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-edited to its proper form 25th of October 2005.
#The wedding was a glorious occasion, as Alexander himself said, all people gathered up to celebrate with their king. Those of us who disagreed with Alexander kept their peace, knowing that it would have been futile to try and oppose him at this point. But it didn’t mean that the king’s decision sat well with us.
There were numerous reasons why we didn’t support Alexander’s decision. And what worried me most was Hephaistion’s reason. Every time I stole a glance in his direction, I saw the displeasure there. The helpless anger. And pain. But Alexander did not see it, his joy blinding him from the outside world.
Alexander promised that the debts of those who had travelled with him the long way from Macedonia and Greece would be paid from his royal treasury. He promised wedding dowries to women who had came with us, and proper education and training to their children.. This awoke more hate among some of the Friends, but they swallowed their complaints. Hephaistion saw this, his silent mood telling me that something was wrong. But before I was able to pursue him for it, he had left the celebration.
Alexander barely noticed.
It was long hours later when I saw Hephaistion again, though I did not know that this very night would change my life forever…#
Joyous shouts and uneven singing carried through the night-air, the sound of mugs clashing together erupting a new wave of laughter. Burning torches and flames glowed, making the darkness itself dance around them. A slow breeze of wind moved the lights, and passed through the quiet part of the village without further notice from anyone.
Hephaistion welcomed the cool wind, as it soothed his heated skin. His eyes burned, and finally he let the tears fall, no longer able to keep the full force of his emotions inside. He leaned against the wooden pillar of one of houses in the Asian village, well away from the feast, feeling light-headed. His fingers dug to the hard surface and he let his head fall back. “Alexander…” he whispered brokenly, a shuddery breath shaking his body. “Why did you have to do this to us… What did I ever do?” Blue eyes gazed at the heavens above, begging for an answer. “What did I do..?” he asked again, closing his eyes in despair.
Something moved in the darkness and Hephaistion shifted his head wearily, not actually caring who was coming. He was beyond caring at the moment. His eyes widened slightly when he recognised Ptolemy, but the surprise didn’t last long. “What do you want?” he asked, his voice far less hostile than he would have desired.
“Are you well?” Ptolemy asked, halting beside the other man.
“I am fine,” Hephaistion answered, turning his face away, staring at the darkness. A hand suddenly touched his face, caressing the warm river of tears along his cheek. He looked back at Ptolemy, startled.
Ptolemy said nothing, nor did he smile. His features remained completely passive as he wiped away the remaining tears upon the other’s cheeks, his eyes following the trail of his fingers. Hephaistion did not pull away, though his eyes showed his confusion clearly. Finally Ptolemy finished, though his hand stayed upon Hephaistion’s cheek, maintaining the eye-contact. “You spoke with him, didn’t you?” he asked finally.
“Yes,” Hephaistion answered, not knowing anything else to say.
Ptolemy nodded, his thumb caressing the softness beneath his hand. “What did he say?”
Ptolemy saw the hurt in the blue eyes. Anything Alexander might have said would have been better than complete silence. Why can’t he see how much he is loved? Hephaistion does not deserve this… “What did you say to him?” he asked finally, knowing that his voice revealed his thoughts.
“I…” Hephaistion stammered, trying to turn away but finding Ptolemy’s hand firmly upon his face. Another strong hand came to rest upon his waist, fastening into his clothing. He felt trapped, and yet he did not have the power to leave, even if he would have been free to do so. “I tried to tell him… To explain… But he did not understand, and she had such hate in her eyes.” Blue eyes gazed at Ptolemy, revealing the deep wound that had formed in his heart. “I couldn’t even tell him I love him! How much… It is not my right…” he gasped, bowing his head in shame. “Not anymore…”
Ptolemy felt new tears slide against his fingers, the other’s shaking body leaning into his arms. Without conscious thought, Ptolemy pulled Hephaistion into his embrace, his wet fingers twining into the other’s dark hair. “He loves you still, Hephaistion,” he whispered. “He would be a fool if he would not…”
Hephaistion froze for a moment, his hands upon Ptolemy’s clothes easing their grip. But then his hold fastened again, a sharp hiss escaping him. “It will not be easy for him, after this. There is so much hate, so much arrogance in others. And they have faith in him no more.”
