Can you love a ship without ever knowing the canon? Well, if you can't, this project is in some serious trouble, because, uh, I don't watch a lot of canon. (I have now reached the point in my life where I'm getting judged by my own son for not watching enough canon. Child, I did not bring you into this world so you could say in wondering tones, "You've only seen NINE episodes of Doctor Who?" And anyway it's more like 11, thank you.) But in some cases, I don't need to see the canon. And by "don't need," I mean, "Shhhh, just let me sit here and pretend that this is canon, because it should be. It should be."
So, the Canon, to the Best of My Knowledge: there are these dudes named Marcus and Esca. Marcus is a Roman soldier. Esca is his slave. And...I think they're in love? I don't know. I read a couple of recaps of the movie and was like, wow, if there's another explanation for this than "they're committed life partners," it's not coming through here. And to be honest, even if you take it as read that it's Marcus and Esca, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g, the recaps of the movie aren't the easiest thing in the world to follow. I'm guessing it probably makes more sense if you watch it.
But I am okay with not understanding it, because the fic, well. The fic makes it all so clear! And this is the perfect, Platonic ideal of Eagle fic, at least for me. Ridiculous devotion? Yup, we have it. Culture clash? Indeed. Being really good at stuff? Present! Working together to do important things? Hail, hail, the gang's all here, let's get this show on the road. And, yes, okay, it does take like 100,000 words of longing and adventure and lying the mud for them to get the show on the road, but that is a plus. I like slow burns, okay? We already discussed this. I am Team Slower Is Better, and If It Takes Five Years I Am Fine with That, Maybe They Can Have Adventures While They Pine and/or Yearn.
(I have a sneaking suspicion that this whole Ships I Have Loved project is going to reveal a lot of terrible things about my id. Which – like – I am braced for that, but to be honest I am hoping I don't notice and nobody tells me. I definitely don't want to look into the abyss, but I also don't particularly want it or anything else to look into me, if that makes sense. My id probably cannot stand up to abyssal scrutiny.)
So, this fic – yes, I am now back to that – is an AU in which Marcus and Esca are both soldiers in the Roman Army, with Marcus in command of the Actual Worst Unit in the Entire Empire, except really they're not; the Roman Empire is just not prepared to deal with their kind of awesomeness. So there's competence and learning the ropes and a slow burn and battle and complications, and basically if I could I would read versions of this story every day for the rest of my life. Like, this story, but in SPACE! Or this story, but with DRAGONS! What I'm saying is that this should really be a genre all of its own, and I shake my fist at the publishing industry for not understanding that.
But unfortunately it is not a whole genre, so I have no choice but to re-read this one. A lot. But carefully, so I don't wear it out. I assume everyone in the world has already read this story, but if you have, now is a good time to read it again! And if you haven't, good news: now is your time to be alive.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comments.