Transcript: Track 33: Angel Possession

Episode 33 posted June 17, 2022
Transcript by EllenofOz
Links to all fics mentioned can be found on the main episode post.

[Intro music]

Ellen: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the 33rd episode of Mixtape Book Club Podcast. My name is Ellen.

Mal: And my name is Mal.

Ellen: In each episode, we take an in-depth look at a different trope or sub-genre in the huge collection of Destiel fan fiction. And in this episode, we’re gonna take a look at some fics where Castiel consensually possesses Dean.

Mal: To discuss her fic, Contingency, we would like to welcome author Cheerful_Shinagami, also known as Ripley. Hey Ripley.

Ripley: Hello.

Ellen: Hi, Ripley. How are you going today?

Ripley: I am doing really well. How are y’all?

Ellen: Good. Yeah!

Mal: Not too bad. Excited to talk about some fic. 

Ellen: Yes! So, well, we’ve got some great fics to talk about today. We’re also gonna talk about the home we make together by vaudelin and terror and desire intertwined by rupertgayes.

Mal: Links to all of the fics that we’re talking about today are gonna be available in the episode post on and they will be included in our collection on ao3 as well.

Ellen: Yep. And so we’ve got a few things… just a bit of housekeeping before we start talking about the fics. So we just have to say a big thank you to everyone who has been supporting us on our ko-fi subscription. We, we just use that to cover our recording kind of costs associated with that. And we’re also gonna give back to our wonderful Destiel reader community by having a giveaway this month for pride month in June.

So… Mal, do you want to mention what the prize, the big prize is gonna be?

Mal: yeah, so the first thing we have is some pride goodies from Stands. So we’ve got you a coloring book, which is pretty cool because it’s a lot of, it’s a collection of the GISH entries from last year where they did like a coloring book for like, “it’s okay to say gay”. Which first of all is a pretty cool idea for like a pride month merch thing anyway, but it’s also cool because the coloring book contains actually quite a lot of art from… can you call it art when it’s line? I’m very confused as to whether I can call it art when it’s art made for someone else to color.

Yeah. It’s like deliberate line art. There we go. Line art. I’m going with that. From actually quite a lot of people in our own Destiel fandom because there’s such a big crossover between GISH participants and Destiel folk. Yeah. So, I mean, I know of at least three people that I’m aware of that have art in there, so that’s pretty cool. You’ll be able to color some of art from some of our favorite fan artists. And also one of the Castiel pride pins that’s going out there. And we will put some, some other goodies in there as well, gonna kinda make it a it’s gonna be a pride themed giveaway. So we will be including obviously Destiel themed items from not only, so not only queer art, but hopefully by queer creators as well.

Ellen: yep. So all you need to do is go to the post for this episode on, and there should be an entry form there where you can get your entry in to be like… it will start… oh man, here we go this week. It’s so busy. Okay. So it’s gonna, the, the giveaway should start as soon as this episode goes up. And it’ll probably run for about for a week which means you need to get your entry in by… So it’ll be like around the 24th of June, that’s 2022 in case someone is listening to this far in the future and is confusing as to where this is in the timeline…

Mal: Yeah. Sorry. You’ve probably missed the giveaway if that’s the case.

Ellen: Yeah, sorry. Alright, let’s talk about possession. Shall we?

Mal: Yeah, sounds very dramatic. Let’s talk about possession.

Ellen: Yeah, so I guess we’ve got like in the show, obviously there’s loads of possession. Most of it seems to be like demons who don’t need permission to just take over a body but at least in the angel lore, they mostly keep to the, the, the lore that they need permission to come in first. They don’t always, like, I think sometimes it’s a forcible thing.

Mal: Yeah. Cause I think there are, there are kind of question marks in the air over some of the Michael stuff as well, because surely if their possession is dependent on consent, then when Dean revoked his, Michael should have had to leave instead of just taking over. So there, there are some question marks there, but in general, the, the idea I think is that angels are supposed to need consent before they can possess anybody. So.

Ellen: yeah. So I mean, with this, the fics that we’ve chosen to talk about today they are all where, you know, Cas has to possess Dean for whatever reason.

Usually when Cas is in trouble, but they’re set in different kind of periods in canon. So yeah, probably should have said at, at the start, we’re going back to our canon kind of, we’ve got a few different episodes now and different aspects of canon, but these, these folks are all in the canonverse, they’re just all kind of, you know, diverging ones.

Mal: Yeah, I actually think one of the things I liked about this is that there are very kind of separate times in, in canon happening here. So like most of the good tropes, you can probably fit it into various seasons. If you work out, if you find, if you find a little plot hole or a moment in between episodes to where you can start something, you can usually make things work with any season. ‘Cause we’ve kind of got a bit of a easy carte blanche with fic now haven’t we? Where, you know, after the end, when Chuck is gone, this starts. You can kind of do anything at that point. Which I think has actually made me enjoy the other kind even more at the moment. Like I like going back and seeing how people are making their fics work with canon while Chuck was still in play or before they even knew about him. All kinds of things like that. It’s fun. Yeah.

Ellen: Yeah. And older, even now when you read like a lot older ones where we didn’t know that Chuck was a villain, you can sort of, you can, it adds extra kind of levels to the, the fics that you read. Like the stories that they’ve told, because you know that in actuality, this is all being controlled, but, you know, they didn’t know it at the time and neither did the author, which is it’s kind of, yeah. A fascinating meta kind of a thing.

Mal: yeah, it’s really interesting sometimes to read canon fics that are older, that sometimes either were written, you know, quite a few years ago or where people chose to set way back in canon, because it’s quite often, I find that a lot of the stuff that they do could fit into what happened with canon later, which I think just goes into saying, you know, that there are specific narrative arcs that characters and, and plots follow. So, you know, you can take these pieces and kind of make educated guesses about where Supernatural was going to go or where certain characters were going to go. And I think that a lot, sometimes a lot of these fics kind of prove that because it was like these, these fic authors guest things before they happened.

So apart from, oh, I won’t, should I go on an ending round again? No, I won’t, (laughter) but I feel like that was, that was like the biggest betrayal of the ending for a lot of people. I think yeah. The fact that it just, as far as a lot of those narrative arcs went, it just didn’t make a lot of sense. So that’s all I’ll say on this one. This is not gonna be a me rants about the ending again, episode.

Ellen: Well, maybe later when we when we’re talking about the home we make together, since it’s a post finale thing.

Mal: Oh yeah. Okay. I’ll save it for then. There you go. Okay.

Ellen: all right. But we’re gonna start with Contingency which is Ripley’s fic. So by Cheerful_Shinagami. This one was published during 2021 and it’s 123,000 words. And it’s explicit. Ripley, would you be willing to read us the summary?

Ripley: Absolutely.

Two months after Dean is dragged to Hell, he crawls out of his own grave with a mysterious handprint branded to his shoulder. A strange being named Castiel claims that he pulled Dean early to stop the literal Apocalypse.

Now Dean must figure out a way to derail the divine destinies of him and his brother. They must find a way to stop Lilith without killing her, while all of Heaven and Hell want Dean back in the basement so The Plan can continue.

The only one in his corner is Castiel, but can this stupidly handsome stranger be trusted? After all, no one else but Dean can even see or hear him…

[AKA A S4 AU retelling with healthy brotherly bonding, tons of TFW feels, a very sweet slow burn, and Cas in a waistcoat!]

Ellen: Yes. So this is season four. It starts with, you know, Cas dragging Dean out of hell, but it’s early, earlier than scheduled.

Mal: I think one of my favorite things here is the fact that you really dug into it being season four. Like there are a lot of things that are kind of happening, like background cases and stuff like that. They’re kind of done in, you did it in such a way that they were vague enough that maybe somebody who doesn’t remember a lot of season four, or maybe hasn’t even seen it, or didn’t enjoy season four mm-hmm isn’t going to be bogged down by details of cases that they don’t care about.

But for people who did really enjoy season four and have watched it multiple times like me, you can kind of, you know, the details of these cases that are happening in the background, even if they’re not necessarily wholly related to the story. I love that you put so many different cases and things in there, and it kind of almost felt like, like Easter eggs in a way to link back to the real season.

I really… that’s actually one of my favorite things about this, ‘cause it feels very can, even when you’re taking things in a completely different direction.

Ripley: Oh, so glad that was definitely what I was aiming for. So I’m probably one of the few people who. Season four and five are like my absolute favorite seasons and I, for the longest time, I was basically one of those Kripke brain rot… You know, “it was only one seasons, one through five guys, anything after that,” you know I’m only kind of coming around to like, like there’s some good plots and characters later on, but it’s, I always really enjoyed one through five, that was my thing. So I am very much about the keeping of the Kripke era tone and the how the characters interact with things. And I was very careful to go back and like, really think about what episodes and what plot lines from season four were actually necessary. And then kind of like, okay, let’s kind of move this along in a, a little bit of a different direction because I wanted someone, like you said, who, someone who knows the season can go, okay, I know what’s gonna happen. And then it happens maybe, but not how you’re expecting it or it doesn’t happen at all. And I kept trying to make things a little tricky so that it was kind of fun to read. I wanted those Easter eggs there to kind of have people want to go back and reread it. So I, I was leaving Easter eggs to try and see if people would have want that urge to check it out again.


