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The Fourth Schuyler Sister

Chapter Text

    Lilith grabbed her leather messenger bag off the floor next to the front door. She breathed in the scent of her home, as if it were the last time she would ever smell it. It reminded her of her sisters, and slightly of her brothers, though they didn’t wear strong enough scents for it to be obvious. Today was the day, she thought to herself, today was the day everything changed. Lilith turned to step out the door, but paused. She could’ve sworn those were footsteps coming down the stairs toward her.

    “Lilith Luna Barthes Schuyler don’t you walk out that door without saying goodbye!” a stubborn feminine voice yelled at her from the stairwell. Lilith chuckled to herself as her three sisters came stampeding down the stairs.

    “Now what gave you the notion that I was planning to do just that?” She questioned, hands on her hips. “Besides darling sister, it’s Barthec, not Barthes.”

    The elder of Lilith’s younger sisters ran around the corner, sliding ever so slightly on the wood floor. “Well for one, you’re about to head out the door with your bag completely packed! Did you ever even give thought to how your dear sisters would miss you so?!” Her voice rose to a higher pitch, showing much emotion.

    “Aw. Angelica Schuyler, is that emotion I hear coming from the most independent woman in the 13 colonies?” Lilith questioned teasingly, “Don’t start crying on me, Ange, or else I’ll start crying, and we all know how Aaron reacts to crying.” From beneath her upset face, Lilith could’ve sworn she saw Angelica give a little smile.

    At that, the other two Schuyler sisters ran up behind Angelica. Elizabeth, whom the girls called Eliza, had already been crying and the signs were clear upon her face. With red eyes and tear stained cheeks, no one could deny the amount of love she had for her oldest sister. Peggy, on the other hand, looked absolutely furious. As the youngest sister, it seemed absolutely perfect for her to be called Peggy. However, the girl’s real name was actually Margarita. Her older sisters found the name appalling and preposterous and insisted on calling her Peggy. Throughout her childhood, she had been called this, thus it was the only name she had ever responded to. Her parents begrudgingly complied and began to call her Peggy, but only when she had refused to answer to ‘Margarita’.

    “Why would you suddenly pick up and leave without saying?! Daddy already said goodbye, but we haven’t yet!” Peggy huffed, clearly still mad.

    Lilith chuckled, earning another furious look from her baby sister, “You’ve all been crying your eyes out for the last hour and a half, Pegs. I hardly believe that isn’t a goodbye.”

    Angelica rolled her eyes, “Our poor older sister, too intelligent for her own good to see human emotion at so large a scale. It’s no wonder her and Aaron are best friends, and why they clearly can’t become what each so wishes to be-- as a pair, I mean.” Peggy and Eliza, despite their awful moods, giggled like schoolgirls as Lilith glared at Angelica.

    “Angelica, we’ve been over this--”

    “Yes we are very aware that you have absolutely no feelings of that sort toward a certain Aaron Burr who has been an exceptional family friend because of a certain Schuyler sister-” Angelica glared accusingly at Lilith, “For at least 11 years now, is it not?”

    “Almost 11,” corrected Eliza, “At the end of the year it will be 11. Lilith met him the night before Daddy’s New Years party, remember? They went together.”

    Angelica smirked at her last comment, “Of course. Thank you, my dearest Eliza.” She patted her head playfully, as an older sister is sure to do. Peggy and Eliza burst into laughter.

    Lilith huffed, blowing her hair from in front of her face. Her long brown hair was known to cause many problems, including the fact that she had to brush it every morning. It was a common characteristic of the Schuyler girls to have long, dark hair and this wasn’t an exception for Lilith, however unrelated she was to the Schuylers. One of her few traits that differed from the Schuylers was her eye color. Most of the Schuyler children had dark eyes, but Lilith had bright blue eyes that Peggy poetically referred to as ‘ocean blue’. Lilith preferred the term bright blue, since her eyes were not dark enough a blue to be compared to the ocean, but Peggy would not give on her argument. This confused Lilith, as Peggy hadn’t actually seen the ocean before. However, Peggy was not to be argued with, so she dropped the topic altogether.

    Peggy and Eliza were still rolling on the ground, figuratively of course, with laughter as their sister blushed a bright red. According to Lilith, Aaron could never love her in that way, but it was clear to her sisters that Aaron felt the exact same way, except maybe stronger. It was up for debate which one like the other more, just about every night, actually.

Peggy and Eliza shared a room in the huge mansion of a house, simply because Peggy was often scared of the dark, even if she would never admit it. Peggy was adamant that Mr. Burr, Sir, as she loved to call him, had a larger liking toward their sister, while Eliza was sure that Lilith cared for him more. Almost every night, the sisters would bring a newfound piece of evidence to their roommate and attempt to prove, once again, that their candidate loved the other more. And each night, they were at a loss to wholly decipher which one truly loved the other more.

Lilith glared at her sisters, “Well if you’re done laughing your as--” she started to curse, but stopped as the eldest of her little sisters glared at her, giving a side glance to Peggy, “Butts off at my fascination in men-” There was no use denying it now, anyway. “-- I must be going now. I have a long day ahead of me.” As expected, her siblings immediately started to groan and gripe, denying her hope of actually leaving. However much she loved her sisters, she loved the idea of her journey and wished to finally embark on it.

Peggy pushed past Angelica and ran toward Lilith, enveloping her sister in the most adorable hug known to mankind. Her arms wrapped around Lilith, just under Lilith’s own arms, as she wasn’t too much shorter than her sister. Peggy buried her head in Lilith’s soft hair that sat on Lilith’s shoulders. Peggy had nuzzled her head on Lilith’s left shoulder, so that Lilith could still see their other sisters. Lilith, in turn, hugged Peggy back, placing one of her arms on the girl’s back and the other on the back of her sister’s head, comforting her. Lilith pet Peggy’s dark curls and sighed. Peggy began to sob into Lilith’s jacket, hugging her tighter. She absolutely hated the idea of her favorite, she won’t say anything if you won’t, sister leaving for good and now she was being faced with it head on.

Angelica and Eliza (were both at his side when he died)( A/N: sorry not sorry ) immediately became miserable, their faces looked dejected and both began to tear up again. Well, for Eliza it was again, but it was the first time that day for Angelica. Lilith gazed at both of them lovingly, silently begging them not to cry. If they continued, she knew her tears would come down eventually and no doubt Aaron would notice when she saw him today. No doubt the others would, too. However, the girls didn’t know that Lilith was going to see them today, either.

“H-hey, don’t cry, Pegs. Please? I’ll be back before you know I’m gone.” ( A/N: gosh darned last few songs in hamilton references today why ) Peggy ignored her and continued to sob, her entire body shaking in synch with her sobs. Eliza was full on crying now, and joined Peggy in hugging Lilith. Angelica, however, hung back, trying to hold back her tears as well. Lilith and Angelica stared at each other in utter silence, knowing that if one broke into tears, the other would join her.

After a seemingly eternal silence, Peggy sniffed, “W-What if we don’t see you again, Lily?” She used Lilith’s nickname often, but it carried more weight today than usual. “What if we don't see y-you or D-daddy again?”

Lilith’s eyes widened. That was it, she thought to herself, Angelica was going to bawl now. Just as Lilith had thought, Angelica burst into tears, burying her head in her hands and running toward the pile of crying Schuyler sisters. Eliza and Peggy stepped to the side to allow Angelica a hug from Lilith, who was now letting tears fall from her face.

“G-Goddamnit, Ange. You’ve gone and done it.” She sniffed, “How am I supposed to go now when I have three little crying sisters to take care of, though that’s not much different from every day, huh?.” Lilith was practically squeaking now, trying not to sob. She needed to learn to control her emotions if she was going to go through with this.

At this, her sisters broke into more tears. The Schuyler sisters were beginning to split. They all came to realize this, crying over Lilith leaving in the parlor of their home. This was the place they had all grown up together, fought together, played together, cried together, and laughed together. Now that seemed to come to an end. With Lilith leaving, Angelica was sure to follow, then Eliza, and finally Peggy. They would all leave on journeys of their own to their own corners of the world. Who knew how long it would be until they all reunited.

“Don’t you be crying, now. I’ll be back soon for some ball or other, I suppose. You know how those things are.” The girls shared a tearful chuckle.

“But what if-”

“No more ‘what if’s, Peggy. It’s just as well we don’t know the future, or else life wouldn’t be--well, you know what I mean.” Lilith sniffed. Her words got all jumbled when she was upset, as gifted with her words as she was.

“Will you come home for the holidays?”

“I wish to, Eliza, but the war waits for no one, and neither should you. You all enjoy yourselves whilst I’m gone, understand?” The three nodded reluctantly. “Good. And take care of Daddy. While he’s still here, okay?” This was followed by more nods, until Lilith continued, “You keep our brothers outta trouble, and don’t let ‘em push you around. I t-told ‘em if they mess with you, they’ll have me to mess with me, okay?”

Their brothers loved to play rough, as did Lilith, but she kept their brothers from being too rough with the other girls. Only Lilith could fight with their brothers as she did, and only she could tell them what to do. Not even Philip Schuyler himself could keep his boys under control.

“Even John?” John Bradstreet Schuyler was the eldest brother in the Schuyler clan. Born 1765, long before his younger brothers, he was the oldest Schuyler male born to Philip Schuyler who survived past infancy and childhood. ( A/N: this is all true, except idk if he was rough or stubborn or kind of a jerk, but imma make him like that, just a warning ) Being the oldest, the now eleven year old was brutal, both verbally and physically toward his sisters, excluding Lilith but mostly toward Peggy. They would wrestle playfully, and he would suddenly become aggressive.

“Yeah, Pegs. Even John. He touches you, you write t-to me okay? I’ll murder his ass when I get home.” She breathed in, not even bothering to keep her language in check this time,  “And you guys write to me all the time, but don’t write too much. And write a special letter at least once a month, okay?” She gazed knowingly at Angelica, who nodded and gave her another hug.

“Do you have to go?” Peggy pleaded one last time. ( A/N: mwahahahaha )

“I gotta go, Peggy, darling.” Lilith chuckled lightly, “I only got a couple hours to get everything done.” She stepped back from her sisters, looking them up and down. They were so much older than her mind would like to think. They knew how to take care of themselves.

“Bye, Lilith.” The three girls echoed, one after the other. Lilith took to kissing each of their foreheads and giving them one last hug, in which Peggy almost refused to let go of her.

Finally, Lilith said her goodbyes and stepped out the door, breathing in the fresh air of the outdoors. Today was the day, probably her last shot to do what she was hoping to. So many other people of Albany had had their shots, and Lilith would be damned if she was going to throw away hers.

Chapter Text

    Bartholomew. Bartholomew, Bartholomew, Bartholomew. He ran his own name through his head, as he speed walked to his destination. Today was the day. Today was the day that Bartholomew and his squad consisting of five men would register to join the Continental Army. They had been looking forward to this day for weeks now and were strong believers in the Revolution.

    Bartholomew finally reached Adler’s Tavern, the regular hangout of their little squad. It was common for Bartholomew to find the guys here, drunk, insane, and arguing with redcoats. They got into quite a bit of trouble, but Bartholomew and Burr always got them out of it.

The squad wasn’t as fond of Aaron Burr like Bartholomew was, but when push came to shove, he was still their brother in arms. ( A/N: the references are strong with this one *points to self* ) Bartholomew and Burr, on the other hand, were best buds, initially introduced to each other by Bartholomew’s sister. Bartholomew had been going to school with Burr as long as he could remember, but had only met the other members of  ‘The Revolutionary Squad’, as they were dubbed by their classmates, in his recent college years at King’s College.

“Speak of the devil.” Bartholomew murmured to himself, stepping into the tavern and immediately spotting his buddies seated at a back table. It seemed they had already had a beer or two, but there weren’t too drunk as it was. He started towards them, practically skipping with excitement, and grabbed the nearest wooden chair. The young man scooted the chair closer to the table and placed his elbows on the table, smiling brightly at his comrades.

“Well you’re chipper today.” A bulky, short haired man to his right noted.

“Vell, vhy shoodn’t ‘e bee ‘appy? Vee are registeering for ze army today are vee not?” Another man stated with a thick french accent. His hair was tied back and he spoke slowly, trying his best to speak English better than a regular Frenchman, and utterly failing. Bartholomew had been working with him on his English.

A young man of similar age sat directly across from Bartholomew, with his feet propped on the table and his chair tipped back. He had a goofy smile on his face and was currently on his second Sam Adams. Bartholomew could tell when he got to three, and he wasn’t quite there yet. “Oh, that was today?” He chuckled, slightly drunk, but not so heavily.

Bartholomew rolled his eyes, “As if you’d forget, Laurens. You’ve been looking forward to this as long as the rest of us.”

The largest man snorted, “Sure, we been lookin’ forward to it. Isn’t Laf already in it, though?”

“Oui, oui, Hercules,” The Frenchman, Lafayette, answered, “I applied loong ago, but that iz- ‘ow you say, irrelevant?”

Bartholomew patted his friend on the back, smiling like a doofus. It was rare for Laf to be able to use such large words. At least he was making progress. After all, any progress is good progress, or Bartholomew thought as much.

A young man next to Laurens cleared his throat, as if to point out that he still existed. Laurens practically jumped 10 feet in the air, almost falling out of his chair in surprise. The mysterious young man laughed, but received a cold glare from Laurens in return.

Bartholomew chuckled, then gazed at the young man. He had light, curly hair, similar to that of Laurens. He was also riddled with freckles, almost exactly like the man he had so easily ticked off.

    “Would anyone care to introduce me to our new friend?” Bartholomew inquired.

    Hercules beat Laurens to it, “Oh, yeah, that’s John’s little brother.” He stated simply, referring to Laurens. The squad didn’t often use first names, but the concept wasn’t completely inexistent to them.

John Laurens sighed and nodded his head, clearly annoyed that he couldn’t introduce his own kin. “This is Jacob, my little brother.” He reached over and noogied said Jacob, who was not happy with the turn of events. Laurens, on the other hand, was pleased with his actions.

“I didn’t realize you had a little brother, John!” Bartholomew snickered, “I knew you had a little sister, Rose wasn’t it?” Laurens didn’t reply, but Jacob nodded, smiling slightly at the mention of his sister.

Finally, Laurens spoke, “Yeah, well, this one’s a pain in the--” he paused, glancing at Jacob, “butt. So I don’t mention him a lot. He gets on my nerves.” It was Jacob’s turn to glare and punch Laurens in the arm.

“Vell,” started Laf, “Vee can’t call Laurens Laurens anymore, can vee?”

“Why not? We’ve always called him that, Frenchie.” Questioned Hercules.

“It vould be confusing, vould it not?”

“I suppose so,” cut in Bartholomew, “But can we not simply call the younger Mini Laurens and call the older Laurens?”

“Vell dis verks.” Laf said laughing

Hercules nodded, agreeing, “Sounds good.”

Both of the Laurens brothers made some kind of noise to state their disagreement, and Jacob sighed, “Just Jacob is fine, thank you.” Hercules shook his head and Jacob sighed again in defeat.

“Sooooo…”

“Vat ees it, Bartolehmew?”

“What’s up, Mew?”

Bartholomew groaned, “Herc, don’t call me that!”

“Why not?”

Laf started before Bartholomew could answer, “Vell, it ees trés, ‘ow you zay? Feminine?”

“Dang, Laf, two huge words in one day.” Bartholomew congratulated him, “But, yeah, Laf’s right. It’s extremely feminine and I would prefer a different nickname.”

“What, like Bart?” snorted Laurens, “That’s an old man’s name.”

“There’s always Barf.”

    “Vhy, ‘Ercules, are ‘ou alvways tinking vith ‘our stomach.”

    “That’s not really with his stomach, you know, that’s more of his… idiocy.” claimed Laurens.

    “Hey!” protested Hercules, “I’m not an imbecile!”

    “I didn’t say you were an imbecile!”

    “Yeah you did, you said I used my idiocy!”

    “So I called you an idiot. Not an imbecile!”

    “Same thing! Those are synonyms. Right, Mew?”

    Laf muttered something in French, “Barzolomew told ‘ou not to ‘all ‘im zis.”

    Hercules sighed, “Is there anything else to call him?”

    At this point, Bartholomew tuned out of their conversation. Gosh, he hadn’t thought of that. What would people call him? Bartholomew was too long and drawn out, but all the nickname options were either too feminine or just plain stupid. What did Father always call him? Damn, he couldn’t remember. Of course at the one moment he needed it, he wouldn’t remember. Suddenly, a thought came to Bartholomew. He had packed his bag with one letter from each of his sisters, brothers, and one from his father.

    Bartholomew reached around to his brown messenger bag that was hanging on the chair. He opened it swiftly, the others not noticing, except Jacob. Jacob had stayed silent throughout the argument and was now watching Bartholomew with extreme curiosity.

    Bartholomew finally pulled out a piece of paper labelled with his name on it.

    “Barthec.” He stated simply.

    Laurens looked up from arguing with Laf and Herc, “What was that?”

    “I think he said bar thick.”

    “Non, it vas soometing else!”

    “Barthec.” Said Bartholomew again, “Call me Barthec.”

Chapter Text

    It was finally three o’clock; time to head out and register for the army. The Revolutionary Squad was halfway there when they came across Burr, who had been waiting for the group.

    “Wait for me!”

    Laurens snickered and continued walking, ignoring the poor soul who couldn’t keep up. Bartholomew sighed, this was normal, but poor Aaron.

    “You guys, don’t be jerkwads.”

    “We never are!” protested Hercules, “We’re just havin’ a little fun, is all.”

    Jacob gave a questioning look, “Torturing Burr is fun?”

    Laurens snorted at his sibling who had been deprived of this pleasure, “Kid, this is the greatest joy we have in life.”

    “You guys must have pretty boring lives then.”

    At this, the guys broke out into arguing, while Bartholomew only laughed at them. After things calmed down, Barthec decided to wait for Burr at the corner of the street. Finally, the young man caught up, red in the face and tired. ( A/N: the references tho amirite? )

    “Hey, Aaron, how are you?”

    “I’m fine, if anything. You?” The man puffed, hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath.

    “I’m excited! I can’t believe it’s finally happening!”

    Aaron finally stood up and got a good look at Bartholomew’s face. “Trouble at home?”

    Bartholomew turned red and looked away, “You know my family.”

    Aaron nodded and sighed, “Will you be okay at my place tonight? I mean, it’s difficult to sleep in a new place and everything, and well, you’ll be at my place for quite a few days until it’s time to head out and well…”

    “You’re rambling.” Bartholomew chuckled

    “Yeah, I am.”

    “I’ll be fine,” reassured Bartholomew, “It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve been to your place anyway. I’ve been there multiple times, doofus.”

    “Oh yeah, how could that have slipped my mind?” Aaron sighed sarcastically

    Hercules called their names from down the street and Bartholomew glanced at Aaron. “Ready for another run?” Aaron sighed but nodded, getting into a running position. Bartholomew counted off on his fingers and the two dashed off into the busy streets of Manhattan.

                *************************

    “What’s your name, son?” ( A/N: Alexander Hamilton. Don’t call me son. )

    “Bartholomew, sir.”

    “Last name?”


    “Schuyler, sir.” Bartholomew said respectfully.

    The recruitment officer glanced up from his paper, “Schuyler?”

    Bartholomew nodded, shuffling his feet from where he stood on the other side of the desk.

    “That’s some good heritage you’ve got on your side, son.” ( A/N: Not Washington, though. Yet. )

    “Yes, sir. Though I hope to make a mark with something other than my name, though, sir.” Barthec cursed at himself. Why did he have to repeat himself around intimidating men? Some people might see that as normal, but having Philip Schuyler as your father means that you don’t get nervous around intimidating figures.

    The officer chuckled, “Most do, son.” The officer looked back down at the medical reports Bartholomew had given him and nodded, “These reports look great. You’re an able bodied young man and I won’t be surprised if you do great things for this here country. Welcome to the army, son.”

    Bartholomew smiled brightly as he was handed his reports, “Thank you, sir!”

    “Don’t mention it. Now best be on your way before I change my mind.”

    This confused Bartholomew, but he moved along and out the door before the officer said anything else about changing his mind. He glanced out the door to see the rest of the squad all ready to go.

    Laurens met him outside the door with a bro-hug. “How’d it go, man?”

    “Just so you know,” Aaron interrupted, “the rest of us got in.”

    “Yeah even Burr here, who can’t even run a lap.” Hercules snorted.

    Laf joined in the laughing, while Burr looked very flustered.

    “I got in, of course! I’m in better shape than the lot of you, anyway.” commented Barthec.

    “‘E is not wrong.”

    “Thanks, Laf.” Hercules said sarcastically.

    Jacob watched from afar with a silent gaze upon the men. He had registered as well, per his wishes, against his older brother’s however. Laurens had wanted to protect him, which was common according to both men, but Jacob wouldn’t hear of it.

    “What did he say about your father, Barthec?” Aaron inquired.

    “Bet he offered ya a place the split second he heard your last name.”

    “How much you wanna bet?” Laurens smirked, “I’ll bet you a pound of tobacco.”

    “Not like you’ll use it.” snorted Jacob.

    “Yeah, but some old fool will buy it back.”

    “Deal.”

    “Wait, what are we betting on?” asked Aaron, who had tuned out the other men and their incessant arguing.

    Herc sighed, “I bet Laurens that Barthec was immediately offered a place when the register guy heard his last name.”

    “And I disagree.” stated Laurens simply, “I think that he was offered a place the second his records were opened.”

    “That’s a strong bet,” Jacob butt in, “On the contrary, dear brother mine, I think that he was offered a place when the registering officer was finished reading through his medical records.”

    “You wanna bet?”

    “Yeah, I’ll bet.”

    Herc snorted, “Whatever, let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth, shall we?”

    “Vait!” exclaimed Laf, who had practically been invisible, “I vould like to bet!”

    “Sure, what do you bet on?” Jacob asked.

    “I vould like to agree vith ‘Ercules.”

    “See, Baguette over here agrees!”

    “Whatever, we’ll see.” Protested Laurens, cursing under his breath. “Burr, you betting?”

    Burr shook his head, “This is ridiculous; betting over how someone got into the army. We should just be proud that he did.” He smiled at Barthec encouragingly.

“Whatever, Burr.” They all looked at Barthec hopefully.

    “Well, uh,” stammered Barthec, “He commented on my last name and-” Hercules smirked at this, but had his face pushed back by Laurens, the elder, who was still listening intently. “And then he looked at my records and offered me a place.”

    There were groans from Hercules, Laf, and Laurens, as Jacob celebrated, collecting his loot from the other men.

    “Can’t believe I was beat by my kid brother.” groaned Laurens, rubbing his face.

    “Better believe it, John, it happens all the time.”

    Laurens glared at Jacob, “Look, I’ll honor a good bet, but don’t push your luck with the sass.”

    “Been pushin’ my luck all my life.”

    “Yeah, I know.” sighed Laurens. Wait, what was that? Was that...care? Coming from Laurens? The others didn’t seem to notice it, only Barthec. Jacob waltzed away, clearly happy, while Laurens continued to learn against the registration building, lost in his own thoughts.

    “That was sweet.” commented Barthec, “The great John Laurens showing love to his little brother.”

    “Yeah, well,” started Laurens, “I’m a brother first, friend second.”

    “Well put, friend.”

    “Really? I’d say it really doesn’t sum it up, but I’m sure you know what I mean.”

    “That I do. Four little sisters at home and a few brothers really brings you up to speed on this ‘big brother’ thing.” Barthec joked.

