Do you enjoy Supernatural? I know that quite a few of you do, and that quite a few of you have a fondness for Castiel. Guys. I have a fic for you that you are going to lap the hell up.
One of the big bang challenges that ran this year was sncross_bigbang in which participants produced entries that crossover with Supernatural. I was extremely privileged to read and help to edit a first-rate entry for this challenge, and I can honestly say that it is an excellent read regardless of whether or not you know the show.
Weep, Little Lion Man was written by the wealth of wit and talent more commonly known in these spheres as zeitheist. It's a Supernatural/American Gods crossover set during season 5, in which Castiel continues his quest for God and comes across a pantheon of others. It is both funny and touching, and features a host of carefully drawn characters. It is a living, breathing world of a fic.
This is emphatically not Hammer of the Gods though it does a similar thing in introducing other mythologies to the Supernatural world, and was written before that episode was aired. Where Hammer of the Gods was superficial and a fairly offensive mixing of the pantheons, zeitheist's fic is a warm character piece for Castiel whilst also weaving in a world of other delights. I myself do not know American Gods, but it didn't matter: but not a single word goes to waste in this fic. I am re-reading it now, having decided once again last weekend to get caught up with the show, and I am getting so much more from it. But the beauty of this fic - of zeitheist's writing - is that you don't need to know either the show or the book; you just need to know that it is a road trip narrative in which the journey, as ever, is more important than the destination.
The girl led him through the dusty, uneven roads, her stride unhurried even as the sun dropped lower and lower in the sky. They passed other citizens along the way, many of whom looked at Castiel suspiciously, some of whom quickly averted their eyes and hurried onwards. Several cars caked in gravel-chalk slowed to a crawl as they passed, so that they could peer at Castiel closely. Castiel felt exposed beneath their stares, and he found himself winding tighter and tighter like a coiled spring, his palms burning with restless violence.
She didn’t talk to Castiel, which was fine by him. Some of the older denizens called out to her as they passed, sounding concerned or intruiged, but her replies were always terse. Once they walked by a group of children who jeered and sang at Castiel, until the girl tossed a sharp gesture over her shoulder that made them all boo and scatter.
Eventually, the girl glanced at Castiel and asked: “What’s your name?”
She shrugged. “I wanted to see if I recognized it. I only really know the main four.”
The reminder of Castiel’s archangel brothers was particularly unwelcome, and he found himself saying: “If I were one of them, then you’d be dead right now.”
If she was bothered by his tone, then the girl didn’t say it. “Figures. Aren’t they supposed to be warriors or some shit?” She cast Castiel a deeply unimpressed look out of the corner of her eye. “You don’t look much like a fighter, so what does that make you? One of the ones that sing praises? Hosannah, hosannah, and all that junk?”
They didn’t speak after that.
Run, don't walk. You're going to love it.