For our debut round, we decided to honor the spn_j2_bigbang, which recently completed its tenth round. We invited all of our reccers to contribute 2-4 Big Bang recs...but not from 2016! Instead, we've chosen stories from all years of the Big Bang to find lost gems and dust off forgotten treasures.
Of course, it's impossible to pick the “best” stories. The Bang is too extensive, and everyone's taste too diverse. Instead, we asked for what made these stories memorable, why they touched us.
We had so many delicious stories that we're breaking this up into three or four posts, of which this is the first. So kick back, peruse the offerings here, and prepare to enjoy!
Title: The Piper, 2011
Word Count: ~44,500 words
Summary: The Winchesters have left hunting behind and settled down to small town life, but it's not easy. There's a plague of rats in the wheat-field and the town's in crisis. It's probably not their kind of gig, but that won't stop Dean from getting to the bottom of it, even if it means burning their house down in the process. Sam's memory is full of holes. He's having dreams, another thing he can't talk to Dean about, and he can't shake the feeling that Dean's not telling him everything that's happened.
frozen_delight says: This incredibly well-constructed case-fic stands out to me above all because of the eerie, dreamlike atmosphere that pervades it from the first line to the last. It contains several scenes which are as creepy as the darker MotW episodes on the show, and actually feel downright creepy to read, too, thanks to the surreal quality of the prose. I really liked how the case never played second fiddle to the more private mystery of Sam trying to unravel what Dean might be keeping from him. Both are intrinsically entwined, but also a full story in their own right. The fic is written from Sam's POV and allows us to experience his frustration with his memory loss, his loneliness, his curiosity, his hopeless pull towards his closed-off brother, while at the same time giving us enough glimpses of Dean to guess at his feelings, thereby letting us sympathize with them both. The ending to both story-lines is very satisfying and only gets better the more times you re-read it.
Title: Soul-Eater, Death-Dealer, 2009
Pairing: Sam/Dean AU
Word Count: ~30k
Warnings: Dub-con, character death, happy-ish ending.
Summary: A grieving Dean is pulled into an alternate universe where a much more hardened, cold Sam is working to get his Dean out of hell. Though Dean doesn’t want to go back to his lonely world, he aids Sam in his dark quest, a Sam who is torn between the brother he’s fighting to save and the one right in front of him.
sammythankyou says: Okay, who wanted Sam to become The Boy-King and march into Hell to save Dean's ass? Me. And guess what kinda-sorta happens in here? Yeah. But with a twist or twenty.
The focal point is that Regular!Sam is dead. Doornail-dead, no return, no nada, and Dean is coping as well as anybody who's ever watched five minutes of Supernatural can imagine. But if Regular!Sam is pushing up daisies in Regular!Hell, Alt!Sam is very much alive and pissed. His own Dean is dead too, and he wants him back. Too bad that the spell Alt!Sam used fucked up and pulled Regular!Dean in rather than Alt!Dean. Oops.
Now, I tend to use a bit of humor when I write, but this fic? It doesn't have any. Death-Dealer is a sea of angst, pain, and more angst. Alt!Sam is not a nice person - forget monochromatic! He's driven and desperate - he's not Sam Winchester as we know him. He has a definite personality, and it evolves throughout the fic. Dean-- well, it looks like Dean is along for the ride at first, but he grows right along Sam, butt-sex notwithstanding.
What seals the deal to me is the ending. It's a twist; it's the only thing that would make sense and be fair. Kudos to the author for that, because a strong ending can launch a superb fic straight into the awesome-sphere.
Title: Worth The Wait, 2015
Characters: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Danneel Harris, Christian Kane, Chad Michael Murray, Genevieve Cortese, Adrianne Palicki, Felicia Day, Amy Gumenick, Cindy Sampson
Word Count: 28,149
Summary: College AU - When Jensen and Jared meet, it’s love at first sight. Jensen just doesn't know it yet. And there’s the tiny problem of him maybe already having a boyfriend…maybe. Jared isn't going to let love get in the way of friendship either way. But Fate has plans. Who knew one little letter could change so much?
milly_gal says: What drew me to this wonderful tale of true love was the author, who is a very talented writer that never fails to make me cry and smile. Laughter through tears is one of my favourite emotions and the_rant_girl does this to me every single time. That and the sex is so hot it hurts.
What kept me reading was the level of hurt that runs through out the fic; it harks back to days in college and school where you find that one person you think you should be shouting from the rooftops about, but something always goes wrong.
What spurred me on to the finish line were the characterizations. Not one person in the story is out of character. Every single person rings true, from Chad in his adorable goofiness, to Jared and his inability to see himself properly, and his little harem of girlfriends who spur him on and keep him going. The humour in this story is spot on too. Nothing over the top, just little moments of real fun which I could hear.
This is so very well written it's dragged me back several times. If you want to envelope yourself in a truly sweet and funny story where the sex is stratospheric-ly hot, this one is most definitely for you.
