Follow the Plot

By PaBurke

Summary: Castle critiques another author

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Season One of Castle, Season One of Pretender

Word Count: 450


"Did you read this?" Beckett asked Castle on their 'quick' trip to the bookstore.

Rick turned away from (yet another) adoring fan to the strategically placed display that Kate Beckett was perusing. "Ah yes, The Pretender by Jarod Clancy –obviously pseudonym. Shot to the top of the New York Times' Best Seller List. Interesting characters despite of the fact that the main character -the narrator -is smarter than everyone else which is a writer's no-no. His research is phenomenal. Extraordinary writing, his grammar is perfect, 'cept when it's even more perfect to have flaws. Which makes me wonder if the writer isn't a genius. Left the reader hanging at the end of his book and begging for more."

Kate blinked. "So you liked it?"

"I called the publisher in hopes of getting the guy's real name and contact information… and maybe the first couple chapters of the next book," Rick admitted.

"And?" Kate gave him her full attention, which often made him want to hide.

"Three strikes and I was out. The poker gang was disappointed."

"They didn't give you anything?"

"They didn't have anything to give. Turns out that he was in the publisher's office for three weeks and exposed the scandal. And then he disappeared. His name was fake –which, seriously, Jarod Clancy?- someone should have figured that out. He left the manuscript behind."

Kate flipped the book over to check the publisher. "George Centre Publishing? That's the place that was stealing children's short stories from that charter school for disadvantaged children in the Bronx and selling them as work from an in-house author?"

"Yep," Rick popped the 'p.'

Kate looked at the book display and all the people picking up the book to purchase it. "So who gets all the royalties?"

Rick wagged his eyebrows. "So in the middle of getting the confession from the publisher's CEO about the intellectual theft, Jarod Clancy also got him to sign an airtight agreement that all –and I mean all- of the profits from The Pretender's sales goes to the same school that George Centre Publishing stole from."

Kate was impressed. "He sounds interesting. Do you think he might need a muse?" She smiled at him and Rick winced knowing what was coming. "I could trade you in."

"Funny," Rick griped. "Very funny. Would you really want to work with a know-it-all?"

"How would that be worse than now? At least with Clancy, the know-it-all would really know it all."

"I'm hurt," pouted Rick.

Kate sighed dramatically. "Well, if no one can find him, I guess I'll settle for you." She paused. "If you get a hold of any of his work, I want to see it."

Rick grinned. "Deal."