briarwood: (SPN Dean Light)

I wonder, was it intentional on the part of the writers that Haley so closely resembles Dean? Many of the parallels between the two characters wouldn’t have been evident so early in the series so it might well be coincidence. On the other hand, if it’s not coincidence, the foreshadowing is quite something.

The Collins family in Wendigo is almost a perfect reflection of the Winchesters. Their parents are long gone, as is Mary Winchester, which has resulted in a close bond between the remaining brothers and sisters. The eldest brother, Tommy, is missing on a camping trip. Though Tommy and Haley seem quite close in age, it’s reasonable to suggest that Tommy would have naturally taken over the paternal role in the family after their father died: he therefore parallels the missing John Winchester. Haley herself is Dean: practical, pro-active, protective of her younger brother and determined to find the missing Tommy. She even places herself between Sam and Roy when the two men fight; a gesture almost identical to Dean breaking up Sam and John’s fight in Dead Man’s Blood. The younger brother, Ben, parallels Sam, though in function only: he’s the youngest, the one who needs to be looked after. That’s not too far from where Sam is in this episode, so soon after Jessica’s death.

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Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: Sam's Ass :-) (SPN Sam Ass)

SPN fanfic I’ve read this week:

Filthy Mind by [livejournal.com profile] rivkat (Slash/Wincest, Sam/Dean, other pairings)

A plot-driven story, very dark and sexy. Dean is being visited by spirits every night; spirits that want only one thing from him: sex. None of the usual protections seem able to keep them out. It’s definitely non-con, though Dean seems determined to deny that. Sam’s increasingly desperate attempts to find out what’s happening, together with a revelation I found truly disturbing in its implications make this an outstanding read. But be warned: I’m not kidding when I say it’s dark stuff.

By the time Sam got back the motel, he was more relaxed. He read a little of a rare demonology book Bobby had sent him. And when the door opened to let Dean in, he didn’t start yelling at Dean first thing for exposing him to Dean’s own supernatural groupie.

Instead, he slapped the book closed and stood up, advancing on Dean. “Why did you let me think it was a dream? Why didn’t you tell me?”

Dean smirked at him. “I didn’t know there’d be a repeat engagement. Don’t worry, this time I told her I’m not exactly a keeper.”

“If you’ve picked up a ghost stalker—”

Dean shook his head. “I got it covered,” he said, with all the easy confidence that used to make Sam feel perfectly safe no matter what was happening. “I spent the morning doing the basic ghost-cleaning rituals, and—” he pulled his collar down so that Sam could see he was wearing a new charm just under his amulet. “Ghost repellent. Tells a spirit that you’re satisfied, that there’s no debt left between you and it.”

Eleven more under the cut (Gen, Het and Slash) )

Also, the fics for spn_summergen are being posted now - two fics a day so far and most of them are really great. All are posted anonymously and most are relatively short fics so great for a dip-in read. Quick links to my favourites so far:

and hell followed with him - Sam finds himself in an alternate universe where he was never born.

Thank You For My Life, Dad - John died instead of Bill Harvelle and the boys are raised at the Roadhouse. Mostly in Pastor Jim’s POV, which is why I like it. It’s unusual :)

I Dunno Third Base - John has amnesia. Sam is thrilled. Dean, not so much.

Hell (And Binky) Follows With Him - SPN/Discworld crossover. No seriously. Any summary would spoil it.

In All The Pauses - This is the fic written for me and I love it. Stanford-era, John and Dean on a hunt, and you can really feel the Sam-shaped hole in their lives.

The Links That Bind - Not for the faint-hearted; an AU of BUABS in which demon!Sam gets real nasty.

Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: The Winchesters (SPN Brothers)

It’s easy to see the ways in which Sam is suffering in Wendigo. What’s less obvious is that Dean, too, is struggling to hold it together as the episode begins. Just think about where Dean is, emotionally, at this point. It’s a week after Dean witnessed the return of the unknown supernatural force that killed his mother. His father has gone missing, with only a simple set of co-ordinates left behind for Dean. In the intervening week, Dean must have tried repeatedly to contact John, without success. He has Sam back in his life, but this is a broken Sam, a Sam who needs Dean to stay strong and take care of him. Dean has no one to lean on, and this is the time when he most needs someone.

