Day 3

Title: Day 3
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Dean/Castiel
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Who knew that angels could have allergies? Not Sam and Dean.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2018-19 project project for Huggle


Dean lifted his head, the glow of the laptop’s screen illuminating his chest instead of his face. “Sammy?” he called out. He heard footsteps heading down the stairs from the front door of the bunker. Two sets of footsteps, in fact.

Then he heard another sneeze. “hhh-HIxxshoo!

It didn’t sound like Sam’s normal sneezes, but who knew with Sam? Maybe he’d been cursed or injured his nose. Or maybe he was trying to be quiet, thinking that Dean would be asleep. “Sammy?”

There was still no answer. He heard a couple loud sniffles and then yet another “huh-Ikxshii!

Rolling his eyes, Dean called out this time, “Bless ya!”

Sam stepped into the doorway of the library, looking battered and disheveled. His hair fell in his face and there was a nasty cut on his arm that would need cleaning. Or healing. Dean narrowed his eyes at it. “What the hell happened to you? Wasn’t Cas supposed to be with you?”

“Oh, he was with me all right,” Sam said, nodding. He looked back in the direction he’d come from and sighed impatiently.

Dean was confused for a moment until Castiel shuffled into the doorway, hands in praying position, steepled at the front of his face, covering up his nose and mouth. He looked just as rumpled as Sam did, but he also looked preoccupied. Before Dean could ask what was going on, Cas’ whole body tightened up and then pitched forward. “Hihh-IHkxxshee!” The sneeze tore through him with a fair amount of force, rocking his whole body.

Sam sighed. He took Castiel by the shoulders and pushed him forward. At first it was step by step, but then they gained speed until they were walking at a normal speed. Sam walked him right over to Dean and parked Castiel in front of his brother. “Here’s your angel back.” Sam winced as he lowered his arm. He clapped one hand over the cut that was still bleeding a little. “I’m going to patch myself up.”

As Sam headed out, Dean stood and inspected Cas more closely. His eyes traveled over the normal mussed hair, the wrinkled trench coat, and the stubble-covered chin. But he also noticed a distant look in Castiel’s eyes, a sort of vacant expression. Dean eased his hands down and saw a light pink flush to Castiel’s nostrils and a sheen of wet beneath his nose. Dean let go, and Cas’ hands sprang back up again. Cas sniffed wetly. And it was Dean’s turn to sigh. “What’d you do to my angel, Sammy? You were supposed to return him in the same condition I lent him out in.”

From down the hall, Sam replied, “Then you should have mentioned to me that angels can have allergies, too!”

At the sound of the word, an image of cats came to Dean’s mind. His nose itched just thinking about cats. So what was the angel allergic to? And how did that even happen? Was it Jimmy’s allergy? He still had Jimmy’s appearance, Jimmy’s voice, and Jimmy’s taste buds, after all.

Castiel looked at Dean, a mix of emotions showing on his face—misery, desperation, and guilt chiefly among them. “I could’t stop sdeezig lodg edough to heal your brother whed the debod attacked hib. I tried, but… but I ihhhh…” His eyes closed again. His shoulders rose. His head ducked down. And his whole body shook. “ih ihhhh-H’Kshee!

Deciding it didn’t matter for the moment what Cas was allergic to, Dean put a hand on Cas’ back and led him to their bedroom. The memory foam mattress always remembered them both, though usually they were lying not sitting on it. Dean had a large box of tissues in his nightstand, good for a hundred uses. He supposed this would make number one hundred and one. He never thought he’d be doing this for Cas. “Okay,” he said soothingly. “Let me get at your nose there.”

This time, Castiel dropped his hands and Dean moved in quickly with a whole handful, wiping and rubbing and swiping at the angel’s nose. “Can you give me a blow?”

Castiel narrowed his eyes in confusion and dropped his gaze down Dean’s body to his lap.

“No. I mean blow your nose. Blow out, Cas. I’ll take care of you.”

Castiel took a deep breath and exhaled mostly through his mouth, because his nose was all stuffed and snuffly.

Dean shook his head. “Try again. Close your mouth and let me get a better grip.” He pinched Castiel’s nose through the tissues. “There. Try it again.” This time, Castiel managed to clear his nose pretty well. Dean swooped in with fresh tissues to rub and wipe some more. And they repeated the routine until Castiel seemed a little better, a little clearer.

“Thank you, Dean,” Castiel said after clearing his throat again. “I think I’m better for now.”

