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#liz answers asks
thegeminisage · 10 months ago
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wait go on i unironically want your thoughts on john calling the car vs dean saying "she"
okay.
firstly, we are discussing the tags on this post
secondly, i want everybody to know that this meta is the reason i ended up cracking open john winchester’s journal last night and became patient zero for this whole damn website spiraling about dean killing dead gay nuns. it’s all because of this! this is why we’re here today! stupid car pronoun meta!
anyway.
this is jumping off the idea that the car is not just an extension of dean’s soul but his body and hhhhholy fuck when did that get that many notes. alright! anyway to recap: the car is an extension of dean - he lashes out at her in his moment of ultimate self-loathing (2.01), she becomes dirty and neglected when dean is in emotional turmoil (1.21, 13.01), she’s damaged when he’s hurt (in 2.01, in 5.22, just to name a couple of the most iconic examples), she was kept under a tarp (shroud!) during the year dean was emotionally dead (season 5/6 timeskip) and after dean ACTUALLY died for good in the accursed finale (she even showed up in heaven because obviously she’d go wherever he did), he is able to kill monsters with her, making her body a weapon just like his is (11.04), she and dean even get stolen/kidnapped at the same time (also 11.04). she’s full of personalization and personal items - sam and dean carved their initials into her, the legos and the toy soldier in the ashtray - this is akin to dean wearing sam’s amulet and his father’s jacket. he’s picky about who drives her (because there are a very limited number of people he trusts with his physical safety), he knows her inside and out the way one knows themselves, etc. 
dean also frequently refers to the car as both his only worldly possession and his home - she gives him a place to sleep, eat, and fuck when there’s nowhere else available. she gives him shelter in a world where there is none, privacy in a life that affords very little personal space.
dean, for the above reasons and more, treats the car like a person. he refers to her as “she” (almost exclusively - he used “it” when convincing a young john to buy her during 4.03, and there might be some early season examples i’m forgetting, but for the most part his pronoun usage is solid), he takes care of her better than he takes care of himself, devoting the kind of time and effort to her upkeep that he only devotes to family. she’s the woman of the family, so to speak, kind of the way dean is - they’re both acting as the stand-in for the missing mary, and he cherishes and values her. (the way a healthy individual might value themselves and their own physical well-being, if they didn’t have dean’s self-loathing attached.)
john, on the other hand, calls the car “it.” which isn’t really that weird by itself because most people use it pronouns for cars (sam calls the car an it too, it’s not necessarily an indicator of anything malevolent), except for the fact that john is a mechanic. much like a sailor is more likely to call a boat “she,” you’d think a mechanic would be similarly inclined to humanizing cars. considering that john was the one who TAUGHT dean how to care for a car, you’d think dean’s usage of “she” was yet another learned behavior, along with dean’s jacket and music and hypermasculinity. 
but john never refers to the car as “she,” only “it.” john may place some emotional value on the car, just the way he places some emotional value on dean, but NOTHING comes before his quest to avenge mary. (if you were wondering, this is what sam was doing while dean was killing dead gay nuns.)
the car is important, but her biggest importance lies not in her being part of the family, but in her being part of the hunt. she’s a tool, a blunt instrument, just like dean. john uses her to get places and cart his kids around the country and sleep when he has nowhere else to go. 
a good example of how john only sorta-kinda values the car can be found in his journal entry for dean’s 18th birthday:
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john wanted to give dean SOMETHING, and while he was reluctant to part with the car (“i’ll still be driving it”), but when push came to shove and he couldn’t find anything else, she did just fine in a pinch. 
could you imagine dean EVER giving away his car? every time he has, it’s been prior to his own death, or what he thought would be his death. and aside from the times when no family was around (2.10 comes to mind), she was always given to a member of his family, blood or otherwise - usually sam, who dean knows best and trusts above all others.
since the car is dean’s body, you can pretty directly compare this to john holding dean’s own physical freedom and autonomy over his head well after he reaches the age of traditional adulthood. that john only truly let dean be in charge or the car and keep it for himself once john ABANDONED him speaks more to john’s interest in controlling his tools than it does to him wanting to do something kind for dean.
the car is dean, and dean is the car. for dean, this means she is the only way he is able to take care of and love himself, even if in a very roundabout way. for john, that means caring a little - but not caring about anything more than mary. in the end, everything, even dean’s own humanity, comes second to revenge. no matter how perfect and powerful your tools and weapons are, no matter how much you may care about them, they’re made to be used - and, when they’ve outlived their usefulness, to be discarded.
[spn masterpost]
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fuckyeahnickburkhardt · 2 months ago
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is this for real?
is.... is what for real? This blog full of love for the show Grimm? Yes. Yes, that is for real. We love Grimm on this blog. - Admin Liz
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dreaminmemories · 3 months ago
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What's Akari, Riku favorite songs?
I haven't really thought of this...since I'm changing both of them. Riku song choices reflect on his emotions, and with his father being in Aequalis, I imagine it involves Falling Down by Little Peep. It connects with how his father and mother gave him to his disowned uncle and raised him like his own.
Akari, Funny enough I feel like her's is Believe. A fan cover for Kingdom hearts. The words...I just felt it's Akari, and how she does preserve through losing her uncle and the darkness, yet she's still fighting for Arcadia.
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auriceli-things · 4 months ago
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After seeing your addition to the chicken post. You? You're valid.
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Thank you it took me like 30 min to figure out how to edit that thing on my crappy phone app ffff
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deadfearless · a year ago
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Did u just discover simply? Lol
Lol yup! I think I was watching the Jenna & Julien podcast and then the simply podlogical popped up as recommended...and they were super fun and i was like what the hell is holo taco??? then i started watching her nail videos and got addicted. And then the new line came out and i spent all my money on nail polish!
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alittlebittinhatty · 10 months ago
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Who do you think made the first move, j or m? When and where?
so this ask quickly became something crazy long and i’m sorry but i’m also not because i think you guys will like this. i sure do.
ok so this was fun bc i wanted to answer this question as best as i could and i um found something that i don’t know if cockles truthers generally know???? jensen and misha got together officially(we know this bc of the anniversary post)on december 14, 2009. do you. do you want to know what episode they were filming then.
it was my bloody valentine.
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do you want to know what episodes they were filming after having just gotten together????????? just for some perspective for the emotions they may or may not have been feeling at the time???
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........ guys
it really puts it into perspective ummm why they were so adamant about not having stunt doubles and doing it themselves huh
oh and these bloopers mean a lot more to me now in context
these were before they were official:
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i’ve always wanted to talk about misha in GENERAL during the season 5 gag reel but now contextualized it ALL MAKES SENSE. guys. he is not himself in the whole ass thing. in the sense that he has a huge. huge. huge. huge. huge. huge. huge. crush. on jensen. like it’s actually so adorable?????? his voice is so high. he makes dumb jokes just bc his mind isn’t on planet earth. he cracks so easily and is so smiley and has such giddy frenetic crush energy and i’ve never seen anything like that from him again EXCEPT sometimes during their(him and jensen’s) panels and interviews and stuff. i think people overlook just how gone misha is on jensen, tbh. and that’s why he’s so weird in this gag reel!!!!! like the ‘that was BEAUTIFUL’ in the strangest goofy voice um.......he’s just a bit overwhelmed bc this really hot guy is talking to him guys ok stay cool
he has a crush!!!!!!!!!! oh boy does he ever!!!!!!!
oh and of course jensen is no better bc he is actively flirting and TRYING to make misha break bc he enjoys his dumb smile and face so much. why am i getting emotional like i can imagine the sheer flirtatious awkward energy and their hearts racing and the butterflies and the ‘oh my god oh my god oh my god he’s so cute oh my god FUCK’ and you can constantly see it from both their ends on that gag reel like can you IMAGINE THAT WORKING ENVIRONMENT???
ok so i’m literally putting it all together. so this moment happens after they’ve wrapped up shooting season 4:
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and my favorite thing about it isn’t just that they’re obvious dorks who are very obvious. it’s VICKI AND DANNEEL IN THE BACKGROUND. THEY ARE SMILING SO BIG. so that leads to the conclusion that they have to have known right??? like they might have even known before jensen and misha did. like those two were ridiculously transparent here and the vibes were DEFINITELY picked up on by their wives. i’m sure misha had no problems coming to terms with him having a crush on jensen; it’s not like that sort of thing was new to him. jensen though???? i mean, i analyzed that whole speech he gave in 2016, so his feelings were still terrifying him at this point. they must have been.
i’m purely speculating now. this is getting good. this is getting SO FUN. i think danneel and jensen HAD to have talked about it before anything happened. i wouldn’t be surprised if this exact moment right here didn’t prompt some sort of discussion. and they come to an understanding, clearly, because soon after, this happens:
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this was in august 2009. and OH BOY GUYS GUESS WHAT THEY WERE FILMING AROUND THAT TIME. IT WAS THE ENDVERSE EPISODE. I SURE AM IN IT NOW HAHA
like jensen and danneel must have talked about it before then, right???? in order for jensen to feel comfortable giving a ring to a guy he clearly likes more than a friend?? so yeah. jensen has been given the ‘go ahead’ from danneel at this point and now they are in the ‘...is this really gonna happen’ phase.
so we’ve come to that phase. where the tension is at an ALL. TIME. HIGH. because jensen has permission and misha has permission. but they’re both like ‘ok but does he like me back????’ like oh my god they are children wow wow ok
so that ‘we’re gonna have a good time’ blooper???????? jensen was coming onto him HARD. all those times jensen was making faces at him to make him break?????? nothing but flirting. both of them. they are insufferable.
and then my bloody valentine happens. i don’t think they had hooked up yet. i think they were just realllyyyyyy enjoying each other’s company, like a lot, but they were too scared to do anything about it. and i think, well, know, because it’s been confirmed, that that’s when someone made a move. and i think it was jensen. and WHAT I THINK, not know, is that jensen asked him out to dinner, without saying outright that it was a date, and that it was during that dinner that they talked it out. anddddddd that’s that and they’re dating. and um here’s what the new couple did(just for context):
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THEY’RE A BRAND NEW COUPLE HERE. DOES EVERYTHING NOT JUST MAKE COMPLETE SENSE NOW???
annnnnnd these too. they really were this messy right out of the gate.
