Hey, sorry to be a bother, just wondering if you could link me to some good ABO fics. Purely for research purposes, you know ;)
There is so much great ABO out there! I have done a lot of “research” myself on ABO. It tends to be easier to find on AO3 than tumblr. ABO lends itself really well to smut (and to getting to the smut quickly without feeling rushed), so most of these are x-rated. In general it seems to be much more popular in gay ships then straight reader inserts, though recently I have seen more. I’m a ship all the ships person, so I read a TON of gay ABO (98% destiel) but I know that’s not for everyone so we will start the list with reader inserts and OFCs.
It seems like 99% of the stuff out there is alpha!maleSPNcharacter x omega!femalereader though there are a few exceptions and to me they are always awesome.
If you are going to start reading ABO reader inserts on tumblr, then you need to start with the queen of ABO @kittenofdoomage. Her masterlist is well laid out, and labels all of her ABO, and she has way too many to link to all of them, but if Kitten wrote it, it’s great. Also most of her stuff is on AO3 too. I will link to my favorite Resonance, its Omega!Dean x Alpha!FemaleReader so that kinda always has a soft spot for me.
Another big writer on tumblr @ilostmyshoe-79 has recently started writing some ABO. Claimed Alpha!Dean x Omega!Reader, Seven Alpha!Dean x Omega!Reader, Heat Alpha!Dean x Omega!Reader, When You Least Expect It Alpha!Sam x Omega!Reader. And she has an Alpha!Sam, Beta!Dean, Omega!Reader series (I have linked to the last part so it has the links to the rest of it) Threes Company
I can’t finish this section without giving a shoutout to myself. I have my ongoing series Alpha Looks Like an Omega that’s Omega!Dean x Alpha!FemaleReader. It still has a long way to go before it’s done, and unfortunately life has been super busy so I haven’t had as much time to work on it as I would like, but I’m hoping to be able to post the next chapter soonish. I also have three other ABOs in my WIPs so keep an eye out for them!
Hel, @helvonasche does OFCs. And they are super fucking hot. The Switch Alpha!Sam, Alpha!Dean, Alpha!Lucifer, and Reader is what she did for our joint “100 follower tell us what to write thingie” and because she is a beast and a much faster writer than myself, not only has she already posted hers (which I have not, but it’s almost done I swear!) but instead of doing a one shot as we planned she turned it into a series. I linked to the final part here, but you HAVE to read it in order. There is a little plot mixed in with the porn so don’t spoil it for yourself.
Hel also has an Alpha!Sam x Omega!OFC one shot too. Almost Too Late Alpha!Sam x Omega!OFC. Plus I know she is working on a bunch more ABO so you should totes follow her.
Destiel is my OTP so I have more destiel recs than anything else. Most of these are on AO3 and are long fics.
So not to reinvent the wheel @diminuel already has a fantastic fic rec list for only Alpha!Dean x Omega!Cas I have also read all of them and would recommend. Like for real. When I was compiling fics on this list, a bunch of them were already on this list so I took them off.
If you don’t mind reading a WIP @ltleflrt has a fantastic long fic No Words that she is working on. Every chapter has me at the edge of my seat, and this last one really just turned up the angst and plot. Its Alpha!Cas x Omega!Mute!Dean. I love everything that she writes, but this one is turning into one of my favorites.
Three Things by Paperann Alpha!EndVerse!Cas x Omega!Dean deals with a lot of drugs and the recovery from addiction. Of course they just can’t keep their hands off each other.
Into Your Hideaway by thepinupchemist Alpha!Cas x Omega!Dean Dean is pregnant and was kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Doctor Cas saves him. It’s one of the highest rated ABO fics on AO3 for a reason, read it.
Grey by Valinde (Valyria) Alpha!Cas x Omega!Dean Official summary: “In a world where people don’t see in color until they find their true mate, the first thing Dean sees when he pulls himself out of his grave is the blue sky. When Castiel raised him from the Pit, he inadvertently claimed Dean as his mate.”
Real Slick Dean by trilliath Alpha!Cas x Omega!Dean Cas has been overdosed with a street drug the puts him into a Fuck or Die Rut. He has been buying Dean’s slick to help him thru his ruts and when he accidentally meets Dean for the first time when this rut hits, his body thinks Dean is his. Dean decides to be nice and help Cas out.
Cynophobia by destieljunkie Alpha!Dean x Omega!Cas. Cas has tried to minimize his contact with the world as much as possible, and only wants to be left alone. Protective Dean changes that.
Tor-Valen by Savaial Alpha!Cas x Omega!Dean Dean is a known troublemaker, Cas buys him anyways. Set in a weird timeline, where it’s the future, but most technology is lost. Like living on a plantation in the wild west with lots of Asian influences.
Typecast by mnwood Alpha!Cas x Omega!Dean they are cast in a movie as lovers, but play the opposite orientations. Most people (even Cas) think that movie star Dean is actually an Alpha as he has been hiding his Omega status his entire career.
Omega 451 by TheIttyBitty Alpha!Dean x Omega!Cas. Cas is super young in this fic at first (and nothing sexual happens until he gets older, but is still underage) and Dean is much older. Sam and Jess buy Cas from an Omega Training Center to help Dean clean the house and keep him company. Cas and Dean end up helping each other more than they realize.
Why do I go to extremes? by zation Alpha!Cas x Human!Dean. So this one goes with more of the werewolf origins of ABO. Cas is a were, Dean is human, sex between them is taboo; but Dean still has an Alpha kink. Dean saves Cas, Cas becomes possessive over Dean.
The Retraining of Dean Winchester by deanwithwings Alpha!Cas x Omega!Dean. In a world where Omegas have no rights, Dean was pretending to be an Alpha but when he gets caught he gets sent to a traditional Japanese style school (like for geishas) to learn how to be a “proper” omega.
Eucalyptus by xHaruka17x Alpha!Dean x Omega!Cas. Officer Winchester saves prostitute Cas and his baby. But plot twists and angst ahead.
