Chapter 1: A Gift upon a December
Snow was falling all around outside, little Alexandre, at the age of nine, could just see the prints of the little animals that lived in their garden, but he giggled thinking about how Pierre would try and chase them off in the morning. "What are you giggling about son?" A deep but gentle voice spook up from behind him, causing Alex to jump and spin around. His heart raced for only a moment when he thought he was in trouble, he was supposed to be in the ballroom, but calmed when he saw who it was. Prince George Washington, The Dowager Emperor, or to Alexandre and his brother James, "Abuelo!" Alexandre took off running for the older man, jumping into his arms.
George caught the boy with ease and spun him in the air. The sound of laughter filled the hallway where they stood before George stopped and held the boy in his arms as Alex wrapped his legs around his middle. "Do you have to go Abuelo? I don't want you too. " Alex pouted, sadness in his eyes. "Yes my boy," George nuzzled his hair. "I've been here far too long and they need me in Paris." He said. George Washington had duties of his own as the Dowager Emperor and they all place in his home in Paris with his young ward. But George couldn’t help the many holidays he took to America, his old home, to see his son’s family; mostly little Alexandre. His favorite little grandson that since birth, George had always had a close relationship with the boy.
“But I don’t want you to go!” Alex sniffled and hid his face away in the man’s chest. “Can’t I go with you?” George chuckled at the muffled words, he removed the boy and placed him down, kneeling in front of him “I promise you will when spring comes. You and your brother, I will take you to see all of France and the garden made to honor your grandmother. All of it my boy.” It was then that George reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a box with a ribbon on it. “Here.” He handed the young Duke the box. Alexandre’s eyes were filled with a soft light as he took and slowly opened the box, only to have his eyes go wide in shocked. “Abuelo!” He giggled and removed the gift.
In his hands was a music box carved of oak and filled with fine silk and gold. On the sides were gold stars, as well as pictures of all the constellations in the night sky, on the top of the box was a painting of a long snow white quill in front of a snowing night skyline. When opened, the same long white quill could be found spinning around as it wrote on a brown book. It was a gift made just for the young Duke, for his love of writing, who by the age of four could write a whole story; people called the boy a prodigy. And so, this music box was made with the quills he loved so, as well as the season of his birth.
Alexandre’s eyes took in every single inch of the gift, gluing it into his memory. “I hope you like it, and it plays our song.” George smiled and turned the key for the box, it started making a beautiful lullaby before the old Prince started to sing with it. “Far away, long ago, glowing dim as an ember.” Alex smiled up at his Abuelo before joining in. “Things my heart used to know, things it yearns to remember . And a song someone sings; Once upon a December.” They both laughed then George nodded down at the box. “There’s something else on there.” He told him. Alex raised his brow and looked down at the inside at the little book the quill was writing on. There were actual words on them, just big enough for someone staring in could see them. “Juntos en París, Para Siempre.” Alexandre’s eyes widened as his head snapped up to look at the old man “Abuelo!” He jumped up and hugged his grandfather.
“What is the commotion?” Princess Rachel Hamilton appeared in the doorway of the ballroom, along with Prince James and their older son Heir Jamie. “What do you have there hermanito?” Jamie asked and Alex quickly got up to show him, showing off the music box as their parents bid George a farewell. It wasn’t till it was too late that Alexandre saw he was gone. “Abuelo! Stop!” He went to chase after but was stopped by his mother. “I believe I am a Princess without a dance partner.” She told him, “Princess Rachel Mary Faucette-Hamilton.” His mother bowed. “I am the Grand Duke Alexandre Roberto James Peter Faucette-Hamilton, and I will dance with you Mama.” He said proudly, taking his mother’s hand and leading her into the ball.
Chapter 2: What a family can lose.
When you think happiness can last, it doesn't.
It was a lovely and beautiful season, balls for a week straight and all for Alexandre’s upcoming tenth birthday. People were laughing and dancing all around, till suddenly, someone gasped and glasses broke as they smashed into the ground. Dancing stopped and Alex hid behind his mother, Jamie at his side. They all watched as a dark clouded man slowly walked through the hall, a dirty brown hood over his head to hide his face though one could still see the curly hair under, as well as the quick moving eyes but what really shocked people; was a pricing smile that held sharp teeth. Behind him a man hurried to keep up, dressed the same way but his hood was down and he was coughing every so into a cloth in his hand. They finally came to a stop in front of Prince James, and then, with one movement the hood was gone and the man stood with his head high.
“Jefferson, I thought I told you to leave this kingdom and never return.” James spook sharply to the man. The man, Jefferson, simply laughed and turned his head to his friend “Did you hear that Jimmy? He thinks he can tell me what to do and where to go, as if I don’t have the power to crash him under my shoe.” Thomas Jefferson was once a friend of the royal family, a kind man that had the power to heal any sick or injury, and though he only used his power for that, everyone knew he could use them for more. That ‘more’ scared people, because it could either be for good or evil, Thomas made his choice long ago which side, after his wife and children were killed by the English and Prince James didn’t do anything about it. Or not what Thomas wanted him to do. He became full of grief and anger that he made a deal with the devil himself for the power of the gods; to use against those who turned against him. Prince James, after seeing what his friend had become, turned the man away for Thomas’ own safety but Thomas did not see it that way.
“You killed me that night, the night you let her die and didn’t do anything. He was a Mad King and you were too scared to go after him as he destroyed my family. Well my Prince, now you will know what it’s like to have everything, to have your family taken away from you!” Thomas clapped his hands and a sickly purple smoke started to spread from his hands, filling the room and the people in it, he, as well as Jimmy Madison, started to chant words unheard of. Chaos and mayhem begin, as people marched against the castle shouting for revolution and the end of the Faucette-Hamilton line; for the heads of those that befriended them.
