Hey everyone! This story is a little… odd for me. I never thought I'd write anything like this. But this just wouldn't let me go. I couldn't write anything anymore, I dreamt about it, I was even reciting bits of dialogue out loud in my car. So I just gave in and started writing the bloody thing.

A multi-chapter future AU… really nervous about this one.

The title is from a song by The Moody Blues. I don't own anything from Supernatural or the song.

and washes my castles away...

Dean Wilkins sat back in his chair and stared at the phone in his hand. After two years, he was nearly starting to think of himself as Wilkins. Fake name, real job, real house, real woman.

Man, she was real.

Her name was Jenny. She was nothing like the girls he used to hook up with in his old life. She wasn't the kind of girl you would find in a bar, looking for a hookup. She was a lot of fun. Smart. Not someone for a one night stand. In his new life, she was perfect.

After Lucifer was safely back in his cage where he belonged, Dean had decided to call it a day. He had hunted enough in his life. And although he felt guilty he couldn't be honest with Jen, he never regretted stepping out.

Sam was a different story.

Sam would never quit hunting. Ever. He carried so much guilt on his shoulders. He always felt like he had so much to make up for. And nothing could convince him otherwise. He was a hunter and he would be until the day he died.
Dean smiled faintly. If someone had told him seven years ago that this was going to happen…

But they had both changed so much over the years. So much had happened. For Dean, it had ruined his taste for the hunt. For Sam, it had ruined his taste for a normal life. His taste for life period.

He looked at the phone in his hands again. The first few months, Sam had called him every few days. They talked about hunts, mainly. Dean had helped him out with the research sometimes. Hunting from the comfort of his home. But when Jen moved in with him, he couldn't do that anymore. Sam had been disappointed, though he had tried very hard to sound happy for his brother. Dean had heard it anyway and not for the first time he wished things were different.

They still talked once a week. The conversations grew shorter as the awkward pauses grew longer. Besides hunting, they really didn't have a lot to talk about. Still, Sam called him faithfully every Friday evening.

Until six months ago. Sam had left a message on his voicemail in the middle of the night. He said that he was going underground for a while and that he wouldn't be able to call. When Dean tried to call him back, the number had been disconnected. The first text message came three weeks later.

'Hey Dean. I'm still alive. Ran into a bit of trouble. It'll be a while before I can call you again. If you need me, call Bobby. Take care.'

Dean read the message until he knew it by heart and pretended he wasn't worried. The next message came on Friday, the usual time. It was from a different number than the last one.

'Hey Dean, still doing fine. Don't worry about me.'

After that they came once a week. Every Friday nine o'clock, give or take a few minutes. And from a different number every time. Sam had called him once when he needed an address real quick. Dean had looked it up for him and Sam had hung up before he could ask anything. A text message followed a few hours later.

'Hunt successful, thanks for the info. Saved my ass! Talk to you soon.'

Dean had decided there and then that 'soon' was the equivalent of 'now' and he had called back immediately. But the number was already dead.

After that the usual pattern resumed. A brief message, every Friday. But the last few weeks they had grown longer, like Sam needed someone to talk to. The last one said 'I miss you'. He'd received it on November second. That was nine days ago now. Friday nine o'clock had come and gone without a word from his brother. Time to raise the alarm. He raised his phone and dialed Bobby's number.

I'm not a native speaker of English, so feedback on my language is always welcome!