Unwritten by PorcupineGirl Alpha!Dean x Alpha!Cas. You don’t see to many Alpha x Alpha fics, and I love this one! They scent bond upon first meeting, but work gets in the way so they separate, and keep in contact and form a much deeper bond before meeting for a second time.
Buying an Alpha by xHaruka17x Alpha!Dean x Omega!Cas. All Alphas serve in the military and Omegas register to “buy” them after their service is complete. Alphas are rare, and Cas’ brother signs him up to buy one.
If you want to do some actual research on ABO others have already done so. Obviously if you want to know the basic “rules” (there really are no hard and fast rules per say as I have read many fics that do things differently) start with Kitten’s ABO Rules
There is also this great really funny tongue and cheek ABO Primer on AO3, and has some good definitions of terms as well as a little history about ABO.
So yeah I might have gone a little overboard, but as you know ABO is my jam. Hope this helps with your research for writing your fic for my ABO Birthday Challenge! I’m very excited to see all the fics and I sure that they will all make this list if I were to make it again in 3 months!
HI HI!!!! So "Kiss the Baker" and "The Way To A Man's Heart is Through Chlamydia" and I didn't see a Baker!Cas tag... do you have any other fics where one of the boys is a Baker? Thanks for being rad ☺️
Dean Winchester loves his PIE! So ya know if Cas happened to be a baker, it can only result in good things. Check out our food tag, our shop au tag and the fics on this ask about chef/waiters. We added a few fics to this list where Cas or Dean is a Chef as well, because…reasons! Enjoy!
(summary of first part)
He stepped through the swinging door, brushing his hands on his apron, and taking the keys off the hook under the register. At first he didn’t see the man Kevin was talking about but then he appeared, melting out of the shadows of the early morning, and stepped up to the entrance. Dean gave him a quick once over and could immediately see why Kevin had been unnerved. The guy was tall, not quite as tall as Dean but pretty close, with a slim build, messy dark hair and naturally tan skin. He was wearing a rumpled business suit (which Dean thought was odd since it was only six-thirty in the morning. Did the guy just not own an iron?) and a tan trench coat that seemed a little big on him, the sleeves falling almost to his fingertips. He had a handsome face, with sharp cheekbones, a defined jawline, and just the right amount of stubble. Honestly, Dean thought the guy was pretty hot except for one thing – he was a vampire.
Supernatural's Narrative Structure Throughout the Years
Supernatural has seen four showrunners (with one consistent one throughout, Robert Singer), which are: Eric Kripke, Sera Gamble, Jeremy Carver and now, Andrew Dabb. At the beginning, the show focused on a more simplistic method of storytelling; the protagonists Sam and Dean Winchester went up against urban legends while looking for their elusive father. Twelve seasons later and this pilot season marks the only true exception to the show’s narrative structure. Starting in season 2 the show adopts a method of storytelling known as the A/B/C structure. There is a “A” plot (known as the show’s “mytharc”), its “B” plot (its character development arc, usually shown through the lens of Dean Winchester, but the show frequently, especially in its later years, shows this through others), and then finally, its “C” plot, which exists in the form of “filler episodes” referred to as “Monsters of the Week”, or MOTW for the purposes of the meta writing community. And it is through this mirrored structure that the complete story of Supernatural is told.
Dean Winchester is the show’s lens of righteousness (earlier on, but this shifts from time to time) and it is through him that the adopted structure of the show reveals both its strength and weakness. Dean has learned not to talk about his hard life and frequently when he is begged to share his feelings, they are dismissed (unfortunately by Sam, Bobby, and Cas at various points) in favor of the show’s enforcement of toxic masculinity (oh, drama!) to maintain such structure needed to support a static two lead format. Instead of Dean talking about his feelings, they are told through the show’s MOTW characters and situations. This process is referred to as “the ‘C’ plot mirrors the ‘B’ plot”, discussed further in length here. Because of the various degrees of repression carried by our main characters, the show uses other characters to tell their stories with words. The show often also creates whole characters to represent ideas, both simple (Bela Talbot, S3) and complex (Amara, S11). Almost every character that is not Sam and Dean, especially in later seasons, is created and crafted to tell the story of them. This creates situations where the show is frequently problematic in its social message/image because it’s using a multitude of diverse characters to tell the story of two white textually straight male leads, and then later, its two most often recurring regulars. Because these things are not socially equal, the show endures quite a lot of justified criticism as a result.
Bela Talbot is the first structural case of simple mirroring being done (although her character was requested at the behest of the network, true, the manner in which they utilized her is entirely significant). I think it’s first important, however, to talk about how Kripke crafted the show using the structure. He talked about how in the end he wanted good Dean versus bad Sam. This, of course, focuses the early structure of the show to align Sam with darkness and damning decisions. All of season two pushes Sam onto a dark path exploring his cursed demon blood powers while Dean tries desperately to stop this. Season 3 introduces Bela, a narrative mirror for Dean to show what would happen to Dean if Sam wasn’t in his life. She IS DEAN, but WITHOUT a Sam in her life. And for her, this spells doom as she desperately tries to avoid the fate of her deal with a Crossroads Demon. The structure of the season is simple. Bela was supposed to die while Dean is saved from his deal’s fate by Sam, effectively showing that while Sam is doing some dark things, that they are justified through the means to save Dean (a common thing Supernatural would come to depict). This, of course, doesn’t get to happen. The writers strike of 2007-08 forces Kripke to abandon this structure in favor of simply sending Dean to Hell. Our first attempt at a predictive narrative structure thus fails. It is not discarded, however, and our first successful implementation of it is in season 4.
