A/n: My friend is on an internship in New York, and she has tickets to see Hamilton… which got me thinking… I was bored and procrastinating… and I hadn’t written a soulmate AU in years… I need to reclaim my title as soulmate queen. (Also, apologies, I don’t know the tags for this fandom, sooo… This is a thing right?)
Soulmate AU where the first words your soulmate says to you appear on your arm. Written in third person. Starts in James Madison’s POV then shifts to Thomas Jefferson. No warnings other than Thomas has a bad attitude.
There are three facts about Thomas Jefferson of which James
Madison was absolutely certain: 1) Thomas Jefferson does not have a soulmate.
2) Thomas Jefferson doesn’t want one. 3) It’s probably for the best that he
James had known Thomas for many years now, and he doubted
any living person knew the man better. Even so, it didn’t take an expert to
know Thomas’s view on the subject. Any person with eyes could look down at
Thomas’s arm and see it lay bare of words. Any person who’d had a conversation
with him on the subject could see he didn’t want to find any words there, and
every person who’d ever encountered Thomas, even in passing, had likely come to
the same conclusion as James. It was for the best. The universe was saving
whatever poor woman would have been latched to him from a life playing second
fiddle to Thomas’s ambition and hubris.
Looking across the banquet hall, James could see Alexander
Hamilton, who had been deep in conversation with Thomas for much of the
afternoon, coming to those same conclusions. Hamilton had been among the first
batch of people to approach Thomas when he arrived, and James barely salvaged a
moment to warn Thomas of the situation before he dove into a lengthy discussion
with the young immigrant.
James couldn’t decide whether he was amused or terrified. The
pair seemed to be amicable enough at the moment, but that could change in a
flash. Hamilton and Jefferson were both as stubborn as each other, and they
were both fully equipped with sufficient verbal ammunition to break out into an
all-out war right in the hall. James had a sneaking suspicion the only reason
the two had yet to shed any blood was due to the close proximity of President
Washington, the host of tonight’s affair.
“Someone should really go and separate those two before they
realize how terribly opposed their views are. I’d hate to get any blood stains
on the new rug.” James glanced up to see it was Martha Washington who spoke.
Smiling James offered a hand out to greet the woman, “I do
believe that will happen regardless of our intervention, ma’am.”
Martha gave a simple nod in the direction of his hand, and
James’s hand dropped, realizing both of hers were occupied. In her left Martha
held a nearly empty glass of wine, and in her right she held a hand, not her
James studied the younger woman attached to Martha’s side
with interest. She had a death grip of Mrs. Washington’s hand and looked to be
cowering behind the older woman. To her credit, Martha also appeared to be
shielding the girl, who looked about ready to sink into the floor. The forlorn
expression on her face and the tightness on Martha’s told James that neither of
them particularly wanted the young woman to be there. Whether that was because
Martha did not care for her to be at the banquet or whether Martha cared to
protect her from it, James could not be sure.
“Mrs. Washington, I do not believe I’ve had the honor to
meet your acquaintance,” James addressed the unknown woman with a slight bow of
his head, “James Madison.”
“Oh, of course,” Martha flashed a forgetful smile James
would have believed had he not seen it before. “Mr. Madison, this is my dear
younger sister, (Y/n) Elizabeth Aylett.”
“Pleasure to meet you ma’am,” James bowed his head.
The woman, whom he now knew to be (Y/n) Elizabeth), gave a
one-handed curtsey in response and a rather hesitant smile. Her grip on Martha’s
hand loosened slightly, but she made little move to approach him any closer or
step out from behind Martha’s guarded stance.
“Has your sister been introduced to Mr. Jefferson or Mr.
Hamilton? Perhaps we could make their acquaintance on that pretense,” James
suggested, waving a hand to where his oldest friend stood, still in deep, uninterrupted
discussion with the new Secretary of Treasury.
“James!” A familiar voice boomed as a hand came down firmly
to clap James on the shoulder. “I am so glad you could come.”
