Title: Witness of Love and Gods
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: Alexander the Great (movie)
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Alexander, Bagoas, Cassander, Cleitus, Crateros, Hephaistion, Ptolemy
Pairings: Alexander/Hephaistion, Hephaistion/Ptolemy (implied Alexander/Roxanne, Ptolemy/Thais)
Summary: Movie-fic. Ptolemy told much about Alexander and his life to the generations after, but there are also many stories that shall never be repeated...
Warnings: m/m -relationship, violence, character’s death
Author’s Note: This chapter was updated and at some parts re-written to its proper form 24th of October 2005.
#Alexander’s hunt for Darius was maddening. It tested the faith of his men and generals, but most of all, the faith of those who loved him. Many loved Alexander, for he was a man who made you desire to trust him, love him. And when you loved him, he loved you back with equal force. When his men wept, he wept with them. He joined in their joy and misery, and shared every hardship on our way – as an equal.
This is what we saw: a man with a dream and great compassion. A man with wisdom. But what Alexander was truly like, I think very few saw. Hephaistion once told me that Alexander was naive, and somehow that made sense. And after all I had no reason not to believe his words, for of all people around Alexander, only Hephaistion knew him completely. He was the only one to whom Alexander was fully open and honest.
Hephaistion very sparsely told me anything specific of Alexander. I could have red something between the lines, but he took those secrets to the grave with him. He knew how blindly Alexander trusted him, and he was not willing to betray that trust.
Of all of us, he was the man of honour.
But during the hunt for Darius, and after that the hunt for his generals, Hephaistion was forced to finally see the full scale of the events revolving around us. Like this, Alexander would never see his dream fulfilled. Someone had to slow him down.#
Hephaistion sat upon his horse, his eyes searching the landscape before them. Dry, deserted miles spread out around them, wind raising clouds of sand to the air. No plant could be seen from the place where he sat, and it gave him a feel of uneasiness: they were so far away from everything living. And somewhere out there was hiding a group of Asians, their leader being one of those generals who had killed Darius.
Shifting, Hephaistion looked at the men gathered behind him, a part of Alexander’s cavalry. As soon as the scouts would spot the hiding enemy, they would charge forward. But for now, they would wait for a call.
Hephaistion’s horse snorted under him, moving uneasily. He bent forward and ran a soothing hand over the horse’s neck. “Soon,” he whispered, trying to calm the animal. The horse shook his head, snorting again. Hephaistion sat back up, his legs shifting against the horse’s sides. Men moved behind him and the soft sound of weapons being drawn reached his ears. It seemed that others were also nervous.
“Men are ready,” a soft voice spoke next to him, and Hephaistion glanced at Ptolemy who guided his horse beside his own. “They seem eager for a battle after this long hunt.”
“And every time they hope it will be the last,” Hephaistion noted. “At least I do.”
“You have no desire for battles, then?” Ptolemy asked, just to keep the conversation going.
“In every battle, there is a risk we lose those we care about. And at the moment I worry about our king,” he murmured, his words meant only for Ptolemy’s ears.
“Alexander is quite safe, all his men are ready to give their lives for him,” Ptolemy insisted, his eyes fully upon Hephaistion now. You, among them.
“Yet he may die. His need to pursue these enemies is making him blind for much that happens around him,” Hephaistion said quietly, his eyes falling back to the world before them.
#What Hephaistion meant exactly with his words was never known to me. Maybe he saw something that I did not, sensed a new wave of malcontent among the men. The scouts returned before I was able to pursue the matter further, and we joined in the fight with the rest of the army that we had to accompany us. But I couldn’t forget his words, and even in the midst of the battle his words kept haunting me. What did he refer to when he spoke of things happening around Alexander? Did Hephaistion know something that I did not? Later on I learned quite well what he had meant, but some things were always meant to stay secrets…#
The battle had ended, Alexander hunting the rest of the group towards the north-east. Some of the Asians were attempting a desperate escape, but anyone with a sane mind knew that Alexander’s cavalry would catch them in no time.
Ptolemy walked through their temporary camp, his eyes scanning the condition of the men and horses. There was not much damage done to them, as the resistance had been slight and the Asians had been tired and lacking in tactics, but it was important for him to know how much harm had befallen them. No men were dead, but many were hurt, it seemed. Passing one temporary shelter, Ptolemy halted, noticing a familiar face. He turned immediately, worry upon his features. “Hephaistion, what happened?” he asked urgently, stepping into the small space.
Hephaistion looked up from his place on the sandy floor, nodding at Ptolemy. “It is only a minor wound,” he explained, hissing as an attending soldier pressed his bleeding leg none too gently to stop the loss of blood. “It is not deep.” He glanced down at his wounded limb.
Ptolemy kneeled down, inspecting the injury. Indeed, it was not deep, and the bleeding had already lessened. “We are lucky,” he whispered beneath his breath. Hephaistion’s raised eyebrow told him that his words had been heard, and he looked up to the blue eyes, meeting them without hesitation.
No words were spoken between them, but they both understood. The soldier tending Hephaistion’s leg rose to search for a piece of cloth to bind the wound with, and when he returned, Ptolemy indicated that he would take care of the other general. The soldier bowed, handing Ptolemy the piece of fabric, and moved out from the shelter.
As soon as the soldier left them, Hephaistion let out a long sigh, his eyes resting upon Ptolemy as the other man bound his leg with careful fingers. “You hold me too important,” Hephaistion said finally, his voice hollow.
“I know your worth, even if you do not. And so does Alexander,” Ptolemy replied, finally meeting the other’s eyes as he finished his task, yet his hands remained on their place upon Hephaistion’s thigh. “Or maybe it is just that you do not see the situation as I do.”
“Does it matter?” Hephaistion whispered. “Alexander makes his own decisions.”
“But if you oppose him, he will hesitate,” Ptolemy smiled. “He has done so since he was a child. Not that you have opposed him often.”
Hephaistion’s eyes flashed, sudden anger in them. “And what do you want? To rule Alexander’s actions through me?”
Ptolemy looked around alarmed, Hephaistion’s voice loud in his ears. He did not wish anyone else to overhear them. “I would not wish to control him for my own needs, if that would be the case. I would control him for his own good. Keeping him as a king is important – both for us and for Macedonia.”
Hephaistion was silent, his eyes locked with Ptolemy’s.
#His eyes bore into mine, and even if I could have looked away, I didn’t dare. There was something in the air around him, at that moment, that I had never felt before. It made my heart speed up in my chest, my skin tingle, and for once I understood how dangerous Hephaistion could have been if he had wanted. But after a moment he turned away, hiding his smile from me as he rose to stand and walked away.
But at that moment I understood that we had reached an understanding. I wasn’t alone with my thoughts anymore. And it comforted me greatly to know that it was Hephaistion who shared my secret plans, and no other. With him, I could make a difference.#
to be continued...