|Death of an Intern
Author: Ramos PM
Richard Castle wakes up to a morning after the night before - and a dead intern. Only he doesn't remember anything about how she ended up dead. Beckett and the gang have to prove that he's innocent - but Castle isn't entirely sure that he IS innocent.Rated: Fiction M - English - Mystery/Drama - Rick C. & Kate B. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 11,436 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 27 - Updated: 04-12-11 - Published: 02-06-11 - id: 6722179
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Richard Castle, Kate Beckett, Roy Montgomery, and the rest of the crew are the property of ABC. I don't own Castle or any of its characters.
AN: While I don't own anything to do with Castle, I want to put my vote in for Nathan Fillion to play Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie!
The image was blurry. Part of it was dark, and part of it was… less dark. Blinking did nothing to help, and Richard Castle let out an involuntary groan as the pounding in his head synchronized with his heartbeat and threatened to shake his skull apart. Eventually, the blur resolved itself into a wooden rectangle of some sort.
Swallowing against a terribly dry throat, he reached up to rub at his eyes, only to let out a hiss in pain at the ache in his right hand. Flexing it cautiously, Castle lifted his head up and promptly banged it on the underside of a coffee table. Both hands automatically flew to his new injury as he flopped back down, making 'ow, ow, ow,' noises - very quietly, however, since his brain was in grave danger of melting out his ears from the massive headache.
Holding perfectly still allowed the pain to ebb down to merely excruciating, and he let out a sigh as he relaxed. As he did so, his hands slid down from his forehead and trailed across the bare skin of his chest.
He frowned. Castle never slept without a shirt on, not since his daughter was a small child. He'd gotten in the habit of wearing pajamas during Alexis' early childhood, when she was apt to climb into bed with him in the middle of the night, and he'd just never stopped.
Slowly carefully, he tilted his head to one side, managed to plant his left elbow firmly enough to lever himself up and out from under the coffee table, and looked around. The living room was nice. Small, but this was New York and not everyone could afford a huge apartment. The carpet was white, the furnishings second-hand Ikea, and a couch of some sort loomed behind him.
Looking down, he assessed himself. No shirt. His slacks were down around his lower legs, leaving him naked but for the dark boxer shorts. At the end of the accordion-pleated wool blend were a pair of his favorite Caponi shoes, still attached to his feet.
The pounding in his head made him whimper – a manly whimper, but still. Fortunately the light from the windows was fairly dim. That, along with the faint sounds of traffic, led him to the conclusion that it was still fairly early in the morning. The question was, what morning?
Moving gingerly, he pulled the pants – with belt still in the loops – up over his knees. With great effort he rolled to his side, doing his best to keep his right hand from coming into contact with the floor, and with the help of the coffee managed to get vertical enough to pull his pants up all the way. He had just zipped them when he saw the body.
Captain Montgomery still hadn't said a word to her, other than a terse order to come with him as soon as he'd seen her walking in this morning. Kate Beckett knew him well enough to know now was not the time to ask stupid questions, so she kept her mouth shut and held on to the chicken bar while he drove across town with the lights and sirens blaring. When they stopped at a modest apartment building, she frowned thoughtfully and followed as her normally phlegmatic supervisor slammed out of the car and walked towards the knot of police cars, ambulance, and coroner's van that clogged the entrance of the building.
Hurrying to catch up with him, she was barely in time to hear him demand that someone tell him what was going on, right the hell now.
"Captain Montgomery," answered one of the men milling about. He had a badge and gun hanging below the spare tire around his waist, but Kate had been a cop more than long enough to recognize a fellow detective. "I'm Detective Blake. I didn't expect you to drive all the way out here."
"You call me, telling me you're arresting one of my own, and you don't think I'd come over personally? What would you expect your captain to do?"
Blake shrugged. "He's not really one of yours, but I figured you'd rather call the mayor before the papers get wind of this."
"Okay, what's going on?" Kate finally asked, exasperated.
"It's not that complicated, Detective Heat," drawled the other man. "We got a man and a woman, too much to drink, the boyfriend lost it… so now we have a dead girlfriend."
"Dead girlfriend?" she echoed, ignoring the slur. He knew damned good and well her name was Beckett, but she'd gotten used to hearing that occasionally from other cops.
"Looks pretty basic – they had a fight, things got out of hand, and he beat her to death."
"How do you know the boyfriend did it?" she asked.
Any further questions dried up in her throat as she caught sight of Richard Castle. While she had occasionally wondered what he looked like without his two hundred dollar shirts, she never expected to see him bare-chested, eyes down, walking between two uniformed officers with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Behind her, Blake made a disgusted sound. "Because he was still there. Hell, he's the one who called 911."