James turned to face George Washington and extended a hand, “Mr.
President, did you really think I would miss a welcome banquet for my oldest
George accepted James’s hand and shook it firmly. “Your
oldest friend who has spent the majority of the night politely refuting every word
that has left the mouth of Secretary Hamilton.” George gave James a pointed
smirk. “I dare say those two are cut from the same cloth.”
“I don’t know if I would go that far, sir.” James nodded his
head in the direction of the pair, who seemed to have been quietly escalating
their disagreement. “Even if they were, I doubt either would admit it. However,
I do think they are both stubborn enough to continue this fight until someone
forces them to cease blows.”
“Oh let them stew for a moment more,” George waved off James’s
concern with a light chuckle. “They both work best when they’re angry. Perhaps
if we leave them to it long enough they’ll build the whole country while trying
to outdo each other.”
James did not share George’s confidence in the pair of men.
He didn’t know who he was more concerned for. He’d seen Hamilton work. The
young man had an unmatched determination, and put to work it could do some
serious damage. However, Thomas Jefferson was not a man to cross, probably a
fourth fact to add to his list if he ever felt like expanding it. There had
been more than one occasion over the course of their friendship that he found
himself thanking the heavens Thomas was on his side not against him. Nevertheless,
James allowed George to table his concerns and the conversation to steer away.
“You know James,” George glanced down at the younger man’s
sleeve covered arm with a knowing smirk. “Mr. Burr is here tonight.”
James’s hand instinctively went to his arm. Under the
sleeve, the first words from his soulmate, Mr.
Burr speaks very highly of you, Mr. Madison. “I’m afraid I have already met
all of the women you have invited tonight, not including Mrs. Aylett.” He
gestured to Martha’s sister. “Though I appreciate your concern.”
“Well no danger of that tonight, Mr. Madison.” Martha piped
up, still holding firmly to her sister. “Perhaps the next banquet,” with a kind
smile she added, “We’ll see to it Mr. Burr is invited to all of them.”
“How kind of you, Mrs. Washington,” James nodded politely.
James waited silently as George turned to address Martha
about the time dinner would begin. His eyes wondered over to (Y/n), who also
seemed very uninterested in the conversation. Her eyes had wandered away, and
her guard had dropped slightly as she looked around the room. James followed
her gaze to Jefferson and Hamilton who had since been joined by Aaron Burr, the
same Aaron Burr who would one day introduce James to his soulmate.
‘No danger of that tonight,’ James reminded himself of
Martha’s words, harsh but true. It occurred to him at first that she may have spoken
prematurely. He knew everyone else in the room, but her sister had yet to speak
a word to him. It didn’t seem likely, given that (Y/n) probably did not know
Aaron Burr and had no reaction herself to his first words to her. Even so,
Martha had said it with an odd sense of finality. If James could not see the
looping cursive peeking out from under (Y/n)’s sleeves, he’d have assumed
Martha was so assured in her statement because her sister had no soulmate. He
supposed, now, it must have been because she knew the words on her sister’s
arm, or that her sister had already found her soulmate. Though if that was the
case, why was he not here?
A million possibilities were running through James’s mind.
There wasn’t anything else particularly interesting to do that night.
“Gentlemen, gentlemen, didn’t anyone tell you the war was
over?” The voice of Aaron Burr echoed across the hall. Clearly James had been
too soon assuming the night would be uninteresting.
George caught James’s eye. “Let’s go end the squabbling;
shall we?” George offered an arm to his wife, and (Y/n) reluctantly dropped her
death grip on Martha so her sister could accept.
The married couple led the way, and James followed after them
beside a meek-looking (Y/n) who still refused to speak. The poor, quiet girl
was walking into a lion’s den with Burr, Jefferson, and Hamilton. If she was
hesitant around him, he could only imagine how badly she’d be spooked by the
other three men. James made a concerted effort to circle around to her other
side and place himself between her and the other three. He’d thought he’d been
subtle with the gesture, but the sheepish smile (Y/n) sent his way told him
otherwise. His only reply was to nod in confirmation.
