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i keep it caged (but i can control it)

Chapter Text

Someone enters the tent as Burr talking about General Montgomery. “Your Excellency? You wanted to see me?”

George takes his eyes of Burr and moves them to Hamilton. There are rings under his eyes that make his lack of energy obvious to anyone who looks in his general direction.

“Have you met Burr?” George asks, choosing not to focus on what might cause this lack of sleep.

“Yes, Sir,” Hamilton confirms.

“We keep meeting,” both of them explain at the exact same time. Hamilton smiles at Burr and the other man returns this smile, though he isn’t showing his teeth.

“As I was saying, Sir,” Burr continues, “I look forward to seeing your strategy play out-”

“Burr?” George interrupts.

“Sir?”

“Close the door on your way out.”

Burr does a double take. All three of them are well aware that they are in a tent and that George’s dismissal of the man wasn’t the nicest thing to do.

The two young men exchange a look, seemingly exchanging information before Burr nods and leaves the tent.

“Have I done something wrong, Sir?” Hamilton asks.

George shakes his head. “On the contrary.” He proceeds to explain his reasons for calling Hamilton here.

The young man was clearly very ambitious and desired to rise above his station. He wasn’t content being a mere secretary, despite being rather skilled with words. Hamilton is prepared to do anything for this country, even if it is dying.

“Dying is easy, young man. Living, is harder.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Hamilton questions.

“I’m being honest,” George replies before he outlines what exactly he wants from Hamilton. “So?” the General looks expectantly at the soldier in front of him.

The young man takes a few seconds to reply. “I do not intend to turn away this offer, to throw away my shot so to say, but I have to be honest with you before I can accept.”

“Is that so?” George raises an eyebrow. Hamilton’s origin has been a mystery for a number of people in the past months, could it be that he was finally admitting to it?

“Yes, Sir,” the young man fidgets with his hands, clearly uncomfortable.

“Then speak, Hamilton,” George orders, sitting down.

“You see, Sir,” he awkwardly scratches the back of his head. “I am not actually a human.”

“I have no time for such jests, Hamilton,” George turns around.

“I’m not lying,” the young man insists. “There are many things in the world that are simply hidden to the human eye. My true nature is one of them. As are the ones of several other soldiers. Just because we’re not human doesn’t mean we don’t care about what goes on in the world around us.”

There is something in that passion Hamilton speaks with, the way he obviously cares, that convinces just enough of George that he actually considers what the man is claiming, instead of just dismissing it out of hand.

“Can you show me any proof?” he asks.

“I could,” Hamilton nods, but the confidence on his face is mixed with something else. Shame, maybe? “But if you will allow it, Sir, I would rather not. I can get one of my friends to demonstrate.”

“Why can’t you do it yourself?” George inquires, raising an eyebrow. “Surely you realize that this doesn’t exactly give credit to your claim.”

“I do realize that, Sir,” Hamilton retorts, before he loses posture, almost as if he is trying to hide inside himself. “However, my...ability is not exactly something I am proud of or something fit for polite company.”

George frowns. “What do you mean?”

The younger man takes a deep breath. “I am an incubus.” Hamilton waits for a few seconds, during which he proceeds to blush, but that word does not sound familiar to George, so he continues. “I require...sexual energy for my continued existence and, consequently, everything I can do is more or less closely related to that process.”

The General takes a few seconds to process this statement. “You mean…”

“I create attraction, create desire. I can visit dreams,” the young man gulps, still very red in his face. “There are more things, but I would prefer not to mention them. If I could please get someone else?”

George simply nods and Hamilton leaves the room instantly.

The General doesn’t move until the young man returns, with the Marquis de Lafayette at his side.

The Frenchman has a ridiculous smile on his face. “Mon petit lion was telling me zat you, how you say, require proof for ze fact zat not all of us ‘ere are ‘uman?”

Not knowing what else to do, George nodded.

In the very front of his eyes, the Marquis shrinks until he is barely the size of Hamilton’s hand, and in fact unflexes wings and flies into the very same.

“Are you convinced, Sir?” Hamilton asks, his face showing more emotions at the same time than George cares to name.

The Marquis looks up from Hamilton’s hand with an expectant look on his face.

