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Go to Sleep Little Baby

Chapter Text

Philip Schuyler had never been a timid man. He'd always been one of those people who filled up a room with his mere presence. But as he slipped into the hospital room where his daughter lay, he felt lost in the world. Alexander was sitting by the bedside, stroking Eliza's hair as she slept. On her chest was a bundle of pale yellow blankets.

"Alex."

Alexander glanced over at his father-in-law, a soft smile on his face.

"How are they?" Philip asked.

"Exhausted, but fine," responded Alex, "Eliza nearly broke my fingers."

Philip chuckled, "I've heard that tends to happen."

Alex's smile widened, "I don't mind. Phil, do you," he paused, "Do you want to hold him?"

Philip stepped forward, hesitantly approaching the bed. Alex carefully lifted the bundle off of Eliza, supporting the child's head. He gently placed the infant into Philip's arms.

"What did you decide to name him?"

"Philip."

Both men looked up and Eliza smiled sleepily at them.

"His name is Philip Hamilton."

Chapter Text

Philip entered the hospital room clutching his grandmother's hand.

"Hey buddy," Alex greeted his son.

"Daddy!" Philip ran to Alex who picked him up.

Alex hugged Philip, "Did you have fun spending the night with Grandma and Grandpa?"

The little boy nodded his head, his curls bouncing as he did so. Alex then sat him down on the couch beside the bed where Eliza was holding the newest addition to the Hamilton family. Despite looking exhausted there was no denying that she seemed to be radiating with happiness.

Philip was looking curiously at the small bundle in his mother's arms. His parents had told him that he would be getting a little sister, but it hadn't seemed quite real, like it was just a story they were making up.

"Philip, this is Angelica," His father said with a smile.

Philip inched closer in hopes of getting a better look at his sister.

Her face was quite pink and all squished together. Philip wasn't quite sure what to think until she opened her wide, dark eyes. His chest felt kind of funny, but Philip wasn't sure why. He could see his mother smiling at him, Philip smiled back and looked at Angelica.

"Hi..." His voice was quiet and soft.

"Alex... Look at them..." His mother whispered to his father.

Alex couldn't help the tears that came to his eyes as he watched his son and daughter.

"Can I hold her?" Philip asked his parents.

"If Daddy helps you," His mother replied.

Alex had Philip sit down and then leaned down to lift Angelica from Eliza.

"Make sure you support her head," Alex instructed, placing the baby carefully in Philip's arms, making sure that she was resting against the young boy's chest.
He kneeled nearby, resting his hands lightly below Philip's to add more support. Philip was completely enraptured, staring down at his sister like she was the most amazing thing he had ever seen.

"She's so big," Philip murmured.

Alex chuckled, "You're just small, bud."

Philip pouted slightly, this caused Alex to laugh, it was amazing how alike he was to Philip.

"Let's give her back to mama," Alex said, still laughing slightly, "I think it's nap time."

"For mama or the baby?" Philip asked, reluctantly relinquishing his hold on Angelica.

"A little bit of both," Eliza responded through a yawn.

"Okay," Philip sighed.

"Tell you what I think there is a playground downstairs where we you can go and play," Alex took Philip's hand.

Philip's eyes brightened, "Really?"

Alex nodded, "Yes, we can come back later okay?"

"Okay," Philip agreed.

Alex lifted the boy into his arms easily and Philip looked back at his mother and sister in the bed over his father's shoulder.

"Bye mama," he called softly, "Bye Angie."

"Bye sweetie," Eliza waved as her son and husband left giving her time with her parents and to rest.

Chapter Text

Angelica Schuyler Church resisted the urge to let out another annoyed huff. One of the worst things about coming to visit from another country was having to wait to get through passport control. She was in far too much of a rush to deal with this right now. Angelica had meant to be in town for the birth of her sister's third child, but the little monster had decided to be born half a week early. Unable to change her flight because of work obligations, Angelica had to suffer through a week of Alex gushing about the kid before being able to actually meet the little guy.

She anxiously shifted her weight back and forth as she stood line as the officers seemed to check everyone's passports at a sloth-like pace. How hard was it to ask a few questions and check a picture?

"You would think that in this day and age the process would go quicker," said the woman standing beside Angelica. She's much older with white hair, wrinkles, and a slightly stooped back.

Angelica smiled "No kidding. Some of us have places to be."

"Meeting your beau," the woman said knowingly, drawing a laugh from Angelica.

Meeting new people has always been a favorite activity for Angelica. It was part of the reason she'd gotten into journalism in the first place, to meet new people and talk to them.

"I actually left him back in London," Angelica replied, "I'm here to meet my new nephew."

"Congratulations, dear," said the old woman, patting Angelica's arm.

It was finally her turn, so Angelica gave the other woman a small wave and strode forward to the counter. For the length of time she had to to stand waiting in line, the few minutes it took to get her passport stamped felt ridiculously short and soon she was on her way out the door.

"Thank god," She muttered under her breath taking leave of the airport to hail a cab.

Of course, it had to be smack dab in the middle of rush hour, so she didn't get to the hospital until nearly an hour and a quarter later. She found her father and the two older kids in the maternity waiting room. The younger Philip is asleep in the chair next to the older Philip and Angelica's namesake is slowly flipping through some glossy magazine and studying the pictures intently.

"Hi dad," Angelica greeted, leaning over to kiss her father's cheek.

"Hey Angel," Philip Schuyler replied.

"You drew babysitting duty, huh?" Angelica laughed.

"Got it in one," her father said with a smile.

"Hi Angie," Angelica tried to get the attention of her niece.

"Auntie!" the girl said happily, abandoning the magazine to wrap a tight hug around Angelica's legs, "You're here!"

"I'm here," Angelica agreed, "I'll be here for a week."

"A whole week," gasped Angie, "Philip!"

Before either adult could stop her, Angie shook her older brother awake. Philip yawned as he sat up.

"What," he grumbled. He also perked up when he saw his aunt, "Aunt Angelica."

"She's here a whole week," Angie confided, climbing up into the chair and seating herself in Philip's lap.

The two of them were thick as thieves and had been that way practically since the day Angie had been born. Philip rested his chin on Angie's shoulder and grinned up at Angelica.

"Angelica you made it," Alex smiled as he walked into the room.

"Hi Daddy," Angelica grinned.

Alex's face twitched in an amusing way, "That wasn't funny the first time you said it three kids ago."

"When has that ever stopped me before?" Angelica asked rhetorically.

"Fair enough," Alex sighed.

"Now can you stop keeping my from my sister?" Angelica folded her arms across her chest, "after all she's the only one I care about seeing," she teased.

"Love you too," Alex said with a small shake of his head. The corners of his mouth threatened to turn up into a smile, which Angelica counted as a success.

"Alright," she said as Alex began to lead her down the hall to the room where Eliza was staying, "What've you decided to name the little guy?"

Alex gestured for Angelica to enter the room ahead of him. It was apparent that Eliza had just finished nursing as she was attempting to do up the cardigan she wore over her hospital gown. Angelica stepped forward and took the child so that her sister could make herself presentable.

"I'm so glad you're here, Annie," Eliza sighed, watching as Angelica carefully cradled the baby.

"I'm glad I'm here too," Angelica responded with a smile, "Go on then, answer the question. What's his name?"

"Alexander," Alex said, chest puffed out proudly, "Alexander Jr."

Angelica laughed, "You would name your child after yourself."

Eliza grinned and Alex glared, but it didn't have much heat in it.

"I'll have you know Alexander is a great name," Alex replied.

“Promise me that you won’t grow up to be like your father,” Angelica whispered to the baby, “I can hardly handle one, and why would you make my dear sweet Liza deal with two of you?” she directed the last part at Alex.

“Annie,” Eliza giggled, “it’s not like he had final say, I had to actually agree with him on the name.”

Angelica passed the baby back to Eliza as a nurse returned to the room, "You ready to go home today?" she asked smiling.

"More than ready," Eliza nodded.

"Why did you have to stay so long anyway?" Angelica, "It's only been a day or two in the past, but it's already a week since the little guy was born."

"It was just a mild case of postpartum preeclampsia," Eliza said, carefully pronouncing the condition so as not to stumble over the syllables.

"Preeclampsia? Isn't that bad? Why didn't you tell me?" Angelica shot frantically.

"Calm down, Annie," soothed Eliza, "It wasn't a big deal. Just a bit of high blood pressure and it was solved pretty quickly. They just wanted to make sure that everything was alright with Alexander Jr before they let us go. Everything is fine, I promise. Now, Alex get the baby all bundled up while Angelica helps me dress."

Alex signed the last of the discharge paperwork the nurse had brought him and compiled, carefully lifting his newest son. Soon, all four were ready to go.

Chapter Text

The clamor that arose inside the apartment when Peggy knocked on the door made her grin. Philip and Angie's voices as they both tried to be the first one to reach the door, underscored by Junior's excited laughter. Eliza called for the children not to run and the footsteps Peggy could hear slowed dramatically, if only for a few moments before excitement overcame the children again. As the door opened the two children rushed out the door to greet their aunt.

"Auntie Peggy!" Angie and Philip exclaimed.

"Hey you two!" Peggy laughed as she hugged her niece and nephew.

Junior was still toddling his way down the hall to the door, not quite comfortable with running yet.

"Peggy here!" Junior exclaimed, the R coming out as more of a W.

Peggy corralled the older children back inside the apartment, pulling her small suitcase in behind her and shutting the door. She crouched down to the floor and held out her arms. Abandoning all caution, Junior tripped through the last few steps to fall against his aunt.

"Here!" he said again, clumsily patting Peggy's cheek.

"Yes, Junior, here," Philip agreed.

Eliza came up behind them and hugged her sister, "Pegs it's so good to see you."

"Good to see you too," Peggy grinned.

Eliza laughed, "I look like a beached whale."

"A very cute whale," added Peggy.

"A whale about to explode," countered Eliza flatly.

"No splode," Junior commanded, tugging at he hem of Eliza's maternity shirt, "Mama no splode."

Eliza laughed as she ruffled Junior's hair, "Of course not," she turned back to her sister, "come on in, take off your coat and stay for awhile."

Peggy did just that leaving her suitcase in the front hall, "So number four," she sat down on the couch, "I can guarantee you will never be bored."

"You're implying that I have time to be bored now," Eliza joked, "Three kids are enough of a handful without adding Alex to the mix."

"I resent that!" Alex protested, sticking his head out of the kitchen, "Hey Pegs."

"You mean you resemble it," Peggy shot back with a giggle, "Hey yourself."

"So you finally got out of Philly?" Alex asked.

