Transcript: Track 42: Recs from Charlotte

Episode 42 posted September 12, 2023
Links to all fics mentioned can be found on the main episode post.

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[Intro music]

EllenofOz: Hi everyone. Welcome to the 42nd episode of Mixtape Book Club Podcast. My name’s Ellen,

MalMuses: and my name is Mal.

EllenofOz: In each episode, we take an in-depth look at a different trope or sub-genre in the huge variety of Destiel fan fiction, and in this 42nd episode of, you know, number 42, the Meaning of life and the Universe and Everything. We have discovered that the greatest thing in the world is to get together with people that you only speak to in your phone and have a great weekend away with them. [laughs]

MalMuses: Yes.

EllenofOz: We’ve just got both got a chance to go to the Supernatural Convention in Charlotte, in North Carolina, and… It was a very long way away, but [00:01:00] I made it all the way there and all the way home again.

MalMuses: So, it was a long way for you? Not such a long way for me.

EllenofOz: Not for you. No, just down the, the road.

MalMuses: But we did, yeah, we did drag you across an ocean. Several planes in an ocean. So,

EllenofOz: yes. But yeah. So in this episode we’ve got… We, we met like a bunch of people there and we asked them to give us their recommendations that they or fics that everyone should read. So we’ve got a bunch of different recs that we wanna share with you guys today.

MalMuses: Yes, and some people were comfortable being recorded, so you’ll get to hear them give their recs themselves a bit later on. Some people wanted to speak to us, but did not wanna be recorded. So we’ll read their recs out for them. And obviously we picked a couple of them to read, which we will talk about today.

EllenofOz: The fics that we we’re going to talk about in this episode is.. includes The Law of Equivalent Exchange by awed_frog, and Seek to Know You Better by ahurston.

MalMuses: [00:02:00] And links to the fics that we’re talking about today will be available in the episode post on, and also included in our collection on ao3.

But I will say they are changing the way collections work a little bit on ao3. So there may be a slight delay in getting, getting that to work. But I, I will fix it, don’t worry.

EllenofOz: Okay. Well, before we get stuck into these recommendations, I will say thank you very much to everyone who supports us on Ko-fi.

If you’d like to support us there, you can go to and You can, if you subscribe, you can join our Discord server and help us to decide what we’re gonna talk about in episodes and just have a fun time.

MalMuses: yes. Very relaxed, no expectations.

EllenofOz: So, yeah, thank you to all of our supporters.

Do you want, do we wanna say anything about the convention itself? It was. Like,

MalMuses: [00:03:00] yeah. We can also just mention that it was one of the, the strike cons, so we can tie that in as well.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Okay. So the, the convention that we went to was in Charlotte… I was gonna say the date, but I it was during August, in the middle of,

MalMuses: what, what, where are we?

EllenofOz: I don’t know. what is time? Sometime during August. So you know, the WGA and the SAG-AFTRA strikes are still going on. You know, the cast themselves weren’t allowed to talk about Supernatural itself, which was… we knew going into it that it was gonna be an interesting kind of weekend.

MalMuses: Yeah. And they mostly did okay with that. There were a few little slip ups here and there, but generally. It didn’t feel that different to me to a bunch of other conventions because honestly, so much of the stuff that we ask them has absolutely nothing to do with the show.

EllenofOz: [00:04:00] Yeah. And I mean, often people ask questions and they don’t know the answers.

Like they just make stuff up or, you know they say stuff that people disagree with and then they get all upset about it. So, I don’t know. It was, there was some really odd questions that came up and it was an, a breath of fresh air, I guess,

MalMuses: Yeah, there was absolutely, absolutely no finale drama at this con because they weren’t allowed to talk about it.

So it was actually kind of wonderful in a way. So we just had really bizarre questions instead, though, still not the weirdest convention questions I’ve ever heard, I have to say, because I was, I was, I was at the convention where the pigeon question kept coming up, so. Right. We did

EllenofOz: have a few questions that were a bit like that.

MalMuses: Yes, we had some fun ones.

EllenofOz: If you are interested in, in hearing what, you know, the weird questions were, I don’t think we can go into them too much, but there were some… Okay, you’re not actually allowed to record the panels, [00:05:00] but I think if you search for some, you could probably find them… Posted online.

MalMuses: Yes. So there were definitely, there were definitely some wonderful fans who I happen to know on Twitter who will recording. So if yes, a link appears on the blog post that directs you to some recordings of these panels we don’t know how it got there! [laughs]

EllenofOz: No, I, these, these wonderful people sharing with the fandom.

Yes. And, okay, so we, we had, we put the word out that we were gonna be there and recording and asking for recs and but people came and said hello and it was so lovely to meet people that, you know, you only speak to on Twitter or whatever. So thank you to everyone who we met and you know, had dinner with and did fun stuff with.

Ah, such a great time.

MalMuses: Yes. It was so wonderful to see you all and to like hear people talking out loud face to face about the podcast. That’s which is, it’s obviously Ellen and I talk to each other out loud about it all the time, but even then we are not face-to-face when we’re doing it.

So it, it was, it was a lot of fun and it was wonderful to hear from everybody and give out hugs and stickers where, where appropriate. Thank you so much.

EllenofOz: Yeah. ’cause I mean, sometimes it does feel like we’re like shouting into the void a little bit. ’cause we just talk to each other about the stuff, but other people listen too. Ahhh! Amazing!