“Mr. President,” Aaron Burr gave a bow of his head to the
approaching group, effectively halting all conversation between Hamilton and
Jefferson. “How are you this evening?”
“Quite well, Mr. Burr. How are you? Enjoying the
festivities, I see,” The president looked between his two secretaries
Hamilton, at least, had the respect to look scorned, “My
apologies, Mr. President. Secretary Jefferson and I were simply discussing…”
“Enough of that,” George waved away Hamilton’s concerns. “This
is meant to be a celebration. Mr. Jefferson has only just returned to us from
France. Let’s leave our work to the office, shall we?”
“Of course, Mr. President.” Thomas Jefferson gave a
respectful bow of his head. “Thank you for hosting this dinner tonight. I
appreciate your hospitality.”
“And we appreciate your assistance. I look forward to
working with you, but for now let’s enjoy our evening.” George addressed the
pair of them.
Hamilton bowed his head and turned his attention from the
group. “If you all will excuse me, my soulmate is speaking with Mrs. Adams and
appears to want my attention.” He went off with one last nod to the President.
“You haven’t even made it into work yet, and the two of you
are already finding things to bicker over,” George’s tone was teasing, but
there was a certain sense of warning to it that none of the group missed.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to call it bickering, merely a
difference of opinions unrelated to work. I’m sure we’ll be able to put it aside
in future work.” Thomas politely refuted the President’s concern.
“Unrelated?” James cut in. He knew both men well enough.
They had plenty of points of contention related to politics. He couldn’t
imagine they would have had enough time to make it through all of them and find
something else to argue about.
“Soulmates, of course,” Thomas waved his hand in the
direction Alexander had retreated. “He brought up the topic and seemed rather
disgruntled by my stance on the subject.” Thomas was being very careful not to
launch into his opinion again. He doubted this group, Martha and the woman he
didn’t know in particular, would appreciate it.
“Ah yes,” George mused. “Alexander mustn’t be familiar with
your perennial bachelorhood.”
“I was married once, you know,” Thomas pointed out to George
with a teasing tone that in no way seemed to disagree with George’s statement.
“It happens sometimes,” Martha seemed to miss the tone in
Thomas’s voice and took him more literally. “You know, people getting married outside
of soulmates.” Her eyes trailed to the other woman in the group, standing
between George and James and trying desperately to avoid eye contact with
everyone in the room.
Thomas’s eyes trailed over the girl. “Who might your friend
be, Mrs. Washington?” The question was addressed to Martha, but his eyes were
firmly on the woman, expecting the answer to come from her.
She made no move to answer or even acknowledge Thomas’s
presence, and Martha piped up immediately in response. “Mr. Jefferson, this is
my sister, (Y/n) Elizabeth Aylett.”
“Can she not answer for herself?” Thomas fought the urge to
roll his eyes when he looked back to Martha.
“As a matter of fact -” Martha sputtered out, agitation
bubbling up in her expression.
“Mr. Jefferson,” George warned coolly, all pretense dropping
from his voice.
Thomas wanted to scoff. He couldn’t get a word out today
without being berated, first by Hamilton, then Burr, now the Washingtons. This
banquet was supposed to be in honor of his return, and all he wanted to do was
leave. Any other day he would have been the epitome of cordial, but that
Hamilton had wound him tight. He wanted none of this.
Turning to (Y/n), he practically growled out his first words
to her, “What? Are you mute or something?”
Everyone froze for just a moment. Aaron Burr was looking at
him aghast. James’s expression was simply exasperated. George Washington had
the stern expression of a no-nonsense general, and Martha looked a mixture of
angry and shocked at his side. The woman, (Y/n), simply looked resigned. She
was meeting Thomas’s gaze now, but the look in her eyes was not that of a woman
scorned. It looked more like a woman broken.