 “For now?” Dean asked.

Castiel nodded. “It’s only a matter of time before it sets me off again. We had to bring all of it back with us. Couldn’t leave it for other demons to find, of course.”

“Of course,” Dean agreed dumbly. This was making less and less sense the more Castiel tried to explain. “What exactly…”

“Unless Sam has already brought it in, it’s all still out in the car.” He sniffed again. Then he wiggled his nose and wrinkled his nose, testing it out. It seemed to pass inspection, and he gave a little nod of approval.  

“What’s still in the car?”

“The stones.” With a heavy sigh, Castiel looked at the bedroom door. “We really should go get them. They won’t be safe there, and they could attract demons and others to this location, so we won’t be safe here either.”

Dean nodded, understanding enough for now. “Let’s go get them, then.” They headed out of Dean’s room, though Dean turned back a second later, grabbed the tissue box, and then hurried after Cas again.

The look of horror on Dean’s face when he saw the Impala was unparalleled. “My baby…”

Castiel clapped him on the back, apparently thinking it a soothing gesture, though Dean was in such a state that he barely felt it. Cas tried again, “At least we found some boxes to put them in. Otherwise, the rocks could have stained the seats.”

This was absolutely no comfort at all. The smell was outrageously strong and permeated to them outside the car, even with the Impala’s windows rolled up tight. The backseat held box after box of large, yellow-tinted rocks. Some looked solid while others seemed to have crumbled apart at some point, maybe during the drive back to the bunker.

“What the hell are these?” Dean asked.

“Brim-hehh! Brims… Brimstones.” Cas scrubbed at his nose, which was apparently tickling again already. “A physical ihhhh… ihhh! Sniff! A physical representation of the Word of God.”

Dean frowned. None of this made any sense at all. “What, like the tablets?” The tablets weren’t so smelly, though. And they didn’t make his angel sneeze his head off either.

Castiel shook his head.

“They’re His vengeful words,” said Sam, coming over to them. He must have had the same idea they did about getting this dealt with sooner rather than later. He was in a white undershirt now with a bandage wrapped tight around one bicep. “You know that phrase: fire and brimstone? Well, these are that second part.”

“They are what’s left over after… af… af-ihhh after an angel sins.” Castiel tried to continue his explanation, but it was clear that the sneezes he was fighting back weren’t going to stay back for long.

Dean wasn’t buying it. “You’ve done a lot of bad things, Cas. Remember the leviathan? Claiming to be God? I didn’t see any yellow rocks dropping out of the sky in your wake.”

“They indicate something worse. Ihh ihhh hihhh HIH! Sniff! Something… more intehhh ihhhh ihhh IH excuse me IH! I think ihhhh I have to… snihhhhhhh! Ih! IH! IH-Htchew! Ihchiiii! Sniff!” He rubbed his knuckles back and forth at his nose. “Excuse me. Sniff! Something more intentionally sinful.”

Dean couldn’t think of much that was intentionally sinful that Cas hadn’t at least considered doing. He wondered if, in the eyes of God, what he and Cas did together every night in bed—and sometimes out of bed—might even count. But he would have remembered Cas sneezing like this after a lovemaking session. And he definitely would have remembered these smelly rocks. It was like his car was full of large, rotten eggs.

ihhh-Chewwy! Ihhh ihhhCHIiiii!

Castiel was twitching his nose like a rabbit and pawing at it like a dog. And when the sneezes finally struck, they were adorably soft and kittenish. Dean felt like putting am arm around his whole menagerie and directing him straight back inside to wait. But Dean still didn’t understand what was going on. If you asked him, he would have dumped these rocks out of his car and been done with it.

ihhh ihh-Chew!” This one was soft and higher in pitch. Dean thought it would have been pretty cute, actually, if it didn’t have companions already on their way. It was getting to the point where Castiel wasn’t even able to talk again. “I ihhhhh! The ih-hihhhhhh! The de-ehhhhhh! Ihh-cheee! Ihhh-chew! Hihh hihh-Ihxchiii!

Dean rubbed a hand up and down Cas’ back, his eyes still fixed on the car and the horrible rocks. “If you say so,” Dean murmured.