Anyway, okay. Oh, one thing I will say, it was in, in one way it was sad that they couldn’t talk about the shows because like the cast of the Winchesters was there and it would’ve been really nice to hear them speaking about the show a bit. And also, you know, Misha couldn’t answer any questions about Gotham Knights or any of that kind of thing.

So, that was disappointing in a way.

MalMuses: yes, so that was a bit sad. I would’ve loved to hear Drake Roger, i e Supernatural’s number one fan, talk more about his obsession. So yeah, I think that would’ve been fun. But they did really well as well. I mean, they, I, I, in a way, I feel like it was more of a struggle for like the younger cast because they have less other things that fans are familiar with to talk about that aren’t the show. But they, they still managed. They had fun. We finally got Jojo’s haircare routine, so yeah, it was, it was, it was a great con. So yeah,

EllenofOz: fun times. I mean, like, obviously not everyone is able to go to a con, but even if you go, if there’s one nearby you and you can go and meet up with people if you’re able to do that it’s just really worth it.

MalMuses: yes, I always say that the reason I go to the cons as much as, you know, the cast are okay, I guess that kind of thing. [laughs] But. I mean, you go for, for friends and for the experience. So I always would encourage people to just lobby con and go and just hang out at the hotel, meet up with people, even if they can’t afford the convention itself, because we all know that, you know, Creation do like to charge the big bucks for these things.

But it’s, it’s really all about, all about the people and the other fans that are there. I mean, there’s, there’s some, there’s some very pretty people sat on stage. I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna lie, it’s a nice view.

EllenofOz: Yes. Even if you’re right at the back.

MalMuses: Yes. Yes. Alright. Shall we talk about the two fics that we picked and these were.

Kind of almost random picks. There are some really great fics that we did not read as well. And there were also some fics recced, which we didn’t read for this episode simply because we have already covered them. So we obviously very happy to hear that some of you agree that these fics are amazing because we covered them and already agree with you. So yes.

The Law of Equivalent Exchange [00:08:55]

EllenofOz: Okay, so the first fic that we’ll gonna talk about is called The Law of Equivalent Exchange by awed_frog. This was recommended to us by Stephie B, @30Dialogues on Twitter. Thank you very much for your rec. I was very excited to hear you mention this one because I, this is one of the first fics that I think I actually read in the fandom like long ago in the mists of time.

When was this published? 2015. So I feel like I only started… I probably only started reading Destiel fic in like 2016 maybe. So anyway, it was fairly new. And I’ve had it in my bookmarks for all that time and haven’t read, reread it until now. So I was very excited to read it again because I remember how much I loved it.

So, yeah. Okay. So this is 61,000 words. And it’s rated mature, but because it is an older one, I feel like maybe there is a bit of sort of explicit stuff in it

MalMuses: [00:10:00] Yeah, they do. We’ve talked a few times about how the ratings have kind of changed over the years. And I do think that these days this would be more explicit rated than mature probably.

EllenofOz: I mean there are a couple of sex scenes in it.

MalMuses: Not that it was tagged incorrectly…Yeah, it wasn’t tagged incorrectly at the time, I don’t think. But just the, the way we tag things now does seem to have evolved a little bit. So I would say that as for, for the modern tagging system, yeah, this would definitely come up as explicit.

EllenofOz: Yeah, so the summary is very simple. It just says:

“And what’s the point of it?”

“Of love? There isn’t one. Loving is its own purpose.”

Which is a very enigmatic kind of a summary. But the basis, the basic sort of premise of this one is that it’s canon verse. Cas is an angel, obviously, a guardian angel who is assigned, I think it’s by Zachariah to look after or to sort of be the guardian for a young man whose name is Dan, son of Enoch and his brother, like his brother is also, you know, watched over. So Dan and Sarid live in you know, 1270 BC. They are the sons of a king. They’re… You know, heaven knows that these, these souls have to be guarded because they’re gonna be useful in the future.

Obviously we know, we know basically what that entails. But then Cas watches over like Dean’s soul, I guess, for a number of different incarnations and through time we follow his life and death and, you know, Cas is always there when he dies and to usher him to his new life, you know, the next, the next incarnation.

And gradually he works out that what he’s feeling isn’t you know, just kind of protectiveness or whatever. He’s actually falling in love with this guy. Yeah. And then it catches up to the present day and we… I mean, “the present day,” I mean, you know, it catches up to canon. [laughs]

MalMuses: Yes.

EllenofOz: And we get some of the canon episodes at, towards the end. So

MalMuses: yes. So we do have to, there’s, there’s this kind of beautifully angsty part where we’re seeing all of this from Cas’s point of view, which, is slightly more unusual in fic, I think, but works so well in this one and gives us that lovely angsty time where we as readers, I will say this is one of those fics where if you have not seen the show, this fic will not make sense to you in certain places.

Because there are a lot of references to things that happen in canon, but they’re not necessarily explained within the fic. which is absolutely fine. It works for the fic but it you do need that canon knowledge to read this one. Because we know as readers that some of the things that kind of start happening to Cas a bit later on, we know what’s going on in terms of heaven messing with his brain and Naomi and all those other kind of things.

But the way it’s written in the story, we don’t see that until he realizes it. Which… it’s, it’s a lot to go through as a reader. Okay. It’s, it’s, it’s very well done, but it’s definitely, it’s a little angsty and I think all the more angsty as a reader because you know what’s happening to him. So it’s, it’s, it’s very interesting. Very well done.

