"That ain't the point, brother."

Benny didn't know how to explain, and words weren't coming easy. There'd never been any need for them here. He gently turned Dean around until they were face-to-face, lifted his chin and stared intently into his blank hazel eyes. They'd gone dead when Cas had been dragged away, and never regained their fire. The vampire missed it more than even he knew.

"I like to think we got somethin', kid. It ain't perfect and it ain't permanent, but we've had each other's backs all through this slag-heap, first rule be damned. Am I wrong?"

Dean inhaled sharply. The audible acceleration of his heartbeat betrayed a maelstrom of violent feelings that didn't show on his face. "No, you're right..." he grudgingly admitted, and shook his head as if to clear it. "I'm tired, Ben. I just wanna go home."

Benny got this look of profound sadness sometimes, when he wasn't in his fucking terrifying monster-mode. It was usually on the night watch, or when one of them was injured, and he started to think too much. It came to him now, rain in his crystal blue eyes and the tiniest of smiles hidden under his scruff. This was harder than he'd expected.

"Look at me, Dean," he drawled softly. His fingers tightened slightly as he re-thought what he wanted to say. "You're so close to Earth, you can feel it, you need it... And I do, too..."

He couldn't help the way he moved. Vampires are naturally gifted in the art of seduction, and the taste of Dean's blood was still fresh on his tongue. Those long-dormant instincts resurfaced with the right words and an irresistible smile, only this time, they weren't just bait for the den's next meal. This time, he meant it.

"I wanna go home so bad, Dean..." Slowly, slowly, closing the gap, reeling him in... "Only trouble is, it's right here." His eyes were locked on now, hypnotized. "Fifty years I've spent wandering Purgatory. Fifty years alone, until you showed up. You're part of my nest now, my clan. My home's right here with you."

Dean's breath came quick and shallow now. "R... robbing the cradle, huh?" he tried to joke, but his cavalier smile faltered halfway through. Benny's mouth was so close he could taste his own blood on the air when he nervously licked his lips.

"Good thing you hunters got no problem with robbin' the grave."

They should have kissed then. That should have been the start of something. But it all felt wrong, somehow. Too tame. Too sappy. The moment didn't belong here in the darkest backwater of the universe.

Instead, the vampire bit with human teeth. He struck the uninjured side of Dean's neck, roughly digging into nerves rather than veins, and the human startled out of his paralysis with a muffled exclamation.

"Nnn... ahh!"

Struggle was more familiar, more comfortable. Dean scrambled for a grip on Benny's coat, neither pulling him closer nor shoving him away but wanting to do both at once. "Dammit, if... hahhh... If this is what's gotta happen then cut the foreplay and get busy, Romeo! It's not safe..."

"Nowhere is," Benny whispered. He surged against Dean to force their bodies together. Layers of flannel and wool and denim worn thin by months of abuse chafed against each other and the skin underneath. "Don't it make you feel alive?"

The question was rhetorical. He knew exactly how it made Dean feel, because when he moved his hips there was a matching solid heat against his own swollen flesh. In the next instant the rough grip on his shirt turned needy, and the human's scent suddenly flooded with testosterone and musk. He grinned, purring deep in his chest like a predatory cat. Reciprocation didn't just mean they had a better shot at sharing souls. It meant everything Benny hadn't dared hope for. Even if it couldn't last.

He brought his enhanced strength to bear and forced them down to the dirt. They grappled in the loam, grabbing and biting like hungry animals. Dean fought for control, not because he wanted it or because he thought he could win, but because he needed to fight. He was hopelessly outmatched, and that was right. That was how it should be, how it had to be. It meant he could fight for his life, fight with every spark of energy he had, and be able to tell himself later that there hadn't been anything else he could do. It meant he had an excuse for letting it happen.

So when Benny physically ripped the jeans from his legs, he fought. When Benny covered his fingers in a filthy mix of blood and spit, he fought. When he first felt the searing pain of those fingers entering his body, he fought. And when he was pinned to the ground with his boots in the air, entirely full of the vampire's heated flesh, he fought not to scream with ecstasy.

It was wild and violent and vicious. It was furious and torturous and exactly what Dean never knew he wanted, what he'd never admit to needing. It didn't heal the wound Cas had left – it tore open a bigger one. It ripped him apart and hurt in ways even Hell couldn't imagine, beautiful ways, but he was too proud to beg for more. He just kept fighting, pulling Benny closer and opening himself wider while pretending to try to escape.

