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Title: The Chuck Writes Story: An Unauthorized Fandom Biography
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: gen. Chuck, Becky
Rating: PG-13? for language
Length: Entire fic: 30,000. This part: 15,000 words
Summary: Chuck decides to make a sock-puppet. When no one reads his fic, he wonders what he has to do to get noticed in SPN fandom. (slightly AU for S4)
A/N: Please read A/N here.


10:53 pm April 2, 2009
The Chuck Writes Story: An Unauthorized Fandom Biography



The Chuck Writes Story: An Unauthorized Fandom Biography


Prologue

The first review Chuck (aka [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes on LJ, chuck_still_writes on im, Carver Edlund on Flying Wiccan Press) ever got on a fanfic went like this:

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, 2008-09-22 09:26 am UTC (link):um i like how sam’s friend wanted him to be slutty, and how sam didn’t like halloween. some people won’t like how you said jess was a slut but i don’t like her anyway. will there be dean?


It was, in fact, the only review. So Chuck replied:

[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes, 2008-09-22 09:27 am UTC (link): thanks! This was just a little missing scene from the first book so no, sorry, no Dean. How come you don’t like Jess?


He received no reply.

You might be wondering why Chuck—Carver Edlund himself—was writing fanfic of his own series in SPN fandom on LJ. This is that story, and the wank that followed.

It could not have been written without the help of fanlore, Fandom_Wank, the F_W wiki, the SPN wiki, [livejournal.com profile] watsonian, [livejournal.com profile] edlund_lover and [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away.


Chapter 1

When Supernatural began publication, Chuck was too busy reading criticism of the series on two-bit comics criticism websites to think about livejournal fandom. Why he was holding his dick waiting for a review from The Comics Journal, when TCJ had never given Flying Wiccan a positive review, ever (and rightly so), and Supernatural wasn’t even a comic anyway, was utterly beyond his comprehension. But there he held his dick, for a year at least.

When he finally gave up on TCJ and sundry (he couldn’t even get a fucking mention on The Hooded Utilitarian, for cryin’ out loud)—that was when the real shame began. He started lurking around on sites like morethanbrothers.net and the Supernatural board on Books With Snark. He went to ComicCon in 2005 just to see if any of the vendors were selling Supernatural. (It wasn’t like he’d been invited as an author. Or anything.)

It took him another year to realize that if he was the kind of voyeur who wanted to watch people talk about him, LJ was the place to be. When he did find out, it was because of Strikethrough2007. He wasn’t into LJ; he didn’t have an LJ account. But something major (more than the usual kerfuffle) had morethanbrothers in a tizzy. And if you’ll remember, Strikethrough even made Meta Filter (and okay. It was also on /b/ Random at 4chan).

Strikethrough was back in the day, when fans were camped out at [livejournal.com profile] news and it wasn’t like Chuck had anything better to do: he got sucked in. He spent eight cans of beer, two Almond Joys and three bags of Flipz on that goddamn comm. He couldn’t help it; it was the macros: lots of V for Vendetta (he was a fan) and as usual, bestiality. His personal favorites were the walrus and Sepiroth on a pile of ponies, demanding an explanation for that bullshit.

But what made him sit back and take note was the faux book-banning campaign, in which people posted manips of literary classics with “ban this” scrawled across the front. There, right next to Lolita and Faulkner (and a strange manip of Moses leading fans from LJ) was another bad manip of a Supernatural cover.

Chuck had encountered Supernatural “in the wild” before, but it always sort of gave him a hard-on, and he couldn’t help but click on the username of the OP: [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean.

[livejournal.com profile] demian_dean, Chuck discovered, scanning the user profile, was a big Supernatural fan, and they were popular. Like, really popular. 128 “friend of” popular. Their stupid manip got like twenty comments over on [livejournal.com profile] news and it was a bad manip. And why would you ban Supernatural anyway, because it was the fans and not the books that had a bunch of bannable content, but whatever. Chuck was lucky if twenty fans dropped him a line in a month, and here was [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean, whoever they were, hearing from twenty different fans in a day? Didn’t seem right.

Chuck knew [livejournal.com profile] samlick_er81 was sort of a big deal, but it had never occurred to him to be jealous of a fan: [livejournal.com profile] samlick_er81 was on and off Fandom_Wank like the village bicycle (Chuck knew because she always complained about it on morethanbrothers when she made F_W); she was on the lol meme’s Known Meme Enemies. Not like that meant anything. Fandom was crazy, especially anon memers; it was just . . . [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean, Chuck felt—he didn’t know—yeah, maybe a little jealous.

He should have done the respectable thing, sucked it up, and clicked away. He could also have done the less respectable, but understandable thing, aka revealed himself as Carver Edlund. But the thing was, Chuck had grown to like anonymity. It kept him warm and safe from accusations of wank; he could tell people they were interrogating the text from the wrong perspective any time he wanted on morethanbrothers, and despite numerous flames he’d incited, he’d never once make even a blip on F_W.

So Chuck did the wanky thing. He did the fail thing; he did the big no-no: he made an LJ sock-puppet.

And [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes was born to the world.


Chapter 2

Chuck didn’t update [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes for almost a year. Supernatural was still coming out up until May 2008, and while he was still getting fanmail he wasn’t so concerned about [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean.

By the end of the year, however, when the headaches and the black-outs kept on coming, but Flying Wiccan was no longer publishing, Chuck started to feel . . . well . . . lonely.

It was then that he first began posting fanfic.

When Chuck posted his first fanfic—a missing scene from his very first book—he was shocked to receive only one comment.

He read the comment from [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives twice: once in his journal and once in his email. (He created a sock email, too, but it routed to carveredlund@gmail.com—just so all his fanmail could be in one place.) And then he read the same comment on both sites another eight times, because—because—was [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives character-bashing Jess?

They were. [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives was character-bashing Jess.

It wasn’t that Chuck cared, exactly. He’d never thought much one way or another about Jess; she was just the girlfriend Sam had to have, so she could die and kick-start Sam in the series. When people asked him, Chuck didn’t mention that it had come to him in a vision. What he said was, all the great stories started that way: girl dies. Inspires quest. It was archetypal; that’s what he told fans. Go watch Braveheart.

And yet, somehow, [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives’s comment hurt. It hurt, especially since it was the only one.

Besides, he wasn’t saying Jess was a slut. Just because he’d had her in a slutty nurse costume in the first book, and wrote this missing scene with one of Sam’s friends implying she was a slut, and then killed her off before you knew anything about her besides the fact that she wore skimpy clothes to bed and could make a mean cookie, didn’t make her a slut.

She could have depth. She could have character. He hadn’t written that, but so what? She could.

He clicked reply.

What he really wanted to say was that Jess wasn’t a slut; she was the catalyst for adventure, fame, and royalties and possibly book tours once over five thousand copies sold—but of course he wasn’t going to tell [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives who he was. That would be too Anne Rice, even for him. Instead, he wrote,

I wasn’t saying she was a slut. You know, I think Edlund put Jess in that costume in order to show that even though she’s this wholesome, apple pie, “perfect” girl, she’s confident about herself and her own image. She can dress however she wants, either because it’s flirty or it’s fun, and she doesn’t care too much about what someone like Sam’s friend things. In order to be wholesome you don’t have to be a prude, or “pure” in the virgin sense, and Sam thinks she’s even more perffect because she’s not a nun. So you can take your whole ‘Jess is a slut’ riff and shove it.

109 words. [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives original comment had been 38. His reply was almost three times as long as this one, lonely review, and he hadn’t even gotten into asking about why [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives didn’t like Jess.

Chuck went back and deleted the extra f in perfect, changed “things” to “thinks”, and deleted the last line. 95 words. Then he deleted “in the virgin sense”, because he thought maybe that was obvious? 91 words.

Who was [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives anyway? Did they even care?

Chuck looked at his comment again. The part where he talked about Edlund’s intent was a pretty wanky. If anyone ever found out who he really was they would dig up this comment to show what a douche he really was. Right there for everyone to see on bad_penny.

So after another whole hour of tinkering on the comment, Chuck deleted the whole thing, wrote something as quickly as possible without thinking about it at all, closed his eyes, and hit “post comment.”

It was at least another hour before the sick feeling inside went away and he could look at the comment to make sure it was okay.


Chapter Three

For the next two days, Chuck chewed on his lip and ate Häagen-Dazs Five (it was healthier, only five ingredients) and drank Pabst Blue Ribbon (Heinekin, fuck that shit) and refreshed his sock-puppet until his finger got tired.

Somewhere in between the eight hundredth refresh and the eleven thousandth, the headache started, followed by black-out. When he came to again, everything came in a rush. Things were getting really crazy now; apparently there were angels, and they had powers that basically meant the equivalent of outer space on Star Trek: anything could happen. Dean was going back in time and meeting his grandparents, finding out Mary was a hunter.

And wasn’t that a retcon, because he’d never planned on making Mary an hunter, but every time he didn’t write what he’d seen in his head, it hurt like such a bitch that Chuck backed down. He’d never planned on there being angels, either. There just were.

Idly, Chuck wondered whether the fans would like the new stories. He couldn’t post them on LJ, of course. There was always the possibility they could get published, even if Flying Wiccan no longer wanted him. Sera was still fighting for him; she just had to convince the finance people.

Meanwhile, he could at least post all the stuff that had ended up on the cutting room floor. The conversation about Sam not liking Halloween had been in the actual book. Sera had cut it because it didn’t move the plot along enough. Chuck had been sad to see it go, but she had been right. Seemed like the best place for it was definitely the wilds of the internets. Maybe if he could get reviews, he could convince Flying Wiccan his stuff was totally popular and would sell. Then he could get this awful angel shit out of his computer and out into the world, which at least made him feel like he wasn’t the only one who was haunted.

But the fic wasn’t getting reviews. Well, it got [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives. Chuck was actually growing more and more fond of [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives by the moment. At least they reviewed, even if they didn’t reply. At least they’d read it.