But a little sad for sure. And it gives us some really great kind of canon lines kind of woven in and different, slightly different versions of those lines in earlier lives as well, which is, it’s very fun. I did really enjoy like the very, very first like “hello Dean” that we got in the fic.

And kind of suddenly in my head thinking, oh, okay. He’s been saying that to Dean for thousands of years. Yeah. Like this wasn’t like a new canon thing. Yes.

EllenofOz: I loved… like, this is like my favorite. I think this is like the start of where I realized that filling in gaps in canon to make the actual canon itself hurt more.

It’s like something I really love doing. That seems it’s like horrible thing to say.

MalMuses: No, but yeah, I completely understand and agree.

EllenofOz: Yeah, so I guess there’s, there’s almost two parts to this fic, like the beginning where it’s like prehistoric kind of or you know, the historical segment of it building up to, you know, “Lazarus Rising.”

Then we get the actual canon that goes through up to… I think it go only goes up to season 11 [00:15:00] which seems right with the 2015 kind of timeline, but yeah, I don’t know. It doesn’t, it doesn’t end like it’s got a happy ending, I feel like? I’m, I’m trying to remember how, what happens at the end.

MalMuses: Yeah, it’s, it’s got a happy ending in terms of Dean and Cas kind of working out a little bit and…

EllenofOz: They realize that they’re…

MalMuses: Dean, becoming aware of… Cas finally making Dean aware of all these kind of prior histories. ’cause Cas doesn’t share that with him. Simply because, you know, he doesn’t want to manipulate Dean with something he can’t remember. So he just keeps all that to himself which is a lot.

It’s gotta be a lot on Cas, but he really doesn’t want this to be unfair to Dean in any way. So as far as Dean’s concerned, this is the first time they’ve met every single time they meet. Which I do appreciate that it was done that way because I do think it could be kind of quite manipulative otherwise, but this isn’t written that way at all.

There’s no like expectation. Even Cas doesn’t have an expectation. He’s very conscious of the fact that Dean doesn’t know who he is. So he doesn’t expect anything from Dean any time that they meet. Though interestingly you do see as kind of time goes on that Dean’s soul and who Dean is, is somewhat slightly changed it seems by knowing Cas.

And he starts to kind of not quite recognize him, but would, you know, be able to pick him out of a crowd as somebody maybe, he starts to be able to see him and perceive him even when he shouldn’t be able to. And just all these, these little things where as readers, we know that their souls just know each other.

Yeah. Or that…

EllenofOz: They change each other. It’s not just Cas is changing. It’s Dean’s also becoming more aware of things that he probably shouldn’t be as a human.

MalMuses: Yes. There were actually a couple of lines that I specifically made note of in this because I just loved them so much and they were just so well done.

There was one that was quite early on and it’s just, So Cas, just so canon Cas, and this was generations before we got to canon in the fic, but it still says here we go.

“One day Dean is going to force him to choose between heaven and himself, and that day Castiel will choose Dean. Consequences be damned. It will not even be a choice. It’s simply the way things are.”

EllenofOz: Aw.

MalMuses: And this was generations before he actually does that, you know? And there was also just a really nice part where we get to see Cas meet Crowley before we saw him meet him in canon. Which is, is fun.

EllenofOz: I, I’m, I’ll basically squealed out loud at that bit. I’m like, “oh my God, it’s Crowley!”

MalMuses: Yes. It was so much fun. We get to see him meet him when he’s like a lowly crossroads demon before he becomes the king of hell. And we also get to see Cas threaten him, which is just, yeah. I, I, it, it, it gets me in places. I love it. So yes, Cas gets a bit upset and he says, “I’m only gonna say this once. If you touch a hair on their heads, I will tear it all down, our arrangement, everything. I am still an angel and I will bury you.”

I was just like, oh, please just keep threatening him, please. Yeah. And I love Crowley. I’m a, a big fan of his character in general. So, yeah, it got a little squeal out of me as well when he showed up before I expected him to in the story. Yeah, that was great.

EllenofOz: I mean, there are a lot of parts of this that I love. Like I loved that they, you know, went through all the, the ancient Greece and the, you know, all of the Middle Ages stuff, but, and they weren’t just in, obviously they, they ended up outside of America ’cause they had to be in Europe for a lot of it.

It just, it gave me sort of mild Good Omens vibes, you know, like them knowing each other through history. You know, the different snippets of life in, in different times.

MalMuses: yeah, yeah. Definitely kind of the, the feeling of those like flashbacks you get in Good Omens to where they saw each other beforehand, so,

EllenofOz: yeah. Yeah. I don’t know if we can say much more about this one, because you just have to go read it. It’s, it’s a trip. It’s a journey

MalMuses: yeah. That this fic is an entire journey, like, it’s wonderful. And I believe Stephie herself when she recommended this to us said that it’s, it’s them just meeting each other over again through time and space and yes, that, that is what it is.

That is the perfect description of what this is. It’s, it’s beautiful and it’s painful and it’s, it’s very beautifully written as well. Like the prose of it is lovely, especially during the kind of historic elements of it. [00:20:00] I think they matched the prose to the era quite well in various kind of parts of the fic.

