Don not read the warning if you do not want a small spoiler for this chapter. WARNING! It’s the ten duel commandments…
The next morning, Alex is this close to sneaking in a second cup of coffee, but Laff catches his just in time. “No,” he says firmly.
As they eat breakfast, Alex says, “I finished the book last night, and I have all of my notes. Let’s hope today goes well with Lee…”
“We’ll be fine. Now we better get going so that we can get to the bus stop on time.” They grab their things and head outside. It’s overcast, and the air feels humid. Well, this will be a nightmare for John and Laff, Alex thinks. Their hair gets all puffy in the humidity. But at least their hair is always up in a ponytail. He also worries about an oncoming storm, but he pushes that out of his mind. No need to think of that right now.
As Alex and his friends walk down the hall, kids start to whisper to one another. Some of them even call him “Glitter Boy.” Alexander’s hands clenched into fists.
Like always, John is the one to comfort him. He puts his hand on his shoulder and says, “Don’t listen to them Alex.” The bell rings and they make their way to social studies.
Jefferson is almost late to history. And I swear it’s like it’s High School Musical or something; he comes in and sings the words, “So what’d I miss?”
“Thomas, that is not how you ask for what absent work you missed.”
“Sorry Mr. Washington.” He raises his hand, and he does it in a way that makes him look sarcastic.
“What did I miss while I was gone?”
“Check the absent bin.” Jefferson walks to the back of the room and grabs the worksheets they did. As he passes Alexander, he whispers, “Glitter Boy.” It takes all of his willpower not to punch him in the face.
At the end of class, Mr. Washington calls, “Alexander! May I talk to you for a moment?” Fearing the worst, he takes one last look at his friends before going up to the teacher.
“Yes Mr. Washington?”
“I’ve noticed that you don’t exactly get along with a few people in this class. So, I’m going to make you promise me something.”
“Please, don’t get into any fights, okay?”
Alex hesitates before saying, “Okay, Mr. Washington.” He nods, dismissing Hamilton. He heads out and tells his friends what he said. “So now I can’t do anything without getting on Mr. Washington’s bad side.”
“Well, you’ll just have to take it outside of school, then,” Herc says.
Right before lunch, John stops by his locker to grab something. His friends wait on the other side of the hallway. Just then, Cora comes over.
“Hey John!” she says. She tells hers friends that she’ll meet them in a few minutes, and they leave, giggling.
“Oh, hey Cora. Listen, there’s something we need to talk about.” He rubs the back of his neck, nervous. Her smile falters slightly. “Listen, you’re a really nice person and all, but… I just don’t feel the same way about you.” He bites his lip, wanting to get out of there ASAP.
A smile crosses her face. “Yeah, I kinda figured that out.”
John takes his eyes off the floor and looks at her. “You did?”
“Yeah, I see the way you look at ‘em.” John glances behind her. There’s a girl standing not to far away from his friends. Heat creeps onto his face as he looks at his crush.
“I swear I make it so obvious, but they’re just oblivious.”
She nods, as if she understands. “Yeah, sorry about that. Well, I gotta go, bye!” She leaves.
John joins his friends and they walk outside. Apparently, they took too long getting to their seat. ‘King’ George, Samuel Seabury, and (surprisingly) Charles Lee is sitting at their table.
“Hey. This is our spot,” Alex says. But he already knows it’ll take more then that to make them move.
“Hey, first come first serve. Isn’t that what you told us?” George replies, a grin on his face.
John looks at Charles and asks, “Why are you here?”
“Why do you care?” he shoots back.
“I care because if you make us angry now, it’s be four against one when we decide how our project should be set up.”
“Pft. I don’t care about that stupid project,” Lee lies. John glares at him.
“Okay then,” Alex says, “If you guys won’t let us sit here, I guess we’ll just sit with you. It’s not like anyone’s telling us we can’t!” He sits down at an empty spot and pulls out his lunch. “You guys coming?” he asks his friends.
John sits down next to Alex, still glaring at Charles Lee. Lafayette and Hercules follow. “You can’t just sit with us!” Samuel objects.
“Watch us,” Laff replies.
There is a few moments of intense glaring before George stand up and tells Samuel, “Let’s go. I don’t want to be around these filthy peasants.” They leave, but Charles stays.
After Laff and Herc fill up the other seats, Alex turns to Charles. “So? You staying or going?”
