Initially, I wasn't going to post this, but mizz_destiny convinced me that others might be interested.
The Characters and Their Daemons:
Sam’s daemons were the first ones I chose in this verse. The lynx, to me, has always been a fascinating creature, and the more I read about them, the more I was sure that this was the right choice for Sam. I also knew from the beginning that Astrid would never truly settle - Sam leaves to become his own person, distance himself from the life of a hunter, but never fits in the “normal” world, either. All he wants is to belong, and the only time he feels he truly belongs is when he’s with Dean.
I wanted Astrid to be something similar after hell - still a giant cat, but different, too - Sam is distanced from his past and a little more comfortable in his own skin (though it saddens me that it took over a century in hell for Sam to become comfortable with himself.)
Dean’s daemon was the last one I chose. I know a lot of people choose the wolf for Dean, and I was determined to be different. Originally, Dean was supposed to be a red fox, but that never quite sat well with me. In my search, I came across the wikipedia article on the red wolf, or coywolf, a hybrid between a coyote and a wolf. I immediately decided that this was Dean. Saskia was meant to be a wolf after all.
(Not going to bother lying: this photo had a lot to do with my decision.)
I knew right off of the bat that I wanted Bobby’s daemon to be a hare. This had everything to do with [the HDM character] Lee Scoresby, who Bobby has reminded me of from the first time I saw him on Supernatural - tough and ornery, with a deceptively defensive shell, but fiercely loyal to those whom he loves.
In my head canon, Bobby and Lee were friends, which is why Lyra knows him.
Delilah being a bobcat was a stroke of genius. Coincidentally, it was also an entirely accidental stroke of genius. I chose bobcat on a whim, and in my head, it seemed to work. Just to be sure, I looked up bobcats on google, and was instantly informed that the bobcat is a very, very close cousin of the lynx, and the two are often mistaken for one another. There are some slight differences between the two species, but the one that cinched the decision is bobcats are often called the “spitfires of the animal kingdom” because they have an attitude.
Hawks are graceful, agile animals, peaceful-looking when they fly. But don’t even consider threatening their children or their mates. I knew I wanted Varro to be a bird of prey, and in my mind, the hawk fit Mary to a T.
The albatross represents emotional growth and resilence - both characteristics I see Sam searching for while he was at Stanford. There was also a line in an early draft that the first time Dean meets Jess, her daemon was curled around Astrid’s neck. That line was cut, but the image still stuck. Jess’ daemon’s name was Rhydian.
Ruby does not appear in this fic, and the only mention of her ended up on the chopping block, but her daemon was a red fox named Maegra. Initially, this was on purpose - her daemon and Dean’s being the same - but the fox always fit Ruby far better than it ever did Dean, and when I made the change to Saskia, I kept Ruby’s daemon the same. Ruby is one of the rare people whose daemon is the same sex as themselves.
These are not true outtakes so much as they are little bits of information about this universe that did not make it into the main fic, but were still in the back of my mind while I was writing.
- Sam and Dean stop touching each other’s daemons when Sam goes to Stanford. It takes time to trust each other in that way again. After Dean goes to hell, he touches Saskia that first day back in the hotel room, but the trust between them is fractured when Sam chooses Ruby over his brother. The last time Dean touches Astrid is just before they say yes.
- Ruby’s knife is the same as the subtle knife. Lyra has no idea that Will didn’t break it. He would never use it, of course, not for his own gain, but somehow, he knew it would be important. He never expected it would be stolen by demons.
- Lyra becomes a hunter after she graduates the women’s college. She still studies the althieometer with the headmistress, but at one of her many visits home to Jordan College, she is invited to dinner by the Master, where she meets Tamara. She tells Lyra about being a hunter, and Lyra is instantly intrigued. She ends up moving to the States to study. This is where she meets Bobby, who turns out to be an old friend of Lee’s. She stays, coming home a few times a year, and always for her anniversary with Will.
- Just after Sam leaves for Stanford, Dean goes on a hunt with John, who is off questioning witnesses elsewhere. It’s a seafront town in Maine where a kelpie is killing young children, and he meets a man by the shore with a dolphin daemon. He can't ever leave the shorefront, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He says if this is what his daemon chose, then this is where he was always meant to put down roots. Dean can't imagine living life so tethered down.
- That night outside of the motel, Ruby says that her daemon was a red fox, once upon a time. Her name was Maegra, and she gave her up when she went to hell. She smirks and tells Dean, "You see, we aren't so different after all."
- When Dean takes Death’s ring, Saskia stays with Sam. Sam doesn’t know what to do with her, but lets her stay close to him, doesn’t push her away this time when she touches him. Sam knows that Dean is doing something important, knows, intellectually, what it means that he does not have a daemon, but he can’t understand why it’s so terrible. Astrid, and the idea that she was always with him, a part of him, is an abstract concept that he does not understand.
- Sam without a soul has no will of his own. He’ll do as he’s asked without ever questioning or complaining. It’s part of the reason Dean keeps such a close eye on him - they have a lot of enemies that would take advantage of the situation.
- Daemons can see ghosts sometimes the way humans can only feel them. Once, when Sam was little, they stayed in a motel where a little boy stood at the foot of the bed, staring at Sam. Astrid wouldn’t sleep and spent the night hissing and spitting, but the boy never reached for her, never tried to hurt Sam. He just watched.
- Demons don’t have souls; they’re burned out of the body as soon as the person is possessed. It’s why the body never survives, even after the demon vacates. It also means demons have a nasty habit of attempting to touch what they have no right to.
- When Dean realized he had a smaller daemon than Sam, he asked his brother if he was compensating for something, just before Astrid bit his ankle.