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SPN Fanfic: Negative Space - CaffieneKittySpace
('i' before 'e' if you're looking for me)
caffienekitty
caffienekitty
SPN Fanfic: Negative Space
Title: Negative Space
Warnings/Rating: ***SPOILERS to 5.02***, GEN, PG. Present-tense, random. Not humour, sorry.
Word Count: 730
Disclaimer: Kripke's world. I own nothing.
A/N: Just some free-association musing on the situation at the end of 5.02 that decided to fic itself. No spoilers, just musing and spec. Likely to be Kripked with a vengeance. ETA: Now with 100% less coding fail *facepalm* [LJ-only]

Summary: Negative space can be used to depict a subject in a chosen medium by showing everything around the subject but not the subject itself.

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Negative Space
by CaffieneKitty
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The first few days it's funny as hell (not that Hell was funny), explaining to Castiel euphemisms and bathrooms and any of the ninety billion incomprehensible things humans do. If nothing else, it's a distraction. But Castiel is as bad as Sam was at five for questions, which brings Dean back to wondering about Sam again. What he's doing, is he safe? Is he fighting it or giving in?

Dean doesn't know why he thought he'd worry less about Sam if they were apart.

After a while it starts to grate, just Dean and the angel, roaming around looking for God. The car is mostly silent after that very awkward discussion about listening to lyrics and what they mean. It's not that Dean's giving up his music, he's avoiding a headache while Castiel rides shotgun, which in itself is a whole 'nother layer of weird.

Castiel doesn't poof away nearly as often, like he's reserving what power he has available for something more important than enigmatically-timed disappearances. Maybe Zachariah and the ones hunting him can track him when he's in angel-space or wherever it is he goes when he flutters off. Maybe Castiel has decided he can't leave Dean alone now, that he's not safe alone. Either way, Dean doesn't know.

Dean's never going to teach Cas to drive. There are some kinds of pain the world is better off without.

He hopes Sam gets a car. A real car, some big classic tank, something with steel in the chassis. Gas prices what they were, they'd probably sell for cheap, but be a pain to keep in gas. He hopes Sam gets a house, a job. He hopes Sam gets normal, for however long it lasts. Cas's rib tattoo would keep Sam off the apocalyptic radar, sideline him as long as he kept his head down.

Dean hopes Sam remembers to keep his head down.

-

Dean takes it upon himself to make sure Castiel eats something, remembering how starved Jimmy was while the angel was away. Cas stares at most food like it's made of disease and usually sticks to a salad.

This also brings Dean back to Sam.

Dean only ever tries to get Castiel to eat bacon once. It's not that the angel quotes Old Testament scripture or turns his borrowed nose up at it, it's the technical details of why pigs had been declared unclean and the subsequent discussion of modern versus biblical farming practices that ensues that Dean doesn't care to repeat over a BLT ever again.

Of course Castiel eating leads to a more practical discussion about the purpose of bathrooms. That exchange also goes on Dean's list of 'conversations I never want to have again'.

It's not that Castiel is stupid, he just doesn't think in biology or physical existence unless he focuses on it. Keeping himself under the radar and earthbound is no doubt as irritating to the angel as it is to Dean, having to answer questions he'd last had to answer when Sam was three, five, nine.

And back to Sam again. Always back to Sam.

-

Dean's glad Jimmy Novak isn't a big guy. Driving at night, catching a glimpse of the black-haired, trench-coated angel sitting bolt upright and staring ahead at the dark road as though the lines flashing by are passing him secret messages is not even remotely close to seeing Sam there. But then that difference brings memories of Sam in the passenger seat; sacked out, mouth slack, snoring, knees and elbows everywhere, sleeping no different at twenty-seven than he did when he was twelve.

Sam is always lurking in Dean's memory, waiting for an ambush. The memory of what's absent sometimes hits like a faceful of ice-water. He's not dead. I can call him. He can call me.

It's best not to call. They both have stuff to work out. How could Dean re-build trust in Sam if he kept checking up on him? How could Sam learn to trust himself if Dean was there to keep him within the lines? Best to leave it alone. Dean would do what he had to to stop the Apocalypse and Sam would be out of it. Safe.

This is how it has to be.

Dean keeps telling himself the same thing as he drives through the night, Castiel perched beside him watching the view out the windshield like it's a foreign movie with no subtitles.

This is how it has to be.

- - -
(that's all, just some musing)

Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

29 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
anniehow From: anniehow Date: September 21st, 2009 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting way of handling Sam, I liked it ;-)

caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 21st, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
aescu From: aescu Date: September 21st, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is pretty much how I'd picture the near future for Dean. Always back to Sam. Although they have parted ways they will constantly be on each others minds.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 21st, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
If not stated outright, then as an unspoken sub-text for sure.
choreograph999 From: choreograph999 Date: September 21st, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome. I too wondered at the logic that Dean would worry less about Sam if he was somewhere off on his own.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 21st, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I doubt logic was involved. :-)
malevolent73 From: malevolent73 Date: September 21st, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Waaaahhhhhhh! Is it Thursday yet? Each week between episodes is even worse than the summer hiatus because I want to know what happens between them NOW.

