p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"Going Down to Mexico/p
p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"By/p
p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"UCSBdad/p
p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center" /p
p class="MsoNormal"Disclaimer: Mexico is just one of the many countries where I do not own Castle. Rating: K Time: Between seasons two and three./p
p class="MsoNormal" /p
p class="MsoNormal" /p
p class="MsoNormal""So, we checked them out and found they were FBI agents and had an arrest warrant for all of us. Even me."/p
p class="MsoNormal""So, instead of contacting the authorities, you decided to run."/p
p class="MsoNormal""We were worried about what had happened. Why were US agents in Mexico with no Mexican police? The Mexican authorities would never permit that. And why open fire on us? They shot first, just like Han did. Cowboy knows some people who could get answers."/p
p class="MsoNormal""Who are these people?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""I don't know."/p
p class="MsoNormal""Where are the others?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""They left earlier in a helicopter."/p
p class="MsoNormal""When will they be back?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Soon. I hope."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate rolled her eyes and took a long swallow of beer./p
p class="MsoNormal""Wait. You're armed. Where did you get those weapons?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""The bolt action rifle belongs to Cowboy's dad, the AR 15 belongs to them and the pistol…they found."/p
p class="MsoNormal""They just emfound/em a pistol? Really?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""It was on the body of a dead Mexican drug smuggler."/p
p class="MsoNormal""How did you ever…." Beckett stopped. "No. Forget that. I don't emever /emwant to know how you ended up with the pistol of a dead Mexican drug smuggler. Not ever." She thought for a second. "You know you can't take that back. You can't get a permit for a gun in New York."/p
p class="MsoNormal""I have a gun permit for New Jersey, though. I know a guy. I shoot at a range in New Jersey and keep a gun there."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate just shook her head. "So, what do you propose to do? Just sit here until your friends come back? What if they really are bad guys?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""If they really were bad guys, you would have found my corpse. Or more likely someone would find it out in the desert someplace."/p
p class="MsoNormal"He noticed both of them were out of beer. "Another beer, Detective?" He said in as pleasing a manner as he could style="mso-spacerun: yes;" /span/p
p class="MsoNormal"She nodded and he got two more beers out of the refrigerator./p
p class="MsoNormal""Beckett, what are you doing here?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""I thought I explained that. I came to help out my partner. That's what partners do."/p
p class="MsoNormal""I thought I'd been replaced as your partner."/p
p class="MsoNormal""You've been my partner for a year. I know I wasn't happy to have you around at first, but like I said before, I've gotten used to you pulling my style="mso-spacerun: yes;" /spanIf and when I don't want you as a partner, I'll tell you. Until then, we're partners."/p
p class="MsoNormal""How does your other partner feel about that?"/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate glanced away and Castle realized something. "You're not with Demming anymore, are you?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""It didn't work out. That's all I'm saying on that subject."/p
p class="MsoNormal""So, you just happened to hear that I had a problem and dropped everything to come to New Mexico?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Just happened? I got a call from a terrified Alexis. Rick Castle and the Wild Bunch are all over the media in New York. Did you really think that Page Six's favorite playboy would be the subject of a massive manhunt by the Feds and it wouldn't make the news?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Oh, shit! Alexis knows about this? I need to call her and…" He pulled out his phone and stared at it. "I've got no service. Do you have service?"/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate checked her phone. "None."/p
p class="MsoNormal""They took the satellite phone with them. I don't think there's anything else here."/p
p class="MsoNormal"They checked and there wasn't./p
p class="MsoNormal""Beckett, thank you for calming Alexis down. I know she really respects you and looks up to you. I owe you."/p
p class="MsoNormal""It's what partners do. But speaking of owing, Alexis took twenty-five thousand dollars from a safe deposit box at the New Amsterdam bank and gave it to me to use. I've kept a careful record of what I've spent so that…"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Beckett, you spent my money trying to save my ass. As far as I'm concerned, you should take anything that's left and buy yourself something nice." He saw Kate smile briefly. "What?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""I bought two new Glocks and a new rifle." She held up the FAL for Castle to see./p
