Dean stared at the phone in his hand, head tilted down, a scowl fixed on his face. He'd listened to the message twelve times now. He'd counted. Of all the times to be stuck in this humid tourist hellhole, it had to be now. Hell, he didn't even have Sam around to bitch to...or at. His fault, though, for telling his brother he could deal with it himself. He'd just needed to get out for awhile, out by himself. And...this happens.


He ran the pad of his thumb across the screen, unlocking it from where it had gone idle during his little mental rant to himself. Punching at buttons a bit harder than really necessary, he pulled up the voicemail one more time. Still, he hesitated before starting the recording. The message had come in yesterday, forwarded through some bit of cleverness he really didn't care about when Sam had tried to explain it from an old number of his, several years old. His scowl deepened, and he played the message one more time, though he knew it by heart by now.


<i>"Hey Dean, it's Jo. Look, I know you're thinking this is some cruel joke but it's not. I'm really alive. No, I don't have any clue how it happened. I'm completely confused."</i> A pause, and then the voice continued. <i>"I'm currently at the Rodeway Inn located at 2424 Osborne Drive East in Hastings, Nebraska. I've been here for three days and I'm starting to go a little stir crazy. I need help here and I didn't know anyone else to call. If you can find a way to come here or send somebody to get me, that would be great."</i>


Yeah, it sure sounded like Jo. His first thought had been to dismiss it. But there'd been a lot of craziness, even from the skewed perspective of his life, since they'd locked the Darkness away. Strange things, stuff even Cas had struggled to find a way to explain beyond some nattering about 'residual effects of chaos' or some crap that Dean knew really meant the angel was at a loss to explain it all, as well. And if there was a chance, even the smallest chance, that this really was Jo? Well, of course he had to help her.


Reaching up to rub at his neck absently, eyes still locked on his phone, he finally scrolled through the recent calls menu and stabbed at the Nebraska number she'd called from, raising the phone to his ear. It rang to the front desk of the motel, and he asked for her room. He was told she'd gone out – but she was registered there still, under her own name, even – and he actually growled at the poor guy on the other end of the line.


“Look, can you at least take a message for me? This is pretty important.” He even considered pulling the fed card on the guy, but dropped the idea, since Jo – or whatever was masquerading as Jo – was registered under her own name. The desk clerk assured him that not only could he take the message, but that he could leave a recording she would be able to play back herself. “Huh. Sure, let's do that.” So that's something the cheap local rattrap motels he was used to using was sure missing.


The clerk set things up for him, and switched Dean's line to the messaging system. At the tone, he took a deep breath and spoke, keeping his voice steady and decidedly neutral. “Jo – or whatever this really is – you need to get yourself to Lebanon, Kansas. It's about an hour south of you. There's a place there, Devill Motor Lodge. There'll be a room reserved for you, and I'll make sure there's a little cash for some food and...whatever.” He paused, taking a deep breath, going over his plan again in his mind briefly. “Cas will... You remember Castiel, I hope. The angel? Yeah, Cas will meet you there. He's gonna make sure you're who you say you are. After that, <i>if</i> you pass, we'll... Well, we'll figure it out. You understand.”


Unsure what else to say, he ended the call. Now, the fun would come. He needed to call Sammy, of course. Give him a heads up. And...he needed to call Cas, and see if Cas would help out here. He would, Dean knew that. They may have drifted apart some, their lives diverging after the whole terrible ordeal with the Darkness, and now with the academy, but... Cas was still his friend, still family. He'd help, of that Dean had no doubt.