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Fanfic / Down to Agincourt

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"The outcome’s known. Why try?
Return your rusty sword to battered sheath,
bow your head and bend your stubborn knee. Why
take the field when you cannot win the war?
But Harry—he went down to Agincourt."

Down to Agincourt is a multi-part Supernatural fanfic by Seperis. The first three parts (of a projected nine) are posted on AO3, with Part Four having begun posting as of 17 August 2015. Based on the early Season 5 Bad Future episode "The End", it is noted for its epic length—currently topping 1,000,000 words—the ridiculously slow burn, and the length and quality of its comment threads. No effort has been made to avoid spoilers in the trope examples listed below, so new readers beware!

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  1. Map of the World
  2. It's the Stars that Lie
  3. A Thousand Lights in Space
  4. The Game of God (Chapter 22 of 25 posted)

  • A God Am I: When Castiel hears about his alternate self's antics with the Purgatory souls and subsequent declarations of godhood, he's appalled.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Alison, the psychic mayor of Ichabod, isn't used to having telepathy, doesn't know how to turn it off, and can't control it; if someone's within her range, she hears their thoughts. No individual mind is too terrible for her, but the cumulative effect can be overwhelming.
  • After the End: Figuratively, in that the Apocalypse is well in train when the story starts, but also literally as it begins where "The End" stops.
  • Alternate Universe: Now that Dean's timeline has (probably) caught up with "The End", Camp Chitaqua and the rest of its world is more this than a Bad Future.
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  • Amnesiac Hero: An extremely mild case; Dean remembers everything except precisely what he was doing before he switched timelines and what happened to cause it.
  • Annoying Patient: Dean—even when he's not so delirious he's trying to exorcise, strangle, and/or stab his caregivers.
  • Artistic License – Biology: "...In the spring the landscape blooms into a riot of colors, bluebells and sunflowers, wild strawberries draped over overgrown bushes..." Strawberries do spread by vine-like runners, but at a max of about 8 inches tall they don't "drape over" anything bigger than a baseball. Nor do sunflowers bloom in the spring.
  • Bad Writing: Castiel, for Dean's amusement, is translating a bad epic poem written by a young Greek man who was turned down for study at the Library of Alexandria. It's essentially self-insert Mary Sue fic, and is hilariously bad. The actual title is something like "Journey to the Great Swamp", but Dean refers to it as "hippofucker".
  • Badass Boast: Castiel says he's accurate with any weapon in the arsenal at up to a mile away. Dean, bewildered, mentions the curvature of the Earth as a limiting factor.
    Castiel: I can calculate that in the time it takes to pull the trigger.
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    • There was also the time Castiel, who makes it a point to never lie, says in so many words that Chitaqua could conquer Kansas in a week. "Two if we stop to sleep."
  • Berserk Button: Threaten Dean where Castiel can hear you and he will fuck your shit up. Meanwhile, Dean's a trifle miffed about the attempt on Castiel's life that happened before he arrived, and doesn't care for circumstances that seem to resemble it.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: The hero-slash-narrator of the horrible poem Castiel is translating seems to think a lot about the supple, willing curves of the hippopotami he encounters.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Though he's learning how to be human, Castiel retains more than a hint of his angelic tendency towards weird moral choices.
  • Born Lucky: Angels can manipulate probability on a local scale, and Castiel retains the ability. It mostly manifests as never missing a shot and being able to always win at dice.
  • Brain Bleach: After a conversation in which they egg each other into describing the hypothetical hybrid offspring of a sheep and an octopus, Alison and Castiel discover a mutual need to forget it ever happened.
    Alison: Wool condom.
  • Chosen One: The reason Lucifer hasn't won yet is because Dean's the chosen one. It doesn't, apparently, matter that he's not the chosen one native to this timeline.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Castiel doesn't sit on his own porch in his heavily-warded, heavily-armed militia camp without about three weapons.
  • Crazy Survivalist: The denizens of Camp Chitaqua have a pretty strong streak of this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Early in Book One, Castiel takes Dean down, casually, to make a point. There's no actual beating up, but it's quite clear that that's because Castiel sees no reason to do it.
    • And then late in Book Three, Dean spars seriously for the first time since the illness that nearly killed him, and it's looking like one of these right up until he remembers that he's Dean freaking Winchester.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Castiel has elevated sarcasm to an art form in pure self-defense.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Cornelia Africana, Mother of the Gracci.
