A/N: Something that always bugged me about the series, so I wrote it the way it should have been.
Gwen and Josh were discussing the test they were to have later that week, and arranging a study session as they entered the Arc to grab a bite. Tasha waved to them as they sat down, and she came to take their order.
"Hey Tash," Gwen said. "We're planning a study session for the big test this week, you in"?
"Totally, fill me in after work. I'll be right back with your orders". She gave her brother a playful shot in the arm, which he pretended to nurse.
Just then Michael walked in and took a seat at the counter. "Hey Michael!" Gwen waved him over, unaware of Josh's obvious displeasure. Michael wandered over and sat down, while Gwen explained about the study session and signed up another recruit.
"Michael, are you okay"? Gwen asked.
Michael had been scratching fiercely at his arm, and it had caught her attention.
"Yeah, it's nothing, my arm's just been a but itchy lately". He said as he ravaged his flesh, jingling the iron bracelet he had recently taken to wearing to keep his faerie protector Gadowain at bay.
"Well, let's take a look".
Michael reluctantly pushed up his sleeve as Tasha arrived with their orders, to reveal an angry rash covering his arm from wrist to forearm.
"Looks nasty," Tasha commented.
"It's nothing," Michael muttered, as he rolled his sleeve back down.
Friday after school the group met at the Arc for a bite before heading back to Gwen's to study.
Spreading out in her spacious room, Gwen perched on the bed, tossing cushions on the floor for the other three. Michael sat against the opposite wall and Tasha and Josh took the other two walls.
Gwen had bribed Katie with a fresh batch of Louise's cookies so they could study in peace.
They pulled out their books, and Josh made a comment toward Tasha about having every book but the one she needed in her bag; as he noted the mass of books on herbs, magic and lore before she finally pulled out the one she needed.
This earned him a cushion to the head.
They settled in and were studying in earnest for a while, when Michael began to scratch.
First with his hands, then with the corner of his textbook, and finally, he reached over to grab the ruler Josh was using as a place holder, and began scratching with that.
Michael handed it back when he was through.
"You keep it," Josh muttered, as the girls giggled.
Regaining her composure, Gwen addressed Michael seriously. "Still bothering you? You know, I may have something for that, wait here."
Gwen ran out of the room, grabbed what she needed and buzzed back in.
"Shirt," she demanded, as she produced a pink bottle.
Michael gave her a hesitant look before removing his shirt, as Josh squirmed uncomfortably.
Gwen squirted out a generous amount of the substance onto her hands as she surveyed the damage.
Where the rash had only been up to his forearm before, now it had spread up the rest of his arm and across his entire chest.
"Oh Michael", Gwen crooned as she applied the substance to his chest.
"Calamine lotion," she revealed as she made sure to drown the entire blemish.
Gwen was meeting the group at the Arc when Michael approached her. "What did you do!?"
"What are you talking about? Michael, what's wrong?" Gwen asked perplexed.
"The rash, I thought you said that would help, its everywhere!"
Gwen noticed it then, the rash had spread to his entire body; up his neck and onto his face.
"I've found it," Tasha crowed, as she slammed a book down on the table.
"Found what Tash'? Gwen asked.
"It's the bracelet".
"What are you talking about'? Michael shielded his bracelet reflexively.
"Michael's bracelet, it's made of iron".
"We know that, it's to keep Gad away".
"Exactly! Gad's a fearie, and fearies are allergic to iron. Michael's half-fearie, so the reaction is subdued. The rash started a few weeks ago, as soon as you got the bracelet, and calamine lotion contains iron oxide, so it's only made it worse".
"Wait, so you're saying I have to choose between a constant rash, or Gadowain? Some choice!"
"Just hand over the bracelet to see if it clears up". Gwen consoled. "If it works, you can make up your mind about it later, and if not, no harm no foul. Almost," She added under Michael's dark gaze.
"Alright, here goes nothing," Michael said as he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and removed the bracelet.
The thick accent rang out around them as the faerie appeared promptly before him.
'I hate you", he muttered darkly to no one in particular.