butterfly: (Vampire Diaries - Dance)
[personal profile] butterfly
One of the things that draws me to romances are two people that the audience sees sharing private confidences and vulnerability. They let down the walls and show their softer side.

I was thinking about this because it occurred to me that this is what my current favorite ships have in common -- both Damon/Elena and Castiel/Dean are marked by how incredibly private they are. It's something that I just mentioned in my review of the last Vampire Diaries episode -- Stefan and Caroline are completely unaware that many of the things they are accusing Elena of doing because of the sire bond are things that she was doing back when she was human. But these were always intimate moments between Damon and Elena. No one else was let in on those moments; no one else was allowed to see.

It's this element, maybe more than anything else, that makes me see Castiel and Dean as a romance rather than a friendship. It's intensely intimate in the same way that Damon and Elena are. Dean lets his guard down around Castiel and opens up to him -- he looks him in the eye and lets Castiel know him. In 8x07, Dean and Castiel are having an intense conversation and Dean is on the edge of tears; then he sees his brother approaching out of the corner of his eye and instantly firms up, puts his game face back on (the same thing happens in 8x08, with Castiel being the one on the edge of tears who puts himself back together when Dean's brother Sam re-enters the room).

This is also why, when Dean didn't mention Castiel in the most recent episode of the show, it didn't bother me at all. Dean guards his mentions of Castiel with great jealousy. He doesn't talk about him unless there's an external reason (Sam asks/Samandriel asks/his guard has been brought down artificially because of the supernatural/he thinks he's seeing hallucinations of Cas) -- his thoughts about Cas are private and not something for public consumption. Such it also is with Damon and Elena -- they don't tell other people about how often they've talked on the phone in the past or the times they laid on a bed together and talked about their lives. That's personal and private and theirs. There's a possessiveness there, a desire to keep the details of their personal lives away from other people's eyes.

This is, I think, a key element to the slow-burning romance (as opposed to the instant "I saw you there! Let's date!" romance that Stefan/Elena played out). They have to carve out a space to exist in together; this is how they fall in love, in the creation of that secret space that only the two of them have the key to open.

Now, I don't know if Supernatural is actually going to follow through on the narrative weight that they're placing on the Dean/Castiel storyline but if they want to, they've certainly carved out the space for it.
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butterfly: (Default)

February 2015


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