Anatomy of A Kiss

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Title: Anatomy of A Kiss
Author(s): heartofoshun
Date(s): 5 February 2008
Length: 1668 words
Genre: adult
Fandom: Mary Renault
External Links: archived on MRF

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"Anatomy of A Kiss" is a short story by heartofoshun based on Mary Renault's 1953 novel The Charioteer. It is set some time after the end of the novel, when Laurie is back at Oxford.


At the end of the Michaelmas term, Ralph drives down from Bridstow to take Laurie home with him. On the trip back, they reminisce about their first kiss[1] in the Ralph's study at school...before finishing up in bed.


"Anatomy of a Kiss" was beta'ed by lorie945. As well, the first draft was read by kenazfiction, and the story was Brit-picked by athousandwinds.


Comments on the story include the following:

  • "oh, lovely. i do like how comfortable they are with each other; there's still that residue of melancholy, as befits this pairing, but this just exudes 'meant to be'."—comment by lanyon
  • "Perfectly delightful to see them together like this -- the ground floor flat really is quite touching."—comment by argyleheir
    • "[...] I live in a 4th-floor walkup myself so I figured Ralph would think was a small thing he could try to manage."—response by heartofoshun
  • "Oh, squeee!
    And that's a sound I don't make often. This is just so full of lovely Ralph/Laurie sweetness. I just loved that Laurie "dared" Lanyon to kiss him all those years ago--and that he can still enthrall Ralph with his smiles now.
    And Ralph undressing--gah. I'm drooling. I'm literally drooling. I think I may have to pounce on my hubby tonight. ;)"
    —response by mysid


  1. The kiss of the title is a matter of debate within the fandom. In Chapter Two, Laurie goes to Ralph's study shortly before the older boy is officially expelled. Partway through the scene, Ralph tells Laurie to approach him; but then Renault...skips ahead a bit. In the 1959 edition, she added an ellipsis at this point, into which much has been read. While many fans support the idea that Ralph kisses Laurie, others disagree.