“Zip it Glitter Boy. You and your friends can’t make me do anything.”
“I don’t have to zip it. I can do whatever I want!”
“How’s a shortie like you gonna give me anything more than a couple bruises?”
“He’s not,” John interjects.
While this conversation was going on, his temper had slowly climbed. “I am,” he says defiantly.
Charles laughs. “You, Turtle Boy? Yeah, right. You’d never pick a fight if your life depended on it. Come on, I dare you to punch me.”
“Watch me,” he growls. Lee’s face begins to show fear as John stands up and pulls out his fist. He strikes him square in the face. This knocks Charles to the ground. He climbs back up, his lip bleeding and a bruise beginning to form on his cheek.
“Huh. I guess I underestimated you.” He fist connects with Johns jaw, making him stumble backward. By now, the whole Hamilsquad is standing.
Alex steadies his friends and says, “What are you doing! You’re going to get in trouble!”
John wipes the blood from his lip. “Too late now, so might as well finish it.” He lunges at Charles and grabs a fistful of his hair while his other arm punches him square in the nose. A satisfying crack proves that his nose is broken. Lee pushes him off roughly, making him fall to the ground.
Alex tries to get between them. “Guys, enough. You’ve both proven your point, alright?” Charles pushes him aside. He draws back his foot, about to kick John. But he’s faster. He swings out his leg, making Lee trip and fall. His head hits the table before he crashes to the ground. A circle has formed around them, and most people have taken out their phones.
“John, stop!” Alex yells, pulling his friend back. This is the advantage Charles was looking for. He gets to his feet, a little shaky, before punching Alex for absolutely no reason other than he’s trying to interfere.
This is the last straw for John. He tackles Lee to the ground. He has the advantage and starts to punch Lee in the face continuously. Lafayette tries to pull him off, but he is stubborn (for once in his life).
Just then, Mr. Washington and Principal Fredrick make their way through the crowd. “What is the meaning of this!” Washington demands.
John looks up, and when he sees these imposing figures, he hurriedly gets off of Charles. The rage has drained out of his face and is replaced with fear.
“John, Charles, nurse’s office, now,” Principal Frederick commands. When he sees Alex getting to his feet, his lips bleeding and the wound on his cheek reopened, he adds, “You too, Alexander.”
“Alright everyone, clear out, clear out!” Washington says. Everyone immediately moves. They head to the nurses office. Even though they weren’t asked to come, Lafayette and Hercules follow. No one stops them.
As the nurse is fixing them up, Principal Fredrick scolds. “Boys, you know fighting is not allowed at school! Now, the first thing I want you to tell em is who threw the first punch.”
“I did,” John admits, not a hint of regret in his voice.
“And who punched Alex?”
“I did,” Charles says shamefully.
Alex then tells the principal the rest of the story.
“I see. Well, Charles, you will be suspended from school for two days and you will serve three lunch detentions with me personally. And John, you will be expelled.”
“But Principal Frederick! Charles provoked him!” Lafayette objects. “He said, ‘You’d never pick a fight if your life depended on it. Come on, I dare you to punch me.’ Plus, he was offending us!”
Frederick turns to Charles. “Is this true?” Lee hangs his head. “I see. Well, then, both of you will be suspended for two days and you will each get five lunch detentions with me.”
“Okay sir,” John says.
“Alright,” Charles murmurs.
Alex speaks up. “Uh, sir? We have a history project we all have to do together, and I was wondering if he’d be switched to another group or if we still have to work together after school.”
“Oh, you’ll still have to work together. It will help you get along with one another.” They both lower their heads.
The nurse tells Charles, “Your parents are on their way to take you to the hospital. Your’s too, John, so their insurance can pay for the injury and so they can take you home. And rest of you boys better get to class.”
“Bye John, see you after school, Laff’s house for the project. You too, Lee. You have the address, right?” Alex asks. Lee nods. With that, the bandaged Alex and his friends leave, heading to their next period.
John’s dad was the one who picked him up. He would have preferred his mother. “John, this is so unlike you! Fighting someone like that! What were you thinking?”
John recounts the story for his father. “I am very disappointed in you! But, don’t tell anyone I said this, but at least you won.” This statement surprises John. He expected a severe scolding, not… pride. “But, this will also cost your mum and I lots of money.” Good feeling gone. “And I know your school punished you, but I’m going to add something to that. During your days of suspension, you will be cleaning the house. That is, until your friends bring you your homework, and you have to work on that.”
