationed in Switzerland.”

“So I was right, basically.”

“I don’t know if I would say that.”

Hamilton glanced at the clock across the hall.  “Shoot, I really need to go.  Hey, listen, since you’re such good friends with John and all, why don’t you join us on Halloween?  A friend of mine is having a thing in the Heights and you’d be welcome to come.  I’m sure John would like having someone else he knows there.”

“Sure,” Andre agreed.  “Here, let me give you my number and you can send me the information later.”

Chapter Text

“When are you ever going to wear those?”  Hamilton asked, sitting at Lafayette’s desk as Laurens unpacked with one hand a pair of white and royal blue hightops. 

“I’ll wear them all the time.  They’re nice,” Laurens said, a little defensively, picking one up and turning it over for a better look.

“They don’t go with any of your—Wait a minute.”  Hamilton’s eyes widened.  “Did you buy those just so you’d have something to accessorize with your fucking sling?”

Laurens didn’t say anything.

“Oh my God you did.  You are such a fucking dandy.”

“If I have to wear this damn thing it might as well not clash with everything I own!”

Hamilton started to laugh.  “Shit, did you pay for express on those?  I know we’re in the city but there’s no way they would have arrived today otherwise.”

Laurens didn’t respond to that as he switched out his current shoes for the new ones and got up to check the match in the mirror.

Hamilton tipped his head to one side appraisingly.  “You need a hat.”

“I don’t need a hat.”

“Yes you do, then you can trade out the hat and the shoes.  Or at least a watch.”

Laurens glanced down at his wrist.

“It’s not a bad color on you at least.”

“Navy would have been better.  I look like a Royals fan.”

“Right, I’m sorry they didn’t give you a sling in South Carolina’s colors.”

“I don’t want to associate the Gamecocks with this.”

“I think you look dashing,” Hamilton only mostly lied.  “And speaking of which, you own a suit, don’t you?”

“Yeah.  Why?”

“‘Cause, and listen close because this first part is good, Washington invited me personally to the Trustees Dinner in October.”

Laurens turned back from the mirror.  “Alexander, that’s great.”

“I know.”

“What do you want my suit for?”

“Well,” Hamilton tapped his fingers together.  “Actually, Washington invited both of us.”

Laurens touched his chest.  “He invited me?”

“Yeah.  Uh, as my date.  I told him we’d be there, I guess you’ll have to find a matching tie too.”

“Wait, what?”  Laurens touched his chest again, more forcefully this time.  “I got asked out for you by Washington?”

“Yeah, about that,” Hamilton began with an awkward grin.  “It’s more like he just assumed I would be taking you.  Turns out I was not as subtle as I thought I was.”

“You think?”

“It’s not a big deal, J.,” Hamilton said as Laurens, bright red, pressed his hand to his mouth.  “He didn’t give a single crap.  It was just ‘oh by the way find a suit and bring John, I need those papers that I misplaced again and I expect you to magically know that I put them in a folder for a completely different year.’  I love the guy but he gets real bitchy about things.”

“Alexander,” Laurens started, “my father’s a trustee, he’s on the planning committee for this.  He goes every year.”

“Oh.”  Hamilton’s eyes widened.  “Oh shit.”

“Yeah.”

Hamilton paused.  “So come anyway.  I mean, fuck it.  You invited me to your house over break, do you really think he’ll just never figure it out?”  Hamilton waited until it was clear that he wasn’t going to get a response.  “I will never understand you.  Just come anyway.  Okay?  I promise I will do my utmost to avoid him.”

“I know some good places we can try for a suit.”

“I was just gonna rent one.”

“As if this is going to be the last black tie event you’ll get invited to.  I’ll take you to find one.  Besides, your next fitting should be by someone more qualified than Lafayette.”

 

“He’d have a turtle.”

“I don’t think he would agree.”

“Too bad, he’s not here.”

Hamilton and Lafayette were sitting halfway up the bleachers at the edge of the open air field, eating lunch while they watched the team practice.  Laurens was down on the lowest bench sitting next to the supplies and the assistant coach.

“I’d have a horse,” Lafayette claimed, taking a bite of his perogi. “And it would still be white so I could still call it Jean le Blanc.”

“Your patronus would not be a horse,” Hamilton argued.  “No way.  You’d have, like, a budgie or something.  A horse is too dignified.”

“I am dignified,” Lafayette said, offended.

“Yeah, like a budgie.”

“You have the worst taste.  I would be a horse and John would be one of Adrienne’s large white dogs.”

“The animals don’t actually have to be white, you know.”

“You’d be a persian.”

I’d be a unicorn.  They’re a real animal in that ‘verse, that counts.”  Hamilton paused, watching as Andre did ladders.  “Right, before I forget again, two things about parties I need to tell you.  One, I ran into Andre and told him to come to Mulligan’s for Halloween.  I ran that pantless idea by him, by the way, loved it, so that’s definitely going to be the theme.  Two—did you know that Washington knew John and I are dating?—because he invited me to that trustees thing and told me to bring him.”

“Oh, that," Lafayette said, avoiding having to answer the question. "I’m going to that, too!”

“Not to sound too salty about you stealing my thunder, but why?”

“Why not?”

“That can’t be your answer for everything,” Hamilton said, trailing off slightly as the players on the field dropped en masse to do pushups. 

Lafayette hit him upside the head.  “John is right there.”

Hamilton rubbed his head.  “What?  I didn’t do anything!”

Lafayette sniffed disapprovingly and put his food down.  “To answer your question more specifically, I made a small donation to the school and they are thanking me with an invitation.”

“Wait, don’t tell me you’re the anonymous donor to the language department.”

“I never said that.”

“Jesus, Lafayette, that was a hell of a lot of money!  I walked in this morning to a flurry of hush hush paperwork and spent an hour looking up a loophole big enough to sneak it in without bringing it to the attention of anyone in the department it's actually going to since for tax purposes it's better to run it ASAP but they're not allowed to know about it until next fiscal year!"

Lafayette shrugged.  “It seemed uncouth to brag.”

“Friggin’ rich people problems.  If I had donated that much you can bet that everyone in the entire city would know.”

“Everyone on the East Coast would know.  You are chronically unable to shut up.”

“Mm,” Hamilton agreed as Andre stood up, smiling brightly as he joked with one of the other players.

“Except for when you are checking people out!”  Lafayette shoved him.  “Stop that, it’s very rude.”

“You don’t need to defend John’s honor or some shit, I’m just appreciating the eye candy.”

“You’re practically undressing the eye candy,” Lafayette complained, taking out his phone to make a note of that term.  “Stop objectifying the pretty boy.”

“See?  Even you think he’s pretty!”

“That’s different.  I can acknowledge physical beauty without trying to figure out how to invite him to a menage à trois.”

“I’d do it by letter, like in a joke so if it was too real I could just say I was kidding and why is he making it weird.”

Lafayette just gave him a look and Hamilton shrugged unapologetically. 

“You are the worst, sir,” Lafayette muttered, picking up his food again.

“Oh, come on, I’m not even hitting on him.”

“You asked him out!”

“I did not, I told him he should come to a group event since he’s John’s friend.  There’s a world of difference there.  Get off your high horse.”

“Ah, so you agree that I would have Jean le Blanc?”

“That’s not what that means and you know it.”

“I think that you would not have a persian—”

“Damn right, I’d get a freakin’ tom cat.”

“—I think that you would have a limpet instead.”

Hamilton paused, his fork halfway to his mouth and for a moment actually lost for words.  “…The hell?”

“Yes, it is perfect,” Lafayette agreed with himself.  “It is small and unassuming but it can never let things go.”

“A friggin’ limpet?!”

“See?”  Lafayette smiled as Hamilton shut up, having accidentally proven his point.  “Ah, the more I think about it the better it gets.”

“This is stupid.”

“You constantly put your foot in your mouth and you are so clingy.”

“Okay, the foot thing I’ll give you, but you’re full of shit on the rest of that.”

“Am I?  This little distraction aside, which even you say is not going to go anywhere, you’ve been practically joined at the hip to John since he got injured.  No, before that, it just wasn’t as obvious until now.”

Hamilton, red, turned away.

“Washington saw the two of you at his house the other weekend.  Think about it, Alexander, it was probably obvious from the moment John showed up in the middle of the night with you instead of by himself.  And don’t tell me you haven’t talked about him at all while you are at work, I can’t believe that you never let your mouth run while you are filling things away.”

“Fine,” Hamilton muttered, watching as Laurens and Andre talked.  “I’d have a friggin’ limpet, but my animangus gets to be a tom cat.”

“Fair enough,” Lafayette agreed as people began to gather up their things and disperse.  “I have a brief date with mon coeur.  I told John I wanted privacy while we talked.”

“While you touch yourself, more like it.”

“Don’t be so crass.”  Lafayette got up.  “Not all of us are animals.”

Hamilton started to follow Lafayette off the bleachers, then stopped to get his phone out as it vibrated in his pocket.

 

> J. Laurens: I’m going to help clean up, I’ll catch you later.

 

Hamilton stared at it, puzzled for a moment, then looked down at the field where Laurens was putting his phone away and talking to a couple of his teammates.

 

> A. Hamilton: You’ve only got one arm, John

 

He watched as he slipped his phone out of his front pocket just enough to read the message on the screen, then put it back and felt a sudden sharp sting.  

 

> A. Hamilton: We’re friends!  I could be here to

 

Hamilton paused for several long seconds, realizing that he didn’t know how to finish that sentence.  Why would he be there, anyway?  It would be one thing if Lafayette had stayed, but on his own, waiting out on the field?  He put the phone away without sending the text and descended from the bleachers without checking to see if Laurens had seen him leave.

Chapter Text

Lafayette lay back on his bed in the empty dorm room, his computer in his lap, propped up against his knees

“No,” he explained to Adrienne over the video feed, “they’re not here.  And you?”

“I’m going out in a little while.”

“A little while?”

“Maybe thirty minutes…”

Lafayette smiled and slid his hand down.  “Oh, then there is no need to rush.”

“I miss you, my dearheart.”

He smiled at her use of the pet name.  “I miss you too, Adrienne.”

She blushed faintly.  “Show me.”

Lafayette froze.  “What?”

Adrienne repeated herself.  “Show me.  I know what you are doing and I want to see.”

Lafayette set the laptop to the side, angling the screen and then undoing his pants and sliding them down so he was exposed to her view.  He took himself in hand and began to toy with his cock, getting harder faster than he would normally just from knowing that she was watching.  He put one leg down so he could tip his hips towards the screen, giving her a better view as he worked his hardening length.  He watched her face, saw her bite at her lower lip, and reached behind his pillow to grab a bottle of lube.  He paused for a moment to pour some into his hand and then took hold of himself again, letting out a low moan at how slick it was and then how it started to heat up.

“Adrienne…”

“What is it?”  She asked softly.  “Tell me.”

“Ah—”  He was moving his hips slowly into his grip and he half laughed at the question.  “It’s warm.”

“Like me?”

His hips bucked a little at that.  “Mn.  No.  Not like, not like you.”  He tightened his grip just a little, giving himself more friction to work with.  “It’s never like you.”

His eyes were closed but he could hear the smile in her voice.  “I’m glad.”

“You’re cruel,” he groaned.  “I wish I could feel you—”

“Adrienne, we’re going to be late!”

Adrienne gave a little startled scream and leapt up and Lafayette snapped his eyes open just in time to see the door open and her laptop slam shut.

He lay on his side for several seconds, hand still on his cock and eyes open wide in shock.

“…Fuck!”  

He sat up, still hard.

Fuck!

Lafayette grabbed his pillow and threw it against the wall on the other side of the room in frustration, then leaned forward against the mattress with one hand, his other moving fast and hard over his shaft.  He closed his eyes again, imagining that Adrienne was there with him, lying just underneath him instead of across an ocean.  He pictured her delicate jawline and the soft curve of her neck and he gripped the sheet, remembering what it was like to cup and squeeze her breasts and to suck them… 

With a feral growl he lowered himself onto where she should be, pressing his forehead against the bed and fucking his hand and the mattress, thrusting harder into it than he would into her were she actually present.  He could almost feel her soft skin and her nails digging into his shoulder blades.  His breath was coming fast and ragged and he swore again, speeding up and eager to finish and he let it tear through him, sudden and messy, and held himself up just off the bed on his arms and knees, unsatisfied.

 

Laurens came back to the dorm that afternoon and put his bag down on his bed and, with a confused look, tossed Lafayette’s pillow back to his side of the room.

 

> J. Laurens: Hey Alex

> J. Laurens: Are you free later?

> A. Hamilton: Maybe.  Why?

> J. Laurens: Thinking about when you came over the other day.

> A. Hamilton: ha

> A. Hamilton: yeah

> J. Laurens: Can I use your tub?

> A. Hamilton: uh

> A. Hamilton: are you high?

> A. Hamilton: I don’t have a tub.

> A. Hamilton: I mean that as an expression but also no seriously

> A. Hamilton: after the other day i kind of have to ask

> J. Laurens: I’m going to come over.

 

Back in his apartment Hamilton stared at the phone and then put it to the side, picking up his book again.  He was still reading when he buzzed Laurens in and waited until he was at the end of his paragraph before getting the door for him.

“Are you busy?”

Hamilton shrugged.  “What are you here for?”

“I told you.”  Laurens took off his sling, rubbing his shoulder as he headed for the bathroom carrying a box of epson salt.  “I need to use your tub.”

Hamilton followed him, stopping in the doorway as Laurens stepped over the low wall of the shower and started filling it.  “You’re serious?  John, that’s not a tub.  I’ve never even…  Whatever, knock yourself out.  I’m finishing my book.”  He left, shutting the door behind him.

It only took about fifteen minutes for Hamilton to regret having said that.  

He caught himself looking up from the page for the hundredth time after the sound of running water had stopped, unable to get the image of Laurens, naked and wet, out of his mind.

He finally gave in, putting the book down and knocking at the door.  

“God, John, do you have to be taking a bath now?  I was going to read for next semester.  It’s like beefcake soup in there.”

“Don’t come in, I’m soaking my shoulder.”

Hamilton paused, then opened the door anyway.

“Hey—!”

The stall was just long enough for Laurens to lie on his back with his shoulders barely submerged against the far end and his legs propped up against the other wall on either side of the spigot.

Hamilton stared.

“I told you not to come in,” Laurens complained, trying to sit up but mostly just getting stuck and splashing water out onto the floor.  “I thought it was a little bigger than this.”

Hamilton started to laugh, coming over to stand right in front of the tub.  “Oh my God, J., you look so stupid.”

Laurens winced as he pushed off his bad side and Hamilton knelt in front of him, putting his hand on the side of his face and turning it slowly up so he could kiss him.  He ran the other one over Laurens’ wet chest, smiling into the kiss as Laurens leaned into his touch.

“Do you still want me to go?”

“Stay.  But,” he added as Hamilton’s hand moved south, “go sit over there.”

“The fuck?  That’s not fair!”

Laurens settled back down into the water.  “I told you, I need to soak my shoulder.”

Hamilton scowled but he sat on the floor against the door.  “You suck.”

“Mm.”  The corner of Laurens’ mouth quirked up.  “Maybe later.”

“I’m gonna hold you to that.”

“Alexander,” Laurens warned, his eyes closed.

“You started that one!  What kind of weird line is ‘I want to come over and use your tub’ anyway?”

“It wasn’t a line, it was the truth.”

“I hope you at least scrubbed that thing out first.  I haven’t washed it since I moved in.  Doesn't matter to me, I’m just standing in it when I jerk off, I’m not the one steeping.”

Laurens frowned and opened one eye.  “‘Steeping’?”

“Like tea.”

Laurens laughed and shifted down a little, closing his eyes again and not seeing how Hamilton was watching the water lap at his body.  “You’re so strange.”

“Yeah, that’s rich, you’re the one who didn’t mind me and Lafayette staring at the back of your head for an hour but told me to get lost as soon as you were done.”

Laurens hesitated before answering.  “That’s different.”

“Ha.”

“It is, okay?  You guys weren’t even really supposed to be there.”

“I didn’t see anyone complaining.”

“That’s because you weren’t…”  He stopped himself.

“Weren’t what?”

“I was going to say ‘in the way,’” Laurens admitted.  “That’s not quite right.  Look, it would have been embarrassing if you were a girl, too.”

“If I was a girl you’d just be the worst homosexual ever.”

“You know what I mean, it’s like if I were to just show up at your class or place of work and loiter outside and then hang around while you finished things up.  Wouldn’t you find that weird?”

“I’d find it flattering.”

“That’s just because I’m hot.”

Hamilton sat up straight.  “Excuse me, are you implying that you’re the hot one?”

“I never said that,” Laurens grinned, intentionally arching his chest more out of the water, rivulets running down his sides and his muscles gleaming.

“Try again sometime when you’re not in the freaking birthing position,” Hamilton said a little sharply as he slouched back down.

“Come on, Alexander, I heard you and Lafayette talking about eye candy.”

“We weren’t talking about you—”  

Laurens opened his eyes now and turned his head to look at him.  “What do you mean?”

Hamilton briefly weighed his options.  “Guys in tight shorts.  In general.”

Laurens turned his head back and closed his eyes.  “Didn’t think Lancelot was into that.”

“He thinks Andre’s pretty.”

Laurens laughed again.  “Yeah, I mean…  Yeah.  I can see that.”

Hamilton looked at him, a little suspiciously.  “You can?”

“I’m not blind, Alex.”

“Huh.”

“What?”

“You know, you’re a lot more talkative about this sort of thing now.  This time last year I thought you were straight just by default.  I mean, serves me right to assume, but the point still stands.  Just twelve months later and you’re naked in my shower with your ass in the air.”

Laurens rolled his neck to the side, taking his hand out of the water and rubbing at a crick in it.  “You’ve got a real way with words.”

“You’re more assertive, too.  Showy.  Or maybe you always were and I just never noticed.  Whatever,” he flipped his hand in the air in front of him.  “I like it.”

“Do you?”

“John Laurens with a little bit of bite?  Hell yeah.  It makes the football thing make a lot more sense, too.”

“You could have come to the games before, you know.”

“True, but why bother?  I wasn’t sleeping with one of the star players.  Number eighteen wasn’t yet my eighteenth.  Ha, I like that.  When your shoulder’s better I’m totally putting that on a sign and taking it down to games.”

“Don’t you dare.”

“‘John Laurens:  My Number Eighteen!’  Shit, it’s not quite self-explanatory enough.  Maybe I should attach a list of names before yours so it’s clearer.  Or dates and locations?  I’m actually more certain of those…”

“Alexander, that’s fucked up—”

Hamilton stopped abruptly, drawing back a little in surprise.

“—I don’t like being reminded how long your Goddamn list is.”

“Don’t call me a slut.”  Hamilton got up angrily.  “And let me have one fucking macho thing, I let you do what you want every time.  Shit!”  He slammed the door behind him as he left.

Hamilton was stacking up books with much more force than necessary when Laurens came out of the bathroom, dripping wet and holding a towel around his waist.

“Alexander.”

“Fuck off."

“I’m sorry.”

Hamilton scoffed but turned to face him, arms folded.

“I just—I don't like the implication that I’m another number.”

Hamilton’s expression softened slightly.  “It was a joke, John.  You gotta joke about shit.”

“It’s a little more than a joke.”

“Don’t sound so touchy.  You want to know shit?  Ask me, I’ll tell you.  We’ve already been over this,” he said, sitting on the edge of his desk, “so, fine, just get it out in the open.  I was fourteen, her name was Celia, does that help?”

“You’re kidding me.”

Hamilton shrugged.

“And you weren’t dating.  Did you like her at all?”

“I wrote her a poem.  How did it go… ‘Celia’s an artful little slut;—”

“…Seriously.”

“‘—Be fond, she’ll kiss, et cetera—but, / She must have all her will; / For, do but rub her ‘gainst the grain / Behold a storm, blow winds and rain, / Go bid the waves be still.’”

Laurens ran a hand over his face.

“I got it published in the paper.  Told them I was seventeen.”

“Alexander, that’s not okay.”

“I was fourteen and recently orphaned.  Obviously I wasn’t making great life choices.”

Laurens’ voice got more serious.  “I’m sorry.”

Hamilton shrugged that off.  “It’s fine.  It’s not like it’s a secret.”

Laurens pulled the chair out and sat in it in front of him, carefully holding the towel in place.  “My mother…”

“I know,” Hamilton said when it was apparent that he wasn’t going to finish that thought.

Laurens nodded.

“I know a lot of it was fucked up,” Hamilton said as the silence threatened to get too long.  “But it’s in the past.  Just trust me.  Okay?  I like you.”

Laurens leaned forward, wrapping his arms around Hamilton’s waist and put his head in his lap.  Hamilton sat up straighter for a moment, surprised and not exactly sure what to do, then ran his fingers through his wet hair as he spoke.

“I trust you,” Laurens said finally.

Hamilton took one of his hands and slid off the desk.  “Did the bath help?”

Laurens got up and then lay on the futon, tugging him down next to him.  “Not really.  Maybe a little.”

“I told you I don’t have a tub.  Let me see.”  

Laurens tipped his head away to give Hamilton a better view.  Hamilton traced the faint scratches on it with a finger, then leaned down and kissed it, then his jaw, curling into him and putting his hand on his chest.  Laurens turned onto his side, shoulder be damned, and put his arm over him, pulling him close to his body and breathing deeply.

“J.,” Hamilton said, pulling away, “turn over.”  

He did, looking a little confused, and Hamilton climbed over him, lying back down.

“There.  It’s not like there wasn’t an easy solution to that,” he teased, sliding his arm back into place.

“I wasn’t thinking.”

“Clearly.  You’re lucky you’re pretty.”

“Ah, so you were talking abut me with Lafayette.”

“There you go again being cocky.”

“You’re not bad looking yourself.”  Laurens kissed his temple.  “You’re the hottest guy I ever slept with.”

“Thanks.  Real high praise, coming from you.”  Hamilton rolled his eyes dramatically, but he was trying to hide a smile.

“Come on.  You’d say the same thing.”

“Yeah.”  Hamilton tipped his face up and kissed him lightly.  “You got me.  I think you’re fucking fine, John Laurens.”

Laurens grinned.

“You’re kind of a moron, though,” Hamilton continued, “You wanna just take a painkiller for that if it’s bothering you that much?  I got off-brand ibuprofen.”

“I can—”

“I know you can deal with it, obviously,” Hamilton cut him off.  “But maybe take something so you don’t pop it out again trying to find a way to contort yourself into my shower.”

“Yeah.  Okay.  Later.  I don’t want you to get up.”

Hamilton smiled a little.  “Hey, be the tiebreaker.  Lafayette says that you’d have a white dog but I think—”

“My patronus would be a dragon.”  Laurens cut him off.  “I had this argument plenty of times as a kid.  Don’t think I won’t fight you for it—I beat my sister, I’ve got no qualms about taking you.”

“Whoa, whoa,” Hamilton laughed.  “We were just kidding around.  I didn’t realize this was such a big deal.”

“Didn’t you get into it when you were a kid?  I wrote my sister a fake acceptance letter when she turned eleven and she just about fainted.”

“I never actually read them.”

Laurens leaned away a little so he could look at him better.  “What?”

Hamilton shrugged.  “I know the gist of it, I wasn’t living under a rock.  I think I saw one of the movies once?  Uh, what year did the fifth one come out?”

Laurens propped himself up on his good arm.  “Did you not have any normal interests as a kid?”

“‘Liking girls’ is pretty normal.”

“Ha.  I overheard my dad once telling his friend that he supposed it was a good thing I still wasn’t interested in them because it meant my grades were good.”

Hamilton snorted and laughed. 

“Hey,” he said once he recovered himself, “Come out with me this weekend.”

“You mean like a date?”

“Yeah.  You’ve got your new shoes so you can coordinate something pretty and I’ll pick you up at your door with flowers,” Hamilton teased.  “Carolina jessamine, right?”

“Wrong time of year for that.”

“We’re in the greatest city in the world, I bet I could find some.  Come on, John, we won’t go to campus or your dad’s office and I promise I won’t try to get us arrested for public indecency.”

“Fine.”

“Yeah?”

Laurens kissed him and leaned more into it when Hamilton put his hand on the back of his neck, encouraging him to deepen it.

“Look,” he said after a minute, “about before, I’m sorry—”

“Don’t ruin it.”

“Right.”  Laurens kissed him again and slowly rolled on top of him, making a short surprised noise as Hamilton pressed hard into his thigh.  “Alexander?”

Hamilton started to turn red.  “Your towel came down back when you rolled over the first time.  I didn’t want to say anything.”

“I was wrong,” Laurens said with an amused shake of his head.  “You can be subtle.”

Hamilton tugged the cloth off all the way and tossed it to the side.  “More than you.”  He ran his hands up his legs and grabbed his ass with a grin.

Laurens raised a brow.

“…Okay, maybe not now.  Shit, look, just help me get out of this.”  He slipped his arms under Laurens’ and started undoing his shirt.  Laurens lifted off of him a little to give him room and then began to kiss his neck and collar, his hand stroking the other side of his face and touching his mouth.  

“Mm… J., that’s not helping…”  Hamilton tipped his face towards his hand, his eyes closed. 

“You have space.”  Laurens’ voice was soft and Hamilton started when his lips brushed over his ear, then gave a soft groan when he bit at his lobe.

Hamilton ran his hands over Laurens’ bare chest and down his sides and took just the tip of one of his fingers into his mouth and sucked on it for a moment.

Laurens took his hand just out of reach.  “Finish undressing.”

Hamilton whined in frustration, running his hands over his body again before slowly taking them away to finish working the buttons on his shirt.  Laurens moved his hand back and slid two fingers into his mouth, letting out a long low breath as he sucked on them and then flicked the tip of his tongue over them as he pulled them away.  Hamilton grinned as he felt Laurens starting to get hard and he arched off the mattress, tugging his pants down.  Laurens sat back, pulling them off the rest of the way and putting his hand very high on Hamilton’s inner thigh.

Hamilton propped himself up on his elbows.  “By the—” He tipped his head back, eyes closed again, and the rest of his words dying in his throat as Laurens slowly took him into his mouth.  “Mn, Jesus fuck, John,” he finally managed to get out as Laurens moved off him.  “You remembered your promise.”

Laurens ran his tongue up along the underside of Hamilton’s shaft to a shuddering moan, then took just the head in his mouth.  “Of course.”  His lips brushed over Hamilton’s tip and he pressed the back of his hand to his mouth.  Laurens glanced up.  “Don’t do that.”

“What…?”

“Talk to me.”  Laurens slid his mouth over him again and Hamilton groaned, taking his hand away and tipping his hips forward.  Laurens sat back and Hamilton made a sound of protest.

“That’s not talking,” Laurens said.  “Come on, Alexander, I get to make one request.”

“Th-that’s your… Fine, I’ll—ah…”

Laurens had taken him in his mouth again and Hamilton briefly lost track of where he was going with that.

“Ah, J., when you were,” he swallowed dryly, “above me, it was driving me crazy, I just—wanted to touch you all over.”

Laurens was moving slowly back and forth over him and Hamilton sat up, putting his hand on his good shoulder and the other on the mattress behind him.

“Shit.  It’s,” he paused, “difficult—I’m not giving you the obvious joke there—to do this when you’re, ah, doing… that.  You know this is one of the, of the only times I feel like,” he stopped for a moment again to steady his voice, “I feel like my mind is clear?  When you’re—when I’m—”

Laurens had just his head in his mouth and was running his tongue around the rim, slowly working his length with his hand.  Hamilton bit his lip.

“—Like my mind is clear.  That’s why I texted you the other week, I didn’t—want to think…”

“Write me something.”

“What?”  Hamilton sounded a little desperate and Laurens started to move his hand faster as he talked.  

“Not on paper.  With your words.  Write me a poem since you’re so good at that.”

“John…”  Hamilton protested.  Obviously Laurens had not been listening to what he had been trying to tell him.

“Write me one,” Laurens said, his lips just brushing over him and his hand slowing dangerously.  “Or I’m stopping altogether.”

Hamilton started talking quickly without pausing to even try to think through the content or rhyme scheme.  “John’s got an artful, well-shaped—Hey!”

Laurens had had to sit back quickly, laughing hard.

“John!”

“Was that next word really going to be ‘butt’?” 

Hamilton was bright red and he tossed the pillow at him.  “Yeah, and then I was going to work in a rhyme about kicking it!”

“Sorry, sorry.”  He was still laughing as he rubbed at his shoulder.  “I can’t…  I’m gonna choke, I’ll take a rain check and make it up to you later, I promise.”

“Well, you ruined it, thanks,” Hamilton complained, grabbing his clothes and getting up.

“I ruined it?  You’re the one who—”  Laurens couldn’t finish that sentence.

“Jackass,” Hamilton muttered, going into the bathroom and shutting the door.  A moment later he yelled, “For Chrissake, John, you could have at least drained the fucking tub!”  The shower started running anyway.

Chapter Text

> A. Hamilton: I need to talk to you about this coming weekend

> G. Lafayette: Je suis au travail.

> A. Hamilton: wtf? since when do you have a job?

 

The answer was since that very week.

Lafayette put his phone face down on the table and turned back to the girl sitting next to him.  “Excusez-moi.  Où sommes-nous?  Ah, bien.”

He took the pencil from behind his ear and circled one of the words on her worksheet.  “This is the direct object pronoun.  Do you see?  It replaces the object that is being acted upon by the verb.  ‘Je t’aime.’  ‘I love…'”  He paused, waiting for her to fill in the pronoun.

“‘You.’”

Lafayette smiled.  “Très bien.

He looked up as the door to the room opened and Andre walked in and signed in on the language tutor sheet.

“Oh, hey,” he said with a smile.  “I didn’t know you worked here.  You’re not usually on at this time, are you?”

“I just started,”  Lafayette explained as his phone buzzed again and he picked it back up with a sigh.  “C’est une première impression terribleExcusez-moi,” he said to Andre and his client.

 

> A. Hamilton: anyway I need to talk to you, can you come by gwash’s office when you’re off? i’ll go on break 

> G. Lafayette: Fine, I’ll see you there

> A. Hamilton:  great, thanks,.

 

When Lafayette finished his shift shortly later, Andre was still there, doing his own homework as he waited for his scheduled client to arrive.  Lafayette stopped at his table on the way out, addressing him in French.

“John Andre.  You’re coming on Halloween?”

Andre looked up.  “Yeah, uh, Laurens’ friend invited me.”

“Alexander.”

“Right.  Did he tell you?”

Lafayette nodded.  “We’re friends as well.”  He checked his watch and then sat down at the table.  He had a few minutes to kill.  “Have you known Laurens long?”

“We roomed together our first year,” Andre explained, closing his book.  “I guess we were friends before college actually started,” he continued, “since we were both on the team already and had to get here early for pre-season training.”

“Oh,” Lafayette said, nodding.  “I see.  But you don’t live in the dorms anymore?”

“I left as soon as it was an option,” Andre said.  “Laurens’ father wanted him to stay on campus.”

“Oh,” Lafayette repeated.  “I didn’t know that.”  He could have guessed, having overheard enough snatches of phone calls, but he crossed his arms on the table and put an innocently curious look on his face.  “He doesn’t say much about his father, but it sounds like he is very strict.”

“Yeah,” Andre agreed.  “He can be demanding.  His mother—”  Andre caught himself and only barely faltered before smoothly correcting himself.  If Lafayette hadn’t already been paying close attention he wouldn’t have caught it, hidden in the very casual, almost surfer boy, intonation.  “—My mother, sorry, I hardly ever use this much French anymore.  My mother’s very strict too, so I can relate to that.”

“Are your parents French?”  Lafayette asked, putting his chin in one hand and pretending not to have picked up on anything.  “When you came here, did they make you go through that special orientation for foreign students?”

“My father is French, but I was born here, so I missed all of that.  It looked kind of fun.”

“Mm, it was,” Lafayette agreed, “but not in the way they intended.”  Andre looked confused but he didn’t bother to clarify.  “I grew up in Chavaniac, do you know it?  It’s near Le Puy.”  He took out his phone and pulled it up on a map to show him.  “My grandmother and aunts still live there,” he continued, “but I spent the last few years in Paris.”

“I see.”  Andre studied the map carefully.  “I haven’t been to Paris in years.  My father’s in Zurich,” he explained.  “Laurens stayed with us for a little while after freshman year.  He visited you in France as well, didn’t he?  It sounded like he had a really great time.”

Lafayette smiled, pleased with the compliment and with how the conversation had gone, and put his phone away.  “I hope so.  I have to go to class, but before I forget, I wanted to let you know that Halloween is a themed event and that we are also going to have a group costume.  You’re welcome to join us if you would like.”

Andre smiled.  “That would be great, thanks.  What’s the theme and what’s the costume?”

“We are going to be continental soldiers,” Lafayette said with a playful grin.  “Is that all right?”

Andre nodded.  “That sounds good to me.  And the theme?”

Lafayette stood and hitched his bag up on his shoulder with a wink.  “Don’t bother with the pants.”

 

Lafayette walked in familiarly to Washington’s office, taking a deep breath of the familiar cologne.  “Alex?”

“Lafayette.”  Washington stepped out of the inner room when he heard him come in.  “Hamilton’s just typing something up for me, he’ll be right out.”

Lafayette broke out into a broad smile when he saw him.  “Ah, it’s not a problem.  We won’t be long.  How are you?”

“Fine, fine.  Did you get your invitation to the dinner in the mail yet?  Hamilton,” he started to turn back to the door.

“They’re being sent out in the morning,” Hamilton shouted from the other side.

Washington and Lafayette both nodded.

“I hear Laurens is doing better.  And how is your Adrienne?”

“She is doing very well, thank you!  I will tell her that you asked after her, she sends her regards, like always.  She is working on a new project for school right now.  I’ll show you the pictures of her work in progress on her blog next Sunday.”

“She’s a very talented girl,” Washington said, taking a step to the side as Hamilton came out, pulling on his jacket.  “Where are you two off to?”

“We’re just going out to grab some air,” Hamilton said, motioning for Lafayette to follow him as he headed for the door.  “I’ll be back in fifteen.”

Lafayette waved cheerily as they stepped out into the hallway, then turned to Hamilton.  “Alors,” he started in French, “Qu’est-ce que le problème?

Le problème,” Hamilton said, following along with his choice of language, “is that I asked John out this weekend and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

“Is that all?  You made it sound like it was something serious.”

“It is serious, Lafayette!”

“Alex, it’s easy,” Lafayette said reassuringly as they rode the elevator down to the first floor.  “You’re already dating him so you don't need to win him over, and you know what he likes.  Art, sports… Take him to the MET or to a game and then back to your apartment.”

Hamilton was chewing his bottom lip.

“You’ve been on dates before.”

“Yeah, but… Not with anyone I really liked.  That’s not quite true,” he clarified, switching back into English as they got out of the elevator.  “I liked basically all of them.  I just didn’t, I don’t know, this is stupid.  What I mean is, it’s not like I was actually trying to date them, like over an extended period of time, I just wanted to go on dates, individual nights, with them.”

Lafayette nodded.  “I see.”

“Anyway, I figured you’re a sap and you know him.  I just want it to be just there,” he put his hands a couple of inches apart in the air in front of his face.  “You know?  Like to actually be something cool without getting too weird.”  He glanced up at Lafayette.

“You’ll do a good job,” Lafayette reassured him, a little additionally enthusiastic because of how Hamilton had appealed to his vanity (intentionally, with his words, and then unintentionally, with the anxious way he had said them).  “What did you think of my suggestion?”

“Yeah, that could work.  We could get something to eat there, too, pay out the nose, then take him back…”  Hamilton trailed off as he thought.   “I don’t know.  You’re going to be out Sunday?”

“Yes.”

“What time are you leaving?”

“I was planning on going around one.”

“Right.  You think you can sign off on a delivery for me before you head out?”

 

Laurens checked the time on the clock in the hall as he waited.  11:27.  He glanced at the door next to him, starting to grow antsy.  

“This was a dumb idea,” he muttered to himself as one of the other nearby doors opened and students headed out.  He took out his phone and checked the time on it as well (11:26, the first clock was slightly fast) and then opened up his email, trying to look busy.

Other classes were starting to get out now and then the door next to him opened, a couple of students chatting to each other as they passed by him without a glance.  Laurens stood awkwardly to the side as more people left, then tapped Hamilton on the shoulder as he stepped out the door.

“Hey.”

Hamilton looked surprised and stopped walking in the middle of the flow of people.  “Hi.”  He got jostled and remembered to move to the side, next to the wall.  “What are you doing…” He grinned.  “Well, I guess I was right.  I am flattered.  Are you going to carry my books for me, too?”

“I can get them,” Laurens began, putting out his right hand.

“It was a joke, John.”  Hamilton started walking again and Laurens fell into step alongside him.  “Are you actually walking me to my next class?”

“Economic Macrocosms.”

“Good recall.  A little creepy, I would like to add.”

“I had to check your schedule to know where to find you,” Laurens admitted.  “You had it on your desk the other day.”

“Does that mean you were planning this?  This isn’t just you deciding spur of the moment to prove a point for me because you had some free time?  Stop trying to one-up me before Sunday.”

“I see you picked a day.”

“And a time.  I’ll come by at noon.”

“That’s early,” Laurens said, throwing an awkward glance at someone he recognized. 

“Yeah, it’s an all-day sort of event.  All-night too, if I have any—”

“Right, noon, I’ll be ready.”  Laurens cut him off.

Hamilton grinned again.  “Great.  You can run in those things, right?  You’ve broken them in enough?”

Laurens glanced down at his shoes.  “Uh, yeah.  Should I ask why?”

“And ruin the mystery of it all?  Stop being such a pragmatist, John.”

Laurens’ mouth twitched up in a slight smile.  “Speaking pragmatically, should I bring cash or is charge okay?”

“Nuh-uh, no way.  I’m the one dragging you out right after you get back from practice, I’m paying.  You can make it up to me some other time.”

“That doesn’t sound like reliable economics.”

“Are you kidding me?  I’ve just described the basis of the friggin’ gift economy.  This is like a pre-runner of our modern credit system, John.  I give you something in advance with the understanding that you’ll pay me back in the future, it’s totally reliant on an uneven exchange, you don’t want direct reciprocity here or the whole thing just falls apart in one ‘wham bam thank you ma’am, handing over the goods for the services, have a nice day’ without even a ‘please come again.’  I’m not saying you want something this loose set up on a really large scale, with a myriad of complex relationships, but on a smaller—”

“All right, I get it.  You’re not in class yet.”

“Yeah?  Then how come you just got schooled?”

Laurens laughed, relaxing as they kept walking and no one paid them a second glance except to get out of Hamilton’s way as he gestured and mimicked an explosion on the last word.  “Touché.”

“That’s my building,” Hamilton said with a nod as they neared.  “You don’t need to come up.  Oh, one more thing,” he added as he split off.  “Far be it from me to meddle in your fashion choices, but you’ll probably want to wear black.”

 

Lafayette crossed the street from his subway station, tucking his metro pass back into his yoga bag—the same navy as his matching pants—his hair tied back and any remaining curls kept out of his way behind a bold red elastic headband.  He entered one of the buildings and cheerfully greeted the woman at the front desk before heading down the stairs into an underground room, its cement walls painted a soothing light blue.

“Good morning,” he said to the class in general as he unrolled his mat in his standard spot about a third of the way from the back.  He was one of about thirty students, the vast majority of them girls from the university or surrounding area.  The room was kept at a sweltering thirty-three degrees celsius (ninety-two fahrenheit, Lafayette did the conversion in his head for practice) and Lafayette unzipped his jacket and took off his shirt, putting them both aside.  He had signed up for a yoga class the previous semester through the campus gym because it had seemed interesting and like the trendy American thing to do, and while he had not been particularly good at it he had enjoyed it and switched facilities when he heard some of the other students talking about off campus lessons.  The demographics of the class were an enjoyable change from otherwise spending much of his time with Laurens and Hamilton, and…

Salut, Adelaide,” he said with a smile as the instructor walked in.  Adelaide had been one of two young instructors who had traded off on the class the previous semester—or had there been more than two?  Lafayette had not been attending particularly regularly, not until he realized that she was also recently come to the États-Unis, although from a different francophone country.  By the time he had realized, it had been too late to do more than attempt to get her attention as a fellow ex-pat and then follow after her when she passed out fliers for her normal class off campus.

Salut!”  Adelaide returned his greeting as she walked past and set up the music at the back of the room.

“How has your week been?”  He asked her in French, standing a little awkwardly by the edge of his mat.

“It’s been fine,” she responded fluently, her accent low and rolling, more so than his.  “And yours?  How is your friend’s shoulder?”

“He’s doing much better, thank you.  My week was not very interesting, just work.”

“And class,” she corrected him as the stereo system turned on and she moved to the front of the room.

“Yes, and this class.”  For a moment Lafayette forgot about the other, academic, classes he was enrolled in.  He watched the sway of her hips, the way the lights moved over her bare shoulders, casting cerulean splashes of shadow on her dark skin.

At the end of the hour Lafayette handed the strawberry blonde next to him her water bottle, picking it up off of the ground with his own.

“Thanks.”

“Not a problem, Aglae.”

She gave him a half smile and took a drink, starting to pack up.

“How are your courses?  What was your major again?”

“World religions.  And, you know, they’re going well.  It’s just the start of the semester, though.”  Her voice was bubbly and upbeat even as her words kept a little distance.  It was the kind of voice that made its speaker sound almost naive.  After speaking with Andre, Lafayette wondered if it was calculated or not.

“True.  My friends are having a Halloween party next month,” he continued, “you should bring your girlfriends.”

“Okay,” Aglae nodded, “I’ll see if they’re doing anything.”

Magnifique.  I’ll see you there, hopefully.”

She left with a small wave and Lafayette followed her out.  He looked back over his shoulder at Adelaide, standing at the front of the room and checking her messages on a flip-phone.  She looked up from it, met his gaze, and smiled with her mouth closed.  For a moment Lafayette forgot both France and America—there was only the diaspora and the two of them crossing paths in it.

Chapter Text

“Start the French homework yet?”

“No.  I’ll get to it later today.  You?”

“I started the reading.”  Andre tapped the wall at the top of the stairs and turned around, heading back down.  “I’m only five pages in or so, though.”

“Better than me.”  Laurens watched him from the chair he had brought out to the bottom of the stairs in the gym.

“I didn’t know your roommate is a tutor, by the way.”

“Lafayette?  Yeah, he just started.  I was surprised, too.  Do you guys work at the same time?  He mentioned that he’s enjoying that.”

“Yeah.”  Andre headed back up the stairs again.

“You should talk to him sometime.  I think he misses getting to speak the language with people.”

“You know it.”

“Not like you,” Laurens said, calling after him.  “I just study it, I didn’t grow up speaking it.”

“Ha,” Andre would have laughed properly if he wasn't running.  “Just with my father, I’m not actually from Geneva or Paris.”

“Yeah, but he is.”

He touched the wall again and headed back down.

“Andre!”  Von Steuben, an older man, carrying some extra weight but obviously still heavily muscled, shouted from the bottom in a thick German accent.  “Halt die Klappe!  Laurens has an excuse to sit around, you don’t.”

“Sorry, sir.”

“Sorry,” Laurens repeated.

“Andre, bars, go!  Scheiße,” he swore.  “And Laurens,” he turned to him as Andre left, waving a dismissive hand at his back, “stop distracting him.”

 

“Do you have any plans for the weekend?”  Andre asked as he left the gym’s locker room with Laurens.

Laurens paused a moment.  “Yeah.  Not quite sure what, though.  What about you?”

“Peggy Shippen and I got back together,” Andre said happily, getting to the real reason he had asked Laurens about his schedule.  “I want to take her out somewhere nice.  I wasn’t really sure where, but I thought it would be a good gesture.”

Laurens nodded.  “Yeah, that sounds good.”

“Do you have any suggestions?  I know you’re usually too busy to go out, but I’ll take anything.”

“Lafayette told me about a good French restaurant.  I’ll tell him to give you the name.”

“Great, thanks.  Hey, you know, if you want, I can see if any of her friends are free.  It’d be fun to do like a double date sort of thing and it might take some of the heat off me this weekend.”

“Sorry, Andre.  Like I said, I’ve already got plans.”

“Yeah, okay, but if they fall through give me a call.”

“So how far do we have to read for French?”  Laurens asked, changing the subject entirely.  “I missed that part in class.”

 

Hamilton leaned away, taking his arms from around Laurens’ neck and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, quickly climbing off of Laurens’ lap as the door to the dorm room opened.

“I got a package,” Lafayette announced happily as Laurens embarrassedly straightened his shirt collar and scooted an inch away from Hamilton.  “I wasn’t expecting one so soon, this is a real surprise!”  He sat down on the floor in the middle of the room to open the box.  “I know she was planning on sending me one in the middle of October—John, help me pick out the most American Halloween candy later, I didn’t realize there were so many options last year.”  He got the tape off and opened it up, taking out a note in Adrienne’s handwriting.  

Hamilton got off the bed and sat next to him to read over his shoulder.  “Belated birthday presents from Louis and Ségeur?”

Oui, Louis-Philippe, my old friend.  And you met de Ségeur.”  Lafayette took out several colorfully wrapped packages.  “I’ll call them later to thank them.”

Hamilton picked one up and gave it a shake.  “Kind of heavy.  Any guesses?”

Lafayette took it from him and turned it over in his hands.  “It’s hard to say.  Whatever it is, it’s in a box.  I don’t know what would be this long…”

"It looks like an industrial flashlight,” Laurens commented, leaning forward a little but not getting off the bed.  The other two looked at him.  “What?  I used to go camping a lot.”

Lafayette tore the paper open and Hamilton burst out laughing.  “A fucking fleshlight?  Your fucking future brother in law bought you a Goddamn stroker!  I knew I liked that guy!”  He took the box from Lafayette and opened it without asking permission, taking it out and pointing it at Laurens who made a face and flinched away.  “Industrial enough for you, J.?  I bet you had a hell of a lot of fun on those camping trips.”

“Cut that out, Alexander.  Don’t be disgusting.”

“Wow,” Hamilton commented, touching the rounded, non-anatomical top with undisguised interest, “this thing is soft.  They really went all out and got top of the line fake cunt for your dick.  Personally, I’d prefer one that looked like something, but…”

“Stop touching that!”  Lafayette snatched it back and tossed it onto his bed, one of the other packages in hand.

“What else did they get you?”  Hamilton grabbed the present before the paper was even all the way off.  “Are these eggs?  John, you’re from a farm—”

“The one time you choose to not call it an estate.”

“—did you know we now make silicone eggs for fucking?  This is truly the best of all possible worlds.”  He turned the box over, reading the back.  “You gotta discard them after use?  I take it back, it’ll be the best of all possible worlds when we’ve got some biodegradable sex eggs on the market.”

Lafayette had meanwhile opened the last present and was looking over the box with mild confusion.

“What’s that one?”  Hamilton asked, trading him packages.  “A vibrator for your dick?  Sorry," he clarified, "for your dick head?  Did you know they made this sort of thing?”

“No, and I was fine not knowing,” Laurens answered.

“You’re so vanilla.”

“He’s not actually going to use those,” Laurens argued, then looked over at Lafayette.  “Right?”

“Of course not,” Lafayette said automatically.

“Official party line,” Hamilton said, jumping in again.  “Be more sex positive, John.  At least he’s not asking you to draw him more porn.”

“I don’t think you have room to talk,” Lafayette added, talking to Laurens but taking the box from Hamilton and putting it with the rest of it on his bed.  “At least I never asked Adrienne to hurt me a little.”

Laurens turned red.  “Do you have to tell him everything?”

Hamilton shrugged unapologetically.

 

“Did you ever play MASH as a kid?”

Laurens, leaning against the wall in Hamilton’s apartment, looked up from his book, still a little wary after unpacking things with Lafayette.  “MASH?”

“You know.”  Hamilton was sitting in the middle of the floor with his economics assignment instead of working on it at his desk.  “Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House.  Says who you’re gonna marry and what your job will be.  That fortunetelling game.”

“Oh, right.”  Laurens nodded.  “Yeah, we used to play that.  I haven’t thought about that in years.”

“I used to cheat.”  Hamilton looked back down at his paper and the textbook, writing down the next question and getting started on answering it as he talked.  “I figured out what answers would be left depending on what the number I picked was, so I’d arrange them on purpose and then make sure I got the corresponding number so that I could always get the answer I wanted.”

Laurens shook his head.  “I’m impressed.”

“Nah, kind of takes the fun out of it after a while.  You’re not telling the future, you’re just some kid wasting time by scribbling on a piece of paper.”  Hamilton paused, turned his pencil over, erased the last couple of digits and rewrote them.  “Who’d you put in the marry category?”

Laurens frowned.  “I don’t really remember.  Girls in my class, I guess.”

“I used to put Nia Long down once I figured out how to rig it.”

“Nia Long?  Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?”

“She did other stuff.  More acting.  Motivational speaking.”  Hamilton shrugged.  “She’s hot.  You ever look her up?”

The answer was no, of course, and Laurens closed his book.  “Who did you put before you knew who you were going to get?”

Hamilton finished writing his answer and turned the page.  “I don’t remember.  No one in particular.  It depended on who I was trying to show off for.”

"Your friends?"

Hamilton shrugged.  "Didn't really have any.  That sounds worse than it was.  Didn't have any I didn't need to show off to, so, yeah, by that logic, my friends."  He started on the next problem.  "You had friends as a kid, right?  Your childhood sounds pretty normal for the most part, or maybe that's just you fronting, same as me."

"I had friends," Laurens said, not really answering the real question.  "My best friend was named Francis.  We played sports together."

"Is he the one whose sister you..."

"No, that was someone else.  I knew Francis since we were really young.  We used to play spies," he continued, smiling.  "A different kind of code to break."

"Cute."

"I think I still have the key.  I'll show you over break."

"I'll get fluent," Hamilton warned, teasing. "Read all your super secret spy materials."  

"Are you showing off?"

"Nah."  Hamilton turned his attention more fully back to his homework.  "I'm not pretending, just telling the truth."

 

“Did you talk to your friends?”  Lafayette asked Aglae as he rolled out his mat.

“I did.  I think we’ll be able to make it.  You didn’t give me the address, did you?”

“No.”  Lafayette picked up his phone.  “What’s your number?  I’ll text it to you right now.”

She took the phone from him, her fingers just brushing over his.  “Is it a costume party?”

Oui, and there is a theme.”

“Oh?”

“It is a no-pants party,” he said, taking the phone back with a wink, the exact same way he had told Andre, curious if she would roll with it like he had.

She laughed.  “No it isn’t!”

“It is!”  Lafayette insisted as he sent her directions to Mulligan’s apartment.  “You’ll be horribly out of place if you don’t comply.  My friends and I are going as continental soldiers, but only from the waist up.”

“But it’ll be so cold on the trip there and back!”

“All right,” Lafayette relented, “I suppose you can arrive with pants, but you must remove them to enter through the door.”

“That sounds fair.  I’ll let my boyfriend know.”

Lafayette’s smile faltered a little but stayed in place.  “Be sure you do.  It would be a horribly unpleasant surprise otherwise.”

“I don’t know what costume I should wear,” she continued as she lay out her mat next to his.  “Do you have any suggestions?”

“Marie Antoinette,” he responded, and then explained.  “You could have a lot of fun with her costume, non?”

Aglae giggled.  “I don’t know, I’ll think about it.  You might be right, it could be fun.”

“It would be dramatic,” Lafayette said.  “And colorful.”

“If I did my hair then we would match,” Aglae said consideringly.  “We’d both have silver.”

“Yes,” Lafayette nodded, sitting and suddenly distracted and disinterested in the conversation as Adelaide made her way to the front of the room, “that’s true.”

 

“I’m surprised you’re keeping up with that,” Laurens commented as Lafayette got back to their room.  “Actually, I’m surprised you got through the regular class.”

“It’s quite enjoyable,” Lafayette said, putting his bag down under his desk, next to the porcelain cat.  “You should try it sometime.”

“No thanks.”

“It might help your shoulder.”

