Transcript: Track 11: Soulmates

Episode 11 posted February 6, 2021
Links to all fics mentioned can be found on the main episode post.

Transcript by Kaede (thank you!)

Jump to:

[Intro music]

EllenofOz: Hi everyone. Welcome to the 11th episode of Mixtape Book Club podcast. My name’s Ellen.

MalMuses: And my name is Mal.

EllenofOz: Each week we take a look at a different trope or sub-genre in the huge collection of DestieI fanfiction. And this week we are gonna be taking a look at Soulmate fics. So to help us discuss her fic Below Deck, as well as a few other Soulmate fics, we’d like to welcome our guest this week. Desirae.

Desirae: Hello.

EllenofOz: Welcome! So we’re actually going to discuss four fics today because we had like a big list of fics, but that, and they all ended up being fairly short. So we’re gonna do four. As well as Below Deck by Desirae, we’re also going to talk about Don’t Look Back by goldenraeofsun, Stripes and Stitches by tiamatv, and the fourth one is Syncopation by K_K_TiBal.

Desirae: I liked that one.

EllenofOz: Yeah, they’re all great fics, and we’re gonna have a chat about them.

MalMuses: So links to all of the fics we’re talking about today will be available in this episode’s post on and included in our collection on AO3.

EllenofOz: Okay, so before we start talking about these fics today, I just wanted to quickly throw some info out there about listening to the podcast itself. Like we’ve, we’ve been overwhelmed by how many people have listened to and told us that they’ve enjoyed listening to our first 10 episodes. Can’t believe we’re already up to 11, can you? [ Laughs ] But we love it that so many people are, are enjoying it and are happy for us to like, add new fics to your TBRs. Sorry about that. But if we’ve had a few people over the last few weeks ask or mention that they’re, they’re not really sure how to subscribe to the podcast, like they’re not normally… they’re not usually podcast listeners, so they’re not really sure how subscription works or if like, there are other ways to listen rather than just going through the website. So I’m just gonna go through a really quick sort of list of ways that you can subscribe and receive updates when we post new episodes.

So, first up, on social media, we don’t post a lot on our official accounts, so you can turn on notifications, on like, if you are on Twitter or Tumblr, you can turn on notifications so that when we post about a new episode, you’ll get a notification usually in your email, I think. Or just in, in Twitter gives you a notification. So that’s one way. You can also through Discord on the Profound Bond Discord server, we’ve got a channel there that’s dedicated to our podcast. So if you join, I’ll include a link in the notes for today’s post about how to join the server, and you can get a, a role in that server that will ping you each time that we post a new episode.

So then, apart from social media, we also, the podcast has a feed itself, and you can subscribe to that in a few different ways. If you go to, our blog site, on the right hand side of the screen there’s a dropdown with Show More, underneath the Subscribe label on the right hand side of the screen. If you click the Show More button, there’s a great big list of ways that you can subscribe to our podcast there. So if you use a music streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music, you can search for the podcast and subscribe, and that will actually notify you in your Spotify or whatever when a new episode is available.

There’s also dedicated podcasting apps that you can put on your device like Google Podcast, Podbean and Stitcher Radio. So you can download those apps and subscribe through them. And then they actually download the episode for you onto your device so that when you’re ready to listen to it, it’ll be there.

And then there’s also obviously in each of our – in each episode post on, there is a player in each post that you can listen to directly on the website. So I think a lot of people are doing that so far. But you can, you can subscribe by email to our blog so that each time we post a new episode, you’ll get an email telling you that there’s a new episode.

So there’s lots of different ways there that you can, you know, listen. And we, we always put all, all of the fics we’re talking about, links to them in, on, so that’s where to go to get all of that information that I just info dumped on you there. Whew. Okay, now that’s outta the way, hopefully, ’cause you’re listening now you already know how to listen to the podcast, but maybe you can subscribe to get, to get new episodes whenever they’re ready. So let’s go, let’s go on, shall we?

Desirae: Godspeed.

MalMuses: So this week we are gonna be talking about Soulmate fics. Now the concept of Soulmates goes back a long way both in mainstream fiction and fanfiction. It’s related to the concept of true mates in Omegaverse stories, and it also works with Supernatural canon so well due to Dean and Cas’s profound bond. It does however, usually mean that with two people destined to be together, it throws out the concept of free will. So, many fics written in this trope within the SPN universe tend to subvert the soulmate concept in some way to reflect the fact that the boys have never accepted their fate, they’re Team Free Will for a reason.

EllenofOz: So I mean, the, the Soulmate fics themselves have a range of like, mechanics by which the guys can realize that they are soulmates. So we’ve got things like having matching tattoos or you know, marks that appear on you somewhere when you find the other person, like words that are, appear on your skin somewhere like that. There’s things like telepathy where you can hear the other, what the other person is listen – like the music, like one of the fics we’re gonna talk about is to do with hearing music that the other person is singing. You know, there’s so many different ways that this trope can play out. And I mean, we’ve got a great big list of fics that are gonna go into the post and they have all different types of mechanics in them. So, I guess we can just talk about a few of them in the fics that we’re gonna discuss today, and then you can have a look and see what else is there. Shall we go on to the first fic then?

MalMuses: Yes. So who are we picking on first?

Below Deck

EllenofOz: So the first fic is called Below Deck and it’s by Desirae. It was published in 2020 and it’s 12,000 words long and it is Explicit. And Desirae, would you be willing to read the summary for us?

Desirae: Mmm-hmm. Castiel Novak felt like he’d been waiting forever for Dean Winchester to enter his life. And now that he was here, Castiel had no intention of letting him go. They were soulmates after all. Dean Winchester, perpetually unlucky in love, moved to Angel Bluff to be closer to his brother and start fresh. Could the blunt blue-eyed stunner who claimed to be his other half convince Dean to take a chance on forever?

MalMuses: So, can I jump in and say that actually one of the things I loved most about this fic was that, that the kind of, the kind of deal in this fic is that Cas is somebody who is very kind of spiritual. He can see auras, things like that. And you know, he takes one look at Dean and knows exactly what he sees. Whereas Dean is the complete opposite, doesn’t really believe in that kind of thing. And I really loved that as a subversion of the soulmate trope that only one of them really believes in it at all.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: And I think it, it played out really well in this fic because it’s not just that Cas is necessarily convincing Dean to take a chance on him, like he’s convincing Dean to take a chance on this entire concept which is, makes for very good reading, I think, in my opinion. What, what did you think of this one?

EllenofOz: Me? Well, I’ll, I’m gonna jump in before Desirae gets to talk about it again.

Desirae: Mm-hmm.