Guns and fire filled the air, glass of the windows broke onto the floor and people ran, some to hide and some to find, those who were found now dragged away or laid dead on the ground. Prince James fought for his wife to take their boys to safely, but as they neared the back gates Alex stopped and pulled away “My music box!” He shouted and ran back towards the castle doors. “Alexandre! Alexandre!” He could hear his mother and brother crying and screaming for him to come back but he couldn’t, not without the gift from his grandfather. Somehow, without being spotted, got back to his room where he found the box, but suddenly a hand was on his shoulder causing him to jump and cry out.
“What are you doing here?” A young male voice asked, fear and energy running through his words. Alex looked up to see a boy, a little older than himself, staring back at him. Alex had seen this boy before, he worked in the kitchen and his name was John. Alex had always seemed to get butterflies when he saw him, curly light brown hair and freckles that danced across his skin. “Answer me, what are you doing here?” John snapped Alex out of his thoughts, the young Duke held up the box “I couldn’t leave it, my grandfather gave it to me.” He explained. “Your grandfather would want you alive more than some dumb box-“ They both jumped as crashes came, “Shit, they’re coming.” John turned and pulled down a painting off the wall, behind it was a door Alex had never seen before and it opened. “Go, now, I’ll hold them off.” John told him as he pushed the other boy into the door, but before he could close it Alex grabbed his hand. “Thank you, for everything. Find us and you will be rewarded.” He told him. John nodded and closed the door, hiding it once more. Through the cracks Alex could see John standing tall against the men and women that raced in. “Where are they boy?” “Tell us and you won’t be hurt.” They yelled, John didn’t move, expect to grab for one of the guns but was hit over the head by it instead.
Alex gasped, he wanted to help but John told him to run. And that’s what he did, he ran through the dusty halls and finally found his way out onto the frozen lake, on the other side he could see his family. Alexandre took off running across when the back of a hand came down against him. The boy rolled onto the snow filled ice, rubbing his head and looking up in horror to see Jefferson standing there, laughing like he did in the ballroom. “Where do you think you’re going Alexandre.” Jefferson purred his name as he reached down and plucked him from the ground. “Let me go! Please Mister Thomas, Please!” He cried out. “But I want to make a deal with you, you are powerful my boy, you could be like me. Join me boy and I swear your family will have a quick and painless death. Or say no, and you will join them in the fire.” Thomas looked over the boy as he froze in fear. “NO!” He shouted and was slammed against the ice water, hearing a loud crack. Jefferson must not have heard it as he smacked the boy down one last time before it broke. Alex pulled himself free and watched as Jefferson was thrown under the ice and into the cold water, sinking down till he couldn’t be seen.
Jimmy watched from the side of the frozen lake, mouth dropped open, this isn’t what was supposed to happen! Not what he signed up for when his friend showed up asking for help. He had to run, had to hide away from everything and never be found again, that’s what he did as he turned his back to the boy left on the ice and run into the woods.
Breathe heavy and blood dripping down his skin, Alex turned and ran for the shadows of his family, tears running just as fast as he was. “Mama, Papa!” He shouted till he saw their faces. “Alex! Run!” His father yelled, but it was too late. Hands were holding him down, pulling at his clothing as he was tossed into the back of a truck with his family. They were scared and cold, and Alex’s head was throbbing harder than he ever felt it before. “Mama, my head.” He cried out, curling into her stomach. “Hush mi hijo, I know, it will all be over soon.” She cried and kissed his head, James held his wife tightly in his arms, Jamie’s head on his lap, long ago he had stopped moving, but the blood from the gun shot in his stomach still bleed.
He couldn’t sit by and let his son die like his oldest, he reached for the young boy but Rachel pulled away. “My love, it’s the only way.” James whispered to his wife, “He could live, let him have this chance.” Rachel sobbed out a mother’s lost, but nodded and watched as her husband wrapped their youngest and only still breathing son in his coat. Picking up the boy and walking to the open back of the truck, he kissed his head and hugged him tightly “Be safe my son, live and die old in your bed.” He whispered before tossing the wrap out the opening and into a bed of soft snow. Tears running down his face as he looked back at his wife and son, he knew what they were coming to face, he knew their end was near. But Alexandre’s? If his prayers to God were heard, the boy would be found by those who will keep him safe, maybe even find his way back to George?
The truck started to slow and James looked into his wife’s eyes, taking her hands and kissing them “This never would have happened if you didn’t marry me.” He whispered, she hushed him and kissed his forehead “Than these two beautiful souls would have never been born.” She smiled up at him, “Whatever may come, eres mi todo.” James nodded, “Till death, do us part.” The night was quiet for a while after that, but by the last chime of midnight on the clock; united together, two last gunshots.
George could breathe, he couldn’t think or move, only scream out his cries as he hands trembled with the letter tightly in them. The night was cold when the massager finally reached them with the news, and it was all Lafayette could do to not fall to pieces himself while holding the man’s other hand. Shaking his head, this couldn’t be true; it had to be a lie. Please god, his cousins, Rachel and James, and Jamie; little Lexi just ten; let this be a lie. He prayed. “All of them. All of them.” George’s words were sobbed out, only Gilbert and the night to know the pain the old man had, at the loss of his own family.
Chapter 3: A Rumor in Virginia
Nine years after the end of the royal rule, America doesn't seem to be taking it too late. With no stable leadership, the people think back and try to remember why they over-through the Faucette-Hamilton in the first place. Now John and Herc are trying to get out and find better lives; maybe someone can help them?
So I'm going to try and follow but the movie and musical of Anastasia as well as some parts of Hamilton, but it's going to be a little hard. Number one, where to put Once Upon a December?