Ellen: You made me wanna go back and re-watch it. I I’m gonna have to start from season four and work my way through. I think ,

Ripley: ah ha, my plan worked!

Mal: It might finally be at that point. Like I haven’t done an in depth kind of watch since the show ended. I’ve, I’ve watched bits and pieces for like fics and stuff like that, like episodes here and there, but I think I’ve finally reached the point where it feels like it’s been a long time since I sat down and really watched a chunk of the show. And so I, I might finally be at that point where I’m gonna start a complete rewatch.

When I say complete rewatch, there are definitely still some episodes I’m gonna skip.

Ellen: I do that too. Especially after reading a few canon fics in a row kind of thing, it’s like, oh, I feel like I need to go back and watch a few of my favorites or, you know, start again from 4.01

Ripley: mm-hmm

Mal: yeah. Well, if you wanna do a season four rewatch hit me up.

Ellen: okay. So can, do you have like a… Was there an inspiration for this fics that, that came to you? Or what can you tell us about it? How, how, how you came to write a, a season four rewrite in the first place?

Ripley: So this was supposed to be just like a one shot.

I was in the supernatural fandom back in 2014, and then I actually dropped the fandom. I dropped fic writing, everything for six years until 15.18 came out. and then I was like, oh man, I got a, the confession. Holy crap. So I watched the last two episodes live and out of pure spite, I came back to the fanfic writing

Ellen: I’m so sorry. (laughter)

Ripley: I know, I was out, but now I am back in, staring at my wall of fan art. I’m in hard now, so. But I had, you know, been writing like I said, back in 2014 and I had this idea for a fic where basically Dean is saved by a demon. Instead of Cas being an angel, he was actually going to be a demon in this particular retelling. But that was on a laptop back from 2014 and I had almost thrown it away. I was like, let me see if there’s anything on here to save. And I found this draft. I’m like, no, one’s gonna wanna read this. I’ll hold onto it anyway. So you almost didn’t get contingency, guys. I almost threw it away. Oh, I know but I just, it started off originally being a whole thing of, I wanted to play around with Cas being an evil version of himself ‘cause the black suit is what really like inspired it, right? And then as I was writing it, it became more of a little bit of a catharsis for me. I was basically going through season four and going, okay, what are the really stupid things I hate in this season and how can I kind of fix them or make them work so that they’re not as bad. And it became just a really cathartic journey for me to take through season four.

Ellen: Yeah. I liked how you changed certain episodes and what happened like like you, for example, when Yellow Fever comes up, there’s still the basis of the actual case is still there. It’s just, you’ve made it, you know, because Cas is like, you know, riding around in Dean’s head that. You, you know, you tweaked it just enough that it totally made sense, like the way that they, they traveled through that episode.

Ripley: Yeah. I thought, I thought it came out pretty good, actually. That was what that chapter of all the crazy things that happened in that fic, that chapter was the one that gave me like, like heart palpitations ‘cause I was like, I was talking to Jasper, who was my beta… Man, we went through the fire on this one.

We had not, we had just met me and my friend, Jasper, staticsaturn. And I was like, I’m doing this fic and I want to, I need a beta. Can you help me look at the first chapter? And then week to week wrote this fic, edited it, posted it in 16 weeks, 123,000 words, barely plot plotted it out. I just wrote as I went and they had talked about the Yellow Fever episode. And I was, I was telling them like, this has Cas’s backstory. I’m not gonna talk about it, but it, oh my gosh, I’m I have to get it right. And I, I was like having panic attacks over it. I was like, I have to get it right. ‘Cause something I really wanted to hold onto was Cas’s gray area. He, it was, it’s really easy to make him kind of like the, the good guy, but he makes terrible decisions in canon. And I wanted to hold onto the fact that he’s not perfect and he will make just calls and decisions that, you know, aren’t always great. So I was trying to, to balance that, you know.

Ellen: yeah. Especially early in season four when they don’t really know it. They don’t know each other really. And you know, he’s not thinking about them that much yet.

Ripley: right, exactly. He’s got his own stuff going on and everything. So yeah.

Mal: Can you remember when you were writing this fic like, which was the favorite part to write? Because I know you wrote it week by week and anybody who’s done that will probably be able to attest to the fact that that means that some weeks are great and it just flies out and it’s wonderful and you love it, and then other weeks are painful. yes. And a slog and you don’t think you’re gonna get there. So can you remember that? Like either of those options, any specific points in the effect that felt like that?

Ripley: Oh gosh. The, so episode, so chapter nine was really tough because it, it started off completely differently. I was trying to, to take the, the characters in a, a different direction and. How, how in depth can I go into it or kind of be vague?

Mal: We can put a spoiler warning up. No problem.

Ripley: So, okay. So season or season, blah in episode nine, that that’s there when they first become intimate and everything. And I was trying to play it originally, I wrote the chapter several times trying to play it more like a one night stand or both kind of aloof about it, but they just, they just wasn’t working.

And so I was pulling my hair out and I said, okay, I’m gonna come at this as a very different direction. And then I just, I wrote the hell nightmare and it flowed so well after that. And it made perfect sense. The transition into them becoming intimate after Cas is helping him with the nightmare and everything.

And it was just like, oh, it felt so good. ‘cause I had fought it like to the, like the, the minute I posted it. And then it was like, yes, thank you. (laughter) I have not been abandoned. Oh man.

Mal: Yeah. Sometimes it’s just about finding that. That little thing that makes it throw again, and a lot of the time it is coming at it, something from a, just a different side or somewhere entirely different that you hadn’t even thought of, of going from.

Ripley: So, and I think that the hardest chapter would probably have been, oh gosh, probably 13, maybe 14. I think 13 was probably like the, the hardest chapter. 14 had a lot going on because that’s like all the set up for the climax. And then, you know, we have Dean and Cas and theit nonsense coming to a climax and you know, more ways than one and you know, it and all of that. So that was also really, really tough to write.

But I think oh, chapter 12 is where Cas and Dean have like their major fight. And that was really tough to write because I don’t like writing interpersonal drama very much. I’m not really good at like the soap opera-y stuff. So to have to really dig into them being, you know, kind of dumb at each other was really hard. (laughs)

Yeah. Jasper came back a couple times and was like, “I need you to up the drama, this isn’t realistic for them.” I’m like, damn it. So, but yeah, that was kind of tough to write.

Ellen: I love how in all of these fics, actually that the guys have managed to, even though they’re sharing a body and sharing a brain, basically they still manage to miscommunicate. Like they, they just (laughter) I dunno. It’s just them. Even, even when they’re, they can’t, they still manage to keep to themselves enough that they’re not sharing every single thought. But even when they do kind of share their thoughts, they just, they take the wrong message away. You know, they’re infuriating in that way sometimes.

Mal: yep. You are totally right. Only these two could miscommunicate when they are literally sharing a brain.

Ripley: and everything else.

Mal: Yep! So, yeah. which has to lead me to the best tag on the fic, right? (laughter)

So two dudes, one dick is… shall we say… I’m, I’m sure it must have drawn some people into this fic.

Ripley: I hope so.

Mal: it’s like, okay. Possession, you know, all the usual tags it’s like, oh yeah. canon stuff. And then that.

But now I remember, ‘cause I think this was kind of shortly after we met. I remember you writing two dudes, one dick. I remember that coming up and being delighted at the time. What made you decide to do it that way? ‘Cause it’s brilliant and I love it.

Ripley: How did, how did the scene that way?

Mal: yeah, cause mm-hmm, there, there are lots of different ways of doing it with possession fics. And I think these fics show like a pretty good range of the different ways you could do it, whether it’s kind of like, oh, you know, it’s more of just a mental thing or like full projection of another body or all of that kind of stuff. And you kind of almost split the difference a little bit. you were like, you know what kinda go, gonna go somewhere in the middle. There are two dudes, but there’s only one dick.

Ripley: Yes. I, I guess it’s because I, I just, I love all the concepts so much. I was reading a lot of like Midam fics to try and figure out how other people wrote it. And I was like, you know, I was thinking of like… Simbrock was like another kind of big thing I was thinking of. And I was just thinking around with like, so I had made a point earlier on, in this fic to, for Cas to actually explain how he’s making the, the projection and everything. Basically just taking the electrical signals that Dean is getting from his senses and he’s basically just kind of manipulating them so Dean get a sense of a body and, you know, Cas being there. So we actually get Misha-Cas. So I had just kind of thought about it and I just was trying to figure out something that was just a little bit different. And as I was writing the scene, it just kind of came along as… well, what would you do if a guy’s a, you know, a projection? Well, there’s only one dick, so, and it just kind of went from there. Yeah. I, I actually really enjoyed writing. That’s why I like one of my favorite scenes in the whole thing. ‘Cause it’s really, it was really terrifying with the nightmare, but then they were really sweet to each other and it’s just, it’s fun. And just, I was really proud of myself for writing that and I don’t write smut very often. So that was like hehe! (laughter)

Mal: no, it turned out really good. Yeah. You should be proud of that one. Indeed. It’s hard. It’s definitely one of my favorite scenes as well. I had quite a. Favorites, but hell yeah. Do you have any scenes that kinda stick out for you with this one?


