|Name(s):||J2, JSquared, Jared/Jensen, Padackles|
|Date(s):||2005 to present|
|See also:||CWRPS, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Christian Kane/Steve Carlson, Christian Kane, Michael Rosenbaum, Tom Welling, Chad Michael Murray, Danneel Harris, Genevieve Cortese, Sandra McCoy, Aldis Hodge|
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J2 is the term used to describe the very popular real-person slash fandom that revolves around the pairing or relationship between the actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, who play Dean and Sam Winchester in the CW television show Supernatural. It is also referred to as J Squared and as Padackles. It's the biggest part of the larger CW real-person slash fandom. What it means, for those of you just joining us, is that fans like to imagine a homosexual relationship between the actors who play Sam and Dean. They create various fanworks on the subject, and discuss events that might support such a relationship actually existing (this is called Shipping). For the record, Padalecki and Ackles are not lovers in real life. Both are heterosexuals, or at least currently married to women.
There are many theories as to why J2 is such a highly popular RPS pairing. One theory is that the two actors are highly physically attractive, and this is obvious to fans of Supernatural. They feel that amazing, instant chemistry exists between the two stars, but are resistant to transferring or ascribing this chemistry to the characters they play. To do so would be supporting an incestuous relationship, something many fans are not in favor of. Another possibility is that the overall tone of the canon in Supernatural lends itself to darkfic rather than lighter themed or romantic stories.
History and Structure of the Fandom
J2 became integrated into Supernatural fandom as a whole very early on.
When the masterlist of SPN/J2 Big Bang stories for 2007 were posted at spn_j2_bigbang. , twenty Jared/Jensen stories (and one Jared&Jensen gen story) were produced by the challenge, as well as a comparable number of SPN stories in various genres. AUs were popular, with Jared and Jensen cast as everything from porn stars to camp counselors.
The next year, in 2008, there were over fifty Jared/Jensen stories. Again, AUs were popular, and Jared and Jensen were cast in various stories as doctors, lawyers, FBI agents, US Marshals, fashion designers, punk rockers, figure skaters and/or professional bullriders. 
For 2009, over 130 stories including the Jared/Jensen pairing were listed in the SPN/J2 Big Bang masterlist, with AUs once again enjoying significant popularity. The 2009 year saw the rules changed to allow stories with either Jared or Jensen paired with someone else. There were four stories posted without Jared/Jensen as a listed pairing.
In the 2011 spn_j2_bigbang, of the 122 RPF stories, only 9 did not feature J2.
J2 Fanfiction and Common Tropes
J2 fandom has many different favorite tropes. Like with many real-person fandoms, alternative universes of all kinds are popular, including high school, college AUs, bookstore and coffeeshop and bakery AUs. Here, fans write about Jared and Jensen as if they met or worked in these settings rather than being actors on a hit TV series.
The J2 fandom seem to have rather established preferences in regards to top/bottom roles for J2; these roles have been a consistent, ongoing trend since J2 fic became significantly popular within the real-person fanfiction and Supernatural fandom. While not all J2 fic complies with these established top/bottom (dominant/submissive) roles, the overwhelming majority do. In J2 fanfic, overwhelmingly, Jared is portrayed as the top and Jensen is portrayed as the bottom. Also, in J2 D/s dynamics or relationships (mostly taking place in slave fic), Jared is generally given the dom/dominant role in the relationship and Jensen is generally given the sub/submissive role in the relationship. The top/bottom preferences within the J2 fandom seem to also coincidently correspond with Jared and Jensen's fictional characters of Sam/Dean within the ship "Wincest". Like Jared, his character of Sam is frequently the top, and like Jensen, his character Dean is frequently the bottom.
While some people may argue that all RPF fanfic is AU, most J2 fans refer to stories where Jared and Jensen live something akin to their actual lives as actors as canon stories, and reserve the AU label for stories where they live other, sometimes wildly different, versions of their canon reality. J2 fandom can truly be considered to have "a Jared and a Jensen for every occasion".
- The J2 AU Themed rec website helpfully categorizes various AU themes such as the actors having alternate careers in the movie industry (writer or movie producer), Camp/School/College/Teacher, Cops/Robbers/Spies/FBI, Historical (such as Regency period in England), and the ever popular Hookers/Strippers/Porn Stars.
