I'm genuinely curious and I'm sure you've talked about it before but what're your headcanons on Cas & Dean getting together in the show? How different do you think what you would like to see vs. what might actually happen are? I feel like this season is gonna make it harder and more detrimental to keep feelings "strictly platonic" if that makes any sense. I feel like it's pointless for them to keep dancing around each other considering what they've been through in the past 2 seasons especially.
I actually don’t really talk about this or have more than passing headcanons about how to do it usually right in like the next 3 episodes range of coda fics I approve of sort of level >.> At least not that I’m set on or have any real strong feelings about, mostly because I’ve learned to enjoy the show while still living in fandom you really can not let fandom expectations get too deep into your head to the point you’re imagining the show as a sort of interactive pick your own adventure game where you’re desperately trying to turn to page 83 but the show keeps flicking back to page 6 and you’re like WHYYY and scrabbling around feeling like they’re holding the pages down for you or something… Gah, bad metaphor. Double ear ache. I apologise for the quality of blogging around here this week :P
So I mean what I would LIKE to see or headcanons I have are all of the coda fic formula of just taking the episode a minute past its appropriate end. And I’ll tell you the 2 most jarring moments of my life watching the show were in 10x03 where the episode went past the expected end and Cas walked into the bedroom with Dean but then left again but my heart was hammering the whole time, and to explain it to myself retroactively, 11x04 when the camera stays in the back of the car after they leave the Bunker, talk over the details of the case, and then there’s just this long silence while Dean’s driving and Sam’s sitting there, and it’s just… wrong… The scene is going on past the point we KNOW as viewers it should have cut to the next day when they roll into town, and the silence and the length of the pause were exactly made to pass through a boundary, to transgress what we should be expecting as a viewer. The scene in 12x19 is very similar to the one in 10x03 in set up - Cas walks through the door to Dean alone - but the transgression is only in 10x03 when all the other loose ends are wrapped up and Dean’s cured and Cas could easily have made the same excuse to Sam and left, but instead they pushed through for one character-driven scene of Cas and Dean together, and we were intruding on Dean in privacy with his photos, and we see him react as if he doesn’t want people seeing him doing that, and then Cas comes in and they’re alone together and talk, and there’s no purpose except for personal communication between them. Either Cas leaves, Dean tells him to leave, or he stays and they get together :P And obviously it would be one of the first 2 but it was one of the rare times the show drifted into set up for a coda fic where they were given that privacy and even the hint that this could transgress expectations because it was indisputably the last scene of the episode we could have between members of TFW and all the plot was over so there was nothing for them to discuss except feelings.
I think my expectation for a scene where it’s going to go canon for real will cross some of those same invisible boundary lines and that’s what gets my heart hammering about things on this show. Moments where I’m not sure what it going to happen and I’m out of a comfort zone of being able to confidently say I can predict it all in a rote way, where character reactions are all somewhat reliable. There’s sometimes stray dialogue where they seem to hint so far. The only times recently they got me was the 11x11 line about pining for somebody else. I could feel my heart against my ribs and I got up to walk it off because I thought I would die if I stayed in front of the screen, because it crossed a line of stuff that seemed acceptable to say about Dean in the context of knowing Robbie is very aware of what he’s doing and even on first watch the episode had a lot of Destiel cues in it to go with the Amara surface text (also that means Robbie got me twice in a row and I sort of haven’t forgiven him :P).
And specifically the giving of the mixtape because the set up to the scene didn’t feel weird at all to me, I was predicting exactly how it would happen until it completely threw me for a loop that they would use an almost always romantic trope (without further context and Dean and Cas are *terrible* context to judge a trope by because they are a trope dispute battleground where mainstream romantic tropes go to Hunger Games it out :P) in the middle of what should have been another round of the subtextually romantic but surface text everything else Destiel is on top of that argument. So yeah that really was a weird moment because it was more like becoming untethered from expectations and I think that’s why 12x23 still hasn’t really hit a place in my heart yet because I’m still seeing the last shot of Dean and Cas in my eyelids when I blink and the boundary-crossing it did is surreal to me because the line I drew behind it once upon a time was how to make it canon in the worst possible way if they were going to fuck with us >.>
I guess that’s a 3rd one. But anyway. It was so weird. Like… that feeling of not quite believing it? I think there’s a lot of joking we do about it but there’s actually expectations and we will ALWAYS expect Dean and Cas’s language or language about them to single them out as a partnership. Or the oddly specific clarifications like we/I need you, I love you/all of you. Or Dean and Cas to get into a stinking argument while Sam’s eyebrows raise to the moon in the background and he clears his throat until it’s raw. Dean fielding the phonecalls and wandering off in private or going on speaker phone in alarm when Sam comes nearby. There are a LOT of basic expectations I have about how their relationship is written and not many things transcend those lines. Even a lot of the romantic gestures we’ve had since I was watching. Like the end of 10x14, was a “well duh” if you search your heart and only extreme pessimism and distrust in the writing of the show or its patterns and tropes.
Actually 9x18 which got me into the show was another one of those transgressions and a really important one where Robbie (fuck you) really drew attention to stuff you’re not supposed to point out - not just using the fourth wall break to point out there’s a story, but that it has a subtext and that it’s drawing attention to it. And 10x05 telling us the subtext exists and it belongs to Dean and Cas who are a couple in real life (which is also queer). Now I think about it there are more of these way back when and they’re all Robbie’s fault until recently :P He’s given me at least 4 mild heart attacks.
Aaaanyway I guess what I’m saying is, the times when I get really dizzy and alarmed about what’s going on is when something doesn’t go like it’s supposed to, and the “supposed to” on this show is a very specific pattern of reactions and stuff which are still romantic and yet because we’re used to them being the telling of Destiel, are actually *boring*. If they repeat them without escalating them, it’s nice to have the continuity and reassuring presence that Dean will always sidle up to Cas and look him head to foot on his arrival in a room (pls someone explain the meeting in 12x12 to me I’m still laughing… You’ve known him how many years and you still do it???) But yeah it’s when things go off-script, as it were, to our expectations.
So I think it would start normal as hell, the sort of thing you’d always expect them to do, and then something would just be *off* or over some invisible line, like Dean not letting go of a hug too quickly or Cas hovering on the door and not leaving when he meant to, them going to a bar and the conversation halting and one or both of them smiling and looking away after a too-long pause. Something where our expectations can chug along in the moment thinking our smart arse knowledge of these boring old teasy Destiel scenes are doing exactly what they always do - until they don’t, and we’re left reeling.
(And, incidentally, the mixtape is definitely strike one to my mind, and the escalating panic I felt as the camera seemed to tell us, everything is over now, it’s just Sam and Dean standing outside and Mary and Lucifer are gone and Cas is dead on the floor —– and is Sam looking around at the house and Dean *isn’t* what the FUCK, Sam is going inside - and Dean - he’s still - he’s — they ———— and my brain has been stuck in dashdashdash territory on this subject ever since)
And also sorry for answering this while sick, I hope it’s not terrible but weirdly I think it was something I needed to ramble about even if it wasn’t directly about your question… I don’t think I’ve let myself think about this until new canon is less than a month away and I can start to peer between my fingers after having my hand over my eyes all summer)