"The beautiful ones. The popular ones. The guys that pick on you. Everyone. If you could hear what they were feeling. The loneliness. The confusion. It looks quiet down there. It’s not. It’s deafening.”
Fun story for Destiel day! I thought I’d talk about Meta Fiction and my favourite moment, which doesn’t even have Dean and Cas directly interacting with each other but was the moment I realised this ship had started sailing and I wasn’t even paying attention.
Until Meta Fiction I was a passive shipper who honestly didn’t really think about it outside of “hey there’s a new episode up, ooh, this one has Cas lol I bet he and Dean are going to do something cute together.” and that was pretty much as far as my enthusiasm went and, I stress, I never ever thought about it in a context of it being real or something that I could read into beyond good actor chemistry.
Also until Meta Fiction, I’d never heard that version of The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More. I’m not sure if that’s the original or a cover, but I know the only version I’d heard was a cover by the British indie piano pop-rock group Keane, who are from 10 minutes up the road from me and therefore I’ve had an obligatory sense of needing to own everything they ever released just because of geography. One of those things was a B-side with a cover of the song.
Backing up a moment, has everyone heard the 2 versions of Ironic by Alanis Morrissette? One of my friends is super in love with her voice so I’ve ended up hearing both many times, starting with the original Jagged Little Pill album. In the original version she sings it straight - “It’s like meeting the man of your dreams/and meeting his beautiful wife.” In the re-release on her acoustic album, there’s a subtle change which pretty much knocked me out of my chair the first time I heard it - “It’s like meeting the man of your dreams/and meeting his beautiful husband.”
Pretty much the same thing happened to me here, complete with the big gay realisation. In the Keane cover, the opening lines are sung nice and clearly, and run:
"Loneliness is the cloak you wear…"
So yeah, give me about 3 years of listening to this song fairly regularly because I am an unashamed fan of this group (a lot of their original songs are great for Destiel feels too FYI) and knew all their earlier stuff completely by heart, these are the lyrics I am familiar with.
Compare that to the song Metatron sticks on for the closing montage of the episode. So we have him rabbiting on about plot twists and characters surprising you to sum up the events of his little story he was so proud of telling. Then he goes ahead and puts on a vinyl of one of the songs I’ve spent a fair amount of time listening to as inspiration for my own writing. At first I don’t even recognise it: the instrumental is much better and richer, and then the wordless vocalisations begin and I’m just starting to get vibes that I know this song as we’re watching Dean’s face as he drives along, his angry-calm MoC state way obvious and on the surface now, right after Cas desperately asks Sam to look after him. And then we cut to Cas, and the music is suddenly definitely this tune I know, but no big deal, I’m just hearing a new, better version of it, right?
Yeah, then the lyrics start.
"Loneliness is the coat you wear…"
Mental blue screen of death.
Coat. The lyrics are unmistakable.
What was this episode, if not a story of Cas and his coat? For the first time in my life I hear the proper(?) lyrics of this song, while Cas is standing there, sort of generally existing and wearing a coat, and despite the subtle change in lyrics, I know the rest of this song well enough to sing along top volume if I so wanted. Oh no, I think. Oh no.
And there’s Metatron, delightedly hammering out original fiction to the tune of this song, and there’s Cas tearing off his coat in response to that line - oh no. A deep shade of blue is always there? Yeah, it’s about depression and loneliness and Cas has just thrown away his coat-of-loneliness and yeeeep he’s summoning the angels, I knew it. I knew it as soon as I recognised the song. He takes the coat off as a symbol of banishing the loneliness, right? Right?
But wait I know this song. And… No, they’re not. They’re just not. The show is not going to do this whole thing about the angels and how that’s going to make the sun not shine any more… But isn’t this really incongruous? Because even though the lyrics aren’t 100% what I remember them, I know this song. I know the next line, and it’s going to contrast Cas gaining this new family to not having love, because if he’s meeting them right NOW then there’s got to be something else he’s missing…
WE CAN NOT BE CUTTING BACK TO THE IMPALA DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT LYRICS ARE COMING NEXT? DO YOU?
WHY ARE YOU BACK WITH THE ANGELS AGAIN? WHY ON EARTH DID YOU THROW IN 0.01 SECONDS OF IMPALA DRIVING RIGHT BEFORE THE NEXT LINE? WHERE CAS IS WEARING HIS COAT AND ‘TEARS ARE CLOUDING HIS EYES” THERE WAS LITERALLY NO NEED FOR IT THIS LAST SECTION IS ALL ABOUT CAS. WHY IS HE WEARING THE COAT? WHY DID YOU SHOW THE CAR FOR NO REASON?
