Hey everyone! The Lanie and Esposito voices in my head would not shut up until I wrote this, 'cause that's just how it goes… xD This is from both their POVs, in a way (so, kind of an external POV? *shrug* ), and it takes place somewhere before my story "Revealing Actions," but after the fic of the first time they actually got together that I haven't actually written yet. XD (By the way? Them getting together on the show? FINALLY! THANK you, Andrew Marlowe! ^^ And it IS possible for this story to fit into the show's version of their relationship, too. It just takes place before they've told anybody, simple as that, so reading my other stories isn't necessary, though always appreciated.)
As always, I do not (but wish I did) own Castle or its characters at all. I just have fun with them. ;)
Oh - and, ApollaCammi told me that I should include the following disclaimer, so I will: "This fic may contain hotness that could lead to fainting, fanning, wistful sighs, and/or melting." Is that true? Hm, you'll have to find out. ;) Enjoy. ^_^
"We won't know what happened here until we dig. Ryan, I want you to call the first known relatives that pop and get them down to the precinct. See if any of them weren't so fuzzy toward our vic. Esposito, you go uptown to her offices and get them to give you whatever it was she was working on. Castle and I will head over to her apartment and kick up the dust."
"On it." Ryan nodded, tucking his pen and spiral notepad back into the inner pocket of his jacket, and he clapped his partner's shoulder as he turned. "Twenty says the apartment's got our lead," he said.
"Yeah, thirty says the office," Esposito fired back, waving half-distractedly over his shoulder as Ryan walked away toward the car. Beckett was already gone, having rounded up Castle and left right after assigning. As Esposito looked around, what he saw a scene crawling with anything but detectives, except for him, hanging back, watching CSU collect notes and pictures and baggies of fragmented evidence.
And then there was the medical examiner, crouching beside the body and taking meticulous notes on her clipboard.
Esposito was telling himself to turn the other way and get to it, he was, Scout's Honor...but, well, that was just too bad. His body seemed to re-word that command to its liking, and then he was walking toward Lanie and the body. Luckily, none of the swarm of uniforms gave him so much as a glance or a question for still being there - hey, he was a detective, right? He could just as easily be consulting. Call him the Corpse Liaison Officer.
Dr. Parish felt a presence at her right, right about the same time she caught his shadow in her peripheral vision. She glanced up, though only to about the level of the car door that her vic had been hit with.
He let his voice confirm his identity to her, knowing she probably didn't even need any. "Doc," he greeted briskly.
"Detective," Lanie batted back, not missing a beat. Without looking his way, she went right back to examining the body. "Can I help you?"
Esposito shook his head once. "Not me who needs the help," he remarked, eyeing their victim. Taking a pad from his coat pocket and a pen from his shirt pocket, he poised latter over former and asked, "Got anything new as to our COD?"
Lanie's focus was still trained on the dead girl. "Mmp. Like I told Beckett, I work science, not miracles."
"Care to guess?"
"You really wanna build a case on a first guess from the crime scene?"
"Could help. Start, at least."
Exhaling, Lanie directed her pen at the vic's throat. "Well, there's a few abrasions here on her windpipe that aren't consistent with strangulation, so I'll have to look at that more closely when I get 'er to the morgue. And she was definitely dead before the car hit her. All those wounds are post-mortem."
"So, the hit was staged," Esposito supposed, taking shorthand from all this.
"I'd say so," Dr. Parish told him. She still didn't pay him any mind as he lowered himself to crouch next to her.
Esposito took his voice down a bar, keeping his eyes forward. "Take a break."
"Say that again?"
"Come around the corner with me."
Lanie was quick, and she'd already adopted the same under-her-breath volume. "You do know I'm working, right?"
"So am I," Esposito reasoned back, "doesn't stop me."
"Now why am I not surprised?"
"Come on. Two minutes."
"There's about fifteen CSU people I cannot just leave here."
"I highly believe they can do without you for two minutes. I wanna talk to you. Come on."
"You keep sayin' two minutes - you short-changing yourself again or something?"
An exasperated look flicked onto Esposito's face. "You know that's not what I'm goin' for. Lanie - "
"No," Lanie commanded suddenly, abandoning their former whispering tone for full-volume, fully audible to everyone in a five-yard radius.
Esposito swiveled his head to face her, not sure if he was more disappointed or shocked, his eyes going a wide, then narrow to say all that for him...until they met hers, which were the only part of her expression that was softened. Then he got it.
