AN: So, here is the next chapter from my lovely partner and I. WE thank you for all the follows, favorites, and reviews for this story.
Disclaimer: We don't own Castle.
Kate Beckett strode into the precinct the next day, her body alert and ready due to a text she received from Esposito earlier that morning.
"Where is he?" she asked as soon as she stepped off the elevator.
"In interrogation 2," Ryan responded.
"Good," she said, continuing toward the interrogation room.
She took a quick peek through the one way glass of the observation room. He wore a smirk on his face, as he had the last time he was in the interrogation room. Smug bastard.
Opening the door, she greeted him, "Mr. Rodgers, it seems you're in my interrogation room, again."
"Good morning to you too, Detective," he responded, chuckling.
"You find this amusing?" She raised an eyebrow.
"C'mon, Detective, you know you don't have anything on me. Just another unfortunate circumstance."
She scoffed. "Then why are you always showing up on the street cameras near the crime scene?" She eyed him, watching as he shrugged his shoulders.
"Bad timing. And I'm sure that whatever picture you're going to show me is going to generate the same answer as last time."
"Mr. Rodgers, my patience is wearing thin. I highly suggest you tell me anything you know about these murders. Otherwise, I'll-"
"What? Arrest me? You have no real evidence. You've caught me on camera walking through the neighborhood I live in multiple times. Admit it, Detective, that's pretty thin. Obviously, you can't arrest me for being a smartass so…"
She closed her eyes, shaking her head. That man, he's so infuriating, and unfortunately, he's right.
"Look, if you really don't know anything you're free to go. However, don't forget I can have you arrested for obstruction of justice."
He rolled his eyes. "Really, Detective, I don't know anything."
Sighing, she threw the door open, gesturing for him to leave. It was early in the morning and she was not in the mood to stretch the interrogation out any longer.
As he began to walk out, he stopped in front of her, smiling.
"Now that that's over with, would you like to go out for coffee?"
Her eyes widened in surprise before turning to slits.
"No, thank you," she snipped.
No way in hell would she go out with him. It didn't matter that he was good looking or slightly charming. His attitude was a total put off, plus he's a suspect - too much conflict of interest.
"It could be fun," he replied.
She smirked, leaning closer to him. "You have no idea." She walked away, leaving him to stand in the doorway, dumbfounded.
"Yo, Beckett, how'd it go?" Esposito inquired as she returned to the bullpen.
"As well as you'd expect. Back to square one," she muttered, plopping down in her seat with resignation.
Today she was going to settle in and research the vic's tattoos and attempt to ID him. There had to be something in the tattoos, right?
She turned her computer on and began searching for the specific markings found on the victim. In the middle of it, she heard a cough come from in front of her computer. Glancing up, she scowled.
"Can I help you, Mr. Rodgers?" she grumped.
"Actually, I was thinking…"
"Is that a new thing for you?" she jabbed.
Ignoring her, he proceeded, "Since I do write murder novels for a living, I thought maybe it would be a good idea for me to consult on this case. Perhaps offer some ideas?"
She pursed her lips. "Oh? Anything I might have heard of?" she asked, taking a sip of her coffee.
"Flowers for Your Grave," he stated, shrugging.
As soon as the title left his mouth, her eyes widened to the size of saucers and she spat her coffee out all over her computer monitors and desk. This garnered the attention of several of her coworkers around the bullpen, much to her chagrin.
"You're Richard Castle?" she exclaimed, a near shout.
His eyes flashed with mirth before he shushed her for her outburst. "If you could keep it down about that, that'd be great," he spoke quietly, indicating that she should in turn.
"Why are you telling me this? Aren't you under some sort of non-disclosure agreement?" she questioned skeptically.
"That's more of a one-way street with my publisher. They can't divulge who I am without breaching our contract, but I'm free to shout it from the rooftops, should I so please," he chuckled.
"You seem like the type that would love to do that," she snarked.
"Behavior can be deceiving, Detective," he chided. "You know the old adage that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover."
She pondered that for a moment while she gathered her thoughts, and then laid down the law. "In any case, Mr. Rodgers, you cannot help investigate a case in which you are a suspect."
"Not even to clear my own name?" he questioned.
She shook her head. "No, it's a conflict of interest."
He sighed, but gave her a grin. "So, does knowing my other persona change your mind?"
"Getting coffee with me."
She pretended to think for a minute before replying, "No." She returned to her paperwork, snickering when she heard a slight whine from the man in front of her.
"Can't blame a guy for trying," he muttered.
"It doesn't change my mind because I can't associate with suspects outside of the precinct, no matter how much I might want to."
He smirked. "So not 'no', but more 'not right now'?"
She pouted, realizing her slip up. "No comment."
Seeming satisfied with her answer, he jaunted away, waving at her before the elevator doors slipped closed.
Not that she was staring at him or anything as he left.
The following morning, Rick woke earlier than usual. He had a goal for the day, one that involved the twelfth precinct.
"If Detective Beckett doesn't want me, guess I'll have to find another way in," he mused. Really, he was disappointed she didn't want to go out with him, for now. Maybe her opinion would sway after the case was over.
"What are you doing up so early, Dad?" Alexis, his adoptive-daughter, asked.
"I plan on going to the precinct again, to pay a visit to Roy."
She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "The captain, right? What about?"
"I want to help with the current case, but the detective said no."
"Is this same Detective what was it...Beckett that you tried to ask out and she turned you down, twice?"