I will say that they used a lot of quotes in this fic so they do give you kind of an additional chapter just, you know, showing you what all the references were and different bits of poetry that they’ve used and things like that because I, I always like it when a fic does that and I get to dig in a little bit further and find out where some of the stuff I liked came from. Yeah. The Law of Esquivalent,  Exchange, what did I just say? Esquivalent? Sorry about that. The Law of Equivalent Exchange is a premise in Full Metal Alchemist, if anybody has seen or read that, which they talk about in the final chapter as well.

And, and give, you know, all of these lovely quotes, poetry, bible verses. I have such a thing for when canon fic starts, like referencing Bible verses because obviously we have everything set up with, with Cas and Chuck and it’s, it’s all very loaded with meaning already in canon. So I kind of love it when fics do that and kind of take bible verses and manage to like, just slightly twist them or place them just right to completely fit canon.

So yes. Enjoyed that. That was great.

EllenofOz: It’s the original source material

MalMuses: Yeah, pretty much. This one is, it’s only, it’s just under 61,000 words, but I, I feel like there’s a lot in here given how long it is. Like, in some ways it almost feels longer because you are going through so many different historical periods in it.

EllenofOz: I thought it was longer. When I, you know, before I started and then I saw the total and I was like, oh

MalMuses: yeah. But at the same time, it’s not one that like, feels like a long slog when you read it or anything. Like I read it in one chunk. I actually read it when I was on the way home from the Charlotte Convention. And yeah, it, didn’t drag or feel anything…

EllenofOz: so did I, but it was…

MalMuses: Your travel time was a little longer than mine.

EllenofOz: A little longer [laughs]

MalMuses: but yes, very good. Definitely recommend it. Honestly, one of those older fics that just has way less kudos than I always think that it does. Like in my head, this is one of those like big, massive fics that everybody has read. And is one of those like old classic kind of fics? But apparently, apparently not.

So please go read it, everybody go fix that.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Maybe it’s like the canon… like, or the historical element to it that puts people off. But please, please don’t be put off

MalMuses: I, yeah, maybe. Yeah, possibly. Canon fics in general, as we’ve talked about before, sadly don’t seem to do quite as well as AUs for the most part.

But that just depends on how you are, how you’re measuring that kind of thing. And it’s, it’s really irrelevant. If you like it, you like it, and that’s what matters. And I love this one, so if you, if you like canon, please, please do go read this. It’s great.

Seek to Know You Better [00:23:05]

Shall we talk about the other one then?

Yes. So the other fic that we are going to read today was recommended by Andrea B. They are on Tumblr and Facebook only. They didn’t want to expose themselves on Twitter, which I completely, completely understand. They recommended Seek to Know You Better by ahurston.

This is a, a shorter fic. It’s just over 32,000 words. So still a decent, decent chunk of fic, but not as long as the other one. Yeah. And this fic was more recent. It was completed in 2021. So this is canon, but it’s kind of a hypothetical post-season 15. So season 15 where we didn’t completely lose Cas. And you know the…

EllenofOz: Or Dean.

MalMuses: the dream season 15. Yes. So it’s a, just a post-canon season 15 ish. They definitely reference some stuff that, that happened towards the end of the seasons, but it obviously ended very, very differently to how it did in the show. Just in case anybody is concerned about that. ’cause I know that sometimes when people see post-canon, they assume that we are gonna be dealing with a lot of heavy stuff, which is not the case with this specific fic.

EllenofOz: Interestingly, this one was started posting in October 2020, so before the finale or before any of that.

MalMuses: And then they were just like, well, I’m just gonna ignore that.

EllenofOz: Yeah. And then they finished posting it in March, 2021. So it was like, yep. I’m just like, I’ve, I recognize your ending and I think it is a stupid ass ending. [laughs] I’m paraphrasing

MalMuses: [00:25:00] I’m making my own. Yeah. Alright. It, it does amuse me when you see fics that were posted in this kind of time period because they either go two ways. They either just completely ignore the ending and just go, Nope, didn’t happen.

Got my own thing going on. Or they kind of take a hard left into what happened in canon and then fix it. They, they just find 1,000,001 different ways to fix it. So, but yes, this one is, I think that this has kind of become a trope of its own, really, the, the whole questions fic, where there’s a, a list of questions that the characters talk through and go back and forth.

I don’t know what we’re calling this trope, but it’s definitely something I’ve seen a lot more commonly in the past couple of years since sort of like, because I think there were some articles published years ago out there in the real world, not related to Fanfic. I think the articles about these questions that can make you fall in love, I think since that came out, people immediately just went, oh wait, that’s a great idea for fanfic.

So it’s become a trope since then.

EllenofOz: I thought it’s sort of similar to the five plus one or four plus one kind of trope, structure.

MalMuses: There’s a, I guess, yeah, there’s a structure to it. Yeah. So lemme get to the summary before we, yeah, before I go off on any more tangents. So Seek to Know You Better by ahurston.

The summary is:

Dean and Cas, a long stretch of highway, and 36 questions empirically designed to make two people fall in love.

As if they weren’t already.

I will admit, when I started reading this one, I didn’t know how it was gonna go because in my head can and Dean and Cas doing, having doing that much talking, you know?

Going through these 36 questions, I was like, how is this gonna work? But this, the, the author made this work spectacularly. It felt very, very in character and very, you know, very canon to me. There’s not a lot of hunting in this, mostly because they’re kind of loitering and not going home. Which is…

EllenofOz: there is some hunting. They do. Yeah. They do a couple of cases along the way, but not, yeah, it’s not dwelled on, I guess.