“After this demonstration, how could I not be?” George questions, “Considering the fact that I had nothing to drink today that could cause this hallucination and am reasonably certain that I am indeed awake.”

“If you no longer want me to work with you, I understand,” Hamilton starts, but George interrupts before he can get any future.

“I didn’t hire you because you were a human. I hired you because you are an ambitious young man, Hamilton. You being an...incubus? Was that it?” The young man nods. “That changes nothing.”

Qu'est-ce que je t'avais dit? ” the Marquis speaks up, a smile evident on his small face. His voice is notably lighter in this shrunken form.

Hamilton smiles as well and the relief floating of from him is almost tangible. He doesn’t reply to the Marquis, but he pulls his hand away.

The Frenchman almost falls to the ground, but he can catch himself in the last moment.

George doesn’t understand a word of the rapid French that follows, but he does understand that the two young men in front of him seem to be very good friends, given the fact that the Marquis has yet to stop smiling.

The General dismisses the two men and the Frenchman grows back to his usual height before they leave the tent, Hamilton laughing and the Marquis grumbling ever so slightly.

George isn’t quite sure what he had gotten himself into this evening, but he can’t quite bring himself to regret it. Perhaps that will change at a later date, although he doesn’t honestly suspect it is going to be the case.

Chapter Text

Once Lafayette and Alexander had left the General’s tent, they made their way back towards their own one.

They weren’t surprised to find Aaron, Hercules, and John waiting in it. Of course, it was John’s tent as well, but that was beside the point.

Lafayette announces their return loudly.

Qu'est-ce que je vous avais dit? General Washington did not deny Alexander despite knowing ze truth.”

None of them are surprised when John instantly flings himself at Alexander before Lafayette has even finished speaking.

The two of them are always close. Not just because of the fact that John is the one who feeds Alexander more often than not, there is a lot more to that. Add John’s natural instincts to the mix and there was no reason to expect anything else.

“I knew it, Alex!” John cheers, always easily excited. “I knew that Washington wouldn't mind!”

“You never know,” Alexander mutters under his breath. “I have been wrong about that before.”

They wouldn’t have heard it if they were human, that much was obvious. But given the fact that none of them were, that wasn’t really the point.

While John was looking Alexander up and down carefully, taking note of how tired the man seemed and calculating how long it had been, Aaron took the moment to question what exactly Washington knew.

“He knows what I am, that Laf can shrink, and that there are more of us here,” Alexander replies. “Don’t worry, I didn’t tell him what any of you are.”

Hercules and John let go of the breath they were holding and Aaron leans back ever so slightly.

“I still zink you should tell ‘im,” Lafayette insists as he shrinks again, this time landing on top of Hercules’s head, earning a small grin from the man.

Aaron winces. “I don’t think that is a good idea.”

John nods, letting go of Alexander ever so slightly.

“He doesn’t mind me,” the incubus points out.

“There is a difference between surviving on sexual actions and turning into a mindless animal once every month,” Hercules argues.

“Or drinking human blood,” Aaron adds.

“You know that Bellamy doesn't have a problem with you using his blood and it's not like you need more than he can spare,” Lafayette reminds the vampire as he begins to play with Hercules’s hair.

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it,” Aaron grumbles. “Or that Washington will.”

“I know that I said otherwise in the past,” Alexander acknowledges, “but I disagree.”

“Just because he accepts you doesn’t mean he’ll do the same for all of us,” John groans.

“He didn’t even look at me in that judgemental way I’m used to from humans,” the incubus recalls.

Lafayette confirms this statement as he takes another lock of Hercules’s hair.

“That is a good point,” John says. He looks like he is actually considering it.

It’s no real surprise that the selkie is the first one to stop arguing, Lafayette supposes. Both Aaron and Hercules had been bitten relatively recently, after all. They aren't completely used to the mythical world themselves yet and the fact that they are vampire and werewolf respectively doesn’t help the slightest.

“I still don’t feel comfortable with that idea,” Hercules sighs.

“No one is forcing you to do it,” Alexander states. “If you don’t want to tell the General, that’s fine. Though it might become necessary at one point.”

“Why should it?” Aaron frowns.

