The Shipping News: Epic Love Story of a Slave and a Gladiator

Plus, hookers with a heart of gold, Mark Ruffalo talks “Science Bros” and an Awkward accidental ship.

Hi guys, Yvonne here again. No you are not going crazy, I’m doing two weeks in a row this month because my fellow slash experts are all otherwise engaged. I’m sure it’s something shipping related!

Fandom News Round-up:

The Backlot + VH1 = Vhot
Vhot Slash


You’ve probably noticed that this site has gotten a bit of a face lift… change is hard but there comes a point in every website’s life when it’s time to move on and up in the world. If you want to know all about TheBacklot’s (Lot for short) grown-up adventures then The Backlot Tumblr has you covered (with a little help from ImNotReallyAKitty). We here at The Shipping News are really only worried about how this effects the relationship with VH1 – but it looks as though Vhot (formally Vhelton) is going strong if the above image is anything to go by.

Two Doctors


Last week I was accidentally shipping the Doctor with himself and this week we got some images of Matt Smith and David Tennant shooting the 50th Anniversary special together (like the one above). Our shipper hearts (we have two of them) just can’t handle it.

Thanks to Vulture, Mark Ruffalo now knows about “Science Bros” (the pairing of Bruce Banner and Tony Stark) and apparently he thinks it’s cute. Vulture introduced Ruffalo to the phenomenon and his response is pretty cool. He asked: “So, are they all quasi-homoerotic?” The answer is yes, Mark. So how does he feel about the ship? Apparently he loves it: “I endorse it 100 percent. You know what it is? It’s open-source creativity.” Read the whole article here.

M/M Pairing of the Week: Nasir/Agron (Spartacus)


(Artist: Slashpalooza)

One of our lovely readers, blueloris, sent this to our Tumblr: “How about some love for a canon gay couple – Agron/Nasir on Spartacus! The show is over, and SPOILER! they survived!” This is why it pays to talk to us, because this week is all about celebrating the beautiful relationship between Agron and Nasir.

I have a confession; I hadn’t actually seen Spartacus until this week, but you’re enthusiasm for this couple has convinced me to give it a try. I am currently embarking on my Spartacus journey for the first time. The problem is that it means I am not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to this couple (yet anyway).  Normally I wouldn’t jump in quite so quickly, but over the past couple of days I have fallen in love with this ship and the fandom that surrounds it so I just had to join the fun.

Nagron Kiss

The relationship between Agron and Nasir is beautifully epic (like everything on this show). It’s not all smooth sailing of course, but as this quote from the series finale recap suggests it all turns out (relatively) well:

“The gays lived! Seriously, when do the gays ever live? I’m pretty sure they killed all the gays at the end of Will and Grace, that’s how rarely do the gays live. But our two fan favorites, Agron and Nasir, lived to walk off into the sunset (well, sunrise) together.”

I have to say it does help to know that these two manage to survive the drama that I am experiencing in my Spartacus watch. It certainly takes the edge off.

This couple has pretty excellent canon to work with, but that stifles the fandom’s creativity. There is some fantastic fanart and some great fics to keep you busy now that the series is over. I can’t wait to finish watching so I can delve even further into this awesome fandom.

Accidentally Shipped: Matty/Jake (Awkward)


Throughout Season 2 of MTV’s Awkward fans were split. You had to pick a team, you were either Team Matty or Team Jake. In the end Jenna might have landed firmly on Team Matty (even if it doesn’t stick) but we’ve come up with a different solution. BFF’s Matty and Jake should just stop the fighting and admit that they love each other already (is that Team Make or Team Jatty?). Not going to lie, this accidental ship was heavily influenced by a certain grief driven moment from last week’s episode:




Trope Appreciation: Hooker with a heart of gold

Pretty Woman

Even if you haven’t seen Pretty Woman you will have heard the story. A hooker, with a heart of gold, is rescued from a life on the streets by the love of a wealthy client. This trope is incredibly popular but it can also be incredibly problematic and it has been called out for both glorifying and shaming sex work. Like most fan fiction it’s built of stereotypes and while I have read a few incredibly fantastic stories that employ this trope most of the time they just perpetuate unrealistic ideas about prostitution.

This trope is commonly referred to as “Hookerfic” or “Prostitute AU” but is also known in slash fandom as “Rentboy AU”. Magic healing cock’s are a stable and it wouldn’t be unheard of for a hooker to refuse payment because the client was just that good. It’s useful for authors that want to get to the porn as quickly as possible as it reverses the usual narrative (rather than moving from plot to porn, it moves porn to plot). While here are exceptions the majority of stories follow the Pretty Woman format where one member of a pairing is a prostitute and the other is a client that becomes something more.

It’s important to note that this genre can be triggering. It often involves depictions and/or discussion of rape and/or other forms of physical, mental or sexual abuse (and non-consensual sex acts are sometimes romanticized). If mentions or descriptions of any of these things are likely to upset you then I suggest you steer clear of this trope or at the very least please read all of the author’s warnings.

I’m kind of on the fence about this trope, most of the time it either violently offends me or makes me burst out laughing at the ridiculousness, but it can be interesting if done well. So I’ll leave it up to you guys to decide. I have listed a few fics from popular slash pairings (including Nagron) below or you can check out the tag at Ao3.

Sterek | Mike/Harvey | Johnlock | Stony | Larry | 00Q | McDanno | Erik/Charles | Klaine

Featured Fan Fic: The Second Coming by blacktofade


I spent ages trying to find the least offensive Hookerfic I could and it’s not an easy task let me tell you. In the end I decided on The Second Coming a Steve/Tony fic by blacktofade. While it’s guilty of falling into the Pretty Woman trap in some ways it’s unapologetic about it. This fic is not trying to be a realistic depiction of prostitution… it’s basically a fairytale.  This is a straight up rom-com where Tony is an escort hired by Bucky for Steve’s birthday.


[…] He holds his phone against his shoulder, keeping Bucky from hearing as he speaks to the man.

“What’s your name?” he asks and the man tilts his head to one side.


He puts his cell back up to his ear and takes a calming breath.

“Do you know Tony?”


Steve raises an eyebrow at Tony, but the man doesn’t look at all guilty.

“He said you’d told him I’d let him stay for a night.”

“Oh!” Bucky says as though realisation finally dawns. “Your present!” […]

Read the rest here.


Parting Gif

We had another request on the Tumblr this week – from sugarmag78 – for some Oliver Queen/John Diggle from Arrow… and I had every intention of watching Arrow (thanks mainly to John Barrowman and Colton Haynes) until my life got side tracked by Spartacus. It’s entirely Nagron’s fault but I promise you I will catch up on Arrow before my turn comes around next so I can give you some Oliver/John. Until then here’s a little something to keep you going.

Arrow Diggle



That’s it from another week of The Shipping News, til next time happy shipping.