|An Unconventional Proposal
Author: BareWriter PM
Castle and Beckett meet, but in completely difference circumstances. Although, with their personalities instantly clashing, what happens when they are forced to spend the next six weeks together? A/URated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Rick C. & Kate B. - Chapters: 17 - Words: 66,601 - Reviews: 565 - Favs: 241 - Follows: 635 - Updated: 02-07-13 - Published: 06-14-12 - id: 8216518
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: All these characters belong to ABC and Mr. Marlowe
Authors Note: So, for the sake of the plot Captain Montgomery is alive, as I believe he would probably be more supportive of certain events that take place in the story compared to Gates...
Kate Beckett stood confidently in front of her murder board. It had been a tough case with little evidence, but she had finally figured it out. "He did it. He's our killer."
Reviewing the photo in front of them, Detective Ryan shot her a questioning glance. "The boyfriend? How can you be so sure?"
"All the pieces fit," she matter-of-factly stated. "And besides, he's the only one who could have done it."
"Yeah, but he has an alibi," he clarified. "We've been through this, Beckett. I agree that everything points to him, but he couldn't have been in two places at once."
"Yes, but even Esposito admitted it was shaky. He could have easily slipped out of that party and killed his girlfriend. Everyone we spoke to said he was a bit of a loner who kept to himself, so maybe it was just that no one noticed he was missing."
Coming out of the break room with a coffee in hand, Detective Esposito strode toward them, joining in their conversation. "Right. But we don't have any proof, so we're going to need a confession."
"Exactly," Kate Beckett confidently agreed. It would be tough, admittedly, especially since she had no evidence to back her up. But she could do it.
Ryan however wasn't so convinced. "How are you going to get him in here without tipping him off? If he even suspects that we are on to him, he will disappear for good. He's got the resources."
"I know," she agreed. She considered her options before continuing, "I'll say we need to review some of his details, and maybe want his help to identify a suspect. There's no way he wouldn't come in, since it would provide him with a prime opportunity to see where we're at in our investigation. I'll give him the impression that it's just a casual chat, get him to talk, and then eventually I will just guide a confession out of him."
Her plan was fool proof. Okay, well it isn't exactly fool proof, but she would make it work. She knew he was the one they were after, and there was no way she was going to let him get away with murder.
"Hmm, impressive," Ryan smiled, placing his hands on his hips.
"Yeah, well you can say that after we've nailed him."
This was going to work.
"Mr. Healey, once again I'm sorry for your loss, but we appreciate you coming in to verify a few things."
Detective Beckett entered the small room, locking her gaze on Doug Healey, her murdered victim's boyfriend and killer. She was just yet to prove it.
"Yeah, not a problem. Any way I can help catch whoever hurt Rachel," he responded, rubbing his palms along his thighs.
"Right. So, just going over your statement, you claimed to be at a party at the time your girlfriend was killed. Is that correct?"
Trying to avert her steel gaze, Healey responded. "Um, yeah. It was a going away party for a guy who works in our building. He's travelling around Europe for twelve months, so everyone was invited to give him a bit of a farewell."
"And what time did you say the party was?"
"Ah, it went from about eight-thirty that night, to maybe one in the morning."
"Okay," she began. It was time to make him sweat. "And so, you were there the whole night then?"
"Yes, I was," he answered, before sensing her doubt. "Wait. What exactly are you suggesting, Detective?"
He was becoming agitated, Beckett could tell, but she wasn't about to pull away. She was the best Detective at the 12th because she was relentless and refused to back down. Now was no exception.
"What I'm suggesting Mr. Healey, is that you had motive, means and opportunity to kill Rachel."
"What? No. I would never hurt her! I loved her. Besides, I was at the party, you know that. I have plenty of witnesses who-"
Beckett knew she had him cornered and it was only a matter of time before he broke. She just had to push him a little bit further...