The hustle and bustle of the streets may look nice and calming from above, but below on the ground itself, it's horrible. People begging for food or coins, families living two or three to a house. Selling what you could but also staying under the radar of those that were watching. Soldier that were partners with the still forming government, keeping eyes and ears on everyone and everything, even more so now that rumor started flying around.
"I swear, it must be true!" A woman nodded, "No, no, they were all killed. I know someone who watched it happens!" Another fought back.
A little ways down, three men whispered about the same thing “I believe they are all alive and will come back into power.” “Don’t say that too loud Matthew, what if the soldiers hear you.”
And a block away in a house, a little boy told his mother what he heard at the market, “My love, it is just a story people are using to help them through the day.” “But mama-“ “No more of this, eat your soup.”
"Hey, did you hear?" A man asked as he run up to another who was pushing a cart through the street. “Have you heard?! It running through the streets.” He answered back. “Although the King did not survive, one son may be still alive!” “The Prince Alexandre, but please don’t say I told you!” He hushed him.
"Friends, Friends, please gather around!" A voice spook up, trying it's might to be louder than the street's actives. A young man stood on a box in the middle of the square, two other men behind him and leaded a hand in getting everyone to look up. The young man, Aaron Burr, smiled down at the people below him, "Friends, please, I know what is being said in your houses and shops, and this rumor is just what it's called. We are a stronger America without them and we will show the world just what it means to be one of us!" Some people, like the two behind Aaron clapped or even cheered, but others, like the young man that stood in the back of the crowded, did not think as much.
"You are the worst Burr!" His voice called out, causing some to gasp and others to laugh, "We the people don't need any more lies,” The voice turned to others standing nearby. “We don't want any fake news, we want what is real! Can't really be free when you have soldier keeping eyes on us or when we're freezing our asses off in a room with 21 other people!" The voice, John Laurens, yelled back at Burr. "He's right." "Who's going to help us?" "When will we get our money back?" "Who's going to lead us?" Questions popped up all over the place after that and Burr was losing the crowd.
One of the men next to Aaron growled and stepped forward "Damn you Laurens!" He took off after him but John Laurens was too far for Charles Lee. Aaron sighed and shook his head, turning back to the crowded and returning to his speech about how good it was to be free of the royal family and how it was only a matter of time, that they were almost done figuring out how the new government was going to work; it only took them nine years.
John Laurens had pretty much grown up on the streets, only himself to take care of after his father and family either tossed him out or died. So running away from Lee wasn't that hard for him, even more so that he had friends willing to help him get away. And so after about five blocks, Lee was gone and John was leaning against a wall, trying to get his breath, that's when he heard people around the corner talking about the rumor.
The Grand Duke Alexander, still alive after nine years and being taken away with his family to be gun down in their places. What a piece of crap, no one ran away from something like that, hell John himself helped the very boy run and he still somehow got caught, and John had the scars and three month in a hospital to prove it; not that he would really tell anyone that. He helped him, and he was beaten half way to death for his trouble, but it was worth it at the time, that beautiful young duke that John had a huge crush on, was worth it. With his deep, dark brown eyes like freshly made chocolate and made you go weak, soft brown hair and a smile that could woo anyone even at the age of almost 10.
Shaking the memories away, he took a breath and started to walk away, down the street towards the home and work place of his old friend.
Hercules was in his shop, sowing up a pair of old gray pant for the man that lived above the flower shop, hopefully he would be able to pay him this time, or maybe give him one of his chickens. The large man licked his bottom lip slowly as he pushed the needle carefully through the side, it had to be done with a quiet and steady hand…that Hercules had a moment ago before his door flew open. “Mulligan!” Hercules jumped and stabbed his finger in doing so. “God damn it John!” He yelped. Tossing down the pants and running to take care of his fingers. John laughed but only shrugged, closing the door and hooping up to sit on the counter. “How are you old man?” He asked, to which his large friend stopped and glanced over at him. “I swear, what was I thinking taking over loco parentis of you.” He shook his head. The two started to idly talk, when a couple passed by the open window, of course talking about the rumor. “Can you believe it? And they say his royal Grandpapa will pay heavily for someone who can bring him back.”
John’s head twisted to the window just slightly, he got an idea, the duke may not be alive but that didn’t mean he can’t still help John out; right?
He tried to save him, so why can’t he repay him now? “Hey Herc, have you heard the rumor going around?” He asked. “Have I, because of that dumb story, they've closed another border. We should've gotten out of New York while we still could! Gone to Georgia or even out of America completely!” He through his hands up, slapping them down on his knee and regretting it a second after because of his finger. “Well, what if we still can?” Herc stopped and turned to see a look on his friend’s face, “Oh no, I know that look, it’s the same one that almost got me thrown in jail for three weeks.” He shook his head. “I don’t want part of this.”
Herc started to walk away but John jumped down in front of him. “Wait, wait, wait, and just hear me out ok. Don’t you want to be royal again?” He asked, “Go back to sowing with gold and jewels, and not rips of fabric and…god what is this? Chicken skin?” John looked over at...well something he didn’t know if he wanted to find out about. “Don’t you want a chance to see that French boy again? Huh? The one you are always telling me about when your drunk and longing for the past?” Herc, who at the time was not looking at John, shaking his head and then stopped at the mention of Lafayette.
He started to chew on his lip, a clear sign that John had him at least thinking about it. “It's the rumor, the legend, the mystery. It's the Prince Alexandre who will help us fly, you and I, friend; will go down in history.” John put his arm around Herc’s shoulder and pulled him down to him to whisper his plan. “We'll find a boy to play the part and teach him what to say, dress him up and take him to Paris.” He waved his hand nonchalantly. Hercules’ smile only grew more and more with each word “Imagine the reward his dear old Grandpapa would pay!” Herc added. “Who else could pull it off but you and me?” John slapped his shoulder. “But before we do, we need something of his to show the old fool. To the market!” John grabbed Herc’s coat for him, the tailor closed the shop and off they went.
