A bit of Ralph and Laurie

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Title: A bit of Ralph and Laurie
Author(s): Naraht (emily_shore)
Date(s): 14 February 2013
Length: 868 words
Genre: romance, story within a story
Fandom: Mary Renault
External Links: archived on AO3

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"A bit of Ralph and Laurie" is a short story by Naraht based on Mary Renault's 1953 novel The Charioteer. It takes place some time during Chapter 15, near the end of the novel when Laurie and Ralph are falling in love.


Ralph describes to Laurie a phantasy he had once spun for himself in which he had imagined a way for the two of them to become friends despite their being in different forms at school.


The story was written for the 2013 Valentine's Day challenge at maryrenaultfics. It was originally posted on AO3, and later reposted on MRF.


"A bit of Ralph and Laurie" elicited a number of comments, including the following:

  • "Completely adorable. ♥"—comment by surexit
  • "Ah, yes. That sort of fantasy."—comment by greerwatson
  • "Oh this is just lovely! The tone is perfect, that gap between what is said and implied that Renault is so fond of, and there's all the intensity too, a lovely intimate moment (and goodness knows I wish there were more of them for Ralph and Laurie in the book in more detail) and an entirely believable fantasy with such an overlay of melancholy and yearning, even though they have each other now (I think perhaps, because although they do have each other, it wasn't easy and simple and romantic, but through all the suffering and strain of the separation and the war - this is a young man's fantasy, if not a child's, whereas the truth of course was more painful and complicated)"—comment by halotolerant
    • "Thank you! You're right that we don't see many of those bonding moments between Ralph and Laurie in the book: they're summarised over, whereas we get all of the uncomfortable confrontations in full detail. This is certainly a very teenage fantasy; it was that layer of slight embarrassment and a more mature perspective that made it interesting to write."—reply by naraht