"Just because it's not New York does not mean Philly is the hell hole you are making it out to be."

"I said nothing," Alex replied innocently.

"You didn't have to I knew you were thinking it," Peggy pressed her lips into a thin line.

Alex opened his mouth to reply when the loud ringing of a timer interrupted him.

"Kids! Dinner!" he called.

"You cooked?" asked Peggy incredulously.

"Oh ye of little faith," Alex intoned seriously, "You'll be singing a different tune once you try my enchiladas."

"Whatever you say Chef Hamilton," Peggy smirked.

"Alex has come a long way since he was a danger to himself and everyone else in the kitchen," Eliza spoke up.

"I was never that bad," Alex pouted.

"Don't lie, I knew you back then," Eliza teased, "And Burr told me stories. Such stories."

"I only set the toaster on fire once," protested Alex, "And it wasn't my fault! Laf distracted me."

"Excuses," Peggy muttered under her breath.

"He'll back me up," Alex insisted, "Philip, Angie, come on it's time to eat," he called back towards the bedrooms where the kids had disappeared, "Bring your brother."

"Coming!" Philip called.

"Potty," said Junior urgently.

"In a minute," amended Philip.

Angie skipped into the room and took Peggy's hand.

"Sit next to me, Auntie Peggy."

"What do you say?" prompted Eliza sternly.

"Please, Auntie Peggy, will you sit next to me?"

Peggy have Angie's hand a squeeze, "Of course."

Philip and Junior made it to the kitchen a few minutes later and Alex placed the toddler in his high chair while Peggy assisted Eliza in setting out the food.

"So, how are things going in Philly?" Alex asked.

"Great," Peggy nodded, "I just started a new project, it amazes me how stupid architects can be sometimes, I'm convinced they have no concept of gravity."

"It can't be that bad," Eliza laughed.

"You haven't had the pleasure of reading their blue prints," Peggy pursed her lips.

"Abstract buildings are a big thing now," Alex put in.

"Abstract is one thing, impossible is another," said Peggy.

"And that's why they have you," Alex laughed, "the killer of dreams."

"More like a large dose of reality."

"Reality is boring," Philip piped up, "I like fantasy worlds."

Peggy laughed at her nephew, "Okay who taught him that?"

Alex grinned proudly, "He's reading at about three grade levels above the rest of his class."

"Wow," Peggy blinked, "that's amazing."

Philip grinned and she could clearly see a spot where he must have recently lost a tooth.

"Ms. Smitty says that I'm precocious," Philip stated happily.

"You are too cute," Peggy shook her head and giggled.

"Auntie Peggy?" Angie tugged at her sleeve.

"Yes?"

"What's p-p.." Angie was having trouble with the word.

"Precocious?"

Angie nodded her head in response.

"It means your brother is a smarty pants," laughed Peggy.

Angie rolled her eyes, "I already knew that. He's the smartest person in the whole wide world."

Eliza shook her head and Angie's statement.

"Eliza, if Stephen and I ever have kids I want them to be as cute as yours," Peggy informed her sister.

"You want to just take them home with you now?" Eliza teased.

"Don't I get a say in this?" Alex asked.

"No," the sisters chorused with matching grins.

Alex shook his head.

"Could we go with you?" Philip sat up a little straighter on his chair.

"Not this time," Peggy laughed.

Philip almost appeared a little disappointed when his aunt said that.

Peggy took notice of this, "It doesn't mean you can't ever visit.”

"Maybe when you're a little older you can spend some time with your Aunt Peggy in Philadelphia," Eliza offered, raising an inquisitive eyebrow at Peggy.

"I'd love that," Peggy responded, "I'm sure Stephen won't mind sharing me with you for a few days."

"And Angie," Philip said decisively.

Peggy was slightly startled but recovered easily, "And Angie."

"These two barely spend any time apart,"  Eliza said with a smile, "Even at school, they always have lunch together."

"And we play at recess," Angie put in happily.

"A real package deal those two," Alex added.

"I think it's sweet," Peggy smiled, "we were always close too."

"Do you remember that gala with the pumpkins?" Eliza asked with a grin.

"Oh, yes," Peggy giggled.

"I'm not sure I want to know," Alex said.

"Liar," Peggy teased, "You're dying to know."

Alex grumbled, "Yeah."

"Pumpkins like Cinderella?" Angie asked.

Peggy and Eliza shared a look.

"Something like that, yes," Peggy said, beginning to laugh again.

Eliza's laughter joined hers, then stopped abruptly.

"Betsey?" Alex asked with concern. Eliza seemed frozen in place. She cleared her throat slightly.

"I don't want to alarm anyone, but I think that my water just broke."

Alex's eyes widened.

"No need for panic, you know how this goes," continued Eliza, "I'll just go change into some sweatpants, Philip if you could grab the go bag from the living room please."

"Go bag?" Peggy asked as Philip rushed out.

"To take to the hospital," Eliza explained, "A few changes of clothes for me, some books, clothes for the baby."

"They used to be mine," Angie put in.

"Liza is there anything I can do?" Peggy asked, this was most definitely not how she expected this trip to go.

"Could you help me change pants?" Eliza asked, still utterly calm.

"Of course."

"Angie, stay with Junior in here," Eliza continued, "Alex? Some tea would be lovely."

"Sure," Alex nodded and went back to the kitchen to get the kettle on the stove.

Peggy followed her sister into her room, she could hardly fathom how Eliza was being so impossibly calm at this moment. But then she remembered that she had been through this three times already.

"What happens next?" Peggy asked as she helped Eliza shed her maternity jeans.

"Usually, your water breaks after you've gone into labor," Eliza said as she began to pull on sweatpants, "but I've had them break right before labor every time."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"No, just really rare."

Peggy laughed as she and Eliza tugged the sweats up all the way, "Trust you to be special."

Eliza grinned, "I try. So, next thing is to go get checked into the hospital. Based on what's happened in the past, I should go into labor within the next day. If not, they'll induce labor."

"Induce," repeated Peggy as they began making their way back to the rest of the family, "Aren't you fancy, using the technical vocabulary."

Despite Eliza's calm nature, Alex was slightly on edge.

"Alex are you alright?" Peggy asked.

"Yeah," Alex muttered, "yup, I'm good."

"You don't look it."

"He gets stressed every time," Eliza said fondly, placing a kiss on Alex's cheek.

"I do not," insisted Alex.

"Of course, dear," agreed Eliza, sending Peggy a wink.

"With Philip it was the worst," Eliza said in a whisper.

"I can imagine," Peggy giggled.

Philip then came over with the overnight bag in his hand, "Mommy?"

"Thank you, sweetheart," Eliza said, "Are you ready to have another younger brother?"

Philip nodded, "I wanna show him my Hot Wheels, like I do for Junior."

Eliza smiled, "I'm sure he'll like it too, but you may need to wait till he's older."

Philip let out a sigh.

"So are the kids coming with us?" Peggy asked.

"Well, Alex isn't about to stay home with them," said Eliza, "They have this playroom in the maternity wing, a place to leave the kids during the actual birth, but they'll be allowed to come and see me right afterwards."

"Last time when Junior was born, Grandpa Phil was with us in the waiting room," Angie chirped.

"Grandpa Phil isn't with us anymore," Peggy reminded the girl.

"I know," Angie said solemnly, "He had a cancer in his pancreas."

"That's right."

Only about half a year after Junior's birth, Philip Schuyler had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, too far along for successful surgery.

Peggy tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and sighed, "So this is it?"

Eliza nodded, "Yup."

"I'll have a hell of a story when I get home," Peggy laughed.

"And Angelica will be very jealous," Eliza added.

"That's what she gets for being so far away," Peggy smiled.

The six of them made their way out of their apartment to get a cab to the hospital. Alex took it upon himself to hail one and they all piled in, Eliza in the front seat, Alex with Angie in his lap, Peggy with Junior and Philip in the middle of them in the back.

Eliza gave the driver the name of their usual hospital and he pulled away from the curb. It was deep into the dinner rush hour, but the cars were at least moving and not stuck bumper to bumper.

"Having a baby, then?" the driver queried in a thick Indian accent.

"Number four," Alex responded from the back seat, reaching forward to clasp Eliza's shoulder briefly.

The cab driver let out a whistle, "Good luck with that."

They settled into silence, the radio playing some top 10 hit softly in the background. It took nearly an hour and a half, but they arrived at the hospital and the driver pulled to a stop. Peggy ran in to get a wheelchair for Eliza despite her protests while Alex paid he cabbie and got all the kids out of the car.

"I still have two perfectly good legs," Eliza sighed as Peggy insisted on helping her into the wheelchair.

"They'd make you get in one once you got inside anyway," Alex pointed out logically, hitching Junior slightly higher in his arms.

When they got inside, Eliza's usual ob/gyn nurse was already there waiting.

"Look what the cat dragged in," the nurse said with a smile, "A gaggle of Hamiltons."

"I hardly think there's enough of us to count as a gaggle, Lydia," said Alex, "Maybe closer to a pack of Hamiltons."

Lydia let out a laugh, before turning to Peggy.

"I'm Peggy Schuyler, Eliza's sister," she introduced herself.

"Nice to meet you, Peggy, I'm Lydia," the nurse replied with a smile, "but you probably got that already. Ob/Gyn nurse and certified Hamilton baby wrangler."

"Philip was the first child Lydia helped deliver after completing her nursing degree," Eliza said happily.

"And I've been on the job ever since," joked Lydia, "I figured we'd be seeing you soon enough, I've got the usual room ready to go."

"Lydia, you're a gem," sighed Eliza.

"Don't I know it."

Lydia grabbed the handles of the wheelchair and began making her way to the elevator, the rest of them following.

"Is that really Philip Hamilton?" Lydia commented catching sight of the eldest Hamilton.

Philip beamed proudly, "Yup!"

"You're so big now!" Lydia exclaimed, "You're growing up so quickly!"

"Just quickly enough," Philip informed her.

Lydia laughed, "Sure. Just quickly enough."

"Am I growing up quickly, too?" Angie asked, rushing forward to be in line with Philip and Lydia, taking her brother's hand.

"You sure are, pumpkin," agreed Lydia.

"Here we are," Lydia announced, "room 522. All of the Hamilton children were born in this room."

The nurse helped Eliza out of the wheelchair and into the bed, settling the blankets over her belly.

"I'll just go let the doctor know you're here and then I'll come back to do a preliminary exam."

Lydia closed the door behind her. Alex settled Junior in the small playpen in the corner of the room with his blocks before taking a seat in one of the chairs. Philip and Angie both clambered into the rocking chair that was used by the new mothers while they nurses. Peggy settled herself to lean against the wall.

