A/N- So I'm going to try this multi chapter thing again. This is season 2 AU and will definitely have some twists and turns. Hope you enjoy the ride! I need to say a HUGE thanks to Jo for being an awesome beta for this. Also- thanks to Nikki for brainstorming one of the plot points. Joanna thanks for making the cover-art and being a great cheerleader. All my other cheerleaders- you are awesome and you know who you are.
Disclaimer- I do not own Castle or some of the dialogue that is taken from one of the episodes.
The More Things Change…
…the more they stay the same. Kate Beckett is bored with life, but when a serial killer starts dedicating murders to her- someone enters the scene to aid with the investigation and her life may never be the same. Season 2- AU Caskett meeting.
Paper-work was finally all complete. Kate Beckett looked around the homicide floor of the Twelfth Precinct and sighed; she loved her job and loved finding justice for the victims' families, but she would rather there not be any victims at all. Nothing new going on today was, for all intents and purposes, a good thing. A slow day as a homicide detective meant one more life was spared; one more family whole.
Moving the completed files to the corner of her desk, Kate noticed today's news paper laying there. Someone must have left it out for her because it was open to the picture of her shaking hands with the Mayor. The Donaldson murder had been solved a couple weeks ago, but due to its high profile, the wealthy, well-connected family involved insisted that the Mayor should give the lead detective some sort of commendation. All involved had felt this was a wonderful idea; well, everyone aside from her. Captain Montgomery had basically forced her to play along since it would be great public relations for the police department. Beckett didn't mind the ceremony itself, but the media attention afterwards was more then she cared for. A homicide detective's picture pressed into an article; it made her uncomfortable.
The case may have injected a little more excitement than usual into her life, but it wouldn't be a permanent thing. Hopefully the buzz regarding the case would die down soon and it would take with it any additional publicity.
Once work started to calm down, maybe she could finally find time for a social life. She could have Lanie set her up with one of the many guys she was always mentioning. Beckett was sick of quiet; it was about time for loud. Loving her job didn't mean she was having fun! No, work was her life and when she eventually saw the inside of her apartment walls, her options were usually sleep, take a bath or read. Excitement was never on the menu.
Flipping through the pages of the paper, she landed on page six where she zoned in on a picture of her favorite author, Richard Castle. The picture was from his most recent book launch party. She rolled her eyes at the image of the famous playboy with a girl on each arm. Since he killed off Derrick Storm, there were rumors that he was having severe cases of writers' block, but obviously that was just celebrity gossip.
"Now that's beyond loud," she muttered to herself with a laugh.
Once her life was back in order, a nice long bath and one of his books would be amazing. Smiling to herself, she folded the paper back up. Who was she kidding; she was set in her ways. Loud wasn't even on her radar.
Hours later, the precinct was still quiet. She looked down at her father's watch and smiled in acknowledgement of the fact that she would actually get out of work at a decent hour today. Relaxing at home with some Chinese food, a long bath, and a glass of wine was exactly what she needed. Pulling out her cell phone, she dialed her favorite restaurant and placed her usual order. This way she could just swing by and pick it up on the way home, a nice and relaxing night ahead of her. Reaching up to switch her computer off, she looked toward her partners' unoccupied desks before looking up to see Ryan and Esposito walking out of the break room.
"Who do you think is going to play Derrick Storm in the movie?" Ryan asked his partner as they walked back toward their desks and sat down.
"Oh, I have no clue. Beckett, what do you think?" Esposito called out to her from his chair.
"What do I think about, what?"
"They're making a Derrick Storm movie. I thought you were a big Richard Castle fan," Esposito smirked at her, earning himself a glare. Truth be told, she already knew all about the movie being made. She'd seen the news first hand on the fan website, but there was no way she'd admit that to them. Standing and putting her jacket on, she tried to blow off his accusation with a laugh.
"Yes, I enjoy reading his novels, but I don't have time to gossip about actors in a movie, like you two girls," she retorted as the phone rang. "Beckett."
"Yes, I'd like to report a murder—" And there went her idea of going home at a decent hour.
"Do you have an address?"
"Where's the fun in that?" Her eyes went wide at the sinister ring to his words. This wasn't just a normal caller.
"Okay—who is this?" Beckett snapped her fingers at her partners and motioned to the phone. Ryan nodded with recognition and started trying to trace the call for her.
"Tell me more about this murder—" She needed to work to keep him on the line long enough that they could pull the location from the call.
"Well, I did it and that's all you need to know." A click signaled the end of the call and she swallowed.
Well this case was going to be anything but ordinary.
The voice on the phone had been haunting and the tone had been trying to tease her; almost like it was a game to him. So much for having a slow night… they sprang to action!
"Where did that call come from?" Beckett yelled over to her partners, sprinting toward the elevator.
"Got it—42nd and Lex," Ryan responded before hanging up the phone; right on her on heels.
"That's Grand Central Station," Esposito stated, looking astonished by the bizarre turn the last couple minutes had taken.
"What the hell is going on?" she mumbled to herself. So much for Chinese; it looked like her relaxing night would have to be put on hold for the moment.
Grand Central Station was slow at this time of night but there were still travelers buzzing through, completely oblivious to the crime that had been committed in their midst.
"Second booth is where the call came from," Ryan said as they walked toward the row of payphones. While the boys looked in the box where the call was traced, red pooling on the ground caught Beckett's attention.