“It might tear my shoulder out of the socket.  I’m not flexible enough for that kind of thing.”

“Ah,” Lafayette said, sitting in his chair with a gleam in his eye.  “But don’t you want to be?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I’m getting at.  I am looking forward so much to when I see Adrienne again.  We are going to have so much fun.”

“Don’t tell me you’re bringing those toys back to France.”

“That wasn’t what I meant,” Lafayette said with great dignity.  “I mean, John Laurens, that we will be able to explore so many new positions while you are stuck with the same two.”

“There are more than two.”

“I forgot about the time Alexander got on top.  Three.”

Laurens winced and looked away.  “It’s really weird that you guys talk about that.”

“That’s the price you pay for sleeping with Alexander Hamilton.  He is incapable of shutting up.  Fortunately for you,” Lafayette continued, “I can be more discreet.  Be thankful that the has picked me as his confidant.”

Laurens looked skeptical but didn’t push it.  “If you really want someone to go with you, ask Alex.  I don’t know when he’d find time to fit it in, but it would be good for him to pick up some kind of physical activity so he can relax.”

“No, I don’t think I want to invite him along.”

“Why not?  You don’t think he’ll like it?”

“I’m sure he would.  But besides, he already picked up a sport of his own, non?” 

Laurens looked away.  “Not that I want to know, but how come he doesn’t tell me about the sort of shit that you get up to?  It doesn’t seem fair that it’s a one way street.”

“He could never tell you,” Lafayette said.  “That wouldn’t be right.  Bros before hoes.”

“Are you calling me a—”

“Yes, I used it correctly this time.”

Laurens rolled his eyes and got up, opening his closet door and checking his hair in the mirror.

“You look nice,” Lafayette said, looking him over—black shirt, black jeans, blue sling, blue shoes.  “I see you’re committing to that color scheme.”

“If people gave me less crap I wouldn’t wear it,” Laurens said.  “The color itself is growing on me, though.  Maybe I’ll get a jacket to match the shoes so they won’t look too out of place later.”

“I’ll tell Adrienne to keep an eye out.”

Laurens started at the knock at the door and grabbed a casual (black, not blue) jacket as Lafayette opened it.

“Good morning, sir, I’m here to pick up John.”

“He’s still getting ready.  Come in and sit down and we can have a talk about your intentions with my—”

Laurens pushed Lafayette, hard.  “Shut it.”

“Bring him back by midnight,” Lafayette shouted after them as Laurens slammed the door.

Once they were gone, Lafayette checked his watch and locked the door.  He had plenty of time.  He waited a minute to make sure that they would not return, pacing the length of the room in nervous anticipation, then knelt before his desk and opened the bottom drawer, taking out a bottle of water-based lubricant and the long box with the stroker in it.  He looked around nervously, as if someone might really be watching, then took it out and sat on the edge of his bed.

Lafayette glanced at his laptop, considering calling Adrienne, then shook his head.  It really hadn’t sounded like she had known what the other two had sent him.  It would be weird to call her.  Wouldn’t it?  Or would it be worse to use it and not tell her?  She should know… But he could always tell her after the fact, after he decided if he actually liked it or not.  Besides, at this time she was likely to be at dinner and not free to come to the phone and he didn’t have so much time that he could wait a couple of hours for her to be done.

Lafayette slipped his pants and underwear down with a pang of guilt, then poured some of the lube into his hand and started to work his shaft.  Thinking about Adrienne somehow made it worse, reminded him that he hadn’t told her what he was doing and made him wonder anxiously how he would explain how his friends had tricked her into mailing these things for them afterwards.  Instead he focused on the sensation, his own hand sliding wet and slick over his cock, the blood starting to rush to his face and his groin.  Unbidden, suddenly, came the image of Aglae, her full breasts pushing against the tight fabric of her top as she leaned forward, a bead of sweat running between them.  

Lafayette felt his body react and he let his mind’s eye continue to rove, seeing the curve of her waist and hips, her round ass with the fabric clinging to it as she bent at the waist.  He imagined what it would be like to cup it, slip her pants down as she leaned over and touch her from behind, already wet and ready for him.  He opened his eyes, and grabbed the stroker, poured a bit of lube in, and cautiously pushed it onto himself.  He had barely gotten it past his head when he let out an involuntary low breath that he hadn’t realized he had been holding.  His mind flooded with images now of Aglae, of taking her from behind, of his hands pressing into her waist as she braced herself with her legs wide against the wall of the studio.  He could feel his hands under her shirt, against her slick skin, feel himself pushing into her, tight but yielding.  He moved it faster over himself, working his way quickly to completion, and the image changed to Adrienne lying on her front on her bed with him over her, fucking her as she moaned his name.  

Lafayette came and leaned forward, panting, his arm shaking slightly from the exertion. 

He stayed sitting like that for a couple minutes, his mind spinning a little.  Even if it had been a joke from his friends, it was still the closest he had had to the real thing since leaving France and he wondered if there was a way to make it even more realistic…

His phone started ringing and he pulled it off of himself quickly and stood up, awkwardly grabbing his towel from that morning and cleaning himself up before wrapping it in it and tossing it to the floor.

“Hello?”  He was pulling his pants on, the phone on speaker.

“Gil?”

Lafayette blushed red at Adrienne’s voice.

“I miss you.  I’m free now, can we talk?”

“Ah, in a few minutes, my life, John and Alex only just left and I need to clean up in here before the delivery man comes.”  He zipped his fly shut.  “I’ll call you right back.”

Chapter Text

“We’re getting lunch first,” Hamilton said as he and Laurens made their way out of the subway station.  “Don’t even think about taking your wallet out, I told you that I got this and I don’t want to do that stupid check dance.”

Laurens nodded, stepping aside to let an older woman through the turnstile between them, then following after her.  “Right, I got it.”

“You’re gonna like it.  This is like top quality.  Crème de la crème,” Hamilton said as they exited onto a busy street with many restaurants and storefronts with elaborate façades.  Laurens looked at them apprehensively, weighing in his mind how much a meal here would cost against what he guessed Hamilton had in the bank.  “I don’t mind just grabbing something quick,” he offered, “I don’t know what else you have planned but I’m not all that hungry yet and we can pick something up on the go.”

“Stop trying to back out on me,” Hamilton said, weaving his way through the other pedestrians.  “You promised me and I’m holding you to it.”  He paused.  “I’m holding you to your other promise too, you still gotta finish that for me.”  He glanced back at Laurens who was turning slightly red.  “See?  I’m not even being specific enough to be obscene.  I told you I’d try my best.”

Laurens followed as Hamilton made a sudden turn down one side street and then another, stopping in front of a small hole in the wall restaurant probably only twice the size of Hamilton’s apartment.  

“Come on,” he said, pushing open the door and stepping into the cramped and plainly decorated interior.  “This is it.”

Laurens looked around, noticing a faded tourist map of a couple of islands on one wall and a framed dollar bill while Hamilton crossed to the register and called into the kitchen, talking familiarly with the man who came out from behind the hanging curtain separating it from the small seating area.

“This is John,” he said, motioning back at Laurens, and Laurens had the sudden impression that he had been talked about before.  “John, grab a table.  I’m gonna go ahead and order for us.”

Laurens awkwardly sat at a table in the corner and after a minute Hamilton sat down across from him, carrying two glasses of water.

“I found this place right after we got back from France,” Hamilton explained.  “I was craving sorrel and I finally got off my ass and tried looking up if I could buy it in stores and saw this place listed.  I wasn’t sure how legit it would be, but, trust me, everything’s good.  The owner, he’s also the chef, came here about twenty years ago, he actually used to live just a block down from the Jewish school I went to as a kid.”

Laurens had been taking a drink of water while Hamilton talked, and he put the glass down.  “You went to a Jewish school?”

“.כֵּן”

Laurens shook his head slowly in surprise.

“Anyway, short of hopping a plane this is the best meal I can take you to, and the other one we’d have to go dutch or something.  Chivalry’s dead, whatever, I’m not buying you a plane ticket.”  Hamilton’s phone went off and he took it out.  “Excuse me.”

 

> G. Lafayette: Alex, I need to tell you something. 

> G. Lafayette: It’s very important.

> A. Hamilton: busy can it wait

> G. Lafayette: No.

 

Laurens watched as Hamilton frowned and started typing faster.

 

> A. Hamilton: whats wrong

> A. Hamilton: did they fuck it up?

> G. Lafayette: No, no, that’s all fine, I signed off on it.

> G. Lafayette: But I have the solution to all your problems.

> A. Hamilton: tell me later, I’m on a date

> A. Hamilton: which btw you should be aware of

> G. Lafayette: do you remember how you said that you miss fucking things?

 

Hamilton silenced his phone and put it back in his pocket.  “Sorry about that.  What were we saying?”

 

Lafayette realized after a couple of minutes that he had been muted.

Merde,” he muttered, putting his phone down and leaning back in his chair, his wet hair dripping onto the floor.  He had showered again and had only just made it back in time to catch the delivery man.

Lafayette picked up his phone once more and opened his conversation with Adrienne to respond to her last message and tell her that he needed to go meet Washington for his ride to his house but would call her later.

As he grabbed his backpack and jacket to leave, he dialed one more number in desperation, praying both that it would and would not go through.

Ciao.”

“De Ségur.”

“Did you get the package from your girlfriend?”  De Ségur asked him in French, laughing.  

“There’s a problem.”

“What, did you not lube it with water-based?  Didn’t you read the instructions?

“That’s not it.”  Lafayette locked the door behind him and headed down the hall.  “I tried it—” He was cut off by de Ségur laughing again.  “—And it was good, it was very good.”

“All right, so what’s the problem?  Louis and I figured you were getting tired of your own hand by about now.”

“I cheated on Adrienne.”

“Yes, with a bit of plastic and silicone.”

“No, I mean I actually did.”

“What happened?”

“I was using one of the presents and instead of Adrienne, I started by thinking about Aglae, a girl I met here.”

“Oh.”  De Ségur sounded confused.  “All right, so what’s the problem?.”

“It’s different from just flirting with someone!  I’ve never thought about anyone else like that, not seriously.  Not while I was doing that.”  Lafayette insisted.  “About her body and what I wanted to do with her.”

“Yeah?  And what was that?”

“That’s not the point.”

“I’m trying to make it the point.  Come on, Lafayette, you’ve been with Adrienne since you were both children.  You’re off in America, you might as well look even if you don’t touch.”

Lafayette considered this.

“It’s perfectly natural to think about other women.  Hell, I love my girlfriend but I think about other women all the time.  Tell me more about this Aglae.  What does she look like?”

“She is…”  Lafayette shrugged.  “She is pretty.  She has wide hips and a small waist.  Her skin looks like it would be very soft.”

“And her breasts?”

“They’re quite large,” Lafayette said, a little more emphatically than he meant to.  The guilt he felt was reassuringly washed away by de Ségur’s laugh.

“That’s the spirit.  You’re only twenty,” de Ségur reminded him.  “Stop trying to act like an old married man.  Relax, have a little fun.  You can run off to America but you can’t think about other girls?  That doesn’t make any sense.”

“I suppose so,” Lafayette said, heading out the door.  “I have to go,” he continued, not comfortable continuing this conversation even while going to meet Washington, much less in his presence.  “Give Louis and Adrienne my regards if you speak with them before I do.”

“Don’t study too hard,” de Ségur teased before the line cut.

 

“Oxtail,” Hamilton was saying, pointing to the bowl of stew, “fish soup, fried plantains, this one is sweet potato and goat, fungi—it’s basically grits with okra, I got that one especially for you—, and sorrel.”  He raised his glass with a mischievous grin.  “Salud.”

Salud,” Laurens repeated, raising his glass and then lifting it to his mouth.  The red liquid smelled strongly of ginger, cloves, and citrus, and he took a drink and then coughed in surprise.  “How did you…”

“I turned twenty-one in January,” Hamilton lied.  

Laurens took another drink, slower.  Now that he wasn’t thrown off by the other scents he could easily smell the thick undercurrent of rum.  “It’s good.”

“I know.”  Hamilton was helping himself to the various dishes.  “I should have ordered saltfish.  Remind me next time, they do good saltfish here.”  He watched with anticipation as Laurens hesitated before starting to fill up his own plate.  

Laurens took some of everything, aware of how closely he was being observed. “You should take Lafayette here,” he said.  “Didn’t you say you were going to cook for him?”

“Don’t remind me.  Even if I had an actual kitchen I wouldn’t be able to pull off a real meal.”  Hamilton took another drink.  

Laurens followed him.  “My mom was a good cook.”

“Yeah?  Mine wasn’t, not really.”

“She used to make these big family dinners, I guess you’d call it southern style, every Sunday.  Way too much food.  She'd make other things, too, when my father was busy.  He can be very picky...”  Laurens paused.  “This is excellent oxtail.”

Hamilton smiled, visibly relaxing.  “Yeah, that’s their speciality.  I’ll pick up some for takeout sometime.”

 

“Adrienne,” Lafayette said, a little nervously, in his room at the Washingtons’, “do you know what de Ségur and Louis had you send me?”

On the other side of the computer Adrienne turned red.  “Yes…  I didn’t when I shipped it.  I’m sorry, Gilbert, I didn’t realize at the time and then they asked me not to ruin the surprise.”

“No, no, it’s quite all right,” Lafayette reassured her.  “I’m not upset with you, my dearheart.  If anything, I think it was cruel of them to play a joke on you as well as on me.”

“Oh, no, I’m fine.  I’m not mad at them.  Louis said that they needed my help to keep you from suspecting anything.”  She suddenly sounded more concerned.  “I hope you opened it in private.”

“Well, close enough.”

Adrienne nodded, relieved.  She hesitated, then asked, “Have you… tried any of them?”

“Just one, and just this afternoon.  You don’t mind, do you?”

“No, not at all.”  Adrienne looked down, a little coy.  “I’d like it if you told me about it.”

“Really?”  Lafayette tipped his head to the side.

Adrienne nodded, checking with a glance that her door was closed and locked and teasing her lip a little with her finger.

“All right.  I had just gotten back from yoga.”

“Mm-hm.”

“And I felt a little guilty about trying anything without you but I knew you were busy and I did not have much time, so I decided to test it out anyway.  I was so curious, Adrienne.”

“I understand,” she breathed.

“And when I started to touch myself I was still thinking about class, and about Aglae.”

Lafayette wasn’t paying attention, but Adrienne froze, her eyes widening slightly.

“The girl you met in class?”

“Yes, her.  I was thinking about her body and what it would be like to touch her as she bent over, to put my hands on her hips and grab her breasts, then to push her up against the wall.  It felt so realistic,” he explained as she sat back, away from the camera.  “It was almost like the real thing.”

“I see.”

Lafayette laughed a little, much more at ease than he had been at the start of the conversation.  “In fact, I was almost disappointed when the image faded away.”

She smiled thinly.  “Almost?”

“Almost,” he agreed.

There was a knock at the door and Lafayette stood up.  “Adrienne, I have to go.  Let me know when you are going to bed and I will call you to say goodnight.”

“All right, I will.”

He blew her a kiss.  “I love you.  I miss you.”

“As do I, Gilbert.”

 

Hamilton was laughing, a little day drunk, as he talked.  “Well, I told you, they wouldn’t let me in!  How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore get accepted to a prestigious private school?  He doesn’t, John, didn’t matter that I could write circles around all the other students.”

“Wait, wait, you said that this was when you were living with your mother still.”  Laurens took another drink, the dishes on the table between them demolished.

“Ah, shit.  Got my timeline wrong.  Scratch that second qualifier, but the rest is right.”

“How do you mess up your own timeline?”

“Hey, shut up, what is this, a history test?  Anyway, the Jewish school was more understanding.”  

“And this was on St. Croix.  When did you move there?”

“I was real little.  Three or four, I forget.  Got naturalized some time after the move.  I barely remember the flight over and I’ve only got snatches of Nevis floating around in there,” Hamilton said, motioning vaguely towards his head.  “Sun, cement floor, screen doors.”

“Do you want to go back?”

“To Nevis?  Or to the Caribbean?”

“Either.”

Hamilton didn't answer, even by a wordless gesture.  He drank long from the sorrel.

“Alex?”

“I dunno.”

Laurens was surprised.  He had expected an emphatic yes.  “You mentioned visiting before.”

“Yeah.  Yeah, I know, but…”  Hamilton looked over Laurens’ shoulder at the travel poster on the wall.  “I don’t know if I can explain it if you don’t feel it too.  You ever have a place that’s so much a part of you that you’re afraid it’ll completely consume you?  It’s like asking me to go back into the sea.  Of course I miss the water, but it’d be so easy to drown.  Just let myself sink.  And I’d like it.”

Laurens was silent.

Hamilton toyed with his napkin.  “It’s not a big deal.  I’ll go back, probably, eventually.  Or maybe I won’t.  Who knows?  I’m not sorry at all about leaving, I had to get out.  Rock fever.  New York is a sea in its own right, John, with these tides and currents of people, strangers and immigrants washing up on its shores.  If I’m lost here, I’m in good company.”  Hamilton finished the rest of his glass then took his wallet out as he got up to pay.  

Laurens stacked up the plates and bowls and carried them up to the front, putting them on the cart by the kitchen.

“Keep the change.”  Hamilton turned to Laurens as he waited for his receipt.  “Oh, thanks, J.”

The owner gave him a look of surprise as he handed him the slip of paper.  “John and J. are the same person?”

Hamilton winked as he grabbed the receipt and Laurens’ hand for a moment to pull him out of the restaurant.  “Come on, it’s a few blocks but I could use the walk.”

“What did you…?”

Hamilton let go of Laurens’ hand once they were on the sidewalk although he stayed a little closer to him than necessary.  “Nothing dirty!  All right, J., I told you a bunch of stuff you didn’t know.”  He brushed up against him as they walked, his tone cheerful again.  “It’s your turn.”

“You’re tipsy.”

“I am not.”

“Just a little.  I bet I could literally drink you under the table.”

“You’re a freakin’ jock stereotype, I’ve said this before.  Except for the part where you’re into all of this,” he added, motioning towards his own face.  “Not complaining, mind you, but aren’t you supposed to be in a frat or something?”

“My father didn’t want me to be in one.”

Hamilton started to laugh and Laurens quickly explained.  “He wanted me to focus on my academics instead, and he had a point.  Besides, I don’t need to be in one to network and make connections.”

“Whatever!  It’s better this way.  You’re already bordering on too prep, I don’t want you to go full popped collar and matching boaters.”

Laurens avoided eye contact.  “Right, yeah.”

“Hold up.”  Hamilton stopped him, the back of his hand on his chest.  “What was that?”

“What was what?”

“You’re embarrassed.  Do you secretly like that shit?”

“Are we crossing at the light?”

“Come on, John.”

Laurens rubbed at his shoulder.  “Don’t make fun of me.  That’s just how we dressed when I was in high school.”

Hamilton forced himself to keep a straight face.  “Right.  All right.  Got it.”  He pressed the button for the light.

Laurens looked down the street.

“So…”

Laurens, with great apprehension, turned back to Hamilton.

“So did you wear those shirts with the little polo players on the breast?”

“Alexander.”

“Okay, okay.”  Hamilton was chewing his bottom lip in an effort to keep from grinning.  “What about patterned crew socks?”

Laurens sighed.

“No, no, I’m not teasing you.  I’m not teasing you!”  Hamilton had to chase after him as the light turned.  “Cardigans?  Pastel sweaters tied over your shoulders? Shorts with tiny anchors on them?  Hey, come on.”  He grabbed his hand again, directing him to the right once they crossed the street.  

Laurens pulled it away, rubbing at his shoulder again.  “Drop it.”

“Do you have pictures?  Can I see?  I’ve never worn a white blazer before, I’m so going to raid your closet this Thanksgiving.  Don’t tell me I can’t wear it just because it’s after Labor Day, that’s a stupid rule and it was meant to be broken.”

“Laurens!”

Laurens felt his heart suddenly jump into his throat as his name was called out and he turned to see Andre waving at him as he and his girlfriend approached.

Laurens moved to the side with Hamilton to let others pass and waited for them to catch up.

“Andre.  Peggy,” he said, greeting her with a polite nod.  “Peggy, this is Alexander.”

“What are you doing here?”  Andre asked, his arm around Peggy’s waist.  

Laurens wasn’t sure how to answer that but Hamilton cut in.

“I’m from the Caribbean and I found the best dive for it in the city.  It’s great, cheap drinks, too, you should check it out.”

“I see.  Laurens, when you said you had plans for the weekend I thought later that you meant you finally had a date,” he teased familiarly, then turned to Peggy.  “This guy’s a catch but he’s got the worst luck.”

Laurens was quietly turning red and Hamilton noticed the little flick of Peggy’s eyes between the two of them.

“Don’t be mean, John,” she said to Andre, who put up his free hand to defend himself.

“Babe, it’s just an inside joke, we’re cool.”

“Besides, he does have the worst luck,” Hamilton jumped in.  “Did he ever tell you about the family feud he and his last girlfriend caused?  That was some telenovela shit.”

“Can we not talk about that?”  Laurens asked, real irritation just hiding the note of gratitude, coming back to himself.

Hamilton looked back at Peggy in time to catch the flash of surprise on her face.

“Sorry,” Andre was saying.  “Anyway, we should run.  I’ll see you Monday.”

“Monday,” Laurens agreed as they left.

 

“Good evening,” Lafayette said into his phone as he closed the door to his room at Mount Vernon behind him.  “One moment, let me put you on video.”  He sat in the middle of his bed as Adrienne, at her desk and surrounded by fabric, came through in video.  “What are you working on?”

“I was doing the buttonholes,” she said, lifting up blue jacket and holding it close to the screen for his approval.  “I finished all of them on the coats.”

“All of them?  Already?” 

“Do they look all right to you?”

“Perfect,” Lafayette said, delightedly.  “You’re a marvel, Adrienne.”

She smiled shyly and then stood up, putting it on over her white nightdress.  “How do I look?”

“Like the prettiest Continental soldier,” Lafayette declared.

She laughed.  “No, this one is far too big.  Hold on, let me put on Alex’s instead.”  She switched it out for one of the others which, while still large on her, hung much closer to her frame.  “There.  I bought the backing for the hats yesterday but I won’t have a chance to start on them for a little while.”

He smiled, watching her.  “Adrienne, turn around so I can see it better.”

She backed up and spun in a slow circle.

“I miss you,” he said, a little suddenly.

“Do you?”

“Of course.  I think about you all the time.”

She looked like she was preventing herself from making some comment and instead took the jacket off and set it carefully to the side.  “I’ll send these to you soon, I promise.”

“I’ll send you a package as well.  There’s more food that I want to try with you.  I want to share everything with you, even if we can’t be in the same place when we split it.”

Chapter Text

“Okay, so if this is too crap you’re going to blame Lafayette, not me.”

“Right,” Laurens promised, following Hamilton down the street, both of them forced to hug the buildings and walk in file to avoid the press of people and street vendors.

“Two dollars,” Hamilton commented, more to himself than to Laurens, looking up at a cheap printed sign as they passed by.  “John, remind me, I wanted paletas.  It’s gonna be too cold for them soon enough.  You got paleteros in South Carolina?”

“I know what—Well, no, not where I live,” Laurens said, catching himself and answering the actual question.

“Some other time,” Hamilton said, taking his phone out again and typing as he walked.  “Sorry, rude to text on a date, let me just get back to Lafayette.  He was texting me earlier and I left him hanging”

 

> G. Lafayette: do you remember how you said that you miss fucking things?

> A. Hamilton: I’m listening.

> A. Hamilton: wait, is this about the stroker?

 

Lafayette didn’t respond to him right away, so Hamilton put the phone back in his pocket.  “He’s probably at G-Wash’s.  It’s getting to the point where I’m surprised he didn’t ask you for a pin-up of him instead of Adrienne.”

“Yeah,” Laurens said, “I wouldn’t draw that.”

“Not your type?”  Hamilton teased.  “That’s the problem with taking commissions, John, you get asked to do all kinds of weird stuff, especially once people realize you’re down to draw the dirty shit.”

“I’m not taking commissions,” Laurens complained.  “That was a present!”

“You’re good, that’s all I’m really saying.  Here we are, this is it.”  Hamilton pushed open a door and held it for Laurens.

Laurens stepped inside and looked around.  The room they were in held a couple arcade consoles, a vending machine, and, next to a closed door, a counter.  Hamilton went straight up to the counter to talk to the employee stationed there, letting Laurens take a moment to stare in surprise at all the—well, okay, they weren’t all children, a large number looked like they were in high school at least, but still—customers.

“Laser tag,” Laurens said, coming up behind him as Hamilton finished signing them in.  “Lafayette actually suggested this?”

“Nah, his bright idea was the MET but this was closer to where I wanted to take you for lunch.  I’ve never been but it seemed fun.  Not sure how big the set up actually is, though, it’s not fun-sized, is it?”  Hamilton directed his question to the employee, then turned back to Laurens.  “Too tacky?  Whatever, I bet you’ll kick ass.  We’re doing every man for himself, by the way, so don’t worry about trying to tell people apart.  And don’t expect me to go easy on you,” he added as they were ushered through the door into a smaller room with rows of equipment hanging on pegs on the wall.  “Like I said, I’ve never been.  I’m planning on making a memorable entrance.”

“I’ve gone before,” Laurens said as he took off his sling, put on one of the chest plates, and took a laser gun, checking the straps and getting a feel for this particular model.  “With teams, or at a couple of birthday parties.  But I haven’t been in years.  Not since maybe early high school.”

“Not much of a handicap,” Hamilton commented, zipping up his dark jacket all the way before following Laurens’ lead with the supplies.  

Other people began to filter in and someone came in to give them a brief explanation and safety talk.  Hamilton, standing next to Laurens, refrained from leaning up and whispering anything lewd in his ear or cracking an off-color joke.  He was still a little buzzed from lunch and didn’t quite trust himself not to keep on the right side of the line if he let himself toy with it.

“You ready?”  He asked Laurens just before the doors to the course opened.  They would have a few seconds to disperse themselves before their equipment activated.  They had been encouraged to spread out.

“Of course,” Laurens said, checking the trigger again.

“You gotta wait for it to unlock,” Hamilton said, “the guy just explained that.  It’s gonna be a little while, John, weren’t you listening—”

The doors opened, but when the others scattered Laurens swore.

“Shit, Alex, this isn’t…”

Hamilton stopped in his tracks and walked back.  “John, I told you, they haven’t unlocked it yet.  It’s not actually broken—”

An overhead buzzer went off, alerting the participants to the start of the game and Laurens, grinning smugly, pressed the tip of the gun to Hamilton’s sensor and clicked the trigger.

“Fair,” he said, finishing his own sentence.  

Hamilton’s eyes widened as he was temporarily disabled from retaliating.  “Asshole!”

Laurens backed away, laughing, then ran as Hamilton came back to himself and chased after him.

 

“You’re sure it’s okay?  I guess I didn’t really think that through.”

Laurens had his hand pressed to his shoulder, sling on once more.  “Just don’t tell Coach.  I’ll put a compress on it, it’s fine.”

“You’re a model patient, you know that?”  Hamilton asked sarcastically as he waited for Laurens to get the door.  “I have no idea why your father thought you shouldn’t go into medicine.”

“Hey, that was about him, not me.” 

Laurens opened the door to his room, turned on the light, then stopped in surprise.  On his desk was a small bouquet—green foliage with yellow bell-shaped flowers.  He stepped forward, then looked back at Hamilton who had closed the door and was practically vibrating in anticipation.

“Alex?”

“I told you I could get it.”  He was grinning.  “Pay up, J.”

Laurens laughed, shaking his head as he took off his jacket and hung it over the back of his chair.  “All right, I was wrong.  Thank you.”  He crossed back to him and kissed him slowly.  

Hamilton moved away after a minute to put his own jacket on Lafayette’s bed.  “So…”

“Are you up for that raincheck?” 

Hamilton’s eyes widened.  “Uh, yeah.  Yeah.”  He sat down.

Laurens leaned down and kissed him again, sucking lightly on Hamilton’s tongue when he slipped it into his mouth.  Hamilton let out a soft moan, grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him closer as he spread his legs.  Laurens let his leg rub up between Hamilton’s and felt him move forward, more off the edge of the bed to press himself against him.  He deepened the kiss, putting his hand on the back of his neck and feeling Hamilton shift uncomfortably against him.

Laurens dropped into a crouch.  “Take those off for me.”

Hamilton was only too willing to oblige, quickly undoing his jeans and yanking them down.  Laurens stopped him and leaned in before he could remove his briefs, running his tongue slowly up over the bulge in them.  Hamilton groaned, leaning back on his hands and tipping his head up.

“You’re kidding me…”

Laurens repeated the gesture, then put his mouth just over the head, licking and sucking at it through the fabric as Hamilton twisted uncomfortably.  He slipped his hand under to cup him as he continued to tease him over the cloth barrier and Hamilton dug his hands into the sheets.

“I won’t tell you what to say this time.”  Laurens’ mouth was just brushing over him.  “But your voice is incredibly hot.”

Hamilton felt a jolt of electricity run through him and he smiled, not sure if he was blushing a little or just getting flushed from the activity.  “Y-yeah?”

Laurens ran his tongue in small circles over his head as the fabric suddenly damped further.  “Yeah.  It drives me crazy when you moan my name.”

“Hey,” Hamilton protested weakly, “I don’t—”  His words trailed off as Laurens tugged down his briefs and he proved him right.

Laurens slowly took Hamilton into his mouth as Hamilton pulled his underwear down the rest of the way and put his hand on his left shoulder, leaning his head down instead of back.

“Ah—John—”  He whimpered as Laurens moved further down him, then sucked along his length as he pulled back up. “Please.”

Laurens repeated the action a couple more times, then sat a little back, his mouth still close enough that Hamilton could feel his breath.  “Please what?”

“Just—more.  You’re going too slowly.”

Laurens flicked his tongue over his slit then slid back onto him, moving faster this time so that Hamilton held onto him tightly and moaned his name repeatedly, mixed in with rambling encouragement.

Laurens wanted to pick up more speed but couldn’t with the stiffness in his shoulder, so in frustration he wrapped his hand around him and Hamilton gave a short surprised curse, then moved his hand to his arm.  Laurens moved his hand quickly, faster than he could his mouth, and Hamilton dug his nails into the hard muscle of his arm, mind starting to spin.

“John,” he gasped, desperation in his shaking voice.  “J.—I can’t, I’m gonna—”

Laurens quickly pulled off of him and grabbed a towel from the floor, pumping Hamilton’s shaft as he came into it, his hips jerking.

Laurens watched, his own breathing hard as Hamilton leaned forward, panting and still tightly gripping his arm.

“Shit,” Hamilton finally managed to get out, wiping himself off and dropping the soiled towel.  “C’mere.”  He pulled Laurens up into a shaky kiss.

Laurens let him, then pushed him over backwards onto Lafayette’s bed, kissing him repeatedly as he rolled onto his back and Hamilton kicked off his pants and shoes and pulled off his shirt. He put his hands on his body, running them over his bare skin, and let Hamilton undo his sling and help him with his shirt.  

Trailing his mouth over his jaw and neck, Hamilton touched Laurens over his pants, his hand slow.  “What do you want?”

Laurens tipped his hips into his hand.  “Mn, Alex…”

“What do you want?”  Hamilton repeated more insistently.

“I want to fuck you.”

Hamilton kissed him, rubbing him harder and touching his bare chest.  “Right,” he finally said.  “You strip and I’ll—Oh, there we go.”  He grabbed a bottle of lube from the side of the bed.

Laurens grunted in pain as he tried to arch up and pull his jeans down without getting up.

“Moron.”  Hamilton pressed the bottle into his hand, sliding everything off for him and then straddled his legs, almost hungrily taking as much of him into his mouth as possible.

Laurens groaned, forgetting for the moment about his other plan as he tangled his hand in Hamilton’s hair.  Hamilton braced himself on the mattress, moving over him without pulling off very far and letting Laurens push his head down.

Hamilton continued until he could start to taste him and then he tapped Laurens’ leg to get his attention and slowly sat back, sucking hard as he pulled off and running his tongue around his head.

Laurens let go of him so he could push himself up a little on that arm and watch Hamilton, his hair falling into his face and his mouth on his cock.

Hamilton brushed his hair back as he moved away, then saw how intensely Laurens was looking at him, his brown eyes dark and his lips slightly parted, and he felt his pulse quicken.  

“…Give me that.”  He took the bottle from him and poured some into his hand, checking the label in surprise when it quickly heated up.  Laurens sucked in a sudden sharp breath as Hamilton wrapped his hand over his shaft, coating it with the warm and slick liquid, then put his hands on the bed again and swallowed him.

Laurens gasped and whimpered slightly as Hamilton forced himself so far down that he brushed the back of his throat, the heat of his mouth made even greater by the lubricant.  Laurens’ arm was shaking as he leaned on it and he didn’t realize he had closed his eyes tight until he opened them again to see Hamilton watching him as he pulled back and took just his tip in his mouth.

Laurens ducked his head, self-conscious and closing his eyes again, and didn’t object as Hamilton switched to his hand and shifted over and off one of his legs, pushing it so that Laurens bent it and moved it to the side.  Laurens jerked in surprise when he felt Hamilton’s fingers warm and just pressing against him.

“Can I?”

Laurens swallowed dryly and nodded and Hamilton pushed one slick finger into him.

Hamilton left his hand where it was as Laurens blinked his eyes open, automatically spreading his legs a little further as the heat radiated.

Hamilton slowly worked it in and out, watching Laurens’ face closely.  

“Ah.”  Laurens exhaled, a little surprised but not stopping him, his gaze firmly on the wall next to him.

Hamilton reapplied the lubricant and slowly added a second finger, carefully spreading them.  Laurens shifted his legs a little further apart.

“J.”

Laurens looked up but could only hold his gaze for a moment before he settled for staring at his collar instead.

“Can I?”  Hamilton asked again.

Laurens tried to ignore the stream of commentary that had been running through his head—how of course it had to line up with the one time he had let him pay for everything; how, Christ, he had actually gotten him flowers too, okay, don’t pull at that thread too hard, how embarrassing;  how it looked like this was happening, was he going to let it keep happening?—and nodded.  “Yeah.”

Hamilton added a third finger, moving his hand back and forth a little more forcefully, and Laurens took a deep breath.  Before he had really acclimated to the idea, the hand was gone and Hamilton was pushing into him.  He forced himself not to flinch away and he lay back down, grabbing Lafayette’s pillow and pressing his face to it.

Hamilton stopped himself about halfway in, one hand on Laurens’ hips and blood ringing in his ears.  He made himself move slowly, much slower than he would normally or than he wanted to, and stroked Laurens’ shaft in time.  He only pushed further in after a couple of minutes and looked up, suddenly afraid as Laurens gave a short cry.

“Sorry—”

Laurens shook his head, embarrassed and covering his mouth with his fist.

“J.?”

He swallowed hard and his voice was strangled.  “No, that, ah…  That wasn’t bad.”

Hamilton’s eyes widened slightly and then he let out a relieved breath.  “Right.  Okay.”  He moved out a little, then back in, and when he hit the same spot he couldn’t help but grin as he saw Laurens bite his lip and felt his shaft twitch in his hand.

“You like that, huh?”

“Alex…” Laurens pleaded.

Hamilton bit back a pleased laugh.  Not the time.  

He started to go faster, setting a pace closer to what he wanted, and took his hand off of Laurens’ cock so he could get a better angle.  Laurens raised his hips a little for him, pressing the pillow to his face again so he could have something to bite as a jolt of pleasure shot through him with every thrust.  He could hear Hamilton’s quickened breathing and his own blood pounding and before he knew it he could feel his orgasm starting to coil within him.  He tried to fight it back, wanting to prolong the pleasure, but every time Hamilton moved he felt it grow stronger and then almost without his knowing what had happened he felt it tear through him, leaving him drained and weak.  

By the time the world had stopped spinning and he opened his eyes, Hamilton was sitting on the edge of the bed, cleaning himself up with the towel.

Hamilton looked up and quirked a smile when they made eye contact, dropping the towel back to the floor and leaning over him.  At first Laurens thought he was kissing his chest at random and then he realized, flushing red, that he was licking the cum off his skin.

“You were screaming,” Hamilton informed him with a very self-satisfied purr, trailing his mouth over his neck and jaw to nuzzle the side of his face.  “It’s a good thing you thought to grab the pillow.”

Laurens had no response to that and Hamilton grinned against his cheek.

“Come on.  You need to get up.  I’ve gotta get dressed and dump this all in the laundry before Lafayette gets back and literally murders us.”

Hamilton laughed when Laurens put his arm around him instead, keeping him from getting off the bed.  “Hey, I’m serious.  It’s getting late and he’s coming back tonight.  We’re just lucky he didn’t walk in during.”  Hamilton kissed him, then pushed away.  “Go lie on your own bed.”  He shimmied into his pants and stripped the bed while Laurens crossed the room and practically collapsed on his mattress.  “Shoot.”  Hamilton turned back at the door.  “Almost forgot your towel.”

“Not my towel,” Laurens muttered, face down.

“Oh.”  Hamilton picked it up anyway.  “Well, then we definitely gotta wash it.  I’ll be back in a sec.”

He left and Laurens was alone with the thoughts that were starting to creep back in now that the weight of what had just happened was sinking in.  What had he just done?  There was no denying anything now, no writing anything off.  On the other hand… he had to admit it, that was good.  He rolled onto his back, staring up at the ceiling. 

“Okay,” he said out loud to the empty room.  “That’s fine.  This is fine.”

He heard the key in the lock and Hamilton came back in and dropped down on the bed next to him.

“How long does a cycle take?  Forty minutes?  It’s quarter ’til, remind me to go back and put it in the dryer—”  Laurens rolled over and pulled him to him, holding him against his chest and tucking his face down into his hair.  “—John?”

Laurens’ voice was muffled.  “‘J.’”

The corner of Hamilton’s mouth twitched up.  “Right, J.  You okay?”

“Stay here tonight.”

Hamilton turned his head up.  “Mmph.  Are you sure?”  He paused.  “Do you want to come back to my place instead?”  Laurens didn’t say anything and Hamilton slipped his hand up to touch the side of his face.  “Whatever.  Yeah, I’ll stay.  It’s getting too cold to walk back anyway.”

Laurens half-laughed.  “It’s still September.”

“It’s the end of September,” Hamilton clarified.  “Besides, if I stay here I get free heat.  You watch, I’m going to camp out here all winter until you get sick of me and lock me out.”  He sat up a little but was tugged back down.  “I’m not getting up.  You should get the blanket.  You’re gonna freeze your ass off and then I’ll never be able to finish you that poem.”

Laurens gave a little snort of laughter and sat up, pulling the blanket out and then over them as he lay down again.

“Better.  Thanks.”  Hamilton kissed him lightly.  “I think I’m getting free lunch tomorrow, J.  I’ll grab you something.  Do you want me to give it to Lafayette?  I’ll give it to him, I think he’ll see you before I do.  Don’t get your hopes up too high, it’ll probably just be half a soggy pizza but there’re always leftovers.”  Hamilton curled into him, still talking as he felt Laurens slowly relax.  “Although if I give it to Lafayette to give to you, there will be even less.  Maybe you should plan on buying your own lunch anyway.  I’ll text you, we’ll work it out.”

 

When Lafayette came back later that night, Hamilton and Laurens were both asleep.  Hamilton woke and rolled away from Laurens a little to raise a hand in greeting to Lafayette, who eyed his bare chest and the naked curve of Laurens’ shoulder and grinned.

“Ah, so John gave it up on the first date, non?”

Hamilton winced and made a slashing gesture with his hand, motioning him to silence.

Puzzled, Lafayette turned around and noticed that his bed was stripped and the sheets and his towel were neatly folded on top.  His eyes narrowed and he slowly turned back.  “What did you do?”

“Good story, I’ll tell you later,” Hamilton assured him in a loud whisper.

“Alex—”

Hamilton cut him off with a wave of his hand and turned back on his side, putting his arm over Laurens’ shoulders. 

Muttering to himself about certain ungrateful friends, Lafayette set about making his bed.

 

Chapter Text

Laurens woke in the early morning to Hamilton kissing his neck.

“Mn,” he began with a complete lack of grace, rubbing at his eyes with the base of his hand.  “Good morning.”

“You woke me,” Hamilton informed him quietly, shifting his leg forward so that Laurens realized with a start that he had been pressing into him.

“Ah.  Sorry.”

“Why are you apologizing?”  Hamilton was keeping his voice deliberately low, Lafayette’s deep breathing audible in the background, and he slipped his hand down to stroke him.  

Laurens’ hips jerked.  “That’s—”  He was going to tell him that his hand was cold, but then Hamilton was moving it and it was quickly warming up and he didn’t tell him to stop.

“Don’t apologize,” Hamilton continued.  “I like your cock.”  He grinned as Laurens tipped his head away slightly.  “I do, it’s hot.”  He took advantage of the angle to lightly bite his neck, stroking it and his bare chest with his free hand.  “You’re hot,” he clarified, teasing his slit with his thumb as Laurens shifted uncomfortably.  “I woke up this morning,” he broke off with a soft breathy laugh, “and, just, damn, J.”

Laurens tried to rock his hips into Hamilton’s hand but he just moved with him and didn’t provide any resistance.  

“I can’t help myself.  When I see you,” Hamilton slowly kissed the firm muscle bridging his shoulder and neck, “I just want to touch you everywhere.”

Laurens was breathing faster, concentrating on keeping quiet even as Hamilton continued to talk.

“I want to put my hands all over your body, I want to put my tongue—”

Laurens gave a very short soft whimper and Hamilton felt his fingers getting slick and used it as he ran his hand down his shaft.  Laurens pushed into his hand, finally getting the contact he had been denied.

“Alex…”

Hamilton kissed his neck again.  “What?”

“Don’t stop.”

“Don’t be crazy,” Hamilton said, and Laurens could feel him smiling as he moved his hand over him.

“No, don’t—stop talking.”

Hamilton’s smile broadened.  “Oh, is that what you meant?”  He leaned up, tipping Laurens’ head down so he could just whisper in his ear, his free hand entwined in his hair.  “Anything, J.”

Laurens slid his hand up to his shoulder, holding him firmly, his eyes closed as Hamilton continued.

“I want to do things to you all the time, whenever I’m with you.  I want to grab you, pull you away from the crowd when we’re out, push you up against the wall and make you stand like that while I suck you off.  I want people to know but not be able to say anything.”  He was moving his hand more forcefully and Laurens, remembering how his mouth had felt the previous night, bit back a moan.  “Yesterday, Christ, the way you grabbed my hair and pushed me down.”  He laughed a little and nipped at his earlobe.  “I shouldn’t have liked it, but I did.” He slowed down to force Laurens to pay attention.  “I like you, a little rough like that.”

Laurens’ alarm started to go off on his phone and Hamilton quickly picked up the pace again, trying to get him to finish before it went on too long and woke Lafayette.  

Too late.  Lafayette yawned and sat up, pushing his hair out of his face, and looking over at Laurens’ bed where Hamilton immediately froze.  Lafayette got up and picked up Laurens’ phone, switching it to sleep with the casual air of someone who did that on a regular basis.

Laurens was thankful that neither of them could see how red he knew his face must be in the poor light, and he kept his eyes closed, feeling the blood pounding in his cock, still in Hamilton’s hand.  Hamilton very lightly ran a finger over his head and Laurens twitched, certain that he did that on purpose with the knowledge that he wouldn’t be able to react.

Lafayette was still in the room, straightening out the sheet on his bed and sorting through his closet.  Hamilton gently kissed just below Laurens’ ear as soon as Lafayette’s back was turned and traced his thumb around his rim, causing Laurens’ hips to shake slightly.  He moved his hand down, then up, timing it with every opened and closed drawer or shifting of hangers, and Laurens tightened his grip on him in a warning that Hamilton ignored. 

As Lafayette changed Hamilton teased Laurens’ head, whispering so faintly that Laurens could barely hear him, “You said not to stop.”

Laurens wanted to complain, to make some kind of noise or to grab Hamilton’s hand and force it down further, but he made himself stay as still as possible until Lafayette finally grabbed his toothbrush and left the room.

As soon as the door was closed behind him Hamilton resumed his previous speed and force and Laurens let out the moan he had been holding in, leaning against Hamilton’s face and neck and letting him quickly finish him, spilling up his hand and over his arm.

Hamilton lay still for a minute, letting Laurens hold him and breathe heavily against him, then the alarm started again and he got up.

“Are you going to practice?”  He grabbed a tissue from the desk and handed Laurens his phone.

“I should.”  Laurens silenced it.

“Or you could go back to bed,” Hamilton said.  “I don’t need to head back to my apartment to change for another hour and a half.”

Laurens hesitated.  “I should go.”

“You’re not doing anything yet, though, are you?  If they want you to rest, why not just do that here?”  Hamilton lay back down.  He took Laurens’ wrist and lowered his arm, tugging him closer.  

Laurens locked the screen and put his phone back on his desk.  “Yeah.  Okay.”

“I won’t get used to it,” Hamilton assured him, stealing his arm to use as a pillow.  “You’re hot all burly.”  He yawned and closed his eyes.  “G’night, John.”

Laurens was surprised that he wasn’t being asked to reciprocate but he settled in, dozing off by the time Lafayette came back.

 

“Are you all right?”  Andre asked as Laurens sat uncomfortably next to him.  The tiny metal chairs with the attached desks were always a little awkward for him to maneuver but today he was taking his seat especially gingerly.  “You didn’t show this morning.”

“Lafayette set my alarm to sleep,” Laurens said, not technically lying.

Andre nodded.  

“Was Coach upset?” 

“Von Steuben?  No, he didn’t say anything.”

Laurens relaxed a little.  “All right.  I felt bad about it.”

“It’s fine.  How’s your shoulder?  Looks uncomfortable.”  Andre said, nodding to the sling as Laurens took it off, much more deftly than the first time he had tried to maneuver it.

“I don’t really have to wear it.  It does keep me from using it,” Laurens admitted.  “To tell you the truth, I just want it done with as soon as possible.”  He didn’t admit that Hamilton had tossed it at him when he was dressing and he’d put it on to avoid the argument.

“Yeah.  Hey, it was funny to run into you and your friend the other day.”

“Ah, yeah…”  

“Peggy and I had a good time,” Andre continued, grinning.  “A really good time.  You know?”

Laurens laughed a little.  “I know.”

“We went back to her place,” Andre said, a little lower so the few other students in the room couldn’t hear.  “Her roommate is out of town so it was just us.  I don’t want to brag, but—”

Laurens dug in his bag for his book, unable to make eye contact for the conversation.  “That good?”  He cut him off. 

Andre opened his mouth to say more but was stopped by their professor entering.

“Are you all here?  Good.  We will get started early and then we will finish early,” he informed them in French.  “Open your books to the chapter you read for class.  John.”

Both Andre and Laurens looked up expectantly.

“Sorry, John Laurens.”

“Yes, Professor Franklin.”

“Read us the opening paragraph, please.”

Laurens started reading, but the second line made mention of long hair and his mind, already present only through great effort, started to wander.  He kept saying the words out loud but without any idea of what they meant as the memory of Hamilton brushing his hair from his face and looking up appeared unbidden before him.  Hamilton, that genuinely attentive look.  Hamilton, so pleased with himself as he nuzzled his neck.  Hamilton, telling him to get up with such easy assurance.  Hamilton

“That’s enough, John.”

Laurens jerked back to himself and realized that he had started on the next paragraph without noticing.  “Desoleé,” he managed, embarrassed, as someone snickered.

He tried to force himself to pay attention to the discussion, laughing with Andre when a student arrived on time and was scolded for being late, but the longer class went on the harder it was.  Hamilton knew French, Hamilton would have plenty to say if he was sitting in one of the empty chairs.  Laurens could just see him sitting in front of him, see the fabric of his shirt slide over his shoulder blade as he raised his arm and hear his voice, fast and confident, as he responded before he was even called on.  He could imagine the sly grin he would give him, turning in his seat and the light from the window hitting his high cheek bones and sharp nose.  That smile, he could still feel the way it curved against his skin…

Quatre-vingts,” Andre whispered to him and Laurens shook his head to clear it, turning his book to the right page.  His phone was just there in his bag and he was so tempted to check it but instead he forced his eyes to the clock and counted the painfully slow minutes.

When they were released, a good quarter of an hour early, Laurens apologized quickly to Andre and explained that he needed to make a call as he ducked out of the room.  He tried to regain a feeling of control—loitering like an idiot next to a rarely used stairwell was not the best way to do that—and dialed.

This was stupid.  An hour before he had been fine.  That morning, fine.  That night—

There was no suitable distraction to focus on as the blood rushed to his face and Laurens thought dimly to himself that it was like someone had flipped a switch and as much as he could pretend otherwise there was a needy ache in his chest that insisted he had to see—

The ringing stopped.

“Alexander.”

 

Hamilton was surprised to actually receive a call instead of a text from Laurens and he picked up as he walked into his classroom.

“Hello?  John?  What’s the matter?”

“Nothing.”  Laurens sounded casual, outward façade cooly in place.  “What’s your schedule today?”

“Uh.  Hold on.”  Hamilton shifted his phone to his shoulder as he dug his planner out of his bag.  “I’m about to start class and then there’s that council meeting over lunch, we’ll probably get done by one-thirty, but I’ve got econ after that from two to three, which is why I said I’d just give the pizza to Lafayette.  I don’t think I’ve got time to hand it over to you directly, you’ll have to talk to him about it.”

“What do you have after three?”

Hamilton was confused.  Was that not the point of the call?  “After three?  I said I’d come in and proof some things.”

“Do you need to do that today?”

“Uh, I don’t need to, but I’m already going to be in the area and it’ll make my week easier if I get it out of the way Monday.  Why?”

Laurens paused.

“John?”

“I can get you a fitting for that suit this afternoon.”

“Oh,” Hamilton said, perking up.  “All right.  I’ll let Washington know.  Thanks, John!”

Laurens was obviously smiling as he responded.  “It’s not a problem.  I’ll meet you at three.”

 

It was a slow day and Lafayette didn't have anyone scheduled, so he was doing his own reading when Andre walked in.

“Oh,” Andre sounded surprised, “I didn’t realize we were working together again.  Actually, I just had class with Laurens.”

Lafayette closed his book and motioned to the seat next to him.  Andre took it.

“Hey, could you do me a favor?  Could you try to make sure that he makes it tomorrow morning?”

Lafayette looked at him in surprise.  “Of course.  He’s usually so good.  Did he get in trouble for missing a single day?”

“No, no, that’s not it,” Andre said, rubbing the back of his head awkwardly.  “He’s fine.  It’s just…  People were asking about him and we thought maybe something happened…”

Lafayette frowned.  “All right.”

“Do you usually turn off his alarm?”  Andre asked after a few seconds.

Lafayette glanced around the room but there was no one else there he could share a confused look with.  “Not all the time, but I’ve never known him to sleep through it once it starts to go off.  I only silenced it because I was already up anyway and I thought it would wake…”  He caught himself and coughed delicately, turning his attention to opening his metal thermos and drinking from it.

“Oh,” Andre’s eyes widened.  “I got it.”

“Do you?”  Lafayette asked over the rim of the bottle.

“He could have said something.  I mean, if he wanted to take some other girl this weekend that would have been fine, we still could have all done something.  I didn’t have to set him up with Peggy’s friend.”

Lafayette grabbed the change of subject.  “Peggy?”

“Peggy Shippen,” Andre said, only too happy to change topics.  “My girlfriend.  Here.”  He took out his phone and showed Lafayette the background of him and a pretty blonde girl.  “We just got back together.”

“She’s very cute!  You two look good together.  Ah, this is my girlfriend, Adrienne.”  Lafayette showed Andre his own phone background of him and Adrienne in period costume outside her house.

Andre grinned.  “Halloween?”

“No, she is studying to be a costume designer,” Lafayette explained.  “She’s just finishing up her last year of high school, but she is in a special program for the arts and she is so talented,” he smiled affectionately at the phone.  “I cannot believe how lucky I am.”