"You might as well get comfortable," Eliza laughed, "we're going to be here for awhile."

"There don't appear to be any more chairs," Peggy pointed out.

Eliza fixed Alex with a look.

"What?" he asked.

Eliza raised her eyebrows.

"Oh, alright," grumbled Alex without any real malice, "Take this one, Pegs."

"Thank you Alexander," Peggy replied sweetly taking a seat as Alex then occupied where Peggy had been standing before previously.

"You're a perfect gentleman," she added.

"Don't tell anybody, I've got a reputation to uphold," Alex shot back.

"Alert the press, a lawyer is a decent human being," responded Peggy dryly. "Peggy," Eliza chided.

"Oh he knows I love him, don't you Alex?"

Alex let out a long-suffering sigh, "It's true that I've always had a weakness for Schuyler women."

"Don't remind me," Peggy laughed. Alex had been an insufferable flirt back in university, where they'd all met. Thankfully, once Eliza had claimed him the flirting had at least reduced to a platonic level, although it seemed like Alex couldn't talk with anybody without flirting a little.

Alex flashed Peggy a look clearly trying to show how offended he was by her statement.

Eliza giggled, "Pegs, I still remember you doing the math and figuring out that he'd hooked up with fifteen percent of our friends at one point."

Peggy grinned, "Yeah, that was fun."

"What does 'hooked up with' mean?" Angie asked innocently.

"It's when you walk around with your arms hooked together," Philip responded promptly, then turned to the adults, "Right?"

Peggy and Alex caught each other's gaze and had to struggle to stifle their laughter.

"Not exactly sweetie," Eliza laughed.

"What is it?" Angie asked again.

"We'll explain when you're older," Alex replied.

"Much older," he added in an undertone, "So much older."

Angie looked at her father in confusion wanting to know more, "But-"

She was interrupted by the arrival of the doctor, a short-haired Japanese woman, who was followed by Lydia.

"How're we doing?" the doctor asked, flipping open Eliza's medical chart with a flick of her fingers, "Any signs of labor yet?"

"Nope," Eliza replied, "but that's normal based on my experience, Dr. Sato."

Dr. Sato smiled as she flipped the chart closed again, "Extensive experience and not slowing down."

"Not at the moment," Eliza smiled.

"So the rumors of you starting your own baseball team are true?" Peggy raised her brow.

Alex looked excited at the prospect of that many Hamiltons running around. Eliza looked a mixture of joyful and apprehensive.

"I don't know if we'll get to that many," Eliza bit her lip and Alex look crestfallen.

"Why not?" Alex pouted.

"We're already going to need to start looking for a bigger place as it is," Eliza said patiently.

Alex might get paid pretty well as a lawyer, but they had decided not to live above their means so they hadn't sprung for a huge apartment, especially with prices in the City being what they were.

"Listen to your wife Alexander," Peggy smiled, "and maybe we should let the doctor finish what she came here to do."

Dr. Sato laughed, "There's no rush. I just wanted to come in and say hello. You won't really need me until you're fully dilated," she said to Eliza, with a smile that said she knew Eliza already had this information memorized, "until then, I'll leave you in Lydia's capable hands."

With a brief goodbye, Dr. Sato left the room. Lydia started preparing some supplies.

"We're going to need to do an internal examination, as you know," Lydia mentioned.

"Right," Eliza said, "Alex? Peggy? Why don't you take the kids downstairs for some food. Our dinner was slightly interrupted."

"We'll be back soon," Alex said, scooping Junior from the playpen despite his small whimper of complaint. He placed a kiss on Eliza's forehead as he left, Philip and Angie in his wake.

"See you soon, sis," Peggy said with a wave, following them out the door.

The first contractions came strong and steady at around three in the morning, a new record according to Eliza, and by seven they were preparing to deliver. Peggy returned to the room from dropping the kids off and slipped on the sanitary smock Lydia handed her. Alex was already similarly dressed and sitting at Eliza's bedside.

She was now glad that this had happened this way, that she could be there for her big sister. It had been hard with them each going their separate ways considering how close they had been growing up.

Eliza gave Peggy a small smile when she settled on the other side of the bed. Her forehead was already shining with sweat, so Peggy brushed Eliza's hair out of her face.

"What do you want me to do?" Peggy asked.

"Just hold her other hand," Alex said gently, "Maybe with two of us she won't crush my hand the way she usually does."

"Oh, shut up," Eliza put in. Her face was flushed, a reaction to the epidural Lydia had injected about half an hour earlier.

Peggy took her sisters hand not exactly sure what Alex meant about his hand being crushed. With her thumb she unconsciously rubbed small circles on the back of Eliza's hand much in the way their mother used to when they were scared.

She soon discovered Alex's meaning as another strong contraction hit Eliza and the pressure of her fingers around Peggy's increased immensely.

Peggy let out an involuntary squeak of surprise but just proceeded to inhale deeply until Eliza loosened her grip once again. She looked across at Alex, "I am so sorry."

"I'm entitled," Eliza hissed out.

"No one said you weren't honey," Peggy replied, "and I don't think you need to worry about me having kids anytime soon."

"Glad to be of service," said Eliza with a small laugh.

"Almost time to push," Dr. Sato instructed, her voice slightly muffled by the mask she wore.

Peggy wasn't nearly as scared as she now was excited to be here for the birth of the newest Hamilton. She had the thought that despite what she had said earlier that just maybe she wanted to have kids of her own.

"Here we go," Dr. Sato warned.

Eliza gripped Alex and Peggy's hands in anticipation.

"Eliza you are doing great," Alex smiled.

This time Peggy braced herself for when Eliza squeezed her hand, and it really and truly felt like it was going to break, "You've got this Liza."

Eliza couldn't even form any sort of reply at the moment, Peggy winced at the pain in her hand and saw Alex do the same as the doctor called for Eliza to push.

That was how Peggy Schuyler Rennesslaer got to be lucky enough to be one of the first people to hold James Alexander Hamilton.

"So who is he named after?" Peggy asked.

"He's named after two people, actually," an exhausted Eliza said.

"My father and brother," Alex added, his voice tight. Peggy knew that Alex hadn't had much contact with his family, it had been years into their friendship before Alex had even mentioned his family to Peggy and the others in their friend group.

"That's really sweet," Peggy smiled as she rocked James.

"They weren't exactly my favorite people in the world," Alex said, his voice quiet, "But I still feel that I should honor them. As my family."

There was a slight hitch in Alex's voice, which Peggy and Eliza politely ignored. He cleared his throat slightly.

"I'll go get the other kids," he said, "They'll want to see him."

The two sisters also politely ignored the way he rushed from the room with his head down.

Peggy sighed, "I sometimes forget how lucky we were to have the family we do."

"He know that he has us now," Eliza said, "That he's had all of us for years."

"We should get everyone together," suggested Peggy, "Or at least try to. It's been too long since we've all been in the same room."

Eliza laughed slightly, "Oh yes, it's been far too quiet."

A few minutes Alex returned holding Junior in one arm, Angie clutching his other and Philip walking beside him.

"Mommy!" Angie pulled her hand from Alex's grasp and ran to the bed.

"Hi sweetie," Eliza smiled at her daughter.

"Where is he?" Angie asked excitedly, "I wanna see him! What's his name?"

"I have him here," Peggy said, seating herself in the rocking chair, "Why don't you come meet James?"

She was truly lucky to have this family, Peggy thought to herself as Angie and Philip came over, the latter taking Junior's hand when Alex put him down so that they could all see their younger brother. Alex moved to the bed, sitting in one of the chairs and cradling Eliza's hand between both of his, drawing up for a tender kiss.

Peggy smiled.

Chapter Text

Generally when he was prepping for an upcoming case Alex tended to hole himself up in his office from the moment he arrived early in the morning to the moment he left late in the evening, often forgetting to stop for lunch. His secretary would usually drop off something to eat around midday, but he never seemed to notice her coming a going and would unconsciously nibble on whatever she had left without realizing it.

This was why the knock on his office door startled him so much. Usually, his secretary would stick her head in to say she was leaving for the day, but a glance at his watch showed Alex that it was far too early for that. Without waiting for an answer, Dawn opened the door and stepping through.

"Mr. Hamilton, you have a visitor."

Alex frowned, "I'm busy. Can you ask them to come back tomorrow?"

"I think you're going to want to see this one," Dawn replied with a grin.

"Okay," Alex said slowly, drawing the word out.

Dawn disappeared back out the door and he heard her say, "Go right in."

Alex bent over the desk to finish writing his last thought on the yellow legal pad when an extremely familiar voice chimed through the hum of the central air system.

"Well, well, well. Mr. Big-Shot Lawyer."

Alex slowly looked up a smile spreading across his face as his eyes locked on one John Laurens, "My dear Laurens."

"Hey Alex," Laurens smiled in return.

Alex stepped away from his desk and went to embrace his friend, "What brings you here?"


"I'm looking at it," Laurens replied with a grin when they parted, keeping his grip on Alex's shoulders for an extra few moment.

"Flattery will get you everywhere," laughed Alex.

"Something I learned from you," Laurens smiled.

"Really now?" Alex laughed.

"If I had to sit through the most boring freshman seminar to meet you, then it will have been worth it," Lauren's quoted dryly, casting back to the day they'd met.

"You had to bring up my cheesiest line?" Alex sighed.

"Are you kidding? The cheesiness is what drew me in," Laurens teased, "So, does the big shot have enough time to treat an old friend to lunch?"

"For you, dear Laurens, I would make time," announced Alex grandly.

"I feel so honored," Laurens smirked, "does anyone else get the same 'royal treatment'?" He emphasized with finger quotes.

"Only my darling Betsey," Alex began proudly, then let it fade into a more sedate tone, "but she gets it all the time, so the novelty's worn off."

"Oh, I sincerely doubt that," Lauren said with a chuckle, holding up Alex's jacket so that he could slip into it.

Alex pulled on his jacket, "Did you have anywhere in mind of where we should go?"

"How about something from the good old days?" Laurens suggested as he opened the door and they began to walk out going past Dawn who stared at the with wide eyes.

"How did you do that?" Dawn said with surprise, "How did you get him to leave his office? You need to teach me your ways!"

"Come on, now," Alex sighed, rolling his eyes at her.

"I'm serious!" Dawn looked at Laurens, "how did you do it?"

Laurens chuckled, "Why am I not surprised that Alex Hamilton has driven his secretary to the brink?"

"I have not," Alex frowned.

