FYI: Mulder and Scully officially became canon offscreen in season 7 of The X-Files.
There was no major reveal to suggest that anything had happened except for a tease in the middle of that season that was very ambiguous and easily dismissed by a lot of nonshppers, along with a surprise reveal in the season 7 finale that Scully was pregnant. But even then, how she became pregnant and by whom was uncertain. In fact, the major premise for season 8 involved answering these questions. And it wasn’t until the Season 8 finale, literally two seasons after they had become canon offscreen, that the show confirmed that Scully’s baby was also Mulder’s.
My point is that subtext was present in developing Mulder and Scully’s relationship, you had to pay attention to subtle things to even get the slightest hint that they had become canon offscreen, and even then you weren’t 100% sure what was happening.
Were we in season 7 of The X-Files right now, MTV may have placed Mulder/Scully in their list of best canon ships, and yet people may have disputed whether it was in fact “canon” or not. Some may have felt it was, subtextually, others may have felt it wasn’t and never would be, especially since Chris Carter, the creator, would habitually state those exact words every time the topic would surface: “Will NEVER happen.” Ultimately, two seasons later it went explicitly canon.
As far as Dean and Castiel, I’m not saying they are “secretly” canon right now. I’m not saying their relationship will develop offscreen. What I am saying is that their feelings are developing, subtextually, and in some instances on a more textual level than that, just very subtly. It’s ambiguous right now.
But at the end of the series? We’ll definitely have an answer one way or another.
And all I’m saying, and all I think MTV is saying, is: Maybe there’s hope.