You know, we know what it is, what’s going on. We don’t talk about it. The actors don’t, Jensen and I don’t. But we’re all perfectly aware of how the relationship is, the writers are completely aware of how it’s being written. It may be unspoken but that doesn’t mean it’s not there or not true.
But I don’t like the characterization of teasing around Destiel or around any kind of homoerotic subtext that might appear around the brothers or whatever as queer baiting. I think that that’s really unfair. Because I don’t think that – well, first of all that’s sort of a new and strange term to me, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I also don’t think that same kind of aspersion would be cast toward someone who is teasing a heterosexual relationship, like the tension that builds between two male and female series regular characters on any given show that’s never consummated. I understand where they’re coming from, but I don’t think it’s a fair characterization either.
Destiel slash fanworks pairs the characters Dean Winchester and Castiel in a romantic and/or sexual relationship. Destiel shippers are fans who view the show wanting or imagining Dean and Castiel are in a relationship.
From Castiel's first appearance in 4.01 Lazarus Rising, fandom saw the on-screen intensity between Dean Winchester and Castiel and took it further. It soon became a very popular pairing, with the first Dean/Castiel LiveJournal community appearing on 19th September 2008, the day after "Lazarus Rising" first aired. Its tagline is "Groped By An Angel". In November 2013 the community had 7116 members.
The first fics posted on Livejournal featuring Dean/Castiel were:
The pairing soon became an OTP and this has led to occasional shipping wars with people for whom Sam/Dean is their OTP. In the tradition of fandom making "mash-up" pairing names, Dean/Castiel is usually referred to as Destiel (or rarely Dastiel).
Numerous jokes alluding to the bond between Castiel and Dean have been made on the show.
Dean: Don't normally see you off leash. Where's your boss?
Uriel: Castiel? Oh he's, he's not here. You see he has this weakness, he likes you.
Cas, not for nothing, but the last time someone looked at me like that...I got laid.
Sam: So what, you like him better, or something?
Castiel: Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn't going to mention it.
Sorry, you have me confused with the other angel. You know, the one in the dirty trench coat who's in love with you.
Ask him, he was your boyfriend first!
There are numerous visual moments that are taken as Destiel references. In 8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?, when Dean finds Castiel in Purgatory he hugs him, and then strokes his scruffy beard (Source). Later when Castiel returns to Earth in 8.07 A Little Slice of Kevin, he shaves his beard and restores his suits and tie, and cleans his trenchcoat in the process. Fandom was amused that when he appears freshly scrubbed, Dean appears to shift uncomfortably in his seat, and press his hand over his crotch. Watch the "Boner alert" gif here.
Castiel is usually written as topping when he’s being a powerful angel, or as a bottom when the fic focuses on his sexual inexperience, especially losing his virginity to Dean. For more on these roles see Top/Bottom.
Like all slash fictions, stories featuring Dean and Castiel in a relationship may cover any genre or kink including Future Fic, Pre-Series Fic, Crossover, Angst, Deathfic, Crack, Post-Apocalypse, Curtain Fic and Kid Fic. Hurt-Comfort especially involving whumped!Castiel and the appearance of the Magical Healing Cock are especially popular, as are and stories where Castiel discovers human emotions and sexual feelings for the first time. In AU fics, Castiel may be human rather than an angel.
Some Destiel fans have become very passionate in wanting the relationship become canon.
- MTV website Geek News re-posts a survey done by x-cetera on Tumblr about whether fans think Destiel will become canon.
- Dean and Castiel's reunion and Queer-baiting on Spoiler TV.
Destiel outside fandom
Misha Collins mentioned fanfic and Dean/Castiel slash at several conventions. At the Salute to Supernatural Vancouver 2009, he said he'd heard about "Dean/Castiel/Pie fic". At Collectormania London 2009, he said he'd read some slash fanfic but "stopped at the part where Cas choked... on someone's cock."
Salute to Supernatural Toronto 2011: When asked what had happened to Castiel's trench coat, Jared mimed Dean smelling and rubbing it all over himself. Jensen said, "He used it as a pillow — or as kindling. One of the two."
Ben Edlund: That's some weird shit.
Jensen: Is this something that you created, Ben?
Ben: You don't want any part of that.
Jim Beaver: It's... extreme bromance.
Ben: There's a lot of pictures of Dean in an angelic embrace - and that's being kind of gentle with it.
Misha: Oh that, love that. I mean (pointing to Jensen) you've got pictures like that of us, in an embrace, all over your bedroom.
Ben: Oh there's a van with that airbrushed on the side.
Jensen: Oh yeah it's my conversion van. It's just a nice airbrush on a pillow in the back, there's not much room. Oh and a wolf howling at the moon. It's cool, you'll like it.
As with Wincest, this pairing has been recognized in broader fandom — beyond fanfic authors and readers — including discussions on After Elton. In May 2011, Dean and Castiel won "TV's most romantic couple," beating out Kurt and Blaine from Glee in an online poll run by Spoiler TV. In September 2012, After Elton ran the reader-voted Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney, the final contestants were Destiel and Sterek (aka Derek and Stiles from MTV's Teen Wolf) and the competition was fierce. Misha himself even got in on encouraging the voting, tweeting:
- "This homonormative poll makes me sick! No one could seriously think that those Teen Wolf jerks are gayer than us."
At a fan meet and greet at Salute To Supernatural Chicago 2012 Misha said about Dean and Cas' love for each other, "You know, we know what it is, what’s going on. We don’t talk about it. The actors don’t, Jensen and I don’t. But we’re all perfectly aware of how the relationship is, the writers are completely aware of how it’s being written. It may be unspoken but that doesn’t mean it’s not there or not true."
Misha also delights in teasing (or even trolling!) fandom about Destiel. In September 2013, he "posted a video of him "shipping Destiel which consisted of him posting a type of sausage labelled "Diestiel."
- Profound Bond - website focusing on Dean/Castiel
- Destiel Fanfics A blog dedicated to collecting, reviewing, and organising destiel fanfiction.
- A guide to Destiel blogs on Tumblr by mishas-assbutts
- DestielFanfic Fanfic Review and Organization Blog
- deancastiel LJ comm for Dean/Castiel fic
- newsletter for Dean/Castiel fanworks on LJ
- Redemption Road - a fanfic/art project creatign a cirtual Supernatural season focussing on Destiel
- Park Bench Anthology - a Dean/Castiel fic anthology
- Because God commanded it:a Dean/Castiel ship manifesto
- Dean/Castiel fic rec list
- Dean-Cas Radio a podbook community
- Secret Angel Fic Exchange held in 2009
- Dean Castiel Secret Santa Fic Exchange
- Rock Salt And Feathers Fan fiction archive for the pairing Dean/Castiel
- Destiel Ebooks archive for PDF/ebook versions of Dean/Castiel fics
- Dean/Castiel fics tagged through the Supernatural Fic Link Archive
- Dean and Castiel's chemistry discussed on AfterElton
- More Dean and Castiel appreciation on AfterElton
- Collection of quotes by Misha about fanfic by strangepicturesofmishacollins
- Swing_set13's Epic Dean/Castiel AU Fic List a listing of all the Dean/Castiel AU fics, including genderswap and Croatoan universes
- Dean/Cas fic review blog
- Best Relationship Involving a Heavenly Being: Dean and Castiel in Supernatural
- TV Romance Competition - The winner announced: Dean and Castiel in Supernatural
- Most Crushworthy 'Ship Tumblr Sails: Dean and Castiel by Zap2it
- The ABCs of Destiel by By Hayley Igarashi
- Dean adn Castiel win Zimbios Top TV Couple Competition