My friend and collaborator fanspired kicked a lovely and complicated question at me yesterday, and as a) the answer to her question is sort of fundamental to this blog; and b) my response spun out into a 20-page dissertation, I decided to post my response here.
I’m puzzled about the relationship between these two [feminism and slash], given that we’re reading a genre of porn that specifically excludes us…Why do feminists read/write male/male slash?
I can answer that question only in terms of my own thinking and experiences. There’s been much written on this subject, and I suspect that there are probably as many answers to your question as there are feminists in slash fandom. Know, then, that my response pivots around my own beliefs, and makes no attempt to speak for feminists in slash as a whole.
The simplest answer, for me, is that such practices are a means through which, by which, to resist the way that female sexual desire and expression is coded, understood, and controlled within the dominant discourse.
In Textual Poachers, Henry Jenkins, scholar of fan practices in general and one of the first to write about slash practice specifically, puts it this way:
“Slash confronts the most repressive forms of sexual identity and provides utopian alternatives to current configurations of gender; slash does not, however, provide a politically stable or even consistently coherent response to these concerns.” (189-190).
As a feminist, I see slash practices as active, resistant, and women-centered.
Active in that writing and reading slash fiction allows women [and some men] to re-author their own sexuality outside of the constraints of heternormativity. Hell, I’d argue that having to select any kind of label for one’s sexual identity, be it hetero or gay or bi or whatever, is more constraining than constructive. Indeed, the Kinsey scale suggests to me that there are very few of us who fit neatly and with no ragged edges into any of these categories.
I think sexual identity for many people isn’t “stable” or consistant over the course of our entire lives, although the dominant discourse is loathe to acknowledge or explore this idea–in part, I think, because these identities are too freaking complicated and individual to be easily narrativized. It’s much easier to say: you’re gay or you’re straight. Maybe bi. But that’s it! More than three and it gets confusing, damn it.
So, for me, reading and writing slash gives me a chance to run around in many different kinds of sexual expressions, performances of desire, and sex acts outside of the binaries that dominate Western discourse around sexuality: gay and straight/male and female. In doing so, I can actively write, rewrite, and write again my own sexual identity, rather than serving as a passive receptor of male [eh] sexual desire, as the dominant discourse tells me I do every damn day. Indeed, the dd still tells us, I’d argue, that, as women, we “should” be good and wait for the men to come to us; that we should be content, as John Berger might say, to be the object of the gaze, rather than its master.
Well, I call bullshit.
Slash, for me, is also a form of resistance. The dominant discourse instructs us that what we should want, as women, is nice, safe, straight, vanilla sex with a man –unless we want to sleep with other women in front of/for the pleasure of men. That’s ok, too, but only if we recognize that what we really want at the end of the day is to be on the receiving end of a dick. Because, yeah.
Now, some would say (to me, at the last conference I went to) that writing/reading M/M slash is NOT a practice of resistance because it’s essentially women lusting after men. That is, the dominant discourse tells us we should desire beautiful men, and thus engaging in slash wherein we deify the male body is, in effect, doing exactly what the patriarchy wants.
This scholar then reminded the audience and I that the producers of SPN have learned to aim their program at women, in so far as having the boys in various states of undress and using the pretty as a selling point (all true). Therefore, she posited, by agreeing that yes, these men are hot (and trading on that in our fic), we’re giving into the dominant discourse, rather than scorning its advances.
Again, I call bullshit.
To embrace the pretty, to happily consume this, this, and this, and then to use that pretty to our own devices–to write/read Sam and Dean or Dean and Cas or Sam and Dean and Cas into hot sex–is, I think, pretty fucking feminist in nature.
Slavoj Zizek–who is an idiot on a lot of things, in my opinion–wisely suggested that the purest form of resistance against the dominant ideology is to embrace the ideology with open arms. So, ok PTB, you want to keep our eyeballs on SPN by dropping images like this into our laps? Awesome. We’re gonna take those–thank you–and do with them what we will: some of which you’ll be ok with, because it’ll make you money, and some of which you’ll have no fucking control over, no matter how meta you try to get on us, baby.
As feminst scholar Constance Penley puts it in NASA/TREK, her brilliant examination of Kirk/Spock slash:
“slash fans do more than ‘make do’; theymake“ (106).
Penley also notes Joanna Russ’ notion that slash writing is, essentially,
pornography by women, for women, with love (qtd. 103).
