29. “I thought you were dead.”
It was a stone-faced Laurens who had delivered the news.
George had been grateful he had already been seated, for fear that his knees might have given out.
The next few days had passed in a blur, a body going through a routine with no set goal in mind. He woke and ate and wrote and signed and ordered just as he had done every other day, but his spirit and soul was gone. George could see it in how the other aids carried themselves - they too felt Alexander’s loss.
They couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge it in any formal manner. They all knew, they all received the harsh reminder that was Alexander’s empty chair and the absence of another quill writing on parchment.
It couldn’t be postponed much longer. They were at war, and they were men of action. They gathered, and Lafayette brought out some secret store of whiskey to pass around.
They raised their drinks. “To Hamilton.”
George squeezed his eyes tight as he brought the liquor to his mouth, knowing that this would be a final admission.
Just as he liquid started to burn its way down his throat, he heard gasps around him. He opened his eyes, and blinked. His Alexander was standing before him, soaking to the bone, looking as if he’d been dug up from the bottom of a ditch.
He braced himself on the table, arm shaking. He felt something rise in his throat, and he swallowed it down. The men swarmed Hamilton, and he remained standing, barely, his weight upon the wood.
Alexander saw - Alexander had learned to watch him long ago. he heard, as if from a distance, Alexander say, “lads, I’ll be right back, I have some news for his Excellency. And as happy as I am to be back, I’d be much happier if I could somehow get a change of clothes and to my cot.”
Groans echoed, but soon he was alone with his Alexander.
“I thought you were dead. Do you know what that did to me.”
He was still looking down, and he could see Alexander’s ruined boots next to his own. “But I’m here, I’m back. Please look at me, George.”
Alexander’s eyes were wide, imploring some sort of reaction. He traced his finger down the side of Alexander’s face, the slightest brush of skin on skin, “I thought I’d lost you.”
His hand was covered with Alexander’s smaller one. “But you didn’t. I’m here, and I plan to be here, with you, as long as you allow me to.”
Alexander turned to press a kiss to the palm of his hand, and something within him broke. His other hand left the table and found its way into Alexander’s hair, pulling the boy in close, crashing their mouths together.
He pulled back, letting out a shaky breath, “you have no idea.”