Deja Vu All Over Again
Summary: Lily Castle time travels to keep her parents alive. It's not as easy as she'd hoped. [8x22, "Crossfire," also follows 6x05, "Time Will Tell"]
A/N: Yes I have recently watched the Charmed episode with the same title and concept, why do you ask? I knew I'd write something for the finale (I'm one of those people who didn't like it or season 8), and this was the most fun idea that popped in my head. Not to be taken seriously at all. Also worth noting this is my first action/sci-fi fic. As I wrote this all I could think was how weird it was getting, so...enjoy?
Edit: Replying to an anonymous review - all the time travel in this story confused me, so I can understand missing details. This is based on the idea that the shooting in the kitchen was not the original timeline, and what we saw was Caleb's interference. All shootings, including the first one in the episode, were time glitches that needed to be fixed. It's in this part: "In the original timeline, her parents brought down LokSat without Caleb's interference and lived in relative peace until 2038."
(Not being able to reply to anonymous reviews is annoying, by the way. Fanfiction-net needs to get on that.)
Crawling on the kitchen floor, Kate used up all her energy to reach for her husband's hand. She ignored the overwhelming pain and tried to focus on him. He wasn't dead. She knew he wasn't dead, because it couldn't be. They were destined for "happily ever after" and not...this. Never this. They'd been through too damn much for it to all be destroyed by a single attacker.
Those were Kate's final thoughts before she collapsed next to her husband, still holding his hand.
Kate sat on their bed, starting to change out of her grimy clothes. She heard Rick in the kitchen.
Her stomach inexplicably uneasy, she called, "Yeah?"
"If Mason had an incinerator in the basement, why wouldn't he dispose of Caleb's body there?"
"Castle!" Kate ran into the kitchen, her heart racing, her gun drawn. She checked the room while she aimed the gun in nearly every direction. Even though the kitchen was empty.
A perplexed expression on her husband's face, he turned off the stove but stayed where he was. His wife still hadn't lowered the gun. Best he could figure, her PTSD had resurfaced because of the night's events. "Are you okay, Kate?"
"I'm not sure..." She lowered the gun to her side but continued to survey the loft. "For some reason I thought...Caleb..."
Her instincts had been right. When Kate and Rick turned around, a gun was pointed at them. Shots fired. She was unconscious before she could reach her husband.
Lily Castle's parents had died again, and this time, the murderer survived. Shaking from suppressed fury, she continued to read the information on her tracking beacon. Her only choice was to leave now. The assassin from the future masquerading as Caleb Brown would kill her too if he found her there.
Aged nineteen in the year 2038, Lily was the youngest time travel agent Uncle Simon's lab had ever seen. Well, he wasn't really her uncle, he was her brother-in-law. She, Jake and Reece nicknamed Alexis Castle-Doyle "aunt" and her husband "uncle" because of the age difference. It seemed like a fitting sign of respect since Aunt Alexis baby-sat them so often. Her family objected to the idea of Lily time-hopping for assignments, so up until this very important assignment, she hadn't.
Lily's first day of field work and she blew it. Uncle Simon would never let her time hop again.
...but she had to exist for that to happen.
Before she activated her watch, Lily paused, then backed up further into the side alley for cover. She couldn't leave until she figured out why she failed. The machine transported her five minutes before it recorded Caleb's death in the old timeline. That was his first attempt after working in the past for a year, fabricating a story that he was a corrupt lawyer. Lily and her family concluded that his real mission all along had been to kill her parents. He entangled himself in their case so he'd have an excuse to get close to them.
In the original timeline, her parents brought down LokSat without Caleb's interference and lived in relative peace until 2038. Then the lab alerted them to a threat. They didn't know what it could be until her parents' memories changed. Examining the data, Uncle Simon realized an assassin was after her parents...and that the time would catch up to them soon.
Lily convinced everyone that she was the best agent to send. Why risk someone else when her existence was already in jeopardy? Her parents volunteered, but they didn't have the same training and vaccinations that she did. Plus, not to mention, they were both around sixty-years-old.
She wisely chose not to say that last part out loud.
They all told her it was too dangerous for her. The organization formerly known as LokSat had broken up in 2016, lying dormant until reforming in 2026. They were criminals who used time travel for financial gain. Ever since then, their number one mission had been to take out the police captain and private investigator who weakened them. As an added "bonus," they would take out a senator known for being tough on crime.
So why kill her parents after they exposed LokSat?
Her family reasoned that Caleb Brown must have benefited from the shift of power within the organization. He also faced jail time in 2038 because of Senator Beckett's political influence, so this must be his way of "setting things right."
Thinking about her appearance in 2016, Lily gasped when she realized what happened.
The killer detected another time traveler and pushed that cyclist into her. It wasn't a coincidence that she'd wasted precious minutes crashing into a random kid on a bicycle. Caleb had been delayed, but he still got to the loft around the same moment as the previous reality he'd created. He also produced the same results.
Lily wouldn't be distracted next time.
"If Mason had an incinerator in the basement, why wouldn't he dispose of Caleb's body there?"
The front door was shoved open. Startled, Rick turned off the stove while Kate ran into the kitchen, her gun drawn. They both stared at the young woman in the doorway. Kate started to lower the gun, but shook off her hesitation and re-positioned it.