"Witnesses, Mr. Healey, who could have simply not noticed when you left the party at say around eleven, got in a cab and travelled to Rachel's apartment-"
"No, no you've got it all wrong-"
Raising her voice, she continued, "Where you used your key and made your way inside, grabbed a knife from the kitchen draw, and stabbed her, three times in the chest while she was sleeping. All before you returned to the party as if nothing happened."
"No. It wasn't me, I didn't do it. Besides, I had no reason to anyway!"
"Oh really? Well according to her sister Amy, Rachel was having an affair with a Mr. James Dardon. That name sound familiar?"
"No. I've never heard of him."
"Hmm, you should have, considering he's already provided us with a statement claiming to have witnessed you stalking them on several occasions."
"Well, he's a liar!" he spat out, before returning his fisted hands back to his lap.
He was shutting down and becoming defensive. Realising her plan wasn't working, Beckett softened her voice and took a different approach.
"It must have hurt, didn't it? Finding out that the woman you loved, the woman you had given everything to, cheated. And with him?" she questioned, pointing to the photo of James Dardon on the small table. "It must have made you angry. Want to teach them both a lesson."
"You're damn right it did," he muttered.
Yes. She was almost there.
"So, when you had the chance," she began, leaning towards him and her breath almost a whisper. "You killed her. Ending her life, and punishing that disrespectful dirt bag with it."
"Exactly," he spat.
She did it.
"Hmm. I believe that was just a confession," Kate Beckett proudly stated, standing up from the couch.
"What? No, no I can't go to jail. I- I won't survive," he stammered, also getting to his feet.
Feeling for her handcuffs, Beckett began to walk towards him. "Doug Healey, you are under arrest for the murder of Rachel Simpson. Anything you say or do-"
Doug looked around nervously, and apparently deciding that there was no other option left, he made a break for the door.
"Hey!" Beckett shouted, quickly following in his footsteps.
Sprinting out of the interview room, he dodged the unsuspecting officers and headed for the stairwell.
"Mr. Healey, come back here! Somebody stop him!" Beckett shouted, while giving chase.
Sitting at his desk, Esposito witnessed the events take place. "Yo, bro, isn't that our suspect?" he questioned, turning to his partner.
"Ah-" Ryan began, before he looked up to find Beckett giving chase.
"Guys, head down the other exit and try to cut him off," she instructed, passing her confused colleagues.
"Got it. Let's go!" they chorused, snapping out of their trance before joining the pursuit.
Flying down the stairs, Beckett followed Doug Healey all the way to the ground floor. He was fast, she'd give him that, but so was she, and she needed to make up ground. Quickly.
"Mr. Healey!" she yelled.
Leaping off the last step, she looked up just in time to witness him push open the door to the 12th and make his way into the sea of pedestrians. Darn. It was going to be a lot harder to give chase now, but there was no way she was giving up.
Exiting to the streets of wintery New York, Beckett pushed the pedestrians to the side. "NYPD! Clear the sidewalk! Move out of the way!"
Hearing her warning, the crowds began to part, giving her a clear view of Doug Healey. Gritting her teeth together, she willed her legs to move faster and increased her speed. Not wanting to take any chances however, she co-ordinately pulled her phone out of her pocket and hit speed dial.
"Espo, yeah, I've almost got him. He's heading north on-"
Before she could finish however, she collided with a solid object, sending her crashing to the ground.
"Argh, my wrist!"
"Rick, Storm Clearing comes out it a month and a half, so we need to create some publicity before the launch."
"Yes, I understand that, but dinner with these Bimbos? Really, Paula? I mean, it's simply wrong the amount of information I know about beauty products and the latest cosmetic surgeons," he complained into his cell. "No man on this planet should have to sit through that. Isn't there another way that I can gain some attention without going on these pointless dates? Oh, I know, maybe I could propel down a building dressed as Derek Storm, or I could always steal another police horse. That was fun," he smiled, playing with his scarf to shield his neck from the icy wind.