The look in her eye was all Thomas needed to realize he’d
made a mistake.
(Y/n) turned to her sister and made a quick gesture, wiping
her fingers twice over the palm of her outstretched hand, before she turned for
“Wait, I-,” Thomas reached out to the woman, ready to
apologize. Instead, his hand was snatched away.
When he looked back, he was expecting a disappointed James
or maybe a wary Aaron Burr. He was certainly not expecting to have to look down
into the eyes of an absolutely livid Martha Washington. “You… You…” She was
trying desperately to form sentences, but her anger was suppressing her speech.
“I’m sorry, deeply sorry.” Thomas looked away ashamed. “It
has been a rough evening. I didn’t intend to take it out on your sister.”
“Why are you apologizing to me?” Martha’s voice was growing
louder with her building rage. “You should be apologizing to (Y/n)! Not just
for this, for decades of hating herself! Do you realize how much damage you’ve
done to her?”
Now Thomas was confused, very confused. “I beg your pardon,
“Every day she wakes up to those words burned into her arm!
Ashamed of who she is and knowing you’re ashamed of it too!” Martha’s ranting had
attracted attention from a good portion of the banquet hall now. George reached
out to his wife, trying to rein her in.
Thomas tried placating the irate woman. “I don’t understand
what you mean, Mrs. Washington. Perhaps, I should just go find (Y/n) and…”
George took the matter on himself and pulled his wife from
Thomas, stepping up close to the man so none of the now eavesdropping guests
could hear his voice carry. “Your words are on (Y/n)’s arm. You must be her
“I don’t have a soulmate.” Thomas replied almost
mechanically, turning his arm slightly so George could see the blank expanse of
“Well yes,” George conceded. “If (Y/n) is your soulmate you
wouldn’t have words on your arm. She’ll never speak to you… She is mute.”
10 things I learned from APUSH (as non-American student)
1. Andrew Jackson needs to stop
2. Jefferson really liked farmers and France
3. Hamilton liked national debts (he must be very content now) but then died
4. Pauvre Native Americans
5. IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR LIFE IS A FAILURE, JUST THINK OF HENRY CLAY, WHO RAN FOR PRESIDENT 5 TIMES BUT NEVER GOT ELECTED
6. Henry Clay never dies
7. so many compromises and panics
8. don’t go to the South
9. FDR was very productive (*cough cough* Hoover can you even pronounce laissez-faire like the French)
10. At some point Democrats stopped being racist and Republicans took over
Well I got quite a few requests for it, so here is a part two to the Thomas Jefferson Soulmate AU I posted earlier this week. I apologize for it taking so long, but I had some other things I had to finish first. Thank you to everyone who liked/reblogged part one and everyone who requested a part two. This isn’t my best, I know. I’m sorry, but I hope it’s okay.
Again, starts with James Madison’s point of view and shifts to Thomas. I don’t think there’s any warnings necessary for this. It does deal with the topic of mutism, but that is not something that is being debated in any way. It’s just a piece of the characters’ background.
There are three facts about Thomas Jefferson of which James Madison is absolutely certain: 1) Thomas Jefferson had a soulmate. 2) Thomas Jefferson was the only person alive who could rival Alexander Hamilton’s ability to stick his foot in his mouth. 3) The look on Thomas’s face right now was not that of a man who didn’t want a soulmate.
Thomas was sat on a bench outside in the foyer when James found him. His elbows were on his knees, and his head was in his hands. He looked…lost, or as close to lost as a Jefferson could get. He wasn’t crying; there was no shaking in his shoulders for that to be the case. He was, however, mumbling to himself, something he only did when he was truly overwhelmed.
James couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen his friend in a state like this. Nothing ever rattled Thomas. At most, things got under his skin, but in those situations he had a habit of attacking the problem head on. He didn’t dwell on anything; he faced it. Look at Alexander Hamilton. The poor young man hadn’t even made it ten minutes into a conversation with Thomas before the two had launched into a full blown battle.
