Yeah, that was before the brilliance of spn_harlequin, which is going to be the best crack ever. My prompt is so delightfully cheesetastic that my fingers are itching to start it already. (Which begs the question - why is it always the crack!fic that bombards the brain?) Alas, it shall have to wait until after the spec is done and away. I should get points, though, for finishing my Bailey fic for loveforthefolks (and on time!) - proof positive that I can still produce half-decent fic in a day.
Curiosity has finally killed this cat. I've been feeling the Doctor Who/Torchwood pull for awhile now, but fandom_me has managed to hook me completely with a few premise paragraphs and one damn fine angsty boylove video set to Breathe's "Hands to Heaven". True story. Don't look for me tonight, as I'll be caught in a download frenzy. And if I love it as much as I think I will (based on capslock squee and YouTube clips) then I'll be setting my sights on queenie__b and darkmuse_ic (because these shows are so up your alley).
I did start Kushiel's Dart, so at least my conformity has been generous.
I've been thinking about why most of the SPN fic I read is gen. It's not that there's a huge dry well, pairing-wise. Quite the opposite, actually. It's not that non-gen isn't well-written. I've found that, generally, authors in this fandom are pretty damn talented as a whole (second only to Firefly among my active fandoms). And it's not because oh noes, the Wincest has taken over the world. A vast majority of SPN fic is indeed Sam/Dean, but there's plenty that isn't to choose from.
Nevertheless, 90% of my reading has no pairing whatsoever, and 90% of the 10% left, the fics with pairings, are crossovers. I've been trying to figure out the why, and last night, I finally did.
My epiphany came while reading a particular favorite pairing - Dean/Chloe (always my go-to girl, with either Winchester. And once with John.). I was happily absorbed, until Dean said something like "I'd die without you" or "you're everything to me" or one of the epic!love equivalents that run rampant in fic, and it ripped me right out of the story. My brain sent up a barrage of red flags and maydays and "Danger, Dean Winchester"s so thick I couldn't see the screen to finish the chapter. In my mind, those are words that will never leave Dean's lips. Not because I was put off by the cliche - even the best fics have their moments - but because they struck me as so categorically untrue.
I'm not opposed to Dean finding love, and having that love be big and powerful. Hell, the boy could use a little TLC (and possibly some physical therapy, in the smuttiest of senses). But honestly folks - and here's the part where I finally understand the notion behind Wincest - Dean would die without Sam. Sam means everything to Dean.
I'm never going to be able to get behind a grand, sweeping romance that features Dean Winchester risking life, limb and livelihood for anybody but his brother, not where his heart's concerned. His head? Fine. Dean's done some crazy things in the name of duty and the family business. It gets sketchy, though, when he's citing love as the reason behind his actions. Not because I don't think he's capable of it, but because his love for Sam is so focused and all-encompassing that he's not even open to the possibility of loving someone else comparably.
Along those lines, dear writers, you are never going to make me believe that Dean will leave Sam behind to settle down with your Sue, or happily embrace vampiric immortality to be with his girl forever (and I'm not talking the Impala). Which brings me to the bulk of that ten percent.
Of the pairings I do read, nearly all of it is one of the boys (or John, because uh... John) paired with a character from another fandom. I don't read GotW fic unless it's an author I know - and even then, only certain characters (Sarah's a staple, Carmen is a new fave). I don't read OFC fic at all (well, except for iamentheos's glorious pre-series Melody-verse, which I've convinced myself doesn't count). And I think it's partly because I'm desperately trying to avoid the Sue (kind of the opposite of Where's Waldo, huh?), but also because, if the brothers Winchester are going to try to fit a relationship within the limits and danger and reality of their lives, those women have got to be special.*
I want to know those women. As in already. I want them to have their own established lives and history and strengths and weaknesses and types and ghosts and humor. I want to be invested in them, to care about who they are beyond Sam or Dean. Case in point: Dean/Layla, for me, isn't nearly as interesting as Dean/Darla, even with the same face. Melody-verse notwithstanding, I'm still waiting for the average OFC or run-of-the-mill GotW to live up to that.
*Same goes for slash. I'm not going to look twice at your Dean/OMC, but some Sam/Peter or Dean/Ollie (yes, it exists, and no one is happier than I) will always get a glance.
Now my brain hurts. Which would be fine, were I not still at work.