“I know just how you feel,” Andre agreed quickly, obviously excited to finally have someone to talk to.  “Peggy is just…  I don’t know how I managed to end up with her.  She’s amazing and so sharp and personable.”

“Adrienne is more reserved,” Lafayette said, going into his photos and finding Andre the portrait Hamilton had taken of the two of them on the couch.  “But she is so… Je n’ai pas les mots…”

Andre was nodding enthusiastically and he switched into French to match him.  “She sounds great.  How did you meet?  I met Peggy at the very first party I went to here.  She was there with her friends and as soon as I saw her I knew I had to figure out a way to talk to her.”

“Adrienne and I met as children.  I confessed to her when I was fourteen, I knew that she had my heart even then.”  This was perhaps the only conversation where neither story sounded saccharine or forced by contrast. 

“You really are lucky,” Andre sighed, “I wish I had met Peggy sooner.  We have our rough patches but when we’re together—”

“But being apart from her is so hard,” Lafayette cut in.  “No one understands that, they think that just because we talk it’s good enough.”

“What?”  Andre sounded indignant on his behalf.  “That doesn’t make any sense!”

“I know!”

“How could that possibly be the same?  Not getting to see her in person… That would be torture, and this is maybe even worse because you’re not forced to be completely cut off, either!”

Lafayette was leaning in, one hand on Andre’s shoulder and a serious expression on his face.  Finally, finally, someone who understood.  “Andre.  I cannot do anything about how far away I am from my dearheart.  But no one is scheduled for today.  Go, find Peggy and be with her.  Take her in your arms and tell her that you couldn’t stand to be away from her for another minute.  I will cover for you, they will never know.”

Andre’s eyes lit up, then he sighed.  “She’s in double English for another hour and a half.”

“Oh.”  

Lafayette sat back and Andre slouched down in his seat.

“Sorry.  I got a little carried away,” Lafayette finally said.  

Andre waved him off.  “It’s nice to finally be able to talk to someone who’s actually interested, though.  I mean, Laurens is great, don’t get me wrong.  But he’s so reserved.  I talk to him almost every day and I didn’t even know he was seeing anyone.”

“Mm, yes, he is very private about his personal life.”

Andre nodded.  “Hey, do you want to hang out sometime?  I’m sure you’re really busy, but…”

Lafayette smiled.  “Sure.”

Chapter Text

Laurens was waiting outside Hamilton’s classroom when he got out, nervously checking his phone.  He looked up as people started to come out and put his phone back in his pocket and raised a hand in greeting as Hamilton exited at the very back of the crowd.

“So where’s this tailor you were telling me about?”

They started walking, Hamilton not noticing that Laurens brushed up against him a few times as if he was sticking a little closer than normal.

“It’s not too far from here.  Twenty minutes if we can catch the subway right away.”  He glanced down at him.  “Do you have time to go?  I can call him back and ask to reschedule.”

Hamilton waved his hand.  “It’s fine, I already said I’d come in after this.  Washington can’t complain, he’s the one who wanted me to get one anyway.  Besides, Mulligan—he’s the one I was meaning to talk to, did I mention that?—he’s out of town.”

Laurens nodded, relieved.  “Right.  So…”  He felt at odds for a topic of conversation.  “How was class?”

“Class was fine, same as always.  Can’t wait until we start the next section, I’m so sick of democratic-republicanism.  Seriously, that should always be a one class lecture, max.  Twenty-four years that lasted, John, why it’s getting more than a single question on that test is beyond me.  Here, I’ll even write it for you.”  He drew his hands out in front of him as they walked like he was displaying it in the air.  “‘How do you know the democratic-republicans were full of shit? A, they were dedicated to an outmoded and severely limited idea of America’s economic future; B, they didn’t approve of the Goddamn navy, we’re talking about a coastal country, John, what the actual shit, good luck dealing with literal pirates on a piecemeal state’s rights basis; C, they were founded in opposition to a pre-existing set of ideas, the entire platform is fundamentally based on a negative; or D, all of the above, this section is stupid and we need to move on.’”

Laurens laughed and Hamilton, not quite expecting that, grinned.

“I was going to say ‘D, this is a party that birthed Andrew Jackson, we need to just send in a priest with holy water and salt the freaking earth under everything he touched,’ but that seemed a little unfair.  To the party, I mean,” he clarified.  “They didn’t know he’d be such a tool.”

Laurens looked away, his hand over his mouth as he tried to stop smiling and get a hold of himself, and Hamilton kept talking.

“The whole twenty dollar bill thing doesn’t even make sense.  You’d think it would be way easier to get a freakin’ woman on that one, Jackson was a racist asshole who, I’m sorry, hated paper money.  Why the fuck is he on there?  Is it just to give him a giant middle finger in the grave?  Because I’m almost okay with that, but let’s just stick him on some more useless denomination in that case.  The twenty’s a good, high profile one.  Put him on the two.  No one gives a shit about the two.”

“The two?”

“See?  You forgot we even had that one.”

“I did not,” Laurens protested, getting the door as they left the building.

“Thank you.  Anyway, that was my class.  What did you come from?”

“I was just at the library.”

“Nice.  I’ve got shit to get done this week,” Hamilton complained.  “So if I vanish suddenly it’s because I’ve gotten literally buried alive.”

“You’re free to work at the dorm, if you want.”

“Thanks, but I wouldn’t be able to get anything done there.  I get too distracted if I’m not at my own place or basically in a book den way at the back of the library.”

Laurens nodded.

“—But this is great, thanks for setting it up!  I need to get it done and if today is when you could get them to fit me in then I’ll take it.”

“No problem,” Laurens said with a smile.

“Hey, are you okay?”  Hamilton asked.  “You’re kind of quiet.”

Laurens knew he was looking at him and he carefully stared straight ahead instead.  “Nothing’s wrong.  You just talk a lot.”

“Ha.  Yeah, that’s true.”

“So the two, huh?”

“Hm?”  Hamilton cocked his head to the side, still staring up at him, then remembered what he had been talking about before.  “Oh, yeah.  I mean, nobody gives a shit about whoever’s on the two.  Don’t even need to take anyone off, just slap him on the other side, done.”

 

“Adrienne,” Lafayette said excitedly on the phone in the men’s restroom.  “I can’t stay long but I had to talk to you.  I met someone new!”

There was an apprehensive pause on Adrienne’s side of the line and then she asked nervously, “Someone new, Gilbert?”

“Well, not new, exactly, my heart, but we only really talked for the first time today.  It’s like we’re of the same mind!  He understands me!”

There was another silence, but this one was more confused.  “He?”

“John Andre,” Lafayette explained.  “He’s one of John Laurens’ friends, and we tutor French together.  Finally, there’s someone who understands how strongly I feel for you!”

Adrienne laughed with relief.  “Oh!  Oh, that’s what you meant.  I’m glad you made a friend!”

“I hope we will become good friends,” Lafayette enthused, fixing his hair in the mirror.  “He’s fluent in French as well, it is so good to be able to speak it with someone here!  And he loved your work, of course.”

“You didn’t show him!”

“Why not?  He was very impressed, and—Oh, I have to go, I love you, I will text you, goodbye,” Lafayette said all in one very quick breath, hanging up as someone opened the door to the restroom.

 

“Don’t you wish velvet was back in fashion?”  Hamilton asked, standing in front of the floor length mirror as he was measured.  “I understand that an entire suit would be impractical, but what about accents?  Or embroidery?  I thought it looked kind of silly at first but that costume Adrienne made was really growing on me.”

Laurens shook his head, smiling.  “Embroidery?  Alexander, you’d look ridiculous.”

“‘Flashy,’ the word is ‘flashy,’” Hamilton corrected him.  “Who doesn’t want to stand out in a crowd?  Besides, I bet I could work it.”

“Either way, I don’t think that’s what Washington had in mind when he told you to get a suit.”

“Yeah, I know.  Plain black is good too.”  He lifted his arm as asked by the tailor.  “But when I’m rich and powerful I’m going to bring some shit back.  Sorry,” he apologized, glancing down at the older man who didn't seem offended by his language in the slightest.

“You have very delicate calves,” the tailor commented as he lowered Hamilton’s arm for him and stepped away.  “Very delicate.”

Laurens was about to say something, but Hamilton didn’t sound put off.  “Thanks.”

The tailor moved to the back of the store and Hamilton twisted in the mirror to look at his legs.

“He’s right,” he commented, putting on a fake air.  “A certain delicate slimness about them.”  He grinned at Laurens.  “Come on, I’m hot and you know it.”

Laurens had his arms folded and an amused smile on his face as he walked forward.  “You told me not to—”

“Hey, hey, who said anything about being vain?  I’m just telling it like it is.  You’re such a stud and Lafayette’s, well, French, but you gotta admit it, I’m fucking charismatic.”  He ran a hand back through his hair, playfully half-blowing him a kiss as he tipped his face up, all clean angles and teasing energy, and Laurens couldn’t help himself.  He leaned in and—caught himself.  Hamilton was staring at him, eyes wide.

Laurens stepped back, clearing his throat behind his hand.

“John?”

The tailor came back out and went behind the register.  “All right, I’ve got that all down and I made a note of the fabrics you picked out.”  He was making out a handwritten receipt and he came out from behind the counter to give it to Hamilton.  “There you are.  I’ll give you a call when it’s ready for you to try it on.  If there are any problems we’ll address them at that time.”

Hamilton took it, still looking at Laurens.  “Hm?  Oh.  Yeah, thanks, so do I pay you now, or…?”


“It’s taken care of,” the tailor said.

“What?”

“It’s taken care of,” Laurens repeated, getting the front door.  “Thank you, we’ll be back to pick it up.”

“Wait, wait, what?”

“Alex, don’t worry about it.”

Hamilton shoved the paper into his pocket and hurried out the door.  “You bought me a fu—Thank you, sir, I look forward to seeing it—You bought me a fucking suit?!”  The door closed.  “John, seriously, I was going to get it myself, it would have been fine!”

“I know.”

“Are you sure?  I’m pretty sure I could have written it off as a work expense, and so I live off rice and instant noodles for a while, I wasn’t going to starve, I could have figured something out!”

Laurens took his hand for just a moment, looking at him.  “I wanted to get it.”

Hamilton pulled away as Laurens let go.  He stopped him with one hand on his arm.  “Hold up, is this a date?  John, did you just take me on a date to the tailor?  Oh my God, you’re the only person alive who would drop a couple grand to get their date felt up by someone else.”

“Well, that’s not true.”

“And now you’re making crass jokes and I’m the one about to tell you to tone it down.  What the hell!”

“Alexander, calm down.”

“Right, you’re right.”  Hamilton took his hand off of him.  “One of us has to be normal and it might as well be me.  You’re weirding me out a little, John.”

“Look, isn’t this what you said should happen?”  Laurens asked, embarrassed and quickly getting defensive.  “Uneven exchange.  I’m playing by the rules that you put down.”

“Yeah, okay.”  Hamilton started walking towards the station.  “I didn’t think you’d go for something quite that dramatic.  …Expensive?”  He asked himself, trying to find the right adjective for the situation.

It was about a block before Laurens said anything again.  “Are you angry with me?  I thought it would be nice.”

“What?  Jesus, J., no, I’m not mad at you.  I’m just…”  Hamilton made a helpless gesture.  “You caught me off guard and I’m not sure that you’re not running a fever or tripping balls off some pain medication.  No, scratch that, this is in character, I forgot that you freakin’ flew to France because you were afraid I was gonna fuck my way through the cinquième arrondissement and then pulled some Romeo and Juliet balcony shit when I got pissed at you.  You really do like your dramatics,” he said with a shake of his head.  He looked up.  Laurens was watching him.  “There’s just…”  He frowned and turned away.  Something was different and he couldn’t quite put a finger on it.  “Whatever.  It’s fine.  I’m not used to being out-showboated, I guess.”

 

> A. Hamilton: I need to talk to you

> G. Lafayette: Aren’t you at work?

> A. Hamilton: are you going to narc on me to gwash?

> A. Hamilton: yes I'm at work its important okay

> A. Hamilton: are you with john?

> G. Lafayette: yes

> A. Hamilton: okay

> A. Hamilton: dont be

> A. Hamilton: come to the office I’ll  let you in

 

“Grab a seat or whatever.”

“What did you do to John?”  Lafayette asked, sitting in front of Washington’s desk.

“What?  That’s my question,” Hamilton said.  “Did you notice?  What the fuck?”

“I noticed that he was fine when he went to class and then came back after seeing you looking like a kicked puppy.”

Hamilton held up both his hands in confusion.  “I have no idea!  He said he’d take me to get the suit tailored like he had promised and that was fine.  We get there and I pick shit out and get fitted and I’m just fucking around and—he was this close to kissing me right in the store, Lafayette!”

Lafayette’s eyes widened.  Hamilton didn’t stop talking.

“So of course I’m like, whoa, what the, and then I find out that he’s already paid for everything.  Everything,” he repeated, half-sitting on the desk and picking a pen off of it and handing it over to Lafayette, who put it in the inner pocket of his jacket.  “I tried to tell him that he didn’t need to do that and he took my hand.  On the street!  Since when does John do that?  He was already being all weird and quiet and then he basically didn’t talk the entire way back after I tried to ask him what his deal was.  He thought I was mad at him or something?”  Hamilton shook his head in bewilderment.  “After all that he just ditched as soon as we got off the subway.  Seriously, Lafayette, what the hell is wrong with him?”

“There’s nothing wrong with him,” Lafayette said incredulously, “except that he’s dating a complete idiot.”

“Hey!”

“How do I say this in English and with simple words so that you will understand…  He was trying to be sweet to you.”

“Huh?”

“John is a nice boy.  He likes you.  And he was trying to show you that,” Lafayette said, deliberately keeping his sentences simple.  "You embarrassed him and hurt his feelings.  It’s hard for him to make gestures like what he tried to do today.  He's not comfortable with expressing himself that way like you and I are.  He was feeling things out, giving it the, how do you say, good old college try.  You should be ashamed of yourself,” Lafayette added, taking out his new Washington pen and clicking it experimentally.

“Oh, shit.”  Hamilton looked guilty.

“Do you need me to tell you how to fix it?”

“No.”

“You need to go back to the room,” Lafayette said, ignoring him, “and tell John that you were being an idiot today and didn’t realize what was happening.  Then you need to prove that you still like him by action rather than words.  You also need to trade keys with me,” Lafayette added, “because I’m going to stay at your apartment tonight but if you fuck on my bed again I will end you.”

 

Laurens only dimly heard the door open over the music from his headphones and he didn’t bother to look up.  His bag was up on his desk, for once, blocking the flowers from view, and the sling was gone.  Although Laurens hadn’t put his book down he had only gotten a couple pages farther in it since Lafayette had left and he hoped he wouldn't notice and comment.  He leaned a little further over it, trying to communicate that he wasn’t in the mood to talk and snapped when a pair of hands carefully pulled his headphones down.

“What the fuck, Lafayette?  I’m trying to work!”

“Hi.”

Laurens felt his heart turn over and he froze.

Hamilton came around to the side of his chair and knelt on the floor.  “I’m sorry about this afternoon.  I know you were trying to do something nice for me and I really appreciate it, J.  I was running my mouth without stopping to think, I’m an asshole, I’m sorry, don’t take anything I said to heart.”  He took one of his hands off the book.  “You’re gonna blow your eardrums out if you keep the volume up that high.”

Laurens took his hand away, ran it back through his hair and took the headphones off from around his neck, then turned off the music and gave him his hand back.  “It’s fine.”

“No, it’s not.” 

Laurens shrugged.

“John,” Hamilton sounded a little more desperate now.  “J., come on.”  He glanced around for an idea.  “I didn’t get dinner, want to come with me to get something to eat?”

“Not really.”

Hamilton ran a hand over his face.  “I could just order take out…”

“Alexander, I need to read this.”

“Right, yeah.  I’m busy too.”  Hamilton stared at the laptop, willing it to give him an idea.  “…Can you do me a favor?”

Laurens finally looked away from his book.  “What do you need?”

“I need a break.  No, seriously, just a couple of hours.  I’m gonna go crazy if I have to fix one more sentence.  For being such a smart guy, Washington’s not the best writer.  Just two hours of your time, come on, I won’t make you leave the room and I won’t get handsy, I promise.”

“Alex, I really need to finish this.”

“Yeah, okay, I hear you.  Just let me borrow your laptop and sit with me.  You can keep reading.”  Hamilton dug a pair of earbuds out of his pocket.  “I’ll be quiet.”

Laurens sighed, but handed him the laptop and got up to sit next to him on the bed.  Hamilton put the earbuds in and settled down next to him, taking his arm and going quiet.

Laurens kept reading, finally able to get past that section, then glanced over to see that Hamilton was watching a movie.  He realized a split second later with surprise that Hamilton was watching his favorite movie and he felt a twinge of annoyance that he would try to lure him with something like that.  He returned to his book but couldn’t help looking over several times, although each time Hamilton’s attention was fixed to the screen and he didn’t seem to notice him.  By the time the film was about twenty minutes in, Laurens was watching it in silence over his shoulder and Hamilton finally looked up when he put the computer down so he could curl his legs under himself and get more comfortable.  He took out one of the earbuds and offered it to him.  Laurens unplugged them and got up.  Hamilton, nothing to brace himself against anymore, fell over onto the mattress and sat up as the room went dark.

Laurens sat back down, adjusting the screen and putting his arm over Hamilton’s shoulders as he lay down and leaned on his leg.

“It’s a good movie.”

“Mm.”

Hamilton was absentmindedly tracing a pattern on his thigh.  “Lafayette’s staying at my apartment tonight,” he said after a minute. 

“Yeah?”  Laurens shifted Hamilton off.  For a second Hamilton was afraid that Laurens was going to get up, but then he lay down behind him, putting his arm back over him.  Hamilton leaned into him, taking his hand, and Laurens smiled and ducked his face down into his hair. 

“Hey.”  Hamilton tipped his head back a little although he still couldn’t see him.  “We’re okay?  Just checking because apparently I’m a huge moron.”

“Yeah.”

“Good.”  Hamilton turned forward again and kissed his hand.  “‘Cause I like you a lot.”

 

Chapter Text

Hamilton was surprised when he woke early the next morning, still on Laurens’ bed, still with Laurens’ arm over him, the laptop closed in front of them.

“Good morning.”  Laurens kissed his temple.  “I’m glad you’re up.  I have to leave soon.”

“What the…  What time is it?”

“A little before six.”

“Your gym schedule sucks.”

Laurens kissed him again and when Hamilton rolled onto his back he nuzzled the side of his face.  Hamilton stared up at the ceiling, only half-awake, and absentmindedly stroked his hair.

“You’re like a puppy.  It’s like dating a giant puppy.  Lafayette was right, that is your spirit animal or whatever.”

Hamilton could feel Laurens stop and then raise an eyebrow as he talked.

“All right,” Laurens said, getting up.  “I’m leaving.”

“Hey, come on,” Hamilton protested, reaching for him and missing.  “It’s not bad!  I never said it was bad!”

Laurens gathered his things and headed for the bathroom.  “Too late, you ruined it.”

Hamilton flopped back over onto the mattress, burying his face in the pillow.  “Your sling, John,” he said, the words muffled.  “I’ll grab a jacket and walk you down.  Jesus Christ,” he continued, swearing to himself as he pushed himself up off the mattress.  “Your gym schedule sucks.”

Laurens paused, then came back and grabbed it.

 

> G. Lafayette: How did last night go?

> A. Hamilton: weird af

> G. Lafayette: ?

> A. Hamilton: didn't even give him a handy

> A. Hamilton: Watched Titans and fell asleep

> A. Hamilton: wtf

> G. Lafayette: You’re in a relationship now

> A. Hamilton: shit

 

Lafayette rolled his eyes at the screen as he walked into the mess hall in the same clothes he had on the night before, but without a story to go with it.

“Lafayette?”

He looked up, surprised to see Andre checking out at the register.

“You getting breakfast by yourself? I’ll save you a spot.”

Andre vanished in the crowd leaving Lafayette to pick something out and follow him a few minutes later.

 

> J. Laurens: Are you busy?

> A. Hamilton: getting dressed.  I need to go into work to finish some stuff up

> J. Laurens: oh

> A. Hamilton: why?

> A. Hamilton: wait come on don’t give me that

> J. Laurens: It’s fine, can I come?

> A. Hamilton: uh

> A. Hamilton: yeah I guess, he already invited you out for me

> A. Hamilton: why not?

> A. Hamilton: I really do need to get this done though.

 

Lafayette spotted Andre with relative ease at a table with several other members of the team, an empty spot next to him.  Lafayette supposed this was just more proof that he was popular in America as well as France and took his seat.  Andre had apparently already explained to the others that he was inviting him over because he only made the introductions one way.

“This is Tench, Tench Tilghman, and Ben Tallmadge,” he motioned to the two across the table from him.

Lafayette nodded hello.  “John, ah, Laurens isn’t here?  I assumed he ate with the team.”

“He usually does,” Tench Tilghman confirmed.  He was slightly shorter with gelled back black hair and a prominent nose.  “But he said he had somewhere he needed to be.”

“…Oh.” Lafayette took a bite of his cereal.  “I see.”

Andre gave Lafayette a knowing glance and he decided it was time to change the topic.

“Are you looking forward to the game this weekend?”

Ben Tallmadge—something about the arrangement of his features and his general bearing made him look very similar to Laurens—answered.  “I’m looking forward to when Lee finally stops his bitching.”

“Hey,” Andre protested, “he’s justifiably upset about the loss.”

“Tench agrees with me. He needs to move on,” Tallmadge insisted.  “You’re his scapegoat, Andre, and it’s getting old.”

Lafayette was suddenly more interested in the conversation.

“It’s not like that,” Andre quickly insisted, glancing at Lafayette.  “He hasn’t said anything that isn’t true.  You yourself said I lost us that game when I threw to Laurens.  It dropped us in the rankings,” he explained to Lafayette, who nodded, putting up a very superficial façade of being convinced.  “We’ll need to have a perfect record after this to even have a chance of making it, and that’s only if a couple other guys ahead of us take important losses. It’s his last year,” he continued as Tallmadge rolled his eyes and looked away.  “Of course he wants to go all the way.”

“Does he really blame you for Laurens getting hurt?  Is he upset with Laurens, too?”  Lafayette asked, keeping his voice casual and trying to get just a little more information about of him before they shut the topic of conversation down.

“It’s more that he says Laurens was an idiot and Andre should have known better.  He told him to throw to him,” Tench said.

“He didn’t force me to, I could have done something else!”

Tench shrugged.  “But it’s true.  I was there, Andre.  He told you right before the play to toss it to him no matter what and that he would make a break for it.”

Andre looked guilty and Lafayette nodded slowly.  “I see.  That sounds like Laurens.”

“He’s reckless,” Tallmadge agreed.  “And it was a bad call on Andre’s part, especially because we were already up and all we had to do was maintain the lead, but no one could have known he’d get hurt like that.  Poor guy.  Out of anyone he probably hates to sit out the most and he’s just coming off of another injury and getting benched last season.  He must be having a hard time.”

 

Laurens slammed Hamilton up against the closed office door.  Their mouths were pressed together before they even hit the wood and Hamilton was recklessly shoving his hand up Laurens’ shirt, running it over his chest and then his back, pulling him tightly against him as Laurens put his own hand behind his head and made a hungry noise against his mouth.

Hamilton groaned as Laurens grabbed him over his pants and he sunk down a little, legs spreading and knees buckled. He twisted Laurens’ shirt in his hands and Laurens took his other hand from his neck to cover his mouth and keep him from making further noise.  Hamilton felt a shiver run through his body at that and his hips jerked forward.

Laurens rubbed him hard and stifled Hamilton’s moan, biting at the lobe of his ear and his neck.  Hamilton grabbed his arm to steady himself and tipped his head away, tugging at his shirt encouragingly as he felt Laurens’ teeth sharp against his skin. He tipped his hips further into his hand, hoping that he would take the hint and undo his fly but instead Laurens stepped between his legs, forcing Hamilton to rub himself against him if he wanted any contact.  Hamilton whimpered and pressed himself to him, digging his nails into his arm as Laurens left a mark low on his neck and slid his hand, now freed, up Hamilton’s shirt over his bare skin.  Hamilton arched into the touch and gasped behind his hand as Laurens shifted his leg closer, forcing him up suddenly almost onto his toes and very aware as he supported himself against the door, that if Washington were to come back he would fall to an undignified heap to the floor.

Laurens moved his leg forward and all thoughts vanished from Hamilton’s mind as he rubbed himself against him, grinding on him as if they were in the darkened back of a club and desperately trying to find the angle that gave him the most relief.  He wanted to cry out, to moan Laurens’ name, and the forced restraint made him even more needy, tugging at Laurens’ shirt pleadingly and squirming as he felt his last shards of restraint starting to give way.

Laurens’ voice was low and dark in his ear.  “I’m not going to touch you.  You’ll have to finish yourself if you want it that badly.”

Hamilton gave a short cry, mostly silenced, and pressed himself to him, clinging as he thrust and rocked his hips against Laurens’ leg and shuddered with his release.  Laurens stood still, letting Hamilton support himself against him, and took his hand away.  Hamilton, already panting, gasped once he was freed and leaned forward, resting his head against Laurens’ chest.  Laurens helped him straighten up, his arm around his waist.

“Ah.”  Hamilton winced, adjusting the wet fabric. “ Shit, John.”

Laurens leaned in, kissing and then nuzzling the side of his face.  Hamilton fought the urge to roll his eyes, irritated at how this had played out.

“What the actual shit am I supposed to do now?  I can’t stay here like this!”

“So come back with me.  I’ll give you my coat.”

“Oh no, that’s a trap.  I go back with you and I never finish—I’m literal days behind on my work, John, as great as it is I can’t keep fucking you 24/7!”

“We didn’t do anything yesterday.  And I didn’t touch you today.”

“Sound less fucking smug.”

Laurens frowned and stepped back.  “Look, just…  Toss your underwear.”

Hamilton gave him an incredulous look.  “We are not having this conversation.”

“It would solve your problem.”

“I’m not—”  Hamilton gestured to himself.  “These are new!  And I’m not going commando in these jeans!”

“Then you can come back with me and change.  Those are your only options, Alex.”

Hamilton narrowed his eyes, thinking.  “No, there’s another one, and that’s what we’re doing.  I told you I needed to work so I’m blaming you for this.  Drop trow and give me yours, we’re trading.”

“What?”

“You heard me.”  Hamilton was already undoing his pants.  “And I’m giving you mine and you’re putting them in your bag and taking them back to the dorm and washing them for me.”

“Alex,” Laurens protested.

Hamilton pulled Laurens down to him and kissed him hard.  “Come on, J.  Please.”

Laurens gave in, knowing he was being manipulated and unable to help himself anyway.  He made the switch reluctantly and looked away as Hamilton changed.  He glanced back, thinking he was done, and felt a little thrill at seeing Hamilton wearing his own dark gray briefs.  It was just a glimpse.  Hamilton slid his pants on the rest of the way and did them up.

“All right, that’ll do.  Thank you.”  He stepped forward and kissed Laurens lightly.

Laurens knew that it wasn’t the time and that he was operating on a hairpin trigger, but he wanted him and he felt himself stir—against the thick denim of his own jeans and the uncomfortable reminder just made it that much more exhilarating.  He didn’t do this, anything like this, or at least he hadn’t until Hamilton came along…

The door opened and Hamilton stepped away to greet Washington and shoo Laurens out.

 

“John Laurens.”

Laurens had just left the building when a familiar and unwelcome drawl called him back.

“Professor Jefferson.”  He awkwardly tightened his hold on the strap of his bag.

“Don’t look so jumpy.  I’m just reminding you that you’ll need to resubmit your prospectus if you plan on graduating this time around.  I suggest that you get on it, I hear that the standards are a little higher this year.”

Laurens just nodded.  “I understand.”

“Laurens?”  Another voice joined in and Laurens swore internally.  Perhaps Jefferson noticed because he just smiled and dismissed him.

“Lee,” Laurens said, forcing a smile and turning.

Charles Lee had stopped walking and was waiting on the sidewalk.  “I have a question for you, Laurens.  What’s the deal with your sling?  I’ve seen you wear it when you head down to the gym, but it seems strange that you’d take it off once you get there.”

“It’s fine.  It’s in my bag.” Laurens sensed that Lee was waiting for him to take it out, as if to prove it to him, but he wasn’t about to open his bag right there so he just started walking.  “I’m going back to the dorms.”

“Your sling, Laurens.”

“It’s fine.  I don’t need to keep it immobilized anymore.”

“Then why wear it out at all?  Are you trying to get sympathy or look like a hero?”

Laurens couldn’t very well tell him who he had actually put it on for and Lee pressed the point, clearly enjoying himself.

“Laurens, we need you back on the field.  It’s one thing to be reckless in an attempt to drive the ball, but don’t keep us a man down—”

“I wore it through class, so get off my—”

“Lee?  Laurens?”

What the fuck was with the area in front of the offices? Was it some kind of Bermuda Triangle of running into people or was it (more likely, now that Laurens considered it) that the universe knew he was impatient to get back and determined to drag it out as long as possible.

“Hello, Coach,” Lee said as von Steuben walked up.

“What are you two talking about?”

Laurens saw his chance.  “Lee was reminding me that I should still be wearing the sling.”

Von Steuben frowned, responding in his heavy accent.  “Your sling?  No, Lee, that’s old.  He hasn’t needed that for a while.”

“I was confused, sir, because he’s been wearing it before gym in the morning.”

“Did you?  Is your shoulder still bothering you, Laurens?  Zeig es mir.”

Laurens took a quick step back, tightening his hold on the straps of his backpack again.  “Sir, it’s fine.”

“Then why wear it?”  Lee asked.

“Laurens, if something is wrong then we need to look at it as soon as possible.  The sooner it’s dealt with the better.”

“It’s fine,” Laurens said, a little too emphatically and felt a sinking sensation as von Steuben looked at him calculatingly.

“All right.  Laurens,” von Steuben began, “I wanted to talk to you about working it.  Come with me to my office.”

“Yes, sir.”  Laurens followed after him with a distinct feeling of dread.

 

“Have a seat, Laurens,” von Steuben said, closing the door to his office behind them.  Laurens sat awkwardly on the edge of the chair in front of the desk.  “You are one of my best players, Laurens, and I like you.  Either there’s something wrong and it’s not healing right or you’re pretending to need it when you don’t.”

“Sir, it’s fine, really, everyday things it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

“Laurens.”  Maybe it was the German accent, maybe it was his previous military experience, but it was hard to tell just how pissed von Steuben was at any given moment.  He tended to ratchet quickly up to sounding like he was about to start cursing in his native tongue.  It hadn't taken long for Laurens to learn the basic necessities for if he was ever caught in traffic or a bar fight in Deutchland.  "Why have you been using it and taking it off when you come to practice?”

Laurens felt himself starting to blush.  “Sir, it has nothing to do with the team.  It's just,” he fumbled over his words, “a friend of mine, he thought...  With the ankle brace, he said I should have been wearing it and,” Laurens was tripping over his own excuse, accidentally telling the truth instead.  “And he also saw me when you had me get my ankle checked at the health center because I wasn't, I mean, I wasn't wearing it, and my—friend, he—it was just easier to put it on before practice so...”  

Once again von Steuben studied him for a long moment, then finally nodded, much to Laurens’ relief.  Was he off the hook?  “Don’t wear it anymore.  You should be building your strength back, not letting it sit immobile.”

“Yes, sir.”

“That means I want you to tell him you don’t have to wear it anymore.”

Laurens felt a little nervous jolt and hoped for the best.  “Lee, sir?”

“Alexander.  Tell him your coach said you don’t have to wear it anymore."  He started digging in his desk for a pen and paper as Laurens turned completely red and felt the shock like a punch to the gut.  “I will write you a note to give to him since we both know how unreliable you can be.”

“Sir—” Laurens finally managed to get out, but von Steuben was already pressing the paper into his shaking hand.

“If I hear that you're still wearing it, I'll give you another note to make him sign.  Find a different way to show off,” he advised.  “And tell Alexander he is welcome to keep you company on the bench when we are at the field. But I don’t think you will be there much longer,” he added as he dismissed an unbelievably embarrassed Laurens.

Chapter Text

“I’m fucking sick of Tempest,” Hamilton complained to Lafayette, his hands shoved deep into his jacket pockets as they walked to the mess hall.

“Really?”  Lafayette sounded surprised.  “I thought you would like that one.”

“It’s overdone as fuck.  Hurricane in the tropics, ha ha ha,” Hamilton said, only slightly bitterly.  “And don’t get me wrong, I love a good post-colonial reading as much as the next guy, more, probably, but it’s been done to death.  Caliban is the colonized subject, I get it.  Can we get a more creative reading?  What about a PoCo analysis of Macbeth?”

“I don’t—”

“You can totally do it,” Hamilton argued without waiting to hear what Lafayette was actually going to say.  “Shakespeare was English and writing for an English audience, so you’ve got that work with, do some analysis of royal authority, the use of nature and the periphery, it writes itself.”

“Is John joining us?”  Lafayette asked as they entered the building and he raised a hand in greeting to Tench across the way.

“I don’t know.”  Hamilton checked his phone.  “I tried texting him but he didn’t really answer.  Hey, you want to tell me if I’m being crazy?”

“You probably are, but explain.”

“So John’s all, whatever you called it, sweet, and I thought that was weird.  And it was also weird that we didn’t fool around last night.  But then we mess around while I’m on the clock and now he’s not texting me back and I’m kind of pissed.”

“Poor John,” Lafayette sighed as he picked out his lunch.  “He deserves an easier starter boyfriend.”

“Excuse you.”

“You are so needy,” Lafayette continued.  “I wasn’t half as bad as you when I started dating Adrienne, and I was just a child.”

“Hey,” Hamilton started, but Lafayette kept talking.

“You need to stop giving him such mixed signals.  You say you want attention and then push him away.  He gives you space and you get mad at him.”

“You’re making me sound worse than I am.  At least I’m having this conversation with you instead of just bitching him out for, look at this, literally responding ‘k.’”  He held up his phone for Lafayette to see.

“He is being strange,” Lafayette agreed, scrolling up a bit in the conversation.  “He’s not in class right now, is he?  You should go find him.”

“I should find him,” Hamilton repeated.  “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“No, you should leave him on his own to question your fledgling relationship after you hurt his feelings yesterday when he was just trying to do what you asked him to.”

Hamilton scowled.  “Fine.  But if you’re wrong and he actually did want to be alone then I’m trashing your psychology book.”

 

“John?”  Hamilton knocked on the dorm room door.  “I can hear your music, let me in.  I got sandwiches.”

The music turned off and Laurens opened the door.

“Hey,” Hamilton slipped inside.  “I didn’t know what you wanted but I figured beef was good.  I’ll trade you if you don’t like it.”  He leaned on Lafayette’s desk.  “You didn’t have class in between, did you?  Were you here the whole time?  I have to go down to the library later, I’ll walk over that way with you when—”

“Alex.”

Hamilton looked up from unwrapping his sandwich.  Laurens was standing with one hand on his desk and he turned to look at him over his shoulder.

“This is,” he motioned between them. "I'm actually..."

Hamilton frowned.  Was he missing something?  “Okay,” he finally said, slowly. “Yeah, we’ve been fucking for pushing nine months now.  I literally dry-humped your leg this morning and I’m wearing your underwear.  Don’t tell me you’re only just realizing you actually like all this.”

Laurens had turned his head away again, unable to meet his gaze and Hamilton put the food down and came over to him.  “John, seriously.”  He put one hand on the side of his face, turning it to him.  “Fuck ‘em.”  His voice was quickly taking on an edge as he realized what Laurens had meant.  “Tell me who said what and I’ll make sure he gets so fucked—you’ll see what I can do to him.”

Laurens brushed his hand away.  “Von Steuben.”

Hamilton tipped his head to the side, narrowing his eyes.  “You need to explain that to me.  That doesn’t exactly make sense.”

Laurens took the note out of his pocket and handed it over.  Hamilton read it.

“Oh.  Well, that’s good about your shoulder.”

“That’s not the point.”

“No, the point is that he was assuming you didn’t mind being called out on it, which is dicks but, trust me, he didn’t mean anything by it.  You know how many proposals he’s constantly submitting?  My first week on the job, I’m sorting through Washington's mail and I say, ‘Sir, did you know von Steuben sent you three memos about funding housing for at-risk LGBT youth?  I’m pretty sure he actually owns the property this one operates at.  What’s my point, sir?  Oh, nothing, I’m just commenting.’  Frankly, I’m shocked it’s not a bigger point of gossip, the man is anything but quiet.”  Hamilton crumpled the note up and tossed it out, kissing Laurens just off the side of his mouth.  “I know I tease you, but you’re not some blatant stereotype, John, jock or otherwise.  He’s just… very attuned to these things.  You want me to send him a note saying to drop it?  I’ll use official stationary.  I’ve gotten real good at mimicking Washington’s signature.”

Laurens shook his head and took his hand.  “I’m sorry.  I’ve been difficult and I don’t like it.”  He sat in his chair and kissed it.  “It’s just that sometimes when I’m with you I feel a little crazy,” he admitted.

Hamilton blinked.  “Huh.”

Laurens looked up at him.

“No, no, it’s nothing.  Just something I was talking about with Lafayette, I’ll tell you later.”  He paused.  “Do you want lunch?”

Laurens smiled.  “Sure.”

“Good, because I don’t need both of these.”  Hamilton passed him one of the sandwiches and went back to opening the other.

“It’s a nice day,” Laurens said, parting the curtain to look at the sky.

“Too cold,” Hamilton argued through a mouthful of turkey.

“We could eat in the foyer.”

Hamilton perked up.  “Yeah?  You sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Great!”  Hamilton got up, already waiting by the door.  “No offense, but it’ll be nice to eat at a table and without that porcelain cat staring at my legs.”

“I thought you liked your legs,” Laurens teased, squeezing his hand for just a moment as they left.

“Yeah, I do, and I don’t want some tacky piece of home decor to sink its teeth into them.”

Laurens laughed and Hamilton looked up quickly, grinning.

“You’re—”

“Crazy, I know.  Let’s grab a table.”

 

“It’s just very immature,” Lafayette said, sitting on his bed the next day and eating out of a bag of cheetos.  “Are the two of you fourteen?”

“Yes,” Hamilton said pulling down his collar to look at the hickey low on his neck in Laurens’ mirror.  “Aren’t you impressed that we’re about to graduate ahead of you?”

Lafayette shook his head.  “Des suçons, Alec?

Oui.  Cur non?

“Don’t take my line.”

Hamilton shrugged but let go of his collar.  “It’s hot.  So I like knowing that people can see the evidence, whatever.  Besides, why is that your phrase?”

“It’s been on my crest since the eleventh century.”

“Ah.”

“Actually, it was mostly forgotten but I'm trying to bring it back. It’s just so evocative.”

“It does suit you,” Hamilton agreed.

“So how are you and John?”  Lafayette asked as Hamilton sat at his desk.

“Pretty good, actually.  He told me that I’m invited to keep him company on the bench but I think I’ll pass.  Don’t get me wrong, as tempting as it is to get front row seats to that show, I’d rather not break him again.”

Lafayette nodded and passed him the bag.  “How considerate of you.”

“I know.  Shit,”  Hamilton paused with one hand in the bag.  “Do you think I need to delete my Tindr?”

“Yes,” Lafayette said as delicately as possible, “I think you do.”

“Damn.”  Hamilton handed the food back and took out his phone.

“I’ve got class,” Lafayette said, rolling up the top of the bag and putting it on the shelf.  “Are you going to wait here for John?”

“Yeah.  Yoga?  I’m surprised you stuck with it.  Is it fun?”

“It’s very boring,” Lafayette lied.  “You’d probably hate it.”

“Yeah, it doesn’t really sound like my thing.  Are you free after?”

“I’m meeting a friend.”

“You have friends besides John and me?”

“Of course I do.”

Hamilton shrugged and went back to his phone as Lafayette gathered his things and left.

 

“It’s the truth,” Lafayette was saying to Aglae as they packed up after class.  “Before I came here last year I had never been to America before.”

“But your English is so good,” she exclaimed.  “Did you go to Britain?”

“I’ve never been.  I’d much rather go here.”

“How do you know that if you’ve never been?”  She asked teasingly.  “Don’t tell me it’s just because you’re French.”

Oui, oui, mon amie.”

Aglae laughed and swatted his arm.

“Do you miss France?”

“Of course I do,” he said, “but America is fantastic.  There’s just something about this place.  It’s hardly perfect, but you have to believe that you can make a difference.”

She smiled.  “You’re an idealist.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

“No.”

Lafayette picked up his bag, everything put away in it.  “Are you headed towards campus?  I’ll go with you.”

“No, I’m not.  You could come with me anyway,” she said playfully.

“Ah, I’m meeting a friend.”  Lafayette sounded regretful.  “Some other time.”

“All right.”  She brushed a strand of hair out of her face.  “Maybe next week.”

 

“Lafayette!”  Andre waved to him, getting up from the bench outside the mess hall.  “Ça va?

Lafayette, freshly showered and with his still-damp hair pulled back, lifted his own hand in greeting.  “Ça va.  Where did you want to go?”

“It’s getting crowded here.”  Andre glanced inside.  “There’s a cafe nearby.  Do you want to just go there?”

“At the corner?  Sure.  They have a good signal and it shouldn’t be too loud.”

“Perfect.”

They started walking.

“How is Peggy?”

“She’s great,” Andre said.  “I think she’s going to be busy this weekend, though, which sucks.  But she’s great.  We just click, you know?”

Lafayette nodded and Andre continued.  “Do you think it would be all right if I brought her on Halloween?”

“Of course.  There need to be more girls there, anyway.”

“Okay, great.  Great,” Andre said.  “I didn’t want to tap out but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it if she couldn’t go.  I want to be able to spend it with her, too.”

“I understand.  I would want to spend holidays with Adrienne as well.”

“Are you going home over Christmas?  It’s pretty far.”

“I went last year.  This year… I’m not sure how I will divide up my time.  Laurens asked me and Alexander to visit him in South Carolina for Thanksgiving, so maybe we’ll make plans to do something for winter break as well.”

“Alexander and Laurens can do something together.  I’m sure they’d understand if you couldn’t make it.”

“Oh, I’m sure they would,” Lafayette said carefully.  “But I am looking forward to seeing Laurens’ home.  I’ve never been that far south.”

“I haven’t either.  From what he’s told me about it, I’m sure you will enjoy yourself.”

“What has he told you?  He’s said very little to me.”

“It should be warm, for one, and I don’t know if his old friends will be around over break but it sounds like they get up to all sorts of trouble.  Uh, Kilroy?  Kinloch, I think his name was,” Andre frowned, trying to remember.  “It doesn't matter.  Anyway, I don’t think he was there last year, but Laurens mentioned seeing him over break before.  I bet between the two of them they could show you guys a good time.”

“I’ll ask about it,” Lafayette said, promptly forgetting as they entered the cafe and placed their orders.  Lafayette found a table for them and took his laptop out of his bag, setting it up as Andre retrieved their drinks.

“Good evening, Adrienne,” he said in French once Adrienne appeared on screen, sitting on the sofa in her front room.  “This is Andre.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Andre said.

“And you.  I’m glad Gilbert has made another friend his own age.”

“Don’t worry,” Andre reassured her, “I’ve made up my mind to introduce him to many people.  You’ll have to beat the boys off of him with a stick!”

Adrienne giggled and Lafayette cut in.  “Adrienne, you should show Andre what you’re working on.”

“All right.”  Adrienne bent down and picked up a pair of tall black boots.  “These aren’t really mine.  A friend in my class is helping me with them.”

“I love boots,” Andre said.  Lafayette glanced down at him.  He was, in fact, wearing a pair.  “Are those for the military uniforms?”

Adrienne nodded. “Gilbert said he told you about that.”

“He showed me pictures of things you have made before.  Do you have a favorite time period to work in?”

Adrienne smiled, a little shyly.  “Gil and I always liked the mid- to late-eighteenth century.  The end of the Old Regime and the Enlightenment.”

“Adrienne is wonderful with Voltaire,” Lafayette said.  “You would think that she met him!”

“He’s flattering me,” Adrienne laughed.

“No, it’s true!  Adrienne, tell him—”

Excusez-moi, peux, uh, peux-tu utiliser des headphones?

The three of them looked in confusion at the employee with the poor accent until Lafayette made sense of what he was trying to say.

“Ah.”  He took a pair of earbuds out of his bag and offered one end to Andre.  They continued their conversation.

“It’s too bad you can’t join us in America,” Andre said.  “Peggy and I could show you around the city.”

“Mm, it’s not an option for me right now, but that reminds me, de Ségur and Louis are talking more about visiting you at some point, Gil.”

“Ah, are they really?”  Lafayette’s eyes lit up.  “That would be fun, they should do it.”

“They need to convince their parents first.  Not everybody can do things the way you did.”

Lafayette smiled nervously at that.  “Yes, well, that is true.”

“How did you do it?”  Andre asked.

“I didn’t exactly ask permission before getting on the plane,” Lafayette said, embarrassed.  “I was supposed to go on vacation with them to Sicily instead.”

“Oh.”  Andre sounded awkward.  “I’ve never been to Sicily.  Is it nice?”

“I wouldn’t know.”

“…Right.”

“Andre,” Adrienne said, changing the subject much to Lafayette’s relief, “Lafayette tells me that you play football with John.”

“Laurens?  Yeah, he’s great.  You got to meet him, didn’t you?”

“He and Alexander visited over summer.”

“Then I guess you do have to visit him in South Carolina again this winter,” Andre joked, missing how Adrienne leaned a little away from the laptop.

“I haven’t decided on anything,” Lafayette said to both of them.  “How could I spend the holidays away from France?”

Adrienne smiled.

“Andre, I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll have time to make you a costume as well.  Even just a jacket would have been nice, so you could match the others.”

“That’s all right, you don’t have to do that,” Andre said.  “I’ll just rent something.”

“Gilbert, get Andre’s measurements for me for later,” Adrienne said.  “It’s not fair that he doesn’t get anything.”

"You don't have to do that," Andre said again, raising his hand in protest.  Lafayette leaned out of the way of the gesture and spilled his drink on himself.

"Ah, I'm sorry," Andre started as Lafayette quickly got up, yanking out the earbud with the motion.  

"No, it's fine," Lafayette said shaking off the front of his shirt and taking handfuls of napkins from the holder on the table to clean himself with.

"Andre," Adrienne said.

Andre turned back to the screen, a little startled to be addressed directly while Lafayette couldn't hear.  

"I worry about him."  Adrienne looked up at Lafayette as he cleaned himself up.  "He means well.  Maybe the problem is that he means too well.  You have a little more distance than John and Alex.  Keep an eye on him for me, please?"

Andre paused, then nodded.  "Yes."

Lafayette glanced over, only then realizing that they were having a conversation without him.  "What are we talking about?"  He asked as he sat back down and put the earbud back in, still dabbing at the material with a napkin, somewhere between distracted and mildly jealous.

"I'm trying to decide what to send along for Andre," Adrienne said lightly.  "I think he really deserves something."

Chapter Text

Laurens groaned, pressing his hand hard against the door as Hamilton sunk to the ground in front of him, one hand still cupping him over the front of his jeans and the other running up his thigh.

“Mm, Alexander,” he put his hand a little farther out from his side, bracing himself as Hamilton started to pull his pants down and licked along the band of elastic.

“I want to taste you,” Hamilton said as Laurens arched towards him.  “I’m not going to stop before you’re done.  I want you to come in my mouth.”

Laurens tipped his head back against the door, heart racing.

“I didn’t think I would like it so much,” Hamilton went on, moving his hand over the bulge in his briefs and sliding his other up to cup his ass.  “But you drive me wild.  I could eat you alive.”

Laurens whimpered a little, his arm shaking.  Hamilton flicked his tongue just under the elastic and grinned when he heard Laurens gasp.

“The other night when you were on your back, at first I wasn’t planning on doing much, but once I saw it, saw how hard you were—damn, J.—I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to see how much of you I could swallow.”  He tugged the fabric of his briefs away a little and Laurens took a sharp breath.

“I like that I can make you so desperate with just my mouth.  Make you cry out and grab my hair.”

Laurens put his other hand on Hamilton’s shoulder, half to brace himself and half to urge him on, but Hamilton was taking his time.  He slid his hand under Laurens’ briefs, running it over his bare ass.  Laurens moved his legs a little further apart so he was standing in a stronger stance and Hamilton ran his fingers against him without pressing in.  Laurens bit his lip.

“I want to make you moan, I want the whole hall to wonder what I’m doing to you in here.”

“Alex…”

“What is it, J.?”

Laurens shifted his hips uncomfortably.  “Hurry up.”

“We still have time.”  Hamilton ran his fingers over him again and when he passed his other hand over his head he could feel the fabric just starting to get damp.  Laurens moaned, low, and leaned his hips forward.

“Am I being too mean to you?”  Hamilton asked, and even though he had his eyes closed Laurens could hear the grin in his voice.  “I’d threaten to stop but I don’t want to.”

Laurens nodded.  “Good.”

“I just want to draw it out.  Make this last as long as possible.”  Hamilton pressed his hand hard over his shaft and Laurens groaned again, leaning heavier on him.

Hamilton slid his briefs down, giving a short appreciative exhale at the sight that caused Laurens to shiver, and kissed him just next to his base.

Laurens gripped his shoulder tighter, his breathing quickening as Hamilton kissed him again, then ran his tongue about halfway up along the underside of his shaft.

Hamilton repeated it, pausing and murmuring against his skin so that Laurens tried not to jerk as his lips brushed over him.

“God, J.  You’re so fucking hot.  I could look at you forever.”

M-mm,” Laurens barely managed to get out, putting his other hand on Hamilton’s shoulders as well.  “Do—more than look.”

“Take me pictures,” Hamilton commanded.  “The next time I’m sleeping at my apartment.  Send them to me.  I want to see you touching yourself.”

“Alexander…”

Hamilton slowly took Laurens into his mouth and he forgot what he was going to say.  Hamilton moved over him and gave a short laugh when Laurens put his hand on the back of his head.

“H-hey.”

“Sorry.”  Hamilton pulled off and ran his tongue over his head so that Laurens groaned, ducking his head down.  “I told you that I like that.”

Laurens pushed him closer at that and Hamilton obligingly swallowed as much of him as he could, moving faster and holding his legs tightly.  He could feel him trembling slightly, and he swallowed hard against him as Laurens tugged at his hair. Hamilton pulled off as Laurens gasped out his name.

“I like that.  Feeling how much you want it.”  He took him back in his mouth without warning and Laurens gave a short startled cry, his breathing coming harder and louder, and he pushed Hamilton’s head down again, moaning and leaning back against the wall as he felt heat pooling in his groin.

“Alexander, please…”  He yanked at his hair harder than he meant to and Hamilton gave a short appreciative moan against his cock.  Laurens slipped a little down the door with a whimper.  He opened his mouth to warn him, then remembered what Hamilton had said and shut it again, his hand shaking as he kept him from moving away and jerked his hips forward, repeating his name as Hamilton wrapped his hand around his base, pumping until he had finished, then swallowed against him again, moving a little further down instead of off.

“Mm—”  Laurens took in a sharp breath, sensitive to the touch, as Hamilton only very slowly moved away, teasing his slit with his tongue before sitting back on his heels.

“You’re so hot,” Hamilton repeated himself.  “I can’t believe it.”

Laurens just laughed, short of breath.

“No, I mean it,” Hamilton insisted.  “Just your cock alone—damn.”  He stood up as Laurens covered himself and did up his pants and then kissed him slowly.  Hamilton put his hand on the side of his face and slid his tongue into his mouth.

“I know you don’t like it,” he said quietly as he moved away, lips just off of his, “but I want you to know what you taste like.”

Laurens felt a thrill run down his spine.

Hamilton stepped away.  “It’s a little early, but I want to grab something before the dinner rush.”

“Sit down.”