Chuck just didn’t understand it. These people liked Supernatural, right? [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean had 459 friends, now (Chuck still remembered him from that first encounter during Strikethrough2007). Were all those friends there to watch [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean talk about their photocopy repair job? No. Those friends were there for SPN (that’s what they called it: SPN). [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s whole profile was SPN, SPN, SPN. He/she was about SPN, and people liked him/her for the SPN, which meant people liked SPN. And here was Chuck, the writer of SPN, and what? They didn’t want SPN?

Which begged the question: what did they want?

The fic was an actual missing scene from the actual book; couldn’t someone at least comment on how well he’d matched Edlund’s style, or on how he’d managed to flesh out the reason Sam hadn’t been wearing a costume at the bar, and Jess had? If everyone thought SPN was so brilliant, how come they didn’t think he was brilliant? He was SPN. How come they didn’t see his genius?

Suddenly, it occurred to Chuck that actually, maybe they didn’t see his genius—what if they hadn’t seen the fic? Obviously, if they had seen it, he’d have more reviews. Maybe not as many as he’d hoped for, but at least more than just the one from [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives. A fic by [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes was going to show up on exactly one person’s flist, and that person was [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes. How were people going to know who he was, or that he was an SPN fan, or that he’d written SPN fic?

What he needed, Chuck decided, was friends.


Chapter Four

How were you supposed to get friends, though? He knew how to make friends on the internet. He’d totally made friends on the internet, even on Something Awful. But this was different. He wanted people to review his fic—and okay, yeah, having conversations about what a badass Carver Edlund was, or why John was so fucked up, or how cool the monsters were, that would be okay. But really, he just wanted some reviews.

Okay, deep down, he knew that he was being stupid. He was a published author. He had this whole fandom centered around him. When you thought about it, people like [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean may not have him friended, but he existed because of Chuck. Not like the actual person existed because of him, but [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s existence as a fan was because Chuck had written Supernatural. Obviously, it was idiotic—and slightly insane—to get hung up on the fact that [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean hadn’t friend him, because [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean was a huge fan—of him. Of his work.

Chuck was a huge success and could have 459—462—friends if he wanted. He totally could.

It’s just that this whole LJ thing was sort of addictive and he couldn’t seem to stop refreshing his user page, and if they liked Carver Edlund so much, why wouldn’t they like his sock? Because if they didn’t . . . was it really the writing they loved, or was it the marketing, (the covers with their shirts ripped off, the models, the hair)—or was there actually some other Supernatural? Was there some amorphous, non-text, non-content driven Supernatural, a zeitgeist!Supernatural, some über Supernatural, a Supernatural that was his Supernatural and yet his no longer—now part of the collective mind, now part of the cultural maelström, or other words with umlauts, some Supernatural that belonged to the world and to the fans and no longer to the mind of the creator? A meta!SPN? Was it that Supernatural that they really loved—or was it Carver Edlund?

Chuck refreshed his user page again.

He started by friending the two people he knew: [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives and [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean. [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives friended him back immediately (another point in [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives’s favor; they were obviously a discerning type of person). A day went by.

Two days went by.

[livejournal.com profile] demian_dean didn’t friend him.

Chuck went back to [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s profile. If only [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean would friend him, he would probably get lots of friends, because [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean would read his fic. Then he would post about that awesome thing he read, and all 459 of [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s friends would go read Chuck’s fic, and then he would have 459 reviews. Plus two, counting [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives and [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean. 461 reviews.

He guessed if he wanted [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean to friend him, maybe he should read his journal. Comment a little! Reading [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s posts, though, it was hard to know what to say. Mostly, he (he was a he) posted about rl stuff. His bf, his job. Sometimes about rp, more often about how the forks in his fork drawer were always disappearing.

The guy was funny, Chuck had to admit. Funny and smart—sort of snarky. But it was hard to get interested in forks disappearing from [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s fork drawer; why wasn’t he posting about SPN? Wasn’t that what people were here for? Didn’t they want to talk about it?

Chuck reviewed [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s profile again. There was a link on it that said, Want to friend me? Tell me about yourself! So Chuck drank more Pabst, clicked the link, and on the question that said, How’d you find me? read answers like, SPN, baby, SPN all the way, your SPN recaps are hilarious, I can’t find my forks either, and SPN owns my soul.

So Chuck left a comment.

[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes, 2008-10-3 05:37 am UTC (link): I like SPN. Seems like you do too! Can we be friends?


One day.

Two days.

No reply.

Bag of combos, a waffle and four white Russians (cheap kind, i.e. 2%) later, Chuck was staring red-eyed at [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s profile again. He’d already clicked on some of [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s friends, the ones with names like [livejournal.com profile] snfangirl and [livejournal.com profile] spnl0v3r. None of them had big flists. Though maybe you didn’t get a big flist with a name like [livejournal.com profile] sammy_dear. [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives didn’t have that big of a flist. Maybe he should change his user icon. Maybe he should put more SPN stuff in his profile. Maybe he shouldn’t get so worked up over this; maybe it just didn’t matter; he was a published author for chrissake and they loved him; maybe—

Oooh. Maybe he should join comms!


Chapter Five

It was hard to know which comms to add. [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean had like a thousand SPN comms on his user profile, and it was hard to know what all of them were. He was guessing [livejournal.com profile] salt_burn_porn had something to do with SPN, because of the salt, but it probably wasn’t his thing, because of the porn.

He knew there was a lot of porn in SPN fandom; there was enough talk of incest on morethanbrothers for Chuck to know exactly why some fans were into the show. At first, it had seemed . . . sort of like a personal affront. He had not intended that for the characters he’d written, and for people to take his characters and write gay incest porn with them seemed offensive. That was maybe why he’d spent so many years Anne Riceing it up on morethanbrothers.

Trawling through [livejournal.com profile] spnkink_meme forced Chuck to acknowledge that by entering fandom, he was taking the characters and—maybe not writing gay incest porn—but certainly he was taking the characters and subverting someone’s intent. Certainly he was subverting the intent of these people on, what was it, [livejournal.com profile] samdean_otp, some of whom seemed to believe Sam and Dean were meant for each other. In the sexual sense.

He certainly hadn’t meant them for each other sexually, and he had created them. Was his intent, then, more important than theirs? What about their Supernatural—and there was that question again: was their Supernatural different than his Supernatural?

What was SPN?

The trouble was, Sam, Dean, the rest of them, they didn’t feel like his own characters, at times. They were and they weren’t—how could something belong to him and not to him? Ask Schrödinger’s cat, or ask any fan; ask any idea or narrative or belief—was it yours? Did exist inside of you, but also outside of you?

All Chuck really wanted was some fucking fans and maybe a friend. (Was that all anyone wanted?)

That, and to not get [livejournal.com profile] charlottelennoxed.

So Chuck clicked on [livejournal.com profile] blindfold_spn and spewed grapefruit juice and vodka on the keyboard.

He obviously needed some kind of fandom guide. Some sort of fandom fairy godmother which would not lead him through underage porn and bestiality and vodka on his keyboard. He needed the Supernatural Wiki.

Over the ages of trolling morethanbrothers, the wiki had helped Chuck identify the Ginormatron as Sam, find out what ”fell on pie” was from, and when he was being MEEEEEEAN TO DEEEEEAN. The wiki was an old friend.

Now it was his greatest weapon.

When Chuck typed “livejournal” into the search field on the wiki, he eventually found the livejournal communities page, which, to Chuck’s red-rimmed eyes, might have been the most beautiful page on earth. Using the wiki, Chuck friended [livejournal.com profile] sn_fic and [livejournal.com profile] spnnewsletter.

He was now ready to post his next fic.


Chapter Six

Chuck posted three, making sure to cross-post to [livejournal.com profile] sn_fic with relevant header info. [livejournal.com profile] spnnewsletter linked them all, though he’d had to drop a comment to get them to link the missing scene to Bloodlust he had posted on a Tuesday. The newsletter people had probably just missed it. It wasn’t personal or anything; he’d posted it to [livejournal.com profile] sn_fic, and everyone had [livejournal.com profile] sn_fic friended, especially the newsletter people. Right? That was the comm he should post to, right? It was the “universal” comm. If you weren’t doing Big Bang (whatever that was) or posting porn. Right?

Chuck received exactly six reviews.

For the missing scene from Wendigo, where one-time character Ben discovered a pictogram and Sam identified it:

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives 2008-10-8 06:37 pm UTC (link): lol wendigo i remember that one.


Nothing about how Sam identifying the picture highlighted his intelligence, or anything. And still not a capital letter in sight.

For the missing scene from Bloodlust, where Dean was anxious to go kill vampires, while Sam was beginning to have doubts:

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives (bless his/her heart) 2008-10-12 12:37 am UTC (link): poor dean.

nice insight, [livejournal.com profile] watsonian: 2008-10-8 08:22 am UTC (link): I really liked this. I especially like how you showed Sam suspecting something’s up even before he gets captured by Lenore. It could be a nice bit of foreshadowing, considering Sam and the demon’s blood. Maybe he’s always had more sympathy for monsters than Dean, or maybe there’s something instinctive that makes him try to understand them better because deep down, he knows he’s different. This was great! Thanks for sharing.


It was weird how Chuck hadn’t thought about that before. Sera had had him cut this conversation. He hadn’t wanted to cut it, because he loved showing Dean being all gung-ho to slay vamps, and he thought it connected well to Dean’s feeling about his father’s death. But he hadn’t really been planning on foreshadowing Sam at all. It must have just naturally come out in his writing. [livejournal.com profile] watsonian was right: this was great. This was very great!

Could he ask [livejournal.com profile] watsonian to rec it?

He didn’t ask [livejournal.com profile] watsonian to rec it. Frankly, he was too embarrassed. Somehow it seemed gauche, and [livejournal.com profile] watsonian seemed . . . well, sort of classy.

In fandom, did gauche equal wank? How wanky was it? Did asking people to rec you get you on F_W? Was there a newbie guide about what was considered wank in fandom, and what was considered good form? What about if you were new? What if you were new and only had two people and two comms friended, and didn’t know how to get anyone to read your fic?

