What would I do without you? Who would beta my last-minute stuff? who would give me sooper sekrit peeks at yours WsIP? Who would listen to me blather on about fandoms in which you have no interest? Who would squeal over Hephaistion and his three-stringed cithera with me?!
*SO MUCH HUGGING*
In usual style, I am still working on your real present (in real life even!), so you get a placeholder present now. And the glory of musesfool is that the poor girl actually had to beta her own present *is shamed*
Title: Pretty Words All in a Row [Alexander/Hephaistion]
Rating/Warnings: PG-13, for Alexander refusing to believe that philosophy could possibly be more important than him.
Summary: Hephaistion's birthday present is causing some consternation in Alexander's bedroom.
AN: We've been reading the Symposium in class, so it's been on my mind. Also, in greek there's an upsilon in symposium, so that's not a typo.
Pretty Maids All in a Row
"Happy birthday," Alexander says, then chews on his lower lip.
"Thank you." Hephaistion looks up from his writing table to see the prince of Macedonia standing in his doorway, hands behind his back, scratching the back of his ankle with the opposite foot. "Do I get a present?"
"Yes," Alexander answers. He scratches some more. Hephaistion sets down the quill he's been writing with and rests his chin in his hand.
"I don't suppose I might have it?" he inquired.
"Yes." Alexander sighs, and reluctantly pulls his hands out to reveal two scrolls tied together with golden twine. Hephaistion beckons him forward with a finger, suppressing a grin as Alexander drags his sandals the whole way across the rug.
His grin blossoms into a real smile when he undoes the first scroll and reads 'SUMPOSIA' across the top of the parchment.
"Alexander!" He puts down the scroll to keep from crinkling it before jerking Alexander around the writing table to hug him tightly. "Where did you get this?"
"I sent my own slave along when Aristotle sent his back for more of his library." Alexander's words are still reluctant, but his arms snake around Hephaistion to return the embrace. "I know how much you wanted your own…"
Hephaistion interrupts by kissing Alexander soundly, but after a few moments pulls back to eye him critically.
"What's the matter?"
"Nothing." Alexander gives a valiant effort, but is a much better soldier than he is a liar, and all it takes is a raised eyebrow before he caves. "It's just…you've read it quite a few times already, haven't you?"
"Ye-es," Hephaistion agrees.
"But, just because you've read it," Alexander licks his lips before plowing ahead, "doesn't mean you really believe this philosophy business, right?"
"Oh," Hephaistion suddenly understands, and fights down a bray of laughter, which will only make Alexander sulk, "oh, Alexander, you tried to read it didn't you?"
"It was in my bedroom for two weeks!" Alexander protests. "I'm not some illiterate Euboean farmer!"
The laughter is unstoppable now, and Hephaistion tightens his grip on Alexander as much for support as to keep the struggling teenager from twisting out of his arms and running off. He can feel the heat of Alexander's blush against his shoulder.
"My poor Alexander," Hephaistion finally murmurs when he'd got a hold of himself again, leaning back just far enough to see Alexander's eyes blazing with indignation. "Why don't we get some wine, and you can tell me what's got your chiton in a twist, hmm?"
He has his hands full calling for a slave and maneuvering Alexander down onto the bed and bringing over the scrolls, but not too long later an Alexander plied with Macedonia's finest vintage watches with open suspicion as Hephaistion unties the other scroll and spreads both open across the coverlet. Hephaistion brushes careful fingers over the even inked letters and feels heady with wisdom, with the ownership of such powerful words. Shaking his head a little, he turns to smile at Alexander.
"Now then, which of Plato's fine words do you dislike so much?"
Alexander purses his lips, then leans over to scan the page carefully, brow wrinkled. It is the wrinkled brow most of all that makes Hephaistion want to laugh again, makes him want to smooth the wrinkle with his thumbs and extract promises that Alexander would not tax his soul with such deep thoughts. He suppresses both responses, wishing the both of them to stay where they are, Alexander's outer thigh pressing warmly along his own.
"Here." Alexander points, jabbing at the parchment and dimpling it a little; Hephaistion shoos his hand away playfully. "Socrates says that once you begin to contemplate the Beautiful in all things, you disdain any one beautiful individual."
"Aha." Hephaistion understands the worry in Alexander's eyes at last, and leans over to kiss his shoulder. "But he also says that once your soul has seen the Good, it will wish to see nothing else."
He can actually see Alexander's mind working away at that statement, but the grin that dawns at last is more enlightening than any sophistry Hephaistion has ever heard. Hephaistion just manages to roll the parchments out of the way before Alexander pounces, all enthusiastic elbows and knees and relieved blue eyes.
The scrolls might get a little crumpled on the floor after Alexander's chiton and one sandal land on top of them, but Hephaistion, deep in contemplation of the Good, finds that his soul has moved beyond material concerns. At least until he has to roll over because Alexander's other sandal is digging into his lower back.
"Hmm," Alexander murmurs with his eyes closed, sprawled on his stomach and satisfied on a variety of levels. "Happy birthday."
"Yes," Hephaistion agrees, drawing his fingers through mussed, golden hair, smiling at the way Alexander's eyelids flutter. "I'm looking forward to yours. Perhaps I can get you some of Aristotle's newer works to ponder…"
Hephaistion's words cut off in a yelp as Alexander pinches his side hard, but he is laughing as Alexander lifts himself and throws a knee over Hephaistion's waist.
"Philosophy," Alexander sneers, shifting back until Hephaistion gasps. "I'll make it so the only thing you can think to love is me."
And Hephastion thinks that those are fine words he wouldn't dream of arguing with.