“Because you might get hit in a way a human would be wounded and you won’t be hurt,” Alexander deadpans. “Some mission or battle might take place in that night, Herc. We’re not that far from rivers and the ocean either.” Alexander shrugs as he looks at John. “Anything could happen.”

“He’s not wrong,” Lafayette agrees.

“That doesn’t mean I have to do it now,” Hercules insists.

“What if Alexander and Lafayette explain our species and whether or not we tell him depends on the General’s reaction,” John proposes.

Both Hercules and Aaron take a few seconds to think about that proposal, while Lafayette proclaims that this is a great plan.

Which it is. This way, he and Alexander would be able to ease the other's worries while simultaneously enlightening the General about their world. It would be a win-win situation.

Eventually, Alexander, Aaron, and Hercules voice their agreement. Alexander is, of course, the first to do so, taking only seconds longer than Lafayette himself, but Aaron surprises some of them when he doesn't take much more time to state his opinion.

“Maybe it's because he had more time to get used to it,” Alexander theorizes loudly.

“Excuse you?” Aaron looks perplexed at the incubus’s insolence for some reason. It’s not like it's unusual for him.

“It wasn’t that much longer,” Hercules points out, slightly insulted. “Only a few months.”

John smiles fondly at Hercules. “So you're telling me that a few months can’t possibly make that much of a difference?”

“Well, no.” Hercules shakes his head. “It’s just that I’ve only been aware of this for three months and all of you kept insisting to keep it secret, so I did. Not even my wife knows. It’s weird to hear you say the opposite. It feels like a bad idea.”

“You should tell your wife,” Alexander replies. “ You should definitely do it in person, but she should be aware of this, believe me.”

And given the way Alexander speaks, like has some level of experience with this, seems to make Hercules listen.

“You’re might be correct,” Hercules considers. “I don’t want to keep lying to my Elizabeth.”

“Zat is a good decision,” Lafayette says, leaving Hercules’s head to look him into the eyes. “Secrets should be avoided as much as possible.”

“So your wife, Adrienne, was it? She knows?” Aaron asks.

Oui,” Lafayette replies. “She does. And not only because les enfants have in’erited several traits and abilities of moi. She knew since before we were married, actually.”

“Martha knows nothing,” John comments, earning himself a look of disappointment from Alexander and Lafayette. “Though maybe I should tell her, given the fact that Frances may share some traits,” he muses.

“Yes, you should,” Alexander scolds. “And you should also go and see your daughter when all this is over.”

John sighs. “Alex, you have to understand-”

“I do understand,” Alexander interrupts. “There is no good reason for a parent to permanently abandon their child.”

“I have to agree.” Lafayette turns to John as he nods.

The atmosphere in the tent is tense, all of them know that. It is Aaron who defuses it by suggesting that they all go to bed.

“Probably the best idea,” Hercules says, standing up from the ground and moving towards the exit.

“I think we have something else to do,” John argues, looking at Alexander who looks almost ready to collapse.

He doesn’t have to elaborate for them to understand what he means.

“I will sleep in another tent tonight,” Lafayette declares.

“Alright,” Alexander replies.

“You can come with us,” Hercules proposes.

Lafayette nods as he flies over to the werewolf to hide in his pocket. Leaving at a human size would just make others suspicious and that was the last thing they needed. He’s just thankful for the warded tent Mrs. Washington had been able to organize them, otherwise they would be neck-deep in trouble.

Chapter Text

Alexander and Lafayette return to the General’s tent in the early hours of the next morning. The Frenchman seems to be very excited—in fact, he seems to be so excited that he can barely stop himself from shrinking, unfolding his wings, and buzzing around. Meanwhile Alexander himself is much more anxious.

There aren’t many things in his life that he is truly nervous about, but talking about his true species—especially to a human, and it is General George Washington of all people—is one of them. And why wouldn’t it be?

Just like Aaron, he is ashamed of the things he requires to survive. Since humans can’t find out en masse—he and most of his friends would be hunted and killed if they ever were discovered—he can’t really be seen taking anyone to his tent or following anyone home.

That had been significantly easier in the Caribbean or at King’s College, since it wasn’t yet necessary on Nevis, no one on St.Croix had ever really cared, and the College had bordered to the most famous red light district in the city. It wasn’t hard to slip away every now and then and stay unnoticed by Cooper and his rules. Here, however, well… if it wasn’t for the enchanted tent Mrs. Washington had provided them with, he’s fairly sure that someone would have discovered them by now.