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bluerosesburnblue · 6 months ago
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I don't suppose you could explain the ending for khux for me?? i've watched it and i've been following the translated storyline for it and this ending just. does not make a ton of sense to me. i can usually figure out kh endings no problem but this time i'm just lost.
Isn't that just the state of the writing for it, where even people familiar with the series are having trouble understanding it. And, of course, the game dies as it lived: screwing over Global so we can't even compare/contrast with an official English version yet to see if it's more clear
Anyway, sure, I'll try to break it down scene by scene (Note: these aren't the actual scene titles, I just needed a way to delineate them so I made titles up)
Scene 1: The Master and Luxu
The update begins with a continuation of the past flashbacks expanding on the Case of Luxu and the Master of Masters' instructions to him. He explains that he knew that Darkness could only truly be defeated in the future, and so he made sure that Keyblade wielders would exist to fight it by recruiting many Keyblade wielders in Daybreak Town (as per the start of KHx) and then using the Dandelions to stall Darkness's takeover and give them time to make sure that the Keyblade legacy would live on. As Luxu turns to leave, though, the Master stops him with one more bit of information that he feels Luxu needs to know
He explains that back when he was younger, the being known as Darkness tried to gain the advantage in their battle by becoming incorporeal and attacking people's hearts instead of their bodies. There were 13 of these original Darkness beings, and because they lack bodies they aim to win by quantity and so created the Heartless as lesser, but more physical versions of themselves. The original 13 still haven't given up their desire to regain a physical form, however, and so they target those with strong hearts to take their bodies for themselves
The Master of Masters, knowing this and knowing that something without a physical body can't be destroyed, came up with a plan. He took in six children, his apprentices, and raised them to be a prison for Darkness. To foster light so strongly within them that Darkness couldn't possibly taint it, and then seal the strongest 7 of the 13 Darknesses within himself and his students, trapping the Darknesses inside their impenetrable hearts of light. Then, he instigated the Keyblade War. This is only my interpretation of the line, but it sounds to me like the purpose was to get the Foretellers killed in the War and the Darkness sealed inside of them along with them. How this relates to them coming back in KH3 is unclear
When Luxu asks if the War and the idea of a traitor were necessary, the Master goes on to say that the purpose of making the Foretellers believe there was a traitor was to instill negative emotions like fear and doubt in them. Darkness feeds on those emotions, and so by making sure that his students would produce them and yet not have their light tainted, he would attract Darkness into their hearts by giving it something to eat, only for it to realize that it was trapped in light that couldn't be consumed. The infighting amongst the Foretellers was bait to lock Darkness in their hearts the entire time
After that, there's only six left and so the Master chose five individuals, the Union Leaders, to be the uncorruptable lights that would house the weaker Darknesses. The final one, he would simply trap in the Data Daybreak Town
At this, Luxu flies into a rage at his master, angrily shouting that he can't possibly accept a plan that sacrifices so many people, but the Master stands up and starts talking over him. He's made it clear that he doesn't see Darkness as human, and he's seen this inhuman thing take countless lives, including people he's cared about. He doesn't believe them to be heroes, and he doesn't care. The entire purpose is just to ensure that in the end, humanity is what survives the war. He knows it's a tragedy, but for one who believes that tragedy can't be fully avoided, this is a solution that will at least save some
Luxu accepts this answer and leaves, but behind his back the Master muses on what Luxu, the traitor, needs to do. Luxu was the traitor from the lost page the entire time, given a role to take him out of the infighting so that his identity as the traitor wouldn't be discovered (or at least, that's how it seems to me considering that he needed the Foretellers to fear and doubt to attract Darkness to them)
Scene 2: Fleeing Daybreak Town
We now cut to the real Daybreak Town in the present, where Lauriam, Elrena, Ventus, and Brain have just emerged from the Data Daybreak Town into the real-world version of the lifeboat room. Daybreak Town is breaking down around them, about to be fully consumed by the aftermath of the Keyblade War which had been temporarily staved off while the Data simulation was running
Brain is attempting to enact his plan to extract all of the Dandelions from Data Daybreak Town and bring them into the real world, but he's worried that there won't be enough time to actually do it before the simulation shuts down and the real Daybreak Town is destroyed. The only thing he has time to do is get their three remaining friends (Ephemer, Skuld, and Player) out to the real world, and the only way that he can think to do this is to send Lauriam, Elrena, and Ven away to the future and to safety and then send the remaining lifeboats back into the datascape so that there's enough for the three trapped in there to use
Brain is willing to stay behind to man this operation, but he wants to ensure that at least one of the true Union Leaders (Lauriam) manages to live on in case things go wrong and save as many of them as he can, so those going to the future must be sent first. Lauriam, etching his mission to finally find Strelitzia (or even just her data) into his heart, departs with Elrena and Ven. Once they're gone, however, Brain notices someone enter the room and turns to find Luxu approaching him
Scene 3: Those Trapped in Data
We now cut to Player, Ephemer, and Skuld in the data version of the lifeboat room, contemplating how the others are doing. Just as they muse about how quiet the end of this world feels, Player turns to find that four of the remaining six Darknesses have entered the room (presumably the other two are the one sealed in Ven and the one that Luxu was fighting in the real world and who helped Maleficent, who seems to be gone by the time Brain and the others end up back in the real world)
The Darknesses, it seems, have come to politely ask the gang to open up a way out of the Data Daybreak Town for them, so that they can spread to other worlds. They don't want to fight, and obviously even if they did they'd win, so just open a gate for them to escape with already. They could always just take over Ephemer's friends and force him to watch as they rip them away until he complies
Ephemer mocks this and moves in to attack, but before he fully commits he whispers his plan to Player: he and Skuld will hold them off to buy time for Player to get into the last pod and run. To his shock, however, Player begins mimicking Darkness's speaking patterns and then goes to attack their friends. It seems that Darkness has done to Player what they did to Ven, taking them over and forcing them to act out. Player is now their bargaining chip; they'll only give Player back if Ephemer opens the gate. And since Darkness can only be defeated if it has a body, their options are to give in or destroy the possessed Player
This initiates the final boss fight against Ephemer and Skuld, Player's dearest friends who have been with them since before the war
And the duo prove no match for the Darkness-possessed Player, who taunts them about not just leaving when they had the chance. Ephemer begs his friend to stop as Player goes in to finish off Skuld, and in his desperation to protect one friend, he opens up the portal to Game Central Station and forces his fallen friend though. As it closes, Ephemer breaks down in tears, muttering apologies to the friend that he was unable to save
Scene 4: Luxu and Brain
We cut back to where we left off in Scene 2, with Luxu confronting Brain in the real lifeboat room. He introduces himself, and Brain is taken aback that one of the missing masters has finally returned. Luxu asks Brain if he's a Union Leader, and when Brain confirms that he is, Luxu then gestures to the missing pods and asks where the others are. Brain tells him that one escaped, and the other two are still trapped in the data. Luxu's confused; there should be five Union Leaders, but Brain only listed four. He asks what happened to the fifth, and Brain confirms that they were struck down
Luxu assumes that Brain is going to make his escape, but Brain denies this. They have a friend who he calls a Dandelion (even though Player did not consider themself one) who is trapped alongside the other two Union Leaders, and he intends to get all three out no matter what. Furthermore, Brain has no intention of using one of the real lifeboats. Rather, he has resigned himself to staying behind in the past and finding some way to survive the end of the world to eventually extract the rest of the Dandelions from the data as well, and wake them from their data sleep
Luxu, however, has some bad news. While normally that would be true, the Data Daybreak Town was designed to lock Darkness away. Once it's locked up, nothing will ever be able to get out of it again. If anything could get out, then Darkness would as well. It was meant to be a grave for an intangible being
Not only that, but Luxu expresses doubt that Brain has properly prepared for his friends who use the lifeboats to awaken in the future. What does Brain plan to use for mediums? Who are the memories going to come from? Brain doesn't have an answer, but he has to do this and he's willing to put his life on the line for it
This seems to earn Luxu's respect
Scene 5: The Two Who Remain
We now resume with Ephemer and Skuld in the data lifeboat room, having just sealed Player away. The two real pods that weren't used yet are digitized and sent to Ephemer and Skuld to use for their escape. Ephemer picks up the weakened Skuld and places her in a lifeboat, then looks forlornly over to the one on the other side of the room. The one meant for Player. Then he reclines back into his own pod and the two leave the Data Daybreak Town
Scene 6: "You're So Gullible"
We now join Player inside of the familiar tunnel that joined the Data Daybreak Town to Game Central Station
The four Darknesses swarm around Player, commending them for goading Ephemer into being desperate enough to open up a gateway for them, implying that Player was at least partially in control by the end of the fight. In a bizarre way, they seem to be trying to help Player as they warn them they must cast off their body if they don't want to be destroyed by the simulation shutting down
Player laughs
They ask if Darkness is always this easy to trick. After all, it can't go anywhere without a Keyblade and without a body it can't use one, either, which is why it needed one of them to open a path for it. Player turns, and locks the end of the pathway that leads to Game Central Station. And since Ephemer sealed the Data Daybreak Town end when he cast Player and the Darknesses through the portal, all five of them are now trapped in this space between worlds on the cusp of shutting down along with Data Daybreak Town. This was Player's plan all along, opening their heart up just enough for the four Darknesses to try and use them as a host and then provoking their friends into sealing them away and taking Darkness with them
Darkness flies into an anger-fueled frenzy but is unable to do anything to escape. Player collapses, and Chirithy appears. Petting them much like they did during the Keyblade War, Player apologizes for forcing Chirithy to be sealed away with them since their hearts are bound. Chirithy shakes their head, signaling that they don't hold it against Player, and the two go in for a final hug and are bathed in light
Scene 7: The Destruction of Daybreak Town
Back in the real lifeboat room again, Ephemer and Skuld emerge and are met with blaring sirens signaling that the world is at its end. The other are gone, including Brain and Luxu, and the two have no idea what happened to them (or that Luxu was involved). They simply hope that they made it out safely, and decide to check outside just to see what's going on
They're met with the destruction of Daybreak Town. Smoke is everywhere, the sky is red, and pieces of debris are being drawn into a swirling dark orb in the sky not unlike the destruction of Destiny Islands from KH1. Ephemer decides that they need to leave, now, and Skuld muses about how it takes a lot of time and effort to build something, but none at all to destroy. The two retreat back into the lifeboat room to make their exit
Scene 8: The Master's Plans
We now cut to our final continuation of the flashback of Master of Masters' talk with Darkness from before he disappeared
Darkness muses that it truly does not understand the Master of Masters at all. The Master asks if it wants to, and Darkness replies with a very clinical, "Yes, understanding your enemy is important." The Master muses if it means all of the Darknesses or just the one who is speaking, and Darkness states that it's speaking for all of them
The Master muses for a bit about how small worlds are easy to control. If this small world simply expands gradually over time, then eventually there will become parts of it that the light can't reach, but Darkness will have free reign over anywhere it pleases (much like real light can only shine so far, and anywhere it doesn't reach is filled with shadow). This skews everything in Darkness's favor when vying for control and is precisely what would happen if the world of the Age of Fairtytales continued to expand
Darkness simply notes that of course it will always be around, that's what "friends" do, but the Master says that sometimes he'd like to be left alone. And so, to get away from Darkness, he plans to flee to a world that Darkness does not know about. One where neither Darkness nor Light can be controlled. Darkness asks what this world is, and the Master says that humanity, even if their lives end, want to believe in a world that exists for them in the future. For him, this is a world of fiction and imagination. This implies that he plans to flee into the world of Quadratum, the fictional world that we learned about in Melody of Memory that exists on the other side of the "real world"
Darkness is clearly lost as it asks if he's talking about the Data World. The Master simply says that even if it started out as fiction, you can make it real. But he won't explain any more. After all, the point is that this is a world that Darkness doesn't know about. It cannot reach it, even if it tried
Of note is that he mimics what the illusory Xehanort remarks about Sora in Melody of Memory by calling this a place where neither your "eyes nor voice" can reach, much like Sora's voice could not reach Kairi in The Final World from Quadratum. His final description of it is as "a world of [symbol]." It's unclear if this is an actual term that is unpronounceable and unspeakable in-universe, or if this is simply done to censor the word for the players
Scene 9: Goodbye
We once again return to the real lifeboat room amidst the destruction of Daybreak Town. As she gets into her pod, Skuld starts sobbing and thanks Ephemer through her tears for staying with her until the end. Ephemer tells her that she can't give up until it's all over. As he goes into his pod, he flashes back to all of the time that he spent with Player, and mutters their name through his tears as their pods close and the room caves in around them
(AND THIS IS WHERE IT SHOULD'VE ENDED BECAUSE IT WAS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD UP TO THIS POINT BUT HERE WE GO)
Scene 10: Where Do Dream Eaters Come From?
