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Empty spaces fill me up with holes
Distant faces with no place left to go

Without you within me I can't find no rest
Where I'm going is anybody's guess



Apollo's chariot brought light to a new day.
The encampment was starting to wake. Men got to their business, the cooks prepared the king's breakfast.

I've tried to go on like I never knew you
I'm awake but my world is half asleep


Everyone tried to cheer up Alexander, keeping to a minimum noise though. The king was morose and it was not a good idea to provoke his wrath.

I pray for this heart to be unbroken
But without you all I'm going to be is incomplete



His eyes looked around from time to time, searching the absent light of his darkened heart. No one dare to pronounce the name they knew Alexander was eager to hear about.

I don't mean to drag it on, but I can't seem to let you go
I don't wanna make you face this world alone


After a while, he could not stand it anymore.
With a painful glance to Ptolemy, who returned it with an accusing one, Alexander got up and left without a single word.
He did not left silence behind him.

I don't wanna let you go

**********

The sun shined, warming the newly spring, blurring the edges of the winter cold.
He was wearing a long wool dark red cloak and Persian warm clothes.

Like a tear of blood amidst the rocky field.

His blue eyes drinking in the landscape, so bright and vibrant with new colours.
So different from last night!

A sad smile tugged at the corner of his beautiful mouth.
'Yes,' he thought with a heavy heart. 'it's still there!'

The mountain.

The snow glittered with the sunlight, playing contrast to the browns and greens of low altitude zones.
There was a soft breeze, making his hair dance as if possessed by playful fairies that had fun with the long silken strands.
A shudder passed through his body and he hugged the cape tightly around his shoulders.
A sense of angst made him freeze. A painful breath left his lips.
"Alexander!"

He did not have to turn around to know.

***********

Alexander felt like seeing the border of the world.
No more worlds to conquer...

No. He had something much more difficult to obtain.
A broken Heart.
Shattered by his words.
Oh Zeus almighty, give me strength to save our love. Please, Aphrodite, let me not be too late. I can not live without him in my life!

His heart was beating wildly.
Finally he had found his Hephaistion!
He seemed like a god. The god of beauty, Apollo himself turned man, for his light shined more than the sun!

Tears of regret blossom in the brown eyes.
Hephaistion was unmoving, surrounded by grey clouds of pain. That, was Alexander's doing.
He was shinning no more.

"Hephaistion!..." the whisper broke with a sob.

The cupper haired head leaned down.

Alexander gently approached the man he loved more than life itself.

Like two pillars of grieve, they stood, side by side, facing the distant mountains.

"Forgive me."

There was so much regret in the king's voice! So much pain and despair.
"What are you asking forgiveness for?"
Hephaistion deep voice was soft and warm... but held so much grieve and acceptance that Alexander's heart broke all over again.
He tried to speak but his throat was clenched tight, as if someone was choking him.

Hephaistion turned his head to look in Alexander's teary eyes.

It was as if he could read his soul with those amazing deep blue eyes.
Alexander felt naked, shivering, utterly frighten and lonely. He felt scared like never, ever, had in any battlefield!

The blue eyes turned again to the mountains.

"The sun makes the snow glow." Soft sounds left the grieving lips. "The mountain becomes alive with the sunlight."
The king felt an easing in his pain and tried to control his emotions. He nodded silently.
It is beautiful! Like you, my Hefestion.

"It's full of life and colour, wrapped in bird songs and wind..." Hephaistion regard became clouded. "But inside... inside is frozen!"
As my heart!

Alexander could not turn his eyes from his true eromenos, his beloved. A blink and he would disappear as if made of white mist.

"You see, Alexander..." they locked eyes, both hurting; one scared, the other resigned to his fate.
A sad smile. "I am like the mountain."

No!

"What... what do you mean!?" finally his voice was released from his lips. "You are not like the mountain!" the chill of loss paled his features.

Another sad smile.
"I am."
He took Alexander's right hand, lovingly, caressing it, and put it in his chest, pressing it to his heart.
"Do you feel it? My heart is beating." He was being pierced to his core by the deep blue. "But do you feel the cold around it? Can you sense the hole in my heart?!"

No! No, no, no... Please, my love...No.

"Hephaistion...don't say that! Please, don't say that!..."

But it is true.


One step back and he let go of Alexander's hand letting his own fell to his side. Lifeless.
Alexander felt lost and cut from the strong warm presence of his Patroklus.

"I'm the one who should apologize." Whispered the lonely mountain.

What?!

Hephaistion did not gave him time to say anything. His eyes again in Alexander's face, open windows to his bleeding soul.

"Forgive me, Alexander, for believing in myself as a good friend to you; forgive me for giving you my devotion thinking you knew I asked nothing in return. Forgive me for thinking we were true friends, true soulmates... Forgive me for wishing for your love. Forgive me for loving you still..."

Alexander was becoming desperate with each word that cascade from his love's soul.
He grabbed Hephaistion face while shaking his head no, trying to stop the terrible words.
Hephaistion tears run through his fingers, scalding them.

"Forgive me for not be able to forget you. Forgive me for wanting you in my life, for caring for you, for respecting you. Forgive me for trying my best with your army and your kingdom. Forgive me for always want to be by your side." he was sobbing now, along with Alexander that hugged him tightly.
"Forgive me for I am the mountain..." the whispered voice said to Alexander's hair and shoulder, eyes closed and tears flowing free. " and I cannot be the moon!"

Alexander closed his eyes, carding his fingers through that soft copper hair.
"I'm glad you're not the moon." He answered softly, feeling some kind of relieve. "I don't like the moon, now that I know its dark side."
I'm in love with the mountain! I have always been.

After a moment of sharing pain, Alexander brought the mourning Hephaistion even closer and both sat on the ground covered by flat rocks, new growing grass and sand.
An almost mountain ground!

