Reviews for A Choice of Words
Fredericka chapter 1 . 1/31/2006
The first thing that strikes me about this story is how well you illustrate the side of Alexander’s character that always seems to surface whenever he doesn’t get his way. He becomes a self-centered, spoiled brat and has a tantrum. Sometimes people die! Hephaestion shares the blame. He’s been like an over-indulgent parent who’s defended, justified, at times assisted, in some very nasty matters...judicial murder, political assassination, and drunken, murderous rage resulting in the death of a loyal friend. Now he’s on the receiving end. Both men are shocked…Hephaestion at the heartbreaking betrayal…Alexander that his friend won’t simply swallow his pride and dismiss the incident.

Alexander tries to shift the blame to Hephaestion, telling him he should be willing to “try harder, endure more”, oblivious that he’s adding insult to injury. When that fails to elicit the desired response, he becomes flirtatious, certain that a night in bed with HIM will fix everything, What colossal conceit ! When Hephaestion stubbornly refuses, he runs the gamut of emotional blackmail. No doubt it usually worked. This time it doesn’t.

Finally Alexander issues the ultimatum he’s positive will result in Hephaestion’s surrender. He will deny him his bed! In an hilarious “Menen moment” you transform him from a coy, petulant flirt into a parody of the stereotypical wife who angrily banishes her husband to the sofa!

But Hephaestion doesn’t capitulate, he’s finally had enough. Physically and emotionally, he’s gone…really gone, and Alexander, although he continues to look for reasons to blame Hephaestion, is alone…really alone.

He tries in vain to use Bagoas to make him forget Hephaestion, threatens Crateros with execution, and, unable to concentrate on affairs of state, spends his days and nights resenting Hephaestion's hold on him…all the while obsessing over ways to heal the breach between them without sacrificing his kingly dignity.

I find it credible that Crateros grudgingly admits how important Hephaestion is to the King and ceases his bullying. Do you think there was more to his resentment than simply believing Hephaestion rose in the ranks because he was Alexander’s lover? Crateros was a more experienced general, but Hephaestion was young, handsome, intelligent, cultured, and perhaps worst of all, liked and admired by Alexander’s Persian subjects. Maybe, like some modern “jocks”, Crateros sneered at intellectually gifted men while secretly envying them. Whatever, after this incident, I think nothing more was recorded concerning discord between the two men? they seem to have shared command of the army peacefully. In fact, wasn’t Hephaestion promoted shortly thereafter?

Having Alexander go to Hephaestion at last, in full view of the night guards is a clever way of telling the army that he's abandoning the battlefield; he is suing for peace. As he cannot himself announce this publicly, he lets the “breakfast gossip” do it for him. His officers have glimpsed what he might become without his “Philalexandros” and are alarmed. They’ll surely be relieved when the King returns to normalcy and, in future, treat Hephaestion with respect. No doubt now he’ll simply ignore remarks from jealous colleagues and for his part Alexander will realize there’s a limit to Hephaestion’s tolerance. Together, they have experienced a rite of passage. In future they will act as mature men.

I love the way this story ends. Alexander has won back his Patroclus …and in their passionate embrace, they affirm a momentarily forgotten, irrevocable truth:

Troy, indeed, was the answer.

As another talented writer, Trust No One, observed, I am privileged to have this fine story dedicated to me.

My sincere thanks.


P.S. I hope I remembered correctly that you said you liked long reviews...or didn't mind them? This must be a record. Just couldn't stop.

Empressofwhispers chapter 1 . 1/31/2006
... and you thought my fic was good? Dear lord, I believe you are amazing. That's just... wow. I love the ending, especially! By the way, I finally got another chapter up... I was a little lazy with the ending though if you couldn't tell... I wrote it at 5 in the morning.
jros1746 chapter 1 . 1/30/2006
I have just started reading the Alexander stories on FanFiction Net and I think this is excellent. I particularly like the way you draw the characters and the depth and understanding of Alexander and Hephaistion's relationship which you display. I liked the references to their past lives together - as boys, when Alexander became king etc. I do think their relationship is absolutely fascinating. It would be interesting to read a story about their visit to Troy.

