Rating: PG-13 for blood and creepy imagery. Story is NC-17, see author's post for details.
Type: Digital Art
Author’s Note: This is the art for roxymissrose's spn_j2_bigbang Just Be Still With Me. I could not feel luckier to have snagged this fic, which expands on Supernatural's vampire lore in a way that enriches it and feels like it could have believably been lurking in the world all along. I loved watching this deliciously fucked up Sam and Dean find their ways back to each other, and I really hope my art manages to some degree capture the wonderful balance this story found between its creepy darkness and its truly sweet and complex relationship between the boys.
Summary: Sam's been a vampire ever since Dean turned him for company. It's been a decade of insanity—murder, torture, blood, gore, sex and violence. The Winchesters have become feral monsters, almost more ghoul than vampire. Trapped together and broken, Dean ultimately commits an ugly murder that drives Sam away. Hitting rock bottom, Sam decides to seek enlightenment, Dean follows--maybe Sam is what he needs to tame the rabid rats in his brain. They’re helped by someone who offers them a shot at a new way of living--a chance to become Winchesters once again.
This visual of Sam in the snow with the birch trees is the first thing Roxy mentioned to me when we started talking about the draft, and it was such a lovely, still scene. So I created that image for the banner and then let that inform the rest of the set. I know you can hardly tell it's Sam (heh, I put Sam's head on what is actually Dean's body, no one tell), but I kind of liked the distance and the forgotten, lonely look of having him buried beyond recognition.
I wanted to do a few things that led me to this piece: 1) I wanted at least one piece that makes it clear the boys are vampires in the story. Supernatural vampires are kind of goofy looking, but by god, I was gonna have at least one in my artset, so help me. Dean being a little more feral, it felt like he looks like this more often than not. 2) I started with a Sam illustration, so I wanted to be sure I had a Dean piece to balance it! 3) I just loved the tension in the scenes with Dean and Bobby...the will-they-won't-they of both of them having every reason to kill each other but not doing it based on this very distant-feeling history between them. That felt special. So I wanted to capture that confrontational spirit. I'm not entirely sold on the proportions, but I tried. Did I ever try.
Sam with Lenore and her lowercase-f family, learning all about vampire stuff. If you think her nest all look suspiciously like Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters...shut up.
In my head, this is Sam and Dean telling the other vamps they are leaving, but it can just as easily be Sam introducing Dean to them. I loved the farm aspect and wanted to sneak it in somewhere. Plus, I had to show at least one of "the girls." They are divas.
SAM POV DIVIDER
To mark the differences between the boys in the story for their POV headers, I decided to represent their approaches to vampirism through how/what they eat and why. I also really loved the scene where Sam was frozen and starving and felt the little animal snuffling around; it was so visceral and cool! I'm not sure I captured everything I was going for here, alas.
DEAN POV DIVIDER
Okay, but this one I nailed.
I'm worried this is a little too cheesy for this story, but. I wanted the general banner to capture both the violence and the bond of Sam and Dean in this story, so...blood splatter heart. Yes? Maybe?
My first idea for the story banner was to have the text peeking out from behind the trees like it was hunting, but it proved to be beyond my competence level. I liked that idea enough to carry it over into the more simple part headers, and I'm pretty happy with how that turned out!
For the final/end banner illustration, I was torn between the very soft scene at the very end, or this idea I had with the text behind them like the they were driving away from it/out of the story and on in their journey. I went with this because I had a clearer idea of how to do it, but I also like the moment where Sam gets into the car to drive as a really interesting note on the dynamic the story leaves off on and how that might evolve. Plus, also, please notice the cute little blood bags I put in the cooler in the back seat because I was extremely charmed with myself.