p class="MsoNormal""That's the Kate Beckett I know. Show her a shiny new gun and she's all over it."/p
p class="MsoNormal""So, you really thought we were over as partners, and that we weren't even friends?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""You really are not the easiest person to read, Beckett. I've never known exactly where I stand with you, although I usually suspect that the farther away I stood, the happier you'd be."/p
p class="MsoNormal""At least I've always known where I stand with you."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Castle frowned. "Am I that easy?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Easy? Castle, you think with your dick."/p
p class="MsoNormal""I do not!" He yelled, followed quickly by, "Most of the time."/p
p class="MsoNormal""Oh? You were banging your ex-wife, Meredith. She's the one emyou/em called a deep-fried Twinkie. span style="mso-spacerun: yes;" /spanIf I remember correctly, and I do, you caught her banging some producer or director and then emshe/em filed for divorce."/p
p class="MsoNormal""Well, yes. It sounds worse when you put it that way."/p
p class="MsoNormal""Prosecution exhibit B: Ellie Monroe. Her film career consists entirely of her taking off her top and nothing else."/p
p class="MsoNormal""She takes off a lot more."/p
p class="MsoNormal""That's not what I meant, Castle, and you know it. Out of morbid curiosity I watched one of her films. I believe it was emMutant Killer Zombie Cyborg Piranhas 3. /emThe movie was a stinker. The stinkee was Ellie Monroe."/p
p class="MsoNormal""It had its moments."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate just rolled her eyes. "And the last time I saw you, you had an armful of blonde and were headed off to the Hamptons to write. The blonde was your other ex-wife. I believe you once referred to her as money grubbing, as well as high maintenance?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Perhaps not those exact words…"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Castle, all three wanted something from you. Meredith wanted you to buy her a place in New York, Ellie wanted to play Nikki Heat and Gina wanted a profitable book. Do you see a pattern?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Okay, but there's one thing about Meredith you left out. She's Alexis' mother. Yes, I know, if being a bad mother was an Olympic sport, Meredith would have all of the gold medals. But she's still Alexis' mother and I can't just shut her out of my life. And Alexis'."/p
p class="MsoNormal""And besides, sex with crazy people is fantastic." Kate added./p
p class="MsoNormal"Rick decided it was best to ignore that and move on. "With Ellie, I will admit I let my ego run away with me a bit."/p
p class="MsoNormal""A bit? What would you call letting your ego run away with you a lot?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""As far as Gina goes, I was upset at what I thought was the end of our partnership. I just wanted some companionship for the summer."/p
p class="MsoNormal""A companion that didn't bite much? You should have gotten a dog."/p
p class="MsoNormal""Alexis won't let me have a dog." He muttered./p
p class="MsoNormal""At least I know what you want from me, aside from bedding me. You want a nice, best selling book so that you can continue to sign bimbos' boobs and bed any convenient ex-wives."/p
p class="MsoNormal""That's not true. I want a hell of a lot more than that."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Both Castle and Beckett realized that he had said something that couldn't be unsaid and that they would now have to deal with it. They stared at each other for long seconds./p
p class="MsoNormal""So, what do you want, Rick?" Kate asked softly./p
p class="MsoNormal"Castle took a deep breath and thought very carefully about what he had to say./p
p class="MsoNormal""You are the most extraordinary, remarkable, fascinating, maddening, frustrating woman…No, person that I have ever met. Yes, I do want to write a book based on you because I think it'll be the best thing I ever wrote, because it's based on you. And, yes, I would love to make love to you because I know we'd be great together. But I want a lot more. For now, however, I'll settle with being your partner and your friend and we'll see where that leads."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate thought for a minute. "So, you think we could be a couple?" She saw Castle nod. "When my mom died, something in me changed. I couldn't, wouldn't, let anyone get close to me because I could emnot/em stand to feel that kind of a loss again. It would destroy me. So, we'll be partners and friends, but I think you'll get tired of chasing after me and leave. But, until then, we're partners and friends. Okay?"/p
