A/N: Although I do like to keep my Alexander stories inkeeping with the plot laid out by Plutarch and Arrian, this idea just came into my head, so I decided to do it anyway. Besides, Plutarch and Arrian were not contemporaries, so... :P

This is set whenever, really. Probably when Alexander and Hephaestion are in their late teens, maybe 340-338BC.

"Come on!" Alexander called out to his friend as he wiped the sweat of his brow.

Hephaestion winced and brushed the dark hair from out of his eyes. He sighed. "Alex! Slow down, will you?"

Alexander slowed his running pace a little and looked over his shoulder. "Hephaestion, it is not like you to be this slow in pace."

Hephaestion took in a deep breath and then managed to just about match Alexander's speed. "I do apologise, sire. It's just I am not used to doing this much running."

"You much prefer boxing, do you not?" Alexander wondered aloud.

Hephaestion looked at him and frowned. "I do. Yes."

"We will do that tomorrow," Alexander said decidedly.

Hephaestion was about to flop down on the ground when something caught his eye. He squinted in the intense sunlight and stared in horror at his friend. "Alex!" he yelled out in his loudest voice.

Alexander turned his head and stared back at Hephaestion. "What?" he called back sounding confused and alarmed.

Hephaestion rushed over to him and pulled him away from the edge of a cliff. He pulled him into his arms and held him close.

"It's all right, Hephaestion," Alexander said softly as he tried to free himself from his friend's steadfast grasp.

Hephaestion took the hint and grinned apologetically. "Sorry, sire," he said gently and he let go of his friend.

"You look very hot," Alexander observed as he looked at the beads of sweat Hephaestion's forehead.

Hephaestion started to blush and then he said quietly, "Ah, it appears so. Should we go?"

Alexander, however, had other ideas. He grinned widely and said excitedly. "No, I have a better idea. You see that stream over there?"

Hephaestion shielded his eyes from the high sun as he craned his head over Alexander's shoulder. "I do, yes."

Alexander cast him a rather mischievous look and then he set off leisurely in the direction of the little stream.

Hephaestion frowned and then followed Alexander. Alexander stripped off his white chiton and set his sword down on the bank.

Hephaestion watched his friend as he slipped into the tumultuous blue of the river, naked.

"Aren't you going to join me?" Alexander asked him happily.