EllenofOz: So I like, so this whole fic is basically, they both end up working on this on a, a floating restaurant that’s themed like a pirate ship, which I thought was brilliant. I would love to go to a place like that. And I guess that because Cas is such a kind of a free-spirit and he is sort of sleeping around with a lot of people before finding his soulmate, which he believes he will do eventually. Like he’s got, he’s kind of got Endverse vibes almost, like he’s a lot more free with … maybe not Endverse, but you know, he’s, he’s different to how he is in the show, in that he’s just like, yep, I’m just gonna, you know, hang it out there until, until I find the One. So I guess how, how did this whole concept of, you know, the pirate ship restaurant and everything come about for this fic?

Desirae: Well, I was kind of like obsessed with this show called Below Deck for a little while, and I liked the whole idea of how when you watch every episode, like there’s always romance going on, but it, it never lasts because it’s, it’s always like summer flings. And, and originally I just kind of had this idea of just wanting to play with that, like this playboy type of person who’s just kind of doing his own thing and you know, meets the person he wants to be with and, and now has to deal with the fact that nobody really takes him seriously.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: It just kind of spun out from there.

EllenofOz: This was originally a, like an auction prize kind like a, you know, a…

Desirae: Yeah, iit was a Fic Facer$ story and,

EllenofOz: Yep.

Desirae: My bidder was amazing, she was so nice. She gave me like total carte blanche to do what I wanted to do. And in some ways that’s awesome, and other ways it’s like, it’s harder because there’s so many options?

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: On what you, what you wanna do, and then I just, I just really just, I just knew that Cas was going to be, he was gonna have no doubts, like as soon as he saw him. And I just kind of wanted to play with the fact that, you know, Dean has to want to be with him too, despite the fact that he doesn’t really believe any of that. It’s just like, that’s like secondary to him when he, when he realizes that he really likes Cas. It’s not so much about what Cas believes in, which he thinks is great, but you know, he just likes Cas ’cause he likes Cas, not because he thinks that there’s some kind of mystical thing keeping them together.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Yeah. So Dean has to kind of, I mean, Cas has to kind of convince Dean that, you know, this is what it is and Dean’s like, are you sure about this? ‘Cause like at one point I think he says, “Oh, is this how you do it? Is this how you can convince people to sleep with you” or something you know he doesn’t, doesn’t believe him?

Desirae: Right. Which was kind of rude. It was rude, but he really didn’t think he was like, being rude? He just thought, you know, oh, I get you, I, I get this plan and, you know, if I look like you, I’d just plan too. And they just think, yeah, it was really fun to play with that. But I love the Soulmate trope in general. Just like the whole, that one person, for somebody I, I like, I like it because I can, I like Soulmate trope without having to do like the A/B/O trope ’cause I don’t have to deal with I feel like I don’t really have to deal with like, the politics of feminization and all this other stuff that kind of goes with that. With Soulmates, it’s pretty much just, it’s, you know, straightforward. It’s like true love meant to be without any of the other things that can be problematic with other tropes.

MalMuses: I was just thinking about your comment earlier about how it’s kind of Endverse!Cas but not quite how we see him, and I’ve realized that one of the tags is actually Endverse!Castiel only not sad, which is the perfect way of describing it, actually. [ Laughs ] ‘Cause that’s perfect. Yeah.

Desirae: But I don’t like how, like see, that’s the thing, like I love that Endverse episode, it’s like one of my favorite episodes, but it’s one of those episodes, like, I watched it once and I don’t really need to watch it more than once because it made me so sad that Cas was just so broken that he was like just willing to like, become a druggie and sleep around with whoever, and, and so I, I wanted like all those fun aspects of him, but not, not depressing, like, yeah, I’m sleeping around. Yeah, I’m having fun, but that’s only because I know my true soulmate’s coming and I can’t make him get here any faster than he is gonna get here, so I’m going to, you know, decadence, just like Cas said, you know, that’s what he’s gonna do until it happens and.

EllenofOz: Yep.

Desirae: That was definitely what I was, what I was going for. I definitely wanted an Endverse vibe, but not one that was gonna make you cry.

MalMuses: Yeah. So it’s Endverse!Cas in tooth-rotting fluff. 

EllenofOz: That’s right, the whole thing ended up being very lovely and fluffy. So well done. No angst at all.

MalMuses: Yeah, it was a really good one to read ’cause I’ve definitely been gravitating more towards just like happy fluffy fics recently since the show ended.

Desirae: Yeah!

MalMuses: Just, you know, just healing myself a little bit.

EllenofOz: Yes.

MalMuses: So this one was really good for that, it is truly lovely. Like there is I guess a certain amount of kind of minor pining angst in a way? But I wouldn’t really even call it angst, like, you know, they’re gonna get there. It’s just how long is Dean gonna hold out? until they get there.

Desirae: Right? Not long. [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: It’s fun though ’cause I was able to use, use canon lines, which is always nice. I love to drop canon lines in stories wherever I can fit ’em. Stick ’em in there.

MalMuses: I love reading that as well. Like, I always get like a little, little excited squee whenever I get to a line, I’m like, oh, that’s a canon one. And they’ve used it in like a totally different way or just kind of the way it’s been like sneaked into the fic, I love it. It’s almost that same feeling like you get when they use the title in the fic. Like, does anybody else get that? Like,

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: I get really excited when I’m reading. I’m like, oh look, that’s it. That’s the title right there! [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: I saw it like a random, random aside. I don’t know how, it must have been ages ago before the days when I was on Tumblr or whatever, and that was a thing. But when there was this thing where whenever you would watch a movie or something and they, and someone, like one of the characters would say the name of the movie, you had, you had to shout something out in the movie theater or something? It was like this game and that always sticks in my head now, whenever I read like the title in a thing or, or in a movie or whatever, I go, oh, that’s that thing with you just said the title. Anyway, nevermind. Just a random aside. Desirae, I was just going to, before you move on to the other stories this is not the, the, the only, like you’ve, you’ve got a, a long back list in your AO3. This is not the only Soulmate fic that you’ve written, right? One of your, your big series is also Soulmates, right?

Desirae: Yeah, yeah. The Bond Breakers.

EllenofOz: That’s right. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have not read it yet. I’m so sorry. [ Laughs ]

Desirae: It’s okay. It’s not going anywhere.

EllenofOz: Good. Okay. Well, I’ll put a link to that as well in the notes so that everyone can have a link.

Desirae: That’s some really good art in that, so if it’s, it’s worth it just for the art, honestly.

EllenofOz: It’ll be also worth it because of your beautiful writing, I’m sure of it.

Desirae: Thank you.

MalMuses: I’ve been like, slowly working my way through a bunch of different fics at Desirae’s fics for the past, I don’t know, probably a year now because I have to keep stopping to read fics for the podcast.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: But like every now and again, I’ll go back and read one. 