This is the last key piece of the puzzle, for me. Slash fiction is a space that dominated by women. Period. At some level, we’re women writing for, and to, other women. Sometimes, we’re an audience of one. Other times, the stories that we shape and kick out into the world are consumed by women whom we will never meet–but who will use our stories in their own way, make and remake them, hate them or love them, say “that’s not my Sam and Dean!” or “oh, god, that’s what my boys look like, too.”
This isn’t to say that a discursive space that’s dominated by women is inherently feminist in nature. It’s not. But, for me, spaces like the Sam/Dean Slash Archive or Archive of Our Own or any of the thousands of relevant LiveJournal pages allow for conversation and exchange between women that the dominant discourse discourages if not outright denies. We can talk, in these spaces, about sex and desire and character and narrative and incest and wingfic and curtains and emotion and trauma in ways that we can’t do in our everyday lives. If anything, SPN has become a feminized space because the characters are vehicles that make such conversations possible, even desirable, and provide the means through which, by which, we as women (primarily) can have them.
It’s not just about female appropriation of the male form–the most frequent academic criticism I’ve read and heard against slash. Hell, we might have a little penis envy, but so what? Reading and writing slash fic lets us try on the cock for awhile, put it to its best (most enthusiastic?) possible usage, and then reap the benefits of that textual world as only women can.
So you’re right, fanspired: on the surface, slash fic can look misogynistic. It’s women playing with men, navigating, negotiating, exploring, fuck, enjoying their sexuality via the male body. But I’d argue that the lack of gender constraints, the opportunity to resist the dominant discourse’s expectations of female sexuality, and the highly feminized communities that slash offers make reading and writing slash conducive to feminist participation, study, and interpretation.
As my boy Henry Jenkins points out:
“not all of slash is feminist; yet one cannot totally ignore the progressive potential of thisexchange.” (221)
As a feminist, it’s that “progressive potential,” the opportunity to repeat with difference, as Judith Butler might say, that keeps me coming back–yes–to slash.
In which a post that started off quick and funny ends up long and angsty.
One of the great things about slash fic is that it forces you to get to know your squick, those points at which the fic does something [to someone] that goes a step beyond what your personal fanon is willing to tolerate.
Sometimes, squick points are specific sex acts. Or they can be certain character pairings that to you, the reader, border on the unholy. In a bad way. Other times, it’s a particular trope that makes you nervous, like wing!fic, or curtain!fic or bottom!sammy in SPN slash.
What I appreciate about the squick factor is that it is, in my experience, a constant site of negotiation. When I started reading Wincest, for example, I was horrified by the notion of Castiel/Dean. Then it kind of slid from horrified to indifferent. Then from indifferent to oh, okay, maybe I could see it. And so on.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t some squick rubicons that I still will not cross. Any slash fic featuring John Winchester, for example? Forget it. No freaking way.
But I guess I see the whole notion of squick in slash as generative, as a way of delimiting one’s imaginative [sexual] boundaries and then shifting those borders as needed. It’s like Henry Jenkins says in Textual Poachers:
“Not all of slash is politically conscious; not all of slash is progressive; not all of slash is feminist; yet one cannot totally ignore the progressive potential of this exchange and the degree to which slash may be one of the few places in popular culture where questions of sexual identity can be explored outside of the polarization that increasingly surrounds this debate.” (Jenkins 221)
So, for me, wrestling with the squick is one way that I as a reader [and a writer] do this kind of work, monkey around with “questions of sexual identity” for myself and for my own readers via slash fic.
Notice how I’ve gotten this far without saying what my SPN squick points are? As I’ve said before: repression–it’s a talent.
Now these are mine and mine alone: I sure as hell make no judgements about other readers and writers who go places I don’t want, or who avoid locations that I hang out in all the time. [I’m thinking of one of my readers who is lovely about my Wincest fic but vaguely disgusted by my Cas/Dean stuff. Heh.]
Anything with John Winchester. Period. Dude creeps me out in the main narrative and I sure as hell don’t want him hovering over my slash fic.
Non-con, in general. There are times when I’m ok with dubious con–because it usually works out for the best, in a not-terribly-feminist sort of way–but non-con? No thanks.
Extreme violence. Yes, “extreme” is a wiggle word, but it’s like Justice Stewart said: I know it when I see it.
Fic set before the boys are in high school. Just–ack.
But my biggest squick point as a fan has nothing to do with the fic. It has to do with the real world.
