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Congratulations

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Alexander Hamilton sat at his writing desk, his head in his hands and a candle burning low beside him. Everything was so messed it, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Nothing felt the same after John died and Layfette left for France, leaving him to deal with Jefferson.

 

He couldn’t blame that though, he messed up, he made the choices that got him into this mess. He was the one who wrote The Reynolds Pamphlet.  Alexander let out a sighed as he rubbed his temple and that’s when he felt it, the presence. He felt something, he first felt it the day he received a letter from Henry Laurens. Hamilton assumed it was his imagination or maybe it was death, finally coming to get him but it wasn’t. It was John Laurens, his ghost anyway. John had lingered around Hamilton, only able to be visible for so long before it was too much. The last time he had seen John, was right before Maria Reynolds.

 

“Alexander Hamilton, take a break,” John said, appearing in front of him, the jacket he wore the day he died clean of any blood. Only when Laurens lost concentration or exhibited heightened emotions did the blood appear.

 

Alex sighed in frustration, he had just had this fight with Eliza and Angelica, “I have to do this. If I don’t I’m out of a job and Jefferson-“

 

“Jefferson what? Wins?” John raised an eyebrow at him, “Alexander, you are the smartest man alive, notice how I say alive because if I were still living, then you’d only be the second”

 

“Really, Laurens?” Alexander huffed, despite himself and kept scribbling away. He hated when John jokes about being dead because it just makes it so real.

 

“Don’t interrupt the dead,” John went on, a smile lifting his lips, “You can still solve the problem, just go upstate or just take a nap. You haven’t slept in a week, Alexander”

 

“I need to finish this,” Alexander snapped back, rubbing his temple and trying to block out the ghost.

 

“You can after you take a nap or something. You’re killing yourself,” John answered, his tone becoming sterner, the way it did when he was alive and begging Alexander to rest.

 

“Leave it, Laurens,” Alex growled as he kept writing but he wasn’t writing anything because John would not shut up. He was lucky John couldn’t touch him, or he could if he conjured a lot of energy, “I need to finish this. Can you just be quiet?”

 

“No, I can’t actually,” Laurens answered, pressing a hand to his arm and Alexander looked up at the touch, he could feel him, “Please. Take a break”

 

Alexander shook his head off, ignoring the hurt in John’s face as he did so. He needed silence and he thought of the only way he knew to cast away a ghost. John had told him one of the very first nights he appeared, telling Alexander if he sees any others that if he calls them by their full name and demands they go away then they will. They have to. The living has more power than the dead. Of course, the command only lasts for a couple of weeks depending on the person's conviction. If he told John to go away, he would for as long as Hamilton willed him, “Go away, Laurens. I need to work”

 

“Alex- “

 

“GO AWAY, JOHN LAURENS”

 

Alexander looked up, his eyes filling with tears as he saw the ghost of his ex-lover, John Laurens standing in the doorway.

 

“John?” He whispered, his voice soft and apologetic. Relief flooded him at the sight and he let the tears fall, he was so glad he was here.

 

“Alexander,” John smiled softly at him before his expression morphed into one of anger, “Congratulations”

 

“What?” Alexander asked, confused and so so tired.

 

“You have invented a new kind of stupid. A 'damage you can never undo' kind of stupid. An 'open all the cages in the zoo' kind of stupid. Truly, you didn't think this through? kind of stupid,” John crossed his arms, glaring over at him and Alexander looked down at the desk in shame.

 

John flickered from his spot across the room to right beside Alexander, “Let's review. You took a rumor a few maybe two people knew and refuted it by sharing an affair of which no one has accused you.”

 

“I begged you to take a break, you refused to,” John flickered again so his face was inches from Alexanders own, his glare making sure he would look into his eyes, “In fact you banished me for my trouble”

 

“You are so scared of what your enemies might do to you“ John flickered away, his calm tone breaking as he kept talking and suddenly he was yelling, flickering to either side of his friend and Alexander’s eyes fixed to the table again, “You're the only enemy you ever seem to lose to. You know why Jefferson can do what he wants? He doesn't dignify schoolyard taunts with a response!”

