I once read “home is where I feel empty on a Sunday”. God knows, I’ve had my fair share of those. I can’t remember where I saw it and a google search does me no good, but I know it is not mine (although it feels as if it were).
What’s the other saying? Home is where the heart is? This seems true as well, though I’m not sure how to place it alongside the emptiness.
Home is an odd kind of concept. Not the same as a house, space, apartment. Instead, it borders on something between an idea and a feeling— fixing itself into the cracks of people, places, moments.
A hermit crab carries its home on its back. Where do I carry mine?
Before, home was always wherever those I love were. Faculty parties my mom would take me to and rivers to drink coffee next to with my best friend. Museums you leave your heart behind in and 24-hour diners at 4am with your roommates. Wherever a hand is held, a laugh is heard, a smile is born.
It is different now. My apartment cannot ring with the shouting of those who come visit, my bed cannot be shared with friends who giggle into the early hours. There are no parties, no dinners, no hugs or high fives or cheeks pressed against another’s.
We make do as best we can, enjoying the company of those we live with to the fullest but it’s never quite the same. I try to become more familiar with my space— the spots and corners in which I am supposed to discover some grand truth. I spend 10 minutes a day looking in the mirror, hoping I will become something worth looking at. Instead, I feel as if I am wasting away, saturating the room with my aimlessness. What is the point, without other people?
Days become hours become weeks. My entire life is contained to my bed— my classes, my entertainment, the ghost of friends I used to hug— all stuck between my pillows and an old laptop. I now know every creak in the floor, can map out every spot on the ceiling. Still, this is only home when I make it to the living room, rest my head on my roommate’s shoulder and ask her about her day.
I think home is where the heart is, just as much as it is where you feel empty on a Sunday. I suppose home is where you have the comfort to feel that emptiness, the comfort to feel that love. I carry my home in my hands, placing it wherever I’d like. Today, it’ll be in the crook of my best friend’s neck and tomorrow? Well, tomorrow is Sunday.
Home - Isabel Larrea-Clark, from The Virtual Reality Storybook
I cannot even express just how moved I was painting these two! All my headcanons involve them making peace and working through all the grievances. Thank you so much for the opportunity to put this on canvas :D
And here they are, in the print! 956 pages of absolutely amazing fanfiction. After two months of working on typesetting this bad boy, I am thrilled with how they came out. If anyone wants the files to print their own copies, you can find them here.
Shout out again to @jeeperscreepersnatural for the copy editing and @cas-owns-my-ass for the lovely artwork! We did good, besties.
Hey! I'm so excited to say that Bec @chocolatecakecas and I are going to host a group read of To Build a Home in June!
If this fic has been on your "to read" list, hanging out in your "marked for later," or a favorite you'd like to experience again, here's your chance to read it with a group, so we can all be going through it together!
We know a factor for a lot of people here is the word count, which is why we decided it would be best as a month-long event. We will be reading around 20 chapters each week, totaling in at just under 100k a week.
We've made a discord server for the event, feel free to join early and get acquainted with the chats!
Feel free to share this message or tag anyone who might be interested in the notes! Looking forward to re-reading this amazing fic with all of you!
something so personal about writing desi james potter... it's so important to me he speaks hindi and wears kurtas and celebrates diwali and puts mehndi on sirius and eats food that is way too spicy and just.. *dies*
“If jimmy came back from the dead, what do you think he’d say when he finds out Dean and cas are together and have kids”
(i was asked this on twitter and shared there. but i know not all of you follow me there i thought i’d share on here too. this is how i answered)
sorry this one took a while to answer. i wanted time to think about it because i never even considered the thought before. a lot of people say to me "imagine if jimmy had never died in tbah" and kind of miss the point of the fic. like yeah, it’d be great. it’d be great if none of the people we loved had died. yeah, “imagine if jimmy had never died” misses the point - but this question doesn't. and i think it's what a lot of bereaved people wish for, anyway. just a chance to say everything, one last time.
where to start.
i think if jimmy came back for a day (and the thought makes me cry)... he'd knock on the door of the big white house. or they'd just find him sitting in his old armchair in the living room like nothing had happened at all. but something has happened, something massive and irreversible, so maybe him knocking on the door would fit better.
jack's probably the one to open it. he frowns and thinks he recognises the face smiling back at him, but it's older than he's ever seen it, and he's not so good with faces, so he's not sure. jimmy smiles and says hello, does castiel still live here?
and jack says “yes, why?”. jimmy still smiles. his smile is wider, warmer now. he says he's travelled very far. he says he's an old family friend. could he come in? it’s raining outside. it’s raining - and though jimmy stands under the porch, it’d be mean to leave him out in it. jack pulls open the door and says if jimmy is selling anything, they probably wont need it: they have everything they need in this house. jimmy smiles and says he's glad. he treads slowly down the hall, looking around him, like he's trying to savor it. he runs his finger along the crack in the mirror that has always been there, at least since jack arrived. he smiles to himself, but it’s a little sad.