“Hm?”  Hamilton had been checking his pocket for his wallet and he looked up, surprised, then grinned when he saw how Laurens was watching him.  “All right.  Bed or chair?”

“Bed.”

Hamilton, still looking like the proverbial cat who caught the canary, sat at the edge of it.  “Should I get my pants?”

“Take them off.”

Hamilton quickly stripped and let out a pleasantly surprised gasp and moan as Laurens pushed him back onto the mattress, his hand around his shaft.  Hamilton put his arms around his neck, kissing him hungrily as Laurens moved his hand over him, quickly getting him hard.  Hamilton tried to arch up off the bed into his hand but it was difficult when he hadn’t been lying on it properly and he whined in frustration.

Laurens sucked on Hamilton’s tongue, feeling heady at how insistent Hamilton had been and how much he had enjoyed himself.  He could still taste the salt on his mouth and while normally he disliked it, right now it made him want to make him scream.

“Turn over,” Laurens said, standing up.

Hamilton inhaled sharply as Laurens moved away, then wordlessly did so.

Laurens leaned over him, his face next to his as he braced himself on the mattress with his left hand and he put his right back on Hamilton’s shaft.

“John,” Hamilton gasped.

Laurens pressed his face to his, moving his hand faster.  Hamilton was breathing harder, every few breaths coming out as a whimper.  The feel of Laurens’ weight against him and the position—he jerked his hips into Laurens’ hand, desperate for more forceful contact.  Laurens was quickly bringing him to climax, and he dug his hands into the sheet, his arms shaking slightly as he fought the urge to collapse onto the mattress.  His mind was flooded with images of Laurens, of his naked body and hard cock, and he could feel himself losing control, unable to think of anything beyond what he had just done and of Laurens’ hand on his shaft.

Hamilton spilled onto the sheets and Laurens turned to him and kissed him deeply. He nudged him onto his back on the mattress and pinned him to it for a minute.

Hamilton held him to him and when Laurens moved away it was just to duck his face, smiling, to the crook of his neck.

“Hey.”  Hamilton said, running a hand through his hair.  “You ever think of growing this out?  You’d be pretty cute.”

Laurens laughed against his skin.

“Okay, you’re already pretty cute.  You could work it is what I mean. Join me and Lafayette on the dark side.”

“Mm, I don’t know,” Laurens said, still smiling.

“Trust me—”  Hamilton was cut off by his stomach growling suddenly and he half-laughed, embarrassed.

“Come on.”  Laurens kissed him again, lightly, and got up.  “You wanted to get something for dinner.”

“You should probably change your shirt,” Hamilton pointed out as he dressed.  “Unless you want everyone to know what we were doing.”

Laurens looked down at himself.  “Shit.”  Hamilton passed him another shirt from his drawer.  “Thanks.”  He switched them out.  “What are you doing after this?”

“I wish I could give you the dirty answer to that question, but I’ve got homework.”

“Do it here.”

“John.”

“It’s fine, Lafayette will be here.  I’ll make him be quiet, I won’t talk to you, either.”

Hamilton looked skeptical.

“Or let me come to your apartment or the library with you.  I have work of my own to do anyway.”

Hamilton laughed and raised up on his toes to kiss him again before getting the door.  “You’re so… sweet.  I’ll stay here.”

 

Chapter Text

“That has been attribué par erreur,” Lafayette argued, the chair at his desk turned out so he could speak more directly to Laurens, and his accent coming out stronger than what had become normal.  “Rousseau never said ‘noble savage,’ even though it had been coined previously.”

“It doesn’t matter if he used the exact phrase,” Laurens retorted.  “He idealized Tahiti and its people, he didn’t need to put that label on it for it to still be problematic.”

“But he wasn’t talking about an idealized native in that sense.  Excuse me if I am wrong, but your noble savage is a heroic, if tragic, figure who is innately good because he has not been, how you say, Il n’a pas été corrompu par la civilisation.”

“He hasn’t been corrupted by civilization,” Laurens repeated for his benefit.  “Right, and how is that different than what he thought he saw in the Pacific?”

“It is different because it is a negative good, he simply meant to argue for self-sufficiency and a removal of these corruptions, merci, that he saw in his France.  Alexander,” he turned to Hamilton, who was sitting on the floor against Laurens’ bed with headphones on as he read, “you know Rousseau, don’t you?  Tell your boyfriend that I am right.”

Hamilton looked up, annoyed.  “You’re both wrong.  John, Lafayette is right, he never used that phrase, you’re being lazy with your terminology.  Define what you mean and don’t get butthurt when he points out your mistake.  Lafayette, even though I’ll give you that you’re right about his actual message, the dude still was drawing generalizations about civilization itself and you can’t do that without painting entire groups of peoples in broad strokes.  You both lose points on this one, now shut up and let me finish this.”  

Lafayette turned away in a huff, taking out his phone.

“You can’t just tell Adrienne to agree with you when Alexander doesn’t,” Laurens complained in a loud whisper.  

Lafayette made a shushing motion and started typing anyway.

Hamilton shifted away so they weren’t directly in his line of vision.

“What’s Adrienne’s number?”  Laurens asked, getting out his own phone.

“Why?”  Lafayette was suspicious.

“You told me to think of her as a sister, didn’t you?  As her older brother I’m pretty sure I need her number so she can call me when weirdos like you are bothering her and I can smack the phone out of your hand and tell you to leave her alone.”

“You’re not making a strong case—”

Hamilton interrupted Lafayette to recite the number.

“Zero nine?”

“Seven nine,” Hamilton clarified as Laurens saved it to his phonebook.

“I thought you were on my side,” Lafayette complained.

Hamilton shrugged.  “This seemed like it will be more fun.  Besides, it’s not like I need to worry about anything.”

“I’m going to tell her to block your number,” Lafayette started to threaten, but was again cut off.

“Too late.”  Laurens showed him his phone.

 

> J. Laurens:  Hello, Adrienne.  This is John Laurens.  I’m putting your number in my phone, if that’s all right.

> A. de Noailles:  Hello John!

 

Lafayette put his phone away, defeated.

“I should tell her that you tricked me into drawing that picture of her and that you still never gave it to her.”

“If you do, I’m not speaking to you anymore.”

“John, tell Adrienne about the picture,” Hamilton said. “Then you’ll have to stop talking to one another and I can finally finish this Goddamn chapter.  This is why I didn’t want to do work here.”

“Sorry.”

“Sorry.”

 

> G. Lafayette: Should we apologize again?  He didn’t say anything.

> J. Laurens: Let him be, I promised we wouldn’t bother him.

> G. Lafayette: What’s the problem?  Usually he’s the loud one.

> G. Lafayette: In bed too, I understand, but I meant when we are passing time together.

> J. Laurens: He tells you about that?  Not just what we do but that kind of detail?

> G. Lafayette: Of course.

 

Laurens gave Lafayette a silent look, managing to convey the proper level of discomfort he had with that.

 

> G. Lafayette: What’s the problem?

> G. Lafayette: There is a phrase I want to say but I don’t know what it is.  Help me. Something about talk among friends.

> J. Laurens: Are you trying to make a locker room reference?  

> G. Lafayette: Peut-etre.

> J. Laurens: It’s not the same, it’s not like when Andre tells me about what he did with his girlfriend.  You’re friends with both of us and… I can’t see how he would have even brought that up, tbh.  It’s not something you can… brag about?

> J. Laurens: I’m not really asking you to explain.

 

Lafayette rolled his eyes and deleted what he had been in the middle of typing.

 

> J. Laurens: Thank you.

> J. Laurens: To get back to the other point.  He’s behind on some things and needs to catch up.

> G. Lafayette: ohhhhhhhhhhhh

> G. Lafayette: Right

> G. Lafayette: Les tourtereaux :* <333

> J. Laurens: Can you not.

> G. Lafayette: You are still having votre lune de miel, I am surprised you can keep your hands off of one another long enough for me to be sitting here in the same room as you!

> G. Lafayette: If you like, I will take Alex’s keys again and sleep in his apartment

> J. Laurens: Ha ha.

> G. Lafayette: Tell me all about it, I get tired only hearing Alex’s side of things.  

> G. Lafayette: With him it is just half the time sex and half the time I am talking him down from doing something stupid.  Adrienne and I are sure that your version of things is more accurate.

> J. Laurens: I am so unsurprised that you tell her everything that I can’t even be upset about it.

> G. Lafayette: I don’t tell her the very dirty parts

> J. Laurens: …Thanks.

 

Laurens looked up again.  Lafayette tipped his head questioningly to the side.  Laurens glanced at Hamilton, still reading, then picked up his keys.

“Alex, I’m going to make a run to the mart.  Do you want anything?”

“Coffee.”

“It’s after eight, I’m getting you decaf.”

“You’re fucking Satan.”

Lafayette refrained from making an obvious joke.

“Lafayette, do you want to come?”  Laurens nodded his head towards the door, and Lafayette stood.

“I’ll see what they have.”

“Right.  We’ll be back in a little bit.”

Hamilton raised a hand but didn’t bother to respond as they left.

 

“So,” Laurens began once he was sure they were alone in the hall, “you said that he talks?”

“Constantly,” Lafayette confirmed, “but you know that.”

Laurens glanced around.  “What does he say about me?”

“He told me you don’t like it when he comes in your—”

“Please stop that forever,” Laurens interrupted.  “That wasn’t what I meant.”

“Be more specific next time.”  But Lafayette thought about this.  “He likes you a lot.”

“Yes, he’s said.”

“But you want to know what that actually means,” Lafayette said.  

“Wouldn’t you?”

“I wouldn’t date Alexander Hamilton.”

“Lafayette.”

“Fine, fine,” he flipped his hand.  “He is very eager to please.  He doesn’t understand what you want, which is very silly because you’re so easy.”

“Excuse me?”

“Is that not the right term?  I mean that you are very straight.  Ah, straightforward.  He genuinely does not realize when he’s being a bit of an ass and he wants you to pay attention to him always.  Hm, not not actually always.”  Lafayette paused to think, and then waited as another student crossed their path.  He started talking again once there was no danger of being overheard. “But frequently.  And on his own terms.  It’s like you are now the owner of a very touchy cat,” he concluded.

“Thank you,” Laurens said dryly.  “That is very helpful.”

“What exactly am I supposed to be telling you?”

Laurens rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly.  “I don’t…  Never mind, this was a stupid idea.  Forget it.”

“Come on,” Lafayette said encouragingly.  “Just be more specific.”

“I don’t know what he wants.  I just want him to like me.”

“He does, I said that already.”

“No, I mean…” 

“He does,” Lafayette reassured him.  “He’s trying very hard.”

“Yeah?”

Lafayette nodded enthusiastically.  “And he is always bragging about you.  Not just in bed,” he added quickly when Laurens looked like he was going to tell him to shut up again.  “In fact, Washington told me that Alex—”

“Whoa, whoa, he talks about me with Washington?”

“Nothing inappropriate!  He spends a lot of time with him.  They talk sometimes.”

Laurens winced.  “It’s still weird.”

“You need to deal with it,” Lafayette advised.  “Alexander is very smart.  He knows who he can trust and you should find it flattering that he, how does he say it, runs his mouth off about you.”

Laurens didn’t say anything to that.

“You wanted to know if he really liked you,” Lafayette continued.  “If he didn’t, he wouldn’t talk about you to anyone willing to humor him.”

Laurens was still silent, thinking about this as they kept walking.  His phone went off and he took it out of his pocket, smiled, and started typing a response.

“Ah, la lune de miel,” Lafayette said, shaking his head.  “He complains so much and then we are only a few minutes and he’s texting you.”

Laurens laughed.  “What was that?”  He turned the phone to show him the picture Adrienne had just sent him of her dogs.

Lafayette checked his own phone a little jealously.  No new messages.

 

> H. Mulligan: HEY WHATS THE DEAL WITH HALLOWEEN I JUST HAD MY OWN PARTY MENTIONED TO ME BY SOMEONE I DONT KNOW

> H. Mulligan: IM COOL WITHA RAGER BUT YOU WANNA GIV ME THE DETAILS OR NAH

> A. Hamilton: jfc Mulligan caps lock

> H. Mulligan: sorry.

> A. Hamilton: Yeah I invited someone and I think Lafayette was getting some girls, figured that was ok

> H. Mulligan: ok cool cool no prbolem

> H. Mulligan: you tell them to BYOB?

> A. Hamilton: shit I’ll get around to it. cover fee otherwise?

> H. Mulligan: ya

> H. Mulligan: we got time though don’t bust yo ass yet

> H. Mulligan: speaking of which how’s the ass busting going

> A. Hamilton: OMG SHIT THAT’S RIGHT

> A. Hamilton: SHIT

> A. Hamilton: I CANT BELIEVE I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THE FUCKING DRY SPELL HAS ENDED

> H. Mulligan: fuck yea!!!!

> A. Hamilton: not to invalidate what we were already doing or anyone for whom that is a personal preference but FUCKNG HELL PUSHING A YEAR SINCE I GOT MY DICK WET WHY THE FUCK DID I WAIT SO LONG

> H. Mulligan: idk

> A. Hamilton: fUCK

> H. Mulligan: so whats the deal am i allowed to act like i know who he is yet

> H. Mulligan: also remind me your area code I’m sending yo a motherfucking bachelorette cake to celebrate your dickcomplishment

 

“Maybe I should steal her from you,” Laurens teased, still texting as they headed back from the mart.

“Adrienne from Lafayette?”

Laurens and Lafayette turned to the new voice.

“Oh, hello, Andre.”

They waited for him to catch up and fall in alongside.

“How’re classes?”  Laurens put the phone in his pocket.  “Did you get started on French yet?”

“I’ll get around to it tomorrow morning.  I’m heading over to Ben Tallmadge’s for a while.  Are you guys busy?  You’re welcome to come with me.”

“Alexander is back at the dorm,” Laurens responded.  “We just went out to grab a snack.”

“Some other time,” Lafayette reassured him.  Laurens raised a brow, then looked in mild confusion at Andre when he didn’t seem to find that unusual at all.

“Right, just let me know.  We’re still on for Friday?”

“Friday?  Sure—”

“Oh,” Andre cut Laurens off, looking embarrassed.  “Sorry, I was talking to Lafayette.  You can come too, though!  Open invitation.”

“Friday’s still good,” Lafayette said, interjecting himself smoothly back into the conversation.  “Same place?”

“Yeah.  Right, I’m turning here.  See you guys later.”  Andre split off with a wave and Laurens turned to Lafayette.

“…We’re trying to pick a weekly time that works well for both of us to meet up and get coffee,” Lafayette explained.  “It turns out that we have a lot in common.”

“Really?”  Laurens sounded skeptical.  “You both have girlfriends and speak French.  Is that really what you’re basing your standing date night on?”

“Yes,” Lafayette said with dignity.  “Tell me all the hobbies you and Alex have in common again.”

“So are all the drinks pumpkin flavored yet?”  Laurens changed the topic.

 

Hamilton got the door when they knocked.

“You guys both live here, don’t tell me neither of you had your keys—Oh, hey, coffee!”  He took it from Lafayette.  “What did you—”  He took a sip and made a face.  “The shit is this?”

“I told you I was getting decaf,” Laurens said, coming in and sitting back at his desk.

“I thought that was a joke!”

“You need to actually sleep, Alex.”

“I need to get my work done, John.”

“So study for a couple more hours and then go to bed.  I’ll wake you when I get up and you can finish then.”

“Does this mean I’m spending the night?  ‘Cause that’s the first time I’m hearing about this.  I’m just clarifying,” Hamilton continued, directing his comment to Lafayette, “so you don’t think I’m just inviting myself over.”

“Stay if you like, it’s fine with me.  Although I’ll be getting up before John does and you’ll both be asked to leave.”

Laurens groaned.

“…My place?”

“Your place.”

“Good, now that is settled,” Lafayette said, digging through his bag of purchases, “Alex, guess how many different kinds of Oreos we found at the store.”

“Uh…”  Hamilton glanced up at Laurens who, without looking at him, put out four fingers at his side.  “Four.”

Lafayette closed the bag.  “You cheated.”

“It was a dumb question.”

“The point is,” Lafayette continued, taking out one of the boxes and opening it, “that I need you to help me taste test these for science and my true love.”  He handed it to Hamilton.  “I need to send her box out this weekend,” he clarified.

“Ah.  Don’t you usually wait until she gets whatever it is before you break into it?”

“There were too many options this time,” Laurens explained for Lafayette.  He waved off the box when it was offered.  “We decided it would be better if the two of you tried them first and then sent her the strangest.”

“The most American.”

“You didn’t actually buy the normal ones,” Laurens pointed out.  “I’m pretty sure that you’re just going to send her the one you find most foreign to your tastes.”

“She’s a lucky girl,” Hamilton said through a full mouth.  “Her boyfriend is shipping her low-quality snack food that I’m pretty sure she could get a hold of herself if she really wanted. Don't listen to what the media tells you, that's the dream.”

 

Chapter Text

Lafayette was awake.  He hadn’t really been able to sleep even though he had sent the other two away and had everything ready for his lunch date with Adrienne.  He checked his watch.  3:50.  He let his arm flop back onto the mattress and lay there for another minute, staring up at the dark ceiling.

This was a waste of time.  He was growing annoyed and finally sat up, checking his watch again (3:51) and putting his legs off the side of the bed.  As he sat there, an idea slowly started to come to him.  He could get some more classwork done, but it was so early and he just didn’t want to, or…

Lafayette got up and opened the bottom drawer of his desk, hovering his hand for a moment as he tried to decide what to take out.  Maybe something else new.  If his friends were going to spend their money on him he should make sure it didn’t go to waste.  He sat back on his heels, opening one of the boxes and taking out what looked like a silicone egg, open on one end and hollow on the inside.  He put a finger inside it curiously.  It was textured with waved ridges.

Shrugging to no one in particular he took it and the lube back to the side of his bed and undid the drawstring of his pants, slipping his hand inside.  He let his mind wander as he touched himself, remembering Adrienne in France with him, her body underneath his on her bed, her arms around his neck and hands in his hair.  Adrienne, kissing and touching him, whispering his name in his ear…

Instead he heard Aglae’s voice.  Aglae, asking him where he was going, her face flushed with sweat, her hair starting to come out of its ponytail, and he imagined her tipping her head back as he bit her neck and kissed her breasts, wondered what it would feel like to grab them and what her voice would sound like as she moaned out his name.  He could hear it now, hear her repeating his name, not soft like Adrienne but loud, and he pinned her up against the wall and she wrapped a strong, soft leg around his hips, pushing him closer.  Her shirt was pulled up over her breasts and she tugged on his hair as he sucked at one of them, encouraging him on.  He could already feel her so slick that it wet the tops of her thighs and he poured lubricant into his hand and gave a quiet moan as he wrapped it back around his cock.

In his mind Aglae was the one who was making noise and he fumbled for a moment with the toy before getting it lined up properly, stretching it down over his shaft so that as he moved his hand the texture rubbed over his cock.  Lafayette passed his hand over himself faster, more insistently, and suddenly in his imagination they were both naked and he was inside her, feeling her wet and warm and tight—he tightened his grip a little.

He could hear his own elevated breathing in the dark room and he imagined it was hers, imagined he could hear her gasping with each thrust.  He could picture her closed eyes and slightly parted lips and he made a frustrated noise, trying not to think about how far he really was from her, how far—he was from Adrienne.

He slowed.  He stopped.

Lafayette tossed the toy into the trashcan and leaned forward, resting both his arms on his knees.

 

“Fuck—!”

Hamilton woke up with a start when Laurens rolled over and smacked him in the face.

“What the shit…”  He rubbed his eyes and shoved Laurens’ arm off of him.  “Fucking men. It’s like sleeping next to a giant sack of bricks,” he muttered, pushing him and trying to roll him back and just succeeding in sliding himself backwards off the futon.  He fell back with a melodramatic thud and lay there in defeat for a second before sitting up in the dark.  He pulled his hair back, yawning, and noticed that his phone was lit up.

Hamilton glanced back at Laurens, fast asleep, and pulled a pair of pants on as he unlocked the screen to respond.

 

> G. Lafayette: Elle me manque

> A. Hamilton: aren’t you meeting her soon?

> G. Lafayette: It’s not the same, alex.

> G. Lafayette: She’s not actually here.

> A. Hamilton:  …Yeah.

> G. Lafayette: I think about her all the time.  And when I don’t, I later feel like that was time wasted.  No one understands how painful it is to be away from her, and I can’t even be angry with anyone other than myself.  I feel so bad for leaving her, Alex.

> G. Lafayette: I miss her

> G. Lafayette: It’s four in the morning and I’m sitting in the dark and I miss her.

> G. Lafayette: I talk to her every day and it’s not enough.  Why doesn't she write me more?  She was talking to John last night instead of me and it was eating me up inside.  When I don’t hear back from her right away I pretend that something must be wrong with the connection or the server because its easier to be mad at that than at myself and I can’t be upset with her

> G. Lafayette: I don’t deserve to be with her,

> G. Lafayette: I never should have come here.

 

Hamilton felt around off the side of the bed for his glasses.

 

> A. Hamilton: That’s crazy talk.

> A. Hamilton: You’re still at the dorm, aren’t you?  Hang tight.

> G. Lafayette: You don’t have to come over

> A. Hamilton: faster than typing

> A. Hamilton: well, no.  Better than typing.

> A. Hamilton: brb

 

When Hamilton was let into the dorm room, it was still mostly dark inside, although Lafayette had turned on his desk lamp.

Hamilton sat on the bed.  “I get that you miss her.  No, really, I know John’s just a few blocks away and I’m not talking about him.  I get it.  I do.”

Lafayette sat next to him.

“And you are absolutely right, it was your own choice to come here, and I’m not even gonna say ‘maybe it was a stupid one,’ because we both know that it was.  But for what it’s worth, I’m glad that you were enough of a reckless idiot to make it.”

Lafayette nodded, not looking at him but staring at the floor instead.

“Hey.”  Hamilton put his arm over his shoulders.  “I know it’s a fucking platitude, but you’ll see her again.  It’s okay.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder—there’s your second cliché, I still get a third if I choose to use it—and you came here for a reason.  Adrienne wouldn’t want you to turn around now.”

Lafayette sighed.  “I don’t even remember why I came.  To go to school?  We have schools in Paris.  I hope she misses me like I miss her, but that’s too cruel to her when she had no say in our separation.  I need her, Alex, she is more than my heart, she is my life.”  He slouched against Hamilton, who patted his shoulder.  “I want to go back to her.”

“Then why don’t you?”  Hamilton asked.  “You came here even though you knew the consequences would be heavy.  If anyone would just up and ditch in the middle of the semester, it would be you.”

Lafayette didn’t answer.

“You know it will be better if you stay.”

Lafayette nodded silently.

“Everyone knows that you miss her. She knows. She knows it's hard for you and that you're punishing yourself on her behalf. You love each other, right? What's done is done, she'd want you to make the best of it.”

Lafayette nodded again.  Hamilton tightened his grip on him.  “Right, I could keep going but you’re getting my jacket wet and she’s going to call you soon.”

“Ah.”  Lafayette wasn't exactly consoled but he sat up, wiping his face.  “Oui.  Merci, Alec.

“Of course.  I’m turning on the overhead light.  It’s too depressing in here.”  Hamilton got up and got the light.  “Come on.  You should wash your face at least.”

Lafayette sniffed and stood up.  “You are right, of course.  I will clean up and she won’t have to know about any of this, at least not now.”  He grabbed his keys and followed Hamilton out into the hall.

“You want to hang out later?”  Hamilton asked.  “I’ll get rid of John.  We can do our nails and gossip or whatever it is that the cool kids do, I never got invited to your sleepovers.”

Lafayette gave a short laugh.  “Sure.  This afternoon, I’ll come by your place.”

“Great.”

 

“Gil!”  Adrienne was at school, Lafayette could see the bright sun and hear other students talking happily in the background.  He could tell that she was propping her phone up against something—he wondered what—and then she settled down in front of it with her lunch.  “I almost thought you weren’t going to pick up!”

Lafayette was sitting at his desk, the lights in the room on and dressed neatly for their date.  “I’m sorry, my life.  I was slow in picking up.  How are you today?”

“I’m good, and you?”

“Any day that I get to see you is a good one.”

She blushed a little.  “You’re flattering me.”

“It’s true,” he insisted.  “I love you.  I was thinking about you this morning and—”  He could feel that knot in his throat forming again and he pulled himself back, not wanting to lose control while she was at school and they couldn’t talk privately.  He smiled brightly.  “—I was so happy to think that I would get to see you soon.  What do you have for lunch today?”

 

The first thing Laurens noticed when his alarm went off was that he was sleeping by himself.  He sat up in the dim light and turned it off, then went into the bathroom to wash up and confirm that he really was alone in the studio.  He got the lights and checked the desk for a note while he brushed his teeth.  By the time he was dressed he was just about to call Hamilton, but then he heard the key in the lock and he got the door.

“Thanks.”  Hamilton handed him a paper bag.  “I got you a bagel.”

“Oh.”  Laurens looked down at it in surprise.  “Thank you.”

“There’s one in there for me, too,” Hamilton added as he took off his jacket and glasses and headed into the bathroom.  “Don’t eat it.”  He turned on the shower.

“Did you go out just to get this?”  Laurens followed after him.

“I owed you for the dirt-water you got me yesterday.”

“If I had gotten you actual coffee you wouldn’t have been asleep by eleven.” Laurens caught the shirt that Hamilton tossed at him, but was out of free hands and just had to put his arm up to block the rest of his clothes.

“Not a fair trade.  You’re showering after practice, right?  Too bad.  I’d invite you to join me.”  He stepped in and pulled the curtain closed.

“I could shower twice…”

“You could also be late,” Hamilton pointed out.  “I was just teasing you, J.”

Laurens took a bite of his bagel.  “What are you doing later?”

“Busy this afternoon.  See you this evening?”

“Sure.  Are you wearing these today?”

“Hm?  Nah.  Toss ‘em in the basket and grab me something else.  I need to spend some time in the office, though, so make it look nice.”

Laurens came back a few minutes later with a fresh set of clothes as Hamilton turned off the water and reached one arm out from behind the curtain to grab his towel.

“I was thinking.”

“Yeah?”

“I’ll definitely be ready by seven.  Do you want to get dinner with me?  Nothing fancy, just meet me at the mess hall.  Thanks.”  Hamilton took his clothes and got dressed while Laurens looked in the opposite direction.

“That sounds good.  Give me a call when you’re ready and I’ll head over.”

Hamilton finished buttoning up his shirt, then came up behind Laurens, putting his hands on his waist and leaning up to kiss his cheek.  “You have to leave, J.”

“Yeah, I know.”  He grabbed his bag from where it was by the desk.  “I’ll text you after practice.”

 

Chapter Text

The doors to the elevator Lafayette was about to ride up by himself on his way back from class were closing when someone called for him to hold them.

“Wait!”

He pressed the button automatically, then cursed himself when Aaron Burr stepped in.

Burr for his part looked surprised to be stuck in an elevator with him, and Lafayette briefly glanced out the doors as if debating whether it would be too rude to duck back out.  Lafayette prayed he would press a button for the next floor.  Burr didn’t.  He pressed a button for a floor a few up from Lafayette’s, meaning Lafayette was trapped with him the entire way back to his room.  This was going to be awkward.

They stood there awkwardly, waiting for the doors to close.

“Nice weather we’re having,” Burr said after a couple of long seconds and Lafayette looked pleadingly upwards.

“Yes,” he replied as the doors closed very slowly and they did not plunge to their deaths.

“The hurricane aside, of course.”

“Of course.”

The elevator slowly started to rise.

“How’s,” he paused, like he was trying to decide what name to use, “Alexander?”

“He’s fine.”

“Good.”

Lafayette wondered if Burr really meant that, but then he was talking again in a tone that came off as just a little too practiced.

“It was good to hear about the two of you getting together.  It seems like he’s finally calming down.”

Lafayette actually turned from where he had been trying to bore a hole with his gaze in the wall to stare in confusion at Burr, who looked a little startled, then a little calculating, and kept talking without missing a beat.

“In the meetings, I mean.  He’s still indefatigable, but he’s somewhat less of a loose cannon.”  Burr half-laughed.  “I feel less like I’m trying to have a debate with a rapidly scrolling wall of text.”

“Yes,” Lafayette said carefully, “of course.”

“And it’s good that your roommate is handling himself so maturely.  Alexander and I both know, well, we’ve had to deal with several incidents recently.  I don’t know if he’s mentioned any of that to you, nothing serious, but of course I can’t give details beyond what comes up in the public reports.  Student athletes implicated in inappropriate language and conduct,” he waved his hand slightly in the air as if brushing it aside.  “Generally discriminatory and homophobic behavior.  Of course, it is difficult to prove anything one way or another.”

Lafayette nodded, looking straight forward again.

The elevator stopped and the doors opened.

“Tell him hello from me,” Burr said as Lafayette stepped out.

“I think I will tell him more than that,” Lafayette replied, waiting for the doors to close before he headed to his room.

 

“I just had the strangest conversation with Aaron Burr,” Lafayette said before Hamilton was even in the room.  Hamilton made a face.

“That guy?  Why were you talking to him?”

“He thinks we are dating,” Lafayette continued without answering the question.

Hamilton stared at him incredulously then started to laugh.  “Shit, really?  I bet that was good.  What did he say?  Was he weird about it?”

“Only because he congratulated us,” Lafayette said, “which is preposterous because I am out of your league.”

Hamilton laughed harder.  “Ha!  Yeah, you’re in a league of your own, all right.  But seriously, what did he say?  I kind of assumed he’d get all shirty and morally offended.”

“He was perfectly nice,” Lafayette admitted.

“That’s how he gets you.  Talk less, smile more, blah blah blah.  I wonder what his angle is.  Is he trying to get at me through you?  But why even bother, we can just yell at each other next Monday.  Speaking of Monday, if you’re my boyfriend now can I get you to sign a petition for me?  I’d ask anyway, but now that you’re my bae I can also twist your arm into writing and attaching a personalized argument backing it up.”

“You’d also do that anyway,” Lafayette pointed out, but took the paper to look over when Hamilton brought it out.  “The only thing he really said, Alexander, was that you are easier to deal with now.  It’s true,” he added after a moment of consideration.  “Getting some on a regular basis really does take your edge off.”

“Not sure if I should be offended.”

Lafayette shrugged, then sat at his desk and signed his name.

“Add a comment, too.  Make it something I can use.  But that was really all he said?”

“He also said he was glad that John did not have a problem with it.”

Hamilton started to laugh again.  “Yeah, right, John’s totally fine with it.  He’s cool.  Very understanding, that John.  Very accommodating.  Shit, this is the funniest thing I’ve heard in ages.”  He took out his phone to text Laurens.  “Did you tell Adrienne yet?  She can be our maid of honor but I gotta say I’m putting my foot down firm, that cat of yours has to be flower girl.”

“I thought you didn’t like Hamilton.”

“She’s growing on me.”

“He was just so convinced,” Lafayette said as he wrote.  “It was not a question at all.  I wonder who he heard it from.”

“No clue.  I’m actually tempted to speak to him just so I can ask.”  Hamilton was reading over Lafayette’s shoulder.  “Yeah, that looks good.  Give me like another two sentences and hand it back.  So how was Adrienne?”

“Perfect.”  Lafayette sighed.  “I don’t know what I was thinking…”

“Hm?”

Lafayette shook his head.  “Never mind.”

“Is this about you not knowing if you should have come stateside?”

“No, no, nothing about that.  You were right, I made my choice and I have to see it through.  It is just hard to be so far from her.  When I left France it didn’t hit me until I was already on the plane and then there was nothing I could do.”

“That must have been a rough flight.”

Oui.  I had never been on one so long, either.  It was horrible.”

Hamilton winced, not at all jealous that he had not been there.

“I want to mail this package.”  Lafayette picked up the box, finally packed and taped up.  “Come with me to the post office.”

“Sure.”  Hamilton got up and they headed back out into the hall.  They crossed paths with one of Lafayette and Laurens’ neighbors, not an unusual event, but this time they both noticed that particular look.  It wasn’t accusatory or judgmental, just… knowing.  They glanced at each other once they had passed him.

“Did you…?”

“You know, I did.”

“I want to ask him to explain, but we don’t have too much time.”  Lafayette glanced at his watch around the package.  “I’ll let you know if I figure it out.  I need to call Andre after this.”

“Are you guys really friends now?  Way to steal him from John.”

“I did not steal him, they still see plenty of each other.”  Lafayette paused, glancing over at Hamilton who wasn’t responding to that but just staring into middle distance in great distraction.  “I didn’t mean that literally.  Stop thinking about it.”

“Hm?  Right, sorry.  Why are you calling him?  Asking him out on a second date because the first one went so well?”

“Yes, actually.”

“…Really?”

“I thought he could bring his girlfriend this time.  I could call Adrienne and we could have a double date.  It might be a little soon, but I’m so excited to know another couple to go on a date with.”

“Uh,” Hamilton stopped walking and motioned towards himself.  “Excuse you, what about us?”

Lafayette frowned.  “You and John?  I don’t know, that would be strange.”

“Why would it be strange?”

“Because I met both of you under different circumstances.  I think of you as my friends first, a couple far second.  Andre is more enthusiastic about dating, like I am.”

“Hey, I got him flowers.  You even helped sign for that.”

“Yes, and then you panicked when John tried to maintain that level of intimacy.”

Hamilton half-frowned, unable to argue.

“I believe your exact words to staying the night and not having sex were ‘weird as fuck,’ ‘what the fuck,’ and ‘shit.’  Besides,” Lafayette continued, “I didn’t think either of you would be interested.  If I am wrong and you and John would like to—”

“Hell yeah we’d like to,” Hamilton said quickly, not really thinking it through and just wanting to feel like he won the argument.  “In fact, I’ll tell him tonight.  At dinner, which is basically the same thing as that coffee date of Andre and yours.”

“Except with less palpable sexual tension.”

Hamilton nodded.  “That’s true.”

 

Laurens met Hamilton outside the mess hall for dinner as promised.

“Hey.”  Hamilton stood up off the bench he had been reading on.  “Ready to—”  His eyes narrowed slightly.

“What?”

Hamilton looked down at himself, his dress shirt the same dusty gray-blue as Laurens’.

“You picked this.  Did you do this on purpose?  Because that’s hella—”

Laurens started to bristle and Hamilton forced himself to shut up.  Right, public.

“…Sorry, come on.”

They entered and got in line.

“…You matched our pants, too, didn’t you?”  Hamilton asked, keeping his voice low.

“They’re just jeans.  You’re being paranoid.”  Laurens handed him a tray.

“They’re black jeans,” Hamilton argued.  “They’re the only pair of black jeans I own.  If I had picked things out for myself I’d be wearing—”

“Are you insulting my taste now?”

“God forbid.”

Laurens started to fill up his tray and Hamilton, grabbing what he wanted, split off.

“I see a free table in the back so I’m going to jump ahead to the part where  I pay for this.  Come find me.”

Hamilton was reading, his food untouched, when Laurens sat down across from him.

“Small table.”

“Two-seater.  Thought it would be more intimate.  Also it was the only spot open with room for both of us. This is a hellish hour to come here.”  Hamilton read to the bottom of the page and then put his book down.  “So I was thinking and actually I take it back, you’ve got great taste.”

Laurens picked up his fork.  “Oh?”

“Yeah, Lafayette and I can get kind of loud, you’re more reserved—blue shoes incident aside—but you always look put together.  In a sexy way, too, not just like you’re lifting something straight from a department store catalogue.”

“I thought you were going to turn that into a compliment for yourself.  Something about how you realized I must have good taste because I like you.”

“I decided to give you an actual answer, not the easy joke one.”

Laurens smiled, amused.  “Thanks.”  His attention was caught by a familiar voice somewhere in the crowd and he glanced up and over his shoulder.

“Shit, I didn’t think to ask.  Is this one of the meals you usually eat with the team?”

Laurens shrugged.  “Sometimes.  It’s fine, Lee was pissing me off anyway.”

“Right.  Well, I’m glad to provide an excuse to ditch him.”

Laurens nodded and looked at him, at that teasing half-cocked smile, and suddenly felt the impulse to lean across the table and kiss him.

“…What?”

Laurens forcibly turned away.  “I thought you wanted to get dinner, Alex.  You haven’t even started eating.”

“I wanted to give you a suggestion you’d agree to.”

Laurens wasn’t sure if he was just trying to get a reaction from him or not and he didn’t trust himself to look back to check.

“Soooo…”

Okay, that was a concerning noise and Laurens looked up, his previous worry replaced with a new one.

“What is it?”

“Don’t be mad.  I kind of got into a stupid argument with Lafayette and long story short we’re going on a double date with him and his laptop.”

“Lafayette and Adrienne?  All right.”

Hamilton cocked his head to one side, surprised by the lack of resistance.  “Okay, cool, cool.  I’ll just let him know, I guess.”

 

A message popped up on Lafayette’s screen as he was talking to Adrienne and he paused to read it.

“Ah, Adrienne.  We have two group dates coming up.”

Adrienne looked up from the cat she was brushing.  “We do?”

“Yes, we are going to have coffee with Andre and his girlfriend Sunday morning and then again with Alex and John on Tuesday,” he said, copying and sending her the message from Hamilton.  “Oh, I hope you are free?  You’re not too busy, are you?”

“No, no,” she said, a little distracted as she mentally rearranged her schedule, “that’ll be fine.”

“Good.”  He sounded relieved.  “It’s hard to find times that work for so many people.  Between classwork and sporting events and extracurriculars… I didn’t know what other times to suggest!  Just imagine what it will be like when we’re trying to pick a suitable date for our wedding!”

Adrienne smiled fondly.  “I think people will be more willing to change around their plans for that, Gil.”

“I don’t want to inconvenience them,” Lafayette continued, starting to get caught up in the fantasy.  “It will already have to be in France, of course, which means that many of the guests on my side will be flying in.  We don’t have room enough for all of them—Alex and John can be shoved in any old corner, but what about the Washingtons?  I can’t ask them to make their own hotel arrangements!  They’ve been so good to me, my heart, so the least I can do is make sure that they are comfortable.  But then any others I want to invite, it would be so rude to take care of one set and not the rest of them, but what hotel would be suitable?  It has to be in the area and sufficiently large.  I assume that your immediate family would stay at your home, but all of your friends?  Just because they’re not flying across an ocean doesn’t make them any less our guests and our responsibility, Adrienne, and they’ll be depending on us to provide for their needs.  Room and board at least should be taken care of, and we should coordinate tours for those from out of town who want to see the city and simultaneous events for those from the area that do not overshadow the sightseeing but are still sufficiently engaging…”

“Gilbert, you’re getting ahead of yourself.  Take us back to this Sunday.”

“Right,” he said, embarrassed.  “Sunday we will meet Andre and Peggy at three,” he continued, converting the time for Adrienne.  “I expect that we will sit and have coffee for a couple of hours.  It’s a little difficult to do anything more strenuous,” he apologized, “and going to a cafe is a classic opening act.”

“And Tuesday?”

“We could go back to the same place.  What do you think?  Do you mind going there again so soon?”

Adrienne smiled.  “I don’t mind.”

Lafayette nodded.  “Good.  It has a strong signal and is not too noisy.  I sent you one of their coffee blends in the package I mailed out today so you can join us more thoroughly if it arrives on time.”  He paused for a moment.  “Will you talk to me more?  Send me messages or call me even if you don’t think I’m around.”

“I don’t want to disturb you if you’re busy.”

“I’m never too busy for you,” he insisted.  “I always want to hear from you.  I feel like I’m the one who is always contacting you first and I can’t be upset with you about that, I just want to hear from you even more.”  Lafayette took a deep breath, not wanting to explain everything but also feeling like he had to say something else.  “I miss you, my Adrienne.”

 

Chapter Text

Hamilton led Laurens up the stairs to his apartment, turning back to talk to him as they went.

“So I realized that even with the suit taken care of, I need to go get everything else still.  Shoes, mostly, I assume I can still wear my regular underwear with something that fancy.  Or is it customary to just go commando?”

Laurens laughed.  “I’m sure what you have will be fine.”

“Yeah?”  Hamilton raised a brow suggestively at him.  “Do you think you should check?”

“This is very strange bedroom talk,” Laurens commented.  “I’m not sure you’re really hitting the mark.”

“I’m sorry our current setting of shitty narrow stairwell isn’t exactly inspiring,” Hamilton started, then stopped when he saw the box in front of his door.

“What did you order?”  Laurens asked, coming up onto the landing behind him.

“I didn’t order anything,” Hamilton crouched down and read the unfamiliar label with increasing confusion.  “Hang on.”  He picked it up and let them in, setting it on his desk and cutting the tape with his key.  “Let me get the—”  He took off the lid and burst out laughing.  “Oh, fuck, he actually did it!  John, check this out.”

Curious, Laurens leaned over Hamilton’s shoulder and then made a face at the novelty bachelorette cake.

“Seriously, Alex?”

Hamilton was still snickering as he took a photo.  “Shit, this will be the first dick pic I send Lafayette.  I hope he appreciates.”

“That’s not from him, is it?”

“Nah, it’s from Mulligan.  I thought he was just fucking around.”

“Do I want to know why?”  Laurens took off his jacket and then put his hand out for Hamilton’s.

“He’s just congratulating me,” Hamilton said, handing over his jacket and looking around for a clean fork.

Laurens put them down on the chair.  “…You told him?”

“‘Course I told him, John.  He’s chill, don’t worry about it.”

Laurens looked uncomfortable.  “Alex…”

“I just want to brag about my pretty boyfriend, okay?”  Hamilton said, intentionally keeping the tone a little teasing as he came back with a fork.  “Is that so wrong?”

Laurens hesitated, remembering what Lafayette had told him about how much Hamilton wanted to tell people about him.  “No,” he forced himself to admit.  “It’s not.  That is, though,” he added as Hamilton took a piece out of the balls.

“’S good,” Hamilton informed him with his mouth full and offered him the fork.  “Buttercream filling.”

“I’ll pass.”

“Come on, John, it’s fine.  If the visual bothers you so much then just close your eyes and I’ll put it in your mouth—” Hamilton cracked up again.  “Sorry, sorry, bad choice of words.”  He took another bite.  “Have some, I can’t eat this whole thing all on my own.”

“No, thank you.”

“Really?”

Laurens ran his hand over the back of his neck.  “Look…  I’m not working out as much as I normally do.”

Hamilton put the fork down.  “I’m sorry, what?”

Laurens glanced away and Hamilton couldn’t help himself but continued to gape.

“Oh my fucking God, you—you—are feeling insecure?  Like—how?”

Laurens rubbed at his shoulder.  “Don’t make it sound so dramatic.  I’ve put a lot of time in, I can tell when things are different.  I know it hasn’t been very long, but the earliest I’ll be back to normal is another four weeks and I’m seeing my father at that dinner next Saturday…”

Hamilton put the lid back on the box.  "John, you know that I was being hyperbolic but not lying, right?  I literally brag about how hot you are.  Literally,” he repeated, more insistently when Laurens didn’t meet his gaze.  “I can prove it to you if you’d like,” he said, stepping forward and slipping his hands into Laurens’ back pockets, pressing their hips together.

“Alex…”

“It’s good cardio,” Hamilton teased, turning his face up and kissing him lightly under the jaw, then at the base of his neck.  Laurens tipped his head away, letting him.  Hamilton moved his hips in a slow circle against him and started undoing the buttons of his shirt.  “I’d tell you to get the lights, but, damn, I get so hot just watching you.  I’ve said that before but it’s worth repeating.”  Hamilton ran his tongue just over the edge of his lips as he pulled Laurens’ shirt open and raked his eyes over his musculature, visible and defined beneath his white undershirt.  “Call me a fucking voyeur, but I can’t help myself.”

“Ha.”  Laurens arched away a little as Hamilton ran his tongue over and then lightly bit his nipple.  Hamilton sucked on it, teasing it with his tongue, as he pressed his hand between his legs.  Laurens shifted uncomfortably and Hamilton moved his hand slowly over him.

“How do you want to do this, J.?”

Laurens felt a thrill run through him when Hamilton called him that.

“Do you want to stand?  I’d like to make you stand, just here, make you come into my hand.”  He let Laurens rock his hips into his touch.  “We could do something else instead.  We could do more than one thing.  I could suck you off.”  He felt Laurens tense at that and he teased him again with his mouth, slowly.

Laurens put one hand back on the desk to steady himself.

“I could fuck you,” Hamilton added, quietly.  “You don’t even know how hot you looked, J.  All flushed, with your eyes shut.”  Laurens whimpered softly.  “Pulling that pillow to your face but I could hear you anyway, and, shit, your arm flexed and shaking.”  He turned his head to the side and bit his bicep.  Laurens jerked a little in surprise.  “I just want you to be on display for me, all the time.”  He ran his hands over his chest and down to his hips.  “I don’t know how you get through the day,” he continued.  “If I looked like you I’d never get anything done.”

Laurens half-laughed.  “Your logic is a little faulty.”

“I can’t help that,” Hamilton insisted, cupping him with one hand so that Laurens groaned while he undid his fly with the other.  “You’re so distracting, J.”  He tugged his jeans down—Laurens moved away from the desk slightly and started to help then pressed one fist to his mouth, gripping Hamilton’s shoulder hard with his other hand as Hamilton dropped suddenly to his knees and ran his tongue up his inner thigh.  Laurens’ heart was racing as he moved his legs apart.

“Mm, there is one problem,” Hamilton said, his mouth just off of his cock.  Laurens made an impatient noise.

“I can’t talk to you while I do that.”  He flicked his tongue over him and Laurens’ hips jerked.  “I want to be able to tell you—” he repeated it and Laurens leaned harder on the desk.  “—just how mad you drive me.”  He kissed his head softly and stood, rubbing him again and leaning against him.  “You never answered me.”

“I—what?”  Laurens was very distracted, shifting into Hamilton’s touch, his voice a little strained.

The corner of Hamilton’s mouth twitched up.  “Get on the bed.”

Hamilton stepped away to undo his shirt and Laurens finished stripping, Hamilton putting his hand on the side of his face and drawing him down into a hungry kiss as soon as he was done.

“Get on the bed,” he repeated, then when Laurens started to unfold the futon he stopped him.  “Not like that.  Brace yourself on it.”

Laurens hesitated for a moment in confusion then started to turn red when he pieced together what Hamilton had in mind.  He blushed harder when the realization made his cock stiffen further.  He could see that Hamilton was watching it as he leaned on the folded up mattress, spreading his legs wide to make up for how low to the ground it was.

Hamilton ran his hand lightly over his back and ass.  “Touch yourself.”

“What?”

“You know how.”  Hamilton knelt behind him and wrapped his hand around his shaft, stroking the entirety of its length as Laurens gasped and ducked his head, breathing heavily.  “Do this for me.”

“Alex,” Laurens started, a pleading note in his voice.

Hamilton took his hand off of him and Laurens whimpered.  Hamilton put his hands at his hips and bent down, making Laurens gasp again as he bit him.

“I won’t complain when you even the score later,” Hamilton promised.  “I’ll do whatever you want.  Anything.”

“Mm—”  Laurens could feel himself growing slick and he moved his hand faster as Hamilton undid his pants, releasing his cock and rubbing it between his legs as he leaned over him.

Hamilton ran his hands up over his torso and chest, letting out a long appreciative exhale and kissing his back.  “God, J.,” he murmured, wrapping one arm up around his to put his hand on his shoulder and running his other hand over Laurens’ arm as he touched himself, “how are you fucking real?  I swear to God,” he continued, rocking his hips slowly so that his cock moved against him and Laurens’ breath caught, his legs slipping a little farther apart, “sometimes I think I could come just from looking at you.”

Laurens let out a small whine without meaning to and Hamilton tightened his grip on his arm.

“Don’t rush it, J.”

“Alexander,” Laurens pleaded.

“I should make you talk sometime.”  Hamilton was moving his hand along his arm, feeling the firm curves of the muscle, then put it over Laurens’ hand, controlling how slowly he moved it.  “You’ve said that you like my voice.”

“Yes,” Laurens said, a little steadier with great effort.

“I like yours too.  The way you say my name like that, like you’re so desperate for me to do something.”  He was still dictating Laurens’ pace, his own hand getting wet and slippery as he went on.  “You’re so independent and confident otherwise.  Knowing that I can bring you of all people to your knees—it’s a fucking thrill.”  He pressed his hips to him harder and Laurens gave a short needy cry then bit his lip to silence himself.

Hamilton’s voice was low.  “Say my name.”

“Alex.”

Hamilton ran his hand over his ass.  “‘Alexander.’”

Laurens’ breath caught again and he shifted into the touch.  “Alexander.”

He could hear the pleased grin in Hamilton’s voice as he responded.  “I want to fuck you.  I want to do everything to you, make you come over and over.  I want to put my mouth over every inch of you.”  He kissed his back again.  “And then I want to start all over again in the morning and just keep you here with me all day.  On the bed, on the desk, up against the wall…  I think about you when I’m at work or class sometimes,” he continued as Laurens felt heat building in his groin.  “I’d be embarrassed but I don’t even care—it takes so much effort not to call you and skip out, fuck in a bathroom or storage closet…”  Hamilton started directing Laurens’ hand faster, tightening his hold on his shoulder as Laurens moaned, his breathing coming in short gasps.

“Alexander—”

“Yes, J.?”

Laurens’ arm was shaking as he braced himself on the futon and he kept moving his hand even when Hamilton moved away.  Hamilton’s cock rubbed up against him again as he sat back and Laurens jerked and slipped a little further down, picking up more speed and knowing that he was seconds away—

“Stop.”

Laurens did so, with a small desperate noise.

Hamilton quickly slipped his hand back and Laurens started at the sudden pressure at the base of his shaft.

“What—”

He turned around in surprise, his face flushed and eyes dark, and felt his heart turn over at Hamilton’s smug face, his long hair down.  Hamilton kissed him hungrily, his tongue in his mouth and one hand on the back of his head, the other grabbing his upper arm and turning him further so that he was sitting on the floor and leaning back against the mattress.  Laurens put his hands on his waist and pulled him to him, between his legs and Hamilton moaned into the kiss, pressing his body up against his.

Laurens’ cock rubbed uncomfortably up against him and he made a pleading noise into the kiss as Hamilton put his hand on it, stroking it insistently.  He bucked his hips, unable to get release even with the stimulus.

“Alexander,” he moaned, and Hamilton sat back a little.

“Shit, J.”  He shook his head.  “I know I said I wasn’t going to suck you off—” Laurens whimpered, eyes closed and chest heaving.  “—but you’re just right there and I want to so badly.  I can’t decide what I want most,” he said, and Laurens gave just the breath of a laugh at how genuinely distressed he sounded.

Hamilton moved away and leaned down.  Any laughter died in Laurens’ throat as he slowly took him into his mouth, making a satisfied noise against his shaft that caused Laurens to press the back of his hand to his mouth.  He gripped the side of the mattress tightly, his hips shaking as every moment of contact was heightened and kept him feeling like he was just off the edge of losing it.

“Alex,” he said, a sharp pleading note in his voice.  “Alexander—”

Hamilton was moving over him, taking him almost all the way to the hair tie at the base of his shaft, and he pressed two fingers against him.  Laurens automatically spread his legs further and tipped his hips to him.

Hamilton pushed a little harder without working his fingers in, just teasing him with the contact and anticipation of what he might do.  Laurens could tell that he was getting loud, that every fast breath he took was being exhaled in a whimper, and his mind was spinning.

“Please—”

It wasn’t until he had heard it several times that he realized he was the one saying it and Hamilton worked the tie off with his free hand.  It was only halfway off, Hamilton’s mouth still on him, when Laurens suddenly felt its constriction loosen.  He came without being able to control it or give warning, grabbing Hamilton’s shoulder hard and holding him in place as he cried out.

Hamilton swallowed and slowly pulled off of him, wiping his mouth on his arm and looking at Laurens lying breathless in front of him.

He leaned in and put one hand on the side of his face, turning it to his and kissing him slowly.

