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The Story of Us

Chapter Text

I used to think one day, we’d tell the story of us
How we met and the sparks flew instantly


 

He was talking again.

He was still talking.

“God, Hamilton, would you please just shut up for one second.”

Burr’s resounding groan barely pierced through the constant buzzing in his ear.

Hamilton’s constant buzzing.

“What? Burr, you don’t understand! There are still so many things that need to be said! Have you even been listening? Great, now I have to explain it all to you again, so you can get my point–”

“No, please don’t–”

“ –So, as I was saying, even if we do win this war, there’s still so much we have to consider–”

“Hamilton–”

“ –When running our nation! Like, what about our financial system? Surely the economic strain the war has put on will force Congress to change and I have this brilliant idea about a–”

“Hamilton–”

“Burr, really? If you keep interrupting me, I’m never going to–”

“Hamilton, just shut up and have your drink already…”

“But I can’t just stop here! I like spending time with you, you’re the only person I can talk to about this, and there’s still a million things I haven’t–”

Burr told himself he buried his face in his hands to muffle the resulting groan, inspired by Hamilton’s incessant chattering that would undoubtedly draw the attention of the other patrons at the bar.

Not to hide the fond smile that he couldn’t stop from pulling his lips at Hamilton’s words.

‘I like spending time with you.’

 Of course not. That would be ridiculous.

‘You’re the only person I can talk to.’

Burr groaned again. He was supposed to be annoyed.

“I said, talk less, dammit.”

 

Chapter Text

And people would say, “They’re the lucky ones”


 

 

“Aaron Burr, sir!”

His heart was beating rapidly because of the stroke.

Definitely not because of Hamilton.

His attempt to sit up and greet him properly was thwarted by the sudden cramp in his lower back, forcing him to fall pathetically back down onto the bed.

The following groan would have to do.

 “Sir! I feared the worst when I received word that you were out of commission. I–”

Oh God, he was talking.

He did not miss the sound of his voice.

At. All.

His expression must have given away his displeasure because suddenly Hamilton was creating a small hurricane in an attempt to ease his apparent distress.

“ –what am I saying, ‘just a heat stroke’, we’ve already lost so many men because of the heat, so I can’t treat this as something to be ignored, and dammit, where is the water, you look like you’re dying, and I don’t think I could handle it if you were to actually d–”

“Hamil–”

He broke off into a series of coughs that sounded like he was choking despite the fact that his throat was so parched, and had been for the past few days, that there was nothing to choke on.

“Aaron!”

But then again it always felt like that.

Because of the stroke.

Not because of the gentle hand at his back, easing him into a seated position.

Not because of those kind eyes, shining with intelligence and passion, currently concernedly looking at him like he was going to pass out any minute.

And definitely not because of the way Hamilton said his first name so casually.

The water Hamilton brought to him was a miracle in and of itself, but he was still talking.

When he finally let down his drink, he didn’t hesitate in saying the words he’d been longing to since Hamilton had first walked in.

He’d thought them through after all.

And this was not something he could bear to wait for.

“Alexander, if you don’t stop talking, I swear, you and this migraine will cause my head to implode.”

The stunned silence would have been much more satisfying if it lasted more than two seconds before he recovered and replied in an annoyingly smug tone.

“Alexander, huh?”

Burr had never been more grateful for his dark skin tone and the excuse of the heat stroke to hide the blush that he could definitely feel creeping up his neck.

“Quiet. You cannot deny you called me by name not two minutes ago.”

The smirk softened into a smaller, more intimate smile.

“No, I guess I can’t.”

The smile was dizzying, or was that just the stroke making him light-headed again?

But Alexander was leaving.

“Well, sir, I guess I’ve irritated you enough with my incessant talking. I’ll leave you to rest. I can never be away from Washington’s desk before chaos ensues, it seems. So much to write, you know?”

He stopped at the door, grinning back at him.

“And, Aaron?”

Something in his stomach twisted at the tenderness.

“Look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”

And when Aaron gets a letter from Alexander inviting him to meet for celebratory war-winning drinks, Burr doesn’t deny the heat in his face and the flutter in his heart are all Hamilton’s fault.

‘My dear, Sir Aaron…’

Yes, it was definitely all Alexander’s fault.

‘Lucky’, indeed.

 

Chapter Text

I used to know my place, was the spot next to you
Now I’m searching the room for an empty seat


 

 

“Alexander is upstairs in his study and hasn’t come down in days. We really appreciate you coming here to talk him. ”

Burr’s stomach twisted savagely at the casual use of Alexander’s name, but he’d had many years practice on pasting on the most polite smiles.

After all, who had more right to call Alexander by his name than his wife?

“Oh, it’s no problem at all, Mrs. Hamilton. God knows how he can turn into such an idiot at the most inopportune times.”

“Oh! Please, Eliza is fine,” her expression falling, “And, I know, but still…”

He sighed.

“I know he is going through a tough time, you all are, but Hamilton is causing unnecessary worry, and that is unacceptable.”

“Just – please go easy on him.”

Eliza wasn’t a bad person. No, she was immeasurably kind. He couldn’t hate her. Not even if he tried.