Ellen: I just loved, let me think that’s this is like the first one I read out of all of these. So it’s a little while ago now. So it’s coming back to me…

Mal: which scenes belong to this fic is the question

Ellen: I love that when that when he can first see Cas and he realizes that he looks like a guy from a TV show that, that he likes watching, I thought that was hilarious, but also when he said eventually says like, you don’t have to wear that trench coat, like you can wear whatever you want. And then he changes and it’s really good. (laughter) When he first sees him and he is like, he’s wearing a waist coat it’s like, wow! (more laughter) I love that kind of the blue screen kind of thing that, that Dean does whenever that happens.

Mal: It’s apparently I am Dean, because one of the notes that I made for this episode on this fic is literally just that Ripley took all my favorite parts of season four and put them in a waistcoat. (laughter)

Ripley: that’s amazing. oh my gosh. That’s so great. oh man. I had just, so I had just been looking obviously when the, well, when the fic starts Cas shows up and not his typical attire, he’s wearing the black suit that we’ve seen of the behind the scenes shoot of Misha doing, he has the black outfit and everything.

And so I was like, sure. I was just, I think I was on Pinterest or something and I was looking for reference photos and I saw Misha in this outfit of the, the black waist coat, the gray shirt and the red tie. And I was just like, wouldn’t it be funny if Cas changed his outfit at just once. And then it ended up becoming this huge moment of character development for him and him making a choice to do something, because it actually kind of goes into how with the angel possession and everything that, you know, angels are kind of just, they force the, the, their host, their vessel to just do whatever.

And so Cas was actually trying to go out of his way, even though he was still looking like the, the actor, he was still trying to make it his own version by making up an outfit for himself. And the fact that it kind of like killed Dean’s mental, you know, capacity for a little while was just an added benefit.

But it was just so funny.

Ellen: Yeah, because it goes on for a while just every time he sees him, he goes, oh God!

Ripley: (laughs) that’s me. That was just me.

Ellen: Yeah. This has got such lovely, sweet kind of romantic kind of overtones. And later on when they’re, they’re finally getting to know each other and they’re looking out for one another, I think this is all with all of these possession fics, especially it, I realized part of the reason that we love reading Destiel fics so much is that even though the show kind of accidentally wrote its way into a romance and, you know, included a lot of either accidental or on purpose romantic tropes for Dean and Cas it wasn’t ever written as a romance.

Like you, you know, you can, there’s plenty of times when they’re, they’re not nice to each other, or they just, they don’t think about one another. Whereas if it was written as a romance, they like we do in fanfic they are always focused on each other. and you know, doing things for each other on purpose rather than.

I don’t know, I’m not explaining this very well, but I mean, in the show, they, they do things for each other out of friendship, but it doesn’t always come across as being, it’s not intended to be romance in the first place. So, you know, it doesn’t come through. Does that make sense? I’m I’m rambling. It just reminded me how much I love reading, like actually intentional romance in, in fanfic.

Ripley: And the, the best part about is that you don’t really have to change them very much to make it work. So I don’t know. No, exactly. You know, it just, it’s just there.

Mal: Well, there are, you know, there, there’s definitely some, some romance in this fic even if it’s not, I won’t say not intentional, but it’s… 

Ellen: Oh no, I mean, in the fic it’s definitely intentional, like it’s written as a romance, so it’s definitely there.

Mal: it’s, it is written as a romance, but even the characters themselves kind of, you know, necessarily canon Dean, I don’t necessarily associate him as being like a romantic person necessarily until he reaches like a certain point of being able to let go of being a hunter. Like, I just can’t picture that for him. But, and, you know, Cas as well. Yeah, maybe he could be, but this is very season four Cas. Like yeah, he’s got a ways to go before, before that could happen. But there’s, there’s definitely a little of that. Like, you know, that there’s even a scene where Cas pulls the candles out, like, come on might be slightly tainted somewhat with it, but I, I like that it was a nice… like, it was done in such a way that it, it worked completely for the fic and the characters at the time. But, and it was kind of nice to, to see canon characters doing that. Don’t usually get a lot of that kind of like romantic trope style romance in canon fics.

So even though this was, like I said, I. Hmm. how spoilery are we going here? I don’t know.

Ripley: Go spoilery, come on now.

Mal: well, it was slightly manipulative even if not intentionally. So that does kind of maybe taint it a little bit. Right. But it doesn’t like cheapen what it actually was and the genuine intention behind it. Even if as usual, they just don’t communicate well.

Ripley: Nope (laughter)

Ellen: I mean, and you don’t have to have, you know, candles and, you know, you know, a fire or whatever to make it romantic. I just,

Mal: you don’t but I think that’s the kind of romance that those characters are usually better at like the romance that’s not the candles and stereotypical yeah. Romantic romance. Romantic romance? Oh gosh. I’m so eloquent. (laughs)

Ellen: Tropey romance.

Mal: Yes. Like they’re very good at being romantic, usually in their own way. But. Not necessarily in the stereotypical ways. So it was nice to basically essentially get to see them go on a date and do all these lovely things. Even if maybe they didn’t initially intend it that way and then later on to get this kind of like, like lovely, candle lit kind of scene going on. So it’s like we had some of those tropes in there, but done in such a way that it was still completely them. Which was wonderful.

Ripley: I’m so glad. I’m so glad that worked

Mal: So who was your favorite character to write Ripley? Like I have to ask this because I remember specifically you talking about scene where the, the characters kind of went off in a slightly different direction than you expected, but you went with it in the end, I think. But I’m curious as to who your favorite character was to write.

Ripley: Oh gosh. So in the, (I guess, spoilers) I really enjoyed, you know, Dean and Cas Sam became a, a, a bit of a, a favorite. I really enjoyed having him there as much as he was, and I enjoyed their dynamic as a trio. Honestly I would have to say that like, like, so (spoiler) Gabriel shows up because of course he does.

And Gabriel is like my favorite character and I love getting him in, into chaos and, and making him show up and just basically just kind of kind of redeem himself a little bit from the asshole he was from the show. He’s still an asshole obviously, but he redeems himself a little bit. He tries to anyway, but I think Gabriel was, was my favorite when he’s on screen, but Anna became a little bit of a surprise favorite for me because she went in a different direction than I was expecting. I was expecting to just kind of… I wanted to make her a little bit more in depth. When I was going through it, I was like, okay, Anna’s gonna be here, but I don’t want her to be the damsel in distress that she was in the show. I want her to have a little bit more agency. And then she became like, this really cool character I was not expecting. I was like, okay, nice.

Mal: Yeah. And we even got a little bit of like a kind of DeanCas shipper Anna there which was fun!

Ripley: oh yeah. That was a little bit of an insert for, for a few seconds there. But yeah, I was just having so much fun playing up the trope of like Anna and Dean and, you know, it’s like, oh, they like each other, but then if you go back, I actually planted seeds here and there of like unreliable narrators between everybody.

Again, one of those Easter eggs, just to see if people go back and notice it, but it’s like, Cas will be like, oh, Anna gets along with everybody. And she gets along with Sam and she insulted Sam. Like it just or like Anna will be like, yeah, Dean took care of everything by himself. I’m just here, you know, we’re, we’re fine. We’re not, you know, I was playing around with like them misinterpreting things like not everywhere because I hate it when fics do that too much. But I was trying to play around with it a little bit. So it’s like, oh, okay. Yeah.

Mal: I liked Anna a lot more that in this fic then I usually do. I’m not like the biggest fan of her generally. I just think it’s one of those characters where like they had a lot of potential. And it just, just, didn’t just didn’t make good use of it in my particular opinion. You know, so that just frustrates me.

So she’s not a character I use a lot or generally enjoy reading fics where there’s kind of a lot of Anna, unless it’s… Mind you, we didn’t see that much of her. So in a lot of fics, you know, writers can kind of make her what they want right. Up to a point. So there are some really good characterizations of her out of there because of that, but I’m a hundred percent putting all the, the credit for that on the fic writers and not on the show.

Ripley: the originals.

Mal: Mm-hmm exactly. So I did like Anna a lot more than I expected in this. I loved Gabriel. I really like your Gabriel because my, the reasons why I love Gabriel and because there’s so much in him, like, yes, he is this like funny trickster kind of guy and a lot of fics lean into that, but he could also just like, you know, kill you with a click of his fingers and he is well aware of that. So I kind of like it when, yeah, he’s a little bit of an asshole and doesn’t seem to forget how powerful he is, which in a lot of fics, it’s kind of, I don’t know. I’ve seen him written almost if he was stupid a lot. And I’m just like, he’s really not like he’s probably one of the smartest characters in the show. He’s just really quite selfish. And that, and that’s said affectionately, like I said, I really like the character, but you can’t particularly, I don’t think argue that he’s not one of the most selfish characters in the show, though he does try to kind of redeem himself for that. Yeah. At various points and I like it because you are Gabriel very much embodies that to me. Like there’s no point in this story where even when he’s, you know, doing nice things or helping them out, there’s no point where he’s not potentially very dangerous and might actually just… no spoilers, but might just, you know, change his mind.

Ellen: Which is very canon. Like he does do that. in the show a lot.