Laurens drew a trembling hand alongside his face, brushing back his hair and giving a soft moan into the kiss as he recognized what had come to be a familiar taste.  Hamilton slid his tongue just briefly into his mouth, then sat back.  Laurens felt a thrill as he watched him deftly put his hair back up.

“Are you done?”  Hamilton asked.  Laurens was very aware of how hard Hamilton still was and he shook his head even though he would have been otherwise fine with just stretching out on the floor and going to sleep.

Hamilton grinned.  “Good.”  He got up and went into the bathroom.  “‘Cause now that I’ve done that I really have made up my mind.  I’m going to fuck you, J.”  Laurens could hear a drawer opening and closing and then Hamilton’s voice, clearer as he leaned out of the doorway.  “—If that’s okay, that is.”

Laurens half-laughed and started to sit up.  “Well, I can’t right now.”

Hamilton was already in front of him again, completely undressed now and so pleased with himself as he pushed him back against the mattress.

“That’s true.”  He pressed the side of his face to Laurens’ for a moment, eyes closed, then put his hands on his chest for balance as he kissed him.

Laurens put his arms around him, one hand high on his back and the other on the small of it, and let him keep him down.

“Do you want me to…?”

“Turn over,” Hamilton instructed, getting off of him.

Laurens did so, getting back into his previous position leaning on the futon.  Hamilton was kneeling between his legs and he slowly pushed one slick finger into him and kissed his lower back.

“Mn…”  Laurens spread his legs a little farther, trying to find the best angle and height as Hamilton moved it in and out and added a second.  Laurens closed his eyes.

“J.”

“Y—yes?”  Laurens’ voice wavered as Hamilton spread his fingers.  “You—did that on purpose.”

“Mm.”  Hamilton kissed him again.  “Accident.  Fortuitous coincidence.  I didn’t realize you’d like this so much.  Before, I mean.”

“Ha.”

“I’m glad you do,” Hamilton went on, adding a third and pushing in further as Laurens bit back a moan.  “I’m not saying we have to do this all the time.  But, damn, I just like getting you off.  Doing the work.”

Laurens swallowed dryly and concentrated on keeping his voice steady.  “You’re a hard worker.”

“I can’t help myself.  You’re so hot, I just—I want to even things out a little.  It’s not fair that I can get hard just thinking about you, about your body.  I need to give you something in return.”

“Bullshit.”  Laurens could feel a low note of pleasure every time Hamilton pushed his fingers far enough in and it made him weak at the knees.  “You… Ah.”  He bit his lip, trying to keep his breathing even.  “You’re really—”

Hamilton drew out his movements, making them slow and deliberate.  “I’m what?”

“So fucking—”  Laurens could hear his words slurring together around the edges.  “So—Alexander…” he finally just settled for moaning his name and Hamilton bent his fingers, pressing against him.

“Are you going to get hard again?”  Hamilton asked, repeating the motion as Laurens gasped.  “I can hear it in your voice.”

Laurens ducked his head down and didn’t answer.  He tensed as Hamilton took away his hand and then pushed himself into him.

Hamilton had his hands at his hips and he let out a slow exhale, eyes closing for a moment as he slid all the way in.  When he started talking again Laurens could hear the waver in his previously steady voice.

“Goddamn, J.”

Laurens wanted to sink onto the mattress or grab Hamilton and push him up against the wall—he wasn't sure which he wanted more—but he forced himself to stay still and concentrated on keeping his arms from shaking.  His eyes were tightly shut as Hamilton moved inside him and his breath came out in a hiss with every thrust.  He could hear Hamilton’s breathing quicken and felt his grip tighten as he suddenly picked up speed.

“John—”  Hamilton switched back to his real name, the last letter getting a little clipped as he pushed hard into him.  He was moving with more force now, digging his nails in hard enough to leave little half-moon indents, and completely incapable of thinking outside the moment, of how good it felt, of how much longer he might have to enjoy it before he had to pull away—

“Shit.”  Hamilton paused, half-out, as he realized suddenly that he had forgotten to grab a towel but it was too late to do anything about that now.

“Ah…”  Laurens tipped his hips back to him, his cock getting hard again and frustrated at the sudden denial.

“Sorry.”  Hamilton almost slammed back into him and Laurens bit back a startled yelp, then groaned as a fresh burst of pleasure coursed through him.

Hamilton reached down with one hand and Laurens jerked into the touch.  His hand was still slippery with lubricant and Laurens quickly hardened the rest of the way as he moved it to the increasing pace he was setting.

Laurens wasn’t sure if Hamilton was saying something incoherent or if he just couldn’t hear him right over the blood pounding in his ears, but then to his surprise Hamilton suddenly pulled away, taking his hand off of him and almost tripping over his leg as he stumbled to his feet.  Laurens turned with a confused mixture of concern and irritation, putting one arm down to brace himself on his elbow, and saw Hamilton leaning hard against his desk and finishing himself into a tissue.

Laurens stared, completely enthralled, at Hamilton, his lips parted and eyes tightly shut, unaware that he was being watched as he pumped one hand over his shaft, the other holding the tissue to his head.  He let out a low strangled moan as he came and Laurens completely understood what Hamilton meant when he talked about that barely controllable desire.

Hamilton stood there, panting for several seconds, then rolled his head from side to side and opened his eyes.  He looked startled at first to see Laurens watching him, then he grinned.

“Hey, J.”

He tossed the tissue into the trashcan and started to walk back but stopped when Laurens stood.  He took him by the wrist and, holding it up by his face and pushing his tongue into his mouth, shoved him back against the desk hard enough that the books on it shook.

“Mm—!”

Hamilton had started to turn around to check the books, but Laurens roughly turned his chin back to him and kissed him aggressively, bringing Hamilton’s other hand down to his cock.  Hamilton didn’t need to be told twice and immediately started touching him again, quickly, as Laurens put his hand behind his head and thrust into his grip.  He wanted a rapid conclusion and when Hamilton tried to tease him and slowed his hand down he growled and grabbed his wrist, returning it to its previous pace.  Hamilton obliged even after Laurens let go to brace himself against the table and give himself better leverage and he stopped only once Laurens had spilled over his hand and arm with a low moan against his lips.

Laurens stayed where he was, pinning Hamilton up against his desk, and slowly broke the kiss, his chest rising and falling heavily as he put his face against the crook of his neck.

“Don’t do that again.”

“What?”  Hamilton had been smiling, self-satisfied, but it faltered and he tried to glance down at him.

Laurens' voice was still low and his words were still edging into one another.  “Don’t just stop like that.”

“Oh.”  Hamilton squeezed his arm, trying to nudge him off of him.  “I didn’t think you’d want me to finish inside of you.”

Laurens didn’t move.  “Then wear a condom, Alex.”

“Yeah, I didn’t think of that until it was already done,” Hamilton admitted, then perked up, realizing this was permission for there to be a next time.  “You’re staying tonight, aren’t you?  I’ll unfold the futon.”

“Mm…”  Laurens was kissing his neck now and Hamilton laughed.

“J., you have to get off of me.”

“No, I don’t.”

“You do,” Hamilton repeated.  “I want to get the bed and I have to put the food away.”

“I’ll get the mattress.  Are you actually going to bed?”  Laurens stepped back and unfolded the futon, putting on the sheets from where they had been piled in the corner.

“Nah.”  Hamilton vanished into the bathroom.  The water ran and he talked over it.  “I’ve got stuff to read.  I can do it there instead of at my desk, though.”  He came back out and grabbed the box, standing in front of the fridge and trying to figure out how to rearrange its contents to make room.  Getting it stored away he went back into the bathroom.  “You can sleep if you want.  You have to get up earlier than I do tomorrow.”

“There’s work I should do, too,” Laurens admitted.

Hamilton stepped back out, toothbrush in his mouth.  “Don’t ‘ave t’ do ’t.”

“What was that?”

Hamilton waved his hand impatiently and disappeared from view again.  He came back out a minute later and grabbed a book from his desk, sitting on the freshly-made bed.  “What do you have to do?  If it’s not for tomorrow you can do it this weekend.”

Laurens raised a brow but sat next to him.  “Are you telling me to slack off?  While you get your work done?”

“You didn’t even bring your bag, what were you going to do?”

“I was going to ask to borrow your laptop.  I can get the text online.”

“Oh, too bad, it’s dead.  My internet is down.”  Hamilton stretched out on his back, reaching his arms up above his head, and then turned onto his side and tugged Laurens down.  “I guess you’re stuck just lying here with me.”

Laurens laughed and kissed him lightly.  “You’re ridiculous.”

“I’m gonna freeze if you fall asleep on top of me before I get under the covers.”  Hamilton rolled off the side of the bed and turned off the light.  Laurens got under the sheets and held them open for him.  “Thanks.”  He smiled as Laurens put his arm over him and then kissed his collarbone.  “I’m gonna read, J.  But stay like that.”  He turned over onto his other side, grabbing his book and phone to use as a light, tugging Laurens’ arm down tighter and settling in.

Laurens didn’t protest, feeling sleep overtaking him again now that he was lying down, and slid his other arm underneath Hamilton’s pillow, closing his eyes and leaning his head against him.

 

Chapter Text

“All right,” Lafayette said that night, his laptop on the counter in their floor’s communal kitchen.  “Are you ready?”

“I’m ready,” Adrienne responded, standing in her own kitchen.  “Were you actually able to get all of the supplies?”

“Hm, no.”  Lafayette looked at the items laid out in front of him.  Economy sized box mix, eggs, milk, syrup, a bowl, fork, and pan.  “That’s all right, my heart, I’m going to try the American version instead.”

“American crêpes?”  Adrienne asked, mildly surprised.

“Pancakes,” Lafayette confirmed.

Adrienne laughed.  “Oh!”

Lafayette held his hair tie in his mouth as he pulled his hair back and out of the way.  Once it was secured he smiled broadly.  “Are you ready?  Shall we race?”

“Gilbert,” Adrienne laughed again.  “It’s not a contest.”

“No, fortunately not,” Lafayette said, picking up the box and looking at it a little skeptically.

Another student walked into the kitchen and opened the shared fridge, looking at Lafayette curiously.

“If you come back in a few minutes I will give you one,” Lafayette said in English.  “Bring your own plate and utensils.  And friends!”  He called after him as he opened the box.

“You’re going to be so popular,” Adrienne teased a little, already at work in the kitchen on her end.

“I want to meet everyone,” Lafayette said.  “There are so many new and interesting people here, Adrienne.  I can hardly keep track of everyone.”

“You’re so outgoing,” she said with admiration, “and so considerate.  It’s no wonder everyone likes you.”

“And you are darling and a flatterer,” he responded, following the instructions on the box.  “Thank you for agreeing to do this with me.”

Adrienne glanced at the clock in her kitchen.  Two AM on Thursday—now Friday—night.  “I’m glad to spend time with you,” she responded truthfully.

“How are you going to do the crêpes?”

“Just lemon juice and brown sugar.”

“Ah,” Lafayette smiled as he mixed in the eggs.  “A classic.  I like them with strawberries.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to go to the store.”

“Why are you apologizing?  You’re making them for yourself, not for me.”

“That’s right.”  She smiled, a little embarrassed.  “I’ll make them for you when I see you.  In December?”  She asked tentatively.

Lafayette nodded.  “In December.  I’m looking forward to seeing John’s home this November.  It will be interesting to see them setting up for Thanksgiving.”

Adrienne nodded.  “I think so.  Will it be very traditional?”

“I’m not sure.  John doesn’t talk about things like that much and from the little he has said about his family I am surprised that he was able to invite us to visit during the holidays at all.  Are you certain you don’t want to come?  He wouldn't mind.”

“You can’t invite me for him!  But I will be happy to see you after the semester is over.  I don’t want to get in the way of your having fun with your friends.”

“You’re too sweet.”  Lafayette frowned, looking between the instructions on the box and the carton of milk.  It was difficult to estimate measurements when you weren’t sure how they compared to the ones you were familiar with…  “How much is a cup?”

Adrienne looked puzzled and held up a mug that had been drying by the sink.  “A cup?”

“Yes.  I would think it would be similar to that, no?”

“I suppose so.”

“Or do you think they mean a teacup?”

“I didn’t know that they used teacups in America.”

“I haven’t seen many,” Lafayette admitted.  “But something like that seems more likely.”

“Why do you need to know?”

Lafayette held up the carton of milk in response.

Adrienne frowned, wondering if she should tell him to look it up.  “I’m not sure.  Maybe someone in the dorm can give you a better answer, Gilbert.”

Lafayette was looking between the different sized mugs that had been left in the kitchen.  “It’s so strange that they don’t use the metric system here,” he said, distracted by an especially gaudy vacation mug.  “But this is more fun.  It’s exciting to experience foreign things like this.”

“One cup is two hundred and thirty-seven milliliters,” Adrienne said, leaning into the screen as she looked up the conversion.  “Gil, please don’t use a full mug as your measurement.”

Lafayette looked surprised and put the mug down quickly.  “Ah, no, that doesn’t sound good.  Thank you.”  He poured what looked like approximately the right amount into the bowl and went back to stirring it with the fork.

Adrienne turned the laptop so she could still see him while she worked at the stove.  She had already combined all of her ingredients and was smoothing out the batter into a tidy circle on its flat pan.

“That looks good,” Lafayette said, still trying to get the clumps out of the batter.  “How many are you making?”

“Just one.  No one else is up.”

“I hadn’t realized that I wouldn’t be able to easily find the supplies,” Lafayette said.  “And I think this box will make quite a lot.  Perhaps I should have waited for a night when Alex and John are around, but it’s difficult when they don’t have a set schedule.  They are all over each other,” Lafayette continued to her, secure in the privacy of their conversation thanks to the language barrier even as the other student and one of his friends came back to loiter.  “I think Alexander is still keeping count.”

“Count of what?”

“Everything,” Lafayette said emphatically.  “He’ll just send me numbers and I’m supposed to keep track of what exactly they correspond with.  Sometimes he’ll include emoji for ease of identification if he’s in a particularly celebratory mood.  I could ask him for an explanation, of course, I’ve done that in the past.  But you wouldn’t believe how long he can ramble on about every minute detail.”  Lafayette poured some of the batter into the pan.  “Hold on one moment.”  He turned to the other students.  “I’m going to make a lot of these.  Could one of you write a sign?”  He switched back into French as he continued talking to Adrienne, poking at the batter in the pan with the fork.  “Tonight, for example, just ‘two.’  That one is deceptively easy.  One is not a hard number to keep track of, but there are a few things that they have only done once.  Well, twice now,” he amended.  “I’m sure that he will tell me all about it tomorrow.”

“I’m glad you have friends there,” Adrienne said as she deftly slid the finished crêpe onto a plate.

“Me too.  It would be so lonely here otherwise.  Do I need to flip these?”  Lafayette tried to work the fork under the pancake and then repeated the question to the group starting to gather in the kitchen.

Adrienne carried the laptop and her plate to the dining table.  By the time she had set herself up, Lafayette had served the initial student and was chatting happily with several others as he waited for the next pancake to finish.  Adrienne settled back, waiting for him to finish serving everyone else and make his own so that they could eat.  She wondered for a moment if she could go to bed and have him wake her when he was done—it looked like this was going to take all night.

By the time Lafayette had finally finished and was left with just the one pancake for himself, Adrienne was asleep with her head in her arms on the table.

“Adrienne.”

“Mm.”  She sat up and rubbed her face.  “I’m sorry, Gilbert.”

“I didn’t think about how late it is for you,” he said apologetically, now in his room with the plate and the laptop.

“That’s all right.  Did you enjoy yourself?  They sounded nice.”

“They were,” he said brightly, unfolding his napkin and placing it in his lap.  “We friended one another.  Someone told me I should make special pancakes next time,” he continued obliviously.  “I’ll have to go back to the market and see what I can find.  I think it’s American to put chocolate chips in them.”

“It sounds like it,” Adrienne agreed, finally getting to eat her crêpe.

 

When Hamilton woke it was still dark and Laurens was nuzzling his neck.

“Mm…”  He smiled, not really thinking yet.  “This is great.  You should stay over all the time.  Don’t leave.”

“I have to go soon.”

“Your alarm didn’t go off yet.”

“I know.”

Hamilton ducked his head down and yawned behind his hand.  “So don’t get up.”

“We have about ten minutes before I need to do that.”

“Yeah?”  It clicked and Hamilton reached behind his head to run his hand along the side of Laurens’ face and through his hair, repeating himself with a different intonation.  “…Yeah?”

Laurens moved closer, pressing himself against the small of Hamilton’s back.

“I thought you’d be worn out after last night.”

“You’re not complaining, are you?”

“Hardly.”  Hamilton arched and moved against him.  “I told you I’m gonna get my face on money and when I do I’m taking off ‘in God we trust’ and captioning it ‘Alexander Hamilton: DTF.’”

Laurens paused and then laughed.

“Maybe toss in my phone number after the serial code.”

“Are you actually still asleep?”

“Not sure.  It’s still dark outside and a hot guy in my bed’s looking for a quickie.”

“Nine minutes.”

“Right.”  Hamilton rolled onto his other side, taking a pleased breath when he found himself pressed up against Laurens’ bare chest, his cock now rubbing against his front.  He traced his hand down Laurens’ chest and abs, then wrapped it around his shaft, grinning as Laurens shifted into the touch.  “God, I was right, you should stay over more.  What would you do if you were back at the dorm?”  He started moving his hand over him.  “Would you rub one out right there in bed or go to the showers?”

Laurens already sounded distracted.  “I’m not jerking off when Lafayette is right there.”

“Showers, then.  I could make you get up.  I’ve got a shower.  Keep more with the theme.”

“Alexander…”

“Right, right, time.  I guess I’ll have to be nice.  The shower is nice though, but let’s make it less than a hundred degrees in there next time.  When am I seeing you again?”

“Mm…”  Laurens had his eyes closed.  “I’ll call you after practice.”

“That soon?  You’re making me blush, J.,” Hamilton teased, picking up the pace.

“I’ve—got time.”

“Yeah, you’ve got time and you're trying to get lucky.  I’m onto you.”

“We don’t have to do anything,” Laurens protested.  “I meant it, Alex.  I’ve got some free—time.”

“I’m just messing with you.  But you know,” Hamilton began, teasing just his head.  “Maybe you should plan on going back to your dorm.  Lafayette should be leaving around the time you’re done.  Maybe you pay me back.”

“Ah—”

Hamilton ran his thumb over his slit.  “Does that sound like a plan to you?”

Laurens’ hips were twitching.  “Yeah.”

Hamilton kissed his chest.  “Good.  ‘Cause I think we’re gonna run out of time and I’ll just be thinking about you all day otherwise.”  He kept teasing him as Laurens shifted uncomfortably, the sheet sliding down.

“Alex…”

“Don’t worry, J.”  Hamilton suddenly switched back to touching him more vigorously, moving his hand faster over his shaft, a grin quirking up the side of his mouth when Laurens groaned.  He tried to glance up at one of their phones but couldn’t see the time on either so he sped up further, Laurens putting his hand on his upper back and pushing him closer.

“Alexander, I’m—”

“Good,” Hamilton breathed.  “Let go.”

Laurens did, gasping as he felt the wave of pleasure wash over him.  He lay there, breathing heavily for several long seconds as Hamilton touched him slowly and then took his hand away.  His alarm went off.

“Damn.”

Hamilton kissed his collar.  “Right on time.”

Laurens made a noise between a complaint and a sigh.  “I don’t want to get up.”

“You did that to yourself.”  Hamilton sat up, holding his hand a little out in front of him and not touching anything else with it.  “I’m washing up.  Go get ready before you have to tell your coach that you’re late because your boyfriend was giving you a handy.”

Laurens flopped over onto his front, burying his face in one of the pillows and muffling his voice.  “Don’t even joke about that.”

“Who said it was a joke?”

Laurens winced and got up.

 

> G. Lafayette: 2?

> A. Hamilton: sit yo ass down 

> A. Hamilton: i got a story for you

> A. Hamilton: guess what yours truly is allowed to do more frequently now

> G. Lafayette: Come with me to the grocery store

> A. Hamilton: …wait is that a question, like a possible answer you are posing or is that a command

> A. Hamilton: See this is why punctuation is important

> G. Lafayette: It was a request.  I’d like you to come with me to the store.

> A. Hamilton: ok fine but we’re getting off topic bc what I want to tell you is way more important than whatever piece of americana you’re planning on deep-frying or bbqing this time around, if you’re going to have a heart attack it should e from my EXCELLENT NEWS and not from clogged arteries

> A. Hamilton: seriously how are you not dead yet actually don’t answer that but put a pin in it, I’m coming back to that later because it’s not actually the point of the story.

> A. Hamilton: are you sitting

> G. Lafayette: I’m walking to class.

> A. Hamilton: wait what

 

Hamilton actually stopped walking at that, already in the dorm.  He had been counting on Lafayette being around to let him into the room but instead it looked like he was going to be stuck out in the common area.  He sat at one of the tables, taking a book out of his bag and resigning himself to wait for Laurens to come back out there.  He hadn’t yet opened it to his page, however, when he saw Burr walking across the open room, heading for the elevators.  Hastily shutting the book and shoving it in his bag, Hamilton chased after him.

“Burr!”

Burr stopped, turned around, smiled.  “Alexander.”

“Right, hello, good morning, moving on,” Hamilton said, his words all on top of one another.  “Not that I’m not loving our mutual unspoken agreement to not talk to one another anymore outside of meetings, but I seriously have to know the answer to this one.  Who told you I was dating Lafayette?”

Hamilton was watching closely to see if any emotion—surprise, guilt, amusement, anything—flashed over Burr’s face, but he kept it unreadable.

“I didn’t realize that was a secret.  You’re normally so open about things.  I have a couple of friends on your floor.  I’m not sure there is a delicate way to put this, but they’ve seen and heard you together.”

Hamilton frowned.  Of course people had seen him entering the room with Lafayette, but they had also seen him with Laurens.  And if anyone had heard anything

“Like, sex?  They heard me having sex?  …Do they want to, like, stick a note on the door or something, I’m pretty sure that’s the standard way to register a noise complaint.”

“I’m sure they would appreciate it if you kept it down.”

“I’ll blast the music next time,” Hamilton promised.

Burr’s smile got a little broader and a little thinner.  “I’ll let them know.”

“‘Cause I’m pretty sure they aren’t hearing it right.”

“From what I understand, you left very little to the imagination.”

“Uh-huh.”

“I didn’t tell Lafayette this, of course, but you can reassure him that he’s not the problem.  As long as he manages to gag you, no one will be any wiser.”

A light dawned in Hamilton’s eyes.  “Ohhh.  They could only hear me.  That makes sense.  That makes a lot more sense.”

Burr actually did give him a quizzical look at that but Hamilton pretended not to see it.

“Okay, yeah, sure.  I’ll keep it down.”  Hamilton paused, then laughed.  “We’ll be real discreet.”

“Good.”  Burr sounded less sure.  “They weren’t misinformed, were—”

“Alexander?”

Hamilton turned around as Laurens walked towards them.

“I thought you were meeting Lafayette.”

Hamilton started to laugh again.  “Yeah, I actually was.  Shit.  It’s been a pleasure, Burr, and for the first time in fucking ages I mean that one hundred percent.  C’mon, John, let’s get breakfast instead.”

“What was that about?”  Laurens asked once they were back outside.

Hamilton was still grinning.  “I can’t believe I forgot to tell you this.  You’re too distracting.  Long story short, you don’t gotta worry about shit.  The staff may be one thing but apparently any interested members of the student body think I’m hooking up with Lafayette instead.”

Laurens actually faltered for a moment in his steps.  “What?”

“I know, I know.  Caught me off guard, too.  Lafayette was also real confused.”  Hamilton shook his head, amused.  “I mean, neither of us corrected them, ‘cause, you know, but we didn’t know why.  I’ll text him at the cafeteria because it turns out that people in our hall have real big fucking mouths and they saw us together, which, okay, totally normal.  It’s not like they saw us arm in arm or any shit like that.”

Laurens frowned.  “They’ve seen—”

“Right,” Hamilton didn’t let him finish his sentence.  “They’ve seen you and me together, I walk down that hall with both of you and you’ve both let me in or seen me off.  And like I said, no funny business.  But,” he started cracking up again, still finding the whole thing funny, “Burr says they’ve heard us and I’m this close to just telling him that can’t be right ‘cause I’m pretty sure Lafayette doesn’t have some secret recording of me to play when he’s jacking off in to that can.  Then I realized he meant they can hear me and some unidentifiable second voice and they’re not creepy enough to be actively tracking your and Lafayette’s comings and goings.”

Laurens was staring.  “You mean…”

“Hey, I suggested they write a note.  I guess it’s not that bad.  Or they’re getting off to it, whichever.”  Hamilton flipped his hand airily.  “The point is, John, that you can stop worrying because Lafayette’s the one being pigeonholed as a flaming homosexual, not you.  And either no one cares or it’s actually helping his rep.  Did you see his insta last night?  I’m pretty sure he’s now Lord of the Stoners.”

Laurens didn’t say anything, frowning slightly and looking ahead as they walked.

“It’s a good thing, right?  John?”

Laurens finally nodded, slowly.  “Yes.  But you can tell them that they’re mistaken.”

“Nah.  I don’t mind having a French sugar daddy.”  Hamilton paused.  “Un papa de sucre?  Remind me, I want to ask him about that when we get food, too.  Seriously, John, I don’t care what people think and it didn't sound like Lafayette was particularly bothered by it either.  It sounds like this’ll be easier.”

Laurens heard the unspoken “for you” and felt a guilty twinge.  But since Lafayette didn’t mind and, frankly, it sounded like Hamilton was getting a kick out of it…

“Yeah, sure.  You’re right,” he admitted.  “It’s easier.”

 

Chapter Text

“You’re so strong,” Aglae said with admiration as she and Lafayette packed up at the end of their class. “You make all of the poses look so easy—if my boyfriend was here, he’d just fall on his face.”

Lafayette, dripping sweat, was pretty sure that she was flattering him but smiled anyway. “You do very well yourself.”

“I’m just flexible.”

Now Lafayette wasn’t sure if she was flirting with him or not. He'd never quite been able to make up his mind one way or the other. Some days he would leave class convinced she was blatantly hitting on him, others he felt there was no way. He remembered in a flash when he had taken Hamilton out to the Quartier Latin and what he had told him—there was no harm in a little flirtation as long as you kept your eye on where the line was.

Aglae slung her bag over her shoulder. “I'm going to grab coffee after this. What about you?”

What about him? “That sounds good. Do you mind if I join you?”

She smiled brightly. “Not at all. I’ll shower and then meet you upstairs.”

Lafayette glanced up to the front of the room where Adelaide was putting things away, her dark hair neatly held away from her face with a wide headband. “All right, I’ll wash up too.”

Aglae left and Lafayette loitered, making a show of checking his phone as he waited for the room to empty.

“Adelaide,” he began, walking over to her.

She answered in French and her accent was like honey. “Yes?”

“A friend of mine is having a party next month. If you don’t have plans yet you should bring some friends with you.”

“Next month—for Halloween?”

“Yes.”

“You’re planning very far in advance.”

“Not that far.”

“Yes. I heard you inviting some of the other students at least a week ago.”

Lafayette laughed awkwardly. “Ah, perhaps. I’m a little excited. I’ve never been to an American costume party before.”

Adelaide took out a day planner from her bag. “Mm. Tell me the time and the address and I’ll write it down.”

Lafayette had already been opening his contacts to add in her number. “Oh. Right.” He told her the information and she put the planner away.

“Your leg seems to be doing better,” she told him with a smile. “I’ll see you later, Lafayette.”

Lafayette met Aglae upstairs after he had showered off.

She stood up from the chair she had been waiting in by the door. “Are you ready to go? Where do you get your hair done, by the way?”

He touched it, still silver and lilac. “I got it touched up near campus but I did it in France over the summer.”

She looked surprised and impressed. “You did that yourself?”

“Ah, no… Adrienne, my girlfriend, she did it for me.”

“I see. Well, you should tell her that girls in America think it’s cute.”

“I’ll be sure to let her know,” Lafayette said cheerfully, taking out his phone to text her.

Aglae raised an eyebrow at that. “Wow, you talk to her a lot, huh?”

“Whenever I can,” Lafayette affirmed. “I was just telling her that I wished she would send me more messages.”

“She doesn’t text you? Does she call?”

“We have times set up. It’s hard because she is so far ahead.”

“But she could still text you,” Aglae said. “If my boyfriend were in Europe I’d be on the phone with him all the time!” She laughed a little. “I probably sound like some kind of crazy girlfriend, super clingy and paranoid…”

Lafayette shook his head. “No, I’m the same way. If we were living in a time before phones I know I would be writing her as much as possible. I’d send her a letter on every ship!”

Aglae smiled, tipping her head up at him. “That’s so romantic.”

“I try.”

Aglae sighed somewhat wistfully. “You’re such a good boyfriend. I wish Phillip were more like you.”

“Is he not attentive enough? That’s a shame. You deserve better.”

“Oh, he’s not a bad person,” Aglae said, looking up at him over her shoulder. “Maybe I should see if I could get him to do his hair like yours. You’re so cute with it.”

Lafayette smiled, pleased. “It’s a good look. I’m sure you could work it.”

“Really? Oh, here, this is where I usually go.” Aglae took his arm and pulled him into a coffee shop and bistro near the yoga studio. “You do like coffee, don’t you? The house blend is great, you should totally try it.”

They waited in line.

“What is Phillip studying?”

“Hm? Oh, he’s not in school anymore,” Aglae answered. “He’s working in his family’s business. He’s doing really well but it’s kind of hard sometimes, you know? I feel like we don’t have all that much in common to talk about. Well, in that area, at least. We go out together and things like that, so…”

“None of that matters,” Lafayette said. “Not as long as you truly love one another.”

She smiled again and playfully put her hand on his arm as they approached the front of the line. “There you go again! You’re such a romantic.” Aglae stepped away to place her order, looking back at him. “So, how about it? House blend?”

“Sure.” Lafayette handed his card over her shoulder to to cashier. “One for each of us, please.”

“You didn’t have to do that!”

“It’s my pleasure.” He took his card back. “You are introducing me to this place so it is the least I can do.”

“Well, thank you, Lafayette. You’re really spoiling me.”

He motioned for her to pick a table and she sat at one near the counter.

“So how do you like New York?”

Lafayette sat across from her, his eyes lighting up. “I love it. Paris is my home, of course, but this city is wonderful, Aglae. I might even prefer it.”

“Really? I can’t imagine that! I’ve never been to Paris but it sounds so beautiful!"

“Oh, it is,” Lafayette agreed quickly. “And it has such a spirit. But for me, New York is much more exciting. Even if I’m not doing anything, I feel like there is always adventure.”

“Even in a coffee shop?”

“Exactly. I didn’t plan on doing any of this and here I am!”

“You didn’t plan on getting coffee?”

Lafayette shook his head. “Coffee, or taking our class, or studying here at all. It was all very, how do you say… Spontaneous.”

“You’re so brave, picking up and moving a world away. I don’t think I could do a thing like that.”

“That’s not true. I’m sure if you saw something you wanted enough you would go for it.”
Aglae leaned her chin on her hands, smiling slightly. “Maybe.” She crossed her legs and brushed him with her foot. “But I’m surprised you picked New York over Paris. Isn’t that the City of Love? It must be beautiful in the spring,” she sighed.

“You should visit one day. You would like it.”

“Oh, I would love to visit you.”

“You’re right, Paris is lovely in the spring. All the trees bloom and there are flowers and the weather isn’t too hot yet. The food is wonderful too,” he added, getting up to get their drinks and then taking them back to the table.

“And the coffee, I’m sure!”

“Yes, and the coffee.”

Aglae raised her mug to her lips and let the steam brush over her face. “I’m afraid this won’t be as good as your Parisian coffee.”

“No,” Lafayette said, a little grandly. “It will be better because I am having it right here, with you.”

Aglae laughed. “You’re such a charmer. Are all boys in France as cute as you?”

Lafayette grinned, enjoying himself. “I don’t know… I haven’t been everywhere in France…”

“Where haven’t you been? Tell me one place.”

“I’ve never been to Lourdes.”

“All right, when I go to France I am going to Paris and then I am taking the train to Lourdes and I am going to look all through it for someone who can beat you. I’ll look behind every door.”

“Check the grotto,” Lafayette said. “Since you’re searching for a true miracle.”

“I take it back. You’re awful!”

He took a sip of the coffee and glanced over at the pastries behind the glass at the front. “You were right, this is good. Would you like something to go with it? I’m interested in those macarons.”

“You don’t have to do that!”

“Please,” he said, standing and taking his wallet out again. “I’d hate to eat alone.”

She watched as he ordered and then came back with a red macaron for each of them. “I don’t know what flavor this is, but I thought the color looked nice.”

“Like a rose,” she said. “Or a strawberry.”

“Cherry?” He bit into it and blinked in surprise. “Oh.”

“Oh!” She repeated after him, taking a bite of hers. “It's bacon!”

“How strange…” He glanced warily back at the counter. “I don’t know that this will go with the coffee.”

“It’s an adventure,” she teased. “Wasn’t that what you said you wanted?”

He gave a short laugh and took another sip. “That’s true.”

 

Hamilton lay on his back, Laurens on his front next to him, his arm draped over his chest and his eyes closed. It was getting dark outside and starting to become difficult for him to read the words on the page of the book he was holding up over his head. He frowned a little as he tried to turn the page without waking Laurens or just dropping the book on his face. His phone vibrated and he looked at it, startled, then picked up.

“…Mulligan?”

“Hey—” Hamilton could hear traffic and street noise in the background and it was cutting a little over his voice. “—I’m outside, let me in.”

“Uh.” Hamilton glanced at Laurens.

“I can’t stay, I’ve got a hot date. I’m just dropping off your stuff.”

“Oh. Oh! Yeah, hold on.” Hamilton slipped out from under Laurens’ arm and buzzed him in. “I’m hanging up, just knock at the door.”

Hamilton quickly pulled on a pair of pants but before he could find and put on a shirt in the dark there was a loud series of knocks and he jumped for the door.

“Jesus, Mulligan!” He opened the door halfway and stood in the frame.

“Sorry about getting these back to you so late.” Mulligan didn’t seem to notice that Hamilton had been keeping his voice down slightly. “Here, you wanna try them on? There’s a pair of chinos in there that I picked up real cheap in London, baby, and if they fit I’m gonna grab you a couple more when I go back.”

“Uh, it’s not a great time,” Hamilton said, taking the large shopping bag from Mulligan. “But hey, thanks for the cake.”

“Not at all…” Mulligan glanced over Hamilton’s current state of dress, then back into the darkened room. “Shit, sorry, you should have said something! Hope I didn’t interrupt.”

Hamilton shrugged and shook his head. “He’s asleep.”

“You dog,” Mulligan said affectionately, slugging Hamilton on the arm. “Lucky for you I really do gotta run so I can’t stick around and embarrass you even more. You kids have fun,” he called over his shoulder as he left. “Don’t forget t’ use protection!” He shouted from the stairs. “And let me know how they fit!”

Hamilton rolled his eyes and closed the door as Laurens sat up.

“Sorry about that. I’m pretty sure he couldn’t see anything.”

“Very comforting. I’m getting dressed.”

“Aw.”

Hamilton got the light and Laurens grabbed his clothes.

“Toss me my shirt?” Hamilton caught it. “Thanks, J.” He pulled it on and then traded out his pants for the ones Mulligan had been talking about. “What do you think? They fit okay.”

Laurens, fully dressed now, looked over. “You look good.”

He did look good—the slimmer legs were a better fit on his frame than his slacks and Mulligan apparently knew his size. Hamilton turned, more because he was trying to check out how the legs of the pants fit than because he wanted to give Laurens a show, but he appreciated it anyway.

“Yeah,” Hamilton concluded. “I’ll let him know I’m keeping them.” He reached back into the bag and took out several other pairs of pants and went to put them away.

Laurens watched him curiously. “He bought you all of those too?”

“Hm? Oh, no, he was just fixing these for me. I already got you and Lafayette, I don’t need a third boyfriend.”

Laurens suddenly remembered the sewing machine in Mulligan’s apartment and laughed. “You don’t have another boyfriend, you’ve got a mom. He doesn’t do your laundry too, does he?”

“Only when the laundromat down the street closed for renovations.”

“You’re cute.”

“Stop laughing at me. And if you’re gonna call me shit like that you need to get naked again.”

Laurens lingered by his bag. “I should head back.”

“It’s not that late yet. Besides, if Mulligan hadn’t woken you up you’d still be asleep for another hour or two.”

“Yeah…” Laurens took his phone out of his pocket and unlocked the screen.

“What is it?”

“Nothing. Adrienne sent me a picture of the dogs.”

“See? She’s up and online, which means she’s talking to Lafayette. You might as well stay here.”

Laurens put his phone away. “Yeah. You’re right.”

 

Adrienne was vidchatting with Lafayette, but she might have preferred if Laurens came back to the dorm.

“So I told her that she should visit Paris some day,” Lafayette was saying, organizing his books and not really paying attention to Adrienne. “She said it sounded very romantic, and she’s right, don’t you think? I said she should visiting in spring when the flowers are all in bloom.”

“Mm.”

“And, oh,” he laughed, stopping what he was doing and turning back to the laptop.  “Adrienne, it was so funny. I had bought us macarons to go with the coffee. Guess what flavor they were?”

Adrienne had been toying uncomfortably with a lock of her hair. “Vanilla?”

“Bacon.” Lafayette shook his head in disbelief. “Red macarons, Adrienne. I almost didn’t want to eat it after that but she made me feel like I had to. Oh, she didn’t pressure me,” he clarified—not that she had asked—, “She reminded me that I had just been talking about how everything in New York is such an adventure, even sitting with her in the cafe. How could I abstain after that? I had to take whatever chance placed before me.”

"You’re very adventurous, Gilbert.”

“And you’re very sweet. The sweetest,” he said. She smiled, a little hesitantly. “I miss you, my dearheart.”

“Oh, I miss you, too.”

“I should show you more of the city. Maybe when we meet Andre and Peggy we can go back to the cafe I was at today. I think the connection there would be strong enough.”

“I’d like that,” Adrienne said.

“Would you?” He sounded earnest. “I’d like to take you to other kinds of places too, of course, but most restaurants won’t let me set up my laptop like that.”

“I know,” she assured him, “I remember.”

“Hm… Do you know what I remember?”

Adrienne looked puzzled. “What?”

“I remember that time we visited Marseilles…”

Adrienne put her hand to her mouth, pleased but embarrassed. “Gilbert!”

“Did you forget?” He teased. “Your parents rented that vacation house overlooking the ocean and left us there while they went on that dinner cruise. And we opened one of the bottles of wine and—”

“—And we only had a glass and didn’t think to cork it and they scolded me when it went bad,” Adrienne cut in.

“—And,” Lafayette continued, pushing on in spite of that, “we went back to the room I was staying in and we drank it on the bed.”

“And you kissed me,” Adrienne said, softly.

Lafayette smiled, meeting her gaze in the screen and then glancing down at the keyboard. “I knew I loved you even then, my life.”

“Gil,” Adrienne breathed. “My Lancelot.”

Chapter Text

"When do you think we should head over?”

Lafayette stopped to think, the fork still in his mouth. “‘alf an hour?”

“Yeah, okay.” Hamilton took another bite of the cake. The two of them were sitting on the floor in his apartment, the box between them. “He should have sprung for nuts along the side. That would have really made it.”

“Is this sort of thing normal in America?”

“Normal? Nah, not unless I was some chick getting married. It was just his idea of a joke.”

“It's a very tasty joke.”

“Right? I was surprised he actually sent me a quality dick cake.” Hamilton took a few more bites before speaking up again, joking. “Do you think von Steuben would let me sit down on the bench? He did invite me to hang out during practice, after all.”

“Perhaps, but only until he realized you wanted to watch the cheerleaders.”

“Hey, I’d watch the game too.”

“You would, how do you say, get whiplash from turning between the two so quickly and often.”

“Ha, yeah, you’re right. I’d rather not join the two of you with the hospital visits.”

“You’re jealous. And I never went to the hospital.”

“No, G-Wash called his personal physician out in a hurricane. That’s much better.”

“Again, you are jealous.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes. “Please. Why would I be jealous of that? It’s not like I want Washington all up in my business, I see the guy like five days a week as it is, that’s plenty.”

“You’re so unappreciative.”

“You’re a hero worshiper. I’m not saying the guy isn’t brilliant. He is. But he’s not perfect. I appreciate the job—most of the time—but I’m not about to put him up on some pedestal just because he’s accomplished. Besides,” Hamilton added, “I’d get pretty sick of seeing your face, too, if I had to chase after you with your mail all day.”

“I would be an excellent boss,” Lafayette protested.

“You’d send me to the post office at four in the morning to make sure there wasn’t a package or letter from Adrienne waiting for you. Don’t lie,” Hamilton added when Lafayette opened his mouth to protest.

“Would you actually go to check?”

“I’m gonna go ahead and say no,” Hamilton said, “because I don’t want you taking this as confirmation that you can actually do that.”

Lafayette huffed.

“You know,” Hamilton commented through another mouthful, “I’m not saying I’m glad John got hurt, but I’m pretty okay with not having to wait until January for him to put out. That would be a pretty great birthday present, though.”

“You should ask for it anyway.”

“I’m going to. You think we can get a hotel over Thanksgiving? I’m frankly a little concerned I’ll have to keep a two foot distance at all times.”

“I think it is a large house. I’m sure you can find some time to be alone.”

“He better make some time.”

“Nothing can be as bad as the holidays with Adrienne’s family. Do you know how long midnight mass goes for? And that’s not the only service they attend.”

“Yeah, okay, fine, you win. I bet you can’t even get down because baby Jesus is watching. Shit, you think we’re going to have to go to church? I’ll probably just burst into flame. I told you they wouldn’t let me into their school, right?”

“You did.”

Hamilton sat back. “Is it too late to back out?”

“You’ll hurt his feelings.”

“Fuck feelings.”

“Think of it like a test of your true—” Lafayette cut himself off and tried to find a different word as Hamilton leaned a little further away and gave him a look. “—enjoyment,” he managed, rather lamely, “of his company.”

“Fuck that too. I’m pretty sure that chivalry and white knight stuff only works on actual princesses.”

“Adrienne’s father is a duke.”

“Yeah, I see what you’re saying but you’re not helping your point.”

“My point,” Lafayette continued, “is that you should honor your word because you know going is the right thing to do.”

“Do I really?” Hamilton put both the forks in the box with the cake and closed it, getting up to store it away. “Whatever. You’re right, I’ll go. Speaking of which, we need to head over. I’ll tell you this, if John manages to get hurt again not even playing we’re not speaking to him for the rest of the day.” Hamilton looked over at Lafayette and motioned between them. “You and me, we’re not speaking to him. Got that?”

Lafayette nodded. “Shouldn’t you let him know?”

“I warned him last night. What do normal people talk about after sex?”

“I have no idea,” Lafayette answered honestly.

 

Laurens was sitting on the bench, in jeans and a team shirt, watching the formations on the field restlessly. It was already second quarter, they were up by fourteen, and every single time they went back on the offensive he felt a rising wave of frustration, made worse by the fact that he felt perfectly fine and able to play. He knew, of course, that just because he wasn’t currently in any pain didn’t mean that he had the range of motion necessary and that he was lucky he hadn’t torn or broken anything that would have sidelined him longer, but in the moment—they made another first down and Laurens got to his feet as the crowd cheered—none of that helped.

“You’re not missing out on anything big,” von Steuben informed him, clapping one hand casually against his clipboard as his assistant further down the field shouted at the team. “We will win or I will kick all of their asses,” he continued in his heavy German accent. “If you were playing today I would probably pull you out anyway at the half.”

Laurens sighed. It was true. At least this looked like it would be an easy win. He watched as Andre was hiked the ball and threw a short pass to Tallmadge, who dodged to the left and broke away from his defender, running over ten yards before he was forced out. Another down.

Several second string players had already been subbed in and a couple of the third strings had been informed that they should be ready to go in for the last quarter.

Laurens looked up towards the student section of the stands. He knew Lafayette and Hamilton were there somewhere, but he hadn’t been able to pick them out yet. It seemed like they had not arrived early enough to get seats right up at the front and he wasn’t able to really study the crowd well enough to spot them.

“Are your friends here?”

Laurens wasn’t really sure what to think about von Steuben talking to him more. To his great relief he had never said anything around the other members of the team remotely like what he had told him in his office, and it hadn’t been like he was exactly formal before, but… Maybe it was just that being benched for so long forced smalltalk and conversation.

“They should be.”

Von Steuben looked up at the stands as well for a second, then focused his attention back to the field. “Gehst du links, Andre! Filzlaus!” He swore loudly, then sighed and took a step back, crossing his arms over his thick chest. “I’m glad for you, that you have such supportive friends. But if you ever need anything, let me know.”

Laurens wasn’t sure if von Steuben was still talking about his injury or not. “Sir?”

“As I said before, I like you, John.” Von Steuben was frowning at the field but standing more or less at ease as he watched the game unfold in their favor. “You remind me of myself at your age, ein bisschen. More importantly, you’re a good student and a good runningback. If you ever do get into trouble I will help you out.”

Laurens was suddenly uncomfortable with the generous offer and he just nodded, folding his own arms as well. “Right. Thank you, sir.”

He was relieved that a second string player fumbled the ball at that moment and von Steuben strode forward, their conversation momentarily forgotten.

Du spinnst wohl, Trumbull!

 

“Are they looking at us?” Hamilton asked, reaching for the shared paper boat of nachos Lafayette was holding. “They’re totally looking at us.”

Lafayette moved the food into Hamilton’s hands and waved his arm in the air a second too late as the other two both turned away. “Merde.”

Hamilton took his phone out, taking a picture of the back of Laurens’ head and sending it to him. “Proof,” he explained to Lafayette.

“Good idea. I cannot believe they wouldn’t let me bring in my selfie-stick.”

“I’m sure you could have smuggled it past them if you had really wanted to. It’s not like we were going through a pat-down. And even if they did catch you with it later, what are they going to do, throw you in the Bastille?”

“That’s not funny,” Lafayette commented, taking Hamilton’s phone from him and flipping the camera, putting his arm over his shoulder. They made dramatic faces at the screen, Hamilton making an exploding gesture with his hand. Lafayette gave the phone back so he could send that picture as well.

“Sorry. But, check it out, our first couple picture. I’m gonna upload it.” Hamilton snickered. “Actually, let’s really fuck with people. Let’s make it both of our profile picture but not change our status. You’re still ‘in a relationship’ with Adrienne, right? Leave that but—wait, fuck—” Hamilton started to laugh harder. “Okay, leave that and I’ll make mine ‘it’s complicated.’”

“I appreciate how your commitment to the part doesn’t require either of us to lie.”

“There’s a difference between letting morons think what they want to and actual deception. And I’m pretty sure that the difference is that this way it’s just really fucking funny.”

“Instead of depressing.”

“Right.”

Lafayette took a thoughtful drink of his soda. “I don’t think I could do it.”

“What are you talking about?” Hamilton looked up. “Come on, just change it for a few days at least.”

“No, not that. But isn’t it frustrating to have to dissimulate? With Adrienne, it’s not just that I don’t care who knows, I want everyone to.”

Hamilton shrugged. “The sex kind of makes up for it. I mean, yeah. Yeah. But it’s not the same. I understand why he’s so hesitant and it’s not like we’re engaged or whatever the hell your deal is. I’m just dating him, you don’t need to worry about defending my honor or some shit.”

“Maybe after you don’t have to worry about meeting his father.”

“Ha, yeah, right, he tracked him down and sent us to G-Wash’s during a hurricane. I’m pretty sure his web of connections is—” Hamilton stopped talking abruptly, his eyes widening.

“What is it?”

“…Just thinking about the possibilities,” Hamilton lied by omission. “Shit, he really does know everyone.”

Lafayette gave him a suspicious look but Hamilton bent down to put the nachos on the floor and motioned for Lafayette to turn. “Wave’s coming. You ready?”

 

“You wouldn’t even like this one,” Andre told Laurens in the second half, standing next to him on the sidelines, helmet off and resigned to not seeing any more action until the following game. He watched as the team’s second string quarterback ran the ball a few yards before being caught and dragged down. “Seriously, Laurens, we’d be standing right where we are anyway and you’d be complaining that it was a waste of time.”

“Yeah, I know.” Laurens had his arms folded across his chest. “It’s just—” He changed his wording. “I’m just restless.”

“Hey, Peggy and I are meeting up with Lafayette and Adrienne tomorrow. Do you want to come?”

Laurens didn’t take his eyes off the field as the team lined up again. He recognized what Andre was actually asking. “I don’t think we can make it.” He felt distinctly uncomfortable at the admission of a relationship even without any personal details coming out. “But do you want to do something next week? Just the two of us, uh, guys’ night out or whatever.”

“Yeah, sure.” Andre grinned. “I feel like I haven’t really seen much of you in a while, man. I’ve been really busy.”

Laurens nodded, not particularly wanting to point out that he hadn’t been making the time for much socializing apart from with Hamilton.

“We have two classes together and I see you almost every day at practice on top of that.”

“Yeah, but you know what I mean.”

“Yeah.”

“Hey, I got one of those blast emails about discounts for a couple of the smaller museums. I’ll check if any of them look good. I can get extra credit if I go to and do a writeup on an art exhibit anyway and I’d rather go with company."

“Sounds good,” Laurens said. “Let me know and I’ll keep my schedule open for you.”

 

“He is good looking, isn’t he?”

“John?”

“Yeah.”

“…John Laurens?” Lafayette clarified as the two of them watched Laurens and Andre talk off the side of the field.

Hamilton laughed. “Yeah, him too.”

“I need a little bottle of water to spray you with,” Lafayette said. “Like when the cat claws up the couch.”

Hamilton shoved him lightly. “Come on, he’s pretty. He’d make a hot girl, too.”

Down below them Andre shook his dark hair out of his face and ran a hand through it. He put his hands on his narrow hips as he turned, saying something to Laurens, and grinned that broad, pop-star smile.

“You think he has a sister?”

Lafayette mimed spraying Hamilton with a squirt bottle. “No! Bad, Alex!”

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding!”

Lafayette sat back. “You are lucky that I don’t tell John about any of this.”

“Ha, like he’d—Oh, that reminds me. Did you know that he thinks Andre’s hot, too?”

Lafayette looked interested. “Did he tell you that?”

“Pretty much.”

“No,” Lafayette mused, “I didn’t know." He leaned forward a little, trying to get a better look at Andre, then glanced back at Hamilton.

“…What?”

“Hm. I’m just wondering what the similarity between the two of you is.”

“Hey, excuse you. I’m just as hot as he is.”

“Hm. Of course.”

“And we both parlons français.

“Oui.” Lafayette was still looking back and forth between them. “He’s much taller than you.”

“Fuck off.”

The crowd booed as a yellow card and ten yard penalty was awarded to their team.

“We should place bets on this once John’s playing again. Or make it a drinking game or something. You know, like take a shot every time he gets a foul. Pay me ten bucks every time he gets injured—I’ll put it in a fund for his hospital fees.”

“You make it sound like that happens every game.”

“He gotten taken to the hospital in all the games I’ve seen him play so far.”

“That’s dirty statistics,” Lafayette scolded. “You know better than that, Alexander.”

Hamilton rolled his eyes and slouched down a little in his seat. “Whatever. But speaking of John and sports, I’m allowed to play the pitcher as long as I use a glove.” Lafayette gave him a puzzled look and he reworded. “I can do the fucking if I wear a condom. Baseball metaphor. That’s, like, prime American, Lafayette, you should study up on it.”

“I’ll do that when we get back to the dorm,” Lafayette promised. “Congratulations, but isn’t that what we were celebrating with the cake today?”

“Yeah, I just forgot to tell you the rest of the story. I wasn’t thinking and didn't have anything at hand to finish into, so I had to get up—”

Lafayette gave him a shocked look. “You weren't using anything?”