"Guys, over here." She motioned to the stall at the end.
The body was male with multiple gunshot wounds. Crazy to think that someone could be murdered in such a public arena without anyone noticing it happened.
Before they knew it, the scene was swarming with crime scene investigators and Lanie started her initial exam of the victim. One of the investigators handed Beckett the man's wallet.
"Well, it wasn't a robbery. His ID, cards and cash are all still here," she confirmed before turning to her friend.
"If it wasn't obvious already, I'm going to say the cause of death is multiple GSWs, but I'll know more when I get him on the slab," the ME explained while she continued looking over the body and writing notations in the chart.
Turning back toward the phone booth, she looked around for possible evidence and tried to envision the crime. "I've got nothing and I don't think we're going to get anywhere until CSU finishes their sweep."
"Agreed. Doesn't look like anyone really stuck around to give any statements," Esposito shrugged as he examined the area.
"We're probably not going to get anywhere until morning. Give me a call if anything further pops up," Kate decided, before she did another quick survey and walked back to her car. Her dinner plans may have been ruined, but least she could go home and take a bath. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.
Walking through her apartment, Kate looked around at her space. She had completely lucked out finding this place when she was fresh out of the academy. A little more then than she probably could afford at the time, she had poured spent most of her paycheck into the rent. It was completely worth it in the end, when she was able to come home after a long day and relax.
Lighting a couple candles and pouring herself a large glass of red wine, she filled her bath with steaming water. After sprinkling the appropriate amount of bath salts into the tub, she went back into her bedroom and picked up the novel she was currently reading, off of her nightstand. Richard Castle's 'Flowers For Your Grave'. It was one of his older books, but it always held a special place in her heart. It was the book she had waited in line for over an hour to get signed - one of the many little tidbits that she would never admit to most people. She traced the letters of Richard Castle's name on the book jacket as she got lost in thought. He had been so kind when they met, but that was obviously his false persona. Like with today's page six article, she was continually reading blurbs about his dating life and wild partying.
As Kate slipped down into the water, she couldn't help the soft moan that escaped her lips as her muscles were surrounded by the heat, tension immediately vanishing from her system. She hated the thought of magic, but some days she swore that a nice hot bath held magical properties. Closing her eyes for a moment, she let her body wrap itself in the warmth. Maybe she'd just let Ryan and Esposito handle the case tomorrow and she could just hide in her tub all day.
Lanie woke her early the next morning with a phone call, insisting that she head to the morgue right away. Apparently she had news on the case from last night and it wasn't something the boys could handle themselves.
"Okay, Lanie. What do you got?" she asked when she arrived.
"Cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the chest as we suspected at the scene."
"And—so why the urgent wake-up call? This was something we could've handled over the phone." Kate tried to not sound irritated, but she had been in the middle of a really great dream when the phone rang.
"No, no. Come here and look at this. The body and cause of death wasn't interesting, but this—this is something new." She pulled the magnified glass over to the shell casing. "Look at the slugs."
"There's lettering on them—why?"
"You're the detective."
"Wait, they're hand etched. They spell something." Kate contemplated as she moved around the casings. "Kate—the bullets spell Kate. Lanie, he dedicated this murder to me!"
"Looks that way—apparently you have an admirer." It was always something, but the idea that someone was out there and had killed someone just to leave her those bullets... Creepy didn't even begin to describe it.
"Thanks, Lanie. Let me know if you find out anything else." Beckett grimaced and headed back to the homicide floor in order to fill her team in on the latest findings.
Beckett hadn't even made it back to her desk before Ryan informed her that there was a guy on the phone asking for Detective Beckett by name. Taking a deep breath and looking at her partners to make sure they were already tracing the line, she picked up the receiver.
"Kate—did you get the first part of my message?" His voice was so eerie; he was definitely enjoying this.
"Yes, I did."
"Well the second is at the Central Park carousel."
Damnit. Another body. Another murder. He was now serial and it was all a game. All to mess with her and she had no idea why.
After finding the most recent victim at the carousel, they were greeted by multiple large black SUVs pulling up to the scene.
"Great," Beckett muttered under her breath.
Ryan walked up next to her and grumbled, "Looks like our case is being taken over."
"Not if I have anything to do with it. Not when this psycho is contacting me," Beckett argued with the guys, standing her ground as the Feds approached.
Esposito shook his head, but flanked her on her other side as the agents walked closer to them. "They're coming in full force. Definitely taking over."
The Feds walked up to them to meet face to face in a standoff of sorts. No one spoke until a red-headed agent walked toward them in high heels similar to the ones Kate was wearing. "Kate Beckett, I presume."
"Yes, sorry. Detective Beckett, I'm Special agent Agent Jordan Shaw. I hear that you have a fan," Shaw quipped
"Yeah, a pretty deranged one, I guess," Beckett sighed before squaring off her shoulders and pushing her chin up. "While I'm flattered that you want to assist with this case, my people have already swept the scene and are taking the prints back to the lab."
"Here let me," the agent said, and took a quick picture of the print with her phone. "It's already being processed as we speak."
"Isn't that so cool!" A man exclaimed walking up behind Shaw. Oh no. It couldn't be.
"Ah yes. Detective Beckett, I'd like you to meet—"
"Richard Castle." The writer greeted, as he took Kate's hand and ran his thumb lightly over the top of her skin.
Seriously. What were the odds?