"Is there something wrong, love?" Hephaestion asked, as Alexander let out yet another sigh.
They were in Alexander's rooms. Hephaestion sat at a table looking over random documents and maps, while Alexander was sprawled out horizontally across the bed. He stared dejectedly at the ceiling.
For five minutes now Hephaestion had listened to him let out periodic sighs. The general had silently sat, with a grin on his face, as his beloved continually made noises of exasperation. So finally, he had granted Alexander what he was looking for, acknowledgement of the sighs, and asked what was bothering.
"I wish we were young again, Phai." Alexander disclosed the catalyst of his restlessness.
"That is the prayer of every aging being to ever exist, Xander" Hephaestion replied, poking fun at him just a little bit.
The King turned his head to look at his lover, "It was all so much easier when we were young." He went on like Hephaestion had not spoken.
"You are not the first to observe that fact." Hephaestion again replied.
Alexander cast a dark look, catching on that he was being mocked.
"Do not sit there and pretend that you do not wish for the same thing." Alexander demanded.
Now Hephaestion sighed, "Yes, Xander I do wish it at times. But the problem is that wishes will always remain exactly what they are: wishes."
Suddenly a look came over the king's face. A glint entered his eye that Hephaestion recognized all too well. He had just come up with something that he thought was a great idea.
Alexander sat up suddenly and said, "Why?"
"What do you mean?" The General was utterly confused.
"Why can we not return to our childhood, for one day?"
Hephaestion could not stop himself from laughing at his beloved, "You may be the most powerful king in the world, Xander, but I do not believe that you have yet acquired the ability to reverse the sand in the hourglass."
Alexander sat on the bed, an annoyed look covering his face, waiting until Hephaestion's laughter had faded.
"Are you done?" He asked as Hephaestion tried to hide his grin.
"For now. But who knows what will happen when you say something else that is totally ridiculous."
Alexander continued to frown.
The General managed to get control over his face again and said, "I am sorry, love. Please, continue."
"Thank you." Alexander stood up from the bed and walked towards the center of the room. "As I as trying to say, why can we not, for a few hours return to childhood. Maybe not literally, but spiritually perhaps. We could just close ourselves up in here and escape to an easier time."
Hephaestion had always admired his beloved's passion. He could see that passion now in his clear, honest eyes. Alexander really wanted this.
"How do you suggest we go about transporting ourselves backwards in time?" He asked the King.
This, Alexander hadn't quite figured out. Hephaestion could tell when his golden brow furrowed and his eyes faded off, as he searched his mind for the answer.
Hephaestion thought that he had had his lover stumped, when Alexander suddenly pulled himself back to the present, let a grin stretch over his fine face, and then started moving swiftly about the room.
The darker man could only watch as he golden counterpart gathered various pieces of furniture, chairs, tables, and cushions, and arranged them in what appeared to be a very particular design. Then he ripped a blanket off the bed he had occupied not very long ago, which served only to confuse Hephaestion more.
It wasn't until Alexander dramatically draped the cloth over his formation of furniture that the General let a smile of recognition pull at his lips.
"Do you remember this?" The architect/King asked of his soul mate.
A simple nod from Hephaestion, "How could I not?"
Alexander lifted the edge of the blanket, "After you, my Phai"
As a grown man, Hephaestion felt a little foolish bending down and climbing into the makeshift fort. Alexander followed after him, so he decided that if King Alexander was willing to do it, then he should be too.
They lay down next to each other, staring at the ceiling of the tent. The air was heavy, but not smothering or thick the way you would expect. Hephaestion was sure that was because he could never be uncomfortable while Alexander lay close to him.
Alexander rolled to his side and propped his head up, placing a warm hand on Hephaestion's chest.
"Does this not make you feel somewhat younger once again?" He inquired.
The General chuckled, "I suppose it does. We did spend many afternoons like this."
"Hiding from Olympias."
"Hiding from Philip." Hephaestion added.
"Hiding from the world." Alexander reached out and stroked his other half's handsome face.
"We've always done that well." Hephaestion pressed his forehead to Alexander's
When the two were boys, on rainy days you could be guaranteed to find them in some room of the castle lying under some expanse of cloth. Neither knew how the tradition started. Perhaps because they felt the need to be in an environment they could control, have power over. They had ruled over all when inside one of their tents. And now, ironically, Alexander hid under the blankets to escape the responsibilities of ruling.
Hephaestion's eyes left his love's to scan over the enclosure.
"You know, I am surprised in you, Alexander." He said, "This fort is really almost pathetic. At least compared to the fortresses we have constructed in the past, sprawling tunnels and chambers of blankets that filled entire rooms. This tiny, little…hovel is hardly up to the standards we once held."
Alexander's brow furrowed as he looked around at his construction. Then he nodded.
"You are absolutely right, my Phai. As a boy, I would have been ashamed to admit that it was I who created this structure. We must expand. If we were to be attacked by opposing forces our fortress would be so easily taken."
And so they added on tunnels and other chambers. They created walls of cushions wrapping around their fortress, just as they had done years ago. Somehow, mentally, they had slipped back into their childhood. They lost themselves in designing their fort, just as any pair of young boys would do. They thought nothing of the problems and worries that come with age. They escaped into this childish moment.
When their structure seemed satisfactory they climbed back under it to survey their work, which now sprawled over the empty space.
"Something is still not right." observed Alexander.
"You're right," Hephaestion agreed, "We need more fortification on the flank. If they take our flank we are done for."
A wicked grin came over Alexander's face, "You better hope I don't take your flank."
Hephaestion laughed as the King lunged forward as to tackle him down. But there was too much momentum and the two rolled out of the fort. They knocked a few supports and a section fell in on itself. They ended up rolling to a stop at the feet of Ptolemy, who must have entered the room so quietly they could not hear him. This gave both of them quite a shock. They did not know they were being observed.
General Ptolemy took one look at the two men entangled at his feet and at the expanse of blankets and furniture set up around the room and said, "I don't think I want to know."
Ok, well this was really just a silly little idea I came up with at work the other day. Yes, I was thinking about fanfiction at work. Can't you tell how devoted I am to my craft? ;)
I actually am not really that impressed with this particular story, but decided to post it anyways. I hope you liked it. If you did let me know. And if you didn't let me know, but be nice about it. :)