|Reviews for While You're Gone|
| pearls1990 7/1/10 . chapter 1
*sigh* So beautiful! I am either very tired or you've left me speechless, cuz that is all I can think of to say!
| jros1746 4/20/06 . chapter 1
Another great story Moon! I just wished it was longer (although it was a good point to end it).
| Trust No One 4/18/06 . chapter 1
"Loneliness is easy to rationalise – lust is not." That is so true that it hurts. I'm so glad you were inspired to let Hephaistion off the leash. It's so telling of the level of their love and understanding of each other how sleeping with other people doesn't mean much more than merely servicing their bodies, and it goes further to show that their affair is one of the spirit. The ending, strangely, made me feel a foreshadowing of Hephaistion's death, with Alexander lying alone in his bed and thinking of his lover, I'm not sure if it was intentional on your part.
| CoralDawn 4/17/06 . chapter 1
A tender story of true Plato-inspired love between A and H, which has more to do with friendship ("phila") than Eros and desire. (Not that desire can't be a part of the friendship!) Loved the way Alexander misses Hephaistion for the companionship, the talk, the easing of his loneliness, which only H. can do. And how H. has feelings of vague anxiety - like recurring pain in an old wound - when he is apart from A. I really liked it how you showed that in their time and culture the physical release both of them enjoy with others have little to do with their love for each other - something one tends to forget in a lot of fiction given our modern sensibilities about love and sex.
Hephaistion's encounter with Ariston is - as Fredericka says - simply helping out a comrade in need - much like the wolves in their close-knit social life helping out each other. Must have been common in the army with sometimes women in scarce supply. It's understandable too that H. had avoided this sort of thing in the past because of issues of being used by others for favors due to his powerful rank and position. (I wonder if in RL he would have preferred to be with women simply for this reason?)
Alexander asks Morpheus to send H. dreams of himself and love - knowing that H. likes physical love more than he himself does. Morpheus obliges and now H. is left awake and in need of some release! He finds satisfaction with Ariston and then begs Hypnos to help Alex, since Alex always has trouble falling asleep. Hypnos soothes Alex so that he is able to rest for the remainder of the night. What a beatuiful portrait of the two friends unselfishly praying for what the other needs/likes!
A belated happy Easter to you too! In many cultures that follow the lunar calendar, this is the beginning of the New Year (with the advent of spring and the greening of the earth). So I wish you - and everyone else - a Happy New Beginning and a wonderful New Year ahead. For Alexander and Hephaistion too, the New Year began in mid-April, with the month of Artemesios! :D How would the two of them celebrate it, I wonder?
| Norrsken 4/17/06 . chapter 1
What a wonderful Evening Prayer! It's a beautiful picture thinking of them looking at the same star lit sky thinking about each other. The Morpheus and Hypnos involvement also rings true. As always I like your use of the old Greek Gods in your stories.
You have found a very clever way of showing the deep bonds between Alexander and Hephaestion. Their feelings of loss and frustration over being apart shows off in many ways, especially when Hephaestion finds release in his somewhat violent engagement with Ariston - and when Alexander has to drink some cups of wine before he goes to bed.
All the best wishes and many thanks for sharing,
| Fredericka 4/17/06 . chapter 1
It’s very good to see Hephaestion “off the leash”– behaving like his own man instead of Alexander’s exclusive property. And yes, it should have happened years ago (probably did in RL)
His reluctance to indulge in sexual activity strictly for its own sake is understandable. Paramount is probably Alexander’s insecurity.( I think his insistence on Hephaestion’s taking Hylas into his service is based on fear rather than generosity. Realizing his friend will eventually bed another, and desperately wanting to keep control of their relationship, Alexander selects a look-alike surrogate – a rather twisted way to keep his lover “faithful” to him.)
Hephaestion’s secondary concerns, of course, are power seekers and/or jealous rivals who will either try to capitalize on his affections or seek to plant suspicion in Alexander’s mind by whispering malicious gossip.
At last Hephaestion decides to act on the opportunity fate has presented. And while his coupling with Ariston might be meaningless in an emotional sense, the two men share an age-old, uniquely masculine bond of being “comrades in arms”. Coming to one another’s aid is natural, whatever the situation. They don’t need to speak. Their brotherly embrace afterward affirms this camaraderie. Hephaestion realizes that yielding to a bit of healthy lust is not a betrayal – indeed, it immensely eases his frustrating physical discomfort.
Unlike young Hylas, Hephaestion feels kinship with the wolves - their howling becomes a soothing lullaby. Before drifting into a peaceful sleep he sends a message of loving reassurance to his beloved, praying that Alexander will somehow hear him. The gods are generous tonight – he does. Like his beloved, Alexander rests quietly, knowing that although many miles divide them, his Hephaestion is at his side.