In season 4 the writers are met with the tough task of getting Dean quickly outta Hell and angels are introduced. This would prove to be a major turning point in the show’s success and its ultimate current structure some 9 seasons later. The introduction of angels, while initially desired to be temporary was fully embrace with the introduction of Castiel as portrayed by Misha Collins. This mythology introduction gave Kripke the perfect way to have good Dean versus bad Sam in the form of Michael versus Lucifer, and old tell of rebellious siblings confronting one another in an ultimate fight. Thus, the show begins its structure towards this alignment, with the demon Ruby pulling Sam towards Lucifer and Castiel pulling Dean towards Michael (or, well, stopping Sam, as pulling Dean towards Michael is actually a goal of Zachariah in Season 5 instead of it being a goal of Castiel).
In season 4, all the characters (even Sam and Dean) and episodes (frequently showing the release of “seals” which bind Lucifer) are being used as functions towards a single goal, the release of Lucifer. It was a simple and clean straight forward structure that allowed flow into a cohesive storyline, which remains the best of Supernatural’s structure and storytelling even to this day imo, It also allowed individuality (and the exploration of what it means to have humanity) to blossom within the addition of Castiel (originally only slated to be a 3 episode character), though the character could still be simplified into Dean with Sam’s bad choices. Castiel would not start becoming his own character (instead of a character mirror or narrative concept) until much later in the series, though he would still be often regaled to simply serving the “B” plot of Dean, eventually getting a permanent “B” plot with him, thus cementing his importance in Dean’s life and the show’s newer complex structure.
Season 5 saw the end of Kripke’s vision, but with one problem. The show was getting a renewal. We can see through season 5’s structure that Kripke intended Sam and Dean to die together in the Devil’s hole, unable to kill one another due to their love. Against renewal and in an effort to salvage the sacrifice structure, we are instead introduced to Adam, a half brother who would instead receive Dean’s fate. The season builds and compounds a sense of hopeless in our characters, both desperate to not play a part in Heaven’s games. Our mytharc and MOTW episodes in season 5 exist to drive this sense of compounding inevitability. It is a structure not as clean as season 4’s but mainly because it has the same problem as season 3’s: the ending had to be changed. But meanwhile the show had another problem: where do you go after the Apocalypse? It would not be a problem tackled by Kripke, but instead Gamble, as Supernatural experienced its first showrunner change.
With the departure of Kripke came the beginning of structural chaos and uncertainty. Season 6 is driven by questions that seemingly have no answer against a plot that had just been done. The Apocalypse was being put back on the rails and Castiel was dealing with it mostly offscreen, unlike Sam and Dean who, as leads, got to deal with it visibly in every episode in season 5. This caused the audience to not experience the sense of urgency and desperation that Castiel is going through and it proves to be a structural weakness throughout the whole season as Sam and Dean deal with the fallout of Castiel’s righteousness in the form of Sam’s hell damage from his damaged soul in the cage and Crowley’s experiments on monsters, which is seemingly without purpose until the end of the season draws near. Banished of Lucifer, the recurring addition of Crowley provides the show with a central point in which Hell will now operate going forward. This is the season in which Castiel begins the pattern making the mistakes of Sam. And it is from this point that the show’s mirrored storytelling reaches new heights, most of which are predictable, unfortunately. Just as Sam and Dean release Lucifer, Cas releases the Leviathan into the world and thus we are shuttled into season 7, Apocalypse 2.0, monster edition instead of Heaven.
Season 7 saw the ultimate weakness of the two lead structure, while the show headed down an already trotted path against massively failing ratings. It is here that they killed off both Bobby and Castiel while dumping a massive amount of emotional baggage onto Sam and Dean from which the show seemed unlikely to recover from, buried in the Friday Night death slot. The season introduced a true structured “B” plot for Dean and Cas, but it remained in the mirrored structure only, seeing as how Cas was effectively DEAD. It is given in the form of grief and suffering, as per Gamble’s favored depiction of the show. Not only were things hopeless, but everyone Sam and Dean cared about were dead (oh look, it’s season 13′s premise as well!). The structures of Gamble era were driven by primarily with a focus towards sorrow and while it’s true that the Leviathans (as compared to the totally delightful, but utterly senseless wanderings of season 6) were an interesting metaphor for corporate America’s greed and monstrosity, this did little to enrich and progress Sam and Dean as characters who were headed for anywhere except death. And it is here we enter Carver era.
Carver era saw the dawn of a new light in the show. It is often called a reboot of the show. Castiel was back, Netflix produced a new influx of viewership, and the show had more or less cemented itself into the CW fold, renewed late and against all hope from grave of Friday night. Conventions and streaming media provided a life line that gave way to a new form of structure on the show: precised mirrored storytelling in the form of a (possible, likely) three act structure. In Carver era, (unlike its predecessors) things became driven by a repetitive thematic means and the genre of the show was shifted to something with an adventure tone. The Winchesters were going to close the Gates of Hell! Instead of reactive, our characters were thrust into being proactive. This shifted the structure onto choice… and consequence. Every detail fed into this: pop culture references, color coding within the visual framework, characters created that represented specific emotional struggles for our characters to interact with and conquer (or die through). Season 8 is easily compared to Star Wars episode IV in terms of its place in Carver Era. While Star Wars episode IV could function as a stand alone (seeing as the show didn’t realize the introduction of its lifeline yet), it was made to function as part of a beginning of a much longer and detailed story.
Once again in season 8 Sam and Cas began to take on the role of pushing the mytharc along, with Sam completing the Hell trials to close the Gates and Cas breaking Heaven’s control over him to close the Gates of Heaven. The role of Castiel (while visually is reduced from seasons 4, 5 and 6), in relation to his relationship with Dean, becomes significant. A vast number of narrative structural mirrors are put into place to frame the relationship a certain way, and they are definitively romantic in nature. The Dean/Cas relationship then begins to be told exclusively through interspecies romantic relationships, with a significant amount needing to break some kind of hold over a supernatural being, reflecting Naomi’s reprogramming of Castiel to kill Dean (8x11-8x17). The text and subtext of this season is further queer coded to a significant degree, evident very early on by reference to such works as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (8x03), among many others. Carver was taking the Dean/Cas relationship very seriously and it was a showrunning decision that would drive the storyline in structure just as much as the Dean/Sam one going forward, even after his departure. Cas, meanwhile, is given a lot of structural baggage to explain away his absence as a regular instead of a lead. Not that he wasn’t crafted this way before, but soon a structural decision would come that tied both the Dean/Cas storyline and the Dean/Sam one together in a way that would prove inseparable. The choices made in the season 8 finale (with both Cas and Sam trying to leave Dean alone) are the consequences that would fester and bleed into the new season and the rest of Carver era.
