I’ll Be Around For You
HOWDY KIDDOS!!! Sorry this is a bit late! I had to get my dad from the airport and forgot to queue it. Anyway, here is your weekly Ghost Laurens AU fix! Want to read the previous chapters? Go here! I hope you enjoy it! <333
PART FIVE: Stay Alive
“Are Mama and Papa going to be okay?” Philip whispered to Freckles.
Philip was squashed in a rickety carriage with his siblings–– he was against one wall, Angelica directly next to him with baby John on her lap, Fanny next to her, and across from them Alexander Jr. and James were huddled together, the luggage the children had brought with them taking up the rest of their seat.
John was hovering in the space between them all, where there small feet jiggled as the carriage raced away from Philadelphia and up toward Albany.
“Of course,” he said, though he wasn’t entirely sure.
Yellow Fever was rampant, and, just when it seemed that it would spare the Hamilton family, it had struck Alexander and Eliza. They’d sent the children out of Philadelphia as soon as they fell ill, praying that, even if they did not survive, their children would leave the city where the illness was taking new victims every moment and stay healthy in Albany with Eliza’s parents.
John, of course, went with Philip. He’d become too attached to the boy to stay behind, as much as he worried about Alexander and Eliza. He’d rationalized it to himself this way: he could do nothing to help Alexander and Eliza. Only Dr. Edwards, an old friend of Alexander’s from his youth, could do that. But John could help Philip. He could comfort the boy, help him feel less alone. He could help the twelve-year-old stay strong for his younger siblings until they reached the Schuyler Mansion.
“What if they aren’t?” he whispered.
“They will be,” John said firmly. He remembered the pain of losing his mother. He wouldn’t wish that upon any child, and certainly not the children of a man–– a family–– he loved so much.
They arrived at the Schuyler Mansion late one evening. The children were exhausted from traveling and from the fear of being without their parents; the fear that they may never see their parents again.
Their granddparents ushered them inside, giving them tea and cookies and comforting the younger ones, who’d begun to cry and ask for their parents.
The youngest of the Schuyler children, Cornelia, who was seventeen, and Catherine, who was twelve, just like Philip, crept down the stairs. They’d clearly been in bed already, since they were bleary-eyed and clad in only their shifts.
Catherine’s face lit up when she saw Philip and Angelica. Although they were technically her nephew and niece, they felt more like her siblings. She’d spent her earliest years playing with Philip, her other siblings either married, away at school, or too old to want to include her in their games.
“Girls, go back to bed,” their mother said with a sigh.
Cornelia gestured to the Hamilton children. “They’re all younger than me and they’re awake.” Cornelia pulled one of the dining room chairs away from the table and sat in it, arms crossed in defiance.
Her mother simply sighed, too exhausted to deal with her rebellious teenaged daughter. Little Catherine excitedly wedged herself between Philip and Angelica’s seats.
“Did you travel here all alone?” Her eyes were wide in amazement.
John Laurens snorted with laughter as he watched Philip sit up straighter, clearly wanting to come off as a tough, strong guy.
“Yeah,” he said nonchalantly. “Just the driver with us, though he barely said a word to us the entire time.”
“Wow,” Catherine said, looking between Philip and Angelica. “That’s so brave of you.”
Philip just shrugged. Angelica smiled at Catherine.
“Alright, children, bedtime,” the elder Catherine declared. She scooped baby John up and took James’ hand.
Angelica gently shook Fanny, who’d fallen asleep on her empty tea saucer, and took her hand as they ascended the stairs.
“Can Philip sleep in our room?” Catherine whined.
Her mother smiled down at her. “You know we’ve already set up the extra cots in the boy’s old room.
Little Catherine stomped her feet and pouted, but her mother took no notice. John Laurens figured that after raising eight children, Catherine Schuyler knew how to take no shit.
John floated into the room where the Hamilton children would be staying. Once they were ready for bed–– Philip, Angie, and Fanny tucked together on a single large cot–– he sank down next to them.
“Night, Freckles,” Philip whispered, his voice fading as his eyes fluttered shut.
“Night, Philip,” John said, a smile on his translucent face. He floated over to the window and looked out, only seeing trees, if anything, in the darkness.
“I hope you’re okay,” he whispered, praying his words found Alexander and Eliza well.