And that would most likely have ended horribly for everyone involved—and then some—there is no doubt about that.

Alas, right now they have other problems. Namely, convincing the General that none of them are out to kill anyone. And that will certainly not be an easy task, considering what sort of tales humans have thought up about them.

Many details are correct yes, but that may have been by chance, since the desire for violence and the urge to harm and kill humans are most certainly over-exaggerated for nearly all of them.

Alexander barely notices that they are already in front of the General’s tent. There is no noise coming from inside, except for the scratch of a quill which likely means General Washington is awake and, probably, writing to his wife—who is actually aware of everything as she is a part of their world herself—since Alexander actually handles almost all other correspondence.

“Are you ready, mon petit lion ?” Lafayette asks, putting a hand on Alexander's shoulder and looking him in the eye.

“No,” the incubus shakes his head. “But I don’t think I ever will be either, so let’s do this.”

Determined, Alexander enters the tent, closely followed by Lafayette. Both men remain standing near the entrance.

The General turns away from his parchment and looks at them.

“Lieutenant Hamilton, Monsieur Lafayette, may I ask what you are doing here at this hour of the night?”

Alexander takes a deep breath. “Well, Your Excellency, if you would allow it, we would like to inform you about the abilities and limits, as well as other special characteristics of the non-human species that we know are involved in this war.”

The General nods. “That certainly sounds like it would be advantageous. If I understood it correctly, then this is supposed to stay a secret?”

“It would be the preferable option,” Alexander states.

“Aren’t you worried this conversation will be overheard?” The General points out. “The camp is quiet at night and the fabric of the tent muffles the sound at best.”

“Actually,” the Frenchman inserts, “votre femme , Martha, got someone to ward your tent as well as ours.”

“Alright.” General Washington blinks a couple of times, before he seems to postpone the questions that have flooded his mind at the Frenchman’s statement. “Come inside, gentlemen.”

Lafayette pushes Alexander forward ever so slightly, and—as much as he will later protest—he is thankful for it. He isn’t completely sure he wouldn’t simply have stood there, frozen on the spot, if he didn’t have the fairy’s help.

“Sit down,” the General offers, motioning towards his bed as he closes his inkpot and puts his quill aside.

The two young men obediently sit down and—for a moment or two—there is silence. Then, General Washington speaks up once again. “What do you have to teach me?”

“The first thing should probably be a list of all non-human species we are aware of in the Revolution,” Alexander states. This has been more of a spontaneous action—partly prompted by the lack of indication of movement in the present or near future on the British side—and they did not have the time to properly plan ahead.

“That certainly sounds like a reasonable suggestion,” Washington agrees and the fact that Lafayette’s thoughts on the idea are similar is evident on his face.

“As far as I know, there a numerous vampires, werewolves, and fairies, a couple of sirens, a handful of humanoid dragons and banshees, and I am the single incubus I am aware of in this army. Altogether we still make up roughly a quarter of our forces. Do you know any I am not aware of?” Alexander looks at the Frenchman who shakes his head.

Non , I zink you did not.”

The expression on the General’s face is thoughtful as he inquires what that revelation meant for the army and the Revolution as whole.

“Each species ‘as different abilities, but also different limits” Lafayette explains. “Vampires, for example, do not need to sleep and only require nutrition in ze form of blood once a month and zus have good, ‘ow you say..:” he waves his hand in the air and looks at Alexander for help. “stamina? Is that ze right word?”

“Yes, it is.” Alexander nods before he takes over. “They do not have many weaknesses, but sunlight is by far the most notable one. They do not burn directly like they do in stories, but prolonged exposure isn’t exactly helpful.”

“And zey see better in the dark zan ‘umans do,” Lafayette points out.

“So do werewolves. And incubi. A lot of species do possess heightened senses,” Alexander argues.

Going by the look on the General’s face, he is already trying to integrate this new information in their next tactics, so Alexander continues.

“Speaking of werewolves, they do, in fact, turn into wolves with every full moon. During that night, they have all the instincts a normal wolf possesses. They prefer their meat rarer and are weak to silver and certain plants, but less vulnerable to just about everything else.”