“Right, because I’m so concerned about knocking him up. Do you actually use one every single time?”

“Of course I do.”

Hamilton looked skeptical. “Really?”

“Yes,” Lafayette insisted. “It’s my responsibility.”

“Okay, whatever, but like I said it’s not like John has to worry about setting off another pregnancy scare and he’s as clean and pure as new-fallen snow.”

“You’re not,” Lafayette pointed out. “I’m surprised he didn’t tell you to do something about that sooner.”

“Hey, I’m clean! I had to pay out of pocket for that test. Trust me, they stabbed me and everything.”

Lafayette still looked disapproving, so Hamilton continued.

“It was a full battery, okay? I’m good.”

Lafayette sighed and turned back to the game. “At least you figured that out before you did anything.”

“Mm-hm.”

He looked back at Hamilton, incredulous. “Alexander.”

“Okay, so maybe I didn’t get around to it for a couple months. Or until after we were back from France. Jesus, Lafayette, we weren’t actually dating until then, I didn’t think it was important.”

“You weren’t dating any of the girls before him,” Lafayette pointed out.

“And most of them I wore something. Shit, I pulled one out for him the first time we did anything, too. It was his call.”

“You are so irresponsible.” Lafayette huffed and focused his attention back to the field.

 

“Did you tell Peggy that Adrienne won’t be there in person?” Laurens was checking his phone as he and Andre left the locker rooms after the game—final score: 42-17—and he smiled as he scrolled through his messages.

Andre glanced over. “Oh. No. Do you think it’s important?”

Laurens shrugged carefully. “You know how she likes to be kept in the loop.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I’ll mention it. Hey, are you sure that you and, uh…”

Laurens cut Andre off before he could actually ask for a name. “Look at this.” He showed him the picture Lafayette and Hamilton had taken of themselves during the game. Andre laughed and Laurens was relieved when he ran with the topic change.

“That’s a good one. Too bad you didn’t have your phone with you or we could have sent something back.”

“Yeah, right, turn our backs to the field? With our luck their quarterback would have hit us with the ball. I haven’t seen throws consistently that bad since I tried to teach James.”

“How’s he doing?”

“He’s good.” Laurens searched through his phone for a different picture. “Sent me this the other day.” He showed Andre a poster board with a map of South Carolina and pictures of a chipmunk and skulls. “Tamias aristus. They’re learning about fossils.”

“Sounds ferocious.”

“Hey, it’s ten to thirty percent larger than the ones alive today.”

Andre laughed. “That’s the next Jurassic Park. I’m calling it now.”

 

“Hey, J.?” Hamilton was lying on his back later that night, Laurens lazily scrolling through his texts next to him.

“Hm?”

“I have a question.” Hamilton turned his head to look at him and Laurens shifted onto his side.

“What?”

“Did I, uh… Shit, this is awkward. Did I pressure… Why didn’t you bother using a condom?”

Laurens looked confused and put his phone off the side of the futon. “Why would I do that?”

“I gave you one the first night.”

“Honestly, I assumed you just got that automatically. It’s not like we needed one.”

Hamilton frowned. “Okay, I know why I was saying that, but show me your work.”

“It’s just…” Laurens gestured a little helplessly in the air between them. “I guess it would have been neater, but I don’t have to worry about the same things with you as I would with a girl.”

“Oh, fuck.” Hamilton turned his face back to the ceiling and covered it with his hands. “Shit, John, that’s not why I gave it to you! It wasn’t because I was worried about—Shit!”

Laurens was confused and growing embarrassed. “What is it?”

“Oh my God,” Hamilton continued, pressing the palms of his hands to his eyes. “I cannot believe I’m having this conversation with you. You’re older than me, John! I thought you had wanted to be a doctor! I gave you that fucking condom as a courtesy because you’re supposed to be suspicious of where whatever you stick your dick into has been!”

“But you’d never been with another guy,” Laurens responded a little sharply, turning red.

“That’s not how that works!”

Laurens sat up. “What are you—”

“I knew that was a new thing for both of us but I assumed someone had explained the fine print to you! Don’t tell me I should have gone with the stereotype about southern education, I was trying to take the high road, John! You’re so smart, I didn’t think—You fucking moron, it’s called protection for a reason!”

“If you knew it was that big of a deal, why didn’t you do something about it?” Laurens asked, anger masking humiliation and dawning retroactive fear.

“I figured you were making an informed choice!” Hamilton took his hands away and sat up as well, kneeling with the blankets around his lap. “You’re a consenting adult, I didn’t have anything to hide that I knew about, it was your own Goddamn choice to skip it!”

“Shit.” Laurens exhaled heavily, pushing his hand back through his hair.

“No kidding.”

“But it’s okay… Right?”

“Yeah, lucky for you. You’re not going to get the clap from me. Your next boyfriend, however…”

“That’s not funny.” Laurens stood up and Hamilton noted a little guiltily that was the second time in one day he had been told that.

“Sorry.”

Laurens was putting his pants on.

“J., I’m sorry. It freaked me out, okay? I was talking to Lafayette and he made me feel guilty—”

“You told him about this?”

Hamilton winced. “Not exactly. Look, it wasn’t even about you. Not really. He was scolding me and—can you just come back?”

Laurens, still tense, leaned on the windowsill and looked down at the street.

“John.” Hamilton got up, holding the sheet in front of himself. “It’s okay. It’s fine. If I had thought that it wasn’t I wouldn’t have asked you in the first place.”

Laurens didn’t respond.

“I feel bad, okay? I should have been clearer from the start. But there’s nothing to worry about.” Hamilton paused, trying to think of the angle he needed. “I shouldn’t’ve called you stupid,” he finally said, after replaying the conversation. “You’re not stupid.”

Laurens sighed and finally turned away from the window. “Where’s my shirt?”

Hamilton stepped to the side so he could get it. “You’re not leaving, are you?”

“I should go.”

“J.—”

Laurens froze, shirt in his hand, and then finally looked at Hamilton standing there, naked except for a sheet, and staring at him with panic in his eyes. He felt his resolution crumble.

“Shit,” he muttered, sitting down on the mattress and putting the shirt on the floor. “C’mere.” He motioned towards Hamilton who quickly sat down next to him in relief. He took his hand. “I’m not leaving.”

Hamilton breathed out hard. Laurens wondered whether he knew that he had been holding it and kissed him.

Hamilton immediately deepened the kiss, grabbing Laurens’ arm so he couldn’t pull away and pushing his tongue into his mouth.

“Mm.” Laurens slowly broke the kiss. “Lie down.”

Hamilton did and Laurens lay next to him, adjusting the sheets as Hamilton curled into him, pressing his face to his collar. Laurens put his arms around him.

“I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“You didn’t scare me, John.” Hamilton didn’t move from where he had his head tucked under Laurens’. “You don’t have practice tomorrow, do you?”

“No.”

“Good. Stay here.”

Laurens smiled. “Yeah, all right.”

Chapter Text

Lafayette waited anxiously outside the cafe he and Andre had agreed upon, a casual blazer over his nice dress shirt.

 

> G. Lafayette: I’m sorry, they’re not here yet.

> A. de Noailles: It isn’t the hour yet.  We’re still early.

 

Lafayette nodded, then remembered that she couldn’t see him.  Before he could type a response he saw Andre and a blonde girl he assumed must be Peggy.

“Lafayette!”  Andre raised one hand in greeting, the other around Peggy’s waist, as he got close.  “Sorry, I hope you weren’t waiting long.”

“Not at all,” Lafayette lied smoothly.  “I only just got here myself.  Shall we?”  He held the door for the other two.  “It’s a please to meet you, Peggy,” he continued, kissing her lightly on the cheek.  “Andre’s told me so much about you.”

“Only good things, I hope,” she said playfully, taking Andre’s hand and tugging him closer to her.

“I only have good things to share,” Andre protested.  “Babe, do you want to get a table?  I got your order.”

“You’re so sweet.”  She squeezed his hand and slipped away, picking out a space for them in the corner.

“So…?”

“She seems very nice,” Lafayette said, texting Adrienne that he had met up with the others and would put her through shortly.  “This will be—ah, sorry.”  A picture from Hamilton popped up on his screen and Andre glanced down at it.  It was a close up of part of a brunch menu offering a wide variety of crêpes including one named “de Lafayette.”

Lafayette clicked back to his other message and kept talking.  “This will be fun.  Maybe we can make it a regular thing?  Like I was saying to Adrienne, it would be nice to have another couple we could spend time with.”

“Sure,” Andre enthused.  “I’d love that.  I’m sure Peggy will agree, she’s really laid back.”  

They reached the front of the line and ordered, then went to sit at the table with Peggy.

“So, Lafayette,” she began, her hands folded neatly on the lap of her peach sundress.  “When will Adrienne be joining us?  Andre told me you had to go through some trouble to arrange everything.”

“Ah, yes.  One moment, please.”  Lafayette took his laptop out of the messenger bag he had been carrying and scooted a little closer to Peggy, making space for it on the table between him and Andre.  Peggy leaned out of the way of his elbows with a sideways glance at Andre as he tried to get everything set up and finally was able to sit properly again when Adrienne’s picture appeared on the screen and Lafayette moved back.

Bonjour!”  Adrienne waved, a mug of coffee on the table in front of her.  “Thank you for meeting us.”

“Good morning, Adrienne,” Andre said cheerfully and motioned to Peggy.  “This is Peggy, my girlfriend.”

“Hello,” Peggy smiled and leaned in a little to Andre.  “It’s nice to meet you.  Andre’s been so excited about this.”

“So has Lafayette,” Adrienne replied.  “He was afraid that we were going to be late.”

“Adrienne—Ah!”  Lafayette stood quickly, bumping the table and going to get their drinks.

“So, Adrienne,” Peggy began.  “Are you going to the University of Paris?”

“Oh, actually, I’m finishing up at the lycée—I mean, I’m graduating from high school in spring.”

“Oh!”  Peggy looked surprised and glanced at Andre—like Laurens, in his fifth year.  “Oh, I didn’t realize.  …Are you excited about that?”

“Yes, I’m hoping Gilbert will be able to come back in time to see the ceremony.”

“That would be nice,” Peggy agreed as Lafayette returned with their drinks.  “Andre, you didn’t tell me that they were high school sweethearts,” she said, turning to him.  “That’s so sweet.”

“Before that,” Lafayette said.  “We knew each other as children.” 

Adrienne nodded and Peggy pulled her coffee to her, stirring it. 

“Wow, that’s so—well, I guess it’s not that long.”  She glanced at Andre who just shrugged and nodded and took a drink.

 

Laurens was waiting on the sidewalk outside the restaurant he had gone to with Hamilton, hands in the pockets of his jacket and looking at the newspaper in one of the boxes against the building.  He caught bits and pieces of conversation as people walked past: discussing their plans for the day, family, work gossip…

“—no, that’s not it, she’s a sweet girl, but don't you think it was all a little strange?  It’s like we were babysitting children—” 

Laurens had finished reading the headlines and was skimming what he could of the articles on the front page when he heard his name and looked up.

“Laurens, hey!”

Peggy stopped talking as Andre called out.  She smiled and gave him a little wave.

“Good morning,” Laurens said, nodding and trying to keep a neutral expression as his heart leapt into his throat.  “Andre, Peggy.”

“I didn’t think we’d run into you,” Andre said.  “So much for being a big city, huh?”

Laurens glanced at the restaurant.  “Yeah, so much for that.”

“Oh, hey,  I won’t take up any more of your time,” Andre said as Peggy put her hand on his arm impatiently and he recognized Laurens’ uncomfortable look.  “How is this place, by the way?  Any good?  Should we go?  It looks busy.”

“Yeah,” Laurens moved back against the building as the door opened and a few people came out, the sound of conversation and cutlery pouring out with them.  “It’s a cute place.  The wait was atrocious but it’s worth it.”  He gave a little laugh.  “There’s a crêpe named after Lafayette, we almost ordered it.  You should try it and let me know how it is.”  Laurens was holding the door for an older couple and turned back just in time to see the surprised look that Andre gave him.  “…What is it?”

“Oh,” Andre said.  “That’s really unusual.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen something with that name.”

“Yeah, we thought it was pretty funny.”

“You and your girlfriend?  Does she know Lafayette, too?”

“Mm.”  Laurens changed the topic.  “Hey, you just saw him, right?  How was coffee?”

“It was good,” Peggy said.  “They’re such a cute couple.  Andre, I need to get back.”  She nudged him again.

“Oh, you’re right.”  Andre said, looking down at her apologetically and then turning back to Laurens with a smile.  “Sorry to run.  I’ll see you Monday.”

“Later.”

Hamilton came out a minute or two after that.

“Jesus, sorry.  I’ve never seen a line for the guy’s that was that long.  I was tempted to just come out and piss in the street.”

“I ran into Andre and Peggy.”

“Yeah?”  They started walking and Hamilton watched Laurens closely.  “How’d the double date go?”

“I’m not sure there will be a second one.”

“Ouch.  Okay, well, let’s set Lafayette up for it gently.  What do you think, ‘it’s a really busy time of the semester and I’m sure they must be swamped’?”

“Something like that.  Maybe I should stay at the dorm tonight.”

“You’re such a good roommate.”

“…But not so good that I’m heading there immediately.”

“Nah.”  Hamilton grinned.  “You have to give him some space first.  He doesn’t know yet that he’s waiting for a call that won’t come, if you’re too pushy about it now, he’ll suspect something.”

“Exactly.”

“That place wasn't bad,” Hamilton said, looking back at the restaurant as they crossed the street, taking in the decorated chalkboard sign outside the door and the neatly groomed potted plants that framed it.  It was a far cry from a bar or, for that matter, the hole-in-the-wall they had been coming from when they last crossed paths with Andre and Peggy.  “…Crowded as fuck, though.”

“Brunch on a Sunday.”  Laurens shrugged.  “We should have known.”

“Hey, I wanted something nearby.  The pancakes were just a bonus.”

“We probably could have eaten faster if we just kept walking until we hit something else.”

“Yeah, probably.  Shit,” Hamilton said, distracted and trying to keep the conversation flowing.  “I didn’t even think of it.  Cross that and your art museum date off and I bet you’ll get stereotypical couples activities bingo.”

“It’s not a date,” Laurens protested.

“Brunch or the museum?”

“Both—the museum?”  Laurens frowned.  “This didn’t count if we weren’t thinking of it that way.”

“You paid,” Hamilton pointed out, giving the restaurant one last look over.

Laurens shrugged, a little uncomfortable.

Hamilton almost let the silence go on a beat too long but he caught the non-verbal response just in time, forcing himself to sound more in the present, even as he thought ahead.  “Relax, I think it’s funny.  If that deli was open we would have ended up there instead.”  Sunday, as Laurens had said.  Tomorrow was Monday.

“I’m just helping Andre with his assignment,” Laurens said, changing the topic slightly.

“Yeah, right.  It’s a bro-date.  Just own it, John, I’m not jealous.”  Monday and he had a meeting for student council.

“You shouldn’t be.  I’m not about to drop thirty bucks on his meal.  That was a hell of a lot of carbs.”

“And syrup,” Hamilton agreed.  “Maybe you will still be a couple spaces short of bingo.  Do you think we should go up to Vermont?  We can tap some maple trees, look at the leaves, stay at one of those bed and breakfasts with names like ‘The Olde Mariner.’”  Monday and he could find Aaron Burr.

Laurens laughed.  “Who the hell would name it that?  Vermont’s inland.”

“How should I know?  Why is driving to Vermont even a thing?”  Monday and he could find out whether his cover story was actually useful or if it was only drawing more attention to something better left unsaid.

“We can go at mid-semester break,” Laurens promised.

Hamilton blinked, jerked out of his scheming.  “Wait, seriously?  Because I was just pulling your leg.”

“That’s halfway through October and I think Lancelot will have by then realized that his date did not pan out.”

“Gotcha.  We’re doing him a favor, keeping him from brooding over his failed double romance.”

 

“That could have gone better,” Lafayette admitted, talking to Adrienne over a bluetooth connected to his cell as he sorted laundry in his room.  “Not us, of course,” he amended.  “We were delightful, but that was still so awkward.”

He could hear Adrienne searching for a nicer way to word her response.

“I just don’t think it was a good fit.”

“I agree,” Lafayette said.  “Wholeheartedly.  Hopefully we will have better luck with Alex and John.  It’ll be hard enough to let Andre and Peggy down gently, I’d hate to have to dump them as well.”

“That’s not quite what I meant.  I liked talking to just Andre before, but I don’t think she is a good fit for him.”

“Mm.  Perhaps not.”

“It’s not that I really dislike her.”

“No.  But you are right, they’re not as good a match as he thinks they are.  We shouldn’t see them again, I would hate to make them jealous.”

“Do you really think we are that good together?” 

Lafayette could hear her smiling.

“My heart, of course I do!  We’re the best, even John and Alexander haven’t tried to challenge me on that and they are all over one another.”  Lafayette sniffed a shirt and tossed it over his shoulder into the basket of clothes.  “We should come up with a couple name for them.  It’s too much effort to say both of their names every time we want to discuss them.”

“I’ll think about it,” Adrienne promised.  “But, Gilbert…”

“Yes?”

“Gilbert,” Adrienne repeated and he could hear the pout in her voice.  “It’s been so long.”

“So long since—Oh.”  He realized, a little belatedly, what she was saying and felt a little rush of excitement.  “Yes, I suppose it has been a while, my dearheart.”

“I miss you,” she breathed.  And then, after a pause, “I’m not wearing anything.”

Lafayette froze, half-turned with one hand on the rim on the basket.  “Oh?”  His voice was a little choked.

“No.”  She was definitely pouting now, deliberately emphasizing the tone for his benefit.  “It’s cold.  Should I get dressed?”

“You should warm yourself up,” he said, his mouth dry.

“Oh—?”  There was a hitch in her voice and he would have had to sit down were he standing.  Not being able to see her made him that much more captivated as he tried to guess what, exactly, she was doing.  “Are you still busy, Gilbert?”

“No.”  Lafayette cleared his voice and stood up.  “No.  Not at all.”

The half-full basket of laundry was left forgotten on the floor as he started to undo his shirt.  “What are you doing?”

Her voice was breathy.  “Guess.”

His fingers were shaking slightly as he undid the buttons.  “You are touching yourself.”

“Mm.  That’s not a real answer.  I know what you’re doing,” she continued.  

“Do you?”

“You’re taking your shirt off.”

“How did you know?”

She laughed softly and it faded into a low pleased noise that made his knees weak.  

“Gil…”

“Adrienne.”  He dropped the shirt to the floor and started to undo his pants but she stopped him.

“Don’t undress all the way.”

“But—”

“Please, Gil.”

He made a little frustrated sound and got on the bed, lying on his back and listening to her.  He could hear her slightly elevated breathing and the rustle of sheets and, very faintly, a buzzing noise.

His pulse quickened.

“Are you using a vibrator?”

“Mm…  The little one.  The one we bought together.  Do you remember?”

“Of course I do.”  He could feel himself pressing uncomfortably and he was thankful he had worn dress pants instead of jeans, although he wished they were a looser cut.

“I like it.  It just fits in the palm of my hand.”  She made that pleased sound again and sent a shiver down his spine.  “Which is—oh—good, because I need my other hand for the remote.”

“Adrienne, may I?”

“Only over your pants.”

He grabbed himself and closed his eyes, listening to her soft gasps and remembering when they had first used it.

“I had the remote,” he said, a little hoarse.  “And you were in the chair in your room.  You were only wearing that robe of yours, the white satin one, and,” he bit his lip as he rubbed himself, “and it was falling open in the front.  You weren’t wearing anything underneath it.”

“Mm,” Adrienne said encouragingly.  “Tell me more.”

“And you had the bullet in your hand, like you do now.  You were holding it against yourself before I turned it on and that first jolt—”

“Like lightning,” she breathed.

Lafayette moaned.

“I told you to keep your hand on the outside,” she scolded.

“I am,” he protested, sitting up a little as if she were across from him and he needed to address her directly.  “I am, my heart.”

She gave a short laugh.  “All right.  I believe you.”

“Thank you.”  He lay back down.

“Keep going.”

“And I turned it on, just to the lowest setting, but you weren’t expecting it, and your eyes—”  He shook his head.  “I love your eyes.”

“Gil…”

“And, mn, you moved it over yourself, just like now, and you wouldn’t let me touch you, I had to stand there and watch.  I watched as you pressed it to yourself and your legs spread so wide and your cheeks turned red.  I was so hard, Adrienne.”

“Like now?”

“Yes.”  The word came out in little whine.  “Please, Adrienne.”

“All right.  But still not directly.”

Lafayette arched off the bed, quickly undoing his pants and kicking them off, rubbing his head over his underwear and groaning at the increased contact.

“Ah—!  Adrienne…” he rocked his hips into his hand, feeling his cock hard and the fabric a little wet.  He brought his other hand down, reaching below his shaft to cup himself as he stroked his cock.

“Gil,” Adrienne whispered.  “What else?”

He swallowed hard and didn’t bother trying to keep his voice steady as he kept moving his hand.  “I could see you get wet.”

“Could you?”

“Yes.”

Lafayette’s hips jerked as he heard her gasp and moan. 

“Wh—what is it, my life?”

“Oh—!  Gil—”  Adrienne’s voice was louder now, more desperate, and he realized that she had inserted the vibrator and was now only holding it by its cord.  He could hear her mattress moving and could see her lifting herself off of it, arching as if into him, and letting her head fall back on her pillow, her eyes closed and lips parted.

“Adrienne—”  Her name tore itself from his lips and he moved his hand faster and with greater urgency.

“Gil,” she gasped.  “Gil, turn over.  Gil, please, please, my Lancelot—I want to feel you—”

Lafayette didn’t need any further prompting.  He yanked off the rest of his clothes and flipped onto his front, grabbing the sheets as he braced himself on his elbows and thrust against the mattress.  He heard her whimper and his breath caught even as he repeated the motion, moaning her name as he rubbed himself against the bed, imagining that she was beneath him and that he was pushing into her with every thrust.

“Gil,” Adrienne barely managed to get out.  “I’m so close, I—”

Adrienne gave a little cry and then there was silence.  

Lafayette froze, not touching the bed, and then she let out a long, low sigh that he felt rush through his whole body as if her hands were on him and he started fucking the mattress again, quickly, with much less regard than if it were actually her, and she made little hungry noises to let him know that she was still touching herself and to urge him on.

“I can come again,” she reminded him and his heart felt like it was going to beat out of his chest.  “If you can wait just a minute—”

“I don’t—”  Lafayette knew he should slow down to make it last that long but he couldn’t rein himself in.  The slightest contact made heat pool in his groin and he felt himself quickly losing the ability to hold it back.

“Adrienne,” he gasped.  “My heart, ah—!”  His words cut off and were broken by a whimper as he pushed himself to the mattress again and then tried desperately to keep from spilling as he pulled back.

“Come.”

The command sent a shock through his body and he obeyed it instantly, moaning loudly and feeling the warm liquid on his chest.

He dropped down to his side, then onto his front, arms trembling badly, as she sighed his name low in his ear.

“Adrienne,” he murmured, his blood pounding.  “Adrienne…”

“Yes?”  She sounded out of breath and shaky.

“Adrienne, I love you.”

“Oh…”  She smiled and he could hear it and everything seemed soft and perfect.  “I love you too, my dearheart.”

 

When Hamilton entered the conference room that the student body council met in every week he deliberately dropped into an empty seat next to Burr instead of taking his customary place at the opposite end of the room from him.

Burr looked at him with mild surprise.  Hamilton hoped that he felt more strongly than that but was just managing to hide it.

“Alexander.  This is—”

“Thought I’d mix it up.  YOLO or whatever.”

Burr gave a polite laugh.

“Besides, it’s strange that we don’t talk more.  Don’t you think?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know, because you obviously talk about me to other people.  First year we saw a lot of each other, more than just perfunctorily once a week.  Do you miss that?  ‘Cause I’m a little flattered that you’ve apparently put a nice juicy entry about me in your burn book, Regina.”

Burr raised a brow.  “Excuse me?”

“Regina George.  Shit, didn’t you ever watch Mean Girls?  It’s a joke, Aaron.”

“I told you,” Burr said, delicately stepping around that whole mess, “that I was just asking about what I heard.  I didn’t mean to offend.”

“Who’s offended?  I’m loving this.  An excuse to get back together with my first friend in this city—second, really, because you didn’t meet me at baggage claim.  You should have, that’s the nice thing to do now that you can’t go all the way down to the gate.”

Hamilton was talking, fast and loud as always, and aware that he was drawing attention.

“I just think we should catch up, you and me, for old time’s sake.  We’ve still got, what,” he looked up at the clock, “another five minutes, four if we actually start on time for once.  So tell me, what did I miss?”

“I don’t know what else you expect me to tell you.”  Burr was looking somewhat less than amused at how deliberately abrasive Hamilton was being, how he was stepping just up to the line of actual aggression without doing anything that he could point to as an affront.  “And I’m not certain that this is the appropriate place to discuss it.”

“You know what, you’re right.  I think I’ve still got your number in my phone.  I’ll call you, we can set something up.  I just can’t believe that that’s all the gossip you’ve got on me and I feel like an idiot for not mining this resource sooner.  You know I can’t help myself, I have to know.  It’ll drive me crazy otherwise and I’ll just drive you crazy trying to figure it out meanwhile.”  Hamilton was scrolling in his contacts.  “Yep, got you in here.  Relax, I didn’t even change your name to anything hilarious but potentially offensive, I can keep things civil.”

“Can you?”

“Ooh, nice jab, I walked right into that.”  Hamilton locked his screen and put his phone down on the table.  “Glancing blow, though, you’ll have to put a little more force behind it if you’re trying to get it to really land.”

“Alexander,” Burr said with a smile, “why would you think that?  I’d be delighted to meet with you.  How about this Saturday?”

“Actually, Saturday’s no good for me.  Trustee dinner,” Hamilton explained as a brief look of surprise flickered in Burr’s eyes.  “Sunday works, though. Noon?  I’ll meet you at the library.”

“That seems fitting.”

“Yeah,” Hamilton said, an edge slipping into his voice, “a real freakin’ trip down memory lane.”

 

Chapter Text

“Okay,” Hamilton was sitting at a table in the back of the library, Lafayette across from him. “You know what, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m going to call bullshit.”

Lafayette looked up from his book, raising an eyebrow and feeling pretty certain that whatever Hamilton was about to say was not worth losing the next hour of his life to an argument.

“There’s no way you guys use dental dams and shit, so don’t be so holier than thou.”

“That’s not the same,” Lafayette said, keeping his book open. “We have only ever been with each other. You on the other hand were working off of a hunch and a lack of evidence that there was anything wrong.”

Hamilton shifted, a little guiltily. “Yeah, but there wasn’t.”

“But my point still stands. Our primary concern is simply to prevent pregnancy for another few years.”

“Christ. Of course you’ve got a timeline. Put a pin in that, Lafayette, we’ll come back to that can of worms later.”

“And therefore what is important is to use a condom,” Lafayette concluded, attempting to return to his book.

Hamilton let him read for a few seconds, but just when Lafayette thought he was actually going to let it be he spoke up again.

“You mean you’ve really never gone without? Really? Ever?”

Oui.”

“What about when she’s on her period?”

Lafayette sighed and gave up, closing his book. “Her father made it very clear to me that he liked me and expected that I would remain in the family and would therefore turn a blind eye to what we did together. But also that if I ever skipped a condom he would end me.”

“A classic threat. If weirdly permissive. Is that just French?”

Lafayette shrugged. “Perhaps. Defenestration was mentioned.”

“I feel a little left out. You and de Noialles, John and the Mannings… I’ve never slept with anyone whose parents cared enough to make threats against my safety, veiled or otherwise.”

Lafayette gave Hamilton his best “you are an idiot” look. “Alexander, I am sure that it will be only too easy for you to get some very explicit threats from Henry Laurens if that is really your goal.”

“Right, right.”

Laurens walked up to the table, taking off his headphones as he sat down and opened his bag.

“Lafayette, can you proof read something for me?”

“Sure.”

“Hey!”

Laurens glanced at Hamilton. “It’s in French.”

“So? Je parle français aussi!

“Yeah, and he’s actually from France. Remember? We visited him this summer?”

“You have more important things to do,” Lafayette assured Hamilton, taking the paper from Laurens and getting out a pen.

“Yeah, like hassle you about your house rules. John, did you know that Adrienne’s father put such the fear of God into him that he even suits up when she’s bleeding?”

Laurens looked confused for a second, then made a face. “Alex, stop.”

“I’m serious, that’s what he said!”

“We’re in the library, I’m trying to get work done. Can we not?”

“You don’t know what you’re missing out on,” Hamilton said turning back to Lafayette. “It’s like a Goddamn slip ’n’ slide.”

“Okay.” Laurens got up. “I’m leaving. Give me that paper back when you’re done with it, Lafayette.”

“I know what it’s like,” Lafayette argued, ignoring Laurens as he left. “I told you, we’ve done that.”

“Yeah, but you haven’t really. Shit, bareback is so much better. You’re missing out. I guess you need something to look forward to after you get hitched.”

Lafayette was reading the paper, marking minor corrections as he talked. “Alex, that thing that Louis and de Ségur gave me…”

“The stroker?”

Oui. It’s something else.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. I fingered that thing and it did seem pretty realistic.”

“If you ever miss it,” Lafayette said, looking up at him seriously, “you should try one of those. Don’t just cheat on John.”

“Goddamn this is a weird conversation from start to finish. I’m not gonna cheat on John.”

“Because you said before…”

“I said that I missed fucking. Trust me, the show I get? Not a problem.”

Lafayette nodded. “All right. Alex, there was another reason…”

“Yeah?”

“I spoke with Louis about it once, and he was under the same restriction, which I thought was strange because Adrienne’s sister uses birth control. He said it’s actually in place because her father expects that we will be with other women…”

“Oh.” Hamilton nodded. “Kind of weird that he lets you live in his house with that assumption.”

Lafayette looked uncomfortable. “Well, he… isn’t.”

“Isn’t letting you—Ohh.” Hamilton didn’t seem particularly put off. “Gotcha. Ha, at least he learned something from it, I guess. Gotta look out for that trail.”

“Alexander,” Lafayette put the paper to the side and leaned over the table. “I don’t want to cheat on Adrienne.”

“Well that seems simple enough to do.”

“Alexander.”

“I’m serious. What do you want? Should I go buy you one of those Victorian penis cages? I’ll toss the key into the Hudson, problem solved.”

Lafayette made a frustrated noise and sat back. “You’re not taking this seriously.”

“I’m sorry, it just seems like you’re freaking yourself out over nothing. You’ve been with her for literal ages, Lafayette. So you check out other girls, so what?”

“I think about them sometimes.”

Hamilton grinned. “Oh yeah? Who? What does she look like? What was she doing to you?”

“Alexander!”

“Come off it, it’s not a big deal.”

“That’s just what de Ségur said, you’re just as bad as him.”

“I think De Ségur and I should hang out.” Hamilton got a little more serious when Lafayette sullenly turned his attention back to Laurens’ paper. “I didn’t think that fantasizing,” he drew the word and his hands out in the air between them, “would be such a thing for you. You’ve been in America for too long.”

“Exactly,” Lafayette said emphatically. “Look,” he lowered his voice, glancing around to make sure they were still alone. “The other day I was thinking about Aglae—”

“Who’s Aglae?”

“—Just a girl I know. And it was so good. It was different and then I remembered Adrienne and I felt… I felt so guilty, Alex. I couldn’t even finish.”

“Calm down. It didn’t mean anything. Like you said, it was just something different.”

Lafayette nodded slowly.

“And it’s not like she’s here anyway, so…” Hamilton shrugged. “Knock yourself out.”

“I suppose so.” Lafayette didn’t sound fully convinced.

“Wait. Wait,” Hamilton frowned. “Was that the time you texted me at like four in the morning?”

“Yes.”

“Gross.”

“You’re not still on that, are you?” Laurens asked, coming around the corner of the shelf with a couple of books.

“Yes, but we’ll change the subject just for you.” Lafayette handed him back his paper. “There are only a few minor things. I marked them.”

Laurens took it. “Thanks.”

“Hey,” Hamilton said. “I just remembered. Your suit guy called me back. I’m supposed to go down later. Did you want to come?”

“Sure.”

“Lafayette?”

“I’ll pass.”

Laurens frowned over something on his paper and Lafayette mouthed at Hamilton to be nice this time. Hamilton waved him off.

 

 

“I was tempted to wear it out,” Hamilton said, carefully carrying his new suit in its protective plastic clothing bag. “But I’d rather not have to get it dry cleaned before this Saturday.” He glanced up at the gray sky. “You think it’s going to rain again? I’ve been meaning to get better shoes for that. Don’t get them for me,” he added quickly, looking over at Laurens. “The suit was enough. Thanks.”

Laurens smiled, hands in his pockets partially from the cool air, partially so that he was sure to keep them to himself as they neared campus. “No problem.”

“You’re too nice. You’re gonna squander your family’s wealth once you inherit. Or even before, as the prodigal son, isn’t that the Southern literature trope?”

“Rain boots aside, you need shoes for that suit. What’s your size?”

“Come on, John, I said I would—Don’t you know my size? I wear the same as you.”

“Alexander, really.”

“I do,” Hamilton insisted. “Hold up, take this,” he shoved the clothing bag at Laurens and stood on one leg, working his other shoe off. “I’ll prove it—”

Laurens cut him off. “Hello, Lee.”

Hamilton wavered and put his foot back on the ground.

“Laurens.”

“Glad I ran into you. There’s a team meeting tonight after dinner, make sure you come.”

Laurens raised an eyebrow. “That’s a little last minute.”

“Do you have a conflict?”

“I didn’t say that. I’ll be there.”

“We’re going over straight from the mess hall.”

“I said I’d be there.”

Lee left and Laurens started walking again. Hamilton hurried to catch up.

“What was that about?”

“It’s to talk about the last game and prep for the next one.”

“No, I mean the tension I could have cut with a clichéd knife. I know you said you were annoyed with him but I didn't realize what you actually meant was that you’re fantasizing about punching him in the face as soon as season’s over.”

“He’s just being a dick.”

“To you?”

Laurens didn’t react to the defensive hardness edging Hamilton’s words.

“No, to Andre.”

“...Oh.”

“He won’t let anyone forget that he’s the one who threw to me.” Laurens reached up and rubbed at his shoulder without noticing. “I tried talking to him about it. He says it shouldn't matter that I told him to do it, Andre should have seen that—it was a tight spot,” Laurens admitted. “He had to toss it high to get it to me, but that slowed me down and I didn’t have much time to spare.”

Hamilton listened quietly. This was the first time Laurens had really talked about what had happened on the field.

“I was a little surprised he still went for it, to be honest. I don’t know that I would have made that call if I were him. It’s hard to say.” Laurens shook his head. “When I’m out there, and the play is in motion, it’s all adrenaline and I—I can get tunnel vision, sometimes all I can see is the ball or the defender and I knew he was on me and that our trajectories would connect when I caught it, but that didn’t matter. It would have gone out. I could have chosen not to go for it, and it would have gone out and I would have played out the rest of the game just fine.”

“But you don’t do that.” Hamilton took the suit back from him. “Since when do you just let things ‘go out’?”

Laurens didn’t respond to that, so Hamilton prompted him to go on. “Lee’s complaining that Andre made a bad call?”

“Yeah. Pretty much. That was an important game and everyone’s still a little upset that we lost, especially when we had been up until then, and now that we’re a man short…”

“Hey, you’ll be back.”

“…I know.”

“It’s a shitty consolation prize. Knowing, that is.” Hamilton stopped and checked his watch. “Shit, I was going to go with you to your building at least, but I’m gonna be late. Do you mind if I split off here?”

“It’s fine.”

Hamilton scanned his face, trying to see if he really meant that, but was left without a clear answer one way or the other. “So you’re busy through dinner and until whenever that meeting gets out. Give me a call. Maybe I’ll think up a better consolation prize in the meantime.”

 

 

> A. Hamilton: I’m getting a bunch of likes on my profile pic

> A. Hamilton: we’re a power couple ;D

> G. Lafayette: mdr

> A. Hamilton: no one’s asked me what it means though I'm a little disappointed

> A. Hamilton: fake coming out’s not as dramatic as i thought it would be

> A. Hamilton: …….or maybe no one is asking because they already knew?

> A. Hamilton: “knew”

 

 

Lafayette looked up from his computer at Hamilton sitting on Laurens’ bed across the room from him. “I don’t think you need the quotes.”

“I know it’s tempting to pretend otherwise, but I’m not actually dating you, don’t make it weird.”

“That wasn’t what I meant. Did you ever imply anywhere before that you like men?”

Hamilton shrugged. “I don’t know. This barely even reads that way. You have to already be looking for it.”

“That’s true.”

“So it only counts in the world where I actually am fucking your brains out in here right now.”

“Please.” Lafayette scrolled down his feed. “I’d be the one fucking you.”

“Are you assigning sexist heteronormative values to these positions? Masculine-slash-aggressive as superior, feminine-slash-passive as inferior?”

“They heard you,” Lafayette pointed out. “And from what you’ve told me about how you have divided up your time so far, it seems like they heard you being fucked.”

“Not the night of the twenty-fourth, they didn’t.” Hamilton raised his hand.

Lafayette threw him a high five from across the room.

“But I guess you’re right. Again assuming in a world where what they think they heard is the reality.”

“Of course.”

“Otherwise we’d totally be mixing it up.”

“I’d have you blindfolded and hanging from the ceiling,” Lafayette promised.

“Hot. You should probably gag me for that, too. Before the RA knocks on the door.”

“Mm, but what if we wanted that?”

Hamilton considered. “True. Hey, what’s the weirdest thing you and Adrienne have ever done?”

“A gentleman does not kiss and tell, Alexander.”

“I’ll trade you.”

“For you and John? No, thank you.”

“Why not?”

“First, because you’ve already told me everything. Second, because that is not an even trade.”

“Ha, you’re right. I meant with anyone I was with, but even with just John I’ve got you beat.”

Lafayette raised both his brows, unamused. Had he jinxed it? He shouldn't have said anything to Adrienne about how well-behaved and not obnoxious the other two were being.

“Come on, Lafayette,” Hamilton pressed. “I won’t tease you. Much. I’ll start, we can count anything third base and up.”

Lafayette sighed and closed his laptop, preparing to win. “Fine.”

“Car.”

“Of course. Restaurant.”

“Nice. Club.”

“Jacuzzi.”

“School.”

“Dressing room.”

“Beach.”

“Park. Post office.”

“Post office?”

“Cafe. Courthouse. Ski lift, balcony…”

“Wait, wait. Public bathroom—”

Oui, that was at the restaurant.”

“—office, uh, movie theater…”

“Book store, camping trip, train car, meadow,” Lafayette was counting off on his fingers now. “Zoo—”

“Fine, fine, you’ve made your point. Goddamn.” Hamilton leaned back against the wall, impressed. “I did it on your bed, though,” he added.

“Mm. Yes, I know.” Lafayette narrowed his eyes and glanced at the sheets.

 

 

Laurens kissed Hamilton as soon as he opened the door to his apartment. He slid his tongue in past his lips, parted in surprise, and then pushed him away, closing the door behind them. “Strip.”

Hamilton laughed, both delighted and caught off guard. “Shitty meeting?”

“Waste of my time.” Laurens yanked his shirt off over his head and tossed it to the floor. “Could have been back here with you.”

“Yeah…?” Hamilton wasn’t getting undressed quickly enough and Laurens put his hand on his shoulder, turning him and pushing him up against the door, pushing his hips to his and pinning him in place as he moved them in a tight circle. He put his other hand under Hamilton’s chin and jerked his faced up, kissing him hard, harder than usual, and Hamilton closed his eyes, not sure what was happening but more than willing to see where it went.

“Two hours, Alexander. Two hours of listening to that arrogant—” Laurens was roughly undoing Hamilton’s shirt, “—hypocritical—” he popped the button on his fly and yanked the zipper down, “—asshole pontificate and made worse because I knew I could be listening to something so much better instead.” He slid his hand into Hamilton’s pants and briefs to cup him directly and Hamilton gasped and grabbed his arm as his knees shook. Laurens squeezed slightly and Hamilton moaned, tightening his grip.

“J-John—!”

“That’s it exactly.” Laurens pressed his fingers to the space behind his sac and Hamilton whimpered, spreading his legs. “Finish taking your shirt off.”

Hamilton arched off the door as much as Laurens would let him, sliding it off and letting it fall and Laurens raked his gaze over his body: sharp collarbones, lean chest and abs, the cut of his hips pointing in like a v to the trail of hair stretching down to his cock, quickly hardening against his arm. Laurens took it all in, laying claim to it, and Hamilton could practically feel his gaze as a physical touch.

“J…” He pressed his hips forward, rubbing his shaft against Laurens’ forearm and gasping as Laurens pushed against him with his fingers again.

“Take my belt off.”

Hamilton quickly unbuckled it, hands and hips jerking as Laurens alternated his attention between his balls and the area just behind them, rocking his hand as he moved back and forth. He started to undo his pants and Laurens tightened his grip just a little. Hamilton made a sharp noise, a little short of nervous, and yanked his hands away.

“I didn’t tell you to do that yet.”

Hamilton tipped his head back, grinning slightly. “Mm… God, I love it when you get like this.”

“Like what?” Laurens bit at his exposed neck.

“A little rough.”

“Take off your pants.”

Hamilton hooked his thumbs into the elastic. “All of it?”

“Yes.”

“Right.” He slid it down to his thighs, unable to reach further, and Laurens pressed his leg between Hamilton’s. Hamilton bit his lip as his head rubbed against the denim of Laurens’ jeans and shifted his weight, trying to get his pants to slide further down, past his knees, so that Laurens could get closer. “Mm—”

Laurens moved just a little, just enough to pass over his head, and Hamilton gasped, putting his hands on the small of his back to urge him nearer. Laurens resisted, actually leaning away a little and taking pressure off of Hamilton’s balls. Hamilton tried to follow him but Laurens put his free hand on his chest, firmly holding him back. Hamilton whined.

Laurens was looking down, blatantly staring at Hamilton’s fully erect cock, not as thick as his own but long and jutting out from his body. Laurens moved forward again and watched as the tip just brushed over the side of his leg and heard Hamilton gasp again at the contact.

He could feel his own cock hardening and he repeated the motion, nudging it to the side and causing Hamilton to dig his nails in a little and groan.

“J…  Please…”

Laurens leaned his hand on him a little harder and Hamilton cut himself off with a frustrated exhale.

Laurens watched Hamilton’s hips jerk as he pressed his fingers against him again and then as he moved his leg further forward, forcing his pants down so that Hamilton’s whole shaft rubbed along his leg.

Hamilton slid a little down the door, legs spreading wider now that they weren’t forced close together, and angling his hips so that when Laurens moved back he brushed along the underside of his shaft. The denim was thick and rough and he was breathing faster, making a small noise when Laurens tightened his grip on him again for a moment.

Laurens could feel Hamilton’s weight on his leg and it sent a rush through him.  He didn’t object when Hamilton changed his position—he had to tighten his core to hold the angle and Laurens wanted to run his tongue and his hands up over his torso, feel the tense muscle—and gave him a better angle to see as he rubbed himself against him, desperate for contact but unable to move too forcefully without discomfort against the heavy fabric.

“John,” Hamilton managed, “take those off. Please, J., I can’t get comfortable—”

Laurens felt heat fill him as he saw a drop of liquid at his tip. He pressed up against him again and it increased, leaking out and smearing against his jeans as he pulled away.

“J.—”

“You’re getting wet.” Laurens looked up at Hamilton’s face in time to see him blush and stutter.

“Y-you’re playing with me! What did you expect?”

“I’ve never seen it before.”

“Ah—” Hamilton reddened further and swallowed hard. “Y-yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Hamilton felt heady at how completely captivated he sounded and he could tell that he was leaking more, that the precum was starting to run down his shaft and leave a trail on Laurens’ leg. His eyes were closed and he didn’t expect it when Laurens leaned in and kissed him deeply, pushing his body right up against him and sliding his hand from his chest to behind his head. Hamilton’s cock was pressed up between them and he moved his hands to his upper back, pulling him closer and moaning hungrily into the kiss.

“Touch yourself.” Laurens had his lips just off of Hamilton’s and he ran his tongue over them and bit one.

“What…?”

“Please.”

Hamilton half-laughed, just a hard lost breath, and put his hand to his own cock, unable to prevent himself from giving a low moan. “I… thought you wanted…”

“I want to watch you.”

Hamilton felt his hand get slick at that and Laurens took a half step away so he could see as Hamilton moved his hand quickly over his shaft, pausing for a moment to run his thumb over and around his head, hips shaking.

Laurens still had his other hand on his sac and he stroked it lightly, teasing it as Hamilton sped up, his head tipped back again and his breathing loud and rapid.

“J., do you want me to…?”

“Don’t rush it. But you can come when you’re ready.”

Hamilton’s breath caught. “Wh-where—?”

Laurens kissed him briefly, just slipping his tongue past his lips. “On me.”

Hamilton moaned against his mouth.

Laurens could feel the blood pounding in his own groin as Hamilton kept going, every breath turning into a whimper as he neared completion, and Laurens kissed him again, harder like before and insistent, his mind filling with images of what they would do after Hamilton had finished. He could turn him around and fuck him against the door, still standing, or fuck him on his desk with his legs wrapped around his waist and the books falling to the floor…

“J.,” Hamilton said with a note of desperation. “J., ah—” He put one hand on the side of his face as he nudged him away from the kiss and then tangled his hand in his hair, leaning his face against his chest. “J., I’m gonna—If you wanted to—” He gasped, his voice rising and shaking uncontrollably. “Don’t forget—to watch—”

Laurens pushed Hamilton away, up against the door again so he could look down and see his hand and cock unobstructed. Hamilton gasped at that and whimpered, tugging lightly at his hair.

Laurens tipped his head to the side, kissing Hamilton’s arm without looking away. His cock was flushed red and drops of precum were caught in his pubic hair and smearing the dark denim of Laurens’ jeans. Hamilton was rambling a little, the way Laurens had learned that he did sometimes when he was just off the edge and trying to hold on, not saying anything particularly coherent but repeating his name and little starts of phrases.

“J., ah, fuck—I can’t—”

Hamilton came with a desperate cry, unable to keep himself from tightening his grip on Laurens’ hair, shooting onto Laurens’ abs and leg and breathing in short gasps as he slowed his hand.

Laurens kissed him hungrily, holding him up against the door, and Hamilton made a startled noise into it as he felt his own cum slick between them. He put his arms around Laurens’ neck, sighing contentedly.

Laurens slowly broke the kiss and picked him up, slinging him partially over his shoulder.

Hamilton gave a startled laugh and pushed at the side of his head. “Hey!”

Laurens dropped him on the futon.

Hamilton looked him over, grinning. “You wanna fuck? I’ll jerk you off if you want that instead. Or blow you. Christ, John, that’s not thin denim and I can see you standing to attention.” Hamilton could see the shiver run down Laurens’ spine and blood start to rush to his face. “Come down here,” he said, a little nicer, a little less crassly, motioning for him. Laurens knelt in front of him and Hamilton ran a hand through his hair as he kissed him, deftly undoing his pants with his other.

He tugged Laurens down onto the mattress and lay down next to him, putting his hand into his pants and touching him lightly.

“You’re so hard,” he said, adjusting the angle of his head so that Laurens could tuck his face along his neck and shoulder. “I love how hard you got just from watching me.”

Laurens made a low encouraging noise, eyes closed and mouth against his skin.

“And what you were doing—Yeah, you should do that again next time. That was good, J.” He teased his slit and rim, only touching his head. “I’ll let you watch again anytime you want. Anytime,” Hamilton repeated, running his hand slowly down Laurens’ shaft. “It gets me so hot knowing that you’re getting off. I like putting on a show.”

Laurens laughed breathily. “Yeah, I—know. You’re a fucking exhibitionist.”

“Guilty,” Hamilton said lightly, moving his hand over his shaft again. “And it turns out we’re both voyeurs, so why fight it?” His voice shifted to a low purr. “Shit, J., you’re so hard already that I’ll barely have to do any work.”

Laurens bit his lip to keep from making a noise at that.

Hamilton slid his free arm under Laurens’ neck so he could cradle his head and play with his hair as he kept talking and moving his hand over him.

“I was a little disappointed about one thing. I wanted to watch myself come on your body but I couldn’t open my eyes.” Laurens moaned softly, his hips shaking, and Hamilton continued. “It just felt too good. I’ll try again next time. I bet it’d be a fucking rush to see that.” He took his hand away to run it down his chest, drawing his fingers through the drying cum.

“Mm.” Laurens tensed.

Hamilton toyed with it, tracing patterns across his abs and smiling with cocky self-satisfaction.

“Alexander.”

“Sorry.” Hamilton nudged his face lightly with his own and slipped his hand back into his pants, wrapping it around his shaft. “That better?”

“Y-yeah.”

“Good.”

Laurens was breathing quickly, shallowly, letting Hamilton work him nearer to the finish and he started when Hamilton suddenly slipped his hand further back, cupping and pressing him like he had been doing earlier.

“Ah—”

“See?” That purr was still audible in his voice and it drove Laurens wild. He knew he’d still be thinking about it later, that it would come back to him at an inopportune moment. “Do you like that, too?”

Laurens swallowed hard, his voice shaking. “Y-yes.”

Hamilton was toying with his hair, lightly running his fingers along the rim of his ear, and managing to sound both devious and affectionate. “I can tell. I just like making you talk sometimes, John. I’ve told you that before.” He sat up just enough to kiss him. “Are you going to come for me?”

Laurens felt heat rush to his cheeks and his groin. “Alexander…”

Hamilton kissed him again and Laurens could feel him smiling. “Well? Are you? Just like this, without my putting my hand back?” He pressed a little harder.

Laurens couldn’t meet his gaze, looking instead at the taunt lines of his body, the angle of his ribs. “I don’t—”

“Mm, maybe that’s asking too much.” Hamilton put his hand back on his shaft and Laurens gasped, moving into it. Hamilton sped up his pace, holding Laurens to him as he did so until he jerked and grabbed his shoulder hard and Hamilton felt a sudden wet heat.

Hamilton lay down again and kissed him, slowly passing his hand over him and then moving it further back to hold him as Laurens put his arm over him.

Hamilton could feel Laurens’ breathing slow as he lay against him, his arm getting heavier as he started to drift off. Hamilton stayed still and slowly lost track of time, fading in and out of consciousness until some time later Laurens jerked and woke up.

“Hey.” Hamilton kissed him lightly, only then awake himself. “You want to get up or go to bed properly?”

“Mm. What time is it?”

“Not sure. Can’t see a clock. I need to get up for a minute, John, but you can stay.”

Laurens shook his head and sat up, yawning and then looking down at himself. “Shit.”

Hamilton looked him over and bit back a laugh. “Oh. Yeah. I guess you need to change and wash up.”

“I don’t have other clothes here,” Laurens complained, standing and pausing, not sure if it was better to strip down or not. “Let me borrow your sweatpants.”

“Sorry, spilled curry on them the other day and I haven’t gotten around to washing them yet. It’s all over the crotch,” Hamilton explained. “The bottom fell out of the container.”

“Shit…”

“Relax. Go hop in the shower and I’ll call Lafayette and tell him to bring a pair tomorrow morning. He wanted us to meet up with him and Adrienne anyway.”

Laurens looked less than pleased at that suggestion but nodded. “All right.”

Chapter Text

Lafayette showed up a little before five in the morning.  Hamilton, already dressed in preparation, got the door while Laurens stood in the back with a towel tied around his waist.

“Good morning,” Lafayette said brightly.  “Are you ready for lunch?  I brought beignets.”

“Forget the beignets,” Laurens said, stepping forward.   “Did you get my pants?”

Lafayette tipped his head to the side, confused.  “Your…?  Oh.  Ohh…”  He glanced at Hamilton.  “You didn’t say you needed John’s pants!”

“What did you think he meant?”  Laurens asked, a little sharply.