    Laurens sighed, “You always wanna take care of ‘em, right? That’s normal?”

    “Are you coming to me for advice on siblings?” asked Barthec in awe.


    “Well, yeah. Don’t act so surprised. You’re the only one in this group with kid sibs.”

    “Aaron has a little sister.”

    “He does?”

Barthec nodded in response.

“Well, I’m sure he wouldn’t talk to me about it anyway, it’s personal, you know.”

“But you’re coming to me with it?”

“Sure. You’re my best friend, aren’t you?”

“Yeah.” said Barthec, remembering their stupid vow that Laf had made them take so long ago. “Yeah, I am.”

“Well, there you go, that’s why.”

“Okay, well…” Barthec paused, thinking of how to best answer, “It’s completely normal to want to protect them all the time. You’ll wanna protect them from the whole world and anybody who’d hurt ‘em. And you’d do anything to anyone who does that.”

Laurens nodded, “Sounds about right.”

“What happened?”

“Hmm?”

“Did something happen with Rose?”

“Oh, nah…  sh-she’s fine.”

“Laurens you may be a hell of a guy, but you are an absolutely horrific liar.”

He sighed. “Well-”

“Is it a guy?”

“Well-”

“Ooh, a rich guy?”

“She-”

“Oh no, a guy with slaves?” Barthec gasped, horrified.

At this, Barthec received a slap on the back of the head, “Well, if you’d let me freaking finish, Schuyler.”

Barthec mumbled his apologies and gazed at Laurens, as if to say, “Go on.”

Laurens sighed again, “Rose made a really big decision. One that could--well, to put it simply; put her in danger. Even though I warned her against it, she wouldn’t listen and now she’s out in the world doing what she wants.”

“Haven’t you always wanted her to follow her dreams?”

“Yeah, but… not like this. I’m just worried for her, you know?”

“I get it. Lilith’s been doing the same thing recently, too.”

“Really?”

“Yep.”

“Can’t say I’m surprised, though. That’s one hell of a girl there. At least she was when I saw her last.”

Barthec glared at him, “Don’t you even think about it, John.”

He snorted, “I don’t usually go after my best friends’ sisters.”

“I wouldn’t put it past you. Besides, they’re Schuylers, too, so that makes it even more likely.”

“Oh yeah. You got a lot more to worry about than I do.”

Laurens laughed and received a punch in the arm. At this rate, he would have enough bruises to make it look like he’d already seen his first battle.

 

                *************************

    Later that day, Lilith was hanging out at Burr’s place, just chatting, like normal friends do. Though Angelica would like to think otherwise, chatting took up most of their time. They loved to speak of the world, its problems and what it held in store. Both of them were observant people, even if Lilith liked to speak up. She and Burr were very similar in that they both liked to wait. However, Burr did that a little too much for Lilith, as she lived by “take time for your loved ones and the important moments in life, but don't throw away opportunities or stop working toward your life.”. Those were her words when she first met Burr that chilly winter’s night.

    “Laurens, Hercules, and Laf want to have a couple celebratory drinks tonight.” Burr informed her, pouring both of them a drink. The drink was non-alcoholic, mind you, they weren’t intent on getting drunk, since Aaron would probably have to deal with the others being drunk tonight anyway.

    “They always find an excuse to drink.” Lilith snorted, pausing to take a drink, “And if they cannot find an excuse, they drink anyway.”

    “Yes, well, today was special.”

    “I know. I’m excited to see how Laurens does in the army. I don’t think he’d take orders very well.”

    Aaron raised an eyebrow, “Just Laurens?” He liked to tease her with that, and it broke her heart sometimes.

    Lilith snorted, “As if. Remember, I’ve only met the man once.”

    “Yes, well your brother is his best friend, so I’m sure you’ve heard the stories.”

    “Oh, yes, especially the fact that he loves to torture poor souls.”

    “Oh is that what I am now?”

    “Aaron, I didn’t mean-”

    “I know.” He smiled, sitting on the parlor couch next to her, “You must be careful with your words, though, Lilith. Most people won’t understand that you observe more than understand emotion sometimes.”

    Lilith smacked his upper arm, and he flinched away, “I understand emotion just fine, Aaron! It’s just that I don’t really know what insults people anymore. These days it seems I can’t say an honest thing without being called some rude name in response.”

    “Well,” Aaron started, sliding a little closer, “It might have to do with, and I hate to say it, the fact that you are a woman.”

    Lilith rolled her eyes, “Oh, are they still not over that? I hadn’t noticed.”

    Aaron laughed heartily, as she blushed. God save her, she loved his laugh. Lilith mentally slapped herself back into focus.

    “Yes it seems that people still can’t accept everyone.”

    Lilith sighed, “Not even all men are equal yet. It’s ridiculous, honestly. We all have feelings.”

    “No matter how delicate they are.” Aaron noted, referring to their earlier comments.

    “We all feel. We’re all human. It pains me so much to see slaves wherever I go. Even father has some.”

    Aaron put his hand on her shoulder to console her, “Your father treats them much better than most people, and like they’re actually human. If he didn’t own slaves, his political reputation could be harmed inordinately and he couldn’t fight for their freedom in the first place.”

    Lilith sighed, “I know. It’s just that my insolent little brothers seem to mistreat them more and more as time goes on.”

    “They listen to you,” Aaron encouraged, “Perhaps you can show them how similar they are to those they’re hurting.”

    “Perhaps.” Lilith started, “But now that I’ll be gone… I don’t know who will take that job. My father certainly can’t control them and my sisters have no luck either.”

    “Well, Anglica is quite the independent one, almost as much as you, I’d say.”

    Lilith laughed, “She can try.”

    Aaron joined her in laughing, “But maybe your lessons to them will rub off on your brothers.”

    “I hope so.” Lilith sighed, then began to get off topic, “I hope something I do will rub off on someone in the world. Just one person would be nice.”

    Aaron rolled his eyes, “Lil’, you’ve already rubbed off on so many people.”

    “I find that hard to believe. What could I have done to rub off on someone? I’m just a plain old white young woman who is the daughter of a rich politician.”

    “But Lilith you’ve forgotten the most important part.” He grabbed her hand, causing Lilith to internally explode, “You’re you. You’re the smart, kind, friendly, talented, and understanding young woman who is willing to do anything for the people she loves. You’ve certainly rubbed off on me. And the others. You’ve taught me so much about life and people. I don’t understand people much, you know that.”

    Lilith chuckled and remembered young Aaron Burr. He had always been so nervous and quiet during school, but she had convinced him to be brave and step out of his bounds. Aaron had finally made some friends after that, and introduced them to Lilith. Even if the guys weren’t very kind to him, only they could mess with him. If anyone else were to hurt him, they better watch out, because the Revolutionary Squad always got their revenge. Always.

    Aaron continued, as Lilith’s face became red, “You’ve rubbed off on your siblings, your friends, and even your father. Hell,” If Aaron Burr was using a curse word, you knew he was speaking with truth and vigor. “He wouldn’t even be your father if you hadn’t rubbed off on him.”

    At that, a knock sounded on the door and he stood up to answer. At this point, Lilith was in awe. She couldn’t have been that influential to her friends and family. She hadn’t done anything yet! Though, Aaron was right about Philip Schuyler. If things hadn’t happened the way they did…

    A young boy with brown hair and rags for clothing stood at the door, shuffling his feet. He looked up at Aaron, “Pardon me, sir. Are you Aaron Burr?”

    “Yes, that would be me. What is it?”

    “Well, sir, uh…” The boy swallowed, “A man named Hercules paid me to give you a message. Erm, he used…some vulgar words, but to put it simply; he wishes you and your friend Bartholomew’s presence at Adler’s Tavern.”

    “Thank you. We’ll be there.” The boy started to leave, but Aaron stopped him. “Here, take this.” The boy’s face lit up as Aaron handed him extra payment for the message. Lilith smiled at Aaron’s ever present generosity.

    “T-thank you, sir!”

    Aaron nodded as the boy skipped off and closed the door behind him. “Well, looks like I’ve got to get going.”

    “Oh, don’t kid yourself, Aaron, you’d much rather stay here til Bartholomew gets here, so you don’t have to deal with them alone.”

    “Why can you read me so well?”

    “Well, in your own words; I can ‘observe emotion better than understand it’.”

    At this, both of them burst into laughter.

           

            *************************

    “Barthec, slow down! Honestly, I don’t understand why you’re in such a hurry.” Aaron puffed, attempting to catch up with his friend.

    Finally, Barthec stopped, but only to gape at Aaron, “Aaron, we’ve been over this! Laf said he was bringing someone special !! You know what that means!”

    Aaron looked at him, confused. Barthec sighed. Did he really not understand people enough to the point where he couldn’t even recognize this? God save him, poor man.

    “Special equals woman, Aaron.”

At this, Aaron’s jaw fell in understanding. “Do you think?”

Barthec scoffed, “Aaron, I know. Why else would Laf be so excited?”

They continued at a leisurely pace this time, headed toward the tavern. “How are you so sure, Barthec? It is Laf, after all.”

“Exactly. Laf is a hopeless romantic.”

“I don’t think he’s exactly the stereotypical Frenchman.”

“No,” Barthec laughed, “He’s not. But he is in the fact that he is always looking for his soulmate.”

They stopped talking for a while after that and took in the sights of the city instead. After all, they would be leaving soon with General Washington and the rest of the army.

“Do you think she’s pretty?” Aaron uncharacteristically asked.

“Aaron, what about her personality?”

Aaron snorted, “Knowing Laf, she’s probably a smartass and an intelligent beast of a woman.”

Barthec laughed in response, “Yeah, you’re probably right. But it sounded like he knew her so well.”

“A childhood friend, perhaps?”

“Maybe. But how come he’s never talked about her before then?”

Aaron glanced at him as if he was insane, “It’s Laf. Since when does he ever talk about anything from France? He’s so obsessed with our soon to be country, it’s uncanny.”

“I suppose you’re right.” sighed Barthec. Only Burr could win an argument with him without more resistance than that.

“Pardon me,” A voice said from behind the pair, “Are you Aaron Burr, sir?”

Chapter Text

    Aaron gave a sideways glance at Barthec, then looked back at the young man. He had dark hair that was tied back and wore a brown coat that seemed well-worn.

    “Depends, who’s asking?” Aaron joked. Clearly, the young man hadn’t seen it as a joke and took to immediately introducing himself.

    “Oh, well, sure, sir. I’m Alexander Hamilton-” No. It couldn’t be. Barthec recognized the name. This couldn’t be the man that- No. Stop it. He couldn’t think of him like that. Barthec needed to see this man from a new perspective instead of judging him on past mistakes. Though, it was especially hard to forgive and forget mistakes made on his family.

    “I’m at your service, sir.” The young man continued, giving a quick little bow to both men, “I have been looking for you.”

    “I’m getting nervous.” Burr said simply. He wasn’t actually too nervous at this point, but interested instead. Barthec could relate.

    “Sir, I heard your name at Princeton,” Oh not that again. Though, Barthec couldn’t really argue considering that both his father and Burr’s had used their influence to get them into high profile schools. Barthec was beginning to feel guilty again, but the young man moved on, “I was seeking an accelerated course of study when I got sort of out of sorts with a buddy of yours…”

    Well that was interesting! The way he was shuffling his feet and rubbing his neck meant that ‘out of sorts’ meant something a little more... violent. Barthec wondered who he could’ve possibly pissed off enough to get there.

    “I may have punched him, it’s a blur, sir.”

    Punched him?! Now that was a little more intense than Barthec had thought. He stole a glance at Aaron who looked quite amused and confused at the same time.

    “He handles the financials.”

    At this Aaron’s eyes widened in shock, “You punched the bursar?’

    “Yes!” Barthec held back a laugh at his enthusiasm in the statement.

    “I wanted to do what you did,” Oh you mean join college at thirteen because of your rich and powerful father? Barthec mentally built a wall around that and continued to listen to Hamilton. “Graduate in two and join the revolution!” A fellow soldier! This should be fun.

    Then, Alexander’s face grew serious, “He looked at me like I was stupid; I’m not stupid.” He looked small and full of rage, it was quite hilarious actually. Yet, Barthec didn’t want to think about getting into a fight with him. “So how’d you do it?” Enthusiastic Hamilton was back and full of questions, “How’d you graduate so fast?”

    “It was my parents’ dying wish before they passed.” Aaron put it too simply for the situation, but Barthec’s heart wrenched regardless.

    “You’re an orphan!” He said that in an excited manner that was too happy for Barthec’s liking, “Of course! I’m an orphan!” Oh. It seemed he was only drawing similarities of his own and not basking in another’s suffering. “God, I wish there was a war then we could prove that we’re worth more than anyone bargained for!”

    Barthec smiled at Aaron and they shared a knowing look. There would be one soon enough.

    Suddenly, Aaron looked back at Alexander, “Can I buy you a drink?”

    “That would be nice.” said Alexander hesitantly.

    “While we’re talking let me offer you some free advice.”

    Barthec sighed, as far as he could tell this kid wasn’t going to listen to Aaron anytime soon.

    “Talk less.”

    “What?”

    “Smile more.” Alexander laughed at this, but Aaron was completely serious. “Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for.”

    “You can’t be serious.” Aaron was shot a confused look.

    “You wanna get ahead?”

    “Yes.”

    At this point the group was already in the tavern at the bar. They had walked past the others in order to buy a drink for Alexander, as promised. The guys were clearly not happy.

    “Fools who run their mouths oft wind up dead.” Aaron spread his words of wisdom.

    “A YO YO YO YO YO A WHAT TIME IS IT?” A voice screamed from the back of the tavern. Barthec smiled. He knew this number. Burr, on the other hand, sighed.

    Ignoring his best friend’s agony, Barthec raced to the other side of the room to join in and didn’t catch Burr’s sigh, “Like I said.”

    “SHOWTIME!” He, Laf, and Herc chimed in to Laurens’ song. Jacob was taking shelter away in the crowd, pretending he didn’t know these people.

    “Showtime!” shouted Laurens again, going into his verse, “Yo, I’m-”

    It is imperative to note that Bartholomew did not have his own verse, but rather joined in on the others verses, supporting them in case of mess ups.

    “John Laurens in the place to be!” Barthec joined his friend in introducing him.

    Then, Laurens ran off on his own, “A two pints a’ Sam Adams, but I’m workin’ on three! Hah!” He let out a large laugh, but in rhythm with the beats that Laf and Herc were laying with the help of tavern steins and tables.

    Barthec joined in again, though he knew the next line would infuriate some guests at the tavern, “Those redcoats they don’t want it with me cuz’ I will-” Then, they made a noise similar to ‘PRA-CH-CH-PRA’ in order to imitate that of a gunshot. It was an attempt. “These cops ‘til I’m free!”

    Laf stepped onto the table, shoving Laurens off from where he stood. “Oui, oui, mon amie,”

    “Je m’appelle Lafayette!” Barthec was the only one in the group who could actually speak French besides Laf.

    Only Barthec sang this, “The Lancelot of the revolutionary set!”

    Then Laf took over again, “I came from afar just to say, ‘Bonsoir!’”

    “Tell the King, ‘Casse toi!’. Who’s the best?”

    Laf pointed to himself gracefully, “C’est moi.”

    Suddenly, Herc stood up from his chair and lifted half the table, causing both Barthec and Laf to slide off and leaving a very pissed Frenchman.

    “BRAAH, BRAAH. I am-”

    “Hercules Mulligan; uppin’ it, lovin’ it!” Barthec struggled to stand up, but didn’t miss his cues.

    “Yes I heard your mother say, ‘Come again?’”

    “Ayyyy.” The whole group, however pissed they were, joined in.

    “Lock up your daughters and horses,” Barthec visibly cringed at the horrid thought, “Of course, it’s hard to have intercourse over four sets of corsets!”

    Laf choked on his beer and Laurens’ eyes widened. At this point, Barthec wasn’t that surprised Herc would pull something like that.

    “Wow.” managed Laf through coughing.

    “No more sex.” stated Laurens, receiving a silent thank you from Barthec, “Pour me another brew son!” He motioned toward the barmaid, who sighed, but filled his glass. “Let’s raise a couple more to-”

    Everyone joined in, “The Revolution!”

    Shit. Laurens had caught Aaron’s gaze. “Well if it ain’t the prodigy of Princeton college!”

    “Aaron Burr.” smiled Hercules evilly, “Give us a-”

    “Burrse.” Laurens smirked at his pun, but Aaron hadn’t noticed it, “Drop some knowledge.” The group was laughing quietly throughout the whole thing, and didn’t mean any harm.

    Herc and Laf began to beatbox again, as Barthec smiled encouragingly at Aaron.

    Aaron sighed, walking over to the men, Alexander trailing behind, “Good luck with that you’re taking a stand. You spit, i’mma sit. We’ll see where we land.” He may have sighed, but Aaron was joining in with the fun, though the new kid clearly thought they were debating.

    Herc, Laf, and Laurens booed, but Barthec stayed silent. Laurens chided him, “Burr the revolution’s imminent what do you stall for?”

    To everyone’s surprise, Alexander chimed in, “If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?”

    “Who?”

    “Who are you?”

    “Who are you?”

    “Who are you?”

    “Who?”

    “Who is this kid?”

    “What’s he gonna do?”

Chapter Text

Over an hour had been spent with Alexander Hamilton introducing himself. The squad took to him immediately, though Burr still had his doubts. Finally, things had settled down and the squad sat at the table peacefully drinking. Except Jacob. Laurens had taken every glass he had tried to drink and given it back to the barmaid. Laurens had given the excuse that he was the designated sober friend tonight, but it was definitely Burr. It was always Burr.

When things had started to calm down, Laf finally got the chance to introduce his stranger. Someone in a red hood was sitting near Laf, in the shadows. It was clearly a woman, but she was wearing an outfit like that of an experienced assassin with tight leggings, a sash, and a tight shirt. Why that came to Barthec’s mind he knew not, but he knew he would like this woman.

When all was quiet did she finally speak.

“So this is where you hide that I can’t do my job.”

Laf snorted, “As if mi père could find anyvone to do your job better zan you.”

“Thanks.” She said simply.

“Laf, it’s very rude to have a guest that you don’t introduce.” Aaron pushed, clearly interested.

“Oh! Oui, Oui.” He had forgotten that neither Aaron nor Barthec had met his friend yet. “Zis is mon garde du corps, Arielle.”

The woman in question nodded, “Yet he forgets to mention that I am also his tutor in all things of this side of the world, including English and the local cultures.”

“Oui. Au contraire, though, she iz my best friend de mon enfance.”

“Okay,” slurred Hercules, “I totally understood that, but… say it again I wasn’t listening.”

Laurens looked absolutely confused and Jacob mirrored his expression.

Barthec sighed, “Arielle is Laf’s bodyguard, but also his tutor, as aforementioned, and his best friend since childhood.”

“Ohhhhhhh.” each member of the squad echoed the other.

“So, Arielle,” Aaron started, “How did you come to know Lafayette? And- I hope you don’t mind me asking, but it’s uncommon for women here, though I do support it, to have such jobs- how did you come upon being his bodyguard?”

“I was sold as a young child to be an indentured servant among the Marquis’s family. My skill in being a garde du corps was found at a decent young age and so I took that job instead of being a simple servant girl. And no, I don’t mind.”

Wow, she was straight to the point.

Barthec had a couple questions too, “Well, Arielle, I can see you have a French name, but you don’t seem to have an accent. May I ask why?”

“You are quite observant, Monsieur Schuyler.”

Barthec raised his eyebrow, “You know my name?”

“Oui, but of course. Your ‘squad’, as you call it, is all the Marquis talks about these days.” Through her serious stature, Barthec caught a glimpse of a smile, “To answer your other question, I am not French by birth. I was born into a family in the tropical regions South of this very land. I do not go by my birth name. It has no sentimental meaning for me.”

“Intriguing. You see, I myself come from those regions, though I know not where specifically.”

“Really?” She seemed interested now, “Faux. You are a Schuyler, are you not? That is impossible.”

Laurens whispered to Burr about not understanding. Burr whispered back, “Faux means untrue, or false, Laurens. Honestly, learning another language, especially French, should’ve been a main element in your education. Did you even have one?”

“I will not dignify that with an answer.” slurred Laurens drunkenly.

“You just di-”

“Shut up, Jacob.”

“I don’t usually introduce myself this way, but I believe I will make an exception today.” stated Barthec, “I’m not a Schuyler by birth. I thought it was common knowledge, but apparently I was wrong in thinking so. I was orphaned at a young age and somehow brought here. I know not how, but then I fell into the hands of a merchant who happened to be friends with a certain Philip Schuyler. I came into his household at the young age of 6, so I have lived with him as long as I can remember. He may as well be my real father.”

“Unfortunately, my friend here has forgotten to mention two things.” Aaron butt in, “Firstly, he came with his sister Lilith.” This seemed to spark something in Arielle, and her eyes dilated as if she were remembering something. “Secondly, he can remember some things of his childhood before the Schuylers, he simply does not wish to.”

“And why is that important to mention?”

“Perhaps Arielle knows something of your family.” Alexander stated, after taking a long drink of a beer.

“I don’t have any wish to know what happened to my family.” Barthec said darkly, staring into his drink as if it held all the answers to the universe. Aaron looked on sympathetically.

The night passed relatively smoothly after that, and the guys even made a number with Alexander in it. It as mostly his idea, but it was interesting to see. They called it “The Story of Tonight”. They were so strange sometimes.

Finally after a long night of drinking, Laf went home, since he had Arielle in case of emergency. After him went Laurens and Herc with Jacob. Apparently he was the sober friend tonight, much to his dismay. In the words of Laurens, “It wouldn’t-” *hic* “Be right to torture Barthec, too, since-” *hic* “He’s staying with Aaron tonight.” Even drunk, Laurens was considerate. So, Aaron and Barthec walked home alone and Barthec hobbled into the guest room reserved for him, exhausted and tipsy. He waved goodnight to Aaron and closed the door behind him. After slipping into something more comfortable, he slipped into bed and fell into a deep sleep almost immediately.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Bartholomew was sleeping peacefully with his face snuggled into a soft white pillow when a quiet rapping came from the door. Barthec ignored it, groaning into the pillow. Why did he have to be such a light sleeper?

“Hey, I’m sorry if I woke you up, but it’s pretty late in the morning-” Barthec checked his clock. 11 o’clock. Damn. “-And we kind of have something to do today..” Barthec shot out of bed, remembering that today was the day they headed to the army camp and joined up with the rest of the soldiers. They would also get to see General Washington and be assigned to a command. Barthec hoped to be put with his friends, but most new soldiers were kept in a group until they rose above their training, so he didn’t have to hope too much.

Barthec didn’t even bother to change, bursting open the door and almost hitting Aaron in the face.

Aaron just smirked, “Figured that would get you up.”

“Shut up.”

As they walked down the stairs of Aaron’s mansion of a home, Aaron informed him on what he had done so far, “I’ve made some eggs downstairs for breakfast, if you want any. The coffee is brewing, because tea is…. British.” They both laughed.

Within the next half hour, Barthec set the table for breakfast, finished up the coffee, and got half dressed. He was too busy making sure Aaron got ready to worry about himself, to be honest.

“You’ve eaten, right?”

“Yes, we ate together 20 minutes ago.” Aaron reminded him, some time later.

“You’re dressed, you’ve had your coffee, but are your things packed?” Barthec questioned.

“Yes, mother.”

“Don’t patronize me, Aaron.”