That Dean is struggling shows in the first conversation he has with Sam. He offers to let Sam drive. Though with hindsight we know how much that gesture means to Dean, in context Sam’s reaction makes it seem as if Dean is still thinking of Sam as a teenager: that is the kind of offer that would lift the spirits of the average teenage boy. It makes sense that Dean would think of Sam that way: the brothers have, don’t forget, been estranged for four years. It underlines that Dean is feeling a bit out of his depth. He wants to take care of Sam, he wants to help him through his grief over Jessica, but he doesn’t know how. Part of him must be wondering if he even knows Sam any more: a man can change a lot in four years, especially the four years that mark the transition from teenager to adult.

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Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: The Winchesters (SPN Brothers)

At the end of the Pilot, Sam chose to rejoin his brother (and by implication, John) in the life of a hunter. These men are his family; given what Sam has lost, it ought to be comforting. But I think the big theme for Sam in this episode is not his bond with his family, but his solitude.

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Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Gal Godot as Wonder Woman (Default)

Two weeks worth of recs this week, and, wow more than I thought I’d read. I’ve really been too busy to read just lately, so these are mostly very short fics that I could read quickly. So here goes. SPN fanfic I’ve read recently:

Half Turn to Go Yet Turning Stay by [livejournal.com profile] embroiderama (Gen)

This is how Ellen learned what’s out there in the dark. Ellen is strongly drawn and I love her imperfect relationship with Bill and the way she reacts to discovering his secrets, and there’s a nice full-circle to the Winchesters at the end.

The roadhouse started to get busier, a lot more traveling men than locals, but that was fine. She didn’t take guff and didn’t tolerate anybody cussing in front of her little girl, and most everyone respected that enough to keep the peace.

She broke that rule herself the day she learned the truth, cussed him up one side and down the other for keeping so much from her.

7 more under the cut )

Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: Constance (Woman In White) (SPN Constance)

For my last post on the pilot, here’s some of my favourite fan fiction based on the pilot episode.

A Life Less Ordinary by marinarusalka (Gen, John-centric)

A look at how John coped with life after Mary’s death; the story begins shortly after the fire and ends with Sam at Stanford. This is the John Winchester I love: tough-as-nails but only on the outside, protective, a man who adores his kids but doesn’t know how to show it, and above all a man whose life was shattered by loss, doing the best he can in a world gone mad.

By the time Sam is six and Dean is ten, John’s got the practical aspect of their life pretty well figured out. He’s become an expert in exorcisms, homemade explosives, French toast, and fourth-grade math. He knows how to time their frequent moves in a way that minimizes the impact on Dean’s school performance. He knows twenty-three protection charms against werewolves and eleven ways to kill a vampire. He knows exactly how long the boys can be left alone, and how to find a reliable baby-sitter for times when a hunting trip is likely to run longer than that. What he doesn’t know is how to keep himself from falling apart when he actually has time to think.

Four more recs under the cut )

Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: Ruby (SPN Ruby)

Supernatural fic I’ve read this week:

Salting Old Wounds by [livejournal.com profile] halfshellvenus (Gen)

A Ruby-centric vignette. The story begins as a flashback to the person Ruby used to be when she was human. I found the ending very poignant, a wondering if she’s in an even worse Hell than the rest of the demons because she remembers.

A foolish girl unprepared for her fate, she had wandered the breadths of the Devil’s own realm until the faceless creatures found her. She would have chosen eternal solitude at that point to avoid joining them, if such a thing were possible.

Tempting. Tormenting. Taking—this was to be her work now. Walking the earth again in borrowed form, she committed acts more unspeakable than any she could have imagined.