MalMuses: No. They’re kind of just dragging their feet. They went out on a hunt. They’re coming back to the bunker and they’re just sort of dragging their feet, getting there and taking their time to answer these questions that Cas found and does not immediately tell Dean what the exact context of these questions is that they’re designed to be like, questions to make two people fall in love.

And even, even when Dean finds out that that’s what they are by, I think Cas has them on his phone or something like that when, when they’re going through them, even, even then immediately, he’s like, “well, that doesn’t have to mean, like that kind of like, there are different kinds of love.”

EllenofOz: Oh my God. [laughs]

MalMuses: Like Cas trying to like, and just like, oh no. But Dean does agree to go along with it. Some of the questions, you know, they’re driving along and, and we kind of get through them quite quickly in the fic, and then we just see them kind of discussing and going back and forth. And some of them really do bring up bigger discussions that they need to have which it’s kind of wonderful to see, like actually seeing them talk about it in a canon context.

EllenofOz: Absolutely. I, one of the the tags on this fic is “they talk and talk and talk and talk.” And they do, they just, well, they’re just driving through almost the whole thing, or they’re eating dinner in a, in a diner

MalMuses: yeah. And they, and they managed to do it. It’s such a good way, like we’re, we’re in Dean’s POV for most of this, so we kind of see his reluctance to answer some of the questions, and especially how earlier on he kind of just, You know, dodges around them manages to answer, but kind of dismissively doesn’t really… isn’t really committing to the whole thing at that point.

But as it goes on, he definitely gets more and more into it and realizes that he and Cas are kind of, kind of trying something out here. And oh, it’s, it’s just incredibly sweet actually. It really is.

EllenofOz: It really is super sweet. Yeah. And they’re and, and Dean gets very flustered, like he doesn’t… like you said, he’s answering around the questions. He is not really, doesn’t want to get into it at first, and then every time he gets to something that’s a little bit too, too close to the mark, he’s like, oh, can’t deal with this anymore. Which is very canon.

MalMuses: Yes. So do you recall any of the specific questions?

Do you, do you have a favorite question that they asked in this? Because we do have all 36 of them, so.

EllenofOz: Yeah, I don’t remember the exact wording of them, but the ones that are close to the end I remember were really sweet. I don’t remember what they were though, and I don’t really wanna search through to find them because that’s gonna take me forever.

[00:30:00] One thing I did remember quite clearly from the earlier chapters was that they are doing that this case in a town where there’s a lake and there’s a monster in the lake and Dean’s all ready to go out there and kill it. Like he’s got all his guns and whatever, and Cas just walks in there and starts talking to this thing in its language.

And then he goes, “okay, okay.” And then he comes out and he goes, “oh, we just need to take it, like, you know, move it to a different place. Like it, it understands what’s going on. It won’t do that anymore.” It’s like, that’s so good. Why do they not do this more? In, in the show, like just, yes, Cas can speak every language.

MalMuses: Why doesn’t he just Exactly. Including we assume monster languages.

EllenofOz: Yeah. So, so just, you know, work it out instead of killing everything!

MalMuses: But yeah, I was about to say that, you know, it’d be like language kink activated, but somehow I can’t imagine that that language sounded very pleasant to listen to, [laughs]

EllenofOz: like this blob with tentacles that lives in a lake.

MalMuses: Yes. But no, no judgment. If that’s your thing, you do you, but, yep,

EllenofOz: yep.

MalMuses: Yeah, I love that. Oh, one of the earlier questions I really liked, and it wasn’t so much the question itself, it was just that they, that the little conversation they had at it, Cas is clearly trying his best to, to make Dean comfortable this early on.

He’s, and he, he uses a little pop culture reference, which is, you know, always special when Cas does that. ’cause he asks Dean if you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? Mm. And. Dean immediately questions like, “okay, are we setting aside all of the obvious butterfly effect shit that would happen if we changed something in my past?”

And Cas very solemnly tells him, “I would never bring Ashton Kutcher into this Dean,” [laughs] which was like, yes. I was like, that one just amused me because you could see…

EllenofOz: I see what you did there!

MalMuses: You could see what he did and that Cas is really trying to make Dean comfortable and like bring Dean’s level of humor into it to try and kind of relax him a little bit.

Like it’s not that serious. It’s fine. Yeah. Which, yes, was obviously, you know, Cas had a plan, like obviously he was hoping that this would end up, the way that it does. I. Though by no means assuming, but hoping. One of my other favorite things about this fic, and it’s probably a little bit spoilery, I guess.

I mean, it has a happy ending, so you have to kind of assume that at some point they get through all these questions and the questions do what they were intended to do. But I love the fact that once they have finished going through their questions, they are still not back at the bunker at this point.

They’ve just, just dragged their feet so much that they’re like dawdling across America at this point. And Sam’s back at the bunker, like holding down the fort, you imagine? And they just decide that they’re just gonna stay in this one particular little motel that they end up in and they’re gonna do like touristy things like go on little boat rides along the river and it’s just so adorable.

And that Dean is actually thinking like, but we can’t go home yet. We haven’t done the Sunset cruise. Like, like it’s, it was very cute. And I love that ’cause I love getting to see Dean finally actually getting to enjoy some of his life on the road.