Desirae: I’m like a super, I do, you know what, I, I do a lot of sequels and I know like a lot of people aren’t really like in for when they’re not into Established Relationship, and then like sequels are just kind of like, people get bored with it. But I, I get so attached that I can’t help it. It’s like I don’t even write sequels for the people that read, honestly. Like, no offense, I love everybody that reads, but I really just do it because I’m not done with them.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: And I need to, I need to know what else they’re doing. 

MalMuses: I feel that a hundred percent. That, that’s me with timestamps. Like sometimes people request certain things and I will work that into whatever I’m writing, but usually timestamps is because, I cannot let go of that fic yet.

Desirae: All it takes is like one song or you, you hear a conversation like, oh my God, that would still fit in my world.

MalMuses: Yep. Mm-hmm. So that they’re a little bit self-indulgent really. And I mean, they don’t, I mean, statistically speaking, they don’t, I guess do as well – I’m doing like Cas air quotes right now – do as well as like initially posted fics, because there are a lot of people that aren’t interested in Established Relationship stuff, but you know, sometimes you just gotta write what’s good for you. 

Desirae: Think my sequel to Dean Winchester’s Not Afraid of Ghosts. I think it has like 700 less kudos than the original one. And I’m like, I don’t care. I liked it.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: That’s what’s important. It really is. It really, really is. Like you have to write for yourself. Okay, are we ready to move on to our second Soulmate story?

Don’t Look Back

EllenofOz: So the second fic will be, Don’t Look Back by goldenraeofsun. This one was published in 2019 and it is a little longer, 36,000 words, and it’s Explicit as well. And the summary goes like this: While Mary was alive, she would tell Dean that soulmates were chosen by angels. When the right time came, he would hear his soulmate’s voice in his head and he would know wherever they were, they were singing just for him. But Dean never heard a damn thing, not at 12 when most people heard their first soul song. Not at 15, when Sammy heard his. Not at 17, when only 2% of the population heard their first. And definitely not at 28 when Sam leaves to be with the love of his life, and Castiel, deaf professor of Rock Music History at KU moves in.

So I read this fic, oh, it’s probably a couple years ago now when, maybe when it was new in 2019 and loved the concept of this one. So you hear the, your soulmate’s, sorry, you hear the song in your head that your soulmate is currently singing, which is like, you know how sometimes you have songs in your head that you just can’t get rid of and I’m like, geez, I wish my soulmate would shut up. You know? That’s, that’s such an awesome concept.

MalMuses: They’re sharing earworms with you.

EllenofOz: That’s right! Yeah. So, so in this one, Cas is actually deaf, which is the reason why Dean never hears any song, any soul songs, which in itself is, is so sad, like that you know, he would never hear anything just because that’s the way things worked out. But so, this is ha – does have quite a lot of angst.

Desirae: Made me wonder like who else in like that, whatever universe was, was set in like, how many other people would have that same issue?

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: If their soulmate, somebody who couldn’t hear.

EllenofOz: I mean, he did, he did sort of assume that, that his person had died or something, right? Like he, I don’t think he ever doesn’t believe in it. He just doesn’t…

MalMuses: No, I don’t think it’s, he doesn’t believe in it. I think all the way through, it’s just that he seems to just not believe that it applies to him. Like he just thinks that he doesn’t have one, not that the system in general is broken, but for some reason that he is, or something?

Desirae: Maybe just embracing that insecure Dean thing that,

EllenofOz: Yeah, I was gonna say that sounds just like him. Yeah. So Cas obviously, he’s a, a music professor and has heard like old rock songs all his life in his head. I mean, it makes sense because Dean works at a, at a radio station. So he’s playing music all the time and, and singing along with it. So, yeah, I don’t know how this sort of concept came about, but I really like the, the idea of one of them being a music professor and the other one is like playing the music all the time. So.

Desirae: Yeah. DJ Dean’s always a cool trope too.

MalMuses: Yeah, and I love that they made Cas a professor of Rock Music History even though he’s deaf because I think there is a, a misconception sometimes that like, deaf people can’t like music because they can’t hear it. And that’s definitely a, a misconception that I’m aware of from people in my own life. So I really love that he’s represented in this fic as somebody who is so into this whole genre of music and the history of it, and all the stories surrounding it, and the lyrics and all of it, even though he can’t necessarily hear the lyrics, like it doesn’t mean any less to him because of that. And of course he does hear them when I’m, I was say all the time,

EllenofOz: He does hear them. Yeah. He can hear them.

MalMuses: Yep.

EllenofOz: In this case,

MalMuses: Gonna say, I would not mind hearing Dean Winchester’s shower music in my head all the time. I’d be fine with it.

Desirae: Nope. Would not mind.

MalMuses: Always sounded like Jensen’s. Yep. Yes. Yeah. If he sounded like Jensen singing big thing,

Desirae: Not like Dean, like Jensen.

MalMuses: [ Laughs ] Yes.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Really.

MalMuses: Let’s go with that.

Ellenofoz: You wanna be really, you want Jensen to be your soulmate to sing to you. That would be great.

MalMuses: Yeah. I wouldn’t complain. [ Laughs ]

Desirae: Otherwise, all you’re getting is, “I’m Too Sexy” and you don’t want that.

All: [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Just like hanging head like, God, he’s drinking again. [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: Oh.

Desirae: Put down the bottle.

EllenofOz: That’ll be Cas all the time in this fic.

MalMuses: Yeah. Like Cas, Cas goes through a lot. Really. [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: I think they, the other thing that I enjoyed about this one was that because they didn’t realize that they were soulmates, like a lot of people in this universe probably do at some point work it out quite quickly, but Cas is very patient with Dean in this, like, he, Dean’s just, he’s very angry the whole time. He’s like, no, I don’t have a soulmate and I don’t wanna talk about it. Like, there’s no, he doesn’t want to communicate with, with Cas about any of this. But even after Cas you know, realizes that he doesn’t wanna wait for his soulmate anymore, that he, he wants to try something with Dean, Dean just doesn’t wanna hear it. So,

MalMuses: Mm-hmm.

EllenofOz: You know, Cas was very patient with him with trying to get through to him. And then they, then they were, you know, the soulmate part doesn’t come in until, the end, you know. [ Laughs ] I don’t wanna, I don’t think I spoiled anything then by saying that, but, you know, all the way through, Cas is quite reluctant because he, he believes he’s saving himself for his soulmate.

MalMuses: I really liked the contrast between Sam and Dean in this one, in that Sam has Jess and he’s like so happy he’s found his soulmate. And it kind of inadvertently, kind of ends up rubbing it in Dean’s face for a lot of the fic, really?

