renrenren3: (SPN * not drunk enough)
[personal profile] renrenren3
For [livejournal.com profile] denija, who asked me about Accidental Superheroes (SPN, high school AU, vague Dean/Cas, PG, ~1,400 words). I apologize in advance for the last paragraph, I just have... a lot to say about this story.

The fic without commentary is here.

As it says in the notes, the fic is based on this picture of Dean in a Batman shirt and Cas in a Superman shirt that I saw on Tumblr one night. I just saw the picture and thought that it needed a story to go with it, which happens often, but in this case I actually opened Word and started writing. I stayed up until 3am to finish it so there's probably typos and stuff that I never caught.

Pontiac, Illinois, isn't exactly a thriving metropolis but Dean thinks he can live with it. It's not the worst place ever, and compared to their last place this motel is paradise. He would have lost track of how many times they moved this semester if it wasn't for Sammy repeating it every morning at breakfast.

Pontiac, Illinois, is of course Jimmy Novak's hometown. See, I do my research even for stupid and cracky high school AUs.

("Four times already and it's only November, and I liked it back in Columbus, I was going to get extra credit for my project on the solar system. Now I'm stuck with doing geology, again."

"Eat your cereals, Sammy, nobody cares about the solar system.")

I had written a whole page of Dean and Sam having breakfast and talking about having to change school again. Then I remembered that this wasn't the point of the fic. I have this thing where I want to build my AUs with way too many details, so then people lose interest before I get around to the plot. When I realized, I deleted everything apart from this snippet and started again.

The best part is that he arrived right during tryouts for football and he somehow managed to get on the team. The school's team is rubbish and hardly won a match last year, Dean never played before and he can barely remember all of the rules, but the cheerleaders are hot and anyway it's not as if they'll stay here for more than a week. Just enough for dad to track down a vengeful spirit and for Dean to score with a cheerleader.

tl;dr I DON'T KNOW HOW AMERICAN FOOTBALL WORKS, I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF THIS IS REALISTIC, I DON'T REALLY CARE. I wanted Dean to be on the football team because the comments on the picture said something about Dean being on the football team while Cas was the nerdy outcast. Or something like that.

Dean thinks that Sam's life would be so, so much easier if he cared less about the solar system and more about cheerleaders.

("There aren't cheerleaders in middle school, Dean," Sammy says, and he's got a look like he's not going to ever care for cheerleaders anyway because they're not nerdy enough or something, which is blasphemy in Dean's eyes because, dude, miniskirts! But for the sake of his kid brother Dean decides to drop the subject for the time being.)

I like writing from Dean's POV because I get to say "dude" in the narration. And also because idk whose POV I could use if not Dean's... Castiel is weird and I'm not sure I've got his thought process down. Sam is boring. Don't kill me if you like Sam.

The downside of being on the football team is that Dean has to do stupid stuff like go to football practice. He's never mastered the subtle art of actually showing up for classes in time, or at all, but Coach Andrews is a sadistic bastard and threatened to kick Dean off the team if he was late again. Dean is so not letting a week of wearing tight pants and running laps go to waste, not when he's that close to getting past first base with Anna the head cheerleader.

I have no idea where I got the name Andrews from. Usually I don't make up OCs if I can use the name of someone from canon, but I got lazy here. However, Anna is of course Anna the angel. There's a whole backstory about her being Cas's older sister, but that would have required me to write something ten times longer.

So Dean is running through the corridors with his gym bag one rainy Thursday afternoon, and the last thing he wants to see when he turns the corner is three other guys on the team surrounding a shorter boy in a ridiculously oversized trench coat.

This paragraph was a pain to write. I couldn't decide how I wanted this scene to go. At first I had Dean run into one of the bullies as he turned a corner, prompting them to turn against him, but then I thought it'd be better if Dean actively decided that he wanted to help Cas even though it wasn't his problem.

Considering that it was just a one-shot I wrote in a night, I went through a lot of rewrites.


That's not true actually, there's other things that would be much, much worse, like ghosts or poltergeists, but staying in the realm of the non-supernatural, this is pretty bad. Because Dean is late and he doesn't want to get involved in someone else's fight, but this kid is small and scrawny and seriously looks as if he's about to cry. And, come on, didn't anyone teach these bullies not to pick on the small and scrawny?

Here I had to make a decision, and in the end I went with: yes, supernatural beings still exist in this AU, John Winchester is still a hunter, etc. Angels don't exist, though.

He's still debating the merits of walking past without getting involved when the kid turns to look at him. Dean is pretty sure that the kid's lower lip is quivering. And, damn his bad judgment and sudden growth of a conscience, Dean Winchester can't just ignore small scrawny kids with oversized trench coats and quivering lips. He steps in front of the bullies before his brain has quite decided what he's going to do next.