At the police precinct, Montgomery and Beckett were allowed to watch, out of courtesy, but were not allowed to ask questions as Richard Castle was processed. They could only stand vigil as a technician swabbed the inside of his mouth, obviously being less than gentle as Castle winced away from the jab of the cotton swab. He was stoic, even cooperative, as the same hack-handed tech took blood, snapping the rubber tourniquet unnecessarily tight. Kate glanced away, granting Castle at least a shred of dignity, catching only a glimpse of his back as they forced him to undress, taking his slacks, shoes, socks, and underwear for evidence. The next time she saw him was through the one-way glass of an interrogation room as Blake read him his Miranda rights and started questioning him about the dead girl in the apartment.
Though she hated to admit it, the few times she'd seen Richard Castle wearing an early morning scruffy look, he was invariably adorable in his disheveled state. This morning, however, he looked … lost. His eyes were dark with confusion and pain, his voice rough and lacking any of his usual bounce and vigor. He seemed incredibly vulnerable, dressed in the set of too-short orange scrubs provided, his feet bare on the cold linoleum, and it took all of Kate's self control to stand there, chewing on the cuticle of her thumb, as he was questioned about the murder of the young woman named Karen Randall.
"So tell me again – what happened last night?" Blake began.
Castle swallowed. "I was at a pre-launch party for my agent."
"Your agent's name?"
"Paula. Paula Berkowitz."
"Launch party, eh? You gotta new book coming out?"
"Not mine. New kid on the block. I stopped by as a favor to Paula."
"What time was that?"
Montgomery nodded in approval as Kate flipped out her ever-present notebook and started taking notes. They listened as Castle outlined showing up at the party, fashionably late at eleven pm, doing the obligatory schmoozing that a publicity conscious agent demanded of him, including meeting the new author, his agent, her people, his people… and dozens of other people who seemed to have no other purpose in life but to go from one party to another.
"So how long had you been dating Karen Randall?"
Castle shook his head. "I wasn't dating her. I only met her last night."
"So, one night stand…"
"I don't do one night stands," Castle interrupted, showing the first signs of life since his arrest. "Not anymore," he added in a softer tone.
"Uh-huh." Blake was obviously not convinced. "So what time did you leave?"
"Maybe one, one-thirty."
"And you left with Karen Randall."
Yes," he admitted softly. "She had had quite a bit to drink. Paula was worried about her getting home. asked if I would make sure she got home safely. "
"Why didn't your agent take care of Miss Randall herself? She worked for her, after all."
"Paula was hosting the party," he explained evenly. "I was leaving, and she asked me to do her a favor."
"So you did yourself a favor, took the girl home, and then you raped her."
"No!" Castle denied immediately. "That girl was like – twenty, or something. She's Paula's intern. I would never…" He trailed off. "I have a daughter not much younger than she was."
"So you like them young," Blake supplied, ignoring his suspect's glare. "So what happened when you got her home?"
"I helped her get up the stairs," Castle continued. "She was starting to sober up, but she was having trouble, dropped her keys. I got her door unlocked for her."
"And then you went in," Blake prompted.
"I got her a glass of water, and…" Castle paused, thinking hard. "I remember I asked if she needed some aspirin or something. She said that would be great… There was some in her kitchen cabinet, so I got her some of those too."
"I gave her the pills, and the water." He frowned.
"What?" Blake demanded, sensing the hesitation.
"The bottle. I dropped it, knocked the pills everywhere…"
"It was funny… I remember – we started laughing, and I tried to pick them up…"
In the observation booth, Beckett and Montgomery both leaned forward, listening hard.
"It was so funny," Castle said softly. "I'm not sure why, but we were both giggling about them…" He trailed off again, and suddenly he face registered several emotions at once; shock, anger, surprise, and horror.
"Tell me," Blake pressured. "Tell me what happened, Castle."
"We were kissing. One second we were laughing, and then we were kissing. I pushed her…" He looked up, confused, and even though she knew he could not see her, Beckett could swear that he was looking straight into her eyes, desperately begging her to help him.
"I don't remember…" he whispered.
Blake's voice was hard and flat, however. "You pushed her down. You pushed her down on the sofa, and you assaulted her."
"NO! I pushed – I pushed her away!"
"No, you didn't, Castle. You raped her. And when she fought you, you strangled her."
"No. No. NO!" Rick Castle's head shook back and forth frantically, his throat working up and down as though suppressing the urge to vomit, but Blake pressed on mercilessly, leaning over the table to get in his suspect's face.
"You did that, Rick Castle. You pushed her down, and you had sex with her, and then you killed her. We found you inside a locked apartment, half-naked, with a half-naked girl. A very dead half-naked girl. You're looking at ten to twenty for murder in the second and forcible rape."
After a very long silence, Rick Castle finally looked away from the detective. "I'd like to call my lawyer now."