Good Things by [livejournal.com profile] biggelois (Slash/Wincest Sam/Dean)

Hilarious. Not so much drunk!Sam as it is totally-wasted!Sam. The internal monologue is perfect Sam-voice and Dean’s reaction is beautifully in-character. Oh, and there’s sex. Of course.

Damn if he remembered the way from the motel to the bar being this long. He’s sure it wasn’t on the way there, had been much shorter then. Now on the other hand he’s so very grateful for the wall. Sidewalk would have hit him in the face otherwise.

His Exceptions To The Rule by [livejournal.com profile] pdragon76 (Gen)

There are a lot of stories with Sam tending a wounded Dean but this stands out from the crowd. Set early in season one, Sam is still getting back into the swing of life as a hunter. The references back to John and the way Sam is forced by this crisis to rely on his training make this story much more powerful than the average hurt/comfort short. I love the way John dominates the story, even by his absence:

He washed his hands six times, and they still felt odd and slippery, like Dean’s blood was clinging in his pores. He stood over the john for a while, thinking he might puke, but the feeling passed.

He sat woodenly on the edge of the bathtub, stared at the tiles until his fingers made their own way to his cell phone in the pocket of his jeans. He worked it loose, clutched it too tightly in his lap, as if holding it hard might undo something.

He got through three aborted calls before he let it ring.

This is John Winchester. I can’t be reached. If this is an emergency, call my son Dean…

Receiver by [livejournal.com profile] dotfic (Gen)

When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45” That exchange from the Pilot is probably my favourite in the entire show so to find a whole long fic based on it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store! And what a fic! This isn’t just about that long-ago monster in the closet. A case-fic set after Fresh Blood it’s about the way Sam and Dean are both breaking apart under the weight of Dean’s deal. It’s about a normal family having to face the supernatural and about the hard choices every hunter has to make.

“It’s in my closet,” Tommy said, and Sam realized it was the first thing he’d said during the tour of the house. “I made an alarm. Want to see?”

“Tommy, no, these men don’t want to–” Mr. Andrews moved forward, reaching for his son, but Tommy was already untangling the aluminum cans, which Sam now saw were glued onto a string.

The boy straightened out the string, the cans clanking. One end of the string was tied around a nail jutting from the wall. The other end Tommy tied around the back of a chair, so that the cans stretched across the closet door.

“If it tries to get out, I can hear it.” He looked up at Dean. “Don’t need another alarm.”

November 2nd by [livejournal.com profile] mlebayre (Gen)

November 2nd is a bad day for Winchesters. A Sam-POV story about how Dean handles this anniversary. Subtle humour.

If asked, most days Sam would describe his brother as the strong, silent type. Dean didn’t talk much, though he shared plenty once Sam learned to speak Dean.

Striking Distance by [livejournal.com profile] saberivojo (Gen)

Oh, this is funny! Teen!Sam is pissed off with his big brother (and with good reason). They have a fight - a real knock-down punch-and-kick fight. It’s beautifully in character, and I love the glimpse into the downside of all that training: these boys can seriously hurt each other if they try.

Damn Dean Winchester.

Fuck Dean Winchester.

Why did he have to have a brother who was so infuriating? Dean was obnoxious, rude and just plain difficult.   And to top it all off, Dean could take him down easy and land him hard. At this point though, Sam didn’t care. He wanted to feel the rush of the fight, feel the satisfying crush of knuckle on lip, but Dean, in typical Dean fashion, was determined to keep his little brother safe even if it meant Sam was trapped in his armpit.

Sanity Lines by [livejournal.com profile] dreamlittleyo (Threesome Sam/Dean/Jo)

I have a weakness for this threesome, but this isn’t a porn fic. It’s more a glimpse into Sam’s psyche, and the emotional bonds that hold the three of them together. It’s not an entirely healthy relationship, but it’s one that works.

They stand to either side of him, loyal and close, two constants in a world gone mad. Dean to his right, always to his right, the grounding force that holds him together when the voices of Hell are screaming in his head. [...] Jo stands to his left, careful fingers on his arm. He needs her, too. A gentle touch that lets him remember he’s human, that softens his edges and smoothes away the angry corners. Lets him interact with the world, with the people in it, without lashing out. She looks deceptively fragile, thin wisp of a thing, but she moves fast. Deadly. And he needs that, too.

