An Apple Cleft in Two

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Title: An Apple Cleft in Two
Author(s): Aralias
Date(s): October 2013
Length: 27340
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: An Apple Cleft in Two at AO3

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An Apple Cleft in Two is a Blake/Avon+ensemble Blake's 7 story by Aralias.

Author's summary: "A Blake/Avon PGP Blake-is-President fic in which Blake is notable by his absence and Avon has to deal with this, a delegation of aliens, two irritable warlords, an uncomfortable sofa, and the fact that Tarrant sings in the shower at seven in the morning."

Author's Comments

Easily my favourite B7 fic that I've written, which is a bit of a shame as it's quite old now - but it was a joy to write. It has all my favourite ridiculous tropes, quite a convincing magic!science-plot (where usually I can't be bothered to think of one), Avon having strong relationships with practically everyone (but most of all, with Blake), funny lines, good sex writing, and it's warm. It has two sequels - only one of which I wrote.[1]

Reactions and Reviews

You couldn't ask for a lovelier, more finely drawn portrait of Blake and his relationship with Avon. A comedy plot that packs an emotional punch. Exquisitely detailed, with great prose.[2]
...I LOVE this. It's fun and funny and charming and weighty and emotionally satisfying, and it just glitters, it's so precise and beautifully written. I could not love this fic more (it doesn't need a slashy fencing scene for me to love it as greatly as I do, see???). It fills me with such joy. And I am so honoured that you gifted it to us. <3 [3]
The last lines of your author's note should be the Blakes 7 Fandom Motto. This was wonderful and FUN and such a classic screwball comedy setup, I loved how it all played out, every step.

“The fact that words sometimes come out of it,” Dayna said. “Other than that, it’s fine.” Avon glanced up at her and she laughed. “Sorry, did you want to take that one?”

“No, no, go ahead.”

I love how comfortable everyone feels together, how relaxed the snark is. Oh, and I adore the idea that Dayna and Tarrent have become bestish buds.

"And I understand my boyfriend is very keen to work with you, so if you were interested, you could certainly work in the palace.”

“Tarrant,” Avon barked as Vila began choking. “Blake does not use that word.”

“Although I should warn you,” Tarrant said, “he can be very difficult. I don’t know why I put up with him, really.”

Ah, this was where I just started giggling and I'm not sure I ever stopped, because I love these kinds of setups and the comedy of manners feeling they drag everyone into.

“Nice touch, but this isn’t off the subject,” Avon said, feeling a mixture of resentment and pleasure that he was now having to stop people talking about how brilliant he was.

Yes, yes, perfect, Avon would find this incredibly galling, lol.

Avon considered whether it was possible to casually walk around the bed and hide this photo too, decided it wasn’t, and then did it anyway. Better Tarrant see that, than that he see the photo.

The photos themselves are so lovely (Avon looking at Blake as if he is everything just breaks my heart, it's so beautiful) and his constant desperate managing of their relationship to outsiders was terribly in-character and endearing.

In fact, now he thought about it, the level of equality the term implied was almost as touching as it was unlikely.

  • whimpers with mixed pain and delight* This is just the kind of line he would actually utter in public, with the smile that implied that he was complimenting himself.

"Blake's being very diplomatic," Avon said. "Names are not being named, plural pronouns are being used.”

I really like this as a very Avon semi-apology and confession.

Vila wasn’t around, so nobody started laughing, but Avon shut his eyes anyway, and willed himself anywhere else.

Oh God, this moment--the moment when all of Avon's management breaks down and he's confronted with the terrible truth that even total strangers can see how in love with Blake he is, it's utterly perfect. As is Avon's completely mortified reaction. This was all lovely and I lapped it up with delight! [4]

I had such glee reading this. Thank you for writing fic which is so funny and happy. I think that's a very difficult skill to master, but you do it marvellously. The banter was all brilliant and the doubles set up was great. I loved the moment where Vila breaks out his Avon voice and Avon is just... "No." The look on his face must've been priceless!

And all of the political stuff, and the world, and the lives of the rebels post GP - you can tell that you've put so much detail and thought into it, even without the footnote (which, was lovely in and of itself. I do rather want "Well, now - why not?" on a t-shirt now)

Also, I really, really loved the following line:

Blake had once said he found Avon’s professional attempts to be nice deeply unsettling and unbelievable, but the pose had worked countless times before against countless people.

Because Avon's smile is very rarely reassuring, and it makes me happy that Blake acknowledges this fact and has tried to advise Avon on it... and that Avon just ignores him and keeps doing it.[5]
Excellent Bobbery! I mean, it has the sex of a PWP, but not only does the reader have to wait for it to occur, it occurs not just in plot/pacing context, but illuminates the relationship. And it's richly plotted. *I* don't know how the science stuff works either, but it clearly functions in story terms as well as characterization terms by being the inflection point of Avon's attitude toward Krin--and thereby changing his feelings about the whole delegation and therefore toward the Sholians.

I'm not a huge fan of TV's "Nashville" but what I like about it is that it shows the pleasure of creating art and playing to an audience, so here you're showing the anticipatory pleasures of doing science.

Also, although of course this is a strong romantic B/A fic, it also has interesting and important OCs--and good team roles, especially for Vila and Tarrant. (However, HOW does Blake know that those are Tarrant's underpants? Does his Missus sew a name tape into them? And I blame the staff for either not making the bed or not turning it out thoroughly.

Good snark too! all around, among the Organic and otherwise.

I have a weakness for door-slamming plate-of-sardines farce, and you did a delectable job of who's on first? swaps. OF COURSE Vila would have polished impressionist skills, although Avon would always be his sweating self but worse.[6]


  1. comments by Aralias at fandom snowflake day 3, January 3, 2016
  2. comment by Elviaprose at Katy and Molly's 77+ Favourite A/B and A-B Stories on Dreamwidth
  3. comment by corngold at AO3, October 24, 2023
  4. comment by mithen at AO3, October 27, 2023
  5. comment by clocketpatch at AO3, November 5, 2023
  6. comment by executrix at AO3, November 22, 2023