  • Despair Event Horizon: For the first few chapters of Map of the World, Castiel is convinced that the Apocalypse is over, Lucifer has won, and there's nothing to do but wait to die. He does come back from it, in an odd way—he's still pretty convinced they're all doomed, but figures they might as well fight anyway.
  • Determinator: Dean remembering that he is this is a plot point after his illness.
  • Deuteragonist: There's probably slightly more Dean POV than Castiel, but they're evenly matched enough that neither one can be described as the sole main character.
  • Door Stopper: The series in general, and The Game of God in particular.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Castiel does this after 2014!Dean's death. It's not as effective as he'd like.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Nate used to work in the Winchester Mystery House, which is one of these, though a fairly benign one in that its existence seals a rip in the cosmos that would otherwise be Very, Very Bad. The house is sentient and, apparently, fond of Nate.
    • Despite the name, Eldritch Horror is not one; it's Castiel's extremely potent moonshine.
  • Ethical Slut: Despite the fact that having sex is one of the few ways he has of making his mortal life bearable, Castiel doesn't sleep with people who are in exclusive relationships, does not hit on people who don't like men, tries not to be anyone's revenge lay, and always makes sure his partner has just as much fun as he does.
  • Fake Relationship: For much more solid reasons than most fanfic, Castiel and Dean have one of these. As of the end of Book Three they're working hard on making it real.
  • Fallen Angel: Castiel. He despises being stuffed into a mortal body and notes repeatedly that being fallen doesn't actually make him "human" in any meaningful sense. As far as he's concerned he's probably firmly astride the line between this and Broken Angel.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Several.
    • In Hell, you can either be tortured eternally or give up your humanity and become a demon.
    • Castiel visited one upon a man who had killed a dozen children in ritual sacrifice.
    Castiel: It's forever in there.
  • Fever Dream Episode: The last chapter of Book One is basically Dean talking to people in his own head. Of course, they seem to be real people...
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: "Our" Dean, the one from the show's timeline, did not so much sleep through the Apocalypse as avert it, but he still takes quite some time getting up to speed on the backstory.
  • Forgets to Eat: Castiel has a very...inconsistent relationship with food and hunger. After his illness, so does Dean. They both end up eating so that the other one will eat.
  • Friend to All Children: Dean loves kids, even toddlers, even when their parents want to strangle the little brats.
  • From a Certain Point of View: Castiel very rarely outright lies; a judicious combination of misdirection, Exact Words, and disregard for the Conversational Maxims means that he doesn't have to.
  • Gender Is No Object: No one in the story has yet ventured to suggest that women can't keep up with men in the Chitaqua militia, and Castiel picks Amanda as a sparring partner specifically because she's good enough that he doesn't have to be super-careful to avoid hurting her.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Quoted nearly verbatim by Vera when she's explaining to Dean why she hesitated to tell him about the campwide rumor that he and Castiel are sleeping together.
    Vera: Girls doing it are hot. Guys doing it is okay, mostly, depending on the company. But it's a whole different ballpark when the straight guy hears he may be taking it up the ass. Weird yet true fact.
  • Handicapped Badass: An infected injury sets off a nigh-mortal illness, after which Dean spends several months recovering and has to retrain the injured arm to be useful again.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Though just about everyone thinks they're sleeping together, Dean and Castiel are actually this (at first).
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Averted; at this point there are three major and several minor characters who are lesbians.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Gaius Graccus, who was an acquaintance of Castiel's back in the day.
  • Human Sacrifice: A very powerful tool. At some point some demons figure out a way to do it that allows the ritual to be interrupted, which you can't usually do. Just looking at the spell diagram is sickening.
  • Ideal Illness Immunity: A minor perk of Castiel's formerly angelic status is that he's immune to all diseases (including sexually transmitted ones).
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Dean is pretty straight, but by Book Three he's starting to admit to himself that Castiel is kind of smokin' hot.
    • Although some of Dean's internal monologue from chapter 14 of Book Threenote  seems to indicate this is not strictly the case
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Castiel, though he says it's because of his senses and reflexes rather than being an inherently "good shot"; that is, he can calculate how to hit something and adjust fast enough to make it work.
  • Kneel Before Zod
    Lucifer: (to Castiel) You were meant to kneel in worship of someone. When I'm done with you, you'll do it for me.
