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Map of the World companion

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MoTW
Map of the World Art: book covers by bratafarrar

Chapter Text


(01) Book Cover

(02) Index

(03) Chapter 1: Days 1-7 week 1 (August 4, 2014)
Wherein one Dean dies and another appears; Lucifer and Castiel remain enemies; Castiel is in shock and unable to process reality sober; inexplicably the world does not end; invisibility sigils, contracts, and habitation rules are introduced; Dean engages in foolish risk taking and Vera stages a coup

(04) Chapter 2: Days 10-12 week 2, August
Wherein Dean assesses Castiel’s housekeeping and finds it familiar; meets the wards and learns what happened to Cas’s Grace; observes the state of the camp and has concerns; sees an orgy in progress and is unsettled. Cas feels inadequate to the task of leadership; a patrol report is observed and Sidney and Phil exhibit worrisome traits. Cas and Dean discuss borders, being wanted criminals, and the lack of incidents; maps and plans are made.

(05) Chapter 3: Day 17 week 3, August
Wherein the mysterious disappearance of animals causes consternation and relative powers of fallen angels are reluctantly discussed; Cas threatens to make Dean permanently a ghost and brings Chuck in on the secret; bodies are reclaimed. Chuck accuses Cas of being ready to abandon them and foils Cas’s plan of hiding Dean to the great joy of the camp; ankles are almost-broken and misconceptions regarding invisibility are cleared up, as are motivations of former prophets and angels.

(06) Chapter 4: Days 19, 20 week 3, August

(07) Chapter 5:

(08) Chapter 6:

(09) Chapter 7:

(10) Chapter 8:

(11) Chapter 9:

(12) Chapter 10:

(13) Chapter 11:

(14) Collected spoilers

Chapter Text


Quotable and Notable

"I want," he says, looking into Lucifer's eyes, "to have told the Host they could fuck themselves before I Fell."

Castiel finds himself tempted to reach across the cabin of the jeep and poke him, just on the off-chance this really is an extended hallucination.

Castiel crosses to the couch, leaning over the arm enough to retrieve the mostly-full bottle he never expected to finish, because he hadn't expected to survive tonight; because he'd never expected to survive the end of the world; because no one survived Dean Winchester and he has no idea how it feels to be the first.

Sitting up, he's almost painfully aware of the fact that despite his best efforts to the contrary, he's somehow managed to achieve perfect sobriety, and he's not sure how he allowed that to happen.

“I liked you better as a junkie, too.” Dean's aim has never been less than flawless, cutting into the raw edges of an open wound that even time could not bother itself to heal. He doesn't understand how after all this time it can still hurt like this.

Half-listening to the drone of the radio, his only link to the outside world, Dean considers the fact that this is the most positive and optimistic Apocalypse he's ever experienced.

The skinny, slumping mortal body in a too-big jacket with an indifferent hold on a rifle stared at him with the infinite blue eyes of an angel who might have traded his sword for a gun and immortality for the dirt of humanity, but had never stopped being a soldier.


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References

“Only Orpheus was stupid enough not to listen to warnings delivered without ambiguity; it's too rare to get one of those to discard with impunity.”
“But he's not Orpheus, ascending from the underworld unable to follow a single, unambiguous warning: he doesn't look back.” - Cas, exiting the city with Dean in the wake of Lucifer’s angry departure.

Orpheus, a notable musician in Greek mythology. Known for his attempt to rescue his dead wife Eurydice from Hades (hell/the underworld).

“By his music he softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone (he was the only person ever to do so), who agreed to allow Eurydice to return with him to earth on one condition: he should walk in front of her and not look back until they both had reached the upper world. He set off with Eurydice following, and, in his anxiety, as soon as he reached the upper world, he turned to look at her, forgetting that both needed to be in the upper world, and she vanished for the second time, but now forever.”