Chapter 4: The Music Box
John and Herc find something that can help with their plan, plus a look at a beautiful young man.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
By the middle of the day things had quiet down, people were still talking but of course they would keep talking. It was something Burr learned a long time ago when he was younger from his father, not matter what, people wanted to know what happened when it came to the unknown; but then were offend disappointed with the truth. Best to let people believe what they wanted, unless it got out of hand and this was slowly starting to; he could feel it in his bones. And the higher ups were starting to breathe down his neck ever since the news of this tall tale got to them. Burr was walking down the street, a book in one hand as he made his way back to his office.
He really wasn’t paying any attention to mind to those around him till suddenly he got a glimpse at long, deep brown hair. He stopped in his tracks and closed his book just to stare, he had never seen that deep of a brown before, but maybe once before. And the light tan skin that looked dry and pale from the cold, but also seemed to be soft to the touch. Aaron watched as the figure swapped up along the street, trying to find any dirty that was there. But Burr was brought out of his thoughts with a loud bang from a cart man that had dropped a metal barrel, but that wasn’t what shocked Aaron. No, it was the scream of “No!” that came right after it, and the brown haired person had dropped to the ground in a ball.
Aaron quickly ran over to the person, slowing down and gently placing a hand on their shoulder “It’s alright my friend, it was just something that fell.” He told them, but his mouth went dry when just as brown eyes looked up at him; fear rushing through every inch of color. It was a young man that was now looking back at him, one more beautiful than he ever saw. Burr mentally shook himself and continued on “Those days are long over, neighbor against neighbor. There's nothing to be afraid of anymore.” He assured him. The young man seemed to understand but, was still shaking so hard you could barely see his fingernails. “You're shaking. There is a pub just a block from here, let me buy you a drink-“
“No.” The man jumped then looked away from Aaron, and he was lost, longing for those eyes to look at him again. “Thank you, but no. I have to finish my job here, I need it, they’re hard to come by these days and I can’t lose it.” Burr understood what he meant, but there had to be a way to spend more time with this man. Before he could say anything, an old woman with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth started yelling “I swear if you stop again I will dock your pay, if you want a boyfriend get one off my time! Now hurry!” This was more than enough for the young man to pull away from Aaron and run off towards the shop where the old woman was calling from. “Hey!” Burr called after him “I’m here every day if you ever need help!” The man turned and nodded his head to Aaron but didn’t stop. Burr only wished this was not the last time they would meet.
John and Herc had to be careful, watching where they walked and making sure eyes were not following them. Where they were going, the underground markets where you could find anything from tickets to Hamilton keepsakes. Even if most of it was either stolen or faked. “Where are we going John?” Herc asked as he ran to hide behind a brick wall. “The market, I told you, we need something that’s going to help us prove this guy is the duke. It’s the only way to get the old man to believe us.” Laurens answered as they passed through a hidden walkway. “And what do we show him huh?” “I don’t know, but we’ll once we see it; it will be perfect.”
One more block down and they were there, people packed together, stands set up with only an inch between them. The sound of people talking and trying to sell you anything was overwhelming but as long as you didn’t make complete eye contact you were fine. Pushing through the crowd, they finally made it to the part where the Faucette-Hamilton stuff was being sold off.
“I swear this is a real painting.”
“No, no, I will not sell for more than 30.”
“There were the counts’ pajamas, and yes that is a real fur. I bet your wife will love those.”
Laurens rolled his eyes at what he heard, all of it kind of made him sick; which was pretty funny considering what they were about to do. Looking up and down at the other objects that were laid out but John suddenly stopped, causing Mulligan to smack into his back. “John, what’s up?” He asked the smaller man but John’s eyes were already staring something down, walking briskly through the stands, trying his hardest to get to the one in the back. “It can’t be?” John whispered till he finally found it. And of course, fate was a funny thing, cause resting there, on a table with black cloth and dirty things just tossed around it, was a music box. “Laurens?” He heard Herc ask, “That’s it.” He told his friend as he walked over, it looks just the same as it did that night long ago. The same winter night sky painted on, the same stars and quill, it was the music box that was in Alexandre’s hands when John found him.
“How much?” He asked the man. “Ah, this little thing, it’s beautiful, no?” The merchant asked as he picked it up and held it in his hands. “The painting was made to look just like those you will find in the middle of winter, and with real gold as well, from the palace just tossed onto the floor like it was nothing. But something like this needs to be treated with more respect.” He continued to say. “How much?” John asked again, he was not in the mood to play these games. “It's genuine Hamilton, I could never part with it!” The merchant gasped like he was insulted. “Two cans of beans.” John snapped, “Done.” The man said and tossed the box to John without a care in the world.
John caught it with ease, smirking as he looked about the box, making sure it was still alright, the only thing is, he couldn’t open it to see if it still played; but that could be worked around. “Do you believe in fairytales, Herc?” “Once upon a time, why?” “Cause we’re going to use one to help us; with it.” John tossed it to him. “Now it's risky, but not more than usual, we'll need papers, we'll need tickets, and we’ll need nerves of steel. With luck, it'll all go smoothly.” “And with luck, we won't be shot.” Herc huffed. “Who else could pull it off but me and you?” Laurens laughed and took off running back out of the market with Mulligan hot on his heels. They made it back to Hercules’ home before talking to each other again. “We'll be rich!” John fist bumped the air. “And we’ll be out!” Herc joined in laughing with him, grabbing his friend as they danced around the small one room apartment.
