So, I'm following along the Mark Reads Things blog (a blog where blogger Mark Oshiro reads things unspoiled and reacts via video and writing), and he's reading the Circle of Magic quartet. He's at the climax of Daja's Book and every time he gets to a scene where Rosethorn (one of the protagonists' teachers and foster-mothers) lets Lark (another teacher/foster-mother) call her by a pet name or help her or something, he is all 'don't toy with me'.
Which got me thinking to the announcement by the show creators of Legend of Korra that they had intended the show ending (where protagonist Korra went off with her friend, Asami Sato, looking lovingly into each others eyes' as the music swells) as the start of a romance. They note that for all the people who were all 'where the hell did that came from', that perhaps they tend to see the world through heterosexual-tinted glasses: that every time Korra was interacting with a male character her age, the audience was assessing if he was a potential love interest in ways they didn't for female characters (or two male characters). That if Asami were a male character, Korra's interactions with him would have been read as romantic tension.
So, Mark is openly gay, and it's obvious that he ships Lark/Rosethorn. Hence the squee every time they have a cute moment. He's not seeing the world through heterosexual-tinted glasses... but he assumes that there's no way either Tamora Pierce intended that or that it would ever be acknowledged on page. (In truth, it does happen, but in book 9. The audience who read ahead is waiting for the explosion of feels. Especially since that book also reveals that one of the four protagonists (who happens to be Mark's favorite, and the one he relates to most) is gay.)
I was reflecting on that as I reread the Emelan books. If Lark or Rosethorn had been male, Tamora Pierce wouldn't have had to confirm they were a couple, since an adult man and woman who are not related living under the same roof, calling each other by pet names, caring for children together, etc. would be assumed to be lovers, or at least it would be considered possible without any mention of whether or not both were sexually attracted to the matching sex.
I also remember thinking that was a tendency between a subset of het shippers to assume that their pairing was totally possible and they could be rewarded by canon (and that canon owed them things) that seemed less common among slash shippers*. Very few of the Korra/Asami shippers I knew were expecting anything more than cute friendship moments, in contrast to some of the het Avatar fandom.
(Incidentally, Mark is starting Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, and I am trying to remember if it's ever confirmed on the page if Tom and Carl are a couple or roommates. Googling has Duane saying that they are based on real friends of hers, so she'd rather not go into it.)
* But becoming more and more common as same-sex relationships become things on the screen or page. On the one hand, I like that it's considered a possible ship. On the other hand, entitled shippers are not things we need more of.