Castiel gets his first experience with the human cold. It's my first time really trying to add some plot into the story instead of just fluff. Not sure I like it, but whatever.

No intended slash but, in later chapters, it may not be hard to imagine.

This is all current (from what I remember).

I own nothing.

*********

"There has been talk of a second Antichrist," said Castiel. His voice rusted and he cleared his throat bringing the back of his cuff linked wrist to his mouth to do so.

Sam glanced sideways at Dean who stared, intently at the angel, oblivious to anything but the thought of this new threat. Castiel continued.

"There is a demon spreading the word that he, also, impregnated a human, nearly fifteen years ago," he stared fixedly at the boys as though waiting for comprehension to dawn.

"Well you know demons," shrugged Dean. "They talk. How do we know it's true?"

"We don't," Castiel swallowed and cleared his throat again. "But this isn't something we should risk ignoring."

"Is there any human corroborating?" asked Sam.

"Not that we've found."

"Do you have any idea where this kid could be?"

Castiel shook his head.

"So basically," Dean spoke up. "There may be an all powerful, potentially evil, devil child somewhere in the world, only you don't know where. And we're supposed to kill it, or whatever, even though we can't. I got that right?"

Castiel nodded but stopped short to cough. A quick burst of coughing quickly broke into a wrenching and painful hacking forcing him to bend forward and brace his hands against his knees. When he finished he regained composure and righted himself. He rested a hand on his throat and furrowed his eyebrows at the brothers.

"Cas, what's wrong?" Dean leaned over the man with a look of concern.

"I believe there's something the matter with my vessel." Castiel's eyes twisted with anxiety and he began to cough again, painful and gasping.

"What is it? Here, sit down," Dean interrupted himself as he eased the angel toward one of the beds in the latest motel room. Worry in his eyes, he began a quick search of the room until he found a bottle of water. Untwisting the cap, he handed it to Castiel, who thirstily drank.

"Dean," Sam whispered in an aside to his brother, still hovering over the bed. "Can I talk to you, real quick?"

"Sammy, what is it?" Dean snapped.

"Just come over here."

With an irritated sigh, Dean sidled up next to his brother so they were both facing Castiel. He sat at the edge of the bed, still sipping at the water, and wincing each time he swallowed.

"I think I know what's wrong with Cas," Sam said.

"What is it?" Dean's voice was laced with trepidation. "And how do you know? Is it…?" he eyed his brother with a fatigued wariness and Sam felt the all-too-familiar jolt of shame.

"No Dean, it's not demonic. See, the other day, when you were talking to the coroner in Columbus, Cas and I were interviewing the family."

Castiel began to cough again and Dean moved forward to rest a hand on his back. "So what about it?" he asked, rubbing a hand down the angel's shoulders until the coughing fit began to subside.

"Well," Sam traced the word's carefully in his mind and amusement tugged at the corners of his mouth. "They had a kid, right. And she really liked Castiel; she wanted to show him all her dolls and whatever."

"Sam, get to the point."

"The thing is, she had this really bad cold."

Dean froze in the middle of his impromptu massage.

"What?"

Sam smirked. "She had a cold and she was holding Cas's hand and breathing all over him."

Dean stepped back and looked at the angel who chose that moment to sniffle, just a little.

"A cold? Our goddamn angel has a head cold?"

"What?" croaked Castiel. "What is that?"

Dean scowled. "It's the weakest disease you can get. You'll be fine. And you owe me a bottle of water."

Castiel eyed the bottle in his hand, mostly empty now, before offering it back.

Dean turned up his lip. "Germs, Cas. A fresh bottle of water. And when I say water, I mean Jack."

He smiled before grabbing his coat from the back of a chair. He strode towards the center of the room confident again, and seeming to rush from the prior moment's softness. "I'm going to the library. Tell me you at least know when this bastard was born."

"It's a female," corrected Castiel. "And she was born June 20, 1995."

"That's something, anyway," Dean said, pulling open the door. "I'll bring home dinner," he called behind him.

Castiel turned his eyes on Sam who had started scanning the laptop. "You are not going with him?"

"A job takes twice as long if we're both doing the same task," shrugged Sam. "Besides, after a lifetime of hunting, we've realized the importance of time apart."

"I see," Castiel said simply.

Another moment of silence passed and Sam looked over the computer screen to see a look of complete confusion on the angel's face. Castiel's eyes both watered and bugged, out as he began to breathe deeply.