If they could pull this off, the two of them would be living in style and America would have something more to talk and whisper about.
The Prince Alexandre,
Alive or dead?
Bam! Meet Lin, now who do you think he is?
Chapter 5: The Dream
Herc and John met just who they need too.
Hey Guys, sorry it's been so long I had to get through Oct which was pretty busy for me. I'm going to try to get back to updating all of my stories but since this was has been on my mind for a while it's the first up.
It wasn’t long after that John and Herc were able to set up their work in a small building away from the city and hopefully away from the government and their spies. This could very easily get them through into jail or worst, them and any poor person that was caught helping or auditioning. Setting up was easy in the small used to be theatre, it was the royal’s to host special guest; but finding a boy to fill the role was the hard part. “I swear this one is worse than the first.” Herc whispered to John through a laugh, though the small male was too busy rubbing his temple. Laurens was really starting to have enough of all this, as the guy in front of them started crying about how much he missed his grandpapa through a smoker’s voice. “Ok, thank you, that’s enough.” John jumped up from his seat.
The man huffed, offended as he wrapped his scarf around his neck and walked out without another word. John sighed and sat back down as Herc reached for his drink on the table next to them “You could have been a little nicer.” He said then took a sip. “Nicer? The guy is like 15 years older than Alexandre is supposed to be, he could be The Dowager Emperor.” John bit back. “And the one before that, smelled like he lived in a fireplace. The only one that we saw today that maybe could work out was the girl. She was more like the Prince then all of them put together.” John let his head fall onto the table with a huff. “Come on, it’s been a long day, and I was to sleep.” He got up and started to pack his things. The two men didn’t notice that the door had opened once again, that while they talked a young boy was standing outside, trying to decide if he wanted to go in or not. Finally he built himself up and turned the knob, stood as he watched the men clean up.
“Um, pardon me?” He said softly, causing John and Herc to jump. Mulligan was the first to turn around, ready to fight but soften when he saw the young person. “Yes, can we help you boy?” He asked. “I’m sorry, I just, I heard that you were going to Paris, that you had a spear ticket.” He stuttered. Mulligan was about to answer when John stepped up “I’m sorry but the ticket is already spoken-“John stopped and stared at the boy, he was….he was…well he was very lovely to look at, at least. But John…he felt he’d seen this boy before. John shook his head and got the thought out before speaking again. He cleared his throat “The ticket is already spoken for I’m sorry.” The boy’s eyes widen “No, no I can’t be late, please I-I need that ticket, I need to go to Par-What is this place?” He suddenly stopped speaking and turned to look around.
The place was so beautiful even if it was old and dirty, in very much need of a good repair but he felt like something was off, “I’ve been here before, why?” He asked himself. “Well, this was the old theater for the royal family though many of us could come and use it when they weren’t here.” Herc answered, thinking of course that the question was to them since it was out loud. The boy shook his head but then nodded “I remember, there...there was a play, with dancers and we would run through the seats, we were happy and then fire and bullets and-“ As the words left the boy’s mouth, his breathing got heavier and heavier, his eyes glossed over and he started shaking. Herc, being Herc, jumped into action when it looked like the boy would pass out, he run over with a chair and made him sit down. “John get some water, now!”
“Deep breaths my dear boy, in through the nose and out of the mouth; good like that.” Herc rubbed his back as he coached him through it. “What is your name?” He asked as John walked back with the glass and handed it to the younger. “Lin, my name is Lin.” He answered after a long drink. “Where is your family? We’ll bring you home to them.” At this Lin froze and won’t look them in the eye, staring down at the floor. “I-I don’t have one, a home or a family, at least not now. I think I used to have one.” He said. “What do you mean?” John asked him, suddenly getting an idea. “I’m an orphan, I guess? I don’t remember anything past ten years ago.” At that both Herc and John’s heads snapped up to look at each other. “Tell us about what you do know.”
Lin bit his lip and nodded, thinking back on what he knew “They said I was found by the side of a road there were tracks all around, it had recently snowed. In the darkness and cold with the wind in the trees, a boy with no name and I have no memories but these; rain against a window and sheets upon a bed. These terrifying nurses whispering overhead "Call the child Lin, give the child a coat." I don't know a thing before that.” He started telling them about how he somehow had a very bad head injury, they almost thought he was going to dead from it, if not that then the marks and cuts all over him would have done him in but he made it through.
He told them about how he left the hospital and made his way through the country, working and sleeping whenever he could, sometimes having to steal food he shamefully admitted but Mulligan waved him off and said that everyone needed to once or twice nowadays. And then he told them about his dreams, about the voices he heard in them and the beautiful city he saw that might just be Paris, about the two voice that always stood out, one was sweet and loving, always saying "I'll meet you right there in Paris". The other, the other was mad and cruse and cold-blooded, like it wanted to hurt him.
John, who had once had an idea was now becoming annoyed, he had work to do, no time to sit around and talk about their dreams and such. “That’s nice and all but that has nothing to do with us. And if you need a way to Paris then you have to find one somewhere else I’m sorry.” He turned to walk away, not bothering with the way Herc was yelling at him for being rude and unkind to the poor boy. That was till suddenly a voice snapped at them.
“You don't know what it's like not to know who you are. To have lived in the shadows and get this far, I've seen flashes of fire, heard the echo of screams, but my heart has so much to reveal…and I need to be in Paris for that to happen. So, please.” Lin finished and the way he spoke just now, the way he held himself, his head high and chest puffed out. You would have thought he was royalty. That was it, it sealed the deal.
“You know what? You’re right; your story is enough to make us help you.” John smiled but then before Lin could say anything “But, the thing is, we are looking for the Grand Duke Alexandre, and this ticket is for him.”