This man on the bench was a side of Thomas James did not think existed, or at the very least would not be seen in public. He didn’t know whether to comfort him or try to talk sense into him. Whichever one he chose would surely be the wrong answer. Undoubtedly, the right answer was to let Thomas sit there wallowing in his self-pity for an age until the man finally decided what to do for himself. That wasn’t an idea James could handle, though. James had a sneaking suspicion that Thomas would brood the same way Thomas did all things, in excess. James didn’t like seeing his friend suffering, even if there were a number of people in the other room who felt he deserved it, even if James felt he deserved it sometimes.
James sat down in the open seat beside Thomas with a hefty sigh. That was another fact he could add to his list: Thomas never made things easy. “It could be worse.”
“How could it be worse?” Thomas spat, disapproving of James’s nonchalant tone.
“Well, I ran across a young girl back home who met her soulmate when she was quite young. His first words to her, at the age of five, were, ‘You have a booger hanging out your nose’.” Humor probably wouldn’t help the situation, but it couldn’t hurt either.
James didn’t need to see Thomas’s face to know he was rolling his eyes. “Oh yes, it is so much worse to have a crude, inadvertent observation of a child plastered as your soulmate words than it is to have the incredibly cruel and offensive words of a grown man implying he’s disgusted with you.”
“You aren’t though,” James pointed out, “disgusted with her. It was a moment of anger.” James paused for a moment as a thought occurred to him. “Y-You…” He hesitated to ask, “You aren’t disgusted with her, correct?”
“Of course not!” Thomas growled out.
The silence hung in the air for a long beat, and neither of the men really understood why nor did they make an effort to. Not even the sound of dinner being served in the banquet hall interrupted the moment that had settled over the pair of friends. There was so much to talk about and yet so little to say.
“I have a soulmate,” Thomas broke the silence with a quiet murmur, so quiet James wasn’t sure he was meant to hear it.
“So I’ve heard,” James slumped back against the wall. “Who’d have ever thought?” His tone was teasing, but there was an air of finality to it. In all honesty, no one had ever thought Thomas would have a soulmate, and not just because he didn’t have words on his arms.
Thomas snorted dismissively and finally pulled his face from his hands, glancing back over his shoulder at James. “James, I have gone my entire life knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would live and die alone.”
James leaned forward, elbows on his knees, sinking down to Thomas’s hunched frame. Now wasn’t the time for teasing. Now wasn’t the time for coddling. Now was the time to be honest with his friend, for his own good. “I can’t pretend I understand your pain, because I don’t. Not just because I’ve always known I would find my soulmate, but because I don’t understand how you could be upset with this. You’ve just found your other half. You’ve found a part of you that you never knew existed. You should be jumping for joy, shouting from the rooftops, not sulking angrily in a corner. You don’t have to live alone anymore, Thomas, but you still might.”
Thomas said nothing for a long moment, and James shook his head in disappointment. No one could get through to Thomas if he wasn’t open to listen. He heaved himself to his feet and prepared to head back to the banquet.
“I-I’m not angry.” Thomas quietly refuted, giving James pause. “I’m just… confused.”
James sighed and turned back to the bench, looking down at Thomas, who was looking back at him with burning eyes. “You’re confused?” James didn’t intend to sound so disbelieving. “Thomas, imagine how she must feel. You heard Mrs. Washington as well as I did. She’s spent her entire life thinking you hate her, thinking her soulmate hates her. Even her one true love, the one person in the universe she’s destined to be with, is disgusted by her.” James paused for a moment, hoping that would sink in.
Thomas didn’t respond, but his eyes went down to his arm, the space where the words should be. His thumb rubbed over the blank skin, stretching it over the muscle beneath. It was as blank but somehow felt far less empty.
“James,” Thomas shook his head and looked up, “I…” His voice trailed off when he realized James was gone, leaving him alone to his thoughts.