"Of course not, sir," Dawn said, her nodding head contradicting her words.

"See if I give you a Christmas bonus," grumbled Alex.

"You will," Dawn said confidently, "You need me."

"I'm guessing his organizational skills are still atrocious?" Laurens asked Dawn.

"Like you wouldn't believe."

"Alright, that's enough," insisted Alex, taking Laurens by the elbow and dragging him out the door.

Laurens was still laughing when they got outside, "I like her."

Alex rolled his eyes.

"Treat her well, I can't imagine there are many secretaries that wiling to put up with you," Laurens added pointedly.

"I know," Alex's face reddened.

Laurens grinned, "Oh no... How many have you gone through?"

"So, lunch!" Alex deflected brightly, "What were you thinking?

Laurens shrugged his shoulders, "I wonder if that dive bar... The one where we met Herc? Think that's still there?"

"Oh man I can't even remember the name of the place," Alex laughed.

"Where in the city was it?" Laurens asked, "Somewhere near the university, I think."

"I think so," Alex nodded, "not too far from yours and Laf's dorm because didn't we usually crash there?"

"Herc used to pass out on the floor," Laurens remembered as they began to walk in a random direction, "You'd put a pile of t-shirts under his head so he wouldn't get a crick in his neck."

"Oh yeah," Alex put a hand on Laurens shoulder, "Actually campus is this direction."

"It's really been too long since I was in the city," Laurens commented, allowing Alex to steer him correctly.

"Yes it has," Alex laughed as he allowed his memory direct them to the same bar they'd spent many a drunken night in.

"Oh my god," Lauren's said, looking up at the faded sign above the door, "it's all coming back to me like a bad dream."

"Am I in those dreams?" Alex asked as they entered.

"You're always in my dreams," Laurens shot back teasingly.

Alex blushed slightly but then pushed opened the door, "Ten bucks Eddie is still tending the bar here."

"You're on."

They entered the bar. Unlike the sign outside, the indoors has obviously been altered. There were actual matching tables and chairs, so unlike the ragtag assortment that had been there before, and the interior was actually lit instead of being dim. The woman tending the bar was most certainly not Eddie.

"Ha!" Laurens crowed, "I win."

"Damn," Alex sighed, beginning to reach into his pocket.

Laurens stopped him by gripping his wrist, "Buy me lunch and we'll call it even."

Alex slipped his wallet back into his pocket, "Alright." They then walked over to a table in the corner, "I have to see something..."

"Oh no..." Laurens sighed as he watched Alex examine the paneling in the corner.

"It's still here!" Alex laughed pointing to a mark on the wall.

"You can't be serious-"

"Look!"

Sure enough in the corner it said "Herc Was Here" in jagged letters, it seemed they'd tried to sand it down but the letters were still clear.

"His legacy lives on," Alex smirked taking a seat.

"What would people think if they knew that one of the foremost designers and creators of bespoke suits and formal wear in New York City had carved his name into the wall of a dive bar," sighed Laurens, sitting across from Alex. The space was small enough that their knees brushed under the table.

Alex chuckled at the thought, "They'd be deeply offended and wouldn't let him into Fashion Week."

"Hi I'm Sonny can I start you off with something to drink?" A waitress came over to their table and handed them menus.

Alex and Laurens exchanged a knowing glance.

"We'll have a couple Sam Adams," Laurens said.

The waitress scribbled their order down and went over to the bar to get their drinks.

"Some things never change," Laurens sighed, "except for you."

"Me?" Alex raised his brow.

"Yeah, you," Laurens scoffed, "heard it through the grapevine that there is yet another Hamilton in our midst? What are you planning to do, take over the world?"

"At least we waited more than two years this time," Alex defended with a grin, "But, yes. World domination is the ultimate plan."

Laurens let out a laugh, "Figures, and Eliza is doing well?"

"She certainly has her hands full, but I know she loves it," confessed Alex, "She's been doing some research about shelters and children's homes in the area, but she won't tell me why."

"I'm sure she will eventually," Laurens assured him, "Unlike you, she liked to have some things in her life stay private."

"I can do privacy," Alex protested.

"Alex, you barely think before you speak," Laurens said, his eyebrow raised.

"I resent that remark."

"You resemble that remark."

"You wound me, John," Alex responded in an overly dramatic fashion, his hand over his heart.

Sonny returned with two Sam Adams, "Do you know what you would like to order?

"I'll have a reuben," Laurens requested, "with an extra pickle."

After a moment of indecision, Alex ordered tomato soup and grilled cheese.

"You are an actual child," laughed Laurens.

"Growing up is overrated," Alex replied pointedly.

"Says the junior partner at a large law firm," Laurens smirked, "Hard to get more grown up than that."

Alex shrugged, "Oh yes, and being right next to Burr is so much fun."

"You two still aren't going at it are you?"

Alex opened his mouth to reply, then stopped to think for a moment.

"Not really," he admitted grudgingly, "and when we do, it's not quite as," he searched for the words, "verbally violent. Plus, his daughter is friends with Philip and Angie."

"Really?"

Alex nodded, "It's almost uncommon to not see Theo around at least twice a week."

"So the Hamilton's and the Burrs can be friends," Laurens sounded impressed.

"It's probably a childhood phase," joked Alex, obviously not meaning it at all, "so how are things down south?" he added, "I think we've talked about me enough."

"Even more proof that you've grown up," Laurens said, "I've actually been meaning to call you to talk about this, but," he rubbed the back of his neck slightly self-consciously, "one of South Carolina's senate seats is opening up this election cycle."

Alex raised his brow, "And you are considering going for it?"

Laurens nodded, "What do you think?"

"Well if you win then maybe there will be one southern state that actually has someone with any brains in the senate," Alex replied.

Laurens laughed briefly, but shook his head, "Alex, please be serious."

Their conversation paused as Sonny swung by to drop off their food, but once she's left Alex knocked his knee against Laurens' under the table to get his attention.

"If it's something that you want to do," he began, ripping a piece off of his grilled cheese to dunk in the soup, "I say go for it, John."

Laurens smiled, "You know that isn't the only election that's coming up..." he paused making sure he had Alex's attention, "and there have been some rumors-"

Now Alex looked intrigued, "Rumors of what?"

"I'm sure you remember Professor Washington," Laurens prompted.

Of course Alex remembered Washington. George had been his advisor throughout his entire time Columbia as well as being the professor for several of his classes. They had bonded over the years and Alex knew that George felt obligated to him in a paternal way. It was so obvious that his kids had noticed it and Philip had begun calling Washington "Grandpa George" from a fairly young age. Having that kind of regard from Washington was both embarrassing and pleasing for Alex.

"And there's a presidential election this cycle," continued Laurens pointedly.

It all clicked in his mind, "You can't mean-"

Laurens nodded his head, "That’s exactly what what I mean."

"Washington for president..." Alex nodded, "that certainly doesn't seem like a bad idea."

"I figured you might think that," said Laurens, taking a sip of his beer, "It's just a rumor, so don't go spreading it around."

"Who would I tell?" laughed Alex, "Most people wouldn't know who George is."

"We were discussing only recently your inability to keep your mouth shut," Laurens pointed out with a grin.

Alex let out a huff and Laurens chuckled, "I still remember when you proposed to Liza and she already knew it was going to happen."

"That time it wasn't my fault," Alex protested, "I'd mentioned to Herc about making a suit for me and he asked Betsey about wedding colors, so don't go blaming me for other people's wrong doings."

Laurens shrugged, "Well either way you do have a tendency to blab."

Alex rolled his eyes, "Okay, I won't say anything."

"Good."

Alex glanced at his watch and failed to hide a small grimace, "Listen, John, I wish we could stay longer-"

"But you have a big case coming up," Laurens finished, smiling fondly at him.

"Yes," Alex conceded, "The senior partners are letting me take the lead for once. Why don't you come over to the house later? I'm sure Eliza and the kids would love to see you."

"I'd love to."

The two of them stood and embraced.

"What's the baby's name, anyway?" Laurens asked when they parted, "It's been a week since he was born and I have yet to hear it."

"Until tonight, my dear Laurens," Alex said grandly, avoiding the question.

"The suspense is killing me," teased Laurens.

Alex gave a mock bow, embellished with a twirling wave of his hand. Laurens chuckled, watching as Alex swung by the bar to pay their meal and then swept out the door, blowing a kiss over his shoulder.

----------

"Uncle Laurens!"

He barely had time to react after he entered the apartment before a child-sized ball of energy launched herself into his chest. Laurens managed to wrap his arms around Angie, but fell back against the wall, his breath nearly knocked out of him.

Eliza walked into the the room, "Are you alright?"

Laurens straightened himself still holding onto Angie who had wrapped her arms around his neck, "I'm fine," he laughed.

"Alex told me you'd be coming," Eliza smiled.

"He's not here yet?"

"This is Alex, remember?" Eliza sighed, "but he did promise to be home soon."

"Which means it'll probably be another couple hours," said Laurens.

The two of them shared a grin.

"Uncle Laurens, guess what?" Philip said as he entered, a piece of paper in his fist.

"What?" Laurens asked, carefully putting Angie down. Despite her protests, when Angie's feet reached the floor she ran to Philip and threw an arm around his shoulders. They were still near the same height.

"I'm writing poetry," Philip announced proudly.

"Read him the one about the elephant," Angie told him.

Philip straightened his posture and cleared his throat before speaking, Laurens couldn't help but wonder if this was something the boy had picked up from watching Alex.

"E is for everything," he began, "which an elephant can see, because he's so tall towering over me.

"L is for leaves, elephants eat these," Philip continued, “off of the branches of really tall trees. Another E comes next, which stands for Eddy. That's my elephant's name, but there's more. Are you ready?"

"P is for Pachyderm, it comes from from Greek. I know that 'cause I'm a geek."

Laurens laughed and Philip gave him a blinding smile before continuing on.

"H is for huge, that's what their brains must be, because elephants never forget, you see."

"A is for Africa, it's all the way across the sea and where the elephants roam free. Next we have N which must stand for nose, which on an elephant can nearly reach his toes! Lastly T is tusks, they are made out of ivory and are long and mighty." Philip concluded his poem.

"That was amazing," Laurens enthused, holding his hand out for a high five.

"The last one was kind of a half rhyme," Philip said as he smacked his hand against Laurens', "but I couldn't think of anything that rhymed with ivory."

"Half rhymes are my favorite kind of rhymes," said Laurens seriously and Philip grinned.

"I want to show you something," Angie tugged at Laurens sleeve.

Laurens followed Angie as she took him the the living room where there was an upright up against the wall. Angie pulled out the bench and seated herself on it.