“Fine, but Barthec?”

Barthec turned from where he was washing the dishes, waiting to hear what he had to say.

“Have you done any of those things?”

Suddenly, Barthec realized that he only had half of his outfit on and half his pajamas. He still had a loose pair of pants on, but had his shirt and jacket on. Cursing under his breath, he started to head up the stairs to change.

“Don’t forget to brush your teeth and pack!”

“Shut up, Mother.”

“In your words Barthec; don’t patronize me.”

At that, Barthec sprinted into his room, came back with a pillow, and threw it at Aaron’s head from the top of the stairs. Aaron simply laughed as Barthec headed back to change.

Finally Barthec had changed, but it was time to pack. What on earth would he bring? First things first, his clothes and other necessities. After he packed those away as small as humanly possible, he looked around at his belongings. He had brought most of them to Burr’s house from his own just to make life easier for him, instead of having to head back to the house and say goodbye all over again. His first impulse was to pack all of his journals, which overall equaled about 15. Instead, he took 10 to start. If he needed anymore, he could always get one of his sisters to send some.

Barthec, unlike others, wrote very specific things in his journals. A few designated ones were used to draft important documents, essays, and etcetera. Most of his other ones were used to document every day’s events. Most children attempt to keep secret diaries and journals of their days, but lose the motivation or forget to do so each day. Barthec was not one of these people.

He had kept up journals since his father, Philip Schuyler, mind you, gave him his first one on his 7th birthday. Barthec and Lilith had worked non-stop throughout the first year they had been in the Schuyler household to learn how to read and write. When he thought they were ready, Philip gifted them each a special journal with their name engraved on it and a quill pen. Since then, Barthec had worked hard to keep up with it. He wrote his innermost thoughts, the events of the day, and people he met along the way. On average, Barthec used up about 3 journals a year. At 20 years old, Barthec had used 41 journals since he was 7.
All of the filled ones were at the Schuyler Mansion, except the one he was currently using. As it was just the beginning of fall, he had already used two journals, and had just started on a new one. This one was a simple one, nothing special really, but it would be special in that it would hold the contents of Barthec’s first army experiences. Gosh, he was so excited.

After packing some other things, like paper for writing letters and his stuffed dog from Catherine Schuyler, his adoptive mother. That woman was so caring and welcoming to everyone she met. That dog had been Barthec’s first real gift in his entire life. It meant so much to him. The dog was old and worn, but still had that soft fur that Barthec loved. Mother had made the dog by hand, just for him. Lilith had gotten one as well that was identical to his.

Finally he was packed and headed downstairs with his full bag, completely dressed at last. Luckily, it was only 1 o’clock, and the boys would have time to pick up their friends before they all needed to report to General Washington. Barthec met Aaron in front of the door, but neither one moved.

“Today’s the day.” Aaron sighed, excited yet nervous.

Barthec sighed with him, “And I thought yesterday was exciting.”

Aaron chuckled, “Remember when we got into college?”

Barthec smiled at the memory, “When our parents got us in at 13? Yeah.. Makes me feel guilty, but you squealed like a girl!”

Aaron glared at him, “I did not!”

“Yes you did. My sisters were on the floor laughing.”

“Your sisters laugh at everything!” Aaron scoff.

Barthec gave him the benefit of the doubt, “Maybe, but it was hilarious nonetheless.”

“We were so little and innocent back then.”

“I’d hardly say we were innocent!”

“Let me rephrase that,” Aaron laughed, “I was so innocent back then. You were little.”

“Hey!” protested Barthec, giving Aaron a good smack on the back of the head, “I was only an inch shorter than you then!”

Aaron stood up straight to prove his point.

“I said then…” mumbled Barthec under his breath.

Aaron laughed again, clutching his side that was hurting from all the laughing. “I suppose we have to leave sometime.”

Barthec sighed, “I suppose. I’m partially afraid to walk out that door and have everything change.”

“We could always wait.”

“No way! You wait too much, Aaron! You’re going to miss some great opportunities in life if you keep doing so.”

“Yes, but at least I won’t be as quick as Alexander and miss all the important, small moments in life.”

“Touche. But you still can’t sit around waiting your whole life.”

Aaron smiled at him, “But that’s why you’re my best friend, to keep me going.”

Barthec groaned dramatically, receiving a hit on the arm from his best friend.

Suddenly, a knock sounded from the door, awaking both men from their reminiscing. They opened it to find a tired Alexander with bags under his eyes. Had those been there before?

“Good morning! I wasn't sure where we were meeting but I figured it was better to find you then wait for you to find me or you not come at all.”

Barthec nodded. At least Alexander seemed to have common sense. That was more than most people could say.

Unlike Barthec, Aaron looked creeped out. “Erm… how did you find my home?”

“Oh!” exclaimed Alex, probably realizing that he looked really creepy right now, “I just asked around the neighborhood! Though, considering it is the largest house on the street and who your dad was…”

“I suppose it’s not that hard to find.” Burr remarked simply.

“Yeah..”

This silence was extremely awkward. Barthec cringed internally, then came up with an idea.

“So,” He interrupted the silence and both of his companions looked at him gratefully, “Should we head to Laf’s?”

“Sure.” Alex smiled slightly.

Aaron nodded, but stopped Barthec before he opened the door, “Quick prayer?”

Barthec glanced at Alex, “You don’t mind, do you?”

Alex shook his head, “It’s no problem.”

Barthec and Aaron said their prayers for the journey and their friends, then grabbed their stuff and headed out. Barthec had been taught about Christianity by his adoptive father and had decided to follow God a couple years after being in his care. Aaron shared his beliefs and they often talked to each other for advice or sharing interesting things that came with that. Both of them went to church together on Sundays, too. To put it simply, Aaron and Barthec talked about everything and did everything together.

It didn’t take long to find the place where Laf was staying and the guys were in no hurry to wait, so Barthec knocked on the door. When no one answered, he turned the knob to see if the door was open. To his happiness, and surprise, it was, so he flung it open. Once he saw them, he partially regretted it.

Laf had locked Arielle in his arms and was kissing her. Arielle didn’t seem very happy and quickly got out of his lock. Then, to each of their surprise, she punched him in the face. Laf fell to the ground as Arielle dashed off up the stairs, presumably to grab her bag. The men immediately raced over to Laf, but he didn’t seem upset. In fact, he was smiling like an idiot.

Aaron gave a quick look at his nose, “I think it’s broken, but I can’t tell when your hand is on it.”

Laf moved his hand and all of them winced. It was broken, alright. Badly broken. Yet, he looked like she had just said yes to him proposing.

“Uh, Laf, are you okay?” Barthec asked warily.

Laf sighed dreamily, “{Better than okay.}”

All in present company seemed to understand him, which surprised everyone but Alex. He hadn’t mentioned that he could speak French.

“But Laf-” Aaron exclaimed in surprise, “You were just rejected!”

“{Yes, but I’ve made progress.}”

“How so?” Alex asked, genuinely interested.

“{If she didn’t feel the same, she would’ve gotten out of that lock sooner.}”

Aaron was doubtful, “How are you so sure? It was a powerful lock.”

Laf scoffed as if Aaron had just told him that unicorns were real, “{Arielle is a trained bodyguard and assassin, Burr. If she wanted to get out she would’ve gotten out.}”
Laf stood up and left to clean up his nose and left his friends surprised. He was right. How long had he known that she had feelings for him?

In returning, Laf explained the story behind it, though he kept it brief. “{I’ve come to see how much Arielle means to me in the last 5 years and our friendship only kept blossoming. To be honest, I didn’t know she had feelings to return until today. She is not one to show her feelings often.}”

“Wait, she’s okay with your flirting with her?” Aaron was surprised for the third time today.

“{I’ve been flirting with her for years, but she’s shown no reaction. I was starting to give up hope and went for my last resort.}”

“What will you do now that you have this knowledge?” Inquired Alex, curiously.

“{Nothing different. Now that I know, I cease to be worried. I shall continue to show my feelings until she realizes that they are true and that she does not have to keep her feelings hidden around me.}”

That was actually a lot sweeter than Barthec expected. He still had one problem though. “Isn’t that a little dangerous, to flirt with an assassin?”

“{Yes, but as I said before; she will not hurt me anymore than a broken nose.}”

Arielle came back downstairs and was not happy, “If you four are finished talking about me, let’s move on. And you best all keep in mind that I have my resources and I can easily find you if necessary or if I wish.” She removed a knife from a hidden place below her cloak with lightning speed, flipping it in her hand at the same speed. Aaron visibly flinched as they shuffled out the door.

Hercules met them on the way to Jacob and John’s place. Apparently, Jacob had settled Herc at home instead of keeping him at Jacob and John’s own place. It didn’t make much difference, he supposed. Unluckily, Herc woke up extremely late and was barely able to get up in time. It was practically a miracle he had caught them in time, considering he had only woken up 30 minutes ago.

Jacob was the one to answer the door and he answered it with a huge smile on his face. “Hey, guys!”

It was totally okay with Barthec that he called them ‘guys’, but apparently Laf and Herc were still a little conflicted. Jacob saw it on their faces and immediately looked hurt.
When Laurens came around the door, he saw the problem and frowned at his two drinking buddies and some of his best friends. “Hey, it should be enough that he’s my kid brother that he’s in the squad. Don’t give him that look Herc, he took care of drunk you without bursting into tears.”

“Now that’s an achievement.” Barthec commented, receiving a swift kick in the butt from the muscular and extremely tall greek demi-god in the back.

Laurens continued, giving a smile to Barthec that showed his gratitude, “Are you guys ready?”

“Honestly?” Barthec commented first as Laurens nodded, “No.”

“I’ve been ready.” Herc exclaimed. Laf agreed with him and Arielle nodded slightly.

Jacob smiled a little, “I’m ready to go, but I think the real question is; are we ready for things to change?”

Alex nodded vigorously, surprising the squad, “I came here to change things and it’s time for things to get a move on.”

They all chuckled a little, but were still considering Jacob’s question. Were they really ready for this?

Barthec stepped up to the plate as he saw many different reactions to what they were asking themselves. Laf looked conflicted and kept glancing at Arielle. Arielle, on the other hand looked serious as always and gave nothing away. Aaron looked worried and was clearly remembering something of serious value to him. Laurens and Jacob were staring at each other, sharing a look that only two siblings would understand. Herc looked reminiscent, yet excited and Alex just looked confident, but with a hint of excitement.

“You guys.” he gained their attention easily, “Change happens without warning oft times. We have gone through much change in our lives and look at us now. We will be assisting in freeing ourselves and doing our country a service. Not all of us may live through this, but none of us will regret it. We’ll be together and stronger so. We’re closer than ever, even if we met just last night, which applies to more of us than I would like to admit.” The original squad smiled at this, remembering how hard it was to find such revolutionaries as themselves. “If anyone can save this country from Great Britain, it’s us. Our lives have been great and happy so far, but where has the adventure gone? There’s nowhere to go from here except this way. By doing this, we will start our paths and no matter where that leads us, we will stay together whether in spirit or person. And together we’re strong enough to defeat an entire army.”

“Let’s hope so, because it looks like that’s what we’ll end up doing.” The group snickered as Hercules interrupted Barthec’s inspiring speech.

“Damn it, Herc, I was on a roll.” He huffed angrily.

“Yeah, well someone had to stop you.”

Finally the group was on their way. Finally instead of today being the day, this moment was the moment. The moment they met General Washington and began to write their narratives was upon them.

Chapter Text

A couple days ago, Laurens had seen an article in the newspaper written by an anonymous person that stood out to him. The article was all about how splitting from Britain was good for the country and Laurens couldn’t say he didn’t enjoy it. The writing was exquisite, with intricate details and an excellent argument that persuaded Laurens easily, even if he had already wanted to split from the mother country. A thought came to him one day and he decided to show it to Alex. That was how much he enjoyed the article.

“Alex!” Laurens caught him outside the tent they shared with a couple other men, including Jacob. Sadly, Barthec, Laf, and Herc were in a different tent. No one had any idea where Arielle slept, but she sure as hell wasn’t sleeping in the same tent with Laf after the stunt he pulled. Barthec had told him on their way to camp for the first time and he had been laughing so hard that tears slipped out of his eyes.

Alexander turned to face him with a stack of papers in his arms. Laurens had no idea what he would do with them, but that stack hadn’t been there yesterday, he was sure of it.

“What is it?” Alex’s bags under his eyes had only gotten worse and Laurens was beginning to suspect that he never slept.

“Look at this article! It’s insane, man!” Laurens smiled brightly and pulled out the article from his bag, practically shoving it in Alex’s face.

Alex took a moment to read while Laurens waited. Alexander Hamilton was both a quick reader and writer, so John knew that it wouldn’t take him long to finish and didn’t mind waiting. Laurens glanced at his face to see his reaction. Alex’s jaw dropped in awe and his eyes sparkled with admiration.

“Who in all of earth wrote this amazing article?!” He lowered the paper from his face and stared at Laurens.

“No idea. It’s anonymous.” Laurens shrugged.

“Damn, why would they stay anonymous with this great of an article?” Alex looked extremely disappointed.

Laurens nodded, “That’s what I was thinking.” After a moment, he started again, “But it’s amazing, right?”

Alex brightened and began to rant about it, “Their vocabulary is absolutely sumptuous and their argument is well-founded, cleverly argued, and most persuasive! If I could write half as well…”

Laurens snorted, “You can write at least half as well, Hamilton.”

Alex mocked sadness, “I thought you were supposed to cheer me up and say I wrote just as well!”

“Well, unfortunately, Alex, lying is a sin.”

Alex laughed, but looked a little mad.

“Oh, cheer up. This person is clearly a professional and has been training for years.”

“On the contrary, John-” Alex protested, “I have to disagree.”

“And why is that?” Laurens inquired.

“This person argues with a passion and the experience that no professional essayist could convey in their writing. The writer is clearly a revolutionary who has a natural talent for writing that they have practiced with for a long time.”

“Damn.”

Alex smiled at his win. He always won at these kinds of arguments.

“So we’re probably looking for a fellow soldier, right?” Laurens was still slightly confused, but guessed anyway.

“I assume so. Perhaps even someone we know…” Alex glanced around camp, spotting Barthec and Burr talking in one corner. Herc and Jacob were near the middle of camp having some kind of food and Laf was off God knows where with Arielle probably impressing some officer or other.

“Burr?” Laurens suggested.

Alex scoffed, “Burr would never state his opinion that openly.”

“Considering you’ve only known him for like a week, I don’t know whether to listen to you on that.”

“I’m good at reading people.”

“And annoying them with your incessant instinct to argue.”

“You’re not wrong.”

Laurens glanced at Barthec and Burr. “I’ll be right back.” Alex nodded and headed toward Jacob and Herc.

John turned the other way and went to speak with Barthec and Burr.

“That is so amazing! Such exquisite wording and argument-” Burr stopped talking as Laurens walked over.

“Oh, hey, John!” Barthec smiled brightly at him and he smiled back.

“What are you guys talking about?”

“Oh, uh-” Barthec started to explain, but Burr interrupted, much to John’s annoyance.

“We were just looking at the article that Lilith wrote, actually.”

“Lilith wrote an article? That’s pretty cool!”

Barthec’s smile brightened even more as he pulled out the article, “Yeah, she wrote anonymously, because no one would accept it if they knew she was a woman. It’s really good! I’m so proud of her.”

“I couldn’t agree more.” Burr smiled, a little too brightly.

Laurens had begun to be suspicious. “This wouldn’t happen to be the one that was all about why leaving Britain is good for country, would it?”

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

Laurens gaped. Lilith wrote that? She was insanely talented. Barthec had vaguely mentioned her being a writer when they first met, but nothing like this.

“I was just reading it this morning! It’s by far the greatest piece I’ve ever read! She argues it so well with the perfect wording.”

“You read it?!”

“Yeah, I showed Alex, too! I think he’s showing Herc and Jacob as well.”

Burr interrupted, hysterical with happiness, “This is great! Lilith has always wanted to write these articles, and so have you Barthec! You are almost equal to her skill! You should write an article, too, but use your name. Maybe someone higher up will see it!”

Laurens actually smiled at his comment, “If you’ve got that kind of skill, Barthec, I agree. Maybe General Washington will see it!”

Barthec was blushing, but smiling, “You think?”

*************************
Three days later, Barthec was horrified. Looking down at the news, he saw the article he wrote a while ago. Even worse, the article was written in his name.

Storming into the tent, Barthec flew through his bag, trying to find the paper he’d originally written his essay on. He searched every corner of the tent, but to no avail.

At the sound of footsteps, Barthec turned around in fury. Standing in front of him was Aaron, holding two different things in his hands. In one was a letter of some kind and the other was the very same newspaper Barthec had just read. Seeing Barthec’s face, Aaron gained a look of fear and horror.

“Aaron?”

“Uh-huh?” He squeaked fearfully.

“Did you do it?”

Aaron rubbed his neck nervously, “D-do what?”

Barthec squinted, glaring at his best friend. “Don’t play with me, Aaron. Did you send it to the news?”

“Maybe..”

“You son of a-”

“It wasn’t my idea!” Aaron protested, trying to shift the blame.

Barthec smiled internally. Aaron wouldn’t get away with this, but maybe he could get two birds with one stone.

“Whose idea was it, then?”

“Hamilton’s. And Laurens’.” He shuffled his feet.

“Alex?” Barthec was surprised. Surely Alex was too busy with his own essays that he spent all night working on. The man never got any sleep.

Aaron nodded in response. Barthec stormed off outside, where Alex was sure to be.

“ALEX.”

Instead of Alex, Barthec saw John, eating by the fire in the middle of camp. Little known to Barthec, John had heard him and had gotten chills on the back of his neck.

“SHIT.” Laurens got up faster than you could say ‘Hamilton’, spilling his stew all over Herc.

“Hey! The fu-”

Laurens ignored him, dashing toward Alex and his tent, where he knew Alex was working on another essay. He was barely able to come to a stop when he opened up the tent. Alex fell out of his chair in surprise.

“Hey, what’s-”

He clearly saw the look on Laurens’ face and immediately looked terrified. “WHERE DO WE GO?!”

“I don’t know, genius! This was your idea in the first place!”

They heard angry footsteps heading toward them and sped out of the back of the tent, running toward nowhere in particular.

“ALEX! JOHN! I SWEAR TO GOD YOU GET YOUR ASSES BACK HERE OR I WILL SIC ARIELLE ON YOU. SHE OWES ME A FAVOR FOR SWITCHING TENTS WITH HER.”

Oh God, that was even worse. Unfortunately for Barthec, this only motivated Alex and Laurens to run faster. Alex hopped over someone asleep on the ground, probably just come back from a battle and exhausted. Laurens followed him, accidentally kicking the poor man in the face as he sat up to see what was going on.

Barthec had the perfect plan for murdering them. First, he would pick Alex up by his coat and drop him in the lake. Then, Laurens would receive a punch in the face and find the same fate. Afterwards, he would probably force feed them Laf’s escargot that he had made once while being in camp. That stuff was nasty, and not because it was snails. To be honest, escargot well made would probably taste good compared to Laf’s. Laf just couldn’t cook to save his life.

Unbeknownst to all three men, they were running straight for the General’s cabin. When Barthec realized it, it was too late.

Laurens and Hamilton stood, out of breath and red, both from exhaustion and embarrassment. The General was standing right in front of them, serious as ever. Barthec tried to stop and turn around, but the General spotted him.

“Don’t walk away, son.”

Barthec’s heart caught in his chest and he held his breath. Turning, he saw Laurens and Alex looking absolutely terrified as the General walked up to him.

“I don’t know what’s going on here, but I believe these gentlemen-” General Washington was referring to Alex and Laurens, “Have a matter to discuss with you.”

Barthec’s eyes widened in surprise. Was the General…..helping him catch them? As if to answer his question, Washington let out a little smirk and turned to walk away.

“T-Thank you, sir!” Barthec did a little salute, and could’ve sworn he saw Laurens snicker. Alex jabbed his friend when he noticed Barthec’s death glare in their direction.

Before Washington opened the door to his temporary office, he turned to look at Barthec again. “I saw your article in the news this morning. Well done. You may have a future in my offices.” At that, the intimidating man turned swiftly and left the others gawking behind him.

Barthec’s jaw dropped as he watching the General leave. The other two copied his expression.

“I still hate you, Hamilton.”

Chapter Text

    After the previous events, I headed back to the tent, but not until after dumping two specific someones in the lake. I rushed into the tent to find Aaron waiting for me. Aaron looked upset, though I had no idea why.

    “Aaron, you will never believe what just happ-”

    “I’m going to Quebec.”

    I stopped in my tracks. Quebec? When? Where? What? When did this happen? Why in the world was Aaron going to Quebec?

    “W-What?”

    Tears filled Aaron’s eyes, which was a rarity, “I’ve been assigned to General Montgomery’s troop in Quebec. I leave tomorrow.”

    I dropped onto my cot, opposite Aaron’s. “But we haven’t even had our first battle yet. A-And we were supposed to stay together. We always stick together, Aaron.” I sniffed, wiping the newfound tears on my face away. I would later curse myself for sounding so childish.

    “I know.” Aaron looked like everything in his life had just been destroyed.

    We both stayed silent for a moment, before Aaron spoke again. “What if I don’t come back, Barthec?”

    “Don’t say that, damn it!” I stood up, sobbing, and ran for Aaron, tackling him in a hug. “You have to come back! You will come back!”

    Aaron sighed, “Barthec, we don’t kno-”

    “Can you shut up, Aaron? Talk less, will you?”

    “You’re even talented at convincing people with memories when you’re crying.” Aaron smiled a little.

    “I swear to God Almighty I will throw you in the lake like I did Alex and John.”

    Aaron chuckled and returned the hug.

    “These assignments don’t always last long.” I informed him, trying to reassure him as well as myself, “You’ll be back before we know you’re gone.”

    “But-”

    “No butts, Aaron! Especially no female butts. Keep your mind on the war.” I glared at him, completely serious.

    Aaron turned a deep shade of red, “I-I don’t think you have much to worry about there.”

    I tilted my head, confused, but Aaron didn’t grant me a response.

    Aaron sighed. “As much as I would love to continue this conversation, Barthec..”

    “You have to go?” I grew upset again. My best friend was leaving him and who knows if and when he would return? Mentally slapping myself for those thoughts, I gave Aaron one last hug. “You better write me, Aaron, I swear to God.”

    “First, no swearing. Second, don’t use His name.” Aaron chuckled

    I rolled my eyes and mocked Aaron’s words, “ First , have you noticed who our friends are? Second, I’m just making a promise to him if you don’t write to me.”

    “And what promise is that?”

    “That I will personally beat the shit out of you before the redcoats even get a chance.”

 

        *************************

 

    It had been a week since Aaron had left, and so far the squad had already seen two battles. The first was hard enough, but the second left us completely drained of all energy and happiness. The only thing keeping us alive right now was the hope of winning the war and getting this over with.

    I had written another newspaper article, but had decided against publishing it. Unfortunately, it seems someone found my new hiding place again and published it for me. At this point, I was pissed.

    “Alexander Hamilton, you went through my things, stole my personal item, and showed the world about it without my consent!” I roared at my stone-faced friend. “How would I not be mad? AND this isn’t the first time you’ve done it! What the hell, Alex?! Do you WANT me to embarrass myself in front of the whole world?!”

    Alex looked like he wanted to stand up and scream his argument at me, but somehow he stayed calm and refrained from doing so. “I’m trying to help you.”

