(;-; last one!)
At first sight, he was nothing like George had ever experienced in his life.
“General Washington, I present to you
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette” a young commander managed to get it all out in one breath. While the commander was catching his breath, George for a moment lost his. He had seen young men come and go in his fleet. He’d seen good men die on the field and some raise up through the ranks. They were all the same, scrappy, faces forged by rebellion and eyes that burned with a kill or be killed fire. This young man, held no sort of flame.
At least not in the forefront of his face.
He was young, like his aide-de-camp and aspiring soldiers. However his eyes were different they were…softened. Like a child who was always curious, a smile dancing on his lips lazily without much thought. He looked more like man who was on a trip rather than joining a war. He didn’t seem angry or vindictive, he didn’t seem worried or nervous. He took in the campsite, the American soldiers and then looked over George with tenderness no stranger ever showed him before. “A pleasure.” Lafayette crossed towards George, the General had his hand out for him but instead of the routine shake of a hand Laf wrapped his arms around his neck. He placed two soft kisses on either side of George’s face. “I’ve heard so much of your greatness, Sir General.”
Baffled, Washington blinked dumbly while Hamilton, his aide to his right, poorly stifled his laughter. Warmth swelled on his throat and face, keeping the General mute for a moment. Tenderness was not a common gesture in war…he had almost forgotten what it was like to be touched so kindly in truth. It was a sort of kindness Lafayette wore well. “The pleasure is all mine…” George smiled, trying to peel his thoughts away from Laf. “I’m elated to know we have supporters in France…it will do us will in the Revolution.”
“When I heard America was fighting for her freedom, I had no choice but to answer her call to arms…she fights for all of us, no?” Lafayette’s eyes seemed to dim in their tenderness. In such a short time, George had gone from awing at Laf’s incredible ability to retain a carefree softness, to watching it fade and now wishing it would return.
George watched as those eyes that seemed so innocent now seemed to darken. So there was a solider behind the frills of a good looking lad. Of course he was handsome, he had that European air to him. Stood a little too straight, smiled a little too kindly, touched a little too liberally but Washington didn’t seem to mind that all. “Are you cold?” He asked just as an exceptionally chilly wind kicked up the tail ends of their jackets.
“Oh…oui” Lafayette nodded once, “ a tad”
“Come, we’ll converse more inside.” He held out his arm and as if this was no more stranger than the breaths George slowly took in to steady his heart, Laf walked over and ducked under the arm.
“Very well” Laf looked up at the General as his arm protectively whisked the French man to private quarters.
“Hamilton, get the Roch Marie–”
“Lafayette will do…” Laf gently corrected the beloved General, taking a spot on a chair, rubbing his hands for warmth.
Washington looked at him and shook his head a bit, the naivety was refreshing. No one other than his dear aide Alexander spoke to him so freely. It was a welcomed casual tone that reminded him after the war…he was still just a man. “Hamilton will you kindly find Lafayette some throws.”