Sometimes, it's all about the subtext.
Fan fiction has been the norm since the beginning of television, it seems.
Viewers formulate their own versions of the stories that they long to see on their favorite shows, using the characters they already know and love.
Aspiring writers are often encouraged to write a “spec script” for an existing show, something that allows showrunners to see how well newbies will interpret the tone of the series' universe.
But there's another subset of fan fiction that tends to go under the radar: slashfic.
While television has produced excellent gay and lesbian love stories in recent years, there is still a serious lack of representation for those who identify with love stories between two men or two women.
The solution for many of those fans was to manufacture those love stories on their own, and truth be told, some of them are AMAZING.
Passing glances and deep friendships can absolutely be a sign of something more, and fans took note.
While these love stories didn't, or may not, end up playing out on-screen, their impact on fans is no doubt a sign that writers should take note of when concocting future stories for television.
Here are 11 of television's most popular slashfic romances!
Maura and Jane - Rizzoli and Isles
Maura and Jane have been regarded by many fans as “the gayest straight women on television.” The show does seem to have played into the multitude of femmeslash writers who were sure that their leading ladies were more than friends, but never actually sealed the deal on them as a couple, leading to a lot of dismay among those fans who just wanted to see it happen.
Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock - Star Trek
Kirk and Spock are the origin story of slashfic. Many fans of Star Trek wanted to see the two fall in love, and handwrote their lovestory, sharing it with one another at Star Trek conventions (because the internet was still 20+ years away). That's dedication to storytelling.
Emma and Regina - Once Upon a Time
Swan Queen fans are passionate, and for good reason. The deep love and friendship that's developed between the two women raising a son together and constantly saving their town is undeniably fascinating. Scenes between Emma and Regina are sometimes more electrifying than scenes that include any other pairing.
Dean and Castiel - Supernatural
Castiel pulled Dean out of Hell, and life on Supernatural has never been the same. While their friendship has never become more on the series, fans delight in imagining what could be between the Angel and the Hunter who clearly have a whole lot of love between them.
Quinn and Rachel - Glee
Faberry fans joined forces a few years back to crown them as the top 'ship of the year on many on-line entertainment polls. The two weren't romantically involved. They were barely even friends. But viewers saw something in their tense and awkward friendship that lead them to believe that Quinn and Rachel were each other's perfect match.
Stiles and Derek - Teen Wolf
Sterek, guys. Sterek is a cornerstone of the Teen Wolf fan fiction fandom. Though these two never actually knocked boots, the case for it seems pretty solid from Sterek fans' point of view. Fans even sent cookies to the show's creators in an attempt to get this 'ship sailing. The writers just didn't seem to see what Sterek fans did.
Peggy and Joan - Mad Men
In the day of men running the advertising world, these two women ran the office belonging to those men. There were times during Mad Men when Peggy and Joan's chemistry was better than the chemistry Don Draper had with any of her leading ladies. Who's to say a story about an after-hour office hookup between them wouldn't have been amazing?
Lassiter and Shawn - Psych
Many fans see subtext between Shawn and Lassiter, and often point to the amount of touching between them as a signifier of a deeper connection. The biggest clue for slashfic writers regards their similar personalities and the fact that neither one of them can let go of anything...and those fans will never let go of “Shassie.”
Buffy and Faith - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Originating with Buffy and Faith's dirty dance at the Bronze, there was an outcry from fans who wanted to see the two slayers slay it as a couple, and why not? Anyone who watched the show has to admit that Buffy and Faith could have been a great couple.
John and Sherlock – Sherlock
“JohnLock,” as they are known to slashfic writers, are an the heart and soul of Sherlock, the BBC series that could pop up at any time. While they solve mysteries, the subtext of their relationship is seen by many as one of love that goes deeper than just a partnership. The only mystery that slashfic fans of these two can't solve is why they haven't hooked up.
Xena and Gabrielle - Xena: Warrior Princess
Xena and Gabrielle fought together for the entirety of the series, and more than anything else, there are fans out there who desperately wanted to see these two have some fights in the bedroom. It would completely change the dynamic of the show, but who's to say that would've been a bad thing?