Player and Chirithy are floating in a white void alongside all of the other Dandelions that were trapped in the Data Daybreak Town and their Chirithies. Some of them are familiar faces, like the "My friends aren't my power" kid and the squad of four kids that Player had befriended and their ex-teammate. As Player awakens, they watch these sleeping Dandelions revert to the forms of hearts that are then eaten by those Chirithies, transforming them into the Spirits seen in Dream Drop Distance
Player's Chirithy explains that because Chirithies are bonded to their Keyblade wielder's heart, they take on a state to match their wielder. If the wielder dies, so do they. And if the wielder falls into a deep sleep, they take on a stronger form to protect it
Contrary to what the fandom is saying, NO, Spirits aren't dead Keykids. Rather, the Chirithies are simply taking their sleeping hearts into their bodies and transforming into a stronger form to keep them safe. This is only my assumption, but I would assume that this is possible since they don't technically have bodies anyway, having been digitized. Therefore, their body-less hearts would otherwise have been sent directly to sleep with no protection, hence the Chirithies moving in
Now, this still doesn't make sense regarding Dream Drop Distance by overriding the lore that all Dream Eaters are simply the form that Darkness takes in Sleeping Worlds, which made sense from a metaphorical perspective of "you sleep at night which is dark, so dreams are darkness and both good and bad dreams are made of the same stuff." And also you can totally craft Spirits and have them explode if they take too much damage, all with zero indication that a keykid heart was involved in the creation process or released on destruction, but whatever, let's just move on
Player asks if this is what will happen to them and their Chirithy, and Chirithy responds that they have a choice. If Player doesn't want to go to sleep, then their heart will be broken down and reconstructed as an entirely new heart to live a new life
Smash cut to an unfamiliar town where a woman in purple with black hair and silver eyes hand over what is obviously a baby Xehanort to a hunched figure in a blue cloak, holding a cane. She sobs. Cut again to the figure in blue holding baby Xehanort standing on Destiny Islands' play island. Cut once more and Xehanort is now his teenage self from Dark Road on the beach of the play island. The figure in blue is standing on the ledge behind him, and as Xehanort stands up to walk to the shoreline, the figure collapses onto the ground. Xehanort does not notice this. Two more cuts, this time to the day that Xehanort found himself in Scala ad Caelum and a chess match with Eraqus
We return to Player, who closes their eyes peacefully and decided to move on to another life. Chirithy is confused, but goes in for a final hug as both of them dissolve into light, Player's heart flying off into the white void
The implication of all of this being that not only did Player reincarnate as Xehanort, introducing reincarnation into a series that it has never been a part of and overcomplicating the lore even worse, but that Xehanort isn't even from Destiny Islands in the first place, invalidating nearly all of his character motivation from the series
This is so bad that it deserves its own post though, so we're moving on
Credits Roll: Scenes From the Game Play Over It
Post Credits: Aftermath
We find our scene in a vast expanse of water, littered with debris. A lone lifeboat floats amongst the rubble. Some houses from Daybreak Town can be seen partially submerged, setting this after its destruction. The lifeboat comes to a stop and opens up, revealing Ephemer's silhouette. He looks around
It's unclear why Ephemer seems to have landed so far back in the past compared to the others, though some people have noted that he also doesn't appear to have lost his body, so it could be that his pod simply didn't activate (note how we only saw it close, not disappear into light like Lauriam and crew's) and that Ephemer didn't time travel at all but simply rode out the destruction of Daybreak Town inside the lifeboat
We see a rendition of the scene from KH2 where Diablo the raven brings Maleficent's cloak to the three fairies and she revives, showing that this scene was, indeed, her coming back from her time travel adventure
Lauriam wakes up in the field of flowers from Dwarf Woodlands, and looks confused and startled as a white butterfly flits about him. The flowers clearly a nod to his element among the Organization
Elrena is shown still unconscious along the cliffs that lead to Maleficent's castle in Enchanted Dominion. Much like Lauriam, her element is represented in the thunderstorm that rages around her
Ventus is shown unconscious in the Keyblade Graveyard, and a silhouette approaches him. Many believe this to be Xehanort finding him, though as of now the figure's identity is unconfirmed
We cut to a scene of Luxu dragging the black box behind him in the Keyblade Graveyard, much like a certain scene from the end of Back Cover. However, this time the scene continues and he removes his hood to reveal Brain's face. The implication here is that after Scene 4 above, Luxu took Brain's body as the first of many that he would steal to prolong his own life. This is why neither of them are seen when Ephemer and Skuld emerge from the datascape; Luxu has already taken Brain's body for his own and made his escape to survive the destruction of the world with the black box
We get a title card, but are treated to one final scene. Brain wakes up (sans hat) in the same town that we saw baby Xehanort being given away in. A hooded figure in strange garb arrives, holding Brain's hat, and asks if he is Brain. At Brain's confirmation, the figure returns the hat and introduces themself as Sigurd (a Norse mythology name much like the other Scala ad Caelum characters so far). They seem to have been waiting for Brain and report that they found him into an earpiece of sorts
Brain is understandably confused, and Sigurd explains that they know of the Brain who escaped Daybreak Town's destruction and that he would appear in this spot on this day. Brain panics, realizing that he doesn't know where any of his seven other friends are and if they made it to safety. Sigurd tells Brain that he's the only one who made it to this spot. Brain, utterly crushed that all of his friends have seemingly perished, listlessly follows Sigurd as Sigurd leads him to their headquarters
On the way there, however, something catches Brain's eye. He sprints to the fountain and looks up at something that's not in the frame in shock. Sigurd explains that this is a statue of this town, Scala ad Caelum’s founder (so Xehanort's actually from Scala...) and the first ever Keyblade Master, Master Ephemer. The camera pans up to show the statue of Ephemer as we know him holding the Master Keeper Keyblade that he got from Brain
Brain is overcome with emotions, and through his tears states that he knows exactly who that is. That's his best friend, and he's so proud of him for rebuilding
This is just my speculation, but what I believe is going on in the final scene with Brain is that when Luxu took his body, he ejected Brain's heart from it. A lifeboat wasn't used up, so Luxu must have either used time travel on his own to send Brain's heart to the future or simply left Brain's heart stranded and waiting in the ruins of Daybreak Town. This would let Luxu have his body, but Brain's stranded heart could make a new one with the proper resources in the future like the other hearts sent via the pods. That's what I think the focus on the hat is about. Luxu is shown without it after he takes Brain's body, and Sigurd has it. So my assumption would be that the hat was the medium used to bring Brain's body back like Maleficent's cloak was for her. It’s possible that Luxu set this up, but I can’t confirm. As for the memories, I couldn't say
I would also speculate that this scene takes place a decent amount of time before Dark Road, since Eraqus has been implied to be a descendant of Brain due to their similar looks. If Brain is in Scala ad Caelum in the past, then he could easily be the grandfather that Eraqus mentioned
My final bit of speculation is that the reason Sigurd and crew know who Brain is is because Ephemer, the founder of Scala ad Caelum and the inheritor of the Book of Prophecies, likely saw when Brain would emerge and set up a system to take care of him, knowing that he wouldn't survive to see him again
Apologies for the length, the ending was 40 minutes long. But, hopefully, I've made it clear which scenes are connected to which and what is actually happening. If it wasn't actually clear, there's two flashback sequences involving the Master of Masters that take place before KHx, the scenes in the data and real lifeboat rooms are running concurrently with each other (Brain and Luxu are having their conversation at the same time as Player is being possessed by the Darknesses, etc.) and everything else is roughly chronological with the exception of the scenes where Maleficent, Lauriam, Elrena, and Ven are revived after time traveling. Lauriam, Elrena, and Ven's scenes all must take place sometime before or around BBS (Lauriam and Elrena for their ages to match up, Ven because he's in BBS). Maleficent's is at the beginning of KH2
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thegeminisage · 10 months ago
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WHERE DO I FIND THE JOURNAL
i pirated my copy! i was handing out the link to people who came off anon but you’re like the 60000th person to ask so i’m just gonna post it in public:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JATbNB_n31Sj7QBI74MKdxdyN7sMG-4S/view?usp=sharing
i will not leave this up forever, it’ll be gone in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. if you happen to be from the future where it’s deleted, someone pasted an alternate link in the notes of this post.
