Alexander Hamilton's alarm blared at four am. He got up from where he lay in his bed, stretching a bit before standing up. The cold air hit his boxer clad body as he made his way to his large window, staring over the New York cityscape. It was still dark, but the lights made it possible for Alex to make out almost every detail.
He began getting dressed, slipping on a black blazer over a white tee-shirt, as well as some black slacks. He grabbed his laptop and walked out of his room and into the main area of his penthouse. John Laurens was at his dining room table, head in his arms, dead asleep while paper was still spread around him. Alex started the coffee machine, and then went over to John, giving him a good shove.
"Ah!" John exclaimed, shooting up. He looked over and saw Alex, groaning a bit. "Shit, what time is it?"
"Four AM, Pepper," Alex smiled, admiring John's curly black hair and tan skin, splattered with freckles. John was what one would call attractive. Tall, toned, with light brown skin and an immense amount of freckles. His hair was a lions mane, untamed, unalterable. John was a good employee, and not too harsh on the eyes, which Alex enjoyed.
"Don't call me that," John muttered, standing up. He yawned, cracking his neck. "Shit, why didn't you wake me up when you went to bed?"
"You were awake, you were mumbling something to yourself, something about waking you when I needed you," Alex insisted, going to his kitchen. "Breakfast?"
John shook his head, sighing a bit. "I'm gonna go get another hour of sleep, maybe realign my back again."
Alex swallowed and nodded, looking to his fridge and pulling out some take out. "Alright."
John left, and Alex was back to quiet. His coffee machine beeped and he made himself a cup before heading up to his lab. He pressed his hand to the scanner, and the doors opened, letting him in. He set his food down as the technology came to life, lights coming on.
"Good morning, Mr. Hamilton," the almost human-like voice of the AI named Jarvis greeted as Alex sat down.
"Morning, Jarvis," Alex smiled. "Gimme a playthrough of the news."
A hologram-like screen appeared in front of Alex and reeled through highlights, in everything from big cities to small towns. Nothing could get past Alex. When that finished, Alex tossed his takeout container and looked at the large table, which had status reports on the technology in the building.
"Jarvis, I would like the elevators to be tuned up tonight," Alex stated. "How did the update go?"
"It went well, Mr. Hamilton," Jarvis answered. "She is all ready to be flown."
Alex stood and approached the suit. The gold and red shone lightly, and it turned on the moment Alex touched it. "I say it's time we take this baby for a spin, wouldn't you agree, Jarvis?"
"It's ready when you are, Mr. Hamilton," Jarvis responded.
Alex stood in front of the suit and it began to cover him until all he could see in the window reflection across the room was him. Alex smiled. "Jarvis, open the window."
The window was opened, and Alex ran at it, then jumped.
He lived in one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan, so the first few seconds he seemed to just stay there, then he began falling. He let himself fall, and let Jarvis list off the number of feet until he hit the ground. Around twenty feet, Alex activated the blasters and shot back up, doing a few flips in the air before coming to a stop, floating in the air and looking over New York.
Alexander Hamilton was most likely the richest person in America and the world. He ran a tech industry that created weaponry and new technology for American military and American allies. He also created technology to help construction, to help repairs, to help with anything that could be improved. In his free time, without anyone knowing, he was a hero some referred to as 'Iron Man'. He had never let the fact that he, Alexander Hamilton, was Iron Man slip. He decided to keep that part secret. But the job wasn't lonely. New York was too much chaos for one person, and about a year back, Alex had met a hero named Spider-Man.
Spider-Man was a small guy, skinny, but strong. The two had taken up fighting the bad that went on in New York together but had never revealed their identities to each other. It didn't feel right. They were heroes, and maybe if it was a slow night, they'd catch a Yankees game and heckle the ref in French, but that was it.
"Jarvis, any sign of Spider-Man?" Alex asked.
"No, Mr. Hamilton," Jarvis replied.
"Alright, then it's just me this morning," Alex nodded, taking off. His building was in downtown Manhattan, so he found himself making his way up to the Bronx, standing on one of the floodlights and looking over at the night crew, cleaning the stadium. He stood there for a moment, resting, before taking off and heading back to his building. He got there, sighing as he stepped out of the suit and turned it off. Then he got to work.