- The LiveJournal community j2_recs maintained by simplybeing includes hundreds of themed sets, both canon-related and AU, of J2 fics.
With Jared and Jensen sharing a house during season 3 or 4 of Supernatural, there was an avalanche of roommates fic and canon-based curtainfic. One or the other pining for the other (more commonly Jensen the one pining for Jared) and/or the "Didn't Know They Were Dating" concept are also common in canon-based as well as AU fics. There are quite a few canon-based futurefics, as well as "character bleed" or "character roleplay" fics.
The J2 fandom started the early 2010s trend and influence (which spread well into other fandoms) of knotting fic and Alpha/Beta/Omega society fic; it is known for a large quantity of kinkfic featuring all kinds of kinks, including ones that may be considered uncommon or extra-kinky in many other fandoms (such as bloodkink, bondage, slavery, watersports, scat, etc).
Notable J2 Fan Fiction
J2 fanfiction specializes in imaginative AU with scenarios ranging from space dramas to spies and even westerns. There are, however, a few stories that focus on the actors as actors, either situated during the filming of the show or, more frequently, to events after the show has been canceled. The more AU the story, the more an author is able to allow themselves free creative rein, making J2 AU fanfiction a prime candidate for filing off the serial numbers and republishing as original male/male gay romance.
- The Untitled Jared Padalecki Project - post-Supernatural non-AU futurefic story by sometimesophie
- Do I Seem Bulletproof To You? - hookerfic AU by fleshflutter
- A Kept Boy - slavefic AU by poisontaster
- But Then My Homework Was Never Quite Like This - teacher/student AU story featuring a BDSM relationship by thenyxie
- Smoke & Lightning - AU story by eviltwin & where Jared and Jensen are bokers
- Someone You Might Have Been (J2 fiction) - spyfic AU by fleshflutter
- The Quarterback Verse (Jared and Jensen as pro football players)
- The Doors of Time (magical realism)
- Morgan's Free Rangers (Jared and Jensen in a historical AU western)
Fandom on Livejournal
Many J2 themed fanworks can be found at CWRPS communities
padacklesrps -- Created November 21, 2005. 7353 entries, 2525 members and 2306 watchers as of Nov. 18, 2008. Moderated by chelseab.
jsquared_rps -- Created June 3, 2008. 399 entries, 748 members and 824 watchers as of Nov. 18, 2008. Moderated by affectingly, benitle, keepaofthecheez, and raynedanser.
Fanzines & Doujinshi
- See also: Category:J2 Doujinshi
- Friends and Lovers (J2 zine)
- Dark of the Moon J2 zine (Bound and Determined Press/Griffin Song Press)
- Before A Rooster Crows - J2 doujinshi by Sweet Blossom
- i'm feelin' okay this mornin' - yaoi J2 doujinshi by Nejineji/Waka Komoto
- Morning Pride - yaoi J2 doujinshi by Studio Taiyo
- Annihilating love and heterosexuality without women: Romance, generic difference, and queer politics in Supernatural fan fiction by Monica Flegel and Jenny Roth in Transformative Works and Cultures Vol 4 (2010), accessed March 23, 2010.
- Wendy. 2007 Big Bang Masterlist Posted July 16 2007. Accessed November 18 2008.
- Wendy. 2008 Big Bang Masterlist Posted August 4 2008. Accessed November 18 2008.
- thehighwaywoman. 2009 Big Bang Masterlist Posted 17 August 2009. Accessed 15 October 2009.
- "Of the 122 RPF stories this year, 8 featured pairings other than J2 and there was one gen story." from big bang: stats and graphs post by missyjack, 2 Sep 2011. (Accessed 29 Jan 2012)
- lexilla's Themed J2 AU Fic Recs, accessed March 23, 2010.
- WebCite of THEMED J2 AU FIC RECS.
- "Once upon a time, my Jensen/Jared recs consisted of a ONE PAGE list in my personal journal. Said list started getting out of control after a few years, so I created this community to help keep everything better organized. Mostly just for me. And my sanity. Fast forward to now... and here I am, 350+ posts and counting. Fack me. Anyway, down to business. In short: If I've read it and I enjoyed it? It's here." From the j2-recs profile page. (Accessed 6 Feb 2012)