LIKE A MOTH TO A FLAME…OR CEILING LIGHT

DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to Andrew W Marlow, Beacon Television, Experimental Pictures, ABC production, et al.

A/N - Wrapped Up In Death (2x19) was one of my favourite episodes of Season 2, and this is a 'missing scene' from that episode. Also, a very big thanks to Dave for his wonderful beta work! Also thanks to Gregg for the original encouragement.


Castle looked into the elevator car with more than a little trepidation. The moment of pure terror he'd felt as the car went into free-fall was something he never wanted to experience again. He looked at the stairs, hesitated, but pressed the button for the fourth floor, the home of homicide. Waiting for the car to arrive, he again looked to the stairs, but just as he was turning to head for the 'safer' option, there was the familiar 'ding' letting him know that the elevator was ready to haul him safely up – hopefully.

Having held his breath the whole way up, Castle let the stale air from his lungs with a whoosh and took a deep breath, then looked around quickly to make sure no one had seen him. Straightening his jacket and shirt, he made his way to the break-room, poured himself and his 'partner' a cup of coffee and sauntered over to her and took his usual seat beside her desk, though with a little more care, as he didn't want a repeat of the chair collapsing on him again. How embarrassing. Damn curse.

Beckett looked at him and smiled. "Hey, Scooby."

Castle huffed. "I don't think so, Fred maybe. Shaggy at a stretch, but Scooby?"

Shrugging, Beckett chuckled. "I call 'em as I see 'em. We have a new lead," she continued, taking a sip of her coffee, before getting up and grabbing her coat. "You coming?"

Castle looked longingly at his freshly brewed cup of coffee. It was his first for the day, and he'd been looking forward to it.

Looking at him expectantly, Beckett asked, "Well?"

Sighing, he got to his feet. "Yeah, I'm coming."

At the elevator, he looked to the staircase.

"Hey, Scooby! Would you prefer taking the stairs?" Beckett asked, noticing his not-so-furtive glance to the alternate route down.

Castle gave her a meaningful stare. Chuckling a little, she added, "Look, maintenance fixed it yesterday. The elevator is perfectly sound."

"I know. I came up in it," he replied, stepping cautiously into the car. He still wasn't totally confident, but at least this time if anything happened, she'd have to endure it too. And it would be poetic to end up dying together. Morbid, but poetic.

He took a deep breath as the doors slid closed, planning on holding it all the way down, as he had all the way up. Beckett shot him a look and he let it out again. Opening the folder she had tucked under her arm she started leafing through the information she'd gathered so far.

The number 3 lit up, then went out again as they passed the floor. The lights flickered and Beckett looked up. Castle had visibly paled. He was fighting the urge to drop to the floor.

"Just a small hiccup in th…" Beckett didn't continue the sentence as the car shook.

This time, Castle couldn't help himself. He dropped to the floor, spread-eagled.

"Castle, get up," Beckett demanded. "The elevator was looked at after what happened to you. Every…"

The car fell several feet and Kate lost her balance, dropping to one knee and sending her notes all over the floor. As they waited, they could hear the squeal of the emergency manual brakes stopping their fall.

Beckett felt Castle grab her ankle. "Get down," he hissed, as though the vibrations from his voice could cause the car to fall further.

Beckett shook his hand off impatiently and stood up. Taking the small step to the control panel, she pressed the red button with the phone on it.

A disembodied voice asked, "Is this an emergency?"

"Yes," Kate said, with little patience.

"How can I help you ma'am?" The voice was all business now.

"I'm in elevator number two in the Twelfth Precinct Police Building at 205 Mulberry St. The elevator just stopped. How long will it take to get out here?" Kate demanded.

"Ma'am, the guys are really swamped. It may be two hours before we can get anyone out there."

"Two hours?" she exclaimed indignantly. "Listen pal, I'm a cop and I have work to do."

There was a short pause on the other end of the line and then the voice said, "Okay, do you have any way of prying the door open?"

Patting her pockets, she grabbed her key chain. Castle watched as she inserted one of the wider keys and with no small effort pried the doors open. Breathing heavily and leaning against the half-opened door, she muttered, "Thanks for the help, Castle."

"Sorry, Detective," he said, sounding anything but. "I'm waiting for professional help."

He nodded to the view through the opening she'd made. full stop The car had stopped between floors. A safe escape was impossible.

"Damn!" Kate exclaimed.

Castle patted the ground next to him. "Relax. Pull up a piece of floor."

Kate glared at him. "Do have ANY idea how irritating you are?" she asked, pacing the small space.

"Kate!" he said, somewhat forcefully.

She stopped pacing. "What!"

"Relax. You're going to be stuck here for a few hours, so you might as well make yourself comfortable." He again patted the floor beside him.