Plato's representation of Orpheus is that of a coward, as instead of choosing to die in order to be with the one he loved, he instead mocked the gods by trying to go to Hades to bring her back alive. Since his love was not "true"—he did not want to die for love—he was actually punished by the gods, first by giving him only the apparition of his former wife in the underworld, and then by being killed by women.”
wikipedia

Additional commentary on Orpheus in the comments


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Chapter Fanworks

Roses, by ab-insula-Avalonia (AurumCalendula) (art)
Castiel turns away from Lucifer

Your Dread Majesty, by ab-insula-Avalonia (AurumCalendula) (art)
Vera


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Comment Excerpts
as of 2015-09-04

Seperis, responding to Bratfarrar
Reading that entire scene knowing what Cas was hiding: Cas didn't know Lucifer would be there, so that entire interview was very much Cas desperately manipulating Lucifer into not only not killing him, but making sure to give Lucifer a reason (from Lucifer's pov) not to do it and not to even want to. He was pretty sure what Lucifer wanted was a full victory on all points: the Apocalypse, Dean Winchester's soul, and Castiel's voluntary submission (win the argument against God, win earth, and what Cas wouldn't give the Host, God, or even End!Dean, kneeling on command). In the process, he learned some very important things: one, Lucifer can't read his mind or even get into it; two, a very intimate view of just how powerful Lucifer's pride is (someone who was a lesser angel of the Host, who owes him obedience, won't kneel even when his life's on the line, that bothers Lucifer; and three, a glimpse of what deal Lucifer made with Sam and later, remembering that, a train of thought on what happened exactly when Sam said yes when he starts becoming interested in Sam because of Dean's stories).

AgentFreeWill, Seperis
1. Who told Cas "don't look back"? This remains an open question, possibly related to the central mystery of how Dean got back to this timeline in the first place. In Lot's case, it was angels (huh, what about that) and for Orpheus, Hades (one of the gods). So this hints at some sort of supernatural/divine intervention; some(thing) still existing beyond Lucifer, beyond Cas's own innate intuition.
2. Both Lot and Orpheus were leading out/protecting their romantic partner (or attempting to, poor Lot). That's a more obvious parallel but makes me think perhaps the "don't look back" could also be somewhat metaphorical here for Cas: a nod to the Dean swap. As in - don't look back at the Dean you lost, dance with the one you have.
Agentfreewill

You want your love story to be up there with Eros and Psyche, Odysseus and Penelope, Paris and Helen, Jason and Medea (Christ), you better be willing to raise an army, lay waste to a kingdom, count all the goddamn chickapeas and demand more, bring it on, let's start on those fucking peas, drop pieces of your brothers in the ocean, piss off all the gods and spit in their faces while you're at it, burn the entire world down with you in it laughing in service to it or you're doing it wrong: level the fuck up or get the fuck out. Love is insane, it makes you crazy, logic whatever, I will raze the world to blackened earth for this and set myself on fire just for the fuck of it; you shouldn't be doing the math on what and what not is worth it (burn Cyprus yes, but no, I might get bruised....), because that question shouldn't even exist for you. You don't necessarily have to do it, no; you can pick and choose what's appropriate for the moment (less fratricide, maybe, minimal cannibalism) but you would do it when it came down to it; I get this or watch the earth burn, your choice, ready when you are, there's a cliff with my name on it, watch me jump. Orpheus didn't have it, never had it, and everything he did was playing pretend, and that's offensive to the gods. Admit it was a normal love (wonderful and painful, yes), mourn, and move on; he wouldn't do that, he wanted the stories and the songs, and he paid for it. With his head, even. Seperis

Seperis, responding to Bookqueen604
That may not entirely apply, but the idea--and I mention this in Book II as well--is there is power not just in your name, but the name you answer to and therefore acknowledge, and in a sense, you could say they're different people as well (Jenn and Seperis have a lot in common, but sometimes, they don't seem to be entirely the same person and I know that sounds crazy, just go with it). So--going back to subject--we know who Lucifer was, but not all of the identities that were his, because some he may have given up and some Time may have forgotten. And some might have successfully separated from Lucifer in the Cage, much like aspects of different gods do (and that's actual mythology).

Seperis, responding to kitt3nz
In the Chitaqua of the story, did the events of 'The End' happen? Is this the "second time" for Cas seeing a past Dean? (kitt3nz)

Yes, this picks up only a few minutes after the events of "The End" in End'verse happened. That's why Dean's second arrival was so surreal for Cas; he sensed season five Dean leave and then the same Dean but from a later point in Dean's timeline shows up. In a sense, the first time Dean showed up was Past!Dean, while the second, due to the separation of the timeline, is actually an alternate universe.

