You could look at anyone or anything and know immediately whether it was alive or not, without waiting to see if the chest would expand with air again. The vibration of everything that lived was louder in its absence than in its full, unfurled hysteria. It was subtle from a distance, but terribly obvious all the same.
The world, at first glance, was dead.
The Last Outpost of All That Is by gekizetsu is a post-apocalyptic fanfiction that follows Supernatural brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they wake up in a world that ended whilst they slept. It’s a world marked by emptiness, in which humans have been quietly lifted elsewhere and all of mankind’s machines – cars, coffee makers, and computers – have ground to a halt. No disturbances, no chaos, no asteroids, no explosions. Just silence and stillness. This is where Sam and Dean must make their living.
Of course, for Dean, “Sam was enough. Sam had always been enough. He could happily count Sam as the world and go on.” But, inevitably, the boys begin to crack – the overwhelming silence, the absence of sound, becomes too much to bear. No hum of voices, no drone of traffic, no roar of planes overhead. It is deafening. And when Sam and Dean begin to crave that human contact, they take solace in each other. Innocent touches, rogue caresses, burrowed heads in chests in empty Hilton penthouse suites. It’s a matter of survival.
Gekizetsu’s dialog is flawless and completely true to the Supernatural boys we know and love. Dean shoves his own fear and worry deep down to maintain a brave face for Sam. Protecting his little brother, even when there’s nothing left on earth to protect him from, is still Dean’s job. In a world devoid of humanity, he knows it can’t be Hell, for Sam is still there:
“Hell wouldn’t let me keep you, Sam,” Dean said. “Hell for you might be getting stuck with me. But my Hell doesn’t have you in it.”
Sam, too, is his sensitive, introspective, wonderful self. The Winchester whose eyes water when he thinks of all the pets trapped in abandoned apartments, starving and scared. The one who would follow Dean to the edge of the earth. Of course, it is Sam who first crosses that line between them – a no longer forbidden connection expedited by fear of the day when only one will remain.
They cross this carefully tread upon line one day when Sam, for a heart-stopping moment, believes he’s lost Dean forever – that he’s been left on the last outpost of all that is. After a frantic few moments, Sam spots Dean and runs to him, relief turning to desperation as he grips his brother tightly in his arms. They sink into the desperation of it all in a scene that almost feels too much too soon, such an intense contrast to the slow, quiet build of barely-there touches that had come before. But this is Sam and Dean. They were never ones for subtlety. They always threw themselves wholeheartedly into things. Into each other.
With hauntingly beautiful settings, perfect characterization, devastating (and downright funny) dialogue, The Last Outpost of All That Is is Wincest at its best and one of the most haunting fics I’ve ever read. It is an understated, slow-building, minimalist fic that is at once angst-ridden, light-hearted, and never boring. More than just a Wincest fic, however, it is a beautiful meditation on the nature of humanity and the legacy we leave behind when it all disappears.
Tidbits: Dean appoints himself the President of the United States and his idea of Hell has Mariah Carey on eternal loop. The cows follow Sam home. Silk sheets.
The world begins with the interruption of a sleep. Which is why wakefulness is the only proof of existence. And why the world is fragmented and cannot achieve fullness. And why it constantly seeks to reconstruct fullness. In vain, because the discontinuous will never pass over into the continuous. Mathematics tells us that, last outpost of all that is. — Roberto Calasso, Ka