“Benny? You okay?“ Dean nudged the vampire who was staring intently at the pepper shaker that had fallen over right next to Sam’s plate. When Benny still didn’t react, Dean gave him a soft push. “Dude, snap out of it! What’s wrong?”
“Nothin’,” Benny mumbled, his gaze still fixed on the spilled pepper.
With a raised brow, Sam wiped the pepper from the table. Benny blinked and focused his attention back on Dean. “Sorry, chief, what were ya sayin’?”
“I said we gotta move fast to wipe that nest out before it moves on,” Dean repeated before taking a huge bite from his sandwich.
“Yeah, you’re right. ‘m ready ta leave whenever you fellas are.”
Sam was still giving Benny a weird look, not that that was something unusual, it just was…a little stranger than usual. Benny wondered if he was suspecting something but Sam didn’t say anything except for, “In that case we should leave right away.”
“Dude, can you at least let me eat in peace?” Dean protested. “Benny’s food’s awesome, I’m not leaving before I’m done.”
The younger Winchester didn’t miss the hint of a smile on Benny’s face.
It was late at night – or rather early morning – when the three returned to the bunker, dirty from head to toe and soaked in vampire blood.
“Dibs on the shower,” Dean immediately announced when the Impala came to a stop in front of the bunker. “This was fucking disgusting.”
Knowing that protest would be useless Sam grumbled something under his breath and pushed the passenger door close a little too hard for Dean’s liking but they were both so exhausted Dean didn’t even so much as scold his brother. Instead he just mumbled, “Wonder where Benny is, thought he was right behind us the whole ride.”
“Probably just needs some time alone.” Sam shrugged, watching his brother closely.
“Probably.” A curt nod, then Dean was pulling open the bunker’s door and headed straight for the bathroom.
Slowly, Sam followed him into the bunker and slumped down in a chair. Tonight’s hunt had been a hard one, the three of them taking out an entire clan of vampires Benny had used to know way back, before purgatory. Cas had vanished a few days ago to take care of some ‘personal business’, whatever that was supposed to mean, and this job had really taken a toll on the two hunters and the vampire.
Sam was just about to finish stitching himself up and cleaning the last wounds from the hunt when heavy steps sounded from the entrance and Benny appeared in the doorway a moment later, looking just as exhausted as Sam felt.
“You okay?” Sam asked when he noticed the absent look on Benny’s face.
“Mhm. Gonna hit the showers.”
“Hey, it’s –” my turn, Sam had wanted to argue, but Benny was already gone again. Great. Heaving a frustrated sigh, Sam knotted together the ends of the last thread and ran a hand over his face.
“You got any of that whiskey left?” Dean’s voice made Sam jump, he hadn’t heard his brother enter the room. Dean padded over to him, clad in jogging pants, a towel slung over his shoulders. Holding out the half empty bottle Sam took in the slashes in Dean’s skin, swallowing when he spotted a deep one way too close to Dean’s carotid artery.
“Need help?” he offered but Dean shook his head.
They sat in silence, Dean taking a swig of whiskey in between stitches every so often, Sam gazing into space, wishing Benny would finally be done with his god damn shower so Sam could wash away all the dirt and the blood. Eventually he lifted his head when he heard the water turn off, his eyes landing on a recent scar on Dean’s shoulder.
He couldn’t help but stare at it but before he could process what he was seeing much less ask Dean about it Benny walked back into the room. “Shower’s free,” he informed Sam and added a, “Got some more for me?” towards Dean, nodding at the almost empty bottle whiskey.
“There better be some hot water left,” Sam grumbled and got up. His entire body protested as he stretched his sore limbs. Glaring at Benny who was completely ignoring him Sam completely missed the satchel of needles near the edge of the table and accidentally sent them flying all over the floor as he turned around. For a moment he just stared down at the mess in annoyance, then he muttered a resigned “Shit” and decided to pick them up later. Before he dragged himself towards the shower though he caught Benny’s gaze being fixated on the needles.
What a weirdo.
Sam still didn’t like the thought of sharing the bunker with a vampire but Dean had insisted Benny had to stay. In the light of the scar Sam had just spotted he wondered once again why Dean had been so set on having Benny in the bunker. Maybe it wasn’t just gratitude or the feeling he owed Benny something since the vampire had helped Dean escape purgatory. Maybe it was something more, something deeper and darker than Sam even wanted to know. He decided he really didn’t want to worry about that now. There was always tomorrow.
The next couple days were rather uneventful but Sam kept an eye on Benny. He knew something was up, he just couldn’t put his finger on it, and he knew Benny was aware of Sam watching him even though he never mentioned anything to Dean nor confronted Sam directly.
The younger Winchester also couldn’t forget the way Benny’s eyes had practically been glued to the spilled pepper and the needles so when Benny went on a food run – aka stealing blood bags from a hospital far away enough to not draw attention to the bunker in the long run – Sam decided it was the perfect opportunity to look into it. With Benny gone and Dean locked up in his own room, presumably with the newest issue of Busty Asian Beauties, he went into their library and started digging up everything he could find about vampires. Spending the next couple hours researching lore he went over every little detail, hoping to find something he hadn’t come across in his many years of hunting that would explain Dean and especially Benny’s strange behaviour.
Around noon Dean stuck his head into the library and announced he‘d cook lunch, giving him a weird look because of the books scattered around him and asked, “New case?”. Sam shook his head and joined Dean at the table a few minutes later, his stomach growling at the smell of the pasta. Benny admittedly was an amazing cook but Dean wasn’t so bad himself.
“So what’re you doin’ in there?” Dean asked, his mouth half full with pasta.
Sam shrugged and fought with the spaghetti on his fork. “Just a little follow-up research.”
“Huh.” Dean turned his attention back to the food and they ate in seemingly comfortable silence for a while but eventually Sam couldn’t pull himself together anymore.
“Benny ever bite you?” he asked nonchalantly, watching his older brother almost choke on a meatball.
“Wh-what?” Dean finally coughed, tears in his eyes and sucking in a gulp of air.
“Did Benny ever bite you? Drink your blood?”
Gaping at his brother, Dean cleared his throat again and asked, “Are you going crazy again?”
“You tell me.”
“Dude, no! Benny ain’t biting people, you know that, and certainly not me! What the hell is wrong with you?”
Sam took a sip of water, his eyes not leaving Dean’s. “Just asking.”
“Well, ask someone else your stupid questions. You’re paranoid when it comes to Benny. Always been. How often do I have to tell you? He’s good people.”
“You sure about that?”
It was obvious Dean was barely containing himself. “Yes, Sam, I’m sure. Now let it go.” With that Dean grabbed his plate, got up and left.
Sam stayed behind, finished his lunch and then went back to his research. Something was going on, he just knew it.
When Benny returned that evening Sam had an idea what that something might be. He just needed to test his theory without Dean noticing or else his brother would probably freak out and perhaps even throw him out of the bunker. Judging by the way he was still glaring at Sam over the table at dinner he certainly still was more than pissed.
“Did I miss somethin’?” Benny asked carefully, looking from Dean to Sam and back.
“No,” Dean growled and glared down at his food.
Sam didn’t reply and kept munching his dinner. Keeping his eyes on his brother but watching Benny from the corner of his eye he reached out for the salt shaker after a minute of silence and gave it a push to knock it over.
“Dude, what are you, an asshole cat?!” Dean shook his head but Sam’s focus was entirely on the vampire. Benny was gazing at the salt, his eyes flicking over the grains.
Sam couldn’t help but smirk.