Realizations by [livejournal.com profile] emmademarais (Slash/Wincest Sam/Dean)

Post-AHBL2: a short, one-shot which shows how the brothers deal with all that’s happened to them. A short, angsty fic that makes the wincest seem almost canon.

It hits Sam about forty miles from the Wyoming - Colorado border as Dean is cruising down Interstate 80.

He died.

The realization makes his chest seize and he reacts as if he’s had the wind knocked out of him.

Hello Operator by [livejournal.com profile] yesterday4 (Gen)

After his apparent death in St Louis (Skin), Dean calls a few old friends in case they’ve seen the news. A short but insightful look into some of Dean’s relationships.

It occurs to him all at once that he’s having an internal heart to heart without hanging up the fucking phone. He panics, thinking about the good ten seconds of breathing she’s going to find, and then says, “Fuck” by accident. Slams his cell shut and hurls it at the end of the bed like it’s on fire.

And after reading that one I had a glance through the author’s LJ and found this:

And Money Can’t Buy…What? by [livejournal.com profile] yesterday4 (Gen, Dean/Bela implied)

I love Bela Talbot. And not in a love-to-hate-her way. I just think she’s wonderful. Here, Bela gets impatient with the boys’ failure to get Dean out of his deal and decides to do it herself. A more altrusistic Bela than she is in canon, but I don’t care. It’s a cool fic.

She had waited 360 days for the Winchester boys to work themselves out of this latest mess. It was time to take matters into her own hands—or her wallet, as it were. Chewing at her lip, Bela glanced down to make sure her briefcase was still waiting patiently by her feet. She knew all about offers and counteroffers, inquiries, and timely rejections, and she was ready to play ball with whatever hell spawn came for her.

…and this:

The Most Important Thing by [livejournal.com profile] yesterday4 (Gen, pre-series)

This is Mary and Dean before Sam is born and a really cute look at young!Dean who is not at all sure he wants a new brother. When I was a kid, my mother collected a set of books of hilarious quotes and misunderstandings by young children. Dean in this story reminds me of them. So funny and it rings so very true…yet you can see hints of the adult Dean in this goofy kid.

“What about Baby?” She musses up his hair when she asks; is gratified when he leans into her palm for the barest of seconds before remembering his newfound hatred and shying away. And, please God help her, “Are you thinking about what a good big brother you’re going to be?”

Apparently not. Dean’s frown contorts into a look of utter horror. It might be funny, she thinks, if this was someone else’s son, and that someone else was not eight months pregnant. As it is, she’s hot and cranky; her patient smile feels a bit strained.

Dean blurts out his great big thought. “I think Baby is a bad idea. Maybe God will let you return it.”

Silent At Dusk On Earth by [livejournal.com profile] azephirin (Slash/Wincest Sam/Dean Crossover)

This story is a crossover with Wanted (the movie) but I don’t think you need to know the movie to enjoy the story. It’s a post-Hell story, with the premise that when Sam saved Dean from Hell he saved a couple of other people, too. One of them is former assassin Fox and she tags along with the brothers while they each recover from the ordeal in their different ways. I love the way Fox’s amorality both fits and doesn’t with the Winchesters’ way of life and it’s an unusual outside-POV on Sam and Dean’s relationship.

Sam tightens his hands on the wheel and prays that Dean will stay asleep: This is rural Vermont, and there’s no way to the cabin except over unpaved roads, but that sort of logic doesn’t apply when it comes to Dean and the car. Sam is mistreating his baby, and that’s a terrible crime.

“Not too much farther, sweetheart, almost there, I know you can do it….”

Sam realizes that he’s talking to the car, and promptly stops.

The woman still looks unconscious or profoundly asleep, but he could swear he sees her faintly smiling.

Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: Sam Winchester (SPN Sam Hot)

There is a mystery surrounding Sam Winchester from the very beginning.