With a tenderness born of deep love, Alexander kissed Hephaistion hands, reverently.
"Forgive me, Hephaistion... I love you so much...I'm dying inside with this pain. It's worse than all the wounds I've gained in battle. It's shredding my soul. I've failed you! I'm not worth of you or your love."

He locked his eyes with Hephaistion's, that were shimmering, brighter than the blue mid morning sky.

"I know now, that you are the world I want to conquest." A smile blossomed in his eyes. Bitter, but shinning with hope. "I think the gods were showing me the right path again. My painful words almost made me lose you! And there's no land, reign, people or animal that could fill the place you have in my heart. And in my life!"
A fluttering touch to the tear stained smooth skin. "I've become blind by my own light! Do you think that is why the sun is so lonely!?" That brought another little smile to both faces, an easier smile.
Alexander voice became stronger and serious. "Without you, Hephaistion, I have nothing. I am nothing! I prefer death to live with this pain of not have you as a friend, as a soulmate. And you are! My best friend. My only soulmate. My beloved. My life."

Hephaistion closed his eyes for a moment, letting Alexander words sink in.
The pain inside was sooth by those heartfelt words. But the emptiness remained.

"Alexander, you know the pain you're feeling will soon pass. You have a kingdom to rule, people to help, your wives, your...lovers."
Oh, how it hurt to even say that word.

The king lower his head for a moment, still holding Hephaistion's hands in his and kissed first one palm then the other.

"I wish I didn't need to have an heir. Our kingdom needs an heir. Not I... I don't. All I need is you by my side. "

Drinking in the beautiful face in front of him, he put his left hand over Hephaistion's heart, relishing in the soft rhythmic fluttering he felt.
A hole in his heart!

"Let me try to fill that hole with my love, for it is my fault it exists! I can not forgive myself the pain I cause you." A note of despair fell on his voice despite his effort to avoid it,
"I'll do anything for you! I will conquer back your heart."

A heavy sight cut him off.

"I'm tired of fighting, Alexander." There was weariness in the soft murmur. " I keep fighting for my place among the generals and so called friends.. always fighting the envy, the jealousy, the indifference. My honour and valour. To be seen for what I do and not for what I look and what they think I am to you. I'm so tired!" He sighed and tried to keep out any accusation Alexander might hear in his words, "My body aches ...outside and inside!"

Alexander shook his head and put a finger to Hephaistion's lips.

"No more fighting! I don't want any more battles!" He smiled openly, having a new purpose in his life. . "I want to explore the world with you by my side. I'll give you the world. Not by taking it but by knowing it!" He knew Hephaistion and Aristotle shared that, the thirst for knowing. So did he, even if he got lost along the way. He would prove Hephaistion he was worthy of his love again.
"I'll prove my love for you to the whole world. Our children will know that too. We will tell them how big is our love, our bound. One heart, one soul in two bodies. I'll tell everyone how unfair I was."

Hephaistion took one hand out of Alexander's ones and caress his face. Like a wounded butterfly trying to fly again.
"No, Alexander. We can not undo what has been done. Let it rest. The harm is already done. It can not be avoided anymore. Let's try to mend it." He looked at the bright landscape.
The sun was shinning, a few cotton white clouds against the light blue sky.

"You are Alexander the Great. Magnos Alexandros."
A king can not go back!

The weight of his rule as a king felt like an elephant on his chest.
"I might be." He finally said, after a moment. "But I owe it to you too. We are meant to be together: Hephaistion and Alexander. History will remember that! Like Patroklus and Achilles."

They kept sitting together, side by side.
Hephaistion arranged his blood red cape around him, trying to find some balance in his heart and his mind. The foul words still hurt his heart and he knew it would take time until he could give back his love and trust back to Alexander. But he could not deny that love. It was stronger than him. For in true he knew his love was nothing without Alexander. He loved no one else but him. Completely.
He would give Alexander a chance to prove he deserved to be loved as a friend and as a man.

"Why you say my name first?"

"I say first what I love the most. I'm sure Achilles would put Patroklus first too."

A small smile was shared, mingled yet with some sadness. But the king felt exultation at the slight blushing response.

"Do you know about the Sun and the Mountain? They fell deeply in love. They are eternal lovers. At the day light they rule the world but at Dusk and Dawn...they stay together and make sweet glittering love. They set the sky on fire!"

They fell in silence like the old times when sharing love and friendship with their simple presence.

The cold around Hephaistion's heart was turning into a tingling feeling. The hope on Alexander's eyes was chasing the despair away.

A new love was blooming between them. Full of warm, with deep bright colours. Like a new sunrise.

"Are you not awaited at the encampment?" There was a teasing tilt in the question.
"Probably!" A smug smile. "But I'm occupied with an important task. I'm watching the sunrise."

Typical! Waiting for a sunrise at the mid of the morning!
"That passed some time ago! Are you waiting for the next one?"
"No," He looked Hephaistion in his eyes, smiling tenderly, full of love, hope and promises. How could he resist? Hephaistion answered with a slow and true smile on his face and in his eyes. "I'm watching it right now."

The most beautiful sunrise, with red shades and blue sky!

Alexander offered his hand, palm up like holding his heart on it. Hephaistion looked at it, sparkling eyes, soul cleansing tears and a mending heart. His hand fitted so perfectly as made for it and no one else's.
Alexander felt tears prickle in his eyes, again a deep hope filling him and such happiness he thought he would burst.
"You are the light on my dark life. To be with you, to have you and seeing you smile like that is like the sun rising in my own world of loneliness. An eternal sunrise on the mountains!"

The mountain was lonely no more. The sun was blind no more.

They had each other!

They had the sunrise!

The End