“I will do what it takes to make him stop acting like a child.”

“Thank you, Mr. Burr, please, this way.”

As he walked in he spotted both the other Schuylers, and while he wasn’t too familiar with the youngest – Peggy, he believed – he could have sworn Angelica was looking at him with some pointed expression he couldn’t read. He had never been that close with her, and decided to dwell on that problem later.

Bracing himself with a heavy inhale, he entered.

“Hamilton?”

Now, Burr was a patient person. He could wait, and would wait for an exceedingly long time if he thought the situation demanded it. But–

“Goddammit, Burr! Get out of here! I told you I don’t want to see anyone right now, so just leave so I can get back to work! I have so much to do!”

Burr gritted his teeth, and took a deep breath before responding in the most even tone he could muster.

Relax. It’s only been two hours.

“Hamilton, you are acting like a child. You are causing unnecessary amounts of worry to your wife and friends. You are not the only one who is suffering because of the situation. Think reasonably and stop being so conceited in your grieving.”

Every word was planned, strategic. And he could see how Hamilton’s face twisted at each statement.

Hamilton’s look of rage directed straight at him would have crushed his heart if it weren’t so pitiful.

But that didn’t mean he enjoyed the look on his face.

“Get. Out. Burr.”

Clenching his jaw, he resigned himself to the use of his last tactic.

“Laurens would not have you wasting away like this.”

The reaction was instantaneous.

The punch connected with his cheek before he saw it, but the pain was dulled at the look of utter devastation on Hamilton’s face when he opened his eyes.

“Don’t you dare say his name! You know nothing about him! John was–” He choked. “John was my…”

Though Aaron’s heart clenched at the use of Lauren’s first name, acting out on reflex, he caught him under the arms before he collapsed into a fit of tears, clutching desperately at the fabric of Burr’s shirt, soaking it with tears as he attempted to bury himself in Aaron’s chest.

Alexander wasn’t much taller than Aaron – and the man’s larger than life, in your face personality always exuded a presence that could fill entire room and then some – he couldn’t help but see Alexander as small in the abject helplessness of his state.

“Dammit, Burr. I can’t believe you–” he cut himself off before settling on; “You’re such an ass.”

A smile tugged at Aaron’s lips, the insult tired and weak as the throat it was voiced from, he continued to hold the other man, carding a hand through his unwashed hair and rubbing gentle circles into his back in what he hoped was a soothing manner.

“Shh… I know, I know.”

They stood like that for many moments before Alexander had eventually fallen into a fitful sleep, still clutching Aaron’s shirt, until ultimately Burr had pried his shirt free of Hamilton’s grip, and laid him across his unkempt bed as best he could without disturbing him.

Sighing as he rubbed at his now probably bruised cheek, Burr went back down the stairs. Upon entering the main room, Eliza immediately stood up at the prospect of news.

“How is he? Did you manage to–” she gasped at the sight of what he assumed was the bruise, “Oh, goodness! Are you alright? I’m so sorry, I didn’t think he’d–”

He raised his hand as a signal to stop, heart twisting slightly at her worry.

She was a good person. He couldn’t hate her.

“I’m fine, really. No need to apologise for his sake.”

Ignoring the unconvinced look she was giving him, he continued.

“You have no need to worry. He is asleep at the moment. No doubt his recent sleep deprivation hastening the process.”

The look of utter relief on her face was palpable, and he returned her smile, before glancing over her shoulder as she began playfully complaining about Alexander’s sleeping habits, and catching Angelica’s look–

No, not look, that was definitely a glare.

He held her gaze evenly, hoping to convey his current confusion about her apparent animosity to him.

Luckily – or unluckily – he was saved by the sound of a groggy sounding Alexander coming down the stairs.

“What’re y’all doin’?”

Burr’s answering “Alexander,” mixing in with the sisters’, Eliza instantaneously going to his side, and Angelica moving towards him, bumping him in the shoulder in the process, in what may have been an accident, but the accompanying glare said otherwise.

“We were so worried – I was so worried!”

Aaron automatically began to take a step forward, before freezing at the tender sight of Eliza reaching up to cup Alexander’s cheek, watching him lean into the touch, smiling with a gentleness Aaron had never seen before.

He felt his throat close around his heart, mouth suddenly dry and body suddenly cold.

Alexander and the sisters were exchanging words he couldn’t decipher, mind numb at the scene.

He barely registered the “I’ll leave you to it,” before he was taken – dragged – in another direction by the eldest Schuyler sister, her hand harsh against his tensed upper-arm.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Aaron swallowed at the accusing tone, fighting to keep composure.

Talk less.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean–”

“You forget yourself.”

He opened his mouth to protest, but was quickly hushed.

“I can see it in your eyes, Burr.”

He fought to keep himself still, but he could feel himself trembling.

Breathe.

There was no way.

Let it out.

There was no way she could–

“Wha–”

“You can’t lie to me, Burr.”

Eye contact is good.

“Don’t insult me with such a weak façade.”

Don’t let them know what you’re against of what you’re for.

He jerked at the sudden touch to his shoulder.

“Angelica…?”