Title: Plastic Blue Spoon, 2015
Author: oobydooby67 (Compo67)
Word Count: 40,500
Summary: Carefree, go-go dancer on the side, handsome as fuck, modest Jensen is hard at work during another summer in the Translation Office at Columbia University, when a man walks into his life and throws it completely off course. This man happens to be ten months old, with a knack for drooling and a fondness for raspberries on his tummy. Attached to this man is the office newbie, Jared, whose sole purpose in life is to lecture Jensen about his work ethic and office organization. Jared can't stand a mess; Jensen's life is nothing but one.
onlythefireborn says: In this story, Compo67 plays yet another riff on her AU Jared and Jensen. Both damaged by life, they meet while working as translators at university. (Jensen has a side gig as a go-go dancer.) Jared’s pregnancy from a past relationship and his prickly nature (the bitchface makes so many appearances here!), as well as Jensen’s growing attraction to him, provide the major theme as they find their way to each other and out of the pain of the past. A wonderfully visual, sensual story, Plastic Blue Spoon also has great supporting characters – especially Jules, Jared’s one-year-old toddler, who captures Jensen’s cynical heart from the get-go. (NOTE that this is not an a/b/o fic. Compo67 writes pregnant!Jared very matter-of-factly, with no indication that male pregnancy is anything but ordinary.)
Title: 143 Alice Grim Lane, 2012
Word Count: 51,700
Summary: Sam Winchester changed his name before he got to Stanford. Now Samuel Francis Wesson is a rising star at a California law firm with a reputation for championing the underdogs and bringing down the bad guys. He and Jess have a neon blue hybrid with a bike rack on top, and a cozy red stucco house with built-in bookshelves and hanging baskets of bougainvillea on the front porch. Sam Wesson has everything he ever wanted, except for the one thing he knew he shouldn’t. Dean is still a Winchester, still a hunter, still in love with Sam and determined not to admit it. Years of avoiding each other and their true feelings have left Sam and Dean strangers. But when Sam’s luck changes and tragedy finds him, he turns in desperation to the older brother he walked away from years ago, hoping that the bond forged between them in childhood will prove strong enough to bring them back together.
onlythefireborn says: Where Plastic Blue Spoon provides humor, great dialogue, and a sensual love story, 143 Alice Grim Lane gives us tragedy and poignancy in equal and epic measure. The fic begins in canon with Sam’s departure for Stanford, after establishing Sam and Dean’s mutual (and unresolved) attraction to each other. But even after Sam and Dean’s weekend trip to search for John (and lay the Woman in White to rest), Sam still opts for a Normal life. He and Jess marry and have a child, while Sam continues to try drawing Dean into his life. Runedgirl does wonderful UST, and, despite the marriage and baby, the focus of this fic lies in Sam and Dean’s bond.
Even the supernatural hunts are off-stage, although the Boys part and come together through a variety of life’s ups and downs, including John’s death. Then, when Jess dies suddenly (not supernaturally), Dean comes to the rescue (as always). He moves into the house on Alice Grim Lane, bonds with Sam's little girl – Rosie, another essential toddler who affects the story – and takes care of Sam. Eventually, of course, their longstanding sexual tension grows into something more open and lasting. It’s not the life they once expected or hoped for, but it is more than enough. You’ll need a Kleenex or two, but fans of OTP will be very happy with this fic.
Both Plastic Blue Spoon and 143 Grim Lane offer the Boys a happy ending after pain and a struggle to avoid the deeper love that they could have. They find a life together, domesticity, babies (with personalities, a big plus), and an acknowledgment that, while life is not perfect, theirs is perfect for them.
Title: Storm Front, 2012
Genre: Gen, alternative canon
Word Count: 33k
Summary: In a world where the supernatural is known to society, the Federal Hunting Bureau protects the country's citizens against monsters. After the mysterious death of his mother, Sam Winchester finds himself on the run from both FHB Agent Hendrickson, and the FHB's sinister Collection Team, led by Gordon Walker. Sam's only allies are his brother Dean, whom he hasn't seen in years, and a semi-retired Professor of Demonology, Bobby Singer. Can Sam stay free long enough to unravel the mysteries that surround him and his family?
zara_zee says: I love Supernatural and I love stories set in the Supernatural world. I particularly enjoy it when there’s a twist; when an author gives us the world we know, but they’ve asked the question what if…? In this instance, there are two what ifs…? What if…the world knew about the supernatural? And what if…Mary didn’t interrupt Azazel on Nov 2nd 1983?
To be honest, I thought long and hard about reccing this one, for one simple reason. It’s crying out for a sequel and so far, there isn’t one, although the author has said in the past that there’s one coming, they’re just a very slow writer. Never-the-less, this is an engaging, well-written story that I enjoyed immensely, and it has stayed with me. The world-building is believable, the characters are as you’d expect given the what ifs…? And even though we know the basic story line, there are enough differences to keep the tension high throughout. I particularly enjoyed the ‘news’ snippets at the start of each chapter – a great, unobtrusive device for helping to build a world.
Title: Octocobra!, 2013
Word Count: 42K
Summary: Supernatural never aired, but Kripke had another project: Octocobra!. In his third season as lead of the series, Jensen Ackles’ comfortable routine is shattered by the arrival of a guest actor.
firesign10 says: This story is hilarious! Tons of behind-the-scenes humor about filming a TV show, especially a TV show ridiculous as this. As Dan Cobra, cop with a extra...handle on things, Jensen has to deal with long hours filming, fans, cons, fans at cons, long shoots in the water, and a pesky but gorgeous guest star that he totally gets off on the wrong foot with. The noisy sex on the other side of his apartment wall doesn't help. Also, Chad.
What makes this story more than just broad comedy is the deft wit which it's all handled. The humor is beautifully woven into the plot and and the characterizations. It's leavened with plenty of pining, heartache, and some angst, all experienced by Jensen as he slowly falls for his new co-star and tries desperately to remedy everything that has gone wrong between them. The delicious glaze on top is the Supernatural flavoring, seen in actors and storylines in Octocobra! and Kripke's contributions as writer/showrunner, and more. A really delightful story, packed with funny, tender, and heartfelt moments!