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: That, that you can, you know, he’s just, he’s just being happy and just being happy that he’s found Jess and, and all the rest of it. But even so, it’s kind of rubbing it in Dean’s face all the time that Dean has never heard a single song, that he doesn’t have what Sam has, that Sam is, Sam is younger and all these other things, but he has what Dean thinks he will never have. But it’s done in such a way that like, you know, it could be a very negative thing, it could paint Sam in like a very negative light in this, but it, It really doesn’t, I don’t, I think it doesn’t come off that way at all. It just comes off that Sam is just a bit kind of dopey in love, really.

Desirae: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: And it’s, it’s quite cute. Like, you know, you don’t often, I think, see a lot more recent fics that have Sam and Jess in them. I feel like a few years ago we see a lot more Sam and Jess, but now obviously we see a lot of like Sam / Eileen fics and even Sam, like Rowena fics and that kinda stuff. So I was actually, I dunno why, but Jess fit this one perfectly for me for some reason. Probably because she, she sasses him back, which I like.

Desirae: Sam’s a good character ’cause you can pretty much ship him with anybody as long as it’s well written and he’s like, easy to either have alone or with somebody. So it’s always, it’s always like a fun thing to find out, like, who’s Sam gonna be with in this story? Because you never know with each one.

MalMuses: Yeah, I think a lot of people that read Destiel stories mostly ship Sam with happiness. Like, we may have our preferences, but as long as he’s happy, we are not, like most of us are, are perfectly fine with that, I think.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: One thing I did really enjoy in this story was Dean’s friendship with Lisa.

EllenofOz: Oh, yeah. I forgot she was in it.

MalMuses: I actually really liked how that developed because, you know, he sees her at the beginning, and you would think that in a lot of stories it would kind of, due to like the way things happened in canon, he would probably, he would not see her again or anything like that, but then they, they end up with this kind of friendship going on that she maybe understands him a little bit better than a lot of other people do because her soulmate is, I believe he’s dead in this, is that?

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: Yeah. So her soulmate passed away, so she maybe understands a little bit more of what Dean’s going through than a lot of people do. I actually really liked her, this story. So.

EllenofOz: Yeah, I guess there’s a bit of a, a warning there, content warning for people who are, who don’t like to see them with other people. So he does go out with Lisa.

Desirae: Yeah. [ unclear ]

EllenofOz: Yeah. Sorry, I probably should have remembered that, before we suggested this one, but, and I’d forgotten that that happened until I read it again. But yeah, he does go on dates with like at least one date with Lisa and, but there’s no that, there’s no sex in like shown in the, in the fic I guess, but yeah, they do go on dates, so, but yeah, that was, and she kind of talks him out of it too, like, I mean, she, she realizes what’s happened with Cas before Dean has really, and she goes, what, what are you doing here? Go back to him, kind of thing.

MalMuses: That’s something I actually really like in fics, is the whole, like when other people know before Dean does.

EllenofOz: Oh God. Everyone knows before Dean does.

MalMuses: Like, I kind of like it when people, like, shake him a little bit. 

EllenofOz: In the, in the actual show. Everyone knows before he does.

MalMuses: It’s true. I, yeah, I find it very entertaining, especially ’cause as a reader you kind of want to reach out and grab him and shake him on occasion.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: So it’s nice having that representation in the story as well.

EllenofOz: Yes.

Stripes and Stitches

MalMuses: So the third fic that we are going to discuss today is Stripes and Stitches by tiamatv. This was published earlier this year. It’s 16,000 words, and I believe this came about as part of a Profound Bond Fic Exchange. And it’s the, the first part of a little series. So if you read this first story, then there are a couple little follow-ups just so you can see something Explicit, because this particular part of it is a, a Teen rated fic, but there is an Explicit followup and I think a followup from a different POV as well. But this is Stripes and Stitches and the summary goes:

Castiel bared the unmarked skin of his left forearm, shoving his sleeve down to the elbow. “There. Does that answer your question?” He asked, irritably turning his hand from front to back and wiggling his fingers. “No, I don’t have a soul bond. And no, there is, this is not an offering. Why is that where everyone’s mind goes? I just like to knit.”

So there’s quite a lot of hints in that little summary there, but this is a universe where soul bonds are cemented by the exchanging of crafts between couples, which is a really, really like interesting, unique mechanic. Yeah. So when they give a gift to somebody, a stripe will appear on the person’s wrist, and then they have to then return the offering for the soul bond to complete. So.

EllenofOz: Yeah, so there’s like a several steps to this. Like it took like the way that the author has revealed kind of this magic system, I guess whatever you wanna call it, it is really well done. Like it’s not so much of an info dump, is they explain the steps through the first chapter, I think. So you have to create something like a craft with Intent like, thinking of the person. So soulmates are not predetermined. You, it’s someone you already fell in love with, you create something for them and then present it to them and then they have to accept it and then give you something else that they’ve made. Which is like, I, I just thought it was a really delightful concept. Like,

Desirae: it’s cute, it reminds me of courting. You like, court, that’s what it reminded me of, it was like kind of old-fashioned but still modern at the same time, which I thought was really interesting.

MalMuses: Yeah. And I love the idea that they went with kind of handmade things, ’cause there’s always this concept that, you know, like something handmade comes from the heart kind of? And how they kind of then took that a little step further and made it the literal way of, of making these soul bonds. But at the same time, they also addressed within the story that like, not everybody is good at that kind of stuff.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: So you get people who can’t really knit but are giving their soulmates like lumpy beanies or like, really poorly made macrame pot holders and things like that. And I just love that. I found that really, really like charming to me.

Desirae: Yeah, it was.

EllenofOz: Yeah. And like my, I think he, I think his brother Michael had made like, crocheted this flower to give to and that was the one thing he’d ever made in his life, and that was it. He couldn’t do anything than that. But yeah, if you’re not a romantic person,

MalMuses: Yeah. And in this, I think Sam offers for someone and then gets back, I think that was a, a beanie or something. And it’s, it’s definitely not the prettiest, but he wears it anyway. [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: Yeah. So sweet. I loved that, Cas sort of, he, he does so much knitting and crafting that he gets his, his wrists just ache all the time. And it kind of intensifies as the fic goes on when, you know, he’s, getting a bit more angsty and whatever, and his wrist just aching. And I thought that was a nice kind of, it added to the tension, you know, like, I mean, you do, when you do craft like, like a lot of knitting, I’m sure you do get aches and pains in your hands, but I liked that touch. It was good.

MalMuses: Yeah, it was a really nice way of kind of, I wouldn’t say ramping up the tension necessarily, that’s how it makes it sound a lot more dramatic than it is. But yeah, just kind of increasing that, that sense of, of tension and stress on Cas in this. Yeah, it was lovely. Good job. Well written.

