Title: Letters

Rating: PG

Pairing: Alexander/Hephaestion

Summary: Hephaestion discovers something which Alexander would rather hide.

A/N: My first attempt at an Alexander fic which includes just a touch of humour. Enjoy!

Hephaestion strolled over to where Alexander was sitting deep in thought over his latest letter from Queen Olympias. Alexander's face was grave as always after the receiving a missive from his mother. Overcome with worry, Hephaestion sat beside him. "Is she troubling you again he asked Alexander gently, knowing what this meant. Olympias's letters were invariably full of vitriol, and Alexander always looked for comfort in Hephaestion's arms, indeed seemed even more ardent than usual. Alexander nodded, his head sunken. "Alexander," said Hephaestion firmly but sympathetically. "Let me see the letter." When Alexander merely shook his head, Hephaestion forged on. "Alexander there is nothing she can say about either you or me, that will hurt or surprise me. I have heard it all before I can assure you." That was probably true, though as Hephaestion knew, Olympias could be exceptionally cutting and cruel. Why, it had been a note from her to Alexander at Mieza that had sent Alexander looking for Hephaestion, seeking quiet wordless sympathy, which had in turn led onto a whole lot of other things, most of which he remembered with great fondness.

Finally, deciding that Alexander had no right to endure his suffering alone, he snatched the letter from Alexander's hands and began reading it. Alexander shot up, letting out what could only be termed a squeak of outrage. Hephaestion used the slight advantage of an extra inch of height to hold it out of his reach. His eyes grew bigger and bigger as he scanned the text. Alexander slumped down on the bench, once it became obvious Hephaestion had seen what was written, and Hephaestion practically slithered down beside him. "Dear Alexander," he read. "Thank you for your last letter, and for the lovely presents. The gold necklace is most becoming with my red robe. I have prayed to the Gods to keep you well, and I hope you will be pleased with the results of the re-decoration back home..." he continued reading out loud, through eight pages of minutiae about decorations, palace gossip and a description of a banquet she had held, until he came to the end. "Antipater is a dear old man," he read incredulously, "and I can't thank him enough for dealing with the affairs of state- you know how they bore me. I even cut his hair for him the other day, the palace barbers always get it wrong. That reminds me, tell dear Hephaestion," he repeated the phrase in absolute bemusement, "Dear Hephaestion to get his hair cut- I know how fast it grows, and also tell him to remember the purple chiton brings out his eyes the best. All my love to you both. Olympias." He finished and stared at Alexander. "Why?" he asked in utter confusion.

Alexander smiled nervously. "Well..." he began.

Hephaestion's eyes lit up in a way that his opponents in a battle had learned to fear, right before he barrelled through their defences. He took Alexander's arm in a grip of steel, and all but frogmarched him to the box where Alexander kept those few letters he received. Incredulously he flicked through them. They were all utterly innocuous and harmless. Then his breath caught in his throat as he seized upon the last item in the box. The note Alexander had received in Mieza all those years before. His hands trembled a little as he unfolded it. And there it was in Olympias's handwriting. 'Alexander remember to have the yellow tunic washed before I come for a visit. It is too expensive, to be crumpled up and thrown in a ball. Your loving mother Olympias.'

"Well?" demanded Hephaestion. "Where is the heart wrenching missive that forced you to choose between your mother and father?"

Alexander shrugged. "It got lost in delivery?" he offered.

Hephaestion rolled his eyes. "In other words you tricked me into your bed, and whenever you wanted sex you pretended to be sad," stated Hephaestion, when Alexander made no move to elaborate on his previous comment.

"When you put it like that it sounds bad," was the petulant reply.

"Probably because it is bad," was the dry answer. "You could just ask you know."

"Perhaps, but then it was fun you being all solicitous."

Hephaestion merely shook his head in disbelief. "You are definitely going to pay for this Alexander." There was just a hint of something ferocious in his tone, and Alexander couldn't help thinking that he had won either way. Which was not to say Hephaestion lost.

Hope you liked it