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Dean's quick. Quiet and agile and lightning-fast. Hard to catch. Benny's watched him for days now, never close enough to give himself away. He tells himself it's on purpose, but he knows he couldn't catch Dean. Shouldn't try. The others who did, they ended up dead, and Benny doesn't want to give himself up that easy. Not when Dean's his only ticket out of here.

The tension doesn't leave Dean after they meet and strike up a deal. Benny doesn't expect Dean to relax, but boy, is the man paranoid. Purgatory breeds paranoia and fear, but Benny senses a more personal story behind Dean's attitude. He wants to know, but he can't ask. Dean wouldn't tell him, anyway.

Benny starts thinking of Dean as some kind of animal, something lethal and unpredictable, cunning. A fox, with his sharp features and hyper-awareness of his surroundings. It makes him want to bait Dean, tease him and taunt him until that animal shell cracks and gives him a peek at the human under Dean's skin.

Dean kills with brutal energy and zero hesitation. Benny hasn't been that way in years, hasn't been a hunter. He's kept to himself the past little while, killing when necessary, when someone thinks he's prey, but Benny figures if this is all he gets out of eternity, he might as well make it last. Even now, he doesn't pick fights; he leaves that up to Dean, whose deadly efficiency seems to have purpose. Like Dean's got something to prove. Benny hasn't witnessed that mentality down here in a good long while.

Even Dean's smile is sharp, cutting. The quirk of his eyebrows and the twist of his lips when they share a joke never reaches deep inside him. Dean's got his guard up, constantly, even when Benny tells him to catch a few minutes' sleep. They got no reason to kill each other--well, Benny's got no reason to kill Dean. He's pretty invested in Dean, truth be told, but he's still not sure Dean feels the same. If either of them should be wary, it should be Benny.

The first time Benny sees Dean relax is when a blade pierces his side, just under his ribs. Sharpened bone, it looks like, when Benny pulls it out. The man who threw it lost his head, courtesy of Dean, and there's no immediate threat, so Benny wraps his arm around Dean's back, hoists him up, and they hobble together to a muddy creek. Blood drenches Dean's side, but the water is clear enough to wash it away and give Benny a good look at the wound. It's not fatal, thankfully missed piercing his lung, and Dean seems to know that.

This ain't the first time Benny's saved Dean, and Dean's returned the favor more than once, but it's the first time Benny sees something akin to trust in Dean's eyes. He pulls his shirts off and stays still and lets Benny tend to him, clean his skin and wrap the wound in what grimy cloth they have.

Dean sleeps that night, with Benny sitting guard. He sleeps deep, not jumping awake at every snap of a twig and crack of dried leaves. Benny finds himself more attuned to the noises, like he's taking on the paranoia Dean let slip away, and he's glad when Dean wakes up several hours later, looking somewhat rested and as comfortable as he can be with a hole in his side.

After that, though, the floodgates open. Dean tries to hide the desperation and neediness in his eyes, Benny can see him trying, but it pours off him in waves. He and Benny catch fleeting naps leaning tight against each other and they don't talk, don't got much to talk about except their past lives, and those don't matter anymore. Ain't much point in reminiscing, but Benny feels like he knows Dean now, knows the real Dean under all that armor.

They kill together, a perfect team after months of practice, and Benny calls Dean his brother. He doesn't miss the quiet, sharp inhale through Dean's parted lips, and he doesn't miss the way Dean's narrowed, foxlike eyes widen just slightly, just enough ease some of the tension from Dean's face. Dean clings to him that night, fingers twisted in the back of Benny's coat as they both lie silently and listen for predators.

It's a while before Benny tastes Dean's mouth, pushes those full lips open with his tongue and his teeth. The rutting like animals, shoved against each other and desperate for release, that comes sooner. Dean doesn't like the vulnerability of undressing, and neither of them let themselves get too swept away and distracted, so for weeks, orgasms are a quick, violent release after battles. Benny can't pinboint when it becomes more than that, but somewhere along the line, Dean opens for him, mind and body.

Benny murmurs "brother" in his ear as he gets his hand around Dean's cock, and Dean's fingers dig into the back of Benny's skull as he hauls them tight together. His thigh is shoved up between Benny's, hard muscle against his dick through the pants he wears. It's too dulled, always is; their clothes are worn ragged but layered and thick by necessity. Benny's glad of the heat of Dean in his palm, the musky slickness building in his jeans as he leaks at Benny's touch. He kisses Dean for the first time and Dean breaks for him, pulsing his release into Benny's hand and muffling his moan with Benny's mouth.

Dean's face is open and lax afterward, trusting Benny's superhuman senses to alert them both to any danger. Benny licks his palm and stares down at Dean, lying in the dirt and watching him back, his green eyes glassy and exhausted and finally sated. Peaceful. Down here in Purgatory.

Dean tells him next time he'll return the favor, his voice deep and lilting with genuine amusement that's rare these days. It ain't about favors anymore; they're done keeping score, but Benny appreciates the sentiment. He pushes his thumb against Dean's lower lip, pressing down into the pink fullness more than pressing inside his mouth. Dean nips at him. Playful. It's a good look on him.

"You don't belong here," Benny says, letting the words slip out with the realization and no prior thought. Dean doesn't answer, doesn't seem to know how, but his hackles raise. The sharpness returns. Dean doesn't think they're ever getting out. Benny's gonna make sure they do, and not just because he hates this place. Dean's served his time. He's ready to go home.