Title: Unforeseen Consequences
Rating: If you watch the show you can read this...seriously, this barely even merits a PG.
Genre: Angel-mojo backfires...
Characters: Sam, Dean, Castiel
Pairing: Dean/Cas pre-slash
Spoilers: Throught to the end of season 5 to be safe, haven't seen season 6 yet so no danger of spoilers for that *pouts at the unfairness of living in UK and getting everything last*
Word Count: 1038
Disclaimer: It only belongs to me when I'm dreaming - property of the almighty Kripke!

Notes: Written for erkn for her stocking over at fandom_stocking on lj.


Dean had barely noticed it at first.

It had taken an irritated comment from Sam to draw his attention to it.

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"Dude, if your arm's bugging you, put something on it – all that scratching is starting to make me itch!"

Dean looked up from his magazine in confusion before realising that, yes, he had been scratching – quite vigorously if the tender skin was anything to go by – at his shoulder.

Tossing the magazine to the bed, Dean stood and headed for the bathroom to get the first aid kit – it was probably another dust-induced rash. They'd been spending way too much time tracking down ghosts lately – way too much time in creaky, dirty, dusty old buildings.

Pulling his shirt over his head, Dean turned to look in the mirror.

The skin was slightly red where he'd been scratching at it, but beyond that the only thing out of place was the raised white hand-print Castiel had left him with – a hand-print he was so used to by now that it was hardly 'out of place' at all.

Shrugging, he reached for a tube of soothing cream, and rubbed some in anyway – just because he couldn't see a rash, didn't mean the cream wouldn't help after all.

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It had taken a few weeks for Dean to notice that the itching was getting worse.

It had been a busy three weeks – three hauntings, two demons, and a shapeshifter – so he could be excused for not paying closer attention really.

It took Cas saying something to draw Dean's attention to it this time.

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"Dean, have you injured yourself?"

"Huh? Not in the last few days, why?"

"You appear to be favouring your left side more than usual."

Which he hadn't realised he was doing, until the angel had so helpfully pointed it out.

"I uh…I guess, my arm's just a little sore – been itching like a bitch last few weeks. I think maybe it's an allergy to whatever froofy laundry detergent Sammy used last."

"Let me see."

Dean twisted slightly, suddenly unwilling to show Cas his shoulder, although he couldn't figure out why.

"Dean, you are being unreasonable, I may be able to help."

"It's just a rash Cas, it'll sort itself out," he said, shrugging on his jacket quickly and scooping up his keys. "I'm going to get pie, I'll bring you guys some back."

He was through the door before Castiel or Sam could even think to argue.

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It only took one more week for Dean to decide that maybe it wasn't just a dust rash or allergy.

His whole arm burned like it was on fire, and his shoulder…his shoulder ached when it was still, and every time he moved it, it felt like a thousand hot knives were stabbing into it.

Something was very very wrong.

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"Uh, Cas?"

"Yes Dean?"

"Can you…I mean, would you mind taking a look at my shoulder?"

"You see Sam? I told you it would not be necessary to render him unconscious to examine him," Cas said, glancing over at the younger hunter before returning his attention to Dean. "You will need to remove your t-shirt before I can begin."

Dean stared dumbly between his brother and the angel for a second – they'd been planning to knock him out? – before shaking his head and pulling his shirt off carefully, gritting his teeth to avoid crying out as his body protested the movement.

He stood quietly while Castiel walked over, stopping barely a foot away to stare at his shoulder.

The silence drew out from seconds to minutes and Dean began to get antsy.

"Well?" He asked finally. "What is it?"

"It appears your body is having a delayed reaction to the presence of my Grace in your scar. I am unsure as to the appropriate course of action to remedy this – the Grace must be removed or fully integrated before it begins causing irreparable damage to your body."

"Well what's the problem? Remove it."

"That is a difficult process, and not without risks."

"And let me guess, the same goes for integrating it?"

"Integrating it is simpler, but I believe you would be displeased with the results."

"Cas, can we cut the cryptic bull? What happens if you integrate it?"

"It will alter your physical form. It is possible that the alterations would be minor, but there is no way of knowing until it is done what form they will take."

"Okay, you're right – I'm not a fan of that option. What about removing it?"

"You need to understand that Grace – pure, un-restrained Grace – is extremely powerful. I cannot simply remove it – it needs somewhere to go."

"Well can't it go into you? I mean, it's yours, right?"

"It has been separate from me for over a year, I may not be able to reconnect with it…"

"And if you can't?"

"If my vessel rejects it there are very few things capable of containing it – it could do a lot of damage if it is loose Dean."

"Can't you just…I don't know…put it back if it doesn't work?"

"It is possible, but it will not solve the problem – your life will still be at risk."

"So we try removing it, and if it doesn't work, then we shove it back in me and you integrate it while we all cross our fingers I don't grow anything too freaky."

Dean hoped to hell Cas could pull off the removal – he really didn't fancy becoming some carnival side-show freak if the stuff gave him wings or something.

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It took Castiel two weeks to realise that forcing the human-tainted Grace to remain inside his vessel, even as it burned and pulled away from him, had not had the intended effect.

Instead of slowly recognising the familiar essence of his Grace, the rogue piece had kept itself separate, refusing to connect with him.

He'd thought it would be a matter of time and patience, but now he realised how wrong he'd been as felt the Grace twist faintly within him.

His actions had had unforeseen consequences.

He wondered how in his Father's name he was going to tell Dean Winchester that in a few months they would be parents.

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