So I turned Cas into a woobie. I regret nothing. I like overprotective!Dean.

"What's going on?" he says, staring at his teammates. "We're late for practice."

One of the bullies, a guy with a buzz cut who strongly reminds Dean of a gorilla, smirks. "Want to join in on the fun, new guy?" he asks.
"Come on," Dean says, giving gorilla guy what he hopes is a conciliatory grin. "Three against one? Where's the fun in that, he's half your size!"

Great, moar OCs with no basis in canon. In hindsight, I could have used the crazy vampire hunter that went dark side, or the hunter duo that chased Sam and Dean in the later seasons... Instead we have Gorilla Guy, who doesn't even have a name because I'm crap with names. I don't even know Castiel's last name.

The kid gives him a hopeful look but the three bullies laugh and crack their knuckles and Dean remembers he's never been that good at conciliation in the first place.

I'm rewatching SPN with my brother and sister, and they always joke that when Dean tries to use his power of persuasion, he always fails. It's true. Dean sucks at convincing people without using his fists.

"So what?" one of them says. "He's been asking for it, going around dressed like a freak and talking to himself..."

"It's my dad's coat," the kid says, and Dean is startled because he expected him to have a piping voice or something. His voice is not high-pitched at all, but it's hard to make out what he's saying because he speaks softly, as if he doesn't really want to be heard. Which is probably true, since his words are met with more laughter.

My backstory for this is that Cas comes from a large family... there's Gabe and Zach and the aforementioned Anna and a lot of others. Cas is the youngest and he gets a lot of second- and third-hand clothes, hence the "going around dressed like a freak" part. That day it was raining but Cas didn't have a jacket because he outgrew his old one and his dad forgot to buy him another, so his dad gave him the old trenchcoat. His dad is God in canon, so I thought in this AU he'd be absent. Not evil or anything, just... he's got a lot of kids and his wife died when Cas was little and he just doesn't have time. He's a preacher and does a lot of charity work and he doesn't realize that Cas is let mostly to himself and he's lonely.

Cas is a good boy and doesn't complain, though. He likes reading and loves super hero comics. He's got a collection of old comics that belonged to his brothers or to his father and when he's lonely because nobody will sit with him at lunchtime he reads a comic and makes all the different voices. Hence the "talking to himself". YES I HAVE A CRAPTON OF BACKSTORY SO WHAT.


"You see? He needs to be taught a lesson."

IHU BULLIES.

Before Dean can say anything, gorilla guy steps forward and shoves the scrawny kid, hard. He stumbles backwards and flails, trying to regain his balance without falling on his arse, trench coat sliding off his shoulders. This is apparently very funny for the bullies.

I never recall the difference between "ass" and "arse" and which is appropriate for which fandom. /important grammar niggles

"Look, he's wearing a Superman shirt," gorilla guy says, pointing, as if this fact is somehow hilarious. By now Dean has figured that he's the boss, probably because he's also the stupidest. "Why don't you jump into a telephone booth and transform? You can change in the toilets if you want, girls' bathrooms are right here."

One of the other guys clenches his fist and aims it at the kid, and that's when Dean drops his gym bag and twists the guy's other arm behind his back. The bully gives a pained yell and everyone turns toward him. "That's enough, guys," Dean says. "Leave him alone."

The reason why Dean's dad is still a hunter is this: so Dean can still kick ass.

The bullies stare at him with the usual disbelief of bullies who never had anyone stand up to them. At least, the two that don't have one shoulder threatening to dislodge from its socket stare at Dean. The other bully just whimpers. "What's this, some kind of lame superhero club?" gorilla guy asks. "Batman and Superman, is it?"

Dean gives him a puzzled look, then looks down and notices he's wearing his old Batman shirt today. It's more than a little faded and the hem is all frayed, but laundry for Dean has always been on a strict need-to basis and there is no need to do laundry if there is still a perfectly good Batman shirt in his duffel bag.

"So what, you got a problem with that?" Dean tells gorilla guy. He considers his chances of taking on all three bullies. Then he considers his chances of doing so and not getting his face beaten into a pulp that would ruin all of his chances with Anna. Then he wishes he really was a superhero, so he could have superpowers or gadgets or at least send a telepathic message to the scrawny kid and tell him to get the hell out of here while his tormentors are distracted.

Mostly, Castiel is still standing there because I got distracted by Dean's internal monologue and forgot about him. Lucky for me, Cas is one of the few characters who would just stand in the background and stare.

Because it looks if Dean is going to get beaten up for the sake of some kid not getting beaten up, he would like it if at least the kid managed to get away.

This sentence hurts my eyes a bit... "going to get beaten up for the sake of some kid not getting beaten up", wth brain.

