I need to be shot. I keep on writing these bloody little short fictions, because all these ideas keep wandering into my head. I apologize. However on the plus side I'm writing for both Far Away From Here and Forgotten Lakes at the moment, so expect an update on them soon!

Do not even ask why Hephaestion has a cockney accent.

Title: Forgiving and Forgetting

Fandom: Mostly Alexander

Pairing: Alexander/ Hephaestion?/?

Rating: K

Summary: Hephaestion has a talk with a much vaunted hero of the past, who manages to clear his mind on a few issues concerning mistaken identity.

Hephaestion shifted quietly on the grass. "So.." he began, and stopped. There really wasn't anything to say to the man beside him. He shot a careful look at the other man, from under dark lashes. Beautiful really. Chesnut hair in flat locks against a well shaped skull, strong features, a gentle mouth and dark blue eyes. A scar ran down his neck, beginning just under his jaw, and vanishing into the simple white garment that he wore. His hands were large and capable looking, and he looked to be in his twenties. And utterly, utterly boring.

The other man blinked and looked at him. "What is it?" he asked. "Would you like another story?" A small smile made its way onto generous lips. "We are sort of running out of the good ones. There is only so many times I can repeat them."

Hephaestion did not reply. Then he sighed. "Do you know they think I'm you?" he said in an abrupt non sequiter.

"We don't really look alike," the other man pointed out reasonably, looking at Hephaestion's short cut black hair, wide grey eyes, and more delicate body, at the paler skin and rather stronger features.

"I know. We don't even act alike. And yet..." Hephaestion stopped and sighed, hearing how petulant his words sounded. "It's annoying," he said finally. "I mean you're a nice bloke, and I'm sure it must be annoying to have me compared to you." He kicked his leg a bit, and squashed a daisy, grimacing. "How old are you anyway?"

There was a brief silence, then a teasing reply. "What a rude question." He is faced with an arched eyebrow, and finally replies. "I was thirty."

There is only soft wondering sadness in Hephaestion's voice. "I was older than you. Only a little, but even so." His eyes are vacant, as though he is no longer there. "I never really thought I'd be this old, and even now I am I don't feel it." His voice tails off, and he lies there looking at the sun, its soft radiance saturating his vision, until it seems to be all that is left in him. He does not seem to need an answer. "Do you still love him?" he asks so quietly and gently that it goes almost unheard.

A short silence reigns and then his companion sighs his own heavy sigh. "More than anything." He pauses a second. "I watched you, you know," he said, carefully watching Hephaestion's face, noting the puzzlement, the slight pleasure and the confusion that passed in such swift succession across the features. "You weren't me. You were nothing like I was."

"I don't know whether I should be horribly ashamed or pleased," was the soft reply Hephaestion gave.

"Perhaps a bit of both. I was what I was Hephaestion. I was the best I could be, and I did what only I could have done. You do not need to feel guilt, that you were not like me. You do not even need to feel guilt at deceiving him into believing you were like me. You were always more hard than I was, more cruel and more passionate. Because those were the things you needed to be. Those are the things he fell in love with, and a word, a label, my name cannot take away the fact that you were so different from me."

Hephaestion sat up, and stared at his companion. "More cruel?" he demanded, a little incredulously.

"Yes," was the firm answer. "More cruel, more wild, more thoughtless. You remind me more of my lover, than you do of myself sometimes."

A new voice broke into the conversation. "Why such solemn faces?" Hephaestion gazed up to find a slender blond man, tall and well formed, standing over them, sun lighting his hair to a perfect gold, and giving his skin the same quality. The voice was definitly teasing now. "You must be Hephaestion." Hephaestion merely nodded. "May I steal my lover away for a moment?"

Hephaestion found his tongue. "Of course, certainly."

Achilles looked at him and winked, before extending a hand to pull Patroclus up from his seat on the floor. "He's been philosophizing again hasn't he?" he said, making a face.

Shaking his head, Hephaestion leaned back and closed his eyes against the sight of the sky. "He has given me much to think upon," he said quietly. "Very much indeed."

Those of you who know how I feel about the Iliad and Alexander connection, will know that while I heartily accept the Alexander- Achilles connection, I am much less accepting of the Hephaestion- Patroclus, and I hope this gives some glimpse into why.

Reviews as welcome as always.

A.W.