Technically, the Sword is Mightier
Setting: Takes place after the kiss, so they've had the whole "I'm not the plucky sidekick, I'm your partner, your fight is my fight, etc" talk.
Characters: Beckett's boyfriend isn't in the picture. They've either broken up for one reason or another or he never existed or he died and Beckett moved on quickly. I don't really care, he's just not around.
Story Arc: I have a storyline planned, but my ideas may change as I get into it. I know there's not much action in this first chapter, but I'm just kind of establishing everything. I promise stuff will get exciting in the future!
PLEASE REVIEW! Thanks!
"You know, there's no shame in calling in sick every once in a while," Castle admonished Beckett, leaning as far back in his chair beside her desk that he could manage without tipping over. He smirked as he took a sip of his coffee, watching her irritation grow just as he knew it would.
"I'm not sick, Castle. I'm just tired. And you're being annoying." The detective's response was clipped and a hint higher-pitched than usual. Ryan and Esposito glanced up from their desks a few feet away, sensing a sparring match on the horizon.
"Exactly. You're tired. Normal people take sick days when they're too tired to go into work. Besides, you've earned it. You're tired because we all –" he paused momentarily, seeing Beckett's annoyed gaze raise from the stack of paperwork on her desk up to his face, "- and yes, I'm including myself in that statement because you would have never solved the case had I not known that the bookstore on 15th only sells hardback books – we all solved a major case last night and went out for celebratory drinks afterward. I happen to know for a fact you did not go to sleep until at least 3 a.m."
Kate rolled her eyes, "And how would you know that? We all left the bar at 1."
"Yes, but you always go for a long jog on the treadmill in your apartment after solving a case, no matter what the hour," Castle responded, arching an eyebrow at Beckett's startled expression.
"How in the world did you know that?" She asked, finally putting her pen down and focusing entirely on the conversation at hand.
Ryan and Esposito's eyes flew back and forth between the partners, completely giving up the charade of working. Castle/Beckett arguments were so much more exciting than paperwork.
"Because, detective, I just know. Did you think it was just a coincidence that Nikki Heat does the same thing?"
"No, writer, I just figured it was a convenient way to get her to have yet another sleazy sex scene." Kate said pointedly, leaning forward over her desk on her elbows. "Oh, and for the record? The one in Heat Wave? Totally cheesy. I thought you were trying to make these books exciting and sexy, Castle. So far all I've read is lame and trite."
Ryan and Esposito raised their eyebrows and exchanged surprised glances. Beckett never discussed Nikki Heat. In fact, she studiously avoided the subject and always changed topics whenever the sex scenes were brought up. The two cops had a running bet – Esposito was hedging his bets that Beckett and Castle were already hooking up, or at least had that night they were called out to her apartment and he had been making her pancakes, and she was too embarrassed to dwell on it. Ryan argued the much more unlikely theory that everything was as it seemed – that they really hadn't acted on their feelings at all.
Castle balked at this criticism – both surprised and pleased with Beckett's mention of Nikki Heat. Pausing for a moment to consider his response, the writer grinned mischievously before leaning forward so he was inches away from her face, "Well, you know, if you feel Nikki Heat needs a bit more passion in the bedroom, it is my duty as her writer to let you demonstra-"
"CASTLE!" Kate said sharply, cutting him off. "EITHER GO MAKE THE DAMN COPIES OR GO HOME." Having realized that their flirtation had drawn quite a crowd, she leaned back and switched back into cop mode. "I asked you to make the copies over 45 minutes ago. We aren't working on a case right now, I have a pile of paperwork to go through, and I'm really too tired to deal with your antics right now." She let out a huff of air, sinking back into her seat and running her hand through the loose strands of hair that had fallen out of her ponytail. "So either make yourself useful and help me out here, or go home and bug Alexis."
"But, and let me say that I am now repeating myself, since this was my response when you asked me 45 minutes ago…" Castle put down his coffee cup, looking up at the detective as he clasped his hands innocently in his lap. "I don't want to make copies. Gimme a case! Come on – there's got to be something exciting I can do!" He hopped up and down in his seat, a little boy begging for a trip to the candy store.
"Ugh!" Kate groaned, finally snapping from slightly flirty to completely annoyed. "You can't just shadow me on the exciting cases, Castle! There's usually down time between cases, and that's when even crazy exciting detectives like Nikki Heat have to write some reports. I think it's a bit unrealistic for you only to shadow me when we're doing something exciting – real police work involves a LOT of paperwork."
Realizing the conversation had started to die down, Esposito rolled his eyes and returned to the paperwork piled up on his desk as Ryan's phone started to ring.
Castle raised his eyebrows, nonplussed. "You don't get to be a New York Times bestselling author by writing about people sitting at their desks filling out reports."
Beckett rolled her eyes, found a pile of fresh reports on the corner of her desk that needed to be copied and filed. She set the stack in Castle's lap. "You said you'd do anything for me. You said you were my partner," she reminded him under her breath.
