Benny went round the back of the impala and Dean popped the trunk. When Dean got out, Benny was already beside him handing him a machete.
"You know who it is?" Dean asked.
"Quentin. He was part of my nest, before. One of the vamps who killed Andrea. When I went after the nest, they told me he'd died before I even got there. I killed everyone else. If he's here, it's for revenge. I shouldn't even ask you go fight with me, this is my personal business—"
"Friends watch each other's backs, Benny. Besides he's probably killed lots of other humans, if he killed your girl," Dean said.
"I doubt he's alone, Dean. You know better than anyone how easy it is for a vampire to make other vampires," Benny warned.
"I said I'm in," Dean said.
They approached the trailer and Benny pushed Dean slightly behind him. "Quentin? I know you heard all that. Come out and talk."
"You want to talk about how you betrayed all the people you loved for a human woman? And now apparently you're just baiting traps for hunters. I heard about you, getting in touch with Lenny and Ed. I thought you'd come to your senses. Imagine my surprise when I found them all dead," he said.
He walked out from behind the trailer, trailed by two scruffy looking guys. Dean imagined if these two were showing themselves, there had to be at least two more vamps he couldn't see, probably more.
"You tell your new human about how you betrayed everyone you ever called friend?" Quentin asked.
"You ready, Dean?" Benny asked.
"Ready," Dean said.
Benny pushed Dean into a clearing and stood with his back to him. "Got your back, brother. Don't chop my head off by mistake," Benny said.
Dean reached back and slapped Benny's arm in wordless agreement.
Quentin came at Benny first. Dean felt his friend pushed against his back by the force of Quentin's attack, and stood firm. Benny pushed off of him, launching himself at Quentin.
Dean was preoccupied with the two female vamps who had appeared from the other side of the trailer. "Come on ladies," Dean said, "Come at me."
"Goddamned hunters," the prettier of the two hissed. "I'll show you what you get when you come after vampires."
Dean swiped at her neck with the machete, and she scratched at his arm. The other woman came at his neck and he kicked her feet out from under her. When she was down, he went to swipe her neck, but the other vamp pushed him off balance. He kicked the vamp who was down again and went for her friend, this time succeeding in severing her head from her neck.
"No!" the girl on the ground screamed.
She tried to get up, but Dean grabbed her by the hair and used his position above her to bring the machete down her neck. Soon it was rolling away from her. "You with me, Benny?" Dean asked.
"Quentin's getting away. Can you handle these jokers?" Benny asked.
The two scruffy vamps were dead on the ground, and an additional male and female vamp were taking turns swiping at Benny with machetes, but were no match for him. Dean nodded his head. "Go on," he said.
Benny and Dean spun so Dean was facing the two last henchvamps. Dean heard Benny running into the woods, calling for Quentin. He faced the other two vamps. "You know this vamp you're trying to kill, Benny, is trying to get a safe and easy source of blood for anyone who wants to buy it," he commented. "Donated blood, from blood banks. You wouldn't have to be murderers anymore."
The male vamp began to hesitate, then stepped back from the fight altogether. "Gen, we could stop killing. We could live a good life, together forever. Why not stop this madness?"
"I don't want to stop killing," Gen said. "You might as well ask a jaguar to stop eating meat. We're predators, Jimmy, and there's no point in us stopping."
"We used to be good people, Gen," Jimmy said.
"Yeah, and now we eat good people," Gen said.
She came at Dean, but at the last minute Jimmy held back her arm, the one that was holding the machete. Jimmy grabbed her other arm and held her towards Dean. "Do it quickly," Jimmy said.
Dean chopped her head off, and Jimmy held her and sobbed.
"I'm sorry," Dean said.
"No, I couldn't be with her anymore. She changed. She changed too much. It might have been different if I hadn't know what a sweet lady she was before…if we hadn't been married when we were human," Jimmy said.
Benny limped back to them, holding his bleeding arm. His mouth was bloody, whether because he'd killed Quentin with his fangs or because Quentin had beat him bloody, Dean wasn't sure.
"Quentin's dead. Need some blood, brother. You make a new friend?" Benny asked.
"Nah. Just made a sales pitch for your business venture. He wants to be a customer," Dean said.
"Step inside, son. I know it works, because I'm not just the president of the company, I'm also a member. And if I don't have blood soon, I'm done for," Benny said.
Jimmy went into the trailer, and Dean looked at Benny. "You trust this guy?"
"I got to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can't just mistrust every vampire who claims to want to reform. Bad for business," Benny said. "I can handle him just fine—at least, I can once I've got some blood in me. Don't worry about driving me for the rest of the week. I think Quentin hid his car somewhere in the woods. I'll use that. I found his keys on his body and this kid you converted will tell me where it's parked."
"Alright. His name is Jimmy, by the way. You still on for going to get your camper and looking into that witch in Dallas this weekend?" Dean asked.
"Of course. Just call me with the details," Benny said.
Dean went back to his house and told Bobby what had happened. Bobby was pissed that Dean had been in danger when he wasn't around, but he couldn't really fault Dean for the decisions he'd made in the heat of the moment.