Consequences. Choice. “I did what I had to…”
Under higher ratings than the show had had in YEARS, season 9 began, along with my structural meta series, The Divine Reviews, where I sought to document the show’s new structure (mostly how serious it was taking the newly active Destiel “B” plot from its former place as a grief standalone storyline). 9x01-9x03 represents a tying of the storylines for Sam/Dean and Dean/Cas in a way that makes it impossible to talk about one without the other, structurally speaking. Dean can deal with Cas leaving him, but only if Sam is alive. And when push comes to shove, Dean will sacrifice Cas’ safety and position at his side if it means the survival of Sam. The weight of this realization falls heavily on Dean and is the structural source of grief that falls around a season full of rape metaphors as Dean tricks Sam into not dying through the angel Gadreel’s possession of Sam. For the first time, the show makes it uncomfortable to side with Dean (unless you like the fact that Dean will force his will on Sam to keep him alive) and Dean starts down a dark path of self hatred the likes of which the show has never delved into to such a striking degree. This self hatred structurally manifests as the Mark of Cain and Dean’s decision to take it on without warning of consequence represents a significant turning point in the show’s structure. Dean begins to carry the mytharc and the metaphor within, with significant structure weight put into the fact that Dean can’t bother to feel guilt for his actions, understandable as they are. Dean and Cas thus begin a new romantic structure, one where lovers are torn apart by family duty (this is, perhaps, most laughably shown in 9x20 in the failed Bloodlines pilot episode that gives us heterosexual interspecies couple Violet/David who even mirror Destiel dialogue into their relationship of star crossed lovers separated by things beyond their control).
Post midseason finale in season 9, narrative mirrors begin in earnest that take the foreshadowing for Dean to die into high gear. These are vague and non-specific, however, with the decision to turn Dean into a demon through the Mark of Cain being made late into the season. The death of Abaddon (and the possibility that she would simply possess him) seals Dean’s structural fate, as he is killed by what it narratively represents, the block to his character development. It is here that the show hits a structural sag in season 10, with the Mark of Cain being structurally translated into a variety of narrative woes: a disease that infects Dean’s heart, a catalyst which amplifies Dean’s already weary and repressed soul, a force from which there is no destruction and no relief.
Season 10 represents a failure to find a single avenue to character development in Dean. Supernatural didn’t know how to solve it’s own created problem. And while Dean’s death was given several avenues in season 9 from which to walk down, the same meandering does not look all together acceptable as it was before. For the first time Crowley is woven into the structural storytelling, carrying Dean away, just as Hannah does to Cas, leaving Sam alone to solve the problem of Dean, who is given the structural task of avoiding Cain’s fate, which saw him kill his wife and brother, Cas and Sam respectively in our structure. The season, rather than focusing on the underlining cause of Dean taking the Mark of Cain, focuses instead on Dean avoid its fate. This culminates in Dean beating Cas nearly to death just as Cain kills his wife. Cas avoids such fate, however, and begins a more passive stance in the narrative, supporting Sam, instead, who must now fill the role of Abel in our structure. Dean is ordered to kill Sam to avoid further complications from the Mark of Cain, which is revealed to be an age old lock to something ambiguously called “the Darkness”. Dean is, of course, unable to kill Sam, and kills Death instead and then we are given our final structural form of the decision to take the Mark of Cain in the form of Amara, God’s sister.
At this point, the Dean/Cas storyline has been given lover/wife mirrors for going on 3 seasons now. Cas is continuously coded as Dean’s “wife” by all structural elements within SPN’s mirrored storytelling. Their relationship has been given much structural depiction and weight, which continues on into season 11 against the false lover, Amara. I talk extensively about the child abuse and sex abuse mirrors involving Amara and how they relate to Dean’s stolen childhood here. It is here, after 2 seasons of the same storyline, that the Mark of Cain character developmental structure has been given its final form, but sadly, would not see its end, not yet.
We see Dean’s helplessness towards his structural development in the form of Amara’s control over him. And with Amara comes our third sibling vs sibling mirror in the form of God versus Amara (the previous being Michael versus Lucifer and Cain versus Abel), Supernatural’s go to depiction for Sam and Dean’s histories and averted futures. The season’s structure builds towards the inevitable appearance of God to stop Amara, who has justifiable reasons to be angry as Hell. Supernatural has, at this point, painted itself into a bad corner. There’s no bigger storyline it can go to and it is faced with the monumental task of resolving not only God and Amara, but everything that their struggle represents, Dean’s stolen life at the hands of his father. Supernatural would now face a different structural problem, however.
The network would not allow them to kill God. And while I have no absolute certainty from which to draw on here, I can only guess that either Amara was going to die also, most possibly to restore balance to the universe as Chuck’s death would cause everything to be destroyed. We never get to know the truth of the structure as Chuck is effectively only injured, not killed. And Amara makes the choice to heal him and forgive him instead of them sharing oblivion together. Amara then gives Dean back the thing she determines he needs most: his mother. And it is here that Dabb era officially begins, having shadowed the running of the show at the end of the season following the silent departure of Carver.
Season 12. With a character development arc for Dean already 3 seasons in the making, Dabb is given the monumental showrunning task of “where do you go after God leaving?” A smaller scale mytharc is given in place of the sweeping epic of Carver era. The British Men of Letters are introduced as a way of shaping Sam into being a leader among the American hunters. Dean, however, continues on the structural development path of confronting the thing that prevents him from feeling he only deserves to go down swinging. Mary is fleshed out as a person though she and Castiel continue to suffer from the show’s inability to switch to an ensemble cast, which is, at this point, a point of long regarded contention among many fans.