With a huff, Thomas’s head fell back. This situation went against everything Thomas had come to know. Thomas had always spoken out against soulmates. He wrote about, argued against the very concept of them. He’d debated the topic with Alexander Hamilton earlier that night even. As far as he’d been concerned soulmates weren’t a gift from the universe, they were a rope, more specifically a noose. At least, that’s what he’d always thought. Then again, he’d never known he had one to begin with. He didn’t know what to think anymore.
His entire life he’d thought he was alone. Yesterday, he’d thought he was alone. A few hours ago, he’d thought he was alone. Standing on the Washington’s front lawn, he’d thought he was alone. And now? He felt more alone than ever.
(Y/n) had ran from him the moment she knew who he was. Not the moment she knew he was Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State. She ran when she knew he was her soulmate.
Martha Washington’s voice was yelling at Thomas in the back of his mind, ‘Ashamed of who she is, knowing you’re ashamed of it too!’ Of course she’d run from him. She thought he was ashamed of her. ‘Decades of hating herself.’ His words had made her ashamed of herself.
Only Thomas wasn’t ashamed. Ashamed of his own behavior maybe, but not her… never her. He’d only known of her existence for an hour. He only really knew her name, but he already felt drawn to her. ‘You must be her soulmate,’He could practically hear George telling him.
Yes, she was his soulmate.
Thomas pushed himself to his feet with a sense of determination. Likely, (Y/n) had already left. He would have to find where you were staying to give his apologies. The Washington’s would know where she was staying. He knew Martha would sooner chew his head off than give him that information. George might be talked into it though. It was certainly worth a try.
“Decided to go after her, I see?”
Thomas nearly jumped. James was standing across from him, coming down the stairs at the other end of the foyer, a thin box tucked tightly under his arm. Thomas had been so wrapped up in his head that he hadn’t realized James had gone upstairs. He thought he’d gone back to the banquet. “Well, as you have so eloquently pointed out, I don’t have to live alone, but there’s a good chance my harsh tongue will ensure I do anyway.” Thomas snapped in a harsher tone than he intended.
“I’m glad you’ve seen the error of your ways,” James was practically smirking as he crossed over to Thomas. “Here, I borrowed this from George’s study.” He extended the box to Thomas.
Thomas accepted with a curious look, “What’s this for?”
“Well, she’s mute, Thomas.” James stated plainly. Thomas’s answering expression showed he wasn’t catching on, so James explained. “Writing materials, Thomas, honestly I thought you were the smart one. She’s mute. She uses sign language, and last time I checked you don’t.” James tapped the top of the box. “If you want her to talk to you, you’ll need her to write it down.”
“She’s still here?” Thomas hated how hopeful he sounded. If everything worked out well, James was never going to let him hear the end of it.
James nodded, smirk still firmly in place with no sign of faltering. “Saw her out the window of George’s study. She’s sitting on the steps on the back porch.”
James turned, leaving his friend to do with as he may, but Thomas caught James by the arm for a moment. “Thank you, James. Thank you.”
“Anytime, my friend.” He smiled. “Now, go. Don’t leave the poor girl waiting.”
Thomas nodded his affirmation and walked briskly down the hall without another word. There wasn’t time for words now. Thomas had a more pressing matter at hand. He’d, no doubt, discuss the situation with James again later.
When Thomas stepped out back, (Y/n) was sat on the steps just outside, exactly where James said she would be. She was sitting on the middle of the five steps, her feet up laying across the length of the step. Her hair was partially concealing her face as she stared out across the field. Clearly, she hadn’t expected anyone to come looking for her.
Thomas approached quietly, but not quietly enough as the boards creaked under his shoes.
(Y/n) turned and caught him halfway to the stairs. Her eyes were shining, but there were no signs she’d been crying, which relieved Thomas slightly. She caught her lip between her teeth for a second, clearly pondering, before she turned her gaze back to the field.