p class="MsoNormal"Castle smiled. He wondered if he should say more, but decided against it. He changed the subject "It's getting close to lunchtime. Would you like a sandwich and another beer?"/p
p class="MsoNormal"She smirked at him. "Trying to ger me drunk so you can take advantage of me, Castle?"/p
p class="MsoNormal""Trying to be a good host."/p
p class="MsoNormal"They ate lunch and Kate told him about all that had happened from Alexis' panicked phone call, her talks with her FBI contacts, Agent Dormand, Sheriff Conklin and Mrs. Cervantes. Then they talked about many, inconsequential things until the heard a helicopter approaching./p
p class="MsoNormal""We'd better be prepared in case it isn't your friends." Kate said, grabbing her rifle./p
p class="MsoNormal""Who else would it be?"/p
p class="MsoNormal"But, it was their friends and another man. He was tall, bulky with long blond hair and a beard. He didn't/p
p class="MsoNormal"introduce himself so Castle thought of him as Thor./p
p class="MsoNormal""I work for the US Government, although not the same part that Dormand works for. We occasionally need a little help and Cowboy and his friends are happy to help out."/p
p class="MsoNormal""Mr. Castle, you'll be glad to know the FBI isn't looking for you anymore. We asked our Mexican friends to let the FBI know what was going on. They gave the Feds the names and badge numbers of the dead agents. They were all from different offices around the US. Dormand called up the offices involved and was shocked to find that all of the supposedly dead agents were at work and very much alive. The arrest warrant was a phony as well. The emFederales /emtook the fingerprints of the dead. They turned out to be shooters for hire. Not associated with any one group, either Mexican or otherwise."/p
p class="MsoNormal""What did they want?" Kate asked./p
p class="MsoNormal""We're assuming they wanted to take out our assets and that Mr. Castle was just added in at the last minute. We'd really like to know how they got such good intel. We're assuming they were going to show up, announce themselves as FBI agents and when Cowboy and the rest came out, they'd gun then down. We're busy trying to track down who's behind all this."/p
p class="MsoNormal""In the meantime, Cowboy and his friends will have been found hunting deer up around the New Mexico-Colorado line. The whole thing will be passed off as some kind of a Mexican cartel hit that got blown all out of proportion. The unknown killers of the fake agents are presumed to be long gone into Mexico."/p
p class="MsoNormal""I'm going deer hunting?" Castle asked./p
p class="MsoNormal""No, we didn't think that would fit your reputation. You'll be found by your partner, Detective Beckett, on a luxury houseboat you rented under an assumed name on Lake Mead in Nevada."/p
p class="MsoNormal""I have a rental Jeep that I have to get back to…." Kate began./p
p class="MsoNormal""Don't worry about a thing, Detective. You can even keep the concealed carry permit and the badge courtesy of Sheriff Conklin."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Castle wondered just how involved this Sheriff Conklin was, but decided to ask no questions./p
p class="MsoNormal""Now, we have a helicopter coming for our people and one for Mr. Castle and Detective Beckett. Mr. Castle, the helicopter will drop you two off right on the houseboat at night, so no one will see you arrive. And it's paid for until the end of the week, so you two can enjoy yourselves."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate spoke. "I don't think I really need to be on the houseboat. I could just stay somewhere on shore."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Thor smiled. Kate thought it was the kind of smile a hungry wolf would have when finding a nice, tender lamb for dinner. "Detective Beckett, we have a number of things to do to set this up, such as arranging for Dormand to be the new FBI SAIC on the North Slope of Alaska. I'd consider it a personal favor if you'd stay out of sight with Mr. Castle. Less chance of things going wrong that way."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Kate wondered if not doing this man a personal favor would lead to her NYPD career consisting of pulling long dead bodies out of the Hudson River. "In that case, I'll stay with Castle."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Everyone's head turned to the cave entrance. "That's our rides coming. Everyone, get their gear together." Thor said./p
p class="MsoNormal"As they walked to the waiting choppers, Kate spoke sharply, but quietly to Rick. "Whatever you're thinking, forget it. You are not sleeping with me on the houseboat."/p
p class="MsoNormal"Rick nodded and smiled to himself. emShe didn't say we weren't going to sleep together at all, just not on the houseboat./em/p
p class="MsoNormal" /p
p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" align="center"The End/p
p class="MsoNormal"strongAuthor's note: Next up, I hope, is emBattle Group Castle./em I'm about 30,000 words into BGC. /strong/p