Chapter 5

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"Mum, do you think Pa'll like the gift Mrs. Washington got for him?" Eliza looked down at John Church, her fifth eldest child, and smiled. "I think he'll love it dear." She replied, squeezing the eight- year- old's hand. "Of course he'll like it." Angelica Schuyler replied from Eliza's other side, "If it's from the Washingtons, he's bound to like it." "Unless it's being called Son!" James Alexander grinned. "Hush, respect our father." Alexander Hamilton Jr. chided "He's been through so much," He glanced at his mother, his gaze darkening as he caught her eyes, "we all have." He added. Eliza smiled weakly, "Yes." She agreed, "But the best thing we can do is learn to accept, forgive and move on. There may be moments that words don't reach, or when you're in so deep, that it feels easier to just swim down. But, in the end, you have to learn to live with the unimaginable. There will be no replacement for what you've lost, but with time, and someone by your side, you can how to say goodbye." Eliza closed her eyes, a mixture of sadness and peace filling her. "We'll never forget Peggy. Or Philip, or Daddy." Angelica murmured, gripping her sister's hand. "People we care about may die, but while we live, we can tell their story." Eliza nodded, absently stroking John's hair.

That was when they smelled the smoke.

"Oh dear, that doesn't seem good." Eliza murmured, "I hope everything's ok." "I don't know Mum, I have a weird feeling something's wrong." Alexander Jr. looked worriedly in the direction the smoke scent was coming from. "Alex, watch out!" Seizing the collar of his coat, the eldest Schuyler sister yanked the boy backwards before he could be hit by a carriage rocketing past him. "Thanks Aunt Angie..." Alexander Jr. panted, looking more surprised than frightened. "Are you alright dear?!" Eliza gasped, her eyes wide and frightened. "I'm fine, don't worry. But... Mum, that was Mr. Mulligan. I think something's wrong... he looked pretty scared." Elizabeth Schuyler blinked, yet before she could say anything, a familiar voice cut through the smoke scented air. "BETSEY?!" Eliza spun around to see Alexander Hamilton behind her, mounted on Nevis, Lafayette and Crovis behind him. "Betsey, What are you doing here?!" Hamilton leapt off his horse and raced to his wife, who backed up a step upon seeing the panic- stricken look on his face. "Dear, what's wrong-?" "There's a huge fire downtown and it's spreading! You need to get far away from here!" "Pa... You're scaring me..." John Church whimpered, gripping his mother's hand. Alexander sighed and placed his hand on his son's shoulder, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you son, but if you stay here any longer, you'll be hurt." Turning to Angelica and Eliza, he murmured, "Go to the Hudson, and if I don't meet you there within half an hour, then go home. I'll meet you there once this is all over." Eliza grasped her husband's hand as he turned to leave, her eyes glittering with fear, "Alexander, please, stay alive. Stay alive for me. Do whatever you must, but stay alive. I couldn't bear to lose you too." Turning, the treasurer gently kissed his wife's forehead, "My Betsey, I will come back. I promise you. Now go, please." Mounting once more, Hamilton kicked Nevis in the sides and took off in the direction of the fire. "Come on, lets go." Grabbing her sister's hand, Angelica, Eliza, and the children whirled around and hurried in the direction of the Hudson river.

"Alexander, Lafayette! Over here!" At Mulligan's call, both men pulled their horses to a halt and jumped off. Racing to the Irishman, they found themselves directly in front of a building consumed in flames, people screaming and running to escape the intense heat. "What can we do?!" Lafayette yelled over the screams. "One of you get the people together and move them away from here. The longer they stay here the more their fear will affect others!" "I'll do it!" Lafayette turned on his heel and rapidly remounted Crovis before turning and galloping away. "Hamilton!" Alexander's attention snapped back to Hercules. "What?" "I need you to help me! There are still people in there!" The tailor pointed to the burning building and Hamilton stiffened when he heard screams coming from within the burning building. "Let's go then!" Dousing himself in water to avoid being burned alive, the Caribbean ran into the flames, closely followed by Mulligan. Coughing, the two men emerged into a clearing within the flames. "HELLO?! CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?!" Hamilton called out as loudly as he could before lapsing into a coughing fit. "IF ANYONE'S IN HERE, WE NEED YOU TO CALL OUT TO US SO WE CAN HELP YOU!!" Mulligan boomed, his voice nearly as loud than the roar of the flames themselves. "Over here! Help us!" Hearing a voice, albeit faint from the flames, Alexander nudged Hercules' arm, "Over there!" Dodging the fallen beams on the ground, the former revolutionaries emerged into another, much smaller clearing, and found themselves staring down at Aaron Burr and James Madison. "Well, if it isn't Aaron Burr, sir." Despite the situation, Mulligan smirked, his eyes gleaming with dislike. "Cut it Mulligan, this is not the time!" Burr rasped, his voice hoarse. "Herc! Get over here!" The tailor turned to see Hamilton crouching next to Madison, who was lying on the ground with his eyes closed. "He's stuck under a beam!" The former general was pushing hard on a thick wooden beam lying across the new State secretary's legs. "And I can't get it off!" "'Scuse me-!" Grabbing the beam, Hercules lifted it high enough to allow Hamilton to pull Madison out. Once he'd gotten the Virginian somewhat conscious and to his feet, draping one of the shorter man's arms around his shoulders to keep him upright, Alexander nodded to Hercules- who had draped a now passed- out Burr onto his shoulders- and began moving as fast as possible toward the exit of the building.

