Reviews for Hephaestion Goes Hunting!
Salome chapter 1 . 1/9/2008
Loved how you ended this story! However, it feels kinda like a cliffhanger. Is there going to be a series to this one?
Yolass chapter 6 . 1/9/2008
Well it's really late to review but I read all through ... great story, sweet and tender and also with a nice realistic edge to the situation and behaviour of young soldiers at the time.

I very much enjoy your long fictions (several chapters) so I hope to read a new one from you very soon!
Sovereign of Silence3 chapter 6 . 1/8/2008
That was a great story! Finally some AlexHeph action! Hehe, and Alexander got Hephaestion's first kiss! I liked the ending, it was very sweet. I hope to read more from you in the future!
Joyeee chapter 5 . 12/23/2007
This is my favorite chapter so far – therefore, you will get the least intelligent/probing commentary on it (from me) so far; I'll just point and say: glee! delight! Craterus' tirade – excellent! He's more right about the future than he wants to be, too – the boys will grow up to command the toughest army the world's yet seen, but they could indeed have been speaking Persian in a generation! Also loved the line "Just for that, you're on foraging duty, son of Antipater!" Alexander's knowing "Nothing to worry about" and Hephaestion's sudden desire to strangle him – ha! At the end, Cassander's open admiration, contrasted with his sardonic attitude toward Alexander – topped off with Hector's giggling "And then you fainted!" – perfect!

And am I on the right track to say that Hephaestion's focus on Alexander right after waking up was an overriding anxiety that Alexander had been hurt? (Again maybe just my wishful thinking – but I really believe he was not at all thinking of strategy or impressing anyone, at that one moment!) Alexander, on the other hand – I'm guessing he's ambivalent, perhaps even a bit resentful, toward Hephaestion now because _he_ wanted – and expected – to be the one to kill boars, impress people, and achieve such Macedonian milestones, first!

But back to Craterus and this surprising gentleness! Well, I wouldn't call it gentleness, but it's not exactly leniency either (a mixture of both perhaps?) – as he assesses Hephaestion's injury and when Hephaestion declares he wants no help getting back to camp – all that was wonderful. Then, when Hephaestion's _really_ injured after killing the boar, his care of Hephaestion – plus Hephaestion's sudden respect for Craterus when he admits his terror of his father being the driving force behind his own first kill, and then his terror during the hunt itself – OH! And I must mention, thanks for giving us both the tough-talking, rough-edged side and the gentler side all at once, and not separating the two sides as is usually done after such an incident in a story (have seen this done far too much for Lord of the Rings fic, for example...)
Joyeee chapter 4 . 12/23/2007
Hephaestion's thoughts here seem so realistic. Desire is so paramount, especially when he finally has a chance to be alone with Alexander, yet warring with hormones is the need to prove oneself as tough as the other guy! (Just as strong an impulse for boys like them, I would think!) In fact instinctively he follows the competitive streak rather than his desire for Alexander ... and after a long night of restless wakefulness, when he finally gets next to Alexander he's too tired to think about touching for long! Seems very realistic to me – no pangs of romantic angst keeping _this_ Hephaestion up all night!

Hephaestion fumbling the reason for his kiss, and yelling like crazy after jumping into the stream – well there's the Hephaestion that's endearing! You know I enjoy Gestapo-Hephaestion, and I also appreciate that growing up as he did in this story, it's smart and almost necessary for him to be figuring angles and characters and the politics of human relationships by this age, but surprisingly I find myself thinking here that he _should_ meet a challenge he can't solve (Alexander!), to feel the confusion and bewilderment that follows, then realize that not everyone is as predictable and manipulable as he may think. For some reason I think that discovery would give him great joy and excitement (after he'd come to terms with the frustration of not being able to solve the problem!) Just as Alexander might enjoy himself more if he didn't hold himself and the others to such high standards, all the time. The moment they started laughing together in the freezing water was great.

Crateros continues to be one of those rare, simultaneously frustrating yet highly enjoyable presences in a story!
Joyeee chapter 3 . 12/23/2007
Oh! I see I just anticipated your comments about Lysimachus by the last review! How neat! Yes, I agree about the Achilles-Phoenix comparison as exemplary teaching technique!

Hephaestion being glad to miss skinning rabbits or plucking fowls rather reminds me of our dissections – (possible ickiness ahead) Generally we're much more interested in the inner organs than in peeling away skin etc.! And Hephaestion being interested in a little more...intimate fun with the other boys, then getting distracted by the smell of good food after a long day – that is SO biological! (Food and sex!) I love the idea that from Hephaestion's Athenian companions, such descriptions of Macedonian barbarism and hedonism were actually more compliments than insults – and the strategy session on the Theban Sacred Band was wonderful. An army of Theban women... I _still_ haven't read A Conspiracy of Women but this reminded me at least of the title!

The conversation between Alexander and Lysimachus at the end was my favorite part though. Alexander's passion about the basis of the Sacred Band being the most beautiful idea he ever heard, and wanting to make a good impression on Hephaestion; Hephaestion's honest thoughts that Alexander had indeed been gracious throughout (perhaps too much so!), Lysimachus' perceptiveness and gentle guidance for both boys...
Joyeee chapter 2 . 12/23/2007
Hephaestion thinking of Alexander's offer of water as a trap, and offering apples as revenge rather than thanks – haha! Loved that. It does seem how these rough-and-tumble, tougher-than-thou Macedonian boys would think! And Hephaestion determined to be more "Macedonian" than the Macedonians, that's great!

