Massa Carnis by ameliacareful
Summary: Dean Winchester had three things from his father. The first one was a car. The second was a leather jacket that was too broad in the shoulders. The third was a slave.
My Take: At over 57K, this WIP is one of the best things I read in 2017. It’s a slave AU in which the Winchesters were raised separately and must learn to be brothers while dealing with some unbrotherly feelings, against the backdrop of a society in which slavery is systematized and “normal.” The story follows the familiar hunts from Season 1 but with a twist. This is a really fascinating take on the brothers and their relationship. The author promises the story is done, just posting slowly, mirroring the slow burn of the boys’ growing attraction. Highly recommended!
The palest sound by dollylux
Summary: John, Dean, and Sam stay overnight in an abandoned Victorian house for a case.
Gorgeous and sad. The author provides a lovely photo prompt that sets the tone for this beautiful ghost story, full of abandoned trollies and Victorian houses. The images of empty clothes clinging to each other will stay with me for a long time. And Sam lying down at Dean's feet, curling himself around his legs (such a literal puppy.) I'm sitting here in a snowstorm (a real one) and getting chills reading this story. What a perfect winter ghost tale!
Memory Mark by tifaching
Summary: When Sam's on a mission, nothing gets in his way.
I really loved this. The author totally nails the complexity and maturity of the Winchesters’ long-term relationship. Dean reflecting on how young they were in the photographs was really moving. He needs to prove to himself that Sam could be happy with him, if only in the past. Sam possessively conquering Dean's fears, or trying to, with all the determination and stubbornness of a Winchester, reminding Dean who he belongs to and how committed Sam is -- this is pretty damn perfect, in my book. Definitely a re-read!
Coffeehouse ft. Alternate Universe>/a> by indiachick
Summary: Sam and Dean do some world-hopping to find the strange alternate world the Nephilim created. But they’re at the mercy of something they would never have predicted: their own pasts.
I love this so much! All the alternatives, especially the really creepy ones (Sam and Dean as serial killers! Sam as the Darkness!) and kind of sort of deciding they're okay where they are, despite all the tragedy and failure. Just really, really good. Sam's contemplation of what's real if every molecule is a perfect copy really sounds like him -- all that over-thinking! Great premise, great story. And fanfiction coffee houses! Lol!
A Shadow of What Should be by wetsammy
Summary: Sam wakes up in a strange bed, a strange apartment, and living in domestic bliss with Dean and a dog named Mothra. Obviously, either he's lost his mind or all of this is a dream.
I seem to need to read and write a lot of Stanford-era fic this year, but this one is exceptional. All the love for this twist on “What Is And What Should Never Be”!
Outside Kansas City by wetsammy
Summary: Maybe the witch wanted to delay them. Maybe she thought it would be funny - the thought of two FBI agents climbing each other at the side of this dusty road outside Kansas City.
I love this hex-bag-made-them-do-it story. It’s funny and sexy makes me wish yet again that our show was on HBO, because this would make a fantastic r-rated episode. Just saying!
New Day, New Dawn by sylsdarkplace
Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world, women are dying and two old friends find in each other a possible future that neither of them would ever have considered before the end of the world.
This story was written and posted in 2013, but it was new to me this year and I’m so glad I found it. It’s a lovely story of hope and renewal at the end of everything, and I guess that’s the whole point, isn't it?