|One Way or Another
Author: moon71 PM
Hephaestion misses out on the chance to share Alexander's childhood. Joining the army as they prepare to cross the Hellespont, he reflects on what might have been... Sort of AU... Alexander x HephaistionRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 10,680 - Reviews: 42 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 06-08-06 - Published: 06-05-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2975251
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
ONE WAY OR ANOTHER by Moon71 ( 3 / 3)
Summary: Alexander and Hephaestion have finally come together… but will one night be enough to bind them together forever?
Author's note: The ending to this might be insane, but that's the way it turned out. Once again grateful thanks are owed to Norrsken for bringing a touch of mystery and magic to Alexander and thus inspiring to finally give this story a better ending (I think!) than it had before!
"Oh, Alexander…" Hephaestion swallowed hard, mastering himself. "Perhaps I should go…"
"Shhh…" Alexander silenced Hephaestion with a warm, lingering kiss. "Stay. Stay for the night. What happens beyond tonight no longer matters… the gods are with me, Hephaestion, and they will make things right… we'll just have to start all over again…"
Hephaestion gazed blankly at him. Then, for the first time in what seemed years, he laughed out loud. "Alexander, you are the most remarkable person I have ever met. But even you can't conquer the god of time! You cannot change what has already passed…"
Alexander grinned, his even white teeth shining through the shadows. "I'm Alexander," he said complacently, brushing small kisses over Hephaestion's face, "born of the line of Heracles and of Achilles, descended from the gods. I can do anything."
Hephaestion's laughter faded. An odd shiver passed down his spine. Alexander's certainty was frightening. "I don't understand…"
"You don't have to," Alexander chuckled. "You just have to kiss me…"
That much Hephaestion could do. He moaned softly as Alexander began to touch him with eager, mischievous fingers, seeking out his sensitivities, in no hurry this time. As he closed his eyes once more and lost himself in the moist warmth of Alexander's mouth, it seemed to him he was lying directly in the hot rays of the sun. He could feel the heat of it burning his skin, could see its red glow penetrating beyond his shielded eyes, brighter than a hundred fires…
Hephaestion spun around, blinking hard, blinded by the sunlight. He had almost lost his footing on the steps as a sudden dizziness had seized him. Quite instinctively he thrust out his hands and caught the ball which was flying towards him, gazing stupidly at the boy who had thrown it.
"Joy to you," the other boy said adult formality, slightly inclining his head, "I don't believe I've seen you here before."
"No…" Hephaestion recovered himself, uncertain what had just happened to him. Had he been daydreaming again? His pedagogue was always scolding him for it. For a moment it had seemed he had been somewhere else, another place entirely, lying in the shadows of the night, and this boy… "No – I just came to give something to my father…"
The blonde boy nodded gravely, as if considering, then asked, "would you like to play with me? It's a new ball," he added, nodding to the toy Hephaestion still held.
Hephaestion looked at it. In fact it was a very cheerful looking ball, one which almost seemed to beg to be played with, to whisper promises of good fun and friendship. He lifted his gaze from the ball to its owner. There seemed to be the same plea, and the same promise, in those solemn grey eyes and it suddenly seemed he could not deny either one of them. But this was something new and unexpected – unexplored territory. An offer of friendship unsought, but for once not unwelcome. This boy wasn't like the others. He seemed to call Hephaestion away from his books, to draw him out into the open. Hephaestion wanted to follow, yet panic seized him. "I'm sorry…" he blurted out, "I promised my mother I'd be home straight away."
The disappointment on the boy's face made Hephaestion's heart ache strangely. He wanted to take back his stupid words, but then the other boy's gaze hardened. "It doesn't matter… I have to go inside now; they'll be waiting for me." He moved past Hephaestion up the steps, his slender arm brushing very lightly against Hephaestion's chunky one and sending shivers across his body. Hephaestion gaped after him, struggling to find the words to call him back.
Suddenly the boy stopped, squared his shoulders and turned back purposefully, as if having made a very difficult decision. For a moment he regarded Hephaestion with a solemnity well beyond his years; his face would have been quite unreadable except for his eyes, which had softened once more. "Do you really have to go?" he asked quietly, "only I don't have anyone else to play with, and I thought… I thought you looked nice."
Hephaestion could not help the shy smile that tugged at his lips. His mother might be worried, but maybe, just for a few moments, until his father arrived… "I suppose I can stay…just for a while…"
The other boy rewarded him with a radiant grin. "Come on then…!"
"My name's Hephaestion, what's yours?" Hephaestion asked breathlessly as they jogged down the steps.
"Hephaestion…?" An odd look passed over the blonde child's face as he repeated the name.
Hephaestion sighed. "Yes, I know, it's a weird name. I was born in Athens."
The boy seemed to awaken from a dream. "I – no, it's not that, it's… anyway, I think Hephaestion is a nice name! I'm called Alexander."
"Like the prince?" Hephaestion blurted out before he could stop himself.
"Yes," the boy called Alexander said with an enigmatic smile, "just like the prince…"
Hephaestion shrugged it off. Half the boys in Macedon were called Alexander – the ones who weren't called Nikanor! It wasn't that much of a coincidence. He tossed the red ball high into the air and raced against his new friend to catch it before it hit the ground.
He made his way down the steps with a small sigh. He always made a point of returning to take his midday meal with Helena; afterwards they would sleep in the cool interior of the house until the hottest part of the afternoon was over and he would return to his duties until evening, or later if Philip requested he stay to take his supper at the palace. Poor Helena – how could he be angry at her? Some nights she would still wake in tears, swearing she had heard the lost baby crying, though she had never heard its cry. But if only Hephaestion would…
Amyntor stopped and blinked, hardly able to believe his eyes. But he was not imagining things – it was his Hephaestion, laughing as he tackled Prince Alexander for the ball the other boy had just caught. It was a mesmerising sight – those two unnaturally serious, studious children with their faces flushed and their eyes bright, dishevelled and covered in dust.
"Father!" Hephaestion froze as he saw Amyntor, his carefree grin evaporating. "Oh no, I forgot, Mother will be… Alexander, this is my father," Hephaestion added quickly.
"Joy to you, father of Hephaestion," Alexander said with an impish little smile, as if inviting Amyntor to join in a small joke at Hephaestion's expense. Amyntor grinned back and nodded very slightly.
"And to you, young Alexander…"
"I have to go home now, Alexander," Hephaestion said, frantically brushing the dirt off his chiton, "I promised my mother I'd be straight home and that was ages ago, she'll be…"
"Don't worry about your mother, Hephaestion," Amyntor said firmly, "she'll understand. Stay and play with your new friend. I'll be back in a while; you can ride home with me at sunset." To Amyntor's surprise, his son did not argue but only coloured and lowered his eyes. "Just make sure you get yourselves indoors; it's far too hot for you to be playing out here and Mother will be furious if you come home with sunstroke!"
"Come on Hephaestion," Alexander called, "I'll show you around the palace! First I'll take you to the big hall; it has lots of pictures on the walls of heroes and their adventures! There's one of Theseus fighting the Minotaur, and one of the harpies attacking the Argo, and a really scary one of Herakles fighting the hydra; he's just cut off one of it's heads but it's growing back …" Pausing for breath, he thrust out his hand to Amyntor's son. Amyntor saw Hephaestion hesitate. Perhaps he had begun to have suspicions about a boy called Alexander who seemed to have free run of the palace. Perhaps he just didn't want to admit that playing ball with another boy was more fun than his books after all. Studiously avoiding his father's gaze, Hephaestion took Alexander's hand and allowed himself to be led up the palace steps.