    “What in all of heaven, hell, or earth makes you think this is helping me?!”

    “You’re too scared to publish your works, but they are so excellently written and passionat-”

    I cut him off, “Flattery will get you nowhere, Hamilton.”

    “I am not flattering you, Schuyler ,” he copied my use of his last name, “I’m telling the truth. If anything, this is for the people. To give them hope.”

    I scoffed, “Well then why don’t you publish your works? They’re just as good as mine.”

    “Oh don’t kid yourself,” Hamilton scoffed, just as I had, “We both know that isn’t true. Besides, who says I don’t publish my works?”

    I shoved this fact off. I had guessed that Alex had been publishing them anonymously, but this only confirmed my suspicions. “You know what I mean. Why not in your name?”

    “I would like to fight, Barthec, not write. You on the other hand, would do anything in this revolution, just to be free.”

    “Maybe I would, but how would you know? We’ve barely known each other a week.”

    “Maybe so, but John talks about you a ton.” He stated simply.

    At this, I blushed slightly, but whatever I was feeling was immediately replaced by anger. “Goddamnit, Hamilton, you just DON’T GET IT! YOU WILL NEVER GET IT WILL YOU?!

    A cough sounded from the tent’s entrance, and I saw a young boy standing there.

    “What is it?” I asked, clearly pissed.

    “Excuse me sirs,” he stated politely, “But General Washington wishes to see you, Mr. Schuyler.”

    I spun around to completely face the boy, “Me?! What on earth does he want to see me for?”

    The boy smiled shyly, “Erm.. I’m not sure, sir. I do believe he said something about a job, though, sir.”

    I went into shock as the world turned inside out and upside down around me. Suddenly feeling dizzy, I sat back on the cot, head in my hands.

    “You owe me, Schuyler.” Chuckled Alex, leaving the tent with a smile on his face.

    “Sir,” interrupted the boy, “I hate to rush, but the General said he wished your presence immediately.”

    “O-Of course,” I managed to get out, as I stood to follow the boy to the General’s offices. Was this really happening right now?

Chapter Text

I followed the boy into the offices, anxiously rubbing my fingers together and self consciously crossing one arm over the other. It was a habit of mine when I was nervous. He led me to a door at the end of the hall and I was reminiscing of the headmaster’s door at King’s. The boy stood to the side and motioned for me to enter.

I pulled the door open slowly and poked my head in. Unfortunately, it seemed the General was busy, as he was talking to three other men with stone faced expressions.

 

The door creaked and all of the men stared at me. I froze in place, not knowing what to do. Lucky for me, the General did.

 

“Ah, yes, Private, come in.” Private? I’ve never been called Private...what rank is that? Am I even a Private? Did he have me mistaken for someone else? He stood from his chair behind the desk and addressed the men once again as I entered, walking swiftly to the side of the room. “I apologize, gentlemen, we'll have to continue this conversation later, as I have some business to attend to.” He nodded toward me and the other men left with mild complaining.

 

The door slammed behind them, causing me to flinch, while the General was still as stone, like usual. Washington took his seat again, waving me forward with his right hand and picking up a piece of paper in his right. I cautiously approached the desk, standing up straight and awaiting the General’s permission to speak.

 

“At ease soldier.” He commanded and I relaxed, opening my mouth to speak before he cut me off. “I’m sure you have your questions, but let me start, son.” I nodded. “I called you here to give you an offer. I’m sure you remember a week ago when you…”

 

I rubbed my neck self consciously, remembering when I chased Alex and John right toward the General’s offices, the very place we were now. “Yes, sir, I do.”

 

“Well, my offer still stands. I would like to offer you a job as my... what would you call it?” He gazed off in thought.

 

I took a deep breath, “What would you have me do, sir?”

 

He looked back at me, “You would write all my documents for me, both important and slightly important, you would speak to other Generals and officers in my name, and record conversations and meetings for me.”

 

“Many would call that a secretary, sir.”

 

“Yes, I suppose they would.” He stood again, staring straight into my soul, “But I want you to know, son, that this job is more important than any regular secretary.”

 

I glanced down at the floor. “Sir?”

 

“Yes, Private Schuyler?”

 

“May I ask why you’re offering me this job? N-not that I’m ungrateful or anything-”

 

The General chuckled, “It’s fine, son, I understand. I’m offering it to you because of your talent. I’ve seen lights from your tent be alive throughout the entire night and at least 2 articles of yours in the local news. I know it isn’t you publishing them and that you are afraid to. I believe in your talent and skill, and I believe you need a little shove to gain the confidence you need.”

 

Wow. He really believed in me? I didn’t know whether or not to feel honored. On one hand, this job would bring me up the ranks in the army and help me get a job after the war, but on the other hand, I would be a secretary .

 

“So, what do you say, son?”

 

I paused for a moment, then made up my mind. “I gladly accept, sir.”

 

He smiled brightly, for the first time I’d ever seen. “Great choice, son. You start tomorrow morning.”

 

I smiled back, “Thank you, sir. I’ll do my best, sir.” And with that, I left the offices, still in shock. I had to write Aaron.

 

        *************************

 

    While on my way back to the tent, I noticed Alex talking to a group of people and tripped him in front of them. He fell straight on his ass and everyone was laughing. That is why you don’t mess with a Schuyler. Though, if he weren’t my friend, I would’ve gotten some better revenge.

 

        *************************

    My Dearest, Aaron,

    It is of my deepest feeling that I can say you are missed. Though only two measly weeks have gone by, much has occurred and much have you since missed. Bartholomew, as I’m sure he has written you, has recently been chosen by the General to be his secretary, and he has been promised a decent salary, though I’m sure there will be troubles with that, as they haven’t paid any soldiers their salary as of yet.

    Anyway, I also send attached the article that drew the General’s attention in the first place. I hope you enjoy it, as well as the second article I send that I wrote and sent to a publisher in South Carolina, who has published it in his newspaper. I would have preferred not to send it to you, but I know you well, Aaron, and I know that, had you known I had it published, you would have pushed me to send it anyway.

    My father sent me a letter a few days ago that I received this morning asking if you and I could perform at this year’s New Year’s Party. I told him of your whereabouts, and apologized for not telling him earlier, and reassured him that we would most definitely make it sometime before the war was over. Knowing the General, and his men, you and Barthec will surely make it in the next few years. I have been busy recently in my travels, but I know for sure that I will make the Winter’s Ball in 1780, just four years from now, if all my plans work out.

    I know not what to say to you besides what has been going on, but know that I miss you dearly. I cannot recall the last time you were so far away for so long. I believe it was when your mother and father took you to South Carolina to see extended family, though correct me if I’m wrong. I also recall that was when we wrote our longest letters, for we knew no one else enough to keep us company.

    Despite how I could ramble on, duty calls, Aaron, and I regretfully must finish this letter. It is in my dearest hopes that I could find a way to convey to you how dearly you are missed and my dearest wishes that you could reply to this letter. I realize that you are very busy and may not have the time, but hopefully one reply to your best friend will not be too much to ask.

    My Deepest Affections,

    Lilith

Chapter Text

    Aaron held the letter close to him, reading every word as if it were his last. She had such a way with words that it swept Aaron off his feet and into the air to float for all eternity. His own heart lept a hundred feet when he read her departing line just before her name. The comma after dearest had confused him and he wondered if she felt the same toward him as he had felt since they first met. No, she couldn’t. She was surely interested in Laurens or one of the other men. She simply thought of him as her best friend.

    Despite these conflicted feelings, Aaron took extreme delight in receiving the letter and began to write her back immediately. He decided that he would show his true feelings discreetly, as she had confused him with her actions.

 

    Dearest, Lilith,

    It delights me that you have taken the time to write me and I will attempt with my utmost being and dedication to reply to each letter you send me. I will also attempt to tell you the events happening around me and I hope you continue to do so. I am sure that you are one of the few to miss me, as there are not many who care for me as much as you.

    Indeed, Bartholomew has written me about this and I have told him as I tell you now: I am extremely proud and happy for him. Though I can say that I expected him to make his mark in the offices of Washington since the day he came to me about Washington offering him a job. Unfortunately, the colonies are still suffering from financial instability, as I expect they will for years to come. I do believe Washington will keep to his word and make sure his most needed and talented men will be paid first, as they are more deserving of their wages than the average soldier, at least in the eyes of the higher up.

    You know me too well, Lilith, as I know you just as well. I’m glad you sent the articles to me, as I have greatly enjoyed them. They are just as good as I expected, perhaps even better. I am sure Barthec gave Alexander the revenge he spoke of in his letters, yes? I hope you will continue to publish your articles, as they are simply the greatest writing of yours I have seen yet. When you are passionate about a subject, the words seem to flow even more smoothly than usual, do they not? Please continue to send your articles, because, though I may not have much time to reply to your letters, I will most definitely keep your writings and read them when I need confidence. I suppose that sounds strange, but as you are my best friend, inspiration, and the one who pushes me to do well in the world, I believe it is completely accurate and appropriate.

    It pains me that we will be unable to perform at your father’s party, please send Mr. Schuyler my apologies as well. Yes, we will most definitely be together in Albany before the war is over, at least we can hope. Since that is the case, I will plan to be there for the Winter’s Ball in 1780 as well, and I hope to meet you there. If it pleases you, I would ask you to reserve your first dance for me, as by then we may not have seen each other for some time.

    Things are more difficult to say over letter, so just imagine that I am there with you when you are writing this and as if you are speaking to me face to face. It would bring me joy to hear how you, and our friends and family of course, are doing and how you are feeling. Any troubles you have or delights you take you may share with me, as I would be willing to share in your pain and your happiness. It makes me just as happy to see you happy. You aren’t wrong, I was gone for a long time in South Carolina and I do recall us writing many letters to each other, as we are now. Since I met you, there has been none close enough to speak with as I do you.

    Unfortunately, duty calls for me as it does most in this wretched war. You have successfully told me how much you missed me, and know that however much you miss me, I miss you ten times as much. Though, I do not think there is any possible way you can convince me that the others miss me just as much. It is never too much trouble to reply to you and you never cause me any grief. I hope, just as much as you hope that I will reply, that you will continue to write me and continue to receive my letters.

    Much Love,

    Aaron

 

    Much to Aaron’s dismay, Lilith hadn’t told him to where to send the letter, so instead of making things difficult, he simply sent the letter to the Schuyler household.

    Peggy answered the door a couple days later to find the mailboy with a bigger load than usual.

    “I have a letter for a Mr. Philip Schuyler and four different letters to a Miss Schuyler.” The boy scratched his head, clearly confused.

    Peggy chuckled, “Just hand them all to me, I’m one of the Miss Schuylers, and I will be sure to hand the others their letters.” The boy did as she said and swiftly left with more letters to bring to neighboring homes.

    Peggy began to check the letters and their return addresses. The letter to her father was from Lilith, as were three of the letters addressed to a ‘Miss Schuyler’.The final one, however, was from Aaron Burr.

Peggy chuckled to herself, knowing to which Miss Schuyler it was addressed to. She put it on top of a pile of things that was to be sent to Lilith and turned to leave, but paused. A horrible thought appeared in her mind. What if she just snuck a peek at what it said? Maybe one small glance? It wouldn’t do any harm, really, and perhaps Peggy could prove to Eliza that Aaron loved Lilith more than the other way around. Then again, it was her sister’s personal business and who knows what he had written. To tell the truth, though, most of her sister’s business was her business, and that was another reason to check it; Peggy had no idea what was written in it. Finally, she succumbed to temptation and opened the letter.

Dearest, Lilith, - Peggy saw the comma and immediately ran upstairs to the privacy of her room. Well, almost privacy. Eliza was there, but Peggy knew it would take Eliza a moment to realize that the letter wasn’t hers. Inside, Peggy was squealing with the delight at Aaron’s use of comma.

She continued to read, and found sweet heartfelt messages from the usually emotionless man she had seen every once in awhile. It changed her view on him, and she was pleasantly surprised to find that he had a soft side; especially one that was pointed toward her sister.

I will attempt with my utmost being and dedication to reply to each letter you send me. That was so adorable of him to share his feelings like that. Peggy silently prayed that he would continue to send letters, not only so that she could read them, but so that Lilith would be happy as ever and continue to have her feelings for him. After all, this letter proved he was a kind man and certainly one almost perfectly worthy of Lillith’s affection. According to Peggy, as well as Eliza and Angelica, no one was completely worthy enough to be with their sister. As there are not many who care for me as much as you. Aaron wasn’t wrong. Lilith cared for him more than most, in more ways than one.

Finally, Eliza seemed to notice something was up, as she saw Peggy smiling brightly as if there was a puppy on the floor below her. She stood and made her way over to Peggy, who looked up at her in delight.

“Margarita Schuyler, I do believe that you are snooping in someone else’s business, with how bright your smile is. Who, dare I say, is the lucky victim?” She joked lovingly, knowing that Peggy would only be smiling that brightly if she had pulled of a prank or a successful thievery.

Peggy showed her sister the address commenting; “Mr. Burr, Sir, and our dearest older sister.”

Eliza gasped and sat on the bed next to Peggy, eagerly reading the letter. Peggy pointed out the things she had begun to read in the first paragraph and Eliza squealed with joy. Peggy continued reading the letter, reading it out loud this time.

You know me too well, Lilith, as I know you just as well. ” Peggy wondered what Lilith had said in her letter that had caused him to say that. “ I hope you will continue to publish your articles, as they are simply the greatest writing of yours I have seen yet

Eliza snickered, “He loves her writing, even if he doesn’t agree with the topic.”

“But ‘Liza!” protested Peggy, “They agree on everything!”

“I suppose so,” Eliza gave up, then continued reading, “ I will most definitely keep your writings and read them when I need confidence. I suppose that sounds strange, but as you are my best friend, inspiration, and the one who pushes me to do well in the world, I believe it is completely accurate and appropriate. How sweet!”

Peggy took over from there, " I will plan to be there for the Winter’s Ball in 1780 as well, and I hope to meet you there. If it pleases you, I would ask you to reserve your first dance for me, as by then we may not have seen each other for some time. ” After reading the line, both girls shrieked at the top of their lungs, resulting in a very flustered Angelica storming through the door.

“What in heaven?! Why are you girls screaming?!” She seemed to notice the letter and gave Peggy a questioning look.

“Aaron has sent Lilith a-” Before she could even finish, Angelica ran over to join them as they finished reading. “ It would bring me joy to hear how you, and our friends and family of course, are doing and how you are feeling. Any troubles you have or delights you take you may share with me, as I would be willing to share in your pain and your happiness. It makes me just as happy to see you happy.

Angelica refused to let Peggy read the rest, using the excuse that she, as the eldest, got first rights to reading it out loud. It was a stupid reason, but Peggy and Eliza were too excited to argue further with her. “ Since I met you, there has been none close enough to speak with as I do you. ” Angelica squealed then continued, “ You have successfully told me how much you missed me, and know that however much you miss me, I miss you ten times as much.

Eliza snickered, “I doubt that.” She received a slap on the arm from Peggy, who still thought Aaron loved Lillith more. Eliza read this time, “ Much Love, Aaron ?!” The girls broke into a fit of squeals, shrieks, and giggles.

“I regret nothing!!” shouted Peggy, referring to her thievery of the letter. Angelica raced downstairs to send the letter to Lilith, excited for her sister to see it and hoping she would take all the hints that Aaron had left behind of his true feelings.

 

        *************************

 

    When Lilith received the letter, it was clear that her sisters had gone through it, but that was to be expected, considering it was a letter from Aaron.

    After reading the letter, she was red as a tomato and happy as a lark. Still, she had her doubts. A note from Angelica was enclosed in the envelope, reading: “Do not question his feelings, dear sister, for they are as clear as daylight.” Despite this, Lilith still questioned how he felt about her. However, the comma after dearest and when he said ‘much love’ made her heart soar. She immediately picked up a pen and a page, and she started writing just what she’d say if they were face to face.

 

        *************************

 

    A constant of Lilith and Aaron’s, before temporarily going their separate ways, was to perform songs of their own composition at the Schuylers’ regular parties, galas, and balls. The pair were talented in the arts, though Aaron more so than Lilith. At this point you may be thinking to yourself; “Is there anything Lilith can’t do?” Yes, there are many things she cannot do. Writing, reading, and singing are practically her only talents, though not in a rude way of saying. See, most people are born with a specific set of talents and are not great at much else, though they can be satisfactory at other things or can teach themselves to be better at something, but it is nearly impossible to teach yourself to be so good at something that it’s as if it’s your natural talent.

    Since they had gone their separate ways, both Lilith and Aaron had been working on songs for their next performance, though it seemed so far away. In the weeks they worked on them, they refused to show their work to anyone, not even to each other. Eventually, Aaron was caught into the middle of the war and was unable to send letters from where he was, but he continued to write music; just for Lilith. Unbeknownst to him, she was doing the exact same.

 

        *************************

 

    “Sir?” Barthec asked the General, who was distracted and staring into space. Barthec snapped his fingers a little, knowing that the General wouldn’t mind. Barthec had grown close to the General and they were seeming more like father and son each day.

    Washington snapped out of it with a sigh and rubbed his hand against his face, seemingly to keep himself awake. Washington hadn’t been sleeping much and now had dark bags under his eyes and pale skin. The poor man looked like he had been dead for two months, though he might as well have been. Barthec had tried to get him to sleep more and stop pushing himself, but the General would not listen.

    “What is it, son?” Washington grumbled, attempting to continue looking at battle plans.

    Barthec huffed, then grabbed the papers away, locking them in a drawer. Washington glared at him. “Now what do you think you’re-”

    “You need sleep, sir.”

    Washington growled, “I know my limits. You go on, son.” He softened a little.

    Barthec sighed and put away the General’s pen and ink, much to his anger. “You haven’t slept a decent night in at least a month, sir, and you need to be fully ready for a battle and to lead your army. You won’t be able to when you’re this exhausted. Honestly, sir.”

    “Don’t honestly me, son.”

    Barthec ignored his superior, instead pulling him out of the chair. “C’mon, sir. How would Martha-”

    Washington stiffened, “Do not speak of my wife as if you know her better than I, Private.”

    Barthec rolled his eyes, “Yes, sir.” He continued to drag Washington to his own tent and lit a lantern just outside of it. “Go on, sir you need some-”

    Barthec smiled to himself and quietly finished with the lantern. Then he left for his own tent to get some rest, leaving a gently snoring General behind.

Chapter Text

Unfortunately for Barthec, the squad, and, more importantly, the General, the peace didn't last long. Soon it was time for them to move from their current camp and head slightly westward toward British troops.

When night fell all of the men picked up their bags, ready to leave, despite it lightly snowing. The weather was expected to stay light, so it wasn't of importance.

Barthec mounted a midnight black horse covered with layers upon layers of what blankets they could spare. After securing himself, he motioned to Laurens, who climbed up on the horse behind him. Due to lack of supplies, including horses, many of the men had to share. Laf and Arielle were sharing, much to her dismay, while Alex and Herc shared one, as well. Jacob, on the other hand, was sharing with Charles Lee.

That man. No one could stand him, especially not Jacob. Jacob almost punched him in the jaw once, but Barthec had held him back. At the same time, Alex and Laurens had almost let him punch Lee.

Laurens. They had grown close recently, doing basically everything together. Laurens had argued with Barthec that he was simply a replacement for Burr.

"I don't know why I even stick around, you just want me to replace Burr!" He growled, slamming his hand on the desk.

Barthec shook his head vigorously and stepped back, fearful of the now aggressive Laurens. "John, you are NOT a replacement! You are my best friend! Burr is too, but that doesn't mean I can't have both of you."

Laurens turned back furiously at him, "Well then why don't you ever spend time with me when we're not near the guys, huh? I just seem to be your buddy for when things get awkward."

Barthec sighed, "I don't know. I guess I'm just flustered around you alone?" Merde, that sounded horrid.

Laurens paused for a moment. "I need time to cool off. I'm going out."

"Don't-" It was too late, he had left the tent, "John, please don't hurt yourself!" Barthec yelled after him, knowing that Laurens was going out for a drink. He just hoped that his best friend wouldn't get too drunk to the point where he did something stupid. At least more stupid than usual, anyway.

The two had quickly made up, both apologizing for their stupid behavior and quickly going back to normal. Luckily they fixed things just before today, when they had to share a horse. Laurens hugged Barthec tightly as they started to ride, in an attempt to avoid falling off.

Minutes passed as they all left their camp, riding swiftly as their horses would allow at first. After Washington spotted stragglers whose horses weren't able to keep up, he sent orders for the group to slow down and get into a new formation. The General himself was in the middle as his higher officers were spread about with their own commands. Barthec brought both him and Laurens closer to the General, as he was ordered to; being Washington's secretary. Laurens, on the other hand was a little higher up; a Colonel. His men simply stayed on Washington's right, whereas Laf's men, who was on the other side of Washington with Arielle, took his left alongside their officer of command.

Minutes turned to hours and the light snow turned into a heavy snow, which finally turned into a blizzard. The men around Barthec grabbed extra layers from their bags, while he and Laurens had passed out their layers to others who needed it more. They were left with only the clothes on their backs and each other. Laurens huddled closer in an effort to stay warm and Barthec didn't mind.

Unfortunately, the blizzard didn't stop the redcoats. Late into the night, Washington's army crossed a river and were forced to cross the bridge in smaller numbers, since it was not wide enough for all of them to go at once. Because of this, both Barthec, Laurens, Laf, Arielle, and the men in their command were pushed behind the General a small amount. It was at this time the British decided to ambush them.

A battle cry was heard from where they were crossing and all the men immediately drew their weapons. Barthec stood up taller as Laurens pulled a pistol in his right hand, with his left on his sword that was in it's sheathe. All of the men rushed forward at once, as best they could, screaming battle cries of their own. They had a horrible disadvantage.

Many of them hadn't crossed the river yet, and the bridge was the only way across, unless they wanted to freeze and die of hypothermia. Secondly, they could barely see the British armies in the storm, though that was a disadvantage for both sides. As a final blow, the redcoats also had the element of surprise on their side.

Barthec yelled for his horse to go faster, running over many a redcoat. Eventually, his loyal beast refused to go any farther, so he and Laurens dismounted, immediately being overrun by redcoats. Hoping silently that his steed escaped, Barthec stood back to back with Laurens, slashing at enemy soldiers relentlessly.

Most of it after that was a blur (A/N: Pardon me are you Aaron Blur, sir?) for him, but he did remember starting to retreat to the General's position when he heard Laurens cry out in pain. Herc, Alex, and Barthec immediately ran to his side and fought of the remaining redcoats around him. However, they were too late, as one had managed to leave a large gash in Laurens' leg. He continued to groan in pain as they tried to lift him from the ground.

"Shit," Alex cursed, "Where's the first aid kit?!"

Laurens coughed, wincing, then pointed toward the barely visible kit in the middle of the field. The open field. Where redcoats could easily shoot someone.

Barthec didn't hesitate, "Herc, take him, Alex go. I'll get it."

Herc nodded, even if he was worried for Barthec. As they were running in the General's direction, Alex glanced back one last time and watched Barthec give him a quick salute before heading out to the field.

A moment later, a gunshot sounded and Alex turned back in terror. Hercules joined him, and Laurens saw him fall to the ground immediately. "NO!" He tried to fight against Herc's grip, but was too weak to manage.

Washington glanced around at his men, preparing for a final retreat, when he heard someone.

"No! NO! We have to go back, we- we can't just leave him there!" At this, Washington immediately looked in that direction. No man would be left behind. The man continued to cry out, "God, this is all my fault! Please, don't let him die." He was sobbing now, as the General dismounted and approached him.