In the end, Chuck decided to friend [livejournal.com profile] watsonian and take a look at their profile page. Modest! Very modest. Only 80 friends. Well, 80 friends was a lot. It was forty times the size of his flist. (Actually, it was 80 times the size of his, since [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean never did friend him back. But if [livejournal.com profile] watsonian friended him back, then it would be forty times, and if you were looking at his “friends list” and not his “friend of” list, it would be 26.6 times the size of his flist. He’d used a calculator.) But it was only a fifth and three-quarters the size of [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean’s flist (5.775 = 462/80. You had to do 462 because [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean had been friended by three people in the last two weeks. Three).

When Chuck friended [livejournal.com profile] watsonian, she didn’t friend him back (he knew it was a she because it said on her profile). That was okay. He was getting used to this.

She had left a very nice review.

The last fic, the missing scene where Ash tried to pick up a girl at the Roadhouse (from Hunted) got three reviews. This surprised Chuck the most, not because it had more reviews than any of his other fics, but because it got so much less than he was expecting.

Chuck had thought if any of the fics would be successful, it would be this one. It wasn’t as character driven or as thoughtful as the missing scene from BloodlustDean’s Own Bloodlust was deeper, more insightful, better writing—just look at [livejournal.com profile] watsonian’s comment about it. But this fic, Ash Scratches The Cue, was hilarious. People always loved comedy; he just accepted that his comedic stuff would get more reviews than his serious, thoughtful stuff.

“Ash Scratches The Cue,” he had thought, was going to be the fic everyone reviewed. It was going to be the fic that got him friends, and made him internet famous. This should have been the fic they all loved him for, and all he got was three reviews. Three lousy reviews.

And one was from [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives. (Chuck’s love for [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives grew three sizes that day.)

And none were from [livejournal.com profile] watsonian. (Chuck’s love for [livejournal.com profile] watsonian shriveled and died a poor lonely death).

Chuck spent the hour crafting a reply to [livejournal.com profile] watsonian back on “Dean’s Own Bloodlust.” He liked her. He wanted people like that reading his fic. He wanted to talk to people like that about Sam’s motivations, and he wanted to ask them if they had seen how the scene was partly about Dean reacting to John’s death?

If only [livejournal.com profile] watsonian would friend him. He thought they could really get along. And then she would read “Ash Scratches The Cue” and rec it and then he would have 80 reviews. Well, 82 because of [livejournal.com profile] watsonian and [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives—ever faithful, ever loyal, ever awesome, [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, who still didn’t use capital letters, ever.

After thinking too much about it, Chuck deleted the entire reply he’d been working on. Every overture of friendship sounded creepy. Instead, he left something that sounded utterly banal:

Re: nice insight, [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes: 2008-10-17 10:48 am UTC (link):Thanks! Glad you liked it. I hadn’t thought that about Sam before, but yeah, I think you’re right. Thanks for the insight!


There was no reply, and she still didn’t friend him.

Then [livejournal.com profile] watsonian posted a fic, and everything changed.


Chapter Seven

Sure, Chuck had tried reading fic before. He’d even read some slashy incest porn, just for the hell of it. The trouble with fanfic was that some of it just wasn’t very good.

When Chuck read [livejournal.com profile] watsonian’s fic, it was because he was bored. He’d already gone through half a pack of Nutter Butters and three Monsters, and he was still bored, and still no one was reviewing, and [livejournal.com profile] spnnewsletter was big and scary, and [livejournal.com profile] sn_fic had too much fic, and [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean still hadn’t friended him.

It was times like this that he reminded himself: he was the creator. He had said, “Let there be Sam and Dean” and then there were. The word was not made flesh—right? There was no Sam and Dean. And yet LARP would live forever.

It was times like this he began to fear the Götterdämmerung, because Castiel fucking said it was the end of the world and he was saying it in Chuck’s head.

Why did it have to be existential? And German?

He was Carver Edlund. He was Carver Edlund, and the fans worshipped him. Even if they’d stopped sending him fanmail.

He refreshed his profile again.

Still just the one: [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives. [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, his one and only friend.

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, Chuck had learned, was mostly just a lurker. Occasionally she (she was a she) posted about her music list, cats, and job, and finally Chuck found out she was a lawyer. A lawyer. Named [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives. Who would probably die before using a capital letter. Just went to show you that things like usernames and comments told you nothing about people irl.

Still, though. Chuck didn’t know how to start a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, because she rarely posted, and when she did it wasn’t about SPN. It wasn’t even about anything he could relate to, and it would be totally creepy to comment on one of her posts and say something like, Hey! Can we talk about SPN?

She probably wouldn’t reply anyway.

It was around that time that [livejournal.com profile] watsonian posted her fic. It popped up on Chuck’s flist, and he read it mostly because he didn’t have another Monster in the fridge.

The fic, he discovered, was good.

It was just a little thing, about Dean’s feelings on his trip to the cross-road, and why he made the deal. But it was very well done.

Chuck didn’t really know what to say.

After about ten minutes of debate, he finally clicked the comment button.

kudos!, [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes 2008-10-22 11:09 pm UTC (link): I like this!

Re: kudos!,[livejournal.com profile] watsonian 2008-10-23 12:04 am UTC (link): Hey! Thanks! I wasn’t sure it worked.

Re: Re: kudos!,[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes 2008-10-23 12:11 am UTC (link): It totally works. You have a nice, poetic style. Different than Edlund’s, but that sorta makes it its own thing. Like a drawing or something, based on SPN.


Chuck was checking his email every other minute, eating Cheetohs and Jack Daniels, wondering if/what she would reply. The next time he checked his email, he didn’t receive a comment notification. This was even better:

Message from Livejournal: watsonian has added you as a friend! [livejournal.com profile] watsonian has added you to their Friends list. They will now be able to read your public entries on their Friends page. You can:


In that moment, Chuck’s heart nearly stopped. Then it made the leap to his throat and lodged there for the next half hour, while he compulsively refreshed [livejournal.com profile] watsonian’s fanfic to see whether she replied—and, to his own surprise—to make sure she got the reviews she deserved.

For the first time in SPN fandom, Chuck had made a friend.


Chapter Seven

Over the next few days, Chuck commented on all [livejournal.com profile] watsonian’s fanfic. She seemed really delighted to receive his reviews, and even went back and commented on “Ash Scratches The Cue” and “First Book: Missing Scene.” She didn’t comment on Where The Wendigo Was, but he sort of understood. That one was just a little one.

Though he really wished someone would point out how clever it was that he’d managed to illuminate Sam’s college education with such a neat little scene.

Chuck found that the more he read of [livejournal.com profile] watsonian’s fic, and the more she commented on his own, the more interested he was when she posted about other stuff. Mostly she just talked about other fandoms she was in—big fan of Doctor Who and House. There was a little rl in there—stuff about her puppy and a hat she bought, and a little about her social anxiety.

Strangely, all the sudden Chuck felt interested. He didn’t understand why she was socially anxious, since she was smart and nice and very articulate, but that of course was all online. He thought she looked great in her new hat, even if the picture was a little MySpace. In fact, he thought it was cute how her picture was a little MySpace, because she was a thirty-six year old married woman with two sons.

He had even suffered this weird pang, learning she was married in a post she’d written about her mother-in-law, and then he’d been glad her mother-in-law was so awesome, because she deserved an awesome mother-in-law, and an awesome husband. And awesome sons, and an awesome puppy.

When she posted about losing her keys, he felt empathetic, and that was weird.

It wasn’t that Chuck had no empathy at all; it was just that it was hard to feel empathy for someone so far away whose face you never saw, except in a blurry picture in front of a mirror taken with the camera held in her right hand. It was just that, not that he was misogynist or anything (was he misogynist?), he really only liked her for her SPN. He had thought that was why he liked her, but when she lost her keys—that was sad.

If [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean had posted about his keys, Chuck might’ve thought it hard luck, but his main reaction would have been to wonder why there were 68 replies of sympathy. But when [livejournal.com profile] watsonian lost her keys, all he could think was:

[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes 2008-10-24 02:24 pm UTC (link): That sucks so much! I hate it when the happens. Lol but I don’t have a car. I hope you find them!

[livejournal.com profile] watsonian 2008-10-24 02:36 pm UTC (link): ha. Thx. It would suck not to have a car do you ride the bus?

[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes 2008-10-24 02:36 pm UTC (link): sometimes. But I bum a lot of rides!

[livejournal.com profile] watsonian 2008-10-24 02:37 pm UTC (link): Maybe that’s what I’ll do. Or maybe I’ll just buy an Impala. The fam will love it!

[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes 2008-10-24 02:38 pm UTC (link): haha they can’t judge you! Metallicar. You’d be awesome.

[livejournal.com profile] watsonian 2008-10-24 02:42 pm UTC (link): Found them! OMG

[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes 2008-10-24 02:42 pm UTC (link): Awww. So no Metallicar? :o) j/k glad you found them!


The other thing that happened, besides getting to know [livejournal.com profile] watsonian, was that [livejournal.com profile] watsonian got recced.

Chuck was just going over [livejournal.com profile] watsonian’s journal, waiting for her reply about the Metallicar; sometimes he counted comments on her fic. Part of it was, yeah, comparing it to the number of comments that he got, but part of it was he wanted her to be successful. She was smart and cute and funny. She should have a lot of reviews.

Chuck’s eyes sorta bugged out of his head, though, when he saw the reviews on Dean at the Cross-roads—the fic that had first gotten his attention. There were 45 comments! 45! Last time he checked, there had been 12. 12 was a nice, good number, though he thought she deserved more. But 45!

Hurriedly, he clicked on the Read Comments link, reading the comments all at once. Nice things, they all said nice things, but why—oh. Oh. That was why.

(Anonymous), 2008-10-24 10:51 am UTC (link): Just dropping a line to let you know you’ve been recced here.


So Chuck clicked the link. It took him to a page of recs, and that was how he learned about [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala.


Chapter Eight

Chuck had no idea what [livejournal.com profile] crack_van was an he didn’t care. He just knew he had to get recced by [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala. If only he was recced by [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala, everyone would see his fic and then they would all read it, and they would all love him.