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thegeminisage · 8 months ago
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[image id: @alcatrazoutpatient submitted So this is a bit out of the blue but… when do you think Sam realized that Dean was into men? I’ve got this headcanon that he didn’t start to get hints of Dean liking Cas until season 6, mainly because season 1-5 was able him figuring out that Dean didn’t actually want to live and die as a hunter/actually wants the ‘apple pie life.’ I figure that he questioned it all through season 7, but Benny is what really confirmed to Sam that Dean was bi. I’d love to hear your thoughts, though. end id]
having grown up with a sibling close in age my kneejerk instinct is to say there was never a time sam didn’t know or at least suspect?? that being said i think he had too much going on to constantly be thinking about dean’s bullshit prior to leaving for school, so there are a few times i could see him either suspecting or having it outright confirmed during the show. i’ll do these in chronological order
gordon. wrow
nightstick scene in folsom prison blues. im saying slurs at him rn
every interaction he ever had with victor henriksen
the male siren in season 4. “brotherly siren” yeah ok [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]
in season 6 when dean was WEIRDLY insistent that cas COULDNT be betraying them
when cas died at the end of season 7 and dean took it weirdly hard especially considering he did not die as someone they called an ally
in season 8 with benny. cathy insists sam had to have known by then so he could wonder if killing them both counted as a hate crime. i think that. sam should be allowed to kill them both in season 8. they were such dicks <3 sorry i flip-flop being pro-benny and anti-benny depending on the episode
in season 8 when dean was THAT into larping
in season 11 when his interest in amara, who is super hot, had to be forced out of him
in season 11 when cas got possessed and dean was FRANTIC to get him back
there is absolutely no way sam did not know with total certainty dean liked men and liked cas specifically by the time cas died at the end of season 12. however i also 110% think this is when DEAN realized dean liked men and liked cas specifically (you will pry this from my cold dead hands) so i have a very evil headcanon where sam is like trying to be a bro he’s trying to be UTTERLY matter of fact about it and not make a big deal and he’s like you know i know losing cas was hard it’s hard to lose someone you love like that when i lost jess and dean is like what? WHAT? and then he has a second mental break upon realizing he’s been in love with cas for years
anyway, in the name of siblinghood, i think the most important thing to know is that once dean comes out of the closet sam is allowed to be homophobic at him. yes <3
[spn masterpost]
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thegeminisage · 9 months ago
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do you have any funny fic recs for spn? you absolutely don't have to answer if you don't want to!
i normally read angsty shit but i DO have a few <3
not with a bang but a yelp by strange_estrangement - most excellent fic written in the form of yelp reviews sam & dean left on various motels. my buddy @maulthots wrote this one and it’s very good so everyone following me should go leave her comments and kudos, all of her fic is good and deserves publicity but this one is CRIMINALLY underappreciated
What Has Eight Tentacles and Isn't Allowed to Eat Pie? by Annie D (scaramouche) - destiel, one of my all-time favs. has a bit near the end that i like to interpret as ace cas and also probably the only fic that could lure me into reading about tentacles
"Strangers" by saltyfeathers - laugh-out-loud good. a take on what an episode might’ve looked like if destiel had gone canon. love the bg characters in this one and also sam getting hit in the face with a bible <3
Interpersonal Relationships Are Hard by galaxysoup - destiel w/ ace cas. this is like the only fic where someone says the word asexual that feels natural and not like a vocabulary powerpoint. i laugh at this one all the time
The Tea is Decaf by mnwood - saileen and destiel, eileen and cas hanging out in the bunker in the middle of the night gossiping about sam and dean. we love inlaws <3
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thegeminisage · 6 months ago
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Hi!! I absolutely LOVE and admire broken road so much!!! I hope you don't mind me asking, but I was just wondering how you went about planning the fic!! There are so many important things you tackled and it all fit together so seemlessly!!! Like everyone's past traumas and dynamics with each other and the pov switches! Like that's so incredible and amazing and you did such a fantastic job at it
HI THANK YOU <3 i actually can’t believe i don’t have a post about how i outline/make things already, i’m really happy i get an excuse to write one!! my main thing is that i am definitely a very firm believer in outlining, i think it’s important to have a way to zoom out of your fic and a way to keep track of what you’re doing so you don’t flounder in the middle. in my very unprofessional opinion creating a good outline is its own skill w/ its own benefits!! so my creation process for this fic or any other has a lot to do w/ that. since i’m using broken road as my fic example here, content warnings for this post include discussion of abuse, past sexual assault, & suicide. also this is a long ass post nobody is obligated to read all of it lol
so w/o further ado, PROCESS FOR CREATING A FANFIC/FIC OUTLINE:
step 1 - make a new outline doc. you don’t want this at the bottom of your fic generally because it may get long - mine usually end up having sections for different types of outlining/different character arcs (we’ll cover that later). this picture is one from my merlin outline doc, but my broken road doc had sections too, they just weren’t as neat and pretty. when i started working on it seriously, i was so sure that i wouldn’t finish that i didn’t adhere to my usual organizational standards lol so it’s not a good example
step 2 - write down everything you WANT to happen in this fic. like, i just make it a bullet list, i don’t worry about ordering anything, i don’t worry about making it make sense. i’m just getting things from my brain to my computer. why are you writing this? what scenes randomly popped into your head while thinking about it? so for broken road the very first scene i imagined was dean’s speech to john in chapter 6, and shortly after that was dean & cas in the impala in chapter 3. stuff like that. i really liked john and mary’s reunion from 14.13 proper, so i added it only with more hollywood romance lol. 
step 3 - add the things you NEED to happen in the fic to make it work, the stuff you use to get from Point A to Point B, stuff that doesn’t make sense not to address. using broken road as the example, i need to have a scene where john comes back, i need to have a scene where sam and dean discuss flagstaff, etc. this also includes character combinations - i had a little table i used to make sure every major character had at least once meaningful moment with every other major character. this table was actually quite helpful because i realized once i made it that i didn’t have cas interacting with anyone besides dean, so i was able to go back and add ideas for scenes where he could interact w/ everyone else. 
and then you also have what each character NEEDS - sam needs to be able to address his anger at john, sam needs the catharsis of being able to stop john from putting his hands on dean (hence the punch), mary needs to learn about the whole awful truth, including flagstaff, dean and jack need to address early season 13 where dean emotionally abused him into attempting suicide, dean needs to address his own anger at john, and cas (the only character not directly affected by john’s abuse) of course needs to see to dean’s safety, but also needs to figure out where he stands with dean romantically, since they sort of got together in the heat of the moment. so throw all that in there too! anything you can think of. you can always axe what you don’t use later. this is how i “remember” all of the important stuff and how i’m going to make it fit later.
step 3.5 - research. if you’re working with unfamiliar topics (if you’re writing about trauma and have never experienced trauma for example) this is a good time to do a little reading. it’ll give you ideas for things you might need to include.
step 4 - attempt to put your bullet points in some kind of chronological order. this is probably the hardest step/trickiest part for me and it usually takes many revisions to get it just right. like especially if you have a lot of bullet points how tf do you know which ones go first??
if there are certain arcs, you can sort the bullet points by type - this scene for dean’s anger arc, that scene for john’s snooping around trying to figure out what’s wrong with dean arc, this other scene for john and mary’s semi-divorce arc. i like to color-code them as well just because it makes things easier to keep track of and also because i’m gay. then you can sort of make sure you’re distributing things evenly, so you don’t have 6 scenes in a row about mary my beloved.
sometimes this is when i make sections in my outline. for example, i needed one for dean’s anger - because john is so quick to shift the blame away from himself, dean also learned to shift the blame away from john. so i needed a few scenes where he got angry at other people for john’s behavior - angry at jack for spilling the beans about dean going to hell (when he should be angry at JOHN for taking it poorly), angry at sam for yelling at john (when he should be angry at JOHN for threatening jack), angry at mary for breaking up with john (when he should be angry with JOHN for abusing his kids), etc etc. 
within various character/plot arcs, there also needs to be a sense of escalation. for example, i also needed a section for michael’s antics and attempts to break out of the cage in dean’s mind. he’s not going to START with straight-up hallucinations, and he’s definitely not going to start with the hallucinations most likely to break dean’s will (i guess he could but it would make for badly paced fiction). so i had to organize them by order of how frightening they were, to gradually build up the intensity - he goes from giving dean headaches to making dean flash back to upsetting memories to creating brand new upsetting things to show him to actually moving dean’s body to make sure dean can’t stab him. 
same with john’s “case” - he can’t find out right away that dean’s got an angel inside him, so first he finds out about angels in general, then michael specifically, then the apocalypse and how possession bloodlines work, etc. same w/ dean’s bodily autonomy and history of assault - first we talk about his issues & why they prevent him from being with cas, then they kiss, and then they do more than kiss. actually, if i hadn’t been so attached to the sex scene where it was, the smart thing to do would’ve been to put it after their fight in chapter 4, because that’s a steadier pace/escalation, but i had a very firm picture in my mind of how i wanted it to be, so i cheated a little.
the trickiest part of broken road was also selling my audience on the idea that it’s OK for dean to love john unconditionally, even despite the fact that john is an abuser, and that john might never love dean in the same way. a lot of john fics involve dean cutting his dad out or whatever and that wasn’t how i wanted mine to be. i actually wound up going back to restructure this after i had already written a good 60% of the fic. i had to organize things so that dean revealed more of his feelings about john closer to the end, rather than attempting to get all that out of the way right off. there’s a bit in chapter 3 where dean talks about john being the reason he learned to talk again - believe it or not, that was initially in chapter 1. way too early! so sometimes you will realize there needs to be an arc you didn’t plan for and then have to *gag* edit stuff.
