"They’re, they’re a mess, man."
"They will heal in time."
Sam sucks a breath. Gadreel’s feathers are charred. Flexed out, Sam can see weak muscles stretch far enough to quiver. They’re broken, vulnerable. Gadreel shies away from the first touch. He flinches. One brush is enough for Sam to feel rice paper under his fingers.
"Seriously, Gadreel, you can’t go on like this. Cas said there’s, uh, oil or something that’ll help to—"
"No. Thank you."
Sam tenses. “I’m not gonna hurt you.”
"I am aware."
"So let me help."
Shame rumbles. “I have no oil to give.”
"Yeah, but Cas talked about these glands or whatever that can—"
"They are damaged. It will be some time before I can repair them."
"I am prepared for my wings to die."
Gadreel narrows his eyes. Sam ignores that tempered fire to grab supplies. It’s not what Gadreel would produce, but old remedies have salted truths. He makes for the kitchen and pulls a cupboard full of essential oils, drops of half used for different spells. Eucalyptus. A few drops in warm water. Sam stops off at a bathroom for an unused towel.
"Trust me, okay? Just. Trust me."
The leather jacket pushed from his shoulders, Gadreel eyes the bowl of water. Sam scoops it through his palms and carefully touches a wing.
"That is. Fine."
It’s slow. Sam works his hands through burnt feathers. He straightens as he goes, cleans ingrained charcoal. Gadreel grimaces until they soften under Sam’s touch. Gentle, gentle, Sam adds more until Gadreel groans.
"I. I am sorry."
"No. Look, it’s fine."
Harder, Sam massages. His fingers thread deeper and ignore the tremors through Gadreel’s wings. That stoic expression falters. His breaths shorten.
"Hey, it’s okay, it’s—"
Sam frowns. “Did I hurt you?”
"I have not." Gadreel falters. "I am an unmated angel, Sam. Your actions and your, your touch, they—you do not want my—I cannot—"
He stops. Sam leans forward, grabs his face. Gadreel sinks under silent command and his wings fan low, submissive.
"I’m gonna take care of you," Sam promises. "You’re safe, Gadreel. You’re mine."