Title: Little Help Here - Part 1
Written By Lizzie – Summer 2009
Spoilers: Picks up immediately after the last scene of DEATH IN THE FAMILY (Sans WriteRCastle twitter tweets and the publication of Heat Wave)
With Love and Thanks to the Creators, Writers, Directors, Characters, Cast and Crew of the new ABC Show CASTLE. Keep up the good work and I will be waiting for YOUR take on the season ender next fall. I personally couldn't wait, so I wrote a version too.
"It is about your mother," Castle said gravely.
Beckett stepped back. "I asked you to leave it alone," her voice was cold and dead.
"I know," he owned. "I did … I would have … but I had already asked someone to look into it -- before I had a chance to call him back—"
"What are you doing, Castle?" she asked.
"Trying to help."
"Help?" she scoffed. "You're just looking for the STORY."
"I don't need your story," he defended. "I have a pretty good imagination on my own."
"We are done here, Castle." She walked away.
"You know Detective," he called to her back. "Not everyone is working an angle against you!"
She stopped but did not look at him.
"Some people actually care about you." He walked toward her and lowered his voice. "Some people want to see you happy."
"Yeah?" she turned to look at him. "Some people ought to start respecting other people's privacy."
"I wasn't … I didn't …," he stuttered. "Look I was going to drop it, but the information seemed too important to keep to myself."
She shook her head and rolled her eyes.
"I didn't have to come to you with this, you know," he stated. "I could have given this to any detective."
"No, not really," he recanted. "But from my understanding there is no statute of limitations on murder."
She crossed her arms over her chest. "Fine," she announced. "What information was so important that you had to RUSH to tell me … something so important it couldn't wait until … I don't know … the morning … at work … when I wasn't visiting a friend I nearly got killed in the hospital?"
The bad timing of it all sunk in to Castle.
"Tell me," she demanded. "Tell me what you and your RESOURCE dug up in three days that you don't think I discovered in three years."
It hadn't occurred to him that she might actually already have the information. "It wasn't in the case file," he defended.
"Case file?" she barked. "You read my mother's case file?" She was biting back her anger. "Esposito or Ryan?" she demanded.
"It wasn't like that," he said.
"Or did you charm your way past the evidence clerk," she offered.
"I was only trying to help," he repeated.
"MEN!" she ranted on. "Why do men always think they can FIX everything? Some things just can't be fixed!"
The head nurse came up to them. "This is a hospital" she scolded. "You need to take this ELSEWHERE!!!"
"He was just leaving," she explained. "We are done," with that declaration she turned on her heel and walked away.
Castle was left feeling that that scene would have gone better if he had written it.
"So, how did it go?" Martha asked when Castle walked in the door a short while later.
"Not well," he told her heading for the liquor cabinet. "You might want to rethink your Life Coaching career, mother."
"She'll come around," Martha assured him.
"Maybe," he took a long hit from his glass. "But probably not in my life time."
"Don't be a drama queen," she scolded.
The doorbell rang and they shared a look.
"What did I tell you?" she said smugly. "Mother is always right."
"Is that a Marthaism too?" He nodded toward the stairs. If indeed it were Beckett, he didn't want his mother to witness Round 2. She reluctantly went.
He opened the door without looking through the peep hole. It was a woman and she was in a rage, but it was not Kate Beckett.
"What the HELL is this, Rick?" Gina stormed in waving his manuscript in the air. "You are six weeks past your deadline and this is crap."
"Gina," he closed the door behind her. "Always a pleasure."
"I have seen better writing from a chimp with a typewriter," she stated.
"Did you make notes?" He was unimpressed with her histrionics. She never liked his work, not until it hit the best seller list.
"Notes?" she screeched. "I quit after the second chapter … this is sophomoric, melodramatic, sloppy drivel and worst of all … it is BORING!!! Hell there is a murder you don't even bother to solve."
"If you only read two chapters---."