Mary and Cas begin to mirror each other (as we contemplate their significance to Dean) and drive the story, each wishing to make amends and give Sam and Dean a world they feel is best without asking how Sam and Dean feel about it. This sees Mary siding with the British Men of Letters and Cas pursuing Lucifer in an attempt to cage him once more, having let him out to deal with Amara last season in another attempt to save Dean from action (Cas’ need to die for the Winchesters is a plotline that’s long overdue for resolution). We see Mary being made to earn her place as family through her realizing why Cas already has. It is the most passive Sam and Dean have ever been in the structure, with everything mostly driven by Mary and Cas along with the overall theme of what it means to truly love and sacrifice to earn the label of “family”. For this, Cas is given a structural death sentence. And Supernatural delivers, painfully. A portal to another world is opened up courtesy of Jack, the nephilim of Lucifer and it is here that Dabb era ultimately takes us: a new world of possibilities. The same can not, however, be said of the show’s narrative structure, which seems to be on a one way road and has been for a long, albeit slow, time.
Dean has forgiven Mary for setting him on the path to have a robbed childhood, effectively wrapping up the long drawn out Mark of Cain storyline. Forgiveness. Love. Family. New beginnings. These are the themes that run through Dabb era. Dean is finally given everything and then within the space of one episode it has been taken away. The nephilim introduces the show to once again ask the age old question: “nature or nuture?”, as Sam and Dean are forced to deal with an unprecedented force thrust upon them in their moments of grief, well, mostly Dean’s grief, according to the PR around the new season. Like Carver before him, Dabb era looks to be using a three act structure, with Carver’s final serving as Dabb’s beginning. This would place season 13 quickly through the realms of Star Wars V-VI. Things are bleak, hope has quickly been lost, the lover has been taken and the family has been torn apart. A dark empire looms. And it is here that Dabb era continues, which has many threads still needing tending.
A reason to live.
This is what Castiel needs to be given once he comes back. Not just a reason to die, but a reason to not leave Dean. Dean telling him he’s “family”, that he’s their “brother”, that Dean simple “needs” him… none of this has worked, has been enough to get Cas to stay. The effective elimination of “guardian” saw Cas throwing himself into another guardianship role upon the rejection of the label by Dean. For a long time now, Supernatural structure has been crafted around the parameters which would make Dean happy, condemning all actions by characters that go against this and helping Dean eliminate the roadblocks to his own happiness. Mary and Cas made the wrong decisions to save Dean from pain and are thus punished by the narrative for such actions. It is here, in Dabb era, that the Winchesters are finally made to contemplate the actions of others towards their survival and they are made to suffer for it, Dean more than Sam.
The return of Cas, we are told, will represent a turning point for Dean. And while Sam tries to get the nephilim to reopen the door to the world where they lost their mother, the nephilim himself will be made to question what makes him who he is. Like Sam, he is given powers he can’t control and like Dean, he doesn’t want to become his father (all according to the PR anyway). Jack is effectively painted as a mirror for both Dean and Sam to reflect upon themselves and their actions, the power of their choices. I’m sure Cas will experience the same kind of narrative mirror in Jack, but only time will tell for sure on that one. As getting Mary back falls mostly to Sam (Dean having thought her to be dead), I can only guess that getting Cas back will mainly be a plot for Dean, Sam having been regaled to Dean’s support on all things Cas by reassuring him for a while now. And while Dean and Cas are no longer being portrayed by same sex/interspecies/lover mirrors by the narrative anymore (in favor of sibling mirrors) I think a great deal can be gleamed by seeing exactly how Dean handles his death (as opposed to the other times). To push the sibling mirrors of 12x11 and 12x20, one would think they wouldn’t burn his body, much like Sam and Dean never burn one another’s, but I doubt this is the case, as the text has been pulling Dean in mostly one way towards Cas, though how clear the show will be is always a matter of speculation, but they haven’t honestly given themselves much room on this, structurally speaking (though we all have seen how Supernatural sometimes betrays its structure for various reasons, as noted above several times).
It’s hard to say what, if anything, Michael’s desire will translate into in the broader sense of the structure. I just don’t know enough to even take a guess except to maybe say it’s showing the difference in Sam and Dean’s view of the nephilim (Sam wanting to control/use him, and Dean wanting to kill him), in the form of Michael versus Lucifer but that is simply not a sustainable structure. It is clear, however, that the apocalypse world in general is meant to serve as visual shorthand in the realigning of Sam and Dean as moral centers in the Supernatural universe. While it was hard to side with Dean’s actions in Carver era post S9 (and Lord knows, the show almost lost me), it is quite easy to see here that without Sam and Dean, things would be so, so much worse. Mary’s fate is also a murky matter. One would guess that since she is a part of Dean’s happiness in having a whole family, that she is essential to keep alive (Dean seeking her to talk about his feelings and such) and that the show would not kill her being that it’s gotta be close to its end. The show’s failure to promote Sam Smith to regular does not work to Mary’s favor in terms of survival (especially since it promoted Jack and Lucifer to regulars instead). It could be that the show plans to transplant her onto the spinoff at the end of the season but I’m not sure that’s the case, obviously.
And while I think the show will toe the line with the nephilim being good or bad, I think he’ll ultimately be good, or rather, do something good, perhaps in the Apocalypse world. The structure simply demands it. With a big bad like Michael potentially coming to our world there’s really little room for Jack to ultimately be bad, too. I’m sure he’ll have some set backs, but there’s really only one logical way the show can go there. It will be interesting to see how much Mary drives the story this year, but I’m guessing she won’t much and neither will Cas. I think Sam and Dean’s interaction with the nephilim will do this instead, which means he’ll need to give them each something they want. For Sam this is Mary and for Dean this is Cas. Meanwhile, Dabb has given the show a good lifeline in the mythology sense in the form of a multiverse. Instead of closing doors like his predecessors, he has quite literally opened them. For Supernatural’s narrative structure, it’s a whole new world.