Chapter Text

Quotable and Notable

Feeling masochistic, Dean pulls open the bedroom closet door to confirm the reason that he should never be placed in charge of a small child, a pet, a houseplant, or a Fallen angel unless the conditions are wartime and Sam is willing to be his fulltime co-parent.

Abruptly, the world expands, rippling outward around him like he's a pebble dropped into the limitless depths of an infinite ocean. It sees him, knows him, recognition expressed in warm, welcoming tides washing against every nerve; even more than that, he knows it, too.

With the memory of forever still trembling on the tips of his fingers he also thinks he knows how they got these up in the first place. His mind is crowded with memories of when he felt this before, where, but mostly of what he can't remember at all: when he was consumed within it, an infinite flashburn of light and brightness and truth in crawling darkness, a promise in a place that was nothing but lies.

That particular expression he knows from the inside out; it's when Cas is pretty sure everything is going to hell and has hit the why-not stage of what to do next. In general, this ends in Cas doing things like taking on groups of archangels, carving Enochian into people's bones, Molotov-cocktailing his brothers, and putting banishing sigils in unusual places for surprise-related purposes. Dean didn't see his expression when he came to the conclusion opening up Purgatory was a workable plan, but he suspects it had looked a lot like this.

Dean's flawless timing assures he arrives in time to ignore Cas's alarmed look and settle himself in the kitchen to watch how Cas, formerly of the Lord (and most recently of the Junkies), exercises his people skills.

Dean glances at Cas and stops short, words frozen on the tip of his tongue. He'd forgotten how it felt to be the sole focus of Cas's attention, tangible as a physical touch and impossible to escape, like standing in a spotlight the size of a planet.

"When I told them that, I didn't think we were going to survive long enough for it to become an issue," Cas admits, looking annoyed with the continued existence of the world. "As that seems to be in perpetual delay, however…."


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References

"Maybe you had to be present at Sodom's destruction to appreciate it."

Sodom and Gomorrah were ancient cities said to be destroyed by God by fire and brimstone as punishment for their depraved and sinful practices - not even 10 righteous men could be found in the cities. Implication of homosexual behavior as part of the sinful practices led to the city’s name becoming the root of the word sodomy.
wikipedia

Genesis 18:20-32
20 Then the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! 21 I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.”

23 Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it?25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.”

32 Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

Genesis 19, selected verses
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed down with his face to the ground.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; 5 and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them.” 6 Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the punishment of the city.”16 But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and left him outside the city.17 When they had brought them outside, they[a] said, “Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed.”

24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25 and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.


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Comment Excerpts
as of 2015-09-04

AgentFreeWill
Dean being welcomed by the wards felt like OCEAN. Ocean like... Book 3 ocean? *wiggles* This is what I think: Cas's grace aka the wards welcomed and loved new!Dean (all Deans, but REALLY REALLY new!Dean) before envesseled Cas was able to. Cas especially is still reacting to new!Dean like end!Dean, assuming they are more similar than they are. Cas is a mess. But the wards now…

they are like those wing fics where the wings give away things before wing-bearer is ready to admit to them...

Chapter Text


Quotable and Notable

Throwing down the report, Cas stares at it, and Dean wonders uneasily if 'smite' might be an angelic leftover and if the coffee table is gonna be the sacrificed to discover it.

Abruptly, Cas meets his eyes, and Dean stills, breath caught in his chest at a glimpse of something vast and impossible; it's like drowning in the frozen depths of an infinite ocean.

"You think I have it now? From this?" Dean licks his lips, unsettled by the idea. "I don’t remember what happened that got me here. That's what's bothering you."
"It's on my list, yes," Cas says, giving Dean a short, annoyed glance. "And as I'm not the one who brought you here, there's no way to be certain."

...he's stuck in this jeep and now he can't stop thinking: Bobby, Castiel, the reservoir, everything that went so fucking wrong he doesn't even know where it started, and Jesus, that's the worst part, knowing that. He should have noticed, should have seen it coming, when he could have stopped it, when Castiel would have listened, when--Jesus, he's gotta stop this.

"You don't have a sex life," Dean corrects him as Cas goes into the bathroom. "You have several of them, and dude, come on. Five years ago, you were freaked out by a brothel, and now you're--" There really isn't a word for it, or at least, not one Dean thinks he should use when he's kind of forcibly immobilized in the guy's cabin. "Okay with it." When in doubt, go with a dramatic understatement.

