Bright Lights of Disturbia

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Title: Bright Lights of Disturbia or BLoD
Author(s): leonidaslion
Date(s): 2009-2010
Length: ca. 385,000 words - 38:12:22 hours (podfic)
Genre: slash, Wincest, darkfic
Fandom: Supernatural
External Links: the series at AO3
podfic of BLoD at Audiofic Archive

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Bright Lights of Disturbia (a.k.a. BLoD or BLOD) is a hurt/comfort Supernatural story written by leonidaslion.

The author's summary: "Not all of our scars are worn on the outside."

According to one article: "... in this fic, the Yellow-Eyed Demon reiterates his claim on Sam by raping Dean on multiple occasions, acting out Sam's long-harbored sexual feelings for his brother. The attacks leave an external scar on Dean's temple, internal tearing after a near-fatal rape, and psychological trauma."[1]

While the story is popular among Supernatural fandom, its dark themes and intense focus on Dean's emotional damage make the story a difficult read and can, in some readers, evoke a visceral and negative reaction.

The story has come under criticism for promising a happy ending, but providing what some readers saw as an ending of very dubious consent around the relationship between Sam and Dean—not the "happy relationship of equals"-Wincest they were hoping for.

The series is also sometimes listed as one of the more controversial stories in Supernatural fandom:

"I'm in SPN and I don't think there will be very many here who disagree when I name BLoD by leonidaslion and Tramp!verse by tehdirtiestsock as being among the most controversial and divisive fics produced to date.[2]

The story was written over a one-year period and was posted as a WIP consisting of over 60 chapters. At its conclusion, the story contained more than 350,000 words.

It was recorded as a nearly 40 hour podfic by Blackbyrdy, and cybel made an audiobook of it.[3] It has also inspired multiple works of fan art along with several fanmixes.

artwork by petite madame illustrating the pivotal scene in the story where Dean is assaulted. Additional artwork inspired by the story below


"oh my god bright lights…. is the only fic i ever read that had me unable to even watch the show for a while afterwards @_@ that one took me a while to get over, it’s like a fandom rite going though BLoD like walking on coals and coming out unharmed."[4]

On the podfic version: "I've always loved leonidaslion's writing, there's a combination of brutality, momentum, and tenderness to it that is unmatched. This story was posted as a serial last summer, and it was always a little bright spot in my week to see that a new chapter was up. Blackbyrdy has a singularly unselfconscious way of reading that draws you into the action and maintains the suspense over an incredible 38 hours of storytelling. It doesn't drag - I never, ever felt bored or tired of her voice, I was always so interested to see how she'd handle the next chapter. There's a lot of angst in this tale, but it's not told in a hand-wringing way - it's just that you feel that the happiness at the end is completely and utterly earned."[5]

"Two things to avoid by leonidaslion: Bright Lights of Disturbia, and Suite!Verse. You can try, but Suite!Verse is the only fic that made me literally feel sick to my stomach, and Disturbia makes both Dean and Sam horribly OOC. Dean is a fucking woobie. A woobie to end all woobies....But I'll tell you, it pulls you in and then 30 chapters later your brain is broken and you're dead inside."[6]

"59 chapters plus epilogue of dark and wondrous beauty. In a comment I read once, someone described it as akin to watching a beautiful stained glass window shatter – and then be painfully recreated shard by shard by a Sam and Dean on bended, bloodied knees. Read the warnings by all means, but do take a chance on this spectacular tale of a Dean haunted by trauma, and a Sam desperately working his way towards him. And trust me, there are moments of such sweetness nestled within..."[7]

"I stayed up all night to finish it. I guess I had to get some closure, so I can move on with my life. Like I said, I skipped trough the rest a bit and only read the dialog. Sam leaving after 48 chapters of promising not to, was too much. I haven’t yet read the epilogue. Gutted and empty is exactly how I feel now. It has a happy ending, but it doesn’t fully make up for all the shit that happens before. I don’t trust Sam anymore and Dean still seems to be a bit fucked up. Maybe this whole fanfiction was made to show how wrong wincest actually is. I don’t think I’ll be reading that pairing in a while."[8]

"I finally finished The Bright Lights of Disturbia and fuck, it felt good to finally get that happy ending."[9]

