It was days like this that usually put Washington in a good mood. The sky was set with a layer of grey clouds that threaten the summer days with rain, he always did like the rain. It brought out the birds, it cooled the air, and it reminded him of simpler times when Martha was still alive and bossing him around. The way Washington’s desk was positioned though, he couldn’t see the windows that lead outside so he had made it a point to prop them open just a sliver so he could feel the cool breeze every once in a while behind him.
Just the idea of being outside granted him a sense of ease.
“Hmm?” Washington hummed, tilting his head ever so slightly to his left. Charles Lee cringed slightly and turned to cast his gaze to the center of the room.
“Should we stop them?”
As expected, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were in another one of their shouting matches. Jefferson, looming over the shorter man with a sense of superiority that constantly set Hamilton over the edge and Hamilton throwing his hands wildly in the air as he attempted to get whatever point he had across to Jefferson. The rest of the room sat idly. The new recruits, interns mostly, shifting in their seats uncomfortably as their eyes darted to the senior members of the board hoping to god someone was going to put a stop to this. Said senior members however, sat stoic with almost looks of boredom on their faces, Angelica Schuyler in particular going as far as to pull out her phone and conduct some business for the rest of her day while still in her seat.
“Oh come on Hamilton! It’s not my fault your proposition is stupid and implausable! This proposal sounds like you were working with half a brain and lets be fair, you weren’t working with much to begin with.”
“Of course it would seem implausible to the arrogant anti-charismatic national embarrassment this country is forced to have as Secretary of State!”
“That’s enough!” Washington’s voice boomed throughout the room, causing the remaining cabinet members to jolt into attention like a command of soldiers.
“Oh look, daddy coming to the rescue,” Jefferson scoffed, crossing his arms with a look of resentment.
“Sir—” Hamilton began.
“That’s enough Alexander,”
Hamilton, who had never been one to easily do as told, took a step towards the president with a sense of urgency. “Sir with all do respect, we can’t just let congress get held hostage by the south.”
“Oh God,” Jefferson rolled his eyes, turning to James Maddison, who sat behind him, to throw his hands in the air in disbelief at Hamilton’s dramatic nature.
“Son, you need the votes.” Washington sighed, sitting back down in his chair tiredly.
“No, we need bold strokes. We need this plan.”
“You need to convince more folks,”
“It’s not my fault Jefferson is incompatant and ignorant,”
“The bonded population barely make up 30% of the country! It’s not my fault that there are more pressing matters to tend to than your stupid bonding bill.” Jefferson snapped, being brought back into the argument.
“This bonding bill would end discrimination—”
“We already have bills for that!”
“It would end hate crimes and blatant harassment of dissenters from groups like the Gunners and Justice Bringers!”
“Oh so now Hamilton wants to restrict our citizens freedom of speech?”
The two men flinched, both slowing turning their heads to look at Washington as he rubbed his eyes in exasperation. “Take a walk, both of you. Meeting adjourned.”
Washington was the first one out the door.
Slowly, but surely, more members of the cabinet stood to leave until finally Jefferson stalked away with a trailing Maddison while Angelica led the pouting Secretary of Treasury to his office.
“I’m taking it the meeting didn’t go well?” John asked, strolling in with a sub sandwich he had picked up on the way over.
“It could have gone better,” Angelica agreed, standing from her seat to dust off the nonexistent dust from her pencil skirt. The two glanced at a muttering Alexander, who sat behind his desk furiously typing on his computer. “Have fun babysitting.” Angelica patted John’s back before hightailing it out of the office to tend to her own work.
“Alright!” John yelled loudly, dropping the sandwich bag in front of Alex. “Time to eat,”
“Not hungry,” Alex mumbled, pressing the backspace key with such vigor John was half afraid it would dig into the laptops mechanics, effectively destroying Alex’s laptop and an Alex with no laptop is not a happy Alex.
“Yeah well, you skipped out on breakfast and lunch so it wasn’t really a request.”
“John I have to get this bill edited before Jefferson decides to leave.”
“I will not leave this office without his signature. John you don’t understand the significance of this bill and who it can help. The bonded will finally be able to get jobs together without facing discrimination, those ridiculous extrimist groups won’t be able to harass them. Do you know how infuriating it is to only be able to get involved once one of them commites murder?”
“Well I have been at the protest if that’s what you’re asking,”
Alex cringed, allowing a small pause in his writing. Then, with stilled fingers, he glanced up at John who looked back at him with a small smile. “I’m sorry, I know how much this means to you too.”
“So all we need is Jefferson’s signature?”
Alex nodded, opening the bag of chips that accompanied the sandwich. Baby steps. John thought when Alex pushed the actual meal aside. “I need his signature to get the bill on the floor after that it’s just a matter of him swaying the southern vote. I’ve managed to re write the draft, I had Angelica look over it and I’m making the corrections now.”
“You really think you can get him to sign it?”
“He will if he knows what’s good for him,” Alex scoffed.
“Alex you can’t just bully people into siding with you,”
“Why? It worked with everyone else.”
