Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: Alexander the Great
Era: Spanning the years between 342–323 B.C.
Genre: Romance, drama
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Alexander, Hephaistion (Bagoas, Olympias, Roxane and several others mentioned)
Summary: Through the years and across the miles, one man held Alexander’s heart.
Work in progress.
Warnings: Sexual situations between two men (slash), description of violence, brutality, war and death.
During their stay in Babylon, amidst the celebration of victories won and great treasures claimed, Alexander often walked the streets of his new home, watching the Persians and learning how different they really were from his people.
Hephaistion would sometimes accompany him, which Alexander accepted gladly, and they would move along the smaller streets, dressed less like Macedonian royalty so they would not alarm the locals.
It was on one such occasion when Hephaistion suddenly stopped, prompting Alexander to do the same. For a moment he stood there, uncertain of what Hephaistion found so intriguing, then he realized that in the half-shadows of another alley, two shapes were moving in the familiar rhythm of lovemaking.
Hephaistion was openly staring, although there was a slight frown on his face. Alexander knew why: this was not how their people coupled. Not in the open where anyone could see it.
After a moment Hephaistion resumed walking, Alexander falling into a step beside him. Perhaps it was his imagination, but he thought he could still hear the woman’s gasps and the grunts of the man…
“We can learn from them,” Alexander told his friend yet again, although he knew he did not need to convince Hephaistion of that. They were of one heart, one mind, and thus they usually agreed on everything. Not because Alexander was now the king, but because… that was how it had always been.
“Do we need to learn that?” Hephaistion asked, but a slight smile played on his lips.
They headed back towards the palace, and still his friend seemed to be of good humour.
“Does something amuse you?” Alexander asked.
“It just reminded me of another incident, long time ago…” Hephaistion confessed as they stepped inside, walking close by each other so as to keep their discussion hidden from eavesdroppers, of which there were many. “You and me,” Hephaistion went on after they passed a group of people who all bowed towards Alexander, “lying under the bushes in Pella.”
For a moment Alexander was not certain which event in their long history together Hephaistion was referring to, but then it began to dawn on him, and he too had to smile. “Not one of our finest moments,” he said.
“No?” Hephaistion mused, a brief smile on his lips again. Alexander wished he was not so serious, sometimes. “At least we did not get caught. That counts for something, I reckon.”
Alexander had to admit that was true. Getting caught would have been so much worse.
After they said goodbye to each other and Alexander stepped into his rooms, Bagoas prepared his bath. While immersed in the hot water, the Persian’s skilled hands washing his body, Alexander could not help but think back to that glorious afternoon when Hephaistion tugged his hand and said he wanted to show him something. Something special…
Alexander was doing nothing special, so when Hephaistion ran over, an excited gleam in his eyes, and took his hand, he knew something magical was going to happen.
“Come, Alexander!” Hephaistion said urgently. “There is something I want to show you. Something… special.”
Alexander did not particularly care whether it was something special or fairly common as long as they were doing it together. Being with Hephaistion was, after all, very important to him, and he probably gave it too much meaning if some people were to be believed, yet that did not concern him.
They raced up a hill and into a forest where they had to slow down a bit, then after a while Hephaistion crouched down low, signalled Alexander to be quiet, and they walked more slowly. In the distance, there was a faint trickle of water, and Hephaistion got down, Alexander following him, crawling behind him slowly and as quietly as he could.
They finally settled down beneath some bushes, which was hardly a comfortable place to lie in amidst roots, dirt and sharp pieces of wood. Alexander looked at his friend, ready to ask him what was so important that they should lie here of all places, especially when in front of them there was a surprisingly green patch of grass, but Hephaistion was staring at that very spot with such concentration that Alexander decided something must be going on.
No sooner had he thought that did two shapes appear; boys, some years older than himself and Hephaistion, who also lived in Pella, although Alexander did not know them by name. They walked together in a strange kind of hush, then stopped when they reached the grassy area. They looked at each other, sort of awkwardly at first, then one stepped towards the other and they kissed. Quite soon all stiffness was gone from them, and Alexander found his heart beating hard in his throat.
The boys kept kissing, then began to undress. Alexander was not certain whether to keep watching or avert his eyes; this was not a moment for others to see, and he felt like he was intruding, but he could not leave without making a sound, and Hephaistion was beside him, eyes wide and keen, so Alexander watched him instead, wondering how the other boy was feeling. Excited? Nervous? Did he want to leave as well?
Next time he looked down, the boys were lying down, and their clothing had been removed. They were touching each other, and Alexander’s eyes followed the movements of their hands, tracing between the places where their lips touched the others’ skin…
Soon one of the boys moved on top, reaching for a vial of some sort of oil that lay on top of his clothes, and then he lay back on top of his friend, moving into him.
Beside him, Hephaistion shifted, and whether it was an accident or on purpose, his hand lay on top of Alexander’s. His palm was warm and sweaty, and Alexander felt his skin flush as they watched the boys move, grunting and sighing, their bodies soon glistening in the sun.
It seemed to go on forever as they moved, and afterwards they washed themselves in the river, put on their clothes, and walked away in that same strange silence.
Alexander still felt strangely choked when he could no longer hear their steps.
“They come here, at this very same time, every few days,” Hephaistion said, his voice husky.
“How do you know?” Alexander asked without even thinking about the question.
Hephaistion blushed slightly. “I once stumbled upon them by accident, and…”
Alexander did not care, strangely enough. He turned a bit, a few sharp twigs hurting his side as he did, but he remained there, looking at Hephaistion, whose blond hair had all kinds of leaves and dirt sticking out of it. “You were right, this was special,” Alexander told him.
Hephaistion smiled, looking relieved.
Until now, he had sometimes wondered how exactly to… express his need to be closer to Hephaistion. Of course he knew some things about it, especially what came naturally and the things he had seen before, but today had been the best chapter in his education so far.
Hephaistion was still a little flushed, lying there, and Alexander noticed their hands were still touching. Slowly he moved his own around, grasping Hephaistion’s fingers with his. “I want us to do that,” he proclaimed.
His friend nodded at him slowly, his eyes keen and full of that same trust and love that was always greeting Alexander these days.
“Not here,” Alexander added.
Hephaistion laughed, releasing some of the strange tension between them. “No,” he agreed. “I think I have a spider crawling up my back, and… this spot is already taken.”
“We’ll find our own,” Alexander grinned back at him.
As odd and strange as it had been – not to mention embarrassing had they been caught – he felt strange enlightened. As they crawled from their hiding place and started to walk back, Alexander took Hephaistion’s hand and walked right beside him until they could see the first houses on the edge of Pella.
All the way back to his own room, Alexander could still feel his hand tingling, remembering how Hephaistion’s touch had felt. Then he remembered the two boys on the grass, and he could feel a stifling pressure of exhilaration and dread grow in his chest; he was looking forward to lying down with Hephaistion, but it also made him feel incredibly nervous.
Alexander was determined to make any such hesitation disappear by the time they did it, though.
to be continued…