"I've never seen this man before in my life."
Before Castle could even wrap his head around that statement, Beckett was turning on her heels and heading back to Gates' – no, her – office. He lunged forward, heavy on his feet, desperate for answers.
"Beckett?" He called out tentatively.
She paused in front of her office door, an eyebrow quirked as she stared down the man in front of her, who looked just as confused as she felt.
"Yes?" She replied, waiting for a response as she practically saw the cogs turning in his head.
"Could I just… talk to you? For a minute?"
"I-" She began to answer, before being cut off.
"I know that you're probably very busy, but just a minute, I promise." The man looked at her with a hopeful glint in his eye, but Beckett saw the panic stricken look that he was masking.
She made her decision, "Okay. One minute."
He let out a small exhale of relief, and followed her into the large office, closing the door behind them. Castle's eyes wandered around the room, taking in all the details he could. The elephants that were still perched on her desk, an empty coffee mug placed next to her keyboard, a black nameplate that read 'Captain K. Beckett'. He noticed a photo of her and her Father facing her computer. That was new. He squinted at the photo, trying to determine where it had been taken.
Suddenly, a loud cough resonated behind him. He whipped his head upwards, seeing her face donning a sceptical look, one eyebrow raised.
"S-Sorry." He stuttered as she sat behind her large desk, motioning for him to sit on the chair opposite her, which he swiftly did, "I'm Rick Castle." He said, hoping to prompt a realisation, his confidence faltering slightly as she showed no signs of recognition.
"I'm Captain Kate Beckett." She replied politely, a look of uneasiness still etched on her features.
Castle grew a small smile, and shook his head minutely, "Captain. That's so awesome."
Kate narrowed her eyes at his reaction, "Not quite so 'awesome' on the day of faculty meetings."
"Still, I bet it's great that you don't have to do paperwork anymore." He shrugged.
"I still have to do paperwork, Mr Castle."
He looked at her incredulously, "Really?" She gave a nod, "I thought you would've shoved it all to Ryan and Esposito."
Her eyebrows furrowed with confusion, "How do you know Ryan and Esposito?"
Rick opened his mouth to answer, before shutting it, contemplating his next words, "It's going to sound crazy."
"I work in the Homicide department. I can handle a little crazy." She offered with a smile.
A large sigh escaped Castle's lips, "Okay."
He explained the situation as best as he knew it, how he'd been propelled into this 'alternate universe' – the words prompting an eye roll from Beckett – and how he'd worked at the precinct for about 6 years, following around the 'other versions' of her, Kevin and Javier. He continued through the whole story, Kate remaining silent until he'd finished.
Once he seemed to be done with his explanation, she opened her mouth to begin talking, but his voice spoke up again.
"Please don't think I'm crazy."
She closed her eyes for a second, trying to take all the information in before replying, "Have you ever suffered from any mental health illnesses, Mr Castle?"
"What? Kate, is that a joke?" He stuttered, eyes widening at her words.
"No, it isn't. You could be suffering from a psychotic break." She said matter-of-factly, thinking that was the only reason this could be happening.
"If I was, how would I know everything I do about you and the precinct?"
"Mr Castle, all you know is the names of two of my officers, and some details about the precinct. You don't need to be from an 'alternate universe' to know that."
Rick pursed his lips together for a moment, before being struck by an idea, "Fine. I'll prove it."
"That I know you. That I'm not making this up."
Kate sighed, "Mr Castle, that won't be necessary."
"Your favourite colour is green, because it reminds you of the vacations you spent at your Dad's cabin when you were a little girl."
She narrowed her eyes at him, "I- How-" She then gave a fervent shake of her head, "No, I don't need to hear this-"
"You use anti-aging cream on your face every night without fail, even though I always tease you about it. Your favourite candle scent is lavender, because it's the same scent that your Grandmother's house used to smell of. You hated being an only child, so you want two kids, preferably a boy and a girl, with the girl being the firstborn."
Kate's mouth opened slightly as he continued on, unbelieving of how this stranger knew these things about her.
"You're really afraid of spiders, but you don't tell anyone because you think it sounds like a girly fear. You really want a dog one day."
"I have a dog." She interrupted, slightly glad he got one wrong, because she was starting to feel unsettled.
He frowned for a second, then perked up again, "Royal? After the Francisco Pilar and Kay Cuppuccio case?"
Never mind. The feeling of unsettlement stayed.
He ploughed through, "You played a dead body in your 6th grade play about the plague, and you joke that's where your obsession with murder started. On nights where you can't sleep, we'll listen to Coltrane, because you say it fills you with a sense of magic. If I open up that desk draw to your left, I'll find a little twig stick man that you made on the Coney Island beach with your Dad, on the day of your Mom's funeral."