Halfway through the piece she was playing--Laurens wasn't quite sure what it was, but it sounded beautiful--Alex arrived home. Angie stopped mid-phrase, her eyes wide.

"Daddy!"

She slid off the bench and ran to great her father with a hug.

"Mon Ange," Alex smiled brushing a hand through her hair.

"I was showing Uncle Laurens what I can play," Angie informed him happily.

"Yes, I could hear through the door," Alex said proudly, "It was lovely."

Eliza returned from the kitchen again and stoked the top of Angie's head briefly as she leaned in to give Alex a welcoming kiss.

"Angie, why don't you come help me finish dinner," Eliza suggested.

"Can I put dressing on the salad?" the girl asked hopefully.

"Of course," Eliza agreed with a smile, "Philip, will you go get Junior and James? Make sure they clean up the Legos and wash their hands."

"Okay, mom."

"And you," Eliza concluded, pointing at Laurens, "Alex is going to introduce you to the newest member of the family."

"Yes ma'am," Laurens joked, giving her a salute.

"Cheeky," laughed Eliza as she began steering Angie towards the kitchen.

Alex lead Laurens to his and Eliza's bedroom excitedly.

"His crib is still set up with us," he said, "We probably won't move him in with the other boys until he's finished nursing."

It never failed to surprise Laurens how loud, boisterous Alex could be so calm and still when he held his kids. Every other picture of Alex you could practically see him vibrating with the need to move, but when he held a baby it was like the whole world stopped for him. Laurens noticed that it was even more fascinating to see in person.

"Come here," Alex said, gesturing slightly with his head.

Tentatively, Laurens stepped over and carefully accepted the baby, holding the boy close to his chest and supported that tiny head in the crook of his elbow. Alex stepped back, grinning.

"My dear Laurens, you're a natural."

Laurens chuckled lightly, "I suppose. Won't you just tell me his name already?"

"Oh," Alex said softly, "his name is John."

It took a long moment for it to sink in, but when it did Laurens felt his arms go unconsciously slack. In a moment, Alex was in his space, his own arms under Laurens', keeping them upright and supporting baby John.

For a moment Laurens was at a loss, "Y-you mean?"

Alex smiled and nodded, "You are my dearest friend," he explained, "it seemed only fitting."

"I don't know what to say-"

"You don't have to say anything," Alex replied, "If Little John here is half as amazing of a person as you are than he's set for life."

Laurens let out a small huff of what might of have been laughter and let his forehead fall on Alex's shoulder.

"You are a ridiculous man, Alexander Hamilton."

Still cradling the baby between them, Alex chuckled and rest his cheek against Laurens' hair.

"I know."

The stood there for several long moments until Eliza called out that dinner was ready.

Chapter Text

Alex's phone buzzed, and he nearly jumped ten feet in the air.

"Son are you alright?" Washington asked.

"Yeah," Alex sighed, "sir, would you mind if I checked this?"

It was no secret among the staff that Eliza Hamilton was pregnant yet again and it was also no secret that despite this being Alex's sixth child that he'd been a nervous wreck during these last months.

"Go ahead," Washington nodded.

Alex hastily checked his phone to see a series of texts from Angelica, "at the hospital... Shit." Alex jumped up from his chair.

"Alexander?"

"Sir I'm really sorry," Alex was apologizing as he collected his things, "but I have to go right now, Eliza is in labor."

Washington smiled at him, "I understand."

"Hamilton weren't you going to present a-" Jefferson started.

"Shut up Thomas, my wife needs me," Alex replied coldly as he was heading out of the conference room.

"It's not even your first!"

"Fuck you Jefferson!" Alex hollered just as the door shut behind him.

"Alright then, where were we?" 

----------

Alex's fingers were twitching against the steering wheel as he pulled out of the White House staff parking lot and into the light traffic of the early afternoon.

This had never happened before, he'd always been there for Eliza so this was very different. He always did worry about about her but not being by her side exacerbated these feelings. When he came to red light he glanced at his watch, the kids were still at school and probably had no idea what was going on.

He considered giving at least Philip a call or shooting him a text, but he light turned green and his focus shifted again to the road in front of him. It wasn't like the kids could leave school in the middle of the day, even if it was for the birth of their newest brother, but then again the school day was nearly over. After a brief struggle with the voice commands on his phone, Alex finally got it to properly dial Philip--rather than Mulligan, and really those two names didn't sound anything alike, what the hell was wrong with the voice recognition, geeze--he was slightly surprised when his eldest son actually answered.

"Hey, pops."

"Why aren't you in class?" Alex asked, frowning.

"Free period," replied Philip, "What's up?"

"The baby," Alex told him, "is coming now. Or at least soon. I'm on my way to be hospital as we speak."

"Right, right, okay," Philip said. Alex could tell that he was probably running his hands through his hair the way he did when he was trying to think, a habit that Philip had picked up from Alex himself, "There's a bus that goes right by the hospital, the number 80. I'll collect the others and we'll go there."

After a brief goodbye, the call was disconnected. Alex let his foot push a little harder on the gas pedal.

As much as he would have liked to get there as quickly as he possibly could he knew that getting a speeding ticket would only make matters worse. But that didn't mean he couldn't go at five miles above... Luckily, at this time of the day there's wasn't much traffic. It was after the lunch rush and still a couple hours before the after work rush would begin.

All in all it took him a little under a half an hour to get to the hospital, but what frustrated him the most was trying to find a damn parking spot.

"Come on," Alex muttered as he waited for the young man in a shiny black BMW to finish fixing his hair in his rear view mirror and pull out of the space he was currently hogging.

"Yes, you look great, so move already," groused Alex, sorely tempted to lean on his car horn.

The man glanced at his rear view mirror eventually to see Alex sitting there. He ran a finger through his hair one last time before pulling out of the space which immediately Alexander took it upon himself to occupy.

Taking a brief moment to throw his own hair into a messy bun, Alex practically threw himself from his car and had to force his steps to not become an outright sprint.

After making it to the information desk he inquired about the maternity ward, the nurse there informed him it was on the fourth floor. Alex then let out a sigh and was about to walk away.

"Is this your first?" The nurse asked.

Alex shook his head, "Sixth."

The nurse's reassuring look faded slightly. Like he didn't have the right to be worried no matter how many kids his wife had already borne.

Alex let out a huff and went to the elevators to go upstairs and find his wife.

This would be the first Hamilton child to be born in Washington DC and Alex already felt the absence of Lydia's soothing presence.

Once making it to the maternity ward he inquired about where he might find Elizabeth Hamilton.

"She came in with her sister," Alex explained to the nurse, "I'm her husband."

"Ah yes," the nurse replied, checking her computer, "her sister said to be expecting you, Mr. Secretary. Down that hall, third door on your left. Number 409."

"Thanks," Alex said, "Our other kids should be coming at some point too, there are five of them. Four boys and one girl."

"I'll send them in your direction," the nurse assured.

Alex followed the nurse's directions and moved at a very quick pace to 409. He pushed open the door to see Eliza and Angelica and he relaxed slightly.

"My two favorite women in the world," Alex announced.

Angelica laughed, "Don't let Peggy hear you say that."

"You laugh, but I would say the same thing if she were here instead of you," teased Alex.

"I have no doubt in that," Angelica smiled.

Alex walked over to Eliza, "How are you doing?"

"Our brains make us forget the pain of childbirth," Eliza said instead of answering, "so that we'll want to go through it all again, remembering only the good parts and forgetting the ones that suck."

"Contractions?" Alex asked with a sympathetic wince.

"One giant contraction that's been going on forever."

Alex sat in the empty seat beside her, "I called Philip, he's going to bring them here once they get out of class."

"Good," said Eliza tiredly, reaching out to take his hand and giving it a small squeeze.

Eliza sighed, "You had that meeting today didn't you?"

"That doesn't matter," Alex replied, "besides you know how much I love those meetings with Jefferson, I was glad to have a good excuse to get out of there."

It was Angelica who sighed and rolled her eyes, "You really shouldn't antagonize him."

She and Jefferson had met when she was still in London and were at least friendly with each other if not actually friends.

"He's the one who does the antagonizing," protested Alex, "Most of the time, anyway."

Angelica shook her head, "It amazes me that your children are better behaved then you."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Alex raised his brow.

"Exactly what you think it means," Angelica smirked.

"You're hilarious," responded Alex dryly.

Any other banter was interrupted by a pained whimper from Eliza.

Alex turned his attention back to his wife, "It's okay," he muttered, "you are the strongest, most amazing woman I know and we are going to get through this."

Eliza took a few deep breaths, "It's worse than it's ever been before."

"It's going to be alright," soothed Alex, "nothing to get worried about."

A look of worry crossed Angelica's face, she brushed Eliza's hair from her face tenderly.

"That's my mom!"

Alex turned to see Philip standing just outside the door with Angie right beside him wearing her softball jersey.

"Young man," said a sour-faced male nurse, not one that Alex had talked to, "you cannot go barging into patient rooms and--"

"Let my children in," Alex said lowly, "they're going to have a new brother soon and they want to see their mother, so let them in."

"But--"

Alex gave him a stony look and the nurse stepped away allowing the five Hamilton children to pass him.

Philip took Angie's hand as they entered and walked over towards their mother.

AJ  was fairly close behind them, but James and John only barely entered the room before stopping.

"It's okay boys," Alex gestured for them to come closer.

"It's like when mama had you," James told his younger brother, pulling his gently forward to the bedside.

Eliza managed to smile at John who became a little less nervous.

"Here," Alex put his hand on John's shoulder and brought him over so he could sit on his father's lap. "See? It's okay."

"How does the baby come out of your tummy?" John asked, leaning forward to place one small hand on Eliza's swollen stomach.

"It's a very complicated process," Alex responded, trying to stall for time. What the heck did you tell a five-year-old about childbirth?

Alex looked at Angelica hoping maybe she could think of something, after all she had kids of her own now.

"You're on your own for this one," Angelica spoke before Alex could say anything.

Alex glared, but Angelica just grinned back.  

"Nobody really knows, 'cause it's kind of like magic," Angie put in, digging an elbow into Philip's side to urge him to add his two cents.

"Right," Philip said, "We can't tell you how because only the people who do it get to learn."

John listened to his older siblings intently but he still seemed very confused about the whole matter.

"I tried," Philip shrugged.

"Don't worry about how, my Little John," Eliza said softly.

John pouted slightly, but didn't argue.

"So how was practice today?" Alex asked his daughter.

"I skinned my knee sliding into third base," Angie explained, but she was far from upset, in fact she seemed proud as she showed off her injury to everyone.