typically, you want as even a distribution as possible. work on one arc for awhile and then switch to another. juggle juggle juggle. especially for things like dean’s anger - it takes time to sink in that john might actually be the one to be angry at about the abuse.
like i said, this sometimes takes a lot of tries to get right, it’s hard to nail it the first time, sometimes i find myself changing my outline even after i start writing, and that’s OK. whatever works best for the story!
step 4.5 - this is also when i make other sections in my outline. if you want to keep track of your timeline, for example, it’s best to do it as you go. this doesnt have to include precise dates or anything - just say x days later, or a few weeks later, whatever, so you don’t lose track of when stuff is happening. important for big projects. i couldn’t be assed to make one for broken road bc the entire fic takes place over less than a week but the fact that it’s not longer, in-universe, is actually one of the things i don’t like about the fic. 108k feels like way too many words for a 4-5 day fic. i also like to make a section for editing notes - anything i need to remember to fix in my fic. another section for plotholes that need solving, as i think of them. a section for blocking, which we will get to later, and another section as just a free space - if you think of something for your fic and don’t know where to put it or it’s just something you want to remember, you can write it down in the free space just so you don’t forget. the free space is also good for talking things out - when i was really stuck, i would simply start typing like i was describing my problem to a friend, and sometimes that helped me work it out (like the fanfic writer’s version of the rubber duck). you can also add a section for writing you have to cut, just in case you find a place you can stick it back in later. there’s no specific time you have to add your new sections, i add them as i need them, but yk.
step 5 - anyway, once your ideas are all in a loose chronological order, you can decide things like which items go together in which scenes and whose pov those scenes are from, and then also divide it into chapters if you like. i wrote a whole thing about pov here but the shorthand is to write from the pov that has the most at stake. for broken road, my rule was to stick to dean’s pov except for scenes dean could not be present for in their entirety, and then i switched to john. also sometimes you can combine multiple plot points into a single scene! for example i was able to have mary learning about flagstaff and dean and cas make up in the same scene, because they were thematically similar. 
i don’t use my original bullet point for this, i save it for later, but i rewrite the outline by scene from scratch. when you finish it might look something like this or this:
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this is the zoomed out scene outline for broken road’s first six chapters. as you can see, it’s color coded according to pov and the slashes divide it up into chapters - though actually, i didn’t start dividing up anything into chapters until i was 2-3 chapters in. to be honest, my chapters were so long that now i kind of wish i had made them shorter lol. sorry if u can’t read it, i like to make my backgrounds dark when i have a headache.
anyway, i find it very helpful to have scene numbers - i even type down what number the scene is in the fic doc (along w/ scene status but that’s for later) so i can keep track of it better.
step 6 - flesh out the outline. down further, i also had some “zoomed in” outlines:
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i do this for every scene - i like to take my original bullet point list, the very first one i made of things that  i wanted to happen in this fic, and make sure every bullet point is in one of these scenes. and if i think of more stuff i need to add later, that gives me an easy place to put it. for example i knew i wanted to address adam SOMEWHERE in this fic, and decided it fit best here, so in it goes.
sometimes i color-code those extra bullets. for example “sam tells john he went to hell” is actually a piece of evidence john uses to figure out what’s wrong with dean, so that’s part of that arc. but “sam tells john to back off” is part of sam’s arc, so that’d be in a different color. i didn’t do it this time but sometimes it’s helpful to see your arc distributions.
i actually wound up doing a lot of revising to my outline as i wrote broken road (bad!) so it’s not out of the question that i need to add scenes or swap bullet points around, and this makes it pretty easy to edit with copying and pasting w/o having to do a lot of retyping. in an ideal world, you’d really solidify this outline before you got started drafting, but sometimes you can outline too much and kill your drive to work on it, or outlining becomes a way to procrastinate on actually writing, and in that case it’s better to just fucking bite the bullet and get started.
step 7 - set up ur fic doc. i like to make sure i have important links at the top (to my spreadsheets if i have any, to for example the 14.13 transcript, to my outline doc) and make sure that it has the proper headings so it auto-creates that outline on the side (here are some pictures).
step 7.5 - spreadsheets! if you want to use a ticky-box spreadsheet to keep track of your arcs this is a good time to make it. if you like to use a spreadsheet to keep track of your wordcount you can make one of those too. (i don’t have a post about these, but it’s easy enough to do one column for the date and another for the word count. then you can make graphs! i was too lazy to do this for broken road but i like to do it most of the time.)
step 8 - blocking!! i have a whole post on blocking here (which uses merlin as a fic example instead of spn, sorry, but it should still make sense). this post is already super long so i’m not gonna rewrite all of that here, but essentially planning out the beats/dialogue of your scene before you write it will make the writing go faster. at least, it does for me.
step 9 - scene headers. this is the scene number, the pov, and the “status” of the scene, which will sometimes be in your spreadsheets - i generally use W to mean needs Writing, R for needs Rewriting, E for needs Editing, * for done, and a checkmark for posted. since google makes the automatic outline on the side this is a great way to quickly jump around, especially for long projects. 
step 10 - actually write. FINALLY. as someone whose favorite part of the process IS WRITING i realize the rest of this may seem excessive to other people. personally i think it’s well-worth the payoff. my favorite resource on writing is the triangle method, aka an article called how to go from writing 2k a day to 10k a day, which posits that in order to boost your productivity to the max it’s best to have 1. time to write 2. enthusiasm and 3. knowledge of what the hekll you’re doing, which is what my outlining process is about. if i block my shit out and i have a solid outline, it’s nothing at all for me to write as much as 2 or 3 THOUSAND words in just an hour or two. in fact, i wrote about 8k+ in a single day when i was doing chapter 6 of broken road (yes i actually did the second half of dean’s speech after the punch AND the entire michael scene in one sitting), because i knew what i wanted to happen and i was excited about doing it. my goal is to one day do 10k in a single day!!
i like to write in order, because i think it’s a good way to add bookends/callbacks to previous scenes and remember what you have where (also a good way to not accidentally plothole yourself), but you can do what your heart moves you to. also, when writing, if there is a scene you really just CAN’T get to go down on the page, you are allowed to skip it and come back to it! but my favorite thing is to quote something from close to the beginning of the story again near the end...it reminds us of how far we’ve come and it’s a good way to tug heartstrings.
step 11 - edit. BOOOOO i really hate editing, anyone who’s known me for 5 minutes has heard me complain about editing, but it must be done. the main thing to remember is to try your best to avoid editing while you’re writing. it’s very tempting, but that is the SLOWEST way to do anything. try to finish the whole draft first, and if you can’t manage that, try to finish the whole chapter, or at the very least the whole scene! what helps me a lot is when i don’t like a sentence or i can’t find the turn of phrase i’m looking for, i leave a note on it (or if you’re working with a program that doesn’t have that feature you can jot it down elsewhere) so i can assure myself i won’t forget/over the mistake and then keep moving on. when the scene/chapter/fic is finished, i can come back to it and solve all those issues one by one. 
this is also where i can go back and restructure things if i need to, although sometimes you have to edit things before you can keep going because you need to know what you have written down so far. since i write in order, i have a hard time moving forward if i know one scene is going to change drastically. 
step 12 - summary/tags/title. tags are easy enough as long as you don’t go overboard but summaries SUCK. it’s my pet peeve when people just leave excerpts because that doesn’t tell me anything...and then they wind up accidentally summarizing in the author’s notes. read some book jackets or watch some movie trailers to get inspired if you want, but even a bad summary is better than no summary, as long as it isn’t too long. “i suck at summaries” is an instant way to turn people away from your work so don’t type that even if it’s true
i wish i had better advice to offer about titles, but they usually come to me during the writing process - from a song, or a phrase in the fic itself, or just something else entirely. i can’t always do this, but i love being able to work a title drop into the fic. it just feels very exciting!!! and also sort of clues us in on what the title Means.
step 13 - post >:) i like to finish the whole thing before i post because otherwise i might just leave it unfinished FOREVERRR but then also i like to post the chapters one by one, then get to post as i edit (early dopamine!) instead of having to edit the entire thing first. and then posting weekly is a good way to have people read along and be excited with you. it’s also fun to blog about it and post excerpts! that’s part of how i wound up drumming up so much attention for broken road, i think. honestly the response has been so huge, i’m humbled every week. i can’t believe this thursday is the last chapter!
and...yeah. that was/is my process. idk if that’s interesting to anybody but me, or helpful to anybody but me, but it’s how i make sure things fit and that they’re paced well. i actually think broken road’s pacing could use a lot of work - probably my best paced fics are either anchor (teen wolf) or how arthur got his groove back (merlin), but like i said when i started it i never actually intended to finish, so it was more important to Go than to spend 6 zillion years on the planning process, or it wouldn’t have gotten done.
anyway, i know you said not to bother with this question but ty for sending it!!! i really love to talk about this stuff, it was a fun way to distract myself from vaccine symptoms lol.
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thegeminisage · 5 months ago
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How do you feel about golden child vs scapegoat in terms of the Winchesters? Personally, I lean towards Dean mainly being the golden child and Sam being mainly the scapegoat, but then also switching roles at times.
ok so not to obnoxiously link back to my own posts but i wrote a related meta to this question awhile back, and i also have this meta which is much more loosely related, and there’s also this post, but it all makes the same point: both sam and dean THOUGHT they were the scapegoat and that the other was the golden child. that is a pretty fucking impressive feat actually!
but i think the reality of it is a little too complex to fit into that dynamic - john may LIKE dean more, but he RESPECTS sam more. dean fell in line, and he’s the perfect soldier, and he’s all but john’s surrogate wife/replacement mary, which is exactly what john wanted and needed him to be, and what john forced him to be, but john is also kind of disgusted with him for being like that, because that’s not how Real Men behave. sam goes his own way and pushes back against john, and john FUCKING HATES IT and he hates sam for it (and also a little bit for killing mary), but he also very very grudgingly respects it. 
i guess it could seem like dean does no wrong, but even if that was true it’s not a source of pride for john. and it’s NOT true. dean does screw up, and when he does it’s almost always related to not doing right by SAM - like the shtriga, or flagstaff - and the consequences are always very severe. sam gets low-grade bullshit all the time, and dean gets high-grade bullshit sometimes. it’s less of a golden child/scapegoat situation because neither of them can do anything RIGHT. 
i know i’ve said this before, but both of them think they’re john’s least favorite, which is true because john’s favorite person is mary, and she’s dead. dean may be the closest thing john has to a substitute, but that doesn’t make him above reproach or free from his father’s disapproval and ire. sam may get the brunt of john’s open disapproval, but he also gets some secret approval that dean doesn’t. i guess you could say they “switch roles” but i think it’s more like their family is so fucked up they don’t even fit into some of those classic patterns.
