First off, angstslashhope wrote an unbelievably brilliant and beautiful remix of my story "Lacuna", which must have been a bitch and half, but she's kind enough to say she had fun writing "Negative Space" (see, even the title is clever!). Honestly, I cannot say enough in praise of this story; please, please read it. You will be blown away.
Next up, my own fic. I remixed meredevachon's gorgeous and heartbreaking story
"Wayward Son," a first-season AU. I wanted to change not only POV (she did Sam, I did Dean) but also the style. Her story is written in a very natural, flowing style; I tried to make mine as stylized as possible, with lots of circling back, repetition with variations, and uncharacteristic terseness. I hope it worked. One of the things she left ambiguous in the original story was whether Dean knew of John's plan; my version makes it clear that he did, but that ambiguity is one of the strengths of her tale. Anyway, here is my very short remix fic - Dean just didn't feel like he needed to say very much. "But Surely" (PG, gen, character death) - my thanks to janissa11 and monkiedude for giving it the thumbs-up.
The truth of it is that Sammy doesn't need him anymore. His kisses haven't healed boo-boos since Sam was six and started first grade; his presence hasn't provided protection since Sam was fifteen and shot up six sudden inches. No, what Sam needs now is to forgive himself for making a target out of Jessica, and that'll only be possible when the Demon is dead.
The truth of it is that Dad doesn't need him anymore. After a campaign's over, the guys usually go their separate ways, and this one's nearly done. Dad loves the fight, but he gave it up once before, for fatherhood and suburbia. The Demon's death will act as Dad's second Honorable Discharge, and he'll be free to be the kind of father to Sam he's always meant to be.
It's okay. More than okay. He knows they love him.
Love and need aren't the same thing, not at all. They love him. They need to kill the Demon. He can do this.
The way he sees it, he's like duct tape. A workable solution for something broken, but a temporary fix at best. Dad got the three of them started on this quest, and he has a hunch Sam will be the one to finish it, but it's been up to him to get them here, to a place where they can all work together. It's been his responsibility to keep this family safe and whole, and judging from the way Dad had lounged and reminisced in the firelight at the steakhouse last night, the way Sammy's dimples had bought them a free round of pie and coffee from their waitress, he's succeeded.
The way he sees it, he's like a puzzle piece, surrounded by hundreds of shapes that mean Dad and hundreds that mean Sam. Lift him out of there, and the puzzle might not be complete, but the picture will still make sense.
He's been living on borrowed time since Roy LeGrange laid hands on him. He's just coming full circle now, death after life after death after life.
It's a straight trade, him for the Demon. More than that, it's strategically sound. He can do this.
He thinks of her. Every time he turns the pages of the journal, every time he steps between a monster and an innocent. He lives his life in her name.
He thinks of her. Whenever he sees his father's wedding ring, whenever Sam wears his crooked smile. He cherishes the people she loved most.
He knows he's only been a substitute for her, but he hopes intentions count for something, that she can see into his heart.
He'll know soon enough.
He nods as his father readies the dagger.
He smiles as the blade in Dad's hand slashes down.
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.