When we first see him as a baby, he is the centre of his family – a new baby always is. Everyone else is gathered in Sam’s nursery to put him to bed. The nursery is a testament to how important Sam is to his family: the sheer number of cuddly toys, for a baby still too young to play with them, the depth of affection with which each of the others wish the baby good-night, even the baseball-themed mobile above the crib shout aloud that the baby is very much loved.

With the baby left alone for the night, we see the mobile above the crib begin to move, apparently all on its own. Is this the first sign of a supernatural presence? Or is baby Sammy somehow making the mobile move? Perhaps it’s only the wind.

Even taking the pilot alone, with none of the revelations we’ve seen since, there is little doubt that Mary’s death centres around Sam. There’s the mysterious figure beside the crib, whom she at first mistakes for John. Mary dies on the ceiling, directly above the crib; indeed, when John first bursts into the nursery it looks as if baby Sammy is quite entertained by the sight. Blood drips from Mary’s wound to fall right beside Sam’s head; only John’s hand prevents the second drip of blood from touching the baby. And then there’s the fire which so-quickly filled the nursery. It seems certain that, had John not been present, Sam would have died with his mother.

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Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: John Winchester (SPN John Waiting)

John Winchester dominates the first season of Supernatural, though he appears in only seven of the twenty-two episodes. Much of what we learn about him we learn indirectly, through what others (mostly his sons) have to say about him. Sam and Dean in particular are unreliable narrators where John is concerned, so John’s appearance and actions in the pilot episode are important in establishing who he really is.

In the pilot we see John only in the “twenty-two years ago” flashback. There is a great deal of emphasis on John’s background as a Marine. There’s a photograph of him in uniform and he’s wearing a USMC t-shirt when we first see him. There’s a war movie on the television. Later in the pilot Dean refers to him as an ex-marine, just in case the audience didn’t get it from the first three hints. This is a huge part of John’s identity. Why is this important? There’s a conceit that “once a marine, always a marine” in a way that’s more true for the Marine Corps than it is of other military services. Though it’s not directly stated in the pilot, later in the series it’s confirmed that John served in Vietnam. These clues establish things about John and the kind of person he is that a non-American audience won’t pick up at first; as a British viewer who has no empathy for the military culture, it took me a long time.

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Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: Impala in Snow (SPN ImpalaSnow)

SPN fanfic I’ve read this week:

The Crow on the Cradle by [livejournal.com profile] kroki_refur (Gen, AU)

A long story, effectively an AU of the whole of SPN season one, though it focusses most vividly on the first few episodes. The simple premise is that Sam disappears in the middle of the night, a month before Jessica would have died. But that simple premise leads into an incredibly complex story. Jessica is wonderfully written, a far more rounded and real character than she ever was in canon and her point of view of Dean and John spot-on. They aren’t the good-guys to her: they’re scary guys keeping secrets from her. Normally I wouldn’t touch a long story written in present tense, but here it works: the Jess-pov sections are in present tense, the Dean-pov sections are in past tense and the transitions are so smooth I barely noticed once I got used to it.

“You never gave the police the phone,” she says. “That’s evidence. That could help them find Sam. They stopped fucking looking for him.”

Dean glances back at John, but John doesn’t move. “They were never going to find him,” he says.

“You don’t know that,” she says, and people are looking now, but she doesn’t care, because this bastard is standing there coolly telling her that his son, her Sam, is gone forever, and acting like he couldn’t give a shit. “No wonder he never talked about you,” she hisses, and Dean flinches. “He never wanted you here. I don’t want you here.”

Silence Cast to Night Skies by [livejournal.com profile] tahirire (Gen)

A fantastic John-POV story set shortly after Sam left for Stanford. What I love most about this story is the way John is thinking of all the mistakes Dean could make on the hunt, but it’s John who makes the mistakes, not Dean. Great characterisation of both men, and the tension and angst between them as they struggle to rebuild their family without Sam makes this story one that fits well into the gap in canon.