Do you think Dean and Castiel are aware of how they feel about the other?
Do you mean are they aware of how they themselves feel? Absolutely. Both are aware. Specifically though Dean since s8, Cas since s9.
Are they aware of what the other feels for them? More or less, Dean kinda suspected since end of s4 but thought it would never happen cos *angel* *im not good enough* and *it would break Cas so better not*, but now he knows since 12x12 and it did break Cas. Bad times for Dean’s emotional state.
And Cas has suspected of Dean’s feelings since s8, he flirted with him in s9 cos he thought he might be in with a chance (and he was, but the situation was not right). Cas however also I think hovers on the edge of *does he truly love me or does he love me as family and would rather be with a woman, will he ever get over his issues and I cant force him to* *im not good enough* *sacred oath* *duty first*.
Cas rejected Dean twice in season 8 (metaphorically in 8x07 with their whole final conversation, putting things ‘straight’, textually in 8x17 by choosing to take the tablet away and protecting it from Dean as a potential threat) and Dean rejected Cas textually in 9x03 by kicking him out and metaphorically in 9x11 by going off with Crowley.
This is how endgame *we just cant catch a break or be on the same page at the same time* romances work.
We’ve literally witnessed the flip in the focus / plot from:
s4-6: Cas loves Dean
s7-8: Dean loves Cas
s9-10: Cas loves Dean
s11-12: Dean loves Cas
So in the end Dean has to accept that Cas didn’t fall and do it ALL for him, but that he already doubted and it was his choice to fall anyway, that Dean didn’t break Cas, Cas chose it.
Cas has to see Dean embrace himself and what’s below the facade not just because and for Cas but for Dean himself, for Dean to love him fully and for Cas to be ok with being with Dean.
Dean has to TELL Cas that he wants him to stay. Cas needs to stay despite duty pulling him away, he has to choose to stay with Dean. Dean needs to use his words to get what he wants and Cas needs to not just do his duty but look for what he wants.
THEY ARE SO PERFECT FOR FORCING THE OTHER TO DO THE THINGS THAT WILL MAKE THEM HAPPY FOR OTHER REASONS TOO AND NOT JUST EACH OTHER AND ARGH!
where baby castiel gets stranded on an island with his missionary parents who are unfortunately killed by a bloodthirsty leopard :( babies are actually decent with picking up their name so when some friendly apes find him in the treehouse he happily chirps “cas! cas!” at them until they catch on. gabriel becomes his best friend and they run together causing mayhem. I want balthazar to be the skittish neurotic elephant who’s always trying to keep them out of trouble. their leader is raphael whose wife anna was the one who basically mothered cas. raphael never really approved, and cas is always trying to prove himself worthy.
then one day these mostly bald two-legged creatures come to shore in an odd wooden vessel. it’s the strangest thing cas has ever seen! there’s one with dark hair and eyes who clutches a long shiny tube and sports several claws on his belt. they’re not animal claws, cas thinks, the material is different, but that’s the shape anyway. he doesn’t want to touch one. the other two do not carry such items and they are chattering in a way that’s eerily familiar to cas. they seem excited, and they make their way inland a bit to set up… some sort of shelter? a large white thing, must be some kind of animal skin. cas watches the whole thing with utter fascination until he must return to his family. he is particularly interested in the shortest of the three, with the lightest and shortest fur and the loveliest face.
so sam is totally the reason they’re here in the first place but dean’s not going to argue because this way sammy gets to study his science and dean gets to practice his art and their chaperone arthur ketch can just … shoot at stuff or whatever the hell he does. dean does a little wandering farther into the jungle (promptly ditching mister ketch) when he notices some lovely flowers and oh! a monkey! – cut to that scene where tarzan!cas has to literally swoop in and save jane!dean because yes please. – he’s…human? there’s another human on this island? granted he’s a naked and hairy human, but dean’s studied (heh) the human form and this guy’s got it. they do the whole “cas? cas. me dean, you cas.” and pointing thing and dean leads his new friend to their camp. ketch is immediately on edge and sam is over the moon. what an amazing scientific discovery! raphael and some of the others are not pleased. he urges cas to leave the humans alone, only pain will follow. but cas cannot resist. he’s learning so much from his new friends, dean and sam. even the scary one ketch is still teaching him new things.
more humans come, ready to take dean and sam home. cas feels devastated to think of sam leaving and of never seeing dean again. he asks him to stay, at almost the same moment that dean musters the courage to ask cas to come with him. they’re so terribly fond of each other but oh how on earth would this ever work? ketch, overhearing, plotting, convinces cas that dean would certainly stay with him if he knew where the other gorillas lived. he quickly arranges it and for one short minute all is well. but then raphael returns to the nest and attacks. cas protects his human friends and raphael is furious. but that night anna brings cas to the place where she discovered him. she reveals all that she knows and tells cas that she just wants him to be happy. cas puts on james novak’s suit and hugs his mother tightly.
dean is so, so happy to see cas walk towards him on the beach the next morning he can hardly stand it. but the moment they set foot on the larger ship he and sam and cas are locked up. ketch reveals himself to be a bastard and goes to hunt cas’s gorilla family. gabriel and balthazar arrive just in time to help them escape, but they arrive at the nest to see ketch shoot raphael. he and cas battle it out, and in the end ketch doesn’t survive. raphael and cas share a tender moment before he too dies, leaving cas in charge of his family.
and the next day, when the ship sets sail for real this time, dean dramatically throws himself from the boat and into cas’s arms, followed swiftly by sam. who needs england anyway.