He stares at the Superman kid and the kid stares back, and he just stands there looking in equal parts worried and dazed and grateful. Dean thinks that he does look a little alien, with his trench coat and his dark hair sticking up in all the wrong places and the bluest eyes he's ever seen, which is stupid since Dean is pretty sure Superman has black eyes.

It's not easy to write a whole fic without using Castiel's name even once, just saying. But I couldn't have Castiel introduce himself while he was about to get punched. It's also a tad unrealistic that Dean would notice Cas's eyes, but then again fanfic is supposed to be a bit unrealistic. And I do love my schmoop. Also did I mention it was 3am.

Then he realizes he's been thinking about Superman's eye color while two bullies are closing in on him, make that three bullies as soon as their friend breaks free from Dean's grip, and this is so not healthy.

"Get lost, Superman," Dean tells the kid.

The kid hovers in place for a moment and bites his lower lip. "Thank you," he says, his voice so low that he could as well just have mouthed the words. Then he (finally, thankfully) runs off down the corridor and disappears behind a corner.

Dean gives gorilla guy his best shit-eating grin and prepares to have seven kinds of shit beaten out of him.

I hate repeating the same word in the same sentence. In this instance I considered replacing the second "shit" with "crap", thought about non-scatological alternatives, looked at the time and decided that, whatever, it was time to go to bed.

He's saved, much to his surprise, by Coach Andrews' whistle coming from the courtyard. "Team!" Coach's voice booms. "I don't care if it rains, the last man on the field gets fifty laps. Get your asses here, right this moment!"

The coach that I mentioned once becomes the deus ex machina that saves Dean from a beating, and also saves me from having to write about the beating, because then I'd have to write about Cas tending to Dean, and then agshagshagshag;;

SELF, STOP PLOTTING THIS INSTANT. THE FIC IS OVER.


Grudgingly, two of the bullies step back, Dean lets go of the third one and they silently agree that this can be settled later.

It's not until he's on the lockers, tossing his Batman shirt aside and tugging on his football uniform, that Dean realizes that he doesn't even know the Superman kid's name.

He's going to go home and wonder about it, and then he'll wear the same shirt on the next day. Then it's the weekend and Dean does laundry, but on Monday he still wears the Batman shirt, because. And he can't find the Superman kid again, but then maybe he mentions him to Anna and Anna is all "Oh that's my nerdy little brother Cas" and then they can ~properly and ~finally meet, and Cas will be all weird and Dean will be grumpy but they'll become friends. And John's job ends up being tougher than he expected so the Winchesters have to stay in Pontiac and Sam is happy, and Dean too because Anna dumped him but he's got Cas. And Cas shows Dean all of his favourite spot, the best ice cream place, the library, a second-hand shop that sells t-shirts and comics which is where he got his Superman shirt, etc... But at school Dean tries to avoid Cas because he wants to maintain his badass facade and Cas is the school's loser. Then one day Cas shows up at Dean's practice and the other guys joke about him being Dean's girlfriend, and Dean is so upset he tells Cas to get lost. The next day Cas isn't at school, and the day after neither, so Dean skips classes and goes to his place. Then he finds out that Cas's father has disappeared. IDK WHAT HAPPENS NEXT BUT MAYBE THERE'S SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL BEHIND THIS DISAPPEARANCE. AND DEAN KNOWS THAT THE #1 RULE IS NEVER TALK ABOUT HUNTERS OR HIS FATHER'S JOB, BUT CASTIEL IS DOING THAT THING WHERE HE LOOKS ALL SAD AND WOOBY AND DEAN IS MAYBE CRUSHING ON HIM A LITTLE, WHICH IS WORRISOME SINCE CAS IS A DUDE. SO. DEAN TELLS CAS ALL ABOUT MONSTERS, AND INSTEAD OF FREAKING OUT CAS NODS IN THAT QUIET WAY OF HIS AND ASKS DEAN WHAT THEY HAVE TO DO TO GET HIS DAD BACK. DEAN TRIES CALLING JOHN BUT JOHN IS BUSY WITH WHATEVER OTHER JOB HE HAS, SO IT'S UP TO DEAN AND CAS TO SAVE THE DAY AND KILL THE MONSTER OF THE WEEK. AND THEY DO, BECAUSE THEY'RE LIKE PROPER SUPERHEROES. ALBEIT TEENAGED ONES. THEN THEY MAKE OUT, BECAUSE ALL SUPERHEROES DESERVE A SNOG AFTER SAVING THE WORLD, AND IDK WHAT HAPPENS NEXT BUT IDEALLY JOHN ADOPTS CAS BECAUSE MY HAPPY ENDING IS FOREVER CASTIEL HUNTING TOGETHER WITH DEAN. PLUS DEAN CAN'T LEAVE HIS NEW BOYFRIEND BEHIND. AND THEY LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
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