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 Notes: Hello again, and welcome aboard! It has been a long time since my last update, but now the earlier chapters have received their additions. (Check them out if you have the time. Few lines added here and there, and some entirely new scenes in some, for example in the chapter 4.)
I am here with a new chapter (as you might have noticed). I am trying to work more actively with this story now, to get it finished, but I have been ignorant for my main-project due the re-writing (if you happen to be a LotR-fan, check my story “The Last Journey”!).
In this chapter, we shall have some insight into Ptolemy’s head and thoughts! And for animal friends: do not be too harsh on me! The scene later might be unrealistic, but could be done if lucky. Enjoy!
Thank you to Kitt of Lindon for betaing!
#At some points of our journey, I wished to stride right to Alexander and tell him everything. How I took his lover to my bed when the moment presented itself, and made him moan my name in the throes of his passion. How I made him scream in his release, and push into my embrace after I had found my own fulfilment in his sweet body: the very same body only Alexander himself had tasted before. How good it would have felt, to see Alexander’s face when I revealed him all that. The shock, the disbelief… defeat, perhaps. And I would have enjoyed it, to a certain point. Why? Because the way our great king treated his long-time companion was infuriating. But I held my peace, knowing that Hephaistion would have rather died than told Alexander.
Of course Alexander’s choices were understandable. He was a king, so he could practically do anything he wanted. Take any lover he wished for, and no-one would judge him for it. With no heir, he was naturally trying to become a father. He also wished to be a good husband to Roxane, to whom he had grown closer during our long journey. But that all left Hephaistion alone. And at times it looked to me as if the things would stay like that forever.
But the moods of Alexander were ever changing, and that was another reason why I did not dare to do anything.
At one night, when I crept to Hephaistion’s rooms in our current lodging, I found him already occupied. I watched for a moment, leaning against a dark corridor-wall beside the door, knowing all along that I should leave. But I stayed a while, trying to learn something of the situation so temptingly presented to me.
I am sure none has ever dared to spy the great Alexander on a moment of his intimacy. But I watched, while his hands slowly slid along Hephaistion’s body as his lover lay on his stomach on the bed, his fingers making the form before him shiver in anticipation. I couldn’t but admire the way he handled Hephaistion, the full knowledge in his every movement speaking of experience. He knew how to worship Hephaistion, it seemed, when he allowed it to happen. His mouth moved to caress Hephaistion upper thighs, eliciting a gasp from the dark-haired man. His fingers moved to the soft curve of Hephaistion’s buttocks, and finally I left them, knowing I could not watch more. But the next time I had Hephaistion in bed, I made sure to remember exactly how to make him beg to be taken.
This was only one of the times when I caught Alexander with Hephaistion. And as much as those moments warmed my heart, I knew that all was not as well as it seemed. Hephaistion suffered. He took joy of every moment he had with Alexander, cherishing them within him until the next time they were together. In the meanwhile, I had my chance to be with him. But I was not the one he truly loved.
Oh how I yearned to go and speak to Alexander of this! To make him understand that Hephaistion deserved better. King or no, he had once loved Hephaistion in a fashion the other man still loved him. Only Alexander had changed. Maybe he did not see it, and therefor I should have said something. Done something. But I watched and waited, hoping that my king and friend would at some point understand what he was doing.#
There was not near as much rain as before, which could have been taken as a good sign. Or then there would be miraculously two days in a row when it didn’t rain, and then again a month when there would be no sun… Ptolemy grimaced, pushing away a great branch of a strange tree, leading his horse forward by the bridle. This country was strange – well, had been ever since they had left Persia – and the people inhabiting it even more so. Few of Crateros’ men who were scouting before the army had claimed that they had seen strange humans in the trees yesterday. People with a dark skin, yet some claimed it had been a skin of fur.
Of course this statement had erupted a great laugh among the others, but Ptolemy was ready to believe quite anything of this land. The people living in it – ones they had met by far – had a dark skin, even more so than the Asians. If there were people moving up in the trees, Ptolemy was ready to accept it.
As if his thoughts became real, a series of shouts came from the path in front of him. Some Asian men were running back, shouting and pointing at the trees. It didn’t take long from Ptolemy to seek out the shapes moving in the trees, unnatural screams filling the air.
Crateros rushed into sight, pointing at the trees and telling his archers to shoot the dark devils down. Arrows were aimed and released, but none hit their marks among the thick branches. “We battled them on the river, but then they ran into the direction of the army,” Crateros told Ptolemy as they watched the strange, small people disappear into the canopy. “Do you think they are going to attack? They look strange to my eyes, but perhaps you have –”
“I’ve never seen anything like them,” Ptolemy answered, shaking his head. “But… they did not appear to be armed.”
A snort of a horse drew their gazes, Hephaistion riding to the sight with his cavalry. The blue eyes were directed upwards, looking after the distancing “enemies” with a puzzled look. “What is the matter?” he asked, lowering his gaze to his fellow generals.
“These strange people keep attacking us…” Crateros explained, his face troubled. “We drove them away again, but they shall return.”
“They attacked us, how?” Hephaistion demanded to know.