Lafayette shrugged and took a pair of his own pants out of his bag, giving them to Laurens and the beignets to Hamilton.  “Beggars cannot be choosers, John.”

Laurens, frustrated, took them into the bathroom, closing the door a little louder than necessary.

“You must have really made a mess,” Lafayette commented, sitting at the desk and setting up his laptop.

Hamilton shrugged.  “Actually wasn’t my fault this time.  He didn’t let me take them off when I tried.”

“You didn’t do anything here or on the desk, did you?”

“Nah.  Door and bed.”

“All right.  How should we do this… Alexander, you need more chairs.”

“Where am I supposed to keep them?  We’ll just stand.  You want coffee?”

“Please.”

Hamilton filled two mugs and handed one to Lafayette who accepted it and pushed his sleeve up to check the time. 

“Thank you.  We only have a minute.  I don’t want to make her wait.”

“Right.”  Hamilton went to the bathroom door and knocked at it.  “John?  Do you need help?”

“Hold on.”

“We’re gonna start the vidchat without you if you don’t hurry up.”

Hamilton could hear a clattering noise and swearing like Laurens had knocked something off the shelf.  He tried the handle but it was locked.  “You okay?”

“Shit—I said give me a minute.”

“Look, just wear the towel.  She won’t be able to see you below the waist anyway.”

“I’m not doing that!”

“He’s not doing that,” Lafayette agreed.

“Then open the door and let me—”

“I got it, Alex.”

Hamilton looked back at Lafayette who sighed and sent the chat request through without him.  Hamilton went back to stand behind his chair and was taking a drink from his mug when Adrienne, sitting by herself in a classroom, picked up.

“Hello,” she began, then tipped her head to the side.  “Where’s John?”

“He’s running a little late,” Lafayette said, as if Laurens was not separated from them by only a door.  “But I’m sure we can start without him.  Alexander?”

“Hm?  Oh, yeah, sure.  Hey, I have a question.  Apart from the hour and that Lafayette’s wearing a tie, how is this different from when we normally talk?”

“Don’t ruin it,” Lafayette scolded.

“Sorry.  Would you like a beignet?”  He offered the bag to the screen.  Adrienne politely declined.

“It’s different,” Lafayette said, accepting one of the beignets, “because it gives us an opportunity to talk about the two of you as a couple.”

“Don’t you mean it gives—”

“No, I know what I said.  You already discuss Adrienne and me as a pair, but now we are allowed to do the same.  To your face, that is.”

Hamilton leaned on the desk with one hand.  “All right…  I’m not really sure how that’s any—”

“Alex,” Lafayette cut him off again, “where’s John?  Your boyfriend isn’t usually so late.”

“Is he all right?  Should you call him?”  Adrienne added in.

“He’s getting dressed in the friggin’ bathroom, Lafayette, you know that.  I’m not calling him.”

“Why not?  I’d be worried if Adrienne didn’t show up to our date.”

“Mostly because I don’t want him to drop his phone in the toilet while he's trying to shimmy into your pants.”

“I appreciate it.”  Laurens came back out, walking stiffly in a very tight pair of jeans that were sitting rather too low on his hips.  “Good morning, Adrienne.  I’m so sorry I’m late.”

Hamilton stared at him.  “Seriously?”

“Manners.”

“Right.”

“Alexander, may I get a cup of coffee?”

“You’re taking advantage of this,” Hamilton complained, but went to get a mug.  

“Adrienne, would you like something to drink?”  Lafayette asked.

“I’m not mailing her a friggin’ americano!”

Adrienne moved her thermos into view from where it had been off the side of the screen.

“Alexander, you’re the one who set this up,” Laurens warned.  Hamilton rolled his eyes and handed him his coffee.

“I was just saying.”

“I’m sorry about him,” Laurens said to Adrienne.  “I had a meeting last night and got back late, and with the time difference we’ve only had a few hours of sleep.”

“Oh, no, it’s fine,” Adrienne protested as Hamilton gaped.  What the hell was going on?  Since when did Laurens actually say things like that?

“How have you two been?”  Laurens continued, apparently and surprisingly in his element.

“We’ve been well,” Lafayette answered.  “Adrienne’s going to be free over break, so we’ll be able to join you in Vermont.”

“Oh, good, Alexander told you about that.  I was wondering if we should wait until the end of lunch to bring it up or not.”

“You’re tripping me out,” Hamilton muttered, but was ignored.

“It sounds beautiful,” Adrienne said, “I was looking up pictures.  Do you think the leaves will be very colorful?  Neither of you have been, have you?”

“No,” Laurens said, shaking his head and looking over at Hamilton who reined in his incredulous stare to just shrug and nurse his coffee, regretting deeply that he hadn’t thought through setting this up in the first place.  “Adrienne,” Laurens continued, running through a well-rehearsed dialogue for occasions like this, “I realized the other day that I still don’t actually know how you and Lafayette met.  I know you were friends as children…”

 

> G. Lafayette: Do you think that was a little much?

> J. Laurens: For Alex?  Definitely, he wouldn’t even look me in the eye afterwards.

> G. Lafayette: Yes, I was wondering if it would be.  He was the one who had suggested it, though, so I thought he knew where he was.

> J. Laurens:  Alexander Hamilton?  Know his own limits?

> G. Lafayette: You’re right, that was my mistake

> G. Lafayette: I’m sorry I let him talk me into it

> J. Laurens: It’s fine.  These pants on the other hand are not.  I can’t believe I don’t have a break to get back to the dorm until lunch.

 

Laurens put his phone away as he entered his classroom in the art building.  He had room on his schedule for one non-essential class this semester, and so he had decided to hell with it, he was taking art.  Portraiture, to be more exact, with the popular Professor Peale, and Andre.

“Hey.”  Andre was already sitting at one end of the long work table and he gave him a confused look as he carefully made his way over.

“…They’re Lafayette’s pants.  It’s a long story.”

“Oh.”  Andre laughed a little. 

Laurens looked at the chair.  “Do you think he’ll mind if I stand?”

Andre laughed harder.  “Yikes.”

Laurens gently lowered himself into the chair, unable to really bend his legs.

“What happened?”

“Spilled something on mine.”  Laurens heard his phone go off and took it out to check it and silence it, quickly locking the screen when he saw what it was.

 

> A. Hamilton: you still owe me a picture

 

Laurens busied himself taking his sketchbook out of his bag, unable to make conversation with Andre again until he had a little more distance between himself and that text… and the picture Hamilton had included of himself to accompany it.

“Did you think more about the first project?”  Andre asked.  “I was initially going to do a picture of Peggy, but I think I’m going to take the self-portrait option instead.  She wasn’t really keen on sitting for me.”

“Ah… Yeah…” Laurens pretended to have found everything he was looking for and turned back to Andre.  “Yeah, it’s a big time commitment.”

“Exactly.  And we have to do both eventually, so maybe her schedule will be more open later in the semester.”

Laurens doubted that, but nodded.  “So a self-portrait.  Three-quarters, bust…?”

“Not sure yet.  I haven’t gotten that far.  Did you think about it at all?”

“No,” Laurens admitted.  “I’m just glad I didn’t wreck my shoulder further into the term.  At least it didn’t cut into working on anything big like that.”  He glanced back at his bag.  “You know what, maybe I will do the self-portrait, too.”

"You're not going to ask your girlfriend?"

Laurens forced himself to turn back to Andre and was a little surprised by how closely he was watching him.  "No," he said quickly, then amended when he didn't get a response, "I don't know.  Maybe."

"You should ask her.  You're a good artist, I bet she'll find it flattering."

"Mm."  Laurens adjusted his pants (or tried to, it didn't do much).  "Maybe," he repeated.  "It's not a big deal," he said, trying not to sound on edge.  "I'll figure something out."

 

Hamilton was waiting for Laurens at his room when he finally managed to get back.

“Alexander?”  Laurens was startled to see him there.

“I know, I didn’t tell you.  No, I don’t have a lot of time.  Yes,” Hamilton continued, “I wanna fool around.  This is a booty call, J.  Take your shirt off.”

“Alex,” Laurens began.

“All right, all right, you can leave it on.  I know you’ve got class later, too.  Get the pants at least, you were going to get rid of those anyway.”  Hamilton was already undoing his own pants and he stepped to the side so Laurens could put his bag on the floor by his desk.

“Are you all right?”

“John, I’ve got literally about fifteen minutes before I need to get out the door.  I appreciate the interest in my life but we need to prioritize here.”

“Is this about—ah, damnit, finally—this morning?”  Laurens dropped the pants into Lafayette’s laundry basket.  He took off his shirt.

“We doing complete nudity?  Okay, cool.”  Hamilton yanked his shirt up over his head and sat on the edge of Laurens’ bed.  “Yeah, that was weird.  Okay?  I said it.  Now get your ass over here.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Laurens said, draping his shirt over the back of his chair.  “I’m not expecting anything different from you.  That was just how I was taught you behave at events like that.”  He watched Hamilton closely and saw, or at least thought he saw, a little of the tension leave his shoulders.  “How much time do we have?”

“Thirteen minutes, thirty-three, thirty-two, thirty-one seconds,” Hamilton said, checking his watch.  “I set an alarm, too.”

“Perfect.”

Hamilton grinned as Laurens pulled one arm across his chest, stretching it out.  

“Can we talk about this later?”

“Yeah, sure, okay.”

“Good.  Turn over.”

Hamilton did, kneeling on the bed, and Laurens grabbed the bottle of lube he had brought with him and already set on the desk.  He ran his hand over Hamilton’s ass and got on the mattress behind him.  

“What do you want?”

“Anything.”

“That’s not entirely true.”

“I want you to let me finish before the alarm goes off.  I’m serious about having to leave at that point.”

“Got it.”

Hamilton bit his lip as he felt one of Laurens’ fingers, slick and wet, running up against him.

“I wish you had more time.”

“God, I know, so do I,” Hamilton said.  “But I’ll meet you later…”

“We’re going to talk later.”

“John, don’t ruin it.”

Laurens hesitated, not sure there was any way to respond to that, and just pushed against him without entering, kissing him very low on his back.  Hamilton let out a sharp breath.  Laurens kissed him again, running his fingers just around him and reaching up around him with his other hand to stroke him.  Hamilton was quickly hardening and he whined softly, impatient.

“J., hurry up.”

Laurens bit him lightly.  “I’m watching the time.”

Hamilton whined again.

Laurens moved his hand faster over his shaft, then paused and—Hamilton gasped in surprise, jerking as he felt Laurens’ tongue, soft and hot.

“Ah—!  J.—”

Laurens sat back a little, hand still on Hamilton’s cock and unsure.  “Was that…?”

“I, mn—I thought we were just gonna fuck.”

Laurens was still distracted, thinking about how to word what he wanted to say later, and he sidestepped.  “Do you not like this?”

“Ha.  I never—I never said that.”  Hamilton was breathing harder, and he sunk down on his elbows.  

Laurens ran his tongue over him again, back and forth, feeling his heart rate speed up as Hamilton twisted the sheets and made little needy sounds.

“Ah, fuck, J…”  Hamilton took a shaky breath and let his legs spread.

Laurens teased him, just sliding the firm tip of his tongue over and then around him.  Hamilton moaned as he felt it push in, no more than the joint of a finger, but warm and soft.  

Hamilton was fully erect in Laurens’ hand, and Laurens moved over his shaft faster, feeling his own cock starting to get hard.  He moved his face away, kissing Hamilton’s back again and pressing into him with his fingers, slowly moving them apart and then easing them further.  Hamilton pulled Laurens’ pillow to his face and bit it, rocking his hips back into the touch as Laurens put his hand to just his head.

Laurens started moving in and out of him faster, but still keeping it to about half the pace of how he was teasing his cock, rubbing his slit quickly as his fingers slipped a little in the warm precum.  Hamilton bit the pillow harder but couldn’t silence himself from letting out a needy moan.

Laurens felt his breath catch at that and he added more lube and another finger, rewarded by Hamilton swearing in encouragement and frustration.

“Shit, please, J.—”  Hamilton’s voice broke off.  “Please—”

Laurens took his hand away from Hamilton’s cock, causing him to gasp and whine, and put it on his own, quickly pumping himself until he was fully hard.  He removed his other hand but only for a moment before he had them both at Hamilton’s hips and Hamilton was already moaning in anticipation, even before he felt Laurens pressing against him.  Laurens, stopped for a moment to apply more lubricant, admired the triangle made by Hamilton’s narrow waist and sharp shoulders.  Then he pushed slowly into him, pausing just past his head and making a low hungry noise that made Hamilton’s heart race even faster.

“John…”

Laurens put his hand back on Hamilton’s shaft, working him quickly as he began to set a steady pace, aiming for the spot that he had since learned on himself made him almost see stars.  He knew he had found it when Hamilton suddenly cried out and then tried to thrust into his hand, begging him for more.  Laurens obliged, moving both his hand and his hips faster and pushing fully into him.  He was a few minutes away from his own climax when Hamilton grabbed his wrist suddenly to direct it to greater force and then spilled over his hand and onto the sheets with a sharp groan.

Laurens was still stroking Hamilton, still thrusting into him, if a little slower, and enjoying the heat starting to build within himself when the alarm suddenly went off and he jerked away in surprise.  Hamilton yelped, then swore, as much about Laurens as about the phone.  He rolled off the bed and grabbed it, silencing it.

“Sorry, John.”  He was gathering his clothes.  “I really do need to go.  I’ll see you later, I’ll finish you then.”

Laurens was just starting to get up off the bed when Hamilton was finished dressing and throwing his bag over his shoulder.  Hamilton kissed him quickly, his hand on the side of his face.  “Thanks.”

Then Hamilton was gone and Laurens was left on his own, still naked, still hard, wanting to finish but feeling awkward about how that had just ended.  He took his phone out to look at the picture Hamilton sent him (he wondered now whether it had been taken at his apartment or here at the dorm) and then hesitated, remembering the request.

Laurens turned on the camera with one hand, touching himself with the other, and tried to find a decent angle.  He sat down on the edge of his bed, slowly stroking himself and tipping the phone back and forth as he tried to figure out how to mimic what he had been sent.  He eventually took one and sent it to Hamilton, then flipped back to the picture he had received.  Laurens moved his hand quickly, trying to pretend it was Hamilton’s hand instead, that Hamilton were sitting next to or behind him and jerking him off.  He imagined Hamilton’s voice in his ear, the way he would talk while doing it, and he felt himself get closer to the point he had been at before they had been interrupted.  He could almost feel Hamilton’s lips against his ear and neck and he tried to move his hand like Hamilton would, to find the rhythm he would set, and he stared at Hamilton’s hand in his picture, at how it was just a little blurred out like he had been moving it when the shutter clicked.

Laurens grabbed a tissue from the desk and held it to himself.  He kept moving his hand, groaning softly as he remembered how Hamilton had jerked and gasped his name just minutes before.  He wished he was really there, that he was touching him and encouraging him to climax, to spill into his hand or his mouth…  Laurens came with a shudder, holding the tissue firmly to his head as he jerked into it.  He cleaned himself up and then balled it up and dropped it in the trash, tossing his phone back onto his mattress.  He sat there for a minute, still a little lost in his fantasy and imagining Hamilton’s hands running over his body and how they would then lie back on the bed and continue to touch and kiss…

He heard a key in the lock and he snapped back to reality, grabbing his pillow to cover himself as Lafayette walked in.

“—In the middle of the day, John?”  Lafayette asked after a moment of stunned silence.  “Alexander isn’t even—” He took his phone out of his pocket and checked his messages.  “Oh, I take it back, he was here.”

“Could you turn around?”  Laurens asked, embarrassed.

“Ah, right.”  Lafayette turned to face the other wall as Laurens quickly dressed.  “Did you have a good time?”

“Let’s not make smalltalk.”

“Right.”

“Actually,” Laurens said as he finished dressing and sat down at his desk.  “I need to ask you about something.”

Lafayette looked over his shoulder and, seeing that the coast was clear, sat on his bed and started going through his bag.

“You and Alex talk.”

“Constantly.”

“I just want to go over some things with him.  Do you have suggestions for how not to freak him out?”

“What kinds of things?”

“Like this morning, how he got so uncomfortable about that.  It’s not even like I want to be like you and Adrienne—no offense—he just really…”

“I told him that he was too difficult,” Lafayette said.  “He can’t make up his mind about things.”

“Yes, exactly.  And I’ll adjust to suit him, I mean, as much as I can.  But I can’t do that when he—I don’t even think he’s being indecisive, Lafayette, I think he just keeps scaring himself.”

“Yes, you are probably right.  You do know about his coping mechanism, don’t you?”

“Sex?  Yeah,” John said in a little burst of air, “he’s real subtle about that.”

Lafayette nodded and opened his laptop.  “As long as you know.”

“Oh, I know all right.”  Laurens ran a hand over the back of his head.  “It’s not that it isn’t good, but…  It’s a little strange.  I almost feel used.”

“Really?”

“Wouldn’t you?”

“I think it’s sweet.”

Laurens frowned.  “You think it’s…?”

Lafayette shrugged, leaning back against the wall as he called Adrienne on the laptop.  “You’re going to talk to him about it later anyway.  Don’t be too harsh on him, he’s trying.  Actually, he’s being very lenient with you as well if you ask me.  You said that you don’t want to be like Adrienne and me but the truth of the matter is that Alexander isn’t the only one who isn’t at our level yet.  Go wash your sheets before you run out of time and leave them here with me.”

Laurens looked back at the obvious mess on the bed and reddened.  “Shit.  Sorry.”

Lafayette waved a hand at him.  “Just keep what I said in mind.  I think it’s endearing.”

 

Hamilton didn’t check his phone in class, especially not class with Jefferson, no matter how much he might want to make a show of not caring about what he had to say.  He hated it, but the man was very smart and he couldn’t just skim the lecture notes and keep a step ahead of him.  He had to pay attention and he had to listen and listening was a problem because then he inevitably heard something he didn’t agree with and when that happened he couldn’t help but—

“You’re wrong,” Hamilton said, his hand still in the air.  He hadn’t been called on, Jefferson probably hadn’t been going to call on him at least until he had finished his train of thought, but he couldn’t wait because by then he might have said something else stupid and he knew he needed to shut up and not interrupt if he wanted the grade but he also needed to fight him literally every single second he was in that room.  “Even with the internet, texts are still restricted to a minority of the global population.  It doesn’t matter if you give tablets to kids in underdeveloped areas if they don’t have the bandwidth necessary to access what’s out there, fees to join hosting sites or download on a piecemeal basis aside.  The problem isn’t with individuals pirating someone else’s intellectual property—yeah, okay, that’s bad, but you’re overlooking the bigger issue that there are whole swarths of the world that can connect to the internet but not do anything meaningful with it because they’re shackled by the very sites that should be providing them with intellectual resources.  The fu—What’s the point of putting up a digitalized library if the people who could most benefit from ease of access can’t load the frickin’ page in the first place because it’s not a static site?”

Jefferson smiled, the expression strained.  “That is not the point of this class, Alexander.  If you would be so kind as to remember, we’re discussing copyright law this week, not the benefits of dynamic versus static websites.”

Hamilton was a little surprised that Jefferson had known what he was talking about—he had hoped that he might have been able to finally find a topic that was out of his purview—but that just egged him on.

“But that kind of legal protection is supposed to cut across the board.  You  throw up this kind of double paywall and all you're doing is—”

“Keeping people from furthering their education,” Jefferson cut him off, his words taking on an annoyed sharpness.  “And on that note, allow me to continue my lecture.  You’re verging on disrespect to your fellow students.”

“I’m right, though,” Hamilton said in a whisper, half to himself, half to the girl next to him.  He glanced over at her to see if she had heard and was vindicated by her smile. 

 

> A. Hamilton: goddamn

> A. Hamilton: im allowed to save this, yes?

> A. Hamilton: you’re not saying no so I'm going to do it

> A. Hamilton: thanks j

> A. Hamilton: aaaaand set to background

> J. Laurens: Wait, what

Chapter Text

“Can I ask you something, sir?”  Hamilton said as he dusted off and rearranged Washington’s various athletics trophies.  “So, faculty, you all talk.  Obviously, that’s not a question, that’s a statement, I’ve been around the block enough to know that.  You talk.”

Washington looked up from his desk, a set of papers in his hands.  “Yes.  What is your question, Hamilton?”

“Right, right.  You talk, and you talk about your students.  Or student employees, as the case may be.  Now, frankly, I’ve got nothing to hide, people can say what they like, except that John…”

“Not many people know about you and John.”

“Great, that’s exactly where I was going with that.  ‘Cause like I said, I don’t care, it’s not like it’s a big deal or anything.  But it matters to him.  Well, his father-the-trustee matters to him.  Do you see where I am going with this, sir?”

“I’d have to be deaf not to, Hamilton.  It may reassure you to hear that the only people who are aware of anything as far as I know are myself and von Steuben.  Friedrich, well, I think he knew the two of you were dating from the first, but I doubt anyone else would pay close enough attention to notice.  There are many students on this campus, Hamilton, and as intelligent and charming as you both are, most professors simply do not care enough to watch your every move.”

Hamilton chewed his lip.  That was reassuring but also, somehow, felt like an ominous warning even though he was certain that Washington did not mean it that way.  “Right.  Yeah, okay.  Thank you, sir.”  He paused.  “But even after Saturday…?”

“If anything, people will assume that Henry Laurens made a few calls and pulled some strings.”  Washington put down the papers.  “Which he did.  As you might recall, he has my private number.  I told him I would get his son an invitation,” Washington smiled very slightly, amused by his own manipulation, “which I did.”

Hamilton nodded, slowly at first and then faster.  “Right, got it, got it.”  He glanced up at the clock.  “You’ve got a meeting in half an hour so I’m gonna run the copy requests down now.”  He grabbed a stack of forms off the desk and headed for the door.  “I’ll be back in time to set up for that.”

He took his phone out of his back pocket as soon as he was out of the front room and in the hall, hesitating between his contacts before deciding who he was going to text.

 

> A. Hamilton: you’re just like your father.

 

Hamilton didn’t get a response back until he was already returning from dropping off the papers, distracted by that point by the weekend and trying to figure out when he would have the chance to drop by a shoe store.

 

> G. Lafayette: My father?

> A. Hamilton: ton pere americain

> A. Hamilton: he’s just as much of a troll as you are, Lafayette 

> A. Hamilton: you know how he told me to invite john? 

> A. Hamilton: turns out that his father had already called him 

> G. Lafayette: Oh, his father asked him to have John attend but he didn’t have a good excuse.  Don’t worry, he was really going to ask you anyway and on paper he’s still there as Henry Laurens’ son.

> A. Hamilton: and he wanted him to

> A. Hamilton: gdi lafayette you're ruining my story

> A. Hamilton: of COURSE you already know

> A. Hamilton: you ever planning on sharing that

> G. Lafayette: I forgot.

> A. Hamilton: you “forgot” or you thought it would be funnier to let me ask gwash on the clock if john was going to get outed at the party for rich old white guys

> G. Lafayette: I was going to remember to tell John before Saturday

> A. Hamilton: you suck this conversation is done

> A. Hamilton: because I'm back at the office not because I'm actually mad at you but the sentiment stands

 

“Hey.”

Laurens closed the door behind Hamilton.  “Look, Alexander…”

“Hold onto that thought, two things.  One, I found out something I need to tell you, so remind me, don’t let me forget.  Two…”  Hamilton stepped forward and put his hands on either side of Laurens’ face, pulling him down gently into a long kiss.  “…Thank you,” he said, moving away finally and putting his bag on the floor.  “For the picture and for earlier.”

Laurens was a little breathless after that.  “Right, about earlier…”

“Can I cut to the chase?”  Hamilton asked, taking off his jacket and dropping it with his bag.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t think it would be as weird as it was.  My bad, I’m the one who arranged it, it’s on me.”  He sat on the side of Laurens’ bed.  “It was just weird to all of a sudden be dropped down in that alternative universe.”

Laurens nodded, sitting next to him.

“I don’t give what people see.  They want a show, I’ll give them a show.  So if Lafayette is getting a stick up his ass about how he and Adrienne are the best couple, so close that they’re practically married, then, hell, I’m more than down for playing along.  But that was…”  Hamilton chewed on his lower lip.  “…You’re a good actor.  It almost felt real.”

Laurens was silent for a moment.  “Sorry.  I didn’t mean to go too far.”  He changed the topic before Hamilton could say anything else.  “There was something else.  About the sex…  It seems like you use it…”

“It feels good.  And it calms me down, quiets everything.  God, J., sometimes I can’t hear myself think over my own thoughts.  I know it sounds crazy, but—Besides, you’re good at it,” he said, leaning in a little.  “Take the compliment.”

Laurens laughed a little.  “You’re insatiable.”

“You sent me nudes,” Hamilton pointed out.  “While I was in class, no less, and then I had to think about them all through work.  I was good, I didn’t duck out, and I had the stupid relationship talk you wanted.  Let me have this.”

“I don’t think having to talk is ever an issue for you.”

“I prefer some topics to others.  I’ll write a treatise on you pushing me up against that door or the time I fucked—”

“Okay, I got it.”

Hamilton grinned and turned on the bed, drawing one leg up so he could face Laurens directly.  “Yeah?  I thought maybe you needed reminding of all the things we’ve done.  Last fall semester aside, it’s been like eight months and it didn’t even really pick up right away, we’re talking more like seven, seven and a half.  Turns out Lafayette still has us beat, but I bet we can give him a run for his money pretty soon.  I got a checklist of places we need to go to even the score and I’ve thought of a few that we’d be able to one up him with.  How do you feel about doing it on a boat?”

“A boat?”

“I’m sure he’d get on one if he had to but he wouldn’t enjoy it.  Automatic point for us.  What about a plane?”

“Alexander…”

Hamilton laughed.  “I’ll work up to it.  What about,” he leaned in further, cupping his hand and whispering in Laurens’ ear, “right… here.”

Even though he had seen it coming, Laurens couldn’t help the little jolt of electricity that ran down his spine and settled somewhere low inside him.

“Again?”

“I promised you.”  Hamilton lightly bit his earlobe.  “Of course, that was before you took matters into your own hands, pun very much intended.  I won’t be too offended if you don’t want to—”

Laurens turned, putting his hand on Hamilton’s shoulder and cutting him off by sliding his tongue into his mouth.

Hamilton grinned, feeling a rush of genuine excitement over the kiss and what might happen next that surprised him a little.  He moved to straddle Laurens’ lap, sliding his arms over his shoulders and running one hand up through his hair.  He broke the kiss with a short startled laugh as Laurens tipped them over backwards, then hit his head on the wall with a noise more of complaint than pain.

“You’re too tall for that,” Hamilton said, leaning over and pinning him as Laurens brought one hand up to touch the back of his head.  “Idiot,” he added affectionately.  “I’d tell you to turn over but I think we can work with this.”  He reached back and cupped him over his pants.  “But you should at least undo these.  We already wrecked one pair, let’s not go through your entire wardrobe.”

Laurens moved down a little, both so his head wasn’t pushed up against the wall and so he could better arch and pull his pants down, leaving his briefs.  Hamilton had lifted up to give him space to maneuver and now lowered himself again, sitting just above him and brushing over his cock as he repositioned.

“Oh, hey,” Hamilton said, running his hand up over Laurens’ chest.  “My other news.  It’s good.”  He started undoing Laurens’ shirt, intentionally shifting backwards to just barely lean against him.  Laurens took one of his hands, bringing it to his mouth so he could kiss it.

“Washington says that for this weekend officially you’re not down as my guest but as some kind of general trust fund VIP, so you don’t need to worry about it looking funny.  And—ahn—”  Hamilton’s voice wavered as Laurens, holding his wrist, turned his hand and ran his tongue between his middle and ring finger.  “—Nn, John.”  Laurens repeated the motion and then sucked on both of them slowly.  Hamilton had stopped undoing the buttons, clenching that hand against the fabric instead.  “I was trying to be nice to you, J.—”  He was quickly growing hard, suddenly and very immediately reminded of earlier that day, of Laurens’ tongue, hot and firm…

“I know.”

“So you thought you’d repay the favor?”

Laurens didn’t answer right away, sucking on his fingers again.  Hamilton resisted the urge to undo his pants.

“That’s not it.  Not really.”

“What is it?”

Laurens lowered his hand but kept his grip on it as he looked Hamilton directly in the eye.  “You’re hot as hell, Alexander.”

Hamilton had leaned forward once Laurens started playing with his hand and now he moved back and pressed up against his cock, hard and waiting.

“…Yeah, okay, fuck foreplay.”  Hamilton yanked his shirt off as Laurens sat up and finished removing his own.  “We’re doing this.”  He rolled off of him, taking a condom out of his pocket before stripping down the rest of the way and tossing it all onto the floor just in time for Laurens to grab him and pull him down next to him on the mattress, his naked cock pressing up against his leg and his arm around him, keeping him close.

Hamilton could feel the blood starting to pound in his face and groin at how easily he was manhandled and he kissed Laurens hungrily, biting and sucking on the tip of his tongue as he pushed it into his mouth and causing him to moan.

Laurens could feel the muscles in Hamilton’s back shift and tense as he moved against him, intentionally shifting in order to make him rub up against himself, and he pulled him a little closer, his other hand moving down to grasp and stoke Hamilton’s shaft.  Hamilton rocked his hips eagerly into his hand and he let him, caught up in the heat and energy and forgetting everything else—whatever Hamilton had been in the middle of explaining, what they had been talking about only minutes before, how he had just changed the sheets on his bed and would be annoyed after to have to do it again.

It took him a moment to realize that Hamilton was saying something, his lips just off of his own.

“Fuck me.”

Laurens tightened his hold on him a little further, then rolled him onto his back with a low growl, kissing him and moving his mouth down his jaw and neck.  He paused for a moment at the corner where they met before continuing down to bite his shoulder.  He was pinning him to the mattress and reached up to grab the lube from the desk, pouring a generous amount into his hand.  Hamilton watched, a needy pit forming at the base of his stomach, as Laurens worked his hand over his shaft, leaving it slick and glistening.

“J…”  Hamilton handed him the condom.

Laurens put one hand on his thigh, pushing into him with two fingers on the other, slowly, causing Hamilton to tip his head back and groan, grabbing the same pillow he had used earlier and pressing it to his face as Laurens moved in and out.

“Goddamn, J…”

Laurens leaned up and moved the pillow away.  “I like—”

“I know, I know.”  Hamilton almost laughed.  “You like my voice.”

“I like hearing you,” Laurens agreed, pushing a little further into him and making Hamilton raise his hips to him and moan.

Laurens felt his breath catch.  The feel of Hamilton tight around his fingers, his slender body bared to him… his cock, tall and erect.  Laurens licked up the underside of his shaft and Hamilton gasped, almost whimpering as his breathing picked up when Laurens moved his tongue around his head and sucked on it.

Laurens took his hand away and Hamilton, his hands balling the sheets, grinned in anticipation.  He didn’t have to wait long.  Laurens was sliding into him and Hamilton grabbed his wrists when he put his hands down on either side of him to brace himself.

“John,” he moaned as Laurens moved inside him, slowly pushing as far in as he could and sending a rush of pleasure through his body.  “God, yes—”

Laurens thrust forward, his own breath catching as Hamilton gasped and cried out, and he felt sharp pain from Hamilton’s nails digging into his wrists.  The sensation urged him on, harder, faster, and he could hear himself moaning, repeating Hamilton’s name.

Hamilton encouraged him deeper, raising up his hips to a better angle and getting louder as Laurens continued to push against him.  He let Laurens take away one of his hands and ran his hand over his face, pushing away the hair that had come loose and fallen into it.  

Laurens wrapped his hand around Hamilton’s cock, pumping it and was immediately rewarded with a loud groan and his hips jerking into the touch. 

“J., please—  Don’t stop—”

Laurens felt a little giddy, a little lightheaded and as though that broken request was a pointless one because they both knew he had no intention to stop, not now, not when everything was pleasure and touch and Hamilton with his tight grip and heavy breathing and beautiful, delicate face.  His head was tipped back and his long hair was curling on the mattress, framing his sharp high cheekbones—perfect bone structure, Laurens thought in a moment of clarity, no wonder he made a good model—and long, deep-set nose.  Laurens felt sudden heat in his cheeks and realized a little belatedly that he was blushing.

“—John, mn, hey…”

Laurens had stopped moving and he shook his head in an attempt to clear it, starting up again, faster, insistently, feeling every breath of Hamilton’s like a little spark of electricity between them and when he came, hot in his hand and up his chest, Laurens did as well.

Hamilton hadn’t yet fully realized that Laurens was finished before he collapsed on top of him, wrapping his arms around him and holding him tightly.

“Oof…”  Hamilton pushed at his arm, moving it down so his face wasn’t covered and he could breathe properly.  “John?”

“Sorry.”  Laurens adjusted his position, loosening his grip just a little.  

Hamilton half-laughed.  “It’s fine, you were just crushing me.”

“Sorry,” Laurens repeated, kissing his temple.

“Mm.”  Hamilton worked his arm out and patted his shoulder.  “Lafayette’s getting back by dinner.”  Laurens didn’t get up, and Hamilton nudged him again.  “So we can’t stay like this,” he pointed out.  “I told him we’d go to the grocery store with him.  Besides, the condom...”

Laurens still wasn’t moving.  Hamilton tried to look at his face but the angle was bad.  “Hey, John?  You still with me?”

“Shh.”  He sounded awake enough.  “Sleeping.”

“Right, right.”  Hamilton wrapped his freed arm around Laurens’ shoulder and closed his own eyes, not about to fall asleep properly, but comfortable.  “I’m rolling you off the bed one way or another in about twenty minutes.”

Laurens smiled, laughing in a short breath against his hair.

“What?”  Hamilton raised a brow but didn’t bother opening his eyes.  “I’m going to.”

“You’re trapped.”

“I’ll find a way.  Jab you in the ribs.”

Laurens kissed him again, lightly, and was quiet.

“Hey,” Hamilton said after a few minutes, again trying and failing to look him in the eye.  “I have a question.”

There was a pause.  Laurens actually had drifted off this time.  “Yeah?”

“About earlier…  The rimjob, John?  Hot.  And not what I would have expected from you.  Did you see that somewhere?”  

“Nah.”  Laurens still sounded half-asleep.  “Heard about it, of course.  I can’t help thinking about doing things to you.”

Hamilton closed his eyes again, grinning and tracing a little pleased pattern on his shoulder.  “Damn, John.  You’re dirtier than I thought.  All right.  Just wondering.  Go back to sleep.”

 

“Do you have a list?”  Hamilton asked as Laurens took a shopping cart and they both followed Lafayette through the grocery store.

Oui.”  He took the folded piece of paper out of his shirt pocket.  “I need flour, eggs, milk, butter, buttermilk…  Yes, I think I have the rest.  Oh, and things to make them special.”

“Special?”  Laurens asked, trailing behind the other two.  “Syrup?  Whipped cream?”

“Is that traditional?”

“Sure,” Laurens shrugged, “but I don’t know that I would call it special.”

Lafayette looked at Hamilton who put his hands up.  “Don’t ask me.  You want to swing through the baking aisle first and see if they have chocolate chips or something?”

“All right.”  

They headed that way and Laurens watched as Hamilton, jacket zipped up against the cool night outside and the air conditioning inside, walked with his hands in his pockets and shoulders back.

“You could get berries too, right?  That’s a thing, isn’t it?”  Hamilton looked back at Laurens who had been leaning on the handle of the cart and straightened up a little, pretending that he hadn’t been staring. 

“Yeah.  Fresh is better, but if they don’t have what you want we can try the frozen aisle.  Are you trying to make the same thing as Adrienne?”

“No,” Lafayette sighed, “I don’t have the proper equipment here to make crêpes and I don’t want to force her to switch recipes.”  He paused to pick up the flour and then continued to the racks of chocolate and other additions.  “Semi-sweet?”

“No idea.  I don’t bake.”

Lafayette looked over at Laurens next, who just shrugged again.  “That sounds good to me.”

Lafayette added a couple of bags to the cart and then, after some consideration, a bag of milk chocolate as well.  “There.  That should make for some special pancakes, don’t you think?”

Hamilton was looking between the ingredients in the cart and at Lafayette with a frown.  Something was just off but he couldn’t remember some crucial detail that would bring it all together.

“You said that this isn’t a thing you’re doing with Adrienne.”

“No.  The first time it was, and that was such a hit I decided to take people up on their suggestion to do it again, but properly this time.”

“Properly… With special pancakes.”

“Yes.”

Hamilton started to snicker.  “Well, shit, John, we’re at the wrong sort of store for that.”

Lafayette had begun walking again and he stopped and looked back, confused.  “What do you mean?”

“As tempting as it is to drag it out, that would just be cruel.  It’s not your fault this one went over your head.”  Hamilton laughed harder.  “It was a little too high.”

Lafayette looked at Laurens who was studiously reading the back of one of the bags of chocolate.

“Alexander…”

“Sorry, sorry.  They wanted you to put pot in them.  Marijuana,” he clarified.  “You were distributing baked,” he bit his lip to keep from cracking up again, “goods at like two in the freakin’ morning, Lafayette, what did you expect?”

Lafayette’s eyes widened as he realized his mistake.  “Oh.  Ohhh.”

“You’ll have to ask your new friends to supply their own stash,” Hamilton continued.  “You’re not going to find that in the produce section and I don’t have a guy for you.”

Lafayette frowned.  “Then should I put this back?”

“Nah, I’m sure they’ll appreciate.  Actually, I do have a guy-guy, so if you want to go through another party…”

“He already almost got kicked out of the country once,” Laurens pointed out.

“Right.  Scratch that.  You’ll have to refrain from distributing any illicit substances.”

Lafayette was thinking, hand to his mouth.  “You said that berries would be good?  Maybe strawberries and blueberries would be nice.  Stay here.  I’m going to check.  Can you look at the rest of this and decide if anything else would work?”

“You want coconut for the stars in that American pancake you are obviously making?”

“Please.”

Lafayette left them and Hamilton crouched down, checking what was available.  “Did you get any last time?  I think he should have saved us some.”

Laurens knelt next to him, one knee raised with his hand on it.  “Alex.”

“Yeah?”

Laurens kissed him and Hamilton was too surprised to close his eyes but just felt his mouth—soft, his lips slightly parted—against his own.

Laurens stood up.  Hamilton’s heart was racing.

“What was…?”

“It’s all up here.  You missed it.”

“Huh?  Oh.”  Hamilton stood and picked a bag off the shelf, glancing back at Laurens who was leaning one arm on the cart, giving no indication of what he had just done.  Hamilton dropped the bag into the cart as Lafayette came back with the fruit.  “Did you find it all?”

“Yes.”  He put it in and stepped back.  “Let’s get the milk and eggs.  Are you two going to help me make them this time or are you going back to your apartment?”

Hamilton glanced at Laurens, who just looked as though he were politely waiting for him to make up his mind.

“Uh.  Sure.  We can help.” 

 

Chapter Text

“You’re not being liberal enough with the flour, John.”

“Lafayette, I’m just following the recipe.  Stop correcting me.”

“There is no recipe,” Hamilton pointed out.  “I mean, there was, at one point, but then he added a bunch of shit to it.”

Laurens paused, holding a bowl of flour and a measuring cup.  “If there’s no recipe then what are we doing?”

“Cooking,” Lafayette said, tipping his hand with the cup to pour out a little more flour.

“Wasting food,” Laurens retorted.  “This is your second time making this—actually, your first, if you’re changing it that much.  Don’t—stop that—”  He pulled his hand away, irritated.  “—Don’t just waste all of this.”

“I’m not wasting it,” Lafayette explained patiently.  “I know what I’m doing and we will need more flour.  It will be too wet.”

“You guys should have a bake-off.”

“We’re not having a bake-off.”

“There’s not enough room and it would not be a fair contest.”

Laurens rolled his eyes but let Lafayette take the measuring cup from him and add flour to the bowl.

Hamilton leaned against the counter, watching the other two.  “You guys are cute.  Very domestic.  Kind of like a college version of the Odd Couple.  I’m getting you aprons for Christmas.”

“Great, now we’re both dating Lafayette?”

“Yeah, it’s some weird incestuous love triangle thing.  Real Thursday Night Line-Up.  You’re relatable and normal, Lafayette’s the quirky and weird but strangely charming one.  Spoiler alert, you meet me on the season finale exotic vacation episode and I steal your man.  Classic fade to black in the bedroom, that’s where it cuts.  Big ratings boost for next year.”

Lafayette and Laurens were both staring at him, then looked at each other.

“…Well, you do have the hair for it,” Laurens finally said.

“Next season: a deadly secret surfaces and a lost heirloom is the key to uncovering someone’s past!  ¡Ahora son tres pero manaña—solamente dos!”  He paused, holding up two fingers.  Lafayette and Laurens were staring at him again.  “…I got kind of caught up in novelas the other day.”

“Alexander, why don’t you cut the strawberries,” Lafayette suggested.

“Right.”

“John,” Lafayette continued, as Hamilton got to work, “does it help if I tell you that I have made plenty of things like this before?  I’ve baked at home as well as with Adrienne.  I have some sense of what I’m doing.”  He brushed flour off his hands over the sink and took out his phone, scrolling far back into its history until he could show Laurens pictures of assorted baked goods.  

“Are those macaroons?”

“Macarons,” Lafayette corrected.  “And if I can make those then I can certainly make a pancake.”

Laurens still looked a little skeptical.  “How much of the work did you actually do?”

Lafayette locked the screen and put his phone away.  “Did you know that a ‘cup’ varies even among countries that use it?  This size is shared between the United States and Liberia.  Pass me the eggs.”

Laurens was sufficiently distracted and he handed over the carton.  “No, I didn’t know that.  That makes sense, though.”

Lafayette took out four eggs and cracked them into the bowl.  “There.”  The carton back on the counter, he picked up a fork to beat them with.  “Now you have eight more for your hot chocolate.”

“Don’t remind me.”

“Now that I bet would taste better high.”  Hamilton suddenly cut back into the conversation, seizing the opportunity to tease Laurens a little.  “To you, that is, I thought it was fine, but I’m not as particular as you are.”

Laurens paused, surprised.  “Probably,” he admitted, holding the bowl as Lafayette mixed in milk and butter.  

“That mean I should tell Mulligan to find someone before the next time we crash at G-Wash’s?”

“Please don’t smoke at the Washingtons’.”

“I’d just have you bake it into some brownies,” Hamilton assured Lafayette.  “Relax, I’m joking.  I tried it once and I didn’t like it.  Just made me anxious.”  Hamilton had been going for the low-key brag, assuming that any kind of illicit experimentation as a teenager would bump him up above the other two, but Lafayette only nodded with an understanding expression and Laurens glanced up at the ceiling.  

“Wait,” Hamilton said, putting the knife down.  “Really?  John, I thought you were all straight-laced and shit!  First it was the—”  He cut himself off, turning slightly red at what he almost said.  

Lafayette looked decidedly interested at that.  “First what—”

“I was popular in high school.”  Laurens quickly cut him off.  “Don’t act so surprised.  It’s not my thing, I prefer alcohol, but, yeah.”

“…Do you get all jittery too?  I thought that was just me.”

“Uh.”  Laurens shook his head.  “No.”

“Aw.”  Hamilton’s shoulders sagged, then he perked up as he turned to Lafayette.  “And you?  When you didn’t say anything in the grocery store I assumed you were in uncharted waters.”

“As John said,” Lafayette began, taking the bowl to stir with greater force.  “I was also very popular.”

“You’re both perpetuating damaging stereotypes, here.”

Mon ami, de Seguer, he threw many parties.  We liked to have a good time.”

“You can’t hold your liquor for shit.”

“That’s unfair, Alex.”  Laurens said.  “His tolerance is about the same as yours, you just—surprisingly—pace yourself better.”

“Bullshit.”

The corner of Laurens’ mouth edged up in a smile and he looked away.

“I don’t like cigarettes,” Lafayette continued.  “They’re so unhealthy.  But,” he shrugged, still stirring.  “This was fun.  I won’t try to brag unnecessarily, unlike you.  I haven’t done it very much.”

Hamilton leaned back against the counter.  “Why not?  If it actually worked I’d have been all over it.”

Lafayette looked a little embarrassed.  “Adrienne doesn’t approve.”

“Ha.  Did you go to see her stoned once and make an ass out of yourself?”  Lafayette made a noncommittal noise and Hamilton grinned.  “I bet you get so obnoxious, a real pothead philosopher expounding on the rights of man.  ‘Adrienne, Adrienne… Do you realize, we’re just aliens to other aliens.’”

“Hey!”  Lafayette protested while Laurens laughed in spite of himself.

“It’s fine, you’re French, you’re supposed to philosophize.  I’m just sad you didn’t take us to one of your salons while we were in the country.”

“De Segeur was busy.  Perhaps next time.”

“You say that like it’s not a—”

“Are you giving these out again?”

Hamilton looked over at the doorway to the communal kitchen.  “Gouverneur?”

The student in the door raised his hand in greeting.  “Alexander.  Did he take my suggestion for how to improve the recipe?”

Hamilton laughed.  “Shit, that was you?  Not surprised.”  He turned to the other two to explain.  “This is Gouverneur Morris, we’re on the student council together.  Lafayette, you met him already.”

“Ah, right,” Lafayette said as Gouverneur shook hands with him and Laurens.  “I didn’t realize the two of you knew one another.  We’re not ready yet, but if you come back in about ten minutes…”

“You know what, I’ve got an errand to run and I feel bad that you’re going through all this trouble twice.  Why don't I come by your room in a couple of hours?  Save me a few and I’ll compensate you.”

“Sounds good,” Hamilton answered for them.  “See you then.”

Gouverneur left and Hamilton turned to Lafayette.  “What do you know, I do have a guy for that.  Maybe you should consider calling Adrienne early because he’s gonna hook you up.”

 

“Clarendon, gingham, moon, lark, reyes…” 

Lafayette and Gouverneur were sitting on the floor alongside Lafayette’s bed, bent over his phone and scrolling through filters on his Instagram.

“…Juno, slumber, crema…”

“Did they take a selfie?”

Hamilton, sitting next to them, looked up at Laurens at his desk and shook his head.  “Picture of toast.”

“Ah.”

Lafayette started laughing as Gouverneur turned crema on and off, the picture alternating between unfiltered and with a gray-purple tint.

“You’re changing the flavor of the jam!”

“How high are you?”  Gouverneur asked, laughing as well.

“Look—grape, strawberry, grape, strawberry, grape—”  Lafayette said in time with the filter changing.

“Go back to moon,” Hamilton suggested, drawing his legs up and leaning his chin on them, head cocked a little to the side as he watched. 

“That one’s boring.”

“It’s black and white, makes it more dramatic.”

Gouverneur considered that, then looked at Lafayette.  “Black and white is more artistic.”

Lafayette flipped the filter back.  “Alex, what do you think?”

I like it.  Real deep.  Emotional.  It speaks to me.”

“All right,” Lafayette agreed, clicking through.  “What should we caption it?  Hashtag toast, hashtag dinner—”

“Dessert,” Gouverneur pointed out.

“Hashtag dessert,” Lafayette agreed.  “Hashtag black and white, hashtag black and white photography…”

“Hashtag hash,” Gouverneur laughed.  Hamilton snickered.

“You know that Adrienne is going to see this,” Laurens pointed out.

Lafayette lowered his phone.  “But this isn’t bad.  There’s nothing wrong with it.”

“So long as he doesn’t actually tag it ‘hash’ she’ll probably just think he’s drunk,” Hamilton pointed out. 

“Add in ‘hash.’”  Gouverneur nudged Lafayette.  “It makes a statement.”

“Lafayette,” Laurens began, but dropped it when Hamilton caught his eye and shrugged.

“No, no, I can’t.  I don’t want to get in trouble.”

“Who’s gonna get you in trouble?  It’s just a joke picture.”

“John is right, Adrienne will know.  Alex,” Lafayette pushed the phone at Hamilton.  “You tag it.  I trust you; I love you.  You’re like a brother to me.”

“You don’t trust me?”

“Morris, he only just met you.”

“That’s not true,” Lafayette said.  “Of course I do.  What do we have without trust?  All people are equal, Alexander.  Men are born and remain free and equal in rights, social distinctions may be based only on common utility.  You and Gouverneur are the same and you both have the same rights to my account and to write what you would like, if I don’t hold to that belief, then we descend to the cruelest stratification and divisive bias.” 

Lafayette had switched into French towards the end of that and Gouverneur, although he didn’t quite follow along, got the gist.

“Right, give me the phone.”

“Hold on,” Hamilton said, not turning it over.  “If there’s a validity to making distinction based upon utility then I still get this because I’m of more sober mind.”

“Write drunk, edit sober.”

“Hemmingway’s an ass.”  Hamilton was typing.  “—And uploaded.  There you go, Lafayette, I love you too.”

“Get a room.”

“I have a room.”  Lafayette looked at Gouverneur, confused.  “You’re in it.”

Gouverneur cracked up.  “It’s a turn of phrase.”  He leaned forward to talk past Lafayette to Hamilton.  “You sure you don’t want any?  I’ve got half a brownie still.”

“Nah.”  Hamilton shook his head.  “Thanks anyway.  Someone has to play d.d.”

“You got, uh, shit,” Gouverneur laughed again, turning to Laurens.  “Sorry, man.  What was your name again?”

“John.”

“That’s John,” Lafayette said, a moment after Laurens spoke.

“He complains he always gets stuck on babysitting duty.  Isn’t that right?”

“I’m going to be babysitting anyway,” Laurens pointed out.  “I’m the one who lives here.”

“I’m fine, you don’t need to watch me.  I’m fine.”

“Just put on a movie,” Hamilton suggested.  “But maybe not Saving Private Ryan this time.”

Lafayette got up to dig through the bottom drawer of his desk.

“What’re you looking for?”

“I had chips in here…”  Lafayette sat back down between the other two with a bag of cheetos. 

“Nice,” Gouverneur said approvingly, taking a handful once he had the bag open.  “Puffed, even more appropriate.”

“Are we having a competition over who can fit in the most shitty pot jokes?”  Hamilton asked.  “Because I got at least two before you even showed up, Morris, so make sure you add those to my total.”

“Morris,” Lafayette began, “why does Alexander call you by your last name?  We should call you Governor.”

“Gouverneur,” Morris and Hamilton corrected him, their voices overlapping.

“Gouverneur,” Lafayette agreed.

“Either way is fine.  It doesn’t matter to me.”

“It matters to me,” Lafayette insisted.  “Names are important, Gouverneur.  Lafayette—that’s a title, not my name, and yet I go by it anyway.  Why?  It’s a nod to,” he waved his hand in the air as he spoke, “this defunct system of nobility.  A title by blood sets one apart by something other than utility.”

Laurens looked over from his desk.  “Jesus, Alex.  How high did you get him?”

Hamilton put his hands up to protest his innocence.  “I didn’t do anything!”

“I’m not saying this just now,” Lafayette argued, handing Gouverneur the bag so he could gesture better.  “It’s true, it’s always been true, I just don’t always hold to it.  This is all bullshit,” he continued, pointing to his phone.  “Why should I have anything more than anyone from the banlieue?  We breathe the same air, we bleed the same blood.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the game of noblesse oblige that I accept its justification as valid.  John, John, you agree with me, I know you do.  Why accept the position of inherited duty if it implies that someone else has inherited a debt?  I should delete this all, I came to America to find a genuinity—”

“That’s not a word,” Hamilton pointed out.

“—not to waste my time with social standing.  I’ve had enough of that back home, it drove me mad.  I can sink into it, Alexander,” Lafayette said, turning to Hamilton since he was the last one to speak, “and I can feel it corrupting my soul.  It destroys me.  It’s eaten away at all of my friends, even Adrienne plays into it at times when she thinks it will please me.”  He leaned heavily on Hamilton’s shoulder, burying his face in it.  “It’s all my fault,” he continued, his voice muffled.  “She’s so pure.”

Hamilton patted him on the back a little awkwardly.  “Morris, uh, Gouverneur, show him your leg.”