Like, because obviously Dean has been on the road most of his life and they’re always going to do cases here, there, and everywhere, and we don’t very often get to see them do things other than the case. Like Dean has been everywhere, but how much has he been able to do other than dig holes and drag things around, you know?

Yeah. So it was very nice to see him getting to do this. And it also gave me kind of like ever so slight fuck you vibes from that scene in the last episode where they go to the pie festival. [laughs] Apart from this time, Cas is there too. And he’s not just forgotten about. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, yes. Sorry about that.

Dirty word was talking about the finale. I’ll be quiet about that now.

EllenofOz: Well, I mean, if it’s gonna be a post finale fic, then it’s gonna be, and, and if. It was actually written after the finale aired, then I get some salt’s bound to creep in there.

MalMuses: Well, I, I always have a plentiful supply of salt, but I do, I do try to keep it mostly to myself,

EllenofOz: but yeah, that’s okay. Yeah, I think in this one as well, they they’re doing that slightly frustrating thing where they’re sharing a bed and like, you know, doing things together. With before they’ve actually acknowledged that they actually have a thing together. [00:35:00] Like they, they, they sleep… the cuddling and whatever, but Dean’s like, oh yeah, this is just a bro thing.

Like, I dunno…

MalMuses: Bro cuddles!

EllenofOz: there is a little bit of that before they actually get to the end of the questions and call it what it is. but it’s, it’s super sweet though.

MalMuses: It is. They even have a conversation about the fact that they had been, as Cas puts it, he says, “I enjoyed sleeping with you last night, Dean” and Dean’s just like “that is not what we did.” [laughs]

No. I’m like, but Cas is right.

EllenofOz: Yes. Yeah, definitely. Go read this one. It’s great.

MalMuses: Yeah. So I won’t give away any more of the questions or anything because I, I found myself like eagerly anticipating the next question. Like it was written in such a way that it wasn’t just, you know, a long string of dialogue and them going back and forth.

There are things happening. There’s the thing with the monster in the lake. There’s them traveling to different towns and going out to eat and all these different kinds of things. So, That there is a, like a full fic happening here, but I still found myself like eagerly going through the dialogue waiting for the next question to pop up.

Yeah, mostly ’cause some of the questions, you know, for a Dean-type character would just elicit the biggest cringe because he just is not emotionally developed in these ways. Or at least he doesn’t show that freely, I should say.

EllenofOz: There’s one point where he asks a question that like Cas asks a question that’s… just freaks Dean out so much that he has to leave and like, call Sam to like help him through…

MalMuses: Yeah. The freak out phone call

EllenofOz: …to emotionally. Help him through.

MalMuses: Yeah. But he does it and that’s the, that’s the great thing. Like you can tell that Cas’s little plan here is genuinely helping Dean in a way.

So yeah. Good job, Cas. Good job.

EllenofOz: Yeah. Breaks down those barriers.

MalMuses: Clearly selfishly motivated, but it’s okay.

EllenofOz: Yeah, I didn’t, I, I didn’t realize until now that we’ve managed to pick two canon fics, but we did. Always nice to talk about canon.

MalMuses: Good for us. Yeah. They couldn’t talk about canon at the convention, so we did it for them.

Other recommendations [00:37:15]

All right. Shall we read out a few more of the recs that we got before we let some recordings play of people giving their own recs? Sure. So we got two recommendations from Stacey on Twitter and her handle is @Stacy729. And Stacy recommended Small Everyday Deeds by Featherthief.

I’m sorry I cannot speak today. Featherthief.

EllenofOz: There we go. That’s a hard name to say. It’s all right.

MalMuses: Yeah! So this is a large fic, this is almost 300,000 words. So it took, looks like it took about two years to post, which honestly very reasonable for that word count. So this is a kind of alternate canon apocalypse involved kind of thing here where it’s a canon divergence. We’ve got baby Jack in this one.

If I remember correctly, because I have a feeling I read this one way back when it was posting, but if I remember correctly… the summary goes like this:

When Lucifer stabbed Cas the day Jack was born, Dean’s hail-mary to save his best friend had unintended consequences. The aftereffects leave Dean reeling as he realizes the life he knew was over. Being forced to slowly rebuild on an unexpected path and trying to be a normal human with a fallen angel and the newborn he didn’t want has been rough but it may just be the very thing he was looking for.

Sam thought he knew what was happening in Dean’s life pretty well. They talk regularly but when he visits the house that Dean, Cas, and now toddler Jack have been living in for over two years, Sam wonders if things are what he thought during his week long vacation with Eileen. Sam thought it was just two best friends raising a kid but now…

Maybe these two brothers can discover what happiness for the older Winchester brother and Heaven’s most rebellious angel is through the highs and lows of this new, ordinary life. Hopefully, they all figure it out together through small deeds and acts of kindness and love.

So it is very domestic. I remember that.

EllenofOz: It sounds lovely.

MalMuses: Specifically, yes, it is a lovely fic. There are definitely some angsty hurt/comfort moments in this. Dean has a lot of self-worth issues. One of the tags is “fake pretend relationship,” and for some reason I’m not remembering that, but I’m very happy to find that it’s in here and I’m gonna have to go and reread it now.

And toddler, jack. Always adorable. Yep, yep, yep. And they Stacey gave us one more rec as well, which. Is one I have not read, so I’m looking forward to reading this one. Thank you, Stacy. [00:40:00] This is 140,000 words and it is called Spirit of the West by teen_dean.

