Sam's found a comfortable position on the bed that doesn't pull his injured shoulder. He has a book about hydras spread open on the pillow. Because he thinks maybe, just maybe, that the thing Bobby had given them a tip about was more ancient Greece than American heartland
He's reading, listening to the quiet murmur of Dean and Castiel in the room next door. When the bed sinks behind him, one slow crush of springs and fabric.
He carefully rolls his head round.
Gabriel's staring at Sam's back, or rather his left shoulder. Where a witch had cut him open last night, where Dean had stitched him up and taped a bandage.
"What happened?" Gabriel demands, expression tight.
"A witch was better with a knife than we were expecting," Sam tells him.
Because they're hunting almost non-stop now, holding back the tide of evil that Lucifer's rise has pretty much whipped into a frenzy of excited activity. Their research isn't as thorough as it could be, as it should be.
And Gabriel -
Sam won't ask, he won't. No matter how much he wants to. No matter how much he wants to beg sometimes for Gabriel to help them, to just help them.
Fingers drift over the edge of the bandage, warm and careful.
Sam lets his hand fall where he's reading.
"It's not bad," he says quietly. Even though Gabriel probably knows better than him. Like they weren't already beating the odds of coming out of any battle alive. Every damn time.
Gabriel's hand slides down, flattens on his spine, dragging the sheet with it. As if to check that he's not hiding anything else. Sam breathes out, breathes out and lets him reassure himself if that's what he needs.
Gabriel's leaning forward on the bed, catching the edge of his jaw and turning it.
His mouth is cold, though it warms quickly, and Sam kisses him back. It's not a great position on his neck but there's a sharp, desperate edge to the kiss that he's never felt before. So he kisses him back until Gabriel lets him go.
Gabriel's hand moves again, still careful but not nearly so innocent. Long slow strokes that dare to slip their way further under the sheet, fingers sliding into the back of Sam's boxer shorts.
Sam kicks the sheet away completely and Gabriel makes a noise.
The hand is gone and there's there's the quiet sound of clothes being pulled free. Before Gabriel is back, warmer, heavier, sliding his hands into Sam's shorts and dragging them all the way down and off.
Sam spreads his legs without having to be asked and a hand slides all the way up his back, warm and careful, fingers pressing at his skin but never digging in. He's expecting the quick push of fingers into him, but it still makes his head drop forward on a groan. They're warm and slick and moving in quick shivery pushes that feel rushed and needy. And then they're sliding free and Gabriel is impossibly warm and close and so hard.
"Sam," Gabriel murmurs against his shoulder, something that almost sounds helpless.
Sam draws his knee up the bed and breathes out. He lifts his hips and lets Gabriel push in. All the way in, one long slow slide that leaves him breathing quick, shaky breaths into the pillows and aching, just a little.
One shivery movement slides into the next, slippery drag of skin followed by a press in deep, until Sam's hard against the sheets, gasping.
Gabriel isn't usually so careful. Gabriel likes to push, he likes fierce and hard and greedy, he likes to leave bruises and bite-marks and the scratches where his nails dig in.
Gabriel is not gentle and he's not careful.
Except that's exactly what this is.
It's slow and it's easy, easier than it should be. But it's strange and intense and ever so slightly desperate. Sam folds and flattens his hands against the wall, ignores the bright sting of stitches and takes it.
Everything is deeper and harder and it's like everything they've ever not said to each other is so close to the surface it could burn them both.
The book slides away, thuds to the floor and Sam groans and pushes back, a slam of heat and greedy, urgent want that clenches hard and owns him.
Until they both break, Gabriel quietly, almost desperately. Sam in one long shudder of sensation that threatens to leave him aching and completely ruined.
When the world comes back Gabriel is laid out next to him, leg thrown over the back of his own, he's dragging his fingers through Sam's hair.
"Next time I'm coming with you," he says quietly.