“Well, they didn’t actually ‘attack’… But they keep making those noises, and the men grow worried,” the general answered, his men nodding beside him anxiously.
Hephaistion nodded slowly, glancing up at the trees again. “Interesting,” he muttered, and then looked at the riders around him. “Let us go forth, and see if we can find more of these strangers. I am growing eager to learn of them.” The men didn’t look happy about this, but seeing their leader was not worried a slightest, they rode proudly ahead.
“Be careful,” Ptolemy shouted half-heartedly after the other general, gaining a humoured laugh.
“Of course,” Hephaistion answered, and then bowed to move under a set of low branches.
Ptolemy looked after the cavalry, shaking his head. He did not know what Hephaistion was making of all this, but certainly the other was not afraid of there strange creatures, whatever they were. Too different to be human, yet too strange to be animals. That was what Ptolemy could make of them.
“This must be a sign from the Gods…” Crateros muttered unhappily beside Ptolemy, then picked up his shield and moved after the cavalry. His steps were slow and unwilling, like those of his men, but he knew he could not show fear. He was a general himself, after all.
Hephaistion halted his horse a good way from his goal. He dismounted, took a pouch hanging from his saddle, and crept forward slowly. The rest of the cavalry stood still some dozen yards behind him, and Hephaistion could feel their nervous eyes on his back. But he felt more curious than afraid himself, and moved forward steadily.
Almost two dozen of the hairy creatures were settled upon the ground, feeding on dropped fruits and other eatable things. Few of them gazed at the advancing man cautiously, but Hephaistion moved slowly, trying to appear as harmless as possible. When he was five yards away from the animals – he thought them to be a species they had not encountered before – he settled down, slowly opening the bag in his hands. Some of the creatures were looking at him, smelling the air curiously.
With a self-satisfied smile, Hephaistion reached his hand to the bag and drew a dried fruit out, gently tossing it towards a nearest animal. The creature backed off, but soon came closer again, its eyes constantly darting between the item on the ground and the man who had thrown it. Finally it was close enough to take the piece of food, and seeing that the animal’s appetite was as good as he had guessed, Hephaistion threw another piece of food to it. This was also consumed quickly, and the next piece landed closer to the man. “Come on, little fellow, come closer,” Hephaistion cooed softly, smile upon his lips.
The animal moved slowly towards him, sometimes snatching the food to its hands and eating it further away, but always returning to get the next piece. Its mates had also noticed this source of food, and crept closer to observe the situation. Soon there was a good deal of squabbling about the food, and as Hephaistion once again put his hand back to the pouch, he suddenly found himself surrounded by the hairy creatures.
Their fur was silky yet rough against his skin, and their hands – not paws like the animals usually had – eagerly explored him in a search of more food. Hephaistion laughed, cautiously touching one of the animals as he gave it another piece of grub. The animal was too centred on feeding that it didn’t even notice the unfamiliar touch. After few more minutes passed, Hephaistion fished out a leather collar from his pocket, gently sliding it around one of the creature’s neck. He fastened it, making sure it was not too tight, and rewarded the animal with a piece of banana.
As the food was nearing its end, Hephaistion shooed the animals away, yet kept the one caught happy with chow. Its was entirely another process to get the animal on horseback, as the bigger animal didn’t seem to greatly appreciate the idea. But after a short, calming talk, the horse allowed his rider to mount, the furry animal in his arms.
As Hephaistion rode back to his men, they stared at him in wonder, none of them daring to touch their catch. The animal stayed quite calm during their way back, munching happily on its meal. It looked this way and that, fingering Hephaistion’s clothes, and making funny little noises when it was content. When they met the rest of the army, already camping up for the night, the animal started to move restlessly. Hephaistion tightened his hold on the leash, his other hand petting its fur, trying to calm the creature.
It seemed that his horse was happy to get rid of the strange passenger, and Hephaistion gave his mount a quick pat before moving forward. He was surrounded with men soon enough, everyone wishing to see his strange catch. “One of the locals said they are ‘monkey’,” one of the soldiers informed them, looking down at the creature. Hephaistion nodded, lifting his head as he heard a familiar voice: Alexander moved towards him, Roxane next to him.
“What is this?” Alexander laughed, his eyes immediately spotting Hephaistion’s find. “Great Hephaistion has tamed our horrible enemy,” he smirked, kneeling down opposite to Hephaistion. His face was curious and full of smile – like every time he discovered something new in the land he was travelling.
#As I watched them crouch by the monkey, I couldn’t but feel cold. Roxane didn’t look too taken, either, disdain on her face. Maybe it was this human-like animal that disgusted her, or the entire land. Who knows. But what irritated me most was the way Alexander acted.
The king’s fingers almost touched Hephaistion’s as they petted the animal between them, and for a moment I could see their love bloom as before. But I knew it to be over soon, as the wind would change. All would fall back to normal. Hephaistion would cherish this one moment of closeness in his heart for as long as it would take from Alexander to “notice” him again. And in the meanwhile, I would have my time with him, as usual. I never complained, naturally. Only a fool would have. But by my opinion, Hephaistion deserved better. Something I could not give him, but only Alexander.#
to be continued…