Sometimes it seemed to Cleopatra as though she never got a moment’s peace. In what had been nearly a year since she’d been returned to life, she’d been constantly busy and something had occupied every minute of her day. Between dealing with all her children, running the country, attempting to hear…
If it weren’t for the absence of his ever-present headache and his presentable attire, —The uniform of a Roman soldier; Only distinguishable from a mere legionary’s by the golden breastplate which now hid beneath his fastened red-cloak. — he would’ve believed that he had just sobered-up from yet another alcohol binge.
He ambled through the walkways of the palace’s grounds, breathing in the pleasing scents that seemed to still linger in the misty air. For a brief moment, as his eyes wandered to take in the familiar sceneries, he was led to believe that the events of the Actium and those following it were merely an illusion — An unpleasant dream that he had just awoke from. But, alas, it was all real, as real as the dull, yet irksome, heartache and anguish he felt every time he recalled his disgraceful defeat.
His defeat… Wasn’t he meant to be dead? Did he not drive his own sword through his body only to die in his lover’s arms? Nothing seemed to make sense and he decided to stop trying to make sense of it, for it would only agitate him more.
His walking, along with his barely consistent pattern of thoughts, came to an abrupt halt and he squinted his eyes in an attempt to make out the indistinct figure that now stood in the darkness before him.
That voice, it was unmistakably hers, and that alone was able to bring the smile back to his face.
He felt a surge of emotions springing up from within him; Ones he could not identify, but were enough to erase any doubts he had. He was not drunk, for this is the soberest he had been in years. He was not a lost soul, either, and this was no afterlife; He was alive and, truthfully, he didn’t care to know how.
Happiness overwhelmed the esteemed general, and containing it within the realm of a mere smile proved to be a task even harder than he had imagined. He stepped out of the shadowed area, a lopsided grin resting on his lips. “Don’t fret, my queen. It’s only I.”
Of all the things in the world she might have expected to come out of the darkness, her husband was not on the list. She’d expected Caesarion perhaps, having grown bored with his reading and intending on looking for her. Or maybe Mardian or Olympos looking for her some unknown but they felt it important reason.
Cleopatra’s breath caught in her throat when what appeared to be Antony stepped out of the darkness, into the faint circle of light in front of the mausoleum. It looked just like him, in the same familiar armour he’d always worn, and his voice was the same as she remembered it, though she never thought she’d hear it again.
A strangled noise came from her lips and her hand immediately went to her mouth as though to silence it. She stumbled backwards slightly, her hand grasping at the stone of the walls trying to hold on to something that was solid and real. She remembered all too well when she’d come to the mausoleum purposely on the anniversary of his death, and thought she had seen and heard him then too, only to be woken up a terrified looking Caesarion shaking her shoulders. She’d evidently passed out and dreamed the entire thing, and she’d been devastated for days afterwards.
“Please” she managed to choke out, fighting against every instinct in her that was telling her to run over to him, throw herself into his arms, and refuse to ever let him out of her sight again “Please if you’re just a dream…please just go away. I can’t do this again, I can’t”.
A frown was drawn upon his lips, taking the place of the silly grin he so often wears on, and, in unspoken confusion, his brows creased, knitting together; She appeared surprised, shaken, and he didn’t know the reason why.
"A dream…?" Antony prompted as he inched closer to where she stood; Brushing aside the question just as soon as he had imposed it; It all felt too vivid, too real, to be a dream and he had no doubt about that.
He stopped before her and tenderly tilted her chin up, his eyes softening as they met hers. His lips parted to speak, not a single sound dared to leave them. He leaned close, close enough for her to feel his breath, but not close enough for their lips to touch. “I swear on my life,” A breathy whisper fell out of his lips as he tenderly traced her lips with his thumb, “I’m really here.”