Dean grew up on a horse farm and can’t imagine any other life. There are drawbacks to working for his father, but they’re worth it if it means remaining with his beloved horses. Besides, between his broken arm and his lack of prospects, he hasn’t got much else.

Something of an outsider, Dean always feels like there’s something he’s missing. But this tense summer brings back a figure from his past: years ago, a teenaged Cas worked for a season at the Winchester ranch. His return could change everything.

If you ever wanted a 90s horse girl book, but starring a young Dean Winchester, this is your fic.

So yeah, loving the summary on this one. The tags sound wonderful because not only do we have angst with a happy ending, but they’ve also tagged it emotional ringer of a fic. Oh,

EllenofOz: wow. So it sounds good. Yes, it sounds, yeah.

MalMuses: Sounds juicy. 140,000 words though, and as a slow burn. So.

EllenofOz: Awesome. Okay, so we, we got, also got a recommendation from Axis Mundi Impala @3_layer_dean on Twitter. Thank you for your rec. You’ve recommended Cheapest Room in the House by biggaybenny. Which was published a couple years ago. It’s a post-season 15 sort of fix it, I guess. The summary just says,

what if instead of a very sincere and earnest love confession dean just found out cas was gay? no confession, no god-jack endgame. just post-s15 stupidity. just dean being deranged.

And then …

MalMuses: we love Dean being deranged [laughs]

EllenofOz: …there’s a byline which says, “the Dean downloads grindr for Cas fic.” So you can sort of guess where this is going. It is like you know, 89,000 words. So it’s, you know, quite a long one ish.

But yeah, I don’t think I have read this. I was, I thought like, I definitely recognized the name of it. We may have mentioned it before you know, in a recommendation. But the more I read about it, the more I wanna read it now because it sounds amazing. It’s got like the, the tag. The tags are great.

It says, if “if ‘you want to fuck me so bad, it makes you look stupid’ was a fic” and “thick thighs save lives.” Like,

MalMuses: yes, they do.

EllenofOz: It sounds great. It’s got some flashbacks too that in their notes at the beginning they say that it’s got some sort of homophobia type John Winchester flashbacks, but otherwise sounds brilliant. I, I’ll give it a go. Sounds good.

MalMuses: Excellent. Okay. We had three more quick fire recs that were given to us on Twitter by Anna, which is @RavenEsuna on Twitter. One of which I’m not sure if we’ve talked about before, but I, I feel like we have mentioned it which is Talk Some Sense to Me (Kenopsia) by ImYourHoneyBee.

Which is a finale fix it fics. Very kind of dommy Cas in this one. And one of the notes that Anna gave, which I agree with is “awesome use of OG death.” Do love OG death, or at least I do, I’m obsessed with him. This is a chunky one. It’s 244,000 words. And this is one where, you know, the, the finale did exist per se.

So this is a true finale fix it. So something, something a little different there than the other ones we’ve had this episode, which have all been kind of scrap the finale or do something different. So this is, this is a fix it specifically for the finale. Then Anna also recommended On the Edge of a Blade by Aaron_The_8th_Demon, which is a hockey au.

Which I know it is at some point, something we said we wanted to cover on the podcast. So ’cause there are, there are quite a few hockey au out there. I think we’ve got a lot of hockey fans. In corners of this fandom lurking around. So this one is 182,000 words and obviously complete au, no canon here.

And the final quick fire rec that Anna gave us was Profound by, amireal and tiamatv, who we were lucky enough to speak to. Was that last episode or the episode before? What is time? I’m not sure.

EllenofOz: I think was last episode. Yeah, you’re right.

MalMuses: Yeah. Which, That particular fic is a season four canon divergence.

So this one’s kind of unique and fun that it puts Cas in the role of Anna. And it’s 203,000 words, so, you know, where you’ve got a lot of canon stuff happening in season four. Obviously it’s a fairly chunky, fic to get through, but it’s, it is fun seeing that twist of putting Cas in Anna’s place instead.

EllenofOz: Mm-hmm. That sounds great.

[00:45:00] So we’ve got some recordings that people gave us recommendations from when we were at the con. Some of these, the audio quality isn’t great, but we were in like a really noisy room full of people. But yeah, here they are.

Karen: Hi, my name is Karen and my 32nd fic rec is for Where the Heart Lives by ltleflrt. It is… She posted it once a day, the month of October in 2019. And it is just beautiful domestic Destiel through all situations. But my favorite scenes, I have two, is one where they have to do laundry on the line and they wash everything at once, including that they’re not wearing anything. And also that when they go dancing in their kitchen.

Kelsey: My name is Kelsey or “strwbryshortie” everywhere online. My fic rec is an oldie but a goodie. It’s by jhoom from 2017. It’s called The Dragons Mate. And it’s Dean/Cas/Jimmy which sometimes you just need to mix it up and throw Jimmy in there ’cause Jimmy deserves love too. It’s explicit. It’s a little shorty, it’s I don’t know. It’s a couple thousand words. But it is, Jimmy and Cas are dragons, but they’re like shape-shifting dragons. So they can be humans, but they can be dragons. But it gets a little like kinky. Very kinky.

MalMuses: You’re selling it really well.

Kelsey: Like there’s a… [laughs]

MalMuses: I mean kinky dragons, that’s what we need.

