This year I found a lot of new writers (new to me!) whose work I look forward to reading. Also, in an attempt to be more active in the fandom this past year (as opposed to just writing and posting my fics), I joined the spn_darkside and spn_writing comms. Both highly recommended!
Man of Steel by glovered (Sam/Dean, PG-13)
Dean has an epiphany while Sam's having his hair cut. Things go downhill from there. This is a delightfully in-character pining!Dean POV fic that ends happily since of course Sam's pining too. Loved this so much!
ART: All The Way Home I'll Be Warm by dollarformyname (Sam/Dean, R)
Gorgeous post-hunt Sam/Dean snowed-in in the Impala, complete with snuggles and bruises and sleepy!Dean! This was another wonderful Christmas gift in a year that really, really needed it.
Downhill by Lochinvar (Sam/Dean, PG-13)
A short tour de force of the boys' relationship, beginning at the moment in a public library when Sam is 14 and Dean is 18 that they realize they're in love. The metaphors for teenage hormones are wonderful and geographic, mirroring the boys' travels and the violence of their lives, and the slow burn resolution is well-written and definitely well-earned. Lovely.
Home for Christmas by paperbackwriter. (J2, NC-17)
Summary: Jensen can't sleep, and he can't stop running. Then he finds himself in a town called Christmas one snowy winter's night... There's so much hope for the two broken men in this miracle of a Christmas story, set in a town called Christmas, no less, that I wish I could bottle it and hand it out at every homeless shelter and truck-stop bar in America. Just awesome. Read it!
Do Androids Dream? by cherie_morte (Sam/Dean, NC-17) Blade Runner with Sam and Dean in the starring roles! Rendered beautifully with art! 'Nuff said.
No Takebacks by rivkat (Sam/Dean, NC-17)
Amnesia fic with a twist. Maybe Dean lost his memories on purpose. If that's true, how can Sam in good conscience force him to get them back? I gotta say, this one hooked me hard. It's my favorite trope, for one thing. Then the whole consent issue. I'll probably re-read this one a lot!
A Song of the Treadmill by tabaqui (Sam/Dean, NC-17)
Summary: Sam travels through alternate realities, saving Dean over and over again, until suddenly he stops in a universe where his brother doesn't even know him. I love discovering a "new" author (new to me!) whose work I just know I will love after reading just one story. This story is long (almost 46K plus a sequel) and what I loved most about it was the way the brothers gradually get to know each other, in this dark post-apocalyptic universe where everything's winding down. Dean learning to trust Sam and their eventual love isn't easily won but it's very satisfying. Love at the end of the world definitely seems to be a theme of mine in 2016, and this story definitely fits the bill!
Just Breathe by indiachick (Smith/Wesson AU, Sam/Dean, PG-13)
A lovely, sad ghost story that definitely haunts you long after you read it. Lovelorn characters missing each other and replacing their missing partners with substitute look-alikes or alternate versions of their true loves will always be a favorite trope of mine, and indiachick really does it well with this story.
New Day, New Dawn by sylsdarkplace (J2, NC-17)
Another end-of-the-world post-apocalypse story, about love changing and growing in the face of loss and tragedy. Really lovely.
491 by steeplechasers (Gen, PG-13)
Written for summergen for the prompt: "Dean's favorite highway, and Sam's favorite ghost." Really good, atmospheric ghost-stories are always appreciated by this reader, and this is one of the best I've read.
Against the Current by frozen_delight (Gen, PG-13)
Awesome case-fic in which Dean loses his memories while doing research in the bunker. My comment: Really enjoyed this. Dean having a whole new reason to feel inadequate...guh! And his instincts, his natural ability to come up with a theory that impresses his brainy brother...so Dean! Dean being Dean even when he isn't is kinda painful, isn't it? And that scene in the bar...Dean needing to get back to Sam without even remembering why Sam is so important to him just killed me.
Tabula Rasa by cherie_morte (Sam/Dean, NC-17)
Sam and Dean find themselves alone in the Empty after the end of everything.Then they start over. This story is glorious and original (in the biblical sense) and so, so good. Read it!