It was in this state of mind that Chuck posted Lazarus Rising.

He knew it was wrong. He knew Sera would have his ass. He knew that now he could never publish it, because he’d posted his baby as a fanfic on LJ and he was a total tool.

But if it got him recced, he didn’t really care.

It was a weird, strange thing. No matter who he was or how he thought he felt about himself, he couldn’t seem to stop the obsessive clicking of his flist. He couldn’t seem to stop compulsively comparing the number of comments other people got to the number of comments he got. He couldn’t seem to stop feeling bad that his stories were overlooked and under-appreciated, and he was the writer of the freakin’ series. It just didn’t seem to matter; he couldn’t stop.

He couldn’t even stop feeling hurt that [livejournal.com profile] watsonian got recced at [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala, and he didn’t; it was as though she’d done something to him, personally. The only thing she had done, of course, was be awesome: she wrote awesome fic and left awesome comments, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t stop.

So, he slapped a header on that bitch and posted—careful, as ever, to cross-post to [livejournal.com profile] sn_fic.

It got six reviews.

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, 2008-11-02 08:33 pm UTC (link): love bring-back-dean fics. see username! lol.

[livejournal.com profile] snfangirl, 2008-11-02 08:37 pm UTC (link): love it!

holy crap, [livejournal.com profile] watsonian, 2008-11-02 08:55 pm UTC (link): Amazing, as always. I love how you can write something so completely different, and yet manage to maintain Edlund’s tone. There’s a sequel, right? I want find out more about this Castiel, and what Sam’s been up to. You did such a great job capturing Dean’s . . . disorientation, sort of muted pain. I look forward to more!

[livejournal.com profile] sammy_dear, 2008-11-02 09:10 pm UTC (link): Interesting! Who’s that girl Sam was with, though? I don’t think he’d be shacking up with anyone so soon after Dean’s death. Otherwise, it’s awesome!

[livejournal.com profile] twop_barnes, 2008-11-02 10:13 pm UTC (link): This was cool, except I do hope you get rid of the OC. Hope you update soon—can’t wait to see what happens! ~barnes

[livejournal.com profile] spnl0v3r, 2008-11-03 12:26 am UTC (link): Nice! Well written and I like Dean. It was so good!.


But nary a peep from [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala.

And this [livejournal.com profile] twop_barnes, guy, who was he anyway? Come on, saying that Cass was an OC—well, okay. So Cass was an OC. But he was Carver Edlund, so Cass being an OC made Cass canon.

Chuck almost went on and commented right then. Instead, he had a Mike’s Lemonade and ate Pasta Roni out of a pan, and tried to cool down. He was not Anne Rice.

He was not Anne Rice.

Nor was he Laurell K. Hamilton.

He was cool. He was totally cool, and he would not make F_W.

Okay, so [livejournal.com profile] twop_barnes. Oh, okay. 518 friends. So he was a big deal, huh? Was he—yep. Friends with [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean. Hey! [livejournal.com profile] twop_barnes even mentioned [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean in his user profile. They were—they were—

Okay. Lol wut. They were boyfriends?

He had to talk to someone about this.


Chapter Nine

Luckily, Chuck and [livejournal.com profile] watsonian had sort of started talking over im.

chuck_still_writes: hi!
wat_so: hey.
wat_so: loved that fic. Thought it was amazing
chuck_still_writes: thanks
chuck_still_writes: I don’t think crack_impala thought so
wat_so: haha. You need to stop worrying so much about who recs you
chuck_still_writes: I know. I just, it’s hard.
wat_so: it okay.
wat_so: I understand.
wat_so: Sometimes I still feel that way. I’m shocked that fic of mine got recced at all
chuck_still_writes: of course it got recced
chuck_still_writes: it was awesome!
wat_so: thanks ;)
chuck_still_writes: do you know who twop_barnes is?
wat_so: demian_dean’s bf?


Chuck’s heart did a weird little thump.

chuck_still_writes: oh. Yeah.
chuck_still_writes: I didn’t know they were together
wat_so: lol
wat_so: it’s this whole big thing
wat_so: they larp
chuck_still_writes: larp?
wat_so: you know. Live action role play?
wat_so: they play sam and dean
chuck_still_writes: is that how come they have such big flists?
wat_so: ha
wat_so: no
wat_so: idk
wat_so: it was probably the recaps
wat_so: they do the recaps on BWS
chuck_still_writes: books with snark
wat_so: yahtzee.


[livejournal.com profile] watsonian said “yahtzee” a lot. Chuck thought she was probably more of a “Dean girl” than a “Sam girl.” He’d learned those terms from the wiki.

chuck_still_writes: I didn’t know it was that demian and barnes
chuck_still_writes: huh.
wat_so: yeah
wat_so: why?
chuck_still_writes: what?
chuck_still_writes: no reason
wat_so: they’re bnfs
chuck_still_writes: bnfs?
wat_so: lol
wat_so: you are such a n00b
chuck_still_writes: what’s a bnfs?
wat_so: bnf. Big Name Fan.


Chuck’s hands felt sorta sweaty.

chuck_still_writes: ah
wat_so: yeah
chuck_still_writes: guess I’ll never be a bnf
wat_so: haha. Cheer up. your fic is awesome.
chuck_still_writes: so’s yours.
wat_so: the only reason they’re bnfs anyway is because of kripke
wat_so: I mean, besides bws
chuck_still_writes: kripke?
wat_so: lol. You don’t know lord_kripke? omg. you’re like the only one in the universe
chuck_still_writes: who’s lord_kripke?
wat_so: he wrote that fic
chuck_still_writes: which fic?
wat_so: that fic. THE fic.
chuck_still_writes: what’re you talking about?
wat_so: lol
wat_so: omg. You really don’t know! It’s like, the most epic fic in fandom. telsosad.
chuck_still_writes: what kind of title is that?
wat_so: The Epic Love Story of Sam and Dean. I’m not a hardcore fan, but you should read it
wat_so: for cultural value if nothing else
wat_so: it’s the biggest fic. It’s like that hp fic or something, but for SPN
chuck_still_writes: what hp fic?
wat_so: you are the cutest
chuck_still_writes: fine
wat_so: hee! Smooches


And that, my friends, is how the rivalry we all know and love to clap.gif was born.


Chapter Ten

The Epic Love Story of Sam and Dean (aka The Epic Love Story of SAD, TELSOSAD, Tells Of Sad, or TOS, not to be confused with Star Trek: The Original Series, but sometimes confused with Terms of Service, The Sad Project, or TSP), in case you really have been living under a rock, was an 58 part fanfic of Carver Edlund’s series, Supernatural. TOS retold each novel. But with more sex.

There wasn’t Sam and Dean sex, but there was this totally weird vibe going on and people totally slashed kripke!Sam and kripke!Dean. [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke freely admitted he had left a lot ambiguous because Sam and Dean are really fucked up, okay?

It was [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away who titled the fic. When [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke began, it had been untitled. After the first installment, however, TOS became a collaborative, multi-media project. [livejournal.com profile] bobby_sing_it made fanart based on it, and [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away wrote spin-off incest. All the Super Nats eventually joined in with art, hand-written letters, hand-made journals, missing scenes, and, in later days, installments for TOS itself, though ownership was always given to [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke.

Wall Street Journal said in an article about fanfic:

Eric Kripke, 32, has created a richer romantic history for the two men than Edlund ever could have using books alone."

[livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke currently possesses 1,407 friends at the date of this posting.

The fic, Chuck decided, was plagiarism.

TOS was Supernatural all over again; the only difference was more sex. And more emotions. And more crying. Mostly, [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke had just gone in and added long, loving descriptions about the way the boys looked at each other: the loving affection in Dean’s eyes, the need in Sam’s. (Sam’s lovely hooker eyes, or so the fic went, and “Dean’s anime eyes and pouty mouth.”) There was also the touching, of course: hugging, Dean’s hand on Sam’s chest, and the description of the wall-slam in the “AU” Salvation. And then there was that long, weird description in the “AU” Phantom Traveller, about Dean in bed in briefs, that began somewhere near the ass and described all the way up to his sleeping face.

TOS hadn’t been updated since July 2008, shortly after the release of No Rest For The Wicked. [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke kept promising “timestamps” and “missing scenes,” but Chuck could have told everyone the truth: [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke didn’t have an original idea in his head. He had stolen all of his stuff from canon; he hadn’t even changed it that much, except for—except for—what did you even call this? It wasn’t just the slash.

It was emo porn.

So Chuck said so.

On November 20, 2008, at 12:59am Chuck made the post we all know and remember on [livejournal.com profile] slashnoteboook, an SPN slash discussion comm:

Is it the porn?
I don’t understand why Tells Of Sad is so popular. Tell me why it’s so popular? Isn’t it plagiarism, really? It’s just Supernatural, except with porn.


The shit hit the proverbial fan, and the rest, as they say, is history. Replies to Chuck’s post included:

DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away, 2008-11-20 01:01am, UTC (link): let’s see you write something better.

Re: DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes, 2008-11-20 01:01am, UTC (link): maybe I have.

[livejournal.com profile] edlund_lover, 2008-11-20 01:05am, UTC (link): ooooh more TOS wank. *popcorn.gif*

[livejournal.com profile] glass_family, 2008-11-20 05:46am, UTC (link): ’troll’ is right, gamble. Laff it up, fuzzball.

Re: Re: DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] parks_the_car, 2008-11-20 05:46am, UTC (link): c’mon. whip it out. Post that mf that’s better than Tells Of Sad. Let’s see it.

[livejournal.com profile] bobby_sing_it, 2008-11-20 07:53am, UTC (link): love the plagiarism wank! Gets me every time. Wankas gonna wank.

[livejournal.com profile] long_seige, 2008-11-20 10:13 am, UTC (link): Are you seriously accusing a fanfic of SPN of plagiarizing SPN? Do I need to break out the definition of fanfic? Find another life, douchebag.

[livejournal.com profile] nother_ben, 2008-11-20 10:20 am, UTC (link): hahahahahaha oh wait u were 4 srs


Then, at 10:30am (armed with more Pasta Roni and Honest Tea with Jack Daniels) Chuck posted another fic on his journal, and this:

Re: Re: Re: DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes, 2008-11-20 10:36 am, UTC (link): Are You There God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester. Read it and weep.