"Not as bad when I got hit in the head with the ball at the big game last year," Angie added with a smile.

"That wasn't funny," Alex shook his head, "you could have a had a concussion."

"But I didn't," Angie reminded him.

Alex sighed, it always worried him when anyone in his family was sick or injured, and ever since joining the softball team at school Angie had become a lot more accident prone, as if he didn't worry about her enough when she did gymnastics. He was certain that Angie was going to be the cause of his hair going grey.

Any other conversation was interrupted by the entrance of the doctor and two nurses. The doctor faltered slightly at the sight of so many people in the room, but recovered quickly.

"This must be the rest of the Hamilton clan," she said with a tight smile.

Alex took James off his lap and his son went to reach for Eliza's hand while Alex walked over to the doctor.

"My kids got out of school and I'd rather have them here than waiting at home," Alex explained.

"I completely understand," the doctor assured him, "If you wouldn't mind all stepping on the other side of this curtain, I need to give Eliza a quick exam."

Alex complied, getting the kids out of the way with Angelica close by his side. One of the nurses closed the curtain around the bed and a few moments later it opened again to reveal the doctor tossing a pair of gloves in the trash.

"Okay, we're ready to go," she said briskly before turning to Alex, "We're going to take her to a delivery room now and I'm sorry, but only one of you can come in with us."

It was certainly different than their old hospital in New York. Angelica looked like she was about to protest or make a fuss, but Alex put a hand on her arm.

"Angelica, why don't you go? I'll stay here with the kids."

Angelica looked at him with surprise, "Are you sure, Alex?"

Alex nodded his head, "I'm sure."

Angelica sighed and pulled Alex into a hug, "Alright."

One of the nurses darted out of the room and returned with a wheelchair, which he then helped Eliza get into.

Alex pressed a kiss to the top of Eliza's head and when she looked up at him he placed another on her lips, "I'll see you soon, my love."

Eliza gave a small, pained smile, "Love you."

Alex held his breath until Eliza, Angelica, and the medical professionals had left before letting it out in a slow stream as he sat back down in his chair.

"That's a stupid rule," Angie muttered.

Philip shrugged and stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans.

Alex leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees, his head hanging, hair swinging forward to hide his face from view.

"Ange, my don't you take the others down for a snack," Philip suggested softly, "Bring something back up for dad."

"Okay," Angie sighed, "come on gang," she gestured to her younger brothers and they shuffled out of the room.

Alex heard the scratch of chair legs on the floor and then a soft whump as Philip dropped into it.

"How was school?" Alex asked after a long moment of silence.

"Good," Philip muttered tapping his fingers against his legs, "I got my short story back from Ms. Moreno."

"I guess you figured out that ending after all," Alex said. He had been so busy lately that he hadn't had a chance to ask Philip about it. The ending to the story had had the boy practically in tears the previous week because it wouldn't go the way he wanted it to.

"Kind of," Philip admitted, "I don't really like it, but I couldn't just leave the story without one."

"What did Ms. Moreno have to say?" Alex asked.

Philip crinkled his nose, it was easy to see how disappointed he was with himself.

"She said it was great," he replied, "but she always says that. It doesn't really mean anything, it's all she ever writes on our writing assignments, even Billy Ramero and he can barely string a sentence together."

Alex put a hand on Philip's shoulder, "We'll yours is probably the best of the lot."

"You’re my dad, you’re supposed to say that.

"I mean it," Alex smiled, "you’re a great writer, and you know I'm not the only one who thinks that."

"I prefer poetry," mumbled Philip, "you don't have to worry about whether it makes sense or not."

Alex laughed and wrapped his arm around Philip, pulling him into a sideways hug.

Philip couldn't help the smile that broke across his face.

"So anything else happen today?" Alex was alway genuinely interested in what his kids did it at school. To him it was more than asking just for the sake of asking, he even asked John what he did in kindergarten.

"Nothing important," Philip muttered, leaning into Alex and resting his head on his father's shoulder, "Teachers assign too much homework, school food tastes terrible, they still only let juniors and seniors submit work to the school literary journal."

"Well that's just stupid," Alex commented ruffling his son's curly hair.

"I tried to convince Mr. Dawson to let me submit something but he wouldn't even talk to me.

"And that's just rude," added Alex, "I'll go talk to this Mr. Dawson and--"

"Pops, don't," Philip requested plaintively, "please don't."

"Why not? Regardless of whether you're an upperclassman or not, a teacher ignoring a student because of some stupid age-based prejudice is--"

"Pops!"

"What?" Alex raised his brow.

"It's not that big of a deal," Philip shrugged his shoulders.

"Philip..."

"Pops," Philip's tone was serious, "you don't need go all Secretary of the Treasury on him-"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Alex asked.

"You can't solve all problems by quoting legislature and writing debt plans," Philip told him, "Sometimes, you don't need words at all. Sometimes you need to let your actions speak for you and that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to show Mr. Dawson that I don't care what he thinks. I'll keep submitting my work to him even if he never looks at it."

"Alright," Alex nodded, "well hopefully that will work out for you."

"Well either he'll publish something or he's going to get very annoyed," Philip laughed.

"You could always submit your work to a professional literary journal," suggested Alex.

"I'm not sure I'm ready for that," Philip responded.

"You'll never know if you don't try."

"I know that it's just--"

"Maybe I can convince Angie into persuading you," Alex mused, "your sister is very persuasive."

"I blame you," Philip replied, "you taught her that."

"As if you can't do the same?" Alex raised his brow.

"Sure," Philip shrugged, "but Angie excels at it."

Alex chuckled again and squeezed Philip tight against his side.

"Ow, pops, let go," complained Philip with a laugh, "the arm of the chair is digging into my ribs."

"Never," Alex replied smugly.

The door creaked as Angie held it open for her siblings as they all shuffled in.

"Here, papa," John chirped, running forward and holding a small muffin out at Alex, "It's 'nana with walnuts."

Alex released Philip in order to pull John into his lap, "Thank you, Johnny."

Angie sat herself in the empty seat next to Philip, "We barely got there before it closed," she sighed. "What kind of hospital cafeteria closes at 4:30?"

"I don't know," Alex sighed as he began to unwrap the muffin, attempting and failing to not get crumbs on both himself and John.

"When's mom coming back?" asked James, sitting cross legged on the empty hospital bed.

"I don't know," Alex repeated. He hated not knowing.

Angie pulled up her leg examining the large bandage covering her knee.

"Stop it," Philip batted her hand away, "it'll scar-"

"Thanks mom," Angie rolled her eyes.

Philip smiled, "I'm just saying."

Angie stuck her tongue out at him playfully and Philip laughed.

"Will you two stop already," grumbled AJ.

"You're no fun," Angie grinned at her younger brother.

AJ just pulled the hood of his sweatshirt over his head and slid to the floor, leaning his side against the wall.

Alex watched him do this, about six months ago he started to refuse going by Junior and insisted that everyone call him AJ. They had all complied but ever since then AJ's behavior was starting to change, this was something he had talked about with Eliza who told him he needn't worry and that he was overreacting.

"He's just going through a bit of a phase," she'd said, "Give him time."

"Philip never did this," Alex had replied, his fingers tapping on his thigh.

"Philip had Angie," Eliza had laughed, "My brother Sky did the exact same thing."

Alex absently noticed that he was finishing the last piece of the muffin and the wrapper was replaced by Angie. with a glass bottle of Starbucks iced coffee.

He looked up at his daughter and the smile on her face, now more than ever did he realize how much she looked like Eliza.

"Thought you might want this," Angie shrugged brushing some the hair that had gotten loose from her braid away from her face.

"Mon ange," Alex said fondly, watching the pleased flush spread across Angie's cheeks.

He forced himself to drink slowly, trying to take up as much time as possible with the simple task. Maybe if he drank slow enough, Eliza would return.

Magic, Alex thought to himself as the door to the room did indeed open when he was just past halfway finished with the overly sweetened ice coffee.

He saw Angie reach for Philip's hand and James got off of the bed, even AJ looked up to see what was going on.

Angelica pushed Eliza's wheelchair into the room. Eliza looked exhausted but pleased and Angelica was beaming.

"Mommy!" John called out.

"Now Peggy has nothing on me," Angelica said with a laugh putting a hand on Eliza's shoulder.

"Well maybe next time I can return the favour," Eliza replied.

"Oh no," Angelica shook her head, "two kids is more than enough for me."

"Where is he?" Alex asked.

"They'll bring him soon," Eliza informed him, wincing slightly as Angelica helped her get back in the bed and get the blankets over her, "He being cleaned and weighed now."

Alex put John down and went over to Eliza's side, "I knew you could do this."

"Didn't have much of a choice," Eliza sighed.

Alex leaned over to murmur in her ear, "Any regrets?"

He felt her smile against his cheek, "Never."

"Glad to hear it," Alex smiled.

"So we bring the total to six," Eliza let her shoulders relax.

"Maybe you can stop now?" Angelica smiled, "there are more than enough Hamiltons to go around."

"What do you think?" Alex turned to Eliza.

"We'll see," Eliza said. She was obviously having trouble keeping her eyes open.

"Sleep," Alex said, brushing a few errant strands of hair from her face, "I'll wake you when they bring him in."

In the corner of the room, the kids were conversing a quite voices.

"That's stupid," AJ grumbled.

"It is not!" Angie folded her arms across her chest, "it's a perfectly good name!"

"Will you two please stop," Philip sighed, "James what do you think?"

The nine year old shrugged his shoulders in response to Philip's question.

Alex was more than a little intrigued, "What are you getting up to over there?"

"Nothing," Angie responded sweetly.

"Well that's never a good sign," Alex smiled.

"Don't worry, Pops," Philip said, "I'll keep these hooligans in line."

"Whassa hooligan?" John asked.

"You are," Philip said with a teasing growl, swooping down to grab his youngest brother, playfully tossing the five year old over his shoulder. John's giggles filled the room.

"Angie look!" John called out to his sister.

Angie was momentarily torn away from her debate with AJ to look at John.

"You only like it because of that dumb book," AJ replied once again getting her attention.

"Oh, stop being a sour puss, Junior," Angie shot back, putting emphasis on the old nickname, before turning her attention back to their youngest brother.

"It's AJ," AJ muttered, but it was obvious that he had lost this argument. It was nearly impossible to win an argument with Angie unless you were Philip.

"Wow, you're up so high!" Angie cooed with a grin as John wriggled in his perch bent over Philip's shoulder.

"Taller'n you!" John giggled.