John knows he can’t handle losing Dean, too. Its bad enough how quiet Dean has become, he doesn’t want to see his own emptiness reflected in Dean’s hungry eyes. John shakes his head in wonder. Dean was always the noise, the constant chatter of his life. Sam was always the quiet one.

Funny how once the quiet one is gone you’ve never heard the silence so loud.

Scared by [livejournal.com profile] scoob2222 (Het, Jo/Ash)

Jo/Ash smut and an interesting take on why Jo left the Roadhouse after No Exit. (Shame it wasn’t spell-checked, but it’s worth a read just for the pairing.)

He presses her back against the bar and his mouth lowers to her ear, “I’m not afraid of any little boy with delusions of grandeur. And I wouldn’t be so proud of yourself, sweetheart, especially since he sent you back home without even a casual fuck. How does it feel knowigng that ass fucks anything that moves and he won’t fuck you?”

The Very Moment I’m Aware I’m Alive by [livejournal.com profile] free_pirate (Gen)

Dean is having nightmares - set between AHBL1 and AHBL2. Short, dark, and a realistic insight into Dean’s psyche right before he made that deadly deal.

He doesn’t know how long he kneels there on the muddy ground. The absence of the rise and fall of Sam’s breathing against him is a gaping hole, and Dean feels like he’s betraying Sam. Because Dean is still here, as much as he doesn’t, at this moment, want to be, and he’s still breathing when Sam isn’t.

In Desperate Times by [livejournal.com profile] buffyaddict13 and [livejournal.com profile] riverbella (Slash - non-Wincest)

The story pairs each of the Winchester men: Sam, Dean and John with a male stranger. Three short, unrelated vignettes that examine the reasons why each man made a difficult choice.

Once, when Sam was little, he thought there was a monster in his closet. He spent the night in that dark, enclosed space with a gun and his fear. The closet smelled like moth balls and dust and sweat. The motel room smells like dust and sweat and cigarette smoke. As Sam shuts the door behind him, he lets his body follow the man toward the sagging bed, but he sends his mind into a small black box.

He tells himself it’s the last time he’ll have to go into the dark.

Meatloaf by [livejournal.com profile] ficwriter1966 (Gen)

You know what’s really cool? When an author doesn’t feel the need to remind the reader of stuff that, as fans, we already know. Like in this short coda to Dream A Little Dream Of Me, something is bothering Dean. The brothers talk about it. We know that what they’re discussing isn’t what’s really troubling Dean but the author doesn’t try to beat us over the head with it. We just know. The result is a really nice insight into the way the brothers keep their secrets from each other, the cracks in their relationship just barely visible.

Sam peers across the table at his brother, sighs, rubs at his eyes with the flats of his fingers. Dean smiles at him, goofy and good-humored and entirely Dean, and for a moment that makes Sam feel even worse. It ends when Sam realizes Dean’s hiding something. Something that happened in the dream world.

.

Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: Impala in Snow (SPN ImpalaSnow)

It’s difficult to write about Dean as he was at the beginning of Supernatural, without being influenced by the man he became. But the pilot is a good place to start.

Dean is four years old when we first meet him, a normal, happy boy who loves his parents and his baby brother. That first, short scene where young Dean helps put baby Sammy to bed tells us everything we need to know about what Dean lost: He kisses his baby brother good night with no trace of self-consciousness; he runs into his daddy’s arms with such enthusiasm and he laughs comfortably at John’s joke. Presumably (though this we do not see) this scene is followed by Mary and John putting Dean to bed with just as much affection.

What woke Dean that night? We can only guess, but it seems likely that it was the same thing that woke John: Mary screaming. It’s difficult to imagine what that night was like for such a young child; he crawls out of bed because he knows something is wrong only to find his daddy shoving his baby brother into his arms and yelling at him to get outside. It’s unclear how much of what happened in the nursery Dean actually saw. In Home he tells Sam he remembers the fire, but there’s a significant pause in his retelling, as if there’s more he is unable to speak aloud. There is also that moment at the end of the pilot episode when Jessica dies, and Dean bursts into the room and for a brief moment he stands transfixed by what his happening to her, as if he’s forgotten Sam is even present. It’s only with hindsight that we can know how strongly Dean must have felt to hesitate like that, and it’s this that makes me believe young Dean did, in fact, see his mother up there on the ceiling.