“But he’s dead. How are you saving him that-oh….wait, you’re going to fool The Dowager Emperor?”
“Not fool!” Herc jumped in “There are tales that the Prince is still alive and we are merely trying to bring family back together.” He told him. “But we need someone to do that.” “Someone like you.” John said, this whole time looking Lin up and down then walking over and putting his arm around the boy’s shoulders. “Think about it Lin, he’s looking for family, you’re looking for family. It’s a perfect fit, and you can’t remember who you are or where you’re from, ten years? That’s when the Prince disappear so I ask you this; what makes you think that you are not the little lost prince?” He asked, only to have his arm shoved off. “Because look at me? There is nothing princely about me.” Lin told them.
“Not that you see, but if you keep that spirit up and with us to help you? Maybe you could just be-“ John grabbed his hand and twirled him around before letting go with a smile “The Grand Duke Alexandre Robert James Peter Faucette-Hamilton….That’s the only way to get to Paris, to find your family.” They waited, both Herc and John held breath as Lin paced, thinking and then. “You know what, you’re right. It’s not hurting anyone so…you got yourself a deal.” With that the three men shook hands, but when John and Lin’s hands touched, a power ran through that like nothing either has felt before. They pulled away but no one notice how in that moment the wind picked up, the cold started to bite and far away screams melted into the dark of the night.
Chapter 6: In the Dark of the Night
Something, or someone, awakens.
So yea, I pretty much copied the song but you guys already knew that I don't owe them, the characters or the story. Only thing I own is the way I'm telling it.
The night has suddenly taking a turn for the worst, and everyone that was still outside rushed their way through the streets and allies just to get home or at least somewhere out of the cold. One man in a dark heavy jacket was doing just that as he raced as fast as he could through the trees in the woods. Just jacket and cloak pulled tightly around his body but that didn’t stop the coughing that was rumbling in this chest and out his lips. Finally he could see the cabin, small as it was and made of wood itself but still it was home and safe from the cold that was making his coughing worst. Once in he pulled the door shut and locked it, before turning around quickly lighting a fire, though when he finally warmed up enough, he removed his jacket and cloak to hang them up.
James Madison rubbed his hands together and cough once more before taking a seat in front of the fire. “Bad weather we’re having huh? It wasn’t this bad only a few moments ago but oh well, that’s the season for you.” He chuckled and nodded to the air. “I went out and got those things I needed to make the pie, I promise you it’s going to be a good one, not like the last time. I mean, what was I thinking trying to mix witch-hazel and peanut butter?” He laughed, unpacking his bag then stopped. “Why am I talking to you? Why do I always talk to you? You never answer and…well you’re probably not even listening either. Isn’t that right Thomas?” He asked his questions before turning around and looking at the mantel above the fireplace, where a long black bottle sat, a dark purple liquid lay still inside, it was covered in dust and had not been moved for years.
“Why Thomas? Why did you have to go after them? Yes I know you were hurting but James did nothing to you besides be your friend. And Rachel and the boys, even if you wanted to punish James; why them? They were pure and innocent in all of this.” Madison sighed, remembering all those years ago, that day that felt like he just woke up from. The witch hunt that he and Thomas caused for the poor family and the lives that didn’t need to be lost. He remembered Thomas, falling through the ice to his death, and poor little Alexandre, scared and broken, the boy wasn’t even ten yet, way to underweight for his age but too smart as well. He would know, he used to teach him. James pushed the memories away, he was pledged by them; he would never forgive himself for what happened to the family.
He jumped when suddenly the tree breech hit the side of the house, the wind was really getting bad, like a storm was coming but something just didn’t feel right. The wind was darker and the cold bit your skin more than it should have, and then it a blink, James thought he saw…no. “James, you’re hungry and tired, and your eyes are playing tricks on you.” He told himself as he went back to making his dinner. It was quiet, besides the wind and a small tapping, it was low and James didn’t mind it, it got louder and not only louder but also sounded like it was coming from the inside. He froze, the hair on his neck spiking and skin shivering, the tapping was coming from behind him but before he could turn around the door flew open, breaking off the wall, the wind rushed in and cold left marks on his skin. That when he saw it, the tapping, the long black bottle that was Thomas’, the purple wasn’t still anymore but thrashing around and glowing an almost radioactive light.
Like it had on that day.
James couldn’t breathe, he could only see the dirt and dust flying around till his eyes forced and “Oh god!” It was them, the little monsters, the night black bats-things that use to do Thomas’ bidding, they were given to him when he gave his soul. “Why are you here?! Why do you haunt me!” He screamed at them, but they paid no mind as they rushed for the bottle, James’ eyes widen and without his mind, did the same, they tugged at it, James on one side and the monsters on the other, till finally they pulled, high in the air with James still holding onto it for dear live. Then they raced out the door, dragging James with them, high over the skyline, through the dark and trees and fear, back to that place from so long ago, back to the lake that somehow was still cold and frozen in time.
They dropped James on the ground from up high, knocking the wind from his chest but he still had the bottle in his hands, the bats flew around, screaming and taking the fear from every living thing around them till a light shoot out of a hold in the ice and they dive-bombed the hold and every exploded it.
