One of my favorite types of fanfiction is the fix-it fic, which takes an upsetting plot point from the source material and twists it into a happy ending. And out of all the series I’ve watched or read, the one that forces me to turn to fix-it fic most often is, without a doubt, Supernatural. Save maybe only Torchwood, the Supernatural series is meaner to its characters than any other show I can think of, and its writers often leave the audience with depressing or unsatisfying conclusions as far as supporting or minor character arcs are concerned. In short, Supernatural‘s storylines are ripe for the picking when it comes to ideas for fix-it fic.
Author orange_8_hands’s Second Generation Roll Call series is an interesting sort of fix-it fic, in part because this kind of fic generally tends to provide a fluffy, happy ending to a canonically upsetting scene. This story instead takes the stories of Claire Novak and Ben Braeden, Castiel and Dean’s kids-but-not-really, and rewrites their conclusions to be more realistic in terms of Supernatural‘s canon. And as any Supernatural fan knows, if you’re in any way connected to Cas or the Winchesters, there are no happy endings.
The Second Generation Roll Call series is made up of one 11k piece called Fight Your War, and a brief companion piece called ‘Tis the Holiday, and follows Claire and Ben, who are all grown up now and trying to make it on their own as hunters. They’re pretty good at what they do, and they have a lock on one of the most important aspects of being a hunter: having enormous, hideous emotional baggage that’s probably tied to your parents.
Ben and Claire’s stories, in the end, are very similar: their fathers brought a dangerous supernatural element into their lives, and then vanished, ostensibly for mother-and-child’s greater good. But without the protection of an angelic force or even a note explaining how to exorcise a demon, orange_8_hands speculates that their mothers would end up as mothers do in Supernatural—dead—and the kids would be left with a lot of issues and some almighty axes to grind. What would happen if these children grew up to be hunters, and were forced to interact with the fathers who, for all intents and purposes, abandoned them to the wolves? The answer is not pretty, but the author explores this potential emotional minefield with ease.
I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for happy endings. However, I’ve always been unsatisfied by the conclusions to Claire’s and especially Ben’s parts in the Supernatural plot. Writing them out seemed more like a convenient way to tie up a loose end and move on with the important part of the story—Team Free Will’s manpain—and generally left a bad taste in my mouth. This interpretation, although much darker than the “and then Dean/Cas left their lives and their memories and Ben/Claire and his/her mom lived happily normal lives forever after” shtick that the show gave us, seems much more true to the the way things in Supernatural work. It may not have a happy ending, but it’s cathartic, and it makes much more sense in terms of the characters and the general tone of the show. You can check out the Second Generation Roll Call series here at AO3.