firesign10 (firesign10) wrote in spn_themes,

Big Bangs part deux!

And now, the second round of our Big Bang retrospective recs!


Title: Games We Play, 2013
Author: dont_hate_me01
Pairing: Jared/Jensen; Misha/Steve; Jeffrey/Jim/Jared, and other pairings
Rating: NC-17
Word count: 86,545
Warnings: Abduction, Angst, BDSM, Character death (minor), Dom/sub relationships, Dub-Con, Non-con, Sexual assault, Spanking, Threesome, Toy!play, Trauma, Violence
Summary: This is a story about love and control; about learning to live a life you never thought of. It’s about being shoved into a relationship that you have no knowledge of and you don’t know the rules. It’s expected for you to submit at a single touch; to know when to remain silent...and when to beg for release. It's about trust, and ownership, and belonging to someone.

firesign10 says: I was really captivated by this story. First of all, I do love me some good BDSM, and there's a lot of it in here. This is more than just a kink-fest though, much more. Jared as sub-in-training and Jensen as his trainer Dom both learn a lot about themselves and how they fit into the world. They are defined as much by forces outside of them as they are by their own actions. Ultimately hard choices have to be made, and consequences dealt with. Throughout it all, the force and pull of their personalities and evolving relationship keeps you enthralled.

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Title: Sleepwalking Back Again, 2009
Author: elohvee
Artist: fourfreedoms
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: established incest, and the complete absence of a happy ending
Word Count: 21,100 words
Summary: This is a story about messed-up boys messing each other up even more, and that's all it is.

frozen_delight says: Even if you haven't read the summary and the warnings, you only need to read the first couple of lines of this story to know that it's going nowhere good or happy. And yet you just want to keep reading all the same, because the desperate passion of Sam and Dean feels so real and immediate. The story is set in the Wish'Verse after the events of What Is And What Should Never Be and shows us how Sam and Dean try to mend their broken bond. It's brutally honest in a way few fanfics are, and explores all the ways in which Sam and Dean in this alternate universe are the same Sam and Dean we know from the show, as well as all the ways in which their relationship in a "normal" world can't ever be as close and all-consuming as it is in the world of SPN. Whenever I'm in the mood for something angsty, unsettling and psychologically complex, this is one of my first choices.

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Title:The Life and Times of Lois Lane, 2013
Author: vorpalblades
Pairing: Jared/Jensen
Rating: Nc-17
Word Count: ~20k

Summary: It’s not easy being married to a superhero. In fact, as Jensen’s learning, it’s nearly impossible.

sammythankyou says: This was delicious! And funny! And with the right amount of angst to make it 1. not a saccharine-induced coma-fic and 2. believable! The latter, of course, is only valid if your disbelief is suspended like whoa and you're okay with Jared having superpowers. YMMV.

Still with me? Awesome. Now, without inflicting any more exclamation marks on your eyes, I have to say that the very beginning is what hooked me. Jared has superpowers, as I said, while Jensen has nothing. Zero. Nada. Nilch. He's just a regular guy who's very much in love with Jared, and has to deal with the occasional fallout of Jared's profession. Sometimes it's a missed dinner, sometimes it's being kidnapped by Evil People - exciting, but after a while Jensen just craves some quiet. 

As a reader, the concept of (not) happily ever after is fascinating. To me, this fic works just because it takes a trope and explores what happens after the Hero and the Guy are done riding into the sunset. Character development starts there. The author does a fantastic job in showing the bumps and the fuckups. Jared and Jensen grow throughout the story, both as individuals and as a couple. The now/then structure doesn't usually work for me, as I prefer linear fics; in this case, however, the flashbacks add to the plot rather than being cause of distraction.

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 Title: I Stumble Forward, 2014
Author: alexisjane
Artist: mangacat201, subsequent art by siennavie
Pairing: Jared/Jensen
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: This is tricky. There are some warnings that are spoilers, like negating-the-whole-point-of-the-story type spoilers so have a look at what I'm prepared to say and if you're still concerned, please feel free to pm me about specific squicks. This is basically a drama set in a modern, everyday setting with regular people doing regular things...except they're not...because that would be utterly boring but you know what I mean.

NOT HAPPENING - The big two, I guess are that all the sex in this fic IS consensual and there is no primary character death. NO noncon, NO dubcon, NO bestiality, NO torture, NO toilet kinks, NO a/b/o, NO mpreg, NO underage...this could go on and on.

Word Count: 61.5K
Summary: Jensen is trying to start a new life and not complicate it with a past he isn't ready to share with potential girlfriend, Genevieve. But when she introduces him to her troubled brother, Jared, things get complicated fast and the men end up with a secret of their own. But there's another secret, one which neither of them holds, one that will not just break their lives apart emotionally but could have bloody, fatal consequences. If Jensen can pick his way through the minefield of lies and half truths, he and Jared might finally have a chance at happiness. Sometimes you have to save someone else, before you can save yourself.

milly_gal says: What originally drew me to this was the author. I've been a huge fan of alexisjane's work for what seems like forever. She's always so real in her perspectives, she does her research. She weaves a world that drags you in and won't let you up for air before it's rung you out like a dishcloth. Then the premise intrigued me, the idea of these two people being intrinsically linked.

The story makes your heart literally want to crawl out of your chest. It's a study in humanity and the pain that goes with it, along with the joy. Jared and Jensen go through such an emotional upheaval, as well as a physical one. They deal with addiction and depression, and they have to crawl on their hands and knees to make it to somewhere even remotely resembling okay. I spent the majority of the fic swinging from anger to hatred to love and tears.