Hearing panicked voices outside, both Hercules and Hamilton quickened their pace and, coughing, burst out of the building. "Alex! Herc! Mes Amis, are you alright?!" As soon as Mulligan and Alexander had gotten away from the flames, Lafayette raced to their sides, Nathaniel Pendleton close behind him. "We're... fine. Thanks." Hercules wheezed hoarsely while Lafayette grabbed Burr, slid him of his shoulders and sat him in the cart that the tailor had brought. "Hamilton?" Lafayette and Hercules turned to the Caribbean. Seeing him sway on his feet, his eyes glazed over with exhaustion, Mulligan knew in an instant that his friend had passed his limit. Either that or he'd breathed in way too much smoke. "I'm fine." Alexander croaked, "Jus'- get Madison and Burr outta here." Pendleton nodded and took the Virginian from Hamilton. Then, much to the former revolutionary's surprise, Hercules picked him up and put him in the cart as well. "Wha-" Alexander hadn't even finished a single word before Pendleton jumped in front, cracked the whip, and took off with Mulligan and Lafayette following behind on horseback. Finally feeling the cart come to a stop, the Caribbean staggered out and over to a nearby tree. His head was whirling, making him feel as if the world was spinning out of control- the ride in the cart hadn't helped with that-, and his stomach was cramping painfully. Leaning heavily against the trunk, he doubled over and started vomiting black slime. Watching, Hercules exchanged a worried glance with Lafayette and Nathaniel. Rarely had he seen Hamilton look so weak. In all the years he'd known him, Hercules had only seen Alexander at what he'd thought was his lowest point, both emotionally and physically, a few- perhaps 4 or 5- times. "Losing Philip really did kill his flame, didn't it?" He murmured to himself. "Oui... Poor guy." Lafayette replied, overhearing. "May... May I talk to him?" At Aaron Burr's voice, all three men spun around and stared at him. "Why? Ever since he nominated Jefferson over you, you've been out for his blood." Hercules growled once he'd realized that he wasn't seeing things. Burr flinched, "Is it that obvious-?" "Obvious. Obvious he says. Oh no, it's not obvious at all! What're ya talkin' about? Tsk, yeah, right. Everyone knows how badly you want Alex dead." Mulligan hissed angrily, a faint Irish accent laced into his voice. "Herc, S'il vous plaît. I think that's enough." Lafayette placed a warning hand on the Irishman's shoulder. "Yes Burr, you can go try and talk with him. But it will be his decision whether or not he'll listen." "I... I know." Walking over to stand by Hamilton, who was now sitting against the tree- exhaustion and grief showing in his large eye bags and graying hair- Aaron quietly settled onto the ground next to him and looked ahead, avoiding eye contact.

"Thanks for finding Madison and I in that fire."

"I wasn't alone."

"Even so, thank you."



"...I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For everything. And for being a total douchebag of a friend."

"Not funny Mr. Vice President."

".... sorry. Uhm-"

"What do you want Burr?"

"........ I'm sorry about Philip. He was a good kid."


"Hey... are you okay? Alexander?"

".......It's my fault... Pip n- never deserved to die! Everything's m- my fault!"

~ French translations ~

"Herc, S'il vous plaît. I think that's enough." = "Herc, please. I think that's enough."

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