He racked his brain for more information on his fiancée, "Your coffee of choice is a grande skim latte, with two pumps of sugar free vanilla, but I've been buying you ones with normal vanilla syrup for six years, and you've never noticed. Probably because you're not very awake until after you've finished the coffee."
She smiled shyly at that, it did sound like her.
"You have a tattoo of the Russian word for truth just below your left hip, which you got during your semester abroad in Kiev, because that's also when you lost your virginity and you wanted to feel like, and I quote, a 'sexy foreign badass'."
Kate chuckled lightly, making him grin, incredibly glad that he was having the desired effect of wearing her down, he continued, "If you were in a Harry Potter house, you think you would be in Ravenclaw, whereas I firmly believe you are a Gryffindor through and through. This was actually the basis of one of our first fights as a couple." Another laugh bubbled up her throat, "You hate all sushi except the salmon skin roll. You've been going to baseball games with your Dad since you were three years old."
Kate's eyes wandered slightly, she hadn't seen her Dad since last week, she should probably arrange a lunch date with him soon. Before she could finish her thought, Rick's voice broke through.
"Right now, you're thinking about calling him to invite him to lunch. You should take him to that Old English Pub place near 15th and Lex. He told me there was his favourite when we met up and I asked him to marry you. Speaking of your Dad, him and your Mom gave you a little, grey, knitted rabbit on the day you were born. It's called Bun-Bun, and you're planning to hand it down to your first baby one day. That's also the reason that rabbits are your favourite animal, second to sea turtles, because you did a report on them in elementary school."
Rick continued without hesitation, "Your favourite old school film is 'The Wizard of Oz' because your Mom used to sing 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' when she was happy. Your idea of a great Saturday is laying on the couch under a blanket, watching awful Sci-Fi movies, and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. Your left breast is more sensitive than your right."
Kate startled at the last one, causing Rick's cheeks to redden, "Probably shouldn't have said that one. Moving swiftly on. You have a small dip above your right ankle from where you fell of your bike when you were nine. You prefer the winter over the summer. You hate blood tests ever since you fainted during one when you were a teenager, but you act like they don't bother you because you think it's stupid. Your preferred pancake topping is maple syrup, even though I call you boring for it. Your favourite holiday is Thanksgiving because it reminds you of home. When you scrunch up your nose, you can see a little scar running up along it, from when you managed to face-plant onto a brick as a toddler and cut your nose open. Whenever you get period cramps, your shoulders seize up, and I massage them for you, even though you used to insist that you were fine. You've always wanted to see more of Europe – and I think I can tell you this because you probably won't remember – it's where I'm planning to take you for our honeymoon."
Kate shook her head minutely in wonder as the man in front of her kept talking. She could see the passion and love in his eyes, and it was only confirmed by his next statement.
"And… I love you. So much, Katherine Houghton Beckett." He ended with a large exhale, eyebrows furrowed together in worry, until she smiled widely at him.
"Well, looks like we'll have to get you back, huh, Rick? I wouldn't want me to miss you too much." She offered with a glint in her eyes.
He sprung up from his seat, running around the desk to Kate, "Thank you! Thanks for believing me, Kate." He leaned in for a kiss, before stopping abruptly, remembering the situation.
She chuckled at his embarrassment as he backed away slowly, "Good idea. I don't think you'd want to cheat on me with me."
"Whoa. That's meta." He said wondrously, eyes widening.
"Yeah, tell me about it. A stranger just told me pretty much everything about myself. And was right about everything." She paused, smirking, "Well, except for one thing."
Castle's face drooped, "What? What was I wrong about?"
"Well, not wrong per se, but you told me something I didn't know yet."
"Which was?" Rick asked, hoping that this Kate knowing something about the other Kate wouldn't rip a whole in the space time continuum.
She bit her lower lip, "I didn't know my left breast was more sensitive."
Rick grinned smugly, "You mean, you didn't know until you'd met me? Meaning I was the one who figured that out about you?"
"I guess so."
"Yessss!" Castle exclaimed with a small jump, causing Beckett to laugh.
"Okay. Let's get you back home, so you can brag about that to your fiancée. Now, what do you suppose we do?" Kate asked, taking a pad of paper out from a desk drawer.
"Well," Rick began, plopping back down into his chair, "If I've learnt anything from my vast array of Sci-Fi knowledge…"
Kate sighed inwardly, it could be a long day…
Welp, in about two weeks, this story will be wrecked by a cannonball that includes actual canon storyline, but I just couldn't help myself after watching that sneak peek!
Also, just a quick thank you to everyone who's followed/favourited/reviewed any story of mine! You have no idea how stupidly excited I get when I receive a new email from FF. You guys are da bomb.
Also also, let me know your theories and speculations for 7x06! I'm so curious to find out what everyone else thinks.
Okay, I'm done. Adios, amigos!