1. Okay, so this doesn't actually have anything to do with SPN, but Popular Science just posted a fascinating article titled, Why Does The Sea Smell Like The Sea?, which discusses the particular sources of olfactory pleasure on the coast. Of interest to both those invested in microbiology and in the specificity of language (or sensory detail). Doesn’t that mean it’s essentially a must-read for everyone? Yes, I think it does.
2. Winchester Vacation
Genre: slash, prison!fic (2x19 "Folsom Prison Blues")
Pairing: Dean/Sam (bottom!Sam)
Warnings: dub-con, Bottom!Sam, public sex, voyeurism, a pinch of humiliation
Word Count: ~1300
Summary: Dean makes Sam his prison bitch; better his than anyone else's. Right, Sam?
Reccer's Notes: I just love the way ephermeralk writes her porn (and if cowboy roleplay is more your thing than prison, you might try this one!). Both the narrative and dialogue are sharp and smart, and the sex is fast and rough and just a little bit messy in a way that's brilliantly appealing.
3. On a Steel Horse
Genre: gen, post-canon (S9)
Characters: Dean, the Impala
Word Count: ~1600
Summary: It’s already too late by the time I rise up through the layers of twilight to the crossroads that called me. The big car is little more than a twisted heap of scrap metal, the smell of burning antifreeze overpowering the fading scent of lilies on the evening breeze.
Reccer's Notes: This is the perfect ghost story. This is a perfect story. And you have to read this. For more detailed, but slightly spoilery, praise of this fic, here's the comment I wrote in response to it.
4. Fight Club
Genre: gen, pre-series, character study, hurt/comfort
Characters: Dean, Sam
Word Count: ~2800
Summary: The brothers are left to their own devices while John is working a job in a neighboring town. They're short on cash and Sam is a growing boy with a hollow leg. Dean remembers what's that's like, so when he finds a way to pad his wallet that doesn't involve fifteen minutes in a back alley with a stranger, he goes for it.
Reccer's Notes: There's this hard-hitting, glorious, masculine sensation to this. The piece (and its subject) are wild, but practiced, and mediated by a certain sort of care that I find very distinctive of the piece, relative to others with a similar subject matter, and to Dean as a character. This is one of those fics that takes a mere 3k and nails something vital yet underexplored about Dean--past and present--and doesn't flinch.
5. Kin & Keeper
Genre: slash, memory play; romance; hurt/comfort; canon AU (post-s5—Sam is not raised from Hell)
Characters: Dean, Lisa, Ben, Castiel, Sam
Pairings: Sam/Dean; Dean/Lisa
Word Count: ~107k
Warnings: discussion of canon character death; child abuse and neglect; sexual content
Summary: On May 5th, 1983, an infant boy is carried for the first time through the doorway of a house in Lawrence, Kansas.
This is Dean’s first memory of his brother. There are others. They are vivid, angry, and relentless—and now, six months after Sam’s leap into Hell, they are coming to him with alarming frequency. He’s trying his best to live the easy apple-pie life he swore himself to, but the more he remembers, the harder it gets to ignore Sam’s shadow filling up the corners of Lisa Braeden’s house. What’s worse, he has no idea what the onslaught of these memories portend—or in what ways they will change him.
Reccer's Notes: This is the first fic I've read that was over 60k or so--I tend not to read fic I can't finish in a single sitting--but if you're like me, and hesitant about the long stuff, you should read this one anyway. It's brilliantly moody and atmospheric, but never in ways that detach the reader from the characters and situations at hand. It's a picture of mourning in adulthood as much as it is one of living in childhood, and both present (that is, post-S5) and pre-series storylines wend together toward a climax that's really just masterful. I didn't want it to ever end, and I'd definitely read it again. For more detailed, but slightly spoilery, praise of this fic, here's the comment I wrote in response to it.
ETA: Oh, christ on a cracker. XD I never actually posted my Sam recs on this journal. WELL. They were from the February round of rocksalt_recs, and you can find them there. Each link leads to the header info for each rec, as well as my commentary:
1. Toward the Lie by septembers_coda
2. Sixteen Snapshots from the House of Pachinko by indiachick
3. Stapled Shut, in an Outside World by caranfindel