Five Times Castiel Understood Sam Winchester and One Time He Didn't by blackrabbit42 is joy incarnate, in ways that so few things are. This is the kind of fic that makes me cry with joy and bite my lip in my sheer, emphatic enjoyment of the thing. The premise is simple: Castiel has done something to upset Sam, and he's trying to figure out what it was/what to do about it. So he decides to retrace his steps.
Starting with the dawn of time: And there he was. Amoeba Sam. This brand new, shining soul, reaching out with his pseudopods to see what it could learn of the world.
Did you catch that?
But this isn't just tittering ridiculousness for the sake of shock value or sensation. Rather, we watch Castiel sift back through the sands of time, blend evolution and eschatology; illuminate what it means to be soulmates; track through geologic timescales while still rendering each moment tender and personal and rich with the minutest individual inflections, scenes, tics--and it's absolutely breathtaking.
I love how poignant each stretch of time is, and precise in its atmosphere, its terms of relation. Throughout these scenes, what Castiel remembers, and what he sees anew, speaks so much to the world he does see and the engagements and attachments he forms and understands.
And this is so important: In the end we don't find resolution in Castiel figuring out what Sam wants, or decoding the way Sam inhabits the world, but in finding a way of bridging these worlds, inventing new terms.
alethiometry's artwork that inspired the piece, Primordia is quiet and lovely and gorgeously utilizes the full depth and texture of its dark palette to thought-provoking effect, as well. <3