"...for the last time, I do not have a murder weapon for you," the doc finished, and he could've sworn that she was harboring a baby grin with that subtle wink of hers. Which was just as well, because he was fighting a grin himself. "Now will you let me get back to my business here?" Lanie added, sounding every bit the put-upon babysitter. "Go check out those glass fragments in the alley over there if you need somethin' to do."
Raising his own voice, Esposito played right into her game. "Fine. What glass fragments, where're you talkin' about."
Shoving out a pure-theatre sigh, Dr. Parish pushed to her feet and left her clipboard behind, beckoning as she walked. "I'll show you...keep up before I change my mind."
Esposito rose with her and kept to her heels, past the car, past the evidence crews, and half a block down the street until they were out of sight...the moment they rounded the corner, he reached for her hand, and her breath hitched when he caught her fingers, pulled her forward and spun her in front of him. Immediately, his hands fell to her hips, the space between them was gone, and his mouth locked with hers, both of them breathing hard when they were breathing at all.
Lanie latched onto him just as feverishly, lacing her hands together behind his neck, letting out a little moan as one of his hands tangled through her hair. She ripped back from him for about half a second, by about half a centimeter, not even enough worth bothering to open her eyes. "Thought you wanted to talk," she teased breathlessly.
"Thought you wanted to work," he countered in a murmur. His half-open eyes had all of a beat to take her in before they cut off each other's oxygen again, the lack making them lightheaded though neither really seemed to care.
Wishing the world would just leave them here, Dr. Parish slid her hands inside the gap of his open jacket and snugly wrapped her arms around his back, warmth rising through his shirt to meet her. Distantly she was beginning to realize exactly how long this day was going to be until clock-out. Javier gave a groan under his breath that was part satisfaction, part hatred for having to stop this eventually, and on his next break, he said against her lips, "How do you know this isn't all I wanted to say all along?"
"Mmmm-hmm, so you coerced me to get me here, I'm onto you. I'll admit, nice word choice so far..."
"Well, the language waits for no man."
"Didn't know you were trilingual, detective."
"It's a skill."
"You musta been an ace kid in high school..."
Indulging a laugh somewhere in the back of his consciousness, Javier captured the budding smirk on Lanie's lips, his mouth catching hers again as she did her best to short-circuit any braincells he had left that hadn't been fried by murder. And she was doing a pretty good job of it, too.
He was only vaguely aware that one of Lanie's hands had moved to his cheek, but, when she slid it over, covered his mouth and moved a few inches back, it would've been pretty hard not to notice that. She looked sheepishly apologetic, biting her lip, but he also noticed that that hand of hers wasn't budging, even when he tried to say something about how she should've gotten a doctorate in cruel and unusual teasing.
Lanie talked over him, using a tone somewhere between reluctant-to-leave girlfriend and consoling kindergarten teacher, and he got the hint and quit spouting muffled protests into her palm. "As wonderful as this conversation is, you know we're gonna have to shut up before we hit a full-blown debate." With a glance at the dingy brick rising on either side of her, she wrinkled her nose and added emphatically, "'Cause this is not the place for that."
"Mmphh," was all he said; then his brow dropped and he gave the M.E. an 'are you kidding' look.
Lanie sighed. "Fine, but don't make me regret lettin' you talk..." She took her hand away.
"First of all, I coulda moved that, you're not lettin' me do anything. And who said anything about a debate? The chat was workin' just fine." What? No, he definitely didn't come anywhere close to a little bit of a squeak on that last part. Jeez.
"C'mon, Jav." Lanie had to smile, not that it helped her any. "I know you're smarter than that. Besides, so is everybody else. And the longer we're gone the bigger the chances are of somebody figurin' us out."
Logic, he accepted reluctantly, but he still had to scoff at that one. "Psh. Nobody's got any idea."
"Yes, and let's keep it that way."
Javier didn't intend to argue with her, though she wasn't getting away without at least minimal backtalk, half-hearted as it was. He wouldn't be him otherwise - nor would he be if he didn't take his sweet time letting his hands linger on her waist. He drifted close to her, releasing a little bit of his annoyance with the sick, ironic world in a sigh by her ear. "You're damn lucky you're brilliant."
Lanie drifted her arms up around his shoulders as she chuckled. "Mm-hm, I try."