Re: Re: Re: Re: DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away, 2008-11-20 10:37 am, UTC (link): Winchester? WINCHESTER? You named the boys WINCHESTER?!?! BRB laughing forever

Re: Re: Re: Re: DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] bobby_sing_it, 2008-11-20 10:39 am, UTC (link): lol. last name is Burnsfield. KNOW UR FANON

Re: Re: Re: Re: DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] nother_ben, 2008-11-20 10:45 am, UTC (link): Blume? Srsly? Whose plagarizing who?


Some people actually clicked the link.

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, 2008-11-20 11:15 am, UTC (link): i like it, keep going!

[livejournal.com profile] sammy_dear, 2008-11-20 11:25 am, UTC (link): you’re not going to make Sam hook up with Ruby, are you? Also isn’t Ruby supposed to be blonde? Looking forward to the rest.

[livejournal.com profile] spnl0v3r, 2008-11-20 11:28 am, UTC (link): Nice! Well written and I like Dean. It was so good!.


Which was actually the same review [livejournal.com profile] spnl0v3r had left on “Lazarus Rising.” Maybe they just C&P’ed?

[livejournal.com profile] thehookman, 2008-11-20 11:28 am, UTC (link): Es ist gut. Especially the fighting and the dying!


[livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke, meanwhile, was noticeably silent.

Then the following post went up on [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away:

12:02 pm, Thursday, November 20, 2008
wank away

ho hum. Another troll thinks he can do better than Tells Of Sad


Replies included:

not again, [livejournal.com profile] twop_barnes, 2008-11-20 12:06 pm, UTC (link): what? Where?

Re: not again, [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away, 2008-11-20 12:06 pm, UTC (link): linky. it’s all so funny, really.


Then [livejournal.com profile] twop_barnes weighed in on Chuck’s new fic, “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester”:

[livejournal.com profile] twop_barnes, 2008-11-20 12:10 pm, UTC (link):I thought you were okay. Turns out, you suck. No love, ~barnes


And Chuck’s dreams were at long last fulfilled when he finally got a comment from the first person he ever added on LJ:

[livejournal.com profile] demian_dean, 2008-11-20 12:11 pm, UTC (link): Go fuck yourself.


And then the post turned infamous with the arrival of SPN’s number one fan:

[livejournal.com profile] samlick_er81, 2008-11-20 12:30 pm, UTC (link): This is amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!!!! More Sam/Dean though, please! Sammy just needs to fuck him so bad! *lick lick lick*


And where in all this, you ask, was Chuck’s one friend?

Well, at first, she obviously did not get the memo from the Super Nats, and replied to “Are You There, God?”:

[livejournal.com profile] watsonian, 2008-11-20 01:29 pm, UTC (link):C, this is soooooooo good. I like Castiel. So creative! It makes sense that if there are demons, there could be angels. I love how you address all the really questionable things that happen in canon, that could be seen as Sam and Dean’s fault—Meg, Henrickson, etc. Can’t wait for you to continue—I want to see where this Sam/Ruby thing is going!

[livejournal.com profile] watsonian, 2008-11-20 01:37 pm, UTC (link):whoa, just saw all the comments . . . pay no attention to the haters . . . I like Winchester! Burnsfield is way over-used . . . Huzzah for original fanon! Maybe they just don’t like het . . . don’t worry! I love it just as much as Sam/Dean . . .


It wasn’t until later that day she found the post on [livejournal.com profile] slashnoteboook.

Re: Re: Re: DIAF, Troll, [livejournal.com profile] watsonian, 2008-11-20 03:12 pm, UTC (link):[livejournal.com profile] watsonian: whoa . . . let’s all just calm down.


It was the beginning of the end for Chuck.


Chapter Eleven

wat_so: what were you thinking?
chuck_still_writes: helllooo!


Chuck felt pretty keyed up. He’d had a Red Bull and a whole can of Pirouettes, and a little Cheez Whiz. He didn’t care if the Super Nats hated him. He cared that people were reading his fic, and at last—at last!—he had the attention he craved.

Maybe he would even make [livejournal.com profile] crack_impala. The comment count on “Are You There” was 64, and counting. Only 18 of them were flames. 8 of them, in fact, claimed they hated TOS/[livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke/the Super Nats/fandom in general/the world and he was a much better writer anyway.

Chuck was keeping his eye on those guys. They could turn on him at any second.

wat_so: hi
chuck_still_writes: thanks for that review!!! :) :)
wat_so: are you on crack
wat_so: what were you thinking?
chuck_still_writes: what do you mean?
wat_so: TOS
wat_so: that’s what I mean.
chuck_still_writes: oh
chuck_still_writes: I thought you weren’t a big fan?
wat_so: I’m not
wat_so: that doesn’t mean you should go around bashing it
chuck_still_writes: what?
chuck_still_writes: I didn’t bash it
wat_so: yes you did
chuck_still_writes: I said it was a lot like SPN
chuck_still_writes: that was all
wat_so: okay
wat_so: yeah
chuck_still_writes: what?
wat_so: nevermind
chuck_still_writes: what
wat_so: nothing
wat_so: you’re just new
chuck_still_writes: huh?
chuck_still_writes: what’re you talking about
wat_so: the plagiarism thing.
wat_so: it’s the oldest wank in the book
chuck_still_writes: wank?
wat_so: you know, wank
wat_so: you do know what wank is, right?
chuck_still_writes: oh! sure
chuck_still_writes: I wasn’t trying to wank
wat_so: I know
wat_so: it’s just fandom has been over and over this
wat_so: it’s stupid
wat_so: I never get involved
wat_so: but now I am
chuck_still_writes: I’m sorry
wat_so: it’s okay
chuck_still_writes: you don’t have to be involved
chuck_still_writes: I mean, you don’t have to defend me, or anything
wat_so: haha
wat_so: yes I do
wat_so: anyway
wat_so: it’s true
wat_so: you do have a point
wat_so: and your fic is better than kripke’s
chuck_still_writes: thanks
wat_so: I’m not afraid to say so
wat_so: I’m just afraid of people like samlick_er81
chuck_still_writes: oh
chuck_still_writes: her
chuck_still_writes: hey. Would she be considered a bnf?
wat_so: I don’t know
wat_so: I just know that where she goes
wat_so: F_W follows


Chuck looked at that for a long time.

F_W.

He’d forgotten about F_W. How could he forget about F_W? He’d avoided it for so long—and now he was drawing [livejournal.com profile] watsonian into it.

But it was the Super Nats who were wanking, right? [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke had even had to send his friends in to defend him, and they all looked like a pack of douches, right?

Besides, TOS was plagiarism. There were no ands or buts about it, the thing really was just straight up Supernatural. Never mind the niggling suspicion that TOS was the real Supernatural. Not the “real” Supernatural in the sense that it was the one that got published, but the real Supernatural in the sense that this was what fans thought of when they thought of the series.

Maybe TOS was it: the zeitgeist!Supernatural, the über Supernatural. Maybe this was the narrative of the collective consciousness, the Supernatural that was more than just what existed on the page. Maybe this Supernatural was picspams and meta and brilliant, gorgeous, funny hot angsty delicious fic. Maybe this Supernatural was gun porn, knife porn, hand porn, PEN porn; maybe this Supernatural was Kripke being a magnificent bastard and owning people’s souls. Maybe this Supernatural was fireman costumes, priest costumes, and that slow, loving description up Dean’s body in Phantom Traveler; maybe this Supernatural was kink memes and anon memes and endless wank, LJ friends and foes and this strange, alien culture of fandom.

Supernatural: the way a story became more than a story when the public (the people?) gets a hold of it, when it becomes perception, interpretation, reinterpretation, transformation, when it becomes an iteration upon an iteration, in the way that The Odyssey can never just be Homer’s Odyssey, if it was ever Homer’s to begin with, the way that King Arthur is no longer just a man, the way that Star Trek is never, ever going to be just Star Trek again. Maybe it was the new kind of oral tradition, the new kind of story told around a new kind of fire, the new kind of culture.

Maybe this was SPN.

Meet the new Weltanschauung. And here was the scary thought: it was the same as the old world view.

wat_so: are you there?


Who . . . ? Chuck shook himself and swallowed.

chuck_still_writes: yeah
wat_so: sorry to complain
wat_so: you must be going through hell
chuck_still_writes: no
chuck_still_writes: I mean yes
chuck_still_writes: I never told anyone this before
wat_so: what
wat_so: chuck?
chuck_still_writes: I black out
wat_so: what
chuck_still_writes: before the stories come
chuck_still_writes: I black out
chuck_still_writes: I know it sounds crazy
chuck_still_writes: but I get these headaches. And then the stories come to me. Sometimes I just feel like . . .
chuck_still_writes: they’re given to me
chuck_still_writes: I know it sounds crazy
wat_so: no
wat_so: I mean, that happens to me too. Not with the black-outs.
wat_so: but sometimes I wonder . . . like, writing. What it means. It’s so personal, and yet . . . it’s like accessing another universe
chuck_still_writes: yeah
chuck_still_writes: yeah, it’s like that
wat_so: and it should be this personal universe. Since it’s something in your head, you know? It should be this very personal universe.
chuck_still_writes: but instead you have to write it
wat_so: and share it
chuck_still_writes: yeah
wat_so: and the amazing thing is, people understand it
wat_so: other people understand it, and live in it. Sometimes they understand it better than fact
wat_so: fiction I mean
chuck_still_writes: I don’t understand it
chuck_still_writes: but sometimes . . . it just feels more real
wat_so: no
wat_so: I get you
wat_so: that’s why fanfic is so interesting
wat_so: it’s living in another person’s world . . . other people’s heads . . .
wat_so: but then you start to realize
wat_so: we’re all on the same page. Even when we’re being stupid and fighting and wank. I mean, we’re all in each other’s world, this one big world. We’re all on the same page


Chuck looked at that for a long time.

wat_so: lol I think I’m high
wat_so: the thought of F_W was too much for me
wat_so: I had to have a joint.
chuck_still_writes: haha
chuck_still_writes: can I have some?
wat_so: lol. You take care.



