Work Header

Waited For It

Work Text:

> Alexander Hamilton

Eliza’s gasp when Burr steps on stage– part wonder, mostly admiration– means that Alexander misses the entire first half of the song named after him, focused on his wife and turning her eyes back on him. When he hears an appreciative hum from his other side, Laurens very conspicuously admiring the actor’s… legs? arms? voice? face? On second look, Alexander decides that if he weren’t so occupied with trying to secure the attentions of Laurens and his wife away from the man playing his murderer, he might be tempted to do the same.

“Alexander,” John says at last, squeezing his knee, “please watch the show. This man in your role has your energy exactly.”

“He looks nothing like me,” Hamilton snaps back, but his eyes are bright, color high on his cheeks and a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “They speak so quickly, and in verse,” he observes, “imagine how many words one could pack into a speech if I had known of this.”

“Please,” Jefferson sneers from behind them, “you have words enough already.”

“If you are incapable of behavior befitting gentlemen such as yourselves,” Washington chimes in, his voice chilly, “you would do well to leave so the rest of us might enjoy this show in peace.”

Jefferson mumbles something unintelligible, but he quiets and leans back. Hamilton just barely resists making a face at him.

Alexander’s never liked reminders of his childhood, but Eliza’s eyes mist up when the chorus swells (Alexander Hamilton, we are waiting in the wings for you; You could never back down, you never learned to take your time); she clasps his free hand with both of hers, his other held over his eyes, discreetly swiping away tears.

> Aaron Burr, Sir

“I never punched any bursar,” Alexander informs the audience members within earshot, but every one of his companions shushes him. He turns to look surreptitiously at Burr, who says nothing and makes no sign of having noticed any extra attention on him.

“Is that me?” Laurens asks later, sitting up straight, his expression delighted. He’d been in high spirits ever since learning of the Civil War, abolition, Barack Obama; then furious and melancholy as they passed a protest on the way into the theater (After so many years, have we still failed to achieve justice?), but he’d soon cheered up again. “I don’t think I was ever quite so short.”

“My actor is suitably handsome,” Lafayette declares upon his introduction as Laurens collapses against Hamilton’s shoulder, muffling his laughter. “But my accent, it does not sound like this!”

“His accent sounds exactly like this,” John whispers into Alexander’s ear.

> The Schuyler Sisters

In revenge for the full ten seconds or so that Alexander spends with his jaw on the floor, Eliza very pointedly digs her nails into Alexander’s thigh. Turning to her, repentant, he plants a kiss on her cheek and spends the rest of the song gazing intently at her face, murmuring such sweet nothings into her ear that Lafayette and Laurens mime vomitting.

> You’ll Be Back / Right Hand Man

The front row– Eliza, Alexander, Laurens and Lafayette– hiss and boo at the king’s introduction but fall quiet when the song begins. Washington says nothing at their lack of decorum.

During the next song, out of respect for Washington’s need for personal space, no one cuffs him on the shoulder, but almost everyone steals at least once glance. Burr, to Madison’s left, resolutely does not. Lafayette and Laurens cheer the loudest, excitedly shaking Alexander by the shoulder when the song ends.

Washington’s initial discomfort seems to fade, the stately bearing of the actor playing him already a somewhat better image than he had imagined himself with throughout his last military compaign.

> Helpless / Satisfied

“I knew,” Eliza whispers to a very uncomfortable Alexander at the end of the set. Seeing her sister– all of her wit, charm and loving words immortalized, soothes whatever regret the songs dredge up. “We are both grateful that you remained in our lives, my Hamilton.”

> Wait For It

“John,” Alexander hisses, “Gilbert! What are you two doing? That man is my mortal enemy.”

Heads bopping in unison, matching each beat of the song, Lafayette ignores him but John shakes himself out of it. When he stops headbanging, his heel begins to tap in tune with the song. “I’m sorry, Alexander,” says Laurens, “I can’t seem to help myself.”

Alexander turns his head for help from his wife, only to see her in no better condition. “Betsey!”

> Guns and Ships / History Has Its Eyes On You / Yorktown

In all his years with the men sitting in the row in front of him, George Washington has never heard so much silence or seen such rapt attention. He basks in it, at least until the battle of Yorktown concludes and all three of them leap to their feet, shouting and pumping their fists. Jefferson and Madison, seated on either side of him, groan and clutch their temples as if suffering from a headache.

> Tomorrow There’ll Be More Of Us

Eliza and John reach for Alexander at the same time, each taking a hand and squeezing it until the song ends. Hamilton turns to lock eyes with Laurens, sighing deeply when the other man leans in close. “I’m sorry, Alexander,” he says, “for leaving you so soon.”

“All’s forgiven, John.” Lightly bumping their foreheads together, “You have no need to apologize to me for anything.”

“For anything except enjoying Burr’s song.”