"The very same." He chuckled. Beckett's certainly different, he'd give her that. "But I really do want help. Besides, she already knows my secret and so does Roy."
Alexis blinked, shocked. "She knows you're an immortal?"
"No, the fact that I'm Richard Castle," he teased. "Sheesh, I'm not that careless."
"Did you tell her that to impress her?" she poked, snickering.
"No…" he drawled. Not really, okay, maybe a little. He'd taken a gamble when telling Beckett his profession, hoping she at least knew who he was. Throwing out his first, and most obscure, title proved that she most definitely did.
"Dad," Alexis gently scolded.
"Regardless, she didn't go for it, so it doesn't matter." He lifted his shoulders in supposed defeat. "Now, off I go. I want to get there before she does."
He headed off to the precinct, his head filled with ideas of how to approach Roy. He knew the man from a case, the one that gave him Alexis, his world.
He entered the precinct, relieved to find it mostly dead, with the exception of some uniformed officers, and of course, the captain. He knocked on the doorframe of Roy's office. The captain popped his head up, grinning as he saw Rick.
"Rick, long time no see!" the man greeted, getting up to shake the author's hand. "You look good, like you haven't aged a day." The teasing undercurrent to his statement made Rick roll his eyes in response.
"I would say the same, but I try not to lie to the authorities," Rick responded with a smirk.
"Well, headless bodies will age a man," the captain said pointedly.
"I haven't had quite the same experience. However, that is actually the reason I'm here," he shot back.
"Oh, come to make a confession?" Roy teased. "It might prevent a few more gray hairs."
"Hah. Detective Beckett putting ideas in your head?" Rick shook his head. "But no, that's not why I'm here. I think I can help. I'm pretty sure the victims are...my type."
"Oh, I thought maybe it was the Detective that was your type," Roy ribbed.
Rick nodded briefly and offered, "You're not wrong there, but I meant in more of the mythical sense, Roy."
"I know that, I've been waiting for you to come in ever since the second body dropped," Roy explained. "One is unfortunate, maybe even suspicious, but two - two indicates something a little more complex."
"Indeed," Rick mused. "Look, I need you to know, I'm not involved in most of these, and the rest - well, I think these people were sent looking for me."
"So, you're the reason for all of this, technically?"
"I don't know that I'm the reason for all of it, but the ones that I've taken care of, yes." Roy raised his eyebrows. "I've been living here peacefully with Alexis for the last 15 years without running into my ilk, and now all of a sudden there's practically a mob hunting me down."
"Is it just people looking to claim whatever that prize at the end is?" Roy quizzed.
"I don't think it's that," Rick paused, stepping further into the office and closing the door behind him. "These attacks have been far too frequent and all much too overt. Our kind usually will happen upon each other and have a affable conversation before parting ways. None of these interactions could be considered nonaggressive, let alone peaceable."
"Do you think someone is sending them out to size you up? See how much you can take?"
"Could be," Rick looked out into the bullpen, watching one of the uniformed officers adjust their belt after they stood up. "It's not something that many of us have enough power or sway to do, and I can't think of a reason they would send anyone after me. I've lived a relatively low-profile existence."
"Given how old you are, I'm guessing you've pissed off some people. Is there anyone you can think of, that perhaps is still around?" Roy asked.
"Maybe one of the Riders," he said, becoming lost in thought. "Methos-" he shook his head, "No, not Methos."
"Have you ever heard of the Four Horsemen? The Riders of the Apocalypse?"
"Sure, but I don't know that much about them."
"Yes, well - they were immortals, and they did a whole lot more than anyone ever got the chance to record in a history book." His eyes clouded with grief momentarily, "but one of them, Methos - whom you may know as Death, repented, and he became a much better man. I don't think he's behind this."
"I may not have been around as long as you, but I do know that not everyone stays with their new life, repentant or not. I mean, look at junkies - they get clean for a while, and fall right back down the rabbit hole."
"Well, you don't know Methos, he's different. He's been in hiding for many years due to his distaste for the game," he explained
"If you say so," Roy muttered. "So, you want to help, huh? Let me guess, Beckett said no and now you're going over her head." The captain tsked. "You really don't want to get on her good side, do you?"
"It's not that, Roy," he hung his head. "I think I know better than most what the monsters she is after are capable of. You know too, to a degree. They won't let a detective get in their way, but they likely wouldn't risk tangoing with me, should I be there accompanying her."
The captain nodded in understanding. "So, you want to help, and maybe even protect her?"
"I can tell she wouldn't go for the protection schtick, so how about we use the guise of … book research, with a hint of expertise in bladed weapons?"
"She's not gonna like it, no matter the reason. In case you haven't noticed, she's not one for interference with her cases. However, if it stops these killings, I'll put you on the case with her. Just don't expect Beckett to be all smiles and sunshine about it."
"Great, and she was on my case about being a suspect, so we need to clear that up."
"I don't see how you could have killed anybody when we were meeting up for poker."
"Exactly," Rick commented.
Roy looked out to the bullpen, a cheshire grin forming on his face. "Speak of the devil, here she is!" He walked to the door, motioning to the detective to come into the office.
She caught sight of who was standing behind him, her eyes brightening even as her mouth transformed into a scowl. "Be right there," she called to the Captain, making a detour to her desk.
She hid her face for a moment as she stowed her bag in her desk drawer, taking an extra moment to mentally prepare herself.
Her morning ritual just got interesting.