"Oh that's not fair," Angie crinkled her nose, "I'm not that short!"

"Sorry," Alex replied with a laugh.

John reached out for his sister who got up to take him from Philip, "My turn," she informed her brother.

"Fine," Philip replied in a teasing manner and passing John to Angie, "so are we decided?" he asked his siblings.

John nodded as he settled himself in Angie's arms. He would agree with most things his older siblings said, but at his current age he thought that Angie had hung the stars in the sky. If she said something, he was one of the first to concur.

"Sure," James said, shrugging.

"I guess," contributed AJ.

"I knew that you were plotting something," Alex said triumphantly, "Care to share with the class?"

Before any of the kids could reply, the door to the hospital room swung open and a smiling nurse entered pushing a small bassinet on wheels.

"Baby!" John exclaimed loudly.

"Delivery for the Hamilton family," the nurse said jokingly, "One baby of the male persuasion."

Eliza, who had been woken from her light doze by Angelica, sat up slightly in bed and gestured for the child. After securing the bassinet to the side of the bed, the nurse lifted the swaddled bundle and placed him in Eliza's arms. The baby was squirming slightly, but instantly settled when Eliza held him.

"He's beautiful," Alex said reverently, approaching the bed.

"William," James piped up suddenly, drawing the attention of his parents, "That's what we were talking about. We think his name should be William."

Alex began to smile, he thought it great that was kids had been up to, "Well what do you think Betsey? Is William a good solid name for a Hamilton?"

Eliza placed a soft kiss on the baby's head and then smiled over at her other children.

"I think that William is a wonderful name."

Chapter Text

No matter how many times she moved it only seemed to make her more uncomfortable. She let out a sigh as her shoulders dropped in defeat.

"Are you alright?" Philip asked glancing up from his book.

"I can't feel my ass," Angie grumbled.

"Ah," Philip said knowingly, "I don't think I can help with that."

"Probably not," Angie admitted.

"Just try to think of something else," offered Philip.

"It's not that easy," Angie shifted again, in truth part of the problem was she hated sitting still. The only people who'd been successful in getting her to do so was her mother and her piano teacher.

"I know," Philip said softly, "I think I've been reading the same three sentences for the past twenty minutes."

Angie chuckled and leaned into her brother's shoulder. Philip took the cue and shifted his arm so that he could wrap it around Angie's shoulders and pull her into his side. Angie tucked her legs up underneath herself.

"Is that better?" Philip asked.

Angie nodded in contentment, "Much better."

Time seemed to be crawling. Minutes felt like hours when you were waiting, particularly if you were waiting in a hospital. Angie was glad that their younger siblings were at home, they wouldn't be able to tolerate this interminable waiting and the tortuous quiet of a hospital waiting room when the sky outside was slowly darkening.

"You go," AJ had said when the call came, "I'll watch the others. It'll be easier for everyone this way."

In any case, Philip wasn't technically allowed to drive with more than one passenger yet, so it worked out. Angie wondered where their father was. He had stepped out to get some terrible vending machine coffee what felt like nearly an hour ago, but had probably only been a few minutes. Actually knowing him, he was probably pacing the hallway while drinking two cups of coffee at once.

Angie sighed, "This waiting is enough to make anyone go crazy."

"I know," Philip replied.

"You think Dad got lost in the hallway?" Angie asked with a laugh.

"I wouldn't be surprised," Philip grinned.

The door behind the nurses' desk opened and both siblings' eyes snapped to it. The doctor who emerged wasn't familiar and the name that he called wasn't theirs.

"The more we wait, the more worried I get," mumbled Angie n

Not that she hasn't been worried when she had first received the phone call. Hearing her father talk that fast was not something to which Angie was unaccustomed, but it had been even harder than usual to understand him.

This was different than any other time, apparently their mother was supposed to have a C-section but both the doctors and their father had not said why.

The word "emergency" had been enough to spur Angie into action. It said something for how stressed her father was that he hasn't even tried to protest when Angie had said that she would be there shortly. It hasn't taken long to convince Philip to drive to the hospital.

Alex then returned with a cup of coffee in hand, the styrofoam rim had been practically demolished by his nervous picking.

"Dad," Angie called and he flinched out of his thoughts before turning his gaze on his daughter.

She didn't need to speak and simply made a small gesture, but Alex understood and sank down into the chair beside her. Angie reached out a hand and Alex grasped it, running her thumb over his knuckles.

"What's going on?" Angie asked, "Is mom okay?"

"Every time I ask, I get the same answer," Alex said, "We'll let you know when there's news. Please take a seat in the waiting room, sir."

Angie shook her head, sure she had initially been thrilled about the prospect of getting a little sister, but now she was concerned about her mother. "Well at least Jefferson can't get on your case about leaving a cabinet meeting this time," she offered with a smile.

Alex barked out a laugh, "True. I live for the weekends that he's away."

"Did Grandpa George really say that you and Secretary Jefferson never agree on anything?" Angie asked.

"That would be an understatement," Alex replied.

"How can 'never' be an understatement?" Philip scoffed, "you can't do something any less often than never."

"You can, however, be too smart for your own good," teased Alex.

"You can also," Philip shot back in the same tone, "abuse the English language too much."

"Didn't you know that's Dad's favorite pastime?" Angie grinned at her brother.

"I do not abuse the English language," Alex ruffled Angie's hair, "that was always Uncle Lafayette's job."

"He has an excuse," Philip closed his book, "English is not his first language."

"He's been using that as an excuse since college, you cannot tell me that man does not know English by now."

"I've read some of your works, Pops," Philip pointed out, "Sometimes, I think that you don't understand what a period is used for. Your sentences run on forever."

"That's before I edit," grumbled Alex.

"No," said Philip, "No it isn't."

"No it isn't," agreed Alex.

Angie laughed, "There is a reason I let Philip edit my school papers."

"As you should," Philip smirked.

"I can't believe that you were ever on the fence about being an English major," Alex said fondly.

Philip smiled, "Ange have you thought about what you want to major in?"

"I still have time to figure it out," Angie brushed his question off.

"Only a year," Philip pointed out.

"Ehh," Angie shrugged, but the truth was she was pretty certain she wanted to go for piano performance she just had yet to tell anyone about her decision.

The door behind the nurses' desk opened again and the easy calm that had settled between the three of them snapped.

Angie watched her father stiffen as he sat up straight, she but at her lower lip wondering what was to happen next.

"Hamilton?" the doctor called out.

Alex was by his side in the heartbeat, Philip and Angie close behind.

"Yes?" Alex asked.

Angie gave her brother a nervous look, what was he going to say?

"Eliza is in recovery right now, you should be able to see her as soon as she comes out from the anesthesia," the doctor told them.

"What about the baby?" asked Alex insistently.

"She's fine," soothed the doctor, "She was full term, but the baby was in breach position. Turned around the wrong way," he explained.

"I see," Alex nodded and began to smile, "at least they are alright," tears pricked at his eyes and he turned to his children, "well you have a little sister."

"Guess you're going to have to share the spot of being daddy's little girl," Philip teased.

Angie playfully elbowed him.

The doctor chuckled softly, "I know you've been waiting for a while already, but I'll have to ask you to have a seat again. I'll have a nurse call you back when Eliza wakes up."

"Alright," Alex nodded and the three of them sat down once again.

Angie leaned against Philip once more.

"It only took fifteen years," Alex laughed.

"There'll finally be some estrogen around the house," Angie said gleefully.

"Says the avid softball player," Philip grinned.

"I have plenty of feminine charm," Angie batted her eyelashes.

"And you are too much like me," Alex sighed.

"Far be it from me to argue about your feminine charms, Pops," laughed Philip.

"That is not what I was getting at," Alex shook his head.

"Sure," Philip chuckled, "what do you think Ange?"

"Oh, very charming," she agreed.

"I had to win over your mother somehow," Alex leaned forward in his chair.

"You're quite adept at using you womanly wiles, then," Angie replied with a giggle.

"Still not what I meant," Alex groaned.

"Pops we're only teasing," Philip offered a smile.

"Although from the stories Aunt Angelica and Uncle Laurens have told does make me wonder how it ever happened," Angie mused.

"Don't listen to a word they say," Alex said hurriedly, "Terrible liars, the both of them."

"Even about the time you-"

"A lie," Alex cut Angie off.

"I'm not so sure," Angie smirked, "I guess we need to ask Mom."

"Lies upon lies," insisted Alex, "I was a model student. I always handed in my work on time and I never got into fist fights with other students, not once."

"Me think the lady doth protest too much," Philip hummed.

Angie was overcome with a fit of giggles that she tried to hide by burying her face in Philip's shoulder.

"I believe the part about handing in your work," Philip glanced at his sister, "the fist fights not so much."

"What kind of world is it where a father is so doubted by his children," Alex sighed.

"Because we know better," Philip replied.

"If you want belief without hesitation, I suggest you look towards James, John, and William instead," Angie suggested.

Alex sighed and shook his head, "You strike a blow to my heart."

Angie gave a look to Philip before shifting to hug her father.

Alex chuckled and pressed a kiss to her forehead, "You'll always be my favorite eldest daughter."

"And you'll always be my favorite father," Angie responded.

"Are you really just going to leave me out of this?" Philip raised his brow.

"You're too far away," Alex pointed out, "I'm giving you an imaginary hug."

Philip laughed and shifted closer placing an arm around Angie.

"I love you so much," Alex whispered.

"Love you too, Pops," Philip said just as quietly, "And you, Angie."

"Don't tell the others, but you're my favorite," Angie murmured back to him.

"I won't," Philip smiled, "but I don't think that's much of a secret."

Angie giggled, "No, I don't think it is."

Angie was relishing this moment, her family being so large it tended to be rather chaotic around the house. Even rarer were the moments she had with her father because of the way he threw himself into his work constantly. Now Philip was going to be graduating soon and things were going to start to change. Angie would now be the oldest around the house, that thought terrified her slightly.

As if he was reading her mind, Philip have her an extra squeeze and Angie felt herself relax, even if it was a minuscule amount. She would surely miss being able to see him every day.

Angie didn't even bother to think how long they stayed like that until her father pulled away. She sat up in confusion and then saw the same doctor from before coming over towards them.

"Come on back," the doctor said with a small smile, "She's starting to wake up."

The three of them followed the doctor through the door behind the nurses station and down the hall to a small room with the walls painted a soothing yellow. Eliza's eyes were fluttering open just as they entered and Alex nearly ran to her side.

Angie stayed a couple steps behind him hesitating slightly.

