I don't own Castle, sadly. But this is post ep to 2.11 (the episode with the amnesiac) that's been bouncing around my head for a while. Hope you guys like it.
What they Do
Kate Beckett wandered over to her refrigerator to grab a drink. Her plan for the next few hours was to relax on her couch with a good book. A mystery novel, but not one of Castle's. Sometimes working with him all day made her reluctant to dive into one of his stories when she did finally get home.
Which is not to say that Castle didn't have his uses, and didn't occasionally have a good idea. He did, even if she didn't always tell him. Kate let herself drop onto her couch and smiled. Take the past week for example. All in all, it'd turned out to be a pretty good case. They'd solved the murder, caught the killer, and exonerated an innocent man. A very charming, very likeable innocent man. As she stretched to relieve some of the tension in her neck Kate could admit to herself how happy she was that Jeremy, or as she'd been calling him for the first half of their acquaintance, Jay, had turned out to be innocent. Not only was he a genuinely nice guy that she hadn't wanted to send to prison, but Castle was right, she was a romantic.
Castle'd been right about a lot of things this time though. He'd been right about finding the dog, been right about being able to get a signature to try and deduce Jeremy's name, and he'd been right about them needing to find absolute proof that Jeremy was there killer, including motive.
Kate frowned slightly; that'd be a conversation she'd never forget.
"So, what next?" Castle asked her, sitting down near her desk.
"We... ah... submit the paperwork to the D.A," she'd responded.
Kate remembered being confused as to why he was even asking. Usually Castle was up on police procedure, annoyingly so. He had to have known they wouldn't need more evidence. Everything pointed to Jeremy. They had most likely found their killer. She didn't like it, but that was the way the evidence pointed.
But Castle hadn't given up hope.
"Well, the D.A.'ll need motive right?" He'd asked her.
"No. Evidence speaks. Smoking gun," she'd told him sadly.
And it had been an almost literal smoking gun. They'd found the murder weapon in Jeremy's apartment. The fact that he couldn't remember what had actually happened was irrelevant (actually, it made him almost more suspicious). The missing links were so easy to fill in that the D.A. probably wouldn't have even minded the gaps.
"Don't you want to know why he did it?" He'd tried again.
"Yeah, but the truth is that we don't need it," Kate told him. She remembered thinking at the time that Castle had to learn that sometimes they didn't get all the answers, just enough to try for conviction.
Just enough to try for conviction. To prove guilt. Because it made sense and all the pieces fit together nicely.
"The D.A. doesn't need it," Castle corrected. "But you and me? I know I couldn't sleep last night could you?"
And he'd been right; she hadn't slept well the night before. So she'd gone back to Jeremy's apartment with Castle in a kind of a last ditch effort to find something else. To try and find motive. What they'd found had been even better, evidence that'd led them to conclude that Jeremy was framed. They'd just needed to think outside of the box, to take that one last look. Kate dropped her head into her hands. She complained about cops who didn't look close enough all the time, cops who didn't look into things, who accepted the first neat little story that came their way. She knew that blaming herself wasn't really justified; any reasonable person would have concluded that Jeremy had committed the crime. But she hadn't looked harder. She always looked harder. In this case she'd figured her judgement had already been compromised because she was fond of the arrestee. And so she'd closed her case, because the city couldn't waste time or resources when they had a perfectly reasonable suspect in custody. Oh, it was all very understandable, but suddenly she was feeling pretty irritated with herself.
If it hadn't been for Castle...
She kept replaying that conversation in her mind.
"Yeah, but the truth is that we don't need it"
"The D.A. doesn't need it. But you and me?"
We don't need it... You and me...
When had she and Castle become a "We?" Her words, not his. But he'd been the one to group them together in a category of crime-solvers who looked deeper. To argue that their combined dedication went beyond just what was required, beyond just building a case for the district attourney, to state that they were the ones who ensured that the right criminals were brought to justice.
When had he begun thinking of them as a pair? When had she?
Castle would be the first to point out the importance of word choice.
She'd been so busy wallowing in a funk because she'd had to arrest a really nice guy that she hadn't looked further. And Castle had picked up the slack.
Like a teammate would.
It'd been okay that she'd faltered this time, because Castle had been there. Sure she didn't always love that he followed her around, but he wasn't just her pain in the neck consultant anymore. They were a "we" now, and she was beginning to think she could depend on that.
Because she knew he felt the same way about the importance of the job as she did, even if his motivations were different and he was less serious about it most of the time. And she didn't need to beat herself up about missing this one, because the next time he screwed it up, she'd be the one to pick up the slack, to spot the missing link. It was how they worked.
We... You and me... We... You and me...
Maybe she could get used to that. Maybe.
Not that she'd ever tell anyone. Especially Castle.
And she'd always be grateful that this time he'd forced her to look beyond the obvious. For reminding her why she did what she did in the first place.
Kate noticed her phone sitting on the counter. Before she could think too hard about it she grabbed it and dialled, waiting for an answer.
"Why Beckett," she heard his voice on the other end of the line. "Another body so soon? I'll get my coat."
"Ah, no, actually," she told him nervously.
There was a brief pause, "Then to what do I owe the pleasure?" Castle asked, his voice softer and more serious.
Kate took a deep breath, "I just wanted to say thanks, you know, for pushing..."
But Castle cut her off, "No thanks necessary Detective. Had to catch the right bad guy."
She smiled then, "Yeah, it's what we do."