Benny wasn't fooled. He could taste the hunter's heartbeat, smell the truth in his fresh sweat. He kept thrusting, deep and hard, as hard as he could even though the friction of Dean's tight virgin ass was rubbing them both raw. How it felt barely even mattered to him; just being this close to another soul was nearly a religious experience. His vampire nature, some dark night in the terror-filled forest of Purgatory, had already forged their life-bond. Its consummation was the fiercest joy he'd ever known, and not even the fact that they'd have to part ways on the other side could tarnish the moment.

Dean refused to moan. He panted harshly, groaned maybe, but did not let himself go. Benny's cock pounded into him relentlessly, battering him with unholy pleasure and blissful agony in a rhythm as perfect as the rise and fall of their blades in battle. He clutched the vampire's collar and locked eyes, aching hazel and clear blue washed purple in the light from the sky. As much as he longed to lose himself, the darkness that surrounded them remained; it lurked on the edges of their clearing and would not be ignored, adding a death-cold chill to the flaming passion raging in his blood.

A crackle like the snap of a twig was all it took. The fear surged through him, shook him, and the shiver multiplied; it pooled in his stomach and made his limbs tremble like leaves, made him cling to Benny as if for protection from the monsters on all sides.

"H... haaaahh, fuuuuck...!"

Dean shuddered once, twice; and on the third he came, a huge release that racked his whole body and rendered his lungs useless. He threw his arms around the vampire's neck, curling up as much as he could, finally surrendering to the absolute helplessness that he couldn't fight any longer.

Benny felt him come, not just the carnal fact but also the throb of his heart and the warmth of his soul. It echoed across the narrowing gap between them, through the profound and primal link that only children of Eve can know, and rebounded until the vampire had no choice but to give himself over. A single, almost pleading breath fell from his lips as he held his mate tight; he let down his guard for the first time in over half a century and poured his entire self, or what was left of it, into Dean.

They couldn't move for the space of a deep, slow pulse. Just as Dean was on the cusp of regaining his senses he opened his eyes, those huge, red-rimmed, golden-green eyes accented by creased and dirty skin, and Benny saw it. The spark. The life that had been lost with the angel. And the vampire felt his own heart beat again.

Dean stared, entranced, as Benny smiled and began to glow a brilliant red. He started to fade into a fiery mass, melty and hot, that merged with the hunter's skin where they touched and flowed into his bones. It felt like sinking into a warm but toxic bath, wonderful and calming and burning all at once. In a matter of seconds he was alone, curled up in a ball on the forest floor, screaming from head to toe with one too many souls crammed inside. He was ready to burst at the seams.

It worked, Benny whispered. His voice came from nowhere and everywhere at once. Get up, sugar. We're going home.

"B... Ben..." Dean gasped, finding it hard to breathe with his lungs full of molten lead. "Too much... hurts..."

Can't be helped. Your meatsuit ain't exactly Churchill Downs. I could try to make myself smaller, though... Where do you want me?

"Arm. L-left arm..."

The pain gathered there until it was a seething, concentrated mass under his skin. The scars left by countless silver knives bulged outwards with a sullen blood-red glow. It was agony, but he could handle it now.

"Better," he grunted, pushing himself to his feet. His jeans lay a few feet away, tattered almost to the point of uselessness. He pulled them on anyway, one aching leg at a time, and reclaimed his blade from where it had fallen. "Now, how do we get outta here?"

Stand in the middle of that clearing and repeat after me...

Dean staggered to the center of the ring of trees. The light in the sky started to spin like a hurricane. Violet clouds parted to let a single beam strike him as he reached the spot. It was so bright he had to close his eyes.

"Domine Deus," he began hoarsely, speaking the words that Benny whispered in his mind. The portal roiled violently, and a wind began to whip at his hair and clothes. "Rex universi, reddere et petere gravida tellus. Suffragiis eripere eum de manibus et perditionis, ad ovile reducit, et tunc bene fecisti ordine generationis!"

There was a blinding flash. The world flexed around him and he thought he might explode with holy fire, but the next instant he was in the forest again. A different forest, without the constant air of danger he'd grown used to. This forest had a sky. The sky had stars. And when the spots had cleared from his eyes, he could see the unmistakeable beam of a very Earthly flashlight.

I'm buried in Louisiana, Benny told him. Let's go. It's cramped in here.