Hamilton, to most, was a cocky asshole. His intelligence often came to question, when in fact, he was incredibly smart. Alex liked to refer to himself as a genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist, which always made John roll his eyes.
John was Alex's one and only personal assistant, and probably the only person who knew Alex was Iron Man. John was originally an assistant for a lower-level worker, and good at his job. One day, he caught a mistake that Alex had made in the numbers, probably the only work-related mistake he had made in his life. John, furious, stormed up to Alex's office, which he had never even been to. This mistake could've cost the company billions, and John was not about to let that slide.
Now, normally, a lower-level employee wouldn't have gotten past the seventieth floor, but no one wanted to stop John. He was fired up, pissed, and ready to kill. People, people who could've squashed John under their thumbs stepped out of the way as he burst into Alex's office and began yelling at him. Alex had never been yelled at by an employee, little less, an employee of such a low level.
When security had approached John, John had reached into his satchel, yelling about how he had pepper spray, earning him the nickname 'pepper.' John had expected to be fired, but instead, Alex promoted him right up to his right-hand man, which came with a raise and his own living space in the building, on the floor just below Alex's. A lot of nights were spent on Alex's floor though since Alex seemed to be non stop, and John himself was a hard worker.
Overall, though, this thrice-married bachelor was living what he considered his best life. He had twenty-year-old scotch in his liquor cabinet, he had a hundred billion dollars in his bank account, and most importantly, he had an unlimited supply of technology to do whatever he pleased with. There were always scandals, always accusations, but Alex wasn't a violent person, he paid his taxes, and never stole or cheated. At least, not in business.
"Alright," Alex mumbled at seven-thirty rolled around. "Time to work."
He printed out some blueprints he had been making, rolling them up and adding a bit of tape so they stay closed before grabbing a thermos of coffee and hopping on the elevator. It stopped at John's floor and John got on, rubbing his neck. Alex immediately handed him the blueprints, causing John to grumble something under his breath that Alex didn't quite pick up.
They got to the floor Alex worked on, and instantly, four other people joined them, one of which got handed the blueprints. John pulled out his iPad, knowing people were about to start yelling reminders, and that if he didn't take it down, Alex would never remember.
"You have a meeting with the leader of the Asia district at noon!" Someone reminded.
"Actually, it's been moved to twelve-thirty, on account of some bad weather," John cut in.
"Mr. Hamilton!" Alex's lawyer, Robert Livingston, gasped.
"Aye, Bobby!" Alex greeted, sipping his coffee. "How's it hanging? How's the wife?"
"Wishing I didn't work so much, but that's not the point, something had happened," Robert gasped.
"Something's always happened," Alex groaned. "Doesn't misery take a day off?"
"Iron Man was spotted in the Bronx this morning," John stated.
"He should give me a call, he's looking a bit clunky," Alex chuckled. "I mean, the suit is just so bulky, I'm sure I could slim it down a bit. Where are his aerodynamics?"
John nudged Alex's side a bit, reminding him not to oversell it.
"Mr. Hamilton," Robert persisted. "You really need to listen to me."
"Bobby, you're gonna have to give me a sec," Alex told his lawyer. "Katie, is the conference room set up for my eight-thirty?"
"It is, Mr. Hamilton," Katie answered.
"Dorian, I would like Mr. Tanaka to have tea ready the moment he gets here, and make sure it's hot." Alex chuckled. "Does he know he has the same last name as Masahiro Tanaka? I mean, imagine sharing a last name with one of the best Yankees pitchers in the last twenty years. Alright, John, what did you do with the blueprints?" Alex asked.
"Gave them to Josh, who is right behind you," John answered.
"Josh! I would like all those to go into conference room B, those are for my three-thirty," Alex called out, not even looking back.
"Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Tanaka has requested food at the meeting," John mumbled, reading a notification that just popped up.
"Get me sushi from Uchu, it's the best damn Japanese restaurant in-"
"New York and Brooklyn," John finished. "Yes, we know. Katie, you get on that."
"What do they want?" Katie asked.