This terrified boy carries the baby outside. He says, It’s okay, Sammy, the words a hope, a need to reassure the baby brother who can’t yet understand what he is saying. The moment frames so much of the man Dean is to become: his instinct even then is to save and protect his baby brother. There’s something else, though. At the end of the flashback we see John, Dean and Sam together on the hood of the Impala, while firemen try to douse the blaze. Dean seems to be watching the firemen work but he’s also huddled against John’s side. John is cradling baby Sammy in his arms and both of his arms are thus occupied. Dean, who has just lost his mother and his home, isn’t even held by his father. This, too, seems to set a pattern for so much of what follows in Dean’s life.

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Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

briarwood: Supernatural: Impala in Snow (SPN ImpalaSnow)

SPN fanfic I’ve read this week:

Woman Inflammable by [livejournal.com profile] vee_fic (Gen, Crossover)

A crossover with the Terminator ‘verse, this is a character study of John Winchester after Mary’s death but before he became a hard-ass hunter, struggling to cope with his two young sons. He runs into a young Sarah Connor in an LA motel, and for the space of a night their two worlds clash badly.

He jerked awake. As John opened his eyes he registered the noise: gunshots, many of them, nearby, full automatic. He jackknifed off the bed and crouched on the floor. Drawer banging out, .45 in hand, cool under his grip. He crawled toward the door and set his back to it and realized he was in his socks and then realized he had no idea where the children were.

Winchester Family Barbecues by [livejournal.com profile] mari4212 (Gen)

An older fic I ran across on del.icio.us - five vignettes describing five barbecues in John’s life. I loved the way this story shows John’s evolution from a teenager to husband to hunter in short, but evocative scenes.

Dean’s three years old and loves getting into everything he isn’t supposed to. It makes John laugh, especially when Mary gets this exasperated look on her face or makes a comment along the lines of “he’s your kid, you do something about it”.

A Snowball’s Chance by [livejournal.com profile] dreamlittleyo (Slash/Wincest, Humour)

I am not a fan of crack!fic, but the author’s summary simply compelled me to click on this link. So I’ll simply let her summary speak for itself: “Sam rules Hell. It’s a stressful job. Fortunately he’s got this brother who’s… remarkably resourceful. Silliness and sex ensue, and maybe that’s exactly what Sam needs.”

It’s the little stuff that drives him nuts. The bickering between his lieutenants, all of them anxious to be his favorite. It’s when Famine whines to him that Pestilence stole the last pudding cup that Sam decides he’s finally had enough.

The Ashen Apple of These Days by [livejournal.com profile] embroiderama (Gen)

Another story I found on del.icio.us, this is a bleak look at what the world might be like for Sam with Dean in Hell. There’s a lot of death and darkness and a nasty twist in the tale. My kind of fic :-)

Sam wondered if solo hunting had been like this for Dean or Dad–days sometimes spent without speaking to another human being, months without using the name his mother gave him. He would have stopped hunting if he could see any other future for himself.

Trade by [livejournal.com profile] stephanometra (Het Sam/Bella)

Found this via a rec on LJ; it’s a smokin’ hot PWP written before the series canon revealed all about Bella. Consequently it doesn’t quite fit with the canon, but that doesn’t matter. Very true to character with Bella making Sam an offer that’s just a little too good to be true. My favourite part, though, is the nod to the crossroads demon: it’s a really creepy moment that gives the rest of the exchange a quite different meaning:

“Deal,” Sam says, turning to face her. He hands her the flask with the cash, and leaves his hand extended, so they can shake on it.

She pockets the cash, takes his hand, and says, “I think we can do better than that.” Then she wraps her other hand around the back of his neck, rises to her tiptoes, and kisses him.