He looked up to meet her eyes, not realising he had lowered his head at one point.

His breath stuttered at what he saw.

Her eyes…

“You’re like me.”

A sudden wave of sympathy rushed through him.

Her weary smile made the hand on his shoulder feel softer – more human – and the slight drop in her shoulders he never noticed before now looked like they held the weight of a world.

Aaron searched her eyes, heart feeling colder and heavier than before, hoping for both her and himself that there was some kind hope for them.

Angelica – astute, as always – seemed to know what he was thinking.

And the silent nod she gave was her answer.

“We will never be satisfied.”

His heart was cold and heavy in his chest, hands surely trembling, as he sent her a weak smile.

She smiled back.

“So…”

He blinked at her sudden change of tone.

Was that smile… teasing?

“Have you seen him naked yet?”

If anyone asked, the subsequent spluttering was entirely justified.

I could have sworn I got whiplash from the sudden change of topic.

“I– I’m not–”

Oh God, I can feel myself burning.

Composing himself – with a completely appropriate amount of coughing – he attempted to regain control, speaking in the most collected way possible, even as he knew his blush would be saturating his entire face, if it were visible through his skin tone.

“Oh, come now, Burr,” she smirked, “I know you two served in the war together.”

He spluttered at the implication.

“M– Mrs. Schuyler, I assure you–”

“It’s Church now, and besides,” she leaned in conspiratorially, “I heard insane things happen in an atmosphere of war.”

“M– Mrs. Church–”

“All that desperation…”

“I never–”

“All that sweat…”

“It wasn’t–”

“All that fighting for…”

“I–”

“…Dominance.”

“Angelica!”

Aaron scowled as she used one hand to clutched her side in laughter, and the other to lean on his arm.

“I’m glad I could provide you with some amusement.”

His deadpan statement combined with his (hopefully) not too obvious blush apparently warranted a few more (unnecessary) moments of laughter.

But her laughter died down to giggles, and she let go of her side to wipe her eyes.

“Oh, Burr, your expression right now is the most amusement I’ve had since…”

She trailed off, and gave Aaron a tired smile.

“It’s not your place anymore.” She said soberly. “By his side.”

Aaron’s heart tightened despite the previous ease.

“I know.”

It was only a whisper, but it was the truth.

The smile they shared was genuine, and Aaron’s heart warmed, even if it hadn’t gotten any lighter.

At least I know I’m not the only one whose world was set aflame by Alexander.

“We may have come to a truce, but know that if you hurt any of them, they won’t find your body.”

Burr laughed uneasily, almost certain she wasn’t even halfway joking.

Let I never underestimate a woman.

It looked as if she was about to say something else, but was interrupted by the door flying open.

“Burr, sir!”

Both their heads whipped to the door, staring at a much better looking Alexander, rumpled clothes, unkempt hair and still prominent eye bags notwithstanding, and –

Eliza.

Burr scarcely registered Angelica jerk her hand away from its previous hold on his shoulder at Alexander’s “Angelica,” and engaging a relived looking Eliza in conversation.

“Have a thing for married women, Burr?”

Aaron couldn’t even answer to Alexander’s harmless teasing, not hearing the shakiness of his voice.

Aaron couldn’t even look at his face.

All he could see was Eliza’s face, smiling – tired, but smiling – happy and Alexander was –

Alexander was…

“Aaron?”

He met Angelica’s eyes across the room.

It wasn’t his place to be by Alexander’s side anymore.

 “Hamilton.”

Aaron met his eyes and watched the Alexander blink in confusion at the sudden strict tone.

That’s was Eliza’s job.

Alexander’s wife’s job.

“Sir?”

Smile more.

He took a breath, smiling pleasantly for the whole room as if they were an audience.

“Well, Hamilton, it seems you have finally decided to snap out of it.”

He grinned.

It hurt.

“It appears I am no longer needed.”

His voice didn’t break at that. It didn’t.

It couldn’t.

“Aaron–”

Alexander’s hand was burning against his arm.

No, not Alexander.

He shrugged it off, stepping away.

Hamilton. It has to be Hamilton, and only Hamilton.

“I will be taking my leave now.”

He made his way across the room, to the door, to outside, to anywhere away from Alexander

“Burr, stay for a little lo–”

A calm, genial smile.

“I’ll see you around, Hamilton.”

He couldn’t even meet his eyes.

And he walked himself out of the Hamilton household, refusing to look back.

He missed the concern on Angelica’s face.

And the dejection on Hamilton’s face as the forced cheer left with Burr’s presence.

As Aaron closed the door to his home, hands trembling and eyes watery, he made a decision.

I am the one thing in life I can control.

Closing his eyes and leaning against the back of the door, he breathed.

He thought of Eliza.

By his side is no longer my place.

He thought of the rumours, the sing-song melody, “Laurens, I like you a lot.”

The thought of the scenes in his memories – of too-intimate touches and, “Alexander, you’re the closest friend I’ve got.”

Long held tears finally streamed down his face even as his tired (God, he was so tired) face still stretched into an unbearable smile.

He thought of the way his face twisted in despair as he had brokenly cried, “John.”

Maybe his side was never my place at all.