"I have it written down, what they both always get, I'm sending it to you right now," John responded, doing a few things. "Get it as late as you can, Mr. Tanaka hates stale sushi."
"Pepper, I forgot to ask, how is your mother?" Alex questioned, an almost fake amount of empathy laced throughout his voice.
John didn't trust that. "Don't call me that. Still sick. Robert, what is it?"
"One second, Bobby, hey, Do-"
"Mr. Hamilton!" Robert yelled, causing Alex to stop and turn. He braced himself. "Miss Eliza Schuyler has died."
Alex's thermos hit the ground as the office went quiet. His breathing sped up as he stared, wide-eyed, at his lawyer. Alex's heart was about to beat out of his chest, and he felt his eyes sting and water. Flashes of what probably was the most beautiful woman Alex had ever seen went through his brain. The way she laughed, the way she would hold Hamilton.
Alex and Eliza had known each other since they were both twenty. At twenty-five, they had gotten married. At twenty-six, they had both signed their divorce papers. It was a hard divorce. They both loved each other, but they couldn't be married. Alex wasn't loyal, Eliza wasn't a doormat. Eliza, after they divorced, had spent a year or so away, not talking to Alex, not even seeing him, which hurt Alex, but she came back, deciding her and Alex could be friends, just friends. Alex married Maria Reynolds, which failed. Then Kitty Livingston, his lawyer's daughter, which again, failed. Alex decided, at forty-two, that marriage obviously wasn't his thing. He took the playboy part of his title very seriously.
"She's... dead?" Alex asked softly.
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Hamilton," Robert said.
"What happened?" Alex's voice was so small as he spoke.
"There was a car accident, she, she perished from her injuries two nights ago at eleven pm in Bellevue hospital," Robert explained.
Alex brought a shaky hand up to his mouth. He could feel tears almost. He could feel John's hand take his own. He quickly ripped it away, walking as fast as he could down the hallway to his office, slamming the door. He sat down in his desk chair, turning to face New York skyline. The sun was rising, tinting everything orange.
Alex placed his face in his hands and let a small sob break from his chest. He could feel the wedding ring he had worn with Eliza. It was now on his middle finger, just something he shared with his best friend. But now, she, she was dead.
"Oh, God," Alex groaned, wiping his eyes. "Shit, no, Eliza."
"Mr. Hamilton," a small voice said from the doorway.
"Dammit, Robert, what else could you want?" Alex snapped, turning around and watching John and Robert enter the office.
"Mr. Hamilton, that's not all," Robert stated, pulling out a few papers. "Ms. Schuyler, she, she had a child, and in her will, she claims he is yours."
Alex stood up, knocking his chair back against the window. "I'm sorry?"
"Mr. Hamilton, she says it's yours," Robert stated, pushing forward a piece of paper. "Here is a copy of her will, if you do not believe me."
Alex grabbed the paper, scanning it. "Phillip Schuyler." Alex slammed the paper down, running his hand through messy brown hair. "You're fucking kidding me. Of course, of course, Eliza would do this. A kid? Is she serious? I'm nowhere near father material, and she decides to, to do this?" Alex kicked his desk. "This is bullshit!"
"She didn't exactly plan on dying," John pointed out.
"Oh shut it," Alex snapped.
"Oh, ¿quieres decirme que me calle? Ve a comer una polla, pedazo de mierda," John scoffed, rolling his eyes as he scanned over a few papers Robert had given him.
"I don't understand you when you talk like that," Alex huffed. "Robert, what's the deal? Is the kid like a baby? How old is he?"
Robert shuffled through a few papers. "Phillip Schuyler, sixteen years old. Set to start his junior year in two months. Quite popular in the school art community, was apart of academic decathlon last year, and has never gotten lunch detention."
Alex looked down at his desk. "Where will I put him?"
"Guest room, right across from the one I stay in sometimes," John answered. "His stuff is being brought over and I'll meet the movers downstairs to lead them to his room. He will be here around five, seeing as he's currently discussing legal issues to do with his mother's property." John sighed, looking down at the iPad. "Lawyers will be coming over, to give you full custody over the child. Robert, I feel it necessary you stay with us for the majority of the day."
