Disclaimer: Wonderful aren't they, those historical figures? Of course they don't belong to me nor does the way in which they are represented, which belongs to the creators of the movie Alexander. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: I'm posting this first part now because today is my fifth anniversary to fanfic writing! The story itself is not yet finished, though it is coming closer, and I don't know yet when the next part will be up, but reviewing will make both sooner rather than later, so please do!
He sat on the king's bed; the only one who dared. He was hovering over him as his love lay dying; his hands clenched around Alexander's, his bright cerulean eyes never leaving his face. Alexander was pale and feverish, his eyes red-rimmed and wide in madness. His head remained hot even while Bagoas, kneeling on the other side of the king, continuously wiped his brow with moist rags. Alexander knew nothing of it all. Not the pretty eunuch by his bedside, not his generals, friends, servants and wives filling the room; maybe, Hephaestion thought, not even his own presence, that of his closest companion since childhood. He just lay there, shivering, mumbling fragments even Hephaestion did not know the meaning of, unaware of his grip on his hands, the pleads Hephaestion's eyes sent him, to stay.
Behind him, Roxane's screams filled the room for a moment, exclaiming to Alexander about the son she was to bear him, while someone dragged her out of the room. Hephaestion heard her, but could not bring himself to care. Only his Alexander mattered, and he continue to gaze at him. Suddenly, by the power of Zeus himself, Alexander's eyes finally caught his, and held. For the moment, the feverish insanity had left them and Hephaestion knew he finally had his love's attention.
''Phaestion,' Alexander whispered through cracked and dry lips, barely any sound coming out at all; Hephaestion had to lean close to hear him, 'remember when we were boys, in Mieza?' A pained spasm wrecked his body and momentarily stole his eyes from Hephaestion's.
'Of course, all of it,' Hephaestion pledged. And then, with a smile that didn't reach his shining eyes, 'even how you used to dress me up like a sheik.'
But the broken chuckle he had hoped for didn't come. 'Arabia,' Alexander breathed as more sadness flooded his eyes, 'I failed, Hephaestion, I failed them; to free the people of the world!' The frantic desperation in his eyes tore at Hephaestion, as it tried to drag out his own.
'No man has ever gone as far as you have, Alexander,' he tried to sooth his love as he fought desperately to keep his own eyes clear and spare Alexander the worst of his pain, 'A feat to rival Prometheus!'
'Oh Hephaestion,' the king sighed, 'even now you believe in me.'
As he saw the light slowly dimming in his lover's eyes, Hephaestion wanted to plead with him to stay, cry out, grab him and hold on so not even Hades himself would steal his Alexander away from him; anything that would keep Alexander with him just a little longer. With force he didn't know he possessed, he managed to hold the words back, knowing that he had to let his friend go. His tears fought past his eyelids and trailed down his cheeks, splattering on Alexander's face before Hephaestion could stop them. Alexander grew quieter in his arms and Hephaestion could see him struggle against the numbness that tried to close his eyes.
'No,' he whispered, as he saw his king, his friend, his love die. The commotion around them grew as the cries for Alexander to name his successor increased in volume. Once more Alexander's eyes focussed on him, just briefly.
''Phaestion,' he whispered on his last breath, pushing something into Hephaestion's hands before his hold slackened and his eyes closed. For long seconds, Hephaestion kept his eyes desperately glued to Alexander's, wishing, hoping, for any sign of life. But he was disappointed. Finally, he closed his own eyes against the tears, trembling wildly, and was able to glance down just briefly to where his hands were still tightly clinging to Alexander's, finding that what Alexander had exhausted his last strength to give him was the ring he himself had given him on his wedding night years ago. His fingers softly caressed it and at that, his face crumbled, and the tears, now unhindered, blurred Alexander's face almost beyond recognition as he let the entirety of his grief out. Beyond that point, he knew nothing but that his love was dead.