"… When you’re without looooove," the band carries on singing like they have no idea what they’re being montaged with. Just Cas, greeting his new angel army. And like, that’s it for song and the episode, definitely it for incongruous and unnecessary shots of the Winchesters. We get a few more seconds of Cas and his angel army and he’s wearing his loneliness coat despite having this new family, and he’s greeting them as the music tells us that the sun isn’t going to shine any more because he’s doing the thing the entire episode told us was the last thing he ever wanted to do, and Metatron is smirking away wrapping up his story… And… And…
At this point the entire episode and then the entire season, and then the entire show from 4x01 onwards flashes through my head. And I hear my brother’s voice echoing in my head, “Tumblr" and I know it is where the fandoms go. Surely someone else there will understand what just happened, and tell me that Metatron did not just tell me almost completely outright that Cas is in love with Dean?
And so for Destiel day I’m raising a glass to Metatron and the crappy indie pop I grew up listening to. Thank you for making Destiel inescapable. I think. This ship will probably kill me but what are you going to do about it?
18 September 2014 - Happy Destiel Day!↳Dean and I do share a more profound bond.
Something I’ve noticed while rewatching season eight is that this show has a lot of train symbolism. Lots of shots of train tracks, lots of train whistles in the background, and lots of phrases like “we’re on the rails with this” and “you’re going off the rails”.
Interestingly, though, is that I don’t recall the guys ever actually getting on a train in the entire run of the show. Not even the old stand-by action shots of fighting between or on top of moving cars or jumping on and off of a standing train while trying to catch the bad guy. I don’t remember them ever even having to wait for a train to go by in all of their backroads driving. (Does anyone else remember any instances of them getting on a train or waiting for one?)
Like in the picture above, the tracks are pretty much always empty. We hear whistles, so trains must be moving around somewhere, but not near our heroes. Except for two or three instances of travelling by airplane, and one time I can think of on a boat, they always go by automobile. Cas goes by auto or by bus or even just walking along a road when he’s not teleporting.
Railroads in America have a lot of symbolic meanings. (I’m sure they do in other places, too, but I don’t recall other societies romanticizing them quite so much in the more negative or melancholy way that American literature often does.) They can symbolize freedom, exploration, adventure, the ingenuity of mankind, meetings and arrivals and departures, growing up, etc. But they also remind us of homeless teenagers and men wandering about during the depression, loneliness, being stuck on a certain path, and progress that often comes at the expense of whomever lived on the land before the tracks were laid. They bring people together, but they’re also divisive, being targeted in lots of old Westerns for robberies and attacks. It makes me wonder how we’re supposed to think about all the empty tracks on Supernatural.
The shot above is from Holy Terror and Cas is telling Dean that he’s got grace again. Dean asked him if that was good or bad and Cas didn’t commit one way or the other, it’s another instance of one of them saying that they did what they had to do. There he is covered in blood at the end of a train track. Judging by the plant growth around the tracks, it looks like it’s been out of use for a while, but there’s another set of tracks running parallel to it that looks like it is still in use. Is one set the way Cas has always run his life and the other is the little abandoned attempt at being human that he just gave up because he felt it was his duty?
He’s talking to Dean on an old pay phone and we can see the lines running away in the distance on the side of the tracks that are still in use. Dean is on a cell phone on his end, so somewhere along the line the call goes from wires to wireless. Cas tells Dean that the real Ezekiel died in the fall. Someone else is inhabiting Sam’s body. And then everything hits the fan.
Dean knows that he’s come to the end of the metaphorical track of his lie and tries to finally come clean to Sam about everything that’s been happening, Gadreel kills Kevin, grabs the tablets, and leaves with Sam.
Cas presumably has hung up the phone and started away down his path, probably either walking or driving a stolen car. Dean is left alone in the underground bunker calling out Kevin’s name. There’s nothing connecting him to anything else.
Other people and commercial goods are riding around on trains. Coming and going and living and growing up. We know, because sometimes we can hear the whistles, even though all we ever see are empty tracks.
Sometimes I wish I could say the words.
Wish I knew how to let you in.
How to hurt you back.
How to make you stay.
How to say goodbye...
For Noelle ♥
some au ideas for your otp:
- au where one rescues the other from a terrible place, like hell or purgatory
- au where one of them convinces the other to give up everything they’ve ever known for the sake of humanity
- au where one pledges to help the other lose their “virginity” while they are staying together in an abandoned empty house
- au where one thinks the other is dead and mourns for a year until they find the other miraculously alive but without their memories
- au where one thinks the other is trapped somewhere dangerous and thinks they’re hallucinating their eventual return because they miss them so much
- au where one is brainwashed to kill the other by killing hundreds upon hundreds of facsimile versions, but when face with the real thing cannot do it, and the brainwashing it broken
- au where they accidentally have to babysit together after a rogue angel tries to kill them
- au where one of them dies and the other lies in bed naked for a month and a half in mourning before learning the other is not dead but instead a demon so they pledge themselves to saving them again
You think it’s easier
To give up on the trouble
If the trouble is destroying you