John continued doing things on the iPad in front of him. "Alex, I have pushed all your meetings to tomorrow, and sent an email to the company regarding some basic information about what happened and why work will be slow today."
Alex nodded. "Thank you, John. Make sure Mr. Tanaka-"
"Already booked him a hotel," John mumbled.
"Jesus, would this company be running without John?" Robert asked.
John shook his head. "I'm the only competent worker here, and yes, that includes my boss."
"Hey," Alex mumbled, crossing his arms.
"You know I'm right," John muttered. "Alright, movers will be here in an hour, lawyers are in the lobby, coming up. I'll go get them, bring them here. Robert, make sure he doesn't leave."
Robert nodded as John left.
"This is not how I saw this day going," Alex admitted, staring out the window.
"If I must be honest, Mr. Hamilton," Robert started. "We are in the same boat there."
Most of Hamilton's workday was spent signing papers. Alex, due to the fact that he didn't want a degree of separation such as a name, had Phillip's last name changed. John protested this, saying this shouldn't be legal without Phillip's consent, but since Alex was a legal guardian of the kid, it was. John got a lot of other work done, met with Mr. Tanaka to explain what happened, as well as a few other work associates.
Four-thirty rolled around and Alex was feeling anxious. The whole situation has been extremely under wraps to avoid media, and so far, it was working. John had got to Angelica Schuyler on the phone, the one who had helped pack up and separate Phillip and Eliza's stuff. She had explained to John the basic things to know about Phillip. John had written it all down and given it to Alex, who had barely looked at it.
"Phillip will be here soon, and-" John cut himself off. "Alex, are you paying attention?"
"What? Yes," Alex nodded.
John let out a long breath of air. "I understand that you are sad, but you must remember this kid is sad as well. He just lost his mother, and now he is moving in with a man he has never met, who apparently is his father. How would you feel if that happened?"
"It did happen," Alex muttered.
John bit his lip, thinking. "Then you should know what he needs." John looked down at his Apple watch to see a message from the receptionist downstairs, telling them that Phillip was here.
"Alexander, he's here, you need to go to him," John stated. "Come on, you can't just... He's your son."
"Why didn't Eliza ever tell me?" Alex asked.
"You're not exactly father material," John muttered. "Go."
Alex huffed and got up, walking out of his office and to the elevators. He stepped in one and let it take him down. He wasn't exactly the happiest to be doing this. Hell, he didn't even want a kid. He had never wanted a kid. Around thirty, he had gotten a vasectomy, and never looked back. Kids had never been something he wanted. Even John's daughter, Twelve-year-old Frances, who came over every other weekend, didn't like Alex, and Alex had only talked to her twice.
Alex got to the bottom floor and stepped out. He saw Angelica Schuyler, Eliza's sister, and then a boy standing next to her. He had on a hoodie and some basketball shorts. The hood was up, and headphones were around his neck. The lid of a baseball cap peaked out from under his hood, and he hugged his bag. He looked tallish, about Alex's height, so maybe five foot nine? Dark curls stuck out from his hood. He probably got those from Eliza. She had always had pretty curls, which was rare but not impossible for Asian people, but always straightened her hair. Alex thought she looked better with the curls, but Eliza usually just got them straightened so she wouldn't have to deal with it.
"Alexander," Angelica greeted curtly. She had never liked Alex from the start. She had been protective over Eliza, and so had Peggy, despite being younger than Eliza, seeing as the three of them had practically grown up together.
"Angelica," Alex replied.
Angelica took Phillip by the shoulders. "You can call me. I'll always pick up. I love you so much, Phillip. You always have a place up in New Rochelle." She pulled Phillip into a tight hug. "You call Theo, keep in touch with Peggy, I'll visit, I promise."
Phillip just nodded.
Angelica let him go and looked up at Alex. "You take good care of him. I don't even like that he's going to you."
Alex gave her a curt nod.
She sighed. "Okay, Phillip, I love you. I'll see you soon."
"I love you too," he replied in a quiet voice.
She kissed him one last time on the forehead before turning and leaving.