Studiously ignoring him, she went about picking up the papers that had fallen when the lift first dropped. Then she purposefully stayed at the opposite end of the car, but did concede to sit.

A small grin graced Castle's face as he watched her go over the notes she probably knew word for word, ignoring him in the process. "Looks like we're gonna be here quite a while. Are you gonna give me the silent treatment the whole time?"

Glancing over at him, she gave him the same glare as before.

"I guess that's a yes," Castle mumbled to himself. "How can I be less irritating? At least while we're stuck?" he added quickly, as Kate shot him a sharp angry look.

Sighing with irritation, she answered, "First of all, you can at least act like you're bothered being stuck here."

He looked at her incredulously. "Are you kidding me? I think I soiled my tighty whities. I'm terrified, Kate."

At that confession, Kate did actually grin.

Suddenly Rick announced, "I got it!"

Kate glanced over, excited. "You figured out a way to get out of here?"

"What? No! I've got a game we can play until we do."

Typical Rick, Kate thought, sighing audibly. "Do I want to know?"

Rick shrugged. "Let's find out. Ever heard of the game, 'Anywhere But Here'?"

With another sigh, Kate said, "No."

Sitting up a little he explained, "It's simple. All you have to do is paint a mental image of a place you like to be other than here."

"That's easy," Kate replied. "I'd like to be interviewing our witness, which we could be doing if it weren't for this damn elevator."

Nodding Rick said, "Good start, but not really the aim of the game."

She stared at him, giving him the 'don't mess with me when I'm pissed' look.

"What? Do you have something better to do? I'm pretty sure you've memorised every word in that report. At least this'll keep your mind off the situation we're in for a while. I'll start. Amy Yip at the Waterslide Park."

"What?"

Rick grinned. "Sorry, that's from a TV show. Um, let me think a little. Oooh, I got it. I'm in the Carpathian Mountains, in a lonely castle. It's midnight and the moon is full. There are wolves howling outside, and snow is just starting to fall. There's a knock on the door. I go to open it, but I'm wary. There are said to be strange creatures that inhabit the forest in these parts. However, when I open the door, there is an extraordinary woman with beautiful dark hair, hazel green eyes, and a most adorable beauty spot just above her left jaw line. Very sexy."

She looked at him sharply, then made light of his idea and insinuation it carried. "I don't think Scooby would've opened the door to be able to see this alleged beauty. He'd have been hiding behind Shaggy, probably in the kitchen."

"Very funny," he said dryly. "Your turn."

Kate thought for a time, and considered not playing, but instead said, "I'm at my desk and there's a possibility that this writer can help with an unusual murder, but I decide at the last moment not to interview him, and my life turns out to be a whole lot better."

Castle smiled. "Yeah, but a lot less interesting and a lot less fun. Come on. Come up with something that you'd really rather be doing. Your ideal holiday for example."

With a heavy sigh, Kate thought for a few moments. "Alright, I've got one. I'm in New Zealand, South Island, and I'm on a two-day kayaking tour at Milford Sound.

"It's cold, but I'm invigorated as a group of us paddle around the Sound, where we see seals, and even dolphins. It's so quiet on the water, especially compared to New York City, and I relish the relative silence of nature. On the first day, we explore the Southern side of Sound, and, following day the Northern side which has this awesome waterfall that is absolutely beautiful. There. That's where I'd rather be. Happy?"

"That's awesome, Kate. When did you decide you wanted to go to New Zealand?"

Kate looked at him shyly and blushed faintly. "You remember Xena?"

Rick nodded, smiling widely. "Oh yeah, I remember that show."

She kicked out at him. "Letch. It was an interesting show for a while. Anyways, when I found out where that beautiful scenery was filmed, I was really interested in going there some time. And after doing some research, I thought that sounded really nice."

"You're right," Rick said. "It sounds really nice."

Sounding excited again, he said, "My turn."

Kate shook her head slowly, wondering what he would come up with next.

Rick gave her a cheeky grin. "Okay. I'm lying naked, on a bear-skin rug in front of a roaring fire in a chateau in the Swiss Alps."

At the mention of being naked, Kate rolled her eyes, as Castle continued, "There's a blizzard howling outside, but inside it's nice and toasty. On the hearth of the fireplace is an extravagantly expensive bottle of wine, maybe a '47 Château Pétrus." His grin widened, as he added, "Expensive, but the best in the world."

"Of course," Kate mumbled, almost under her breath.

"Lying next to me is the most extraordinary woman in the world. Her almost alabaster skin is glowing in the firelight. The freckles on her skin are acting as a dot-to-dot, which I connect by tracing my fingers lightly over them. I lean over and gently kiss the adorable mole she has on the left side of her face, just above her jaw line."

