This is just a little something that popped into my head as I watched Castle season 2 episode 13 "Sucker Punch." Don't worry, I'm also working on a longer crossover story. It's just that I'm juggling so many stories right now, that some end up on the back burner, as I'm busy mixing my metaphors. Apologies if any of the actual words from the episode are wrong; I had to copy them by listening, and wasn't sure if everything was heard correctly.

Sucker Punch: (I Just Wanted You to Face Me So She Could Get Behind You)

They stood in the police station's break room. Detective Kate Beckett held a mug of coffee as former Captain Mal Reynolds poured one for himself.

"I let her down," said Kate, staring ahead.

"No you didn't," said Mal. He wanted to comfort her. To tell her of his own mother, his real mother, long dead (though not yet born). He recalled Shadow, his homeworld, a desolate wasteland after the war. He wasn't there when his mother died, but he knew she had fought til her last breath, proud her son was continuing her battle. A battle he would never give up on, though others would admit defeat.

"Rathbourne's in the wind," she said. "Dick Coonan's about to walk." She paused, lightly shaking her head as she thought. "I missed something."

"Could have been me," said Mal, now also leaning against the counter right next to her. "Rathbourne could have checked the routing number, realized the money was coming from my account, not Dick's. I was arrogant." He made a careless mistake. His pride had gotten in the way, and now he had someone new to add to his list of people he had let down.

"I didn't think you were arrogant, Castle. I thought what you did was sweet. And I will pay you back just-"

"Negative," he interrupted. He didn't expect a reward for doing a lousy job. "Ghost writer. It's a small price to pay for a shot at your mother's killer."

"Her killer," said Kate, a thought finally clicking in her head.

"What?" asked Mal, confused.

"Coonan said it was a hundred grand to catch her killer."

"And you never told him it was your mother that was murdered," said Mal, quickly catching on. Tah mah duh hwoon dahn.*1

Kate and Mal quickly marched over to where Dick Coonan was signing his release papers. "There was no Rathbourne," said Kate. "That was just a cover. It was you!"

Coonan looked up, paused, tapped his pen against the form, and said, "Clever girl." He then quickly punched out the officer standing next to him and grabbed the gun from the man's holster. He grabbed Mal's arm and twisted it behind his back, pushing the gun against him. Tzao gao.*2 "Alright," said Coonan. "Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. Here's what's going to happen. We're just going to stroll on over to the elevator. Together. Nice and easy."

"That'll never happen," said Kate, calmly shaking her head.

"You make a sound," said Coonan. "You attempt to signal. You so much as clear your throat, and I'll put a round in this man's liver." Mal felt the cool metal of the gun through his jacket and shirt. Underneath that shirt, nearby the same spot as the gun, was an old scar from a sword wound. He had fought for the honor of a person he cared about. It hadn't been a proclamtion of love, like in an old romantic novel. No, it had been a proclamation of respect, a sign that sometimes words were only words. "And he will die slowly," Coonan continued. "And in considerable pain." Coonan jammed the gun into Mal's side. Okay, that hurt a little, thought Mal. "Let's go."

The three slowly and calmly walked out into the bullpen. "What?" said Coonan. "No pithy remarks from the peanut gallery? Not so funny facing your own death, is it?" Mal had faced death before, and, strangely enough, never found it amusing. He never pretended he was immortal, but death was never his first option.

"I don't know, Dick," said Mal. "You tell me. Last time I checked, this was a police station."

Mal noticed out of the corner of his eye when Captain Roy Montgomery realized what was happening. He kept silent as he watched Roy slowly move away from where he was standing and discreetly reach for his gun.

"You knew before I arrested you, didn't you?" Kate asked Coonan. "You knew my mom was your victim."

"It wasn't personal, okay," said Coonan. "She was just another job." A man can get a job, might not look too closely at what that job is. Those words rang in his ears, a reminder of the differences of men: some would do what they had to do to survive, some would hold on to their sense of morals when they had nothing else left, and others would just do it because they could. Mal never could abide that third type.

"She was my mother," said Kate. "Who hired you to kill her?"

"Forget it," said Coonan. "You'll never touch him. He'll bury you."

"Tell me who," said Kate. At that moment, Roy decided to make his move. He stood in front of the three and pointed his gun at Coonan.

"No!" said Kate, running to stop Roy. "No! Sir! I need him alive."

"That's right," said Coonan, stepping behind Mal to use as a shield. "You do need me. Now, back him off or Castle dies."

"Sir," said Kate. "Back off please."

"You know I can't do that," said Roy."

"Hey," said Coonan, a hint of panic in his voice. "You wanna learn who ordered the hit on your mommy, you better make sure I make it out of here." Mal shook his head slightly, knowing what it was like to fight a losing battle.

"Roy, please!" she said again.

Roy slowly lowered his gun, though not shifting his gaze. "That's right, Roy," said Coonan. "Nice and easy. Nice and easy."

At that moment, Mal took a long shot and head butted Coonan. As Mal rubbed his sore head and tried to regain his balance by supporting himself against the wall, Coonan reached for his gun. But he was too slow. Kate grabbed her own gun and fired at Coonan. He fell to the floor. Mal stared at Kate, her gun still pointed in the direction of the shot.

Lao-tyen, boo.*3


1"Mother humping son of a bitch."

2"Damn."

3"Oh god no!"