Mal: Exactly. That’s why I like it. It’s a really good version of it. Yeah. Gabriel’s one of my favorite characters, but like I said, I really like that kind of very, very canon Gabriel, I guess. I like him in AUs too. And I obviously give him a lot more leeway in AUs, ‘cause you can do whatever you want in an AU. You can do whatever you want in any fic. It’s your own fic! But obviously in AUs I will accept many different kinds of Gabriel. Just kind of taking certain aspects of his personality because in different situations he could be a completely different person. But I do love it in canon fics where we get that kind of badass Gabriel.

Ellen: I love this. This fic has one of the most satisfying last few chapters like the, the whole epic kind of, I don’t wanna give anything away, but it’s hard to actually talk about it without giving it away, but the kind of epic stuff that happens before, you know, Cas actually has his own body again, is just brilliant.

I, I couldn’t put the fic down. I was like on the edge of my seat for the whole last few chapters. Until we worked out what happened, it was so good.

Ripley: Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. Yes. I, I, that was, again, we are fulfillment. I was like, all right, we’re we’re doing this right. Dang it. And we’re gonna fix it.

Ellen: yeah.

Ripley: yes. I yeah, not to, maybe

Ellen: we can go into this full spoilers and just talk about what happened at the end then, because I’d really like to..

Okay so spoiler alert! So let me get this right. Cas gets taken back to hell captured and taken back to hell and Gabriel gives Dean wings so he can go to hell and rescue him. Which is just such an inspired you know, plot twist there at the end. it’s brilliant.

Ellen: How did, how, like, what was how did you come up with that one?

Ripley: So, this is gonna be kind of funny, but so it, it came so obviously you’re writing it week to week and you’re, you know, trying to think of like, oh, it’s gonna be a really good wrap up for this story. It’s it’s getting to be kind of like this epic and I didn’t mean for it to so a friend of mine actually was like, I’m listening to this song and I think of your Dean and Cas in Contingency when I listen to it.

And it’s varlovian or Jay, a friend of ours. And she had sent us she had sent me the link for this song from a band that was her favorite and it’s called Halo by starset. And it’s basically like, even though it’s supposed to be set in space and everything, the lyrics are like, you know, “you’re gonna be taken by the darkness, but I’m gonna come get you by the light of your halo. We’re gonna get you back.” And I’m just like, oh, oh no, I have to. It basically just kind of came from that whole song. Like, yep. Okay. We’re doing this. And it it was just, I really wanted to do something epic. It, it was basically like one of the tags says, you know, it’s 15, you know, 15.18 finale feels done right.

We needed that epic rescue and I wanted it to go completely full circle. So we go, so Gabriel gives him wings and we’re gonna go get Cas and we’re gonna go back to where Dean came outta hell so that they could go get him. And I was just, I was like, okay, I’m, we’re gonna figure this out. And yep.

I was just, I’m glad it worked as well as it did, ‘cause it was a, it was a big kind of change in tone in everything. But I think it worked really well. So I’m glad it came off well.

Mal: Yes. I definitely agree that it worked really well. I think the way everything took like that last kind of twist and like the last chapter, probably one of my favorites of the whole fic. So

Ellen: I finished it and I went, whoa, that was amazing.

Mal: whoa!

Ripley: since we’re talking spoilers, I guess at this point the whole, the whole subplot about the actor, just, yeah, it started from an Easter egg. There was, this was never planned. So it just started with the Easter egg at the, you know, the gas station magazine, “Cas, why do you look like this actor guy?” And then it just turned into, oh, this is going to be the sub plot that’s going to save the day. Awesome.

Mal: I love it when that happens, honestly.

Ripley: Unconscious writer, brain. It’s doing more than we think it is sometimes.

Mal: Yeah, I’m very much like a planner when it comes to fics for the most part. But I always feel, feel, I think of myself as like a flexi planner. Yeah. like, I will plan and then I’ll be writing along and then suddenly something will happen and I’ll be like, well, I guess I’m adding in a few more scenes because of this. And that unfortunately is how my fics get longer and longer and longer as I write them. It’s a hazard.

Ripley: Oh yeah, this was, this was originally, I was like, oh, this will be like 50 K . And then here 123,000 words later, I’m blaming it on Jasper though, because every time I’d send them an, an, a draft, they’d tell me they’d wanna see more details in like the surroundings and everything. I’m like, okay.

Mal: So now it’s just so we’re blaming everything on Jasper, right? Yep. I hope that they listen to this.

Ripley: I’m making them, I was like, I’m going to be on the mixtape podcast, bestie! They were like, holy crap. So yeah

Mal: Well, shout out to Jasper, in that case? Hello!

Ripley: Yeah, ‘cause this fic definitely would not be anywhere near as good as it is with without them. Like it was the dream team. It had to be both of us, so yep.

Mal: that’s a really nice point to bring up actually, ‘cause I always say like, you know, writing fanfic is, is, is fun and you put a lot of effort and time into it, but there are definitely days where I feel like I am only ever as good at it as my best beta is. So

Ripley: Yes. absolutely. Yeah. Oh man. I am so glad. So I’m glad you guys liked it. Oh man. This is so cool.

Mal: I loved it! Yeah. I also loved the fact that just in, just in general you’re kind of as much of a nerd as I am. So, as I was reading through this, I, I feel like that helps make especially Dean writing from his point of view kind of makes him feel more genuine.

There’s a specific point in this fic where Dean is still, it kind of thanks to some outside influences Dean is still trying to work out, whether Cas is, is, is good or bad or who exactly it is. That’s, that’s lying to him here, ‘cause clearly somebody is mm-hmm and, and there’s a lot going on. And, and so obviously in Dean’s head, there is 1.1 particular paragraph where he just boils it down to like a Batman metaphor and he’s trying to work out if Cas is like, you know, the, the, the anti-hero or if he’s actually just the villain here. And is he just like “joker dent” is what you say at one point?

Ripley: Yes. which, oh my gosh. I didn’t even think about it.

Ellen: Oh yeah! Was that before? Before we knew about it?

Ripley: yeah. Last year!

Ellen: Because when I read that, I was like, oh, this is before we knew about that!

Mal: Yeah, exactly. Oh man. As I read it back there, I was like, first of all, that’s on point, second of all…

Ellen: amazing. The gift of prophecy.

Ripley: Oh my gosh. I need to go play some lottery. (laughs) Oh yeah. That’s so awesome. Ah, so can I, can I tell you guys something? I have timestamps coming out and I’m really excited for them time.

Ellen: Excellent!

Ripley: Yes. So I’m planning on at least three. We are going to get Dean and Cas’s first date as two dudes, two dicks. That’ll be a tag.

Mal: Two dudes with two dicks! Okay.

Ripley: So that’s gonna be a lot of fun. I’m actually planning on writing another one that’s Anna/Pam, what their off-screen date looked like. It’s not what you’re thinking and then…

Mal: Aw. (laughter)

Ripley: and then something with Sam and Gabriel. I haven’t quite figured out their whole thing yet, but something with them.

Mal: I love them in this.

Ripley: I’m so glad I was gonna bring it up the sabriel if you squint.

Mal: No. Yeah. I love that tag. Cause it’s, it’s not there enough that it’s going to put anybody off who is just not into it at all.

Mm-hmm and I’ve spoken about this on the podcast before, where they are a ship for me personally, and obviously ship and let ship always in my book. But they’re a ship for me personally, that I cannot get into just out of the box. Like you have to put some work in to make them work for me.

I really enjoy it when they do cuz their dynamic is, is just amazing to me when it does work. I think they’re great together, but just out of the box, I can’t see it. So you’ve got to put some work in. And, and I really, I enjoyed them in this one. They were great. Plus you could just imagine them just going off together and, and doing what they do in the fic, without me spoiling everything, but just like gossiping and eye rolling about Dean and Cas the whole time that they were away.

Ripley: absolutely, oh yeah. So I have some, I have that happening and then there’s another project happening soon. Hopefully I’m not gonna say too much about it. Mum’s the word. Just know that there’s a few people on a team contingency making some things, so keep an eye out.

Ellen: Okay. Let me, I’ve got, so I wrote some notes for this and it was so long ago that my notes are too cryptic and I don’t know what they mean. So let me tell you this note and maybe you can help me work it out.

Mal: Just read them out of context? Awesome.(laughter)

Ellen: The, the one I’ve got here is “Dean gives a pep talk to himself via shouting at his dad.”

Mal: Yes. I love that.

Ellen: Oh, obviously I loved it too, but right now I don’t remember what happened. Why did he shout at his dad?

Ripley: Okay, so in the fic in chapter 10 when basically the guys are at Bobby’s house Sam is basically helping Dean learn how to work with Cas. And so Dean is having the mental block of, am I going to be a monster if I accept Cas’s help and like use his abilities in like a fight or something? And so he goes kind of off into the junkyard and he kind of has this mental talk with John and basically like tells him what the entire fandom has wanted to tell John the entire time, fuck off and fuck you. So

Ellen: that’s right. I remember now. Fantastic. I was like, yes. Yes.

Mal: As it’s, as it’s been brought up, I do have to mention that I loved everything with basically Dean and Cas kind of trying to learn how to work together. I’m a sucker for a well-done training sequence. so

Ellen: A montage?

