when I started shipping it if I did:
Well before the TV series. XD I’ve always liked Milady (I may have a thing for that type of character, especially ladies arguably dicked over by historical attitudes), but I think the (gloriously terrible) Disney flick probably started shipper wheels spinning. The Stage Entertainment musical cemented it (it softens Milady’s motivations considerably, which was intriguing), and so I came into BBC primed and ready to ship these two come hell or high water.
Oh god. I could write pages and pages about this. But I’m on my phone so I won’t, and will just point at my fic instead because I think that says a lot about what I think of these two. XD
What makes me happy about them:
Chemistry. Subtext. The roil of emotions. The potential. (And the way the actors handle all that because it is so damned good.)
What makes me sad about them:
What-ifs and what could have been. The regrets between these two could drown the sea some days, and the fact that most of it stems from a lack of communication only makes it more tragic. (I do love me some angst, though, so it makes me sad and happy all at once. I have problems. XD )
things done in fanfic that annoys me:
Simplification, more than anything else. These two are complicated as hell, with a veritable gordian knot of emotions tangled up between them, and the idea that it can be distilled down to loving or hating each other as simply as that just doesn’t work for me. Easy solutions, because it’s not an easy situation by any means.
things I look for in fanfic:
Characterisation. Complexity of emotion, as pursuant to the above. A nice helping of angst because these two practically need it. Banter and conflicted feels and not really talking but still communicating, even if it’s only in what goes unspoken when they’re sassing at each other.
Who I’d be comfortable them ending up with, if not each other:
I’m not, honestly. >_> Which is not at all normal for me; I’m not usually in the “this and ONLY EVER this ship”, but I honestly can’t wrap my brain around these two being romantically involved with anyone else. Sexually is a different matter, maybe attempts and dalliances, but I firmly hold to that “bound together” notion expressed in the show – they’ll always circle back.
(Or at least, I don’t think I’d buy them in the kind of stable relationships this question implies without a lot of therapy – and even then it’s a tough sell for me. XD )
My happily ever after for them:
Understanding. I don’t think things will ever be easy, because there’s too much past history and differences of opinion, but I think that with time they’d be able to find common ground and from there some form of reconciliation. Above all else, I think “happily ever after” would be reaching the point where they can communicate – everything else flows from there.
who is the big spoon/little spoon:
Athos would be the bigger spoon – it goes hand in hand with that outdated chivalric notion of protecting his lady. That said, it never lasts long – they’re both too much combat veterans to ever sleep without the ability to be armed and stabby within fractions of a second. (Side-by-side cuddling is much more viable since it doesn’t involve the same amount of entanglement. Even that doesn’t come quickly after the years, but once they’ve reached the point where touching while asleep is viable again – and look at those flashbacks and tell me there wouldn’t be cuddling of some sort XD – then there’s contact maintained even over space, even if it’s something as small as fingers touching. It’s an anchor that reminds them this is real.)
what is their favorite non-sexual activity:
Bickering? Bickering is good. XD Bickering with each other is practically how these two communicate, and it’s definitely how they flirt. Aaaaaaaaaaaall the bickering.