Phillip looked up at Alex, and for a second, they both just stared. It was weird. The whole situation was weird. Phillip was obviously trying not to cry, Alex was obviously uncomfortable. The two didn't want to be where they were.
"Have you ever seen how a business is run?" Alex asked.
Phillip shook his head.
"Well, you're about to learn," Alex replied. He placed his hand on Phillip's shoulder and led him to the elevator, pressing the floor number his office was on. The ride was awkward and quiet, but Alex began talking the moment they stepped off. "It's important to have competent staff. That is our accounting section, and they are probably the lifeblood of this. They make sure our taxes are sent out on time, that no one is stealing, all fun stuff."
Phillip felt like he was going to throw up.
"Most of my assistants work up here. Granted, I only have one I truly trust, but as the owner of a company, you need many to cover different categories." Alex gestured to his lawyer, who was giving the two an incredulous look. "That is Bobby, one of my lawyers, my personal favorite if we're being honest, and then over there? That's Dorian, he is specifically in charge of meetings. He's-"
Alex was cut off by a sharp slap on the back of his head.
"Ow!" Alex exclaimed, looking to see a pissed off and almost in awe John.
"What are you doing?" John asked.
"Showing the kid around," Alex answered as if it was obvious.
"Stop it," John snapped. "Stop, stop-" John slapped Alex's hand away from Phillip's shoulder. "Stop touching him." He smacked Alex again. "How blind are you to people's emotions? This is ridiculous! Out of all the people in this office, you should have the most empathy for his situation."
Alex swallowed hard.
"No, you know what?" John stepped between Alex and Phillip. "You go to work. Let me handle this since I do all the work for you anyway. Go."
John pointed down the hall to Alex's office. "Don't call me that. Go."
Alex rolled his eyes, walking down the hall.
John turned gently to Phillip. "I'm gonna take you to your room, okay?"
"Are you gonna get fired for that?" Phillip asked in a quiet and hoarse voice.
John shook his head, gently guiding Phillip back to the elevators. "Of course not. Alex would never fire me. I'm the only reason this company hasn't run itself into the ground." John stepped into the elevator with Phillip and pressed the button for the top floor. "Your room had a nice view of the Hudson. Of course, that means you have a view of Jersey, but, you also get some nice city sites." John looked at Phillip. "Do you need anything?"
Phillip shook his head.
"Okay," John nodded. "I'll make sure you get dinner. Do you have a favorite food or restaurant?"
"I'm not hungry," Phillip mumbled.
John swallowed, remembering the misery he went through when his dad died as they stepped into the penthouse. "Okay. Hey, look, Alex is, he's not very loving, but if you need anything, anything, just come find me. I live like, on the floor below." John pointed to the kitchen. "That's the kitchen." He led Phillip farther through the house. "Bathroom is right there, and, here is your room." John opened the door to show Phillip the room. It had about ten boxes and a duffle bag taking up space. "Do you need help unpacking?"
Phillip shook his head. "I just want to be alone."
John nodded. "Okay, I get that. If you're hungry at any point, just, call and order something, come get me, I'll probably be here anyway, and I'll pay for it. Or Alex will. Either one."
"Alright, well, I'll see you tomorrow," John nodded, leaving. "I'm right downstairs if you need anything."
Phillip stepped into his room, pulling down his head and placing his baseball cap on the nightstand. He flipped on his headphones and turned up his music as loud as he could. He kicked off his Adidas slip ons, falling onto the bed. He let himself break, curling up and beginning to cry. He felt like he hadn't cried since he found out. He felt so sick, so scared. In the past two days, his world turned upside down. He lost his mother, their apartment was put on the market, and he was placed in the custody of a man he didn't even know.
Phillip sat up and went to his duffle bag, ripping it open and pulling out his suit. He got undressed, then changed into it, slipping his web-shooters on his wrists. The red and blue material was soft against his skin. He slipped on his mask, as well as some basketball shorts and opened the window, looking back at the door, before jumping out the window, letting himself fall, before clicking the web shooter and beginning to swing through the streets of Manhattan. He didn't think or speak, he just swung through the streets, trying to push away the undeniable truth.