There was nothing now, quiet, still, not even the wind could be heard, frozen was the world around him, so silence it made his ears ring. He had covered his eyes from the light and his head from the explosion, afraid that this might be the end from him. “Oh no dear friend, it’s only the beginning.” That voice…the lit in it that was also rough, James knew that voice and he could feel the food that was not in his stomach rush up and out but he held it back. Slowly he opened his eyes and untucked his head, looking up and staring at the ghost in front of him “Thomas?” He breathed out, voice shaking. “Yes, dear friend, it’s me.” He chuckled, it growing before he turned around to look at the monsters around him “I’m back….I’M BACK!!!” He screamed and the monster made a sound what could rip the bark off the trees around them. Thomas just spun around before stopping and running to James, picking him up and hugging him tightly, but it wasn’t right, there was nothing on Thomas but bone. “My friend, this is wonderful! But, now that I look at you, why James do you look so old?” Thomas asked, and it was true, Thomas hadn’t aged a day but James had gone on with time.
“Thomas, you’re dead.” He told him. But the man just cocked his head, James sighed and pulled away “You have been dead for almost ten years. Don’t you see how crazy this is?! How are you back, how are you alive, I don’t understand-“
“James calm down I-“
“Thomas I saw you die!!” He screamed at him. Thomas sighed and nodded before walking away from his friend, giving him the space he needed. “I know, I see that, and why I am back I have no idea.” He rubbed his chin before sudden yelling with joy “You kept it, you saved it!” He grabbed the bottle from James’ hand that he had forgotten he was still holding.
“I have missed you my dear, my art.” He cooed to the bottle, ok, now James knew for sure this was his Thomas. “Tom, we still don’t know why you are back. Can we force on that first please?” He begged, god it was like old times. “I don’t know, I promised my soul if I could kill all of the Hamiltons, the only reason I could be back is if-“
He stopped talking, James raised his brow and tilted his head “If?” “If one is still alive.” Thomas’ smile turned dark and evil, he grabbed James’ hand and pulled him along as they walked into the castle behind them, finding the old throne room where it all started. Thomas turned to his monsters “Show me my pets, show me if this is true.” He asked, they called and flew around, screaming and crushing into the ground before forming some form of water, in it a figure started to form and Thomas smiled grew “My job is not finished.” He growled.
“In the dark of the night I was tossing and turning, and the nightmare I had was as bad as can be. It scared me out of my wits! A corpse falling to bits! Then I opened my eyes and the nightmare was me!” Thomas laughed then went on.
“I was once the most mystical man in all America, when the royals betrayed me they made a mistake; my curse made each of them pay but one little boy got away. Little Alex, beware, Jefferson’s awake!” He laughed and started dancing around as the purple smoke began to oozes from the top of the bottle and the monsters that were perched nearby made sounds that would make someone’s ears bleed, James covered his to try and stop it.
“Thomas, please stop this-“ James tried but Thomas cut him off “I can feel that my powers are slowly returning. Tie my sash and a dash of cologne for that smell! As the pieces fall into place, I'll see him crawl into place. Au Revoir, Alex, your grace, farewell!” He grabbed James and tugged him over to the middle of the room, “Soon he will feel that his nightmares are real!” He waved his hands as the room went black and an altar rose from the ground.
When it stopped Thomas thrusted the bottle into the holder and ripped off the top. The room explode into the purple radioactive light and the bats started racing around. James could only standby and watch as Thomas began his spell, that he was going to go through this all over again and there was nothing he could do about it.
Thomas wiped the light around, just as he did that night and spook in the tongue long since passed and cursed the boy in the water.
“Come, my minions, rise for your master, let your evil shine.
Find him now, yes, fly ever faster. In the dark of the night; He'll be mine! ”
Chapter 7: Learn to do it/The River Flows
Herc and John try to teach Lin how to be a prince and someone realizes something important (maybe?)
Sorry this too so long guys, I'm a stubborn idiot and didn't know the wonders that is google docs. That being said, I will be going back and spellchecking other chapters. Enjoy!!!! (I hope!)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It had been a few days since that night, the three men worked to all hours of the day and into the next just to get Lin ready. He needed to know everything about the Hamiltons lives, about his life. That was still an odd idea for him, that he could be a Hamilton…it didn’t sit right with him to fool a poor old man but, something deep down felt like he needed to. It was around six in the afternoon, Lin for one hadn’t eaten or slept in at least two maybe three days and was starting to feel it all coming down on him.
Herc was giving him a small break as he and John worked on the next part of their lessons for the day. “I don’t know about this anymore.” Lin said suddenly, making the two glance at each other than at the younger. “What do you mean?” John asked. “I just…how do you become someone you forgotten you were? How do you know I won’t mess with up?” Hercules had been waiting for this moment, knowing it would come sooner or later, thankfully it was sooner.
He got up and walked over to Lin, placed his hand on his shoulder and smiled “Just…take a deep breath. Close your eyes, and imagine another time, another world almost. Think about it, you were born in a palace by the sea-“ “A palace by the sea? Could it be?” Lin jumped in. Hercules smiled “Yes, it's so. You rode horseback when you were only three-“ “Horseback riding? Me?”
Herc chuckled “Stop interrupting. Now the horse’s name was Romeo, you threw tantrums and terrorized the cook! Ha! How the palace shook!” John snicker from his stop at the table “Charming child.” He rolled his eyes. Lin glared at him before Herc brought his attention back. “But you’d behave when your father gave that look. Imagine how it was, your long forgotten past.” He shook his shoulders excitedly. “We've lots and lots to teach you and the time is going fast.” John reminded them before getting up and joining them in the middle of the room.
It was late, they all needed to sleep, Herc was starting to fall asleep with the history book in his hands as John shot out questions for Lin to answer. It was going alright till one question when the two of them just snapped on each other. “I know who my best friend is!” Lin shouted, fit tight and ready for a fight as one seemed to be coming. “What a temper!” John teased him, knowing it wasn’t going to help but it felt good to do so. “I don't like being contradicted! I’m not stupid!" “That makes two of us!” That’s when Hercules jumped up to get in between them “Continuing on...” But it was too late.