Desirae: Every time their wrist aches, I kept waiting for like, the line to appear. Like it was like hinting that it wasn’t, wasn’t just so much the crafting that it was like the, the bond coming on and like wanting to burst through the skin.

MalMuses: Yep. Just waiting and waiting and waiting for it to actually happen.

Desirae: Yeah.

EllenofOz: So I guess this fic’s got a bunch of other, it is like a combination of a bunch of different tropes. ‘Cause there’s a, a coffee shop and Cas sort of accidentally stumbled into this coffee shop one time and ended up staying because he liked Dean. But then there’s also because it was published last year, there’s also a quarantine element where like, you know, they have to go into, you know, isolation, they can’t see each other for a few months and you know, they see each other with masks on and whatever for a while. And it’s just like a, a really heartwarming story. And it, it is, there is a bit of angst there because I think Cas is like pretty sad. He’s like firmly in denial about the whole thing. He, he think, doesn’t think Dean will ever, you know, he, he thinks that Dean’s friendly to everybody, not just to him. So he doesn’t think he has a chance, but in the end it’s sort of, yeah. A bit of a surprise. I won’t say anymore ’cause it gives it away.

MalMuses: Yeah. I liked … yeah, I liked the way that Cas was, I guess, quite accepting of his feelings for Dean, but didn’t really consider that they would go anywhere. But it was written in such a way that it was, it was quite sweet really. 

Desirae: It was a really sweet story. And I felt bad for Dean too because he was just, obviously so, like he was gone on him and so obviously thought he wasn’t gonna get anywhere with it, and I felt bad. It’s just sad. [ Laughs ] So I was happy when it was finally, when it finally resolved itself, I was like, yay!

MalMuses: Yeah. So there’s definitely kind of some angst in that sense, but I feel like it really came off more like … there was some kind of sweet pining there, like it, it was angst, but it didn’t hurt necessarily.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: It was [ unclear ] angst.

MalMuses: Yeah, it was just very wholesome, honestly. The whole fic was really lovely and wholesome in my opinion.


EllenofOz: Definitely give that one a go. Okay, so the, the last fic is called Syncopation and it’s by K_K_TiBal. I hope that’s how you pronounce it. I don’t know. I’ve been a fan of this author for a few years now and I’ve never had to say their name aloud before today, so I apologize. This fic was published in 2018 and it is 15,000 words. It is also rated Teen.

Okay, so the summary is: Dean Winchester is almost fine with not knowing who his soulmate is. He’s got a good life, a good family, he doesn’t mind the one night stands with others who also haven’t found someone with their same Soul Mark. It isn’t until Sam shows Dean a picture of the pop star Castiel, a celebrity infamous for hiding his Soul Mark among hundreds of other tattoos, that Dean thinks he may have found his soulmate. But how is he supposed to let a worldwide phenomenon know that they belong together and will Castiel even care?

So, yeah, Castiel is a rockstar. And Dean is not a fan at first. It’s Sam, who’s the, who’s like a crazy fan.

Desirae: Fanboy.

MalMuses: Yeah. Fanboy Sam. I loved it.

EllenofOz: It was so good. I love like, flustered Sam is like up there with flustered Dean on my things I love.

MalMuses: Yeah. Top tier, love flustered Sam.

Desirae: When Sam first met Cas and he was all like, that’s, that reminded me of when he, when they talked about him meeting Cas in this story.

MalMuses: Yeah. Yep. Mm-hmm.

EllenofOz: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. ’cause he didn’t, he was like shaking his hand going, “I’ve heard so much about you. Oh my God.”

Desirae: Right?

EllenofOz: Loved it. Yeah. So he, he sees a picture of, of Castiel with all these tattoos and sees a Soul Mark eventually that is the same as his. But then he’s gotta try and work out how he’s gonna actually let Castiel know what’s going on. Yeah. Because Castiel gets loads of people, or his, his security anyway, turns away lots of people who keep saying that, you know, he’s my soulmate. He’s my soulmate.

MalMuses: Yeah. I was really entertained by the part of this fic that involved Dean going to Castiel’s concerts and I dunno why that entertained me so much, but just the idea of him standing there and not even really being into the music and Sam is doing his fanboy thing, like just next seat over. But Dean’s just there staring at Castiel on stage because, sounds weird to say he knows what’s under his clothes, but, you know, know what I mean? Like he knows that, that that Soul Mark is there. And Cas even kind of looks at him and kinda like winks at him and as, as performers do, but yeah, he has no idea who Dean is.

Desirae: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: Which in a way is slightly heartbreaking, but kind of works really well in this way.

Desirae: No instant connection where you’re like, oh, that must be him. Like that would’ve been cool.

MalMuses: Yeah.

Desirae: It was also interesting to have Cas be the singer and not Dean, like, ’cause usually it’s rockstar!Dean, so it’s always fun when it’s switched up a little bit like that.

MalMuses: Yeah. It’s fun to shake it up a little bit and have it be Cas instead. And I liked the fact that in this one, because he’s famous and so obviously he’s probably had hundreds of people in his lifetime try to claim to be his soulmate just because they want to be connected to him in some way, that Cas isn’t really on board straight away necessarily.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: That he’s very suspicious, really, and it’s not until a bit later when he sees that, you know, there’s more to the two of them than just this Mark that they happen to share, that Cas kind of gets on board with the whole thing. 

Desirae: Yeah, ‘cause I thought he believed Dean a lot sooner than he actually did. Like I was, when it came out that he still wasn’t quite, I was like, oh, like I totally thought Dean won him over. Dean would have won me over. [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Yeah, I wanted to yell at Cas a little bit then, I was like, excuse me!

EllenofOz: He had, he had good restraint there, didn’t he? I guess you rooting for Dean through the whole thing. Like, I don’t know if it’s some kind of a you know, a self-fulfilled, like self-insert kind of fantasy thing where you think you’re gonna see someone famous and you’re gonna form this connection and you’re gonna be like, you know, I don’t know if that’s, you know, stroking that ego part of yourself that goes, yeah, I’m totally gonna click with my favorite! But,

MalMuses: It makes a satisfying read though, ’cause I think that’s all like, a daydream that at some point in their life people have had. So.

EllenofOz: Yes.

MalMuses: And you know, I think as is kind of illustrated in this fic actually, I feel like as long as that’s just like a harmless daydream, there is nothing wrong with that. But Cas definitely has issues with people who have taken that a step further than the harmless daydream in his life. 

EllenofOz: That’s right.

MalMuses: Which is kind of what, kind of what causes the, the tension in this fic really.

EllenofOz: Yep.

MalMuses: I really liked the fact that Cas tried to disguise his Soul Mark by covering himself with tattoos, ’cause I am a big fan of tattoos in fic. 

EllenofOz: Yep.

MalMuses: And I liked that there was an art piece included in this as well, so we get a little peek at some of Cas’s tattoos in this as well.