he stops at a photo of dean and castiel playing on the tire swing they made when they were kids. his eyes pinch at their corners. jack says, “what are you smiling at?” jimmy says, i was there when that was taken. jack says “oh. that's my father”. and he points to castiel. jimmy turns to jack and smiles so wide tears wring out of his eyes. he asks, really? jack frowns and says “of course”. why would he lie about that? jimmy says, i hope he doesn't miss his own dad too much. jack says “sometimes he and dean get sad about it”. jimmy pauses. castiel and dean are friends? he asks. jack nods seriously. “best friends,” he answers. “everyone knows that.” jimmy takes a gentle hold of jack's shoulder and squeezes.
jack says “that's how dean squeezes my shoulder, too”. jimmy asks, you see him often? he asks it with a hopeful smile. jack nods with a frown, very serious. jimmy laughs and says, you know, you frown just like your father. funny thing, family resemblance. jack shrugs and says “maybe, but i was adopted”.
jimmy falters. he blinks. he glances down the corridor again, and his eyes light on a different picture, taken decades after the one on the tire swing. he treads slowly towards it. jack follows after him, speaking. “i just think,” he frowns, and it's still castiel's frown, “if you really were close family friends with castiel, you'd know he adopted his children.”
jimmy has stopped in front of the photograph and he stares at it, lips parted in a ghost-smile. family, friend. family, and a friend, jimmy corrects. that’s what i meant. i’m old family, and an old friend. jack watches him. “that's them on their wedding day,” he supplies. jimmy smiles. soft tears, tears like a gentle autumn rain, are on his cheeks, now. yes, he says, it is. a little late, considering, but maybe... he trails off. timed perfectly. a heavy footfall sounds on the stairs, a thunder to match the rain outside, and claire calls to jack, “dude, you said you'd get me a snack! it’s not rocket science! what’s the holdup?” but she stops short at the sight of the old man in the hall. claire's better with faces than jack.
hello, jimmy smiles, but claire is already yelling for her dads.
it's a sunday afternoon. dean hadn't planned on being awake and active. he’d been napping while cas did a grocery run. but claire screaming to high heaven is a surefire way to set elanor into confusion. he groans and rolls out of bed, rubbing his eyes. he picks elanor up and carries her down the stairs in one arm. “claire,” he grumbles, “you know cas is out fuelling your damn addiction to lucky charms. what is it?”
he stops short at the foot of the stairs. his mouth is open and his eyes are glassy. elanor keeps asking “daddy are you okay? who’s that man?” and it takes dean a minute to stop staring before softly putting elanor down and telling her to go get her brother, jacob. “tell him there’s food in the kitchen, or something,” dean says, and jimmy hasn’t stopped staring or smiling warmly at him and his eyes are leaking autumn rain. “but there isn’t,” elanor says, and dean answers “so lie. there’s someone i—” but he can’t finish the sentence. and elanor shakes her head with serious disapproval and climbs back up the stairs.
dean steps toward him, trying to stammer out his name, but the tears strangle his voice and before he knows it he’s wrapped tight in jimmy’s arms, taller than him by far, now, but feeling eighteen again. feeling eighteen again and like he’s just finished yelling at jimmy that he doesn’t need a father, never needed a father, that he coped just fine without one, anyway. all of those things were lies when dean said them. he wants to say they were lies, wants to tell jimmy now that he needed a father, always needed a father, didn’t cope without one but that also, when he needed one most, jimmy was his father. he wants to say thank you. thank you, thank you, thank you for everything and sorry for every angry answer and scowl and bitter lie, please know dean didn’t mean them, he was just hurt and afraid. but jimmy already knows this. knew that, even then, and besides, the words won’t come. he just holds onto jimmy tight and thinks he probably did fall asleep in his bed and this is another one of those grief dreams, another one of those grief dreams that’s gonna throw him off for weeks but one he wants to savor forever.
he’s soaking jimmy’s shirt with tears. the guy smells like his old cologne. and blueberry pancakes. dean cries a little harder, afraid to let go.