"I read every puerile, mind-numbing, saccharine word … I quit making notes … the pages would have been coved in red ink." She tossed the manuscript at him. "This is unprintable … hell this is uneditable … This is DRECK. I'm not sure we could sell this to Lifetime to make a descent Movie of the Week."
He took another sip from his glass.
"Face it Rick -- Nikki Heat is a failure," she declared. "You are not THAT kind of writer. You are PULP, not … not … whatever the hell you were aiming for with this. You need to dig up some old Derek Storm story, fix it up starting with bringing him back from the dead … or clone him … or give him long lost twin - Erick Storm – come to avenge his murder … and you have three days to do it."
"Not going to happen," he dropped the manuscript on the table behind her and walked to the living room.
"Then you will be in violation of your contract with Black Pawn and you will pay us back your advance."
"You best be careful with threats like those Gina," he warned. "There is not a publisher worth their salt who wouldn't leap at the chance to sign me --- without Derek Storm --- and if that happened … Black Pawn would be forced to DOWNSIZE."
She ignored his implication. "Don't be so sure, Ricky," she sneered. "Blockage is one thing, but this is just plain bad. You have lost it!"
"Everyone knows that playing detective with your new muse is just a pathetic excuse for the fact that you can't write." She added, "not that you ever could."
"Ah," an idea washed over him. "So you are jealous. Tell me dear, are you jealous of Nikki or Detective Beckett."
She glared at him. "Are you going to give me what I want?"
"I haven't in the past," he grinned. "No reason to start now."
"You'll be hearing from the attorneys in the morning." She stormed out nearly knocking Alexis down.
"Was that Gina?" Alexis asked.
"Your wicked step-mother – in the flesh."
"Wicked Ex-step-mother," she corrected. "What did you do to her?"
"Hard to say … married her, divorced her, threatened to get her fired … it's a toss-up."
"Seriously?" He poured more scotch in the glass. "She didn't like the book."
"She didn't like book, Nikki, or your attention to Detective Beckett?"
"You are wise beyond your years, little Obi Wan." He raise his class to her before he drank. "And she won't like Nikki until the book sales tell her she should." He changed the subject. "How was your date with Owen?"
"Owen is … well … very sweet," she hedged.
"Uh oh … trouble in paradise?" he reached his arm out to hug her.
She accepted the hug briefly and went into the kitchen. "Yes. Well no." She pulled some ice cream out of the freezer and started eating straight from the container. "I don't know … it seems we don't have a lot to talk about."
Castle nodded to the pint in her hand. "Don't start."
"What?" she defended with a mouthful.
"Do you want to go the way of the American Woman?" he asked. "Allowing a man to dictate your calorie intake … getting fat because some BOY isn't who you want him to be … drowning your sorrows in a pint of Caramel Fudge Swirl."
"Or a fifth of Scotch?" She nodded to the glass.
"Point taken." He raised the glass to her but did not drink. "Carry on."
"So … Didn't go well with Detective Beckett?" she asked rhetorically.
"We weren't talking about me; we were talking about you … and Owen."
"It was our second date in as many days," she exclaimed. "He was probably just nervous." She put the ice cream away. "Besides, I'm only 15. There will be other boys … other men … in my life."
"I expect that is true … just don't follow my example."
"Do I usually?" she asked. "So Detective Beckett?"
The door bell rang right on cue.
They shared a look. "Could be."
"I should leave you two alone, yes?" Alexis asked.
"Thank you, pumpkin."
Esposito barged in as Castle opened the door. "I told you I would make you bleed," he reminded Castle.
"I just got an earful from Beckett … seems you told her about the case file."
"I never mentioned your name," he defended.
"Yeah well … she is blaming both me and Ryan … says we will be investigating parking violations ---."
"She can't do that," Castle declared.
"She can … she will … you may not have picked up on this Castle, but Beckett is the jewel in the Captain's crown. While your mayor trumps our captain; you'll be lucky to get a seat at the table when he hears about this."
