Title: Alone in State

Fandom: Alexander (not movie)

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Angst

Pairing: Merest hint of Alexander/Hephaestion

Summary: Ficlet. Very short. Three critical moments

He thinks rather feebly that he can't be dying, because this isn't what dying feels like. He's small, and hot, burning up with fever. He's four years and old and lying in his nurse's arms, as he struggles and cries, because it hurts so much. His skin is red and raw, and he wants to rub it against the harsh wool blankets, but he can't move properly. In some part of his mind he realizes that the reason he can't move is because his arms are being held against his body by Agustina's arms. Comforting words are whispered in his ears, and they hold cool clothes to his forehead that make him feel like he is diving into cold water. He feels himself falling, falling and he can't remember how to swim, so he just lets the water fill his lungs, and takes deep breaths, feeling his throat flood itself. Darkness comes, but still his eyes are open, feeling the water press against them. He doesn't remember how he slept.

He's seventeen and he's wounded in his left arm. The wound isn't healing well, and he can hear whispered thoughts passing from one doctor to another. He will have to lose the arm. The arm isn't healing. He's delirious. He wants to scream at them, that he can hear every word they say, that he doesn't want to live a cripple, dependant on others for the rest of his days. But the decay fills his mouth, and seals his lips and all he can do is watch helplessly as they push him and prod him, and talk about him in cold clinical terms, and force draughts past unresisting lips, and poultices on his wound. He doesn't lose the arm.

He's thirty one years old, and he knows he is dying. His skin is damp and cold, and there is no fire. He thinks vaguely that he would have preferred to die in fire. Because at least then he... the thought is lost, and as he blinks his eyes it is as though shutters are in operation. One moment his eyes are open, and the doctors are there, different faces but the same harsh hands, and whispers, and they turn his head, and look in his eyes, then he blinks and they are gone. Alexander is there now, gentle hands steadying his head, giving him water, and he thinks half with a grimace of what he must look like. He blinks and Alexander is gone, or was never there. But Bagoas is there now, as silent and dutiful as ever, his girlish form throwing shadows against the wall that remind him of Agustina's slim shape, and he even smells the same, or perhaps he is slipping back into memory now. He isn't held, but Bagoas has taken this task of washing his face and feeding him water, not a single motion revealing disgust or vindictiveness. He wants to speak, perhaps to thank him, but he turns his head to see who is holding his hand, and Alexander is sitting there, asleep in his chair, and he forgets Bagoas with another blink. He isn't dying, he thinks to himself. Because dying doesn't feel like this.

He dies alone in state.

Reviews welcome