“are you proud of me?”
it’s the first thing he’s managed to say to the old man. “are you proud of me?” he keeps asking, over and over again, and jimmy holds him tight and answers yes, yes, every time. yes.
and then cas comes home. cas comes home dripping from the rain from the walk to the front door and drops the damp brown paper bags onto the floor and apples roll onto the floor and he’s staring at his father and can’t speak, just like dean couldn’t speak, and can’t breathe. and jimmy is sat at the kitchen table with his grandchildren just like castiel mourned he would never be able to, and jacob is showing jimmy one of his paintings and elanor is holding his hand and claire has just made him a cup of tea, and jimmy smiles at castiel. “i see you got my last letter,” he says. and castiel steps into the kitchen and sobs that he’s sorry he never got to reply. and jimmy says that he’s sorry, too. cas shows him the little saplings they all planted for tu b'shevat, standing in a line on the windowsill. jimmy loved growing things. and cas asks how long jimmy has with them. when he’s going… back. to wherever ‘there’ is.
and jimmy says he has until the rain stops. and castiel wishes it would rain forever, that all of kansas would be blanketed in it, a second flood, torrenting about the land, and them in their own ark, the big white house, bobbing about on the water, sharing food and stories and laughter and lost time, stolen time, time which was stolen from them. aren’t his and dean’s tears a substitute enough for rain when it stops, anyway? their tears are sure as rain in autumn, and not likely to ease soon. he wishes the rain would never stop.
but it has to, eventually. all things do. no matter how blessed.
Hi everyone!!! I am so excited to announce that Miranda @smokerdean and I are going to host a group read of To Build a Home by intothesilentland in June!!!
So if you've had this fic on your "to read list", have it currently sitting in an open ao3 tab, or have been trying to find the right time to reread it all over again, this is your chance to read it with a group, so we can all scream about it together!!!
Now, we know that for a lot of people the word/chapter count can be a little intimidating, so we decided to make it a month long event! We'll read around 20 chapters a week, which only adds up to a little under 100k per week (they're short chapters!)
Here's the link to our discord server!!! Please feel free to join early and get a feel for all of the chats!
Also please don't hesitate to reblog, share or tag anyone who might be interested in the notes! We are so excited to read this incredible fic with you all, hope to see you soon!!!💛
After a few moths of working on it, the typeset of To Build A Home by intothesilentland is complete! It has been a labor of love, and a collaborative effort. Copy editing by @jeeperscreepersnatural, artwork by @cas-owns-my-ass, and typesetting by yours truly.
It’s split into two volumes, and comes in just shy of 1000 pages. If you’ve never read this fic before, I highly recommend reading it. It’s beautiful, emotional, and evocative.
If you want to get a print copy of the fic, you can find all the necessary documents in my google drive. I included instructions on how to print from Lulu.com in the google drive.
“Marriage is for a man and a woman—a boy and a girl, Dean. Not two boys, not two girls. Can you imagine having two mothers? There’d be no balance, would there? You need one daddy, one mommy. They’re like pieces in a puzzle. They fit together. You only put the pieces that fit together, together. Right?”
“Right,”Dean nods slowly. That makes sense, too. So why do his insides feel so horrible? And why does he feel like crying?
“If men were supposed to marry other men, then what would be the point of women? Don’t you see? It’d be silly. Men and women were made to fall in love, and marry each other. Does that make sense?”
Dean frowns, swallows, then finds himself bursting into tears.
“I don’t understand,”He gasps out between tears, “I love Cas.”
John’s jaw clenches.
“Dean, I’m going to give you some time alone in your room to cool off. You don’t love Castiel. Not the way mommy and daddy love each other, not the way Castiel’s mommy and daddy loved each other. You like Castiel, because he’s your friend. It’s as simple as that—and maybe people are gonna tell you that it’s not, that’s it’s not just that, but they’re wrong, and what they’re trying to tell you is wrong. Men marrying men doesn’t make any sense. That’s wrong. Men marrying women—that makes sense. That’s right. That’s the right thing to do, the right way to do things. Do you understand, now?”
Hate John Winchester even in To Build a Home check ☑
Do we have homophobia? No? Not even a little bit?
Poor Dean.... He just wanted to marry Cas, his best friend.
Listen. There are some things that have just been permanently ruined for me because of destiel fanfiction ok.
Like Elvis??????? Shit what do you want me to think of if not "I can dig Elvis" and the pure TRAUMA inflicted upon myself when I read THAT. Or like the Scarecrow Outstanding In His Field joke????? The joke simply only exists alongside that fic in my brain now, along with this line: “'Outstanding in his field,' Castiel recites, along with everyone else who has heard the joke before, but Dean's eyes are only on Castiel." Billy Joel's Only the good die young exists only as a metaphor for Dean and Cas' relationship à la sobsicles. Phone sex hotlines? Oh you mean that place that Dean and Cas 4lw met? FUCKING LA VIE EN ROSE?????? THE LITERAL CONCEPT OF RAIN??????? BOTH RUINED BY TBAH. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I DON'T REGRET A THING. READ EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE FICS RN
ALRIGHT FOLKS! it is officially June first for me, so I'm glad to let you all know this week's reading is chapters 1-16 of To Build a Home - once again, I am inviting you to join the discord for this event if you haven't already!