"No, Rick. Nothing illegal," Paula sighed on the other end of the line. "Come on Ricky, you've got no choice. With a new book due out you know better than anyone the importance of this. The more publicity, the more interest you receive. The more interest you receive, the-"
"More people buy my books," he finished. "I get it, I do. I guess I'm just sick of it. I mean, they're all the same. 'Oh, Mr. Castle, I love you.' 'Where do you get your ideas from?'" he mocked with a high pitched tone. Clearing his throat, he reflected. "I think I want something different, or at least someone a bit more realistic than the Barbies you keep setting me up with," he grumbled.
"Listen, snap out of it and I will come meet you so we can talk. Where are you now?"
"Uh, I'm not really sure. I went for a walk and I've kind of just kept going. Hold on."
Looking around for a street sign or any identifiable buildings, he stopped.
"Oh, I'm near a Police Station. It's the- ah, it says it's the 12th Precinct."
"Right, well you wait outside and I will be there in five."
Hanging up, he abruptly turned around to make his way to the other side of the sidewalk, when he was bowled over.
"Argh, my wrist!" he cried, while lying on the floor in a tangle of limbs.
"What the hell do you think you're doing? I told you to clear the sidewalk!" he heard someone yell.
Holding his throbbing wrist, he looked up to find a woman with long, brunette hair picking up what must have been her cell, and getting to her feet.
"Espo, you still there? No, I just ran into someone, so I lost him. Send patrols out in the neighbouring streets and also park a few out at his place. He can't have gotten far. Okay, thanks. Keep me posted."
Standing up, he began to dust himself off, when the mystery woman turned around. Wow. He'd admit it, she was gorgeous, but no amount of beauty could mask the pain that was throbbing in his hand. He was already having a bad day and here she was making it worse.
"What is your problem?" he yelled. "Do you go around spear tackling unassuming pedestrians to the ground on a daily basis?"
"Spear tackling? I'm Detective Kate Beckett with the NYPD. I was chasing down a criminal when you insolently stepped right in front of me! Do you think next time you could maybe look before you walk?" Kate argued defiantly, showing him her badge.
Seriously? Who did she think she was? "Jeez. That makes me feel a whole lot better knowing that an officer of the law, someone whose job it is to protect citizens like me, is the one who put me in danger!"
"You want to talk about danger? Well thanks to you, a murderer has just run loose!"
"Well thanks to you, I now have a broken wrist."
"If you stop thinking about yourself for two seconds, I'm sure you would realise that the level of importance between the two is highly marginalised," she huffed, making her way back towards the old building.
"Yeah, you've got that right. I'm a writer and this wrist here is worth millions! What if I can never write again? My career would be over. What would I possibly do?"
Turning around and crowding in his personal space, she continued. "I know exactly who you are Mr. Castle and it's not broken. See, just a sprain," she informed, while moving his hand in small circles.
"Now if you don't mind, I've got to get back to the Precinct and figure out how to track down my killer," she sighed frustrated, dropping his hand.
Oh, this woman! She was like hard candy but with legs, and no sweetness whatsoever. Okay, so maybe that wasn't the best analogy he's come up with, but there was no way he was letting her get away with this! "Just a sprain? This could put me out of action for months!"
"I'm sure you'll survive," she continued.
"Yeah, I might, but what about my daughter. I mean, how am I meant to put food on the table now that I'm handicapped? And what about college? That's expensive you know! I could sue!"
Feeling the need to shut him up, Beckett turned around. "Fine. I'll let you come inside the Precinct and grab some ice then," she unsympathetically stated, locking her eyes with his.
"No, there's no way I'm going in there. There's probably more of you. I bet it's a breeding ground for spear tackling super-cops. My other wrist, the uninjured one that is, would feel a lot safer to stay right out here, thanks very much."
"Fine. Suit yourself," she muttered. She was tired and didn't have the time or energy to argue.
Looking down at his wrist, Rick considered his options. As much as he didn't want to spend any more time with this woman, ice would reduce the swelling. Besides, he had to wait for Paula anyway, and it was sure to be a lot warmer in there then out here.
"Wait..." he called, before shuffling his way to her.
"Hey, Paula. No, I'm inside the Precinct. No, I'm not under arrest. Just come meet me, fourth floor. Homicide," he informed, before placing his cell back in his pocket.