[spn masterpost]
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thegeminisage · 10 months ago
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Had a cursed thought abt John's journal entry "I'll never have girls" and Genesis 2:23 the creation of Eve: "This one shall be called woman, for out of man this one has been taken" Like, Dean being made into his father's helpmate one broken rib at a time
anon i’m gonna kerm. i’m tagging @marcusantonius in this bc this is the kind of thing that would make her crazy. i’ll also add that in my personal headcanon john cracked dean’s physical literal ribs during that flagstaff altercation so like LSKDJFGHSLDFJGH
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thegeminisage · 2 days ago
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for your ask memeeee johnmary reunion in broken road 🤪
i'm about to incriminate myself just for you because we are the ONLY!!! people who enjoy johnmary correctly. broken road johnmary union songs:
jensen ackles - angeles
SHUT. UP.
...jensen ackles - simple man
SHUT UPPP
and finally, chris issak - wicked game, which is actually one of my destiel songs, shut UP shut up shut up
[send me a fic scene, i'll tell you what i listened to when i wrote it, even to my own detriment apparently]
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thegeminisage · 7 months ago
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These parallels between Cas and John (or at least, the good parts of John as Dean sees them) is making me a bit uncomfy but I also can’t get enough of it!!! Dean just wants to feel safe in his daddy’s arms in the impala again and the chapter ends with him feeling safe in his dad-I mean Cas’s arms again!!! Needless to say I am so intrigued and I love how u write the dynamic of DeanCas
thank you v much <333 my short answer is IT’S ABOUT THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF IT ALL dean loved john unconditionally and cas loves dean unconditionally!! my much much MUCH longer answer is below the cut, and it’s a heavy subject, so mind the content warning.
[the content warning is for discussions of incest and physical and emotional abuse, also one mention of sexual abuse]
i think that in the show the amount of parentification dean went through, both emotional (being john’s shoulder to lean on) and instrumental (raising sam), definitely puts dean and john at like, textual canonical borderline emotional incest, which is essentially the same thing without sex (this is NOT a john-sexually-abused-dean fic, i’m not about that, i don’t think it happened in canon or ever crossed john’s mind). it wasn’t something i tagged with that phrase exactly because i tried to make it as subtle as i could (i genuinely didn’t expect anyone would notice or care enough to point it out) and i didn’t want people to get the wrong idea (incest being such a !!! word), but essentially that’s what i was warning for when i called dean john’s “second wife/new mary” in the notes of this latest chapter.
john leaned on dean for pretty much everything he would lean on a wife for EXCEPT sex: financial support, emotional support, physical caretaking of both himself and “their” child (sam). and dean’s ONLY source of emotional support was in john caring for him as a very young child, before john turned him into a soldier. once he put a gun in dean’s hands he stopped being kind to him, and i think part of dean spent the rest of his life chasing that feeling of being protected and cared for - and this whole situation is exacerbated by the fact that john loves mary above all other people. dean grew up believing that essentially, if he’s a good enough “wife”/“mary,” john will love him and be kind to him like he used to, like he loved and was kind to the real mary. that john never did is something dean sees as indicative of failure on HIS part, not john’s.
what dean looked for in john - the feeling of BEING loved unconditionally, the feeling of safety, even the idea of john "saving" him (by giving him that gun and giving him his words back) - were MOSTLY* things that he should have wanted from a life partner and other people in his life, not his father. (*certainly one should expect their parents to make them feel safe, but that's also not something that's exclusive to parent/child relationships.) the problem for dean was that aside from sam, john was basically the ONLY person in his life - we don't see him make real, lasting connections with people like the harvelles and cas and lisa and ben and benny etc until after john’s death in 2.01. even dean’s connection with bobby, an actual healthy father figure, was only allowed in john's LITERAL absence (they went to him when john was missing again at the end of s1), because after a falling out john refused to see him or let the boys see him anymore.
so then enter cas. dean doesn’t do anything FOR cas - actually since i’m a cas girl (honorific) i’d argue the opposite, what with cas being kicked out of the bunker and almost murdered while dean had the mark of cain, just to name a few rough patches off the top of my head - but that doesn’t really matter to cas, because cas loves dean wholly and unconditionally, the way that dean loves john. (and to clarify: i don't think unconditional love need necessarily be either familial or romantic in nature - any kind of love can be unconditional.) what cas is attempting to do - or i should say, what i am attempting to have cas do - is undo some of the damage the violently toxic nature of john and dean's relationship did by providing, in a healthier, non-abusive context, some of the things that john refused to give dean, "free of charge" and also without undermining dean's agency while doing so. that includes: the feeling of safety, unconditional love, emotional support, etc. john would have made dean feel ashamed and weak for wanting or needing these things, or he would have had an asking price - more work for dean, more questions about why he can't make the money stretch, physical abuse for failing to live up to impossible expectations. cas on the other hand isn't really asking for anything, except for dean to maybe hate himself less and value himself more. 
it's a tricky subject to tackle, and it would be easier if dean could also accept this kind of support from people who AREN'T cas (because cas is his romantic partner), like sam and mary. but dean feels like he has to protect them from this particular damage - that's why he doesn't tell sam about flagstaff, doesn't take mary up on the offer to talk, doesn't turn his face into her hand. it's worth noting part of this fic was inspired by how they all triangulated around him in the ma'lak box arc, forming a legitimate support network; that's what they're attempting to do now, it's just that cas has the most success because he has the most distance from it. 
at any rate, it is sort of meant to make you "uncomfy" - though not in the context of dean and cas's relationship, but dean and john's. i hope that makes sense!
[spn masterpost]
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thegeminisage · 9 months ago
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Obsessed with rhe fact that Dean “I was never a kid” Winchester is literally the brother who DID get to be a child for four years. Sam didn’t even get the time before Mary died because of Azazel.
THAT IS A TAKE. it’s a valid take! but i’d like to offer a counterpoint: neither of them had childhoods but both of them thinks the other one did. i think it’s one of those things like how dean and sam both think the other is dad’s fav, or that they both feel they got it worse from dad, you know? 
because they both experienced childhood differently - dean got 4 years of food security and a stable roof over his head but he was also mary’s and john’s couples therapist during that time. meanwhile he had to find out at age 4 about monsters while sam didn’t have to live with that until age 9 or so (and sam found out through a book, not through watching a parent die right in front of him). dean started worrying about where his next meal came from a lot younger than sam did. on the other hand, sam NEVER had a stable roof over his head - he was living with homelessness from the age of 6 months. he doesn’t remember having a mother and he doesn’t remember the “nice” version of john pre-fire. he never got to have friends as a kid nor a steady education, even the preschool dean got - those years are CRUCIAL for development. so i can see where sam thinks of it as dean had a childhood (even if it was only four years) and he didn’t, and dean ALSO thinking sam had a childhood (because he never had to worry about monsters and the food money) where he didn’t. 
i wrote a meta about this once, the ways john’s abuse fucked them over differently - but the point of it is that BY abusing them differently, he did the worst thing of all: pitted them against each other. out of all the shitty and horrible things john did, i think that’s the absolute worst one - he allowed them to have only each other and then made himself their number one point of contention, a wedge that would get driven between them over and over and over years after he’s dead and gone (even all the way up into season 13 - remember when they were fighting over what to do about jack?). 
they (and we) often get stuck in this loop of “no dean had it worse” or “no sam had it worse” but i don’t think abuse is something that’s so easily quantifiable. in the end we and they could argue about who got away with less damage forever but the fact is john fucked them BOTH up in equal but opposite ways. and the worst way it fucked them up is that it makes them fight each other about the abuse (and other subjects) while the person responsible for it all (john) gets to just be dead and not have to deal with any of the fallout. 
this is a little off-topic, but i think that more than any physical or emotional abuse, pitting sam and dean against each other like that is john’s greatest and most unforgivable sin. and that’s NOT what he apologized to dean for when he was about to die - what he actually did was put the last nail in the coffin by LITERALLY telling dean he’d have to get sam in line or kill him - pitting them against each other one final time before abandoning them for good. FUCKED up
[spn masterpost]
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thegeminisage · 7 months ago
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i don't really understand why you think dean shouldn't go to therapy? i get that his life and history made him who he is, but like, working on not actively being in emotional pain constantly doesn't erase that history or make him boring.
(anon is talking about this post, i think)
lol no, not really, but you’re getting stuck on the details! i don’t necessarily have a problem with dean going to therapy, or therapy in general (even though i wouldn’t be interested in watching or reading it because i don’t think it makes for very good fiction - maybe i’ve just been to too much therapy). what i have a problem with is everything put together. the therapy AND the dog AND the minivan AND the pta meetings AND the baby AND the salads AND the pride pins AND the getting sober. it’s this fucking batshit insane trend i’ve noticed lately where compound and compile so many Soft Headcanons about dean that he turns into the supernatural equivalent of hatsune miku binder thomas jefferson. 
i feel like it’s vaguely related to this other trend of like, hating on john so much we forget to care about dean - which is the exact REASON we all (should) hate john. like, not to mention burning the car again, but metaphorically that’s the same as burning the car. it changes dean so much it destroys him. individually, you might very well sell me on a therapy fic, or an AA fic, or a baby jack fic, or even a pride fic. i love reading about trauma and healing. but all of these things at once is just...a lot. like everyone is allowed to have fun and i’m the one being a killjoy and most of the time i am FIRMLY against this sort of sentiment but man. sometimes i see art of dean like wearing pride buttons and carrying a dog and a baby and a starbucks coffee while sweet talking cas on the phone in public and it’s like...who...is that. like i’m glad y’all are having a good time but who the fuck is that
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thegeminisage · 6 months ago
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ooh fave snippet of dialogue but from each of the characters in broken road <3
oh this is a REALLY good one ty <3
dean: "Uh, I didn't—I didn't think I'd want this either, ever, but—I do. I want you, Cas," he says, even though he can't keep looking Cas in the eye while it comes out of his mouth. "So—I'm playing for keeps. Whether I live or die or worse." < WAH. honorable mention for "He's...he's my father," Dean chokes. "Sometimes you just...love someone anyway. I wouldn't expect...something like you to understand..." < liiike not to sound too conceited but i think i really outdid myself w/ that michael climax
sam: "Do you understand? This isn't a motel. You can't expect someone else to do it for you. Don't go in the kitchen," Sam says slowly, enunciating every word, "unless you're going. To clean up. Your mess. You want room service—there's the fucking door." < SAM MAN OF THE HOUSE SAM. honorable mention for "He said," Sam pants, "to let go of him." < like you PUNCH that asshole baby i got your flower. second honorable mention to when he called dean and cas’s weird decade-long thing a mating dance. homophobia wins!
