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New story: Miles Scortillusque

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17 April 2009 | 18:19
mood: pleasedpleased
posted by: sineala in the_safehouse

Title: Miles Scortillusque (The Soldier and the Whore)
Author: Sineala
Format: novel-length story (~56,000 words)
Circuit Archive: Yes.
Pros-Lib: Yes; I've got a plaintext version for you.
Slash/Gen: Slash
Warnings: Not sure if reference to past B/other and implied D/other count as other pairings, but, well, if you're extremely sensitive. There are a couple of issues about consent in this setup generally, but I would call it dub-con rather than rape. I would say that there's really nothing to warn for, though. [EDIT: To clarify, also, don't worry about the volcano. They're not going to die.]
Summary: The year is 74. A lonely Roman soldier on leave in Pompeii meets a Celt at a brothel. Together they each learn that the other is not what they expected.
Disclaimer: They're not mine.

Why, yes, this is a Roman AU; however did you guess? Also there is rentboy!Doyle. You're welcome.

As this story is too long to post easily to LJ, you can read it at the Automated Hatstand or the Archive of Our Own.

More extensive story notes (on historical accuracy, my bibliography, etc.), containing story spoilers can be found on my own LJ here.
Tags:

Link | R/T open |

Comments {27}

londonronnie

(no subject)

from: londonronnie
date: 17 April 2009 22:22 (UTC)
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I've been looking forward to this for weeks!

Thanks so much for linking to it here.

*vbg*

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 17 April 2009 22:48 (UTC)
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Aww, thanks. I hope it lives up to your expectations.

*waits nervously* :)

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Squeeful

(no subject)

from: squeeful
date: 17 April 2009 22:33 (UTC)
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Why, yes, this is a Roman AU; however did you guess? Also there is rentboy!Doyle. You're welcome.


Thank you! ;-) *settles in with a bowl of ice cream*

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 17 April 2009 22:50 (UTC)
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He's not a very good rentboy, but he is one nonetheless. :P Hope you enjoy it.

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Squeeful

(no subject)

from: squeeful
date: 18 April 2009 04:10 (UTC)
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Oh, I did, but I took one look at the location and the date and felt bad they were going to go bye-bye in five years; it put a damper of dread through the whole thing. I'm going to pretend they were visiting Gaul at the time.

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 18 April 2009 04:38 (UTC)
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Oh, don't worry! They're going to be okay! East of Pompeii is untouched by the pyroclastic flow (which hits Herculaneum), and the ash all goes south (to Pompeii, and past it). They end up in the countryside east of it, which is really perfectly fine, honest. They don't die.

They could also be visiting Gaul. That works too.

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MysteriousAliWays

(no subject)

from: mysteriousaliwz
date: 18 April 2009 02:08 (UTC)
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Stayed up till 3am reading this, as I didn't want to stop! Very enjoyable :)

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 18 April 2009 02:32 (UTC)
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Wow, thanks! I'm so glad you liked it that much.

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windrain10

(no subject)

from: windrain10
date: 18 April 2009 02:50 (UTC)
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Outstanding. Just outstanding. In every way. I could see everything in my mind and I thought the characteristics were perfect. I'm just in awe. Wow, wow, wow. Can't thank you enough for writing this. I know nothing, absol nothing, about the Romans, the Greeks or the Celts, but this captured my interest from beginning to end. Thanks very, very much! You did a great job!

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 18 April 2009 04:28 (UTC)
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Oh, thank you so much for commenting! This is my second posted Pros story ever, so I've been sitting here all evening worrying people wouldn't like it, that no one would buy PTSD!Bodie as a characterization, and that it wouldn't work for people who knew nothing about Rome, that there was too much Latin and Greek, blah blah blah... you get the idea. And then I got your comment, and eee, you liked it.

So I'm really happy that it worked so well for you, and held your interest the whole way through (because it is, um, kind of long). So thank you very much for letting me know.

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heliophile_oxon

(no subject)

from: heliophile_oxon
date: 18 April 2009 13:34 (UTC)
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Absolutely brilliant! - and it was only 1:30 am for me *g* I was also worried about the eruption, of course (though I thought for a bit that you might have decided to use it to conceal their escape so they'd be presumed dead, and then I wondered if they were going to be visiting Massilia at the time), but I see that you have already dealt with that in comments above. I didn't know which areas were affected or not, and hadn't realised which side of the town their farm was on - but of course I'm glad to know they'll be all right! I don't suppose they might have been entertaining friends at the time, so they could escape the eruption too?

