Title: The Extraordinarily Complex Task of Condensing a 920-Year-Old Romance into a 145-Word Speech (While Being Abducted)
Genre: Slash, h/c, angst, humor, action, etc
Characters: Predominantly Joe/Yusuf and Nicky/Nicolo but the rest of the immortals show up, as well.
Word count: 47,380 (What can I say, when you have nearly a 1000 years to play with, there's a lot of story to tell)
Warning: Canon era violence and attitudes
Spoilers: The comics and the movie
Author Notes: So I watched They Old Guard on Netflix and kind of fell in love with it. It has kick ass female leads, people of color, and basically takes the bury your gays trope and says 'fuck this, not only are they going to live, but they are immortal and happily in love since the crusades and will tell you that to your homophobic faces.' Needless to say, I really fell in love with Joe and Nicky and was so happy the writer of comic, who also wrote the screenplay, only allowed it to be made if they kept Joe and Nicky as immortal husbands. I've also never seen a movie stick so close to the source material that there are whole scenes and speeches that come straight from the pages of the comic, like the one that is the influence for this fic. Sure there are some serious differences, but the core of it is the same. If you haven't watched the movie or read the comics, recommend both.
This fic is an amalgam of both the comic and the movie. The lines of the speech Joe gives in the van that make up the section titles are from the comic, which is actually longer and more romantic than even the one from the movie. The wording of Nicky's response is also the one from the comic. Andy's characterization is a little more in line with the crassness of her character in the comic, as well. But it's Quynh, not Noriko in the fic, and the historical timeline is closer to the movie than the comic, and the events in the movie are used in the fic.
Also, I tried to be as historically accurate in the fic as I could, but I'm not a historian by any means, so I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes. The main historical exception being that the thoughts and some speech is probably more aligned with modern patterns, but seeing as it's written in American English, and I don't read or write Arabic, Italian, Persian, Romanshe, or any other language really, I took a little artistic liberties. If you are interested, I highly recommend listening to the Hard Core History podcast to learn more about some of the periods in this fic. Be prepared to spend several days doing if you do. His pod on the Mongolian Khans is fantastic, but over 20 hrs long.
Finally, I apologize that it's one long fic instead of chapters. I know it's easier to read divided down, but time was not on my side, nor was patience in formatting it in.
No beta, all mistakes are mine.
Summary: At times, it seemed like all they did was no more than a single raindrop of hope in an ocean of despair and chaos, but together all those raindrops had evidently helped. Copley had captured it all, the last one hundred and fifty years of their lives condensed down into a few dozen photos and newspaper clippings. It seemed so small, and yet, all encompassing at the same time.
Kind of like how a declaration of love in a van during an abduction had condensed down all nine hundred and twenty years of an epic romance into a few hundred words. It seemed an impossible feat, but then, his Yusuf was just the kind of guy to pull it off.
Or, the stories behind the speech in the van.
Posted at AO3, link in the title above.