Almost a Whisper

"Are you afraid?" Castle asked. He kept his voice low, almost a whisper, and watched for her reaction. He was intrigued. They had only been on a few cases together so far, and she had yet to show how those cases affected her. There had to be more to her that she was hiding, and he wanted to know what.

Beckett gave him one of her looks that he had to come understand as her 'not now' look. If there was one thing he was sure of, it was that she had perfected that look. "Does this look like a good time to you, Castle?" she hissed.

He glanced around them. They were both crouched down low behind a car in the underground parking lot to one of the major computer companies in the area. Shadows crept along the walls and around other cars like they were too shy to come out directly, or were waiting for nightfall so they could consume as much of the world as possible.

Castle shrugged. "It seems like a fine enough time to me. Our guy isn't around, is he?"

Beckett rolled her eyes. "Not yet, but we need to be ready for when he is." She returned to the watchful silence she had been in before he spoke.

Castle cast his eyes around them again. There were no people in sight, just cars and a motorbike. For a stakeout it was pretty quiet and, he was almost ashamed to admit, boring. What they needed were doughnuts and maybe a fire fight. He turned back to Beckett. "You got that sandwich?"

"Castle," she warned.

"What? I'm hungry!"

"Not now." She actually snarled the words at him, and he leaned back against the car. "Stakeout, remember?"

"Usually, and correct me if I'm wrong, stakeouts involve sitting inside of a car and watching for a suspect. Right?"

"Yes, Castle."

"So why are we here?" He gestured at the concrete flooring.

"Element of surprise," she told him, "Only it won't matter if you keep talking."

"Right," he said. "Sorry."

For the next few minutes, they waited without speaking. Beckett barely moved from the position she was in, while Castle fidgeted and tried to get more comfortable. The thing about waiting outside of a car is that while it may result in the element of surprise, you have to first survive the waiting and crouching down and the pain from that. Castle was beginning to learn that. He started to groan, but stopped himself by placing his own hand across his mouth, when the elevator door pinged and opened.

They waited.

"That our guy?" Castle whispered.

Beckett glanced at him as she raised her gun. She mouthed, "one, two, now!" and then leaped up and ran across the parking lot toward the man who exited the elevator. He was in a suit, expensive-looking and of a dark blue colour.

"James Taylor. You are under arrest for murder! Drop the suitcase and put your hands above your head."

Castle smiled as the man obeyed Beckett's orders, and it hit him that maybe he took too much pleasure in watching her solve her cases. It was no longer solely for inspiration that he stuck around.

fin.