EllenofOz: Oh my God, is there?

MalMuses: Yes. 

EllenofOz: I read this on my, on my Kobo. Okay. I’m gonna have to go and have another look. 

MalMuses: Yeah.

EllenofOz: This is the problem with downloading fics, ’cause you don’t always get the art.

Desirae: Yeah.

MalMuses: Yeah. That’s why, that’s why I read, I, I often read on my devices, but I still read live on the site rather than downloading them, just ’cause I feel like you miss some of the experience when you download it sometimes, because of, because of that. So.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: I always just download any story that I read that like, I know I’m gonna read again, I download it, because I remember back when Sweaters and Cigarettes was posting, and I downloaded that immediately because I loved it so much and then like, when it got taken down I was like, thank God, thank God I remembered to do that.

EllenofOz: Yep. Read it over and over.

Desirae: Always save [ unclear ]

MalMuses: Mm-hmm.

EllenofOz: So in our MixTape channel on PB, the Discord server, I asked earlier today whether people had questions for us about Soulmates and that sort of thing. And we got a bunch of different questions and things that we can discuss. So I guess one of the questions, the first question was, do we, each of us think that soulmates actually exist in real life and how does that impact our reading of this kind of fics in this trope? Who wants to go first?

Desirae: Not it!

MalMuses: Shall I just, shall I just bluntly go with this one or not? Okay. No, I don’t think they exist in real life at all. Probably because I am a pan-polyamorous person, so to me the idea of them being just one person for somebody else is just completely alien and I can’t quite get my head around it. But I do really enjoy reading it in fic because I really love the, like different mechanics and things that people put into it. Like, it’s just like reading any other AU to me, like to me it just feels like a different world to this one where that makes sense. So.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

Desirae: Well, I do [ laughs ] believe that they exist. But I don’t think that there’s just one for every person, I think that’s kind of ridiculous. I just, I think that we connect with people on different levels, so I think it could be platonic or romantic or anything like that. And I know, I just really like that, I enjoy the idea of the one-on-one, and I, for me, I think that’s because I’m demi, so I really just, I can’t get on board with the not having that one-on-one connection with someone. That’s foreign to me. So I think that’s, that was funny when you said what you said. ‘Cause I was like, wow, we are opposite ends of spectrum. [laughs]

MalMuses: Opposite ends. And that’s what makes it a spectrum, right?

EllenofOz: Yes. No, I’m gonna agree that I, okay, I’m gonna go in the middle here. I’m gonna agree that I don’t think they exist, but I do think that, that you, I agree with you, Desirae, that they, we have like a… ways that we connect with people in different kind of ways, and it’s more, even that is more of a spectrum. Like you’re gonna connect more with people who are very similar to you and have similar, I don’t know, I think, in, I, I hate talking, I, I said at the beginning, we weren’t gonna talk about our own fics, but in the only fic that I’ve written that had this kind of trope is The Closest Thing We Have to Magic where we decided that you have a connection with someone, but your magic kind of resonates with them. And I think that’s how I feel with this, like, I don’t necessarily believe that in, in, you know, the whole soul thing, but if you resonate more with somebody else, you have like similar, you know thoughts and feelings about different topics, whatever, you’re more likely to be attracted to them or, you know, to even to be their friend or whatever.

So you, we, people come into our lives and some of them will just, will go again and others will, will hang around because they’re, we are more, have more of an affinity with them.

Desirae: Yeah.

EllenofOz: Does that make sense?

MalMuses: Yeah. See, I don’t believe in the soulmate thing, but like, that makes a lot more sense to me because I, I like that idea that maybe you have a certain vibe and then that vibe will connect with people who have a similar vibe on some level.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: And I think for me, I can just say that that’s probably like, that doesn’t necessarily have to be just one person, that doesn’t necessarily have to be –

EllenofOz: No, exactly.

MalMuses: – one person out there for you. Even in the same context, it can be different types of relationships or, you know, different,

Desirae: Especially at different stages in your life.

MalMuses: Yeah, exactly.

EllenofOz: And even in, in Soulmate fics themselves, like, it doesn’t necessarily mean that, even though Cas and Dean are, are meant to be together or whatever that’s, that’s not, they just happen to have found each other. Like, it doesn’t mean they’re the only ones that can be like that with each of them, you know?

MalMuses: Yeah. And I kind of like some fics where maybe they have that connection, but they still kind of have to work for it in some way. I guess I like the soulmate concept, I guess the concept that personally I’m not so fond of is more the, like, love-at-first-sight kind of concept, not necessarily into that. So I kind of like it when they have this connection there and they can’t deny that connection, but they still kind of roughly, the wrong way on occasion.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: Yeah. They, they have to put like some effort into it, so.

Desirae: Yeah, insta love only works for certain, certain things, I think you really like more for like one shots, honestly. I feel like,

MalMuses: Yeah.

Desirae: Like, you know, fuck or die, kind of like those kind of stories where,

MalMuses: Yeah and like things in A/B/O with like True Mates maybe, but then even then sometimes kind of people subvert that so that they don’t necessarily, like, they have that connection but they don’t necessarily always instantly get along. But that, there are definitely certain instances where that kind of insta love thing does work. But I think you’re right actually. It’s something that’s much more suited to like one shot sort of fics where we just don’t really have time to have, give them any other option.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Alright, we better go into the next question. What is, what’s our favorite of the Soulmate indicators? Like, like tattoos or Soul Marks, telepathy, that kind of thing. Which ones do you like the best?

MalMuses: Knitting.

EllenofOz: You like the knitting one? [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: The knitting just absolutely charmed me, okay? I would’ve said the tattoos, I really like the tattoos, but like, the knitting thing that, that really got me.

EllenofOz: That was, that was a great, actually, that answers the next question too, because what’s your favorite non-traditional take? Which is definitely that one. That’s pretty unique. How about you Desirae? Which one do you like the best, do you think?

Desirae: I do like the tattoo I think that’s,

EllenofOz: The tattoos?

Desirae: Yeah. Just because I love, mostly because I know I’m gonna usually gonna get some artwork in the story and I like to see that.

EllenofOz: Yes.

Desirae: I’m like,

EllenofOz: Definitely.

MalMuses: I think in general we kind of love tattoos in this fandom, right? Like it seems to be, ’cause there was that quote, once I think about how, originally they wanted Dean to be covered in tattoos, but they just couldn’t afford it for the show or something like that. And I feel like that’s dug into all of our consciences at some point. [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: Yeah. And we do have like, you know, the tattoos that the guys do end up with around, you know,

MalMuses: Mm-hmm.

EllenofOz: Ingrained in the fandom kind of culture, I guess.