“Zhey are more wolfish ze ’ole week around ze full moon as well,” Lafayette adds. “Zen, zere are selkies.” The fairy gives the incubus a suggestive look, which causes Alexander to blush ever so slightly.

He continues speaking to distract himself. “They are seals and other animals of the ocean who have shed their skin and became a human.They hide their skins and should someone ever discover it they are in that person’s power and are likely forced to marry.”

Alex grimaces at the mere suggestion, but Lafayette saves him by continuing seamlessly, thus causing the General’s attention to turn towards him.

“Zey are affectionate and playful, but also ‘ave a strong desire to return to ze sea. There are many different kinds of fairies and not all of them ‘ave names ‘umans can pronounce. Many are easily excitable and can shrink, but there are others that desperately want to be ‘uman or ‘ave zeir children raised by them. It’s considered an ‘onor by many.”

By that point, Alexander has calmed down enough to start speaking again. “Sirens and incubi—and succubi, the female form—are all regarded as seductive, although sirens survive on fish and whatever else the ocean brings to them as opposed to the things that incubi and succubi—that I—require.” And Alexander blushes once again.

Lafayette doesn’t even need to look at him to know what is happening. “Ze dragons—both ‘umanoid and not— are very avare , 'ow you say…?”

“Greedy,” Alexander inserts.

“Ah, oui . Zank you my friend. Zey collect wealth and are able to breathe fire. ‘ard to ‘it as well.”

The General nods at them after a minute of silence—neither can think of anything else to add right now. “Gentlemen, you have given me much to think about. I thank you for it. Please leave me alone so that I may think about it.”

Both young men nod, stand up, and leave the tent.

Chapter Text

Hercules was afraid. After the conversation with his friends the spy had reluctantly decided to tell his wife about the fact that he had been a werewolf for a couple of months now. He made that decision, yes, but that didn’t mean he was happy with it.

He was terrified of the reaction of his Elizabeth and he would like to think that he had a valid reason for that. He’d like to meet someone who wouldn’t be afraid of telling someone as wonderful as his wife that they had been turning into a bloodthirsty animal once a month for the past half year, if only to see what kind of person wasn’t afraid of it.

He’d be lying if he claimed he wasn’t silently panicking in his tent, tensely walking in circles, and almost pulling his hair out when Aaron showed up out of nowhere.

“Hercules,” the vampire greeted already he having opened the side of Hercules’s tent and bent down a bit to lead into it. Aaron was the only one as good as Hercules himself at moving silently.

Perhaps even better, it wasn’t like they had tested that. Though maybe they should...

Either way, it was odd that Hercules hadn’t smelled his arrival, though. He had the best senses out of all of them and he was able to recognize most people around the full moon—luckily, he still had two weeks until that happened again—but their group of friends all had very distinctive smells. Lafayette always had the trance of the woods around him, just like John never lost all of the waves. Aaron was stuck with an odor of decay to a certain point, while Hercules himself probably smelt like a dog, even if he tried not to think about it.

Alex’s scent was an interesting matter. Hercules had only met the young man after he had been turned and he had been really confused when he had smelt his wife’s perfume on Alexander. The incubus, while introducing him to the mystical world in general, had explained that the scent of incubi generally reminded one of something or someone they were attracted to. For humans, it often was way too weak to pinpoint and consciously recognize, but the senses of mystical beings were strong enough to realize that whatever they were smelling came from an incubi’s direction. The same was true concerning succubi, of course.

Hercules shook his head to clear his thoughts. As good as it was to be distracted, now really wasn’t the time to think about that.

“Aaron, hello,” he greeted the vampire, stopping dead in his tracks—bad choice of words there, luckily he hadn’t said it out loud. “What brings you here?”

“I’m here to offer support.” Aaron fully entered the tent and stepped closer to him. “I imagine you’re very nervous.”

Both of them knew what Aaron was talking about and both of them were still reluctant in admitting it out loud. It was just too weird, even after months of getting used to no longer being human. These months were nothing compared to the decades they had lived before, even if these very decades may eventually become mere drops in an ocean.