Thank you for this - I will read more of your stories.
Trust No One chapter 1 . 1/30/2006
Alex did a lot of damage with those words, and I do agree with you: I think he must have observed the growing animosity between those two and surely he must have asked Hephaistion more than once in private to knock it off. Unfortunately, this situation is something one sees in corporate environments every day :P Your friend Fredericka is lucky to have all these nice stories dedicated to her.
VaniaHepskins chapter 1 . 1/29/2006
You make me cry! *sobs* Always, with every fic using those words happens...

Thanks for sharing! Love this pairing!
suemichave chapter 1 . 1/29/2006
thank you for this. It is incredible moving account of two men who were quite stubborn within themselves. That you gave a realistic portrayal of the pride that kept them apart was great to read. I enjoyed this take on the famous words a great deal.
CoralDawn chapter 1 . 1/28/2006
One can never have too many stories on this subject! I also join you in the minority, Moon, becuase I too feel that Craterus and Hephaistion were much more at fault here than Alexander. They were the highest ranking men next to Alexander and engaged in a public brawl with swords - no matter the provocation, they should have kept it private. They deserved the reprimands - they must have been both totally shamed by Alexander and never faught again. Also, it's hard to know WHAT exactly Alexander said, since Plutarch writes two different versions.

In this story, Alexander is somewhat naive in the beginning, thinking that a night together would solve all the problems. He later realizes that he had to address the words spoken in anger before they could both move on.
Baliansword chapter 1 . 1/27/2006
A very wonderful beginning to what I hope shall be a very long novel! I want the love to continue into the next chapter. My heart was racing. I like how sweet Alexander was when he came to Hephaestion's tent. Wonderfully passionate!

I understand what Alexander did to Bagoas. I can't say I completely blame him. But I notice he had to drink himself into a stuper, but still, could not stop thinking about Hephaestion.

Please let this continue!

Fanfic Fish chapter 1 . 1/27/2006
Ooh, I loved it. Sheesh, sometimes Alexander can have his head shoved so far up his . . . well you get the picture. I love Hephaistion's character, he can always calm himself down and have a rational word, despite the anger and bitterness involved.

At the end, when Alexander told Hephaistion that he (Alexander) that he is nothing that matters without Hephaistion . . . well it impacted me deeply. I sat here wondering the truth in the words. And in a many ways it's true . . . Hephaistion is what kept Alexander grounded for so long, and if he hadn't of been there, then the dear King would have surely lost his mind!

I loved it, and I can't wait to read more from you!

-Fanfic Fish-
Queendel chapter 1 . 1/27/2006
Very nice. I love stories that are centered around those unfortunate words "You are Nothing without Me", even as I deplore Alexander for saying them.

This fic has angst but it is not overwhelming. You showed us how Alexander regretted his words and made his apology like a lover, not a King. You showed Heph as steadfast, yet allow him to not only show his remorse but accept Alexander's apology in the goodwill it was offered.

Both men have lots of pride and behaved silly at times, but there were smart enough to forgive and embrace each other again.

Looking forward to more stories from you soon.
Atsu Tenshi chapter 1 . 1/27/2006
Wee~! Happy ending! ::melts::

“I know I said you would not be welcome in my bed anymore, but you did not say I would not be welcome in yours…” - Hohoho! I loved this part! _

I LOVE the idea of yours by using the theme "you are nothing without me"! The whole story went well and it was total awesome! Just as amazing as your other fics! It's really hard to find lovely A/H fics like yours!
koalared chapter 1 . 1/27/2006
Excellent. My fav A/H stories seem to revolve around those fateful words. Hephaestion should not have fallen for Craterus' cruel tauntings but for Alexander to say what he did~and he had to know that of all the indignities Hephaestion had to endure from others because he was loved by a King the fact that others felt he was only where he was because of Alexander~was very heartless and really spoke volumes of what he felt for Hephaestion, I think it shows a lack of respect for a love~for Hephaestion was not just his lover he was his Love, the love of his life. IMHO Love your stories, keep writing.
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