On a less whiney note, I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into Dean psyche and I hope this is what he's going through. I hope they don't just act like everything is fine and Castiel is an appropiate replacement. I'm sure they won't, but it would suck if they did.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 21st, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dean might act like everything is fine outwardly because he has his emotional walls up with a vengeance, but we know he's full of crap. I also expect some mighty fine emo from Sammy before random evil things start tracking him down and trying to kick his ass. *nods*
irismay42 From: irismay42 Date: September 21st, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really can see Dean trying to justify the break with Sam this way - it's what he wants, it'll keep him safe, he won't get caught up in the Apocalypse. Like Sam would sit out the Apocalypse after he helped start it! I loved that you pointed out the fact that being away from Sam isn't going to make Dean worry about him less, just worry about him more. And, as with the show, Castiel might be an awesome angel and everything, but he's not Sam. For us or for Dean.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 22nd, 2009 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Exactly. We'll see how it plays out though.
percysowner From: percysowner Date: September 21st, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love this view of Dean and Castiel working together. You really get that Castiel is not human he truly is OTHER. I also love Dean missing Sam. I hope the show deals with this part of the separation. Thanks for sharing.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 22nd, 2009 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I figure this all has to be happening on some level. And Castiel's definitely Other.
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: September 21st, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree, you worry more. It eats at you no matter what you do.

Oh and last 3 lines--genius:)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 22nd, 2009 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
*nods* No matter how smooth the surface, it's there underneath.
brigid_tanner From: brigid_tanner Date: September 21st, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice! love how everything Dean does with Castiel reminds him of Sam at different ages. Pick up the freaking phone!!! In your next fic, can you have Bobby bang their heads together and make them understand each other? I'm afraid Kripke is going to draw it out a long time.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 22nd, 2009 04:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice! love how everything Dean does with Castiel reminds him of Sam at different ages

I figure if they get into Castiel exploring humanity at all, in some way or another it has to remind Dean of growing up with Sam.

I'm afraid Kripke is going to draw it out a long time.

I honestly don't know. It could go most of the season, it could go two episodes. I have Zen. *nods*
erinrua From: erinrua Date: September 22nd, 2009 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Lovely, painful, thoughtful stuff. Very well done, you.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 22nd, 2009 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. :-)
starrylizard From: starrylizard Date: September 22nd, 2009 08:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Interesting and nicely done. :)

Edit: I must have had an old window open...not underlined any more. :P

Edited at 2009-09-22 08:16 am (UTC)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 22nd, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, that's fixed and it only took about 8 hours before I noticed. :-)
(Deleted comment)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 22nd, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think Dean is admitting it to himself in canon yet. He is the repression king after all
seesmooshrun From: seesmooshrun Date: September 24th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice! As an artist myself I truly appreciate the literary representation of the use of negative space. Very nicely done. And I love your take on how all roads of thought and distraction lead back to Sam. And of the way Dean tries to cope with Castiel and his curiosity, and the conversations Dean 'never want[s] to have again'. And this: "Sam is always lurking in Dean's memory, waiting for an ambush. The memory of what's absent sometimes hits like a faceful of ice-water." But...

This is indeed how it has to be. For now.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 24th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice! As an artist myself I truly appreciate the literary representation of the use of negative space. Very nicely done.

Thank you! I can't draw worth beans so I'm pleased to have touched an arty chord. :-D

This is indeed how it has to be. For now.

I know. For now, but not forever. I have zen. *nods*
tigriswolf From: tigriswolf Date: September 24th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, ouch. *sniffs*
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: September 24th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
The situation is indeed ouchie. *nods*
charis_kalos From: charis_kalos Date: December 11th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Finally was able to read this, and I'm glad I did post 5.04 (where we're up to) because this is making my stomach clench even knowing the boys are back together. (Luckily we got 5.03 and 5.04 one immediately after the other because I'm not sure I could have made it through a post 5.03 week without spoiling myself.)

But with all this angst this: it's the technical details of why pigs had been declared unclean and the subsequent discussion of modern versus biblical farming practices that ensues that Dean doesn't care to repeat over a BLT ever again is hilarious! Oh dear, I think of all the SPN characters I'm most like Cas and how irritating I must be to everyone around me!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 11th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
5.04 just repeated here. Are you getting the whole season 2 at a time until you're caught up?

Oh dear, I think of all the SPN characters I'm most like Cas and how irritating I must be to everyone around me!

Naw, I don't think you're irritating. Everyone with a specialized knowledge subset has a need to share it, I think. :-)
charis_kalos From: charis_kalos Date: December 11th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you getting the whole season 2 at a time until you're caught up?

Nope, it seems to have been just the first two weeks and from now on we'll have SPN followed by Stargate: Universe. Except this coming Monday when there's no SPN to make room for a double episode of SG:U! It had better be back in a week.

Everyone with a specialized knowledge subset has a need to share it, I think. :-)

And mine happens to be obscure Christian theology. Add that to Castiel's behaviour in a brothel and, yes, I'm Cas. Without the angelic powers.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 12th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Nope, it seems to have been just the first two weeks and from now on we'll have SPN followed by Stargate: Universe. Except this coming Monday when there's no SPN to make room for a double episode of SG:U! It had better be back in a week.

We're on hiatus until 5.11 airs on Jan 14th or 21st, I believe. If they don't take a break for the holidays, you might be mostly caught up

I'm Cas. Without the angelic powers.

Hee! *straightens your tie*
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