It's also the longest they've gone--ever--that Cas didn't take some time to remind Dean how much he resents his existence here, and he wants a little more time before Cas remembers that he kind of hates him.

Dean wants to ask how they were really, if they were still friends, if they were anything but reluctantly bound by what Cas did for him and with him. It's tempting, with Cas sitting here like this in the quiet darkness, like he can ask and maybe he'll even get an answer.

"I can't even tell what pisses you off more," Dean whispers finally. "That he died, that I'm here and alive, or that you survived at all. Do you even know?"


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References

"Something about hoped for, uh, the evidence of--unseen?" "'The evidence of things not seen'," Cas says, looking pleased. "King James Bible, Cambridge Edition.” -regarding the name of the sigil

Hebrews 11:1 King James Version (KJV)
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Commentary:
Cas chose this verse as the “name” of the sigils he created to hide Dean, to protect Dean. “Evidence of things not seen” - this is somewhat obvious (Dean is being rendered invisible, the sigils are “evidence” of an unseen Dean. But the first part is revealing as well - “substance of things hoped for” - an early indicator that Cas is not as hostile towards the new Dean as Dean perceives him to be. Cas always hopes for Dean. And this time, this Dean, is another chance. Backing up further - “faith”. Creating the sigils at all was an act of faith - they had never existed before and Cas didn’t know if they would work. But they did - hiding the evidence of things hoped for.
comment by aerialist inspired above musings


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Comment Excerpts
as of 2015-09-04

bratfarrar, seperis

“Remaking the flesh is simple; joining it to a human soul and giving it life is not.”

Perhaps this also explains a bit why demons seem to often wind up trashing "their" bodies, given that healing is an aspect of life? So, with enough power, they could theoretically keep sort of resetting the body, but they couldn't actually heal it. - bratfarrfar

So my theory--in this fic anyway--is that this is one of the angelic abilities that angels in Hell grafted onto their recreation of humanity in their own image when a demon takes a vessel; while the angel is within a vessel, it's damaged, but Grace can heal it. Demons in a meatsuit--check out the mirroring there?--get damaged, it's being held in time, basically. It's a very tiny thing, a localized temporal shift specifically linked to teh demon within the body.
In case you're curious, one of the ways Dean's fever could have gone way back when I was in the plotting stage was Cas summoning a demon in End!Dean's cabin and forcing them into Dean's body, thus setting Deans' body into stasis, to buy Vera more time between treatments to find one that worked. All ethical and horror thoughts aside, this would have worked very well and also led to a lot of very uncomfortable and sketchy thoughts about just how much End!Dean taught Cas, and not just in torture mechanics; on the surface, it looks like one thing, but on another, it's not the action itself that was nearly as sketchy as what it meant Cas not only thought like that, knew how to do it, but didn't hesitate to go through with it. -seperis


“If we could only be so lucky,” Cas murmurs, smiling slowly, and Dean feels himself smile back. “Power is less than useless without understanding its limitations.”

Aha--and here we have the first glimpse of Cas's little 'fuck you' to Lucifer. It's a nice, subtle touch: works quite well on the first read, but going back it has a whole lot more weight--and we know why, exactly, Cas is smiling. Dean probably thinks it's at the thought of Lucifer doing the job for them, but it's because Lucifer is already doing a job for them. -bratfarrfar

*g* Yep. To me, when re-reading all Dean and Cas's early interactions is how much of Cas's sense of humor is already showing up, and not entirely the bitter self-loathing part; part of Dean responding to Cas so well is when Cas is distracted from self-hate to stuff like this.. Sure, Dean doesn't get the joke, but he can tell the difference. Sure, Cas does indeed find baiting Lucifer genuinely funny as hell, but that's not bitterness; that's genuinely funny to him.

Part of the reason I switched on POV so early in Maps is because Cas from inside at this point is not even vaguely accurate on how he's reading Dean as person (except when he really, really is, which is how to piss him off; he's past master of that), which is why every so often you get from Dean's POV Cas's surprise (reading Maps from Cas's POV on this part, Dean would look insane to him, especially when Dean first makes an effort not to lose his temper with Cas, and then realizes that it really is both deliberate and reflexive, a defense mechanism; he can't figure out what the hell Dean is up to). -seperis