"Here, now take this and keep it on your wrist," Kate instructed, handing Rick an icepack from the break room.
"Oh-ah cold!" he complained, resting it on his injury.
"You can sit here and then when you're done, you can go," she informed, directing him to the chair that sat in the corner of the break room.
Out of all the people roaming the streets of New York, all the people that she could have collided with, she ran into him. Seriously, what were the chances of literally bumping into your favourite author? Not that she would ever tell him that.
She purely read his books for the stories, not the man behind them, and she refused to let herself fawn over him like all the other women in the city seemed to. After all, she had heard the gossip, and it was men like him whom she despised; men who valued bra size over brain cells. And here he was, complaining about a sore wrist despite the more serious matter at hand. Unbelievable.
Making her way to her desk, Beckett was intercepted by Montgomery. "So, what do we have here, Detective?" he questioned, directing his gaze to Rick, who was playing with the ice pack.
"That would be Richard Castle Sir. Celebrity author and playboy extraordinaire," she described, allowing her distaste to come through her tone.
"You don't sound like much of a fan. So, what's he doing here?" he questioned, seemingly amused with the situation.
"He is the reason why Healey escaped."
"Uh huh," Montgomery encouraged.
Feeling the need to elaborate, Beckett continued. "Okay, look, I ran into him, but he was in my way. We fell and he hurt his wrist, so I said he could grab some ice."
"That's very thoughtful of you," Montgomery noted, smiling at Beckett.
"Yeah well, the only reason I offered was to shut him up. Don't worry, he will be gone so-"
Beckett was cut off as a loud screeching sound pierced through the building. Looking over at the source, she locked eyes with the irritant himself. Richard Castle was sliding his chair from the break room along the floor and coming towards her, seemingly ignoring the fact that he just disturbed the whole homicide department.
"What are you doing?" she questioned, as he eventually placed the chair next to her desk.
"I got lonely in there. Besides, my publicist should be here any minute now, so I need to be able to look out for her. Speaking of..."
"Ricky!" Paula announced as she stepped off the elevator. "What's going on? What happened to your hand?" she questioned, noticing the ice pack he was holding.
"Well, this officer over here, decided to go all Hulk on me and thought I needed a close up inspection of the sidewalk," he described, pointing to Beckett. "I sprained my wrist trying to break my fall."
Flashing him a cold look, Kate could do nothing but stand there with her mouth agape in shock. The audacity of this man was astonishing!
"You what? This is a PR disaster. Rick, your book is on the verge of release and you're already refusing to do the publicity I'm proposing!" Paula yelled. "Now you won't be able to sign autographs, let alone write for weeks! And with your new deadline coming up..."
Pausing to process all the information, Paula turned to Kate. "You're going to pay for this, Detective. We are going to sue you and the NYPD for everything. Not to mention all the negative press you will personally receive for injuring New York's favourite author."
Sensing the need to control the situation, Montgomery interjected. "Whoa. Now I assure you that isn't necessary-"
"Excuse me!" Kate cut off, stepping in front of the publicist. "How do you think Ricky here, will cope once I tell the press that that he is the sole cause for a wanted murder being on the loose? I don't think he would be so well loved then," she finished, before noticing the author snooping through her draws. "Do you mind not going through my desk?" she snarled.
Focusing back to the facts at hand, Beckett continued. "Besides, who cares if he can no longer sign women's chests. It is a slightly less important matter."
"Yeah, well I'm sure all the now bare chests out there would say otherwise," Castle mumbled under his breath, disappointedly shutting her draws.
Grrr! What was his problem? Did he have no sense of justice or morals whatsoever? He just let a killer free and all he could think about was boobs. "Oh, you-"
"Okay, enough of that. It's clear here that we will need to come to some sort of an agreement," Montgomery interrupted.
Apparently considering her options, Paula spoke. "Alright, how about this; Richard, you are going to apologise to the detective here for your role in letting that criminal free."
"Fine, I'm sorry," Rick said, crossing his arms and refusing to look Kate in the eye.