john: ugh fine sue me it’s the part where he calls mary his girl i’m not pasting it but like. wow.
mary: " I just don't want you to think I have a problem with it. I've been in the twenty-first century for two and a half years, Dean, I'm not some right-wing whackjob fundie who—" < GOD BLESS LOL
cas: "It didn't take," Cas explains politely. "I seem to be something of a..." He searches for the right phrase. "...queer fish?" < he literally is a queer fish. honorable mention for "Let me put it another way," he says. "I'm healing this wound because someone I love—" John breaks into another coughing fit. "—asked me to, and unfortunately, your death would cause him pain. But if you choose to cause him pain while living, then I might fail to see the difference in you being alive or dead. And trust me when I say that I inflict mortal wounds much more quickly than I heal them." He leans forward, a little too close. "Dean's secrets belong to him and no one else, and you will speak of them to no one, himself included. Do I make myself clear?" < FUCK HIM UP
jack: "I didn't understand before," Jack tells John. "But I see now. You weren't acting like Dean. Dean was acting like you." < imagine getting this mic drop from satan’s 2-year-old
michael: "We've been over this, Dean. You won't do it! Not to your father. Daddy's blunt little instrument, his perfect little soldier—you wouldn't even let me take him earlier. How are you going to put that blade through his heart? You were furious with him for saying yes, but you were scared, too, weren't you? You don't want to lose him. The truth is you don't even care if he loves you. When he speaks you bow your head to listen. When he raised a hand to you, you held still and let him beat you, and didn't once ask him to stop. And you'll obey his every order and worship the ground he walks on no matter how much he hurts and neglects you because you think that makes you the good son—but he doesn't care! He'll never care! Not even God cares! You live in a cold, meaningless universe. There's no such thing as love!" < GOD it’s so hard to pick. wait honorable mention for when he was calling sam slurs. i’m not gonna paste it here but wow.
thank you this was literally sooo fun <3
[fanfic ask meme]
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thegeminisage · 6 months ago
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what ARE your bottom 10 supernatural episodes? just out of curiosity. Doesn't have to be a round ten--just take this ask as blanket permission to rant about whatever eps you hated.
this is a great question and i have been wanting to write this post for so long so thank you. i managed to narrow it down to least favorite 15 episodes. it was actually really difficult to rank these. asteriks for buckleming eps; warning for mentions of sexual assault. (i am not including s15 eps on this list because i forgot basically all of s15 and i haven’t gotten back to it on my rewatch yet but rest assured i hate the finale with all my blackened heart.)
#15: 1.08 Bugs - this one is fine actually writing wise like it’s not the best season 1 episode the “monster” was stupid but i never mind more sam content. unfortunately i have a deep, paralyzing fear of all things in the bug family. i have only watched this one 2 times - once on my first watch thru, and again when i got my brother and his gf to watch it
#14: 14.13 Lebanon - i don’t know about you guys but i feel like i have already covered that topic on this blog :’) nonetheless some things about it do make me nuts in the good way. s4 cas, john/mary reunion, queer i have a family, dean almost showing self esteem. yk. 
#13: 4.13 After School Special - some mixed feelings about this actually. it’s SO nice to see sam and dean as kids/teens, i always love a good colin morgan ep, but i fucking hate high school in media and also the moral of this story seemed to be “ah we ALL had a rough time in school, bullies are just misunderstood!” which like. no they aren’t. die. it just ruins the whole thing for me. also dean being like that about underage girls is disgusting WHO thought that was okay
#12: 8.05 Blood Brother - i have mixed feelings about this one too. like i like benny well enough and i love his and dean’s dynamic but they made sam seem SO UNREASONABLE for being upset dean was hanging out with a vamp when i think after dean’s hissy fit about ruby sam deserved to behead benny on sight. just another case of the narrative ALWAYS agreeing with dean at the expense of the development of other characters and continuity itself. it’s just sam and dean fighting and fighting and fighting and BITCHING at each other constantly which is a lot of what i really loathe about season 8. like i just want both of them to shut up the entire season long. also the fact that like benny let dean kill his gf because she had become ugly and monstrous to him...i feel bad for benny but it made it hard to like him after that. like theeee misogyny. 
#11: 5.12 Swap Meat - if you weren’t in fandom in 2010 you CANNOT know how high the demand for a body swap episode was. everyone wanted to see sam and dean swap bodies and play each other. it would have been hilarious, it had the potential to be sad (imagine dean having to experience sam’s demon blood cravings or sam realizing dean holds his liquor WAY too well). the potential: huge. the fanfics: numerous. and then they give it to us...and it’s sam and the lamest most boring teenager ever to exist. this needless violation of sam’s bodily autonomy (cuz the kid had sex in his body!) to make him the butt of the joke, and a lot of bad unfunny humor (no more poop jokes please god)...all for the kid to get one cool moment where he finishes the exorcism with dean. i don’t want him to get a cool moment because i fucking hate him. what was even the point of any of this. like it’s INSULTING. i’d rather they not made it at all.
#10: 10.09 The Things We Left Behind / &10.10 The Hunter Games - i have a whole tag for how much i hated these episodes.
#9: *12.08 LOTUS - i just think it is SO stupid that we wanted to give lucifer a redemption arc to begin with but ESPECIALLY by having him POSSESS the tr*mp stand-in and have sex with his secretary or whatever like that’s rape on two counts, by possession and by deception. like i don’t think supernatural should attempt political commentary at all ever either and you can tell this season was written with politics in mind. like they were writing it during 2016 and a great deal of it was written after the 2016 election and like. when half your writers room and audience are republicans. it just went over like a lead balloon. particularly fucking hated the clumsy and offensive comparison of the bmol to, like, maga. that was bad. but anyway their shitty half-accidental political commentary (which never addressed the whole genocide issue??? hello???) got started here and this was definitely one of the most cringeworthy episodes. 
#8: 12.05 The One You've Been Waiting For - (warning for discussions of hitler & nazis) i just feel like we shouldn’t be re-animating hitler on supernatural. like i don’t think supernatural has the subtle touch needed to tactfully cover “zombie hitler.” you know like i’m not jewish maybe i’ve got it wrong but that just feels offensively bad to me. if sam and dean had actually been canonically jewish in a way the narrative acknowledged that might have ruled but as it is it’s two non jewish dudes boasting about how cool they are for killing hitler and letting a NAZI walk because they figure the other nazis will kill him. like, holy shit, if you can gun down zombie hitler and pat yourself on the back for being a hero you need to go ahead and take care of the other ones too!!! it was just. so cringeworthy. (edit: i got an ask about this here that link’s to op’s post that covers it much better than i ever could.)
#7: *12.21 There's Something About Mary - i DON’T like how joining the bmol is like, oh it’s a cult, oh you’ll get brainwashed, oh it’s no longer your fault if you do horrible things. people who join maga are innocent victims they didn’t know how bad it was all they wanted was monster genocide which is fine because monsters aren’t real people :) anyway i also don’t like seeing mary tortured needlessly because i stan her, i don’t like seeing ketch at all bc he’s my least favorite spn character and i ESPECIALLY don’t like seeing him smug. the fight scene near the end of that episode fucking rules though. and they also played the family theme in minor chord during the final scene which is like. ok. points made.
#6: *10.21 Dark Dynasty - charlie. and it wasn’t even a good death it was the most contrived forced bullshit...other people have said it better but like. charlie.
#5: 9.05 Dog Dean Afternoon - dean dead ass wanted to fuck that poodle. like i can’t say any more than that. also this episode introduced the FALSE canon that dean is allergic to cats - until now we’ve seen him be around cats many times (3.03, 4.06, 8.08) with NO issue. like dean canonically doesn’t LIKE dogs and he hung out with one/as one this entire episode because nobody in carver’s writing room can be bothered to remember continuity. and then fandom took this as oh dean hates cats because he’s allergic and he likes dogs he would totally adopt that FUCKING DOG FROM 15.19 THAT BUCKLEMING CREATED like this sends me into a blind rage every time. people who like this ep don’t respect herstory and they don’t respect ME
#4: *9.03 I'm No Angel - i don’t want to talk about it we don’t acknowledge 9.03 in this house
#3: 14.17 Game Night / 14.18 Absence - i did quite literally ragequit when mary died and i think it was CRUEL to show her death offscreen and then make us wait a week thinking maybe she survived and then at the end of that week tease her resurrection for the ENTIRE episode after that like...i get that the general audience hated mary but holy shit that was almost as bad as the cas baiting in 15.19. like that’s how 14.18 made me feel. 
#2: 7.08 Season Seven, Time For A Wedding! - the thing i remember most about this episode is that i was watching it live in a chatroom with a group of friends from livejournal. and when sam, a rape survivor in canon, after the huge season-long deal they made of his hell trauma, woke up with no pants tied to a bed for LAUGHS, someone in our group, and actual rape survivor in real life, got triggered and had to stop watching and go outside. like the internet ruined the word triggered but you know?? and like. this was supposed to be funny. i can’t even get mad about like...i have my usual anti-becky agenda but that pales in comparison w/ the insult dealt to sam and rape survivors in general. but it’s funny when it’s a woman and a man, right?!?!?
