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On the Wings of War by AlchemyAlice
Rating: M for violence/gore
Word Count: 85,000
Summary: The four Horsemen are not just people with fancy rings. They aren’t even demons with fancy rings. They are another species entirely, a force unto themselves, and Lucifer is kidding himself if he thinks that they are at his beck and call. They are separate. They are neutral. Dean Winchester is not built like them.
On the Wings of War is a must-read re-imagining of season five and could be recommended alone for its attention to detail. These details that range from Bobby putting rosaries in his water filters, to the variety and accuracy of the settings, and the use of The Book of Revelation in the plot. Though small, these details build the foundations for the story, giving it a richness that is immersive and fascinating.
It is the delicacy, and simplicity - even purity - of the love story that allows it to fit into this immersive and dense storyline. If you are after a more explicitly romantic story, On the Wings of War is for another day. Instead the destiel is kept subtle, although emotionally intense, and reads very true to the series. This is a strength in a story that feels like an alternative to canon, but despite the similarity to the series, there is an openly romantic conclusion to the slow-burn. Another reason to read this fic would be the use of characters - whilst all are excellently used, it is Gabriel and Michael who are given the most surprising prominence in the plot. However carefully the narrative uses them, there is little restraint in characterization. Many of the most powerful scenes are the unguarded and heartbreaking interactions between Gabriel and Michael.
Despite these strengths, my main reason for suggesting you read this story is that, whilst it is incredibly unfair to judge a fanfiction against Swan Song - after all Swan Song is beautifully written and stunningly executed - On the Wings of War more than keeps up, purely because of how it handles its themes. AlchemyAlice understands the core themes of freedom, life, death, and sacrifice that runs through Supernatural and handles them perfectly in her story.
Follower Review by ariasune
Bratishka: Little Brother by Valyria
Word Count: 33,200
Summary: Dean thinks he knows pretty much everything there is to know about his best friend Castiel Novak - he’s a smart, gorgeous DA who probably lets Dean get away with more than he should to see the bad guy locked up - but it turns out Cas is hiding some dark family secrets. Cop Dean/Lawyer Cas AU.
Gotta love this fast paced law enforcement au fic with its large spn ensemble cast, snappy dialogue, some kidnappings, and UST between Dean and Cas so strong that you could cut it in half and sell in slices. My favorite part was when everybody commented on detective Winchester’s crush on DA Novak while Dean adamantly denied his attraction to those baby blues and insisted on being only good friends with Cas. Yeah, right; the ensuing collective eye roll from friends and enemies alike was just too adorable.
I must add that I was pleasantly surprised to read a fic about the Russian mafia that has gotten its details and language right. All angel counterparts are perfectly cast as feuding mafia family members and I loved how small canon details played out; big bro Gabriel is as boisterous yet ruthless as he is in the canon and Lucifer is just plain evil. This is another fic where Cas is all covered in tattoos (what’s up with tattooed!cas fics lately?). This time, they’re plot related and have a special meaning to Cas.
Santorum Will Pry My Porn From My Cold Dead Hands by alreadypainfullygone
Word Count: 41,800
Summary: AU President Santorum bans all pornography, and Dean decides to start his very own prohibition racket. Unfortunately, the only person he can find to ‘perform’ is Castiel.
This is crack – 40,000 words of well-written, hilarious, milk-spitting crack. And I loved it. Its 2012, Rick Santorum won the election and porn has been banned in the US. Dean decides to cash in on the underground market for porn and finds himself on the other side of the camera from Castiel, a former artist’s model. Unfortunately, that means gay porn for the otherwise straight Dean Winchester. What ensues is a ridiculous silly, fluffy romp that combines scathingly HOT sex, witty banter and situations that had me literally spitting wine across the room. I was afraid to eat anything while reading in case a sharp inhale of lust or hilarity would require medical assistance. Is it realistic? Of course not; its not meant to be, and the Sabriel just had me chuckling and shaking my head. Typically, this kind of fic is not sustainable for more than 3-7K, but this author keeps it rolling with just enough challenges facing our intrepid filmmakers to keep you turning the pages. She blends the threads of plot, porn and crack together skillfully with snippets like these making it a challenge to read silently:
“Just be a man and hand me your cucumber.”
“Please don’t say enema in my kitchen.” “Douche then.” “Not better, Cas.”
“Sure. It’s completely to be expected that my brother the girl chasing man-whore is now suddenly a completely comfortable bottom, with a steady boyfriend” “Don’t call him my boyfriend.” “That’s the part of that sentence that you have a problem with??!”
If you are looking for a serious look at anti-pornography legislation with totally in character players dealing with the challenges of sexual identity, then this is not for you. This is CRACK. Glorious, ridiculous, hilarious, smoking-hot crack, and no one will pry it from my cold dead hands!!
recced by adorkable-cas
Castiel Novak is an unpopular kid at school, his brother’s reputation the only thing keeping him from a regular beating, but not the occasional shove. When one other person in the school helps him out, it inadvertently starts a marathon game of IOU.
recced by misseditallagain
Cas doesn’t know when his relationship with Dean started becoming a point of contention between he and his siblings, but he suspects it has something to do with the accident. With his long-time partner in a wheelchair and his siblings acting out, Cas struggles to deal with his own problems in the aftermath.