“Oh, right.  Hey, Lafayette,” sitting on Lafayette’s other side, he patted him as well and pulled up his left pants leg.  “Check this out.”

Lafayette turned around. Gouverneur, grinning, was baring several inches of a prosthetic limb.  “What happened?”

“Do you want the real story or the good story?”  Hamilton asked.

“They’re the same thing, don’t listen to him.”  Gouverneur leaned back against the bed, leaving his leg exposed.  “Had to get it amputated after a car accident a couple years ago.  I was hauling ass after my girlfriend’s husband walked in on us and made a bad turn.”

Lafayette’s eyes were wide.  “I’m sorry.”

“Why?  It’s not your fault.”  Gouverneur shrugged.  “Not like it’s slowed me down anyway.  Not like it was my dick—Thank you John Jay for pointing that out, really helped put it all in perspective.”

Lafayette wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic or not so he just nodded.

“Look.”  Gouverneur took out his own phone and scrolled through his Facebook feed, photo upon photo of him at parties surrounded by people and flirting with girls.  “I told you, I still do well,” he said as he checked his unread messages.

Lafayette slowly shook his head.  “I admire you.”

“I know.  I’m dashing.” Gouverneur put his phone away and tugged his pants leg back down before standing.  “This has been fun, but I’ve got another engagement this evening.”  

“At one in the morning?”  Hamilton nodded appreciatively.  “Nice.”

Gouverneur grinned.  “Keep it.”  He tossed the other half-brownie to Hamilton.  “I owe you and your boyfriend’s a charmer.”

Laurens glanced over as Gouverneur ruffled Lafayette’s hair.

“I’ll see you all around,” he said over his shoulder as he let himself out.

“What do you owe him for?”  Laurens asked as soon as the door had closed.

Hamilton had unwrapped the brownie and sniffed it curiously.  “We’re both in the student council.  I back his shit all the time.”  He took a bite.  “Two hours for this to kick in, right?  If I start texting you crap like the marquis here at three then we’ll know that this isn’t any better.”

Lafayette frowned and took it from him.  “Don’t try it just because we are.”

“I’m just curious.”

“You said it wasn’t good.”  Lafayette leaned with it out of reach.  “I’m confiscating this.”

“John,” Hamilton began.

Laurens shrugged.  “I’m with Lafayette.”

“John is smart,” Lafayette agreed, slinging his arm over Hamilton’s shoulders.  “You should listen to him more.”

“Yeah,” Laurens laughed, finishing the assignment he had been working on and putting his pencil down.  “You should listen to me more.”

“Hey, I listen to you plenty.  Like earlier today, when—”

Lafayette’s phone went off and he glanced down at it and then yelped and dropped it to the ground.  “It’s Adrienne!”  He looked at Hamilton in panic.  “She’ll know!  I forgot to call her earlier and tell her I was going out, but now I have to pick up or she’ll worry and if I talk to her then she’ll know something is going on and she’ll be mad with me!”

“Calm down,” Hamilton said, sliding the phone across the floor to Laurens.  “John will talk to her.  Won’t you, John?”

“Do I have a choice?”  He bent down and picked it up, answering on audio only.  “Hello, Adrienne?”

Lafayette and Hamilton watched him.

“Yes, this is John.  I’m sorry, he’s with Alexander.”

“That’s true,” Hamilton said in a loud whisper to Lafayette who nodded vigorously.

“Did you have a message for him?  I’ll pass it on to him.  Mmhmm.  Oh, how are they coming along?”

Lafayette sat up straight, looking between Hamilton and Laurens, obviously torn between wanting to ask for the phone and wanting Adrienne to hang up.

Laurens motioned for him to sit back without looking over at him.  “Great.  You’re really putting in a lot of work.  How many hours have you spent on this?”

Hamilton reached for the brownie and Lafayette moved it out of range.

“I feel bad,” Laurens laughed a little.  “You deserve some kind of compensation for that.  No, I know, but still.”

“They’re bonding,” Lafayette whispered to Hamilton.  “She already sends him pictures of the animals.  He’ll be her second favorite soon.”

Laurens put his hand over the speaker and turned to them.  “Please, I already am her favorite.”

Lafayette and Hamilton glanced at one another.  

“Second favorite,” Lafayette attempted to clarify, but Laurens was talking to Adrienne again and didn’t respond.  Lafayette took a bite of the brownie.

“Don’t worry,” Hamilton reassured him.  “I’m sure you’re the favorite.”

“That’s not what he said.”

“He’s messing with you.”

Lafayette whined.

“Shh!”

Laurens had meanwhile switched into French to practice and was telling her about his class.

“He’s replacing me,” Lafayette said in hurried hushed tones to Hamilton as they heard Adrienne laugh on the other end of the line and Laurens apologize and quickly try to fix his grammar.  “See?  Listen, she’s all over him!”

“Lafayette, she’s laughing because he messed up the past continuous.  Nous étudiions, John,” he said to Laurens.  “Double ‘i.’”

Lafayette didn’t seem to have heard Hamilton.  “He’s so beautiful,” he said, a little desperately.  “He even won over you, of course he’s bound to defeat me.”

“John Laurens is not after your girl,” Hamilton said, a little irritated.  “He’s as gay as the fucking jour est longue.

“Excuse me, Adrienne.”  Laurens put his hand over the phone again.  “You know, if you want me to cover for you then you’re going to have to keep it down.  I’m not hitting on your girlfriend.  And thank you, Alexander, for making that the basis of your argument.”

“Right, sorry.  Lafayette, John Laurens is not after your girl because he is in a monogamous relationship and has high moral fibre.”

“Thank you.”

Lafayette just looked guilty instead of anxious, eating more as he thought.

“No, no, I’m not sure when he’ll be free.  Yes, I’ll tell him right now to give you a call when he can.  Don’t worry about it.  Take care, Adrienne.” 

Hamilton stood once Laurens hung up.  “I should go, too.  I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”  

“Hey.”

“Hm?”

Laurens caught his wrist and pulled him down into a slow kiss.  Lafayette watched as Hamilton stayed like that, one hand on the desk, for several seconds before straightening up. 

“Nice.  Right, I need to head out.  See you both later.  Here, I’ll toss that.”  Hamilton took the empty wrapper from Lafayette.  “Shit, you ate a lot of that.  You know it’s stronger when it’s baked, don’t you?  Whatever, John, lock the door, I’m leaving you in charge.”

 

“I love her.”

The lights were off and Lafayette was lying on his back in his bed, staring up at the ceiling as it seemed to sway in the darkness.

Laurens sighed and rolled over to face him from his own bed.  “I know you do.”

“No,” Lafayette insisted.  “I really love her.”

“I know,” Laurens repeated, then reached over his head to take his phone off the desk.  “Lafayette, it’s almost three in the morning.”

“I can’t stand how far away she is.”

Laurens sighed again and dropped the phone onto the mattress

“I wish I could go back and forth between here and there more quickly.  Weeks at sea is too long.”

“Lafayette,” Laurens began for a third time, groaning and running his hand over his face, “you fly on a plane.”

Lafayette didn’t seem to be paying attention.  “It’s such a hardship.  I can’t ask her to put herself through that for me.  I can’t live there, John, not until I figure things out.  But how can I stay here?  It tears me up.”  He raised one hand to reach for the ceiling.  “I wish she was here.  I’m a better man with her around.”

“For what it’s worth, I’m glad you came here.”

“You’re just like Alex, both of you think too highly of me.”

“That’s not true, if anything we’re both like you.  You think too highly of everyone.  You’re even friends with Jefferson and I bet you’ll be on good terms with half of campus by the time you graduate.”

“People deserve as much,” Lafayette insisted.  “I’m here to learn, not to teach, and there’s something to learn from everyone.”

“See?”  Laurens rolled onto his back again.  “That’s exactly what I mean.  You’re a good person, Lafayette.  It’s not your fault if people see that.”

There was a long pause.

“If I were to write my autobiography,” Lafayette finally said, just when Laurens was hoping he had dropped off, “I would write the parts in France in the first person and the parts in America in the third.”

“Because your heart is in France?”

“Oh!  I like that.”

“What was your reasoning?”

“‘He talked to his roommate, John Laurens, in New York one night.  It was autumn, the same year the hurricane had struck the city, and before Laurens won the championships in spite of great physical difficulty.’”

“Don’t jinx it, Lafayette.”

“‘He had been enjoying the company of his friends that evening and it was there in the dark that he voiced aloud for the first time in a manner that could not be taken as a joke what he had known to be a serious matter for years: that he was going to ask Adrienne to marry him.’”

“What?”

Lafayette was silent again, but not for as long this time.  “‘Perhaps it was because he was less than sober at the time, but he realized that it was not just that he was not afraid to be bound to her in holy matrimony, but that he was fearful of what might happen were he not.’”  He waited a beat.  “‘Emphasis in original.’”

“Jesus.”  Laurens exhaled slowly in the darkness.

“Adrienne doesn’t like it when I take the lord’s name in vain.”

“Adrienne isn’t here, you dumbass, or you would have just proposed to her without a ring.”

“John.”

“Yes?”

“I need a ring.”

“You need to sleep it off.”

“John,” Lafayette insisted, starting to sit up and then slowly lying back down.  “I need a ring.”

Laurens meant to complain about how ridiculous he was being but he just laughed, not meanly.  “You’re irrepressible.  No wonder you’re so popular.”

“Adrienne is like me.  She can make friends with anyone.  What if she finds someone better than me?”

“Don’t be stupid.  She won’t find anyone better than you.”

“You’re right.  But what if she finds someone almost as good as me?”

“You’ll just have to remind her what she would be giving up.”

“Then I should call her.”

“Call her in the morning.  Isn’t she in class right now?”

“John, where did you put my phone?”

“I told you, I’ll give it back to you tomorrow.”

“It’s after midnight.”

“Technically I hid it after midnight as well, so if you want to go by that logic…”

Lafayette sighed.  “I miss Andre.”

“Excuse me?”

“Andre would give me back my phone.  He understands me.”

“Andre’s a romantic sap, just like you,” Laurens agreed.

“I miss Andre.”

“You said that.”

“I miss Andre.  Do you miss Alex?”

“I miss sleep, Lafayette.  I have to get up in a couple of hours.”

“Sleep later.  Stay up and talk to me.  I’m lonely, John.”

Laurens groaned and sat up, giving up for the time being at least on sleep.  “You better fucking stay with Adrienne, Lafayette, because most people aren’t patient enough to put up with this crap.”

“You’re not Adrienne.”  Lafayette paused.  “I wish you were Adrienne.  She’s much prettier than you.”

“Thank you,” Laurens said dryly.  His phone lit up and he picked it up with a yawn.

 

> A. Hamilton: hey

> A. Hamilton: are you still up?

> A. Hamilton: I bet lancelot is tripping off the walls

> A. Hamilton: shit i hope this is on silent or something 

> A. Hamilton: yo ucan ignore this if you’re asleep

> A. Hamilton: i mean, obviously you WILL ignore it nt that you will be intending to ignore it.  Just that you will be asleep.

> A. Hamilton: Are you asleep?

 

Laurens responded.

 

> J. Laurens: Yeah, I’m up.  Lafayette is very chatty.  What’s up?

 

“Who is that?”

“No one,” Laurens lied.

Lafayette put his hand back up like he was trying to grab hold of the ceiling.  “John.”

“Yes?”

“John, you should get your hair cut.”

“I should do what?”  Laurens asked as Hamilton started texting him again.

 

> A. Hamilton: Great!  I’m up too, obviously.  I cant sleep, but I can’t concentrate for shit probably because guess what it’s three in the fucking morning 

> A. Hamilton: do you think he's going to drop off soon?

> J. Laurens: I don’t think so.

 

“You should get your hair cut,” Lafayette repeated.  “It looks so… It’s not good.  You look like you should get your hair cut.”

Laurens ran a hand through his hair, frowning.  “It’s been a while, yeah.  It slipped my mind.”

“Probably because Alex likes it so much,” Lafayette said as if he was agreeing with him somehow.  “He wants it longer so that he can run his hands through it.  He likes to play with it.  He tells me things.”

“I know he does.”  Laurens was still frowning slightly.  “I’m trying to make my peace with it.”

“Don’t be upset!”  Lafayette struggled to sit up again and almost fell off the mattress.  “I’m on your side, John.  I help you all the time.”

“Yeah, I—Hold on.”

 

> A. Hamilton: aw

> A. Hamilton: [image loading]

 

Laurens opened the image and was promptly too distracted to listen to Lafayette as he kept talking in spite of being told to wait.

 

> A. Hamilton: you want to come over?

> A. Hamilton: I bet if you tell him he;s locked in then he won’t leave

 

Laurens mentally whined.  Of course he wanted to go over, but… He looked across the darkened room where Lafayette was in the middle of explaining something to him about the different cats at Adrienne’s house and why they wouldn’t be able to stay with the Washingtons.

 

> J. Laurens: Alex, I can’t, I’m sorry.  Trust me, I’d love to.

> A. Hamilton: yeah, I know

> A. Hamilton: shouldn't have asked, don’t apologize 

> A. Hamilton: 

 

Laurens watched as the screen said that Hamilton was typing for longer than usual.  

“I’m cutting both of you off next time,” he informed Lafayette.  “You get about half of what you had tonight and he doesn’t get any.”

“Oh,” Lafayette looked over.  “Is Alexander on the phone?  May I call Adrienne?”

“No,” Laurens snapped.  “Go to sleep.”

Lafayette lay back down.  “Do you know that cats sleep eighteen hours a day, John?  Cats sleep more than they live.”

Laurens groaned and dropped his head into his hands.  “Why couldn’t you two do this over the weekend? Why start at eleven PM on a Tuesday?  Why couldn’t Alexander be your roommate instead of me?”

“You will come with me tomorrow.  Yes?”

“Where am I going?”  Laurens asked wearily as Hamilton still didn’t send him whatever he had been typing.

 

> J. Laurens: You okay?

 

“To the salon.”  Lafayette yawned and draped his arm over his face, suddenly sounding tired instead of just out of it.  “I need to touch up my roots.  They like me.  They’ll let you in.”

“You really think I should get it cut?  I can’t believe I’m asking your advice right now,” he added as an aside to himself.

“It looks sloppy.”

“I’ll get it trimmed.”

“No.  No, you should come with me.  I think you should celebrate with something different.”

“Celebrate what?”  Laurens asked as a video file from Hamilton showed up in the chat.

 

> A. Hamilton: Watch it with the sound off.

 

Laurens felt his pulse quicken.

 

> A. Hamilton: Night, J.

 

“I saw how you were looking at him all evening.”  Lafayette yawned again.  “I’m very perceptive.”

“You’re brilliant,” Laurens agreed without paying the slightest attention and pressing play, the volume on mute.  The video opened with Hamilton, the lights on in his apartment and sitting on his heels, taking his cock out of his pants and stroking it, quickly working it hard and rocking his hips slightly into his hand.

Laurens stared, completely enraptured and fully hard by the time he realized Lafayette was trying to get his attention.

“John.  John.”

“Shh.”  

“John,” Lafayette whispered.

“Go to bed,” Laurens said, his hand over his boxers.

“John, I’m going to schedule you into your schedule to come with me Friday.  It’s in the afternoon.  They’ll fix you.”

“Right,” Laurens said irritably.  “Fine.”

“John.”

What.”

“John, I need my phone to schedule you in.”

Laurens ignored him.

On the screen Hamilton was moving his hand faster.

Lafayette rolled away from him.

Laurens didn’t even notice, too distracted by the silenced video and he realized suddenly that by telling him to mute it, Hamilton was actually saying that there was something worth listening to.  He lay down, facing the wall and still touching himself, torn between trying to sleep now that the room was finally quiet and getting himself off.  He wanted so badly to jerk off and he felt himself hard under the fabric.  If he went to sleep now he could get a little over two hours…

Hamilton came onto the floor between his legs and there was a pause before he reached over and turned the recording off.  Laurens forced himself to take his hand away and lock the screen, but not before downloading the video for later.

Chapter Text

Laurens sat heavily down on the bench in the locker room after practice, rubbing his eyes with the base of his hand.

“You okay?”

He looked up at Andre.  “Tired as fuck.  I had about two hours last night.”

Andre nodded sympathetically.  “So I guess this is a bad time to tell you that I checked and we can get in free to the modern art gallery near campus if we go before noon.”

Laurens yawned, covering his mouth a little belatedly.  “Nah, it’s fine, Al—”  He caught himself.  “—all I have to do today is show up for class in the afternoon.  I did the work already.”  He stood up abruptly.  “I’m hitting the shower.”  He kept talking as he stripped down and grabbed his towel, using the activity as an excuse to not look at Andre.  “Did you want to head over after this?”

“Sure.”  Andre was digging in his own locker.  “I’m pretty sure they have coffee there.”

“Great.”

As soon as they had showered and changed they headed over, Andre guiding them to a small gallery tucked into the basement level of a building only about a twenty minute walk from the gym.  It was too small to really classify as a proper gallery, but Andre, after walking around the single large room, decided it was good enough for the purposes of his assignment, and Laurens was glad to see that they offered free, if poor quality, coffee.

“I won’t say that we could do better,” Laurens said as he came to stand next to Andre with his styrofoam cup of coffee, “but I’m pretty sure we could arrange this better.  I can’t follow the signs at all.”

“I don’t think they’re out of order…  But it’s not clear what they correspond to.”

“I spent five minutes reading one before I realized I couldn't make sense of it because the charcoal drawing was not, in fact, pottery.”

“Yeah, but you also said you’d take that coffee like a shot if it wasn’t so hot.  Why didn’t you get any sleep last night?  Too much partying?”

“Yes, but not by me.  Lafayette kept me up until after three.  I was this close to knocking him out myself.”

“You’re a good roommate.”

“Give me a medal.”

“I’ll make you one if it’s a slow day at work.”

Laurens yawned behind his hand.  “At least I’m done at three.  I usually get lunch then but maybe I’ll just pass out instead.”

“Hey,” Andre said.  “I’m going to have some of the guys over this weekend.  Are you free?”

Laurens hesitated, not sure how he wanted to divide his time.  “I have to go to that trustee dinner…”

“Right, you said.  We’ll still be up by the time that dies down.  Hey, bring Lafayette and Alexander,” Andre said, turning slowly to take in the room and then to face Laurens once more.  “Peggy will be there with a few friends, too, so it’s not like it will be just the team.”

“All right,” Laurens finally conceded.  “I’ll invite them.  Lafayette—it might not be a good hour for him.  I don’t know if he said—”

“Right, the time difference.  Bring Alexander, then.  You’ll be doing me a favor.”

“I guess I’ll be with him anyway,” Laurens said.  Was that appropriately casual and nonchalant?

Andre nodded.  “Great, I’ll be expecting the two of you.”

 

As soon as Laurens got back from class that afternoon he called Hamilton.  The line rang once and then went to voice mail and a moment later he received a text.

 

> A. Hamilton: at work

> J. Laurens: I want to see you.

> A. Hamilton: I’m at work

> A. Hamilton: seriously j i am literally taking minutes in a conference right now i’ll ttyl

 

Laurens, alone in his room, dropped in frustration onto his bed.  He paused, leaned over to make sure the door was locked, then grabbed the tissue box and his headphones off his desk and lay down, undoing his fly and opening the saved video.  This time he raised the volume until he could clearly hear Hamilton’s voice.

“Did you save this for later or are you just using headphones?  I don’t know which is dirtier, but I like it.”

Laurens smiled, amused that Hamilton had known to call him out on it, even if he hadn’t guessed that the correct answer was—

“Actually, I hope it’s both.  I like the idea of just whispering in your ear, and it’s so hot to know that you liked this enough to download it.”

Laurens shook his head slightly, still smiling, but his attention was quickly being drawn elsewhere as Hamilton began to stroke his exposed cock.

“I’ll have to do this again since you liked it that much.  Maybe I’ll just send you this before your games, if you won’t let me actually touch you.  Make you think about it the whole time instead, what you have to look forward to.”

Laurens moved his hand in time with Hamilton’s, pretending that he was there with him, that it was his hand on his cock and that he really was, like he said, whispering in his ear.  He was quickly getting hard, urged on by the fantasy, and he could almost feel Hamilton’s breath against him.

Laurens listened as Hamilton kept talking, somehow managing to hold a better conversation than he normally did when Laurens tried to get him to speak.

“I hope you’re thinking about my touching you, John.  If you had said you could come over I would have waited for you, but since you’re busy I see no need.  It’s not as good as if you were here, of course, if I could push you down against my bed and grab your cock, work it until you were hot and wet and moaning for me. I always have a hard time choosing what to do to you, but I’d just tease you, keep you needy and hard until you were rubbing up against me—a little taste of your own medicine, J.  Deny you, maybe force to you grind against my leg for once instead of the other way around.”

The fact that the footage was so clearly intended for him and him only made him even more excited by it and soon he was feeling his orgasm build within him, brought nearer with every word Hamilton spoke, by the way he could see his shaft getting slick, by that sudden sharp gasp in his ear—

“—Ah…  Mn, even just thinking about you I get so turned on.  Thinking about your hard body up against mine, of the smell of you, J.  It’s almost as hot as afterwards, when I’ve got the taste of your cum in my mouth and everything just smells like sweat and sex.  Shit…”

Laurens’ heart was beating quickly and his face was flushed.  He knew exactly what Hamilton meant and his words seemed to bring it to life around him, flooding his senses as he moved his hand more quickly, unable to keep the slower pace that Hamilton was setting and Hamilton’s words starting to blur into one another as he focused instead on the sound of his voice, the confidence almost like a physical touch, overwhelming him…  Laurens caught himself in a tissue, lifting his head and shoulders off the mattress and then falling back, lying there as the video continued to play and Hamilton’s voice continued low over the headphones.

“Goddamnit, J., I can’t wait until I can see you again.”

Once the video had finished, Laurens began typing.

 

> J. Laurens: I miss you.  When will you be done?

> A. Hamilton: jfc john i told you I can’t talk now

> A. Hamilton: it’s been six—oh

> A. Hamilton: lmao nice

> A. Hamilton: don’t worry, I’ll see you after this is done

 

Lafayette was waiting in Washington's office, trying not to be too impatient as the meeting that both he and Hamilton were trapped in stretched on past the hour.  He walked around the room, able to see Hamilton’s hand at work in the way everything had been reorganized, labeled, made more efficient.

“You would never guess his apartment is a disaster,” Lafayette commented to himself as he crouched down and ran his hand over a row of binders, labeled by date and arranged by topic.  He pulled one off the shelf.  A neatly typed index page behind a plastic sheet protector explained what could be found where, Hamilton taking credit with his name in the bottom right corner.  Lafayette put the binder back and stood as he heard the outer door open and close and then Washington’s voice.

“Son?”

“I’m here.”  Lafayette came out into the main room, locking the door behind him.

“I’m sorry I made you wait.  Do you still have time for dinner?  I told Martha and the kids that I’d be late, but if you don’t mind eating out we can grab a bite nearby.”

“That sounds great,” Lafayette enthused, still thrilled to be included in Washington’s personal life.  “Did I tell you about the costumes Adrienne is making?”  He asked as he followed Washington back into the hall.

Washington laughed fondly.  “Yes.”

“They’re wonderful, aren’t they?  She’s so talented.  She sent me some more pictures today, would you like to see?”  Lafayette was already opening them on the screen and he handed his phone over.  “I think they’re coming along so well, don’t you?”

“They really are,” Washington agreed, handing the phone back after looking through them.  “I imagine that when she delivers them to you I won’t see hide nor hair of you until her return to France,” he teased.

“I wish she was hand delivering them.  She’ll mail them.”  Lafayette didn’t quite get that it had been a joke, too enthusiastic to be talking to his idol.

“That’s too bad.  You should tell her that she’d be welcome to stay with us if she were to visit.”

“Really?”  Lafayette’s eyes widened.  “Thank you, of course, I will make sure that she knows!”

“She sounds like a lovely girl,” Washington continued.  “You make it very hard not to love her.”

“Oh, that’s not me,” Lafayette gushed, “I cannot do her justice!  She is so much kinder and more intelligent than I’ve let on!  It’s so easy to talk about her physical charms that I forget to elaborate on the rest of it sometimes.  But my Adrienne is an avid reader as well, and I’m sure she would be fascinated by your library and gardens.”

“Well, then she must visit,” Washington said.  “And I shall talk to her about them until she is sick of me and wishes to return to France.”

“That won’t happen,” Lafayette protested, not sure why Washington sounded so amused by the prospect.  “She would be delighted and honored to learn about them.”

“I’m sure she would,” Washington said kindly.  “Let her know that when she does come to America, my house is open to her.”

 

“You’re kidding,” Hamilton said, running his hand through Laurens’ hair as he undid his shirt.  “I thought you were finally growing it out.”

Laurens shrugged his shirt off his shoulders and then shrugged again, properly.  “Lafayette said it’s getting messy.  I want to look nice for this weekend.”

“Well, shit, John.  I don’t think you can just show up naked.”

“Tell me you didn’t eat the rest of that brownie.”

“Pretty sure Lafayette got to it all before I even left last night.  But I’m serious.”  He raked his eyes with intentional blatantness over his bare chest.  “I like what I’m seeing.  You’d just have a little extra je ne sais quoi if you grew it out.  And then I could—”

“Any kind of riding or reins joke won’t really help your point.”

“—We’d match,” Hamilton said, switching tactics.  “Come on, you matched our fucking shirts that one day, just let it grow out a few more inches.  The weird awkward part in the middle doesn’t last that long and you’re hot enough that you’ll probably be able to work it anyway.”

“Still not helping your point.”

Hamilton sighed and reached up to run his hand through it again.  “I’ll miss you.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m not talking to you.”

Laurens backed him up against the door.  “I’m talking to you, though.”

“Mm.”  Hamilton grinned, that damn self-satisfied grin that made Laurens’ chest tighten now.  “Yeah, you are.  All right, tiger, what did you want?”

“‘Tiger?’  Are you sure you didn’t steal any?”

“Come on,” Hamilton said, drawing the words out and slipping his hands into Laurens’ back pockets.  “You get that look in your eye.  Like you want to fuck me into the ground.  Or start a bar fight,” he added after a moment’s reflection.  “Either one, really.”

“Ha.”

“Did you never see yourself like that?  It’s a fucking panty-drop, John.”

“Don’t phrase it like that.”

“Right, right.  Is this better?  You get me so hard.”  Hamilton pushed his hips against Laurens’ rotating them in a tight circle, his head tipped back to watch as his eyes darkened with desire.  “What did you think about that video, J.?  I think I’ve got a career in cinematography.  I’ll give you the live show if you’d like.  Or if you’d rather do something else…”

Laurens could feel his voice catching in his throat and he just shook his head and kissed him.

Hamilton was smiling into the kiss and he lightly bit Laurens’ lower lip.  “You gotta tell me, J.  Or I’m going to take matters into my own hands.”  He cupped him over his pants. 

“I want to hear your voice.”  Laurens’ own voice was trembling a little.  “This afternoon—shit, Alex—”

Hamilton’s grin broadened a little.  “Sit on the bed.”

Laurens sat at the edge of his bed and Hamilton grabbed the lube and looked around.  “Hold on a moment.”  He opened his closet and started sorting through his drawers.

Laurens watched him, confused as he held up a plain red tie.

“This isn’t worth an obscene amount of money, is it?”

Laurens shook his head.  “No.”

“Excellent.”  Hamilton came back over to the bed and leaned down, his hands on his shoulders and kissing him hard.

“Alexander…”

“Hold that thought.”  Hamilton knelt on the mattress behind him and quickly blindfolded him, tying it tight.

Laurens took a sharp breath, then arched back as he suddenly felt Hamilton’s arms slide around him and his hands undo his pants.

“You don’t mind, do you?”

Hamilton’s voice was in his ear and he stiffened, reaching back with one hand to grab his thigh.  His heart was already racing and he started to blush, a little embarrassed by his reaction, when Hamilton laughed softly.

“All right, I guess not.”  Hamilton kissed his cheek lightly.  “You said you wanted to hear me.  I thought this might help you concentrate.”

Laurens swallowed hard.  “Yeah.”

“Yeah?”  Hamilton slid his hand into his pants and Laurens leaned his hips towards him.

“Yes.”

“I wasn't correcting your grammar, John.”

Laurens bit back the urge to apologize.

Hamilton was quiet for a moment as if he was thinking, and he rubbed Laurens over his briefs.

“You like hearing me talk.”

“Yes.”

“Good,” Hamilton said, his voice low and the side of his face alongside Laurens’.  “I like touching you when you’re this turned on.  You’re so receptive, John,” he continued, moving his fingers over just his head.  Laurens whimpered slightly and involuntarily and Hamilton kept teasing him.  “I thought you might not like being blindfolded because then you wouldn’t be able to see me as well.  I know that for me, I love looking at you.  Damn, it gets me so hot.  You’re like a walking pinup except better because I can do shit like this to you.”  He ran his tongue up along his neck and Laurens jerked his head to the side to give him better access.  “Do you want to be tied up, too?”  Hamilton asked, moving his hand with him as Laurens tried to press his hips forward and denying him more contact.  Laurens faltered for a moment at that, not sure how to answer and his breath catching.

“John?”

“Ah…”

“Maybe that’s too much,” Hamilton agreed, still teasing his head.  “I’m definitely not thinking about gagging you, at least.  It’s not fair if I have to talk and I can’t get you to respond to me sometimes.”

Laurens moaned softly.  Hamilton kissed the side of his face again.

“Move your pants down more for me.”

Laurens lifted himself off the mattress a little and pulled his pants down to his knees.  “These too?”  He had his thumbs hooked into the elastic of his briefs.

“Leave them.”  Hamilton was grinning again, Laurens could hear it in his voice.

 Hamilton lightly traced his other hand up Laurens’ bare chest, making him arch into the touch, and ran his thumb over his nipple even as he kept playing with his head.  “I’m going to let you take those off eventually,” he said, and Laurens nodded slightly, “but I’m not ready yet.  Once they’re getting properly wet, then they can go.  Until then,” he added, “I’m not going to touch you any further than this.  Do you think I can get you far enough along like this?”

Laurens could feel his cheeks burning.  This wasn’t exactly what he had been thinking of when he told Hamilton that he wanted to hear him talk, and yet his arousal was only growing with every statement or question.  He nodded.

“What was that?  Come on, J., use your words.”

“Yes.”

“Yes?”  Hamilton prompted.

“Yes.  I think—that will work.”

“What will work?”

“Alexander,” Laurens said, pleading slightly.

Hamilton pushed on a little harder, moving his hand faster over Laurens’ head, just tracing his fingers around the rim.  “J.  Say it.”

Laurens hesitated.  “I think—you will be able to—get me off like this.”

“That’s above and beyond what I was going for,” Hamilton pointed out, kissing him just off the side of his mouth and moving his hand up from his chest to stroke his face.  “God, J.,” he murmured in his ear.  “I can’t believe how hot you are like this.”

Laurens exhaled, long and deliberate but ending in a sharp hiss, as Hamilton tugged at the fabric of his briefs then rubbed his slit.

“I was so frustrated when you texted me at work.”

“Sorry.”

“You don’t need to apologize.  I mean I was so frustrated.  Stuck there, boring as sin, and all I could think about was coming back here and throwing myself at you.”

Laurens felt his heart skip a beat.

“After every single motion, I was thinking, ‘Hurry up, let’s be done already, I have more important things to do.’  Quite literally,” he added with a clear grin.

“Mm…  I was—waiting for you.”

“Oh, yeah, I can tell.  I mean, you jacked off, but I knew you were going to, I wanted you to do that.  But I would have felt a little left out if you had done it again while I was still stuck at the office.”

“Yeah?”

“Well, you would have had to make it up to me at least.  Tell me about it, for starters.”

“Ha.”

“Maybe you should still do that,” Hamilton said mischievously.

Laurens shifted, uncomfortable.  “Alexander, I don’t…  It was just—normal.  I don’t think I can—”

“Talk about it?”  Hamilton teased.  “John, you are always making me talk to you.  Even now.  That’s not fair at all.”

Laurens whimpered.

“Don’t you agree?”

Laurens nodded.  “Yes.”

“Shit, John,” Hamilton laughed breathily.  “You’re getting soaked.”

Laurens bit back a whine.

“I guess you were right.”  He took away his hand and Laurens gasped and jerked his hips forward.  “Take these off.”

Laurens quickly pulled them down and leaned back against Hamilton who frowned and shifted to adjust to the weight.

“C’mon.”  Hamilton moved back so he was leaning against the wall and tugged at Laurens’ arm so that he followed him.  He pushed on his shoulder lightly, sliding him down between his legs so that Laurens could tip his face into his neck.  Hamilton frowned again, twisting a little to the side so he could still reach.

“Should I send you another video later?”  Hamilton asked, and Laurens jerked and gasped when he felt his hand, slick with lubricant.  “I could do it whenever we don’t have time to get together at night.  I like that idea, I’ll have to do it more at least.  I have to admit that I like the idea of you touching yourself as you watch it.  It reminds me of when you watched me.”

“I liked that.  Watching you,” Laurens managed, then took a sharp breath as Hamilton ran his hand slowly over his shaft.

“We’ll do that again,” Hamilton assured him, then leaned down a little so he could whisper in his ear, just like it had sounded like he was doing earlier that day.  “But next time I’m going to tie you up, J.”

Laurens couldn’t hold back the low moan that escaped his lips and he put his hand back on Hamilton’s leg.  Hamilton was still talking to him, his voice soft and urging.

“Not here—when we’re back at my apartment.  I’m gonna bind your wrists so you can’t touch yourself and then I’m going to come up behind you, just like this, and touch you.  I’m going to wait until you’re just on the verge, like you were that other time, and then ring you, make you wait for it.”

Laurens’ hand tightened its grip on Hamilton’s leg.

“You’ll be pleading for it, won’t you?”

“Yes,” Laurens answered without thinking.

“What was that?”

“Yes,” Laurens repeated, louder.

Hamilton was moving his hand faster, and he ran his other one up through Laurens’ hair fondly.  “Don’t cut all your hair off, J.”

Laurens’ hips were shaking slightly and he sounded a little confused from the topic change.

“I…  Okay?”

Hamilton laughed lightly and tugged on his hair a little.

“You promise?”

Laurens nodded, his throat dry.

“I just love how it feels through my fingers, John.  Your hair is so soft and I know you think it doesn’t look neat enough, but it’s just so sexy when it’s longer.”

Laurens tipped his head back, leaning into the touch with a low pleased noise.  Hamilton kept moving his hand through his hair, then tugged it lightly.  “Sit up a little more, J.  I can’t reach you well.”

Laurens moved back, sitting up taller, and gasping as Hamilton suddenly returned his attention to his cock.

Hamilton was moving his hand quickly over his shaft and gently bit his earlobe.

“Ask me what I’m looking forward to.”

“What—are you looking forward to?”

“Guess.”

Laurens gave a breath of a laugh.  “The next time we’re—at your apartment.”

“No.  Guess again.”

“Alex…”

Hamilton lowered his voice.  “I miss your eyes.”

Laurens felt a rush of heat move through his body and he faintly heard Hamilton over the blood pounding in his ears.

“Did I embarrass you, J.?”

Hamilton’s hand was moving faster, more insistently, and he could tell by the way Laurens was trying to move into it that he was getting close.  He watched as he slid a little down his chest again, tipping his head to the side and breathing heavily, his face and cock flushed.  Hamilton bit his earlobe, then gently turned Laurens’ face to him, kissing him and pushing his tongue into his mouth.

Laurens moved into the kiss, putting one hand behind Hamilton’s head as his heart raced, his conscious thoughts quickly vanishing into just the realization of how close he was as he managed to hold back the wave of pleasure for just a second before he came, breaking the kiss to press his face against Hamilton’s shoulder with a strangled moan.

Hamilton let him stay there, tense and shaking, for a moment, before he nudged his face up and slipped the tie off his face.  “I told you, J.  I want to see your eyes.”

Hamilton tipped Laurens face up and paused.  Laurens eyes were dark, much more so than normal, even as his pupils quickly shrunk in the sudden light, and both heavy with the lust Hamilton had been looking for and desperately, surprisingly, tender.  Hamilton couldn’t hold his gaze for long and looked away, embarrassed.  

“Hey.”  Laurens’ voice was thick with that combination as well and Hamilton felt a jolt run down his back although he wasn't sure if it was fear or excitement.  “Alex.  Alexander.”

“Yeah?”  He made himself look back as Laurens took his hand and sat up properly.

“Did you want a turn?”

“You look dead tired.  Are you actually going to stay awake long enough?”

“I want to get you off.”

Hamilton laughed a little.  “Hey, if you insist…”

Laurens kissed him, long and slow.  “Take your clothes off.”

“All of it?”

“I like looking at you, too.”

Hamilton grinned.  “All right, I won’t argue with that.”  He stripped down and glanced around.  “Did you want me to…?”

Laurens was pouring lube into his hand.  “Stand up.”

Hamilton did and was quickly backed up against the door again.  Before he could comment on how this was where they started off, Laurens’ hand was between his legs and he grabbed Laurens’ arm to steady himself, his legs slipping apart.

“J-John—”

“Yes?”  Laurens’ voice was low, edged with that same aggressiveness that Hamilton had mentioned before.  Hamilton tipped his head back against the door, eyes closed.

Laurens had his hand on Hamilton’s shaft and was moving it quickly.  Hamilton had already been partially hard but now he quickly got fully erect, pressing the wrist of his free hand to his mouth.

“This—door isn’t soundproof,” he said by way of explanation before Laurens could tell him to move it.  “I’m gonna—say your name otherwise—”  His last word quickly turned into a moan as Laurens bit his neck and earlobe, still working his shaft.

“John,” Hamilton gasped, then pressed harder against his mouth, biting the skin.  “S-sorry.”

“Don’t.”  Laurens was moving his hand over his entire shaft, from the base all the way up until Hamilton thought he might slide off of it before coming back down, and he was leaning over him, trapping him against the door.

Hamilton whimpered, leaning hard against the door to brace himself and tipping his hips towards him.  Laurens kissed his neck and jaw, letting Hamilton brush up against his leg for a moment as he leaned in.

“John,” Hamilton said again, making a great effort to keep his voice down.  “J…”

Laurens could feel the rush of adrenaline and desire starting to lose the battle against how tired he was and he pushed himself harder, moving his hand quicker as Hamilton stifled a moan and rocked his hips into his hand.  He brought his other hand down to stroke and tease his balls, causing Hamilton to give a little sharp gasp and jerk forward, his breath speeding up.

“John, I’m gonna—”

“Good,” Laurens said, relieved and cupping him for a moment as he bit his neck.

Hamilton moaned, slipping a little down the door and then leaning forward and bracing himself on Laurens’ arm as he came, gasping out his name.

Laurens kissed Hamilton as soon as he straightened up enough and Hamilton leaned up and into it, sliding his arms over Laurens’ shoulders.

“Nice.”  He was grinning.  “Standing, even.”

Laurens stepped away and pulled him to the bed, practically collapsing onto it.  “Stay,” he said, sounding half asleep already.

Hamilton laughed.  “Did you just fucking sleep-wank me?  You’re incredible.”

Laurens smiled, his eyes closed.

“Roll over.”

Laurens did and Hamilton rescued the covers, pulling them over them.  Laurens turned to lie facing him and put his arms around him, tucking his face down so it was in his hair.  He was asleep before Hamilton could finish getting comfortable or close his eyes.

 

Lafayette came back to the room, cradling his phone between his shoulder and his ear as he unlocked the door, and talking happily in French to Adrienne.

“I was going to ask John if he would like to get dinner with me, since I didn’t have the chance to pick something up before work.  Would you like to come with us?  It’ll just be down to the cafeteria and it might be a little noisy, but we can text.  I know he’d like to see more—”  He turned the light on and stopped talking abruptly.

The sheet from Laurens bed was on the floor and Laurens was still asleep, completely naked and having obviously been put through the wringer.

Oh mon dieu.”  Lafayette dropped his voice to a whisper and spoke behind his hand.  “Adrienne, I’m sorry, I’ll have to call you back.  John isn’t decent.”

Once he hung up, Lafayette looked down at the sheet with trepidation and then shielded his eyes and grabbed Laurens’ towel from where it was hanging up on his closet and tossed it on top of him.

“Huh?”  Laurens woke, confused and disoriented, and sat up, holding the towel over himself.

“Have a little self-respect, John,” Lafayette scolded, putting his things away.

Laurens blinked slowly, obviously not entirely awake yet, and touched his bare chest and then his hair.  He looked at his desk, left just how it had been before.  “…Where’s Alex?”

“I don’t know.  Probably home.”

Lafayette glanced carefully back at the bed a minute or two after that didn’t get a response, expecting Laurens to be asleep again.  Instead he was sitting right where he had been, the towel still in his lap and staring down at his hands.

“John?  Are you awake?”

“Yeah.”  He sounded awake but subdued.

“Are you okay?”  Lafayette asked, more gently.

“Yeah.”

“What’s the matter?”

Laurens didn’t answer at first.  “He said he would stay.”

“Oh.”  Lafayette nodded slowly, understanding.  “John.  I’m sure he’s planning on coming back.  He must have needed something.”

Laurens glanced back at the desk.  No note appeared.

“John,” Lafayette said again, sympathetically, “do you want to shower?  I’ll call Alex and ask where he is.”

“…Yeah.”  Laurens got up and got dressed as Lafayette turned around to give him privacy.  “You don’t have to call him,” he said as he headed out.  “It’s fine.”

“Obviously not,” Lafayette commented to himself once the door closed.  He put his phone back to his ear and waited impatiently for the call to go through.  “Hello?  Alexander, where the hell are you?”

“—ette.  I’m in the—”

“Hello?”  Lafayette put his hand to his other ear to listen better.  “Alexander?”

“—brary.  I’m trying to—cks.  What’s—”

“Alexander, can you hear me?  I need you to come—”

The line cut.  Lafayette swore colorfully in two languages.

As soon as Laurens came back, Lafayette handed him his metal thermos, only half-full of water.

“I’m going to collect Alex.  Here.”

“Don’t,” Laurens said, putting the bottle down on his bed and sorting through his closet.  “I’m going out.”

“You’re going out?”  Lafayette sounded mildly alarmed.  “Where?”

“Not sure yet.  Not too far.”  He took out clean clothes and a jacket.  “Just going to grab a beer or something.”

“But…”

“I’m not a child,” Laurens said, a little harshly.  “Stop hovering.”

Lafayette relented uneasily, turning away as Laurens changed again.  “Don’t forget your phone.”

“Lafayette.”

“And your keys.”

“Lafayette, stop.”

Laurens finished dressing and left.

Lafayette gave him a minute to get out of the building in privacy and then hurried out.

Chapter Text

Laurens took his phone out of his pocket once he was a few yards away from the building.  The air was cold and the movement felt good, but he was so restless and felt as though everything that had been hanging in fragile balance was threatening to fall.

He dialed.  The phone rang and then was picked up.

“Hello?”

“Hey.”  Laurens paused a moment to check the street before crossing it.  “Andre.  Are you busy?  Can you meet me at the bar?”

There was a brief silence.  “Yeah.  Yeah, sure, Laurens.  I’ll meet you there.”

 

“Alexander.”

Hamilton turned around and got smacked in the face with a—blessedly paperback—book.

“Ow—What the shit, Lafayette!”

“What is the matter with you?”

“Uh, excuse me, that’s my line.”  Hamilton rubbed his cheek, the skin stinging.  “And keep your voice down, we’re in a Goddamn library, for fuck’s sake!”

“What did you do to him?  Why do you keep breaking John?  Don’t you like him?  You’re supposed to be nice to him!”

“Uh…”  Hamilton looked genuinely confused and he shifted the books in his arms.  “Don’t look at me, pretty sure I was nice to him.  Real nice.  Did his father call or something?”

“No.  I’m positive that you were the last one he saw before I came back.”

“Hey, we didn’t touch any of your stuff this time—”

“That’s not the point.  You were supposed to stay and yet here I am tracking you down in the library.”  Lafayette had switched into French and lowered his voice slightly as someone else entered the floor of the stacks they were arguing in.  “You’re a disgrace, Alexander Hamilton.”

“Hey,” Hamilton switched to French as well, interjecting the English words that he didn’t know how to translate.  “Screw you, it’s not like I ditched him.  I blindfolded him, we fooled around, he fell asleep immediately, I went to get some work done.  What was I supposed to do, I figured he wouldn’t get up until tomorrow!”

“If someone asks you to stay,” Lafayette emphasized, “you stay!  Especially if you get up to that kind of thing first.”  Hamilton raised his hand for a high five but Lafayette ignored him.  “We’ve been over this before, Alexander.  This is worse than the time with the suit.”

Hamilton looked a little guilty and lowered his hand, rubbing at his arm.  “Don’t yell at me.  I really did think he was just going to sleep until the morning and I needed to get some work done.”

“So leave a note next time,” Lafayette said, exasperated.  “Honestly, Alex, common sense.”

Hamilton paused, debating whether or not to tell Lafayette about that expression he had seen on Laurens’ face but decided it would likely end up incriminating him further and he wasn’t really sure what he wanted to say anyway.

“Yeah, okay.  So I’ll come back with you.  Or do you want to stay at my apartment again?”

“John went out.  I don’t know where.”

“What?  You came down here to yell at me and meanwhile you lost him?”

“I didn’t lose him.  I just couldn’t stop him.”

“…Whatever.”  Hamilton held his hand out for the paperback.  “You want me to just check that out with the rest of this?”

“Please.”

 

Laurens was sitting at a booth in a small sports bar just about equidistant from campus and some of the more popular clubs students frequented.  It was a place he and his teammates would sometimes go to celebrate birthdays or more low-key home victories but pushing eight on a Wednesday night it was slow.  He was toying with an empty whiskey glass,  one eye on the door and he raised his hand as Andre walked in, putting his wallet back in his pocket.

“Hey.  What’s up?”  Andre sat across from him, looking at the glass.  “You started without me?  Should I catch up?”

“If you want.”  Laurens motioned for the waitress and bought them a round of lower-range whiskey.  

“How much are you having?  I probably shouldn’t go too hard, I’ve got work in the morning.”

“That’s fine.”  Laurens picked up the drink menu, tapping it on the table instead of reading it.  “Thanks for meeting me.”

“No problem.  So what’s going on?” Andre asked again as they were brought their drinks.  “I get the feeling that you didn’t ask me to meet you just so we could keep complaining about how that gallery had poor label placement on that found art section.  Seriously, it was all bad but that was illegible.”

Laurens took his drink like a shot while Andre took a sip from his own glass.  He put the glass down a little too hard.

“I’m in love.  And I hate it.  Fuck,” he said, not looking at Andre and raising his hand again.  “I’m not drunk enough for this shit.”

“Who…”  Andre began after Laurens handed over his empty glass and was brought a new one.  

“It doesn’t matter.”  Laurens downed half the glass this time and waited a moment to see if it helped.  “I know she doesn’t feel the same way.”

Andre didn’t say anything, then raised his glass and they both finished their drinks.

“Are you sure?”  Andre asked after they put their glasses back on the table.

“About what?”

“How both of you feel.”

Laurens laughed bitterly.  “I wish I wasn’t.  It just keeps getting worse, Andre.  It’s like there’s something wrong with me.  I wish I could turn it off, I don’t know why I let it happen in the first place.  I didn’t think it would—I thought it would be fun.  It’s just… It’s been a long time.  I thought, I thought I could finally enjoy myself a little.  My father isn’t here, I’m graduating in the spring…”

“How long has it been?  Maybe you just need to give her more time.  Take things slow.”

“Close to a year.  Or since this summer.  That’s when we officially started dating.”

“I’m going to order some fries to split.” 

Laurens waved his hand in general agreement.

“How did it happen?”  Andre had to try hard to keep from sounding too curious.

“We were fighting.  I never told her about my ex.  I’m not sure how we ended up dating from there,” Laurens admitted.  “When I came back to make up, she just said we were.”

Andre laughed a little.  “That’s not what I was expecting but I’m not surprised.  You’re so private, I have a hard time imagining you making the first move.  She must have really gotten you.”

Laurens smiled but it wasn’t a happy one.  “Yeah.”

“Tell me about her.”

“She’s a genius,” Laurens said immediately.  “I’ve never met anyone so smart.  And she’s brave.  She moved here by herself, not even knowing anyone in the states, and she’s worked for everything in her life.  Nothing was ever just handed to her, Andre, she had to fight for it all, even as a child.”  The liquor was starting to hit him, quicker than he had anticipated.  “She made her way up from nothing and she deserves so much more than what she has.  She’ll do something incredible one day,” Laurens said, shaking his head a little, smiling fondly down at his empty glass. 

“Is she a student as well?  Is that how you met last year?”

“I knew him before that,” Laurens said, completely oblivious to the slip and how Andre looked quickly at him as the room started to blur a little.  “We were on good terms for a while but I never expected anything.”

The waitress came back with the fries and asked if they wanted anything else.

“Another?”  Laurens asked Andre, handing over his glass.

Andre glanced uncertainly between Laurens and the waitress.  “Could you bring us two beers instead?”

The woman left and Laurens reached for the fries and then frowned.  “Did I eat today?”

“Dude.”  Andre pushed the basket towards him.  “Order some actual food.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“You’re also not usually such a lightweight.”

“I had a couple before you showed up.”

“So what happened today?  She must have done something pretty bad.”

Laurens shrugged, eating the fries.  “She came over and we fooled around.  I don’t know, I thought she was going to stay over but she was gone by the time I woke up.”

“She was gone?”

Laurens ran a hand back through his hair.  “I asked her to stay.  And she said she would and then she didn’t.”

Andre nodded.  “Oh, yeah, I get that.”

Laurens had been staring past Andre but now he made surprised eye contact.  “Yeah?”

“Yeah, Peggy—I mean, not to make it about me—But I hate that.  It’s one thing if she was really busy, but it’s just mean.  Or careless.”

Laurens nodded, looking down at the food.  “Careless,” he agreed.  “She didn’t even leave a note.”

“Peggy never leaves a note, either!  What the hell, it’s common courtesy!”

Laurens nodded, surprised and relieved that Andre was on the same page as him.  “It is!  When I have to go somewhere I explain.  I’ve even left food before!”

“Oh, totally, I always try to drop off food.”

Laurens nodded again, sounding more energetic than he had since getting up.  “It’s not like manners should just be tossed aside like that.  And, also—Excuse me, can I get buffalo wings?” He ordered dinner when the waitress brought them their beers and then started talking to Andre again, a little more quietly, once she had left.  “Sometimes I feel like I’m just being used.  Like, you know…”

Andre leaned a little over the table, his voice lower as well.  “Like for sex?”

“Yeah.”

Andre nodded.  “I know what you mean.  Like, not complaining, the sex is great.  It’s not that I want any less of it.  But just the tone sometimes, I kind of feel like just a piece of meat.”

“She basically told me I’m a means to an end.”

Andre winced.  “Ouch.”

“I mean, it’s…  When it’s going well, it’s amazing.  We just get along so well, and I—Sometimes I feel like she really cares about me.  I know she likes me.  But I’m…”

Andre stole a fry.  “Yeah, I hear you.”

“It’s bullshit.”

“Yeah.”

“I shouldn’t be this upset about it.”

“It’s okay.”

“Not really.  I’m overreacting.  I just don’t have anyone to complain to.”

“Hey, you can bitch about your girlfriend to me whenever you want.  I’m always whining, so I can’t judge you.”

“Ha.  Yeah.”  

“It was nice to hang out again.”

“Twice in one day,” Andre agreed.  “We should do that more.”

“Yeah.”  Laurens tried to find a different topic.  “Did you do the writeup you needed to yet?”

“I started it.  I’m not really sure what to say.  I was thinking of focusing on the earlier exhibits.”

“That little corner of European photos by the entryway?  Thank you.”  Laurens took a drink as the waitress brought him his food.

“Yeah, that one.  Something about fin de siècle France, the artist as flâneur, you know.  It’s a little bit of an earlier periodization than I was initially thinking about but it wo