Disclaimer: I have no ownership of Castle, its various spin-off materials, or characters.
Summary: "If Tyson wants to play, he can play with her. Alexis will come out of this intact if it's the last thing Kate Beckett does." Season 4 AU. TW for violence, assault, and mature themes.
A/N: This story contains mature themes, including semi-graphic depictions of violence and various forms of assault.
It's strained between them now. The sound of fun and uncomplicated rings in her ears every time she so much as looks at his chair. He's given up on her, and she doesn't know why.
And it hurts.
It hurts. Here she is, tipping on the edge of blurting it out the next time they see each other, and he's flaunting flight attendants and flying to Vegas for the weekend. She looks over at his chair, empty in the middle of the day. He's writing, which is code for avoiding.
He's avoiding her.
He's avoiding her and he won't tell her why. Doesn't have the decency to just out and say 'I'm done waiting, Beckett.'
Because she thought he was, waiting. She thought—well, it doesn't really matter, does it? He's made his decision. He's moving on, moving up, kissing flight attendants and being an ass.
She goes to take a sip of her coffee, and it's cold.
It's cold, because he hasn't been here, keeping her in coffee and laughing and—and—no.
No, it's not fine.
This ends now. If she's ready to say she remembers, ready to give him those three little words, then she can damn well give this whole stupid thing the end it deserves. If he's leaving her, he's at least going to let her say her damn piece first.
She's up and grabbing her jacket before the guys even notice, storming out and down the stairs. Waiting for the elevator would take too long.
She's a block from his apartment before it even occurs to her that he could be…entertaining.
She pauses there on the sidewalk, glancing up the street to his building, then back the way she came. Should she—she could call? But no, no, he didn't call before he went off for the weekend, before he just stopped dropping by. She doesn't owe him…
Hell, she owes him so much.
She waffles there on the street, hands twisting together. God, she doesn't even have her gun. She just up and left.
Her gun. She's not going to shoot him. Well, she could…
She turns at the sound.
"Get the hell off of me! No! Help! Help!"
She knows that voice. Why does she know that voice?
She spins around, searching for the screamer and glances down the alley next to her. There's a truck parked halfway down it, a man dragging a shrieking young woman toward the open hatch-back. A red-haired—that's Alexis.
"Stop!" Kate yells, taking off down the alley at a sprint. "Stop, Police!" she adds, scrabbling at her belt. She doesn't have her gun.
The man looks up at her approach and immediately holds out his own gun, his face twisting into a demonic grin. She knows him. That's Jerry Tyson.
The 3XK is abducting Alexis Castle.
"Not one step closer, Detective," he says calmly, the barrel of his gun aimed straight at her chest.
She feels her breath hitch. She will not have a panic attack when Alexis Castle is in danger.
"Let her go, Jerry," Kate says calmly, keeping her hand behind her back, holding onto the illusion of her gun.
"Jerry?" Alexis questions. "Like—like—"
"Shut up," he snaps, his arm tightening around her neck.
Kate takes a step toward them and he turns the gun on Alexis, resting it at her temple. Kate watches the girl's eyes widen in panic.
"Not one more step, Detective." She opens her mouth to yell. "And don't make a sound. You're going to walk back out of this alley, and go tell her precious Daddy that I've taken his little girl."
"No," Kate says steadily. "You're going to let her go, or I'll blow your head off."
"Oh yeah? Show me your gun."
She feels her face pale, Alexis' eyes pleading with her. She doesn't have a gun to show.
"What's this? Just out taking a leisurely stroll? Too bad. I bet you could have saved her," he taunts, digging the gun into Alexis' skin. The girl stifles a groan, fingers scrabbling feebly against his iron-clad grip around her neck. Just walk away, Detective," he instructs, looking proud and eager.
"No," she says.
He considers her for a moment. She tries to look like she has a plan. But she doesn't. Her phone is too deep in her pocket to grab, and she doesn't think he'd hesitate for even a second—would shoot Alexis dead if she so much as reached for it.
"All right then. Get in the truck," he decides.
"What?" Kate lets out.
"Toss your phone on the ground." She pauses. "Now."
With a heavy heart, she pulls out her phone and drops it onto the pavement, not enough time even to swipe the screen and press the emergency call button.
"Get in the truck," Tyson repeats. "I thought losing her would be enough, but without you there to comfort him, I think it'll be better, don't you? Rick Castle, all alone, his daughter gone, without his Detective to help him—all alone and abandoned."
Kate swallows. Oh God. That's what he'll think. He'll think she just up and left again. And Alexis…
"Get in the truck," he hisses.
Kate nods slowly. She doesn't—she doesn't have a plan. "If you put her in first."
Tyson laughs, a short, hollow sound. "You're in no place to negotiate, Kate," he says, his voice dripping victory. "Get in the truck, and I'll think about letting you live when we get there."
"Get where?" she asks as she slowly walks toward them, giving him a wide berth.
"That would be telling," he says with a grin, before his face tightens. "Get in the damn truck."