Desirae: Yeah. And like I always freak out like if I write an AU and then I’m like, oh my God, I forgot to put Dean’s tattoo in, crap! [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Yeah. That’s the point where I’m like, okay, I’m going back to put it in.

Desirae: Right? Where’s that scene?

EllenofOz: I always end up adding the Enochian one on Cas’s side. I dunno why. I just really love that.

MalMuses: I really like that one. That’s, that’s a tattoo that I actually want myself.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Yeah. I’d have something like that if I was gonna get one.

MalMuses: I think we should also do a tattoo shop AU episode at some point. Just putting that out there.

Desirae: Oh yeah.

EllenofOz: Yes.

MalMuses: I could think of several already that we need to include. So.

EllenofOz: Yes, please. Alright, add that to the list. I really, I loved the idea of hearing the songs in your head like, or even just like other stuff in your head. I think that the telepathy aspect was really cool. I dunno if it’s my favorite, but I’ve, I, I’d love any of these things, any of these things, I can’t commit. I’m not very good at choosing a favorite in these things, but I do love that telepathy idea. That was good.

Desirae: I used that in one of my Soulmate stories. Able to hear like, Dean’s able to speak Enochian because Cas can speak Enochian and they can hear each other’s voices when they’re in danger and like, I love that kind of stuff.

MalMuses: That’s cool.

Desirae: I’m not supposed to talk about mine, sorry. [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: Okay. So the next one is, what is the funniest soulmate mechanic that you’ve come across?

MalMuses: There was, it’s not so much a funny kind of soul mark, a way of doing it. But again, it was a bit like the deaf Dean twist in the one that we just read, there was a story that I started reading and I’ve not, not included in this just because it’s not finished yet, so it’s not one that we would include in the podcast yet. But it is a concept where people have Heart Strings. So like strings between themselves, the other people. And the colors of them match exactly. But what’s interesting about this one is that Castiel is blind, so obviously he can’t see what color anybody’s Strings are.

EllenofOz: Oh, that’s interesting.

MalMuses: I guess what I like the most is when they do little twists like that so that one person is in some way not able to be aware of their Soul Mark. So that again, forces the thing that I said about where they have to kind of get to know them another way first.

EllenofOz: I read, I, when I was compiling the list of fics that had been recommended, I came across one that’s only just over 2000 words long, but it’s called Artfully Crafted Words of Poetry, and it’s by starsinursa. I dunno if that’s the right way to say it, but anyway the, the, the first words of your, that your Soulmate says are written onto your skin and, and Castiel’s arm, I think has this written on it: “motherfucking son of a goddamn whore.”

Desirae: Oh my God. That was one, I forgot about that story.

EllenofOz: Oh, so funny. And like the actual way that it comes about is very good. So that’s what I’ll, I’ll include that in our list of recs, definitely worth a look, because that made me laugh out loud when I read that one.

Desirae: That’s so funny.

EllenofOz: Yeah, someone asked us if we had any Soulmate fic that hasn’t been written that we’d like to see. And I feel like when you, when you’re asking authors this question, if we did in fact have any Soulmate fics we’d like to see, they’re, they’re part of our carefully hoarded list of, you know, bunnies that we like, plot bunnies that we keep in our dragon hoard that we sit on and we don’t let anyone else know about.

MalMuses: [ Laughs ]

EllenofOz: So, I dunno if I wanna give you, any of that away. 

MalMuses: Yeah, I was about to say, I definitely have one. I definitely have one, but at some point I would like to write it, so.

EllenofOz: I would love to write a Soulmate fic because, well, I haven’t, well, apart from the magic boyfriends, I haven’t actually written one, so, but I haven’t actually got any – 

MalMuses: No, I haven’t yet either

EllenofOz: – bunnies up my sleeve, so. I’ll have to have a look around.

MalMuses: Yeah, reading all of these stories this week made me really, really want to write one and came up with an idea for one, with some stuff that I’d really like to see. So maybe at some point in the future that will have to happen.

EllenofOz: Oh, that’s exciting.

MalMuses: I think that’s a dangerous thing for like writers though. Like anytime they’re like, oh, is there something you’d like to see? Because as soon as we think of something we like to see, we then want to write the thing,

EllenofOz: We then need to write it. That’s right.

MalMuses: Yep. It’s, it’s dangerous. And that is why we have such large dragon hoards.

EllenofOz: Yes, indeed. The bunny folder.

Desirae: Yeah. I made a promise with myself this year that I wasn’t going to do more than two Big Bangs this year because I always like, oh, that sounds good, let me try that. Nope, not this time. I’ve stuck to it. I’m pretty proud, but it’s been hard.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: I told myself I wasn’t gonna do any, actually, I told myself this during springtime, so like when quarantine started last year, I told myself I wasn’t gonna do any Bangs anymore because I had so much else on my plate that I wanted to do. And yet now twice in a row I have done Big Bangs and have written the entire fic like, five days before the deadline, ’cause something just popped into my head and like twice in a row I’ve done that now. So I really need to dial that back. 

EllenofOz: How you guys are able to do that, like just write, like you do this as well, Desirae, right? You write the whole thing in like a, a couple of weeks, like 30,000 words, bang. I cannot do that.

Desirae: Yeah, sometimes. But usually like, I have like this weird process, like all my stories like kind of come from like a conversation, like I picture in my head and all the stories like build around that. So my document, it’s always filled with like dialogue, but it’s not always in order. And then I just kind of all put it together like my first Big Bang, the first time I ever did the DCBB, I did that a couple days before it was due, but that was because I freaked myself out and I got writer’s block up until like … I needed that deadline. That deadline is what made me able to finish it. But yeah, I don’t, I hate WIPS. So like I always write everything first and then, then I send it for beta’ing and then I post it all at once just because I cannot deal with it.

EllenofOz: Fair enough.

MalMuses: Yeah. I usually just tell myself I’m not doing it and then I crawl into my friends’ –

EllenofOz: And then you do it anyway?

MalMuses: – DMs like a week before and like quietly say, “so I have this idea,” and then they roll their eyes at me and then I write it anyway.

EllenofOz: We go, are you sure you’re gonna be able to write 20k in this time? Yeah, sure. I just won’t sleep. You don’t need sleep.

MalMuses: Have I ever been wrong yet though?

Desirae: You really haven’t. So good for you!

EllenofOz: Yes.

MalMuses: Oh … that’re just bad life decisions, okay?

Desirae: No. And for you, good for us. Sorry.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Okay, last question before we wrap it up, I guess. Do you guys prefer Dean and Cas being made for each other because they’re Soulmates or Dean and Cas being together even though they already have other Soulmates or being, or like being together in spite of there being another Soulmate out there for them?

Desirae: I wouldn’t like that at all.

MalMuses: Yeah. I can’t say that one’s for me.