I’m on my way to work and surprisingly awake considering the little sleep I got. (I was still lying awake at 1 AM, then I woke again around half past 3, then I got up at 5:20)
Another hour of travelling lies ahead of me and I’m thinking of the three A/B/O stories I want to write. Because I have nothing better to do here they are:
- omega boarding school / college AU where Dean pretends to be an omega to get an education (alphas in the US get forced into alpha programmes where college education doesn’t feature). Should be mostly comedy with a bit of the usual angst that comes with disguise plots
- historical AU. Cas and Dean are married, but Dean “dies” (not really) in war and because they weren’t mated, Cas loses everything. I still have to think about casting Mary as the ‘villain’ though. Dean didn’t tell Sam or Mary that he’s with Cas or that they married, so Mary’s suspicious of this omega claiming to be Dean’s widower. (Maybe it’ll fall into place once I figure out why Dean kept it a secret).
- AU in which Dean & his wife used a surrogacy service to have their daughter. Three years later (Dean is now conveniently a single dad) he meets Cas, who claims to be the one who gave birth to Emma. Worse, he says he’s been at the omega surrogacy clinic against his will. Now Dean’s afraid of losing custody of his daughter and enlists Sam’s lawyer help.
And then I still have many squares to fill on my A/B/O bingo card.
Mostly I want to write sad Cas things and make sure there are more omega!Cas stories~
uhhhhhhh…. everything? I mean the guy is called METAtron, the episode is called METAfiction - like… fiction that is meta, fiction that has a meta reading, that you should, you know, pay attention to because we are calling attention to it through the name!
He is a huge EXPOSITIONAL character e.g. Destiel: he textually exposes that Cas is in love with Humanity and did it all to save Dean Winchester.
I have this big thing about how Humans/Hunters and Amara expose Dean’s feelings for Cas and Angels i.e. most obviously Uriel, Hannah, Balthazar and Chuck expose Cas’ feelings for Dean - it’s this original family division right? Imagine it like a family tree from each side up to Amara/Chuck at the top and each ‘side’ exposes Dean and Cas’ feelings for the other.
He literally in the opening of the episode, to get us ready to pay attention to it, talks about subtext and how important it is. He also says:
We are supposed to be reading into the SUBTEXT of this episode and BOY is there subtext here…
We have Cas’ whole storyline, the “is it real or not?” scenario, breaking his own kind of 4th wall, smiling down the phone to Dean in reminiscence of 9x06, learning references now, learning that Dean has the mark and being upset by this, realising that Dean is off doing his own thing to do the “right thing” and try to save the world without him, which ends with him putting his freaking Angelic coat of duty back on and going out to lead the Angels, which he doesn’t want to do but feels he has to, for duty and doing the “right thing” too. Working separately to save the world to try to protect the other by keeping them out of it, which we know always ends badly…
So Dean takes on the MoC, starts heading towards Crowley rather than Cas, Cas is separated from him, Sam and Dean drive away, Cas tears down his hunter-life work and puts his duty bound dullard coat back on, goes back to working with Heaven while *Lonely, without you baby…a deep shade of blue is always there… the sun aint gonna shine anymore….when you’re without love* plays over the top while they use standard romantic side-by-side imagery and phasing of the frames…
There is SO MUCH in this episode that is meta, to be read into, that shows the real underlying subtextual story going on underneath the “fake” story that takes up a large part of the plot line while Cas is in this fantasy world you know?! Ofc it moves the plot forward too but… yeah its all EXPOSITIONAL to the emotional story below the plot story.
Author’s Note: This
is dedicated to the ever so amazing @queenkaywinchester and to her
absolute love of In This Moment. <3 Pics is collage are not mine. The song featured is “Adrenalize” by In
This Moment. Bold italicized words are lyrics.
Castiel’s eyes widened at the impressive crowd. There were
at least several thousand, possibly more, all pushing each other forward
towards the stage. The first band had played for about forty-five minutes, awakening
the crowd for the second band, your band.
You were stoked to be the second opener for a majorly
popular rock band, one you had idolized for years as you pursued your passion
for music. Sure, it was just a side gig, going on mini tours, taking a few
weeks off hunting. But, when a world-popular band had asked you to open for
them two states over, you couldn’t refuse, even though you were currently
working a case.
A quick break never hurt anyone, right? Plus, the regular opener for the band’s tour had
taken the night off to go on a local talk show.
So, this was your big break.
Dean nudged Cas, who seemed somewhat unimpressed with the
first band. Castiel hadn’t been a huge fan of modern music, especially rock, despite
Dean and your encouragement. But, when you asked the boys to come to your show,
they couldn’t say no. Even Cas wanted to be there to support you.
The lights lowered, causing the crowd to erupt with excitement.
Shouts and whistled filled the air as the stage lights flickered, drowning the
outdoor arena in a red glow.
Warnings:pretty detailed description of gore,
A/N: This is a
LATE submission for @uniquewerewolfsuit’s Oh, the Horror! Challenge. My prompt was
the movie Saw. I know the scene
described is not completely exact.
I’m going off what I remember from when it watched the movie in theaters. You know, whenever that
was. Haha. Enjoy.
Castiel was always a little curious. Most of the time, he
could fight the urge to peek at your vibrating phone, or poke his nose through
your slightly opened bedroom door. But, sometimes, the urge was too great. It’s
not that he was controlling. Quite the opposite, actually. He urged you to do your thing. He was just
curious as to what that thing was.
You had made the mistake of leaving your bedroom door open,
and your Netflix on pause. You had been watching a movie you hadn’t seen in a
while, when Dean asked you to join him on a supply run. The last time Dean went
to the store alone, you ended up eating beef jerky for dinner three days in a
row. You were not going to let that
Castiel approached your television, finally getting the hang
of navigating Netflix. The remote sat on the edge of the bed, tempting him as
he took a seat beside it. He grabbed the small remote and held it for a moment,
before giving in and pressing Play.
So, was the reason Cas was so hurt last episode was cuz he healed Ishim? Like, shouldn't angels be able to handle more than that? Cas always seems to be particularly weak... And I know Ishim was saying that's cuz of his relationship with humans, but it just seems weird that that would make Cas physically weaker.
