“Sam?” You had been surprised when his name flashed up on your screen. It immediately had you worried–almost panicked. You hadn’t heard from him in quite a while, maybe over 6 months, and you hadn’t heard from Dean since–well… since everything blew up or turned to shit. Sam called every now and then to check in. Cas showed up randomly to check in, in his usual Cas way. But mostly you were out of touch with that period of your life now. “Is everything okay?” you asked.
“Uhhh…” you heard the exhaustion in Sam’s voice mixing with something else. “Mostly. Sort of…” he trailed off.
“What does that mean?”
“Nobody is dead. Or dying…”
You scoffed and let out a wry laugh. “Well, in Winchester-world that is definitely something. What’s going on then?”
Sam hesitated on the other end of the line. He and Cas had gone back and forth about calling you over and over. It was a last resort, and he still wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or a bad idea. “Dean is–” What exactly? What do you call someone barreling head first toward their own collapse willingly? What do you call someone who seems suddenly a shell of their old self? “Dean is–having problems.”
Your chest tightened around your lungs, constricting them like a vacuum was pulling toward your core. “What kind of problems?”
Another silence on the other end of the phone. “It’s–he’s just–it’s bad.”
You paced, anxiety rising up within you. “Why are you calling me, Sam?”
“I think you can help. I think you’re the only person who can help pull him out of it. Please.” The desperation in his voice wasn’t lost on you, and you could sense that it was mixing with frustration, and worry, and a profound sadness that he couldn’t help his own big brother himself.
You gulped, unable to ignore the sick feeling in your stomach or the way your knees felt suddenly weak at the thought of stepping back into your old life, even if it was just temporary. “Okay,” you said. “I’ll try.”