Oh and did I mention how much I love it when historically-set stories take their history seriously? Very very much indeed. I really appreciate the effort and respect that goes into making your story well-researched and giving it that richness of detail (and I imagine that this is an area you know a great deal about!) Thank you so much!

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 18 April 2009 16:13 (UTC)
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I guess I should have written NO THEY DON'T DIE at the end or something, huh? But, yeah, there's a reason Bodie doesn't buy a house in town; I took a look at a map of Vesuvius's destructive path and figured out which direction he should settle in. Or they could be going back up to Gaul. (And, yes, he could have been entertaining friends. Or his friends could have fled to join him. A lot of people successfully did -- they had about a day to get out, after all.)

I tried to take history seriously. Believe it or not, this is not actually my field (my degrees are all in theoretical linguistics, and I don't even know Latin), so I tried to, you know, do as much research as I could. This is pretty much entirely lysimache's knowledge, so I'm afraid I can't take the credit here. I just wrote the story and she corrected all my appalling errors.

And thanks for commenting. I'm glad you liked it.

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heliophile_oxon

(no subject)

from: heliophile_oxon
date: 18 April 2009 16:36 (UTC)
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Just popped over to your lj to read your story notes, and all I can say is that if this is anything to go by your writing and research together with lysimache's knowledge are clearly one hell of a team. And I really really loved the result. And I forgot to add that both not-having-sex and having-sex scenes are riveting.

Um, next up - B&D in the disturbing world of theoretical linguistics? *g* (that's not meant to be taking-the-mickey, by the way - there's always the danger of mis-toning a comment when it's written rather than spoken! - but more that you've left me hungry for more erudition!)

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 18 April 2009 19:47 (UTC)
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I tried to get her to write it with me, but she wouldn't. :P I'm glad you liked the having-sex and the not-having-sex. When I started it I thought that surely, with there being rentboy!Doyle, there would be a lot of sex, but it ended up much less than I imagined. It was a little strange.

I don't think anyone seriously wants to read Bodie and Doyle as linguists (and honestly, I don't know that I'm the one to write it). But I guess this is why other fandoms have "Take Your Fandom To Work" story challenges...

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heliophile_oxon

(no subject)

from: heliophile_oxon
date: 18 April 2009 20:53 (UTC)
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No, I think you're right about their not being linguists! *g* - I just have a weakness for people writing in areas where they can bring in specialist knowledge. You'd think it would lean towards the clunky and bolted-on, but it can work a treat, can't it!

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Reader

(no subject)

from: siskiou
date: 19 April 2009 00:26 (UTC)
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I'm another one who read it last night and couldn't stop! It was wonderful, very easy to visualize everything! Poor B&D, each having to deal with tragedy, but still being able to keep on going. I liked D as the oldest in the brothel, helping the younger slaves, and how it wasn't love at first sight for both of them, when B first paid for D's services.

Seeing where the story was taking place, I was also very worried how it would end, Thanks for not having them be there when disaster struck!

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 19 April 2009 14:39 (UTC)
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Thanks for letting me know you liked it!

If I'd known so many people were going to be worried about what happens to them in five years, I probably would have done the end differently...

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hagsrus

(no subject)

from: hagsrus
date: 19 April 2009 16:32 (UTC)
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"Pros-Lib: Yes; I've got a plaintext version for you."

Appreciate that -- will you be emailing it?

Cheers

Frances
Proslib business: proslib at gmail dot com
http://www.livejournal.com/users/hagsrus/

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 19 April 2009 17:44 (UTC)
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Yes -- I want to give it a couple more days on the web first, to see if anyone spots any other embarrassing typos I missed, because then I can fix them before you archive it.

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magenta_blue

(no subject)

from: magenta_blue
date: 19 April 2009 21:33 (UTC)
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Hello! Just finished reading this, and it was a great read. Really and truly - I fell into this story, and now I am finished I want to read it again. I so appreciate the research you did, and it was a fascinating look into that era. I could really hear B & D, and all the characters were great and well thought out. Plot was brill too. So a big thank you from me, and I'll definitely be looking out for you name on furture fic *she says in hope* :)

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 20 April 2009 00:05 (UTC)
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Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it, and want to read it again (wow, that's really flattering). And I'm pleased you thought they sounded like B&D, even though the names were different. I stole the plot from Plautus, more or less, but glad you liked it anyway. :)

I have an even longer (zine-bound) story in beta, so hopefully you'll be seeing more from me sometime, yes...

