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There is something almost otherworldly to the sound of one’s steps in the office of the president, when night has fallen and silence reigns inside the mansion.

Washington has retired for the evening, and New York seems faded to a dark and quiet place without him, stillness only punctuated by voices of pedestrians on Pearl Street, the occasional passing carriage or rustling of servants below. For Hamilton, late remaining to attend to a few last details, a note for an essay that turned into three pages and a half, scribbled down before he thought to check the time — for Hamilton, to stand here in Washington’s office brings him as near to true reverence as he ever cares to feel.

The desk was commissioned specially, to accommodate Washington’s height and to be certain that it would be something truly imposing, worthy of their general, their President. It has, perhaps, fewer flourishes than Hamilton might like, were he given control over the matter, but there is an appeal to its unadorned solidity. It is a desk that suits George Washington.

There are no inkwells, paper or trinkets to clutter the broad, gleaming surface. It is immaculate, imposing, polished daily by the servants and otherwise hardly used for anything at all. It’s not a desk for Washington to use, but for supplicants to approach.

For that fact alone, Hamilton loves it more than he should.

There are footsteps in the hallway before the door behind Hamilton is pushed open, obediently silent on its hinges. He hates knowing that a man like Thomas Jefferson has any right to set foot in this office, let alone do it so carelessly, with his easy open contempt for the office of a man greater than he could ever hope to be, a man he should bow down to—

“Mr. Secretary,” Hamilton says grudgingly, before turning away.

He can feel Jefferson’s eyes on him, possessive in a way that crawls over his skin. Worse, because Hamilton’s stooped low enough to give him an excuse. “You’re late.”

He isn’t. They had no plans. An easy thing to remember, since they never actually make plans, or admit what they’re going to do until it’s happening. It’s just something Jefferson likes to say, when he feels like fucking Hamilton and doesn’t get his way immediately. “I had work to do.”

“Yeah,” Jefferson drawls, his steps curving in a lazy half-circle, closer and closer until Hamilton’s back is drawn tense and he can feel Jefferson behind him, just out of reach. “Melting down the silver to make him a crown while he’s asleep?”

Hamilton turns his head to glare but it just doesn’t feel like enough. He has to turn around, arms crossed, with Washington’s desk behind him. “Shut up. Some of us spend time doing the work of governing.”

“Uh-huh.” He’s not even pretending to listen to Hamilton, just moving steadily closer.

“Not here.” He tries to sidle away but is blocked by Jefferson’s arm, by the surprise and dawning delight painted across every line of Jefferson’s face. It is far more ammunition than he ought to have ever been permitted.

“Not here?” Jefferson repeats, eyes mockingly wide. Presumably he only looks around the room for dramatic effect. “Not here. And why’s that?”

There are lines he shouldn’t be dragged across, not here, parts of his life that should never be forced to meet. And this, the weak and desperate creature he becomes for Jefferson, cannot be allowed to taint a single moment spent in Washington’s presence. “Stop it.”

“Or,” says Jefferson, sinking smoothly to his knees.

Shock keeps him still, at first. Jefferson has never been as generous as this. Jefferson is sharp cruel smiles, long legs and graceful fingers tangled in Hamilton’s hair, fucking him after cabinet meetings and laughing when Hamilton walks unsteadily after.

Then he’s trapped by the unbearable softness of his lips, pressed to the tip of Hamilton’s cock before they part and Hamilton groans, engulfed by the heat of Jefferson’s mouth. He can’t help the motions of his hips, the way he clutches the edge of the desk behind him, cock swelling with every lazy twitch of Jefferson’s tongue.

He barely even tries. He doesn’t have to, because Hamilton is easy for this like he’s easy for just about anything and he’s pictured this more times that he should’ve, on days when Jefferson won’t stop fucking fighting him. Still, he tries to inch away from the edge of the desk, but Jefferson won’t let him. He’s got his hands pressed to Hamilton’s hips, holding him still.

Predictably, Jefferson is quickly bored by any activity that keeps him from taunting Hamilton, let alone one that promises no personal pleasure. He rises to his feet in one irritatingly graceful rush of motion, wipes at his mouth and gets a hand around Hamilton’s dick instead.

“We can go somewhere else,” Hamilton tries, too desperate to care how he sounds. “Anywhere.”

Jefferson snorts. His eyes are far too close. “You think he’s gonna notice where you’ve been?”

He fixes his gaze over Jefferson’s shoulder and says, unwisely, “I’ll know.”

“Yeah.” He’s not holding Hamilton still anymore, just holding his cock and stroking it lazily. The end result is the same. Hamilton presses his face against Jefferson’s jacket, lip bitten hard at the corner to stop any sounds, and pushes into the too-slack grip of Jefferson’s fingers. “You’ll remember this for a long time. Won’t you, Alexander?”

He somehow has the presence of mind to be annoyed by the inaccuracy. It’s not that he will remember it (though, of course, he will, and at the most inconvenient possible moments), it’s that right now, he is very near the spot where he last spoke to Washington, now flushed hot and sweating and squirming while Jefferson fondles him, and he can’t— he wants to know what Washington would think, if he saw. Would he be furious, or horrified, would he punish Alexander for what he’s done—

Jefferson turns him, spreads a hand on his back and shoves down so Hamilton has to brace his hands against the desk to stop his own forward momentum. When he lifts his head he sees Washington’s empty chair, that space Washington is meant to fill, and it’s so much easier to picture what might happen if he was there.