Mal: Yes. Yeah. And reading that chapter feels like a montage. So

Ripley: It really was, it was so much fun. So, okay. So was that your only cryptic one or did you have any others?

Ellen: My other cryptic one was the smiting of Alastair. I think they but I remember what happened with that. They, they discover him and like Cas just like obliterates him in the end, which is, which was so satisfying because Alastair is such an awesome baddie, but he can be like, I guess it’s nice to see him dealt with in a like really badass way.

Ripley: yeah, that was, you know, that’s my favorite way to write Cas is as a BAMF, so I’ve yep. Yep. kind of had to, and I love, I love playing up the aspect of him as a, as a Seraph. It was something for some reason, I have a headcanon that in the show and I could be wrong again. I haven’t watched anything really past nine at this point. But I always kind of took Cas being a Seraph as like him as his like, own rank, because I, at least at that point when I was watching the show, we had, we hadn’t seen another one. So I kind of have him as like, he’s not an angel, he’s all, not quite an archangel. He’s kind of his own power level. So I like to play up the unique things he can do, especially with fire since he’s a Seraph, ‘cause they’re the burning ones, so… fire good in this fic is good. It comes up a lot. That was not intentional. There’s a, a Dean cracks, a joke at some point about being a pyrotechnic, ‘cause he keeps building burning things down and that was like, I’d call out to myself because I kept writing it and going, wait I didn’t mean to do this continuously.

Mal: I kind of love it when stories do things by themselves.

Ripley: Yeah. I’m like, okay. I guess that’s a theme.

Ellen: makes your job easier.

Mal: Does it, does it ever make you wonder about like published novels? Because obviously we think that they must spend like, you know, years plotting and perfecting this, this novel. And yet when you do fanfic, you learn that occasionally like the best parts of something or your favorite parts of something were never intended to begin with. I’m like, Hmm.

Ellen: I’m sure it happens to real authors too. Well, we’re all real authors, but you know,

Ripley: mm-hmm traditionally published ones, let’s say.

Mal: Yeah. Traditionally published ones. Hugo awards not withstanding. Okay.

Ellen: All right. Thank you for writing such an amazing story. And I’m looking forward to the timestamps now.

Mal: Go read this one, everybody. It’s brilliant. Yes.

Ripley: all right. Thank you guys. Y’all have been so cool.

Mal: so the second fic that we’re gonna discuss today is the home we make together by vaudelin. I believe that’s how they like that pronounced. This fic is just under 50,000 words. It’s 48,133, 11 chapters. And this was also published in 2021. So unlike the last one we covered, this is a post-canon possession fic so this is a consensual possession as an initial way to get Cas back after, after everything that happened at 15, which we won’t get into we we’re avoiding the rant.

So, the summary goes like this:
In the kitchen, Dean doesn’t notice the glowing syringe on the counter until he finishes filling a plastic cup with water, a sippy lid stretched over its top. He blinks at the syringe, eyeing the frighteningly-thick gauge of its needle, the bold glass barrel swirling with a silver-blue hue, its glow muted by the folded piece of paper draped over it.

Blood’s in the fridge, the note says. Kaia thinks maybe this’ll work? Beneath it, cramped and scribbled, as if in an afterthought, Good luck. Don’t get yourself killed. — Claire

Grace, extracted from a human once possessed by an angel. The last traces left when an angel moves on for good.

This is it. One last ditch chance to save Cas. And when it doesn’t work out, Dean will…

Dean will have to give up and finally move on. No point keeping this chapter of his life open, making himself heartsick over impossible dreams.

Ellen: Well, there you go. That’s, it’s a long summary, but it gives you a good, like, you know, summary…(laugh) Gives you a good idea of what happens.

Mal: Yeah, it’s a very good summary.

Ellen: So Dean’s tried a few things before to rescue Cas, but nothing has worked and he does try this spell and it does work. And then interestingly, he keeps it a secret from, from Sam and the others for a while in this one.

Mal: Yeah. Which is, is kind of fun, in a way to watch him try to keep the secret.  

Ellen: Yeah! To pretend like he’s not talking to himself. I loved how domestic and warm this one was. It was just. because they’re already, they’ve already been through that confession part. And you know, this is the end of like all of the seasons. So Cas is more of his like almost human self, I guess.

So they just go into it being like warm and domestic and married already kind of thing.

Ripley: mm-hmm

Mal: yeah, it’s, it’s pretty lovely. Especially as they have this, like, like I said, completely domestic setup already and Cas kind of gets, gets a practice run in Dean’s head before he is there physically, which is, which is fun.

I also like the fact that obviously usually in possession fics, nobody can, can see Cas or there there’s like some kind of condition involved with them being able to see Cas, like they have to do something for other people to be able to see him that aren’t Dean. But this one’s a little different because we have Jack here who is….Kid, kid, Jack, obviously after the finale, he’s, he’s definitely not a normal kid but he’s not kind of rolling around with his godlike powers either. But Jack can obviously see a lot more when he looks at Dean, than anybody else can, like, he can kind of communicate with Cas whereas other people wouldn’t be able to. And I think this is, yeah, it works really well in this, like just that inclusion of Jack kind of… sometimes possession fics can be very kind of insular and they’re just inside Dean’s head, ‘cause that’s kind of where most of the action is happening. But this one there’s, there’s a lot going on, like outside of Dean as well, and being able to have Jack interact with it in that way, I think it makes this work so well and they wrote little Jack, so cute. I loved him.

Ellen: Yeah, so I missed, missed a, like a major part of the setup there. Like Dean’s is actually living outside of the bunker now with Jack as a toddler. And he’s been really struggling without Cas but yeah, this has got not just sort of baby Jack, but a lot of ensemble cast in it as well.

It’s got Rowena and, you know, Claire and you know, all of the different people who, like… Sam and Eileen have turned the bunker into like a refuge kind of place, again, like it was earlier in the seasons. So there’s a lot of extra people and yeah, Dean, I think Dean feels a bit overwhelmed sometimes by all the people like he does in the show, but adds extra kind of depth, I guess, to the story, even though it’s not, it’s not a really long one, but it’s it makes, you know, all of it a lot more interesting in terms of like the relationships that Dean does not, not just what he has with Cas, but like with everybody and, and Jack as well.

Mal: Yeah. Yeah. I think the author does a really good job with this one though, even though we are only really seeing Dean ‘cause it’s fully in his point of view they do a really good job of kind of giving you the sense of how other characters are feeling, Or for example, with Sam, you kind of see how, you know, he’s kind of been worrying about Dean ‘cause he’s definitely not been doing so great about everything with Cas without explicitly just kind of putting us in Sam’s head and telling him, telling us like how he’s been feeling or watching Dean and how probably was kind of tough for him to like watch Dean after all that happened, even if he doesn’t know the details. They do a really good job of even in the, the kind of scenes that they’re in, they, they do a really good job of. Carrying that over. I think even though we don’t know exactly what they’re thinking and we can kind of see it maybe better than Dean does sometimes I think. Which is fun.

Ellen: Yeah. It’s great. Good, beautiful writing.

Mal: Yes, vaudelin always has lovely fics, I think just really nice pros, which is lovely to read. And they have an adorable nickname for Jack in this story, which I, I won’t if we can try and keep it spoiler-free, then I will. So I won’t tell you like what the nickname is. Cause it’s like a cute little, cute little reason why they call him that. Yeah. And I, I don’t know, there’s something incredibly domestic and lovely about Dean just kind of taking his, like having raised Sam and then just pouring it into Jack instead and basically being really good at it.

Even though Dean being Dean, I’m sure he thinks he’s like, you know, I’m pretty sure it’s explicitly said in the fic, at some point that he thinks he’s messing everything up. But of course he’s not because we all know that Dean would probably be a brilliant dad, if he got the chance. Yeah. And it’s lovely to see that in this one, there’s a really cute scene, which I will talk about.

Cause it’s like right at the beginning where they literally go to like a petting zoo and I never knew that I needed to see Dean at a petting zoo, but apparently I did. It was awesome.

Ellen: Yeah. So was sweet. did you get to read this one? Ripley?

Ripley: Oh, I did. I’m just trying to like, think of things that aren’t like too spoily or anything.

I, I really did. I enjoyed it and it’s, it’s funny because like I said, I, I haven’t actually watched like half the show. So, so reading fics like this, where they’re later canon I probably don’t get as much as someone who’s actually watched all of canon would, but I still get a lot out of it. And I really enjoyed seeing the domestic scenery with Jack, and then it ends up being that like, this is like set during the holidays. So we get some holiday shenanigans going on, which was just a lot of fun. I was reading it. And then it, it became a thing of, I need to read this and it became, no, I actually have to sit here and read this. I’m going to stay up till 2:00 AM to read this, dang it so, yeah. but it was worth it. It was, it was so good. So I I’m glad this was on the list.

Mal: Yeah. It was really enjoyable in, on like multiple levels. Like, I feel like it gave us a really good, like ending to the series without like going into depth about how things went down with Chuck and how, you know, they kind of changed the, the ending that we got in the show to make it work without spending a bunch of time going into that, it still felt like everything was tied up really well, and then we had this whole kind of I think the, the fic begins, correct me if I’m wrong, I think it was about six months after 15.18 kind of that sort of area. And we also get kind of an idea, like without even like there’s no flashbacks or like long conversations, basically explaining how things had been for Dean.