“Cas tried to explain on the ride back,” said Sam. “Something about demons being able to feed off them and get stronger?” Taking a moment out of his sniffling pursuits, Cas nodded. “There were three demons when we got to the warehouse.” The place was supposed to have been deserted. Dean hadn’t even considered going along on what they had all assumed would be a huge waste of time. “Turns out we missed two others. One got the jump on me.” Sam gestured to his bandaged arm. “And Cas could barely breathe. But, luckily, we got to them before they could ingest any of the brimstones. Then we packed them up and headed back here with the windows rolled up, hoping we weren’t being tracked.” Dean had to be impressed by the idea of Sam taking on five demons alone and defeating them. But these smelly rocks were a poor trophy.

“All right,” Dean said. “Guess we can figure out what to do with them once they’re safe. Didn’t we figure out that there were some airtight rooms?”

Sam nodded. “My thoughts exactly.” He sighed, looking at the backseat of the car. “It’s going to take a while to carry them all.”

“Can’t we just use a dolly or a cart or something?”

This time, Sam shook his head. “They’re fragile. I can’t even imagine them on the stairs. Some have already fallen apart. If you don’t mind bits of brimstone all around the bunker, then, sure, let’s use a dolly.”

hih-Chii! Ihhh-Chxxiii! Ihh ihh IHkxxeee!

“All right, all right.” Dean sighed. “We’ll carry them by hand.” At least they were in boxes. That should help, in theory. All three of them started toward the car door. But Sam got there first because Dean held Castiel back. “Just what do you think you’re doing?”

Cas went from having both hands covering his nose to just one as he used the other one to point at the car. “I ihhh I was godda ihhhh hel… hel-ihhh! helbp.”

“Nice try.” Dean patted his back. “I’m not letting you any closer to those stones than you are right now. In fact…” Dean pushed him back a few feet. “That’s better. Now, you’re going back down to the bedroom and shutting the door. It won’t help entirely, but once Sam and I get these stones secured—”


“—then your allergies should back off again. Until they do…” He pressed the box of tissues into the angel’s chest. “You’re just stuck sneezing and blowing your nose. But I don’t want you making it any worse on yourself. There are plenty of times we have to suffer through something to save the world. This is not one of them. Got it?”

Cas nodded in understanding. Then he pitched forward again. “ehh ehh-IHxxchiii!” On Dean’s orders, he turned and headed back into the bunker. Dean watched him to make sure he went and wasn’t hanging back to keep an eye on the Winchesters. Even unable to do anything but sneeze, he still felt protective over them. When Dean was sure Cas was gone and not hanging back, he turned back to his poor car and found Sam leaning against it, smirking at him.


“You fuss over him.”

“Do not.”

“Yeah, you do. It’s kind of sweet. You love him, don’t you?”

“Of course I do,” Dean shrugged. He pushed past Sam, bent over, and reached into the car. The box of stones was heavier than he had expected. The vengeful Word of God was, apparently, heavier than the transcribed, informative version on stone tablets. He handed off the box to Sam, making sure his brother had a good grip before letting go and bending back over to get a box for himself. Eyeballing it told him that they would have to make at least five trips, give or take.

“But you really love him. I’ve only ever seen you fuss like that over me.” And that, as they both knew, had started as an order from their father for Dean to look after his brother. This fussing was entirely Dean’s choice.

“Yeah, well…” Dean shrugged. “It’s Cas, you know?” Sam nodded. He knew. Dean grunted as they started back toward the bunker, carrying the heavy boxes from the bottom instead of the sides to keep the stones from falling through onto the floor. His head was close to the box now, though, and the smell was about eight times stronger to him. He felt a little faint as it overwhelmed him. How had Cas put up with this? “Besides, I’d love him a lot more if he wasn’t sneezing his head off. I can’t believe he rode all the way back here with you in a car packed with this stuff. Why didn’t he just do that angel teleportation thing he does?”

Sam shrugged. “Moral support, maybe? You know Cas.”

Dean did. He knew Cas all too well. The angel had his own logic, which rarely made sense to Dean. But he was loyal to a fault.

Dean wasn’t able to get back to Cas for more than an hour. Every time they carried another load of brimstones in from the car, they could hear Castiel sneezing, though the sound was muffled through the bedroom door. And every time Dean heard that, he got a little more worried. The worst part was that he couldn’t do a single thing about it. Allergies were tricky and wouldn’t just go away eventually the way a cold would. They didn’t even have any allergy medication in the bunker that Cas could take for a little relief of his symptoms. The only thing they could do was wait this fit out.

The moment Dean walked into the bedroom, however, his guilt at having no plan but to wait it out hit him. Cas looked terrible. He sat hunched over on the bed, panting, nose streaming into a fistful of tissues. His eyes were wet with allergic tears. His nose was red from so much rubbing. And he was so exhausted from sneezing he didn’t even lift his head to give Dean a smile hello.

