Jenny scanned the bullpen, but her boyfriend was nowhere to be found. Sighing, she slid his cell phone back into her purse and turned to ask someone where he was. To her luck, Javier strode up. "Hey," he said. "Looking for Ryan?" It was weird to hear his coworkers call him that. To her, he was always just "Kevin". Maybe if she spent more time at the precinct she would get more used to hearing it.
"Yeah," she smiled. "He left his cell phone at home."
"He's down in the morgue," Esposito informed her. She nodded her thanks, assuming that the room with all the dead people was off-limits for her. She resolved to stay by Kevin's desk until he returned.
"How was darts last night?" she said to Javier, trying to be friendly. Kevin hadn't said much last night, just that they had had fun.
"What?" he replied, confused.
"With Kevin," she elaborated. "He said you two were playing darts last night."
"No," he said. Just then, Captain Montgomery beckoned Esposito from across the room. "I have to go. Maybe R- Kevin was talking about someone else or something." He shrugged and walked away, leaving her standing there in the middle of the precinct, lost and bewildered.
"Hey." She jumped at the voice, spinning around to see Kevin smiling at her. "What are you doing here?"
"Uh…" She pulled out his cell phone and handed it to him. "You left that at home. I just talked to Javier and he said that you two didn't play darts last night." She said it like a question, having no idea of what was going on. She could immediately tell from his expression that he had lied about going out with Javier last night. As a cop and as a poker player, he was a pretty decent bluffer, but when it came to lying to his girlfriend, he could barely pull off throwing her a surprise party. "Kevin?"
Detective Karpowski walked by at that moment and stopped to say hello to Jenny. They'd met the day that Ryan had brought her to the precinct. "Here to meet Natalie?" she asked.
"Natalie?" she said. She wasn't looking at Karpowski, she'd returned her gaze to Kevin.
"Yeah, Natalie Rhodes," she continued. "She's here following Beckett. The whole precinct's been buzzing about it." Detective Karpowski headed away towards the break room. Jenny stared open-mouthed at Kevin as all the pieces came together. She could clearly picture the name "Natalie Rhodes" scrawled in his handwriting on the Freebie Five list he had made a few months ago. It was then that she realized what was going on.
"Oh, my God," she spat at him, her face screwing into a scowl. One step behind her, he needed to stare at her in confusion for a few seconds before realization simmered to the surface.
"No!" he cried. "No, no, no, it's not- Jenny-" She felt like she was choking. It was one of those things that just crashed down on you and left you gasping for breath. She couldn't even imagine it, but it was true: Kevin was cheating on her. After everything- two years together, meeting the people he considered his family, that night after the Triple Killer had attacked him when she'd stayed awake, trying to find some way to make him feel better- and he had just turned around and betrayed her?
He knew full well that neither of them had been serious about those lists. Really, where was she ever going to run into Ryan Reynolds? Or he, Juliana Dever? The lists were a joke, and to think he had actually acted on it…
"I can't even look at you." She stormed off, forcefully, speeding up to a run when she realized that she was about to cry.
"Jenny!" he called, following her. "Wait!" They ran past Beckett and Castle, who both looked bewildered. "Sweetie, can we just talk about this?" He was desperate, actually reaching out as if he could pull her back into his arms and tell her the truth.
She couldn't believe that he wanted to talk about it. As if it were just a simple mistake, as if a nice, long conversation about how he had turned his back on her and slept with the first famous floozy to set foot in the 12th precinct would make everything okay again.
Natalie stepped out of the elevator just as she reached it. There were a few things she wanted to say to the actress, most of them words she had never uttered before. Still, it wasn't Natalie's fault. She wasn't in a relationship, and Kevin probably hadn't even mentioned that he had a girlfriend. There was a past tense there already, and that hurt Jenny even more.
"I hate you, Kevin Ryan," she said, shoving him away from the elevator. He looked so broken. His expression was so bleak, crying would have made him seem happier. She had a second of doubt then, that maybe she should just listen to what he had to say, but by then the elevator doors were already closed.