Thank you for this Easter treat, all your wonderful stories and for your good wishes for a Happy Easter. Hope your day brought lots of blessings.
P.S. Enjoyed the bit about young Helenus missing his Nireus. Might we see more of them in a future post?
| Lysis 4/16/06 . chapter 1
What a tender, delicate story. I can almost feel what the anguish and yearning of Alexander for Hephaistion and Hephaistion for Alexander in the words you've written. I especially like the last bit, it's beautiful and evocative of so many bittersweet memories.
| Baliansword 4/16/06 . chapter 1
A wonderful read, as always. I enjoyed your mention of Morpheus because I'm sure there are those that do not even know who he is. Another thing I enjoyed was the name Ariston. I had a stallion named Ariston who passed a few years ago. It was a great name...that isn't the point though.
What I enjoyed the most is the connection between Alexander and Hephaestion. They share a bond that isn't cut when the two are not together. For the most part authors are generally unable to keep a bond between two characters when they are apart- at least in general and on this site -yet you are able to do it accurately and wonderfully. It was a great picture of both.
Great to read your work again and I can't wait to comment what you put out there next. Great job. Happy Easter to you as well!
| Queendel 4/16/06 . chapter 1
Very nice. It is wonderful that Ale and Heph still have such a powerful and meaningful connection although there are miles apart. Indeed, their love is blessed by the Gods. Looking forward to more fics from you.
| Joyeee 4/16/06 . chapter 1
When I read the summary in the fanfiction bot notification email I just couldn't resist. Clickety click and here I am. And then I discover that this is dedicated to me - ! Actually, the ! deserves its own sentence: ! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
(I'm sorry, my reviews seem ever less organized and full of run-on sentences. . .)
Alexander could wake up Roxana for more lovemaking, but he doesn't. He could talk with Helenus, but he doesn't. Instead he settles for something that initially seems so insubstantial, but the connection indeed forms between him and Hephaestion, and is so much more satisfying for him than either of the previous options - the fact that he can accept Hypnos is proof!
As always the little details are wonderful - how Roxana and Alexander actually get along (so much nicer a scenario than the movie's, especially given Alexander's usual chivalric treatment of women), how Alexander's closest friends know how important Hephaestion is to Alexander's, well, sanity. I also think you draw a neato parallel, having Helenus' love be among Hephaestion's men. Alexander and Hephaestion were inspired by Achilles and Patroclus, and now they're somewhat examples for their own followers. (Hope that's not too far a stretch; the really outrageous muscle-tearing is in the next paragraph.) And I've always thought scars wouldn't be a problem for the men of that time, just limps or amputated limbs or something else which diminishes cability. I love that Hephaestion loves Alexander more for his scars; it somewhat relates to why he picked his pages and there's the parallel you draw between scars and the wolves' cry - companionship, shared danger, courage. And so much more than that, the fact that Hephaestion loves "every scar on Alexander's body, even the ones which evoke such painful memories" speaks of their love maturing and increasing through the years, even though by far it's not been all rose petals floating down on them in fancy parades, even though that love itself can sometimes hurt, like Hephaestion's anxiety apart from Alexander, a "recurring pain in an old wound." That's something like a "scar" for Hephaestion, but you make it clear he wouldn't give up either his own or Alexander's scars. Oh, and the motif of breathing toward the end - there's such a sense of that companionship evoked by the wolves' calls (and not only between Alexander and Hephaestion - the breathing of others near them soothes them; their supported by their men). Alexander and Hephaestion can nearly communicate even though they're miles apart and have nothing like telephones or email. In a sense they really are just a breath apart. (You're making me go all mushy over them again, but that's just fine!)
Most of all here's the wonderful feeling that the gods do favor Alexander and Hephaestion, so much! Morpheus fulfilling Alexander's prayer, Hypnos answering Hephaestion's (another parallel!). And then the matter of them . . . sensing each other's presence, almost. Actually, what are sound and heat after all, but a disturbance of the molecules in the air - and though it's nigh statistically improbable that the energy of the molecules would remain concentrated enough like that across miles, the gods would know how to bend the mathematical principles governing the universe just enough to allow that one infinitesmal possibility to happen. And for Alexander and Hephaestion, favorites of Aphrodite in your brilliant "Discord in Love," they just might do such a thing. Scientific and religious blasphemy, I know - but this is storytelling! It's just as Alexander thinks: madness - or the "gift of some benevolent god."
Thank you again! Yay! - for once I'm not the last to review your work. A wonderful Easter to you, too, full of love, friendship, and scientifically improbable (but possible!) wonders.