There are some mentions of, you know, him moving out with the bunker and that kind of stuff. But it’s kind of, a lot of it is centered around Jack and how he moved out, Jack’s a toddler and that kinda stuff. But at the same time, you still managed to get a really kind of, almost like gutting impression of how things were for Dean. If you know that he’s been trying to get Cas back, the fact that it, this is like his, like his last try, like his last idea and that even though he doesn’t want to, he kind of knows he’s gonna have to give up after this, if he doesn’t get him back. Just not just for, because they have no other ideas, but just for his own kind of emotional, like sanity if that’s a thing,

Ellen: like the last straw kind of thing

Mal: yeah, that he knows he’s gonna have to try and like, let things go and move on if this doesn’t work and just by kind of phrasing things that way, it already gives you a really harrowing impression of how things were for Dean for that entire six months that they’ve been trying everything. So, yeah. And I love the fact that the author managed to do that without even explicitly showing us any of it.

Yeah. So, so they kind of put all of that in, but then managed to make this actually quite like a, like a soft, warm fic, even though it has all of those emotions kind of hidden in the background, just talent. I think that’s what it is.

Ellen: this one is explicit as well, but I think they managed to have… I’m just trying to remember if they managed to have a sex scene just with Cas kind of taking over and jerking Dean off, basically with his own hand. Right? Am I remembering that right?

Mal: Right. I like those ones. It’s such a unique trope to this kind of thing. But yeah, I, I think it’s a really fun way to do things. I liked how they addressed very distinctly in this one as well. Which most possession fics do, like, they handle it in different ways, but like Dean kind of going to shower essentially with Cas in his head and that kind of stuff. That he’s, he’s never alone even when maybe he might want to be.

Ellen: Yeah, that’s right.

Mal: And I did laugh a little bit in this one kind of Dean kind of, you know, kinda like braces himself and goes to take the plunge, like right. I’m I’m gonna, I’m gonna shower, Cas is in here. This is fine. I want things to be heading in this direction, so it’s great. And Cas just nopes out. He’s just like, no. Okay. I’ll be back later, not gonna make you uncomfortable. You’re like, damn it Cas!

Ellen: He’s a little bit disappointed.

Ripley: Yeah. He’s like, dang it.

Ellen: yeah. It’s a lovely fic, I like this one.

Mal: Yeah. This, this one, like just gives me the, the soft, like, oh, there are definitely very emotional parts in this, but I just love the, the softness and domestic, the domesticity.

Ellen: I think, I think having a kid involved helps a lot with that. because they, you know, you get to see the softness in all of them then when there’s a kid there.

Mal: Yes. And I… this setup, like this is one of my favorites for Sam and Dean in any kind of post canon fic because I am very much a fan of, you know, them, them being brothers and all of that. Like, I love their dynamic. And to me, that’s a very key in part, not just of the show, but of Destiel as well. Like you, you need a Sam for me.

But. In this one, I, I love the way they do it because you know, they do give them what, to me is a much healthier ending. Like they are very much still brothers. They are still the same people that they were, but they can have their own lives. They can actually do what canon never manage to give them. Yeah.

Ripley: absolutely. And they deserve that. Something that I really liked in this one was… not gonna go in into too much spoilers or anything, but like the, the big Jack has a little bit of some issues going on later, later on. And I was pleasantly surprised as to what was causing his woes essentially.

Is that too vague or can I kind of like go into it?

Mal: I get it but if like, how much of a spoiler do we want to give? I don’t think, I don’t think that particular is gonna be too much of a spoiler if spoiler, if you talk about that a little bit.

Ripley: Okay. I just thought it was really cool that because it, Jack starts throwing tantrums and they can’t like quite figure out why he’s, he’s doing it.

And it’s, I thought it was just really sweet. The idea of it being that because obviously Dean takes it as, oh, well, he freaks out it’s because he wants Cas and we’re, you know, we’re sharing a body and it, I just love the fact that he was corrected to be no, Jack wants both of us at the same time. He wants both of his parents there and it’s like, oh, it’s adorable! So I was not expecting that.

Mal: Not very true to how toddlers are as well, but like, you know, they don’t necessarily have as many ways to communicate as we do. And so Jack was, was dealing with his emotions in the only way that he knew how, and that felt kind of very, very true to me. Like as a parent, when I read it. And kids are often a lot more emotionally intelligent than people give them credit for.

So. Having having Jack being like that didn’t suddenly break the immersion of him being a toddler or anything like that. Like, it worked very much in its favor for me.

Ripley: Yeah. It made perfect sense. And I don’t have kids or anything, but I’ve just from like the youngsters I’ve seen, it seems like on point.

Ellen: Yep. No no, I think that’s part of the reason why it’s so sweet and, and because it’s, it’s very realistic as to what… like obviously Jack is a bit more there’s a bit more going on with him than just being a toddler again, but because obviously he can see, he knows that Cas is there, even though you can’t see him.

But but he, he had realistic kind of reactions based on, you know, what a kid would have. So yeah, making it real.

Mal: Trying to think if there’s anything else specific that I wanted to say about this one that I can say that won’t just spoil the whole fic for people… always a tough line to walk. So, oh yeah. Ripley already mentioned that there’s a part of this set at Christmas. Which I, I really like something about like Christmas in the bunker or something. Like, I just, I enjoy that for some reason. And they go on what they very specifically call in the prose, a Christmas tree hunt, which is a whole different kind of hunt for these people to go on. But I loved it. I thought it was wonderful. Like, even though obviously it was the middle of summer when I read this, like I’m one of those people, like I don’t, I don’t care. I will read Christmas fics all year round so I enjoyed it. I am probably gonna like, put this on the side and reread it again at Christmas time though. I’m gonna add it to my like seasonal fic list.

Ripley: Yes. That’s a great idea actually.

Ellen: You can just get the Southern hemisphere Christmas feel. By reading Christmas fics in the heat.

Ripley: in the summer, that’s right.

Mal: No, no. I moved away from all of that nonsense.

Ellen: Me too, funnily enough. But the other way around, you know, Cold at Christmas time? What is this crap?

Mal: Yeah, my family have barbecues on the beach at Christmas and I’m almost like, no, how dare you?

Mal: All right. Shall we move on to the last fic?

Ellen: So the third fic is called terror and desire intertwined, and it’s by Rupertgayes. It was published in 2020 and. It’s 11,000 words long. So a little bit shorter than the other ones that we’ve talked about so far and well, a lot shorter. Compared to Contingency. This one’s also explicit. They will are, so the summary is short and sweet. It just says:
Faced with Castiel suffering a fate worse than death, Dean makes the decision to let Cas use his body as a temporary vessel. All things considered, Dean thinks, it could have gone worse.

This one’s set during season 14. So before Jack kind of loses his soul when things are just sort of in a normal place where they’re just doing hunts together still. And I, I think it’s after, no, it must be before Michael’s death and defeat because they do mention Michael at one point… Isn’t that where Jack burns up his soul? Killing Michael?

Mal: Yeah, I think so.

Ellen: So it must be before that. I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s all it’s, it’s divergent anyway. So it’s all a bit like hand wavy, vague, but around that kind of time zone, so Jack is involved.

Mal: Yeah, I’m just trying to like, they, they kind of talk about it a little bit in the note, they don’t give like a specific episode necessarily, but they just say, you know, Empty deal hasn’t been made, but we know that Chuck before Chuck was revealed to be the big, bad all along and Jack’s on an extended vacation, which I think needs to be a tag. ‘Cause there are so many fics where it’s just like, okay, so we don’t need to add Jack into this one. It’s just gonna complicate it. It’s not the focus, but he exists in canon so what are we doing with him? yeah, I’ve had so many fics where I’ve like, oh, I wanna write this. And I’m like, damn, what do I do with Jack? So, and I, I enjoy Jack as a character, but sometimes if you’re writing Destiel, he doesn’t necessarily need to be there. Like, so what do you do with him? Jack’s on an extended vacation.

Ellen: Yeah. So in this one they’re on a hunt and then Cas gets injured and then has to you know, hop into Dean basically and then they rescue his body, but they have to wait for a little while before they can reverse whatever spell was causing it. So Dean and Cas have to spend a bit of time sharing.

Mal: Yeah, little tiny bit angsty for a while there, but not, not too much. No, that’s not, not a ton of angst going on, but some notably.

Ellen: yeah. There is, it does get kind of dark, like it’s, it it’s written so well in this, that it, on one hand, it’s got Sam having a really funny reaction to how Dean and Cas keep talking to each other and, and not like he, he gets confused because Dean keeps talking aloud and he is like, no, I’m talking to Cas and Sam’s like, “you guys are crazy.”

Mal: But then, yeah, I think one of my favorite tropes from any possession fic like this is that moment where Sam’s sat there, like “I’m still here, you know,” like, yeah.

Ellen: Yeah. He’s like, “who are you talking to? You’re staring into space again. Are you having a conversation in your head again?”