Chapter Twelve

For a while, there was uneasy peace. For the most part, the Super Nats went about their business, and Chuck went about his. Occasionally the Super Nats still came in and trolled Chuck’s fic, though Chuck restrained himself from posting any more at [livejournal.com profile] slashnoteboook. Instead, he busied himself with posting more fic.

By March 2009, he had a flist of 423—342 more than [livejournal.com profile] watsonian (who had since only gained two, [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes and [livejournal.com profile] dean_lives). Most of his flist were following his series, which began with “Lazarus Rising” and so far was on Sex and Violence.

Most of the readers were still unsure about Castiel. They didn’t know where it was going—hell, Chuck didn’t know where it was going either. And then there was Ruby.

Ah, Ruby.

Canon!Ruby, for those of you who don’t know, was this blonde chick who was morally ambiguous and kicked a lot of ass. Chuck!Ruby was this brunette lady who made a lot of faces with full, pouty lips and had sex with Sam a lot. Like all the time, except it still wasn’t porny like Tells of Sad was porny. And you were supposed to like her, or something.

Chuck actually had this whole internally consistent to the narrative reason to change her hair color, but he still got a lot of comments that said:

[livejournal.com profile] spnl0v3r, 2008-11-29 04:08 am, UTC (link):cool, but I think you got Ruby’s hair color wrong, lol

[livejournal.com profile] long_seige, 2008-11-29 04:16 am, UTC (link):too bad Ruby is freaking BLONDE

[livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away, 2008-11-29 04:21 am, UTC (link):no no remember siege. >[livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes is ABOVE canon

[livejournal.com profile] long_seige, 2008-11-29 04:22 am, UTC (link):That’s right; I forgot.

[livejournal.com profile] sammy_dear, 2008-11-29 04:31 am, UTC (link):Ruby has a new body now so that’s why she’s brunet. Though I liked her blonde because I’m blonde haha. :)

[livejournal.com profile] bobby_sing_it, 2008-11-29 04:21 am, UTC (link):Say whatever you want; his Ruby is still OOC.


Chuck actually sort of agreed with those who claimed the latter, but he couldn’t help it. Ruby was Ruby was Ruby; she said the things she did the way she said them, and did the things she did the way she did them. When he tried to make her more like blonde!Ruby, everything in him resisted. He got a pounding headache, and started thinking about that conversation with [livejournal.com profile] watsonian.

Writing was way more stressful than he had ever thought it would be, really. First there was the fact that it didn’t even feel like his story anyway, and then there was the fact that everyone else seemed to think it was their story. Maybe that was what fanfiction was about, except it wasn’t really fanfiction—and if it was, where was the real story?

So Chuck wrote Ruby as she came to him.

When Chuck finally did make F_W, though, it was not about Ruby.

It was about Marissa Wright.

The truth did out one chilly day near the end of February, when [livejournal.com profile] edlund_lover made a very interesting post on his LJ.

To understand this wank, you need to know about The Game. If you are in SPN or Holmes fandom, you might be familiar with The Game, but unlike fanfic or wank, it is not a universal fandom past time.

The Game began in Sherlock Holmes fandom, and is explained well here in The Straight Dope:

The point is to pretend that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were real, that Watson wrote the stories reporting actual events, and that Conan Doyle was merely Watson's literary agent. Essentially, one applies Holmes's own methods to analyzing the stories, trying to explain the inconsistencies, fill the gaps, and identify the other characters and events.

Sherlock Holmes, it is interesting to note, is also the source of the word “canon” for the root text that inspires fanfiction, borrowing the Biblical word for the set of works regarded as scripture (source: lolwiki).

The Game is played in SPN fandom largely due to Ghostfacers. Ghostfacers are a team of “professional” paranormal investigators featured in Edlund’s novels—but they are also real. Harry Spangler and Ed Zeddmore run a website about urban legends, called Hell Hound’s Lair both in the books and in real life. Edlund featured Spangler, Zeddmore, and the web site in his book, Hell House.

At first, many fans believed Hell Hound’s Lair to be an invention of Edlund as a way to promote his novels. Other fans claimed that the site was real, citing the creation date of the site, the obvious labor that had gone into it, and the lack of any mention of Edlund or the series. They also cited various other “real” people, places, and events in Edlund’s novels, claiming that Edlund was using real details to write his books.

In April 2008, the Ghostfacers website appeared, laying to rest most claims that Spangler and Zeddmore were inventions of Edlund (though the appearance of Edlund’s novel Ghostfacers just one week later is sometimes used as evidence that Edlund knows Spangler, and that they are working together). Though Ghostfacers is evidence that Edlund does use true facts in his work, most fans in SPN, as in Sherlock Holmes fandom, do not believe that The Game is “real”. The moniker is true: it is just a game, almost like a treasure hunt to discover the kernels of reality in Edlund’s fiction.

After [livejournal.com profile] edlund_lover’s post, however, The Game became one of the wankiest wanks in history.

12:49pm, Friday, February 27, 2009
An Issue of Respect

Okay, this is going to seem really wanky. But I’ve been looking into this for a long time, and . . . I’ve got to say something.

This is about Marissa Wright.

Marissa Wright was a 26 year old from Larkin, who went to Canonsburg for their annual Oktoberfest. There she had died, due to unexplained circumstances. You might remember her: she was a minor OFC in [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes’s multi-part sequel, the part in question being Monster Movie.

Marissa Wright’s family knew her as Mari, and mourned her death.

Yeah. You read that right. Marissa Wright was a real person. You might have thought, “Wow, Oktoberfest! Funny setting.” You might have thought, “Wow, so original.” But it’s not. It was real, and this is taking it too far.

There are other instances. Olivia Lowry, from Are You There, God? Luthur Garland, in Yellow Fever. Luke Wallace, The Great Pumpkin.

Look it up. Every minor character who dies? Was a real person. It’s one thing to play The Game. It’s SPN, lots of people do it. It’s another thing again to use real people who are dead to write your fanfic. Come on. There’s fandom.

There’s real life.

Have a little respect.


The internet exploded after that.


Chapter Thirteen

After [livejournal.com profile] edlund_lover’s post, replies to Chuck’s latest fic, “Sex and Violence”, included:

hope you die, [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away, 2009-02-27 01:01pm, UTC (link): trufax

Re: hope you die, [livejournal.com profile] park_the_car, 2009-02-27 01:01pm, UTC (link): hope he lives. Then we can kill him. SLOWLY.

[livejournal.com profile] glass_family, 2009-02-27 02:15 pm, UTC (link): You make me sick. How could you do this?

(Anonymous), 2009-02-27 02:15 pm, UTC (link): Just read [livejournal.com profile] edlund_lover’s post. I don’t know what to think. I’m devastated. I loved your fic :(

[livejournal.com profile] nother_ben, 2009-02-27 02:17 pm, UTC (link): In what universe is this acceptable? I hope you get help.

[livejournal.com profile] samlick_er81, 2009-02-27 02:17 pm, UTC (link): Maybe it is real. You don’t know. You don’t know why he used real people! maybe it’s wrong but maybe it’s right! maybe it’s a lot like incest that way! You just don’t know! *lick lick lick*

[livejournal.com profile] sammy_dear, 2009-02-27 02:17 pm, UTC (link): I just read this. You know what? I used to like your fic. Now? I know you’re a dickwad. Have a little sensitivity, why don’t you? *defriends*

(Anonymous), 2009-02-27 02:18 pm, UTC (link): Not cool.

[livejournal.com profile] long_seige, 2009-02-27 02:18 pm, UTC (link): You’re going to hell, you know. Not even Sam can save you.

What’s the Big Deal? (Anonymous), 2009-02-27 02:18 pm, UTC (link): I don’t get what the big deal is. So, [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes pulled real names from real people for real events. So does Carver Edlund. Check your facts. Walter Kelly in Asylum, Ansem Weems in Simon Said. Even the infection in Croatoan is real (see this article about River Gorge outbreak). Hell, there’s even a Jessica who died at Stanford the year Sam supposedly graduated, and my husband knows someone in the FBI who says someone named “Dean Winchester” is a known serial killer.

Re: What’s the Big Deal?[livejournal.com profile] mc__g, 2009-02-27 02:22 pm, UTC (link): FUCK YOU ANON.

[livejournal.com profile] bobby_sing_it, 2009-02-27 02:26 pm, UTC (link): We need to stop calling this wank. This is worse than that.

Re: What’s the Big Deal?, [livejournal.com profile] nother_ben, 2009-02-27 02:20 pm, UTC (link): Go play ur game elsewhere, anon. You’re not wanted here.

Re: What’s the Big Deal?, [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away, 2009-02-27 02:20 pm, UTC (link): maybe the difference is edlund is GOD and [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes is a steaming pile of shit? Just maybe.

Re: What’s the Big Deal?, [livejournal.com profile] snfangirl, 2009-02-27 02:23 pm, UTC (link): anon, it’s a big deal because The Game isn’t supposed to be real. I’d never seen those links you posted or I never would have participated in it (River Gorge. That’s awful). It’s one thing to match up dates and occurrences. It’s another when it’s real people’s lives.

Re: re: What’s the Big Deal?, [livejournal.com profile] bobby_sing_it, 2009-02-27 02:24 pm, UTC (link): well said, snfangirl.

[livejournal.com profile] samlick_er81, 2009-02-27 02:26 pm, UTC (link): Wow. Not even I’m this wanky! Lol *lick lick lick*.

(Anonymous), 2009-02-27 06:05 pm, UTC (link):
rpf
is
the
devil


[livejournal.com profile] long_seige, 2009-02-27 06:05 pm, UTC (link): this isn’t about rpf anon. it’s different.

(Anonymous), 2009-02-27 06:06 pm, UTC (link): it’s all rpf

[livejournal.com profile] nother_ben, 2009-02-27 02:17 pm, UTC (link): Okay, no one’s seriously saying this is what rpf is. This is not what rpf is.