Washington ordered one of his officers to begin the retreat, before speaking to the man. "Who are you talking about, son? Where is he?"

The curly haired man looked up from where he lay in his friend's arms. "Please, sir, it-it's my best friend; Bartholomew."

Washington's heart caught in his chest. "Where is Barthec?"

It was clear that the man in distress had realized, despite his horrid state, who he was talking to. "Sir, he-he'd gone to find the first aid kit out in the field and- and he got shot, by a redcoat, sir!" He sobbed again, "Please don't let him die."

Washington was stone faced and determined, "I won't, son. I fully intend to be shot first before that young man is." He left the distraught soldier behind and ran straight for the field. The redcoats had moved on by now, chasing the remainder of his army. The field was now clear, other than the bodies littering its surface.

Washington immediately spotted the first aid kit on the ground and the young man heavily breathing beside it.

"Si-" he coughed, "Sir, can-can you send a message to my father for me, please?"

Washington shook his head and crouched down beside him, "You will tell him yourself, you fool of a Schuyler." The General began to pull of Barthec's jacket in an effort to find the wound.

"No, wait-"

Pulling of his outer layering, Washington found the wound, but not before seeing a strange binding around the man's chest.

"Son. I won't ask you about this now, but know that you have some explaining to do."

Barthec looked away in shame, avoiding eye contact with the General before completely passing out.

Chapter Text

    Barthec was pacing through the tent, due for a meeting with Washington in just half an hour. It had since been a couple days since Barthec had been shot, and he was still recovering. His right shoulder was badly injured as well as his right arm. Unfortunately, that meant that he couldn’t write at all. He had spent the last few days wallowing in his worry and wasting away in the cold winds of winter.

    When Barthec was thinking, he thought out loud. Usually also pacing, which made the people around him dizzy. The guys had gotten so sick of him pacing, and not knowing why, that they told him to pace in the tent. Laurens, on the other hand, had wanted him to stay. Since that battle, Laurens had been… different.

 

    “Shit, fuck, god, Barthec. Oh my god, please be okay, please please please God-” He barely heard Laurens sobbing over the black of his unconscious state.

    A nurse spoke to him, “Colonel Laurens, I need you to leave. It’s past visiting hours.” She was starting to get annoyed with his ever present sobbing.

    He growled at her, “Leave me be, you wouldn’t understand.” She sighed and left, as to his wishes.

    “God, I’m so sorry, Barthec. This is all my fucking fault.” He sobbed again, grabbing Barthec’s hand and laying his head down on Barthec’s left side, avoiding his right where the shot had hit him. Though Barthec had been shot in the shoulder, Laurens treated his entire body like fragile glass.

    Laurens sighed, trying to calm his breathing before he began to hiccup. “If you get out of this, I swear to God Almighty I am never letting you do anything that stupid again. I will not let you out of my sight again.”

    Barthec didn’t know why he could hear and seemingly see everything around him in this strange state, but he did wonder one other thing. What in the world would he do without Laurens?

    Laurens continued to cry until he woke up the next day and noticed Barthec petting his curls. Smiling like a doofus, Laurens almost crushed Barthec in a huge tackle.

    “I heard you crying.”

    Laurens rubbed his neck awkwardly, “Y-You did?”

    “It is not your fault, John Laurens in the place to be, don’t you ever say that. I went out there by myself.” Barthec hugged him tighter, reassuring his best friend that he was fine.

    “But-” He stopped and just enjoyed the hug. Laurens would argue with Barthec later, but just that he was alive was enough.

 

    Barthec was talking to himself again, mumbling about everyone’s reactions. He finally realized he still only had a half hour, and no time had passed. He began to worry again. “How am I supposed to tell Washington about me… not being me?”

    “Oh, yes, I’ve been meaning to ask you about that.” A voice piped in from a corner of the tent.

    Barthec jumped, “SHIT HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE?!” He turned to see Arielle sitting casually on the cot brandishing her dagger. She looked so relaxed.

 

    “I forgot to thank you for swapping tents with me, Monsieur Barthec.” Arielle came up to Barthec, bringing a bowl full of stew. “So here is my thanks.”

    Barthec glanced at the bowl skeptically, “Thank you, but that’s not really necessary-”

    Arielle shoved the bowl toward him, rolling her eyes. Barthec warily took a spoonful of it. Oh dear Lord, that shit was disgusting. He immediately spit it out onto the ground beside him.

    Arielle laughed, as if she wasn’t mad at all. “I don’t think I’m that great of a cook, non?”

    Barthec laughed with her, “Why don’t I cook you a meal?”

    “I thought the point of me cooking was to repay you a favor.”

    “It’s no problem, Mademoiselle.” Barthec shrugged, “You can pay me back some other way.”

 

    “I have been here since you came in, Barthec.” The two were now on a first name basis, and Barthec might’ve even considered them friends. Arielle was quite guarded, so Barthec considered anything in regards to getting closer to her a success.

    Barthec cursed under his breath. “I suppose you know quite well now, then.”

    “I had begun to suspect, but you have only confirmed my suspicions. You must tell the General, oui? And why is that?”

    “Before I answer your questions; answer mine. I have only one-” He clarified, as Arielle looked ready to argue, “When did you begin to suspect?”

    Arielle thought for a moment, “I suppose it was when you forgot to mention your sister, Lilith, when you explained your past. No one forgets a detail like that, unless it’s on purpose.”

    Barthec gave her the benefit of the doubt, “A mistake on my part then.”

    “To be fair,” she returned the favor, “It was only a small mishap, and I doubt the others noticed. You have also barely made any slip ups since then.”

    Barthec sat down on the cot when she said something about the others, “You mean, you don’t plan to tell the others?”

    She scoffed, “Sûrement pas! It is your secret to tell, and I also believe in the concept of privacy, though I cannot say much for our friends.”

    They laughed together, each reminiscing of some moment or other.

    “Thank you, Arielle.” Barthec looked at her again.

    Arielle smiled, “It’s no problem at all, Barthec. Besides, I think I owe you enough by now.”

    “Still.”

    “I believe you have a meeting to attend, friend.” She motioned toward the tent flaps, and Barthec said his goodbyes, all the while having an inner victory at her calling him friend.

    Unbeknownst to him, she was having conflicted inner thoughts of her own. I owe so much. More than he could ever know.

 

        *************************

   

    Barthec and Washington sat in an awkward silence for a few moments.

    “Sir-”

    “Barthec I’ve told you to call me George.” He sighed.

    Barthec was surprised, “Even now with-”

    “Yes, son. Please, just George. No matter what you tell me, you will still be a good friend of mine and almost a son to me.”

    Barthec smiled a little a took a deep breath.

    “Now tell me your real name.”

    “My name is Lilith Schuyler and I have been posing as Bartholomew Schuyler, the identity of my brother who died in infancy.” It felt so good to get that off of her chest, just to finally tell someone.

    George’s eyes widened a bit, “Well, that’s interesting.” He paused for a moment more, then smirked, “I’m proud of you for doing what others would be afraid to.”

    “A-And what is that sir- George?”

    “Fight for your rights and your freedom, Lilith. You’re quite the curious woman, and I believe you need tell me who knows of your...situation.” George stood to his full height, and though he was intimidating, Lilith knew she could trust him.

    “My father, sisters, my best friend; Aaron Burr, and now Arielle.” Lilith brightened a little at the last one.

    George chuckled, “I’m assuming she found that out herself.”

    Lilith nodded, happily soaking in the acceptance and pride that flowed from her General’s tone of voice and expression. She was so grateful and glad that he could understand why she was doing what she was. Of course, she would have to explain that in due time, but they had all the time in world. At least, for now.

Chapter Text

Lilith stood behind the desk where Laurens was scribing a letter for her. As she was still injured, George wouldn’t allow her to work. Lillith was feeling useless and enlisted Laurens to write the important letters she had been charged with previous to the ambush.

“It is my greatest hope, representatives of Congress, that we should be able-”

“And now I see why the General told me to keep you away from the desk.” A male voice came from the tent’s entrance.

Lilith turned to see a familiar face, “Aaron!” She sprinted toward and enveloped him in a tight hug. “When did you get back?!”

Aaron had been assigned to Quebec for 6 months so far, but Lilith didn't know that he was coming back today. Laurens left with a wave, so as to give them their space.

“I got in this morning.” Aaron spotted her arm. “Well that explains why the letters stopped.”

She apologized, saying that she didn't want anyone to intrude in their business by writing her words for her, and he told her it was fine.

“I missed you. Did you miss me?”

Lilith snorted, “You haven't any idea, Aaron.”

 

It was the talk of the camp that the General was looking for a right hand man. One that would help him with battle strategy and writing important documents. It was similar to the job Lilith had, except more active, as the chosen man would travel directly to other officers to speak to them about matters of utmost importance.

One day Lilith was working at her desk next to the General’s, where he was preparing for a raid that would happen at the end of the week, when someone walked in.

“Your Excellency, sir?” It was Aaron. You knew he had spoke of applying to be Washington’s right hand man, but you didn't expect him to do it this week.

“Who are you?” The General replied.

“Aaron Burr, sir.” Aaron made his case well and Lilith watched with a reassuring and loving gaze. Unfortunately, the General noticed her gaze and, after smirking a little, he gave her a look that said: ‘Get back to work’.

You can expect how the rest of Aaron’s visit went when Alexander was called by Washington. Lilith was proud of Alex for getting the job, but she was pretty mad that Washington hadn’t even given Aaron a chance.

“I just hope this is the only time he passes me up.” Aaron said.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be more opportunities.” There really weren’t, but at least Lilith and Aaron were together again.

 

“Sir, I don’t understand, why keep this under wraps? Why protect me?” Lilith had asked George.

“First, Lilith, it’s George. And second, I believe you are very brave for doing this. Thirdly, I am not one to keep freedom from any person.” He replied.

“Still, George, this must be illegal.”

He chuckled, “Very much so, Lilith, but I believe you have a shot at greatness. You are a strong, independent woman with much talent who could change this world for the better. How many times must I tell you this?”

“Maybe until I see that talent and potential myself, sir.”

 

The war waged on, waiting for no one, as Lilith had told Aaron. Lilith began to grow angry with Alexander, as he continually claimed that he was only a secretary and nothing more.

“If anything, I’m more the secretary, Hamilton! Honestly, can’t you just appreciate what you have? You have a very high position in command-”

“It’s not command, Barthec! I’m not commanding a battalion, I’m not commanding anything except letters and papers!” He protested.

    “Letters that could change the direction of the war! You can be such a prick sometimes!” You had argued, insulting his pride.

    Many times Alexander had complained to the rest of the squad. “It is my destiny to forever be a secretary.”

    Laurens comforted him, much to Lilith’s anger, “I don’t believe in destiny, and you shouldn’t either.”

    Months turned into years as the war became more brutal. Lilith, Alexander, and Laurens, despite their difference of opinion on Alexander’s position, took to writing essays against slavery. Hercules went off to God knows where, probably being a tailor’s apprentice, and Laf continued to rise up the ranks until George Washington himself considered Laf a son. In fact, Alexander, Laf, and Lilith were like his own children, though Alexander didn’t appreciate this.

    Lilith had no idea why Alexander would not wish to be the almost son of someone so kind and caring, but also in a high position of power. Lilith simply supposed it was either something in his past or his pride getting in the way of him feeling that connection of a father figure with someone.

Lilith, on the other hand, could never thank George enough for taking her under his wing. He taught her all about battle strategy and the importance of being a leader, and how to be a good one. While Alexander refused to be taught, and Laf didn’t need to, Lilith was taking it to the books and learning as much as she could. She became adept at battle strategy, almost as much so as her writing, but could not fight quite as well as others. So, George kept her in the offices most of the time with Alexander, which the immigrant was not so happy about.

After fighting on and off with the British for years, Washington decided that it was time to take a break. He took his men back to the hometown of Lilith and Aaron for the Winter’s Ball of 1780, just as the two had predicted. Lilith and Aaron, however, were given leave to arrive a week early so that they could perform at one of Philip Schuyler’s parties.

While they were gone, the other soldiers were to attack a British troop atop a mountain. Lilith and Aaron decided to perform a song that would be like a prayer for their brothers still fighting.

 

Lilith’s POV

 

“O misty eye of the mountain below” I started the song off. Aaron sat beside me on a stool, playing a guitar. The foreign instrument had been brought by merchants from other countries to the colonies and Aaron had been learning to play it for a long time.

“Keep careful watch of my brothers’ souls.” I was praying and yet singing at the same time, hoping that Hercules, Lafayette, and Alexander would be alright. I also begged the universe to keep Laurens safe. I had no idea why I prayed for him separately, and I shrugged it off as being a good friend.

“And should the sky be filled with fire and smoke, keep watching over Adam ’s sons.” Aaron joined in at the last part, harmonizing with me. Then, he took over.

“If this is to end in fire, then we should all burn together.” Both Aaron and I had begged George to let us stay for the battle, but he would not hear of it. We believed that we should all die together in glory, if we were to die at all.

“Watch the flames climb high into the night. Calling out father, oh. Stand by and we will watch the flames burn auburn on the mountain side.”

We sang together, “And if we should die tonight, then we should all die together. Raise a glass of wine for the last time. Calling out father, oh. Prepare as we will watch the flames burn auburn on the mountain side. Desolation comes upon the sky.”

“Oh I see fire inside the mountain. I see fire burning the trees. I see fi-i-ire hollowing souls. I see fire, blood in the breeze. And I hope that you remember me.”

“Oh, should my people fall then surely I’ll do the same. Confined in mountain halls we got too close to the flame. Calling out father, oh. Hold fast and we will watch the flames burn auburn on the mountain side. Desolation comes upon the sky.”

“Now I see fire, inside the mountain. I see fire burning the trees. I see fi-i-ire hollowing souls. I see fire, blood in the breeze. And I hope that you remember me.”

I sang this part alone, “And if the night is burnin’ I will cover my eyes for if the dark returns then my brothers will die. And as the sky is falling down it crashed into this lonely town and with the shadow upon the ground I hear my people screaming out: ‘I see fire’.”

We finished up the song as the crowd hollered and clapped. They didn’t understand the true meaning behind the song, as only the two of us did. My sisters ran up to me, hugging me tightly.

“We missed you so much, Lilith!” Peggy squealed.

“I know,” I smiled, “I missed you, too.”

Chapter Text

    Finally it came time for the Winter’s Ball. Lilith first change into her uniform, but brought an extra change of clothing. She spent the first part of the Ball with her sisters, after greeting her brothers in arms first.

    “John!” She greeted him, “You all seem to be in good health. How did the battle go?”

    “Unfortunately it ended in retreat, but none of us were hurt.” He replied, hugging her. Still, Laurens did not know about Lilith’s secret, as only Arielle, Washington, and Aaron did.

    Later in the night, Alexander arrived with George, as usual. Lilith noticed Eliza on the other side of the room suddenly freeze. She walked up to her.

    “Hey, ‘Liza, are you alright?” She touched her shoulder lightly.

    “Y-yes, um, Lilith do you happen to know that man that just walked in?” Eliza stuttered.

Lilith chuckled, knowing that her sister must be completely helpless with him. Eliza was red as a beet and smiling brighter than Lilith had ever seen. “Of course, my dear Elizabeth. That just happens to be an Alexander Hamilton.”

“I suppose it would be awkward for you to introduce us…” She sighed, as Lilith nodded. “I’ll find Angelica, then!” She dashed off, leaving Lilith laughing.

Lilith noticed Peggy speaking to Laurens and decided to listen in a little. She had no idea what compelled her to, as she felt heat come to her cheeks. She shook her head, I must be mistaking my protective nature of my baby sister, that’s all.

“You must be Margarita Schuyler, then? Barthec speaks of you fondly.”

“He does?” Peggy giggled, “I don’t suppose he speaks of me more fondly than the rest of my sisters, though.”

“Right you are, he speaks of all of you very fondly, but the stories of you stood out to me.” Laurens is just being flirty, like always, Lilith told herself.

Lilith took to the restroom and changed into her ballgown, deciding it was time for a change. A moment after stepping out back into the ballroom, she caught many a man staring at her. They knew she was the eldest Schuyler sister, and therefore she meant money. She also noticed Angelica on the other side of the room, looking serious and slightly upset. Angelica was staring at Eliza, who was dancing with Alexander. Lilith froze, unsure what to do. Luckily, Aaron came to her rescue.

“I believe I was promised a first dance.” He smiled and held out his arm. Lilith gladly took it, chuckling.

“Why Aaron, I do believe you have improved your dancing since the last ball we attended.” She teased.

“Well it has been many years since we’ve been to a ball together, Lilith, and I have been practicing for this.” He blushed a little and couldn’t see that she was blushing as well.

Peggy was still talking to John on the other side of the room when she noticed Aaron and Lilith dancing. “They are a sweet couple, are they not?”

Laurens had noticed them as well, and had the sudden urge to cut in. Was that Lilith Schuyler? She had most definitely grown up gorgeous, that was no lie. “Yes, they are.” He stated, rather passive-aggressively. “Excuse me a moment.”

Peggy was surprised by his comment and looked where he was heading. Does he- But he doesn’t know, so he must simply be attracted.

“Excuse me, Aaron, may I cut in?” Laurens surprised himself by walking up to the couple and cutting in. I’ve only had a couple drinks! What in hell am I doing? She is much too out of my league!

“Of course.” Aaron bowed to Lilith, smiling a little, and left.

Laurens held out his arm and Lilith took it. They began to twirl around the floor, catching many an eye.

Lilith spoke first, “You must be John Laurens. My brother speaks of you often.”

“He does? You must know that he speaks of you just as much, then, though he did not mention how lovely you were.”

“I hope he mentions more than just my looks, then.” Lilith surprised herself by sassing him. WHAT DID I JUST DO?!?! YOU KNOW THAT LAURENS ISN’T JUST FOR LOOKS, LILITH STOP THAT! She chided herself.

Laurens looked a little flustered, “O-Of course that’s not all he talks about, Miss Schuyler, I did not mean to offend!”

She chuckled, “It’s quite alright, I know you meant no harm.”

They continued to dance in the middle of a crowd of couples, speaking of whatever came to mind.

“I read the article you published in a nearby publication and I quite enjoyed it.” He complimented.

“You did, then? I believe Barthec mentioned it, but he said not what you thought of it.” She smiled to herself a little, knowing what John thought of it.

“The writing was exquisite and the argument was well founded with valid points.” Laurens continued to speak with her and she mentioned his essays with Alexander as well.

For the rest of the night, no one interrupted their dance, not even Aaron. Finally, near the end of the night, Angelica tapped Lilith’s shoulder.

“Excuse me, dear sister, for interrupting, but Father wishes us home soon.” Angelica winked at Lilith from out of Laurens’ view.

“Of course.” Lilith turned back to Laurens. “I enjoyed that very much, Colonel. I hope to see you again sometime.”

“Likewise.” He smiled, kissing her hand as she curtsied. At that, Lilith turned to leave. Unbeknownst to Laurens, she actually left to change into her uniform.

Laurens walked over to the table where his friends were drinking and sank into an empty chair, sighing.

Hercules noticed his awestruck expression, “I think Laurens over here found a lady friend.”

“Oui, oui, mon amie, he looks quite taken.” Laf laughed. He had spent the night dancing with Arielle. She hadn’t minded too much, since he tried to refrain from flirting with her, at least for tonight.

Alexander caught sight of Laurens, “So who’s the lucky lady?”

“That woman is my destiny.”

Alexander rose an eyebrow, “I thought you didn’t believe in destiny.”

Laurens chuckled a little, “I don’t know what I believe anymore.”

“Wow.” Herc and Laf said in synch.

Laurens sighed again, not noticing Barthec, Lilith, approach. “I might have to break a promise.”

Alexander was confused, “And what promise is that?”

“I might actually go for my best friend’s sister.”

Lilith was red in the face, but she knew she had to keep up her act. “JOHN.” She growled, walking towards him quickly.

Laurens leaped out of the chair, sprinting out of the ballroom. Lilith followed him, running as fast as she could. She chased him past her sisters, who she would join later.

The three sisters laughed. “Why is she chasing him?” Eliza was laughing, but didn’t understand why.

Angelica chuckled, “I do believe someone has it bad for our Lilith.”

“And Barthec doesn’t like that.” Peggy giggled.

Chapter Text

Angelica waltzed into Lilith's old room. "Of course when you're finally home you don't speak to us, Lilith."

Lilith laughed, "Angelica, I was simply taking some private time, can I not have that?"

"Not when you haven't been home for years!" Angelica sat on the bed next to her. "So."

"So?"

"You were dancing with Laurens, hm?" Angelica teased.

Lilith sighed. She knew Angelica would bring that up first, "I don't know why, I don't know how; It just happened."

Angelica laughed, "Things like that don't just happen."

"Well, this one did." Lilith paused, "I noticed you looking particularly sad. What happened?"

"Nothing did."

"Angelica."

"Lilith."

Peggy and Eliza burst into the room, "ELIZA! AND PEGGY!"

Everyone burst into laughter, just as Peggy and Eliza and burst in. "The Schuyler Sisters." Lilith managed through laughter.

Peggy and Eliza left, allowing Lilith and Angelica to continue their conversation. "Don't lie to me, Ange, I know you're hurting. Was it Alexander?"

Angelica sighed, "I know that you two were…But then Eliza didn't recognize who he was and fell in love and I couldn't help myself and he's just so…"

"Angie, it's fine. I understand. I loved him once, too, you know?" Lilith laughed a little to herself. She never expected to become best friends with the man she had once loved in their college years. Because of her father's influence, she was allowed to have a public education much longer than most girls and met Alexander in her first college, which she later traded for King's. When the choice to go to King's came around, Lilith knew that she had to dress as a man to keep educating herself. She also knew that Alexander would never agree, or he would tell someone. So, she broke off their relationship, though heartbroken.

Alex's reaction was worse. Having just arrived from Nevis a couple months ago, the heartbreak left a much deeper scar, and he didn't speak at all for months. Lilith still had no idea what caused him to come back from his rut.

"I didn't chase after him. I left him with Eliza." Angelica looked at her feet.

"You did what?! You didn't even- you didn't try?" Lilith tried to meet her eyes, but she wouldn't make eye contact.

"Eliza loves him. I know her like I know my own mind."

Lilith smiled a little, "You'll never find anyone as trusting or as kind."

"If I told her that I loved him she'd-"

"Be silently resigned." Lilith finished, using that lovely vernacular of hers.

Angelica nodded, "He'd be mine."

"She would say she was fine, but she'd be lying."

"Besides, you're off in the war and our brothers are too young to marry just yet. It is my duty as the eldest to marry a wealthy man." She sighed.

"Angie, find someone you love! Father cares not about money and neither should you!" Lilith protested.

"Lilith, much has happened since you have been gone. I have made up my mind, and you cannot change it." She left the room, leaving Lilith alone on the bed.

Lilith wrote down another song that she had written awhile ago and left it on Angelica's dresser. Hopefully she would see it and take it to heart.

Hey, brother, there's an endless road to re-discover.

Hey, sister, know the water's sweet but blood is thicker.

Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,

There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do.

Hey, brother, do you still believe in one another?

Hey, sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?

Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,

There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do.

What if I'm far from home?

Oh, brother, I will hear you call.

What if I lose it all?

Oh, sister, I will help you out!

Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,

There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do.

Hey, brother, there's an endless road to re-discover.

Hey, sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?

Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,

There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do.

What if I'm far from home?

Oh, brother, I will hear you call.

What if I lose it all?

Oh, sister, I will help you out!

Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,

There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do.

Angelica was upset to say the least. She didn't regret her decision in giving up Alexander for Eliza. She did however meet another man that had sparked her interest. A certain Jacob Laurens had caught her eye. Angelica decided against telling Lilith, because she knew that her dear elder sister would get involved and try to get them together. However, Angelica wasn't sure about anything yet. He was rather handsome, but held no power or riches. Unfortunately for Angelica, he was witty, shy, and cute. She couldn't help but fall under his spell.

Angelica first caught sight of him next to Hercules, whom she knew from Lilith's descriptions, looking very uncomfortable in the formal setting. Lilith had never told her about this young man at all. The mysterious young man looked quite handsome, so she decided to play with it. They made eye contact and she winked. Hercules clearly noticed and gawked, then teased his friend. His friend gawked a little, too, then turned beet red. Angelica turned the other way so they wouldn't see her blushing. Damn, that man was cute when he was flustered.

Moments later, Hercules left the man to his own, so Angelica made her way over. "Pardon me, I noticed you looked very lonely over here."

"Oh- Forgive me, Miss, it's just that… I'm not used to the formal setting and all my friends seemed to have abandoned me." He greeted her a little strangely, then raised her hand to his lips.

Angelica did a slight curtsy, "Angelica Schuyler, a pleasure to meet you."

"Jacob Laurens, the pleasure is all mine." He smiled. Angelica tried her hardest to keep her confident stature.

"Would you do me the pleasure of dancing with me?" Angelica said with a smile, wondering what he would say.

"O-of course! I mean- that would be an honor, Miss Schuyler."

"Please, call me Angelica." The rest of their time together, however, he would continue to use his excessive manners. In fact, his manners attracted Angelica to him more and more.

"That is a lovely name."

"Why thank you." He offered her his arm and she took it gladly. He lead her to the middle of the floor as the waltz began and they danced. "Jacob is quite the interesting name, too. A strong one at that."

"I suppose so," Jacob noted, "Though I've never really thought too much on the subject."

"And why is that?"

"A name is simply a name, in my opinion. It can stand for who you are, according to most, but I believe names to simply be another way for society and individuals to judge you without having known you."

Angelica was blown away by his vast knowledge of the world despite being quite so shy, "That is an interesting take on things, Jacob, if I do say so."

He blushed a little, "Is it, then?"

"You are very knowledgeable."

"Thank you. I'm sure you are yourself, from what Bartholomew has told me."

"Oh, that is why your last name sounded familiar!" Angelica realized, "Laurens! Your older brother must be John Laurens then, yes?"

"Yes, he is, Miss."

Angelica chuckled, "I have heard much from Barthec about both of you as well."

"Oh really?" He was curious, "What have you heard?"

"I hear more about John, unfortunately. My poor older brother is great at reading people, but it seems that you are much too quiet for him to read." She joked a little.

Jacob laughed, "I guess I can be quiet. Though, in the presence of a fair and wise lady, one would wish not to be."

"Oh?" Angelica smirked, "Why not?"

"I would wish to learn as much as I can, and one can learn much from someone so wise. Besides, it would be rude of me to ignore such a woman."

"You are quite the flatterer, Jacob."

He smiled, "I hope my compliments were not taken as flattery, Miss Schuyler, for they are anything but lies."

She blushed, and she could tell that he noticed, because he blushed, too. Unfortunately, Eliza pulled her aside. "Excuse me, Jacob. It seems my sister needs me, as always." She rolled her eyes. "You must know the feeling."

"Indeed I do." He laughed. Wow she loved his laugh. "I hope to see you again, then, Miss Schuyler." Jacob kissed Angelica's hand and she turned to leave. Oh, how cruel God was that day to give her love, take it away, then give her another that may never come to be because of lack of status.

A/N: YAY ANGELICA LOVE INTEREST! Hehe, i'm so excited to be back. Just a warning: Prepare yourself. It sounds weird, but I love to screw with people's feelings. Seriously, my sister hates me for some of the things I've written (which i hope to post soon ;D ) Just prepare your fragile little heart, if that's the case.

Chapter Text

A/N: Hello, hello, hello! So this chapter is inspired by the songs Heart Attack by Demi Lovato and Let Her Go by Passenger! Please check them out, they're really good songs. I hope you enjoy the chapter and I apologize for not posting earlier. :D

For the next week that Lilith and the others were there, Philip Schuyler almost ran Aaron and Lilith's voices to death. He threw one more party with them performing and had them perform for his family privately almost every night. By the end of the week, Lilith had practically lost her voice.

Strangely enough, Laurens came to the performance at the Schuylers' home. Lilith was pretty sure that Alexander dragged him there, considering his expression when he first arrived. Much to her surprise, he brightened when he noticed her by the piano. She was conflicted. When she was around him, she glowed.

Lilith had always been pretty flirty around cocky guys and easily played them off. She would mess with them and make them think they were getting somewhere to see if they would show their true nature. When they did, she would immediately drop them on their asses with some much needed putting them in their place comments from her.

Lilith had also been the tomboy of the Schuyler sisters. She put her brothers in their place and saved Aaron from ruffians on the street when they first met. However, Laurens made her feel different. He made her want to put on that ball gown and dance around again. She wanted to giggle, to stargaze, and do the most ridiculous things.

Lilith would never have had trouble getting people to do what she wanted was younger, but was too scared to do it because of her past. She had never put her feelings out on the line, until she got used to the people around her. Lilith had bonded with the Schuylers before truly loving them. With Alexander, she had taken a risk. Did she really want to do that again? No. She would have a heart attack if she did. So, she expressed that in a way easiest to her. In song. Unfortunately, she didn't know that Laurens would be there.

"Erm… Aaron can we not do the number we talked about?" Lilith pulled him to the side.

Aaron smirked, "Oh? I thought it was a lovely number. I don't see why not."

Lilith punched him in the shoulder, "Aaron!"

"Too late, Lily, your father has already announced us." He laughed at her embarrassment, "Let's go."

Unknown to Lilith, Aaron was dying inside. He had seen her dancing with Laurens the entire night and heard her occasionally flirt with him, as Laurens did with her. It killed Aaron, but he wanted Lilith to be happy. Still, it hurt him so much to know that he had waited too long. There he went again, pulling some stupid waiting game that ended in tragedy. Was he destined to forever be unhappy?

Aaron picked up his guitar, ready to play. Lilith would sing this number herself, and Aaron would sing his own later into the night. Lilith would presumably be dancing with Laurens or spending time with her sisters during that time.

"Putting my defenses up, 'cause I don't wanna fall in love. If I ever did that, I think I'd have a heart attack." She was avoiding eye contact with both Laurens and Aaron, but Laurens seemed to know it was pointed toward himself and so did Aaron.

Never put my love out on the line

Never said "Yes" to the right guy

Never had trouble getting what I want

But when it comes to you, I'm never good enough

When I don't care

I can play 'em like a Ken doll

Won't wash my hair

Then make 'em bounce like a basketball

But you make me wanna act like a girl

Paint my nails and wear high heels

Yes, you make me so nervous

That I just can't hold your hand

You make me glow,

But I cover up

Won't let it show,

So I'm...

Puttin' my defenses up

'Cause I don't wanna fall in love

If I ever did that

I think I'd have a heart attack [3x]

Never break a sweat for the other guys

When you come around, I get paralyzed

And every time I try to be myself

It comes out wrong like a cry for help

It's just not fair

Pain's more trouble than love is worth

I gasp for air

It feels so good, but you know it hurts

But you make me wanna act like a girl

Paint my nails and wear perfume for you

Make me so nervous

That I just can't hold your hand

You make me glow,

But I cover up

Won't let it show,

So I'm...

Puttin' my defenses up

'Cause I don't wanna fall in love

If I ever did that

I think I'd have a heart attack [3x]

The feelings got lost in my lungs

They're burning, I'd rather be numb

And there's no one else to blame (no one else)

So scared I take off and I run

I'm flying too close to the sun

And I burst into flames

You make me glow,

But I cover up

Won't let it show,

So I'm...

Puttin' my defenses up

'Cause I don't wanna fall in love

If I ever did that

I think I'd have a heart attack [5x]

She finished the song as the crowd clapped. They returned to their dancing and Aaron put away his guitar. Laurens immediately walked up to Lilith.

"So, is that how you feel?"

"I suppose you'll have to find out." And with that, she walked away from him.

Laurens whispered to himself, "And I fully intend to."

Lilith was too busy spending time with her sisters to hear the words that Aaron sang, and he was partially glad for that.

Well you only need the light when it's burning low

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow.

Only know your lover when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low

Only hate the road when you're missing home

Only know your lover when you let her go

Staring at the bottom of your glass

Hoping one day you'll make a dream last

But dreams come slow and they go so fast

You see her when you close your eyes

Maybe one day you'll understand why

Everything you touch surely dies

'Cause you only need the light when it's burning low

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow

Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low

Only hate the road when you're missing home

Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the ceiling in the dark

Same old empty feeling in your heart

Love comes slow and it goes so fast

Well you see her when you fall asleep

But never to touch and never to keep

'Cause you loved her too much and you dived too deep

'Cause you only need the light when it's burning low

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow

Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low

Only hate the road when you're missing home

Only know you love her when you let her go

And you let her go

Oh oh oh no

And you let her go

Oh oh oh no

And you let her go

Well, you only need the light when it's burning low

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow

Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low

Only hate the road when you're missing home

Only know you love her when you let her go

'Cause you only need the light when it's burning low

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow

Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low

Only hate the road when you're missing home

Only know you love her when you let her go

And you let her go

Luckily for Aaron, no one saw the tears he was trying to hide away. God damn him, he had waited too long. He did exactly what the love of his life had been trying to teach him not to do. At least she was happy with Laurens. She probably would never have been happy with me anyway.

Chapter Text

    A week later, Lilith and the others returned to camp. The day after returning, Lilith was surprised to receive a letter from Eliza.

    My Dear Sister Lilith,

    I cannot refrain from telling you much longer, so I tell you now; I love Alexander Hamilton. He and I have been passing letters since the Winter’s Ball only two weeks ago. Yes, we are moving quite fast, but I don’t mind it at all and he doesn’t seem to either. He is so charming and intelligent, I cannot believe you did not introduce us before!

    Angelica told me what you said, how it was fine and that you provided your blessing, but I would like to hear these words from you. Please may Alexander and I have your blessing? We have both agreed not to continue until we hear from you. It would mean so much to me and I hope you feel it in your heart to allow us to do so.

    And do not fret for I have not spoken to him about your situation. That is yours to say, and I do agree that telling him would not go well. Just know that I love him and I hope you can accept that. I hope it does not hurt you, for if it does I will be willing to give up my feelings.

    Love,

    Eliza

    It was short and sweet, something just like Eliza would do. Lilith sighed to herself. She just hoped that Alexander wouldn’t hurt her. If he did, he would have all of hell at his doorstep ready to murder him where he stood.

    She wrote a letter giving the two her blessing and sent it in the post. Her uniform was getting extremely hot and disgusting, so she left to go get a change of clothes. None of the others should be back for a while, so she was safe to change. Or so she thought.

    “B-Barthec?!”

    “SHIT LAURENS GET OUT.”

    “I’M OUT, I’M OUT, I’M OUT.”

    The next 20 minutes was awkward to say the least. Laurens took the news quite well, though he was surprised.

    “So..”

    “So.”

    “My best friend is also the woman I danced with and flirted with.”

    “Yup.”

    “And also the person I literally sobbed over when they got shot.”

    “Uh-huh.”

    “And the person I told all my secrets to.”

    Lilith snorted a little at that.

    “I was wondering why we connected that well even if we had just met.”

    “Kind of weird, huh?”

    Laurens laughed, “Kind of. Who else knows?”

    “My family, obviously, they had to help me get here in the first place. Aaron knows and only just recently did I have to tell Washington. Arielle found out on her own.”

    “That’s a pretty big group of people.”

    “And yet I know that I can trust all of them.”

    “Even me?”

    “Especially you.”

    Another week went by. Surprisingly, Laurens acted like it never even happened. Though, when the guys weren’t around he would attempt to flirt with Lilith. It was kind of funny. Aaron noticed the change and continued to tease Lilith about it.

    “So Laurens knows, hm?”

    “Why would you say that?”

    “I heard him flirt with you, Lily.”

    “Oh.”

    Laurens burst into the tent, short of breath, “YOU. GUYS.”

    Aaron rolled his eyes, “What is it, Laurens?”

    “ALEXANDER. SCHUYLER. LONG STORY. FOLLOW ME.”

    Lilith laughed and stood to follow him, but not before telling Aaron to come as well.

    Alexander stood surrounded by Laf, Herc, Arielle, and Jacob. They were all awaiting his news eagerly. Alexander noticed Lilith, whom he thought was Barthec, and smiled brightly.

    He cleared his throat, “I obviously have an announcement to make.”

    “Well get on with it then!” Hercules roared.

    “Oui! Do not leave us, what is the word again, Arielle?”

    Arielle sighed, “I do believe it is either waiting or hanging, Laf.”

    Laf laughed, “Oui, that is the word. Do not leave us hanging!”

    “Well, if you would all let me tell then you would know!” Alexander rolled his eyes, “Eliza and I are to be married!”

    “WHAT?!” They all echoed, except Lilith, who had known this was coming. She simply laughed.

    “{THIS IS RIDICULOUS YOU HAVE ONLY KNOWN THE WOMAN FOR THREE WEEKS!}” Laf screamed in French when he was surprised or angered, but surprised was the only of the two they had seen him become and this time was no different.

    Alexander laughed as well, “It matters not how long matters of the heart take to form, however it matters that they are true matters instead of images our mind creates to satisfy the heart.”

    Lilith knew that Alexander would not have fallen in love unless it was true, because his mind would never let him be satisfied.

    “Congratulations, Alexander!” Lilith hugged him, “I only hope that you would treat her well. I do hope things do not end up like last time.” She whispered that part privately and felt Alexander freeze. He definitely knew what she was talking about.

    “They won’t, Barthec, I swear. I love her.”

    “You loved Lilith as well.”

    “I did. She left me behind. She loved me too, I know she did. I will never understand why she left, but I do know that I will never let Eliza go. I love her more than anything.” Alexander stood firm.

    Lilith nodded, then joined Aaron and Laurens in a conversation.

    Later in the night, Lilith noticed that Jacob was still awake. Everyone else had retired, other than Alexander of course, but Jacob was following Alexander’s footsteps. Alexander was working in Washington’s offices, so as not to disturb Jacob in his slumber. John Laurens, however, could sleep through anything, so Jacob took to his work in the tent.

    Lilith slipped into the tent and waited for Jacob to notice her. To her surprise, he didn’t look up from what he was writing. It must be very important for him not to notice someone stepping in. She read the letter he was writing over his shoulder

    I do remember you saying you hoped to see me again, and since who knows when this war will be over, I decided that I might write you a letter, to see if that would satisfy the both of us until we could meet again.

    Unfortunately, Jacob’s arm blocked the rest of it, so Lilith finally spoke. “Quite the interest compilation of words there, Jacob. To whom are you writing?”

    Jacob almost fell out of his chair, “O-oh, no-no one, Barthec, simply a letter to-to a friend! Yes a letter to a friend. God save us all, you scared the living daylights out of me.” jacob stood and rushed to put away all evidence of his work, while Lilith simply laughed.

    “You can tell me of these affairs, friend. It is no secret around here who each of us fancies, if we do at all.”

    “No, I don’t believe I can tell you Barthec.” Jacob’s face was bright red as he held papers close to his chest. “Now I believe I will be getting some sleep. Goodnight, Barthec.”

    Lilith was confused, but chuckled anyway, “Goodnight, Jacob. I hope your fair lady writes you back.”

    Jacob groaned, “As do I, but please don’t tell any of the guys? Especially John.”

    “I won’t, Jacob, you can trust me.”

    “Thank you, Barthec.”

    “No problem. Goodnight.”

Chapter Text

"Good morning, Arielle."

"To you as well, Barthec."

"No one else is awake, Arielle, you don't need to call me that." Lilith sighed.

Arielle stopped from practicing throwing her knives. "If I start calling you by your real name, I may slip up one day in front of the others. There is no room for error."

"Is that how they treated you back in France?"

Arielle flinched.

"I thought so." Lilith walked over to her and placed her hand on Arielle's shoulder. "You can talk to me, Arielle. Just woman to woman. It's difficult to only have men around to speak to, I understand. These men are your friends, Arielle. And though you may not be able to speak with all them about as much as you can with me or Laf you still can speak to them about some things."

"It is difficult to warm up to such men similar to those who have hurt me in the past."

"I understand, believe it or not."

"I know very well that you do."

"Hm?"

"J-Just that you speak with the stature of someone with experience." That was the first time Lilith had heard Arielle stutter.

"Who hurt you, Arielle?"

"In France, the Marquis- Laf's family did not treat me quite so well as he did. I was beaten and half starved to death. When the Marquis- Laf- found out, he brought me extra portions of his meals, just so that I would be healthy again. He convinced his father to place me under training to be of his personal guard, so that he could take better care of me."

Lilith took a deep breath, "Do you love him as he does you?"

"Oui, of course I do. I do not share feelings well, and he knows this. I do not know what to feel. He knows now how my heart wishes to feel and yet gives me space. I am damaged by pains of the past and I don't know who to trust. I am conflicted, comprendre?"

"Of course I understand, Arielle. I had the same problem when I first came to the colonies. It may take a long time, but you will come to see who you can trust, I promise."

"I do know that I can trust you." Arielle surprised Lilith by hugging her.

"And I you."

"Thank you, Lilith. You are more like a sister to me than you know."

Lilith smiled. "I seem to have a lot of those, and none of them are related to me by blood."

The two shared a laugh before Arielle offered to teach Lilith how to throw knives correctly and Lilith gladly accepted.

Chapter Text

The wedding ceremony was beautiful. Laurens was best man and Angelica was the maid of honor, much to both of their dismay. Arielle was invited, because Eliza had grown fond of her since meeting her at the Winter's Ball, and went down the aisle beside Lafayette, as was to be expected. Peggy went down the aisle by the side of Jacob, and Lilith went with Aaron. Hercules, of course, was the flower girl.

The excuse for Barthec's absence was that he was overloaded with work from Washington and was unable to attend, but he sent his best wishes. Angelica was solemn throughout the ceremony, as Lilith had expected, but soon grew happy again as the dancing began.

"Miss Schuyler, it is good to see you here." Jacob approached her first this time.

Angelica giggled, surprising herself and Jacob, "Jacob, please, it's Angelica. And did you not think I would be here? It is my sister's wedding, after all."

"O-Of course, how foolish of me." Jacob flinched, or what we today call cringe, at his own idiocy.

"You are anything but foolish, Jacob." She took his arm as they stepped onto the floor. Angelica was still conflicted by her feelings and what she felt was her duty as the eldest sister that was not off gallivanting by Washington's side.

Lilith, of course, was dancing with Laurens. Hercules was gawking from the other side of the room with Laf and Arielle.

"How in hell did our friends manage to score basically all of the Schuyler sisters?!"

Arielle smacked him on the back of the head and pointed to the young girl next to her, "You are so ignorant, Hercules."

Hercules muttered something under his breath.

"What was that?" Arielle growled.

"Nothing.."

"I thought so."

Laf was dying of laughter behind Arielle, but covered it well, knowing full well that she would turn on him in seconds.

Peggy hugged her, causing Arielle to flinch a little. "Thank you! Finally someone remembers me other than Lilith!"

Arielle awkwardly pat her on the head, "I tend to remember things better than these oafs on the regular."

Peggy giggled and practically dragged Arielle to speak with Mr. and Mrs. Schuyler. Peggy was so adorably friendly, even toward someone so serious and intimidating as Arielle.

That night, Lilith left with Aaron.

"What's got you so happy?" Lilith asked. He had seemed particularly chipper.

"I'll express it in the only way I know how to; song."

"Theodosia writes me a letter everyday."

"Oh so that's what you were doing in the South." Lilith giggled, but was silently hurting.

"I'm keeping her bed warm while her husband is away." Aaron's facial features tightened at the mention of her husband. He hated that man. "He's on the British side in Georgia. He's trying to keep the colonies in line, but he can keep all of Georgia. Theodosia she's mine."

Lilith felt his grip on her hand, which she didn't know had been there, tighten. He noticed too, and pulled away awkwardly.

"Love doesn't discriminate between the sinners and the saints, it takes and it takes and it takes. And we keep loving anyway. We laugh and we cry and we break and we make our mistakes. And if there's a reason I'm by her side when so many have tried, I'm willing to wait for it."

The words he was saying were the very same words they had spoke about the first time they met. Lilith and Aaron, the unbreakable pair, were breaking apart.

"My grandfather was a fire and brimstone preacher, but there are things that the homilies and hymns won't teach you. My mother was a genius, my father commanded respect. When they died they left no instructions, just a legacy to protect."

Lilith's parents had done the same, so they could relate again on that level. Lilith's parents' legacy, however, was a damaged one, and Lilith pushed to change that legacy for the better.

"Death doesn't discriminate between the sinners and the saints. It takes and it takes and it takes and we keep living anyway. We rise and we fall and we break and we make our mistakes. And if there's a reason that I'm still alive when everyone who loves me has died, then I'm willing to wait for it."

Aaron was practically shouting now and his words tore Lilith to pieces. She loved him so much, but he loved Theodosia and she loved Laurens. What was she to do?

"I am the one thing in life I can control! I am inimitable, I am an original! I'm not falling behind or running late! I'm not standing still; I am lying in wait!"

That was the thing that had screwed him over.

"Hamilton faces an endless uphill climb! He has something to prove, he has nothing to lose! Hamilton's pace is relentless he wastes no time! What is it like in his shoes?"

"Hamilton doesn't hesitate, he exhibits no restraint. He takes and he takes and he takes, and he keeps winning anyway. Changes the game. Plays and he raises the stakes. And if he seems to thrive when so few survive then I'm willing to-"

An image of a happier, less damaged Lilith showed in Aaron's mind. He had cursed himself by waiting to long. Was he really willing to wait any longer? Was she? Suddenly, they found themselves face to face. They stood with their faces inches apart from each other.

"Wait for it."

Lilith didn't know what came over her. She figured that it was time to tell him how she had felt all these years, now that he couldn't love her back anyway, so she went for it. She kissed him. Aaron stood in shock when she released from the kiss. Tears came to Lilith's eyes as she ran the opposite way to the Schuyler home.

"Wait! Lilith!"

She would wait for no one.

Chapter Text

Many of the men left the next morning, but Washington took pleasure in granting both Alexander and Lilith a time of leave. He believed that both of them worked too much and that they needed to take a break. To put it simply, they were workaholics. Washington couldn't be more right- or as Laurens made a pun: "He couldn't be more write." The two wrote their hands to death and left them covered in ink each night.

The day they returned was an utter disaster. Luckily, it could've been worse. Alexander had gone to a meeting with George, so he wasn't there. Unfortunately, Laf, Herc, and Jacob were. Freaking Laurens and his uncontrollable feelings. Goddamnit Laurens.

The second that she and Alexander arrived, well only Lilith since Alexander left immediately for George's offices, Laurens ran up to her. And he kissed her. HE KISSED HER. Lilith's first instinct was to panic, but instead she enjoyed it. She stood there in his arms and kissed him back.