This rec is both vague and a little flowery simply because this fic for anyone who hasn't read it needs to be enjoyed the way it was intended, with absolutely no spoilers. So, I'll ask you to heed the 'warnings' comments in the headers and go from there.

This is still a go-to piece for me, even after my *ahem*tenth*ahem* read through. It still invokes the same emotions I felt upon first reading and somehow those feelings become more intense the more I go back to it. I notice things I missed the last nine times I read it and it continually impresses and devastates me in equal measure. That, my friends, is talent beyond the telling of it.

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Title: The Incestuous Courtship of the Antichrist's Bride, 2009
Author: fleshflutter
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 48K
Warnings: crack/horror
Summary: Sam is trying to become the Antichrist in order to save the world. He has a small army of angels and demons, he has an adoring cult, he has a work of prophecy by Jack Kerouac, and he has Dean. Things are going pretty well until he accidentally signs Dean up as his Beloved Consort, a role that requires sex with the Antichrist on an altar. And that's when things stop going pretty well. Also, the soundtrack to the Apocalypse sucks.

Title: We Were Here, 2009
Author: j2_wewerehere
Artist: velence
Pairing: Jared/Jensen
Rating: R
Word Count: ?
Warnings: abuse, violence, swearing, implied non-con by OMCs, underage, child prostitution (no detailed graphic sexual acts), OC character death - Not as dark as this makes it sound, lol

onlythefireborn says: .One of the first fanfic writers I fell in love with was fleshflutter. The Incestuous Courtship of the Antichrist's Bride(Sam/Dean) remains one of my desert island fics, both for its ability to make me laugh on dark days and for the authenticity of the Boys’ voices and interaction, even in such an AU situation.  Trust Fleshflutter to stand the canon POV on its head, with Sam deciding that the best way to avert the Apocalypse is for him to actually become the Boy King (Antichrist), with Dean as his accidental Consort. It’s a dark subject with a dark storyline (and her use of Kerouac’s apocryphal novel The Paths of the Black Messiah as a roadmap underscores that). But the humor – with several nods to Pratchett-like satire – lightens the story to a true laugh-out-loud level, especially when it comes to the large cast of supporting characters – the angels, the demons, the hunters, and the Cult of the Stolen Eyes (Sam-worshippers), all supporting Sam in his mission to save the world.
Fleshflutter’s story centers around one of my favorite SPN themes - the Boys’ struggle to control their fate while caught in the web of destiny.  As always, this paradox binds them closer than ever. I see this same paradox, in much more literal (and poignant) form in my next choice of fic, We Were Here (writer listed as j2-wewerehere), an underage Jared/Jensen AU. What first drew me to it was the idea of the Boys growing up on the streets, an isolation that echoes Sam and Dean growing up on the road and has colored their relationship all their lives. Again, this is a dark fic, including child abuse, molestation, homelessness, child prostitution, and Jared’s selective mutism. The writer does not try to lighten it with humor or any supernatural element – the monsters in this fic are all human – but the story is still filled with hope. Jensen’s protection of a very young (and mute) Jared will seem familiar to SPN fans, as will his despair at being separated from Jared and his joy at being reunited. The heart of the story lies in the bond between the Boys, beautifully illustrated and conforming to the canon that they are soulmates. The excellence of the writing and the brutality of the Boys’ lives may require a Kleenex or two – but there is hope and love for them both, in the end.
I like the juxtaposition of these two fics. It's difficult to use dark themes like Hell-worship and child abuse to engage your reader's emotions.  Both stories have a strong sense of destiny, illustrated in the Boys’ connection, without crossing the line into caricature or pathos. Both the writers keep the characters real, infusing a dark subject with a sense of humor (Antichrist's Bride) and hope (We Were Here), elements that keep us coming back to the show and the Boys time and again.

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Title: A Foreign Country, 2007
Author: casspeach
Genre: Het, mystery, amnesia!fic
Main Pairing: Dean/OFC
Word Count: 30k
Warnings/Spoilers: Breaks off from canon after In My Time of Dying
Summary: Dean finds himself alone and badly injured on the side of a mountain in Colorado with no memory of who he is or what he’s doing there. This is the story of the life he makes for himself when he has no knowledge of hunting or the dangers lurking in the dark (or, gasp, Sam!!). When something threatens his new family he’s forced to fall back on lessons he can’t remember being taught, and skills he can’t remember acquiring to protect them.

zara_zee says: I know what you’re thinking: Dean/OFC? Not a lot of Sam? Not my cuppa. Give it a try anyway, you’ll soon find yourself hooked! Amnesia!fic is a trope I enjoy immensely and it’s done incredibly well here. Dean is so very Dean, even when he can’t remember who he is. His past truly is a foreign country – he has a box of fake IDs and credit cards which he uses to determine that the name he feels most comfortable with is Dean, and apart from that he knows that he’s good at poker, feels comfortable with a gun in his hand and has a bizarre salt-buying fetish. Dean’s not sure he wants to remember who he really is – he suspects he might not have been a good guy; a conman perhaps or an assassin—so he makes a new life for himself. I really enjoyed watching Dean feel his way to himself, realizing that a lot of normal things feel weird to him and a lot of weird things feel normal. Every new piece of information just seems to add to the mystery, as Dean struggles to piece himself together and isn’t sure he likes the person he thinks he might have been.
Tags: bigbang
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