He looks at her, surprised she would bring up such an intimate conversation in such a light situation. "I know what I said and I absolutely meant it," he responded in equally hushed tones. "But…" He rose, placing the pile of folders back on her desk. "There's a difference between taking a bullet for you and making copies for you," he said, back at normal volume. "Besides," he said, moving quickly past the weight of the statement that had caught Esposito's attention again, "the copy machines here suuuuck! Please let me buy you a new one. Or at least pay you to hire some interns to do this menial work. You know, Alexis has been looking for some more work to pad her resume…"
Just as Kate was about to respond, Ryan hung up and stood quickly, grabbing his jacket off the back of his chair and heading for the door. Beckett honed her sights in on him "Ryan!" she barked, causing him to freeze mid-step and slowly turn to face her.
"Where are you going?" She asked sharply.
Ryan's eyes widened in confusion. "Uhh… Just got a call from a buddy of mine down in narcotics. Says a girl I locked up a few years ago got out on parole last week and was just busted again. I'm going down to see her – he thought I could talk some sense into her. She had kind of a brush with some crazy stuff back then and I really thought she had gotten past all that…" He trailed off, seeing Beckett's eyes narrow. "I mean. I don't have to go!" He stuttered, confused by her reaction. "I was just... Since we're not too busy here, I mean, well busy with stuff that absolutely needs to get done immediately, I thought it would be… Do I need to ask permission?"
"As long as you take Castle with you, I don't care if you take a trip to the moon," Beckett said. "Just get him away from here so I can actually accomplish something today," she said, her eyes returning to the page in front of her.
"But it's not a case or anything," Ryan responded, confused. "It's just a routine traffic stop – she was pulled for a taillight not working and they found some pot in her car."
"I don't care, just get him out of here!" Beckett ordered, not looking up.
"Field trip!" Castle cried, instantly excited. He grabbed his jacket and twisted to throw a wink over his shoulder as he followed Ryan out of the precinct. "Try not to miss me too much, detective."
"Uh!" Kate growled in annoyance, throwing herself into her paperwork. She couldn't figure out if she was more annoyed by the fact that his presence distracted her from doing her job, or by the mere fact that she found his presence so distracting to begin with.
About an hour after Castle's departure, Beckett was interrupted out of the zone she had fallen into by a soft voice coming from the direction of Castle's chair. "Detective?"
Kate turned, startled. "Oh, Alexis! You scared me!" She said, putting a hand over her chest to recover.
The girl laughed, showing off her cheerful smile. "My dad was right – you must be really tired! I've never known anyone to sneak up on you!" She placed a full mug of coffee in front of Kate. "It's from that place in Rockefeller Center I know you like – Dad said this is your favorite flavor."
Kate hesitated only a moment before taking a huge swallow of the warm liquid, letting the caffeine work its way deliciously into her system. Normally, such a thoughtful move from Castle would have been met with annoyance that he knew her so well and annoyance that she was touched by it. She considered grumbling for a moment and refusing. She flat out hated it when he was right. But she just couldn't bring herself to play games with Alexis, so she just let her thankfulness shine through. "Well, thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Heaven knows I need it after last night."
Alexis just smiled in understanding.
"So what brings you here today? I thought you had one of your many club meetings after school most days. And your dad left with Ryan about an hour ago…" She trailed off, glancing at the large watch on her wrist. "Come to think of it, they should be back by now…"
"Well, we had our big debate meet last weekend, so practice for that has ended for the next few weeks," Alexis said. "But I'm not here for my dad – I'm here to help you! College application time is just around the corner, and every little bit of work counts. I don't know if you have any internships that are currently available, but I would love to do some volunteer work! Even if you can't officially recognize my position, it will still look good on my resume! And dad said you had some copying and filing to be done? I know he doesn't like to do that sort of thing, but I understand that it's the little things that make all the difference in making everything flow smoothly."
Kate momentarily considered sending the girl home – after all, it was a beautiful Friday afternoon – but one glance at the pile of papers waiting on her desk made her reconsider. Besides, Alexis had come here voluntarily… "That would be wonderful, Alexis," the detective said, gathering some of the documents she had been collecting in Castle's empty chair. "Do you mind? I know it would make a huge difference in my day – and I'm sure Esposito could use some help, too."
At the mention of his name, the man spun around in his chair, grinning broadly. "Yeah, that'd be awesome, Lex. Oh, and hey, I wanna show you something! Didn't you say you were looking into Harvard? One of the guys on the softball league here went there. I got him to bring me some info, so I could give it to you." He reached into his desk, pulling out a folder and handing it to Alexis. "Apparently he's got some pull over there, too, because his dad contributed a bunch of money or something. Anyway, I thought you may be interested."
Castle's daughter beamed, opening the folder carefully and reading the paperwork intensely. "Oh, thank you so much! That is so nice of you to do – I actually had a phone interview with them the other day…."
Kate tuned their conversation out as she looked back at her computer screen to resume her work. The whole precinct loved Alexis, which Kate always got a kick out of. All these macho men turned into the sweetest guys when Alexis was around. Whether it was because they loved Castle so much or Alexis just had that charm about her, Beckett didn't know.
She took another sip of the caramel macchiato, closing her eyes momentarily to let the warmth and scent slowly wake her up. Although the cappuccino machine Castle had donated made delicious coffee, something about the way Dean & Deluca made theirs just had her addicted. A fact she had not realized Castle knew. This was one of the few instances when she really didn't mind that Castle was so observant.