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andrea

(no subject)

from: andreathelion
date: 20 April 2009 14:15 (UTC)
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Like some others here I spent good parts of the night to read from start to finish *g*
Although, at first, I wasn't sure, if I should read it at all, Au and then set in the year 74 O_o Not my usual reading stuff.

And now I'm glad, I did. It was absolutely brilliant and fantastic, I really enjoyed the time travel :D

Thanks a lot and I'm looking forward to read more from you!

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 20 April 2009 14:51 (UTC)
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Thanks for letting me know you liked it. I'm glad you did read it anyway, even if it's not usually your thing; I know AUs aren't for everyone. It seems like everyone is worrying they're going to die. And I'm glad you think it's brilliant and fantastic. :)

I'm hoping to write more, yes.

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shooting2kill

(no subject)

from: shooting2kill
date: 20 April 2009 15:15 (UTC)
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I wish I could articulate how much I'm loving this story - it's charming and wonderful and I've fallen in love with Bodie and Doyle yet again! And the Doyle you've created is inspirational because I feel so many writers get him wrong by making him either too feminine, spiteful towards Bodie, a little tease or totally submissive to Bodie whereas you've managed to keep him proud, spirited and mentally independent even while he's enslaved to the system that was Rome. I *love* long stories and feel it's ages since I've enjoyed one so much and I'm even reading it online which I hate doing so that says a lot for the story(!) Thank you so much for writing it, for sharing it and for posting it here where it's accessible.

Edited at 2009-04-20 15:20 (UTC)

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 20 April 2009 17:30 (UTC)
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Aww, thank you so much. I'm glad I got Doyle right, even though in terms of, say, upbringing and profession he's far removed from canonical Doyle; I was a little worried. I tried to keep him proud, at least. And he's definitely not submissive. I hope.

And I'm glad you were willing to read it online -- I know it's a lot to read. I was thinking about formatting a nice PDF and putting it up somewhere, if there was any interest in a more printable copy. And thanks again for letting me know you liked it.

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rosie55

(no subject)

from: rosie55
date: 21 April 2009 11:07 (UTC)
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This has gone straight into my top ten stories I can read and re-read, I love AUs but would never have thought of a Roman AU and to me this works brilliantly. It drew me in so quickly, I couln't stop reading it and immediately wanted to read it again to re-immerse myself in this world you have created so convincingly. Just enough real places and people to anchor it in reality.
So I've already read it twice (online) and now I've printed it out so that I can dip into it whenever I want to. But a printable .pdf sometime would be lovely and that way I would be sure I had any corrections you've made.
I love the way you have written the lads, Bodie's PTSD is very believable, I think Doyle's spirit and independence, trying to explain to Bodie why he doesn't want him to buy him, is very much in character.
And I have never visited Pompeii and now I want to! You have brought it alive for me and engaged me with that whole era. If I had one little niggle, (and I hope you will take this in the constructive spirit in which it is offered!) it was that I felt the Bodie/Crassus conflict didn't really resolve itself - I can't imagine Crassus taking his defeat on this without another word, so maybe there might even be an opportunity for a sequel there! (She says hopefully!) That way you could tell us about the triumph and maybe even the eruption in due course! Yes, I'm greedy!
Wonderfully done, thank you so much for this lovely long treat! Can't wait for more.

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mollior cuniculi capillo

(no subject)

from: sineala
date: 21 April 2009 17:19 (UTC)
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Wow, top ten? I'm flattered.

As far as I can tell, there's only one other Roman AU (and its sequel), and it's really more of a time-travel plot. I figured the fandom could do with another one. And I'll certainly consider making a nicer printable version, then.

I'm glad you like the characterization, and the setting -- I've never been to Pompeii either, but luckily my beta has. I hear it's a little different these days, though. :P And you're right that the conflict with Crassus didn't really completely resolve; I couldn't really think of a good way to finish it when the rest of the plot was winding down. But you're right, I guess I've left myself open for a sequel!

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