(okay no we have to change that you don't get stuff for ask memes so if you're up for it how about 84 or 85 in the writing one :3? Because your hamburr au au was really really cute btw!!! )
This has been sitting in my inbox for the longest time now I am so s o r r y
So! Here it is! Number 85: Write an AU fic! Including canon era idiots, a soulmate au premise, and canon divergence because I wanted to avoid death if at all possible!
For most people, soulmates only exist as a nuisance. As something to complain about when they stub their toe or trip and skin their knee, because when one of a pair does, the other feels that pain as surely as if it were their own.
Most people don’t meet their soulmates in their lifetime. The world is, after all, very wide. Those who do are considered fortunate. Those who don’t find them, though, tend to find love on their own terms and are none the worse for it. Even though the pain that your soulmate feels is a constant that never goes away, no matter how hard you fall for someone else. An aching reminder that there is supposedly someone out there meant for you and you alone.
Burr has never given much thought to his soulmate, and when he does, it is nothing but annoyance, because it seems that whoever they are, they are constantly getting themselves into trouble. Have been since they were a kid. But as soon as the gun goes off, he knows, because he is watching with dread to see where the bullet strikes, his shout still ringing in the air but doing nothing to stop its deadly advance. I didn’t mean it, he thinks, and the bullet strikes right between Hamilton’s ribs.
An identical pain blooms in his chest, and it is all he can do to stay upright, and he knows.
He thinks he staggers forward. Hard to say; everything has gone a bit blurry and indistinct. He can hear nothing but the roaring of blood in his ears, can feel nothing but the sharp, stabbing pains running through him. The wound could very well be fatal, but he shies away from that thought. It won’t be; Hamilton will pull through, like he always does, and if he could just speak to him-
Then, he is being pulled back, and it is Van Ness’ hands on his shoulders, Van Ness who is saying something to him, his face frantic. There are few people out there who he would actually consider his friend, but Van Ness is one of them.
Once upon a time, Alexander had been another.
“-pull yourself together! We need to get you out of here, and-”
“William,” he breathes, a hand coming up to clutch at his chest. There should be blood there, but there isn’t, because it is Hamilton’s wound, not his, a wound that he dealt and-
He doesn’t know what his face looks like, but it must be a sight to behold. Whatever expression he’s making makes Van Ness stop where he is and stare, his gaze flickering back and forth between him and where Hamilton is lying on the ground.
“Shit,” he breathes after a moment, and Aaron can’t help but nod in agreement. “He’s your…? Nevermind, that just makes it more important to get you out of here right now.”
This time, he doesn’t protest, allows himself to be escorted away. His mind has gone blissfully numb.
Miraculously, Hamilton survives the night. And the next. And the next. Aaron begins to suspect, even as he rubs at the incessant ache, that while the literal bullet hit its mark, they have dodged the figurative one.
One of them, at least.
And that is how he finds himself on the Hamiltons’ doorstep one day, in no small amount of distress as Angelica Church glares at him, halfway hidden behind the door to her brother-in-law’s home. “Give me one good reason,” she is saying, “as to why I should allow you inside. Haven’t you done enough damage already?” Every word is like a viper sent to bite at his ankles, and for a moment, he considers running.
But that is not what he has come here to do.
“My sincerest apologies, Mrs. Church,” he says. “I have no intentions of doing anyone any harm today. But please, I really must speak to Hamilton, it is of utmost importance to me-”
Her glower deepens. “Oh, you must, must you?” she snaps, and then her attention is taken by a voice from inside. “Yes, it’s him,” she says, and pauses. The indistinct voice says something else. “No, I was just sending him on his way, but-” And then, the door opens wider, revealing Elizabeth Hamilton, eyes tired and sad.
“Come in, Mr. Burr,” she says. “I assume you are not here to carry out what you started with?”
“I am not, and even if I was, I am unarmed,” he assures her, and enters at her bidding. She leads him down the hallway in silence, their footsteps echoing one another’s. She stops at the foot of a staircase.