"Mixed metaphors aside … this is a murder case, doesn't matter if it was Beckett's mother or not, doesn't the NYPD want to solve it?"
Esposito bit back his first response and opted for the party line. "It has been resolved to the department's satisfaction … the case is closed."
Castle shook off that answer. "There were other deaths around that time … some pretty influential --."
"It wasn't a serial killer," Esposito stated.
"You know who killed these people?" Castle submitted like it was a fresh idea.
"There are rumors … rumors I have no intention of spreading."
"So … a cover up," Castle postulated. "Mafia, political … bad cops?"
"Let me give you a piece of advice … and you should take this to heart … don't go digging around in this, for your own good … let it go."
"Kate Beckett can't --"
"I'm not talking about Beckett," he explained. "This is bigger than Beckett."
Castle was confused. "Why did you give me that case file if ---."
"I thought if you read the official report you would give it up. Decide that it was a random killing and that there would be no way to catch a random killer on a 10 year old case. You would leave it alone."
"Like that was going to happen."
"Yeah," he scoffed. "My bad … and I am going to pay for it."
Castle screwed up his courage and knocked on Beckett's door. It was late, well past midnight, but he had to see her. He had hoped she would come to him, but he understood why she didn't. He probably should have given her a day or two, but his concern about the personal fallout made him go. He could take whatever she threw at him. If she were still angry with him; all the better. But if he had just ripped open an old wound, or handed a bottle of vodka to a drunk, then he needed to make sure she was OK – among other things. Answers would have been nice.
There was a light on in a third floor window and an orange glow in the front room – fireplace. She was home. He tried the bell as the knock didn't seem to work. After a long pause the door opened. The light from the street cast down over Kate Beckett. She had been crying. Instinctively he pulled her into an embrace; surprisingly she allowed it – for about 3 seconds.
"Go home, Castle," she pulled out of his arms. "You have done enough for one day."
"Just making sure you're OK," he lied. He had an agenda even if it wasn't formalized.
"I should have slept with you," she said sadly walking back toward the living room allowing him to follow.
"What? When?" He wasn't expecting that and it almost distracted him; probably her plan.
"After the Tisdale case," she explained. "I should have slept with you. Then you would have moved on to your next … next victim."
He was insulted but tried not to show it. "You are no one's victim and I think you are underestimating your … allure."
"Or your … " she struggled to find the word. "Your …"
"Endurance , tenacity, fortitude … moxie," he offered.
"Attention span," she returned to her place by the fire. "Don't think so."
"Kate … Detective," he corrected. "I'm sorry … I really am … I didn't think --."
"No, you didn't," she cut him off. "You live in this fiction world where you can control your characters, their motivation, their feelings, their reactions – hell you control the plot. With a highlight and delete you can change everything. It's not like that in out here in the real world."
"Believe me," he sat down opposite her. "I am very aware of that. I was trying to --"
"Help … I know." She took a long sip from her glass and then raised it toward him. "Where are my manners? Drink?" She nodded to nearly empty bottle of vodka on the table.
"How many of those have you had?"
"I'm not driving." She turned toward the fire. She wasn't as drunk as she had hoped to be by that point, but was glad of that when Castle showed up. "So you never did tell me what your BIG FIND was … the clue that is going to crack this case wide open."
He probably should have let her be for a couple of days or waited until she wasn't drinking, but that wasn't his way. A drink was definitely in order. "So what is really bothering you?" he called from the kitchen looking for a glass.
"You have to ask?"
"Apparently." He poured himself a drink. "Ice?"
He shutter at the warm vodka as it went down. "So?"
She looked away.
"I don't believe this is about the death of your mother. You dealt with that years ago. I don't think this is about me DISOBEYING your ORDERS … because you know me well enough to know that I usually don't do what I am told. So what is it?"
"What is what?"
"What is this pity party all about?" He was certainly taking a chance with that comment.
"You tell me … you are good with making things up."
He took a pause wondering if he should share his latest theory. He decided he would. "I think you know that your mother's death was not random. I think you know it was a professional hit made to look random. I think you know who killed her and those other people."
