A few days ago when I watched "Poof! You're Dead" for the first time, the plot bunnies jumped on the idea of Castle and Beckett both going to the same magic shop as kids like my real bunny onto lettuce.


1988

By her grandfather's side, Kate Beckett entered Drake's Magic Shop and, seeing the man behind the counter, ran to him. "Hey Jared!"

Jared Drake stepped out into the shop and crouched down next to the small ten-year-old girl. "Hey. What're you up to today, Kate? Need some money?" He reached behind her ear and pulled out a quarter, like always. Kate, of course, had figured out how the trick worked years ago, and didn't think it was that impressive anymore, but it was tradition, every Sunday since she was three years old.

"Okay," she said, snatching the quarter from his fingers. "So, do you have anything new today?"

"I was waiting for you to ask that," he replied, eyes gleaming. He stood up straight. "Come into the back with me. You'll want to see this too, Lloyd," referring to Kate's grandfather.

"The back?" Kate repeated in wonder. She had never been in the back of the store before.

"Yes!" Jared spoke in what Kate thought of as his "magician's voice:" soft and mysterious, the kind of voice you expected to be accompanied by jazzhands. Just then the bell jingled as the door opened again. Jared looked up. "Oh, hi Rick. You wanna see this too?"

Seventeen-year-old Rick Rodgers shrugged. "Sure," he said, not even bothering to ask what it was. If it was something of Jared's, it was probably cool.

"One more minute," said Jared, who was tinkering with something underneath a cloth. He put on what seemed to be the finishing touch, then stood back. "And now, lady and gentlemen," he said dramatically, back to his "magician's voice." Kate giggled at being called a lady. "What you are about to see is something that Drake's Magic Shop has never seen the likes of before. Something...amazing." This time he really did use jazzhands.

"What is it?" Kate asked eagerly.

Jared held up a finger to silence her. "Hush, my dear. Three...two...one!"

And with that, he swept the cloth off. It was an antique-looking guillotene, made with polished dark cherry wood. Rick and Kate were both in awe, but it was Lloyd who showed the most reaction. He instantly offered to buy it.

While the two men negotiated business deals, the children got bored and wandered off. "What's your name?" Kate asked.

"Rick."

"I'm Kate. I come here every Sunday. My grandpa's a magician," she informed him proudly.

"Awesome." He smiled, as one does to a child. He couldn't help it. She was adorable. "I wish I knew a magician. Jared can come up with the tricks, he just can't do them."

"He's pretty cool," she agreed. Then she looked up at him. "What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna be an actress!"

"I'm sure you'll be great," he assured her. "I'll watch for your movies and you watch for my books," he added jokingly.

She was silent for a moment. "Wait, what?"

"I want to be a writer," he clarified, and she mouthed 'oh.'

The pair spent the next few hours exploring the shop, with Rick periodically putting on various tricks or X-ray glasses and such. He was an awful magician, so Kate's delight in the tricks came solely from her laughing at him. He was good-natured about it though, joking and doing silly things on purpose. He liked her laugh.

"Come on, Katie," Lloyd called later, having purchased the guillotene and made plans to pick it up later. "We've gotta go. Your grandma's making dinner."

"Alright," Kate relented, shoulders sagging. She trailed after Lloyd. "Bye Rick."

"Bye Kate."

Just as she got to the door she paused and turned around. "See you next week?"

"See you next week," he agreed.


Nathan and Stana are, in real life, 7 years apart. (Jared, by the way, is supposed to be either the father or grandfather of the victim and his brother. You pick.)

I find it funny how it's easy to call them either Rick and Kate, or Castle and Beckett. Like, it's strange to call Brennan 'Temperance,' or Booth 'Seeley.' Not with these two though.

Also, when is Castle coming back on? I only have a few episodes left to watch of season 3, and if I'm lucky I can catch up before the midseason premiere.