"Are you okay?" Sam asked slowly.

"I'm not- not su…" Castiel's words trailed off as he whipped forward in a high-pitched "Aichii!"

Sam couldn't help but laugh out loud at the startled expression on the man's face. The sneeze had pulled him into a standing position and his pupils had fully dilated, like a cat's before pouncing.

"What…?" he asked shakily as he watched the boy's tall frame shake with laughter.

"A sneeze, Cas. That was your first sneeze," he explained when he could talk. "What did you think?"

Castiel settled back into an uneasy perch on the bed while he searched for the words to explain. "It was uncomfortable, at first. And then it felt… good." He looked up to see if his explanation were being comprehended. "I liked it."

Sam laughed again. "Well that's convenient. I imagine you'll be enjoying a lot more of those."

"They come with a cold?"

Sam shook his head. "You haven't spent a lot of time around humans, have you?"

"Clearly not enough," Castiel seemed dismayed and his head sunk for a moment before quickly rising again. "Sam, I think I'm going to have another one."

He waited for a moment, eyes drifting towards the ceiling, both enthralled and confounded with the state of his vessel. "This one is taking a very long time," he pondered aloud.

"Yeah," said Sam, back to the laptop. "Sometimes they do that."

Finally, after a lengthy torture, Castiel gripped the sides of the bed and sneezed again, freely. "Aichii!"

"Cover your mouth," said Sam, tossing a box of Kleenex onto the bed.

Castiel took a tissue pensively and rubbed it under his nostrils, as he had seen other people do.

"Gesundheit, by the way."

Castiel tipped his head, still clutching the tissue around his nose. "German?" His voice was fuzzy with congestion.

Sam pulled his fingers from the keyboard and looked ahead. "Somehow, it seems weird to bless and angel."

Castiel continue to look confused until Sam began to explain.

"It's polite to bless someone, or wish them good health when they sneeze. I guess it shows compassion. You're wishing them well, hoping they feel better."

"But Dead," Castiel paused and sniffled heavily before resuming. "Dean said colds are not a cause for concern."

"They're not," Sam's voice was frustrated. "Look, it's just polite okay. Don't make me explain it."

Sam went back to typing, leaving Castiel to reflect for a moment. Tentatively he swallowed, feeling a scratching pain roll down his throat. Come to think of it, that soreness had been there a few days. Clearly, he was not as in tune to Jimmy's needs as he might be.

New this morning, was a fuzzier pain behind the eyes. Not unbearable, by any means, but surely noticeable. Finally was the stopped up feeling behind his nose. It made speaking comically awkward. Along with this feeling was that tickling sensation in his sinuses; brand new in every way. Twice already it had mounted into a sneeze, a feeling of relief, Castiel had never imagined. Yet now it was subdued, and lingered at the bridge of his nose, neither quite coming nor going. It was strange, and not particularly pleasant.

After a lengthy period of reflection, Castiel became again aware of Sam's presence. The younger Winchester ran a tired hand across his eyes and then squinted, pressing his nose almost to touching the computer screen. Internally, Castiel reprimanded himself. It was not the first time he had been distracted by features of humanity, but he was too old and the situation was too dire for these distractions to infringe upon his work.

The sound of his abrupt rising made Sam look up from the laptop.

"Everything alright?" he inquired.

"I am going to speak with some of the angels still on my side. There is surely more information to be had."

"Are you sure you're up for it?"

The question perplexed Castiel greatly. With his signature head cock he asked, "Why would I not be 'up for it'?"

"Well," Sam half-shrugged, "Colds can get pretty nasty."

"Dean said it is the 'weakest disease you can get.'"

Sam sighed. "Yeah well… just don't overdo it."

"I," and Castiel held up a pointer finger when the urge to sneeze suddenly strengthened again. "Aichii!! I won't."

********

With both his brother and the angel gone, Sam became absorbed in research. Nearly two hours passed before he even lifted his head to the purring, cat-shaped clock on the motel wall. It was just past nine-thirty and his research had finally proved fruitful.

He pulled out his phone and rubbed the blurriness from his eyes while texting Dean.

"I've got some good leads. You?"

"A couple. One my way home now. Burgers or hoagies for dinner?"

"Salad?"

To this last message there was no response. Sam imagined that Dean could not find words sufficiently derisive.

Sure enough, when Dean pulled in twenty minutes later, he carried only a greasy fast food bag.

