As mentioned before, I've been reading through MissAnnThropic's fiction, "Leap That Makes the Fall".
It was pretty clear to me early on that this would get a recommend over here, simply because her first story that I read, "Saving Grace" had me pretty much turn all fan-boy on her ass (my top score is 5 ... that story received 4.75 ... something that I don't just hand out after picking at a story for review purposes ... if you're a Supernatural fan and haven't read it, yet, you're dismissed GO NOW AND DO SO).
Now that I've completed it:
The basic premise is that Castiel appears suddenly and unexpectedly with amnesia outside of the motel that Sam and Dean have been shacking up in. This is taking place in S6, prior to finding Eve and so there isn't any Cas-makes-a-deal-with-Crowley revelations going on.
Although Dean takes him in, he's got some severe anger issues toward the angel, because -as we learn- during that year he lived with Lisa, he had begged for Cas to come to him and he never did.
Dean was left feeling used over everything that had happened in S4 and S5, and now he feels that Castiel abandoned him in some of his darkest moments of despair. Unfortunately, Cas can't really explain why he didn't come to Dean when he was crying out for him since he doesn't really remember anything.
In addition, Sam, Dean and Bobby haven't been able to find hide nor hair of Eve, mostly because it appears that the Supernatural world has come to a screeching halt across the globe. No demons, no monsters, no restless ghosts... no nuthin'.
Dean also has to deal with a very obvious slash-attraction from Castiel and his own conflicted feelings for the amnesiac angel....
The Good: As per her prior story, MissAnn has an excellent grasp of Dean. Even when I hate what is coming out of her Dean's mouth (I've mentioned before that I don't understand my own attraction to Dean as a character, since the man can be a real asshat...), I always hear Jensen's voice in the dialog and his language, attitudes and intonations are spot on all the time in this story as well.
Sam and Cas are also excellently rendered, with the way they express themselves very in tune with the characters we know on the show.
I like the mystery set up around Castiel's presence, his immediate negative reactions to Sam and its explanation and the emotional dynamic set up between Cas and Dean.
The dialog is marvelous and the narration and descriptors of what is happening and the settings are very good as well.
The Bad: Nothing. That includes the O.C. romantic interest for Sam, which can be really tricky.
Other Thoughts: If there is anything I would take exception with in the writing, it's delving a little too much into Dean's internal thoughts. While this is Dean/Cas fic, Dean felt too aware and verbose to himself about his own thoughts and emotions. This is especially true when it came to expressing to himself about his uncomfortable attraction to Castiel. It was not at all badly done or objectionable, but I think it may have worked better for Dean to have more difficulty understanding himself and had more of Sam making these observations - to us - not necessarily expressing them out loud. This could just be my perception of Dean as a character though, so mileage will definitely vary on this point ... but this is my review, after all.
I'm also not enamored with the explanations and ending. It's clever, the way that it weaves in God and what happened to the angels and Heaven without his presence which I really liked a lot. I don't think I liked the way Balthazar just showed up to explain (with Cas) everything to Dean, though. It felt like a data dump to wrap up the story and make sure everyone got a happy ending without any exploration of what it would really mean for someone like Dean... and Bobby.... I don't want to go too far into the details, because I don't want to spoil the story, but the world has entirely changed in the blink of an eye for Sam, Dean and Bobby and it was left with a "... and they lived happily ever after" fairytale-falseness to it. [And, again, I'll completely buy this is just my personal taste in storytelling and mileage may vary. I'm one of those that were always wondering, even as a child, how long it would take for real life to intrude on Snow White and Cinderella ... obviously I was born cynical. But that cynicism seems so tied to the Supernatural-verse, that it doesn't feel -pardon the expression- natural for there to not be at least a feeling of ambiguity hanging in the air at the end.]
The Score: So, ultimately I liked this story and I loved the interactions between Cas and Dean. I really loved the beginning of the story, but wasn't crazy about the wrap up. The O.C. was nicely introduced, but I don't feel like we really know her and she was really just to make sure that Sam ends up happy, too, rather than being her own character so it was hard to form a definite opinion about her. Balthazar was nicely rendered, but again his part in the story was the exposition-ist to explain every detail to Dean and then leave, which could just as easily been done by Castiel without his assistance. I think I would have been happier with Dean's true inner thoughts being drabbled out to us to show us that what is happening on the surface may not be all that is going on with him psychologically and emotionally, rather than our being included in everything every step of the way as he develops romantic feelings for Castiel. The ambiguity inherent in the Dean/Castiel relationship that was all over 'Saving Grace' would have been welcomed here, as well, for the first half of the story.
It is still very well written and definitely recommended, however: 4.0 out of 5-stars.