Her thoughts flashed vaguely to Aaron, whom she had kissed just a few days earlier. She had kissed him, not the other way around, and he had Theodosia. Her kissing Laurens wouldn't hurt him at all. There was no way. Was there?

Laf, Herc, and Jacob stood there, jaws down to the floor in shock. Arielle burst into laughter at their expressions and even began to cry with how much she was laughing. Aaron had come to welcome Lilith back, but soon left.

After Lilith and Laurens finished their business, Lilith slapped him. "Dumbass. Now I have to spill the beans to three more people!"

Laurens chuckled, "Sorry. I couldn't resist."

She rolled her eyes. "Hi, I'm Lilith Schuyler and I've been pretending to be my brother who died in infancy. I'm basically the same person, just female."

"Wow." That was Herc.

"No more surprises, please." begged Jacob.

Laf turned to Arielle, "You knew?!"

Arielle laughed, "Of course I did. I figured it out myself, mon amie, she did not tell me herself. You are trés adorable when you are surprised, non?"

Laf's eyes widened and he backed up, but tripped over himself and fell on his ass. The group around him laughed hysterically as Arielle blushed a little.

"Lilith, I hate to ruin this moment for everyone, but I need to speak to you. Privately." Arielle added, noticing laurens looking determined to follow them.

Lilith nodded, confused. She followed Arielle to a tent that belonged solely to Arielle. She had been offered this tent by Washington, considering she was the 'only' woman in camp, at least to his knowledge at that time.

"Arielle what is it?"

Arielle sighed, "Lilith, you have called me your sister, yes?"

"Of course, Arielle. You are like a sister to me." Lilith was still completely confused.

"That- that may be more true than you know." Tears appeared in Arielle's eyes and Lilith's widened.

"W-what? Arielle- you- what?"

"My real name is Aaria." She choked out from tears. "Aaria Alcott."

Lilith burst into tears at her recognition of the name. Someone must've heard outside, because both Laurens and Aaron rushed in, and Laf followed. Laf immediately rushed to Ariell- no, Aaria-'s side to comfort her. Laurens attempted to do the same for Lilith, but Aaron reached her first.

"Lily, Lily, shh, what happened?" He held her close and wiped her tears.

"A-Aari-Aaria." She managed to choke out.

Aaron froze, glanced at Arielle, then back at Lilith.

Laurens attempted to help Lilith up, "Come on, Lilith, let's-"

"John. Stop." Aaron interrupted, stiff. "You don't understand. I know you love her, but I love her too and I know her better. I know what she's going through right now, and you don't. I can take care of her." He was growling now as he lead Lilith to her own tent.

Laurens glared off after them.

"Mon amour, qu'est-ce qui ne va pas? Est-ce que tu vas bien?" Laf tried to gain some answers from Arielle.

"C'est elle. C'est elle, Laf. Je le savais, Laf. C'est elle. Ma soeur. Elle est ma soeur."

Chapter Text

"Lily, Lily, Shh." Aaron soothed her as she sobbed, "I need you to calm down. I know this is stressful and I know it's a lot to take in, but we have time. We have all the time in the world and you have time to breathe."

At this point, Lilith was having a panic attack, hyperventilating and pacing around the tent while sobbing. Her sister, that she hadn't seen, knowing that it was her, for...how long? Aaria, being two years younger, had been shipped off to France at the tender age of 4, when Lilith was 6. It had been 18 years. 18 years since she had protected and loved her baby sister, since she had held her close and sang lullabies to sooth her fears.

Aaria was there. Right in Lilith's grasp and she hadn't even seen her. She hadn't realized it and had forgotten. For a few years there, she had forgotten Aaria. The guilt was catching up to her as her sobs quieted while lost in thought.

"Lily, are you okay?" Aaron asked quietly, pulling Lilith close to him to look him in the eye. He had the most beautiful chocolate brown eyes.

She nodded a little, coming back into focus. "She's been there the whole time and I didn't-"

"Don't do that to yourself, Lil'." Aaron grabbed her shoulders gently, "You couldn't have known. Don't feel guilty, it isn't anything to be guilty about."

"Do you think she came for me?" She choked, worried. What if she had disappointed Aaria?

"I don't know, honestly." Aaron sighed, shaking his head. "That's something you'll have to ask her."

"How can I face her after so long? How, when I failed her?" Lilith wondered, letting out a deep breath to calm her breathing once again.

"You didn't fail her. There was nothing you could do, Lily, you were six. You were young and had no power back then. Especially not against your mother and especially not with the situation your family was in."

"I should've tried." Lilith looked down in shame at the memory. "They enslaved her, you know. Treated her like the shit that they were. Beat her, starved her, hurt her. If only I had stopped her-"

"Lilith, please." Aaron begged, "That was in the past. Aaria's here now and you can fix things, even though you weren't in the wrong in the first place. You two can be close again."

"But I missed everything." Tears came to Lilith's eyes again. "I missed her childhood and I missed all her firsts. I missed being able to have my baby sister, one of blood. I had Pegs, Angelica, and Eliza, but…"

"It's not the same knowing that she was out there being hurt and mistreated while you lived in luxury with three new little sisters that took her place." Aaron finished, knowing exactly what Lilith was saying.

Lilith nodded, "They never replaced her in my mind, but I don't think she'll listen to me about that. For as young as she was, she was always so stubborn." She chuckled tearfully at the memories.

"She'll understand, Lily, she probably went through the same thing, especially with Laf." Aaron reasoned, "She mentioned that he was like a brother to her at first. It must've been extremely difficult not telling you who she really was for so long."

Lilith thought for a moment, "Why did she do that, anyway?"

Aaron shrugged, "If I were to guess, I'd say she probably didn't want to barge in so immediately into your life. She might've thought that you had moved on and wanted to be sure first."

"What changed her mind into telling me?" Lilith half whispered.

"Again, Lil', you probably have to ask her." Aaron sighed, "I wish I knew so I could tell you."

There was an awkward pause, before Aaron spoke again. "About a couple days ago-"

"No, Aaron. It's fine, I don't want to talk about it and neither do you. I- Laurens." She simplified, basically saying that she would move on. She started outside and ignored Aaron's calling her name.

It was time to face her biggest hope and biggest fear for the last 18 years. It was finally time to face Aaria, her born sister.

Chapter Text

"Laf." Lilith addressed him, entering the tent where he and her sister sat currently in silence.

He took the hint and stood to leave, but not before turning to Aaria. "Si vous avez besoin de moi, appelez." {If you need me, call.}

She nodded as Laf left and then glanced at her feet. "I suppose you want to talk about it."

Of course! How could they not talk about it? They were long lost sisters for God's sake. God. Had Aaria found God as Lilith had or was she still oblivious to the beliefs of the world? There was no way she could be as oblivious as they used to, as she was not a child anymore. What had she learned? Where had she been? Who had she met? Lilith wanted to know everything. She wanted to, in a way, experience all that she had missed.

"How did you-?" Lilith started to ask the easier questions.

"Find you?" Aaria finished, reading Lilith's mind. They really were sisters. Lilith nodded. "I didn't, actually. Laf said he was going to the colonies and I came for...my own reasons. I was going to look into finding you, take a trip to the island sometime. I stopped when I met you as Barthec and you mentioned your real name. I knew almost immediately."

"Why?"

"Why what? There are a lot of ways to finish that sentence." Aaria sassed.

Lilith elaborated, "Why were you going to search for me? Why did you wait so long to tell me? Why-why are you still here after what I did?"

Aaria sighed, "I wanted to find you. I felt guilty after all this time that I had not once looked for you, that I barely even put a second glance to you after I became friends with Laf. Despite me having found others, you were-and still are- my one true sister and I could never replace you."

"I wanted to find you, too, you know." Lilith interrupted, "I felt guilty, too. I felt like I had replaced you with Peggy, Angelica, and Eliza, even though my heart knew I didn't."

"I thought you might've moved on." Aaria glanced at her feet. "I didn't want to come barging in on your life as if I owned it. I thought you would've changed and that you wouldn't want me there anymore, so I waited."

"I will always want you there, Aaria." It felt so strange saying her name again.

Aaria paused a moment before continuing, "And I you. In my eyes, you never did a thing wrong. You comforted me, kept me safe. You couldn't have stopped her, Lilith, you know that very well. She was a stubborn, hell-bent woman who would never change her mind for anyone, not even herself."

"I should've tried."

"You knew you couldn't do anything. Do not blame yourself." Aaria reasoned with her stubborn sister.

"How can I not?" Lilith chuckled self mockingly. "My failure resulted in your mistreatment. Again."

"Lilith, please." Aaria sighed, "I would argue with you, but you are as stubborn as ever. Can we simply forget this for now? Just...get to know each other again?"

Lilith softened, "Of course. Anything you want, Aaria."

"You don't have to do anything for me, Lilith. If anything, I owe you."

Lilith snorted, "I find that hard to believe. Besides, I will always take care of you and spoil you, for what it's worth."

"More than you know."

"In that case, I would love to find out."

With that, they left the tent and started toward the nearby town, arm in arm as if Barthec was taking Arielle on a walk.

Laf stared after them, a sparkle in his eyes. Jacob walked up to him, chuckling. "I do believe Barthec is stealing your woman, Laf."

"{If you are not quick to bite your tongue, young fool, I will cut it off for you.}"

"Okay, okay. Damn, Laf, little much, don't you think?"

"{Not quite so much as your poetic letters to a certain angel, no?}"

"You piece of shit-!"

"{Besides, protecting my honor is worth it. So is she. You can understand, yes?}"

"GOD, LAF, HOW DID YOU EVEN-! GAH, HOW COULD YOU-" The younger man continued to rant, blushing and denying certain facts. Laf simply chuckled at his ranting and smiled fondly at the young man. Jacob was kind and gentlemanly, unlike many men Laf had met before. It was refreshing to see such a young person be so wise and charming. Laf could see himself taking on a more mentor-like role with Jacob, as Washington had been with himself.

"{Please, Jacob. If the others don't know by now, they at least suspect.}"

Jacob launched into another fit of ranting and Laf continued to chuckle.

"Vous calmer, petit agneau. Vous êtes virant au violet."

"I am NOT turning purple!" Jacob protested. Between his ranting, where he could barely get a breath in, and his blushing, he was most definitely turning purple. Jacob froze, "Wait, petit agneau? I am NOT a tiny lamb!"

Laf chuckled again, "You have heard of the Jacob sheep, no? Besides, you are still wobbly on your feet, petit agneau, and have much to learn."

"Oh, really?" Jacob taunted, crossing his arms. "And you can teach me?"

"Perhaps, when you finally learn to keep a straight face." Laf smirked.

"Je vous hais." {I hate you.}

"T'aime aussi, petit agneau." {I love you, too, tiny lamb.}

Jacob flipped him off, to which Laf only responded with a chuckle and a bone-crushing hug. Oui, he could most definitely get used to doing that.

Chapter Text

    “So, Aaria?”

    “Yes, Lilith?” She replied, brandishing her dagger. They were currently at the training grounds for the soldiers, which were empty of human presence at the moment, just chatting and practicing.

    “What’s your opinion of…” I paused, trying to think of how to ask this. “Of Laurens?”

    She had a blank expression, still brandishing her dagger. “I think...I think if he hurts you I will have to gut him.”

    I burst into laughter, “A-Aaria, you don’t need to be that protective!”

    She smirked a little, “I’m sure I do.” Finished with her dagger, she pulled out a thin piece of cloth and tied her flowing, blonde locks back. “Ah, here comes your knight in shining armor now.”

    I narrowed my eyes, “He’s not my-” I stopped as he approached excitedly.

    “Good morning!” He exclaimed cheerily with a goofy grin on his face.

    “Morning, Laurens.” I smiled back, looking up. “How are you?”

    Aaria smirked, raising an eyebrow. “I will take my leave, then.”

    “I’m great, actually.” He smiled once more, brushing his hair back a little. “I-I was wondering, Lilith, would you like to-to go somewhere?”

    Inside, I was dying, but I kept my composure. “Oh? Laurens, are you-are you asking me out?”

    Laurens gained composure, too, “Maybe. It depends on your answer.”

    “In that case,” I grinned, “Gladly. What do you have in mind?”

    “Well…” He tilted his head and held his hand out to help me up. “It’s a surprise.”

    “Yay.” I said sarcastically, “I love surprises.”

    He laughed, “I know, I know, but you’ll love this one, I promise.”

    He helped me to my feet and he lead me toward the outskirts of camp, pulling on my hand. We were both still clad in our uniforms, but it wasn’t that suspicious of two friends to explore camp. He led me out of camp, still grasping my hand and causing me to blush. We ran through a grassy field of wildflowers as the sun beat down from directly above. We finally reached the bottom of a decently sized hill, out of breath and laughing.

    “I can say that’s-” I gasped for breath, “The farthest I’ve run in a while.”

    Laurens chuckled, “I couldn’t agree more. C’mon, we’re almost there.” He grabbed my hand once more and led the way up the hill, which was shaded almost completely by a tall, full oak tree.

    I gasped at the sight of a patterned blanket covering the soft, shaded grass and a basket filled to the brim with food. “Did you do all this?”

    He nodded, “That I did, though I had some help with the food…”

    I cocked an eyebrow, “Laf?”

    “Laf.” He chuckled and sat down on the blanket, starting to pull things from the basket. “I thought it would be a good getaway from the war and to enjoy the simple things in life.”

    “How thoughtful and philosophical of you.” I teased, sitting down next to him on my knees. “What’s in there?”

    “A ton of shit.” Laurens laughed, “I wasn’t exactly sure what to bring, so I kind of piled it on.”

    “Where did you even get rations like this?” I asked, genuinely curious.

    He smiled, “My father has some great connections, especially when it comes to his son wanting to court a woman.”

    “Court?” I smirked.

    “Ah, yes, did I not mention that?”

    “I don’t believe so.” I laughed, “Though it may have slipped my mind.”

    “Aha!” Laurens cried upon pulling out two sandwiches. “Thought I’d go with something simple.”

    “You know me so well.” I joked, taking one from him.

    “I would hope so.”

    The picnic was wonderful and fun, filled with jokes, laughing, and stories. When the sun was close to setting, we finally stood and went on a small walk.

    “So you and Aaron wrote all those songs?”

    “Hah, yes, believe it or not.”

    “Wow, you’re even more talented than I imagined.”

    I blushed, unsure of how to reply. “Says the Colonel.”

    Laurens shrugged, “It’s simply a title.”

    “Yes, but you earned it. You’re a great leader, you know.” I complimented genuinely. “Your men look up to you.”

    “Yeah...insane bastards.” He chuckled. “I’m going to get them all killed one day.”

    “No, you won’t.” I chided, “You’re very careful with them all. A little too careful sometimes, maybe, but most definitely not too reckless.”

    “I think otherwise, but thank you, anyway.” he smiled, grabbing my hand as we slowly trudged back to camp. The sun was setting, so everyone would be asleep, anyway.

    “I had a lovely time tonight, John.” I smiled back at him.

    “I did, too.” He said, squeezing my hand lightly. “So, about that courting…”

    “I would enjoy that very much.” His eyes brightened, “However, I’m unsure of my father’s opinion.”

    He smirked, “Is that a challenge?”

    “Perhaps.”

    “Consider it accepted.” He lifted my hand to his lips, “I’ll see you tomorrow. Until then, goodnight.”

    “Goodnight, Colonel.” I said, before he walked off and I waltzed into the tent, sighing.

    “How was it?! Did he bring all the food I told him to?” A voice shocked me as I fell onto my cot.

I sat back up once again, “Laf? Why are you still up?!”

“To hear about your little date, of course.” Answered a secondary voice from a hanging cot to my left.

I rubbed my temples, “Neither you, Herc, nor Laf are hearing anything from me. I’m going to bed. Goodnight.”

Herc smirked, “Fine. We’ll just hear it from Laurens tomorrow.”

I groaned before turning on my side and closing my eyes. Whatever. They would find out eventually, anyways. I slipped into a deep sleep, my thoughts wandering to multiple places during the night. The war. John. Aaria. Aaron. Then, something different. A flash of light. A force colliding with another to knock it over. Ringing ears and a pool of red. A single gunshot and rain spilling down, pattering against already tear streaked cheeks buried in a black and muddied coat.

I woke with a gasp. What had I seen? What could be coming that I would see such disturbing images? More importantly, whose blood had been shed?

Chapter Text

Laurens entered the tent quietly, so as not to wake his baby brother. Satisfied that no sound had been made, he sat down at their shared writing desk and pulled out a pen and paper, prepared to write. He started with the letter, but someone interrupted.

"John?" The exhausted croak of Jacob came from his cot, where he shifted in order to see his brother.

Laurens smiled at the voice of his younger brother, "Yeah, Jacob?"

"Who are you writing to?"

"General Schuyler."

There was a moment of silence. "Wow. It went that well?"

John chuckled, "Yeah, it did." He began to write once more, but had a thought. "How are your letters to Angelica going?"

In his cot, Jacob blushed. "Well. She thinks I should write biographies for a living."

John laughed, "Why is that?"

"Apparently I have a talent for seeing both sides of a story and explaining both with a neutral tone."

"Huh." John went back to his letter, writing each word with a careful precision and flair, in order to impress the father of the woman he wished to court. Time passed and John believed his brother was asleep, so he wrote quietly, hoping his brother would get some well earned rest. However, his little brother was in deep thought.

"John?" Jacob asked again, making sure his brother was still awake.

"Yeah?"

"What will it be like?" Jacob asked in a childlike fashion. "When we're free?"

John chuckled a little at his baby brother, whom he still saw as the curious young boy he used to be, and leaned back in his chair, thinking. "Well...we won't have such insufferable taxes, for one thing." Jacob snorted a little as his comment, but John continued. "The sun will shine brighter than it ever has. Everyone will be dancing in the streets and celebrating with the people they love. I'll be speaking out to free the slaves with Lilith at my side, so that everyone can be free. You'll be courting Angelica and writing the history and great feats of Washington and our friends during the war, which will only be a bad memory when it's over."

"And you and Lilith will be married." Jacob muttered sleepily, snuggling closer into his pillow.

John laughed again, "Of course. You'll be the best man."

"Really?" Jacob mumbled excitedly, despite his exhaustion. "I thought Alexander would."

John shook his head, even though Jacob couldn't see it with his eyes closed. "He wouldn't exactly know I'm marrying his ex-lover…"

"They were a thing?" Jacob slurred his words a little with how tired he was.

"Yeah, a long time ago." John sighed, feeling a little unworthy of Lilith's affections at the moment. "Besides, he thinks Barthec is a real person, so it would be weird for him to be a no-show at his best friend and sister's wedding."

"Oh yeah." Jacob yawned, pulling the blanket up closer to his shoulders. "How do you think they'll celebrate our independence in the future?"

John thought for a moment, "I dunno, Jacob. There's bound to be new inventions to help celebrate those things. Maybe with bonfires and music and dancing?"

"Can you imagine?" Jacob sighed dreamily, "All the children running around, chasing each other. The couples dancing and laughing."

"Yes." chuckled John, creating a picture in his mind. "The feasting and singing. It'll be wondrous, Jacob."

"What if-" Jacob's mumbled tone grew more serious, "What if one of us doesn't get to see it?"

John's eyebrows tightened and his expression became grim. "Both of us will live to see that, Jacob. I promise."

With a yawn, Jacob turned in his cot and finally drifted off to sleep. John sighed and continued to write his letter. After a while, he became tired. He blew out the dwindling flame in his lantern and put away his writing tools. Approaching his cot, he noticed his baby brother in his own cot, shivering in the cold. John shook his head, chuckling lightly, Fool of a Laurens. How hard it is to keep a blanket on? John swiftly covered his brother once more before climbing into his own cot.

"Both of us will live to see that, Jacob. I promise."

Chapter Text

"CHARLES LEE?!" I shouted, completely caught off guard.

"That's what I said!" Alex agreed, face red with anger. "How could someone so incompetent be promoted to General?!"

Herc shook his head, "That bastard will get us all killed!"

"I couldn't agree more." Jacob butt in a little, just as surprised as the rest of us.

"Perhaps we should give him a chance?" Burr suggested.

Laf scoffed, "Even I despise the man, Burr. He's not exactly likeable."

"Or smart." Added Laurens. We all nodded at his remark, other than Aaron. He was too nice for his own good sometimes.

The Battle of Monmouth. No one who survived the ordeal had any good memories of it. Not even Charles Lee himself. Hundreds of men died on the battlefield, many of them of heatstroke. Many more were injured and our squad wasn't immune from the scars of war.

"JACOB!"

It started with Laurens' scream upon seeing his baby brother fall to the ground; shot multiple times. Our squad, though split on entirely different parts of the field, united quickly at Laurens' cries. Before I knew it, Laurens and I were dragged a limp Jacob across the field. The next thing I remember was pacing outside an infirmary tent with a terrified Laurens.

He mumbled to himself for hours upon end; the entire time we were waiting there. I knew he wouldn't cry in the middle of the infirmary, so I dragged him out and just outside of the temporary camp.

"John." I spoke to him firmly as he gazed at the ground in defeat. "Look at me." I pulled his head up so his eyes were locked with mine. I pressed my forehead against his and held his head with both of my hands. "Look at me."

His eyes filled with tears, finally letting his pride go, and he whimpered a little, like a broken puppy.

"Jacob is going to be fine." I said to him, controlling my voice so he wouldn't continue to fear.

"I'm afraid." He whimpered, tears dropping from his eyes and down his cheeks.

"I know, I know." I said, brushing my hands through his hair. "He's gonna be fine."

"What if-" He choked, "What if he's not, though?"

"He'll be fine, John." I assured him, "He's not a kid anymore. He's strong."

"But he is a kid." John sobbed, planting his head on my shoulder, "He's my kid brother and I failed him."

"You did no such thing, John." I reprimanded gently, "It wasn't your fault he got shot."

"It's my fault he was out there alone." John sobbed, his body shaking with adrenaline and overwhelming fear. "It's my fault he's gonna die."

"Jacob will not die, Laurens." I pulled his head back to mine and stared into his eyes, gaining his focus. "Look at me. John-"

He sobbed once more, breaking his eyes away. "I broke my promise. He's not gonna see it- he's not gonna- Angelica and-and- Oh god, I broke my promise-"

"Laurens!" I shouted, gripping the back of his skull firmly. "Get it together!"

He took short, labored breaths and tried to calm his tears.

"Your brother is going to be perfectly fine." I told him. "You're gonna see him tomorrow and we're going to make sure Lee gets hell for this. Okay?" I nodded and John soon followed suit, "Okay. Yeah. He's gonna be just fine."

I let John, finally calmer, lean back on my shoulder and I enveloped him in a tight hug. God, the man was so fragile when it came to the people he cared about. It was almost terrifying to see such a brave, daring man break down into tears at his baby brother's injuries. I held him there, rocking back and forth slowly. Jacob would be fine. John would be fine, I told myself. And Lee was going to pay for the pain he had brought Jacob. And John, for that matter.

Speaking of…. I left John at the infirmary with Alexander, entrusting Alexander to keep him calm, though that probably wasn't a great idea. I stormed to General (ugh) Lee's tent, where he was currently sitting doing nothing, maybe twiddling his thumbs. I stormed past a guard and into the tent, furious. I was about ready to kick his ass and nothing was going to keep me from it.

"Lee!" I growled, approaching the desk.

The ignorant prick looked up from where he sat, unamused. "Private."

"I'm an aide de camp, you ignorant prick." I huffed, voicing my opinion of him. "You have a lot of death to pay for."

