Mercy

Castle Fan Fiction

By Dethwalker

CASTLE

The New York weather was just like his mood dreary..... Dreary was such a good author's word, succinct but pretentious enough that you did not find it much in every day conversation. It seemed that the Weather had matched his mood ever since that day in late May when he had really screwed up his life. Things had been going so well before then.

He had killed off Derek Storm. Cutting himself off from the angst that had accompanied his final Storm Book. He was bored of the predictability. He knew Derrick Storm too well; it was time to move on. Time to find the thrill again. Hardly anyone understood his actions. His poker buddies were gloating. His editor/ex-wife Gina was livid and his fans were hurt. He could have just continued to write Derek until he died, but it would have just been the same old thing. He knew that most "Literary" critics thought he was a hack, pumping out what amounted to soft core mystery porn, but he felt a responsibility to his readers to write characters and plots that he truly felt were his best. If he was not excited about the story he felt he could not put out his best work.

He stared out of the cab window watching the rain distort the streets he knew and loved. He realized that his view on life matched the window. He had been seeing so clearly. A new and exciting character had blazed into his consciousness.... Nikki Heat. A sad smile traced its way across his face. There also had been Detective Beckett, his muse. No he amended, she was more an implacable force of nature. She did inspire him and he felt that Heat Wave was some of his best writing. He had not started on the next manuscript yet. To do so would mean he would have to think about Kate Beckett and he was not yet ready to go there. To do so would dredge up all those feeling again. That friendship? Relationship? It died before it could fully flourish. For the hundredth time he cursed himself. He should have just put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. That act of selfishness had cost him more than he would willingly admit. But here he sat three months later, his world view distorted by a foolish mistake.

His dismal thoughts broke off as his phone rang. For one split second he allowed himself the hope that it was Beckett. The Caller Id on his cell dashed those hope. It was Alexis.

"What's up Pumpkin?"

"Dad, are you off the plane?"

"Yeah, I'm in a cab heading home. I should be home in a half hour."

"Good, I have been going stir crazy in here."

"What, Grandma not keeping you entertained?"

"It's not that. All of my friends have gone on vacation and I have been stuck here. You promised that we could go away to the beach this summer."

"The place down on the Keys you love so much?" he heard her assent "I'll call the travel agent as soon as I get home."

"Promise?" Alexis almost begged

"I promise Baby Bird. Nothing but the Best for my lady fair.. I'll see you soon."

Getting away would be good for the both of them. Anything that did not remind him of a certain Lady Detective would be welcome. There just too many places around town that reminded him of his brief foray in to True Crime. Driving past the Metropolitan Dance Theater sparked his memory of the night he got to see Beckett's softer side. She had looked stunning in the red dress he had picked out for her. Sometimes it was hard to reconcile the two images. One image of Kate walking on his arm down the red carpet. How that night stood out in is mind. He could not remember a time where he had been so content. The other image was of the first night he had seen Detective Beckett. Dressed in a tailored suit looking smart, savvy with just a hint of sexy. Just the thought took his breath away.

He groaned as the memory of the Hospital hallway burned his consciousness yet again. He had told her the information gained from the forensic anthropologist and turned and left with out looking back not even waiting for her to officially to banish him. She had laid down the law and he knew what she would say once the shock wore off. He had only seen her once since then.

It had been two weeks after the Hospital and he had gone back to the precinct to drop off the Beckett file with Esposito . He had tried to time his visit so that Kate would be out of the office. He had almost timed it right. As he was leaving he bumped to her in the hall.

"Castle", she spat. He had never heard his name used as curse before. Well maybe when divorced Gina, but not with such venom.

"Detective...", he felt the gilded knife of guilt twits in his guts.

"What are you doing here?"

"Just Dropping a file off, and my notes on the case."

"That file.", again the knife twits

"Yeah.", he wanted to say more but he just could no bring himself to say any thing else.

"Well don't let the door hit you on the way out." came the terse reply.

If he was honest with himself that particular encounter had been almost as painful as both of his divorces combined. If he could make amends for all of the pain he had caused her with his misplace good intentions he would go to hell and back to do it.

His reverie was broken as the cab turned onto Broadway. Soon the ride would be over and he would be home. What a hollow sounding word, when in the 'Pit of Despair' words like 'home' and 'family' felt empty.

After seeing Kate in the Precinct, he had quietly invited Ryan and Esposito out for drinks to see how Beckett was doing. He needed to know how bad the damage was. Any hope he had was dashed when Esposito told him the Beckett was become an even more driven Detective.

"She is first and last out everyday." Esposito assured him

"And when she is not at work she is hanging with that FED Sorenson" Ryan supplied.

The cab pulled up to the curb of his apartment building and disgorged its passenger and his luggage. While the Doorman was getting is luggage on the cart Castle stood and the rain dampen his face.

"Mr. Castle" he turned around to see a messenger jump out of his delivery truck. Castle frowned; it was rather late for a delivery. He quickly took in the Messengers clothes, a totally generic pair of khaki pants and a polo shirt with a blurry insignia on the left breast on the right side a name tag was pinned with the Drivers name, Derek Storm. Castle's frown deepened.

"It's a delivery form your publisher, I think." The Messenger raised a box toward the author. There was a sound like thunder and it felt as if the Messenger had punched him in the chest as hard as he could. Castled blinked, his chest on fire. Looking down he saw the beginning of a blood stain. 'That's not going to come out' he thought crazily. His legs began to wobble and he knew that he was going to go down. If pain was any indicator then he probably was not going to get up, ever. He fell forward. Reaching out to his attacker who had for some reason come even closer, he grabbed the name tag with his left hand and tried to rip it off with the right hand he tried to grab the shooters arm as he fell. He grimly hoped that Kate Beckett would be assigned his case. She would catch the bastard

His assailant moved until he was looking down into Castles face. There was fierce joy lighting up the eyes. His face was split by an evil grin, but he in no way looked like The Derek Storm.

"You killed me, Castle. I could never forgive you for that, never. I'm not one of the psycho's from you books. I wanted you to die first. I did not want you to linger to see all the others I am going to kill. I hope you enjoy the experience." The gunman began to walk back toward his truck "Oh, just to let you know, not that it matters to you now, but I'll be taking out a lot of people including your beloved Nikki Heat." With that the messenger got in his truck and drove away.

Castle was vaguely aware that his Doorman, George was yelling. The pain was rapidly receded and so was his vision. "George.." he croaked motioning the doorman close "Tell Detective Beckett that he said his name was Derek Storm.", he pressed the name tag into the doorman's hand, with the last of his energy spent Castle let himself succumb to the darkness that was reaching up for him.