"I had them put extra lettuce on yours," he smirked, tossing a burger to Sam.

Past caring, he unwrapped the paper and began to scarf down the dinner. "Fruit and vegetables are important you know," he said around a full mouth. "Especially with our schedule, we need to stay healthy."

Digging again into the bag Dean replied, "Yeah, well burgers have lots of iron. Good for when you're on your period."

Sam swallowed and rolled his eyes as Dean twisted his head to look around the room.

"Where's Cas?" he asked. "I got him one too."

"Out doing re-con," Sam replied, taking another bite.

"Is he doing okay?" Dean asked with raised eyebrows.

Sam chuckled. "I think you may have offended his mighty angel pride when you told him colds were for bitches."

"Yeah well, if I can work after thirty years of demonic torture, he can work through this." Dean's voice was casual but a hint of guilt remained as he tucked in to his own burger.

After scarfing down dinner, the brothers set to comparing notes on the day's research. Dean had photocopied a slew of newspaper articles and began to make links to adoption records from 1995.

"Of course, the kid may not have been put up for adoption. The mother could still be possessed," Sam mentioned after an hour of leaving through paperwork.

"Then why would it still be bragging on creating the anti-Christ? They'd just keep it under wraps until the big show," Dean pointed out.

Sam chewed his lip. "Well what if the demon was exorcised but the mother survived and raised the kid herself. Maybe it's just like before, where the demons don't know where the kid is either."

Dean groaned. "I don't even want to think about trying to find it then."

And so they decided for the time being to keep with the resources they had, which showed two, very promising, leads. One of these was even local.

"I guess we're down to Kasey Harbor or Elizabeth Citrimax," said Sam, rolling his head and cracking the joints in his neck, stiff from so much reading.

"It's Kasey Harbor," Castiel's voice suddenly broke out from behind Dean.

"Jesus Christ," he gasped, whirling around to see the angel only inches away. Initial shock passing, Sam was startled to see Castiel's hair and coat more wrinkled than usual, and a long, thin gash above one of his eyes.

"Oh man, what happened?"

Castiel's voice maintained it usual, solemn drone, only a hint deeper than usual. "It turns out I have fewer allies than I thought. One of the angels I went to meet was less than pleased to see me."

He ran his thumb lightly across the bleeding cut before throwing the same hand before his mouth in a violent coughing fit. He finished it up with two more sneezes, "Aichii!! Aichii!"

"Gesundheit," Sam had stridden across the room and back, now standing across from a sniffling Castiel. He pressed an ice pack into the angel's hand while he surveyed the gash across the forehead.

"It doesn't look that bad. I think you can go without stitches," he murmured. Then to Dean, "What do you think?"

There was only wordless grumbling from Dean who simply flipped to another page of the file they had accrued on Kasey Harbor. "She was left at the Sisters of Saint Agnes when she was six months old. Her mother had just been killed in a car accident."

"So the demon had already left the mother?" Sam queried. He lifted Castiel's hand bearing the ice pack to the injury and motioned for him to hold it firm.

"I believe the demon left after the accident," Castiel spoke up. "If enough people saw the accident, it couldn't easily have stayed with the vessel."

"So who dropped her off at the convent?" Sam asked.

"I guess whoever got the kid after the mother died," Dean suggested. "Maybe they were noticing some of that freaky demon shit going on in the nursery and couldn't take it anymore." He looked up at Castiel who had his nose pressed tightly between a thumb and forefinger, eyes squinting shut.

"What the hell is the matter with you?"

Castiel opened an eye and peered back. "I did not wish to sneeze while you were spea- spe- eeh atchii!" He sighed. "Speaking."

"Son of bitch," Dean mumbled, rolling his eyes.

Castiel appeared sheepish. "I apologize."

"Don't worry about it," said Sam kindly, passing the tissue box.

"I thought angels weren't supposed to get sick," Dean said, after Castiel had noisily blown his nose.

"We're dot," he croaked. "But thed, we're dot supposed to bleed either." He indicated the cut on his head briefly before breaking into a coughing fit.

"You are kind of a mess dude," Dean said with a joking tone. "We seriously need to trade you in for the newer model."

He chuckled to himself as he headed into the bathroom. Only Sam, left behind in the room, saw the look of hurt in Castiel's eyes.

********

Really not sure if I like this story but I'm trying to stay motivated at least to finish it. I definitely accept suggestions for later chapters.