He snorted, "That's no way to speak to your superior, Private. I don't have to answer to you."

"No. Not me." My eyes narrowed as I threatened him. "Washington is already displeased with your performance today. I don't think he would appreciate you disregarding his right hand aide."

Lee looked a little shocked at my threat, as if he expected me to simply come in here and yell at him. He was shocked into silence, in fact.

"That's what I thought." I smirked a little, "You hurt a very good friend of mine today with your stupid ass retreat call. You can bet you're going to pay for that."

"And what will I pay with?" Lee growled, standing and facing me, finally. Of course he wouldn't be a coward when the battle was over.

"Charles Lee, I challenge you to a-" I started, but was cut off by footsteps and another voice.

"Barthec." The familiar voice reprimanded me firmly, but with a loving look.

"Sir." I regarded him with a stone still expression, but my eyes showed my anger, through and through. He couldn't stop me. He wouldn't. It was dishonorable not to finish a challenge.

"Don't, son." His eyes filled with an emotion I couldn't recognize. I had never seen it in his eyes before. "Come with me."

I huffed in anger as he walked out, waving at me to follow. Lee gave me a victorious smile, but I clenched my fists and spit on the ground in front of him. "This isn't over, you bastard."

I followed the General outside with an anger in my step. He finally stopped out of earshot of Lee and turned to face me. "This is my score to settle! He needs to pay-"

"And he will." Washington finished for me, "Trust me, he will. But this isn't your battle to fight, son."

"It's just as much mine as it is yours, sir!" I yelled in his face, "He hurt Jacob and he needs to pay with something more than just a goddamn court martial! No offense, sir, but I don't think you're going to go that far! That's where I'm willing to go and I will go there!"

"Lee hurt many more men than just your friend, son." Washington stayed firm, despite my tone. "Many others want justice and it is not yours to deal out."

"And it's yours?!" I yelled once more, gesturing wildly with my hands, "That's a bunch of bullshit, sir! No one else in this entire goddamned army has enough balls to stand against Lee anywhere other than a court of law! Ironically enough, it's gonna be me, the one without balls, who ends up killing the bastard!"

"You will do no such thing." Washington said firmly. Then, I realized what the emotion in his eyes was.

"You're scared." I gaped, furious. "You're worried about me! How can you be so obsessed with my welfare when hundreds of men died out there today?! I am expendable, sir, enough so that you shouldn't be keeping me from a duel! This is my right as a citizen of the colonies and this is my right as a human being to challenge someone!"

"I don't deny that-"

"Yes, sir, you are! You said you wanted me to fight for my rights and you wouldn't stop me, but you're doing that now!" I reasoned furiously, tears filling my eyes. I had trusted him. "I have a right to stand up for my friends and my family. I have a right to defend my honor! And yours! He's hurt your honor just as much as mine! Do you not care?!"

"Lee hasn't hurt your honor, son." Washington didn't flinch, "He's hurt the honor of the Continental Army and you do not stand for this army, son. I do."

"This army is as much mine as it is yours as it is anyone's!" I screamed, "This army is all of ours and any of us should be able to defend its honor! And since no one else will do it, I will!" I turned to enter Lee's tent again, but a hand gripped my shoulder.

"We need you, son." Washington said simply. "I need you. We need you to win this war and getting into a goddamn death sentence of a duel over something I'm already going to deal with will not help anything. Please, Lilith."

I scowled at him. "You don't need me to win this war. There are plenty more men as skilled as I am in this army."

"That's not true." Washington argued, "Your papers have already made circles in Britain, causing an uproar. People are starting to rebel against the King and fight against this war."

I scoffed, "It's not just my papers, sir. I am going to duel him, no matter what you say-"

A storm of footsteps approached us and a voice called out, "Barthec! Laurens wants you!"

I turned to the voice reluctantly. I left Washington there, staring after me. I scowled on the way to the infirmary, cursing him in my mind. How could he let this go unpunished?! A court martial was far from a suitable punishment for Charles Lee and I wasn't going to let him off easily.

Chapter Text

Visiting Jacob was the only joy John had in the next week, and even that was depressing at times. He visited his baby brother at least twice a day and even slept on the ground next to his bed the first few nights. It terrified him that his brother may pass away in the night without another word. Jacob had woken a few times, but was too mentally and physically exhausted to speak.

John was so terrified that Jacob could pass that he didn't even think of revenge against Lee for the first week. I was still fuming, but wasn't going to challenge Lee just yet. I had to wait until John could duel, too. He would be my second; I was sure. He would want revenge for Jacob and it wouldn't be right of me to take that from him. So, when Jacob finally awoke, I was ready to bring the idea to him.

The morning Jacob woke up, I had just entered the infirmary to check up on him and John, only to see John sitting beside his brother and leaning on the bed, snoring. I chuckled a little, placing some papers on the side table and jumping as I saw Jacob's head look up at me with a bright smile.

"Jacob!" I whispered excitedly, reaching over Laurens' head to hug him.

He chuckled a little, causing himself to cough. "H-Hey, Lilith."

I gasped, then smiled as emotion overwhelmed me. "You're talking!"

"Yeah." Jacob held an arm over his big brother's back comfortably. "Weird, huh?"

I shook my head at him and rolled my eyes, "Praise God that you're up, Jacob. We were so worried."

"It's nothin'." Jacob smirked, "Just a couple scratches."

"Don't let Laf hear you say that." I snorted, "Washington had to drag him away from your side at one point; the man wouldn't do one minute of work."

Jacob smiled lovingly, "He's such a mother hen."

I laughed lightly, so as not to wake John. "You can say that again. We've all been worried to death, Jacob. Have you heard anything while you were out? I've heard unconscious patients can still hear what's going on around them."

"Yes, actually." Jacob nodded weakly, "I've heard everything. John would talk to me for hours, just telling me everything he's ever wanted to say." The young man looked at his big brother lovingly, petting his curls gently.

"Aw." I said, smiling down at John. "He's always been one for dramatics."

Jacob chuckled again, coughing afterwards. "He talked about Lee and how dead he was going to be when he was done with him. He told me how General Washington cursed Lee out after the battle, too."

"He what now?" I gaped, surprised.

"Yeah, Washington was pissed, naturally, about his retreat order," Jacob explained, "Not to mention Lee willing to duel you."

"You know about that?" I rubbed my thumb self consciously, knowing that Jacob wouldn't want me to duel in his favor.

Jacob nodded, "Heard it from Alex, actually. He said he wanted to be your second, though he knew you would probably choose Laurens." Jacob sighed. "Lilith, please don't duel him. If you did that, John would…"

He looked down at his big brother worriedly. I scrunched my face up. I hadn't thought of how it would affect John.

"He talked about you, too." Jacob reminisced, gaze never leaving John. "About how funny and brave you are. Said he already knows you're the one he wants to marry." Jacob chuckled at his brother's words, thinking of how quickly things were going.

I gaped, "A-Already?"

"Yup." Jacob looked back up at me, "You two are perfect for each other. He doesn't wanna waste a moment, especially with this war going on. I mean, who knows what tomorrow will bring? Who knows how long you'll have together?"

I thought about it for a moment, knowing he was right. "You should take his advice with your angel, you know."

Jacob freaked, "Y-You know?! Gah, I'm so sorry! It just happened and-and-!"

I chuckled, "Jacob, it's fine. I don't know what you mean by you're sorry! You have the right to love anyone, even if I don't know who they are. Laf simply said you had an angel and I knew it was who you wrote those letters to."

Jacob gaped, "T-Then you don't know who it is?"

I raised an eyebrow, "Should I? I have a feeling I need to know."

"N-No, it's fine that you don't…" Jacob chuckled awkwardly.

Before I could ask him about this, John took it upon himself to wake up. "Huh?" He gaped as he saw both Jacob and I, the former awake, doing well, and talking. "Jacob! You're okay!" He exclaimed, hugging his baby brother tightly.

Jacob chuckled, which turned into a cough, and hugged his brother back. "Lilith told you I was. You should listen to her. She's smart."

I smirked from the sidelines as John turned to me. "Thank you."

"I didn't do anything." I protested, holding a hand up.

"Yes, you did." Jacob interrupted, "You took care of John for me. Thank you."

I smiled, "Of course. Just being a good friend. It's kinda my job." I teased, petting John's curls.

He pouted, "Rude."

I chuckled and started to speak, but Jacob interrupted once more, "Like I said, Lilith." He winked at me, causing me to blush, before looking back at John. "I think Lilith has something to talk to you about, by the way, John."

John's eyes filled with worry, "Now? But you just woke up!"

Jacob laughed, coughing again. "I'm fine, John. Besides, I think I see a baguette with legs coming this way."

We turned around toward the tent entrance to see an extremely flustered, worried, and shaking Frenchman enter with his bodyguard just beside him. "WHERE IS MY TINY LAMB?!"

Aaria rolled her eyes and dragged him toward us. "Use your eyes, Laf, not your heart."

As soon as he could, he pulled out of her grip and raced toward the other side of Jacob's bed, covering him in hugs. "THANK GOD! I WAS SO WORRIED! NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!"

Jacob laughed from underneath the Frenchman, "I don't think I can promise anything, but I'll try."

Aaria came up to me and gave me a questioning look, as if to say: 'Are you alright? Is he alright?'

"He just woke up and started talking." I explained to her, "He's doing well and so am I. How are you?"

She nodded, "Same as always, albeit lacking some sleep." She glared in the Marquis' direction and I laughed, understanding the feeling.

"His worrying must have been insufferable." I noted.

"You've no idea." Aaria sighed, rubbing her temple.

"Lilith?" John had stood and now grabbed my hand. "What was it you wanted to talk about?"

"Right.." I started to walk out of the tent with him, giving Aaria a knowing look. She had known about my plan since the beginning and completely agreed with it. In fact, if Laurens refused to be my second for some reason, she had offered to take his place. Once outside, I turned to John with a sigh. "John, I need a favor."

Chapter Text

"You can't be serious about doing this, Lil'!"

"What do you mean?! Are you saying no?!"

"Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying."

"I thought you would want to do this!"

"Yes, I would, but I don't want you to-"

"Excuse me?!"

"No, no! You're not letting me finish-!"

"I don't need to let you finish, I know what you're going to say John Laurens and I refuse to listen to you! I can duel whether you approve or not. It's my life and I realize that you care a lot, but I want to do this. I'll do it whether you like it or not."

"Fine. At least let me be your second."

"Deal."

The next morning, Lilith and John prepared for the duel. They were up before the sun with a pair of pistols and each having written their notes. Lilith peeked over John's shoulder as he wrote a note to distant family. She narrowed her eyes when she saw him writing a letter to a Frances. He looked up at Lilith guiltily, "After this duel, I have something to tell you. But don't worry, I'm not cheating on you."

Lilith glanced at him suspiciously. "How can I be sure of that?"

"I can't prove it." He simplified, "But I hope that you can trust me once I explain it."

"Why don't you just explain it now?" Lilith asked, a little peeved.

"It'll take too long." Sighed John, as he stood from the chair and started toward Lilith's office, where the pistols were, according to John.

Lilith followed him and, once they opened the door to her office, spotted a figure sitting at her desk. "Alex..? What are you-?"

John, who stood right behind her, spoke, "Sorry about this, Barthec."

"What-?" She started to look at him, confused, but he gripped both of her wrists tightly, holding them together.

"But I can't let you do this."

 

Chapter Text

    I struggled in my bounds, almost knocking myself, and the chair I was tied down in, over. Alex smirked evilly from where he stood, cleaning and preparing the pistols. John double knotted the ropes around my wrists carefully, still worried about if I were to escape.

    I mumbled something along the lines of, “I’m going to murder both of you after this.” However, it was impossible for either of them to understand me from behind the cloth stuffed into my mouth.

    John smiled a little, trying hard not to laugh, I knew. I glared at him, practically growling behind the gag, since I couldn’t speak much otherwise. Alex interrupted my glaring, “Ready to go, John?”

    “Yup.” John started toward the door, Alex already on his way out. As Alex left, John held back, dashing quickly back to my side. He pecked me on the cheek gently before rushing out the door again. Despite my fury, I blushed. Damnit. Why does he have to be so sweet?

    Shaking the thought away, I went back to trying to untie myself. Unfortunately, John knew how to tie some of the most complicated knots I had ever seen and any sharp item I could use was carefully hidden away by Alex. I even tried making loud noises, so as to catch the attention of someone who may be awake this early, stomping against the ground and kicking the desk. It wasn’t for quite some time that anyone found me…

        *************************

    The General woke early, though he didn’t know why. Shrugging it off, he assumed it was just one of those days where he would be extremely on top of things. Sorting through papers in his desk, he found a letter from a certain Philip Schuyler. Skimming its contents, he stood to find Lilith. It was imperative she knew about this letter, as it would give her a shock, to be sure.

    George quickly found himself outside Lilith’s office and was surprised to see the door creaked open slightly. That’s interesting. He knew that Lilith was a night owl, but she never woke up quite this early. Brushing it off as simply one of those days again, he opened the door, excited to tell Lilith about this turn of events.

    “Ah, Lilith, I was hoping you’d be up.” He started chatting with her casually, putting his coat on the coat hanger with his back to the desk. “See, I’ve found this interesting letter that I would like you to-” Upon turning, he froze for a moment.

    Lilith was tied down to a chair with a white cloth stuffed into her mouth; trapped. She was shuffling violently, trying to untie herself.

    George snapped into action, immediately rushing to untie Lilith, all the while asking her what in hell had happened. “Who put you here? I will have some words with them, to be sure.”

    Once he removed her gag, words flowed freely from her mouth, spouting so quickly it was almost like the breeze in a hurricane. “And those bastards -” Lilith ranted, “I’m going to kick their asses!”

    “Lilith, slow down.” George warned her, grabbing her by the shoulders. “What the hell is going on?”

    “John, Laurens that is, and Alex-” Lilith started to explain, but froze. “We need to go.” She started out the door, quickly slipping on her coat, George on her heels.

    “What is going on?” George asked once more this time with a stern tone. “I order you to explain, soldier.”

    Lilith simply dragged him along, toward the spot where Lee had planned their duel, explaining. “John wouldn’t let me duel Lee, so he and Alex are going to now. It started a while ago, we need to get there before-”

    She was cut off by a single gunshot ringing through the air. She and George froze as the men in surrounding tents all awoke, grabbing their gear fearfully. She and George glanced at each other, each with wide eyes and worry spread across their faces. Without a word, Lilith grabbed the General’s hand and lead the way to the duelling ground.

Chapter Text

"What is the meaning of this?!" George shouted angrily as we raced toward the dueling parties. I noticed Arielle, Herc, and Laf watching from afar, hidden behind some trees. However, they had made their presence obvious as soon as the gunshot went off. I squinted as the rising sun blocked most of my view of what had happened. I placed my hand on my forehead and blocked the sunlight from my eyes as I noticed Lee, on the ground and bleeding heavily. Aaron was at his side, applying pressure to his wounds. Aaron. He was too kind for his own good.

I let out a breath as I noticed that John had no wounds, nor did Alex. George stopped near Lee and Aaron, speaking to them briefly. I didn't catch what he said as I stormed toward John, pissed as all hell. Alex passed by me as George called him to talk. I glared at him, furious, as he laughed awkwardly, rubbing his neck. He quickly moved past me, terrified. I turned my attention back to John, who noticed me approaching and looked absolutely frantic. Glancing around, he begged Laf, Herc, and Arielle for help with his expression. Arielle scoffed and told him something about him being on his own. Laf and Herc agreed quickly before disappearing back into the bushes in fear.

I stormed up to John, stopping in front of him, arms crossed tightly against my chest and my foot tapping impatiently. John gulped, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. "Uhh….h-hey, Lilith! How-How are you today?"

"John." I growled.

"Y-Yeah?" He stuttered, terrified.

I took a deep breath, "Are you okay?"

"W-What?" He furrowed his brows, confused.

"Are you okay?" I asked slowly.

He breathed a sigh of relief, "Y-Yeah, I'm good."

"Good, because this is gonna hurt." I growled, once more letting my fury show as I slugged John right in the jaw.

"Ow! God!" He groaned, clutching the side of his face. After moments of rubbing his soon-to-be bruised jaw, he sighed. "I guess I deserved that."

"Yeah, no, shit, John." I huffed at him. We locked eyes, simply sharing a silent moment. Damn, he was such an idiot, but a cute one. His intentions were good, but...what if I had lost him? What would I do then? I enveloped John in a hug and a quick kiss, then back to a hug. "You're an idiot."

"But?" He asked cheekily, holding me tight.

"But you're a pretty damn sweet one. I'm just really glad you're okay, John."

"You and me both."

"I'm still mad at you, though." I huffed, glaring at Aaria from where she was giving me a knowing look. I flipped her off quickly before releasing John. I lit up a little as I remembered something. "Oh, by the way, a little something in the mail for you today." I pulled out the letter from my coat pocket and handed it to him, smirking a little.

He smiled brightly, then gaped as he read who it was from. He ripped the letter open excitedly as the others wandered in our direction, hoping that the hurricane was over. "What's that?" Asked Laf, trying to read over John's shoulder eagerly.

Aaria glanced at the outside of the letter, than at me, gaping. I chuckled, "I have no idea, Laf."

Herc glanced between us two women. "I don't even understand shit when it comes to their sex."

"That explains why you're the only single one." Jacob teased.

Herc gasped and turned to him, punching his arm. Aaria and I burst into laughter. Jacob was definitely clever, I'll give him that. I turned back to John, who was skimming the letter. His face had dropped.

"John, what is it?" I asked him worriedly, a hand on his shoulder.

"He said no." He answered, barely above a whisper. "He said no."

"Said no to what?" Jacob was immediately by his brother's side, despite limping from his still sore and damaged body. It was a miracle he was walking, in fact. He refused to stay in bed, so we, the squad, had to let him tag along. He would be safer with us, after all.

John looked up at me, his eyes filled with grief. "He won't let me court you.."

Chapter Text

We all stood in silent shock and grief. I took the letter from John furiously, skimming its contents as he started to pace, head in his hands. Our friends murmured words of apology, but the silence was quickly broken.

I took a step back with a breath of relief, then a chuckle. The group looked at me in shock. I rolled my eyes, "John, you should really read the entire thing before coming to any conclusions."

His eyes widened in excitement and he took the letter from me once more, reading it fully this time. He let out a cheer and grabbed Jacob's shoulders, shaking him roughly. "Yes! Yes!"

Our friends were excited for us, but still confused. So, I elaborated, "My father wants to meet him before we're allowed to court."

We all celebrated heartily with cheers and high-fives all around. Aaria approached me, "I'm happy for the both of you. It seems you have found the one, Lilith."

I smiled brightly and put a hand on her shoulder, "John isn't the only one I want to meet my father, Aaria."

Her eyes widened in shock and possibly even a bit of fear. "M-Me?"

"Definitely." I nodded, "You're my sister, Aaria, of course he'll want to meet you! He knows I had one, but he doesn't know that I've found you again. He'll be ecstatic!"

"Are you sure?" Aaria hesitated, "I'm taking apart his family…"

I shook my head roughly, "No, Aaria, you're not. I've already been drifting apart from them since I left to join this war, even more so now that John and I will be courting. Having one more sister can't hurt."

"Wait...Your youngest sister, Peggy, already introduced me to him."

"Yes, but that was before I knew you were my sister!" I reasoned, "And neither Angelica nor Eliza have met you yet! It will be like you're a whole new person to them."

She still had doubts, "They have good reasons to hate me, Lilith. I could never take their sister away from them."

"Aaria." I frowned at her, "You are my sister and always will be. They are, too. All of you are my sisters and they will understand that. In fact, they'll probably consider you their sister, too." I chuckled lightly, thinking of all the things my adoptive sisters would have to say to Aaria. This next trip home was sure to be entertaining.

Chapter Text

    I started back toward the tent in a daze, overwhelmed at all that had just occurred. As I walked merrily back to my tent to wrap up today’s work affairs, I noticed Alex leave Washington’s office angrily, slamming the door. I walked over to him with concern for my friend. What could have possibly left him so angry? Probably a punishment for dueling Lee...I hoped for his sake that it wasn’t too awful, but it seemed by his attitude that it was.

    “Alex? What did Washington say?” I asked him concernedly.

    Alex huffed, his face radiating fury. “He’s sent me home! Can you believe it?! In the midst of all of this , he’s sending me home!”

    I frowned and glanced around him back to the office. “That doesn’t sound right...why would he do that?”

    “I don’t know!” Alex growled, red-faced. “Why don’t you ask him?!”

    I put my hands on his shoulders in a way of calming him, though it wouldn’t work all too well. “Just relax, Alex. I’ll go figure this out, okay?” He started to walk away nodding, but I stopped him. “Hey, uh, if I can’t change Washington’s mind...can I accompany you back to Albany?”

    He tilted his head, curious. “Why?”

    I sighed a little, quickly thinking up an excuse. “I have some things to talk to my father about and...I want to introduce Aaria to my family.”

    Alex nodded, understanding. “Yeah, sure. Just don’t expect me to be in a good mood.”

    I chuckled, deciding to tease him a bit. “I never expect that of you, Al.”

    Alex frowned and smacked my arm as I laughed, though he showed a tinge of amusement. From there, I entered Washington’s office and discussed the matter with him.

    “Sir...why are you sending Alex home?” I questioned him lightly, seeing as he was still fuming from his argument with Alexander. “Wouldn’t he be of more use here, on the field?”

    George sighed, rubbing his temples and attempting to calm himself down before he exploded again. “Lilith, have you heard from your sisters lately?”

    I furrowed my brows, a little frustrated at the fact that he was avoiding my question. “No...why?”

    George dug through a few drawers of his desk, searching for one specific thing as it seemed. Sifting through many letters, he finally found what he was looking for. It was a single, well-written letter sent by my little sister: Eliza. I swallowed back fear and took the letter when he handed it to me, opening it carefully. I skimmed the pages, my eyes widening as I read each sentence. “Th-This is great news!” I suddenly came to the realisation of why exactly he was sending Alex home. “You’re sending him home to see Eliza, because you know he won’t go himself.”

    George nodded ever so lightly, sighing again at the mention of my stubborn friend and his right hand man. He looked up at me once more, “I’m sending you home, too, Lilith. I know you’ll protest, but-”

    “Actually, sir,” I interrupted him with a shy smile, my face flushing at the idea of confessing this to the General; my superior. At the same time, he was a good friend and an influencing figure in my life. “I would love to stop by home.”

    He furrowed his brows and tilted his head in curiosity. “Oh? What’s changed?”

    I cleared my throat, finding my voice. “My father would- er, let me rephrase that. My current suitor is to be introduced to my father and would like it sooner rather than later.”

    To my surprise, George laughed heartily, his eyes shining with a knowing gaze. “I’m happy for you and Laurens, Lilith. I’m sure your father will think similarly.”

    I let out a huff of breath, both in embarrassment and somewhat anxiety. “I hope so. My father’s never been fond of the idea of his daughters leaving him.”

    “Then again, what father is?”

    I smiled at his words of wisdom. “Right as always, sir.”

    George shook his head again, “Not always, Lilith. Go on, the lot of you have fun. Enjoy your stay at home. It would do well of you to bring your sister and Laurens’ brother if you can. I assume they both want to follow as well.”

    I nodded, confirming his suspicions. “Yes, sir. Thank you, sir- George. It means a lot. I’ll return safely.”

    “See to it you do, soldier. I would be lost without my right hand woman.”