oh my gosh, i can barely breath right now because all I want to do is scream at all the spoilers and new information about season 3, but my parents are in the room and I have no way to explain what is happening right now.
the howlies got in a lot of bar fights. you might think that the last thing a bunch of soldiers would want to do with their free time is fight people, but actually bar fights were a great stress relief. nobody really got seriously injured, and we tried to keep property damage to a minimum. (and we also almost never started bar fights, for the record. most of the time it was guys from another unit who wanted to prove how badass they were by taking on the infamous howling commandos.) so bar fights themselves weren’t that unusual.
but peggy’s bar fights…oh, they were glorious.
see, peggy never got in a fight for no reason; she was smarter than that. but when she did fight, it was truly beautiful. ive never seen a better right cross, before or since.
so one time we were on leave, sipping drinks in this english pub. the howlies were at the back table, enjoying a couple pitchers, while peggy was up at the bar, chatting with the barmaid. many of the bars and pubs back then had female bartenders–filling the gaps with the men off at war. and generally barmaids (which was what a female bartender was called back then) were the sort of girl pegs got along with–sensible, dependable, and not willing to take shit from any man. so she often enjoyed commiserating with the barmaids while we drank. she used to say she had to be free of us ‘charming gentlemen’ before she wound up blowing things up as erratically as we did. which was hurtful. our explosions were very intentional. mostly.
so peggy got to chat about the best ways to hurl drunken idiots out doors and we got to ply steve with alcohol to see how much booze it would take to make him drunk. (tragically, we never found out.)
on this particular occasion, peggy was sitting at the bar when this mountain of a man came in. and i mean huge. thor-sized. like the hulk’s pinker younger brother. and with him came a dozen or so of his closest friends, all locals. (they may also have been poorly disguised orcs. im not sure, but i wouldn’t discount it as a possibility after seeing all the nonsense ive seen) the group of them made their way up to the bar, wedged their way in, and started harassing the barmaid.
now, i don’t know what they said. peggy refused to repeat it. all i know is that one of the larger idiots said something stupid, laughed, and reached out to grope the barmaid. his hand made it about six inches from her chest when peggy’s fist broke his nose. he hit the floor like a tree falling, and the bar went quiet for a split second before one exceptionally suicidal idiot lunged at peggy.
everything went crazy. there were a good few dozen of us 107th guys in the bar, and all of us knew and adored pegs, so when the mountain-men went after her, every fine man of the 107th went after them. but it turned out that the locals defended their own, and we were pretty evenly matched for numbers. within seconds, everyone was throwing punches. bottles were thrown. dernier used a tablecloth to blind a man and threw him out a window. dumdum used one guy’s fists to hit another guy. i hurled bottlecaps at people’s eyeballs, because it’s fun.(im a sniper. we like distance) steve tried to wade through the chaos to get to peggy, but people kept punching him and then clutching their hands in agony, so he got kind of bogged down.
at the bar, peggy was demonstrating exactly why she was the 107th’s darling–because she could put a grown man twice her size on the ground in two seconds flat. she knocked out six men; seven more promptly fell in love with her.
as the chaos began to wind down, most of the locals had either been beaten down or fled, and only the mini-hulk and a couple others were left, brawling like berserkers. we were just about ready to turn steve loose on them when the barmaid handed peggy a stool. peggy took it, walked up behind where most of us howlies were still duking it out, and broke the stool over the big guy’s head.
he went down hard. the rest of them surrendered out of terror.
(and, possibly, they had also fallen prey to abruptly-in-love-with-peggy-carter syndrome. but really, who wasn’t?)
I’m not sure I can shout any louder or more regularly that THIS IS CLASSIC ROMANTIC STORYTELLING.
~ Dean doesn’t believe in Angels.
~ Cas is a soldier and Angel of the Lord.
Classic antagonistic meet-cute. They get to know each other through season 4 as reluctant allies. Debate is rife between them as to the right thing to do. Denial is a running theme for Dean re: Cas, let’s be honest, not even romantically but the ever old “It’s Cas, he’ll be fine” etc. Denial is central.
Season 4 finale: THE NEW RELATIONSHIP. Cas rebelled. He did it, all of it, for Dean. They are now compatriots working together against Heaven and Hell.
~ Dean starts to have faith in Cas, he prays to Cas.
~ Cas starts to see Dean as his leader and ally, not the Angels.
Season 5 - 8. Getting to know you. Well its SPN, so not exactly Fun and Games but yeah, this is it. They do get to know each other, and we get to know them better too. Cas even occasionally takes part in some MOTW ‘fun and games’ episodes and we see the development of both the romantic Destiel and the verykindly clearly written as a mirror obviously platonic Sastiel for comparison.
Point of no return / deeper commitment: somewhere around season 8 / Purgatory. “I’m not leaving here without you” etc. This is also the point where Dean believes that emotions will break Cas. This is literally heartbreaking and affects how he reacts to everything moving forwards, most specifically it is the reason why he holds back so much other than when Cas is human (see all the meta about 2nd nightstands, all of 9x06, the bar scene etc). It is also a standard unrequited/undeserving/it’s better for them if they don’t love me love trope in order to drag the story out, just saying.
Falling for you / Complications & Higher stakes: Cas becoming Human. Dean’s Demon/MoC arc. All these arcs lead them to a more profound emotional development towards each other and more textual romanticism in the writing rather than the initial crush/interest.
Final straw for Cas: Perhaps believing Dean is dead in 9x23 but then consolidated in 11x23.
Final straw for Dean: Lucifer possessing Cas, the whole second half of s11.
~ Dean over this whole period comes to see Cas not as a distant Angel but in a much more Human way. He even might have stopped praying to him as he replaces it with phone calls / direct communication, but his faith in Cas is clear.
~ Cas replaces his love and faith in God with his love and faith in Dean (consolidated in 11x23) and doesn’t want be a soldier but wants to help people, maybe by saving people, hunting things…
12x12 is the expositional point telling us that Cas has CHANGED. It also is a call back to Dean’s worry that emotions will break Cas as here he is, emotional and breaking. Dean even bows his head and visually looks like he is praying (it doesn’t even matter really if he is or not, the effect for the audience is the key).
These concepts tie back round to and build on where they were BEFORE THEY MET to show how they have changed within themselves and grown in relation to each other.
So, Now. They have both experienced the complications and higher stakes towards each other. They have both fallen in love, Cas both metaphorically and literally falling (it’s only on becoming human that I think he truly realised how he felt, it’s both a narrative reality and a metaphor). Dean’s gone from having no faith to eventually meeting God and worrying the whole time about saving Cas.
Which leaves us currently at the Break up Moment.
Which is honestly exactly where I see this separation and all the questions about choices/Angels/nephilim/cosmic consequences going, leading us to….