“I've had it , and I hate you both, I'm sorry that we ever met. I'm hungry, I'm frightened and I'm only human, don't forget! I don't remember anything . Get out and let me be!” Lin started to cry, collapsing down in a corner and pulling his knees to his chest. He couldn’t do this anymore, words were starting to spread around town of what they were doing. Sure for now they all thought it was dumb and just rumors, but the guards and spies had made it clear that if anyone was trying to fool them or find the prince; the outcome would be death.
Herc sighed and looked over at John, he wasn’t angry but he did believe that them had to be a little less harder on the poor boy. “Lin, darling, look at me.” He walked over and kneeled down, putting his hand on his shoulder. “We're all frightened, well, slightly, now and then; Shall we start again. Take a breath, count to ten. You have courage and strength you barely know.” He told him, lifted his head by his chin, a small smile on his face. John picked that time to walk over, Herc could see that he felt bad about causing this so he made it up to him by handing Lin a handkerchief “So blow that little nose and dry those pretty eyes, a prince like your majesty can do this if he tries!
A few hours later, Lin was on his way home from his lessons, feeling abnormally happy unlike the other times. The three were really starting to click and him and John...well he didn’t know what was there yet. As he walked, he didn’t notice the two men walking up behind him, see how they stared then nodded to each other before grabbing Lin from behind. Flashed of sights pounded in his head and he fought and screamed to get them off of him, crying to get off as they dragged him away from the streets.
Burr was in his office, listening to the phones going off, listening as Lee and Seabury answered them as quickly as they could. Calls from all over the city for all sort of things like asking for more money, asking for visas to leave the state or the county, new leads on the long dead grand duke...that one really made his stomach turn. But maybe the worst was when two men came in and told a story about John Laurens and Hercules Mulligan, how the two were auditioning boys to play the part of the grand duke. Something about writing a play but it didn’t seem right, and since they have “casted” the lead, Burr thought it was only right to meet the new star of the stage.
What he didn’t expect was the screams and cries of mercy to suddenly fill the office, enough to stop everyone in the tracks. The sounds brought him back to a time when he was younger-he shook his head and locked the door on them once more. “What is the meaning of this?” He asked as he walked out to see where the noise was coming from, what he saw broke something in his chest, a boy, not any but the one from the other day.
Fear bleeding from every pore on his body and tears running down and staining his face. “Let go of him, right now!” Burr demanded. “But sir, this is the one you asked us to bring in. The presenter.” The guard explained to him. “Huh?” Aaron looked down at the boy once more “Fine, bring him into my office and leave him be in there.” He told them. “Lee, bring some warm coffee in if you could.” Nodding as he turned into the room. There he found the boy sitting in the chair opposite his own, when he placed a hand on his arm the younger flicked and pulled away “Hey now, you’re self. Do you remember me?” He asked as he knelled down. Lin looked up at him, stared a few seconds before nodding “You’re the man from the other day? The one that asked me for a drink. Well, I have to say that this is one hell of a way to court someone.”
Aaron couldn’t help the laugh that came from his chest “I wish I could say that but unfortunately this is not a friendly visit. I’ve heard rumors that you found yourself in a sort of...spider’s web?” Lin tilted his head, confusion on his face before it hit him “Oh you’re….you’re talking about the-“ “Play, yes, because that’s all it is right? A play about the downfall of the royal family and nothing more right?” He asked. And as he did, he leaned against his desk and watched the boy but the longer he did, the more he could feel himself falling into those eyes; the ones he couldn’t place. Lin nodded his head in a hurry “Yes, it’s a play. I’m just….well I’m just young enough to play the prince and that’s why I’m doing it! The people need something like a pick me up and I met John and Herc and we thought it was a good idea and-“ “Lin.” Aaron held up his hand when he caught sight of Lee coming to the door.
After Lee left the coffee for them Aaron sighed “I do hope it’s just a play Lin, because of it was more, there would be nothing in my power to save you. And I want to.” He took the boy’s hand in his “You could be so much more in this world, I could get you a job here. Food and a bed all your own, just say the word and I’ll do that for you.” “Why Lin asked, why would you do that? You don’t even know me? Not really?” He questioned as he stared at their hands together. It was odd, the way he felt when he was with Aaron, not the same as when he was John. John caused a fire in him, Aaron….Aaron caused the waters that put it all out; Lin found that he liked the fire more. “Thank you for that Burr, but” Lin stood up and pulled his hand away, “...but I think I’ll be ok. Now if I can go, I have things to get ready for the show and-“ Suddenly the hand was back but on his arm, grip tight it and pulling back to Burr. “Lin, don’t do this, it won’t end well and Alex-The Hamilton’s are all dead and gone. I should know.” Aaron looked down at the floor as the memories came back.
He began to tell Lin the story of that night, how he went with his Grandfather to the castle, how he watched from the side as he set fires and catches the royals, how they shot James Jr, the crowned prince and killed him. How the tosses the four of them, and little Alexandre into the truck. His grandfather set him home after that, he didn’t went Aaron to see what came next. But he knew what happened, he hear the shots and screams on his way; and then there was only silence .
“The rivers still flow, the bird still sing and babies still grew up. Even after the Hamilton’s were gone. Do you understand what I mean?” He asked. Lin looked into his eyes and stared, hard and studying but only nodded, Burr for his part only sighed and let go of him. “I only hope you do.” He let go and Lin was gone, but his eyes were still there and studying Aaron’s very soul. The same eyes that he once had. “The rivers still flow, the King is gone.” He continued to say to himself. Because there was no way that that boy was Alexandre.
Hey Guys, Thank you all for reading...if anyone actually reads my stuff. If you like this i have other stories, a few Hamilton ones if thats your thing. I'm redoing those and adding to them as well.