Kelsey: Yeah. I mean there’s like dragon sex and there is human sex and then there’s human and kind of dragon sex and it’s a good time.

Brittany: Okay. My name is Brittany and my thirty-second fic rec is A Turn of the Earth by microcomets. I love this fic because of the world building and the time travel portion of it.

Stealthstiel: Hello. My name is Stealthstiel. My thirty-second fic recommendation would be A Fine Romance by Sarah. Otherwise known as DragonSGotenks. It’s a feel good, happy ending, little conflict fic that just picks me up every time.

followyourenergy: Hi, my name is followyourenergy and my thirty-second Destiel fic rec is Whiskey & November by dothraki_shieldmaiden and FriendofCarlotta.

In this one, Heaven is an organization that coerces vulnerable individuals into giving up their identities and personalities so they can essentially be mind wiped for clients of theirs. And so Dean and Cas fall into this. What heaven doesn’t expect is that they’ll fall in love and with that figure things out and then escape and take down Heaven.

So it’s very exciting, very well written. You’ll love it.

Desirae: Hi, my name’s Desirae. I wanna recommend three of my all-time favorite stories. The first one is called The Angel Murders. It’s about 91 K. It’s by chimera67. It’s actually the only fan fiction this person has ever written, and it’s really outstanding.

It’s an au about Detective Dean and Busker Cas, who happens to be the last witness in a missing persons case that Dean’s working. There’s a lot more to it than that, but I don’t wanna give away spoilers, but it really is just so good. I wish more people read it.

The next two stories I wanna recommend are part of the same universe. It’s a series called Across the Universe by Freckles and Feathers, and the first story is called Till Kingdom Come, and it is canon divergent from the Season 10 finale. And it’s a story that’s oh, I wanna say 122 K that… It’s basically like its own season 11 where Dean and Cas get together and how they deal with the Darkness and the sequel is called A Sky Full of Stars, which just kind of delves even more deeply into Dean and Cas’s Bond and how they’re kind of technically like Angel married.

And it’s just a really excellent, excellent canon series that blows my mind that it doesn’t have more reads. It was written back in 2015. So, and the first one that I mentioned was written back in 2014. So there’s probably quite a few new people in the fandom that have never read this story or heard these stories, so I definitely think people should check them out.

Jess: Hey, my name’s Jess and I recommend Angel Cookies by noxsoulmate. It’s a really cute fic and one that I have read countless times, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

MalMuses: There we go. [00:50:00] All right. So now with all of those recs, I guess we can just wrap up! This, this episode is really just an ode to the fans and an and “I love you” to all the people who listen to us because they get to make this episode. So,

EllenofOz: yes, thank you so much everyone who gave us recommendations and all of the lovely people we met at the con.

MalMuses: I, I will say as we’re talking about the con a lot of people came and got stickers from us, mixtape book club stickers and we’ve seen some of them floating around on Twitter since then, which has been a lot of fun on water bottles and laptops and sorts of things, which is wonderful.

I do still have a few left, so if anybody wants to send me a message on any of my social media. I’m happy to mail you one if I still have some left. So putting that out there.

EllenofOz: Awesome. And like, you can also, like our logo design is on Redbubble as well, so if you want to get, like, we, we took our bags with us.

Like I have got one of the tote bags and I think you had one of the little drawstring backpack things. I don’t wanna be an ad for Redbubble here. But they, they are great for carrying all the stuff.

MalMuses: No, don’t wanna be an ad, but they are great. And our logo is lovely, it was designed by the wonderful LizLee. So yes. I, I just like looking at it. I think it’s very pretty.

EllenofOz: Yeah. And I mean, we don’t get, like, RedBubble doesn’t give you a whole heap of you know, money back for anything anymore. I think they’ve changed their, the way that they do that kind of stuff. But we do always. Intend to any, any profits that are made out of that we send it to Random Acts. So yes, come and get the merch.

MalMuses: Those few pennies, those few pennies that we do get sent, there’s like maybe once every six months or so. We do forward on to Random Acts. So,

EllenofOz: so we will include links to all of those fics that have been recommended today on our website,, which at the moment is, is down.

I am, I’m still trying to work out what is going on with that. I think this episode will still I’ll be able to publish it and it will appear on the streaming platforms, but the website itself we may have a bit of, you know, construction going on in the near future. So if you do try to go there and it’s down don’t worry.

I’ll try and I’ll be working on it and try and have it back. When it is up, we do have a few more transcripts available for our older episodes. So gotta say a big thank you to Kaede, one of our listeners who’s been helping out with correcting the automated transcripts. So some of our older episodes have got them there, if that’s… if you are someone who likes to read along. You can also at, on the website, find out all the ways to get in touch with us.

But we are on social media under mixtapebookclub. You can also email us at contact at mixed state book Or you, you can find us on Discord on our own server that you can get into via the Ko-fi membership, or you can find us on Profound Bond discord server as well.

MalMuses: So next episode, we are going to be discussing westerns.

EllenofOz: Yee haw!

MalMuses: So fics set, set back in the past. Yes, historical cowboys. So much fun. This is a trope that I was not aware, had so many fics. So I am really looking forward to reading that one. And we will be speaking with lovely. I’m gonna butcher this pronunciation because ao3 is doing me dirty on this one, but I think it’s “emmbrancsxx0”. Otherwise known as Mallory. Excellent. Looking forward to that next episode.

EllenofOz: Yes! So thank you everyone 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.