See, as a fan, I’ve never really been into the “real world” side of whatever it was I was fanning over. Take StarTrek, the foundation of my life as a fan. I’ve never been to a convention, or stood in line to hear the actors speak, or gone to Gene Roddenberry’s grave, because, fundamentally, what I love about ST is the fiction, are the characters and the stories. I don’t ‘ship Nimoy and Shatner, I don’t follow the actors around on Twitter, I’ve never watched the show’s blooper reels because, it’s just like, I know that it’s all pretend. All made up and crafted out of styrofoam and velour and monsters of the week: I know that.
But there’s part of me that’s cognitively dissonant enough to hang on to the fiction, to be invested in Dr. McCoy rather than DeForest Kelley, in Khan rather than Montelban, in Chapel rather than Majel Barrett. And I want to keep it so, to keep pretending at least in that tiny region of my brain that the Enterprise exists, that these people are truly tangling with all the weird shit that Kirk’s ego gets them into.
And in ST fandom, this is actually pretty easy to do, for me. Because the actors are old enough–hell, the show was old enough, when I stumbled across it–that I can fashion that dissonant space without too much trouble. Can maintain it without installing a watcher at the gate.
But in SPN fandom? Those borders are much, much more difficult to enforce, given the primary narrative’s obsession with pointing back at its real world fans and the real-time nature of the show’s production [relatively] and my consumption of the product.
And yes, talk about dissonance, right? Given that my research on this stupid show had centered on fandom, on the show’s portrayal of its female fans. But I don’t care about who’s producing, at some level. At who’s doing the writing, what the network is saying about next season, what the actors [god forbid] think about the current story arc. [This may explain why I broke up with SPN for like two weeks over “The French Mistake.” Grrr.]
So I actively avoid learning anything about the real world side of SPN. Like Ned Seagoon used to say on the Goon Show: I don’t wish to know that!
Now granted, this IS going to cause problems for my scholarship, this desire to hold the borders fast between the world of the show and the real life logistics that make the show happen, the real people who engage with the fans [whether we want them to or not]. I know this. It’s problematic. I’m not an “informed fan,” as a fellow scholar put it once at an SPN panel.
Maybe it’s just temporary. Maybe it’ll be like my once avowed opposition to J2 [Real Person Slash for SPN], a taboo that flew by the wayside thanks to my research on meta slash fic. [Hey, I had to read those stories! It was part of my research. I swear.]
As Rachel Maddow notes, last night was yet another instance of the majority voting on minority rights: and guess what happened? The minority lost. Shocker.
Except this time, in North Carolina, the passage of Amendment One is a loss for everybody in the state who might, one day, somehow, love someone and want to have that non-marriage connection honored in any way by officialdom. The amendment bans not only “gay marriage” [which was already outlawed by existing state legislation], but also prohibits civil unions or common-law partnerships from being recognized by the state in any capacity.
Straight people, gay people, bi people, whoever: this is bad policy for everybody who might love someone else. Who might want to visit that person in the hospital during a serious illness. Who might want to be able to make decisions re: medical care for their partner. Who might want to care for the couple’s children, to have that parentage recognized by the state. Who might want to be protected from the partner in a domestic violence situation. Bad news all the way around.
Now my friends in the liberal media–and some in the mainstream as well–are blaming the passage of the destructive amendment on a lack of voter education, on the notion that many people who voted for this thing knew not what they did [as a famous man once said].
This is, to me, an optimistic interpretation.
I think many of the folks who voted for this bill knew enough: they knew it was against the gays, that it would “protect” marriage from homo-cooties, or whatever. The rest? Was just noise. Doesn’t matter. The objective here was to hurt, to lash out against the “evils” of homosexuality.
This is terribly sad, to me. And utterly un-“Christian,” the word behind which many of the bill’s proponents took refuge. Granted, I don’t go to church, though I was raised in one. But I do believe in the basic tenets that that Jesus cat was kicking around 2000 years ago, the ones about being your brother’s keeper, about caring for your fellow humans, about treating everyone with love and dignity and respect, even when you think they’re fucking nuts.
Ok, maybe that bit’s only in the NRSV version.
Still. To me, practices that make hate a central tenet of your government, that invest one whacked out version of “Christianity” into the state: that’s not what the cat was saying. That’s not how I read the Good Samaritan, you know?
My fair state has its own issues, namely Gov. Transvaginal Probe and his mealy-mouthed “protecting lady brains from teh hard medical decisions” bullshit. So I cannot cast aspersions on North Carolina as a whole. So, for, now, I content myself with my own particular kind of resistance, summed up in my car tag above: writing gay porn about human and angels, among others.