Slower, more softly, Javier kissed her one more time, satiating himself for the road. Not that the good doctor didn't relish the hell out of it, either. Prepared to part, she let go of him...but he didn't let go of her. To her surprise, he pulled her even closer.
Javier liked the thought of little electric shocks going up and down her spine as he whispered in her ear, a jocular grin playing across his face. "Besides. We can debate tonight."
...Well, well well. Along with those sparks, one eyebrow crawled up Lanie's forehead, and she moved to look at him, clearly intrigued. "...Yeah?"
"Hell yeah. You free?"
Color her intrigued, indeed. Intrigued and grinning right back. "I am now."
A smile played onto Javier's face. And, Lanie had to admit; it looked good there. "Good. Then it's a date," he said slyly. Quickly ducking his head to the side to leave a last, parting kiss near her neck - rat bastard that he was - the detective finally turned and headed toward the end of the alley, brushing both hands down the front of his coat a few times to try and get the grip-marks to fall out. Dry-cleaning worked like magic on that, but he didn't exactly have time at the moment, what with the crime scene full of people and all.
Doctor Parish, for her part, was hanging back, trying to tamp down a brewing storm of ill-timed…well, let's just call it discomposure. She snapped her fingers to get his attention without having to holler or scurry, and when he turned around, she whisper-yelled at him. "You are not the only one who can turn it on and off that fast, El Toro, you just remember that! Strut around all you want, I am not gonna be anything but professional when I get back out there."
"Oh? Then why aren't you movin'?" he returned, walking backward toward daylight.
"Because I'm thinkin' up ways to make you pay and pay good, and I don't need any distractions, thank you very much." And I can, too, don't think I won't tonight…besides, 'I 'm kinda frozen to this spot on the ground right here' didn't sound in-control enough… Balling her hands into fists - she was either gonna grab him and show him some real teasing or grab him and just plain strangle him, and neither one of those were gonna work - Lanie marched, catching up with Javier as he hit sidewalk.
And then she stopped. Because he'd stopped. Because they'd practically walked right into one of the uniforms. Who was staring at them kind of like he'd just found a lizard in his gym locker.
"H…hey L.T," Esposito said, managing to regain a casual voice with impressive timing. After that first hitch, he was off like nothing had happened. "Got anything?"
"Nice to see you again, L.T," Lanie added, sounding feeble even to herself. That alone was enough of a sign of the apocalypse.
The beat cop eyed them both, as if wondering just what exactly he'd stepped in on. Or what they'd just smoked in the alley. But, eventually he must've figured it wasn't worth trying to decode, because he simply nodded at Lanie and then turned to Esposito. "We're wrapping up now, Detective. There's a few more fiber samples from a torn pair of jeans that we think Detective Beckett will wanna know about." Wasn't there ever. A suspicious eyebrow remained arched, though, and he pointed to the both of them. "If you don't mind me asking…uh, what were the two of you doing back here?"
"Fragments," Esposito answered a little too quickly. With actual confidence, no less. Lying must've come easy to him - or he'd learned to run with an alibi.
"Glass fragments," Lanie clarified just as quickly, while subtly making sure she stood far enough from Esposito that her arm didn't brush his coat. Or that they shared the same air. Or looked at each other.
"Yeah, looks like our crash had a bigger radius than we thought - and if you uniforms were really doin' your jobs, Dr. Parish and I might not've had to inspect it ourselves. Think on that." With a nod that came off like an 'I said good day, sir,' Javier walked one way around L.T. while Lanie walked the other, leaving the confused uniform alone to ponder nonexistent glass.
Once they were out of hearing range, Lanie whispered at him while keeping her eyes locked forward. "You didn't have to blame the guy."
Esposito followed suit with "It worked, didn't it?"
"I suppose. Still."
"How long you think we got to get outta here before they realize there are no glass fragments?"
"Maybe five minutes. And stop whisperin' at me."
XD Nothing says 'chemistry' like a clandestine little rendezvous on the job. ^_^ Hope everyone enjoyed that, because I certainly plan to enjoy watching them together this season!
Also, as I say on every chapter of all my stories: if there's anyone (ages 14 and over) interested in joining a free, writing-based Castle roleplaying forum, check out the bolded paragraph in my profile. Thank you.
Finally, I would absolutely love it if you would just take a minute and drop me a review real quick. I absolutely love hearing what you guys' favorite parts/lines are. I'll beg if you want me to. I'd write checks if possible. XD
Thanks guys. Peace & love.