(Anonymous), 2009-02-27 06:06 pm, UTC (link):
what is rpf?

rpf is life

life is death

rpf is the devil


rpf is GOD, (Anonymous), 2009-02-27 07:00 pm, UTC (link)

Re: rpf is GOD, [livejournal.com profile] glass_family, 2009-02-27 07:00 pm, UTC (link): According to [livejournal.com profile] gamble_it_away Edlund is God. So STFU.

Re: re rpf is GOD, (Anonymous), 2009-02-27 07:00 pm, UTC (link): Oh, is gamble your god now? I thought it was kripke

Re: re: re: rpf is GOD, [livejournal.com profile] glass_family, 2009-02-27 07:01 pm, UTC (link): i shit on your doorstep

Re: re: re: rpf is GOD, (Anonymous), 2009-02-27 07:00 pm, UTC (link):
get on your knees and pray
you don’t get fooled again


Chuck threw up a meal of Jack’s Supreme Croissant Combo and José Cuervo in the toilet, suffered a series of cold sweats, then pm’ed [livejournal.com profile] watsonian.

Hey are you around?
From
[livejournal.com profile] chuck_lives

I really need to talk to you right now.

-C





Re: Hey are you around?
From
[livejournal.com profile] watsonian

I don’t know if I want to talk to you.

I don’t know if I can.

---chuck_writes wrote:
>I really need to talk to you right now.

>-C





Re: re: Hey are you around?
From
[livejournal.com profile] chuck_lives
please.




wat_so has logged on

chuck_still_writes: thanks
chuck_still_writes: i didn’t know
chuck_still_writes: i swear that i didn’t know
wat_so: Didn’t know what?
chuck_still_writes: you know what.
chuck_still_writes: i know it sounds crazy. i know you don’t believe me. but i swear to you,--I don’t even know your name
wat_so: oh. So you can kill me off in one of your stories?
chuck_still_writes: no
wat_so: Or maybe you just want to plaster my home address all over the internet.
wat_so: how do you think those families feel?
chuck_still_writes: they don’t know
wat_so: Oh. Okay. So, not enough people read your fanfic. Okay, well. You just go get yourself recced on crack_impala, why don’t you. Then enough people will read your fanfic. Then you’ll be happy, won’t you.
chuck_still_writes: no
wat_so: you just don’t even comprehend how wrong this is, do you
chuck_still_writes: I do.
chuck_still_writes: that’s the worst part, I do. it’s wrong. it’s wrong to those families. even if they never read it, its trivilizing something real and important and it doesnt matter its just fanfic. Or maybe that matters the most--that it’s just fanfic
chuck_still_writes: it’s just fanfic
chuck_still_writes: just fanfic, which means you can’t fuck with people’s lives
wat_so: Then why did you do it?
chuck_still_writes: I don’t know
chuck_still_writes: i'm drunk

wat_so has logged off.



Later that day, [livejournal.com profile] lord_kripke posted:


9:59 pm Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh look. Another fan apocalypse.


Replies included:

(Anonymous), 2009-02-27 10:00 pm, UTC (link): just like yesterday




Chapter Fourteen

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives, the lurker-lawyer who loved Edlund!Dean, Dean Burnsfield, and Dean Winchester as one, who had commented on every single post in [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes’s journal, who had not commented on the chuck vs kripke clusterfuck back in November 2008, and who usually only posted about her music list, cats, and sometimes her job, and who had never once been seen using a capital letter, ever, posted:

10:08 pm, Friday, February 27, 2009

seems my flist has exploded.

um, hi. Mostly i lurk. might as well add my two cents

I freely admit that I was a fan of c_w. I read everything they ever posted, and I loved it.

Here’s what’s difficult about fiction: it’s how we see the world. Bear with me, a moment. Philosophers better than I have argued until they died about the existence of objective reality, and the objective reality is: you’re never going to know. All you have is your perception of the world—the stories we tell ourselves.

There are other kinds of stories, the stories we read in books. See on tv, in movies, play in videogames. And then there are the stories we base on those books and tvs and movies and videogames, which are in turn based on other stories, which are in turn based on what has always been told, which are in turn based on what’s real.

In the end, there is a conflation between reality, the telling of that reality, and the perception of that telling. And in the end that perception of the telling (fandom, if you will, but it is also so much more) in turn shapes reality, which shapes the telling, which shapes the perception. We are in an endless feedback loop of the real and the perceiving, so much so that the only thing that seems sacred sometimes is the in-between: the narrative.

So, c_w. I understand why it might have seemed acceptable, even laudable, to use real events to set your stories. I understand why you may have felt that fiction was a way to make the grief of those families—what they suffered—more real somehow, true for us in a way it wasn’t before you brought it to light. I understand that you may even have similar grief in your own life, or your own family, and that this is your way of dealing with it. I hope we can all try to understand this, and try to forgive.

But c_w, I also say to you that if you have recognized this power, this power that the narrative has, please use it carefully. Please use it well. Please don’t use it to trivialize the deaths of those who were loved—or who weren’t. Please don’t use it to dismiss those lives, because in doing so you are dismissing their stories, and their families’ stories. These stories were not yours to tell—not yet.

Wait, c_w. Wait until you have your own stories—and I do believe one can have ownership of a fanfic, though not the fandom—wait until you have your own story, and tell it. Tell it, because you are a good writer. Because it comes to you. Because it is important, because it is
real.

Tell it, and I am sure it will be one of the greatest stories ever told.

that's all i have to say about that really

peace out
dean_lives



Chapter Fifteen

From: chuck.fanwrites@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2009 9:16 am
Subject: Please just open it

watsonian,

I understand why you don’t want to talk to me. For the record, I agree with everything dean_lives said. And if you haven’t read that post (I’m sure you have, it was linked everywhere), you should. Because it’s true.

I just—I need to explain this. To you, because you’re my friend, and because—because it was a shitty thing it looks like I did. It was a shitty thing that I did, and I’m sure a part of you feels like I did it to you, even though I didn’t mean to, and. God, I’ve spent four hours writing this email and I still can’t even end my sentences.

What I’m trying to say is you deserve an explanation. It’s not a good one, or the right one, and maybe you won’t believe me, but it’s the truth: I was never playing a game. What I said about blacking out, the way I write, it’s true. I never looked up those deaths. I followed edlund_lover’s links and he’s totally right. I’m not arguing that: those people died. That anon was right, too—the things Carver Edlund wrote, they’re real, too. I didn’t even know the ghostfacers were real—I thought it was a stupid fandom rumor. All this time, I never knew.

I know it sounds crazy. But honestly, I never knew any of it was real. I don’t know how or why all those dates and names match up. I don’t know how I get the ideas I do. I just know that I need to write them, or else . . . I start seeing lights and I can’t see anything else and . . . I know it’s not real. The rest of it, I mean—Sam and Dean. But sometimes I can just feel Castiel in my head and it fucking hurts . . .

I know this probably doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know how it’s possible. You can just believe I’m an asshole if you want. I sort of think that anyway.

I’m sorry that I hurt you. I’m sorry that this happened.

I’d say keep it real, but—you know.

Chuck




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: chuck.fanwrites@gmail.com
Date: Monday, March 2, 2009 1:55 am
Subject: Re: Please just open it

You’re right. That’s crazy.

I don’t know really what you want me to believe. If you were saying you made a mistake, I could forgive you. What dean_lives said makes sense—sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective. To get caught up in everything.

I mean, look at fandom. It was a crappy thing you did, but seriously. They’re like a pack of wolves. The problem is that so many people have smart, thoughtful things to say about why what you did is wrong, about the line between fiction and reality, and it just gets lost in this big pile on.

But anyway. What I mean is, I understand. You’re still my friend. But I’m not an idiot.

I don’t know. Maybe you saw those things in newspapers and unknowingly channeled them into your writing? Something like that? But just coming up with all those names and places—people who died—coming up with that out of thin air, writing it down—and suddenly it’s true? Do you realize what you mean? That means you’re God. He spake, and thus it was.

You’re not God, Chuck. You’re just some guy. We’re all just people. We’re real, and we matter.

-w




From: chuck.fanwrites@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Monday, March 2, 2009 10:12 am
Subject: Re: Re: Please just open it

I know I’m not God. Maybe I just channeled it. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Forgive me?

-Chuck




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: chuck.fanwrites@gmail.com
Date: Monday, March 2, 2009 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Please just open it

I already said I forgive you. You’re the best friend I ever had in SPN fandom. And hey, at least there was a reason everyone got mad this time. Instead of just more Martha vs Rose, lol.

-w




From: chuck.fanwrites@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Monday, March 2, 2009 7:45 pm
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Please just open it

Chat?

-Chuck




wat_so has logged on

chuck_still_writes: hi
chuck_still_writes: I’m sorry
wat_so: that’s okay.
wat_so: I understand the channeling thing. I do that all the time.
wat_so: Write things I read in magazines and novels, I mean. And then realize they’ve already been written
chuck_still_writes: yeah.
wat_so: so
chuck_still_writes: so
chuck_still_writes: Martha vs Rose?
wat_so: hahaha Doctor Who
chuck_still_writes: can I ask you a question?
wat_so: As long as it’s not which is the better companion
chuck_still_writes: no
chuck_still_writes: It’s about Carver Edlund
chuck_still_writes: What do you think of him? I mean, his stuff was real too
wat_so: you mean ghostfacers
chuck_still_writes: I mean what that anon said in the comments
chuck_still_writes: about the Croatoan virus
chuck_still_writes: etc
chuck_still_writes: There were a lot of posts about it after that
chuck_still_writes: I was too busy throwing up Jack-in-the-Box to collect links. But there were a lot of posts about The Game. Edlund used real things. Real, upsetting things. Like things you shouldn’t use
chuck_still_writes: for a story about demons and angels
wat_so: Edlund’s story doesn’t have angels
chuck_still_writes: what
wat_so: Edlund’s story doesn’t have angels. That’s your fic.
chuck_still_writes: Right
chuck_still_writes: What I meant was that SPN is . . .
chuck_still_writes: What I meant was that SPN is . . . it’s not an important story. It’s not Pynchon. It’s not the Epic of Gilgamesh. It’s not Tolstoy, so it’s not important, right?
wat_so: No one ever said SPN wasn’t important
chuck_still_writes: what
wat_so: I can’t talk about this right now
chuck_still_writes: I didn’t mean that SPN wasn’t important. I didn’t mean that it couldn’t address those very real deaths because it wasn’t important. It couldn’t address them because it did so trivially
chuck_still_writes: Without respect
chuck_still_writes: But what I mean is
chuck_still_writes: What if it really is the end of the world
chuck_still_writes: What if it’s the apocalypse
chuck_still_writes: How do you write the end of the world
chuck_still_writes: and what if you don’t do it right?
chuck_still_writes: what if the only thing that happens
chuck_still_writes: is people fight about it
chuck_still_writes: until the end of time? Because it’s *not* fiction. But it’s *not* fact, because it’s a story. But it’s also something that happened
chuck_still_writes: but no one knew what was happening
chuck_still_writes: when it was happening
wat_so: Okay so I’m going to leave now
chuck_still_writes: what?
wat_so: Have fun with your crazy

wat_so has signed off



Chapter Sixteen

Chuck, to the disappointment of many, was not wanky enough to delete his journal; however, he never posted again.