Just like with William, the rolling bassinet had been attached to the side of Eliza's bed and the newest addition to the family was resting there, fast asleep and swaddled in a soft blanket.

Angie slowly took a step forward, "Hi Mom," she bit at her lower lip.

"Angie, sweetheart," Eliza said softly, still groggy from the anesthesia.

Angie looked at the bassinet at her little sister, "What's her name going to be?" she asked.

"Elizabeth," Alex replied, "Just like her mother."

Angie's chest suddenly felt tight. Just like her mother. Shouldn't she, as the older daughter, have gotten that maternal right passed to her? Would they love this new child more because of the joint name? She wondered if Philip had felt this way when AJ had been named.

She tried her best not to let these feelings show, why dampen the mood? It wouldn't be fair to anyone.

"I think I'll call her Lizzie," she said instead, proud that she was able to keep her voice steady.

"Why don't you be the first to hold her?" Eliza suggested gently.

Angie's eyes widened slightly, "Um, okay."

She slowly reached into the bassinet to lift the sleeping baby.

"Support her head," Eliza instructed, "Use your whole arm if you want to, not just your hand."

Angie's heart was thumping loudly in her ears, her breath a bit too shallow, as she cradled her sister. Lizzie made a small noise, but remained deeply asleep, as if being born had been such an exhausting ordeal for her.

The tightness in Angie's chest was replaced by warmth as she felt a rush of affection course through her. A smile broke out across her face.

"You'll always be my little girl."

Angie looked over at her father, a few small tears ran down her face.

He was searching her face with such a discerning look she almost wondered if her previous thoughts had been less hidden than she had hoped.

"Don't you ever forget that," Alex added.

All Angie could do was nod, unconsciously holding baby Lizzie closer.

Chapter Text

Eliza had been pregnant enough times that she could tell when something was wrong, and something was most certainly wrong. Considering her age and the fact that the doctors had told her after Lizzie that she would probably not be able to conceive again, finding out that she was pregnant at all had been a shock. But now...Eliza placed a hand on her belly. Something was wrong.

"Alex?" Eliza went to go and find her husband, "Alexander?"

She found his home office empty. The last she remembered was that he had been working from home, but then she'd started reading and the rest of the world has dropped away, only becoming real again when that sense of wrongness had overtaken her. Eliza moved to the kitchen and found a post-it note stuck to the fridge. She couldn't help but smile fondly at it. It had taken her some time to train Alex to not just disappear without notice, but nowadays he always left her notes.

My dear Betsey,
I have been called upon to come into the White House despite the glorious warmth of this sunny day. Undoubtedly, Jefferson has ruined something yet again. I should be back after lunch.
Yrs.
Alexander

Eliza's smile grew. Trust Alex to be verbose on a post-it note. The smile flickered into a frown as that wrong feeling returned, punctuated by a sharp pain and a trickling feeling between her legs. As quickly as she could, Eliza made her way to the bathroom. The trickling feeling revealed itself to be a few drops of blood staining her underwear. Eliza's heart was pounding in her chest.

There was no denying it, something was very wrong. She didn't want to disturb Alex at work but she didn't know what else to do. Eliza tried to steady her breathing as she went to get her phone, she knew he wouldn't answer his cell so she called his assistant Bethany.

"Office of the Secretary Treasury," Bethany's voice said over the line, clipped and professional, "How may I help you?"

"Bethany, it's Eliza," Eliza replied, letting out a small gasp as another cramping pain filtered through her.

"Good day, Elizabeth."

Bethany had a thing about calling people by their full names all the time. Despite that, her voice became warm and friendly.

"I need to talk to Alex."

"I'm sorry Elizabeth," Bethany responded, the frown evident in her voice, "He's in an important meeting with the President and the Chief of Staff."

"Bethany, there's something wrong," Eliza pushed out, "with the baby. There's something wrong and I'm frightened."

"I can't get to him," Bethany said, "They close off the phone lines except for the one for dire emergencies when they have these meetings."

Eliza felt herself panicking and again forced her breathing to slow.

"Okay, okay," she breathed, "I'm going to go to the hospital. Please tell Alex when he gets out of the meeting."

"Of course," Bethany agreed.

"And could you please call our babysitter?" Eliza continued, "Her number should be in Alex's address book, even if he doesn't know it. Tell her to pick up William and Lizzie from daycare like usual, but do let her know that I won't be home so she'll have to make them lunch and stay with them."

"Alright Mrs. Hamilton," Bethany replied.

"Thank you," Eliza hung up, she then grabbed her purse and went to drive herself to the hospital.

It probably wasn't the safest decision she could have made, the occasional stabbing pain coming in such intensity that it was difficult for her to resist the urge to just close her eyes and breathe. Instead of dealing with finding a parking spot, Eliza pulled up to the front of the hospital and allowed the valet to take charge of her minivan.

She walked in to start making her way to the ER, she figured that was her best option but she was stopped by another sharp burst of pain.

"Ma'am?"

Eliza looked to see nurse looking at her with concern, "Thank god," she muttered, "I need to go to the ER."

"What's wrong, ma'am?" the nurse asked.

"I'm just about in my third trimester," Eliza explained, "There's something wrong. It hurts, I'm bleeding, I-"

She cut herself off with a whimper. The next thing Eliza noticed was that she was being wheeled down a bright white hallway. She couldn't remember getting into a wheelchair.

"Ma'am? Ma'am, are you back with me?"

"Yes," Eliza ground out."

"Are you a patient here with us?" the nurse asked, turning another corner, which caused the red emergency room sign to come into view.

"With Dr. Harron," responded Eliza, "This is my third pregnancy under her care. My name is Eliza Hamilton."

"Okay," the nurse nodded, "I'll check, but Dr. Harron should be here today."

Eliza could barely muster a nod at this point as her pain increased.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, she was in an ER bed with some intern checking her vitals. He was biting his lip in concentration as he wrote notes on a clipboard and Eliza focused on that in order to take her mind off her fear.

She just wished that Alex would soon get the message from Bethany, Eliza did not like being here alone.

Dr. Harron arrived, pushing the curtains around the bed aside with a flick of her wrist, her eyes dark and serious.

"Eliza, you're having pain? Bleeding?"

"A lot of the first and a little of the second," relayed Eliza.

Dr. Harron snapped her fingers impatiently and the intern scurried away to retrieve a portable ultrasound unit. Eliza flinched as the cold gel touched her skin, but Dr. Harron didn't notice, swiping the ultra sound wand over and around Eliza's belly. Her brow furrowed.

"Okay, we need to get you to the OR right away."

"Can we wait for Alexander," Eliza asked, "I'm sure he'll be here soon."

Dr. Harron sighed, "I wish we could, but this is urgent."

"Alright," Eliza sighed, knowing as soon as Alex found out it was likely he would panic. "When he does come I want someone to tell him what's going on... Please?"

"I'll try."

It was the least she could do Eliza figured, she wished she could see him but Dr. Harron made it perfectly clear that now was not the time.

"So... What is wrong with me?" Eliza asked with a hint of hesitation present in her voice.

"The bleeding is not a good sign," Dr. Harron said seriously, "It's possible that the placenta has torn away from the uterine wall or something else of that nature. The good news is that you're far enough along that if we need to do an early delivery the baby is highly likely to survive."

Eliza breathed a small sigh of relief, laying back in the bed. At least Dr. Harron wasn't overly concerned. Yes, there was worry in her eyes, but they had discussed the possibility of problems considering Eliza's age. She absently signed the consent forms and listened to the anesthesiologist's rehearsed speech. She still wished that Alex was by her side.

Soon, they were wheeling her out of he main emergency room. She was struggling to keep her eyes open, the anesthesia tugging at her.

The pain was soon forgotten as was everything else as around her.

Everything was blurry when Eliza's eyes started to flutter open. There was no pain, just a light and floating sensation. Something had happened, she felt so empty for some reason. An odd sort of emptiness. Alex's concerned face appears above her, just as blurred as everything else.

"Betsey?"

She slipped into unconsciousness once more. When Eliza awoke again, everything was clearer but still a little fuzzy around the edges. She tried to shift in the bed, but a gentle hand on her arm stopped her and Alex's face appeared again.

"Are you awake this time?"

Eliza nodded her head, the words simply not coming to her. She remembered coming here and Dr. Harron rushing her into the OR, but she had absolutely not idea what had happened after that.

"The baby..." She looked at her husband, "where is he?"

Alex, who's face had been so bright, became pinched and closed off. He took her hand between both of his. Eliza felt her heart sinking.

"Is he okay," she whispered, "I know it's early, but it's not that early. Please just tell me he's okay."

"Eliza," Alex said breathed, brining her hand to his lips and placing a tender kiss to the palm of her hand.

"Just say it, Alex," Eliza begged, squeezing her eyes shut.

"It was," Alex started, then paused and took a deep breath, "He was still born, they don't," he took another breath, "Dr. Harron said that they don't really know why."

Alex squeezed her hand, Eliza shook her head, "No..." She didn't want to believe it. She had seven beautiful children and while each pregnancy had not been exactly smooth sailing nothing like this had ever happened. Eliza didn't want to believe it, it couldn't possibly be true.

Alex reached out to brush the tears from her face, Eliza hadn't even noticed that she'd been crying till that moment.

"How could this happen?"

There was the sound of a clearing throat from the door.

"Dr. Harron," greeted Alex softly.

"Can you tell me what happened?" Eliza asked, tears still slowly falling down her cheeks.

Dr. Harron sighed and pulled over a chair, seating herself with the legs crossed at the ankle.

"You developed a condition called placenta increta," the doctor explained, "The placenta penetrated the muscle of your uterus. It didn't go all the way through, but the damage was quite severe. I'm afraid this is one of those conditions of which we simply do not know the full cause. There's a higher risk of developing this condition after a c-section, but it's so rare that it wasn't a concern we could have anticipated."

"So the baby didn't survive," sniffed Eliza.

"I'm afraid not," Dr. Harron confirmed, "I'm also sorry to tell you that the damage to your uterus was too severe. We had to perform an emergency hysterectomy."

Eliza furrowed her brow, a hysterectomy? Granted, after this she and Alex had decided they weren't going to be having anymore kids... But a hysterectomy? This was something she had never anticipated happening.

She was in shock, the pain in her heart was greater than any sort of physical  pain that she felt.

"Eliza? Betsey, answer me."

He must have been calling her name for quite some time, Eliza realized, noticing the slightly frantic edge to Alex's tone.

"Sorry," she said, suddenly hit with a wave of exhaustion, "I just want to sleep."

Eliza exhaled and settled into the bed, her eyes eventually closing. Better to sleep than to think.