 

John felt the tears welling in his eyes as he spoke, emotion making his voice louder and making his tears fall freely, Laurens threw his arms out as he exclaimed, “So yeah, congratulations!”

 

“Laurens…” Hamilton began, standing up from his seat but not looking away from the surface of the table.

 

“You've redefined your legacy. Congratulations!” John laughed hysterically, eyes wide before narrowing again to glare at Alexander.

 

“It was an act of political sacrifice,” Hamilton shouted, slamming his hands down on the table and John stopped. Taking a second to stare at him, how dare he tell John about sacrifice? The candle blew out, the energy surround John turned cold and whistled through the room. An effect from his powers in the afterlife, the winds curved with his emotions.

 

“Sacrifice?” John whispered softly, his eyes flickered down and filled with tears as sorrow flooded his chest. Alexander immediately regretted what he said, looking at his past lover with pitiful eyes as his image melted into the one that was war-torn and bloodstained, “I languished in a loveless marriage, I lived only to read your letters. I put my life on the line so you wouldn’t have to when Lee disrespected Washington. I was held captive by the British, I never met my child, I died…”

 

“I look at you and think 'God, what have you done with your lives and what did it get you?',” Laurens said and Hamilton turned his head away from him to glare at the wall, “That doesn't wipe the tears or the years away but I’m back by your side and I don’t know if I can stay”

 

John smiled softly, flickering closer and closer as he spoke until their faces were inches apart and he reached out to touch Alexander, his hand cupping his cheek and bringing their lips inches apart, making sure Alex felt every part of it, “And you know what I'm here to do?”

 

“John,” Alexander whispered against his lips, he could feel John’s presence inches from his own

 

“I’m here to help you,” John whispered before he flickered an inch away and John’s face was melted into sorrow.

 

“Alexander, I know you like I know my own mind, “John began, tears gathering in his eyes and slipping down his cheeks as he paced the floor, turning away from Alexander for a second before turning to the man he loved and looking at the shame on his face, “I will never find anyone as passionate or as kind”

 

John moved over the extinguished candle, lighting it with energy and remembering A Winter’s Ball and what he lost that night, “And a million years ago I heard her say “this ones mine’”

 

“So, I stood by,” He said softly. Laurens could still see it the way Eliza’s eyes lit up with infatuation, she was helpless and he watched as she was introduced, he watched Alexander fall in love. He remembered Layette holding him as he cried, he let Alexander go. He had to, “Do you know why?”

 

“I love you more than anything in this life! I would choose your happiness over mine every time!” John shouted, slamming his hands down the table that didn’t so much as move and tears were streaming down his cheeks like waterfalls. His heart was aching, his heart was tearing in two again. Alexander’s face was slack with shock and tears were slipping down his cheeks, mirroring John’s own, “Alexander”

 

“Alexander, you were the best thing in my life and she is the best thing in yours,” John sobbed, flickering inches from Alexander’s face once again and looking him dead in the eyes, ”So never lose sight of the fact that you have been blessed with the best wife!”

 

The candle’s fire flared to life from the energy John was releasing and his tears would not stop pouring. Alexander dropped his hands to the desk, tears slipping down his cheeks and John’s heart was about to burst, “Congratulations!”

 

John could feel his power begin to fade, he wouldn’t be able to remain visible for much longer and his emotions were out of control. They were leaking his sorrow into the wind and he felt like he was dying all over again, “For the rest of your life, every sacrifice you make is for Eliza and your family, give them the best life.”

 

John sobbed, more tears streaking down his face as the final bit of his energy let out, extinguishing the candle once more, “Congratulations!”

 

Then he vanished, he still stood in Alexander’s office but Hamilton could no longer see him or hear him or touch him. Alexander stood there, wide eyes with tears slipping down his cheeks as he stared at the spot John’s ghost once was.