She turned her attention back to him, surprised that he had that information.
"Yes, that is what I found out and I can tell that you already know, so don't bother to deny it. I think you know who killed all of them … well who ordered their deaths anyway … and you could not find the evidence to prove it. I think it is that lack of justice that has you striking out at everyone, has you sitting here alone and angry at the world."
"Not the world, Castle, just you."
He kept talking. "It has driven you since then and turned you into super cop."
She smiled and shook her head. "I can see why you write fiction Castle … everything all neat and tidy."
"It's why you play by the rules," he continued unchecked. "It's why you hate people who don't."
"I don't hate you Castle," she tried to be flip. "That's the hell of it." Tears welled up in her eyes again; clearly he had again cut very close to the bone. "What do you want from me?" she pleaded.
"I want to be your friend," he said too simply. "I want you to find some peace and have a little fun in life."
She scoffed. "It's good to want … it builds character."
"Oh Kate," he sighed tired of her flippant responses.
She sat up and wiped her hands across her face. "I'm not going to get rid of you am I?"
"If you really want me to go … go for good or just for tonight, I will," he offered. "But I would really rather not."
"And I suppose sleeping with you now wouldn't help," she said sarcastically.
"Might help both of us, but if your goal is to get rid of me or change the subject … gonna have to go with NO on that too."
She shook her head. "This is so surreal," she said. "I can't believe this is happening … in my living room of all places."
"I don't follow."
"You … here … asking to help … hell, helping without asking."
He shrugged. He still didn't get what she was trying NOT to say.
She inhaled and exhaled deeply, building up her courage. "That year of therapy … well it started before then, but --- anyway, I read all your books – more than once … or twice." She nodded to the shelf in the corner. "At first it was just the Derek Storm series, then the rest … including the three children's books … and the ones since. All 33."
"36," he corrected.
"Storm Fall was a fitting end." She realized she was giving him ammunition against her by admitting her appreciation for his work. "You are nothing if not prolific … but after knowing you, I can see that you have a pretty vivid imagination. And don't … just don't …"
He knew not to gloat or tease her.
"Anyway … back then … back before I became a cop … when I was dealing with my mother's death … I would try to imagine what Derek Storm would have done differently. I would sit here, in this chair, staring at the fire and conjuring up … whatever it was … wishing I could ask him … hire him … have him at least help me … and here he is … here you are ready, willing and able to … to … to do what you do. Derek Storm wants to solve my mother's murder. Like I said … surreal." She felt stupid and foolish after her admission.
Castle couldn't help but be flattered. "Well, I'm not Derek Storm," he said as humbly as he could. "And I am not writing it … but I would like to help."
She stood up finally finding the strength to push him away. "Not tonight." She headed for the stairs. "I need sleep … been a very long couple of days."
"Detective?" he called after her. "Kate?"
She turned to look down on him. "I'll see you at the office, Castle … Tuesday … taking Monday off."
He took that as the only victory he would get. They were not done; at least not yet.
"Don't you have a book to finish … something about a last chapter?"she asked.
"Book is finished," he told her freshly reminded that he still had Gina to deal with. "But I am ready to start the next one."
"You don't even know if your fans are going to like Nikki Heat," she protested.
"They are going to love her," he assured her.
She couldn't help but smile. His fans would love anything he did. He could copy out the phone book and it would wind up on the best seller list. He was living under a lucky star. Then her smile faded. If he was going to start digging up the dirt from her mom's case, his luck would change. He needed to stick with fiction – real people had real motives and real people really died. She would deal with that another time. "Until Tuesday, Castle. Lock the door on your way out."
"Tuesday," he confirmed. He should have gone home; instead he took her seat by the fire. He had some thinking to do and getting a cab in that neighborhood at that time of night was not going to happen. He would be sure to be out before she woke up.
A/N: Was thinking of a 5-6 chapter episode to pass the weeks until Castle is back, interested?