And This, Your Living Kiss

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Title: And This, Your Living Kiss
Author(s): opal_bullets
Date(s): 12 March 2019
Length: 56,972 words
Genre(s): Romance, Slow Burn, College AU
Fandom(s): Supernatural
Relationship(s): Dean Winchester/Castiel
External Links: Archive of Our Own, Archived version
Art by Elliot Draznin (2019)

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And This, Your Living Kiss is an Alternate Universe Destiel fanfiction written by opal_bullets.

It is both a College AU and Writer AU, as the story centres on poet Dean Winchester moving to Maple Hills to live with Sam and Eileen and auditing a college Modern Poetry class taught by Castiel. The story centres around Dean's relationships to those around him and to writing poetry, and also involves aspects of identity porn, as Dean writes under the pseudonym Jack Allen, and Castiel is a literary expert on Jack Allen's poetry.

The story was published on Archive of Our Own in March 2019 for the Dean/Cas Pinefest. It is incredibly popular and considered as a fandom classic by many Destiel fans, particularly because of its depth, writing and use of poetry.

It has been podficced, translated into Mandarin Chinese and inspired a range of fanart and fan discussion, and been recced by fans on many social media platforms, including Tumblr, TikTok and Reddit.


Only a very few people in the world know that the celebrated and reclusive poet Jack Allen is just Kansas mechanic Dean Winchester, a high school dropout with a few bucks to his name. Not that it matters anymore; life has left him so wrung out he never wants to pick up another pen.

Until, that is, a string of coincidences leads Dean to auditing a poetry course with one Dr. Castiel Novak. The professor is wildly intelligent, devastatingly handsome...and just so happens to be academia's foremost expert on the poetry of Jack Allen.

Creator's summary on Archive of Our Own, Archived version

The story takes its name from the last lines of Carol Ann Duffy's poem "If I Was Dead", and poetry is a central subject of the work. The author has also posted, Archived version a list of quotes and allusions in the fic on her Tumblr.

Fan Reactions

Fan discussions of the work have been widely positive. Many reviews and recommendations by fans have praised the fic's writing style, and the author's original poetry included in the story.

I love how full of poetry this fic is, from the very first moments Dean finds his love for it, to when he feels like he has nothing more to give, to the way that ultimately brings him and Cas together. So if poetry is your thing, you’re gonna love this one.

@profoundbondfanfic on Tumblr, Archived version

my favorite poem to ever be written is from a supernatural fanfiction. I have it printed out and hanging on my wall because I genuinely think it is so beautiful and so perfectly written. it encapsulates everything I think poetry should be, everything I want to be as a writer. and some crazy manic deancas stannie (like me!!) just wrote it to be included in their fanfiction?? it blows my mind. if that isn't the beauty and personification of this fandom i don't know what is.

deansandromeda on Tumblr, Archived version

Other fans have expressed that the fic inspired them to start reading the works referenced in the fic, which include Jack Kerouac's On The Road (for which the characters of Sam and Dean were originally named after), Alan Ginsberg's "Howl" and other 20th century writers:

I absolutely adored this story. The characters all feel like actual people, and you've even got me getting Howl and On the Road from the library so I can check them out. This is such a strong and interesting story, well written; and the first "Dean" poem in it brought tears to my eyes. I stayed up late last night to finish this one. Thanks so much for writing it.

comment from RoaringMice

I haven't even finished the chapter yet, but you had me stopping, opening another tab, and reading the Wikipedia on Alan Ginsberg. Though I knew the name, and a little of him, mid-20th century literature isn't my time period so I didn't know much more than that. So thank you for inspiring me to learn more about him.

comment from li_izumi

Popular fandom TikTok creator Berk has talked multiple times about the story and its impact on her, as it inspired her to start writing poetry, and she even had a line from the fic tattooed on her arm.[1] When Berk later published her own collection of poetry, she included Jack Allen in the collection's acknowledgements and changed her TikTok display name to "berk (jack allen era)" as a reference to the fic (as Jack Allen is the pseudonym Dean publishes his poetry under). Her video, Archived version recommending the fic has received over 10,000 likes. Fandom TikTok creator Dean has also posted, Archived version about the fic.

Other fans have praised the realism and emotional depth of the story and Dean's character, particularly his feelings about John Winchester and the way it treats Dean's relationships with Sam and Castiel.

as a grad student, in the trenches of acedemia, the scenes had me romanticizing the dark acedemic aesthetic again. and as a seattle transplant they had me deeply craving the east coast. what hit the hardest though, was the parental relationship explorations which were almost too close for comfort and pulled at some heart strings that I didn’t realize were there. I always thought of myself as a cas girl, but this fic made me realize just how deeply I identify with dean winchester (almost painfully so). Especially in the chapter John Winchester’s Waltz (couple highlights that hit hard are pictured). I’ve seen myself in dean in other fics in ways I don’t think I would have had I not read this one.

getoutofbednelly on Tumblr, Archived version

The parts that made me so emotional had to do with Dean’s relationship with Sam: how Dean isn’t just Sam’s older brother, but also the only father he’s ever truly had; how Dean doesn’t just love Sam as a brother, but as his son, and it was such a punch to the chest every single time we saw Dean and Castiel connect because it takes these two so long to realise they’re the only two people who can truly see each other at their core, and I cried. I cried many times. It’s gorgeous and it’s heavy and I… I don’t have the words — I’ll never have the right words — but it’s so much and you don’t even need to be a Supernatural fan or be familiar with it to go into it.

Grapie (@grapiedeltaco) on TikTok, Archived version

The story was also discussed on Episode 23 of the Mixtape Book Club podcast, a Destiel fanfiction podcast.

Inspired Fanworks


  1. ^ @asecretvice [opal_bullets]. "icaruspendragon asked: hi. i don’t know why i haven’t sent a message sooner.", Archived version, Tumblr, 21 May 2023. (Accessed 20 May 2024)