Winter Sunlight

Crossroads (SPN genderswitch AU)

Of all the things I'm supposed to be working on today, this is most certainly NOT one of them. Just a bit of pointless self-indulgence.

Title: Crossroads
Fandom: Supernatural
Word Count: 1400
Rating: PG-13, gen
Spoilers: All Hell Breaks Loose
Summary: She was named after her grandmothers, but Dorothy Jane Winchester has been called Dean ever since she can remember. A familiar scene from a very AU version of AHBL2.
Warning: veiled mention of past non-con and child abuse (no incest, though).


She was named after her grandmothers, but Dorothy Jane Winchester has been called Dean ever since she can remember.

She's the sort of girl who would have been a daddy's girl, if Daddy had lived. She likes boots and flannel shirts, guns and fast cars and dangerous boys with tattoos. Her fondest memory, even after all these years, is Daddy teaching her to shoot the old shotgun. He took her out into the country, by the railroad tracks, just the two of them, and she'll never forget his big, rough hands folding over her tiny ones, his stubble rasping her hair as he told her not to be afraid of the noise. But she wasn't afraid. She'd never been less afraid in her life.

Three days later, Daddy was dead and the house was on fire, and Mommy was bundling Dean and baby Samantha into their big old car while sirens wailed all around. When Dean asked where the gun was, Mommy said to hush and to take care of Sammy.

She'd tried. God knew she'd tried. For almost twenty years, she'd tried.

Gravel crunched under the frayed knees of her jeans as she scraped dirt and rocks over the little box -- deceptively small, for the burden it carried. Like Pandora's box, she'd tucked her hope in there -- and yes, she did listen when Sammy went on about all that book-learning at school, for all she made fun of it.

Lightly she tamped the dirt down with her thumbs, and for a moment she just stared at her hands: square, callused hands, boys' hands, with Sammy's blood rusty and flaking around her bitten nails.

Not fast enough. Not good enough.

Gordon had told Dean that she had Hunting in her blood. She was the only one in the family who had that aptitude. Mom hadn't; she'd studied, she'd learned, but when it came right down to it, she couldn't shake the dust of the suburbs off her feet, and that inability to think like a predator had finally killed her when Dean was ten. It was Gordon who had taught Dean everything she knew about Hunting -- before the Roadhouse, before Ellen and Bobby and Jo, before she'd met people who showed her that being a Hunter didn't mean there was something wrong in her, a dark twist that forever separated her from the world of the mundanes.

But if her late-learned idealism was false, if she was different, then so be it -- she'd use that darkness, tame it, shape it, and hone it into a weapon she could use to protect others. That need to protect had driven her. Still drove her, even when she'd failed.

"I never wanted this for you, Sammy." She didn't cry, wouldn't cry, but she ran her thumb over the little mound of dirt before rising to her feet in the twilight.

And she meant it. She'd never wanted Samantha to be drawn back into this world. But Jesse's death had started the cycle over again -- another generation of Winchester women, driven by grief and revenge, plunging ever-deeper into the darkness.

Until it brought them to this.

Dean swiveled slowly, looking down the crossroads in all directions. Her hands itched for a weapon, but she left her gun jammed into the waistband of her pants. For once in her life, she hadn't come here to kill anything.

She'd come to get something back.

The roads lay blank and still in the mist-shrouded dusk. Anger, grief, guilt boiled over, and she shouted into the emptiness, "Show yourself, you bastard!"

Her own words echoed back at her, along with the sound of crickets chirping and a distant, barking dog.

"Easy, sugar. You'll wake the neighbors."

The voice was low, honeyed, rich, curling around the syllables like smoke. Dean closed her hands into fists, feeling the dried blood tugging at the cracks in her skin, and she turned, swallowing down bile and hate.

He was as beautiful as she remembered, wavy dark hair framing high cheekbones and a full, sensuous mouth. The sleeves on his black leather jacket were pushed up to show a tattoo twining down one hard-muscled forearm. If Dean could be said to have a "type", this would be it -- she'd had one-night stands with a dozen men who were the much less romantic earthly counterpart of that biker fantasy, and right now she'd take them all, with their whisky breath and hairy backs and burgeoning beer-guts, over the cold perfection of this fallen angel made flesh.

"So good to see you, my dear." The incubus circled her slowly, sizing her up like a piece of meat on the auction block. She hadn't expected the helpless rage that swelled in her throat, and, worse, the burn of tears at the back of her eyes: the tears of a little girl, both parents dead, protecting her little sister in the only way she knew how -- because for a lot of men, there was only one thing they wanted from a teenage runaway, even one with a butch haircut and a boy's body.