Oh, this has gotta be the office rom com fic to end all office rom com fics! Cas is aloof, snarky, and adorable-in-a-very-grumpy-way researcher while Dean is just a sweet and adorable technical sub-contractor. Together, they built a space rocket thing-y! Ava Wilson, my favorite secretary from Peoria, is doing her best to remind Cas about normal human interactions while many beloved characters from earlier seasons populate the office and provide all the necessary hustle and bustle for a successful rom com. Then there’s Crowley, their unwilling liaison at Boeing and, apparently, Castiel’s old flame. If you’re not a big crowstiel fan then maybe you should skip this fic. Their relationship is very much in the past but it gets mentioned quite a lot. Another bit of tension is brought in by the antics of dysfunctional “angel” family: Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel, Anna, Balthazar, and cousin Zachariah are hell-bent on making Cas’ life miserable and uniformly contribute to his desperate desire to never see the family again.
Just a brief note – there’s some technical lingo what with Cas being almost a genius and Dean being really smart and all of them working for NASA. Also, it took me a chapter or two to get into that special brand of Cas’ deadpan, self-depreciating commentary style of the fic but after that it was a very enjoyable read.
recced by drunkangryfangirl
Castiel Novak has it all. He’s rich, famous, has a top rated cooking show and restaurant, drives an expensive car and wears Armani.
His producer throws a contest to spend a day with Chef Novak, cooking and learning techniques. Castiel wants no part of it, but Balthazar insists and Castiel will do as expected.
What Castiel wasn’t expecting was to fall head over heels for the winner.
Dean Winchester hasn’t had a successful relationship in his 34 years on Earth. He’s got a past he’d like to keep hidden, and his life rotates around his family and his business.
Winning a contest to spend a day with his favorite TV chef is a shock, but a welcome diversion from his day to day life…until he meets the guy, and he turns out to be a big jerk. Dean figures he should have expected that.
What he wasn’t expecting was that same gorgeous blue-eyed man to sweep in and shake up his entire world.
Ad Astra by nhixxie
Word Count: 17,400
Summary: One day Cas says, “Stars died for you, Dean Winchester”, against ruffled hair perched atop sun kissed skin and sleepy eyes.
Dean stirs, moving to spread his palms against the contour of Cas’ back, tips of fingers languidly strumming the indentations of his spine. One, two, three, four, he counts, the closest he could get to scientifically studying the anatomy of the human body.
"Is this some physics crap again?" He frowns with eyes closed.
Cas smiles softly. “Far from it.”
Dean’s fingers play at the base of his back, ninth thoracic vertebrae, Cas notes.
"Then tell me all about it."
"There is a star and a child. There is also an angel and his hunter. And it is all an infinite number of very complicated stories." Although this fic is not as long as others, it feels infinite. The concept and the philosophy that underpin this magnificent story give it a powerful edge. It allows a very raw portrayal of what it means for a creature as unfathomable as Castiel to focus on something as fleeting as Dean, and opens your eyes to the youth of humanity in the eyes of stars.
The base of this story, where the angels are not angels but stars, lies in the distance between us and the stars. The incredible depth of the bond between Castiel and Dean that defies everything, but not only that, also Castiel’s capacity for love of humanity. His faith, in humanity. It is truly humbling.
This a story of love, faith and above all sacrifice… “I always choose you, Dean.”
Follower Review by theycallmecastiel
A DCBB 2013 fic
Come In From The Cold by deathbycoldopen
Word Count: 32,400
Summary: When Castiel Angelios moves to town to eventually fill his brother’s old position in the family business, he never expected to be enlisted in an increasingly antagonistic prank war between his family and another. Nor did he expect to meet someone like Dean Winchester, the charming and beautiful owner of the cafe across the street. But while Castiel attempts to navigate the line between loyalty to his family, and strengthening this fledgeling friendship, he discovers that both sides are using illegal magics to get ahead, jeopardizing everything that Castiel has built for himself.
There are not enough magic coffee shop AUs in this fandom if you ask me. This adorable story fills the void and, who knows, maybe it will start a trend. I was really intrigued by all the little snippets about the slightly dystopian world where magic is illegal and people can be punished for using it and would love to learn more. But, in the end, this fic is about Dean and Cas and their tentative dance around each other. The story itself is not so much about pranks as it is about family and how far people will go to do what they think they owe their family. There are nice callbacks to canon elements and Cas is visibly conflicted between loyalty to his brothers and his new found friends at Café Impala.
And can I just flail a little bit about how fitting the title is? The story explores similar themes as a couple of songs with identical titles and pays homage to a famous spy novel. By mixing them together, the author has created a heartwarming story about opening up, trusting, and forgiving.
A DCBB 2013 fic
recced by cami75
Dean Winchester is a kindergarten teacher. Castiel Milton is a writer slash works-in-a-coffee-shop. He also happens to be the extremely hot one-night stand that Dean never intended to see again other than in his own fantasies (he’s classy like that). But suddenly Cas is everywhere and Dean is convinced that Fate is out to get him. And maybe they do this thing backwards, but that doesn’t have to mean they can’t make it in the end, right?