Well, we do know that Cas only has a small piece of his original grace. That’s all that was left after Metatron used most of it for the angel fall spell. We don’t know if he’s been able to “grow it back,” or whatever. In 10.02, he tells Cas, “But there is some of your mojo left. Not a lot… But enough.”
Enough to keep him alive. Enough to keep him from burning out. Cas has been in a rather precarious situation since getting it back in 10.18. His power is still limited, but he’s also not actively dying from being poisoned by stolen grace.
I think this is interesting with the introduction of the nephilim in s12, and also with the introduction of Lily Sunder.
Nephilim are creatures with both angel grace and a human soul, and Lily Sunder is “burning away” pieces of her own human soul to power angelic spells. They’re all weird blendings of grace and soul, angel and human, in three different ways.
Nephilim are supposedly inordinately powerful, but… we haven’t seen that in reality, at least not with the nephilim from 8.23. She was an adult, though, who in 12.10 (and way back in 1901) Castiel was prepared to kill a child nephilim before she was allowed to grow up to destroy worlds. That’s what angels had always believed about nephilim, and Cas had no reason to doubt his orders back then.
But what we saw in 8.23, Cas was reluctant to kill the nephilim for Metatron’s spell. He knew she really WAS innocent, and just trying to live her own life. He didn’t believe that she was secretly harboring that sort of danger to the world, and even called her an innocent. His opinions had already changed back then. This woman had been living her life quietly, probably the offspring of a “lesser” angel, and not imbued with the sort of power of an archangel’s child… Like angelkind fear that Lucifer Junior will possess.
In the aftermath of the shock of that heavenly announcement (that a HUGE amount of power went into the creation of the nephilim), his immediate fear was enough to bring back his original feelings about nephilim in general, that they’re terrifying abominations that must be destroyed at all cost… but…
Now that he’s learned the truth about Lily Sunder’s child, who he’d been unknowingly implicit in murdering as part of Ishim’s personal revenge plot against Lily, Cas is having reservations.
How did I get here? This was supposed to be about why Cas seems “weaker” than usual…
I think it boils down to this:
ISHIM: You know why we’re meant to stay away from humans? It’s not because we’re a danger to them– they’re a danger to us. Case in point. CASTIEL: Well, my friendship with Sam and Dean has made me stronger. ISHIM: You can’t really believe that.
Ishim uses Cas’s weakness after healing him as further proof that Cas has been “weakened” by his association with humanity, but by the end of the episode, Sam and Dean agree:
Dean: What Ishim said… You’re not weak, Cas. You know that, right? Sam: I mean, obviously you changed, but it’s all been for the better, man. Dean: And you have been with us every step of this long, crazy thrill ride. And no matter how crazy it got, you never backed down. Sam: And that takes strength.
So yes, I think Cas is struggling with his mojo because he’s BEEN struggling with it for years. He really isn’t “all angel” anymore. But that’s not necessarily a weakness. Humanity isn’t not inherently weak.
Does that make sense? I think a lot of this seasons angel vs humanity dynamic is being written with this exact theme in mind.
[thinking face] When Metatron stole Cas' grace, Cas apparently gained a soul (according to the Wiki, at least. That and the horrified 'holy shit I fucked up' look when the angels were faceplanting the earth certainly seems to back that up). I wonder what happened to it when Cas consumed the other angel's grace. Did the grace burn it away? Was it still lurking there, somewhere? With a soul, where would he have gone when he died?
Hey Anon! Thanks for putting such awesome questions in my inbox and sorry for my delay in responding to them.
I think the idea that Cas gained a soul after Metatron stole his grace is entirely likely. Since we don’t know exactly how souls work, I guess Cas could have gotten a whole one or it could have been growing inside him throughout s9.
He was certainly feeling things during his time as a human and we know from s6 and soulless!Sam that not feelings things is definitely a side-effect of being soulless. Another side effect for Sam was not sleeping. He didn’t sleep for months. When Cas was human he slept, even though it was strange to him. I think he had a soul.
As far as what happened to it when he consumed the other angel’s grace (and then later when he got his own back) I personally don’t think that grace would burn away a soul. For one thing the show has given me the impression that a soul is a lot more powerful than grace. In s6 they were an important plot line for helping Cas to power up and take on Raphael. He needed thousands of souls and got some on loaner from Crowley. Then they spent all season trying to pop purgatory and get more.
Even though taking on so many was ultimately more than Cas could handle in the long run, the souls didn’t burn out his grace and his grace wasn’t eating away at the souls. They were able to co-exist.
Cas: Souls are living batteries. They’re full of energy. They’re full of light. Each one is as powerful as… 100 suns?
For something as powerful as a soul to be destroyed, I feel like we would see some sort of reaction. Souls are pure energy and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Considering these points I don’t think a soul can even be destroyed (well Amara could probably destroy them). I mean, even when people die their souls live on, going to heaven or hell.
I think that is a big part of why Castiel’s heavenly family don’t see him as an angel anymore. I think Cas is something different and special, a being with both grace and a soul. It’s part of the reason he is going to have to eventually answer the questions of who/what he is, how he wants to live his life, and where he belongs.
Which brings me to your last thought about where Cas would go if he died. I actually have been thinking that maybe what the nephilim showed Cas–Paradise–was actually heaven. It certainly sounded that way from his description.
I saw the future. I saw a world without pain or hunger or want. I saw the world that this child… that your child will create. And it is a world without fear and without suffering and without hate. I saw paradise.
Maybe Cas didn’t recognize it as heaven because this one was customized for himself. Maybe the nephilim showed him paradise, because he knew that would be Castiel’s inevitable future.
I don’t know for certain, but I just really hope s13 picks up exactly where s12 left off, because the thought of Cas dead, even if he is in heaven, is just too upsetting and I hope they don’t leave him dead for very long.