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one question haunts and hurts

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"Wait!" Aaron yells, but Hamilton falls, gun aimed at the sky, and Aaron didn't see until it was too late. 

(wait for it - aaron's motto - had never failed him. if only he had followed it)

Aaron rushes forwards. "ALEXANDER!"

(van ness almost stops him, aaron's name on his lips, but changes his mind at the last moment)

"Aaron Burr, sir." Hamilton laughs weakly. 

(maybe the last time hamilton will ever greet you in such a manner, a traitorous corner of his brain says, but aaron doesn't want to listen because hamilton - the non-stop orphan immigrant that he is - can't be ended by something as common as a bullet wound)

"Why did you-" Aaron starts, then trails off. 

"Throw away my shot?" Hamilton finishes. "I wanted to see my dear Laurens again, and my son, and my mother." He coughs, hacking until blood comes from his mouth. "And because I once told Philip, 'You don't want this man's blood on your conscience.' It seems we will die in the same manner, in the same place. Fitting."

(how can he be resigned to death already, asks the optimistic part of aaron, but the part that had been in a war, had studied and fought and killed, answered you know why)

And Aaron opens his mouth to apologize, to say, I thought you were going to kill me and leave my precious Theodosia an orphan, then closes it, knowing there is no way to apologize for this.

Pendleton and the doctor row Hamilton back across the Hudson while Aaron watches. 

He goes and gets a drink, and another, and another, until he passes out. 

(some part of aaron says, you should die too, but another part says no. i will not make an orphan of my daughter. the death of hamilton plays over and over on repeat in his head, the part where hamilton falls, and it was all aaron's fault his fault his fault)