The room began to grow brighter as the first rays of the morning sun added with the light coming from the chandelier. They'd spent all night going over and over the information Maddie had provided them with, yet they were still just as clueless as they'd been to start out with.
Dean let an old notebook fall on top of the pile in front of him. "Well, so much for having the history of a place just handed to you."
Jo looked up and shot him a dirty look, her hand tightening around the small, familiar knife in her hand. "I am running on way too little sleep for you to be starting with me, Dean Winchester."
"Yeah, well, we were up all night going through this big stack of uselessness you came up with," Dean countered.
"Oh, and what would you have proposed we do, huh? Dig up every grave in the area and light it on fire?"
"Might have gotten us more results than this," Dean countered.
From across the table, Sam and Louisa shared a look, and Sam could've sworn the ghost girl was trying to suppress a giggle.
Jo's knife began to twirl again, her movements sharp and angry. "You know what your problem is, Dean? You're like a bulldozer. You just come in, and knock everything down without even paying attention to what you're actually doing."
Dean's eyebrows rose, his nostrils flaring. "Oh yeah? Well, you know what your problem is…"
Sam stood up, waving his hands in the middle of the table and cutting Dean off. "Okay, let's not do this right now. We're all tired, and since it's morning now anyway, let's just get some rest and come at this again when we're all a little fresher."
Dean and Jo continued to glare at each other across the table for several beats before they both snapped out a, "Fine," and stormed off in separate directions. A few moments later, two doors slammed in tandem from upstairs.
"We should play matchmakers."
Sam had almost forgotten Louisa was even there until the ghost spoke, catching his attention. He blinked, not sure he'd actually heard what he thought he'd heard. "What?"
"We should play matchmakers," Louisa repeated, confirming for Sam that nothing was wrong with his hearing, though he did wonder if he'd gone a little crazy. "It wouldn't even take much. They're practically there on their own."
"Are you nuts? They can barely stand to be in the same room together," Sam replied.
"Didn't you ever watch Moonlighting?" When Sam continued stared at her, Louisa sighed. "No, I guess that was before your time."
"It went off the air when I was about five, but…" Sam shook his head. "Not the point. Look, yeah, there's probably some attraction there, I can see that, but I don't think it's a good idea."
"Well, I do," Louisa replied as she crossed her arms over her chest. "For one thing, Dean is really cranky. Maybe he'd stop being so cranky if he had a girlfriend."
Sam couldn't help but chuckle at that. "Trust me, Dean's problem is not a lack of female attention."
"That's not the same," Louisa insisted. She uncrossed her arms. "Besides, even if you won't help me, I'm still playing matchmaker."
"Why?" Sam asked, his eyebrow arching.
"I'm dead, Sam," Louisa said, mimicking his expression with a raise of her own eyebrow. "I have to entertain myself somehow."
"Can you just focus on all of this?" Sam asked, waving his arm in front of him, over all the papers scattered around the table. "I really don't think messing with Jo and Dean is a good idea."
"I do," Louisa replied with a giggle. Slowly, she started to fade away from sight. "Sleep tight, Sam."
Sam didn't know if the ghost was still in the room, but her lack of visibility made it pretty clear she wasn't talking anymore. With a sigh, he trudged upstairs in search of a place to sleep.
It was late afternoon before they all converged again, rested now, but with tension still hanging in the room. Jo had called Maddie to check in, letting her know that they were still working towards solving the problem.
Dean watched her from the corner of his eye as she made the phone call, wishing they had never even heard about this case. They could be somewhere else right now, dealing with an everyday, run-of-the-mill vengeful spirit instead of this mess.
Seeing Jo Harvelle walk down the stairs the day before had not been the sort of birthday surprise he'd wanted. The moment she had, everything had felt mixed up again, and that wasn't supposed to happen – especially not after two years. She was one of the most annoying people he'd ever known, everything about her grating on his nerves. She made him feel edgy, like his skin suddenly became too tight. He rolled his shoulders and ran a finger under the collar of his shirt.
"Okay, since going though the known history was a bust, I think we should look around the hotel, try to figure out if there's anything around that could've brought Louisa's killer back," Jo said as she hung up the phone, snapping Dean's attention back to the moment. She sounded so authoritative that he wanted to argue with her just for the sake of it, but she was suggesting the same thing he would've suggested at this point. Dammit
"Sam and I can look in the hotel," Louisa piped up, visible again and now seated on the front desk. "You and Dean can look around the grounds, Miss Jo."
"I don't think we should split up," Dean said quickly. There, something he could argue with…
Jo looked up, that smirk back on her face that irritated the hell out of him. "What, are you scared of what we might run into?"
Dean narrowed his eyes. "I'm not afraid, I just don't think we need to go wandering off like that."
"You sound afraid."
"Let's go check out the grounds then."
Dean and Jo both grabbed their coats with the same angry movements before trudging out into a Colorado January, and Sam wondered if the heat coming from their glares would be enough to keep them warm. He hoped Louisa had gotten the whole matchmaking scheme out of her head, because Sam couldn't see that going any way but badly.
He shook his head, attempting to clear his thoughts before he turned his attention back to the ghost girl.
"So any ideas on where we should start looking around first?" Sam asked.
"Oh, I already checked the hotel," Louisa said, swinging her legs from her perch on the desk. "There's nothing in here at all."
Sam blinked. "What? Are you sure?"
"Uh huh. Trust me, I spent days going over every inch of this place. There's nothing new or out of the ordinary."
"Then shouldn't we be helping Dean and Jo?" Sam asked, confused.
"Nope," Louisa replied, that mischievous glint returning to her eyes. "I think it's better that they're alone."
Now Sam was catching on. "Louisa, I really don't think this is a good idea. Jo and Dean, they aren't…"
"Yes, they are," Louisa said, not allowing Sam to finish. "Just trust me on this one." She hopped down, her shoes hitting the floor silently. "But come on, let's look around the house one more time. Maybe you'll catch something I didn't."
Sam frowned. He still didn't think Louisa's idea was a good one, but what could he do now? Go outside and tell Dean he'd decided to help him look around the grounds because the little dead girl had go it into his head that Dean would be perfect with Jo and he was trying to save his brother from possible moments rife with unresolved sexual tension? Yeah, that would go over real well.
Besides, he would feel more comfortable declaring the hotel truly "searched" if he did it himself.
"Okay, let's go," Sam said, following the ghost out of the lobby.