The last thing Sam remembers before he blacks out is a glaringly bright light and an ear-splitting scream.
He wakes up minutes, hours, maybe even days later, safe in his motel bed. It's dark outside, so it must be either really late or really early. He feels heavy, like his limbs are made of lead instead of bone and flesh and blood. He thinks he feels something on his lower abdomen, but it's too dark to make out a figure.
No, there is definitely something on him. He feels something vaguely like a hand on his chest, as well. Painfully slowly, he regains some vision. Everything starts to become lighter and he can make out the outline of a small figure sitting on his stomach, leaning forward, palm splayed out on Sam's chest. He can't tell who it is; it still feels like he's looking through a dense fog.
Everything feels a bit foggy right now, actually. He can't remember what happened that resulted in him being sprawled out on a bed, all but unconscious, with a man sitting on top of him. All he knows is that his mouth tastes like dry cotton and his head is pounding like a bass drum. As soon as he thought this, however, a hand comes up and brushes the hair off his forehead, brushing away the pain along with it. The feeling is strangely familiar, but right now he's too tired to really focus on it. He contents himself with drifting back off into a dreamless sleep.
When he wakes the second time, it's with more consciousness. The fog that was formerly obscuring his vision is all but gone, and, thanks to the dim light creeping in through the windows, he has a better view of his mystery guest. The man is sitting up now, his head ducked, eyes staring intensely at his hand on Sam's chest. Sam's mind draws a blank until the man suddenly looks up, and Sam recognizes those eyes.
They're a rich gold and impossibly bright, crackling with power. Sam gets lost in their depth as he fights to catch his breath.
"Gabriel." Sam breathes out, a tentative whisper, as though if he speaks too loudly the angel will run away. He's always running.
Gabriel shoots Sam a look full of more emotion than he had ever seen on the former trickster's face. Sam doesn't get an answer, just another brush of Gabriel's fingers over his forehead. Only this time, they're not soothing away the pain- they're sending him into another deep slumber.
As he awakes for the third time, he feels much better rested. He pushes himself up on his elbows to get a better look at Gabriel, maybe have a conversation this time, but he sees the man slowly hoist himself off of Sam and stagger slightly to the side. Sam gasps, noticing something he hadn't before. Gabriel had his wings out. They were enormous, looking as if they were made out of light itself, as if they can't possibly be solid. They were beautiful. Not only that, but one of them was charred at the top. Gabriel started to shake, he looked exhausted.
"Gabriel." Sam tried again. Sam got a tired, sad glance from the angel before he turns back to stare at the floor, gripping the side of the bed tightly. Sam reaches out and grabs Gabriel's hand and, before he had a chance to resist, pulled him onto the bed in front of himself.
Sam stares directly into the angels eyes and silently places one hand on Gabriel's shoulder, the other reaching out to the burnt wing. As soon as his fingers grazed the feathers, Gabriel jerked his wing away from Sam's touch. Horrified he had hurt him, Sam immediately dropped both of his hands and lowered his gaze. He steeled himself for a smiting, or at least a few harsh words, but was surprised when Gabriel raised his hand to Sam's cheek and tilted his head back up to look at him. He still looked tired, but his eyes were suddenly daring- daring him to touch, to test himself.
Sam cautiously reaches back out towards the wing, and once he was satisfied Gabriel wouldn't protest, carded his fingers lightly through the feathers at the base of the wing. Gabriel made a soft keening noise at the back of his throat, and Sam swallowed thickly.
He then raised his other hand and started stroking the other wing with it. Gabriel arched into the touch, his eyes falling shut. Sam continued in this fashion, gradually becoming less gentle until he was massaging the wings in front of him. When Gabriel started to lean heavily onto Sam, he knew it was becoming too much for the angel. When he removed his fingers, Gabriel opened his eyes and stared at Sam, confused as to why he had stopped.
In response, Sam grabs his shoulders and lays him down. He then lays down in front him, positioning himself so Gabriel can tuck his head underneath of Sam's chin. Sam reaches one arm around behind Gabriel and resumes lightly stroking his fingers through the wings at Gabriel's back, curling his free hand protectively around his hip. Gabriel sighs contentedly and wraps his arms around the hunter, occasionally making small noises when Sam strokes across a sweet spot on his wing.
Angels may not need to sleep, especially not archangels, but Sam was glad that Gabriel allowed himself to indulge in such a human affair. In spite of everything that had happened that day, Sam smiled to himself and drifted off to sleep, still nursing the wounded wing.