I think the mown grass & white willow is a reference to cricket as the bats are made from white willow; but would they have played normal or magical cricket at school? I love the description of Nightingale’s precision; it’s perfect.
“The smell of white willow” – why, look at Mr “Lmao idek it’s a tree” NOW
Yes this is 100% Peter’s interpretation of “a general feeling of cricket and Things Well Played and Gentlemanly Behaviour” rather than Peter miraculously picking up tree-identification skills - the association of willow and cricket bats is very strong.
It amuses me somewhat that this makes up part of Nightingale’s signare even though the sport he’s specifically mentioned playing/watching/enjoying is rugby (although I guarantee he also played cricket at school and was probably the top bowler or something else equally annoying), because cricket fits so much better with Peter’s image of Nightingale and rugby, i.e. the sport where you run very fast at your opponents in hopes of dodging them and if not dodging them then concussing them, fits so much better with Nightingale’s, like, actual abilities in a fight.
One day I’ve really got to write that fic where they all have to play netball.
I’m skipping through all the Rivers of London series, page to page in search of those TWO lines in which Peter describes Nightingale’s signare, and I’m not fucking gonna stop till I have found and added it to my Nightingale observation notes file
Hey, wanted to ask, what made you ship Starlingale? I am currently trying to channel my OTP feels into writing the final chapter of my fic and it's not working, so, seeking inspiration here ;)
OKAY. So. When I first read the books (through Broken Homes) I wasn’t really shipping anyone, except Everyone/Being Awesome, and Peter/Lesley/Being Cop Buddies. And honestly the first time round I wasn’t that interested in Nightingale as a character, either. White dude with tragic backstory, news at eleven. It wasn’t until he was absent for Foxglove Summer that I realised I missed him being around, and missed him and Peter interacting.
So why did I start to ship it? Reading it in fanfic was what started it, but I think the key to it for me - which the good fanfic for this ship captures - is the way that, despite their boss/employee and teacher/student dynamic, they very quickly develop a great deal of respect for each other. Peter never hesitates to ask a question or call Nightingale out if he thinks something’s wrong, but he assumes good faith on Nightingale’s part. Nightingale is always willing to have the discussion, even if he disagrees, and he equally assumes that Peter has good reasons for what he says and does. There are basically no moments where we see them doubting each other as people, even when they think the other person is wrong. They’re never going to be the couple having the Big Angsty Misunderstandings, they might go a few rounds trying to figure out what
the other one is thinking but they’ll talk it out. I like that a lot.
There’s also a lot of affection there, even if it goes unspoken because Peter doesn’t narrate his emotions and neither of them is emotionally demonstrative - just look at the various scenes when they’re in hospital (WHAT I WOULD GIVE for someone who isn’t Lesley’s take on Nightingale milling around trying to find a safe way to express his feelings). And they’re fun - I love moments like Peter telling Nightingale he’s evil AND cunning, or Nightingale telling Peter his signare is making things explode. (Or the raincloud scene, THE RAINCLOUD SCENE.) They feel comfortable teasing each other, and it’s lovely.
On a more serious note, they also have a great complementary dynamic in terms of their personalities - Nightingale is all about pragmatism and getting things done, and Peter is all about wanting to know the whys and hows. It makes them an effective team and they acknowledge each others’ strengths - Peter is clearly impressed by Nightingale’s ability to get shit done and to concentrate on one thing, and Nightingale, while he does give Peter a bit of crap about his experimental tendencies, is always interested when they produce something useful and seems rather intrigued by them - he values Peter’s inquiring mind even if it’s not how he thinks himself.
But they ultimately have similar values, which I think is really important; they both value loyalty, compassion, and doing their jobs right. I think this is what really allows them to connect even though their backgrounds are so different; they agree on what the important things are, and they always have.
And then there’s the shallower stuff, like Peter’s ongoing fascination with Nightingale’s suits (NEVER STOP TELLING US WHAT HE’S WEARING, PETER) or Nightingale using Peter as his modern-world interpreter (but not because he can’t understand things, just because he hasn’t come across them yet.)
Finally, I just love how Nightingale’s obviously been very isolated, with all his Tragic Backstory, and then Peter shows up and almost by accident Nightingale gets drawn back out into the world in a way he hasn’t been for a long time. And at the same time, Peter’s flailing around looking for his place in the Met, trying to prove he can really be good at this, and he finds Nightingale and the Folly and pretty much that’s it, he knows where he wants to be and what he wants to do. Peter asks on the opening page of Rivers of London “could it have been anyone, or was it destiny?” and I have to say that it might not have been destiny but it’s pretty damn serendipitous all the same.
I’m a scorpio And as you may already know We’re highly emotional And I know you don’t believe astrology And all that jazz (jazz-uhn) But if you have an open mind I’m compatible with that Baby, what’s your sign Are you a cancer or a gemini I can tell how you move your eyes You’re a Taurus won’t you please be mine An incredible example of “The 5 Languages of Love” While we’re talking bout the sky Did you see the moon tonight?