Vertigo by n_nami (J2, R)
Written for the 2014 spn_j2_bigbang and recently recommended in the Friending Meme on LJ
This was just rec'd to me yesterday (August 6, 2016) and I'm SO GLAD I read it! The premise is awesome -- time travel and alternate dimensions are some of my favorite tropes and the author managed this amazing idea of second chances with such skill and pathos! I love both characters, enjoying particularly the way Jensen initiated in the first timeline while Jared was the initiator in the second...so fun to see how the other one reacts to the sudden realization that his best friend has been in love with him! Then the wives coming around to loving them despite the heartbreak J2 cause...And the final reveal! Good grief I did not see that coming! I won't give it away here, but it definitely surprised me.
Dust & Shadow by Portrait_of_a_Fool (Sam/Dean, R)
Written for the 2013 spn_j2_bigbang, so I'm a little late finding and reading it - oops!
Wow. I just picked myself up off the floor after sobbing for an hour straight because this story is just that traumatizing, but don't let that keep you from reading it because it's so, so good! It's a non-supernatural AU set in a post-pandemic apocalyptic world, but it's really an epic family saga, taking the Winchesters through their entire lives and ending the only way it could, really, given the time they lived in. I think the thing that hit me hardest (after I finally stopped sobbing) was how they had really made something so good out of their lives. They'd saved some people (all those who might have become infected if they didn't do what they did) and they lived a full life together, even in the worst of times. That's what's so moving. This isn't a story about death and sadness so much as a story about life and love in the midst of so much loss. It's a truly timeless tale that leaves you with a sense of hope at the end, even through the tears. Highly recommended.
Cri de Coeur (The Heart's Cry) by kelleigh (Sam/Dean, NC-17)
This is a fantastic family casefic with all the allure of a gothic romance. Sam and Dean have been in North Carolina before, and they obviously shared an intimate encounter that left them both with fond memories. Returning to the scene of those intimacies raises serious feelings for Dean, feelings he's had off-and-on over the years since he collected Sam from Stanford, but never acted on. I love the way the sexual tension builds slowly but surely in this wonderful, atmospheric ghost story, in which the ghosts of the Campbell family meld with the ghosts of Sam's and Dean's past selves. Just gorgeous!
Gentle Flesh by steeplechasers (Sam/Soulless-Sam, R)
Sam's soul and his body are two separate characters in this story, and when they meet one night in a motel and discuss the merits of reuniting, the results of their conversation and the decision they make are absolutely fascinating. Warning: the ending is a shocker! This is definitely a story I will read and re-read.
The Persistence of Memory by blackrabbit42 [J2, PG]
Jared is a boy everybody instantly forgets. Jensen is the only boy who remembers him. This is an amazing, wonderful, hopeful story about the transformative power of art, about loneliness and finding a way to connect against all odds, about two boys who find each other and fall in love despite some really unusual obstacles. Jared's and Jensen's disabilities are so skillfully written as to feel magical but also real (so, magical realism!) and at the same time their disabilities act as a means by which these two communicate and reveal or redeem/save each other. This is a story I will read and re-read for many years to come because it's really that timeless, and that important. Better than 95% of the published YA fiction out there, folks, and definitely every bit as good as John Green or David Levithan. Highly recommended by your friendly neighborhood YA librarian :)
The Hoard by dimeliora (Sam/Dean, NC-17)
Sam and Dean are dragons! They take human form to fuck and drive around in the Impala and save the world, but dragons! Sam doesn't like Dean's hoard, but when tragedy strikes, Sam gets an education and learns to appreciate Dean's heart...er, hoard. This is seriously wonderful, often funny, definitely unexpected, and all-around fantastic story-telling. I'm so delighted to have found yet another fic-writer whose work I love, love, love!
The Road Before Them by lavishsqualor - written for me! for the 2016 spnspringfling (Sam/Dean, NC-17)
Post-Stanford reunion sex in the Impala in the rain! Desperate, atmospheric, claustrophobic, needy-and-demanding Sammy, always-do-anything-for-you Dean. Just pitch perfect and so hot!
To Have and To Hold by hybridshade(J2, NC-17)
Jared is obsessed with Jensen's hands. This story simply sizzles off the page!
Reckless, Pretty and Wild by rikyu. (J2, NC-17) Summary: Jensen's been deeply undercover before, but he's never been quite this deep. So well-written it's scary! Dangerous boys beating the bad guys, the good guys, and everybody in-between is pretty much my jam. Great story-telling!
That's it for now -- my New Year's resolution is to keep better track of what I read (bookmarking and emailing links to myself doesn't work!) and post regular updates here on LJ, if only to create a record for myself of my fannish activities, because it's THAT IMPORTANT!
Okay, I'm done now.