Thomas took it as a good sign that she hadn’t run, or spat at his feet, or tried to slap him, or any number of other offenses he probably deserved. She looked like she’d been thinking about it for a second before she thought better of it. He’d take it though. It was a step in the right direction, a step he hadn’t earned yet.
With a small degree of hesitation, bordering on nerves, Thomas lowered himself to sit opposite (Y/n) on the top step. It was a rather uncomfortable position. He didn’t completely fit on the step, and his knees were at an odd angle. However, it seemed to catch (Y/n)’s attention which was a start. Setting the writing material on the step between them, Thomas leaned his head back against the edge of the stairs to look at the stars.
If he closed his eyes, he could almost pretend he was back at Monticello, almost. There was a smell of grass in the air, but it was too faint. The breeze felt nice against his skin, but it was too cold. The stars were bright, but they were in the wrong position. Everything was just a little off, and yet for some strange reason it still felt right. He knew the reason; it was just hard to admit.
“I always wondered what it would be like to have a soulmate,” Thomas confessed softly, trying not to break the quiet, “to know that one day you will find the one, to know there is someone out there who is destined for you and only you. I always envied them, knowing there was someone out there to love them.” His voice sounded almost tired.
In truth, Thomas was tired. He was so tired. Tired of arguing his every breath, tired of monitoring his every word, tired of fixing other’s messes. He wanted a break from working, from thinking, from listening. He needed a break. He needed something, someone, to lighten the load.
“I never told anyone that, of course, not even James.” Thomas continued, “How could I? I could never admit such a thing aloud; I could barely admit it to myself: that I wanted something they had and I knew I never could.”
Thomas sighed. There was no good way to explain himself. Words were failing him, abandoning him. What was there to say? Nothing would take back the things he’d said. Nothing would remove those words off her arm. Nothing would ever show how truly sorry he was for every pain he had put her through.
A small pressure settled on Thomas’s bent knee, and he nearly lurched. (Y/n) was looking him over thoughtfully, a hand settled on his leg. He couldn’t be sure if she was trying to comfort him or wanted his attention. Either was a good sign. She didn’t look like she wanted to run anymore.
“I’m sorry,” Thomas met her gaze head on. The sooner he said this the better. “In a fit of anger, I took it out on you. I had no idea it would mark you for life. You have to know I never would have if I’d known. Those words, they were just words. I meant nothing by them.”
(Y/n) raised a hand halfway in the air and then hesitated. She looked around in frustration and back towards the house. Lowering both her hands, she huffed out and looked down at her lap.
“Oh!” Thomas realized as (Y/n) stared down at her hands, upset. Picking up the box, he held it out to her. “Writing papers,” he explained.
(Y/n) nodded somberly and took the box gently from his hands. Thomas looked away as she set things out. There was something so vulnerable about her expression in that moment, and he felt wrong looking on.
Thomas imagined he would feel vulnerable as well. The frustration when she raised her hand showed that, wanting to communicate but being so dependent on others for your words. He was such a vocal man; he couldn’t imagine dealing with something like that. Thomas had to admit; he admired her for it.
Thomas felt a tap against the side of his leg and turned his eyes back to (Y/n). She’d turned the paper around between the two of them Blank ink in an elegant hand scrolled across the top of the page. ‘I appreciate your apology, but they were more than just words to me.’
“I’m sure,” Thomas conceded, looking up from the paper. “You have every right to think of them as such. They… I have caused you a great amount of pain. You have every right to every ill will you harbor towards me. I have earned them all. I just want you to know I said them with no malice directed toward you. My argument with Alexander Hamilton had me on edge, and in a heated moment I said something I did not mean.”
(Y/n) pursed her lips and turned the page around, writing hastily beneath her earlier words. ‘Yes, I’ve met Secretary Hamilton. He’s quite an infuriating character.’
Thomas barked out a laugh. “That is quite true. He simply cannot fathom the idea a person might disagree with him.”