“No,” he whines weakly, smearing Jefferson’s hand with precome and fucking desperately into that loose grip. He can’t take any more. He’s going to take whatever he’s given.

Jefferson makes as if he’s going to let him go, and laughs when Hamilton grabs frantically at his wrist, holding him in place. “No, huh. Would you rather I had you in the chair?”

There’s a moment when he really thinks he might come just from the words, just thinking about it—on Washington’s throne, in his lap, those heavy hands braced on either side of him. Jefferson gets a hand behind his knee and hikes it up onto the desk, which means three things—that Hamilton can’t possibly balance, and is rocked by every shift of his weight, every twist of Jefferson’s fingers inside him; that his cock, which had been trapped between him and the desk, the head dragging along the smooth polished wood and leaving a sticky trail in its wake, is now beneath him, its length and the aching weight of his balls pressed and dragged against the surface of Washington’s desk; and that if someone came to the door, made curious by the noise, Jefferson would only need to step aside to expose Hamilton, sprawled and stretched open on the President’s desk.

“I was gonna get you to beg,” says Jefferson, horribly calm and smug. He loves finding situations where he’s less affected than Hamilton, where he gets the upper hand. “But I guess he wouldn’t do that. He’d just tell you what to do and you’d do it.”

“Don’t compare yourself to him.” It feels like an insult before he says it, but once the words have escaped Hamilton can only think that he’s given yet another advantage.

“You know it’s just a desk.”

He can’t tell, honestly, if that’s a taunt or just the kind of comment Jefferson would be stupid enough to make. It’s not just a desk, or an office, it’s the seat of their president’s power and this is sacrilege, this is shameful, reduced to whining and rutting against the furniture when here, of all places, people ought to fall to their knees and be grateful for a chance to pay their respects.

“It really bothers you! Oh, that’s precious.”

He’s just opening his mouth to reply when Jefferson pushes into him and Hamilton is—he’s unprepared for the violence of his response, the way he arches and clutches the desk’s far edge, throat emptied of a ragged incoherent groan instead of words.

There’s a low thud, desk wobbling ever so slightly with every thrust, and Hamilton feels hot all over, face burning, the wetness dripping from his cock slowly spreading as he’s pushed back and forth, making it slick between him and the unforgiving surface.

“Hurry up,” he says, half a groan. Jefferson fucks him harder instead, the noise louder than ever.

Jefferson drags him up with an arm around his waist, gets Hamilton unsteadily braced with one knee on the desk and his other foot barely touching the ground. It means he can watch, shuddering in Jefferson’s grip, as he starts to come, the mess of it obscene against the dark wood, wrung out by Jefferson’s merciless hands. He lets go, nearly lets Hamilton fall before dragging him back and onto the floor.

His feet are unsteady, he staggers and Jefferson has to balance him.

“Nice work,” he says dryly, sardonic while Hamilton fights to breathe and tries not to stare at what he’s done—what Jefferson made him do. He desperately needs the distinction.

But even now, Jefferson isn’t through with him. He keeps at it while Hamilton’s mind clears, his overheated sweaty skin gone clammy with nerves, and the few brief moments before Jefferson comes, the familiar, deliciously brutal slaps of his hips against Hamilton’s skin, seem to stretch out for an age. He has to clean this up somehow. He has to get out of here.

The mess is not so difficult to deal with, despite his unsteady steps as he moves about the room. A matter of dipping a handkerchief in the basin by the corner, mopping up the mess with cold hands and his face burning, then taking another handkerchief directly from Jefferson’s pocket. Best to willfully ignore that sharp, mocking burst of laughter.

Of course, it’s only once the desk is clean that another problem occurs to Hamilton — namely, that the air is rank with the smell of sex, of sweat and come and him bent over and fucked in the President’s office.

What if Washington can still smell it in the morning? Will he ask—would he ask Hamilton if he notices, Hamilton who just—

It won’t happen. It can’t possibly.

Hamilton is so deeply, belatedly mortified that he’d like to crawl out of his own skin.

Jefferson walks over to one of the windows and pulls it open a few inches. “Try not to pass out on the carpet,” he suggests, with an indolent smirk cast down upon the street.

Damn him. Hamilton wipes at the desk, one last time, his movements sharp with agitation that only deepens with every moment he spends here, and prays he hasn’t missed a spot that daylight will reveal.

All he wants is to leave the mansion in peace, alone, so of course Jefferson follows closely, nearly treading on his heels, brushing against Hamilton with every step. The knowledge of what they’ve done seems to cling between their bodies, lending weight to the air itself, inescapable until he can reach the street and be rid of all that’s happened.

For now, he can push aside the uglier truth, that he’ll never be free of it and wouldn’t want to be.

He knows where his gaze will always land, in that room, when Washington denies him and leaves him with nothing but spite for a balm. When he has to settle for scraps of the president’s attention, the smallest hints of favor, when he runs up against the brick walls of bureaucracy and compromise and is asked to make concessions for sheer idiocy—he will still have tonight. A hot coal held vengefully tight in his palm, warming what it does not burn.

Better to burn, Alexander thinks, than let himself be left out in the cold.

Outside, he breathes in spring air and smoke, paying no attention to Jefferson or his departure, any more than he thinks of the satisfied ache in his body. None of it matters much, now that Hamilton has gotten what he needs.