#1: 9.13 The Purge - i don’t want to talk about this one extensively either but like it’s 40 minutes of fatphobia start to finish and it made me feel REALLY shitty and upset like i felt bad about myself for weeks after it aired and i still haven’t totally warmed up to donna - whenever they show her eating i like her less. the actors in it weren’t even fat donna’s actress was like a very hot and skinny pregnant woman! like it was so toxic and awful. this is the only episode i’ve only seen one time and i’m never EVER watching it again. nicole snyder can die by my hand.
honorable mentions, in chronological order:
*1.13 Route 666 (love and light cassie is great but she alone cannot save this episode this was buckleming’s first and it should have been their last)
3.06 Red Sky At Morning (sam and the gilf)
5.09 The Real Ghostbusters (becky.)
5.11 Sam, Interrupted (i can't even go into it i'd need a whole new post but wow this almost made the bottom 15 list. short version sams anger issues only get brought up when people remember them and also i hate mental hospitals and also the stereotypes in this show are always offensively bad but those were REALLY bad)
6.15 The French Mistake (sorry it’s just too much about the actors like love and light but i don’t care)
*7.05 Shut Up, Dr. Phil (buffy cast WASTED on a fucking BUCKLEMING episode)
8.06 Southern Comfort (i'm from the south and i’m allergic to civil war content if you were from here you’d understand)
*8.15 Man’s Best Friends With Benefits (please ENOUGH bestiality jokes i am NO longer asking like what is WRONG with buckleming)
8.16 Remember The Titans (rick riordian should have written this and then maybe it wouldn't SUCK the disrespect to artemis counts as aphobia i think and i’m only half joking)
8.22 Clip Show (rip sarah, they killed her and for What)
9.08 Rock and a Hard Place (literally what the FUCJ)
*9.09 Holy Terror (rip KEVIN the fact that buckleming killed him and charlie AND eileen...)
9.15 #thinman (boring and a paper-thin metaphor and also not the end i would have wanted for these characters)
10.05 Fan Fiction (sigh. you know)
10.06 Ask Jeeves (STOP making old women grope sam for laughs he is a RAPE SURVIVOR it wasn't funny in 3.06 either. also the bobby backstory in this was extremely unflattering and felt ooc)
11.22 We Happy Few (even jarpad was right to be mad about this one yeah i said it and i’d say it again)
12.14 The Raid (ha ha genocide is fun kids!)
*12.17 The British Invasion (wow i don't care about any of the bmol at all not even mick like rest in pieces you genocidal shithead i can’t believe they had the nerve to put beautiful perfect wonderful eileen in such a bad episode)
12.20 Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes (THEY KILLED ALICIA??? this is the only yockey episode i don't like i guess nobody’s perfect)
*13.13 Devil’s Bargain (danneel deserved better than to star in buckleming’s lucifer redemption arc fantasy)
*13.18 Bring ‘em Back Alive (SABRIEL QUEERBAIT LMAO)
& all the other buckleming episodes i forgot to list, though unfortunately there are some exceptions
[spn masterpost]
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thegeminisage · 6 months ago
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Here's something I'd love your take on: I read a meta recently (would link it but I can't remember where, ack) that suggested that Sam is able to forgive John in later seasons because a) he's had the whole "family making unilateral decisions for your own good" thing repeatedly shoved down his throat, and b) whatever John did under this umbrella in their childhoods, Dean has done far worse by that point, and Sam HAS to forgive him so by extension he can't really be mad at John anymore (1/2)
(2/2) As someone who has admittedly only seen bits and pieces of the later seasons, this seems to jive with Sam losing a lot of his characteristic early-seasons anger, letting Dean call the shots almost all the time even when he thinks it's the wrong move, and moments of sympathy for John (contrasted w/Dean's growing resentment, which is so interesting!). But! I got some big ol' gaps in my spn comprehension, so was curious if you had any thoughts on this dynamic
wow okay long answer warning! i got carried away and forgot how to use punctuation. nobody is obligated to read all of this lol and the biggest part of the answer is behind a cut. anyway!!
first things first: i think a big thing to remember with sam’s characterization in later seasons is that it’s like...not there, and when it is there, it’s sometimes flat and inconsistent. because dean became sole the main protagonist after the first 8 (arguably the first 5 or even first 2) seasons, sam sort of got demoted to “side character we don’t know what to do with” along with cas and crowley. they all had good arcs pop up now and then (sam had some fun stuff going on with lucifer in s11 and s13) but most of the time the writers either don’t know how to give him a meaningful characterization or don’t care (or both). so we have to do a lot of that work ourselves. 
so, for example, when we talk about sam losing his anger, i like to read it as him OVERCOMING that anger to avoid becoming his father (which may even be where some of the seemingly sympathetic comments come from, because he’s trying to be forgiving instead of angry), but really...it’s that the writers forgot he had anger issues. in-universe explanation vs irl explanation, yk? and i think pretty much all meta about sam in late seasons is written through that lens, whether the writer of that meta knows it or not. including this one! i can’t prove any of this shit, it’s my personal reading, i’m making it up. like there were just SO many different people involved in the production of supernatural that there was a lot of conflict and contradictions in things like continuity and characterization. (most of the writers room hadn’t even seen every episode!) so there’s not one definitive way to go about it. in many ways it makes the characters more nuanced and in many other ways it makes me fucking insane.
as for sam and john and whether or not sam forgives him, i’m actually glad you asked because this has been driving me nuts for a long time and it took me SO LONG to pin it down - sam’s relationship with john is very different to dean’s, and i couldn’t figure out WHY. it’s not that he was “abused less,” it’s not that he loved john less or was less hurt by his actions, so why doesn’t he seem as INVESTED in everything that happened to them as kids? like he says in season 14 he had to learn to let it go and that it was all a lifetime ago for him. meanwhile i think dean still deals with it every day. he’s still stewing in it to some degree 24/7. so like what’s the difference??
i think it comes down to two things. firstly, that while dean didn’t have anybody parenting him except john (and mary, but only for a very short time that he could actually remember), SAM’S parents were john AND DEAN. most of the time dean was the one raising sam, and in fact he arguably did way more parenting of sam than john did. so the person that made dean feel safe and like he could fight back against monsters, the person he was grateful to, was john. but the person who made SAM feel safest was dean. he doesn’t have that same gratitude towards john that dean does and he never will, because of how john made him feel alienated and excluded from their family growing up. dean’s resentment of john is so tangled up in this very deep and unconditional love and gratitude for him that sam just doesn’t have. 
secondly, i think dean has a serious case of “i can fix him” re: john that sam doesn’t have and possibly never had. john just never showed sam the same kind of inclusion and warmth and trust that he showed dean (however rarely he showed it, and however fucked up it was). i think sam figured out very very early on that their quest for yellow eyes was either a long shot or straight up impossible, and that they couldn’t waste their entire lives doing it, and that even if the demon died, john was never going to change. dean 100% drank the koolaid - he really truly believed in a world where someday they’d kill the demon and all retire from the life and be normal and be a family again, because that’s what john said and dean took his father’s word as gospel. sam knew better.
so i think what sam did was just disengage. partially because he felt he couldn’t afford to nurse that kind of anger and not become either his father or lucifer, and partially because even though sam loved john, still loves john, he never needed him the way dean did, because sam had dean. so it doesn’t hurt him as much to just “gray rock” it. i think if sam stopped and really dug into it he’d find that he’s still quite angry (probably more angry on dean’s behalf than his own, at least at first, because in his mind he was able to move past it and dean was not, dean had it worse, HIS OWN trauma isn’t real etc etc), but he doesn’t do that because he doesn’t want to be that angry, and possibly even thinks that if he brought it up dean would jump to john’s defense and it would cause a fight, which the opposite of what a gray rock does.
as for being forced to forgive john because if he didn’t he would also have to condemn dean...i don’t think i buy that at all. sam is fine making dean his exception and he allows dean to get away with a lot of deeply horrible shit he would condemn other people for. partially because he’s dean and sam loves him, but in my ~personal reading~ of sam, this is also because once sam became an adult the weight of everything dean did and had to give up to raise him really sank in, and part of him felt guilty (even though sam arguably didn’t have a childhood either). you know how kids take care of their parents in old age to repay them for raising them? that’s sort of how sam is with dean in later seasons - he implies multiple times that he would leave the hunting life forever and not look back if it weren’t for dean.
and as a side note - sorry, this is only tangentially related - dean implies several times in later seasons that the job is where he finds his sense of accomplishment and self-esteem and meaning - he believes the world is a better place because of what he and sam do, and even though he doesn’t always like DOING the job, he likes the outcome. it’s weird because this is as close as we see dean get to even HAVING self esteem. sam, emotionally intelligent, would have picked up on that - and since he and dean have both tried to leave the life multiple times and have always come to regret it, i also think part of sam believes you CAN’T escape - certainly SAM could never escape so long as dean was still in it, because whether he meant to or not dean would always pull him back in. and part of dean doesn’t really want to escape because he’s made his peace with it. so sam stays, and i think even if he can’t find the same meaning in the job that dean does, he finds a lot of meaning in being there for dean. (this, like gray rocking, is also consistent with the seasons where sam’s sole character trait is caring about dean lol. but i’m happy enough to read it in a kinder and less bitter/resentful way.)
it IS worth noting i think that the most forgiving sam ever was about john was in the adam episode, where he said he understood why he was the way he was and why he did what he did, and when dean said they were alike sam decided to take it as a compliment. sam in season 4 is arguably at one of his lowest points - struggling with addiction, consumed by anger and hatred and the need for revenge. he WAS like john in many ways, and i think he justified what john was doing because it also justified what HE was doing. but what he was doing led to breaking lucifer out of hell and the apocalypse that followed, which is why i like to think sam worked so hard to reign in his anger afterward - both to avoid his fate and avoid becoming his father.
in short: i don’t think sam has actually forgiven john so much as disengaged from him and moved past it. because if he DID engage with it, it’d bring up a whole lot of stuff he didn’t feel prepared to deal with. one of the risks of gray rocking things is doing it to the point that you lose touch with your own wants and needs and personality, so i think by late seasons sam’s repression, which is much more sneaky and quiet than dean’s, has settled in to the point where he’s like “yeah whatever” about dad out of sheer self preservation - because otherwise, he’d end up going crazy about it like dean does. i think it’d do him a hell of a lot of good to be able to get to shout at john and finally say his piece/ he’s really afraid of his own anger, but i think it’d be healthy for him to get back in touch with some of it.
[spn masterpost]
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