|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||pre-series, pre-canon, pre-show|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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Pastfic is a genre of fan fiction set before the beginning or main setting of canon, often many years earlier. Pastfic may explore parts of the characters' backstory such as how characters met, their youths, early careers, and past romantic relationships, and how they got into whatever situations they are in when canon begins. Often the pre-series timeline is addressed in the source through flashbacks or whole episodes set in the past giving starting points to expand on in fanfic.
Some romantic pairings exist mainly as pastfic, either because the characters are severely estranged in the main timeframe of canon (for instance, Albus Dumbledore/Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter fandom, and until the release of X-Men: First Class, the pairing of Xavier/Magneto in X-Men Movieverse fandom) or because one partner is already dead when canon begins.
Some fandoms use specific terms, such as "pre-XF" in X-Files fanfic, "PWB" in Blake's 7 fandom, the wee!chesters and teen!chesters labels in Supernatural fandom, or have specific names for time periods such as Marauders-era in Harry Potter.