“Your actions almost cost me my husband,” she tells him, and he bows his head. Before he can respond, however, she continues. “And I fear they still will.” She stares pointedly at his chest, and he realizes with a start that he was rubbing at it again, absentmindedly. And looking into her eyes, he can tell that she knows exactly why he’s here.
“I have no intention of taking him from you,” he says.
She smiles, a small, sad thing, and shakes her head. “You couldn’t if you tried,” she says, “and I doubt you would. My worry is that he will go with you willingly.”
The worst thing is that he cannot even tell her that her fears are unfounded. And she knows it. She sighs.
“Do what you came here to do,” she tells him. “His room is the first you’ll come on.”
He thanks her and walks up the stairs. What else can he do? He cannot ease her pain anymore than she can ease his.
Eliza, he thinks, is a wise woman. She will outlive them all yet.
Hamilton is waiting for him. It is obvious in the lack of surprise in his eyes and bearing when he knocks and enters. And the way his gaze holds for a breath too long at his chest makes something else glaringly clear.
“You knew,” Aaron says, slumping into a chair by Hamilton’s bedside. “You knew.”
Hamilton’s eyes are tired too, though in a different way than Eliza’s. Perhaps this is why he answers in the way he does. “Yes,” he says simply, without prevarication or elaboration.
“You would have let me kill you.” It is not a question. Aaron already knows the answer. What he wants to know is why, and Hamilton knows it too.
“I suppose,” he replies. “I have to admit, I didn’t really expect you to. That came as a surprise. I still don’t understand why you were so angry. It was politics, not personal.”
Aaron laughs, and is surprised by the bitterness in it. “With us, it’s always personal,” he says, and feels slightly gratified when Hamilton concedes the point with a nod of his head, cracking a wry smile.
“You have a point,” he allows. “And in any case, I had no intention of hurting you. I’ve never wanted that, even putting all of-” He gestures to the two of them- “this aside.”
And that brings them right back to the point, something for which Aaron is grateful. He doesn’t particularly want to discuss the duel at the moment. Or ever, if he’s being honest. “How long have you known?” he asks, and they wince in tandem at the pain that shoots through them when Hamilton shrugs.
“Since the war,” he admits, and Aaron is surprised at the red hot anger that the words summon. “When you got heatstroke, do you remember? I’ll admit, dealing with that on top of everything else made things rather-”
“You knew all this time and you didn’t tell me.”
“And what should I have said?” Hamilton snaps, and oh, yes, there is that temper. Aaron can almost admit he missed it, as little sense as that makes. “I had Eliza and you had your Theodosia, and we were both happy. Upsetting the balance seemed foolish.”
“You mean upsetting your reputation seemed foolish,” Aaron corrects, and stands. At this point, he doesn’t know what to think anymore. One one hand, he knows that Hamilton makes a good point; he loved Theo and still does, and adding Hamilton to that would only have caused unnecessary confusion and strife.
But at the same time, knowing that Hamilton, his soulmate- and he still doesn’t know what he should do with that information- was within arms reach for most of his life and saw fit not to tell him about it… that burns.
“I don’t know what I thought I’d accomplish here,” he says, and moves toward the door. His visit thus far has caused him nothing but frustration, and at this point, he is ready to leave. There is only so much exposure to Hamilton he can take in one sitting.
He has almost exited before Hamilton makes his move. “Burr, wait!” he calls, and he must shift in place or try to sit up or do something, because a fresh wave of agony rips through him and leaves him fighting for breath and leaning heavily on the doorframe. Behind him, Hamilton is panting in a similar manner.
You did this, he reminds himself, as if he could ever forget.
“What is it you want from me, Alexander?” he asks, the familiar name slipping out without his consent. He hates the way his voice sounds far more pleading than angry, but it is too late to take it back.
There is a beat of silence, and then:
“Stay?” Alexander asks softly, and he turns to look at the man, this man he has known and loved and hated his entire life.
He should leave.
But he doesn’t. Instead, he crosses the floor to sit back down in that chair, and he stays. And he knows exactly the reason why, even if it’s not something he’ll ever care to admit.
Alexander has always been a difficult man to say no to.