“That is why you must stay loyal to him, to keep him on a road that we all can walk,” Ptolemy stated. “If you leave him now, he will be alone. His dream is too great for others, but he cannot see it. Not yet.”
Hephaistion was silent for a while, but then he lifted his head, his eyes searching Ptolemy’s. “You risk your own life with such plans, Ptolemy. If the others would find out…”
“I do not fear death, but I fear that Alexander will fall. The crows are getting ever more eager,” Ptolemy replied, his face twisting with anger. “I can speak to him of many things, but it is like speaking to the wind: it has no effect on him.”
“But I do, you say?” Hephaistion mused, his face thoughtful.
“I know he listens to you,” Ptolemy smiled sadly. “You can make the wind change, Hephaistion…”
“This will be the end of both of us,” Hephaistion sighed, shaking his head. “But do I have a choice? For you have been right from the beginning, and even if I did not see it back then, I see it now.”
Ptolemy opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it again. He stood silent, gazing at Hephaistion as if he saw the other for the first time. There were still tears upon Hephaistion’s face, and the way the moon and fire shone in his hair gave him an unearthly appearance. He was the key to tomorrow, the only one who could keep them all together. But at that moment, in Ptolemy’s eyes, he was something else. He had not seen it before, or hadn’t just taken time to notice. But tonight…
“Ptolemy?” Hephaistion asked, seeing the other’s expression change completely.
The other man did not answer, his hand moving from Hephaistion’s dark strands to the other’s neck, feeling the beat of the strong heart there. “Such waste…” he muttered, shaking his head.
Hephaistion frowned, moving his own hand to cover Ptolemy’s. He was just about to ask what the other was talking about, but Ptolemy stopped him, a firm hand grasping his chin. His eyes met Ptolemy’s for a briefest of second, a shudder running down his body. “Ptolemy,” he whispered, not actually knowing what he was trying to make the other do.
Ptolemy swallowed, but his mind had already decided, giving him no chance to retreat. Slowly, he bent his head down, sealing his lips upon Hephaistion’s. The other man gasped, tensing under his hands. Seconds seemed to drag by, but after a moment, Hephaistion relaxed, his hands raising to Ptolemy’s shoulders. But instead of the push that Ptolemy had expected, those hands remained still, the soft mouth opening beneath his, welcoming him deeper. It was an invitation which Ptolemy could not refuse, and he slid his tongue into the other’s mouth, groaning as Hephaistion tilted his head slightly to ease their contact.
Hephaistion was rather chaste, letting Ptolemy control the kiss. Ptolemy had no qualms about that, his mouth devouring the feel and taste of the other. The heat of Hephaistion’s body against his own felt intoxicating, making him yearn for more. But he knew his limits, and after another moment he drew away.
Their breaths mingled, Hephaistion’s eyes remaining closed. Ptolemy couldn’t resist the temptation, and his lips ghosted over the other’s face, barely touching. Hephaistion’s hands moved to the sides of his neck, and finally he opened his eyes, looking at Ptolemy. Without a word, Hephaistion let go, walking past him to shadows of the dark village.
Ptolemy leaned against the wooden pillar, and let out a long sigh. He rested his head against the hard surface, his eyes staring unseeingly to the night.
#As I stood there alone, I couldn’t think of anything but him, his touch upon my hand before I kissed him, the weight of his body leaning onto mine. The warmth in his eyes before he left me. I knew I had done something unforgivable, but the fact that he did not turn me down… it spoke volumes.
Today, I understand his reasons only too well: he felt alone, abandoned. Even if Alexander loved him – and Hephaistion knew that he did, deep in his heart – something had happened to their relationship. He sought a way to end the pain inside him, and I provided him with a way.#
to be continued...