She glances up the alley, but the street is quiet, and she doesn't see any cameras. They're alone here. She swallows and turns, hoisting herself up and into the truck.
Tyson drags Alexis to the edge. "Help her up," he instructs, keeping the muzzle of the gun on her forehead as long as he can before releasing her and jamming it into the small of her back.
She'd be paralyzed if he shot.
And so Kate reaches down and takes Alexis' sweating, clammy palm, and helps her into the truck. She wraps her arms around the shaking teen, Tyson's grinning face the last thing she sees before he pulls the hatch down, plunging them into darkness. There's the sickening sound of a lock being clicked.
"Detective," Alexis whispers.
"I think you should call me Kate," Kate manages as the truck rattles, shaking as Tyson climbs into the cab.
Alexis lets out a half-laugh, half sob as the truck starts.
"We're going to be okay," she promises.
"Don't," Alexis lets out, her arms still tight around Kate's. "You can't promise me that."
"No," she agrees. "But I can damn well try to live up to it. We're getting you home to your dad."
The truck jolts forward and they stumble back together. Kate pulls Alexis to the side and drags them both to the ground. "Keep your head…" Shit, she doesn't know what to do. Do they hold their heads against the wall of the truck, or not? Do they lie down—what's going to be safest?
"Hang on to me," she decides, putting her arm around Alexis' shoulders, so if they do jolt, she'll hit Kate's arm. What Kate will do for herself, she's not sure. "Plant your feet flat, try and push against the wall with your back, keep us steady."
Alexis does as she's told and they bump along. In a truck—they're going to leave the island, Kate's sure. But to where?
"Do you have your phone?" Kate asks.
Alexis shakes her head. "I—I was just going to get groceries," she says.
"Was your dad home?" Kate asks eagerly. If he was—if he was, he'll notice. He'll notice when Alexis doesn't come home. He'll freak out. She knows him. At least, she knows that about him.
"No," Alexis lets out solemnly. "He was out. Went out to write, I think. I wanted to make him dinner, because he's been…" she peters off.
He's been off. God, maybe if Kate hadn't done…whatever's made him act like this, he'd have been home with his kid, and he'd have noticed when Alexis didn't come home. Hell, maybe if he'd been with Kate, Alexis wouldn't have left the house, and Tyson wouldn't have had his opportunity.
No. She has to stop. Blaming herself at this point isn't productive. Right now, they need a plan.
They try yelling for help each time they stop, but their voices are lost to the din of the city. He's taking very crowded streets as they start and stop, to make sure no one hears their pleas, she's sure.
"Why does he want to make dad pay?" Alexis asks after thirty minutes of futile yelling in which Kate comes up with absolutely nothing to save them.
Kate sighs. "Because your dad figured out who he was just before he pistol whipped Ryan and left him tied up. Your dad figured out why he kills—something about his mom. And it…made Tyson angry."
"Was that the night he told Gram he loved her?" Alexis wonders.
"Yeah," Kate agrees. "I—but he was okay. I thought—well, I was wrong."
"Yeah," Alexis agrees, her voice colder.
That's fine. She can blame Kate. That's just fine. As long as they get her back to Castle, Alexis can blame Kate for 9/11, for the Cold War, for the Big Bang. As long as they get her home.
"Did Castle say when he'd be home?" Kate wonders after another long stretch of bumps, a few bangs of Alexis' head against her arm.
"Maybe 5pm," Alexis offers.
Kate glances at her watch. Three hours. Oh God. He's not going to realize she's missing until eleven or so. They're—they're on their own.
The truck makes a sharp curve and her head hits the metal wall, hard. She curses, feels Alexis turn to look at her as she brings her head up and blearily opens her eyes. Shit. She can't start this thing with a concussion. Not if she wants to…what, disarm him from the back of the truck when he opens the door?
"I think so," Kate admits.
"Here." Alexis gets her arm over Kate's shoulders, giving her something to slam into as they round the next curve. "Sorry," Alexis adds.
"No," Kate says quickly. "No, it's fine. I'm fine."
"Are you?" Alexis asks.
Kate turns her head and looks at the girl, pale and terrified. She's seventeen. Kate feels it like a punch to the gut. She's seventeen. Her whole life is ahead of her, her graduation just under two months away. She has college and love and life to look forward to, and this—this moment in this truck with Kate—this could change everything.
Kate can't let that happen.
"I'm fine," Kate tells her, steeling her voice with conviction. Because at the end of this, she may not be fine, but she will do everything she can to make sure that Alexis comes out unscathed. That the worst she'll need to endure is a few years of therapy.
If Tyson wants to play, he can play with Kate. She's damaged already, a little more won't change her. But Alexis—Alexis doesn't need to carry that weight.
Kate lost her innocence at nineteen. Alexis will keep hers.
The truck comes to a halt and they listen as the door to the cab opens, as the truck shifts and Tyson climbs out.
Alexis will come out of this intact if it's the last thing Kate Beckett does.