“Of course I’m nervous!” Hercules exclaimed instead, throwing his hands into the air. “I’m terribly scared of my wife’s reaction. Why on earth wouldn’t I be?!”

There were just so many different ways that this could go wrong. Despite trying his best not to think about it, the werewolf’s mind ran wild with the numerous possible reactions of his wife and almost all of them ended with his Elizabeth either running away or hiding in horror.

Or both, in a couple versions that were, of course, among the most vivid ones. None of them painted a pleasant mental image in any sense of the phrase, that much was sure.

“Calm down, my friend,” Aaron spoke with a small smile, holding his hands in front of him. His tone was so calming that Hercules couldn’t help but relax slightly. “There is no need to get angry. I understand you completely.”

“I thought you would.” Hercules sighed as he sank onto the cold, hard ground. He offered Aaron a place next to him, which the other man accepted. “It’s just so weird. I don’t think the others really get it, since, for them, it has always been this way. They never knew what it was like to be human.”

“Not true in the case of Alexander,” Aaron pointed out. “Not technically, at least.”

While the specifics of which had never been spoken of by the incubus, he had assured them that he had been a child with different needs once. Not completely human ones, yes, nevertheless different from what he was experiencing now.

Though all of this was true, Hercules still shook his head. “Maybe not for him directly, but he had the chance to watch his Mom and older brother before he was affected to prepare and almost a decade to get used to it,” he argued, turning slightly around to face Aaron and pointing at him. “You had what, a year?” Aaron nodded, “to get used to it and I had even less.”

The vampire nodded again. “You do have a point there,” he recognized.

Hercules sighed and threw his head backwards, also lowering himself in a way that his upper body was only propped up by his elbows.. “I know I do.” He then let himself sink on the ground completely. The ceiling of the tent was not as bad of a view as one would expect.

Hercules could see the stars through them.

“The others have a point as well, though,” Aaron tentatively commented.

“I am aware of that, yes,” he acknowledged, putting his hand through his hair. It was easily noticeable that Lafayette had been in there the day before, as it had little to no tangles. And that only ever happened thanks to some of Lafayette’s leftover magic. “That doesn’t mean it stops me from being terrified.”

“I wasn’t claiming that,” Aaron raised one of his hands. “I’m just saying that if you don’t try it, you’ll never figure it out and just keep worrying.”

Hercules nodded slowly, rising to prop himself up at his elbows again. “I honestly did not expect you to give me this advice.” And it’s true. This seemed more likely to come from any of his other friends, not Aaron, how kept himself in the shadows more than anything.

“Well, all of this,” he gestures at the two of them, “kind of gave me a new perspective on a few things. I don’t want to spend an eternity from the sidelines only to ponder the ‘what if’s in retrospect.”

“That’s really wise,”Hercules commented.

“Thank you. I gave it a lot of thought,” Aaron replied. “Just like you and your wife, to get back to the topic at hand.”

“You’re probably right,” the werewolf sighed yet again. “If I don’t tell her, I’ll always wonder if she would perhaps react less horribly than I am imagining. Plus, there is Nancy to consider. She deserves to see her father. I can’t just abandon her.”

“That’s good of you,” Aaron complimented. “If only we could get John to visit Frances.”

Hercules chuckled. “Once issue at the time. Two, if you count the war.”

“Which we probably should. Alex might skin us otherwise,” Aaron theorized.

“That certainly is a valid possibility,” Hercules agreed.

“I know. So, when are you gonna do it?” Aaron asked, slowly standing up.

“I’ll be heading back to my shop tomorrow either way,” Hercules said, following the other man’s actions, only that he felt the need to stretch. “I’ll tell her then. Now I’m getting some food.” He was really craving some meat. And it was barely halfway between two moons, how bad would this get as the month progressed? So far, it had been different each month, so there was no real way for Hercules to anticipate it.

“Speaking of, I’ll be off now. I have to visit Jonathan,” Aaron fidgeted with his hands as he informed the werewolf. “My supply’s emptying and I’d rather like to avoid cutting it close.”

Hercules winces unintentionally as he imagined the results. “Probably a good idea. Greet him from me, will you?” Hercules requested. He had always liked Bellamy, even if the two of them rarely if ever met.

“I will.” Aaron smiled and disappeared into the night.