Started my daily ficlets to make the hiatus pass, then decided to keep going with a 2nd cycle, and then a 3rd, 4th, etc through 27th cycle. Now cycle 28!
RED HERRING - A Glee/Castle Crossover - This week-long story is dedicated to a couple of BAMFs who shall remain nameless (for reasons to be made obvious later) until the day of the final chapter, next Wednesday, which so happens to be both their birthdays ;)
1. Cardinal Rule
Will, New Directions; Castle cast
Anyone seeing their bus on the road would have no idea how much was riding on this trip. Six boys, seven girls, one teacher and an accompanist were on their way to compete against other clubs at Nationals. That was already something to be anxious for, knowing how they had come so close the previous year when their journey was cut short at a disappointing Regionals. They had scores to settle, going against the ones who had beat them back then, Vocal Adrenaline. But that wasn't about to tarnish the fact that McKinley High's New Directions had left Lima, Ohio, bound for New York City.
Inside that bus, the excitement was palpable. Some would fall asleep from time to time, but it was hard to stay that way very long when everyone else was singing loudly and without reserve. Eventually they would be quiet, as it was suggested they should preserve their voices; Rachel was already on that, sitting quietly and staring. She finally spoke up though, the moment they crossed the New York City limits.
They arrived at their hotel and a girl showed them to their rooms. They would have plenty of time to settle in, see the city for the morning, as they wouldn't get their rehearsal time until after lunch. If they didn't want Rachel to lose it, they'd be by that door well on time. As the minutes ticked by, there were three of them still missing, and just before hell could break loose, they were rushed over, in costume and all, by the girl who had first shown them up to their rooms. She worked for the competition organization, they imagined.
"Where were you?" Rachel asked Tina, Brittany, and Puck.
"We got lost… in the gift shop," Brittany revealed, and this explained the bags she was lugging around… and the blush of giddiness on her cheeks.
The bags were put aside so that New Directions could take to the stage, dressed all in red and black. They had managed to get to this point without too much drama, and so they ran through one number, then the next. There was some arguing on that second, but none more than on the third, which dissolved the practice within minutes. The club scattered, hoping somehow to cool off by their next allotted rehearsal time. They had no idea rehearsal was about to get cancelled.
It didn't matter where they were in the hotel. By the time word started getting out, people started hovering toward the source of the madness. As much as hotel security tried to hold everyone back, it was hard to miss… she was hard to miss, trussed up with what looked like cables and all but presented as she'd fallen from the level above… Fallen, or more likely thrown. That may have been left to be determined, but the one thing that was for sure was that the girl was dead. Not many would recognize her right off the bat, not unless they happened to have met her, in her functions.
The competitors who'd bothered to pay attention to her, even if they didn't know her name, they still recognized her as 'that girl' who showed them around the hotel, to their rooms, to the auditorium… If it wasn't for her clothes, the badge around her neck, they might not have recognized her so quick, as her face had taken a beating on the landing. The fact that they could recognize her only made realizing her death that much more traumatizing.
When Will had made his own realization, his only thought was to gather up his kids, who he could easily see, dotted nearby in their red and black costumes. He did his best to cut through the onlookers, getting hold of them, one by one, sometimes two or three together, until he counted and had come to thirteen. He could see some of them were confused, others curious, some scared, or sad… No one could talk.
"It'll be alright," Will promised them.
"My first day here and someone gets killed. Now my parents will never let me come back," he heard Mike tell Tina, kept close in his arms.
"What the hell happened?" he heard Santana say, shaking her head. Will wished he knew what to tell her.
"Cops are here," Puck announced, and they all looked.
There were four of them, coming through the door together, but it was clear the woman was in charge. Tall, brunette, commanding, she directed two of the men off somewhere and they went, leaving only her and the third man, whose eyes went about instantly to the dead girl on the ground. Now it seemed the onlookers extended to the second floor above, and the woman directed security to start clearing them out. Will didn't have to hear the words to understand that, and he started ushering the club away, though as he did this he vaguely heard the woman address the man who had to be head of security.
"Detective Kate Beckett, NYPD," she flashed her badge before nodding behind herself. "And Richard Castle."
TO BE CONTINUED (TOMORROW)