When Dean was getting ready for bed, Sam poked his head in the room. "Andrew is on the phone for you," he said.
Dean took the cordless from his brother. "What's up?" Dean asked.
"You still want to drive me to this concert? Cause I can take someone else," Andrew said.
Dean considered. He didn't want to go. But did Sam? And would anyone want to be in the car with Dean and Andrew while they were fighting? "Yeah, man, that's probably best. But, I mean, I know I was mad today. But I'm not—I'm not mad at you. Maybe we're just growing apart a little. But we're still friends, okay? I mean, if it's up to me, anyway."
Andrew was quiet for so long that Dean wondered if he'd hung up. Dean waited him out, frustrated with the guy, but still remembering the years Andrew had been there for him. "It's not the gay thing?" Andrew asked.
"Shit, man, I kind of forgot you even told me that," Dean said. "I honestly have been going through a lot lately. I went to see my dad at the hospital today, and I've gotta go to Texas with Benny…And living with Bobby has been an adjustment. You know what it's like, going from zero to sixty, suddenly having a real family? It's awesome, but sometimes I overlook him, treat him like he doesn't care what we do, because I'm just not used to having a real father."
Andrew must have said something in reply, but Dean didn't hear it. He looked up and saw Bobby standing in the doorway, probably on the point of tears, if Dean didn't miss his guess, and then he just looked Dean in the eye and nodded, then walked away.
Dean and Andrew made up and Dean went down to the kitchen, where he saw Bobby drinking whiskey. "Shit, did I drive you to drink already?" Dean joked.
"It's just a lot of responsibility, being a father," Bobby said.
"It's not like none of us had thought it before. Just no one had said it out loud. You're the best thing that ever happened to us, Bobby, and you gotta know that," Dean said.
"You boys mean the world to me, too," Bobby said. "I always thought of you as my boys. I guess now it's more than just words."
They hugged and Dean went to bed, where he stared at the ceiling in shame, thinking about how horrible a person he was because he said all that stuff to Bobby knowing full well that he was going to investigate a witch in Dallas, and he was not planning on telling Bobby.
He went over his reasoning in his head several times, but couldn't fault his logic. Bobby wouldn't want him going after this woman for a lot of reasons, and if he did go along with the hunt, he might bring those other hunters in, and then he couldn't hunt with Benny. That would mean the hunting trip would have to be put off, and he'd still have to drive Benny to get his stupid camper.
Besides, the two of them worked well together. Bobby was great, but he was so protective of Dean that he never really felt like a full-fledged hunter when they hunted together. He knew Benny trusted him to be able to take care of himself despite his young age because of the way they'd fought together earlier that night.
The next morning, Phil invited him to go out with a big group from school to a restaurant a lot of kids hung around in after school. Lots of people were going, including Andrew. Phil even said he missed seeing Sam around and would like to spend some time with him. Dean decided to go. He'd put a lot of his normal life on hold with the hunting, and he didn't want to completely lose his social life. On the ride home he asked Sam if he wanted to go.
"I thought you just wanted me with you all the time because you didn't want me alone with dad," Sam said.
Dean sighed. He'd never dreamt that Sam would think that way, but it made sense. "Of course that's not the only reason. Sam, I always like hanging around with you. I stopped being crazy vigilant about where you go and what you do because you weren't in danger from Dad anymore. But if you want to hang out with me, by all means, hang out with me. You're my best friend, you know? Way more important than Andrew or Phil."
"Really?" Sam asked.
"Of course," Dean said.
"But you said this morning you weren't going to take me to the concert anymore," Sam said.
"Yeah," Dean said heavily. "That's not about you at all. Andrew and I aren't getting along, and he has someone else who's willing to take him. I just thought it would be better if I wasn't along messing everything up. It had nothing to do with you. Actually, I almost went just because I felt bad because I thought you might really want to go."
"I like Pearl Jam, but it was more about hanging out with you and your friends. I guess I get to do that either way. I don't know anyone else my age who gets to hang out with the senior football team at Sally's Bistro. It's kind of got more prestige than a rock concert anyway."
"I thought you didn't care about that popularity crap," Dean said.
"Well, I don't. But I mean, either do you and you're like the most popular boy in school," Sam said. "Maybe not caring about being popular is how you get popular."
"I am not the most popular boy in school," Dean said. "If you were at the high school, you'd know this."
"No, you are," Sam insisted. "Everyone says it. I don't think it's…it's just because no one hates you. You don't bully anyone. You're nice to everyone. It's not like you're the head of the cliques or anything, but you're just everyone in your grade's friend, and you're not an asshole to the younger kids either. Being a hero who saved your brother's life probably made you even more popular."
"I thought that just meant I was the freak with the abusive father," Dean said.
Sam smiled crookedly. "Yeah, you're probably right. You're probably only popular because you're good looking, too."
Dean smiled reluctantly at Sam's teasing. "Well, like I said. It doesn't matter much who's popular and who isn't. Just remember not to say anything to Phil about hunting while there's other people around. He's probably not going to become a real hunter anyway."
"Okay," Sam said.