Kate turned red and moved closer to kick him quite painfully before retreating back to her position.

"Ow," Rick complained. "Hey, I was being extremely complementary, not to mention sincere. Your turn," he said in a sulky tone.

"I'm sick of this," Kate said abruptly, looking at her watch. "They gotta be close to getting here." She picked up the emergency phone and waited while it connected.

The same disembodied voice said, "Hello?"

"Yeah, this is Detective Beckett. Elevator two, Twelfth Precinct Building. What's the ETA on getting this trap fixed?" she fumed into the receiver.

"Ma'am, there should be someone out there to fix it in the next hour, hour and a half," the voice told her, somewhat apologetically.

Kate huffed a perfunctory, "thank you" into the phone and slammed the receiver back on its cradle.

Rick watched with some amusement. "Now you have to start all over again to relax," he said, reasonably. "Come on. Make the next one a good one."

Leaning against the half-opened door, Kate closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. "Okay, umm…" She paused for a few moments dreaming of the ideal place. Opening her eyes, she looked at him and smiled. "Okay, I'm on a small intimate beach on Maui. I'm staying at a luxury resort, where I have a bungalow all to myself. It's about five in the afternoon, and I've scheduled a massage. The masseuse is around twenty-five, and wearing a very revealing bathing suit, and I hope his talent also lies in his fingers. As he oils up, I turn on my stomach, and he begins the most sensual, and through massage I've ever had in my life. After an hour, I'm so relaxed, I want to go to sleep, instead I go to my bungalow, which has a spa and let whatever other worries I have drift away in the bubbling water."

Looking at her appreciatively, Rick said, "Good one. You're getting the hang of this." Then he glanced at her suspiciously. "Unless of course that's a memory?"

"Jealous, Rick?" she asked with a wicked grin.

"No," he denied immediately.

"Huh! Yes you are! Your turn."

He sat a while, thinking. "Alright." He moved over to sit closer to her. "I'm on an elevator, in a police station, and it broken down. I'm trapped between floors with an incredibly extraordinary detective. Besides being beautiful, she's unbelievably talented." He moved even closer. "She's tough, but there's also an incredibly soft, sensitive and sensual side, which hardly anyone ever gets to see." He looked her in the eyes, those incredible green eyes. "It's my opportunity to show her that I'm not the person that I project in public. I'm actually a really nice guy who really wants to get to know her better."

Kate's irises widened, with a mixture of surprise and arousal, as Castle moved in to kiss her. Their lips had barely met, when Castle felt a light brush against his cheek. As he leant into it, he realised that Kate's hand was nowhere near his face. Pulling back, he saw a moth fluttering around. With a cry of disgust, he shoved away from Kate, and as far away from the moth as the confines of the elevator car would allow.

Kate watched him, somewhat confused. She had been caught up in his 'fantasy', and was fully ready to let her libido take control, and now he was cowered against the wall practically shaking with fear.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" she demanded, as Rick pointed wildly at the fluttering insect.

"M- M- Moth," he stammered. "I hate moths."

Chuckling, Kate said, "Looks more like you're scared of them, Scooby."

He eyed her with more venom than she'd ever seen. "I hate them, okay! It's the only 'thing', I have all right?"

"Not true," she said. "You also hate spiders."

"That was not a spider," he said, looking around the car for any sign of the dreaded moth. "It was a scientific mutant."

Kate shook her head. "Whatever."

As the hapless moth again fluttered down, Castle cowered as far away as the confines of the car would allow. "Could you please get rid of that thing?"

Sighing, Kate stood. As she did so, the elevator doors slid closed and she almost lost her footing again as the elevator moved smoothly down to the first floor.

As the doors opened, Castle sprung to his feet and raced out of the car as if all the devils of hell were after him. The detectives of the first floor looked at the scene amused as Kate followed at a calm pace.

"He was stuck in there yesterday, and was kind of freaked. I guess he'll be taking the stairs for a while," she said with a smile.

~~ CASTLE ~~

The incident in the elevator is not spoken of again, though Beckett constantly fights the urge to call him Scooby, or lightly flutter her fingers in his hair, pretending it's a moth. After all, it's not fair to make fun of a person's phobias, but there are days…boy, are there days.


A/N 2 - The address for the 12th Precinct, (I don't think it's active any more). I got from this website h t t p : / / w w w . policeny . com / thehousemanhattansouth1 . h t m l

A/N 3 - I've never actually been stuck in an elevator, so I'm just going on what I think would happen repair wise, etc.

Hope you enjoyed. It's taken a while to write, but I thought it was a cute bit of fun for one of my favourite second season episodes.