And hey, you never know. Maybe the nice people of NC would be a little less anxious to kick gay people in the head if they just relaxed with a little Destiel, in their time. Or some nice smutty Wincest. Hell, maybe they need to go straight to the Wincestiel.
I’ve spent a lot of quality time with Becky Rosen lately. And this is a piece that’s come out of our communion.
I’ve been working with Becky since last November, when I watched episode 7.8, “It’s Time For A Wedding!” for the first time.
My first reaction to what I saw as the episode’s, uh, problems? Was to write my first S/D story, “Hot Blooded.”
My second? Was to start work on this piece, which has moved from a presentation [of which this is version 2.0] to a lengthier academic essay.
The reaction that I’ve received to this work at the two conferences at which I’ve presented it has been generally positive, but it’s also stirred up some hornets’ nests for some folks, which is kind of awesome.
This presentation relies pretty heavily on images [which is part of why I’m so fond of it, I think]; if you wish, you can download the associated slide show here.
While Supernatural doesn’t belong to me, this work does. And, as Becky might say, everything may be a fic of everything else, but don’t try to slash this slasher, to represent this work as your own.
He’s Best When He’s Bound and Gagged: Deleting Female Desire in “Season 7: It’s Time For A Wedding!”
Soon after its premiere in 2005, the television show Supernatural—the story of Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who’ve committed their lives to protecting people from supernatural creatures—spawned an online fandom dedicated to “slashing” Sam and Dean; that is, to writing stories in which the brothers are portrayed as lovers. Indeed, over the course of seven seasons, the existence of these narratives—affectionately dubbed “Wincest” by the show’s fans—has become a defining feature of Supernatural‘s primarily female fandom.
By introducing a meta-textual version of the show—a series of books also called Supernatural—into the primary narrative, the program’s producers have allowed Sam and Dean [and, by extension, the producers themselves] to comment upon the productive and consumptive practices of Wincest fans. However, the subsequent introduction of the character of Becky Rosen—dedicated Wincest writer and devoted fan of the Supernatural book series—has allowed the producers to take this commentary one step further: to illustrate the monstrous potential of the female fan, particularly one who actively engages in the construction, consumption, and distribution of Wincest narrative.
In this paper, I will argue that a central image in Becky’s most recent appearance in season seven, episode eight exemplifies the danger that the show’s producers see her [and the female fans for whom she stands, in their minds] posing to the show’s carefully maintained masculine order: the image (slide 1) of a semi-clothed Sam bound to a bed, his body and the text which it represents at the mercy of his female captor. The transgressive nature of this image lies in its reversal of what Laura Mulvey calls “the symbolic order” of gender in the visual, one in which “the silent image of woman [is] still tied to her place as bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning.” That is, the threat that Becky poses to Sam, to Supernatural, lies in her status as a woman and as a fan writer, as a figure who can upend the central narrative by affixing the masculine to her “rightful” place as the signifier of meaning while claiming the role of producer for herself. Continue reading “He’s Best When He’s Bound and Gagged”→
Here’s something I learned at the conference I attended last week:
Wincest is disgusting, to some people.
Let me set the scene.
As my brother wisely observed, I go to conferences to road test my academic material. To put it up in front of an audience and see what works, what doesn’t; a trait, he says, I learned in improv, where it’s all about doing, reading audience reaction, and revising the work the next time you go on stage.
[I hadn’t made that connection, myself. He’s a smart one.]
What I’ve realized, though, is that there’s a productive tension between the need need to put a piece of academic writing on its feet and the need for it to be, you know, something good enough [ugh] for me to stand behind.
At some level, I’d love it if every conference presentation resulted in all comers telling me what a fucking genius I am, showering me with publication offers, and buying me drinks.
At another, I recognize that the unexpectedly rich engagement [weird, lively, sorta intense conversation] that occurred during my panel’s question and answer session was WAY the fuck more valuable. Even if no drinks were purchased on my behalf.
To wit: one of the lessons I took from the panel.
Wincest is disgusting, to some people.
So one of the academics on my panel now writes about sex and science fiction, but is, in her other scholarship, also involved with neuroscience and psychology. In my paper, I talked [much more briefly than in others] about the rise [ahem] of the Wincest narrative and its distinctive presence in Supernatural‘s primarily female fandom. In response to some audience comments on the paper [more about that in a moment], this presenter stated that she found Wincest to be disgusting and disturbing because, as she noted, child/child incest occurs more frequently in the US than adult/child incest. At the time, my sleep-deprived brain didn’t know what to make of this statement, other than: dude, Wincest is hot. Which I thought but did not say.