As for Alexander "finally gravitating" to Hephaestion – I don't know if it's just wishful thinking on my part but was Alexander saving the conversation he wanted most for last? And if he really decided the assignments, well, _he_'s the one who put himself with Hephaestion to fetch water!

Lysimachus with his undercurrent of shrewdness and toughness was excellent, I've not seen him presented thus before and if Alexander retained respect for him, surely he was no doddering old softy! Craterus' thoughts, I find harder to analyze – I can pick up what might be the beginnings of a rivalry for Alexander's attention but at the same time it might be general Macedonian scorn for the softer ways of southern Greeks.

Also I like this undercurrent of ironic humor in Hephaestion – poking fun at overblown authority, imagining things like Aristotle asking permission to dissect Alexander. Cassander crowing over his kill was wonderful, especially its effect on Alexander. I do feel a bit sorry for Alexander though ... but the boys together are so enjoyable – accusations of fighting like girls, and jeers about pheasants and all that, along with Alexander's stern disapproval and Lysimachus' benevolent (and very wise) indulgence!
Joyeee chapter 1 . 12/23/2007
Really a complicated dichotomy you've set up here for Hephaestion – on one hand his father's work and all the travelling have made him quite calculating, in a very tough way, mature and analytical beyond his years – yet he is this way because he wants friends, quite an innocent goal in itself. (Though of course even friendship can be useful in politicking!) He is so aware of social customs and how people perceive each other – that children and adults have different codes of behavior, that Alexander's formal greetings might have set him apart from the rest, etc. And yet he is constantly having his expectations overturned too – repeatedly what he has heard of others has built their image in his minds, greater than the actual flesh-and-blood person. Though of course, Philip surprised him pleasantly!

From Cassander's "infant Achilles" and "Achilles and Phoenix - I can't wait!" to the subtlety of Leonnatus liking fine things despite his initial appearance of being a typical Macedonian – I'm glad to see so many Companions here, and as complex characters rather than the interchangeable background-fillers that they are in so much published AtG stuff!

I'm not surprised that Hephaestion feels the same cynical amusement that Cassander feels at the end about Alexander, "the perfect little soldier." In fact I'm rather inclined to agree with them. But there is nothing laughable or ... _endearing_ ... about Hephaestion here, at least not yet, to me. Isn't Hepahestion trying to be a perfect little strategist, just as Alexander presents himself as a perfect little soldier? Of course, he doesn't recognize any such parallel ... and I get the feeling that all the strategizing in the world is not going to prepare him for the full force of Alexander's personality!
Norrsken chapter 5 . 12/22/2007
This sure is a great chapter. Hephaestion wants so much to make a good impression on all, then he hurts his ankle and has to go back to camp. He gets scolded and feels ashamed. Then the Fates changes rapidly. The boar comes, and he takes it on his spear not even knowing about what he does. When he wakes up from oblivion he is the Hero of the day !

I like this a lot, it gives us all Hope. Even a day that starts very badly can end in a marvellous success !

All the best wishes and a Merry Yuletide to you and all,

/ NorthernLight
Norrsken chapter 4 . 12/22/2007
I truly enjoy your woodland adventure. Hephaestion is hunting not only the forest animals, he is hunting for Alexander's affection, too. :) Their nighttime vigil is beautiful, and their night together in the tent is endearing in its adolescent *innocence*. Hephaestion wants to appear tough and hardened, and then he acts against his true wishes when Alexander invites him to share his furs. Well, he comes to share the wonderful warmth from his Beautiful Golden One at long last, all the same! :)

Their morning excursion to the cold stream, and their sharing of the wild strawberries, holds great imagery, Alexander's spear lession, too.

All the best wishes and a Merry Yuletide. Off to next chapter,

/ NorthernLight
angstman chapter 5 . 12/22/2007
Great update. I am happy for Hephaistion that he successfully killed the first boar.
Sovereign of Silence3 chapter 5 . 12/21/2007
Woot! Hephaestion finally proved that he was useful! LOL! Ahh I joke, I love him. Alexander...he's either shook with worry over Hephaestion or...being weird again lol. I can't wait to hear what's going on in his peculiar mind! Thanks for updating!
Salome chapter 4 . 12/18/2007
I'm loving this story more & more. The slow build up of sensual tension & affection is very exciting. You have me wondering, like Hephaestion, as to what's going on inside Alexander's pretty little head.

I am so looking forward to your next chapter. Please don't make us wait so long.
Anise chapter 4 . 12/17/2007
I like how they're starting to feel more comfortable with each other, how cute is the idea of them all snuggled up together! It's interesting how Hephaestion keeps rethinking how he should deal with Alexander, it was smart of him to realize that Alexander would want someone who would push and compete against him. I just hope Alexander doesn't realize that some of what Hephaestion was doing, like stumbling against him, was deliberate and take it the wrong way. You write them so well at this age, they seem to be all about hormones and insecurities, I can't wait for the upcoming chapters! :)
Arlad chapter 4 . 12/17/2007
Hi Moon!

Wonderful chapter! I love how you make Hephaestion figure he not only has to 'hunt' Alexander, he has to somehow be... amazing. He has to surpass all others. I also love how subtly you portray Alexander's interest in Hephaestion :)

I just *love* this story. Can't wait for more!

Hugs,

Arlad
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