Eliza rushed to get the door. Expecting Alexander, she threw it open, and was surprised by Aaron Burr, and his daughter Theo... Philip’s girlfriend. Lord, seeing Theo made her feel both incredibly grateful yet sorrowful.
“Oh!” she said. “Aaron! Theodosia! What a surprise.”
Burr had tears in his eyes, and was almost shaking. Eliza hadn’t seen him this emotional since his wife died.
“May... may I come in, Miss Hamilton?”
“Oh... yes, of course.” Eliza stepped out of the way to let her husband’s friend into the living room. John sat on the couch, watching Betsy play with her dolls like Eliza had asked him to do while she prepared supper. Betsy shrieked in delight at the new-comer.
Aaron took a seat next to John, who greeted him politely.
“Hello... John Church, is it?”
“Miss Hamilton?” Burr asked.
“Would you please come sit down?”
“Supper...” she said hesitantly, glancing back into the at the stove.
“My daughter has it. She knows how to prepare... meatloaf, is what you’re cooking?” Burr said respectfully.
“Yes, it’s meatloaf.” said Eliza, taking Betsy and placing her in her lap so Eliza could have a spot on the sofa. Betsy began to cry, and Angie came downstairs to know what’s happening. “Theo, do you know...?”
“Yes, ma’am,” calls Theo from the kitchen.
“May I ask that the rest of your children come sit, as well?” Burr continues, still teary-eyed.
“Would you go get your brothers? And little Phil?”
Burr watched Angie retreat back up the stairs. “She’s twenty now, is she?”
“Correct. She’s decided that she wants her college money saved for her brother, Alexander Jr.”
Burr winced. “About that...”
Angie came back with Alex, James, William. Alex had Little Phil in his arms. Angie sat on the arm rest by Eliza, patting Betsy on the head. Alex gave Little Phil to Burr, after a glance at Eliza, who gave him a nod.
“So, you may be wondering why I’m here and why your husband isn’t.” A few tears spilled from Aaron’s eyes. “I was told to not dare visit this house, especially after what happened to your father... I do apologize... I regret joining the senate at his expense.”
Eliza shrugged it off. “Like I’ve said, that’s how it goes, Aaron.”
“But... I thought it best I’d be the one to tell you...” Burr took in a deep breath, and after a pause, he continued...
“Alexander left this morning for a duel, and... The Lord thought it his time.”
Eliza was so stunned that she couldn’t respond. Alexander... dead?
Angie couldn’t take it. Tears spilled from her cheeks the second the word “duel,” was brought up. Everyone else was silent. Aaron seemed to be taking this much harder than any of Eliza’s children, but they were probably just in shock.
Eliza had to keep it together.
The grill sizzled as Theo finished the meatloaf and came into the living room, making sure to give everyone space.
James cleared his voice. “Dad... Dad’s dead?”
“Not yet,” Burr replied. “He’s under the doctor’s care... The same doctor, I believe, that saved you from Yellow Fever? The same... same...”
“The same doctor who tended to Philip when he died.” Eliza finished.
Angie fled upstairs. James quickly stood, grabbing his’ and Alex’s coat, giving them to each.
“I’m...” Burr completely broke down. “Oh, Lord, Elizabeth, I’m so sorry... what have I done?”
Eliza got on her feet, her eyes threatening to spill. She took Burr’s hand. What was there to say? ‘No harm done’?
“It’s going to be okay,” was what she decided to go with.
She put on her coat. Alex did as well. James said in a quiet voice, “I’ll stay for Will and Betsy.”
“And Angie...?” Alex asked.
“I’ve got her.” Theo stepped forward. “I think she’d prefer me... because...”
Burr turned to his daughter. “You remind this entire family of what made Philip Hamilton happy.”
Theo didn’t seem to be able to respond.
Eliza said, “Go, Theo. Angie’s in the first room on the right.”
Theo ran up the stairs, holding her violet gown so she wouldn’t trip. James picked up Little Phil with one arm, and reached out for Betsy’s hand.
“Will,” he said. “You need to be a good example for your younger sister, okay? Follow me.” William followed happily.
“I want to come!” John cried.
“John, dear, you should stay home and help James and Theo with your siblings.” Eliza said fondly, kissing his cheek.
“No! I refuse.” John said aggressively. “My father’s hurt and I’m gonna see him!”
“John...” Alex said.
“I know I don’t have any word in this, Miss Hamilton, but I think the boy should come.” Burr said softly. “He may wear my coat. It may be a little big, John.”
Eliza didn’t know why she allowed her twelve-year-old son to go near her husband’s possible-murderer. But she did. John happily tried on Burr’s coat, which was huge on him.
“Thank you, Mr Burr, sir.”
Burr looked like he’d been shot with a steaming hot bullet. But he managed to keep it together... this time.
“Alexander!” Angelica cried, pulling out of Eliza’s grip.
“Angelica.” Alexander replied, without opening his eyes. “Angelica? Angelica?!”
“Don’t worry, I’m here, I’m here!” Angelica dropped to her knees by his sick bed, holding his hand. “Here.”
Alexander’s eyes blinked open, and they had Eliza’s sister’s reflection in their pupils. “My dear sister... Where is Eliza?”
“I’m here too!” Feeling awful she hadn’t made herself noticeable earlier, she plopped down beside her husband, taking his other hand. Burr hung back with John, but Alex came forward as well. “Alexander, you fool... I thought maybe Philip taught you something about dueling.”
“Angelica... Eliza... Wh-where’s your sister... Margarita?”
“She’s not here, Alexander,” whispered Eliza.
“N-not here. It’s just you, me, Eliza, Alex Jr, Aaron-” Angelica told him.
“Aaron?” Alexander interrupted, trying to sit up. “Aaron’s here?”
“I’m here,” Burr said quietly.
“Aaron Burr, sir.”
It was almost like Alexander had asked him politely to come over for dinner. Burr stood and came to his former-friends’ sick bed.
Alexander took in a deep breath. “May we confir, sir?”
“I... I don’t know what I can say besides I’m sorry.” Burr placed a hand on Alexander’s head.
“There’s nothing to say, sir.” Alexander told him calmly. “I’ll tell your wife you said hello.”
Burr’s eyes filled with tears.
“Alexander, no. You can get through this!” Angelica said, squeezing his hand. “You’re going to be okay.”
Before he could reply, Marquis de Lafayette ran into the room.
“Sir!” Alexander raised one hand in salute, but it quickly fell back down, either by weakness or spotting who had arrived with the French soldier... Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson dipped his head. “Hamilton.”
“May I ask...” Alexander suddenly coughed blood. “Eliza.”
Eliza quickly felt his head. “He’s getting colder.” She told Angelica.
“Best of Wives and Best of Women... Sing for me? And Angelica?”
Eliza took a breath and began on a sweet note. “Helpless, look into your eyes and the sky’s the limit...”
“To the groom,” Angelica began over her.
“The groom, the groom,” Jefferson echoed.
“I should’ve known...” Burr sang, before having a break-down and sobbing into his hand.
“Burr, sir?” said Alexander, and the singing stopped. Alex Jr and John Church stood back; they’d been repeating singing with Jefferson. Eliza had been on “I’m -”
Burr looked shocked. “I... I will, Alexander.”
And then Alexander ceased to move, to breathe, to have life. Angelica gripped Eliza’s hand tighter as tears finally spilled.
Merry christmas! Hope you cried your eyes out.
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she told me to put my heart in the bag
and nobody gets hurt
now i'm running from her love (i'm not fast)
so i'm making it worse
now i'm digging up a grave from my past
i'm a whole different person
it's a gift and a curse
and i cannot reverse it