He maintained a light correspondence with [livejournal.com profile] watsonian, who eventually emailed a week after their im conversation.

From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: chuck.fanwrites@gmail.com
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:36 pm
Subject: here if you need me

I’ve debated sending this email.

The thing is, you could just be an internet crazy person. I’ll never know.

But I’m not sure it changes the fact that I feel friendship towards you. I think that feeling is important.

It sounds like you’re going through some stuff. I’m sorry, I should have been there for you. It’s just hard. You’re someone I met on the internet, and you could have things going on . . . far beyond my ken. I try to be . . . a good mother. A good wife. A good volunteer, a good part-time copy editor. But I also want to be a good friend, and I haven’t been to you. So if you want to talk, I’m here.





From: chuck.fanwrites@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2009 09:27 pm
Subject: Re: here if you need me

I understand, w. I’m sorry for the crazy. I don’t think I can do the LJ thing any more, but I’m trying not to do a flounce or anything. I do still want to be friends; it means so much to me. More than you can ever know. You’re right . . . I’m going through a lot right now, and it’s—it’s hard. I don’t know what any of it means, but it’s nice to know I have a friend.

-Chuck


They traded emails back and forth, desultorily, for a little over three weeks. The emails themselves are not transcribed for the sake of brevity (a quality in which I am sorely lacking). Chuck did not reveal any further crazy. He did not talk about the end of the world, or his “visions”, or the incident that had led him to run from fandom with his tail tucked between his legs.

On the internet, they called it the Marissa Wright Scandal, and used it as a cautionary tale. The anons claiming “death to rpf” eventually got tired; as the uproar died down, many fans wrote intelligent, insightful essays about the difference between rpf and the reduction of people’s lives to service a fanfic. Other fans wrote interesting essays about the lines between reality and fiction.

[livejournal.com profile] dean_lives never wrote another post of epic like the one that got linked everywhere, but [livejournal.com profile] demian_dean, to everyone’s surprise, had interesting things to say about historical events, accuracy (or lack thereof), history-as-a-narrative, and the difficulty of communication.

10:26, Sunday, March 15, 2009
The Problem With History

The Ides of March.

How did it happen?

The problem is people die every day. We don’t pay attention. How do we share it with the world? We write. How do we know it’s important—that this thing—this
one story that is happening—that this will be the thing that changes the world? We don’t. Even at the death of an emperor.

Especially at the death of a peasant.

So we embellish.

Thus the birth of fiction.


Meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] watsonian emailed Chuck about coffee, television, and one of her sons, named Isaac, who had cerebral palsy and blond hair. Chuck talked about his bathrobe, the possibility of buying a car, and books which he would never write, because he was still writing Supernatural. He didn’t tell her that.

He didn’t tell her that until on fine spring day in early April.

From: carveredlund@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Friday, April 3, 2009 01:15 pm
Subject: it’s me

W,

It’s me. Chuck. I hope I didn’t freak you out by using this email. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before. I’m Carver Edlund. I know it was stupid to post fanfic of my own series. I couldn’t get it published, but anyway, it doesn’t matter now. Something much more important happened. I need to talk to someone about it. You’re the only person I have. Please. You said we could talk.

-Chuck

P.S. Chuck is my real name Carver was a pseudonym




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: carveredlund@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 02:40 am
Subject: Re: it’s me

You’re late for April Fool’s.




From: carveredlund@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 03:11 am
Subject: Re: re: it’s me

I’m not joking.

Check the address.

Check the fan sites.

It’s legit.

Please. I just need to talk to you.




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: carveredlund@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 09:52 pm
Subject: Re: re: re: it’s me

I said you could talk to me.

I didn’t say you could lie to me.

I cannot believe this shit.

How could you be such a tool?




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: carveredlund@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 11:06 pm
Subject: Re: re: re: it’s me

I’m not upset that you’re Carver Edlund. Okay, I’m a little upset you’re Carver Edlund. Because I loved your books. I admired you so much. I loved the world you made for us. I needed it in my life. The idea that that person is a liar and and internet wank star is upsetting. It’s upsetting. Not crushing.

But you’re also Chuck. You were my friend. I went through a lot for you. I defended you. I stood by you. And even when I thought you’d done that horrible thing, I forgave you. And the whole time you were lying?

That’s crushing.




From: carveredlund@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 09:48 am
Subject: Re: re: re: re: it’s me

I know. I’m sorry. Let me count the ways. But—and I know it’s hard to get over what you feel right now, I really do—but I need you to listen.




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: carveredlund@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:01 pm
Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: it’s me

I’m listening. I don’t know why, but I’m listening.




From: carveredlund@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:16 am
Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: re: it’s me

Chat?




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: carveredlund@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:17 pm
Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: re: it’s me

No. I have to go to bed soon.




From: carveredlund@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:21 pm
Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: it’s me

Okay. Okay, I know you think I’m a liar. I know it’s going to sound crazy. I know that I always say that, but I’ve always said that because it’s true. My reality is crazy.

My reality also includes Sam and Dean. The trouble is, so does yours.

They’re real. I met them. In the flesh. They knew things—they shouldn’t know. Things only in my computer. I met Castiel. I know it doesn’t sound right. God, as soon as I write it down, it looks so stupid. The trouble is, though, I can’t stop writing it down. I’ve never been able to stop. Since Jess died, I couldn’t stop.

God, this means Jess is real too. Jess is real too, and I never wrote anything about her but that nurse costume and those stupid short short shorts she wore to bed.

I understand if you don’t believe me. I barely believe me either. I can’t even tell you the things Cass said, because then you really wouldn’t believe me. God.

I just have to talk to someone about it. Someone who is sane. And not bringing on the apocalypse.

Please.




From: carveredlund@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Sunday, April 5, 2009 04:19 am
Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: it’s me

w? I understand if you don’t believe me. Just—can you talk to me? Please?




From: carveredlund@gmail.com
To: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
Date: Sunday, April 5, 2009 08:54 pm
Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: it’s me

The worst part about all of this? Is I’m afraid I’m going to die.

Lucifer is coming and all I can think about is I’m going to die.

I’m so stupid. I’m such a fuck up. Please, w. Please, I just need to talk to you.




From: watsonian.doylist@gmail.com
To: carveredlund@gmail.com
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009 10:17 pm
Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: re: re: it’s me

I hope you get some help. I can’t deal with your problems right now, sorry.






Afterword
Afterword 2
Afterword 3
Afterword 4
Afterword 5

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 12:23 am (UTC)
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
From: [personal profile] stultiloquentia
Well, I read it and laughed my head off. It is epic!

Give me a couple days to roll your end notes around in my head.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-18 04:21 am (UTC)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
From: [personal profile] synecdochic
this is *awesome*, and such a intricately layered statement on fandom and what it does with canon even when the canon includes fandom.

Edited Date: 2011-10-18 04:22 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-18 04:42 am (UTC)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
From: [personal profile] synecdochic
thx <3

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-19 05:15 pm (UTC)
actiaslunaris: Galileo - Yukawa Manabu browsing on a computer (Default)
From: [personal profile] actiaslunaris
I have rolled in off of other people's reading lists, hi!

You've managed to do something really rare here, and that's to create a story that's ubermeta, and yet one that a person can relate to very well. I actually got lost in the story, as one does when the lines between reality and fiction blur, as they do here. It felt very, very real, and that's why it also feels a bit strange for me to comment on it. It deserves the comment, however incoherent I feel like I'm coming off. I recced it to my friend in e-mail last night, it's that memorable.

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading this a lot.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-20 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
lol does this mean all the fanfic by [livejournal.com profile] chuck_writes is canon?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 08:17 am (UTC)
grey_bard: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grey_bard
This was an amazing and funny fic, and I felt so invested in Chuck's fannish life, as imagined by you, that I found the ending really hard to read.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-01 04:59 pm (UTC)
purpleyin: Merlin smirking with quote from Harry Potter "+ I solemnly swear I'm up to no good" (no good)
From: [personal profile] purpleyin
I don't read much SPN fic because I'm generally 2 season viewing behind at any given point but I saw this recced (I think on crack_van) and gave it a go because it sounded intriguing. I imagine there's some cool connections I'm missing reading this seeing as I haven't seen most of S5, though I've heard vague mutterings about the rest of the season but I thought it was an interesting piece, weaving in actual fandom online elements with the fannish stuff on the show I've heard happens. It wasn't a fic I knew I wanted to read but I love how meta this fic gets, it's wonderful and thoughtful.
Edited Date: 2013-07-01 05:12 pm (UTC)

Wow.

Date: 2013-08-19 06:43 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
this is one of the most brilliant, clever things I've ever read, and certainly the most unique fanfic. it's more than a story: you've managed to play around with the whole concepts of fandom and canon and internet blogs and make it into a masterpiece. I love meta, i love humor, so everything about this is perfect. great job!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-06-01 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cappy712
Thank you for such a great story (read all the afterwords too) very cute. thank you for sharing.

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