The shine had worn off Dorothy Jane Winchester's virtue long ago.

"Look at you, sweetheart," the low voice purred in her ear. "Finally got the rest of your family killed. All alone in the world."

She bit her tongue, tasted the bright copper of her own blood and let it wash away the bitter memories. "I should send you straight back to Hell."

"You should. But you won't." The demon brushed a finger across the back of her neck, lifted the little hairs that weren't quite long enough to curl. His fingertips were rough, a working man's hands -- her perfect fantasy in every detail. She shivered, not with lust but with a wave of sickness; Dean had survived her childhood by locking her inner self away, secure in the knowledge that no matter what happened to her body, her mind was still her own, still inviolate. Having the demon tease out her deepest fantasies was a violation more cruel than anything she'd known.

The demon leaned over her shoulder, and his breath stirred against her ear. "You've come to make a deal." Strands of silk-fine hair brushed her cheek. "Pretty little Samantha, back from the dead, and let me guess ... you're offering ...?"

Dean jerked away, turning to meet his eyes, refusing to play the game he so obviously wanted. "My soul, you son of a bitch. My immortal soul, if I have one. There are a hundred other demons would love to have it. And it's yours. All you have to do is bring Sammy back."

"Hmm." He looked her up and down. Plenty of men had undressed her with their eyes, but he was the first one to strip away skin and bone, down to the very core of her being. Only the thought of Sam, Sam, Sam kept her from breaking. "It's looking a bit ... tarnished? I'm not sure about the quality of the goods you're trying to sell me." His full lips pulled back from perfect teeth. "I don't deal in damaged merchandise."

It's only a game. He's playing with you. "A soul is a soul, you fucking liar. Like everyone you've ever dealt with has been a saint?"

"Do you kiss your mother with that pretty, dirty little mouth? Oh ... I forgot; she's dead too." He smiled, and hooked his thumbs in the pockets of his black jeans -- a mistake for him, because to Dean's eyes there was something vaguely fey in that come-hither stance, and Dean had always gone for the manliest of manly men, aggressive alpha-males who could match her taunt for taunt. A mistake. It was like the tumblers of the locks that had begun to open in her mind went snapping shut again -- He doesn't know you as well as he thinks.

Dean raised her chin and stiffened her spine. She barely remembered her father, but by the God she didn't believe in, she felt every inch his daughter tonight. "Ten years, for Sammy. For my soul."
Tags:
Damn, that's good. For so many reasons, but - I want this. I want this to be the show I love. I don't really know how else to put it, just that - it's about the siblings and their bond and their struggle, and with your way, it can be all of that, and then not be all women-as-victims and... Yeah. I like it, I like it so very much. The thought of Gordon raising them is especially intriguing, in this vaguely horrifying way. But - hunting not having to mean going all dark side. That you can still be good people, even if you're exposed to so much evil. Just like Dean is still a good person, even if her life has been so difficult. (You make me ache for her, you really do.) It's... um. I know I had a point with that, but - I liked it? It's good! Um. Yeah.

See - I don't even know what I'm saying, I'm just trying to stop flailing and let you know how much I loved this, and be vaguely coherent, and I'm not sure it's working, so I'll stop now. ^^;;

Edited at 2007-11-22 01:06 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you SO much! ^_^ I was really wondering what the reaction would be to this, especially as I worked on it and thought about Dean's life as a girl, and things got darker and darker ... so it makes me really happy to know that you liked it.

It's kinda funny to me how vividly I can imagine Girl!Dean. I've always loved seeing tough-as-nails, blue-collar, tomboyish women (that's why I like Ellen so much!) and they're so rare on TV. The moment that I started thinking about what Dean might be like as a woman, she was just there and begging to be written! I'm really fascinated by the whole idea of Gordon having taken the girls in and developed a sort of surrogate-father relationship with Girl!Dean -- but tainted all the while by his own inner darkness and his growing wariness of little Samantha. Which would make their present-day relationship with Gordon utterly different from the one on the show. Ooh. Now I want to write more in this 'verse!

(And I still owe you a reply on the other meta-post; I've been doing more fiction writing lately than meta-thinking, which is a good thing for me right now, but I'll get back to that one eventually!)
See, the funny thing is, I feel the same way about genderswap stories; probably because it's so often used like a cheap trick, and feels like a cheap trick. I probably wouldn't have thought to write this one if not for a story I read some time ago in SGA fandom -- it was a brief, gen friendship piece, which first of all got my attention because I'd never seen completely gen genderswap before, but it was just a very deft little story that really made you think about how different things might have been for female versions of the characters, without ever descending into titillation or becoming overtly about "women's issues". It made me realize that you can do more with genderswap than just "Hey, I have girlparts now, let's see what I can do with them!"

