It wasn't supposed to happen like this.
This. This wasn't supposed to happen.
Every month. Every single month for the past five years she's been visiting him.
"Why?" she'd ask. Nothing more, nothing less. Not at first.
Why did you do it?
Why did you take my mother away?
Why did you change my life irrevocably?
It was a countless number of questions, all summed up in a single word.
His answer was always the same. Every single visit. Sixty of them now. She'd been keeping track since his conviction. Since she sat in that courtroom and watched the jury hand down a guilty verdict. As his mother cried and his ex-wife held their oblivious young daughter in her arms; the little girl had no idea that she was about to lose her father, just as Kate had lost her mother.
Only he would still be alive. Alive and well, sitting in that prison cell.
And on some days, some sixty days now, he'd be sitting in front of her, shackled to a table, his eyes downcast, a hunch to his shoulders. The posture of a guilty man who couldn't stand to face his victim's daughter.
It was a stark contrast to Kate's demeanor. She always sat with perfect posture, eyes straight ahead, hands clasped in front of her.
She didn't need to give him anymore words than that.
It wasn't always the same day that she'd visit each month, and not always with the same frequency. Some trips came a week or two between, and then a longer break of time between the next. Her mother was gone, but Kate Beckett's life went on as best as it could. She pushed through. Finishing school and becoming a detective wasn't easy, not after everything that he'd -
But she'd managed somehow. He'd taken away her mother, but between the long hours of school and of academy training, all the hard work; the night's spent peeling her drunken father off of the living room floor or out of the small, dank booth at his favorite dive bar...she always made time to make the visits each month, without fail.
And, without fail, his answer was unchanging as well. Each and every time. The words would vary, but the message was all the same.
"I didn't do it, Kate. I didn't kill your mother, I swear it."
Sometimes, she'd almost believe him.
It was the look in his eyes on some days. The way he'd take her in each visit. It was different in the early years, of course. He was a young father. She was now a motherless young adult. She wasn't even out of her teens yet when it all began. His words were always softer towards her, apologetic. Treating her like a wounded child.
She hated it.
The evidence had been gathered so quickly, and the court proceedings had moved with such haste. One moment, her mother was dead. The next, she was looking her favorite author in the eye, nothing but a metal cage between them.
"I'm so sorry for your loss," he'd said then. "But I'm innocent. I didn't kill your mother. This is all one big misunder - "
She hadn't let him finish then. She couldn't handle it, hearing him speak. The sad eyes, the desperation in them. The way he'd pleaded with her to believe him.
The evidence said otherwise. The evidence and the detectives that had caught him, red-handed, dead to rights. And soon after then, the jury and the New York state justice system said more of the same.
Guilty on all counts. And all for a damn book.
He'd killed her, and his manuscript revealed it all.