“Any better at all?” Dean asked him.”

Cas shrugged. “ihhh-Hihxxxshii!

“I’ll take that as a no.” Dean took a seat next to him on the bed, starting to tug Cas’ trench coat off. The man was still fully dressed. And even though Cas’ lived in the trench coat most of the time, it was more comfortable to snuggle with Cas in bed when it wasn’t with them.

Castiel pulled away before Dean could get more than a sleeve off, however. His breath raced fast, hot and quick into the tissues he clutched. “ihh ihh IHH IHHH IHH-Chxxxiii! Ihhhh-Chmmph! Ihhhh HIH-CHxxx!


IHHShhii! IhhhhhShiiiii!” Castiel pulled his eyes open, swapping one handful of soggy tissues for a dry one. “You… you ihhhhh! Ihhhhh-SHII! You’re bakidg Ihhhh! Bakidg be sdeeze! Ihhh Ihhhh-HIHSheew!

Dean plucked at the neck of his shirt and brought it up to his nose, sniffing it. Then he sniffed his sleeve. “But I showered and changed clothes. I know I was around it for some time, but I can’t possibly still smell of—”

Castiel snapped forward, sneezing uncontrollably in response. “ihhh ihhhh HIHChxxxiii! Ih HIHXShiii! HIHShooo!

“Okay, okay!” Dean stood up and backed away from the bed.

Ihhh… hihh…” He froze in place, expecting another sneeze and not feeling one. He let his breath out in a deep sigh. Then he blew his nose into the tissues and lifted his head. “Maybe you should take another shower?”

“Seems like a good idea.” In fact, he didn’t seem to have any other choice, not if he ever wanted to be close to Cas again. And he most certainly wanted to be close to Cas again. Dean paused a moment, considering the situation at hand. He didn’t want to make Cas’ allergic reaction any worse… but he couldn’t exactly fuss over Cas from down the hall in the bathroom either. “Do you maybe want to join me and make sure I scrub everything properly? The steam will probably help clear your sinuses up a little.” It always helped clear up congestion when he and Sam were sick; Dean could only assume that it would do the same thing for a stuffed-up, allergen-filled, itchy nose. He looked questioningly at Cas as the angel thought this offer over.

“Let’s give it a… a hihhh a try. Ihhh… The… thihhhhh! Ih! Ih-Chew! Hihxxchiiiii! Sniff! Sniff!” He gave his nose a small, cute little blow and tried again. “The worst thidg that cad habbed is that I’ll sdeeze. Add I’b already doidg that.” He made a good point, but he held onto the tissue box Dean had given him as he stood up and started to head out of the room. “Besides… I’d rather be with you…” Not only was Cas loyal, but he could also be clingy, especially when he wasn’t feeling his best. It was if his vulnerability made him seek out Dean as a protector. Dean made a mental note of this.

They headed down the hall to the bathroom, Cas hanging back, keeping his distance until Dean had stripped down and was in the shower once more. Then he took off his own clothes and climbed in. It took a while for the steam to build up. And it also took a while for the lingering bits of brimstone to wash away completely. Until then, Cas sneezed almost constantly—quick, staccato, tiny sneezes first sneezed freely. “ihKxxiii! Ihxchew! Ihhxxiii!” And then into Dean’s wet shoulder, with Dean’s arms around him to hold him steady and the water rushing down upon them. “ihKXchfff! Hihchphh! Ihhchmphh! Hihchifff!

Beyond the adorable sneezes and the sound of the shower, Dean thought he could hear footsteps in the hallway. He recognized the footfalls as Sam’s, so he wasn’t worried that the brimstone had attracted a demon that somehow hot inside. But he heard the footsteps stop outside the bathroom, pausing for a moment before resuming down the hallway. Sam knew what Dean and Cas meant to each other and presumably knew what they got up to in private. They’d never had to have a talk about boundaries in the bunker, for which Dean was grateful now. Having Sam bang on the door and tell them to keep this sort of thing in their room wasn’t what Cas needed right now.

ihxchff! h’xchifff! Ih-hihchfff!

Dean rubbed his hand up and down his angel’s wet back. “That’s it. Get all your sneezes out, Cas.” He was prepared to stay in the shower as long as it took. And from the way Cas was snuggled up to him, Dean guessed he felt the same way.