(Y/n) bit back a smirk and continued filling the page. It was a tediously slow conversation as (Y/n) wrote, but Thomas was patient enough to wait for her replies. He didn’t feel the need to fill the silence with meaningless words, and it seemed to be relaxing (Y/n).
When she turned the page around again, she’d written near a paragraph. ‘I won’t falsely accept your apology, Secretary Jefferson. That would be rude to both of us. However, I do acknowledge that there were extenuating circumstances on your part. Please understand that I have been living with this offense on my arm my entire life, and it will not miraculously disappear after tonight. Knowing the situation does help, but it will not change that fact. I will do what I can to set aside that pain and move past it for both of our benefits, and I’m sure one day I will forgive you for it. Hopefully, that day is sooner than later. Although, I can make no promises of when that will be.’
Thomas nodded along as he was reading. “I can ask for no more than that. You’re truly being far kinder than my situation probably deserves.”
(Y/n) smiled rather hesitantly at him and wrote in the small amount of space along the bottom of the page. ‘General Washington spoke at length about you before your arrival, and I’ve assumed this situation must be hard for you as well.’
“I would ask what he spoke about,” Thomas hesitated, “but if you know this is hard for me than I can assume what he told you.”
(Y/n)’s smile dropped, and she nodded reluctantly, pulling out a second page to scratch out, ‘I was sorry to hear about your wife, Secretary Jefferson. I have also lost a spouse. Not one I cared for, but it was still a painful experience. I would not wish it on anyone. ’
Thomas furrowed his eyebrows, “You as well?” That was rather surprising. Most people with soulmates would wait decades, a lifetime, to marry the one. Thomas’s wife had only agreed to marry him because she had been widowed by her soulmate. They had loved each other, but she had never been in love with him the way he was with her. The memories of her soulmate had always haunted her, and when she passed it had only further confirmed his loneliness when he had to bury her beside another man.
‘Yes,’ (Y/n)’s hand was a little shaky over the admission. ‘I suppose I should also ask for some of your forgiveness. You did not know I existed. I knew of you, and still I married another. Forgive me; I did not know there would be any situation surrounding what you said to me. I assumed that you would you be quite a cruel man. My husband, John Aylett, turned out to be the cruel one.’
“Is he…” Thomas hesitated, not just because he was unsure of asking but because he was unsure if he wanted to know, “Is he the reason you are…”
‘No,’ (Y/n) immediately wrote out and showed him before turning the paper back to explain, ‘that was purely biological. Although, John certainly had no problem pointing out my deficiency. He was part of the reason I disliked the idea of meeting you. I assumed you shared his view.’
Thomas refuted adamantly, “I assure you I don’t. You have no reason to be shamed in such a way. Whatever else you think of me, believe that. I’m happy to accept who you are and help however I can.”
‘Like bringing me paper,’ (Y/n)’s expression was teasing, and it relieved Thomas.
“I cannot take credit for that. James borrowed it from President Washington’s study when I came to look for you. I was in quite a rush. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me.” Thomas admitted.
‘Well give him my thanks. This conversation would have been rather one-sided otherwise.’ (Y/n) paused and huffed out a breath, ‘Like most of my conversations these days.’
“Not to worry,” Thomas actually smiled at this. “I almost always have paper on hand. You just caught me at a bad time…” His smile quickly morphed into his usual cocky smirk as a thought occurred to him. “And besides, I’m sure I will know sign language by the time we see each other again… I’m a very quick study,” Thomas winked.
The couple smiled widely at each other, and all tension broke.
When James came out to check on them an hour later, Thomas was practically rolling in laughter, clutching one of the papers to his chest, as (Y/n)’s face stretched in a triumphant smile. The pair, and most of the stairs, were covered in used writing paper. The box lay beside them with only a sheet or two left of what had been a full stack of paper.
James tried to bite back his wide grin. “Thomas, I believe you owe President Washington a new box of paper.”
Thomas simply chuckled and grinned back at (Y/n), “Yes, yes, of course. As much as he wants.”