"6 chapters. 6 chapters left in this fic. I don’t know. I don’t know how to feel or what to think. I have my theories, but I just don’t know what’s going to happen in these last short few chapters. It’s an odd sensation being so into this fic. This is probably one of the longest things I’ve read since first semester of freshman year in college. I love this feeling of not being able to stop what I’m reading. To be excited and sad. To have physical pain and heartache reading it. To hang on every word."[10]

"This story is obviously for the strong, and I am the weak."[11]

"Things I don't understand (and kind of want to scream about). When people say that they hate “Bright Lights Of Disturbia” because the characterization is (apparently) off. It’s like they don’t see the heart of anything in the fic or the show, for that matter."[12]

"I didn’t think this fanfic would affect me so much, yet I can’t believe how amazing it is. The intricacy and the depth in which the author writes, moulds it into something more than just the story. The thought and feeling behind the plot is breath taking and its incredible how affected I am by it. Right now I’m in bed just after finishing a chapter from around the 50th, and right now I feel pretty empty and down. Yet in previous chaps where I have ended I have been left with a happy feeling securely resting some where around my middle. I just think its a great achievement to be able to write such a touching dark story, that has such a rollercoster ride of emotions attached to it. I’m going to be sad when I finish in a few chapters time, but I also think it may be the best fanfic I have ever read. To anyone that is a supernatural fan I suggest you read it, especially If you feel like challenging your emotions."[13]

"I saw your post about Dean's character in Bright Lights of Disturbia. I feel like I was one of the only people who did not enjoy the story at all and yes, one of the people who thought Dean was completely out of character. I felt like I was reading about somebody who just happened to share Dean's name and similar looks. Okay, we all know that Dean has a vulnerable side, but Dean is not weak and he does not cry like that at the drop of a hat even with what happened to him."[14]

"Honestly, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d probably give it an 8? I don’t really think it lived up to the hype. Of course, I could just be a frigid bitch, but I’m pretty sure I’m not because I’ve cried my eyes out over more fanfictions that I care to admit. This one just wasn’t all that bad. I mean, there were parts where I was covering my eyes and wishing desperately that what I knew was about to happen wouldn’t happen, but that’s not exactly ‘tear your soul out’ material. And then of course there’s the whole road to trust thing that was really, really bumpy and agonizing but still not as angsty as it was made out to be. I’m kind of disappointed but at the same time I’m not. It’s still an amazing story, I have to give the author that. The plot is fantastic and the characters are in-character and it’s very, very well written. The fact that there is mention of Sam and Dean having a kid together at the end is a super bonus in my books because honestly, who can resist daddy!Dean? And then, of course, is the fact that it’s 333,000+ bloody freakin’ words long which is absolutely amazing. So it’s a definitely a good read and it does have a happy ending (even though I remember someone saying that it didn’t). Just don’t go in thinking you’ll be a sobbing wreck at the end of it. If anything, you’ll be dying of cuteness overload."[15]

"This fanfiction is slowly taking over my life. I mean I have read some fucked up shit. I love angst, rape, h/c and all that stuff. But this fanfiction… my god, this is bad.


So, it starts out with this stupid, tired porn-movie plot, but it is well written, so I keep reading. And then it gets worse. So much worse.

The rape and psycho-trauma plot alone is bad. But it’s nothing I’ve never seen before. It’s just the frequency in which this fanfiction deals out the bad stuff. It never let’s you have a rest. I managed to get up to chapter 48, before I couldn’t take it anymore.

That point when you slowly realize, what Sam is doing to his brother. That is the worst part. A lot worse than chapter 38 & 39, which got their own warning.

As a reader you want Sam to be together with his brother, as much as he wants to. He is the narrator and person you’ve been sympathizing with. And then you realize that Sam (and the reader) kinda-sorta rapes Dean too. Aaaargh. Now I feel dirty and violated. I’ve never read a fanfiction that fucked so hard with my mind.

And the characters are so accurate, I feel like I just ruined wincest for me for ever.

Anyway I skipped a few chapters, because it actually managed to get worse. Again. I just want to see how you end something like this and have my life back."[16]

"Impressive in the span of time it encompasses. Sam starts out as the embodiment of the healing cock trope, and the readers can see that trope as hopeless fantasy and feel smart for seeing it. I love writing that twists the trope. Those are the two best things about it.

Petty complaints: Dean's eyes as mood ring really gets on my last nerve, and all that snotty crying is a bit much.