But, later, revived by food and coffee, what I realized was this:
For my colleague, Wincest is akin to incest, which, in the popular [and legalistic] understanding, is almost always equated to sexual abuse. To the abuse of a power dynamic, of age difference, of emotional maturity, between siblings. Indeed, as this Harvard Law Review article suggests, most state laws that criminalize incest rely solely upon the notion of familial relation; that is, if two people who are “related” [and yes, the definition of this term varies from state to state], then any sex between them can be characterized as illegal–even when it is consensual.
And that’s the key to Wincest, I think. Well, to a lot of it.
Wincest is slash fic, first and foremost, and, in practice, most slash fic is predicated on a relationship between two [male] characters who are equals. Who consider themselves to be equals in real life, if not in the bedroom. At least, that’s what much of the old school, hardcore academic theory [Constance Penley, Henry Jenkins, Mirna Cicioni] on slash argues. And this rings true for me as a reader and writer of slash.
So, to me, the concept of “Wincest” hinges at least in part on this sense of Sam and Dean as equal partners in general. And this sense of equality is linked to consent, to the notion that the boys come together [or, ah, something] because they want to, because it’s what they desire. Now the contrivances that get them there can be legion: magic, demons, booze, somebody’s hurt, somebody wants to fuck, somebody has a sudden moment of emotional clarity–whatever. But this acceptance of who they are, of what they have–even if it’s just for one night, as in some stories–is key, for me. Now they are non-con stories, sure, and many that feature dubious consent. And I hate making universalist or generalizing statements about anything, much less about something as free-range as fan writing.
I think this equation of incest with abuse is what lay at the heart of my colleague’s squick reaction, of her immediate dismissal of Wincest [with which she had not been familiar, it seems] as aberrant, deviant, disgusting.
Which is, to me, fascinating. Because as often as I proclaim myself an evangelical member of the Church of Gay Incest Porn [tm twoskeletons], I think that I’d forgotten what that phrase actually means to most people.**
As a scholar, this was a helpful reminder that what I’m talking about, as much as I like to play at it being a little kinky and weird: actually is kinda kinky and weird, to some. And that resistance, as in this case, can be productive for me, can raise questions, can remind me of the “straight” reading of Wincest to which, through which, my scholarship on this awesomely sexy and transgressive and often really well-written stuff must be negotiated.
In fact, the whole discussion reminded me, eventually, of this terrific panel I attended at the same conference on BDSM and the popular romance novel. One of the presenters discussed the links she sees between the geek/fan community and the kink community; and, in the course of her discussion, she noted that folks in kink are constantly contradicting themselves in the way they talk about their practices. In the same sentence, she pointed out, kink people will say, “Hey, what we do is transgressive and resistant to the heternormative construction of sex. And that is fucking awesome” AND “Hey, what we do isn’t weird. We’re just like everybody else.”
Which kinda feels like where I am with slash fic, at the moment: weird and different and yet really normal, in a way. Whatever “normal” means.
So I’m stuck in between these two bodies of thought, these two ways of seeing Wincest, after this conference. Which feels like a good place to be, for now. A productive one, at least.
**Side note: One audience member who said very nice things to me about my paper after the panel also said: “I don’t really see the Wincest thing”–ok, I thought, fair enough–“but when you showed that picture of Dean at Sam and Becky’s wedding [the one at the top of this post], and you made that joke about how he was upset about Sam marrying anyone but him–I could kind of see that, in his face.”
I chose to see that as a step on the road to Damascus, friends. A baby step towards a casual Google search, towards a visit to the Sam/Dean Slash Archive, perhaps…
Rick Santorum has dropped out of the Presidential race.
And I? Am a little sad, perhaps.
No doubt: the man is a bigot, a misogynist, and a homophobe. And one of the worst order: a true believer who’s certain that it’s God who told him how and who to hate.
But he did the nation a great favor, accidentally.
He said things publically that most conservatives will not. He spoke the crazy to the people and started conversations that began “Rick Santorum” and “WTF”?
It’s more difficult now, I think, for Republicans as a whole to claim that they only care about jobs, that they’re focused on the economy, when, thanks in part to Santorum, they’ve been shouting about the evils of birth control and Planned Parenthood and women’s health for three months.
So Rick: thank you for your service. For whipping out the ol’ talking points on porn, on abortion, on the steady degradation of the “American family” under Democratic economic policies and repeating them, straight-faced, into the camera. As a country, I think we’re better off having stared the crazy in the face than having continued to pretend that it wasn’t really there at all.