Desirae: I thought you were gonna say, I thought you were gonna say, do you like them, like liking each other before they find out their Soulmates? Not like in spite of. No, I don’t like the in spite of.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Yeah, I guess I, like the first, when I read the first part of the question myself, I was like, oh, that sounds a lot like, you know, cheating, you’re breaking up infidelity type thing, and I don’t read stuff like that. I don’t really like that. That’s just me, I’m sure there are people who do, but being together in spite of there being Soulmates out there is just, I guess another way that that spectrum thing works? Like they still like each other and then even though maybe there’s other people out there as well, like they’re still together anyway, so it kind of moots the point, you know?

MalMuses: Yeah. I think … yeah, I guess I can’t see personally the point of a Soulmate fic if they’re not going to be together because of the,

EllenofOz: if they’re not soulmates?

MalMuses: Yeah, like if they’re together for some other reason, then what is the point of the Soulmate mechanic at that point?

Desirae: Here, let’s psych you out.

MalMuses: And I, I like mirroring the whole profound bond thing that they’ve got going on. I mean, we have that to work with in canon. And especially when I read AUs, I love it when there’s like some kind of mirror to canon there or something, not necessarily, it doesn’t have to be like a mirror directly to canon, but I love it when there’s like little things that connect it to the canon that we know, even if it’s a whole other world.

And I think the whole profound bond thing between them really, really does that for me. So.

Desirae: I think it’s important to keep aspects of canon into the any AU stuff because otherwise you can drift. You can, like I, I know that if I don’t do that a little bit, I find myself having to reel myself in because I’m going more towards Desirae and not more towards like, this is what Dean would do.

MalMuses: Right, like at what point are you writing Dean and Cas, and at what point are you writing, Dan and Chaz, you know.

Desirae: Yeah.

MalMuses: So.

Desirae: And dudes that look like Jensen and Misha.

MalMuses: Right. Exactly.

EllenofOz: Well thank you to everyone in, in the PB server who gave us all those questions. I hope that we answered them to your satisfaction.

MalMuses: That was fun. We need to have question, answer sections more often, I think.

Other recommendations

EllenofOz: Yeah! Yeah, that worked really well. So we’ve also got like a whole bunch of fics here that we can recommend, other fics that we haven’t talked about.

MalMuses: So another Soulmate fic that I would like to mention is also by goldenraeofsun, who’s obviously a extremely good Soulmate writer for anybody who likes that trope. It’s called  Not the Fire But the Spark. It’s an Explicit fic, it’s just over 30,000 words, and this is one that has tattoo artist Dean Winchester as we mentioned earlier. Dean runs a tattoo shop, and the twist in this one is that he meets Castiel when he comes into the tattoo parlor asking for his Soul Mark to be covered up.

And this fic really gripped me and kept me right to the end. I loved it. I love the characterizations of both of them, I love the way that Claire was included in this as kind of a sassy relative of Cas’s that actually happens to work for Dean. And I, I loved her in this. I always have a good time with, with good side characters and she was great. And I love that Cas is obsessed with flowers and bees in this story because obviously they talk about the tattoos a lot. So like hearing them describe all the kind of like flowers and, and bees and things that he’s getting tattooed on him to cover up his Soul Mark, which Dean is kind of just, pushing through and doing, even though he knows, obviously he can see from his Soul Mark that he is Cas’s Soulmate. But he covers it up anyway ’cause that’s what Cas wants.

So I loved the, all the descriptions of the tattoos, and I would also like to say that it sounds like a really angsty fic, but it’s, it’s, it’s really not that much at all.

Desirae: That was a really good one.

MalMuses: Yeah. I, I really liked it and very much a happy ending. So.

EllenofOz: Okay, so one that I wanted to recommend is, is from the 2018 Pine Fest. It’s called Little Blue Dragon, and it’s by saltnhalo. I actually forgot that this was a, like, I loved this fic at the time when I first read it, partially because it involves dragons. But also, I’d forgotten that it involved Soulmates until I, until it was recommended when I was asking people for recs.

So this is about Dean, who’s a blacksmith and goes to market each week to sell objects that he’s made. And he’s made this little blue dragon out of wire and gems and you know, he doesn’t sort of wanna sell it to anybody until, you know, this guy with blue eyes comes along and makes an offer and they see each other each week for a while. And then you know, it, it’s, I guess it’s not a spoiler to say that, that Cas is like a shapeshifter, he’s a dragon. So if you like Creature fics and sort of soulmate kind of fantasy alternative universe ones, then give this one a go because it’s really, it’s really cute and I really enjoyed it.

I will just say one more, that a few different people in the, in our Discord channel suggested and agreed that they loved it, is actually an unfinished fic that is called The Soul Piece by cloudyjenn. It’s already over a hundred thousand words long, and it, it is unfinished, but I haven’t actually read it. But everyone on there sort of agreed that it’s really amazing and it, it doesn’t, even though it’s not resolved at the end, it’s still, there’s enough of it written that it’s, it’s like, satisfying. So if you’re willing to give an unfinished story a go, then we’ve been told to give The Soul Piece a go because it’s a really good story apparently. I’m gonna have to read that one at some point. I think.

MalMuses: Yeah, I’m kind of, I’m, I really can’t do like, unfinished stories, so I’m like, just gonna have to hold out that maybe one day they finish it.

EllenofOz: Yeah.

MalMuses: But yeah, if I don’t get my, like I’m, I’m one of those people I can read absolutely anything as long as I’m guaranteed a happy ending at the end. But if I don’t get my ending, then that will destroy me for a long time. [ Laughs ] So.

EllenofOz: Yes. I think that’s all we’ve got to talk about this week. We have to say thank you very much Desirae, for coming to talk to us today.

Desirae: Thanks for having me.

MalMuses: It was lovely to have you on with us. Thank you.

EllenofOz: Yeah. So if you would like to contact us, you can let us know what your feelings on Soulmate fics or if you’ve got any suggestions for fics that we haven’t talked about. You can do that through our website, All of our contact details are there. Or on our social media platforms under Mixtape Book Club. And you can email us at as well. Nearly forgot to say, on Profound Bond’s Discord server in the Mixtape Book Club channel. Come and chat with us.

MalMuses: So in the next episode we are going to be diving into Endverse. So we’ll be discussing some Endverse fics and tropes with our guest Castielslostwings.

EllenofOz: Yes, I can’t wait. I love Endverse. We’ve had all our like favorite tropes in the last few episodes, it’s been great.

MalMuses: I know, it was wonderful. We need to do Two Person Love Triangles and then I’m set.

EllenofOz: Yep. Awesome. So thank you all very much for listening and we’ll talk to you again soon.

MalMuses: And as always, remember that the story isn’t over until we say it is.

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