“Well, yes. That’s a betrayal of the highest order.”

> What’d I Miss / Cabinet Battle #1

Alexander hears a shuffle behind him, turns just enough to see Jefferson stand and excuse himself to the restroom. He looks about as upset as Alexander has ever seen him, which is a cause for glee if he’s ever had one.

“If Jefferson looked like that,“ Alexander comments to John under his breath, “his pompous arrogance might have been more bearable.”

“Hard rock like Lancelot,” John murmurs back, slapping the hand Lafayette extends to him.

> The Room Where It Happens

"Why has Burr sung all the best songs? This is marvelous. I thought this play was named after myself.”

For the first and last time all night, Aaron speaks up. “We’ve made our peace, Hamilton,” he says, leaning forward in his seat to mumble directly into Alexander’s ear. “Talk. Less.”

> Take A Break / Say No To This

“They offered–” John sputters as Hamilton avoids Eliza’s pointed stare. “That was an offer for the same kind of consummation you offered me at your marriage if I have ever heard one, Alexander. You were a fool.”

“I know, John.”

“You did what, Alexander?”

> One Last Time

Alexander sneaks several looks back at Washington, simultaneously full of respect and embarrassment at some of the less controlled moments he’d shared with him. Lafayette and Laurens half-turn in their seats, meeting eyes with the General and acknowledging a nod from him before settling back.

> The Reynolds Pamphlet / Burn

“Alexander,” John hisses into his ear, “you didn’t.”

Eliza’s eyes slide shut, a pained expression on her face. “He did.”

“I can’t believe I thought you were a genius,” Laurens continues, eyes wide in horror while Hamilton sinks deeper into his seat. “Could you not have consulted someone? Anyone who would have told you that this was a terrible idea? Rumors die, Alexander, and everyone knows newsmen are scum.”

“I would have consulted you,” Hamilton snipes back, and immediately regrets it at Laurens’s stricken face. Without missing a beat, he reaches forward and grabs his hand, squeezing gently. “You see, John? Imagine how differently everything would have turned out, had you been with me.”

“Well,” Eliza says lightly, a dangerous smile on her face, “I suppose you wouldn’t have needed Ms. Reynolds.”

“Betsey, John and I never–”

“Dearest Eliza,” Laurens interrupts, covering Hamilton’s mouth with his hand, “Alexander was always insufferable when he was not at your side. Even when he promised to give me his fullest attention, he would be daydreaming about his reunion with you. If he was trying to arouse my envy, he has always been quite successful at it.” John grins at Eliza’s smile, now softening as she looks at him. “I would have boxed him about the ears for marring your honor, knowing what you mean to him.”

“Your Excellency,” Hamilton declares, wrenching Laurens’s hand away and turning in his seat to plead with Washington, “I am being attacked on two fronts!”

Washington pretends not to hear him.

> Blow Us All Away

Laurens smiles when the first bars play, a cheerful whistle accompanying a familiar young man onto the stage. “Is that the same lad–”

Alexander frantically checks the playbill in his hands. “Philip.”

Eliza’s voice is soft, barely audible, but both Laurens and Hamilton hear it: “No.”

“Excuse us,” Alexander says, one hand wrapping gently around Eliza’s upper arm as John and Lafayette move into the aisle to allow them to pass. John briefly pats Eliza’s shoulder, but looks to Lafayette in confusion as they sit back down.

“Philip was killed in a duel,” explains Lafayette, “with George Eacker.”

Ladies, I’m lookin for a Mr. George Eacker

“I’ll only be gone a moment,” John says, scrambling out of his seat, Lafayette on his heels. They nod to Washington before disappearing out the back door in search of Alexander and Eliza.

> Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

Madison’s still dabbing at his eyes by the time the front row settles back into their seats, this time with Eliza seated between Alexander and John, Lafayette to Hamilton’s left. As the show wraps up, Washington puts his hand on Alexander’s shoulder, squeezing gently for a few seconds before leaning back (You have no control, who lives, who dies, who tells your story;)

John and Lafayette catch Eliza’s eyes before she looks bashfully away, unnerved by their intensity and moved by the tears in them, burying her face against Alexander’s shoulder (She tells our story;)

Alexander has his arm around her and he breathes a shaky sigh against her temple, but he holds himself together until the woman onstage pauses, her expression and voice softening. Oh, she sings, can I show you what I’m proudest of?

His voice cracks, face twisting with emotion. “An orphanage?”

"It’s still there,” says John, reading a page of acknowledgments from the pamphlet they were given before the show. "You’ve outlasted all of us, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.”

“And you have done more good,” says Lafayette, a smile on his lips. “What I find to be the biggest surprise,” he drawls later as he pulls Laurens aside, the audience around them erupting into applause, “is how this musical has endeared to me, of all people in the world, Burr.