Anyway, two things that completely made my Thursday, for which I am lazily C/Ping my comments because they are the purest expression of my love for these fanworks:
1. FANVID: Shadowman by justmep2
Song: "Shadowman" by K's Choice
Characters: Dean; Sam, Castiel, special guest at the end
Warnings: Spoilers through 9x23, angsty angst
Description: Dean and his journey in season 9.
"Any time tomorrow a part of me will die / And a new one will be born / Any time tomorrow / I'll get sick of asking why / Sick of all the darkness I have worn"
My Thoughts: WATCH THIS NOW. Or set aside a time when you have six minutes of uninterrupted time to spare, because this deserves your full, unrushed attention. Or possibly more than six minutes, if you choose to watch it again immediately upon finishing it. Which I may or may not need to do a few more times. This video put my heart in my throat and kept it there the entire six minutes. This is phenomenal.
I particularly liked your pairing of Sam and Castiel walking away from Dean in 9x23 and Dean walking away from them in 9x10--it had really great flow, visually, and the juxtaposition of those two scenes both thematically and emotionally just blew me away. [...]
[spoilers for vid]And wowwwwww that last bit! Your pairing of John's last words and Dean's is a stroke of genius--it never once would have occurred to me to make that connection (or to remember John's words), and my initial reaction to the scene when I first watched 9x23 was basically just like, "lol Dean what part of this past year are you proud of us for, exactly." And I really haven't been sure what to do with the line, because I couldn't find any resonance for it. But here is one interpretation right in this vid! And it's a beautiful one.
I guess in a similar vein I've had trouble for the latter part of S9 maintaining my emotional, immediately personal connection to SPN, instead drifting off in a haze of more cerebral glee and idk almost pornographic meta enjoyment of their pain. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I mean. XD But I prefer to be emotionally devastated and then thrilled by that devastation, rather than skip that first step, you know?
This vid put me right there in that emotional sweet spot. [...]
2. FANFIC: Away With Us by anactoria
Characters: Dean, Sam, Cas, Gilda
Genre: gen, post-S9 AU
Word count: 5900
Summary: Dean is still marked by the fae as their own, and, with the Mark of Cain gone, they begin to take an interest again. This time, he finds it harder to resist.
My Thoughts: You always have such clear, incisive prose, no matter the complexity or frenetic whirlwind of a mental space you're conveying. <33 [...] I think what's particularly heroic and skillful about the way you've written this story is that you've managed to capture Dean's feelings of dissociation, and the cadence of that dissociative narrative, without losing those nodes of engagement that steer your audience towards empathy and feeling and a very intense experience of association; it's something I cannot do and envy very, very much. You are awesome. <3
Another thing you do across the board that I really admire and delight in when I read your fics is your allowance for this brief but scintillating appearances from characters who are not central to the fic yet are integral to its telling (I'm thinking here of Jody and Alex in one of your recent fics, and here Charlie and also Cain, in the opening scene). And in a similar but separate vein, inasmuch as this fic is very much Dean-centric, and inside of a headspace that has very little to do with the outside or with Sam, Sam remains this salient, dimensional person within the story as well; that marshaling of his character with such a short window, from so deep inside Dean's head, is truly ace.
The collision of mytharcs here, between the fae and the Mark of Cain, melds and bridges the two so powerfully--the result is a quiet thriller, internal without being buoyless and muddled. That external relation back to S9's mytharc and to the world of the fae really gives the fic a sense of wholeness and clarity and deep, wide horizons. It creates something new and exciting in that not only does it cross-breed two very different species of lore, but its warp and weft through Dean's human-mythic story makes that cross-breeding feel vital in every sense of the term. [...] If you couldn't tell, I adore this completely, and the whole world needs to read this fic.