“Hey! You’re lucky you didn’t get expelled! Now be grateful for what you got. Do you know how hard it is to get a student into a school after they were expelled?”
Back at school, people keep asking Alex about the fight. He tells a few people, but then he gets tired of repeating himself, so he just tells them to look at the videos people will have posted by now. The only exception to this is Eliza.
After he tells her the story (with no exaggerations), she says, “Oh my gosh! It’s lucky that John didn’t get suspended. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. The sprained ankle was worse.”
“Are you sure?”
At the end of the day, once Laff, Alex, and Herc are at Lafayette’s house, there’s a knock on the door. Alex opens it to find a smug looking John and Charles, who looks mad as heck. His nose isn’t as crooked as before, but it’s not straight, either.
“Welcome!” Alexander says dramatically, mainly to John.
Charles shoves past him. Alex moves out of the way for John. They meet Laff and Herc in the backyard. “Hello!” Herc greets them. “You got all of your notes and such?” They both nod.
“Good, let’s get to work,” Laff says. For an hour or two, they compare and piece together notes before creating the script for their skit. As expected, it turns into an argument of who’s going to play who.
“I’ll play George Washington,” Charles states. “I am the most like him after all. A natural born leader, in other words.”
“No you’re not!” Alex objects.
“Shut up Alexander. You have no say in this conversation, since you’re going to play Alexander Hamilton.”
“I do have a say in this conversation, because I am part of the group.”
“I think Herc should be Washington,” Lafayette declares.
“Me? Why me?” Hercules asks.
“Because you’d make a more convincing Washington than the rest of us,” he states. “And you’re a lot like him.”
“Wha- but-” Charles begins to protest.
“Oh shut up Lee,” Alex.
“Don’t tell me to shut up!” he yells. Before anyone else can register what’s happening, Charles slaps him across the face. This makes the wound on his lip open up and a red hand mark appear on his face.”
“What the heck Lee!” Lafayette shouts.
Alex tries to wipe away the blood, but it keeps pouring. “Come on Alex, let’s clean that up,” John says, leaving the others to bicker.
They head into the downstairs bathroom. John gets a cloth wet and starts to wipe away the blood. “Open your mouth like this,” he tells Alex, parting his lips slightly. He does as he’s told, and John applies pressure to the wound with the cloth. Alexander doesn’t like the texture of the cloth, but it’s better than having a bleeding lip.
“Lee is such a jerk,” Laurens says.
“I know right,” his friends says, the cloth still on his lips.
“Hey, you can’t move!”
“Sorry,” Alex mumbles, even though John just told his to not move.
After another minute, the bleeding has stopped. “There, all better. Do you want me to put a bandage on it and kiss it, too?” John asks jokingly. Alex lets out a laugh before heading out, his friend trailing behind him.
When they get back outside, they find it’s better than they expected. All of them are standing, their fists clenched. But by the look of it, no one has thrown a punch. Yet. When Laff sees them come out, he relaxes and smiles. “Hey guys!” he says casually. “We were wondering where you were!”
Lee (tries) to use this temporary weakness to his advantage. And boy, does he fail miserably. When he tries to punch him, Lafayette grabs his wrist (without looking!) and in one swift movement has that arm pinned to his back. In a calm, deadly voice he says, “One move and I snap your arm. So, are you going to cooperate?” Charles nods his head vigorously. “Good.” He releases him.
They continue working on their project until five o’clock, with no more troubles. Sure, Charles is not happy, but who cares about him? He’s just a jerk anyway. Well, at least, that’s what the Hamilsquad thinks. They decide to meet on Thursday instead of tomorrow, and then the next Monday to finish practising their project. Hercules is even going to make costumes for all of them!
John and Herc go back to their houses, and Alexander starts on his other homework. Once that is finished, he eats dinner before practising his script. Yeah, let’s just say… he stays up until two in the morning practising, reading, and writing. And once again, John seems to know.
I know you’re awake. Go to bed. He texts.
Slightly confused, Alex asks, How do you always know?
Because your bedroom light is the only one on in the whole neighborhood. I can see it from my room.
…fine Alex texts before climbing into bed. He crashes almost instantly.