Aaannd, wouldn’t you know, I’ve written myself into another [short?] series, apparently. Nice work, me. Schoolwork? Pshaw! I blame Phil Collins.
Because the series? Is called Abacab.
So. This is a Sam and Dean pre-slash story that follows “Take A Look At Me Now.” In this story, Dean considers the advantages of being underestimated by the one person who should sure as hell know better.
No Reply At All
I swear, Sammy is the master of the buzzkill.
Really, I think it’s his natural talent.
I mean, it’s not like he doesn’t have a reason to be a little down or whatever, with Ava missing and all, but still. Boy could out Eeyore Eeyore some days.
He’s been mopey like all fucking day now, and in that way where he thinks that I don’t notice. Just goes all zen master and silent and deep thoughts and ignores me, which sucks, ’cause he’s not doing it in a way I can give him shit about, not really. It’s too quiet, he’s too quiet, when he’s like this.
It’s annoying as fuck.
And the worst part is that he thinks he’s bein’ too subtle for me to notice, which is just crap. Just shows you how much he underestimates me.
He didn’t always. He used to think I was like, god or something, except with better hair and no pesky nails in my palms to slow me down.
Now? He’d fuckin’ slam those nails into his own hands, if I let him. Every damn day.
I mean, I love the boy, but holy crap has he got a martyr complex. And he’d be like, oh, no, Dean, that’s you! You’re just projecting all of this stuff on me. I don’t mentally flog myself every night when I should be whacking off, or something. I don’t beat myself up every waking moment for shit I should have done, will never do, couldn’t have stopped. Hell no. That’s on you, Dean. Not me.
Pfft. Whatever. Which is exactly why I don’t have to have that conversation with him, because I know exactly what he’d say. I know exactly how he feels, about everything, although I’ll bet you he thinks I have no fucking clue.
Because, again. Underestimating.
I mean, I can kinda understand it. Him not properly ascribing god-like powers to me anymore. He’s not a kid, now, and he was away long enough for my sheen to lose its luster, or whatever. For him to escape the magnetic glow of my personality long enough to see it for the house of mirrors that it really is, most of the time. Continue reading “No Reply At All”→
A pre-slash Sam/Dean story set right after season 2, episode 11: “Playthings.” Inspired by too much Phil Collins and by the hook that fanspired, a fellow writer [whose Supernatural slash you should go read, people], planted in my head: I should, she suggested, try writing POV Sammy. And so I have. Cheers, fanspired.
Take A Look At Me Now
When Dean gets depressed, he puts on “Against All Odds” and sulks for a couple hundred miles and then everything’s ok again. He’s ok.
Me? I don’t know. Maybe I’ve had more practice at it, or something, but it’s more complicated than that, for me.
It’s always been all right for him to scream and yell when he’s angry, to punch me or the wall or whatever random creep gets in his way. He’s allowed to be sad or whatever in the same way: right there out in the open, so there’s no question as to how he’s feeling. If he’s pissed, you’ll know it, along with everyone in a quarter mile radius. If he’s happy, then he’s freakin’ ecstatic, and you will be too, because it’s kind of great when he’s like that. He’s great, then.
Doesn’t happen as much as I remember, him being happy, but I guess I’ve been away for a long time.
It doesn’t feel like that, though. Mostly, it feels like I’ve gone back in time somehow, to who I was before. It feels like time has kind of stopped around Dean and now that I’m with him, again, it’s stopped for me, too.
Doesn’t change what’s happened, since I left, of course. Since Jess died. Since he came back for me. And, yeah, in my darker moments, or when he’s being a complete asshole, I tell myself that I didn’t want to come, that he dragged me away from where I was happy. That I can be happy again if I just go back. Go home, or something.
Times like that, I think he couldn’t stand the thought of being alone, when you get right down to it. That I’m kind of like his security blanket, some kind of material reassurance that things haven’t really changed that much. That if we’re together, everything’s gonna be ok–well, as ok as it ever was, for us.
Sometimes I think that he sees me the same way that I do him. That, for him, time stops when we’re together. When I’m around.
But I doubt that he thinks about things–about us, or whatever–in quite the same way that I do. He needs me with him, I think, needs to know I’m close by, because otherwise he’d be alone and worse, I wouldn’t be safe, in his mind. He thinks of me as a totem, a sacred object, or something. I’m He Who Must Be Protected. Period.