He’s a gentleman, or as much of one as he could ever hope to be in these strange times. 

It’s become a point of pride, when the cost of pride is dearer every day, paid for in the pulse of blood under delicate skin, the surge of warmth that floods his belly, but there you have it: pride, in all its glory, and so he keeps a handkerchief on hand, and after a meal he’ll wipe the blood off his mouth, sure, and he’ll clean up what’s left over just as readily as washing up after dinner.  It’s good southern manners, just like back home, where he’d always stand up when a lady walked in the room.

Just good manners, he figures, to keep his thoughts to himself.

Good manners means refraining from making those awkward observations, he supposes, because it’s always unmannerly to make your guests uncomfortable, and after all his comrade’s only a visitor to this barren land, so he’ll play the part of the congenial host.  He figures it’s only civil to give his guest some neighborly advice on the proper etiquette for this sort of thing.  

He looks over at the edge of the clearing, where Dean stands guard over his angel, lying silent and still on the forest floor.  

"It ain’t polite to kiss and tell," he drawls to Dean. "But I figure that when you do get around to that sort of thing, you’re gonna want to spill the news to the whole world.”

It might be a trick of the shadows, but that could just be a crooked smile that slides across Dean’s face. "Who wouldn’t?"  he murmurs.  "That really would be somethin’ to write home about."   

In the near-darkness, he watches Dean look down at the angel asleep at his feet.  ”That’s not gonna happen,” Dean says slowly, and Benny wonders if he’s right about that.  

Angels are odd creatures, Benny thinks, far more fragile than he’d always believed.  Strange how one peculiar angel has stirred such a formidable protectiveness in this dangerous man, he muses.

Strange, he thinks, how this sad, sorry creature is far more beloved than it would ever dream possible.

Dean shifts his weight from one leg to the other.  "No one’s kissin’ anyone," Dean says, gruff, and Benny knows better than to tell him you will

That sort of thing is not what you’d call good manners, he reflects, but then again, Dean’s hardly what he’d call genteel company.  

He supposes there isn’t much use in good manners, after all.  They’re all damned here, anyway.


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