"Wow, real mature," Kate stated, clearly unimpressed by his lack of sincerity.
"And you can also give a large donation to the NYPD for interfering with their police business," Paula concluded.
"But I didn't-" Rick began.
"No. It's good for your image and that should settle your end, right, Captain?"
Turning away from a clearly frustrated Beckett, Montgomery looked at Rick. "On behalf of the NYPD, I would like to thank you, Mr. Castle, for your truly selfless generosity."
Unable to see the fairness of the situation, Rick stood. "What about her? What's she going to do to apologise to me?" he questioned, looking over at Beckett.
With a smile plastered on her face, Paula turned to Kate. "Well, I have a proposal of sorts. In return, you Detective can offer your personal services."
How could she possibly offer any services valuable to him? "Personal services how, exactly?" Kate queried, unsure of where this was headed.
"Well, you see, Rick here is in need of someone to go on dates with to gain some publicity before his upcoming book release-"
"Oh no-" Kate began, rapidly trying to form a sentence. Any sentence.
"Paula, there is no way-" Rick pleaded.
"Unless you want me to give one of the other women I've suggested a call?"
"But Paula I-"
"Look Rick, it's perfect. You need to be seen by the press going out on dates, and so far you've dismissed everyone I've suggested. You were just saying how you wanted someone real, and how much more real can you get then a homicide detective? All you have to do is go out on a few dates and spend a bit of time with each other, take her to your book launch party and then you will be done. Come on now, it will only be six weeks, not forever."
Coming to some sort of an epiphany, Paula's eyes lit up. "Ooh, murder mystery novelist dates homicide detective. This is literally a match made in tabloid heaven. The press are going to love this!" she said excitedly, looking over at the horrified author.
Kate had only spent a total of fifteen minutes with the man and he was already driving her crazy. There was no way she could endure a month and a half going out on dates with him.
Luckily, Montgomery would never agree to such absurdity.
"Deal," the Captain interceded, holding out his hand to shake with the publicist.
"What? Captain, you can't be serious." This could not be happening.
"Excellent. Okay, well I need to make a few calls, but you two exchange details and Ricky, I will meet you outside," Paula informed, going through her cell phone.
Apparently finding his voice only now, Rick scrambled to rectify the situation. "Paula, surely there's another solution. I mean, come on, there's no way I will survive going on dates with her," he pleaded, giving the detective a disapproving look.
"You won't survive? What about me? How am I going to survive?" Kate defensively asked.
"Well, I guess you're going to have to have to figure it out, cause you two are now New York's favourite couple," Paula smiled, before making her way to the elevator.
Pulling Montgomery aside and away from Castle, Beckett pleaded her case. "Sir, there is no way you're actually going to make me do this!"
"Come on, Beckett. It's harmless. The NYPD receives a generous donation, you save yourself from some bad press, and all you have to do is go on a few dates and smile for the cameras. Besides, from what you told me you were the one who ran into him."
Well, that was true, but completely beside the point. "Sir, I really don't have time to go gallivanting around with some cocky, half assed celebrity."
"You would if you only worked the hours you were supposed to, instead of sitting around here twenty-four seven." Catching her confused expression, he began to explain. "Look, you're one of my best Beckett, and it's not that I don't appreciate all the work you do, but even you need a little bit of fun in your life. Besides, how bad could he be?"
Attempting to come up with the words, Kate's thoughts were paused as she caught sight of the author. There he was, sitting in the chair with his sprained wrist efficiently cuffed to her desk. Apparently, he found her spare handcuffs.
"Uh, a little help?" Rick helplessly pleaded, tugging on his wrist.
Kate turned back to a now smiling Montgomery, before she rolled her eyes and walked off with a huff.
"I need some caffeine," she angrily mumbled, leaving a trapped Richard Castle and amused Captain in her wake.
So to any readers out there I would like to thank you for taking your time to read my story and I hope you've enjoyed it. I'm new to fan fiction so I would really appreciate any responses as to whether I should continue or even any feedback or advice in general. Thank you!