She looked like Kate. The dark brown hair falling on her shoulders, the determination in her hazel eyes, the cheekbones. The way she stared down the gun with convincing calm. The main difference was her wardrobe - dark gray top, black pants and boots, complete with a utility belt that reminded him of Batman. Rick considered incorporating this in his next novel.
"Sorry to barge in like this. Honestly I wasn't sure my old key would work."
Before Rick could say a word, a second intruder made his presence known behind them. It was Caleb, also holding a drawn gun. Already in a confused state, Rick couldn't be sure what was going on.
"You're late again, Agent Castle," Caleb declared.
A wry smile breaking through his fear, Rick turned to his wife. "Okay, I see the life-threatening danger, but you have to admit that was awesome."
Kate and the girl in the doorway just shook their heads, the movements eerily similar. Still stuck in the middle, Rick and Kate didn't know how to deal with two home invaders breaking in at the same time. "What are you talking about?" Kate demanded. "He's not an an agent of any kind."
"Not your husband, Senator. I was speaking to her."
Rick collapsed when Caleb's first bullet hit his chest. Through fuzzy vision, he saw the mysterious "other Castle" pull out her own gun and aim for Caleb.
Lily aimed for Caleb's leg. He doubled over but fought the pain to aim the gun again, so she shot the arm holding his gun too. She'd never killed anyone and didn't think she could, even when the other person was attacking her parents. Thankfully she wouldn't have to do it because he fell to the ground, unconscious. Lily hoped Caleb was wrong about her being too late this time. Her father had been shot, but maybe...
No. She'd failed again. Her father was quickly bleeding out on the kitchen floor. Her sobbing mother ran to him, ignoring the stranger in the doorway. Seeing them so young was a shock. Barely able to speak, the key line had been the only thing Lily could think to say. The shock made her less alert, she failed, and her father would die.
Lily had to reset time again. She'd saved her mother, but that wasn't good enough.
Kate Beckett didn't notice her teenage doppelganger run out of the loft. The last thing Lily heard was her mother dialing 9-1-1 on a cellphone.
The showdown needed to happen before he got to the loft. Lily went to the building's fire escape, knowing Caleb probably used it to sneak in through a window. He wouldn't have risked appearing in the loft and being seen by her parents. She'd set the watch to drop her off an hour early and stake out the ladder.
Lucky that she did, because she appeared less than ten minutes before Caleb ran down the alleyway. Gun drawn, Lily stood in front of the ladder and was ready when he showed up.
She didn't hesitate this time. She just began shooting.
While Lily still didn't want to kill anyone, even an assassin, she'd resigned herself to the possibility. Caleb's eyes widened with mild surprise as he narrowly missed the first bullets. He was probably used to her hesitation, her human-ness, and didn't expect the unannounced attack. If she stopped, he would take out his time travel watch and try again.
So she didn't stop.
When he ran, she chased him onto the sidewalk. A gun would cause panic, so she put it in the holster on her belt. As it was, between her belt and her outfit, she'd at least earn some curious looks.
Caleb kept glancing behind him as he ran for the street. His plan must have been to lose her in the chaos of New York City traffic, which frankly, was nothing compared to how it was in their time. Lily got an idea and let him cross the street. If he thought he lost her, he would make a mistake. She could follow him with her eyes and cut him off...
Or, wait for destiny to set things right on its own.
She didn't see the speeding taxi cab until it crashed into Caleb. He flew through the air, bounced off the hood of another car, then was hit by a bus. The bus stopped, people screamed, a passing ambulance stopped to help. She was close enough that she could hear the paramedic announce Caleb's death.
Dumbfounded, Lily stared at the scene with her mouth hanging open. Then she slowly backed into the alley to set her watch for the trip home.
"If Mason had an incinerator in the basement, why wouldn't he..."
Rick trailed off mid-sentence, completely losing track of what he was about to ask. Totally baffled, he turned off the stove even though he'd just turned it on, concentrating on the missing half of his question. It had seemed important for some reason.
Concerned, Kate walked back into the kitchen and tilted her head. Her husband was staring into space. "Are you okay, babe?"
"I'm not sure..." He turned to her, leaving one hand on the counter and one on his hip. "Does this moment feel weird to you at all? You, me, in the kitchen...all of a sudden I have this urge to look over my shoulder or..."
She went over to him and wrapped her arms around his waist, her head on his shoulder. "We're both way overtired. Let's just go out to eat after we sleep the day away."
"But you're hungry, and actually, so am I," he replied, leaning into her arms. He felt very restless and oddly enough wanted to go somewhere, anywhere that wasn't the loft. "How about this? We'll meet the guys at The Old Haunt and I'll make everyone breakfast there. You know, they have yet to sample my finest dishes."
Kate laughed, though there was still worry in her eyes. Then she leaned on on the counter, pausing much like he had, her expression bewildered when she looked up at him. "I'm feeling a little strange too now. Um, yeah, let's get out of here."
"S'morelettes for everyone!" Rick exclaimed. They both ran for the door, neither knowing why. While waiting for him to lock the door behind them, Kate had a random thought, one that she'd never had before. It lingered in her mind until she couldn't ignore it, bothering her as they walked down the hall towards the elevator.
"Hey Castle...ever get a strong feeling that our first kid will be a girl?"