Like yeah, poor Sam. But on one hand, it’s got this lighthearted kind of, “this is kind of funny that we’re sharing your body” kind of thing, but then there’s, there’s a lot of dark kind of nightmares and kind of trauma that they, that Dean and Cas both go through in this fic because they have to work out what they problem , you know… why they’re having these nightmares, why they’re reliving the times they’ve lost each other and have disagreed and all that kind of thing.

So there is like, yeah, even though it’s balanced by this lightheartedness, there is quite a lot of angst in there.

Mal: Yeah. I mean, Dean has a lot of trauma. And Cas has a lot of trauma and if you stick it all in one body, yeah. I mean, they’re not gonna cancel each other out really are they? It’s just gonna get worse at that point

Ellen: trauma on trauma. Because they’re sharing a body also, they are sharing their emotions. So they’re, you know, they have this beautiful kind of acceptance and, and love. They know that they’re in love, you know, before, too long, but then once they… I’m sort of spoiling what happens, but not really, but they do, you know, get Cas back in his own body. And after that Dean goes into this doubt thing again, where he is like, “oh, he doesn’t actually want me, like, I’m not worthy of this.” So that was an extra kind of layer to it all until they work it out in the end. So yeah, I just really loved the way that it was… the different angsty kind of moments were explored and it all, it has beautiful resolution the end. So.

Mal: yeah, I loved the ending of this fic… I actually really enjoyed I enjoyed the nightmares as well. That makes me sound terrible, but yeah,

Ellen: no, they were, they were really terrifying.

Mal: Yeah, no, they were written really well. And you know, so they were kind of scary and you could feel like the impact that they had on the characters, which was great. And I love that. I love kind of dipping into the darker, more uncomfortable parts of Dean. And in this case is Cas’s psyche. So I enjoyed that very well.

One of my only notes for this in, I, I, I now roughly remember the context, but I just wrote down with like four exclamation points “Garth has an underground dental office.” Which I just thought was brilliant because like a basement dental office, it’s like such a passing mention, but it left an impression. I love fics with Garth in them. Like we need more fics that have Garth, I think.

Ripley: Yes, absolutely. I’m kind of sad I don’t use him more as a character in some of my stuff. I’m like, he’s such a great character. I need to use him more.

Mal: Yeah, he’s brilliant.

Ellen: This is also one that started off, like in one of the tags is “this was originally going to be a PWP, but now it’s over 30,000 words of plot ending in smut.” So, yep.

Ripley: The smut was so good though.

Mal: We feel you we’ve all been there.

Ellen: It is good smut in this one, definitely.

Mal: Yes, it was, it was worth the wait. So it’s all good.

Ellen: I can’t remember… This is like, doesn’t actually specifically have the two dudes, one dick tag, but I think… Do these guys have, it says metaphysical sex, but does that mean that they

Mal: oh yeah. Uh…

Ellen: Do they actually get it on before Cas gets outta there?

Ripley: So in this one, I believe so. They, I… they’re separate. And then they go out to like, ah, I don’t remember if it was an actual barn or if they’re just outside or something, but basically Cas goes back into Dean and then they have their, they, they had their, their moment.

Dean said it was like, like almost like a, like an invisible orgy was pawing him. I was like, oh, that’s such good imagery. Oh, damn.

Ellen: Yeah. that’s right. I remember. Some really, really beautiful evocative writing in this one in general, not just the smutty bits, but like all of it. Really gorgeous.

Ripley: all of it. Absolutely. Such good, such good choices. And they, and they cover so many different canons and they cover so many different… Types of play around with how the possession works between the two of them, which I thought was really cool. Cuz there was, there were times when I was reading the other fics and there were things that I wish I had tried with Contingency that I had thought about like playing around with more of like maybe Dean not being able to see Cas him, just being a voice for more of the story or things of that nature because it works so well in these other fics. And I just, I love the, how people are able to play around with it so much.

Mal: I know you touched on it earlier, but I think one of the most effective things in this for me, was it kind of it frontloads the possession there’s no like long setup of Dean and Cas and then the possession happens and it helps fix their relationship ‘cause they finally understand each other, which is a perfectly valid kind of format for these fics that that happens quite often.

But this one jumps them straight into the possession part and then kind of the, the back end of the fic is almost the reverse, like in, in some ways it makes things harder for them for a little while. Because they have, they realize that they actually have to communicate outside of outside of their heads and they’re not good at it.

They’re just not good. And somehow sharing a brain for a while has not fixed that, which I quite like, ‘cause like you get, you get this early like hope like, oh yay. They, they know they love each other. Now everything’s gonna be great. And then Nope, because it’s not changed who they are as people. And I really like that. I’ve not as far as I recall, anyway, this is the only fic that I remember that kind of uses that format instead of… although it allows them to be honest with each other, it doesn’t magically fix them. And it doesn’t, you know, it it’s, like I said, quite, quite early in the fic, I think they stop being kind of to, kind of to let me see…

There there’s at least a whole, like, this is only five chapters. They’re quite long chapters, but this is only five chapters, but I think at least the whole last one and maybe some of the fourth one, I’m not even sure. It’s just them trying to sort out their shit without knowing what each other’s thinking anymore.

Ellen: it’s more realistic to canon, to be honest, like they’re both still their emotionally constipated selves. They need to work through that to actually tell each other what they’re thinking rather than just knowing.  

Mal: Yes, and I love any fic where they get to go back and deal with some of them, many mistakes that both of them have made. And I like that this fic, first of all, didn’t kind of only have it be one of them that’s rehashing things and apologizing for things or explaining why things happened. Whereas they’ve just not talked about stuff before. It was both of them and they, they were both doing it. And even though they were kind of in some ways, forced to do it by this kind of position that they’d been put in, they did kind of, kind of volunteer for it in the end. I think this is the only fic that I’ve ever seen where they kind of decide to almost, they, they go deeper almost, even though they’re already doing the possession thing, they do like an African dream root? so that they can kind of control what’s happening during like these nightmares and things that they’re having. So I love that even, even possession, can’t sort these two out, they still need to go a little bit further so, yeah.

Ellen: Yeah. And they unintentionally reveal things that they never sort of told each other it had happened. Like…

Mal: Cause I think almost all of us want to see there’s certain things in canon that like one of them was dead for, or just not there for, and I think everybody has their own personal. Thing that they just kind of like want to scream and shake them and knock their heads together and be like, tell him about that.

right. And yeah, they never do. And it’s frustrating, like so much wasted potential like all the, even like going way back in the seasons, like all the stuff with Naomi and the like multiple dead Deans well I’m like, was that ever mentioned? No, it wasn’t, but I want to know what would happen if it was.

Ellen: yeah, and like seeing Dean preparing his body for the pyre and all that kind of thing. It’s just like, he never knew that that had happened in canon.

Mal: Yeah. And like, would he have thought differently about things if he had realized?

Ellen: yeah. It’s effective.

Mal: Yeah. It works really well to do it this way. Like this one, I feel like the possession part is more of a tool to do other things within the fic. Like obviously the focus is still on the possession, but it just kind of, it just unlocks a lot of other things that they can do in this fic, which is cool.

Ellen: It’s like forced therapy. In like a beat you around the head kind of way.

Mal: Yes. God, do they need it. Yes, no, I love it. So, yeah. Angstier and darker than the other two. I would say in order of angst, I would say like vaudelin’s is at the bottom and then Contingency and then probably this one ‘cause there’s a lot of angsty things that happen in Contingency, but they they’re dealing with them in real time.

Whereas this is more like intense happening in your head. Very deliberately angsty. Yeah. But I still didn’t… like when I finished it was one of those fics that even though angsty things were happening, I didn’t finish it and feel like I’d just read like 40,000 words of angst. That wasn’t the feeling that it left me with.

Ellen: Yeah. Has a satisfying. Very satisfying ending.

Mal: yeah. A true angst with a happy ending. Yeah. Which is my favorite kind. Absolutely torture me, torture them, make it hurt in good ways and bad ways. But you know, give ’em a happy ending.

Ellen: Just make it better.

Ripley: Mm-hmm

Mal: yeah. All right. This is one of those ones where I feel like we really can’t say too much else without spoiling, like all of the cool nightmares and things and the effort that the author put into doing them. But I definitely want to encourage everybody to read this one. It’s not super long. Like we said, it’s only 38,000 words. not super long, 38,000 words. I know some people are gonna yell at me for saying that. But even compared to the others…

Ellen: It’s shorter, isn’t it? Did I say it wrong? hang on…

Ripley: This was only 11.

Mal: Um… It’s 38,000 words for sure. I have got this one, right, I promise.

Ellen: Oh, okay. Yeah. Well, I was, when you said it was five chapters, I’m like, how can it be five chapters if it’s only 11,000 words? No, I, I just wrote it down wrong on the sheet.

Ripley: It’s all good.

Mal: So it’s still shorter compared to the other ones. And for me it was a short fic ‘cause that’s I think it just depends on reading speed. I could read several fics this length in a day without much issue, but I know some people get upset when I say that 30,000 or 40,000 words is a short fic. So , which is reasonable, perfectly reasonable yeah, but it’s, it’s the shorter of these ones.