It has great flow until the jarring tonal shift of Sam's return. I enjoyed Sam+Andy, and there could have been more, but Dean's relentless punishing and Sam's submission to it made me very uncomfortable.

I liked the OFC, but I didn't feel like her motivation was ever clear. This take on John is a stark vision of the man--not sentimental or too villainous--but I can't take seriously the idea that he would do the stalker thing with Dean. I never buy Bobby knows and I don't see why that was even in the story.

Very unsatisfying ending since I didn't emotionally connect to the punishment of Sam."[17]

I cannot speak highly enough of this fic, and despite the size have read it many times. It opens with Sam at Stanford, and Dean and John still hunting and goes from there. It is a very dark fic, so read the warnings first, but the light at the other end of the tunnel is worth it. There is not one step of this fic that is not incredibly written. When you read this story, it stays with you for weeks. You think about all the different paths leonidaslion takes you down, the journey you are taken on, and how much you feel you are part of it. I cannot even start to tell you what is in this fic because there is so much. If you can handle the darkness and hurt!Dean, I cannot recommend this enough. Trust the author, she will take care of you in the end. This gets an extra heart for being extra favourite.[18]

“The Bright Lights of Disturbia” is probably one of the most dark and heavy pieces of writing I have ever read in fanfiction, or in other types of writing for that matter. I've only ever read listened to it once, but it's not a fiction that is easily forgotten. It's not your average angst/dark!fic with a couple of touchy subjects that, while normally mentioned and touched on, are never really properly delved into. Let me tell you this right now: read the warnings. This fic is real. Well, at times it can feel real. The emotional impact it had on my outlooks on certain subjects actually screwed with my head for a couple of days. But let me tell you, I never regretted reading this. It's a story about hurt and betrayal and things that are broken. It's a story about inner demons and darkness and loss and the filth of humanity. But this story also about forgiveness and family and recovery. It's a story that shows us that while life isn't meant to be easy, it can still be good.[19]

Additional feedback at BLOD Goodreads, Archived version

Art Gallery


  1. ^ Symposium - Supernatural bodies: Writing subjugation and resistance onto Sam and Dean Winchester, by Suzette Chan, Transformative Works and Cultures, volume 4, 2010. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  2. ^ comment in the thread "Most Controversial Fic in Your Fandom at [[fail-fandomanon]] dated Oct 19, 2013". Archived from the original on 2023-03-19. {{cite web}}: URL–wikilink conflict (help)
  3. ^ BLoD audiobook link at Audiofic Archive (Accessed 3 Feb 2012) (offline as of May 2013)
  4. ^ comment by boyoshock at Tumblr post by gilraenis, 10 Dec 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  5. ^ Amplirecathon 2011: Brilliant Long Podfic post by crinklysolution recommending the podfic for Amplirecathon 2011 in Amplificathon, 14 Mar 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  6. ^ dingoatemybabycrazy Tumblr post by gilraenis, 10 Dec 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  7. ^ Make 'Em Cry post by callistosh65 at SPN Roundtable, 31 May 2010. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  8. ^ Tumblr post by diapurple 13 July 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  9. ^ Tumblr post by duoduounumbeta ca. July 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  10. ^ Tumblr post by mcgregors (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  11. ^ Tumblr post by thecapn, ca. May 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  12. ^ Things I don’t understand (and kind of want to scream about) Tumblr post by endingsareimpossible, 20 Sep 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  13. ^ Bright lights of disturbia. Tumblr post by mimicupcake, 25 June 2011. (Accessed 3 Feb 2012)
  14. ^ "Tumblr post by sammy-moose-kateer-deactivated2 dated April 2012". Archived from the original on 2018-12-06.
  15. ^ "Kay so I just finished The Bright Lights of Disturbia tumblr post dated Sept 2, 2012". Archived from the original on 2018-12-04.
  16. ^ "Bright Lights of Disturbia post on tumblr, undated (accessed April 15, 2013)". Archived from the original on 2013-05-06.
  17. ^ "Fandom: Supernatural rec post dated Dec 21, 2010". Archived from the original on 2013-06-28.
  18. ^ "Wincest Fic Rec List". Archived from the original on 2020-01-14.
  19. ^ "The Unlimited Guide to SPN Fan Fiction Two: Part 1". Archived from the original on 2020-04-28.
  20. ^ "artist's post to supernaturalart dated July 12, 2009". Archived from the original on 2013-05-06.