  • Magically Binding Contract: In rescuing Dean from Hell, Castiel essentially won him by right of combat. This is sufficiently mystically significant that Dean's immune to mindreading and Castiel can make Dean invisible by invoking it. Dean's more than a little bemused when it's explained to him.
  • Mercy Kill: Believing himself infected with Croatoan, Dean asks Castiel to shoot him because he himself is out of bullets. Castiel...does not take this well.
  • Mind over Manners: Alison could be manipulating everyone she comes into contact with by the use of her psychic abilities. She seems appalled at the suggestion that she'd do such a thing, which is good because Castiel would kill her dead if she did.
  • Mind Screw: Dean's fever dream contains a bunch of this, including random Hell flashbacks and sheep that aren't sheep.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The Game of God opens with Dean having a nightmare about being unable to save Vera and Castiel from the homicidal plottings of the patrol leaders, an event that occurred prior to his arrival on the scene.
  • No Bisexuals: Averted with Vera, several other members of Camp Chitaqua, and of course Castiel, who is utterly indifferent to sexual orientation. And Dean.
  • No Name Given: One presumes that most of the people living in Chitaqua and Ichabod have or had family names, but we know very few of them: Dean's and Chuck's are canonical, and Castiel has a driver's license that gives his legal last name as "Singer", but that's it. According to the author this is semi-deliberate to emphasize how cut off from their past lives they are.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted when Dean's trivial brownie bite (the fairy kind, not the chocolate kind) causes a systemic infection that literally kills him twice and that he has to spend months recovering from.
  • Photographic Memory: As a former angel, Castiel has this. He remembers everything, including the infinite knowledge he had before he fell. Accessing this knowledge when one's limited to human neurochemistry is non-trivial.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: So far averted, though Alison mentions that her newfound mindreading gives her awful migraines.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Averted when Dean teaches Castiel to make coffee palatable by sweetening it.
  • Really Gets Around: Absent a compelling reason not to, Castiel will cheerfully sleep with anyone and does so as frequently as possible, at least until it's rendered impractical by the rumors of his relationship with Dean.
  • Ridiculously Successful Future Self: The more Dean finds out about his native counterpart, the more his self-esteem suffers; while canon-Dean was moping around getting demotivational speeches from Famine, 2014-Dean was setting up a network of hunter-training camps to fight the Devil with the help of the huge amount of money Castiel made playing the stock market. The fact that 2014-Dean did this by sacrificing his humanity doesn't help as much as you might think.
    • The fact that 2014!Dean in all other regards failed completely in saving his brother, stopping the Apocalypse, defeating Lucifer, preserving most of the world's population, and even surviving, bizarrely doesn't seem to help much either.
  • Saving the World: The Devil has pretty much won the Apocalypse and it's just a matter of time before humanity is obliterated. In theory. Dean and Castiel have something to say about that.
  • Scars Are Forever: Castiel has lots.
  • Screw Destiny: The Dean Winchester philosophy in a nutshell.
  • Sex for Solace: When we first meet him, orgasm seems to be basically the only thing about being human that Castiel doesn't loathe.
  • Sole Survivor: Castiel is the only person from Chitaqua to walk away from 2014!Dean's attempt to kill the Devil.
  • Spock Speak: Castiel's dialogue and narration tend to be quite a bit more formal and technical than that of most of his compatriots. This is especially noticeable when he's thinking about human behavior and biology.
  • Stock Superpowers: Castiel has demonstrated Super Speed, Super Reflexes, low-level Super Strength, and Super Senses. He can actually injure himself by pushing his body harder than it's equipped to handle now that he lacks Grace to fix it—he is specifically not super tough.
  • Time Stands Still: This comes up multiple times in The Game of God, generally when Fulvia is talking to someone. Although 'outside of time' may be a more accurate description
  • Token Minority: Not so much. Vera is black, Joe is Jewish, Teresa is Hispanic, and there are numerous mentions of other non-white characters, especially once the Chitaqua denizens start interacting with Ichabod. There's plenty of alternate sexuality too.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Neither Dean nor Castiel's narration ever flat-out lies to the reader, but it's common for the current POV's biases and blind spots to edit what's reported.
  • Was Once a Man: Unlike many SPN fics, Down to Agincourt makes it very clear that Dean's actions in Hell actually did turn him into a demon. Turning back into a human—even in the face of returning to being tortured himself—was what let Castiel rescue him.
  • Witch Species: It's unclear whether Teresa's powers are inborn or if it's just a family tradition to learn her brand of magic.
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