And YES to tough, blue-collar women! I grew up in rural Alaska, so most of my female role models were women very much like Ellen. I want more of them!

And even though this was only supposed to be a one-shot, I've already got more ideas for different things to do with girl!Dean. Oh dear. (By the way, speaking of such things -- you mentioned the SGA AU of mine in the other comment; since you encountered the story on ff.net and I never posted them over there, did you ever read the other short pieces that I wrote in that universe later on? They're under the "texas au" tag in this journal.)
Oh! Yes, I do remember that comment, vividly in fact; of all the comments I got on that story, it's one of those that made the biggest impression. There's really nothing better you can tell an author than "it feels true", and you gave me that. Very cool! I'm glad to see you still about!
Hmmm, interesting! I like the alternate history, raised by Gordon...also mmm, incubus. (...okay, yeah, I'm turned on by demons, what's your point?)

(had an idea for gender-swap myself, but only Deanna, keeping Sam male, because I've never seen the overprotective big sister-little brother combo before and wonder how it would play out. There's something terribly appealing about Dean-as-girl...)
Oh, that would be a cool dynamic, wouldn't it? Older sister Dean, younger brother Sam ... (And, dangit! I never even thought of calling her "Deanna". That would have worked better, would it ...)

There's something entirely fascinating to me about seeing how Dean plays out as a girl; when I wrote this, I had the most vivid mental image of him as a woman, not so much the physical as the emotional -- how he'd act, the different ways that his life would have gone.
WOW
(Anonymous)
Hi just dropped in to say I love and wow I have tears burning the back of my throat right now. I mean. the line "For Sammy, ten years" just meeps.

Actually there were pretty darn great genderswap stories in SPN. I do understand what u mean about the tiltillation i.e slutty,skanky Dean but u have to go back much, much earlier for the truly awesome genderswap fics/ This was back in the S1/early S2 season. You should check out eso recs.

For the older sis/younger bro Sam idea,It is a neat one. And that has been done before too. It was an amazing fic. Just the intimacy between the 2 siblings and wow the hurt they flinch on each other. THat fic was amazing. And it was set back in the early days of SPN S2 fandom as well. I remembered a scene in that fic where girl!Dean just lash out at Sam but in this weary, clipped tone. There were some amazing lines in that story. Sigh now u wanna make me run off to spnstoryfinder
Thank you very much for the comment, and for the rec! I'll check it out -- it's most appreciated! And I'm thrilled that you liked the story!
U're welcome
Oh I get excited whenever I come across any Winsister fics. So far I have not seen any of the authors mess up these themed fics. I dunno y but all I have ever read has been amazing. I think u guys must be majorly inspired by the Winsister aspect and thus u render ur craft gorgeously.

Ya know u could also check out onelittlesleep's Sal/Dean verse and I especially vinylroad's as well.
I have to say, I'm a little in love with this Dean. I'd love to see more in this 'verse, like maybe an outsider's view of Dean and Sammy.

Or the scene where Sam's boyfriend wakes up in the middle of the night to find out where Sam's gone and what the hell is all that noise, and walks in to find Sam in her pyjamas, arguing in the dark with this rough-looking young woman, scruffy and short-haired and gorgeous all the same. She looks Jesse up and down with the kind of smirk that makes him wish fervently for a pair of pants. Sam just says, in the voice she uses when she's trying to sound less pissy than she actually is, "Dean, this is my boyfriend, Jesse."

And holy shit, Dean? As in Sam's sister? He hadn't expected her to be - he ignores the whisper that says white trash in his mother's snide voice - so different from Sam.
Oh, thank you! It actually makes me incredibly happy that you liked it because your "Storm Damage" is just brilliant -- it was the first time I'd ever realized that it's possible to write genderswitch that's insightful rather than being exploitive or titillating.

And I love your little snippet here. Ooh, there are so many things I could write in this 'verse!
Tragically, no -- not yet, anyway. I do have other ideas I'd love to write with the Winchester girls, though.
"I never wanted this for you, Sammy." She didn't cry, wouldn't cry, but she ran her thumb over the little mound of dirt before rising to her feet in the twilight.

Your Dean is everything I could ask for.
I loved this. This was so different but great. Awesome job. Dean was such an original character, even if she was just like our Dean only a girl. Great!
Thank you so much! I'm really happy you liked it, and that girl!Dean worked for you.