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Fandom 101

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Misha’s relationship with fan fiction is one of cautious respect. He may not always agree with a writer, and he’s never happy when Vickie is dismissed in RPS, but he respects fan fiction. More to the point, he respects what fan fiction represents, which is a whole-hearted, enthusiastic embrace of a show and its actors. However, he also knows that it represents a kind of power, and that no matter what happens in canon, one writer with an idea can turn an entire fan base on its head. Case in point: egg fic.

Personally, he never would have decided that angelic reproduction involved the laying of eggs. Given than an angel has all the form and substance of demonic smoke, he probably would have gone for asexual reproduction, kind of like an amoeba -- assuming, that is, that he’d thought about it at all. In Misha’s head, there were only so many angels created, and they were all created by God, so there was never a mechanism for reproduction. He’s fond of this concept, because it makes the death of an angel that much more significant. New demons are always crawling out of the Pit, but kill enough angels, and everyone is screwed since God is no longer in the picture, and thus not replenishing the ranks. Still, no one asked him before angelic egg-laying became fanon, so there isn’t much he can say about it. What he might possibly have a say in is the development of the fanon around Divine: The Series, and this is the point he’s trying to make with Ivan.

“They’re going to make stuff up on their own,” Misha says  slowly, willing Ivan to get the message and wondering if Kripke ever had a problem trying to get Ivan’s brain to focus on a single-thought long enough to make an impression.

“But they don’t have to!” Ivan says brightly. “See? Here in episode 22, Andrew and Christopher’s forbidden love will come to a head, and they’ll kiss. The fans will love it.”

Not for the first time, Misha wonders whether or not Ivan was stoned the entire time he worked on Supernatural. “You think that now, but you won’t think so when viewership drops by two-thirds, because the Andrew/Divine and the Christopher/Divine ‘shippers are calling for your head on a pike.”

“Wait. What?”

Misha has gone over this with Ivan before, several times, and he doesn’t expect that it will get any better now. “Look, just trust me. The ire from the Catholic church is going to be nothing compared to what the fanbase will do if you make one of the possible pairings canon. It’s the kind of thing you save for the end of a series, like – like Whedon did with Spike and Angel.”

Ivan frowns, and Misha adds quickly, “Moonlighting.”

It’s enough to keep Ivan in his seat. “Moon – what?”

“Remember Moonlighting? Offbeat show from the 80s with Cybill Sheppard and –”

“Bruce Willis. Right.” Ivan looks at Misha expectantly.

“The writers caved in to fan pressure and finally let David and Maddie sleep together. It killed the show.” For the first time, Ivan actually looks like he’s getting it, and Misha blesses his mother’s devotion to the show. “Look, the fans are going to make stuff up to fill in the blanks we leave behind. If we answer all their questions in the show, they’re not going to bother writing stories, and that includes issues of relationship.”

“But I thought you were all ‘Yay slash!’” Ivan says, looking kind of bummed.

“Slash is a kind of measure,” Misha says patiently. “Its existence means that the writers and actors are doing interesting things with the characters, and that the fans are picking up on that.”

“Okay.” Ivan waits, frowning.

“I’m not saying we don’t play to that, I’m saying that whatever we do has to be subtle, and it has to make sense for the characters, otherwise, it’s just going to get ugly.”

For a really long time, Ivan stares at Misha, but Misha doesn’t say anything. He’s not sure he can get over the shock of a silent, non-fidgety Ivan sitting in front of him. It’s a moment to be treasured, and if Misha thought he could get his phone out to shoot video without breaking the spell, he would totally do that, if only to have proof that Ivan can sit still.

Eventually, Ivan sighs. “Fine.”

Misha hesitates before asking, “Fine?”

“Yes. Fine. No kiss between Andrew and Christopher, even though I’m pretty sure it would be scorching.”

At that moment, Misha realizes he never should have given Ivan the URL to Archive of Our Own. Judging by the look on Ivan’s face, he’s probably going to be writing fan fiction himself, if only to ensure that he can tell the stories he really wants to tell. On the other hand, that’s a problem for the future, so Misha says, “I don’t know about scorching, but for what it’s worth, that’s what Photoshop is for.”

“Wait. Photoshop?”

Misha knows without question that he’ll regret this, considering the control Ivan has when it comes to shooting the series, but he’s never backed down from a challenge before, and he’s not about to start now. If nothing else, maybe it will distract Ivan from writing his own fan fiction.

 “You’ve never once heard Jared or Jensen bitching about the manipulations that get posted?”

Ivan’s eyes light up, and Misha wonders if he has a chance in hell of convincing Ivan to let the fans have all the fun.