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Okay, so I've decided to be thoroughly evil. THIS IS NOT PART OF ANY OF MY TIMELINES. It's pure Alternate-Universe crack, it's relatively short in total, and I would never actually do most of this to any of my favorite characters. Plus I don't own Castle anyway. End disclaimer.

Now then. This is a creative writing exercise I did. The first chapter, conveniently located below, is a scenario with a cliffhanger. ALL FOLLOWING CHAPTERS BEGIN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS ONE ENDS, and are SEPARATE ALTERNATE ENDINGS. Most importantly, ONLY THE FINAL ALTERNATE ENDING IS THE REAL REST OF THE STORY. Clear? I try to be. XD

There will be four alternate endings in total, meaning, this will be a five-chapter story by its completion. Without further ado, here's the inciting moment.

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"Come on, Sam." Controlling the urge for his hand to quiver, Javier kept the barrel of his Smith & Wesson aimed steadily at their perp, Sam Egan, his finger waiting in the trigger catch. Surprisingly, outwardly, Javier kept his cool far better than he would have been expected to by anyone, because, taking Egan into custody wasn't the prevalent issue.

The gun that Egan was jamming into Kevin Ryan's ribcage, that was the prevalent issue.

"Put the gun down, Sam," Javier tried again. "Nobody has to..." Here he swallowed a lump in his throat: "...die here tonight." God, if the man would just loosen his tense grip on that gun Javier could fire without starting a chain reaction...

Egan chuckled twistedly. "Somebody always has to die, Detective," he rasped. "That's the game, right?"

"This isn't a game, Sam, just put the gun down and I won't have to shoot you."

The cackle that seeped from Egan's throat was sickening. "You won't shoot me. If you shoot me, I shoot your partner. Tell me, Mr. Copper, what do you think the odds are of him living through that? You think he'll die instantly, or does he look more like a 'bleed out' kind of guy to you?"

"Shut up!" Javier barked. He followed it with a mental 'dammit:' he hadn't meant to lose his cool like that. He reeled it in quick, but not before Egan smiled, smug.

"Nice to see I can really get a rise out of you, Detective."

Javier fought back the bile rising in his throat, fixed on an unmovable expression, and spoke calmly, but not to Egan. "Ryan. You all right bro?"

The detective opened his mouth to speak - he would have said he was fine and not to do anything stupid - but he winced instead, as Egan tightened his claw-grip on his shoulder and jammed the gun harder into his side. "You shut up! And you don't talk to him! You're not in control here, Detective. How does it feel to know that there is nothing you can do to save him!"

Silently, Kevin mouthed the words, 'Let him shoot and take him down.' Even if the implication made his stomach turn, the reassurance was enough for Javier to keep the shake out of his voice.

"There's one thing I can do, Sam: I can blow you away..." Javier gulped, discreetly guiding a finger to make sure the safety was off his gun. "Let him go..."

There was a moment of silence. Ever-so-slowly, Egan grinned.

Bang!

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I told you I'm evil. Oh, but that "bang" could mean ever so many things! :D Yeah, I do this stuff to Ryan and Esposito because I love them. Let the alternate endings begin. And, please still review, I'd appreciate it.

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