All Talk and Andante by [livejournal.com profile] nephthys101 (Slash, Teenage Dean/Bobby)

A couple of very short pieces; they’re one story, really. It’s an interesting look at a young version of the horndog!Dean of canon. The characterisation of Bobby is a bit weaker but I can imagine a scene like this happening between them.

Dean doesn’t look innocent anymore. Bobby can see the dark circles surrounding Dean’s hollow, pained eyes. At fifteen, Dean looks hard and wizened. By attitude alone even Bobby wouldn’t card him at a bar. The kid had some weight to him, not physical weight, but the kind that’s paved with blood, hunting, and death. Dean has a hunter’s smile, sweet and dangerous.

I’ve Got The Night On My Side by [livejournal.com profile] sarah_p (Gen)

This one just breaks my heart. It takes that Bon Jovi singalong scene from No Rest For The Wicked and shows, in flashbacks to their childhood and Sam’s college days, why Dean picked that particular song and what the song means to the brothers. Though the story ends on a hopeful note it made me want to hug Sam hard…because I know what’s coming for him.

“A condition means I’m older and I get to make the rules,” Dean explained. “So condition number one: you can only sing where I tell you to.”

“So I can learn the easy parts, and you get the hard parts?” Sam perked up, excited at figuring out Dean’s thought process.

“Well, yeah. And because the part about being a cowboy is mine. It’s too cool for you.”

This Is Not A Love Song by [livejournal.com profile] sylvanwitch (Slash/Wincest, Darkfic)

I almost didn’t include this story because it’s a very dark view of the relationship between the Winchester brothers. That said, it’s very powerfully written (and in a style that’s quite unusual in this fandom) and the ending is a real punch in the gut. If you like a dark ending, you’ll like this story.

And there’s this moment, right here. Watch for it.

See the muscle ticking in Sam’s jaw, the way he’s breathing fast, like he’s just run a marathon pursued by a pack of creatures both carnivorous and quick?

See the scrim of doubt scroll through his eyes? He doesn’t want to do this. He’s not sure. And Dean could stop him with the right words.

But Dean isn’t paying attention.

Stranglehold by [livejournal.com profile] majorbrat (Slash/Wincest, casefic)

It’s Wincest, but this story has something of the tone of an episode. Dean has been cursed and Sam has to figure out how to break the curse before Dean loses his mind. I like the concept, and the way you’re never quite sure what’s real and what isn’t for Dean.

“Demon’s can’t cross over those kind of symbols, man. And the salt…”

Flinging himself down onto the other double bed, Dean let out a huff of air. “It had an explanation for it, something about curses and blood…”

Sam jumped off the other bed and grabbed for his laptop. “You didn’t feel the need to tell me that like, oh… fifteen minutes ago?”

“You were too busy trying to convince me I was crazy.”

Things Fall Apart by [livejournal.com profile] musesfool (Threesome Sam/Dean/Jo)

I’m not a fan of present-tense narrative, but I do enjoy the author’s sparse prose. It has the feel of a tale told over a lot of whiskey, a long time after the event. This is a dark take on Sam saving Dean from Hell, taking the broken version of Sam from Mystery Spot to its logical and unpleasant conclusion. Jo is harder than we saw her in canon, jaded and still trying to help in this world without any real hope. Even the sex is dark, unsatisfying for the participants, not always wholly consensual. What can I say? I love darkfic.

Dean’s been gone eight weeks, and except for her and Bobby, no other hunter will have anything to do with Sam and his crazy quest to bring his brother back from hell.

Jo likes having a goal, even one as impossible as this.

Sam does it, though, kills enough demons to make hell take notice, and when he kills Lilith, hell spits Dean Winchester back out. It’s a hot July night in Kansas, heat lightning splitting the clouds and the roar of thunder shaking the earth.

Crossposted from my blog at Devil's Trap. You can comment here or on the blog.

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briarwood: Gal Godot as Wonder Woman (Default)Morgan Briarwood

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