So I would say, you know, encourage people to read it, ‘cause it’s definitely a really good introduction to this author’s writing as well. I have read several fics of theirs. I really enjoyed them. I believe you can follow them on TikTok and such, but definitely try them out ‘cause I really enjoy ’em. Love me some canon fic.

Ellen: All right. We’d better go and suggest a few other ones. I’ve got one that I can start with. I read an anonymous fic, so it’s been orphaned. So it’s by “anonymous”. It’s called Being Dean Winchester. It’s only 20,000 words long and apparently I, it’s one of those ones where you get to the end and you hit kudos, and I already left kudos.

Ripley: Ah, the curse.

Ellen: I, I have no memory of this place. I dunno why, because it’s, it’s brilliant it’s amazing. It’s like, okay. So this is one also, where if you don’t wanna read about Dean or Cas with other people then ‘cause some people don’t like that. This does have like an actual sex scene with a woman with… Dean actually has sex with a woman while Cas is possessing him.

So it’s kind of like a threesome, but with only two people and like one watching, you know, so there is, there is actual heterosexual sex in this. But then, and then after that later I think Dean and Cas actually get it on by Cas controlling his limbs and jerking him off. So super hot.

I think this is fairly early in the, the, the show… it diverges very early. So Dean is sort of in a, he’s not already in love with Cas kind of thing. He’s in his younger kind of, I’m just gonna go and have sex with this girl and I don’t care what you think, angel in my head, you know which is interesting dynamic to start with. It is, it’s said during season four, so it’s like, after the, “you should show me some respect” kind of comments.

So he’s, he’s at the stage where he’s kind of annoyed with Cas because he’s not helping them, you know, in that, in the middle of season four, there he’s like, who is this guy? He says he is he’s, you know, an angel and he is come to help us, but he’s not helping at all. So they’ve got this case that they’re they’re going around. So there are some case fic kind of elements to it, but then there’s also these like sexy scenes in between.

So yeah, I, I really enjoyed it. I, I wish that we still knew who the author was because I’d definitely read some more of that kind of thing if they had more, but it’s anonymous, but I’ll, we’ll, there’ll be a link to it in the in the post so you’ll be able to find it through the link. Anyone else got a rec?

Mal: Yes, I have one. So for a truly shorter, fic that people won’t be upset about I have one that is under 5,000 words. So this one is diamond star halo by jad. This one is really interesting because it’s a consensual possession fic from Sam’s point of view.

So we don’t necessarily see what’s going on in, in Dean’s head, but they do a really good job of making sure you can kind of keep track of what’s going on in Dean’s head. But it’s really fun to see it from Sam’s point of view, because it’s just like watching Dean talking to himself and just like you feel for Sam in this one? I, yeah, one of the tags is pray for Sammy and like, you have to like you have to feel for him.

There is a point in this where Dean has wings it’s in the. it’s in the tags, so that’s not potentially a spoiler. But I think the, the main concept of this one, and I think they even mentioned it in their author’s note is that they wanted to write a possession fic where, as they put it, like nobody belly aches about it. Like they just kinda deal with it and it’s fine. It’s great. And Cas goes back into his own body eventually, but it’s not, it’s not a problem. It’s fine, and it’s just a really interesting take on it. Like with those two things changed with it just not being a big deal or being a problem or something that desperately needs fixing and it being from Sam’s point of view, it just, it feels very different to a lot of other posession AUs. So I had a lot of fun reading this one and it, like I said, it’s under 5,000 words. So, you know, it’s a quick one that, that everyone can go and read. Yeah.

Ellen: Ripley, did you have one that you wanted to recommend?

Ripley: So there’s a couple that… I’m looking at my bookmarks. I had to try and remember which ones are which. There is one. I’m gonna mess the name up. It’s called You Were Always On My Mind by victorian_sexstache.

Mal: That’s an amazing name.

Ripley: I know! It’s under 5,000, it’s only 2200 words.

This is basically Dean saves cast from the empty, you know, by allowing cast to possess him. Dean wakes up from a nightmare or Cas wakes up from a nightmare and they basically have a little, a really sweet little heart to heart that turns into a, you know, a little bit of a two dude one dick kind of situation.

So it was just, it was very sweet and I just thought how they interacted with each other was like really sweet and romantic and soft and everything. I just, I really liked it. So, yeah. And real quick, real quick read. So.

Ellen: I’ve got one more. That’s called. I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart) and it’s by unicornpoe who we spoke to back in our time travel episode about Psalm 40:2, which is their big kind of famous fic, I guess. And we, we love that one, but this is actually their fix it fic for post-canon where they rescued… like it’s, it’s sort of a diverging from 15.18, I think, where they actually did rescue Cas from the empty already, but they haven’t sorted out their crap right away, like Dean and Cas. So they are hunting and then Cas gets cursed and has to fall asleep, but he possesses Dean as part of that, I’m just trying to remember how it actually goes down, but, but it’s just basically them  being all domestic in the bunker and working it out in like a really soft kind of way, like unicornpoe is so good at writing and yeah, I really enjoyed that one.

Mal: I’m gonna have to read that one.

Ripley: I have not read it. I will need to.

Ellen: Yeah, it’s not a lot. It’s not super long. It’s only like 26,000 ish. But it, yeah, it leaves you with a, you know, a happy, good feeling in the end. It’s all in one chapter, It’s like a it’s 26,000 words, but it’s all in one, you know, one go

Mal: excellent.

Well, I have one more recommendation, which is a longer one. Again, this one’s almost 90,000 words. And it’s Ghosts That We Knew by Dothraki_shieldmaiden. I wanted to recommend this one ‘cause it’s a very different take. It’s a canon divergence, but it’s one of those ones that changes certain aspects of canon. So, Dean is still a hunter. Sam is a student at Stanford, I think. And in this one for most of the fic, Cas is a ghost, but before he was a ghost, he was a hunter, so it was a human hunter Cas story. And it’s a possession element in this and I really liked it. And someone suggested that this kind of fit into the trope that we were going for just in a very different way to all of the others do.

Yeah, it is. Like I said, it’s kind of an AU canon really. I do love ghost stories, so that one drew me to this one. I think I first saw this one. Let’s say it was a DCBB. Yes, it was, it was a DCBB back in 2020. And it’s really well written. Dothraki_shieldmaiden’s fics always are. And this one was just, it was one of those fics where I couldn’t put it down when I started reading it.

So. I would recommend it to anybody for something a little bit different. So technically still possession happening, but a whole different, a whole different kind of thing to all the previous canon ones we’ve looked at.

This is one of, this is one of those tropes where I feel like we need more fics because it wasn’t like a something that I thought about necessarily that I didn’t think of it as one of my favorite things to read necessarily, but now that I’ve finished all of these, I’ve realized that I really like it and I need more. So please go ahead and write all of those and tag me in them. Thank you.

Ellen: yep. At all points in canon.

Mal: Yep.

Ellen: Well, we’ve got, we’ve got a bunch more that we, we can link in the in the post as usual and a big thank you to all of the people in Profound Bond Discord server who gave us a huge list.

Yes. Well, it’s not huge as we said, we need more, but you know, we have. Quite a few fics there to be recommended.

Mal: So, so yes, we got some recommendations from our coffee server as well. And this was actually a suggestion that was given to us there. This is one of those screen names that I can’t pronounce out loud. I can’t do it. I hope they know who they are. It was a recommendation for us to cover this trope, very grateful for this recommendation. ‘Cause like I said, it’s not something that I really thought that I enjoyed. Not that I just liked it. I’d just not considered it a bunch and I’m very glad to have read all of these.

Ripley: well, it is now!

Ellen: Yep. So that list in all the other fic the information about the fics that we talked about today are on And you can get in touch with us to, to give your suggestion on a topic or fic that you’d like to see us talk about. You can contact us on social media. Most of them are at mixtapebookclub. You can find a lot of our other contact information on our website. Or if you’d like to chat with us, you can join the Profound Bond discord server in where we have our own channel, or you can sign up for our ko-fi membership and get access to our discord server where you can suggest things to and get sneak peek into what we’ve got coming up.

And if you, if you’d like to support us through ko-fi, you do that through

Mal: So come and join next episode, when we are going to be discussing podfics. So the fics that we cover are going to be ones that have accompanying audio for you to be able to read with, which is a lot of fun.

Ellen: Yes. We love a podfic!

Mal: It’s gonna be a fun episode and it’ll be really interesting that I’ll be able to listen to all of the research for that week instead of reading it. I’m wondering if that will make me faster or slower, ‘cause I’m somebody who can’t. Like I, I can’t do audiobooks very well.

I just don’t take in information that way. But I have like listened to some podfic before and it was fine. So curious to find out how I do it, that one learning things about myself. okay.

Ellen: Well, a big thank you to Ripley for coming to talk to us. Thank you. It’s lovely to talk to you.

Ripley: Oh, it was nice to talk to you all. Thank you for asking me on here.

Ellen: No worries. And look forward to seeing your timestamps coming up for Contingency.

Ripley: Yes!

Mal: I’m excited to know about that. I feel like we have like, not quite an exclusive, but (laugh)

Ellen: You heard it here first! Thank you to everyone for listening and we’ll talk to you again soon.

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

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