John rolled his eyes, taking a seat in front of Alex’s desk. “Alex,”
“No I’m serious. Adams was just too stupid to have his own opinions anyway, I think the only one I had problems with was Burr. Eventually I just followed him around everywhere until he was so annoyed he begged me to give him the bill to sign,” Alex paused in what he was doing, a smile etching it’s way onto his features.
Alex ignored his friend in favor of printing out the rest of his bill.
When Alexander walked into the room Jefferson was already in a heated discussion with Aaron Burr which promptly halted once the two new bodies walked in.
“Oh my God,” Jefferson groaned, throwing his head back against the comfort of his brand new swivel chair. “You don’t even have to open your mouth to make my head hurt.”
Clearly, Jefferson was already at ends meet and frankly, Alex did not care. Instead, with John standing awkwardly in the back of the room next to Burr, Alex dropped his new and improved draft of his bill in front of Jefferson.
Jefferson raised an eyebrow amusingly as he opened the title page and scanned the contents of the bill. He just about made it half way down the page when he casually leaned back in his chair and looked up at Alexander. “Hamilton this sounds like a three year old wrote it,”
“Jefferson I swear to God—”
“I can count at least five different clauses that don’t even need to be here.”
“Ugh,” Alex groaned, pulling at his hair in frustration.
“—and I know you’re hard pressed for coherent thought Hamilton but this is just plain lazy. It’s written like it was put through google translate.”
“I’m going to go,” Burr sighed, taking a step towards the door. No one in the room gave him a second glance accept for John, who had held his hand out causing Burr’s chest to run into it which effectively stop Burr in his tracks.
“If I have to be here so do you,” John said with such conviction, Burr took a step back and put his hands in his pockets. And the two returned to the ever growing shouting match that was bound to escalate.
“Please you wouldn’t even hurt a fly,” Jefferson smirked.
“Yeah you’re absolutely right. A fly is an innocent creature that never knowingly did anything to anybody. YOU, on the other hand, I would MAIM.”
“Of course, let me retract my previous statement. You couldn’t even hurt a fly. What are you? Five foot? Any shorter and you’d fade out of existence.”
John turned to Burr before he could hear Alex’s rebuttal to the insult. Burr, who looked bored rose an eyebrow when John elbowed him. “Should we like, get someone?”
Burr shrugged, “As long as they aren’t throwing things or hitting each other I think we’re good.”
“I have it on good authority Alex is about,” John paused to think, “Four, maybe five, more insults away before he picks up that stapler and tosses it and Jefferson’s head.”
Burr snorted, “Thomas looks composed but I have it on good authority that he’s shoved his hands in his pockets to keep himself from lashing out at Alexander. I give it two more insults.”
The two men looked back to the secretaries, an unspoken bet forming between them which will most likely be the cost of dinner for their next group hang out.
“—And another thing Mr. I Know Everything! Don’t lecture me about my draft when you have nothing to contribute to it! Are you really so daft or do you just like arguing for the sake of arguing?”
“Oh please! Is it so hard to believe that not everyone agrees with Alexander—”
The sharp cry of pain startled all the men in the room. Burr, who was quick to react, ran to Jefferson’s side who had pushed himself away from his desk and dropped to his knees. John, who had taken much too long to respond, went to drop by Alexander’s side who had completely collapsed to the floor.
First, there was a pulling sensation. Something like a thin elastic being tied to two pencils and the pencils were slowly moving further and further away from each other. All Jefferson wanted to do was move closer, bring the stretching close to keep the elastic from snapping. Already his mind felt stretched, and somewhere he felt the need for something. In the haze he couldn’t say what but he needed it. He needed it like he needed oxygen. When the haze began to clear Jefferson thought that was the last of it, and then came the pain. It coated the upper part of his arm and his chest. His skin had been cutting into itself and then seared the cuts into place like a type of burn and Jefferson was distinctly aware he was seeping blood through his shirt.
“I’m too old,” Was the first thing Jefferson said when the world came back into focus. He spared a glance at Hamilton, who was still in a dazed state with his friend beside him trying to call out to him. “Oh shit,”
“Oh shit indeed,” Burr mumbled.
“We should get them to a hospital,” John worrily said.
“I’m fine,” Alex snapped from beside him, but his face betrayed his facade and he winced in pain when he tried to sit up.
“Either way, we still need to get you two to a hospital.” Burr instructed, lifting Jefferson up.
“Great,” Thomas hissed.
“This is your fault,” Alex snapped once he was safely on his feet.
“How the fuck was I suppose to know?”
“Well if you of just signed my fucking bill—”
“Enough,” Burr snapped. “Both you will shut up. You two will not utter a single word to each other until we are at the hospital. I will take Thomas and Laurens will take Alexander and then I will call Washington,” Alex opened his mouth to speak, but didn’t have an opportunity to before Burr was already going off again. “And if one of you utters a got damn word Laurens and I will throw you to the floor and leave you,”
Hamilton and Jefferson glanced at each other, narrowed their eyes, and promptly tried to argue with each other with each other through their glares.